Uh, in Japanese you don’t need to say ‘I’, ‘I’, for every little thing. They only occasionally use it. For that reason, even when mothers refer to themselves as Okaachan or sisters refer to themselves as Oneechan or this little girl here refers to herself as Riri, it’s nowhere near as annoying as in English.
How it sounds in JA: Riri went to the shops today. (I) saw a great big bear, and (I) thought to (my)self, wouldn’t this be perfect in Riri’s room? How it sounds in EN: Riri went to the shops today. Riri saw a great big bear, and Riri thought to herself, wouldn’t this be perfect in Riri’s room?
And so, like I’ve done in Tilea’s worries and other translations, I’m just going to go halfway. You’ll get used to it in no time, I swear. >_>
Summer break is a gathering of troublesome relatives. Naturally they bring children, or rather, sometimes I think children is all they have, but amongst the children is my natural enemy.
“Taka-niisama~ I’ve missed you!”
Hugging my Oniisama was the daughter of my father’s younger sister, and a girl 1 year my junior, Kotou Ririna. In other words, my cousin.
“Riri’s wanted to meet you allll this time, but Taka-niisama, why didn’t you ever come visit me?”
“I was busy with school, you see.”
“Ehhh~ But Riri wanted to meet you! In exchange, stay with Riri for all of today! Okay?”
“Yeah. With Reika too, okay?”
Ririna finally looked this way after 100% ignoring me all this time.
“Ahh, Reika-san. So you were here.”
Of course I was. Right next to Oniisama! Didn’t you purposefully push me away when you ran to hug Oniisama?
Damnitt~ This girl isn’t cute at all!
Ririna’s an only child, and she apparently wants an Oniisama, so she’s always been clingy with my Oniisama. Incidentally, she apparently doesn’t need an Oneesama (me). Hmph!
“Hey, Taka-niisamaa. Let’s have a chat over there. Riri has plenty of things she wants to tell you.”
With that, she pulled my Oniisama away. With Oniisama taken away, I was suddenly by myself.
Endure it, endure it. I’m an adult. I’m an adult. It’s childish getting angry over a little girl’s selfishness. It’s only for today after all, so it doesn’t matter. I’ll lend him to you. My Oniisama!
“Reika, you come too.”
Oniisama turned his head to call for me.
The enemy skilfully chose a two-seater sofa and secured the position next to Oniisama. The topic of conversation is nothing but Ririna’s bragging. About where she went, the various things she bought, how she was praised at a recital… And the kind Oniisama listened to her with a smile.
“Honestly, Riri wished she went to the same school as you, Oniisama. Then we could have been together.”
One of the requirements for the Suiran primary section is living somewhere less than an hour commute away, so Ririna couldn’t get in. Honestly, I’m relieved about that. I’d absolutely hate to go to the same school as her.
After that, Ririna’s boasting continued. While completely ignoring my existence.
When I first met Ririna, I was thinking of getting along with my younger cousin. But the moment she saw me, she registered me as an obstacle and enemy, so I gave up on getting along before long. Aahh, I got completely ignored and refused. At the very least I don’t respond when she picks a fight, but I can’t stop the sparks silently flying between our eyes.
With his gentle and refreshing looks, and his gentle personality as well, naturally Oniisama is popular amongst the other children amongst our relatives as well. Children steadily started gathering around him, and Ririna’s mood took a nosedive. She started glaring in every direction. Amongst them were distant relatives in middle and high school, who were Ririna’s biggest rivals. There were those who genuinely dreamt of Oniisama, but some of them might have also been spurred on by their parents, because they looked like they were aiming to become the wife of the Kisshouin heir.
“Takateru-sama, it has been a while. Do you remember me?”
“Of course I do, Kasumi-san.”
“I’ve looked forward to meeting you as well, Takateru-sama.”
“I see. Thank you very much, Maya-sama. It seems you’re doing well.”
“Hey! I was talking to Taka-niisama! Don’t butt in!”
Ririna clung to Oniisama’s arm and barked at them.
“I see you’re the same as always, Ririna-san. Don’t trouble Takateru-sama so much.”
“Huh! There’s no way that Riri is troubling Taka-niisama! Taka-niisama loves Riri! Don’t say whatever you want! Go away already!”
Ririna became really irritated. In the end they could have just ignored it as the nonsense of a child, but everybody was more or less troubled by her normally selfish behaviour and many found it irritating. Given how often Ririna tries to monopolise the precious Oniisama, she often butts heads with the older girls who don’t back down.
“Takateru-sama, there is some summer homework that I don’t understand. Could you please teach me?”
“Hahh? Go ask your tutor or cram school!”
“Nobody was speaking to you. Takateru-sama, is it no good?”
“Mm~mm, well, just a little is fine. I guess we’ll do it together with anybody else who has problems.”
“You didn’t bring any homework, Ririna-san? Then perhaps you should go read a picture book somewhere.”
“What was that!? I’m not at the age where I read picture books anymore!”
The smaller kids were frightened by their fighting, so I’ll call them over and play with some toys prepared in advance. Fights between women are scary so I immediately retreated from the frontlines. Oniisama, try your best. Now then, should we go with something easy like playing cards?
“Calm down, Ririna. You can stay by my side, but only if you behave, okay?”
“But Taka-niisama! You’re Riri’s Taka-niisama! Why do we have to be with these people!?”
Apparently Ririna couldn’t endure the fact that she couldn’t monopolise him.
“Riri’s Taka-niisama, you say? Takateru-sama has a proper young sister in Reika-sama. Takateru-sama is Reika-sama’s Oniisama.”
Ah-, the taboo words.
After hearing the number one thing she didn’t want to be told, Ririna trembled in mortification then for some reason sharply glared my way.
Whoa, whoa, it’s not like I said it, right?
“I definitely won’t forgive you lot! I’ll tell Okaasama on you!”
After screaming that, Ririna flew out of the room with a bright red face and teary eyes.
“I’ll talk to Ririna, so everybody, please study first.”
Saying that, Oniisama chased after Ririna, and everyone left behind started to complain at once.
“What’s with that girl. Even selfishness should have its limits.”
“She’s being spoilt because Takateru-sama is kind.”
“Whenever there’s something she doesn’t like, she immediately thinks she can just go tell her parents!”
It was an explosion of displeasure at Ririna stealing away their long awaited chance to get close to Oniisama.
“With that girl treating Reika-sama as an enemy, even Reika-sama must be angry, right?”
“Right, right. Just now she was clearly ignoring Reika-sama, wasn’t she.”
Oop, the conversation turned my way.
“Well, by no means does she visit each and every day, so I personally do not mind. Ririna-san must be lonely from being an only child.”
I’ll give a safe reply just in case. If I joined in on their badmouthing here, things’ll probably get annoying later.
Although the girls seemed dissatisfied that I didn’t join in, even without me, they began a huge Ririna Badmouthing Festival. Scary. Ririna really is younger after all, so honestly I should be trying to persuade them to stop, but no matter how much I think I can’t come up with any good points about her, so I’ll just pretend I didn’t hear anything.
This is exactly why family gatherings are so tiring.