TLN: Sorry for the late chapter! I had an exhausting day at work and fell asleep as soon as I got home. I’ve literally slept like 16 hours (I’m off work today) and I still have multiple bags under my eyes….
Arc 1 – Changing Everyday
Chapter 18 – Whatever, I’m sorry I broke my promise…
「W—welcome back, onii-chan. I’ve already prepared the meal, so why don’t you eat with onee-chan?」(Sakura)
Sakura said with a smile.
Ah—I’m healed by that smile….eh?
What is it…?
The smile that Sakura-chan is showing me is as cute as always, but something feels strange.
「What’s wrong onii-chan?」(Sakura) (TLN: She stops using the kanji for older brother in this sentence and just pronounces the hiragana. There is no difference phonetically, but you can tell from the writing that she’s speaking different than usual)
As I stare at Sakura-chan, she tilts her head with a smile.
Eh….was this how she usually acts…?
I don’t know what the discomfort is and I’m too exhausted, so let’s stop thinking about it for now…
The reason why I’m tired–is of course Saijo.
When I left school today, I continued walking whilst Saijo clung to me.
Why did I keep walking…?
I felt that if I stopped as she requested, I’d likely be stuck with her for an even longer amount of time.
That said, I couldn’t go home with her clinging to my arm, so I continued walking past my house.
Unfortunately, she was unexpectedly patient and held on for such a long time, it was only when we reached Saijo’s house that she finally let go
Even so, this was surprising–
When Saijo was dropped off at home–
「—eh…? This is your house?」(Kaito)
I looked up at Saijo’s house and asked her.
「Un, that’s right. Ahaha, is it surprising?」(Saijo)
Saijo who answered my question, was scratching her cheek as if troubled.
Saijo’s house–was a single apartment where a salaryman might live.
Saijo’s family house might not be close by–but it was a strange place for an ojou-sama to live here.
After all, although the room could be locked, there was no further security.
There was no automatic door lock or any other type of security at the entrance to the building complex.
…what does this mean?
「Etto, you see, I wanted you to know this before you found out later and hate me for it….I don’t get much support from my parents」(Saijo)
Saijo started laughing as if what she was saying was funny.
「Could it be, that you’re paying for this?」(Kaito)
Saijo nods to my question.
「I’m living here and I’m paying the rent with my savings」(Saijo)
「…that’s why you’re limited to living in such a place?」(Kaito)
The hell, what are Saijo’s parents thinking?
Even if you want her to experience living alone, should you at least give her a house with proper security?
In the first place, it’s strange to say that if you don’t place 1st in the school rankings, you’ll be cut off from your family…
I know they want her to have a certain level of ability–but isn’t the world of the rich too severe?
「–ah, that’s not right you know? I have a lot of savings, I just chose this place」(Saijo)
Saijo shook her head in response to my question.
Aaah, is that it…
Even if her parents don’t send her any money, she must have accumulated quite a bit of pocket money.
I don’t know how much pocket money the daughter of one of the largest conglomerates in Japan would receive, but it must be a significant amount.
That’s why she’s able to bless the people at school.
But this raises new questions.
「Then why bother with such a place? Isn’t it better to live somewhere with more security?」(Kaito)
Saijo looked embarrassed at my question.
Her expression was different than the one she had shown when she cornered Momoi and when she was talking to her classmates, she looked like a weak girl.
「This is–the punishment I gave myself」(Saijo)
「That’s right–I once ran away in middle school. That caused my parents to be disappointed in me. But my father gave me one last chance」(Saijo)
「You have to get number 1 in the school?」(Kaito)
Saijo nodded and continued her explanation.
「Father told me to survive my high school life using the money I had saved up until now…to be honest, my pocket money is enough to live on my own for a few years, so I decided to run my life by myself」(Saijo)
「Why would you do that?」(Kaito)
「That’s because–if I live a comfortable life, I’m likely to run away again. I couldn’t forgive myself after I ran away the first time. I don’t want to be like that anymore and I’m trying my best not to be」(Saijo)
Saijo’s eyes seemed to indicate that she was well prepared.
I was wondering just what Saijo had ran away from, but I didn’t push the issue as she was deliberately guiding the conversation away from that point.
Saying that, is this the reason why she reads books on negotiation at school…?
Perhaps it’s related to what she was running from….
Maybe I’m thinking too much about it.
「I know what you’re saying, but just because you want to be number one, doesn’t mean you’ll do anything to Momoi right?」(Kaito)
Just in case—I ask Saijo about it again.
I didn’t think she would give up so easily, so I was well prepared.
「I won’t do it you know? because if I do, Kaito will hate me」(Saijo)
—so she says.
Looking at her like this, it makes me feel guilty for doubting her.
However I still couldn’t understand why she contacted me like this.
「I didn’t think you would but….what will you do?」(Kaito)
「Of course I’ll have to do my best on my own? if I can’t make it to the top that way, then it can’t be helped anymore」(Saijo)
Saijo says with a smiling expression.
「Is that really okay?」(Kaito)
I instinctively ask.
After all, if she doesn’t rank first, she’ll be cut off from her family.
In other words, her future would be over.
「Un, that’s fine, because then I won’t have to worry about the Saijo name anymore」(Kaito)
Saijo replied, looking at me with a meaningful smile.
I was thinking about the meaning of Saijo’s words.
…..I don’t get it…
What changed Saijo’s way of thinking like this?
—to make her think that it would be alright to abandon one of Japan’s leading conglomerates….
Did she reconsider after the matter that occurred the other day?
It doesn’t make sense to think this way and then corner people…
Maa, it’s fine for me as long as Saijo doesn’t target anyone else…
「Then, shall we go inside?」(Saijo)
Saijo smiled and pulled my arm whilst I was thinking.
Eh, what is she doing, this girl!?
「Wa, wait a minute! why do I need to go inside?」(Kaito)
To my question, Saijo tilts her head and looks at me strangely.
Why is she looking at me like I’m the odd one?
No matter what you think, this is weird right?
「What are you saying when you’ve come this far?」(Saijo)
….more than her facial expressions, I was more stumped by her words…
「I don’t get what you mean, I just escorted you home?」(Kaito)
Saijo was surprised and shouted an exaggerated『Eh~!』at my explanation.
「You didn’t come here to be an Okuriōkami?」(Saijo) (TLN: 送り狼 – Okuriōkami, basically means a guy who escorts a girl home, only to make a pass on her. Literally means “Feed Wolf”)
Really, what’s wrong with this girl…
Why does she think that I’m here to act as an Okuriōkami?
I can’t really understand how her thoughts are wired.
I really don’t want to get involved with this girl anymore…
However there was one thing I was more concerned about.
「Hey–despite being in this state, you’ve been looking into my past a lot right?」(Kaito)
Saijo, who had a sullen look to my question due to my refusal earlier, replied with a smile.
「Ah–that was an easy thing to do though right? I told my dad that a male classmate of mine kept approaching me and that I wanted to know about his middle school days, so he got the butlers to look it up you know?」(Saijo)
Saijo said innocently.
Eh…what did she just say?
「C, can you say that again?」(Kaito)
Whilst listening for her reply, my back was drenched in a cold sweat–
「That’s why~ I told him I wanted to investigate a male classmate of mine」(Saijo)
—Saijo replied with a benign smile.
「Ooiiiiiiiiiiiii! What are you saying!?」(Kaito)
「Don’t『Eh?』me! Don’t screw with me! That makes it seem like I’m stalking you! Did they think I was investigating the Saijo conglomerate, is that it!?」(Kaito)
Saijo laughs at my words.
Why is this girl laughing!
From her point of view, this is someone elses problem!
I’d also laugh if an anime character fell into the same predicament!
「It’s fine it’s fine, don’t worry」(Saijo)
Saijo laughs whilst smiling.
「Why aren’t you worried about it? Ah is it because of that? The misunderstanding was resolved after you finished investigating–」(Kaito)
「—Yeah, even if Kaito was arrested by the police, I’ll free you, so it’s ok」(Saijo)
Seriously…just what kind of thinking method does this girl have?
I’ll free you, so it’s okay to get caught….
I mean, there’s no reason I’d get arrested in the first place…?
Rather than that, I’m the one being stalked right?
「Ahaha, it was a joke a joke, I told my dad that he doesn’t have to worry, so he won’t do anything」(Saijo)
「Is that true….?」(Kaito)
「Of course! because if Kaito is arrested, I’ll be in trouble too! so feel free to thank me ok?」(Saijo)
Saijo seems proud of that, but wouldn’t it be her own fault that she’s fallen into this danger?
Rather, you should apologize right?
I was thinking such a thing, but stopped thinking about it after a while. Then after Saijo was off-guard, I untied my arm from hers and walked home–
—there was such a thing….but it seems that today’s misfortune isn’t over yet….
「Wh, what is this….?」(Kaito)
I look at the dinner lined up in front of me and involuntarily look at Sakura-chan.
「What’s wrong, onii-chan?」(Sakura)
Sakura-chan was there with a lovely smile on her face.
「Is that so? eat it quickly before it gets cold, ok?」(Sakura)
Whilst listening to Sakura-chan’s words, I look at the dishes lined up in front of me.
The dishes in front of me where a charred fish-like object and stir-fried vegetables, also charred.
On top of that there was a black object, likely rice, stuck in a bowl.
….well disregarding the other two, how do you make black rice?
Well I don’t think I’ve identified it incorrectly.
Because there are properly grilled salmon and stir-fried vegetables in front of Sakura and Momoi.
Why am I the only one….?
What’s with this….did Momoi make this to harrass me?
When I looked at Momoi with suspicion, she sighed and began to speak.
「You can see the cause if you look at your smartphone right?」(Momoi)
By the way, I haven’t looked at my smartphone in a while because of my excursion with Saijo.
Also Hanahime-chan is the only person I really contact…
I check my smartphone just as Momoi told me to.
–a lot of notifications have come through.
I quickly rush to see the contents.
『I’ve arrived first, so I’ll wait for you onii-chan』
『Etto, are you helping your teacher with something?』
『Are you okay? What’s happened?』
There were many messages like this.
Of course, from the contents of the text, I could tell it was from Sakura-chan.
A cold sweat flows down my body.
We had promised to go back home together and we were supposed to contact each other if we couldn’t go home together.
Yet—since I was caught by Saijo I wasn’t able to contact her.
Sakura-chan had sent me a message every 20 minutes.
Perhaps she was being careful because she thought she’d be annoying if she sent them too often.
So that means….Sakura-chan has been waiting at school this whole time right?
I look up at Sakura-chan gingerly.
She was staring back at me and smiling.
But there was something off about that smile.
However I now knew what that discomfort was.
…this is, Sakura-chan when she’s angry…..
In the background behind Sakura-chan’s smile, it was if the characters『gogogogogo』could be seen. (TLN: gogogogo is a JP SFX to represent a threatening atmosphere/anger)
I then see the last message.
This message, unlike the others, ended with only a few words.
I’ve gone and done it nooooooow!
「So, sorry Sakura-chan!」(Kaito)
I hurriedly apologize to Sakura-chan.
「What are you talking about onii-chan? Sakura isn’t angry at all you know?」(Sakura)
Sakura replied with a smile, but—it’s a lie!
Somehow I feel as if the intimidating atmosphere has increased!
「Haa….I’ll tell you one thing, but breaking promises is the one thing Sakura hates the most. If you break a promise with her, she’ll get angry and that anger will be proportional to the percentage of how much she was looking forward to it」(Momoi)
At Momoi’s words–
「No way onee-chan~ I’ve already said Sakura is not angry at all」(Sakura)
–Sakura smiled at Momoi.
「Th, that’s right….sorry, it was my misunderstanding」(Momoi)
Momoi apologized to Sakura-chan.
Her face was tense….
Sakura-chan’s smile was intimidating enough to put even Momoi under pressure.
「W, well, when I was about to go home from the student council, I told Sakura『Kanzaki-kun was pulled aside by a beautiful blonde girl and went home whilst sporting a sloppy face』」(Momoi)
「Wait a minute! Why are you lying about that!?」(Kaito)
The moment I voiced my defense, Momoi returned a『Haa!?』
I’ve spoken to Momoi quite a bit, but I’ve never heard her make a voice like that…?
Or rather, before I noticed it Momoi’s eyes were settled on me!
Why has the light disappeared from her eyes!?
「Really, you must have had a fun date–to even leave your cute imouto behind」(Momoi)
「W, wait–aren’t you misunderstanding something here? I was taken by Saijo by force–」(Kaito)
「But, you were having fun….」(Momoi)
How did she see it like that…?
Was my face really sloppy at that time?
My facial expression shouldn’t have changed much…
Maybe I’m emotionally unstable…
「Well that is–」(Kaito)
When I tried to explain to Momoi, I was called out by Sakura-chan, who had never stopped smiling since the start of dinner…..
On this day I promised Momoi and Sakura-chan that I would play with them in the future, and asked them to forgive me.
Why did I promise to play with Momoi…?
I promised before I even knew it….
W, well anyway, I vowed on this day that I would never again break a promise with Sakura-chan–