8. Partner of the First Kiss
Day by day, the cold grew stronger and it was already the full onset of winter. Without anything in particular to do, I stared out the window as the sun began to set. Judging from the clouds I saw during the day, it wouldn’t be strange if it started snowing tonight.
In the frontier, when it starts to snow, it accumulates quickly, so tomorrow morning, the surroundings may be covered in a snowy landscape.
For the past few days, I have had a major worry.
The second major trouble – an attempted rape by an adventurer – happened soon after the snow started piling up. So if it starts snowing again, it could happen at any time.
I don’t know how far his relationship with Natalie has progressed, but in the novel, their relationship deepened after the incident. I can’t afford to fail.
I’ll do my best to endure being touched, but I can only pray that someone will come to my rescue before anything more happens.
I thought I had prepared myself, but as the day drew nearer, I can’t help feeling gloomy.
“At least if I could have my first kiss with the person I like…”
“What’s wrong, Rei? Is something bothering you?”
Gil’s concerned voice made me realize that I had let out a sigh unconsciously.
“I-it’s nothing. Anyway, what’s for dinner today?”
With a smile and bright demeanor, Gil didn’t pry any further.
I’ve talked to Gil about all sorts of worries before, but this is one thing I can’t say. It’s both troubling and somewhat satisfying not to burden Gil with my concerns.
With a hint of guilt, I sat down at the table.
“Wow, looks delicious! Thank you for the meal!”
My favorite foods were lined up on the table, and I began eating with my utensils. However, I soon felt full and couldn’t eat anymore.
“…Thank you for the meal.”
“Is that all?”
“Yeah. I’m already full. It was delicious though.”
Although it was truly delicious, I ended up leaving about half of it. I told Gil that I would eat it for breakfast tomorrow and put it in the fridge. Gil had been looking at me with a worried expression.
I thanked Gil for offering to clean up and sat on the sofa in the living room. Leaning on the armrest, I looked out the window.
“I might have lost some weight.”
My lackluster face was reflected on the window as if it had been painted with a black pen. It was already a lifeless face, and it didn’t look good with a gloomy expression. I forced a smile, and the me in the window awkwardly smiled back.
“It looks like it’s going to snow.”
Gil returned from the kitchen and sat next to me, handing me one of the two mugs he was holding.
I received it, holding it as if to wrap it in both hands. The warm mug was filled with hot wine.
In this world, you can drink alcohol from the age of 18. I had just become old enough to drink, so my body wasn’t used to it yet.
However, I had loved this hot wine that Gil made, with the perfect blend of spices and wine, ever since I first tasted it. Especially as it started to get colder, I had asked for it a few times.
Dinner and this as well. He had prepared my favorite foods, worrying about something that was bothering me.
I took a sip to hide the pain in my nose and let the warmth of the wine spread throughout my body. I hadn’t realized it, but my body was cold.
Gil stroked my head and opened a book on the side table. I looked back at the mug and took another sip, feeling my body warming up and my heart becoming a little lighter.
After dinner, we always spend time together in the living room until bedtime. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we do different things, and sometimes we just cuddle without doing anything.
There’s nothing flashy about it, just peaceful time passing by. I loved this time more than anything.
I stole a glance at Gil while he was reading, trying not to disturb him.
His serious gaze, long eyelashes framing it, a straight nose, and beautiful yet masculine facial features were all perfectly arranged like a bouquet.
And his glossy, softly wet peach-colored lips… I couldn’t take my eyes off them.
I wondered what they would feel like if I touched them. Would they be as soft as marshmallows?
I must have been staring too long because Gil turned his head towards me. His gaze passed over my face and focused on the window behind me.
Gil’s small voice made me follow his gaze to see white things floating outside the dark window.
Within a few days, I would experience an attempted assault. I shuddered at the thought of the increasingly real event, and Gil hugged me tightly and put a jacket over me. His warmth reached me, and my tense body relaxed. I let out a deep breath and buried my head in Gil’s chest.
There were no words. The only sound in the quiet room was the crackling of the fireplace.
It almost felt like we were alone in the world, creating such an illusion.
My overflowing emotions turned into words and shook the air.
When I looked up, Gil was staring at me. The flames of the fireplace reflected in his beautiful eyes, flickering mysteriously. His gaze made my heart race so fast that it felt like it might break.
A quiet, dimly lit room. Two people staring at each other, with a distance that feels like that of lovers.
I wonder, will they be swept away by this atmosphere?
I leaned in a little and slowly closed my eyes.
After a moment of holding my breath, I heard the sound of clothes rustling, and then something lightly touched my lips and pulled away.
Startled, I opened my eyes to see Gil’s blue eyes up close. I couldn’t move as I stared at him, but he gave me a small smile and closed his eyes. As his face approached mine, I also closed my eyes tightly. We repeated the simple act of touching our lips two or three times, and before I knew it, I was clinging to Gil.
Just by touching our skin together like this, why does my heart feel so fulfilled?
In his warm embrace, my heart was filled with a fluffy sense of happiness.
When he whispered my name in a low voice at such close proximity, my head rapidly cooled down. What was I doing with Gil just now…?
I quickly pulled away from Gil’s arms and ran to my room. I slammed the door shut and dove onto my bed.
“…Did I just kiss Gil…?”
It was just a gentle touch, but our lips definitely touched.
I buried my face in my pillow and flailed my legs. Even though I wanted to calm down, my heart wouldn’t stop pounding.
“Ugh… Will I be able to sleep tonight…?”
I struggled on my bed for a while, but before I knew it, I had fallen asleep. When I next became aware, it was already morning.
“Onii-sama! Are you listening?”
I barely managed to keep myself from falling out of my chair when I heard the loud voice in my ear. When I raised my head, Lily, who had been sitting across from me until just now, was standing right next to me.
Today was the day Lily came to visit me on my day off. Since Gil was working, it was just the two of us having a tea party.
“Eh, um, what was it again?”
“Goodness, Onii-sama. You’ve been spacing out for a while now.” Lily let out an exaggerated sigh as she returned to her seat.
“Did he do something to you, that guy… Gil?”
As I reflexively touched my lips, I was reminded of the sensation of the kiss and my face grew hot.
“N-No! Nothing happened!”
As I shook my head vigorously, Lily looked at me with suspicion.
This morning, I woke up feeling awkward, but Gil acted as if nothing had happened. To him, that kiss probably didn’t mean much and was just a part of our family’s playfulness.
“Really, nothing happened.”
I wasn’t rejected when I initiated the kiss. That made me happy, but I couldn’t be satisfied with just that.
Can I really give up on Gil like this? Even if I’m rejected, I might end up crying and clinging to him in a despicable manner.
If that happens, Gil would probably start to find me annoying, so maybe it’s better if he rejects me clearly.
As my thoughts sink, Lily furrows her brow and crosses her arms, looking away from me.
“O-nii sama! I’m not completely opposed to it! …If it makes you happy, even though it’s frustrating…”
Lily’s words were vague, and I finally understood. Lily likes Gil too. But I’ve been expressing my love for Gil too much, and she hasn’t been able to say anything until now.
“My happiness is seeing Lily happy.”
That’s my honest feeling. If I say it out loud, it settles in my chest.
In this world, my role is just a mob character, a stage prop to connect the protagonist and the heroine.
That’s why I can never win Gil’s heart.
And besides, as a brother, I couldn’t help but wish for my sister’s happiness more than anything, even more than fulfilling the story as the author.
“Please think about your own happiness too, okay?”
“Yeah, I know.”
Blushing and smiling, her figure is so lovely. Kind and gentle Lily, who said she would step back for my sake, is the perfect match for Gil.
Even though I’m an unreliable brother, I’ll do my best.
I’ll do anything for the sake of Gil and Lily’s happiness.