Megu’s confused about what Yukino said.
「 W-What the hell is wrong with you!? You’re acting strange Yukino! 」
「 That’s right. I thought so too! I know that I’m acting strange! He’s the man who made me suffer! But, when I’m with him, I feel that it doesn’t matter, that as if nothing happened! I feel like it’s natural to be with him. Therefore, I want to be as close to him as possible! I can’t help it! I’ve got no place in the school but close to him! 」
Yukino often comes to the bakery while hiding away from Megu.
Then, she snacks on my bread, and we talk for a while.
Most of the time, she goes out before Megu could reach the bakery after classes, but,
「 For some reason, this idiot makes me feel nonchalant, floating, I don’t know why either but I feel at ease when I’m with him. He never rejects me, after all. He doesn’t order me around either. He doesn’t chain me somewhere. He never thinks that I’m an annoyance or a hindrance either. Even though he feels guilt towards what he’s done to me, he doesn’t refuse to touch me! He’s accepted me! Do you get it? 」
「 I-I know! I know that he’s that kind of person 」
She glares at Yukino.
「 But, but you see! Yoshinobu-san…Yoshi-kun doesn’t love you, Yukino! 」
She grits her teeth as she says that.
「 He doesn’t even love me either! 」
Yukino makes a confused face.
「 What are you talking about, I know that he likes me. He just said that he loves me earlier this lunch. That made me give up though 」
She rustles her hair.
「 By the way, Megumi. He should also like you quite a lot. I mean, you’re too clingy with him when in classes but he never complains about it, does he? If it’s some ordinary man, then he’d be arrogant with his girlfriend and say “Shut up, go over there,” or try to make himself look cool in front of the boys. But this idiot never does that. He’s always enduring it an accepting no matter how embarrassing it is. I think that you’re quite loved. That’s how I see it 」
Yukino, our classmate, says.
「 That’s true, but… But it’s wrong! That’s not it! Geez! 」
「 What’s different? I don’t get it. You’re much smarter than me since before so explain it in a way I would understand! 」
「 Yoshi-kun only loves me like a family! He doesn’t love me as a woman, as a lover! He doesn’t romantically love me! 」
Hearing Megu’s reply, Yukino;
「 So? 」
「 So it’s frustrating! I feel miserable! I don’t know why I became Yoshi-kun’s fiance now! I don’t even know what to do! Geez! Stupid! Idiot! Dummy!! 」
Megu cries out like a child.
「 Maika, what’s with this stupid woman? 」
Yukino asks her sister as she watches Megu yell out.
「 I don’t know either 」
Mana shrugged her shoulders.
「 Look, what is this “love” you think of? Be specific about it 」
Megu stopped crying and looked at Megu.
「 Love is love. Don’t you understand it? You’re a woman too, Yukino 」
「 What I mean by that is explain it so I could understand! I don’t know what’s the definition of it in your head 」
「 Love means that Yoshi-kun loves me so hard that he doesn’t know what to do. That I also love Yoshi-kun, I can’t hold it anymore! That’s it 」
「 Megumi, you’re 」
She knit her eyebrows.
「 Are you an idiot? Did you fry your last brain cells? 」
「 You know, when boys start to date you out of love, they only think about sex. They think about how they could undress the girl. Kenji was like that. He only looks at my chest and my butt, but you know, it felt pleasing that someone was looking at me with lust in their eyes. He’s looking at no other women but me 」
「 When boys say that they like a girl, they’re just saying that you’re one of their preference from their lust. That’s how it usually is. They’re amazingly dirty. You’d only see the “pure love” you’re thinking of in the movies or TV shows. I mean, even the actor/actress in the pure love dramas you watch are cheaters, or just plain slutty 」
「 That doesn’t matter! I want a romantic love between Yoshi-kun and me! Our meeting was fated! Yoshi-kun and I have to be unique! And yet…! 」
「 Too heavy! 」
Yukino mutters as Megu speaks.
「 Oh, I see, you’ve never experienced love before, right. I guess that’s it. You’re like a girl dreaming about love 」
「 It’s your fault, Yukino-oneechan 」
「 Me? 」
「 That’s right. Yukino-oneechan and Shirasaka Sousuke-san bullied Megumi-oneechan and the Yamamine house a lot 」
Yamamine house, Megu’s adoptive parents, were under Shirasaka house’s rule and was forced to live in poverty. Her adoptive parents were kind people, but Megu felt ashamed as the foster daughter.
Yukino oppresses them at every opportunity she finds.
「 Oh, I get it. Right. That was my fault. I bullied Megumi too much now she’s always insecure 」
「 It’s not about the economic condition of Yamamine-san, Yukino-oneechan back then would force Megu-oneechan to break up if she ever gets a boyfriend, won’t you? 」
「 Right, if it were me from back then, I’d most likely do that. I hated Megumi after all 」
「 That’s the reason. Megu-oneechan thought that she’d never be able to enter a romantic relationship. She’ll only cause trouble to the guy if she does. Yukino-oneechan will make the two break up 」
「 Yeah 」
「 Besides, Shirasaka Sousuke-san had planned on making Megu-oneechan a prostitute. Megu-oneechan had always thought that she’d never experience romance 」
Mana looks at Megu.
「 I get it now, that was her situation, and then, she met this idiot suddenly, pretending as fiance on the outside. and so Megumi’s in high spirits 」
Yukino said. Megu;
「 W-We’re not pretending! I genuinely intend on marrying Yoshi-kun! I’m Yoshi-kun’s fiance! 」
Then, she lost her energy.
「 But, I was wrong. That’s what I thought, but Yoshi-kun doesn’t feel that way. He doesn’t love me 」
「 Yeah. Okay, I get the gist of it. “Daitai Wakatta”1 From what I see, Megumi’s a child who doesn’t even understand what love means, but from your perspective, you love this idiot, and yet, this idiot doesn’t love you back the same. Well, that’s the nutshell, I guess? 」
「 That’s 」
「 This is important, so let me reaffirm. Megumi, you love this idiot? As a man and a woman? And he also loves Megumi in a way. Can you affirm that? 」
Megu looked at me.
「 I-I can! 」
She replied, though confused.
「 I see. Then, isn’t that good enough? What’s the problem with it? 」
「 W-What?! Don’t say that there’s no problem! 」
Megu refuses, but,
「 Why? If you like him, then isn’t that enough? 」
「 That’s not enough! I want to be loved as much as I give! 」
「 Hmm. Not that I don’t understand your feelings, but isn’t that just being presumptuous? You’re stingy Megumi 」
「 Stingy, me? 」
「 I mean, your love for him, and his love for you are two different things 」
「 That’s not true, Yoshi-kun and I 」
「 They’re different things 」
Ruriko, who listens to the conversation, tells Megu.
「 Or should I say that it will never be similar. Megumi-oneesama and Onii-sama are different people. The nature of love is different among people 」
「 Different, what, Ruriko-chan? 」
「 Yes. It is as you see, Megumi-oneesama. For example, Minaho-oneesama, Katsuko-oneesama, Shou-oneesama, they all love Onii-sama, but their methods and nature of love are different from each other 」
Minaho-neesan always watches over me.
Katsuko-nee always gently talks about our daily life.
Shou-neechan’s giving some time even during her busy days.
「 Therefore, there’s no evaluation on who loves Onii-sama the most. Everyone loves Onii-sama. That’s good enough 」
Each person’s love is different, and so you can’t place merits on it.,
「 That includes Onii-sama. I only see Onii-sama treasuring and loving me, or Megumi-oneesama. He loves Megumi-oneesama. Is the shape of his love different from what Megumi-oneesama seeks? I’ve been listening to Megumi-oneesama’s assertion earlier, but I do not understand what you’re dissatisfied about 」
「 That’s right. Papa loves Megu-oneechan. Agnes doesn’t understand why you’re angry 」
Agnes also tilts her head.
「 Megumi-chan, in love, just because you’ve given your partner 50 counts of love, then the other party also have to provide the same amount 」
「 Even if you send 50 counts, the other party may only send 10. Maybe you sent 50 counts one time, but the other side gives you ten counts in five times, returning it little by little. Maybe, you’ve sent “sweet love,” but the other side can only return “bitter love” It’s a personal relationship, it won’t be 50-50. Therefore, don’t think love with quantity 」
「 Then what should I do?! 」
「 What’s essential is that the other party responds when you give them love. Even if the quantity is different, there should be an immediate change. Do something, and there will be a reaction, that’s how a relationship of love works. If it’s ignored, then that’s when love doesn’t work 」
It’s not the contents of the return but the reaction made.
「 He never makes a face that says “It’s troublesome,” or “later,” has he? Even now he’s listening to what you have to say with all seriousness. Then, he thinks seriously of what to do after listening 」
Katsuko-nee hugs me from behind.
「 Yeah. He’s an idiot, but he never runs away. Oh, I see, that’s why I feel at ease when I’m with him 」
「 But, I don’t know what I should do. I don’t know what to do to stay close with Yoshi-kun! 」
Megu said. Yukino.
「 Geez, you really are a troublesome woman aren’t you, Megumi 」
「 W-What now? 」
「 You’re overthinking it! The romance that you’re thinking only exists in a dream, not in reality 」
「 But 」
「 If you like this idiot, then isn’t that good enough? Then go for him! Also, if other girls are chasing him, then challenge them! 」
「 Challenge? 」
「 That’s right. Why don’t you challenge to see how much you love him or how much he loves you back with others?
Then, Yukino glared at me.
「 Besides, this is your fault. You made Megumi think of something along the lines that “it’s natural for you to love her until she’s satisfied,” haven’t you? You spoiled Megumi a lot 」
「 Really? 」
「 That’s right. You’re too loose when it comes to giving out love! Try to be a bit tight with it! They’re becoming spoiled 」
「 That’s a bit different. Darling’s way of love is giving it to us. That’s his way of life, and it needs respect. We’re to check if we’re becoming spoiled, and we’re also responsible on stopping it 」
「 Blaming Darling is what strengthens one’s dependence on him 」
「 She’s right. He’s already adjusting his love for us, and we’re still asking for more, don’t you feel sorry for him?
Katsuko-nee looks at Yukino.
「 R-Right, he’s an idiot after all. I’d definitely feel sorry if I ask for too much from him 」
Then, she looked at Megu.
「 In the end, Megumi has to do something about it herself. It’s your problem after all 」
「 But, I 」
「 Oh shut up! This is all I could say about your anxieties! 」
Yukino tells Megu.
「 If you want to be flirting with this idiot and become an idiot couple with him, then don’t ask him to give you love like that, but you should make an effort for it to happen 」
「 Me? 」
「 That’s right! You’re an idiot! Dumb woman! Stupid Megumi! I never thought that you’re this stupid! 」
「 Even if you don’t ask for it, this man will love you. I’m sure of that! Okay, anyone who thinks that this idiot loves Megumi, raise your hand! 」
Yukino said, and everyone raised their hands except for Megu.
「 Look! You’re loved, and yet you don’t think that you are, and so you keep on complaining. What an idiot! Anyway, you two love each other, what’s the problem? Isn’t that good enough? 」
「 B-But 」
「 And so, if you want to be loved in the way you want it to be, then work for it! Put at least some effort! Don’t just ask him! I mean, he’s an idiot! Even if you imagine yourself in a field of flowers, this guy won’t make it real! After all, he’s an idiot! 」
「 Papa isn’t that dumb! 」
「 Maybe that’s true, but idiots are stupid. And Megumi, you’re also an idiot. You’re an idiot, and so I’m telling you to move before you ask for something! 」
Yukino said while gasping.
「 Uhm 」
Yoshiko-san speaks up.
「 I don’t know what’s happening inside this house, it may be rude for me to say this, but 」
Yoshiko-san lives in Jii-chan’s house most of the time.
Therefore, she doesn’t understand what’s happening in our family.
Even if she hears stuff, she pretends that she didn’t.
She thinks it’s better not to know much about the inner side of Kuromori, a criminal organization.
「 But, Megumi-san, this is what I thought after watching Yukino-san talking with all her effort 」
「 Yukino-san worried about Megumi-san. I think having a friend who talks to you warmly is important 」
「 That’s wrong. We’re not friends 」
「 Indeed. Yoshiko-san’s wrong about that. Megumi and I aren’t friends. 」
「 We’re sisters from a different mother 」
Yukino said. Megu’s shocked.
「 Dammit, you really can’t give up on your sister, can you? Even with Maika over there, she named herself Mana now, but she’s still Maika for me 」
She looked at Mana.
「 Maika, I know that you hate me, but I can’t stop being your sister because of that. To me, you’re still my two years younger sister 」
「 Me too 」
「 Yukino-oneechan is still my big sis. My big sis. That includes Megu-oneechan
Then, everyone looked at Megu.
「 As for Megumi, we’re sisters from different mother, but we’re of the same age. That’s why I didn’t like it. It makes me think that Papa had sex with Mama and made me, and at the same time, he also had sex with Megumi’s mother. To top all that, Megumi, you were much smarter than me, better in basketball, cuter, and so I hated you. I hated you all this time Megumi. I… 」
「 That’s why I did a lot of cruel things to you. I know, it’s too late to apologize for all I’ve done. But 」
Yukino bowed her head to Megu once again.
「 I’m really sorry! 」
「 Aaah. No. I don’t want this! No!!! 」
She suddenly takes off her clothes.
「 W-What are you doing, Megumi? 」
Yukino’s surprised. Megumi;
「 Shut up! Dummy! 」
She undresses her uniform.
「 I get it already! It’s all my fault! I was narrow-minded! Yes, I get it now! Yukino’s right! Geez! I’m such an idiot!!! 」
She takes off more of her clothes.
She casually throws each piece around.
It’s like she’s desperate about something.
「 Haa! 」
Then, she takes off her bra and panty, and the last remaining clothing in her is her socks.
Megu took a deep breath.
「 I’m really sorry 」
She prostrates herself naked and apologizing to us.
「 I’ve been spoiled by Yoshi-kun and everyone’s kindness. I’ve been so merry about being Yoshi-kun’s fiance that it made me so arrogant. I’m truly sorry 」
「 Maybe everyone’s actually running out of patience, but I beg you. Please stay with me. Please allow me to make it up with everyone 」
Megu presses her forehead on the floor and tells everyone.
「 I’m sorry Yoshi-kun. I won’t be selfish anymore. I’ll stop relying on Yoshi-kun and asking you everything. Therefore, please don’t hate me! 」
Her naked back shows trembling.
「 Geez, you finally got it 」
「 Megumi saying that she’ll be Darling’s slave earlier in school was the most spoiled act you could’ve done. You don’t want to do anything, and so you’re relying on Darling on everything 」
I see. If I’m deciding everything that Megu does, then,
She just depends on me.
「 Calling Onii-chan “Yoshinobu-san” suddenly was a way to make him feel that it’s odd 」
「 I’m really sorry. I’ve been mistaken. I understand that now. I’ve been so selfish, I’m sorry. I’m sorry! I’m really sorry 」
Megu apologized to us again and again.
「 Megu, why did you suddenly take off your clothes and prostrate yourself? 」
I can’t understand Megu’s sudden turn.
「 That’s, that’s 」
Megu replies while crying.
「 Yukino said that we’re sisters 」
Megu looked up at Yukino.
「 Megumi? 」
「 Four months ago, I told Yukino this. “I think of Yukino as my sister” 」
Oh, she did.
There was that time.
「 Back then, Yukino refused to accept that 」
「 Yeah. S-Sorry 」
「 But, this time, Yukino said that we’re sisters. It made me realize 」
「 Yukino and I have swapped places last May, but still, Back then, I thought that I should accept Yukino as my sister. That I’ll forgive Yukino, and yet, currently I 」
「 Oh, you’ve become aware of your current self 」
「 Yeah, I’ve become a bad girl before I knew it. An unpleasant girl. Just because I’m in a better position, I started rejecting Yukino. I’ve become a woman with an ugly heart 」
She contrasts herself not with others but with her past self.
Thus, she noticed.
「 Haa, you really are hopeless 」
Yukino takes off her clothes as well.
「 You really are an idiot, Megumi
Yukino takes off her clothes similarly to Megu, no, she’s doing it much livelier.
「 Look, here’s my bra and panty 」
She throws her underwear on my face on purpose.
Then, she got naked just like Megu.
「 Everyone, please forgive Megumi! 」
She prostrates, then places her hand on the floor.
「 Yukino 」
「 It can’t be helped. We’re sisters after all. Let’s apologize together! 」
Yukino says while prostrating on the ground.
「 But in exchange, you’ve got to accept me staying here 」
「 O-Okay, I got it, Yukino 」
I speak to Megu.
「 Megu, that’s not how you should say it 」
「 Huh? 」
「 Yukino’s prostrating herself naked for your sake 」
「 Ah 」
「 Thank you, Yukino 」
She thanked Yukino.
「 I’m the one who should thank you for accepting me, Megumi 」
「 Okay, it’s getting troublesome already and so let’s go with majority vote! Is there anyone here who forgives Megumi? 」
Katsuko-nee calls for a vote.
「 What is it? 」
「 It means, raise your hand if you want Megu-oneechan to stay here 」
Mana tells Agnes.
「 Oh! I’m going to raise my hand then! Luna too 」
「 O-Okay 」
Agnes and Luna take the lead, and everyone raised their hands.
Naturally, that includes me.
「 Following, anyone who agrees to let Yukino-san stay in here, raise your hand 」
「 Let’s raise our hands, Luna! 」
「 Okay 」
And everyone approves this as well.
「 Isn’t that great, girls? 」
Katsuko-nee calls out to the two kindly.
「 Geez, everyone’s late! 」
Mao-chan comes over from the corridor.
「 Look! Mama said that everyone should take a bath first before eating dinner! 」
She wants everyone to wipe the slate clean by taking a bath together.
「 Huh? Yukino-chan, Megu-oneechan, why are you two naked? 」
Mao-chan’s surprised to find the two naked and prostrating on the floor.
「 Geez! You should take off your clothes in the bathroom! Bad! 」
Mao-chan scolded the sisters.
- Sekai no Hakaisha Decade ↩