“Mmm, what a lovely morning.”
“But it’s such a lovely morning.”
Thanks to finally being able to sleep soundly, I feel much more refreshed.
Ever since my younger brothers left for the village, I’ve been worried sick, and neither Diya nor I had properly eaten.
When I heard the news from last night, I was so relieved that all the strength in my body drained away, and I couldn’t move for a while.
“But I’m really glad.”
That strategy we decided to take the risk on – it worked brilliantly and saved my brother and the others from their predicament.
On the day when I couldn’t get in touch with my younger brother, Diya-san and I held a strategy meeting, just the two of us.
“We will now begin the meeting for the rescue operation. Let’s keep it quiet,” Diya-san said in a needlessly low voice, taking charge of the situation.
For the record, I didn’t say a word.
“During our pre-discussion, it was agreed that they would contact us at least three times a day. However, that promise was broken. Not just once, but even the second, third, and fourth scheduled contact times have long passed!”
I thought she was passionately arguing towards the ceiling, but she suddenly looked at me. I just nodded for the time being.
“There’s a strong possibility that there’s no base station nearby in the mountainous area, and that’s why the radio waves aren’t reaching. We had already decided on countermeasures in that case. Do you remember?”
She mimicked stroking a mustache with her finger, but of course she didn’t actually have one.
“Um, let me see. Even if there’s nothing wrong, if we can’t get in touch for a whole day, one of them will go down the mountain to make contact. That’s why Jin-chan is also accompanying him.”
She makes a big circle with her arms above her head.
It seems like she’s trying to lighten the mood for me since I’m shy around people.
She’s such a kind and considerate person. If only I could approve of my brother’s friendship with her… but no, that’s still not possible.”
“Anyway, we should assume that some kind of accident has occurred.”
“Yes, you’re right…”
Although it’s confirmed that my brother is safe, I still worry about whether he’s been injured or experienced any danger.
“Big sis, it’s not time to feel down yet.”
I raise my head in surprise.
Diya-san smiles and touches her finger to the corner of her mouth.
I feel pathetic… Even though she’s younger than me, I’m the one being encouraged all the time.
“Let’s think of a plan! There must be a way to help them!”
Diya-san’s words encourage me, and we continue our discussion with renewed energy.
She raises her fist and passionately explains.
I envy her ability to express her feelings so openly without any embarrassment.
“First of all, let’s summarize the information. My uncle is being watched by the villagers and feels that his life is in danger. As a result, we can’t contact him or the others.”
Diya-san’s clear explanation helps us understand the situation better and focus on finding a solution.
This is one-sided information from Diya’s uncle, so it’s impossible to confirm the facts, but it’s true that they have become uncontactable.
“I know where Uncle is. Hinoyama-san told me,” she said, placing his smartphone on the desk.
The screen displayed a beautiful natural landscape from above.
” There’s a village that’s suffering from depopulation, and this inn is located a little far away from it where Uncle and others probably stayed. And this is the area where older sister used to live. Is that correct?”
“Yes, that’s right. And you can talk to me normally, by the way,” I said.
“Really? That helps a lot. Unfamiliar words can be difficult sometimes,” she replied.
“I guess I was forcing myself after all.”
“We should be prepared for the worst-case scenario. If everything turns out to be just an unfounded fear, then that’s great news and we can all breathe a sigh of relief,” she said.
“Absolutely. The top priority is for everyone to come back safely.”
“I also agree with that opinion.
“The possible scenario is that Uncle and Iwaro are captured by the villagers and locked up somewhere, or they are still on the run. These are the two most likely options.”
“Then, Jin and Hinoyama went to search for them. They may have been captured by the villagers like Uncle and Iwaro, or they may have joined forces with them and escaped together… it could be either one.”
“If it’s the former, then there’s nothing we can do, but if it’s the latter, we might still be able to do something.”
If they’re captured and imprisoned, it would be quite difficult to find them. But if it’s the latter case, there may still be time to help them.
“Yeah, exactly! So let’s assume it’s the latter and think about it that way! The higher the chance of being able to save them, the better.”
“Since we know for certain that Jin-chan was alive on April 1st, it’s unlikely that he’s been captured and imprisoned all this time.” I said.
But even if my little brother is safe, it’s a different story for everyone else.
“To be honest, I’m not too worried about Jin. The problem is with Uncle and the others.”
Diya-san seems to have realized that too.
“How can we get everyone who’s being chased or hiding from the villagers out of the mountain?…Do you have any ideas?”
Oh, she’s asking me.
A way to save my little brother who are being chased in the mountain… It’s hard to think of such a convenient solution.
“It’s tough to come up with something on the spot like that. Hmm…it would be nice if we could just send in the Self-Defense Force for a rescue mission!”
“Even if we appeal to the Self-Defense Force, they might just turn us away or even report us to the police for making prank calls.”
“Yeah, that’s true. We could try to persuade the villagers to stop chasing them. Or maybe cause some kind of accident that would create chaos and distract them.”
“An accident…something that would inconvenience the villagers.”
I wonder what we could do. And how could the two of us manage it?
Lost in thought, we suddenly heard a notification sound in the silent room.
When Diya noticed that I wasn’t using my own smartphone, she looked at me and hurriedly took out her phone.
“It seems that a notification has been sent to for my videos. I thought I had turned it off,” she said.
“I remember you’re posting DIY videos, right?”
“If you don’t mind, please like and subscribe!”
“Sure, I’ll do it,” I replied.
The tense atmosphere loosened a bit with our exchange.
“Wow. I’ve been slacking off on my posts for the past few days, but I’m getting a lot of messages from my listeners,” she said.
I guess she hadn’t had the time to post anything lately because she was worried about her uncle’s situation.
“We’re in the middle of a serious conversation, sorry about that,” she said.
“But the listeners are important too, right? We should reply to them properly. Shall we take a break and have some drinks and snacks?” I suggested.
“Sounds good to me! Geez, they’re making such a fuss just because I haven’t posted for four days. I’m not dead, for crying out loud. If they think something’s wrong, we should just organize a meet-up,” she added.
As she read through the comments from her listeners, Diya complained, but her voice sounded happy.
‘Organize a meet-up, huh? I kind of want to join too,’ I thought.
But just imagining myself surrounded by a large group of people made me feel sick.
It’s a world I’ll never be a part of – a meet-up?
“Yes?” she replied.
Oh no, I called her “Diya-chan” without even realizing it. I had only ever thought of her that way in my head.
It’s only natural for her to be surprised if I suddenly act too familiar.
But I have more important things to worry about than my own awkwardness.
“I’ve been thinking, how about organizing an emergency meet-up at the mountain where Jin-chan and the others are?” I suggested.
“……A-A-A-A-A-Ah! That’s a great idea, Big Sis!” Diya replied excitedly.
Diya quickly understood what I wanted to do and jumped up from her chair, hugging me tightly.
“If we say we’re going to camp together in the mountains, people will gather for sure! We can lie and say we have permission from the mountain caretakers! And if we allow live broadcasting, commentary, and video shooting, the villagers won’t be able to act recklessly,” she said, coming up with ideas one after another.
She was so excited that I could feel it in her voice. The closeness was a bit too much, and my ears were starting to hurt, but I couldn’t help but be swept up in her enthusiasm.
Suddenly toning down, she released her embrace and sat down, holding her head.
“I wonder if the listeners will really come. It’s sudden, it’s on a weekday, and we’ve only just hit five digits in subscribers. If it’s a small group, will they silence us…?”
The content creators are ranked based on the number of subscribers they have.
Once the number of subscribers exceeds ten thousand, a certain amount of income can be expected, and once it exceeds one hundred thousand, the profits generated are enough to live on.
There are only a handful of content creators who exceed one million subscribers, and if they monetize their content, they can make a killing. Some of them are more popular and well-known than celebrities who appear on TV.
I came up with a breakthrough idea.
The only problem is…my courage.
I have to take a step forward.
It’s for the sake of never losing my family again, and for the sake of my beloved younger brother.
Jin is still out there, and we need to save him.
I tap on Diya-chan’s shoulder as she sits on the floor, head in her hands, groaning in despair. She looks up at me with a tear-streaked face, her confidence shaken.
It’s up to me to find the courage we need.
“Collaborating with a popular content creator? What do you think?”
“Collaboration… If we could do it, I would love to, but I don’t think they’ll accept a sudden request like that. Plus, it’s only Iwaro who can easily be approached.”
“I have someone in mind – Nunu Gensei. Do you know about them?
Actually, it’s me inside… Nunu Gensei is my online alias.”
In the end, things turned out in a positive direction.
I want to praise myself for mustering the courage, making a decision, and taking action.
I had always thought it was natural for my younger brother to be by my side.
But just a few days without him made me feel so lonely and sad.
As I recognized my brother’s existence again, I also decided to become stronger.
I don’t want to lose him ever again.
Instead of always relying on him, I want to become someone he can rely on.