Chapter 3 Part 2
“Please let him stay here, Nii-san! I’ll take good care of him!”
Kureha pleaded with teary, puppy eyes.
“Uwaun~” Yawning, the puppy was half-asleep.
I’m guessing it’s two or three months old at most. From what she said, it seems like she found it on her way back from the hospital.
Since there was no collar, I couldn’t tell whether it was a stray or not.
“Don’t worry, my little sister! I won’t tell you to take it back to where you found it. I would never do such a harsh thing.”
My little sister’s eyes were shining.
I gently smiled at that hope-filled face.
“Well, where’s the cardboard?”
“Uwaaa! You liar! You really want to get rid of him!”
“That was a joke, don’t take it too seriously.”
“Devil! Demon! There’s a limit to your jokes! What color is your blood, Nii-san!?”
“…If I’m not wrong, you try to kill me every morning, right?”
“Ua… Ah, don’t try to push the blame on me! Why do you have such a bad character? I want to see your parents’ faces!”
“You’ve already seen them many times, haven’t you!?”
We were born from the same parents, weren’t we? Or am I an adopted child? If that’s really the case, then I can understand why I can’t get used to this household.
“No…! I will make this puppy my little brother!”
Kureha hugged the puppy tightly while squealing convulsively.
What a pain.
This was quite severe.
“But you know, Kureha, right now, he may be little and cute, but after a while, he’ll grow up. He’s a Siberian Husky after all. Raising him will be very troublesome, you know?”
“That’s not true! Even when he grows up, we’ll keep playing together!”
“’Playing together’, you say…”
“I’m sure that this puppy will be able to take all my techniques!”
“You’re planning to make him your sandbag?”
“His name will be Patrasche!”
“Don’t give him such an unlucky name!”
“With that kind of name, he’s really going to die.”
How cruel. The dog will have to be loyal to the extreme to be willing to play fake pro-wrestling with Kureha. Its death will be a death in vain.
“Even if you try to persuade me with your pro wrestling techniques, the situation won’t change. And what about the food bill? Will you send a letter to mom asking for a bigger allowance? I’m pretty sure that if she found out that you brought a dog to this house, she’d be pretty mad. You know that.”
“Listen. Keeping it means that you’ll have to look after him until the end of his life. That’s why you can’t keep him with half-hearted feelings. Do you get it?”
“I–I understand that, but…”
Kureha bowed while hugging the puppy.
One could say that my words were extremely cold, but that would only be one point of view. To raise an animal, you need to be prepared – even more so when it’s a dog… Especially if it’s a big one. And I’m pretty sure that this guy would be happier pulling dogsleds in the Antarctic.
“Konoe, please say something.” I looked up at Konoe who was at my side, asking for her to help persuade Kureha.
Our house’s butler should be able to understand this much.
That’s what I thought, but when I turned my head…
“Kureha-chan, how should I say this… Can I hug it too?”
Our house’s butler was looking at the puppy with the eyes of someone who just had their heart stolen by it.
…This is bad.
Another one had been infected by this pet’s poison.
“Stop, Konoe! It’s a trap! Don’t touch the dog!”
“What are you saying, Jirou? There’s no way that this cute thing is a dog.”
“What are you saying all of sudden?”
No matter how you look at it, it was a dog.
Konoe entirely ignored my warnings and moved closer to the dog.
“Uwa~, it’s so fluffy!”
She was hugging it tightly.
I wonder if the peculiarly scary face of the Siberian Husky meant nothing to her. I think that her sense of beauty was a bit strange.
“Jirou, even if raising it was impossible, can’t you at least keep it during Golden Week? We can look for someone to raise it during this time.”
After hearing Konoe’s words, Kureha exhaled, relieved.
The two of them surrounding the puppy reached a mutual understanding – like the alliance between Italy and Germany during the Second World War.
This can’t go on any further.
This time, I have to show my dignity as the eldest child of this household.
“Come on, Jirou, how about petting it?”
Konoe casually said that while holding the tail-wagging puppy. No! Stop! Don’t approach me with that dog!
“You can’t, Konoe-senpai. Nii-san is really weak against dogs.”
“When he was in kindergarten, he played with a stray dog and got bit, and since then, Nii-san has had trauma with dogs.”
Uwa! I can’t believe it! This little sister! How can she expose her brother’s embarrassing past so calmly!
“Hmm, I wonder if this one would do that. Even though it’s so cute!”
The two protectors of the animal were caressing the dog with smiles on their faces. What a sudden change of power. The strange Siberian Husky had been promoted to the idol of this household in a single instant.
Damn it, I’m so jealous… Or rather, bitter. Even though he’s just a dog, he’s being spoiled by two girls…!
“Hey, Jirou!” Konoe looked at me with upturned eyes. “Are you really going to abandon this puppy?”
“I–It’s not like I’m going to abandon it…”
“The nights during May are unexpectedly cold. I’m certain that if he sleeps outdoors tonight, he’ll catch a cold.”
“Geez, he’s a dog. He won’t catch a human cold.”
“Besides, he’ll be pretty lonely if there’s no one with him. Since I was driven out from the mansion, I know that feeling very well.”
“That’s why, Jirou…”
“…! Okay. But only for the Golden Week. After that, I will kick it out without mercy.”
Saying that, I shifted my gaze from Konoe.
If she begs me with that expression, there’s no way I could refuse.
“Yay! I love you, Nii-san!”
I guess she was overjoyed, seeing how Kureha started hugging me around my waist. Ugee, please give me a rest. You know that I have gynophobia.
“Hey hey, leave me alone!”
“Nyahaha, isn’t it okay? We’re siblings!”
You could say that Kureha was approaching me like a little puppy.
In her case, it was routine, but no matter how many times it happens, I just can’t get used to it. Although it is better than facing her pro-wrestling techniques.
For some reason unknown to me, Konoe narrowed her lips in dissatisfaction. What’s that? You want Kureha to hug you that badly? I bet you want to exchange places with me, right?
Finally, this noisy day is over.
If you stop to think about it, a lot of things have happened. Konoe tumbled in, Kureha came back home, the family grew… It really was eventful.
It went pretty differently from the original plan, but I think that this noisy day wasn’t so bad. Well, at least I won’t be bored.
And I’m sure that problems other than this one won’t happen—
At that moment, my cell phone rang.
Soon, that ringing will become a classic sound of the Golden Week.
The owner of it was undoubtedly…
I checked the ‘incoming call’ screen.
As expected, it was Suzutsuki.
Hey hey, what’s with this timing?
Reluctantly, I pushed the ‘Answer’ button.
“Jirou-kun. You should make sure to lock the door to the entrance hall. It’s careless not to.”
Her voice startled me.
What? Suzutsuki’s voice wasn’t coming from the cell phone, but from right behind me.
I turned around, astonished. Standing there was a girl with black twintails, wearing a black coat and a bright white skirt. The coat was a bit tight, highlighting her proportions in a distinguished manner and giving off the aura of a well-raised ojou-sama.
She was standing at the entrance to the living room, smiling elegantly. And for some reason, she had a large carry-on bag at her side.
She grinned like a child whose prank had succeeded.
“I ended up coming.”
“’Ended up coming’… you say.”
“There’s no [Ended up]! Are you Lum-cham?!”(1)
“Fufu. A speedy retort as always.”
Suzutsuki entered the living room with her usual calm demeanor.
Konoe and Kureha just stared at the unexpected visitor. As expected, her coming all of a sudden was a shock for them. Their mouths gaped open.
“Ojou-sama, why are you here?” Her butler finally uttered.
After smiling at her butler, “Fufun, why, you ask? Isn’t it clear already? Just like you, I came to live by favor at Jirou’s house.”
I felt my neurons burning from the shock in my head. And many of them. It was the outbreak of World War Three.
“L–Live by favor in my house…?”
Even though you weren’t driven out of your house?
“It’s okay. I ran away from home properly.”
“You ran away from home just for the sake of this?”
“But… Don’t you think it’s pretty cruel of you to leave me alone and have fun all by yourselves?”
What a girl. As expected from the devil Suzutsuki, to come rushing over right away. If I knew that this was going to happen, I would have poured salt in front of my house. No, I feel that in her case, even if I built a barricade, she would have destroyed it right away.
“Don’t worry. I don’t have any intention of staying here for free.”
Pause just for a moment, please.
I have the feeling that I’ve had this conversation before, during another time. It’s what they call “déjà vu”. That was when Konoe was going to become my butler…
“That’s why—from today onwards, I will be your maid.”
“My lord, feel free to give me any order that may be on your mind.”
Slightly raising the edge of her skirt, Suzutsuki bowed elegantly as if she was acting out some scene from some movie.
Ten seconds later.
I was facing an unreasonable nightmare called ‘reality’.
“Don’t joke around with meeeee!”
I screamed, like a werewolf howling to the moon.
“Go back! Go back right now!”
“You say such cruel things, don`t you? Even though you let Subaru stay so easily.”
“I can tell that Konoe’s objectives and yours are completely different!”
The reason Konoe wants to work as my butler is purely to repay me. But for this girl, it’s completely for self-satisfaction, a motive that goes along the lines of ‘it seems interesting’. I have to establish a countermeasure against Suzutsuki Kanade as soon as possible.
“Are you so against it? Or could it be that you don’t need a maid like me?”
With Suzutsuki suddenly approaching me, my voice stumbled.
Suzutsuki called my name with her voice, sweet like hot chocolate.
…This is bad.
I feel like my heart is about to stop.
But… She’s approaching with such a beautiful smile. If I were to be served by such a maid, my daily life would become like a dream.
But I can’t be fooled. The one standing there is the devil Suzutsuki. A wolf disguised as a sheep. She is a woman who has a high chance of having multiple affairs.
If such a person became my maid, my family would be completely destroyed, as if it was hit directly by a typhoon. No matter what I’d have to resort to, I couldn’t let such a thing happen.
“Anyway, you can’t! To begin with, we already have Konoe in this house! All of our servant positions are already taken!”
I said that flat out.
Well, I’ve got the feeling that ever since Konoe has come to this house, she hasn’t done anything that a butler should do, but let’s leave that aside for now. For now, if only I could drive this Ojou-sama away—
“I see, I got it!”
Suzutsuki agreed unexpectedly easily to my point.
“In other words, what you want to say is something like this? ‘An ordinary middle-class family can’t have two servants.’”
“Yeah. Exactly that. Since we already have Konoe in this house, you should—”
“Then, let’s have a showdown.”
My brain circuits stopped functioning for a while after hearing the surprising answer.
“It’s very simple. An ordinary middle-class family can’t have two servants. So, let’s decide which one of us is better suited for being this house’s servant.”
Suzutsuki smiled fearlessly at the puzzled Konoe.
“Then— This is war, Subaru. Butler vs. Maid. Let’s have a match to decide who is better suited for being Jirou-kun’s servant!”
Suzutsuki pointed straight at Konoe.
A declaration of war.
No matter how you looked at it, it was a declaration of war.
…Didn’t I tell you?
This war won’t go by normal means, right?
(1)Character from Urusei Yatsura.