Chapter 157 – Ichijouji Seigi’s Contemplations
I swung my wooden sword. Over and over again. It was a simple movement, just a single downwards swing, I kept on repeating that one basic movement as I thought of mine and Komari’s encounter with our sister-in-law.
We really made contact with her this time… We had no plan, and found her out perchance even, but we fought her head on… It couldn’t be helped, we really had no idea of when would be our next chance to talk to her, so we had to make use of this one… But it was truly a mess, wasn’t it?
I can’t let something like that happen again… I have to keep practicing, I have to pay more attention to her, I have to understand her, I have to get my feelings across to our sister-in-law… I’ll do it with this swordsmanship!
And then, Komari won’t have to go through another experience that is as harsh as this one… That girl is too reckless, too kind, too… Innocent. I really can’t let her be harmed because she lets those wonderful qualities of her take her over… Though this time, it was also my fault that things didn’t work out properly, wasn’t it?
I don’t get why Reiko asked us to grow closer to our sister-in-law. She sure knew that with the way our step sister is, she’d definitely reject us. Was Reiko just worried that our sister-in-law would have no friends otherwise?
… No. That doesn’t matter. It was not just because of Reiko’s request that we decided to grow closer to our step sister. There was something else, we also wanted to grow closer out of our own will… But why? What was that thing that kept on pushing us? Why did we keep on going after being rejected again and again? There was definitely something stronger than the sense of duty towards Reiko…
… Loneliness. That was it, wasn’t it? The face that our sister-in-law made when we first met, and on each subsequent time as well… She’s lonely, isn’t she? Even though she always has that expressionless facade, deep down she really seems to always be lonely… Even when near her friends, she still seemed lonely.
I suppose it doesn’t help that she’s always stuck in the villa ever since Reiko died… It also doesn’t help that she also has a horrible relationship with father… Yeah, I’m sure of it, she is lonely, and I… Want to help her? Want to break through her loneliness?
… Or do I want to be her family? She… She might want that deep down. An ‘ordinary family’, one that she could enjoy being with just like how she enjoyed being with Reiko… I’m sure she really loved that ‘ordinary’ life.
Though what is ‘ordinary’ anyways? What is ‘normal’ and what is ‘abnormal’? I don’t get it. Is there even a difference in the first place? Is it just about how empathetic one is? Or does it have something to do with how one is born? I just… Don’t understand it. No matter how much I think, I don’t understand it.
I want to grow closer to our sister-in-law, I understand this much… But I’m still unsure on the why, and I definitely do not know the how… Is there even a way to get along with her?
I took a deep breath. After finishing the third set of one hundred sword swings, I figured it was time to take a break… At least this practice isn’t in vain anymore, at least with these skills I can fight properly against our step sister in VR. I can deliver my feelings to her in the one place that we can actually meet up properly.
‘Could you please try to get along? As siblings?’ I remembered Reiko’s words… They helped me push forward, they helped me focus on this goal of defeating our sister-in-law’s loneliness.
… Though is she even bothered by it? Could this just be a misunderstanding on my head? Can our efforts just be bothering her even more without really helping her in any way?
… I wish I knew her better. Perhaps I should ask Yamamoto about Reiko, maybe I can get something about our step sister like this.
… Ideally I’d ask father though, but he always gets so emotional when talking about Reiko or our sister-in-law, that I’m not sure I’d be able to get anything… It’s so strange how affected he is by those two, the affection he gives me and Komari can hardly compare to the strength of the emotions he shows when the topic of Reiko and our sister-in-law are brought up… It’s as if he was a robot with special settings that exist only for them.
… I wonder what happened between the three of them. I really wish I knew more… Well, there is no use worrying about it by myself. Let’s go take a shower, and then get this day started.