Eromanga-Sensei Volume 10: Chapter 2



Chapter 2:


“...And that’s why they’re going to a festival together ~hmmmm!”

The same day I visited the Umezono Residence: that night.

In the living room, I told my little sister everything.

We sat opposite each other on the sofa. Recently that’s how we talked.

“Er...you don’t have to say it like that...”

“But... Muramasa-chan asked you because it was important to her. But you already have a fiancée! Me! We’re in love with each other... And yet she wrote that...novel...uhhhh~~.”

Sagiri’s appeal as my fiancée is so wonderful!

On the other hand, I had already told her the contents of Muramasa-senpai’s novel.

“I don’t think she was lying when she said it was for her novel... but I bet she was hiding something.”

There was a Mont Blanc cake on the table, which Sagiri was eating furiously.

She took another bite and said:

“You knew I wouldn’t like it, so you tried to calm me down with cake, didn’t you? I won’t be fooled!”

“………………”

“.......I want to....go to the festival with you too...”

As my little sister, lover, and fiancée, Sagiri seemed to be against the decision I made at the Umezono Residence.

No, it’s not that.

If our roles were reversed and Sagiri accepted a man’s invitation to go to the festival with him...

I wouldn’t be okay with it. Of course, you wouldn’t. Because we’re lovers.

Although I told Muramasa-senpai. “That’s it?” for Sagiri, it was too much. I was very naive.

As a man, I was too careless. I deserve her anger.

“Really... you’re so careless...”

I looked at Sagiri again and realized my mistake. I sincerely apologize.

“I’m sorry, Sagiri.”

“Ah...”

She recovered. Her anger subsided quickly.

“No, I’m not that angry...”

Noticing that her voice was still uncomfortable, I told her again. “I’m sorry.”

She looked down and said:

“... I’m not really angry. I know what Muramasa-chan was thinking... I also understand what was going through your mind when you heard her request...”

We were both aware of each other’s problems. We were both trying to understand each other.

“So, I forgive you.”

She said exactly what she thought I’d want to hear. Even though she must hate it when her lover takes another girl to the festival.

“Let’s talk about that later.”

“Sure, thanks.”

And then...

“How about you let me read that story too?”

“Er?”

Now that was something I didn’t want to hear.

“...That story... you mean... the one about Muramasa-senpai...?”

“Yes, the erotic story.”

...What a pain in the ass.

“That erotic story is interesting, right? And the main characters are based on Muramasa-chan and Nii-san! Maybe there’s another one based on me!”

“Well, but...”

On the other hand, there was no character based on Sagiri. The main character had a fiancée, but that person was completely different from her. Not a Hikikomori or an illustrator, much better a half-sister who loved to wear pyjamas all day.

Because making a character based on Sagiri would take a long time, I think Senpai just left it at that because it seemed unnecessary.

If senpai made a character precisely like Sagiri, then the female lead wouldn’t have a chance of winning... of course, she might be overthinking things on my part.

Anyway, apart from senpai’s novel, for me, Sagiri is the strongest female protagonist. And now, her eyes were sparkling.

“AND THIS ONE! IT’S! ONE! NOVEL! EROTIC!”

“…………”

Why am I blushing while I’m talking to her?

As I expected from Eromanga-sensei.

She raised her hand and announced:

“I want to read it! I have to read it!”

“...I have to say this in advance, this is an extremely erotic novel even by my standards. Do you still want to read it?”

“That’s exactly why I want to read it! Wahhh!!” She closed her eyes and began to imagine it.

“An erotic novel by Muramasa-chan must be super erotic!”

“Sometimes, I wonder if you’re really a girl. How can you have the mentality of an adult human being?”

“How rude! It’s normal for an illustrator to be interested in erotic things!”

“Even if it’s something you didn’t draw?”

“No problem. I can’t describe it exactly... but I have to see a lot of erotic things... otherwise I won’t be able to draw anything erotic.”

She said seriously. Oh, that’s great. At least, as a fellow creator, I can understand her reasoning.

But why do I get the feeling that Eromanga-sensei was telling me that to hide the fact that she’s also a pervert?

Sagiri held out her hand.

“Then, let me take a look at her. At the erotic story of Muramasa-chan.”

“The erotic part is not the main focus of the story, okay? I don’t think Muramasa-senpai would be happy to hear that.”

“Just give it to me! I want to...read... Muramasa-chan’s erotic novel!”

“Really...?”

Even when Sagiri approaches me in her Eromanga-sensei mode, I still do not want to give her the story. I brought the printed version with me, so if I’m going to do that, I might as well give it to her right away.

But the content is...

She only wrote half the book, but I have a hunch it’ll be a best-seller. However, this is not something Sagiri should read.

It’s just like what Rintarou-san said earlier.

If I allow this novel to be published, it’s not like the world will say it’s just an erotic story.

It could become a famous novel.

The best novel by the young genius, Senjyu Muramasa.

A story of forbidden love!

Something like that.

In some cases, it could get a place in a school library, becoming common reading material. In which case, I must admit, it would be hundreds of times worse than just a typical light erotic novel.

Anyway, I was getting off-topic. All my judgments aside, I think the story of Muramasa-senpai is too bad an influence to let Sagiri read it.

...I slowly closed my eyes for a moment.

The moment I opened them again...

“Huh... the atmosphere is quite different from reality.”

“I can’t let my guard down with you.”

She took the book on her own when she wasn’t paying attention and started reading it. Just like it happened with the doujinshi. As expected from Eromanga-sensei, to think you were worried about it...

Well, all right. It won’t be my fault if the Japan Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization (*2) gets involved in this.


(TL Note: *2: An organization that is responsible for “improving” the ethical quality of programs broadcast in Japan by ensuring freedom of expression, i.e., censorship)


“Ohhhhh... Wahhhh...”

She let out those strange sounds. Now even I couldn’t take the manuscript back.

“Hoo... Ohhhhhh...”

I really wanted to get out of here now... but that was impossible. I had to stay.

How many times have I seen her reading?

The first time was when I was struggling with the Yamada Elf. That’s what initially led me to write Sekaimo.

She was reading my love letter in embarrassment. I was very nervous back then.

I’m nervous now, too. But for a different reason.

“Wahhhhhh...ya.....”

She sounded like a high school kid who suddenly found a dirty magazine.

“Phew!”

I had a strange feeling. Is it okay for me to see this?

“~~So, that’s how it is.”

Sometimes she showed a very disappointed expression while reading.

How should I put it? If that were my book, I’d be pleased.

About half an hour later, Sagiri looked up suddenly.

“Nii-san! I have finished reading it!”

“Ah... I see.”

Now, what should I say?

I prepared myself a bit... but it was still difficult because my little sister had just read an erotic novel.

It’s troublesome, but I had to say it:

“So, how was it?”

“Ummmmmmmmmm ~~”

Sagiri hesitated.

On the other hand, since the protagonist was based on me, all I could think was, ‘super erotic’. But what would Sagiri think? Her character didn’t show up, but will she imagine herself as a character in the story?

“I see... the female lead is based on Muramasa-chan and the male lead is an older brother... clearly based on us...”

I waited for my fiancée to finish reading it. If she was hurt by it, then I needed to comfort her.

She said...

“Wah, it’s super erotic! I’m so turned on!”

“Huh?”

She was saying something strange. I didn’t expect it at all.

“Uff... Uff... Wahh...!”

Sagiri suddenly jumped up on the couch, then shouted with a vengeance:

“...This...what is this feeling!? An erotic scene between Nii-san and another girl, I should feel hurt...but still...I feel so excited! What is this feeling!?”

“Sagiri! Stop! You won’t be able to come back!”

I told you it was a bad influence. It’s all Muramasa-senpai’s fault. Because of her... Sagiri... she... has awakened a strange phobia!

“Ah... I didn’t expect to get an erotic lesson from Muramasa-chan...Wah... To think that Senjyu Muramasa is such a great novelist... What a genius...”

Sagiri was shaken. Now I can say that she considers Senjyu Muramasa as her ‘NTR Master’.

“From now on, I’ll have to call her ‘Master Muramasa’! No, Goddess Muramasa!

“Stop, I’m going to cry!”

I doubted very much that she had written this novel with THAT in mind. Or that she wanted to use an erotic start to trap the reader.

She said to herself that she wanted Izumi Masamune to love her story.

Umezono Rintarou said that this novel aims to brainwash the reader to make sure that they can fully experience the characters’ feelings.

I will repeat it: Sagiri could be considered another character, not just a reader, so she will be affected by the author’s influence.

And the result?

For Sagiri, Senjyu Muramasa-sensei is the mentor who showed her another way.

Now she has awakened an NTR fever.

She suddenly lowered her voice:

“Just now, it was only my opinion as an erotic illustrator.”

Is that so?

That means it follows Sagiri’s personal opinion.

She got serious.

“This novel is a declaration of war by Muramasa-chan.”

Wow, wow... a little too serious...

“Of course, I don’t think she’s noticed. This novel... it must be what Muramasa thinks of when she faces love.”

She closed her eyes.

...Beauty with a fearful expression looks quite threatening...

“Uhh, Sagiri... I don’t think what’s written here is the same as what the author thinks...”

Sometimes I do this to myself, but I don’t think Muramasa-senpai will let her characters speak for her. Especially on this battlefield of love.

“I said it’s a declaration of war... but Muramasa-chan never treated me as her opponent. That’s what I thought after reading this story. Her female character only thought about the male character... that’s the rest of the characters, she wasn’t interested.”

“Isn’t that... a little too much?”

Despite what I said, I somehow agreed with Sagiri.

...Are the drawbacks really that bad?

I reviewed my memories of her actions and noticed that she had never treated Sagiri as a significant obstacle.

...I like Sagiri. That’s all.

The one she noticed wasn’t Sagiri.

...When I had an argument with Elf.

Elf, who was pushing her and was her competition.

...Do you still like me?

She asked me if I liked her.

She kept moving for ‘her love’.

“...Um, so, Muramasa-chan must...think of me as her friend, and she probably likes me... but didn’t she ever think about the fact that she was trying to steal you from me, or that she should step back for her friend?”

“Yeah, she didn’t do it.”

She did everything for her target. Stand up straight and aim for her dream.

On the way, she didn’t care if she ended up being hated or if her actions destroyed the world.

After achieving her dream, that would be the time for her to think about something else. That’s who she is.

Should I say she’s more like a hero or the last boss of an RPG?

Between winning and living without regret. That’s how most opponents work. On the other hand...

“Elf said that she ‘would make me happy’.”

...I like them both, Masamune, Sagiri.

...I want to have both of you.

... I’ll be sure to make you both happy.

“Yes... Senpai and Elf... are complete opposites.”

From the way they love someone to the way they live. No wonder they constantly argue. It’s a minor miracle that they became friends.

“That’s why she’s my enemy. Both Elf and Muramasa-chan...although their methods are different, they...still give their best. I don’t want to lose anyone... I don’t want to let you go either... But I definitely don’t want to lose to Muramasa-chan... Definitely not!”

Sagiri said the exact words she had spoken some time before.

“Um, um, I said it...”

She suddenly sat on my lap, like a child begging to be spoiled.

“Sagiri?”

She looked at me. Our eyes met. She said in a low voice:

“I want to make Nii-san love me even more. I do not care how charming Muramasa-chan is or how desperate her attacks will become. I won’t let her win.”

This is the first time she’s tried to love me.

Since we became lovers...and engaged...although we have spent a lot of time together, this is the first time she has been actively trying to love me.

Of course, all she did was sit on her fiancé’s lap. This is actually very normal among siblings with good relationships, so calling it loving was too much.

It was more like she was bothering me. It wasn’t very erotic.

This was the first time Sagiri had summoned up all her courage... to love me. From an outside point of view, she was a little clumsy.

But not to my eyes.

“…………”

The feel of her skin, the smell of her body... almost makes me lose consciousness. I felt my head become unconscious.

She... doesn’t know how fierce her love was to me!

‘I want you to like me even more’ or ‘I want my fiancé to spoil me’...

She did that without thinking! How innocent, she’s helpless!

“Sa, Sagiri...! Yame...yamete...!”


Her smell under my nose... her skin on my body...

“I don’t want to. I told you, I want Nii-san... to love me even more.”

“My affection for you has already reached its peak! It cannot increase any further no matter what!”

“Nope. Nii-san has to love me even more.”

“Stop moving in my lap!”

I’m going to die! My affection for Sagiri will break the limits!

“Neeee, Nii-san! Are you acting like this because I’m being erotic?”

“Will you continue to claim that you are not? You are now Eromanga-sensei, in mind, body, and soul!”

“I don’t know anyone with that name! On the other hand, when will we talk about that festival?”

“Are you going to talk in this state?”

“Muramasa-chan is showing her cards. I can’t let her go so easily.”

“I like Sagiri. She has no connection with senpai showing her hand!”

“Kuh... I trust you, but...”

“But?”

“I’m worried...”

She muttered and blushed.

“... I’m worried that Nii-san will be targeted during the festival, and then I’ll get an erotic video...”

“You don’t trust me at all!”

How untrustworthy do you think I am? And what the hell are you expecting from Muramasa-senpai?

After THAT conversation, Sagiri suddenly became severe:

“I trust you anyway.”

“Really? You were dreaming of an NTR scene just now.”

“I trust you, but I have to prepare for the worst possible scenario!”

Looks like you’re serious.

“Now, let’s begin our ‘Muramasa-chan countermeasure strategy session’.”

“Good.”

Sagiri said happily (still in my lap).

Do as you wish. I don’t care anymore.

“About the fact that Nii-san has to go to the festival with Muramasa-chan.”

“Actually... I accepted your invitation, but I planned to retract it later.”

“It’s okay if you want to go.”

“May I?”

What if you get an erotic video?

“Yes. On... one condition.”

“Condition?”

“Yeah... After reading that novel... There’s no way I can let you go to a festival like everything’s normal.”

She looked down and, with a calm voice, said:

“Besides... after knowing Muramasa-chan’s request... I’m jealous... then... do you understand?”

She asked me:

“Let’s go to the festival... with everyone.”

“You mean Elf and Megumi?”

“Um. Is it okay?”

“...Well, we’ll see...”

Well, from the beginning, there was no way I could ignore Sagiri’s request.

“Sagiri... you said... with everyone, what do you mean...?”

“So do I.”

“Outside?”

“I can’t.”

I see. You must mean it’s going through my tablet.

Going to the festival on a Tablet... it’s a little bit unreal, but I want to let Sagiri experience the atmosphere of a celebration.

Sagiri... wanted to go to the festival too. Well, it’s just a school activity, of course, she’d like to go.

With her friends.

With her lover.

Of course, she might also want to make sure that Muramasa-senpai doesn’t spend time alone with me.

So...

“I think... Muramasa-chan wants to experience the festival with ‘everyone’, so she can write the rest of the novel.”

The novel is a reflection of the author’s mind.

Having an experience altogether... like an ordinary girl. Even if it’s only for one day.

“I want to read the next part of Muramasa-chan’s novel, and she’s my friend... I... I can’t leave things as unnecessary as she does.”

Unlike Elf, Sagiri could not simply ignore her enemy. But unlike Muramasa-senpai, she could not merely push herself ahead.

“I can’t let you go... but I want to help her to write. I want to have ‘a youthful experience’. I can’t go to the festival on my own...but...as long as we all go together... it’ll be enough.”

“Is it really enough?”

Old Sagiri would never have said that.

Not because she ignored ‘unnecessary things’. But because she never thought from another person’s point of view.

I smiled:

“I see. Then I’ll tell everyone.”

“Um.”

Sagiri nodded happily.

“Nii-san, Muramasa-chan said I could use this as a reference.”

So she didn’t want to just keep reading, huh?

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With no other option, I accepted her request and called Muramasa-senpai.

...Go to the festival with everyone.

This will probably be a complex request for her. Of course, I knew that forcing it would put her in a difficult situation.

“It’s okay. Since I was planning to go during the weekend, everyone can come too.”

Still, she accepted it without a problem.

“Is that okay, senpai?”

“Of course. I think Sagiri’s request is reasonable. Although it’s a pain that I have to give up on going alone with you.”

“I’m sorry. I accepted your request first and still changed my mind.”

“Don’t worry. But... if you do care, can I make another request?”

“Of course. As long as it’s something I can do.”

“I see. Thank you, Masamune-kun.”

What I wanted to say was: ‘That I can do as long as Sagiri doesn’t hate it.’

Senpai added:

“The festival will last three days and will be open to the public starting from the second day. I would like to go with everyone at that time when there will be many activities. Even though we can’t spend time alone, I will still be able to experience many feelings. Not only happiness but also darkness and depression. I think this is the youthful experience Sagiri was talking about. I want to experience that, so I can write my story.”

The story you can only write once in your life.

The story of a ‘young love’.

I could feel her passion through the phone. If she had met her before Sagiri, I’d have fallen for her.

“After the second day, I’ll finish writing my novel. I think I’ll skip at least half of the third day.”

“In other words, before the third day is over, you will have finished writing.”

“That’s right. Then, Masamune-kun, could you wait for me at school at the end of the third day? I want you to read my novel there. That’s all I request. You don’t have to tell me what you think of it; you don’t have to tell me that you love me. Just read my story in front of me.” Muramasa-senpai requested.

“Got it.”

I responded immediately. I didn’t even wait for Sagiri’s confirmation.

It’s not like I don’t have to think about it. But Sagiri will accept. This is not something I can refuse. That’s what I thought.

“I’ll be waiting for it. Both the festival and your novel, senpai.”

“I see.”

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I could feel her smile.

The festival will be held in October. I should call you all beforehand. It’s September now, but I think it’s better to do it earlier than later. I don’t want to forget it by accident.

After I finished my call with Senpai, I sent a message to everyone.

In less than ten seconds, Megumi responded:

[Of course, I want to go ♪]

Jinno Megumi. Classmate and student representative of Sagiri’s class. She made many friends as soon as she entered the school An upper-class girl, a riajuu (*3). No wonder she responded so quickly.


(TL Note: *3: The opposite term from otakus, someone interested in absolute rather than fiction and has an active social life).


The second person who responded was Elf.

[Sounds interesting. I’ll go! Thank you for inviting me!]

Yamada Elf, my famous neighbouring novelist. A critical friend of mine and Sagiri. Although our relationship became a bit complicated after I started dating Sagiri... her message showed no distance between us.

Elf is like the gods. She’s that kind of girl.

As someone who’s had experience doing anime, she also gave me some advice.

[Don’t relax just because you have as much work as before!]

“Got it, Elf-sensei.”

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The next day, as usual, I had a meeting with the anime team.

*Clang! * “This is the promotional illustration for ‘The World’s Cutest Little Sister’!”

Kagurazaka-san showed an image of the projector.

“Oh, is that it?”

On the screen were the siblings we created standing side by side. This striking cartoon seemed to have been designed exclusively for anime.

...This is very important to us.

The little sister was standing in the most conspicuous place. It felt like she was saying, ‘what are you looking at’.

...Um, not bad.

That’s what I thought.

Yes! This is the expression Sagiri usually has! This is it!

Looking around just old faces... the anime director, the producer, etc... Apart from screenwriter Aoi Makina, everyone was here.

... It’s seven months until the anime airs.

After we finished the script, the most challenging part, the author would typically have a short break.

But Elf told me not to let my guard down.

I still have a lot of supervisory work to do. I have to participate in all kinds of related activities.

For an entertainer, now comes the hard part.

I looked at the plan again and nodded.

“Good!”

I cannot lose to Eromanga-sensei. I can’t let the animation team do everything. As the author, I have to give my best too.

“You... seem motivated, Izumi-sensei.”

“Yes...”

The one who had just spoken to me was a woman with glasses... Director Amamiya. Although she’s a young lady, she already has years of experience.

I was pretty surprised when I tried to investigate her. It turns out that much famous anime I saw as a child had come through her.

I looked around again. Almost everyone besides me was a legend.

The memories of the anime ‘Stardust ☆ Witch Meruru’, made by Director Amamiya and Makina-san, were still fresh in my mind. That anime was like a miracle.

It was a great honour to work with people like that.

“...You can relax a little...”

That ‘Legend’ told me, sensing my nerves.

Director Amamiya is not a person of words, but somehow she spoke to me a lot today.

Before I could imagine what she meant...

“Izumi-sensei... it’s a little late, but congratulations on your engagement.”

“Ackkk!!”

I got caught in my spit.

So that’s what I wanted to say.

“Er, thank you very much! This, on the other hand... who told you?”

“Makina-chan... Aoi-sensei.”

Oh shit! I accepted her demands, which she kept asking me to tell her about any developments in our relationship.

Seeing how flushed she was, the Director smiled and added:

“...If possible...please also invite us to the wedding.”

“Of course! Well, I can only say this here, but I plan to show Sekaimo’s anime during our wedding on the main screen! I want to ask you to go on stage and say something too!”

“...What a scary thing. Maybe it’s better that I don’t go.”

“Is this rude rejection?”

“...Well, half of it was a joke anyway. Still...we can’t afford to lose now, our product will be connected to the bride and groom. We should make sure the audience... is moved to tears.”

The producer Amamiya smiled.

I don’t know if Sekaimo’s romantic comedy could move the audience to tears, but her words gave me courage.

Shizue Amamiya. Although her name (and characteristics) sounded calm and caring, she sometimes showed a hidden schoolmaster’s face. That’s our Headmistress.

“...On the other hand, you said half of it was a joke...”

“Yes. Only half. If we’re really going to do this, we’ll need to have a proper conversation later.” She reminded me seriously.

Suddenly...

“Hello, everyone... thank you for your hard work...”

The culprit, Makina-san, had just arrived.

Aoi Makina.

Today she had a baggy shirt and her regular glasses. You probably already know this, but this girl is Sekaimo’s scriptwriter.

In the past, she was known as ‘the writer who doesn’t work’. For many reasons, now, from my perspective (as an author), she’s the most reliable person on the animation team.

She walked up to the Director and asked:

“Director, what are you talking about with Masamune-san? It’s strange.”

“We’re discussing Izumi-sensei’s... wedding plans.”

“Wedding?”

Makina-san’s eyes opened wide, and she looked at me:

“Are you already planning the wedding? I knew you were engaged, but what about your age... Isn’t your wife still in high school?”

Isn’t your wife in high school?

Even in the manga, this wasn’t something you could easily find. Well, but calling my fiancée ‘wife’ is quite normal.

Even if I wasn’t a high school student, it would still be a dangerous thing to say.

“We’re talking about the future, Makina-san.”

“Oh, I see. So, am I invited?”

“If the anime goes well.”

“Wow, one condition, huh. Sure, then I’ll do my best.” Makina-san replied.

Good, good, now the guest list is slowly filling up.

So... the anime should be fine, right?

The Director didn’t seem very happy, but there was nothing I could do.

“On the other hand, Makina-san. In October, Senjyu Muramasa-sensei’s school will have a festival.”

“Hm? Sounds good.”

“I plan to invite you all. Would you like to join me?”

“Really? A school festival, ah, how nostalgic. I’ll come too.”

She seemed to be interested in my invitation.

Someone else chose this moment to say:

“Aoi-sensei. Before you plan to have fun, please give us the script plan for today’s meeting.”

It was Akasaka Touko... the producer. Today she wore a black outfit with a western style.

It’s clear she doesn’t trust Makina-san, but it’s okay.

I said with a smile.

“Don’t worry, Akasaka-san. Makina is not the same useless writer as before.”

“Izumi-sensei...”

“Masamune-san! To think you trust me so much...!”

Not really. I still think you’re a hopeless, useless person. But for the moment, I can trust her. Because she was trying to beat her opponent, she came to my house with maximum motivation. I don’t need to push her. She’ll do her best.

“You’re so naive, Izumi-sensei.”

“Huh?”

“This is how Aoi-sensei has always acted. She makes you think she’s trustworthy and then ignores her work.”

Is she a demon?

“No way! That’s impossible!”

Makina-san! I trust you!

I laughed and then turned to her.

And... she put a hand on her head.

“Ahem.”

She didn’t write anything.

She really didn’t write anything! Are you kidding?!

“I can’t believe it! Give me back my confidence!”

“No, no! I mean, because my motivation is at its peak, I want to do my best! That’s why I couldn’t write it in time.”

In the end, because of her, our meeting had to end early.

We decided that she could only go to the festival if her attitude to work improved.

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After the meeting, I met some unexpected people in the elevator.

“Oh, is that Izumi-kun?”

“Hello, Izumi-kun.”

They were Kusanagi-senpai and Shidou-kun.

Kusanagi Ryuuki is a comedy/love author who has blond hair and wears a black shirt.

Kunimitsu Shidou is my Kouhai, even though he’s older than me, who seems to be in college. His story focuses on food and a little bit of cooking... recently, he is also writing a lolis novel. His new story will be published next month.

“How was the meeting, anime novelist?”

Kusanagi-senpai jokes. I responded with annoyance:

“Good. What are you two doing?”

“I’m having a meeting about my new novel.”

“Oh? Are you writing something new?”

“Something like that. Anime is finished, and there are no plans for a second season, so I was thinking about what to do next.”

His tone was flat, but I felt a hint of sadness.

“Is that so?”

I didn’t say anything else. But when I looked at them, I noticed that Shidou-kun, who should be happy, seemed a certain amount lost.

Seeing that I was looking at him, he said:

“I came to talk to Kagurazaka-san about the third volume of my story, but she didn’t come.”

In other words, he had finished writing volume two.

I looked at the meeting room she had just come out of.

“Kagurazaka-san is having a conversation with my producer.”

“I hope she gets here as soon as that meeting is over.”

“On the other hand... Shidou-kun, do you look a little lost?”

“Did you notice?”

“Yes.”

He looked exhausted...but I doubt it was only because ‘Kagurazaka-san was very slow’.

“Listen to me, Izumi. This guy’s interview was leaked on the Internet today. It’s about Shidou-sensei’s taste for lolis.”

“Ah, so the ugly news got out, huh?”

“Don’t call them ugly!”

Shidou-kun was about to cry.

“I was so embarrassed after that interview leaked out on the Internet.”

He covered his ears in despair and continued:

“Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Why did I accept that interview without changing my nickname! I want to erase the past! Why didn’t either of you stops me?”

“Kusanagi-senpai said it was interesting.”

“Hey, don’t pass me the Izumi ball. You were pleased about it.”

“You’re the worst, Izumi-kun, Kusanagi-senpai!”

“Don’t cry. On the other hand, I think you did well with that interview. You trust your story, don’t you?”

Kusanagi-senpai comforted his Kouhai.

“There are indeed some ugly interviews on the Internet, but I think those things exist because the person interviewed became one with his story. If you keep your distance, you might not reveal your interests, but then no one would know you.”

“Would you please stop talking about it?” He said, hoping we’d consider his feelings.

“That’s because I’m confident that this innocent and loving interview will increase your fame. No matter what results from it brings, you’ll be famous.”

“That’s not comforting to hear.”

Kusanagi-senpai touched his fist to Shidou-Kun’s chest.

“Pissing light novels would be boring without some incident. Keep writing, lolicon.”

“...You don’t have to say it that way.” Shidou-kun smiled strangely.

It seems he was getting better. He joked again:

“On the other hand, Lolicon Kusanagi-senpai, how’s the relationship between you and your apprentice going?”

“Thank you very much for bringing this up! Nah, there’s nothing special. We just chatted on Line about writing.”

“I’m so jealous. Talking to a girl on Line is illegal.”

No, it’s not. Now, this guy’s talking nonsense.

You may have forgotten, so let me remind you:

For various reasons, Kusanagi-senpai took Aya-chan (who is a primary school girl) under his power. Just like in a light novel (*4).


(TL Note *4: Ryuuou no Oshigoto!)


Before the conversation went too far in a dangerous direction, I interrupted:

“What do you mean talking about writing? Did he hand over to you a manuscript?”

“No, she couldn’t write a good manuscript. That’s why she was sad and wanted to talk to me.”

“You evil bastard! Admit it! Where did you take her?”

“I didn’t even ask her out or anything! Shut up, for now, Shidou... what would you do in my position, Izumi?”

“Hm? What would I do if someone asked me how to fix their sadness? I can’t answer without knowing the reason. If I couldn’t write...then I would think ‘even if you can’t write, you must’. I can’t stop writing just because I’m sad.

“On the other hand, that’s how I recovered too. Even if I can’t heal, I have to keep writing. I thought of those words on my own. But she got angry and said ‘I don’t understand’. I don’t understand her.”

“She must be thinking that unless she fixes it, she can’t keep writing. Even though she can’t fix it.”

“She clearly can’t.”

Both Kusanagi-senpai and I agreed.

You should not wait for your sadness to pass. You should actively discard that emotion.

It would be great if she could follow Shidou-Kun’s example.

“...Wait, wait, what are you two talking about?” Shidou-kun asked.

“Izumi, ‘a man who claims to understand women’ is asking for our advice.”

“Don’t call me by that evil nickname... It must be that Aya-chan didn’t just want to escape from sadness; she must have wanted to talk to Kusanagi-senpai. But because you only told her how to make her sadness better, that’s why she said she didn’t understand it when she was angry.”

“Give me a break, a secret meaning? What a brat... besides, where did you get that idea, Shidou?”

“From your novel, senpai.”

“……………………”

Kusanagi-senpai said nothing.

“... Let’s stop talking about me. Izumi, say something interesting.”

“Huh?”

He changed the subject too quickly. What a guy!

“Well, actually, Muramasa-senpai school is having a school festival. I was planning to ask everyone to join in. What do you say?”

Shidou-kun and Kusanagi-senpai looked at each other, then at me.

“I’ll go.”

“I’ll try to go.”

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After that, I finished my work at the publishing company and returned home. It was 11:00 p.m. when I finally returned.

“...That took longer than expected.”

He used to work a lot, and that made Sagiri worried. So I wasn’t planning on working anymore tonight and would just go to bed right away.

“I’m a little hungry, but there’s no time for dinner.”

I wonder if Sagiri ate adequately. Has she gone to bed yet?

When I opened the door and saw Sagiri waiting in an apron, those thoughts passed through my mind.

“Ahem, welcome home, Nii-san.”

Since we started dating, Sagiri always greets me at the door like this.

In the past... every time I opened this door, I had to deal with the empty hallway. That scared me. My only hope was the sounds my little sister Hikikomori made when she hit the floor.

... I’m not alone anymore.

“I’m home, Sagiri. Haven’t you gone to sleep? Didn’t I tell you I might be a little late, and you should go to bed early?”

“Um.”

She smiled embarrassingly and said:

“Um... dinner... I’ll make dinner for you.”

“You... made it?”

“Yes. You taught me.”

Yes. Sagiri asked me to teach her how to make dinner.

My home kitchen was made at the request of my mother, who was a food critic. Even Elf admitted that it felt like a queen’s castle. So, in a way, this was my mother’s memorial.

In the past, Sagiri had never entered this room. Only recently, after I started teaching her to cook, she came in. So this shouldn’t be anything special... but...

... I’m pleased.

I’m very, very happy.

“No, don’t wait too long, okay? I can only do simple things... you know, Nii-san?”

“Anything made by Sagiri will be fine!”

“...Even though I made many mistakes while practising.”

“That was in the past, now it’ s today... let me taste it.”

“Um, sure, this way. I’ve taken care of the arrangements; you can eat soon.”

Sagiri took me into the living room. I felt so unreal.

“Haha.”

Love will have a negative influence on work. That’s what my editor said, but this sweet feeling is only for me. No one else can prove this.

Of course, I don’t think that the work’s quality comes only from the author’s experience, but with our love, indeed I can write something that is only for me, for us.

That’s what I thought.

I opened the door of the room, and then I went in.

“Welcome home, Masamune.”

Waiting for me in the room was a cold-looking young lady.

“I’m home, Kyouka-san.”

Izumi Kyouka, our guardian and our relative.

She was wearing nightgowns and looking at me.

“———————”

She seemed to be in a bad mood... but that was not the case. Or rather... she was trying to smile.

Recently I think I can understand her expressions better. Of course, she seemed to have an easier job getting through mine.

“Are you surprised that I’m here, Masamune? We’re living together. This is normal, right?

Izumi Masamune, Izumi Sagiri, Izumi Kyouka Now, the three of us are living together.

Recently Sagiri’s Hikikomori state had improved a lot, so she could go downstairs when a ‘trusted relative’ was at home.

After that, we attempted to eat together as many times as possible.

But I had arrived home late today, so I asked them to eat without waiting for me.

“Not really. I thought you’d have gone to bed by now.”

“...How could I. Today is the first time I can eat something prepared by Sagiri. Besides, I have the day off tomorrow.”

I thought he was feeling happy.

“Is that so? I’m sorry, it took much longer than expected.”

“You’ve already called me, so it’s okay. Or not, actually. I think as a student you shouldn’t put so much pressure on yourself at work, Masamune... But... well, I’ll consider some other options...”

Kyouka-san said nothing more.

She was a little worried. What other options was she planning? She already has to do her job. I don’t want to bother her anymore.

Suddenly...

“Nii-san, Kyouka-chan, dinner is ready.”

During our conversation, a pleasing aroma came from the kitchen.

...It was the smell of our family’s favourite food, a special rice omelette.

It happens a lot in anime, right? Nah, who cares?

I left my backpack and headed towards Kyouka-san.

“Then...”

“Let’s give her a little help.”

We went to the kitchen. Although we didn’t do much, it all turned out well. At the table, besides the rice omelette, there was a salad with vinegar and salt. It didn’t really look like dinner, but we were pleased anyway, considering the afternoon it was.

There wasn’t enough food for everyone. It seemed that Sagiri cooked based on how much she ate.

We sat down and put our hands together.

“Itadakimasu.”

“P...Please.”

I could only dream of scenes that were happening in front of my eyes.

I took a tablespoon of the omelette.

Sagiri looked at me with a bit of fear in her eyes.

“How is it?”

“Um, it’s good.”

“It’s all right, Sagiri.”

“Phew.”

Sagiri also took a bite, then nodded.

“Just as I had practised. But... Nii-san’s rice omelette is still better.”

“Of course. My rice omelette is made with ‘my love for you’.”

“You... you haven’t stopped saying embarrassing things recently.”

“Recently,”? I think it’s been that way from the beginning.” Kyouka-san added.

“Maybe,” Sagiri said.

Then we shared a peaceful moment. We talked about our days, our work, about school... just typical things of the day.

It was a family conversation. Suddenly... a silence fell over us.

My chest hurt. My heart was beating very fast.

What is this feeling? Why...

And then...

“...Ah.”

“Kyouka-chan?”

Both Sagiri and I noticed it.

“...Yes?”

Only Kyouka-san couldn’t do it.

There were tears on her face.

“Ah...ah...this.”

She wiped away her tears and tried to smile. But she failed. She didn’t fool anyone. All she could do was stop crying.

“...No, I can’t help it... I’m sorry! You...I had an allergy to... I can’t... sneeze.”


It was a clumsy explanation, but it was lovely. Both Sagiri and I laughed.

I got my handkerchief from my second mother.

“It seems we... also have an allergic reaction.”

In such a short time, we laugh and cry.

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After a happy moment in the kitchen, we took a break in the living room.

“On the other hand, you two,” Kyouka-san as