LYG – Chapter 4: Can I Stay the Night?

Translator: Haruto.

“Wow… It’s bigger than I imagined,” Yukikawa says in amazement, stepping into my apartment after a ten-minute walk from the nearest station.

I also think my apartment is considerably large for a high school student living by himself. It has a bedroom of 10 m2 (107 ft2) and a living room of 16 m2 (172 ft2) with a huge TV and a three-seat sofa. The remaining space is occupied mostly by bookshelves.

“The apartment belonged to my father, but… Well, let’s not talk about that.” I undo my tie and motion for Yukikawa to take a seat on the sofa. “I’ll get you something to drink. Um… Is instant coffee okay?”

“Yup, thank you.”

I head to the kitchen, begin boiling some water, and then put instant coffee into two cups. While the water boils, I glance to the living room where Yukikawa’s relaxing on the sofa. She’s surprisingly calm despite being alone with a guy in his apartment.

Not that I mind, though…

If she were nervous, I’m sure it’d put me on edge as well, so I’m glad she’s just chilling there without a care in the world.

“…Here you go. Feel free to add sugar and milk if you want.”

“Thanks. By the way, sorry if I’m acting like this is my own home or something.”   

“That’s fine.”  

“It’s just, this place feels so relaxing, you know? And it smells super nice, too,” Yukikawa says, taking a few sniffs.

It’s the first time someone’s commented on the smell of my apartment, and honestly, it’s kind of embarrassing.

Ahem… Alright, let’s watch Twenty Knights, shall we?” I propose.

“Sounds great.”

I open one of the streaming apps on my TV and hit play on the first episode of Twenty Knights.

“I think about it every time I watch it, but there really are too many characters,” Yukikawa remarks.

“Yeah, I think so, too.”  

And to make it even worse, they tried to introduce the background of all twenty knights in the very first episode. The thing is, they only had twelve episodes to work with, so they had to cram something as crucial as the knights’ motives for killing each other into a single episode. Add that to the fact that the characters talk crazy fast in some scenes, and well, the result is a funny little mess.  

“…It seriously feels like some bizarre type of comedy,” says Yukikawa.  

“The director actually got insanely pissed saying that wasn’t their intention at all when they made it,” I comment.

“Really…? Wait, you like to watch those kinds of interviews, Nagai?”

“Yeah, I’m the kind of guy who enjoys doing a bit of research on the stuff I watch.”

I always look up words that I’m hearing for the first time, and research things that pique my curiosity in both anime and manga. You could say it’s like a little hobby of mine. Some people might wonder what the point in doing that is, and well, it’d be hard to give them a clear answer. However, it still feels nice to know that information keeps piling up in my head even if I might never use it.

Yukikawa then asks, “Was the director’s fault that Twenty Knights turned out like this?”

“…Yeah, but it wasn’t because he sucked at his job or anything like that. After all, the same director made ‘Marionette Harem’ and that anime was amazing,” I explain.  

“Huh? He made that one, too? I love that anime.”

“Same. The characters feel fresh even though it’s pretty old, and the plot was also engrossing.”

Marionette Harem, or Marihare for short, is a rom-com that narrates the tale of an ordinary high school student and his daily adventures with the four beautiful, life-size marionettes that he found in his grandfather’s shed. The marionettes look like real people, however, certain characteristics do set them apart from us, which allows for some rather heart-wrenching scenes in an otherwise cheerful comedy. Those scenes received great reviews, and the show continues to be hailed as a masterpiece by fans all over the internet to this day.

“…Now that I think about it, I haven’t read the original work. Is Marihare based on a manga or a light novel?” asks Yukikawa.

“Manga… Give me a second.”

I get up from the sofa, walk to one of the bookshelves nearby, and take out Marihare’s manga. It has fifteen volumes in total. Thankfully, the author gave it a perfect ending and didn’t even have to drag out the story. A big reason why Marihare is loved by so many people is the fact that the anime and the manga were both fantastic.

“Huh? Can I really read it?” Yukikawa checks with me.

“It might not be what you came here for, but sure, go ahead. A few parts were cut out of the anime, so I think you’ll enjoy it,” I respond.  

“…You’re just making me more and more excited to read it!” Yukikawa says, taking Marihare off my hands.


The only two things that can be heard in my apartment for a while after that are the Twenty Knights anime on the TV and the sound Yukikawa makes each time she turns the page…

After some time, curiosity gets the better of me, and I peel my eyes off the TV screen for a moment to glance at Yukikawa.


Man, she sure can be an expressive girl sometimes.

Her expressions change every time she turns the page. Happiness, sadness, pain, and all sorts of emotions flash through her face. I know we’ve only been in the same class for a week or so, but I’ve honestly never seen her act like this in the classroom. When she’s at school, she’s usually just on her phone while the people around her are chatting and laughing…

“It’s easier to get along with her when she’s like this… for me at least,” I mumble under my breath.  

“Hm? Did you say something?” Yukikawa asks.

“Nope. Let me know if you want another cup of coffee,” I say, getting up from the sofa again to pour me another cup.


“That was incredible,” Yukikawa says, closing the last volume of Marihare.

Having put all the volumes she finished beside her, she then grabs a tissue from the box on the table and blows her nose. She’s been crying non-stop since she reached the final chapters of the manga.

“I knew the plot already, but I still couldn’t help but cry at the end… Marihare is amazing.”

“Yeah, I also shed a tear or two every time I read it,” I say, and Yukikawa looks at me with astonishment in her eyes.

“…You also cry reading manga, Nagai? I thought you didn’t let stories affect you all that much.”

“Come on, you’re talking about me like I don’t have feelings or something. I cry when I feel like it.”

“Hmm… Then, you’re the same as me!” A playful smile appears on Yukikawa’s face, making my heart skip a beat. Seeing her act so differently from her usual cold, listless self is throwing my heart into chaos.

“…Ah, I’m sorry! I ended up staying too long even though I just came to read a new manga,” she says.

“Ahh, no, don’t worry about it.”

According to my phone, it’s half past nine. It’s really not an ideal time for a high school girl to be walking back home by herself.

“It’s also my fault for not realizing what time it was. You can come again some other day to read—”

“Say, Nagai, can I ask you a favor?”


Hesitantly and with a tinge of embarrassment, Yukikawa peers into my face.

“Um, can I… can I stay the night?”


For an instant, I fail to grasp the meaning of the words that came out of her mouth, so I tilt my head in wonder.

Stay the night? Yukikawa? At my apartment?

“…It’s fine if you don’t want me to.”

“It’s not… that…”

“Then, can I?”


Damn it, why does she have to ask questions that are so hard to answer?!

Putting aside whether I “want” her to stay or not, I’m finding it really hard to say no.

…After pondering about it for a moment, I grew tired of thinking and before I realized, I was nodding in agreement to Yukikawa’s question.

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