98. Changing feelings
While the two are in the bathroom.
I racked my brains desperately.
「Hmm…… I want to resume working, but……what should I do?」
Even though I may be like this, I’m most likely still the strongest among the Special Forces. I have trained to be capable enough to massacre a large army of Unknowns with only bare hands. Day after day, I took minimum sleep and continued training.
Then, can’t I make a living in the Special Forces?
I have such thoughts, but……as expected, I feel uneasy to make the Special Forces as my work in order to provide that girl.
The problem is would Kaa-san let me retire from the Special Forces, but……if she wouldn’t, let’s consult Nee-san and Tou-san. Tou-san will probably cooperate even without explaining anything to him.
Saying that, I open the job hunting magazine that Nee-san brought.
–However, all of them do not allow a 13-year-old to work.
13-year-old……middle school student. Although I never been to the school before, it looks like it’s hard to find a job at this age.
Then…… A part-time job.
When I opened the part-time job’s page, there’s a great variety from convenience store and supermarket to factory work, and many more.
「Hmm……Which one to go for?」
I realized my inability to earn a living once again while racking my brains, and I heard two footsteps coming from the bathroom.
「Hey, we’re out」
When I looked at them, I can see Nee-san and that girl walking towards me.
「Won’t you please wear some clothes?」
I sad that while averting my eyes.
Their current attire (I don’t know what to call it) is just a towel. To be honest, I have no interest in a little girl’s body, and as for Nee-san, I have entered the bath with her in the past……so well, I’m used to it.
However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think of anything after seeing it.
「Nn? Oh, what’s this? Are you perhaps blushing? Well after all, you have such a nice body–」
「I’m not. I just feel emptiness because Nee-san has became an exhibitionist」
I receive Nee-san’s fist, and turn my eyes to that girl.
She’s looking at me fixedly.
「……What…were you doing? Planning to kill me?」
「That is never going to happen……」
Saying that, the girl looks at the various magazines on the table. There’s no way I would plan a murder.
「Oh, you check up right away, huh. About changing job」
I replied while casting my eyes down, and Nee-san took a magazine from the table.
「Construction site……in your case, physical work will be too easy for you and you would stand out. Why not try working at the convenience store?」
To be honest, I only entered it once even after living for 13 years. Besides, it was quite a long time ago, and I don’t have any recollections on it anymore.
I don’t know what I need to do, but for the time being, I need to do something about this hair.
「This hair kind of stands out, right? In fact, I have never seen anyone even the old people other than me having this hair」
「Well, that part can be managed by using a hair dye. It should last for one day each, so you can just use it before going to work」
Hair dye…… I have not tried it before, but I heard before that it’s quite difficult to change the color of the hair. If it only last for a day, it should cost quite much.
「……It would be better if there’s a dye that can last for a few months」
「Idiot. If such thing is created, you would receive money enough for your entire life」
I wonder if there’s such thing before the Disastrous Year. Let’s check up on it next time.
Well, for now.
「Won’t you wear some clothes?」
For now, I decided to postpone the matter on part-time job.
Because it looks like the money I have now is enough to live for a while, and it would be bad if Kaa-san learned that I started a part-time job quickly.
「Oh, how about this?」
「Hmm……does it fit?」
Nee-san and I look through my old clothes.
The reason is simple and clear–because the Onikko’s (Because she won’t tell me her name, I decided to call her so for now) clothes are ragged.
Onikko won’t stop saying that 「I won’t accept charity」, but after Nee-san whispered something to her, she suddenly became silent. ……I wonder what Nee-san told her.
When I showed the clothes I wore when I was 6 years old to Onikko who’s sitting on the bed, she replied this.
「Things touched by you…is too filthy」
……Is it my imagination that I’m crying?
Is it my imagination that Nee-san is laughing out loud?
–No, absolutely no.
「Say, Onikko. I know that you hate me, but as expected, that’s too muc–」
「You…don’t know how much I hate you. Rather than the fact…you should think of the degree」
I collapse while holding my chest.
And, Nee-san is laughing out loud.
「Kukuku, S-Say, hey. How much do you hate this guy?」
「I want to die just because I’m inhaling the same air」
And once again, a loud laughter.
……Huh, this is strange. Recently, I thought that Nee-san was a very cool person. It might be my imagination, after all.
However, Nee-san wiped my tears immediately as she stopped laughing, and said this to Onikko.
「Then, I don’t mind bringing you to my house because I have a lot of children clothes there. My house don’t have a high protection like this house too…… And above all, you don’t plan on leaving this house……or rather, his side, right?」
After a long silence, Onikko said that with a somehow distorted face. Apparently, she really hates staying with me. I knew it.
But still, the reason she’s staying with me is……simple and clear. In order to kill me.
I cast my eyes down, and clench my fist.
No matter how cheerful I act, no matter how much I thought of doing my best, the fact will never change.
The victim and the assailant. The killing side, and the going-to-be-killed side.
Only those positions will never change.
–However, I knew all of those, and I thought of protecting her.
Nee-san looks at me.
「Well, even though you’re a sibling, it’s kind of weird for the younger sister to wear her elder brother’s clothes. I’ll provide your clothes」
「……Ha? I…don’t remember being this guy’s sister」
「At the point where you’re living under the same roof and being provided, you can either be his daughter or sister. Pick one」
「I don’t want to. It makes me nauseous」
Nee-san concluded 「Then, you’re his sister」, and looked at me.
I inclined my head to side, but Nee-san quickly averted her eyes and sighed.
「No. I only thought that your current situation is seriously troublesome」
Saying that, Nee-san sighs once again, and looks at me with serious eyes.
「Listen, Iwato. Your precious sister is staying with you. Then, it’s the brother’s job to make the sister live comfortably, and it’s also the brother’s job to do what the sister wishes」
Nee-san continued and placed her hands on my shoulder.
「Always be your sister’s ally, and always love your sister. That’s what a brother is」
That’s–the definition of the elder brother.
I have never thought much about 『becoming an elder brother』. With those words, it became distinct.
「Elder brother or sister, the 『elder』 that can’t protect such thing is a failure. Certainly, there’s a limit of how much the 『younger』 can be cheeky, but regarding this girl, it’s a different matter. Although she hates you, she’s not cheeky」
Saying that, Nee-san lightly hits my chest with her fist, and exits to the room’s entrance.
「Well, that’s what it is. Love your sister as a family, not as a woman. Otherwise, you have no rights to be called as an elder brother. Well then, I’ll go and get some clothes for the girl」
See you later, Nee-san’s voice is heard, and an awkward silence falls upon the room.
Onikko who’s sitting on the bed, and I who’s standing with my back turned on her.
To be honest, it’s awkward.
Why Nee-san picked such a time to leave? When I think about it, I felt a little hatred–
「You…won’t love me」
Suddenly, her voice struck my earlobe.
When I turned around, she’s looking at me as if she’s confirming me while being covered by the futon.
「You’re…not Tou-san. Not a family…not a brother. That’s why…you won’t love me. The day when you will abandon me…who torments you……and tries to kill you…will surely come」
Without changing her expression, the words the girl said personifies her true opinion.
Well, it’s true that I’m in pain. It’s true that it’s difficult.
Perhaps, I might cry again. Perhaps, I might break again.
But surely, I–
「–Sorry, but I don’t think such day will ever come」
The girl opens her eyes wide upon hearing my words.
「I’m…here to make you suffer. I’m waiting for the chance to kill you. But…with my current self…I can’t kill you. That’s why…I have no choice but to live here. If I’m more stronger…you–」
「Probably, I would be killed when we first met」
I thought of running away countless times. To be honest……I even thought that it might be better for me to die.
But if you were to ask if I would throw away and–abandon the girl, I’m confident that I’ll shake my head.
「I have never thought of throwing you away even though it’s this suffering. Then, I’m sure that it won’t change in the future」
I said that and for the first time, I stroke her head.
「No matter how much you hate me, it doesn’t change the fact that I killed your father. I will always be with you. Even if the world denies you, only I will be the one who will continue to accept you. I don’t know about the thing called love yet, but I won’t abandon you」
–That’s what a brother is.
Somehow, I felt that it’s been a while since I smiled.
I drive away that guy’s hand which suddenly stroke my head…and for some reasons, my breath has gotten rough.
Even though I shouldn’t have moved that much…I realized that I’m breathing heavily.
I…suddenly recalled my head being stroked…and I covered my hair.
But…what was that.
I throw myself to the bed…and covered myself with the futon.
I hate…that guy.
It’s still the same. I’m confident that I hate him more than anyone in the world.
「Even Tou-san. Didn’t…said such words before……」
–Only I will be the one who will continue to accept you
I hate him.
Why such words. The feeling when my head was stroked.
Why I can’t forget about it?