Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju:Volume5

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Novel Illustrations[edit]



"...Yuuji."

"What is it, Shouko?"

"...I want to see your cellphone."

"What's wrong? Why do you suddenly want to see my cellphone?"

"...Because yesterday, a TV program said it."

"TV? What did it say?"

"...A lot of evidence of an affair will remain on the cellphone."

"Hoho."

"...So, show it to me."

"Rejected."

"...Clench your teeth."

"Wait! I think you've skipped a lot of steps! You're suddenly going to punch me? Do you want to punch me?"

"...Show it to me."

"Ah-...No, I can't, I accidentally forgot it at hom-AAHHHHHHHHH! M-MY EYES!"

"...I should have done this from the beginning."

"You always end up stabbing me in the eyes! Why did you even want me to clench my teeth! Was that just a fake-out, you animal!"

"...Yuuji. Unclench your fist. I can't take your cellphone like this."

"I-I'm not giving it! I finally got it back after having it fixed, how can I let you steal it!"

"...If you resist, I'm going to take away your pants and trunks."

"Tru...!? I can give up and hand over my pants even though I'm unwilling, but what do my trunks have to do with this!? Are you saying that you want me to go to school with my bottom part naked!?"

"...Half-naked boys that are only wearing a shirt are really loved by mother, I heard her say that once."

"Wrong! This has nothing to do with 'like'! More important than that is that I don't want to, don't make that mistake!"

"...Also, I also want to see what Yuuji looks like there."

"Are you a pervert!?"

"...I'm not a pervert. I, your childhood friend, have an obligation to check on Yuuji's growth."

"Eeh, take your hands off my belt! Get away from my belt straps! I got it! Here! Take my phone!"

"...........I see."

"Shouko. Why do you have such an obviously disappointed expression."

"...Show me your cellphone."

"Really... Please don't break it, you idiot at machines."

"...I'll do my best."

"Please do so."

"........."

"And? There's nothing of note there, right? Once you understand, please give me back my cellphone--so wait! Why is your hand creeping towards my pants!? I gave you my cellphone, right!?"

"...You have more mails from Yoshii than me."

"Oh? What's wrong with that?"

"...In short, the person that Yuuji is going to have an affair with is Yoshii."

"No, that's wrong."

"...So, time for punishment."

"Why is it that around me there are so many people that think that gender difference is a small matter...? Alright Shouko, take a look at the contents of the mails. It's just a playful correspondence, right?"

"...But,"


PiPiPiPiPi


"Ah, a mail? It's my cellphone, right? Let me check my phone! No, wrong. Before the phone, give me back my belt, which you stole from me so skillfully."

"...No. I'm not returning it."

"Ha? Why----uwaah!? This time you're trying to take my pants again!? Anybody can see us from here--NO, NO, I GOT IT! I'm an adult. I'm fine with giving up and giving you my pants even though I'm extremely unwilling. So at least, my trunks--!"

"...No."

"Are you insane!? Do you know what you're doing right now!?"

"...I will definitely, not forgive, cheating...!"

"Damn it! What was inside that mail!?"

【Message From: Yoshii Akihisa】

Can I stay at your house? Tonight, I don't really...feel like going home.


The First Question[edit]

Please write down the correct name of the piece of equipment in the picture on the right.

BTS vol 05 016.png


Himeji Mizuki's Answer:

Measuring Cylinder.

Teacher's comment:

Correct answer. Understanding the names and usage of lab equipment is very important basic information. Being able to remember the names of these pieces of equipment won't hurt at all. Also, remember to look at the labels denoting the graduations.


Tsuchiya Kouta's Answer:

Mesu Shiri.[1]

Teacher's comment:

You only pay attention to areas that you have interest in, I already understand that. I hope that you can remember the 3 letters [ンダー] (ndaa) though.


Yoshii Akihisa's Answer:

Graduated glass tube.

Teacher's comment:

I've lost hope in you.


BTS5-Hideyoshi.jpg

It was a Sunday afternoon, and this place that’s rarely affected by a rainy climate had a rare drizzle in the morning. But now that the rain stopped, the outside was a nice clear weather. However, I didn’t go out as I was holed up at home playing games.

“Yosh! Ho~ yosh, and!”

Showing up on the television screen was the boxing experience game I just bought last week, and I was controlling the device in my hand like I was in a trance. Yuuji came over to my house and actually played better than me. How infuriating. However, that guy was always better at such games that are related to reflexes or motion.

“Even so, it infuriates me to lose to that kind of guy!”

But no matter what kind of game it was, losing to Yuuji alone made me want to puke. That’s why I agreed with him to have another match tomorrow after school, and I’m trying my best to train.

--DING DONG.

A sharp sound from the bell suddenly rang while I was training.

“Hn? Is it express mail? Really, at such a moment…”

On the screen, the character I was controlling sent a right uppercut that slammed into the opponent’s jaw. I continued on with my attacks on the opponent as he got scared, so I should be able to win now. That’s why I really don’t want to pause at such an important moment—however, I can’t just leave the bell alone.

“Really…at such a bad timing…”

Can’t be helped. I could only sigh and press the pause button, get up and walk towards the corridor.

“Here. Who is this?”

I said as I unlocked the door and pushed the door out.

The feeling of summer that had heat and humidity immediately came in through the tiny gap between the door.

I frowned a little in an irritated manner, but I pushed the door wider a little more.

On the other side of the metal door, there was a bright clear sky after it rained, a light vestige of rainbow that was about to mix into the sky, and—a short-haired woman carrying a large luggage bag.

“…Eh? Arre…?”

I couldn’t help but doubt my own eyes and started watching that person in front of me even more closely. What’s going on? Those wide eyes, the lax-looking expression, this person… looks just like someone I know.

I have a bad feeling about this. I don’t think it’s really possible, but maybe…

“…Nee, nee…san…?”

I tried to call this family member of mine who should be overseas and shouldn’t be appearing here.

And then, the person immediately,

“Yes. It’s been a long while, Aki-kun.”

She answered me. The neat short-hair swayed gently with the wind, and a slight smile appeared on her face.


—And for some reason, she’s wearing a bathrobe.


1212 017c-1-.jpg

“WHY ARE YOU WEARING A BATHROBE!?”

I was really shocked to see my sister, who I haven’t seen in a year, dressed up like this.

Why are you here? If you’re going to come back, why didn’t you call me? These obvious questions were immediately blown aside. Her surreal get-up made me feel dizzy.

No, it’s plausible if my sister who just came back from overseas actually came out from the room. It’s rare in Japan, but there’re some people who would wear bathrobes after bathing. However—

“ISN’T IT TOO WEIRD TO DRESS UP LIKE THIS AND VISIT PEOPLE?”

As far as I know, bathrobes aren’t evolved to such an extent that they could be used outside, right? I never heard of such news!

“Aki-kun, Japan’s really hot?”

“WHY DID YOU START TALKING ABOUT THE WEATHER AS IF YOU NEVER HEARD MY REMARK!? YOU SHOULD BE INTERACTING PROPERLY WITH THIS YOUNGER BROTHER OF YOURS THAT YOU HAVEN’T MET IN A YEAR!!”

“Aki-kun. How can you stand in the corridor and make a ruckus? Nee-san doesn’t remember raising a kid who lacks common sense like you, right?”

“Kuu…I didn’t expect to be told off about common sense by someone who’s wearing a bathrobe as she walked in front of everyone…”

I’M DEFINITELY THE ONE WITH MORE COMMON SENSE HERE…!

“And I should have told you before. You have to listen to what others say until the end, you know? Nee-san has her reasons for being dressed up like this."

Nee-san started telling me off.

“Eh? Ahh, I see.”

After hearing her say that, I heaved a sigh of relief.

That’s right. Who would walk around outside in a bathrobe without any reason?

“Of course.”

After seeing me understand somewhat, nee-san nodded and then slowly started to explain to me.

“It was really hot today, and I had to carry such heavy luggage. Nee-san ended up sweating a lot.”

“Un.”

“Even if I’m meeting my own brother, nee-san is still a woman. It’s normal to take note of my appearance.”

“That’s right. Girls would normally be mindful about this.”

“So nee-san changed into a bathrobe to absorb the sweat.”

“Yes, that’s the strange part.”

“Because the bathrobe is the only clothing in my luggage that absorbs the most sweat. Nee-san’s sweat was soon dried up.”

“Why didn’t your brain think of the option to ‘take out a towel and wipe yourself dry?…”

“So it’s because I changed into the bathrobe that I was able to safely maintain my pride as an older sister, and reunite with my brother that I haven’t met in a year while being clean.”

“I say, even if you’re proud of your own achievement, you ended up failing because you were thinking too much, didn’t you, nee-san?”

In my mind, her pride as a sister was completely gone.

“What are you talking about? Even though sweat contains impurities like sodium chloride, magnesium, potassium and calcium, it mostly contains water. This bathrobe’s material is cotton, so it’s absorbent and very permeable, and did suck up the sweat from nee-san’s body just like I wanted it to.

“No…you did manage to absorb the sweat away…”

But it’s not like it doesn’t matter what you wear just because it can absorb the sweat away!

“If you can understand let me into the house. Nee-san has to look in to see what kind of life Aki-kun is living and report it to mom.”

“Ah, is that so?”

“Yes.”

“I see~ so you’re going to check up on how I live~”

“That’s right.”

“I see I see…that’s right…nee-san…”

“What is it?”

“What’s that?”

“What do you mean?”

I pointed far away, and nee-san looked over at where I was pointing without doubt.

—BAM. GACHA GACHANK

While she looked over at the other side, I immediately closed the door calmly at the fastest speed possible, and even remembered to lock the door.


DING DONG

"Aki-kun, hurry up and open the door. Nee-san still hasn’t gone in yet."


I covered my ears and crouched down, unwilling to listen to the voice that came in from outside.

“You actually did it, mom!!”

Why must she do such a thing to me!? Sending nee-san over to check on my life without warning is too despicable.


DING DONG

"Aki-kun, did you hear me? Did you not notice that your sister is still standing outside?"


What should I do? If this keeps up, the life I've lived up till now will be seen through. If she reports to mom about my situation here, I really won’t know what will happen to my happy life of living alone. I could have hidden my manga and game consoles if they had contacted me first…


DING DONG.

"Aki-kun, are you bullying nee-san here? Do you hate seeing nee-san in a bathrobe?"


And she actually came over before the end of the semester exams. Mom definitely wants to know my results. She definitely waited for such a time to send an assassin over. I could only think of such a possibility. Not good, what should I do?


"Why aren’t you willing to let nee-san enter the house? Is there some reason why you don’t want nee-san to come in? The reason…what can it be?"


As I was hugging my head and thinking, nee-san outside seemed to be thinking as well. What is she thinking now?


"—Ahh, I see. So Aki-kun is thinking about that."


I didn’t say anything, but it seemed that nee-san realized it. Is she willing to give me some time to pack my room? I see. We’re siblings, so minds do think alike.


“You mean that if I want to enter the house, I need to wear a maid outfit and not a bathrobe, right?”


I DON’T REMEMBER SAYING SUCH THINGS!


“No, don’t do it…! This is a trap nee-san set…! If I open the door and snark back at her, she’ll be like a detective searching the house and will immediately step into the house without hesitation!”

Don’t answer her, Akihisa! You definitely mustn’t…I continued to warn myself deep inside my heart. It’s a matter of life and death in this situation.


"…Really. I’ll go over to the neighbor and ask them to lend me a maid outfit."


“DON’T DO THAT! DON’T GO ABOUT ASKING OUR NEIGHBORS FOR A MAID OUTFIT IN A BATHROBE! AND WHY WOULD A JAPANESE HOUSEHOLD HAVE A MAID OUTFIT? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!?”

I couldn’t help but open the door and shout out.

I can’t stand it anymore! I really can’t leave this person alone in the corridor.

“Is that so? But I had a foreign friend who told me last month that ‘Fujiya-ma, Tempo-ra, Maid Outfits’ are all part of Japanese culture.”

“Nee-san, that guy’s definitely not normal! Why can’t he even pronounce ‘Mount Fuji’ and Tempura’ correctly, yet pronounces maid outfit that smoothly?”

What kind of strange friends did she have? Weirdos attract weirdos. Isn’t this something like flocks of a feather sticking together?

“He really loves to play. He even called himself A-Boy”

“Didn’t you notice it or something!? He should be called B-Boy here!”

Akiba-Boy and Bad-Boy don’t sound different at first, but there’s a whole lot of difference there.

“Speaking of which, even if you live overseas, your misunderstandings of Japanese culture is way too bad…don’t you normally come back home, nee-san?”

And she’s been living in Japan till a few years ago. How could her understanding of Japan become so bad? But that’s right, my sister here wouldn’t look at anything other than the things she’s interested in. However, the few years of living overseas seems to have made things worse.

“Well, talk about that later. I better enter the house first.”

“Ahh.”

Before I could even stop, nee-san stepped into the corridor.

“At least I still know that I have to put my shoes down neatly when I enter a Japanese house, Aki-kun.”

After saying that, she immediately took off her shoes and placed it in the corridor. And then, she seemed to finally notice something as she clapped her hands.

“I see, so that’s how it is. You’re locking nee-san outside to tidy the room, right, Aki-kun?”

“Uu…”

At least she finally thought of the reason ‘cleaning up the room’ after seeing the corridor that’s filled with shoes thrown all over the place. Normally, people would be thinking of housekeeping before a maid outfit, but…never mind. She’s my sister anyway.

“Really now, Aki-kun….”

“That’s not it, well…I’m…”

Uu…those lecturing eyes are looking at me.

“Nee-san is an adult already. Even if Aki-kun uses more than 2,000 H-books to fill the living room, nee-san won’t even be surprised.”

Eh…if possible, I hope you can be surprised here?

“I don’t have the money to buy 2000 H-books…”

How can I even get that sort of spare cash when I’m living in poverty and hardship without…well, anyway, it’s not like I don’t have them at all…

“I heard that the kidneys of young males can be sold for a good price.”

“DID YOU THINK THAT I WOULD SELL MY KIDNEYS JUST TO BUY H-BOOKS? NEE-SAN, HOW PERVERTED WERE YOU THINKING WOULD YOUR BROTHER BE!?”

“Well…if there’s a chance to take part in a school study camp, you would devote everything you have, without care of integrity or honor to peep into the girls’ bath, that kind of brother whose interest in sexual relationships are to such an extent.”

“Ahaha, what are you talking about? How could I do such a thing?”

I clearly felt the cold sweat spurting out from all the pores on my body. My, my sister’s observation is way too sharp here…!

“Anyway, I have to check on whether you’re living properly.”

The corridor was a little messy, but the living room was somewhat neat. Yuuji came over to play games at my house yesterday. Besides, if the room is too dirty, I can’t control the joystick properly.

“Arre…? It’s unexpectedly clean.”

After looking around the living room, nee-san put down the luggage bag, turned off the power of the game console that I was playing on midway, and slowly bent down to sit on the sofa.

“DID YOU JUST CASUALLY TURN OFF THE POWER TO MY GAME CONSOLE!? I JUST MANAGED TO GET TO THAT POINT, HOW CAN YOU DO THAT!”

I finally got a character I can use, and yet she wordlessly turned off the switch. At least let me save first before turning it off!

“Be quiet.”

I couldn’t help but protest at this inhumane treatment, but my sister sternly told me to shut up.

“Aki-kun, nee-san raised two conditions for you if you want to live alone. You haven’t forgotten about them, right?”

“I forgot about them a long time ago—will you be angry if I say that, nee-san?”

The moment I said the word ‘forget’, my sister’s eyebrows seemed to twitch, so I hurriedly added that last part.

Unexpectedly, nee-san was rather calm.

“No, I won’t.”

“Eh? Really?”

“Yes, I won’t be angry.”

“That’s great~ Actually, I forgot about that promise a long time ago—”

“But I’ll kiss you in return.”

“—Not! Of course I remember about it clearly!”

“And it’ll be so intense that it’s impossible to be someone else’s wife.”

“What are you trying to do!? What are you thinking of doing to your own brother!? And I’m a guy, so I won’t become someone’s wife here!”

“Don’t worry, the one who can’t be the wife will be nee-san here.”

“I’LL BE EVEN MORE WORRIED WHEN YOU SAY IT LIKE THAT? IN THAT CASE, DON’T MAKE UP SUCH A SCARY PUNISHMENT GAME!”

“In that case, Aki-kun’s life will forever be tainted with the guilt of making nee-san unable to get married.”

“ISN’T THAT TOO HEINOUS!!?”

You don’t have anyone you can get married to. Stop blaming such things on others!

“I understand, nee-san. Please don’t punish me…”

“Really? You do? Let me hear it then.”

“Un. Eh—ermm…”

What can I still remember…I did promise mom before, but my memories are all mixed up. I don’t know what to say at this moment.

Let’s see, I remember the promise I made with my sister is…

“Aki-kun…time to close your eyes…?”

“I remember! I really do! Don’t make such a strange atmosphere and lean toward me!”

This person isn’t the kind to make jokes. If she says that she wants to do something, she will definitely do it without hesitation. Even if I was used to direct violence by Minami and the other classmates, this type of threat isn’t something I want to mess with.

“The promise I made to nee-san was one, ‘I can play video games for only 30 minutes a day’ and two ‘Illicit sexual relationships are forbidden’. Un, I do remember them clearly!”

“That’s right. That’s how it is.”

Nee-san showed an unhappy look as she returned to her seat. Ahh, that was close…I nearly ended up kissing the lips of my sister. That was no joke.

“Though you remember, it doesn’t look like you obeyed it.”

“Uu…sorry…”

This is a game that shows the amount of time spent playing it. It’s my bad luck that she discovered it. It’s impossible to defend myself by saying that I didn’t play for more than 30 minutes.

“Then I have to deduct points.”

Nee-san took out a notebook from her pocket and started scribbling in it. I wonder what she was writing inside?

“Deduct points, what’s that?”

“I’m counting the points to see if Aki-kun can live alone. I’ll add and deduct points from your attitude to daily life and your grades as the standard. If your grades aren’t enough, I’ll report to mom and explain that you aren’t suited to live alone.”

“EHHH!? WHY DID IT END UP LIKE THIS!?”

“On a side note, I just deducted 20 points from you.”

20 points…should that be a lot or very little?

“Nee-san, when you said deducting points, at what point will I be out?”

“At the time your grades in the end of term exams come back, if the total is less than 0, you’re out.”

Let me think…in other words, if after my end-of-term results are out and I still have negative points, my days of living alone will be over.

“What should I do if I want to add points?”

“Then live a proper life and show good results. Once I assess it, I’ll decide whether I want to add points.”

Ugh…! My daily meals are salt water, and my grades are so bad…I’ll be deemed out if nee-san knows about this!

“You don’t have to give that look of despair, Aki-kun. Your learning ability is a lot worse than the standard. Nee-san and mom knows. The most important point is whether you have the heart to improve.”

“Eh? In other words, you’re willing to let me off if I work a little harder?”

“Yes. I’ll use the last test scores—the streaming exams score, isn’t it? I’ll compare to that score and see whether you have improved or gotten worse and use that as the standard.”

In other words, my total exam score the last time was 800 points. If I can get 820 points for my end-of-term score, the 20 points extra can be used to offsets the points that were deducted. In other words…if I work hard now, maybe it’ll still be of use.

“That’s right. What about the other promise? Did you follow it?”

“Is the other promise the one about no illicit sexual relationships?”

“That’s right. However, the only females who would look at you, a dumb guy who is unpromising, has no living skills, is extremely stupid and very ugly seriously in this world, are either nee-san or mom.”

Why are you talking about my bad points like a storm? But from the beginning of my memories, I’ve always been told off like this, so I do have some form of resistance to such degrading words. However, I’ll still feel unhappy about hearing that.

“But for precaution sake, I have to check on it. You don’t have any illicit sexual relationships, right?”

A sharp and vicious stare was shot at me.

Illicit sexual relationship, illicit sexual relationship…in other words, is she asking that I did any pervy things to the girls or Hideyoshi? But basically, what kinds of things? For example…(though that was a misunderstanding), is my situation with Minami considered one? Better go about asking in an indirect manner.

“Nee-san, how many negative points do I get if I did do something?”

“If you hold hands with a girl, I’ll deduct 100 points.”

—I’ll definitely die if she knows.

“…”

“What’s wrong, Aki-kun? You don’t look so good.”

“Ah, ahaha…you’re just thinking too much.”

“It really feels suspicious. Are you really not hiding anything from nee-san?”

As expected of my sister. She seemed to have noticed that there’s something suspicious. Whether it’s Hideyoshi, Yuuji or even my sister, why is it that everyone around me can easily see through my lies?

“Of, of course I’m not hiding anything from you. And I never directly kissed a girl before!”

“I see. So it really happened. Please explain clearly.”

“Didn’t I say that it’s nothing!?”

I tried my best to deny it, but nee-san continued to stare at me. Ugh, it’s really unbearable…

“Aki-kun, if you’re not going to tell the truth…I’m going to do something cruel to you, you know?”

Nee-san clenched her fist tight like she was going to threaten me, and even let out a ‘haa’.

Eh, what? Just a normal attack this time?

“Un~doing something cruel to me…”

“Yes, I’m going to do something cruel to you.”

This may sound a little disrespectful, but as compared to that strange way of threatening me, this level of threat isn’t that painful to me.

Using a fist to punch an ordinary high school student isn’t going to see much effect. Besides, someone like me fights for my life desperately every day, and this level of attack is too laughable. Though I should be scared, I could just find it cute that my sister is deliberately clenching her fist like that.

“What cruel things are you talking about?”

I casually asked nee-san.

She must be angry and using the fist to threaten me, but there’s not enough drive.

Maybe it’s because I’m not showing any reaction that nee-san felt a little troubled, looking a little lost as she stared at me for a while before muttering,

“Well…anyway, it’s cruel. In other words…I’ll do something cruel to Aki-kun.”

But she didn’t say any details. Hey hey, there’s not much threat, is there?

“Ahaha. Try it if you can.”

I couldn’t help but mock after seeing my sister being so lost.

Really, how could nee-san be so violent—


GAK!! (The sound of my feet being tripped)


DOSSST!! (the sound of my seat sitting on me how I fell).


GOK GOK GOK GOK (The sound of nee-san slamming her fist into me)


“I did it.”

“THAT’S TOO CRUEL! YOU’RE REALLY CRUEL!”

I supported my body while being in tears.

Speaking of which, she is really such a sister. That’s why I didn’t dare to let her into the house. I’m really a big idiot for forgetting such an important thing!

“Listen carefully, Aki-kun. I told you this a long time ago. You definitely have no characteristics to attract the opposite gender. This is an unmistakeable advice nee-san will give you as a woman. So if a girl decides to approach you, it must be a bad girl trying to trick you. Nee-san doesn’t want to see her precious brother being tricked like that, so nee-san banned you from having any illicit sexual relationships. That’s all because nee-san is worried about you. Do you understand?”

“Ah, un. Thank you for being so caring to me.”

I don’t know whether this is a good thing to me or not, but I’m somewhat happy that someone is worried about me. In that case, my mom and sister here are completely different.

“But aren’t you way too worried? If I can’t even hold hands, I won’t be able to take part in a folk dance.”

Better not mention the kiss. I can ensure my safety like this.

“That’s true. Aki-kun is already a mature 16 year old. Nee-san obviously understands that you’re troubled by your young body and many strange emotions.”

“No, how did it end up like that?”

“That’s why nee-san intends to concede as much as possible.”

“Eh? Concede?”

“Yes. Though I’ll still forbid you from illicit sexual relationships with girls…”

“Un.”

“But nee-san will close an eye and accept your illicit sexual relationship with guys.”

“WHAT HAPPENED!? WHY DID YOUR SENSE OF VALUES CHANGE SO MUCH WHILE LIVING ABROAD!?”

At least she was still normal before.

“Alright, Aki-kun. We’ve talked for a long time. You must be tired, right? How about a bath to make yourself feel better?”

“Isn’t that unnatural change in topic too obvious? You want to search the house while I’m bathing, right?”

“No. Why would nee-san do such a thing?”

Nee-san gave a serious look as she denied that, but I don’t trust her at all.

“It’s too early now, so I don’t have to bath. Besides, I’ll bath before I sleep tonight.”

On a side note, the gas bills I owed were paid last week, so I can get hot water from the tap. In that sense, I can say that it’s perfect timing now that nee-san is back.

“Really? So you don’t intend to bath.”

“Yeah. It’s still early. You still look like you’re planning something, nee-san.”

“I understand. Also…”

“hm?”

“I bought some local produce for Aki-kun. It’s coffee.”

Nee-san took out cans of coffee from her bags. They look like they’ve been bought from the nearby vending machines. Are they actually local produce?

“Here, have some.”

“Un, thanks.”

I reached over and got ready to take the coffee she handed over. At this moment, nee-san did something I expected. Basically, she deliberately tried to spill the coffee on me.

“Ah, sorry. My hand slipped—”

“Watch me!”

I immediately dodged it. This is just nothing to me, nothing at all—


GANK (The sound of my feet being tripped)


DOSSTT (The sound of my sister immediately sitting down on me).


DAPADAPADAPA!! (The sound of nee-san pouring coffee on me)


“My hand slipped.”

“IF YOU’RE GOING TO GO TO SUCH AN EXTENT, DON’T TRY AND FIND EXCUSES FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS!”

It’s futile no matter how I resisted. Right now, I’m all stained in coffee. I don’t understand what nee-san is aiming at, but she’s been either beating me up or dirtying me ever since just now…

“Sorry. Nee-san was careless.”

“Damn it! Are you still trying to find excuses?”

“Anyway, you should take a bath?”

“I’m already feeling that there’s a huge problem in that attitude and tone that looks like this doesn’t have anything to do with you, but I can only bath according to your intent. But, there’s one thing I have to tell you. You mustn’t—enter my room and mess it up.”

“Of course. It’s just Aki-kun’s room. Nee-san will definitely not touch the things inside the house before Aki-kun finish bathing.”

“Eh? Ah, oh…if you really won’t touch anything, it’ll be great…”

That’s weird. Why is her reaction completely different from what I expect? This reaction made be unable to respond. She went all the way and yet assured that she won’t ransack the house. What’s going on? Nee-san didn’t look like she was lying too.

Don’t tell me…I’m full of sweat even if I didn’t notice it? I was moving up and down when I was playing, and it was really hot today. Maybe there is such a possibility.

In that case, I guess it’s nee-san’s kindness for not telling me directly that I stink and I need a bath.

“I see. So that’s how it is. Thank you for being so considerate, nee-san.”

“That’s nothing. As a sister, I’m happy to let my brother be all nice and clean.”

“I’ll go take a bath then…”

I walked towards the changing room, being careful not to let the coffee that stained on my clothes touch the floor. Once I stepped into the changing room, I took off the shirt that was sticking to me and used water to wash up some stains that may be left behind before putting the clothes into the washing machine. I won’t have any coffee stains if I can wash my clothes dry.

“I can finally have a hot shower…”

I walked into the bathroom with a little delighted feeling. I twisted the tap with the red marker open, and warm water immediately came out from the tap.

“♪♪♪”

I hummed as I let the hot water rain down on me. I was about to squeeze the shampoo out, and suddenly realized something.

“Ah…I forgot to bring a change of clothes.”

There is a towel in the changing room, but I have to head to my room to get my clothes. Normally, I won’t mind when I’m living alone, but now nee-san is back. My sister here fusses about such things the most. If I walk around with only a towel, she’ll definitely tell me off. This is bad…

Just when I thought about that—

“Aki-kun, I brought your clothes here.”

Nee-san’s voice came over from the changing room. It seemed that she too noticed that I didn’t bring a change of clothes over.”

“Thanks, nee-san.”

I thanked my sister who was standing outside the bathroom door. It’s easy to live alone, but it’s not bad to have someone notice such things for me.

“I don’t know what sort will be fine, so I brought a few types over. Just choose whatever you want.”

After leaving these words, nee-san walked out of the changing room.

“Alright, I should hurry up, wash myself up and get out. Nee-san seemed to have sweated a lot when coming back. She probably wants a bath too.”

I hastened myself, washed my hair and body and walked out of the bathroom before standing in the changing room.

Like nee-san said, there were three clothing I could choose from. She is probably telling me to choose one I like.

“It’s too early to wear pajamas, so I guess it’s fine if nee-san brought a T-shirt and shorts for me.”

I took out the towel from the cupboard, wiped my hair dry and looked over at the storage basket. Let’s see, what should I wear?


→Nurse Uniform

→Apron.

→Baseball cap.


What should I do? I can’t find a normal option!


No no no. Calm down first, Yoshii Akihisa. It’s looks rather weird, but there might be some meaning behind this. Just investigate through this and choose an option you think should be correct.


Option 1: Nurse Outfit.

A clothing that people of noble sentiment that save the injured or sick would wear. It’ll give a clean and reassuring feeling, but it’s definitely not an outfit an ordinary high school student would wear after bathing.


Option 2: Apron.

A common attire seen at home. No matter the age or whoever wearing it, it would not feel out of place. However, if it’s worn on its own, the supposedly normal kitchen will immediately become a strange world. This isn’t an outfit suited for high school guys. It’s more of a higher-class clothing.


Option 3: Baseball cap.

THAT’S NOT CLOTHING AT ALL!


“Sorry, Aki-kun. The sizes may not match, so just wait a moment.”

“Ahh, no…I think the problem’s not about the sizes…”

Not good. No matter how many times I look at this, there’s no normal clothing in the basket.

Speaking of which, where did these things come from? It’s strange for nee-san to prepare an apron when she doesn’t cook, but the other options don’t look normal. Especially the nurse outfit! What happened to my sister overseas!?

“Really…is there a limit to nee-san’s lack of common sense…”

I combed the strands of hair attached to my forehead back and couldn’t help but mutter.

Of course I can’t possibly wear such stuff, so I could only wipe myself dry, put the towel at my waist, and open the changing room door.


GACHANK.

“Hey, Aki-kun, didn’t I prepare clothing for you already? Don’t walk around with the towel like that. Put on the clothing and come out.”

GACHANK

I was locked in.

“No, even if you’re asking me to wear them…how can I wear them when they’re either female clothing or a cap!?”

“Don’t worry, those clothing will definitely suit you.”

“Nee-san, these words aren’t considered flattery.”

Did she deliberately spill coffee on me to make me change into this? She’s really someone I can’t understand.

“In that case…sorry, can you please come over to my room and get my clothes?”

“I can’t do that. I promised not to enter your room. Better give up, get yourself pretty and show nee-san.”

“SO THAT’S WHAT YOU MEAN BY BEING HAPPY TO MAKE YOUR OWN BROTHER NICE AND CLEAN!? YOU BIG PERVERT!!!"

“Nee-san here doesn’t understand what Aki-kun’s talking about.”

“Fine! I’ll walk around with a towel wrapped around me!”

“Nee-san won’t allow you to walk around with only a towel. You should be acting more like your age.”

“YOU ACTUALLY DARE TO SAY SUCH THINGS, NEE-SAN!?”

WHAT RIGHTS DOES A PERSON WHO WORE A BATHROBE AND WALKED ABOUT UNDER THE SUN HAS TO BAN ME FROM WEARING ONLY A TOWEL AND WALK AROUND AT HOME!?

“Argh, damn it! In that case, go to my room and get my clothes for me!”

“No way, I can’t do it.”

“Why not?”

“Nee-san promised Aki-kun just now. How can nee-san not follow her word?”

“WHATEVER PROMISE DOESN’T MATTER! GO GET MY CLOTHES OVER NOW!”

“…I got it. Since you said it, I’ll just do as what you want and go to your room.”

She finally agreed. Tha, that’s really tiring me…

“But bathing and getting a change of clothes alone is already like this…”

What will my life become like starting from tomorrow?


Current score [-20 points]

BTS5-Akihisa.jpg




The Second Question[edit]

Please answer the following English sentence into proper Japanese.

“Die Musik gefällt Leuten und bereichert auch den Verstand.”

Shimada Minami’s answer:

“Music can make people happy and enrich the soul. #This should be German, not English.”

Sakamoto Yuuji’s answer:

“The question’s in German, not English. I can’t answer that.”

Teacher’s comment:

I’m really sorry. Sensei made a mistake by mixing up the question. Shimada-san’s translation into Japanese is correct, but this is honestly sensei’s mistake. Thus, sensei decided to award marks to everyone, including those who didn’t write the answer—

Tsuchiya Kouta’s answer:

“           <-Invisible Ink”

Yoshii Akihisa’s answer:

“           <-Only idiots can’t see the answer”

Teacher’s comment:

—I really wanted to give the marks, but you two will be the exceptions, so you two won’t get any marks in this question.

BTS5-Muttsurini.jpg


“Can I stay at your house? Tonight, I don't really...feel like going home.”

As I head towards, school, I sent the mail to Yuuji. Yuuji was supposed to come over to my house today to challenge that boxing game, but since nee-san came back, I had to change the plan.

It’s normal to try and make sure other people don’t find out about my sister here when she’s so weird. More importantly, I don’t really want to go back to that house. I should be able to get back my deducted marks before the end-of-term exams. But if I continue to stay at home, maybe she will even deduct points from me for other reasons. So I have to ask Yuuji to let me stay at his house for a few days no matter what, so that I can protect my happy life of living alone.

After checking that the mail was sent, I put the phone back into my pocket.

Just when I was casually walking up the slope leading to a school, a surprised voice called me from behind.

“Nm? Isn’t this Akihisa?”

“Ah, morning, Hideyoshi.”

“Morning.”

Trotting over beside me was my classmate Kinoshita Hideyoshi. He, who’s wearing a male uniform, is really a pretty girl like what everyone can see here. He calls himself a guy, but I heard that the school tailored a female uniform for him.

At this moment, Hideyoshi was starting at my face as if he was inspecting me. Is there something wrong?

“? What’s wrong, Hideyoshi? Why are you staring at my face?”

“No, well…Akihisa, I think you look different somewhat?”

“Ueh? Are, aren’t you thinking too much? I’m the same as before. Nothing changed here, you know?”

I averted my gaze and didn’t dare to look at Hideyoshi’s stare. Was I found out too quickly? But I have to hide the fact that I have a super ridiculous sister even if I have to lie to Hideyoshi!

“I say, I’m referring to how you look chirper than usual. Did you get some instant income and have a good breakfast?”

Sha, sharp…!


Hideyoshi’s right. I’m very energetic this morning, and of course, it’s because I ate breakfast.

While under nee-san’s supervision, I have to pretend that I’m living a normal regular life. Because of that, I had to eat breakfast. I had to sell my beloved games and books to get enough money so that I can live my own life of freedom. I have to create a false impression of a healthy and regular lifestyle.

“Kind, kinda…even I would occasionally have breakfast anyway.”

I couldn’t find any excuse for now, and could only try to end the topic.

“And your shirt and pants look like they were ironed.”

“Tha, that’s because, it’s the start of the week. It’s nothing much anyway.”

“…Very suspicious.”

“I, it’s really nothing!”

There’s a height difference between us, so Hideyoshi’s looking up at my eyes. I really couldn’t stand Hideyoshi’s probing eyes that seemed to read through everything, and couldn’t help but turn around to avoid Hideyoshi’s stare.

Hideyoshi darted in front of me and continued to stare at my eyes.

“I told you there’s nothing, right?”

I then turned to look in the other direction.

“In that case, it should be alright if you at least talk to me, right?”

Hideyoshi followed me.


“What disgusting thing are you doing so early in the morning?”

“Yoshii-kun, that sempai’s right. I feel that you two have to keep some distance between each other.”


My battle against Hideyoshi was noticed by the upperclassman, one of the Toko-Natsu pair (Tsunemura Yuusaku) and 2-A’s Kubo Toshimitsu, ranked second in our year.

“That’s not it. I didn’t say anything passionate to Akihisa. Besides, including you two, aren’t everyone here guys…”

At that moment, Hideyoshi’s attention was diverted.

“Sorry Hideyoshi! I’ll go ahead first.”

It’s an opportunity I can’t afford to lose. I immediately left Hideyoshi and ran to the school.

“Ugh, damn it, Akihisa! Are you trying to run away!?”

Hideyoshi didn’t manage to catch up, but we’re classmates, so he might continue to ask when we reach the classroom. What should I do? I have to think of a good reason…

I panted and ran up the slope right in front of the school gate, entered the campus, put on my overshoes, and darted towards the 2-F classroom.

“Morning—oi Yuuji? What’s with you? Why are you in gym pants instead of the normal pants?

As I entered the classroom, I saw my classmate, my super bad friend Sakamoto Yuuji, sitting on the cushion in a strange get-up.

“Damned Akihisa! It’s all your fault that I ended up in a super Cool Biz attire on my lower half when I came to school! Repay me with your death, you bastard!!”

“EEHH? What are you going all crazy about? What’s going on!?”

“Shut up! Die! Give me your uniform!”

I couldn’t understand what he was saying. What’s with Yuuji this morning—


“Oi, did you hear about Sakamoto?”

“Ahh, I heard he came to school with only a Y-shirt.”

“Really, got to hand it to him…maybe he saw too much crossdressing, but that was really scary…”


My classmates’ whispering could be head.

“…”

“…”

What should I say now?

“Yuuji…I’m willing to chat with you if something bad happened to you…”

“That, that’s not it! I wasn’t wearing it willing! Also, I managed to salvage my last bit of pride by protecting my boxers!”

“Un un. That’s right. It’s because something tragic happened that caused Yuuji’s mental state to become like that…”

“DIDN’T I SAY THAT IT ISN’T LIKE THAT? IT’S BECAUSE SHOUKO SAW THE MAIL YOU SENT THAT MY PANTS WERE TAKEN BY HER, YOU IDIOT!!”

Yuuji looked extremely agitated. Why is it my fault here? What is he talking about?

“Yuuji, what are you saying? Even if it’s Kirishima-san, she can’t possibly mess you up like that just because she saw a guy’s mail, right?”

It’s still understandable if it’s a girl who sent the mail, but how can my mail make her angry? This is really unreasonable.

“No, I’m telling you the truth. Your mail’s really obscene…”

“Obscene? What kind of mail is that?”

The one who suddenly appeared in front of me is Himeji-san, the rare minority of oasis in this class 2-F that’s full of stinking boys. Her cute actions and savage breasts are still very dazzling today.

“That’s just a mail to ask you about something.”

“Hoho, if you really think so, read that mail loud and clearly!”

“? Whatever, I’ll read it then.”

Yuuji looked like he was really concerned about that mail. I took out my phone and opened my mail history.

“Errm, I’m going to read it then—ahem!”

I cleared my throat and loudly read the message I sent to Yuuji.

“Can I stay at your house? Tonight, I don't really...feel like going home.”

GARAKK!!

The moment I read it out, the classroom door was suddenly opened forcefully.


“…”


Standing outside the door was my classmate, Shimada Minami-san.

“I DON’T KNOW WHAT AKI’S THINKING ANYMORE!”

“Eh? What’s wrong? Why are you retreating just as you appeared, Minami!?”

My classmate who had the trademarks of the ponytail, nice slender legs and pettanko threw the bag in her hands at me for some reason and ran off.

“Wha, what are you saying, Akihisa-kun!? Shouldn’t that…well…you should be saying that when you become an adult!”

Himeji-san’s words were just as ridiculous. Yuuji would often come over to my house to play too. Even if you ask me to be an adult first, it’s a little…

“You guys are really making noise in the morning like usual…Akihisa just ran from me, and Shimada ran off from the classroom. What happened?”

Hideyoshi was later than me by several minutes and entered the classroom.

“No, it’s nothing.”

“What’s going on? You ran off in front of me. Is there something you’re hiding from me? That, feels kinda lonely…”

Hideyoshi sadly lowered his eyes. What the heck, it’s like there’s a sudden rush of guilt in me!

“Hideyoshi, listen to me. It’s this idiot who publicly made such a declaration that completely violates morality.”

“Akihisa…I say, what obscene words are you saying in the morning?”

“That, that’s not it! I won’t do that kind of thing like Muttsurini!”

“…How rude.”

A somewhat dejected whisper came from behind. I turned around, and found that my classmate Tsuchiya Kouta (nicknamed Muttsurini) was already standing at a place where I couldn’t even detect his presence.

“Morning, Muttsurini. What’s going on? You look like you brought lots of baggage here today.”

He was holding his school bag and a large carrier bag. There’s no PE lesson today, so the bags shouldn’t contain gym clothes.

“..Just pillow covers.”

“Pillow covers? Your bag’s really big though.”

“…Not true.”

Muttsurini shook his head to deny my words. The way he’s denying things shows that he has some secret he wants to hide…that’s too suspicious.

“Sorry, Muttsurini. Let me see what’s inside.”

“…Ah.”

I snatched one of the bags from Muttsurini, who was a little slow due to the bags. What’s inside them? Did he get something really nice and was ready to keep it for himself?

“Let me see. What’s inside…hmm…?”

What I took out from the bag was—a printed white background cloth with my picture on it (in sailor uniform).

“…Muttsurini…what’s this?”

“…Just an ordinary cushion cover.”

“Just an ordinary—RIGHT! THERE’S A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PILLOW COVER AND A CUSHION COVER! KNOW THAT WELL! AND WHY IS IT THAT IT HAS MY PHOTO ON IT!?”

“…There’s something called a maniac in this world.”

“What in the world are you saying? How could anyone want a cushion of me—”

KON KON!!

1212 057.jpg

“Sorry, is Tsuchiya-kun around? The cushion cover I requested before…”

A-class’ Kubo-kun appeared.

“Arre? It’s rare for you to appear here, Kubo-kun. Why are you looking for Muttsurini?”

“—Nothing. Just thought of something important I have to do. Sorry, I’ll excuse myself.”

The moment I thought about that, he went off without looking at me. What’s going on?

“Muttsurini, do you have some business contact with Kubo-kun?”

“(Nods head)…He became my main client ever since the study camp.”

“That guy’s already revealed himself completely.”

Unbelievably, I seemed to have a chill up my spine whenever I see Kubo-kun nowadays.

“Haa…anyway, Muttsurini, I’m going to confiscate this cushion cover. I’ll confiscate everything else and change the photo to Hideyoshi’s…”

“Akihisa, don’t think of making a cushion cover of me in this chaos.”

“That’s right, Akihisa-kun. How can you just take other people’s things like that and modify them? …And one of them is mine…

Really, I’ve been thinking how a poor student like Muttsurini could afford such high-priced materials. So he managed to earn them through this.

“Speaking of which, what were you talking about?”

“Well…where were we?”

So many things happened in quick succession that I couldn’t really remember what I said. Haa, why must I be so busy in the morning…

“We were talking about how I was forced by Akihisa to wear my trunks to school.”

“Akihisa, you…”

“YUUJI! DON’T SAY SUCH MISLEADING STUFF ON PURPOSE!”

No matter how I listen to it, I feel that he left out a lot of parts that’s to be explained!

“Well, that was really a joke though…anyway, the mail Akihisa sent over was misunderstood by Shouko, which is why I ended up with such a tragic fate.”

“Mail? Is it related to how Akihisa’s looking abnormal this morning?”

Hideyoshi’s careless words made me feel that my heart was crushed and that I couldn’t breathe. Damn it! I forgot that Hideyoshi already realized that there’s something different about me!

“Something different about Akihisa-kun? Now that you mention it, he looks chipper than usual, his uniform’s neatly ironed, and his hair isn’t messy…”

“That’s really suspicious. He looks rather healthy for once, but his uniform is even neatly ironed. That’s really weird.”

“…This isn’t like Akihisa at all.”

They actually started analyzing me. This isn’t good if it keeps up.

“At, at least I’ll come to school neatly once in a while! Let’s not talk about that. It should be time for the bell, right? Got to get back to my seat before Ironman comes back! So, I’ll do that!”

I forcefully ended this topic and ran away.

“““Really suspicious…”””

I ignored the piercing stares behind me and head to my seat to get ready for the lessons.

“Yoshii, go to the infirmary.”

This line was said to me 7 times during morning lessons. Is it really strange that I’m taking notes seriously?

“Really, you guys are way too rude…”

I have to get an improvement of at least 20 marks in the upcoming end-of-term exams, or else things will be really bad (wouldn’t that be the case when my sister’s at home?) I had such an idea and studied more seriously than usual…you don’t have to be that amazed.

I was really sad that the teachers would feel like this as I put away my textbooks and notes from the 4th period. Just when I was about to have lunch, Minami suddenly came to my seat.

“Aki, what happened? You weren’t normal since this morning.”

Minami’s voice really showed concern. I thought that she would hate me for what happened then. But if it’s like what Yuuji and the rest said, Minami reverted back to her old attitude.

“Nothing happened to me. It’s just that I feel that I need to work harder.”

“Aki, lift your head. I have to check whether you have a fever or not.”

“Why is it that everyone thinks that I’m sick when I just want to study hard…”

Minami still reached her hand over as I felt really bothered. She must be trying to touch my forehead and see if I have a fever. Really, aren’t you guys way too concerned—

“Ugh, this won’t do!”

“WAH!”

As I suddenly jumped back, Minami couldn’t help but shriek.

“Oi! What’s with that reaction! It’s rare enough for me to see whether you have a fever!”

“So, sorry! There’re a whole lot of reasons…”

If it were Minami’s sister Hazuki-chan doing this, I don’t think there’ll be too much of an afterthought. But if nee-san saw Minami touching my head to see if I have a fever, I guess it would fall under the definition of ‘Illicit Sexual Relationships’, right? In that case, my points may be deducted by 150. If nee-san knows about it, my happy life of living alone will be even more distant from me. It’s because I don’t know where a certain someone might be hiding that I have to eliminate all possibilities of danger.

“Reasons? What do you mean?”

Minami doesn’t understand my frustrations right now as she stared at me in a puzzled manner.

This is bad. If I explain everything to her, I won’t be able to hide the fact that my sister’s around. Looks like I have to change the topic.

“Uu…erm…o, oh ya, let’s have lunch instead of talking about this! Lunch break will soon be over!”

I hurriedly took out my lunchbox that I prepared from my bag and put it on the table. The way I changed the topic might be a little forced, but Minami will start taking out her lunch, I guess?

This was what I expected, but,

“Eh!? Aki, you brought a self-made bento? What happened?”

Unexpectedly, this made Minami even more suspicious.

“Ehh!? Akihisa-kun brought a bento?”

For some reason, Himeji-san came running over and showed a shocked look.

“Eh, you two don’t have to be so surprised…I’m human here, and I may die if I don’t get nutrition once in a while.”

Even though I say that, I’ll spend all my money whenever I get my living expenses.

“That’s right…but today’s really different from before.”

“Yeah. Even if Aki would have lunch in the past, he would mostly bring a bento he bought. But it looks like he brought a handmade one today.”

Both of them widened their eyes and stared hard at the lunch that was put on the table.

This is bad. I didn’t expect them to even scrutinize such minor things.

What they said was true. If I had the money to buy lunch, I would mostly buy a bento from a convenience store or a supermarket. It would be more worth it money wise to buy a bento than to make one, but I didn’t do it today.

“Akihisa-kun, why are you having a specially-made bento?”

Himeji-san tilted her head and asked me.

The reason is simple. It’s that I have to pretend that I’m living a healthy life. But if I explain it to them, I have to say that my sister is around. This is something I have to prevent no matter what. What should I do…

“Don’t tell me, someone made this for you?”

Minami narrowed her eyes slightly. Not good, she’s getting ready to attack.

“I really made it for myself.”

To ensure my personal safety, I honestly answered Minami’s question. Besides, there’s no need to hide this.

But the response I got was,

“Liar.”

“You’re lying.”

WHY IS IT THAT YOU TWO DON’T BELIEVE ME!?

“Aki can’t cook anyway. I advise you to answer honestly. Who made this bento for you?”

“And it looks rather good…the people around Akihisa-kun who can make such nice bentos are—”

“Is it either Sakamoto or Tsuchiya?”

I didn’t even say anything, but the topic just diverged further in a strange direction.

But it doesn’t matter. If they can accept it, it’s fine by me. I’ll just let them guess randomly.

“Oh well…just think whatever you want.”

I showed a nonchalant look and shrugged my shoulders.

“It’s just like what we thought—Aki, have you become so filthy?”

“EH!? WAIT A SEC! MINAMI, WHAT KIND OF UNBEARABLE IMAGINATION ARE YOU HAVING!? AND WHY IS HIMEJI-SAN’S FACE ALL RED NOW!?”

What does she mean by being filthy? I’m really wondering about it, but I just feel that if I hear the answer straight from her mouth, I will be so stunned that I won’t be able to pick myself up.

“Speaking of which, Aki even sent a message to Sakamoto saying ‘I don’t want to go home tonight.”

“In that case, that means, Akihisa-kun and Sakamoto-kun are really…”

Really? What are you trying to say?

“…So Yuuji’s really having an affair with Yoshii.”

Heh? Affair? What topic are we at now?

“Ugh Kirishima-san!? When did you appear?”

“…Only just.”

This pretty and cool girl with such a quiet temperament is the class rep of A class and the valedictorian, Kirishima Shouko-san. She’s great at both studies and athletics, and her appearance and family background are both first class. The only sad thing is that she was only fond of Yuuji, and that’s really a waste.

“Kirishima-san, are you looking for Sakamoto-kun?”

Himeji-san asked Kirishima-san.

“(Nods head)…I want to return Yuuji his pants.”

Hanging from her hand was the pants of the familiar male uniform. Yuuji probably came to school in half-pants this morning because his pants were taken by Kirishima-san.

It looked like she deliberately came over to return Yuuji his pants…but right now, it looks like Kirishima-san’s giving off a strong killing intent and doesn’t looks at peace like how she should be when returning the pants.

“Hn? Shouko? I got it. So you finally found your conscience and decided to return me my pants.”

A familiar voice came from nearby.

As I looked over at where the voice came from, Yuuji was staring at the pants in Kirishima-san’s hand as he walked over.

“…Those who have affairs should be punished.”

That was an icy cold mutter that will almost freeze my spine. This is bad, Yuuji! Hurry up and run away…!

Yuuji was already standing in front of Kirishima-san, completely oblivious to my warning while I deliberately hushed myself down.

“Really, now I can wear my clothes properly—hn? Why aren’t you returning me my pants, Shouko?”

“…Yuuji.”

“What?”

“…I don’t want to do something cruel to Yuuji.”

“You don’t want to do something cruel to me? I don’t understand what you mean, but it’s good that you have such an intention.”

“…That’s why I’m warning you.”

“Warning me?”

“…Hand over your trunks.”


DA!! (Yuuji suddenly dashed off)


“Ahaha. Yuuji’s really an idiot.”

“Erm, Akihisa-kun.”

“Nn? What is it, Himeji-san?”

“Do you want to eat that bento?”

“Un. Of course I’m going to. It’s prepared anyway.”

“Really…I understand. In that case, please compare the taste.”

“Taste?”

“Yes. Actually—I made some special cookies last night…”


DA!! (I suddenly dashed off)


“Ahh! Oi, Aki! Explain your relationship with Sakamoto!”

“Akihisa-kun! Why did you run away without eating? The cookies I made should be more nutritious than Sakamoto-kun’s bento. Please try it!”

“…Yuuji, you two are actually trying to escape. Unforgivable.”


Behind us, the sound of footsteps and killing intent continued to pursue us.

“Akihisa, you damned bastard! Did you say something to Shouko? Why did she suddenly attack me!?”

“How would I know!? I’m about to ask you whether you said anything to Himeji-san and Minami! They look like they have a lot of strange thoughts about me!”

“How would I know, you idiot!? The strange imaginations are all because of your bad behaviour!”

“What did you say!? You scum!? I’ll return these words right back at you!!”

Yuuji and I continued to yell at each other as we continued to dash down the corridor. I don’t have much self-confidence in my physical abilities, but Yuuji's and my running-away speeds are a lot faster than an ordinary person’s. Let alone Himeji-san, who’s already weak, even the athletic Minami and Kirishima-san can’t possibly catch up—


“You two again! Yoshii, Sakamoto! What are you two arguing about!”


““ACK!!! IRONMAN!!!”

Our sworn enemy appeared in front of us. He’s a devil with muscles all over him, living in modern society—Nishimura-sensei, a.k.a Ironman.

““…””

At that moment, Yuuji and I glanced at each other. From his eyes, I can tell that he’s thinking of what I’m thinking.

((If I can get that that guy to be a sacrifice for Ironman, I will be able to buy some time, right…?))

Such a touching thought, but Ironman’s not the only enemy right now. The girls chasing us from behind are huge threats as well.

In other words, though it’s regrettable, even if I want to use that method to live peacefully, there’re too few people for me to sacrifice.

“Can’t be helped! Let’s work together, Akihisa!”

“Okay! Better put our lives as priority!”

At that moment, we made the best decision and got ready to take action. Let’s begin—


“—Activate!”

“—Summon!”


As Yuuji turned on the summoning field, my summoned beast appeared.

Then, we got ready to attack Ironman who’s blocking us.

“Take this, Iron—man…!?”

Suddenly, my summoned beast disappeared vaguely like a blur mist.

“That’s weird? What’s going on?”

The summoned beast didn’t hide itself. Well, to put it, it’s like there was no response at all. I’m rather familiar with controlling a summoned beast, but such a thing never happened before. It’s not like the ‘interference’ from before. What happened?

“Oi, Akihisa! What are you standing around for!?”

“Heh—UOWAAAAHHH!!!”

A sudden gust of wind that caused my hair to be lifted up came flying from besides me. Is this Ironman’s fist? I thought it was an iron ball from a shot put tournament being thrown at me!

“You two! I don’t know what you two are arguing about, but you’re using the summoning system to do bad things here! Didn’t I warn you not to use your summoned beast as you wish other than for the summoning battles!? Looks like I have to correct that rotten core of yours!”

EEKK!! Ironman’s angry. Looks like we angered him completely by trying to use the summoned beast to break through.


“Wait, Aki! Eat the cookies Mizuki made and tell us everything.”

“…Yuuji, if you still want to resist, I’ll make you lose all your clothing.”


The voices of the assassins came from behind. Why did a normal casual lunch break become like this!?

“Akihisa!”

“Got it!”

While Ironman’s falling forward with the attack, I used my fastest speed to escape the scene.

We’re stopped on both front and back, but luckily, the stairs are right beside us. Since we’re still not at a dead end, we can continue to run!

Yuuji and I ran down the stairs at the same time.

“Very good, Akihisa! We’ll split once we get down the stairs! I’ll be a bait to lure them away. Hide behind the pillar and run off once they leave!”

“No way, how can I sacrifice you just to save myself, Yuuji! I should be the bait and lure them away. Try hiding and run off secretly, Yuuji!”

“Now’s not the time to think about it! Only one of us can live on!”

“That’s why I want to give the chance to you, Yuuji!”

“Nonono, Akihisa! You should be the one hiding!”

We’re considering our safeties as priority, and naturally, we wouldn’t back off. Just when we continued with this argument, we reached the bottom of the stairs and came to the lowest level.

“Really, you, in that case, I can only force you to hide! (DONK)”

“Ah! Yuuji, what have you done!”

While we’re still at a deadlock, Yuuji suddenly pushed me behind the pillar and ran off in the other direction.

“Yu, Yuuji! That idiot!”

I ducked and hid my body behind the pillar and couldn’t help but think of my classmate that ran away. That idiot’s definitely—


“IRONMAN, SHIMADA! AKIHISA’S HIDING BEHIND THAT PLACE!!”


HE DEFINITELY BETRAYED ME AS EXPECTED, THAT SWINE!

“DAMN YOU, YUUJI! I WON’T FORGET YOUR BETRAYAL!!”

I immediately jumped out from behind the pillar and hurriedly ran off in the opposite direction of where Yuuji ran off to. Damn it! What I intended to do was done by him! It really infuriates me!

“Yoshii! Stop and come and have tea in the remedial classroom!”

“I DON’T WANT TO! I FEEL THAT I’LL BE DRINKING TEA MIXED WITH MY OWN TEARS IF I END UP DRINKING TEA WITH YOU!!”

Yuuji’s hard knock caused my feet to become a little unsteady, and Ironman soon closed in.

Guuu…! I can’t get away now…!

Ironman slowly closed the distance between us, and I’ll be in his demonic clutches a step later.

“End of the line, Yo—Nuohh!!?”

Ironman let out a shocked cry and seemed to trip, while my body felt a mysterious pain. This pain…is it the feedback from the summoned beast?

I turned around to look behind, but didn’t slow down at all.

“Eh? How did…”

I looked closely, and found that about 3m behind me, my summoned beast was lying there, having tripped Ironman.

“Great! I don’t know what’s going on, but I better run!”

To think that such a great chance appeared. Of course I have to make use of this. I’ll just use my obstacle clearing skills to escape through the window. I even ran a little more to shake off those people who were chasing me.

“Speaking of which, why did the summoned beast appear? I didn’t summon in the first place.”

I managed to save my own life, but I just couldn’t help but be concerned about it. The summoned beast I summoned at the upper level disappeared without doing anything…

I continued to think as I ran around the school, and just so happened to see an open window.

“Fuu…I guess they won’t be able to find me if I ran that much.”

I slowed down and stopped running for my life, went near the window, leaned on the window frame, and leaped in.

What room is this? Why do I have a nostalgic feeling…

There’s a sofa and a turn-table for accommodating visitors, and a bookshelf full of special titles that would make me get a migraine. Also—

“Damned brat, what do you want?”

“There’s a strange and ugly old man statue!”

“And you just insulted me on seeing me!? Such a rude damned brat!”

—No, it’s actually the principal.

“Really, you’re really such damned brats that worry me…you two came in without saying hello, and even cursed out at me. Do you want to be suspended again?”

“So, sorry…”

I just stated what I thought.

But isn’t it a little weird? Did she just say…two?

“What the heck, Akihisa! You came to hide here too.”

“Ah, Yuuji. So you came to hide here.”

A familiar voice could be heard beside me.

I didn’t notice his presence as he was blocked by the bookshelf. Yuuji, who split up from me, is hiding in the principal’s office too.

“Because they won’t find us if we hide here.”

“It’s true that they won’t think that we’ll be hiding here.”

But it’s really a coincidence that I came here.

“I don’t know what you two are blabbering, but this isn’t a place you can just come in whenever you want to. The air in here just feel contaminated whenever you two damned ugly brats come in. It’s annoying.”

Now that she mentioned it, we do come in here often. But those rude and humiliating words aren’t exactly something an educator should say. The principal really looked unhappy. Did something happen?

“Yuuji, did you say something that made the principal unhappy?”

“You idiot. Don’t compare me to you who would treat the principal as some strange, ugly and heinous looking person that I can’t stand looking at. I was just a little shocked that I saw a demon in the principal’s office.”

“Yuuji, aren’t those words of yours rather rude? It’s not like the principal wanted to look like a demon.”

“…Looks like there’s a need for you two to know who’s the one with the highest authority in this school.”

Am I thinking too much? It looked like the principal’s mood got worse.

“Humph, I don’t want you two damned brats to critique my looks. You two are the second-year version of the Toko-Natsu pair, and you even have the cheek to talk about me.”

““WHAT NONSENSE ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT! YOU DAMNED OLD HAG!!!””

On hearing the worst description ever in this world being used on us, Yuuji and I couldn’t help but roar. However, I’m rather surprised that the principal knew about the Toko-Natsu nickname.

“Okay okay. Really, what do you two want to talk to me about? You can see that I’m busy here.”

The principal said as she looked down at the pile of documents beside her. I don’t really have anything to say to the principal…

“Oh yeah. I have something I want to ask you.”

But Yuuji looked like he had something to say. What can he talk about with the principal?

“We called out a summoned beast just now, but it randomly disappeared for no reason without even doing anything. Did something happen?[2]

So that’s it. I’m rather concerned about how the summoned beast disappeared randomly. Luckily, I managed to escape, but we will be bothered if such a situation happens during the summoning tournament. It’s best to check with the principal.

“Do you two know how to talk? Oh well, honorifics may be too difficult for idiots like you, so I can’t blame you there.”

After a little humiliation on both sides—

“That’s just one of the current problems.”

The principal coldly answered Yuuji’s question.

“Problem…are you talking about my platinum bracelet?”

I nearly forgot that the platinum bracelet will malfunction once in a while. I don’t exactly know what’s going on, but if a student with good grades use it, it may cause a situation where it will go rampant as it can’t be controlled. Speaking of Yuuji’s recent grades, it’s not impossible even if the bracelet breaks. In that case, is it because of that that the summoned beast ended up being weird?

Just when I thought it was like this,

“No, I’m talking about the test summoning system.”

The principal answered with an irritated look. So it’s not like how I imagined.

“Speaking of which, there seemed to be some maintenance or something. Is the summoning system really alright?”

“There’s a little situation at the moment, but there’s no need for you two damned brats to worry. Right now, we’re readjusting, but we should be able to use it again before summer vacation.”

Really? We can use it before summer vacation…in that case, wouldn’t that mean,

“In other words, we wouldn’t be able to start the summoning war immediately,”

“Can only wait till the next semester.”

“What should we do? We’ll be bothered here!”

Our ‘3 month ban from declaring war’ punishment after having lost in the summoning war will be over soon, and now we have to wait and wilt!

“Can’t you do anything?”

“It’s not that we can’t use it completely…but I just don’t want you two to use it. And I ordered the other teachers to refuse the students’ requests to declare war.”

The principal coldly answered.

“Since it’s not like we can’t use it completely, why ban it! This just feels like some sick joke!”

“It’s not ‘like’. This is a joke I’m playing out of my own bitterness.”

She said something that an educator shouldn’t be saying again.

“Why must you do this? It has nothing to do with letting us use it, right!?”

Seeing me being all agitated, the principal answered coldly.

“Why? Oh, don’t tell me you don’t understand if I don’t explain it clearly to you.”

“Of course I don’t understand! What in the world is this!”

“This requires lots of insight for you to understand. Is that thing above your neck just a decoration? It does look like a flawed item from its appearance.

This, this damned old granny.

“In that case, I’ll tell you directly. The reason’s simple. It’s because you two are usually bad, and I’m not just talking about the faces and the grades.”

Can’t this person talk normally with others without saying ill words?

Just when I was about to open my mouth and argue back, Yuuji, who was behind me, suddenly grabbed my elbow. What’s the matter?

(Calm down, Akihisa.)

Yuuji softly whispered to me.

(Why!? Aren’t you angry that she’s describing you like that!?)

(How can I not be angry? But what help does arguing back in the heat of the moment do? We can’t change the fact that we can’t have a summoning war here.)

(Uu…)

Yuuji’s right. If we make the principal angry at this point, it’ll really do us no good.

(In that case, why don’t we try to get on the old hag’s good side and ask her to remove the ban on the summoning wars? Just endure this for a while.)

It’s unexpected that I will hear the word endure from Yuuji of all people, but to this guy, the current situation is such that we can’t act on our own. Besides, whether we can get the extension of the summoning war here is a battle of life and death now.

(Got it, Yuuji. Now we have to grit our teeth and endure no matter how much she humiliates us.)

(Yeah. We have to do this for the sake of our goals.)

That’s right. No matter how vicious that principal’s mouth is, we have to endure. Endure endure endure…

“Really, no matter how you people adore me, you shouldn’t have gathered all the second year boys to peep on me bathing…”


““SHUT THE HELL UP, YOU DAMNED OBNOXIOUS SELF-CENTERED OLD HAG!!!!””


We couldn’t help but scream out our thoughts.

“When, when was I being self-centered here? You were excited and started a riot just to peep on me. That’s a fact!”

“YOU CAN SAY ANYTHING ABOUT AKIHISA BEING AN IDIOT, A BUTT UGLY GUY OR GAY, I DON’T CARE SINCE THAT’S A FACT. WHAT I CAN’T ACCEPT THIS THAT YOU ACTUALLY THINK THAT I’LL GET EXCITED AND PERVERSE OVER AN OLD GRANNY!! DAMNED OLD GRANNY, CORRECT THAT!!”

“THAT’S RIGHT! CORRECT THAT! YUUJI’S THE ONLY ONE WHO’S DUMB, UGLY AND WILL GET EXCITED OVER AN OLD GRANNY!”

“Ahh, you two are really noisy! No matter how you ask me, I won’t go about having a romantic relationship with students!”

““I DON’T WANT TO DO IT WITH YOU EITHER!!!””


And that’s it for the casual talk.

“So, why must you ban the summoning war? If it’s just a minor error, you should be able to repair it, right?”

Having regained his calm, Yuuji sat on the sofa and asked.

“Do I have to mention it? Of course it’s because you people have no idea on the real nature of the summoning system.”

“Summoning system’s nature?”

“That’s right. I don’t know what you are mistaken about, but the summoning system in this school was originally meant to ‘increase the drive in students to learn academically’. But tell me, what have you done? Starting with destroying the wall of the school, blowing up the staff room, leading the second-year boys to peep on the girls’ bathroom, and igniting a summoning war commotion—you people didn’t just cross the line as students, you went even further! Have you people been studying seriously?”

“Uu…”

Can’t deny that here.

“But after those commotions, our grades did improve. We aren’t going to lessons obediently, but we’ve been having remedials all day long.”

“Ye, yeah. We did do what we have to do well here!”

“This isn’t a question of whether your grades improved, but about how the public would feel about this.”

The principal couldn’t hide her fatigue as she said that.

Fumitzuki Gakuen is being watched by all sorts of people because of the test summoning system. This allowed for a lot of sponsors and lowered the school fees drastically, but there’s the flaw of being debated and criticized. Even if the people in the school can clearly feel the effects of the test summoning system, the school may not be able to continue operating if society can’t agree and accept this. The principal’s probably being bothered by this.

“That’s why I set this ban, and it’s not like you won’t be able to use it forever. In about a week, it’ll be the end-of-term exams, and summer vacation’s after that, isn’t it? The second semester will be here in the blink of that eye.”

The time till the second semester still feels rather far, but to the school, it’s just a mere 3 weeks. It’s really not very long now that she mention it.

“In other words, you actually mean this, right, principal? The summoning system really has some malfunction, but the ceasefire is just something said to the public. You’re banning us from having the summoning war to let the students focus on the end-of-term exams, right?”

“Your observation skills are really sharp. That’s really the case.”

The conversation continued, but I couldn’t catch up anymore.

Errm, that means…?

“Basically, what she meant is ‘the summoning war’s being banned for the time being, so we’re to focus completely on the end-of-term exams and show good grades’.”

Yuuji explained it to me at the right moment. Fm fm, I see, so that’s how it is.

“Even so, even if I ban the summoning war completely, you brats most likely won’t study…”

The principal put her hands below her chin for support and looked like she was thinking.

“If your grades don’t improve with this coming end-of-term exams, we’ll have a special summer remedial then.”

WHAT IDIOTIC WORDS IS THIS DAMNED OLD GRANNY SAYING!?

“Tha, that’s too much, principal! You banned the summoning war, and now you’re going to take our summer vacation away!? Isn’t that too cruel!!”

We can’t have the summoning battles we so wanted, and now we’re forced to study for the end-of-term exams. This may be normal to an ordinary student, but no student will be happy because of that.

“You damned brats are way too talkative! I might as well finalize the summer vacation remedial and delay the summoning war to the third semester to make you all focus on your studies.”

“Ugh…”

Whatever the case here, please spare us here. A chill went down my spine as I simply imagined that I will have to continue exchanging looks with Ironman in that classroom during this half year. Besides…if Himeji-san’s to have such facilities, it will be too…

“It’s not like I don’t understand your feelings anyway. I intended to announce it tomorrow. It’s not just you brats though, since it’s not hard to imagine the other students protesting against this violently.”

However, the ones protesting will most likely be our F class students.

“So I decided to give some benefit to you and restart the system.”

“Restart the system?”

What kind of benefit is that?

“As there was maintenance before, I intend to reset all the data that exists in the system to zero. You’ll be more motivated, right?”

“Hoo…that’s quite a good idea.”

It seemed that Yuuji understood what the principal meant, but I still couldn’t understand at all. What’s this good proposal?

“You still look like you aren’t sure of what’s going on. This system reset will mean that the summoned beasts’ equipment will be reset to zero.”

“In other words, the marks we get in this end-of-term exams will become the equipment of our summoned beast, and may be even better than before.”

“Eh! Is that so?”

So my summoned beast’s equipment can change from a wooden sword to a real one? Isn’t that great?

“Originally, the equipment of the summoned beasts can only be changed at the end-of-year final exams, so I’ll give this to you as a special benefit.”

The summoned beast equipment we have is exchanged from the scores before the steaming, the first year end-of-year exam. After that, no matter how much I got, my wooden sword was still a wooden sword, and my school uniform couldn’t change into protective armor. This already restricted me a lot. If it can improve, it’ll be really great news for me.

“Studying’s not for anyone’s sake, but for your own hard work. I know this may not be a good thing…but we’ll do things one at a time. This situation is just a little special.”

It’s rare for the principal to actually say something an educator should say.

Studying is for our own sake, and she’s right there, but this added incentive will make us work even harder, which I can’t deny. Also—

“Got it! I’ll do my best for the end-of-term exams!”

“Akihisa, what’s with you? Being so motivated out of a suddenly…”

And also, considering this special benefit, it will be too much of a coincidence. Until now, I forgot that nee-san shifted back as an inspector. If I don’t do well for my end-of-term exams, my happy life of living alone will be over. But with a reward, I can go all out to study. Once I get my results, I’ll definitely…

“Alright! Let’s do our best, Yuuji! If we can get good results during the end-of-year exams, we’ll be able to beat A class decisively in the next term’s summoning war.”

“Ohh, that’s right.”

I have to really work hard here! For the sake of chasing my sister out, and to get the high-class facilities of A class during the next semester!

“It’s great that your dumb brains can understand. Alright, you damned brats. If you have nothing else to do, scram.”

“Yes! We’ll make a move then!”

“Ah, oi! Akihisa! If we run onto the corridor now, those guys may…”

I grabbed Yuuji’s hand and walked out of the principal’s office. In that case, let’s work hard.


KACHANK.


““““Welcome””””

—But right now, it looks like I have to deal with the four people in my way first.


Current score [-20 points]




The Third Question[edit]

Under the 76th line of the Japanese Constitution ‘The Independence of the Judge’[3], please fill in the following blanks.

‘All judges shall exercise (________) to (________) execute their (________) and shall be bound only by (________) and the (________) to apprehend criminals.’

Himeji Mizuki’s answer:

‘All judges shall exercise (conscience) to (independently) execute their (authority) and shall be bound only by (Constitution) and the (laws) to apprehend criminals.’

Teacher’s comment:

Well answered. This is one of the rather important articles in the Japanese Constitution. As the judge’s exercise the privileges, the constitution can ensure that the judge won’t be instigated by political powers and high-levels of the court and perform the duties independently. The content itself also includes ensuring the personal safety of the judge. I hope you can remember this little knowledge.

Yoshii Akihisa’s answer:

‘All judges shall exercise (BLEEP) to (BLEEP) execute their (BLEEP) and shall be bound only by (BLEEP) and the (BLEEP) to apprehend criminals.’

Teacher’s comment:

In that case, wouldn’t the 76th article be a bad thing?

Tsuchiya Kouta’s answer:

‘All judges shall exercise (instincts) to (take off their clothes and) execute (a strip exercise) and shall be bound only by (the policeman’s hand holding onto the culprit) and the (handcuffs) to apprehend criminals.’

Teacher’s comment:

I DEMAND YOU SEND A LETTER OF APOLOGY TO ALL THE JUDGES WITH FULL SINCERITY!!

BTS5-Minami.jpg


The familiar sound of the dismissal bell rang, and it’s finally time for school dismissal.

“Yuuji, can I discuss with you something?”

I asked my bad friend who was ready to pack his bag and go home.

“Hm? Akihisa, what’s the matter?”

“For today, can I stay over at your house tonight? There are a lot of things about homework and the types of questions that are to be tested at the end-of-term tests I want to ask you about.”


—ZAWAASH


The moment I said this, buzzing could be heard in the classroom.


“Oi…did you hear that…?”

“I heard that. To think that such an unbelievable thing was said…”

“How could those two possibly…”

“Yeah, how could that Yoshii and Sakamoto…”

““Actually know of end-of-term tests…””


I really want to argue back at them, but I’ll let them off for today. Humph, you guys managed to keep your own lives there.

“You want me to teach you?”

“Un.”

“Really there…haven’t you memorized the multiplication table for 7?”

“Hold on a sec! I don’t remember saying that I’m uneasy over being unable to recite the division table! Even I know how to multiply fractions there!”

“I see. Then tell me what’s the area of a triangle.”

“(Base) X (Height) = <Area>! Are you thinking that I’m an idiot on that level!?”

“Okay okay, you got it, Akihisa. Just remember to divide by two to get the correct area of the triangle.”

“Fuu, really there…you’re really a genius at being picky in such things, Yuuji.”

“Amazing! This answer is far more than what I even expected!”

Tha, that’s not it! I just answered too quickly and forgot about it. I will definitely be able to answer if there are questions related to the area of a triangle!

“Well, Akihisa-kun….”

Just when Yuuji and I were yapping away, Himeji-san with her hands carrying her bag arrived in front of us. She’s probably intending to go home directly today.

“What is it, Himeji-san?”

“I have to tell you that there’s a trick to memorizing the multiplication table quickly.”

“I can memorize it! Even I can remember that nine times nine equals eighty one!”

Himeji-san really looked worried. Am I really an incorrigible idiot in Himeji-san’s mind? This really shocked me.

“But why did you become so hardworking? If there’s no special reason, I don’t think you would study obediently.”

On hearing Hideyoshi, who’s sitting nearby, say the words ‘special reason’, Himeji-san stared at me in a gloomier fashion.

“No, that’s not it. Didn’t Yuuji announce it to everyone? The ‘summoning system’s data is being reset’ and that ‘we have to attend summer remedial if we don’t do well for the end-of-term tests’. I don’t want to keep carrying a wooden sword and wearing a school uniform until graduation, and I want to enjoy summer vacation as well, so I thought I should work hard.”

“…This isn’t like Akihisa at all.”

“Yeah, I don’t think Aki will start working hard because of such a trivial reason.”

Muttsurini and Minami came over. Why did so many people gather when I said that I want to study?

“Well, Akihisa-kun, if you don’t mind…can I study with you?”

Himeji-san timidly raised her hand to request. Really, Himeji-san’s really a kind-hearted person.

Under normal circumstances, I would accept this offer gratefully. But today’s situation is different. It’s possible if it’s Yuuji’s house, but—

“I can’t possibly stay overnight at Himeji-san’s house…”

“Eh? Akihisa-kun, you want to stay over at my house?”

“Ah, no, that’s not what I meant…”

“In, in that case, I have to call back home first and tell otou-san not to drink tonight…erm…I’m saying that if Akihisa-kun’s willing to talk about ‘important things’ with him, it will be troublesome when he’s drunk…”

Himeji-san fidgeted and said some things I couldn’t even understand. What important things do I want to say to Himeji-san’s dad—

“Is it about the transfer? I’ll go convince him then!”

Are tatami mats still not enough? If we can have someone get some normal tables and chairs…

“Are you talking about changing of faith? Isn’t Akihisa-kun a Buddhist?”[4]

“Hoh? What is that about?”

“No, well, it’s about how our families have different religions…”

“???”

What the heck? It sounds like both of us aren’t on the same page here.

“Himeji’s thinking pattern is really similar to Akihisa’s.”

“Yeah, this is what it means by taking the color of one’s company.”

“…Way too similar.”

My three bad friends stared at me, seemingly exchanging looks and whispering.

On a side note, there are some terms Minami doesn’t understand, so she has a pile of question marks above her head now.

“Speaking of which, I’ve been wondering about it since this morning. Why do you want to come over to my house, Akihisa? Did something happen at your house?”

“Ah…well, actually…”

“Don’t try and lie to me.”

“I suddenly thought that I need to study—ack, that’s too fast! I didn’t even say anything yet!”

It’s true that that was a lie though.

“Oh well. This will implicate the next summoning battle, so it’s not like I can’t teach you.”

“Eh? Really?”

“But we’re going to your house. It’ll be easier to deal with things there.”

After saying that, Yuuji even looked aside and muttered “because such a mother is in my house…”

That kind of mother? I’ve never met Yuuji’s mother before. What kind of mother is she?

“Eh? My house’s not convenient! It’s a little, well, inconvenient today!”

“Your house is inconvenient today? What’s wrong?”

“A, ah, well, actually, some workers are going to come over to decorate my house.”

“Stop lying. We were supposed to go to your house to play that boxing game. How is it possible that any workers will be here!”

“No, I accidentally lost my key.”

“Your house is an apartment. Just call the caretaker to open it for you.”

“No, actually, my house caught fire!”

“A fire happened and you have the heart to prepare a bento and even iron your clothes thoroughly? How stupid can you get?”

“Ah—erm, actually, what other…!”

“Time to buck up. Your lies are really so bad that I can read through them.”

“Gu…”

I really thought a lot about this, but I just couldn’t think of a reason not to go home. This is bad.

Can’t be helped. In that case, I’ll just go back home and try to fight against my sister…

“I got it. I’ll just go home then…”

I carried my back and got up from my seat. But just when I was about to turn around and leave, Hideyoshi grabbed my shoulder.

“Wait a sec, Akihisa. Is there something you’re hiding from this gang here?”

“Uehh!? No, there’s nothing!”

“I don’t know what’s going on, but if there’s a secret this idiot wants to hide no matter what…looks like it’ll be interesting.”

Yuuji smirked as his eyes narrowed.

“Alright, let’s go check it out!”

“Wa, wait a sec, Yuuji! What are you saying?”

“Yeah. Maybe we can see a completely different side to Aki.”

“I’m interested too.”

“…Time to search the house.”

“Since club activities are suspended during the exams, I guess I’ll come along too.”

THIS IS BAD! WHY IS THE SITUATION BECOMING MORE AND MORE DISADVANTAGEOUS TO ME!!?

“No! You can’t go to my house today! Erm, my house is messy now!”

“Erm, if it’s messy, I can help you clean it up. You can’t concentrate if it’s messy.”

As, as expected of Himeji-san…! Her kindness is just like an angel…!

But if this keeps up, Himeji-san will come over to my house and meet that ridiculously weird sister of mine. What should I do? What should I—that’s right! I’ll just mention something that girls won’t want to touch!

“But the mess I’m talking about is the 2000+ ero books I have at home!”

“…Leave it to me (thumbs up)”

“Damn it! It ended up piquing Muttsurini’s interest!? This is way different from my initial prediction!”

“Alright. Since everyone has a common understanding, let’s go over to Akihisa’ house!”

“““Ossu!!”””

“NO~!!!!”

I tried my best to resist, but in the end, I was twisted on the neck and dragged back home with everyone. Wha, what should I do now…

“What can it be?”

“Akihisa’s different from Muttsurini in that there’s nothing he would normally hide. Even I would be looking forward to seeing what he has at home.”

“…I don’t hide anything.”

“Muttsurini, are you interested in girls’ underwear?”

“…How could I.”

“I’d say, Muttsurini, you’re so used to lying that you could do it without blinking.”

“…(Shakes head furiously)!”

On the way home, everyone except me seemed to be chatting away happily as they walked.

“But what could it be? Something that Akihisa-kun wants to hide no matter what…”

“That’s right. There’s the huge commotion he caused during the study camp. I don’t think he will be hiding ero-books.”

“Yeah…Akihisa would actually bring his own bento and even iron his clothes properly. I’d guess…”

“Maybe he got a girlfriend?”

“““…!?”””

But Yuuji’s careless words caused everyone present to widen their eyes.

“A, Aki! What’s going on!? Explain clearly!”

“M, muu…so Akihisa found his partner in life…as a friend, I’d be giving my blessings, but I don’t know whether I should be relieved or jealous here…”

“…Traitor!”

“I, I didn’t even say anything!”

Isn’t everyone’s imagination way too creative?

“Everyone, don’t worry. How could Akihisa-kun be dating a girl and hiding it from us? I believe Akihisa-kun.”

Amongst the voices of the 4 people, Himeji-san was the only one who kept her calm. As expected of Himeji-san, she’s really different from the rest.

“Right, Akihisa-kun? You aren’t ‘hiding someone’ and keeping it a secret from us, right?”

Really, she’s different from the rest—Himeji-san’s smile looks really creepy here.

As we continued to argue, our gang arrived in front of the building where I lived in.

“Oh well, the truth will be out once we enter the house. Oi, Akihisa, take out the key.”

“I don’t want to.”

I still tried to resist.

“Akihisa, do you want to try the pain of wearing just a Y-shirt?”

“Eh? Wait a sec! Didn’t you leave out lots of parts in the middle!?”

“…I want to see Akihisa looking up with tears in his eyes.”

“Muttsurini! You’re even designating what the action will be!? Are you trying to sell it!? Make a cushion out of it!? The twin-sided cushion has Hideyoshi on the other side, right!?”

“Why did you get even me involved?”

“Tsuchiya-kun, if possible, I hope that the top two buttons of the shirt are opened…”

“EVEN HIMEJI-SAN’S BEEN WEIRD RECENTLY! I GOT IT! I’LL OPEN! I’LL OPEN IT!”

“…Buttons?”

“THE DOOR!!”

Since it came to this, it’s useless to resist no matter what. In that case, I can only pray silently and hope nee-san’s out…

I secretly prayed to all the gods in the world and opened the door leading to my house.

“Don’t tell me he really has a girlfriend…”

“I feel really nervous…”

“Don’t worry, it’s definitely not something like that…”

Just when everyone swallowed their saliva and watched me, I opened the door to the corridor.

Nee-san would normally put her shoes in the corridor—they’re gone! Great! She went out!

If nee-san’s not around, I have nothing to worry about. I’ll just let them look around the house and immediately send them out.

“Alright, everyone, come into the house then.”

I called everyone in and opened the door leading to the living room.

The moment I opened the door, what entered my eyes was—

“““…”””


The thing hanging inside the room—was a type of woman’s underwear called a brassiere.


“WHY IS THERE EVIDENCE I CAN’T HIDE NO MATTER WHAT!!”

THAT THING SHOULD BE HUNG INSIDE THE BATHROOM! THAT IDIOT SISTER OF MINE!!

I frantically ran over and threw the washed bra into another room. Did they see it? Did they all see it?

I slowly turned around to check everyone’s response,

“…Well, there’s no evidence that’s more decisive than that.”

“I, I feel the same here…”

“…I’m so jealous that I want to kill you!”

Minami and the rest said their response.

“Eh, ermm, that’s…”

Damn it…! I can’t even try to mislead them here…!!!

In the midst of despair, I still thought of some method to try and give an excuse.

In the meantime, Himeji-san was the only one who remained calm and she smiled and walked over to me.

“Akihisa-kun, how could you do this?”

“Eh? What?”

“That bra isn’t Akihisa-kun’s size, right?”

“““ISN’T SHE IN SELF-DENIAL HERE!?”””

Eh! Himeji-san, do you think that I’ll wear a girl’s bra? In a certain sense, this is something that disturbs me more than having my sister’s existence discovered!

“Himeji-san, that’s not mine!”

“Arre? That’s—”

Even with such a huge misunderstanding, I tried my best to explain, but Himeji-san’s gaze had already moved to the table in the living room. What is it this time? Ah, that’s the cotton pad nee-san uses for cosmetics—

“That’s fishcake, right?”

“““Fishcake!?”””

As, as expected of Himeji-san! She actually saw the cotton pad as fishcake; she’s living in a completely different dimension from an ordinary person…I’m really wondering what Himeji-san’s dining table will have.

Just when I saw those random things, Himeji-san looked afar. What she saw on the table—wasn’t that a healthy bento women like most!?

“Hi, Himeji-san…? What…? What’s weird about that bento?”

“Sob sob…”

“UEEHH!? Why are you crying out of a sudden?”

“I can’t deny it any further…”

“HOLD ON A SEC! WHY IS IT THAT A BRA AND COSMETICS CAN BE PASSED OFF BUT A BENTO IS IMMEDIATELY OUT!?”

Don’t tell me a healthy bento women like is a more serious evidence than a bra and cosmetics?

“Haa…since it’s come to this, it can’t be helped…I’ll be honest here. My sister just came back home…”

Since so much was found it, it’s pointless for me to hide anything, so I have to say the truth. It’ll be extremely bad if I continue to try and hide things and cause them to mistake me for having a crossdressing fetish.

After hearing my confession, everyone finally showed a relieved look.

“Tha, that’s right. How could Aki have a girlfriend.”

“…We’re thinking too much.”

“Even I feel relieved.”

Everyone put their hand on their chests and heaved a sigh of relief.

Even though it’s a little late, I’m really wondering why they wouldn’t think that it was nee-san instead of a girlfriend? Did they already have some sort of idea?

“I see. So Akihisa-kun’s nee-san came back. That’s great…”

That’s not good to me at all.

“Well, since things are like that, I made my own bento and ironed my clothes nearly. Do you understand now?”

Alright, now that I explained things here, please leave. I have to make these troublesome people leave before there’s any doubts.

“Wait, Akihisa.”

Ack! The most troublesome idiot seemed to notice something.

“Is, is there something wrong, Yuuji?”

“We knew that you have a sister. But why aren’t you willing to stay at home with your sister here?”

“Ah, that’s right.”

“Even I feel that it’s weird here.”

“…(Nods head).”

“Does Akihisa-kun still have something else he wants to hide from us?”

Yuuji’s doubt caused everyone present to feel suspicious.

Gu…! If I had known that things will end up like this, I shouldn’t have told Yuuji about staying overnight and should have just come home…

“Akihisa, it will be easier for you if you just say the truth, right?”

Yuuji reached his hand out and patted me on the shoulder. Yes, actually, I’m already prepared…

“Actually…my sister here, well…she’s a really weird person… or rather, lacks common sense…anyway, if I’m with her, a lot of terrible things will happen, and I’ll be deducted a lot of points for whatever strange reason, so I don’t want to go home…”

“To, to think that even Aki would say that she lacks common sense. How serious can that be?”

“Muu…even, if it’s scary, even I’m wondering here.”

“…Have to meet her no matter what.”

“Yeah, I want to meet Akihisa-kun’s sister for once.”

So it became like this…this is almost like the worst situation I could imagine.

Just when I was thinking that everyone here was interested in seeing nee-san,

“Ah~ what the heck, I say, your interest in other people’s family affairs is way too weak. Even other people have sisters or ‘mothers’ that they don’t want others to meet.”

That’s rare! It’s rare that Yuuji would actually say something for me. What kind of wind is blowing here?

“Yu, Yuuji…! Thanks—”

GACHANK!

At this moment, the sound of the door at the corridor being opened could be heard.


“Arre…? You came back when nee-san’s out shopping, Aki-kun?”


……Eh? What’s with this timing? Are we having a comedy here!?”

“UWAAAAHHH!! SH, SHE’S BACK! EVERYONE, FIND A PLACE TO HIDE—”

“Is it Akihisa-kun’s sister…? I’m really nervous here…”

“Ca, can I actually say hello to Aki’s sister…”

“NOT GOOD! YOU PEOPLE JUST WANT TO SEE HER!!”

Just as everyone focused on the living room door to see nee-san appear, I could only continue to look up to the heavens and pray.

Since things ended up like this, I have only one last hope left. Nee-san! I won’t demand for you to greet everyone properly…! So at least, just for once, be in normal clothes…!

The tense moment went by immediately, and the door finally opened.

“Oh my, do we have guest? Welcome. Our house is a little small, but I hope that you can treat it as your own house. Please don’t feel restrained.”

Nee-san, who said such a normal thing, was dressed in ¾ pants and a collared short-sleeved shirt with a vest on. That’s a normal kind of get-up if there was one.

“““So, sorry to bother you…”””

The appearance of the ever-normal looking nee-san with a normal attire, demeanor and common sense caused Yuuji and the rest to look completely stumped.

“Sorry for not introducing myself. I’m Yoshii Akira. Everyone, thank you for willing to be friends with this stupid and useless brother of mine.”

She even bowed after saying that. Tha, that’s too perfect! She looks just like a normal sister no matter how I see it! In that case..I should be able to fool them, right?

“Ahh, hello. I’m Sakamoto Yuuji, Akihisa’s classmate.”

Having recovered, Yuuji hurriedly lowered his head and greeted nee-san.

“…I’m Tsuchiya Kouta.”

Muttsurini spoke up next.

“Hello, Yuuji-kun, Kouta-kun.”

Nee-san smiled back at them.

Ahh…such a wonderful scene here…

Just when I was touched by this rare peaceful moment, Yuuji looked over slightly and whispered,

“Oi, Akihisa, your sister looks rather normal here. Calling her weird, how well off can you get? Instead of me, instead of me…”

“Ahaha…she, she’s normal, isn’t it? So if you have seen enough, hurry up and leave!”

Just when I whispered to Yuuji, the other classmates continued to chat with nee-san. Right now, it seems like it’s Hideyoshi’s turn.

“I’m called Kinoshita Hideyoshi. Please take care of me. A lot of people will be mistaken when seeing me, but I’m not a girl—”

“Ehh. You’re a boy, aren’t you? Hideyoshi-kun. Welcome to my house.”

“!”

On hearing those words, Hideyoshi couldn’t help but look completely shocked as he looked up at nee-san.

“You, you’re the first one to actually be able to tell that I’m a guy….!”

I don’t know what’s going on, but Hideyoshi just looked really moved.

“Of course I can tell. That’s because,”

Nee-san smiled as she said,

“That’s because it’s impossible for that stupid and ugly and useless brother of mine to have female friends.”

What’s with that firm belief that really sickens me!

Just when I was wondering how to snark back at her, nee-san’s stare moved to Himeji-san and Minami,

“So these two are guys, right?”

She made such a conclusion.

“WA, WAIT A SEC, NEE-SAN! HOW CAN YOU SAY SUCH A RUDE THING TO PEOPLE YOU’RE MEETING FOR THE FIRST TIME! THE THREE OF THEM ARE GIRLS!”

“Akihisa! I’m an authentic guy here, right?”

How little common sense does she have to view the three of them as guys…

After shouting that out, nee-san seemed to have a reaction to my words and slowly turned around to look at me.

“…‘Girls’, you say? Has Aki-kun been bringing girls back home?”

GUAAHH!! Da, damn it! Nee-san seems to be unhappy that I brought girls back home!

Nee-san already thinks that holding hands is illicit sexual relationships. She’s definitely fuming now! Got to find a good reason!

“We, well, nee-san, listen to me! There’s a lot of reasons—”

“…Really? Girls? Sorry for saying such insensitive things”

“In fact..eh? That’s weird?”

While ignoring me as I tried to explain, nee-san honestly lowered her head at Himeji-san and Minami and didn’t give off any killing intent at all. Is nee-san really not angry here?”

“What’s wrong, Aki-kun?’

“Ah, no…it’s just that I’m wondering whether you’re angry, nee-san…”

“? What are you saying? Why would nee-san be angry at you?”

Nee-san looked really calm and answered as if she had no reason to be angry at all.

Wha, what, am I thinking too much? But this is great…that’s right. It’s just that some friends came over to visit my house. This kind of thing is normal, nee-san has no need to be angry.

Just when I put my hand on my chest and thought that I could heave a sigh of relief, nee-san suddenly smiled and said to me,

“Oh yes, Aki-kun.”

“Nn? What is it?”

“There’re a lot of guests here today, so the doctor game Aki-kun likes to play will have to be delayed till tomorrow, alright?”

Ahhh I see…this person’s really trying to drive me to my grave…

“NE, NEE-SAN, WHAT NONSENSE ARE YOU SAYING! YOU’RE SAYING IT AS IF MY HABIT IS TO PLAY DOCTOR WITH YOU EVERY DAY…CAN YOU STOP SAYING SUCH MISLEADING THINGS! I HAVE NO INTENTION OF PLAYING THAT KIND OF GAMES WITH NEE-SAN!”

DAMN IT! SHE’S DEFINITELY ANGRY NOW! COULDN’T SHE JUST EXERT VIOLENCE ON ME!? WHY MUST SHE TORTURE ME IN SUCH A CRUEL MANNER!? THIS PERSON HERE IS REALLY TOO MUCH!

“A, Akihisa-kun…playing doctor with your own sister…”

“Aki…it’s against the law to do this with your blood-related sister…”

FUUOOOHHH!! SEE, THEY’RE MISTAKEN HERE!!

“NEE-SAN! SCOLD ME LATER AS LONG AS YOU WANT, JUST CORRECT THOSE WORDS!”

“Aki-kun, what are you panicking about? Oh yes. Do you know where’s the nurse uniform nee-san gave you yesterday?”

“DON’T ASK ME SUCH A THING AT THIS MOMENT!”

DAMN IRRITATING! THIS PERSON’S DAMN IRRITATING! IF I HAD KNOWN THAT THINGS WOULD END UP LIKE THIS, I SHOULD HAVE JUST CAMPED OUTSIDE!

“Also, I’m going to deduct you another 150 points under the crime of illicit sexual relationships.”

“150? 150’S TOO MUCH! I DIDN’T EVEN DO ANYTHING YET!”

“…‘Didn’t even do anything yet’? …I’ll deduct another 200 points.”

“FUWAAAAHHHH!!!! NEE-SAN’S ONE HUGE IDIOT!”

200 POINTS! WHY DID IT JUST END UP IN A STATE WHERE I CAN’T RECOVER NO MATTER WHETHER I WANT TO!

“…Sorry Akihisa, I’m willing to take back those words I just said.”

“Un…thanks Yuuji…this, this is the first time I actually feel healed by Yuuji ever since I was born…”

I wasn’t able to prepare myself mentally in time because of my sister’s attire and demeanor. I’M BASICALLY GAMBLING WITH MY LIFE FOR ACTUALLY DARING TO BE CARELESS IN FRONT OF THIS PERSON!

“Sorry for being off-topic. Can I ask you for your names?”

“Ah, yes, sorry for not introducing myself. I’m Himeji Mizuki, Akihisa-kun’s classmate.”

“I’m Shimada Minami, and—”

Minami suddenly glanced at me as she spoke halfway,

“—I’m friends with Aki.”

Mu. Minami just looked like she wanted to say that we aren’t friends. Was she planning to use the introduction she made at class and say that I was her wrestling training sandbag?

“So it’s Mizuki-san and Minami-san. Nice to meet you for the first time.”

Nee-san kept her smile and answered them throughout. It’s because she showed herself to be so normal in such situations that people will wonder how real those weird things she said were. Really, she’s a sister that really worries me…

“Oh yeah. Where did you go just now, nee-san?”

“I went to buy ingredients for dinner.”

Nee-san opened the bags she was holding, and there were ingredients like clams and bacon. I see, so nee-san went to buy ingredients for dinner.

“Eh? Didn’t you buy too much here?”

Each ingredient was way too much if it’s for two people. Even a family can’t finish that much.

“Nope, that’s definitely just enough.”

Nee-san seemed to be unhappy with my words and even puffed her cheeks unhappily. It’s rather refreshing when nee-san herself doesn’t really show her real emotions on her face.

Nee-san’s not good at cooking, and actually ran off to buy dinner ingredients, so the amount was mistaken, right? But it isn’t like nee-san to be unhappy over being pointed out.

“It’s rare for everyone to come over to our house. Why don’t you stay behind for dinner? There’s not many dishes we can offer though.”

It seemed that everyone was ready to do so. Nee-san spoke and invited everyone to stay behind for dinner. Looks like she just wouldn’t admit that she bought the wrong amount no matter what.

“In that case, I’ll stay behind too.”

“…I’ll stay for dinner too.”

“It’ll be troublesome for you, but I’d stay for dinner too.”

“Me too.”

“I, in that case, I’ll…”

Everyone nodded their heads. Looks like dinner tonight will be noisy.

“So everyone’s willing to stay behind. That’s great. Aki-kun, I’ll leave the ingredients to you.”

“Yup, got it.”

I took the bag of ingredients over from nee-san. Looks like I can enjoy a luxurious meal I haven’t had for a long time.

“Eh? Aki’s cooking dinner?”

“Yup, that's right.”

“Akihisa-kun knows how to cook?”

Minami and Himeji-san both looked shocked. That’s weird; is it really strange that I can cook?

“Didn’t I say it before at lunch? I prepared my own bento.”

“No, now that you mentioned it, that’s true…”

“Akihisa-kun did mention it before…”

But both of them just gave inexplicable looks.

“This isn’t anything worth being shocked about, right? Even I can cook a few simple dishes here.”

“…That’s a gentleman’s habit.”

“I.., I don’t know…how to cook at all here…”

Yuuji and Muttsurini did show off to everyone before, so they didn’t have much reaction that I can cook.

“Forget about Muttsurini. As expected, you’re forced to learn how to cook at home, right, Yuuji?”

“Oh, that’s right…but what do you mean by saying as expected?”

“Ahaha. Because you look like you have the lowest position at home, Yuuji.”

“? What are you talking about now?”

“Eh? What do you mean—isn’t the one at the lowest position in the family in charge of cooking?”

“““……”””

For some reason, everyone showed me stares of compassion.

“It’s because of my mom’s education policy that I was forced to cook.”

“Is, is that so…”

“Aki’s mother sounds really strong…”

“I’d feel that the position isn’t the problem, but rather who can cook…”

“Eh!? Don’t tell me everyone else’s different!? Damned mom! Lying to me since young!”

I see…so my family’s different from other families…while watching TV when I was young, I would think “Isn’t it weird for mothers to cook? Aren’t mothers supposed to be the strongest people in the families?” I felt that it was weird back then, so that’s how it is…

“Alright alright. It’s still early, but let’s prepare dinner. I’ll help you, Akihisa.”

“…I’ll help too.”

“Ah, yeah, thanks, you two.”

“Then, in that case, I’ll…”

“““NO NEED, THE GIRLS JUST NEED TO SIT QUIETLY AND WAIT!”””

“Ah, haa…I see…”

Thus, we decided to deal with dinner first, and everyone will then study to prepare for the exams.

“Oi, Akihisa, is there a wok that’s of better size?”

“Hehe~, actually, that rack has a paellera on it.”

“When you say paellera, are you talking about the wok used to cook paella? I didn’t think that your house would have something so special. Even my house doesn’t have it.”

“…Mine neither.”

“That’s something my mom gave in the house. What I’m saying is that since our house had such a thing, I used it to cook paella, and it was rather nice. Since then, paella became one of my favorite dishes.”

“So that’s how it is.”

In the kitchen where I was most proud of at home, Yuuji, Muttsurini and me were ready to prepare dinner for tonight.

My house was one that was bought for a family of 4 to live in, so it is rather spacious. It’s so spacious that I would feel somewhat lonely when living alone, and it’s difficult to clean up. There’s not really much benefit to say…but with three guys in a kitchen, I do feel relieved that the house’s spacious enough. However, I do still feel restrained having 3 big boys packed in a kitchen.

“But are you really going to cook paella? I thought your sister would prefer Japanese cuisine…”

“…Nee-san said that she’s fine with anything.”

“…These ingredients are obviously meant to cook paella.”

“Yeah. If it’s just prawns and clams, we can still think that it’s spaghetti, but with saffron.”

“Yeah. I can’t think of any dishes that uses saffron other than paella…arre? What’s this bottle of tomato sauce used for?”

Amongst the ingredients nee-san bought, she actually added a bottle of tomato sauce. Is this really an ingredient for cooking paella? I never heard of it before.

“…There’s also paella that’s made from mixed celery, onions, garlic and tomato sauce.”

“Eh? Tomato sauce?”

“(Nods head)… it’s a tomato sauce called soffritto in Italy.”

“Heh~so that’s how it is. I never used tomato sauce when I made it before.”

Muttsurini actually knows about such things. Is there something related to sex in Spanish restaurants for Muttsurini to be this interested?

“Akihisa, don’t tell me you actually did such a troublesome dish like paella so many times.”

“Yup, I like it very much, so I do make it often.”

However, the last time I actually made paella on my own was more than a year ago. I didn’t have enough money to cook something good ever since I started living alone.

“Since you did it so many times, why did she buy some unrelated ingredients? Isn’t this weird?”

“Really? I think it’s my sister who bought the wrong thing. Normally, I would be the one in charge of buying ingredients and cooking.”

“Really? Oh well, maybe she did buy the wrong thing.”

Yuuji was still puzzled about the ingredients, but still agreed with what I said. Does he feel that something’s wrong? There shouldn’t be any problems if it’s just the ingredients, right?

“Oh yeah, Akihisa, I just thought of something.”

“Hm?”

“You didn’t let your sister know what kind of life you lived, right?”

“…You’re rather sharp about it.”

“Anyone sharp enough can tell whether you’ve been well off or not, you idiot.”

Yuuji removed the intestines of the prawns and said to me.

“…Will you be scolded if she knew?”

Muttsurini, who was using the scrub to wash the clams, asked.

“It would be alright if it was just a tantrum.”

I’ll leave those horrifying punishments of being kissed on the lips aside.

“Is there anything else other than throwing a tantrum?”

“Yeah, if I don’t live properly or that I can’t get enough marks during this end-of-term exams, my sister will continue to stay over at home.”

I said that as I sliced up the onion, red peppers, asparagus and stuff and put them into the big bowl.

“Enough marks?”

“It’s just like what my sister said, about deducting 150 or 200 points or so.”

“She did seem to mention it, but I didn’t hear it clearly. What’s about that marks?”

“Besides the marks, I have to get more marks than the previous streaming exam during this end-of-term exams…”

“I see, so that’s why you thought of studying hard. So that’s how it is.”

“…Understood.”

I was only deducted 20 points yesterday, and in a short moment, it became 220. If the situation is better, my recent scores will be about 1000 points…but it will be bad if this keeps up. So no matter what, I have to prevent further loss of points.

“So I just want to say, please don’t say anything in front of my sister, like grades at school, my real living habits…and also, that incident with Minami…”

“That one you’re referring to is the kiss with Shimada—Mm!”

I frantically covered Yuuji’s mouth.

Yuuji’s really a loudmouth. The voice can even reach nee-san in the kitchen!

“That’s really bad too, so you can't say it! Nee-san’s very insistent on forbidding me from having any illicit sexual relationships!”

I kept my volume down, explained it to Yuuji, and slowly took back the hand covering his mouth.

“I see. Since you’re living alone, it’ll be easier for me to disturb you at home, so I’ll just shut up this time.”

“…I’ll help too.”

“Thanks guys.”

After explaining things, they were willing to help me out. Now, we’ll continue our preparations. Let me think, the next step is…

“Yuuji, can you help me get the consommé? It’s about time to boil the soup.”

“Hm? Don’t you intend to cook that soffritto?”

“Nope….I can try it if I’m living alone, but since everyone’s waiting for dinner, I guess we should follow the recipe I’m familiar with.”

“Is that so? Since you say so, let’s do this.”

Yuuji stopped slicing the octopus into slices and took a can of consommé. That Yuuji can really do anything, talking and working at the same time.

“Un, thanks.”

I received the can and opened it, pouring the consommé into the wok Yuuji just heated up by turning on the fire. The saffron will need some time to show more of its color, so it was added in the beginning, and the soup base that’s used to increase the flavor was soon completed. Did we prepare it well beforehand, or is it that they’re skilled with their hands…? I really have to take my hats off of those two.

Let alone Muttsurini, I didn’t expect Yuuji to be good at cooking. Does this guy cook normally? My curiosity started to surge.

“I say, Yuuji, do you cook at home every day?”

“Ahh, no, not everyday. My mother does know how to cook…”

“That’s great, having such a mother.”

“…But if I leave her alone, I really can’t tell what kind of horrible thing she’ll cook…”

Yuuji looked far away. A slight indescribable melancholy surrounded him as if there was a dish served with a mix-up between crayfish and lobster.

“Oh yeah, isn’t it time to put the rice in?”

“Ahh, put it in. Muttsurini and I will prepare the salad and the dessert.”

“…Leave it to me.”

I put the vegetables and rice in, and turned on the fire. I’ll add in the soup once it’s fried somewhat.

“Akihisa, watch the wok when you pour the soup in, or else it will get burned.”

“Don’t worry. I know what to do.”

After a while, it seemed that the color of the food in the wok was almost there, and I poured the soup in. I just need to shake it occasionally and wait for the paella to be done.

Finally, we have nothing to do and can only wait silently. Just when I was staring at the wok and spacing out, I suddenly heard Himeji-san and the rest talking. What are those people talking about?

“Do you want to see the photo album? These are all photos of Aki-kun when he was young.”

“Eh? Can we?”

“Sounds interesting.”

“Aki’s photos when he was little. How does he look like?”

“I’ll go get it. Please wait for me.”

Uu…my photos when I was young…feels embarrassing…if possible, I really want to stop nee-san, but my eyes can’t leave the wok, and Himeji-san said that she wanted to see it…

“Sorry to keep you waiting.”

Just when I was thinking randomly, it seemed that nee-san got the photo album and came back.

Haa…can’t be helped. I can only grit my teeth and endure so that everyone can pass the time, no matter how shameful it can be…

“This is Aki-kun’s bathing photo at two-years-old.”

“H, how cute!”

“Muu, I find this expression cute too.”

“Looks so honest, so cute~”

“Next, it’s Aki-kun’s bathing photo when he was four.”

“Ahaha, really, Aki, falling asleep in the middle of a bath.”

“Probably feels nice bathing in warm water.”

“That sleeping face looks so pure.”

“And this is Aki-kun’s bathing photo when he was 7.”

“Should be in elementary school at this point. How memorable.”

“He grew quite a bit.”

“He really grew a lot.”

“And this one’s Aki-kun’s bathing photo when he was 10.”

“WAIT A SEC, NEE-SAN! WHY ARE THESE ALL BATHING PHOTOS OF ME!? WHAT EXACTLY DOES THAT PHOTO ALBUM HAVE!?”

I had to watch the wok, so I could only stand in the kitchen and shout at the living room, but didn’t get any response at all. Really, even if these are photos when I was young, why are these all bathing photos—

“—And this is Aki-kun’s bathing photo from yesterday.”

“““…(Gulp)”””

1212 119a-1-.jpg

“THAT IDIOT SISTER! WHEN DID YOU TAKE THAT PHOTO!? WHEN I WAS CHANGING!? WAS IT WHEN YOU TOOK MY CHANGE OF CLOTHES FOR ME!?”

“Akihisa, didn’t I tell you not to look away from the wok? The rice will burn.”

“IT DOESN’T MATTER WHETHER THE RICE GET BURNED OR NOT! THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO GET A FRYING PAN AND WHACK THAT IDIOT SISTER OF MINE ON THE HEAD!”

“I won’t let you look down on the importance of cooking! Watch the pot!”

“LET GO OF ME! YUUJI! YOU BIG IDIOT!”

No, it’ll definitely be alright. Himeji-san and Minami are different. They’re girls with common sense, wisdom and good decision making ability. They definitely won’t look at those kinds of photos!


—Time passed just like that—


“Everyone, sorry to keep you waiting. Dinner’s ready.”

“Thank you. Sorry to make you cook with Aki-kun even though you’re guests.”

“No, please don’t worry about that. I don’t hate cooking.”

We lined another table with the table in the living room, and the dinner that was finally finished was served. Un, it looks really good.

“Than, thank you…(blushes).”

“It, it looks good…(blushes).”

“Himeji-san, Minami, why are you blushing the moment you saw me?

You two didn’t see it right? You two definitely didn’t see the photo nee-san talked about, right?

“Oh yes, Aki-kun, why do you look extremely anxious? You were yelling and shouting, and I could hear you from the living room.”

“THAT’S BECAUSE I HAD TO YELL BECAUSE OF YOU!!”

And she even dared to tell me off when she didn’t mention what she did!

“See, you’ve been shouting again…do you like calcium?”

As she said that, nee-san moved away my plate of paella and put a plate with a deeper base. Hm? What’s with this plate?

“Everyone, put your leftover shells in this plate.”

“WHAT’S WITH THIS!? DOES MY DINNER ONLY CONSIST OF SHELLS? YOU SAY THAT I LACK CALCIUM, BUT THAT’S JUST SIMPLY ABUSE, RIGHT!?”

Such a beautiful relationship called family caused my tears to continue flowing no matter what.

At the same time, I vaguely realized something…

“Nee-san…do you actually, actually hate me, nee-san…?”

Beating me hard the moment she got back home, and showing embarrassing photos of me in front of the girls in class. If I combine these facts, I can’t think of anything other than being hated by her.

As she faced my doubts, nee-san gave a ‘you surprised me’ reply, and casually answered.

“Aki-kun, what are you saying, child? How can nee-san hate you?”

If you don’t hate me, the way you treat me is way too much.

“Or rather, on the contrary.”

“Eh? Isn’t the opposite of hate…”

“Nee-san loves you.”

“Is, is that so…”

“Yes, nee-san really loves you.”

I couldn’t help but shy off. I’m happy that nee-san said that, but I’m still somewhat awkward. Saying ‘love you’ in front of everyone is really—

“—As someone of the opposite gender.”

THIS IS THE WORST!!

“WAS THOSE LAST WORDS A JOKE? I’LL BE HAPPIER IF YOU SAID THAT YOU HATED ME!”

THIS PERSON’S DEFINITELY TRYING TO FORCE ME TO MY GRAVE! THAT’S RIGHT! SHE MUST BE THINKING ABOUT THIS! SHE DEFINITELY HATES ME!

“Doesn’t a Japanese saying say it?”

“What? What are you trying to say?”

“The dumber the child, the more adorable he is.”

“Akihisa, you better give up. There’s no one else who loves you more in the world than your sister.”

“WAIT A SEC! ARE YOU SAYING THAT I’M THE DUMBEST PERSON IN THE WORLD!?”

“I, I think that Aki’s the dumbest person in the world too!”

“Me, me too! I definitely believe that there’s nobody else dumber than Akihisa-kun in this world!”

“DON’T SAY IT! PLEASE STOP HURTING ME!!”

Why is it that everyone wants to trample on my heart mercilessly…

“Oh well, we’ll just leave this alone.”

“It, it doesn’t matter now…such a conversation is only a part and parcel of my life…”

Oh yeah, did Yuuji mean that it doesn’t matter what happens to my life?

“Anyway, let’s tuck in before it gets cold.”

I turned my eyes to the food that was giving off hot air. It’s not that everyone can’t eat whenever they want to, but it’ll be a waste if the food we spent so much effort to cook goes cold. Nee-san’s right. It’s better to tuck in.

“““Itaidakimasu!!”””

Everyone clapped their hands together and attacked the food in front of them.

“Muu, this is really good.”

“Really? It’s great that it fits your taste.”

“Now that you say that, it seemed that our efforts in making this dish is somewhat worth it.”

“…(Nods head).”

Hideyoshi smiled as he ate the paella, and the way he looked was so cute that I really want to take a photo and archive it. On the other hand, Himeji-san and Minami looked lost like they didn’t know what they were tasting.

“Arre? Do you two not like paella?”

“Uu…no, it’s not that we hate it. it’s really good…”

“It’s more like it’s depressing because it’s so good…”

I really couldn’t understand what they were saying. Girls’ feelings are really complicated.

“…As expected, I have to cook more to practice more! I have to make more unique and personal flavors to win this battle!”

I’ll just pretend that I didn’t hear Himeji-san’s muttering.

“It’s really good, but I deliberately bought ingredients different from the menu Aki-kun knew of, yet the flavor’s no different from before. Nee-san’s rather disappointed in that here.”

Nee-san said that as she put the prawn and clam shells on my plate. She’s probably still angry that I brought girls back if she’s using such an immature manner to bully me.

“Stop yapping over there. You don’t know how to cook at all, nee-san, and you dare to tell me off!”

In fact, before Himeji-san appeared, this person’s number two in the ranking of those who don’t know how to cook. On a side note, my mom’s ranked first.

“Aki-kun, what are you saying? Nee-san’s growing in ways Aki-kun doesn’t know of.”

“Hmph, growth…in what aspect have you grown?”

“My bust size is now E.”

“DO YOU EVEN KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORD SHAME!? THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH COOKING AT ALL!”

I couldn’t help but retort back at my sister who showed her chest proudly.

What should I see? When hearing my sister say this, I would be happy for her but worried about her.

“Of course I worked hard in terms of cooking.”

“Oh, is that so?”

“Yes, I can finally understand the difference between a sea urchin and a scrub.”

“To me, it’s more amazing that you couldn’t understand the difference between a sea urchin and a scrub…”

For some reason, Yuuji, who was beside me, actually muttered ‘I’m so jealous’ or something like that.

“But speaking of which, it’s amazing that you manage to buy ingredients like red peppers when you’re like that.”

No matter how much I think about this, I just feel that nee-san will mistake red peppers for green peppers.

“I won’t make that mistake. That’s because I handed the list directly to the shopkeeper and asked him to put it into the bag.”

“AND YOU NEED SOMEONE’S HELP IN THE END!”

She didn’t grow at all. No, she wouldn’t even do anything before, and now that she would prepare a list, I suppose it’s some form of improvement…

“Oh yes, I have something I want to ask everyone.”

It seemed that we finally entered the main point as nee-san suddenly said cheerily. What does she want?

“I want to know how’s my stupid brother doing at school, like school grades or ‘illicit sexual relationships’.”

Why must she deliberately emphasize on those last words!?

Ku…! Damned despicable…! So she’s been planning this when she invited everyone to stay behind for dinner!

But it doesn’t matter. After that explanation in the kitchen, and the supposedly biggest threats, Yuuji and Muttsurini are standing on my side.

“Well, I find that Akihisa-kun’s very hardworking. It seemed that his grades improved.”

“Tha, that’s right. He would sometimes be so serious that it’s scary.”

As expected of Himeji-san and Minami, they’re different from Yuuji in that they won’t say anything bad in front of the person involved or the family members. They’re really good girls who know how to back off.

“Really? Then, what about illicit sexual relationships?”

“Eh, erm, well, I’m not, too certain about this…regarding Akihisa-kun’s ‘relationships with the opposite gender’.”

“That, that’s right. I’m not too certain about this…regarding Aki’s ‘relationships with the opposite gender’.”

For some reason, both of them seemed to emphasize on the ‘illicit sexual relationships’.

Luckily, Himeji-san and Minami didn’t say anything. in that case, the only one left is—

“Akihisa’s relationships with the opposite gender, huh…”

Only Hideyoshi was left as he used his hand to support his chin.

Hideyoshi probably won’t mention about what happened between Minami and me, right? But…he may say something explosive with a half-joking tone. I have to find some way to prevent Hideyoshi from talking rubbish.

I took my fork and picked up the mushroom on the plate,

“Does Hideyoshi-kun know something?”

“Well…if there’s something.”

“Hideyoshi, ahh-n”

“Nnu? Ahh-n”

I passed the fork in my hand to Hideyoshi before he said something ridiculous. On seeing my action, Hideyoshi didn’t show any suspicion and immediately ate the food I fed him. Naturally, he can’t talk when he’s chewing.

If he’s chewing, he shouldn’t open his mouth. That’s why nee-san waited for Hideyoshi to swallow the mushroom and ask,

“Hideyoshi-kun. About that—”

“Hideyoshi, ahh-n”

“Ahh-n”

Chew Chew.


“Hideyoshi-kun. About just now—.”

“Hideyoshi, ahh-n”

“Ahh-n”

Chew chew.


“Hi—”

“Hideyoshi, ahh-n”

“Ahh-n”

Crack.

What is it? It seemed I heard something unnerving.

“UWAHH!! MY JOINT! MY JOINT! MY ELBOW’S TWISTED IN THE OPPOSITE MANNER! IS THIS THE NEXT GENERATION OF HUMANS!?”

“Aki-kun, please don’t bother me. Or else nee-san will do something terrible to you, you know?”

“YOU’VE DONE IT! YOU’RE DOING SOMETHING REALLY CRUEL TO ME!”

“Alright, what’s the situation like, Hideyoshi-kun?”

“Well, about that…”

Ignoring me while I was struggling on the ground in pain, nee-san continued her conversation with Hideyoshi.

“Akihisa himself didn’t mention it, so I don’t think I can say anything.”

Hideyoshi still smiled as nee-san asked him and said an answer to end things. Such an answer doesn’t state what exactly happened, but it does prove that something happened. Besides, Hideyoshi doesn’t know my situation and felt that saying this would be alright. Uu…it’s a grave mistake on my part not to inform Hideyoshi first…

“Arre, so that’s a secret? In that case…I’ll have Aki-kun explain things thoroughly next time.”

“That’s the plan.”

“Nee-san, what do you actually mean by ‘explain things thoroughly’? Normally put, it should be like ‘thoroughly’ or ‘slowly’ explain things!”

I can clearly feel her malice and killing intent from her tone. I think it’s best that I replenish my calcium for the sake of the crisis that was about to occur.

“I’ll just cook fish tomorrow…”

“You’re already thinking of tomorrow’s dishes when we haven’t finished dinner today? You’re really gluttonous, Aki-kun.”

“No, I don’t mean that.”

That’s to prevent my bones from being snapped.

“Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you. From tomorrow on, you don’t have to prepare dinner for nee-san.”

“Eh? I don’t have to prepare your share?’

“Yeah, I have some work to deal with. From tomorrow until the weekend, I think I would be going home late.”

The work nee-san’s talking about should be related to helping out at dad’s company. As the head office’s shifted back to Japan, it seems that there’re still some processes to deal with or some deals. I don’t know what kind of company my dad’s running, so I don’t know of the specifics.

Anyway, it’s great that nee-san’s coming home late. In that case, I can get some breathing room from nee-san’s wanton desposition…

“Aki-kun, you look happy.”

“Eh! No, not really, that’s not true. Nee-san came back home and yet has to go home late. I’m really finding it a pity.”

“Say it in English then.”

“Happy.”

“…”

“AH! OUCH! NEE-SAN! DON’T SLAP ME WHEN WE’RE EATING!”

My mouth’s already bleeding inside, and the dessert I ate inadvertently had a slight tinge of blood.

After dinner, we quickly cleared the plates. Everyone was gathered in the living room, and Himeji-san spoke up to say the biggest reason why we’re gathered here.

“Then, isn’t it about time we should study?”

“Yeah. It’s not good to go home too late.”

Maybe it’s because we ate dinner early that it’s now only 7pm. Right now, there’s a lot of time we can use to study. I don’t want to work hard, but this is for my own freedom. I have to force myself to work hard!

“In that case, please teach me about some lesson related questions.”

“…Me too.”

It’s really hard to imagine us as F-class members with such serious attitudes. I really want to show Ironman this.

“Yeah. Studying’s not about preparing for exams. Let’s start reading ‘like usual’!”

I held off nee-san’s response to prevent her from guessing.

“Is everyone going to study together? In that case, I have something good here, you know?”

“Something good?”

“Yes. I found it when I was cleaning the house. I’ll bring it over.”

Nee-san walked out of the living room, and the sound of rummaging could be heard. Soon after, nee-san came back to the living room.

“These aren’t really considered reference books, but it’ll be great if it can benefit everyone.”

Nee-san put the book in her hands onto the table. That’s weird, I seemed to have seen them before…


<<Female high school student: Lustful bold collection.>>


“I found them in Aki-kun’s room.”

“Isn’t that my top secret—!!”

What in the world did this person take out!? Does she feel happy to force her brother to the edge?

“Please take it as health education reference.”

“NOT! HOW CAN SUCH A THING BE USED AS REFERENCE! AND DIDN’T YOU ENTER MY ROOM ON YOUR OWN!? DIDN’T I TELL YOU MANY TIMES NOT TO ENTER MY ROOM!?”

“I didn’t enter on my own will, Aki-kun, you did say that I can enter your room.”

“ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE TIME WHEN YOU WENT TO MY ROOM TO GET CLOTHES!? IS THAT YOUR METHOD TO ACHIEVE SUCH AN AIM!? THIS UNDERHANDED TACTIC IS WAY TOO DESPICABLE!”

“I, in that case, I’ll use it as reference material…”

“Tha, that’s right, I’ll just take a peek then…”

“HIMEJI-SAN, MINAMI, WHAT’S WITH YOU!? YOU DON’T HAVE TO PLAY ALONG WITH NEE-SAN’S SEXUAL HARASSMENT! OR RATHER, I BEG OF YOU, DON’T LOOK!?”

Wouldn’t you know of my fetishes in that case?

“Aki-kun, nee-san has checked through all the ‘reference books’ under your bed. Looks like your focus in studying are more towards big breasts and ponytails.”

“DON’T SAY SUCH THINGS SO CALMLY!? DIDN’T YOU JUST REVEAL MY FETISHES NO MATTER HOW YOU TRY TO TWIST THINGS!?”

“Ponytail…”

“Big breasts…”

Himeji-san and Minami stared at a certain part of each other’s body, and then both of them showed a pondering look.

“I’d say, aren’t you people going to study?”

“Tha, that’s right, Hideyoshi’s right! Alright, we should be studying!”

I snatched the book from Himeji-san’s hands and stuffed a textbook into her hands. Alright, time to study hard, we should be studying seriously.

“Tha, that’s right. We should start studying. Nn…”

“Mi, Mizuki? Why are you tying your hair out of a sudden?”

“No, nothing? I’m tying my hair so that it won’t affect my mood.”

“I’ll help you tie then! I’ll tie it into buns!”

“No, that’s not it. I want to tie it into a ponytail.”

“No! You must tie it into buns!”

“Minami-chan, you’re so evil…”

Minami said that and immediately went behind Himeji-san to tie her hair into buns. They look youthful and eye-catching…

“What’s with you, Muttsurini? I’d say, you look rather quiet.”

“ah, yeah.”

Even with such a book put on the table, Muttsurini didn’t show any interest at all. This really isn’t like Muttsurini. Has he already died from too much nosebleeding?”

“…(Looks around).”

“? What’s wrong, Muttsurini?”

I look at him in a rather worried manner, but Muttsurini still looked calm and continued to look around as if he was searching for something.

“…Akihisa.”

“Nn?”

“…Where’s the remaining 1,999 books?”

“Ehh!? You actually thought that I really had 2,000 ero-books!?”

Amazing! As for what’s amazing, it’s that Muttsurini actually believed that there’s 2,000 ero-books here!

“…I have no interest in ero-books.”

In stark contrast to what he said, Muttsurini obviously looked disappointed as he lowered his shoulders. He looked like a puppy who was begging its owner to bring it out for a walk, only to be rejected. Though pitiful, Muttsurini may be rather cute like this.

“Let’s just leave Akihisa’s ero-books aside for now. If we want to study, we better do so fast!”

Yuuji spoke in a reluctant manner. One can tell how scary these guys are when an idiot like Yuuji looks like one with common sense.

“If you want to study, I can teach you.”

“Eh? Onee-san, you will?”

Nee-san’s suggestion caused Himeji-san and the rest to widen their eyes.

Having seen nee-san’s weird actions, it’s obvious that they would show a shocked look.

“Yes. I finished my degree in a certain school in Boston, America, so I should more or less be able to help you out.”

“Bo, Boston university…don’t tell me it’s that world famous Harvard University!?”

“You really do know it. Yes, it’s that school.”

“““EHHH!!!???”””

The strange thing is, nee-san’s abnormally good at studying, but is overwhelmingly lacking in common sense.

“I see, so the good ones were taken…”

“Yuuji, may I know what do you mean by that?”

The sad expression he showed me was really frustrating.

“In that case, please don’t hold back in your questions, like traditional English or things that the Japanese teachers can’t teach us. Nee-san seem to know a lot.”

“…Very reliable.”

“I understand. We’ll start from English then.”

“““We’re in your care!”””

After that, we continued to listen to nee-san’s lessons until 10pm before we disbanded and ended the study group today.


Current score [-220 points]




The Fourth Question[edit]

Please indicate the accented syllable of the underlined words in the English sentence below.

“Don’t mind. It's your imagination. He had stayed on business in New York yesterday.”

Himeji Mizuki’s answer:

"It’s your imaginátion."

Teacher's comment:

Correct answer. Normally, words that end with ‘tion’ will have the syllable before it, so it’s best to remember it.

Tsuchiya Kouta’s answer:

"It’s your íḿáĝíńáťíóń."

Teacher's comment:

You won’t be necessarily correct if you accentuate every single letter.

Yoshii Akihisa’s answer:

"It’s your imagination!"

Teacher's comment:

Sometimes, I suspect if you’re really a genius, but that’s just a wrong impression.

BTS5-Mizuki.jpg



I’m living together with that dangerous sister of mine under the same roof

Maybe it’s because of such a tense feeling that my senses became abnormally sharp, or is it that my precognition ability got sharper?

I suffered for an entire day yesterday, and I really felt tired because I studied, which I rarely do. However, for some reason, I opened my eyes before the alarm clock rang.

“…”

“…”

The moment I opened my eyes, I found myself holding onto a pile of cosmetics with both hands and exchanging looks with my sister.

“…Ah…erm…”

What is this person doing in my room so early in the morning?

“Good morning, Aki-kun.”

“Ah, yeah. Good morning.”

As she said good morning to me casually, I answered without thinking too much. Wait, now’s not the time to say good morning!

“Nee-san! Why did you come over to my room!? And what’s with the cosmetics? Are you thinking of bullying me again?”

Is she planning on doodling on my face while I’m sleeping!?

“What do you mean by bullying? That doesn’t sound nice. You should be saying pampering you or playing a little prank on you.”

“Ahh, whatever you say doesn’t matter! Fine, then tell me what kind of prank are you playing!?”

“Sexual related.”

“GET OUT!”

“I understand. Then treat it as revision for last night. I’ll leave if you can translate that into correct English.”

Damn it! A test at this moment? My sister’s too damned despicable! Anyway, I just need to get her out of my room.

Take off!”

“Deduct 10 points.”

Damn it! Deducted again! Isn’t it like this? Let me see…’take’ has the meaning of ‘walk’ or ‘go’, and ‘out’ will have the meaning of ‘out’ here. If I match them up…

Take ou—

“Unfortunately, if you want to say ‘take out’, nee-san will have to take Aki-kun ‘back’ to her own room and dress you like a doll.”

Take ouch!”

This is bad! Got to hurry up and get away—

“Did you say ‘take ouch’?...deduct another 10 points.”

—I failed again.

No no. What’s the English form of ‘get out’…what, what is it…

“Aki-kun, did you want to say ‘take off clothes’?”

Perhaps she couldn’t stand seeing me panicking as nee-san helped me out. This is great! I don’t know what that means, but I should be able to escape then!

“Tha, that’s right! That’s it! ‘Take off clothes, hurry!’

“I understand that. If Aki-kun says so, nee-san can only give up on marriage.”

What! What does ‘take off clothes’ mean? Why did nee-san say that she can only give up on marriage!

“Alright, considering all the punishment from yesterday, that should be enough with the jokes.”

“Eh? Jokes? Then what about the point deduction?”

“I’m serious with that one.”

“YOU DEMON!”

In that case, I will have 240 points deducted. I’m doomed. It’s getting worse day by day…

“On a side note, ‘take off clothes’ is translated as ‘taking off clothing’. Really, our Aki-kun here is so perverted.”

“Ahaha, what are you saying. It doesn’t benefit me one bit even if I see nee-san’s naked body.”

“…Deduct 30 points from you.”

“YOU’RE THE DEVIL!”

There will be real problems if a younger brother is interested in his sister’s naked body.

“Speaking of which, while Aki-kun was sleeping in the morning, nee-san used the excuse of cleaning to check your room.”

“Excuse…that’s not something you can just say…”

“I found two more H-books.”

“HAAAAUUUU!!”

How did this person find those old books that even I've completely forgotten…

“So I’m going to deduct from you another 20 points.”

“Uu…so you’re deducting one book for 10 points, and two books for 20 points?”

“Nope, you’re mistaken.”

Eh? That’s not it?

“I found 6 books up till now, but none of them were about affairs with older sisters, so I deducted 20 points from you.”

“ISN’T THAT WAY TOO UNREASONABLE!?”

I already have a sister, how can I even go and buy those kinds of ero-books?! Speaking of which, since she’s my real sister, shouldn’t she feel disgusted if she saw such things?

“I might be a little bit too strict, but I hope that it will serve as a good lesson for Aki-kun. This is nee-san’s love for Aki-kun.”

“WHO WOULD BELIEVE SUCH A LAME EXCUSE AFTER YOU'VE CLEARLY SHOWED ALL YOUR PERSONAL INTERESTS?!”

“Alright, you should leave after having your breakfast. Nee-san has to go to work today.”

“Uu…I can’t stand such a life…”

How is it that living together with a relative under one roof can be such a pain?

“That’s the case, Yuuji. So let’s have a happy study group later again!”

After school, I packed my bag at the fastest speed possible and hurriedly ran over to Yuuji’s seat.

“…Akihisa. These words sound really disgusting when they aren’t things you’ll normally say.”

“Whatever you say. I’m not bothered with thinking about what other people say.”

The more my points get deducted, the more I have nothing to do other than to try to improve my grades.

“What the heck, you got deducted again?”

“Well…nee-san tested my English early in the morning…”

Testing me just when I woke up; there has to be a limit to how despicable one should be! But I guess it doesn’t matter what the time was, since I just couldn’t think of the answer…

“Really? Then how much were you deducted?”

“In all, 290. This is bad.”

“290, huh. Looks like you have to get at least 1090 points for your end-of-term exams.”

“Yeah. Even if I’m in good condition, my maximum will be about 1000. If I can’t get more than 50 points more…”

If I can get 1100 points, it will be the average in E class. To be honest, I have no confidence in that.

“If it’s just that, you should be able to do it.”

“Eh? Really?”

“If you’re willing to work like crazy memorizing things that you have to remember, you should be able to improve your grades. In your case, world history should be your big chance. I remember it was only about 50, 60 points?”

“Un. You really remembered that.”

“I’m the class rep of F class after all.”

Yuuji would check everyone’s scores before starting a summoning war. As a commander, he definitely has to know his own class’ grades.

“It seems that the one responsible for the end-of-term test is going to be different than the one for the streaming exam - it's going to be Tanaka-sensei. This should be a good thing for you, right?”

“Tanaka-sensei…if he’s the one making the questions, it will be a lot easier to get points.

Tanaka-sensei, who’s in charge of world history, is a kind middle-aged man. As the questions he sets are very simple, he’s highly regarded amongst the students.

Normally, simpler questions wouldn’t determine how good or bad the grades are, and a test that doesn’t determine how good or bad the standard is would be meaningless.

But to me now, this is something I really need. Besides, the important thing isn’t to compete with the other classmates, but to get points.

“It should be easier to get points from subjects that only need memorizing than subjects you’re good at.”

“You're right. Even if I start studying math now, I probably won’t get any good grades.”

To me, the key to getting points on these end-of-term tests will be world history.

Just when Yuuji and I were discussing how to deal with the tests and things like that, Hideyoshi, who was holding onto his bag, came to us.

“What are you discussing about? Are we having another study group at Akihisa’s house?”

“My house? Well…nee-san’s out to work, so she won’t be around at night, so you can come along. But…”

“But?”

“It’s better to go to Yuuji’s house to study. It’s better to change places once in a while to one other than mine. And my house doesn’t have any reference books, so we can’t study if there’re things we don’t have.”

I immediately suggested that we study at Yuuji’s place.

It’s not a lie when I say that I don’t have any reference books at all, but the reason why I chose Yuuji’s place is actually because I want to drag him down. That Yuuji always has no interest in things he’s not interested in, so if I don’t do this, I will worry that he won’t teach me. He said that he would help me for the sake of the next summoning battle, but I have to be prepared.

“Can we, Yuuji? You did come over to my house forcefully yesterday.”

“Well, we did force our way to your house yesterday alright…”

Yuuji pondered for a while,

“Alright then, we’ll go to my house then. My mom’s going on a hot springs trip and isn’t at home now. That’s really lucky.”

I don’t know what’s worth being happy about Yuuji’s mother not being at home, but he agreed rather heartily. Now I can ask him to teach me today.

“In that case, can I join in too? It’s really hard to be motivated studying alone.”

“Of course it’s okay. Or rather, the same few will be gathered here, right? In that case, might as well gather them to save time.”

“You’re right. Oi, Muttsurini, Himeji-san, Minami!”

I hollered out to the other three who were waiting in the classroom.

“Yes, what’s the matter, Akihisa-kun?”

“What?”

“…Where’re we going?”

Having packed their bags, the trio carried them and walked over.

“Un. We intend to study at Yuuji’s house. If you guys are alright…”

Perhaps it was to prepare for the upcoming end-of-term exams as everyone agreed wholeheartedly.

After a 15 minute walk from school, we arrived at Yuuji’s place, located in a corner of the residence district.

“““Please excuse us.”””

After taking off our shoes at the corridor, we entered the house one by one.

Unlike my house, Yuuji’s house is a 2-storyed bungalow and looks wider than mine. It should be easier to study here.

“Yuuji, isn’t anyone else at home?”

I walked forward and asked Yuuji who was about to lead us to his room.

“Ahh, my dad’s still working at this time, and my mom went off on a hot springs trip with her high school friends, so please don’t feel restrained and make yourself at home.”

“I see. The last time I came here, it seemed that your relatives weren’t at home, Yuuji.”

“Yeah. But it’ll be better if they’re not at home in more than one way.”

Yuuji smiled cheerily and opened the door leading to the living room, and then,


“……(Guchi guchi guchi guchi)!”

There’s a woman focusing on squeezing a bubble bag.

“…”

—BATAN!

Yuuji wordlessly closed the door.

“Yu, Yuuji? That person who’s squeezing the bubble bags that’s piled up like a hill is—”

“…Someone I don’t know.”

“Is, is that Sakamoto's mother…? Why is she squeezing so many bubble bags…”

“Ye, yeah. Aren’t there too many of them? If she wants to squeeze so many of them, it will take about 1, 2 hours.”

“…Such amazing concentration.”

“Is Sakamoto-kun’s mother's line of work squeezing bubble bags?”

All sorts of ideas appeared in everyone’s mind. What was that just now…

“Must be some patient with a psychiatric disorder. Don’t know how she got into my house, because my mom should be off on the hot springs trip.”

It’s really rare for Yuuji to make such a lie that anyone can see through. This Yuuji can cheat other people’s hearts like a professional con-man and I thought that such an evil Yuuji was no different from the devil, so I’m rather surprised by his response now.

Yuuji closed the door leading to the living room, and we could only stay in the corridor. At this moment, the voice of that so-called stranger could be heard.

“Oh my? I didn’t think it would be that late now. I remember Yuuji just went to school.”

Looks like the person inside the room has been squeezing bubble bags for almost 8 hours.

“I’ll finish the rest after I have lunch.”

And it looks like she wants to continue.

“DAMN MOM! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?”

Seemingly unable to stand this any further, Yuuji finally stepped into the living room. Really? That person’s really Yuuji’s mother…

“Oh my, Yuuji. You’re back.”

“TO HELL I AM! WHY THE HECK ARE YOU AT HOME!? DIDN’T YOU SAY THAT YOU’RE GOING OUT ON A HOT SPRINGS TRIP AND STAYING OUTSIDE!?”

“About this, it seemed that okaa-san here mistook the time. July and October look really easy to mix up on first glance. How troublesome.”

“HOW IS IT EASY TO MIX UP!? THE NUMBER’S DIFFERENT, AND ONE’S A SINGLE DIGIT WHILE THE OTHER IS A DOUBLE DIGIT! THEY’RE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!”

“Really, you, Yuuji, treating okaa-san like a naive female high school student.”

“STOP USING THAT SHAMELESS EXCUSE TO ESCAPE THE PROBLEM! YOUR GOLDEN AGE ENDED MORE THAN 10 YEARS AGO!!”

“Oh my, are these Yuuji’s friends?”

“ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO ME!?”

We were already stunned by such a crazy conversation. A, amazing…how should I describe it? Anyway…it’s amazing…

“Everyone, welcome here. Our Yuuji has bothered you a lot. I’m his mother. Just call me Yukino.”

Aunty Yukino smiled kindly at us and said gracefully. The gentle presence that she gave really made it hard to imagine that she would have any blood relation to Yuuji.

And also, after seeing her look, there’s one thing we’re all shocked by.

“Sa, Sakamoto? Your mother’s…way too young, isn’t she?”

“Yeah…I feel that Yuuji’s mom is so young that she never gave birth before…”

“…A beauty”

“I feel that she’s more like Sakamoto-kun’s sister~”

Just like what everyone said, she looked more like an older sister who was somewhat older than Yuuji than a mother. Speaking of which, how old is she anyway?

“Ever... everyone, just pretend that you never saw my mother and head to my room.”

“U, un. Pardon us for intruding then.”

After bowing to his mother, we head over to Yuuji’s room on the second level.

“Everyone, I’ll bring tea to you later.”

A voice came from the living room. It’s great to have a young and pretty and kind mom…even though it feels a little weird.

“My room’s here. Please enter.”

We entered Yuuji’s room as he led us in.

Once we went up the stairs, we arrived at Yuuji’s room. It’s rather neatly packed, which is surprising. For a one-person room, it’s rather wide.

“Speaking of which, it’s been a while since I came to Yuuji’s house.”

“I’d say so too.”

“…Me too.”

It seemed that after I came here last autumn with Hideyoshi and Muttsurini, we never entered Yuuji’s house again.

“Eh? Don’t you normally come for a visit?”

“Normally, they would come over to my house. We hardly go to Yuuji’s house, or even Muttsurini or Hideyoshi’s house.”

“The place’s great and it’s wide. Akihisa’s house is still the best.”

“That’s because Akihisa-kun’s being too luxurious living in such a large house.”

“Other than the three meals.”

Yeah yeah, but I will have to see the grades of these end-of-term tests to decide whether I can live my luxurious happy life of living alone.

“But…with so many people inside, my room will be too small, which is troublesome…”

There were 6 people altogether. If we were chit-chatting, it would still be alright, but if we open all our textbooks and notes, the place will be rather small and hard to move in.

“Can’t we go to your living room?”

“It’s not that we can’t, but my mom’s over there. With her around, we can’t possibly study.”

Yuuji showed a thoroughly irritated look. It may be my lucky day to know this guy’s weakness other than Kirishima-san.

“Really, how can you say that, Sakamoto-kun? Treating your own mother as a form of trouble.”

“Himeji, you’re saying that because you’re not living with such a mother. If you have to live with her for 24 hours a day under the same roof, you’ll find that there’s a lot of points you have to snark at her about—”


Prrr! Prrr!


Just when Yuuji was arguing back, a certain electronic sound suddenly rang inside the room. Someone’s handphone probably rang.

“Ah, it’s my phone. Sorry, I’ll take the call.”

Minami took the phone from her skirt pocket and put it next to her ear. It was not a message but a direct call. Is there something urgent?

“Hello? Ah, Mut—okaa-san. What is it? …Un…un. I see, got it then.”

This call lasted less than a minute as Minami put the phone back into her skirt pocket.

“Did something happen, Minami?”

“Un…my mom originally didn’t need to go to work and could stay at home…but it seems that the company suddenly got something urgent, so she has to go out.”

“Ah, is that so? Then Hazuki-chan’s the only one at home, is it?”

“Ya. Sorry everyone, looks like I have to go home today. Let’s work hard together next time.”

I see. It’s a pity, but it can't be helped. Besides, it’s too much leaving a primary school kid at home.

Minami then took her bag and got ready to leave Yuuji’s room. But at this moment, Yuuji called Minami.

“Wait, Shimada. In that case, why don’t we move the study group over to your house?”

“Eh? My house?”

Minami’s house. I see, that’s a good idea.

“That’s not a bad idea too. Shimada’s little sister knows us, and Yuuji’s room is so full of people that it’s a little cramped here..”

“And we can meet Hazuki-chan too.”

“…I can cook dinner for you.”

The rest of us agreed with this proposal. Most importantly, it looks like Yuuji, who proposed this, wants to change the place no matter what.

“If you’re willing, Minami, can we go?”

“U…you, you’re right…”

That’s weird? It sounds like Minami’s not willing. I do find this a good idea.

“The, then, let’s go to my house…”

After pondering for a while, Minami agreed in the end. That’s great, now Hazuki-chan won’t have to feel lonely, and everyone can gather together and study.

“But you absolutely must not enter my room!”

For some reason, Minami stared at my eyes as she said that. Do I look like someone who’ll enter a girl’s room on my own? And to think Minami’s more wary of me instead of Muttsurini. How regretful.

“Alright. Since it’s decided, let’s hurry up and leave! That pipsqueak will feel lonely if we leave her alone at home!”

After saying that, Yuuji pushed us from behind and hurriedly moved over to the corridor. Does he really hate having his mom at home while studying?

Yuuji entered the living room while we were putting on our shoes in the corridor to talk to Aunt Yukino.

“Mom, I’m going out. There are leftovers from yesterday in the fridge, so take it out and reheat it for dinner.”

“Oh my, are you going out? I just brewed tea.”

“Sorry, there’s a sudden situation…speaking of which, why are you holding onto that bottle of noodle sauce?”

“Noodle sauce? Oh my, I thought it was coffee.”

“Mom…I won’t ask you to take note of the color or taste, but at least you should read the label on the bottle…”

What’s going on? Why do I feel that Yuuji feels even more lethargic at home than at school?

“I’m back. Are you here, Hazuki?”

Minami immediately called into the house once she opened the door to the corridor.

“Waa, onee-chan? You, you’re back?”

A little profile dashed out from the other side of the corridor.

The girl with the almond-shaped eyes that were twitching upwards and two ponytails tied in butterfly knots is Minami’s little sister—Shimada Hazuki.

“? Hazuki? Did you come out from onee-chan’s room?”

Looks like Hazuki-chan just came running out from Minami’s room.

“Ah, auu…actually it’s because…it feels lonely being alone, so Hazuki went over to onee-chan’s room…”

Hazuki-chan sounded like she really had something she didn’t want to say, and there seemed to be something hidden in the pocket of her parka.

“Did you go to my room to get the doll? Onee-chan won’t get angry over that.”

“Re, really? Thank you, onee-chan!”

Good good. Minami patted Hazuki-chan gently on the head. I saw that their conversation has ended, and took a step forward from behind Minami and said hello to Hazuki-chan.

“Hello there, Hazuki-chan.”

“Ah! Baka onii-chan!”

On seeing that I came over, Hazuki-chan leaped into me with her arms wide open without a second word. After hugging my waist, Hazuki-chan rubbed her forehead at my waist a few times. Un un, as expected of Minami’s little sister…her forehead precisely fits my solar plexus.

“Hello there, Hazuki-chan. We came along.”

“Waah. Even pretty onee-chan is here. There’re a lot of guests here today!”

It’s really lonely for a primary school kid to be alone at home, as Hazuki-chan immediately showed a smile the moment she saw that we came here and looked extremely delighted. Such an honest kid is really suited for the term ‘innocent’.

“Okay, Hazuki, let go of Aki, or else everyone else can’t enter the house.”

“Okay, I got it. Baka onii-chan, everyone, please follow me.”

“Okay okay, Hazuki-chan, you don’t have to pull me. I’ll follow—nn?”

As I was pulled over down the corridor by Hazuki-chan, I accidentally glimpsed the inside of a room whose door wasn’t locked. There are a few dolls inside, and at the middle is a familiar large doll. The doll looks like it’s holding onto something.

What’s in the grasp of that fox doll? It looks like…a photo frame…?

“Wa, wait a second, Aki!?”

“Houe?”

On hearing Minami call me, I consciously turned around. At that moment, my forehead, nose and chin were struck with a strong force. Just when I lost my balance, the joints on my wrists were twisted with such violent force that they were dislocated.

“What are you looking at?”

I suppose right now I'm looking into the pit of hell.

“Listen! This is the room that you’re not allowed to enter!”

Minami hurriedly closed the door, and at this moment, Muttsurini too joined me with dislocated wrists. Minami then turned around and furiously pointed at me. Un, relax, I definitely won’t open this door. I know clearly that this door leads straight to hell.

“Really, what in the world are you guys doing…how have you been doing, pipsqueak?”

“Hazuki’s doing well, muscular onii-chan.”

“Really? That’s good.”

Yuuji reached out and patted Hazuki-chan’s head twice before putting his hand on her head. It seems that Yuuji likes to put his hand on Hazuki-chan’s forehead because of the difference in height.

“Oh yeah, is your living room in this direction?”

“Yes, it’s this way.”

Yuuji looks like he regained his composure and attitude the moment he left his house. If I had known, I would have mocked him further.

“Find a place to sit then. I’ll move a table over.”

Minami walked over in front of us and got ready to move a table so that we could open our textbooks and read.

“? Onee-chan? Why do you need the table? Are you playing cards?”

Hazuki-chan tilted her head in a puzzled manner as she saw Minami’s actions.

Ahh, that’s right. We haven’t told Hazuki-chan the reason why we came over to her house.

“Hazuki. Onee-chan’s school is going to have end-of-term tests soon, so onee-chan brought her classmates over to study.”

On hearing Minami’s explanation, Hazuki-chan showed a lonely expression and looked down slightly.

“Auu…so you’re going to study…Hazuki can only go back to her room and not bother you…”

I should say she either really knows how to read the mood or is very cognitive. Hazuki-chan was ready to go back to her room without us saying a thing.

This is really a response a good kid should have, but…

“Wait a moment, Hazuki-chan. If you feel bore, why don’t you study with us? You can do your homework or study.”

It’s not a good thing if a kid can really read people’s moods. She was already happy when she saw us come over. Wouldn’t it be really lonely if she were to hide back in her room alone like that?

“Eh? Hazuki can stay with everyone to study?”

Her expression immediately brightened.

“Of course you can. Right?”

“Yeah. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s teaching one or two people.”

“Yuuji, are you saying that I’m only on the level of a fifth-grader?”

“Hazuki-chan. Let’s study together.”

“I don’t think this me has anything to teach you, but I’d be willing to welcome you to study with us.”

“…If it’s health education, I can teach you.”

Muttsurini, those words of yours are just within the limit (it’s nearly an out there).

(Aki, are you really alright with that? Don’t you have to work hard for the tests this time?)

Minami kept her voice down to prevent Hazuki-chan from hearing that and whispered into my ear. She really seemed concerned with my grades.

(It’s alright. Hazuki-chan’s a good kid and won’t be a hindrance. Also, it's too pitiful if she stays in her room alone. I won’t be able to work hard then.)

Minami was really over-thinking things… of course that was my response.

(…Thank you, Aki.)

She whispered to me in a shy manner.

Minami will occasionally look at me in a gentle manner. After seeing her like this, I…well, about this…what should I say..

“Hazuki wants to study with everyone!”

“Very good. Bring your homework over then.” “Got it!”

Tototo. Hazuki-chan scampered away. Even though she’s just studying with us, she looks really happy.

“Alright. We’re going to move the table. I’ll help.”

“Ah, there’s no need. I can do it myself.”

“Really? Yeah. If there’s a ‘photo of a certain person in the house’, of course you wouldn't wish that other people would go around, and I won’t insist on helping.”

“Wh-wha-what, what are you saying, Sakamoto!? Did you…see what’s inside that room!?”

“Nothing, I’m just joking…”

“To think that Shimada still has the heart of a girl.”

“…Sorry for using your generosity to help my business.”

Looks like Minami does go over to buy photos from Muttsurini. Muttsurini Company is really the real deal.

“Oh yeah. We can talk about the hidden things later. What about dinner?”

“…Should I cook something?”

“I don’t mind.”

It’s 5pm now. If we want to cook, we have to buy the ingredients, and we won’t be able to make it later.

“Why don’t we order pizza? It’ll take some time to cook something.”

“Yes. Akihisa-kun has to study quite a bit. We can’t waste time cooking.”

It’s great that the two girls were so kind. Besides, I do have some spare cash now, so it’ll be great if we can prioritize cooking.

“Well, I’d thought we would be able to see Shimada cook personally.”

“After last night, my confidence was thoroughly shaken, so…”

“I see. I understand.”

“Everyone, find a place to sit. I’ll move the table over.”

Minami went away, and Hazuki-chan seemed to brush past her as her arms were full of textbooks while she came over.

“Sorry to keep everyone waiting.”

“You look rather motivated, Hazuki-chan.”

“Yes. Ah, baka onii-chan, please sit here.”

Hazuki-chan put the books in her hand onto the living room table, and then put a cushion on the carpet. Is she asking me to sit on it?

“Thank you, Hazuki-chan.”

“It’s nothing much.”

I obediently sat on the cushion, and then—

“Hazuki’s seat is over here.”

Hazuki-chan then sat on my knees. I see, so that’s how it is.

“Sorry to keep you waiting. I’ll put this table—hey, Hazuki, what are you doing?”

“Ehehe~ Hazuki wants to sit here and study.”

“No way. You’ll get in Aki’s way!”

Minami started lecturing in a way an older sister should be doing. It’ll be great if she just tells me off instead of taking action for real when she faces me…

“I’m fine here, Minami. Hazuki-chan’s small anyway.”

As compared to supporting a pile of stone slabs and being forced down hard, I don’t feel hurt at all when Hazuki-chan’s sitting on my legs.

“You’re so kind, baka onii-chan.”

It will be problematic if I have to take out my notebooks or start writing, but my main aim today is to memorize history thoroughly, so there won’t be any problems. I just need a memorization sheet to study unlike homework where I have to write.

“It’s alright if you’re fine with that…but Aki, don’t you feel weird somewhere?”

“Akihisa-kun, if there’s any strange feeling, something bad will happen!”

“Yes, ladies, I have no evil intent at all.”

With this, we’re finally able to finish our preparations. The few of us plus Hazuki-chan were finally able to start studying for the end-of-term tests.

After about 2 hours of studying and a luxurious meal of pizza, we continued to study. It’s rare to have nothing troublesome, and time peacefully passed.

“Un? It’s so late already. Shouldn’t the study meet be over or something?”

Before I noticed it, the clock was showing 9.30pm.

“Wow, time sure does fly by fast.”

“…We were very focused.”

“It’s already pitch black outside.”

Once Yuuji said that, everyone put down their pens. I made quite a bit of progress because Himeji-san and Yuuji’s teaching methods were very easy. If I can continue on like this, I should be able to chase nee-san out back overseas, I suppose.

“That should be it for today. We should be going.”

“You’re right, thank you Minami-chan.”

“Ah, un, I should be the one thanking you. Hazuki, you should be—Hazuki?”

“Zzzz…”

“Ahaha, looks like she’s tired.”

Unknowingly, Hazuki-chan fell asleep on my lap.

“Really, Hazuki…sorry Aki. Can you help me move her onto the sofa?”

“Ah, okay, I was planning on doing so.”

Hazuki-chan was tugging at my shirt even when she was sleeping as she didn’t let go even when I carried her to the sofa. I won’t be able to go home like this.

“Oi, Hazuki, wake up. How is Aki going to go home if you continue to tug at him?”

Minami patted Hazuki-chan on the shoulder.

“Nu…”

At this moment, Hazuki-chan finally opened her eyes slightly.

“Don’t…go home…”

Hazuki-chan muttered and tugged harder at my shirt.

“Hazuki, onee-chan’s going to be angry if you say such stubborn things.”

Minami spoke with a heavier tone. At this moment, I can see that Minami is a kind and yet strict older sister to Hazuki-chan when it comes to it.

“…Onee-chan doesn’t understand…”

“Eh? What?”

“…Onee-chan can often play with baka onii-chan…but Hazuki can only be with baka onii-chan at such a moment…”

“““…”””

She’s all sleepy, which is why she said such things, but the few of us who were awake were stunned to actually hear Hazuki-chan’s true thoughts accidentally. So Hazuki-chan really admires me that much…

“Eh…Minami, if you’re not bothered, can I stay to study for a while longer?”

“Eh?”

“Yeah. Since the pipsqueak said so, Akihisa should stay behind.”

“It sure is thus. Akihisa, being a popular guy is tough.”

“…You're really popular.”

Everyone started to make fun of me as they jabbed at me, but this isn’t a bad feeling. I’m really happy to hear such words of goodwill that can ease my emotions, especially with that out-of-sorts sister of mine launching perverted attacks on me.


“Is, is that so…sorry Aki. Please accompany Hazuki for a while more.”

“Un.”

Since Minami allowed me, I should stay behind to study more. Besides, there’re some parts of the lesson today that I don’t really understand.

“Ah, well…in that case, I should…”

“Eh? Himeji-san, you can’t stay behind. It’ll be dangerous for a girl to go back home alone if it’s too late. Better get Yuuji to send you back home.”

“But I’m really worried, in many ways…”

“I understand your feelings.”

“No, you don’t understand what I’m worried about, Akihisa-kun!”

“???”

For some reason, Himeji-san seemed to be angry.

“I’ll send Himeji home. Muttsurini, bring Hideyoshi home.”

“…I accept.”

“I won’t really accept this, but this couldn’t be helped…”

As we continued to drag on, time continued to fly. Cute kids like Himeji-san and Hideyoshi will really be in danger if they walk back home alone at night. They were hounded by some malicious weird guys before in the Cool Summer Festival, so we have to take note.

“Then, I’ll…”

But even so, Himeji-san just wouldn’t agree. It’s not that I don’t understand that she’s worried about Hazuki-chan, but…

“But no matter how much you ask, no means no, Himeji-san.”

“But but…”

“No buts. There’s a lot of dangerous people outside, so you have to watch out for your own safety and go back home early!”

“Give it up, Himeji. No matter how much you say, Akihisa won’t change his mind.”

“…Uu…why did it end up like this…”

On hearing Hazuki-chan’s lonely words, kind Himeji-san definitely won’t leave her alone, but it’s very late now, so I’ll take over here.

“We’ll be going then. Thank you for today, Shimada.”

“I feel bothered for disturbing you for too long too.”

“…Thanks.”

“Thank you, Minami-chan…”

Including Himeji-san, who looked somewhat stressed out, everyone thanked Minami and headed off to the corridor.

“Everyone, see you tomorrow.”

My shirt was still being tugged at by Hazuki-chan, so I could only remain there and wait for everyone else to leave.

“Wait, I’ll send you off.”

Minami then got up and followed everyone out.

“Alright, I should be studying now.”

I sat in the living room that felt immediately empty, and reached out for the notes Himeji-san specially made. Himeji-san’s words are pretty, and it’s easy to read. The notes are really so good that I can grasp the important points of the exams. With these notes, my grades will definitely improve.

I took the highlighted notes and stuffed their contents into my brains.

“Suu…suu…”

A steady breathing sound could be heard at my knees.

Sleeping Hazuki-chan feels very warm, and it feels even more comfy with the air-con switched on in the room. No, it’s not because of the warmth, but it’s that her fawning over me like this made me really happy. Besides, nee-san’s been talking about exam grades and living lifestyles and nagging about all these recently, which made me feel that such a time is really precious.

I held onto the memorizing sheet and continued to memorize in a dazed manner, and time passed by just like that.

“Sorry for that, Aki, troubling you like that.”

Minami, who sent everyone off, soon came back.

“Uun, I don’t find it troublesome.”

“…Thank you.”

After thanking me in a shy manner, Minami sat beside me and gently patted Hazuki-chan on the head.

“Nyuu…”

“This kid’s really…”

Minami sat beside me and patted Hazuki-chan’s head, and Hazuki-chan, who was lying on my leg, seemed to twitch due to itchiness.

“Minami and Hazuki-chan are really close.”

“Yeah. It’s not bad.”

“Looking at you two, I really want to smile.”

“What are you saying? Don't you have good relations with your sister, Aki?”

“Eh? Since when! I’ve been watched by her, and everything family related ended up with me. She will even nag at me. There’s nothing good about it at all!”

“But didn’t you sister say ‘I love Aki-kun the most’?”

“…Please forget about that.”

“Uu, I feel that she was joking at the last bit.”

“Of course she is!”

Or rather, I’ll be really bothered if she wasn’t joking.

““…””

As we looked at Hazuki-chan’s sleeping face, Minami and I went silent.

1212 169.jpg

“Well, Aki, that…”

“Nn? What is it?”

“That doll in my room…”

“Ahh, are you talking about the large fox doll in the room?”

“Un, that fox doll—Aki bought it for me, right?”

Nn?

Speaking of which, Hazuki-chan back then said that she wanted to buy the doll for her older sister, and Hazuki-chan’s sister is Minami…

“I see. So I helped Hazuki-chan buy the doll for Minami.”

“Eh? Don’t tell me you didn’t even realize this?”

Minami gave me a look as if she’s treating me like an idiot again.

How rude. It’s not that I didn’t notice it. I just didn’t think of it.

“Well, this can’t be helped since Aki’s like that.”

“Minami, are you actually secretly mocking me now?”

“Yeah, because you’re an idiot, Aki. It can’t be helped.”

“Minami, are you actually mocking me now?”

There’s no need to deliberately pick on it.

“After the Cool Summer Festival, I wondered how Hazuki knew about Aki, so I asked Hazuki about everything.”

“Ahh, is that so. Speaking of which, I don’t think we told you about that.”

It’s no wonder she would be wondering how her little sister who’s in primary school would know about her classmate.

“After hearing Hazuki explain it, I felt…really happy.”

“This is to be expected. You should be happy after knowing that your sister worked so hard to cheer you up.”

“…”

I’m so envious that Minami has such an understanding sister.

“Haa…really, you’re a blockhead.”

Minami sighed hard and said this to me.

Whether it’s the brain, looks or lifestyle, it looks like I have an inexplicable link to the word ‘lousy’.

“You saw that doll when you looked into my room earlier, right?”

“Ah, un. I only saw the large doll holding onto a photo frame or something.’

“That photo frame…”

“Un.”

“Don’t you want to know…whose photo I put on it?”

“Eh?”

What’s with this mysterious conversation? I suppose the photo frame has the picture of Hazuki-chan who gave her the doll, or a family photo or something like that, isn’t it...? If not, it should be the photo of someone Minami likes—

“Nyuu!”

““HYAAA!!””

At this moment, Hazuki-chan, who was all sleepy, suddenly sat on my legs. Tha, that scared me!

“Nyuu…”

And Hazuki-chan leaned back down again. Did, did she really fall asleep?

“A, ahaha…that scared me.”

“Ye, yeah. Me too.”

During this time, Minami and I could only laugh awkwardly.

To change this strange atmosphere that’s flowing between us, I suppose I should look for something else to talk about. Let me see…

“Ah, Hazuki-chan let go of my shirt when she moved.”

“Eh? Ah, really.”

Most likely, she let go when she got up. That’s good.

“I suppose it’s about time for me to go.”

I carried Hazuki-chan and laid her down on the sofa. It hasn't been long since Yuuji and the rest left, so if I walk faster, I should be able to catch up to those guys.

“Really…then see you tomorrow.”

“Un.”

I put my textbooks and notes into the bag and reached out for the door handle of the living room.

Just when I was about to open the door and got ready to step out of the living room,

“…Aki.”

“Nn?”

“…You can go over to my room…to look at that photo…”

Minami said to me.

“U, un…”

With such a ridiculous pressure, I could only nod my head.

Minami didn’t say anything much after that and silently turned her head away.

“I, I’ll be going then…”

After closing the living room door, I walked towards the corridor.

“…The photo in Minami’s room…”

Since she said so, I can’t go home directly without taking a look at it.

From the conversation just now, I can guess that the big fox doll is holding onto the photo of the person Minami admires, and there’s a chance—it’s my photo.

“…(Gulp).”

I reached out for Minami’s door with my sweaty and tense hand and peeked into the room. I checked the photo in that frame. I then put on my shoes and opened the corridor door to leave Minami’s house.

Is that so…so Minami—


“A, Aki should have seen it, right? That photo…if he sees it, even an idiot should be able to understand…in that case, I can finally…”

“Nyuu…”

“Ah, Hazuki? You’re awake?”

“I’m awake…”

“Since you’re awake, change into your pajamas and go to sleep. If you feel lonely, onee-chan will sleep with you.”

“No…Hazuki borrowed a photo from onee-chan’s room, so Hazuki won’t feel lonely…”

“Really? It’s good that you won’t…eh? Wait, photo? The photo from my room?”

“Hazuki went over to borrow baka onii-chan’s photo from onee-chan’s room, so Hazuki won’t feel lonely…”

“Eehh? The, then, the photo in my room is…”

“Hazuki replaced it with the Mr Ape that’s used as the theme for the arts lesson at school…”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”


—So Minami likes apes…well, how to put it. it really shocked me in many ways…

Being completely shocked by the shocking words of my classmate, I couldn’t help but hasten my speed. Less than 5 minutes later, I saw Yuuji and Himeji-san walking in front of me. Eh? They didn’t go far? Did they take the long way?


“Ex, excuse me. I think I left something at Minami’s house…”

“Don’t worry, you didn’t forget anything. I checked thoroughly before we left Shimada’s house.”

“Uu…no, well…I have some place I want to go to….”

“It’s too late now. Better go tomorrow.”

“Hau…the, then, I have something I have to say to Minami.”

“…That’s enough already, Himeji. You’re just wasting your time now.”

“B, but…”

“No buts. That sound came from your handphone, right? Your parents should be worried about their daughter who has been back late for 2 days, right?”

“I, I sent a message over to them. Sakamoto-kun, please, let me go back!”

“It’s not that I don’t understand your feelings. Of course I want to let you go back there if I could…”


I ran over to the duo who seemed to be talking about something.

“What are you talking about, Yuuji?”

“Kya!? A, Akihisa-kun!”

“Oh, Akihisa, you’re rather fast.”

“Yeah. Hazuki-chan woke up soon after you guys left.”

But I never expected that Yuuji and the rest hadn’t go far.

“Oh yeah, what were you two talking about?”

“Well…what do you think it is, Himeji?”

“We, well…”

Himeji-san looked around. That’s weird. Is it something that’s hard to talk about?

“Forget about that. Akihisa-kun, what did you talk about with Minami-chan alone?”

“Eh?”

The unexpected question came at me before I could even get prepared, causing me to make a weird sound.

I, I can’t say it! I really can’t tell everyone about that shocking secret thing about Minami…

“Wha, what happened?”

“Eh, erm, about this…”

Himeji-san continued to stare into my eyes, and it looked like any lies I try to make wouldn’t escape her eyes.

“Is it related…to someone she likes?”

“Ugh!”

I let out a surprised sound as she guessed correctly. Himeji-san, your sixth sense today seems to be really sharp.

“Can you please…tell me exactly what happened?”

“Ugh…”

Himeji-san’s expectant eyes really hurt me.

But no matter what she says, I can’t do it. Besides…how can I say that a girl in my class likes apes…

“Akihisa-kun…”

“Sorry…Himeji-san, I can’t say it…”

“Is that so…”

Himeji-san dejectedly lowered her head.

If possible, I really want to say it, but Minami’s too direct to say that she loves apes. I won’t talk about how people in this world will think, but no matter what, I can’t just reveal Minami’s secrets to others.

Just when I was thinking about that, it seemed that Himeji-san started thinking, and soon lifted her head with a certain amount of determination.

“Akihisa-kun!”

“Ah…yes!”

“I understand Minami’s feelings!”

“What are you saying?”

How can you understand such things?

“But I hope you listen to my feelings!”

“Ho, how can you do this! I, I’ll be troubled if you suddenly say that!”

Wha, what should I do…if Himeji-san suddenly tells me that ‘I understand that Minami likes apes, but I feel that gorillas are better’, that will definitely be more than what my brain can take! Speaking of which, why are these two people talking about such things? No matter how much they ask me, I can only introduce humans to them!

“I know you’ll be really bothered, but I hope that you can seriously consider this!”

“Se, seriously…?”

I have no idea what’s so good about such things, but since Himeji-san said so, I can’t just leave it alone. In that case, I have to seriously listen to her.

“Oi, Himeji, aren’t you thinking too much? This guy’s obviously thinking about some dumb things now.”

“Eh?”

“If it’s Japanese apes, I should be able to introduce some to you…n, no. even if gorillas are on the entertainment side, it will be tough if they’re together…”

“Akihisa-kun…why must you mention animals when I’m trying to summon my courage and say such things…”

“You’re just going to wear out your brain cells no matter how you think. Oi, Akihisa, wake up (knocks)!”

GACK! What did I do?

“Sorry, what were we talking about?”

“Don’t worry. You don’t have to think about it. Oh yeah, Himeji. Which side of this junction is your house at?”

“Ah, yes…my house’s on the right.”

“The right side? The same direction as Akihisa then.”

“Oh ya, Yuuji’s house on the other side.”

“That’s right, so I’ll hand the duty of sending Himeji home to you. Don’t think you can attack people in the middle of a peaceful night just because no one is around.”

“Understood. I’ll try my best to endure.”

“Oi, isn’t that answer kinda inappropriate…”

“I, I’ll endure too!”

“Himeji! You want to attack Akihisa too!?”

Yuuji continued to stare at both of us with a look of disbelief.

“Oh well, whatever. No amount of time will be enough to snark back at you two idiots.”

““?””

“Then, see you tomorrow.”

“Un, see you tomorrow.”

“Thank you, Sakamoto-kun.”

As we waved goodbye to Yuuji at the cross-junction, Himeji-san and I walked side by side with each other as we went home.

Maybe it’s because Yuuji, who’s always being so noisy, isn’t around, but the chirping all around became extremely clear.

“Oh yeah, is your house in this direction, Himeji-san?”

“Yes. My house is actually rather close to yours, Akihisa-kun. We even studied in the same primary school.”

“Is that so? That’s true. If our primary school is the same, it means that we’re living rather near each other.”

Recently, because of the assembly, there are a lot less chances, but there were about 3 primary schools nearby. Himeji-san and I studied at Mutsuki Primary school.

It sure was memorable. It’s been over 5 years since then…

“It’s really a rare chance to walk together with Akihisa-kun slowly.”

“Eh? Really?”

“Yeah. Akihisa-kun’s always surrounded by so many people.”

“Ahaha. It’s really amazing to hear Himeji-san say that I’m really popular.”

Actually, I was being teased by those guys.

“Not at all. Akihisa-kun’s always been popular. There was a Valentine’s Day in primary school. I wonder if you remember it?”

“Valentine’s Day in primary school?”

“Yes. Almost every girl in class gave Akihisa-kun chocolates. From that point on, Akihisa-kun’s been the most popular guy amongst the girls.”

“Is that so? I didn’t know…I thought Valentine Day’s chocolates were nothing more than ordinary greetings…”

How did it end up like that…was I always just eating them…?

“Akihisa-kun’s been so dull since then.”

“Well, I was still young, so I didn’t understand then.”

“Akihisa-kun, your use of Japanese is wrong. It’s like you’re not dull now.”

“Eh? Ah, un, sorry.”

I’ll take note of those things I didn’t think through before. That’s what I actually wanted to say…

“But speaking of which, I’m really surprised that I was rather popular with the girls…I wouldn’t be wondering if we were talking about how Himeji-san is popular with the guys now.”

“Well, I can’t say that I became skinnier, but I was really fat in primary school and was often laughed at by the boys. I wasn’t popular at all.”

Himeji-san patted her stomach and grumbled.

“But don’t people normally say that boys in primary school love to tease the girls they like?”

“I suppose it’s not that they didn’t like me…and actually, they didn’t tease me to an extent. I remember they removed the ‘hime’ in ‘Himeji Mizuki’ to call me ‘plain lover’[5]. The boy who was the leader didn’t like it, and everyone didn’t call me that, right?”

Himeji-san smiled as she said to me.

Is that so? I don’t remember who was the leader of the class, and of course, I don’t remember that.

“It’s just that I was still bothered by the nickname they gave me after that.”

“The nickname after that…’Yuki-chan’?”

I searched my vague memory and recalled this nickname. But…why call Himeji-san ‘Yuki-chan’? I always called her ‘Mizuki-chan’, so I don’t really know how the ‘Yuki-chan’ nickname came about.

“Yes, it’s the ‘yuki (snow)’ from ‘yukidaroma (snowman).”

“Ah, so the ‘Yuki’ came from snowman. That’s rather cute.”

“It’s cute now that I think about it…but I was really bothered back then.”

“Eh? Why would you have been?”

“Wouldn’t anyone associate ‘snowman’ with white and fat?”

“Eh? Is that the reason why you were called Yuki-chan?”

“Ah, now. I guess it’s just the impression people have of me that created this nickname. But I was really bothered.”

Himeji-san waved her hand in a casual manner.

She’s saying it really casually now, but she must have been really bothered by such a nickname when she was young, right? Let’s forget about how it actually came about, since I definitely won’t feel happy if I imagine how the ‘Yuki-chan’ nickname came about.

“So I’m still rather bothered about my tummy even till now, especially after eating hi-calories food like pizza or biscuits.”

“Is that so? I feel that you don’t have to be bothered about it.”

OR rather, Himeji-san’s curves are way too perfect.

“This can’t do. I get fat easily.”

…If it’s just a certain point, such a figure will make people envious. Especially for girls like Minami.

“But Akihisa-kun, you’re different from me. You need lots of nutrition.”

“Don’t worry. I can’t say if it’s my normal life, but I’ve been having my meals regularly ever since nee-san came back.”

I even sacrificed my precious treasures.

“Really, how can you say such things…do you actually hate your sister, Akihisa-kun?”

“Hate? Uu…I never actually thought of such a question before.”

Coming back to meet me in a bathrobe immediately after flying back, and showing off my precious ero-books and my bathing photos in front of everyone, and even nagging away about exams and living attitudes everyone. It’s frustrating. And she will even pull all sorts of weird pranks on me…

“I suppose, Akihisa-kun, your sister must be worried about you, and she definitely likes you. If not, she wouldn’t be asking everyone about Akihisa-kun’s condition at school.”

“Nononono. There’s a reason why she would ask that…”

Himeji-san’s pure heart seemed to view nee-san’s impish attitude in a completely different manner. Himeji-san, don’t be fooled by that demonic sister of mine. She’s doing such checks to deduct points from me.

Just when I was about to explain everything to her, Himeji-san suddenly pointed at a corner.

“My house’s over there. You can just leave me here. Thank you to escorting me all the way here.”

“Hm? Ahh, don’t worry, it’s nothing.”

Himeji-san bowed at me, and I bowed back at her.

“See you at school tomorrow.”

“Nn, see you tomorrow.”

After saying that, Himeji-san scattered off with fleeting feet.


But after a few steps, she turned around as if she suddenly thought of something.

“I feel that you should notice the feelings of the people around you, Akihisa-kun. Like your sister, Minami…and me…”

“Heh? What does that mean?”

“Fufu. I’m not going to give you any more hints.”

Himeji-san gave a smile and immediately ran off to her house after that.

1212 187a-1-.jpg

Speaking of which, what’s the significance of the three people she just mentioned? Nee-san, Himeji-san, Minami…

“And Toshimitsu Kubo.”

“What, why is there a completely unnecessary name being mentioned!? Is it the work of the devil inside me?

“The four people mentioned here all have feelings for you. You should be able to understand now that I said so much, right?”

So it’s really the devil, messing up my thoughts like that! What kind of common feelings would the four of them have? I have no idea at all. If there were 3, at least there’s a common point of them being the other gender…

“Do I have to mention it? Of course it’s the feelings for Akihisa!”

That’s the angel in my heart now. Didn’t I tell you not to come out already?

“No, the angel’s right this time…”

LIAR! I WON’T BE FOOLED BY SUCH NICE WORDS!

Or rather, I should say that I would rather not believe such words with Kubo-kun’s name mentioned.

“Really, how stupid can you get?”

Why must I be treated like an idiot by my alter-ego?

A few minutes of talking to myself later, I reached home too. The lights in the house were already switched on, so nee-san should be back.

“I’m back~”

After opening the door, I shouted out to nee-san in the house.

Immediately afterwards, I saw nee-san walk out of the living room in an apron (!?), a rare feat at that.

“You’re back. You must be tired now, having came back so late.”

“Eh? Ahh, yeah.”

Nee-san’s different attire and tone from usual bothered me. What is she planning?

“Hand me your bag.”

Isn’t this a common scene in a serial?

“Ah…”

At this moment, I suddenly noticed something.

Wearing an apron and saying such things…is she imitating a sweet romantic couple? She did mention some doctor game or something. Nee-san’s probably thinking of playing with me, right?

Speaking of which, it’s rare of nee-san to come back, yet us siblings hardly had the time to talk with each other. If we talk a bit, it’ll immediately end up being about grades or how I live my life…in that case, is nee-san just thinking of teasing me affectionately by playing newly-weds to get rid of such monotony?

Alright. In that case, I’ll play with you then. It’s rare of nee-san to think about this.

“What is it?”

“Ah, it’s nothing. Here’s my bag.”

I handed my bag to nee-san with the attitude of a man who’s the head of the house.

“Alright.”

Nee-san reached her hands out and grabbed onto my bag tightly.

“Ahh~ so tired today.”

“It’s been tough on you, being busy for the whole day.”

We walked towards the living room, continuing such a conversation.

“Do you want to eat? A bath first?”

Nee-san asked me with a kind voice.

I couldn’t help but smile at such a staple line in scripts.

This really feels like a real newly-wed couple dialogue, with kind smiles.

“Or do you want to do pervy things with me?”

And there’s some weird line in there.

Nee-san probably felt that I’d be bored if she follows everything according to the script, right? She even added some teasing words besides the basic conversation. I’m rather touched by the weird yet affectionate feelings.

In that case, I shouldn’t waste my strength snarking back at her, but continue on in a humored manner.

I pondered on how to answer, and then continued this act,

“No, there’s no need for a bath, meal or pervy things.”

“Is that so?”

“Yeah, because—”

I didn’t finish my words as I deliberately paused before smiling, saying to nee-san, word by word in a forceful manner.


“I’ve done them all outside.”


“Minus 50 points from you…”

Nee-san took out her judging notebook. Isn’t that too unreasonable!?


Current score [-340 points]




The Fifth Question[edit]

Next, I, Yoshii Akira, will give you questions completely different from normal school tests. This does not mean that there is only one correct answer. Therefore, I hope that you guys can have more freedom and open your hearts to answer these questions. The following questions are definitely not meant to invade your personal privacy, so I hope all students can answer the questions honestly.

Q: Explain your association or experience with the opposite sex up until now in English.

Himeji Mizuki's answer:

『I have not associated with a male.』[6]


Yoshii Akira's comment:

Mizuki-san isn't associated with any male? That is really splendid, as a student's duty is to study.

In addition, when being used with the opposite sex, "associate" usually accompanies negative connotations. Of course it is still better than a term like "romantic overture".


Sakamoto Yuuji's answer:

『I was kissed while sleeping.』


Yoshii Akira's comment:

While the english answer is correct, I have some doubts with the content. High School students nowadays are rather bold to be kissed while being asleep. I don't know whether my stupid little brother did that. I'm rather looking forward to his answer.

Yoshii Akihisa's answer:

『I cannot answer in English.』[7]


Yoshii Akira's comment:

….........

BTS5-Yukino.jpg

"Himeji-san, did anything happen after you went home yesterday?"

During lunch break on the next day, we gathered together at a short table. Of course, I prepared the bento for my sister's sake (This is all her fault).

"Actually......they were so angry that they threw tantrums......"

Himeji-san murmured dejectedly. Of course her parents would be angry... but they have the right to be angry. For two consecutive nights, their precious daughter came home late.

"Because of this, I can't go anywhere else aside from the school until the weekend......"

"Arara. That's too bad."

This is a worry I, as a boy who lives alone (although not at the moment) cannot understand. It's really tough being a girl.

"It was your own fault. Really, at least just a call would make your parents feel at ease, Himeji."

"That's right...... I regret it......"

I feel that being able to reflect on one's bad deeds is one of Himeji-san's good points.

"What on earth is this? Never mind Akihisa, didn't Yuuji and Himeji immediately go home after leaving Shimada's house?"

"Yuuji and Himeji-san were still near Minami's house when I was about to go home"

"Yeah, I wanted to send her back immediately. But Himeji was throwing tantrums like a kid at me, so I couldn't send her back."

"S-sorry......"

Himeji said while narrowing her shoulders, making her look shrunk.

"But, what about you, Yuuji?"

"Hmm? My parents didn't say anything, so I guess it was alright."

"No, that's not it."

"What then?"

"You were with girls until late at night for two consecutive days, and you were also alone with Himeji-san on the street at night, right? Isn't Kirishima-san fuming?"

"............"

Oo. I've never seen such an expression that clearly shows "I'm in deep trouble".

"W-well, it should be fine. As long as she doesn't find out."

"......Yuuji. Please explain this."

Ah. It's Kirishima-san.

"W-wait a minute, Shouko. You've misunderstood, what you're imagining did not happen. Moreover, you are not eligible to question me."

"......Ok. Let's go over there. I will slowly hear your excuses."

Yuuji & Kirishima-san left.


PiPiPiPiPi!!


After that, the mail ringtone of my cell phone resounded.

I took out my cell phone and read the mail.


[Message From Sakamoto Yuuji]

hlp


He must be trying to type "Help me". Thinking about this, my tears couldn't stop flowing out.

"Hmm...it would be difficult to have study sessions after school."

"That's right. Mizuki and Sakamoto aren't here, so no one is here to teach me."

".........(Nods)"

Yuuji still lives on in my heart. Unfortunately, the Yuuji in my heart cannot help me to revise.

"If it's like this, do we have to stop the studying session? That's too bad..."

"I'm sorry. It's all because I went out of hand yesterday.."

"Don't be silly, this isn't your fault, Himeji-san. I'm very grateful that you're willing to sacrifice your own studying time to help me study."

At her level, Himeji-san definitely won't need to panic and start cramming when exams are near. I suppose the term capable person would refer to someone like Himeji-san.

"......Yoshii."

"Uwa!"

Who suddenly called me from behind!?

"Ki-Kirishima-san? You scared me...... What's the matter?"

"......Are you worried about studying?"

"Ah, yeah. That's right."

I tried to avoid looking at the red liquid stuck on Kirishima-san. It must be tomato sauce or Tabasco that had accidentally poured on her during lunch.

"......If that's the case, I'll help too."

"Eh? Help?"

"......Everyone can stay at my house this weekend."

Everyone──stay!? In short, I can study at your house for a long time? And the smartest in our year Kirishima-san's going to teach me personally! Isn't that a super-duper awesome proposal!?

"Is it ok, Kirishima-san?"

"(Nods) …...I always want to return my gratitude to you, Yoshii."

That would help a lot! I didn't even dare to think i could obtain the best studying environment at this critical juncture where I have to spurt before the tests.

"Is it ok if everyone else come along?"

"......Of course."

"If it's next week, I should be able to make it. I'll just bother you a little. Mizuki, can you make it?"

"I-I should be able to make it. Even if I can't, I'll try my best to convince my parents!"

"......I'll join too."

Hideyoshi, Minami, Himeji and Muttsurini also decided to participate in Saturday's studying session. It looks like I'll benefit a lot this weekend.

"I wonder if Yuuji will participate?"

I don't think there's a problem, but since he isn't here, I can't tell.

After hearing my question, Kirishima answered in place of Yuuji.

"……It's ok."

"Ah, is that so?"

"……By that time, he surely would be discharged from the hospital."

"I see. I'm glad about that."

Everyone smiled as they nodded to each other, looking forward to the weekend.

Un Un. I'm glad everyone was able to participate.



………………………………Discharged from the hospital?

Current score [-340 points]




The Sixth Question[edit]

Yoshii Akira-Sensei's Special English(?) Test

Question: Please describe honestly any intimate association or experience with the opposite sex up till now ‘spit it out even if you have to do it in Japanese!’.

Yoshii Akihisa’s answer:

“THAT’S JUST AN INTERROGATION!”

Yoshii Akira’s comment:

This is a test. If you once hugged someone of the opposite sex, write down that you did so. If you once kissed someone of the opposite sex, write down that you did so. Please answer my question honestly. Later on, nee-san will directly interroga—carry out remedials for Aki-kun. You are to study honestly with nee-san tonight.

Shimada Minami’s answer:

“I, although only once, did Setsubun.”

Yoshii Akira’s answer:

Scattering beans[8] doesn’t need to involve relationships with the opposite gender.

BTS5-Yuuji.jpg


Yuuji got into an accident and ended up hospitalized, and Himeji-san went home once school was dismissed.

This continued for another 3 days, and in the blink of an eye, it was Saturday, just like we agreed.

“Aki-kun, nee-san told you before. I’ll have to work in the mornings today and tomorrow, so you still have to watch the house even if you feel bored.”

Nee-san said this to me as she put the breakfast I prepared into her mouth.

“It’s tough working on Sunday, let alone today.”

Nee-san’s been coming home late, and I hardly have the chance to meet her other than at mornings. There's such a mountain load of work, is the company running really well?

“Don’t worry. Tomorrow I just need to work in the morning and can come back in the afternoon. And Monday and Tuesday are my days off.”

“I see. Tomorrow I’ll be back in the afternoon too, so we can then have dinner together. What do you want to eat, nee-san?”

Since it’s a rare chance, I’ll show off my culinary skills to nee-san and cook something good. As for the money to buy the ingredients..oh well, better use what I have and don’t be fussy.

I pondered as I waited for nee-san’s response, but unexpectedly, nee-san refused me with a sharp tone that didn’t allow for any arguments.

“No need. There’s no need for you to do such unnecessary things.”

“Unnecessary things…what does that mean?”

I really didn’t like that tone. What does she mean by asking me not to do anything excessive? It’s been a long time since us siblings met, so I proposed to have a meal together. There’s no need for nee-san’s tone to be that bad, right?

“What do you mean by meaning? I’m telling you exactly as what I said. There’s no need for you to cook dinner.”

“No need to cook dinner? Are you going out because you have an appointment with someone at dinner?”

Maybe it’s not work, but she got some friends to eat with her, right? It can’t be helped in that case. I’ll find a chance next time…but nee-san’s words just now were rather irritating.

“It’s not like this…let’s not talk about this for now. You’re going out too, Aki-kun?”

“Un, yeah? Didn’t I tell you before? I’m going over to stay at my friend’s house for the night and study for the end-of-term tests with everyone.”

“I see. It’s really great to see you so passionate towards your studies.”

I’m not studying because I want to…but because someone kept deducting points without any warning, I’m forced to do such things.

“Don’t cause too much trouble over at Yuuji’s house tonight.”

“Eh? No. I’m going over to Kirishima-san’s house…”


“Kirishima…‘san’?”

WHY DID I JUST MAKE SUCH A FATAL MISTAKE!? AM I AN IDIOT!?

“Aki-kun, nee-san’s so touched that I have to look at you in another light.”

“Eh?”

“You’re not hiding anything from nee-san and would even tell the truth honestly. Nee-san feels that this is a great thing.”

“Ah, un. I’m happy that you can praise me like that.”

“And your determination to overcome obstacles really impressed me.”

Nee-san took out her notebook and added a new demerit value on it.

“Wait, nee-san! Did you just write a 4 digit number? You’re mistake! Kirishima-san’s a girl, but she’s Yuuji’s bride—ah, no! I’m not having an affair with her! Hurry up and erase those 5 digit numbers!”

5 digits…that’s a score even Kirishima-san can’t get. That’s basically a death sentence.

“Then, tell me what’s going on?”

“We, well…anyway, we’re gathering everyone in class to stay overnight at Kirishima-san’s house to get ready for the tests. And we have a lot of people, so Kirishima-san’s house is the only one large enough…”

Kirishima-san was the one who invited us in the first place, but that wasn’t important, so I better skip it.

“In that case, you will be gathering together to study and nothing else, right?”

“Yeah.”


I really can’t have the luxury to think of anything else when I have to raise my points up by 340. No no, even if it’s not about the grades, I can’t just think about those random things.

“If it’s just studying, nee-san don’t have to deduct that much points from you…but nee-san can’t praise you like that.”

“Eh? Why? I’m going to study!”

“It’s a huge mistake when you have to go to someone else’s house to study right before the exams.”

“Tha, that’s because…I’m not good at studies—”

“Aki-kun.”

Nee-san sternly interrupted my words which I couldn’t even say out.

“Nee-san understands how Aki-kun can’t study, and nee-san feels that being able to understand what you don’t understand is an important part of growing up.”

“Uu, un…”

“But even if being able to see your own limitations is something important, you can’t have the thought of ‘I can’t do this because I’m not good at it’, you know. You should have the attitude of working harder than anyone else to make up for this. This attitude is the most important one you should have. Aki-kun , didn’t you use ‘I’m an idiot’ as an excuse and not try to work hard?”

“Uu…”

Nee-san’s direct words caused me to be unable to argue back.

It’s true that when it’s tough or troublesome, no matter what, when I can’t come up with a solution, I would think ‘I’m an idiot, so I can’t do it’.

I never showed such a thought before, but nee-san’s really my own sister. She really understands me. Nee-san’s right. This naïve thinking isn’t good—

“Oi, hold on a sec! in that case, aren’t you the same, nee-san? Using a high and mighty tone to lecture me. What about you?”

“Me? What are you talking about?”

“Cooking! Telling me to work hard, yet regarding the things you’re bad at, you never—”


—BIBEEP!


As if it was pre-timed, the clock in the living room indicated 8am.

“Sorry. It’s been a nice conversation, but the time’s almost up. Nee-san should be going to work now.”

“Argh! That’s dirty! Are you running away? Despicable!”

“Also, I have to deduct you 50 points for going over to stay overnight at a girls’ place.”

“DAMN IT! HURRY UP AND GET OUT, YOU BIG IDIOT!”

“Okay~ I’m going out then.”

I didn’t get points deducted by 4 digits or 5 digits, but my deducted points went up to 390 after a morning. Looks like I have to be more serious in the study group today…

“…Welcome, Yoshii.”

I waited for a while after I pressed the bell, and Kirishima-san in plainclothes came over to invite me in.

“So, sorry for intruding.”

Her house is way too luxurious, causing me to tense up for some reason. I heard of it before, but there’s really an invisible pressure when I really see it…she probably has servants who stay in the same house.

“…Everyone else was here.”

“So I’m the last one.”

With Kirishima-san leading me, I slowly followed her from behind. This is amazing…I’ve never seen such a long corridor before.

“Wow~ your house has a lot of rooms~”

“…They’re all for different functions.”

As expected of rich people, having so many rooms for different functions.

“This room that’s full of books is…”

“…The library.”

“That room with the large curtain is…”

“…A mini-theater.”

“That room with chains buckled all over is…”

“…Yuuji’s room.”

Alright, let’s forget about the conversation just now.

“…And this is the study.”

After walking by a few rooms, Kirishima-san suddenly stopped and opened a door. The moment she opened the door, I could see a boy and a girl arguing with each other. Isn’t that Muttsurini and Kudou Aikou from A-class? What are they arguing about?”


“You’re thinking too much, Muttsurini-kun! Haven’t you heard of the saying that ‘Seeing is believing’?”

“…It’s an ever foolish thing to get on stage without going through a mock-drill.”

“It’s because you think so much that you always get nosebleeds and can’t get up.”

“…No matter what you say, I have no intention of changing my belief.”

“You’re saying such things again! You just won’t listen (flash a little)!”

“…Too despicable…(Nosebleeding in spurts).”


Kudou-san flipped the breast side of her shirt, and Muttsurini immediately drowned in a pool of nosebleed.

…What in the world are those two doing…?

“You’re finally here, Akihisa.”

“Ah, Hideyoshi, what’s with those two?”

“Mu, they were discussing hotly about how ‘secondary sexual characteristics come about’ and things ended up like that…”

“I say, isn’t it weird to discuss such things already?”

What exactly happened such that they would discuss about secondary sexual characteristics?

“Hello, Akihisa-kun.”

“Un, morning, Himeji-sa—”

I turned over to look in the direction where the familiar voice came from, and was immediately so shocked that I couldn’t talk.

“Hm? What is it?”

Himeji-san tilted her head slightly. She looks somewhat different from usual, because she had a cute ponytail tied behind her.

Is, isn’t that too cute! What should I do? What words should I use to express the feelings I have now to her? “Himeji-san’s so cute today. My mind’s about to blow while looking at you.”[9] Alright, I’ll say that to her.

No, wait, if it’s too long, I might even mess up the most important point of the sentence. Got to make it easy to understand. I should shorten the sentence here—alright.

“Akihisa-kun?”

“Today’s Himeji-san’s dead today!”[10]

“EHHH!?”

WOAH! I’M SUCH A BIG IDIOT! WHAT IS THIS!? WHAT KIND OF DOOMSAYER APPEARED!

“Well, Akihisa-kun…is there some bad omens on my face?”

“Sorry…don’t worry about it…I just couldn’t handle something that happened out of a sudden…”

“Eh, oh…”

I wanted to praise her, but how did it end up in such an absurd statement?

“Aki, did you see something today? Why are you being stupid again?”

“Ah, Minami. Really, I’m not trying to be stupid here.”

“Really…why can’t I seem to tell?”

“Yo, you’re thinking too much.”

For some reason, the stare Minami gave me felt rather sharp, and she didn’t look like she was in a good mood.

“Really…it’s Mizuki’s place if I have to say it. it’s too despicable to change hairstyles out of a sudden. What should I do now…”

“Wha, what are you saying?”

Minami looked like she had some really deep grudge as she stared at Himeji-san’s hair. Their hairstyles are really cute now, and I really don’t know what to do when I’m standing beside them…this isn’t good! My mind seems like it’s going to explode the moment I think about it!

“Speaking of which, Himeji-san, it’s great that you can stay out today!”

I hurriedly changed the topic to avoid digging my own grave. Regarding hairstyles, if I don’t make everyone calm down first, it might end up in a very dangerous situation.

“Yeah, that’s great.”

Himeji-san smiled back happily.

Himeji-san seemed to have reflected obediently after throwing a tantrum, and for the next few days, went home directly. Maybe it’s because being obedient worked out for Himeji-san that her parents allowed her to stay out today. If she would normally keep her behavior in check and obediently report to her parents, it’s not like they wouldn’t understand.

“I immediately got out today too.”

“Oh? What happened to you, Minami?”

“No, it’s not me. It’s Hazuki.”

“What’s with Hazuki-chan?”

“If she knows that we’re going to have a study meet, she’ll definitely demand that I bring her along.”

“Ahaha, I see.”

“Luckily, mom and dad’s bringing her out to the movies today that I was able to get out quickly. Or else, it’ll be troublesome if she catches me going out.”

We’ll definitely welcome Hazuki-chan if she decides to come along, but Minami doesn’t seem like she wanted to bring her along too. Maybe she felt that it’ll be troublesome if both sisters were to come along, but I feel that Kirishima-san won’t worry about such a small thing.

“Speaking of which, we have Himeji-san, Minami, Hideyoshi, Muttsurini, Kudou-san and Kirishima-san for the study group today. That’s a lot of people.”

Including me, that would be 7 people, but the house doesn’t feel like it’s packed even with so many people here, which is really amazing. I really have to be grateful to Kirishima-san for providing such an outstanding study environment.

“Oh yeah, I don’t see Yuuji around.”

“Mu, I didn’t see him too. Is he late?”

Is he late? Really, we agreed to meet in the afternoon, and he could still oversleep. I should say that he’s way too relaxed—

“…I brought Yuuji here.”

DOSA!

Yuuji, who was tied up in ropes all over in rings, was lying on the carpeted floor.

“Nn? Akihisa, why are you guys here?’

“…Ahh, un. It’s because Kirishima-san’s good intentions…”

Why are you tied up by her in ropes? No, now doesn’t seem to be a good time to ask this question.

“Yuuji, we’re about to have a study group today. Didn’t you hear from Kirishima?”

Hideyoshi undid Yuuji’s ropes as he asked.

“Yeah, I didn’t hear anything. I just lost consciousness like usual, and by the time I woke up, I was here.”

Like usual, is it? I see. So this is the reason why I occasionally can’t contact Yuuji on the weekends.

“Then what about my textbooks and notes?”

“…Don’t worry, I prepared them.”

Kirishima-san was holding onto Yuuji’s bag, and seemed to have prepared a change of clothes for him. She really didn’t miss out on anything.

“Alright, since everyone’s here, we should start studying.”

“Yeah, I’d agree.”


“You’re right! Ordinary street surveys show that more than 68% of mature women are all—”

“…It’s not a mistake. The survey results of the World Health Organization investigations showed that 72% of mature men support this.”

“You’re saying such nonsensical lies again!”

“…Not lies, these are facts.”

“Damn it! in that case, I must overcome Muttsurini-kun in the next tests to prove that I’m right.”

“…You’re not going to chase me off from the top position in our year.”

“Saying such vexing words again…why are you always like that, Muttsurini-kun (flash)!”

“…Too despicable…(Spurts of nosebleed)!”


We haven’t started studying, yet those two seemed to have something wrong going on between them again.

“Akihisa-kun, you don’t have to differentiate between the East side and India here. It will be easier to memorize what happen each year in each country directly.”

“Each country?”

“Yes. For example, around 500 BC, when Confucius, a great person was born, another famous person was born in India.” (note Confucius actually lived and was born in China.)

“Confucius…I think I heard of this name before…”

“Confucius was the one who started the ‘Confucianism’, and is a great who had great influence in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms you like, Akihisa-kun.”

“Ahh, speaking of which, I might have heard of that name in manga or video games.”

Is it the one who advocated wisdom and faith? I remember this name seemed to be always associated with ‘the Arts of Tsu’.

“When Confucius, the founder of Confucianism was born, the founders of Buddhism and Jainism were born at the same time.”

“The founder of Buddhism…is it Sakyamuni?”

“That’s right. He also has another name called Siddhattha Gautama.”

“But I don’t know about the founder of Jainism.”

“That one is harder. The founder’s name is called Mahavira.”

“Uu, never heard of that before.”

“They’re rather famous founders of religions in history. It’s best if you can memorize their names.”

“Fm fm.”

Gautama is Buddhism, Mahavira is Jainism.

“Don’t you find this interesting, Akihisa-kun?”

“Eh? What’s interesting about this?”

“It seemed that three of the great people that created religions in such a vast world full of history were all born in the same time.”

“Ah…that’s right. Speaking of which, it might be a coincidence.”

“Maybe, or maybe not. Perhaps the species called ‘humans’ would have similar thoughts after going through some time and started believing in gods.”

“That’s amazing…even if the places are different, people evolve at the same speed. Is that what you mean?”

“Yes, or…”

“Or?”

“Maybe a real god descended to this world back then, crossing through India and China before teaching them such knowledge.”

“Ooh, so that’s how it is! If I think about it, it can explain why several religions were created at the same time…and also romantic.”

“But nobody knew what actually happened.”

Himeji-san gave me a prompting cute smile. A real god has descended on this earth; the textbooks never wrote such things, but such an idea is really interesting.

“Akihisa-kun , do you know what you should answer in the bracket?”

“Un, got it. the founder of Confucianism is—‘Confusing’, right?”

“Yes, well answered.”

With Himeji-san guiding me, I filled in the blanks of the questions one by one. Unlike Yuuji, Himeji-san would often talk about some interesting stories. This will waste some time, but can create deep impressions, so it’s a lot better than just memorizing. Himeji-san probably had such interests in studying through this method. I can tell everyone’s personality from how they work.

“Ah, that’s right, Himeji-san…”

“Yes?”

“It may be a little late, but well…you, your hairstyle seem somewhat different today. Why did you change out of a sudden…”

“Ah! We, well, that’s because…I, I just thought of tying a ponytail…but I’m not used to tying it like this, so it’s not really nice…is, is it weird?”

“No, not at all! I think it suits you!”

“Re, really? That’s great…it seems that spending two hours to tie a ponytail finally paid off…”

“Two hours?”

No matter what, even if it’s a girl, spending two hours to tie hair is way too long!

“I might as well tie it like this every day.”

“Ah, no. This hairstyle suits you, Himeji-san, but the normal one’s the cutest!”

“Cu, cute? Re, really…you’re too sweet, Akihisa-kun…”

“Ahaha, I’m not exactly saying kind words here…”

Ponytails are one of my fetishes, but Himeji-san’s normal hairstyle really suits her best. Besides, I’m really sorry if she has to spend two hours to tie her hair because of what I think.

“But you look a lot cuter than me, Akihisa-kun…”

“I CAN’T BE HAPPY WHEN YOU SAY SUCH THINGS!”

Looks like I have to show my manly side to Himeji-san.


“Oi, Shimada. Stop reading world history only and get serious, will you? Your language grades are on the same level as Akihisa. If you can’t improve to double digits, we’ll be in lots of trouble during the summoning war next term.”

“Uu…I, I know that! But, well…I don’t have much confidence in world history either.”

“Don’t worry, your world history grades are atrocious, but it’s considered normal amongst us F class. You should focus on improving on your weak points instead of world history. If you can understand the questions on the scripts, you can become a force on our side, so it’ll be more efficient to study language than memorize world history.”

“Uuu…it’s not like I hate tatamis and short desks…”

“I’d feel…it’s alright if our class can have facilities that are good enough so that Himeji doesn’t have to transfer, right? Even if we relax a bit…”

“No, not at all! I must beat A class and defeat Shouko! If I can’t beat her, I’ll end up being held down by her no matter how much time passes!”

“You can’t change it even if you win, right?”

“I’d feel this way too. It’s about time you two get together anyway.”

“Damn it! You guys…never mind, this question then. ‘Please use the past form of <<to wait upon>> to form a sentence’. Try forming one sentence.”

“The cake I ate in the ‘past’ was ‘very’[11] delicious.”

“YOU TWO, STRAIGHTEN YOUR BACKS AND GET BACK HERE!”

Yuuji’s teaching Minami and Hideyoshi language. Kirishima-san was around, but I couldn’t find her around at this moment. I wonder where she went.


“Muttsurini-kun, even you can’t answer this question right?”

“…In the first year of middle school, it’s 70%. 87% in second year and 99% in the third year.”

“Why do you even know such a thing so clearly?”

“…That’s common knowledge.”

“Uu…looks like I can’t beat you through a direct attack…”

“…You’re too naïve, Kudou.”

“In, in that case, Muttsurini-kun, actually, I—”

“…?”

“—I don’t normally wear bras, you know.”

“…u!? (TATATA)”

“Eh? Are you asking me why the shape won’t change when I don’t wear a bra? That’s because…actually, I do (mumbling) massage until (mumble), and every night, I will always—”

“…Are you trying to kill me…(BUSSSHHHHIIIIIIIIII))”

“What do you mean trying to kill you? It’s really not nice to hear it. I just want to make you lose so much blood that you can’t go all out in the exams, Muttsurini-kun, no other ill intentions here.”

“…I’ll just give you a few points. This level of obstacle is nothing to me.”

“Ohh, you can actually say such things?”

“I’ll definitely not lose to you!”

“In that case, I won’t hold back then—oh yeah, I haven’t finished about just now, (mumbles) until the body gets hot, and then use a (mumbles), and then (secretly)—”

“…I won’t…die in front of you…(DABADABADABA)!”

Kudou-san and Muttsurini’s conversation was rather weird, but Muttsurini looks somewhat pale after having lost lots of blood, which I’m rather worried about.”

“…It’s about time for dinner. Everyone, please move to the other room.”

I recovered and heard Kirishima-san’s offer.

That’s weird. Didn’t we just have tea? Is it 6pm already?”

“Alright, Shimada, Hideyoshi, we’ll stop here for ancient language. Time to eat.”

“Uu…what in the world is a conjugation form? Even if I don’t know, I don’t think it’ll affect my life much…”

“Yeah…I’d don’t think that this kind of thing will appear in drama or theater…”

With Yuuji teaching, Minami and Hideyoshi had to take a boring ancient language lesson. Ancient language was something they’re the weakest at, and I can tell that they’re tired even as a bystander.

“…I’m alive…!”

“Muttsurini-kun, study hard with me after dinner.”

“…I refuse.”

Are Kudou-san and Muttsurini on good terms or not?

“Nn~…alright, and…”

I put down my pen and got up, stretched my stiff back muscles, heard the creaking sound of the joints, and it felt really good. Normally, when I hear creaking sounds from my body, there’s a high chance that my body’s being abused tragically by someone…

“…I’ll bring everyone to the dining room. Please follow me.”

“““Okay.”””

We continued to walk and chat with Kirishima-san, who was leading us, as we head towards the dining room.

“I’m really happy to be able to eat so much good stuff recently.”

“I think you should start changing your lifestyle, Akihisa-kun…”

“I do sweep the floor and wash my clothes and all that usually.”

“I said that I should at least make the bentos—”

“That won’t do, Himeji-san. My life will be at risk if I do that.”

“Because the students in F class are strict about that.”

Uu, this is one of the reasons.

Soon after we left the room, there was the appetizing fragrance of food.

“…This is the room.”

Kirishima-san, who was leading us, stopped in front of one of the rooms.

The moment she opened the door, the appetizing aroma of the food came at us.

“A, amazing!”

“Wow…”

“Th, this is very extravagant.”

On the large table that will definitely not be seen in an ordinary family, there’s a lot of delicious dishes set there. The floating smell of roasted peking duck that was dripping with golden meat sauce, a large piece of shark’s fin was floating on the thick and gluey soup surface, green pepper fried with double-cooked meat, eight treasures vegetables, mapo tofu and all sorts of dishes were delightfully placed on the large plates at the center of the table. Also, each seat has a small tea bowl with a cover there. Is that the famed bird’s nest soup that’s supposedly the highest of classes?

This meal is so luxurious that it doesn’t seem to be for friends who’re coming here to play! It’s basically like a scene in a dream!

“You’ll definitely hurt your stomach eating all these because you’re not used to them, Aki.”

“Ahaha, that’s right.”

No matter what, the dishes in front of me would be more than several months of my meal allowance. I couldn’t help but drool just by looking at it.

“Oh yeah, are we the only ones eating? What about your family, Kirishima?”

“…Un, there’s only us.”

There’s only 8 of us in this room. Is Kirishima-san’s mother the one who set up so many dishes for us? Or is it her helpers? But I don’t see anyone else around? They probably don’t want to ruin our moods when eating.

“Shouko’s family won’t get involved with each other, so they live rather freely.”

“…Un, so everyone, don’t feel restrained and relax.”

I see. Free…she did make a room for Yuuji. No family can be described ‘free’ more than Kirishima-san’s family.

“…Then, everyone, please choose a seat you like.”

We followed what she instructed and took the seats closest to us. Alright, let’s tuck in.

“““ITADAKIMASU!!”””

Everyone clapped their hands together and yelled, immediately savoring the happy dinner time.

“This meal’s really amazing…!”

“Th, this is really great…! Uu…I’ll accidentally eat too much if this keeps up…”

“Why is it that the food I like to eat have so much calories…!?”

“…Replenishing iron.”

“Shouko, why is it that this meal here looks poisonous with all the purple?”

“…I didn’t add any strange drugs in this.”

“I love Chinese food!”

It’s like we booked a room in a high class restaurant to eat, and each dish is so delicious, it’s really delightful.

“Yoshii-kun, let me feed you. Here, ah~”

“Nn? An~”

“Aki!? What are you doing?”

“Akihisa-kun? Your table manners are really terrible!?”

“Shouko, why is it that my drink looks poisonous with that pink color over there?”

“…I didn’t add any suspicious drugs in this.”

“Muttsurini, what are you eating?”

“…Bird’s Nest. It’s nice.”

As we enjoyed the high-class cuisine that we would rarely get to eat, the bodies and souls that were fatigued by studying found comfort.

The last dessert, almond jelly was served, and as we ate, Kirishima-san suddenly asked Yuuji.

“…Yuuji.”

“What is it, Shouko?”

“How’s the studying?”

“Going really well. You don’t have to worry.”

“…Really?”

“Yeah, I might even beat you in the next tests.”

“…Is that so?”

“I’ll be able to regain my freedom like this.”

On seeing Yuuji show such a relaxed expression, Kirishima-san couldn’t help but narrow her eyes.

“…If that’s what you say.”

“Nn?”

“…How about a challenge?”

It’s rare that Kirishima-san will show such a taunting look.

“You want to challenge me?”

“…Un, I want to see what you can do, Yuuji.”

“Hoho, so you’re viewing yourself highly there, huh, to actually say such words.”

That’s weird? Did Yuuji actually think of accepting her proposal…?

“…I’m definitely above you. That’s a fact.”

“DAMN IT, FINE! WE’LL HAVE A CHALLENGE! WHO’S SCARED HERE! LET ME TELL YOU THE DIFFERENCE IN OUR ABILITIES!”

He got hooked. Kirishima-san really understands Yuuji’s thoughts.

“…I understand. In that case, we’ll have a simple revision test about the test topics later.”

“FINE! DON’T THINK I’LL BE THAT OLD USELESS ME IN THE PAST!”

“…If I win, you’re sleeping with me, Yuuji.”

“HA!?”

On hearing that, Yuuji’s eyes immediately became little black dots. What an idiot. He doesn’t seem to have comprehended what was going on.

Anyway, if Yuuji loses the revision test later, he’ll have to sleep together with that Kirishima-san who’s beautiful and has a great body. If it really ended up in such an envious situation, it’ll be a case when I’ll really be jealous and think of killing him…

“Sorry, Kirishima-san. I want some more almond jelly. Can I borrow a knife from you? A chopper or a katana will do too.”

“…I’ll get it for you now.”

“WAIT A SEC, SHOUKO! DON’T GIVE ANYTHING DANGEROUS LIKE A KNIFE TO HIM! YOU’LL ENDANGER MY LIFE LIKE THAT!”

Cheh! That Yuuji’s instincts are rather sharp!

“…But if you win, Yuuji, I’ll allow you to sleep with Yoshii.”

“THAT’S TOO SCARY! I DON’T GET ANY BENEFIT AT ALL!”

What is this stupid guy saying? If it’s me, I’ll definitely fight to get 0 points here!

“This is great. Seems interesting, I want to do something here~”

The jealous feelings in me caused me to get ready to grab the chair and smash it on Yuuji’s head, but Kudou-san said with a happy look.

“…You want to join too, Aiko?”

“I can join, but since it’s a rare chance…”

Kudou-san deliberately paused the moment she said that, and looked over at me. What does she want to do?

“—How about everyone take this text and use the points to decide who sleeps with who?”

Kudou-san looked at me and deliberately blinked. Is she actually thinking…of seducing me?

“FINE! I WAS REA—”

“YOU, YOU CAN’T DO THAT! ERM, IT, IT’S TOO EARLY FOR YOU TO DO THAT, AKIHISA-KUN!”

“But it’ll be better for Yoshii-kun to gain more actual experience with me on health education, right?”

“NO! YOU MUSTN’T DO THAT!”

“But I really want to teach Yoshii-kun health education~”

“I SAID NO MEANS NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT! IF YOU INTEND TO DO THAT, KUDOU-SAN, I, I WANT TO SLEEP WITH AKIHISA-KUN!”

“EHHHHH!? WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU SAYING, HIMEJI-SAN!?”

Himeji-san just said such ridiculous words out of impulse when Kudou-san challenged her, right?

“MI, MIZUKI! WHAT ARE YOU SAYING!? EVERYONE KNOWS THIS ISN’T POSSIBLE!”

“BUT YOU ARE AWARE AFTER READING THROUGH AKIHISA-KUN’S H-BOOKS, MINAMI-CHAN! AKIHISA-KUN’S A GUY! HE’S VERY INTERESTED IN THOSE PERVY STUFF! SOMETHING BIG WILL HAPPEN IF HE SLEEPS WITH KUDOU-SAN!”

“It’s true that the 4th H-book Aki collected has a short hair girl…”

HOLD ON A SEC, HOW MUCH OF MY TOP SECRET DO YOU KNOW OF!

“So I must sleep with Akihisa-kun to protect him!”

“Tha, that’s right. I have to sleep with Aki to protect him too.”

Why is it that things are getting weirder and weirder? And I’m bothered that you revealed my deep secrets to everyone like that.

“No no, I’d think that you people are all too excited here. This won’t happen if you reject Kudou’s proposal.”

“KUDOU-SAN, LET’S CHALLENGE! I WILL DEFINITELY NOT LOSE TO YOU FOR AKIHISA-KUN’S SAKE!”

“YEAH! I’LL SLEEP WITH AKI IF IT’S FOR HIS SAKE TOO!”

“Ahaha, you two are really interesting. Didn’t let down my expectations there.”

“I’d feel…that it’ll be fine…if you just refused…”

Hideyoshi’s suggestion was thoroughly ignored. I would occasionally think that the aptitude to study doesn’t have a direct relation to how smart one is, is it?

“…In that case, I’ll take out a brand new mock exam that wasn’t used before.”

“WAIT A SEC, SHOUKO! I HAVEN’T AGREED YET!”

“…It’s decided. You said that you’ll challenge me just now, Yuuji. You can’t say no now.”

“Ugh! I, I did say that alright…”

Yuuji’s gaze was unfocused as he looked around, seemingly thinking of something.

And then, his eyes turned to the table. I clearly saw that Yuuji overturned the glass of fruit juice from an angle Kirishima-san couldn’t see.

“Oh, sorry Shouko! Did it get your clothes?”

“…I’m fine.”

On first glance, it looked like Kirishima-san’s clothes weren’t ruined by the juice.

“No, that can’t be right. You can’t see it there, but your hem has juice on it.”

Yuuji pointed at the back of Kirishima-san’s waist as he said that.

“…I’ll be troubled.”

“Sorry, I was careless there—”

“…That drug will corrode fibers.”

“WAIT A SEC, WHAT IN THE WORLD DID YOU ADD IN MY DRINK!?”

It looks like Yuuji’s drink was spiked, which was why the color’s different from everyone else.

The juice that was tossed out gave off green smoke on contact with the carpet, but I can’t be envious about that…

“…I’ll get a change of clothes.”

“That’s right, it’s better to change clothes…since you need to change, we can have a bath even though it’s early. Treat it as aiding digestion.”

Yuuji stopped Kirishima-san, who was about to leave and get a change of clothes, and suggested it.

That’s a good idea. It’ll be hard on us if we immediately start studying while we’re full, so we might as well take a bath and rest. However, I’m rather worried as I may feel sleepy if I bath after eating.

“…I understand. Let’s take a bath then.”

“Alright, we’ll talk about the mock tests later then.”

“…Un.”

Having gotten Kirishima-san’s permission, we went to get a change of clothes, and the boys and girls went to different rooms.

“Alright, let’s go.”

We entered our room, and a few minutes later, Yuuji suddenly got up.

“Understood. We’re going to peep, right?”

“…Leave it to me.”

“I’d say, how foolish can you people be…”

On a side note, Hideyoshi was assigned to another room, but came back to our guys’ room. He felt lonely, right?

“Idiots, you’re wrong. We’re going to Shouko’s room.”

“Heh? Why?”

Kirishima-san’s room? Leaving the girls’ bathroom alone and choosing to go to Kirishima-san’s room? Why?

“Do I have to say it? I have to steal the mock test she just mentioned.”

This guy’s ever so despicable.

“But I don’t think we’ll lose out on anything even if we don’t steal the test script.”

“(Nods head)…Peeping’s more important than that.”

Yuuji may not want to sleep with Kirishima-san, but this is really a great opportunity to peep for Muttsurini and me, so we have no need to sneak around like that.

“Do you really think that’s the check?”

Yuuji started to ask me with that pretense tone of his.

“What are you trying to say?”

“Think about it carefully, Akihisa? What did that sister of yours that just came back forbid you from doing?”

“Eh, well…‘gaming for only half an hour a day’ and ‘no illicit sexual relationships at all’—damn it! I forgot about it!”

It’ll be a death penalty if I end up sleeping with girls—whether it’s my happy life of living alone or my life.

“Ah, but, if nee-san doesn’t know—”

“I’ll leak the news if you don’t help me.”

“DAMN BASTARD! YOU’RE A SUPER DAMNED BASTARD!”

Though I already knew that Yuuji was a bastard.

“And you’re in danger too, Muttsurini.”

“…Why?”

“You’ll die due to massive nosebleed.”

That’s really the case.

“…Do you think I’m scared of death?”

WHAT THE HECK! THAT LINE’S WAY TOO COOL!

“But think of the ranking. If the people on top choose who they won—”

If we predict the results, Kirishima-san will be first, Himeji-san will be second, and Kudou-san will be third…that’s likely to be the case.

“When Kirishima chooses Yuuji, Himeji chooses Akihisa, who will Kudou Aiko choose?”

Hideyoshi put his hand at his chin and muttered,

“Kudou will likely choose Muttsurini.”

“…How is it possible?”

“You two just argued a whole lot. Didn’t she sweat to get back the top rank in health education without letting you lose too much blood, Muttsurini?”

“…Ugh! That’s too despicable!”

I don’t really understand, but it seems that Muttsurini and Kudou-san have some strange competition going on between them.

“…Those pants aren’t going to kill me…!”

It seems that Muttsurini isn’t scared of death, but will die because he hates the pants. Does he have some emotional scar with them?

“That’s the case. Are you willing to help?”

“Got it. I’ll help.”

“…I have no other choice.”

This is a matter of life and death. If I don’t help Yuuji, I’ll likely be dunked in a hell of boiling water.

“I’d help you too.”

“Heh? You’re going to help us too, Hideyoshi? Why?”

No matter what I think, Hideyoshi doesn’t have a reason to help.

“No particular reasons.”

“?”

Uu…since Hideyoshi wants to help, it’ll be a great thing.

“Alright, since it’s decided, let’s hurry up and take action. Based on what Shouko said, that mock test should be hidden in her room, so we have to enter her bedroom.”

“““Got it!”””

We could only help Yuuji and enter Kirishima-san’s room together because of all sorts of reasons.

“Kirishima-san, what kind of bath do you have at home?”

“…There’s a large bath and an open-aired bath.”

“A, amazing. It’s just like a hot springs hotel.”

“I’m really looking forward to it.”

“I’m looking forward to it too. Whether it’s the hot springs hotel or that I can touch, Hime-chan’s part, right?”

“Wah! Ku, Kudou-san, where are you touching!”

“They’re so big~ what do you put inside?”

“…I’m so envious…”

“Wa! Wh, why even Kirishima-san…”

“That’s right. It’s really too unfair that Mizuki’s grown like that…I wonder if I can get a needle to poke them and suck the stuff inside…”

“Mi, Minami-chan! Are you joking around? Your expression looks horrifying!”

1212 231.jpg


The bewitching conversation could be heard as Himeji-san and the rest were holding onto their change of clothing and were ready to move to the bathroom.

“Yuuji, I say…”

“What?”

“I just want to forget about everything and follow Himeji-san and the rest.”

“…Same here.”

The wish we couldn’t get in the past can definitely come true now!

“Idiots, think about it carefully. Think about what happened then!”

Yuuji calmly retorted back. Of course, we’re not so stupid to end up in such a forsaken state.

“I won’t make the same failure twice over! I’ll do it properly this time and definitely not end up getting myself suspended from school again!”

Now, allow me to repeat this once again. I just want to peep into the girls’ bathroom for the sake of my desire.

“In that case, let me change the saying.”

Yuuji pointed his index finger fiercely at me.

“Think about it, you guys, about that damned old granny’s naked body.”

““…UGH!””

The dinner we just digested seemed to have went back into the throat.

“There’s nothing good about peeping at all…whether it’s the one watching or the one being watched…”

“…Should never commit the same crime again.”

“It’s great that you guys can understand this.”

If we end up getting the cops involved because I saw such a thing, I won’t be able to die in peace even if I do.

“Are we ready to go into Kirishima’s room?”

“You’re right, we’ll just waste our time if this drags on.”

Girls bath longer, but this theory can’t be applied to everyone. We have to finish this mission at the fastest speed possible.

After checking that Himeji-san and the rest aren’t around, we tiptoed over to the other side of the corridor, aiming at Kirishima-san’s room where Himeji-san and the rest came out from.

“Alright, let’s go in.”

Yuuji stood in front of the door, and held onto the door handle before twisting it.

“That’s weird? Why can’t we open it?”

But even though it was a turning handle, the door still wouldn’t budge as it let out a creaking sound.

“I’d say, it should be locked.”

“In her own house? Ugh…is there really something important inside?”

Or is it that girls of this age are used to doing such things?

“What kinds of important things would that person have…never mind. Muttsurini, can you do it?”

“…Give me 30 seconds.”

Muttsurini took out a tool that we never saw before, poked it inside the keyhole and fidgeted for 30 seconds before finally opening Kirishima-san’s bedroom door. That’s really an amazing ability.

We entered the room and looked around, and couldn’t help but feel amazed as we stood there.

“This room’s really grand…”

“Bi, big…”

Kirishima-san’s room should be about the size of 20, 30 tatamis.[12]

“We'd should spread out and look, or else it’ll be impossible for us to find it.”

“Yeah, everyone, spread out and search. If we find something similar to test scripts, open it out even if we see the questions, we won’t have any excuse even if we’re discovered.

In other words, it’ll be unfair if Kirishima-san’s the only one who saw the test questions of the mock test; what kind of lame excuse is that? It’s really despicable, and it’ll be sorry for Kirishima-san, but we have no other ways to escape.

“Got it. I’ll search from that bookshelf.”

“…I’ll check from the entrance.”

“I’ll check from the windows.”

“I’ll check through Shouko’s drawers.”

The four of us split up to look for that mock test.

The bookshelf I’m in charge of has magazines, novels and some small things.

My eyes screened through a corner of the bookshelf,

“Ehh, let’s see, what is this…<<100 Conditions To Be A Good Woman>>, <<Making The Person You Like Notice You>>, <<Commentary. Men’s Heart>>, <<Methods Of Stalking>>, <<Understanding What’s Legal And Illegal In Torture>>, <<Black Magic Gate>>…”

I just feel that the books Kirishima-san reads are becoming more and more criminal…especially that black magic book. For Yuuji’s sake, I better introduce something like white magic to her.

“Forget about that. I can’t find the questions of the mock test here…”

Kirishima-san probably didn’t put the test script here. Is it at where the other members are looking? I turned around to look at the door,

“…!(SWOOSH)!”

“MUTTSURINI! WHAT’S WITH YOU!?”

Suddenly, Muttsurini, who was supposed to be looking around, had bright red blood patterns forming on his face, and an inexplicable scene entered my eyes.

What’s going on?

“…Is this…a trap…?”

Muttsurini was drowning in a pool of blood, yet his stare was fixated on—a pile of female underwear that was folded neatly.

“…Care…ful…Akihisa. Kudou Aiko…wants to kill…all of us…”

“Ahh, you’re wrong. I guess the only one who’ll die because of such a thing is you, Muttsurini…”

Is that Kudou-san’s underwear? I won’t actually drown in my pool of nosebleed, but my heart really feels like fluttering when I think of how the short-haired girl who often wears pants would wear such underwear…

“ARGH, THIS IS…!”

Not far away, Yuuji yelled too. What now?’

“You found the test script, Yuuji?”

“KU…DAMN IT! IT’S HARDENED GLASS! IS, IS THERE SOMETHING I CAN USE TO BREAK IT…”

I looked at where Yuuji’s looking, and he’s looking at a piece of glass that was fixed to the wall.

What’s wrong with this guy?

“What is it, Yuuji? Found the test script?”

“JUST NICE, AKIHISA! HURRY UP AND HELP ME GET THIS DAMNED THING OFF!”

Yuuji roared, and the damned thing he was referring to was the marriage certificate that was sealed in the thick glass.

“The way I see it, it’s impossible to take it out. Forget about that; getting the test script is more important.”

“WHAT NONSENSE IS THAT!? DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH TIME I SPENT LOOKING FOR IT!? THAT SHOUKO ACTUALLY LIED TO ME AND SAID THAT SHE HANDED IT OVER TO THE LAWYER…IT’S BECAUSE SHE’S HIDING SUCH A THING THAT SHE LOCKED THE ROOM UP!”

Yuuji has completely forgotten that we got in here to look for the test scripts.

I should be reminding Yuuji here, but I might end up being scolded by him if I say the wrong things…really, how did I end up getting myself into this mess…

“Sigh, Yuuji and Muttsurini are useless now. Looks like Hideyoshi and I have to work harder…hm?”

I started to look around again to find that test script, and found a little hairpin on the table. Isn’t that the bunny hairclip Himeji-san normally puts on her hair?

“Speaking of which, Himeji-san does seem to like such small things…” I just took the hairclip without thinking and stared at it.

Forget about primary school. She still likes such a small thing even till now. This is really what Himeji-san would do—

“…Arre? What’s wrong?’

As I looked at the hairclip in my hand, my mind started to have some strange thought surging. Ughh…

“Yoshii-kun, what are you looking at?”

“WAH!?”

A sound came from behind me. Who, who is it?

“Really, Yoshii-kun. How can you secretly sneak into a girl’s room.”

The one who blinked at me and smiled in a vexing manner is,

“Ku, Kudou-san!? Why…didn’t you go bathe?”

“I forgot to take my underwear. I took it out from my bag and forgot to bring it into the bathroom, so I came back to get it.”

Kudou-san smiled and pointed at the clean underwear right in front of Muttsurini’s corpse.

I’M AN IDIOT! WHY DIDN’T I NOTICE IT TILL NOW! SHE DIDN’T BRING HER UNDERWEAR EVEN THOUGH SHE WANTED TO BATH, AND IT’S OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE SHE FORGOT TO BRING IT!

Since Kudou-san’s right in front of me, maybe the other girls are coming back—

“NOT GOOD! EVERYONE, RETREAT! THE KILLING SQUAD MAY BE COMING BACK!”

I hurriedly interrupted the plan and dashed out to the exit. There’ll definitely be an unavoidable great tragedy if Minami or Himeji-san finds me here.

“Damn it! looks like I can only watch and leave this thing behind…”

Having noticed my condition here, Yuuji hurriedly grabbed Muttsurini and rushed towards the exit, and Hideyoshi followed us.

“See you later, the four of you.”

Kudou-san didn’t look angry and even waved at us as we got ready to escape.

“Ugh…the plan failed. What should we do…”

Even if Kudou-san let us off, we still didn’t find that script. If this keeps up, I’ll…

“What do you mean what we can do? We can’t do anything now that we’re discovered.”

“This is bad…Muttsurini’s lucky that he fainted, but we…”

“We can only think of beating them.”

“You’re right. If Yuuji wins and chooses to sleep with me…”

“…At that moment, we’ll be sentenced to death by this society.”

Should I choose physical death or social death? It’s really a painful and cruel choice between two here! Why do I have to face death all the time in my life?”

“Relax Akihisa. I’d just scanned through the questions of the mock test.”

“Eh? When?”

“Just when you guys were fooling around.”

That is why Hideyoshi’s being so quiet. He’s been working silently.

“Oh yeah, I just can’t understand, Hideyoshi. Why are you willing to help us?”

“I’d have all sorts of complicated feelings here…”

Hideyoshi looked far away with teary eyes.

“If I sleep with a lady on the same bed and nothing happens, I’d be treated as a woman completely. But if something really happens, a big problem will happen. There’s no bigger problem than this…”

So Hideyoshi has his own troubles.

We ran around on the corridor, and finally got far away from Kirishima-san’s room before slowing down.

“Akihisa, we’d should be heading off to bath, right?”

“You’re right. Let’s go and bath.”

“To me, now’s not the time to bath…”

Right now, Yuuji’s completely focused on that marriage certificate left inside Kirishima-san’s room, but I just feel that no matter how much he struggles, it’s all futile…

“Sigh, we can’t think of anything good now. Better go take a bath first, Yuuji.”

“That’s right. We might be able to think of something when we’re bathing.”

“Yeah. Then, see you later, Hideyoshi.”

I waved at Hideyoshi and got ready to return to the room Kirishima-san prepared for us to get a change of clothes.

“HOLD IT!”

“Heh?”

Unexpectedly, Hideyoshi reached his hand out and tugged at my shirt.

“What is it, Hideyoshi? Don’t you want to bath?”

“Fm, I’d want to bath too, but why must I be separated from you guys?”

“Eh? That’s because…we’re going to bath!”

“Fm, bath.”

“So we have to go to the guys’ bathroom, and Hideyoshi, you’re,”

“I’d go to the guys’ bath too!”

“Hm? Did you mix up on the bathing time? We’ll let you bath first then.”

“OF COURSE NOT! I’D WANT TO BATH WITH EVERYONE!”

“EHHH!? NO YOU CAN’T!”

“WHY NOT! TODAY, I’D DEFINITELY PROOF TO ALL OVER YOU THAT I’M A REAL MAN! AS MEN, WE SHOULD BE HONEST WITH EACH OTHER!”

“Hon…honest with each other…”

“WHA, WHAT’S THERE TO BLUSH ABOUT THIS!? ANYWAY, NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY, I MUST GO INTO THE GUYS’ BATH!”

1212 243.jpg

Hideyoshi was so angry that he was grabbing onto my wrist. Looks like his heart is really unmovable now as I can’t shake his will no matter what I said. At this moment, Hideyoshi’s as firm as ever, and I can’t convince him. I could only give up reluctantly.

“…I, I understand, Hideyoshi. Since you say so, let’s bath toget—”

“Mizuki, it’s sudden, but don’t you want to see Aki get thrown into a swimming pool without water?”

“It’s really a coincidence, Minami-chan. I want to see how Akihisa-kun looks like when he’s diving without oxygen tanks.”

“That’s weird? Why is it that my arms are tied behind?

“Come with us, Aki. There should be a swimming pool in such a large house. It’ll be great if there’s a 20m jumping platform, right?”

“After that, you must dunk your head into a bathtub full of water and count till 1000! You must make yourself warm, you know!?”

“Ahaha, you two really like to joke around. I’ll definitely die if you do that.”

Himeji-san and Minami used a lot of force to drag me. There must be some mistake! That’s right, there must be a mistake!

“Really, hearing that you want to bath with Kinoshita after coming back from the bathroom…”

“Luckily, Kudou-san forgot to take her change of clothes. Have to thank her properly later.”

“Aha, ahaha…why are you two joking around since just now? You two are actually joking, right? Oi, you’re joking right? WHY AREN’T YOU LOOKING AT ME!? WHY ARE MY HANDS TIED UP TIGHTER! PLEASE, LISTEN TO ME! SOMEONE! SOMEONE SAVE ME NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”


“…Yuuji.”

“SH, SHOUKO! WHEN DID YOU COME BACK!?”

“…Thinking of stealing our marriage certificate. Unforgivable.”

“WA, WAIT A SEC! LISTEN TO ME! I’M NOT STEALING IT. THIS IS A RIGHT I HAAAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEE!!!”


“Muttsurini-kun, hurry up and get up.”

“……Uu…uuu…”

“Watch me (flash)!”

“GUUAAAAHHHHH (SPLOSH)”


“…So in the end, I can only bath alone?”

Luckily, Kirishima-san’s house occupies a lot of space. If the neighbors are living nearby, they’ll definitely call the cops after hearing our anguished cries.

In the end, because of Hideyoshi’s contributions, the mock test could only be cancelled. We then continued to study for a few hours. After midnight, it was time for bed.

“Kinoshita-kun. If something happens, please make such to call out.”

“…This is a bell and a taser. You can use it if Yuuji has any ill intents to you.”

“Muu…is Akihisa’s sister the only one who was able to correctly identify my gender?”

“Aki, I suppose you should be clear. If anything…”

“I, I got it! I won’t do anything bad!”

Because Hideyoshi strongly insisted, we could only split up into ‘guys and Hideyoshi’ and ‘girls’ rooms. Based on how nothing happened during the training camp before, the girls specially allowed us, but…in that case, they didn’t need to take out tasers or threaten us already, right? Am I the only one who thinks that?


And so, it’s finally time for bed.


~Conversation in the girls’ room~

“Arre? Where did my hairclip go? I definitely left it here.”

“Is your hairclip missing?”

“Seems that way.”

“…I’ll search for you.”

“Ah, no need. I’ll find it once we get up tomorrow morning and tidy the beds.”

“…Understood.”

“Speaking of which, it’s like you’ve been wearing that hairclip all the time, Mizuki.”

“…What kind of memorabilia is it?”

“Nfufuf~, according to my guess, that hairclip is given to you by someone you like, right, Hime-chan?”

“Nope, it’s just a normal hairclip I bought for myself.”

“Oh my…I actually guessed wrongly.”

“But it can be considered some kind of memorabilia.”

“Eh? What is it? It sounds interesting.”

“Unfortunately, that’s my own secret. More than that, I’m more mindful about Kudou-san’s matter.”

“Eh? Me?”

“Yeah, I’ve been wondering too.”

“Fufu. Are you two that interested in hearing me say pervy things?”

“Nope, we’re not talking about that.”

“It’s about the relationship between you and Tsuchiya-kun.”

“EHHH!?”

“…I’m wondering about that too.”

“WHA, WHAT ARE YOU THREE RAMBLING ABOUT!? WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP WOULD I HAVE WITH MUTTSURINI-KUN. THERE’S NO SUCH THING!”

“Even the way you strongly deny that is suspicious.”

“…Normally, Aiko would definitely laugh it off.”

“THA, THAT’S NOT TRUE! I HAVE NO SUCH THOUGHTS AT ALL, WHETHER IT’S ABOUT ME OR MUTTSURINI-KUN!”

“Who knows? Maybe Tsuchiya’s saying the same thing as you in the guys’ room now, you know?”

“…This is something we have to talk about when camping overnight.”

“That’s right. The guys must be talking about the same things as us.”

“Yeah. Those guys may be interrogating Tsuchiya, so you better answer honestly.”

“…It’ll be easier on you if you say it out.”

“Just tell us, please?”

“THAT’S WHY I SAID THAT I HAVE NO INTEREST IN SUCH BIG-HEADED GUYS AT ALL!”


~Conversation in the guys’ room~

"Sakamoto Yuuji will start." (Yuuji himself) """Yeah~!""" (Me, Hideyoshi and Muttsulini respond in rhythm) " 'Past and present[13]'!" """Yeah~!""" “The names of Akihisa’s lovers that’s rumored amongst some students!”

…Heh?

Pa pa (clapping hands in rhythm)--> Yuuji's turn

“<Toshimitsu Kubo>!”

“PROTEST! I PROTEST! KUBO-KUN’S A GUY!”

Pa pa (clapping hands in rhythm)--> Muttsurini’s turn

“…<Sakamoto Yuuji>.”

“I DON’T WANT IT! I ROUGHLY KNOW ABOUT IT, BUT IT’S REALLY DISGUSTING WHEN YOU SAY IT! NO!”

“I’M THE ONE WHO SHOULD BE DISGUSTED, YOU IDIOT!”

Pa pa (clapping hands in rhythm)--> Hideyoshi’s turn

“Eh, ermmm…then, then me!”

“…”

“A, Akihisa! I’d feel troubled if you remain silent and blush!”

Pa pa (clapping hands in rhythm)--> My turn

“<Sh, Shimada Minami>!”

“““AKIHISA HAS TO BE PUNISHED!”””

“WHY~”

Since Kubo-kun and Yuuji are allowed, why is it that my kiss with Minami is deemed out! Isn’t this outcome way too weird!?



“Alright, Akihisa, draw one.”

“Uu…I just don’t feel relieved here…”

“Relaxed. Everyone’s relieved other than you.”

In such a bothersome situation, I could only grab onto a piece of paper into the bag Yuuji handed over to me. Let’s see, what’s written on it…

“<Go to the girls’ room and return Himeji-san’s hairclip to her>…eh, isn’t this what I wrote?”

I actually drew the punishment I thought of. I really don’t know whether this should be a good draw or a bad one.

“What the heck, Akihisa. Your punishment’s way too light.”

“Eh? Really? We have to enter the girls’ room here.”

Actually, I panicked and took Himeji-san’s hairclip along as we panicked and ran away just now, which was why I wrote such a punishment, but this punishment’s rather severe, isn’t it? Besides, I might lost my life if I’m careless when entering the room those girls are sleeping in.

“Speaking of which, what did everyone wrote.”

“Mine’s <Go to Shouko’s room and get the marriage certificate back>. Of course, the person must get that marriage certificate no matter how many times he fails before completing the mission.”

“Mine’s <take an album full of photos in female outfits>. I’d have to make you guys feel my pain.”

“…<Take photos of all sorts of goods>. It’s hard to capture them in some special poses.”

Obviously, everyone wrote down their punishment of this game to satisfy their own aim.

That’s great. It’s great that I drew what I wrote…

“Alright, let’s spend time talking before those girls sleep.”

“I’d say, that’s a good idea. Those ladies should be tired, so they should be asleep in an hour.”

“…What should we talk about?”

“Well…oh yeah. Let’s talk about ‘the most embarrassing thing we’ve done in our lives’. There’s a deck of cards here. I’ll be hearts, Hideyoshi will be diamonds, Muttsurini will be clubs, and multiples of 1 will be Akihisa. How about it?”

“““OK!”””

Eh, WAIT! WHY IS IT THAT MY CONDITIONS ARE DIFFERENT FROM THE REST?

“Spade 4. It’s a multiple of one, so Akihisa will answer.”

“THAT’S WAY TOO WEIRD! IT’LL BE ME NO MATTER WHAT IF YOU USE MULTIPLES OF ONE!”

“No no no, you’ll be fine if the joker appears.”

“THAT’S TOO MUCH! WHY ARE MY CHANCES WAY TOO HIGH!!?”

“…The chances are 52 out of 53.”

“Well, no matter what, since spade appeared, you have to answer, Akihisa. I’d say, you better give up and say your most embarrassing past.”

“Gu…got it. Let’s see, it should be when I was in first year of middle school—”


……… …… …


“Alright, Akihisa. It’s about time.”

“WHY DID IT END UP LIKE THIS!? WHY IS IT THAT I JUST SAID ‘MY 16 MOST EMBARRASSING THINGS IN MY LIFE’, AND YOU GUYS DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING! ISN’T THIS TOO UNFAIR!”

“If you have to blame something, blame your draw luck.”

“…You’re so weak it’s scary.”

Yuuji was the one who started drawing, but the cards drawn were all spades. I suspected him a cheating, so I drew them myself…but the cards I drew were all spades. How unlucky can I get?

“Stop yapping. Alright, hurry up and go.”

“Uu…got it—wait, you’re going too, Yuuji?”

“Yeah. I have some things I have to finish.”

As he said that, Yuuji took out the glass cutter he borrowed from Muttsurini and showed it to me. He must be aiming to steal that marriage certificate back, but since that glass is so thick, it’s probably impossible to break it with such a small knife.

“In that case, Muttsurini and I’d follow you onto the corridor.”

“…I’m looking forward to seeing some interesting mishaps.”

“What mishaps? Stop joking around.”

I put down the poker cards and got up, making sure not to make too much noise as I opened the door.

The corridor with only the night lights switched on showed a trail of still and serenity.

(Alright, let’s go.)

(Okay.)

Yuuji and I nodded at each other, and we tiptoed down the corridor.

That’s weird. It’s like I’m used to doing such things recently…

(Are you ready, Akihisa?)

(No problems.)

I took out Himeji-san’s hairclip which I put in my pocket.

It’s just putting the hairclip back to where it was. Nothing hard.

Giii…

Maybe the door’s locked only when no one’s inside, right? I turned the door handle, and the girls’ room door immediately opened. Looks like I didn’t need Muttsurini’s help this time.

(I’ll go that side. You have to be careful.)

(Got it. Make sure you don’t get caught too, Yuuji.)

The moment we entered the room, Yuuji immediately went over to the table, and I snuck around and went near the mattress. I remember I found this hairclip somewhere around here…

I searched my memory as I stood beside the pillow, looking for where I put the hairclip.

“Nn…”

—ACK!

Someone seemed to flip around, causing me to nearly jump. Is she awake? She’s not awake yet, right?

To be cautious, I turned around to look. If she’s awake, she should be screaming, so they should be sleeping now…

“…Akihisa-kun?”

Unfortunately, my optimistic guess was completely debunked as Himeji-san was already sitting up from the side of the bedding, looking straight at me.

(H, Himeji-san! Yo, you’re mistaken! I’m just…erm…returning the hairclip you dropped!)

I handed the hairclip over and tried to explain it to her. And, well…I’m a little sorry to her!

““……””

The unbearable silence continued for a few seconds.

During this blank period of time, Himeji-san seemed to be thinking about something.

“…(waves hand)”

In the midst of the darkness, Himeji-san waved at me slightly. What? Is she thinking of punishing me now?

I got mentally prepared to get my joints snapped, and can only move closer to her no matter how unwilling I am.

After going closer, Himeji-san noticed the surroundings, and whispered to me,

“Akihisa-kun, the hairclip you mention. Is it my bunny hairclip?”

(Ah, un, yeah.)

That’s weird? She’s not angry?

(I see…)

Himeji-san seemed to be happy for some reason, but looked a little troubled as well as her face showed a complicated expression. She’s probably happy that she found the hairclip, but couldn’t let go of the boy who snuck into the girls’ room in the middle of the night easily.

(Well, Akihisa-kun…)

(Yes!)

I subconsciously straightened myself and knelt down in front of her.

(That hairclip…can you please…put it on me?)

(Eh?)

On hearing Himeji-san state such an inexplicable request, I could only feel confused and bothered. What does she want?

(Can’t you?)

(Ahh, no, I can if you want me to put it on.)

In this situation, I already had no right to refuse.

So, I followed Himeji-san’s request and put the hairclip in my hand onto her hair. Thi, this is really awkward…

(How, how is it? Does it suit me?)

(Ah, no, I don’t mean putting it on your head, Akihisa-kun. I hope that you clip it on me…)

THIS IS WAY TOO EMBARRASSING!!

(So, sorry! That, that’s right. Guys normally won’t wear such things.)

(It suits you, you know?)

(I’m sorry, please forget about just now…)

I apologized as I brought the hairclip in my hand over to Himeji-san. During this time, my heart started pounding around like crazy because I touched Himeji-san’s hand.

(Will this do?)

(Yes. Thank you very much.)

Wasn’t she sleeping just now? Why must she clip her hair? Are girls like that? Nee-san has short hair, and there’s no need for her to clip her hair, so I’m not sure.

Uu, that’s likely the case. Anyway, I’ll just leave it as that and don’t pursue on.

(I’ll be going then.)

Since I returned what I wanted to return, it’s not good for me to stay, so I better retreat earlier.

(…Please hold on.)

—At this moment, Himeji-san suddenly reached out and grabbed a corner of my shirt.

(? Is there something else, Himeji-san?)

She still wants to punish me, isn’t it?

(Does this bunny…suit me?)

(Eh? Ah, un, of course. I’ll think of bunnies when Himeji-san’s mentioned, and I’ll think of Himeji-san when bunnies are mentioned. The bunny hairclip really suits you, Himeji-san.)

(…! Is, is that so…that, that’s really great…)

(???)

At that moment, Himeji-san seemed to be suppressing some hidden emotion within her. Did I say something I shouldn’t have said?

(Well, Akihisa-kun…can you please, come a little closer…?)

(U, un. Sure.)

I knelt down, moved my knees and went near to Himeji-san. Unexpectedly,

(Akihisa-kun…)

(—!!!???)

She suddenly wrapped her arms around me. What’s going on?

(So it’s impossible…hearing you say such words that shake my heart, I really…)

I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT SHE’S SAYING AT ALL! WHAT IS IT!? IS THIS SOME HUGE COMEDY THAT MESSES WITH ME!? IS MUTTSURINI HOLDING A CAMERA AND HIDING SOMEWHERE?

(Just now…when I talked about the hairclip with Minami-chan and the rest, I remembered a lot of things in the past, and my heart’s all fuzzy…and out of a sudden, Akihisa-kun, you appeared right in front of me…)

I don’t exactly know what’s going on, but is Himeji-san saying that I came at the wrong time? No no no, hold on! She might be praising me in this situation! It’s not the right moment to come over, but the timing’s perfect, isn’t it?

“Uun…”

GASP!

The person sleeping beside suddenly twitched, and Himeji-san and I were shocked.

“……”

“……”

I held my breath and peered over at the source of the sound. Did, did someone wake up?

“Suu, suuu…”

Soon after, I again heard the sound of rhythmic breathing. That’s great. I managed to escape a calamity here…

(Ah, sorry, Himeji-san! I’ll immediately get away now!)

(Eh? Ah, no, I should be the one apologizing to you.)

After both of us calmed down, I hurriedly got away from Himeji-san. What in the world am I doing!

(A, Akihisa-kun. I hugged you because I thought Minami-chan woke up. Well…I didn’t mean anything at all!)

Himeji-san frantically explained it to me.

I see, so that’s how it is. Himeji-san’s really a kind person, hiding me for fear that I was discovered.

(Thank you. I should be leaving now while I’m not discovered.)

(Ah, okay. That’s right. I feel that this is for the better.)

I raised a hand and said goodbye to Himeji-san, and tiptoed my way out of the girls’ room.


“Right now, it’s the important time for Akihisa-kun to surge before the tests, so I can only endure…but, if there’s another chance…I’ll definitely…”


I heard a voice as I walked out from the girls’ room. It’s likely Yuuji’s wail as he got caught by Kirishima-san while working, but it soon disappeared.

On the following afternoon,

Having ended the study group at Kirishima-san’s house, I went home.

“Oh yeah. I think I have to eat dinner with nee-san tonight.”

Nee-san said that she’ll be done with work before noon, so she should be on the way home now. If she stays at home, I can’t just drink water for dinner tonight.

“Even though she said so, I guess I should cook Japanese food for her, I suppose?”

It seemed that nee-san didn’t have any other arrangements and deliberately said such words because she didn’t want to bother me. If that was the case, I would be really happy. But while both siblings could have a rare chance of having dinner together, I still want to prepare a piping hot dish to make nee-san happy. Thanks to the study group, I more or less grasped the concepts tested for the end-of-term tests, so there wouldn’t be much problem if I spend some time cooking.

If I want to cook, what should I cook to make nee-san happy? Speaking of Japanese food, I suppose it should be potato and meat curry, right? I suppose cooking some chowder rice would be good. But that doesn’t seem special in some way.

“Hotpot…it’s not the season now…and it’s too hot to eat tempura now…”

I continue to think about tonight’s dinner as I walked home. But no matter how much I think, it doesn’t seem to work…oh well. If I go to the supermarket to see what they’re selling, I should be able to think of something good.

I walked into the lobby on the first level, and took the lift up.

I was worried that I had to carry lots of ingredients then, so I decided to put my books and stationery at home first before going out shopping.

“I’m back~”

“Welcome back, Aki-kun.”

The moment I opened the door, nee-san came to the corridor to invite me in. It seemed that she was doing well with her work, and didn’t end up with some unexpected situation where she had to change her schedule and is unable to go home. In that case, we can have dinner according to what I planned.

“Sorry, nee-san. Can you help me put my bag inside.”

I didn’t step into the house, but handed my bag over to nee-san as I was going to go out shopping. Nee-san looked like she had something she wanted to say, but grabbed my bag.

“I’m fine with that…but Aki-kun, you’re still going out now?”

“Un, I have to buy ingredients for dinner.”

Oh yea, every Sunday, the sashimi at that fish shop near the station seemed to be cheaper. I wonder how much the hand-made sushi would cost? It won’t be cheap, and I have to give up on some games that will be coming up in the market recently…but I can only spend it for nee-san’s sake. I’ll then boil some soup—un, nee-san should be happy in that case.

That’s what I planned, but—

“Aki-kun, do you have the time to even worry about that now?”

Unexpectedly, this was my sister’s answer.

‘Ahh, no, I’m not really that free. It’s just that it’s rare for nee-san to come back…”

“You’re mistaking your priorities here.”

Nee-san mercilessly interrupted me before I could even finish.

“Listen, nee-san doesn’t know what you’re mistaken about, but your sister here specially came back here just to check on your living lifestyle and studies, Aki-kun. And you’re always thinking of such useless things. What is that about? If you can’t improve your grades, it would be meaningless, wouldn’t it? Let me ask you again, Aki-kun; do you still have the spare time to prepare dinner?”

“Tha, that’s true…”

But nee-san’s explanation really infuriated me.

Why is it that she’s so by the book and wouldn’t change a bit? It’s rare that I would want to cook for this sister of mine that I never met for a long time, but to her, it’s just a ‘that kind of thing’. She said that it was ‘something unnecessary yesterday’, but is my intention to make something for nee-san something worthless and trivial? Is a reunion with her brother something minor?

Thinking about this, I couldn’t control the restlessness inside me.

Talking about deducting points time and time again, and even pulling pranks on me that made me unhappy right in front of my friends…she never even did anything for me.

Ever since she came back, everything she did just infuriate me. What nee-san said just now is the final fuse that blew me up emotionally.

“You have tests tomorrow, and yet you have the mood to cook. Nee-san will be bothered when you get bad results and say ‘I was busy with cooking and didn’t have time to study’. You—”

“YOU’RE TOO NOISY! YOU’RE ONE BIG IDIOT, NEE-SAN!”

I yelled out and interrupted nee-san’s words.

WHAT THE HECK! DOESN’T THIS MEAN ‘NEE-SAN WILL BE BOTHERED IF YOU CAN FIND AN EXCUSE BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T DO WELL FOR THE TESTS’? I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING FOR HER, AND SHE FEELS THAT IT’S JUST AN EXCUSE TO SLACK? IS IT THAT I CAN HAVE A PLATFORM TO STAND ON WHEN MY EXAMS RESULTS COME BACK DISASTROUS!? SHE’S LOOKING DOWN ON ME LIKE THAT! IT’S RARE THAT I WANTED TO MAKE HER HAPPY AND EVEN WONDERED WHAT TO COOK FOR DINNER…

“SO NEE-SAN FEELS THAT TEST RESULTS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN TALKING WITH ME, RIGHT!? I GOT IT! I’LL DO WHAT YOU WANT TO STUDY HARD, FINE!? I’LL GET GOOD GRADES AND SEND YOU OVERSEAS!!”

I’M REALLY STUPID TO RELAX OVER SUCH A SISTER HERE! I DON’T WANT TO BOTHER MYSELF WITH SUCH A PERSON!

“…Is that so. It’s great that you can focus on your studies like that.”

“YEAH, YOU’RE RIGHT! I’LL FOCUS ALL MY EFFORTS ON STUDYING! SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO BOTHER ME! BYE!”

I left these words and rushed into my room without looking back, slamming my room’s door shut.

At this point, there’s no need to play along with her. No matter what, I must work hard to make up for those deducted points and live my happy lone life and not stay with such a sister under the same roof!

I took out my textbooks and notes from my bag, sacrificed my school and spent all night studying.

Current score [-390 points]




The Seventh Question[edit]

Please fill in the blanks with the correct answers.

“In 334 BC, having beaten the final king of the Achaemenid Empire, Darius III, (___________) started the (____________).”

Himeji Mizuki’s answer:

“In 334 BC, having beaten the final king of the Achaemenid Empire, Darius III, (Alexander the Great) started the (Eastern Expedition).”

Teacher’s commet:

Correct answer. The two people mentioned in this question, Darius III and Alexander the Great had two great battes between them, the battle of Issus and the battle of Erbil. It will be best if you can remember these two battles.[14]

Tsuchiya Kouta’s answer:

“In 334 BC, having beaten the final king of the Achaemenid Empire, Darius III, (Warrior of Light Arc) started the (Final Quest ~Last Crusade of the King~ ).”[15]

Teacher's Comment:

There’s the ‘final’ and the ‘last’ words in there, but it just doesn’t feel like it’s going to end. Really intriguing.

Sakamoto Yuuji’s answer:

“In 334 BC, having beaten the final king of the Achaemenid Empire, Darius III, (Alexander the Great) started the (Eastern Expedition).”

Teacher's Comment:

Oh? Sakamoto-kun’s answer is the last one for F class? I think I didn’t see Yoshii-kun’s wonderful answer…did he answer it correctly?

BTS5-Aiko.jpg


It’s finally time for the exam. Unlike usual, I was the first one to reach the classroom, and immediately took out my textbooks from my bag to begin my final revision.

“Morning, Aki.”

“Ahh, Minami, morning…”

“Oi, Aki, why do you look like you’re about to die? Are you alright? It’s just the first day!”

“I’m fine, I’m alright…I’m sorry, but can you please don’t talk to me now? Or else I think that what I stuffed into my brain last night will be forgotten…”

“I, I see…if Aki says so, I won’t disturb you then…”

Then, as Yuuji and Himeji-san entered the classroom, I said the same thing to them.

After arguing with my sister, I locked myself inside my room and started memorizing, and I didn’t eat or drink the entire night. I don’t know whether nee-san had dinner, but I would feel sleepy if my stomach’s full, so it’s alright that I ate little.

“Don’t think too much. Better do more revision. In 334 BC, Alexander the Great started the Eastern Expedition. In 330 BC, the Achaemenid Empire was eliminated. In 250 BC, the Parthia Empire…”

I started to revise the points that I just couldn’t remember no matter how much I tried to memorize. Himeji-san said that this part may appear in questions. I’ll mark them on the test script first once the exam scripts are handed down so that I don’t forget the year and what happened then.

6 subjects are to be tested today, and in order, they are modern language, English (literacy), world history, mathematics grade two, chemistry and health education. The other subjects will be tested tomorrow. I just need to do the tests normally for the first period - modern literature - and English literacy for the second period. World history is where I have to go for the decisive. If I can get a good mark for world history, everything will be alright.

“Everyone, get to your seats. Today’s the first day of the end-of-term tests…”

Ironman walked into the classroom as per usual and simply reminded us of some things we had to take note of. There’s nothing else to really say, so the homeroom lesson in the morning ended.

There’s still some time till the test in the first period, and I continued to study. I’ll forget about English in the second period, and there’s not much to memorize for modern language in the first period, thus, I focused my revision on world history, where it would be make or break for me. Anyway, I can only memorize a bit at this point. It’s best that I can memorize everything in the textbook.

The government of the Shang Dynasty is set with society set around its capital city as politics and religion was done together. Based on research, the words back then became the oracle words that evolved into Japanese kanji…

“Alright, time to put away the textbooks. The first period’s test is about to begin.”

Just when I was focusing entirely on studying, unknowingly, the invigilator for the first period lesson entered the classroom.

I put my textbook away obediently and waited for the test script to be handed out. World history is the key to this end-of-term test, but I can’t neglect the other subjects. If I can get good grades here, I can send that damned sister of mine back overseas, and my life will be full of calm again.

“It’s not the first time sensei’s saying this, but sensei still wishes to remind everyone that you can’t put anything on the table other than your stationery. Also, if there’s any writing on the table, it may be considered as a form of cheating. Even if it’s not written by you, I hope that everyone can check it through. Also, if you leave halfway through the exam, the subject score will not be given unless it’s really important—”

I’m hearing the same things they will remind us to take note of during an exam, and received the test script my classmate handed over to me. I took one, put it on my table, and then passed to the classmates behind me.

Alright, the end-of-term test now begins!


~Modern Literature.~

From the options below, please choose the correct meaning of the idiom ‘Besieged on all Sides’.

1. Completely isolated. 2. Singing and doing nothing else. 3. The song of Chu being so loud that it could be heard all over. 4. The BGM all around are all songs of Chu.


This type of questions are the ones I’m good at. Amongst multiple-choice questions, I do belief that I can at least get one correct out of 5 questions. It would be great if all the questions in tests were multiple-choice, but unfortunately, in an exam, multiple choices are just a little benefit the tester would give.


~English (Literacy)~

Please explain the ‘it’ indicated in the sentence below in Japanese.

“‘It’ won’t take you more than ten minutes to get to your home.”

※Warning: Anyone who puts 'it' as the answer will be sent to the staff room without exception.

Since it’s ‘it’, when translated into Japanese, it will be ‘it’—danger! Nearly went to the staff room for tea. Good thing that warning was there…

But it does seem weird somewhat? Why do I feel that this warning was a mockery targeted at a certain group of students?


And so, without any serious mistakes, the first two periods of exams ended peacefully—and it’s now time for the world history test which is the most important one to me.

“Alright, everyone. We’re going to start with the exam. Please put everything else other than your stationery aside into your bags.”

The invigilator in this period seemed to be Ironman as I could hear the familiar gruff voice without even lifting my head.

“Take one test script and answer script each before passing it backwards. You are not allowed to flip the answer script until the bell rings. Understood?”

The classmate in front of me handed the question and answer scripts back. I followed Ironman’s order and took one each and flipped the test script over.

I continued to try and memorize those parts that I could easily forget before the bell rang.


KIN KOOONNN—


And finally, the decisive moment has arrived.

“Begin.”

The moment Ironman spoke, I took my mechanical pencil and flipped the script over. I jotted down the important notes before checking the questions. Time to read the questions carefully!

I wrote down some of the names that could be easily mixed up and what happened then. After that, I flipped open the script. Let’s see. The first question, please state the correct type of government of the Shang Dynasty…I still remember that. The answer’s ‘religious politics’. Second question, during this era, the origins of the Japanese kanji that was formed is…‘Oracle Text’. Third Question, the people then lived ___ lives—the answer here is ‘vertical pits’.

Alright! I got it! I know them all! As expected of Himeji-san’s teachings! If this keeps up, it’s not impossible for me to achieve the marks I want! Now I can finally get rid of that cold sister of mine who only brings about trouble!

I will write the answers down first, and then check through those questions I couldn’t answer before and think through it. there’s no limit to the number of questions in Fumitzuki Gakuen’s tests, and the difficulty will increase bit by bit, so there’s such questions that targets such topics. If I can’t answer those questions, I would just end up with a pile of questions I couldn’t answer, and I will waste a lot of time. So I have to answer from those I can answer. This is what Yuuji and Himeji-san taught me. Up till now, I’ve been doing each question slowly, but after following their method, the score I got was a lot different. I see. Looks like I can change my answering style.


I focused thoroughly on answering the questions. Unknowingly, the questions on the test script were almost completely answered.


KIN KOOONNN—


The chime of the bell indicated that the test ended.

“Okay, put your pens down. Students sitting at the last row, please collect the scripts.”

I could hear the students in our class heave a sigh, and the classmates sitting at the last row followed the instructions and took the script.

“Oi, Asakura. That’s too disgusting. Hand me the script.”

“Wa, wait a sec! Just let me change the answer here!”

“Asakura! The bell rang! Give up and put your pen down!”

Perhaps discovering that he wrong the answer wrongly, Asakura-kun just wouldn’t give up his script and got scolded by Ironman as a result. Really, how stupid. The bell rang already. Even if you find that you made a mistake, you can only wait for your punishment.

Even though I thought of that, I still lowered my head and looked at the answer script that will soon be taken away.

That’s great. I don’t think there should be any problems. I don’t think there’s any problems with my answers—nn?

I quickly scanned through, but found that a certain part wasn’t right. That’s weird? This is…

“Yoshii, I’m going to collect the script.”

“Ah.”

Just when I was about to correct it, I wasn’t even allowed time to beg as the answer script was taken without mercy.

Ironman collected the answer scripts, returned to the podium to arrange them, and put into a bag meant to put answer scripts in it before leaving the classroom.

“…”

Unable to do anything, I could only watch Ironman leave.

“How’s your most important world history, Akihisa? Could you do them?”

Yuuji got up from his seat and walked over to me.

“Ahh, un. There’s a few careless mistakes, but it’s still the best test I had up till now.”

On hearing my answer, Yuuji merely shrugged.

“Really? How boring. I was about to mock you for going all pale and trying to save yourself.”

“What are you saying, Yuuji? Really, stop kidding around.”

Really, such jokes aren’t funny.

“Yeah. You really put in a lot of effort this time. You shouldn’t be doing worse than the last time.”

“Yeah, you’re really annoying. Ahahaha.”

“Haha, I’m that kind of person anyway.”

Yuuji and I exchanged looks as we both started laughing, but my mind couldn’t help but think of the world history answer script that was taken away.

I actually made such a mistake…

1212 274.jpg

Farewell, my happy lone life.




The Final Question[edit]

Question: Please write down the chemical formula of vinegar, and please write down a simple way to cook a dish that will use vinegar—tuna salad.

Shimada Minami’s Answer:

“CH3COOH”

Yoshii Akira’s comment:

That’s right. HCOOH (methanoic acid), CH3COOH (ethanoic acid) and C2H5COOH (propanoic acid) all have a certain formula. You can memorize more chemical formulas if you memorize the formulas and apply them accordingly instead of memorizing them all one by one.

Yoshii Akihisa’s answer:

“I remember the sauce used to make tuna salad is vinegar mixed with olive oil and salt. If you don’t use vinegar, you can use lemon juice to replace it, which can also create the sour flavor of the sauce; but I feel that this question doesn’t seem to have any relations to chemistry!”

Yoshii Akira’s answer:

“You don’t have to suspect anything. Just answer.”

Himeji Mizuki’s answer:

How to make tuna salad.

“Tuna salad is 1. Sour, 2. Salty, 3. Has a unique flavor. I feel that it’s alright if the 3 conditions can be met when making the sauce. So the chemical equation to make the sauce is CH3COOH(vinegar that brings about sourness) + NaCl (Salt that brings saltiness) + HCN (Hydrogen Cyanide that brings about a sweet and sour smell)

Yoshii Akira’s answer:

With the ingredients you mentioned and the difference in the making of the dish, HCl (Hydrochloric acid) and NaCN (Sodium Cyanide) will be created. I can’t say anything other than that I’m scared the moment I think of how one small dish of tuna salad can kill 50 mature boys.

BTS5-Akira.jpg


“Really, Aki-kun…no, should I be calling you Alexander the Great?”

We had a huge argument yesterday, but once I got home, I had to endure my embarrassment and report the exam results today to nee-san. After nee-san heard that, she could only shake her head reluctantly.

“Uu…bu, but, I feel that I should be able to do well! I It’s because I didn’t write my name that I’ll still be deemed to have no points…”

Having said such big words yesterday, I ended up like this today, and I really feel embarrassed. I can’t say such big words like yesterday now and could only lower my neck and kneel in front of nee-san

“We’re talking about how you may get high marks if you wrote your name, right? If Alexander the Great made the same mistake as you in the exams, do you think you would be forgiven if you explain it to the invigilator?”

“Uu…”

I couldn’t argue back as nee-san viciously pointed that out.

That’s right. A real test doesn’t allow for any excuses. Fumitzuki Gakuen’s vision is to nurture students who will be able to adapt to society, and no excuse will be accepted if they can’t go all out in a formal test no matter what. So Himeji-san didn’t get any benefit even when she fell sick and had to leave halfway.

“Uuu…I really worked hard…”

“No matter how hard you worked, you still can’t change the outcome, right?”

“Sorry…”

“You don’t have to apologize to nee-san. Nee-san never had any expectations for Aki-kun.”

“Uuu…”

“Oh well, I knew that no one was expecting anything from me, and nobody prepared dinner for me on the day before the exam…”

“But I can considering adding some points seeing how you worked hard.”

“Eh? Re, really?”

“But if your hard work doesn’t translate to results, it’ll be a waste no matter what I say. Hard work is a mean to achieve a result. No matter how much you work, if you can’t get the outcome you should be having, it’s pointless even if you’re proud of the process.”

Nee-san said such words that were hard to understand again. Basically, it’s a good thing that I’m working hard for the outcome, but it’ll be a huge mistake if I have the idea that ‘I worked hard, so it doesn’t matter whether I got the outcome’, right?”

“If I really have to say it, it’s because you didn’t study hard normally that you ended up like this, Aki-kun. Nee-san wants you to work every day and not start cramming at the last minute before the exams…”

Nee-san’s meaningful lecture time began again.

Ugh…as compared to that violent and crude mom of mine, nee-san’s nagging causes me even more trouble.

“Aki-kun, are you listening to me? Really, child, you’re always—”


—BIBEEP


At this moment, the electronic sound of the clock rang, interrupting nee-san’s words that she wasn’t able to complete.

“Oh my, it’s 7pm. I forgot the time after lecturing so much. Time to eat dinner then.”

I, I’m saved…in that case, I can finally be saved from hell…

“Aki-kun, you still have tests tomorrow, so I’ll continue the rest tomorrow.”

Eh? You want to continue tomorrow?

“I’ll prepare something simple to eat then…”

“No need. Let’s eat outside. It’s pretty late now anyway.”

I’m not exactly hungry, but nee-san, who likes home-cooked meals, actually suggested that I go out and eat. So it’s because…she will be troubled if I prepare dinner and got bad grades, right?

“Aki-kun, we’re going on.”

Nee-san took her bag with her purse inside and turned to walk out of the living room.

“Okay, then I’ll…”

I turned over and walked to the kitchen. Don’t be surprised here. I’m always in charge of the kitchen in my house. It’s alright that we’re going out to eat, but there’s something I have to settle before that.

“If we’re not cooking, I’ll freeze the meat I bought just now.”

I remember that there are some ingredients that are about to expire at home, but I suppose it should be alright if I put that meat a little longer…I thought about this as I stepped into the kitchen, and then noticed something else.

“That’s weird. Why is the cooker hood open…? Did I forget to close it?”

I turned off the cooker hood that was still running, and my mind started to recall. I didn’t cook last night, and before that, I went to stay overnight at Kirishima-san’s house. Was it already turned on before that?

“Probably not. No matter what, I would have noticed if the cooker hood’s turned on for 3 days straight…”

At this moment, the weird discrepancies I recently thought about recently started to surge in me. What’s going on? What’s strange about that?

I tilted my head as I faced the fridge, and took out the piece of meat I intend to put inside the freezer.


—At this moment, I finally realized where the strange discrepancies came about.


It was a pile of question marks that came from a lot of doubts.

Why? Why did nee-san buy so much ingredients that day even though she didn’t know Yuuji and the rest would be coming?

Why? Why was it that nee-san never had the intention of eating Japanese cuisine despite coming back to Japan after a long while?

Why? Why would that naggy nee-san of mine not allow me to cook dinner yesterday?

The many doubts gradually formed a fact that was clearly shown in front of me.


—There was a plate of burnt paella in the fridge.


“A, ahaha…what the heck, so that’s how it was…”

All my doubts were answered.


Why did nee-san buy so many ingredients?

—She deliberately bought a lot because she was scared that she cooked it wrongly.


Why paella, and not Japanese cuisine?

—Because nee-san remembered that paella’s my favorite dish.


Why did she buy ingredients I wasn’t familiar with?

—Didn’t nee-san say it before? She prepared the ‘ingredient list’. That must be because…she learnt how to really cook paella overseas.


Why didn’t she allow me to cook yesterday no matter what?

—Isn’t it obvious? Because nee-san…intended to cook what I liked to eat for my sake!


“Couldn’t she have just said so directly…”

Really, why is it that this nee-san of mine would be so strict to everyone, whether it’s to other people or herself. Saying that she didn’t have any expectations of me, and yet sparing a thought for me. She should be tired because of work and the long distance travelling, yet she still wanted to cook a dish she wasn’t even good with for her brother’s sake. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t delicious that nee-san wanted to hide it and not let me know.

Maybe nee-san already thought of cooking dinner herself on Monday, but I unexpectedly brought so many friends along that she could only get rid of the thought. It’s because of that that she looked somewhat unhappy then.

“I see. So that’s why nee-san said that no matter how hard I work, it’s pointless if I don’t show the results…those were the same words she wanted to say to herself too.”

It’s because she’s not good at it that she worked harder to overcome it. Nee-san’s really followed what she said through her actions.

“This is bad…I actually said such horrible words to nee-san…”

The more I think about it, the clearer things are. The reason why nee-san wore an apron and even started the newly-wed couple game out of a sudden is…

No matter whether it’s to others or herself, nee-san’s always a strict person.

That dish may be a failure, but I’m already happy to see the effort and dedication nee-san put in. I’m really touched.


“Aki-kun, what are you wasting time for? We’re leaving!”


Nee-san, who was waiting at the door, called me from the corridor.

“Sorry! I’ll be there now!”

I put the meat into the freezer, went back to the living room to stuff my wallet into my pocket, and walked out of the house.

I didn’t see nee-san around, probably because she heard my reply and left.

I didn’t want to keep her waiting, so I chose not to take the lift, but leap down the stairs two steps at a time.

The moment I stepped out of this building, I saw nee-san walking in front of me.

“Sorry to keep you waiting.”

I hurriedly rushed over and apologized to nee-san with her back facing me.

“People often say that ‘time is money’. It’s not good to keep people waiting.”

“Un, I’ll take note of that.”

As we continued with our conversation, I slowly walked behind nee-san, 2 steps behind her.

Nee-san didn’t deliberately look back at me, but casually looked in front.

“Nee-san, well..”

I increased my stride and leaned over at nee-san.

“What is it?”

Nee-san answered, but didn’t look at me.

It’s because she’s always showing off such a proud look at people are mistaken.

But behind this attitude, she’s actually thinking about me.

It was the same with the argument yesterday. Now that I think about it, didn’t nee-san say that ‘there’s no need for Aki-kun to cook’ only? It’s not that nee-san didn’t notice my intentions, but that nee-san was trying to tell me ‘I’ll prepare dinner, just focus on studying and try and get good grades’. Her cold tone caused me to misunderstand, but nee-san’s doing this for my sake in her own way.

Thinking about this, I suddenly felt rather happy, and even couldn’t help but show a smile.

“…Fufu.”

“Hm? Aki-kun, what’s wrong? Calling nee-san and laughing out of sudden is really rude. Is there something you want to say?”

Nee-san looked shocked as she stared at me.

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“Un, yeah.”

What should I say? At that moment, I couldn’t help but feel confused.

Right now, no matter what, what I have to say isn’t an apology to nee-san. Even if I apologize for everything that happened till now, nee-san probably won’t feel happy about it.

So, instead of an apology, I should let my true feelings and thoughts be known to my sister.

“Nee-san, well…”

“Un.”

I took a short breath and said to nee-san from the side of her face.

“Thank you very much. I—love nee-san the most.”

“What did you say?”

I took a deep breath.

“What nonsense are you spouting now?”

“Ahaha, I’m talking about love between family members.”

“…Even if you’re trying to get on my good side, you won’t be able to escape tomorrow’s telling off.”

It’s still an irritating tone, but I just feel ever-so relieved hearing that.

“Is that so? That’s a pity.”

“Of course.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“…”

“…”

Nee-san immediately went silent, and both of us walked together side-by-side under the sunset.

How many years has it been since both of us went out together?

“…Next time…”

“Hm? Did you say something, nee-san?”

“Next time, if nee-san have the urge, I’ll cook dinner for you.”

“Heh? Really?”

“Yeah. I’ll cook something nice that will shock Aki-kun.”

“Really? I’m looking forward to it then.”

“But you must wait till I have the mood.”

I suppose it’ll be a long time before she has the mood again. Nee-san’s one who focuses on the outcome, but is a really bad cook. She’ll definitely spend a lot of time practicing before her dishes can be served.

Really. She still doesn’t understand. Even if she doesn’t cook for me, there’s still a way to make food delicious and shock me.

“Nee-san.”

“What is it?”

“Do you know what’s the best seasoning, nee-san?”

“The best seasoning…salt?”

“Um~ I’m not talking about that.”

“Not that kind? In that case…an empty stomach, right? There should be no better seasoning than using survival instincts to increase a person’s appetite.”

“I see. It’s really just like what nee-san would answer.”

“Now that you say it, it doesn’t seem that an empty stomach’s the correct answer…what is it then?”

“Fufu, what could it be then?”

“...Aki-kun, are you making fun of nee-san when nee-san doesn’t know anything about cooking?”

Nee-san started to throw a tantrum and narrowed her eyes, giving me a chiding look.

But that made me even more unable to control the smirk on my face as I faced such a stare.

As for the best seasoning, if it’s not an empty stomach, the only thing left would be the last answer.

“…Never mind. It’s fine. Just laugh all you want. You can only laugh now.”

Nee-san pouted as she saw me snickering.

“I’ll interrogate you thoroughly, Aki-kun, and make you beg for mercy.”

“Eh? Are you intending to change the lecture into corporal punishment?”

“If you don’t like it, nee-san can kiss you instead then.”

“PLEASE BEAT ME UP! JUST BEAT ME UP UNTIL I CRY AND BEG FOR MERCY!”


“You’re really a pervert, Aki-kun.”

“I DON’T WANT TO HEAR SUCH WORDS FROM MY OWN SISTER WHO INTENDED TO FORCEFULLY KISS ME!!”

In the end, we continued to bicker with each other like usual as we moved forward.

Maybe it’s because the heat of the day didn’t dissipate as the road feels warm while I walk side by side with my sister.

On the same day, at Fumitzuki Gakuen—

“…Principal. What’s going on?”

“Don’t give me such a chiding look, Nishimura-sensei. Isn’t this just a slight error that cropped up with the system adjustment?”

“…This shouldn’t just a ‘slight’ error, right?”

“Just that the appearance is a little bad.”

“Oh, is that so?”

“Un, that is the case.”

““…””

“…Summer...”

“Principal, I won’t be fooled by you even if you pretend to look far away.”

“Alright alright, I got it. Gather some teachers that are free here so that we can finish up the repairs earlier.”

“I’m fine with that, but what do you intend to do if the students find out?”

“What can I do? I just said that it’s just an error in the appearances. There’s no need to be bothered with those brats even if they start making a ruckus.”

“In that case…”

“Just go with the flow.”

“Really, you. It’s because of this that this school…”




Author's Notes[edit]

I’m really grateful to all the readers who picked up this idiot work. I’m the author in charge of writing this series, Inoue Kenji. This work can be considered to be the sixth book in this series. What was a manuscript of 400 words ended up being more than 2000 pages. If we count 10 seconds to read one page, it’ll take 5 and a half hours to read finish this, and with Haga-san’s illustrations, I’ll have to spend 30 minutes to regain my intense emotions (except for page 225 of the third volume). So, it’ll take about 59 hours in all. I’m really grateful considering that the readers would spend so much time and effort to read this work. The warm voices of the readers and the feelings that are deeper than the seas really makes me ever so grateful.

Alright, I got more pages for this afterword , so I could talk about random stuff. If you’re willing, readers, please continue reading.


Actually, the previous volume, volume 4 was definitely a huge risk to me. If anyone asks me why, that’s because this is the first time I tried to create a romantic mood in this work full of idiotic situations. I was worried whether I would get criticism like ‘how boring’, ‘very disgusting’ or ‘Inoue Kenji’s not suited to write love drama at all’, so I was rather tentative when writing.

I was scared of reading the readers’ thoughts, and didn’t want to read statements humiliating me. However, I was still curious about everyone’s reaction.

In the end, I still couldn’t hold back. I read through the mail and emails that I would receive from the receivers, and even started moving to the imageboards I normally eschew.

Come on, come one…what will everyone write? I hope I won’t see ‘I’m so disappointed in the author’, ‘I can’t read on’, ‘I can’t hand Hideyoshi over to the author, must make him my bride’ and all sorts of messages…

With such throbbing anxiety, I read through all the mail, letters and comments on the internet.

Luckily, most of them I saw were positive, like ‘it’s interesting’. Thinking about how so many people read my books, wrote their thoughts about it, and all being so positive; to be honest, there’s nothing else that made me happier.

I was really too happy, so I was worried whether people will worry about whether I will be too proud and haughty, but I just want to use the afterword column to talk about some reader comments. These are some comments that were taken,


The afterwords’ interesting.

I started laughing when the molester was mentioned.

I was laughing myself out when I read about the recording report.


The afterwords were highly regarded.

It does feel that there’s a huge difference from what I expected, but I’m rather happy that everyone can praise me like that. It seemed that how I got touched on a place lower than the back of my waist was worth it, so it’s great that the readers are happy.

However, it seemed that a lot of people are mistaken, so I have to clarify here. Listen up! If you think that all male molesters are all handsome, it’s a big mistake. No, speaking of which, that guy might not be a molester, but a jeans specialist who was attracted by the texture of my jeans and couldn’t help but reach out to touch it. A lot of masters aren’t good with words, so he could only silently reach out for me, right? Such an amazing jeans master. This Inoue Kenji hopes to be a jeans master or skirts master for the rest of my life.

Alright, we’ll leave this aside for now.

Besides the afterwords, I’ve also received a lot of feedback. Like how my work met expectations, and even some readers giving me extremely good ratings that I really looked forward to, which made me tear with in salt water. Also, there’s also a response of ‘it’s really interesting. I’ll go completely naked to wait for your new work to come out on the market’. It’s been more than half a year since the last volume came out, and it’s now the season where the cold wave’s about to strike. I wonder if this reader has gotten a cold due to going completely naked? I couldn’t help but worry. I’ll definitely try to write faster and release the next volume earlier, so please hurry up and go back home and put on your clothes.

I’ve read through such affectionate replies or some slightly stern feedback criticizing me. Thank you, everyone. My writing still has lots of places to improve on, but I’ll definitely write better works, so everyone, please take care of me.


Oh yes, speaking of molester (I too feel that it’s weird to continue on using this line), the audio CD drama is slated to release a second volume. This is because of everyone’s support and encouragement, and also the hard work of the people involved. I took part in a seminar like the last volume and came out with some test questions for some part. Also, the second volume of the audio drama is about the second volume and two new unique stories, so the script was edited by the experts in this part. All sorts of outstanding seiyuus helped fill this feeling of being there with their voice acting. My inferior work really can’t ascend to the greats as compared to the audio CDs interesting parts. If you’re interested, readers, you might want to listen to the audio CD of this series.


Alright, that’s it for the introduction of the audio drama CDs. It’s about time for the readers to read about these trivial stuff I will normally say.

First, please look at this term.


Sou-uke[16]


To the readers who never heard of such a time before, I really don’t want to cause emotional scars in you, so it’s better if you hurry and skip these few pages to enjoy Haga-san’s cute illustration. Don’t worry, it’s no shameful for you even if you don’t recognize this term. On the contrary, it might be a good thing if you don’t know. I love those readers who will answer ‘defend’ when I mention ‘attack’. So please promise me. Even if you don’t understand, you must not ask your parents what does this mean.


Alright, is everyone ready?


Actually, this Inoue Kenji works as a designer on top of writing this series called Baka Test. Because of this work as a designer, I got a chance to meet up with a lot of amazing people. This time, let’s talk about something unfortunate that happened in the meeting.

At that time, I faced a lot of amazing big shots who were older than me. I was really nervous, but I had to explain the contents of this meeting to them.


Inoue: “Based on the results of this report, the number of screws may be reduced from 10 to 8. In that case, the installation and the material costs will be about OO yen, and the area—”

Superior: “Please hold on. I have some doubts about what you just said.”


One of the big shots spoke and interrupted my explanation. It seemed that there’s something lacking in my words, so he intended to ask. If I can’t answer, there’ll be a lot of trouble in the manufacturing later on. Thus, I have to answer the doubt in his heart clearly.

I was becoming more and more nervous as I waited for the question.

…That’s right, this really was a tense moment for me.


Superior: “As for the number 4 screw that was taken out, when OO is used, it’s used to take the counterweight, right? Without it, which parts will bear these weights?”


Let me repeat this again. I was really, really tense back then.


Inoue: “Tha, that…that is…”

Superior: “Un.”

Inoue: “The screws here will all become sou-ukes!”


WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST SAY IN FRONT OF THE BIG SHOTS!


This was really a tragedy created by many unfortunate factors.

1.As I was busy with work, I was sleep deprived when I got home and had to write the novel, causing my thoughts to be slow. 2.While checking the reader thoughts in the first four volumes, I saw this term several times, and couldn’t help but check the definition of this term on the net, so my mind had a strong impression. 3.These are all famous big shots in the company I was facing back then, so I was really, really, really tense.

I should be able to avoid this tragedy if any one of these factors was missing. ESPECIALLY THE SECOND POINT! Since I can deduce the meaning of this term, I really didn’t need to specially check it on the net…!


Superior: “Fmm, is that so…”


Ignoring me, who was regretting over this term, the big shot who asked didn’t seem to notice what was wrong with this and continued to stare at the explanation information in his hands.

Oh my? Does this mean…I escaped?

Speaking of which, I’m in charge of explaining things to men more than 40 years old. They probably never had a chance to hear of such a term, so it’s likely that they already thought that this term would be ‘bear all the weight’. This is really great.


Inoue: “Then, as for the next point—”


I finally heaved a sigh of relief and got ready to continue the explanation.

This is great. This is great. I managed to protect my face then. Now I can relax.


Superior: “Ahh, hold on a moment.”

Inoue: “Yes?”

Superior: “As for the screws that are treated as the sou-ukes—”


THIS IS BAD! SUCH AN OLD BIG SHOT REMEMBERED SUCH AN INTOLERABLE TERM!


At this moment, I learnt a life lesson. If I know that there’s some tense situation I must face, I should have ample sleep and have a trial run and immediately get rid of any unnecessary terms in my mind. I, who sacrificed others to learn this lesson, was filled with guilt back then, but I believe that such great superiors will soon forget about what such a low-level employee said. Also, I am secretly praying here that the big shot doesn’t have a teenage daughter.


Now that I’ve mentioned this random trivial stuff, there’s not many pages left for the afterword. I’ll then change the topic and say the usual thanks.

Haga-san, who’s in charge of illustrations, that ever constant amazing wrist of yours scares me, especially ponytailed Mizuki! That can’t do. I’ll definitely be unable to focus on writing the novel after looking at so many cute illustrations. Ahh, but I don’t write the novel, I can’t ask you to help me draw more illustrations…! I’m really in a dilemma…!

Kagaya-san, who’s in charge of designing; I caused you so much trouble all the time and there’s a lot of designing to be done this time. I’m really, really sorry…

My editor, N-sama, I feel ever so bothered whenever I receive your emails during holidays. I’m really sorry for making you panic so much.

Of course, to all the readers too! I’m very grateful for your journey with me, and I’ve read through everything from the letters, the readers feedback or the emails sent to FBonline. I would sometimes be at a bottleneck, but the soothing voices of support and encouragement are the motivation for me to continue working hard. I’m very happy about everything you sent, whether it’s words of encouragement, careless words, lack of words, or even hand-made illustrations sent to me. I’ll continue working hard in the next volume.


Finally, the preview to the next volume.

In the next volume, I guess I’ll be writing about a story where the summoned beasts get involved in a conflict with the seniors since I didn’t let the summoned beasts appear in this volume. I think a scenario of a boy and girl going through a test of courage isn’t a bad idea…but in this case, what will happen to the direction of the story? However, it’s only the planning stage at this point. Please forgive me if I end up writing something completely different.

I don’t know whether it will be a main story or a short story on FBonline, but I hope I can meet with everyone on the stage of Baka Test

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Notes[edit]

  1. Mesushirinda [メスシリンダー] is measuring cylinder. Mesu [メス] is female. Shiri [シリ] is butt.
  2. For this case, do understand that Yuuji never uses honorifics in this story (except for the occasional 'sensei').
  3. Technically, this would be the official translation of the Japanese Constitution article 76, but I'm just going to wing it to fit the context of this question (since there's always going to be dumb answers).
  4. Transfer school/changing of faith are both written with the furigana ‘tenkou’.
  5. If we take out the 'Hime (姫)' from Himeji Mizuki, we get 路瑞希 (ji-mizuki), which sounds like 地味好き (jimisuki), or plain lover.
  6. Answer is given in English in RAWs. Please don't complain of bad grammar here. It's given as such...
  7. Of course, the answer's in Japanese.
  8. Scattering beans is a practice to chase demons away in Japan during the Setsubun summer festival. Minami mistook little tsu in Seppun(kiss) for big tsu in Setsubun.
  9. What Akihisa wanted to say - 今日姫路さんは死ぬほど可愛くて見ているだけで頭がおかしかなりそうだ
  10. What Akihisa said - 今日姫路さんは死ぬ
  11. 'Very' sounds likes 'to wait on' (はべり - ha-beri)
  12. One tatami is about 3 ft by 6 ft. Taking Tokyo size though, it would be like 2'11 ft by 5'11 ft, or 0.88m by 1.76m. Here, Shouko's room would be 38.72 sq m or 416 sq ft if we count using 25 tatamis. Considering that the room size Yuuta and the three girls stayed at in Papakiki! is 6 tatamis, this is HUGE...
  13. It's the same game played by the guys in Volume 3. This game is about anything past and present, each person gives an answer. Each answer can't be reused, and the one who can't answer will lose.
  14. I'll just take the Chinese version to translate this since there is a mistake in the original question and such, as mentioned in the author's notes on volume 6.
  15. Reference to Final Fantasy III.
  16. 総受け (Sou-uke) - Please refer to this entry here. It's horrifying for me.