Chapter 7: The Third Sister Chiaki – Lorenovels
8-10 minutes 19.04.2023
For dinner, Onii-san made homemade hamburgers.
He brought them to our room, and we ate them.
I still felt a bit resistant to eating together with him in the living room… But he understood that, I suppose.
As soon as the dishes were placed on the table, the three of us dug into the food.
Especially, the dish on Chiaki’s plate seemed to disappear in fast-forward.
Watching that, Chinatsu commented in a low voice, “Are you a food fighter or something?” and I laughed in agreement.
It was an endearing sight.
After finishing our meal, I noticed Chiaki had sauce around her mouth, so Chifuyu wiped it off for her.
I actually wanted to do it myself… and felt a little disappointed.
“Isn’t it strange for an older sister to have her younger sister wipe her mouth?” Chinatsu teased.
“You’re noisy.” Chiaki retorted.
“This is normal, you know.” Chifuyu said.
“Is that so? Well, Chiaki is still too young, so it can’t be helped.”
“What did you say?!” Chiaki exlaimed.
“Oh? I only spoke the truth.” Chinatsu replied.
“Chinatsu, you have sauce from the hamburger on your mouth; let me wipe it off for you.”
“Oh, thank you, Chiharu…”
I wiped off the sauce from Chinatsu’s mouth with a tissue.
It wasn’t like I was doing it as a substitute for Chiaki’s, since I couldn’t wipe hers, but I enjoyed taking care of my sisters the most.
Aren’t you childish too?” Chiaki teased.
“You’re so annoying!”
After cleaning Chinatsu’s mouth, I tossed the tissue into the trash.
As I turned to Chifuyu, I noticed a small smear of sauce on her mouth as well.
“Chifuyu, let me wipe it off for you.”
“Huh? I can do it myself…”
“Just stay still.”
“Mmm… Thank you.”
Chifuyu, who disliked being treated like a child, made an awkward face, but it was still adorable.
Now that everyone in the family had finished eating, we needed to take the used trays and containers downstairs.
As I tried to take the tray,
“I myself will take it.”
Said the third sister, Chiaki, as she stood up and grabbed the tray.
Her face had a somehow proud expression, and her mismatched eyes sparkled.
Taking the tray meant creating an opportunity to interact with Onii-san on her own terms.
It seemed like she had come to trust that Onii-san and was not just seeking conversation with her sisters.
Seeing Chiaki, who used to only talk to us sisters, willingly taking the initiative to do something, it brought tears to my eyes…
“Chiaki, even though you’re easily scared, you’re going?,”
“I’m going, no problem.”
Chinatsu turned away grumpily.
It bothered her somewhere in her heart that while she couldn’t trust that Onii-san, Chiaki was starting to trust him, right?
Chinatsu was only ten years old, but she understood.
Even though sisters understood each other the most, there were always things they couldn’t empathize with among themselves.
She knew that, but when faced with it, her heart became restless.
She always thought it was better to be together.
They only had each other, and they were the only true understanders of each other.
Because there was no one who accepted their existence as the “different” ones.
It was because they didn’t exist.
If even that little bit of acceptance started to fade, it became lonely and unbearable.
Chinatsu was looking away, but from her back, I could sense a slight—no, a great loneliness.
I was contemplating whether I should say something to Chinatsu about it, feeling troubled.
As her Onee-chan, I should say something in times like this…
“I’m just greeting the chef who made this hamburger.
I’ll be back soon, so don’t worry,” spoke Chiaki with a reassuring smile.
Chiaki had a knack for saying unexpected and sometimes strange things, things that I couldn’t have predicted.
She was a truly remarkable and one-of-a-kind child, unique in every way.
What amazed me the most was how effortlessly she could change the atmosphere of any situation.
Throughout our lives, Chiaki had always been the beacon of light in our darkest moments.
Even when we were feeling lonely, in pain, or overwhelmed with sadness, this extraordinary child had the power to chase away those negative emotions.
She had continuously lifted our spirits in the past, and we were grateful for her unwavering ability to do so.
Upon hearing that, Chinatsu, who was looking sad just a moment ago, broke into a small smile.
“Hehe, okay… Just be careful not to drop and break any dishes,” she said.
“Hah, I’ll handle it,” replied Chiaki.
“Do you even know what that means when you say ‘I’ll handle it’?” Chinatsu asked.
“I don’t know.
It just sounds cool, so I used it.
Do you know what it means, Chinatsu ?” Chiaki asked in return.
“I don’t know, but…” Chinatsu trailed off.
“It means something like ‘of course’ or ‘obviously’,” Chifuyu explained.
“Oh, I see.
Well, I knew, but I pretended not to,” Chaiki said with a smirk.
“Of course, I knew too.
I was just testing the third and fourth sisters,” Chinatsu replied.
“Ohh, is that so….”
It was no exaggeration to say that Chiaki was a wizard.
She had a true master’s skill in not leaving any inconsistencies or discomfort when trying to change the atmosphere of a situation, something that I, Chinatsu, and Chifuyu couldn’t quite achieve.
Chiaki was truly awe-inspiring, and as her Onee-chan, I was currently filled with admiration.
“Alright then, I’ll be off.”
“I’ll come with you.
Just in case.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll go alone.”
“But what if you drop the tray? It could be dangerous.”
“I’ve got it, so no worries.”
With a confident smirk, Chiaki declared her intentions.
However, her hands trembled slightly as she held the tray, and I couldn’t help but feel worried.
“Are you sure you’re holding it correctly?”
With that reassurance, she left the room with the tray in both hands.
But I couldn’t shake off the concern about her trembling hands.
It’s good for Chiaki to have positive experiences interacting with that Onii-san and others outside of just us siblings.
It’s good for her to branch out and socialize.
But the thought of what could happen if she were to drop the tray on the stairs, shatter the glass, and then fall on top of it, made my body involuntarily tense up.
“Thinking about it, Onee-chan will take them down.”
“Huh? No, that would be too excessive…”
“But I said it’s too exce-“
“It’s dangerous; give it to me.”
A sharp pain shot through my heart, as if I had been stung by a bee, but there was nothing I could do.
If by any chance she were to get hurt, it would be a big problem.
If there’s a possibility of injury, I had to prevent it beforehand.
“Haru-nee can be overprotective sometimes, huh?”
“I used to think the same to…”
“Well, she’s just looking out for Chifuyu and the others.”
“Yeah, that’s true…”
I could hear whispers from behind.
I don’t think I’m overprotective at all, but maybe that’s how it appears to them? Well, even among siblings, our perspectives differ.
I shouldn’t worry too much about it.
“…Even though it’s excessive.” Chiaki said.
But it’s dangerous if you get hurt.”
“Don’t pout, okay?”
“Well then, shall we go together? We can divide the tasks… I’ll carry this tray, so can you hold these four forks for me?”
“You always do everything by yourself, nee-nee…”
Oh no, what should I do? She got a little sulky.
Maybe it was wrong to say that… But I just want her to understand that it’s dangerous if she gets hurt.
Even in this situation, I’m happy to be called nee-nee, by Chiaki, who rarely says such things.
Nee-nee… You used to call me that so often in the past… But lately, it’s “my relative” or “my esteemed sister,” so distant… Sigh, I wish you would call me nee-nee, nee-nee again like before.
Nee-nee, just two words, but the satisfaction is unparalleled.
It’s even more fulfilling than low-GI foods.
What am I thinking… This is not right.
I made Chiaki feel down… What should I do… Ah!
“…Can’t you be the one to protect Onee-chan’s back?” I asked
“What does that mean?”
“Well, there might be sudden fallen angels or evil scientists attacking big sister from behind, so I want you to protect your sister from that.” I explained.
“Oh, I see! I’ll do it!” Chiaki replied.
“Good, I’m in your care.”
I casually took the forks and placed them on the tray before leaving the room.
Chiaki followed me from behind.
“Sometimes, I get worried about Aki-nee…”
“Yeah… I feel the same way.”
Chinatsu and Chifuyu were whispering some things to each other, but I couldn’t catch their conversation clearly.
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