Chapter 9: Hikaru Genji Level 1 – Lorenovels
16-21 minutes 20.04.2023
A few days had passed since the four of them started living together in the house.
The second floor room was still the main hub of their activities, but Chiaki and Chiharu had started watching TV in the living room occasionally.
Well, in Chiharu’s case, she was also taking care of Chiaki at the same time.
“Danchi Tomoya-kun was funny!”
“I didn’t really understand what they were saying in Japanese to play together… Everything is impermanent? But I did learn from the song that the next number after 100 million is a billion!”
Chiaki spoke excitedly, like an enthusiastic child.
She invited Chiharu, Chinatsu, and Chifuyu to watch TV together, but it seemed like Chinatsu and Chifuyu were content staying in their room.
The two of them mostly stayed in their room, talking or studying.
As for me, I hoped the two of them would go outside more.
Simply because it’s good to know the world outside.
It’s different from before, when they couldn’t move due to fear of the unknown.
I thought it was meaningful for children to interact with people other than their own siblings as a form of experience.
I understood that they were scared of the outside world, but I felt they should be more free.
However, they couldn’t do that because they didn’t even have minimal trust in me.
I believe that staying in the room all the time was not good for their health.
I wanted them to move their bodies and relax both physically and mentally, but… it might not be helpful for me to force them to do things or invite them repeatedly.
There was a possibility that it might become a source of stress for them, despite my consideration.
It was difficult.
It was very difficult to figure out how to approach them.
Chinatsu and Chifuyu also had their own issues on their minds, but it wasn’t good to intrude into their personal space just because of that.
As I was thinking about various things in my head, Chiaki, who had been watching TV, spoke to me.
“Kaito! What’s for dinner tonight?”
“Uh, well, maybe vegetable stir-fry?”
“Yay! Awesome!” Chiaki exclaimed with excitement.
This child was always delighted with anything I made, which made it worth the effort.
She would even come downstairs after finishing her meal just to thank me.
Watching this child, I couldn’t help but want to do anything to make her life easier.
Indeed, this child was such a good child.
However, her chuunibyou-like behavior could be troublesome at times.
“That’s not really a special move, though…”
“Huh? Is that so? Then, what would be a good one?”
“Hmm… how about ‘madly blooming thousand cherry blossoms… or something?”
“Wow, that sounds cool!”
My heart ached at saying such things out loud.
Moreover, for some reason, I felt like I was being viewed as a rival by Chiharu.
“Muu, Onee chan can come up with something too, you know?” Chiharu said.
“What kind of move would that be?”
“Oh, that’s good too!”
I wasn’t really knowledgeable about Chuunibyou stuff myself.
So I wasn’t sure if I could respond well to that kind of thing.
And acid reflux didn’t really sound like a deadly move.
Occasionally, when watching TV with Chiaki on her lap, Chiharu would wrap her arms around her sister’s belly like a seatbelt.
When I saw that, Chiharu would give me a “I won’t let you take this child” kind of look.
It had already happened twice today.
I had no intention of actually taking Chiaki away from Chiharu, but even when I was playing the game in my previous life, Chiharu was quite the siscon.
I had always thought that I might witness it up close someday, but seeing it now made me realize that Chiharu was actually acting like she did at the game.
“Karukuri Samurai is so interesting!”
Chiaki, a girl with silver hair and odd-colored eyes packed with the attribute of chuunibyou, was currently 10 years old.
She might look younger than her actual age to most people, but she hasn’t been able to experience a normal childhood until now.
That’s why I want her to enjoy herself to the fullest from now on.
It was already past 5:30 p.m.
I headed to the kitchen to start preparing dinner, taking out vegetables and meat from the refrigerator, cutting them into bite-sized pieces, and stir-frying them efficiently.
I was so focused on cooking that I didn’t notice Chiharu standing beside me.
“I can help, Onii-san.”
“No, it’s okay.
Just watch TV with Chiaki.”
“Alright then, how about you taste-test for me?”
I scooped some vegetable stir-fry into a small dish and handed it to her with a small fork.
She took it, but seemed to hesitate for a moment, as if wondering if this really counted as helping, before finally taking a bite.
“Feel free to voice out what you think” I said.
“Yes… it’s delicious,” she replied.
“Is the taste too weak?”
“No, it’s just right,” she said.
As she spoke, a loud voice echoed from the living room.
“Ah~! Unfair! I want to taste it too!”
Chiaki pointed over at me and ran towards the kitchen, looking sulky.
“Kaito! I want to taste it too!”
“Alright, Chiharu, can you lend me that container?”
I handed the container back to her, and I put more vegetables on it before passing it to Chiaki.
She used a fork to pick up the vegetables and took a bite.
After chewing a few times and swallowing, she smiled brightly.
“It’s delicious… It’s so good that I feel like turning into a horse,” she exclaimed.
“Is the taste too weak?” I asked.
“Hmm, it might be a little light,” she replied.
“Should I add some salt and pepper?” I suggested.
I adjusted the seasoning and put more vegetables in the container.
“I want to taste the meat too,” Chiaki said.
She peered into the pan and confirmed that there was meat along with the vegetables.
So she must want to try the meat this time.
I placed some thinly sliced pork belly, cooked together with the vegetables, on top of the glass container.
“Here you go.”
“Mmm… delicious… It’s so tasty… umm… I don’t know… but it’s just really delicious!!!” she exclaimed.
“I see, then I guess this should be good.”
I finished adjusting the seasoning and completed the meal.
“Is it already dinner time!?” Chiaki exclaimed.
“It’s a bit early, but you can go ahead and eat if you want,”
As usual, I placed rice, soup, and vegetable stir-fry on a tray and handed it to Chiharu.
“Thank you, Onii-san,” she said.
“Thanks, Kaito!” added Chiaki.
Chiharu had pink hair and blue eyes, while Chiaki had silver hair and heterochromatic eyes.
Though their hair and eye colors were slightly different, their facial features were similar.
Despite their different personalities, when they stood side by side, they looked like sisters.
Chiharu carried the tray while Chiaki rushed over to protect her back as they left the kitchen.
I wondered what Chiaki had in mind to act like that… Well, I could probably guess.
I also decided to have vegetable stir-fry for my meal and placed the rice on the dining table, casually flipping through TV channels.
That’s when I came across a program about child-rearing techniques.
A young announcer was interviewing a wealthy-looking middle-aged woman, so I became curious and started watching.
“How did your son pass the entrance exam for Tokyo University?” the announcer asked.
“Well, it was all thanks to studying diligently since he was young,” the woman replied.
Studying, huh… I knew that Chiharu was the smartest among the siblings, and Chifuyu was second, but Chinatsu and Chiaki were not particularly good at it.
In the game that will start in their high school years, there’s an event where the main character studies together with the siblings, and Chiaki once answered a question about a proverb with something like “by transplanting the eyes of an oni (demon).”
Should I have them focus more on studying in this world? It’s a dilemma whether I should try helping them overcome these shortcomings before the game starts.
After all, I’m sure there will be an entire life awaitig after the ending, at least in this world.
I found myself in a position similar to that of their parents, so I needed to consider things carefully.
After all, I had never done any parenting before, so I decided to study by watching TV.
“I have never told him to study at our home,” the woman said.
“Really? I had no idea!” the announcer replied in surprise.
“Studying should be done voluntarily.
It’s unacceptable for parents to force their children,” the woman said firmly.
I realized that in my previous life, I had never studied voluntarily… Was this how I should raise these kids?
But isn’t it impossible?
Can someone who hasn’t studied tell others to study? No, it would be impossible.
I pondered over this dilemma when suddenly the living room door opened.
“Kaito, thanks for the meal! It was delicious!” Chiaki said.
“Onii-san, thank you for the meal!” Chiharu thanked me as well.
Chiharu came back to the room with a tray in hand, while Chiaki returned with a cheerful smile.
“Kaito! How about having hamburgers tomorrow!” Chiaki suggested.
“I’ll keep that in mind,”
It made me genuinely happy that one of my favorite characters was being so affectionate and enjoying the meals I cooked.
After chatting for a while, Chiharu and Chiaki left the room together.
I clutched my shoulder, writhing in pain.
The throbbing sensation spread, and tears streamed down my cheeks.
Chiharu stroked my head as Chinatsu and Chifuyu trembled and cried in the corner of the room.
Only Chiharu stood up…facing our mother.
We’ve reached our limit,”
Chiharu had always protected us.
Always been there for us, comforting us.
But I was still scared, nothing had changed.
Chiharu, Chinatsu, and Chifuyu were all scared.
They cried all the time.
I knew Chiharu cried in secret, even though she tried to hide it.
Our awakening of supernatural powers had kept us isolated from everyone else.
It was heartbreaking to feel rejected by the world.
We were all in darkness.
Me, Chiharu, Chinatsu, and Chifuyu.
It was cold; we were hungry, scared, and lonely.
The room was small and dirty, and though we had fun together at times, there was always a lingering sense of negativity.
We wished for full bellies, warm futons that smelled of sunshine, and a safe, clean home.
We wanted to be looked at with warm eyes.
We had always wished for it…
…to be happy together.
I woke up.
Above me was an orange light, and below me was the futon.
Chiharu, the eldest, and Chinatsu, my older sister, and Chifuyu, my younger sister, were all sleeping soundly nearby.
I must have had a strange dream, as I was the only one awake.
I tried to go back to sleep, but it was strange that I couldn’t fall asleep easily, even though I usually could.
Gradually, anxiety began to well up inside me.
I was happy now, but I didn’t know how long it would last.
I wondered if there would be difficult days ahead again.
The despair that follows happiness is the hardest.
Once you’ve tasted the flavor of happiness, you can’t forget it.
I didn’t want to see everyone crying again.
My heart was restless, and I lost all motivation to sleep.
But I had to sleep.
I have to go to a new school starting tomorrow.
However, even though I had to sleep, the anxiety kept growing bigger and bigger, like snow piling up in my heart.
Just when I was thinking to myself about how I couldn’t sleep, suddenly I heard a noise coming from downstairs.
Was Kaito still awake?
Kaito… He was kind and always made sure I had enough to eat.
He let me live in this house and made sure I had food.
He was the kindest and most reassuring person among all the adults I had met so far.
I wondered if Kaito would reject us if he found out our true selves.
Would he become like a relative, like a father or mother figure?
The more I thought about it, the scarier it became, and I couldn’t stand still anymore.
I left the room and went downstairs.
The living room still had the lights on, and I went inside.
“Oh? Can’t you sleep?” Kaito asked me.
Kaito looked at me with a worried expression.
He lowered himself to the ground and met my gaze.
His eyes were kind, and the thought of them changing, of returning to our previous life, terrified me.
I couldn’t help but feel sad, thinking that everyone would cry again.
“Are you okay? Did something happen? Tell me, I’ll listen until the end,” he said.
I stuttered, “Y-Yeah…”
He drew closer, comforting me.
He stood at the same eye level as me.
Meeting someone like him was a rare stroke of luck for us four sisters.
That’s why the thought of being abandoned by him and returning to our past was so frightening.
“Um, Kaito, I’m grateful… for the food, the blankets, the room… for taking care of us.
I’m grateful,” I said.
“……Yeah,” he replied softly.
“And because of you, Chiharu, Chinatsu, and Chifuyu don’t cry anymore.
We can all sleep peacefully.
Every day is so enjoyable, happy, and full of happiness.
I couldn’t even understand what I was saying, and my words wouldn’t come out smoothly.
I had something I wanted to convey in my mind, but it came out disjointed.
But still, I just wanted to convey it, so I opened my mouth and spoke.
“P-Please don’t abandon us…”
I didn’t know what expression I had on my face.
It was probably twisted with overflowing tears, sobbing, and sniffing my runny nose.
I knew I didn’t look good.
Kaito took a few tissues from a nearby tissue box and wiped away my tears.
I couldn’t meet his gaze because I was scared, but when I looked up, Kaito was looking straight at me with an awkward smile.
“I won’t abandon you.
It was me who said I wanted to take you in, so I won’t give up on you.
I promise,” he said.
“If I’m lying, I’ll swallow a thousand needles.”
We stared at each other for a few seconds.
I could tell that Kaito wasn’t lying.
Not completely, but there was a slight sense of relief and happiness welling up inside me.
“You have snot running down, should I ‘cheen’ it?” Kaito said.
He took a tissue and gently wiped my nose.
Then he wiped away my tears again.
“Your face will get swollen in the morning after crying at night…” Kaito muttered as he threw the used tissue into the trash.
After that, he brought his gaze closer to mine again.
“Chiaki, I won’t abandon you no matter what happens, and no matter what truths come to light, I won’t discard you.
Until Chiaki and the rest reach a happy ending and can smile together.”
“…If we reach a happy ending, will you discard me then?”
“No, it’s not like that, it’s more like letting go of a parent’s hand… It may be difficult to understand…”
“I don’t want that! I want to be with Kaito!”
“…I feel like I understand how a doting father feels about his daughter… Well, don’t worry, it won’t turn out like Chiaki is worried about.
So you can rest easy, okay?”
With those words, Kaito wiped away the tears that were flowing again with a tissue.
“So, don’t cry anymore.
You’ll have a swollen face at school tomorrow, you know?”
“Yeah… But Kaito said something weird earlier.”
“I’m sorry about that… Um, as I said before, I won’t abandon you or give up on you, so please sleep soundly and rest assured, okay?”
Kaito wiped away my tears again, blew my nose into a tissue, and threw it in the garbage bin without looking at me.
He kept facing the other way, as if embarrassed, while speaking.
“I think Chiaki and the other have had tough experiences.”
“Yeah… I still can’t forget them, even though I want to.”
“It’s difficult to forget such painful experiences, I think.”
“Is that so…”
“That’s why, I want you to spend time happily with your sisters here, and have as many happy experiences as possible.
Create more good memories than the bad ones.
So that you can look back and laugh about the silly things or interesting things that happened more than the painful memories… Don’t you think?”
“Yeah, I do!”
“I’ll do my best to be able to do that!”
“…I’ll help too.”
So, go to sleep tonight, okay? You have school tomorrow.”
I opened the door to the living room and went outside.
“I, I’ve come to really love Kaito! Good night!”
“Y-Yeah… So this is what it feels like to be a father who’s at risk of becoming overprotective of his daughter…”
I waved my hand and went upstairs.
My heart felt light, my face had a silly grin on it, and my heart was racing uncontrollably.
As a result, I had a hard time falling asleep that night.
I wanted to say something comforting to put her at ease, so I tried to come up with something that sounded reassuring.
But as soon as I said it, I felt a sense of embarrassment welling up inside me.
I’m not good at that kind of thing, you know?
Seeing Chiaki crying, I couldn’t help but feel a strong desire to comfort her.
I thought about patting her head to reassure her, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Some people can do it naturally in anime or manga, but… what kind of mindset do they have?
Well, that’s not important.
The problem is that Chiaki is just too cute.
But, I am absolutely, categorically, not even in the slightest, a lolicon.
Being cute means being seen as a daughter.
In anime and such, there’s often the trope of overprotective fathers being disliked by their daughters, but I feel like I understand why they become overprotective.
There’s also a certain amount of responsibility that comes with taking them in.
That’s why I want to strive to be the ideal father figure for the four sisters.
That way, when the game finally begins, I’ll be able to cross my arms and watch over them while grinning from behind.
I will become the ideal father.
Hikaru Genji: is a term that refers to the main character in the classic Japanese literary work “The Tale of Genji”, In “The Tale of Genji,” Hikaru Genji is depicted as a handsome and charismatic nobleman with exceptional beauty and intelligence.
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