I grabbed Kaede’s arm.
She looked at me with a surprised expression on her face.
For a moment, I was startled, but I’m okay with that.
That look in her eyes is still not my favorite, but it’s definitely not enough to make me cower. No need to overreact.
I can think clearly and …… can fight more than enough.
I can judge things properly, good and bad.
It’s clear that I’ve changed my way of thinking.
Now I won’t let people do whatever they want to me.
I’m going to speak my mind and make this foolish woman understand what I’m trying to say.
…… But first—-
“…… Let her go!”
Helping Mai, who was frightened by Kaede nee-san’s violence, was the first thing that came first–or rather, I wanted her to see me recover first, but Mai closed her eyes. She doesn’t notice me…I feel so lonely.
Hearing my voice, Mai finally opened her eyes.
And she’s looking at me.
It is the same behavior as my sister’s, but unlike that, Mai’s eyes are warm. It wraps around my heart.
But the mud on her cheeks is still painful …… I can’t forgive her.
I love the girl who has been protecting me with her tiny body until now.
Now it’s my turn to protect her.
I have to make Kaede pay for all the times she has hurt the people I love.
I took a deep breath.
“……Why….Why……I thought I finally had it… ……”
This woman is the only one who looks disappointed to see me regain my sanity. She doesn’t want me to recover. She wants me in any condition she can get me.
She is showing me unfathomable love, but I’m not happy to see her showing me this crazy love.
I despise this girl with all my heart.
Seriously, she was a real monster in the truest sense of the expression……
“───Ryosukeeee…… Uwa, Ryosuke…..!”
Kaede’s strength loosened due to her upset.
Mai escapes her restraints and hugs me.
I was not concerned about my sister’s existence only at this moment. I am happy to be able to hold Mai in my firm consciousness.
Mai had her face buried in my chest.
I can feel the moisture on my skin, so I guess her tears are soaking into my shirt. It’s cold, but it warms my heart.
“…… Ooi! Don’t you dare hug Ryosuke!”
“…… Can you please be quiet for a minute? Kaede nee-san?”
“That’s what you called me in middle school,……, why now?”
I unconsciously called her that.
The habit of the time when it was normal is hard to wipe out. So it makes sense to defeat my sister in her current state. I have to take revenge on this woman,……, and that too with a proper thought process.
And I will take just revenge.
It’s not something that’s done in anger, much less violence. I will break Kaede’s heart fair and square.
Violence is absolutely wrong.
Whoever the opponent is, I will regret it terribly. …… because ‘now’ I regret what I did when I kicked Kirishima, so I won’t make the same mistake.
Besides, if I hit her, I’ll fall into the same realm as this person.
I don’t want to fall anymore.
—-But there are things I need to do first, before revenge.
That’s what I want to do first. The first thing I wanted to do when I got well…
When Mai raised her head, her face was, as I expected, smeared with tears. I’m sorry I’m a bad guy who doesn’t have a handkerchief,…… but it’s too late for that, I’m not good enough.
But don’t worry, she’s cute.
─ ─ And now comes the confession of a lifetime.
“You mentioned getting married to me before, right?” (Ryosuke)
“Yeah ……,, no way, no, like ……?” (Mai)
“No, that would never happen.” (Kaede)
I think I phrased it a little too poorly. …… So let’s say it clearly now.
“……Will you marry me?”
“Well, we are definitely engaged, but I wanted to say it directly from my own mouth.”
I have always wanted to say these words, and now, for the first time, I am saying them for the first time. Mai proposed to me and I accepted, but I wanted to tell her from my own mouth as well.
Now was my big chance to tell her what I had never been able to say before.
“After all these years, I can’t imagine life without Mai. If it’s okay with you, I want you to stay with me from now on.”
“Ryosuke……hehehe…… proposed to me……You’ve really gotten better……I’m so happy…..!”
“……Oh! Surprisingly,…… you are not crying huh?”
“Eh~? Are you supposed to cry when you’re happy?”
“…… You’re really cute!!”
I hugged Mai tightly.
“—Ryosukeeeee! Stop it!”
My sister is putting a damper on the mood I was in.
And she’s taking damage on her own.
It seems she couldn’t tolerate the exchange between the two of us. She was scratching her head like a madman.
Mai was frightened of Kaede Nee-san, but I was genuinely sickened by her fear.
Really, what did I have to be afraid of with this maniac? She was just a crazy stalker.
Even now, I had no intention of doing so, I was just being genuinely friendly with Mai. …… But kill two birds with one stone, make her suffer more.
“Hey, Ryosuke,…… you said you’d forgive me, right? Why are you keeping me away from you? And why does your illness get worse when I get close to you? ……I really don’t understand that.”
She still doesn’t understand that, huh?
You are my blood sister, so you should already be aware of what is going on with me.
And yet you still don’t understand …… and as usual, you won’t accept information that doesn’t suit you.
Then I’ll tell you and lead the way.
” It is simple,……, because I haven’t forgiven Kaede nee-san.”
“Haa? But you said you forgave me then…”
“That was a lie.”
I’ll tell her the truth.
I don’t know how Kaede will react when she hears it,……, but she, this lousy woman, should know the hatred I had for her that time.
“Yes, it was lie. I was going to make Kaede nee-san dependent on me and finally abandon you.”
“Make me dependent on you and then abandon………?”
“Yes, yes, ……, that’s easy to understand, isn’t it? In the first place, you can not expect me to forgive you after all that you have done, right? …… Well, to be fair, if I have even the slightest sense of the worst, I don’t usually take them at their word, you know?”
“………No way…..but …….”
Kaede’s eyes widened in astonishment.
It was not like the plan she had in mind.
Kaede thought that she would be loved by making him dependent on her so that he would be the only one who could see her.
However, Ryosuke is the complete opposite.
He would make her dependent on him and then he would abandon her. That is a terrible thing for Kaede to even imagine.
Kaede was confident that he would experience …… bottomless despair as soon as she and Ryosuke became mutual lovers.
The reason is that she can’t hide her shock just by listening to it,…….
But what was unexpected at the time was that the damage to Ryosuke himself was even more immeasurable.
The cause of his worsening symptoms —- it was definitely due to the fact that he had just spent 10 minutes in hell befriending his sister.
Ryosuke is very sorry about that now.
“……How could you possibly think of such a terrible thing ……?”
“No, I don’t want you to be the one to tell me that… I mean, you know what I just said, don’t you? I hate Kaede so much that I would plan such a terrible thing.”
“……Wait, wait, don’t say another word. ……”
“I don’t want you to go near me again. There’s no way in hell I’m ever going to forgive you, Kaede.”
“…… Ryosuke, why …… would you …… do such a thing?”
Shaking his head, he backs away.
Hearing this, Kaede despaired even more.
Even if she wanted to break Ryosuke and get him again, Kaede did not have the confidence to break him now. And it is absolutely useless, not to mention …… impossible, to make him dependent on her.
“Ryosukeee!! Please forgive me! Give me a chance to start over!”
The last thing he wanted was for Kaede to get down on her knees at his feet.
The figure was exactly the same as the one he had seen in his delusions and hallucinations, and Ryosuke was worried that he might be seeing delusions again.
But now that Ryosuke has the ability to determine that this is reality,……, he firmly accepts this reality.
“It’s like a prediction of the future.”
“W-What are you talking about?”
“That ugly figure. I’ve always had a delusion that you would get down on your knees like that.”
“T-that’s how you see me ……?! So that’s why you were always looking at your feet!”
Finally, she came to an understanding.
She had always wondered about Ryosuke’s attitude and thought of herself as being on the ground at his feet.
Kaede cries out in shame and shock when she realizes that her beloved brother saw her that way.
“Ryousuke,…… I really …… want you to forgive me now,…… I’ll never hurt you… …I’m really sorry for everything I’ve done……!
…… When that happens, it’s already completely Kaede’s thing that always appears in her fantasies. The woman with so much pride is on her knees, crying.
Even in reality, she has fallen into the form that Ryosuke wanted her to be.
There were no more words to say.
—-However, there was one thing that was bothering Ryosuke.
“Sorry huh,……, you really do apologize so easily don’t you?”
“Did you forget what we talked about back then, Kaede?”
“…Uhm…… back then……?”
“I see, you really have forgotten …… Nagisa remembered it properly and didn’t apologize for it.”
“What in the world …… What—“
“─ ─ What are you doing!!”
After all this time, a security guard rushes to the scene.
Based on the testimony of a nurse who witnessed the scene where Kaede pushed Mai, the guard was the first to restrain Kaede.
And this incident was definitely heard by Rinka and Kazuhiko. Aside from Kazuhiko, Rinka will take steps to ensure that she never sees Ryosuke again.
“Ryousukeee…… please …… don’t abandon your sister …… please …… Ryousuk ……”
She was desperately reaching out her hand for me to grab her. Kaede nee-san was shedding tears and showing her last stand as the guards took her away.
I responded to the outstretched hand and put out my own.
When I show my reaction, Kaede Nee-chan smiles happily.
Right,……, even like this, we are indeed blood-related brother and sister……. And we may never see each other again from now on.
So it would be good to …… at least one last time.
I reached out my hand—
I grabbed Mai’s hand—
Ryosuke chose Mai. It is a natural result, but Kaede does not understand such an obvious thing.
Kaede leaves while crying and screaming.
—She was taken away by the guards while doing so.
Still, I don’t feel even a little sympathy for her.
The suffering I went through was nothing like that. Kaede-san is only suffering for a moment in time, not every day.
In any case, I said what I wanted to say and rejected her. I was able to let out all the things I had been holding in.
Thanks to this, my brain is really clear. I wish I could tell someone about how I felt so much clearer just a few days ago. ……
I really don’t know why I was suffering so much and keeping negative feelings in the pit of my stomach.
If I had held on to such black feelings, I would have lost my mind.
Maybe I should have talked to people around me and let it go away instead of keeping it all to myself.
“It’s nothing……. Oh, Mai, I love you.”
“Hehehe …… you’re being so unpredictable~”
“I’m not going to be silent from now on, I’m going to say it as many times as I have to.”
“……Thank you, okay?”
“Thank you too, and I’m looking forward to seeing you in the future.”
I was a coward to the end of the line.
I was afraid that Mai would reject me in case I did, so I couldn’t even say “I love you”.
But from now on, it’s different.
I will say how much I love her.
I clasped Mai’s hand next to mine tightly.
Then, Mai pulls on my arm and holds on to it while narrowing her eyes.
The warmth and weight of Mai’s body on my arm gave me a sense of comfort and security, and above all, a feeling of love.
From now on, I promise to love Mai with all my might.
—I will not let her go.
Even if she comes again, I will turn her away.
Yes, I will drive her away again and again.
I don’t want to be at the mercy of my sister ever again.
I will not be at the mercy of anyone, and I will face forward with my own will.
But when I felt relieved, I suddenly became sleepy.
Rather, my brain is reaching its limits.
I collapsed right there and then.
I was too sleepy to stand on my own feet.
Thanks to the doctors who had gathered around because of the commotion between me and my sister, I was immediately taken to the hospital room.
During that time, there was a lot of noise around me, but I didn’t understand it because I was sleeping.
─ ─ Now let’s get some sleep.
I don’t need to think about anything else.
I can move forward from now on.
When I wake up, a different life awaits me.
I will not be deceived by delusions and hallucinations. …… I am sure that peaceful, happy, joyful, and fulfilling days await me.
I am looking forward to school with Usui-kun.
I want to make friends with my new classmates. I’m sure I can have a lot of fun conversations with everyone now that I’ve remembered how to talk…….
I also want to go home and play games.
I haven’t played properly for over a year, so maybe I’m getting swallowed up by the wave of content……. Maybe I should break down my savings that I haven’t touched for a long time and pay the bills?
─ ─ Yes, it’s fine.
I have plenty of time.
I’ve wasted a lot of it, but I just need to make up for it by living the best and brightest life I can.
—I’m at my wits’ end. …… Let’s go to sleep.
The next time I wake up, a wonderful reality awaits me.
With this thought in mind, I slowly closed my eyes.
I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.
I’m not anxious about anything anymore.
Nee-san doesn’t exist anymore.
The flame that was lit in Ryosuke’s eyes slowly fades away.