In the After School Library, A Refined Lady's Romantic Comedy Can't Be Compromised - Specials - Part 4
Specials Part 4
Sibling’s Rule II
At the cafeteria during lunch break.
I was having coffee with a girl―a twelfth grader.
“Shion-chan has become more feminine lately.”
It was Shiiba Akane-senpai.
I bumped into her here and so she caught me because she needed to talk to me. Karube, who came with me, went back to the classroom first.
“You don’t have to go out of your way to mention it. Besides, isn’t she already feminine in the first place?”
Hasumi-senpai’s petite classmate titled her head.
Hasumi senpai was friendly and popular with both men and women alike, but that doesn’t mean she was boyish.
Shiiba-senpai seemed convinced of something, and smiled with a grin.
“After all, Shion-chan has those big bonkers, right?”
“No, that’s not what I was thinking about.”
Indeed, she was remarkably feminine in that sense, but it was quite upsetting that she thinks that’s what I was pointing at.
“It’s not that there were any obvious changes, you know? Like, her makeup got more flashy, her accessories and cosmetics changed, she started talking to boys more consciously, or anything like that.”
Shiiba-senpai talked with her milk tea in her hand.
Hasumi-senpai is someone who always wears make-up. I think she might be on the verge of becoming a “gyaru”, but she has it down to a fine line. I don’t know much about cosmetics, but I’ve never seen her wearing any accessories. She doesn’t seem to go out of her way to break the school rules to wear it, and even when she goes out for fun on weekends, she only wears it as a highlight.
I’m also not sure about being conscious of boys.
“Then, what is it?”
Shiiba-senpai also denied all of it too.
“What do you know! It means she got a boy she likes.”
But she said so with confidence.
“You know, the aura of a maiden in love.”
“No, I don’t think…”
I almost denied it, but I swallowed my words. After all, the basis for my denial was that it doesn’t feel like she has someone she likes when she’s at home. But I can’t say it.
“Do you have any idea who it might be?”
Instead, I asked for answers.
“Speaking of boys that Shion-chan has met recently~?”
Then Shiiba-senpai meaningfully looked at me.
“Huh? You mean me? No way?!”
“I mean, you’re the only boy around Shion-chan.”
“No, but still…”
We are siblings. It’s fundamentally impossible.
“But when we meet here, you two often talk in secret. Do you ever secretly go on dates too?”
That much was certain.
“It’s hard to keep a secret, right? Tell me. Don’t you have any naughty stories about how she wears clothes that reveal her b*****s when you two go out on a date, or how you guys snuggle up to each other when it’s just the two of you?”
“No, I don’t.”
If anything, that’s Takinami-senpai shenanigans.
“Well, as a man, I’d like to see that.”
“How lewd, you~”
“You see, suddenly, Shion-chan would start to look around to see if anyone was around. Then, when she saw that it was just the two of us, she would come closer and closer, and the next thing I knew, she was leaning in close to me and would start purring.”
“A cat? If she hears that she’ll get mad, you know?”
Rather, I’d like to see her get mad. It seems cute, but when it comes to Hasumi senpai… I wonder if it really suits her.
Shiiba-senpai looked over my head and thought about something.
“Then where did all that sparkly cuteness come from?”
Then she tilted her head.
“What do you think, Librarian-kun?”
“I’m not sure about the sparkly part, but isn’t Hasumi-senpai usually cute to begin with?”
She doesn’t have a straight, beautiful face like Takinami-senpai. Sometimes I describe her as ‘manly,’ but not all the time. As I mentioned earlier, she was not that masculine. If that was the case, I think it was best to describe her as cute.
“You think she’s cute?”
Shiiba-senpai asked once again.
“I’m sure anyone would agree.”
“Hey, let’s not bring up others.”
Whoa, she was surprisingly level-headed.
“I think she’s also adorable.”
“Wansu Moa, Puriizu.”
“? I think she’s cute.”
How many times is she gonna make me say it?
However, she somehow looked convinced.
“You heard him, Shion-chan.”
Shiiba-senpai looked above my head and stated.
Reflexively, I tried to turn around, but a shock hit my head before I could.
I twisted my body while holding my head, and there was Hasumi-senpai shaking her hardened fist.
“Shizu… Makabe-kun, you…!!”
She was blushing and… probably angry.
“Librarian-kun, can you see her properly from there? If the angle of elevation is about 60 degrees, isn’t that basically a blind spot?”
“No, I can see her…”
It was not an obstacle.
“Hasumi-senpai, how long have you been there?”
“Since you started calling me… c-cute and adorable.”
Hasumi-senpai looked annoyed, glaring at Shiiba-senpai, and then went around the table.
“You too, Akane! What are you making him say!”
Then she wrapped her arms around her from behind and tightened around her neck.
“Wa- Shion-chan! It hurts… it’s hitting me, it’s hitting me! Ugh…..”
Shiiba-senpai was about to say something, but Hasumi-senpai tightened it more.
As expected, Shiiba-senpai would probably die if she did such a thing with much force, so the hellish scene in this world ended when Shiiba-senpai apologized.
“Geez, do that thing to Librarian-kun, you know?”
Shiiba-senpai rubbed her neck and spoke.
“I’ve already experienced that.”
“Ma, Ma-Ma-Makabe-kun, when have I ever strangled youー?”
Hasumi-senpai interrupted me in a panic. C**p. It was an event I shouldn’t have rehashed.
“Come on, Akane, we’re going home.”
“Don’t give me that.”
Hasumi-senpai tried to leave with Shiiba-senpai.
“Makabe-kun… I’ll get you for this later, okay?”
Her smile is so scary.
“Don’t mind it. It’s just a throwaway line.”
“I see. Shion-chan, you were beating him up, huh?”
And so the two upperclassmen left.
Hasumi-senpai curtly responded.
Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of faults about school and daily life at this point in my life, but surprisingly, everything was normal.
And so, as usual, we finished dinner without Uncle―,
A little before 10 pm.
“ “Ah…” “
We let out a sound at the same time.
As I left the room, I ran into Hasumi-senpai coming up the stairs.
She was wearing white silk pajamas, she probably just finished taking a bath.
“Perfect. I need to talk to you.”
“Talk, is it?”
I casually averted my eyes and replied. She also noticed my movement and brushed the front of her pajamas, which were not in disarray.
“Yup, talk. I’ll be ready in a minute so wait downstairs.”
After saying so, Hasumi-senpai returned to her room.
I went downstairs as instructed and sat down on the three-seater sofa. When there’s only two of us, this is where I sit, and Hasumi usually sits on the one-seater sofa.
After a while, Hasumi-senpai came downstairs.
She was wearing a light pink cardigan, unlike the one she had on earlier. I immediately knew what she was conscious of. Hasumi-senpai, who looked awkward, went to the kitchen once and came into the living room with two plastic bottles of sports drink.
Of course, one for me. After doing so, Hasumi-senpai sat down on the one-seater sofa as usual.
Both of us twist the cap at the same time.
“You, what were you saying, going along with Akane’s shenanigans?”
Apparently the ‘later’ has arrived.
I raise my hand.
“What is it, Shizuru?”
It was as if he was a student raising his hand to answer the teacher’s question.
“I’m not lying though.”
Hasumi-senpai tilted her head ever so slightly, it seems like my message was not conveyed well.
“What I mean to say, Shiiba-senpai might have dragged me, but I wasn’t lying. I thought Hasumi-senpai was cute enough.”
The next moment, Hasumi-senpai’s face turned bright red.
“…Shizuru, give me the cushion.”
“…Here you go.”
Hasumi-senpai put out her hand and demanded it, so I handed her the cushion that was beside me. I already anticipated the next tragedy to come.
“What are you talking about, idiot?!”
She took it and threw it at me with all her might―I caught it with my face.
“When it comes to cuteness, it should be Takinami-san.”
“That person is the beauty type. It’s a bit different from cute.”
“Then, what about Akane?”
“Sure, that person is cute, but…”
It would be rare to find a twelfth grader who embodies cuteness so well. Although sometimes she does show a part of her that was not to be underestimated.
Then, Hasumi-senpai said, “See.”
“It’s not in the same vein, but Hasumi-senpai is cute, too.”
“S-stop calling me cute repeatedly.”
Hasumi-senpai said in a hurry.
“Besides, it’s up to the person to decide what they think is cute.”
“Of course. I’m sure there are people who think that Takinami-senpai and Shiiba-senpai fit the bill and that Hasumi-senpai does not so much. And I think Hasumi-senpai is cute.”
Hasumi-senpai’s cheek was twitching. Is it an exercise of her facial muscles? Perhaps it’s because the theory that she had put forward by herself has come back to haunt her.
“How can you say something so embarrassing?”
Eventually, Hasumi-senpai cut in with her mouth agape.
“Is it embarrassing to compliment others or express your feelings?”
“Me on the receiving end is… but I guess that’s just my own convenience. Apart from that, you shouldn’t be so quick to say what you think. The same goes for what happened the other day. You should have just said you didn’t see anything. Lying is also a good strategy, isn’t it? Don’t just answer as you’re asked.”
“Isn’t it fine? In these scenarios, It’s best to tell people when you feel that way. Besides, I also don’t want to tell lies.”
When I replied, Hasumi-senpai began to think about something.
Seriously, at that.
“…You’ve been doing that for a while now?”
Eventually, she asked with a sharp gaze.
“Eh? Oh, no, it’s not like that. But isn’t that how siblings should be?”
Of course it was a beautiful thing to say that you don’t hide things from others, but you don’t have to go out of your way to keep quiet about the good things about the other person. Just tell them honestly what you think. And you should always be truthful and sincere.
Hasumi-senpai thinks about something else.
“But I don’t think so.”
And what came out was such words.
“I compliment them on the good points, but I don’t rush to tell them. I look at things like the flow of the conversation. And I don’t think it’s good to be honest about everything. If necessary, I will lie to cover it up and keep it hidden until later when it can be laughed about. Do the same, Shizuru.”
“I’m not going away.”
I became flabbergasted by her words.
‘Was I subconsciously scared…?’
Perhaps I wanted to be honest with my family and tell them exactly how I felt, since I was afraid that I would not be able to do so.
What if that person is not there when you want to tell them?
What if you tell a lie and can no longer tell the truth to that person anymore?
I don’t want to regret it later. So did I became stupidly honest in expressing my feelings because of that…?
Hasumi-senpai got up from the sofa.
“I’ll go back to my room and go straight to sleep. I’ll leave you to it.”
She went to the kitchen and put the plastic bottle of sports drink she had drunk from in the sink. Then she went upstairs as I watched her go.
‘I was supposed to be great at reading the mood though…’
After Hasumi-senpai was out of sight, I leaned back against the back of the sofa and murmured.
I can see myself objectively and dispassionately. By looking at myself objectively, including the situation at any given time, I am able to find the best solution for how I should act and what kind of expression I should make in each situation. Basically, I’m terrific at reading the mood.
I never thought that I would be told to read the air.
However, it was impossible for yourself, much less others, to know that you were “unconsciously doing it.” That was precisely because it was unconscious. How can anyone else know what I don’t know? If that was the case, it was only an assumption.
Still, I was glad when she said she won’t be going away.
Human life was more fragile than you can imagine. Even if she said she wouldn’t be gone, there was no guarantee. In fact, Mom’s life was lost just because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. People can suddenly disappear.
However, Hasumi Shion declared it.
I’m not going away. She stated.
I was sure I could believe in that.
“What are you grinning at?”
Suddenly a voice descended.
I looked up and saw Hasumi-senpai looking down at me from the top of the stairs.
“Of course, if I lived with my dear older sister, who is very stylish and pretty, I would have a face like this.”
“I-I told you not to say anything unnecessary.”
She yelled at me while her face turned red.
I got scolded again.
“I’m going to bed. Good night.”
Then Hasumi-senpai turned on her feet and went up the stairs.