|Author: Hidsuki Shihou||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2810 characters|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1323 words|
I then headed to my room, got a hold of the needed slapping fan, and returned to the living room. There, I promptly greeted Isami, who has already intruded and is currently chatting with step-mom, with a smack to the head. It made a weak, air-y sound.
「Why’d you suddenly do that for, Koto-chan?」
「Well, I heard that I can just use this, but… this thing has seen better days.」
It’s all flimsy-floppy from age degradation. The sharp smacking sound is the best thing about the slapping fan, but it’s meaningless with this. The pain isn’t the priority, after all.
「I’d grade it at 30 points. Both the sound and the sharpness is lacking.」
Why is she grading my hit? Still, to think that she noticed the lack of enthusiasm behind my hit. Just how accustomed is she with getting hit… I won’t question it at this point.
「Since it’s broken, let’s make a new one.」
「It won’t find any use in the future. I’m not this kind of person at school anyways.」
Don’t be in such disbelief. And step-mom, don’t react the same way. If I suddenly acted this way, it’d cause a big problem at the academy. Though I do already act this way with the student council, huh.
「Koto-chan, how do you behave at school?」
「Just normal. Like; Good day, Ms. Kondou. You seem to be quite… energetic today. And so on. 」
As I spoke while smiling, Isami retorted. I should be acting about right and I don’t really think Kotone and I are too different.
「Isami, don’t overlap Koto-chan with Sou so much. They’re different people, okay?」
「Ugh… About that, I’m really sorry. Somehow, when talking to Koto-chan, it just subconsciously happens.」
No need to hammer it hard like that. Besides, it’s nothing new at this point. And I don’t mind it myself, so I don’t see any problem at all.
「It seems like no one has pointed it out until now but let me say this, you were extremely rude right now, Isami.」
Just as Isami noticed, I too noticed due to past experiences. Step-mom’s switch has flipped. Whenever we start something, Isami’s mom physically, while step-mom psychologically, chastises us. This is a sign that it’s about to happen.
「Whatever are you talking about?」
I’ll pretend to be clueless here. If I carelessly butt in, I might get dragged into it and I’d rather that not happen. I finally have someone who understands my current situation, so why should I get chastised now?
「Koto-chan, you’re as guilty as Isami too.」
「Are you kidding!? I’m getting it too!?」
「If you had rebuked Isami, the situation should have been different. Neither discouraging nor encouraging her, you only let this problem drag out.」
She’s definitely locked on to me now. Still, discouraging aside, encouraging her would be bad, won’t it? Though I guess I am at fault for being so slow and indecisive.
「In the first place, why do you know Koto-chan so well, Ms. Sayoko? It’s your first time meeting, right?」
She pointed out something dangerous but nice one, Isami. I’d really rather not head into the lecture route from here. Now I can only hope that step-mom can dodge the question somehow.
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「I’m sorry. A lot of the relevant information is connected to my job.」
「Though aren’t you two close considering that?」
「After talking to her, I just found her easy to get along with.」
Well, yeah, we’ve lived together for decades after all. If we didn’t get along, I would’ve been personally prepared to live by myself. Still, I just couldn’t leave her on her own.
「Hmm, then okay, I guess.」
She’s not convinced, but she doesn’t plan on digging deeper. I’m grateful about that, but was Isami this self-restrained before? She should have been the type to boldly march in without considering the consequences.
「Now then, continuing on…」
「Gyaa! She’s back!」
So that really wasn’t enough to derail the conversation, huh. I had a feeling this was the case. After all, if we could have escaped just from that, we would have never experienced those hellish scoldings during our school days.
「Give it up. It’ll end after some time. After all, there’s no scolding that lasts forever.」
「Stop it! Don’t say the same things that Sou says! It not the end if you don’t give up!」
Well, there’s really no other way out. If we run away, we’ll just be caught by someone else. Mainly Master. Rather, I hope that Master contacts us soon. Is dinner ready yet?
「First, of all, Isami. You’ve always been-……」
Nice, I’ve managed to avoid being first. Had things not changed, I would have been scolded together with her. I guess step-mom isn’t scolding me with Isami out of kindness. Though I’d definitely be next after this. Still, I wonder what she’ll scold the current me about.
「Things really haven’t changed.」
The two family’s relationship, and our familial relationships, really hasn’t changed at all. By all means, this should have been impossible. And my death has had its effects. It’s probably the reason Isami quit her previous job.
「Still, when is this going to end?」
Step-mom’s gentle yet intimidating chastising continues on. It’s only during these times that Isami becomes as meek as a lamb. Well, a lot has happened, after all.
「Now then, next …… It’s from Hatsune. It looks like dinner is ready.」
「It’s only Koto-chan, that’s unfair. Why only me?」
「Don’t drag me along on your own. Besides, won’t you also get scolded by Ms. Hatsune if we’re late?」
「Ugh… that’s true.」
Once she discovers that Isami is the reason why we’re late, she’ll definitely give her physical chastising a go. With what, though, that’ll affect the damage incurred. If it’s a frying pan, it’ll be agonizing.
「Well then, let’s go. We shouldn’t make them wait, after all.」
「Ms. Sayoko, are you afraid of Ms. Hatsune too?」
「I’m just greatly indebted to her.」
Well, yeah, step-mom has been completely reliant on Master in the food department, so I guess it’s only natural to feel that way. She must have gotten even more reliant since I passed and Master likely helped her out of concern.
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And so we returned to the Kondou household. Food is already lined up at the living room table and their appetizing scent is wafting all over. Still, I always think of this but…
「Isn’t this too much?」
「In our household, this is normal.」
They shouldn’t have expected me to be here, so it should be only the four of them, the Kondou family and step-mom, eating. And yet there’s so much food that it’s crowded even with two tables put side-by-side.
「My husband eats well.」
I know, but that’s the biggest mystery. Why does someone so presenceless, you can barely even tell if he’s here or not, eat so much? He doesn’t look like he’s hungry for energy either. He even uses his lack of presence to steal from others’ plates sometimes.
「Beer for you, right? Sayoko. Kotone, are you good with alcohol?」
「I’m underaged to begin with.」
「Oh, sorry about that. So oolong tea, then.」
Even Ms. Hatsune thought I was older, huh. At this rate, people are probably going to misjudge my age every time I don’t have my academy uniform on. No way, I’m not going to wear the uniform even on holidays.
「Now then, cheers!」
With Isami’s cheer, we started and without much talking, everyone focused on eating. If you don’t prioritize filling your stomach to some extent, before you notice it, you’ll have nothing to eat. It’s because of Isami’s dad. That’s why when we start eating, the table turns into a battlefield.
「Koto-chan! That’s mine!」
「Not when it’s already in my mouth.」