My Younger Stepsister with whom I have never spoken to is an online friend from a game into which I have been fooling around for years. - Chapter 7.7
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Translated by White Fanatic
Edited by Idlemousse
Nanjo Rin had a somewhat nervous look on her face. Her eyes seemed to spell out, ‘hurry up and go home fast as well.’ As she was leaving the classroom, she stopped and turned around to look at me as if to urge me once again, before leaving with quick steps.
“Ah, even the sun has already set… so then, there’s no point in staying in the classroom anymore. Subaru, wanna take a detour while going home?”
“Let’s go to the convenience store.”
“Is your stomach going to be noisy?”
“Something along the lines of that.”
While having such a conversation, I left school with Koutora.
Unfortunately, the sky was rather dull. Maybe it will rain soon.
Even though I was worried about the weather, I still bought fried chicken at the convenience store near the school.
It was 178 yen for 6 pieces.
I thought that that was quite a volume and the cost-to-food ratio was also good. Given that you had to eat seven times this amount for collaboration avatars, it was not the amount I could eat in just one day. It was tough even for a high school boy who already had a big appetite to begin with.
… Shiyori wanted a collaboration avatar as soon as possible, so she bought a huge amount of fried chicken all at once.
Remembering that episode, a small chuckle escaped out of my mouth.
“By the way, what do you think about her, Subaru?”
“Isn’t it obvious? I’m talking about Yoshida?!”
When the topic suddenly came up, I was shocked for a moment there. For me, the topic of Shiyori was a sensitive issue. Especially now more than ever before, it would be a big deal if it was found out that I was her stepbrother.
“Being brutally honest, she is pretty high level, isn’t she? Moreover, there are many guys who are even aiming for her.”
“… Aiming for her? No, well, I do think that she’s certainly cute.”
“Isn’t she? It’s even talked about that she’s a type with whom if you press your feelings hard enough, you might overwhelm her and get your way with her eventually, or something like that.”
“What the heck…”
Somehow I started feeling sick hearing Koutora talk about Shiyori like that.
A throbbing feeling arose from the depths of my stomach and it surged up my throat in a similar way to that of nausea. Just because her looks started to improve ― in the back of my mind such emotions welled up and somehow I was unable to hide my frustration about what was being discussed.
“Even though they don’t know anything about her at all, it’s so funny how they want to go out with her.”
Those words popped out like a curse. I just couldn’t help but blurt it out.
“Well, you see, everyone thinks and wants to date a cute girl, right? They are like, if you don’t know something about her, you can always get to know her after spending time dating her, or something like that?”
“… That’s totally out of my field of understanding.”
“Haha, Subaru is like that. But in reality, isn’t Nanjo-san also being confessed to multiple times already? Seeing as how society is, isn’t that how it works at the end of the day?”
I couldn’t accept it, but Koutora’s words made sense. However, by only looking at the surface, going out with someone like that – that was one idea that I couldn’t agree with no matter what.
『A~h, I really can’t go on with these boys. Even he came just by looking at my superficial figure after all dammit.』
Right now, I could finally understand the feeling that Nanjo Rin felt at that time.
I wanted to help Shiyori. I just didn’t like how the others perceived her.
“Haha, maybe right now, Yoshida should be getting confessed to by someone by now.”
“… Oh God please.”
I couldn’t dismiss it as ‘impossible.’ I remembered how last year Nanjo Rin was confessed to within a week of entering school and it became a hot topic afterward. I had never even seen her during after-school hours. I didn’t even know where she was now. Uneasiness rushed over me like droplets tickling in my ears.
As if responding to my feelings, it began to rain.
“… Damn, this might turn intense later. Let’s run to the station, Subaru!”
By the time we got on the train, we were completely soaked through and through. While witnessing that heavy rain through the window, I stared down at the contacts on my phone.
No matter how much I searched for it, I couldn’t find Shiyori’s name in my contact list.
— I didn’t even know her contact information.
Shiyori was my stepsister. Not my sister in the truest sense. Even though I will disagree if I was asked whether she was a stranger, I would probably be mute if I were asked if she were related to me by blood.
Even so, we lived in the same house and played the same games together. Go to the same school. And yet, I didn’t even have her listed in my contacts.
We definitely had such a strange relationship between us.
When I arrived at the station like before, it was still raining. It was on the level that a person would think twice if they were without an umbrella. Thinking that it might be a small cloud burst, when I looked up at the sky to see whether my premonitions matched up or not, I understood, the rain wasn’t about to stop anytime soon.
―Is Shiyori okay right now? Is she caught up in the heavy rain as well?
It suddenly occurred to me to think of such a thing. The feelings inside my chest were also rumbling just like the rough sky overhead.
“Ah, umm, excuse me!”
Just coming out of the ticket counter, there was a girl who was approached me like a owner who found it’s lost dog.
Her long black hair was waving like a tail as she closed the distance between us all at once, slamming right into my chest while I looked back at her, completely stunned.
It was Shiyori. I was completely baffled coming face to face by the unexpectedness of the situation.
“Um, the rain, since it came down all of a sudden… Um, since it’s quite strong as well and I have a folded tatami-sized umbrella as well, so umm, let’s go together…”
Looking desperate, she spoke at a fast pace that was different from how she usually spoke as she kept on appealing to the presence of the small red folded umbrella which she held close to her bo—om.
Apparently, she was worried about me not having an umbrella on me and was waiting for me here. The persisting feeling that had been smoldering in my chest until just now all washed away with the sound of the rain, or so it appeared right then.
“Was it perhaps… a nuisance?”
“… Of course it’s not! That umm… thank you.”
“Let me carry it.”
However, Shiyori’s umbrella was way smaller when I held it.
If I tilted it over to keep the rain away from Shiyori’s end, my right shoulder would be completely soaked. But that didn’t matter in the slightest. Above all, she was worried about me and waited for me — I was extremely happy with the thoughtfulness she showed me today.
Looking at Shiyori’s shy face as she nodded slightly, I felt as if my rough heart was being healed away. Maybe that’s specifically why the words I wanted to say came out rather naturally.
“Say Shiyori, even though this might be a little late, can you tell me your contact information?”
Even though I was able to ask her rather calmly before, but now, even I had a fast speech this time.
“No, umm, look, if anything like this happens again in the future, then it would be quite convenient to know each other’s contact information in such a case…”
“… In the future”
Somehow, I felt kind of embarrassed. I could understand why Shiyori’s speech also became quite fast-paced as well.
“Um, is this fine…?”
Under the clock at Hatsuseya station in the heavy rain in the place where Philia and I decided to meet earlier was where we exchanged our contact information for the first time.