"Oh, good morning, Shiki-san. You are up pretty early today."
Seeing my face, Kohaku-san immediately greets me with a smile.
"Morning, Kohaku-san. By the way, is Akiha up yet?"
"Yes, she will be here shortly. You can have breakfast together this morning."
Kohaku-san walks happily to the kitchen.
"Yo, morning, Akiha. Are you feeling better?"
"Eh----Y, yes. Thanks to you, my spasms have passed...... Nii-san, were you worried?"
What? Thanks to Shiki? What the fuck did Shiki do?
"Well, yeah. I was worried a bit.
...... I'm sorry about last night. I didn't know you had that condition, so I panicked and I guess I made you push yourself."
"No, I am the one who must apologize for being upset...... When I have that condition, I tend to get tunnel-visioned and my conduct becomes a little rude."
Akiha starts to look embarrassed as she recalls her actions.
"...... I'm sorry, Nii-san. I showed you an unpleasant side of me yesterday."
"That's not true. Everyone is like then when they feel sick. There's no need to beat yourself up over it."
"Ah...... okay. If you say so, it makes me feel a little better."
She must still be bothered by it because she doesn't seem relaxed.
Is it just me or does that face make Akiha look a little ?
"...... Shall we eat now? Come to think of it, I haven't had breakfast with you yet."
"That is true. After changing schools, my morning schedule has become more flexible. I wish we could always do this."
---Now that she mentions it, that's right.
Since we're both going to the same school, if I get up ten minutes early, I can eat breakfast with Akiha.
After breakfast I return to the sitting room.
It is twenty past seven. If we want to walk to school slowly, we have to leave soon.
Akiha must be all prepared as she is sitting on the sofa, staring at the clock.
...... Actually, she's been going to her school in a car this whole time. Maybe she intends to do so to go to my school as well.
"I'm saying, let's go to school together. I'll show you the best route to take...... Well, if you don't want to go with me, I don't really mind."
"----No, I would love to. I have no worries if I go with you, Nii-san."
"It's decided, then. Well, we gotta head out now."
"Hisui, you don't need to send us off. We will be back in the afternoon, so take care."
After instructing Hisui, I leave the mansion with Akiha.
Music: play track 3
"What is it? Do you see something weird?"
"Ah----no, it's nothing. Yesterday I came before everyone else was arriving, so this is the first time I've seen all the students arriving in a clutter like this."
Oh god oh god... PEOPLE
...... I see. She's always been at a boarding school so many students walking into school like this would be unfamiliar.
"Stupid, why are you being so reserved? Starting yesterday, you became one of us. There's no need to hold back."
One of usss... one of usss...
Is she holding something back? She doesn't seem really lively.
"What's wrong, Akiha? You don't look too well."
"...... That, that can't be helped, can it? I thought just going to school with you would be enough, but such a normal lifestyle, I----"
Akiha averts her gaze, looking sad.
"Well then, Nii-san, I shall go to the first year classrooms. I shall see you after school."
"What are you talking about? There's lunch break before that. I'll be waiting in the courtyard, so come quickly."
"Ah------Yes, I will be there."
Giving a cute little bow, she runs inside.
...... well, I guess she does have a cute side.
"How nice! The two of you get along well, don't you?"
"Ci... Ciel-senpai! Please don't sneak up on me like that...!"
"Yes, I'll be careful from now on."
Smiling sweetly, Senpai gazes at me happily.
"...... What is it, Senpai? If you want to say something, say it."
"No, no; I don't think I need to say anything. You look really happy, Tohno-kun."
"If you go into the classroom with a face like that, Inui-kun will surely tease you. Well, Tohno-kun, I'll see you at lunch again."
As well he should get teased.
Senpai walks indoors, laughing to herself.
I pinch my cheek.
"...... Did I look that happy?"
...... well, I guess I did.
Since just seeing Akiha smile made me feel real happy inside.
"Yo, Tohno. You're late."
"Indeed; you are rather late, Nii-san."
---For some reason, it seems that Arihiko has come to the courtyard ahead of me, and was keeping Akiha company.
"Well... as long as YOU'RE happy"
"So, Akiha. What'll we do for lunch today? Did you have Kohaku-san make you a boxed lunch?"
"Eh? ...... a 'boxed lunch'...?"
"...... Never mind. I shouldn't have asked such a common thing."
From the bread I bought, I offer her the best sandwich and a strawberry milk.
"Aw, nice, nice! Hey, Tohno, nothing for me?"
"...... Well, yeah, for some reason there is."
I hand him a sausage roll and a suitable drink.
Hahahahaha. "Don't you have anything for ME, Tohno?" "Oh, I do... I got you a 'sausage roll' " *wink wink nudge nudge*
"Hey, what is this! 'Balsam Pear Drink'? This stuff isn't even fit for animals to drink!"
"That's because you're such an animal, Arihiko. Rawr."
"Can't be helped, the rest were all gone already. Well, there were some Cactus Mixer's, but that's not what you would call a drink."
SHE KNOWS! KILL HER!
"Glasses wearing hussy!"
"May I join you all for lunch?"
Arihiko nods eagerly.
I don't mind either, but---
For some reason, Akiha refuses directly.
The air in the courtyard is cold.
It's not going to be warm in October, but it's still quite cold.
Arihiko, who until now knew only the ladylike Akiha, gapes silently.
Well, as an older brother, it would be bad if I didn't respond to what Akiha just said.
"What're you talking about, Akiha. That was rude, even for a joke."
"Nii-san, I am not joking. I meant what I said."
"Wha---what are you saying! You've only just met Senpai! You've no reason to dislike her, so why...!?"
"I don't like what I don't like. She and I are entirely incompatible.
You feel the same, don't you? You know there's no way we can get along, don't you, Senpai?"
"No, no, not at all. Certainly we seem to be incompatible types, but I think I can somehow restrain myself."
Arihiko and I pull ourselves back.
Akiha spoiling for a fight is amazing, and Senpai's smiling face turning it aside is also amazing.
...... At last, with the allegedly incompatible Ciel-senpai and Akiha, lunch began.
"But, I never knew Tohno-kun had a sister almost his age. I always thought Tohno-kun was an only child."
"...... Huh? Didn't I mention that I had a younger sister before?"
"Yes, I heard about a little sister living alone in the Tohno mansion."
What, so she already knew about Akiha?
"I did not know that Nii-san's friends were like you, either. When did you join this school, Ciel-senpai?"
"Mm? Akiha-chan, Senpai's been here for three years. It's a shame that she graduates this year."
"Really. She doesn't seem accustomed to the school uniform yet, so I thought she might have transferred from another school, like me."
"Ah, yes... I really wanted to wear a uniform like Akiha-san's. Akiha-san, is that the uniform of your last school?"
I love the verbal sparring match.
"Yes. Since the uniform here isn't to my liking, I wear the uniform from my old school."
Akiha says such an outrageous thing casually.
...... I see. I had assumed the uniform simply hadn't been made yet, but it seems she never intended to wear our school's uniform at all.