148 – Aneue, Imouto
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Asako adjusted the strap on her backpack over her shoulder as she reached the front door of Myth Inc. HQ. Afterwards, she pulled out her phone to check the time.

10:00 AM. A few hours after Asako finished her stream, a few more before Rin's scheduled stream for the day. And speaking of Rin...

"Looks like your fans really enjoyed your stream, Aneue!" Rin smiled, scrolling through comments on her phone. "There's already over ten thousand comments!"

Asako scoffed and opened the door. "Those bastards have too much time on their hands."

Honestly. All that she even did for her stream that morning was rant about boring things like how she trained and sportscars... Well, that and scold the chat.

Asako really didn't get the charm in watching someone like that, but considering how there were ten thousand or so at all times, it seemed like they got something out of it.

...Maybe they were just perverts? Yeah, it was probably that.

Rin unzipped her coat and folded it in her arms, following after Asako. She quickly moved to Asako's side and said, "Don't be like that, Aneue! I'm sure they had a lot of fun spending time with you!"

"If you call watching me awkwardly try to fill the air for an hour being fun, I guess so."

Rin laughed. "Well, I'm sure Aneue will get better at it. And it's not like you aren't enjoying streaming. Right?"

Asako hummed. "I could do without those bastards messing with me all the time in chat... But I guess it's kind of fun, yeah."

Rin smiled. "Only kind of fun? I don't know about that. I remember seeing Aneue grinning throughout the entire stream."

Asako turned red and she crossed her arms. "Now listen here, Sis! I was only grinning because of how pathetic they all were being in chat!"

"Sure, sure." Rin shook her head and said, "Whatever lets you sleep better at night, Aneue."

"Tch. Cheeky little girl... I liked you better when you were being super respectful."

Rin laughed and said, "Well, I like you better like this, Aneue, so I'm not stopping anytime soon. And besides, it's what real sisters act like, right?"

"...I guess."

Asako walked over to the elevator and pressed the button to call it. Afterwards, she turned around to look at the lobby.

As always, those two blonde foreigners were standing around, just out of sight and guarding the area. But otherwise, the place was empty.

"Anyway!" Rin spoke up and said, "What do you have planned for tomorrow's stream, Aneue? Or are you going to improvise again like today?"

Asako scoffed. "And get flamed by those bastards again for an hour? Hell no."

"I mean, you could always just stream a game or something, Aneue. I know you aren't confident in your singing, but that should be fine, right?" Rin adjusted the coat in her arms and said, "Maybe something like Animul Crossing or Meincraft?"

Asako paused to consider it.

It *would* be nice to just relax with a calm game like Animul Crossing. And she *did* want to start building her own place in the Meincraft server...

But the moment she thought about her chat's reaction to her gaming...

[That lucky [email protected]%@! Why does he get to be hit by Aoko?!]

[Debt? Our Queen? You damned Tanuki! Just wash your neck and wait!]

"...Later. I need to steel my heart first."

Rin tilted her head. "Steel your heart...? Why?"

"...Don't worry about it. And I've got some plans on what I want to do tomorrow."

Those bastards treated her like royalty already for some inexplicable reason, so she might as well act the part.

She'd see who had the last laugh tomorrow when she pulled out their stupid comments from the stream and their posts on the Project MirAIs Readit page. Yeah... A public execution would be great. That'd make them think twice in the future.

Asako smirked, eagerly anticipating tomorrow's stream.

Rin hummed. "Well, if Aneue's got it figured out, then I guess it's fine. Remember to have fun though!"

"Oh I will."

A soft chime echoed and the elevator doors opened.

Rin walked in first and pressed the button to head to the streaming studio on the top floor.

Asako followed after her and pressed the button to close the elevator doors. As they slid shut, she turned her attention back to Rin.

Rin hummed, idly swaying in place as she waited for them to arrive on the top floor.

Asako leaned against the side of the elevator and watched Rin. As she did, Asako couldn't help but go over what they talked about yesterday... and what Sakura confirmed.

'A little sister, huh?'

The facts all lined up. And now that Asako knew that it was true, she could see the resemblance.

Rin took a lot after her mother, but there were still traces of Asako's father in her as well.

A little in the way Rin's nose turned, the curve of her eyebrows, her ears...

They were features that Asako saw in herself and ones that she took as a coincidence at first. But now...

"Hm?" Rin noticed Asako staring and said, "Is something wrong, Aneue?"

Asako shook her head. "No. I'm just..." She frowned, trying to articulate her thoughts and then said, "It's just weird knowing that you're really my little sister."

Rin laughed. "I guess it would be." She smiled and said, "But it's nice, isn't it?" She placed her hand over her chest and said, "I thought it would just be Mom and I... and it's nice that Miss Beta and Alphy let me call them my sisters. But..." She let out a bright smile and said, "I'm glad. Glad that I have someone else I can really call my family."

A wry smile crossed Asako's face. "That's true, but..."

"No buts!" Rin cut her off and said, "Even if... even if I wasn't born because of love, and even if my father was a bad person who only hurt Mom... it doesn't change the fact that I have a cool, kind, and nice big sister. A real big sister."

Asako shook her head. "Alpha and Beta are going to be jealous of me, you know?"

"Well..." Rin smiled and said, "That's your problem, isn't it Aneue?"

Asako reached out and pulled Rin into a headlock. "Cheeky brat!"

Rin laughed and then easily slipped away from Asako.

"Tch." Asako crossed her arms and said, "Your physique is way too good for a high school girl."

Rin tilted her head and let out an innocent smile. "Maybe Aneue just needs to eat better?"

Asako sighed and said, "Seems like your looks aren't the only things you inherited from Sakura nee-chan."

Rin giggled and leaned against the back of the elevator.

Asako shook her head and did the same.

Soft chimes echoed as the elevator continued on its way to the top.

As it did, the pair of sisters stood there in a comfortable silence.

"...Hey, Aneue."

Asako blinked and looked over at Rin. "Yeah, Sis?"

"...Thanks."

"For what."

"For telling me the truth about my father." Rin lowered her gaze and said, "I know it must have been hard to admit... and Mom didn't seem happy to hear it, but-"

"Pft. That's it?" Asako shook her head and said, "It was awkward, but that was all. Besides... Now I know for sure that I've got a cute little sister, so it's fine."

Rin looked up and smiled, her brown eyes watery. She blinked and then nodded. "That's right! And your cute little sister won't forgive you if you run off somewhere!"

She said it in a teasing tone, but Asako could see the slight worry in Rin's eyes.

"Dummy. I should be saying that to you." Asako narrowed her eyes and said, "I heard all about your little heroism from Sakura nee-chan."

"Ah." Rin let out a nervous laugh and said, "Mom told you about that, huh?"

"She did." Asako frowned. "And I won't forgive you if you run off to do something stupid like that again. There's not always going to be someone like John to save you."

Rin nodded. "I know. But don't worry, Aneue! I won't do it again. After all..." She smiled and said, "I have my big sister to rely on now!"

Hearing that sincerity in Rin's voice made Asako flinch.

A big sister to rely on... In a way, that was true. But if things happened just a little differently...

That bastard Aoyama never mentioned anything to Asako about the Seiryuu clubs and karaoke bars taking in young girls for compensated dating.

And the day that Rin went to have her first 'date' was the same day that Asako went to check up on Aoyama... who didn't say anything like usual. Asako was even in the same place that Rin had gone to... probably within the same hour.

If John hadn't been there to save Rin... Would Asako have met Rin being passed around between those bastard higher ups?

If Asako had, and if she learned who Rin really was... Just thinking about that potential future...

"Aneue?" Rin looked at Asako and tilted her head. "What's wrong?"

Asako paused and sighed. "Nothing, Rin. Just... realizing just how much I have to thank John for."

The debts that she owed him continued to stack up by the day. Saving her life from her men, saving her life after she was being hunted down by the Seiryuu, offering her shelter and a livelihood while he took down her father... and now saving the last people she could call family even before she knew it.

Asako's heart throbbed and then she cursed. "Damned bastard. No wonder he has women flocking all over him."

Rin immediately nodded. "Yes. Mister John is definitely unfair."

The pair of sisters stared at each other and shared a wistful sigh.

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