So, without any further delays, here is our first release for Sekaimo!
Translators: Kurosmith & Kalkin
Proofreaders: Kalkin + imoutolicious
"Ahhh, finally... finally I have found you…♪"
A girl of golden radiance was before me.
Ripe, cherry red lips; straight honey-blonde hair, flowing down to her hips; long, curvilinear eyebrows in the shape of a crescent moon, arcing like the antennae of a silk moth; deep and beautiful heterochromatic eyes of blue and gold, seemingly not of this world, smiling lightly; and soft, lily-white skin of an angel down from heaven.
She was adorned in black: an off-the-shoulder blouse revealing her skin above its low neckline; a pair of long, silk gloves; over-knee socks fastened with garter belts tightly pulling them over her legs; and a pair of leather boots.
Maria Lunalady Blackhazel.
There’s no way I wouldn’t recognize her.
It's not that I’m acquainted with her. I’ve never met her even once, let alone exchanged letters or e-mails, nothing like that.
Even so, I just know.
It would be impossible not to.
「The one and only female head of the Blackhazel family, whose assets as Romania’s colossal war industry conglomerate are estimated to account for 10 percent of the world’s wealth. The commander of Bandersnatch — an international private military company with direct involvements in over 70 percent of all international conflicts on earth, regardless of borders. An unprecedented genius proficient in politics, philosophy, economy and other liberal arts, and fluent in 9 languages.
Feared and revered for her overpowering charisma, she is otherwise known as the 《Princess of Pure Darkness》.」
Whether it’s the BBC or Le Monde, she’s a legendary figure that every national media keeps an eye on like stalkers — using her every move as news material.
There’s just no way I can’t not know her.
“For the last 15 years, there was never a moment where I’ve forgotten you.”
And that same Maria is speaking in fluent Korean in front of the lectern. What’s more, it’s clear as day that her eyes are looking this way.
With disciplined gait, Maria steps down from the lectern and walks across the middle of the classroom. The sound of her high-heels resonates clearly like a bell on a night of New Year’s Eve.
With her last step as the starting point, all my sense of reality begins to break apart.
I stutter like an idiot, as if I’ve been devolved into a goldfish with a single-digit IQ.
Although I’m just looking at her eyes, there’s an overwhelming force that suffocates you.
Call it her “aura”, if you will.
Who would’ve thought I’d actually experience the actual meaning of “being overwhelmed” deep down into my bones like in mangas and novels?
Well, that’s fully understandable.
It’s not strange or surprising in the very least.
Almost within my arm’s reach is none other than the 《Princess of Pure Darkness》 herself. She’s simply right in front of me, less than a meter away.
I’d like to meet anyone who can lift their head straight indifferently before this overwhelming force.
At the very least, I can say for sure that I don’t have such fortitude.
The high school classroom, which couldn’t be any more ordinary, was already transformed into an anomaly zone, as though lifetime’s worth of shock was condensed into this one area.
Preoccupied in these inane thoughts of mine, it wasn’t long before Maria made the first move without warning.
Honestly, it was a sudden, single finishing blow that would never happen again in a lifetime.
If I were to do so, I can still describe the scene at the moment the way it was. For example, the middle-aged teacher frozen stiff with the chalk in his hand stuck to the blackboard. My 36 classmates with their mouths gaping open, so motionless that I’d think they might never move again. Down to the cheerful harmony of the larks that were chirping away without a care, as if to say all this was none of their business.
“Prepare yourself. I will not let go of you ever again now, Siyoung-oniisama.”
Maria’s sweet, crystal-clear voice tickled against my ears.
Spoken flawlessly without an accent, her words reverberated faintly, leaving behind a wave of sincerity.
Dumbstruck by the incomprehensibility of the situation, my sense of taste and touch were the only things being relayed back to me.
The viscid strand of saliva stretched between lips to lips, the softness of a half-melted ice cream, the sweetness of a fluffy cotton candy that gently settles in your mouth.
Locked in her fast embrace with her lips sealing mine, that was the taste of Maria’s daring French kiss.
◇ ◆ ◇
Few days have passed since that day and I’m currently at the Blackhazel mansion, located on the outskirts of Brașov, Romania.
It’s morning and Dorothy is yet again harassing me — relentlessly poking my cheek with her fork.
“Hey! You stupid, idiotic Onii-san~!”
Failing to keep her sadistic pleasure in control, she bursts out laughing like a baby.
She caught me completely off guard while I was enjoying a cup of coffee in silence, and my upper body flinched violently.
Expelling the liquids flowing backward from the throat into the mug, I cough like crazy.
“Hey! Cut it out, will you?! Can you just please leave me alone?!”
“Pfft, I’ll keep bugging you until you’re dead!”
“Grrr, why you little…!”
I know it’s is completely useless to act tough and serious at her.
Dorothy doesn’t take me serious in the slightest. She never backs down, anyway. Yes, like now, she just sticks out her tongue and snickers like a little devil.
Her twin-tails, rolled up into curls, wavers blissfully. Each time she sways her head, the rays of light that comes through the window would scatter across the room in oblique directions.
And the tight, classy, black Armani suit she was wearing emphasized her femininity, along with her unique style.
As for where I am in the mansion, I’m sitting at the grand table with two other people in the dining room.
Sitting at the middle is me, and on each ends of the table are Maria and her identical twin sister “Dorothy Iblis Blackhazel”.
Now then, time for a question.
Why on earth am I included here?
No matter how many times I ask myself, it’s unlikely that I’d get a proper answer. To be more exact, I did get an answer from her, but I couldn’t understand it.
“Mmm. You see, Dorothy…”
Unable to bear the sight of Dorothy’s persistent bullying any more, Maria pushes the silver-rimmed glasses up to the bridge of her nose and gently scolds her.
“Despite his appearance, this person is our Onii-sama. As such, how about we treat him with a little more appropriate level of formality and affection?”
Ehh, she sounds less commanding than a bottle of flat soda…
Even so, taking into account of how Maria’s words carry considerable weight in this household, this is a golden opportunity to establish some authority for me here.
I can’t let this chance slip by.
“That’s right! A little sister shouldn’t act like a rabid dog to her godly older brother like that!”
“H-hauuu…! But Onee-sama! There’s no way that this prematurely ejaculating cherry boy, who doesn’t even know basic table manners, could possibly qualify as a Blackhazel!”
“Manners?! I don’t want to hear that from a person who pokes someone else’s cheek with a fork!”
But more importantly, how do you know if I’m a quick-shot or not?!
Dorothy sticks out her tongue again for me to see in provocation. Man, I’m about to blow a fuse here. Nevertheless, the final judgment is always in the hands of the household’s current master — Maria.
While at each other's throat, Dorothy and I carefully glance over to Maria.
“I see…” Maria nods with a refreshing smile on her face. “Indeed, there needs to be drastic changes to Onii-sama in regards to that matter.”
It’s my loss.
“No, er… Although it doesn’t seem like it, I’m trying pretty hard here. But the thing about habits is that, well, you can’t just expect it to change overnight.”
“You are my Onii-sama, for goodness sake! To think that you are stricken with shameful conditions of 'premature ejaculation’ and ‘erectile dysfunction’! As Onii-sama’s little sister and current master of the Blackhazel family, I, Maria Lunalady Blackhazel, will not allow this!”
“…What’s your thought on the phrase ‘if there is no bread, let them eat cake’?”
If they can understand the context of the conversation at this much level, then I’d be really impressed.
“Hmm? Well, I reckon it is a proverb.”
“Yeah, yeah! It’s a proverb. A proverb~♪”
These young ladies are way out of touch with the world. Or maybe they’re feigning ignorance and hiding inside a smokescreen.
Personally, I’d like to bet on the latter. At least one thing I can be sure of is that, with such confident answer, it’ll leave the side that retorts at a loss for words.
With a soft sigh, I cut a slice of steak on the plate with my knife and proceed to chew it. Supposedly, this Wagyu ribeye steak was sent directly from a Kobe beef ranch in Japan. Although I don’t know how exactly the beef got on the table, considering its import has been banned from majority of the countries since 2002, the pleasure of eating is the only thing I can enjoy after arriving here.
And, sure enough…
That damn Dorothy is poking my cheek again with her fork, and what’s more, it has her saliva on it.
Are you seriously poking my cheek with that fork?
Eventually, I run of patience and spin my head around.
Like a predator after its prey, I snatch Dorothy’s fork with my mouth.
Then for an instant, not understanding what has just happened, Dorothy tilts her head innocently. Consequently, it didn’t take long for her brain to absorb the information and her face to turn white as a sheet.
Oh my, what a rare and unusual sight I’m seeing.
As I nod my head lost in that sort of sentimental appreciation, Dorothy bursts out with her hands trembling.
“H-h-how dare you, you crazy bastard!”
Even before my cerebral cortex can send Dorothy’s words to the speech-control center, the sense of pain outruns them with the speed of light. It’s a straight punch. One that’s on a level where I’d have to add the prefix “mega-” to it.
Also, the left hook combo that followed was a critical hit. On the clean and efficient movement, I give you a score of nine on a ten-point scale. Clap, clap, clap.
“What the hell are you doing to a cute and pure young lady’s fork! Huh?! Die! Die! Go write a will already and drop dead, you human trash! ”
“Gah! Hey, you’re killing me! You’re killing your older brother! Owww, a cute and pure young lady is killing an innocent person!”
With infernal ferocity, she tramples viciously on my fallen corpse… with her shoes on.
Ah, the marvelous Western custom of wearing your shoes indoors. My, what a wonderful culture shock!
Just exactly what did I do wrong to suffer this horrible retribution?
From the start, I was a fool to have hoped for a rose-colored development like ~Doki-Doki Heart-pounding Cohabitation with Beautiful Twin Sisters!~ even for a moment. I’m an idiot unmatched in idiocy.
Why couldn’t I realize something so obvious?
An obvious truth; ideals are high up in the sky, while reality is stuck in the bottom, deep down in the sewers.
I end up recalling the day of that incident that brought forth this overly complicated situation that I’m currently in.
The day my “little sister” stormed into my peaceful life, blowing away everything like a Category 5 hurricane.
◇ ◆ ◇
“Whoa, just what in the world…”
This is totally unreal. Touching and wiping my lips, I try my best to pretend that I’m calm. It’s a completely stiff and awkward behavior, like a rookie actor being on the stage for the first time.
“Erm, Blackhazel… san?”
I attach an honorific at the end, thinking it’d probably be impolite of me to carelessly call the name of the person I’ve just met today.
“Fufu, it’s okay to use my name when you call me.”
Amused by my reaction, Maria giggles with her hand covering her mouth.
“Now, repeat after me: Maria.”
It’s like I’m a five year old kid to her. Even if she tells me—a person she just met for the first time—to call her by her name, I really don’t feel like calling her after hearing that from her.
“No, even if you insist….”
“I won’t respond to you if you don’t call me by my name.”
“What’s the meaning of all this in the first pl—”
Instead of an explanation, I get an imaginary slap on the wrist.
Maria narrows her eyes and puffs up her cheek like a hamster with feed stuffed in its cheeks. Her expression is cute, rather than angry.
For few minutes, there’s an awkward silence.
In the end, waving a white flag, I give in to Maria’s tacit request and hesitantly open my mouth.
There’s an innocent smile on her face; she seems to be enjoying it.
“Ahhh, I’m shivering…♡ I’ve been called by my name by Onii-sama for the first time!”
Well then, nice to know that you’re moved by something like this.
“Umm… Anyway, leaving that aside…”
I’ll probably never see the end of it if I get dragged into her pace. So I decide to skip on majority of what has happened so far.
Since it’s obvious things would get drawn-out if I started asking questions about them…
“Is there something bothering you? Please confess me your troubles!”
Slightly slanting her body forward with her arms behind her back, Maria tilts her head upwards — giving her an appearance of a cat looking up mischievously.
“If you don’t mind me asking, do you know what this place is, by any chance?”
“Eh? Of course I do. Isn't it a school, where illiterate commoners receive education?”
“W-well, you’re right… kind of.”
Well, not really. If you think about it, nothing she said is incorrect. It’s the right answer. So, my verdict on her score is— wait, wait, that’s not it.
However, it seems that my response was odd to her, judging from how Maria is looking around the classroom. Each time there’s an eye contact with Maria, I can see people cowering in plain sight or having a tense expression on their face here and there.
Yet, why is it that Maria can’t realize the irregularity of the situation we’re in?
Maria tilts her head sideways with innocent eyes conveying her cluelessness.
“And what does that have to do with anything, Onii-sama?”
“No, you see, I’m in middle of a class.”
Because she replied so confidently, I almost forgot what to say back.
“A-ah—! You’re certainly right! How could I have let these inferior and odiferous proletariats interfere with our conversation! Embarrassingly, it’s my…mistake…”
Speaking hesitantly, she twirls her body in embarrassment.
She’s completely off the mark on that point, this girl.
About now, I can’t even get myself to gather the strength to point out she’s being embarrassed about the wrong thing. As you’ve heard, that was her reply in regards to my answer.
And it was just at that moment.
“B-both of you! What’s all this ruckus in middle of my class?!”
After the commotion has settled down, the middle-aged teacher who has regained his composure breaks into the conversation.
Okay, I’m fine with all this, but… What do you mean by “both of you”? If we were to really put this into classification, I’m the victim here, not the one causing a ruckus. So if you label us as a whole like that, you’re putting me in a very difficult position.
When I was thinking those inane complaints in my mind, Maria spoke.
“And just who gave you the freedom to speak?”
Suddenly, Maria’s expression became cold and heartless.
Those eyes that were smiling kindly just a moment ago were now emitting an air of malevolence, like the enigmatic eyes of a devil.
The flustered look and beautiful smile that was on her face just a moment ago were gone. It’s like she took off the mask she had been wearing until now.
Maria shrugs her shoulders; and she begins to speak in a cold, clear voice.
“Could it perhaps be that you do not understand the position you are currently in?”
“I-I’m the teacher here! You’re the one talking nonsense!”
In lieu of a reply is a frightening glare, as sharp as a honed rapier for piercing through flesh.
Just the mere act of glaring is overpowering him.
It’s on a whole different level.
“However, I am in a great mood today. Therefore, I cannot feel the necessity to punish your ignorance that has sprung from your benightedness. So please, close your mouth and stay silent like a domesticated animal you are.”
“Ahh, and one more thing.”
Maria cuts off the enraged teacher before he can argue.
“If it is possible, would you be so kind as to not breathe? For Onii-sama to breathe in the same air as these filthy serfs— It pains me so much that my heart is on the verge of breaking.”
Suffice to say, she managed to corner the teacher into mental breakdown with her sheer force alone.
Maria, who just subdued the teacher with her piercing stare, turns her head towards me with the tender expression.
It looks like I’m the only person permitted with this “freedom of speech”.
I feel like I’ve become a working-class spokesman urging a proletarian revolution.
So, er, I’m talking about a socialist paradise, everyone!
—No, no. That’s not it.
“Say… I think words like “proletariats” and “serfs” are a little anachronistic in a modern society and go against the concept of human rights.”
“Not quite, Onii-sama! After all, Hegel hypothesized that the spirit of the age was a circular loop: Repeating itself without progress. In the end, the ignorant masses are nothing more than subjects of domestication, not edification.”
“The words ‘ignorant masses’ are a bit too…"
“You’re saying it degrades the elegance of the argument, right?! Ahhh, you’re indeed my Onii-sama!”
…That’s not what I meant.
Going off on her own delusion, Maria continues her speech.
“Then I will correct it to ‘low-cost, expendable working class that sustains the bottom of the social hierarchy’!”
Goodness, just look at her.
So, in short, Maria’s expression is this.
The expressing you make when another person asks you what one plus one equals.
And she speaks like it’s so obvious.
Moreover, she’s saying it right in front of those “low-cost, expendable working class that sustains the bottom of the social hierarchy” without hesitation.
“Okay, stop it there!”
The teacher’s one thing; but are you planning on emotionally scarring all of my classmates?
Because of that, I immediately jump out of my chair; it’s so that I can get out of the classroom with Maria. Running away, in short.
“Uhmm. Please continue with the class, teacher.”
“Please excuse me for my interruption in your studies. What sweet dreams you all have.”
Would there be another day where I’d realize my ancestor’s proverb “the mouth is the gate of misfortune” this thoroughly?
Even if there is, I’d rather not go through it. I’d really rather not.
And the teacher who usually takes pride in the fact he joined the labor union that was the foundation of Marx's theory of working class revolution was standing speechless like a stone statue.
Well, guess it’s nothing new now.
Thinking “whatever happens, happens”, I run out of the classroom.
Maria, who was watching my face closely, asks like she’s quite worried.
“Say, Onii-sama? You seem a little uncomfortable. Is there anything wrong with you, by any chance?”
“Does this look like ‘a little’ uncomfortable to you?!”
“A-ah?! Then I’ll call a medical team right away—“
“Stop, stop! That’s exactly the problem! You’re going through unnecessary troubles!”
Did she realize that it wasn’t a physical problem? Maria smiles with a sigh of relief.
“Fufu, oh Onii-sama. Those trivial things are none of our concern. Wouldn’t the important thing be the problem between me and Onii-sama?”
You’re still going on with that “Onii-sama”?
Would you please stop that?
“No, I mean, how am I your older brother to begin with? I’m a fucking Kimchi…… no, this isn’t it. Yes! I’m Korean!”
“You’re half Romanian and half Korean.”
Right on point.
But even if that’s true, how is it that my father’s side is suddenly from the “Blackhazel” family?! What’s up with this absurd premise?!
Is this some kind of a third-rate hidden reality show?
My mind is racing with such possibilities.
It was then that I noticed other teachers and students were peeking at us helplessly.
“Ugh. First, let’s go somewhere it’s quiet, and then we can talk.”
We’re on the third floor. I promptly grab and pull Maria’s hand, then head towards the flight of stairs to reach the rooftop on the upper floor.
“Ah, eh, umm, hauu……?!”
Well, Maria’s entire face is flushing red again. I wonder why, but soon enough I realize that we’re holding hands.
Is this the same girl that stole my first kiss in front of everybody? I can’t believe your shyness circuit activates normally at the wrong place. Well, even so, it’s not like I’m in a laidback position to be considerate in this kind of place. No siree.
I struggled up the stairs. Once there, I remove the dial lock, which had its numbers cracked long ago, and open the rusty iron door.
I hear a metallic creak, and it was precisely at that moment when I thought the door had opened.
It wasn’t sunlight that filled my sight, but series of metallic objects of the blackest black that covered the sky in darkness.
Now it’s my turn to gape my mouth open.
No wonder I’ve been hearing strange noises.
In the distant sky, dozens of AH-64D Longbow Apache military helicopters were circling around mid-air. I don’t have expert knowledge of military technology in particular, but I know fully well that those Hellfire air-to-surface missiles attached under the two wings aren’t used for mere practical jokes.
And that’s not all.
The schoolyard was already filled with mysterious black sedans. And in the center was a Cadillac Platinum Edition limousine, elegantly displaying its smooth, curvaceous streamlined form.
Now this was truly a sight to behold.
Furthermore, the head of a howling grey wolf emblazoned on those military helicopters is the emblem of Bandersnatch — the world’s largest international private military group that lives up to its name.
All this can only mean one thing.
—Discretionary extraterritoriality of a civilian military commander.
No matter how far and wide you search in this world, there’s only one civilian military commander who’s officially recognized by the United Nations.
The only person who can make all this ridiculous setting come true in reality.
This isn’t a hidden reality show or anything like that. There’s no way any TV show in their right mind would spend that much money on this extravagant set for a single episode.
In another words, if all this is real, then I have committed an unspeakable discourtesy in front of such prominent figure.
Maria takes her hand out quietly from my listless hand.
She takes a few steps forward, and turns her body round to see me face-to-face again.
Seemingly not of this world, her deep and beautiful heterochromatic eyes of blue and gold tempts him.
With a subtle smile on her face, Maria’s expression is gentle beyond measure and elegant, like that of an angel.
But that’s only how she looks on the outside.
Now that I’ve realized her true nature, I probably can no longer take that smile just as it is.
A pinch of salt— no, at least a sack of salt would be necessary.
“At this very moment…”
However, Maria’s action that soon followed was something ominous and entirely unforeseen that threw my expectations upside down.
“My dearest wish that I have been yearning for 13 years has come true at last.”
With both hands, Maria raises the hem of the skirt gracefully, then pulls her left leg one step backward and slightly bends her knees.
It’s a traditional European-style gesture of greeting of a lady that you often see in movies.
“My name is Maria Lunalady Blackhazel. I give you my formal salutation once more, Onii-sama.”
Her concise words would later come to completely change my life.
The motionless cogwheel takes motion.
“—Welcome, to my empire that I have prepared for you and you alone.”
And thus, the curtain rises for a new story.