Hellping

There’s only one TV in our house. Hardly anyone would watch, but there’s one inconvenience that was sufficient grievance for me to complain about.

After all, it was because of the behavior of my little stepbrother, Mizuto Irido.

Given his tendency to read his books in the living room, he had taken this living room, a public space in the home, as a second private room—this particular vice had been exacerbated recently by the fact that he made a friend who had otaku interests that weren’t just limited to reading.

It’s said that the contents of novels could only be understood by those reading them, but the TV images could be seen by anyone.

Due to this particular distinction, this unexpected tragedy of a situation happened when I returned home.

 

“…What’s that?”

 

I ask, and Mizuto answered without looking back.

 

“Some anime Higashira recommended.”

 

I thought so. He hardly watched anime, and on the rare occasion he did, I could easily imagine his otaku friend, Isana Higashira, being a significant influence.

I could understand that much. I know that much, but,

 

“Look, I have no idea as to why you’re watching anime with skin exposed in the living room, of all places…?”

 

Naked.

That was how it looked to me at least.

There was a pretty naked girl dancing around on the screen.

And my little stepbrother living with me was staring at the footage intently with a grim look.

 

“Is there something wrong about watching anime on TV?”

“No…I’m here, remember?”

“So what?”

“… You’re not ashamed?”

“What’s embarrassing about an anime with quality that Higashira has sworn by the archons? You sure have the guts to taunt my friend. I’ll see you in court.”

“That’s too much!?”

 

I didn’t know when exactly did he become that overprotective of her—so I wondered, but the pretty girl on the screen became increasingly revolting, blushed, and started making noises that were not appropriate for an evening living room.

I-is this fine for someone underaged to watch…?

I was overwhelmed with such awkwardness that was far beyond that of a kissing scene in a drama. I feel itchy. I had the urge to run away at this moment, but that’s just me. I wondered how Mizuto felt about being seen by a stepsibling of the opposite sex and the same age.

 

“… Hmm.”

 

My little stepbrother muttered something as he saw the pretty girl’s indecency.

 

“I see.”

 

What!?

What’s there to admire about!?

I can only see an erotic video!

 

What’s with his mentality …?

Is it normal to be so lost in the moment?

It’s as if he didn’t realize I was around recognize me—

 

“…………”

 

I tried my best to suppress my reaction.

Let’s just ignore it.

Let’s pretend I didn’t see it.

Let’s just leave as if nothing had happened. This might be the best course of action.

 

It was easy once I made up my mind.

I didn’t say a word, climbed the stairs, and entered my room.

I changed out of my outdoor clothes, into my indoor clothes, and replied to my messages on LINE.

 

About half an hour later.

 

…I was thirsty.

I wanted to head down to the living room, but at this moment, he—no, wait, an anime episode should be 30 minutes long, right? He should be done with it then.

So I thought, and feeling relieved, I went down the stairs.

 

There was a pretty naked girl dancing around.

 

“…………”

“…………”

 

And Mizuto stared intently with a straight face.

 

“…… Hey.”

“What is it? I’m busy. ”

“If I remember correctly…that looks like the same scene as before. ”

“…………”

 

My little stepbrother went silent for about five seconds.

 

“…….It’s a flashback scene.”

“What’s with the artistic intent? What kind of story requires a flashback of an ecchi scene?”

“Shut up, amateur. You don’t get to tell the script.”

 

Mizuto said tersely without looking away from the TV.

Huh…does that, erm…suit his tastes or something. Was that why he had been watching it over and over again? So openly in a public living room–?

…No?

If he really had nothing to be ashamed of, he wouldn’t have called it a flashback. If so, what’s the point of watching the same scene, the same story, twice?

 

“… Hmm.”

 

I covered my smirking mouth with my hand.

 

“I see, huh?”

 

I took some tea out of the fridge and drank it, put the cup in the sink, and put my hand on the living room door.

Before leaving, I said to Mizuto, who was sitting on the sofa,

 

“I’ll be in my room for the next half hour—you can concentrate on your anime all you want, you know? ”

“…Grr.”

 

I chuckled once I saw the wince on my little stepbrother’s face.

It seemed he hadn’t lost to an anime character yet–too bad.

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