Chapter 49:

Fateful Evening

Couple That Can't Touch


By her red face and her cheerful attitude, it was clear that Otsune was drunk—although I hadn't seen her in more than ten years; she had probably changed a lot. Still, her voice was the same.

I stared at her, sitting at the table in Suzuka's living room, together with Suzuka's sisters.

Why is she… here?

"What are you staring at?" Suzuka's older sister said, dragging her words. "Come sit."

Bewildered, I slowly approached them and sat on a pillow on the floor, next to Yu-tan. I couldn't take my eyes off Otsune.

She looks even more mature. And happy.

"Is there something on my face?" she wondered, brushing her face with her hand.

"N-No. It's just…. It's nothing."

At least they are drunk. They won't notice if I don't act like Suzuka. But I'm sure I'm forgetting someone…. Right.

"Where are M-Mom and Dad?" I wondered.

"You know they sleep early," Suzuka's older sister answered. "They went straight to bed after taking Yu-tan to watch the fireworks."

"I see."

Still, I didn't understand why she was there. Suzuka had told me her sister was already engaged, so why wouldn't she be with him? I also wondered about Otsune; didn't she have something else to do? I didn't know if I should ask or not, but I figured why not.

"O-Otsune, why are you here? Don't you have somewhere else to go?" I forcedly smiled.

Suddenly, her face switched from being red to completely pale. Her smile vanished and she stared at me, troubled.

"How do you know my real name?"

Huh? Real name? Wait. Yu-tan called them Big Sis and Niku. If Big Sis is the woman in front of me, then Otsune is… Niku? But Niku sounds like a mean nickname.

"Did you look it up?" she continued.

"Y-Yes! I was curious. Sorry…," I lied.

She sighed. "It's fine, I understand. Still, I thought they had hidden everything…"

I let out a sigh of relief; I had avoided the need to explain so many absurd things.

"Anyway," Otsune continued. "No, I didn't have anywhere to go, so Makoto invited me to watch the fireworks with her and her fiance. I felt quite bad for being the third wheel," she giggled.

"Don't be dumb," Suzuka's older sister said. "We had a lot of fun, didn't we? Or didn't you?"

"Of course I did," Otsune smiled.

They started to chat between them. As much as I wanted to stay and catch up with Otsune, I couldn't risk acting weirdly in Suzuka's body. I stood up whilst they were distracted and walked to the narrow hallway. However, Yu-tan stopped me.

"Are you sleeping?" she asked.

"Yes," I giggled.

"Okay. Goodnight!"

"Goodnight," I smiled back.

Suzuka's older sister nor Otsune seemed to notice me. I took a few steps into the hallway to stumble upon three doors; I had no idea which one led to Suzuka's room. There was no point in thinking about it, so I took a gamble.

I opened the door on the left; it was the bathroom.

At least it wasn't someone's room.

I closed the door and opened the one on the right. It was a bedroom, so I believed it was Suzuka's. How could I be wrong? About to close the door, I realized Suzuka's parents were sleeping on the bed. I quickly walked out and closed the door.

That was close…

Opening the door in the middle, I immediately knew it was Suzuka's room. I stepped inside and closed the door behind me. I sighed in relief but also in frustration about the situation Suzuka and I were in.

I looked around the room; it was incredibly small, just like the individual bed. I saw the guitar she had brought to my house multiple times while teaching me the songs for the Club Fair. I also noticed some more familiar stuff, like her backpack. Still, I didn't want to see something I shouldn't, so I stopped peeking around.

I sat on the bed and took Suzuka's phone out of her skirt's pocket. I unlocked it with the password I already knew and saw that I had quite a few unread messages.

The oldest ones were from a group with Hashimoto-san and Rem-san, telling me not to read the previous messages in the group. They also told me that they would help me however they could with the swapping. I thanked them.

There were a couple of messages from Kawahara-san in our swapping-experiments group, telling Suzuka and me to document anything interesting that happened. Tarō-san then offered to help us too.

Lastly, there were two messages from myself—Suzuka using my phone in my body.

"Koji, I don't know where your room is. Help," she had sent with a distraught emoticon. A minute later, she continued, "I found it. But we need to talk. Call me as soon as you can."

I knew we were in a difficult situation, but I somehow felt that something worse had happened.


Koji's dad and I stared at each other in silence. His glare was penetrating, while I didn't know what my expression was—nor did I care.

"Are you just going to frown at me?" he questioned. "You usually have something to say. Swear words, mostly."

"Does it matter what I say?"

"Not really."

Now I understand why he hates him. Should I take the opportunity to improve their relationship? Do I really want to meddle like that? Why not?

"Fine, I accept your terms."

His expression quickly turned into surprise, just as the servants' did.

"I'm going to leave this house and show you I'm capable of taking care of myself. I'm going to find a new place to live and a part-time job. Everything without your help."

After staring at me in shock, he suddenly started laughing.


"You really caught me off guard, Koji. Obviously, we are not going to kick you out with your hands empty. You're going to keep your phone and we're going to give you money, but just enough to find an acceptable apartment and to survive on for a couple of weeks until you find a job."

I was dumbfounded. Even though kicking your own son out of his home was already horrible, it didn't sound that bad. Having some independence even sounded nice.

"I'm truly sorry for doing this, Koji. Both your mother and I are. Even though we are in the middle of critical matters, we took the time to decide what would be best for your future. I must confess we didn't do the same with Otsune."

Otsune. She's Koji's sister, right? He told me they kicked her out, just as they are doing with him now. I should try and get more information for Koji.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

He sighed. "I guess it's time to tell you. Everything began when Otsune started high school. We… I hadn't treated her well throughout her life, just as I have done with you. She had a lot of resentment pent up against us, so she started making us look bad to the other families. Thinking about it now, I don't blame her for doing it.

I don't blame her either.

"We gave her many opportunities to stop, but she didn't. We tolerated her behavior until she was done with high school. I was… extremely angry at her, so I made the dumb decision of not paying for her university, kicking her out of the house, and forcing her to change her name for dishonoring the family. To be honest, she even seemed pleased with that. What she wasn't eager about was leaving you."

It sounds awful…

"Obviously, we weren't going to leave her completely on her own. We made sure to support her until she got an apartment and a job, which only took one month. I must admit that I wasn't going to help her, but your mother convinced me to do it. You don't know how grateful I am to her for stopping me from being a monster; at least a little. She has done it many times but I'm willing to change. Remember that promise I made? I'm a man of my word; I'm going to fulfill it."

I didn't know what promise he was talking about, but I imagined it was something good, so I smiled anyway.

"And what happened to Otsune?" I asked.

"We haven't talked to her since we kicked her out. Still, we have spied a little. It seems she was able to enroll in university, graduate, and get a decent job at some company. We kicked her out when she was eighteen; now she's one year away from turning thirty. It's hard to believe it…"

I bet it is.

"Anyway," he continued. "You made me forget I was angry at you, but I'm not going to change my mind. Go to your room. We'll talk more tomorrow."


Please with the results, I walked out of the living room back into the hall. I stood still.

Where is Koji's room?

About to panic, I luckily remembered a few things from the multiple times I had come to his mansion. I knew his room was in the same hallway as the guest room I had stayed at the first time I had come, so I headed upstairs and walked into the hallway on the right.

There were a lot of rooms and I didn't want to risk something bad happening. I took Koji's phone out of his pants' pocket, unlocked it, and sent a message to Koji.

"Koji, I don't know where your room is. Help." I added a distraught emoticon.

I stood still in the middle of the hallway, staring down at the screen. I waited for an eternity and he hadn't even seen the message.

I hope he's okay.

Then I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. The last thing I wanted to do was to talk in Koji's body anymore, so I took a chance and stepped inside the closest room.

It looked practically identical to the guest room I had stayed in. But I quickly realized it was Koji's room when I saw his backpack and a desk with a giant computer and three monitors.

I sat on the bed and let out a sigh of relief. I sent another message to Koji, telling him I had already found his room and that we needed to talk ASAP. Then I lay on the bed, trying to recall everything Koji's dad had told me.

Twenty minutes later, Koji finally called me.

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