「 I-I… 」
Koyomi-chan suggests learning how to make pastries together…
Ai’s mother hesitates.
「 Kiyohara-san’s been helping out in Nagisa’s flower shop for the past few days, right? Do you want to keep working there? 」
Katsuko-nee asks Ai’s mother.
「 I was surprised that such a big shop has young girls working in it 」
Ai’s mother is past her 40’s.
She seems surprised that Nagisa, still in 21, is managing a flower shop.
「 But, she’s managing the shop. Nagisa was my classmate back then 」
Katsuko-nee looks around the bakery.
「 Therefore, I thought that I should work hard, so I don’t lose 」
「 This small bakery is just a classroom for the bread course students, but, it’s a place for me to study 」
Katsuko-nee only worked as a prostitute ever since she got kidnapped on her first-year in high school.
「 At first, I thought of copying Nagisa and just opening the shop without warning, but, Nagisa and I have different talents 」
「 I’m a woman with momentum, unlike Nagisa who can wrap up people with her gentleness 」
She speaks sadly.
「 Yes, I’m cheerful with the high-school students as customers, but I can’t manage the assistants in professional environment 」
Nagisa’s got Miyuki-san, a full-time employee, and four part-time workers. That’s five for now.
She’s in control of them all, I mean, they’re Nagisa’s pets.
Tsukiko, Mana, and Margo-san, who don’t attend school currently, are helping them out. Still, Nagisa’s pets keep their duty and treat them as Nagisa’s little sisters.
I don’t go there recently because there are girls Nagisa wants to deflower using me.
I mean, after knowing that Nagisa’s pregnant, they want to get pregnant with my child too.
I need to deal with it sometime soon.
「 I’m also studying. Everyone working with me is part of the family, and so, even if I couldn’t instruct them properly, they’ll just accept it with a smile, but if I were to start a real shop, then I can’t do that 」
She needs to be careful with the part-timers and employed workers.
「 How about we leave the manufacturing and selling to Katsuko-san, Nii-san, and everyone? 」
「 Well, I’m glad if we can do that, but, what I want to open up isn’t a small shop 」
「 A spacious store with lots of pastries in the display, and then, we bake a new product from morning to evening. Morning has a breakfast pastry. Lunch pastry. Then afternoon break pastry. And then after dinner, people can buy more for their tomorrow morning 」
Yeah, she wants to continue making different kinds of pastry.
Naturally, it has to be pasties people want during the time.
「 Also, I want a cafe space too. Then, naturally, I want waitresses wearing uniforms 」
Katsuko-nee continues to talk about her dreams.
「 I think of those every day. What kind of paintings are we going to place in the shop? What type of music should play? I continue to rewrite my dream shop every day 」
She hasn’t decided where to establish the shop, but…
No, Jii-chan’s got at least 20 plots that we could use, I mean buy…
Minaho-neesan’s putting the decision on hold until she confirms that the security on the plot is perfect, and she waits for Katsuko-nee to get used to working.
It’s only just a month since we start selling pastries.
「 Besides, doing this every day and putting things to practice gives me ideas on how to run the shop 」
Katsuko-nee planned out the bakery, but…
No matter how many we sell, not all students will come to buy. Most of them have lunch boxes.
In the end, we only need to produce for those who buy lunch in school.
I mean, there are not many students in the bread course, and so we can’t spread out that far.
The bakery just got constructed during the summer holiday on the side of the cafeteria in a hurry.
「 That’s right, I need to upgrade myself for my dream bakery. My current self is still not good enough 」
If she wants to open up a big bakery, then…
「 I see, it’s not just about making delicious pastry 」
「 It’s okay. You do what you can. Our tasks vary 」
「 First, you try out baking various pastries. Making regular ones more delicious. You can worry about everything else later 」
Katsuko-nee continues to research breadmaking ever since her time as a prostitute.
I’m not yet on her level.
「 Besides, even if we’re to open up the shop after you graduate, you’re still 18, and I’m 23. You’re not suited to teach part-time workers. It’s my job, I’m the older one here 」
No, Katsuko-nee’s also still young.
But, she’s right, part-time workers won’t listen to someone like me, I just graduated high-school.
「 That’s not true, Nii-san 」
Luna says as she has read my mind.
「 Earlier, when you shouted at the students in the cafeteria, they fell silent 」
Now that she mentioned it, that happened.
「 But that just happened by chance 」
They were just surprised that I suddenly shouted at them…
「 I think that Michi-san’s training has come to fruit 」
「 Yes, it’s Qi, isn’t it? I felt the same intensity from that shout earlier 」
「 No, I’m just in 6th Kyu though 」
Like, I’m just an elementary school student attending swimming classes by shoving my face to the water.
All my lessons were just how to escape from enemy attacks.
「 If I recall correctly, there’s the breathing technique training with Michi… 」
She always does that when using Shingetsu.
We’re matching our breaths without sex.
「 I think that’s proper training for kneading Qi 」
「 Michi-san is starting a new training after learning hints from our shrine maiden training. Yomi-oneesama and we are learning from Kudou style as well 」
Michi’s Qi martial arts and the Miko power have excellent compatibility.
「 Edie-san’s giving her opinions as well. Michi-san said that Kuromori-Kudou style will be stronger 」
Yeah, Michi’s using both research and training to create a new style for herself.
「 Everyone has their dreams. Katsuko-san and Michi-san as well 」
「 I also have a dream, you know! 」
Yukino, who’s been silent all this time, speaks up.
「 I-I want to start a showbusiness production 」
「 I mean, with Francie. Snatch can’t join us. A production office with a gay and a woman! Mufufu 」
「 I’ll earn and become the top of the showbusiness that nobody can touch 」
What kind of summit is that?
「 I-I, Ai also has a dream 」
Ai’s lured in and speaks up.
「 Anyway, for now, it’s to become better in making pastries. I’ll do my best so that everyone says that what I make is delicious. I can’t think of anything else for now 」
Ai seems to have cut the discord with her classmates.
「 I see. Good luck 」
「 O-Okay 」
Ai smiled bashfully and said.
「 Everyone has beautiful dreams 」
Koyomi-chan looks at Ai’s mother.
「 Therefore, Auntie, it’s okay to have a dream of your own too 」
「 But, I’m already… 」
「 Already what? 」
「 But I’m going 40 soon 」
「 Your age has nothing to do with it. After all, aren’t you still alive? 」
「 But… 」
「 Get yourself a dream, anything will do 」
I feel Koyomi-chan’s gentle ‘power.’
She must be using her Miko power to heal…
「 But, I don’t think I have the courage to start up a shop even if I learn how to make pastry together with you. I’m scared of making something my own and selling it 」
「 But, if you make the pastry, everyone will eat it 」
「 I want to eat Auntie’s bread too 」
「 Ai, I want to eat them too, Mama 」
「 Ai? 」
Ai’s mother looks at her daughter.
「 Ai and Mama, making pastries together, comparing the taste. I want to do that with Mama 」
It’s not just her mother making something for her…
「 Please eat the bread I make too 」
「 It’s fun, I’m sure that everyone will do it during tea-time 」
「 Yeah, I think it will be fun, Mama 」
「 You girls… 」
Ai’s mother, Ai, and Koyomi-chan pile their hands together.
「 That’s right. I think that you should fulfill your dreams like that 」
Katsuko-nee speaks gently.
「 I think that’s much better than when you were facing inwards, pouring your love only to your daughter 」
The three having a tea party is also a good dream.
「 Are you guys done? Well then, I just finished preparing tea, let’s take a break! 」
Nei pours coffee from the coffee maker to the cups.
「 We still haven’t eaten lunch, let’s go eat the remaining pastries, and we still have to clean up the bakery 」
Nei lost her mother, and so she’s weak when participating in this kind of talk.
「 I’ll help out 」
「 Thanks, Yo-chan! 」
「 No coffee for me. I’m avoiding stimulants 」
Yukino’s thinking of her child for sure.
「 What about milk? 」
「 Yeah, I’ll get them from outside. Anyone else wants something? 」
Outside the door is the cafeteria. They should have some drinks in the vending machine.
「 Looks like none, now hurry up and go, idiot! 」
「 Yeah sure 」
I went out to buy milk for Yukino.
We ate lunch somewhat late.
「 Kiyohara-san, have some of this as well 」
Katsuko-nee suggests other bread, but Ai’s mother only eats the irregular shaped that Ai made.
「 M-Mama, the lunch box Katsuko-san makes is delicious too 」
「 I see. Let’s take some then 」
She finally got the chopsticks on the lunchbox.
「 Speaking of which, I never heard Ai-chan’s mother’s name 」
Yukino suddenly asks.
Now that she mentioned it…
「 Right. I mean, Ai-chan’s mom is now our friend…yup, friend! We’d like to know your name 」
「 I’m Kiyohara Makoto 」
「 Huh? Ai and Makoto? 」
「 Wait, is the father named Naoya? 」
「 Huh, what? 」
Why does the father have to be Naoya?
「 I mean, that’s Makoto Naoya… 」
「 Nei-oneesama, if Kana-san were here, she’ll get angry at you 」
Luna seems astounded.
Luna seems to found the source after reading Nei’s mind.
「 Oh, another otaku knowledge? 」
Yukino gives Nei a disgusted look.
「 What now? 」
Nei gets sullen.
「 My husband is Kazuhiro 」
Makoto-san makes a gloomy face.
「 Huh? Kiyohara Kazuhiro? 」
Yukino’s the one to react this time.
「 Y-Yes, Papa’s Kazuhiro, what about it? 」
Ai asks curiously.
「 Ha! Isn’t that guy in professional rehab? 」
Yukino nods to herself. Luna doesn’t even retort.
「 I’ll talk to my husband tonight 」
「 M-Mama? 」
「 I knew that I shouldn’t let it continue 」
Makoto-san didn’t marry her husband out of love.
Ai’s not the daughter of the husband.
The husband married Makoto-san to climb the corporate ladder, that’s why their family is cold, the husband doesn’t even live in their house.
「 He goes to work and returns home every week, it’s to show that our family is okay. During weekends, he goes mountain climbing with his friends. All he does when at home is sleep and then head out again 」
They’re that kind of household. Thus, Makoto-san concentrated all her love to her daughter.
「 I never made love with my husband other than our wedding night 」
Only one time, to create an alibi for Ai’s conception.
「 I-I want to talk to Papa too 」
「 I decided to join the ‘bread course’ even if Papa opposes, but, I’d like to tell him myself 」
Ai looks at me.
「 Ai made that decision herself 」
Her smile is still trembling, but she speaks it with firm resolution.
「 Yeah, you did 」
I’m glad about Ai’s growth.
「 Well then, once we’re done cleaning up, let’s all go to Ai-chan’s house! 」
「 What do you think, Ai-chan? We’ll leave early today, and since it will be some time waiting in your home, let’s go clean up before your father comes home! 」
Right, since we have the time.
「 Right. Makoto-san, I’ll help you clean up the house 」
「 Also, let’s greet your husband with a dinner prepared! 」
「 Either way, you probably neglected him in that regard, haven’t you? 」
Makoto-san’s marital relationship must be like that.
「 How do you contact your husband usually? 」
Katsuko-nee’s treating Makoto-san as a friend now.
「 I-I just send him a mail. We promised to make calls only when it’s emergency 」
「 Then send her a mail. “We have something important to talk about Ai, so please come home as soon as possible.” 」
「 But, my husband’s coming home from Sendai, I don’t think he can go back fast 」
「 But if he takes his time, he’ll eat dinner outside, won’t he? 」
「 If he’s in a hurry, he can grab some light snack, but he would have enough room for dinner. Men have a heavy diet need after all 」
If he finds a restaurant nearby while going back to Tokyo, he’ll fill himself up there.
「 M-Mama, Ai will help out in cooking 」
「 It’s better if the family sits down on the table and eat together when discussing something 」
「 I think so too 」
「 Me too 」
Yukino, who had her family crumble down, I who lost sight of what a family means, and Nei, who lost her family.
「 Me too 」
「 Me too, I think the same. Makoto-san, I think you should do it once in your life at least 」
Luna and Koyomi-chan both lost their parents because the Miko power swallowed them.
「 Indeed, I should come and greet him at least once. I’m his wife after all 」
「 Still, I think Megu and Edie will get angry if we leave them 」
I mutter while entering Katsuko-nee’s van outside the bakery.
The fifth class is about to end.
But, we don’t have time to tell Megu and Edie.
It’s better if we head out while in the middle of class, so Makoto-san doesn’t stand out.
「 Why not. This is just once in a while. 」
「 Yo-chan, it’s been a while since Edie’s not close to you, right? 」
Now that she mentioned it, we’re always together in school. Other than when I’m alone in the bakery during lessons.
「 That girl’s also head-over-heels for Yo-chan 」
「 But, come to think of it, is this okay? We don’t have any guards 」
There’s no combat personnel, now that Edie’s absent.
「 It’s okay. Kiyohara-san’s house is just over there, and they’re now also a spot Kouzuki SS monitors 」
「 You know how we’re always making round trips from the mansion to school, right? The area around here is under Kouzuki SS 24/7 surveillance 」
Misuzu and Ruriko sleepover in our mansion, Yoshiko-san comes over to stay for a few days in a week.
Jii-chan’s coming over from time to time.
This is an area that has the maximum protection for the Kouzuki house.
「 If any non-resident came in the area, they’ll be followed. You know that our school’s a private school, right? We don’t have that many people, and so they seem to have a collection of photos of every student and their family 」
「 Ah, they also have a system where they can check who’s the person that shows up on their surveillance cameras 」
To think that they’ve gone that far.
They still continue to watch the movement from the Kansai Yakuza.
「 But, it’s better to have Luna-chan and Koyomi-chan check if there’s anybody strange around 」
「 Okay! 」
As long as we have the Miko power sensors, it should be okay.
「 Makoto-san, it’s a little bit cramped, sorry 」
We only have the business van we use to carry transport the pads, and so there’s a lot of it here.
Makoto-san’s squished between Luna and Koyomi-chan.
Katsuko-nee’s driving, and I take the passenger seat.
Yukino, Nei, and I are on the second row.
「 Let’s go! 」
Katsuko-nee drives off the car.
As soon as the van leaves the school grounds…
「 Nii-san, there’s a strange person over there 」
Luna points at a man wearing a full black suit.
Black suit, red-colored shirt. Yellow necktie.
A man with a perm and sunglasses.
That man saw Katsuko-nee and me, then waved his hand.
「 Oh, that man’s in charge today? 」
「 Yeah, I thought so 」
Katsuko-nee and I sighed.
「 W-Who is that person? 」
「 That one’s Michi’s father 」
「 Her biological father 」
「 I didn’t want to know that… 」
Luna, who gets along with Michi, replied in disappointment.
「 I finally understand why Michi-oneesama shuts out her father from her memories 」