What do you mean by writer retirement?!
“Thank you very much!”
Handing a customer a doujinshi, I slightly bowed. Normally, I did something similar to this at my part-time job in the bookstore but I didn’t have any experience with an event of this scale, resulting in my voice being a bit shaky. Giving my regards to the leaving customer, I, Nagami Yuu, took a deep breath and observed my surroundings. In this almost unbearable heat, I was standing in a big hall that could almost fit 100.000 people, all of them walking around, looking at countless booths that were lined up next to each other. Of course, as one would suspect, most of these booths were selling things like doujinshi or self-made games, basically all that otaku heart could desire.
……Yep, currently, I was in the epicenter of Japan’s famous Comiket. (The official name is Comic Vacation). Adding to that, it was currently during our summer vacation, resulting in the name [NatsuComi], Japan’s—no the world’s biggest otaku convention.
(TLC: Natsu = summer)
Representing derivative works of popular manga, anime and even light novel, it was a festival for people with an obsession for their favorite things. With an attendance count of over 500.000 people over the course of three days, it’s an event that remains unrivaled in scale
….So, if someone where to ask me why I was here, of course I would answer them that I am also a big fan of doujinshi and the like—sadly not. I came here because of various reasons.
“T-Thank you very much….”
One of these reasons was Suzuka, who was currently standing next to me, also handing out doujinshi to a customer while averting her eyes. Noticing my gaze, she seemed to be sulking as she slowly started moving her lips.
“What are you spacing out for? The customers will keep on coming so please help me out here.” She was lecturing me as always.
That being said, her words seemed softer than usual. You can’t really blame her though, after was dragged here during Comiket to help a circle of creators out, even though she has next to no knowledge about the otaku world. On top of that, she’s being forced to sell such doujinshi while cosplaying…..this will probably leave a scar or two in her memories.
“…..I came here with the goal to collect data but I didn’t expect this Comiket thing to be such a big deal.”
Just as she had stated, the two of us came here to conduct research on Comiket. My little sister, Nagami Suzuka, is a student at a prestigious all-girls middle school while also being student council president. Being a super popular light novel author named Towano Chikai in her spare time, she is a flawless superhuman. To surpass her previous novels, she came here to collect data for her research but as I said earlier, she wasn’t all that familiar with the otaku world to begin with. This is why she asked me, her stand-in, to come with her. By the way, just like the term “stand-in” suggests, I am acting as Suzuka’s representative because of various reasons……that’s all I can say for now. I, for my part, am still struggling to advance in the light novel contest that I’m trying to win, although I always fall out in the first preliminaries (last time I made it to the second round though!). It really didn’t feel all that pleasant to debut under these circumstances but it’s for my troubled little sister after all….yeah.
“Onii-chan? Are you listening?”
“I am. Since this is your first Comiket, I’m not surprised that you’re a bit shocked.”
“Although I heard beforehand that a huge mass of people would take part in this, I didn’t expect it to be on this scale…..It makes me realize once more how many people are creating these doujinshi.”
“Well, not everyone walking around here is actually creating them, it’s only the people in the booths, you know?” I said to try to clear up her misunderstanding.
Suzuka answered me with an “Is that so? I totally thought that this is an event where everyone would bring their own works with them.”
“If everyone here would opened a booth like that, this place wouldn’t suffice at all. Not even it if was ten times larger.”
“Eh? So it would’ve been fine even if we merely came here as guests?”
“That’s what we planned on doing at first, you know?”
In the end, we ended up acting as vendors at this booth, although there is another reason for that.
“D-Don’t tell me….there was never any reason to cosplay while selling doujinshi?”
“Ah, it certainly isn’t essential, I guess.”
Hearing that, steam started rising from Suzuka’s head and she started hiding behind me.
“S-So it really was like that…. I thought that it was weird beforehand….All the other people around us are wearing normal clothes!”
“I do think that there are a few other booths were the vendors also wear cosplay but there really are only a few yeah.”
“W-Why are you stating that so calmly…..! D-Did you have a part in this to make me embarrass myself…..? O-Onii-chan is wearing plain normal clothes after all!”
“Don’t say something like that out loud! And that was because they didn’t have any fitting cosplay for me remember?!”
All they had were cosplays for females and they still tried forcing me into one……
“Uuu….for a while now, a lot of people have been staring at me….!”
“You know, since this is the Comiket after all, it really isn’t all that weird for people to go around wearing cosplay. Also, they were probably staring at you because you are—-”
—really cute! Is what I was about to blurt out but I hurriedly closed my mouth.
….Ah that was close, really. It certainly wasn’t an overstatement that she was cute but saying it out loud here would be, you know, bad… Recently, I am always pulling her in all sorts of weird situations, making her suffer as result. I have to make sure that this doesn’t happen here.
“N-No, it’s nothing.”
“Mu, you’re hiding something, aren’t you? Trying to cover it up won’t work.” She said with an pout. She’s plenty cute already but at times like these, she shines like a real beauty
—-Hey, I just said that these thoughts were bad, didn’t I?!
….Cough. That being said, seeing Suzuka in a cosplay like this, completely different from her every-day clothes, her impression was pretty strong on me. Her clothes, to be specific, were designed after a fantasy-type browser game. Wearing cute magician clothes that really fit her, she attracted a lot of the eyes of the people around us.
“N-Never mind that! Wearing cosplay clothes isn’t weird at all, so let’s continue our research alright?”
“Muu, if it really had been possible to conduct this research while being mere customers, why are we standing here at this booth? W-With this outfit….and these obscene books….” While saying that with a red-face, she reached with her hand towards the doujinshi in front of us.
Well, merely looking at the illustrations on the cover completely reveals the fact that the contents are definitely R-18.
“Oho, what happened, you two, desu?”
At that time, beaming blonde hair drifted into my field of vision.
“Double Peace-sensei? Oh, with this being Suzuka’s first Comiket, she was just a bit overwhelmed, is all.”
“Since this is pretty similar to a festival, you just have to have fun, desu! And Sensei? It really frustrates me if you don’t call me Ahegao Double Peace-sensei!” She said as she was smiling at me with a double peace. Her face was nothing like an ahegao though which really made me question why she even chose that name.
This blue-eyed blonde haired beauty in front of me is actually the illustrator of Suzuka’s novel, as well as a super doujinshi and eroge enthusiast, A-he-ga-o Double Peace-sensei. As a side note, she was actually from England, which explains her hair and eye colors.
“Even if you kindly ask me like that, you know….And also, this is a first for the both of us being vendors at such a convention.”
“That is certainly no good, desu! Being a normal customer is one thing but being on this side has it’s own benefits, you know? We can personally explain all the points that the customers should pay attention to while reading our doujinshi, desu!” Saying that, she picked up a doujinshi from the table, opened it and showed it to me.
Shown there was, how do I say it, an illustration of the heroine, looking like she was in a trance or something. It was a straight forward ero-drawing as always, troubling me to no end. I can’t really help it when it’s the taste of the illustrator, I guess….
“The point of interest this time is this expression, overflowing with sexiness, desu! Mixing up the feeling of sadness and also pleasure was what made it really difficult but the result is totally worth it, desu!”
“The fact that I don’t really like all of this doesn’t change even if you explain everything step-by-step…..”
“Being familiar with Sensei’s tastes, we made sure to give her enormous breasts, desu!”
“What do you mean by that?! And as always, you’re totally not listening to me?!”
“B-Breasts! S-So it’s really all about breasts…..! What kind of lewd things are you forcing Double Peace-sensei to do….!”
“No, no matter how you look at it, it’s Double Peace-sensei’s fault this time since she did that without asking!?”
“Drawing out Sensei’s hidden desires and putting them into drawings is my destiny after all, desu. Heh, something like this is self-explanatory, desu…..”
“Why are you saying it like it’s the coolest thing ever?! And don’t say stuff that can be misinterpreted so easily! Suzuka is glaring at me because of you!”
Since we met her, things like these keep on happening but why does it always end up with me being the bad guy? Because of that, my self-esteem keeps sinking lower and lower….
“D-Don’t tell me Onii-chan, you agreed to help here so that you could get your hands on this doujinshi as fast as possible….?”
“Yes, that is the truth, desu!”
“Of course not! Please don’t go spouting lies like that!”
T-This is bad!! There’s a pitch-black aura forming around Suzuka!
“Cough….The reason we came here to help this circle is because Double Peace-sensei invited us, you know. Since we were planning to collect some data anyway, we might as well gain some experience in selling them…is what I thought.”
“Mhm….so it’s like that…….?” Looking like she was still dubious, Suzuka stared at Double Peace-sensei, expecting some sort of reaction.
Shit….she’s not putting any trust in her big brother at all! Well, I do feel like our relationship took a turn for the better after I became her stand-in but in her eyes, I’m still an unreliable big brother like before so I can’t really help it…but come on!
“Yes, that’s the truth, Imouto-san, desu. He’s really helping us here and there’s also his own reason, making it a win-win situation, desu!”
“I see, so he really was telling the truth. Thank you for clearing that up, Double Peace-sensei.”
“Why are you believing her rather than your big brother…..?”
“Did you say something?” She hissed.
“N-Nothing at all.” I answered while straightening my back.
It hurts my pride to say so but this is what the power balance is like in our relationship.
“W-Well, taking the role of the vendors is one thing but I still can’t come to terms with this cosplay.” Suzuka once more nervously fiddled with her hands.
Her already small stature seemed to be shrinking even more.
“In the end, we’re all together here, so we should just enjoy this Comiket, desu! No need to be embarrassed, Imouto-san, it really fits you!” As Double Peace-sensei said that, she puffed out her chest.
By doing so, her voluptuous breasts were shaking back and forth, making me focus my eyes at them. Normally, her doing so wouldn’t be a big problem but this time, just like Suzuka, she is also wearing a cosplay. A female knight outfit with too many open places—the so-called bikini armor, strengthening the destructive power of her breasts by 5.
“….Onii-chan, where are you looking?”
“Ha?! N-N-Nowhere at all?! I was just, uhm, thinking about how this cosplay really fit Double Peace-sensei after all, something completely normal like that?!”
“Ehehe, thank you very much, desu! It makes me happy that Sensei compliments me!”
Originally, I was planning to twist the topic of our conversation a little bit but it ended up with Suzuka glaring at me.
“Hey, you guys! Why aren’t you helping the customers!” This time, Mai also joined in on our meeting. Pushing the conversation in another direction was a good job on her part and all but with her current appearance, I wasn’t all that happy about that.
“I was just telling them how glad I am for their help, desu. Ah, of course I’m also grateful that Mai tagged along too!”
“I-I just came here to follow Yuu for my research. My chances to meet him during our summer vacation aren’t all that high after all so I can’t just ignore this opportunity.”
“Now that you say it, you really keep good track of Sensei’s plans and such, don’t you, desu?”
“Haha! That’s to be expected from Towano Chikai’s number one fan!”
I really don’t get what’s so respectable about that but that’s not important right now. This girl here is my classmate Himuro Mai. In reality, she is also a professional light novel writer named Enryuu Homura and she fell in love with my (Suzuka’s) novel, always declaring that she’s my (her) number one fan. Though, that resulted in her being more like a stalker than a normal fan.
“That reminds me, why is Himuro-san here?”
While Double Peace-sensei and Mai were gleefully talking with each other, Suzuka asked me with a quiet voice.
“Well, even if you ask me like that….for some reason, she was already here when we arrived….”
The moment we came here, she greeted us with a “Took you long enough!” while standing in front of the entrance.
“I really hope I am wrong about this but did you possibly tell her that we would be coming here…?”
“Of course I didn’t?! She probably found out some way or another!”
“That’s to be expected, Onii-chan is too easy to read after all. Reflect on that if you would.”
Listening to her non-pardoning lecture, I couldn’t say anything in response.
I-I can’t help it, okay? Mai’s stalking skills are weirdly high-level, in contrast to her other life skills.
“For crying out loud Onii-chan…..Even after the events at the beach, you’re clearly not being careful of Himuro-san’s actions at all….”
“B-But we managed to clear up Mai’s doubts after all and it’s not like she’s obstructing your research. There’s no need to scold me over such a minor matter, don’t you think?”
“That is clearly not the problem here.”
“Then what exactly is it….?”
“It’s fine if you don’t understand.” With these few words, she averted her eyes.
What’s up with her, really….
“Ah, hey Yuu! Don’t go slacking off. These weird doujins seem to be really popular, so the customers just keep coming.”
“Hey, these doujinshi were drawn by Double Peace-sensei, you know!”
“I can’t help it since the content is….you know?” Her cheeks were slightly flushed as she was tapping on the doujinshi on top of the table.
She’s probably talking about the fiendishly erotic drawings in them.
“The drawings are really well done, so wouldn’t this sell more of it was a normal doujin?”
“I am really happy for the praise, desu, but that won’t do! Since Sensei’s editor prohibited me from adding full-on ero drawings in his second novel, I have to somehow let out all of this built up stress, desu!”
Confronted with her pure smile, not only Mai but also Suzuka and I were merely able to utter a “I-Is that so”.
“W-Well, with doujins, you should just draw what you like after all……And I thought it would be fine to cosplay to attract new customers.” As Mai said so, she looked at her own clothes with uneasiness.
Just like Suzuka, Mai was also wearing a cosplay. With dog ears on her head and a dog-tail on her butt, she wore a fur-centered costume, making her look like a werewolf.
“There are also a lot of other people cosplaying and I probably won’t stand out too much since this Comiket though.”
She might be saying that but she was, just like Suzuka, a real beauty, causing her to attract a lot of the customers stares lately. Adding the outstandingly beautiful blonde-haired beauty Double Peace-sensei to that, it was no wonder that this booth was getting a lot of attention.
….And just because I was in the middle of these women, all of them are glaring at me with pure killing intent! Although I can perfectly understand why!
“Still….doing a cosplay like this in front of so many people isn’t exactly a pleasant feeling.”
“You say that but you didn’t hold back at all when you were doing it at my home,” I retorted.
“B-Back then, I purely did it for my research! A-And if it was just Yuu, I wouldn’t mind…..” Mai panicked.
“Why only me?”
“F-Forget it! Rather than that, isn’t there something that you should be saying to us?!” She was blurting out some nonsense again as her face was gradually turning red.
“W-What do you mean?”
“That’s…you know. Your impression of my cosplay….and so on.”
“Huh? My impression…?”
“Ah, now that you say it, desu! We didn’t hear anything yet from Sensei!”
“E-Even Double Peace-sensei?….Is there something wrong with your clothes?”
“That’s not what I meant! H-Hurry up and say it already….!” Muttering that, she took one step forward towards me and tried to emphasize her clothes while puffing out her chest.
For some reason, she was averting her face. Her flushed cheeks were perfectly visible though, making it seem like she was embarrassed because of something. Being confronted with this unusual behavior of hers, my heart started beating for some reason.
“Uhm, even if you say that….”
Being completely lost on what exactly she wanted to hear from me, I decided to just honestly tell her my feelings.
“Well, I think you look cute…..?”
“C-Cute?! H-Hmpf, that’s to be expected! But….ehehe…” Hearing my words, it looked like smoke was coming out of her head.
Is it that? Because she’s a girl after all, she wants to be complimented on her clothes….? Even though it’s cosplay?
“Sensei Sensei! What about mine, desu?”
“….It fits you as well, Double Peace-sensei. You really look stylish with that.”
“Muu, rather than hearing such critic-like phrasing, girls get happier when you tell them straight like you did with Mai, desu!”
“Ah, well….Double Peace-sensei is also cute, yes”
“That’s wrong, Sensei! You should’ve said erotic, desu!”
“These words aren’t exactly praise—-no, in Double Peace-sensei’s eyes they are the best praise there is. I see!”
“Yes! Erotic is a compliment, desu! By the way, I also think that slutty dog-like compliments would’ve been appropriate.”
“That’s definitely a no-go!”
“Ah but, bitch isn’t really a compliment for me–”
I wonder why—she kept on muttering to herself while tilting her head…..Yup, I don’t get her reasoning at all!
In that moment, I felt like someone was pulling at my clothes and as I turned around, Suzuka was looking up at me with a pouting expression.
“U-Uhm, you’re not going to compliment me on my cosplay….?”
Letting out such an unexpected phrase, I could only mutter a confused “Eh?”
“No, uhm! P-Please don’t misunderstand me?! I-It’s not like I think that it’s unfair you only called the other two cute or anything?! I do think that it’s not fair to be the only one left out though! In fact, I would like it if you would only look at me—No! It’s definitely not something like that?!” She fiddled with her hands as she screamed.
“C-Calm down Suzuka?!”
Being confronted with that non Suzuka-like behavior of hers, even I was lost on what to do.
“U-Uhm…..! Y-Yes, it’s a problematic for the balance! It’s not fair for me to be left out, I think! Something trivial as this might even turn into bullying after all!”
“Why did it suddenly turn into such a serious conversation?!”
“B-Bullying his little sister….Onii-chan really is a cruel person!”
“And why does it turn into false accusations?!
“B-But if it’s Onii-chan, I wouldn’t mind if he was to tease me a little bit….”
“…..Wha-?! Y-You’re wrong! I didn’t mean it like that! It’s certainly not the case that Double Peace-sensei’s work had some influence on me or anything?! So, uhm!” For quite some time now, her talking speed was accelerating like crazy.
After a short moment, she seemed to have made up her mind and while she was pulling my closer, she said something in a small voice.
“F-For now, just tell me your opinion of my cosplay….! Onii-chan is Towano Chikai after all! Doing that is completely natural in a situation like this!”
A-Ahh, I see, that’s what she was on about.
Towano Chikai is a little sister novel writer after all, so when I am acting as him, I have pretend that I love little sisters.
I see, I see. I finally understood Suzuka’s intentions. I was worried for a moment that she might’ve really wanted to hear my opinion of her cosplay… Well, thinking about it with a calm mind, it makes sense. Really, what was I imagining? Honestly.
“Uhm….yeah, your clothes really fit you, Suzuka.”
“I-Is that so…” She looked away.
Alright, with this Suzuka will be satisfied—is what I thought but her hand on my clothes wouldn’t let go.
“You said something else….to the others…” She once more looked at me.
Although I was a bit surprised because of her reaction, I immediately realized that she wasn’t satisfied yet.
….T-Truth be told, that really seemed light compared to Mai and Double Peace-sensei.
“I-I really think that this mysterious feeling really fits you…..”
“That doesn’t feel like praise to be honest.”
“Well, but, it really is arranged very girly, so I think it looks very good.”
“Thank you. But, isn’t there something else….?”
“Something else…? Ah, of course, that magic wand looks very good on you.”
“No, that is not what I meant,” She looked at me with irritated eyes.
Was that not it? I ran out of things to complement her for. Ugh, no choice but to use the words I didn’t want to say out loud.
“Ah-……yeah, Suzuka wearing that cosplay looks really cute, yup.”
“…?! Y-You finally called me cute….”
It seems like I finally managed to satisfy her—nope, she still isn’t letting go at all!
“I-It’s still not enough….S-Say something else because you made me wait so long…”
“M-More?! ….Okay okay I got it, stop glaring at me already….!” Since she still wasn’t satisfied, I continued complimenting her.
Only for the sake of the little sister appeal of course!
“This different-from-usual look of yours is really refreshing.”
“I-Is that so…. Ehehe. W-What else?”
“You’re plenty cute already but seeing you like this makes me want to see you wear these things more often….”
“Ehehe, ehehe. Really, Onii-chan is no good after all! But, it’s not like I’m happy about these words! Ehehehehe….” Her face was even more red than before and her whole body was shaking.
I know that she’s exaggerating because we’re in front of Mai and Double Peace-sensei but her acting is really on point I have to say….
Well, I know that I said similar words like these before but doing it in front of other people is a bit embarrassing after all, you know! It is an indisputable fact that Suzuka is cute and I’m well aware of that but telling her that face-to-face so frequently is bad for my heart….in a lot of ways.
“I-I wonder if I should wear some cosplay at home as well? But the impact might lessen if he were to see this too often, right? I really should try to attack with my normal cuteness as well….” Suzuka seemed to have calmed down but she was still snickering about something.
“H-Hey, Yuu! Why are you only complementing Suzuka-san?! To make it fair, complement me some more!”
“What?! I did so a few moments ago, right?!”
“Fu fu fu, you really are naive, Sensei. We are girls after all so we want you to call us cute as often as possible, desu! That being said, say something more to me as well!”
“Wha-?! Even Double Peace-sensei?!”
H-How did it turn out like this?!
“Uhmmmm, I would like this one…..”
Though, at that time I heard a voice and as I turned around I realized a customer was standing there.
“Ah, yes! Sorry! Thank you very much!”
I tried to be as polite as possible but the second I handed him the doujinshi, he clicked his tongue and said “Tch, normies should just die”. These words felt like an arrow going through my heart.
….S-Shit! It’s true that this looks like I’m some sort of light novel protagonist, being surrounded by three beautiful girls, but in the end, I’m nothing more than a stand-in so it’s really not like that?! I really want to scream out that I’m also the same as you! But I can’t! I can do nothing more than grieve inside my heart! Ugh….this really hurts.
“Excuse me, I would like to buy the new book.” While I was still sulking on top of the table, another guest came.
Behind me, it sounded like they were talking about something but unlike the two of them who didn’t show any interest in helping the customers, I gathered the rest of my willpower and kept going.
Just like I would expect from Double Peace-sensei’s circle, the amount of people wanting to buy her new book is astonishing but I didn’t think that there would be so many women here as well. Not that it really shocked me, since we’re talking about the otaku community. It really gives off the feeling that all of the people here share the same taste….or something like that.
“Ah, is this the circle of Double Peace-sensei? Might I have one book please?”
While I was lost in my thoughts, another customer came up to me and I answered with a short “Ah, yes” as I raised up my head. But, the second I saw the person in question, my eyes went wide.
“….Eh? Huh?! Towano Chikai-sensei?!”
She seemed to be as surprised as I was. Although she merely debuted one year ago, she got herself the role of the main heroine in a very popular anime series. It was the super famous voice actress Minazuki Sakura. She was a big fan of Suzuka’s novel and I met her when she came to a signing session…..But, why is she here?
“U-Uhm, why is Minazuki-san here at Comiket?”
“Sakura wanted to use her break from work to come here and buy any doujinshi related to Towano Chikai-sensei’s novel. While doing so, she saw his illustrators, Ahegao Double Peace-sensei’s booth and even though it wasn’t her favorite genre, it had some connection to Sensei after all.”
Oh, I was a bit perplexed at first but after hearing her reason, it makes sense.
“Rather than that, why is Sensei here? Sakura was so surprised, she almost started screaming. And actually, she wants to scream because she hasn’t seen you for so long!”
“No, please hold back on that if you would…You already have such a high vocal volume but if the fact that Minazuki-san is here came out, things would go south really fast…”
“It’s fine! Sakura didn’t show her face to the media yet! No need to be afraid about that!”
“People might recognize you just by your voice alone, though! Don’t forget that you are a voice actress okay?!” I retorted.
“T-That’s right!” Minazuki-san said. It looked like the thought had never occurred to her.
“T-Then I will talk with a quiet voice like this, okay? What is Sensei doing here?”
“Ah….how do I say it, I came here to collect some data but I also ended helping out Double Peace-sensei with her booth here.”
“Data, you say?”
“Yes, I wanted to gain some more experiences for my novel, which is why I am here.”
That is of course Suzuka’s side, but I also came here for more data on acting like the protagonist in my own novel so I wasn’t actually lying to her.
“Ohh! Is that so! Your relationship with Ahegao Double Peace-sensei is really good I see! Sakura wonders if a relationship like this between author and illustrator is normal after all…..?”
“Well, I don’t know how it is for other people but I guess you can say that we are pretty close…to each other….?”
Although it doesn’t not like a normal friendship-like relationship, I couldn’t really say that. Even though I told her countless times to stop, she still keeps sending me erotic drawings via email so doesn’t that count as being a bother? Well, I do save them all to my smartphone so I can’t talk all high and mighty about that…..That being said, it’s not like I hate her or anything, she just feels more like a colleague or a weird friend.
These were my honest feelings at least.
“How nice! Sakura also wants to be friends with Towano-sensei….” She folded her hands together as if she was praying for something.
Being told something like that from a super-popular voice actress like her….thinking about it, isn’t that something pretty incredible?
“Ahh, Sakura wants to be even closer to Onii-chan…”
“U-Uhm, Minazuki-san? Your way of speaking changed….”
“Eh? …Ah! S-Sorry! It just sort of happened!”
By the way, this [Onii-chan] she was talking about was actually me. It seems like she got too into it while reading Suzuka’s novel, so she sometimes mixes her way of speaking with that of Yuuka. She’s even looking at me like I was Ryou in those moments…..I told her countless times not to do that though. Ah, just as a side note, she is actually older than me.
“….Are you thinking about something weird again, Onii-chaaaan?”
“No! I didn’t think about anything! Ah, you changed your way of speaking on purpose didn’t you?!”
Faced with an innocent smile, I felt a dark aura building up around me. This is the reason why I absolutely can’t be happy about the fact that such a super popular voice actress calls me Onii-chan!
“Ahhh! You are?!”
In that moment, just when I thought that I heard Suzuka’s voice from behind me, she appeared in front of me and after looking at Minazuki-san, she turned around to stare at me.
“What is happening here, Onii-chan?! Why is this person from the signing session here!” Even though she was spacing out just a few minutes prior, she was now firmly demanding an explanation.
What’s this tension about? It feels like she is questioning me about a shady job I did….
“I-If I remember correctly, this was the person that called Onii-chan [Onii-chan], right? Why is she here….D-Did she come here to meet you…?”
“Somehow it feels like you’re advancing the conversation on your own but you’re wrong, okay? It’s a mere coincidence that I happened to meet Minazuki-san here.”
Why is Suzuka so wary of Minazuki-san anyway?
“Eh? Onii-chan she says….? Eh? Huh?”
Minazuki-san on her end seemed to be confused at the sudden appearance of Suzuka.
“U-Uhm, Towano-sensei? Is this girl an acquaintance of yours or something? Sakura might’ve just misheard it but did she perchance call you Onii-chan…?”
“No, you heard right. This girl is Suzuka, my little sister.”
“….Excuse me?” Minazuki-san tilted her head after hearing my words. She had a serious look on her face….she looked really scary… “L-Little sister…? In what way is this your little sister if Sakura may ask?”
“No, she literally is my little sister?!”
“Is this some sort of password? Like the codename [Little sister]….some sort of unparalleled hitman! In that meaning?”
“What’s up with this novel-like deducing?! It’s just my normal little sister!”
“That’s right. I’m not actually a hitman with the codename [Little sister] but merely a girl from his neighborhood with that name.”
“As if there was a girl with such a name around me?!”
“Ono no Imoko! We learned about this person in Japanese history class!”
(TLC: Imoko is written with the kanji for little sister and child)
“I don’t even know where to start retorting if you follow up with something like that?!”
“For now, the most important fact would be that Ono no Imoko was actually a man.” Minazuki-san chimed in.
I applaud you for your effort, Minazuki-san….
“Rather than that, Suzuka is my normal little sister! In the siblings meaning!”
For some reason, I pointed that out in a more aggressive way than I normally would.
“N-No way….To think that Towano-sensei had a real-life little sister….”
“Why is that such a big shock for you?” Suzuka asked.
I don’t know, maybe because the title of my novel is [The story about a little sister who loves her big brother way too much to cope]?! Come on! Take a hint here!
“Onii-chan, if I remember correctly, this person is the voice actress Minazuki Sakura-san, right?”
“Ah right, you saw her back then at the signing session, right? She’s a big fan of Towano Chikai and it seems like she came over here because she knew about Double Peace-sensei.”
“At first I thought that you used your influence as a popular writer to make fans call you Onii-chan….but it seems like she was doing it of her own accord.”
“I told her not to do that at that time as well, you know?!”
“That’s not important. In any case, I should introduce myself as Onii-chan’s little sister.”
“Eh? Uhm, Suzuka?”
Although this was a completely normal action, somehow it didn’t seem that normal…..—is what I thought as she turned towards Minazuki-san and slightly bowed her head.
“Nice to meet you, you are Minazuki Sakura-san if I’m not mistaken.”
“Eh? N-Nice to meet you….?”
“I am Onii-chan’s little sister Suzuka. Being also a fan of his novel, as his little sister, I wanted to give you my gratitude as well. Thank you very much.”
“Eh? Eh?!” Hearing Suzuka’s introduction, Minazuki-san took a step back.
Well, it makes sense. From the standpoint of her big brother, I am once more reminded of the fact that Suzuka is always talking in the most polite way possible, just like this time. But, was it just my imagination that her emphasis was sometimes off…..?
“A cool Ojou-sama?! And a beautiful little sister!”
“I am well aware of that fact that Onii-chan might have some imperfect points about him but as his little sister, I will take full responsibility for that, so I look forward to your support.”
Minazuku-san’s eyes grew even wider as Suzuka continuously bowed to her.
Somehow….it feels like I saw lightning cracking in the atmosphere….was that just my imagination again? And why is Suzuka boasting like that?
“…….” Minazuki-san just continuously stared at her feet, without moving an inch.
What happened….? Should I say something to her?—-When I started thinking that, she suddenly raised up her head and started moving her lips.
“T-That’s so awesome!” She almost screamed, approaching the both of us.
“Wha?! What’s up with you all of a sudden!?”
“That’s so amazing Sensei! To think that you had such an incredible little sister! Sakura feels so impressed by her! How do I say it, it feels like Sakura already lost.”
“C-Calm down?! And what do you mean by that?!”
“Fu…..being a little sister is something unfathomable like this. It’s fine as long as you understand….”
“S-Suzuka-san?! Why do you look so satisfied without any apparent reason?!”
It looked like Suzuka had a pleased smile on her face….But that soon changed after hearing Minazuki-san’s next words which made her freeze up in an instant.
“Sakura thought of little sisters too naively it seems! Seeing how Sensei has such an admirable little sister, Sakura realized that she has to put more and more effort into acting like one so that she can come out on top of his little sister!”
“Exactly, you have to put more into——eh?” In a second, all of Suzuka’s composure was gone and she was staring at Minazuki-san.
Yep, I wasn’t able to follow the conversation for a while now.
“U-Uhm…? What do you mean by that?”
“Sakura realized that, in order for me to become even more of a little sister for Sensei than his real one, she has to put in even more effort! Ehm, Nagami Suzuka-chan was it? Thank you so much for making her realize that!”
Having a smile on her face that could make any flower bloom, Minazuki-san took Suzuka’s hand. It looked like a really heartwarming scene.
“Really, thank you so much! With this, it feels like Sakura can be even closer to being an ideal little sister! When Sakura gets the role of Yuuka, she will definitely say her thanks to you once more!”
“Eh? What does this mean…? I thought that I made her position clear but….Ehhh?”
Still holding Suzuka’s hand, Minazuki-san was shaking it up and down. Suzuka’s body shook every time as if she was hit by something
…. Is it just me or are there red damage numbers flashing up every now and then? Really, I’m completely confused. It seems like I’ve lost all ability to understand everyday Japanese…..
While Minazuki-san seemed the only one happy in this situation, Suzuka kept taking damage while being at a loss for words.
“Ah, that’s right Suzuka-chan. You really are completely different from the little sister in Sensei’s novel!”
Even though this phrase seemed to have no ill-intent at all, it looked like Suzuka’s chest was pierced by something as she heard these words….
No, it really did, okay? I heard the sound as well and it looked like a lightning bolt hit the ground behind them. I thought I even saw the words [KO!] pop up.
As I was wondering if we really should go to a hospital, Suzuka took a step back and put her hand on the table.
“T-To think that Minazuki-san would be so stubborn…..I didn’t expect to receive a direct hit like this….”
I didn’t really know what was going on but it looked like a tremendous battle was happening before me.
….No, I really was completely lost here but for Suzuka to be this cornered, I clearly understood how powerful Minazuki-san really was.
“Huh? Suzuka-chan? Did something happen?”
Although it was supposed to look like a cheerful girly smile, it looked more terrifying to me….
“Hey Yuu, why are you still talking to that customer?”
At that moment, Mai came over to us, shortly followed my Double Peace-sensei. Imagining how this situation would probably turn out, I felt my shoulders dropping in defeat already.
“Huh? It’s not a customer? Who is this girl?”
“Ohhh that’s another cute one, desu! There are many beauties around Sensei it seems, desu!”
“…..Eh? Other beautiful girls enter the stage? And one of them is a mysterious blonde-haired one! D-Don’t tell me, are these girls also your little sisters?!” Mikazuki-san asked.
“Are you being serious?!”
“Yes! I am Yuu’s little sister, desu!”
“There is absolutely no need to tell lies just because you want to join in on the fun!”
Minazuki-san will definitely take it seriously after all! Really….. there’s no other choice but to honestly introduce them!
“You two, this here is Minazuki Sakura-san. She is a voice actress who came to the last signing session. And Minazuki-san, this girl here is my classmate Himuro Mai. She’s also a professional light novel author like me with the pen name Enryuu Homura. Next to her is our illustrator Double Peace-sensei.”
“Voice actress Minazuki Sakura…..? You mean that Minazuki Sakura?! Y-Yuu! Why do you know such a famous person! And with such a high level like this!”
“I told you that she came to the signing session, didn’t I?!”
What do you mean by level anyway?
“W-Wait a second, will you? If she went out of her way to come to the signing session, then that means that this girl is….”
“Yes! Sakura is a huge fan of Towano Chikai-sensei!”
Hearing these words, Mai’s body stiffened up.
….T-This is bad. Words like these are a taboo in her presence!
“….Hey, you. Becoming a fan after reading Yuu’s novel is obvious but I’ll tell you now just in case! I am Yuu’s number one fan! Remember that!”
“You?! What are you saying to a person you met moments ago?!”
And she even technically is our Senpai, so talking so rudely to her is a total no-go?!
However, I wasn’t given the time to actually say that out loud.
“Eh?! N-Number one fan?! Is that so, Sensei?!”
“Although it is mostly self-proclaimed, her enthusiasm is there….or something like that.”
Of course, I was talking about her stalker activities.
“….Amazing. So there was a person like that…”
“Uhm, please don’t take her so seriously. She’s just selfishly saying that but she is no way superior or inferior to other fans, okay?”
Mai raised her voice at my words, saying “Hey Yuu! What are you saying!” but I’m just going to ignore that.
“No, Sakura really received a shock. She was also supposed to be a huge fan of Sensei but to think there was somebody that would boldly declare that in front of other people without any shame….”
“Hooh? Fu fu fu, you really seem to get it.” Mai seemed to be really proud about Minazuki-san’s words but no matter how I look it at, it didn’t seem like she was being praised…..
“W-Well, as long as you understand. From now on, you can be a normal fan and—”
“Thank you very much! Enryuu-sensei!”
Mai was spurting words of victory but she soon was interrupted by Minazuki-san’s sparkling eyes and outburst.
“Eh? Thank you….?”
“Thanks to Enryuu-sensei, Sakura realized just what it takes to become a big fan of Towano-sensei! From now on, she will aim to be an even bigger fan of Sensei than Enryuu-sensei currently is!”
“W-What did you say?!”
Grabbing Mai’s hand, Minazuki-san really looked thankful. Although she was smiling at her, these words were clearly meant to start a fight with Mai. But, she probably wasn’t even aware of that.
“Y-You, are you even listening to the people talking to you?! I told you that I am his number one fan, didn’t I?!”
“Eh? But Sakura’s feelings are way stronger….?”
“Don’t make it sound so obvious while tilting your head in confusion! Listen here, I even bought volume one and two of Yuu’s novel at least one hundred times!”
“Ah, then Sakura bought two hundred copies each.”
“Then I will buy three hundred!”
“….Why are you making a fight out of this?”
I tried to stop them but I was completely ignored……how sad.
“A-And also, I am Yuu’s classmate you know! The time we spent together is much much more than he does with you!”
“Is that so? Then, Sakura will transfer schools to be in the same class as Sensei. Please tell her the name of your school!”
“Somehow this doesn’t sound like a joke at all?!”
“Eh? Oh come on, of course Sakura was joking~ Ahahaha.”
Scary! I felt it before at the signing session, but her smile is frightening!
“Hmpf! Also, I got Yuu’s very first autograph! Of course, that means that only I am worthy of being his number one fan!”
“Sakura is really envious of that! Then, Sensei! Please give Sakura another first time of Sensei! If it’s for Sensei’s first time, Sakura will do anything!”
“Hey! Yuu’s first times are all mine so don’t just monopolize them!”
W-What should I do? Minazuki-san’s aura seems so calm that it’s almost scary! In any case, even though I was supposed to be at least a part of their conversation, I was clearly just left out. Yep. And I’m merely a stand-in….I’m really not supposed to be in this situation don’t you think?!
“Hmm, Minazuki Sakura-san was it, desu…. What an outstanding talent!”
She’s clearly not wrong here…..in a lot of ways.
“Uhh…. what’s up with her….!”
It seemed that their quarrel was finally over because Mai was taking a step back with tears in her eyes.
…..So it really was Mai’s loss. As expected, Minazuki-san doesn’t back down at all.
As I was thinking that, Double Peace-sensei went forwards and introduced herself to Minazuki-san.
“Nice to meet you, desu, Minazuki-san. I am Sensei’s number one partner, Ahegao Double Peace-sensei, desu!”
“Nice to meet you too, Ahegao-san. Sakura is pleased to meet you!”
Both of them were smiling at each other….will this finally be a normal conversation? But….what is this feeling? It seemed really pleasant but I feel a certain uneasiness in my heart….?
“Still, for such a popular voice actress like you to come in contact with Sensei, just what I would expect, desu!”
“Sakura didn’t know that Ahegao-san was a foreigner! You are so pretty! But, by number one partner, you mean it like the relationship from your job, right?”
“No, it certainly isn’t only that, desu? By partner, I don’t only mean job-wise but we’re also supporting each other, desu! Because of Sensei, I have awoken to new levels of ero and in return, my ero drawings are giving Sensei energy! The so-called give and take relationship, desu!”
“Would you not make it seem like I basically live off ero drawings?!”
“Ohhh, how nice….Sakura also wants to be partners with Towano-sensei….But Sakura can’t draw like an illustrator….Oh, that’s it!! Sakura will prepare various voice recordings for you on various occasions! Like a good morning call or a good night call!”
“How magnificent, desu!” Don’t you think?” The both of them seemed to be agreeing with each other.
If only one wasn’t aware of the contents of their discussion, one might call this a heart-warming scene to look at….Reality really is harsh….
“With that being said Sensei! Please tell Sakura your phone number!”
“No, don’t come at me with a [That being said]?!
“It’s fine, you don’t have to worry. As a voice actress, Sakura will definitely fulfill your wishes! [It’s morning you know? Wake up….] Something like this!”
Ugh….! Just what one would expect from a super popular professional voice actress. With these few words, I felt pure happiness from my ears….!
“Ohh, that’s a voice actress for you, desu! I really have to step up my game in order to make Sensei even more happy with my drawings, desu!”
“Exactly! Let us both aim to be the best partners of Sensei!”
As Minazuki-san said that, both of them were gleefully shaking hands.
…..Ahh, I got it. It took me a while to realize it but these two are exactly the same! Lulling in the clueless people around them with innocent smiles but making me the victim! Shit, to think that their true nature would be so terrifying….!
“Being partners that continuously support each other is so great! Ah, but….if Sakura really wants to become Sensei’s little sister in the near future, wouldn’t something like [It’s morning, Onii-chan] fit much better?”
“That’s sounds nice, desu!” “You think so as well?”
In case you were wondering why I wasn’t retorting on anything, it’s because I didn’t get a chance to do so. Scary.
“W-Wait a moment, please!”
In that moment, the recovered Suzuka joined the conversation.
“O-Onii-chan is such a weak-willed being that he won’t wake up just from such recordings! It is the duty of his little sister to make sure he wakes up, so there is absolutely no need for Minazuki-san to go this far!”
“Ah, that makes sense. Then, Sakura will come over every morning and will wake him up directly!”
“Why did it end up like that?!” I screamed.
“Oh, maybe coming every morning would be a bother? Ah, then how about Sakura starts living with you!”
“Uwuuu….we can’t hold a decent conversation….” Suzuka once more started sulking.
What a rare sight, I thought.
“Just as I anticipated, Minazuki-san really is on a different level, desu!”
“W-Why is such a girl appearing now…! Still, I won’t lose!” Mai seemed to mutter something to herself.
I know very well that Minazuki-san doesn’t mean to hurt anyone with her words…….but for her to spread this much chaos in such a small amount of time is still frightening.
“U-Uhm, would I be able to buy the new release, please?”
“Yes….Please don’t be bothered by the atmosphere behind me….”
The only thing I could do in this situation was to make sure that the other customers wouldn’t be bothered by the situation that was unfolding.
…..Ahh, sometimes, work is really precious, for Christ’s sake!!!
“For heaven’s sake! What is up with Minazuki-san!”
“Well she’s definitely not a normal person, in a lot of ways that is….”
Together with the infuriated Suzuka, I was walking around Comiket. After what happened, Double Peace-sensei gave us some time to walk around. Of course, Suzuka had changed back into her normal clothes. Minazuki-san on her part told us that she had to go back to her job and that’s exactly what she did after she bought Double Peace-sensei’s new release. Her parting words were “To think that Sakura was able to meet Sensei and his friends here, she really is lucky!”.
Truth be told, she really seemed like she was having fun talking with the others….although it resulted in almost brewing up a storm.
“This was the first time I met a person this difficult…Like she was in her own world or something…”
“W-Well, it’s true that the both of you don’t have a good affinity.”
“Leaving that behind for now, why did Onii-chan tell her his contact information?”
“Being asked so enthusiastically, I couldn’t really decline, could I…”
“You wouldn’t give out your information to just any fan, right?”
“Well, leaving Mai aside, seeing people being so passionate about me, it becomes harder for me to refuse….or something like that.”
“If she really was to send you any weird recordings or the like, please delete them immediately….No, I will delete them myself.”
Just when I thought that she was brimming with anger, she suddenly stopped with her head hanging down.
“Suzuka? What happened?”
“Ah…well. It’s just, I thought that I should apologize to Onii-chan for now.”
“Eh? Apologize…for what?”
“My attitude towards Minazuki-san is one thing….but I’m behaving weirdly today I’m sure. It feels like I can’t calm down or something like that. That’s why, uhm, I made you see some immodest sides of me….” She looked really honest as she was apologizing.
Mhm, it’s true that she wasn’t as calm as she always is but it makes sense considering the circumstances.
“It’s no problem. It’s your first Comiket after all and you suddenly had to cosplay while selling doujinshi. Anybody would be overwhelmed by that. And you’re not good with big crowds either, right?”
“T-That’s not wrong but….it is probably because I am nervous….”
“Don’t mind it. This is one of the reasons I came with you, you know? Just tell me when it’s too much for you. It’s one of my jobs as a stand-in after all.”
It’s really the least I can do after all…..
“T-Thank you very much….Onii-chan.”
Seeing her crack a smile like that, I sighed in relief.
….It’s good and all for her to ask me for advice but I’m sure that, being a serious person like her, it probably is not easy for Suzuka…..Well, there’s also the fact that I’m not really reliable.
“Still, I’m sure that if I were to meet her again in the near future, it would turn out exactly the same as this time….”
“Minazuki-san is a rare type of person after all….But, I don’t really see the need for you to react so negatively to her personality, you know.”
“No, even I am well aware of the fact that she actually is a good person. Regardless, I am the only one that is allowed to call Onii-chan [Onii-chan]…..”
Her voice getting more quiet was one reason I didn’t understand her but the tumult around us was also getting louder.
“I-It’s nothing. I just thought that I didn’t want such a dangerous person to get close to Onii-chan is all. Ah…O-Of course because I don’t want anyone to find out that you are merely a stand-in okay?! D-Don’t misunderstand!”
“No really, there’s nothing I can misunderstand about that…And what do you mean by dangerous? I do think that she believes me.”
“I-I’m not worried about that in the slightest.”
“Then what do you mean….oh huh? Personality-wise? Well it’s true that I get a weird feeling from her from time to time.”
“I feel a different type of danger from Minazuki-san….like she’s only trying to get your affection….”
“Affection…? I see her as nothing more than a fan though.”
“Ugh…Forget it! Really, just how thickheaded are you trying to be Onii-chan!”
F-For some reason, Suzuka got angry at me. Did I say something wrong again…?
“Hey, if you really don’t feel well, then how about we go home now?”
“Ah, no, I’m sorry……Ugh what is wrong with me….” Suzuka sighed.
“Going to Comiket is always tiring, no matter how often you come here. Especially in summer, not to mention as a first-timer.”
“I’m not really troubled because of that…Then, can I ask you for one thing, Onii-chan?”
“Of course. Do you want something to drink? Or to sit down somewhere and take a break?”
“No, I would like you to answer one question of mine.”
“Question?” I asked while tilting my head and Suzuka continued.
“O-Onii-chan likes my light novel right? Uhm, in a special way…”
“Huh? Why are you asking me that now….?”
I tried to ask for more details concerning her question but Suzuka merely glared at me with a serious expression, giving me the feeling that I have to answer her honestly now.
“Ah…yeah, I do like it. I already told you that a while ago, remember?”
Of course, I was extremely embarrassed to openly admit in front of my little sister that I like the little sister novel she wrote. A while ago, I almost screamed that to her face but I would still rather not say it too often….
“Hmmm, is that so….Yes, that would make sense….”
After hearing my answer, Suzuka repeatedly went “Yes, yes” to herself…..what was that about?
“Thank you very much, Onii-chan. Hearing that, I feel like I finally calmed down.”
“I’m glad to hear that but….why did you want to hear it again?”
“T-There’s really no reason. Rather than that, let’s keep going. It’s finally my time to be all alone with Onii-chan and—-ah! Excuse me! It’s time for my research is what I meant!”
With these words, Suzuka grabbed my hand and pulled me along……Her research is one thing but what was that exchange about…?
“This isn’t the time to be spacing out Onii-chan.”
Well, it’s fine I guess. The most important thing is that Suzuka’s spirits are back up again after all.
“Still, I mentioned it before but this amount of people is ridiculous….and it’s so hot….”
Looking around the big hall, Suzuka’s grip on my hand tightened a tiny bit.
“But, the things that are sold here are all doujinshi, right? Even though they’re supposed to be made by new-comers or fans, so many people are coming here just to buy them?”
“Mhm, there are also a lot of pros here but you are right about that.”
Hearing my answer, Suzuka tilted her head in confusion and asked “Why are they going so far?”
“Even though doujin are basically fan-made novels, books etc. of existing works, they can still give of a feeling of completion even though you’ve already seen everything the original has to offer.”
“What do you mean by that, Onii-chan?”
“For example, you can bring together a pair of characters that didn’t end up going out in the source material, or you can create an original story based on the setting of the story. You can also give more focus to characters you personally liked but didn’t get much attention or something like that.”
“Is that so.”
“If you liked the novel, you’ll try to get the most you can out of the world and story. That’s why this amount if people come here to buy doujins.”
“If you liked the novel….?”
…..Well, the fans with the most energy are definitely the R-18 ones.
“It’s exactly because they liked the novel so much that they search for doujinshi here at Comiket. This love is the root of the otaku society.”
“So if there is a novel they really treasured, they want doujinshi of that?”
“Mhm yeah, you could say that.”
Truth be told, it’s not like I’m all too familiar with the doujinshi world either but there was a time when I was really desperate for one from a novel I really liked. At that time…I really wanted that yeah.
Listening to my explanation, Suzuka was keeping quiet for some reason. If she were to understand this excitement or enthusiasm from the otakus here, it would surely turn into great data.
However, at that moment, a certain thing entered my field of view, making me stop in my tracks.
“What happened, Onii-chan?”
Turning her eyes towards where I was looking as well, she was at a loss for words.
“What is….? Eh? Isn’t that my….?”
The thing I saw was a booth of a circle where they sold doujinshi of Suzuka’s novel. And it wasn’t just one or two circles, there were countless ones, taking Suzuka’s novel as a source to make doujin novels.
“….I figured as much. It shouldn’t be surprising that there would be doujinshi of my own novel.”
Suzuka seemed to have expected something like this but my shock was a few times bigger. It’s true that the first volume of her novel sold over 300.000 times as off now but she was still just a newcomer that only recently released her second volume. Leaving the anime production aside, even mangas and so on were only in the starting blocks. Normally, pure light novels wouldn’t be gathering so many artists. I guess it just shows how popular Suzuka’s novel really is.
“But still, for it to go so far….”
While I was still shock, my ability to think was lagging behind immensely. The only thing that entered my mind was just how big of a wall there was between me and Suzuka. Her horizon was widening and I was still fighting with the preliminaries of the light novel contest. I was aware of the difference in talent a long time ago but being shown it like this made me realize once more.
…..Even if that is the case, there is no way that I would just give up here, you know? I was reminded of that fact almost four months ago after all. The only thought in my mind right now was how I could manage to catch up to Suzuka, even if it’s just one step. For now, the one thing I should focus on is winning the grand prize of the light novel contest. Analyze everything and write the perfect novel that everybody will like.
“…But that is….No I don’t have any other choice….”
“Uhm, Onii-chan? T-They are selling doujinshi of my novel, you know….”
All of a sudden, Suzuka grabbed my sleeve, making me return to reality.
…..Ah no good no good. I can’t let Suzuka find out about these thoughts….. For now, I have to focus on her research.
“W-Well, does Onii-chan not want to buy any doujinshi…..?”
Hearing her question, I answered “Eh?” without thinking.
….I mean, if you ask me if I want them then of course I do…. No, now that you’ve said it, I really want them! It’s that, you know? I am after all also a fan of Suzuka’s novel. Of course, I’m not trying to claim that I’m her number one fan like Mai or Minazuki-san but in this world, I was the very first fan of hers, right?! I just want to clarify that!
Suddenly, I got the urge to buy them. I wonder how they drew the super cute little sister heroine Yuuka….I might even get to see a Yuuka who is just as cute as the original. With all these different doujinshi, I’m sure that there’s at least one that will pique my interest….!
It happened the second I started moving my feet towards a booth.
“Eh? W-What happened, Onii-chan? You’re not going to buy them?”
Why did I suddenly stop? Because I saw it…. The doujinshi in the back. Just by merely seeing the cover, I understood that they were R-18 doujinshi!
Nope! Not going to happen! No matter how hard I want to read them, I can’t just buy ero doujinshi about Suzuka’s novel right in front of her! If I do that, I will surely go to hell!
“Y-Your research was pretty successful right? So, how about we go back for now?”
“Eh?! What’s with you so suddenly?! And what about the doujinshi….?”
“Well, I didn’t really want them anyway~ And I wouldn’t want to make Double Peace-sensei and the others wait any longer~!”
“You didn’t want them anyway….?! H-How come….?”
Grabbing Suzuka’s hand, I dashed off.
…..T-This really is no place where the both of us should be! Yup!
“Even though you told me that you clearly wanted them…..Instead you’re running away without buying any…..so Onii-chan really doesn’t think of my novel as special at all….?”
Although I heard bits and pieces of Suzuka’s comment, I didn’t have the composure to listen to her now.
Coming back to Double Peace-sensei’s booth, we were greeted with “Welcome back, desu!” and “Took you long enough!”. Suzuka for her part was still glaring at me without saying a word.
“Sorry for taking some free time.” I said to Double Peace-sensei.
“No no, Sensei came here to collect data after all, so it’s totally fine, desu!”
“Thank you very much. Now it’s our turn to watch over the booth, so how about you walk around Comiket for a bit. Sensei? Of course, Mai too.”
“I’m fine. I don’t have any interest in anything else that’s not created by Towano Chikai after all……And why didn’t you allow me to come with you for your research….!”
“T-That would’ve been impossible, you know? Leaving Double Peace-sensei alone for such a long time.”
“Mhm, I did lose in rock-paper-scissors after all, desu~ Ah, I will also stay here. I am the owner of the circle, desu.”
…..So then the four of us will be staying here as vendors….?—It happened at the time I thought that.
“Wow, you still have so many copies left?”
Facing towards the source of that voice, I saw two girls standing there. The one that apparently raised her voice was pointing at us with a displeased expression. Her age should be….around mine? She was quite the beauty but the impression she gave off was similar to that of Mai, seeming quite self-confident….almost arrogant. The other girl was hiding behind her like a shadow. She was also pretty good-looking but her presence was clearly weaker. Merely staring at me from afar, she didn’t utter a single word.
“Ah, eh? Runa-chan? And also Kino-chan?”
Double Peace-sensei turned towards them with a surprised face.
“Are you acquainted with them?”I asked Double Peace-sensei.
She merely muttered “Well, yes….”, which was a rare response.
“Rather than acquaintances, we are Ahi’s rivals. Right, Ahi?”
“Ah, yes, desu. Uhm, never mind that, Runa-chan? I thought I told you to call me Ahegao, desu….”
“As if I would use such vocabulary in public!”
“Rivals?” The three of us repeated in awe.
….And who is Ahi? Does she mean Double Peace-sensei?
“Uhm, what do you mean by rivals? And who are you anyway….?”
“Exactly what it sounds like. We are rivals in the doujin industry. Have you never heard of the circle called [Ambivalenz]?”
“Ambivalenz…? You mean that popular circle?” Mai asked for confirmation. I felt like I’d heard that name before as well.
That circle was so famous that even I had heard of them and I’m not really familiar with the doujin industry.
“Yes. That is our circle.”
“….Eh? Your…? Eh?!”
“You all, are you friends of Ahi? I am the one in charge of our circle [Ambivalenz], Kanzaka Haruna. And this over here is my big sister who is responsible for the scenario, writing and so on—”
“—-Kanzaka Akino.” said the girl in the back. Of course with a deadpan expression.
…..These two girls are the leaders of such a famous circle…? And they are sisters? The smaller girl is the big sister? What is happening….?
While I was keeping quiet, the girl that called herself Haruna was staring at Double Peace-sensei, seemingly with a criticizing expression.
“Rather than that, Ahi, how’s it looking? As your rival, I am very well interested in how your sales are coming along.”
“Very decent, desu. A lot of people came by to get our new release after all.”
“New release, huh. Ah, as always, you’re still working on these fiendish ero ones….! Are you an idiot?! Of course there would be still some copies left! If you were to work on another genre, you would sell all of them in a matter of hours…..!” With an irritated expression, Kanzaka Haruna was looking down on Double Peace-sensei’s new release.
“T-There won’t be any copies left, desu. These are all for the people that are still coming.”
“….Hmpf. In our case, we were about to clean up now so we don’t have to think about something like that.”
“Eh? What do you mean by that, desu?”
“Our circle sold out both new releases and everything else. That’s why we wanted to check on Ahi’s situation.”
Hearing these words, Double Peace-sensei went “Eh?” Of course, I did so as well.
“Why are you so surprised? With our high-class circle, that shouldn’t be so unexpected, should it? And if Ahi really wanted to, she would be able to do so as well…..”
“No, in my case, something like this is impossible, desu.”
“….Mu! I see! With such a weak resolution, your dream will forever stay a dream!” Kanzaka Haruna seemed to be irritated while Kanzaka Akino was still keeping quiet.
“That being said, aren’t you taking it a bit too relaxed over here? Over at our booth, the people were coming non-stop, you know? How about you try to get a booth near the entrance too?”
“Even if I were to ask for that, I wouldn’t be able to get it anyway, desu….”
“M-Muu! Is that so! I just wanted to give you a little push as your rival but fine! I apologize! Aha, ahahaha!”
I was merely watching this scene unfold in front of me but I was brought to reality when I once again noticed that the big sister was still staring at me.
…..What’s up with these two? Coming over here just to put Double Peace-sensei under pressure…? They seem to be rivals…? Just what exactly is their relationship?
While Kanzaka Haruna was still continuing her talk, she was stopped when the big sister finally opened her mouth.
“Ah, sorry Onee-chan. We didn’t come here just to say that. Originally, we also came here to give Ahi some information.”
“Information? About what, desu?”
“It’s not really that important. But, it turned out that the both of us will be debuting as light novel creators at Ryuusei Publishing.”
“Eh….? Light novel creators, desu?” Double Peace-sensei’s eyes went wide.
“Exactly. I will be the illustrator and Onee-chan will write the story. As a light novel illustrator, Ahi is our Senpai, right?”
“Well, congratulations on that, desu… Ah, Kino-chan too, of course.”
“Still, we will be rivals in both the doujinshi world and the light novel world, right? Uhm, what was he called, the author you were drawing for….?”
“…..It’s Towano Chikai-sensei, desu. For your information, he is also present here.” As she said that, she took my arm and pulled me up to the two of them.
When my role suddenly changed from bystander to a related person, I could merely mutter a small “H-Hello”. And for some reason, I felt the pain of both Suzuka’s and Mai’s stares on my back.
“Huh? This person is Towano Chikai? The person who sold 300.000 copies…?”
Probably inspecting me, the Kanzaka sisters were staring at me, the little sister with an arrogant expression and the big sister as deadpan as always. I can’t really relax here, you know?
“….And it’s a guy? He looks weirdly normal and completely different than I expected….I really thought that he would give off more of a professional-type vibe, you know?”
….Sorry about that. I am but merely a stand-in.
“Towano-sensei really is an incredible person, you know? He has a wonderful fiendish side to him, desu.”
“Double Peace-sensei?! Don’t just introduce me like that please!”
“…..Eh? W-What? A-Are you two friends or something?”
“Yes. We two have a very healthy relationship, desu. Thanks to Sensei, I grasped countless new possibilities for my ero drawing! And Sensei even said that he likes my drawings, desu.”
It’s true that her drawings really are high-quality but I wish you would hold back on the fiendish aspect.
But it happened when I was about to voice this retort.
“Wha–?!” For some reason, Kanzaka Haruna stopped me with a sudden outburst and she started shaking in anger.
What’s up with her now….?—-is what I thought but she started glaring at me and….
“Ah, is that so! This is Towano Chikai, huh! The guy who wrote that disgusting light novel!”
She suddenly said that.
“Huh? What did you just say….?” I responded without thinking but Kanzaka Haruna continued with puffed cheeks.
“Were you not listening to me? The story is nothing special and he merely wrote a shitty little sister novel right?”
“Wha-?! What are you-?!”
Being filled with anger, I almost forgot that the person in front of me was a girl.
…..W-What’s up with her! Her words were more than rude towards Suzuka’s novel! And she was even being rude towards Double Peace-sensei!
“W-What do you want! I’m just stating the obvious!”
Even after being warned by Double Peace-sensei, her attitude didn’t change in the slightest.
…..I really am trying to hold back here….but as if I would stand back when somebody is insulting Suzuka’s novel like that!
“H-Hey you! Don’t just go around insulting Suzu—no not that, I mean my novel like that! It’s sold over 300.000 copies, you know!”
“I-I do think that that’s pretty amazing, you know….. B-But, in the end, you’re just using Ahi’s name, right? That explains your high sales, don’t you think?!”
“W-What did you say?!”
“I-I’m sure that’s why! If Onee-chan and I were to write a novel with the same premise, I’m pretty confident that we would do way better!”
T-This girl! She just says what she wants!
“Hey now, Runa-chan, saying these things towards me is one thing but don’t go insulting Towano-sensei, desu….”
“W-What’s with you? Why are you getting so worked up now? ……Right, since it’s come this far, then I want to say something to you as well! I saw your illustrations in the novel but what was that! As always, you’re not thinking about your readers at all and you keep on drawing this masturbation material! I even heard that the editor had to change some things! They were probably way worse at the beginning, right?!”
“That should not have been the case……desu? Right, Sensei?”
“Eh? Ah, well…..”
I didn’t manage to answer in time because I was surprised at Double Peace-sensei’s serious expression.
“……! This is why Ahi is so…..!! You’re just wasting your talent, you know?!”
“T-That might be so, desu…..but I don’t really have any talent….N-No, that’s not important right now, desu! Leaving me aside, apologize to Sensei immediately!” Double Peace-sensei made a bitter expression for a second but replied after that.
“…Hmpf, why should I be the one to apologize? I didn’t say anything wrong.”
“No, you clearly are wrong, desu! Sensei really is a magnificent light novel writer, desu!”
“….Perfect timing then! Let’s see who is right and who is wrong!”
Not having a single clue what she was talking about, both Double Peace-sensei and I went “Eh?” at the same time.
“How about we make it a contest? We will both take Towano Chikai’s novel as a source and make a doujin about it. The one with the higher quality will be the winner!”
“Doujin you say….”
“The doujin industry is pretty simple. If it’s interesting, it sells. If it’s not, it doesn’t. With a contest, we get clear results, you know?”
“Or are you not confident enough?”—-The little sister continued.
“We’ll do it a month from now as we display our new products. As the source, we’ll take Towano Chikai’s second volume. The form will be a comic and the winner will be the one who sells more copies. In the unlikely case that we lose, I will apologize for everything that I said. If you lose, hmm let’s see, Ahi has to obey my words. How about it?”
“Oi! For a while now, you’re selfishly deciding all of these things by yourself, you know!”
“You might have the advantage because you have the original author on your side but in the doujin industry, we have the upper hand. I do think that the conditions are fair…or are you dissatisfied about something? Just how much of a chicken are you?”
“I’m clearly not talking about that! It should be obvious that you need to apologize so why is there any reason for us to make a contest out of this!”
“H-Hmpf, you really are afraid like a little chicken! You’re probably aware just how disgusting your fantasies of your novel are, right?!”
“What did you just….!”
“Fantasies where siblings are all lovey-dovey with each other are way too gross!”
I was about to give her my opinion when it happened.
“……We accept your challenge!” Before I realized it, Suzuka was standing in front of the Kanzaka sisters.
The moment I saw her, I remembered the most important fact I forgot about until now.
….The real identity of Towano Chikai.
“Eh? W-What? What’s up with her?”
“I am Towano Chikai’s little sister! But that’s not important right now!” Suzuka glared at the Kanzaka sisters with a red face and tears in her eyes.
To be honest, I’d never seen her this irritated before.
“We’ll accept your challenge! However, your conditions are lacking something! As it stands, I won’t permit it!”
“W-What are you talking about all of a sudden? Are you not satisfied with a doujin contest?!”
“There aren’t any faults concerning the rules! However, the punishment for the loser is no good!”
“Punishment? I thought I told you that I would apologize if we lost.”
“I’m saying that I won’t be satisfied if you merely apologize! On top of apologizing, I want you to accept Towano Chikai’s novel! The love story of siblings….not just from the outside but also from the bottom of your hearts!”
“S-Suzuka…” Serious, as if she was begging for it, she was establishing these conditions.
Y-You….I didn’t know that it was so frustrating for you, listening to her words…..
“W-What? What’s up with that?”
“I-In return, if we lose this competition, Towano Chikai will officially retire as a light novel writer!”
“Wha-?! Cough Cough”
Hearing her next words though, I got assaulted by a sudden coughing fit.
….Wait a second, will you?! R-Retire? W-What are you saying?!
“Wai-, Suzu- cough! Cough!” I wasn’t able to get anything out.
In the meantime though, the conversation was advancing.
“Writer retirement? Are you serious about that?”
“Of course I am! After being insulted like that, pulling back is out of the question!”
“So it’s fine for you, the little sister, to selfishly establish that?”
“M-My words are Onii-chan’s words!”
“Hmpf, interesting! We will accept these conditions!”
No no no no! Why are you just accepting without my consent again, Suzuka?! Well, she is the true Towano Chikai sure but that’s clearly not the problem here!
As I was trying to raise my voice, the little sister started talking to me.
“Now that your sister said it, you can’t go back on your word okay! I hope you make up a decent plot for your comic, at least!”
“No, wai-, wait!” I reached out with my hand but she was already walking away.
“….Excuse us.” The big sister said her regards as nonchalantly as always and soon after, both of them disappeared into the crowd.
“H-Hey, S-Suzuka?!” Finally getting a grip on my endless coughing, I immediately went over to her but—
“Onii-chan, we definitely…..definitely definitely have to win this!”
Seeing her serious expression like that, I swallowed my words.
It’s no use. She’s completely in battle mode. It doesn’t look like she’ll listen to me.
She probably felt so offended by their words that she saw no other chance but to bet on everything to get her honor and the honor of her beloved novel back.
….I completely understand that and it’s not like I wasn’t boiling with anger, you know? But still…. saying that you will retire as a light novel writer as a promise takes it a bit too far don’t you think?! Since it’s Suzuka we’re talking about, there’s no way that she wasn’t completely sober as she agreed to their conditions……so why did it have to end up like this?
“Onii-chan! You’re not allowed to space out now! Let’s start the operation meeting immediately!”
Unlike me, Suzuka was the the personification of calmness.
Oi oi! Are you serious?! What should we do about this?! How did it come to this? Somebody, please! Tell me!!!
Of course, there was no way that any deity would answer my screams. Instead, I realized that I was heading towards another harsh battle with a new opponent.