Chapter 23:

The Missing Piece

My Childhood Best Friend is a VTuber! (OsananaV)


“I’m glad you admit that it was about time for me to win, you seem to acknowledge the clear gap in intellect between us.”

My retort to Sakura comes after my first win of the day, I need to keep it going if I have any chance of getting the information I need about Koi.

Now that my chair is gone from under me, I start pacing back and forth between my terribly messy kitchen and computer as I start to plot my next move.

It’s Sakura’s turn now.

“I definitely acknowledge that there is a clear gap in intellect here, I can see it clearly as I look down on you.”

It seems like she’s taking no chances with this one, going in for the kill. By now both of us have managed to stop leaving our responses open-ended in order to cut off the other from having a response.

If the other person can’t respond, the game is over.

“Are you trying to say you’ve grown a whole lot? From what I remember, you were never very tall.”

This one feels like a weak play from me, I must admit – but it’s enough to advance the question back to Sakura.

“Two…”

“Three…”

As I put on the pressure by counting down, Sakura responds with a lively, if not slightly aggravated retort.

“I’ve grown in the places that count at least!”

Ooft!

I didn’t think she’d take it in that direction, I hadn’t planned a counterattack for that one.

Stop thinking, Akira.

This is back to the distraction technique; she’s purposely trying to direct my thoughts to thinking about her body in order to steal the win out from under me.

You must keep your composure.

A bead of sweat runs down my forehead.

“Four…”

“That’s bold to assume that on you, they count for anything.”

That felt like my most vicious line yet. I’m not sure if that was more damaging to her body or her personality.

I hear an audible tssk coming from Sakura over the line.

“Sounds like the sort of thing that someone who has spent a while thinking about me would say.”

“There would have to be something noticeable for me to think about.”

It has just occurred to me that I am now fighting a girl who is three years my junior about the size of – well we haven’t specified what but I’m sure we’re talking about the same thing here!

We’re both adults, but it still hurts me deep down in my soul.

It’s all for Koi. It’s all for Koi.

I’m not sure saying that makes it any better now that I think about it; if anything, it probably makes it worse.

My childhood best friend probably wouldn’t approve of me making snide remarks about her sister’s body so I can thwart them in a game of mental chess in order to get them to tell me more about her.

It occurs to me that this whole situation doesn’t make me seem like a very nice person. I hope the viewers at home don’t feel disconnected from me at this moment.

I don’t think this is what Chika had in mind when she told me to talk to Sakura…

As I slowly come to terms with my questionable methods for following the fake maid’s guidance, I notice something rather questionable about this phone call itself.

No one is talking…

“Aren’t you going to gloat in your victory about now? The time’s up.”

Sakura finally chimes in to fill the silence.

Despite giving off the finishing blow, I seemed to be lost in my own world for the entirety of Sakura’s turn.

If she had managed to say anything in response, I probably would have lost.

“Victory!”

Although my methods were despicable, I can safely say I assured this win! Even if it did cost me my dignity as a human being and as a man who respects women.

That leaves us even now, she has two points and I have two points.

That makes this match point.

Whoever wins this next one, gets what they so desire.

For me, it’s information about Koi.

For Sakura, it’s unknown but I’ve come to the assumption she will force me into temporary slavery.

Why?

I can’t explain it. I promise this isn’t a masochistic fantasy I’ve imposed on myself!

“That makes this the final round, young Aki, I hope you’re ready for what I have in store.”

Sakura’s words almost trigger a regurgitative reaction in my system.

“If I’m ‘young Aki’, then I’d hate to think about your title, junior.”

The hot-headed gal lets off a cheeky heh heh heh.

“If you notice how much younger I am than you, this whole situation must be a little embarrassing.”

She’s got me there! The strangeness of this situation isn’t lost on her either. Maybe she’s smarter than I gave her credit for, or maybe it’s just that obvious how despicable I’m being right now.

Please forgive me, Queen Mayu!

This has put me in a tough situation, I can’t form a particularly witty response, but I can use her own tactics against her – bringing up a certain individual to make her lose track.

I don’t know how well it will work on Sakura, but I also don’t know anyone else in her life to bring up.

“I only notice because you’re Koi’s sister, if anything, I think she’d be happy I’m teaching her troublesome sibling a lesson.”

Despite my attempts, this doesn’t seem to faze Sakura even a little bit.

It was a long shot!

“I know that girl as if she was my own flesh and blood, she would never want someone as stupid as you teaching me any lessons.”

Again with the flesh and blood thing? Koi brought it up last time I was on the phone to her too.

“Who’s the stupid one here if you’re referring to your own sister as if she was my own flesh and blood?

She is your own flesh and blood idiot!

“One…”

Sakura pauses for a moment.

“Two…”

I think I’ve got her this time!

“Three…”

Victory for Aki!

“Four…”

“The person who thinks you can’t be sisters if you’re not flesh and blood, so you, you’re the stupid one.”

Um.

“What?”

“Three…”

Sakura’s tone wasn’t anything particularly different than how she’s spoken before – relatively jovial with a hint of attitude. Despite that fact, I feel like she has just dropped a massive bomb on me.

Is she implying what I think she’s implying?

“Four…”

Sakura’s anticipation of victory can be heard through every rushed syllable of her countdown.

“Five…”

“Koi isn’t your biological sister?”

Screw the counting, please explain this further!

“And, time! That is an overwhelming victory for Sakura!”

Overwhelming is a bit of an overstatement if I may say so myself, but seriously – please answer my question.

I can’t even remember Sakura’s natural hair colour, at this point I’m not sure if I ever saw it in the first place. I just assumed that without it, she looked like everyone else in the family – her features weren’t all that too dissimilar to her parents.

She and Koi didn’t exactly look like siblings, but it’s really hard to tell when one of them has gone full gyaru!

“I had no idea you weren’t biologically related, I mean with your hair and al-“

“I’m not the adopted one, dumbass! I’m talking about Koi.”

My grip loosens and the phone that was once in my hand comes crashing down to the ground.

Still, for a moment I am just still. An entity in this world that things are passing by, a traveller.

I can’t believe I had no idea.

Koi had never mentioned this once, not when we were kids, not any time ever.

Chika has been telling me to learn all the facts before I make any assumptions and a part of me sort of believed that I had already been doing that in a way. I wasn’t sure what I could learn by talking to Sakura, but I felt in the very least, following Chika’s advice didn’t sound like the worst thing in the world.

Despite thinking that I was doing all that, it would seem that maybe I didn’t know much about her at all.

I swing forward to grab my phone and end up smacking my head against the top of my desk.

My legs slip up from under me and I end up falling to the floor on my butt.

Ouch!

Pain seethes from my head all the way to my tailbone as I reach to pick up the phone next to me.

I let out a wounded grunt.

“Are you there? You seem to be taking this news worse than even Koi did herself.”

“Ah, sorry – it’s just she never told me about any of this.”

Sakura’s reply comes swiftly and as upbeat as ever.

“Oh, she didn’t know until a few years ago. Our parents thought it would probably be best if she didn’t spend her formative years thinking she didn’t belong and just welcomed her as their kid.”

Thoughts of our childhood come rushing back to me.

It seemed as if their parents never took their eyes off of Koi, and in turn ended up looking away from Sakura. To me at least, that always seemed like the reason she went to extreme measures to stand out and display her individuality.

It was as if I’ve been looking at a puzzle my entire life, and now finally I have found the missing piece.

“I think you’re missing something here Akira.”

Can everyone in this universe read my mind or something?

“And what's that?”

“I won the game, so you have to do anything I want.”

Shit.

Hearing the news about Koi completely took my mind away from everything that we were doing.

“I know, but I’m not finish-“

“Yeah, yeah. You can vent all your feelings about this on the date.”

What do you mean vent?

Wait.

“Date?”

Sakura giggles.

“Yes, that’s what I want from you. A date.”

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