I usually drop suffixes like -chan or -san, because I deem them unnecessary, unless the situation calls for it (example, when Akiko starts calling Akito his name in vol 1). Suffix like -sama and -senpai are usually added in cause it denotes respect.
In the case of Akito, he usually calls Nasuhara by 'Nasuhara-san', Ginbe directly by name, and same with Akiko. As for Nikaido, it's Kaichou-san, or Nikaido-senpai and its variants.
Mentioning it here cause this chapter involves them coming up with ways to address each other, so yeah. Just a reminder.
"Let's decide on how we address each other."
While all the residents were enjoying lunch together, after the spring cleaning was finished.
President of students' council, Nikaido Arashi, said that.
"How we address each other?"
"Yup. The names for each of us."
Kaichou nodded strongly at me, who was tilting my head, and said,
"There is a great significance in how people address each other. Even if it is just a sort of label at others, and sometimes to oneself, there can be a huge change to one's life just by changing the way you address someone else."
"Haa. So it means we are going to do that? To decide on the nickname of each other?"
"It doesn't have to be nicknames. Adding or removing the '-san' suffix for example - that will do too."
"Simply speaking, me, Nasuhara and Himenokouji-imouto have known each other for quite a while already, so let us set that aside. However, Ginbe and you are both new faces that have just joined the students' council in this year. Truthfully speaking, our friendship is not that deep yet, so I am still deciding on how we should be treating each other. That's what I am thinking."
"Moreover, we are now living together. We should not be treating each other as outsiders anymore."
"Mmm. In other words, rather than spending the time to blindly feel our way through on how we be treating each other, we should just be direct about it and settle it now, right?"
"Well, that's how it is."
I see, I can understand what she is trying to say.
Whether for better or worse, the physical and psychological distance between us have shrunk greatly within a short time. As such, it feels like we have skipped through a lot of things that should have happened at a gradual pace.
Well, I think it is something that will be resolved naturally given time...... But perhaps it will be much simpler to just take the opportunity and clear everything together. Moreover, given Kaichou's personality, that should be even more so.
"Like you have said. This is perhaps a good opportunity for us."
"Yeah. It is really great for a caretaker like you to be so understanding."
"No no, nothing of that sort. I may not even realize it if not for Kaichou suggesting it. As expected from the president of the students' council of St. Ririana Academy."
"Really? Oh my, it is embarrassing if you praise me like that."
"Please, there is no need to be humble. In regards to you being concerned about our matters - I am not flattering you, I really do think you are impressive. As expected of Kaichou."
"Oh my. Actually, for me, when I am hooking up my lovers, I must address them with a special name that only I will use, yeah. I am not quite comfortable about us being reserved about the way we call each other."
"Mmm. I think we should just forget about this plan."
There has to be a limit to your self-destruction.
"I was thinking, how rare it is for me to praise you, so that's how it all ends huh. Please return me my innocence."
"Alright. As such."
Kaichou ignored my protests,
"So let us start now. Just relax, and treat it as a sideshow for lunch. It's not like we will be using everything that we will come up with. Will that be alright, caretaker?"
"...... I guess."
"Alright, it's decided then. Let us start with deciding on how we should be calling our caretaker, Himenokouji Akito-"
"Can I interrupt for a moment?"
Ginbe raised her hands as she said that.
"Since things have came to this, we might as well come up with a different name for everyone here. How's that? It is too lacking if we are just to think of something that naturally comes to our mind. I think my suggestion will allow us to show our own personalities. It will be much more interesting this way."
"Hohoo. That is quite the interesting idea you have there."
"Just to add on, allow me to address Akito as per usual, with the name 'Akito'. I have been with him for quite long already, and that's how I have always been calling him. It is more natural to me that way too. Didn't Kaichou say that we do not have to force ourselves for coming up with a nickname?"
"Yeah. If you think that is fine, then so be it."
"Well, everything aside from me, please think of a way to address Akito. Let us start with Kaichou, since you are the person who has suggested this idea."
"Hmm, let's see......"
Kaichou rubbed her chin a little, and laughed silently,
"Alright, it's decided. I'll be addressing Himenokouji Akito by the name 'target'."
I rejected immediately.
"Why not? It's not like you will lose anything."
"I will. The name 'target' is not really something appropriate for us companions who are living together, right? Please put in some common sense, you know, common sense."
And Kaichou's 'target' will surely have a 'sexual' connotation to it. It will result in me trembling each time she calls me like that.
"Then how should I address you?"
"Isn't the typical 'Himenokouji Akito' fine? Kaichou usually calls me by my full name when you are talking to me, no?"
"Ehhh~? But that is really troublesome. Indeed, I somehow got used to calling you by your full name without knowing it. But it is too long, and I may bite my tongue accidentally."
"Well, you reap the what you sow, so just accept it. Isn't it just fine since you are already used to it? One of the main focus for this activity is to accentuate your own personality, right?"
"But, won't it be really troublesome during an emergency?"
"Emergency, what sort of emergency?"
"For example, should you be lost in a certain mountain, then I will have no choice but to call out your name repeatedly. Don't you think it is really inefficient for me to be shouting 'Hinemokouji Akito~! Hinemokouji Akito~!' at that sort of critical situation?"
"There is no need for you to be thinking that far ahead. Alright, next."
I forcefully shifted the attention to the next person.
Generally, things have always been going by how Kaichou wants it to be, so I'll consider this to be evening things out. As the caretaker, I accept no objections.
"Urm, well then, Nasuhara."
"The way to address me. You come up with anything?"
"Let me see-"
The golden haired vice-president took a sip of tea,
"Let's go with this. I will call you 'darling'."
"Urm, no matter what, that's a little too intimidating, don't you think so? The distance between us."
"You really say all sorts of strange things. One of the aims of this activity, is to shorten the distance between us fellow residents, no?"
"Though it is like that...... no, that's still a little too extreme. Please try to come up with something else."
"I will think about it, if you marry with me."
"No no, if we are to get married, then it will really become 'darling', no? That no longer has anything to do with my nickname."
As always, she do as she please.
Well, as per usual, she had said all that with a blank expression. That is a great help, since it is much easier for me to handle it. If I have to treat everything she says seriously, I don't think my body will be able to take it.
"In any case, no. Please come up with something else."
"Then tell me briefly, what sort of names are acceptable for you?"
"Uh- Hmm, let me see...... How should I put it - it will be better if it is something more normal."
"I understand. Then I will address you with 'anata' from now onward." [TLNote: if you don't already know, anata means 'you' in formal usage, but it is also an intimate way for the wife to address her husband]
"Ugh, hold on a second. Certainly, from a point of view, it is something very typical, but that is still a little strange."
"How is it strange?"
"Because the 'you' are talking about, is not the 'you' as a pronoun, but rather, it has the meaning of 'husband', right?"
"Stop with your yakking, it is really irritating. If you still continue on complaining about my innovations, which took me a hard time to come up with, I will make you hand wash my lingerie everyday."
"I don't think I can become a man with such dedication and self-sacrifice."
"Of course, you will have to iron them for me as well."
"It's not like they are blouses or suits, I don't really see the point in doing so."
"You are really a man with lots of complains. Say anymore, and I shall perform Swanton Bomb on you as a punishment."
"Are you familiar with pro-wrestling as well......?"
An embodiment of surprises, that's the sort of girl she is.
Incidentally, that is a maneuver that is extremely difficult to pull off. Kids, don't try this at home.
"In any case, that is shot down as well. Please come up with a really normal name. Not those with hidden meanings."
"It can't be helped."
As she said that, Nasuhara made an effort to come up with something.
"Well then, I will just call you 'Aki' from now on."
"And just like that, it has changed into an intimate nickname!"
She's a girl who I really cannot predict where she will jump to next.
She is totally like a string of firecrackers. Or a rugby ball.
"What is with that reaction of yours? Are you going to complain at that as well?"
"Ahh no, it is indeed what I had requested, so I should have nothing to say in regards to that...... However, can't you think of something else?"
"It is as you have requested, and there's nothing wrong with it - so why do I have to think of something else?"
"Well...... That is quite obvious, right?"
"Fu. After seeing you putting on that expression of dislike, my determination has strengthened. In the future, I will have to insist on it to the point of being stubborn, and call you by nothing else but 'Aki'."
"...... Ehh-? You have really decided on using that?"
"I have already yielded twice, and compromised till I have finally come up with a nickname that fits your requirements. If this still cannot do, then don't you think you are being a little too unreasonable here?"
"Ugh, it is indeed so, but......"
"Then please take care of me, Aki?"
Whoa, it felt disgusting!
Though I shouldn't be saying this, and I am really sorry towards her, but that was just really disgusting!
As she is a girl without much expressions or variations to her tone of speech, only she can cause this sort of feelings to me when she is greeting me kindly...... Just like how one mistaken salt for sugar and licks it, or like how one puts in soy sauce instead of sauce in their cold dishes. Uwa—. How disgusting—. [TLNote: sauce refers to those Japanese worcestershire sauce (the brown sauce they squiggle onto tonkatsu), but they typically refer to it as 'sauce']
Forget it...... This is a one-off incident, so I can only pray that Nasuhara will change her mind when the time comes.
"...... Urm, well then, that's all for my names?"
"Please wait. I will be very disturbed if you are to forget about the most important me, the younger sister Akiko, who is deeply in love with her elder brother."
"No, it's not about forgetting you or anything."
Looking at my sister, who was raising her hand, and looking like she had been eagerly awaiting for her turn, I tilted my head,
"You are my younger sister. There is no need for you to deliberately come up with a way of addressing me, right?"
"No need to - Why is that so?"
"What do you mean by that, we both are siblings to begin with."
"Why is there no need for consideration in regards to the way I address you, just because we are siblings?"
" ? Urm, because, isn't the way you should be addressing me been long decided already?"
Of course, not too long ago, we had similar little game where she came up with various ways to address me. But that is an exception out of the exceptions.
"How else can you address me other than 'onii-chan'? Is there any other names?"
"That's right. I just call Onii-chan directly as 'onii-chan'."
"...... Stop beating around the bush. Just come straight to the point."
"Fufu. That means."
My sister lifted her nose,
"I call Onii-chan as 'onii-chan'. That is a logic that needs no explanation, and no one can say anything against it. Just as everyone was busy coming up with a name for Onii-chan, I am the only person who need not wreck my brain over such a troublesome problem. I just want to emphasize that."
"...... And, what are you trying to say?"
"Ultimately, I am trying to talk about my absolute bonds with Onii-chan! For the past sixteen years since we were born, the practice we have between us blood-related siblings is something that no one can stop, and not even god can infringe on us."
"And also, there is the sense of superiority, as I am the only one in this world who can address Onii-chan with 'onii-chan'! Everyone can be a little more jealous and envious of me, someone who is a unique and special presence to Onii-chan!"
My sister was trying desperately to advocate her advantages in front of everyone.
That speech was quite exaggerated - ultimately speaking, the conclusion reached was not that much different from usual.
"To think you have always said things like 'us being blood-related siblings are just a minor problem!'...... So you will only bring that sort of things out when it is to your advantage."
"I don't care what you say. It will not do if I do not fully utilize all of my assets, and defend the throne that is being the legal wife of Onii-chan."
"What's with the legal wife and stuff. I don't even have a designated girlfriend yet."
"We are currently in the era of the warring states."
Ignoring my feeble protests, my sister became even more engrossed with her grand speech.
"This hostel which exists solely for Onii-chan and I, has currently turned into an evil place filled with cocky trespassing demons. In the current time, where I can no longer live a lovey-dovey life with Onii-chan, I will have to emphasize the bonds that Onii-chan and I share whenever there is a chance to do so, no matter how minor it is."
"You are still as exaggerated as ever."
"Naive, you are too naive! This is a battle that concerns my life and death, but Onii-chan still cannot understand!"
"Urm, even if you say that to me."
"...... Himenokouji Akito. Let's just stop there."
Just then, Kaichou interrupted.
She shook her head, while putting on a painful expression, as though she had attended a meeting throughout the night,
"Up till now, I have always loved your sister. As the secretary of the students' council, she works for me faithfully, and her bright smile will always lightens up the mood of the students' council. But thinking back, I had been too reliant on her. I am sorry, that is a mistake I've made, as the president of the students' council. I no longer have the right to face you, her elder brother."
"W-What's wrong Kaichou? You have suddenly became really respectful."
Ignoring my fluster, Kaichou stood up from her seat.
She then walked to Akiko's back, and placed her hands on Akiko's shoulders, while putting on a gentle smile.
"I am really sorry, for not noticing the message that you had been giving off all these while. Don't worry, just focus on being affectionate with your brother from now on."
"W-Why is Kaichou...... saying things like this all of the sudden...... something's wrong? What's going on?"
"Ahh sorry, I've caused you to be frightened? Ah, there's no other meaning behind this. That's how I really feel from the bottom of my heart, so it is fine to accept whatever I had just said like it is? Okay?"
Just then, Nasuhara interrupted.
"Why not let me take over the jobs of the secretary for the moment? In the mean time, you should consider relieving her from her jobs in the students' council."
"Oh, that's a good idea. Can I leave it to you then, Fuku-kaichou?"
"P-Please wait, both of you! That means you two are trying to fire me, right!? Ah...... that means it is a plan to chase me out of the students' council right!? That's it, right!?"
"Ahh, no, that's never my intention. It's just me feeling that things are being too tough for you, so I just want to be slightly more considerate...... I am really sorry. It seems like I have instead added on yet another mental burden onto you. But please, I hope you can agree to my request."
"Talk to me if you are facing any difficulties. Open your heart to me if there is anything troubling you. And also, do not ever force yourself. I can't share your pain, but I can still provide you some assistance."
"Wha...... What's with this all of the sudden, it's so disgusting. Nasuhara has not just smiled to me, but she is actually doing such kind things out of the blue...... W-What exactly is happening next? A change in the world? Or the duel between god and devil?"
"Though I can't do much, please allow me to help as well."
This time, even Ginbe raised her hand.
"Despite us having met not too long ago, since you are the sister of my good friend, that means we are eating out of the same pot of rice. I hope I can do something for you within my limited means."
"E-Even Ginbe too......?"
"It is fine whether to teach you my secret recipes, or the techniques to do housework. Or, I can tell you in details about the things that had happened during the past six years, when you and Akito were separated. The Akito whom you do not know - you must be interested in it, right?"
"Of course I am interested...... But why do you bring that up all of the sudden?"
"Nothing, it's simply just me being enthusiastic. There's nothing else to it. Mmm, definitely not."
Kaichou and Nasuhara and Ginbe.
Upon being treated by them that kindly out of the blue, my sister had obviously became wary.
"...... Urm, Onii-chan?"
"Everyone has said things like that...... but don't you think it is just a little too strange? They must be planning something behind all that, right?"
"Hmm-? Ah, well, since everyone has said that, how about trusting them just this once?"
"Yeah, Himenokouji, you should depend on your seniors at a time like this."
"It is not like I am a demon or anything. It is true that I had always clashed with your opinions many times up till now, but those are already things of the past. Compared to things like that, you should be worrying more about your body."
"You can't be more right than that. As for me, there is nothing more important than 'health', but it is something that is easily neglected at the same time. You are still young, so learn to treasure yourself more."
"...... Uhh, it is still very strange...... why is everyone saying such gentle things all of the sudden? This is totally like...... Ah!?"
My sister's eyes widened, as if she had realized something.
"Well, I don't that is possible, but Onii-chan."
"Could everyone think that I have some sort of illness......?"
"W-What an idiot you are. What are you talking about?"
Kaichou stammered a little, and gave a troubled smile.
"There is not the slightest chance of us thinking like that, yeah? To think of you like that, who is not only our colleague in the students' council, but also a fellow resident living in the same hostel...... Isn't that right, Fuku-kaichou?"
"Y-Yes, I think you are thinking too deeply into it. Himenokouji, you must be tired. You will be fine if you take a good rest."
"Yup, I totally agree. Lil' sister, we are just slightly worried, because you are an extremely delicate and fragile girl - that's all there is to it. Don't force yourself too much, calm down, and don't ever get agitated. That's not good for your body, understand?"
"I-Isn't that treating me as though I am sick! Yes, I do love my blood-related brother the most, and I do want to step over the line of us being siblings together with Onii-chan, but that is all! Other than that, I am very normal!"
"Oh, of course, you are not abnormal or anything like that. I guarantee that under my name, Nikaido Arashi. Don't you agree, Fuku-kaichou?"
"Mhmm, yes, of course. If there is anyone calling you a pervert or humiliating you, don't hesitate and inform me about it. I will erase his existence from the society, and make him regret for having lived up till now."
"Everyone's right, lil' sister. There is no need for you to care about the gossips around you - you just have to live your own life, and continue walking on your path. Even if you screw up somewhere, we will be there to clear up the mess. Even if that sort of things happen, we all know, that you did not do it deliberately."
"...... Urm. Even though I don't think it is quite possible."
My sister, who was suddenly being treated really kindly, asked uneasily,
"Though I don't think it is quite possible...... you guys really don't see me as someone who is sick, right?"
Finally, they turned their sights away at the same time. Kaichou & Nasuhara & Ginbe.
"Eh? T-That's a joke, right? There you go again, everyone's so mean~"
"P-Please don't act like that, look at me properly. Neh? Quick. I am not scary, just someone who is very normal, right?"
"— Ah, don't worry, Himenokouji."
Kaichou could not take it any longer, and forced a still smile,
"You don't have to take it to heart, there is no need to worry. Even if you are sent to the hospital, we will still visit you everyday-"
"Kaichou! Please watch your words!"
"S-Sorry, Fuku-kaichou, I accidentally......"
"She is currently in a very precarious state, so please be careful. — Sorry, Himenokouji, do not worry, there is no need to be afraid. It will be fine if you leave everything to us."
"Exactly. Just leave it all to us. I promise you, that we will settle everything for you. Therefore, lil' sister, I hope you can just hold on for a while. No matter what happens, we will still be your companions, and your friends. Neh?"
My sister moaned, and stood up from her seat with her eyes in tears,
"I am not sick! I am very normal! Uwaaaaaa!"
With that, she dashed out of the canteen.
Kaichou drank her tea, as though nothing had happened.
"Well then, let us continue where we had left off. Whose nicknames should we come up with next?"
"...... Kaichou. And Nasuhara and Ginbe as well."
I could not pretend as though nothing has happened.
"Please restrain yourselves, alright? Though my younger sister is indeed a very fun person."
"Ka ka ka. Ahh, sorry sorry. That lass has the cutest reactions, and so I went overboard accidentally. But Himenokouji Akito, you are not in the position to talk, yeah? Hmm?"
The expressions of my ever-changing sister were really too interesting, so it was true that I had not stepped in right until the end.
Forget it. That girl is unrivaled in terms of her optimism and cheerfulness, so she should recover from that really soon. Everyone must have known that before they did that, so I think a precautionary warning should be more than enough here.
"Leaving that aside, let us continue with the nicknames. Personally, I will love to address Ginbe by 'Gin-Gin', how is that?"
"...... If possible, I hope we can avoid using that. It just sounds too frivolous, or rather, too cutesy, no?"
"I think it is great. It is a fact that you are very slim, and very cute."
However, it seems like everyone has already more or less figured out how to deal with my sister.
Not to mention, they had an understanding among each other, as though they had planned it all out right from the beginning. Everyone here can be an actress, and they are so good at it that I will not be surprised if some troupe is to approach them for their talents. Akiko would naturally not be able to withstand the focus-fire from this group of people.
"If so, don't I have to start addressing Nasuhara as 'Ana-ana' too?" [TLNote: translates to hole-hole]
"Ara, that sort of nickname is not befitting of me, who is Miss Ririana Academy."
"Yeah, if it is me, I will want to call Fuku-kaichou 'pussy-cat' instead."
"Kaichou, that obviously has a sexual connotation to it, right? How about try coming up with something that is absolutely not related to that area, even if it is just once every ten years?"
In any case.
The sideshow started out partly for laughs, but we became surprisingly enthusiastic about it, and it continued on for quite some time. As for my sister, who was left out of it all by herself, I felt sorry for your loss. That's all.