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The Five Stages of Renewal, Chapter 1, Part 1
“’What defines a person, the personality, or the appearance?’ While there is no doubt that countless others who may have been asked the same thing would say “Both” I myself would like to think that it is their appearance which makes up their personality. Or, at the very least, elaborates on its foundation.”
“Oh, nothing.” I scoffed slightly. “I just couldn’t help but wonder why beauties such as yourselves would bother fixing your rotten personalites, I am sure there are countless meatheads out there who are willing to lick the sole of your shoes if you asked them to. In fact, some of them would even consider it to be a reward!” I said. Wait. What?
One of the girls covered their mouth, pretending to be gagging, before finally speaking up in a low and muffled tone.
“Creep. This guy’s a total creep.” She said, as the others started to scowl at me with disgust.
“—Yeah, who the heck even are you?”
Who the heck are you!? What and where the fuck have I found myself in!?
Okay, calm down. First, fix your breathing, then, analyze the situation, and finally, act accordingly… accordingly… to what exactly?
“Oy, creep. If you aren’t gonna tell us your name then go away.” I sure would love to get away from here! But… my body, isn’t… moving!?
“Heh, as much as a little kitten try to scare, they do nothing more but just purr. Cute.”
W-What the fuck am I even saying!?
“Haah!? What the hell are you even saying?” Preach it sister!
“Kukuku… Of course, a feeble little brain such as yours would fail to understand anything that comes out of my mouth.”
In times like these, a strong pinch is what anyone would need to snap back to reality. I thought, as I placed my hands on my cheek and then—
Since when did my hands become so soft? No… wait.
“There, finally awake.”
This light voice would never fool me, for while it may be light and basked in kindness and cuteness, it has an undeniable aura of pure evil.
“Mom was worried you’ll be late for your first day at school, so she asked me to wake you up.” My sister said with a devilish look.
“While I appreciate you waking me up from my undermining nightmare, did you really have to pinch my cheek that strong?” I said in a bland manner.
While I can’t exactly see the visual effect of her pinch, this burning sensation is enough to tell me that it’s going to leave one hell of a mark. This evil little devil probably even used her nails for that pinch.
“Yes. Absolutely.” She replied in the same bland tone, as if we were currently in a programmed speech pattern.
“Justify your actions.”
“When I opened the door to your room, the first thing I saw was your annoying smirk while you were sleeping.” I could picture that. “And you were mumbling and snickering. Frankly, it was disgusting.”
Before I could reply in agreement to her actions, she spoke up again.
“And you said you were in a nightmare, so naturally I was worried that my poor older brother would have to suffer from that.” She didn’t even try to make it sound sarcastic.
I realize that attempting to scold her for her poor logic and decision making would be a waste of my daily energy intakes. But first, I need to look at her in disdain to at least show my distaste for her actions.
After I did so, I got up, intending to leave the room without fixing my bed.
“—Mom says you can take the scooter, and you’re gonna give me a ride.”
“Do I have a choice?”
“So, you’re gonna give me a ride then.” That sounded more like a demand rather than a question.
“Who knows? I’m worried I’ll crash us both to a tree since my cheek hurts so much that it’s distracting.”
“Then, put a band aid on it.”
I looked at her blankly but intently, for I honestly don’t know if she’s joking or not.
“Fine, give me the keys. We’ll go after I have some breakfast.”
“I didn’t make any breakfast.”
“Ha.” I replied, not knowing what to say next, except… “What the heck did you eat then?”
“The pizza from last night.”
“Is it safe to assume that there are none left, because you kept it all to yourself, not sharing it with your beloved older brother?”
I smiled annoyingly. No. I was furious. But… Forget that, more importantly, do I have enough time to make breakfast and eat? It’s a good thing she woke me up early so I wouldn’t be late. I guess I’ll forgive her for now—
My left eye twitched from annoyance.
“Say say. My dear sister. My clock says it is currently 8:16 AM. Since when have you been up?” I said with a fake delight.
“And oh my, you ate breakfast, had a shower, fixed your hair, and is neatly dressed for school. Since you clearly know that school starts at 8:30 right?” I chuckled falsely.
“You. Scheming, evil, naughty, LITTLE SHI—“
I can feel the wind blowing through my thick unkempt hair. Even with a helmet on, it’s barely enough to keep my hair from dancing all over the place. Meanwhile, the warmth on my back just keeps getting warmer, as Yui keeps rubbing her cheek on my uniform while holding on tightly to me.
We passed through the lake bridge, it certainly hasn’t changed much at all, but what has changed is the number of cherry blossom trees surrounding it. It sure has decreased a lot, there used to be plenty of people here doing picnics just for the sakura blossom. But now, it’s a surprise that there even is a cherry blossom tree left. Of course, from an outsider’s perspective, everything looks perfectly normal. But for those who grew up in these parts, they would tell you just how much colorful this part of the town used to be.
“Yuko Nii.” A soft mumbled voice came from behind.
“You hit me too hard. It will leave a mark on my cheek for the rest of the day.”
“Oh yeah? I guess we’re even then.”
“Unfair.” The tenacity of this little devil…
“Hoh? Really now?” I smirked, not that she could see my face anyway.
“Yes. I am a delicate girl. It’s bad luck to harm a girl’s face you know.” I can’t see her face either, but I just know that she’s probably making a stupidly annoying face right now.
“Please explain to me in what ways are you a ‘delicate girl’”
“I’m cute?” I just saw her head tilt in a weird way in my head.
It’s a wonder how much you could know of someone’s gestures or reactions without even seeing them, but I suppose that it’s one of the merits… or rather, results, of living together for a long time.
“Your confidence is staggering.”
“Anyway. It is unfair. So I will make it fair.”
I don’t like where this is going.
“Well, I suppose a pinch and a slap isn’t all that equal, you make a good point.” She’s already made up her mind; all I can do now is lessen the damage!
“Yes.” She said weakly. “Different sorts of fluids are currently leaking out of my nose right now.”
“Both my hands are busy to grab a handkerchief right now, you wouldn’t want your cute little sister to fall off right?” Under normal circumstances, I would never want that to happen, but right now is…
“And the fabric of Yuko Nii's uniform is rather delicate and soft, it is really tempting to rest my face on it.”
I gritted my teeth as I slowly began to accept my fate. The soft and wet slushiness of her nose is beginning to seep through my clothing, and finally making contact with the skin on my back. This weird and unusual sensation lasted for more than ten seconds, before I finally heard a sniff which indicated the end of this torture.
“Now it is fair.”
I wonder if things would have turned out differently if I had just pinched her on the cheek in return, or maybe just tickled her to exhaustion. I wonder what action should I have taken for it to be ‘fair’ in the first place.
But then I realize, she would probably just come up with a devious plan to make it unfair, regardless of what I’ve done. For now, I’ll just have to be thankful that it wasn’t anything that physical hurts.
“Can you… at least wipe it off with your handkerchief or something?” I kindly asked.
“No.” She replied almost instantly.
“W-Why?” Not that the reason matters, but it won’t hurt to know.
“That would defeat the purpose and value of wiping my nose on your shirt. If I did that, then I could have just grabbed a handkerchief and used it to wipe my nose in the first place.”
“The value of revenge huh…” I thought out loud.
“It is priceless.” Yui mockingly replied, before further tightening her grip on me.