Chapter 3

 Main Character’s POV
 "Takkun, here it is, ahhhmm~♡"
 "But I can eat it by myself."
 "No problem. Heh-heh~♡"
 Tsukasa seems to be enjoying herself like a new wife.
 The most beautiful girl in school and the most delinquent stepbrother are the school's official couple.
 In the ranking of 'the most likely couple to get married in the future'.
 It holds first place in the ranking.
 Restricting my freedom and forcing me to eat her homemade lunch box was a daily routine.
 (It's hard for Ren, too, the original owner of this body. He's been treated by Tsukasa ever since he was adopted)
 I feel sorry for the original owner.
 If I had been in Ren's shoes, I would have hated this lukewarm environment and would have become a delinquent.
 "Takkun. Did you do well in the midterm exam? You got 10th in the class."
 "Sister, you're being sarcastic."
 Tsukasa was in the first place.
 This record has been kept since kindergarten.
 By the way, my grades have been improving since I entered high school.
 Or rather, since last year.
 This is after I became Ren's identity.
 I can't get into the medical school of Tokyo University, but I have the knowledge of a high school graduate, so all I have to do is to review for the examinations.
 That is why I was able to get a good enough score to be in the top group.
 Tsukasa, however, must be a talented girl from the beginning.
 "Sister, which university are you going to?"
 "The same place as Takkun, of course."
 "Isn't there a big difference with your score?"
 "Then, I'll just lower it."
 It is a naturally rude statement, but Tsukasa has an air of forgiveness about her.
 Like a popular comedian who is not criticized too much even if he has an affair.
 "If you said that, the homeroom teacher will cry, you know? And the guidance counselor too..."
 "It's okay. I'll be Takkun's wife in the future."
 At that moment, the temperature in the classroom drops about 10 degrees Celsius.
 It's funny.
 Even though it's early summer.
 (Explode, you normies!)
 At a time like this, I get grateful(?) stares from the guys.

 (You guys are the ones who should die)
 I gave them a middle finger, silenced them, and asked Tsukasa.
 "I appreciate your feelings, but I don't want you to waste your youth for me."
 "No, this is my way of life."
 When she says it clearly and seriously, I can't say anything.
 Well, an adopted child and a biological child can marry under Japanese law.
 What is forbidden is
 ・Incest marriage
 ・Adoptive parents and their adopted children (*not possible even if the adoption is dissolved)
 The only two patterns (*1).
 Therefore, we can get married even though we are step-siblings.
 "Of course, if Takkun likes someone else..."
 "Not at all, I don't plan to."
 "Then, will you marry me?"
 "Why would I do that?"
 From 2022, both men and women can marry at the age of 18 without parental consent.
 In other words, we'll be old enough to get married next year.
 No way, I can get married twice in my life, I'm so lucky in that respect.
 "But you're in love with me, aren't you?"
 "What part?"
 "So you don't like me?"
 "Well, it's not like that."
 "Then, we're in love."
 Tsukasa smiles happily.
 To be honest, I can't go out with this kind of flowery-minded woman.
 Tsukasa, however, does not give me that kind of discomfort.
 It is proof that we are truly on the same wavelength.
 I'm dumbfounded, and I just let her do her thing.
 And so our lunch break always ends.
 After school.
 "Okay, I'm going to drop by the student council. Wait for me, okay?"
 With a big wave, we parted.
 "Well then..."
 The student council meeting usually finishes around 6:30 p.m.
 I go to the middle school building, which is located on the same grounds as the school.
 The target is, of course.
 I enter the computer room that Robinson had told me about.
 (...mixing public and private, huh?)
 Clack! Clack!
 Natalie was tapping away at the keyboard with an expressionless face.
 "...is it okay if I sit next to you?"
 Natalie glances at me and returns her attention to the screen immediately.
 "Oh, you're a white hat hacker."
 A series of alphabets I didn't recognize were displayed on the screen.
 I said something random, but she asked back.
 "...Do you know?"
 Oh, for the first time, we were having a conversation.
 I had to act the part.
 "A little. Not as much as Natalie."
 She's whispering, but she's having a conversation, and that's a big improvement over the last time.
 Because she is a victim of a sex crime, I don't look at her much out of concern for her.
 Then, using a notepad on her PC, she says to me.
 'How's your love life going?'
 For the first time, Natalie asks me a question.
 "What do you mean?"
 'The one you've been hanging out with. Aren't you two dating?'
 "Oh, how could you possibly know that?"
 'I've been watching you on the security cameras.'
 I see.
 The school has them in a place like,
 ・Changing rooms.
 ・Swimming pool.
 ・Athletic field
 Other than that place, the security cameras, which are installed in the school, are the same as those in London.
 Well, we are in the age of terrorism in schools, such cases as the Beslan School Siege.
 So, there is no problem to have this level of security measures.
 'Robinson told me. He's a friend of yours?'
 'Where'd you meet him?'
 After a short reply, she closes her computer.
 She seems to have a phobia of men and does not want to make eye contact or have a direct conversation with me.
 So, this time, the conversation switches to the notepad on her smartphone.
 'Aren't you angry that I spy on you?'
 "If it's not abused, I don't mind."
 She ignores me, and Natalie quickly goes to her shoebox.
 "...then, thanks for your hard work."
 "(Thanks for your time)"
 I hear something, but she only shows her back to me now.
 (I hope the distance between us can be shortened...)
 Looking at the time, there is still some time left to pick up Tsukasa, so I drop by the shooting club.
 The shooting range is empty.
 The range is practically closed because there are no members, but it has been designated as a training facility for athletes of the Tokyo Olympics, which makes it difficult to close the range.
 Naturally, for security reasons, only gun racks are available.
 Now, I put a silencer on my Beretta and shoot at the dummy man targets.
 But the silencer does not completely muffle the sound of the gunfire. Still, it's better than nothing.
 In any case, this is one of my training grounds.
 I fire 15 rounds and check the accuracy.
 When I was on active duty, I could hit 90% of my shots blindfolded, but now, this is the way it is.
 Needless to say, this peaceful country is making me lose my edge.
 (...protect, huh?)
 I think of my wife and the children I left behind in America.
 I left the stable U.S. Army for my own reasons and became a mercenary.
 According to Robinson, after my death, I can enjoy a pension and my children can go to college.
 I feel relieved for the time being, but I still miss them.
 But in reality, it will be difficult.
 I am sure that they would be creeped out by the fact that I have changed from a white man (白人) to a yellow man (黄色人種).
 Worst of all, I would be shot to death the moment I set foot in my house.
 Because that's what I taught my wife and children.

 'If you see someone trespassing in the house, don't hesitate to shoot them.'

 That's what I said.
 After recalling so, when I put away my Beretta and was about to leave.
 Clap, clap, clap...
 I turned around and saw Natalie clapping.
 "...That's great. I didn't even notice."
 That's a lie.
 I noticed that someone had entered the room stealthily.
 But I didn't think it was Natalie.
 She doesn't want to talk.
 Just a glance.
 But I'm just glad she came here of her own volition.
 "It's dangerous, you know?"
 Still not speaking, Natalie pulls out a military knife and throws it.
 It hits the man's target right in the groin.
 I applaud.
 Although I'm good at throwing knives, I've never seen such a good throw before.
 I guess she aimed at the crotch because it is a symbol of a man.
 'I'm a little doubtful, but you seem trustworthy.'
 Natalie turns her head and pulls out her smartphone.
 I don't know how she does it, but I guess she doesn't even want to make her own voice and relies on it.
 And an inorganic mechanical voice continues.
 'Since Robinson. You are the man who doesn't have ulterior motives for me.'
 'When you pushed me down, all I felt from you was murder. I thought men were beasts, but you are a warrior.'
 "Thank you."
 'I didn't mean it as a compliment.'
 Apparently, unbeknownst to me, Natalie thought very highly of me.
 Then, she pulls out a military knife from the man-made target, and says,
 'Your loved ones are being targeted.'
 "By who?"
 'The Red Army.'
 "In this time of peace?"
 'Red is a drug, just like religion.'
 Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union (USSR), many countries still cling to communists and socialism.
 With the exception of a few countries, such as Eastern Europe and Mongolia, which have become democracies, they remain one-party dictatorships.
 "...is it parents?"
 'Correct answer.'
 My mother Satsuki is a town doctor and a senior official of the Japan Medical Association and a temporary lecturer of the National Defense Medical College.
 It is not surprising that she is a target of the Red Army, which hates the Self-Defense Forces.
 "What is the Public Safety Bureau doing?"
 'They're gathering information.'
 "Can we destroy them?"
 'We can, but I don't think it's a good idea. The government needs a terrorist attack.'
 "To win an election?"
 'That's what this is. 9/11 style.'
 Since the end of the war, the pro-American conservatives have been the ruling party except for a few periods, but recently, the party has become unstable again due to a series of scandals.
 Since the left-wing parties that divided the political scene between the pro-American conservatives and the left-wing parties during the Cold War have been virtually disbanded, there is no party that can truly compete with the current ruling party.
 Bloc parties are not strong either.
 There is also a deep-rooted distrust of politics.
 It is a triple problem.
 As for the ruling party, it is meaningless if it does not win the election.
 'There will be a terrorist attack by the Red Army faction.'
 "...I understand."
 'And the reward?'
 "I'll pay you."
 At the same time, my phone's vibrating.
 'Takkun. Where are you?~'
 "Yeah, I'm coming."
 I wave to Natalie, still holding the phone.
 But she looks sad and forlorn as I walk away.

 *1: And Then We Fall in Love, a blog that compiles knowledge useful for the creation of romance works.
 'Can an adopted child and a biological child marry?' October 30, 2018 => link

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Edited Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.
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