Author: Inaida Sou
Translator: Kei of ChocoCats
● 256 DAYS AGO
(This is Makoto’s POV)
My grandfather collapsed. What I felt when I heard that was the expectation that I might see a person close to death. However, it seems that humans did not die easily unless their hearts were pierced by a knife. It’s the same as that Nojima, even though I thought I could see people dying.
After spending more than three hours riding a car to grandfather’s house, we were welcomed by grandfather, who had bandages just on his head and arms.
“It’s been so long since I drive, my hands are itchy!”
With that said, that grandfather who looks happy pushes me to the passenger seat and drives. A day after my family hurried back to grandfather’s house, he selfishly decided to go out with Mai in the morning, and me in the afternoon. Without knowing where we are going, I sit in the car.
My parents divorced when I was 5, and I lived in my grandparents’ house for about 5 years. That’s why my relationship with this grandfather should be good, but no matter what, sitting beside him while he drives is too much. This grandfather doesn’t behave like his age, his voice is loud, and he cannot read the mood well. If he’s the same age as me, far from being harmonious, it will be horrifying. Rather than me, Mai, who is not blood-related, was more suitable and looked like this grandfather’s real family. Even this morning, I was irritated by her who keep defending this grandfather.
“You are soon to be a high school student, huh. Time surely flows so fast.”
“Well, only if I passed the exam, though.”
A long time ago, when I was young, there was ‘an existence’ who lived near my house and was in the same kindergarten as mine. ‘Its’ personality was wild, active, liked to run around, and ‘its’ favourite plaything was the rotating playground set. ‘It’ didn’t bring any harm to anyone, but ‘its’ arm happened to be caught in the playground set. I heard the news that ‘its’ arm needs to be amputated, so I guided ‘it’ to cut its own arm.
As a result, I was warned by my blood-related mother. That mother started an excessive interference and kept any cutlery away from me. I thought that would be an obstacle to my future life, so I decided to discard that mother.
It took a lot of work in the process, but after that, it was easy to eliminate that mother, and I was glad that the risk of getting exposed is low. But for some reason, I felt that this grandfather is somehow being cautious of me.
I don’t feel any threat because he’s just an old man with unreliable thinking ability. Also, I was told that he would have brain surgery next month. But there is certainly an uncomfortable feeling.
“I’m sure you will pass. You’re the smartest kid I’ve ever met. It was worth feeding you fish every day.”
Today, this grandfather continues his useless talk. Even without studying as much as usual, I will still be accepted in high school.
“Do you have someone you like?”
“Someone I like?”
“Are you not going out with someone? Isn’t it the time for kids your age to date or be rejected? Have you been confessed by someone?”
When grandfather said that, I suddenly remembered something like that happened last week… I was confessed by a girl student who often asks about study material in class.
However, it will be annoying if I just affirm it without much thought, so I answered, “no”.
“With your handsome face, no one did? Even though you have all the good points from Takayuki too.”
“I don’t feel like the people around me are thinking about that yet. Also, we have an exam.”
Actually, because there is an exam, the people around me are struggling to make memories. Because it might be the last time to meet, while saying that, they confessed to the person they liked. It can be called a kind of trend around my age. Just like a disease, it spreads and there seems no sign of an end.
Some girls from my school came to me as if asking to be baptized, but when they act friendly to me, the first thing that came to my mind was that I hate it because it was annoying.
It might be easy to say I do not like it, but if I said so, they would cry, and my reputation will plummet. One-sided emotions are actually violence only towards the person who received it.
“I hope you will bring your lover here when you’re already in high school…” Grandfather murmured softly.
I have no interest in romance. When I watch TV, people have the knowledge about love in many different ways to some extent.
But even if it were me, I can’t imagine myself being fond of or wanting to fall in love with someone. Will I be able to do so? In the first place, I can’t even acknowledge this grandfather, the existence who drives beside me, as someone who is on the same level and species as mine.
Somehow, I feel like I’m looking at the people around me as creatures from a world different from my own. Is it possible to build a romance with such an existence?
And it seems people decide whether they like the person or not, based on their ‘face’, but to me, they all look the same. It’s the same with animals too. If I really have to differentiate them, I will only assign numbers to them.
After all, if I peel off their skins, everyone will be the same, so why people are attached to others to that extent? I can’t understand.
“I wonder… what if I unexpectedly can’t find anyone even after I become a university student?”
“Hahahaha! That’s impossible!”
A loud laughter echoes in the car. I wonder If I push the steering wheel and force the car to crash into the utility pole, will this irritation be eased? When I was frustrated by his voice’s volume that was not suitable for a conversation, grandfather looked far away while saying, “I wonder if Mai will bring her boyfriend someday. I think I will beat him up.”
It was his eyes that I didn’t like the most. Even though he is an old man who would die if I pushed him down a hill, sometimes his eyes look like he knew everything.
“Are you doing well with Mai?”
“Well, you suddenly got a non-blood-related younger sister. A child from your new parent’s previous marriage to boot. Because it’s you, I don’t think you’ll bully her, but I wonder what you think of her.”
He said that sharply as if he wants to slash me. What do I think of my sister?
The answer is simple. I don’t think of anything.
I don’t even care if she dies tomorrow. But I know it’s not appropriate to answer so honestly.
No matter what the question, that kind of answer is always incorrect.
“She’s a good sister.”
“A good sister? Like what?”
A sister who won’t take my hand, but also not a hindrance to me. But in this world value, I don’t think Mai is a good sister.
No one likes a sister who often does mischief repeatedly and dives into a pond when she sees one.
It’s worrying and time-consuming.
Mai, dives into the pond, instead of collecting insects.
“Hmm, to put it simply, I don’t think I’ll get tired of watching her. She listens well when being told, she did her best in her study, she even gets along well with some weird people.”
(He’s talking about Yukari-chan lol)
Mai, who buries herself inside a hole. Mai, who did soundproofing properly when she was doing things in her room with loud volume. So, I can just block the sound if I put on earplugs.
When I think about it, Mai’s actions are really flashy, but as she never harms me, it’s not bothersome. It’s always like that. That’s what I can’t understand from Mai. Even though some of her behaviours can be considered rude, she never harms anyone.
It feels like she’s just trying to cause trouble in front of me, while only letting herself get hurt in the process. That’s why I don’t understand Mai, but it doesn’t matter. Because it’s also her unpleasant and creepy point.
“Well, I’m relieved if you guys are on good terms. Because it looked like there was some distance between you both. I’m glad if it’s not the case.”
After saying that, grandfather turned the wheel and said, “let’s go to a family restaurant!”
Mai is a good sister to me. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I don’t think she’s a bad sister. At least I don’t think it’s necessary to eliminate her.
In the end, that grandfather is really a selfish person. When he took me to the family restaurant, he said I could choose anything I like. But he one-sidedly adds a parfait to the hamburger set that I chose appropriately.
Since the set I chose already has the ice cream in the first place, it overlaps with the parfait. On the other hand, grandfather quickly finished his zosui and talked non-stop while I was eating, which was annoying. Then after spending a torture-like time, it was time to go home.
“It was fun, let’s go out again next time.”
I would never go again with him if possible. He said he’s going to have surgery next month, and he will need to do rehabilitation too. We probably won’t meet again for another six months. I had enough for today.
When I looked at the view from the window, the dark sky is dyed red by the sunset. The snow that piled up on the ground also seems to be dyed red. Perhaps grandfather was tired of talking, he was quiet on the ride home.
“OK, we’ve arrived.”
Gradually the car slowed down and grandfather stopped in front of the house. He gave me the cake box we bought from the family restaurant earlier while saying, “I will park the car in the garage, so take this to the refrigerator.”
I got out of the car with the box in my hand. Perhaps because of the heater inside the car, the dry and chilly temperature on the outside really hit me hard. My fingertips immediately went numb, so I hurried my legs. There is a big snowman near the entrance. Probably Mai made it. Even though she’s almost become a third year of middle school, what is she thinking? When I was thinking so, in the next moment…
As if crushing the snowman near the entrance, while wearing a helmet and armour, Mai appeared. From the voice, it seems to be Mai. It seems she was standing behind the snowman all this time. She walked towards me while making metal clinking sounds.
“Whoa, Mai. Did you borrow Grandpa’s armour without permission? Isn’t it expensive?”
“I have permission.”
Then, was grandfather being quiet before on purpose to lead me into this? As I held myself from sighing, grandfather came from behind me happily.
“Oh, Mai, how is the armour?”
“It’s really heavy… and it’s impossible to wear it in summer. Even now it’s still hot, I’m almost die in sweat.”
“Then let me clean it up, go take a bath.”
And the two of them are laughing like a real family. How annoying. I entered the house with a dampened mood.
T/N: tbh with you, even though it’s exciting to be able to see inside Makoto’s mind, his POV is really annoying to translate. because he never really uses subjects and never really claims someone as ‘his kin’. Mai calls his grandpa ‘Ojii-chan‘, both in her inner thought and when she spoke to him, it means grandpa in a familiar way. But Makoto called him ‘Sofu‘, in his inner thought, it means grandfather and it sounds formal, distant, and old as if talking about another person’s grandpa. Would it be easier to understand if I change it to ‘old man’ instead? What do you guys think?
The same happened when he talked about his friend from the same kindergarten, he called ‘it’ and ‘such existence’ not ‘he’. luckily, he always describes Mai as ‘Mai’.
but that aside, it’s funny to see how annoyed Makoto is towards his grandpa, and he also seems annoyed that Mai defends his grandpa more than him lol.
Just heads up, I will be busy drawing for an upcoming event on behalf of my group (ChocoCats), so I don’t know when I will post the next chapter, hopefully soon.