Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju:Volume5 The Fourth Question
 The Fourth Question
Please indicate the accented syllable of the underlined words in the English sentence below.
“Don’t mind. It's your imagination. He had stayed on business in New York yesterday.”
Himeji Mizuki’s answer:
"It’s your imaginátion."
Correct answer. Normally, words that end with ‘tion’ will have the syllable before it, so it’s best to remember it.
Tsuchiya Kouta’s answer:
"It’s your íḿáĝíńáťíóń."
You won’t be necessarily correct if you accentuate every single letter.
Yoshii Akihisa’s answer:
"It’s your imagination!"
Sometimes, I suspect if you’re really a genius, but that’s just a wrong impression.
I’m living together with that dangerous sister of mine under the same roof
Maybe it’s because of such a tense feeling that my senses became abnormally sharp, or is it that my precognition ability got sharper?
I suffered for an entire day yesterday, and I really felt tired because I studied, which I rarely do. However, for some reason, I opened my eyes before the alarm clock rang.
The moment I opened my eyes, I found myself holding onto a pile of cosmetics with both hands and exchanging looks with my sister.
What is this person doing in my room so early in the morning?
“Good morning, Aki-kun.”
“Ah, yeah. Good morning.”
As she said good morning to me casually, I answered without thinking too much. Wait, now’s not the time to say good morning!
“Nee-san! Why did you come over to my room!? And what’s with the cosmetics? Are you thinking of bullying me again?”
Is she planning on doodling on my face while I’m sleeping!?
“What do you mean by bullying? That doesn’t sound nice. You should be saying pampering you or playing a little prank on you.”
“Ahh, whatever you say doesn’t matter! Fine, then tell me what kind of prank are you playing!?”
“I understand. Then treat it as revision for last night. I’ll leave if you can translate that into correct English.”
Damn it! A test at this moment? My sister’s too damned despicable! Anyway, I just need to get her out of my room.
“Deduct 10 points.”
Damn it! Deducted again! Isn’t it like this? Let me see…’take’ has the meaning of ‘walk’ or ‘go’, and ‘out’ will have the meaning of ‘out’ here. If I match them up…
“Unfortunately, if you want to say ‘take out’, nee-san will have to take Aki-kun ‘back’ to her own room and dress you like a doll.”
This is bad! Got to hurry up and get away—
“Did you say ‘take ouch’?...deduct another 10 points.”
—I failed again.
No no. What’s the English form of ‘get out’…what, what is it…
“Aki-kun, did you want to say ‘take off clothes’?”
Perhaps she couldn’t stand seeing me panicking as nee-san helped me out. This is great! I don’t know what that means, but I should be able to escape then!
“Tha, that’s right! That’s it! ‘Take off clothes, hurry!’”
“I understand that. If Aki-kun says so, nee-san can only give up on marriage.”
What! What does ‘take off clothes’ mean? Why did nee-san say that she can only give up on marriage!
“Alright, considering all the punishment from yesterday, that should be enough with the jokes.”
“Eh? Jokes? Then what about the point deduction?”
“I’m serious with that one.”
In that case, I will have 240 points deducted. I’m doomed. It’s getting worse day by day…
“On a side note, ‘take off clothes’ is translated as ‘taking off clothing’. Really, our Aki-kun here is so perverted.”
“Ahaha, what are you saying. It doesn’t benefit me one bit even if I see nee-san’s naked body.”
“…Deduct 30 points from you.”
“YOU’RE THE DEVIL!”
There will be real problems if a younger brother is interested in his sister’s naked body.
“Speaking of which, while Aki-kun was sleeping in the morning, nee-san used the excuse of cleaning to check your room.”
“Excuse…that’s not something you can just say…”
“I found two more H-books.”
How did this person find those old books that even I've completely forgotten…
“So I’m going to deduct from you another 20 points.”
“Uu…so you’re deducting one book for 10 points, and two books for 20 points?”
“Nope, you’re mistaken.”
Eh? That’s not it?
“I found 6 books up till now, but none of them were about affairs with older sisters, so I deducted 20 points from you.”
“ISN’T THAT WAY TOO UNREASONABLE!?”
I already have a sister, how can I even go and buy those kinds of ero-books?! Speaking of which, since she’s my real sister, shouldn’t she feel disgusted if she saw such things?
“I might be a little bit too strict, but I hope that it will serve as a good lesson for Aki-kun. This is nee-san’s love for Aki-kun.”
“WHO WOULD BELIEVE SUCH A LAME EXCUSE AFTER YOU'VE CLEARLY SHOWED ALL YOUR PERSONAL INTERESTS?!”
“Alright, you should leave after having your breakfast. Nee-san has to go to work today.”
“Uu…I can’t stand such a life…”
How is it that living together with a relative under one roof can be such a pain?
“That’s the case, Yuuji. So let’s have a happy study group later again!”
After school, I packed my bag at the fastest speed possible and hurriedly ran over to Yuuji’s seat.
“…Akihisa. These words sound really disgusting when they aren’t things you’ll normally say.”
“Whatever you say. I’m not bothered with thinking about what other people say.”
The more my points get deducted, the more I have nothing to do other than to try to improve my grades.
“What the heck, you got deducted again?”
“Well…nee-san tested my English early in the morning…”
Testing me just when I woke up; there has to be a limit to how despicable one should be! But I guess it doesn’t matter what the time was, since I just couldn’t think of the answer…
“Really? Then how much were you deducted?”
“In all, 290. This is bad.”
“290, huh. Looks like you have to get at least 1090 points for your end-of-term exams.”
“Yeah. Even if I’m in good condition, my maximum will be about 1000. If I can’t get more than 50 points more…”
If I can get 1100 points, it will be the average in E class. To be honest, I have no confidence in that.
“If it’s just that, you should be able to do it.”
“If you’re willing to work like crazy memorizing things that you have to remember, you should be able to improve your grades. In your case, world history should be your big chance. I remember it was only about 50, 60 points?”
“Un. You really remembered that.”
“I’m the class rep of F class after all.”
Yuuji would check everyone’s scores before starting a summoning war. As a commander, he definitely has to know his own class’ grades.
“It seems that the one responsible for the end-of-term test is going to be different than the one for the streaming exam - it's going to be Tanaka-sensei. This should be a good thing for you, right?”
“Tanaka-sensei…if he’s the one making the questions, it will be a lot easier to get points.
Tanaka-sensei, who’s in charge of world history, is a kind middle-aged man. As the questions he sets are very simple, he’s highly regarded amongst the students.
Normally, simpler questions wouldn’t determine how good or bad the grades are, and a test that doesn’t determine how good or bad the standard is would be meaningless.
But to me now, this is something I really need. Besides, the important thing isn’t to compete with the other classmates, but to get points.
“It should be easier to get points from subjects that only need memorizing than subjects you’re good at.”
“You're right. Even if I start studying math now, I probably won’t get any good grades.”
To me, the key to getting points on these end-of-term tests will be world history.
Just when Yuuji and I were discussing how to deal with the tests and things like that, Hideyoshi, who was holding onto his bag, came to us.
“What are you discussing about? Are we having another study group at Akihisa’s house?”
“My house? Well…nee-san’s out to work, so she won’t be around at night, so you can come along. But…”
“It’s better to go to Yuuji’s house to study. It’s better to change places once in a while to one other than mine. And my house doesn’t have any reference books, so we can’t study if there’re things we don’t have.”
I immediately suggested that we study at Yuuji’s place.
It’s not a lie when I say that I don’t have any reference books at all, but the reason why I chose Yuuji’s place is actually because I want to drag him down. That Yuuji always has no interest in things he’s not interested in, so if I don’t do this, I will worry that he won’t teach me. He said that he would help me for the sake of the next summoning battle, but I have to be prepared.
“Can we, Yuuji? You did come over to my house forcefully yesterday.”
“Well, we did force our way to your house yesterday alright…”
Yuuji pondered for a while,
“Alright then, we’ll go to my house then. My mom’s going on a hot springs trip and isn’t at home now. That’s really lucky.”
I don’t know what’s worth being happy about Yuuji’s mother not being at home, but he agreed rather heartily. Now I can ask him to teach me today.
“In that case, can I join in too? It’s really hard to be motivated studying alone.”
“Of course it’s okay. Or rather, the same few will be gathered here, right? In that case, might as well gather them to save time.”
“You’re right. Oi, Muttsurini, Himeji-san, Minami!”
I hollered out to the other three who were waiting in the classroom.
“Yes, what’s the matter, Akihisa-kun?”
“…Where’re we going?”
Having packed their bags, the trio carried them and walked over.
“Un. We intend to study at Yuuji’s house. If you guys are alright…”
Perhaps it was to prepare for the upcoming end-of-term exams as everyone agreed wholeheartedly.
After a 15 minute walk from school, we arrived at Yuuji’s place, located in a corner of the residence district.
“““Please excuse us.”””
After taking off our shoes at the corridor, we entered the house one by one.
Unlike my house, Yuuji’s house is a 2-storyed bungalow and looks wider than mine. It should be easier to study here.
“Yuuji, isn’t anyone else at home?”
I walked forward and asked Yuuji who was about to lead us to his room.
“Ahh, my dad’s still working at this time, and my mom went off on a hot springs trip with her high school friends, so please don’t feel restrained and make yourself at home.”
“I see. The last time I came here, it seemed that your relatives weren’t at home, Yuuji.”
“Yeah. But it’ll be better if they’re not at home in more than one way.”
Yuuji smiled cheerily and opened the door leading to the living room, and then,
“……(Guchi guchi guchi guchi)!”
There’s a woman focusing on squeezing a bubble bag.
Yuuji wordlessly closed the door.
“Yu, Yuuji? That person who’s squeezing the bubble bags that’s piled up like a hill is—”
“…Someone I don’t know.”
“Is, is that Sakamoto's mother…? Why is she squeezing so many bubble bags…”
“Ye, yeah. Aren’t there too many of them? If she wants to squeeze so many of them, it will take about 1, 2 hours.”
“…Such amazing concentration.”
“Is Sakamoto-kun’s mother's line of work squeezing bubble bags?”
All sorts of ideas appeared in everyone’s mind. What was that just now…
“Must be some patient with a psychiatric disorder. Don’t know how she got into my house, because my mom should be off on the hot springs trip.”
It’s really rare for Yuuji to make such a lie that anyone can see through. This Yuuji can cheat other people’s hearts like a professional con-man and I thought that such an evil Yuuji was no different from the devil, so I’m rather surprised by his response now.
Yuuji closed the door leading to the living room, and we could only stay in the corridor. At this moment, the voice of that so-called stranger could be heard.
“Oh my? I didn’t think it would be that late now. I remember Yuuji just went to school.”
Looks like the person inside the room has been squeezing bubble bags for almost 8 hours.
“I’ll finish the rest after I have lunch.”
And it looks like she wants to continue.
“DAMN MOM! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?”
Seemingly unable to stand this any further, Yuuji finally stepped into the living room. Really? That person’s really Yuuji’s mother…
“Oh my, Yuuji. You’re back.”
“TO HELL I AM! WHY THE HECK ARE YOU AT HOME!? DIDN’T YOU SAY THAT YOU’RE GOING OUT ON A HOT SPRINGS TRIP AND STAYING OUTSIDE!?”
“About this, it seemed that okaa-san here mistook the time. July and October look really easy to mix up on first glance. How troublesome.”
“HOW IS IT EASY TO MIX UP!? THE NUMBER’S DIFFERENT, AND ONE’S A SINGLE DIGIT WHILE THE OTHER IS A DOUBLE DIGIT! THEY’RE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!”
“Really, you, Yuuji, treating okaa-san like a naive female high school student.”
“STOP USING THAT SHAMELESS EXCUSE TO ESCAPE THE PROBLEM! YOUR GOLDEN AGE ENDED MORE THAN 10 YEARS AGO!!”
“Oh my, are these Yuuji’s friends?”
“ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING TO ME!?”
We were already stunned by such a crazy conversation. A, amazing…how should I describe it? Anyway…it’s amazing…
“Everyone, welcome here. Our Yuuji has bothered you a lot. I’m his mother. Just call me Yukino.”
Aunty Yukino smiled kindly at us and said gracefully. The gentle presence that she gave really made it hard to imagine that she would have any blood relation to Yuuji.
And also, after seeing her look, there’s one thing we’re all shocked by.
“Sa, Sakamoto? Your mother’s…way too young, isn’t she?”
“Yeah…I feel that Yuuji’s mom is so young that she never gave birth before…”
“I feel that she’s more like Sakamoto-kun’s sister~”
Just like what everyone said, she looked more like an older sister who was somewhat older than Yuuji than a mother. Speaking of which, how old is she anyway?
“Ever... everyone, just pretend that you never saw my mother and head to my room.”
“U, un. Pardon us for intruding then.”
After bowing to his mother, we head over to Yuuji’s room on the second level.
“Everyone, I’ll bring tea to you later.”
A voice came from the living room. It’s great to have a young and pretty and kind mom…even though it feels a little weird.
“My room’s here. Please enter.”
We entered Yuuji’s room as he led us in.
Once we went up the stairs, we arrived at Yuuji’s room. It’s rather neatly packed, which is surprising. For a one-person room, it’s rather wide.
“Speaking of which, it’s been a while since I came to Yuuji’s house.”
“I’d say so too.”
It seemed that after I came here last autumn with Hideyoshi and Muttsurini, we never entered Yuuji’s house again.
“Eh? Don’t you normally come for a visit?”
“Normally, they would come over to my house. We hardly go to Yuuji’s house, or even Muttsurini or Hideyoshi’s house.”
“The place’s great and it’s wide. Akihisa’s house is still the best.”
“That’s because Akihisa-kun’s being too luxurious living in such a large house.”
“Other than the three meals.”
Yeah yeah, but I will have to see the grades of these end-of-term tests to decide whether I can live my luxurious happy life of living alone.
“But…with so many people inside, my room will be too small, which is troublesome…”
There were 6 people altogether. If we were chit-chatting, it would still be alright, but if we open all our textbooks and notes, the place will be rather small and hard to move in.
“Can’t we go to your living room?”
“It’s not that we can’t, but my mom’s over there. With her around, we can’t possibly study.”
Yuuji showed a thoroughly irritated look. It may be my lucky day to know this guy’s weakness other than Kirishima-san.
“Really, how can you say that, Sakamoto-kun? Treating your own mother as a form of trouble.”
“Himeji, you’re saying that because you’re not living with such a mother. If you have to live with her for 24 hours a day under the same roof, you’ll find that there’s a lot of points you have to snark at her about—”
Just when Yuuji was arguing back, a certain electronic sound suddenly rang inside the room. Someone’s handphone probably rang.
“Ah, it’s my phone. Sorry, I’ll take the call.”
Minami took the phone from her skirt pocket and put it next to her ear. It was not a message but a direct call. Is there something urgent?
“Hello? Ah, Mut—okaa-san. What is it? …Un…un. I see, got it then.”
This call lasted less than a minute as Minami put the phone back into her skirt pocket.
“Did something happen, Minami?”
“Un…my mom originally didn’t need to go to work and could stay at home…but it seems that the company suddenly got something urgent, so she has to go out.”
“Ah, is that so? Then Hazuki-chan’s the only one at home, is it?”
“Ya. Sorry everyone, looks like I have to go home today. Let’s work hard together next time.”
I see. It’s a pity, but it can't be helped. Besides, it’s too much leaving a primary school kid at home.
Minami then took her bag and got ready to leave Yuuji’s room. But at this moment, Yuuji called Minami.
“Wait, Shimada. In that case, why don’t we move the study group over to your house?”
“Eh? My house?”
Minami’s house. I see, that’s a good idea.
“That’s not a bad idea too. Shimada’s little sister knows us, and Yuuji’s room is so full of people that it’s a little cramped here..”
“And we can meet Hazuki-chan too.”
“…I can cook dinner for you.”
The rest of us agreed with this proposal. Most importantly, it looks like Yuuji, who proposed this, wants to change the place no matter what.
“If you’re willing, Minami, can we go?”
“U…you, you’re right…”
That’s weird? It sounds like Minami’s not willing. I do find this a good idea.
“The, then, let’s go to my house…”
After pondering for a while, Minami agreed in the end. That’s great, now Hazuki-chan won’t have to feel lonely, and everyone can gather together and study.
“But you absolutely must not enter my room!”
For some reason, Minami stared at my eyes as she said that. Do I look like someone who’ll enter a girl’s room on my own? And to think Minami’s more wary of me instead of Muttsurini. How regretful.
“Alright. Since it’s decided, let’s hurry up and leave! That pipsqueak will feel lonely if we leave her alone at home!”
After saying that, Yuuji pushed us from behind and hurriedly moved over to the corridor. Does he really hate having his mom at home while studying?
Yuuji entered the living room while we were putting on our shoes in the corridor to talk to Aunt Yukino.
“Mom, I’m going out. There are leftovers from yesterday in the fridge, so take it out and reheat it for dinner.”
“Oh my, are you going out? I just brewed tea.”
“Sorry, there’s a sudden situation…speaking of which, why are you holding onto that bottle of noodle sauce?”
“Noodle sauce? Oh my, I thought it was coffee.”
“Mom…I won’t ask you to take note of the color or taste, but at least you should read the label on the bottle…”
What’s going on? Why do I feel that Yuuji feels even more lethargic at home than at school?
“I’m back. Are you here, Hazuki?”
Minami immediately called into the house once she opened the door to the corridor.
“Waa, onee-chan? You, you’re back?”
A little profile dashed out from the other side of the corridor.
The girl with the almond-shaped eyes that were twitching upwards and two ponytails tied in butterfly knots is Minami’s little sister—Shimada Hazuki.
“? Hazuki? Did you come out from onee-chan’s room?”
Looks like Hazuki-chan just came running out from Minami’s room.
“Ah, auu…actually it’s because…it feels lonely being alone, so Hazuki went over to onee-chan’s room…”
Hazuki-chan sounded like she really had something she didn’t want to say, and there seemed to be something hidden in the pocket of her parka.
“Did you go to my room to get the doll? Onee-chan won’t get angry over that.”
“Re, really? Thank you, onee-chan!”
Good good. Minami patted Hazuki-chan gently on the head. I saw that their conversation has ended, and took a step forward from behind Minami and said hello to Hazuki-chan.
“Hello there, Hazuki-chan.”
“Ah! Baka onii-chan!”
On seeing that I came over, Hazuki-chan leaped into me with her arms wide open without a second word. After hugging my waist, Hazuki-chan rubbed her forehead at my waist a few times. Un un, as expected of Minami’s little sister…her forehead precisely fits my solar plexus.
“Hello there, Hazuki-chan. We came along.”
“Waah. Even pretty onee-chan is here. There’re a lot of guests here today!”
It’s really lonely for a primary school kid to be alone at home, as Hazuki-chan immediately showed a smile the moment she saw that we came here and looked extremely delighted. Such an honest kid is really suited for the term ‘innocent’.
“Okay, Hazuki, let go of Aki, or else everyone else can’t enter the house.”
“Okay, I got it. Baka onii-chan, everyone, please follow me.”
“Okay okay, Hazuki-chan, you don’t have to pull me. I’ll follow—nn?”
As I was pulled over down the corridor by Hazuki-chan, I accidentally glimpsed the inside of a room whose door wasn’t locked. There are a few dolls inside, and at the middle is a familiar large doll. The doll looks like it’s holding onto something.
What’s in the grasp of that fox doll? It looks like…a photo frame…?
“Wa, wait a second, Aki!?”
On hearing Minami call me, I consciously turned around. At that moment, my forehead, nose and chin were struck with a strong force. Just when I lost my balance, the joints on my wrists were twisted with such violent force that they were dislocated.
“What are you looking at?”
I suppose right now I'm looking into the pit of hell.
“Listen! This is the room that you’re not allowed to enter!”
Minami hurriedly closed the door, and at this moment, Muttsurini too joined me with dislocated wrists. Minami then turned around and furiously pointed at me. Un, relax, I definitely won’t open this door. I know clearly that this door leads straight to hell.
“Really, what in the world are you guys doing…how have you been doing, pipsqueak?”
“Hazuki’s doing well, muscular onii-chan.”
“Really? That’s good.”
Yuuji reached out and patted Hazuki-chan’s head twice before putting his hand on her head. It seems that Yuuji likes to put his hand on Hazuki-chan’s forehead because of the difference in height.
“Oh yeah, is your living room in this direction?”
“Yes, it’s this way.”
Yuuji looks like he regained his composure and attitude the moment he left his house. If I had known, I would have mocked him further.
“Find a place to sit then. I’ll move a table over.”
Minami walked over in front of us and got ready to move a table so that we could open our textbooks and read.
“? Onee-chan? Why do you need the table? Are you playing cards?”
Hazuki-chan tilted her head in a puzzled manner as she saw Minami’s actions.
Ahh, that’s right. We haven’t told Hazuki-chan the reason why we came over to her house.
“Hazuki. Onee-chan’s school is going to have end-of-term tests soon, so onee-chan brought her classmates over to study.”
On hearing Minami’s explanation, Hazuki-chan showed a lonely expression and looked down slightly.
“Auu…so you’re going to study…Hazuki can only go back to her room and not bother you…”
I should say she either really knows how to read the mood or is very cognitive. Hazuki-chan was ready to go back to her room without us saying a thing.
This is really a response a good kid should have, but…
“Wait a moment, Hazuki-chan. If you don’t feel bored, why don’t you study with us? You can do your homework or study.”
It’s not a good thing if a kid can really read people’s moods. She was already happy when she saw us come over. Wouldn’t it be really lonely if she were to hide back in her room alone like that?
“Eh? Hazuki can stay with everyone to study?”
Her expression immediately brightened.
“Of course you can. Right?”
“Yeah. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s teaching one or two people.”
“Yuuji, are you saying that I’m only on the level of a fifth-grader?”
“Hazuki-chan. Let’s study together.”
“I don’t think this me has anything to teach you, but I’d be willing to welcome you to study with us.”
“…If it’s health education, I can teach you.”
Muttsurini, those words of yours are just within the limit (it’s nearly an out there).
(Aki, are you really alright with that? Don’t you have to work hard for the tests this time?)
Minami kept her voice down to prevent Hazuki-chan from hearing that and whispered into my ear. She really seemed concerned with my grades.
(It’s alright. Hazuki-chan’s a good kid and won’t be a hindrance. Also, it's too pitiful if she stays in her room alone. I won’t be able to work hard then.)
Minami was really over-thinking things… of course that was my response.
(…Thank you, Aki.)
She whispered to me in a shy manner.
Minami will occasionally look at me in a gentle manner. After seeing her like this, I…well, about this…what should I say..
“Hazuki wants to study with everyone!”
“Very good. Bring your homework over then.” “Got it!”
Tototo. Hazuki-chan scampered away. Even though she’s just studying with us, she looks really happy.
“Alright. We’re going to move the table. I’ll help.”
“Ah, there’s no need. I can do it myself.”
“Really? Yeah. If there’s a ‘photo of a certain person in the house’, of course you wouldn't wish that other people would go around, and I won’t insist on helping.”
“Wh-wha-what, what are you saying, Sakamoto!? Did you…see what’s inside that room!?”
“Nothing, I’m just joking…”
“To think that Shimada still has the heart of a girl.”
“…Sorry for using your generosity to help my business.”
Looks like Minami does go over to buy photos from Muttsurini. Muttsurini Company is really the real deal.
“Oh yeah. We can talk about the hidden things later. What about dinner?”
“…Should I cook something?”
“I don’t mind.”
It’s 5pm now. If we want to cook, we have to buy the ingredients, and we won’t be able to make it later.
“Why don’t we order pizza? It’ll take some time to cook something.”
“Yes. Akihisa-kun has to study quite a bit. We can’t waste time cooking.”
It’s great that the two girls were so kind. Besides, I do have some spare cash now, so it’ll be great if we can prioritize cooking.
“Well, I’d thought we would be able to see Shimada cook personally.”
“After last night, my confidence was so shaken thoroughly, so…”
“I see. I understand.”
“Everyone, find a place to sit. I’ll move the table over.”
Minami went away, and Hazuki-chan seemed to brush past her as her arms were full of textbooks while she came over.
“Sorry to keep everyone waiting.”
“You look rather motivated, Hazuki-chan.”
“Yes. Ah, baka onii-chan, please sit here.”
Hazuki-chan put the books in her hand onto the living room table, and then put a cushion on the carpet. Is she asking me to sit on it?
“Thank you, Hazuki-chan.”
“It’s nothing much.”
I obediently sat on the cushion, and then—
“Hazuki’s seat is over here.”
Hazuki-chan then sat on my knees. I see, so that’s how it is.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. I’ll put this table—hey, Hazuki, what are you doing?”
“Ehehe~ Hazuki wants to sit here and study.”
“No way. You’ll get in Aki’s way!”
Minami started lecturing in a way an older sister should be doing. It’ll be great if she just tells me off instead of taking action for real when she faces me…
“I’m fine here, Minami. Hazuki-chan’s small anyway.”
As compared to supporting a pile of stone slabs and being forced down hard, I don’t feel hurt at all when Hazuki-chan’s sitting on my legs.
“You’re so kind, baka onii-chan.”
It will be problematic if I have to take out my notebooks or start writing, but my main aim today is to memorize history thoroughly, so there won’t be any problems. I just need a memorization sheet to study unlike homework where I have to write.
“It’s alright if you’re fine with that…but Aki, don’t you feel weird somewhere?”
“Akihisa-kun, if there’s any strange feeling, something bad will happen!”
“Yes, ladies, I have no evil intent at all.”
With this, we’re finally able to finish our preparations. The few of us plus Hazuki-chan were finally able to start studying for the end-of-term tests.
After about 2 hours of studying and a luxurious meal of pizza, we continued to study. It’s rare to have nothing troublesome, and time peacefully passed.
“Un? It’s so late already. Shouldn’t the study meet be over or something?”
Before I noticed it, the clock was showing 9.30pm.
“Wow, time sure does fly by fast.”
“…We were very focused.”
“It’s already pitch black outside.”
Once Yuuji said that, everyone put down their pens. I made quite a bit of progress because Himeji-san and Yuuji’s teaching methods were very easy. If I can continue on like this, I should be able to chase nee-san out back overseas, I suppose.
“That should be it for today. We should be going.”
“You’re right, thank you Minami-chan.”
“Ah, un, I should be the one thanking you. Hazuki, you should be—Hazuki?”
“Ahaha, looks like she’s tired.”
Unknowingly, Hazuki-chan fell asleep on my lap.
“Really, Hazuki…sorry Aki. Can you help me move her onto the sofa?”
“Ah, okay, I was planning on doing so.”
Hazuki-chan was tugging at my shirt even when she was sleeping as she didn’t let go even when I carried her to the sofa. I won’t be able to go home like this.
“Oi, Hazuki, wake up. How is Aki going to go home if you continue to tug at him?”
Minami patted Hazuki-chan on the shoulder.
At this moment, Hazuki-chan finally opened her eyes slightly.
Hazuki-chan muttered and tugged harder at my shirt.
“Hazuki, onee-chan’s going to be angry if you say such stubborn things.”
Minami spoke with a heavier tone. At this moment, I can see that Minami is a kind and yet strict older sister to Hazuki-chan when it comes to it.
“…Onee-chan doesn’t understand…”
“…Onee-chan can often play with baka onii-chan…but Hazuki can only be with baka onii-chan at such a moment…”
She’s all sleepy, which is why she said such things, but the few of us who were awake were stunned to actually hear Hazuki-chan’s true thoughts accidentally. So Hazuki-chan really admires me that much…
“Eh…Minami, if you’re not bothered, can I stay to study for a while longer?”
“Yeah. Since the pipsqueak said so, Akihisa should stay behind.”
“It sure is thus. Akihisa, being a popular guy is tough.”
“…You're really popular.”
Everyone started to make fun of me as they jabbed at me, but this isn’t a bad feeling. I’m really happy to hear such words of goodwill that can ease my emotions, especially with that out-of-sorts sister of mine launching perverted attacks on me.
“Is, is that so…sorry Aki. Please accompany Hazuki for a while more.”
Since Minami allowed me, I should stay behind to study more. Besides, there’re some parts of the lesson today that I don’t really understand.
“Ah, well…in that case, I should…”
“Eh? Himeji-san, you can’t stay behind. It’ll be dangerous for a girl to go back home alone if it’s too late. Better get Yuuji to send you back home.”
“But I’m really worried, in many ways…”
“I understand your feelings.”
“No, you don’t understand what I’m worried about, Akihisa-kun!”
For some reason, Himeji-san seemed to be angry.
“I’ll send Himeji home. Muttsurini, bring Hideyoshi home.”
“I won’t really accept this, but this couldn’t be helped…”
As we continued to drag on, time continued to fly. Cute kids like Himeji-san and Hideyoshi will really be in danger if they walk back home alone at night. They were hounded by some malicious weird guys before in the Cool Summer Festival, so we have to take note.
But even so, Himeji-san just wouldn’t agree. It’s not that I don’t understand that she’s worried about Hazuki-chan, but…
“But no matter how much you ask, no means no, Himeji-san.”
“No buts. There’s a lot of dangerous people outside, so you have to watch out for your own safety and go back home early!”
“Give it up, Himeji. No matter how much you say, Akihisa won’t change his mind.”
“…Uu…why did it end up like this…”
On hearing Hazuki-chan’s lonely words, kind Himeji-san definitely won’t leave her alone, but it’s very late now, so I’ll take over here.
“We’ll be going then. Thank you for today, Shimada.”
“I feel bothered for disturbing you for too long too.”
“Thank you, Minami-chan…”
Including Himeji-san, who looked somewhat stressed out, everyone thanked Minami and headed off to the corridor.
“Everyone, see you tomorrow.”
My shirt was still being tugged at by Hazuki-chan, so I could only remain there and wait for everyone else to leave.
“Wait, I’ll send you off.”
Minami then got up and followed everyone out.
“Alright, I should be studying now.”
I sat in the living room that felt immediately empty, and reached out for the notes Himeji-san specially made. Himeji-san’s words are pretty, and it’s easy to read. The notes are really so good that I can grasp the important points of the exams. With these notes, my grades will definitely improve.
I took the highlighted notes and stuffed their contents into my brains.
A steady breathing sound could be heard at my knees.
Sleeping Hazuki-chan feels very warm, and it feels even more comfy with the air-con switched on in the room. No, it’s not because of the warmth, but it’s that her fawning over me like this made me really happy. Besides, nee-san’s been talking about exam grades and living lifestyles and nagging about all these recently, which made me feel that such a time is really precious.
I held onto the memorizing sheet and continued to memorize in a dazed manner, and time passed by just like that.
“Sorry for that, Aki, troubling you like that.”
Minami, who sent everyone off, soon came back.
“Uun, I don’t find it troublesome.”
After thanking me in a shy manner, Minami sat beside me and gently patted Hazuki-chan on the head.
“This kid’s really…”
Minami sat beside me and patted Hazuki-chan’s head, and Hazuki-chan, who was lying on my leg, seemed to twitch due to itchiness.
“Minami and Hazuki-chan are really close.”
“Yeah. It’s not bad.”
“Looking at you two, I really want to smile.”
“What are you saying? Don't you have good relations with your sister, Aki?”
“Eh? Since when! I’ve been watched by her, and everything family related ended up with me. She will even nag at me. There’s nothing good about it at all!”
“But didn’t you sister say ‘I love Aki-kun the most’?”
“…Please forget about that.”
“Uu, I feel that she was joking at the last bit.”
“Of course she is!”
Or rather, I’ll be really bothered if she wasn’t joking.
As we looked at Hazuki-chan’s sleeping face, Minami and I went silent.
“Well, Aki, that…”
“Nn? What is it?”
“That doll in my room…”
“Ahh, are you talking about the large fox doll in the room?”
“Un, that fox doll—Aki bought it for me, right?”
Speaking of which, Hazuki-chan back then said that she wanted to buy the doll for her older sister, and Hazuki-chan’s sister is Minami…
“I see. So I helped Hazuki-chan buy the doll for Minami.”
“Eh? Don’t tell me you didn’t even realize this?”
Minami gave me a look as if she’s treating me like an idiot again.
How rude. It’s not that I didn’t notice it. I just didn’t think of it.
“Well, this can’t be helped since Aki’s like that.”
“Minami, are you actually secretly mocking me now?”
“Yeah, because you’re an idiot, Aki. It can’t be helped.”
“Minami, are you actually mocking me now?”
There’s no need to deliberately pick on it.
“After the Cool Summer Festival, I wondered how Hazuki knew about Aki, so I asked Hazuki about everything.”
“Ahh, is that so. Speaking of which, I don’t think we told you about that.”
It’s no wonder she would be wondering how her little sister who’s in primary school would know about her classmate.
“After hearing Hazuki explain it, I felt…really happy.”
“This is to be expected. You should be happy after knowing that your sister worked so hard to cheer you up.”
I’m so envious that Minami has such an understanding sister.
“Haa…really, you’re a blockhead.”
Minami sighed hard and said this to me.
Whether it’s the brain, looks or lifestyle, it looks like I have an inexplicable link to the word ‘lousy’.
“You saw that doll when you looked into my room earlier, right?”
“Ah, un. I only saw the large doll holding onto a photo frame or something.’
“That photo frame…”
“Don’t you want to know…whose photo I put on it?”
What’s with this mysterious conversation? I suppose the photo frame has the picture of Hazuki-chan who gave her the doll, or a family photo or something like that, isn’t it...? If not, it should be the photo of someone Minami likes—
At this moment, Hazuki-chan, who was all sleepy, suddenly sat on my legs. Tha, that scared me!
And Hazuki-chan leaned back down again. Did, did she really fall asleep?
“A, ahaha…that scared me.”
“Ye, yeah. Me too.”
During this time, Minami and I could only laugh awkwardly.
To change this strange atmosphere that’s flowing between us, I suppose I should look for something else to talk about. Let me see…
“Ah, Hazuki-chan let go of my shirt when she moved.”
“Eh? Ah, really.”
Most likely, she let go when she got up. That’s good.
“I suppose it’s about time for me to go.”
I carried Hazuki-chan and laid her down on the sofa. It hasn't been long since Yuuji and the rest left, so if I walk faster, I should be able to catch up to those guys.
“Really…then see you tomorrow.”
I put my textbooks and notes into the bag and reached out for the door handle of the living room.
Just when I was about to open the door and got ready to step out of the living room,
“…You can go over to my room…to look at that photo…”
Minami said to me.
With such a ridiculous pressure, I could only nod my head.
Minami didn’t say anything much after that and silently turned her head away.
“I, I’ll be going then…”
After closing the living room door, I walked towards the corridor.
“…The photo in Minami’s room…”
Since she said so, I can’t go home directly without taking a look at it.
From the conversation just now, I can guess that the big fox doll is holding onto the photo of the person Minami admires, and there’s a chance—it’s my photo.
I reached out for Minami’s door with my sweaty and tense hand and peeked into the room. I checked the photo in that frame. I then put on my shoes and opened the corridor door to leave Minami’s house.
Is that so…so Minami—
“A, Aki should have seen it, right? That photo…if he sees it, even an idiot should be able to understand…in that case, I can finally…”
“Ah, Hazuki? You’re awake?”
“Since you’re awake, change into your pajamas and go to sleep. If you feel lonely, onee-chan will sleep with you.”
“No…Hazuki borrowed a photo from onee-chan’s room, so Hazuki won’t feel lonely…”
“Really? It’s good that you won’t…eh? Wait, photo? The photo from my room?”
“Hazuki went over to borrow baka onii-chan’s photo from onee-chan’s room, so Hazuki won’t feel lonely…”
“Eehh? The, then, the photo in my room is…”
“Hazuki replaced it with the Mr Ape that’s used as the theme for the arts lesson at school…”
—So Minami likes apes…well, how to put it. it really shocked me in many ways…
Being completely shocked by the shocking words of my classmate, I couldn’t help but hasten my speed. Less than 5 minutes later, I saw Yuuji and Himeji-san walking in front of me. Eh? They didn’t go far? Did they take the long way?
“Ex, excuse me. I think I left something at Minami’s house…”
“Don’t worry, you didn’t forget anything. I checked thoroughly before we left Shimada’s house.”
“Uu…no, well…I have some place I want to go to….”
“It’s too late now. Better go tomorrow.”
“Hau…the, then, I have something I have to say to Minami.”
“…That’s enough already, Himeji. You’re just wasting your time now.”
“No buts. That sound came from your handphone, right? Your parents should be worried about their daughter who has been back late for 2 days, right?”
“I, I sent a message over to them. Sakamoto-kun, please, let me go back!”
“It’s not that I don’t understand your feelings. Of course I want to let you go back there if I could…”
I ran over to the duo who seemed to be talking about something.
“What are you talking about, Yuuji?”
“Kya!? A, Akihisa-kun!”
“Oh, Akihisa, you’re rather fast.”
“Yeah. Hazuki-chan woke up soon after you guys left.”
But I never expected that Yuuji and the rest hadn’t go far.
“Oh yeah, what were you two talking about?”
“Well…what do you think it is, Himeji?”
Himeji-san looked around. That’s weird. Is it something that’s hard to talk about?
“Forget about that. Akihisa-kun, what did you talk about with Minami-chan alone?”
The unexpected question came at me before I could even get prepared, causing me to make a weird sound.
I, I can’t say it! I really can’t tell everyone about that shocking secret thing about Minami…
“Wha, what happened?”
“Eh, erm, about this…”
Himeji-san continued to stare into my eyes, and it looked like any lies I try to make wouldn’t escape her eyes.
“Is it related…to someone she likes?”
I let out a surprised sound as she guessed correctly. Himeji-san, your sixth sense today seems to be really sharp.
“Can you please…tell me exactly what happened?”
Himeji-san’s expectant eyes really hurt me.
But no matter what she says, I can’t do it. Besides…how can I say that a girl in my class likes apes…
“Sorry…Himeji-san, I can’t say it…”
“Is that so…”
Himeji-san dejectedly lowered her head.
If possible, I really want to say it, but Minami’s too direct to say that she loves apes. I won’t talk about how people in this world will think, but no matter what, I can’t just reveal Minami’s secrets to others.
Just when I was thinking about that, it seemed that Himeji-san started thinking, and soon lifted her head with a certain amount of determination.
“I understand Minami’s feelings!”
“What are you saying?”
How can you understand such things?
“But I hope you listen to my feelings!”
“Ho, how can you do this! I, I’ll be troubled if you suddenly say that!”
Wha, what should I do…if Himeji-san suddenly tells me that ‘I understand that Minami likes apes, but I feel that gorillas are better’, that will definitely be more than what my brain can take! Speaking of which, why are these two people talking about such things? No matter how much they ask me, I can only introduce humans to them!
“I know you’ll be really bothered, but I hope that you can seriously consider this!”
I have no idea what’s so good about such things, but since Himeji-san said so, I can’t just leave it alone. In that case, I have to seriously listen to her.
“Oi, Himeji, aren’t you thinking too much? This guy’s obviously thinking about some dumb things now.”
“If it’s Japanese apes, I should be able to introduce some to you…n, no. even if gorillas are on the entertainment side, it will be tough if they’re together…”
“Akihisa-kun…why must you mention animals when I’m trying to summon my courage and say such things…”
“You’re just going to wear out your brain cells no matter how you think. Oi, Akihisa, wake up (knocks)!”
GACK! What did I do?
“Sorry, what were we talking about?”
“Don’t worry. You don’t have to think about it. Oh yeah, Himeji. Which side of this junction is your house at?”
“Ah, yes…my house’s on the right.”
“The right side? The same direction as Akihisa then.”
“Oh ya, Yuuji’s house on the other side.”
“That’s right, so I’ll hand the duty of sending Himeji home to you. Don’t think you can attack people in the middle of a peaceful night just because no one is around.”
“Understood. I’ll try my best to endure.”
“Oi, isn’t that answer kinda inappropriate…”
“I, I’ll endure too!”
“Himeji! You want to attack Akihisa too!?”
Yuuji continued to stare at both of us with a look of disbelief.
“Oh well, whatever. No amount of time will be enough to snark back at you two idiots.”
“Then, see you tomorrow.”
“Un, see you tomorrow.”
“Thank you, Sakamoto-kun.”
As we waved goodbye to Yuuji at the cross-junction, Himeji-san and I walked side by side with each other as we went home.
Maybe it’s because Yuuji, who’s always being so noisy, isn’t around, but the chirping all around became extremely clear.
“Oh yeah, is your house in this direction, Himeji-san?”
“Yes. My house is actually rather close to yours, Akihisa-kun. We even studied in the same primary school.”
“Is that so? That’s true. If our primary school is the same, it means that we’re living rather near each other.”
Recently, because of the assembly, there are a lot less chances, but there were about 3 primary schools nearby. Himeji-san and I studied at Mutsuki Primary school.
It sure was memorable. It’s been over 5 years since then…
“It’s really a rare chance to walk together with Akihisa-kun slowly.”
“Yeah. Akihisa-kun’s always surrounded by so many people.”
“Ahaha. It’s really amazing to hear Himeji-san say that I’m really popular.”
Actually, I was being teased by those guys.
“Not at all. Akihisa-kun’s always been popular. There was a Valentine’s Day in primary school. I wonder if you remember it?”
“Valentine’s Day in primary school?”
“Yes. Almost every girl in class gave Akihisa-kun chocolates. From that point on, Akihisa-kun’s been the most popular guy amongst the girls.”
“Is that so? I didn’t know…I thought Valentine Day’s chocolates were nothing more than ordinary greetings…”
How did it end up like that…was I always just eating them…?
“Akihisa-kun’s been so dull since then.”
“Well, I was still young, so I didn’t understand then.”
“Akihisa-kun, your use of Japanese is wrong. It’s like you’re not dull now.”
“Eh? Ah, un, sorry.”
I’ll take note of those things I didn’t think through before. That’s what I actually wanted to say…
“But speaking of which, I’m really surprised that I was rather popular with the girls…I wouldn’t be wondering if we were talking about how Himeji-san is popular with the guys now.”
“Well, I can’t say that I became skinnier, but I was really fat in primary school and was often laughed at by the boys. I wasn’t popular at all.”
Himeji-san patted her stomach and grumbled.
“But don’t people normally say that boys in primary school love to tease the girls they like?”
“I suppose it’s not that they didn’t like me…and actually, they didn’t tease me to an extent. I remember they removed the ‘hime’ in ‘Himeji Mizuki’ to call me ‘plain lover’. The boy who was the leader didn’t like it, and everyone didn’t call me that, right?”
Himeji-san smiled as she said to me.
Is that so? I don’t remember who was the leader of the class, and of course, I don’t remember that.
“It’s just that I was still bothered by the nickname they gave me after that.”
“The nickname after that…’Yuki-chan’?”
I searched my vague memory and recalled this nickname. But…why call Himeji-san ‘Yuki-chan’? I always called her ‘Mizuki-chan’, so I don’t really know how the ‘Yuki-chan’ nickname came about.
“Yes, it’s the ‘yuki (snow)’ from ‘yukidaroma (snowman).”
“Ah, so the ‘Yuki’ came from snowman. That’s rather cute.”
“It’s cute now that I think about it…but I was really bothered back then.”
“Eh? Why would you have been?”
“Wouldn’t anyone associate ‘snowman’ with white and fat?”
“Eh? Is that the reason why you were called Yuki-chan?”
“Ah, now. I guess it’s just the impression people have of me that created this nickname. But I was really bothered.”
Himeji-san waved her hand in a casual manner.
She’s saying it really casually now, but she must have been really bothered by such a nickname when she was young, right? Let’s forget about how it actually came about, since I definitely won’t feel happy if I imagine how the ‘Yuki-chan’ nickname came about.
“So I’m still rather bothered about my tummy even till now, especially after eating hi-calories food like pizza or biscuits.”
“Is that so? I feel that you don’t have to be bothered about it.”
OR rather, Himeji-san’s curves are way too perfect.
“This can’t do. I get fat easily.”
…If it’s just a certain point, such a figure will make people envious. Especially for girls like Minami.
“But Akihisa-kun, you’re different from me. You need lots of nutrition.”
“Don’t worry. I can’t say if it’s my normal life, but I’ve been having my meals regularly ever since nee-san came back.”
I even sacrificed my precious treasures.
“Really, how can you say such things…do you actually hate your sister, Akihisa-kun?”
“Hate? Uu…I never actually thought of such a question before.”
Coming back to meet me in a bathrobe immediately after flying back, and showing off my precious ero-books and my bathing photos in front of everyone, and even nagging away about exams and living attitudes everyone. It’s frustrating. And she will even pull all sorts of weird pranks on me…
“I suppose, Akihisa-kun, your sister must be worried about you, and she definitely likes you. If not, she wouldn’t be asking everyone about Akihisa-kun’s condition at school.”
“Nononono. There’s a reason why she would ask that…”
Himeji-san’s pure heart seemed to view nee-san’s impish attitude in a completely different manner. Himeji-san, don’t be fooled by that demonic sister of mine. She’s doing such checks to deduct points from me.
Just when I was about to explain everything to her, Himeji-san suddenly pointed at a corner.
“My house’s over there. You can just leave me here. Thank you to escorting me all the way here.”
“Hm? Ahh, don’t worry, it’s nothing.”
Himeji-san bowed at me, and I bowed back at her.
“See you at school tomorrow.”
“Nn, see you tomorrow.”
After saying that, Himeji-san scattered off with fleeting feet.
But after a few steps, she turned around as if she suddenly thought of something.
“I feel that you should notice the feelings of the people around you, Akihisa-kun. Like your sister, Minami…and me…”
“Heh? What does that mean?”
“Fufu. I’m not going to give you any more hints.”
Himeji-san gave a smile and immediately ran off to her house after that.
Speaking of which, what’s the significance of the three people she just mentioned? Nee-san, Himeji-san, Minami…
“And Toshimitsu Kubo.”
“What, why is there a completely unnecessary name being mentioned!? Is it the work of the devil inside me?
“The four people mentioned here all have feelings for you. You should be able to understand now that I said so much, right?”
So it’s really the devil, messing up my thoughts like that! What kind of common feelings would the four of them have? I have no idea at all. If there were 3, at least there’s a common point of them being the other gender…
“Do I have to mention it? Of course it’s the feelings for Akihisa!”
That’s the angel in my heart now. Didn’t I tell you not to come out already?
“No, the angel’s right this time…”
LIAR! I WON’T BE FOOLED BY SUCH NICE WORDS!
Or rather, I should say that I would rather not believe such words with Kubo-kun’s name mentioned.
“Really, how stupid can you get?”
Why must I be treated like an idiot by my alter-ego?
A few minutes of talking to myself later, I reached home too. The lights in the house were already switched on, so nee-san should be back.
After opening the door, I shouted out to nee-san in the house.
Immediately afterwards, I saw nee-san walk out of the living room in an apron (!?), a rare feat at that.
“You’re back. You must be tired now, having came back so late.”
“Eh? Ahh, yeah.”
Nee-san’s different attire and tone from usual bothered me. What is she planning?
“Hand me your bag.”
Isn’t this a common scene in a serial?
At this moment, I suddenly noticed something.
Wearing an apron and saying such things…is she imitating a sweet romantic couple? She did mention some doctor game or something. Nee-san’s probably thinking of playing with me, right?
Speaking of which, it’s rare of nee-san to come back, yet us siblings hardly had the time to talk with each other. If we talk a bit, it’ll immediately end up being about grades or how I live my life…in that case, is nee-san just thinking of teasing me affectionately by playing newly-weds to get rid of such monotony?
Alright. In that case, I’ll play with you then. It’s rare of nee-san to think about this.
“What is it?”
“Ah, it’s nothing. Here’s my bag.”
I handed my bag to nee-san with the attitude of a man who’s the head of the house.
Nee-san reached her hands out and grabbed onto my bag tightly.
“Ahh~ so tired today.”
“It’s been tough on you, being busy for the whole day.”
We walked towards the living room, continuing such a conversation.
“Do you want to eat? A bath first?”
Nee-san asked me with a kind voice.
I couldn’t help but smile at such a staple line in scripts.
This really feels like a real newly-wed couple dialogue, with kind smiles.
“Or do you want to do pervy things with me?”
And there’s some weird line in there.
Nee-san probably felt that I’d be bored if she follows everything according to the script, right? She even added some teasing words besides the basic conversation. I’m rather touched by the weird yet affectionate feelings.
In that case, I shouldn’t waste my strength snarking back at her, but continue on in a humored manner.
I pondered on how to answer, and then continued this act,
“No, there’s no need for a bath, meal or pervy things.”
“Is that so?”
I didn’t finish my words as I deliberately paused before smiling, saying to nee-san, word by word in a forceful manner.
“I’ve done them all outside.”
“Minus 50 points from you…”
Nee-san took out her judging notebook. Isn’t that too unreasonable!?
Current score [-340 points]
- If we take out the 'Hime (姫)' from Himeji Mizuki, we get 路瑞希 (ji-mizuki), which sounds like 地味好き (jimisuki), or plain lover.