"He's... just a classmate. Really. YOU SAW NOTHING!"
"So you say, Nii-san. But I can go to school wherever I choose; I do not need to explain myself to you."
"...... Don't be stupid. I'm your brother! I can't just overlook things that are against your best interests.
Frankly, I can't see any benefit in you transferring to this school. Since our old man isn't around anymore, it's my responsibility to look out for you...!"
Yay! In the conflict between and , is winning!
"...... What? It's not fair to say things like that at times like these."
"'Not fair' is my line. What were you thinking, transferring without even telling me?
I won't accept this transfer until I hear a good reason!"
"If I'm not satisfied with the reason, I'll send you right back to your own school. So, tell me, Akiha. Why did you change schools?"
Akiha falls silent and looks down.
A very brief moment later, she raises a brave face.
"...... I was worried about you, Nii-san. Is that not a sufficient reason?"
"...... Ha, hang on. What do you mean, worried about me...?"
What sort of reason is that for transferring?
"Well, looking at your unruly behavior recently, I decided that in order to prevent you from disgracing the Tohno name, I would have to keep a close eye on you."
Akiha explains clearly.
When she says "unruly behavior", I can't help but nod.
It's true; my everyday life since coming here has surely been an annoyance to Akiha and the others.
"Here ya go, lunch for three people... huh? What, am I interrupting something?"
"No, nothing of the sort, Senpai.
You are a friend of Nii-san? I am Tohno Shiki's younger sister, Akiha. It is a pleasure to meet you."
Akiha bows softly.
This is where it gets really, really if you don't know what Senpai means. In case anybody doesn't, I think it means 'upperclassman', so it's used to refer to students in a higher grade than the speaker.
"Not at all, the pleasure's mine. I'm Inui Arihiko, I've known Tohno since junior high, but today was the first time I've found out about you, Akiha-chan."
...... Maybe he's still holding a grudge against me for not telling him about her, as he says things he doesn't have to.
"Take the curry bread... taaaaaaaake it..."
"I know that. I'm not a child, so you don't have to explain every little thing to me."
"That's right, Tohno. Aren't you a bit mean to Akiha-chan?"
Arihiko boos at me.
Ignoring them, I open my own bread, and stick the straw into my milk.
Munch munch munch.
Right. Lunch is over, so it's time to go back to class.
"...... Ah, Nii-san."
Akiha speaks up timidly.
Looking over, I see that she hasn't even opened her curry bread yet.
"What is it, Akiha? You're not hungry?"
"It's... well, it's not that, it's just..."
She glances upward, like she's embarrassed or something.
"...... Could you... teach me how to eat these...?"
She glances hesitantly towards me.
And... what am I supposed to say?
"Waddya mean, how to eat them? You just break open the wrapper and eat it. It's not hard, is it Tohno?"
"Arihiko, sorry, but could you go get a napkin from the cafeteria?"
"...... Eh, me?"
I nod silently.
"Fine, but you'll owe me one."
Arihiko runs off towards the school building again.
"Alright, give it to me. You open the bag here, like this. And you just bite into it... it's okay, but don't expect too much for the taste. Kohaku-san's cooking and this are like heaven and earth."
"Ahh... really, Nii-san?"
"I'm not kidding. Or what are you going to say? Don't tell me that even though you've transferred to our school, you can't eat our food.
I don't want to think less of you."
That's ALMOST extremely dirty.
It's a few minutes after Akiha finished her lunch.
Arihiko's appearance doesn't seem to bother her, as they are engaged in pleasant conversation.
"So Inui-san, you have been a friend of Nii-san's since junior high school?"
"Oh, I don't think 'friend' is the right word."
"Yeah, I've known him for about five years now. He's been a bothersome guy since the moment we met. I helped him out with all kinds of stuff, and before I knew it, he kind of grew on me."
"...and that's when I knew that I wasn't the only one to find other men attractive."
"...... Arihiko, that's the wrong word. You should call it extortion."
"Ahh, whatever you wanna call it, we're stuck with each other!"
"Yeah. Kind of like how stuff sticks to the bottom of your shoe. I guess we both give each other a lot of trouble."
I return Arihiko's laugh cynically.
...... Somehow, Akiha seems to be having trouble stomaching Arihiko and myself.
Hahahahaha... this needs no additional comment. There's definitely something there and you know it.
"Oh, by the way Akiha-chan, can I ask you something?"
"Certainly, if it is something I can answer."
"Well, I've been wondering for a while... Tohno has chronic anemia, right? Was he always like this?"
...... The amazing thing about Arihiko is how he is so straightforward when asking awkward questions like this.
"Wha? Divergent Identity...?"
"More commonly called split personalities. Though, Father's wasn't severe enough to cause muddiness of memory."
----I didn't know.
But looking back on it, Tohno Makihisa's character did seem to switch often from tenderness to brutality.
"Hmm... so, it was a medical condition, that old man..."
Looking at it like that, everything becomes clear.
Before the accident, I always felt father was a tender man, who kept his distance.
But after the accident, Makihisa clearly hated me.
Looking back, it may have been because of his condition.
"Argh! Lunch break's over, Tohno!"
"Don't complain to me about it. C'mon Akiha, you should hurry back to your classroom. It'll be embarrassing to be late on your first day at school."
"I understand. Take care, Nii-san."
As the bell resounds, we return to our classrooms.