After I decided to go and buy Hiiragi-chan a Christmas present, my time leap state was released all of a sudden.
I was currently inside the HRG company on the floor that I do my work on. Specifically, I was at my desk.
I checked my employee ID and the date.
This time, my last name is still Sanada. Last time, I was asked by Kanata to pay attention to Sana more, and so I was more conscious of that than usual.
Then, how did Sana’s feelings change…?
For the original timeline, I had spent my second year Christmas playing games the whole time, without going out to hang out with anyone, let alone giving Sana a present. I didn’t even have a part-time job. That’s why I wouldn’t have been able to pay for such a large expense like buying three games.
I checked my laptop email to see if there was any progress on the Mobile Content Division. When I did, I found that it seemed to have made more progress than before.
I called Natsumi-chan on an internal line.
“What is it?”
“It seems the division has made quite a bit of progress.”
“Huh? You’re saying that now? You were the biggest contributor to all the progress.”
To Natsumi-chan, that was probably the case, however, I had time leaped, so it’s not like I was here in the present day the whole time. It can’t be called a failure, but it still ended up the same as the previous two times, with the feud between Sana and I hindering progress.
“How have things gone with Sana?”
“Aaah, about that, I was planning on having a meeting with Ii-san, do you want to come too, Seiji-san?”
“I’ll send you something real quick. I just got this earlier.”
A new unread text arrived from Natsumi-chan. After I clicked it and looked at the contents, I found an illustration attached. It was a female knight wearing armor that you would see in a fantasy RPG, a mage with a pointed hat, and a mascot-like animal character.
“This is… a rough draft of characters…?”
“That’s right. It’s from you little sister.”
O-ooooooh! There’s progress! Sana drew this? She really is a pro… Amazing.
“She’s finally motivated.”
“However… Itt really feels like she’s reluctantly doing this just because it’s her job. The Sana-chan that I know is much more amazing.”
“R-really? Even better than this?”
“Yeah. I was thinking of asking Ii-san about it.”
As such, I left the company building when it was time for the meeting. I got into the back seat of the car with Natsumi-chan and we headed towards the ASW company. We were supposed to intrude upon one of their conference rooms today.
Most of my conversation with Natsumi-chan was about work, and her way of speaking was very precise, giving her the feeling of a great superior.
“Well, why don’t we leave it at that—”
“What do you mean, leave it at that?”
Natsumi-chan gave me a chop on the head.
“I just wanted to ask a quick question. When did Sensei and I break up?”
“Why are you asking this now? You guys broke up during your second year of high school, around March.”
The way she spoke about it was very casual.
Second year of high school, March? It’s even shorter than before. Well, more than that—
“Do you know why we broke up, Natsumi-chan?”
“…Why would someone involved want to ask that from an outsider perspective?”
“It’s nothing… You might laugh it off, but will you listen?”
Natsumi-chan made a weird face, as I began to tell her everything about myself.
About how I had time leap to the past and changed the future multiple times. How originally, Hiiragi-chan and I were never supposed to have dated. About the fall in business performance, and how I set up the Mobile Content division in order to counter that.
I talked about everything.
“… Fufu, ahahah. I see, so that’s how it is.”
“It’s okay if you don’t believe me. Anyways, I just want to do something about Sensei, who I have apparently broken up with.”
“As usual, you’re so devoted. That was… it’s not that anyone did anything bad. You probably feel, Seiji-san, that you were the most saddened by it, but Haru-chan was probably just as affected as you. I understand Haru-chan after all.”
“Eh? What do you mean?”
Just as I asked her, Natsumi-chan’s smartphone began to ring.
“Sorry, it’s for work.” She said, before taking out her phone and picking up the call. Once you become a division leader, it seems that you become quite busy.
We arrived at the ASW company. After being guided to a reception room, Kanata was already waiting for us. Sana as well.
“… N-Nii-san. Why…?”
Sana had grown more mature. Of course, after ten years, she is an adult now, not just more mature.
I wonder if she did the job because my relationship with her has improved.
“I heard there was a meeting, so I ended up joining in.”
“…Kana-chan, you never said that Nii-san was coming.”
“…Yeah. I didn’t say that.”
Kanata caught Sana before she could run away. We arrived at the seats across from them, gave our greetings, and finally, the talk began.
“Sana-chan, is there something here that’s giving you difficulty? If so, we can change it.”
Natsumi-chan jumped straight into the main topic.
“That’s not it… It’s nothing, things are normal, completely normal.”
With that sort of attitude, she probably thinks the exact opposite of what she says.
“…Saa-chan’s output shouldn’t be like this. I sent out the rough draft. I didn’t like doing it because it seems like I’m shaming you, but we’re already a team with the HRG company, we need to share information.”
Ugu, Sana stayed silent.
“I don’t know much about the technical details, but is that normal for a pro?”
This time Sana started to groan.
“Even I don’t like it! However, when I’m doing the work, bad memories end up coming to mind, and I can’t concentrate…”
“Bad memories? What do you mean?”
Sana took a sidelong glance at me.
“Why don’t you ask yourself?”
Hmmm, if it’s like this, it seems we’ve ended our disagreements, but there are still residual effects.
“What is it? If it’s something that can be fixed, I’ll fix it.”
“—I don’t trust my brother. I hate my brother that lies.”
Sana turned her face away from me. How old are you already…? An adult doesn’t just do that.
“I already saw perfect proof, and yet you continued to lie… I was hurt by that…”
Perfect proof? What is she talking about?
I couldn’t understand what she was talking about, but Kanata helped me out.
“…Seiji-kun, ten years ago, we had a Christmas party, right?”
“…At that time, Saa-chan looked at the data stored on the digital camera, and ended up seeing it.”
The data stored on the digital camera? When Rei-chan took that selfie together with me… we used Hiiragi-chan’s digital camera…
Inside, there were a lot of photos taken from my date with Hiiragi-chan.
“…That’s what you mean.”
So, she saw. She saw photos of me getting along with our club advisor.
I can’t blame Hiiragi-chan, who was busy with work, cooking, and decorating her house with Christmas cheer. It can’t be helped that she never thought about that.
“Which means that, as expected, when you asked that question today…”
In terms of date, today actually meant Christmas day 10 years ago from the present time.
“Rather than worrying about whether I would accept it or not… I just didn’t want you to hide it from me.”
So, this has been trailing on with no end in sight—
I want to be able to stick out my chest with pride and tell everyone that I’m in a relationship with Hiiragi-chan. However, I lied to Sana today. I even knew that she would only bring that topic up because she had some sort of proof. Yet, I tried to pull the smoke over her eyes.
There is also the fact that I didn’t know how Sana would react. We are students at the same school, and if somehow rumors were to spread—Hiiragi-chan and I wouldn’t have been able to stay together.
However, if she is still holding on to that grudge even after 10 years, for Sana, it must be pretty hateful—something that made her lose all trust in me.
“Got it. Then, can I believe in you? I’ll tell you, seriously. About Hiiragi-chan and I.”
“…Rather than say that you’ll tell me, I already know.”
“I was talking about you from ten years ago.”
“I don’t mind when—For you to not believe in your younger sister, Nii-san is also quite paranoid.”
She brought it up out of irony.
If I hadn’t hidden our relationship from Sana, if I hadn’t tried to hide it behind smoke, then maybe, just maybe, the present situation would have proceeded in a smoother manner. I even had many chances to tell her without trying to avoid the topic.
Ever since I started the time leap, I’ve changed the present multiple times, and yet there hasn’t been a single time yet, where I revealed my relationship to her.
“…Believe in me. I’ll do something about it. If Nii-san can believe in me, I’ll also do my best.”
Is she talking about her work? However, to me, it seemed as if she was talking about Hiiragi-chan.