【Episode 2 Part A: Real and Fake, Part 4】
Her outrageous suggestion caught me completely off guard. What was she even thinking, proposing something so reckless?!
No, no and one more time, no! I can’t allow her to go with us, that would just put her in unnecessary danger. I know better than anyone else that she’s a smart girl who can take care of herself, but other than that she’s just a normal middle-schooler. If we had to battle something out there, she wouldn’t last a second!
「No Aika, you stay here with senpai, you’ll be safer that way. Shiki might be a bit weird, but when it comes to sensing danger, her hunches can be trusted. If she says she had a premonition of something really bad, then we must go check it out and there’s no telling how dangerous things can get out there!」
「I know, brother, I understand that it’s dangerous, but that is exactly why I have to go with you. I also have a bad feeling about this whole situation.」
Everyone’s gazes turned towards my sister as she raised her finger and declared without fear:
「My sisterly instincts are telling me that sooner or later it’s going to develop into one of those situations where you and Shiki-san get separated, ultimately resulting in your death.」
Fujisato whistled, clearly impressed.
「Well, putting that 「sisterly instincts」 aside, she does have a point.」
And she expressed her agreement with Aika’s words. I then looked towards Kuhoh, my last bastion of common sense.
「Monjiro-senpai, as much as I want to back you up here, I simply can’t do it, and you have no one but yourself to blame for it. You’re the one who always jumps headfirst into danger without thinking and then you die as a result.」
Her words hurt like a true punch in the gut, but in the end, she was right. Ever since she killed me and I’ve obtained my 『Divine Gift Thanatos』, the Gift of Immortality, I really was dying quite a lot, probably due to the fact that I stopped seeing death as something permanent.
「B-But this time it’s different, r-right?」
Having exhausted all of my other options I turned to Shiki for help. Even if Aika was right and I was in the wrong, I still can’t drag her into something so dangerous! Can’t anyone understand how I feel?!
「Monjiro’s passionate gaze detected. Commencing seductive maneuvers.」
Shiki started taking off her lab coat as soon as my eyes stopped on her for just a brief second.
「My gaze is not passionate in the slightest and you don’t have to take that coat off.」
「Oh, is that so?」
So its useless after all. I just can’t get my point across. No one seems to be understanding why am I so worried about my own sister.
「See now, Monjiro? That’s one more reason why Aika-chan should go with you after all. She’ll keep an eye on both of you to ensure that her dear brother does not get himself involved in some steamy male-female situations. I know you’re a boy at the peak of puberty, but you just can’t create trouble with girls for yourself wherever you go, you blockheaded accidental womanizer.」
「Ah…! Wait, what?!」
Fujisato just added fuel to the fire. And although I think some parts of her statement require correcting, nothing I’d say right now would probably changed anything at this point.
Also, let’s make a brief recap here, shall we?
First was the time when I came to visit senpai at her room. When she was inviting me, she used the words 「Today is my safe day, so pay me a visit at my room」, so naturally I was pretty thrilled about it, for obvious reasons. I had butterflies in my stomach and my hard was pounding wildly with anticipation. Aaand then I died without even knowing who was my murderer. So there’s that, I admit it, I’ve done goofed, that one’s totally on me and my unrealistic expectations.
The second one was… also my fault, now that I think about it. It was during the summer trip when Yugao-chan brought me to an empty room in the dead of the night and began to take her clothes off so I instinctively turned away from her not to look and she used that opportunity to stab me in the back. Could that have been avoided if I just stared at her like she (allegedly) wanted me to? No, I don’t think that would have worked. I’m just not the type of guy who would stay still while something like that happened right in front of me. And even if she did not kill me then and there she would have many other opportunities to do so, not to mention that at that time I didn’t know about a lot of things. Yup, no matter how I look at it, it was an immensely hopeless situation.
Maybe my inclination to cling onto logic at all times was at fault here?
Since my young, naïve heart learned about emotions not that long ago, it still tried to patch the things it wasn’t able to comprehend with logic, even something as illogical as relationships with girls. As a human being, that was my critical weak point.
「So I take we’re done here? We are? Great. Let’s go then. Don’t worry about me, brother, I’ll make sure to stay by your side this whole time.」
That basically meant that the discussion is over and Aika won’t back down no matter what.
「Well, okay, but…」
I still wanted to protest after all. I might sound like a broken record at this point, but I didn’t wanted to take her outside of this room where it could be dangerous, and I’m sure that deep down in her heart she wanted the same for me. Worrying about one’s only family member was a natural thing to do, right?
「No buts here, brother. I know better than anyone else in this room that you’re worried about me and I appreciate it, but this time someone needs to keep your messiah complex in check. No disregarding your own life in order to save others, even if you’re the type who considers all of his friends important to you, okay?」
「But of course. Jiro-kun is exactly that type of wonderful person.」
Shiinamachi-senpai praised me without a second thought. How should I even address what both her and Aika said just now?
I guess they do have a point. When it comes to protecting those I consider important to me, I really do tend to disregard my own safety and prioritize that of those around me.
「I think we should make something clear from the get-go, brother. Since I’ll be going with you, I expect you to protect me as best as you can but do know that if you accidentally go and die first, I will probably follow in your footsteps right afterwards. So if that’s all right with you, we should both watch each other’s backs to ensure that both of us will come out of this predicament alive.」
「You can count on me with that.」
She took the words right out of my mouth. That was probably the best course of action to keep her out of harms way, so there’s no need for me to refuse that.
「Fufu, looks like you’ve been bested by your own sister, Monjiro-kun~~.」
Fujisato was watching us from the side with a wide, warm smile on her face, probably a result of seeing us getting along as siblings. If I really end up dying today for some reason, I know I can trust her with protecting Aika and the others by the time I will revive.
But we’ll worry about that when it happens. Right now, my sole duty is to protect my sister from anything that might want to harm her.
「You done now? Can we move on?」
「Yes, we can.」
「Yeah. Fujisato, Kuhoh, I’m sorry but once again, I’m leaving senpai in your care.」
「Sure thing, just make sure to come back to us in one piece.」
「That’s right. We’ll hold the fort here until all three of you come back.」
Fujisato and Kuhoh were in high spirits. Normally either I or Shiki would have t stay behind to protect senpai, but now I was truly glad to have such a powerful friends to whom I could leave such an important task. When we come back, I’ll have to somehow make it up to them for constantly relying on their help, just like that last time when senpai was deeply asleep and they had to protect her from the swarm of monsters from another world, so I’m sure that they will not use this chance to progress their own story by killing senpai while we will be away.
「I’ll say that just in case the cause of this whole upheaval happens to be our 「Legendary Knight」. Be extra careful, all three of you.」
「「The Legendary Knight」, huh…」
If the source of the disturbance Shiki felt is indeed him…
Kuhoh has fought with him once and was not able to do anything against him. Thankfully I can now utilize everything we learned about him from both her and Fujisato to formulate a strategy, but I still think that it would be best if we didn’t run into him at all. We have to be more vigilant than ever.
「I alone was not good enough to go against him, and while both Monjiro-senpai and Yatono Shiki are strong I’m afraid even they might not be enough to match him. If at all possible, you should avoid fighting him openly at all cost.」
「Don’t worry, Kuhoh. If we do happen to run into him, we’ll run as fast as we can, I promise.」
「Umu, I’m counting on you to do just that, Monjiro-senpai.」
Kuhoh smiled faintly and bowed to us, ever so polite and proper even in the times of peril.
As for the 「Legendary Knight」… if she was not able to beat him, of course I won’t be able to do so myself. Not alone, at least. That’s why I really hoped that Shiki’s 「bad feeling」 actually had nothing to do with him, but knowing my luck, or rather a lack of thereof, all bets are currently opened.
All I can do now is to steel my resolve and be prepared for everything.
「All right senpai, we’re heading out.」
「Okay. Please, whatever you do, stay safe, Jiro-kun, Shiki-san, Aika-chan.」
And just like that, Shiki, Aika and I left the room after Shiinamachi-senpai send us off with her words of encouragement.
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