The Goddess is Scared
It seems that Mikoto-san and I are “cousins”.
In other words, one of my grandparents and one of Mikoto-san’s grandparents are siblings.
I had never heard of that.
When I said that, Mikoto-san nodded her head in agreement.
“I also learned about it for the first time this evening.”
“That’s quite recent, isn’t it?”
“I was only told about it when I went to this apartment today. They told me I should live here because it’s my relative’s house.”
Her trembling may have subsided, and Mikoto-san spoke in a calm, beautiful voice.
However, I have no idea how it happened.
It was a very sudden matter.
It is true that I have never had the chance to meet my relatives, so it is not surprising that I do not know who they are, but if that is the case, I do not understand why Mikoto-san came to such a distant relative’s house.
Come to think of it, where did she get the key to this apartment?
There is no way that Mikoto-san had the key.
And yet, when I came home, the door was already unlocked.
“I got the key from someone named Akihara Amane-san.”
Oh, I see.
For a moment, I was almost convinced, and then I realized something strange.
There were indeed three other people who had keys to this apartment besides me.
The first person is, of course, my father, who is currently working alone in Kushiro City, Hokkaido. He is the owner of this apartment.
The second is my childhood friend Kaho Sasaki. She has a duplicate key, which is rarely used these days.
And the last one is Amane nee-san.
She is a college student and my cousin.
Although she is my cousin, she and I have been like family since the day she lost her parents and was taken in by my family five years ago.
For a long time, my father, Amane, and I have lived together in this apartment.
Of course, Amane has the key to the apartment because she is a resident.
So, even though my father had moved out on his own, he felt secure in the knowledge that my sister Amane would be there to help me if anything happened to me.
However, one serious problem arose.
However, one serious problem has arisen: Amane no longer lives in this town.
She left this apartment to study abroad at the University of Pennsylvania in the U.S. starting this fall.
Therefore, she is not even in Japan.
In other words, there was no way that Mikoto-san could have received a key from her today.
When I mentioned this, Mikoto-san made a troubled face and took out a silver key from her skirt pocket.
The key with a white cat character key chain attached was indeed the key that Amane-nee was supposed to have.
“It’s true that I received the key from Amane-san. But it was a long time ago. I think it was in August of this year.”
“Just before she went abroad.”
It is true that I did not confirm with her what she was going to do with the key to this apartment while she was abroad.
She is family, and her belongings are still here.
So I thought that I would have her keep the key so that she could come back here whenever she wanted.
I had no idea that the key was in the hands of a girl I had no connection to.
Well, she’s my classmate and my cousin, so I guess I’m not completely unrelated to her.
Still, she’s not the kind of person I’d give a key to.
I asked Mikoto-san an additional question.
“Mikoto-san, do you know Amane-nee-san?”
After I asked, I regretted a little when I saw Mikoto-san put her mouth on the mug and drank some milk.
I asked too many questions in succession.
She looked so cold, so it was more important to get her to drink a hot drink first than to ask questions.
“I was sorry. Just drink slowly while you answer my questions.”
“…Why are you apologizing?”
“I thought I was asking too many questions.”
Mikoto-san looked at me with a slightly odd look in her eyes.
Then she put her mug on the table again.
“I’ve only met Amane-san once. She showed up at my old house out of the blue, claimed to be a distant relative, and handed me this key straight away.”
“Well, Amane-nee is an unpredictable person in many ways, but I still don’t understand her behavior. So, what did she say about this key?”
“When she gave me this key, she didn’t explain anything to me. I didn’t even know where it came from. She just said, ‘It’s like a good luck charm, so keep it with you.’ That was it.”
“Why would my house key be a good luck charm?”
“I don’t know, but I was having trouble getting anywhere today when I got a call from Amane-san asking me to come live at Akihara-kun’s apartment.”
I stopped my questions once I saw Mikoto-san touch her lips to the mug.
Then, making sure she had finished her cup of hot milk, I asked.
“What happened to the house you lived in until yesterday?”
I asked, and Mikoto-san freaked out, pulling the blanket closer around her and shivering slightly.
The Ice Goddess is scared of something.
Mikoto-san looked me up and down and shook her head.
Her beautiful silver hair shook softly.
“I can’t go back to that house. I don’t want to go back…”