“…………”

“…………”

I’m standing at my house’s entrance, starting a staring contest like some delinquent.

The opponent’s a girl my age, and there’s nothing else between us─ or so I wish to say, but I have to admit, there’s a relationship beyond that, or used to.

“…Where are you going, Mizuto-kun?”

“…I should be the one saying that. Where are you going, Yume-san?”

The girl says, I said, and silence.

It’s the third time.

Actually, even without asking her, I know where this woman’s going. It’s the large bookstore before the station. A certain publisher of mystery novels just made their releases, and I’m planning to pick up a new series; it seems like this woman has the same idea.

At this rate, we’ll end up leaving the entrance, walking alongside to the bookstore, go to the same corner, and queue at the same cashier.

Aren’t we totally looking like a couple with the same taste in books?

Such a misunderstanding is exactly what we want to avoid.

Basically, we’re in a deadlock. We can’t leave the house at the same time, so as for the issue of who gets to leave the house first–well, we’re negotiating and fending off each other just to decide this.

Why don’t we talk it out? No way. There’s no way I can solve this by talking to this woman.

“─Eh? Yume, Mizuto-kun, what are you two doing?”

Yuni-san’s dressed in a suit, appearing from the living room.

Yuni-san’s the person who became my mother just last week.

In other words, she married my father–and she’s the actual mother of the woman before me.

“Aren’t you two going out?”

“Well, about to.”

Bye then, I’m about to say that and seize this chance smoothly, but Yuni-san says,

“Ah, are you two going to the bookstore at Karasuma Dori? I heard that you’re a bookworm too, Mizuto-kun~! Are you going with Yume? This girl only goes out to the bookstore or the library.”

“…Err.”

“Wait, Mom…”

“Ah, are you two going together!? I’m glad, Mizuto-kun! You seem to be getting along well with Yume! Please continue to take care of her. This girl’s a little shy~”

“…Y-yes…”

Since she said it like that, I could only agree.

Next to me, I sense a murderous glare.

“Now then, I’m going to work. Do hurry back you two! Get along well as siblings!”

Leaving these words behind, Yuni-san disappears beyond the entrance door.

After that, she and I–siblings, are the only ones left behind.

Yes. We’re siblings.

But, stepsiblings.

Our parents remarried, so she tagged along–

“…Why did you just agree?”

“…I don’t have a choice. It just went that way.”

“Why do I need you to take care of me?”

“Like I know? I don’t want to care about you.”

“That passive attitude is what I hate about you, you shitty otaku.”

“That self-centeredness is what I hate about you, you shitty maniac.”

But our parents don’t know.

She and I are the only ones who know of our real relationship.

I, Mizuto Irido―

And she, Yume Irido―

―Were boyfriend and girlfriend until two weeks ago.

I can say now that I was young and foolish, but I had an existence called a girlfriend between my second and third years of middle school.

The moment that can be called our first encounter was soon after summer break, late July, an afternoon in the empty library―she was standing on the stool

It’s a really cliche situation, and now that I say this, it’s easy to guess what happened next; I took the book down, and gave it to her.

If I can touch back then, I really want to tell the past me, just leave that woman alone.

But I couldn’t have predicted the future, and once I saw the cover, I foolishly spoke to her.

――Do you like detective novels too?

I’m really not a mystery maniac, but a professed all-rounder reader of genres―I’ll read anything whether it’s pure literature, romance, light novels, novels. Of course, I knew the title of the classic detective novel I picked up.

It’s just that while I know about it, I can’t say that I like it.

But anyway, my nature as a bookworm is such that I’ll feel happy seeing others pick up a book I once read. It’s like a bull getting excited at seeing the color red, a habit that can’t be controlled, and most likely a trap laid out by God.

It’s a trap set by God.

In other words, fate.
We had our fated encounter, and just like that, we really got along with each other, bumping into each other at the library nobody visited during summer vacation. End August, when summer vacation was almost over, I received her confession.

And so,

For the first time in my life, I had something called a girlfriend.

The name was Yume Ayai.

That was her name back then.

 

 

 

Now then,

Even without me saying this, this is the prelude of destruction.

Speaking of which, the chances of a love confession of a middle schooler not leading to destruction is no more than 5%, I guess―looking at it realistically, it’s not often for middle school couples staying together for the rest of their lives.

Even so, that was what we thought would happen back then.

We didn’t really stand out much at school, so Ayai and I had a quiet relationship. We were either in a corner of the library, or in the library on rest days, or in a bookshop cafe, just talking about our interests.

Of course, we did what lovers would do.

We went on dates, we held hands, clumsily kissed―nothing particularly special to write about. Just some common events between couples, which we did in order.

The first kiss we had was at the cross junction on the way to school, under the sunset. It’s more like a graze near the mouth though, and Ayai’s smiling, blushing face remains etched inside my mind like a photo.

Right now, there’s only one thing I’ll say about that photo.

Die.

This woman can die, and so can me back then.

…Anyway, our relationship until then was relatively smooth sailing, but when we started our third year, there’s a divide starting between us.

The divide being that Ayai has improved on her shyness.

I guess it’s because ever since we dated, she improved in her ability to communicate―she made a few friends in her new class. It’s a rather obvious change compared to year 2, when she couldn’t find a single partner for gym class.

She’s really happy about herself, and I congratulated her with lip service.

Yeah, lip service.

What was my heart feeling back then―this is where it becomes my confessional. While blessing her growth in words, my desire to monopolize her unconsciously emerged.

Whether it’s Ayai’s cuteness, her smile, her heartiness, I was the only one who knew them all―supposedly.

That was really bad.

Before I knew it, I started voicing my emotions in my words. Ayai’s troubled by that, not understanding, but still working hard to make me happy. Then again, that touched my nerves.

Yep―I know. The reason’s because of Ayai’s growth, but the direct reason was because of my stupid desire to have her for myself. She didn’t do anything wrong. I was the one who was in the wrong initially. I admit it.

But,

But, yeah.

Please let me defend myself. I was foolish, and I once realized my mistake, so I apologized to her, lowering my head. I got jealous of her because of such a reason, that I’d apologize to her for being angry at her for no reason, that I hoped she wouldn’t mind.

And so, that woman.

You know what she said?

―You don’t like seeing me get along with others, but you’re getting along well with other girls?

Haahh?

Who could have blamed me for making such a response?

According to her, I was flirting with other girls in the library we met―even though I don’t have any memories of that. Maybe it’s the librarian or someone else I was talking to, but Ayai just insisted that I was cheating on her, and wouldn’t even listen to me.

So basically, I apologized for nothing.

 

For what?

 

It’s true that I was in the wrong for throwing my tantrum. I apologized, I lowered my head. It’s her choice to forgive me, I get that.

But why do I have to be scolded just because of a ridiculous misunderstanding and a presumptuous conclusion?

No no, well, maybe this sort of thing happens out of impulse. I apologized because it once happened to me. If not, then she should be apologizing to me, like I did to her, right? I was forced to admit my mistake, but she wouldn’t even apologize to me. Is that right? Isn’t it weird?

―That’s what I felt, and we appeared to have patched up, and maintained that relationship for a few months.

But―once there’s an error between the meshed gears , there’s no way it can be fixed again.

What I thought were her charm points just became so annoying thereafter. We started to jab at each other sarcastically, and before we knew it, even a phone call was torture. But we still couldn’t forgive the other party for not replying, and this increased the divide between us.

Our relationship lasted until we graduated from middle school, but it’s because we were both too apprehensive. Neither of us had the courage.

It’s all because we continued to cling onto the happy memories.

But when we didn’t contact each other once on Valentine’s, that’s when we were convinced.

There’s no way we can go back to how it was before.

And at graduation, I said,

―Let’s break up.

―Un.

Fast and easy. Not a tear was shed.

She’s not angry, and she gave me a look like, she’s been waiting for me to say that. I guess my face was showing the same.

I liked her…I really treasured her.

But to me, she looks like a sworn enemy.

…Seriously, love is just a moment of folly.

At least I was released from that folly―

I happily enjoyed my middle school graduation, feeling as though a heavy burden was lifted from me.

And then, on that night.

Dad said with a serious look.

―Your dad’s planning to remarry.

Oho.

Well, humans can’t help but commit such folly even at this age. Dad single-handedly raised me, and I was sad about that, but I didn’t intend to oppose his marriage. Marry again? Great. It’s up to you. I’m done with my obligatory education after all.

I was really happy back then. What my dad said next fell on deaf ears, since I was feeling gracious enough.

―She has a girl…that’s fine with you?

Oi oi a stepsister at this age? It’s just like a light novel LOL!

I was feeling really agitated. I might have lost my composure.

And so when I was brought to meet my stepmother and stepsister, I felt cold water was doused upon my face.

―………

―………

Standing there was Yume Ayai.

Nope.

At that moment, she became Yume Irido.

We stared dumbfoundedly at each other, our mouths agape, and our hearts were definitely yelling the same thing.

 

 

 

―DAMN YOU GOD!!!

 

 

And so, my ex-girlfriend’s now my step sister.

“…I’m done.”

Ayai―nope, Yume says coldly, stacking the dinner utensils, and carries them towards the kitchen.

…Shit. The timing’s terrible. I just finished eating. It’s weird for me to leave the table like this.

“I’m done eating.”

I too stack my utensils, and move towards the kitchen―and right before me is Yume, washing her own utensils.

The annoyingly long hair’s looking innocent and wet in color. She looks unhealthily thin, and I think she’s better off at a well instead of a kitchen, counting plates instead of washing them.

Her long eyelashes are down, not moving, and she’s just glaring at me. She’s not saying anything, just the sounds of the plates ringing.

There’s nothing I can say here, so I too stand next to her, and begin washing the dishes.

It’s possible for me to avoid standing next to this woman in the kitchen, but avoiding her outright is a problem. That’s because―

“Oh my, I was worried what’ll happen if a boy and girl at this age are to live together, but they get along unexpectedly well.”

“It’s true! You know, Mizuto-kun just went to the bookshop along with Yume! I guess it’s easy for them to get along well when they have the same interests”

“I’m relieved too. This was what we’re most worried about.”

My dad and her mom’s chatting away happily at the dining table.

Those two have just remarried, and they look so happy every day―unlike us kids.

“…You get that?”

“…What?”

Yume next to me whispers, as though using the sound of tap water to disguise,

“We can’t let them regret it, at all.”

“Got it. I’ll bring my relationship with you to the grave.”

“Please do.”

“…Always with the uppity eyes. When did that start?”

“If it wasn’t like that in the past, that’s 100% your fault.”

“Huh?”

“What?”

“Oii! You two! What are you saying!?”

We can hear dad’s voice from the dining room, and sheath away our heinous looks.

“Just something minor, we’re talking about the books we bought, minor stuff.”

“Ehh, yes, of course. We’re talking about books now.”

“―Ow.”

Yume answers loud and clear, and gives a low kick from a place I can’t see.

“(You don’t have to say ‘minor’ twice. Are your modern language grades alright?)”

“(So happens that I’m in the top 100 for the national mock exam for modern language. You know that right?)

“(…It’s vexing. I regret going all ‘Amazing’ and praising your back then.)”

“(I should be the one angry at myself for accepting your praise just like that.)”

On the surface, we’re acting as stepsiblings who get along really well.

We’re not going to let dad and Yuni-san know of our past relationship, and regret marrying again.

This is the one common understanding Yume and I have established, that we agree on.

And to put it the other way, there’s no common understanding between us.

 

I return to my room, returning the book I bought, knock knock, there’s a sound from the door.

“Dad? What?”

There’s no answer. I’m not happy about stopping, but I can’t bring myself to ruin their new marriage life just because of my careless response―so I tuck the bookmark in, and open the door.

Standing on the corridor’s the one woman I despise most in this world.

In other words, Yume Irido.

“…What?”

The temperature in my “What” probably drops like 100 degrees celsius as I meet Yume at the door.

“Hmph.” Yume snorts with a chortle, as though saying, “This little bit of coldness from you isn’t anything.”

Right now, if I can sugarcoat my feelings with layers and layers of oblaat and describe it, I’ll say this, I want to punch her out.

“Got something to say to you. Are you free now?”

“You think I have free time? You know what I just bought today, didn’t you?”

“I know. That’s why I’m here. I finished reading.”

“Tch.”

Seems like she’s here to stop me from reading.

It’s been like that since we got together; she’s always a little faster than me at reading. If we’re buying the same book and beginning to read at the same time, this woman always finishes her book while I’m only at the climax.

It’s really shady.

That’s what I hate about you.

Thank goodness we broke up.

“…What? Keep it short.”

“Let me in. I don’t want mom to hear this.”

“Tch.”

“Can you don’t click your tongue just for me to hear you?”

“Sure, as long as you disappear before my sight.”

“Tch.”

After checking thoroughly that dad and Yuni-san aren’t around, I let Yume into my room.

Yume looks at her feet as she enters the room.

“This room’s really dirty with all the books around. I feel dirty just entering.”

“When dad went on his business trip the last time, your eyes were glittering like ‘amazing…! It’s like an archive!'”

“That was a really boring time. I feel really frustrated just looking at the full collection of Sherlock Holmes volumes put together neatly like this.”

“Die then. I’ll sink you into the waterfall like Professor Moriarty did.

I sigh as I sit on the bed that’s half covered by books.

“So, what do you want to talk about?”

“I had enough.”

Yume says as she stands there, with a cold expression on her face.

“I can’t take it anymore―how long do I have to keep hearing you address me as ‘Yume-san’?

I frown. There’s no need to hide my displeasure at this woman.

“Aren’t you addressing me like this too? ‘Mizuto-kun’.”

“I’m fine with anyone calling me that, except for you. I can’t stand hearing you call me that. Even when we’re dat―back in middle school, I didn’t allow you to call me that.”

Seems like she hates to say ‘when we’re dating’. I see, I see.

“Well, too bad we have the same family name now. What else can I call you?”

“There is, right? Something appropriate.”

“Like what?”

“‘Onee-chan’.”

…Huh?

“We’re siblings, so you should be calling me ‘onee-chan’, right?”

“No no no hold on hold on hold on.”

I cup my head.

“You? My? Older? Sister?…enough with the nonsense. It’s the other way around, right?”

“Huh?”

“‘Onii-chan’. I’m your older brother. It’s obvious you’re my little sister.”

What nonsense is she talking about?

“…Goodness. Looks like my little stepbrother’s brain cells have gone into hibernation.”

“How about I make you sleep, forever?”

“Let me explain since I’m in the top 100 of the national mock maths exams. Listen up.”

This woman’s better at maths than modern language, and she doesn’t look like a reader. This is unforgivable.

Yume points her index finger, acting like a teacher.

“One condition is that those born earlier in this world are determined as the older one. Next, I’m born earlier than you, that’s two. So, I’m your older sister. That concludes it, get it?”

Yume giddily describes something that’s not math, but logic. More importantly, there’s something about what I hear that I can’t just ignore.

“…If I’m not mistaken, your birthday and mine are exactly the same, right?”

Yep, it’s another trap by God.

This woman and I were born on the same year, same month and same day.

Because of that, it’s not just that we got along well; I still have some dark memories of saying these terrifying words ‘now we can celebrate our birthdays together’ and did the evil ritual of exchanging gifts. That memory’s long locked and thrown into the trash.”

“So we shouldn’t even be addressing each other as older brother or sister here.”

“But I thought you just loudly declared me as your little sister, right?”

I’m more accepting of having a little stepsister than an older stepsister, that’s all. There’s nothing else.

“Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with what I just said. We’re born on exactly the same date―but not the time of birth.”

“Time of birth?”

“I looked into it.”

She sounds like a constable as she frisks her smartphone, showing it to me.

“Look.”

There’s a baby photo on the screen. It’s an album photo, and there are words below.

“You’re born at 11.34am.”

Yume slides the screen, and shows another baby photo, pointing at the time listed.

“And according to this photo, I was born before 11.04am at least. I’m older than you by at least 30 minutes. You get that?”

………Is she for real?

Did she just look for my family photo album just for this? Just to investigate?

“That’s disgusting.”

I express my honest thoughts, and Yume just starts blushing out of a sudden.

“Wh…why!? The perfect reasoning needs perfect evidence, right?”

“Your mystery maniac tendencies are leaking. Can’t you just play puzzles instead of treating it as a mystery to be solved?”

“Woah, you’ve done it! You declared war on everyone in the mystery war! Bring it on!?”

“Well, you’re calling things fair or unfair, but you never started trying to solve mysteries before the reveal. If I go by your logic, too bad, there’s still a flaw.”

“What do you mean, flaw!? You’re talking about your own rotten eyes right!?”

This detective story maniac is raging away because she was hit at where it hurts (and she’s also the type to ignore all challenges from the readers), so I refute,

“You say ‘those born earlier in this world are determined as the older one.’―as a condition, but there’s a misconception. In ancient Japan, when there are twins, the first to be born is considered the younger sibling.”

“Eh? Why?”

Yume starts to look interested, and tilts her head slightly,

“Some say that the one born first is to pave the way for the older sibling, and some say the later born is higher up in the uterus. There’s a lot of sayings, but anyway, if we take us stepsiblings as twins since we’re born on the same day, you’re my little sister since you’re born later. Right, anything to refute?”

“W-we aren’t even twins…”

“If you want to put it that way, we aren’t even siblings. We’re just tagalongs of our parents.”

“Uuu…uuu~~…”

Yume starts to grumble about something in regret as she glares at me. Hahaha, now prostate obediently before me.

“…No, wait a sec?’

“Not waiting. Get out.”

“That topic about the order of twins is an old story, right? Don’t we just treat the first one out at the older one nowadays…?”

“…Tch. Can’t you just be fooled by me quietly?”

“Ahhh!? Th-that’s you bluffing me!?”

“Anyway, I’m the older brother. Yes, Q.E.D. Case closed.”

“I’m the older sister! You know how pitiful it is to be your little sister?”

We glare at each other. Sugarcoating it, I’ll say that sparks are flying. Right now, I’ll say that we’re clashing in a Futaro Yamada work, cutting at each other, blood flying everywhere.

Yume’s eyes are already beyond serious. It’s like Shiro Amakusa in Makai Tensho. I look at her, sigh, and stop posturing.

“…There’s no end to this if we keep glaring. How about we settle this with a game? That’s what rational people should do.”

“It annoys me to hear you say that, but that makes sense.”

“So what are we doing? Rock-paper-scissors? Draw lots? Coin toss?”

“Wait a sec.”

“Not waiting, get out.”

“Stop answering like you’re on auto-reply, okay!?”

Oops, forgot to switch off the bot.

Yume puts her hand at her mouth, “Now then…” and says wiseles.

“…So, how about it?”

“I really want to deny it with all I have, but thank goodness I’m a rational human being. I’ll hear you out.

“You vex me…but we’ll have to hide our real relationship from now on, and we have to act like stepsiblings who get along really well. You get that so far?”

“Unfortunately, yes.”

“Seems like there won’t be a problem now, but we might end up revealing it in the future―in other words, not act like stepsiblings, you know? How about the one who does this first loses?”

Hmm…you sure?”

“What?”

“If we go by these rules, of course I’ll win.”

“Are you taking me for an idiot?”

Actually, that’s a logical conclusion if we go by the facts.

“…Well, that’s fine with me. It gives me some sense of tension, and can help in hiding our relationship…just to note, this applies even without dad or Yuni-san around, right?”

“Of course. It applies even now.”

“I see. ‘So the one who says anything unlike a proper stepsibling becomes the younger one’?”

“One loss means the loser only has to be the younger one for once. We’ll work out the details later.”

“There’s no point if it’s decided full time on sudden death. let’s do this.”

“Alright, right now―start!”

Pak! Yume clapped her hands together―and right after.

She quickly heads towards my bookshelf, and naturally starts searching through it.

“Wait…what are you doin!?”

“Eh~? It’s normal, isn’t it? We’re siblings after all~.”

This woman’s grinning away happily, and only then did I realize the real intent behind this rule.

If it’s anything considered normal between siblings, I can’t look annoyed even if I hate what she does, because it makes it ‘not something siblings will say’.

In other words…this one rule is just a get out of jail free card for her to do anything she wants!

Th-this woman…! She came up with such a rule for this reason!? She’s really rotten to the core! If there’s any boy who can fall for such a rotten woman, then he too is rotten to the core!

…Uh oh.

I glare at the woman as she pulls a book out from the school, going all ‘hmph’, heh’, ‘woah’ and such, and feel a sense of danger in my heart.

Having someone check on my bookshelf is like having my heart read, and I’m a little jumpy. Luckily, there’s nothing that’s not to be seen up there. At most, there are some erotic light novels.

The problem’s…to the side, the desk I use for studying.

This is what I call the only pandora box in my room, the novel I wrote back in middle school, the stuff I bought from the drugstore when my mind was in a mess―and also, the present I received from this woman when we’re still dating!

Once I thought about her spotting that thing―

“Woah, you still have that thing here? Are you, still having thoughts about me? Eh~? Really, don’t do that~! That’s disgusting~!”

―I can definitely imagine that.

If this keeps up, it’s only a matter of time until Yume directs her attention to my desk. I need to distract her while I still can, and in a way that won’t feel out of place between stepsiblings!

I try to think of a breakthrough, mobilizing all my brain cells. It’s the first time I’ve used my brain so much ever since the high school entrance exams.

Then, I guess I didn’t waste my efforts thinking hard about it―I finally figure out how to use this ‘sibling rule’ in another way.

“―…Spare me already.”

Once she hears the weak voice from my mouth, Yume’s black hair sways as she turns back at me.

I stand up from the bed, and look at her. She’s starting to look a little perturbed as she looks up at my face.

“Seriously, I don’t want to keep feuding with you…”

“Eh…”

Yume widens her eyes, her eyes reflecting my strange look.

“I’ll apologize if you’re still angry. I’ll disappear from your sight. So…can we stop feuding on like this already?”

I put my hands on her shoulders, and tell her with the most serious voice possible.

Yume’s eyes wander around, and again, she looks up at my eyes.

The large eyes are faltering a little. She stares at my face blankly, the doubt on her face starting to disappear.

And then, her eyes focuses on the my serious look―

“……..Irido, kun………”

“Yes, you’re out.”

“Eh?”

I smile at Yume while her mouth is slightly agape.

“Siblings don’t call each other by family name.”

Yume looks dumbfounded, and slowly, like hot water with a tea bag, it starts to turn rd.

I made this woman remember our past relationship―and I guess she realized this is the way to win using this rule.

“Im…i-in that case…aren’t you out too?”

“How? Isn’t it common sense not to feud? We’re siblings after all.”

“Ahhhhh……!!! Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu……!!”

My ‘little stepsister’ ears are red all over, and I look down at her with glee.

“So…as promised, you’re now my little stepsister, right?”

“Wh-what do you want…!?”

“Don’t tuck your tail and run. What do you think being a little stepsister is about?”

I really do want to humiliate this woman to my heart’s content, but there’s a limit to what I can do. We’ll leave the cat ears little stepsister maid treatment for the next time.

“Well, it’s the first time, so let’s make it simple. Change the way you address me.”

“Li-like how…?”

“As you wish.”

Let’s see what’s your ideal of a little stepsister. LOLOLOLOLOL! Yippee ay ay! (starts opening my mouth wide and guzzling red wine)

“Uu~…” Yume clearly looks displeased, her eyes just wandering listlessly as she puts her fist before her chest― she looks up at me with her blushing, embarrassed face.

The shaky, soft voice rings at my ears.

 

“O……onii, chan…”

 

“……………”

 

I turn my face aside.

“O-out! That reaction of yours is foul! A normal sibling can’t be embarrassed just by being called.”

“…I wasn’t embarrassed.”

“You were! How long do you think I’ve seen that face!?”

“I don’t know. Did you mistake me for someone else? I think our first encounter was just days ago?”

“Y-you’re despicable! Despicable despicable despicable despicable despicable!!”

Yume’s stomping away on the floor like a kid, and I make sure not to turn towards her. My face’s definitely not feeling hot, my heart isn’t racing, and I don’t want her to call me that one more time, but I can’t just bring myself to turn my face towards her.

Yume’s rage continues to rise, but it’s a little too much.

“Yume~? It seems a little noisy up there~?”

I can hear Yuni-san’s voice downstairs. That voice’s my respite, and I force a smile, acting like the winner.

“Time’s up.”

“G-grrrr…!”

“Well, if there’s a lesson to be learned, don’t mess with me next time. I guess someone who loves to read mystery novels will look into it too much, but there’s a difference between you and me here.”

Over here, here. I say, tapping at my temple.

I don’t know if she’s fuming or regretting it, but Yume’s face is increasingly flushed, unable to say anything, only some tears coming out from her eyes.

“……You wouldn’t say such cruel things in the past…!!”

…Don’t cry already, you despicable one.

I fondle with my bangs, feeling a little awkward.

…Guess I got too carried away. For folks like us who prefer to read, the most critical damage to us is an attack on our personalities. It’s like the tabloids rummaging a criminal’s bookshelf all over, adding this and that nonsense…yep, guess I overdid it..

I say, and begrudgingly, gingerly, reach my right hand out―tap tap, up, I pat Yume’s head gently as though I’m dealing with a kid.

“Yes yes. My bad here, sorry. Onee―nee-san.”

…It’s nostalgic. It used to be like this too, whenever Ayai looks like at me with a bashful look―

But Yume now isn’t looking embarrassed or anything.

Right now, her body’s shaking away, like a volcano inching towards eruption.

“………Tha.”

“That?”

“That’s…it! I hate how you’re always able to do this!! You shitty onii-chan!!”

Well, Yume just spits out this brand new sentence, gets tripped over by the books on the floor, and dashes out of the room.

I stand alone in the room, dumbfounded.

…I never saw such a reaction before, even when we were dating.

“…Goodness…”

―Same goes for me.

Same goes for you too―you look so weak, but you hate to lose, mature, yet immature…I forgot most of it, but now she’s showing a face I never saw before―

―That’s what I hate about you.

And so,

“…Morning, Mizuto-kun.”

“…Morning, Yume-san.”

The way we address each other hasn’t changed.

Basically, according to our rule, the one who breaks it becomes the little sibling for a moment. If not for that, there’ll be a mysterious relationship if we go about calling each other ‘nee-san’ and ‘onii-chan’.

If there’s anything that has changed―

“Mizuto-kun, the soy sauce please?”

“Ahh, yes, Yume-san.”

I pass the soy sauce to her, and for a moment, our eyes meet.

―There’s no way I’m going to be your little sister. Absolutely not.

―What a coincidence. No way I’m going to be your little brother.

We wordlessly convey our intentions.

There’s no way I can get along with this woman. We dated in middle school, but that’s just us being so foolish because something went wrong. The biggest takeaway from yesterday is that I have further understood this.

We gather at the same table for breakfast, and we’re kicking each other under it. Next to us, dad and Yuni-san are just chatting away with happy looks, not realizing what’s going on.

We’re the only one who know of our relationship.

We’re the only ones who know that we’re sworn enemies who hate each other more than anyone else in this world, living under the same roof, in the same family.

…Despite that.

“Yume-san, return the soy sauce.”

“Alright, Mizuto-kun.”

Even when we’re dating, we addressed each other by family names, and we end up addressing each other by given names now that we broke up―I think that God bastard sure loves irony.

One thought on “[Mamahaha V1] Chapter 1 – The ex-couple refuses to address each other (This is what I hate about you)

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