18 May, Ren Hanna

文字数 4,142文字

The Secret Book


I absolutely cannot let my older sister find it—the fan fiction I ordered on confinement and slave training between young boys.
  I hide behind the plants in the lobby area of our apartment and wait for the mail to arrive. I would look suspicious to anyone who saw me. The other residents pass by now and then and eye me suspiciously, but that can’t be helped.
  The fan fiction sales event that had been scheduled for the Golden Week holidays in early May was canceled, and some groups started selling their new books online. That included Maron Tsubame, the popular artist I follow on social media. Her new book is a new version based on a work on hot idols that was broadcast as an anime in winter. It’s okay for me to buy this since I turned eighteen last month. I can buy adults-only fan fiction with a clear conscience, but the issue is my sister.
  She’s old-fashioned, has the air of an avid reader of literature, and is a college sophomore. She’s warm and gentle, very sensitive, and I worry that she might fall for the wrong type of guy. We get along well enough to live with each other even away from home, and she makes simple comments now and then when I’m watching anime that I recorded late at night, like, oh, that girl’s cute.
  My sister is so innocent. Her face turns bright red when she sees a couple kissing on TV. She would probably be shocked to death if she found out that I’ve been trying to get hold of a book that’s off-limits to people under eighteen, in which a lovesick young brother, aged twelve, locks up his eighteen-year-old brother to train him as a slave. I don’t know how I’m going to face her after reading it, even if she doesn’t know what’s going on.
  I should have arranged to have the book sent to the post office when I ordered it, but my brain wasn’t functioning at the time. I only realized it after I had seen people screaming on social media that they’d bought fan fiction for the first time and their families had found them out. I only provided my last name as the addressee when I placed my order, so there’s a good chance that my sister might open it if she gets to it first. That’s why I’ve been staking out the lobby like this for days, waiting for the mailman.
  I was looking at my smartphone to check the time when I heard a clink-clank sound. I rushed to our mailbox and saw that the package had arrived. I grabbed it and ran home, and soon enough, I heard my sister’s voice calling out from the front door, “I’m home.” It was a close call; she had just gotten home from her shopping.
  The package looked unopened, and sure enough, it contained the fan fiction I’d been waiting for. After exhaling in relief, I noticed that something was off. There were no postage stamps on it. Then how in the world did this book get here?
  I went to the living room and saw my sister sweating profusely, her eyes full of anxiety, and I blurted, “Are you. . . Maron Tsubame?”
  It took me all night to drag my sister, alias Maron Tsubame, out of her room, where she had locked herself in embarrassment.


Translated by Eriko Sugita/Arranged by TranNet KK

Ren Hanna
Born in 1988. Graduated from Kyoto University’s Faculty of Letters. Submitted the short story “Enju” (Distant curse) to the 17th Japan Horror Novel Awards in 2010, for which he won the Award for Best Short Story. Made his official literary debut with

Shōjo

kinku

(Forbidden zone for girls) the same year, which contained a revised version of the short story.

Nameraka

na

sekai

to,

sono

teki

(A smooth world and its enemy), a collection of his works, placed No. 1 in the list of Best SF Published in Japan 2019 in SF ga yomitai! 2020 ban (We want to read SF! 2020 edition). Two anthologies he acted as editor for,

Nihon

SF

no

rinkaiten

[kaiki

hen]

(The critical point of Japanese SF [Bizarre tales edition]) and

Nihon

SF

no

rinkaiten

[renai

hen]

(The critical point of Japanese SF [Romantic tales edition]) will be published in July 2020. Hanna is currently regarded as the most iconic flag-bearer of the world of SF literature.

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