I was dumbfounded and confused with what my brother had just told me.

“Makoto…no, I can’t afford to up and leave her.”

Makoto is different. If I left, she would become useless. No, not just useless, but not able-to-talk useless.

She secluded herself in a shell, able to only live with her feelings buried. However, she came out. And now that she came out, I believe she couldn’t go back even if she wanted to.

I broke her out. So, of course, it would understand that she’s completely broken. As such, I can’t just leave.

“But what do I do? If my brother tells mother and father about our relationship…”

If what he said was true, I think it’s enough to force a repatriation.

Though I didn’t know the type of person my father actually was, the fact that he is the patriarch of the family doesn’t change.

After all, they used his power over me. To overturn what he decided….

“Should I quit high school and work…?”

If the financial aid from my father were to be taken away, I would either have to suck up my pride and go home, work at a job that’s financially secure or go for a third option.

My third option would be to bring Makoto home and say I’ll marry her to persuade them.

Of course, the marriage would just be a convenience for her to be my personal sexual tool.

In other words, Makoto would be my meat toilet but registered in the Kijima family.

It would be troubling if there was a misunderstanding, mmhm.

With that in mind, would it be something my brother would do?

I don’t know if he’ll tattle on them, so I can’t just be calm. I even have a stomachache.

It’s like Satonaka said. Kojima-san may fail a lot, but he has never been wrong judgment wise.

At that time, I did give her a punishment for the irritation she caused me for saying that. Nevertheless, I couldn’t say anything back.

“It was an error in judgment this time…”

I squatted down, sighed, then got up and started to walk again.

There is no use in worrying. Now that I know, I have no choice but to wait until my sentence is laid out.

In other words, I’m on hold.

But right now, I have other pressing issues that involve Makoto. If he was in there and she knew, she kept it from me. I have to press her for answers and give the accordant punishment.

———

I arrived at my apartment with heavy steps, I got on the elevator.

Once the elevator stopped for a bit, the door opened.

How shall I question her? I feel almost everything will be coughed up if it’s interrogation style, but unlike Satonaka, she lied to me. Do I pull information out of her after I make her reach an ahegao?

Though, I’m really tired today. If I am going to question her, I’d rather get a bit of sleep first.

Contemplating such things, I arrived at my apartment’s front door.

I then noticed I didn’t have the room key.

There is an intercom installed for each apartment room and the main entrance to inform tenants of visitors. Also, if the automatic door is not opened, one cannot get in.

However, by inputting a tenant’s PIN they can easily open the door with no assistance. For that reason, I had completely forgotten about my key.

I just realized: how did my brother enter my apartment? Even if he had the master key he wouldn’t have been able to get in without knowing my PIN.

I never told anyone in case of a break-in. The only person that would know is the manager.

Did he hear it from them? They may have told him with proof of kinship.

Despite the numerous thoughts I had, I inevitably pushed the intercom. In spite of that, nobody replied.

Not good, did she go to bed? Ogasawara Shizuka was at least awake when I left.

I checked my wristwatch, but then remembered I took it off when I had a bath. I also had no phone.

It was about five p.m. when I left. I then went to the convenience store and talked with my brother in the park.

If we assume that a little less than two hours has passed since I left, then I guess the time is about seven p.m.?

If that’s so there’s little chance she’s awake.

No, to begin with, those people are different. Even if I pushed the intercom, it’s really unlikely that they’d come out.

“W, What do I do? As it is, I have to sleep outside…”

A cold sweat formed on my cheek.

Ogasawara Shizuka is useless. Since she has such an unpredictable train of thought, even if she was up she would never go to the intercom.

If I do have a chance, it’s Makoto. If that idiot got up, her answering is quite likely.

I have no choice but to stick it out til Makoto gets on it. Nevertheless, the issue of whether she will get up to answer is present.

Drawing out my preparation, I pressed the button again. I then heard a faint electric tone.

“Yes, it’s Kijima.”

I heard a delighted tone of Makoto’s.

I thought the idiot was beyond saving, but for the first time, I thought her stupidity was fine in this case.

But it’s a good think that’s her. It’s sensible to think that she wouldn’t selfishly leave the intercom with me here.

“A, Although this is Aoi-san’s house, I’m Ogasawara. As of why I’m in his house? Well, it’s because I’m Aoi-san’s girlfriend. With that, Aoi-san is absent. So with being his girlfriend, I’ll be in his place. Ehehe, which means I’m trusted by him. He isn’t honest, but he has a really cute character. So many times in the past he’s been so gentle―”

A found a blue vein rising on my temple as I heard her none stop bantering.

I would like to correct my statement about her stupidity being fine. She’s as useless as I had originally thought.

“Eh? Why did I come to like him? Ehehe, I could go on for ages. I’ll speak about the first time we met. It was in the evening moonlight, the rain was gently pouring.

“Oi, idiot, I don’t want to hear it. Open the door quickly, retard.”

What is with this rain in the moonlight evening. There wasn’t any rain to be seen this month. To begin with, it wasn’t at night when I had direct contact with her at school.

Don’t fake out an encounter, damn idiot.

“Idiot? Who is an idiot? I’m Ogasawara Makoto. Idiot isn’t my name.”

Makoto’s tone changed to sorta sulky. Was she offended when I called her an idiot? What is wrong with calling you an idiot? You’re clearly one.

I endured that thought, then I remembered why?

Makoto has been silent. Due to believing it was bad for her to run on about me, she changed her attitude and now isn’t listening.

Hold your horses. Unless Makoto opens the door, I can’t get in. As such, I have no choice but to please her until she does so.

“I, I was wrong. You aren’t stupid. Okay? Please open the door.”

I spoke the most gentle tone I could accomplish and she still remained silent.

“…Open the door? I can’t do that since this is Aoi-san’s home. I don’t know you, to let you in.”

In a sigh, Makoto continued with her sulky tone.

Oi, oi, please forgive me.

“Not letting someone you don’t know in? It’s me, Aoi! Don’t you know by my voice? Hey, please. It’s cold and I don’t like it. So please, as I asked before, open the door.”

It’s like I would explode from irritation, but I stood strong and spoke. Once she opens the door, I’ll discipline her stupid ass. But for now, I’ll hold on.

“Your voice is certainly similar, but you may just be good at impersonation. Besides, Aoi-san can bring himself in. After all, this is his house.”

I could feel a blood vessel nearly popping from her now aloof tone.
But, damn, what she’s saying is right. If I went out, of course, it would foolish to leave my key. I can’t say anything back. Moreover, voices over an intercom do become a little different. With that said, it’s natural to be doubtful.

Nevertheless, Makoto should know my personality. There is also a monitor. My appearance should be shown.

In other words, she isn’t opening the door even with the knowledge that it’s me. Is she taking her revenge for me toying with her?

That bitch! She should never have done this.

As it is, I’m making no progress. It’s like I have a hole in my stomach from the accumulated stress. How can I change the situation around?

I gave up on making Makoto open the door in the end.

“Shizuka! Listen to me Shizuka! Don’t listen to your stupid big sister! Let’s make a bargain! I’ll do anything you want if you open the door―”

In the midst of my screams, I heard a buzz. The intercom was cut.

I struck the wall, helping me calm down despite my teeth being clenched.

Wait, I’ll wait. There is a possibility that by mentioning Shizuka’s name Makoto cut the intercom to open the door.

If she pushes it again now, there is a possibility we’ll break into an infinite loop.

And even if she doesn’t open it, Shizuka might have heard my voice.

We’ll wait and see I guess. Until then, I’ll hold in my anger.

However, even after waiting for some time, the door didn’t open.

Really, what do I do now? Even though it’s just a step in the door to my castle, I can’t. Moreover, the temperature just keeps on dropping each second.

Cold. It’s really cold. It’s a lot more bearable due to the coat I borrowed, but cold is cold.

I can’t expect Ogasawara Shizuka to open the door. Is she sleeping, moving, or is like her sister and messing with me?

If my brother got in, he may have used a skeleton key, but I don’t know where he is now. I also have no phone to contact him.

In other words, it’s probably no use, but I’ll persuade Makoto.

Taking a deep breath, I calm down and pushed the intercom.

I waited a moment, then heard a buzz.

“Yes, this is Kijima. Who are you?”

I nearly exploded with anger, but I forcibly maintained a smile.

My appearance was captured by the camera. I shouldn’t try to just conciliate with just words.

Think of this as your last chance. Failure isn’t allowed. I’ll discipline her the second I get in. You killed yourself and sold that soul to the devil.

“K, Kijima, I am Kijima Aoi. Okay, Ogasawara….Makoto-san?”

In spite of my smile being cramped, I spoke in a coaxing voice.

“I don’t know who you are, but this isn’t the Kijima Aoi-san I know. He wouldn’t say such a thing.”

Another buzz was heard after a snippy tone.

Ah, ah, ah, this is a lie, oi, it’s a lie!

My knees bowed, causing me to reach out to support myself with the wall.

A weight was placed on both of my shoulders. Fatigue sprung over. The corners of my eyes grew hotter.

Today is an unlucky day, isn’t it? Even after I held up my pride to listen to my brother, this is the treatment I get?

Even with it being my room and right in front of me, I can’t put a foot in.

I’m so exhausted from the desire to stick a boot in her, that it seems like my heart will crumble from the pressure.

I can’t stand the cold. Nevertheless, there are no bathrooms nearby.

But even with my patience reaching its limit, the most I can do is hold out for ten more minutes. Worst case is that I run to the convenience store, but that would take about an hour and I don’t have that much time.

I could just force myself, I guess. I know there’s a person there who could persuade Makoto.

Nevertheless, I don’t want to. I really don’t want to seem like I was defeated by her.

I need a bathroom quickly. The gate has to open.

Slouching forward, near the wall, I press the intercom while holding in the urge to urinate.

This is really the last chance. I won’t fail even if I have to do something like kneeling down on the ground.

However, the moment the door opens, I will thoroughly disciple her over and over a thousand-fold. I will be merciless to her suffering eyes.

A buzz came through and I changed my expression. I gave a dark smile.

“Yes, I’m Aoi-san’s Makoto, but who are you?”

In a stuck up tone, I could feel the anger creeping up on me, but I put on a refreshing smile for the camera.

“Ah, Makoto, my girlfriend? Well, ahaha, it seems you looked after the house well. Mmhm, I think it’s amazing.”

“…”

I lower my hips, maintaining my soft tone, and spoke insincerely. However, there isn’t a reaction.

Did I change my attitude too much? There is a possibility overdoing it would cause her to be suspicious.

Whatever the case is, a conversation won’t start without conversing. The feeling I have is just impatience, but I have to hold it in for now. I have no choice but to await her move.

I swallowed my saliva and watched for her move.

“Ehehe.”

To the loose laughter, I made a fist pump in my mind.

Okay, I’ve landed for now. It wouldn’t be good if I cut this off immediately. I have to choose my words carefully.

“I’m that amazing? Hehe, I like the part about me be able to take care of the house by myself. Ah, Shizuka is here as well.”

The fool took the bait. Okay, this is going well. I just have to go a little more like this.

“Amazing, amazing! You’re really amazing. You can change your own clothes and go to the bathroom by yourself. I said this before, but you’re really amazing.”

I’m saying it myself, but it’s like I’m being made a fool. Nevertheless, it being stupid is exactly why it’s perfect.

“Ehehe, your praise is embarrassing me. U, Ummm, I’m able to sleep by myself and I stopped wetting the bed when I was a fifth grader in elementary school.”

“Amazing! Amazinggg! Makoto can sleep by herself! I’m so surprised that I’m dumbstruck! And the bedwetting! The big sister is definitely amazing! Uhuh, amazing!”

She stop wetting the bed then? Is she serious? I mean, she’s too honest about something so embarrassing. It’s something you should hide.

That being said, she’s sorta like a prodigy of being able to recover from that hurdle, but at the same time, she’s not that far from being an idiot.

But even though she may be something close to a prodigy, she’ll always be an idiot. She may be near the boundary of genius, but it’s impossible to exceed that.

“Ehehe, beyond amazing, aren’t I? I guess I could open the door!”

“Yeah! Genius! Uhhuh! You really are amazing!”

Just one more push. Just one more push and the door is open. However, tread carefully. There are no second chances. I’m at the limit of what my bowls can hold. There is no time to go to the convenience store. I already went past that turning point.

“Ah, that’s right. The real Aoi-san should know the password.”

“…Eh?”

I don’t know. I don’t know the password. This is the first I’ve heard of it.

Bad, this is bad! The biggest problem with her is her erratic expectations, but I have a feeling this is something even bigger.

I probably have no other choice. It’s impossible to narrow it down, so I have to just put my money down and hopefully pick the right one.

What do I say? This may be checkmate.

“Makoto.”

“Eh?”

“It’s Makoto’s password. So, please give a response.

“Uuu…”

I unconsciously gave a grievous groan.

I don’t get it. Is the password Makoto?

Well, I really need to pee.and my impatience isn’t helping. What is with this incomprehensible password.

Wouldn’t it have been better if I just gave up? I should’ve just gone to the convenience store. Nevertheless, I can’t not. In that case, do I suck it up and go to another door?

But that’s my last resort. I don’t know who they are nor ever met them. To begin with, everyone must be out of nobody is here, but I’m not that certain.

I at least gave a reasonably appropriate answer. It’s an astronomical probability, but the grain of salt has a possibility of being correct.

But, what is it? No, don’t think about it. Even if I tried it would be impossible to comprehend, since the response would have come from a doubtful place. With it being Makoto a possibility can be shredded each second.

I have to just go on my hunch. She doesn’t think with her brain but feels with her heart. It’s a flash. Men has a clear line between other creatures, as they have imagination and inspiration.

Forty million years is how far the root of life is known to have started.

My life, the very moment it started, I entrust in the vortex called the whirlpool of chaos.

There, in the known time of forty million years of life, I will find an answer.

An electric current coursed through my body, I opened my eyes.

“The correct answer is ‘cute’!”

Cute it suits her. I derived at a simple response. Nevertheless, quite simply appearing to be like her.

Even if it’s wrong, I don’t have to worry about damaging her mood. Rather, it leaves a possibility of her opening the door.

Perfect, yes, indeed perfect. Thank you life, thank you Earth.

“…”

Makoto as silent. Sweat ran down her cheek. I beg of you, open the door.

“…It’s regrettable! As well as disappointing! Please give the right answer next time!”

Makoto, who appeared to be more joy-filled, quickly cut off the intercom.

Hahaha, fucking left me, she fucking did it!

“I, I will remember this. This humiliation, I will never forget…”

While slouching, I scowled at the door, hands in between my crotch and teeth tightly clenched.

That’s enough. I have no time to deal with idiots. Next order of business is to go to a neighbor and sincerely ask if they can let me use their bathroom. Afterward, I’ll borrow a phone and make contact with the supervisor.

The moment the door opens, I can celebrate. I’m really was at my limit.

I waddled along the wall and went to the next area.

The following rooms don’t have nameplates. But even if that’s the case, there may be someone. I will keep going as I have nothing to lose. All I will be doing is going door to door and hit the buttons.

I will beg until I succeed with someone. I definitely don’t want to piss myself this year. So, if possible, I want to hit on someone right away.

I hit the intercom as I wished for a neighbor to answer. I waited a moment, but no reply. But from the intercom functioning, it’s apparent someone lives here.

But while that may be true, they may be out. On the verge of thinking, I had to give up and go onto the next, I heard a buzz.

They are home. I thought it was my unlucky day, but my luck has turned.

It really has!

However, the second I felt happiness, another buzz was heard.

Did it cut off? Did they check the monitor and saw me as someone suspicious?

After all, all visitors use the main entrance intercom. It’s either a resident or a stranger who does it up front.

Then, what do I do? Slouching over to the wall with both hands to my crotch, I shiver with the approaching of my desire to release.

No matter how you look at it, I clearly look suspicious.

Even if I went door to door, the chance that someone would let me in is slim.

This would’ve been different if I just interacted with my neighbors.

When I moved in, Kurata-san’s employees came over to give me housewarming gifts.

They should be able to recognize my face due to that event.

“T, There is no use anymore. I just have to piss outside…”

They’ll have to forgive me just this time. I have no other choice. I’ll just go somewhere hidden and clean it up later.

I guess I can go downstairs and do it, but then again that isn’t safe.

If I were found out, it may be reported. No, it would be better that way. If I explain the circumstance, I just might be able to get my room back.

Staggering about as I thought this, I heard a click. Turning back, a door had opened.

“Dear, are you okay?”

I almost gave a cry of glee, but then a chill ran up my spine once I heard the voice.

That voice. I’ve heard it a lot before.
But, that’s impossible…

No, what my brother said made nothing impossible, but, right next to me? Neighboring room? That is, so stupid…

The door slowly opened. It was a person. Then, when it saw me, it corrected their posture and bowed.

“It’s been a long time, Aoi-same.”

They then looked right back up without a smile.

They wore a plainly elegant Japanese clothes. They also had on an apron right over it.

She had her black hair tied up and a mole under her lip.

Anyone would recognize her by the youthful beauty she owns; she was a servant of the

She’s Kajiura Sumire, now an employee of the Kijima family.

She’s the head of the servants, but her job as my mother’s personal servant has not changed.

Wherever my mom goes, she follows. No matter where she’s the only one that cannot leave her. She’s the living embodiment of the saying, from the cradle to the grave.

Which means if she’s here…

“Don’t worry, Soichiro has returned and was said to be back home after telling him everything. There is no need to hide anymore.”

After speaking inside the room, Kajiura-san stepped to the side. Another person came out.

Her lady-like demeanor fits her cherry blossom version of Kajiura-san’s outfit.

Along with her long, black hair set aside on her back and her soft smile, nothing had changed.

“Mother…”

Nobody could imagine my mother to be so youthful after two children. It was only when I was actually in junior high that I noticed that it was weird.

It’s been said she gave birth to my brother at age sixteen, but that’s probably a lie.

Marriages in my family are mostly consisted of arranged to keep the well known and distinguish family’s reputation.

The Kasugano family is also where my mother is from. That family has their own prefectures, but they’re well known in my hometown.

They’re so contagious that no one even has to explain it.

It was probably decided since the day she was born that she’d be married off to the Kijima family. She was married at the age of sixteen, but bearing my brother right after isn’t all that clear.

“It’s been a long time, Aoi. It’s cold outside, isn’t it? Come inside.”

With a smile, my mother beckoned by grabbing her sleeve and went back inside.

“Aoi-san, please, come inside.

Right after my mother, Kaijura-san followed suit, holding the door as she called me in.

She still never wastes a movement or chance. However, she has no grace. While staring at her, I thought about such a trivial thing in amazement.

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