New Year’s Shrine Visit with the Sisters
I feel like the period between time leaps and returning to the present has become shorter recently. I once again leaped and ended up returning to my high school days. I was still in the Hiiragi mansion reception room, just past the new year.
—Now and back in high school, please remember what supported you and got you to this point.
After saying something disturbing, this is what Rei-chan told me at the end.
The time that I spent in the present was only about 10 minutes, but the number of things I don’t understand has once again increased. Rei-chan noticed something, that’s why she asked me about why I couldn’t avoid a break up with Hiiragi-chan.
“What did she notice?”
“Heeey? Thief-kun? What are you dozing off for?”
Still within the Hiiragi mansion, Sana and Kanata were both sleeping around us. Other than them, Natsumi-chan and Hiiragi-chan were both staring worriedly at me.
“Ah, sorry. I was just thinking about things.”
Hmmm, Natsumi-chan didn’t seem to mind it that much as she continued on.
“What are you going to do about the shrine visit? Haru-chan is—”
“Going. I’m going.”
Hiiragi-chan’s drunk state had become better before I realized it.
“As for the other people… waking them up may be a little sad.”
“Sana-chan would probably complain and ask why we didn’t wake her up though.”
Hiiragi-chan laughed to herself.
“Well, I’ll just go with her on a shrine visit when that happens.”
“As expected of an older brother.”
After joking with me, Natsumi-chan urged Hiiragi-chan by saying that they needed to prepare.
Telling me to wait, the sisters left the room.
Some time passed and the two of them returned.
I thought that they would both put on a coat and scarf, but I was completely wrong.
The two of them had changed into a furisode, and while holding a small handbag, they had changed their hairstyle to match the clothes. No wonder it took so long.
“Well? How is it, Thief-kun?”
Natsumi-chan spun once at the entrance.
She had on a blue kimono with a floral pattern that suited her well.
“Eeeh? Just that? Isn’t there, you know, more?”
“Natsumi, don’t push him like that.”
Hiiragi-chan, who chided her sister, was also wearing a very natural furisode that looked good one her. At the Miss Contest, Natsumi-chan did say that she could put it on herself.
It was a white kimono with a hexagonal pattern. It lost to Natsumi-chan in flashiness, but she seemed very accustomed to wearing it, making her feel like an elegant adult. It’s quite the outfit.
Hiiragi-chan said not to push me, but she kept taking glances in my directions.
“The both of you look great.”
“Isn’t that great, Haru-chan?”
Natsumi-chan was laughing while Hiiragi-chan nodded as she mumbled.
We left from the entrance way and found a car waiting for us. I got into the backseat and ended up stuck between the two sisters.
“Why is Natsumi also in the back?”
“Why? Isn’t it fine. The backseat is enough for three people after all.”
“It’s not comfortable for Seiji-kun, right?”
“Aah, I see. It’s because Haru-chan has a big butt.”
“Please stop fighting!”
While I was trying to break up the fight between the two sisters, the car moved on its way to the shrine.
“What you really wanted to say that I’m in the way and you didn’t want me to go, right?”
So Hiiragi-chan was the one who invited her.
“It’s like an annual event so it’s fine.”
It seems that it’s a routine thing for the two sisters to do their shrine visit together every year. However, wearing a furisode to a shrine like that, wouldn’t there be a lot of people around making it difficult…?
“Don’t worry Thief-kun. There aren’t any stalls, so it shouldn’t be packed with people.”
“Then that’s good.”
“Ah, I see. It would be troubling with a lot of people.”
It seems that Hiiragi-chan finally realized as she spoke out casually. Hiiragi-chan is really unaware when it comes to crisis management.
Well, it’s dark at night, so I doubt anyone would be able to clearly see our faces.
“Besides, there aren’t very many people around when we go every year.”
Natsumi-chan spoke lightly. Is that really okay?
After traveling in the car for about an hour, we arrived at the shrine. On the way, we passed by a mountainous region. Where is this exactly?
“It’s pretty dark around here…”
Hiiragi-chan stood in front of the torii. There were a few outdoor lights, but other than that, there were no other light sources. In some places, it was so dark that you couldn’t see anything. I didn’t know about this shrine at all, and if I were going on my New Year’s shrine visit, I definitely would not have gone out of my way to come here. As I was told, it was quiet with nobody around.
We passed through the torii and climbed up the stone steps, where we found a quiet yard. Combined with the cold temperature at midnight, a harsh atmosphere was created.
“What shrine is this?”
“Behind the shrine, is a cemetery with many members from the Hiiragi family. So when something happens, this is where we visit.”
In other words, if I reach a happy ending, I, as Hiiragi Seiji, would also be buried in this cemetery.
We proceeded along the empty path, placed money inside the offering box, and one by one, pulled on the rope to ring the bell.
Two bows, two claps, another bow, and then we made our requests.
Once the last bow was completed, the two of them stared at me.
“What did you wish for?”
“Natsumi, you can’t ask something like that.”
“Of course, I’m curious, he took so long to make his wish.”
How long did I even take?
“You say that, but Haru-chan, you’re also super curious.”
“T-that’s true, but…”
“I was told somewhere that if I actually say it, it won’t come true, so I’m not telling.”
The sisters both pouted, but let it go as nothing could be done. Their personalities are both different, but in times like this, they really do resemble each other.
“Haru-chan, you probably wished for something like, letting you flirt more with Thief-kun.”
“Uwah, for real… I guess it’s quite an average wish…”
The person who guessed right pulled back a bit in disgust.
“T-that’s not it.”
““It’s too late.””
Our voices overlapped causing us to laugh at the strangeness of it all.
“Natsumi and Seiji-kun, you guys get along.”
“I also get along with you Haru-chan!”
Natsumi-chan gave Hiiragi-chan a hug.
“Kyah. Hey, stop it.”
Hiiragi-chan scolded Natsumi-chan like an older sister would. Before, Natsumi-chan said the reason for the breakup was that “she liked me so much that it was hard”, but maybe the answer isn’t that far away…?