ted to actively help with household chores, hoping to become someone reliable like his father had been.

Nowadays, when Toma works part-time, his sister Ume takes over the household chores.

“Well, I’ll report this to Mom tomorrow.
Helping out around the house doesn’t justify playing with your phone until midnight.”

“Eek! That’s no good! She’ll issue a ban on smartphones!”

“I’ll issue the ban.
Otherwise, you’ll stay up late, won’t you?”

At this time, for high school students, having a smartphone is almost a necessity.
If it’s taken away, all Ume can do is sleep.
As a result, she won’t stay up late anymore.

“You’re too strict, brother.
I am already an adult, so I should be allowed to stay up late.”

With a small pout, Ume, a third-year high school student, presents a ridiculous argument.

“Adults say that once they’ve become adults.
Plus, if you stay up late all the time, you won’t grow taller.”

“I am growing! I grew 1 centimeter at the school physical measurements!”

Ha! Ume proudly shows off her slightly grown chest, displaying a very positive attitude despite not growing much taller.

“That may be true, but your height right now is only about 150 centimeters.
The average height for a high school senior girl is…157.8 centimeters.”

With skilled web searching, Toma confronts Ume with reality.

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“Wha…that’s so high!? Nii, you’re lying, right?”

“Here, I sent you the URL.”

“I don’t believe it unless there’s a source!”

Toma pasted the URL of the site he searched for into an email.
Ume has no escape now.

“No…it’s a lie…it’s a lie…”

Lacking vocabulary, Ume repeats the same words over and over again, her face filled with despair.
She rubs her eyes with both hands, but the result won’t change…absolutely not.

“If you understand, hurry up and go to bed.
You seem to be reflecting on your actions, so I’ll keep it a secret just this once.”

“Nii-san, you really like plum, don’t you? You’re so fond of it?”

Perhaps she wanted to dispel the gloominess in the air.
Or maybe she wanted to get back at Toma for presenting the facts.
Ume was giggling with a smile on her face.

“Okay, okay.”

“N-Not letting it slide…!!”

Dealing with someone like this after work was mentally exhausting.
Toma decided to brush it off easily.

“Sorry, sorry.”

“You’re letting it slide again…!!”

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Even though they were siblings, their exchange was too noisy for this time of night.

“That’s enough, Ume.
If nii-san won’t pay attention to you, then just go to bed.”

Ume, who was pouting with adorable anger, was completely sulking.
Putting her phone in her pocket, she opened the living room door and headed towards her room.
At that moment, Toma spoke in a gentle voice to Ume’s back.

“Goodnight, Ume.
…Thanks for waiting for me to come back.”

“Wh-What?! I-I didn’t mean it like that! I was just watching anime!”

“I see.”

Ume is not the type to lie.
To be more precise, she is not good at lying at all.
It is easy to see through her current state of panic and agitation.

“I almost forgot to tell you! One of my friends is coming over this Saturday, so don’t do anything for us, okay? You don’t have to bring out tea or snacks or anything!”

“Huh? Why not…?”

“Because it’s embarrassing for me to be taken care of by her older brother in front of her friend.”

“Oh, I see.
I’ll do that from now on.”

Although he always tried to be considerate when Ume’s friends came over, if she didn’t want him to do anything for them, then he shouldn’t.

“Okay, well, goodnight, Nii-sani.
Thanks for working hard at your part-time job.”

“Yeah, goodnight.”

Ume waved goodbye through the gap in the door, and Toma waved back.
Even though Ume looked like an elementary school student, her “bye-bye” was a heartwarming scene.

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