It happened one day when the signs of spring could gradually be seen.
Recently, Saryuu’s condition was strange. Nah, the fact that he practiced under my room every morning didn’t change, but how should I put it?
“Morning, Saryuu. How are you feeling today?”
“Ah, good morning, Nee-sama. T-then, until later-.”
Our conversation was so short. Our morning conversation before was longer than this.
In addition, after meals, he quickly returned to his own room. It wasn’t like our sibling relationship was bad, though.
“Saryuu is soon at the age where he will be more aware about love or marriage. That’s why, don’t you think it will be better to not be so worried about it… right?”
When I read Taiga-san’s reply after I tried to discuss this via letters, I pondered whether it was really such a thing.
I wonder how I was when I was at his age… I tried to recall it, but then I realized that it couldn’t be much of a reference. It seemed that my feeling regarding those kinds of things as a male back then was quite thin.
“What’s the matter, Seiren-sama?”
As usual, I was studying with Kuon-sensei. I was mostly fluent at reading and writing, so I was taught about fundamental things in the territory of Shikino and mannerism as a feudal lord’s wife… Well, in short, I was taught of things that I might possibly use in the future. As a conclusion, a woman must be able to compose herself in order to display her courage.
“No, I thought that I hadn’t spoken much with Saryuu these days. What about Kuon-sensei?”
“Oh my? Saryuu-sama has been studying hard all this time, saying that the one shouldering the future of the Shiiya family would be him.”
“Ooh, surprisingly, he seems to be reliable.”
What, he still spoke to Kuon-sensei normally, huh? Well, that seemed to be the case. No matter what, she was still his private tutor.
Nonetheless, I felt a bit lonely since he didn’t speak to me that much. I’m going to get married soon, I won’t be able to meet you that often anymore, you know? Even after I’ve managed to get a little brother… Nah, I don’t have a brother complex, okay? Probably.
“Well, his Shiiya big sister and his Shikino big brother are going to get married, and you will be his big sister both in name and reality after that, so don’t you think things will get complicated after that?”
“Right… I think so…”
“The one who understands how it feels is none other than Saryuu-sama, though.”
Kuon-sensei smiled as she said those words, so I pondered if she had heard Saryuu’s consultation in actuality. Nah, even if he consulted the matter with Sensei, there was no way Sensei would expose it all to me.
A few days later…
“G-good morning, Ane-sama. T-then, until later…”
“Ou, see you-.”
More or less, this became our habit. Nah, it might be fine for me to ask Saryuu himself, but for some reason, it seemed like things would turn for worse. …There was no way this was caused by my rejection, right? We still talked quite normally during winter.
As I was thinking about it, Oriza-san helped me to change my clothes.
“Do you have any plan for today?”
“I have-. Minoa, please help me with my hairdo-.”
“Understood. Seiren-sama, please excuse me.”
Eh, what, Minoa-san was full of strength, or rather, she was too motivated for some reason? I was only sitting in front of the mirror without saying anything, though.
With the ultra-motivated hands of Minoa-san, my hair was neatly arranged up, just like when I was going out. Yup, when dressing with a veil, it was told that my original half-length hair would be hard to arrange, so I just let it grew long. However, maintaining a long hair was quite difficult. Still, thanks to my family’s wealth, I could still maintain my long hair well.
The hair that was arranged together was then held using the hair clip that Taiga-san gave me as a present. The accessory I wore other than that was just my amulet pendant.
“It’s done. Now then, it’s time for breakfast.”
For some reason, it seemed like a background with “ゴゴゴゴゴ” letters could be seen behind Minoa-san’s back as she was full of vigor like this. [1. ゴゴゴゴゴ or “gogogogogo” is the SFX for *rumbling* or *menacing*, and it’s typically seen in manga. In this context, it’s something like this: https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/001/100/978/caa.png.] Meanwhile, there was Oriza-san behind who was smiling with an unconcerned face, but it felt extremely out of place.
Then, just like that, I headed towards the dining room, or in some way, I was dragged into the dining room. While I was thinking why things were like this, I went down the stairs and walked to the front of the dining room.
“Good morning, Seiren.”
Wait. I wonder why is this person at this place this early in the morning? Did Genjirou rush off from before dawn? But then, his outfit was relatively well-ordered.
“G-good morning, Taiga-san.”
Anyway, greetings came first, so I bowed my head along with my greeting. After I restored my posture, my line of sight was unintentionally swinging left and right. Ah, Minoa-san and Oriza-san were also grinning. You two, so I was dressed up due to this?
“…Anyway, why is Taiga-san here at this hour?”
“To be more precise, I arrived here late at night yesterday.”
As expected. That was why his outfit was so neat, or rather, what were you doing, this feudal lord?
“Seiren, happy birthday. You’re now 19 years old, huh?”
W-was it today? My birthday… Ever since I returned here, I came to learn about my real birthday.
“Yes, today is March 19th, Seiren-sama’s 19th birthday.”
“Ane-sama, happy birthday.”
The one who answered first while smiling was Maki-san. In other words, there were also Saryuu there, and well, he showed a smile that was really similar to Taiga-san’s bright smile and said congratulatory words.
…Could it be that his strange behavior recently was all in order to hide this?
“Before receiving Seiren’s letter to discuss about Saryuu, I actually have received Saryuu’s letter first. I have also gotten a permission to this time’s visit from your parents.”
“Since this will be Ane-sama’s first and last time celebrating your birthday as the daughter of the Shiiya family. I also requested Nii-sama’s cooperation.”
“Ah, haha, so that’s the case.”
I happened to return to this world right on my birthday. Obviously, Tou-san and Kaa-san knew of that, but since there were lots of things such as how I was raised as a man in the other world etc, in the end we didn’t get to celebrate my birthday. Soon after that, it was the time where the Spring Harvest Festival would begin, so my attention was quite preoccupied with the festival.
However, after a year had passed, I was more or less settled down today, so it seemed that they had made some secret preparations. I wonder how stealthily they managed to do it, since it might be difficult for them as they also needed to prepare for my wedding.
“Now, Seiren, let’s have a celebratory breakfast together. Your parents are already waiting inside.
“Ane-sama, since it’s your first and last birthday here, I also want to go inside together with you.”
“Y-yes, Saryuu too, it’s fine.”
I obediently took the arms that the brothers held out to me. After all, these two brothers were here in order to celebrate my birthday. Wouldn’t this be fine? Yup.