“So there’s no option for me to leave Celestial Dragon without involving the Headmaster?”
Rin shook her head, appearing apologetic about the situation. They discovered that Doragon had used her rank authority on the roommate request. And if Onii wanted to leave, he would have to present a case and schedule a court meeting with the entire Disciplinary Committee and the Headmaster of Temple Academy.
That sounds like a dangerous idea and a huge hassle.
“That’s right, Celestial Dragon’s rules are not applied towards the S-ranks.”
“Can’t I dispute on the predicament of power abuse?”
“Well…” The office lady’s voice trailed off softly. “It’ll still be difficult because S-ranks are considered role-model students and personally selected by the Headmaster. Unless there is actual documentation of harassment or maltreatment…”
So the elites have free reign over the Academy. It seems like the higher the rank, the more unrestricted it becomes.
This must explain why Doctor Lirin didn’t ban Doragon from attending our class. Maybe because she couldn’t.
But just how much power does an “S-rank” wield?
And what part of Doragon speaks role-model…?!
He thought about her straightforward personality, disregarding the entire class with complete disinterest after The Dueling Process. After appraising their skills, it was as if they ceased to exist. Although Doragon did take a double glance at Princess Tsuko, possibly discerning her「 Celestial Eyes 」.
“My roommate is naked every time I come home and refuses to wear clothes.” Onii let out a deep sigh, recalling all the ridiculousness that happened for the past few days. “How do you expect me to live like this for an entire year? It’s absolutely ridiculous!”
“I understand your concern and you have the right to be upset.”
Rin held both of her hands up and spoke softly.
“But I am only a worker so I don’t have any authority on changing the rules.”
Onii closed his eyes and took a deep breath. In and out. Feeling the oxygen circulating throughout the body, calming the boiled blood.
There was no point in shooting the messenger.
“I apologize for snapping,” Onii opened his eyes and bowed his head slightly. “The past few days have been frustrating.”
“It’s okay,” Rin smiled, signaling it was not a problem. “Do you have a girlfriend?”
Girlfriend was not exactly the right word. But it immediately brought back happy memories, especially the time when they eloped to Riverside. Those days seemed so stress-free compared to now. The face of his cute little sister remained in his mind, creating a subtle warmth.
“I do have a partner.”
“I see,” Rin nodded as if she connected the dots on something. “Having a partner does make this situation more complicated. So have you told her about Doragon and you know…” She leaned in closer and whispered softly, “…what she does?”
In a similar tone, Onii replied back quietly.
“I haven’t explained the whole situation to her yet…”
Having uttered those words out loud, it was hard to believe that he had not told Amae. Part of his mind engulfed with uneasiness.
“If you don’t mind me asking, how close are the two of you?”
The Dojo and their first meeting. Training under Grandmaster. Adventuring and questing. Fighting against monsters and climbing up the guild ranks together. Buying a private cottage in the countryside of Riverside to fulfill their childhood dream. Countless memories accelerated like a storybook as he could not help but smile fondly.
“Like two peas in a pod.”
“Seeing how happy you looked, I definitely think you should let her know.”
“I’m not sure that’s the best decision…”
Onii already agonized about it for the past few nights, which was the right choice — to tell or not tell. In the end, he simply did not want this situation to negatively affect Amae’s dream of a happy school life. She deserved it. This was a break from their unconventional lifestyle of fighting all the time.
No, this is just an excuse.
Why didn’t I tell my sister?
Onii was not exactly sure.
What was I afraid of?
Was it Amae’s anger for not standing up against Doragon? Shame and guilt for seeing his roommate butt-naked? Or the fear of their siblingship falling apart?
“If you two are what you said, then I’m sure she will understand when you tell the truth.”
Rin smiled tenderly as Onii paused. Those words seemed to reverberate in his mind, reminding him of the siblingship bond.
“Still, I am sorry for not being able to help.” Rin bowed politely. ” I have a boyfriend as well, so I understand how frustrating and complex this situation must be. I can write a letter of request but honestly, don’t expect much from it.”
Onii shook his head and smiled warmly.
“No Rin, I should be thanking you. After all, you made me realize something I had forgotten.”
♦ ♦ ♦
Onii unlocked his dorm with a quick tap of his dog tag, only to find Doragon completely naked again. This time she had a small towel across her neck, barely covering the tip of her breasts. She sat on top of her futon, scrolling through her AI and humming to herself.
“What took you so long today?”
Doragon asked nonchalantly despite the fact Onii could see everything — her smooth skin, fit body, slender waist, bare bosom and crotch region. Noticing his facial expression, her crimson-eyes glowed as she curled her rosy lips into a sly grin.
“Like what you see, Onii?~”
Tossing her AI on the futon, Doragon stood up and slowly walked towards Onii like a model on a fashion show.
“I’ll be yours if you win the duel~ so why don’t you accept my request already?”
“Put on some clothes.”
“I don’t want to come home to a naked roommate.”
“I told you already,” Doragon shrugged nonchalantly and maintained gaze. “Clothes are a pain. Think about it — why do we have to wear clothes? All the other mammals on the planet don’t care about being naked and it’s only humans that make a big deal out of it.”
Onii did not know to respond to her logic. He could not argue against someone of this level. Meanwhile, Doragon leaned closer towards Onii and laughed.
“Isn’t it every guy’s dream to come home to this?~”
As she was about to remove her towel, Onii raised his hand, stopping her in time.
“I’m serious, please wear some clothes.”
“Then fight me.”
The same frustration grew stronger inside of Onii as this conversation felt all too similar like yesterday and the day before. Living under the same roof, Onii found she lacked all aspects of common sense. No, it was wrong to think Doragon even had common sense in the first place, especially when she sucked his finger during their first meeting.
She’s actually insane.
How far is she willing to go for a duel…?
For the remainder of the night, Onii concentrated his vision on his side of the room as Doragon started exercising. No surprise she remained naked. She started with jumping jacks, switching to push-ups and sit-ups. There was only one word to describe her actions — utterly shameless.
It was already hard enough not trying to glance at her body. But Doragon would make occasional noises and moans whenever she stretched. Onii was almost sure they were unintentional since she was focusing intensely on her training and did not care what he did.
The temptation was always constant. The biological male inside screamed for him to prey on her because who wouldn’t?
I’m terrible for even having these thoughts about Doragon.
I’m sorry little sister.
After an hour of psychological torture, Onii had enough of Doragon’s shenanigans. It was too much to handle. If he had to live like this for an entire year; he will literally die.
Suddenly, a message appeared on Onii’s AI with a familiar rang. Drowning in the midst of this chaos, his heart warmed at the sender’s name. In fact, the device radiated like a beacon of hope.
“Leaving so late?~”
Onii ignored Doragon, who was stretching her calves by bending forward and revealed her butt. In a rapid motion, he shut the door and left this insanity dorm that resembled a prison.
I need to tell Amae — no matter what happens.
As an older brother and her partner, I need to take responsibility for my actions.
♦ ♦ ♦
“Big brother!” Pouncing like a clingy kitten, Onii felt his cat sister nuzzled against his chest. Her warmness was like a fireplace, providing hearth under the cold weather. The sudden drop in the temperature indicated that Xue season was coming soon.
Within a few seconds, Amae stopped being playful. The sister in her must have sensed the unusual behavior.
“Talk to me. I know something’s wrong.”
Onii did not want to hide this secret any longer. He thought about the conversation with Rin and knew what he had to do. As difficult as bringing the words to the surface, the truth must be told.
Thus, he explained the whole situation to Amae.
When Onii talked about Doragon being naked, she made a few facial expressions that worried him. Despite knowing his little sister for years, it was impossible to decipher what she was thinking. But one thing was for sure — it did not seem pleasant.
“I see,” Amae nodded. “And then what happened?”
After finishing the complete summary that led up to this moment, Onii muttered softly:
“Why are you apologizing?”
“Because I couldn’t do anything about it. I even went to the Housing Office and requested to switch out but it was not even an option.”
“You don’t need to be sorry about something we can’t control,” Amae shook her head. “We knew about the conditions before enrolling here, right?”
Despite saying those words, she frowned. It was a massive frown. Onii knew this familiar expression all too well — she was upset. In fact, extremely upset.
An uneasy silence grew between the two siblings. A few seconds of stillness passed, which felt like an eternity to Onii.
“But I didn’t like how you kept what Doragon did a secret.”
Her voice was filled with subtle anguish, making Onii slightly more guilty.
“I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”
Instead of a smile that Onii expected, a thin rim of tears formed in her eyes. Onii’s heart sank in absolute despair, realizing that his actions had made her cry. And that was when Amae spoke from the bottom of her heart.
“It’s true that I might be sad over the incident,” The little sister stared at him a pair of eyes that seemed so vulnerable. So fragile as if they were about to waterfall. “But the fact you did not tell me in the first showed me that you don’t trust in me. You don’t trust in our relationship enough.”
“No… I do trust in us.”
“Then you would’ve told me the day after enrolling in Celestial Dragon, am I wrong?”
Those words had caught Onii’s throat, trapping him like a butterfly in a web. He wanted to say something but words refused to verbalize. That was because Amae was right — he had indeed betrayed her trust.
“Aren’t we aiming to be the ideal siblings?”
Amae held onto his hand, grasping onto it tighter than usual. Despite the physical contact, her heart seemed so far away.
“Then have more trust in me… I’m your little sister, right…?”
Noticing Amae averted her gaze, Onii stepped closer and leaned his head in, “Are you crying…?”
“Nu-uh.” But that was obviously a lie as tears began trickling down the corner of her eyes. “I’m just so upset that you didn’t tell me when you knew about it. Now… I can’t help but wonder what else are you hiding from me.”
“I’m not hiding anything else from you, I promise.”
Silence as soft sniffling sounds filled the air. Amae and crying, those two have not gone together for a very long time.
“I’m sorry for making you cry, little sister…”
“It’s fine. I’ll figure something out,” Amae wiped away her tears with her hands. Then with a smile, she kissed his forehead gently, indicating that this conversation was finished.
“Are you leaving…?”
“Mhm… I need some time to think. Goodnight big brother.”
As Amae turned on her heels and walked away slowly, Onii wanted to chase after her. He should. Every inch of her body was telling him that he should be running, hug her tightly from behind and apologize for being a f****** idiot. And then he should say let’s work on finding a solution together because that was the right thing to do.
In an ideal world, that was what a true big brother would do.
But this was reality.
As much as his heart desired, it was much easier said than done. For someone who was in the complete wrong and inflicted unnecessary pain on his loved one, he had no right to express his thoughts and let alone, be the one to comfort her.
An older brother should never betray a little sister’s trust, no matter what happens.
Why did I hesitate to tell her?
An emptiness feeling spread inside his heart, slowing etching away the outer layer as it collapsed into little-broken pieces. The pain of seeing a loved one suffer was indescribable. Betrayal. Lying. Omitting information. Even though they vowed to be completely honest in their communication, why was it so hard to tell her?
What have I done…?
After all, a promise was meaningless if the actions behind it did not follow through.
Onii stood frozen in place, feeling his body and hands trembling slightly. It could be the frigid breeze that precedes Xue season or possibly the uneasy realization of hurting someone he loved and not knowing what to do. It might have been both, more of the latter. Thus, all he could do was stand there and watch.
I still have so much to learn… as an older brother.
He watched until Amae gradually disappeared over the horizon, leaving him a feeling that he had not felt in ages — regret.
♦ ♦ ♦
『 Amae (03/23/20): This chapter is always painful to read :'( 』
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