|Author: Hidsuki Shihou||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2838 characters|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1454 words|
Today is Obon, the festival of the dead. People typically don’t have anything else to do other than grave visiting. In the middle of this, I decided to go somewhere. It’s not like I can visit the graves of the Kisaragi family anyways.
「Well, it’s been a while.」
Riding a few trains, I arrived at my hometown. Though I say that, it’s a town right next to the district where Kotone lived. It’s surprisingly close, I was really shocked when I searched it up.
「It really hasn’t changed much.」
I guess three years isn’t enough to change the train station. There are cases where large scale construction changes a place completely, but there’s no change as of now. I should probably feel nostalgic, but from my perspective only 6 months have passed.
「For now, I guess I’ll go to our house.」
My objective is to see how my adoptive mother is doing. She basically only lives to work, so I’m worried about whether she’s living properly. I was in charge of all the housework, so I also want to see how the house is doing. I’d be glad if our neighbour supported her in that regard.
I’ll ignore the person groaning behind me. Is she that upset about me not having work today? She did hang her head when I told her in the middle of my jog. The stares from around us were painful.
「Well, time to walk.」
Even so, I don’t plan on giving her an easier time at all. It should take an hour to reach home on foot. Walking is a bit tough under the blazing sun, but I’ve prepared enough water. Got to be careful when it comes to heatstroke, after all. I don’t know about the person behind me, though.
「Ahh~ It really hasn’t changed.」
Entering the residential district, I travel along the familiar path as I’m slowly approaching our house. Except for the person behind me changing on the way, nothing changed. Still, this place really hasn’t changed at all.
「Ohh! It’s Koto-chan. What brought you here to this place?」
I already expected this, but I happened to encounter Isami. Her house is right next ours, so I knew that there’s a high chance that we’d see each other but I didn’t expect to see her before reaching home. She’s probably on the way home after buying groceries. Judging from the bags she has on both her hands.
「Coming to this place for a walk, you really have a lot of spare time.」
「Shut up. More importantly, what about your job?」
「As expected, I took a leave for the entirety of Obon. I’d rather not work non-stop.」
There are a lot of people that don’t take days off even for Obon, though. Considering that, that must mean that her workplace is decent. For now, I’ll congratulate her. In my mind.
「Still, since you look like you’re free, let’s have lunch together at home.」
「I don’t have the right to choose anyway, right?」
「Of course. I’ll bring you along even if i have to drag you.」
In simpler terms, that’s called kidnapping. Still, my Master’s food is pretty tempting. I haven’t dropped by much due to work reasons, after all. And since I could cook myself.
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「Alright. As long as I’m not a nuisance.」
「You’re not a nuisance at all. I’m inviting our neighbour too, so adding one more person won’t be a problem at all.」
As I thought, she’s also inviting step-mom. I did anticipate this because it’s how our Obon generally goes. Well, with this, I can check her condition face to face, so I guess it turned out well. I originally planned on just sneaking a peek, though.
「Then I’ll have one bag. I’ll help at least this much.」
「Geez, you’re really nice. Though you’re really similar in that regard.」
I forcibly took one of the bags she’s holding. She won’t give it to me unless I do this, see. Rather than being overly considerate, immediately taking forceful action is easier when dealing with her.
「Koto-chan, what have you been doing since then?」
「Even if you ask me, I just had my summer break. I worked, studied, and so on.」
「Uwah, that’s such a boring summer break. Don’t you have any friends?」
「I have friends, okay! We even went to the beach the other day.」
Don’t say it like I’m a loner. It’s true that I gave up on having friends in the beginning, but right now strangely people gather around me. I guess a major part is because I’m seen as easy to get along with.
「…… Not fair.」
「That’s not fair! You haven’t even gone to the beach with me yet! Why didn’t you invite me?!」
Why did that get you riled up? Besides, like I could ever invite Isami. If I invite you, the others will inevitably come along. If I had brought all of you along to the beach, it would’ve obviously caused an uproar.
「Think of your position.」
「That doesn’t matter. It’s your fault for not inviting me.」
「Why are you making it so I’m the bad one here?」
「Aren’t we friends? Then isn’t it normal to invite me out to play!」
「Think about your age! You think that you can just play with people of my age?!」
「If there’s a will, there’s a way!」
「There isn’t, that’s why I said that! Also, you come with bonuses, okay!」
「Isn’t it mean to call them bonuses!? At least call them my chaperones.」
「That’s also pretty mean!」
While noisily walking through the residential area, the surroundings started to look nostalgic to me. The old me and Isami often argued about trivial things when we walked together. As we were close to reaching home, a familiar person suddenly jumped out before us. It was my house where she came from.
「Ah, Ms. Sayoko. I’m back~.」
「I-Isami. Somehow, I thought I heard a liveliness like that from the past.」
She’s absolutely flustered right now, my step-mom. Still, my voice and Kotone’s should be considerably different. After all, we’re of different sex. Nonetheless, her casual clothes are plain as usual.
「Well, mysteriously when I’m with Koto-chan, I can’t help but act like I do with Sou.」
「I don’t particularly mind it, either. Rather, it’s also a mystery how we can keep a conversation with our age difference..」
Though I say that, it’s not like we’re a decade apart. Besides, if it’s on the inside, we’re the same age, so it’s natural that we share common topics. But I guess I’m the one with more aged topics.
「U-umm. I can’t really follow the conversation, though.」
「If I have to say, we’re best friends?」
「Yeah, there’d be a question mark there. After all, it hasn’t been a month since we met.」
The reunion happened at the end of July and currently we’re in the middle of August, so it’s roughly half a month, huh. And regardless of that, we strangely managed to build up such an unreserved relationship. Isami probably finds that weird too.
「Could you introduce me to her, Isami?」
Not able to follow the conversation, step-mom finally got impatient. Hmm, even with step-mom’s line of work, she shouldn’t have any familiarity with Kotone. But maybe I just don’t remember it.
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「You’re abbreviating too much. I’m a part timer from a cafe in the neighbouring town, Kisaragi Kotone.」
「…… I think I just heard the most unbelievable string of words.」
Well it’s the truth. Like with my change in personality, I feel like this always follows me everywhere. Isn’t it fine for a rich girl to work part time?
「Umm, may I call you Ms. Sayoko?」
「I’m Okita Sayoko. Isami treated me very well as a neighbour.」
「No need to be formal, Ms. Sayoko. I’m not acting as a part of the family.」
Being so catastrophically bad at housework, Master got worried and helped her out. The education I got from Master also originated from that. She was worried that I’d actually die of starvation.
「Ah, Ms. Sayoko, mom said that she’s making lunch for you.」
「Thank you as always.」
I was also worried about step-mom’s food situation, but from what I can see, it seems like she’s alright. If she constantly eats out, I’d feel uneasy about her nutritional condition. After this, I’ll have to prepare myself as well.
「Dinner will be a feast, so look forward to it.」
「Why did the talk about lunch suddenly get to dinner? Besides, it’s not like you’re the one making it, Isami.」