Hellping

[86 Side Stories] Summer Festival

26 year old Shourei Nouzen had a brother ten years younger than him, who was in the most rebellious phase of his life.

“I’m back…eh? Shinn, are you going to the festival?”

“…”

He asked, seeing Shinn wearing a yukata which was very rare. The latter however remained silent as usual.

Their mother’s voice came from the living room downstairs in reply instead, saying that he was going to spend the Tanabata festival with his classmate. Upon hearing that, Ray had a thought. If Shinn was simply going out with his classmates, he would not be wearing a yukata.

“A date, right? How’s she like? Who is this pretty girl?”

“……”

He was ignored.

Yep, he’s at the age when it’s really hard to understand him. Ray thought as he returned to his room, and while he was undoing his tie, he heard a voice beyond the ajar door to his room..

“Brother.”

“Yeah?”

“I can’t tie the obi.”

So Ray wanted to say, can’t you just wear a heko obi since it’s a man’s yukata? But since he was asked, he might as well tie the kai-no-kuchi musubi.

“Seriously, you’re always looking for your brother whenever you have troubles. Also you’re watching anime right now …”

Ray spotted Shinn watching anime on his smartphone.

Well, he’s working hard at least. Having thought this far, Ray didn’t chime in any further.

Shinn’s been working really hard, and had considerably grown up as compared to his younger days when he would just rely on others whenever he encountered trouble. However, it’s not too different from asking for help whenever he felt that he couldn’t settle it himself.

Maybe I pampered him too much …while Ray started to reflect upon his actions, Shinn in turn looked really disgusted.

“I never said I needed your help.”

“Yes yes, you never said it, okay?”

You’re still relying on me though. What’s different about that? Aren’t you just saying that while having me tie this for you?

Ahh, Ray sighed.

“Since you’re so arrogant, tie a bunko (light novel) knot yourself.”

“What is a light novel?”

 
 

Lady Margaret Millize’s sixteen year old daughter was in the prime of her age.

“Mother, is it weird for me to be wearing this?”

“…Lena, are you asking for my thoughts on it?”

Lady Millize answered, feeling really relieved.

Lena was standing before the tall mirror, sizing herself up and checking if there was anything inappropriate. It had been a while since she had experienced such an emotion.

Lena lifted her sleeves, turned her back towards the mirror to see the obi, and was beaming away.

“Very cute. Have confidence in yourself.”

The refreshing, orange colored yukata had bright butterfly patterns on it, and a bunko knot. It seemed rather large, but was still glamorous. The silvery white long hair matched with a satin cloth, were tied into a ponytail. The butterfly ornament matching the yukata would also creak whenever she moved..

She was dressed in a manner suitable for partying with friends. But on a closer inspection, one could see that Lena had put on makeup, which was a rarity for her. While she was trying to maintain her dignity, she hid her vibrant, pink lips.

“But …”

“A fine lady cannot have such a flustered look.…have a seat and calm down. There is still some time, right?”

For some reason, Lena blushed.

“Ah, there’s still some time …”

She looked around uneasily, and after lowering her eyebrows, said with a teeny-weeny voice.

“Well, you’re waiting for someone to pick you up, no?.”

Lady Millize was a little curious.

“Ah.”

“Receive you!?”

The man who yelled was seated on the sofa in the living room, acting nonchalant as he was reading the newspaper upside down, trying to eavesdrop upon their conversation in an exaggerated manner. That man was Vaclav Millize, her husband, and Lena’s father.

“Someone…will come by to receive you!? Are you going on a date with some hustler!? I don’t know which lecher is so bold…!”

“Wrong, you mean which boy.”

Lady Millize looked over at her husband with bewilderment.

“…Dear, did you return from work early today?”

“Impossible!? It is a father’s responsibility to worry about his daughter! What if something happens!?”

Lady Millize walked over, and looked at her husband as if he was a fool.

“Fo …do you know how overprotective you are being?”

“Repeat yourself! Sort out what you say!”

“Are you a fool?”

“Sort yourself out!”

“Do you know that you are acting like my father did while I was still a student? Your skin is as thick as the Grand Mur.”

“So you say…”

While the two of them were arguing, the intercom bell rang.

This time, Lena reacted as though her invisible cat ears had pricked up. Before her boorish husband had realized, Lady Millize waved her hand without looking at Lena, who nodded and hurried towards the corridor.

By the time her husband found Lena missing, it was already over.

 
 

“I am leaving! ―kept you waiting, Shinn…”

 
 

The uneasy look from before had vanished without a trace, and only the cheerful cheers and the footsteps of the geta echoed.

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