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"Ah yes--Hey hey hey, Hina-kun, Hina-kun."
As soon as I entered the front door, when I was just starting to untie my shoelaces, Suzuri tugged at my clothing.
While untying my shoelaces, I looked at her slender arms and little hands, as well as those frail shoulders that looked like they could break any moment. Finally, my gaze settled on the radiantly smiling and childish face.
"What dinner? What makes you think that dinner will be ready immediately?"
This girl, seriously...
"Where did we just come back from?"
"I know the answer! We just went clothes shopping!"
Yes yes, being full of lively enthusiasm was a good thing. However... Let me tell you this.
"That's right. We went out early this morning to go on a faraway trip because you requested it! How do you think I'll be able to conjure dinner out for you immediately!? I'm hungry too!"
"Hmm~ The fairies will make dinner for us?"
"Lovely lovely, you're so smart, Suzuri. I really wish fairies existed in this world."
"W-Why are you looking at me with such eyes of kindness and pity? Fairies definitely exist in this world."
Yeah, whatever you say. Muttering, I took off my shoes and stood next to Suzuri.
The wind from my movements caused Suzuri's head of beautiful silver hair to billow like silk. Inherited from her great grandmother who was a foreigner, her straight, silver-violet, waist-length hair, combined with her Sweet Lolita attire decorated by abundant ribbons and frills, adorned her as though she were a high-class western doll.
Suzuri's body was also small and delicate like a doll's, looking extremely adorable. Even when compared to me, who had a slightly small build for a boy, Suzuri was almost a head shorter than me.
Nevertheless, there was one part of her petite body for which the word 'small' absolutely did not apply.
Although her height and physique could only be described as middle school level at most, the bust area of her blouse bulged greatly, exhibiting a powerful sense of presence...!
--Anyway, enough of that tangent... Or rather, once opened up, I could speak volumes on this topic, so let's skip it for now.
"Hina-kun, why are you shaking your head?"
Suzuri cocked her little head and looked up at me.
Being petite, Suzuri's gaze was inevitably directed upwards whenever she was standing beside me and looking at me.
Who knew what Suzuri was thinking about, her cheeks were blushing mildly while her slightly moist, blue-violet eyes were reflecting my image. Her smooth, pale skin was pristine and flawless while those striking cherry lips puckered lightly--
"Why are you suddenly trying to kiss me?"
"Eh? Of course we have to kiss when we return home, right?"
Suzuri's face was looking as though she were asking me "what are you talking about?" I didn't know how to react either.
"...Sigh, fine, just go and get changed quickly. I'll prepare dinner in the meantime."
Watching Suzuri from behind as she rushed upstairs in joy, I sighed and walked into the kitchen. Sigh, I'm really spoiling Suzuri too much.
However, I had no choice but to spoil her today more than usual.
"Time to eat!"
"It'll be ready in a while."
Suzuri was wearing a white sleeveless blouse, exposing her underarm, together with a trendy tie while her lower body was dressed in a mini-sized flared skirt and black stockings. Attired casually in homewear like this, she came to the dining room to ask me if dinner was ready. Hearing my answer, she made a displeased sound.
"Muu... Hina-kun, you usually get meals ready in a flash like they were magic. Do you need my help?"
"Oh my, how rare. But aren't you exhausted too?"
"It's suffering to wait after smelling these lovely aromas."
A fragrant aroma was drifting from the oven where chicken coated with multiple layers of sauce was baking.
There were also other dishes in the kitchen, every one of them steaming with rich aromas.
"Don't worry, it'll be ready in a bit. The chicken is also about to finish baking so just wait for me to get the salad done."
"Okay, I'll look forward to your delicious food, Hina-kun."
Suzuri obediently sat down on a chair at the dining table.
Humming a tune, she did not hide her hardly suppressible anticipation. Smiling wryly on the surface, I couldn't help but feel overjoyed inside.
Whether cooking or doing anything, it always feels happy to know that someone is looking forward to it. Besides... Suzuri is very cute. No boy would be unhappy to know that a cute girl is relying on him.
While I was thinking over these things, I casually finished preparing the salad as well. My salad was made from lettuce, tuna, tomatoes and lightly sauteed onions, simple yet quite tasty. Then I served the freshly baked chicken onto a plate and brought these two appetizers to the dinner table.
Suzuri picked up these two dishes from the tray with unprecedented speed, a pure and gentle smile appearing on her face as usual.
"Who's the one who said she'd wait obediently just now..."
She was in a particularly excited mood today.
Muttering, I went back and forth to the kitchen, bringing out the food I had prepared to place on the dining table that was a bit large for just the two of us. This was the same as usual, virtually a daily task ever since I came to this house and took charge of the domestic chores four years ago.
After setting out the food as usual, dinner could begin as soon as we put our hands together to say a customary "itadakimasu," but there was something different about today.
Suzuri was staring wide-eyed at the food I was carrying over. As soon as she heard me call her name, she looked up towards me.
No matter what the situation or what was happening, Suzuri always acted herself. Smiling towards her, I said:
"Happy 17th Birthday, Suzuri."
"Yes. Thank you, Hina-kun!"
That's right, it was Suzuri's birthday today. Otherwise, I wouldn't have cooked this much food.
At a glance, the dining table was laden wtih teriyaki chicken, hamburg steak, salad, roasted taro, spring rolls, potage soup... Basically, a luxurious feast in a fusion of western and Japanese cuisine. What was common to all these dishes was that each and every one of them was Suzuri's favorite.
"I still have a cake prepared, so don't stuff yourself too much, okay?"
"Uh, Hina-kun, did you really make all of this food after getting home?"
"Nope? Some of the food was made beforehand so I simply reheated it before serving onto dishes."
That said, just heating up all this food already took a fair amount of time.
"Suzuri, today's your birthday after all, so it does call for devoting a bit of effort to prepare."
Summing up, I clapped my hands together.
However, Suzuri lightly bowed her head for some reason. Usually, our hearts were so connected that it was as though we read each other's minds. Her face had gone bright red while her entire body remained completely still.
After roughly a minute, under my surprised gaze, Suzuri looked up with determination.
"Say, Hina-kun. Before we start, there's something I'd like to tell you."
"...What is it?"
Suzuri made a serious look--nevertheless, her face was naturally docile and did not express much vigor in seriousness--
But after seeing that expression of hers, I collected my thoughts and sat up straight.
"Hina-kun, you've been living with me together for seven years already."
I nodded and encouraged her to continue with a look from my eyes. Suzuri lowered her chin slightly.
"After your parents passed away, Hina-kun, my family took you in. Papa and Mama also entrusted this home's chores and affairs to you, Hina-kun, then went overseas a long time ago."
"It was a rare opportunity for Uncle to be promoted as the CEO of an overseas branch corporation. No helping it."
To be honest, I found it a bit inappropriate for them to leave children behind unattended, but it was true that neither Suzuri nor I wanted to leave Japan.
"Yes, but I don't mind that. It's thanks to them that I was able to enjoy living with you in leisure, Hina-kun, just the two of us."
"Dumping all the chores on me, of course you're having a leisurely time."
"Ah--Yes. Sorry, I'll start helping out from now on."
"...Did you get a fever?"
Extremely poor at life skills, all enthusiasm but always ending up causing more trouble than helping, Suzuri actually offered to help? Combined with the fact of her bringing up the past, I totally could not guess what she was thinking. Hence, I had no choice but to suspect her of a fever.
Suzuri slowly shook her head and gazed squarely at me.
"Many things have happened over the past few years. People frequently make fun of us for living together despite not being siblings and even treat us as a couple."
Suzuri carefully chose each word of hers. After saying them, she lightly exhaled a warm breath.
"Ahem, perhaps I really do have a fever. A fever from all the confusion in my mind."
Suzuri coughed lightly and continued.
"However, I never thought there was anything bad about how others saw us. It didn't make me unhappy at all."
Hey hey, what's with this atmosphere here? It seems like... That's right, this feels like the ending to some kind of romance novel, doesn't it?
Suzuri called my name in a cute tone of voice, just like her name, as though proving my speculations.
Eyes dreamy, cheeks red, she gazed at me and said:
"We were teased so frequently. Everyone called us cohabitating couples or husband and wife. In that case--We might as well do it for real, right?"
Speaking in a mischievous tone of voice, Suzuri took a deep breath as though gathering her resolve.
"Ever since a long time ago... I've always loved you. Hina-kun, please--please go out with me!"
"--Sure, no prob."
"Ah, u-umm... Ah. You can answer me later, Hina-kun. I guess you need time to consider it and you're probably hungry. You won't be thrown out of the house even if you reject me, so please tell me your thoughts honestly... Eh, wait a sec?"
"Oh, the phone is ringing."
The ringtone overwhelmed Suzuri's voice. I hastily took out my cellphone and stood up to pick up the call.
"Sorry for picking up the phone at this kind of time, Suzuri. I might take a while, so please start eating first."
"W-Wait a second! Hina-kun, did you just--"
Suzuri still seemed to have something to say, but I placed my finger on her lip. She nodded hastily and covered her own mouth.
One of Ayakawa house rules forbade making noise when someone else was on the phone. Punishment was no snacks for three days.
Even a child could understand this kind of rule, but in this house, there was actually an idiot who broke the rule and ended up banned from snacks many times, so caution was imperative.
I nodded at Suzuri whose lips were sealed, then walked into the corridor while holdiing the cellphone in one hand.
With my back to the door, I first took a deep breath.
Jeez, that girl Suzuri. I don't know if she was trying to make her birthday more special, but who actually does this kind of thing at dinner time?
To think she'd confess to me all of a sudden--even someone like me would get shy, you know?
Sighing in my mind, I brought the cellphone to my ear.
'It's Yue. Are you free right now, Hinata?'
"Oh my, isn't it rare for you to be calling at this time?"
Misono Yue--my older cousin as well as a high schooler who was currently looking for a boyfriend. She was one year my senior and studying in the same school as me, with frequent interactions. But for her to call at this time--9pm on a leisurely holiday with nothing special going on, it was truly quite rare.
'Were it not for something particularly important, I wouldn't want to phone the guy who dumped me either.'
So awkward, super awkward. Only now did I recall this fact...
According to her, it's all because I broke up with her last year that she's still single. Saying that I caused her market value to nose dive, that's totally pushing the blame on me.
"So, what's this particularly important matter?"
'Did you know that you have a younger cousin?'
This sudden and completely unexpected question caused my mind to cool down rapidly from the turmoil caused by Suzuri's confession.
"Younger cousin... But Yue-san, my closest relatives are just you and your father, right?"
'That's what I thought originally, but--'
Ding-dong. Just at this moment, the doorbell rang at the main entrance, overwhelming Yue-san's voice.
Sheesh, putting aside Yue-san's phone call and Suzuri's confession, why was today especially packed with sudden situations?
"Excuse me, there's a visitor."
'I figured. I could hear your doorbell ringing on the other side of the call.'
"I'm guessing it's a neighbor bringing a local notice. Please hold on, I must get to the bottom of this later."
'Fufu. Yes, I'm sure you'll want to get to the bottom of this.'
Feeling unnerved by Yue-san's chuckling, I pressed the phone's hold button first then looked through the door's peephole.
Instead of the elderly neighbors next door, standing outside was a very cute girl.
Exuding an intellectual air, her face was red to some extent from nervousness. Still exhibiting some childishness in her face, she gave off an impression like a precocious girl.
Tied into low twintails on the back of her head, her chestnut-brown hair suited her quite well along with the sky-blue one-piece dress. If a pretty girl like her joined my homeroom class at school, I'm sure all the boys would totally crush on her.
Hmm... I pressed the talk button.
"Yue-san, would the aforementioned younger cousin happen to be sporting a head of long, sleek, chestnut-brown hair in twintails along with a completely flat and slender figure? Plus a kind of prettiness that feels quite mature and adorable?"
'You find her pretty too, Hinata? That girl has quite a lot of potential.'
"Hey... No way, no way..."
Argh, I really hated my brain. This brain of mine was pretty useless normally but only in times like these did it function at high speed to analyze the situation.
"No way, she's not my cousin, is she...?"
Hearing my trembling tone of voice, Yue-san answered directly in a single word.
"...What's going on here?"
That's all I managed to say after many seconds. As though reciting prose, Yue-san replied casually.
'That girl is apparently named Misono Satsuki. Her mother just passed away a few days ago, so everyone decided to send her to live with a close relative. That close relative is you. She's apparently a cousin from your mother's side.'
Speaking of which, she's the daughter of my mother's sibling? Wait a sec, I remember Mom saying she was an only child?
"No one ever told me I had a younger cousin...?"
'I was quite surprised to learn about it too. However, my father and some of the adults apparently know about this. Furthermore, they had already planned beforehand where to settle her in case something happened. This decision was issued directly from the higher-ups, so I'm just passing the message along.'
What the heck... Those guys didn't even give me a heads up before making a decision on their own... Damn them.
'Anyway, so that's what's going on. I'm not sure of the details either. You should ask her yourself if you have further questions.'
"Telling me to ask her... So you're suggesting that I take her in?"
The doorbell at the entrance rang many times again. Probably because no one was answering the door, the girl was getting anxious.
Hearing the background music of the doorbell, Yue-san once again answered my question directly.
'Correct. She's your cousin and has lost her parents just like you. Please help take care of her.'
"Hold on, hold on! This is too outrageous! I'm just freeloading off the Ayakawas, you know?"
'There's no use telling me. If you're really unwilling, then just reject her forcefully? --Just like how you called off our engagement back then. Goodbye, my ex-fiance.'
Having said what she set out to say, Yue-san hung up directly without caring about the speechless me. All that could still be heard from the cellphone was a cold and continuous electronic tone.
"What should I do...?"
I could not help but stand rooted to the spot, holding the cellphone.
"Uh... May I ask who is this?"
"Supposedly my cousin."
After exchanging simple greetings with the girl with chestnut-brown hair, I took her to the dining room to introduce her to Suzuri.
Suzuri had been waiting obediently for me to finish my call without even holding chopsticks in her hand. Staring at the scene, astonished, she was shaking her head in disbelief.
"Hina-kun, you've brought your mistress home!?"
"Are you even listening to me!?"
Didn't I just say she's my cousin!? Oh right, cousins are allowed to marry, so it's not entirely impossible, is it?
While I was troubling over these meaningless matters, Suzuri reached under the table in search for something.
"Sob sob... Hina-kun, do you pick the axe? Rope? Or the switchblade?"
"Those are Bad Ends no matter which one I pick!"
Patting Suzuri lightly on the head, I hugged her.
"Didn't I just agree to go out with you? How could I possibly betray you?"
"Hina-kun... Then prove it to me."
Suzuri murmured then closed her watery eyes, slightly puckering her lips.
Her intent was readily apparent. In the past, I had refused her demand for kisses every time.
But starting today--
I kissed her lightly on the lips, like a bird's peck, then separating immediately after the kiss.
"That's it for now, satisfied?"
"Y-Yes! Satisfied! Super satisfied!"
Suzuri nodded vigorously, her petite face all red.
Seeing her so pure and innocent, even I was about to blush.
"So... Would it be better if Satsuki went out for a while? Would two hours be enough?"
" "...Oh." "
We had completely forgotten my cousin's presence.
"Oh, so Hina-kun has a younger cousin."
"I-I'm Misono Satsuki, pleased to meet you."
"Ah yes. My name is Ayakawa Suzuri, pleased to meet you too~"
I first explained the story to Suzuri then had the two of them do self-introductions...
"She's honestly not your mistress, Hina-kun?"
"How many times do you want me to repeat myself..."
Satsuki was definitely very cute.
But unfortunately, she had a fatal flaw. Lacking in an area that was, to me, absolutely necessary, as important as oxygen was to humans.
"Her bust is lacking, her bust is lacking. Most importantly, her bust is lacking!"
"Stop repeating that! It bothers Satsuki more or less, okay!?"
"Her bust is lacking!!"
"A fourth time!?"
"Bad Hina-kun. It makes her very pitiful if you say that."
"Suzuri, what you said is only making things worse."
Suzuri tilted her head in puzzlement, causing the deadly weapons in her clothing to shake. Those deadly weapons, surpassing high school level in contrast to her petite body, moved as though there was a stampede of a thousand horses.
"A top-class pair of giant breasts without being humongous! Not being humongous is what makes them great! Together with this firm perkiness, this shape with no sagging at all! Soft yet full of resilience elasticity! Moreover, supporting this magnificent rack is this petite and adorable body! Ahhh, busty lolis are truly too perfect!!"
As a side note, the result of today's measurement revealed Suzuri's bust to be just barely E in cup size. How I found out will be left as an exercise for the reader's imagination. Quite a feat for a 146cm tall girl.
"Really, Hina-kun, I never knew you were looking that closely while pretending to be totally uninterested~"
Suzuri expressed embarrassed joy while Satsuki was totally shocked senseless.
"I'm Misono Hinata. My cousin... You're my cousin, right? Can you elaborate with a bit more detail?"
"Ah, yeah. Uhhh, how much has Yue-san told you so far?"
"Hmm~ Pretty much what I explained to Suzuri just now?"
In other words, all I knew was that I had a cousin whom I've never met before and that I must take her in.
"Oh, I see now. So, what needs to be said next... Ah, I think you already know, Satsuki has no parents now."
Hey hey, what's with this girl bringing up such a heavy topic so carelessly...
"Hueh? Then that's the same as Hina-kun? Did they die?"
Suzuri, I beg you, please don't ask about that in such a naive manner! Please show some consideration for her feelings, okay!?
While I was feeling utterly nervous as heck inside, Satsuki shook her head slowly and said:
"Mother passed away from illness last week. As for Father, Satsuki has no idea whether he's alive or not. Satsuki has only heard others say that his name is Yoshitaka and knows nothing else. Maybe Mother was his mistress in an affair."
Listening to this point, Suzuri looked down in slight embarrassment.
Speaking of which, this girl's father is call Yoshitaka, huh... I really wish I heard wrong.
Satsuki also noticed the mood getting somber so she clapped her hands together and said:
"Satsuki only felt that it's necessary to tell you two, that's all, please don't worry about it. Apart from that, there's nothing else to explain."
"Okay, now it's my turn to explain."
I was actually quite hesitant whether I should mention this in front of her, but there was no helping it.
"Although Yue-san asked me to 'take you in,' I'm simply living in another family's home right now. So I'm very sorry, this isn't a decision I can make."
"Hueh? Hina-kun, you're not going to take her in?"
Hey hey, why are you making such an expression of disbelief?
"Aren't you the master of the house right now? I'm just a freeloader, you know?"
When the Ayakawa parents headed overseas to the foreign branch corporation, they had told me this:
'We'd rather die than leave house chores to our child. You're going to take charge of this home, right? Right!?'
Consequently, all house chores, official documents and even finances were under my management exception. However, the master of the house was the one role I declined. That position was meant for the Ayakawa family's only daughter... That was what I originally believed.
"Eh, I'm the master of the house!? I always thought it was you, Hina-kun."
I never thought she'd be that lacking in self-awareness--
"But Hina-kun is my husband. Even if Hina-kun is reluctant, I've already decided to serve Hina-kun for the rest of my life, so Hina-kun can be considered the master of the house, right?"
--Wow, this is really... terrible.
"Ahhh, jeez, how can you be so cute, Suzuri!"
"Meow? Aha, a hug~~"
While I embraced Suzuri tightly, she rubbed her cheek against my chest. I stroked her head while experiencing the softness of her body--
Satsuki made a troubled sound, prompting Suzuri and I to look at her.
Satsuki's reddened cheeks kept twitching nonstop.
"May Satsuki ask, do you always do this...?"
"Not always, this kind of intimate interaction happens at most once in a while?"
"Yeah, today's just happened to be slightly more intense."
"Aha, it must be the same for you, Hina-kun. I knew it, after the change in our relationship, we can't hold back anymore."
"There was no holding back in the first place."
"Mmmfufu~ I was already holding back a lot, you know?"
"Haha, then I'll look forward to it."
After listening to the adorable things Suzuri said, I stroked her head again. She partially closed her eyes like a cat and leaned against my bosom.
As for the esteemed cousin sitting opposite to us, her reaction was completely opposite to Suzuri's cat-like affection.
"Why can you two flirt and display affection so openly in front of others... Satsuki is really shocked by you..."
Just as Satsuki said, she really seemed shocked senseless by us. Especially the way she was looking at me, her eyes were so ice-cold that they could almost freeze and kill mosquitoes instantaneously.
Of course, I'm not the type of gentleman who likes the feeling of ice-cold gazes sweeping over me.
"A-Anyway, if I were the master of the house, I grealy welcome Satsuki living with us."
I tried my best to change the subject... No wait, the master of the house is the current subject in the first place, right?
Suzuri also seemed to notice the intent behind my efforts to change the subject. Following my lead, she continued.
"Please feel free to ask about anything you don't understand. I'll try my best not to give any wrong answers."
Suzuri made a victory pose while Satsuki turned her gaze away, making a kind of subtle smile that was hard to describe as either wry or sardonic. I can relate, after all, there were too many eyebrow-raising things about what Suzuri had just said.
Oh well, it was ultimately a good thing that the low-temperature gaze was switched off for now. Hence I resumed explaining again.
"We have no curfew in this home. Neither is anyone forced to have meals together. You can take it easy and live here."
"Oh, but it's better to eat together. Hina-kun's cooking is really good."
"Wow, that's great news. Although Satsuki can do simple cooking, the skills leave a bit to be desired."
I see, so this means that Satsuki's arrival was not going to lift any of my burdens. I really wanted to cry.
"Also, Satsuki--it might come a bit late to say this now--but is it okay for me to call you that?"
"Yes, Satsuki should be younger... Right? Satsuki won't be seventeen until the end of the month."
"Then we're a month older than you. Yesterday was my birthday. Today's Suzuri's birthday."
"We're both seventeen."
"...? Did Satsuki hear wrong? Someone unbelievable seems to have claimed to be seventeen already."
Saying that, Satsuki turned her gaze at Suzuri who was curled up on the seat, leaning against my shoulder.
Ah yes, it must be quite unbelievable after all. Suzuri was already quite used to this sort of doubt. Taking out a card from her purse, she showed it to Satsuki.
"Fufu~mmm, I'm really older than you."
"...Guh, no way..."
Satsuki examined the student ID repeatedly. Finally accepting this fact, she returned the ID to Suzuri and spoke with a naughty smile.
"Then how should Satsuki address you? Is Onee-chan okay?"
Satsuki must have meant it as a joke, but with brightly glimmering eyes, Suzuri clapped her hands in joy.
"That's a great idea! Because I'm an only child, I've always wanted a little sister."
"Yes, please call me Onee-chan from now on."
Waving her fingertips, Suzuri winked adorably at Satsuki.
"Of course. Since I'm the older sister, you'll have to call Hina-kun 'Onii-chan'."
"O-Onii-chan huh... Onii-chan..."
Hey hey, that's really making things tough for her...
Unexpectedly, after repeating those words a number of times, Satsuki said very simple:
"You're right, perhaps it's only appropriate."
She spoke with a kind of subtle expression.
Uhhh, calling me Onii-chan straight away after we met doesn't really seem right.
By this point, my original goal could be considered fulfilled... So I'll double check.
I coughed drily once to change the mood.
Then I forced the topic back to the conclusion.
"So, Satsuki is a part of this family now. Don't be formal from now on and just treat this as your own home."
Oh well, in any case, Satsuki was only reserved in the beginning. Her current attitude was quite natural. I originally wanted to start chatting about terms of address but the subject unexpectedly shifted to a weird direction. Seeing as Satsuki is willing to address me as 'Onii-chan', a title that all the sis-cons in Japan would salivate over, I won't sweat the small stuff.
Completely unaware of my feelings of resignation, Satsuki blinked happily and said:
"Oh okay. Thank you for taking me in."
She even bowed her head to thank me.
"Aha, Hina-kun, you're so amazing. I can't believe you used the same words I said to you in the past, intending to conquer Satsuki-chan--Looks like I'll have to lock you up for some disciplining followed by further disciplining."
"Could you please stop!? I have no intention of conquering Satsuki at all! Honest to god!"
"Ohoh, so you're sincerely going to give up the Satsuki-chan route. Hina-kun, we need to have a thorough discussion about tonight's confession and your thoughts~"
"Eh, hold on, Suzuri? Why are you grabbing my collar? Where did this strength come from? Woooooooooah!?"
Dragging me to the room, Suzuri even threatened disciplining along the way.
"I am asking you, Hina-kun, do you truly love me!? Tonight was the most important confession of my life, but why did you answer me in such a casual tone of voice!?"
"Uh, I... How should I say this?"
"'--Sure, no prob.' What kind of answer is that? You ran away as soon as the phone rang! And you even brought a girl home suddenly!"
Ah, the force of the blows were gradually strengthening...
"I love you, Hina-kun! I can't live without you, Hina-kun! What about you, Hina-kun!? Answer me again, properly this time!"
Suzuri's room only had furniture such as bookshelves, a desk and a bed. Unexpectedly modest in furnishings. Her room was slightly different from when I came in yesterday to clean up for her. All the plush dolls I had arranged and gathered in a corner were scattered all over the floor again.
Lying on the light pink bed, Suzuri was slapping my lap, face to face. Starting a while ago, she had been venting her resentment and displeasure.
Suzuri's entire face was flushed red, perhaps from embarrassment or anger. Those discontented eyes also carried tears, filling my heart with a guilty conscience.
Stroking Suzuri's long hair, I confessed to her quietly, doing so not because of guilt.
"I love you too, Suzuri."
"I never expected you to confess to me suddenly. I get shy too, so that's why I fled, using the phone as an excuse."
"...So you didn't say yes casually just on a whim?"
"How can that be possible? Me too... Uh, how should I say this?"
Hey, stop staring at me with these eyes, so filled with anticipation. I'll get embarrassed.
Oh dear, seriously. Hurry up and gather your resolve, Misono Hinata. This is Suzuri's room. There's no one here apart from us.
"...You've always occupied my thoughts since a long time ago. But there are many problems between us, right?"
"Problems... You're worried about the consequences of failure, aren't you?"
I nodded. In order to hide my face that was surely red, I hugged my legs against my chest, burying my face against my knees.
"Uncle and Auntie entrusted this home to me before they left. If I made a move on you, Suzuri, and... and get rejected, what would I do... I've been worrying about this all along, too scared to confess to you at all."
"I see, so you've been waiting for me to confess?"
"You could put it that way. I know it's very wimpy of me."
I smiled in self-mockery but Suzuri did not laugh at me.
"Yes, very well."
Pouncing on me, Suzuri hugged me tightly.
"It's been troubling me too. So it's perfectly normal for you, Hina-kun who's smarter than me, to feel troubled--Hina-kun, do you love me currently?"
"Of course I love you. I adore you."
"Wow... I never expected these words to be so powerful. Yes, then there's no problem! As long as I know that our feelings are mutual, it's sufficient."
"Huh, you've always been very optimistic."
"But you're right, that's sufficient."
Hearing me say that, leaning her weight on me, Suzuri rocked her body happily.
"With this, Hina-kun, we're lovers now. We don't need to endure anymore."
Hmph, don't regret saying this, okay?
"It's really okay?"
"Hmm, you're asking if I can accept the fact that you're a perv? Even if you stuff panties in your mouth, I can still accept it."
My casual question brought an understanding smile from Suzuri and even a reply like that.
Speaking of which, stuffing panties in the mouth as an example, that's truly an incomprehensible boundary line...
"Fair enough, after all, you're quite a masochist."
"Indeed, I am willing to do anything for you, Hina-kun."
"......Well then, I guess it's fine for me to do this."
Suzuri was lying on top of me, which meant that her super deadly weapons were pressed on my face... That sensation was causing my bestial instincts to flare up. From below I reached to take those massive fruits.
Pushing Suzuri down on her back while she instantaneously lost strength, I grabbed the soft pair of spheres with my fingers.
"Can you accept this behavior, Suzuri...?"
"I was actually thinking it's too wholesome."
"Don't worry, I consider this level wholesome too."
"T-Then I'll need to worry... Mmm ah."
Caressing Suzuri's bare and slender arm lovingly, I deftly unbuttoned her blouse and removed her clothing like unwrapping a gift.
The massive bosom underneath, wrapped in a white brassiere, came into view. Now only the final barrier remained between me and those large breasts that did not match the petite body. Just as I reached to remove the obstacle--
'Umm--Excuse me, may Satsuki sleep on the sofa in the living room? After today's long trip, Satsuki is really tired--'
Transmitted through the door, Satsuki's voice was heard from the corridor.
I expect this was not Satsuki's intentions, but as soon as we heard her voice, our raging lust rapidly cooled down. Smiling wryly, Suzuri and I exchanged a glance.
"Never mind, after all, the night is long. We have plenty of time from here on anyway."
"Yes, that's true. The little sister needs to be taken care of first."
"Rooms need to be assigned, right?"
"That's right, let's assign the rooms."
While reheating dinner that had cooled down, I took the opportunity to ask Satsuki who had reseated herself by the dining table.
"You need a room too, right?"
"If I can get a room, of course that'd be best. But Satsuki doesn't mind using the Japanese style room or a corner of the living room, you know?"
Taking out a plate of Hamburg steaks from the oven, I said quietly:
"In other words, we can freely watch when you're changing or sleeping?"
"Sorry, please give Satsuki a room!"
"Ohoh, Hina-kun, you're so amazing. With just a single question, you've made Satsuki-chan submit."
Suzuri seemed sincerly impressed. I flicked her in the forehead then returned the warmed plate of Hamburg steaks to the dining table.
"Ooh, that really hurts, Hina-kun--Please flick more~"
"You're such a masochist..."
In various ways, this preference of hers worried me quite a lot.
"But that's the Suzuri I love!"
"Because you're a sadist, Hina-kun!"
"...Then how are we assigning the rooms?"
Satsuki's tone of voice showed that rather than feeling shocked by us, she had given up and could not be bothered to react to us anymore. Picking up the next warmed up dish, I presented the plan I had thought up already.
"I plan on moving Suzuri and her stuff to my room then let Satsuki have the freed room. Because there aren't any free rooms, someone has to share rooms."
"Satsuki wouldn't mind with Onee-chan, you know? Being both girls, isn't that more natural actually?"
"Suppose you're really rooming with Suzuri, you'll be witnessing our flirting and affectionate behavior with great frequency, you know?"
Even that's okay with you? I asked her with my eyes.
Judging from the conversation over the past dozens of minutes, I discovered that this girl was quite obsessed with hygiene... Or rather, innocence.
Seeing as she would blush at the usual intimacy between Suzuri and me, making her watch Suzuri and me when we lose self-control would truly be too tragic for her.
It was based on this reasoning that I decided to reassign the rooms.
"I see... That makes sense too, like separating the husband and wife's bedroom and the children's room."
"Husband and wife...! Satsuki-chan, that's a great way of putting it! Yes, I agree with Hina-kun's suggestion too! Let's start moving things immediately!"
Both girls accepted my suggestion very readily.
Breathing a sigh of relief, I brought the final soup to the dining table and sat down.
"So, it's getting late, let's finish dinner then start tomorrow--"
"Hina-kun, I hope we can sleep together tonight~"
With the prize set before me, I had no choice but to devote my full efforts to the labors of a late night move.
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