Thanks to our buddy C. C. Baxter for helping in translation. We’ll be updating volume 2 from now. We are once again asking for your help in proofreading. If anyone feels they can help us so that we can proceed with definitive PDF and EPUB versions, please comment on these posts.EHJR Administration team
It was by the end of May.
“Here, Kazu-nii, take this.” When I had finished dinner and was taking a break on the couch in the living room, Kanon handed me an A4-sized flyer.
What could it be? A notification from the school, maybe?
Was her school holding a parent attendance day?
I was psyching myself up with the idea of playing the role of her guardian in case of need, so the moment I saw the words on the flyer I was taken in for a surprise.
“This is… about the cultural festival?”
On the flyer was a picture of a cute bear and a balloon. Inside that balloon was written in chubby handwriting the word “Festival”.
The school cultural festival, huh? That brought back nostalgic memories.
Since I had become a working adult, I had nothing to do with that school festival stuff.
“It’s at the end of June, okay?”
“Really? It’s unusual for it to be in June.”
“You think so?”
“In my school, it’s in the fall,” Himari, peeking from my side, said that while having a look at the flyer. But, surely realizing how close her face was to mine, she turned away with a reddened face, while saying, “I’m-sorry.”
For the moment, I didn’t touch the subject, and instead cast a glance at the flyer again.
“At the high school I went to, it was also in the fall. Before the sports festival.”
“Well, that’s different, you know? It’s after the sports festival for mine.”
I guess the period for events varies by school.
I wonder what kind of criteria they use to determine these things.
“Well then, for the cultural festival at our school they use a ticket invitation system… Um, would you two like to come?” Kanon said shyly, offering us two light blue tickets.
“Since we are being invited, I’ll take it.”
“Tee-hee. Thank you.”
“Kanon-chan, is it okay for me to join?”
“Of course, I’d be very happy if you come, Himari.
“…Okay!” Himari beamed as she received the ticket. Kanon also gave a small smile, looking a bit embarrassed.
“A ticket invitation system though? First time I’ve heard of such a system.”
The high school I went to had an open cultural festival with no special restrictions.
“My high school used to be an all-girls school, so there’s a high percentage of girls in it, you know? Apparently, there have been problems in past years… They started doing it this way two years ago, if I’m not mistaken.
Even in mixed schools, there are men who are targeting girls.
Even more so if there’s a high proportion of girls.
“By the way, what kind of things will you do? After all, there will be bazaars and stuff, right?”
“It seems like that’s the kind of thing the other classes will do. Now that you mention it, our class decided to have a cosplay cafe.”
“A cosplay cafe?” Somehow, Himari’s eyes sparkled. I guess she’s interested in that kind of thing.
“That’s right. I think it’s sort of like your part-time job, Himari. So, if there’s something I don’t know, maybe I could ask you.”
“Don’t worry. If there’s anything I can be of help with, ask anything you want!” Himari said to Kanon while clenching her fists enthusiastically. She was totally motivated.
“By the way, what kind of cosplay?”
If you ask me, just as a “high-school girl” is an automatic cosplay.
Of course, coming from my mouth it would sound disgusting, so I kept silent.
“Hm, looks like it will be varied, I think? Actually, I was distracted, so I didn’t pay much attention to that part, hahaha.
“Hey there, you should pay attention in class.” I realized that Kanon probably didn’t participate much in class discussions.
That said, Kanon doesn’t seem to be dissatisfied. Rather, she’s more of an adaptive type.
“Who should we give the remaining tickets to… Is it okay to give one to Yuuri-san?” “She said she would come tomorrow or the day after. Let’s ask her then.”
…So I waited for the day Yuuri would be coming home from work.
Yuuri walked back home with me bringing back cosmetics inside a small white paper bag.
To be honest, I was a little unsettled when Yuuri declared herself an “accomplice,” but there had been no particular problems since then.
Rather, realizing I could discuss Himari’s situation with someone else, I was relieved.
It’s not as if I had anything against Himari, but, even so, it seemed I was building up stress without realizing it.
Well, after all, if this leaked out, it would become a police matter, huh…?
In that respect, Yuuri was reliable.
“Hey… Yuuri-san, are you free last Saturday of next month?” Kanon asked Yuuri, looking down at her.
Yuuri, who was sitting on the sofa and taking cosmetics out of the paper bag, was puzzled. Then she looked up as if recalling something.
“Let’s see, I’m sure there must be a memorial ceremony that day at my house… Why do you ask?”
Yuuri openly arched his eyebrows when Kanon explained about the cultural festival.
“Th-that…! I wanna go…! But I can’t break up with the memorial ceremony thing… Still, it’s Kanon-chan’s cultural festival… Uuhhh.” Yuuri, who was on the verge of tears, hugged Kanon.
What was this grown-up-enough adult doing?
“Yu-Yuuri-san, wait, your breast…”
There was a very pleasant collision as Yuuri’s chest and Kanon’s cheeks pressed together.
…No, no, no, no—stop. As one would expect, even Kanon could do nothing but smile bitterly at Yuuri’s attitude. She was unable to continue with her words.
For some reason, Himari was staring at the two of them.
Probably, she felt that Kanon had been stolen from her, huh?
“They both look so fluffy and soft—I can’t believe I’m seeing such a colorful and exhilarating composition in person… I need to record it in my mind…” she muttered to herself with a serious expression.
Just as I thought, Himari’s sensibility for drawing is a bit unusual.
“Kazuki-kun, are you going to the cultural festival?” Yuuri looked at me, still hugging Kanon.
I don’t know why, but I’m a little afraid of what I see.
“Yeah, I guess.”
“Uhh, what an injustice…”
“You have a sister, though, don’t you, Yuuri?”
“My sister’s high school cultural festival is something like a completely closed event, so I’m not allowed to go…
“That’s why I haven’t had the chance to go to a high school cultural festival since I became an adult… I would also like to suck a lot of young girls’ energy.”
“Don’t say things that sound like a vampire.”
She sounded like a pervert.
In the first place, Yuuri should already be absorbing vital components of a high-school girl from her sister… Wait, the same goes for me, huh?
I’d better stop thinking further on that.
“Kanon-chan, will you also have a cultural festival next year? Will you invite me next year too?”
“I think so… I will invite you if the system is the same as this year.”
“Thank you! Uhhh… I’ll bear it until next year…” Yuuri hugged Kanon even tighter. Exasperated, Kanon patted Yuuri’s head.
Who was the adult here…?
This side of her is why I don’t understand when they say Yuuri “looks like an adult”.
Still, next year…?
The words Yuuri said suddenly ended up catching my attention. I didn’t know how this cohabitation would be like next year, or even next month… I couldn’t imagine it at all.
After Yuuri and I finished eating, I moved to the bathroom.
“…So, I got the guy’s contact info.”
🔊: “I see…” Pops emitted a mysterious air on the other end of the phone. He called back to check on Kanon’s situation.
Of course, I informed him about ‘Murakumo’s assault’ the other day, but at the same time, I manipulated the details—I felt that way.
Naturally, I didn’t tell him about Himari’s case.
“By the way, about mother…”
🔊: “She is recovering. She should be able to leave the hospital in the course of this month, as far as I know.”
“…It’s a relief.” For now, I felt at ease.
But I had another concern, so I decided to go ahead and get in the issue:
“Hey, pops, even after mother is discharged, I’ll be taking care of Kanon at my place, okay?”
🔊: “It would be great for us if you did, but…are you sure about that, Kazuki?”
“My house is closer to Kanon’s school, so stay here will be better for her. Besides, I think it would be hard for Kanon to change her environment again when she’s already getting used to it.”
Originally, Kanon had gone to my parents’ house for help.
Well, if you think carefully, it was the natural thing to do (she didn’t know where my house was to begin with).
Considering my mom’s nature, I think she surely would tell her ‘move to my house.’ If that happened, it would be Himari and I living by ourselves.
I was aware that this way of life from now was on a knife’s edge.
So, without Kanon’s presence, the risk of Himari’s existence being discovered by those around me would definitely increase.
I wanted to avoid that.
I really dislike my calculating nature.
But aside from Himari’s issue, I wished to keep eating Kanon’s home-cooked food… That was my true intention. Of course, I wasn’t going to say it, though.
🔊: “But, Kazuki, you’re the one who’s gone under Kanon-chan’s care, aren’t you?”
“N-not so,” I got a little off balance. When it comes to cooking, I’m completely in Kanon’s care…
🔊: “Really? Don’t show an unpleasant behavior to Kanon-chan.”
“I know. Then, I’m hanging up.”
I didn’t want him to question me further, so I forcibly ended the call.
When I came out of the bathroom, the three of them, including Yuuri, were in the living room having a boisterous time.
There were many small colorful bottles on the table.
What was it, nail polish?
“This one with blue glitter in it is pretty. Ah, but I think I like the pearly one here too… Hmmm, what a problem.” Kanon, with her hand to her chin, alternately held the jars.
“Fufu. Kanon-chan seems to like the glitters, huh? What about you, Himari-chan?”
In contrast to Kanon’s anxiety, Himari was sitting quietly when Yuuri asked her that question.
“I… I’ve never done anything like this… I wasn’t really interested in it before…” When Himari said that, we crossed gazes. Himari let out a small, “ah,” and for some reason quickly corrected herself: “b-but I like looking at them! I think pastel colors are pretty!”
I don’t care whether a girl is fashionable or not.
“Hey, Himari, would you paint my nails?”
“Eh?” Himari’s shoulders shook with a jolt at Kanon’s sudden suggestion.
“Himari, you’re a skilled artist…”
“But I’ve never painted nails. I don’t know if I can do it properly…”
“Then why don’t give it a try? You seem to have a good sense for colors, Himari. Let’s do it~” In a lively mood, Kanon presented her hand to Himari.
Himari was puzzled.
“Forgive me if I mess it up…” Saying so, she calmly took the polish.
It seemed it would be best if I stopped looking at this so attentively.
So I holed up in my room and decided to play a game on my smartphone that I hadn’t played in a while.
I intermittently heard voices of amusement coming from the living room.
“Himari, you’re very skilled. I can’t do a gradient like that all of a sudden, you know? Really, it’s beautiful.”
“Hmmm. The first time I painted them, it was a matte texture, but the color was all uneven, so I ended up a bit depressed. Himari-chan, could you do the same for me?”
“Y-yes. If you’re okay with me doing it… What base color do you want to use, Yuuri-san?”
“Hm, let’s see.”
It was practically as if I was in the scene, so I somehow ended up imagining the colors while I was in my room.
However, I couldn’t understand some of the words they were saying.
After that, the three of them spent some time chatting animatedly…
“Ah, Kazuki-kun, I think it’s time for me to go home,” when Yuuri said that, I looked at the clock and saw that it was past eight o’clock.
Was it already this late?
I wasted the time idly playing while listening to the conversation.
When I went out into the living room, there were various colored polishes lined up on the table.
Did Yuuri bring so many things?
And the room was almost bursting with the smell of thinner.
I had to turn on the exhaust fan.
Yuuri had already finished getting ready to leave and was putting on her shoes.
We walked Yuuri to the door.
“I’m sorry for staying so late today. Kazuki-kun, see you next time.”
“Yes. …Take care of yourself.”
“Kanon-chan, Himari-chan, thanks for today!”
As Kanon and Himari smiled and waved their hands, Yuuri left the entrance.
The tips of their fingers were so shiny that I reflexively glanced at them.
Kanon, perhaps noticing my gaze, quickly showed me her hand.
“Kazu-nii, look. I had Himari paint them for me.”
“Hee. It’s amazing, isn’t it?”
Light blue and yellow in a gradation, and there’s a bright glitter on the tip.
I don’t care for manicures at all—actually, I think I prefer women’s nails au naturel.
But I honestly thought this coloring was beautiful.
“Um. Mine were painted by Yuuri-san… I… it’s the first time I’ve done something like this… Don’t you think it’s weird?” Himari said that, and also showed me her hand shyly.
Himari’s were a simple pink color that was very slippery. Only on both pinkies there were white butterflies painted on them. They were probably stickers, since there was no way Yuuri could draw that nice.
“No, they look pretty, you know?”
“Yay…!” Instantly, Himari’s expression lit up with enthusiasm.
I know it sounds repetitive, but I’m not interested in manicures at all, so I don’t know whether it’s good or bad. However, I think it fits Himari’s image.
Again, it is the choice of Yuuri, who has a younger sister.
“Now, you two, in any order you want, go take a quick bath…”
“Roger,” they both replied and walked away from the entrance. As they headed to the room, they exchanged glances and laughed, “thee-hee” and “fufufu.”
I didn’t quite understand, but they looked like they were having fun. I was a little envious of high school girls who were able to get in such a mood just by painting their nails.