The world was quiet with the sun peeking from the horizon. A triangle of white light advanced from the window into a boy's bedroom, arousing him from his sleep.
Shut the goddamn window, Ethan cursed inwardly and pulled the blanket to his face. His dark brown bangs remained peeking.
Rustles echoed near him then turned into fading footsteps.
She snuck here again...
He sighed and closed his eyes, counting sheep to steal a quick sleep. He would be up and running right now if it weren't for the imbecile woman living below crushing his sleep throughout the night with her roaring pop music from the holy ancient era.
"Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!"
Half an hour later, a mechanical voice buzzed in his head. His hand crept out of the blanket and slapped the buttons on the digital alarm clock.
"Ethan, please wake up, or we will be late for the physics lecture."
The sweet voice of his sister killed off any hope of sleeping this time.
"Urgh," Ethan groaned and sat up, rubbing his eyes.
He wobbled out of the room and down to the kitchen. With eyes threatening to shut at any moment, he opened the refrigerator and gulped down milk from a bottle. Only then did his exhausted body regain the energy to live.
"Here comes the bride… hmm, the loveliest women ever, mmhm~."
A soft humming prompted him to turn his head. A woman hummed there, shuffling around the kitchen in a black transparent nightdress that left her fair back and long legs exposed. Her hair was as black as the night fluttered in a rhythm. The scene was breathtaking and rather stimulating.
Ethan, however, couldn't stop his brows from knitting closer. "Mio, don't you have any clothes to wear?"
Mio spun toward him with a bright grin on her face. "It's nothing major between siblings, right?"
Ethan looked into the amethyst-colored eyes she inherited from her mother and suppressed a groan. Mio just loved to tease him.
"What's for breakfast?" He shook his head. "Nevermind, anything you cook will be delicious."
Mio's smile became brighter from his compliment. "I prepared a water bath. Just dive in. Your uniform is all set in the closet."
Ethan scratched his head. Before the day started for the masses, his sister had already prepared everything.
"Go on. You want to get the punishment of standing in the hallway?" Mio chided with her hands on her hips. "I wouldn't mind standing there with you… some alone time in school, hehe."
Ethan acted oblivious to her latter words and outright creepy giggle. At least he tried, but couldn't stop his smile from turning wry. She was a bit too much at times.
God, show her light, he begged whoever was in charge of this world and slipped into the corridor. A hot bath in this chilly weather always brought back his sanity, or whatever remained in his stuffed head.
A steamy hot bath later, he threw on the school uniform—a dark gray blazer on top of a white shirt and black pants.
Mio stood in the dining room, beside the table. Her dress was the same dress as him, with pants switched for a skirt and white stockings. He forced his eyes away from her thighs and raised his brow at his breakfast.
Waffles! Fuck my new diet.
Maintaining good health was hard for any gamer but he had succeeded in gaining a fit body. He sat and beckoned Mio to sit. It was thanks to her cooking filled with tons of nutrients.
"C'mon, dig in," Myu clapped her hands. "Thanks for the food."
Despite living in the foreign lands of the US for years, Mio never discarded her Japanese roots.
Ethan imitated her gesture. "Thanks for the food."
The breakfast was delicious as always, plus the absence of his bastard father made the sugar even sweeter. An ordinary occurrence he celebrated every day. Though the memories of his mother still stabbed his heart every now and then, he was far less heartbroken with Mio's company.
I have to live with it, he thought and focused on the food.
Mio wiped his face with a cloth and tilted her head. "After school arcade again?"
"Sure." He couldn't endure denying her; it was impossible.
His sister made an out-of-place yet natural attempt to feed him, which he accepted with a wry smile.
The siblings exited the bus and strolled in the wide streets, making small talk. Sometimes a brief eye contact conveyed a thousand words.
Ethan tore his gaze from her face and turned around. Andrew, his friend, sprinted through the crowd.
"Andrew, what brought you so early?" Ethan asked and grinned. "Which new flower do you want to chase now?"
Andrew swept his hand through his dirty blonde hair and gave a dazzling smile befitting of his high status. "Ah yes, it's our new Miss Beauty, Celia, the girl you rejected before the entire class."
Mio smiled at Andrew. For some reason, Ethan shivered and rubbed his hands together.
The cold air, eh.
"Can you stop slandering Ethan?" Mio asked, no, she commanded. "Why will he accept a random girl's confession?"
Celia is my childhood friend, you know...
Ethan glanced at Mio and shook his head. His rejection saved Celia from suffering a fate far worse than heartbreak. His sister had forgotten common sense after their mother went missing three years ago. Overrun by rampant emotions, she might do something severe if he started dating a girl.
"Mio's brother complex is as strong as ever," Andrew stated and walked past them, waving his right hand. Though he tried to act badass, in reality, he looked like an idiot.
Mio didn't even bother to deny Andrew's accusation and clung to Ethan's right hand, transmitting her warmth and softness despite the blazer's obstruction. "Ethan, this idiot isn't worthy of our attention!"
Ethan's lips formed a dry smile.
During school, she would cling to him everywhere, and stop any girl from approaching with her absolute zero eyes. Some of the maidens subjected to Mio's glare had awakened a strange fetish.
As Andrew said, she showed signs of being a sister with a brother complex.
Ethan sighed and let Mio drag him over to the school.
In the classroom, Ethan greeted his friends and prepared for the lecture. Mio sat right behind him, keeping her eyes on his back.
Sometimes, she was too much…
Teachers came and went, then the lunch period arrived where Ethan once again found himself indulging in Mio's cooking. The boy with a sweet-tooth cleared away his petty grievances in exchange for her sweet sweet food.
After lunch, the siblings attended the last class, then hit the arcade near the home. He beat the crap out of Mio in the games like usual. His sister tried her best to keep up but he refused to lose. He had his pride as a popular streamer on the Pitch platform.
At the end of the day, Mio was brought to tears, hitting him for defeating her so hard. From an outsider’s perspective, they looked like a high school couple openly flirting.
Her attacks dealt zero damage, only provoking a smile on his face. "Hey, hey, I am sorry, okay?"
She puffed her cheeks. "I am not buying it again. You do this every time we play."
You were the one who asked for it.
Ethan raised his hands in surrender. "Fine, you win. What do I do now?"
She was gonna pop some cheap requests like sleeping with him or bathing with him. He was fine with either as long as it didn't cross the line, which blurred with each passing day, much to his displeasure.
Mio stopped her attacks and fixed his collar with an apologetic smile. "I am also sorry..."
With the distance between their faces, Ethan could just move a little and kiss her cherry red lips. This thought only lingered for a second before he purged it away.
What am I thinking? He shook his head, waiting for Mio's reply.
"Ethan, go ahead without me. I have something important to do," Mio said and hugged him.
Ethan stared at Mio. She never left his side on his way home. Where is she going now? He suppressed his curiosity and pushed her. She looked up to him, her purple eyes flickering with joy.
He gave out another sigh and kissed her forehead. "Don't get lost like that time."
I am spoiling her too much, aren't I? But her heart is too fragile…
Mio revealed a smile that froze his heart. "I know how to take out the trash."
"—then bye." Mio shoved her bag in his chest then trotted toward the street leading to the marketplace.
Just like that, his sister vanished from his line of sight.
"God, save the poor world from her terror," Ethan prayed. "I hope my heart takes her surprise without stopping."
Listening to a soothing song, he strolled back home. He could have bought a car if he had a license. However, he wasn't old enough and Mio, the older sister who acted more like a little sister, refused to drive.