Three days later.
Seiji finished his vacation… er, his recovery and left the hospital. After returning home with Shika, he went out again before long. They headed to the bookstore together.
They immediately headed for the light novel section and soon found what they were looking for...
The cover art seemed both romantic and mystical. A beautiful black-haired girl who wore mystical attire in the Sakura Island style was holding a vicious demon's mask in her hand and turning back and smiling brilliantly at the readers. Her scarlet eyes seemed especially beautiful, as if they were shining and possessed something mysterious within.
Standing in front of her was a white-haired boy who wore a collared jacket. He was sticking both his hands in his pants' pockets, and he was also turning to look behind him. Only half of his handsome face and sharp gaze could be seen. It appeared like he was either looking at something behind him or gazing at the girl.
The cover art seemed professionally done and was quite appealing. The art was of obviously higher quality than the other light novels next to it in the new arrivals area. Any layman could tell the difference.
Seiji was quite excited as he reached out and took a copy.
Shika also picked up a copy of "Brother Monogatari". Something flashed in her eyes as she looked at the cover.
Then, both of them exchanged glances with each other and smiled. Their smiles contained the feeling of bliss.
Another customer in the bookstore, a man wearing a round hat, paused in surprise upon seeing such a scene. He felt like this was just like a scene straight out of a movie.
'Who are these kids? This handsome boy and beautiful girl, are they idols or models?'
His attention drawn to them, he wondered about their identities. His gaze was then drawn to the light novel they had both picked up a copy of.
"Brother Monogatari"… this seemed like a strange book title to him.
The cover art was quite beautiful… and he felt that the beautiful girl drawn on the cover greatly resembled this girl in front of him?
The man was quite surprised at this resemblance.
He hid his emotions and picked up a copy of "Brother Monogatari" as well. He began to read the story.
He was instantly drawn into the story right from the very start.
This novel had a unique style and excellent readability. Reading it would naturally cause the reader to be able to imagine what was happening, as if the reader was watching an exquisitely drawn anime!
The insert art's quality was quite high as well. It beautifully complemented the story's contents, helping the readers insert themselves into the story's world.
The man unknowingly lost himself in reading the story. He got addicted to reading and didn't even notice that the handsome boy and beautiful girl had left long ago.
"Dear customer, please don't stand here reading for too long," a bookstore employee spoke to him, but the round-hat-wearing man didn't even notice.
"Dear customer!" The book store employee increased his voice's volume.
The round-hat-wearing man was furious to have been interrupted while reading. When he turned to see that it was a book store employee, his anger dissipated, replaced by embarrassment.
"I apologize…" He closed the "Brother Monogatari" book. "I'd like to purchase this light novel."
"Thank you for your purchase." After ringing the man's purchase up, the employee gave him a glare of "don't just read books without purchasing them" before leaving him alone.
The round-hat-wearing man looked around him but didn't see the boy and girl anywhere.
"'Brother Monogatari'… Idle Dimension by the Shore…"
He looked at the book in his hands and muttered the author's name to himself as he left the bookstore.
Seiji and Shika both purchased three copies each of "Brother Monogatari's" first volume. One copy would be for personal reading, one for collecting, and one for loaning out to friends.
They were both quite confident in the quality of their own light novel. Still, it remained to be seen how well the book would sell.
Seiji received a phone call some time after he returned home.
The call was from Hisashi.
"Seigo, are you out of the hospital yet?"
"Yes, I've left already."
"That's good, then." Hisashi paused for a moment. "This humble one has already purchased and started reading a copy of Milord's novel that was published today."
"What did you think?"
"It's excellent, as expected of something personally written by Milord!" Hisashi gave him passionate praise. "I would really like to finish reading it in one go. It's such a pity that I have other things to do today. I can only wait until I have some free time. Just the part that I've read so far makes me believe that this will become a famous bestseller! Many people will become Milord's fervent believers in the future!"
"Thanks for your kind words. It would be nice if that really came true." Seiji smiled.
"Of course it will come true! Milord's light shall illuminate the world!"
"No need to exaggerate things so much. This is only a light novel."
"No, this isn't merely a light novel, it's the beginning to Milord's legend! As the First Knight under your command, I'm quite honored to follow your cause. I shall support you to my fullest!" Hisashi spoke quite seriously.
"Thank you for your support. We are quite lucky to have such a loyal retainer like you." Seiji chuckled and responded using the royal pronoun "we".
Seiji treated all of this as a joke. He didn't actually understand the true meaning of Hisashi's "full support".
After they ended their conversation, Hisashi placed his cell phone on his computer desk and contacted someone on the internet.
"What is it, Sweet Pig-dono?"
"I would like for you to help me advertise a light novel that was just published today, Tea Brewer-kun. You can charge me as much as you think is necessary."
"What a joke, how could I possibly charge Sweet Pig-dono any money? You merely have to ask. What's the name of the light novel you want to help advertise for?"
"'Brother Monogatari'. It's a new story published by Thunderbolt Literature."
Hisashi then contacted various other online contacts and had similar conversations with them.
He then adjusted his eyeglasses and smiled satisfactorily as he gazed at all the numerous conversation windows on his computer screen.
"My 'support' doesn't mean that I'll simply buy a few of your books, Seiji-kun."
Later that night, Mika, Chiaki, and Kaede all arrived at Seiji's apartment. All three had a copy of "Brother Monogatari" with them. They all sat down by the kotatsu and started reading together as if this place was hosting a book club.
Seiji read "Brother Monogatari" together with them as well. Although he was intimately familiar with the story, he still wanted to read it again.
He kept receiving phone calls or text messages from all his friends. They all wanted to tell him their opinions of "Brother Monogatari".
"Excellent story. The insert art is beautiful as well. Overall, you've done a great job, Shore-sensei." — from Natsuya.
"Your story that you wrote together with Kagursan seems pretty good. I give you 9.5 points out of 10." — from Mai.
"This is a wonderful story! I really like the main character; I think he's quite similar to Senpai." — from Hoshi.
"Hey, I haven't seen you in a while. I recalled when you first showed your story to me a while back… Heh heh, I was your first reader ever." — from Rika Amami.
"Your novel is even better than I imagined, and you even did all the art for it as well! It's truly amazing… I'm feeling a little like I can't compare as an artist." — from Yukari.
"Your novel was excellent. It helped to give us inspiration for writing new music." — from Rion and Kotomi.
"Nice story. The insert art was great as well. I'm really looking forward to seeing if you'll draw manga in the future." — from Mayuzumi.
"The current reaction seems to be quite good. The sales numbers should be pretty good as well." — from Saki.
"It feels just like I'm watching an anime with how detailed your scenes' descriptions are. This is the best light novel I've ever read." — from Kaho.
"'Brother Monogatari' is amazing! I can't even put it down! I'm not going to go to sleep tonight until I finish reading!" — from Kanna Fujihara.
"Your novel is quite something. I can feel your spirit within it." — from Ryuuno Izawa.
Apart from his friends, Seiji also received messages from his fellow authors.
"Although I already knew that your light novel is the true deserving recipient of the Gold Award from the previous award ceremony, your story still exceeded my expectations when I read it. I can only admit defeat." — from Koushi Nomura.
"'Brother Monogatari' is excellent. It's so good that I don't want it to end." — from Miyabi Ishihara.
"Just as Nomursan said before, your story is truly amazing. I'm astonished that you even personally drew such beautiful artwork for your story. Or was that your adopted younger sister's artwork? At any rate, it's a truly wonderful story. Most ordinary light novels can't even compare." — from Yuuko Hashimoto.
"'Brother Monogatari' is a wonderful story. Your writing and artwork are both top level. You're a true genius." — from Shousei Maishi.
"I really enjoyed reading 'Brother Monogatari'. Good luck on becoming a bestseller." — from Imai Yoshida.
"Even the main character of a novel that a handsome guy like you writes is also a handsome guy. Sheesh. It's also quite enraging how interesting you've managed to make your story. The insert art you did is ridiculously beautiful as well. It's certain to become a bestseller… remember to invite me to a barbeque after you receive your paycheck! It's best if you can bring your cute sister Kagursan together as well." — from Tsuyoshi Matsutani.
Seiji was delighted to receive so many excellent reviews and well wishes.
Seiji looked towards Shika who was next to him.
Shika looked at him as well.
The two adopted siblings exchanged glances and smiled blissfully yet again.