“Are you the Kami?”
If you were asked such a question, how would you answer?
With another question? No, of course not. An honest answer. Yes, that’s right. Or would you be able to tell a lie?
I’m sure the answer depends on the person. This time, the lucky one to receive such a question is Hitomi Haruki. And his answer is…
And why was this his answer? Easy. Because tonight is the third time he is asked the same question.
Haruki started to remember what happened tens of minutes ago.
“Noooo! Damn it! I wanted to go to Koeda-chan’s live show!”
While returning home, after a day with lots and lots of work at the IT company, which is one of the most well-known companies, with small and medium-sized buildings all over the place, Haruki climbed on a step, and expressed his frustration. Because today he was supposed to participate in the Talk Live of Kuzumaki Koeda; an up-and-coming voice actress.
Haruki has been her fan since her beginnings as a rookie. He was supposed to see her up close in the front row today.
“If it wasn’t for the crappy system we have. This just had to happen today”
If the system or program, whatever you want to call it, comes out of nowhere with a bug; you have to play systems engineer yourself to fix it, since you know it best.
“In the end, it took me a long time to fix the persistent error. And by the time I was done, It had already started the last Talk Live function. GO! I deserve at least as consolation to go for a few drinks.
Toto! Shit, I tripped. I think I’m a little drunk already…
However, I’m a little sorry I got to the point of tripping over my own legs. I must reflect.
I’ll rest for a while…
While his consciousness was returning at times from the drunkenness, Haruki realized that he already had one foot inside a park. A very big park, more than usual. People could be seen here and there, and among them, there were many couples.
“Ha, ha. I have no interest in 3D”
A man, currently 27 years old and single, sat on the bench as he lamented his existence.
“We’re nowhere near the spring season, so the blizzard is a bit chilly. In other words: it’s perfect and just right for my inebriated immune system.”
For these moments Koeda Chan’s music has gone live.
He took out his cell phone, opened the music app, and then clicked on the folder named “KOEDA-chan”. This is what heals Haruki in his days without fun and luck: her angelic voice.
“Jaa… Why doesn’t something good happen? Just like in anime: enough to surprise me.”
A murmur from a slave at work filtered in, which aside sounds like an otaku. He plugs the headphone cable into the cell phone, and slowly brings it up to his ears….
“Excuse me, are you the Kami?”
Out of nowhere, he was asked.
He answers in a dazed voice. Holding the headphones, he pauses, then lifts his face.
In front of his eyes was a girl dressed in uniform. A good look at her suggested that she might be going to high school. Her black hair was down to her shoulders. The girl was trembling all the time; she reminded him of a small animal terrified by some carnivore.
“This… Are you talking to me?”
The girl’s big eyes were undoubtedly looking at Haruki. He thought that probability was too high, but he couldn’t go on without first making sure of what he had heard.
By default, the girl after speaking low, nodded firmly.
What, what do you mean Kami, is she a believer of some weird religion? But still, asking “if I am the Kami” is beyond my understanding. What are you playing at? Don’t tell me I’m emanating an aura or something
Everything has happened so suddenly, my head is full of questions.
The girl tilts her head to the side. Perhaps Haruki’s silence has awakened questions in her.
“Don’t tell me you’re not the Kami?”
“Uh, uhm, I’m not the Kami… I guess.”
The girl who had asked the question nods again, but this time vaguely.
“I see. Forgive me, I mistook you for someone else.”
And then, after bowing her head, the girl withdraws, clicking her heels.
<<The last expression I could glimpse was an atmosphere of having relaxed upon hearing my answer. Why would that be?>>
“What the hell just happened?”
As he watched the girl’s back walk away, he whispered.
“I’m very drunk, but not drunk enough to see hallucinations, or am I? Just in case, I’d better rest for a while… longer.”
Haruki, thinking seriously if he could be at a level of drunkenness so strong as to hallucinate, settles back on the bench.
“For now, I’ll leave Koeda-chan’s songs for later.”
Barely a while passed, and the dizziness stopped. After a few minutes, he was killing time by jumping between web pages on his cell phone.
“Yahoo! Hey. The one over there. The lonely downhearted Onii-san. Are you the Kami?”
Same question again, but in a different voice. Haruki again raises his face.
This time, a high school girl? A half-brown hair, dark makeup, casually wearing a uniform, with a confident personality with the people she just met… Guided by such references, in Haruki’s brain the word “Gal” appeared. The previous girl reached the “Kawaii” level because of her appearance, but this one, it is obvious that she should be described as “Bijin”.
“Nope, you are wrong.”
For this being the second time, Haruki denied without hesitation directly.
Next, the girl blinked consecutively.
The gesture left a more childish impression than before.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I got the wrong person.”
The girl apologizes in a light-hearted manner by putting a single hand in the shape of a blade.
“See you, Onii-san.”
Did she just wink at me, as she withdrew while shaking her hand.
“Have I become popular? Or could it be that there’s a rumor that the Kami will be making a presence around this area?”
Of course, there’s no one to answer me, since I’m left alone.
“I don’t understand the young ladies today.”
I just said a sentence worthy of the old men.
“I feel that the alcohol has affected me too much.”
Haruki feels the dizziness and headache again. He still needs to rest for a while longer.
And then, at that moment…
“Are you the Kami?”
This is the third girl in uniform who addresses me.
She has an air of being much more mature compared to the previous two people. The first girl had the body of a child; the second had a relatively flat body, but the body of the latter girl could easily be mistaken for that of an adult. She has everything in place; her straight black hair in plain view that reaches her waist, helps to leave an impression of being neat. Kind eyes a little droopy, her pupils embraced a discomfort.
Wait a moment…
This time, it was a familiar face to Haruki.
Kozakura Iori. A high school girl who works part-time at Haruki’s company.
Iori, realizing that it was Haruki she was talking to, her face expressed astonishment.
“Hitomi-san, you are the Kami?”
Next, his expression changed to one of doubt mixed with displeasure.
“Ah, but I’m more relieved that it’s a person I know… Besides if it’s with Hitomi-san, I wouldn’t have… But, but in this way so…. Not now. It’s not the time to think about that.”
She’s mumbling something. You can tell he’s in a conflict. But…
Haruki had to clarify something first.
“I am not the Kami.”
The same matter as before, and with the two in the past, that makes three.
I’m really not the Kami, and in my life I never expected to have to say it out loud.
Unlike the two girls from before who understood on the spot, Iori I don’t know why she has a startled look on her face.
“On the contrary. Do you think I would have something that would make me a Kami? Where would I have that?”
“Yes. Hitomi-san is kind, so I thought that you could also be…”
Being kind makes you a Kami? That’s the first time I’ve heard something like that.
“Sorry, but would you be so kind as to explain? It’s just that if you suddenly call me Kami, well, it’s obvious that I won’t understand you.”
“Of course, of course.”
At last, Iori realized my ignorance, and nodded several times.
“The truth is that we “wait for the Kami”. Ah!”
And then, just as I was starting to speak, she shuts up and covers her mouth as if she had spilled it up
“Waiting for the Kami?”
Such vocabulary, Haruki remembers hearing it. On an internet bulletin board. When girls run away from home and look for a house to stay in, it is known as “we reach out for salvation”. And the person who gives the house is nicknamed “the Kami”. If only that were the case, a kind-hearted person would come along and end up there… But the reality is different. Most Kamis are men, so the runaways in exchange for the house have to obey their Kami.
“No, it’s not what you think!”
Iori denied strongly before Haruki said something.
“I’m a virgin!”
The words that came out from Iori, made Haruki’s eyes focus on something else.
“I was wrong!”
Even though the park was already dark with just the light from the poles, it was still clear how her face had blushed.
“What I meant was that I’m a virgin, but at the same time I’m looking for a Kami! This is my first time. I mean, I haven’t committed that crime yet; so I’m still innocent. And it’s not that I wanted to do this, it’s just that something happened that couldn’t be helped.”
“Yeah, yeah, I get it. Calm down a little, take a breath.”
Iori kept talking and came to a distance towards me where I could feel her breaths, so I pushed her shoulders back.
“Ah, Ah, sorry….”
Her face turned even redder. Iori fixed her posture, and stood up straight.
“This… So, you mistook me for a Kami? Why?”
“Yes. We agreed to wait for you in this park, but it’s much bigger than I expected… I regret not choosing a better place for the meeting.”
Iori was nodding as the volume of her voice was decreasing. She just made a rudimentary mistake. You can tell she’s not used to these things.
However, does it mean that there are three girls who have arranged to meet their Kami in this park? And to make matters worse, there is a girl among them… An ignorant girl. Poor thing doesn’t know the society yet.
I start to remember the two girls from before, and I get a bad feeling about this. Something very shady is going on here.
“So, you don’t know the person you were going to meet tonight?”
Without expressing my uneasiness at this idea at first glance, I verify the situation by asking Iori.
“Yes, I don’t know his name nor have I seen his face before. Because we only talk through the internet”
Haruki exhaled a little.
Earlier, Iori nicknamed Haruki “being nice”, but Haruki himself doesn’t consider himself to be even a little bit like that. In fact, he’s proud of being someone carefree and avoiding other people’s problems.
I’m struck by what she said before “something happened that couldn’t be avoided”. I would like to ask, but I feel that I would get caught up in her problems .
However, I am not a cold person who can abandon a young girl he knows. Besides, I would not sleep peacefully tonight. I mean I would lose sleep because I’m worrying about her. Instead of kindness, it’s just that it bothers me, nothing more. I swear… Let’s put this topic aside.
Coincidentally this would be an event from a light romantic comedy novel where the main character and the heroine strengthen their relationships. A fluke where the character playing the friend would be envious. Kind of cliché.
After muttering within himself….
Haruki decided to say what just occurred to him without thinking twice with a cool tone.
“How about sleeping over at my place for today?”
Pretending as if nothing happened, inside, his heart was beating fast.
“This… I am grateful to hear your words in these terrible times, but….”
Iori’s look was tearful, and her tone of voice was choppy and it was not very clear what she was saying.
What’s wrong, don’t tell me she doesn’t think I’m someone she can trust?
Haruki thought that they had already built up enough trust between them to live together, so he became slightly depressed.
“There’s plenty of room in my house, so you can be more relaxed as a guest”
He added such excuses by speaking fast.
Wait a second. Doesn’t this sound like I’m up to something?
There was a strange sweat flowing down my back.
“Ehm… I haven’t explained everything to Hitomi-san yet.”
“Ah, don’t worry. I’m sure it’s hard for you. I have no problem with it.”
“It’s not about that, it’s just….”
While Haruki and Iori were having their talk with silences in between and neither of them making themselves clear, out of the blue appeared….
“Onee, the Kami wasn’t there.”
“Ionee, I couldn’t find him either.”
Haruki heard the voices coming from the side.
Haruki and Iori turned their faces at the same time towards the place where the voices came from.
“Ah, the person from before.”
“Ohhh, sorry about before Onii-san. Onee, this Onii-san is not the Kami.”
The girl with a girl’s body pointed at Haruki with her index finger, and the girl who seems to be older, but not that old, apologized with her hands clasped together.
“No, no Hakua! It’s wrong to point fingers at people! Very wrong. Roka, please speak more politely!
Iori raises a finger and starts correcting the two for their behavior.
“Hmm? You girls know each other?”
An unexpected resolution that took Haruki by surprise. It made him blink several times.
Wait, didn’t they just say “Onee” and “Ionee”.
If we set aside how young one is, and the dark makeup worn by another…. I hadn’t noticed until now, but if the two of them line up you can kind of notice the resemblance in their faces.
“Ah, yes. We are Shimai.”
Actually, the words that Iori uttered, Haruki had already anticipated.
“Excuse me, Hitomi-san. Did you know my sisters?”
“Yes. I met them a while ago.”
Reaching this point, finally Haruki inside himself could connect the dots.
It wasn’t “three people each waiting for their Kami”, but “they are waiting, all three of them, for the coming of the Kami.
Now I just realized that Iori said “we are waiting for the Kami”
And now I can understand the reason why Iori suddenly looked nervous when she was talking.
“So Kozakura-san is looking for a place to sleep for the three of you.”
“That’s right. We were looking for someone who could give us a home, but hopefully it’s too much to ask for Hitomi-san to let my sisters who he doesn’t know at all. You don’t have to go to all that trouble.”
It’s true, the normal thing would be for Haruki to not allow strangers into his house.
However, if I leave them to their own devices now, I’ll feel bad later. Besides, at least I know at least one of them. And if they are Iori’s sisters I don’t think they are bad girls. That’s what I have a feeling.
Ha ha ha, what’s going on? Ha ha ha ha, this is so similar to the situations you would experience in a romantic comedy. In these moments, a true protagonist must act. Ha ha ha ha, what’s going on?
The sake made Haruki’s ego grow very big, so….
“Never mind, all three of you can stay with me!”
He beats his chest and declares his proposal.
“A-Are you sure?”
“Ohhh! Onii-san, how generous! ♡”
Different mixed feelings were seen on each of their faces: ‘fear, delight and bewilderment’; respectively in the three girls.
If Haruki hadn’t worked overtime today, if he hadn’t drank like there was no tomorrow, if he hadn’t taken a break right in that park, if he had left before Iori spoke to him; surpassing various “what ifs?”, Haruki got to invite the three girls to his house. Or maybe we should call it “fate”.
Although at this point Haruki was still unaware of what was coming. How the existence of the three girls would turn his life around 180 degrees. And that this meeting was the beginning of the days of “something like in the anime: that would surprise me”, which he wanted so much.