“Sisters-in-Law” Part 2
As a travel writer by profession, Azusa’s brother, Nakayama Kotaro, often travels abroad. At 26, having gained several years of experience as a newcomer, he seems to be quite busy with work these days. Azusa heard that he spent half of last month overseas.
…By the way, guess who she heard this from? Of course, it’s Shiho, his wife, who is feeling lonely due to her husband’s absence.
Even though Azusa didn’t ask, Shiho would send her updates about Kotaro’s whereabouts on her smartphone, so Azusa had become quite knowledgeable about her brother’s situation.
“Is Onii-chan in Russia now?”
“Yeah. My grandpa… or was it my great-grandpa? I’m not sure, but they’re relatives who apparently run a travel-related company there. They were saying the contracts seem to be going well.”
“I see. Russia, huh… That’s why Shiho-san has silver hair.”
“Seems that way. Well, I don’t really care about my blood connections! Anyway, it’s more urgent for Daa-chan to come back, right?”
“Even if you say that, Azusa…”
“Really, why is Azu-nyan’s Onii-chan so serious like that? His reputation is good at his workplace too, it seems like he might get even more work!! What’s with you, Daa-chan… Being capable at work is so cool and wonderful. I love him.”
“If you’re just going to be all lovey-dovey, can you leave?”
…Seriously, can you finally give me the souvenir from Onii-chan?
As Shiho enjoyed her second piece of cake, Azusa sent her a stern gaze.
Since she still hadn’t received the souvenir, Azusa couldn’t bring herself to kick Shiho out.
“Azu-nyan, I want some tea.”
“Make it yourself. Azusa isn’t Onii-chan, you know? I won’t spoil you for your cutesy act.”
“Hehehe… Are you sure I can make it myself? I mean, I’ve lived my life as a clumsy person, dropping and breaking tea cups left and right.”
“…You’re such a cheat.”
Come to think of it, the beauty sitting in front of her was quite a klutz—Azusa remembered that and sighed as she prepared the tea.
Four years have passed since she started living alone after graduating from university.
While she used to leave all the household chores to Kotaro, she finally became capable of doing various things on her ownn.
She’s not a sister who’s overly reliant on her brother anymore.
Azusa had indeed grown up.
“Well then, as thanks for making the tea, I’ll give you the souvenir from Daa-chan. Here you go.”
Though she heaved a deep sigh internally, Azusa made sure not to let her true emotions show on her face as she accepted the small package.
Looking at the cute wrapping paper, she felt that it was very much like something Kotaro would do, and her cheeks relaxed without her realizing.
“Wasn’t he in Mongolia before going to Russia?”
“Yeah. He mentioned riding horses there. Also, he said he saw a lot of sheep!”
Onii-chan will definitely be telling even more stories than that… Azusa listened absentmindedly to Shiho’s vague explanation while she opened the package.
Carefully peeling away the wrapping paper so it wouldn’t tear strangely, she uncovered… a warm-looking pair of ‘socks’.
There was also a small piece of paper, so she picked it up and read it.
“To Azusa. Apparently, Mongolia has high-quality wool. Let’s meet next time when I’m back. I hope you’re doing well. From Kotaro.”
Reading the simple message, she gently held onto the socks.
Although she’d be lying if she said she didn’t feel a bit lonely after her brother got married, as if he had been stolen from her and she was acting childish about it, she had sulked about it too.
But even after getting married, he was still her brother.
They weren’t connected by blood, and it was not a relationship by marriage, but he would always be her “Onii-chan”.
Even from a distance, he prepared souvenirs for Azusa.
There was no way not to be happy about that—no way at all.
(To be continued)
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