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Chapter 172: When you Wish Upon a Star – IV

A picture of the extended Greyrat family. On the left, Lilia and Zenith in either their late forties or fifties. On the right, grown up versions of Norn and Aisha.

Rudy in the back with his three wives in front of him. Roxy, Sylphy, and then Eris. Then beneath them, their children. Two from each wife.

For Roxy, a pair of daughters with matching colored blue hair that took a lot after her instead of Rudy.

For Sylphy, a son and daughter. Her son had green hair like Sylphy did in her youth paired with green eyes like Rudy. As for her daughter, she had Rudy's brown hair but Sylphy's red eyes.

For Eris, there was also a son and daughter pair. A cool looking son sitting in the front with crimson hair like Eris and green eyes like Rudy. A cute daughter with crimson hair and a wide happy smile.

Stella stared at the worn-out picture hanging on the wall and tilted her head. "So this is Onii-chan and everyone in the future, huh?"

With everyone going out to do their own thing, Stella had taken it upon herself to do some exploring around the house and see the differences. And out of curiosity, she went to check the room that should have been Onii-chan's in the house.

Surprisingly, it still was. But it was also really different.

Stella took another look around the room and frowned. "Was the Onii-chan here that different from Onii-chan?"

It seemed like the Rudeus here was the sentimental sort...

Well, considering the room was untouched despite him passing a long time ago, maybe it was Sylphy and Roxy that were the sentimental sort.

But in any case...

There was a room with a pillow made from treant materials. An eerily detailed figurine of mini Roxy that reminded Stella of those otaku figures back at home.

A desk with various books and some prop-up picture frames of the kids in that first picture Stella looked at.

Stella walked over to look at the picture frames and said, "Onii-chan here was really a Dad, wasn't he?"

It was just like a typical salaryman's room. Pictures of the kid, work documents, a few trinkets here and there...

Nothing like Onii-chan's room. This place seemed like it had definitely been lived in and gone through a lot over time.

But the room of Onii-chan back at home...

Stella felt that a lot of it had to do with the fact that Onii-chan had an inventory magic to keep stuff with him, but Onii-chan's room was really empty.

Like here, there was a desk and some books. But a majority of the room was taken up by a really big and comfy bed with a lot of pillows and super fluffy blankets.

There was also a wall-length mirror and a big closet. But there weren't any pictures or anything like here.

Stella stared at a picture of Sylphy's daughter in a wedding dress standing next to a young man who looked a lot like Cliff before shaking her head.

"Maybe I should get Onii-chan to take more pictures..."

She had heard that a lot of bad things happened to their family here too. And although Onii-chan made a pendant with a fake picture of them all together, a real family picture would be nice.

Onii-chan with Eri nee-chan, Sylphy nee-chan, Roxy nee-chan. Roland, Eos, and Ena. Rika nee-chan too since she and Onii-chan definitely had a thing even if they were trying to be professional about it.

Norn nee-chan and Aisha nee-chan. Mom, Mama Lily, and that weirdo that was Dad.

And her too.

Everyone was back together now... At least, as soon as they headed back home. So it would be good to get a proper picture done...

Especially before Onii-chan and his ero wives started getting kids.

After all, that picture of the other Onii-chan's family was already super cramped, so Onii-chan's family picture was definitely going to be-

"Wait."

Stella paused and then went back to the picture, carefully taking a look at it. And then she went to the pictures on the table and looked through those as well. But...

"...Where am I in the pictures?"

She understood why Dad wasn't in the pictures since he apparently died in this world earlier on, but...

"Didn't Lara call me Auntie Stella?" She mumbled to herself and then frowned.

Mom and Mama Lily had been cagey about it too. And it was weird how the other Sylphy and Roxy had reacted to her when she showed up...

"...Meh." Stella shrugged. "Onii-chan will explain it."

Probably just some weird time travel things.

And speaking of time travel things...

Stella started rummaging through the books again and muttered, "If this Onii-chan is like Onii-chan, he probably has a journal too, right?"

Onii-chan had mentioned starting one for his future kids and stuff, so if this Onii-chan was anything close to the same...

"Not here." Stella sighed. "Of course. Onii-chan always puts it somewhere safe, so this Onii-chan would too... Wait." She paused and took a look around the room.

Onii-chan was a cheat and had a secret compartment with him all the time. But since this Onii-chan was more normal, he probably would have kept it at home instead. Somewhere secret and safe. So...

Stella narrowed her eyes, carefully scanning the room. At the same time, she said, "Can you tell me if there's any secret room here, Wyn?"

<I think you should just wait for your big brother instead of digging around... But yes. It's in the wardrobe.>

Stella blinked. "In the wardrobe?" She looked over to it and frowned. "...Really?"

The wardrobe looked a lot smaller than the one that Onii-chan had back at their home. Just a small stand-up wardrobe that looked like it maybe held three or four suits.

<Yes. The wardrobe. There's a hidden area behind it. But I think you should stop snooping around, Stella. You might see things you'll regret.>

Stella rolled her eyes and said, "I've seen so many pictures of Erofu nee-chan at this point that it doesn't matter anymore." She walked over to the wardrobe and opened it up. After that, she tapped on the back wall before pushing it, causing the wall to swing open like a door.

As Stella walked through, she said, "How bad could it-"

She immediately shut her mouth.

The space behind the wardrobe wasn't very big. Just enough for a person to step inside and stand. It was just a small closet, really.

But what was inside the closet...

Anatomically correct figures of a mature Eri nee-chan and Sylphy nee-chan. One of a smaller Roxy nee-chan too.

Folded pieces of lacy cloth that Stella prayed were just handkerchiefs and not what she thought they were.

And then plastering the walls...

Stella felt her face heat up and she quickly backed out of the room, slamming the wardrobe shut.

<See?>

"S-S-Shut up, Wyn!"

Stella rubbed her face, trying her best to calm down.

W-W-What the hell was wrong with this world's Onii-chan?!

Was he a pervert? No, he had to be a mega pervert with a secret place like THAT.

Onii-chan did it a lot with Erofu nee-chan and Eri nee-chan, but he definitely wasn't like THAT.

Was this world topsyturvy?

The Sylphy nee-chan and Roxy nee-chan in this world didn't seem as lewd as the ones Stella knew, so maybe the Onii-chan here made up for that...?

No, maybe this Onii-chan wasn't a reincarnator like her Onii-chan?

Right. That had to be it.

The Onii-chan here must have just taken a lot after Dad.

After all, that guy was a creep who felt up his own granddaughter, so if an Onii-chan was born who took after him...

...Yeah. That made sense.

Especially since he definitely seemed to be a loli-con since he married the Roxy nee-chan here who still looked like a high school student at best...

<You should see the shrine in the basement then.>

"Ew. Please, stop." Stella shook her head and shivered in disgust. "I'll just be grateful that Onii-chan isn't a perverted creep."

She'd take the headache-inducing ultra competent Onii-chan over the mega creep in disguise Onii-chan here, thank you very much.

But in any case...

Stella walked out of the room and shut the door behind her. After that, she looked around the house.

It was empty.

Stella could see Sylphy nee-chan and the other Sylphy nee-chan chatting outside, and she could see Roxy nee-chan's mana along with some other mana emanating from the basement. But there wasn't anyone actually in the main part of the house except for her.

Dad had taken Mom and Mama Lily out for a walk, and Onii-chan still wasn't back yet.

Not only that, but Fai and Wata were hiding because they said they felt the spirits in the world staring at them. Leo was hiding too since the Leo of this world wanted to fight him whenever he poked his head out...

Stella paused, realizing something. "Hey Wyn."

<Yes?>

Stella walked over to the main room and flopped down on the couch. After that, she frowned and said, "How come you're okay talking with me and helping me out like this when the others can't?"

Faint green light shimmered beside Stella before Wyn appeared.

Unlike how she usually showed up, the wind elemental appeared as a mature woman with long green and gold hair, wearing a flowing green dress. Gently sitting next to Stella, she said, "That's because I'm special. There's only one of me in existence, even though there's a lot of you and Lord Rudy."

Stella tilted her head. "...What do you mean?"

Wyn let out an enigmatic smile and then reached out to pat Stella's head. "Don't worry, Stella. That just means that I'm going to protect you no matter what."

Stella pouted and said, "I'm really starting to hate people giving all these cryptic explanations and words, Wyn."

Wyn laughed and said, "It'll make sense eventually, Stella." She smiled and said, "For now... Just think of me like the hero's guiding fairy."

"...A guiding fairy who let the hero see THAT?"

Wyn smiled and said, "I told you you might regret it, didn't I?"

Stella rolled her eyes and said, "Whatever. Meanie."

Wyn giggled.

Stella sighed and leaned back in the chair. "Just when is Onii-chan-"

The sound of shattering glass, followed by a howling wind.

Stella jumped out of the sofa and instinctively flung a cushion at the noise.

"Gah!" Rudy stumbled, the cushion sticking to his face. After taking a step back, the cushion floated away from him before hovering in mid-air. He eyed it and then tilted his head. "What the heck? A pillow cushion?"

Stella blinked and then growled. "Onii-chan! You can't just pop into places like that!"

Rudy looked over at Stella and then said, "Oooh. Yeah, sorry." He glanced at the surroundings and said, "Must've miscalculated a bit. I meant to pop into the courtyard... Guess the time bubble I made caused space to be a bit wonky."

"Time bubble?!"

Rudy waved his hand and said, "Long story. Involves you, but you'll probably faint if I explain it right now. Not to mention that I think the Being W from this world is catching onto us now and I'd rather not test the theory of whether or not I'm considered an extradimensional threat that will trigger an existential pruning mechanism by the world. Not that it'd really do anything to me, but-"

Stella pinched her nose, staving off the budding headache. After that, she waved her hand and said, "Whatever! Just... Take us home already." She huffed and said, "I miss my room. And Norn nee-chan. And Aisha nee-chan. And everything making sense instead of this topsyturvy isekai or whatever."

Rudy pulled out a pocket watch...

Pocket watch? Eh? When did he carry a pocket watch?

Rudy glanced at his pocket watch and then fiddled with a few knobs on it. After that, he nodded and said, "Should be synchronized now. We'll need to pop back here later to get rid of Being W for good, but it doesn't have to be right away, so-"

"Please stop with the exposition and just take me home, Onii-chan."

Rudy laughed and then scooped Stella up in his arms.

Stella blushed and said, "H-Hey! Put me down!"

"Not when you're being so cute, Imouto. Besides, I like this side of you more than your weird paranoid side I just had to deal with."

"Huh?"

"Don't worry about it. Now..." Rudy took a look around and said, "I'd like to meet my extended family here and Orsted, but I think that might set off a few ripples that we shouldn't, so let's pop around to grab everyone, say goodbye to this world's Sylphy, Roxy, and Roxy's daughters, and then head home."

"Finally!" Stella nodded and turned back to the couch. "Come on, Wyn! Let's get going!"

"Wyn?" Rudy paused and looked over at her.

Wyn waved and said, "Nice to see you again, Lord Rudeus."

Rudy narrowed his eyes and said, "...You aren't some hidden child of mine that happened to be popping across timelines to save the world by safeguarding Stella, are you?"

Wyn laughed and said, "No. But we've known each other for a while."

Rudy blinked and tilted his head. And then his eyes lit up in recognition and he said, "Oooooh. I was wondering why a wind spirit looked so much like a dryad. You're actually-"

Stella tugged on Rudy and said, "Actually what?! Don't you DARE do another cryptic innuendo or implication, Onii-chan!"

Rudy laughed and said, "We'll talk when we get back."

"You always say that! But you never explain anything! You and Pierre too! I'm supposed to be a hero, right? How's a hero supposed to hero when everyone-"

"Time's running out, Stella. Hold on tight."

"Keeps- W-Wait! ONII-CH-"


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