The storm surged.
“Yeah, the train has stopped. Looks like we won’t be able to return home tonight. I’ve met up with Yuni-san—”
“Do watch the house with Yume, Mizuto-kun!”
Okay, I answered, and hung up.
I looked towards the garden, and the rain continued to pour sideways, pelting at the window.
It’s the latter half of June. The looming summer meant that a typhoon was nar, and the typhoon, seemingly choosing to fall at the evening because of the school attendees and the office works, immediately robbed them of their freedom to move. In other words—
“……How’s mom and uncle? Can they come back?”
“No……they said they’ll be staying at a business hotel. Will be back tomorrow.”
My little stepsister Yume Irido asked, and I answered without looking back.
The howling winds were the only sounds in the living room of two.
Well, that’s the situation.
In other words, we had to survive this entire night by ourselves.
“……Let’s prepare dinner then. There’s probably something in the fridge.”
“……Yeah. I remember we got some frozen stuff left. Better cook some rice—”
Hm? Do you think we’ll lose our calmness just because we’re alone at home?
We’ve been living together for almost three months, and we’ve experienced this so many times already. It’s the first time that we have to spend the night alone together, but it’s just an extension of what we’ve experienced so far.
Humans are creatures that grow, and creatures that adapt.
It’s not even a hassle to us at this point—
—Or so I thought.
After dinner and bath, it’s the middle of the night, and we were waiting to sleep, when suddenly, there was a sudden shrill shriek.
Is it a murder case or something?
I frowned and exited the room. What’s she yapping away at late at night—
And then, a long haired girl hugged me.
For a moment, I thought it was Sadako, but it’s just my little stepsister.
Yume buried her face into my shoulder. There was a floral shampoo smell coming from her black hair that’s bundled into two tails, and I struggled to shut it out of my consciousness.
I asked calmly and nonchalantly, and Yume shivered as she pointed at her ajar door..
“T-that thing……that thing’s……!”
That thing? Say what it is. It’s not like Voldemort’s in your room.
So I quietly grumbled as I looked towards Yume’s room, and instinctively realized that the example I raised might not be far off the mark.
It’s on the carpet.
I spotted It-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, the dark king that plunged the world into terror.
I saw that little dark afterimage darting across the carpet.
“D-do something about it……! Pesticide! Where’s the pesticide!?”
I determined the situation precisely, and chose the most appropriate action.
In other words, I stormed into the room, grabbed the door handle,
—And slammed the door shut.
“Look at where you sealed that thing!?”
I didn’t let my guard down, and tiptoed away from the sealed place.
Yume saw this, let go of me, and narrowed her eyes.
“Wait……you’re scared of bugs?”
“……That’s one way of putting it.”
“That’s the only way of putting it! Don’t you find it embarrassing!? It’s like waking up from a hundred year love affair!”
“It’s just a year at most, and I’m already sober.”
I tried to retreat towards my room tactically, only for Yume to grab my hand.
“Enough alright. Get the pesticide! I don’t know where it is!”
“You make it sound so easy, but you’re just going to make me get it and kill it and settle the rest, right! How shameless of you to act like a weak girl now!”
“It’s a lot better than being a useless guy!”
I had no choice, so I got the pesticide from the first floor. As expected, Yume hid behind me, I’ll leave it to you, and muttered. Argh damn it, I always left this to dad. Why today of all days……!?
I held the spray can, resolved myself, and opened the door to Yume’s room.
My eyes landed upon the carpet I had just witnessed, and I began to scan the floor. Yume had a lot of books in her room, but she had her books totaling to the hundreds stacked neatly in the bookshelves or the cardboard boxes, unlike me who had mine scattered all over the floor.
Thus, there were few blind spots in the room……supposedly.
“……Now we don’t know where it’s gone……!”
That thing, that terrifying thing, was gone without a trace along with its presence.
I gritted my teeth bitterly.
“…In that case, let’s carpet comb it…I’ll spray the pesticide all over so that it can’t run!”
“Eh? Then where do I sleep tonight?”
“Isn’t dad’s room empty?”
“Huh……? Yo-you want me to sleep on a newlyweds’ bed!?”
……I really didn’t think about it. It’s my own dad after all……I unwittingly ignored it.
“So how about the living room sofa?”
“Haaa…I’ll take the sofa, so you take the bed—”
Yume said adamantly, and her hand tugged at the sleeve of my pajamas.
“If another one shows up again…I don’t know what I’ll do …”
Didn’t she know that even if she’s with me, she’d just be trembling away?
I sprayed the pesticide in Yume’s room (luckily there’s no PC in the room), sprayedit at the door, and the perfect seal was complete.
“Now it has nowhere to go…there’s no way it can survive.”
“Feels like you just gave it a survival flag.”
We then moved to my room.
Yume closed my door, and cautiously evaded the stacks of books on the floor, frowning.
”This room’s a lot dirtier than mine, but why’s it in my room…”
”My room’s well ventilated in the winter, so I guess the drop in temperature killed its eggs…speaking of which, your room was empty the entire time, so it wasn’t ventilated properly …”
Pomf. Yume fell butt-first onto my bed while in her pajamas.
Her long black hair was tied in two white scrunchies, and they fell onto her chest. Seeing that nostalgic (though I hate to admit it) face, I asked the question I had raised umpteenth times.
“…Say, you serious?”
“What are you worried about?”
Yume’s stare stabbed through me.
“Are you…that unconfident that you won’t do anything towards me?”
She moved her hands behind her, as though declaring that she’s not going to run or hide.
She’s just wearing thin pajamas.
It’s usually never a sight to be shown to others, only to family and lover.
I suppose one needs a lot of courage to show such an outfit proudly. Thus, I should answer her with the appropriate amount of guts and sanity.
So she usually wears a bra while in her nightwear?
Let’s seal off the instinctive thought immediately, just like the bug next door.
“Fuuu. Of course. We never did so in middle school even though you looked forward to it.”
I knelt down by the bed on one knee, and lifted the blanket.
“…Do I take the wall side?”
“You don’t want to?”
“…No, it’s nothing. I don’t mind.”
Yume snuggled under the blanket, and then I realized something. If she’s sleeping by the wall, wouldn’t she have nowhere to go if something happened?
…Well, no issues here. This something wouldn’t happen after all.
I too entered the blanket, and switched off the lights with the remote.
My vision turned dark immediately, and filling my senses were the breathing echoing in my ears, and the warmth I felt behind me.
I tried to stand up and pull some distance, and nearly fell from the bed instead.
I nudged back a little, and my butt touched something soft, so I shivered and escaped immediately.
The range which my feet could move was severely cramped, and if moved a little back, I would’ve touched something like a silky thigh. Whenever we touched, I would move aside in a panic, and touch again……so this happened over and over again until we ended up in purgatory, not touching, and gave up on moving.
And then, our ankles touched.
We ignored each other for quite a while, and then she moved away…before putting her foot on mine.
I was a little peeved, and wanted to move my foot away, but she resisted, and clamped on my foot with her feet.
I poked at her toenails with my big toe, trying to release myself. She continued to resist through her own big toe, and she stuck it between my big toe and the long time. Owie. I too exerted strength, and pinched at hers.
And then—finally, she reached her hand out, shoving at my back for some reason.
I caught it with my left hand, and shoved it back.
Our fine fingers nudged and tickled each other, and were finally locked together for quite a while.
—I could hear the howling winds from afar.
Neither dad nor Yuni-san would be able to make it home, physically.
At this point, here, unlike the usual whatever we did—would never be witnessed by them, unlike the usual.
…What was I thinking?.
You’re asking what we’re intending to do here? Of course it’s sleep. What else could we do?
After all, this furniture called the bed was such an existence to us.
None at all.
So, at this point, there’s just two of us alone in this house, for an entire night, with nobody going to interrupt her. There’s no need, no need, no no no need to think about anything else—
And suddenly, two arms latched onto me tightly.
Stunned, I felt this sensation.
The two hands went under my armpits, grabbing my chest.
I could feel the soft sensation through the fabric, touching my shoulder blades.
Along with the slightly damp breath at my neck.
No, no way?
Aren’t you the one who made sure this wouldn’t happen?
And you’re the one taunting me now—
THUMP THUMP THUMP, the loud heartbeat rang loudly at my ears.
It might be mine, or maybe it’s hers that’s coming through her compressed chest on my back.
Aw hell naw.
Better keep it in.
I wanted to hold down the left side of my chest with my hand, but it’s already occupied by hers.
Ahh, I’m a goner.
I turned my body behind—
And then, I could hear a timid, shivering voice behind me.
“Did you…hear something just now …?”
I silently pricked my ears.
My brain went from 100 to 0.
My heart raced because of something else.
W-wait a sec…that seal wasn’t enough!?
“T-the lights! Get the lights!”
I switched the lights on using the remote by the pillow.
I quickly scanned the room—and spotted that black existence resting between the pile of books on the floor!
We immediately kicked the blanket off.
That dreaded thing broke through the seal and came here!!
Yume kept yelling away while she clung onto my back. Argh, I can’t move! Can’t you show some fight here!?
Thank goodness I had the pesticide next to me just in case. There’s a lot of things in the room—and if the target’s gone, it’s way too unlikely that we’d see it again.
“…Got to move…right here, right now…!!”
I grabbed the pesticide, and got off the bed.
I tiptoed towards it, making sure that I didn’t agitate it…
Does this thing have a killing desire sensor or what? It just jolted off with much explosiveness the moment I squeezed the trigger!
“You’re not running away!!”
That definitely was the fastest reaction I had ever shown in my life.
I locked on immediately, and sprayed the canister. This 360 no scope precision even pro gamers would die for immediately caught that black body, and paralyzed it.
I kept spraying even after it didn’t move.
“Ugh…it’s still alive …”
Absolutely disgusting. It disgusts me.
For a moment, the biological disgust I had of it turned me into a high school girl. I kept spraying at it until it couldn’t move at all.
So that’s the mentality of an antagonist who keeps standing up against the protagonist? I really understood then why they would want to lash out.
After spraying for dozens of seconds, Yume, standing behind me, asked timidly,
“…Is it dead?”
I had a feeling that it’d revive if I boldly proclaimed so. What’s with that thing? Some transforming boss?
I killed it, but I couldn’t just leave its carcass there.
I covered it in a white tissue like it’s a human corpse, scooped it up, and sealed it in a vinyl bag with many layers.
The seal should be perfect this time.
Yume let out a long sigh once she saw me seal the bag tightly.
“Say, you should have helped me out here …”
“…I-it’s fine. I’m just going to rely on you for such situations, you know.”
“What, you think I’m a Maxx “C” expert?”
I let out a long sigh too, and Yume gave an awkward look…muttering softly.
“W-will anyone complain about receiving thanks here!?”
Hah, I snorted.
She pouted unhappily, and got off my bed that was a bomb shelter to her.
“It’s gone now, so I don’t need to stay here. I’ll just need to air out my room—”
“…With the typhoon out there?”
The rain pelted horizontally, hitting hard at the window.
If she was to open the window at such a moment, lots of rain would fall in instead of the lingering pesticide in the room—in the room filled with books.
“There’s also a chance that there’s one, or thirty of them—we need to exorcise that room completely.”
Yume turned her head aside, and said,
“Looks like we got no choice here…for today, please.”
“Not even a thanks??”
“Shut up! You should be honored!!”
Both the sounds of rain and winds had subsided.
And replacing them was the steady breathing by my ear.
I regained consciousness from my deep slumber, and while all sleepy, I looked towards where the sound came from.
There’s a cute girl with nice long, shut eyelashes.
…How long had it been since I last saw your sleeping face up close like that?
You’ve always been like this, except that your face’s so fine…I told you so many times, but you wouldn’t believe…and now you’re a superhuman with brains and looks…ah goodness…
I reached my fingers out to pry her bangs aside, all to see that face clearly.
…You’re fine with me having a good look, right? Ayai…
A somewhat damp breath gently caressed my lips—
A shock ran through my mind, and I jolted upright.
Wait, what was that sound!?
…And anyway, what did I try to do just now…!?
My head overheated as I had just woken up all confused.
And Yume, who had been breathing steadily till this point, got up from the bed, and hugged me.
I heard the voice, and turned around, to see a pile of printouts stacked on the books landed on the floor.
It’s the sound of papers.
In that case…the issue at hand was this woman who had just jumped onto my chest.
Did she notice it?
Did she notice that I nearly messed up while delirious?
Yume buried her face into my chest, as though she’s hiding her feelings.
“…..I shall remain silent. I have nothing to say to a guy who tried to kiss a sleeping girl.”
“Since you noticed—”
Yume suddenly yelled, pushed me aside, and got off the bed.
“We’ll be late if we keep waiting! The typhoon’s clearly past us!”
So she said—and escaped from my room.
I was stunned, looked at the closed door, and muttered,
“…Since you noticed—”
—You could have dodged or refused.
These words rose up my throat, and immediately stopped…before they dissipated without a trace.
一Just like the storm that passed.