Editing: Lass Isolet & Yuuki
The sound of the door opening rang in my ears.
“Onii-chan, wake up! It’s morning already!”
An energetic voice filled the room.
Did my younger sister come to wake me up?
I should pretend to be asleep so that she would feel annoyed, right?
“How long are you planning on staying in bed?! Onii-chan, wake up already!”
I continued faking my sleep even when she started shaking me vigorously.
“Wake up, wake up! You sleepyhead!”
She’s getting annoyed, she’s getting annoyed–
“Ah, you’re so annoying! If you still don’t get up, I have no choice but to do this!”
My younger sister sounded a little angry now. She stopped shaking me and started shuffling about.
I half-opened my eyes, curious with what she was doing.
She was wearing a school swimsuit!
“Since you’re not getting up, I have no choice but to wear this!”
“No, no! That’s not how it works! It has to be the old-style swimsuit! Didn’t I already tell you to wear the old-style one? And if you wanted to wear that then didn’t I also say that you must first make it wet so that your body shines? Didn’t I also tell you to act like you were adjusting your swimsuit near your hips? I also told you to show your tan lines naturally, remember?”
I sat up, and realized that I was alone in the room.
So it was just a dream?
Well, I never had a younger sister to begin with.
But even though it was such a good dream, I was still so picky about how the swimsuit was worn. I shuddered when I remembered what I did.
I dejectedly prepared for school.
Wait, despite me even having dreams about the scenes in H-Games, why do they never happen to me in real life? I already have a fringe that covers my eyes like those protagonists in H-Games, but nothing out of the ordinary has happened to me.
Why won’t a younger sister just suddenly appear in front of my eyes one day?
Speaking of H-Games, I just remembered something.
I left my H-Game at school yesterday.
I quickly prepared everything and left my house earlier than usual.
On my way out, I saw a girl that I recognized.
“Ah, Nao. Good Morning.”
“Good morning, Souta. It sure is rare for you to be up and about this early in the morning.”
This girl who replied coldly – Murase Nao lived very near to my house; a typical childhood friend. Even though I don’t have a younger sister, don’t I at least have a childhood friend, one of the most common settings in an H-game? Well, normal people will surely think that.
“Nao, why don’t you come to my house and wake me up every morning?”
“Why would I do that?”
“I believe that is what normal childhood friends would do.”
“What the heck are you talking about? You’re already in high school, surely you can wake up by yourself.”
Nao coldly ignored my request.
“Then, how about we walk to school and back home together?”
“Don’t wanna. Aren’t you always almost late to school?”
“Since you don’t want to do any of that, at least make me a bento or something!”
“Don’t wanna. Just go buy something by yourself.”
“In that case, you can just move away already!”
“How did you get to that conclusion?!”
Nao’s face had an expression that said “What the heck is this guy saying”.
This is what I was talking about. Even though Nao is my childhood friend, she was completely unwilling to do anything that a proper childhood friend would do. The only thing she did do was calling me directly by my first name.
I glanced at Nao, who was walking beside me.
With her straight posture, coupled with her shiny, tidy long hair and her serious attitude, Nao gave off the vibes of a model student. In fact, she really was good at both her studies and even sports; truly a model student.
She had been like this since we were young. Retaining her large eyes and puckered lips, she matured with age and had become a true beauty. Sadly though, her breasts didn’t develop. She was truly and completely flat-chested.
Ah, whatever. Just know that I have been joined to the hip with this girl for a very long time now.
But what’s with her cold attitude towards me? We somehow managed to get into the same high school and the same class. We even sit next to each other! She really has trampled all over the title of the ‘childhood friend’. This is a mockery of childhood friends. Isn’t this completely different from H-Games?
“Now that I think about it, why are you up and about so early today?”
“What? Um… Just a little something.”
“What exactly is this something?”
I think truthfully answering that ‘I left my H-Game in school’ would not be a very good idea here.
Why is that? Well, whenever I mention H-Games in front of Nao, she becomes furious.
“Er… I left a game about girls sometimes wearing clothes and sometimes taking them off in the classroom.”
“What the heck did you bring to school?!”
Crap! Isn’t that just the same as telling her that it’s an H-Game?
“N-No, that’s not it. Surprisingly, that game doesn’t have anything exciting in it! There aren’t that many CGs too!”
“It has nothing to do with the number, you idiot!”
As per my expectations, Nao got angry.
“I-In any case, I will bring it back home today.”
“Don’t do these type of things that will ruin our school’s reputation.”
“Y-Yup, g-got it…”
“Sigh, Souta, you haven’t changed at all, have you? You just talk about your games as if it were nothing. Normally one wouldn’t talk to girls about these sort of things…”
Nao seemed to have given up on something.
I was glad that I managed to soothe her anger. On the other hand, I felt a little uneasy about being given up on like that.
But there was just one thing that I had to say.
“Don’t think that I only like H-Games for the sake of liking them. I have ambitions too, you know?”
Nao looked at me as if I was something pitiful.
“Now listen here! I want to have a school life like one of those protagonists in the H-Games! With tons of girls all around me while we either have a sweet and wonderful life together or have a life full of those kinds of things! That is why I play H-Games; I use them as reference materials!”
Despite me speaking so gleefully, Nao still glanced at me coldly.
“Eh… Why do I feel as if I just stepped into an air-conditioned convenience stall in the middle of summer…?”
“Ah, you’re so annoying. How do you even get reality and your delusions mixed up? I really don’t want you to become like one of those otakus.”
Nao shook her head in disapproval. She probably only hated these otaku topics because I exuded the very essence of an otaku who was obsessed with H-games.
“I do have a proper notion of reality, you know.”
“Then, after ‘referring’ to all those games of yours, have you actually managed to gather tons of girls around you in real life?”
“How many of them are there now? Tell me, tell me!”
This girl… She really knows how to target all my weak spots. If she knew how to utilize some secret technique, I would already be dead by now.
Sadly, what she said was true. I really didn’t have a single girl that I could talk sweetly with around me.
Despite being dissatisfied with this, I couldn’t retort. Ah, now I remember…
“Speaking of which, I talked to a girl yesterday. Ah, she was really cute…”
I said so with a proud expression on my face.
I remembered the girl named Mano whom I spoke with yesterday in the classroom next door. But nothing sweet did come out of that meeting…
“Just so you know, I’m not talking about some girl in your games.”
“It was a girl from school!”
“Liar. There’s no way there exists a girl who would talk to you. It’s probably some virtual thing again, or were you hallucinating this time?”
“How bad do you think my ability to differentiate between reality and virtual worlds is?”
Nao looked like she didn’t believe a word I said, judging from the “Yeah, I get it. I get it,” that she was saying.
“So, what kind of girl was she?”
“See, I knew it! You have no idea, right? It was your imagination, right?”
Nao snickered at me.
Even though her attitude annoyed me a little, I really didn’t have anything to say for myself.
If only Mano was a normal student in a school uniform.
“Erm… She looked like the Demon King…”
This sounded extremely suspicious, but it would probably be weirder if I lied about this. So, I just told Nao the truth.
“Stop talking about your games! Geez, how many times do I–”
“It’s true! She said it herself that ‘I am a Demon King-like’!”
“Demon King-like? What’s with the ‘like’?”
“Who knows? I also asked her that, but she answered me by talking about flowers.”
“Flowers? Even if this is one of your delusions, I think it would be better if you just tried to make a little more sense.”
“It’s not a delusion! Even though that girl had a weird laugh that went ‘Mugege’…”
“What the heck is ‘Mugege’? How is that even possible? It sounds right out of some comedy game.”
“That’s not it! She also said things like ‘Who ate my pudding without my permission?’!”
“No matter how you look at it, that isn’t something a Demon King would say, right? That being said, why not just write your name on it before putting it in the fridge?”
Nao shook her head, looking annoyed.
That’s strange. Why does it seem like it’s getting weirder and weirder even though I am only telling the truth?
“Ah, I got it. Could it be that she’s just practicing, and doesn’t really know what to say?”
Wait, why am I defending Mano?
“Even if that were to be the case, there are still better things for a Demon King to say, right? Things like ‘I’ll let you have half the world’.”
“Ah, she did say that at one point.”
“Erm… And maybe things like ‘Even if you get rid of me, there will be others to take over my place!’”
“Yeah, she also said that, I think. Though her timing was kinda off.”
“What else… Something like ‘Give up your valiant struggles. I rejoice in the face of destruction, and humans rejoice in the face of death. Come, rejoice at your upcoming salvation!’ right?”
“Er… She didn’t really say that …”
What Nao just said was surprisingly long and detailed.
“Is that so? I thought you said that she seemed to have said some lines that an actual Demon King would say?”
“Now that you think about it…Eh?”
Something fishy is going on here.
“Did something happen?”
Nao looked at me, puzzled.
‘About that… How are you so familiar with Demon Kings and what they should be saying?”
Nao suddenly froze.
If I had to pinpoint what exactly was weird, it would be how familiar Nao seemed to be regarding Demon Kings in general.
“Are you perhaps playing games with these sort of lines in them?”
“N-No, that’s not it. Erm… I…”
Nao started panicking all of a sudden.
“I guess I was thinking too much then. Since you’re someone who doesn’t play games, saying that would probably be an insult to you right?”
“Y-Yup! How could I be playing games? You frequently hear lines like these in your daily life. Everyone knows that! It’s common sense!”
“Eh? In daily life? For example?”
“A-About that… Like when you are chopping cabbages for examples, don’t you sometimes yell ‘Muahaha… I’ll chop you into pieces!’?”
“Why does your way of cooking sound so horrifying?!”
“W-Well, everyone is that high-strung when they are cooking!”
Just when I was thinking if whether that really was the case, we had already arrived at the shoe racks at the entrance of our school.
“Whatever… In any case, I really did meet a girl who talked as if she was a Demon King.”
“Hmmph, it’s not like you are close or anything, right?”
Nao snorted at my words while she changed to her indoor shoes.
“Of course not! Although she did reject me when I asked her to take off her clothes.”
“How would you get close to her if you say something like that!? In the end, I’m still the only girl that talks to you.”
Nao chuckled as she said this.
“Do you really need to say that with such a happy expression on your face?”
“W-What?! I-It’s not like I’m happy or anything! Stop saying such strange things! That’s why other girls don’t want to get close to you! Idiot Souta!”
Nao got angry all of a sudden and turned away from me.
Did I really just see her blushing?
“What the heck is it now…?”
I started taking off my shoes with curiosity at the back of my mind. Just then–
“…Now that I think about it, I was actually concerned about this for a while now…”
Nao suddenly asked me something despite being angry with me just a moment ago.
“Eh? What is it?”
“Why are you opening and closing everyone’s shoe compartments?”
Opening everyone’s shoe compartments?
At first, I had no idea what Nao was saying.
I only realized that I was just about to open someone else’s shoe compartment after she said this.
What the heck is going on? Why am I doing this?
“What’s wrong? Can’t you find your shoes?”
“Eh…? That’s… What?”
I opened my own shoe compartment and saw that my indoor shoes were in there, like it had always been.
“So it was in there! Why did you need to snoop through other people’s compartments then?”
“Did it really make that loud of a noise?”
“It’s loud enough for people to think that you are checking everyone’s shoes. I have no idea why you were doing that, but don’t go hunting through other people’s shoe compartments again.”
I replied with a lifeless tone.
Even I have no idea why I was looking through everyone’s shoe compartments.
I just felt that I had to do that somehow.
What the heck is this feeling?
“Souta, what’s wrong? Shouldn’t we head to the classrooms now?”
Nao’s voice disrupted my thoughts.
Oh well, it’s not something to be worried over anyway.
I chased after Nao who had already left and headed to my classroom on the third floor.
I remembered something as I sat down on my seat. I still had to retrieve my H-Game.
I immediately took the H-Game out of my desk and stuffed it in my bag.
Mission accomplished. Now, I can go home today and finally do this and that with true childhood friends.
“…Souta, make sure you don’t bring those games to school anymore.”
Crap! My actual childhood friend saw what I just did!
“You sure are serious about these things. All right, I get it, I get it.”
“Well, I am the class vice-chairperson; I must make sure that you don’t do anything that breaks the rules.”
“That’s true… Wait, you’re not the chairperson right? Seeing as you don’t wear glasses nor do you have your hair in braids.”
“What kind of requirement is that supposed to be?! Who said that class chairpersons must dress like that?! What’s more, I’m the vice-chairperson, not the chairperson!”
“Ah, is that so? I guess it’s fine if you’re the vice-chairperson.”
“I give up… I have no idea how your standards work…”
Even if it made Nao annoyed, I had no choice but to defend the all-important appearance of the ‘class chairperson’ from the H-Games. But I guess it didn’t matter if it was the vice-chairperson.
“If the chairperson is a girl, help me tell her to tie her hair up in braids and wear glasses, OK?”
“Why would I do that…Wait, what are you doing?!”
“Eh?! Wh-What is it?”
Nao startled me when she suddenly screamed.
“Why are you suddenly searching through my bag?!”
As I thought ‘What are you talking about?’–
But when I looked down, I really was digging through Nao’s bag.
“E-Eh? Wh-What am I doing!?”
“That’s what I should be saying, you pervert!”
Nao snatched her bag away and glared at me.
Why did I do that? Did I subconsciously start looking through her bag?
It was the same at the shoe compartments just earlier, I never wanted to look through Nao’s bag. Well, I should clear up this misunderstanding first.
“N-Nao! This is a misunderstanding!”
“What did I misunderstand?!”
Now that I think about it, what am I supposed to say to prove my innocence?
I have no idea how to explain this sort of behavior myself!
“Erm… Th-That’s because there seems to be some explosives in your bag!”
“Explosives!? Of course there aren’t any of that in here!”
“Well, I just placed them there!”
“Why would you do that? There’re better ways of annoying people, you know?”
“Ah, I got it wrong, it wasn’t explosives!”
“Then what is it?”
“I accidently put my H-Game in there!”
“You really are trying to get me annoyed, right?”
“Help me conquer the childhood friend in there!”
“Don’t ask your childhood friend to do something like that for you! Idiot!”
Well, that’s true…