Holding onto a dog tag that was his residential ID card, Onii stood by himself outside the Celestial Dragon House, admiring his new home for the next five years. It was quite an enigma that he was scheduled last minute for a roommate change, especially since most of the incoming first-year Regulars lived at the Pixiu Cat House.
“This dorm sure looks expensive.”
Onii could immediately notice the drastic difference between the quality and design of his new and old dorm. Compared to the Pixiu Cat, this place appeared more like a five-star vacation resort.
The exterior design looked like an Eastern-region castle with decorations on the triangular gable, reminding Onii of his dojo back at Mt. Ains. It was a three-story-high, looking like an opulent palace near the belly of a ridge, offering a stunning view of the entire city of Libertea.
After coming back to school with Amae an hour earlier, the two headed to the main housing office to pick up the essentials for their dorm.
“Look big brother, I live in Vermilion Bird. Their design looks so cute.” Amae smiled and dangled her crimson-red dog tag, which had a winglike crest engraved. “What happened to living at Pinxu Cat?”
“They told me I was transferred,” Onii carefully analyzed the pearl-like dog tag that had an imprint of the school’s mascot — dragon. The quality was especially well-made, reminding him of his Adventurer Guild’s pendant.
“Woah, isn’t that for fourth and fifth years? How did you get in?”
“I am not entirely sure but they told me I was requested as a roommate.”
The two siblings looked at each other, knowing something shady was happening. But the real question was why. What was the purpose?
“I think this switch may have stemmed from the duel with Mich earlier this morning,” Onii let out a deep sigh that echoed similar to a slight regret. “I messed up today by gaining too much publicity. Sorry about that, little sister.”
Amae shook her head and grasped his hand tightly, “There is no need to be sorry. Think of it as part of the school experience.”
“Still, I should have been more mindful of my action,” Onii bowed his head.
“That’s enough. Apologize again and I’ll punish you by buying me food for a week.”
“Sorry for saying… I mean—”
—Onii scratched his head as the two soon burst into casual laughter.
“You were fighting for my sake after all,” Amae raised their intertwined hands, revealing both of their crystal rings that allowed for instant teleportation to its contracted partner. “But please do be careful. Somehow, I have a bad feeling about this. I’ll be there right away if you need me.”
There was nothing but understanding in her voice. It was times like these that made Onii realize how fortunate he had someone like her as a partner.
“I’ll keep you updated as always. See you soon, little sister.”
As he was about to leave, Amae grabbed onto his sleeve and muttered in a fragile voice. Her blue eyes resembled that of an innocent puppy, craving love and attention.
“No goodnight kiss?”
“We’re in public,” Onii scanned his surrounding, which was mostly empty since it was almost midnight. “If you want to have a good school life, we should hold back on these things.”
“Cheh~ Being called a brocon is actually a compliment you know. If anything, I’m more worried about you.”
“Yes,” Suddenly, the little sister folded her arms as if she was properly scolding him for those misbehaviors. “In the future, you should let it go when someone says something bad about me. After all, I can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
“I thought you aren’t mad about it anymore…”
Onii furrowed his brows but nodded reluctantly. Amae was right. He needed to work on his emotions, especially concerning his little sister. Thinking back to Temecula, Onii realized he had to avoid the same mistake again. The consequence for failure was simply too catastrophic.
“Well if I don’t receive my daily dosage of kisses, then what you’ll have is a grumpy little sister!”
Amae pouted by puffing her right cheek like a balloon. Her tone sounded half-serious and half-joking, creating some uncertainty in the big brother’s mind.
A maiden’s heart is truly a mystery, Onii thought to himself.
“Alright alright, would a kiss on the forehead work?”
“I guess it can’t be helped, given the situation we are in.”
Amae leaned into a kissable distance.
“Sorry about this, I want to keep a low profile for a few weeks and wait for the exposure to die down. In the meantime, I’ll probably try befriending the girl I told you about in my class.”
“Ehhhh, big brother is already making a move on his classmates,” Amae spoke in a monotonous tone that was completely lacking enthusiasm. “And not just any girl but a princess from the Shui Kingdom. Ehhhh…”
“No, you have the wrong idea! I just want to know more about her Celestial Eyes so I don’t risk exposing our Duality identity.”
“I know I know, I’m messing with chu silly,” Amae giggled to herself, probably enjoyed seeing his reaction. “I’ll be joining a few clubs with Trinity once Welcome Week comes, it seems really fun.”
“Most likely culinary arts or dungeon exploration. I want to be involved as much as I can since I probably won’t have another chance like this in the future.”
“I see,” Onii patted her head gently. “I hope you make it count then, little sister.”
With a beaming smile, Amae shut her eyes and called out:
“Now then, I would like to order a forehead kiss before I go to bed please!”
With a gentle peck on the forehead, the familiar feeling of comfort resurfaced. After all, it was essential to continue their decade-long ritual, no matter the circumstances.
However, behind the kiss lies a bittersweet sensation. That was because, for the first time since forever, the two were ending their night separately from each other. With a new chapter, so began a new life. Only time would tell what impact this will have on the sibling’s relationship.
♦ ♦ ♦
Stepping inside the luxurious dorm, a warm air greeted Onii as one of the register lady wearing an elegant white qipao dress helped him checked in. The entire atmosphere inside reminded him of a traditional Eastern vibe — antique vases, wooden floors, sliding doors, ancient calligraphy and above all, cute girls wearing cute dresses.
“Your AI is registered into our system so you should be good to go! Do you have any other questions?”
“How many people will I be living with?”
Onii needed information. It was too dangerous to tread into enemy territory with no detail about his host. There was a possibility that the person wanted something in exchange, such as combat knowledge on zeroth-tier magic. On the other hand, there was also a high probability of being monitored, which would astronomically increase the difficulty of continuing the mission.
This was a good sign. He had expected at least two or three people but one should be enough to handle. But an uneasy feeling lingered in his chest. The fact there was only one person meant only one thing — he was strong.
“I see.” He smiled and pretended to be a clueless student. “I was wondering if you can tell me more about this dorm? It’s my first year here.”
The lady’s warm yet professional demeanor correlated to the top-notch hospitality this place presented itself.
“In Celestial Dragon, rooms are all single-based and reserved for students who are above the fifty seating. Unlike the other four dorms, we only accept residents through rankings and invites. If the accepted students want, they can invite up to three people live in the same room, which was what happened in your situation.”
This was bad. Actually, incredibly bad.
One of the top fifty rankings had purposely invited Onii, knowing the set of skills he used in the duel with Mich. That was the only logical explanation. There was no other way because he had not met any senpais today. So now the question was for what purpose?
Observation? Interrogation? Or even worse?
The fact that his roommate was ranked in the apex meant he was an elite of the elites. Thus, it was highly probable he could use up to 5th tier magic. This meant Onii’s moves will be watched every single day when he comes home.
“Whose my roommate?”
“Her name is Doragon.”
Onii paused at the word her. He was not informed about this.
“Yes, we are the only dorm that allows Co-Ed since it’s based on merit and not by separation of class year. Within Celestial Dragon, rules that govern other five dorms do not apply here. However, basic rules like common courtesy and decency are expected.”
The lady continued, handing out a pamphlet that displayed a list of rules.
“To be a part of Celestial Dragon is one of the highest privileges in Temple Academy. Thus, we expect our residents to behave and follow rules accordingly. Should there be an infraction, the student will be instantly kicked out of all housing services and you know how much trouble it is to find a place outside the school.”
Onii could feel the pretentious vibe radiating all over her. It was obvious she took utter pride in working here and have completely herself devoted to being at the top. But yet, a more alarming dilemma arises. In fact, it made his head hurt and heart clench in thorough stress.
That was because Amae was not going to be happy about this — living under the same roof with another girl.
Back when they were more active in the Adventurer’s Guild, people were housed based on their gender. This was a worldwide rule established by the Elite Five to prevent possibilities of sexual misconduct, harassment or worse, sexual assault. But to think Temple Academy was one of the first schools to change this traditional principle, the Headmaster must be out of his mind.
“What if I wanted to switch out?”
“You want to switch out of Celestial Dragon?”
One could almost see the question mark appear on top of the lady’s head. She then proceeded to explain in full detail about the various benefits such as the all you can eat buffet in the morning, six different levels of hot spring and twenty-four-hour accessible training rooms. Indeed, this place was literally a paradise.
“Honestly, I don’t think that’s a smart idea. Those perks are only available here.”
Logically speaking, she was right. It would be completely foolish to not accept such an offer after hearing such extravagance. Had the circumstances be different, Onii would have instantly accepted it.
“It’s only a possibility.” Onii scratched his head and replied sheepishly. “I just want to get along with my roommate and enjoy my new school life here, you know?”
The lady nodded, taking the bait. Suddenly, she leaned in and whispered softly.
“I still think you should stay here even if she’s a bad roommate. The room’s huge so it’s not too horrible if you don’t get along. After all, students actually duel constantly for the opportunity to live here. So it’s not every day a First Year have the chance to live in Celestial Dragon.”
Onii chuckled at her unexpected casualness, which seemed to be wholeheartedly genuine. It seemed like she was trying to be helpful because a clueless student was about to make a silly decision.
“Alright, I’ll give it a try. And I’ll let you know if I run into trouble.” Extending his hand forward, he smiled politely. “What’s your name?”
“Thank you for helping, Rin.”
“You’re welcome, I hope it works out and you have a nice night!”
After exchanging handshakes and signing the contract, Rin bowed and secretly gave a thumbs up. After thinking about the benefits, it did not sound too bad. Since Onii was already planning to keep a low profile, he might as well take advantage of the training rooms and hot springs in the meantime. In fact, he could even bring Amae in and enjoy the good life together.
“Ah, I forgot to ask Rin about the rules of bringing guests over.”
Little did Onii know that what lies ahead was the epitome of insanity shaped in the form of his new roommate.
♦ ♦ ♦
『 Amae (02/26/20): Doragon = new girl?! 』
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