Volume 5 Chapter 3 Shirogane Aqua, Catches a Cold
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
The next day, I ended up with a regular cold and had to stay in bed. I had a feeling this would happen, but unfortunately, my bad feeling came true. Thankfully, today was a day off, so it didn’t interfere with any filming or work schedule, but if it had happened on a busy day, it would’ve caused some problems.
Checking the clock, it was just before noon, and I was starting to feel hungry. So I was contemplating getting up and grabbing something to eat when someone slowly opened my room door.
”Nii-sama, are you awake?”
Lapis peeked into my room from the slightly opened door. She probably didn’t knock to avoid waking me up if I were sleeping.
I replied, and Lapis slowly opened the door and entered the room. She was dressed in casual home clothes, and her shorts revealed her slender, white legs. Oh no, Lapis. If a girl dresses so casually, some strange guys might approach her.
”How are you feeling, Nii-sama? Can you eat lunch?”
”Thanks to you, I’m feeling a bit better. As for lunch… Oh right, Mother and sister had some important matters to attend to, so they’re not at home.”
I vaguely recalled the commotion from the morning. Even though it was just a slight fever, Mother wanted to call an ambulance, and Shitori-onee-chan even suggested calling a doctor to the house. Panicking, I asked for help from Ako-san, and for some reason, she suggested calling a medical helicopter. More than the fever itself, dealing with those three trying to help me raised my body temperature.
”In that case, I’ll make something. And I’ll prepare something for Lapis too.”
As I tried to get up, Lapis gently stopped me.
”Please wait, Nii-sama. I’ll make lunch. So please stay here.”
Lapis cooking? Come to think of it, I don’t remember ever eating Lapis’ cooking. Thanks to my experiences from my past life, I can handle household chores to some extent, so I occasionally cook meals for my family as a change of pace.
Doing household chores every day can be tough, but it’s nice to do it occasionally for a change of pace. Reflecting on this, I realized for the first time in this life how much I should appreciate mom who does it every day for us.
”Got it. In that case, Lapis, I’ll leave it to you.”
While Lapis was preparing the food, I took my temperature again. The fever, which was over 38 degrees in the morning, had come down to the 37-degree range. If it continues like this, I should feel much better by evening. I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that I could manage work tomorrow.
As I was thinking about it, Lapis returned with the lunch on a tray.
”Nii-sama, it’s udon. Can you eat it?”
”Thank you, Lapis.”
Lapis had made warm udon with green onions. In these situations, it’s usually either rice gruel or udon. I personally prefer udon because I like the smooth texture when I eat it. I picked up the chopsticks and said my thanks (Itadakimasu) before taking a bite.
[Aqua-kun, have you ever thought seriously about the feelings of the girl you’re with?]
As I was about to slurp the udon, Kohina-san’s words suddenly came to mind. I froze with the udon lifted by the chopsticks, and my gaze shifted to Lapis, who was sitting beside me.
”Nii-sama? Is something wrong?”
Lapis looked at me with a worried expression. Come to think of it, does Lapis know that I like udon? I decided to ask her directly.
”Lapis, did you know that I like udon and made it for me?”
”Yes. Nii-sama seems to prefer lighter dishes rather than heavy ones. And I remember you like udon with a broth made from dried bonito flakes… Did I get it wrong? Maybe it was just my misunderstanding?”
”No, Lapis, you got it right.”
Lapis seems to pay close attention to me… In contrast, do I really see Lapis properly? It makes me realize that I haven’t really paid attention to Lapis or even to Mom and Shitori-onee-chan. I haven’t really understood my own family.
”Lapis… Thank you.”
I expressed my heartfelt gratitude to Lapis once again. And as I savor the taste of the udon she made, I noticed that Lapis seemed embarrassed that the green onion I lifted up with chopsticks didn’t cut well and the ends are still connected. But knowing she did her best despite not being used to handling knives made me happy.
[Aqua-chan, are you okay? You seem to be quite busy with work lately… Don’t push yourself too hard.]
As I was eating the udon, I recalled Mom’s worried expression when I came home late just the other day.
[Aa-chan. You need to rest when you need to rest. You practice on your days off without Ako-san’s knowledge, don’t you?]
Then Shitori-onee-chan gently scolded me, and yet, I continued to practice even on my days off without telling Ako-san, even though she asked me if I was resting properly.
I remembered how I ended up lying to her, afraid that not doing something would make me feel uneasy. I want to make people smile as an idol, but in the process, I’ve made those around me worry so much…
”Thank you for the meal, Lapis. It was delicious.”
After finishing the udon, I put down my chopsticks and thanked Lapis. She returned a pure smile in response, and that expression reminded me of the pale-faced Lapis when she saw me with a fever.
”Lapis, can I ask you something? What do you think of the way I’ve been recently?”
I mustered the courage to ask Lapis. While I should be aware of it myself, it seems that I might be insensitive to other people’s feelings more than I think. So I felt it might be better to just ask directly.
”Lately, Nii-sama has been very kind, and I’m really happy about that. But… compared to before, you’re not home much, and when I see you coming home late at night, I get really worried about you.”
Lapis frowned slightly and answered with a hesitant tone. I felt sorry for making my younger sister look like that.
”I see… I’m sorry, Lapis. What do you want me to do?”
I asked, and Lapis showed a bit of agitation.
”Huh? Wh-what, what do I want you to do? Uh, well, I want Nii-sama to take proper rest on your days off. And… if possible, I want to spend more time with you.”
My summer vacation was mostly spent on work, lessons, and personal practice. While I occasionally hung out with Toa and Mayuzumi during breaks on set, I couldn’t recall any specific memories of going out with family or spending time together. It pained my heart to realize that I had been neglecting my family’s presence and support.
”Okay, as Lapis said, I’ll make sure to rest properly on my days off. And… before summer vacation ends, let’s go somewhere as a family.”
”Yes! Nii-sama, Lapis would be really happy!!”
Seeing Lapis’ joyful expression, I felt reassured that this was the right decision. However, I still felt a sense of urgency because the root of the problem remained unresolved.
After Lapis left the room, I felt drowsy, so I got back into bed. I had slept quite well, and my fever had significantly gone down. Apart from some sluggishness, I felt almost completely recovered. I thought that I would be fine by tomorrow. As I pondered, an unexpected person called out to me.
”Aqua-sama, have you woken up?”
I was surprised and quickly sat up in bed.
The hazy vision I had a moment ago cleared up, and I could see clearly now…
”Yes, Kanon is here with you, Aqua-sama.”
Why was Kanon here? I looked around in a panic, but there was no doubt that this was my room. In other words, Kanon had come to my room.
”Why… why are you here?”
I couldn’t understand why Kanon was in my room in the first place. And to my surprise, Pegonia-san was also there with her.
”Hehe, Aqua-sama didn’t contact me at all, so I came to see you!”
Kanon smiled innocently. I was still struggling to comprehend the situation, and I froze in place.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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