Mariwa helped me, if only a little.
She accepted me even though I was pathetic and lost my way. Where I was hopeless and stuck, she filled me with confidence and courage. She kindly provided guidance when it seemed like I would be shattered to my core if I stopped and hesitated. And she gave me a single piece of advice on what to do.
She said that I should see Michelie.
I can’t argue against her advice, and I don’t feel like protesting now. Mariwa even said that she was going to assist me in any way she can. Nothing can be more reassuring than that.
After I smiled and thanked her, she gave a strong nod and went home.
She went straight home.
It was a little cold of her. I was going to see Michelie, so it would’ve helped if she came along. Well, it’s not like I really need her there. Patching things up with Michelie is a piece of cake for me. But still, I thought it would’ve been nice of her to see it through with me.
That’s within her obligation as my teacher.
“Then I guess you don’t really have to go all the way and make it up– ouch!”
Leon jabs Surfania as she was about to say something.
We’re on our way back from the reception room to the dormitories. I should make hay while the sun shines. Better being rough and ready than slow and elaborate. I’m a genius so I figured I should go and apologize to Michelie right away.
“What was that for, Leon?”
“That was me telling you to stop joking.”
“……I wasn’t trying to make a joke.”
Surfania pouts at Leon, who’s admonishing her.
It’s good that Leon is finally standing his ground against Surfania. I’ll stop calling him a worthless fool.
“Don’t worry about it, Leon. I’m not one to be deceived by Surfania’s words.”
“Really? Normally you would helplessly listen to Surfania, and by now you would be coming up with excuses not to see Michelie.”
“Don’t get ahead of yourself, commoner.”
Leon shrugs his shoulders as I glare at him.
Whether she’s trying to divert my attention or ease the tension, I won’t be swayed by her jokes. There’s no way a genius like me would run away in the face of any difficulty.
Also, Mariwa told me that I didn’t have to beat around the bush.
She cheered me on, saying that as long as I apologized to Michelie, everything would be resolved. So it’s alright.
I’m going to Michelie’s room to make it happen. Or so I thought, until I suddenly realized that I don’t know where her room is.
“Come to think of it, where exactly is Michelie’s room?”
“It’s just next door.”
“Next to your room, Surfania?”
She looks at me like I’m an idiot.
“Hey, stop being so rude.”
“Impossible. It’s your fault for being an idiot.”
She adds insult to injury before telling me where Michelie’s room is.
“The wicked girl’s room is next to yours.”
“It’s fine, you know.”
The moment I bow my head in apology, Michelie forgives me without a second thought.
All three of us entered her room, having come straight from talking with Mariwa.
Michelie didn’t look confused at my sudden visit. She let me in right away and accepted my apology. That was a disappointing turn of events, considering the fact that I was prepared to get on my knees.
“Aren’t you going to ask me about the details?”
I look up slightly to see Michelie stroking her chin in thought.
She may have forgiven my foolishness just because she’s so pure and kind at heart, but that won’t work for me. I want her to judge me for my actions. It’s my own selfishness at work, but I can’t forgive myself so easily.
Instead, Michelie looks straight at Surfania.
“I mean, I already know that Miss Surfania is trying to hide her smile half the time because of her harassment towards you, and that she called Miss Mariwa here to try to do something to you–”
“Hey, stop, Surfania! Don’t hit her! Violence won’t solve anything!”
“Don’t stop me, Leon. This wicked girl is an exception. She must receive divine punishment!”
Surfania is having a sudden outburst.
So she had already figured everything out. Michelie continues on, ignoring Surfania, who’s getting rowdy, and Leon, who’s holding her back by the neck.
“When I finally got the chance to see you in the dining hall, I knew that you were trying to be the way you were as before. And I also know why you tried to cast me away on that day, so I’m not angry.”
“……You found out.”
“Yeah, I knew. I knew about my real mother, and what my father tried to do with me.”
She saw through my every intention.
This world really is different from Labyrinth Destiny.
In Labyrinth Destiny, Michelie never knew her background until the end of the game.
The sister I thought I knew has grown to be so much more strong-minded than I expected.
“I’ve become stronger. Thanks to Miss Toinette, I’ve become almost as strong as you. I’m no longer the younger sister who always needed help from my big sister.”
I know for a fact that she’s become stronger. She beat me fair and square at the debate. I can’t imagine how much effort she put in to that end.
“You can’t go sacrificing yourself. I’ll never let you become unhappy.”
“Yeah. I’ve worked hard. I just want you to understand that, so accept me wholeheartedly without causing any more misunderstandings. Otherwise, I won’t forgive you no matter how many times you apologize.”
Michelie is showing me not only her adorable side, but also the strength of her own will.
“I won’t let anyone call me a ‘poor little girl’, ever.”
I’m proud that she has something to stand for.
She has a firm belief. That’s one thing she won’t allow. Michelie’s resolute and firm attitude is nobility in and of itself.
“I understand. Michelie, you’re an awesome girl.”
I really think so, from the bottom of my heart.
I’ve done horrible things to Michelie.
And she has overcome that. I surrendered to fate, whereas she carved her own path. And she has bested me.
There’s no way I can see her as a ‘poor little girl’ any longer. Michelie is strikingly strong now.
“I’ve been a useless sister. Is that fine with you?”
“Even though we’re the Best Sisters?”
I see. In the end, that was it.
I finally understand as she grasps my hand firmly with a bright smile. I understand my own foolishness and stupidity, and why Destiny was crushed to bits.
It never stood a chance. It had nothing to do with my genius, or my knowledge of fate.
There is no older sister who can beat such an adorable younger sister.
“What’s up, big sister?”
I can’t erase my sins. I’ve definitely hurt Michelie through my actions. Michelie forgave me because she’s kind, but I want to atone for what I’ve done. It’s my selfishness at work, but I want her to say something.
“Please scold your useless sister.”
“No way. But if you really wanna make it up to me, there is one thing you can do.”
“Okay. Tell me. I’ll do anything.”
The angel smiles as she flatly rejects my request.
And she has a request of her own. Anything is fine. As I wait for her to state her request, she sticks her head out to me.
“Praise me, again and again.”
That’s an unexpected request.
“……Is that all you want?”
“That’s exactly what I want.”
I’m confused by such a vague and abstract request. She answers with a smile of an angel.
“I haven’t forgotten. That was where I started from.”
It was the first time we met. I praised her wholeheartedly when she was so fragile and vulnerable. Michelie is telling me we can start again from there.
Perhaps Destiny faded into thin air at that point.
The tension disappears, and my strength with it.
As I let myself go, Michelie embraces me, and smoothly puts my head on her lap. For some reason, it seemed natural.
And naturally, her lap feels the most comfortable to me.
“Michelie, you’re the cutest in the whole wide world.”
Praising Michelie is a simple task. I can praise her endlessly. It’s just like breathing.
Michelie breaks into a smile and strokes my hair gently.
“Big sister…… You’re just a little lame, but you’re the coolest in the world.”
“I see. I love you, Michelie. You’re adorable and strong.”
“I love my cool big sister, but honestly, I kinda like it when she’s lame too.”
Thus, we restored our sisterly bond. We’re the Best Sisters.
“Leon, let’s leave right now. It’s so disgusting I feel like throwing up.”
“Yeah, I can’t stand this either. Let’s go.”
Now that I think about it, Leon and Surfania were in the same room. They turned around and left, but it didn’t matter if they were there or not. It felt the same to me.