Latifa Side Story
The day after the Spirit Festival.
It was a day of great importance for both, myself as Latifa, and myself as Endou Suzune.
It’s a day that I’ll continue to hold dear to me for the rest of my life.
I will recount the events that transpired on that day.
First and foremost, I am determined to see off Onii-chan. I’ve decided to not depend on Onii-chan any longer.
Well, as for acting like a spoiled Imouto… that’s another story.
I mean, Onii-chan even formally acknowledged me as his Imouto.
So that’s my special privilege as Onii-chan’s Imouto.
Thus, exercising my rights as Onii-chan’s Imouto, I asked him about his previous life.
In doing so, I can fall deeper in love with Onii-chan.
In this manner, even when Onii-chan’s away, I can always feel his presence by my side.
These were my thoughts.
And so, Onii-chan recounted stories from his previous life, from his infancy up to his life as a University student.
There was one person who kept coming up in his stories. This person played a significant role in shaping Onii-chan’s former life.
That person was a girl, Onii-chan’s childhood friend.
Was she such an important existence in Onii-chan’s past life? A bitter feeling rose from within me.
To be honest, I’m incredibly jealous of her.
I mean, I’m sure that even now, Onii-chan still thinks about her.
It’s been at least 20 years if counting both Onii-chan’s former and current life and yet, Onii-chan still exhibits lingering affection for her.
It’s an unrequited love lasting for over 20 years that Onii-chan continues to pursue.
I think Onii-chan’s an exceptionally dedicated person.
To cherish the memories from their childhood—
For years, even decades, not being able to meet—
It’s not even known if they can ever see each other again—
Even so, for all this time, even now, he keeps thinking about her.
Onii-chan’s feelings, is it love? Passion? Regret? It’s a kind of feeling that I can’t express in words.
I understand Onii-chan’s feelings yet, is it possible for him to look at me?
I really wish Onii-chan would notice me.
Even just a little, to see the feelings I hold.
You might say that my first love was the Onii-san who helped me on the bus in my previous life.
However, for the current me, Onii-chan is a much more important existence than that Onii-san.
I’ve decided to devote my entire life to Onii-chan.
That’s how strong my feelings for Onii-chan are.
Looking back, my feelings for Onii-san came from my admiration.
On the other hand, Onii-chan isn’t just a figure I admire, but just by being there, he provides me with a sense of security.
With just those feelings, is it enough for him to look at me?
Or must I give up?
So I’m to just give up?
It’s fine even if my feelings never reach him.
Even if Onii-chan comes to love somebody else, I may find it unpleasant but I will tolerate it.
Nevertheless, even so, as long as even the slightest glimmer of hope exists—
For as long as Onii-chan allows me to, I will stay by his side.
And then, surely one day, I will have Onii-chan notice me1.
Although we will be separated when Onii-chan resumes his journey, I can now confidently say that we will always be together.
Therefore, I believe that Onii-chan will return to me.
But the story doesn’t end there—
What happens next, could it be called a miracle?
Or, fate perhaps?
「Uhm, how did Onii-chan die?」
I seized the opportunity to bring up the question, even though it is a slightly sensitive topic.
「It seemed like the bus I took home from University got into an accident. I lost consciousness in an instant and the next thing I knew, I was an orphan in this world.」
As if implying that it wasn’t a topic worth mentioning, Onii-chan floats a wry smile.
I, on the other hand, was quite shocked.
「E~tto, I also died after the bus I took got into an accident.」
That’s right, just like Onii-chan, I also died in a traffic accident on a bus.
Moreover, just like me, Onii-chan also lived in Tokyo.
I— It couldn’t be—
*Dokun*, my heartbeat quickens.
「Is that so? Come to think of it, you told me you also lived in Tokyo…」
Onii-chan seemed to have also caught onto the same train of thought as me.
In a frenzied voice, I name the place where I lived and describe the bus I got on to Onii-chan.
「…It’s possible that we got on the same bus. If that’s the case then that girl is…」
That means, there was a very high chance that Onii-chan and I got on the same bus and died in the same accident.
Although Onii-chan mutters something, I don’t pay attention.
I mean, since we got on the same bus—
At that time, other than the bus driver, there was only one other male onboard—
What’s more is that Onii-chan was a University student—
Then, in other words—
Wha— What should I do?
When I understand what happened back then, my mind becomes blank.
Just now, I was able to arrange my thoughts and arrived at a shocking conclusion: Onii-chan is the Onii-san whom I first fell in love with. When I realise that—
My heart suddenly begins to beat wildly.
No wonder my heart felt at ease whenever I thought about Onii-chan.
However, at the same time, now when I think of Onii-chan, I become terribly nervous and my face turns bright red.
I can’t bear to face Onii-chan anymore.
The feeling of wanting Onii-chan to see me as a woman has become much stronger.
I wonder what the true nature of this feeling is.
Before I knew that Onii-chan and Onii-san were one and the same, I suppressed the recognition of such a desire. Even if my feelings never reached him, I intended to devote myself to Onii-chan—
However, now I can no longer suppress the beating in my chest, the irresistible yearning for Onii-chan.
Most of the feelings I held for Onii-chan before were that of love. The contents of my feelings now have not changed but my affection towards Onii-chan has increased dramatically.
I’m really just a simple, self-centered person.
My feelings for Onii-chan and my feelings for Onii-san.
With both feelings combined, my love for Onii-chan has grown greater than ever.
Is it because I found out that Onii-san reincarnated and is alive?
Or is it because I found out that Onii-chan is Onii-san?
What if Onii-san reincarnated as somebody else? If Onii-san were to appear somewhere else in the future, what would I think of him?
When I ponder such a thought, I realise it’s a pointless worry.
I mean, even if I don’t worry about it, it was Onii-san who helped me as Onii-chan.
There’s no need to think about it too deeply.
The Onii-chan who helped me is that Onii-san after all. The Onii-chan I came to love is that same Onii-san.
In other words, I fell in love with the same person twice2.
There doesn’t exist any other person who carries the love for two persons for one person.
I consider it a very special luxury for myself, a truly wondrous happening.
Although the two outwardly look different, they are the same existence—
Even if we were both reborn, even if Onii-chan’s appearance changed, I think I was fated to love Onii-chan.
It was inevitable that I would fall for him.
That’s why there’s no need to continue maintaining this boorish conjecture of a story.
「Uhm you know, Onii-chan…」
I decide to tell Onii-chan.
That I was saved by Onii-chan in my previous life.
When I’m about to tell him my feelings, Onii-chan smiles at me gently and pats my head.
It seems that there’s no need for me to speak because Onii-chan likely already understands me3.
I don’t need to verbally express my love for Onii-chan.
The current me is not yet a suitable partner for Onii-chan.
That’s why, so that Onii-chan will look my way, I must continue to do my best.
And one day, I will make Onii-chan look at me.
That was my goal.
For that reason, I think you understand why I hold the day after the Spirit Festival very dear to me.
I returned home after talking to Onii-chan about various things and briefly told Arthura-san everything that happened.
Arthura-san was extremely grateful towards Onii-chan and thanked him repeatedly.
At that time, I didn’t really understand her behaviour.
Certainly Arthura-san loves me as if I was her own grandchild.
However, the Arthura-san of that time displayed deep, compassionate emotions that couldn’t be explained.
A few days later however, I came to learn of the reason.
Arthura-san was my mother’s grandmother.
In other words, she’s my great-grandmother.
When I heard the story, I realised I had blood relatives who sincerely love and care for me besides mother. It made me truly happy from the bottom of my heart and I couldn’t help but shed tears of joy.
Afterwards, I decided to call Arthura-san, Arthura-Obaa-chan.
Onii-chan, Arthura-Obaa-chan, the Onee-chans, and all of my friends.
There are a lot of people who care for me around me.
The days I spent with them were exceedingly happy and the days passed surprisingly quickly.
Onii-chan, the Onee-chans, and all my friends went on picnics.
We were taught martial arts by Onii-chan alongside the Seirei no Tami warriors.
The number of people who attended Onii-chan’s cooking lessons increased to the point where Onii-chan had to hold more sessions.
For some reason, Arslan-kun declared Onii-chan to be his rival4.
And then, there was our second Spirit Festival.
I became dead drunk by the end just like before.
I behaved like a spoiled child to Onii-chan for the entirety of the next day.
Really, a lot of things happened—
And so, at long last, the day when Onii-chan was to leave the village arrived.
I was sad but—
Even then, I was able to properly see him off with a smile.
And bid him farewell.
By the way, it seemed like Onii-chan received various forms of aid from the village Elders before he left.
Something like amazing magic tools, amazing armour, an amazing amount of food and medicine, and a variety of other things. Onii-chan was deeply grateful for the Elders’ assistance.
Many of the Seirei no Tami came to see off Onii-chan.
There were many misconceptions about Onii-chan when we first arrived in the village. However, Onii-chan is a welcomed member of the village now. The scene before me is a testimony to that.
Please know that you’re always welcome here.
I am— No, not just me, everyone is waiting for you to return.
After seeing Onii-chan’s flying figure disappear over the horizon, I mutter in a daze.
Even if I prepared my heart, I can’t help but still feel lonely.
How long will it be until Onii-chan returns?
Thinking about the amount of time I’ll have to wait, tears fall from my eyes.
「Apart from the aid he received as a Sworn Friend, I personally bestowed Rio-dono a gift. It’s for the sake of Rio-dono and Latifa.」
To my currently disheartened self, Arthura-Obaa-chan spoke to me softly.
「For our sake?」
I questioningly look up at Arthura-Obaa-chan.
What on earth could it be?
「It’s a magic tool called the Transfer Crystal. It’s an amazing item that will allow one to return to the village in an instant if used.」
Wow, Arthura-Obaa-chan gave Onii-chan a magic tool that enables spatial relocation in an instant.
In that case, can’t he return here every day?
When I voice my question, I’m unfortunately told that it isn’t such a convenient tool.
To use it, you must first designate a point of origin as the target destination.
After designating the point of origin, when one uses the Transfer Crystal, the user’s current location is spatially connected to the point of origin.
However, the reverse isn’t possible.
Once the user returns to the point of origin, the spatial connection is severed and the user will have to return to his or her former location using conventional means.
Furthermore, depending on the distance from the user’s location to the point of origin, a significant amount of Odo in the Transfer Crystal can be consumed.
Still, as long as the Odo is replenished, the tool can be used as many times as one likes. In the end, it’s still an amazing magic tool.
Unfortunately, it’s a very valuable magic tool that cannot be mass produced.
The point of origin of the Transfer Crystal given to Onii-chan is set to the Seirei no Tami village.
I can meet Onii-chan earlier only when he intends to return.
Thank you, Arthura-Obaa-chan.
Once more, I look up at the sky in the direction where Onii-chan disappeared.
The next time we meet, he will see me grown into a splendid adult.
That is my will.