OmaeGotoki: Volume 1 EXTRA - A Slightly Different Flum And Milkit (2XXX CE Arc)
As the temperature lately has begun to pass ‘extremely’ hot and head right into ‘insanely’ hot, my only real problem is that the heat wakes me up before my alarm does.
“Ugh… It’s too early for this…”
Grabbing the portable terminal right above my head and grimacing at the time has me in a bad mood already. It’s too late to go back to sleep, though, so I get up anyways.
The first thing I do after getting out of bed is grab the remote control for the AC and open the curtains. The sun’s just as stupidly bright as it was yesterday with not a cloud in sight.
According to yesterday’s forecast, it’s supposed to be over 35°C today. Just thinking about it’s exhausting, but there’s no way the school will accept “It’s too damn hot” as an excuse to skip.
“Ahh… I wish it was summer vacation already…!”
There’s only a few days of hell left before the break, but it feels so long I don’t think I’ll make it.
After getting ready, I head downstairs. Mom gives me a surprised look.
“You’re up early, Flum.”
Flum Watermoon, that’s my name. My Japanese name, by the way, is Minazuki Homura. Almost nobody uses Japanese names anymore, but they’re still needed for legal stuff so it’s common to have both.
“The heat woke me up.”
“Well, maybe you should sleep with the AC on, then.”
“It feels like such a waste of energy, though.”
“Oh, come on, we don’t need to worry about that sort of thing anymore, remember? We have Origin.”
While we talk, I start helping her make the bentos.
[The latest launch of the new nuclear missiles was reported this morning to have vaporized the southern part of the African continent---]
The news playing on the television in the living room is just as big as always.
“Sounds like it was southern Africa this time.”
I make smalltalk with Mom as I start peeling the shell off the boiled eggs. In the past hundred years human technology has advanced to the point where you can boil an egg in an instant, but the problem of how to properly take the shell off is still beyond us.
I guess that just goes to show we still have a long way to go.
“Where was it last time, again?”
“Above Eurasia or something.”
I give a halfhearted response, but she seems to understand what I mean. We’re related, after all.
“That’s pretty far.”
“Yeah, I know I should probably be a little more concerned about all this but it just isn’t our problem, y’know?”
The first missile rocked the world and was all over world news, but it’s been going on so long now I’m pretty numb to it all --- especially since I know Japan’s safe.
“Oh, it’s the same all over. Yesterday I got together with our neighbours, but all we ended up talking about was about our husbands.”
“Husbands over nukes, huh. That's pretty lax.”
“It is, isn’t it?”
Everyone’s the same.
A few years ago that one country developed these new nuclear missiles, powerful enough to blow away the land itself. At first everyone was talking about ‘nuclear deterrent’ and how nobody would actually use it, but about a year ago some idiot went and fired one, and that’s what started it all.
That country no longer exists, by the way. It sounds like a bad joke, but it’s the truth. Even though the source of this whole mess has been wiped off the face of the Earth, everyone is still firing missiles left and right as if high, buying into the whole mutual destruction thing as much as everyone else.
More importantly, I’ve finished with the eggs. I guess I’m pretty lax myself, but I’m pretty used to just keeping on keeping on by now. It can’t be helped, it takes everything we humans have just to live in the ‘now’ --- especially for an utterly unremarkable, completely average human like me.
“My, you shelled it well! You had such a hard time with it just last week.”
“You can call me the Boiled Egg Master!”
“If you have the time to spend honing skills like that, you should be studying.”
“Oof… That hurts, Mom.”
I clutch my chest, sinking to the floor. I get up again right away, of course, but the wound doesn’t just disappear like magic.
Just as Mom and I finish the cooking, Dad appears in the living room with an impressive mop of bedhead.
He rubs his eyes as if trying to show off how bad he is at getting up in the morning. Mom gazes at him with a small smile. She’s probably thinking something along the lines of “He’s so cute first thing in the morning.” My parents are honestly so occupied with each other that sometimes it feels like I’m invisible.
We all eat breakfast together, and left with more time than usual before school and work, I kick around for a while before heading out early.
As soon as I open the front door, the humidity hits me like a sledgehammer.
“It’s hell… Inferno Earth…”
The sun doesn’t have ‘rays’ anymore, they’re practically frickin’ lasers. The military must be absolutely nuts to launch nukes in this hell.
Letting out a worried sigh on the future’s behalf, I pull my bike out of the garage, sit in the unpleasantly warm saddle and pedal off.
In ten minutes, I reach the nearest train station.
In twenty minutes, I reach my destination.
M High School is one of the better ones in O City, and about once every two years it produces a superhuman who goes on challenge the best universities in the country. They have nothing to do with me, of course, with my barely average grades. I’d be perfectly happy just to pass the entrance exams and get into a public university, but even that seems impossible as I am now.
Just as I pass through the school gates I happen to run into a classmate of mine and we chat as we head to our classroom.
Unlike the rest of the world, our classroom is peaceful.
The school used to offer extracurriculars from even earlier in the morning, but apparently our prefecture was the only one doing it so they scrapped it about ten years ago. Mom clearly seems to be a little resentful of us nowadays for having it so easy, but apparently overall grades have gone up since then. It always seems to work out like that, doesn’t it?
I slap my bag down on my desk, and reacting to the sound Soleil-san in the next seat over turns to look at me.
I start to feel a little self-conscious, so I decide to say something.
She murmurs a reply at me.
Soleil-san is an… albino, is it? Anyways, her hair is silver, her eyes red, and her skin is pretty pale. Maybe because she’s making some sort of fashion statement, her face and limbs are always wrapped in bandages. She’s always the center of attention.
In a bad way, of course.
The teachers must have some reason for not saying anything, but to be honest, her eyes look a little scary peeking out from behind her long bangs. It really is a shame, though, since they’re so pretty. She’s probably not a bad person, but…
Soleil-san’s seat is the one in the back of the classroom on the window side, and I happened to have the misfortune --- would be a rude way to put it, I guess, but I drew the seat right beside her by chance. It’s been a few months since then, but only recently has she started saying hi back. Since she tends to ignore anyone else who tries to talk to her or reply too quietly for anyone to hear what she’s saying, I guess it’s a big step forward for her.
That being said, our conversation never goes past those few words, and it’s not like we have anything to talk about.
Time passes uneventfully. Even as the places humans can still live in grow fewer and further between by the day, my daily life is unchanged. Without anything really happening classes end, I go home, eat dinner, do my homework, call my friends, go to sleep, and morning comes again. Repeating that over and over again, finally the day of the closing ceremony arrives.
All us students line up in the relatively air-conditioned gym, everyone’s expressions already loose and casual. It’s only natural --- it’s the last hurdle before summer break.
The principal seems to be going on and on about how we shouldn’t be too loose and casual or whatever, determined to make this drag on as long as possible.
Why do teachers always try to kill the mood like this? I wish I could rip out that bad combover of his. What, does he think we’ll all become delinquents the second he looks away? Humans are the kind of stupid creature that’ll do the opposite of what you tell them if your warning’s too half-assed; there are probably a few people in the room who’re going to really cut loose just because he told them not to.
He can’t talk forever, though, and finally running out of things to pad out his speech with we all return to class. After quickly doing homeroom we’re freed from the cage of education.
Well then, summer’s finally here. What should I do first…?
I head right home as soon as school lets out. My only real detour is a quick stop by a convenience store to grab some juice.
It’s not like I don’t have any friends. It’s just too damn hot to do anything.
I’ll probably just head home without anything happening, have a peaceful lunch, laze around, devour dinner, laze around, and maybe after that I’ll sprawl out on my bed and call my friends.
...That’s what’s going through my head, at least, when I frantically pull the brakes on my bike in front of a broken-down apartment.
The screech of my brakes fills the air, and planting both feet firmly on the ground I look down at her.
Words fail me.
She stares at me wordlessly, not asking for help or anything, just looking up at me blankly.
“What’re you doing, Soleil-san?”
Sitting there is my eccentric classmate, Milkit Soleil.
Like an abandoned kitten, she’s sitting in a cardboard box labelled PLEASE GIVE ME A HOME with her knees against her chest. Her skin is bright red as if she’s been sitting there all day, and her white button-up shirt is translucent with sweat.
Come to think of it, she wasn’t at school today… don’t tell me she’s been sitting here all day? And her clothes --- not only is she clearly not wearing a bra under that shirt, but why is she wearing cat ears!?
“Seriously, what the hell do think you’re doing, Soleil-san!?”
She doesn’t reply, so I ask again.
She mumbles a reply.
“My parents… are gone.”
“It seems as though they ran away. They… left me behind.”
I look up at the apartment’s second floor. I think I remember hearing she lived there with her parents… is this one of those night flight things?
Now that I’m really paying attention, her breathing’s pretty ragged. The way her shirt’s partway unbuttoned really shows off her sensual cleav… err, her eyes are kinda out of focus, so I can’t just look the other way.
“Do you want a drink?”
I pull the bottle of juice I’d just bought out of my bag and hold it out to her. It’s a Sontury something-or-other so it's not as good as a sports drink, but it’s better than nothing.
She looks at the juice bottle and cocks her head to the side.
“Don’t give me that look, take it. It’d be bad if you collapsed here.”
I screw off the cap and practically force it into her hands. She reluctantly starts to sip at it, but after one mouthful she says “Thank you” and hands it back to me.
You’re too reserved! What are you, some princess!?
“No, you can finish it. You’re still thirsty, right?”
“It’s fine, don’t worry about it.”
Even though she accepts the bottle somewhat hesitantly, she tips it back at a steeper angle than before. With that she should be rehydrated… at least partway. More importantly, though, I’ve got to get her out of this sun.
“I can take the bottle back.”
“Thank you… very much.”
She’s surprisingly upfront. She really doesn’t seem like a bad person after all… but given the whole abandonment thing and those bandages, she’s clearly got some interesting circumstances.
Should I really get involved?
I’m not strong enough to just leave her now, though, so it’s too late for second thoughts. I extend my hand to her, but she just cocks her head to the side again. I was half expecting as much, so I grab her and pull her to her feet.
It’s then that I realize just how extreme her ‘fashion sense’ is.
“Wha, wait, where’s the rest of your clothes!?”
“...My father told me it’d be easier for people to understand if I don’t wear any panties.”
WHAT THE HELL!?
Ahh, I can’t even think straight now! Whatever, I’ll save the thinking for later!
“For now, uhh… I’ll lend you a towel, just cover up, okay!? I’m taking you home right now!”
Soleil-san, puzzled at my vigour, simply nods.
Who in their right mind would sit outside wearing only a button-up shirt and cat ears in this heat!? Is this some kind of fetish thing!? No, not even a perverted-to-the-core super-masochist would do that!!
Leaving my bike where it is, I take her back home --- after taking away her cat ears, of course. I worry every step of the way that we’ll run into someone, but luckily nobody’s around. Thank Origin for the countryside.
We manage to make it all the way home without risking a colourful new rumour getting passed around the neighbourhood.
First I take Soleil-san into the living room, and after I crank up the AC I get her some tea.
I get the feeling her complexion’s improved a bit, but since she was pretty pale to begin with she still doesn’t look super healthy.
I get her another towel, but it looks like that much sweat calls for something a little more thorough.
“Do you want a shower?”
“I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.”
“No, I will. I don’t want you getting that sweaty smell all over the house.”
“I suppose I am fairly dirty…”
“Yeah… wait a sec, I think I can smell something kinda sweet. You’re not wearing perfume, are you?”
She shakes her head no.
In other words, this is how she always smells… is this sweetness coming from her sweat!?
I bring my face close to her hair and inhale deeply.
I run my nose down to her neck and take an inquisitive sniff.
Before I realize it, I’m smelling her all over, completely entranced by her scent.
Maybe because of my ticklish breath, Soleil-san twists her body slightly and lets out a seductive sigh.
“N-No, it’s fine…”
I regain my sanity.
I guess suddenly burying my face in her neck and getting a little drunk on her smell’s a little perverted, isn’t it…? I’ve gotta watch that.
“Uhh… How about we go to the changing room, then?”
It sounds kinda bad right after what I just did, but it’s not perverted at all.
Really. I’m serious.
The words ‘changing room’ just sound a little lewd to me right now, for whatever reason… Soleil-san evidently isn’t bothered, though, as she wordlessly nods.
In the changing room, Soleil-san starts to unbutton her shirt. I ask her the question that’s been on my mind this whole time as she does so.
“So, uh… Your parents left in the middle of the night, right?”
“What I don’t get is why you were dressed like that.”
There it is, the million dollar question. I have an idea as to why already, but I’ve got to be sure.
“Father said that if I used my body I’d be able to make a living, and…”
Ahh, just as I feared.
“Sorry I asked… You don’t have to say any more.”
Her dad’s a real asshole --- and her mom’s no better, just going along with him like that.
“Since they ran away, I’m guessing they had some kinda debt?”
“No, they said all their debts have been paid off, but that seems to be the source of their problems.”
“Ahh… So it was how they got the money that’s the problem.”
“I believe so. They were being pursued by some scary people…”
I get the jist of it now, but the more I hear the more I want nothing to do with this whole mess!
I guess if Soleil-san’s still fine, though, these ‘scary people’ won’t come after her.
“I think I get it. I’ll get Mom and Dad to understand so they’ll let you stay here for tonight.”
“I can’t just leave you alone… though I guess that’s only a short-term solution, huh.”
Soleil-san bows deeply to me. From her actions I gather that she’s honestly grateful.
It’s not a bad feeling.
What should I do, though? I guess I should probably call the police and have them take her to a facility or something…
No, I can’t just decide on my own. I’ll wait until Mom and Dad are back and we can all talk it out together.
“For now just take a shower. I’ll get you a change of clothes.”
A faint smile appears on her lips.
My heart skips a beat.
She’s pretty cute when she smiles.
I guess she’s just the pretty type… if it wasn’t for those bandages I’m sure the guys would be all over her. I wonder what’s under them?
Just as I think that, she starts to unravel them.
She reveals her clear, beautiful skin -- and on that skin is all manner of painful-looking scars.
“Uwah… Soleil-san, those…”
“...I’m sure you can guess where these are from.”
If her parents are awful enough to abandon her, it’s not surprising they’d abuse her. The reason for those bandages, as well as the reason why the teachers have never said anything, is all domestic violence she’s suffered. Not her arms and legs but even her face is bruised and dotted with cigarette burns.
No matter how I look at it, this is downright criminal… Shouldn’t somebody have reported this by now?
“Father really is a nice person at heart, though. He never laid a finger on Mother, and on days when he was in a good mood he’d even worry about my injuries.”
Nice? Fat chance. Not after abusing her like this and then just leaving her to fend for herself.
To Soleil-san, the ‘kindness’ they gave her must’ve warped her world, even the meaning of the word itself. There’s only one way to make it right again.
I’ll just be nicer to her than anyone else ever has before --- even though I’m really not the kind and caring type, that desire mysteriously wells up from within me.
I want to teach her what true kindness is --- something much freer, much warmer, something that puts the heart at ease.
“Um, I’m covered in sweat, so maybe you should… let go of me…”
“You can’t, really, I’ve caused enough trouble for you already.”
“I’m plenty sweaty already, so I’ll just hop into the shower with you.”
Soleil-san’s plenty confused, but there’s no way I’ll let that stop me. Even though I’m acting completely on impulse, I don’t feel as though I’m wrong in the slightest. If sympathy or hypocrisy can save her, then that’s fine by me. Even if we’ve barely even talked before now, I’m perfectly serious.
After a while she seems to give in, returning my hug with a squeeze of her own.
Since there’s no air conditioning in the changing room, the air in here is really hot and humid. The smell of sweat and something much sweeter tickles my nose.
I guess it’s a little late to notice, but Soleil-san really is just a normal girl. Anyone who’d even think of harming someone as cute and frail as her must be out of their mind.
“You don’t mind that I’m sweaty?”
I really don’t have a problem with it --- and since she isn’t even trying to escape my embrace she must feel the same way.
“I never knew people could feel so warm…”
Her voice trembles slightly, almost as if she’s never known this feeling before now.
The words cause a bit of tightness in my chest.
I put a little more strength into my embrace without thinking, but she doesn’t seem to dislike it.
Just before we enter the bathroom, I remember that I still haven’t gotten her that change of clothes I promised. After quickly heading to my room to grab two sets of loungewear, Soleil and I enter the bathroom together.
She takes a seat and I stand behind her.
“Isn’t it too cramped for the both of us? I think you should go first after all, Master.”
“C’mon, the whole reason we’re doing this is because you’re so… wait a second.”
I get the feeling she said something pretty stunning just now.
“Father told me that’s what I should call whoever picked me up.”
“Well, your dad’s a total shithole!”
I can’t keep myself from saying it. Just how much of a fucking asshole is her dad!?
“Forget everything he told you, okay!? I didn’t take you home for some erotic roleplay.”
“I don’t know how else I should express my gratitude.”
Actually, I’m kinda curious if she was really just about to thank me with her body when we’re both girls…
“How about you smile?”
“Your smile’s really cute, y’know. If you’ll just smile when you’re happy that’s enough for me.”
It sounds pretty cheesy saying it aloud, but it’s the truth.
“Smile… I’m not sure I can…”
Come to think of it, I guess you can’t just smile on command… Not a real smile, at least, no matter what those customer service people seem to think with those ‘business smiles’ of theirs.
“Don’t think about it, just relax. You can do that much, right?”
“I’m not sure I understand, but… there’s still the issue of what I should call you now.”
“Just my name is fine.”
“Hmm… that’s a little long. Flum’s fine.”
“In that case, I’ll call you Flum-san.”
“Okay, and I’ll call you Milkit-san… Hmmm… Nope, doesn’t quite feel right. Can I just call you Milkit?”
“Call me whatever you please. Even simply ‘hey’ or ‘you’ is fine.”
“No, it’s not.”
I lightly chop her on the head.
Degrade yourself too much and I’ll get angry, I swear.
“I didn’t hit you that hard.”
“It hurt me emotionally.”
This way she won’t repeat her mistake.
“Milkit it is, then.”
“...It’s been a while since anyone’s called me by name.”
I wonder what her parents called her?
Ah, that’s probably where the ‘hey’ and the ‘you’ came from.
Who'd give someone a name they won't even use? Really, those jerks. Milkit’s a really cute name and everything.
“By the way, what’s your Japanese name?”
“My surname is ‘kou’ from ‘to face’ paired with the ‘jitsu’ from ‘day’ together as Koujitsu. My given name is ‘beautiful crimson’, read Miruku.”
“That’s a pretty weird way to read it.”
They probably wanted to give her a name that sounds like ‘milk’ for whatever reason, even though crimson and milk have nothing to do with each other. I guess Milkit just came from ‘milk’ naturally, then.
“It’s strange, isn’t it?”
“It’s cute, so isn’t that enough?”
“I like it, at least.”
Regardless of whether it’s a good name or not, I really think it’s cute.
Milkit, meeting my eyes through the mirror in front of her, smiles. Is she really that happy I complimented her? I mean, nobody’s ever remarked on my name before, so I don’t really know what it feels like myself… Actually, isn’t she kinda easy? It’s probably just that she’s not used to being treated well.
That might be it.
Not only did her parents abuse her but everyone at school picks on her for being covered in bandages all the time… and it’s probably been going on since before high school. If her grades were good enough to get into the same school as me despite all that, she must be one helluva hard worker.
She’s a lot better than me, chances are.
But despite that, to be tormented like she has been for so long… I can’t just leave it as that. I’ll make sure to compensate her for all her years of suffering and make sure she finds happiness.
“I’ll wash your hair next.”
After squirting shampoo into my hands I start scrubbing away at Milkit’s hair.
Why am I doing this, you ask? Because I feel like it!
Even though her hair’s such a pretty silver colour, I can tell that it’s in pretty poor shape. I’m sure there wasn’t anything she could do about it in that house, but that won’t fly here. I’ll have to teach her how to properly take care of it.
Finishing her hair, it’s time to move on to her body --- and then I notice.
“What’re those monsters!?”
The words escape my lips as soon as I look at her chest through the mirror.
They’re like overripe fruits, hanging low on the branch from their own impressive weight.
What, you ask? Those, of course. Her boobs.
They seem to mock the barren wasteland as they jiggle --- wait, who’s the barren wasteland? I am!!
“I thought you said you were going to call me Milkit?”
“Mom always told me to show the proper respect to people with superior breasts.”
“T-That doesn’t matter right now. More importantly, what’s up with these--- err, those man-eaters!? They weren’t that big just a while ago!”
Milkit touches her chest with a slightly fed-up expression.
I still can’t see the tips, though --- it’s the bathroom, after all. Mysterious steam and convenient rays of light seem to cover the important bits as if they had a mind of their own. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!
“I’m the type that looks slimmer in clothes.”
“You go way beyond that!”
No matter how you look at them, they’re ignoring a law of nature or two! Does her shirt have built-in 〇D Pockets or something!?
“H-How’d you get them? Genes?”
“No, my mother isn’t like this.”
In other words, she must’ve gotten the massive-boobs gene from her dad --- wait, what am I saying!?
“There’s really nothing good about them being this big. I don’t like it when men stare at me strangely…”
“Well, yeah, but it’s better to have them than not, right?”
“Father sometimes looked at me like that when he got drunk.”
“Sorry, I wasn’t thinking.”
“N-No, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that… If you’d like, Flum-san, you can do whatever you want with them.”
“...Whatever I want?”
“Yes. Go ahead.”
Saying so, Milkit sticks her chest out. She’s facing away from me, but that’s a ‘here you go’ gesture, isn’t it? I mean, it’s not like I’m interested in her boobs in a sexual sense, I’m just kinda curious from a purely rational perspective as a fellow young woman about just how heavy they are, if they’re really as soft as they look…!
“Please excuse me.”
Completely losing to my desires, I wrap my arms around her from behind and put my hands on her breasts. Scooping them up from below, a surprisingly soft and pleasantly squishy feeling meets my palms.
Feeling them like this, they really are quite heavy --- but more than that, this is wreaking havoc on my nerves. These are completely different from the ones on my own chest! Just comparing us feels like a grievous sin…!
“How were they?”
...Did she seriously just ask me that?
“Truly amazing… Way better than I expected.”
“I’m not sure I understand myself, but if they’re truly that amazing then you’re free to fondle them whenever you please.”
Doesn’t that sound a little, y’know, lewd? Almost like she’s saying her body’s mine…
“Since you were kind enough to pick me up, you’re free to not only use my chest but my entire body however you see fit.”
I was right!?
“Milkit, stop!! I told you I don’t need that kind of thanks!”
“But I can’t think of any way to express how grateful I am…”
“J-Just take your time, okay? You don’t have to decide right away --- and really, if I do anything you don’t like don’t hesitate to tell me, okay?”
“I really don’t have a problem with you touching me, though… In fact, being able to feel your warmth like that is quite relaxing.”
Ohh… Those are some bold words.
Should she really be saying stuff like that to a near-stranger like me?
“A-Ah, I don’t mean to say that I’d be fine with anyone, though.”
“You talk to me everyday when nobody else will… I’ve known that you’re a very kind person for a long time now.”
“I’d hardly call saying good morning talking to you, though…”
“Even so, Flum-san, you were the first. I’ve never met anyone who’s treated me as kindly as you have.”
I’m sure she doesn’t really mean anything by those words, but… she’s really unlucky, isn’t she? If she’s this cute then I would’ve thought a nice guy or two would’ve given her a helping hand by now.
Even if I’m just a plain, boring, average girl, though, the least I can do is show her a little kindness.
“That’s why, um, if it’s not too much trouble, I’d appreciate it if you’d touch me like that again sometime.”
Looks like there’s no resisting it --- I’ll have to do it again sometime soon. After all, if nothing else, it’ll be hard to forget how wonderful it felt.
Cutting off our slightly strange conversation there, I finally wash Milkit’s back for her. Then, after quickly rinsing off my own sweat, we leave the bathroom.
I bought one of my own bras for Milkit to wear, but unsurprisingly it doesn’t fit her. For now she’s just wearing a T-shirt I lent her, but… damn, that chest of hers is way too erotic. It’s not like we have any other choice for the time being, though.
After we get dressed, Milkit and I relax for a while on the sofa in the pleasantly-cool living room. We’ll have to go shopping for clothes for her tomorrow… and come to think of it, we’ll also have to drop by her apartment to pick up her things. I just hope we don’t run into those ‘scary people’.
But before that --- Milkit’s stomach grumbles from where she’s sitting right beside me.
Blushing, she hangs her head.
A moment later, my own stomach growls.
“Ahaha, sounds like I’m hungry, too.”
Even though it’s kinda stupid, we both giggle at each other. A moment later, though, I get to my feet and head to the kitchen.
“Are you fine with cha-han for lunch?”
“You’re even feeding me?”
“Let me help, then.”
Just like that, we start making lunch together. I’ve only ever cooked with my parents before, so doing it with a classmate at home just feels a little weird.
I’m kind of surprised to see how good she is with a knife, though. Seeing her dexterity on full display as she cuts a chunk of ham from the fridge, I get the distinct impression she’s pretty at-home in the kitchen.
“Do you cook a lot?”
“Yes. Whenever both my parents got drunk it’d fall on me to cook, after all.”
Her parents again? Really?
“It’s quite fun cooking together with someone.”
“Yeah, it really is.”
Well, I have my work cut out for me, then. All I have to do is give her some good memories to replace all her horrible ones.
Thanks to Milkit’s help we finish in a flash, and heaping the cha-han on some plates we dig right in. Every heaping spoonful gives off a pleasant scent, not unlike a good consommé.
Telling her my opinion through a mouthful of rice, she smiles at me.
“It’s quite tasty, isn’t it?”
Eyes narrowed blissfully, those words of hers are probably full of more thoughts and feelings than I could ever know.
What’s perfectly natural to me is probably perfectly unnatural to her.
I hope that if we keep at it long enough, we’ll eventually reach the point where my ‘natural’ and hers overlap.
I barely manage to salvage birdsong through my half-asleep consciousness. Heading the call and opening my eyes, I find the ceiling of our room in the Capital above me.
I look to the side to see Milkit sleeping there, a blissful look on her face as she clings onto my arm. I reach out to her and gently stroke her cheek, and a moment later she opens her eyes.
Ah, she didn’t call me Flum-san --- in that instant I can feel the boundary between my dream and reality made clear.
“Good morning. For some reason I’m feeling a little strange this morning…”
“I was just looking at your face in a dream, but when I opened my eyes I was still looking at you.”
I blink a few times without saying anything, lost in thought.
“Why do you seem so surprised, Master?”
“I think I was seeing that same dream… I was just looking back at you, but we were in some weird other place…”
“Mine was the same way! You picked me up off the street, we cooked and ate together, and then…”
The dream ended. I guess we really were seeing the same dream at the same time, huh?
“I’m glad I was able to have the same dream you did, Master!”
For that to be her first thought is just like her. I’m confused for a moment about why that happened, but it doesn’t really matter. I’ll just consider myself lucky I was able to share it with her.
Leaving my body to the warm feelings welling up from within, I reply “I’m glad, too” and embrace her.
There’s life there --- life, and with it a sense of reality.
[Don’t worry. The world won’t end yet.]
From the very depths of my soul, from beyond countless barriers, a voice whispers into my ears.
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- 水月穂邑 - water+moon and head+village
- 向日美紅, and the kanji’s meanings are as given by Miruku herself.
- A Chinese dish popular in Japan, cha-han consists of steamed rice sauteed in a wok with stuff like eggs, meat, and vegetables.