Without turning on the T.V., I talked with Ooki and his little sister, Rino-chan.
Although she was replying, it seemed Rino-chan was busy making food.
「Is there anything I can help with?」
「Like I said, it’s fine. This is to show our gratitude」
This exchange happened several times.
And then the topic changed to Rino-chan.
「Rino says she will take the entrance exam for Hashidzume High School」
「Is there something wrong with that?」
I tilt my head towards Ooki who says that with a bitter face.
「No, it’s not a bad school…but isn’t the wind instrument club bad?」
Then, Rino-chan came over and sat next to me.
It felt close but it’s about the same distance between Ooki and me.
「Actually, I was supposed to go to a higher rated music high school」
「For the flute?」
Rino-chan’s face was too close next to me as she nods.
She probably came while cooking but she had an amazingly family-oriented aura.
As I thought, she would make a great wife.
「She always gave it her best with the flute to get in until recently」
Ooki made a statement that felt like an older brother thinking about his little sister.
Rino-chan reached out to grab sweets on the table seeming troubled.
I tried asking Rino-chan.
After thinking for a bit, Rino-chan replied.
「Because it’s close」
「Senpai! Isn’t deciding based on that reasoning wrong?」
Ooki looks at me as if to ask for help.
I replied to Ooki with an almost immediate reply.
「Isn’t it fine?」
「You too, senpai?!」
「After all, that’s how I was…I chose Hashidzume because it was close too」
Rino-chan turned towards her brother and pouts.
After a bit of silence, Ooki shook his head.
「No, that’s not good. Because Rino has real musical talent…」
Which reminds me, they told me that their parents don’t really interfere with their lives.
That made them parent each other.
It seems he acts more like a brother after coming down from the mountain.
That’s probably why I can’t say any complaints.
However, it’s not like it has nothing to do with me.
「Can you leave Rino-chan to me?」
「Trust me, I think it’ll be fine if she chooses what she likes…」
「Why do you feel you need to take responsibility for Rino-chan’s path?」
As one would expect, Ooki was quiet towards my words.
I could also feel a strong gaze from Rino-chan eating sweets.
「She thought about it herself and made the decision herself」
I looked at Rino-chan.
「You thought about it properly, right?」
This time, I look at Ooki.
「Also she’s still a second year. There’s still a chance for her to change her path. You should have a helpful standing at the time for her to believe in you」
Ooki, who was looking down, raised his head.
I was blushing at my words till now.
「My bad…I don’t really feel like I have the qualifications to tell you what to do」
「No, what you said is really like advice from a master」
「What’s with that!」
I don’t know how he can see me as his sage master.
I don’t know what kind of training he did when he went up the mountains but somehow it seems he had a deep impression from my words.
「I-I got it…Rino」
Ooki looks at his little sister with a serious expression.
Rino-chan looks back embarrassed.
「No matter what path you take, it’s fine…I’ll wholeheartedly help with whatever you decide」
After saying thanks, Rino-chan stood up.
And then, she disappeared into the kitchen with a jog.
「Okutani-senpai…you’re pretty cool」
「Stop, you’re making me feel weird」
It creeps me out being told that by a guy.
However, Ooki told me with a serious face.
「I respect you」
I yelled out towards Rino-chan’s voice.
「As I thought, is it fine for me to receive your help?」
「Ah, of course」
I get up and head towards the kitchen running away from Ooki.
Some sounds of cooking ring out from the pot.
「Should I do anything?」
Rino-chan looked up at me with a fleeting glance as she stood in front of the gas stave.
「Okutani-san, thank you very much」
「No, it’s fine…I’ll be uncomfortable if you tell me not to help」
「That’s not it」
Rino-chan gets one step closer.
Due to her height, she had to look up at me.
*Kyu*, Rino-chan grabbed my uniform and muttered.
「Earlier…thanks for being my ally」
I was at a loss for words.
Rino-chan is cute.
Her cheerful nature and the feeling of a young girl tickles a man’s instincts.
She lightly bit her lower lip.
And then in a resolved but quiet voice she said.
「The reason I chose Hashidzume…is because you’re there Okutani-san」
There was a bit of silence.
*Gutsu, gutsu*, the contents of the pot made a noise.
The rich smell alone made me think it would be tasty.
I wonder if Ooki turned on the television as sound was coming from the living room.
「O-Of course…I don’t plan on giving up music. After getting in to high school, I was thinking of getting help from a famous former teacher without entering the wind music club. That’s why it’d be good to have a school close to home」
「I-is that so?」
Even if that’s true, the fact that she said she chose it because I was there is shocking.
「Hey, Okutani-san…Do you hate juniors?」
Just then, the pot flowed over a bit.
Seeming bewildered, Rino-chan returns her attention to cooking.
My heart continued to ring out loudly after those words.