Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
My name is Kuzuhara Kuzuo, and in the high school I go to there is a girl nicknamed “Snow White”. Her name is Tohka Shirayuki.
She has silver-white hair that stretches to her back, a very beautiful face, clear cerulean eyes, and white-as-snow skin.
You could say Shirayuki is my childhood friend. Though, our statuses are way too different for us to even talk to each other casually…
… You’re not misunderstanding things, are you?
It was the last day of spring break. I had done my part-time job for breakfast and lunch, and was walking home holding a plastic umbrella when something unbelievable caught my eye. In the pouring rain, I saw Snow White in her school uniform, sitting alone on a park bench.
“You’ll catch a cold!”
She looks up slowly as I pull out my umbrella.
“What are you doing here?
“I… ran away from home…”
Shirayuki is the daughter of the Shirayuki Conglomerate, one of Japan’s leading families. I’ve heard that they are very strict, and put emphasis on discipline and education.
But how could Shirayuki, a very patient girl, run away from home?
I’m sure something serious must’ve happened.
A few moments of silence pass by.
This isn’t good… I’m not proud of it, but my ability to converse with girls is probably only level 5 – less than garbage. I should’ve built a “social interaction” deck beforehand.
In either case, I couldn’t just leave her here, out in the rain.
“Do you… want to come to my house?”
Shirayuki has always been weak against the unexpected.
While she was confused, I took out my phone from my pocket and telephoned my sister, Yui. Quicker than the first beep of the call, a cheerful voice popped out.
“Yes, yes. Where are you, bro?”
“Yui… I’m sorry, but can I ask you to prepare the bath?
“Bath? Ah. It’s raining a lot today. Okay, leave it to me.”
The call ended with a beep.
“So that’s that. I won’t force you, but you can come if you want…”
I handed the plastic umbrella to Shirayuki and headed straight for home.
“Eh? Oh, hey! Kuzuhara-kun, your umbrella!”
We arrived at my house, which was over a hundred years old.
“How long has it been since I’ve been up to Kuzuhara-kun’s house?”
“I was in the fifth grade at the time, so it’s been five to six years or so.”
We headed towards the bathroom as we talked, bumping into my sister.
Her name is Kuzuhara Yui, 14 years old. She has brownish shoulder-length hair, large gentle eyes, and slightly pointed canines.
“Oh, hey big bro, welcome ho–!?”
Yui’s eyes widened and she gulped, surprised.
“I just can’t believe it. My insensitive and twisted brother, inviting Shirayuki-san into our house…”
“Hey! Shut your mouth!”
“It has been a while, Yui.”
“Yeah, it’s been a long time,” she replied, though Shirayuki and Yui are surprisingly close friends, and on occasional holidays, they go out to play together.
Well, the reason why Shirayuki, who is famous for guarding herself a lot, came along with me, a man, was probably because she knew from the phone call earlier that my sister Yui was at home.
“Big bro, Shirayuki-san… Congratulations. I wish you both a very long and lasting relationship.”
Yui dropped that then stormed off to her room.
“Hah… I’m sorry, she’s always had this tendency to just assume things.”
“No, it’s fine. It happens all the time with me too.”
I led Shirayuki into the bathroom.
“You can put your wet uniform there, and you can use the washer and dryer here. Well, don’t expect them to be that great. These warriors have served well for ten years. Well then… I’ll leave the rest up to you. I’ll ask Yui to bring a change of clothes to wear once you finish bathing.”
“Thank you very much.”
She bowed slightly and I closed the curtains to the bathroom.
Just as I was about to go to my room, I began to hear the rustling of the clothes.
The bathroom curtains are very thin, so you could clearly see Shirayuki’s silhouette as she took off her uniform. I quickly turned around and went back to my room.
Damn… I’m so nervous.
A very beautiful girl, my childhood friend, is taking a bath at my house. As a boy going through puberty, this is not a relaxing position to be in.
I’ll just start cleaning my room…
While I tried to focus on cleaning my room, I heard my door being gently knocked.
“Kuzuhara-kun, it’s Shirayuki. May I come in?”
The door creaks slowly, and the nice smell of shampoo washes over my room.
“I’ve finished my bath.”
“Oh, um… Have you warmed up?”
I stopped cleaning and turned around. I gasped, surprised.
After taking a bath, she was just too appealing. Her pale skin, fresh out of the bath; her wet silver hair; her rosy cheeks, slightly mushed from the heat; and most importantly, Yui’s favorite t-shirt with an apple illustration printed on it.
This… This is too aggressive.
If my modestly-sized sister wore it, it wouldn’t be anything other than a happy little apple on a shirt. However, with the considerably bigger Shirayuki wearing it, it was a near-exploding apple. It was frankly bad for my eyes.
“Is something wrong?”
I froze up, and she tilted her head, curious.
“N… No, it’s nothing.”
I plopped down on my study-chair as she sat down on my bed.
The atmosphere is heavy.
I’m a man, I need to take the initiative and find something to talk about.
“Um… Are you not going to ask me why I ran?” She pouted.
The reason for running away, huh…
“Should I have asked?”
“I mean, not really, but…”
A moment of silence passes by. She then opens her mouth with a heavy look.
“… I’ve been trying so, so hard to get accepted as a member of the Shirayuki Conglomerate, of my own family, but… They never accept me. And–”
She cut her speech there.
I’m sure that beyond that “And”, there is something she doesn’t wanna talk about.
“But you’re giving it your all, Shirayuki-san.”
Tohka Shirayuki is a very hard-working girl.
When everyone else is fooling around, she’s working hard.
When everyone else is relaxing, she’s still working hard.
And even when everyone else is working, she’s working even harder.
Back when I was a primary-school student, I had always watched her tremendous drive, her hard work. For years, actually. That’s why I had to say it.
“Don’t worry… All your hard work will pay off someday.”
Well, I’m saying something irresponsible. I, in all my mediocrity, can’t help her in any way.
But even so, I wanted to tell her that there’s at least one person out there that knows how hard she works, someone that wishes her success, and someone that wishes they could support her.
“… Thank you… Very much…” Her voice trembled as tears rolled down her face.
A short while later, she composed herself and said–
“P-Please… Forget what I told you earlier…”
Her eyes wavered as she pouted. She was raised to be perfect, so she’d never want to be seen at her weakest.
“I mean… You told me already.”
“… A crowbar… Maybe I’ll find one there…”
“Hey, hey! Your eyes are serious…”
As we joked around a bit, the washer and dryer let out cheerful cries we could hear from the bathroom. They’ve probably completed their mission.
“–I think my clothes have dried up. I’ll change then.”
“… No peeking, okay?”
“Fufu, I’m just joking.” She smiled, giggling like a naughty kid, and headed straight to the bathroom.
Well, I’m glad she’s feeling a little better.
After Shirayuki finished changing her clothes, I dropped her off near her house since it was getting late.
“Kuzuhara-kun, thank you for today.”
“Don’t sweat it. I just happened to pass by then. And, um… Are you okay?”
“I am. I know Tanaka, the head butler, will be pissed off with me running away. Though my father isn’t interested in… me… So I don’t think it’ll be a problem.”
“Um, got it.”
His daughter runs away from home right into the pouring rain, and he’d just say “No problem”? That’s… complicated.
“Well then… Um, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She looks a bit embarrassed and waves slightly at me.
I lightly waved back and went back home.
I’m… Shirayuki Tohka’s neighbor, her childhood friend… and just a random classmate. I’m merely one of the mob characters. There’s no way our relationship would go past that, and our fates will not intertwine.
These were my thoughts back then…
But they were going to be blown away the next day.
Thank you for reading!
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