Monday, May 9, 2011

Ore No Imouto Ga Konna Ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai, Chapter 1 Part 1

When I returned home from school, I found my sister in the living room on the phone with someone. My sister’s name is Kousaka Kirino. She’s a fourteen-year-old going to the local middle school. She has her hair dyed light brown, both ears pierced, and an elegant manicure on her long nails. She carefully polishes her face with makeup, though she’d still be attractive without it. She carries an atmosphere too mature for a middle school student. She’s nice and tall, yet well-rounded in those places too.

If she was good at singing as well, then you’d have a charismatic idol.

I’m not being lenient because she’s family. My sister is just one hell of a refined person.

However, I have no intention of boasting that she is my sister. Sure the guys will envy me, and I might understand why, but from personal experience, it’s just not like that.

If you actually have a sister yourself, then you should understand my feelings, more or less.

A sister isn’t anything that great, at least for me.

For example, imagine this: in your classroom, there are always multiple groups of friends. Take the most gorgeous one as an example. The one with the jock, the smart and cool guy, and the super cute girl.

Now there’s a girl who is even one rank more refined in that group.

That girl you hesitate to even talk to. That girl living in another world that, in the future, you may never have anything to do with. She’s what we might call “the girl on another level.” Most men would find her uncomfortable even if she looks that nice. That’s how I feel too.

Now imagine a girl like that in your own family. Of course, with no special circumstances in the distance between each other.

Now you understand how uneasy I feel. It’s not that nice of a thing, is it?

Tadaima.”[1]

I give the greeting out of manners, but not only does she not respond, she doesn’t even show the slightest sign of recognition.

Kirino, in her sailor uniform, sinks deep into the sofa and crosses legs covered by a super short skirt. She’s laughing at her mobile, seemingly pleased.

Her smile was surely cute, but that will never be directed towards me.

“Oh? You’re kidding! What the heck? Haha! What an idiot.”

“Yeah yeah, I was an idiot for trying to talk to you.”

I grumbled to myself while opening the fridge. Getting a pack of barley tea, I pour it into a cup and consume it in a gulp. Phew. I take a moment’s rest before leaving.

“Yeah, alright. Then I’ll get changed and head out.”

It’s already evening, just where the heck is she going to play?

“Well, not that it matters to me,” I mumble to myself and climb up the stairs.

My name is Kousaka Kyousuke. I’m a 17-year-old who goes to the local high school.

It’s kind of strange to say myself, but I’m an average high school boy. I’m not in any clubs and I have no special hobbies either. Of course I listen to popular music and read some manga and books, but not to the point that I would count it as a hobby.

After school, I usually fool around with my friends in town, read manga at home or watch TV.

Well, I also study sometimes.

Aren’t normal high school students like that? You might call it a safe but boring lifestyle; however, I think being normal is quite important.

Being normal means acting in harmony with others and being realistic.

Acting safe means there is less danger.

Fortunately, my grades aren’t too bad and if things continue the way they are now, I’ll probably get into a decent university. As for what I’m going to do afterwards… well, I can think about that while I enjoy my four years of university life.

The ones that have to be in a flurry are those who won’t get the job of their dreams through that path. Chasing dreams… It sounds nice, but that means you won’t be ‘normal’ anymore. There will be many dangers and in no way safe. At least it isn’t the thing for me.

Well, I’ve long forgotten about my childhood dreams, but if I had to say something, an ordinary, inconspicuous, quiet, and trouble-free life could be considered my dream.

My home is a two-story house. The family members are my parents, my sister and myself, making a total of four.

A well-off, middle-class, nothing-out-of-the-ordinary family.

My sister’s room and mine are on the second floor. After changing into regular clothes in my room, I rested for a while, then went back down the stairs. That’s because I wanted to use the toilet before I started studying. By the way, the front door comes right under the stairs and to the left of it is the door to the living room.

And so…

“Ah!”

Just after going down the stairs, I ran into my sister, who was in her regular clothes. This area is a blind spot on both sides so collisions happen frequently.

Thud. We collide, with my left shoulder hitting Kirino’s breast. The force wasn’t that strong, but it was enough for her bag to leave her hand and spill its contents onto the floor.

“Ah!”

“Oh sorry.”

I make a frank apology and reach out to pick up the stuff scattered on the floor, like cosmetics, but…

Whap!

Kirino brushed my hand away with a slap.

“Wha-?”

My eyes open wide and I am surprised by her sharp look.

This is what comes out of my sister’s mouth:

“Just leave it. Don’t touch anything.”

While saying that, she gathers the spilled contents of her bag on her own.

Oh, how unpleasant she is! What is it? She doesn’t want me touching her stuff?

How much do you hate your brother?

I looked down at my sister, who continued her task without expression. An uneasy atmosphere fills the front hall.

My sister turns around, hurries into her pumps and murmurs, “Itekimasu,”[2] as if she is fulfilling some sick duty, then closes the door with a slam.

Well as you can see, this is what our relationship is like. I’m not terribly angry about this either, since I don’t think of her as a sibling anymore. If I just think of it as a random person from class doing the same thing, then it’s easily forgiven.

Go ahead and laugh at me for being a failure of a brother if you want. I don’t care.

Heh, well it’s not like my life will be disturbed because I can’t communicate properly with my sister.

“…jeez. Just when did things become like this?”

Even she had times when she wasn’t like that, I think…

Oh well. It annoyed me a bit, but whatever. I shall return to my original task.

I finish peeing, wash my hands, and dive onto the living room sofa. I pick up a magazine left around and cross my legs, going on my back.

Hey, wasn’t I supposed to start studying?

Lying down and skimming through the pictures of a battle manga makes me feel emptier and emptier. My senses warn me that I shouldn’t be doing things like this, but my astonishing laziness counters: Ah forget it. I don’t feel like studying.

This laziness must be a common disease amongst students.

I stand up, shaking my head around like a dog that had just gotten a bucket of water poured over him, open the door and head into the hallway. I find something strange.

“Hmm…?”

It was in the corner of the entrance hall, on the backside of the shoe closet. I didn’t notice it before, but in between the shoe closet and the wall, something thin and white like a case was peering out.

It must have been out of escapism that I reached out for it. My brain was searching hard for any possible excuse not to study.

Even though picking this up would only buy me a few seconds worth of time.

But the outcome wasn’t actually like that. In fact, because of this thing, studying became a secondary issue for a while.

The moment I pulled it out of the back of the shoe closet…

“What the heck is this?”

I made a wild scream. Why, you ask? It’s because it was the kind of thing that did not belong in this house at all.

This, uhm well… What is this?

I pick up the case by my fingers and look at it from many different angles, but I can’t seem to understand its identity.

It’s a DVD case, that’s for sure. It’s the kind of case you would usually find at the video rental shops.
Oh, it even says DVD on it. But the contents are what I don’t get.

I must have looked absolutely puzzled at that moment.

On the front side of the package was an illustration of a girl with oversized eyes, drawn up large. A cute girl in the upper grades of elementary school.

“Her eyes and hair are pink,” I murmur calmly. I scrutinize it as if I’m a detective checking evidence for clues.

This might be its image color, since the entire package has large bits of pink and white.

Well, whatever. The bigger issue is…

“What the heck is wrong with this kid’s outfit?”

I mean this little girl is dressed in random, suggestive clothing. What would you call them, swim suits? Bandages? Something that would make you want to tell her to wear something normal. It seems some rocket booster-like things are growing out of that bandage-like outfit allowing the girl to fly and leave a trail of stardust.

And somehow she is carrying this huge staff, of a fancy mechanical design, easily with one hand.
It’s something that would make Ryofu Housen[3] scared. Apparently it’s for combat. Its evil purpose to take down and crush enemies was easily imaginable.

How fearsome.

And…

At the top of the package, what would most likely be the title was printed in a roundish font. ‘StarDust, Witch Meruru Limited First Edition’ What in the world?

I’ve gone through all this explanation, but in short it’s anime… I guess. Though it’s been quite a while since I stopped watching anime, so I don’t really understand.

And why is this kind of thing lying here?

Right when that question arose in my head, while sitting there in the entrance with the ‘Stardust Witch Meruru’ thing in my hands, the door swung wide open.

Tadaima! Oh, what are you doing there, Kyousuke? Curling up like a fetus in the entrance hall?”

“It’s nothing, mom. I’m just getting some fresh air.’

That was close! I would have become a social outcast!

But no problem. I was able to hunch over and hide that thing the moment the door opened. Jeez, that sure was close.

I don’t know who did this, but it must be a trap for me. If I was found with something like this, I would surely be prosecuted in a family conference.

I can imagine Kirino looking at me like some garbage.

Mom, carrying a shopping bag, looks at my strange figure in pity.

“I heard from the lady next door that psychological counseling aimed at students is gaining popularity recently.”

“W-Wait a second. I’m perfectly sane. Uhh yeah, I just studied a bit too much today, you know?”

“Liar. Why would you study so much that you would get that stressed?”

What cruel parents. Why can’t you trust your child more?

“Of course I do. You know my grades aren’t that bad.”

“But that’s because of Manami-chan, isn’t it? Why are you the one who’s proud when you have a smart childhood friend as your tutor? You would never study alone.”

“Damn.”

That was absolutely true, so I can’t talk back. Also, I’d been reading a manga until five minutes ago.
I crawled on the floor like a centipede while hiding the ‘Stardust Witch Meruru’ under my shirt, and escaped from the scene. My mom says to my back, “Kyousuke, I don’t mind it, but you might want to stop opening porn books in the entrance hall.”

Very close answer but wrong. It’s amazing of my mom to suspect that much from my strange actions. Her history of cleaning my room without my consent and revealing my hidden collection isn’t for nothing.

However, what I’m hiding now is something much more serious than those, in a way.

“Phew.”

I take the thing out from under my stomach, and hold it high up above my head with my right hand. I wipe away the sweat with my left knuckle.

Mission accomplished. I’m really used to doing this sort of gesture. I’ll try not to say why, but you healthy school boys should all know what I want to say.

“…and I ended up bringing it with me,” I murmur while taking a glance at the ‘Stardust Witch Meruru’ case.

Oh well, it couldn’t be helped when the situation was like that. Since I was looking for an excuse to not study and it’s also true I was greatly intrigued by this ‘forbidden object’. I shall be cancelling today’s entrance exam study session due to serious issues and examine this thing.

My room is 6 tatami mats large. A bed, a desk, a book shelf with textbooks and manga, and a closet are within. My carpet is yellow green and my curtains are blue. On the wall, there’s a Japanese style calendar that my mom got from the local town-wide group, and there are no posters. The only other thing is a boom box, I don’t have a computer, TV or video games.

See? I’m quite average. It’s my policy to live as normally as possible and it fits my tastes.

By the way, I’ve almost given up on trying to hide my porn books, so they are all stored in a cardboard box under my bed. And I begged my mom not to clean under my bed. There’s no assurance that my mom would ratify that treaty, and even if she had been checking for updates on my collection every day, there’s no way I would know.

Well, that I deliberately forget about. To defend my own self confidence. The only defense I have is to try to make a safer choice, just in case, to defend myself if I get spotted and prosecuted in a family meeting.

…seriously where do people who don’t have their own rooms hide this stuff? I can only imagine forgetting about it and leaving it all open as the possible defense plan. I might be spoiled, to be able to worry about such small things like being unable to lock my room.

Traveling through those deep thoughts only took me a few seconds in reality. I sat on my bed and loosened my legs. I pick up the DVD case with one hand and make a thinking pose with my other hand.

“The more I look, the more it tells me the package doesn’t suit my room.”

Under the florescent light, the Stardust Witch’s smile glitters. It’s scary in a sense that she’s making a smile while holding such a weapon of mass destruction.

“Hmm.”

And yeah, this thing, whose is it?

I imagine the faces of the Kousaka family members one by one, but as I expected I couldn’t find a suitable owner for ‘Stardust Witch Meruru’.

Of course, I don’t remember this anime ever airing in my living room either. (At the time, I didn’t know computers could play DVDs.)

So what does this mean? Why was this there?

While I continued to wonder, I opened the case…

“Wha-!?”

I received another shock more intense than when I found this anime DVD box.

In short, inside the DVD case there was no ‘Stardust Witch Meruru’ DVD. In place of it, there was some other DVD.

…well it does happen often. Like when I get tired of placing the CDs I listen to back into their proper cases and sometimes shuffle them around.

And later I get confused as to which CD is where.

The owner of this must have been lazy like that too and had placed a different DVD in this ‘Stardust Witch Meruru’ DVD case.

Yeah, I understand. It happens.

But, but, well…

Why is the title of the DVD, ‘Let’s Make Love With Your Sister!” Of all choices, who is seducing who into doing what?

And what is this charming R-18 notice thing that shouldn’t be there?

“Calm down!”

My breathing became heavy as the sweat drops collected on my forehead. This was serious. Dead serious. What was serious? That scene where I encountered my mom…

Had she found out the contents, I would have had to commit suicide. Is this really a trap for me to fall into? I don’t understand this kind of thing, but my instincts are sounding an alarm. What’s this dark aura coming from the title? Even if it didn’t have this charming R-18 notice, I can still understand from the title. This is in no way something I should be allowed to have!

“Kyousuke, are you studying properly?”

“Aaaaaaagh!?”

I screamed like the world had ended, and ducked under my bed blanket.

I glance towards the door. My mom who opened the door without knocking and seemed shocked at the crazy reaction her son had shown. “Sorry, is this a bad time?”

“Oh don’t mind it mom, I was just having voice training. Rather, knock will you?”

“Yes. I’m sorry. I’ll do so from now on.”

With an expression that’s apparently trying to hide her shock, my mom closes the door.

Oh shit. I did manage to hide the thing, but I’m sure I made a really bad misunderstanding. Damn. I’m really having bad luck today. This and that, all of the fault falls on this thing.

While still under my bed blanket, I stare at the mysterious DVD case.

“Damn!”

If things have come to this, I’ve got to find the owner of this thing no matter what. I make a “half-blaming-someone else”-like pledge.

But I’ve become even more puzzled. I mean about the owner of this DVD. The fact that inside the DVD case of ‘Stardust Witch Meruru’, there was something absolutely suspicious, ‘Let’s Make Love With Your Sister!’

If my suspicions are correct, then the person that this belongs to should own both ‘Stardust Witch Meruru’ and ‘Let’s Make Love With Your Sister’.

And by guessing from the fact that it was somewhere like in the back of our house’s shoe closet, there’s a high chance that its owner is either my sister, my mom, my father or me…

Of course, people not from my family enter our house too, so I can’t completely discard the ‘outsider culprit theory’. But who would deliberately bring in ‘Let’s Make Love With Your Sister!’ in the case of ‘Stardust Witch Meruru’ and place it behind the shoe closet? I can’t imagine that situation at all.

“Ugh.”

Anyway, I think the ‘outsider culprit theory’ is a waste of time even trying to think about, so I will begin thinking under the assumption someone in my family is the culprit.

My sister, mom, dad, and me… Assuming the culprit is one of them, who would be considered the most suspicious? Who in the family is most likely to have items like ‘Stardust Witch Meruru’ and ‘Let’s Make Love With Your Sister!’?

“Unfortunately it’s me. And that’s the problem.”

Of course, it isn’t me, for sure. That’s only the conclusion of who is the most likely person in the family to have it. Well, it did make me sad enough just by thinking about it.

Anyway, it isn’t mine. I’m not even interested in that anime stuff. Well, there’s some people in my classroom who talk about things like that, but I don’t have much to do with them. But that might be the same for everyone in my family as well. Arriving at the obvious conclusion, I held my head down and wondered.

But look, it can’t be Mom, and Dad is absolutely a Stone Age person so he can’t possibly use a DVD player… And that hard ass Yakuza face watching and enjoying anime? No way. And then my sister is… the first one I should remove as a suspect. She might have been watching anime around 5 years ago, but I would guess she only watches popular dramas and music programs lately. Childish anime DVDs are definitely not one of Kirino’s hobbies. I can’t even imagine her buying and watching some ‘Stardust Witch Meruru’ DVD. Just speaking of ‘Let’s Make Love With Your Sister!’ sends shivers down my spine, since it’s Kirino. She’s a trendy middle school girl, so she must have gone to a goukon[4] again today.

“Okay, I give up. I don’t get it at all.”

My line of thought has hit a dead end. As I thought, I don’t think there is a culprit in my family, but if I suspect outsiders then there’s too many suspects to even count.

Okay, this is screwed. I don’t seem to have any talent as a detective. So then, what do I do? Should I quit since it’s tiresome?

No, on second thought, it still bothers me. I will surely find the culprit.

I’m surprised at myself, but at that time I was really driven. I would have usually given up the search and had a nap till dinner. And if I had done so, the peaceful days may have continued.

But that didn’t happen. Since I, of my own free will, decided not to end the search. Of course, I didn’t know at this point, but I must have decided my fate myself by doing so. About this subject, I will be stepping on a super large landmine…

Dinner at my home begins at 7PM sharp. That’s because my dad comes home around this time. If I don’t get to the dining room at that time, my dinner is gone no matter what. The time now is 06:45PM. While scratching my head, I leave my room and go down the stairs… but I stop walking. That was because I saw Kirino at the entrance hall.

Oh, she came back.

Come to think of it, her curfew was still 6:30. Whether that is too early or late is another question, but she seems to obey it. Well, even though she might look like a high schooler, she is still a middle school student.

By the way, today Kirino was wearing a black and white T-shirt, with something like a mix between black boxers and a skirt. I don’t really know but, Ces- whatever was the brand. If someone were to say she was a fashion model, everyone would believe it.

…damn, how cute you are. But, I don’t want to get too close to this prissy sister. Since she seems to hate me, it’s better off not getting close to her. Arguments won’t change whether we are siblings or not. We somehow have to deal with it.

So yeah, I wait for Kirino to go to the dining hall in the middle of the stairs.
“Huh?”

But she seems a bit strange. If she opens the door, there’s the living room, but she doesn’t go that way and instead is still standing around the entrance hall.

…what the heck is she doing?

Since it’s stupid to stay here, I went down the stairs. I stood in front of the door to the living room and put my hand on the knob.

“…”

I looked back a little. “Hey, what are you doing?”

“Huh?”

She stared at me with a horrifying face. …Damn. Why do I try to talk to her, when I know this is going to happen? Am I an idiot?

“Heh, nothing.”

I click my tongue and turn the knob strongly. On the dinner table, curry and miso soup was there for dinner. This room, where our family meets for supper, is a combined kitchen-dining-living room, so there are no dividers and is roomy.

My sister and I line up in our seats, my dad and mom sit across us. On TV, the anchor is reading out about how the foreign exports are and other important news. My father quietly drinks his miso soup. He dresses in traditional Japanese clothes after bathing, so his heavy atmosphere is multiplied and makes him look like a yakuza. However, it’s actually the other way around; he works for the police.

My mom sits next to him biting through her fukujinzuke.[5] She absolutely looks like a house wife. She doesn’t resemble Kirino at all.

My sister is silent. She is normally cold to us family members. From watching her eat her meal without a word, I can definitely say she resembles her father. Especially his sharp sight and stuff.

By the way, people often say I have the same atmosphere as my mother.

Our dinner table like this, looks very ordinary and is very fine. Of course, I was eating my curry while thinking of the chance to get that plan into action. Of course it’s a plan to find out the owner of that DVD.

…well I call it a plan, but it’s nothing too complicated. It’s pretty straightforward and simple. What I mean is, since thinking and suspecting alone won’t get me anywhere, I will try to make an attempt to stutter the suspect. And here is a perfect situation for that.

After I sip some of the asari[6] miso soup, I asked a question not aimed at anyone in particular. “Hey I’m going to the convenience store after dinner, is there anything you want me to get while I’m there?”

“Oh, then get me the new Häagen Dazs thing. The limited seasonal edition thing.”

“Okay.”

Making some idle conversation with my mother first, I start my attack. “By the way, one of my friends is now really into anime for girls. If I remember right, it was called Stardust something…”

“Why that all of the sudden?”

The first one who reacted to my hint was my mom. No way…

“Well he just recommended it to me, saying it was interesting. So I might watch it once.”

“Oh no, that’s what they call otaku, right? Like they show on TV… You shouldn’t become like them, okay? Right, father?”

My mom asks my dad. He blankly responds, “Yes, you don’t need to deliberately bring bad influence on yourself.”

Hmm, so you have that kind of attitude towards it. They don’t know too much about it, but don’t have a good impression. People like me don’t care what hobbies people have since it doesn’t matter. But since it’s useless to argue with my parents here, I made a blank ‘yeah’ response. They are speaking their thoughts openly and my father was out of the question in the first place. He wouldn’t have a DVD he’d not know how to use. So by elimination, the suspect left is…

I quietly glanced at Kirino sitting next to me.

“…”

Kirino was biting her lip strongly, as if she was using every single muscle in her body, and her chopsticks in her hands were shaking. Uhh what? You’re kidding, right!?

“Kirino?” Mom asks Kirino lightly, seeing my sister acting strange.

Gochisiousama.[7]” Somewhat ragingly, she stands up and quickly heads out of the room. She slams the door shut and climbs the stairs with a stomp.

The people left behind are left in shock.

“What is wrong with her?”

“I-I wonder.” I make a half hearted responded to my puzzled mom. Honestly, I don’t know what to do either. What is she angry for? What part of that conversation would have made Kirino mad? If she was the culprit and noticed my hints, then it’s even stranger. If she was acting normally, she wouldn’t get all apparently worried and make me notice. What’s wrong? I don’t understand at all, Kirino.

“Heh.”

But her attitude wasn’t normal. I can consider that as a sign that she responded to my hints.

Of course, I don’t believe this is enough to condemn her as a suspect. It’s just that I suspect someone in the family is responsible for it… it being “Stardust Witch Meruru” that is… was it… my sister?

“Mother, call Kirino down later.”

Father’s displeased voice resounds heavily in the dining room. Oh great. She’s in trouble. Not that I’m responsible for it.

If I assume that the DVD is Kirino’s, then a lot of things will surely make sense. She must have dropped it this evening when she bumped into me. That thing, which would have been in her bag, found itself between the shoe closet and the wall when it spilt out. And Kirino realized she had lost the thing after she arrived at her destination. That’s why she was looking for something in the entrance hall before supper.

If I were to add to that, if my assumption that she put the wrong DVD in the case is correct, she was supposed to bring “Stardust Witch Meruru” and not “Let’s Make Love With Your Sister!”

…well anyway, I can’t imagine what kind of business she would have that requires her to bring something like that. I thought she was having a mass date, but middle school girls don’t bring anime DVDs to mass dates. So, I can be quite sure she went to see a friend.

“Hmm…”

I don’t get it at all. I still can’t believe there’s a relationship between Kirino and children’s anime. Look, it’s Kirino we’re talking about. It’s impossible. Something’s got to be wrong. I did make this ‘Kirino is the Culprit’ theory, but I still have almost no faith in it.

…oh well, maybe I’ll dig in a bit deeper.

Gochisiousama.”

After eating my supper, I left the dining room. I go to my room for my wallet and purposely say aloud in front of my room.

“Alright. I should head out to the convenience store.”

…heh, I have no talent as an actor. Who cares. I know I can’t do it well, anyways. Rather, it’s some cheap trick that I’d be surprised at if she actually fell for.

Making large thuds, I go down the stairs and close the door with a bang. Leaving the house, I take the path to the convenience store. Instead of heading for the convenience store, however, I take a different path leading to the back side of my home.

What am I up to? Well, I put myself in the culprit’s shoes. If Kirino was the culprit then she would have realized by now that it was me who picked the thing up. So then, if I were Kirino, what would I do?

The best solution would be to recover the thing before I notice and then pretend she knows nothing about it. That’s the only option.

Kirino was apparently acting strange. She wasn’t being cool. If so, she might lose her patience and begin searching for the thing. So well, even though the chances that she would fall for it are low I set up a simple trap.

“Well… still it’ll never work out, right?”

I whisper to myself while slipping through the back door to my home, and silently climb the stairs.
I swung the door open.

“Hey… What are you doing?”

“…wha-?!”

Huh?! No way! She really was in here…

Uh, how surprised can you be?

Kirino, on all fours in the middle of the room, looks back at me with a face that’s all blue. It’s like she’s frightened. Even still, she still looks at me like I’m garbage, and it stabs my heart.

“…I said, what are you doing?”

“…it’s none of your business.”

With her ass facing me, she speaks to me with a tone that seems to want to take a bite out of me. Possibly from her nervousness, she’s breathing hard.

“…of course it is. How would you feel if someone were to break into your room and begin a search?” And out of all the places, you’re searching through my hidden porn book collection. With my secret anger, I tell her coldly.

Kirino looks aside silently. Is it from her anger that her cheeks are becoming fiery red? She then slowly stands up and walks this way without a word.

“Out of my way.”

“No way. Answer my question. What were you doing here?”

“Get out of my way!”

“I know already. You were searching for this.”

I was secretly afraid of my sister, who had been raging a foot away from me. Still, I reveal the DVD Case for “Stardust Witch Meruru” hidden underneath my shirt. Kirino’s reaction was dramatic.

“That…?!”

“Oops.”
She shoots out her hand with a demonic face, but expecting this, I evade. Wearing a fake expression of coolness, I tap the DVD case with my hand. “Heh… so this was yours after all.”

“…of course not!” She says in a maximum frustrated voice. Hey, what you’re saying is inconsistent with your actions.

“Oh, so this isn’t yours? Well, I picked it up this evening in the entrance hall. I thought maybe you dropped it when you bumped into me.”

“That’s definitely not… it’s not mine. W-Why would I watch such a… childish… anime? No way I would… right?”

Looks like she won’t ever admit it. This is going to take forever.

“If you weren’t looking for this, then what did you come into my room for?”

“Well… that’s…!”

“That’s what?”

I try to make her continue, but she keeps silent again.


She shakes her shoulder from frustration and looks down. It’s apparent that Kirino is feeling strong humiliation from my questioning. Well, it must feel like being accused of possessing a porn book by someone I hate. It surely must be frustrating and so embarrassing that you would feel like killing yourself.

She looks at me in silence with strong hostility like she’s looking at some guy who killed her parents.
…damn why do I have to be seen by my sister with such hatred? Damn it. It’s getting really stupid. I don’t really care about her. Why must I do something so uneasy? Oh fine, I quit.

“Here.” I carelessly shove the DVD case into my sister’s chest. Kirino still keeps her expression of hatred and looks up at me.

“It’s important to you right? I’m going to give it back, so take it.”

“I-I said it’s not min-”

“Then throw it away for me.”

“Huh?” She looks up at my face with a ‘what do you mean?’ expression.

What’s that face for? I’m not trying to have fun abusing my sister. I just wanted to know whose DVD this was, and that’s been solved. I can’t go on with this forever. Of course I’d never say this out loud. Instead, I speak using well thought out lines.

“Sorry, it must have been my misunderstanding. I understand that it’s not yours. I don’t know whose it is, but I have no use for it, so along with my apologies, I want to ask you to get rid of it. Would you throw it away for me?”

After I make this much compromise, finally Kirino speaks up. “Well… fine.”

And then takes the DVD case. I step aside and open the door, and then Kirino leaves the room. I proceed to step into my room.

“Phew.”

Jeez, how long has it been since I talked that much to my sister? Man, I’m so tired. I slump into the bed and look up into the ceiling.

That was when I heard my sister’s voice, who I thought had already gone away.

“Hey…”

“Huh?”

Oh, she was still here. How troublesome. Just go away.

I look at her, and she was shyly looking at me. What a commendable expression it was, one that she would normally never show me. Uhh… what? What’s the matter? I suddenly felt worried and ask her. “What?”

“You think it’s wrong… right?”

“What is?”

“Well… It’s just a hypothetical question but, you know… if I had… these… do you think it’s wrong… I’m asking…”

…heh.

“Not really. I don’t think it’s wrong.”

I click my tongue in my heart and answer. I wanted to get her out of my room as soon as possible and if I answered differently she would surely get mad. …jeez why are you acting like you want to pick a fight?
I returned it to you in a way that would hurt your pride the least. And this was your mess up in the first place. So there’s no reason to get angry at me, you should be thanking me rather.

“…you really think so? Really?”

“Yeah. Whatever hobby you might have, I won’t look down on you, ever.”

…since it has nothing to do with me.

“Really? Absolutely?”

“Man, you don’t trust me. I said really. Believe me.”

I wasn’t really so serious with my words, but it looks like Kirino was satisfied with my words.

“I see… Hmm…”

She made a few nods and then held on tightly to the “Stardust Witch Meruru” and ran off. Somehow this scene makes me wistful. I feel something like this happened in the past too. I’ve forgotten about it though.

“At least close the door, will you?”

I complain and then collapse onto the bed.

And so for two days, nothing out of the ordinary happened. Kirino and I were back to normal. No conversation, no eye contact, and keeping a stranger’s distance. While I got to see an interesting aspect of my sister, I didn’t try to do anything from it, thinking I’d just forget about it quickly.

Well, it did interest me why my sister had something like that. But still, I didn’t feel like digging into my sister’s secrets. It’s just asking for too much trouble.

But…



[1] Traditionally, an announcement made when indicating arrival; "I'm here!" or "I'm home!"

[2] A statement said when leaving; "I'm off!"

[3] Sangokushi lance warrior. Comes up in Koihime as well

[4] goukon is where boys and girls meet up at a restaurant to eat together. It’s a type of social meet aimed at setting up boyfriends and girlfriends

[5] Pickled vegetables, looks red

[6] A shellfish

[7] Phrase said at the end of a meal: “Thank you for the meal.”

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