Published at 30th of January 2021 10:01:37 AM
“Mm…… . fuwa……”
Early morning . The first rays of the day’s sunshine spilled through the window, flashing across Sophie’s face and causing her eyelids to tremble . She propped up her upper half from out of her bed and released a small yawn as she stretched out her back . The originally bright green leaves outside the window had turned a reddish brown, and one by one they fell to the ground below . The sports meet is over, and autumn is well under way .
“Uu……so cold~ . But, I need to brush my hair . ”
Mornings and nights are much colder than they were in spring, and even in the middle of the day the cold wind makes it uncomfortable to be outside . It has reached the point where getting out of her nice, warm bed was something to dread for Sophie, but with how unruly her hair has gotten after a night’s sleep, she couldn’t remain lying there forever . She wasn’t like her sister who showed no sign of waking up yet . She refused to show her face in public with a messy head of hair, so she forced herself out of bed and moved over to her closet .
“I’ll wear this today . A ribbon…… . would this one work? Or maybe this one would be better . ”
Choosing what clothes she would wear for the day was part of Sophie’s morning daily routine . For a good while she compared one outfit to another, holding it in front of her body, worrying whether it was too plain or gaudy, before ultimately replacing it with another . Once she finally found an outfit and accompanying ribbon that she was satisfied with, she skipped over to the washbasin to wash her face with some cold water .
“Fuu……I’m ready to start the day”
She brushed her teeth at the washbasin before pulling off her pajamas . Then after changing into a new set of underwear and exposing her white and delicate skin, she slipped on the clothes she had chosen earlier .
Becoming careless is a no go even when the season turns cold . Thinking back on her mother’s words, she slid her arms into the long-sleeved clothes she had stored away during the summer, put on her skirt, and posed in front of the mirror at the washbasin . Satisfied with how she looked, she pulled out her comb and began brushing her glittering, snow-like hair .
It had become a habit that she would hum to herself as she straightened out her bed hair . It was her secret pride that her hair was the same as her mother’s . As such, she put in extra work every morning taking care of it while simultaneously trying to improve her sleeping habits to minimize how unruly her hair gets every morning .
With her hair straightened out, she was about to put together her usual hairstyle by pinching off a bunch to be knit into a braid and then tied off with a ribbon, but she decided to try out something different today .
“Um…… . Mama certainly……”
The image of herself with a ponytail was stuck in her mind . It had been ever since she saw Leia and Shirley with one in the castle . She tried imitating them once before, but――――
“H-Huh…… . ?”
It was harder than she thought to tie together her long hair, and the final result ended up off center . Whether she had the help of a mirror or not, it looks like it’ll take some practice for her to be able to create the ideal look she was aiming for .
“Muu……I’ll need to have Mama teach me”
It would surely turn out being fun anyway . If anything, it could end up that she would be allowed to play with her mother’s hair in the name of practice the same way that Shirley used to help braid her hair .
(I should try and get Tio involved too if it comes to that . )
Giving a thought to her younger sister who seems completely unwilling to take care of their cat-like hair, Sophie settled her own hairstyle in place . Doing one final check over the day’s preparations, she lifted up her skirt and did a small twirl .
After confirming there was nothing strange with how she looked, she returned to her bedroom where Tio was still not showing any sign of waking up . From this point on, it was time for the second task in Sophie’s morning routine . Getting her oversleeping sister out of bed .
Waking Tio up when the season grows cold is a little…… . no, it’s a major pain . Tio has entered a perfect defensive formation underneath her comforter with the top of her head to the tips of her toes entirely covered up . Sophie knew all too well that her sister wouldn’t get up easily .
“C’mon Tio! It’s time to get up! It’s morning!”
“Mm~…… . ”
She started off by physically shaking her sister’s body, but there was no sign of her getting up . However, this was well within Sophie’s expectations .
“It’s morning! Ah, jeez! Don’t cling to your blanket!”
“Ya~…… . ”
Sophie tried yanking the blanket away, but despite still being asleep, Tio wrapped her fingers around the edges of her comforter and curled up tight with it . It was like a cocoon . Sophie knows from experience that she won’t get anywhere like this, so she began running mana through her arms .
“《Body… . Arms……um、Reinforcement》!”
《Physical Boost》, a kind of body strengthening magic . It’s a homebrew spell that is a deteriorated version of the usual physical strengthening magic that is only able to show its effects on the user’s arms . Sophie was taught this deteriorated version because it uses up less mana for her and puts less stress on her young body . However even with this homebrew spell, she is still able to put in the strength of an adult man .
“Fufufu…… . don’t think your older sister will allow you to remain a sleepyhead forever . ”
If you’re going to do something, be thorough about it . With an older sister who has recently learned magic and is currently climbing the stairs of adulthood, there was no possible way for Tio to win . With her eyes shining, Sophie stood up on the bed and pulled hard on the blanket .
“Zzz……Zzz…… . ”
“How is she not up…… . ”
Apparently Tio was somehow making full use of her hands and feet to cling to her comforter because when Sophie lifted up the blanket, Tio came up right along with it . However Sophie would not be deterred, even if she was amazed how her younger sister would refuse to get up even as she’s being held up in the air .
“Hurry up and wake up alreadyyyyyyyyy!!”
Sophie shook the blanket girl sandwich up and down . At the same time, perhaps because she lost focus, Sophie’s strengthening magic gave way . Tio fell out of Sophie’s hands, landing head first onto the ground . A strange groan came from Tio’s smashed face as she slowly opened her eyes .
“Are you finally awake? Come on, go wash your face . Your bed hair is so…… . ”
“…… . . Mm”
Still half asleep, Tio ran her hand through her hair like a makeshift comb, but when Sophie knelt down beside her, she suddenly threw her arm around Sophie’s neck and hugged her close to her chest .
“Eh? Hold on, Tio? What’s wrong?”
Did something happen…… . Tio ignored Sophie’s confusion and began muttering something under her breath .
“……huge meat pie……”
“……… . What?”
Is she still asleep? …… . . Is it because they’re twins that Sophie instantly knew what Tio was about to do? Somehow immediately knowing exactly what was going to happen as soon as she heard Tio mention meat pies, Sophie tried desperately escaping from her sister’s grip, but it was already too late .
“Hold on a minute Tio! I-I’m not a meat pie…… . . !”
“……thanks for the meal……”
“D-Don’t…… . No, Noooo~~~~~~~~!”
A communal bath at the inn . Female adventurers who stay at the inn frequently use the bathhouse which is why the baths are always filled with warm, clean water . Except for the times where they are being cleaned of course . Currently, Sophie and Tio were sitting side by side beneath a shower head, washing their hair before getting in the bath itself . Sophie was carefully glaring at her sister however, obviously resenting Tio for what happened earlier .
“Enough! Seriously! I can’t believe you! Falling back asleep and drooling all over my hair!”
Unable to concentrate because of the situation being what it was, Sophie eventually gave up on using any magic to save herself and helplessly waited until Tio was awake enough to be convinced to let her go . All that time she had invested that morning to getting her hair just right was completely put to waste . With things having come this far, she decided to force Tio into the bath with her so she could lecture her on her poor sleeping habits .
“I know it’s getting colder, but it’s getting way too hard to get you away from that blanket… . . it’s fine today since we have the day off, but we’ll end up being late for school at this rate if Mama isn’t still home . ”
“Sorry to always inconvenience you”
“And yet……you won’t promise to do better . Seriously”
This was just how it was in fall . The closer it gets to winter, the harder it will be to get Tio out of her blanket . She’s like a bear hibernating in its cave . She’s so bad at getting up that it becomes a question of whether she’ll end up getting out of bed at all .
It’s usually Shirley’s job to get the younger sister out of bed . Even though Tio never moves no matter how much Sophie yells and shakes, she’ll immediately pop out of her blanket if it’s their mother calling out to her . All Shirley has to do is pull away the blanket a bit and say Tio’s name for the girl to immediately cling to Shirley’s waist despite not having fully woken up .
Yet during those mornings where Shirley isn’t there, like today, Sophie is responsible for dragging Tio out from her deep sleep . Scenes like today are actually the norm, and because of her naturally stubborn attitude, Sophie couldn’t just let it go . Because if she didn’t wake Tio up herself, her little sister would end up quietly sleeping until noon .
(How come she wakes up so easily when Mama’s here, but she refuses to budge when it’s me?)
Even during the dead of winter she’ll end up jumping out of her blanket and fully wake up after a couple minutes clinging to Shirley . If Sophie is the one to get her up when it’s even a little cold, it always ends in disaster . What’s the difference……Sophie took a glance around at the surrounding female adventurers while soaking in the tub alongside Tio .
Scars big and small marred their skin . All of them were fully grown women, naturally bigger than a couple children like Sophie and Tio……in more ways than just their height .
(Hmm……now that I think about it, Tio likes to hug things when she sleeps . When we slept in the same bed, she used to grab hold of the blanket, and I would always wake up in the cold . Does she just like wrapping herself up in things bigger than her?)
Bigger in many ways . If so, then there is no point in rushing . After all, Sophie was still a child . It’s only natural she didn’t have two richly swaying symbols of motherhood, and everything will resolve itself after a few years pass . Sophie pepped herself up inside her head while confident that in due time, Tio would find her irresistible as well .
“Hey, you’re Shirley’s daughter right?”
“Eh? That’s right……”
It was around that time that Sophie was approached by a female adventurer she had never met before . She might’ve been an adventurer who just recently started staying at the inn or maybe she’s someone simply passing through and staying for the night . Those kind of idle thoughts passed through Sophie’s mind as the adventurer pointed to the edge of the bath .
“That girl’s your sister right? I think she’s drowning . ”
“Have you still not woken up!?”
Sophie could feel a headache coming on as she hurriedly yanked Tio out of the water before she could sink any further in .