Minaho-neesan and others are gathering information during the little time before the second call with Maika’s grandfather.
Minaho-neesan, Margo-san, Katsuko-nee…all of them are operating their own laptops.
Minaho-neesan is on Maika’s grandfather’s movements…
Margo-san is on the people employed by Mr. Viola…
Katsuko-nee is checking the surveillance cameras outside the hotel…
「It’s no good…There’s someone on the lookout on each exits」
When I asked…
「The main entrance is obvious, the gate at the underground parking and the tenant use gates as well… There are several people watching over it. There are two to three cars on standby. Once we get out, they’ll come after us immediately」
Uwa. Aren’t they completely surrounding us in the hotel…?!
「Can’t we have the suppliers going in and out the hotel? For example, the couriers. Since this is a big hotel, there should be a lot of luggage sent off. Shouldn’t we sneak into the trucks?」
Maika told Katsuko-nee.
「That’s no good…Those kinds of car have fixed time for collection and delivery. The night schedule has already ended」
「Also…It’s unthinkable for the courier service people who don’t even know us get on their truck. Those kind of people have carrying the luggage to the specified destination on time as their top priority. They would refuse even if you offer them a million. They don’t want to lose their daily work for just a million」
Margo-san rejects Maika’s opinion…
「Ah…It seems that the other side thought the same thing as Maika-san. There’s one disguised as courier service invading the hotel. They got caught by the security immediately however…」
Katsuko-nee says while looking at the monitor.
「This level of hotel have the guards know who are the suppliers coming in and out… No matter how much you camouflage it, it would be found out immediately」
「But, Margo-san…if they pretended to be guests, can they refuse?」
Megu asked Margo-san.
「Well yeah. You can enter the lobby and restaurant freely but the hotel employee checks if a person seems to be suspicious without fail. Fortunately, since they have caused a commotion in the reception desk a while ago, the police seems to have come as well. They cannot do anything unreasonable」
「But…What if they go up the guests rooms without permission…?」
「It’s impossible to come to the guest rooms if the visitor haven’t checked in the hotel. If the person tries to take the elevator without permission, the bellboy will ask him 『Which room are you going?』 Those who answer ambiguously will never be able to pass through so don’t worry」
「Employees of this kind of hotel are educated severely so that they won’t neglect being cautious of suspicious people. If not, don’t you think that thieves, perverts, and con artists can enter easily? It’s used for crime syndicate meetings…」
I see…This hotel has a check system on the visitors of this hotel.
「But…If those people normally goes to the reception desk and rented a room…They won’t be able to refuse to let them in the guest floors won’t they?」
Maika said in worry.
「The hotel shouldn’t be able to refuse someone as long as there’s no reason」
「Therefore…At the moment we escaped in here, the hotel is now 『No vacancies today』 It’s not a lie. I’ve reserved all of the vacant rooms. That will make them not know which room we escaped in…!」
As expected…Minaho-neesan is really careful.
If there’s 『No vacancies』, then it’s inevitable to refuse them…
「…Katsuko-san, about how many people are observing the hotel right now…?」
Margo-san asked Katsuko-nee while staring at her own laptop…
「…Let’s see. Counting the people in the entrance and in the car, I think it’s around 5 people? There’s around 70 people including the people in the lobby and the restaurant…!
「I understood it when a member of those guys were caught by the security guard in the underground. Well, that’s the most underling on the structure of the syndicate. But, if you understand the end, you can know who their 『parents』are Mr. Viola’s partner…!
「Yeah…There’s not much of people who does unreasonable tasks like this. We’re able to identify it somehow. The scale of that organization can move as well」
Margo-san smiled at us.
「…Perhaps, the number of people that has been surrounding the hotel right now is the limit of the people their organization can move. If ever there’s a different unit moving, it would be ten people at most…!」
…Then that means?
「If we can escape the people who are surrounding us in the hotel…we’ll be able to buy time. The other side still doesn’t know Yoshida-kun’s connection with us…」
「However…Isn’t it very difficult to escape from this hotel without being noticed…?」
Maika asks Margo-san…
「Maika-san…Do you know 『Fire Services Act』?」
Minaho-neesan asks Maika.
「Whenever you try to start some sort of business…『Fire Services Law』will make sure that you have three fire exits without fail. When there’s a fire, you can’t go out the exit that’s surrounded by fire don’t you think?…That’s why there’s three. In case of bad shops, they only open the fire exit when there’s an inspection from the fire station, usually, they put luggage in there so people cannot pass…」
「That said…I always prepare three means of escape whenever it is. Also, having different directions…and the same exit path, if you ever can’t use one, you can still have the other…」1
So that’s how it is…
「…My, it’s about time. Should we make a call with Ichikawa-san?」
Sensei said while looking at the time in the monitor.
◇ ◇ ◇
「…Hello, It’s Kuromori」
『…Umu, I was waiting for your call』
I can hear Maika’s grandfather through the speaker of the phone…
「Have you seen the file I’ve sent you…?」
『I haven’t seen all of it but I’ve understood the summary. Sousuke-kun definitely belonged to your 『Organization』and have done a considerably wicked thing…!』
「Since he’s only using it as a mean to release his own personal sexual desires…The 『Organization』doesn’t favor him at all. Also…He’s a person with quite a strong abnormal perverted taste」
『I also see that. Just what kind of human he is…! I have asked my subordinate about their relationship with him and I’ve confirmed it. They have used your 『Organization』and have done shameful acts…they will definitely be fired』
「…That is Ichikawa-sama’s freedom to do so. Our target is only Mr. Shirasaka Sousuke in the end…」
『…You do not intend to fight the Shirasaka house, do you?』
「Yes…We do not intend to harm Shirasaka Sousuke nor Mr. Sousuke’s wife who is Ichikawa-sama’s daughter…!」
『What will happen to Youko’s daughter, Yukino and Maika?』
「That…our opinions are divided as well」
「Among our people…There are those who were forcibly kidnapped and turned to prostitute by Mr. Shirasaka Sousuke…became pregnant…and was made to be unable to give birth once again. There’s not just one who’s holding deep hatred on Mr. Shirasaka Sousuke as he establishes a happy home while they receive such treatment」
『But…Kuromori-san, you’re the boss aren’t you? Can you not unify the will of your organization for your own?』
「Ichikawa-sama…The person who has a body that cannot give birth anymore is me」
The heavy silence continued for a while.
「…I was at the same age as Yukino-sama back then. I was forced to prostitution when I was 16…and my body became unable to bear a child anymore. My little sister, Mr. Shirasaka Sousuke has brought an unlicensed doctor and resulted to my little sister’s death. My lost little sister is hardly different from Maika-sama right now…!」
『…But…Weren’t you Kuromori Kouichiro’s daughter?』
Minaho-neesan answered calmly.
「As I was saying a while ago. Mr. Shirasaka Sousuke is a person with a very abnormal perversion… My father is the same. He was pleased raping his middle school daughter and forcing her to prostitution… We were treated like slaves my men all the time. There’s no 『Woman』in our 『Organization』that doesn’t feel grudge towards Mr. Shirasaka Sousuke. We waited for years to have an opportunity to extract revenge on Mr. Shirasaka Sousuke…」
『…So, I finally saw the whole picture of the situation. I see…You’re also a woman of the organization…』
「Yes. Therefore…we will never hand over Mr. Shirasaka Sousuke for money compensation. We will completely destroy Mr. Shirasaka Sousuke…!」
『Understood…I will tell your intent to Shirasaka house』
「…Thank you in advance」
『But…Can you overlook my daughter and grandaughters…?!』
It looks like old man Ichikawa seems that he won’t let that go…
「Well…It will be discussed after Shirasaka house suspends their hostile acts at us…!」
「Ichikawa-sama…what’s your schedule for tomorrow?」
『…I’ll leave it to you. I’ll match whatever schedule you want as Maika’s taken as a hostage』
「Then…At 11A.M. please come to Yukino-sama’s school」
「Yes…Along with your daughter. Having Yukino’s grandfather and mother coming to her school won’t be too strange」
「Oh…I’m an official teacher of that school」
『…What do you mean?』
「Yukino-sama’s school…is a part of our 『Organization』…」
『The school Yukino is going…did you pull the strings? Are you aiming at Yukino?』
As expected…Maika’s grandfather is sharp.
「Certainly not…Yukino-sama has entered our school by coincidence. Rather than coincidence…Mr. Shirasaka Sousuke has recommended it when Yukino-sama was searching for a school. Thinking that our high school is convenient in various ways…」
Minaho-neesan gives the impression that it was Shirasaka Sousuke’s decision.
『…I see. If that is what you say』
Old man Ichikawa reluctantly consents…
「Then, we will be waiting in the principal’s office 11 AM tomorrow…!」
『Please wait…Please give the phone to Maika』
Minaho-neesan handed the phone to Maika.
『Maika…It’s just for tonight…I’ll definitely save you tomorrow…!』
「You don’t need to worry that much, I’m fine! Everyone’s a good people…They’re really kind to me…!」
『…When we come back, Ojii-chan will listen to everything Maika wants. I’ll buy you anything you want…!』
「Maika doesn’t need anything! Oh right. You haven’t told Onee-chan about Maika, don’t you?」
『That’s right…I haven’t talked to Yukino just as you have told me. I also forbid Youko to speak…』
「I’m glad…If Onee-chan starts complaining, it won’t end!」
『…Are you sure you haven’t experienced any cruelty? Are you okay?』
「I was scared at first…I thought that they’ll hurt me…but I’m fine. I’m getting along with everyone…!」
『Anyway…Endure for a while, I’ll take you home tomorrow…!』
「Un…Sorry, Ojii-chan. I made you worry」
『No it’s fine…I’ll do anything for your sake…!』
The old man stopped talking…
「Geez, make that kind of voice Ojii-chan. I’m really sorry. Maika’s sorry for being a bad girl. I’m sorry…!」
Maika’s holding tears in her eyes.
『No…Sousuke-kun’s at fault. Maika didn’t do anything wrong…!』
「That’s not it…Maika’s really a bad girl! That’s why this happened! Sorry! Ojii-chan, I’m sorry!」
As expected…a middle school girl’s heart will be crushed by a situation like right now.
Megu pushes my back…
I embraced Maika’s body.
Maika’s body trembled for a moment then relaxed afterwards.
Minaho-neesan took the phone from Maika.
「Ichikawa-sama…would that be okay?」
『…Yes, understood. I’ll leave Maika to you』
「She won’t get any discomfort…!」
『Can you have her call her mother later…?!』
「Sadly…It’s about time we move from our current location.」 I think it’s about time Ichikawa-sama learns where we are right now…」
『…Yes. I know which hotel you are right now』
He’s able to check it in such a short time.
「Therefore…We will be moving to a different location. I’m sorry but there will be no contact until tomorrow, please understand」
『I see…You’re from the underground. You see through all of our cards』
「Isn’t Ichikawa-sama the same?」
「Then…I will look forward to seeing you tomorrow」
『…I will say it again, I leave Maika to you』
「…Yes. We will try to return her safely…!」
Minaho-neesan hang up the phone…
◇ ◇ ◇
「Margo, Katsuko…What do you think?」
Minaho-neesan has asked the opinion of the two immediately.
「It’s a 50-50 right now…They don’t seem to be lying, but. I think they have already prepared a rescue team for Maika-chan. They don’t trust Minaho’s words」
「But…I think that it is a good restrain on Shirasaka family. But, I don’t think that the head of Shirasaka house will give up on Shirasaka Sousuke just from the advice of Ichikawa-sama…」
「No, in this case, it’s enough to just have Shirasaka house and Ichikawa house having an awkward relationship. It will be a groundwork for the future…」
「But…They already know which hotel we’re in」
「Well…we purposely used the hotel telephone to be found out」
「Even if she introduces herself as 『Kuromori Minaho』there’s no way to confirm it you know? If we make call in this hotel…they can immediately discover the relationship o Minaho and this hotel…It will be a proof that the person calling is really『Kuromori Minaho』 Well, that won’t be a complete evidence」
Is that how it is?
「Also…Ichikawa-san doesn’t know that we’re being surrounded by a crime syndicate in this hotel. If he does, he won’t make that kind of reaction. He’ll be able to use it as a card for negotiations」
「Anyway…we’re going to escape fro here. The situation would only turn worse if we stay in here…」
Un…He knows that we’re in this hotel all this time…
Ichikawa-san’s subordinates will be coming over in addition to the people who are surrounding us outside…the people of Shirasaka house will come when Ichikawa-san contacts them…
We would lose our means of escape than now…
「…Then, let’s get out of the room. Everyone, get ready」
Margo-san and Katsuko-san closes their laptops when Minaho-neesan said that.
Megu gathers the luggage.
「…Maika, are you okay?」
I asked Maika while embracing her.
「Un…I’m already fine Onii-san.
…Even though it’s a lie.
Maika’s body is still trembling.
I know as I’m holding her.
I kissed Maika’s lips…
Maika got surprised for a moment, but still, she accepted my tongue.
Maika’s trembling stopped while our tongues twined with each other.
When we part our lips, Maika sighed out.
「…Puha! That’s cruel, Onii-san…」
「…You forcibly kissed Maika」
「…You hate it?」
「No…But, I want you to tell it when you’re going to do it」
「Then, I’m going to do it again」
「…I’m kissing you」
We kissed once again.
◇ ◇ ◇
We go down to the second floor using a business use elevator.
Then, we returned to the underground facility using the secret elevator from a while ago.
Does this basement have a secret passage leading somewhere?
「When this hotel was built…All of the blocks have been redeveloped」
Minaho-neesan told us while walking the long corridor.
「Therefore the underground of the infrastructures are connected with the neighboring buildings」
「Then, there’s a passage for maintenance?」
When I asked…
「No way…If there’s that sort of passage, they’ll surely know that there’s a lopehole」
「They’ll be able to come freely from the other buildings then」
「Then…Where are we going?」
「Well you see」
Margo-san, opens the iron door on the way of the corridor.
Inside is…a wide spaced machine room.
There’s big pipes on the wall and ceilings.
Is this electricity, gas, or water?…It’s hard to know.
There are pipes where people can walk through as well…
「There’s four big pipes here」
「One of them is a fake」
「Actually, it’s not connected with the other pipes. It connect straight to the next building.
We’re going in here」
Margo-san removed the cover of one of the pipes.
I see, we can enter here.
Margo-san crawls ahead with a flashlight in hand.
「The floor is curved circular so walk carefully. There are holes here and there so don’t worry about oxygen shortage. It’s dark so take care」
We go through a narrow space that would seem to hit adult on the head when they stand up.
The air feels bad in the pipe. It has a bad smell.
Margo-san goes ahead while lighting the front.
Katsuko-nee is having troubles since she’s carrying a laptop and baggage on both shoulders.
Megu and Maika are walking ahead of me holding hands.
Megu is holding the shopping back with her dress. Maika’s holding a small luggage.
I advance while holding the three bags we brought from Megu’s house.
Minaho-neesan from the endmost light up our steps with a flashlight.
We advanced through the pipe for 20 minutes.
Finally, Margo-san finds the exit.
「Un…This is the exit」
Margo-san goes out the pipe by herself.
As expected, it’s dark here too.
「…It’s okay. Come out one by one」
We get out one by one as told.
We’re in the underground machine room of a different building it seems.
I can hear vibrating sounds in the dark space.
「Everyone’s out…I think the exit is this way」
Again, Margo-san advances in the dark.
We reached an iron door again…
It’s not locked…It opened immediately.
Though the next room is dark as well…
「Ah…I’m turning on the lights」
Margo-san turned on the switch on the wall.
The fluorescent lamp flickers…
We’ve been in the dark all this time so it’s dazzling
「Lol, everyone’s having an awful face…!」
Everyone’s covered with dust…
「Maika’s the same」
I said and laughed at Maika.
「Hey…Wipe off the dust!」
Maika pats the back of my uniform!
「Wait wait, Maika-chan…! There’s still dust in here so do that outside!」
Margo-san told Maika while coughing.
When I look around…this is an emergency use storage.
There are lots of card board boxes queued in a shelf.
This must be a room where no one usually enters.
Margo-san shows a door on the depths.
When we opened the door…it was the parking lot of a building.
The scent of outside air…
「There’s no doubt…That’s the hotel building on the other side.」
「I assumed before that we will be arriving here. I have two cars prepared on this parking lot」
We somehow managed to escape.
「Then, Maika will dust you off!」
Maika hits my school uniform lightly.
I also took off the dust on Maika’s hair…
Megu is on Minaho-neesan…
Katsuko-nee’s dusting off Margo-san.
「…I want to go to bath soon」
I agree with Maika’s opinion.
There’s two light van Margo-san prepared beforehand.
As I thought, it has the 『Maruko Printing』in it.
「…Then, Margo and Katsuko will return to the mansion. I will be taking the children with me」
Minaho-neesan issues instructions
「Eh…We’re not returning to the mansion?」
「Yes…It would be dangerous if we all return. The three of you will stay on a different location tonight」
「You will go to school directly tomorrow from there. Therefore take only what’s necessary for tomorrow. Leave everything else on Margo’s car…」
「Okay got it」
Megumi who has the most luggage has replied to Minaho-neesan…
- それも別の方向にね……同じ方向の出口じゃ、一つが使えなくなったらもう一つもってことになるでしょ……？」 ↩