38 – A cornered Nerd Gamer



“…….It was what happened.” (Kazuto)

“I see.” (Kasumi)


After hearing my story, Kasumi-san crosses her arms, closes her eyes, and made an “Mmm” grοan.

A few days have already passed since the day when Kiyokawa had declared that she would be monitoring us.

Today is my day off from school, so I'm coming to visit Rinka's house.

But now that it's already evening, Rinka still hasn't returned from her idol business yet.

It seems that she has sudden trοuble during her morning lesson and will be home late.

The only people in the house are me, Kasumi-san, and Nonoa-chan.
Just the three of us.

We are sitting on the sofa in the living room, Nonoa-chan humming to herself as she draws on the drawing paper on the table.


“Sο you've finally had caught Ayane-chan's attention, huh.
She's so serious, you know.”


Kasumi-san says sο, somewhat happily.

I was telling her about the events of the past few days.

It was started when Kasumi-san said to me, “Kazuto-kun.
You look like you're having some kind of trouble.
Why don't you just confide to me about it? I'll help you as your big sister”.
She said so with a gentle tone, so I told her about my interactions with Kiyokawa.

The reason why I confided to her was that I was fed up with being monitored by Kiyokawa.

I want someone to listen to me.

Of course, I made her promised that she would keep it a secret from Rinka.


“I, what should I do?” (Kazuto)


Kasumi-san might be able to give me accurate advice.
That's what I'm hoping for.

However, my expectations are completely betrayed.

With a very serious expression on her face, Kasumi-san recrosses her hands and then opens her mouth.


How about adding Ayane-chan as a member of your harem, Kazuto-kun?” (Kasumi)

“Ooh, that's a good idea, you think I'll say it? I'm not a womanizer, you know.” (Kazuto)

“I wonder about it.
I think Kazuto-kun will be a natural-womanizer who specializes in idols.” (Kasumi)

“What the h*ck are you talking about, haaa……” (Kazuto)


I sigh unreservedly in front of the still incomprehensible Kasumi-san.

Was this person really listening to me?

I'm dumbfounded, and I think back to the exchange I had with Kiyokawa that I told her about.



Day 1


[Senior Ayanokouji.
During today's break, you were talking to Senior Rinka in the hallway of the main school building, weren't you?]

[What's with this sudden chat? I mean, where were you watching us? I didn't see anyone else around.] (Kazuto)

[There's no need to talk about it.
All I want to talk with you is, your conversation time.]

[Conversation time?] (Kazuto)

Your conversation lasted 1 minute and 32 seconds.
That's long.
And too risky.
Please limit conversation time in the hallway to 30 seconds or less.]

[That's too strict! You were even measuring the time!] (Kazuto)



Day 2


[Senior Ayanokouji.
Today, you haven't said that you love Senior Rinka even once, haven't you?]

[……Why do you know it? This's really unpleasant, you know.] (Kazuto)

[In today's dance lesson, I noticed that Senior Rinka's movements weren't sharp.
When I asked her what happened, she seemed to be worried that Senior Ayanokouji hadn't told her he loved her.]

[I-is that so?] (Kazuto)

[You are Senior Rinka's boyfriend, aren't you? Tell her that you love her every single day.] (Ayane)

I'll be more careful.]



Day 3


[This morning, you were patting Senior Rinka's head, weren't you? Please refrain from excessive contact, and keep your relationship healthy and student-like.
Of course, kissing is prohibited until marriage.
Holding hands is also limited to 10 seconds.]

[……] (Kazuto)



Day 4


[I've been aware of this for a while, but you're ordering Senior Rinka to act as your wife, aren't you? Please don't attempt any weird play.] (Ayane)

[I didn't order her to do anything! Rinka is acting like a wife on her own initiative!] (Kazuto)

[It can't be, can it? If that was really her initiative, she'd already gone off the rails.] (Ayane)

[Just now, you've just made a rude remark of your own senior, you know.] (Kazuto)



In other words, I was being monitored the entire time I was in school.

Wherever I went in the school, whenever I tried to talk to Rika, I could feel Kiyokawa's eyes on me.

Recently, even when I'm in the boy's lavatory room, I can feel Kiyokawa's presence.

I feel like I'm going crazy.


“That's beyond the realm of a stalker.
It's a torture.
It's really a torture.” (Kazuto)

“Isn't she just like Rinka?” (Kasumi)

“Rinka is acting out of goodwill.
And she would never do anything that I really dislike.” (Kazuto)


But Kiyokawa is different.
She might be trying to destroy me.

Because from Kiyokawa's point of view, I'm nothing more than an obstacle.

I have deprived the senior whom she respected, and have put Star☆Mines' activity at serious risk……

The most important problem is that the relation of Rinka and I were almost exposed to other students several times.

I can understand why Kiyokawa is worried enough to consider monitoring us.


“……I can understand how Kiyokawa feels.” (Kazuto)


I wish she will loosen up on the monitoring toward us just a bit more.

The stress is building up at a Mach pace.

Of course, we understand that our rash actions have resulted in this.
But still, I can't come to convince myself.


“Okay, okay.” (Kasumi)

Kasumi-san?” (Kazuto


For some reason, she gently pats my head.
The soft-touch is comforting.

When I turn my gaze to Kasumi-san, who is sitting next to me, she has a warm, maternal smile on her face.


“That's great, Kazuto-kun.
Even though you're suffering, but you're also thinking about the other person's situation.” (Kasumi)

“If you put yourself in Kiyokawa's shoes, you'll understand it.
I think my presence is endangering Star☆Mines.” (Kazuto)

“That's the great point about you, Kazuto-kun.
Ordinary boys will only think about themselves.” (Kasumi)


She strokes my head while saying that.
It's surprisingly pleasant and troubling at the same time.


“……Are you encouraging me by any chance?” (Kazuto)

'Coz my cute little brother is having a hard time…….
Ah, do you want me to give you a hug?” (Kasumi)

“No, thank you.” (Kazuto)

“You don't have to be shy.
It's a lil bro's duty to be pampered by big sis, you know?” (Kasumi)

“It's only if we're related by blood, right?” (Kazuto)

“Blood has nothing to do with family ties! Take this~!” (Kasumi)

“Hey――――” (Kazuto)


She strokes my head vigorously in a circular motion.
I can feel my hair getting messy and rough.

But I don't feel like resisting and just surrendering myself.

Eventually, Kasumi-san stops her stroking and speaks to me in a calm voice.


“Well, you don't have to worry so much about it.
It's not like she's trying to break you two up.
And I'm sure Ayane-chan will get tired of it soon.” (Kasumi)

“I, hope so.” (Kazuto)

If you take your relationship with Rinka carefully, then Ayane-chan will be convinced, you'll just have to be patient for now.” (Kasumi)

I understand.” (Kazuto)


I'm convinced by the gentle voice of Kasumi-san.

Strangely, I feel calm.
Is this the receptive power of an older person?


“Do you want me to talk to her?” (Kasumi)

“No, thank you.
That'll be embarrassing.” (Kazuto)


It'll be a little shameful for a man to rely on his girlfriend's sister to solve the problem.

When I firmly refuse, Kasumi-san mutters, “I wish my lil bro could be more dependent on me”.

I wonder if she wants a younger brother as well, since she only has younger sisters.

As I'm thinking about this, I hear the sound of the door opening from the entrance.


“Ah, Rinka-sis is baack!” (Nonoa)


Nonoa-chan immediately stops drawing and runs to the entrance with cute steps.

I casually glance at the picture left on the table.
It's a child's drawing, so it looks messy but cute at the same time.

The setting is a church wedding, probably.
There's a man who looks like me and a girl who looks like Nonoa-chan are wearing wedding clothes and facing each other in front of a priest.


I'm not going to say anything.
Well, it's a kid's drawing.
It's wrong for me to say anything.


“Help me, Kazuto-bro!” (Nonoa)

“Whoaaa!” (Kazuto)


Nonoa-chan, who's supposed to be heading for the entrance, comes back at a great speed and jumps into my chest.


“Wh-what's wrong?” (Kazuto)

“Nana-sis and……
A-Ayane-sis is here!” (Nonoa)


Nonoa-chan pleads to me while being so frightened.

No matter how I look at, she's frightened of Ayane-sis……no, of Kiyokawa.


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