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Tomodachi no Imouto ga Ore ni Dake Uzai
Volume 5, Intermission: Nama and Shikibu

Volume 5, Intermission: Nama and Shikibu

The karaoke box at night is always filled with the annoying voices of normies. Even though Mashiro is aware of that, she has a good reason to come here at 11pm alone as the high school girl that she is.

“M-Mashiro-chan, Sensei thinks that you shouldn’t be out to karaoke this late.”

“You’re something like her guardian, so it’s fine.”

“T-That is true, but…Why don’t you show a bit of respect towards that guardian then?”

The one sweating profusely in discontent was Sumire-sensei—No, Shikibu. With Mashiro’s rage inside of her, she had to make sure to address it with the right person. Of course, there is only one reason she called her here.

“If you already knew that Mashiro isn’t Aki’s actual lover back when she confessed that…why didn’t you tell her that everybody else knows as well?”

Sitting on the seat inside the karaoke box, Mashiro had her legs crossed, as she asked Shikibu with as much pressure as she could. On top of that, she held the microphone in her hand to deepen the effect. Though that had her embarrassed for a bit, she ignored it.

“Back then, Mashiro might have been able to act differently still if she had known.”

“I-I couldn’t help it. If you tell me that you are Makigai Namako-sensei, and that you’ve been fake lovers with Aki, then my attention obviously went towards the first one, and the impact blew away any recollection of the second piece of information!”

“…Hmm? So you’re making excuses?”

“I’m sorry, okay! It was all my fault! I’ll help you in whatever way you need me to, so cheer up!” Shikibu crawled along the ground, and clung to Mashiro’s legs with tears in her eyes.

…Why does this feel like she’s used to apologizing? There’s a limit to how pathetic you can be. Mashiro’s motherly instincts are telling her to forgive Shikibu. It feels like she put one too many skill points into her begging skill. This is probably how she is like when Aki is giving her an earful.

“Haaaa…Well, whatever. If you give Mashiro some more information, she’ll forgive you this time.”

“Information?”

“About Iroha.chan. What do you know about her, Shikibu?”

“What I know about her…”

“No putting out lies, okay.”

“I know, I know!” Shikibu kept bawling on, as she started talking. “Um…um…Even if you ask me that, there’s not really much that I know about her. She likes tomato juice, I guess?”

“Who cares about her tastes…Also, she likes tomato juice as well, huh.” Just like Mashiro.

Aki often drank it a long time ago, which influenced Mashiro. At first, it was too sour, so she didn’t want to drink it, but she was jealous of Aki for being able to drink it just like that, so she kept drinking it and eventually came to like it. Maybe Iroha-chan was also influenced by Aki in that way? …No, there’s more important things to discuss. This mysterious voice brigade X for example. Is Mashiro the only one who knows that Iroha is the actual voice actress, or not? Depending on the answer, Mashiro will have to change her plan of attack.

“Even though she isn’t even a member of the [5th Floor Alliance], she’s always with Aki. Why is that?”

“Eh?”

It seemed to be an unexpected question, as Shikibu blinked in confusion. Judging from that…No, Mashiro can’t say for sure just yet. She doesn’t want to make any mistakes anymore because of missing information.

“It sure is weird, right? Aki always prioritizes the [5th Floor Alliance] over everything. Allowing Iroha-chan into his room and all that, isn’t this highly inefficient?”

“Well…that is true.”

“This is just a hypothesis. Nothing more than that, but…”

“Yup yup.”

So that she doesn’t leak this as information yet to be proven, Mashiro warned her. At the same time, she prepared to use her vocabulary as an author to say it in a roundabout way.

“What if Iroha-chan is one of the creators of the [5th Floor Alliance]?”

—Sorry, it turned into a super straight ball. Mashiro knew she had to slowly dive into that topic, but the desire to find out the truth got the better of her. After all, the summer festival is right in front of her eyes. She had already decided that whether or not Iroha-chan is the voice actress of the [5th Floor Alliance] doesn’t matter. But, the strength of her as an enemy would variate depending on how much the members know about her. If Shikibu knew about the truth, then…

“Iroha-chan? I’m not so sure about that. She did apparently help Aki at the sea back then, but I haven’t heard of her being something like an assistant manager…” She had one finger on her lips, as a question mark floated above her head.

It truly is an idiotic gesture, but it didn’t seem like she was playing dumb.

“…You really don’t know anything?”

“Why would you ask me that? Does she actually—”

“No, it’s nothing. Mashiro just wanted to check how close her rival in love actually is to Aki.” To block off any further investigation of Shikibu, Mashiro averted her face.

It was clearly an unnatural gesture, but Shikibu didn’t show any signs of realizing this, and even got the wrong assumption. Look at her, showing that arrogant grin…

“What, is this jealousy? A jealous move?”

“W-What if it is? You look so happy for some reason.”

“Well, just until a bit ago, I thought that Makigai Namako-sensei was actually a guy, see. Even if I know that it’s actually Mashiro now, the Aki X Nama ship is still going strong inside of my head.”

“Y-Youre the worst…! At least imagine us as a normal couple!”

How selfish can you be? It’s like she’s lost in her fantasies, not wanting to accept reality in front of her…Hm? What is this? It feels like some invisible boomerang just hit the back of Mashiro’s head? Well, probably just her imagination. Mashiro isn’t the type to dwell in fantasies after all.

“But, is that so. You don’t know, huh…”

If that exchange Mashiro saw in Aki’s LIME messages is true, then Iroha-chan should be the voice actress of the [5th Floor Alliance]. And, if not only Makigai Namako, but also Shikibu had no idea of this…then Iroha-chan’s existence really is something special.

The gloomy feeling inside Mashiro’s chest grew stronger. If Shikibu knew the truth of Iroha-chan, then she would have been more relieved. Because that would mean that Mashiro received the same treatment as her, after Aki telling everyone about their fake relationship. That Iroha-chan has equal value to Mashiro. But, that wasn’t it. Aki didn’t tell anybody about Iroha-chan’s true identity, which makes her a special existence.

“Mashiro-chan?”

“…Hm?”

Shikibu was still crawling on the floor, as she sent a worried gaze up at Mashiro…Not good, getting depressed won’t do anything.

“Are you okay? You got a scary face right now.”

“Mashiro is okay. She just felt karma getting back at her.”

“I don’t think you’re okay then?! ……Say, Mashiro-chan.” While retorting, Shikibu gave me a serious expression.

Her prostrating herself with a serious expression made it seem like out of some comedy gag, but Mashir at least thought of hearing her out.

“You see, I don’t have any interest in obstructing someone else’s love.”

“You’re a shipper after all.”

“Yeah. And the same goes for friends. WIshing for both Iroha-chan and Mashiro-chan to be happy are my honest feelings.”

“…So you can’t support Mashiro?”

“No, I will. I don’t want to obstruct Iroha-chan in any way, but I want to at least back you up.”

“Is that so…Thank you, that’s reassuring.”

Thinking about Shikibu’s complicated position, that alone is something Mashiro should be thankful for. Expecting too much is never a good thing.

“Hey, tell Mashiro one thing. What kind of person do you think Aki could fall in love with?”

“Aki? Hmm, that is a difficult question. Aki doesn’t particularly like me after all. He’s always angry at me, and if anything he probably hates me…Ah.” Shikibu had an expression as if she realized something. “On the backside of being hated is being liked.”

“Backside?”

“Yes. Aki always gets angry at me when I complain, act feeble, or run away from my deadlines. He looks at me as if he was looking at trash…though that might just be my paranoia?”

“Of course he’d get angry at you. You keep missing all the deadlines, instead watching anime.”

“Don’t destroy my hopes and dreams with logic!”

“You’re not a child! But…that does make sense…maybe?”

Aki himself is a real hard-worker, always upfront. He must have lots of weaknesses and things he’s bad at, but he tries his best not to show that, overcoming what he’s lacking, and moving forward. Mashiro wanted to change her weak self. That’s why she created the date plan all by herself, showing Aki that she can take the lead. But, that’s not enough. That’s just another type of running away. By trying out something new, Mashiro averted her eyes from her weakness.

What would Aki do? What kind of girl could be the one to stand at Aki’s side?

“Ahh…Mashiro should have just done that…”

“Ahhh, she’s not listen…ing? Did you just say something?”

“Mashiro just thought that she’s glad that you have this procrastination habit.”

“Um…you’re welcome?”

“Yeah…since we’re here already, why don’t we sing something?” Shikibu stared at Mashiro, baffled, but she just went ahead and put in a song.

What started playing was a calm melody of love—Not in the slightest, actually.

“On~ The~ Attack~!”

It was the opening song of a famous anime, which served as the manga adaptation of a popular shounen manga.

“Ohhh..! Now that’s gonna need some volume! Mashiro-chan, can you sing this?!”

“Not at all!”

“Why’d you choose it then?!”

“What counts at a karaoke box is enjoyment! So come on, you sing as well!”

“Fu…fufufu…You made me carry a mic now, didn’t you? You gave me the microphone of the night, right?!”

“Stop with these late-night dirty jokes.”

“Alriiiiiiiiiiiiight! Time to get puuuuuuuuuuumped!”

Around one hour passed like that. With an awkward voice, a raspy throat, and drenched in sweat, Mashiro felt like she had grasped something. This is just fine. Getting used to things Mashiro is bad at, challenging them, and moving forward. Because she believes that Aki will be there for her. It’s a shame, but Mashiro will probably have to rework a few of those 240 pages of the date plan. Kanaria-san always tells her that she’s adding too many pages, but if it’s something important, then she has to add it. She just realized that thanks to Shikibu.

Only 240 pages aren’t nearly enough. In order for Mashiro to stand next to Aki, the plan she needs to change her entire being is…

Deciding on that for the climax, it will be Mashiro’s first attempt ever.

5th Floor Alliance (4)

AKI

That reminds me, how did your date go, Makigai-sensei?

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

Tomorrow’s the day

AKI

Ohh! What a timing!

OZ

So did you decide to go for the summer festival after all?

Makigai Namako

Yup yup

AKI

What a coincidence. I’m actually heading to a summer festival myself tomorrow

Makigai Namako

Huh. Well, I guess there’s festivals everywhere during this season

Makigai Namako

Nothing too rare, right?

OZ

And the both of you have a date even

AKI

Well, it is a date, but actually…Hey, stop teasing me

OZ

Soz soz~

AKI

As of late, I feel like you and Iroha start to resemble each other more and more

OZ

That’s cool and all, but did Makigai-sensei just vanish?

AKI

Seems like it. He did read the messages though

AKI

Well, he might have gotten an urgent call from his editor or something

OZ

Or it turned into a conversation where he finds trouble responding?

AKI

What is that even supposed to mean?

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

A buster sword really is so romantic!

AKI

Another interest, huh

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

Not another interest! Though I can’t deny that more doujinshi are going to follow!

AKI

What are you on about…?

OZ

Buster sword…you mean the one in [Grand Fantasy]?

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

That! The remake of 7 which released this spring! The greatest work ever created by HoneyPlay!

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

With no deadlines or work left, I focussed all my time on it!

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

Claris-chan’s Bad Luck Strike is so cool! i𝑛n𝓻ℯ𝘢𝒅. Com

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

And Tifa-kun’s relationship with his childhood friend is the best!

AKI

Well, I played it before, so…

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

What are you talking about! It’s even better exactly because you know the story!

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

At least watch the theme song before you decide! It’s up on Ytube!

AKI

Ah, you’re right

AKI

They kept the original theme, but turned it into an orchestra version now

AKI

They got some good sense alright

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

Right? All the memories are coming back, but ten-fold!

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

Now, let’s just forget about summer festivals and dates, and dive into the world of GraFan 7!

OZ

Why does it feel like you’re forcefully pulling the conversation away from Makigai-sensei?

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

Hm? Why would I do that, ahaha!

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

I’m just giving out recommendations because I feel like the game deserves it!

OZ

Hm…pretty suspicious if you ask me. Are you hiding something?

Murasaki Shikibu-sensei

Alright everyone, let’s jump into the deep abyss that is playing games!

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Tomodachi no Imouto ga Ore ni Dake Uzai Volume 5, Intermission: Nama and Shikibu