"If I pretend I'm fine, it must be true!"
Music: play track 2
"Good morning, Nii-san."
As soon as I enter the sitting room, Akiha greets me with a smile.
"...... Ahh. Morning, Akiha."
"'Morning, Akiha'...? What's wrong, Nii-san? You seem really depressed."
"I just had a bit of a bad dream. But you seem to be in a good mood; did something nice happen?"
"You should go ahead, then. You'll end up running if you wait for me."
"Hm? Did you say something, Nii-san?"
"I mean, if you like free time in the mornings, you should just go ahead.
You don't really need to accompany me and I don't really have time to keep you company either. If you're ready, you should just go on ahead."
"Eh... well, that's true, but I..."
"But what? You're saying you can't go to school on your own? Give me a break, you're not a child. We're not that young anymore."
Ouch, man, now that's cold. Maybe she'll be so upset she won't have sex with you!
Akiha stands up from the sofa.
"Nii-san. Were you serious about what you just said?"
"...... Not really. It's just what I thought."
Her teeth grit.
Akiha looks down, her shoulders shaking.
"Akiha. You'll be late if you don't go soon."
"Yeah, I know! After all, I don't want to go with you and be late!"
"Right. So go on...... I'm not in the mood to be with anyone right now."
Akiha rushes out.
Aww, no, she's just sad
"No, you do not understand anything! You don't know how much Akiha-sama was looking forward to this while waiting for you up until now."
"? ---Waiting for me... you mean this morning?"
"No. Akiha-sama told me not to tell you, but I can't bear this anymore!"
"Listen, Shiki-san. Now, Akiha-sama eats breakfast with you normally, but it was a real hassle before she transferred."
...... I think the ladies' academy Akiha used to go to was in the next prefecture.
That's more than an hour's worth of driving.
"You finally noticed.
He didn't so much notice as he got beat over the head with it.
To begin with, Akiha-sama would not have made it to school unless she left here at six. Nevertheless, she overlooked that because she was looking forward to eating breakfast with you."
"...... Looking forward to? Why? She complains every time she sees me."
"Because Akiha-sama isn't honest. If you ever woke up on time, I do not think she would have any complaints."
Not if we don't tell you to you won't... and change those socks before you leave, too.
"I don't get it. What do you want me to do, Kohaku-san?"
"No, don't think too hard about it.
Wouldn't want Shiki to strain himself.
You just act normally. But Akiha-sama isn't direct, so I just wanted you to be more considerate of her."
Act normally? I think that's the most difficult thing for me to do right now.
"Oh, and all this is a secret. If Akiha-sama finds out I told you this, I will get in trouble."
Kohaku-san heads into the dining room with a smile on her face.
"Come on, Shiki-san; if you don't hurry up and eat, you'll really be late..."
I can hear Kohaku-san's voice from the dining room.
I head into the dining room, hiding my embarrassed face with my hand.
"She wants me to stop dating Arihiko, and I don't think it's any of her business."
"Oh, it's no good for siblings to fight. Tohno-kun, you're the older brother, so you should go and apologize later."
"...... You're right. We're in the same school, so I should go and apologize before lunchtime. On top of that, it was my fault to begin with."
Certainly my problems with Akiha are important, but I should worry about my own troubles for now.
Last night's dream.
Even though I knew I was asleep, I seemed to have wandered out at night.
"Eh? ...... Ah, just a bit. But it's my problem, so I'll work it out. Thanks for worrying, Senpai."
"...... Really. Well, if it's something you can't solve on your own, I'm always here to help. I'd be happy to do whatever I can."
"Yeah, if I'm in real trouble, I'll ask you, then."
"Say, this isn't related to anything, but... if I ever become a homicidal vampire, can you hunt me down in the night and impale me? I'm just asking... hypothetically."
...... As I speak, the morning bell begins to ring.
"---Ack! Well, Senpai, later!"
"Yep. I'll see you at lunch."
Leaving Senpai standing leisurely as the first bell rings, I rush in the doorway.
See? I told you that you wouldn't be doing anything without our say so.