Chapter 2 part 2
The only room that a normal family house doesn’t have.
Standing out in the middle of the room was the training ring. There were also about twelve sand bags and machines for muscle training scattered around the room. This might be scary, but this is my mother’s hobby.
The center ring.
I was lying down there in the form of the kanji for big.(1)
After that, I don’t know how many times we trained without brakes, but the situation was looking like a one-sided game.
“Let’s end here for today.”
The alto-voice pierced.
I raised my head, and standing there with a refreshed face, in stark contrast to my situation, was Subaru-sama.
Wearing a karate gi.(2)
She was wearing a white uniform used in Karate and Judo and a hakama skirt.(3) Altogether, it was a typical gi uniform.
I couldn’t let her fight with that apron, so I lent her some clothing that I had. There were various types, but Konoe chose this one. The outfit suited her and gave her a brave appearance, but troublingly, it was not just for show.
She is too strong.
I remember that last month she won against Kureha, so I should have expected this result.
I couldn’t hit her even once.
This was my first time experiencing something like this. I judged that exchanging blows would be useless, so I thought about moving around the ring and taking her to the ground in one blow, but instead she managed to pin me.
I heard that as a butler, for the sake of protecting her master, she learned self-defense techniques… But I never thought that the difference was so big…
Even though I was quite confident in my stamina.
And moreover, to lose to a girl in endurance…
“There’s no reason for you to be so depressed. Today’s Kumite wasn’t so bad, right?”
I was looking to the ceiling when Konoe handed me a bath towel and a PET bottle filled with water. Mu—, it feels like I’m accepting charity, but I can’t put my stomach on my back. I moistened my dry throat and wiped the sweat out of my hair with the bath towel.
When I realized it’s almost night.
At first I hadn’t intended to do this much, but when we started I kept losing, and the more I lost, the more I embittered I became. It looks like my body really got weaker in this half year. I think it’s best to start considering re-training.
But in a different topic, I think that while I was training Kumite, I became a little more accustomed to touching girls. But well, this was kind of insignificant. It’s regrettable but it’s like Suzutsuki says: living together with Konoe will be helpful in healing my Gynophobia.
“But unexpectedly, Jirou’s house has a lot of kinds of gi. Even the sizes and types are different from each other. Are you some kind of gi collector?”
What kind of collector would that be? I don’t have this kind of pleasant inclination.
“No. These are liketrophies.”
“Since I was a kid, mom used to take me to various kinds of martial arts dojos to play like wrestling, judo or karate. Then I used to say this, ‘If I win you have to give me this gi.’”
I made it barely losing, but Kureha, who also went, was incredible. Or rather, she was an abnormality. Even though she was a kid, she could win against adults and would take their black belts.
While I was immerged in nostalgic memories, Konoe was wearing a doubtful expression.
“Hey… Isn’t that what they call Dojoyaburi?”(4)
“Hm? I guess you can put it that way. We were called ‘The Raiders’.”(5)
“That’s a quite a bad way of putting it!”
“Kureha and I were called ‘The Raid Siblings’ around here.”
“Don’t say it so proudly.”
“Well, it was more like kid’s play. Like ‘If I win against the people of that dojo, the dinner today will be hamburger!’ We had a lot fun with the prizes.”
Now that I think back, a lot of things happened during those times.
I also met my classmate Kurose in middle school while visiting his Judo Club. The worst was when the primary school student Kureha by herself defeated a Judo Club that fought at the national level. We were pale at that time.
“Jirou, did you finish wiping your sweat?”
Konoe asked me that while I was facing my past trauma.
“Yeah. You want to take a shower first? I can go after that.”
“No, I want to do the laundry first. I saw before that a lot of dirty clothes were accumulating.”
And so, our family’s butler took the towel which had my sweat into her hands.
If I asked if she needed help, I would be rejected instantly.
“You don’t have to do anything. This is the work of the butler.”
Mu mu. I feel somewhat guilty. Konoe should also be tired. I wonder if it’s okay for me to leave it all to her.
“Don’t worry about me. I will rest a bit more around here.”
Maybe she realized my mental state, but Konoe climbed up the stairs without saying anything more.
The Konoe just now wasn’t acting unfriendly or cold hearted, just awfully unsociable. It’s really strange, even though she was so lively when we started the Kumite. As I thought, she moved too much with a stomach filled with cup ramen.
I kept laying down like the Kanji for big, when.
Now that I remember, I forgot to tell her just one thing.
The laundry machine in our house is completely dyfunctional.
Well, more precisely, after we frequently overloaded the machine to the point that it started shaking like a Dempsey roll(6) from a certain boxing manga, the machine fell into disarray. The last time it stopped functioning because a frustrated Kureha managed to reenact a perfect imitation of a shining wizard, but after that it entered into a rebellious phase.
“There’s no helping it. I should go take a look on how it’s going.”
I got up against the aching of my upper body, and wearily climbed the stairs.
If she is going to do the laundry, washing the clothes I’m wearing now as well would be more efficient. And I can’t let Konoe wash the gi carelessly and fade the color.
And in the moment I tried to open the sliding door of the dressing room from the corridor.
From the dressing room’s door.
A small gap was open.
That moment I peeked a bit into the scene on the other side.
Well, it’s not like I wanted to peek, but the image reflected on my eyes was so strange that the hands I had on the sliding door didn’t move.
I wonder what she is doing…
In front of the laundry machine in the dressing room.
Konoe was standing there while holding the bath towel I had used just now. Looking at the empty laundry basket, I realized that the rest of the laundry was already inside the machine.
But, why is the only thing that’s not inside the bath towel?
Konoe was silently staring at the bath towel.
But I feel that it’s a strange stare.
It’s like she was afraid about enduring something.
For example, inside her mind, a scene of cute, deformed angels and demons fighting in a bloody battle using Normady’s landing strategy might be spreading. My reasoning behind this delusion is her facial expression that seems to be holding a great desire.
The battle in her brain is finally over?
Konoe brought the bath towel to her face.
“—What are you doing?”
Suddenly I felt like I couldn’t bear it anymore and opened the door energetically.
*Staring in puzzlement*
Konoe looked at me with the eyes of someone who saw a ghost.
With a cute scream, she jumped about thirty centimeters back from the place she was standing. And what’s more, without using her knees. What kind of technique was that?
At that moment, the powdered detergent came flying and violently hit my face.
Mugyaa! I screamed and rolled around on the floor of the dressing room with the powder box in my face. Meanwhile, Konoe was looking at me with a threatening face like that of a lion whose tail had been stepped on.
“Yo, you saw it! It’s not! It’s not like that! Ce, certainly! I was certainly not thinking about what kind of smell guys have! It’s not like I’m interested in these things!”
Just calm down.
You’re so panicked that I can’t understand you.
I got up while rubbing my nose. Konoe was completely lost and her face was completely red.
“Any, anyway. It’s nothing like that! My behavior just now was not like that!”
“What is wrong? Or rather, leave the laundry alone for now, and please leave from this room for a bit. I want to enter the shower.”
I originally planned on letting her take a shower first, but with the powdered bleach in my hair I can’t. I had already set the timer, so the shower should be on soon.
“Ah, uh, shower? Are you going to take a shower?”
“Yeah. Can I enter first?”
“… Un, yeah. Then I will leave for now.”
Konoe finally regained her calm and left the dressing room.
Then, shower shower. They say that the shower is the laundry of life.
First I went to my room and picked a change of clothes, then I put everything I was currently wearing into the laundry machine.
I opened the frosted glass door and entered the bathing room, immediately lathering my hair with a large amount of shampoo. Almost everything is Kureha’s. Like a girl her age should, she is taking good care of her hair.
By the way, I once used her products without permission, but afterwards she changed the contents of the fa*beep*lize in my room with soy sauce. It was an extremely childish retribution. It’s hard to deal with girls in this age.
First I will use the body wash to remove all the sweat off my body, after that I will wash my hair. The one I’m using is of course the cheap one I have. After washing my body, I will clear the foam from my body and soak in the bathtub.
After sinking my body into the hot water, I took a slow, deep breath.
Hahhh, so this is what they call being revived. Taking a shower with a tired body feels so good. If I stay like this and sleep, maybe I will become brain soup.
Uun, I stared at the ceiling while stretching my body.
“How is the water temperature?”
The unexpected sound surprised me.
Suddenly Konoe appeared on the other side of the glass.
Did she come to put more clothes in the laundry?
“Yeah, it’s pretty good.”
“I see. This is good… Then I will enter.”
Didn’t she say something outrageous just now? …When I thought that it was already too late.
Konoe Subaru shyly entered the bathing room wearing only a bath towel.
“Uoooo! Yo, you! Wha, what are you doing!?”
Gyaaa! What’s up with this situation? It is a situation promised from ancient times in romantic comedies, but I never thought I would be able to experience this with my own body.
“What… Washing my master’s back is a natural task of the butler.”
*Tsun* Konoe said that with a tiny voice while averting her eye sight.
What kind of task!? If you do that I will certainly faint from my phobia!
Moreover, what’s with cleaning her master’s back? …Heh? In other words, Suzutsuki enters the bath with Konoe every day? Without realizing it, I started imagining my two classmates (girls) getting along and playing while washing their bodies…
This is really dangerous.
Suddenly my heart started beating loudly inside my brain. If I think imprudent things in this situation, what kind of misinterpretations will be made? Being easily read is the sad saga of adolescent boys.
“That’s, that’s really okay! If it’s my body, I already washed it on my own!”
Think about Konoe calling me “Master” in this situation. It will instantly change from a mediocre bathing scene to a completely perverted play. Some kind of dramatic before-after.
“N, no, I also have my pride as a butler.”
You can leave that pride in the garbage.
That snow like white skin peeked out from behind the bath towel. I can also see that her melons have a high fighting power. Her cheeks were dyed crimson in embarrassment. So this is Chaku-ero.(7) Even though I know I shouldn’t be looking, my eyes keep turning towards her.
“Do, don’t stare at me so much, Jirou…”
As if she couldn’t calm down, Konoe was pushing the bath towel on her slender body as if to hide it.
…Please, don’t act like that. If this keeps up, my lower body will go crazy.
“Don’t worry. There’s no problem if Jirou is wearing nothing. See, if we use this, the problem is solved.”
Saying that, Konoe picked up a hand towel that was in the bathing room and covered her eyes with that, as if we’re playing watermelon splitting.
Waaaaaaaa! Stop that, you fool!
It’s far too dangerous! Bathing together with a girl with her eyes covered, what kind of perversion is this. This has to be a crime.
“We-, well Jirou, sit down here.”
Even with her eyes covered Konoe pointed to the chair that was in the bathing room.
Like this… I think there’s no way to escape.
I made my mind and *Zachwa* I got up from the bath tub.
Being here with a blindfolded girl, I can’t guarantee that I will keep my sanity. I felt like I was turning into an octopus by the time I got up from the hot water.
With strong heart bumps I turned to Konoe’s side and sat down on the chair.
Uwa, my head is feeling so crazy. I think even a criminal condemned to death doesn’t feel so nervous when sitting in the electric chair.
“Okay. Next is the sponge and the body soap.”
I heard Konoe’s voice very close to my ears. Looks like she put her knees on the tile and sat like that.
“Are you okay? I think it’s better for you to remove this blindfold…. Er, wait Konoe! That’s wrong! That’s very wrong! No matter how you look at it, that’s a mold scrubbing brush and Bath Magic *beep*ean.”(8)
“Mu, shut up. I can easily realize this much. See, this is…”
“No, that is the duck that was floating in the bathtub.”
“…I was just joking. The real one is this. Don’t worry. I know it, I really know it…”
“Aah… No! That is most definitely wrong! If you grab that, it’ll become a great problem for sure.”
That was my lower body.
The thin arm wandered through the bathroom and finally caught its first goal. Somehow I’m incredibly uneasy. Unexpectedly, the bathing room was turning into something like a beach flag tournament.
“Th, then, I will start to wash!”
“Ah, aa, I’m counting on you.”
After both sides exchanged uneasy remarks, I felt the touch of the rough sponge and the slippery body soap.
What clumsy hands. As expected, Konoe is also fairly nervous. She kept rubbing my back as if she were touching a luxurious foreign car. Thanks to that, my heart was on the verge of stopping.
“Bu… But, unexpectedly… Jirou has a fairly big back.”
“Aah, well, I have been trained since I was a kid.”
The conversation was so hard that it could make a metallic sound.
Besides, being touched by a girl wearing only a bath towel, this situation is not good.
It feels like my blood is being gathered in only one point on my body.
Yeah… Without a doubt this was the sign of the effects of my gynophobia.
“Ko, Konoe. You don’t need to wash me with that much passion.”
When she rubs around my nape, I can’t help but to let out my voice.
Even though her way of washing is strangely awkward, unexpectedly I can feel a great stimulation. *Bzz bzz* As if my body was receiving an electrical charge.
“It’s… It’s okay, I’ve almost finished the back already.”
And Konoe stretched her hands to the shower on the wall.
Looks like she wanted to wipe the soap on my back. I think that procedurally, it should be done last, but I get the impression she is lost.
I was adjusting the temperature since Konoe couldn’t see anything.
Like that I could avoid the promise of being bathed in boiling water.
Like that, in the moment I moved my eyes.
I could hear a cute scream from behind.
I could slightly feel cold water on my back.
Looks like it was really a problem to have the blindfold.
Looks like she wanted to aim the shower head towards my back, but she missed it and sprayed her face before changing to the hot water.
But that was not the real problem.
The most troubling was that in this moment I turned around.
I took a deep breath looking at that scene.
Konoe should have been surprised by the cold water, so she had lost her balance and had fallen on the tile floor.
And because of the shower, her bath towel was now glued to her body, accentuating her body line.
Drops of water were glistening on that white skin and that bright hair. And because of the wet bath towel, I could see the youthful skin through it. A delicate body in its growing phase.
Even though it’s not a (gynophobia) attack, I felt like a nose bleed was starting.
“Sto, stop that, you pervert! Don’t look this way!”
Even though she is blindfolded, she could feel my line of sight? Konoe kept waving her hand while sitting on the floor.
But it had the reverse effect.
Because, if you move so much like that, the bath towel will slip off…
“Uwa, fool, don’t move.”
I grabbed Konoe’s arm and held it.
Maybe because of having her movements suddenly stopped, Subaru-sama was shaking and letting a fragile voice, different from her normally strong behavior.
I probably made her uneasy from the silence as she dubiously called my name.
I feel like I was just shot in the heart.
The bath towel was about to come off. A cherry blossom colored, dizzyingly delicate body. When touched, it produced a fluffy sensation.
With her two arms caught and blindfolded, Konoe Subaru, in her ridiculous appearance…
“Ji… Jirou… Please, don’t be silent and say something…”
A faint voice like that of cat clinging to its mother.
I feel that my senses are turning strange…
Even though I’m not inside the bathtub, my mind is boiling. My head is also dizzy, but I don’t know if it’s because of my Gynophobia.
There’s only one thing that assures me: the only humans who can witness this situation are the two of us.
To calm down my feelings I took a long deep breath.
Oh yes. If one of Konoe’s fans saw us in this situation… I would be sent to a gas chamber without a trial. When I think about this, I start feeling that this situation is still positive.
Besides, now even Kureha is not here.
I’m feeling so relieved that she went to a training camp. I’m talking about that pro wrestler fool. If she found out that I’m in this situation with a girl in our bathing room, I will actually be killed—.
“I’m baaaaaaack! Nii-saan! I just arrived!”
I had this hallucination in the bathroom.
Following that, “Nii-san, where are you?” could be heard together with from out in the corridor.
I could hear the scythe of a shinigami(9) echoing.
This is the worst.
Our little monster came back at the worst timing possible.
Without a doubt, the strongest challenger for any intruders.
“Ji,Jirou! What’s happening? Wasn’t Kureha-chan supposed to be back the day after tomorrow?”
I release my hands without thinking, and the despairing Konoe reached her hands straight for the towel that was blindfolding her.
“Uwaa! Stop! Don’t take it off yet!”
In one moment.
On the verge of the blindfold removing, I jumped straight into the bathtub.
*Fuu* I relaxed and took a deep breath, even though the problem was fundamentally unsolved.
I checked the situation.
A girl sitting down wearing only a towel and me, completely naked, siting down in the bathtub.
…I see. No matter what I think now, I can’t escape from the judgment.
If this situation doesn’t change, the bathtub of my house will become an execution ground full of blood….!
“Aah, I see… You were taking a bath.”
Hii. She finally reached the dressing room. Damn it, what was that hug for this morning? Weren’t you going to the end of the galaxy?
Geez, since it’s turned out this way, I have no other option.
Now I will have talk and try avoiding disaster…
“Hey, hello Kureha. What’s happening, weren’t you going to the training camp today?”
Trying to keep as calm as possible, I talked from behind the frosted glass.
“Hnya, yeah, that’s true, but due to some reasons I was deported…”
What’s the meaning of that? Was she trying to find exile in another country?
“To tell the truth… I broke my arm.”
“I’m telling you that I broke a bone in my arm. But well, that was a long time from the last time I was in an ambulance. From what the doctor said, looks like it will take two weeks to heal completely.”
My head hurts. What was she doing? To think that she had to retreat from a wound.
“Are you okay? Do you have other wounds?”
“No. It ended with only one arm. It was lucky even for me.”
“Lucky you say…”
“Well, anyway, the enemy was over 100 kilograms.”
“What in the world were you fighting?”
“Eerr… a black bear?”
“You were really fighting a bear!!”
Are you Kintarou (10)? Don’t tell me you were trying to be a friendly sumo wrestler?
“In the moment we reached the training camp, we accidently entered their territory. They were so strong. To think that I could battle a bear.”
“What kind of artist Bear is it?”
“But I won.”
“The black bear retreated saying, ‘kyan kyan’.”
“That is really animal abuse.”
“There’s no way. Tthe people of that place said to me, [Ojou-chan, if you defeat that bear the old man here will give you pudding].”
“Is that old man okay? He seems to be a big perv.”
“Well, I was okay, but the vice-captain screamed [Mountain Hunt] and ran alone into the mountains.”
“Looks like the mountain rescue unit is searching for her now, but we’re talking about that person, so I bet she’ll destroy the bear ecosystem in that mountain and come back home normally.”
“But it’s a regret to retire in only one day,” Kureha said sulkily.
It’s not normal, completely not normal, the handicraft club of the Rouran Academy. From the conversation it seems to be a foreign mercenary group… I hate that.
“By the way, Nii-san…”
Kureha talked in a very cold tone.
“Why are you taking a bath this early?”
It finally came!
The question time that I was fearing finally started.
“No, no reason. There’s no deep meaning behind it. I just sweated a lot.”
I didn’t lie. Even now, I still have cold sweat dripping from my head.
“I see. But-… Why is there a Gi very cutely furled here?”
It’s the one that Konoe was using.
What a thing… To leave such evidence on the crime scene…
“W- well. I was just wanting to wear a Gi again since it was a long time…”
“Even though the size doesn’t fit?”
“Y- yeah. It was very tough, but I was able to wear it.”
“… Heh, then…”
“Why is there… Like before, a pair of cutely furled female underwear at its side?”
It’s over. Now, even my neurons are running desperately from my body and crying “It’s impossible” before one by one committing suicide.
“Don’t tell me you suddenly wanted to wear a pair of panties…”
“W- well, something like it…”
“Even though the size doesn’t fit?”
“W- well, it was a bit hard, but there’s no way it won’t fit.”
“I see, this is good. –By the way, Nii-san. Is it okay for me to enter the shower with you?”
“I sweated a lot on the training camp. It’s okay right?”
“This, this is completely impossible.”
“Even if you ask me why…”
“Is there anything that would trouble you if I go in there?”
“Nee, Nii-san. I wonder who the girl bathing with you is…”
The voice of my little sister was trembling with rage.
I make my own decision and release my hands from the bathtub and reach for the bathing room’s door and lock it.
A last measure, a barricade plan.
“Heh… Nii-san? Why did you lock the door?”
*Don Don* The sound of the frosted glass door being hit echoed through the bathing room.
I have the impression that the movie [Shining] had a scene like this. Or Hitchcock’s [Psycho]. If after this, she recklessly she pierces me with a knife…
“Well. If you’re going to be like this, I also have something in mind.”
Kureha said that coldly and placed her hands on the door knob.
Together with that screaming voice, the door knob was rotated… Heh? T-the door knob… The door knob started making a distorted sound and the form started to change. What an unbelievable power! Are you sure that you are not using magic?
“Sorry, Konoe. If I die today, I want you to build a grave for me under the cherry tree. And if you can, please burn some incense there from time to time.”
Saying my last words inside the bathing room, I reminisced about my short life. My mind had a flashback of this morning, a clear image of Kureha holding that stifled corpse of an apple.
Aah, a few seconds later and I will turn out like that. Without a doubt, I will be redder than the red ranger.
“Don’t worry, Jirou.”
Without caring about this emergency situation, Konoe said that calmly.
Don’t tell me she has some kind of secret plan to overcome this situation?
“If we talk to her, we can manage somehow…”
“Like that would!!”
“What are you saying? Kureha-chan is your little sister.”
“Since she is my little sister, as a big brother I am the one who knows her better.”
“If you interact sincerely with her, I’m sure that she’ll understand.”
“She is not the kind of opponent on which this peaceful act will work.”
She is the little sister that kept punishing me for more than ten years. I don’t think that this peaceful policy will work this time.
“Leave it to me. Protecting the master is also a task of the butler.”
Saying that Konoe turned towards of the door that was making a *Kaki Kaki* sound.
*Baki* The door lock was finally destroyed, and the door knob *Crack Crack* fell on the floor.
The last defense line was destroyed.
The moment I drank my saliva, *Baan* the door was opened.
“Uryaaa! Goyou da Goyou da !(11) The event is not happening in the meeting room, but on the actual scene!”
Kureha entered the room like a detective that has just initiated a drug bust. She was wearing the same shirt from this morning. Looks like she really broke her arm as her right arm was immobilized from the elbow.
Right after she entered the room, her pupils grew large as if she was nailed by someone in an interview.
She was frantically calling Konoe’s name with her mouth wide open.
And Konoe was acting calm wearing only a bath towel.
The two exchange looks.
The silent bathing room was being filled with nervousness.
“Welcome home, Ojou-sama.”
Wearing a splendid business smile, Subaru-sama bowed.
After the few seconds of silence…
Kureha was turned over by the suddenness of the situation.
…It won’t work.
Her eyes are spinning. She was blowing bubbles and her limbs were twitching like she was having convulsions. Looks like the shock was so big she passed out.
“See? We managed it somehow by conversation.”
I’m sure it won’t end by ordinary means.
Breathing after the danger had passed, in this chaotic golden week I remembered the obscure sense of uneasiness.
TRANSLATOR NOTES AND REFERENCES
(1) The Kanji for big 大
(2) Gi is a uniform used to practice Judo and Karate.
(3) A hakama is a type of traditional Japanese clothing with a type of long skirt. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakama
(4) 道場破り Literally “Destroying a dojo”, Dojoyaburi means challenging another dojo and defeating each member.
(5) カチコミ (kachikomi) is actually the furigana used for 殴り込み (Nagurikomi), both of which can be translated as raid.
(6) A Dempsey roll is a boxing technique in which the fighter weaves aggressively back and forth in order to confuse the other fighter, hence the reference to the washing machine shaking. The move made an appearance in the fighting manga Hajime no Ippo.
(7) Chakuero (着エロ) describes a gravure idol who models almost nude, but never fully nude. For example, the idol will sometimes not be wearing a bikini top but her chest will be covered by her arm or another prop.
(8) This should help. http://www.kao.com/jp/kao_imgs/magiclean/mcl_bath_deodorant_plus_00_img_l.jpg
(9) God of death, similar to the Grim Reaper.
(10) Kintarou is a figure in Japanese folklore who grew up in the mountains surrounded by animals. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kintar%C5%8D
(11) “Goyou da!” literally means Official Business, but that doesn’t really fit in context. But “Goyou da Goyou da!” is usually screamed when busting someone and stuff. The rest of the sentence doesn’t make any sense though.