「 Well done talking about it, now we understand the identity of what you’re most afraid of 」
Katsuko-nee tells me.
「 Now that we know the reason, we’ll deal with it later. Leave this to us 」
She said with a smile.
「 No, but, I 」
I don’t believe that this happy time, this happy life will last forever.
Everyone will abandon me, will go away.
I know that.
「 “Tomorrow might not come, and yet you can spend today as if you could live forever, that’s amazing” do you know that line? 」
Katsuko-nee asks me.
Of course, I don’t.
「 Mahabarata 」
「 Yes. Mana-chan knows it seems! 」
「 I heard the school principal saying that before 」
Mana replies gently.
「 Yes, humans don’t know what tomorrow brings. They might die in an accident suddenly, or they may suffer from sudden illness. There’s no guarantee that your life lasts until tomorrow 」
Katsuko-nee looks straight at me.
「 But, humans make promises for tomorrow without a problem. They make schedules for a week, a month, a year. That’s amazing, is it not? 」
Humans believe in the future that may not come to come.
「 This line came out at the end of the dialogue of Yudhistira at the Mahabharat range. The question of the lake was “what is the most wonderful thing in the world,” then Yudhistira replied, “It’s wonderful to spend the day as if you could live forever even though tomorrow may not come” 」
That is the most wonderful thing in the world.
「 We can’t give you assurance on your worries 」
「 Because even Ojou-sama or I don’t know when we will die. Nagisa and others too. We might die from a traffic accident, a fire, or someone stabbed us, we may slip on a muddy road and hit our head, or a meteorite drops and hit our body 」
「 If I recall, there was an Italian monk who made an example. A person who died from a meteor strike. As expected, they mentioned that it might be divine punishment, so he wasn’t given a proper funeral 」
So there’s that kind of unfortunate death too.
「 Everyone’s facing death every day. Do you know “Manchester’s United Munich’s tragedy”? 」
「 No 」
「 This is a story from quite long ago; a British professional football team on expedition’s plane crashed. Out of four passengers, 23 died. Eight top team players were included among them. Furthermore, two players were beyond recovery. It was a horrible aircraft accident 」
The entire team had a plane crash?
「 Even those who miraculously survived have injuries and mental traumas left in them, it took ten years to rebuild Manchester United 」
So that happened.
「 You know that planes have risks, right? Therefore, actors in Kabuki, parents, and children never go on the same plane. If ever the plane crashes, if the parent and children were together then the house will cease to exist. Especially the Royal Family in Europe. The King and Prince don’t board the same plane. The president and vice preside of US as well. If anything happened to the president, the vice president is supposed to take over the duties. They can’t ride the same plane 」
「 This is because is facing the possibility of death. People are always taking into account that they don’t know when they would die. That’s how people are 」
「 Dear, have you seen a Noh? I guess not 」
「 At Noh theater, there are people in black clothes called “theatrical assistants” Do you know what their job is? 」
Of course, I don’t.
「 If ever anything happens to the Noh Master working at the stage, for example, him falling down or suddenly dying, they’d play the role instead 」
「 Noh is a samurai entertainment, they’re supposed to put to stage the soul of the samurai who died for the Gods in ancient times so one must play adequately and return God and the soul to heaven. If there’s a sudden accident, even if there is an enemy army attacking, they have to continue the play until the end. Therefore, there’s always someone who’s ready to substitute on the stage 」
That also means facing death.
「 People die in the end. No one doesn’t die. Funerals are sad. The end of human life is always unfortunate. But, everyone’s living happily, right? 」
「 “It is wonderful that one can spend today as if one could live forever even though tomorrow may not come” is right. We always have the possibility of suffering from a sudden tragedy, and yet we live dreaming of the future. We make an effort to become happy. Isn’t that just useless? 」
「 I don’t think that’s true 」
「 Right? Everyone is fighting against that reality while living 」
「 I think that if you think that way, then it’s okay on its own. Everyone will leave you someday, knowing that they’ll part from you, so you want to do your best nor. I think that it’s impressive 」
Katsuko-nee smiles at me.
「 If it were Misuzu-san and Ruriko-san then they’d say “That’s not true. I’ll never leave you forever” while crying. But for Nagisa, Ojou-sama and me, well 」
She bends her lips sadly.
「 Our daily life with our family was suddenly taken away one day 」
Katsuko-nee and the two were all kidnapped and captured by Shirasaka Sousuke, turned to a prostitute.
「 There’s nothing absolute in this world. You don’t know when happiness in front of you disappears, I know it from experience 」
Oh. I see.
I’m not the only one who feels that the family isn’t eternal.
「 Nei too. That girl had her parents killed one day, and she was captured 」
「 But, I’ll work hard. There’s nothing absolute in this world. Any happiness may be short-lived. But, that doesn’t mean that we have to give up from being happy! 」
「 I don’t mind if you don’t trust us. I’ll do all my best until you do. I don’t care no matter how long it takes, even if it’s on the last moment of my life, if you believe in my love even for just a second then I’m okay with it! 」
「 I-I’d die before you. As much as possible. But, don’t worry, if you die before me, then I’ll chase you right away. A world without you has no worth for me! 」
「 Sorry, Katsuko-nee 」
「 You don’t have to apologize. After all, it only has just begun. There’s nothing wrong on how we would live our future together 」
「 I have no complaints on you right now. I will accept all of you, including all the dark shadows in your heart. Didn’t you accept us the same way? 」
「 But, I’m the man, and I have an obligation in the family 」
「 There’s no obligation. A family is a family. Therefore, it’s a family. We just want to be kind to you. You just want to be kind to us too. That’s all 」
「 Think of obligations when you’re a father. For now, enjoy being in the family 」
「 You already have a lot of family with you. Just like how you want to protect us, each one of your family wants to preserve this happiness too. You’re not alone 」
Am I not alone?1
「 Perhaps, the family might decrease because of various events. There might be someone who parts from us. But perhaps, it’s okay, out the family had become so big before we noticed it. I think it’s less likely for everyone to be gone than the earth exploding. I can’t guarantee it though. But, we’ll never lose when it comes to vitality so we might survive the earth’s explosion! 」
Katsuko-nee smiles at me.
「 Also, anyway, we don’t know the future for now but, some girls can’t survive without you so take care of them 」
Katsuko-nee said. Agnes looks up at me.
「 Agnes is in trouble if Papa’s gone 」
「 Me too, Onii-chan. If Onii-chan goes away now, then I don’t have the confidence to live anymore 」
「 Sorry, I’ve been whining a lot 」
「 It’s okay, go and whine. Or should I say that you should complain more! Onii-chan no baka 」
Mana hugs me.
「 With that said, he has us 」
Katsuko-nee looks at Yukino.
「 Both of you felt despair from people, so you lost the ability to trust them. You two are similar in that sense 」
Yukino stays silent. She’s holding her breath.
「 But, even he doesn’t trust people, he’s devoting himself in loving us. Therefore, we support him, will never betray him 」
I have a family. Even if I don’t know the future, today, at this moment…
「 But, you closed yourself in a shell, in a quite tall tower. You just look down on people from there and not trying to take a step outside 」
Katsuko-nee appraises Yukino as such.
「 It went well until now. You have Shirasaka house’s shielding, and since your father is a manager of a first-class company, and your selfish pride was sustained in monetary terms as well. You have no worth, and yet, you lived as you please as a member of the upper class 」
Yukino’s staying quiet.
「 But, what do you want to do in the future? You don’t have any shielding anymore. On the contrary, your status quo fell so much that the world is talking behind your back. You can keep your pride right now or commit suicide from insanity, it’s one of those two 」
Slowly, Yukino looks up.
「 That’s none of your business! 」
Yukino shouts loudly while puffing her chest with pride.
「 I’ll manage by myself. I don’t remember asking for your help!!! 」
「 Oh, I see. Then I don’t care anymore. We won’t make considerations for you anymore 」
「 It would be beneficial that way!!! 」
Yukino. It’s the beyond-help Yukino.
「 Well, let’s go back now. Let’s leave Yukino-san alone. That’s what she wishes for 」
Katsuko-nee tells us.
「 Katsuko-san, could you leave just the three of us? 」
「 Mana-chan, unfortunately, it’s impossible for Yukino-san to be welcomed in the family on your plan. No matter how you think about it 」
Katsuko-nee tells Mana.
「 I know that, but 」
Mana looks at her sister.
「 I just want to make a proper farewell with Onee-chan 」
「 Yukino-oneechan, I talked to Minaho-oneechan earlier 」
Mana sends Yukino an earnest look.
「 Then, I decided to be adopted to Kuromori family. I won’t be a child of Shirasaka family anymore 」
「 We’ll handle the family register. Shirasaka Maika will go to America and announce missing there. Then, a girl coming back to Japan from America will be adopted to Ojou-sama’s family register as an adopted daughter 」
Just like with Nei.
Nei’s still living by the Canadian register Kyouko-san obtained for her.
Therefore, the name Natou Nei isn’t recorded in our school.
The actual “Najima Yasuko’s” register is still missing in America.
「 Therefore, this will be the last time I’d call Yukino-oneechan as Onee-chan 」
「 I see 」
「 Katsuko-san, please, give us time with just us three 」
「 What do you think, Dear? 」
I look at Yukino and Mana.
I can understand Mana’s feelings. Then, I don’t think it’s okay to let Yukino and her be together alone.
It’s unknown when Yukino snaps.
Yukino thinks that Mana’s under the control of Shirasaka house.
「 Let’s do what Mana wants 」
I look at Agnes in my arms.
「 Agnes, could you go back with Katsuko-nee to the dining room? 」
「 Eeeh 」
Agnes looks worried.
It seems she’s scared of Yukino’s glare.
「 I’ll be fine, oh right, could you prepare the bath? 」
「 Can Agnes join in too? 」
「Yeah, I promise 」
「 Okay, desuno 」
「 Good girl 」
I kiss Agnes’ forehead.
「 Katsuko-nee, please 」
「 Yes, come, Agnes-chan 」
「 Yes, desuno! 」
Agnes goes to Katsuko-nee after picking up her clothes.
「 Ojou-sama will continue to monitor. Please don’t forget that 」
Katsuko-nee said as she carries Agnes
「 Yeah, I know 」
Minaho-neesan is watching us at this moment.
「 We’ll be going then 」
I suddenly realized when Katsuko-nee said that.
「 Wait, Agnes! 」
Agnes’ blue eyes look at me.
「 Say goodbye to that lady over there 」
「 What? 」
「 Don’t mind it, it’s just a goodbye 」
「 But, she’s glaring at Agnes 」
「 That’s why say “Goodbye” 」
Agnes is also Yukino’s half-sister.
This will probably the last time Agnes would see her.
「 Onee-chan, goodbye 」
Agnes tells Yukino.
「 Sure, goodbye, I don’t know who you are but, bye bye 」
Yukino replies with a cold voice.
◇ ◇ ◇
Katsuko-nee and Agnes leave the room.
Only Yukino, Mana, and I remain in the room.
「 There’s nothing I want to tell you though 」
「 All I can say is it’s stupid for you to abandon the Shirasaka name and become that woman’s adopted daughter 」
「 So what about you Onee-chan? Seriously, what would you do from now on? 」
Mana asks her sister.
「 I don’t know! 」
「 You can’t end up just not knowing what to do you know?! 」
「 I’ll manage somehow! 」
「 You can’t manage it that’s why this is happening! 」
Mana’s words are sharp.
「 S-Shut up! You’re just Miaka! 」
「 I’m Mana. Shriasaka Maika’s already done. After all, my future is pitch black if I continue to be Shirasaka Maika 」
「 T-That’s 」
「 But still, does Onee-chan want to continue living as Shirasaka Yukino, right? 」
「 I mean. It’s just frustrating! 」
「 To live like you who changed name shows that I lost to them. That’s frustrating! 」
Yukino points at me and said.
「 You lost. What now, does Onee-chan plan to win? 」
「 As long as I don’t recognize defeat Shirasaka house hasn’t lost!! 」
「 Shirasaka house you say? Yukino-oneechan, are you the representative of Shirasaka house? Shiraska house already raised a white flag to Kouzuki-san. It’s a complete defeat 」
「 My heart hasn’t lost yet! 」
「 Yukino shouts loudly 」
「 Because I didn’t do anything wrong and yet why do I have to experience all this?! 」
「 What are you saying this late, Yukino-oneechan 」
「 Besides, I know that Yukino-oneechan has bullied Megu-oneechan a lot. That’s just an appropriate punishment! 」
「 What are you talking about! Megumi’s Papa’s illegitimate child so she should suffer more! 」
「 Megumi was Shirasaka Sousuke’s illegitimate child? Then Megu herself has no sin. She hasn’t done anything wrong to Yukino, right? Megu has tried to get along with Yukino all this time, didn’t she?! 」
I’ve seen Yukino shout at Megu since long ago.
Megu was trying to encourage Yukino who got raped by me.
Yukino hated Megu’s worry and spoke a lot of horrible things to Megu.
「 Megumi’s existence itself is a sin! That woman shouldn’t have been born!!! 」
「 Then that also means that your sin is also a sin because you’re Shirasaka Sousuke’s daughter. You can’t complain if we mess up your life 」
Shirasaka Sousuke raped Megu’s mother. Megu’s born as a result.
Megu has no sin.
If she can’t forgive Megu’s existence, then.
Those who had a grudge against Shirasaka Sousuke, us, is justified in making his daughter, Yukino suffer.
「 Haa, why!?! Megumi and I have different status! 」
Yukino still continues to live in her high tower.
「 You’re right. Comparing Yukino-oneechan and Megu-oneechan. Megu-oneechan’s much better
「 Mana, these people have brainwashed you! 」
「 What about you Yukino-oneechan. You should return to reality already! 」
「 The reality for you people is just a strange world for me!! 」
「 Haa 」
「 In my case, I was thinking like how Yukino-oneechan does before so I can understand why you’re so stubborn and top-heavy. That’s why it’s painful. How can you wake up from this? 」
「 Maika’s the one with her eyes clouded! Are you an idiot? You’re stupid and immature.
Even if you follow that man, he’ll just throw you like a cigarette on the road! 」
「 He’s not stupid! He’s my Onii-chan! 」
Mana hugs me.
「 He’s just a stupid face! Look at his face! 」
「 He’s not a stupid face 」
No, enough with the stupid-face argument, please.
「 Onee-chan’s the idiot here! You got everyone angry, even though so many people tried to extend their hands to help you, you just keep on screaming and made it all useless 」
「 Who cares! They’re all just looking down on me saying “Do you want help?” It gets on my nerves! I’d never lower my head to them asking for help! In the first place, these people aren’t even letting me eat proper food!
「 That’s because Onee-chan went to the kitchen without permission and stole rice! 」
「 I’m hungry, so I can’t help it! 」
This is getting helpless.
「 Do you want us to cut out water and umaibo and have you starve to death, Yukino? 」
「 W-What? 」
「 That too isn’t free. We don’t have a reason to make you eat free meals anymore 」
Though I say it’s not free, Umaibo is 10 yen per stick though.
「 That’s right. Yukino-oneechan has no worth in keeping anymore 」
Mana attacks Yukino.
「 W-What, a-are you going to kill me? 」
She’s afraid of me inside of her mind.
Yukino thinks that I might suddenly snap and kill her.
「 You see; Yukino’s good-for-nothing now. You don’t have any value in living 」
「 T-Trying to threaten me? I won’t yield to you from that! 」
「 Sorry. I’m just dumb, so I’m not good with negotiations 」
This isn’t a threat.
「 Minaho-neesan’s monitoring us. Even now. We don’t know what Yukino would tell others outside so we can’t release you now, can we? Even so, it’s just a waste of food if we keep you confined in the mansion like now. Don’t you think? 」
「 So are you killing me off from that reason? 」
「 That’s the only conclusion it leads to 」
「 What’s with that?! I’m Shirasaka Yukino! A member of the Shirasaka clan! I’m on an entirely different level from you people! 」
「 That’s not it 」
「 I know it! I know every corner of your body! You have two moles in your ass. You haven’t seen them, have you? I did! 」
I don’t know what’s in Yukino’s mind.
But, I know everything in Yukino’s body.
「 I know the smell of your piss 」
Yukino’s face is becoming pale.
「 Ah, I haven’t seen your shit though 」
『 Do you want an enema? I have an enema for horses here 』
Katsuko-nee’s voice comes from the speaker.
Katsuko-nee’s also watching with Minaho-neesan.
「 Not now, but thanks. Katsuko-nee! 」
I shout at the ceiling.
「 Even if you make her body yield, in Yukino’s case, she’ll forget it right away. Once her body returns to her original, then it’ll be the same Yukino as now 」
Yukino never changes.
「 Yukino, I know it. You’re just an ordinary woman. Just like us 」
「 W-Wrong! I! 」
Yukino can’t agree.
「 Rather, Yukino-oneechan’s inferior 」
Mana tells her sister.
「 Beauty, intelligence, elegance? Misuzu-oneechan, Ruri-oneechan, Nei-san, Katsuko-san, and Nagisa-san defeats you ultimately can’t they?! In cuteness, you lose to Michi-oneechan and Agnes-chan! 」
「 I 」
「 You know it yourself, don’t you?! Onee-chan’s the most useless 」
「 That’s not true 」
「 That is true! That’s why Onii-chan doesn’t embrace you anymore! 」
「 There’s no more charm as a woman from Onee-chan! Onee-chan’s just noisy, unsightly, disgraceful, I hate you. I hate you! I hate you Onee-chan!! 」
Mana shouts while having tears in her eyes.
「 I-I 」
「 P-Papa always praises me! He says Yukino’s cute. Yukino’s the best girl. My angel, he said! 」
Shirasaka Sousuke has pampered her so much.
That’s the starting point of Yukino’s pride.
「 That’s right! Go and ask Papa! Papa knows me best! He loves me so much that he’ll do anything I say! He loves me more than Maika!!! 」
「 Papa’s already gone! Papa’s dead!!! 」
Yukino’s heart shakes in despair.
「 T-That’s right. Y-You all, you all killed Papa!! 」
Yukino looks at me, trembling.
「 I won’t forgive you. I’ll never forgive you all 」
「 Yeah. Sure you don’t. So what would you do now? 」
「 ？！ 」
Yukino’s stunned from what I said.
「 Shirasaka Sousuke who pampered Yukino, who accepted Yukino’s charm is no longer here. Shirasaka Moritsugu who’s supposed to favor you is now retired. No one’s coming to help you anymore 」
「 Yeah, what are you going to do Yukino-oneechan from now on? No, I’m asking seriously because I don’t know 」
Yukino finally faces the reality she looks away from.
「 Yukino-oneechan is the only one in the world who thinks that Yukino-oneechan still has worth. So, what would you do in the future? The whole Japan knows that Onee-chan’s Shirasaka Sousuke’s daughter 」
「 Yukino’s videos are all over the internet, you even appeared on the live broadcast on a morning variety show 」
「 The internet is tough to understand, even the old people in the rural areas know about Yukino-oneechan 」
Yukino turns pale.
「 Onee-chan, you have nowhere to escape you know? 」
- Just how many times do you have to realize this before you understand this? ↩