Observing Anna-san while at dinner.
Agnes, Arisu, and Luna talk to Anna-san with a smile, showing her consideration.
Yomi, whose of the same age, took a step back and is being quiet.
That’s the coordination of the Takakura sisters.
「 Anna-senpai, Agnes-san, and the girls will soon enroll to our school 」
Karen also offered a topic.
「 Therefore, please teach Agnes-san and the girls about our school 」
「 I want to know, what do you do in school? 」
Agnes asks with a smile.
「 Well…that’s… 」
「 It’s Agnes-chan’s first time in a Japanese school 」
「 Right, she has a lot that she doesn’t know 」
Rie and Eri said.
The truth is, it’s Agnes’s first time going to school, but…
Agnes has blonde hair and blue eyes, so Anna-san will misunderstand that she’s a returnee.
「 Oh, I see. If that’s the case…well, the features of a Japanese school are… 」
Anna-san seems lost, but she talks to Agnes and the girls.
She’s a girl who is caring for others in her root.
「 Ruriko, Momoko-neechan called Anna-san the “Middle School Star,” from the start, but… 」
I whisper to Ruriko.
「 She indeed is. Bright and cheerful, clearheaded, athletic, and she’s also a lovely girl, and so the seniors adore her, and the juniors yearn for her 」
Ruriko’s in her third year in middle school, so she knows Anna-san, who’s in her first year.
「 Even so, Anna-san was too eccentric when she came to this mansion 」
She’s too excited, and then gets depressed immediately. Her mood swings are intense.
「 I knew it, there’s another big problem other than those that Erica-san talked about, but… 」
There should be a bigger reason why she ran away from home.
「 I think Ruriko already knows it all, right? 」
I asked her straight.
That’s why she invited Anna Erica-san here
「 Yes, of course, 」
「 However, I can’t talk about it here. Erica-san is sending glances this way 」
Oh, she’s worried that Ruriko will tell me
「 Besides, I believe Shou-oneesama’s investigation is already complete 」
Ruriko did give instructions to Shou-neechan before.
「 Kouzuki SS is filled with excellent people after all 」
Shou-neechan’s dining with Momoko-neechan in the other room.
I’m going there later, so that means that she probably has something to report.
I look at the young group’s table again.
「 I’m looking forward to that 」
「 Yes, I’ll guide you around the school once you’re there 」
Yeah, there should be no problems leaving Anna-san to the young group for now.
「 I’ll go to the other room for now 」
「 Yes, Onii-sama 」
I intended to go out stealthily, but…
「 Ah, Papa, where are you going? 」
Mao-chan asks me loudly.
「 I’m just going to check on our guests in the other room 」
I said naturally.
「 Agnes will play with Erica-chan for now so it’s okay! She won’t be lonely so don’t worry! 」
Agnes said. Anna-san’s surprised.
「 The rule in this house is to never leave sad girls 」
「 It’s our iron rule to get along with everyone 」
The twins nod at each other and said.
「 Everyone knows that Anna-senpai will join in the family soon enough 」
「 Yes, that’s right. Everyone knows 」
Arisu tells Anna-san
「 The person in the other room is a guest, but Erica-chan isn’t 」
「 That’s right! Erica-chan will be Mao-chan and Agnes’s big sister tonight! 」
「 Wow! Mao’s happy! 」
Anna-san listens to the conversation with a confused look.
「 Everyone’s welcoming you from the bottom of their hearts, Erica-san, can you feel it? 」
Ruriko, her senior, smiles gently at her and said.
「 Y-Yes 」
Anna-san replies with a small voice.
「 Don’t be afraid. We only want to be friends with Erica-san 」
Luna who read Anna-san’s thoughts said.
「 That’s right! Agnes just wants to be friends with Erica-chan 」
Agnes also tells her to double it up.
◇ ◇ ◇
I left the dining room alone and then go to the other room where Momoko-neechan’s dining.
I knocked on the door.
「 Yes? 」
That was Momoko-neechan’s voice.
「 Ah, it’s me 」
「 Go ahead, we were waiting for you 」
I got in and…
Shou-neechan, Sebastianus(Yamada Umeko-san,) Shou-neechan, Misuzu, and Michi are all eating at the table.
Mana’s standing on the side since she’s working as a waiter.
「 Mana, it’s okay now, go back to the dining room and eat with everyone else 」
「 But, if they ask for seconds and after-meal tea? 」
「 We can do that ourselves, thank you, Mana-chan 」
Misuzu tells Mana.
Though Kouzuki and Kaan house are both nobility, they shouldn’t just treat Mana like a servant.
「 Yes, thank you. It’s okay now 」
Momoko-neechan, the guest, smiled at Mana.
「 Okay, then excuse me 」
Mana bows her head politely and left the room.
「 That was a beautiful girl. Although, that Nei is still on a different league 」
Momoko-neechan tells me.
「 Kou-chan’s women are all beauties, but those two are special 」
Mana’s beautification program is doing well.
She’s growing more and more for the past six months.
It’s good that she started this at the age where she’s still growing.
「 That girl named Mana, is she also Kou-chan’s slave? 」
Momoko-neechan asks me.
「 Yeah, she’s one of the firsts 」
Yukino and Megu aren’t my slaves.
「 I see. So Anna Erica-san will be one of your latest 」
「 Seki-san, you didn’t call Mariko here because you have some information about Anna-san you don’t want anyone else but the people in here should know, right? 」
Momoko-neechan talks to Shou-neechan.
「 Meaning, a secret that only Kou, Misuzu, and I can know 」
Michi and Sebastianus (Yamada Umeko-san,) are also here, but…
The young lady of the Kaan house doesn’t count the bodyguards.
She knows that professional bodyguards never talk about the things they discover during their duty.
Michi and Yamada-san are hardcore bodyguards that serve the Kouzuki and Kaan house, which both are called the noble among nobles.
「 Yes, that’s right 」
「 Michi, bring Danna-sama some tea 」
「 Yes 」
Since Mana left the room, Michi’s the one preparing tea.
「 Shou-neechan, what is it about? Ruriko seems to be the only one who knows much 」
「 Right, it’s a little complicated 」
Shou-neechan begins to speak.
「 First, Anna-san’s misunderstanding. There is the case of Anna-san’s father trying to take away Anna-san’s inheritance from her late Grandfather, but… 」
Yeah, for some reason Anna-san’s Grandfather adopted her…
Then, he left a will to split the inheritance to Anna-san and his son.
「 Currently, Anna-san’s father is the representative auditor, but, they’re going to merge with another auditing company…that’s the truth, but… 」
「 Somehow, the fact that Anna-san’s grandfather adopted her, and the idea that he didn’t want to hand over his inheritance to his son because he doesn’t trust him, will influence the Father’s work, was it?? 」
There’s that story.
The question of “Is it okay to let entrust the auditing of large enterprise to a man whose father doesn’t even trust him”
It’s a problem of trust.
「 Yes. That sure is a problem, but, it seems that it’s not what Anna Keiichiro was worried about 」
「 Anna Keiichirou-san’s got something he has to resolve much sooner 」
I listen to Shou-neechan with a serious look.
「 They call an Auditing company a company if they have five or more CPA. And so, naturally, Anna-san’s father, the representative, is also a CPA. The late Grandfather is one too. Then, CPA has a special set of rules 」
「 In current Japan, CPAs are allowed to own stock in various companies, but they’re not allowed to own stocks in companies that they’re directly involved in auditing 」
So they can’t have stocks there?
「 If he’s a shareholder in that company, he won’t give an auditing result that will be detrimental to that company, right? It’ll lower the value 」
Oh, I see.
「 Thus, CPAs in private practice are strictly restricted from doing such things, but it’s even more strict in CPAs who belong to auditing firms 」
「 If you’re a member of an auditing firm, you’re not allowed to own not only the shares of the company you’re directly in charge of but also of the companies that your colleagues in the same firm are in charge of. Even if it’s in a different branch, or a different place, even if it’s colleagues you never saw or talked to before, you can’t buy the stock of the companies that they’re auditing 」
「 Oh, because they might stealthily hear some information from the inside, like, “That company’s performance is rising,” or “a secret project is about to begin,” which raises the value of the stock 」
「 Meaning, it becomes a hotbed for insider trading 」
「 Correct 」
「 So, Anna-san’s late Grandfather was also a CPA, but, all the shares he owned were in companies that had nothing to do with his auditing firm. He handed those over to Anna Erica-san through inheritance. The lawyer is currently handling it, but… 」
Anna-san’s lawyer, which is her guardian, is to take care of her inheritance until she becomes an adult.
That was according to Anna-san’s Grandfather’s will.
「 Furthermore, I’m pretty sure those were all blue-chip stocks, weren’t they? Ten years since her Grandfather’s death, all of the stocks have gone up tremendously, haven’t they? 」
「 Yes. Anna-san said it herself, the value of her current assets over 300M 」
And she’s that young, haaa
「 But, there’s nothing wrong with that so far, since Anna Erica-san’s name doesn’t overlap with the companies that Anna Keniichiro’s auditing firm is in charge of 」
Shou-neechan looked at me.
「 But, the father’s going to merge with another auditing firm, isn’t he? 」
In that moment, Momoko-neechan;
「 Oh, I see. So that’s how it is 」
「 Yes, the auditing firm they’re merging with is in charge of companies that Anna-san has stocks for 」
Shou-neechan smiles wryly.
「 When they merge, they become the same corporate body, right? If that’s the case, even if it’s his daughter’s name, it poses a problem since she holds stocks of the company that his company is in charge of 」
I see. So it’s a breach of rules among the CPAs
「 That’s why Anna-san’s father needs to sell the shares of the company that’s audited by the company he’s merging with for about 70M Yen as soon as possible 」
「 I see. Anna-san’s still a minor, furthermore, normally, the custodial parent is free to manage the assets left to the minor but it should be customary to sell any potential suspicious stock before the merger is complete, isn’t it? 」
「 Yes. It’s in his 14-year-old daughter’s name, but, they can’t help but suspect that this is a way to evade the rules. And truly, Anna Erica-san’s stocks are all blue-chip stocks 」
「 If she continues to hold the stocks, Anna-san’s father will be exiled from the CPA’s society 」
「 Indeed. However, in Anna-san’s case, her late Grandfather instructed his lawyer in his will to manage her asset as her legal guardian 」
「 The Father can’t dispose of the shares until Anna-san’s releases the guardianship of the lawyer 」
「 Yes 」
「 Even so, they need Anna-san’s approval, don’t they? 」
「 Naturally. The inheritance Anna-san received from her grandfather is her personal property 」
Momoko-neechan replied to me.
「 But, Anna-san’s father, Anna Kenichiro is already in serious trouble that he needs it resolved asap. Nothing is much more grave than questioning his reputation. After all, he’s going to cause inconvenience to the hundreds of CPAs who belong to the two auditing firms 」
「 Right. I’m sure that the other accountants will follow the rules and give up all the shares of the company that the merging corporation is in charge of by the set deadline 」
「 If Anna Kenichirou, the representative of one of the auditing firms is to say that he couldn’t sell his shares before the deadline, the merger itself will stop 」
「 And the new company’s credibility will be at stake 」
Momoko-neechan and Misuzu said.
「 Yes, perhaps, Anna Kenicirou doesn’t want to take the entire inheritance his daughter received from her grandfather. Although 」
「 Anyway, once the control of the legal guardian is lifted, Anna-san’s father will be able to dispose of Anna-san’s assets, right? 」
「 Correct. As it stands now, the lawyer who’s Anna-san’s legal guardian is the only one to take care of her assets and no one else, it’s all according to the Grandfather’s will 」
The father can’t go ask the lawyer to ask for Anna-san’s permission and sell off the stocks willfully.
「 They don’t want the stock in question to remain in Anna-san’s hands. The union of the companies is approaching 」
It’s an impending problem.
「 Then, why did Anna-san think that her father’s taking all of her inheritance away? 」
「 I think it’s her misunderstanding 」
I think so too.
Even in the conversation earlier…
Anna Kenichirou’s an obstinate man, but…
Still, I didn’t feel any ill will towards his daughter.
「 But, Anna-san is afraid of her father 」
「 Right. She’s under the impression that her father’s trying to take away her fortune after all…she even ran away from home 」
「 Despite that, she mentioned that she’ll be my slave, and she’ll give all of her assets amounting to 300M. Meaning, Anna-san’s got no interest in the assets themselves 」
「 Somehow, I feel like there’s some secret we don’t know yet 」
「 Well, we just completed our investigation just now. Right before we started our meal 」
Shou-neechan said and smiled wryly.
「 In the end, we had to investigate up to 15 years ago so it took us a lot of time. I also did my own investigation 」
Fifteen years ago?
Anna Erica-san is 14.
「 This is a problem influenced by the time Anna Erica-san’s born 」
Shou-neechan speaks of the origin of the problem.
◇ ◇ ◇
「 Oh, I see. I get it now 」
Hearing Shou-neechan’s report, Momoko-neechan understood
And, she sighs out.
「 That indeed says why the trust in her Father is lost 」
「 Indeed. I didn’t imagine that he could hide such truth 」
Misuzu’s also surprised.
「 I guess that’s why Anna-san was feeling overwhelmed and desperate 」
I also am surprised by what Shou-neechan reported.
That sure will make her run away from home.
Even volunteer to become a sex slave.
She’s so desperate that it’s inevitable.
「 I now get why Ruriko couldn’t talk about the details now 」
The truth is too devastating that she can’t talk about it so carelessly before Anna-san.
It might just heat up Anna-san even further.
「 Therefore, Ruriko remained in the dining room 」
Although, I’m sure that she did her own research separate from the Kouzuki SS.
At least, Ruriko hasn’t revealed Anna-san’s secret to anyone else.
「 Yes, if Ruriko told us secretly, then that girl will lose her trust in Ruriko. 」
That’s why Anna-san was always by Anna-san’s side. Always in a place, she could see.
「 Ah, wait a second. Uhm, Seki-san. Does Anna-san’s father, know this far into the truth? 」
「 Well, Anna Erica-san perhaps discovered the truth through the journal left in the secret library her Grandfather left behind 」
Only Anna-san can enter that library. Her father doesn’t even know that there’s a secret room hidden in the detached building used by his Father who died away.
「 Therefore, I don’t think Anna Kenicirou knows 」
Even in the call earlier, the father was seriously worried about Anna-san.
「 Then, this is just some unnecessary trouble. If he discovers the truth, I’m sure that the father will also tip over 」
It might be the cause of the Anna house’s collapse.
「 This is a much more delicate problem than imagined, Danna-sama 」
Misuzu looks confused too.
「 This is a problem that might even change the identity of Anna Erica 」
「 So, what do you plan Kou-chan? 」
Momoko-neechan asks me.
「 I’ll be using the shrine maidens. I’ll bring Tsukiko with me during the meeting with Anna-san’s father. That’s what I have so far 」
「 It’s a problem that we need to settle as soon as possible, and if we’re going for a major operation, then we’re going to use everything we can 」
「 Right, that might be the only option 」
「 So you can’t deal with it unless you operate her heart. Hm? 」
Momoko-neechan looked at Shou-neechan
「 By the way, Seki-san? 」
「 Yes? 」
「 Just how did you investigate to find out about this truth? 」
「 How did you discover some secret that only Anna-san read from her late Grandfather’s journal, which is something 15-years-old, and something Anna-san’s father doesn’t even know? 」
Now that she mentioned it.
「 Yes, that’s why I chose someone who knew Anna-san’s Grandfather before he died 」
「 To be specific, Kuromori Minaho-san 」
Minaho-neesan was kidnapped to the Black Forest 16 years ago.
She’s already on the other side 15 years ago.
「 Anna Erica-san came to this mansion out of inevitability 」