I put the folded crane that I made using pink paper and put it on top of the bedside table. In this season where flowers were scarce, there were winter flowers decorating the vase. The crane that I folded was right in front of that vase, and though it was a bit poor, well, it still became a decoration.
“Is it okay like this?”
“Yes! As expected of Seiren-sama~!”
“The thing called origami can become a good decoration, huh?”
Oriza-san and Alica-san who were cleaning the room looked at the papercrane I placed and happily laughed.
The flowers were arranged in the vase, and there were a few glittering decorations. The light magic was surrounding a thing that wasn’t a Buddha statue, but it seemed to be a statue that symbolized the God of Sun.
In short, this was the ornament used to welcome a new year. In the other world, it would be called Kagami-mochi or New Year’s pine decorations, things like those.1 I remembered that I made those back then along with the orphanage director and everyone else. After pounding the mochi, we covered it with roasted soy flour and gulped them down, and sometimes the food was still hot.
While recalling those moments, I placed the last cookie in front of the magic light, and with that, we were finished with New Year’s decorations. Nah, I wasn’t sure how the people here called it, but that was how I called this activity.
“With this, we’re finished with the room, aren’t we?”
“Yes, we’re done-. Thank you for your hard work-.”
I smiled back at Oriza-san who laughed, as if we’ve already forgotten about the thing that happened yesterday.
With that being said, today would be the day before we entered the Week of the End of the Year. From the moment the sun rose today, there was the End-of-the-Year Festival in the territory of Shiiya. At last, we were going to distribute that large amount of cookies without worrying about anything else.
After we took the breakfast, it was time to decorate the room throughout the morning. Since it was my first time, I was taught various things and finally, I managed to prepare everything with great difficulty.
Speaking of which, I didn’t know about it, but since nobody knew the God of Sun’s figure, he was symbolized as some shining thing that assumed the posture of praying. Nah well, since I wasn’t that religious, that was how I roughly understood it. To be honest, I was saved by the fact that it wasn’t really that different from how it was in the world where I lived before.
“Seiren-sama… Uhm, that…”
When I was having tea after we were done with the preparations, Alica-san timidly showed up. Minoa-san tapped her shoulders and whispered something like, “It’s okay, Alica.” Now then.
“What is it, Alica?”
“U-uhm… I just wanted to clarify it, that uhhm, from the beginning til now, I’m straight, uhm…”2
Whoa-, her face was so red. Humans could become as red as this, huh?
Even so, by straight, what did she mean………ah.
“…Ah-, that, huh? Yes, it’s fine.”
I see, Alica-san also remembered. Nah well, Saryuu also panicked at that time, so no matter how I thought of it, it was pretty obvious.
At that time, the situation turned to be slightly homosexual or… well, since I was a female, it was right to say that it was slightly homosexual, or well, the situation turned like that.3 Hmm well, it was fine since we were both safe in the end.
“It will be a lie if I were to say that I don’t mind at all, but…”
Nonetheless, when I tried to lightly poke at it, she was splendidly dejected. Nah, after all, she muttered such a thing as a response.
…If only this happened between us as members of the opposite gender… Ah-, I felt like I won’t be able to recover more. It was only a hunch, though.
“However, at least I know that I’m not disliked.”
“Alica likes Seiren-sama after all-, though it isn’t in that kind of meaning.”
“Uwaaa-, don’t say that!”
Oriza-san said that as she served the second cup of the tea. In response to that, Alica-san waved both of her hands, and she was cute like that. Eh, wait, what does that mean?
“…Is that so?”
“That’s right. See, when Seiren-sama returned here, it was Alica who brew a cup of a tea for you, right?”
As Oriza-san said that, I nodded. When I just returned here, Alica-san was the first maid that I met, and I was honestly relieved that she became one of the maids who accompanied me.
Looking at me who nodded, Minoa-san continued the conversation. She said…
“When she returned to our place after that, she reported to us with a high tension that you were a very adorable girl.”
No, that was strange.
After all, when I met Alica-san, I was wearing the high school uniform that became too big due to my body that shrunk, and since I turned into a female so suddenly, I was totally screwd up at that time.
I didn’t understand how she’d think of me as cute, when it wasn’t so long after I turned into a female at that time.
“Then, when I visited your room, I saw that you were indeed a cute girl.”
“It motivated us more to serve you-.”
Minoa-san and Oriza-san weren’t going to deny that, huh? Or rather, as expected, I didn’t get it.
I didn’t get it, but I understood that I was being praised, so let’s just say my thanks for now. Yup.
“I-is that so… Hahaha, thanks.”
“Don’t mention it. Ah, but I was surprised at the story of you being a man in the past-.”
“Right? It was a story that didn’t seem to make any sense.”
Yup, just before I turned into a female that they said was cute—I was a man. Well, now that you mention it, I was troubled back then.
When I heard the story from Jigen-san, Tou-san and the others, I made the face that seemed to say, “What the heck?”. Even when I was a male up until that time, in truth, I was actually born as a female—so they declared, and I was troubled in another sense.
“Ah, but even when I was a male, my hobbies tended to be of a female’s. Because of that, it doesn’t seem to be that different from now.”
“Ho hee–. Ah, you said before that you made the ring pouch yourself, right?”
“Well, I couldn’t say that it was as expected for me to make it myself. Speaking of which, Alica-san, thanks for picking up my amulet pouch at that time.”
“Eh, ah, no, that, it was natural, as I’m your attendant.”
Yup, but why did you raise your voice there? I wonder if the earlier embarrassment was still there, Alica-san?
The ring that was in it at that time became the pendant head on my chest right now. It was my precious protective charm, and it became something that proved my identity as Shiiya Seiren.
…Really, I’ve been through a lot, huh? And the year where many things happened would soon end.
Nah, when I realized it after a long time, it would be the end of the year soon.
After having dinner, I changed into the clothes for going outside. Since it was still dark in the night even with the magical light, I wore a bright pink coat on top of my deep pink dress. I also wore a visorless hat with the same pink color as my coat, and there was a big ribbon behind it that felt like a veil. Oh-, this coat was warm and fluffy.
And over there, suddenly Mikoto-san who was looking around within the mansion showed up. Ah, Koyata-san wasn’t there. How rare.
‘Hmm,’ Mikoto-san who folded her arms rotated me in one turn. For me to ask about something like this, it seemed that I had truly become a female.
Anyway, after Mikoto-san looked at me from top to bottom, her face broke into a smile. It seemed that I passed, yosh.
[He is outside in order to protect this cute descendant. After all, he isn’t tied together with you, unlike me.]
…In short, Mikoto-san came to look at me, so she was tied together with me, but since Koyata-san wasn’t like that, he could go outside alone, huh? I see. For the time being, I won’t say anything in regards to me being called as cute or adorable. This kind of thing was only a comment, and it couldn’t be affirmed or denied.
Urged by Mikoto-san, I went out of the room along with the maids. Then, I met Saryuu at the stairs. He was wearing a bright green long coat, and he looked pretty cool. He gave off the vibe of a proper noble son.
Naturally, he also brought his maids together. Everyone seemed to be fine, I was so glad.
Actually, I didn’t meet Saryuu during today’s breakfast and lunch.
I heard that he seemed to be eating in his room, but… uhm, was it due to my rejection? However, I couldn’t just let this matter go.
“Uhm… I’m already all right! I’ve already cried a lot, so I feel better now!”
“I-is that so?”
In front of me who was still thinking about it, Saryuu said that with the energetic voice that Saryuu tried to wring out. Ah- uhm, he didn’t seem to be all right. Nah, I wouldn’t point it out, though. If I were to say that, this guy would totally overdo himself and try to look all right.
“Yes. Uhm, that, as expected, I absolutely don’t want to become someone like Father Shikino.”
Or rather, Saryuu, don’t bring that topic up. Furthermore, you emphasized on the word ‘absolutely’, too. As expected of that, huh, that Touka-san was Saryuu’s biological father, after all.
His biological older brother, Taiga-san also didn’t seem to inherit that side of their father, so Saryuu didn’t have to work hard to restrain himself like that, or so I think.
…Really, sorry, my cute little brother.
“With that kind of feeling, I feel that you’re going to be all right. …I don’t have any right to say that, though.”
“N-no, that isn’t true!”
Behind Saryuu who was pretending that he was fine, the maids bowed their heads as they seemed to be slightly troubled. I smiled and nodded, trying to show them that it was fine.
Anyway, don’t just suddenly appear between Saryuu and me, Mikoto-san!
As she cracked in a laugh, for some reason, she didn’t give off the actual feeling of being our ancestor at all. Well, at least thanks for changing the atmosphere just now.[More importantly, it’s time.] “Then, shall we go?”
Urged by the ancestor who came to see me, Saryuu and I walked together. To the first, and perhaps the last Festival of the End-of-the-Year that I welcomed together with my younger brother and the maids.
- Kagami-mochi is a mirror rice cake, which is a traditional Japanese New Year decoration made of two round rice cakes (mochi) that were placed in layers. Both Kagami-mochi and New Year’s pine decoration are usually displayed in Japanese homes when they welcome New Years. ↩
- In the original Japanese raw, it was written as “normal”, but I translated it as “straight”, based on the proper context in English. ↩
- The term used here is “Yuri” or homosexuality between girls, in case you’re familiar with the term. ↩