「Michi, are you fine with it too…?」
Misuzu looks at Michi.
Michi doesn’t seem to be interested in having a match against her sister.
「Michi…do you remember what your father told you?」
I asked Michi.
「Michi…you should make your own『Kudou style』already」
「Even if the opponent is your sister…Michi should fight」
「That’s right! Elder sister or any blood relation doesn’t matter! Just beat her up!」
Mana…you’re saying that even if Yukino’s next to you?
Her inferiority complex is quite complicated too…
I know know the reason why Minaho-neesan dressed Yukino horribly this morning.
Megu and Mana have their inferiority complex rooted into Yukino strongly…
『Mana and Megu dress up』and『Yukino’s dressed down』so their inferiority complex won’t be stimulated…
At least, if the preconception of『Yukino’s much beautiful than me』both of them will greatly improve…
「Kudou Haruka-san…do you know about me?」
Margo-san suddenly speaks to Kudou Haruka.
「Margo Starkweather-san…you’re a guard of『Kuromori』, right?」
Kudou Haruka seems to have investigated about us just in case…
「I’m only a year older than you but I’m doing this work for more than three years now. Let me give you an advice as a senior in the same industry…you don’t have the talent so you should stop being a guard…!」
Kudou Haruka’s expression turned severe.
「…You’re just a guard of a prostitution ring, don’t insult me who’s a member of Kouzuki Security service!」
「…Sorry. I’m a cold-hearted woman so I declare the people without talent about it clearly. You should quit before you trouble Kouzuki security service. This world isn’t a world for a dull child like you…!」
「I’m a Karate inter-high school champion! Which part of me do you think has no talent?!」
「That’s why, I think you should stay as an athlete. You can’t protect people. After all, you’re someone who should be protected…!」
Margo-san’s eyes are cold.
Kudou Haruka tries to hit Margo but…!
At that moment, Nei-san threw the ballpen from the desk to Kudou Haruka.
「Here you go!」
Kudou Haruka avoids that pen…!
Margo-san’s fist appears close to Kudou Haruka’s face.
…Stopping just before.
If she take one more step…
Kudou Haruka’s face would’ve been crushed.
As usual, Margo-san and Nei-san’s cooperation is amazing.
「…You still want to go?」
Kudou Haruka complains…
「You…if you were suddenly attacked by the enemy, would you tell them that?」
Kudou Haruka’s a karate player…
She’s not used to underground work.
「I-I was just relaxed just now! I will not fail like that in actual combat…!」
…Really, She’s no good.
「We’re having an actual fight right now though」
Kudou Haruka trembles from what Margo-san said.
「If it’s you and Michi-san, it might be just a sister’s fight but…if someone from the Kouzuki security service tries to punch someone from『Kuromori』isn’t that already『combat』?」
Margo-san speaks calmly.
「『Kuromori』is indebt with Kouzuki-san greatly but we’re not his subordinates. We’re an independent organization. Didn’t I ask you first if you know me…!」
「You know that I carry the『signboard』that I’m the guard of 『Kuromori』and yet…you picked a fight with me…!」
「That is because you insulted me!」
…If you’re going to say that.
Kudou Haruka insulted Misuzu and us a lot earlier.
「But, you’re the one who tried to hit me, right? Huh…you don’t know? At those times…the one who made a move first loses」
「T-That’s false charges…!」
「I wonder…there’s this much witnesses, there’s no way you can gloss it over」
Margo-san points at one of the girl under Kudou Haruka.
「Hey, what do you think? Who’s at fault just now…?」
Margo-san asked filled with composure.
The girl sent Kudou Haruka a glance…
「I’m asking your opinion so speak frankly!」
Margo-san’s words are calm but she’s not hiding her bloodthirst.
「Haruka-sama…this time, it’s our loss」
「W-What are you saying?」
Kudou Haruka’s surprised from her follower’s answer.
「In the first place…we’re the first ones who tried to provoke the other by insulting them so they would cause trouble…」
「…On top of being found out, Haruka-sama who’s provoked the same way and tried to beat them up, it’s a bit problematic」
「Also…that one even took the trouble of stopping right before it hits」
「Even morally, the one talking is right…」
The four followers all rebuked Kudou Haruka.
「ーIs what everyone’s saying though?」
Margo-san’s ahead of Kudou Haruka multiple times.
Fundamentally, the experience is too different.
「Michi…you should warn your sister」
Misuzu who’s been watching over the situation speaks.
「If she continues being a bodyguard, Haruka-san will die. Ruriko-san will be in horrible state too」
Michi stares at Misuzu…
Michi prepares herself.
She takes out a white glove from her pocket then throws it at her sister.
「W-What are you doing…Michi?」
The elder sister’s surprised…
「Aneue…no, now that it came to this, blood relation doesn’t matter. By my master, Kouzuki Misuzu’s decree, Kudou Haruka…I challenge you to a duel…!」1
「Don’t be ridiculous, for sisters to have a duel…!」
「It’s because we’re sisters…I will punish you for putting shame on Kudou family any further…!~」
Hearing that…Kudou Haruka
「Michi…do you really think that you can win against me?」
「…If I can’t win against a person like you then I’m not fit as Misuzu-sama’s guard…!」
The two glare at each other.
「…It’s definitely a 1 on 1 match right? They won’t be participating, right?」
Kudou Haruka looks at Margo-san with suspicious eyes.
「It’s a duel isn’t it? Then I won’t interfere. In the first place, she can beat you by herself…!」
Margo-san replied lightly.
「Are you saying that I’m weak?」
Kudou Haruka glared strongly.
「That’s right. You’re weak that you don’t notice how weak you are」
「Un…on top of being weak, an idiot too. That’s what you get from practicing only Karate I guess…」
「…The theater basement won’t be used today, right?」
Margo-san asks Misuzu.
「Yes, today’s the presentation for the classical Japanese dance so it won’t be using the revolving stage」
「…What’s theater basement?」
「Oh, Danna-sama…it’s the underground room below the stage」
Misuzu told me.
「Then, should we do it there? There’s no other place to duel in this theater, right?」
「Yes…there are guards everywhere in the hall」
「That said…I don’t want to go out of the theater right now」
We’ll purposely make ourselves target of Cesario Viola.
「Then, the duel location would be the theater basement…let’s settle this before the『symposium』begins」
「Yes…I will act as the witness. Are you fine with that, Haruka-san?」
Misuzu asks Kudou Haruka.
「…Got it, I’ll open the lock」
Kudou Haruka said.
「Then, call us out when you’re ready! And, when you lose, you’ll be penalized as a prostitute!」
「I don’t mind…either way, I’ll win. In exchange, if I win, you’ll have to give back Michi…!」
Give back Michi?
「…I’ll train Michi on Karate again. I’ll have to punish the little sister who opposes her elder sister thoroughly! This is all because of that foolish father’s brutal martial art『Kudou style』…Michi’s corrupted」
「You don’t know anything…Let me show you my growth」
Michi’s no longer hesitating.
「Hmph! I’ll punish you…remember that!」
Kudou Haruka’s going to underestimate her sister until the end.
「…Oh, so you’re here!」
There are two girls coming from the other side of the lobby.
I quickly realized that one one is the master while the other is the retainer.
「While I was practicing with Yoshiko at the dressing room…you were gone before I noticed. That’s troubling…!」
The long black haired beauty smiles at Kudou Haruka.
Her height is the same as Mana…her face looks similar to Misuzu.
As expected, she’s an exceptional beauty…she feels much more gentle than Misuzu.
Somehow…the word『elegance』fits her very much…
This girl is in front of me.
「…Ruriko-san. We’ll borrow Haruka-san for a while」
Misuzu called out her cousin, Kouzuki Ruriko.
If I recall, she’s 15 years old…third year in middle school.
「My…are you working something?」
Ruriko-san looked at the mountain of pamphlets in the desk and asked.
「Yes. Kanako-san asked us to fold the pamphlets into two」
Ignoring the dangerous atmosphere just now…Misuzu radiantly speaks to Ruriko-san.
「My, is that so?…Then, let me help out too. Yoshiko」
The retainer, Yoshiko-san looks like a high school student.
Like her master, Ruriko-san, she looks like a very gentle person.
「…Haruka-san and others, you have to return to the headquarters, are you not?」
Misuzu said calmly.
They have to make a reason to open the passage to the theater basement.
「My…is that so, Haruka-san?」
Ruriko-san asks her guard.
「Then, please hurry up and go. Yoshiko and I will be helping out Misuzu-san here…!」
Kudou Haruka hesitates to leave her master
「I’ll be protecting them here so I don’t think there would be any problems…!」
「Therefore, go already and just return at once…!」
「…Ruriko-sama. I will be coming back immediately. Yoshiko-san, please take care of her. Misuzu-sama too…don’t do anything unfair! Everyone, let’s go」
Kudou Haruka walks angrily.
Her four underling girls follow her.
「…Why is she saying ‘unfair’?」
Ruriko-san asks Misuzu.
「I wonder…Haruka-san is always furious in front of me…」
「Un, really, that girl just says what she wants, right?!」
Nei-san says while looking at Kudou Haruka’s back.
Ruriko-san bows to Misuzu.
「Don’t be…it is not something for Ruriko-san to lower her head for…!」
「But…Haruka-san did something rude, didn’t she? That girl pledges her loyalty to me but…her methods are wrong and her behavior is always excessive…!」
This girl…she noticed Kudou Haruka’s true nature.
「Even though Misuzu-san and I are not in a standpoint where we’re in a conflict… Inside Haruka-san’s head, we’re supposed to be rivals…」
As expected…Kuodu Haruka’s acting on her own.,
「If I’m a bit more firm…then I think I can stop her action in advance. I’m sorry. I’ve caused Misuzu-san inconvenience…!」
Ruriko-san’s worried about Misuzu from the bottom of her heart.
…I think she’s not a bad child.
「Don’t mind it. We’re cousins. Also, everyone helped me out…!」
Misuzu introduces us to Ruriko.
「Starting there, Margo-san. Nei-san.w Megumi-san Mana-san…」
Each of them bows to Ruriko.
Ruriko-san replies with a bow to each of them too.
When she reached Yukino, Misuzu stopped speaking…
Michi speaks instead of Misuzu.
「Oh right, Kuroko-san…!」
「My, wearing yellow and black dress, it suits your name very much…!」
Yukino didn’t say anything, she just has a downhearted face…
Still, she bows to Ruriko-san.
Ruriko-san’s the only daughter of the eldest son of Kouzuki『Kakka』…
She knows that she’s an Ojou-sama among Ojou-sama’s when it comes to nobility.
Or rather, hearing Ruriko-san talk this close
…She’s surely a『Super sheltered lady』
Blandly and softly…
There’s no evil at all…
She smiles at Yukino with a very innocent face.
Misuzu looks at my eyes.
I introduced myself.
It’s fine to know my real name if it’s just Ruriko-san but…
Her retainer, Yoshiko-san’s here.
I thought that it’s better to call myself『Kuromori』in this case.
Misuzu also took care not to say the last name of the girls…
「…Everyone’s Misuzu-san’s friend」
Misuzu spreads the pamphlet without saying anything else.
「Then…should we work?」
◇ ◇ ◇
Sitting side by side on the table…everyone begins to work at the pamphlets.
「If we have this number, we’ll finish this immediately…」
「Wait, Maru-chan…that’s crooked. You should alight the corners then fold!」
「Ah, sorry sorry…!」
「American’s are the only one bad at this things!」
Nei-san and Margo-san are messing around.
「Wait wait…Kuroko-san, do it firmly!」
「Really, you’re so bad!」
Mana’s scolding her sister again.
She’s working at an amazing speed. Furthemore, it’s delicate.
「You’re working so amazingly though…?!」
「Well…I’ve been the class representative often before so I’m used to this. Also…I’m the type that gets immersed when concentrating…」
Speaking of which, a while ago…she just kept folding the pamphlets without talking to anyone.
Somehow…it’s such a simple talk but each of their persinality comes out.
…Misuzu’s working on almost the same speed as Megu.
But, she still has the composure to talk to Ruriko-san while working.
Everyone here has different personality
Ruriko-san’s very careful but very slow…
On the time where others can finish at five…she somehow completes one.
「Horahora, Ruriko-sama…if you match the corners in here, you can do it smoothly…」
Yoshiko-san’s also terribly slow. She’s boundlessly careful though.
Ruriko-san speaks up while continuing her work.
「Nadeshiko-sensei praised Misuzu-san’s progress these past few days…!」
「I’m not making progress」
「No. As far as I can see, Misuzu-sama’s improving greatly…!」
「Even so…Nadeshiko-sensei has told us but」
「She said that Misuzu-san might’ve fallen in love…!」
Misuzu’s cheeks blushed from what Ruriko-san said.
「That is…by chance, today’s dance would be a love dance…」
「That is what Nadeshiko-sensei said however…Misuzu-san’s dance didn’t look like『A dance of a girl in love』until last week. And now…it’s firmly expressed as an『adult woman suffering from love』…」
Suffering from love?
Misuzu…are you suffering?
Ruriko-san looked at me.
「I have seen Misuzu-san holding hands with Kuromori-san during the other day when you entered the rehearsal…」
Oh right…at that time…
From the second floor window of the Konpeki style rehearsal building…
Ruriko-san and Kudou Haruka looks down at Misuzu and me.
Misuzu doesn’t seem to have any intention of hiding it to her cousin.
「I’ve fallen in love with him…!」
She holds my hand tightly…
Megu’s silent work stopped.
Yukino’s looking at us with a「Huh?」face
Margo-san and Nei-san are smiling.
Mana touched Megu’s shoulders.
「I want to bear this man’s child…!」
「My…my thoughts were right after all!」
Ruriko-san’s eyes are shining as she look at us.
「But…Misuzu-sama. How about your fiance?」
Yoshiko-san asks Misuzu.
「She’s right…Misuzu-san has a fiance grandfather has decided just like me…」
Ruriko-san’s face turned gloomy.
「We will talk to grandfather after the gathering today. Also…I’ll ask for his permission to be in a relationship with this man…!」
Misuzu said clearly.
「My, wonderful! I will support you…Misuzu-san!」
The 15 year old cousin is moved deeply…
「By the way…who is Misuzu-sama’s fiance?」
「Well…I can’t say it now」
Misuzu answers then looked at us.
「Please keep working…and please listen to my story」
「Ruriko-san and I are Kouzuki Shigetaka’s granddaughters. There are no other grandchildren. The current Kouzuki house has grandfather controlling everything…the successor of the family would be either Ruriko or me. Therefore…there are a lot of people who wants to be married to us aiming at the property of Kouzuki…」
If you marry Misuzu and Ruriko-san…you’ll inherit a huge wealth and power.
「Of course, there are men in the Kouzuki family as well…there are a lot of nobles intimate with Kouzuki house…politicians and foreigners…and relatives who are proposing to adopt their family to the bride. Ever since Ruriko-san and I were born…」
That’s already the talk even at baby stage.
「If this continues…a battle will start. Ruriko-san and my safety would be threatened. Therefore…grandfather had decided our『fiance』among the Kouzuki family
Once the fiance is decided…the quarrel will die out…
「However…it has never been announced who in the family is the『fiance』officially」
「If we announce it while we’re still young…the『fiance』would receive strong envy from the family. There might be people who’d try to kill him. Therefore, it’s unknown who’s the『fiance』decided until it’s announced」
「…Misuzu-san, do you know who is it?」
「Yes…I saw him during my 16th birthday」
「In short…the『fiance』guy knows his own standpoint too, right?」
「Yes…that is right」
Misuzu answered in a small voice.
「Since I’m 15 years old…I haven’t been told who’s my『fiance』yet」
「That『fiance』will be coming today, right?」
「Then…I’ll talk to him and break the engagement」
Misuzu looks at me.
Ruriko-san’s eyes shine, she’s impressed.
「That’s amazing. That’s wonderful!…I’ll support you! Misuzu-san!」
- It’s time to d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-duel! ↩