Is A Girlfriend Who Can't Say "I Love You" No Good? Houkage-san Reads Light Novels Too Much - Chapter 1.5 Idle Talk 1
- Is A Girlfriend Who Can't Say "I Love You" No Good? Houkage-san Reads Light Novels Too Much
- Chapter 1.5 Idle Talk 1
I don’t know exactly when my older brother, Aramaki Tenta, became what we call an otaku.
At least, he wasn’t like that when I was in elementary school, when I still called him “Onii-chan”. He was always active in sports and was a very good student. He often took a leadership role whenever we played together or during school events.
He also always helped me out when I was being bullied, as I had always been strong-minded and tended to make enemies very often.
My parents both worked away from home, so we siblings spent a lot of time alone together from a young age. My brother was asked by my mother to take care of me, and even though he was only one year older than me, he seemed to have a sense of guardianship.
When I was in the fourth grade, as usual, I got into a fight with a boy in the classroom, and my brother came to mediate it. By that time, I was confident in my physical strength, so I didn’t cry out to my brother, but my opponent was one of the most violent people in the school, so Kaho was worried and called him over.
After my brother subdued the boy, the teacher rushed in and that was the end of the commotion. But then, my brother was injured. It wasn’t a serious injury, but it bled profusely, and I was more shocked than I thought I would be. I think I would have cried if Kaho hadn’t started crying at the time.
Since then, I’ve been trying to be strong. I avoided unnecessary conflicts and prioritized making friends over making enemies. I didn’t want to see my brother get hurt because of me anymore.
I had been a short-tempered troublemaker, but before I knew it, I had become an honor student who had made a wide range of friends and could be counted on by adults. In the eighth grade, I was even elected as the student council president.
My brother, on the other hand, became more and more gloomy and inconspicuous.
In the first year of junior high school, he joined the soccer team, but quit soon after, and after that, he decided to stay home. That was fine, but he didn’t do anything else, and during the summer vacations he would stay up late at night watching late-night anime or playing video games all day.
I was proud of my older brother, but before I knew it, he had become a shameful older brother.
My parents have a policy of letting my brother do whatever he wants as long as he doesn’t cause trouble to others, so they let him do whatever he wants, as long as he’s not a delinquent and his grades are not bad. However, I was very dissatisfied with him.
My brother is supposed to be a much more capable person.
That’s why I always try to visit his room to learn more about him, even though I know I’ll be shunned, but I can’t seem to get through to him. My brother’s attitude towards life has not changed, and his room is filled with more and more otaku goods. It’s frustrating that I can’t pursue him about the strange books in the back of the wardrobe because he would know that I’m searching the house while he’s away.
But one day, he’ll figure it out. He will be cheerful and cool like his old ways again. That’s what I believed. And yet…
He said that he was having a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship with that Houkage Ayumi.
It was a fact that was hard to accept. He has been going back and forth between his room and school without making any friends ever since he entered a high school in a random neighborhood, I didn’t know he had it in him to get a girlfriend.
Houkage-senpai — I think she was cute and cuddly, if I do say so myself. When I say “I think”, I mean that I had no particular impression of her. She had no makeup, and her expression was sleepy from start to finish. She was gloomy, and I don’t think she was the type to be very popular.
I wondered about her personality, but just like her face, she didn’t give me a bad or particularly good impression. She seemed to know a lot about various things, but the way she used her knowledge was strange.
Her voice was beautiful and her tone was polite, but she didn’t have much emotion in her voice, which might be irritating to some people. At least, I didn’t like it one bit.
Why Houkage-senpai, of all people?
No matter how much I tried to think about it at night in bed, I could only come up with one reason.
The day after I showed up at my brother’s literature club and was told that he was dating Houkage-senpai.
I met her in front of the vending machine by the school store.
It’s not a strange thing for people who go to the same school to meet each other on campus. However, I didn’t want to meet Houkage-senpai right now. I couldn’t decide how I should treat my first possible sister-in-law. So I kind of felt like I had been wronged by her.
It was lunchtime. I had just bought a carton of milk from the vending machine in the school store before eating my lunch in the classroom.
Houkage-senpai seemed to have just finished her mobile class, and was carrying her textbook and pencil case under her arm. What was a little surprising was that she was not alone.
[TLN: Mobile class, class where you go to a different room]
A girl with very short hair, who would look like a beautiful boy if she wasn’t wearing a girl’s uniform, was walking next to her, and they were exchanging some words. She was holding a textbook as well, so they must be classmates.
…You have friends.
To be honest, I was surprised. She usually didn’t talk much, and when she did, the content of the talk was very strange. I didn’t have an image of such a person having normal and somewhat cheerful friends.
Because I was surprised like that, I lost the timing to run away from her.
Houkage-senpai noticed me and bowed to me. I returned the bow and thought I’d just go along with it, but,
“Huh? Houkage, why are you acquainted with a first-year?”
The short-haired senior reacted. It was uncomfortable to disappear while I am the topic being discussed.
Houkage-senpai sneaked a look up at her classmate, who was tall for a girl.
“Shisui-san. This is Hayu, the younger sister of Aramaki Tenta, who is with me in the literature club.”
“Aramaki? I’ve heard of Aramaki somewhere…”
The tall girl, Shisui-senpai, looked up in the air as if something was bothering her, and then clapped her hands.
“Oh, you mean the guy who wrote a weird novel at last year’s festival and got hugged by the twin-tails of the manga club?”
…What are you saying?
It was a good thing I didn’t insert the straw in the carton beforehand. If I hadn’t, I would have crushed the milk I had just bought. I mean, what do you mean, “novel” or “hug”? I never heard of this before…
She smiled, separating the emotions swirling in her mind from her facial muscles, and bowed her head politely.
“I’m Aramaki Hayu, a freshman. It’s nice to meet you, senpai.”
“I’m Shisui Natsuki, from the same class as Houkage.”
As she said this, her face tightened as she peered into my face in a friendly manner. I’m sure she noticed that my eyes weren’t smiling through my fake smile. She seems to be a dynamic and perceptive person.
But what bothered me more was the fact that she didn’t seem to know that my brother and Houkage-senpai were in a relationship.
I knew it, it was my brother’s misunderstanding that they were dating…?
This suspicion was close to certainty. No wonder I thought it was strange that my reclusive brother had a girlfriend. He probably misunderstood a vague reply from the dazed Houkage-senpai and felt like he was going out with her.
Then, I suddenly noticed that Hogakage-senpai was paying attention to my hand. It was milk, freshly bought and still cold.
“Wow. That’s unusual. I’ve never seen anyone buy milk that doesn’t even have any flavor.”
Even Shisui-senpai took notice of it. It’s not that there aren’t other people buying them, but I certainly haven’t seen anyone else buying them.
“Yeah, it’s, uh…”
Aside from the sporty and toned Shisui-senpai, Houkage-senpai, who has large curves, focuses her gaze on me, which silently puts pressure on me.
“This milk is not because I want to make my br**sts bigger, it’s because I care about what… you said yesterday.”
I had said something that didn’t need to be said here. Sure, I determined that the reason why my brother fell in love with Houkage-senpai was because of the size of her br**sts, but that didn’t mean that I would drink milk because of that.
Shisui-senpai blinked and then burst out laughing.
“You know how it is in manga? You know, the ones where the girl with the flabby br**sts drinks a lot of milk to make her br**sts bigger. I wonder if that trick really works?”
Houkage-senpai shook her head.
“I’ve never heard of anything like that. I think it’s an analogous idea to witchcraft.”
“Analogous idea to witchcraft?”
I looked at Shisui-senpai, who parroted back, while Houkage-senpai replied.
“Yes. It is a form of witchcraft based on the idea that similar things can influence each other. In Japan, there is the “Ushi no toki mairi,” in which a person curses and kills another person by hammering nails into a straw doll, and the “Nadeushi no shinkō,” in which a sick person strokes the same part of a statue of a cow as his or her diseased part, hoping to be cured.” [TLN: Nailed by hammer is like set in stone or confident.]
This is about the milk and the cows now…?
“I think the idea behind the story that drinking milk will make your br**sts bigger is that by taking in the milk from others, your br**sts will grow.”
Seeing a senior who’s always come up with strange knowledge. I let out a sigh.
“I’ve already told you that I’m not drinking milk to make my br**sts bigger in the first place…”
“Yes, you’re right. In fact, I don’t think milk has that effect in the first place. I don’t drink much milk, but mine seem to be bigger than yours.”
I’m so jealous.
I shook off the cold murderous intent that had replaced all the warmth in my heart and said in a whisper.
“Well, br**sts aside… I think I’d like to be a little taller.”
My height is a little below average. Unlike my br**sts, I had a bit of a complex with them. Unlike my br**sts that is.
But even then, Houkage-senpai put a damper on things instantly.
“But imouto-san, if you drink too much milk, you might not grow as tall as you’d like, you know.”
I was surprised by those unexpected words, and couldn’t help but be honest at them. I had always believed that drinking milk was effective for growing taller, let alone br**sts.
“If calcium and magnesium are not consumed in a balanced manner, calcium absorption may be interfered with, or the magnesium in the bones may be consumed to antagonize calcium, resulting in a lack of essential nutrients for the bones.
And since milk contains too much calcium compared to magnesium, drinking too much of it by itself can be rather harmful to your bones.
Of course, milk is an excellent nutritional food if you supplement magnesium and other nutrients into your diet.”
Shisui-senpai, who was listening to Houkage’s ramblings next to her, let out an exclamation of admiration.
“So, when you see a character in a comic book who drinks a lot of milk to grow taller, but in reality, they don’t grow any taller that’s because…”
I think that’s a reasonable description. We do need to find a balance between the nutrients in our meals.
Shisui-senpai’s eyes lit up as she slapped Houkage on the back.
“I didn’t know that! You really know your stuff, Houkage”
After saying this to each other, the seniors walked back to their classroom. Houkage-senpai coughed and coughed as she was unnecessarily slapped on the back.
As I watched them walk away, I remembered a scene in a light novel I borrowed from my brother, in which a short character drinks milk. The character was also lamenting that she couldn’t grow taller even though she drank a lot of milk.
“I didn’t realize that there was so much thought behind a scene that I thought was a cliché gag…… Light novels… are written with a lot of thought in mind, even though they seem to just be for one’s entertainment…?”
Shuddering at the depths of the light novel revealed to me yet again, I took out my smartphone and began searching for foods rich in magnesium.
[TLN: Thanks to Spynine for editing!]