📢 Maybe you see "V2" or "V3" and so on in the NOVEL TITLE, it means what VOLUMES the NOVEL is.
📢 Maybe you see "V2" or "V3" and so on in the NOVEL TITLE, it means what VOLUMES the NOVEL is.

When I Lent 500 Yen to a Friend, He Sent His Sister as Collateral, but What Should I Do? Epilogue

The Start of My Summer

KO-FIDISCORD


The Start of My Summer

I love summer the most.

The sweltering heat, the chirping of cicadas, the sound of wind chimes from somewhere unknown – I love it all.

I also adore the chillingly sweet shaved ice, the scent of the seaside, and the festive music of summer festivals.

Just the thought of summer fills my heart with warmth.

However, my fondness for summer wasn’t innate.

It all began in the fourth grade of elementary school.

Back then, I was bullied at school.

It wasn’t severe bullying in the traditional sense. I wasn’t physically harmed or had my belongings stolen. I was just treated as if I didn’t exist by my classmates.

For me at that time, it was incredibly painful.

Friends who used to talk to me suddenly ignored me, leaving me to spend entire days at school without speaking a single word, questioning my own existence.

Crying would only make things worse, so I held back my tears until I was alone in my room, burying my face in the pillow to cry in secret.

If my brother found out, he would undoubtedly make a big deal out of it.

Being ignored was bad enough; attracting more negative attention was the last thing I wanted.

Thus, I couldn’t discuss it with my family—

But I think my parents noticed.

“Akari, do you want to join a summer camp?”

One day, right after the school summer vacation started, my dad suddenly suggested this to me.

“A summer camp…?”

“Yes. A lot of elementary school students go there to play together. They cook their meals, dance around the campfire, and more.”

“Wow! That sounds fun!”

My brother, who was listening to our conversation, reacted first, excitedly.

Dad seemed pleased with his response and shared more details about the summer camp.

What caught my attention was that this camp was organized by a neighboring town.

I think Dad realized I wasn’t getting along with my classmates and wanted to give me a chance to make friends with children my age, which is why he mentioned it.

Though the idea of not knowing anyone there made me anxious, I still had my brother, and I desperately longed for friends.

Just the thought of adding someone other than family to my almost decorative children’s phone contact list filled me with excitement.

◆◆◆

My brother caught a cold—on the day of the camp!

“Cough cough! My dear sister… I’m sorry, you’ll have to enjoy the camp on my behalf… Ugh! I should still go!”

“No way. You’re already running a fever of 38 degrees, so rest in bed.”

“I want to go!”

Watching my brother being carried back to his room by Mom, I suddenly felt downhearted.

Without my brother, I’d be completely alone at the camp.

Dad would only drive me to the meeting point and wouldn’t join the camp.

“Dad, I don’t want to go anymore…”

“Akari, Subaru asked you to enjoy the camp for him, didn’t he?”

“That’s true, but…”

“And… Akari, I need to tell you a secret.”

Dad squatted down and whispered in my ear.

“Your mom and I became good friends because we attended a summer camp at your age.”

“Really?”

“Hahaha, yes. We barely talked before that, but we ended up in the same group, and then… Ah, I should tell you the rest another time. If your mom finds out I spilled this, she’ll be furious.”

Dad gave a wry smile and held out his pinky.

I mirrored his action, locking pinkies with him.

“This is our secret, okay?”

“Okay!”

Imagining my parents, who were a loving couple, interacting with each other brought a smile to my face.

The meeting place was a school in the neighboring town, and we were to take a bus to the campsite.

Apart from me, the other kids seemed to be with their friends, and the excitement I felt from Dad’s secret quickly retreated to the back of my mind.

I kept my head down, gripping my backpack straps tightly, as I silently boarded the bus.

You could sit anywhere on the bus. Everyone would naturally sit with their friends, leaving me last to find a seat.

It reminded me of how I was treated in school, and I felt an urge to cry. Just then—

“Hello there.”

“…Huh?”

Suddenly, someone gently patted my shoulder.

I naturally looked up to see a smiling boy standing in front of me.

“Is this seat taken?”

“Um… No.”

“Great. Can I sit here?”

Although I was confused, I nodded.

I didn’t know this boy. But I thought he was a bit… no, actually quite handsome.

“Akari (朱莉).”

“Huh? How do you know my name…?”

“Ha ha, it’s written on your name tag.”

I immediately felt my cheeks heat up.

I had written my name in Pinyin on the name tag we received during registration because Dad said, “Other kids might not know how to pronounce ‘朱莉’.”

Forgetting this made me feel embarrassed and somewhat disgruntled, so I glanced at the boy’s name tag.

“…Kyuu (求)?”

“Wow, you can read that? Impressive!”

“Of course I can! After all, I’m already in fourth grade!”

His teasing tone made me retort with heated cheeks.

The name written on his tag was a kanji I had just learned.

Hence, it left a deeper impression on me.

“Unfortunately, you got the pronunciation wrong.”

He grinned, pointing to his name.

“Motomu (求).”

“Huh?”

“It’s written as ‘求’, but it’s pronounced ‘Motomu.’ That’s my name. Ah, I should’ve written it in Hiragana.”

“Motomu-kun.”

I repeated his name as if savoring it and then realized something.

—I was having a conversation with someone.

It had been a long time since I had spoken with anyone outside my family, and he was probably around my age.

This ordinary little interaction filled me with immense happiness…

“Wah…”

“Hey! Are you crying?”

“Ah, Kyuu made the girl cry!”

“I didn’t… no, I mean, I might have, but it wasn’t on purpose!”

A few kids who seemed to be his friends were scolding Motomu.

It wasn’t his fault at all. In fact, it was thanks to him, but I couldn’t stop my happy tears.

“I’m sorry… I’ve been alone for so long, so…”

“I see… It looks like I made the right choice sitting here.”

“Huh…?”

“Because now I’m Akari’s first friend here! Right?”

Motomu smiled as he said this and patted my head as if to comfort me.

His hand and smile were so warm, I found myself smiling too.

I began talking with Motomu and his friends, playing card games and doing things friends do, passing the time on the bus.

“Motomu-kun, why did you come talk to me?”

“Isn’t it obvious…”

“Of course, to hit on you.”

“After all, little Akari is cute.”

“Cute…!”

“There’s no way that’s true!”

Motomu sighed in exasperation.

Even though I knew he meant to say “I’m not trying to hit on you,” I felt slightly upset at the denial of someone calling me cute.

“It’s because of this.”

Motomu, oblivious to my feelings, gently grabbed my wrist.

Though he held it, it wasn’t rough but rather gentle… which surprised me.

“We both have the same green wristbands, right? We’re in the same group.”

Motomu showed his wristband, bringing it close to mine.

His smile was so bright it made my cheeks flush again.

“Since we’re in the same group, we should get along well!”

“By the way, Akari, I’ve never seen you before. Are you from another school?”

“Yes, I am.”

“I knew it! You’re so cute, if I had seen you before, I would never forget!”

“Cute…?”

No one outside my family had ever said that to me before.

Yet, I was more concerned about Motomu’s reaction to his friend’s comment than the friend’s reaction.

“Motomu-kun, you think Akari is cute too, right?”

“Well…”

Motomu looked over at me.

Our eyes met, closer than I had expected, and I could see my reflection in his eyes…

“I think so too.”

“~~~~Uh!”

I couldn’t help but cover my face with my hands and curl up.

Even though I heard Motomu’s friends scolding him for making another girl cry, and Motomu himself was frantically asking me what was wrong, I just couldn’t lift my head.

My face was so hot it felt like it was melting, and it was terribly uncomfortable.

My heart was pounding loudly and fiercely.

A strange and unfamiliar emotion welled up inside me.

It was a feeling I had never experienced before.

◆◆◆

It might sound cliché, but Motomu was a very popular guy.

He had many friends, and a lot of people, regardless of whether they were in our group or not, would come to talk to him, the exact opposite of me.

“Ah—I’m so tired!”

We laid a mat on the grass, and Motomu sat down next to me, sighing contentedly.

Since arriving at the campsite, we had been engaged in sports activities near the river, and now we were eating lunch brought from home.

Motomu took out a black lunch box with no excessive decorations, looking quite mature.

In contrast, my lunch box was decorated with my favorite cartoon characters, making it look childish.

(We’re only a year apart…)

One in the fourth grade, one in the fifth. There’s only this small difference between us, but I still felt like a child, and Motomu seemed like an adult… I hated this disparity.

“Akari, your lunch box is so cool.”

“Huh?”

“My lunch box is just an old one from my dad. If it had my favorite cartoon characters on it, I would be so happy.”

Motomu, as if reading my thoughts, gave me a wry smile.

“Wow—your food looks delicious!”

“Your, your lunch looks delicious too.”

“Really? I’ll tell my mom about your compliment!”

So, saying his lunch looked good was like complimenting his mom, who made it.

Then I should tell my mom that Motomu thought her cooking looked delicious.

If I had made the lunch… I couldn’t help but start fantasizing about that.

“Let’s eat then. I’m starting!”

“I, I’ll start too.”

In the camp, we basically moved around as a whole group.

Our group, of course, had other members, but Motomu always stayed with me.

I was sure it was because he knew I wanted to be with him. Although it was a bit shy for me, it made me happier than anything.

“Ah…”

Perhaps because I had played a lot and drank a lot of water, my water bottle was unexpectedly empty.

Seeing this, Motomu smiled gently.

“Do you want some water?”

He immediately passed his water bottle to me.

It was a large, masculine-style water bottle. As I reflexively took it, I could feel its weight with the water inside, but…!

“Please… how do I drink from this?”

“Hm? Just drink directly from it.”

Right—Motomu’s bottle wasn’t the kind with a lid that could be used as a cup. It was the kind you drank directly from!

I knew boys liked to use these kinds of bottles, but…!

“Ah ha ha, it’s not an old one my dad used, you know.”

I stared… no, glared at the bottle, causing Motomu to scratch his head embarrassedly. No, that wasn’t what I was concerned about.

But now I was thirsty and couldn’t suppress another kind of thirst welling up inside me, so I put the still-damp mouth of the bottle to my lips.

“Huh! It’s so sweet…!”

Although it smelled similar to the barley tea we usually drank at home, it tasted slightly sweet and was really nice.

“Does it taste good?”

“Yes, it’s super good… Is this barley tea?”

“Yeah. But it’s not just any barley tea.”

“Huh?”

“It’s sweetened with sugar.”

“Sugar?”

“Yes. It goes really well with barley tea, right? This way of drinking it is quite popular among my friends lately.”

After saying this, Motomu took the bottle I returned to him and drank from it. The mouth of the bottle had just been pressed to my lips.

My heart was racing, and my cheeks were burning, so Motomu must have… no, he probably didn’t think much about the indirect kiss.

“Ah! Your fried chicken looks so good! Can we trade?”

Seeing Motomu quickly change the subject made me think he was a bit childish.

But his childlike aspect, different from his cool demeanor, still made my heart race.

My heart would always beat faster when I was with Motomu.

After finishing our lunch, we participated in some group activities, cooked curry together, played games around the campfire… and later, we joined a courage test…

Although the courage test was a bit scary, I had a lot of fun.

Our group was full of nice people who were kind to me, a complete stranger… which made me not want to return to my original school.

“Akari, I want to ask you something.”

“Saaya, what do you want to ask?”

After the courage test, the last activity was for everyone to sleep in tents pitched in the campsite.

Of course, boys and girls slept separately.

Saaya was one of the friends I made in our group that day. She went to the same school as Motomu and seemed to be in his class.

…I was a bit envious of her.

“Akari, do you like Motomu?”

“Like…!”

I let out a strange noise.

My cheeks immediately flushed. Although I lowered my voice, saying such a thing in a place with so many people…!

“I, I don’t…”

“Your face is all red, isn’t it?”

“Really…!”

“Just kidding. It’s so dark in the tent, I can’t see your face at all.”

Saaya laughed mischievously, as if teasing me.

But my reaction just now must have given it away.

“…Ah.”

My cheeks were burning, and my heart pounded violently.

This was definitely not because I was shy, but because I thought of Motomu.

It was all because Saaya asked me if I liked him.

“So that’s how it is…”

I now finally understand the feeling that has sprouted in my heart.

Being with Motomu makes me incredibly happy.

My heart naturally beats faster, my mood soars, I feel a bit shy, and there’s a lightness to my being, like being in a dream.

My mind goes blank, like I have a fever, but it doesn’t make me uncomfortable; instead, it feels pleasant…

And the feeling I have for Motomu is called—

“Akari, you’re really cute!”

“Huh? Sa-Sakurai, what’s up?”

Sakurai suddenly hugs me, and without lowering her voice, she draws the attention of the other girls.

I’m still embraced by Sakurai, thinking about Motomu. I can’t help but think about him.

Never did I imagine that the love I’d read about in books or seen on TV would happen to me.

And the person involved is a boy I met just today… no, the moment he first spoke to me, I must have already—

“Sakurai, do you really think I like Motomu?”

“Do I think…? There’s no doubt about it!”

Sakurai nods her head enthusiastically.

Rather than worrying about whether I like Motomu or not, she seems more interested in talking about love.

Though I’m also interested in the topic of love, being the protagonist of such a story feels different.

Being in love with someone and becoming the center of everyone’s attention is somewhat embarrassing.

“Akari, you have good taste in guys! To think you’ve fallen for our class’s Motomu!”

“Sa-Sakurai, you’re too loud…”

“Don’t worry! We all support you!”

The other girls, all ears, look at me with sparkling eyes and nodding heads.

Ah, my cheeks are burning. I’m so embarrassed.

“Okay, let’s prepare for a confession—no, that might be too soon. After all, there’s a saying, ‘Shoot someone before shooting something something’!”

“Shoot someone…?”

“I don’t know! I think I heard that on TV!”

“Oh, you don’t know…”

“That’s not important! Akari, quickly tell us what you like about Motomu!”

“Well…”

Asking me what I like about Motomu, it’s actually harder to find what I don’t like about him.

But saying out loud that I think he’s handsome or gentle feels strange, so I can’t bring myself to say it.

“It’s, it’s a secret!”

“Don’t be like that! Tell me!”

Everyone refuses to let me go until a volunteer big sister comes over and reminds us, “It’s nice to see you all getting along, but you should be sleeping by now, right?”

…But after everyone crawls into their sleeping bags and drifts off to dreamland, unfamiliar feelings and a strange bed keep me awake. When I finally fall asleep, dawn is already breaking—

And when I wake up again, I’m in the car with Dad, ready to take me home.

Yes, I slept through the entire end of the summer camp!

Such a regretful memory that always makes me cringe no matter how many times I think about it is known as a “dark history.” I never imagined I’d oversleep like that, and for me, it’s unquestionably a dark history.

The second day of the camp had almost no activities, just the journey home in a tour bus.

Since elementary students don’t have the stamina or know how to conserve energy, it’s natural to be tired after a day of full-throttle fun… so even if I couldn’t wake up before setting off, it wasn’t too much of a problem.

I still can’t forget the feeling of waking up and seeing Dad’s face in the rearview mirror.

Even if I hadn’t overslept, I probably wouldn’t have confessed to Motomu, but I still can’t accept it…!

Dad even told me that a boy carried me out of the bus while I was asleep… That boy must have been Motomu.

I didn’t get to say goodbye to him… nor remember the sensation of being carried by him.

But I was sure I’d see Motomu again soon. After all, he lived in the neighboring town, and there would probably be a summer camp next year.

That’s what I thought at the time.

However, my wish didn’t come true.

I never had the courage to go to the neighboring town to find him!

And to my surprise, the summer camp was discontinued the following year due to budget issues!

Time passed, and I never got the chance to see Motomu again.

My first love ended in an inexplicable manner, leaving me with just one day of happiness and a lifetime of heartache. Just when I thought this way and was about to resign myself to typical teenage melancholy over this love affair—

“Excuse me for interrupting. Um… are you Subaru’s sister?”

The next summer arrived.

◆◆◆

I had become a third-year middle school student.

He had become a first-year high school student.

We had both grown a lot since then, but I recognized him immediately as Motomu.

Though he looked more handsome, had grown taller, and his voice had deepened, the gentle aura I felt from him back then hadn’t changed at all.

“Ah, uh…”

It was summer, just like the day I first met him, when my brother suddenly brought Motomu home.

I was a student preparing for exams, so I was studying at home instead of going to the library or school. I never expected Motomu to come to our house and had no plans to meet anyone outside my family, so…!

I was dressed in a way that was utterly unsuitable for meeting anyone. Not only was it sloppy, but also completely unattractive – just a cute little nightie and shorts. This was how I was dressed when I reunited with my first love.

The great fortune of reuniting with Motomu and the worst luck of letting my crush see me in such a disheveled state struck simultaneously, leaving me completely flustered.

“Hey, Motomu, don’t scare someone else’s sister, will you?”

“I didn’t scare her, just said hello. If there’s a stranger in her house, your sister would be really scared, right?”

My brother looked exasperated at Motomu’s response, but Motomu was unapologetic.

I never told my family about Motomu. I wanted to keep the memories of him as my own treasure, hidden away like a precious object in my personal chest. It was just a little whim of mine.

So, my brother didn’t know that I had given my first love to Motomu, nor did he know I had met someone named Motomu at the summer camp.

“Weird…”

Then Motomu—

“Have I met you somewhere before…?”

He didn’t realize I was nearly panicking, and he leaned in to look at my face.

The shock of not being recognized and the sudden closeness made a mix of emotions surge through me, and I even forgot to breathe.

“Hey, who allowed you to flirt with my sister?”

“I’m not flirting. Ah, I think I’m starting to remember…”

“Enough, Motomu. Stay away from her.”

Motomu tried hard to recall, but my brother pulled him away from me.

This gave me some relief but also left a bit of regret… My feelings were indeed complicated.

“Speaking of which, this is quite a surprise. Though my sister is indeed a beauty beyond what the term ‘pretty girl’ can describe, I never thought you’d make a move on her.”

“Just told you, it’s not like that…”

My brother smirked mischievously, causing Motomu to sigh in annoyance.

Though my brother might appear frivolous, he valued personal space, so it was significant that he brought Motomu home. Just seeing this small interaction showed they were good friends.

“Let me introduce you. This is Akari, my pride and joy of a sister. And this is Motomu Shiragi, a friend from my high school.”

“Nice to meet you… Huh? Akari?”

“Uh!”

Motomu reacted to my name, his eyes widening in surprise.

Could he have remembered…!

“Hey—Motomu? You’re not going to say, ‘Have I met you somewhere before,’ are you?”

“Actually, I think I might have met her… No, sorry, I don’t mean to trouble you with this.”

Motomu gave up trying to remember due to my brother’s teasing.

Despite that, I couldn’t blame him. After all, I had never shared my experience at the summer camp with anyone, and it had been several years. It was natural for him to forget.

If I told him about it, but he still couldn’t remember, that would be too much for me to bear.

“It’s, it’s okay, I don’t mind at all.”

I forced a calm smile and said this to Motomu.

However, my smile was stiff, obviously forced, and my voice trembled slightly.

“Well, Akari, I’m going to take this guy to my room. If we’re too loud, just let me know.”

“Uh… Okay, I understand.”

“Let’s go, Motomu.”

“Ah…”

Motomu was led away by my brother.

Though I could only watch them leave… I didn’t feel hopeless.

Because I had reunited with someone I thought I’d never see again.

And this time it wasn’t a fleeting encounter. Since Motomu was a friend of my brother, we would surely meet again.

I felt as if time, which had been standing still, was finally moving again, and I couldn’t help but be excited.

I was very happy, filled with joy, and I could feel the warmth of that summer again—

And then… nothing happened between us, and three years passed just like that…!

◆◆◆

“Huh? You’ve liked Motomu since back then?”

Three years had passed since I reunited with Motomu, and it was now Golden Week this year.

When my brother, who had started living alone after entering university, returned home, I tearfully confided to him the feelings I’d kept hidden in my heart.

I had never told anyone, friend or family, about these feelings, but I ended up telling my brother, who was friends with Motomu.

Right—since reuniting with Motomu, our relationship had made no progress until today.

I had hardly ever initiated anything, just watched him graduate and then lost contact with him again… Filled with regret, loneliness, and self-loathing, I turned to my brother, the last connection I had with Motomu.

Hearing about my deeply hidden feelings for the first time, my brother was naturally shocked and dramatically fell off his chair.

But maybe the fall helped him regain his composure, which probably wasn’t a bad thing.

“So that’s how it is… I’d love to help my cute little sister, but I never thought it would be Motomu…”

Seeing me crying, my brother threw me a packet of tissues, wearing a troubled smile.

“Don’t you… don’t you want me to be with Motomu?”

“No, that guy’s a good person. If he became my brother-in-law, that wouldn’t be bad at all—in fact, it would be great. Sounds like fun.”

“Brother-in-law—! Brother! Aren’t you getting ahead of yourself?”

“Don’t you like Motomu? Don’t you want to date him and eventually get married?”

My brother said this matter-of-factly, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, making me wonder if I had chosen the wrong person to talk to.

“I don’t know, I don’t know…! I just really like Motomu… I’m just feeling lonely now, that’s all…”

I had never thought about what would happen after dating.

To me, Motomu wasn’t someone who was naturally a part of my life. He was still a distant being I admired from afar…

So I wanted to get closer to him first. I wanted to be able to talk to him naturally.

I hadn’t imagined a future beyond that—such a future seemed as unreal to me as a fantasy story.

“Akari, although I find innocent girls endearing, if you remain this introverted, you’ll never win over Motomu.”

“Win him over—?”

“Let me think… let’s talk about a real person. It would be awkward if I mention her real name and you recognize her, so let’s call her ‘Miss Matsumoto’ for now.”

Miss Matsumoto… that’s a common pseudonym.

“Miss Matsumoto was a senior to us, a year older. I remember she was in the library committee, just like Motomu.”

“She was in the same committee as Shiragi Motomu… I’m so envious.”

“What’s there to be envious about…”

My brother sighed, exasperated. Although he usually causes such reactions, his reaction to my jealousy over Miss Matsumoto (a pseudonym), who I’ve never met but joined the same committee as Shiragi Motomu, made me feel embarrassed.

“Never mind, that’s not important. Anyway, it seems that Miss Matsumoto was under her guidance in the library committee… and she inadvertently fell for him.”

“Eh…? Are you talking about Shiragi Motomu?”

“No, I’m talking about that Miss Matsumoto.”

“Please make yourself clear!”

My brother’s way of speaking made it sound like Shiragi Motomu had a crush on Miss Matsumoto. God, he almost scared me to death…

“Miss Matsumoto was quite introverted. Even though she was not good at expressing herself, Motomu, the junior, never complained and kept her company with a smile. It seems she ended up being smitten by him.”

“Smitten?”

“Hey, don’t make me explain! It’s embarrassing!”

“Then don’t bring it up…”

Leaving that aside, according to my brother, it seems that Miss Matsumoto didn’t end up dating Shiragi Motomu in the end. That’s a relief.

“Miss Matsumoto was very introverted. Although it was obvious to everyone around her that she liked Motomu, he never noticed it, leading to no progress in their relationship.”

“I see…”

“You have the nerve to say that, but isn’t that exactly like someone we know?”

She obviously liked Shiragi Motomu but couldn’t muster the courage to make a move, letting the relationship naturally fizzle out… Ah, I’m the same…

“Motomu has quite a few girls like that around him. He doesn’t realize how popular he actually is with women. It’s annoying.”

“But, Shiragi Motomu didn’t date any of them, did he?”

“That’s right. Including you.”

“Ugh…”

In other words, both Miss Matsumoto and I were just girls who had unrequited love for Shiragi Motomu.

“Although Motomu had some ambiguous relationships with several girls, like Miss Tsuruha, Miss Sugi, and Miss Cosmos, the outcomes were usually the same.”

My brother used drugstore names as pseudonyms for those girls for some reason.

But from his tone, it seemed like Shiragi Motomu did have some ambiguous relationships with other girls.

“Anyway, girls like you are not rare… Miyamae Akari, now that you know all this, what do you plan to do?”

My brother asked me seriously, both as my brother and as a friend of Shiragi Motomu.

“I think… with Shiragi Motomu…”

I had no concrete thoughts on this issue.

I didn’t want to have a certain relationship with Shiragi Motomu, but this was exactly why I regretted it now…

For all these years, I kept making the same mistake. Just liking him wasn’t enough.

“Brother… I want to be with Shiragi Motomu—”

I worried and thought about it again, and then bravely voiced my true wish.

“I want to become someone who can casually chat with Shiragi Motomu anytime! Like calling him when there’s nothing important and not being disliked by him, that kind of relationship!”

I did it. I really said it! And I said it to my own brother! I knew he might laugh at me for daydreaming, but I still said it!

Ah… My face is so hot, and my heart is about to burst.

This wish must be too greedy, right? My brother must think I’m a shameless sister? With these thoughts, I timidly looked at my brother, and he was dumbfounded with his mouth half open.

“Just like that…?”

“Eh? What do you mean by just like that? I think this wish is already bold enough…”

“Ahahaha… I see, my sister is a very innocent girl… Although that’s not a bad thing.”

My brother sighed deeply. I felt like I was being treated like a fool.

“I’ll ask again. Don’t you have any thoughts of dating him, or marrying him or something?”

“That… That should be something for later! I haven’t even established a relationship with Shiragi Motomu yet! Thinking about dating and marrying now, and how many kids to have, is a bit too—”

“Hey, I didn’t say that last part.”

“You, you’re doing the ‘feed the fox after catching it’ thing!”

“It should be ‘counting your chickens before they hatch,’ right? Who feeds prey they’ve caught?”

My brother hit me on the head with a rolled-up magazine. Although it was light, it still hurt.

“But just thinking about how passive you’ve been so far, I understand why you have such thoughts… Miyamae Akari, let me be frank. With that kind of thinking, you won’t have a chance.”

“Ugh…!”

“Listen, there are too many girls like you. With your not strong enough motivation, you’ll never stand out, let alone be one step ahead of others… No, two or three steps ahead.”

“Never… possible…!”

My head was struck hard again.

Not because my head was hit by the magazine, but because of the impact of those words.

“Taking exams is the same principle. If your academic ability doesn’t exceed the threshold of your dream university, you might accidentally fail the entrance exam—”

“Brother, what should I do! If this continues, Shiragi Motomu will be taken by someone else!”

“You don’t even have the right to say others are taking Motomu away from you now.”

Boom!

I was hit hard again. Yes, for Shiragi Motomu, I’m just like a roadside stone, or a Villager A, or the recyclable waste put out on a combustible garbage day, destined to be tagged with a ‘not a collection day’ sticker…

“But you still have a chance. Because you have me, your brother. Miyamae Akari, do you know who I am?”

“Just a good-looking useless brother…”

“You dare to speak ill of me at a time like this! And you’re hardly in a position to say that!”

“At least my grades are good! I even received an A assessment for the university you and Shiragi Motomu attended!”

“By the time I got into that university, boasting about such things seemed pretty pointless… You just spouted some nonsensical proverb. That’s exactly why girls like you are useless.”

My brother looked annoyed, and I wanted to throw my slipper at him – but I refrained. Only equals argue. I decided to show mature restraint, proving I’m not useless.

“Let’s get back to the original topic. I am the close friend of your crush, so naturally, I know Motomu better than you.”

“Are you bragging about that?”

“It’s not something to brag about… But, is that the right attitude?”

“Eh?”

“If you come to me for advice, it’s because you think I can change the situation, right? If you make me unhappy… you know what the consequences would be?”

My brother smirked, a wicked grin spreading across his face.

Seeing his smile, my face turned pale with fear.

Right, I came to ask my brother for help. Because I wanted to get closer to Shiragi Motomu, to change the current situation, I hoped he could intervene—

“Miyamae Akari, when you ask for help, you need to have the right attitude—”

“Brother, please, I’m begging you! Lend me your strength!”

“Wow! You change your tune quickly!”

Without thinking, I immediately knelt down and bowed.

This was a Japanese-style kneeling, a gesture of utmost supplication passed down from ancient times.

“Little sister, seeing you so desperate makes me worry…?”

“Because… because it’s too painful! I can’t even see Shiragi Motomu at school anymore! Every day, hiding your lunch box or secretly taking it to deliver during lunch break just to see him, though it sounds trivial, is a big deal for me!”

“You did that! Thinking I might have no lunch to eat, I was trembling in fear each time. How are you going to compensate me for my mental suffering?”

By the way, our mother was an accomplice.

Although I prepared the lunch, the kitchen was still my mother’s territory. After successfully winning her over, my plan could begin.

It wasn’t hard. I just had to tell her, “Brother always sneaks food from the lunch box, it’s better to let me deliver it during lunch break.” And she easily agreed.

“Brother, please help me! I’m willing to kneel! I’ll only ask you this once in my lifetime!”

“You’re really going all out…! Get up, don’t do that! If someone saw me letting my sister kneel before me, I’d be dead!”

“I’m asking for your help with the resolve to shatter myself to pieces. I won’t get up until you agree.”

“That’s too much to ask! Okay! I’ll help you!”

Great, I got his verbal agreement.

I couldn’t help but let a smile escape as I looked up, only to see my brother hanging his head weakly.

“Ah… I feel so drained…”

“Brother, I heard sighing drives away good fortune.”

“Yeah…”

Feeling it was hard to continue the conversation, I waited a few minutes in front of my still bowed brother, then—

“…I’ve got it.”

“Eh?”

“I’ve got it. I know how to bring you and Motomu together.”

“Really!”

Hearing the delightful phrase “bring together,” I couldn’t help but jump up.

It seemed my brother had thought of a specific strategy while he was bowing his head!

So reliable! So amazing! I love my brother (but just in a normal way)!

“Miyamae Akari, listen to me, this plan is a bit risky. Luck will probably play a part in its success or failure, and you need to be prepared for that.”

“Is it… that dangerous?”

“However, if the first phase of this plan succeeds, though it’s only for a short period, you and Motomu will be able to chat anytime.”

“Really? Something that wonderful?”

“Not just that… You’ll even be able to live under the same roof!”

“The same roof!”

That’s practically like being married, isn’t it?

“Do you want to know the details of the plan…!”

“Yes, I want to know! There’s probably nothing I’ve ever wanted to know more in my life!”

“I understand. But before I tell you—”

My brother pointed to the pocket tissue pack he had tossed at me and said:

“First, stop your nosebleed.”

“Eh? Ah…”

Perhaps due to excessive excitement, my nostrils were bleeding profusely.

Although it’s not fitting for a pure-hearted girl to have a nosebleed, now is not the time to worry about such trivial matters. It’s more important to let my brother continue. I quickly stuffed my nostrils with tissues and faced him again.

Although my brother muttered, “There goes the rare beauty of a girl…” I pretended not to hear him.

“I’m ready. Brother, what do I need to do?”

“Uh… Um, here it goes. Miyamae Akari, I want you to… objectify yourself!”

Hearing my brother’s emphatic declaration, I froze for a moment.

My mind went blank. But I quickly understood what my brother meant and then—

“Eeek…!”

I naturally hugged myself and kept my distance from my brother, protecting my innocence.

“Wait! Miyamae Akari, I didn’t mean it in a weird way!”

“Brother, you’re such a scoundrel! Are you telling me to sell my body? Even going so far as to say I should be prepared for it, persuading your own sister to do such things, you’re absolutely the worst! I’m going to tell mom!”

“No, I’m not telling you to sell yourself! Do you think I’m the kind of cold-blooded creature who would make his sister do that!”

“Not… not until just now.”

“My reputation has plummeted!”

Anyone who would send their sister into such a situation deserves to be banished from the brotherhood industry, if there even is such an industry.

“Miyamae Akari, you misunderstood! I meant for you to become something of Motomu’s… ah, no, that sounds just as bad!”

“Eh? Become something of Shiragi Motomu’s… That sounds dangerous…!”

“Hey, Miyamae Akari, why are your eyes shining? Although I suggested it, you’re scaring me.”

“Brother, go on. Based on what you said, I’ll consider improving my opinion of you.”

I sat up straight again. Despite twitching cheeks, my brother cleared his throat, ready to speak.

“Listen, to Motomu, you’re just ‘my sister’ right now. He probably doesn’t even see you as an acquaintance.”

“Ugh…”

“But, if that’s the case, I can just connect you two. I can… Yes, I can arrange for you to stay at Motomu’s apartment during the summer break!”

“You’re going to… let me stay at Shiragi Motomu’s apartment…!”

“The first step of the plan… is for me to borrow money from Shiragi Motomu,” my brother said.

“Eh?” I was confused, but I could see he was serious.

“However, since I’ll be unable to pay him back, to compensate for his loss… I’ll send you to his house as collateral!”

“So… I’ll be used as collateral for your unpaid debt, becoming something of Shiragi Motomu’s…?” I asked.

“Exactly. Honestly, as a brother, the idea of sending my own sister to be held hostage pains me,” he admitted.

That’s why he mentioned objectifying myself. Now I understood what he meant by his earlier objectionable remark.

Staying at Shiragi Motomu’s apartment seemed like an incredible opportunity, but was this plan really feasible?

“Wouldn’t Shiragi Motomu find it strange…?” I pondered aloud.

“This excuse might indeed be strange, but if you just ask to stay for a few days, he might not agree. After all, staying at our house would make more sense since we are siblings,” my brother reasoned.

“Ugh… that does seem more logical…”

“If I made up an inconvenient reason for you not to stay at our place, he might say it’s inappropriate for a girl to stay at a boy’s house and take you to a female friend’s place instead. However, that’s one of his good points. If he were the kind of guy who would take advantage of a high school girl showing up at his door, I would never hand you over to him,” my brother said.

He was right, considering Shiragi Motomu’s character, I could easily imagine such a scenario.

As my brother said, that was one of Motomu’s virtues. I also really liked his honest nature.

“However, his weakness is that he’s too easily persuaded. Since he’s a sensible person, we’ll confront him with something illogical. All we need is proper preparation beforehand.”

“Preparation beforehand…”

“Regardless of the excuse, having you as a debt collateral is the easiest method to implement. I just have to borrow money from him and not return it! Then you’ll have to take on the responsibility, show up at his doorstep with your luggage without saying a word.”

“Showing up on my own…! Such a bold move…”

“Don’t tell me you can’t do it. I’m willing to be seen as a fool who doesn’t repay his debts by my close friend, just to support you this one time. Since we’ve decided to do this, you must be prepared to set aside your pride to achieve your goal.”

“Brother…”

I already had the answer in my heart. It wasn’t about wanting to develop a certain type of relationship with Shiragi Motomu or wanting to live at his place. It was something more fundamental.

I wanted to meet Shiragi Motomu, to talk to him. If I could fulfill this wish…

“I understand. I’ll give it a try!”

Thus, my brother and I vowed lifelong grand declarations to conquer Shiragi Motomu’s heart.

I clenched my fist against my chest, resolute, only to be teased by my brother.

“But you get nosebleeds just from fantasizing now. The thought of living under the same roof as Motomu is a pipe dream.”

“Ugh…! I’ll work on building my resistance! There’s still some time before summer break…! Brother, you have to help me train!”

“You’re a student. Go study.”

Despite his cold remarks, my brother still deeply cared for his sister.

He fulfilled my request, giving me the precious photos he took of Shiragi Motomu during high school and a graduation album (often featuring girls sneaking peeks at him), which allowed me to increase my resistance to Shiragi Motomu by absorbing his essence every day.

At first, I experienced withdrawal symptoms like breathlessness and rapid heartbeat due to an overdose of his charm and cute photos. Even my friend Xiao Li worriedly asked me, “Did you take some kind of drug you shouldn’t have?”

But I managed to suppress the excitement, gradually gaining control over my heart rate and breathing, becoming calmer while absorbing Shiragi Motomu’s essence.

While preparing for this, I continued to balance my studies, maintaining top grades in school and on mock exams. My hard work paid off, successfully convincing my parents to allow me to stay out for an extended period during my senior year summer break.

Officially, I was supposed to stay at my brother’s place, but the real destination was, of course…!

I displayed Shiragi Motomu’s address on my phone, which my brother had sent via email. To suppress my increasingly agitated heart, I kept taking deep breaths.

The summer sun showed no mercy, and even though my body was about to collapse for reasons other than heatstroke, I bit down hard, stretching out my trembling hand, and then…

“(Swallowing nervously)…”

After what felt like countless swallows to moisten my throat, I finally…

Ding-dong.

I finally pressed the doorbell of Shiragi Motomu’s house.

I love summer the most.

Because it’s the season that first gave me a taste of love.

Despite countless times of regret and embarrassment in the past, it brought me even more joy.

And now, time has brought me to this summer. My last summer in high school.

Feeling a heat different from the scorching sun and my heart pounding with excitement, I spoke the words I had practiced dozens, even hundreds of times, realizing something…

“Shiragi Motomu, it’s been a long time. As instructed by my brother, I’m here to serve as collateral. I look forward to your guidance!”

I will grow to love summer even more in the future.

📢 Maybe you see "V2" or "V3" and so on in the NOVEL TITLE, it means what VOLUMES the NOVEL is.
When I Lent 500 Yen to a Friend, He Sent His Sister as Collateral, but What Should I Do?

When I Lent 500 Yen to a Friend, He Sent His Sister as Collateral, but What Should I Do?

Yuujin ni 500-en Kashitara Shakkin no Kata ni Imouto wo Yokoshite kita no dakeredo, Ore wa Ittai dousureba iindarou, 友人に500円貸したら借金のカタに妹をよこしてきたのだけれど、俺は一体どうすればいいんだろう
Score 8
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: , Artist: , Released: 2021 Native Language: Japanese
“I’m here as the collateral for my brother’s debt. I will be in your care from now on” Miyamae Akari suddenly came barging in into Shiragi Motomu’s apartment. Giving off the impression of a good girl who cares for her brother, and a beautiful girl who would be gossiped about throughout the school, Akari suddenly offers herself as collateral for her brother’s loan. And that’s just for 500 yen. “Until my brother pays off his loan, I will gladly be your possession, senpai!” so she declared happily, for some reason. Motomu was bewildered by the overly wild development, but Akari pushily cajoles him and steadily goes forward with the preparation to freeload. And of course, this whole “collateral” thing has another motive――. It’s the start of a single-room cohabitation with a beautiful proactive girl!

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