Putting my textbook titled [Noam Chomsky’s Practical Use of Analytic Philosophy into Human Science] into my backpack, I let out a worried sigh.
“White is the paper, black are the letters.”
And even if someone heard my sigh, it’s not like they’ll do something about it either.
I’m currently at the linguistic centre of the Illuminati Private Academy, with the lecture just finished. What I understand is close to zero, and what I don’t is close to everything.
Stretching my arms slowly, I get up from my seat, half-hearted.
With Lily silently behind my back, I slowly open the back door in the classroom and move to the hallway. The hall was already crammed full with students who were also done with their class.
“Ugh, why the hell are there so many people here?”
Muttering out my complaint, I part through the crowd of students toward the second floor hall; the reason being my next class was located there. What was the subject? …Math, I think. Basic communication I could manage somehow, but classes like this, littered with technical mumbo-jumbo, I still had problems with.
“That’s that, but I haven’t saw Miss Sara around today.”
Now that I think about it, it was only two days ago that the cruise hijacking took place. Because of the whole business with Lily, I didn’t get to sleep until four in the morning. I feel a little strange myself, attending school normally just a day after the hijacking.
Well, compared to Maria, who spent the night awake and had to depart to work just after her breakfast, this is probably nothing. Even if she was only acting all right on the outside…
Speaking of Maria, why am I talking about these things, of all times?
Tapping my temple hurting from the lack of sleep, I try to find the lecture room. It’s not that the room was had to find, but this bustling crowd here just makes it worse. It’s not like I’m used to this school yet either.
I was immersed in useless thoughts when I felt Lily tugging at my clothes from the back.
I turn my head around to find Lily, acting restless and fidgety.
So even this robot of a girl has to go to bathroom. As soon as my word of approval comes out, she dashes away to somewhere.
And just when I was about to resume my journey to find my classroom, something bumps into me.
I must’ve bumped into someone.
Regaining my composure, I look toward the source only to find a small group of students bunched up. You could tell with just a glance that these people weren’t the type you’d like to get involved with.
Some bad apples from a rich family, perhaps?
“Where do you have your eyes attached to, bumping into everything?”
Picking fights right off the bat. I don’t think they’re interested in talking nicely.
“On my head, where else do you think they’d be attached to?”
“You little shit, who do you think you are?”
“Tch, I said I’m sorry, how much more you want me to do for bumping into someone?”
“Haa, look at this little yellow monkey here, thinking he’s the boss.”
Seeing that I’m not as submissive as they expected, the group surrounds me in a threatening tone.
The situation takes a turn for the worse, and already there is a crowd of people around us, forming a sort of coliseum around us.
As always, street fights always begin with something trivial.
I can’t say this situation is going my way.
Although I’d like to ask just when my life has ever went my way, but still.
That’s that, but yellow monkey?
I like that. It’s true when you think about it.
I can stand for anything else, but I can’t stand people calling me yellow monkey and getting away with it!
“Sounds to me like you guys aren’t gonna let this go without a fight.”
Even so, I scratch my head and reply back calmly to the gang.
“But just to make sure, why not just let this go?”
“What, you chickening out or something?
“Well, not particularly but…”
You look a bit too old to be using that old insult to taunt me in, not that it’ll matter when Lily gets here. What’s she taking so long anyway? I don’t mind if you have to sprint your way here, just come quickly.
“What’re you mumbling about, you bitch!”
And so, one of the goon that I bumped into lets his emotions get the better of him and throws a punch my way.
Even so, I can’t be hiding Lily’s back forever.
Taking a hit, I wind back up and prepare for a counte…
“You people over there, what are you doing?”
A familiar voice resonates to me, and I stop where I am.
I turn my eyes, only to find Dorothy cutting through the crowd into the centre.
“Do, Dorothy Iblis Blackhazel?!”
Unbelievably, everyone, including the one that threw a punch my way, backs up in an instant and stiffens up.
“Hmm~ I thought something was up when you smelly jocks were gathered up here, so it was for this?”
And In comparison, Dorothy is overwhelming and arrogant, like a princess, as though she was above them in ranking from the start.
It’s like looking a medieval relation between a noble and a plebeian.
“What could Blackhazel possibly want w, with us…!”
Shaking her shoulder and commanding the flow, Dorothy’s form right now feels somewhat close to Maria’s stature. I guess sisters are sisters. Sisters as in identical twins, not just any sisters.
“W, we were just teaching a lesson to this lowbred yellow monkey over here! If we were in the way for something then-“
“No, I’d rather you stay right there for now.
Dorothy retorts back in an icy tone.
It seems that the fours goons here aren’t aware as to why she’s so antagonistic toward them.
“If you want to fight a dog, then shouldn’t you make sure you’re strong enough to take on its master as well?”
And I see where this is going. But to call me a dog in front of everyone here, this brat’s attitude has no limits.
There’s nothing more exciting than watching a fight, save for watching a fire burn, and with Dorothy joining the fray, I’d say this is worth watching with popcorn and pop by your side.
“W, we don’t know why you’re so…”
“That pathetic little carp there.”
Do you mean me, by any chance?
Judging by how Dorothy is shaking her shoulder and pointing my way, I’d say it’s pretty clear that she means me.
“Disappointing as he is, even as a virgin quick-shot lolicon, he’s still my brother in any case.”
Faces distort in surprise. In a sense.
So to explain everyone’s expression right now with an analogy, these Russian goons found out that their student A that they oh-so-loved to use as a delivery boy was the son of a Mafia boss. Maybe more than that.
“I’d rather not acknowledge it myself, but if he ever got back home with his face all beaten up, Maria-onee-sama could just might decide to kill you all.”
And why does the word “kill you all” doesn’t sound exaggerated at all? If anything else, Maria would definitely do that, if not more.
“B, but! He’s not a pure-blood!”
“Hmm~ So you’d think it’d be okay to look down on someone that’s only half a Blackhazel?”
I can understand what this guy’s obsessing about. For the Blackhazel family that’s obsesses so much over the purity of the blood, it’d seem weird for one of them to be of mixed blood.
“S, Sorry! We really didn’t do anyt…”
“He’s the one that punched you! I had nothing to do with th-“
Oh, look at you guys now.
You were the first to start this fight, and you’re also the first to beg and grovel. By the way, why are you apologizing to Dorothy and not me?
“To be honest, I couldn’t care less what you guys did to my stupid brother.”
Dorothy speaks eloquently, carefully surveying their faces.
“The important thing is, whether he’s stupid or half-blooded or not, he’s still a Blackhazel.”
The conversation’s taking a weird turn now. I have no choice but to just sit by and listen, not really able to find a place to squeeze into the conversation.
“To be short, you guys mocked the 'Blackhazel' inside my stupid brother over there.”
“W, we’ll do anything you’ll ask! We’re sorry!”
“Oh, you’ll do anything? Really~?”
Dorothy is glaring sharply at the gang like a cat, with her hands crossed. No matter how you look at it, she’s not about to let them off the hook.
“Then in that case, how about you kneel and beg for mercy here?”
A wave of hesitation sparks through the gang. Begging and kneeling in such a public place like this, it’s much too severe to even consider it a simple “humiliation.” They did recklessly decide to punch me, but I really don’t think this is the right way to go.
“Just sit there and shut up for a second, you stupid idiot.”
“No, but isn’t this this a bit…”
It’s just attracting more and more attention.
“Listen up. If you were shamed even once, you return it back hundredfold. That is our rule.”
‘It would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved’: Words of Machiavelli himself.
I scan Dorothy and the gang in turn, unable to decide what to do.
“For example, brutally sentencing them to a humiliation so cruel, to the point they’re socially outcast from everyone else?”
“J, just a sec! I really didn’t know anything about him!”
“Or, we could just settle this with something lighter from your perspective, so we can avoid creating trouble for everyone.”
'I’ll dance naked if you want,' would be the thought going through these goon’s head. That much even I can guess myself.
“Then bark like a dog for me.”
“I told you, bark like a dog. Or are you thinking of staying human and taking a trip down hell’s abyss?”
Trampling and reigning over their pride; I can only feel shivering cruelty from Dorothy now.
Compared to what she’s doing right now, what she’s been doing to me all this time is mischievous jokes at best.
They’re actually barking like dogs. Kneeling and groveling, in that exact position.
It’s too miserable to even look at them with both eyes open.
And Lily was suddenly by my side, appearing like a ghost from god knows when before.
Well, who knows?
If this brat had appeared sooner, these guys could have got away without suffering this cruel and miserable punishment, save for some broken arms and legs.
To call this “you reap what you sow”... The weight of karma is too heavy to ignore.
◇ ◆ ◇
That day afternoon.
Like it’s always been, the three Blackhazel siblings are enjoying their dinner.
Maria opens her mouth first, midway through the silent meal.
With a ring resonating from her dinner plate, her voice spreads throughout, like a clear bell.
“Have you noticed the new bed in your room?”
“Hmm? Ah, yeah.”
Maria continues her words, her eyes still focused on her knife and fork.
“Though you haven’t done so yet, it’s immoral for a man and woman to even think about sleeping on the same bed. From now on, Lily will sleep there.”
“Ahaha, don’t you think you’re being too sensitive to a 12-year-ol…”
“Haven’t you heard the saying: 'It is always the quiet ones'?”
“Not to mention that you’re an uncontrollable lolicon that gets horny off 12-year-olds.”
Looking at Maria cutting off my every sentence and getting angry, I’d say she’s been thinking about this for quite a while. But I don’t know why she’s using that proverb here? I’m not sure if you’re trying to say that I have an urge to go climb on a roof or something.
“Onee-sama, an electronic bracelet pioneer like him needs to be just castrated right off so he can at least be useful to the society."
“Uwah, you! Don’t say something horrifying like that so casually!”
Tightening my legs up in reflex, I frown at Dorothy.
I don’t know how a 17-year-old girl like her can even think about saying such horrendous words out of the blue. Ugh, I’m losing faith in humanity. Humanity, I say.
“Do you understand, Onii-sama? From now on, Lily will sleep on the new bed in your room.”
Maria speaks while sipping her cup of coffee, after patiently listening to my bickering between me and Dorothy.
“And about that.”
“About the hijacking that took place before.”
Just after I nod my head in agreement, Maria changes the topic with gusto.
I really can’t get used to Maria’s pace of taking care of things. Is it because of her pragmatic nature trying to get right to the point? Not that it’d be any surprise.
“I have an idea as to who is the one behind the curtains here.”
“Yes. Because of that, I have some information I’d like to inform to you, Onii-sama.”
Wiping her mouth with her napkin, Maria continues on.
“First off, about the 'family meeting' that will take place in Hotel de Bilderberg in Netherland in few days’ time.”
I could swear we were just talking about the hijack just now.
“The reason why I’m talking about the family meeting now, of all times, is because the two matters are closely related.”
Now what kind of enigmatic puzzle is she talking about?
Even so, Maria remains composed, her dull poker face etched into her expression. It’s so serious, I can’t even find the willpower to throw her a joke.
With an unnerving pause in her sentence, she slices through her food and takes a bite. And silently, she takes a breath.
“The group that’s responsible for helping the ‘Blades of the Left’ infiltrate the cruise, and disguising it as cruise hijacking is no other than…”
“No other than…?”
“The other faction of the Blackhazel family.”
◇ ◆ ◇
“So all this began because of this family feud between the different factions in the family or whatever…”
It’s like one of those fight-to-the-death families you see on the morning dramas.
And I’m right in the middle of it.
To be honest, I was half-dragged to the Blackhazel Manor knowing nothing, so it’s safe to say that I’m wrapped up in this bloodthirsty family feud as well.
But Maria is different.
That girl probably knew from the beginning; that their retaliation and their tenacity would cause an unimaginable storm.
It’s not something you could compare to prides Jewish people have, but I’m aware that the Aryans from Europe, particularly those that established their wealth and power through a network of family and tribes, take enormous pride in the “blood” of their family.
And even then, Maria went through everything, just to bring me to this place.
But how was I worth that trouble?
Even if I’m her brother sharing half the blood, there was no need for her to sacrifice this much for a brother she doesn’t even remember how he looks like.
Any normal reasoning would least to that conclusion.
Letting my imagination run wild, I head to the bathroom. Behind my back is Lily, stuck like glue as usual. Just where are you not planning to follow me into? You usually waited on the chair by the hallway while I was in the bathroom.
“Yo, I’m going to take a quick shower. Wait here, okay?”
Lily shakes her head sideways, disapproving. She’s still got a hold of my clothes, with no thought of releasing anytime soon.
“Just a second, I’m gonna ask you this to avoid any misunderstanding. Are you planning to follow me into the bathroom?”
Lily’s face flushes red with embarrassment and she still refuses to let go of me. Oh god, I’ve trigered one too many flags for her!
But she was always ready to tease and bully me along with Dorothy just a few days before, why is she being so attached now?!
“Uwah?! I’ll take a really quick shower so just hold on for 5 minutes then!”
Shaking your head like that twice means you’re not going to listen twice as much? It’s a simple body language to understand. Not that I’d be interested in it much.
“How can a grown-up girl like you, even think about washing yourself with another man?! No!”
“Lily, still a child…”
“Don’t use an innocent excuse like that here!”
You little brat- No, if I said that, then I’m only acknowledging that she’s still a child, and therefore it’s alright for her to come. And so, the unavoidable three-stage acknowledgement would be completed.
That’s why I can’t say it. I won’t say it.
“But Lily, still little…”
“Just because you’re little you think you can come to the bathroom with me?”
Nice counter. A cannon to demolish the wall of logic.
“W, whatever, but no is a no!”
If that’s the case then it’s time for me to say goodbye with logical reasoning as well. To use an analogy, it’s like trying to ignore a child begging her parents to buy her a toy.
Lily undergoes a change in her plan, making a doe-like expression at me, with tears glistening under her eyes. It’s as if she’s trying to say “Even if I’m like this…?” to me.
Goddamn, she’s driving me mad. What am I supposed to do now.
And just when I was driven into this irreversible corner:
“What is with all the commotion?”
Suddenly Maria shows up from downstairs, looking for the source of the noise. She’s like a messiah to me; well, let’s pretend she is for the moment.
“Ohhh, Maria, I’m glad to see you!”
If I think about it, Maria’s been thinking of Lily as a rival of some sort lately. It’s unorthodox and delusional at best, but maybe I can use that to my advantage here.
“Listen to me here, Maria! I’m trying to take a shower in the washroom but Lily keeps insisting that she come inside with me!”
“….Protecting by side, Lily’s duty.”
“Oh god, give me a break!”
Perhaps she assumed what was going on correctly; Maria nods with a look of understanding on her face.
“Hmm, inside? It is true that those not in a relationship together entering the same bath is immoral indeed. In that case…”
Maria immerses herself deep in thought, and emerges with a look that says she’s thought of a wonderful solution for this problem.
And her wonderful solution was…
“It seems that I will have to go in with you.”
What nonsense are you sprouting now!
“Bathroom is a dangerous place, Onii-sama! If you by any chance slipped and broke your head, Ahhh! This girl shall never live with the guilt tormenting her conscience!”
“You really think a grown-up man would be afraid of that to go in the bath alone, logically speaki…”
Hmm? Oh wait.
Just then I’ve stopped speaking, realizing a great flaw in what I said.
What nonsense am I even talking about?
There’s no way something stupid and illogical like what I’ve just said would ever have a chance to work in front of Maria!
◇ ◆ ◇
Maria calmly undresses herself to have her white body reveal itself. Sounds of her clothes sliding off can be heard softly. Unable to look at her properly, I silently turn my head to focus on something else.
As soon as I said that I’d rather not take a bath, Maria declared “Overruled!” and proceeded to half-drag me to the bathroom.
It’s really nerve-wrecking.
It really is nerve-wrecking.
In all my 18 years of not-too-short life, no matter how hard I think, I don’t think I was in a situation more nerve-wrecking than this. Ahhh, God, Buddah, Allah, whoever or wherever you are, please offer me a way out of this situation.
“Er, hmm, hey, Maria.”
Not knowing where to set my eyes to, I mumble while staring at the ceiling.
“This is going to sound weird, but do I really have to take my clothes off?”
“Were you thinking of washing yourself while dressed, Onii-sama?”
Maria tilts her head, curious.
“It’s not a bad suggestion.”
“It’s a tasteless joke.”
“I think the situation we’re in right now is more tasteless.”
“There’s nothing strange about this.”
“No, believe me, it’s strange.”
Well, as we exchange trivial chatters across, the situation continues to take a turn for the worse. Yes, to disaster. In a sense, it’s as if a train travelling at 350km/h suddenly derailed onto the wrong side of the tracks.
“Quickly Onii-sama, undress yourself. Or would you prefer this girl to undress you herself?”
“Your brother is thinking of taking a bath clothed.”
“There’s no need to be shy, Onii-sama♪”
“No, being shy is the least of my concern here.”
Despite me shaking my head fiercely rejecting her proposal, there’s no stopping Maria.
“Aahhh! Could it be that you’re having problem undressing by yourself? Then this girl, lacking as she is, will do her best to help you out!”
“Okay, stop there!”
Hearing Maria’s footsteps approaching me, I turn around hastily in panic to try to stop he....r, and…
It’s obvious what was behind me.
Maria was standing naked before me, with not a string covering her. In an instant my face blushes up. I could feel something dripping down my nose. I wipe away the uncomfortable feeling away, only to find Maria shouting back at me, with her eyes locked into me in surprise.
“O, Onii-sama? Your nose is bleeding!”
Maria panics, not knowing what to do. I hope she knows that she’s the one responsible for this.
There’s no way she would know.
Maria’s naked body is like a statue of a Greek goddess, made by an ancient artisan, with the utmost care and craftsmanship. Breasts that are just the right size. Body lines that could be considered the prime of arc; definitive without any doubt. What’s in is in, and what’s out is out- skins whiter than the ripest of peaches. Straight honey-blonde hair, wet with the humidity in the air, whirling around.
Without a sign of confusing, the heterochromatic eyes of gold and azure that looks on straight.
She’s the personification of beauty itself.
I find out staring back at Maria, this side of myself I was unable to control.
I bend down to wipe my nose with a tissue. Perhaps she’s aware of what has happened; Maria flushes, red with embarrassment.
“This body of mine, is it that beautiful?”
Dying her face red like a ruby, Maria asks. Underneath her word, I could sense the pride she took in her appearance.
Regaining my composure a moment too late, I answer back in a stupor. Not like I would answer back differently if I had my senses.
Being prideful about yourself is important for your self-esteem, no? Though this isn’t the best time to bring this subject up.
“But, wouldn’t it be better to do it… separately?”
I think I know what her answer is going to be.
“I won’t allow it.”
Without a moment of hesitation, it’s overruled. Maria’s stance is formidable, as if she won’t allow any exception.
But I can’t back down now.
“Didn’t you say that it was a problem for grown up man and woman to take a bath together?”
“Perhaps. But are we not siblings? Is it that much of a problem for family members to take a bath together?”
“…You’re driving me mad.”
This analogy here could be a bit exaggerated, but this is comparable to getting your virginity taken away. If a man can’t protect his own virginity, then he can’t protect anything else!
“Hurry up and undress yourself. How will I help you take a bath if you don’t?”
But I don’t have time to argue about something as trivial as that. I have something else I have to focus on at the moment.
“I’m not going to take my clothes off!”
“What is so embarrassing about showing a sibling your body? I can’t understand.”
“No, a normal person would understand.”
“If Onii-sama is that much against it, then I will have to resort to force.”
So it’s rape?!
It’s basically a senseless strength contest now. So something like this is called checkmate? I don’t see what else I can do.
“Fuu, alright, alright. It’s not like I have any choice this far into it.”
“Aha, excellent choice. ♪”
Twitching like my muscles are paralyzed, I take my clothes off in a stiff fashion. And finally, using a towel to cover myself, I take my underwear off.
Ahhh, I’m going mad. So my pride as a man is already nothing but a rock stuck deep down in the abyss of the underworld?
“Is this g, good then.”
“Look at you! I knew Onii-sama could do it if you put your mind into it.”
Does this look like a matter of bravery to you?!
She’s talking like a mom complimenting her child for finishing all the peppers on his plate. With all due respect, this isn’t something as simple as that.
“Then, this girl will help wash you now. Please, make yourself comfortable here.”
Looking at how the situation is progressing, it’s only been a warm-up exercise until now. Just thinking about the fate that awaits me sends a chill up my spine.
Unable to resist Maria’s urging, I sit on the stool and inch my legs closer.
“Please remove the towel as well.”
“This is my last line of pride as your brother.”
“Are you thinking of letting your pride getting drenched with water?”
Nice argument. But it won’t work against me, Maria. The towel stays where it is.
“I think that’ll be better.”
“That won’t do. Please hand it over, or this girl will…”
“Like I said, I’m not goin- Whoa, whoa?! I got it! Hang on!”
Ahhh. So after having Maria boldly inch closer to remove the towel herself, I hastily toss the towel aside. This reason is simple. In terms of position, the situation was that Maria’s breasts were nearing to touch my shoulder.
This is not good.
Really not good at all.
God of virginity, lend me your strength.
Well, not that a god like that would exist in the first place.
“Please Onii-sama, calm yourself and accept this girl’s service in peace.”
“I can manage washing myself alone, I think?”
“That won’t do. This is the devotion this girls offers to her one and only Onii-sama♡ “
Maria takes hold of the shower head and checks the temperature of the water.
The time it takes for the water temperate to warm up is about 5 seconds. Maria flattens herself on me and meticulously works on washing my body.
A dreamy feeling of sinking gently. A perception of rising slowly from deep underwater. It’s a sensation that’s hard to describe. And the occasional touch of Maria’s body, soft and silky, and from Maria’s long and slender fingers were hard for me to even endure through.
Just where she touched, it makes me scared just by thinking about it.
After I was sufficiently wet, Maria turned off the shower head. Reaching for the soap nearby, she lathers it to make bubbles.
And then with the soap towel nearby…
She doesn’t reach for it!
With the lather of bubbles in her hands, she slowly scrubs my back with it. Wait, hang on a second.
What the hell is going on here?
“Uwahh?! Yo, wait! Hang on hang on hang on! Wait a minute! Stop!”
Arching my back like a bow, I yell out desperately.
“What is the matter?”
“What is the matter? You really don’t know why?”
I don’t think she knows.
Maria tilts her head and answers back.
“As I thought, Onii-sama prefers my breasts rather than my hands…”
She’s perfectly wrong here, this one!
“No, I’m saying this much I can do myself!”
Maria shakes her shoulders and let out a light sigh. A gesture that she’s giving up due to pressure. Yes, this is what I wanted.
And so, unable to go against my defiant refusal, Maria, who had no choice,
Whips around my back and hugs me from behind.
It’s like I just grabbed onto an exposed electric wire, damp with water; that’s what I felt.
The soft feeling enveloping me from behind makes my nerves rise up in shock. My nerves register the naked flesh of Maria, and transmit it to my brain. I can’t regain my composure now.
And this slippery sensation that I feel from behind is Maria’s…
Ahh, if my thoughts have reached that far, then it’s time for me to stop thinking.
It’s like I’ve been hit with a home run from the last enemy batter when the bases were loaded with two batters out with it taking place on the 9th inning.
To make it simpler, you could imagine my soul draining out of my mouth to get a feel of it.
“Ma, Maria? Why so suddenly?!”
“…As I thought, Onii-sama, do you not remember?”
But contrary to my expectation, Maria’s voice was accompanied by not with force, but with shaky uncertainty.
Just like before.
Just like before, her influence was so much that she was changing the atmosphere with just the power of emotions inside her.
“It’s not that I expected you to remember. After all, everything this girl remembers come from nighttime tales father used to tell.”
Unable to transition into Maria’s sudden change of dialogue, my lack of foresight makes me panicky and unaware.
“When the two of us were young, we would use to bathe like this often.”
If Dorothy ever got a wind of that, she’ll probably get a heart attack on the spot.
“He told us other interesting stories as well. Like the time Onii-sama stole mother’s ring as a present for me, or the time two of us went to Disneyland together.”
Well, that’s all well and good, but can you think about letting me go anytime soon? With you stuck to me so close, I can’t even begin to think straight in this position.
“As the head of the Blackhazel Family’s kingdom, I had to adapt to tight and strict schedules every day. Respite was only a luxury for me. People only regarded me as a figure of respect, and no one wanted to get close to me.”
Bit of a background story; as to how she became the 《Princess of Pure Darkness》.
“And every time fatigue got to me, I thought of the story father had told me.”
“That I had my one-and-only Onii-sama somewhere.”
Her voice had a trace of deep nostalgia echoing from it.
I can assume as to what kind of environment Maria grew up in, and what she had to do inside. Presumably, it would be painful beyond imagination, something plebeians like me can’t even begin to think about.
“No matter how lonely or tired I was, it was that thought that carried me until today.”
Maria gathers more strength to hug me tighter from behind. The feeling of our skin touching grows ever so clearly.
“Yes, this girl has only dreamed of this moment like this with her Onii-sama.”
She sounded delighted, and yet a faint sense of sadness could be sensed from her voice.
“Every day before I went to sleep at night, I thought of what kind of person Onii-sama would be like. Would he be gentle? Would he be cool? Or would he be someone with a sense of humour? Just imagining about what Onii-sama would be like was enough to make me happy and happier. I would fall asleep optimistically joyful, glistening with tears of happiness.”
“…Ahaha, then I guess you were disappointed.”
“Why do you think that?”
You’re really asking that.
No idiot in this world would think that the me here could possibly match your description of prince charming from a fairy tale.
“Well, I’m not like any of the person you were thinking I was…”
“What are you talking about?”
But Maria does not approve my disapproval.
Rather, she put on a bright smile like a child, and whispers gently into my ear.
“Onii-sama is exactly like the Prince Charming I was expecting along.”
◇ ◆ ◇
Maria lathers soap bubbles in her hands and carefully rubs near my shoulder blades. Sensation of white slippery bubbles envelops me.
“This girl’s service… Does it feel good, Onii-sama?”
“Hmm? Ah, yeah.”
To be honest, I don’t know what to do. It’s not like I can refuse her after hearing what she’s been through earlier. This girl’s really good at bending people her way. You could try resisting, but in the end you get wrapped inside her pace.
“There’s no need to be uncomfortable like that. This girl’s doing this because she wants to.”
Maria speaks, laughing softly.
But I’m already so uncomfortable that my head’s about to cave in. Skinship is skinship, but this is just ridiculous. Exactly why can’t you realize that?
Not like complaining about it now would do any good anyway…
I really can’t adjust myself to her tempo she runs in.
Bouncing this way and that way, it’s like a rhapsody that you can’t predict.
Normally, I bet even high school first-love couples wouldn’t progress their relationships at this fast of a speed.
But if you think about it, the case that I was in it was light-speed away from what anyone would call “normal”.
Ahh, I was foolish.
I feel like I’m paralyzed beyond the doctor’s control.
Maria’s soft fingers that massage every nook and cranny on my body with the utmost care.
This irresistibly lovable feeling.
It’s something that not even the 《Princess of Pure Darkness》 could ever do.
And her unexpected frailty and femininity only seem more lovable to me at the moment.
It’s foreign feeling I’ve never experienced before.
Then, with my sister, should I have…?
I catch my train of thoughts, shaking my head.
“All done, Onii-sama.”
After some pass of time, Maria speaks.
Turing on the shower head again, she meticulously wipes away my soap-sodden body. The smell of water, soap and Maria’s scent mixes together to excite my sense of smell.
“Now that the washing is done, shall we go in the bathtub together?”
Maria smiles, rising slowly.
It’s something I didn’t think of before.
“Wh, What? Well, to go that far…”
I stutter and try to think of an excuse, but after looking at Maria, gazing back at with an icy stare that says “Got a problem?”, just what power do I have to resist her?
And so, shot down with just a glare, I nod my head back in defeat.
“My defeat. Yep.”
And so, after filling the bath with warm water, Maria enters first. I enter after her, my muscles and body half-stiffen like a palsied patient. The only thing I can do is crouch down and curl up to take up as less space as possible.
“Come closer here. There is nothing to be ashamed of.”
Maria slants her head, gesturing me to get closer.
Not knowing what to do, I do nothing but submerge my face halfway into the bath, making bubbles with my mouth.
A memory from when I was young? It happened just so long ago than I can’t even think about how much time has went past. I was left to the daycare when I was five so, it happened just when I graduated from being a toddler.
And I’m not a child anymore.
Nor Maria, nor me.
But it’s not like I have any better excuse to tell her; I’m out of options here.
I had no choice but to watch Maria come closer to me and rest her head against my body, not knowing what else to do.
Through mine and Maria’s body, I can feel our temperature travelling through the two of us.
It’s warmth. Warmth that’s enough to protect me from any cold, even if I was swimming naked in the Arctic, freezing to death.
When I was deep into such thoughts, Maria quietly opens her mouth.
“But Onii-sama, did you know?”
“Onii-sama’s stiff ‘thing’, it’s been poking me in the back for a while now.”
I cough uncontrollably in surprise. Chuckling, Maria continues on.
“So you were getting excited over your sister’s body, Onii-sama.”
“So, sorry! Then I’ll…”
I fluster in panic, and quickly tries to get out of the bath.
However, Maria pays it no attention, and turns around to wrap around my back.
“It’s fine, On the contrary, I am happy? It means Onii-sama sees this girl as a full-fledged woman now.”
I try to mutter together an excuse, but I have no choice but to only sit down silently without saying anything.
“All you have to do is stay beside me like this from now on, Onii-sama.”
Maria whispers to me, again resting her body upon mine.
◇ ◆ ◇
Having finished with the bath, I return to my room in a state of great confusion. I reflect back on the conversation I had with Maria in the bath.
Have I ever thought of Maria as a “little sister” ever before?
I met Maria when she suddenly busted into my high school classroom and dragged me here against my will. I only had a hunch that she was a mass of trouble that only did things her way, but in the end, I never really considered that she was my blood-related sister.
But half of my blood that flows within my veins is those of a Blackhazel. And everything that has happened, and the changes that took place, happened because of me here.
“My responsibility, is it?”
It’s not something I can just breeze past, thinking about what a good opportunity it is for me to do something; it’s not like that.
But if you asked me saying what I could possibly do in a situation, the answer would be ‘nothing’. Sad as it is, I can’t do anything but rely on Maria for every single thing, like someone that’s been paralyzed from the waist down.
In other words, an indecisive situation of awkwardness.
Scratching my head in an uncaring fashion, I sit down on the side of my bed. But sadly I couldn’t lie down. There was an unexpected guest already occupying the space.
“That’s my space?”
“Hmph, Lily… knows too.”
“If you know, then can you move? Your spot is the bed Maria prepared for you over there.
Denying me flatly, Lily flips over facing the other side.
First Maria, and now her. It seems that nothing in my life ever goes my way. I want to live a peaceful life, you know.
“So then should I sleep on the new bed then?”
Can’t help it then. If she doesn’t want to sleep on the new bed then I can’t help her.
“Uwah?! Then what do you want me to do!”
“You, sleep here…”
Sleep here you say. I really don’t want to do that and have Maria and Dorothy misunderstand things again.
“What happened yesterday was because there was no other place for you to sleep then, but from today, it’s different!”
“You’re driving me nuts!”
“Bodyguard by side, Lily’s duty…”
That repertoire again. It’s getting sickeningly familiar to me now.
But I can’t just stand here and let her do things her way. I’ll think of a comeback she can’t get out of.
“You slept in front of a door fine, all this time!”
And with that, Lily starts sweating slightly like she’s nervous, and whispers in a barely audible voice.
“Lily, hard Korean words… Don’t know.
Oho, so you’re using that now. Not that I used any hard words for her. Well, I’ll go with her for now. It's not like I’d get anything by arguing with her like this. I’d doubt a rice cake would just fall from the sky for me.
《Feo Pafisto》, killing machine or whatever, I’m fine with that.
To me, Lily is just a little girl, little Lily.
Letting out a small laugh, I ruffle through Lily’s hair. With that, Lily closes her eyes and purrs like a pleased kitten. Who in the world would think she’s scary or whatever?
Lying down beside Lily with a soft thud, I mutter to myself.
TL: In S.Korea, anyone found guilty of under-age sexual crime are given a bracelet for tracking purposes; this was established as precautions against repeat offenders.↩
TL: Korean proverb meaning “unexpected reward”.↩