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Einherjar Project is an organization of enthusiasts who translate recent light novels in a pseudo-editorial process.
After five years of working for the Spanish-speaking public, we decided to bring the same joy to English-speaking readers.With this goal in mind, we are inviting native English-speaking translators and proofreaders to form a team. Leave us a comment and we will contact you!EHJR Project
There are several coffee shops open early morning onwards a stone throws away from the office.
I was in one of them.
I stop by the front of the coffee shop with a light, brown exterior and a chique atmosphere.
Having time to spare, I dropped by after a long time.
Come to think of it, I haven’t visited since I started living with Himari and Kanon.
I used to stop by here 2 to 3 times a week for a morning meal before heading to work.
That person might be worried about me too.\
With that thought in mind, I push open the door.
The bell mounted on top of the entrance made a parched sound.
It’s been a while since I heard this sound.
Entering the restaurant, the manager of the shop, who was pouring coffee into a cup, soon after greeted me.
The calm-looking manager with a white beard and hair was so austere that I wouldn’t find it strange if he was an actor.
Even though it’s coming from me as a man, I can say he’s a good looking person.
My eyes meet with the female employee next to the manager.
Seeing me, she flashes a smile.
The girl– Yuri,so to speak, is what’s commonly referred to as a “childhood friend”.
The company she has worked at as a regular, until half a year ago, had gone belly up and is now in the middle of searching for her next job while she’s working here part-time.
I didn’t expect to reunite with her at a cafe near my office, so I was surprised the first time I saw her.
Regardless though, IIt has to be tough having your company go bankrupt…
Well then… where should I sit today?
There were a few table seats that had been occupied beforehand by office workers like me, so I sat by the counter-side.
“It’s been a while hasn’t it?”
Yuri says, as she hands me a hand towel and water.
“What will you be having today?”
“I’ll go for just hot coffee, thanks.”
“Hm? Are you fine without having to eat this morning?”
As expected, Yuri reacts to my order. Likewise though, I’ve prepared an answer
“Yeah. I ate at home. I’ve been pinching pennies wherever I can.”
I’m not lying. It’s just that the number of people I’m lodging with has increased via two high school girls so I’m pinching pennies wherever possible.
…Not that I’d tell her a high school girl was cooking me breakfast though.
“So Kazuki is saving money huh~ Well, you have been coming here for about three times a week.”
“That’s a blow to our sales~.”
Chimed in by the manager as he pours hot water for the hand dripped coffee.
The aromatic smell of coffee comes riding in.
“Sorry about that boss. Although it isn’t much, I’ll at least buy a cup of coffee.”
“I’m just kidding of course. Can’t have our customers worry about sales.”
That may be true, but it’s still concerning to me since I’ve been a regular customer.
And besides that, I like the Morning Set meal as they’re delicious as they come– Slightly charred ham and toast, loaded with butter.
It’s a simple dish, but it hits the spot for breakfast. It also comes with a salad.
But… Life comes first, so I’ll have to look the other way for now.
“It’s easy to make up the sales for one person, so you don’t have to worry about that my boy. We have our cute poster girl here after all.”
“Boss…. I’m not the age where I can be called pretty…..”
Yuri replies perplexed.
While it is true that Yuri is the same age as me, she has a mature atmosphere around her.
That doesn’t mean she looks old though.
She’s, how do I say this? Sexy. Yup, If I dare put a label on her, then it’s sexy.
. The mole in the vicinity of her mouth and collarbone might have something to do with it.
It’s just that the past has a powerful imprint on me so when I hear people seeing Yuri as “mature or “beautiful”, it doesn’t really fit with my impression of her.
“To me, all young women are “Cute”. Although, It does sometimes apply to women who are older than me.”
After laughing, the manager served the coffee on the counter.
Work ended right on schedule today too.
Getting to leave the office these days, is becoming more of a daily occurrence.
While it wouldn’t be possible at the end of the fiscal year, it would still take quite some time before we get busy.
It was when I left the office entrance, headed for the station when it happened.
A familiar figure was standing close to the plants near the front of the office.
Is that Yuri? Why is she here?
“Ah, Kazuki. Good job at work out there.”
Yuri notices me and greets me with a smile.
“Ahaha. To tell you the truth, I’ve been waiting for you.”
“Waiting for me…… Your part-time doesn’t last till the evening right?”
“Yup, it’s only till 3 o’clock today. That’s why I’ve been killing time in a nearby shop”
“Do you need something from me?”
She’d been waiting for nearly 2 hours. Something must have been up. Does she want to discuss something?
I thought that was the case, so I asked her that in earnest but–
Yuri replied with something I never would have guessed.
“You’re saving up, right? I’ll go and make you a meal then.”
It took me nearly 10 seconds, for her words to register.
Yuri will come over to cook.
At my home.
The house where Himari and Kanon were—
N-no, no, no, no, no, no!
This is crazy bad! Not good at all!
If Himari’s existence were to be known, it might as well be the end of everything!
“No, uh, While I do appreciate the thought, everything’s alright. No need to worry.”
“But weren’t you the one who said back then that you didn’t cook for yourself much?”
That was an indisputable fact.
I’ve even had breakfast here for nearly half of a week at a time.
Shit. My own words from the past have come back to haunt me.
“W-well, yeah but, I can’t have you spoil me. I have to make it myself to improve…… And besides, I shouldn’t trouble you.”
“I don’t mind you know? It’s not bad to take a break once in a while you know?”
Why?– Why is she so persistent today?
Do I look like I have that much of a miserable diet?
“Uhmm, It’s not like I don’t want you to come to my house but…..”
What’s a good thing to say to get out of this? How do I make her give up?
My mind just keeps drawing blanks.
In any case, having her come over is trouble waiting to happen.
“Kazuki….. Are you hiding something from me?”
Yuri directs me with a quizzical look.
Yikes. I really was that obvious huh.
What do I do? What can I say? Refusing any longer would further her suspicions.
To prevent Yuri from visiting —–
I made up my mind.
“That…….. Fine. I’ll be honest. I’m actually looking after my cousin….”
Yuri tilts her head. She doesn’t know about Kanon.
“Yeah. She has her circumstances—-”
I only honestly talked about Kanon.
When I finished explaining, she stood still for a while with a tough expression.
“So that’s how it was…. Yeah, she’d be very troubled if I were to barge in suddenly…..”
“Uhm, Sorry…… She’s a somewhat difficult girl so….”
My conscience is hurting treating Kanon as a “Difficult Child” for my convenience but it’s for getting through this tight spot. I hope she’ll forgive me.
“Don’t worry. If that’s the reason then I’ll have to back down for today. I totally get the reason why you need to save money now too.”
“Sorry. I can’t drop by the store because of it too.”
“I understand. I’ll let Boss know too. Also, tell me if there’s anything I can help with.”
“That’s a huge help. I’ll ask when the time comes then.”
Yuri then waved goodbye before walking away.
I waited till I couldn’t see her back anymore then exhale deeply.
I managed to get out of it, but that was dangerous….
Seeing that she offered me out of kindness, I feel guilty but with things how they are, I couldn’t accept.
Back at home, there was a girl that was equivalent to a bomb– Himari.
Then, a thought passes by me.
How much longer can I keep Himari a secret?
And, Why am I doing so much for Himari in the first place?
It’s because Kanon asked me to do so—
There’s that, but even then, I’d be branded as a criminal if word got out. I can’t put it into exact words on why I’m doing this. It’s just that what an image comes to mind of Himari drawing day in day out, putting her all into it.
Her effort may not even be rewarded at all.
She’s just a high schooler at the end of the day.
As an adult, I can’t help but think that her dreams won’t go swimmingly go down a stream, all fine and dandy
But even so, even if it were true, even if I understand that well, I want to watch over her–
I realize there, that such thoughts were welling up from within me
It was the next day–
After my shift, the moment I leave the office, I catch sight of a certain person.
It was Yuri standing in front of the building, holding a large paper bag.
There, the greatest class of “Animal Instinct” that I’ve ever had in my whole life stirred within me.
To put a name to it, Danger Detection.
It could detect that I was going to be put in the greatest crisis of all.
But alas, there was no way to avoid it.
No way out indeed. There’s no back route.
My fate cannot be escaped….
There’s only one way out of the grounds so there was no back door I could run out to.
I had never cursed the plants that surrounded the building like a fence as I do now.
I hate that I had to think of my childhood friend like this. But my current circumstances and her nosiness just doesn’t mesh well right now.
Yuri has been generous and kind ever since back when we were kids and her presence has helped me many times too.
I decide to prepare myself for the worst.
She’s by no means a bad person.
I’ll somehow find a lifeline out.
Once Yuri sees me, she comes to me with a friendly smile.
“Good work Kazuki.”
“Ah, uhh… yeah, same to you too.”
In spite of my stiff smile, she gently lift up the paper bag she held.
“Lookie look, I thought about the cousin we talked about yesterday, so I brought a lot of things.”
“I appreciate the thought but… What is it? If it’s about the food you don’t have to mind us okay?”
The “Making Food at Home” problem is solved by having Kanon around.
I had made up my mind to try and reject it with all I can but–
“It’s not like that. It’s the kind of thing that a High school girl would like. Things like Inexpensive cosmetics, hair-care products, and various other stuff. You don’t seem to be well versed about this stuff Kazuki.”
Since Yuri hit the nail right on the head, I couldn’t counter with anything.
She’s right, I was focusing on living a normal everyday life. I’d completely ignored about a girl’s luxuries.
Not that. I wasn’t even aware that it was needed..
Neither Kanon nor Himari had brought it up, but now that I think about it– They were probably paying me consideration.
It wasn’t anything that I needed. At most, all I buy is face wash.
But if it was a normal high school girl, they’d likely be interested in such things as makeup….
Moreover, Yuri has a younger sister who is a current high school girl so her choice picks should be impeccable.
Yuri has a brother who is two years older than her and a sister who is eight years younger.
Back when I was in elementary, I remember seeing her overjoyed at having a sister with a distant age gap.
“I understand, I’ll gratefully accept your feelings. I’ll hand it to her for you.”
“That’s just the thing, don’t you think I should go to your house, Kazuki?”
I asked her straightforwardly. I really don’t know the reason why.
“Eh? It’s because I want to ask which cosmetics would be better for her. While I did bring a variety of things with me, I’m thinking it might not just be enough. It would be faster if I ask her directly rather than having you as a middle man. Ah, Don’t worry about the money, It’s all inexpensive.”
It was too much of a solid argument to deny. I feel like even Kanon would request for it without a second thought.
It’s just that I never expected that Yuri’s help would come in this form….
I rack my brain into full gear, thinking about my next move.
But…… it was useless.
I should take Yuri back to my place.
If I don’t budge on refusing, she would likely be more suspicious of me.
“Uh, I mean…. Are you sure about this?”
“Yup, no need to hold back. If this is the kind of thing that would make your cousin’s days be a little bit brighter, then all the more reason to.”
At her gentle, beaming smile, my conscience throbbed in pain.
Before going home, we stop by the supermarket.
I pretend to be shopping for some things I need to hide the real purpose of phoning in Kanon.
“I’ll just go to the comfort room for a bit”
“Ah, yeah. Got it”
I ask Yuri to hold the empty shopping basket and rush to the toilet at the far end of the shop then go inside a cubicle and immediately call Kanon.
“Yep, yep it’s Kanon here, It’s rare for Kazu-nii to call me isn’t it? What’s the matter?”
“Kanon, time is short so I’ll be brief. I’ll be taking someone I know home with me now.”
Kanon is speechless but I didn’t have the spare time to explain in detail.
I immediately follow it up–
“So my question is– is Himari there right now?”
“Himari’s at work,. She said she’s going to be home a little later than usual today.”
“I see…. That’s a relief to hear…”
It’s a silver lining. With that, the worst-case scenario of Yuri and Himari directly meeting each other would seem to be avoided.
Himari doesn’t have a phone so there’s no way to directly contact her….
“She probably won’t be staying long but just to be sure, can you hide her items in an inconspicuous place? We’re at the supermarket in front of the station. I think we’d get there within 30 minutes.”
Saying that, Kanon hung up the phone panickedly.
This will have to do for now—
Looking up at the ceiling, I let out a deep breath.
I bought some tissues, bread, pork at a bargain bin and beer as an accompaniment, before returning home with Yuri.
Kanon greeted us with a bit of nervousness, but I’m begging you– act as you normally do.
Without a way to know of my wish, a tense Kanon sends a look to Yuri, next to me.
“This person is?”
“She’s Yuri Michiro, we’ve been acquaintances since elementary. She works near my office. When I told her about you, she ended up bringing you various things……”
“It’s nice to meet you. My name’s Michihiro.
After my introduction, Yuri follows it with a smile and a bow.
“Ah, yea. Nice to meet you……. I didn’t know your “acquaintance” would be a girl”
Yuri tilts her head at Kanon’s words.
This girl. Don’t say that out loud.
Yeah, it is true that it’s my fault for only saying “Acquaintance” over the phone, but it would have revealed I called you beforehand if I did that!
“A-anyways. Yuri handed me a lot of stuff for you. Here, take a look”
The moment Kanon saw the contents of the paper bag, her eyes light up.
“My– It’s a Majoka* Lipstick and blush! And a light manicure to boot! There’s even and eye pencil for the eyebrows. Eh? wait a minute ,wait a minute. There might be a dozen other colors!”
(TN- Majolica Majorca Reference, brand of cosmetics.)
Kanon looked inside the bag with an excitement from her that I’ve never seen before. Her cheeks dyed with joyous deep red , exactly what you’d expect from a girl.
I didn’t know that Kanon could take on such an expression……
The one who easily brought out said expression was Yuri. There’s things that only girls can understand after all….
To be honest, while I was impressed, I was a bit vexed at myself for not knowing.
“I didn’t know what colors suit your liking so I tried bringing the quintessential ones for now so…….. If you have something you prefer then tell me so I can bring it next time.”
“Eh? Is it really ok?”
She was showing delight on her face but Kanon was slightly confused on what to do.
She does seem to be the type of person who holds back on a lot of things.
This isn’t the type of thing where you should be reserved— But maybe because she felt what I had in mind but Yuri vocalized what I was thinking.
“Yep. No need to be shy. You know, my sister’s in her 3rd year of high school too. She buys a lot of inexpensive fashion accessories and 100 yen store stuff and the like. There’s too much of it so we can use it. If you want, I can bring back more next time if you want. Some of them are used only a few times”
“Uhmm, thank you very much…. I’m really glad. I get excited when I see things like this.”
Looks like I won’t be able to hop on the conversation for some time……
It would be bad of me to interrupt them so I leave the two that were having fun.
The items Yuri brought along didn’t only have cosmetics, but also things like a mirror for makeup, nail clippers, handkerchiefs and the like.
The mirror especially, was something that I was ignorant of.
There’s a mirror in the bathroom so that was enough for me, but a portable mirror is necessary for highschool girls….
In such a short time, I was made to face the divide of a man in his upper 20’s and a highschool girl’s way of life.
“Thank you for your hospitality.”
We were standing at the front entrance facing Yuri.
“Uhmm, well…….thank you, for the gifts.”
Kanon bows to express her gratitude.
In that time span, it looks like Kanon and Yuri had become quite close.
“You don’t need to worry about that. I’ll bring what you requested next time.“
“See you later too, Kazuki”
Kaori leaves with her gentle smile.
The breeze from outside made the air freshener on top of the shoe rack leave a soft fragrance.
For a few seconds we were just standing by the doorway, motionless, and not a word.
“………So you have a childhood friend huh”
Kanon expressionlessly said under her breath.
Just as she said so, uncomfortableness crept in.
“Ahh, uhh, yep. I didn’t think it was something that needed to be said so I didn’t but…….I’m sorry ”It’s good that Himari isn’t here by chance but what would you do if Himari doesn’t have work the next time she comes?”
“That’s…. I’d feel bad for Himari but I’ll have no choice but to ask her to leave for a while…. I think….”
Kanon glares at me as if dissatisfied.
No, It’s not like I don’t feel bad for Himari…….
But thinking about future plans makes my stomach hurt. It’s already been decided that Yuri will come back again.
But with the way things are, there’s no way I can say “Don’t come to my house anymore.”
“Yuri-san’s a pretty person. She looks like an adult. Ah well, I guess she really is one”
“Is that…so? You might be right…”
Despite appearances, Yuri is lacking in some respects. She falls over nothing, for instance.
The Yuri from grade school days has a strong impression on me so I tend to hesitate to move my head up and down in agreement when someone says she’s mature.
But it does ring true though, she looks more mature compared to her back then.
“Her boobs are big too.”
I’ll stave off my comment from that one.
I don’t want to dig my own grave by saying anything unnecessary. I can never say that I did think of that a little.
“Her boobs are big too”
“Why say it twice?”
“I mean, isn’t it unfair? We’re both girls yet there’s an overwhelming difference”
Himari would probably resent that if she heard that……… She was jealous of her’s when they took a bath together. Although Kanon’s wasn’t as good as Yuri’s, from my perspective, it looks as if it is.
In Himari’s case she’s just well hmm….. She’s slim, yeah.
“Ahhh~~ When I’m reborn, I want to be big-breasted, cute, somewhat sex big sister-type character that’s spoiled by everyone.”
“You’re still a teenager, don’t talk about your desires for the next life, You’ll make me feel dead inside you know.”
I’d like to be muscular, taller, have a cool voice, and be handsome like an actor, I’d like to try living life with cheats on.
……Yeah, I should stop thinking about that.
Being productive at anything is the least of it if I do, it would just create holes in my heart.
Himari walked through the residential district under the sunken sun.
She came home later than usual, but wasn’t tired.
Reason being that there were only a few customers today and her time was spent more on handing out fliers.
Soon enough, she arrived in front of Kazuki’s apartment building.
Himari usually returns home by evening.*
It’s the first time she’s seen the apartment basked in the darkness since the first day she was here, so it’s a fresh experience.
(TN- You may be wondering why I’m using evening when It’s obvious that the author is describing what seems to be the time just after 5 on more than one occasion, and to that I say it’s because the author himself uses the word yugata – or evening, most of the time. While I can’t say for certain since even in Japan, people use different words for that, like just directly stating the time or saying the setting sun in such, but I do know that the western world almost exclusively uses evening when the moon is already up and use afternoon even when it’s twilight outside,)
With the corridors illuminated by bright lights, the upper parts of the doors of each room can be seen clearly.
She quickly takes a glance up at where Kazuki’s room is located.
When she started her part-time job, the long-lost sensation of looking forward to return home had come back. The last time for her might have been in elementary school when she was rearing to return in order to watch reruns of anime.
Coming back there means that Kanon’s deliciously prepared meal would be waiting, and Kazuki’s welcome.
Is it ok to feel this happiness even though she’s a runaway?
But Himari couldn’t control the grin she had on her face.
But the next moment caused that same face to freeze like an ice statue.
A person came out of Kazuki’s room.
A woman in fact–
Himari did a double-take, wondering if she saw the wrong room.
But it was still Kazuki’s room.
The woman disappears further into the corridor.
Himari hastily moves, ducking behind a car in the parking lot.
A short time later, the woman comes out of the entrance.
Himari sneaks a peek from behind cover.
Even with the figure from a distance, she had a hunch that she was pretty, and being up close proved she was every bit as beautiful as she imagined.
She has long shiny hair, and a beauty mark near her mouth.
What’s more, she had a breast and hourglass figure that made a statement that she definitely is an Adult..
She has a good posture, and the way she walks is the same and—
The woman trips over nothing.
Himari felt a smidge frustrated that she bore the slightest bit of inclination as her.
The woman bashfully fixes herself up alone, and starts to walk again in her good posture.
Then without ever noticing Himari, she walked across the road.
Himari was frozen in place for a while.
Who was that beautiful person just now?
Is it Kazuki’s……
Until now, there wasn’t a trace of it. So she had thought there wasn’t any.
But it was easy to guess without thinking about it. Kazuki’s an adult.
It wouldn’t be strange at all.
Thinking of such an idea was a different matter entirely from convincing the heart.
Himari isn’t even considered as a partner by Kazuki—
That cruel fact has been mercilessly thrust upon her. A huge mist forms in Himari’s heart.
Getting back, Himari tells the truth that she saw a woman leave the room.
Kazuki and Kanon explains about Yuri in response.
She had brought various things for Kanon and will be coming to bring more.
It’s just that they couldn’t tell Yuri about Himari so they apologized for not having anything for Himari.
Even then though, Kanon got a little extra for Himari disguising it as for herself.
It’s just that Himari didn’t care for it much.
She wasn’t interested in make-up and Kazuki had already bought what she needed for now.
Himari was satisfied with that alone.
And finding out that Yuri wasn’t Kazuki’s girlfriend, she was relieved.
That was on a higher priority in her mind than the objects.
But her heart was still anxious.
Kazuki’s Childhood Friend-–
In other words, she’s known Kazuki since they were young.
She knows a lot about a side of Kazuki she doesn’t know.
Himari hates herself for not being able to do anything about her envy.
That night, after the lights in the living room were turned off, she looked over at Kanon who was on the futon that was laid next to her.
She was lying on it, fiddling with her phone setting up the alarm.
The phone slipped from her hands and hit squarely on her face.
Even as a person watching from the side, it looked painful.
She presses her hands on her face, silently screaming in agony.
“A-are you ok?”
“I might be——not ok……”
It wasn’t a good thing but Himari was a bit relieved that even a person such as Kanon would make such a mistake.
For Himari, Kanon is an amazing high school girl who can do any and all housework.
The fact that she could see such a girl being like that, made her feel all the more closer to her.
Kanon held her face for some time, but it seems the pain has receded a bit.
She turned her moist eyes to Himari.
“And so, what where you going to ask?”
“Uhmm, It’s about Yuri-san…. But….”
Himari says it in a whispered voice so Kazuki in the next room over couldn’t hear her.
The moment she mentioned Yuri’s name, Kanon’s expression changed.
She then leans in towards Himari.
“Ah, uhmm…. What do you think of her Kanon?
After pondering on it, she ended up asking a straightforward question.
Kanon thought about it for a moment, she responded with a whispered voice like Himari’s.
“She’s pretty powerful”
The words weren’t enough but it was enough to understand what Kanon wanted to say.
Himari was also sure of it—
Kanon held the same feelings for Kazuki as her.
Kanon seems to have guessed what Himari was thinking about too.
The two of them shyly giggled at the same time.
“Isn’t it unfair that a childhood friends looks like that~t”
“You can say that again~” She thought that a more unsightly feelings of jealousy and gloominess would be born but it was feelings of happiness that showed up this time.