THIS IS R18 NOVEL — IT CONTAINS NSFW MATERIALS AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPOILER
The alarm of my phone I had set for four in the morning went off.
The first was my routine wake-up smoke. I searched for the paper box and lighter near my pillow and lit them.
I felt so hungry that my head was dizzy.
It had just turned into fall, but as expected, it was still dark outside. I went to the toilet, walking across the trash littered floor following my hunch. I did my business and went to the bathroom mirror. My beard hardly grew at all, so I left it alone as long as it didn’t stand out.
As I returned to the living room while thinking, what to eat, the sliding door of the Japanese-style room opened slightly.
“Good morning,” Mayu appeared, bowing while pressing three fingers of each hand on the floor.
I was a bit spooked.
I completely forgot that I brought in a runaway girl. And I also forgot to eat the boxed meal. No wonder I’m So hungry.
I took out the completely chilled deep fried boxed meal from the convenience store bag that had begun to merge with the garbage bags.
Fried food in the morning, eh… I’m hungry so, oh well.
”…Are you hungry?”
“No, I just thought, ‘You sure can eat greasy food in the morning without hesitation’”
“Leave me alone”
I wonder what she’s gonna do about food. Yesterday she said she ate, but, “Here.”
I picked up the deep-fried food with the chopsticks and held it in front of me.
“What kind of ritual is this?”
“That’s not it. Open your mouth. The ‘aaan’ thing. I’ll feed you”
She kept her mouth open slightly, so I forcibly squeezed it in.
“You sure are fine eating greasy food in the morning, huh”
“…Aren’t you the one who fed me,” Mayu muttered in a whisper after chewing and swallowing it.
After finishing the boxed lunch, I picked up my bag that had started to blend it with the garbage bags. I took out a bunch of keys from the bag, and tossed one of them at Mayu.
“Lock the door if you’re going home. Toss it into the newspaper box after locking it. If you’re hungry, there’s cup noodles in that cardboard over there. You can just use any of the stuff in this apartment”
“Huuhh,” Mayu replied, not sure if she was listening or not.
I decided to head out to my part-time job, leaving Mayu at the apartment.
Leaving a girl in my room, whose first name was still the only thing I knew, was by all accounts a careless thing to do. It might not be something for me to think about, who left her behind.
However, there was hardly anything valuable in my room. I constantly carried my bankbook and wallet with me. Not so much for self-defense, but just because it was too much trouble. Rather, carrying it around was also troublesome. Every single thing was troublesome.
Living is a chore.
If you don’t work, you can’t eat.
If you don’t eat, you can’t live.
You have to help others to keep on living.
You have to abandon others to keep on living.
Everything is a pain in the ass.
I just keep on living, repeatedly working part-time jobs where if someone asks if it has meaning, the answer will surely be “no,” and where it won’t leave any effect on the future.
Today, I had planned to work from early morning in a warehouse. When it was done, I just ate lunch and killed time, and then went to my part-time job at a drugstore. I wanted to only work the bare minimum to live. That was why I only worked about half the days of the week.
When I arrived at the workplace, I gave a brief greeting and did my work just enough.
“Heey, Hira-kun Hira-kun, c’mon, let’s hangout after this”
During a break from work at the drugstore, Honda-san, who had been assigned to the same shift as me, started to talk to me. A cheerful and friendly girl junior college student. A completely different type from Mayu.
And then the type I wasn’t good with.
It was because without even a hint of malice, she came into the boundary that I didn’t want her to enter.
I didn’t want to get deeply involved with anyone.
“Today is kinda… I’ve got things to do, so”
Things to do, or rather, I was worried about Mayu I left in my room. There was nothing to be stolen, but it was still unsettling to have someone still in my room.
“Eeeeh, it’s always that. You have a good face yet have a bad social life, it’s a waste you know? If you don’t have money, shall I go hang out at your place?”
“Please really spare me from that. There’s no place to put your feet at my place, you know?”
“Ahaha, like maybe there’s a garbage bag you forgot to take out last month?”
“Weelll, maybe from six months ago”
The face of Honda-san, who was supposed to be beaming with a bright smile, froze and suddenly turned serious.
“…Hira-kun, you do know we also handle food products, right…?”
“And medicine, too. It’s perfect”
Far from inviting me to something, she said, “Now go back to your room and throw that out!” and I was also driven out with my job barely finished. Lucky, …I wonder if I should say it.
It was only a little early, but I was able to get back to my apartment.
Exactly four in the afternoon. During this time of the year, it was still bright as daytime. And yet, even from the outside, I could tell there was someone in my room.
The reason was because the small window was open and laundry was fluttering. Just how long has it been since laundry was out to dry there? Maybe for the first time.
That aside, she still hasn’t gone home, huh.
I went up the stairs of my apartment and opened the door to my room.
“…Heeyyy, you still here…?”
“Welcome home, Master,” were her first words the moment I returned.
Who are you, a maid from somewhere?
“I’m not a master or anything”
Furthermore the room was incredibly clean. The mountain of garbage should’ve been piled up from the entrance to the kitchen, but it was gone. I saw the polished floor for the first time in a long time.
Perhaps everything was indeed too much, the only place tidied up was the kitchen area. I hadn’t got a good look into the Japanese style rooms, but it was virtually untouched. You’re the one who’s sleeping there, so you should’ve done the one there.
“By the way, Master”
“Like I said, I’m not a master. I’m,” having said that much, I realized I hadn’t told her my name, “Hira Katsuki. Just call me however you want.”
“No, stop with the master”
“Even though you told me to call you however I want…”
Mayu made a small pout and sulked. Did you really want to call me that?
“Call me by my name, by name”
“Well then Katsuki-san”
First name of all things, huh. Usually, wouldn’t it be the family name? I’m the one who told her to call me however she wanted, though.
“It appears there’s no food in this place except for cup noodles, beers, and rice, isn’t it. When I think about your health it makes me worried and worried. As expected, even if you‘re young, if you only eat carbohydrates and fats, you will collapse one day. No, this morning you had deep-fried food boxed meal, which also had protein, but as expected vegetables, the minerals were overwhelmingly insufficient”
“Say the conclusion”
“Give me your money. No, I would like to receive a bit of money, however”
“Let’s see, the more it is, personally I would be happy, but… How about around 1,000 yen?”
Even though I thought she would ask more for the cleaning.
I took out a thousand yen bill from my wallet and gave it to Mayu. Mayu carefully folded that and put it into her pocket.
“Well then, please take care of the house-sitting”
“Aah, yep, take care…”
Looks like she’ll come back, I saw her off with such mixed feelings.
After about 30 minutes had passed, Mayu returned with a bag from the nearby supermarket.
Since she came back, “Welcome back,” I just greeted her.
“………I am, back,” she said, hesitantly.
Well that’s because this is not your own house so not used to it, huh.
“This is the change. Well then, I will get it ready soon so please wait for it, okay?”
Mayu put on an apron she fetched from somewhere… Where did she find it? And she started to cook in the just-cleaned kitchen.
The back of Mayu cutting vegetables while humming some song. The string of the apron bouncing as if it were a living thing. The boiling pot, making a bubbling sound.
All of them were too unfamiliar to me and I couldn’t calm down.
When I quietly reached out for a cigarette…
“No, you can’t”
I was told so by Mayu who wasn’t even turning her head.
“If you smoke something like a cigarette while cooking, the smell of the cigarette will seep into the ingredients”
I couldn’t even calm down my heart with a cigarette.
…Actually, why did she know?
Before the long hand of the clock had even gone a full circle, Mayu had finished cooking. I felt like I had spent three times as long as that, though.
The so-called miso soup and meat and potato stew, which were a lavish dinner for me, were lined-up on the small, low dining table.
“I’m also making rice, okay?”
A rice bowl that hadn’t been used for a while was placed in front of me served with pure wihte rice.
I picked a potato with the chopsticks and brought it to my mouth, and it was good.
Across from me, Mayu also sat down, smiling and moving her chopsticks. Why are you looking happy?
If it were the usual, I’d end up having a convenience store boxed meal, beer, and snacks for dinner, so dinner and cigarettes alone would cost me over 1,000 yen.
What’s more, if she’s gonna do cleaning, I guess it might be okay to have this girl here.
…There’s no way, huh.
“And thanks for the food. Then since I’m done eating… Guess I’ll go to the police”
As I emptied my rice bowl, Mayu put her hand over her mouth and opened her eyes wide at my words. Her face looked as if she had been informed she had late-stage cancer or the end of the world. Why you have to be so shocked?
“Won’t there be a request for a police search coming or something?”
“Ah, you don’t have to worry about that”
Mayu smiled as if to say, “That’s why it’s all good, okay?”
“Well, I guess you’ve got a lot going on…”
Pressing her and asking her was also a pain.
Also, even me, I’m not a runaway but kinda like one.
“Am I a hindrance?”
Rather, I’m grateful she did the cleaning for me.
She looks like she’d get carried away so I’m absolutely not gonna say it, though.
“I’m not so sure, but if you don’t wanna go home, won’t it be better to get some protection from somewhere else while at it?”
“You see, actually… My mother is an angel. After a thousand years of heavenly demonic war, the war was subsided by the marriage of my mother, a princess of the heavenly realm, to the king of the demon realm. However, the evil god contained in the human realm will resurrect, so I, as the chosen warrior”
“No, I don’t care about that”
“Really? Even though after this a super spectacular drama of about 10 paperback volumes will begin”
“And eventually be made into a movie!” Mayu said passionately, grasping her fists tightly.
Errr… Was that what we’re talking about again?
“However, I can’t forever be in your debt… How about a week since last night, so six days from today? For one week, I will be taking care of you, Katsuki-san. From cleaning to preparing meals, and of course, taking care of you at night too if you wish”
“Said the one who’s shaking”
“That was because it was cold”
Still saying that, huh.
“Well, if it’s for about a week then”
It felt awkward if I were to drive her out after bringing her in myself, but it was also a pain to stick my neck out and take care of things.
“Thank you very much. Now that we’ve finished eating, let’s quickly and affectionately get on some adult time…”
“Do the dishes! Clean the bath! Then go to sleep!”
“Eeeeeeh… Master, you’re too tyrannical…”
She did end up complaining of me being tyrannical, but Mayu did as I say, doing the dishes and then heading for the bathroom. I could hear the sound of scrubbing brush and the water from the shower flowing in the bathtub.
And then I leisurely smoked my after-dinner cigarette.
After returning from the bathroom, Mayu began to clean the part of the kitchen that was still not done being cleaned.
A girl who was a complete stranger to me until last night, working nimbly behind me, and me, sprawled out, idly smoking a cigarette.
…Huh, I’m kind of a jerk, no?
I wonder if I should help with something. It’s a pain, though.
“Katsuki-san. The bath is ready, please go ahead”
Since Mayu smilingly offered me a towel, I headed straight for the bathroom.
Usually I would just take a shower, so it’s been a while since the bathtub was filled with hot water.
…And cleaning, I wonder how long it’s been since. I’m sure it was pretty dirty.
I couldn’t calm down as it was like I had come to someone else’s room.
Even though there should be nothing troublesome about any of this, it’s troublesome.
“You should hop in too”
After coming out of the bath, I called out to Mayu who was, for some reason, sitting in seiza on top of the futon in the Japanese-style room. And the lights were not on in any of the rooms.
“Please don’t sleep and wait for me, okay?”
“No, I’ll sleep. Gotta get up early tomorrow too. Good night”
I opened the sofa bed in the kitchen, and pulled the blanket over my head.
Just like yesterday, without me having been particularly touched, the presence behind me headed for the bathroom without making a sound of footsteps.
I really have to be up early, so let’s sleep.
Closing my eyes, I thought of trying to fall asleep as fast as I could.
But, first, I could hear a small rustle of clothes. And then the sound of the bathroom door opening. The sound of hot water running and the light bumping sound on the wash bowl.
…I can’t calm down.
No no, it’s not like there’s gonna be anything happening next.
As I tried to strongly close my eyes, I ended up focusing on the excessive noise. Because of it, I could imagine what she was doing.
Uhuh, right now she’s washing her hair, huh. And then rinsed it. This time the body, huh.
I was strongly reminded of the half-naked figure I saw last night, and the apron-wearing back I saw earlier. Furthermore, the image of black hair clinging to a white and slender nape, and even water flowing between small breasts popped up in my head…
With a small groan, I got up.
No good, imagining that kinda thing makes it even harder to sleep!
The sheep, count the sheep, one sheep, two sheep…
After counting about 200 sheep, I heard the bathroom door being opened. Step, step, the sound of barefoot walking resounded. The presence stopped in front of the sliding door, and then quietly walked inside.
I swallowed down my saliva and slowly let out my breath.
One week, or six more days to be exact, huh.
…I wonder if it’ll be fine once I get used to it.
Just as I had that in my mind, I heard the sliding door being opened. And immediately, thump, thump, my heart raced so hard it hurt. So as not to be noticed, I desperately held my breath.
Toilet? Toilet, right?
“…Can I, sleep next to you?” Together with the sound of dragging what seemed to be a futon, Mayu asked towards the back of me, who was supposed to be sleeping.
“…If you don’t attack me, then”
“If anyone’s going to attack, it’s going to be you, right? Katsuki-san”
No, no matter how you look at it it’s gonna be you.
Though she says a lot of things, I don’t think she has the personality that can creep into someone’s bed at night.
I forcibly expelled from my head the image of her in the bathroom I had imagined earlier.
Mayu laid down the futon she had brought from the Japanese-style room next to the sofa bed, and then lay down next to me. Even though the distance was closer than earlier, my heart was starting to beat normally.
“Katsuki-san, why do you live alone?”
A small voice called out to me from beyond the blanket.
“Why…? There’s no particular reason, though”
“I mean, Katsuki-san, you’re someone who finds things incredibly troublesome, so like living alone, you’re not suited for it, you know?”
“There’s just various stuffs going, various stuffs”
“And you said there was none”
“Shut it, sleep”
“Muu,” after making a dissatisfied-sounding voice, “…Do you have a family, Katsuki-san?” Mayu hesitantly asked.
“Yeah, I do… I guess I did. My father messed around with another woman, got her pregnant, and then needed money and stuff… My father ran away with the woman and disappeared, and immediately after, my mother got herself a man and never came back. That’s why I couldn’t even go to uni…”
Wait, so why am I talking about this?
I rolled over to the side with a rustle.
Again, “I’m sorry” was mumbled to my back.
Is that your way of saying goodnight before sleeping?