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Welcome to Hakuou’s culture festival!
“For heaven’s sake! Why did you go and say something like that, Onii-chan!”
After that hellish Q&A session, my lecture was finally over and Suzuka and I went to the backstage.
“How often do I have to tell you? I did it so that they won’t get any weird misunderstandings about our relationship……”
It seems like I angered Suzuka with my answer because she had been questioning me about that for quite some time now.
“I am perfectly fine with them misunderstanding and if we were to make this an established fact, it would make a lot of things easier….”
“What do you mean by established fact….?”
“N-N-N-N-Nothing! I-In the end, there was totally no need for you to be worried about me! Instead, you made it sound like you were searching for a lover….!”
“I-I’m sure that they won’t take it too seriously.”
“O-Of course they will!”
“…..And why is that? Everybody was laughing, right? And the questions after that we’re clearly meant to tease me.”
I’m sure they were merely using me as some sort of Ojou-sama playtoy.
“No, there might be some girls that took your words seriously.”
“Now listen, there’s no reason for them to develop an interest in me right? I’m just a commoner, after all.”
“That….might be true but…..”
“And also, because of your popularity, they didn’t seem to care at all about the fact that I was Towano Chikai. They only saw me as your big brother, you know? That’s the whole reason they were giving me so much attention.”
“I can’t deny that. However, if there are any girls that are interested in Onii-chan as a person, they might prove to be a dangerous rival….”
“What do you mean by rival….?”
From time to time, Suzuka really blurts out some weird stuff like this.
“Forget about that, let’s just be happy that we safely got through the lecture. I was really worried when they called you up to the stage.”
Still, we managed to pull through. With this, we have fulfilled the promise to Shinozaki-san.
“Good work out there, Towano-sensei.”
Speaking of the devil, she appeared out of nowhere.
“Ah, Shinozaki-san. Thanks for your hard work.”
“What? I was merely here as an escort. I didn’t do anything that could be called hard work. On the contrary, I enjoyed myself very much watching Sensei together with Imouto-san,” She said as she looked towards Suzuka, “And Imouto-san, I am really sorry that we forced you to participate so suddenly. It’s safe to say that you contributed greatly to this event.”
“No, it’s not like I…..”
“I have to say it again but Sensei’s little sister really is quite the beauty…..I’ve heard from you before but I’m really glad that I got to meet you in person. It’s really lucky for us that this is the school you’re attending.”
Actually, we were debating until the last moment if we really wanted to let Shinozaki-san meet Suzuka. It’s not like we were worried about the possibility that she would find out that Suzuka is the real author but, still, you just never know. Ignoring the fact that the lecture would take place at Hakuou, trying to hide her from Shinozaki-san could have made her suspicious.
“I am also very happy to finally meet the editor that is always giving her best for Onii-chan.”
“I did hear rumours but, in addition to your good grades, athletic skills and charisma, you’re also the student council president. With such an exemplary little sister, it’s no wonder that Sensei can’t keep his hands off you.”
“I’m not doing anything to her though?!”
“……..It would be fine if you would….” Suzuka whispered under her breath.
“….Fumu. Still, this feels odd. This should be the first time that I’m meeting Imouto-san but it certainly doesn’t feel that way. It feels as if we’ve talked to each other before. Why is that, I wonder?”
Hearing Shinozaki-san’s words, my back straightened in surprise.
“Ahh, I see. Now that I think about it, this feels the same as when I’m exchanging emails with Sensei.” Shinozaki-san said with a relaxed expression but I felt like my heart stopped beating for a second.
When we’re talking on the phone, it’s always me but Suzuka is the one who exchanges e-mails with her. Her intuition was on the spot.
“….Since we’re siblings, it’s not that weird, you see.”
“Makes sense. At first, I thought that Imouto-san might actually be the real Towano-sensei.”
“T-T-T-That’s clearly not the case though?!”
“….Why are you surprised Sensei? That was clearly meant as a joke?”
“……Can you not freak out so much, please!” Suzuka pinched my side and whispered to me.
What can I do?! Her being so on point just scared the hell out of me!
“Well, it would be really interesting if Imouto-san really was Towano-Sensei.”
“That’s impossible. The only person who could write such a little sister novel is Onii-chan after all.”
“It seems like Imouto-san really knows her big brother.”
I know that you’re just trying to get us out of this situation but can you try a different reason next time?!
“B-By the way, Shinozaki-san. Now that the lecture is over, we can walk around freely, right?”
“It’s true that there is nothing else to do. That being said, do you have some plans after this, perchance?”
“Well, yes….the truth is, we were planning on walking around the culture festival for research.”
“Research, is it? Well, it’s true that school grounds are an important place in light novels….Is there such a scene in the next volume?”
“Ah, no, it’s research for the doujinshi.”
“Muuu, now that you remind me, there was something like that, wasn’t there. We have talked about this in great detail already, so I won’t say anything else. Although, I’d really wish that you would add an event like this to the novel.” Just as she finished her remark, she looked like she thought of something and she continued. “…..This research, are you conducting it together with your little sister?”
“Y-Yes, that’s right?”
“Don’t tell me, are you always doing your research together with your little sister?”
Hearing her sharp question, I froze up.
….W-What? S-She’s not thinking that it’s weird for me to do that, right? It’s not like I can tell her that Suzuka is the one who wanted to do this but…… is she starting to doubt me because of that?
“So it really was like that! To raise the quality of your novel, you’re really putting your hands on your little sister! Why are you denying it then?”
“E-Excuse me?! What are you saying all of a sudden?!”
“No need for you to spell it out! Umu! If that’s the case, I won’t hold you any longer! Please assault her to your heart’s content! I’m waiting for your next manuscript!”
“What nonsense are you even saying?!”
“Also, Imouto-san, to support your genius big brother, please accept his desires head on! Nobody else can do that after all!”
“Can you not put any weird thoughts into my little sisters head?!”
Without paying any attention to my scream, Shinozaki-san shook Suzuka’s hand and added “Well then, I hope the two of you have fun!”After that, she ran off somewhere.
“So Shinozaki-san was someone like that…”
“Yeah….. how do I say it…..her thought process is a bit weird, so it’d be best to delete all memories of her out of your head… Really….”
“Is that so? She was a nicer person than I thought she would be……although she said some weird things, you can see that she’s a professional editor. She does have some knowledge. Although it bothers me that her breasts are so big….”
“…..Wow. This might be the first time ever where I didn’t manage to understand a single thing you were saying….” As I dropped my shoulders, I felt her grab my sleeves.
“R-Rather than that, Onii-chan….our job is only starting. Shinozaki-san said so as well, so let’s collect data to our hearts content.”
“Yeah, I know.”
Even though we were pretty tired from the lecture, the real deal starts now. We didn’t exactly come here just to have fun after all. For the sake of beating the Kanzaka sisters, we had decided to collect data here. Since Suzuka’s retirement is on the line, we have to be more serious about this than usual—is what I thought, but is that really okay? I was still torn on that. Our enemy is that super famous circle after all, and we found out for ourselves just how strong they really are. It’s true that we have the popular illustrator Double Peace-sensei on our side, but the one responsible for the scenario, Suzuka, isn’t that familiar with the doujinshi industry and the tastes of the readers. We can’t ignore the fact that her novel is really popular and that Suzuka qualifies as a genius author. However,, the battlefield of our competition is the unknown doujinshi world. Just writing like she always does won’t cut it.
In the end, the scenario Suzuka decided upon was [Being all lovey-dovey with my big brother at the culture festival]. At that time, she seemed to be really serious and self-confident, so I decided to put my trust in her. However, a small doubt still remains. If we can really [Win] against the sisters by [Selling] more than they do with a scenario like this.
It was only two weeks until the day of our competition. Right after the end of this culture festival would be the deadline for the scenario. After that, we would have to leave it in Double Peace-sensei’s hands to draw a winning comic. We can’t turn back now. Keeping that in mind, we have to give it our best today. And, the only thing I could do was to support Suzuka with everything I had.
“….Onii-chan? What happened? You were spacing out.”
“Ah, sorry. I was lost in my thoughts for a bit.”
“Please pull yourself together. It’s finally our important date—no, research after all!”
“M-My bad. I’m okay now, so let’s go,” I said and I was about to leave the backstage when Suzuka called me back with a “Wait a moment, please!”
“B-Before we start, I wanted you to know the concept I thought of for this research.”
“Oh that’s right, we were so busy with the lecture that you didn’t get a chance to tell me yet.”
As always, Suzuka thought of a plan for it but “Before that day, it’s a secret,” was all I heard about it.
“T-There is a reason for that. The concept of this research will be an [Improvised date]”
Her face was getting red as she started looking at me with a sulking expression. Then, she continued.
“The stage is the little sister’s school culture festival after all, so that’s not the only thing. [The date of the siblings who have started dating] will be the scenario. Since it’s their first date after becoming a couple, they are still pretty innocent in their flirting.”
“So….basically, to make this research a success, you didn’t tell me anything beforehand so that it seems more innocent?”
“T-That’s it. That’s why, Onii-chan just has to think about how to be all lovey-dovey with me…..I-I will do the same. O-Of course, as an act!”
I-I see, her reasoning makes perfect sense….on paper that is. I mean, going on a lovers-like date with my little sister….Not to mention on the culture festival of the school she’s attending….
“T-This is all for our doujinshi to win against these people!…..And I think that it’s very important for you to get into your role too!”
“Role you say….We’re improvising all of this right?”
“O-Of course! I was laying down on my bed the whole evening yesterday and thought about all the things that I want to do and want to be done to me when I finally get to go on a date with Onii-chan, resulting me in getting no sleep at all—-this is the role that I am acting out!”
“That’s very specific if you ask me?!”
“T-This just shows how prepared I am! A-Also, it’s definitely not like I was looking forward to this, s-s-s-s-so don’t get any weird misunderstandings!?”
There is no way that I would make such assumptions. Still, her enthusiasm is very easy to see. Although I feel hesitant, I can’t chicken out now. And just standing around won’t change anything either. This time, I will do anything necessary…..At the very least, I have to prevent Suzuka’s retirement no matter what it takes.
“No, I got it. I will act according to this concept too.”
“So, Suzuka, make sure that you get the best out of this and write the greatest scenario there ever was!”
“Y-Yes! Of course I will! I am sure that we can win this!” Since Suzuka thought like that, a small glimmer of hope appeared in my mind. “W-Well then, let’s start! …..Ahhh to think that I would be able to go on a date at the culture festival with Onii-chan….!” Grabbing my hand, she immediately started acting.
I had thought this before, but her acting skills are really superb. It almost seems like she’s really feeling like that.
“Onii-chan! Don’t waste our time!”
“Y-Yeah. Let’s go on our date, then,” I agreed with Suzuka.
As I did, Suzuka looked up to me with wet eyes and softly said the following words.
“Let’s be lovey-dovey to our hearts content today, Onii-chan….”
There is no way that I would be crushing on little sisters. I wholeheartedly believe that it would be wrong of me to have these feelings when I have a real-life little sister.
….Still, you know….In that moment, from the bottom of my heart, I thought that this smile of Suzuka was really, really really—-the cutest I had ever seen of her…..!
“Oh, Suzuka-sama?” “President Nagami is with a boy…..!” “Who in the world is that person?!” “That person is the big brother of Suzuka-sama!” “It seems like he came here to give a lecture.” “So that is Suzuka-sama’s big brother…..” “I was thinking this before at the lecture but they really are close!”
……These voices really hurt. And the intensiveness of their gazes also hurt. It was the same during the lecture but the current situation is quite different from then.
First of all, I’m not on-stage. Being so much closer to them changes everything. And even more importantly than that….
“Ehehe…..” The fact that Suzuka was basically clinging to my arm and letting out a weird laugh like that! I know! I really do!! I’m well aware of the fact that it’s just an act! Still, I can’t help but feel embarrassed! I have to act as my little sister’s lover, you know?!
“Onii-chan, what should we do next for our date?”
Because of Suzuka’s bomb-like words, the girls around us all went [Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!] again. And Suzuka didn’t pay any attention to that—-rather, it seemed like she was trying her best so that everyone could see our acting.
“N-Now that you say it, it’s a culture festival after all, so how about we walk around for a bit?” I couldn’t help but answer a bit awkwardly.
Please spare me from that. It’s more than amazing that you can act like that right from the start!
“Uhm, I wonder what kind of attractions they have here~”
Trying my best to ignore the atmosphere around us, I checked what kind of things we could use for our research.
“Mhm, what’s that? A lot of people over there are sitting on top of a blanket.”
“Ohh, this is a meeting sponsored by our tea ceremony club. They are trying to attract new club members while they are at it, is what I heard.”
I see, a tea ceremony club, huh….Now that I look at it, a few of the girls are wearing kimonos. That’s…no good alright. I don’t think that this will help us in creating a lovey-dovey atmosphere. What else—-
“What are these people over there doing? They’re holding….strips of paper?”
“That’s an event for haiku poets. They are walking around while creating japanese poems.
“What’s that thing around the tree there….?”
“That’s the people of the biology research society, I believe. If I remember correctly, their theme for today is called [Photosynthesis of chloroplasts] and they wanted to present their results outside.”
“T-Then, what is that machine over there where they’re giving a speech…?”
“They’re from the scientific engineering club. After experimenting with today’s power generation using sunlight, they are planning to add solar panels to this school.”
“….Yeah, I’ve thought this before, but you all really are eccentrics…..”
This is completely different from my school’s culture festival! No, I wonder if you can even call this a [Culture festival]!? If you were to hold a [Festival], you can’t call it one until you sell yakisoba and other different things in booths, don’t you think?!
“H-Hey, Suzuka….isn’t there anything else, like, more normal around here?”
“…I don’t exactly get what you mean but inside the school building are a lot of other things, you know?”
“The tradition researcher’s assembly is showing classical dances, and the theatre club is performing an opera-like play. The art club is presenting their works, and there’s a musical act too.”
“Yup, I thought so!”
Even the culture festival of the Ojou-sama school was all high society.
“W-What happened, Onii-chan? I really think that you should focus on how we can be all lovey-dovey with each other…..O-Of course, for our research that is.”
“No, I know….But still, everything around here would make that really difficult…Isn’t there something, like, more commoner-like around here?”
“Then, how about we go to our second gym hall?”
Second gym hall….? What’s that?—I was about to ask her as she responded ahead of me.
“Over there, individuals or smaller groups are also conducting various events and so on. I think that we might have a better chance over there.”
“R-Really? Why didn’t you say so from the start?” I told her and she pulled me towards said gym hall. Just like before, all the girls around us where staring at us.
“Ohhh, that’s more like it,” I blurted out as we entered the building. Countless little shops and booths entered our sight.
Some girls were preparing handmade stuff, others were making decorative plants. There were even shops that were selling food (although those were more on the sweets side). Now this is what you’d expect from a culture festival.
“Still, to think that such an Ojou-sama school like yours would be doing such commoner-like stuff too.”
“I don’t know what kind of misunderstanding you’re having but the majority of the students are normal girls, you know? Even I am not an Ojou-sama.”
You still seem more Ojou-sama-like than most of the Ojou-sama’s here….
“W-Well whatever. It looks like we’ll be able to do something over here.”
“T-Then, what are we doing?” Suzuka looked at me with an expectant gaze.
I know that this is just an act + research but her gaze seemed totally natural to me right now….
Leaving that aside, the problem is what we should do here now. It has to be something that would allow us to conduct a [Being all lovers-like with my little sister] research.
……I could buy some sweets and feed them to Suzuka, but I could do that anywhere; it doesn’t have to be at the culture festival any—-
“….Mhm? Is that…?” Searching around for something, a certain sign entered my field of view.
A love fortune-telling show. The moment I saw that, I immediately thought “That’s it!” With this, I can create a lovey-dovey event, even with my little sister!
“Suzuka, let’s try that one out.”
“Isn’t that…love fortune-telling?! O-Onii-chan and I will….” Suzuka’s cheeks flushed in an instant as I pulled her with me.
“Oho, how rare to see a couple like you here,” As we entered, we were greeted by a girl that wore magician-like clothes with a black cape. She looked like she’d be about the same age as me. “And, aren’t you Nagami-san….? That means you must be the rumoured Onii-san. Fufu, this looks like fun…”
“Uhm, we would like to have our fortunes told.”
“Of course. However, since this is called a [Show], this fortune-telling will be slightly different.”
“Ah, now that you say it, what do you mean with the show part?”
“You have to be aware that we are in an open space where there are people around you.”
Well, we’ve come all the way over here so let’s just get this over with….
Normally, I’m not into fortune-telling like that but it looks like we can use this perfectly.
“And another thing, I will not only look at your affinity. Before that, I will look at the feelings you both have for each other and expose them.”
“Y-You will expose my feelings towards Onii-chan?!” Suzuka stiffened up with a red face (during her acting) but since I didn’t believe in this stuff, I couldn’t have cared less. As long as we can turn this into data, I’m perfectly fine with her doing all the work.
“Then please do.”
“O-Onii-chan’s feelings towards me….!”
“Fufu, then let’s start immediately,” Saying that, the girl took out some tarot cards and started shuffling them in her hands.
“Now, I want you to pick any card that you like.” With these words, both Suzuka and I took a card into our hands. Seeing Suzuka’s quivering hand, I started to get nervous too. I have to act like I’m all lovey-dovey with her, after all.
“Alright, I think we should start with Nagami-san’s feelings,” She looked at the card Suzuka handed to her. “Wow….Fufu, so that calm and cool Nagami-san has such feelings locked inside her….”
“W-W-W-W-What do you mean?!”
“The card you have chosen is [The World]. The card that represents a complete and final form….Basically, your feelings towards your brother will never be shaken in the slightest.” The moment she said those words, our surroundings started getting louder.
“M-M-M-My feelings are so…..hauuuu……..!”
“Fufu, I’m really envious. Maybe your feelings are even greater than what can be described with the card.”
Hearing that, Suzuka looked at me. However, the moment our eyes met, steam came out of her ears with one big explosion and she quickly averted her eyes again.
A-Acting or not, that action had a strong impact. Of course, this result was nothing more than a coincidence, but to think that it would be so on point in this situation is…..!
“Alright then, let’s continue with Onii-san,” As she said that, I gulped. No matter the result, I have to make the best out of it. Improvise, improvise! “Oh? ….This is also pretty interesting.”
“W-What is it?”
“The card Onii-san chose was [The Moon]. It bears the meaning of illusion and bewilderment, representing the fluctuation inside your heart. You are still doubting your own feelings towards Nagami-san. It’s like you’re purposefully avoiding looking at her.”
“O-Onii-chan?” In one motion, Suzuka face changed into one of worry and doubt as she looked up to me.
The people around us were also getting noisy and the good atmosphere from before was getting washed away.
…Ugh, of course there was no way that her predictions are true but this is definitely not good under these circumstances!….Ah for crying out loud! This didn’t go as planned! What should I do?!
No, calm down, me….Currently, I’m my little sisters lover. How would this character react to this?
“U-Uhm, what should I do then to clear up these doubts?”
“Onii-chan, what are you….?”
“…Mhm. How about you act more daringly since your feelings are so undecided? Maybe you should put these feelings you have towards Nagami-san into action? If you do that, your doubts might be cleared up for good.”
“Actions…what do you have in mind?”
“Something like a kiss would be a good start, I suppose.”
“What?” Confronted with her outrageous statement, I couldn’t come up with any words. However, in my stead, all the people around us started whispering about the word “kiss”, resulting in a big uproar.
“A k-k-k-k-k-k-k-k-k-k-k-k-kiss with Onii-chan?!”
H-Hey, even Suzuka reacted like she wasn’t acting at all…..What should I do in this chaos—
But, in that moment, I realized.
T-That’s right. Normally, this flow of events would be very dangerous…. but can’t I use this as my role of the big brother in our research…?
Let’s try this. What would the two lovers do? What kind of developments would the readers of the doujinshi wish for?
Having made up my mind, I turned towards Suzuka. She, on her end, seemed to have been hesitating a bit, but after a short while she closed her eyes, seeming like she had also made up her mind.
….What am I doing?! It’s true that in such circumstances, it would be the right thing to do but we’re here for a research so there’s no way that I can actually kiss her! And why are the people around us suddenly so quiet?!
S-Shit….! A kiss scene would be perfect in the doujinshi here but there’s just no way. Ahhh to hell with it! No other option!
Taking Suzuka’s hand, I pointed the back of it upward.
“Don’t worry, Suzuka. We’ll always be together after all….” Blurting out such a weird phrase, I put my lips on her hand.
As a result, all the people around us basically started screaming.
“W-Wonderful! So lovely!” “Onii-sama is so cool……!” “Suzuka-sama’s head has gotten so red!” “Please be happy Suzuka-sama!” “Congratulations Suzuka-sama!” “How nice how nice how nice!!!”
They were all saying what they wanted but I didn’t care about that.
Just what the hell am I doing?! I know that it’s just an act, but regardless of that, doing something like this….! Ahhh for Christ’s sake, someone please explain what I just did!
“O-Onii-chan……Ehe, ehehehe, ehehehehehehehehehhe…..” Suzuka collapsed onto my chest, letting out a weird laugh.
You’re wrong, okay?! It might look like I’m hugging her, but she merely overheated from my weird acting!
“Fufu, then, lastly, let’s pull a card that will represent your affinity.” The fortune-teller said as she took a single card into her hand. She doesn’t care about us at all…..!
“The card that shows your affinity is….[The Lovers]. Well, I guess that I don’t have to explain what that means, fufu.” While she laughed at us as if she was teasing us, even my face went as red as a tomato.
Why does it always end like this….!
“T-Thank you very much…..What do we have to pay?” I asked, in a hurry to leave this place.
“I don’t need anything. Thanks to you two, I received good publicity after all. Fufufu…..” She responded with mysterious words.
As I tried my best to leave with Suzuka still clinging to me, many other girls were already lining up for the fortune-telling.
Oh, I see, so she meant it like that.
“Onii-chan……! Onii-chan gave me a princess kiss…..! Ehehehehe…..”
“…Heeeey, Suzuka, how about you return to reality…?” Trying to get through her, I softly shook her body.
“Ehe, ehehehe……Ha?! O-Onii-chan?!” She finally returned to her senses and maybe because she realized that I was holding her, she pushed me away, her face still as red as before.
“W-W-W-W-What are you doing all of a sudden, Onii-chan?!”
“You know that I couldn’t help it, right? I did it for the research after all. We were both embarrassed….And you even closed your eyes so you must’ve understood that I was acting….”
“T-That might be the case but! Still, something like that….ehe, ehehehe……” Being confronted with her weird laugh once more, I took a deep breath and changed the topic.
“….So, was that some good data at least? I do think that I did a good job, you know…..using the culture festival to create a flirty event…..”
“Now that you say it… T-That was some pretty good data…..although it would’ve been even better if you really did kiss me…..”
“…..I don’t think that I needed to continue after that. Also, I’m sure that you can add that later on with your fantasy…..”
Hearing my words, Suzuka muttered “Can’t help it then.” before she continued.
“….And, what are we doing next?” She said something even more outrageous.
“Wha-?! W-We’re going to continue?!”
“T-That should be obvious. I can’t let it end with just that!…..I-I’m talking about the research though?!”
….You still want to continue doing such stuff….? Just before, I thought I would die from embarrassment…..
“T-This is all so that we can beat those two people, okay?”
Ugh….if she says it like that, there is no way that I can refuse. Also, I would be lying if I wasn’t looking forward to seeing this scene with Yuuka and Ryou…..!
“A-Alright….We’ll continue…..But, can we not do it immediately? Uhm, I have to calm myself down a bit more….” I felt like my heart would explode if it kept on beating like this.
“T-That’s right. That might be a good idea…..” Suzuka agreed with me as she put one hand on her chest and took a deep breath.
“O-Okay, now that it’s decided, let’s look for a place we can calm down.”
“Ah, I think I have an idea for that. Let’s go there and drink tea. T-Taking your time on a date is also very important, I believe.” She grabbed my arm once more and took me out of the gym hall.
“And where is that place you are thinking about?”
“That’s—” Hearing my question, Suzuka only smiled without answering.
“Welcome, dear guests.”
Being greeted by a maid, I was taken aback. And it wasn’t just any other girl wearing a cosplay. The theme here seemed to be [Authentic Maids]. Unlike the otaku-customized mini-skirts, they were wearing normal black long-skirts with an apron on top of that.
“….W-Why is a maid cafe here?” I asked as I sat down on the opposite side of the table from Suzuka.
Seeing all these authentic maids, wo were taking orders from other guests and pouring tea and such, I could only sit there, spacing out while watching them.
“Every girl in here is actually working as maid. Every year, they are asked to participate together with the students.”
“So, this is a cafe with real-life maids….?” To think that something like this existed at Suzuka’s school…..
“Onii-chan, why do you keep staring at them? You really like maids, don’t you?….” She glared at me as I turned to look at her, which made me gulp.
“N-No it’s not like that, this is just a weird scene, in a lot of ways…..”
“So you don’t necessarily like them then?”
I really think that your way of asking is a bit unfair!
“Really now……This is why Onii-chan is so…..” Suzuka moved her lips with a displeased-seeming mood but with perfect timing our order arrived, letting me take a breath. “O-Onii-chan currently is in the middle of a date with me, so please don’t ogle at the maids here. It really hurts my feelings as your lover.”
“No, it’s not like I meant to—-and you’re already acting again?”
“O-Of course I am. After all, I’m collecting data throughout the whole day. And also, us relaxing a bit in here and drinking tea also counts as a date, doesn’t it?”
It’s true that a cafe isn’t that rare of a place for a date but….
“It’s been a dream of mine to go on a culture festival date with Onii-chan. That’s why I won’t allow that. P-Please look only at me today…..” Hearing Suzuka’s charming words and seeing her flushed cheeks, my heartbeat accelerated once more.
I do understand that this is all acting from her but just hearing this phrase out of Suzuka’s mouth raised my nervousness. That being said, I can’t forget that I also have a role to fill.
“Y-You’re right. We did become lovers after all.”
“….Exactly. Onii-chan is always thickheaded and unable to grasp my feelings, so you will have to make up for that.”
“I’m sorry, okay….Still, we’re going to be always together after this, so there’s no need for you to be so stressed out about it, right? Isn’t spending time like this also very important?”
“S-Since my feelings for Onii-chan are also on the brim of overflowing, I can’t just calm myself down……However, it’s true that I might be overreacting a little bit.” With that, Suzuka calmly brought her cup to her mouth. As I did the same, I felt like I had really calmed down.
….Why is is that, when the atmosphere is like this, it feels like we really are lovers…..It’s a good thing since we need this for the research but I wonder what that feeling is.
“B-By the way, Suzuka.”
“W-What is it, Onii-chan?”
“Say, when exactly did you fall in love with me?” That’s why, before I realized it, I had asked her that question so naturally.
“T-That’s….” Her face went even more red than before. However, she immediately raised her head and replied, “I-I don’t remember so far back. I have always loved you. So many years….That’s why, I am sure that I was born just to fall in love with you, Onii-chan….” Faced with such a straightforward answer, I felt the blood rush to my head.
Even though this is supposed to be an act, Suzuka is saying it so straight like that…..!
“….What about Onii-chan?”
“Eh? W-What about me?”
“Since when did Onii-chan fall in love with me?” I was bewildered after hearing her say that. I know that I should be acting in character….but I don’t know how I should answer that.
W-What do I do? How would Ryou answer in this situation? And what answer would be the best for her research? Ah…to hell with it! I don’t know!
“Well?” As if she seemed to be expecting something, Suzuka looked right into my eyes.
Being unable to withstand that gaze, I had no other choice but to open my mouth and spit out what was floating around in my brain.
“I-I don’t know. But, I do feel like I did a long time ago. That moment you confessed to me, I thought [Oh, maybe I do feel the same] and I started realizing it. I’m sure that I just unconsciously ignored my feelings until that point.”
……Why does this feel so natural even though it’s coming out of my mouth?
“….I-Is that so.” After giving such a vague response, her face merely went red and she fiddled with her hands. “U-Uhm, Onii-chan.”
“W-What is it?”
“W-Would it be fine if we stopped our research for a short bit?” Faced with her unexpected words, I could only mutter a short “Eh?”
“D-Did I say something bad….? M-Maybe my answer wasn’t quite right….!”
“No, you’re wrong! I-It’s not that but, uhm, for what I am about to say, I don’t want you to think that I’m merely acting….uhm,” With watery eyes, Suzuka looked straight at me as her body seemed to be shivering slightly.,“I-I, ehm, Onii-chan…..! N-Not just acting but really….I really…..!”
“S-Suzuka?” Seeing this weird attitude of Suzuka, my heartbeat accelerated once more.
“O-Onii-chan, I r-really…..L-L-L-L—–”
In that moment, she happened to push her cup off the table with her elbow.
It happened as I was about to reach out my hand to catch it.
“….Yup, it’s fine.” Hearing a voice from beside me, I saw another hand catch the cup mid-air.
Looking at it, there were three maids who seemed to be around middle school age.
“S-S-Sorry about that.”
“No, it’s fine.” “I’m glad that I could be of use.” That was close, alright.” All of the maids answered with a smile.
I turned around to face Suzuka once more but I realized that the maids were still standing there, looking at us.
“Uhm, is there anything else?”
“It might be rude but are you Nagami-sama’s big brother by any chance?” “You are here with Nagami-sama after all.” “Well, we do have a request.” And they all said that out of the blue.
….A request? What’s that about?—-I was about to ask but I happened to see Suzuka staring at me. She seemed to be sulking.
“Suzuka? What’s wrong?”
“…It’s nothing…It’s…..just…. the timing on that was just unfair or something….”
“Timing? Ah, you wanted to tell me something right?”
“That’s….! There’s no way I can say that now….!” She averted her eyes, pouting. However, she continued to mutter something. “….S-Still, that was too close….I knew that he was acting but Onii-chan’s words played with my heart so much that I just happened to….But, wasn’t that a chance? No no! Don’t take any risks like that! Ahh but….!”
Seeing her attitude, the maids looked somehow apologetic.
“U-Uhm…” “D-Did we make a blunder? “My apologies….”
“N-No, I don’t think that you did anything wrong. That’s fine,” I said to the three maids who were bowing down to us while apologizing.
Not knowing what exactly happened, I decided to forget about that.
“Uhm, so what did you want? You said something about a request….?” For now, I decided to talk to the maids to give Suzuka some time to calm down.
“Ah, yes.” “There is something that we wanted Onii-sama to teach us” “About the maids in otaku culture.”
Hearing their request, I tilted my head.
“Maids in otaku culture?”
After listening to their further explanations, it seems like their master (or should I say mistress in this case) was present at my lecture, and she seemed to be interested about maids in otaku culture. Because of that, she ordered her maids to go ask me about the behaviour and movements of these [otaku maids].
“Well, I do understand the circumstances but even if you ask me about that….”
“If Onii-sama were to tell us, we would be so very grateful” “Yes, we have to acquire that knowledge no matter what it takes.” “If not, we will be punished…”
S-Seems like these girls also have it pretty hard. Of course, I would like to help them out but what should I do?
“…..Onii-chan? What are you thinking about?” In that moment, I heard Suzuka’s voice, making me straighten up my back in surprise. “Onii-chan is in the middle of a date with me, right? What are you doing, helping them out and forgetting about me?”
A pouting expression. Paired with a displeased sounding tone.
T-That’s right….I am in the middle of a date—–like research after all.
“S-Sorry. You’re right. I’m sorry you all but—-”
“N-No, they do have their own circumstances so we can’t leave them alone. That being said, I can’t allow Onii-chan to be all lovey-dovey with the maids…..” She repeatedly glance at me as she continued. “Instead, I will become the maid and demonstrate it….”
“…..What?! Y-You will?!” I almost jumped up after hearing Suzuka’s words.
“I-I can’t help it, can I…..! Even I am embarrassed but currently, I’m on a date with Onii-chan….! And, becoming a maid in front of him might be good chance—–not! If Onii-chan were to teach me, even I can become a maid!” Suzuka explained in a wavering voice. “A-Anyway, we will do it like this! It’ll be a research topic for when the little sister suddenly becomes a maid during their date…..!”
“I-It’s true that this would a good idea for your research….But, is it really okay to decide that on the spot?”
“I can’t just let Onii-chan get all flirty with other women while he’s on a date with me! O-Of course I mean in the scenario…!”
I am reminded once more that Suzuka really is the one and only Towano Chikai. She managed to think of a way where we can help these people and still conduct our research…..I’m just confused as to why her face is so red.
“Well, are you girls fine with that?”
“Y-Yes! I am so thankful to Nagami-sama!” “To think that Nagami-sama and her Onii-sama would really demonstrate this for us!” “T-Thank you very much!” The maids also bowed down, giving their thanks.
Suzuka then continued in a quiet voice with a “P-Please make sure to properly teach me, okay…….” before she left the shop with the other maids.
“….Somehow this turned into a really weird situation alright,” As I was waiting for the girls to come back, my omurice finally arrived.
I was about pick up my spoon to start eating it but I realized that there seemed to be a lot of noise at the entrance of the shop…..and when I turned around to look…..
“T-Thank you for waiting, Onii-chan.”
“…………..Ah.” Seeing Suzuka in a maid outfit, I lost my ability to speak. Suzuka’s normal calm atmosphere and these authentic maid clothes really fit each other. It seems like the other people around us also thought that, resulting in Suzuka getting a lot of attention from the other customers.
“Uhm….first up should be an explanation, but it should be fine if I do it like Onii-chan tells me, right?” Saying that, Suzuka came over to my side.
Her maid clothes fit her so well that my heart was beating like crazy—-no, it’s not like that!
Being flustered, I only managed to get a short “Y-Yeah” out of my mouth.
“Cough I want you to know something first. Even if we talk about otaku maids, they aren’t all that different from real maids,” Clearing her throat once, Suzuka started her speech. “However, there is one thing that is different. I am talking about [Special service], to be specific, to emphasize their love towards the opposite sex.” After taking a glance at me to check if she was correct, she continued, “T-Then Onii-chan, please teach me what kind of [Special service] would be appropriate.”
S-Shit, to think that I have to make my real-life little sister, who is even dressed as maid, do stuff that like in front of all these people…I really am the worst….! Suzuka is giving it her all though. This is research….Research….!
Whispering the [Special service] that I came up with into Suzuka’s ear, she gulped once.
“I-I understand….! Cough Well then, I will show you while I will pour some tea into this…”
While she was pouring tea into the specifically prepared new cup on the table, she lifted it up and put it in front of me as she was finished. Seeing Suzuka standing there with flushed cheeks, I got even more embarrassed and that resulted in me accidentally splashing some tea on my leg as I happened to push the cup.
“A-Are you okay?”
In an instant, Suzuka came over with a dish cloth to wipe it dry. Also—
“Really, Onii-chan has to be more careful. Here, your necktie is also crooked.” She said as she closed the distance even more to fix it.
Skinship and meddling with personal affairs are a classic thing that otaku maids do….!
That being said, my tension kept rising with Suzuka so close to me, so I quickly separated from her when she was finished.
“U-Uhm, now that that is over, I would like you to pat my head as a reward…..”
She looked like she might explode any second. However, that was just how I told her to act. This is also an important part, after all.
“Y-Yeah, thank you, Suzuka….” And, I pat her head just like she had asked for. As I did, all the female students around us gasped in admiration.
“Ehe, ehehehhee…….ha?!” In an instant though, she returned back to reality and once more turned towards the audience. “J-Just like you could see, this is only one of the important traits of an otaku maid. O-On an important side note, these relationships between master and servant only work out like this if you have a good affinity, just like me and Onii-chan…..” She lowered her head.
The [Side note] part was something that didn’t come from me but that she thought of herself.
W-Well, it’s fine. She managed to do it in the end……
“Amazing, Nagami-sama!” “What else is there?” “Are there any other hidden techniques?”
In that moment, the three maids asked us to show them even more.
“O-Onii-chan. Since they’re asking for it, is there anything else?”
“Y-You’re still going to continue?! And what do you mean by hidden techniques…?!” With this atmosphere around us, however, I couldn’t exactly decline.
What else is there…..well, whatever! No choice but to do that!
I told Suzuka what I had thought of.
“S-S-S-Something like that?!” As I did, her face went as red as a tomato and she waited a short while before she continued her speech, “Well then, I would like to show you an even easier method for a [Special service]! T-This is something you do when it’s time for dinner and it is one of the most remarkable jobs of an otaku maid….!”
With these words, she grabbed a bottle of ketchup that was standing on the table. “O-Onii-chan….please watch my affection for you…!” She said as she turned towards my omurice that was still on the table, “H-H-Here I go!…I L-O-V-E…..uuwuuu…..O-NI-I-CHA-N….!” As you could probably guess, she wrote [I love Onii-chan] with the red ketchup. Her hands were shaking quite a bit, which made the characters a bit hard to read, but in the end she even managed to put a heart next to them.
“….Love love…..kyun…..!” At last, she said the magic words with a wavering voice.
Yes, this is just another of the many special maid services, the so-called [Ketchup-Art]
…..Even though she did it because she was forced into a corner, I once more felt despair at what exactly I had my real-life little sister do in front of all these people…..but she did her best so I can’t look away….!
“T-Thank you. I am very, uhm, happy about that….” I said as I reached out to grab the spoon but Suzuka was one second faster than me. After scooping out a spoonful of omurice, she pointed it towards me.
“I-I will feed you so…..! S-Say A-Ahn…..!” Even though she seemed close to crying, her words were the exact opposite of what you would expect. Coincidentally, the part she scooped up had the heart on it.
……I-I didn’t tell you to go that far though?! I-Is this really improvised?! S-Shit!
“T-Thanks for the meal. A-Ahn….” I made up my mind and opened my mouth. When I did so, the omurice entered it and I started chewing.
“H-How….is it?” Suzuka looked really worried.
Of course, I didn’t have the leisure to enjoy the taste.
…..Really, Suzuka should be on the brim of exploding because of embarrassment, but just how far is she willing to go for her research that she does something like this in front of her fellow students….?! As if I could betray her trust as her big brother and make her suffer through this alone!
“It was very delicious. Maybe because it was handmade by Suzuka.”
“T-That’s not the case I think?!”
“I always feel like you put a lot of love into your cooking when you’re doing it for me; maybe that’s why I always find it delicious.”
“N-N-N-N-N-No no no no!”
“No, really. I really should show more gratitude that you always cook food so delicious for me,” I gently smiled at her.
“N-No! T-This is my duty as a maid—no, as a little sister!” Suzuka was fiddling with her hands.
“I don’t even know how I could show you my gratitude.”
“I-I am more than happy just to hear these words from Onii-chan….!”
“Still, I don’t think that’s enough.”
Standing up from the chair, I softly took Suzuka’s head and pushed it against my chest.
“…Thank you Suzuka. I’ll be in your care from now on as well.”
“…………..!” Suzuka looked up at me, red-faced. Her eyes were shaking and all strength seemed to have left her body. “Hya……Nya….” She let out in a small voice. She started to breathe more roughly.
I-Isn’t this really bad? D-Don’t tell me, is she not feeling okay?! W-W-W-What would happen if someone caused a ruckus now?!
“W-Wait Suzu—-” I was about to separate from her when it happened.
The atmosphere around us transformed into a huge ruckus, just as I had feared.
“Wonderful! So wonderful!” “Suzuka-sama looks so happy….” “So this is the power of an otaku maid…..” “Onii-sama is so cool….” “How lovable a scene that was….!” “I feel like I could cry…..” “How nice how nice how nice!”
“No, everyone please calm down….” However, I wasn’t even given the time to continue.
“Thank you very much!” The three maids bowed down to us in gratitude.
“Thanks to Nagami-sama and her Onii-sama, we’ve gotten a good understanding of otaku maids!” “With this, we can tell our Ojou-sama about what we’ve learned!” “I don’t know how we could thank you…..!”
Being confronted with the maids’ honest words, I could only mutter a worried “N-No….”
And did they really understand everything there is to know just from that little bit….? No no no, this isn’t the time to be thinking about that. Suzuka is still spacing out and everyone’s excitement around us keeps rising too, so we really should change the location—-
“I-I have a favour to ask of you!” However, in that moment, a certain female student appeared in front of us. “I apologize but there is something that I have to request of you no matter what!”
Saying these words out of the blue, she kneeled down and bowed her head to us.
“U-Uhm, who are you….?”
“Ah, apologies. I am a member of the theatre club. We had planned on performing a play in the big lecture hall, but two of our members suddenly collapsed with a fever! It seems like they caught a cold after practising for several days…”
“I-Is that so….That really is a big problem but with that request, you don’t mean….?”
“I wondered if you two would be able to jump in for us!”
“No no no! What are you saying?! Are you aware of what you’re asking of us?!” I panicked.
“Of course I am! Seeing that maid play from before, I thought of an idea! I’m sure that you two will be able to do it! Your acting just now was amazing!” She bowed down once more.
“No, suddenly participating in a play is impossible! And what kind of roles are we even talking about?!”
“A prince and princess! It’s a story about a forbidden love between siblings!”
[Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!] went the people around us, making me [Kyaaaaaa] in my heart as well!!! What kind of play is this?! And what is this pin point accuracy!?
“Because of this story, we had two siblings do the roles too. But they happened to catch a cold…..”
“N-No, we still can’t….” Although I felt really bad, I couldn’t just accept without hearing Suzuka’s opinion.
“I-I beg you! I can assure you that you both will be the perfect fit! The only scene missing is the confession at the climax!”
…..No no, I really can’t. This is just impossible.
Thinking that I should hurriedly decline and get away with Suzuka, I was about to open my mouth when it happened.
“P-President Nagami! I beg you! Please act out the confession scene with your big brother!”
“Ehe, ehehehe? Confession…..with Onii-chan…..Okay, I’ll do it….”
So she decided to come back to her senses right now?!
“T-Thank you very much! Let’s go and change your clothes now….! Ah, it’s fine if your acting is improvised! I will add a fitting narration to it!”
“No, wait….! Hey Suzuka?!” Being lost on what exactly was happening, I once more called out to Suzuka. However…..
“O-Onii-chan…..confession…..on stage…..eheheheh. This is research after all…..so we have to be all lovey-dovey to our hearts content….” Suzuka was still spacing out. She seemed quite happy, in fact.
I can’t just say no if it’s [Research], but can we take a moment to really think this through?!
“Now that’s it’s decided, let’s hurry and do it, Onii-sama!” While I was lost on what to do, Suzuka grabbed my hand and followed the girl. A lot of girls were following us but I didn’t have the leisure to pay too much attention to them.
……Coming to the culture festival of Suzuka’s school and suddenly being forced to participate in a stage play….is this some sort of bad dream….?
「Both of the prince and princess realized their feelings for each other, only to be reminded of one fact….They were siblings. The prince was in mental anguish because of this forbidden love. What kind of answer will he give—–Thank you very much for waiting! Here is the conclusion!」
Yep, it really wasn’t a dream, for fuck’s sake!
The curtains were lifted. My view was filled with countless people in the audience and even more girls were peeking into the hall from the hallway. In the middle of that, I was standing on top of the stage, wearing clothes that made me look like a prince.
“I-It really is Onii-sama!” “So that rumour was true after all!” “I-I have to burn this sight into my memories….!” “Maids, are you ready to take pictures?” “F-Forbidden love…..” “O-Onii-sama….”
The excitement in the hall climaxed in mere seconds but my tension kept rising even further beyond that.
…Is it really fine to put me in this situation without explaining a single thing to me, merely calling it [Improvising]….?! Just cancel the play, really….
“Haaa….” Still, it troubles me exactly because Suzuka wants to use this as research.
…..To sum it up, I was forced to participate in this play where I am a big brother who has fallen in love with his little sister even though it is forbidden….as if I could do that?! I will change all of this so just you wait!……is what I wanted to scream out but the main problem was Suzuka. I do have to act with her in the play after all….It makes me wonder what she will do while she’s onstage—-
However, before I could finish my thoughts, everyone in the audience started screaming as the spotlight focused onto the part of the stage where Suzuka was entering. Seeing her appearance, I swallowed my breath.
A pure white dress with a sparkling tiara. Her hair wasn’t tied together with ribbons either, making me question if that person in front of me really was Suzuka. Right now, I saw her more as a [Princess] than a little sister.
「The princess spotted her prince. Seeing the person she had yearned for, her heartbeat accelerated. Even if this is supposed to be a forbidden love, the princess vowed to herself that she would tell her loved one of all these feelings she was keeping inside of her. She slowly walks towards her prince…..」
The narration moved the story forwards. …..So, judging from that, Suzuka, in her role as the princess, will confess her love to me, in the role of the prince….
Suzuka walked towards me. Red-faced but with a serious expression, she looked up to me and calmly opened her mouth.
“……I……I love Onii-chan…..I have always, always loved Onii-chan. But, I didn’t have the courage to tell you so and I kept hiding it….” Not a single sound other than her voice reverberated in the big hall we were currently in.
Even I couldn’t believe that this was supposed to be an act, and it struck me speechless.
“However, I gave up on running away. If I don’t move forward, the me inside Onii-chan will always stay as a [Little sister]……I don’t want that. In Onii-chan’s eyes, I want to be seen as a girl. That’s why…..”
We are prince and princess, so wouldn’t calling me [Onii-chan] completely ruin the atmosphere?—is what I wanted to retort but I was completely taken away by her acting.
“That’s why….I will say it countless times. I love Onii-chan. I love you from the bottom of my heart….I love you……!” Finishing her monologue-like confession, she looked up to me with tears in her eyes.
…..W-Wait a moment! Why are you so good at this?! Is the perfect superhuman even a perfect actor?! And, even though I’m aware that this is supposed to be a play, what is this weird feeling?!
I was completely lost on what to do. This silence behind me should’ve been calming but in this case, it hurt.
…..I’m supposed to answer now right? And, what should I answer? W-What is the story….! Where’s the narrator?!
「The princess poured her heart into this confession. How will the prince respond? Will he accept her? Or will he push her away?」
Eh? W-Wait a second?! Why are you stopping?! Where’s the continuation?! What should I do?!
No matter how much I screamed out in my heart, the answer never came. The narrator never continued.
……Is it that? I’m supposed to bring the climax to all of this…..with my own thoughts? D-Don’t fuck with me?! As if?! What do you want me to do?!
In the meantime, the hall started to get noisy.
“….O-Onii-chan?” Suzuka on her end looked at me with a worried expression while she spoke to me.
However, I didn’t move an inch. Not knowing what to do, I was frozen in place.
….Damn, there’s no choice but to end this somehow! I won’t take any responsibility for anything that happens after this!
Just before I was about to open my mouth, I was reminded of something.
….N-No, even before this play, we were on a date as siblings at this culture festival…..as research. In that sense, that confession from before must’ve been as an act of the little sister. That’s why, answering in the role of the big brother is the only choice I have……But what should I say?! How would Ryou answer here?! Ahh man! I have no idea!
The growing noise in the big hall. Suzuka’s worried gaze. The success of the research. So many things were rumbling around in my head. The next second, my mind went completely white and before I realized it, I had opened my mouth already.
“I…..I can’t answer your feelings.”
The moment I said that, everyone went quiet and I could hear Suzuka taking a deep breath. Still, I didn’t pay any attention to that and continued.
“After hearing your confession, I don’t know how to answer. You honestly told me your feelings. I really felt that. And that’s exactly why I just can’t answer your feelings so half-baked.”
But—-my words cut through the calm atmosphere.
“But….There is one thing I can say for certain. Hearing your confession, I felt really happy. Being told that you love me……I can’t describe this feeling.”
“That’s why, won’t you give me some time? I want to find out exactly what this feeling is. And, I will answer your feelings just as honestly as you did.”
“I really feel bad that I can’t answer your feelings immediately. I’m sorry….However, I will promise you one thing. We will always be together….Suzuka.” At the same time I finished that sentence, I reached out with my hand towards Suzuka.
With a “…Yes. Onii-chan…” she responded by grabbing my hand tightly, tears in her eyes and the biggest smile I had ever seen on her face.
Seeing her reaction, I felt really relieved—–But…..
In that moment, the whole hall started shaking because everyone in the audience started screaming.
“Congratulations, Suzuka-sama!” “I hope you will be happy, Suzuka-sama!” “She looks really happy!” “So President Nagami can make such a face….” “M-Maids?! H-How about the photos?!” “No wonder Onii-sama was flattered by her confession….” “Ugh…how niceeeeee!”
Hearing all these reactions, I returned to my senses.
…..W-Wait? What have I been saying until now? And no, I don’t mean the specific words but the meaning as a whole…..B-But, since everyone’s seems to be cheering, I guess it was a success?
“H-Hey, Suzuka. Was this good enough for your research—–”
“…..Ehe, ehehehehehe…..A-Always together….with Onii-chan…..Ehehehe”
“S-Suzuka?!” Although I merely wanted to ask Suzuka for her opinion, she suddenly started collapsing and I barely managed to catch her.
W-W-W-What’s going on?! I-It seems like she lost consciousness while standing. A-And the play is supposed to be over right? Why are the curtains not going down?! D-Damn, no choice but to hurriedly exit towards backstage —-is what I had planned on doing but in that moment, THEY came.
“Wait a damn secooooooooooooooooond!!”
Hearing that scream, everyone (including me) stopped their movements. Seeing the source of that scream, I swallowed my breath.
“Nevermind the fact that you didn’t tell me that you would be performing a lecture here, now you’re getting a confession from Suzuka-san while both of you are cosplaying…..! Yuu! What the hell are you thinking?!”
“Sensei! How rude of you, not calling us over for your research, desu! And you’re even standing on top of a stage in an all-girls school!”
“Wha…..! W-Why…..!” Overwhelmed by the situation, my tongue wouldn’t move as I wanted it to.
And why the hell are Mai and Double Peace-sensei here?! Even better, why are they wearing the Hakuou school uniform?! What is going on?!
While I was still in a state of confusion, both of them gradually made their way closer to the stage.
“A confession scene with Yuu…..! If you really call this research, then let me help you as well! That’s only fair after I missed your speech earlier!”
“Yes, desu! As you illustrator, I don’t like being left out like this!” Both of them were charging at me with their usual tension.
“B-But why are the two of you here….?”
“Hearing that you would be giving a speech, I rushed over here!”
“And you were also here to collect data for a scenario, right? You said that the scenario would be about a date at an all-girls school, desu. There’s no way that I can miss out on that!”
“B-But, you should only be able to get in here with an invitation….! And besides that, why are you wearing this school’s uniform?!”
“All roads lead to Rome, desu….”
“It sounds even more terrifying if you say it with a straight face?!” While I was retorting, the female students started to get closer to the stage as well.
“W-Who might these two people be?” “They seem to be acquaintances of Onii-sama….” “Both of them are also incredibly beautiful…..” “….A foreigner…? Wow…..” “H-Her chest is…..” “Don’t tell me, a lover of Onii-sama….?” “B-But the both of them?” “Is this the rumoured [Harem]….?” “S-So they are President Nagami’s love rivals….?”
U-Uhm? Somehow I feel like the conversation is turning in a weird direction….? N-No good. T-This is getting really bad! H-Have to leave this place as fast as I can….!
「W-Will this turn into a fight scene for the favour of the prince….?」
However, the next moment these words came from the speakers around us, and time seemed to stop inside the hall. It seems like the narrator forgot that she still had the mic in her hand and muttered these words….which caused this critical vocabulary to echo through the hall. And—-
The screams of the female students were even louder than before.
W-Why are they all looking so happy?!
“S-Suzuka! H-Hey, return to reality already!” I once more tried to call out to Suzuka but….
“Ehehehe, in a crisis like this, isn’t it the role of the prince to [Princess-carry] the girl and save her?”
“Oi?! The play is already over?!”
Is she still not up to it?! She even has a happy expression on her face for some reason?!
Still, I didn’t have any other option but to do as Suzuka had requested.
“Ugh….I got it already! We’re running away, princess…..!”
Grabbing Suzuka with all my strength, I ran away from the stage.
“W-Wait, Onii-chan?! What are you….?!”
“You just told me to do it like this, right?!” Suzuka finally returned to her senses but that didn’t make me slow down at all.
「Ahh, the elopement of the princess! This is the prince’s answer?!」
Turning around after hearing that last intermission of the narrator, I saw Mai, Double Peace-sensei….and almost the whole student body chasing after me?! Are you serious?! Just you wait until I see you again, you damn narrator-girl!
“O-Onii-chan! What in the world is….!”
“That’s what I want to know?! For now, we’re running away so hold on tight…!”
Dashing through the whole school building, I finally spotted our saviour.
Lockers! That’s it!
“Wai—Onii-cha—woah!” Opening one of the lockers that seemed big enough for us to fit, I checked that it was empty and stuffed Suzuka into it, following shortly after.
“I-It’s cramped….! A-And Onii-chan is so close…..!”
“Psssst! Be quiet…..!” Suzuka and I barely fit into the locker.
R-Rather than that though…..!
“H-Huh?! W-Where did they go?!”
“They couldn’t have gotten so far, desu!” Mai and the others ran past us, with the rest of the student body following shortly behind.
“A-Are they gone?” Taking a glance outside, there were still some female students in the area.
N-No choice but to stay here for a while it seems….
“O-Onii-chan…..! Hau………….” Hearing the small voice of Suzuka, I turned my head towards her.
Stuck in a hugging position, Suzuka and I were basically glued to each other. Being assaulted with the feeling of Suzuka’s soft body and her sweet aroma, my heartbeat kept accelerating.
“O-Onii-chan is…….S-So close……!”
“C-C-C-C-Calm down Suzuka!” I said to her but it’s not like I could calm myself down either while she was looking up at me with flushed cheeks.
“Muh, they are nowhere to be found, alright.”
“They must be hiding somewhere, desu!”
In that moment, we heard the voices of Mai and Double Peace-sensei in the distance.
“S-Since it’s come to this, we have no choice but to stay here for a bit…..”
“T-T-T-That’s right……!” The both of us were whispering to each other.
The sound of a heart beating loudly reverberated through the locker but whether it was mine or Suzuka’s, I had no idea.
“U-Uhm, Onii-chan” In the meantime, Suzuka once more started talking to me.
Her breath slightly tickled my neck, hindering me from saying anything other than an embarrassed “W-What is it?”
“I-It’s about your acting during the play earlier…..”
“Ah, that was, uhm, my mind just sort of went blank…..! W-Was it weird after all……? W-What about the data from it….?”
“N-No…..uhm! It was very good….! B-But, was that really all improvised….?”
“A-Ah, well…..it’s something I came up with after thinking really hard about it…..”
“T-Then, were those O-Onii-chan’s real feelings…..?”
“Eh? Uhm, Suzuka-san?” Unable to understand what she meant, I didn’t know how to respond.
In that moment, Suzuka lifted up her head to look straight up at me with a red face.
“T-That confession……..W-What I said…..T-These words were my real…..feelings……! I-I really…..D-Do….F-Feel that way about—–”
“They really are hiding somewhere!”
Hearing Mai’s voice even closer than before, Suzuka suddenly stopped her words.
“That’s right, desu. So they should be somewhere around here.”
“But, we checked everywhere, right?”
“They might be inside these lockers over there, desu?” As Double Peace-sensei let out these words, I could hear my heartbeat even louder than before.
“Inside the locker….? Something as cliché as that is…..”
“No no! Being glued together in a locker is a typical event in a lot of novels, desu! I think it’s better to be safe than sorry, desu!”
“Well….it’s fine I guess, hup!”
Hearing that sound, both Suzuka and I twitched.
“You see? Nobody inside. It’s really narrow after all.”
S-Seems like that sound came from the locker next to ours.
“Now now, Let’s just open every one to make sure, desu!”
With that, I heard the sound of a hand being put on the door of another locker.
T-This time it’s ours?! N-Not good!
“Maybe they are in this locker, desu—–”
“Both of you, can I have a bit of your time?”
Eh? W-What happened? T-That’s a voice I’m not familiar with. And the door…is still closed.
“You two are wearing our uniform but I have never seen either of you here before. What year are you? You look like you’re in high school……where’s your class?”
“Eh? W-We aren’t exactly….”
“We are guests attending the culture festival, desu!”
“Hmm? Is that so? Then, could you show me your invitations?”
“H-Hey you….! Why are you just telling her everything….!”
“Ah, we sneaked onto this festival after we got these uniforms, desu!”
“So basically, the two of you aren’t guests at all. If that’s the case, I’m going to have to ask you to leave..”
“Eh? Kya?! W-What’s up with these girls?!”
“Ohh, magnificent, desu! Suddenly appearing out of nowhere, are these the so-called ninjas, desu?!”
“This clearly isn’t the time to say that?! H-Hey,wait—–! Kyaaaaaaaaaaaa!”
In a matter of seconds, Mai’s scream gradually became more distant.
“Hmmph, what was up with them, I wonder?” After the words of our saviour, the scene once more became quiet.
“W-What was that about?” Finally relaxing my whole body, I once more glanced outside of the locker.
“I suppose that the two of them were caught by members of the disciplinary committee…..”
“I-I see….? Well, thanks to that, we somehow escaped…..?” As I turned around to face the source of that voice, I saw Suzuka, glaring up at me with a displeased expression. “U-Uhm, Suzuka-san? Is something the matter?”
“I-Is that so? Oh right, before, you wanted to tell me something right? Something about your honest feelings—-”
“Ughhhhhh! O-Onii-chan you idiot! I-D-I-O-T!”
“Uwa?! H-Hey?! D-Don’t cause a ruckus in here!” Suzuka’s face has gotten even more red than before and she has a pouting expression.
I was completely lost as to what I had done again but as I tried to calm her down—-
S-Shit!—is the only thing I managed to get out before the door of the locker opened accidentally, resulting in me and Suzuka falling straight out of it. I held Suzuka tight as I planted head first into the ground. With a loud bang, I felt pain all over and my vision got blurry.
“O-Onii-chan! Are you okay?!” Hearing Suzuka’s distant voice, my vision turned to black and I decided to let it all happen, closing my eyes in resignation.
“Ouch….this day won’t just end well, will it?” I muttered as I rubbed my head.
Currently, I was sitting on a bench, reminiscing about what happened earlier. Luckily, I had gotten away with only a slight headache. Suzuka for her part kept apologizing to me after I came back to my senses. I told her countless times that it wasn’t that big of a deal, but in the end calming her down was more stressful than anything. After that, she went to change her clothes in a deserted classroom, trying to avoid the attention of the other students. That ended with me sneaking out and coming to this bench, hidden in the shadow of a big tree on the school grounds.
“Really…..I wonder if this actually turned into good data…..” I was starting to get worried if we’d be able to beat the Kanzaka sisters with this. “But Suzuka said that everything is going to be fine…..Weird.” I know that I don’t have the right to butt into her personal stuff like this, but I’d really like to know if it was worth going on a culture festival date with my little sister…..
I interrupted my thoughts with a deep sigh. By the way, we didn’t meet Mai and Double Peace-sensei as of yet.
“Let’s just forget about them….yup” As I was lost in my thoughts, I saw a few female students walking around the school grounds in the distance. They really do have a graceful attitude, just what you would expect from high society Ojou-sama’s……..Huh?
“That uniform….? That’s not from Hakuou, is it?”
In that moment, I realized that the female students were not wearing the Hakuou uniform. No, looking closer, there were a lot of girls with uniforms from different schools…..?
“Since this is a culture festival, I guess that a lot of female students from other schools came here,” I thought that I heard Suzuka’s voice. She seems more calm than ever….?
“Is it alright if I sit down here?”
“Ah–?!” I realized that it wasn’t Suzuka who was talking to me. “O-Of course, go ahead!” I turned around in panic, only to be more shocked because of the person standing there.
“Y-You are…! T-The older Kanzaka sister?!”
“Akino. Good day to you.” Direct words. An expressionless face.
I realized her identity in an instant.
“And, can I sit here?”
“A-Ah, yes…….No, not that! W-Why are you here?”
“Culture festival. I was invited.” She answered as she sat down. Looking at it, her uniform somehow seemed familiar. “Why are you here?”
“I-I was requested to give a lecture here….”
“Lecture? I just got here, would’ve loved to see that.”
“What a shame”—-she continued, but her face showed no sign of a fitting emotion.
“Uhm….so you came because you were invited by a student from here?”
“Yes. I’m a third-year student at Reihou Girls’ High.”
…….Eh? Reihou…..wasn’t that another famous all-girls school around here as well? And did she just say third-year….?
“S-So you were a senpai?”
“I don’t know. I’m a third-year. An energetic 18-year-old girl.”
So she really was older than me….and what did she mean by energetic?
“U-Uhm, I’m sorry. I was very rude towards you even though I’m only a first-year….”
“No it’s fine. You had the right manners.”
I was thankful that she wasn’t mad…..but that’s not the point here!
“Uhm….I do understand the reason that Senpai came here but why did you go out of your way to speak to me?”
“I happened to spot you. Did I bother you?”
“N-No not exactly but….we are enemies, aren’t we….?”
“That’s exactly why I wanted to talk to you. I wanted to apologize.”
“Eh? W-What do you mean by that?”
H-Huh? W-What does she mean by that? W-Why would she apologize to me?
“Onee-chan? What are you doing in a place like——aaaaah! You are!”
In that moment, the younger Kanzaka sister raised her voice as she spotted us. She was wearing the same uniform as the older sister, so maybe they were invited here together.
“Towano Chikai! Why the hell are you in a place like this?! This is supposed to be a girls-only school, right? A-A pervert?!”
“Y-You’re wrong?! I was invited here as well!”
“Haruna, calm down, will you. No problem at all. He came here for a lecture it seems.”
Hearing the word [Lecture], the little sister tilted her head as if she was doubting me.
“Hmpf……so that’s also a part of the job of being a light novel author. Well, you will be retiring soon, so it doesn’t really matter I guess.”
Ugh….no restraint like always.
“I’ll just say this but we have no intention of losing so easily. You probably should do practice apologizing. It seems like you’d be bad at it, after all.”
“W-What’s your problem…..? There’s no way that we will lose. Don’t underestimate Ambivalenz.”
“I’m not underestimating anybody. We are well aware that you guys are pretty amazing. But aren’t you taking us a bit lightly?”
“Not really? There’s no way that Ahi can win against me as of right now, after all.”
“Don’t forget that I am the one responsible for the scenario. I’m the original author, remember?”
“Ha! What about it? Do you think that you’ll be selling more just because of that?” It really hurt to admit but I can’t say anything against that. “It’s a competition about sales so that doesn’t matter in the slightest, right?”
“Ugh….As cheeky as always. Weren’t you a fan of Double Peace-sensei before? What happened that you got so distant?” Hearing my words, her expression slightly changed.
“….Did you hear about that from Ahi?”
“Hm? Ah, yeah. After you established your circle, your relationship has gotten worse, she said.”
“Did she say anything about why that happened…..?”
“Eh? No, that’s……I wonder why? She said that she wasn’t that sure about it either….But it’s probably that, right? She saw that you, a genius, was climbing the ranks of the doujin industry.”
“H-Ha?! W-What’s up with that! That would make me seem like the bad guy who looks down on everyone!”
“You’re not aware of that?! To me, it looks exactly like that, you know!”
“S-Shut it! I-I was just pissed that Ahi kept on drawing that ero stuff…..!” The little sister was glaring at me but it seems like her composure from before was completely washed away. “A-Also, it’s Ahi’s fault! The reason that our relationship changed……and that I’m acting like this!”
“W-Why is that?”
“…..We were finally standing on even ground….Just when she finally called me her rival….she just kept wasting her potential and just drew as she pleased! There’s no way I could keep quiet about that!”
“Wasting her potential?” I tilted my head in confusion but her glare only intensified as she continued.
“It seems like you really don’t know a single thing about Ahi. And you’re still poking your nose into her own personal affairs.”
“Wha-?! W-What are you on about?! So you know everything about her or something?!”
“I do!” She stated with a strong voice.
W-Where is that self-confidence coming from…?
“It’s exactly because I know that I’m so pissed about it…..!”
“…………” The older sister didn’t say a single word.
I was taken aback because of her sudden serious attitude.
….There must be a reason for her to act like that towards Double Peace-sensei. Though I do not know what that is…..
“Hey…..” I really wanted to hear her point of view. What did she mean by waste of potential? Is there really something that I don’t know about—-
“Onii-chan?! These people are…..!” However, with her (bad) timing as always, Suzuka’s voice reached my ears as she came closer. “Why are you here?” Suzuka asked the Kanzaka sisters before I could even clear things up.
“You are…Towano Chikai’s little sister? And your uniform is from this school, right?”
“So you were students from Reihou. Probably invited by students from this school. I thought that you came here to get in the way of Onii-chan….”
Suzuka’s attitude resembled that of Mai in that moment.
“F-For now, please get away from Onii-chan!”
“W-What? I-I wouldn’t even get closer if you asked me to!”
“W-What did you say…..?!”
“Calm down Suzuka!” I jumped up and held her back from behind.
“Hya…..?! O-Onii-chan….! L-Let me go!”
“N-Not until you’ve calmed down….! And you! Don’t just agitate Suzuka for no reason!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Ah, this is starting to feel dumb….” Looking as if she was pissed off, the little sister turned her back to us. “I can’t stay around these siscon and brocon siblings. Onee-chan, let’s go.”
“Ah, hey!” I tried to stop her but she kept going without looking back.
“I don’t have anything to talk about with you. Just tell Ahi that she should admit defeat already. And prepare yourself to retire while we’re at it.” She spat out these words as she left us behind.
“……I’m sorry,” The older sister muttered these words, “And, a correction…..It’s not [Was]”
“She was a fan….is not correct…..”
E-Even if you say that, I have no idea what you mean.
I was about to ask her but she chased after her little sister with a “See you,” before turning around once more.
“Ah, I forgot to tell you……You’re groping.”
“You’re groping her….” This time she was gone for sure.
“W-What was that about…?” I was still confused about a lot of things.
And what did she mean by groping….?
“Hauu…..O-Onii-chan…..” As I was lost in my thoughts, I heard Suzuka’s thin voice.
“Ah, sorry. I’ll let go immediately——” It happened at that moment, when I focussed on Suzuka’s body.
….Funya funya…..? And what is this soft feeling on my right hand? It’s not necessarily big or anything but… it still fits in my hand pretty smoothly….is what you could say. Llike I’m being pulled in, unable to let go…..some mysterious feeling like that. Eh? What is this? She said groping so does she possibly—–
“…………….!” I almost choked.
Groping her….this soft feeling….don’t tell me?!
With this weird premonition, I slowly looked down at Suzuka. She had tears in her eyes. A red face. And she seemed to be shivering slightly.
I hurriedly pulled my hands away but it was already too late.
“O-O-O-Onii-chan….!” Suzuka formed a fist as her shoulders were shaking violently.
Her next words weren’t that big of surprise…… but they closed the curtains on this culture festival—- and the research as well.
“O-Onii-chan……you perverted idiot…..!!!”