Hellping

“…………”

“…………”

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

My opponent was a girl my age, and there was nothing else between us─ or so I wished to say, but I have to admit, there’s a relationship beyond that, or at least, there used to be.

“…Where are you going, Mizuto-kun?”

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

The girl asked; I replied, and all that followed was silence.

It was the third time.

I already knew where this woman was going even without asking. It’s the large bookstore before the station. A certain publisher of mystery novels had just made a new release, and I was planning on picking up a new series; it seemed like this woman had the same idea.

At this rate, we’d end up leaving the entrance, walking alongside to the bookstore, going to the same corner, and queuing at the same cashier.

Wouldn’t we totally look like a couple with the same taste in books?

Those kinds of misunderstandings were exactly what we wanted to avoid.

Basically, we were in a deadlock. We couldn’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 couldn’t we just talk it out? No way. There’s no way it would happen with her.

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

Yuni-san, dressed in a suit, appeared from the living room. She became my mother just last week. In other words, she married my father–and she’s the actual mother of the girl before me.

“Aren’t you two going out?”

“Well, about to.”

Bye then, I was about to say that and walk out like a smooth operator, but Yuni-san said,

“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 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…”

I could only agree since she said so. I sensed a murderous glare next to me.

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

Leaving those words behind, Yuni-san disappeared beyond the entrance door. After that, she and I, siblings, were the only ones left behind.

Yes. We’re siblings. But, stepsiblings.

Our parents remarried, so she was a tagalong.

“…Why did you just agree?”

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

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

“Like I’d 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 didn’t know.

She and I were the only ones who knew of our true relationship.

 

I, Mizuto Irido―

 

And she, Yume Irido―

 

―Were boyfriend and girlfriend until just 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 year of middle school.

The moment that could truly 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 was a really cliche situation, and thinking back about it, it was easy to guess what happened next; I took the book down, and gave it to her.

If I could just rewind to that exact moment, I’d really want to tell the past me to just leave that woman alone.

But I couldn’t predict the future, and once I saw the cover of the book she was reaching for, I foolishly spoke to her.

 

――Do you like detective novels too?

 

I’m really not a mystery maniac.  I was, and still am, 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 knew about it, I couldn’t say I liked it.

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

It was a trap set by God. In other words, fate.

We had our fated encounter, and just like that, we got along really well with each other, bumping into each other at the library nobody visited during summer vacation. As August came to pass, with summer vacation all but over, I received her confession.

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

Yume Ayai. That was her name back then.

 

Now then, It goes without saying, this was the prelude to destruction.

By the way, 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 was uncommon for middle school couples to stay together for the rest of their lives.

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

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 was more like a graze near the mouth though, and Ayai’s smiling, blushing face remains etched inside my mind like a photo.

There’s only one thing I’d say about that photo.

Die.

That woman can die, and so can the me from back then.

…Anyway, our relationship way back then was relatively smooth sailing, but when we started our third year, a divide appeared between us.

The divide being that Ayai has improved on her timidity.

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

 

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

Yeah, lip service.

What my heart was 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 be 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 was troubled by that, not understanding, but she still worked hard to make me happy. Then again, that touched my nerves.

Yep, I know. Part of the reason was because of Ayai’s growth, but the real reason was because of my stupid desire to monopolize her for myself. She hadn’t done 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 once I realized my mistake, I apologized to her, lowering my head. I got jealous of her because of such a reason, that I’d apologize for being angry at her for no reason, that I hoped she wouldn’t mind.

And yet, 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 didn’t have any memories of that. Maybe it was 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 a tantrum. I apologized, I lowered my head. It was up to her to forgive me, I get that.

But why did I have to be scolded for  a ridiculous misunderstanding and a presumptuous assumption?

No no, well, maybe this sort of thing happens out of impulse. I apologized because it happened to me once. 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. Isn’t that right? Isn’t it weird?

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

But―once there’s a dent 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 was because we were both too apprehensive. Neither of us had the courage.

It was all because we continued to cling onto the happy memories. But when we didn’t contact each other even once on Valentine’s, that’s when we were convinced. There was no way we could go back to how it was before.

And at graduation, I said,

 

―Let’s break up.

―Mn.

 

Quick and simple. Not a single tear was shed.

She wasn’t 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 looked 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 while I was sad about his decision to remarry, 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 daughter…is that fine with you?

 

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

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

And so when I was brought to meet my stepmother and stepsister, I felt like 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 became my step sister.

“…I’m done.”

Ayai―nope, Yume coldly said as she stacked the dinner utensils, and carried them to the kitchen.

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

“I’m done eating too”

I too stacked my utensils, and moved towards the kitchen. Right before me was Yume, washing her own utensils.

Her annoyingly long hair looked innocent and wet in color. She looked unhealthily thin, and I think she was better off at a well instead of a kitchen, counting plates instead of washing them.

Her long eyelashes were still and drooping, and she glared at me. She didn’t say anything, just the sounds of the plates clanking.

There was nothing I could say, so I stood next to her, and began washing the dishes too.

I could avoid standing next to this woman in the kitchen, but there’s a problem with avoiding her outright. 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 were chatting away happily at the dining table. Those two had just remarried, and they looked so happy every day―unlike us kids.

“…You get that?”

“…What?”

Yume whispered with the water sounds as a 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 heard dad’s voice from the dining room, and sheathed 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 answered loud and clear, and gave a low kick from a place I couldn’t see.

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

“(It just 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 you back then.)”

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

On the surface, we were acting as stepsiblings who got along really well. We weren’t going to let dad and Yuni-san know of our past relationship, and regret marrying again. It’s the one common understanding Yume and I established and agreed on. Looking at it the other way, we agreed on nothing else.

 

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

“Dad? What?”

There was no answer. I wasn’t happy about stopping, but I couldn’t bring myself to ruin their new marriage life just because of my careless response―so I tucked the bookmark in, and opened the door.

Standing in the corridor was the one woman I despised most in this world.

In other words, Yume Irido.

“…What?”

The temperature of my “What” probably dropped to about minus 100 degrees celsius as I met Yume at the door.

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

If I could sugarcoat my feelings with layers and layers of oblaat, I’d say this, I wanted to punch her out.

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

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

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

“Tch.”

It seemed she’s here to stop me from reading. It’s been like that ever since we got together; she had always been a little faster than me at reading. If we bought the same book and began to read at the same time, this woman would always finish her book while I was still 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 not click your tongue so loudly?”

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

“Tch.”

After making sure that dad and Yuni-san weren’t around, I let Yume into my room.

Yume looked at her feet as she entered 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 sighed, and sat on the bed that’s half covered by books.

“So, what do you want to talk about?”

“I had enough.”

Yume said as she stood 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 frowned. There was no need to hide my displeasure at this woman.

“Aren’t you addressing me as ‘Mizuto-kun’ yourself?”

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

It seemed she hated 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 cupped 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.”

She’s better at maths than modern language, and certainly didn’t seem like a bookworm. This was unforgivable.

Yume pointed 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 was born earlier than you, that’s two. So, I’m your older sister. That concludes it, get it?”

Yume giddily described something that wasn’t math, but logic. More importantly, there was something about what I had just heard that I couldn’t just ignore.

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

Yep, it was another trap by God. This woman and I were born on the same year, same month, same day.

Because of that, we got along well, and more; I still have some dark memories of saying these terrifying words, ‘now we can celebrate our birthdays together’, and doing the evil ritual of exchanging gifts. That memory had long been locked away and thrown into the dumpster.

“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 was more accepting of having a little stepsister than an older stepsister, that’s all. There’s nothing else to it.

“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 sounded like a constable as she frisked 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 were born at 11.34am.”

Yume swiped the screen and showed 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 search for my family photo album? Just to investigate?

“That’s disgusting.”

I expressed my honest thoughts, and Yume just started blushing all 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’ve declared war on everyone in the mystery world! Bring it on!?”

“Well, you’re calling things fair or unfair, but you never even tried 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 was raging away because she was hit where it hurts (and she was also the type to ignore all challenges set by the authors for the readers), so I refuted,

“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 began to look interested, and tilted 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 started grumbling about something in regret as she glared 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 glared at each other. Sugarcoating it, I’ll say that sparks were flying. Right now, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say we were clashing in a Futaro Yamada work, cutting at each other, blood flying everywhere.

Yume’s eyes were already beyond serious. It’s like Shiro Amakusa in Makai Tensho. I looked at her, sighed, and stopped my 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 going to do? 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 placed her hand on her mouth, “Now then…” and said wisely.

“…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 step siblings 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 step siblings, 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 headed towards my bookshelf, and naturally started searching through it.

“Wait…what are you doing!?”

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

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

If it’s something that is considered normal between siblings, I couldn’t look annoyed even if I hated what she’s doing, because doing so makes it ‘not something siblings will do’.

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 a boy who can fall for such a rotten woman existed, then he too must be rotten to the core!

…Uh oh.

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

Having someone check on my bookshelf was like having my heart read, and I was a little jumpy. Luckily, there was nothing unsightly up there. At most, there were a few erotic light novels.

The problem was…to the side, the desk I used for studying.

That desk could be considered as the only  pandora’s box in my room. It contained the novel I wrote back in middle school, the stuff I bought from the drugstore when my head got heavy―as well as the present I received from this woman when we were still dating!

As the thought of her her spotting those things crossed my mind―

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

―I could definitely imagine that happening.

If this kept up, it’s only a matter of time until Yume directed her attention to my desk. I needed to distract her while I still could, and in a way that wouldn’t feel out of place between stepsiblings!

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

But then, I guess my efforts thinking hard about it paid off―allowing me to finally figure out how to use this ‘sibling rule’ in another way.

“―…Spare me already.”

Hearing the weak voice from my mouth, Yume’s black hair swayed as she turned back towards me.

I stood up from the bed, and looked at her. She was starting to look a little perturbed as she looked up at my face.

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

“Eh…”

Yume’s eyes widened as they reflected 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 placed my hands on her shoulders, and told her with the most serious voice I could possibly muster.

Yume’s eyes wandered around, and again, she looked up at my eyes.

Those large eyes faltered a little. She stared at my face blankly, the doubt on her face starting to disappear.

Then, her eyes focused on the my serious look―

“……..Irido, kun………”

“Yes, you’re out.”

“Eh?”

I smiled at Yume as her mouth was slightly agape.

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

Yume looked dumbfounded, and slowly, like hot water with a tea bag, started to turn red.

I made this woman remember our past relationship―and I guess she realized this was 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 step sister’s’ ears are red all over, and I looked down at her with glee.

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

“Wh-what do you want…!?”

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

I really did want to humiliate this woman to my heart’s content, but there was a limit to what I could do. We’ll leave the cat ears little step sister maid treatment for 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 looked displeased, her eyes just wandering listlessly as she puts her fists before her chest― she looks up at me with her blushing, embarrassed face.

The shaky, soft voice rang into my ears.

“O……onii, chan…”

“……………”

I turned 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 a few days ago?”

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

Yume stomped away on the floor like a kid, and I made sure not to turn towards her. My face was definitely not feeling hot, my heart wasn’t racing, and I didn’t want her to call me that one more time, but I couldn’t just bring myself to turn my face towards her.

Yume’s rage continued to rise, but it was getting a little too much.

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

I heard Yuni-san’s voice downstairs. That voice was my respite, and I forced 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 didn’t know if she was fuming or regretting it, but Yume’s face was astonishingly flushed, unable to say anything, with a few 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 was akin to the tabloids rummaging a criminal’s bookshelf all over, adding this and that nonsense…yep, guess I overdid it..

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

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

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

But the Yume now wasn’t looking embarrassed or anything.

Right now, her body was shaking away, like a volcano inching towards an eruption.

“………Tha.”

“That?”

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

Well, Yume just spat out this brand new sentence, got tripped over by the books on the floor, and dashed out of the room.

I stood 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. You’re 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 addressed each other hasn’t changed.

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

If there was anything that has changed―

“Mizuto-kun, the soy sauce please?”

“Ahh, yes, Yume-san.”

I passed the soy sauce to her, and for a moment, our eyes met.

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

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

We wordlessly conveyed our intentions.

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

We gathered at the same table for breakfast, kicking each other under it. Next to us, dad and Yuni-san were just chatting away with happy looks, not realizing what was going on.

We were the only one who knew of our relationship.

We were the only ones who knew that we were sworn enemies who hated 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 were dating, we would address each other by our 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.

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

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