Tonari no Kuuderera o Amayakashitara, Uchi no Aikagi o Watasu Koto ni Natta - v1 Chapter 5
- Tonari no Kuuderera o Amayakashitara, Uchi no Aikagi o Watasu Koto ni Natta
- v1 Chapter 5 - Share Friends
Chapter 5 Share Friends
“Hmm, I think I’ll go to bed.”
The clock on the living room table struck midnight. Just as Natsuomi was reaching for the light switch to go to bed, the intercom rang with a ping-pong sound.
(…Visitors at this hour?)
I checked the monitor at the entrance suspiciously, but there was nothing on it.
This apartment building has an auto-lock system, so if a visitor comes from the entrance, the camera image is displayed on the monitor.
The fact that there was nothing on the monitor meant that someone had pressed the intercom at the front door instead of the entrance.
The only person who could have gotten through the lock and come to the front door would have been Kasumi, who had a duplicate key, but Kasumi would have come into the room without ringing the intercom.
It was weird to ignore her, so I twisted my neck and pressed the call on the doorbell.
“Hello, Katagiri-san…! Oh, please…! Please help me, please help me…!”
Yui’s frightened and trembling voice rang out from the speaker.
“Oh no, it’s moving! It’s looking at me!”
Yui, dressed in a pair of pale blue pajamas, clung to Natsuomi’s back and pointed under her own bed, shouting at him with a pale face.
“Oh, relax, it’s only a cockroach! It’s not going to hurt you!”
“I can’t, I can’t, I can’t! It’s not biting or scratching, but it’s still just impossible for me!”
Dragging Yui, who was half crying and clinging to my back, I looked under Yui’s bed, setting up the insecticide I had brought from home.
For the first time in my life, I never thought I’d be entering the room of a girl my own age to get rid of cockroaches, but as Yui cried out without regard for the eyes of the neighbors, I decided to come in and a sweet, indescribable scent softly tickled my nostrils.
(Is this the kind of girl smell that often appears in romance manga?)
I slapped my cheeks to drive away the unnecessary thoughts that came to mind, wondering if the description was true, because the smell of the room was so different despite being in the same apartment.
“Oh, there it is! Under the bed! It ran to the back.”
“Yeah, yeah…? No, a girl’s bed is indeed a bit…”
[“No, no, no, no, no, no, no! My bedding.！ My bedding! Away, foul thing, I’ll not be able to sleep there if you touch it! Get away, get away, get away, get away Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!”] TLN: Yui said this in english
“It’s okay, it’s okay, don’t hug me! I’ll get rid of it in a minute, just calm down.”
◇ ◇ ◇
About ten minutes later.
“Thank you…! Thank you…! I really don’t know what to do…! Ugh… gusu, ugh….!”
A shattered and weeping Yui was frantically repeating her thanks to me.
“No, I’m fine now, don’t cry…”
I was confused by Yui’s panic and confusing speech in English, but I managed to get her to sit on the bed by pulling her hand. Then, little by little, she began to regain her composure.
(…If you’re cool with it, this is quite a situation, right?)
I swallowed my spit as I thought about my current situation, with Yui squirming beside me.
The fact that I was in a girl’s room after midnight and being hugged by such a cute girl in her pajamas made me uncomfortable. And in front of me was Yui, defenseless and fully deflated with a look of relief.
As I sat down on a chair at the living room table, I looked down at the floor and pinched my cheeks to keep myself in check.
Well, actually, it wasn’t a sweet atmosphere and it had no trace of good feelings, it was just a crying and delirious Yui desperately clinging to me.
When I calmed down a little, I looked around the inside of Yui’s room.
Yui’s room was decorated in white with furniture and accessories, and the curtains and rug were light pink, giving it a feminine, girlish elegance.
The sweet smell of hair treatment and body cream filled the room thinly, and the unfamiliar scent of the opposite sex made me fidgety and uncomfortable.
Yui finally calmed down and quietly stood up, putting on a cardigan over her pajamas.
“I’m sorry I was so flustered. I’ll make you some tea, so please sit down.”
As she walked into the kitchen, Yui’s long hair, a little damp from her bath, swayed, and a sweet smell softly tickled my nostrils.
(…Even though it was an emergency, isn’t it a bit too much of a risk to be this defenseless?)
Yui is definitely a beauty of a level rarely seen, and her occasional smile is very pretty.
It’s not that I’m aware of her as a person of the opposite sex, but I’m influenced to the extent that I can objectively determine that she is a beautiful girl.
I glanced over at Yui standing in the kitchen.
She was wearing simple but girlish pastel blue pajamas. Her long hair, which was still not completely dry, was tied back with a cute little comb, and her skin, moist and shiny after her bath, made me feel uncomfortable because she looked so vulnerable.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. Do you find the hot tea okay?”
“Oh, yeah, I’m fine. I’ll have some.”
Two mugs were placed on the small table, and Yui sat down on the chair across the table from me.
As I sipped the warm tea Yui had served me, I felt a warmth deep inside my body and felt a little calmer.
“I’m really sorry about that. I’m really sorry to have disturbed you at this hour…”
“‘No, on the contrary, I’m glad it’s not a big deal. You were so panicked, I thought something was wrong.”
“…… I’m sorry, really.”
When I jokingly mentioned this, Yui’s face turned red, even her ears were visible through her bundled hair, and she wrapped her mug in her small hands and chipped away at it.
“I panicked when I saw that ‘thing’. …The next thing I knew, I was pressing the intercom of Katagiri-san’s room…”
“It’s okay. Don’t be so sorry. I’m the one who told you to rely on me if you need anything.”
“Yes, thank you so much…”
Yui smiled with a relaxed expression, though her cheeks were still red and she looked slightly uncomfortable.
Thanks to the fact that both parties had finally regained their composure, the atmosphere returned to normal, and I finally felt comfortable.
“There are no C’s in England, are there? TLN: C mean cockroaches in case you didn’t get it
When Yui’s shoulders jerked at the word, I instantly switched to the initials and asked.
I’ve heard what “C” is… but I’ve never seen one personally.
“Can’t I even call it by his name if I’ve never seen him?”
“No, I’ve seen them before.”
We both nodded our heads in turn.
“No, because you’ve never seen one in England, have you?”
“Yes. No, I haven’t seen it in England, but I have seen some in Japan. It was a long time ago, but I remember it well as a… scary memory.”
Yui’s small body shuddered as she remembered the shiver she had experienced when she encountered “it”.
“What? In Japan? A long time ago?”
I tilted my head in the opposite direction this time, and Yui opened her mouth and said, “Oh.”
“I’m sorry, I haven’t told you. I grew up in Japan until I was five years old. I saw it a few times during that short period of time.”
“Oh, I see. So that’s how it is.”
I nodded, satisfied with her explanation.
The reason why she could speak Japanese so well, the fact that she had suddenly decided to study in Japan, and the fact that she didn’t seem to have any trouble living in Japan were all things that would make sense if she had lived in Japan before.
If she said that she saw them at that time, it checks out.
“So, Villiers is half Japanese and half English?”
“Yes. My mother is Japanese and my father is English.”
Her long black hair swayed slightly as Yui nodded.
If that’s the case, then the fact that her name is British but she has black hair, blue eyes, and a Japanese like face all made sense to me.
When Yui noticed me nodding and staring at her hair, she shyly put her mouth on the mug again to hide her face.
She sipped her mug again to hide her face.
“No, I’ll make it myself this time, just sit down.”
I felt bad about looking at Yui unintentionally, and stood to walk to the kitchen.
“…Wow,” a slightly drawn out voice that resembled a sigh unintentionally escaped her.
It was no surprise that the microwave, toaster and refrigerator in the kitchen of Yui’s room were the latest appliances, and the dishes, pots and pans and other cooking utensils on the shelves are all from well known brands that everyone knew.
(…Villiers really is a princess, isn’t she?)
She said she had never stood in a kitchen before, and more importantly, she didn’t want to spend so much money that she was trying to cut down on her dinner, so her parents probably bought her all this when she started living alone.
As I gazed at the shining kitchen items with fear and awe, wondering how much the total cost would be, I felt uncomfortable and frowned at how shiny they were.
“This kitchen hasn’t been used at all, has it?”
I asked Yui, noticing that the items that were too clean were literally brand new, and Yui lowered her eyebrows and nodded with a wry smile.
“I tried several times to follow Katagiri-san’s example and cook for myself, but I couldn’t make a good meal… in terms of taste or even quantity. I found that buying half-price bentos and other prepared foods saved me a lot of time and money.”
That being said, I look at the kitchen trash can and see several stacks of plastic cases of side dishes, lunch boxes, and empty containers of rice noodles in cups.
For a moment, I thought she was skipping meals again, but she didn’t mean it that way.
(It’s true that cooking for yourself isn’t always cheap…)
I often heard people say that they cook for themselves in order to save money, but after living alone for a year, I realized that this was a big mistake.
If you are not familiar with how to choose and buy ingredients, how to use up leftover ingredients, how to stock up when you make a lot of food, expiration dates, washing, cleaning, garbage disposal, etc., you will just end up paying more and having more trouble.
Moreover, there was no guarantee that the food would be tasty even if it was made with that in mind, and whether it would be nutritious even if it was cheap was another matter altogether.
If you’re like Yui, and you’re just looking for a cheap way to make a meal, it’s no wonder that you choose to eat instant foods, such as cut-rate products from the supermarket or cup noodles.
When I learned about Yui’s eating habits, I put his hand over my mouth and thought about it.
(…There’s one thing. There’s a cheaper way to do it, though…)
There’s a way to improve the nutritional balance of Yui’s diet, and the taste of the food is also better than… supermarket side dishes and cup noodles.
But in the current relationship between me and Yui, it is difficult to implement or even suggest such a method.
(But while I’m at it, I can at least see how she feels about it…)
Thinking about something vague and unanswerable, I returned to the table with another cup of tea and gave it to her.
“…Katagiri-san, you don’t ask any questions, do you?”
Yui muttered as she looked down at the mug she held in her small hands.
“Don’t ask… what?”
I asked back, not understanding the meaning, and Yui looked up and smiled at me.
“You didn’t ask me anything, but you were kind enough to help me. You don’t ask me for anything in return, nor do you try to take advantage of me.”
Her voice was gentle and quiet, but had a firm weight to it.
Yui continued with a smile that seemed to radiate happiness.
“Katagiri-san, why are you being so nice to me when I’m not even your friend?”
Yui asked straightforwardly.
I responded to her straightforward question with what I thought.
“I’m not a kind person.”
I’m not a philanthropist who treats everyone equally, I don’t give up my time to volunteer, and I don’t watch the news on the other side of the screen and get seriously heartbroken.
So it didn’t feel right to be called kind, so I shook my head and replied.
“It’s just that Villiers was in trouble right in front of me.”
That’s right. I just wanted to meddle in Yui’s life because I saw myself in her, but that’s not the kindness of acting for the sake of others.
When I cowered with a bitter smile, Yui gave a small shake of her head with a gentle smile.
“‘But to me, it felt like kindness. Katagiri-san’s words and kindness pushed me forward. I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to change at all otherwise. Isn’t that the reason why Katagiri-san is so kind?”
In a terse, polite and gentle voice, Yui continued to stare at me.
“I don’t care what anyone else says, I think Katagiri-san is a kind person. Even if Katagiri-san himself says otherwise, I have been helped by the kind Katagiri-san.”
Without any embarrassment, she smiled and expressed her gratitude with her honest feelings.
The words slowly cleared up the vague feelings in my mind.
(…… That’s right. What I was doing was not kindness, it was self-gratification.)
I invited Villiers over for dinner, I saved her from the pick-up artists, and I went out to buy a cell phone with her. It was all just meddling that I wanted to do.
It wasn’t that I wanted anyone to think I was nice, or that I was a good person. I just did what I did because I wanted to.
Villiers was in trouble in front of me, and I couldn’t ignore it, so I reached out to her. It was just that I wanted to do for her what others had done for me.
“It’s very delicious.”
Yui’s small mouth was moving as she enthusiastically chewed on a piece of fried chicken.
“It’s such a joy, isn’t it, to be appreciated by someone?”
Even she went out of her way to make me cookies to thank me.
“I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t met Katagiri-san.”
You could say that about my relationship with you.
(…I quite like the look on Villiers’ face when she’s smiling)
I’m sure that was enough of a reason to do something, no relationship, no reason, no need to even bother.
When I realized this, the haze had completely cleared up, and the suggestion I had been hesitating to make earlier spontaneously spilled out of my mouth.
“I’ve got a suggestion.”
Yui looked up at my words.
“How about we have dinner at my place from now on?”
“We’re going to eat… together? Me and Katagiri-san?”
“Yeah. Me and Villiers, you know.”
At Natsuomi’s unexpected suggestion, Yui rolled her eyes slightly and blinked.
“It doesn’t make much difference whether you’re cooking for one or two people. But even if you prepare enough for two people, the cost of the ingredients won’t double, and on a per-person basis, it will be less than half. Then it would be mutually beneficial if we ‘shared’ dinner, right?”
“Mutual benefit, huh? …”
When Yui heard my suggestion, she thought about it and smiled bitterly, raising her eyebrows apologetically.
“That’s a suggestion I’m very grateful for, but I’m afraid it will only increase the burden on Katagiri-san…”
“No, it won’t. I can keep my food costs down with you, and if you help me prepare and clean up, it’s half the work, right? So it’s a ‘win-win’ proposition.”
“Come to think of it, you might be right…”
And yet, seeing Yui turn over apologetically, muddling her words. I muttered, scratching the top of his nose in a slightly embarrassed manner.
“And one more thing. There’s a big advantage for me, too.”
“A big advantage for Katagiri-san?”
“Yeah. Villiers eats my food like it’s delicious.”
A little embarrassed, I replied to Yui.
It’s more fun to eat together than alone, and more importantly, it’s worth it when Yui looks so happy to eat my food.
If Yui would laugh at me for that, it wouldn’t be so bad, and I said what I thought honestly.
“So I’m saying it’s mutually beneficial.”
Yui smiled with a troubled, happy smile and narrowed her eyes gently.
“‘Katagiri-san, you’re really nice.”
Yui then gave a smaller smile, and I gave a similar smile, scratching the bridge of my nose.
When Yui put down her mug and straightened her posture, she nodded her head as if making a decision with her blue eyes downcast.
Then she slowly opened her mouth while carefully choosing her words.
“I was born to a Japanese mother and an English father, and grew up in Japan. By the time I was old enough to remember, I was already living with my mother, but not with my father.”
Yui’s pale blue eyes narrowed gently and she looked at me as if she wanted me to listen to her.
I closed my mouth and waited for her to continue.
“My father’s family was a noble family with a long history, so he was not allowed to live in Japan with my mother. When I was six years old, my mother died, and I was taken in by my family in England.”
Yui continues, her fragile, narrowed eyes dropping to the table, her brow furrowed as if digging up a bitter memory from the distant past.
“In such a family, I was not welcomed as a mixed-race Japanese and was treated as a nuisance by the whole family. My father neither protected me nor cared for me, and the only person who stood by me was my half-sister.”
Yui’s voice was plain and inchoate, and she smiled thinly to cover up her own emotions.
“So I continued to keep a low profile so as not to bother anyone. But one day, I got into big trouble, and there was no place for me in the house anymore. That’s why my sister sent me to Japan to study.”
When she said that much in one breath, Yui quietly tipped her tea and lowered her eyebrows.
“That’s how I came to Japan.”
I looked down at the table, unable to find any words to say to Yui’s past as she spoke in an inarticulate voice.
Yui has a thin smile on her mouth, as if she has given up after a long time.
It was a completely different kind of smile than the one she normally shows me unexpectedly, and I began to feel a burning sensation deep in my chest when I saw it.
“…I see. So that’s what happened.”
In other words, Yui had been pushed around by the aristocrats and had fled to Japan by herself.
When I heard the background, I had to understand why she had moved here just in time for the new school year to start, why she didn’t want to touch the money sent by her family, and why she didn’t want to rely on the help of others.
A girl who is just about to start elementary school loses her mother and is suddenly taken to a foreign country where she doesn’t speak the language and is surrounded by enemies and malice.
How could a six-year-old girl just endure under such circumstances? I couldn’t even imagine how painful it must have been for a girl who had lived a normal life.
Seeing my unintentionally clenched hands on the table, Yui’s mouth slightly slackens as she continues.
“But then I thought. I thought this would be my chance to change. The fact that I had to leave home and that I met Katagiri-san. I thought maybe it was just what I needed to change. That’s what I think now.”
When I looked up, Yui was looking at me with a gentle smile.
It wasn’t the cold smile I had seen earlier, but a gentle, soft smile that made the recipient feel warm and fuzzy.
This calmed me, who was about to become a wisp.
“As I said before, that’s why I’m here to change.The people who were kind to me made me think that I didn’t want to live with my head down anymore. So let me say this properly.”
With an honest, innocent smile, Yui looks straight into my eyes without looking away and slowly bows her head.
“Please help me until I can become a proper person. Please.”
Yui’s own words, imbued with a strong will, spoke clearly to me.
When I saw Yui bowing her head like that, something hot was rising inside him.
(…Villiers’ words about wanting to change carried a heavy resolve.)
It’s too long a time for a little girl to grow up in an environment where she can’t rely on anyone, can’t cause any trouble, and to live her life as if she were suffocating.
She was trapped to the point where she had to leave the house where her father was the only person she had blood with, and yet she said “help me” straight out in her own words.
My heart tightened at the strength of her words.
“Villiers, look up.”
When Yui looked up, her beautiful black hair flowed down her face, and I stared straight back into Yui’s blue eyes as I continued to speak.
” ‘Help, please,’ you said. Let’s not do that.”
“It’s not like one of us is helping and one of us is being helped. Isn’t it natural to help a friend in need?”
“Oh, my friend.”
I nodded firmly and repeated to Yui, who looked unsure and confused.
Yui also did not look away from Natsuomi and muttered in a snatched voice, “Friend…”
“I can’t easily say that I understand the weight and determination of what Villiers told me. But if I can help the Villiers, I want to help you properly on an equal footing. So I think I’d like to be friends with Villiers.”
“If your friend is in trouble, you don’t need a ‘why’ or a ‘please’ to help them, do you?”
I looked Yui straight in the eyes, holding back the embarrassment that made me want to look away.
Natsuomi’s sincerity to Yui, who told her about the past she didn’t want to remember, and her own determination.
Yui’s narrowed, pale blue eyes moistened and blurred when I told her what I would normally be too embarrassed to say.
“…Yes. I want to be friends with you too, Katagiri-san.”
Yui smiled at me, her voice smoldering with tears.
Not her usual quiet, well-adjusted smile, but a life-sized smile appropriate for her age.
I nodded at her response, trying my best to keep my composure, while trying to hold back my gaze and heartbeat that were overloaded by the unexpected cuteness.
Yui also nodded back to me, twisting her thin fingertips together as she struggled to hold back the expression on her face that seemed to be crumbling like nothing she had ever experienced before.
“Um, about that… if you don’t mind, I have just one request.”
“Oh, yeah. We’re already friends, so you can ask for more than just one thing…”
Both of us exchanged somewhat awkward words and glances, cooling the heat from our faces with deep breaths.
Yui cleared her throat and opens her mouth to look at me properly
“If it’s not too much trouble, could you please call me by my first name instead of my last name …?”
“So you want to be called ‘Yui’ instead of…. ‘Villiers’?”
“Yes, that’s right…”
Yui clearly moved her head vertically as she looked up at me with an unreserved gaze.
“I know that in Japan you don’t call someone by their first name unless you are close to them… But I still don’t like it when people call me by my family name.”
She turned her head and grasped her small hand, faintly biting the edge of her lips.
“You can use your family name if you’re in a class or something, but I thought it would be nice if Katagiri-san could call me by my first name in private…”
She gave me a wry smile that disguised an expression that seemed to be clouded with mixed feelings.
Seeing the thin smile on her face, I felt my heart tighten at Yui’s stubbornness.
(…Villiers is really strong, isn’t she?)
She talked about it like it was nothing, but how could such a past not be painful?
I could tell by the emotionless smile on her face how stressful it was every time I called her by her last name.
I didn’t mean in a light-hearted way, like being intimate with each other or because we’re friends. There was no way Yui would want to be called by that family name by someone she wanted to open up to.
I cleared my throat and gently brushed away my embarrassment.
“All right, then… Yui. I’ll call you by your name from now on.”
“Yes, thank you. It’s a pleasure.”
I smiled back at Yui, who relaxed her mouth as if relieved and to cover her embarrassment.
“Then I wish you’d stop adding ‘san’ to my last name, too. It doesn’t feel right to just call me by my first name though.”
“And so… ‘Katagiri’? Something doesn’t seem right about that either…”
“It’s true that it’s very uncomfortable to be called ‘Katagiri’ by Vi- Yui…”
The guys in my class who are happy to call Yui “Kuuderera” may sound happy, but what I’m looking for in Yui is equal friendliness, not that kind of relationship.
“Then I’ll use your name too. In other countries, it’s not uncommon to call each other by name.”
“Oh, no, other than a place like my house, we usually call each other by our family name…”
Yui’s cheeks flushed as she looked away and clammed up.
“…Well, I’ve never had the experience of calling a man by his first name, so there’s something a little embarrassing about it.”
“I’ve never called a girl by her first name before, so we’re both on the same page.”
“Well, yes, that’s what I asked you to do…”
Taking a deep breath, Yui made a few small vertical movements of her head, and then she cleared her throat and looked up at me.
“No, that’s a question.”
“You think it’s a little cuter?”
“…I’m serious, though.”
“I’m sorry, it just got interesting.”
When I apologized to Yui, who gave me a furtive look, Yui and I burst into laughter at the same time.
We sipped our already lukewarm tea and both let out the same long breath and looked up again.
“Nice to meet you, Yui.”
“Yes. It’s nice to meet you too, Natsuomi-san.”
“After all, you call me ‘san’?”
“I thought this would be the most comfortable way to call you. Is that a bad idea?”
“No, thanks. It’s not bad at all, so go with that.”
It’s true that it feels more like Yui to use “san” rather than “kun”.
I responded with a nod, not continuing any further, thinking that was enough for the two of us right now.
“So do you want to stop using that word altogether? We’re friends.”
“Oh, but it’s kind of a habit of mine. ……”
Yui was about to say that, but then she stopped and bottled up her thoughts.
“Well, yes, we’re… friends. …Oh, no, we’re not, are we? We’re friends…? What?”
Yui tilted her head and gave me a hollow look as she mumbled and confused her words.
I couldn’t help but let out a laugh at the small animal-like cuteness of Yui.
“Well, I can’t help it… I’ve gotten used to using this kind of language…”
Yui’s cheeks turned red and she gave me a pouting look.
I thought her face was charming and even more adorable, but I didn’t want to tease her too much, so I managed to hold back my mouth that was about to loosen up.
“Just take it easy and start where you can.”
“Yes, I’m sure that will happen gradually.”
I lifted the mug to Yui, smiling shyly at the distance we were both still getting used to.
Yui understood my intention and gently lifted the mug with her small hand.
“Once again. I look forward to working with you, Yui.”
“I’ll do the same. I look forward to working with you in the future, Natsuomi-san.”
We lifted our mugs and bumped them against each other, and laughter broke out again.
Thus, Yui and I became neighbors, classmates, part-timers, and even dinner companions.
(What will I make for dinner tomorrow?)
I thought about it a little too quickly, and decided to start by asking my friend what her favorite food was as she sipped her tea with red cheeks.
EDN: Hey, original editor here, I know it’s been quite a long time since the last update, (sorry bout that) If you were wondering why there was such a long gap, the original TL, Mowaso, was having a hard time tling this series (TLN: me too) and put it on the side in favor of his other series. However, he kinda vanished and we aren’t quite sure where he went so this series (and his other ones) went on quite a long break until one of us could pick it up, hopefully releases may be faster but it’s going to depend on me and Helena’s schedules. Anyways, sorry for the long paragraph and enjoy the first chapter in a while!
TLN:Obligatory Discord plug