I arrived at the Matsuse family home and put my shoes on the rack.
“Ara, the young lady of the Matsuse house is calling for you?”
I nodded in response to my aunt, who was cleaning.
“She asked me to meet her on the day I started my second year of high school.”
She asked me to come by yesterday. To be honest, it’s troublesome to have to do this the morning of the first day of school, but I feel like I might miss something important if I don’t go.
My aunt chuckled in response and looked toward the other side of the hallway.
“The young lady is in her room, as usual.”
I’m well aware where it is. This “young lady”, Misora Matsuse, has the room at the far side of the house.
Matsuse, my cousin, won’t go to university because it’s a “waste of time”. She instead spends her days holed up in her room. The only things she does are her hobbies and day trading, which gives her an unexpectedly sizable income. It’s rare for anyone to talk with her.
I heard the splash of koi from the pond in the garden. The wind gently scattered the white petals of the blooming plum tree.
I stood in front of Misora Matsuse’s door, and could feel chilly air spilling out. Even though it was a still spring, it seems she was already using her air conditioner.
“Matsuse nee-san, it’s Tomoe.”
I called out into the room, and the door silently opened. A girl that looked like a human version of a Japanese doll came out, covering a yawn with her hand. The girl my aunt called a “young lady” is a one that’s quite tall: both of us are about 170cm (5’7”). Matsuse is my cousin, and also the head of the Matsuse family.
Her hair is jet-black, reaching down to her waist. Neutral, neat facial features. Her gentle almond-shaped eyes matched well with the pastel-red kimono she’s wearing.
“Hey, Tomoe. Congratulations on your graduation to second year. Though it seems you haven’t become any manlier since the last time we’ve talked.”
She told me so with a teasing giggle, and invited me into her room by patting my shoulder harder than was necessary.
“I want to give you a graduation gift. It’s almost time for you to head off to school, right? May I borrow your phone for a second?”
I handed her my phone, wondering what it has to do with her gift. I looked around her room, but everything was the same as it was last time I was here. There were two computers, one of them in standby mode, the other showing a chart. A line of servers sat on a rack, their fans humming softly. On the edge of this rack, there was a small shrine with several BL game figurines. For some reason, they were dressed in womens’ clothing. The bookshelves were lined with magazines about programming. There were also womens’ magazines, though they were being used to separate the programming magazines by year.
“Tomoe, congratulations on your graduation. Here’s an app I made as a gift.”
While I was looking around her room, it seems like she’d installed something on my phone without permission. I took back my phone, which she had turned off, and looked at the screen. I could see a pretty handsome guy. He was in his second year of high school, maybe? A nice nose, somewhat thin eyebrows, and gentle almond-shaped eyes ー all reminiscent of Matsuse’s bloodline- Ah, wait. It’s just my reflection.
When I turned my phone on, there was an unfamiliar app icon on my home screen. Before I even moved my finger, the app launched on its own and a character in a bunny girl outfit appeared onscreen.
ーー “I am RABBIT, an AI conversation app! What would you like to talk about today? Is there anything I can help you find?”
“A way to get rid of you”, I muttered reflexively.
The app appeared to have picked up what I said. The bunny girl looked sad, and held her head in her hands.
ーー “Ehh, RABBIT isn’t loved… But even if you try to delete RABBIT, she will continue to exist in the background of your phone forever!”
“Haa, it’s low-quality…”
“I made it to be absolutely indestructible.”
Misora hugged me from behind while looking at my phone’s screen.
“Mhmm, looks like it’s working properly. Keep testing as you have been.”
“Don’t call testing your app my gift.”
“I’ve only been able to recruit about a dozen testers online. Please help me out.”
The Shirasugi family is a branch of the Matsuse family, and as the eldest son, I can’t go against what Misora says. If you ask me to, I can’t decline.
“It would be troublesome if the app opened on its own every time I turned my phone on, though.”
“Just play around with the settings. Here, try this…”
Don’t reach for my phone while hugging me from behind.
“Misora nee-san, your chest is pushing up against me.”
“Ahaha, even if it is, haven’t you seen my breasts when we took a bath together?”
“That was way back in elementary school, wasn’t it? If you haven’t matured since, it’s just sad!”
“Your chest hasn’t grown either, has it? We’re both in the same boat, so we can laugh about it together.”
“I’m a guy, my chest isn’t supposed to grow!”
Misora nee-san moved her arm onto my chest.
“Yup, Tomoe’s chest is about the same size as mine. Hmm, that’s pretty funny!”
“This is sexual harassment.”
“Ahh, I suppose it’s time to get going to school anyway. Or maybe, you’re going to show some manly spirit since you’re entering sophomore year?”
“Only a delusional kid would think that rebelling against anything and everything is manly. I’m trying to be the kind of guy that’s honest and always on time, so let me go already.”
“What’s more important, a nice moment with me, or some silly class?”
“I’d rather spend time with my friends from school than getting teased by my cousin, you know?”
“Ouch… Then, since you’re testing the RABBIT app, I’ll just talk to you when you come home.”
Misora nee-san let go of me, and I looked at my phone again. Maybe the app had listened to our conversation through the microphone, since RABBIT was pointing at my phone’s clock with both of her hands.
ーー “You have 20 minutes left until school, master!”
The contrast between RABBIT’s outfit and the tone of her voice was ridiculous.
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