In the evening the next day, I went down to the living room looking for a cold drink where I met Kirino.
She was in an extra short skirted school uniform as usual. She had her legs crossed on top of the sofa, just like some queen. She had her usual unapproachable aura.
This is exactly what a princess is like. Even if she is my sister, a commoner like me can’t easily kick off a conversation with her. Well, not like that was a problem or anything. It was only recently that we’ve had the occasion to converse but I’d just reaffirmed that we still haven’t gotten any closer.
While eyeing Kirino from afar, I gulped down cold tea. Phew! I relaxed a little before starting to leave the living room. Just as I put my hand on the door knob, she called out.
Like a rusty robot, I awkwardly looked behind. Her eyes on the magazine, Kirino curtly asked, “Done it?”
“Err… what do you mean?”
I tried feigning ignorance of her intent. Kirino threw aside her magazine and looked at me with eyes like some popular idol would to a lower class art director, and whispered.
“So you haven’t done it?”
H-How did you know? Oh, so scary Kirino-san. You’re really scary. Please let me go…
I was forced into a corner while Kirino pressured me.
“Why not? I said it was homework. Why haven’t you done it yet?”
Why? Why am I being scolded by my sister for not playing a hentai game she lent me? What the heck is wrong with my life? Rather, there’s no way I’m going to play it! What would make me want to play a M18 hentai little sister game when I have a real sister? Think of my psychological difficulties! Doesn’t anyone understand me?
“Err… Well you see… I’m a beginner so… I don’t really understand how to play it, even after looking at the manual.”
I was half crying and made up a stupid excuse.
Kirino continued with her half angry tone, “Then just say so.”
She’s just like some TV star who unleashes her double personality behind the screens.
“I’ll just guide you along with the introduction part, so come to my room.”
My sister took me by my sleeve and dragged me away. Out of the living room, while going up the stairs, I tried to say something to resist.
“I-I said yesterday I didn’t want to play it right next to you…”
“Yeah, yeah. You’re such a cry baby. Just come with me, will you?”
Damn it. Why do I have to be told all this? Shouldn’t I be the one to tell her that? Now at the top of the stairs, I was shoved into my sister’s room like before. Kirino recovered her PC from standby and told me. “Since you’re just so helpless, I’ll get you the general rated version.”
“If you had such a thing, then give it to me in the first place!”
“You don’t understand at all. Although the general rated and the M18 versions share the same title, they’re completely different games.”
Someone praise me. I am a great person for actually going along with this conversation, right?
“But… Didn’t they just edit out all the hentai scenes in the general rated version?”
“That’s an insult to the people who write the text and the fans if you say that. Don’t ever say that. If a game I played in the M18 version gets a general rated version for something like a console release, I will play that version too. But I always get the feeling that something’s different. What exactly is different is hard to determine since I’m not a professional. Even then I think there are things they can only do if it’s M18.”
I don’t get any of it at all.
“It’s not just the matter of adding a heroine and character voices.”
Like telling me that would help?
“Well I told you a lot, but to sum up what I have to say, the general rated version isn’t bad but I’d rather you just play the original if you could. That’s why I gave you the original version as homework.”
“… then why are you preparing the general rated version now?”
“Like I said! You’re the one who said you don’t know how to play it. Be thankful that I’m going to teach you how!”
I’m not thankful at all! Damn it… I’ll have to do this after all…
I grabbed the mouse and faced the screen which was already displaying the game. With that loli voice that sent shivers down my spine, the “Let’s Love Your Sister” title came up. Below the title, the text “Click on the screen gently (heart)” was flashing. Kirino suddenly became talkative and was giving me orders from my side.
“OK let’s begin. Now put in your name… Hey why are you trying to start with the default name? Put in your real name!”
“My real… name…? What’s with that? Do I have to put it in?”
“What? Of course you do! The most important thing in this game is that your sisters call you by your real name! Now hurry up!”
“Damn, I have to do it, huh? Whatever.”
I’ve given up. My very first little sister game, playing with my real name… how high level is this…
It might be the right time to give an introduction to the basics of “Let’s Love Your Sister (General rated edition)” here. Of course, I can’t say much since I only just begun. Please accept that it will only be a brief introduction.
Ahem… The player of this game, which is me, has to left click the text in the box in the lower side of the screen to scroll through. According to Kirino…
“Well this is just a traditional AVG game. You won’t need a manual.”
From my glancing through the manual (which she took away just now), this in-game screen has three components: a text window, a background picture, and the character’s image. However, during a special event scene, something called an event CG which fills the entire screen comes up in place of the background picture and the character image to make the game play exciting. A fair comment to make would be that it’s an extremely high quality picture-card show. It’s a simple system and the game play seems to be easy too.
Hmmm. Maybe I’ll be able to do it after all.
After typing in my name, I started the game. With a blue sky as the background, the main character’s monologue began.
“My name is Kousaka Kyousuke. It’s strange to say it myself, but I’m a normal high school student.”
… what a boring guy! Calling yourself normal suddenly? Hey… I didn’t give you my name for nothing. Say something better will you?
It seemed like Kirino understood my negative feelings towards him and gave an explanation at the right time.
“You see in these games, the main character is often set as a normal, average character so that the player is able empathize with him. Oh, at the beginning he is set a bit dumb so that he still has room for improvement in the game.”
… she wasn’t talking about me, yet why is it that my own heart aches? Since he had the same name as me, I just kept associating him with myself.
Okay, I’ll take back my comment about calling you boring. Pleased to meet you, Kyousuke.
But anyhow, Kirino becomes talkative suddenly when the topic is about this stuff. While listening to Kirino happily explaining along, I clicked and clicked and clicked… The generic monologue finished and the screen turned black. The sound effects of birds chirping started playing.
Kyousuke: Oh I slept well. Since I studied until so late yesterday, I couldn’t help it.
Although I felt his lines were a bit too informative, I’ll leave that aside. I don’t feel like listing down all the text in the game, so I’ll cut to the chase and get to explaining.
This game begins with the main character, Kyousuke, waking up in his room only to find his sister, Shiori, sleeping together in his bed.
Kyouske: Oh, Shi-Shiori…?
I woke up hastily and I blinked rapidly.
Kyousuke: Oh, you surprised me! Jeez Shiori, when did you…
Huh? His reaction is so lame! Feel some danger for yourself. Are you half asleep?! You wake up in the morning and you find that you were sleeping with your sister. You should be shouting aloud there! By the way, this Shiori is some black haired, twin tailed, timid-looking loli.
It’s the character that Kirino claimed as her favorite. At that point, she had her hair untied.
“Hey… What do you feel after seeing her sleeping so helplessly? Didn’t it surprise you?”
“Err… How should I put it? It’s normal?”
I make an ambiguous remark to Kirino, who was praising the event CG. I tried clicking to scroll on further to which a new window came up in the center of the screen.
“That’s the route branching choice. At crucial parts of the scenario, you have to choose the main character’s actions. According to your choices, the sister’s impression towards you can get better or worse, or even more, the story might change afterwards.”
“Oh? Which one should I choose? There’s like three of them.”
“Huh? You have to decide of course. It’s a game you know. It’ll be all right. The choices in this game are really easy,” Kirino said lightly.
I guess it is. I am going to choose the main character’s actions. So err… Let me see… Seeing Shiori sleep calmly I…
1. Embrace her tightly, but gently.
Are you suicidal?! How crazy would you have to be to embrace your sleeping sister?!
2. Get out of bed quietly so I won’t wake her up.
This is the safe option. But you know Kyousuke, if you don’t set things straight now, you’ll be taken for granted by your sister later. It’s too late for my own sister, but I won’t let you make the same mistake. So I declined this one too and clicked on the third choice without hesitation.
3. Kick her out of the bed without question.
*Slam* (a special effect with the screen shaking)
Kyousuke: Don’t just sneak into someone’s bed! Wake up you brat!
All right! A very correct action. That’s how a brother should be. This isn’t a bad game after all. And next is…
“What are you doing to Shiori-chan?!”
*BAM* I got a counterattack from my real life sister. I was kicked away and I fell over along with the chair.
“Ouch! Why’d you do that suddenly?!”
I exclaimed as soon as I got up but Kirino shouted at me with a horrified face.
“That would be my question! How could you make the first choice as “Kick her out of the bed without question?” I can’t believe it! What is wrong with your brain?!”
“Err well… I thought first… I shouldn’t get taken lightly by her so…”
“Did you say something just now?”
I’m so weak! Jeez, the sister here is so strong. I’m completely unable to counterattack. If you grow up evil then there’s no cure. I held my kicked side and lamented to myself.
I sat myself back on the chair, grabbed the mouse and continued with the game. I clicked to scroll through Kyousuke’s lines and the BGM suddenly changed to a depressing and sad tune.
Shiori: I-I’m sorry… Kyousuke-oniichan… *sob* I-I… couldn’t sleep by myself yesterday and……
Kyousuke: What? You said something?
Shiori: Uuu… N-Nothing! Ahaha! Good morning, brother!
Shiori was holding onto her sides, that got kicked by me, and still admirably made a smile.
“This guy is a jerk, this main character…”
“That’s the result of your choice! Rather I never knew there was such a scenario! I’ve never made such a choice so I didn’t know… oh how pitiful… Shiori-chan…”
Kirino pities the heroine who was being treated horribly from the start of the game. But you know… you said almost exactly the same words to me…
I was smart enough not to voice that and admirably continued on with the game.
Already the mood is tense at beginning of the game, in the Kousaka family’s morning. The main character Kyousuke has become a tyrant due to the branch choice. After throwing Shiori out of the room, he changed into his school uniform and heads down for breakfast. There were six loving sisters waiting there…
“Hey Kirino, these girls look way too unalike. You can obviously see they aren’t related.”
“Oh shut up. A different person drew each heroine.”
I asked an insensitive question, but I thought that answer was worse. Oh well, I should just refrain from asking unnecessary questions.
I continued clicking. A breakfast event starts with all the heroines lined up.
The screen changed into a bird’s eye view of the dining table. Icons of every sister’s faces were around the table, blinking and contracting. The top of the screen displayed, “Who do you want to talk to?”
“Huh? The screen changed again.”
“That’s an event choice screen. If you click on the icon for the sister you want to talk with, a conversation with that sister begins. There will be choices in the event too and depending on your choice, her prepossession for you changes in value.”
“Hmmm… By the way, what do you mean by that prepossession value?”
“It’s a numeric value of how much the sister loves her brother. If it isn’t above a threshold, some events are locked. Of course, the individual endings depend on this too. So as a basic rule of thumb, you should watch many events for the sister you want to finish with and increase her prepossession value. By the way, if you increase the value for a few different sisters at the same time, special events will happen during times like Valentine’s Day and so on. You should keep that in mind too.”
She was way too enthusiastic explaining this stuff. Blabbering along non-stop… is it so much fun?
“I-I see… by the way, let me ask what your prepossession value for me is.”
“You sure you want to ask that?”
“Er… no thanks.”
That expression was enough for me. I also figured I’ve already seen the many special events that only show up if the prepossession value is below a certain threshold.
“So this is the basic flow. You got it?”
After finishing tutoring me, Kirino explained how to handle saving data, and closed the application. Then she looked into my face seemingly to ask something.
“Your thoughts of it?”
“I can’t say anything yet… Since I only just started…”
“O-Oh right. Yes…”
Frankly, I don’t think this game is for me. It’s not a matter of it being interesting or not. It’s too cruel for someone to play a game in which you love a virtual sister, when you actually have a sister in real life. Even if this Shiori girl has a cute face and says some cute things and seems to love me, I just can’t help myself imagining that she has an ulterior motive. How should I put this… a distrust for little sisters? Well, imagine that Kirino was playing a game where she was to make love to a big brother. Do you think she can enjoy it with open arms? Of course not.
That’s how it is for me. But I said I’ll play it so I’ll finish only this one.
While I was pondering about these things…
“So which one would be best for next…”
Kirino happily opened a folder and wandered her mouse pointer around. Is she trying to make me play sister games one after another?
I was too afraid to ask, that’s for sure. That was just unacceptable. Why must I do so much for her?
Still, I kind of understand the reason why Kirino wants to make me play little sister games.
“What? Why do you have that serious look?”
“Do you have friends at school… Whom you can talk to and play games together with?”
Being asked that, Kirino first held a blank expression then looked down. “… that’s none of your business.”
I recalled the scene where Kirino was walking along with her classmates. Those kids won’t watch children’s anime or play little sister games. Rather, they would have the same characteristics I imagined my sister to have until recently. If I were in Kirino’s shoes, I wouldn’t dare trying to reveal my hobby to my classmates and finding a comrade.
“Then… forget about school. Do you have friends with the same hobby who you can freely talk about games and anime?”
Kirino didn’t nod her head to the second question either. “… I said that’s none of your business.”
I see. That’s why she’s recommending me the same hobby. It’s because she wants to talk about it together. It’s because it’s lonely for her to hide the hobby to others and only enjoy it for herself.
Yesterday, when she pulled me into this room, she said it was the continuation of life counseling.
I thought she just came up with a reason but maybe it wasn’t like that…
“What? Are you looking down at me?”
“It’s not like that.”
It’s not like that. I thought I wanted to do something about it for you. You’re feeling lonely, right? But you don’t want to admit it, do you? Of course not, you’re stubborn. Heh, I can’t go on with your hobby forever either. If someone can be a sacrifice instead of me, that’ll be the best. I’ll feel so free.
“Kirino…” I leaned back and looked up at the ceiling. If I was over 20, this would have been the moment I puffed some smoke from my cigarette.
“Let’s make some friends.”
Kirino’s eyes were wide open in surprise with an expression of “What is this idiot saying?” That’s okay. I looked at my sister with my usual, unmotivated face.
“You’re the one that said it would be counseling about life. So at least listen to the advice I have to give.”
I make an evil smile and turned the chair around. Feeling like a counselor, I point at the bed without much thought.
“Now sit there.”
Kirino clammed up with a somewhat unhappy face but still obeyed my order and moved. Oh well. At least she seemed to listen to me.
“You said last time, ‘What should I do?’ Well, at that time I couldn’t give you any useful advice. So now, I’ll give you the answer. You should make friends.”
“Yes. They can be ones who have similar hobbies like yours, so that you can talk freely about stuff like anime, games or M18 stuff. Of course they won’t look down on you or make a fool of you since they’re in the same position themselves.”
“So you mean… I should make Otaku friends”
Kirino bit her lips, hugged her knees and gave it deep thought while sitting on the bed. And then she muttered, “I don’t want… any otaku friends. If I’m going to be together with them, I’ll be considered the same as them.”
“That’s some twisted logic there. You’re a real otaku too.”
“You aren’t? Then what are you? Say something if you can.”
I was, by then, quite annoyed by my sister’s attitude so I said it in a way to corner her. Kirino looked down and went silent, her eyebrows quivering. I clicked my tongue.
“It’s you who is looking down on otaku and making haphazard remarks. Didn’t I tell you? I won’t look down on you regardless of what hobbies you have. What about you? Should you look down on those otaku with the same hobby as you who openly profess their interests?”
Kirino looked up sharply and glared with eyes filled with hatred, stabbing at me. Shit… She’s freaking scary! I was almost crying inside me but I fought to keep the serious expression on my face.
“That won’t do. It’s not logical. It’s like looking down on yourself.”
Oh I say such great things. It isn’t me to be like this…
Kirino clicked her tongue loudly. So loud that all my tongue clicking seemed like nothing. I’ve been telling you that you’re freaking me out.
“I’m not looking down at them! I’m just talking about the public image!”
“Yes, public image. Yes, I like anime and hentai games, very much so. I should even admit I’m in love with them.”
Err… you’re in love with it… I really don’t want to hear these lines coming out of a middle school girl’s mouth. Kirino proudly said that aloud to the stricken me.
“Of course, I enjoy being with my friends at school too. But I love this side equally as much. I can’t choose one or the other. What can I do? I love them both. I can’t do anything about that.”
Kirino was pretty smug about it.
“But I think I understand the fact that otaku are seen in bad light by the general public… who do you think the people that hate otaku the most are?”
Middle school girls – because she is one herself, she understands it well.
“So… What I wanted to say was… They’re both… me!”
She seemed to be able to find the right words to express herself and seemed impatient. It was really difficult to figure out what she wanted to say, but I think I can understand for the most part what my sister wanted to tell me.
She likes anime and is in love with hentai games. But she also loves being with her school friends so she is unable to choose one or the other. One half as middle school girl and another as an otaku, both make her whole. That’s what she meant to say… probably.
“But because it’s like that… The idea of having it revealed to the family aside, I would never want it to be revealed to my classmates. If that happens, I can’t go to school.”
Public image. I guess it’s the same as grown men in society. I should say it’s more important for students. The exclusive nature of the group, called the classroom, its characteristics to attack all things alien… any middle school or high school student should have experienced it. After all, I am one. I understand that very well.
Anybody would be concerned about their public image, of course. Being caught between your hobby and your public image, you weren’t able to consult anyone and struggled all by yourself. Okay, I understand your problem Kirino.
“So, that means… as long as your classmates don’t find out, you can make otaku friends, right?”
“Y-Yes… I guess…”
“Then it’s solved. You just have to make otaku friends without having your classmates know about it.”
It’s just this simple. What I wanted to ask right then was Kirino’s wishes. If she had the will to make friends, things should work out I think.
“How? You have any good solution?”
“Nope. Unfortunately, I have nothing in my mind at the moment.”
“You’re useless. Really…”
Kirino blurts out with a glare. Nice attitude, Kirino. Yeah. As you say, I’m useless. I’ll admit it to myself.
“Well, just leave it to me.”
“…huh? Why are you so confident?”
Kirino glanced at me with a look of distrust, but I gave her a meaningful smile.
My little sister, did you know of this: there is a word called ‘the granny’s hidden stockpile of knowledge…’
“…then how about she participate in one of those ‘offline meetings’?”
My bespectacled childhood friend suggested to me so. After escaping from my sister’s room, I dropped dead onto my bed and called Manami on the phone.
Of course, I can’t reveal my sister’s secret so I phrased it ambiguously like, “How to find friends that share the same hobby without having your classmates find out about it?”
“An offline meeting?”
“Yes, an offline meeting. Well you see… It’s like a place where buddies from the internet meet up and have fun… I guess?”
So, I guess it’s pronounced like offline meeting. This granny reads these foreign loan words so strangely.
“No kidding. You know how to use this internet stuff?”
“Of course I can… Gee… Kyou-chan… Are you thinking I’m stupid or something?”
“Well… There’s this impression that elderly people aren’t too bright with machines…”
“I’m 17, a young and shining high school girl!”
Manami was desperate to convince me. Her adjectives were hilarious. I can imagine her, almost in tears on the other side of the line.
“Seriously, Kyou-chan~! If you don’t quit being like this, I’ll get mad. *rage*”
Do people verbally say *rage*? Listening to her talk after having that combat-like conversation with Kirino really saved my heart.
“Well I’m sorry… but do you have a PC?”
“Oh? I-I do… Well… It’s my brother’s though…”
The last parts sounded subdued. I knew she wasn’t so good at hiding things.
“Oh so you’ve only heard and seen it.”
“Uu~ Yes… But I can still use that internet thing normally…”
Your pronunciation is strange in the first place. I know you’re old and have trouble with these new terms but still… I guess I shouldn’t rely on her too much about this.
“Any experience participating in offline meetings? Oh I don’t mean you, but your brother.”
“It seems like he has. He said he went to an offline meeting for some community about RnB… Err Kyou-chan, do you know anything about ‘Social Networking Services’?”
“Oh, what they call SNS nowadays. I’ve heard about it. It’s membership based where you make profile pages about your hobbies and write up your diary to make friends and all, right?”
“Yes. There’re famous ones like MiXi. The one my brother’s in has no age restriction though. I guess this might be a good way to find friends with the same hobby outside of school.”
Aha! I heard something good. I guess it’s worth trying out right now.
“All right. Thanks for the insight, Manami.”
“You’re welcome. Haha. Then, see you tomorrow at the usual place~”
I hung up the phone and got up from bed. Putting my finger through the mobile strap, I swung my phone around before stowing it in my back pocket. After which I left my room. Of course, I’m headed for my sister’s room.
I knocked on her door thrice. After a while, the door opened and she peeked out.
I’m being invited into my sister’s room… I noticed just now. It’s my 4th time in my life to come into her room. Life’s so unpredictable, like really…
“Sorry for the wait, Kirino. I thought up of a way for you to make otaku friends.”
I brought up the topic quickly, but for some unknown reason, Kirino clicks her tongue unhappily and snubbed me.
“Liar. You just pleaded to Ms. Plain.”
“Don’t call her Ms. Plain! That word might be the best possible word to depict her, but I still hate to hear someone other than me bad mouthing her!”
“Why are you getting so mad? Are you dumb?”
Noticing Kirino staring at me with contempt, I toned down.
“Anyways… Don’t say that or else I’ll be hitting the next person who says it, even if that’s you.”
No need to say yes twice, brat. We’re working for your sake. Watch your damned attitude. You’re becoming unhappy already. When I left the room last time, you were fine. Huh…? Could she…
“Let me ask this. Do you hate Manami?”
“Not really. I don’t know much about her.”
Of course. She’s my childhood friend and not hers. She must have met her more than once, but there shouldn’t be much of a relation between Kirino and Manami. On the rare occasions where Manami comes close to my home, they might pass by. That’s about it. Even last time when Kirino went past me and Manami, Manami didn’t seem to recognize Kirino. If there’s only so little of a relationship, there’s no reason for Kirino to hate Manami.
Manami isn’t the kind of person to be hated, so why?
“I don’t like how she’s… all over you.”
Yeah, right… I don’t get it at all. She isn’t all over me at all.
Sparks were flying between us. At this rate, another cold war would start. Heh, I’m the older one so I shall be the tolerant one. Oh, what a lovely brother I am.
“Now Kirino, it doesn’t matter whose advice it is, right? So just hear it out.”
“All right then. So what is it?”
“Okay. By the way, do you know what SNS is?”
Repeating what Manami just told me, I suggested to her to participate in an offline meeting. Kirino had an uneasy look and kept silent.
“You don’t like the idea…?”
“It’s not like that but…”
She had her face down for a few seconds and continued thinking. She then looked up and said,
“…okay. I’ll do it.”
Oh? You’re obedient once in a while.
“It looks like you can access it from your cell phone too.”
“Yeah I know, just don’t get your face near me.”
Kirino took her cell phone out of nowhere and started tapping her keypad with extreme speed.
…Amazing. This is impossible for me. Don’t we see women like her, the ones that type SMS at crazy speeds?
I was thinking about that stuff, when Kirino clicked her tongue.
“Damn, I need an invitation to join… How cumbersome…”
“Don’t you have friends at school? You can just text some of them and ask one of them to invite you into the SNS.”
“Idiot. You’re a complete idiot. I can’t put both my dark side and bright sides of myself together. You know, these things leave page view history.”
Oh wow, she has two sides to her – a dark and bright side. Well I guess her bright side is the modern middle school girl who works as a teenage fashion magazine model, “Kousaka Kirino”. Her dark side must be Kousaka Kirino, little sister-loving, anime-loving, engaged with hentai games. This difference is just too big…
“Uh… if it’s games and anime stuff, don’t they have some special SNS for that? Why don’t you search for one that requires no invitation?”
I gave her orders from her side and Kirino handled her cell phone unwillingly. She registered for some otaku-themed SNS. It seemed like she had to make her profile first.
“It’s asking you to make your nickname. Hurry up and make one up.”
“I can’t just make one up so easily.”
“You can just change it later, right? Just write something random for now. You might even copy the format other people are using. Like someone@doingsomething…”
I peered into her cell phone’s screen and tried to hurry her. Kirino moved the phone away in an ‘Oh you are so annoying’ manner. She merely typed something in then showed it to me.
“So, how’s this?”
“What is this ‘Kiririn@the_guy_sitting_beside_me_is_annoying (1)’ written in the name box?”
“My nickname. Isn’t it cute?”
It doesn’t fit you at all. And do I have permission to be mad? Of course, right? Such treatment caused me to shed tears.
“H-Hey… you wrote 14 in your age section, but you wrote ‘hentai games (little sister genre)’ in your hobbies section… isn’t that bad?”
“But I’m not lying. Who cares? This is my dark side. If my classmates or my model friends invited me, I won’t write stuff like this in my profiles page.”
Well, that’s true. If I saw a female classmate’s profile and find her passion about hentai games, I’d roll around on the floor laughing. I’d surely be unable to talk normally with her the next day at school.
So using your two sides independently like you’re doing now is the trouble-free way. That’s fine.
But there’s still something else that’s been worrying me…
“Why do you have this troubled look for?”
Kirino did what I told her to do, but always with a worried face. I decided I should hear her side of the story.
“Well… You see I’m a little afraid of socializing… the people with the same kind of hobbies are… mostly men… and they are much older than me. I’m not looking down at them or anything. I’m not hating them either… just… well… you see? I’m still… a little afraid.”
“I see. Yes… that’s right…”
I didn’t think of that. Rather, that’s a huge basic issue! This isn’t the same as socializing with classmates or friends at her modeling job. Forget about otaku and stuff, being friends with older men might be… scary for middle school girls, even if it was just an internet-only relationship. If they were to meet in real life for offline meetings, it becomes even scarier. That means… she has to find friends within the same age group and gender as her…
… There’s no way we’d find so many middle school girls with hobbies like her.
I scratched my head roughly. Oh, what should I do now…
“Well… let’s search for women-only groups for that kind… even if the chances are slim.”
“Yes, I’ll try.”
Kirino started using her cell phone to search for communities. I continue to interrupt her from beside.
“How about… this one?”
“Hmm? You mean this one?”
“… Yes. Oh wow, they do exist if you know where to look… Well, why don’t you go look inside?”
What we found was a community called ‘All Together, Otaku Girls.’ It seems to be around 20 members big. I don’t know if this number is small or large, but it’s about the same size as some real life hobby groups. The community has entrance requirements, which is to send a message to the administrator of this group including the applicant’s age and gender. They can only join after her approval. Conveniently, they have a topic about ‘an invitation to a tea party.’ Since Kirino wasn’t a member yet, she couldn’t see the details. But still, it must be something like an offline party.
“Hey Kirino… Don’t you think this one would be all right?”
Even if they had men posing as girls hidden in the group, they won’t be able to participate in the offline meetings as they’ll undoubtedly be loathed. I thought this would meet all conditions, but my sister still had a complicated expression on her face.
“Uh huh… yes…”
“Now what? Is there still something worrying you?”
“It’s not like that but…”
“Then why don’t you just write a message saying you want to join? There’s the button.”
Kirino stared at the message editing screen then looked up to asked me, “… What should I write for my message?”
“Well hmmm… I guess you should be honest with this kind of stuff. Just write that you want girl friends with the same hobby.”
Kirino nodded and started typing the message slowly before sending it out.
Watching that text displayed, I feel most of my duty is finally being fulfilled. If Kirino can find girl friends that understand her hobby, then my task is complete. This might be the last time I come into this room. It was some abnormal chance that she chose me to counsel her to begin with. I’m absolutely serious when I say I can’t go on with this anymore.
I thought this was the right way to go. Even if we were to revert to the dry relationship we had, I think that’s inevitable. Well… I do think it’s kind of lonely in a way. Yes… Just a little. In the past few days, we have done a decade’s worth of talking. During that time, I found out about my sister’s unexpected side. It wasn’t just about her secret unexpected hobby. I saw my sister’s real intentions which I thought I had given up on, thinking I would never understand them. I think I was able to touch her heart, which I never thought I’d do, even if it was just with a fingertip. It didn’t really mean anything much, but still… I should be happy. I don’t really know though…
“Okay, this should do it. I just have to wait for the response.”
“I hope it goes well.”
“…yes!” Kirino nodded. I smiled warmly.
Well, I hope you make some real friends, ones you’ll have much more fun than being with me, ones whom you could play with without having to worry about unnecessary stuff.
Well for the short while till then, I will be with you.