“Yeah, she was really an amazing person. She looked and acted just like a Yamato Nadeshiko , but she’s really scary when she wants to be, and no one can defy her when she gives orders. She believes that spells shouldn’t be used normally, so she would scold me whenever if I used them even a little, but I didn’t really come here to talk about her. Here. These are the change of clothes that Ruona asked me to deliver,” Tomoe said.
“Huh, ah, thank you so much!” Youko said.
“You forgot to bring them, right?” Tomoe said as she handed the bag to her.
Youko’s roommate had suddenly pushed that stuff onto her at the cafeteria this morning.
“The rumors about her weren’t lying. She really was like a storm. She came out of nowhere, and before I knew it, she was gone. What a troublesome girl, seriously.”
She was originally planning on visiting Youko, so it wasn’t really a problem, but her request came too abruptly.
“Ahaha, Myuhi is a peculiar girl, and she’s part of the special class too, so she must be busy right now because of the incident. It might be hard to understand her because of her attitude, but she’s really considerate of others. Look.”
As though she could see that entire scene playing out in her head, Youko laughed as she opened the bag.
When Tomoe got a peek of what was inside, she learned something knew about the girl known as Myuhi Ruona.
“…That’s really clean.”
Clothes and other miscellaneous goods necessary for living in the hospital have all been prepared inside the bag.
Moreover, everything was properly organized, so it was easy to figure out where everything was the moment Youko opened the bag.
Myuhi was surprisingly methodical despite her usual behavior.
“My hospitalization was decided too abruptly, so I was actually wondering what to do about my change of clothes. Understandably, I couldn’t rely on Yousuke for this. Fortunately, Myuhi is surprisingly thoughtful when it comes to stuff like this.”
“Wow, that’s really unexpected. But you know you really should stop using your little brother so much.”
Tomoe scolded Youko for so matter-of-factly talking about using her brother, but she wouldn’t hear any of it, and just said, “it’s my special privilege as his older sister.”
Tomoe could only shrug her shoulder and pity the boy before sharing a laugh with the despotic older sister.
These two girls were one of the few who knew that the exam was an actual battle.
And due to the severe psychological damage that Yoko received when she was led to believe that she was a ‘murderer’, the doctors decided to hospitalize her despite her healthy results.
“Ha ha… By the way, what were you spacing out for earlier? It’s not like you to be sitting depressed like that.”
Although Youko seemed fine, the mental shock she’s received might explode given the right stimulus, so the doctors decided to continue observing her.
Tomoe was concerned about that, so she checked up on her earlier behavior.
Youko explained why, but she was a bit embarrassed when she did.
“Huh, ah, that… Actually, I stayed up late last night. A lot of things happened, and I’ve been struggling to sleep since the night of that incident. I tried killing time before it was time to put out the lgiht, but in the end, I got a little too into that…”
Youko sarcastically laughed as she tried to fool her way out.
Tomoe was doubtful of her story, but she decided to just go along with it.
“…You do mess up like that sometimes, don’t you? You tend to focus on what’s in front of you, after all. Even though you ‘look’ like you have it together normally.”
“Well, I’m sorry I just ‘look’ like I have it together! It can’t be helped. Our family has been careless ever since! It’s in my blood, so there’s no helping it! But even then, I’ve been doing my best to hide that fact, so don’t say it so bluntly.”
Although the strictness that she often shows as an honors student and a public morals officer partly stemmed from her inherent traits as an overly serious person, it was also meant to hide her own weakness, that is her tendency to be too caught up with what’s in front of her, causing her to forget everything else.
Of course, there was little reason to hide that in front of Tomoe since she’s known about it for a long time already, but she still became embarrassed and teary-eyed when she pointed it out.
Tomoe gave her a skeptical glance for this strange coming out of hers.
“Your excuse sucks. A careless lineage? Your little brother isn’t like you at all.”
“Yousuke is certainly better in that regard, but he’s also really dull when it comes to romance. He doesn’t even realize how popular he is. Although I’m not exactly sure which part of him is so good.”
It might’ve been his decent looks or his gentle personality, but a lot of students – regardless of if they were juniors, students of the same class, or seniors – had a crush on him, but Yousuke himself didn’t notice it, and he didn’t show any interest either.
“Now that you mention it, that is true. He looks good and has the personality to back it up too, but you don’t hear any such rumors about him.”
“Seriously, it’s really worrying as an older sister,” Youko muttered, but she quickly brought the topic back to her careless lineage.
“The members of our family are all careless in different ways. Our maternal grandparents were forgetful even when they were young. Our paternal grandparents were supposedly bad with money. And our parents had issues with presumptions. It was really hard for us children.”
Youko sighed as she looked into the distance.
It was rare for her to talk about her parents, so Tomoe asked.
“How in particular was that hard for you?”
“Hmm… The easiest to understand would probably the issue related to Santa Claus. The question pops up from time to time, right? Like, how long did you believe in Santa Claus? I had a really hard time answering the question because of the problem with our family. Ah, but your family is related to spiritual powers, so you guys probably don’t celebrate Christmas, huh.”
Youko said mid-speech out of concern, but Tomoe shook her head.
Perhaps that might be the case with people from the main family, but since they weren’t part of them anymore, their policies didn’t concern them.
“Nah, as you can see from how I look, our family doesn’t really care about nationalities and stuff. We celebrate Christmas like any normal Japanese, and we visit the shrine too on New Years.”
“I see. Anyway, when we were young, whenever Christmas was approaching, our parents would tell us stuff like ‘if you’re like that, you won’t get any presents from Santa Claus’.”
“Ah, the stereotypical manner of scolding kids. I understand, I was on the receiving end of that too.”
“But we were kids, so deep inside we were just like,
“…What do you mean?”
Tomoe couldn’t understand what Youko meant by that, so she tilted her head for a moment.
After all, there was no way there would be a kid who didn’t know about that world famous grandpa.
“Our parents, you see, never told us what ‘Santa Claus’ was supposed to be. They just presumed that everyone knew it.”
“I mean everyone does talk about Santa Claus, so I get that it’s easy to presume that everyone knows what Santa Claus is, but at most, all we knew was that it was an existence that gave presents. We didn’t make the connection between that and the grandpa in red. They were also really bad at hiding the presents that they bought. So when we were kids, we would always wonder why they’d bother putting the presents outside and pretend as though they’d received it from someone.”
“Uwaa… That is kind of severe.”
A truly disappointing effort and a lack of preparation.
Their parents wanted to make their kids happy, but they kept messing up. It was enough to bring tears to one’s eyes.
“So rather than be surprised that our parents were actually Santa Claus, we were just confused why our parents pretended to be Santa Claus. It was a mystery to us for so long.”
“Your parents were certainly careless in that regard, but weren’t you guys at fault too for not asking?”
“I told you, right? Our family is careless in weird ways. Like for example, we’d be terrible at getting information about things we’re not that interests in, or when we were told to be grateful to Santa Claus, as children, we figured it would be bad to ask about Santa Claus, so we didn’t ask.”
“…It’s such a stupid story, but for some reason, it makes me want to cry.”
Not because she was touched, but because of the parents that the children were so considerate of.
A Christmas where the children acted with consideration for their parents’ sake.
But on the other hand, it finally made sense why the twins saw things the way they did.
“Is that because of the children or the parents?” Youko asked.
“I plead the fifth, for the sake of our relationship,” Tomoe said.
Youko read in between the lines and asked that, but Tomoe just begged off answering.
Youko glared at her with half-opened eyes for that.
“…Well, whatever. Anyway, that’s why it was never a question of believing or not believing in Santa Claus for us, three siblings. It wasn’t just limited to Santa Claus too. There were a lot of things that are parents just presumed we knew. Our lack of common sense from that made primary school really embarrassing,” Youko said with a wry smile, not realizing that she’d let the cat out of the bag.
“Must’ve been though… Hmm? Three siblings?”
Unfortunately for her, Tomoe wasn’t careless enough to miss that.
 – A woman with the ideal feminine virtues of old Japan.