Now that we were into the second half of August, the feeling of summer vacation was beginning to fade.
When I counted the remaining days of the month, I was assaulted by a feeling of melancholy which caused me to let out an eerie voice like the one from The Dish Mansion at Bancho. One daaaay, two daaaaaays… two moooonths wasn’t enoooooough. If I could ask for more, I’d want three months.
Thinking, “The end of the Earth is in just x number of days!”, I marked an “X” on the calendar that was posted on the refrigerator. If I added a circle1 on there, it would’ve been the Takoyaki Manto Man.
There’s about a little over two weeks left of summer vacation. Hey wait, did you make a time leap?2
Oh, you must be joking. Did I count the days wrong? I checked over the calendar again and something had crawled around at my feet.
“…What is it?”
When I looked down, our house cat Kamakura was looking at me with a displeased face.
Our staring showdown lasted for a few seconds. Then, Kamakura snorted his nose and rolled over on top of my feet. Totally getting in my way.
It looked like he wanted me to give him some attention.
Speaking of the past few days, Komachi had been really attached to Sabure… I suppose he was disgruntled from that and unfortunately, had to come to me instead.
I sluggishly sat on the floor and patted Kamakura’s body.
At first, I followed the direction of his fur, slowly rubbing him from his head down to his tail. I did that for a bit until he groaned to which I gave him a light massage, moving my fingers around to his vital points.
Kamakura closed his eyes as he let out nasal breaths. He seemed considerably exhausted.
I imagined that he would be, what with Sabure chasing him around whenever they were in the same room.
Sabure demonstrated the agitation common to small breeds of dogs within our home and ran all over the place. On top of that, he’d charge at Kamakura with a strong curiosity asking him, “Let’s play~!” as if this was his first time encountering a cat. Every time Sabure chased after him, Kamakura would find refuge at places Sabure couldn’t reach like the top of the refrigerator or behind drawers.
And now that Komachi who would spoil him with whatever had been taken away from him, Kamakura had no choice but to come to me as a compromise. Well, sorry you had to be stuck with me.
“Well, you know. Just put up with it and let him have her for today… You’re the older brother here, after all,” I said to Kamakura, regurgitating the same thing I was told when I was younger. I didn’t know Sabure’s age, but in the history of the Hikigaya household, Kamakura was here longer and systematically, he’s the older brother.
After my explanation, Kamakura’s tail struck the floor and he responded back reluctantly. Sorry about that.
I continued brushing him, squishing his paws and patting his stomach and the door of the living room opened.
“Onii-chan… Oh? It’s rare to see you two together.”
I raised my head to the voice and Komachi was holding Sabure in her arms. Wait, what’s so rare about his owner being with his cat…?
“My affinity with cats is pretty high, you know.”
“Onii-chan resembles a feline, after all.”
I had no idea what she was getting at, but maybe she was talking about how overprotective I’d become over my turf. But I could turn that into something positive.
“Pretty much. I’m quite the king of beasts if I say so myself.”
“Uh huh… Sure, why not.”
“What’s with the pause? Stop looking at me with gentle eyes like that. Don’t you know? Lions don’t work at all.”
“Wow onii-chan, you totally are the king of beasts!”
“Right?” I said, smiling proudly. As if responding to that, Sabure who was in Komachi’s arms barked back.
When he did, Kamakura who was laying at my feet snorted and got up. He made a “fueeh” yawn like a cat bus and quickly skittered off somewhere.
On his way out, his tail wagged like the waving of a hand. I watched him leave with a bitter smile.
“So, did you need something?” I asked, standing up.
Komachi then answered after her realization. “Ohh, right, right. Onii-chan, lemme borrow your smartphone.”
“Sure… What’re you going to use it for?”
“Yeah, so like, there’s this app called Dog Lingo or something. If a dog barks into it, we’ll get to know what he’s feeling!”
“Oh, you don’t say. They have things like that, huh?”
How convenient. I wonder if they’re going to release a Human Lingo, too? People don’t always say what they were feeling, after all.
Komachi rushed me going “Hurry, hurry!” and I went to grab my phone I threw on top of the table.
I tapped the screen with my fingers so I could download the app. On the overview page of the apps, there was the Dog Lingo app and also a Cat Lingo one.
“Oh, can you get the Cat Lingo one, too?”
As I was told, I downloaded the aforementioned Dog Lingo app along with the Cat Lingo app.
Once the Dog Lingo app finished, I handed Komachi my phone. Komachi let down Sabure so she could quickly test the app.
“Here, here, Sabure. Try saying something.”
“Woof!” (Play with me!)
“Well, I expected as much.”
The message displayed on the Dog Lingo app didn’t go beyond what I had imagined and was actually in line with what dogs typically wanted.
We tried facing the Dog Lingo app towards Sabure for a while longer. Similarly to his owner in reading the mood, Sabure turned towards the cellphone and barked.
“Woof!” (Play with me!)
“Woof!” (Play with me!)
“Woof!” (Play with me!)
“Woof!” (Play with me!)
…Huh? Is this just getting copied and pasted?
“Onii-chan. Are you sure your phone isn’t broken?”
“No, it shouldn’t be since I don’t use it that much…”
I’ll try barking and use it on myself. If the words changed, then the Dog Lingo app was working as intended.
I promptly howled into the future.
“BOWBOW!” (I wish not to work!)
How frighteningly accurate. I don’t think the Excite Translator was as accurate as this.
“Doesn’t look broken, after all.”
“That’s true. Seems like the broken one is you, onii-chan…” Komachi had given up on me at this point and made an expression resembling an enlightened monk. Even I was a little hurt having a blood relative look at me so pitifully that I wanted to inform everyone in the family.
“…Anyway, he wants you to play with him.”
“Mm. Okay, I guess I’ll walk him then.”
“Yeah, you go do that.”
Now I wouldn’t have to deal with his whimpering for a while. Cute things were cute, but it’s a little problematic when he’s running around all day and night.
“Okay, go get the leash for me ♪!”
As I was told by Komachi, I grabbed the leash to walk Sabure from Yuigahama’s set of tools she gave us.
“Thanks. Can you put it around Sabure? I’ll keep him in place.”
Komachi restrained Sabure, leaving the job to me. In that opening, I quickly put on the leash around Sabure.
“There, is this good enough?” I asked, shaking the end of the leash.
Komachi nodded in satisfaction. “Yep, so let’s go!” She pointed towards the entrance.
“…You’re making me walk him?”
“If anything, I’m the one walking you, onii-chan. I mean, if I don’t do this, you’ll never leave the house.”
Well, you’re right about that… I wasn’t called Hikki for nothing.
I let out a deep sigh and tried to indicate with the my entire body that I didn’t want to go, but Komachi didn’t care and pushed me from behind.
“C’mon, c’mon. I’ll be going with you, okay?”
× × ×
The sun was already setting with the moon forming a crescent shape in the sky blanketed with an inkish indigo blue.
I lived in a quiet city—an area that spanned one generation and could be found in any other city—and running along the large road was a single river and along the river were fields of crop as well as numerous estates of people running an agricultural business.
According to the stories of my mom when she was younger, long time ago, there used to be swarms of fireflies at the rivers and fields. So that meant they’re no longer here anymore. An-chan, why do fireflies die so fast?3
As I recalled those memories, I looked at the paddy fields thinking that we probably wouldn’t see them even now.
The rice stalks were pressed downwards by the passing wind.
The wind continued on, whizzing between the wonderfully ripened rice plants that absorbed water and nutrients throughout the day as they bathed in the sun.
When I was a child, I had always thought that was the work of an invisible yokai.
But now, I could no longer see fireflies or yokai.
Why did people become nostalgic? By saying things like, “It was good long time ago”, “The good old days”, “It’s nothing like back then”, and so on, they became prone to looking positively on the days that were long gone.
Perhaps they wanted to reflect back on those days, nostalgically and affectionately. Or they could merely be just lamenting over the things that changed and how they had changed.
In that case, didn’t that mean natural change was something we should be sad about?
Was going through growth, progress, and change a happy, correct, and wonderful thing?
Even if you didn’t change, your world and your surroundings would. People who didn’t want to be left behind desperately gave chase to keep up.
If you didn’t change, there wouldn’t be any grief. Even if nothing happens, I feel it’s a large merit that there wasn’t anything negative to come out of it. When you compared your finances and came out with no red marks, your management policies were by no means wrong.
That’s why I wouldn’t reject the fact that I hadn’t changed. I had no intentions of rejecting myself from the past nor myself in the present.
Because when all is said and done, changing was nothing more than running from the status quo. If your choice was to not run, that’s where you should stand firm without changing.
There were even things that could be gained by not changing. It’s similar in concept when you’re mashing the B button to cancel an evolution because you could learn new skills faster.
One day or even, some day? While it felt rather far into the future, I had gone through that question with an answer before.
Komachi squeezed the leash, enjoying the resistance from pulling Sabure. “Hey, hey, that’s dangerous with the cars around.”
A car drove right past our flank as if grazing us.
Sabure sniffed at the air and then smelled the grass and started chomping down on them. Dogs and cats had the tendency to eat grass and then spit out a hairball with them, so when taking them out on walks, this was an important process. As such, Komachi and I stood there and waited for him. Sabure was literally eating the grass.
After looking between Sabure and me, Komachi made a happy smile. “Wooow, it sure feels like a long time since I’ve gone out on a walk with onii-chan.”
She was certainly right. It’s been a considerably long time since I went out on aimless walks. I had always preferred spending time at home, so if I was going to go out, I needed a clear purpose like going shopping or going to a pet show. That’s why it’s been a while since I had gone out with Komachi.
Sabure tugged at the leash and Komachi smiled at him. “Good boy, good boy. Let’s get going.”
Answering with a single yelp, Sabure started trotting in a similar style as miniature dachshunds wouuld.
I walked after them.
The afterglow of the sun in the western sky. The lighting from all of the street lights placed in intervals. The varied illuminations from one house to the next. All the different lights blended together.
In the city that slowly darkened, there were streams of people in every direction.
Salarymen heading home, housewives going out to buy groceries for dinner, elementary students riding their bikes with their friends, middle school students chatting heartily at a convenience store on their way back from club, and high school students who were going out to have fun this very moment. And lastly, the mothers who went to pick up their children.
There was something nostalgic and warm about this commonplace scenery.
Quietly, Komachi whispered, “It’s a blessing to have someone welcome you at home, huh?”
“Well, I guess. I wouldn’t say that applies to every situation though.”
“Woow, this guy’s a total pain in the butt,” said Komachi, looking gloomy.
I mean, look, there’s always an exception to the rule for everything… No matter how much they’d say, “There’s no one to welcome me back…”4, having some weird cover mascot greet me and recommend me to rinse my mouth wouldn’t make me happy at all…
“But that pain-in-the-butt onii-chan welcoming me home still makes me happy.” Komachi removed her gaze from me and faced Sabure.
I overtook Komachi who had lowered her pace. With my back facing her, she wouldn’t be able to see me loosen my mouth, after all.
“It’s not like I’m doing it for you or anything. You’re just a supplement. A supplement.”
After I answered her bluntly from embarassment, there was a small silence.
“Even so, it still makes me happy.”
I found myself turning back to her when she spoke with a warm voice.
Komachi placed her hand to her chest with closed eyes as if to check the gradually accumulating warmth. One by one, she uttered her words slowly, “That was your admirable and heroic little sister making a cute appeal to you just now.”
Her smile was the most fishy this summer.
I brought up my dropped shoulders and walked off ahead, leaving Komachi and Sabure behind. Jeez, she’s never cute when she needs to be. Normally, she’s cute, like super cute.
Komachi kicked a pebble with the tip of her sandal and looked up at the stars that were faintly beginning to glitter. “When onii-chan was stuck in the hospital, Kaa-kun was there for me. He even welcomed me back at the door, too.”
“He doesn’t do that for me. He looks down on me from the veranda instead.”
“Kaa-kun’s a twisted sweetie, that’s why,” said Komachi, jokingly with a laugh. “Being surrounded by twisted sweeties sure is tough.”
“That again…? I’m not acting sweet at all…”
I wasn’t twisted at all, either. As a matter of fact, there probably wasn’t a single person who lived life as straightforward as me. It’s because the world was warped that someone like me who lived an honest life looked twisted.
“But hey, having a twisted sweetie like you welcome me back makes me happy.”
This time I showed her a nihilistic smile. “Ha. I’m not always going to be there for you. You better become independent from your brother eventually.”
“Huh…? Onii-chan, don’t tell me you’re going to leave the house?” Komachi stopped immediately and turned my way. Unlike her teasing smile earlier, she looked like she had the sails knocked out of her.
“Of course not. I’m not leaving the house when I don’t have a reason to.”
“Besides, it’s so comfortable being at home, it’s the best. I’m going to avoid working as much as possible. That is my justice.”
“Or maybe not… Now I’m super worried about your future…” Komachi made a perplexed look.
I poked her head as if putting my hands on hers. “I can already commute to school from home and I plan to attend university in the same way. So unless there’s a big reason, I won’t be leaving any time soon.”
The universities in the city of Chiba took roughly an hour to get to, so those ones were good enough. Of course, for the schools in Kanagawa or Tama, I might need to give it some more thought… If it’s somewhere like Tokorozawa, I’d have to prepare my heavy equipment beforehand due to how rural the place is…
“It seems a bit weird for a boy your age to be thinking like that… Isn’t it normal to want to leave the house?”
“Mmph, not really. Our family adopts the principle of laissez-faire and since both of our parents work, I can save my time. There’s nothing inconvenient at all, either.”
“Or so he says with all his reasons, but it turns out that leaving Komachi would make him super lonely…”
“What’s with that weird narration…?”
Hahaha, what a dumb thing to say, hahaha.
“There’s really no benefit in living alone. It costs money and I have to use my time to do chores. And I’m not doing any chores unless I get rewarded for them. You ever heard of equivalent exchange before?”
The Hikigaya family wasn’t on bad terms at all. Pops was, well, quite the scumbag, but that really only applied to how he spoke and his thought process; everything else wasn’t an issue. Since I never really thought about leaving the house, I didn’t have any desire to be independent.
Of course, unless I had a reason to be. Well, I guess people who did live alone had some kind of reason or something…
“Oh c’mon, you’d totally feel lonely without me.”
“Huh? Did you say something’s lonely? Like, the thing that can help you check and find something in your neighborhood Akihabara?”
I had no such sentiment. Since I was someone who cherished my time alone, my wonderful something5 was isolation itself.
“I’d be lonely though.”
She completely ignored me. Tch, I guess “lonely” and “something” just didn’t correlate all that clearly.
It felt like I was allowed to pass through like a pro soccer athlete and scored a goal, so I went along with Komachi’s conversation. “…Well, I guess you would be, but I—“
“I’m not just talking about you, onii-chan. Like say, Yukino-san, she’s living alone too, right? I wonder how Yukino-san feels about it… Is she okay?”
It sounded like she was implicitly saying that even Yukinoshita Yukino felt some kind of loneliness in her life. Always conducting herself flawlessly, occasionally she’d look fragile, or perhaps ephemeral, but they were certainly things I felt from her. But exactly what that really meant, I still had yet to understand.
“Also,” said Komachi, continuing. “—I think even the side that gets left behind feels lonely, too.”
…Yeah, that’s for sure.
Just why did I think the ones leaving were the only ones who felt lonely? It’s obvious that the ones being left behind were going to feel the same way. I’m pretty confident I’d break down into tears if Komachi ever got married and left the house.
Komachi pulled at Sabure’s leash as if instructing him. I took the leash from her as if accepting a baton from her hand.
“You’re tired, right? I’ll hold it for you.”
Of course, there’s no way she’d get tired from walking a small-sized dog like Sabure. Only girls with no physical strength would get exhausted.
Komachi looked at me strangely, but then broadly smiled. “Okay, you can handle him then. In which case, I’ll make sure onii-chan doesn’t run off anywhere,” said Komachi. She then gripped my hand.
“I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be at the house until I become a bride.”
“…Is that something you should be saying as a full-time house husband?”
“Then, until I become a husband.”
“Okay, sure. I kinda feel like it doesn’t really matter anymore…”
A walk on the streets after a considerably long time.
After a detour of the town that had changed from how it used to be, let’s head home.
× × ×
When we were just about done with preparing for dinner, a buzz came from the intercom. In place of Komachi who was occupied with the saucepans, I went to check on the intercom.
On the intercom’s monitor, Yuigahama was restlessly adjusting her hair. It looks like she came to pick up Sabure. After checking, I went to the front entrance.
“Here you go, it’s a souvenir.” She noisly handed me a paper bag.
Judging by the size and the weight of the bag, it probably wasn’t a wooden sword. Darn… If it was some kind of key holder with the shape of a sword entwined by some bizarre dragon or a skeleton key holder that glowed in the dark, I would’ve been kind of happy.
“They’re local specialties!”
I glanced inside the paper bag and there were local sweets as Yuigahama had told me. Well, it’s pretty common for these local specialty candies to be for sale.
She went with a safe choice, taking into consideration that while it told people where she went, it’s more likely for people to like it than hate it. The sweets were also wrapped into small portions, so sharing it with others at work or at school was easy. It’s a souvenir that kept others in mind.
But upon looking at it, I was hit with a past memory.
“Huh? You don’t like it?” Yuigahama peeked inside the paper bag in my hands with a look of concern.
“No, I didn’t mean that… Don’t girls always buy these kinds of souvenirs? Heck, all the girls in class do.”
“Oh, I guess that’s true. There are some girls who don’t, though. Like Yumiko.”
Miura, huh? That’s the Queen for you. I had to respect the fact that she saw it as her natural-born right to be given things.
“Once upon a time, people used to throw wrappers of local specialty sweets like these in my shoe box… I mean, the perp was clearly one of the girls from my class and the fact that they wouldn’t even try to hide their criminal conduct made it hurt even more…”
A dry laugh welled up from inside me.
When Yuighama saw that, she frantically tried to make me feel better. “I-It’s okay now, don’t worry! That won’t happen to you anymore!”
“I sure hope so.”
“It’ll be fine! No one even knows you enough to do that, Hikki!”
Yuigahama clenched her fist in an attempt to persuade me.
But she was really terrible at cheering me up that it ended up working, so I decided to let it slide. I’m glad I decided to develop my stealth ability. At this level, I could probably sneak by the Chimera Ant King6.
As I felt relieved knowing I’d be able to spend the second semester of school in peace, Yuigahama looked into our house, curious about our situation. “So, how’s Sabure?”
“Yeah, he’s doing fine. Komachi.” I called inside the house and Komachi came to the entrance holding Sabure.
Sabure yelped in her arms. Seeing that, Yuigahama smiled. “Thanks a bunch, Komachi-chan!”
“Oh no, not at all,” said Komachi.
Yuigahama petted Sabure and asked, “Was he a handful?”
“Nope, not in the least. We played around with the Dog Lingo app and stuff, so we had a blast.”
“Dog Lingo? Ahh, that thing. They had that a long time ago, didn’t they?”
“They made an app for it.”
Since it’d be faster to show it to her, I started up the app and Yuigahama looked at my cellphone to see what it’s about. To test it, Yuigahama called to Sabure. “Here, Sabure. Onee-chan’s here for you!”
Sabure tilted his head with a puzzled look.
“Arf?” (Who’s this person?)
“Sabure!?” Yuigahama let out a voice of despair. As if scared by that, Sabure welped and ran around my feet. I grabbed ahold of him and then held him up.
I carefully placed him inside the carry bag that Komachi brought to the entrance. After zipping the bag up, I handed it over to Yuigahama. “Here. I’m sure he’ll remember you in a couple of days or so.”
“Uuurgh… I really wish he didn’t forget me in the first place…” Yuigahama said with a voice on the verge of tears and accepted the bag.
Sabure placed the tip of his nose against the mesh of the bag and whimpered.
“…Alright, see you later.”
Although I didn’t play with him very much, now that we were separating, I felt a little emotional, even more so when he was looking so reluctant.
“Yui-san, feel free to bring Sabure over again.”
Komachi had moist eyes, being the one who had taken care of Sabure in the past three days, as she held Yuigahama’s hands.
“I will, I will! I’ll definitely stop by again~!”
“Yes, please do. So please come by with a box of cakes when our parents are around so you can meet them.”
“Oh, right, I should greet your paren—eh, ehhh!? I’m not coming for that! Just kidding, I’m not coming!”
Komachi eyes glittered suspiciously for a moment, but after clicking her tongue, her expression went back to normal.
“Anyway, please come over again. I’ll be waiting for you.”
“Okay, thanks,” said Yuigahama, expressing her gratitude. She then picked up her other luggage with Sabure.
It was probably about time for her to head home. There, I remembered something.
“Oh yeah, about Yukinoshita. She might be at the fireworks festival. Hiratsuka-sensei said it’s a locally sponsored event, so a lot of big wigs are attending with their families or something.”
“Oh I see… Okay. I’ll try go—“ Yuigahama paused for short moment as if something had come to mind. She then let out a small breath and quietly turned her gaze towards me. “U-Um… Hey, do you wanna go to the fireworks festival together? Like, it’ll be my thanks for taking care of Sabure, my treat.”
“So she says, Komachi. Let’s go.”
“Go with just the two of us” was a choice I immediately eliminated from the start. And since it’s her way of thanking us, I think it’s only proper that Komachi tagged along since she did most of the work.
Komachi placed her hands on her waist seeing through my intentions and sighed in resignation. It sounded like she mumbled, “Good grief, what’s wrong with my trashynii-chan?”, but I ignored it.
She then turned her face towards Yuigahama with an apologetic look. “Ahh, I’m really happy for your invitation, but see, I’m actually stilll in the middle of my exams. I’d love to take you up on your offer, but I can’t exactly go out anywhere right now…”
“Oh okay… Not much you can do there.”
“Yes. I’m sorry. Oh! But see! But see, there are a lot of things I’d like to buy, but… Argh, I just don’t have the time! There are things I want, but there’s no time to go out and buy them at all! What ever am i going to do, huh? There’s a lot of stuff too, so it might be too much for Yui-san by herself, you know?”
After she said all of that in monotone, she totally glanced at me…
Realizing the meaning behind her gesture, Yuigahama leaned forward. “Oh! No kidding! Hikki! Why don’t we buy some of Komachi’s stuff then!? I mean, I do owe you two a lot for the help!”
“Ah, ahh… no, uh…” I tried to finish my words, but Yuigahama gave me a direct stare.
“It’s a little concerning if a girl goes to a fireworks festival by herself… After all, the world is a dangerous place to be in nowadays… Oh gosh, if only there was a boy around who has nothing better to do…”
I could hear Komachi’s whisper from behind me.
“U-Um… I mean, if Hikki’s busy or has plans to go with someone else, then… i-it’s fine…” Yuigahama looked at me while fidgeting.
I didn’t have a set schedule. Which meant that on the day of the fireworks festival, I was available.
Not to mention, the way she was asking me like that made it hard to refuse her, if ever. With the inner and outer moats completely overrun, it’s like the summer campaign of the Siege of Osaka.
“…Well, it’s for Komachi, so just give me a call whenever,” I said, and went back to the living room.
“Okay, I’ll send you a mail later!”
Before I closed the door, that energetic voice reached me from behind.
× × ×
Now that Sabure was gone, the house was peaceful.
It was so quiet that the around-the-clock barking seemed like a lie. The clattering of the dishes being washed filled the room quite audibly. When I turned off the water faucet near my hand, I could hear the insects from far away.
Until our parents came back home, the tranquil and typical time of the Hikigaya household would go on.
Komachi, who I could see from the kitchen, looked lifeless as she sank into the sofa. I took out a cup of barley tea and poured a cup as I listened to her long sigh and handed it to her.
She took the glass I handed to her and she gulped it down. After letting out a satisfied gasp, she handed back the glass with a groan.
“You better believe I’m tired… It feels like I sent my child away.”
Komachi looked like she had grown old, resembling an old lady sitting absentmindedly at a porch and was making a peaceful expression.
“But if it’s Yui-san, I can be at peace and leave everything to her…”
“He was never yours in the first place… Just how cheeky are you…?”
I found myself sighing to which Komachi looked up at me and tilted her head. “Huh…? Ohh, you mean Sabure.”
“Huh? We weren’t talking about Sabure? What were you talking about then?”
“Nooooothing at all,” said Komachi, looking discouraged and she lay down on the sofa. She stretched out her hand to the cushion to bring it closer, but Kamakura was sleeping there.
Kamakura didn’t look as alert as he usually was because he was stretching out his body in a pose like “holy cow”, curled and sleeping. With Sabure gone, it looks like he could finally relax.
He exposed his entire hairy stomach and was completely defenseless. His no-guard behavior would shame even the Southern Black Panther, Ray Sefo.
Seeing that, Komachi eyes glittered. “Kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-kun!”
She flew at him and buried her face in his stomach, squishing his paws, and when they were together, he started purring.
“Oh! Maybe we’ll be able to hear what Kaa-kun is saying now! Onii-chan, the Cat Lingo! Quick with the Cat Lingo! Hurry, hurry!”
As she instructed, I hurriedly took out my cellphone. After I booted up the Cat Lingo app, I handed it over to Komachi. She then placed the phone to Kamakura’s neck.
“Grgrgrgr.” (It hurts, help… Itchy. Tasty.)7
Hey, is this cat okay? Actually, is the person who made this Cat Lingo app okay? He’s clearly infected, isn’t he?
After that, as if to distract herself from the loneliness, Komachi mercilessly and thoughtlessly poked at Kamakura. Although it was only for a brief amount of time, she was rather fond of Sabure.
As I watched Komachi and Kamakura pleasantly poke at each other, she looked at the screen of my cellphone and rose her voice. “Ah, onii-chan. Your phone’s gonna die.”
I took the phone when she held it out.
The battery display showed it at a few percent left over. It could die at any moment. The clock at the top of the screen also entered my vision. It was about a good time as any.
“Good timing. Hurry up and go back to studying.”
After rubbing Kamakura one last time, Komachi got up from the sofa and left the living room. She was probably going to do her studying in her room.
Now that he was finally released from Komachi, Kamakura looked as tired as he was when Sabure was around and walked towards me. Good work, little guy.
As I dug around for my charger to charge my phone, Kamakura purred.
The Cat Lingo app that was still running on my phone reacted and displayed a response.
When I read it, I broke into a smile. “Yeah, you got that right.”
Kamakura responded to me once again, but by the time he did, the screen of my cellphone had already turned off.