Our train of cars leaves the main gate of the mansion safely.
As usual, there are Kouzuki SS vehicles outside.
Misuzu’s not on board so they won’t follow. They’ll most likely stay and defend the mansion.
Oh, but the police are sending someone to follow us.
Although it’s just one car.
「 Well, it can’t be helped. This case has nothing to do with the police 」
Shou-neechan smiles wryly from the driver’s seat.
We’re going to meet the Yakuza from Kansai.
The police won’t take charge of this.
「 Although, I talked to the department in charge of organized gangs and the public safety department as well. But, Margo-san was with me so they’d get curious. The public safety department that is 」
The public security department knows the fact that Margo-san is a disciple of the internationally wanted Kyouko Messer.
They don’t think that Kyouko-san would appear in a hotel where the Yakuza’s in Japan will have a meeting, but they’re sending over one just in case. The police still have to make a report of this after all.
Therefore, the number of followers is smaller than usual.
Shou-neechan already told them where and what we’re going to do.
They don’t expect the cars to separate halfway.
「 Well, just leave them alone. Instead, since those people are keeping track of us, the police will keep us safe until we arrive at the hotel 」
The Kansai Yakuza aren’t idiots.
They won’t attack us in public while the police are watching.
They’re people who would have a bad time if they’re found out that they work for the other side by the police.
They don’t want to give the police a kick to have them start investigating them either.
「 I’m glad that Yamaoka-san’s over there now that it has come to this 」
「 He’s the former director of our company’s security department so he should be acquainted with the public security police. And considering his personality, he’ll surely tell the Yakuza “The police here are quite scary,” and all the other unnecessary things he could tell them 」
「 Why? 」
Actually, public security police are only interested in Kyouko-san.
They don’t care about the Yakuza.
「 He’d like to show his worth as a former security director of Kouzuki SS. That’s why, he’ll go say “Careful, that one’s a surveillance car from the public safety police! Those guys are much worse than the detectives assigned for the Yakuza” or something like that 」
Oh, he definitely would say that.
「 Besides, the Yakuza don’t deal with the public safety police either. That’s why they’d believe what Yamaoka-san would tell them and be more cautious 」
「 And so that’s why the Yakuza would refrain from attacking the mansion out of fear? 」
Speaking of which. They came attacking the gate yesterday, and yet,
I can’t see them anywhere today.
「 They don’t pick fights with people they don’t really know. Yakuza’s a gathering of timid people after all 」
「 They’ll be sure to plunder everything from people they know they can win against. If it’s someone they have a chance to lose, then they won’t fight. They fear risk 」
「 No, but they do have the image of trying to resolve whatever using violence 」
「 That’s only for the bottom pile of the Yakuza, those who follow orders. Those people are the first to be cut off and gunned down. The upper echelon of Yakuza hates to take the risk. Nobody wants to go to jail for years because of a trivial reason. They’ve done so many things and worked hard for the organization, and so that’s why they won’t accept imprisonment unless it’s 50 or 60 years 」
「 Now then, let’s return to the topic 」
Shou-neechan sends me a glance.
「 Earlier, about the discussion Misuzu-sama, had earlier about Kakka and Kuromori house, I’m in favor of it 」
「 Ah, don’t mind it, our conversation here is private. You don’t mind exchanging ideas with me, do you? 」
Earlier, in Misuzu’s discussion.
We’re one family, but.
Minaho-neesan’s standpoint is the leader of Kuromori. Shou-neechan is an employee of Kouzuki SS. Misuzu’s position is as a relative of Kouzuki house.
Therefore, it’s a problem to talk about Jii-chan that way.
As each of their standpoint, no, it may not be accepted due to the difference in their relationship with Jii-chan.
To Misuzu, he’s her grandfather. To Minaho-neesan, he’s a business partner. To Shou-neechan, he’s the owner of the company which she belongs.
「 That was indeed Misuzu-sama’s rashness. She should’ve made a private consultation where there are fewer people around 」
「 But, Misuzu started talking with everyone present 」
To Misuzu, the current family is much more important than Kouzui house.
「 She must’ve wanted to talk to everyone about it and have them accept Jii-chan 」
「 It must be, but there are steps for everything 」
Yeah, Misuzu’s rushing things.
「 If Kakka were to be received in the mansion, it would become hard. It won’t be just him but also Ootoku-san, and Yazawa-san following 」
Oh. I see.
There’s the thought that the security wouldn’t be a problem as we can leave it to Shou-neechan and Rei-chan, but,
Jii-chan’s bodyguards won’t leave him.
Chief Yazawa also wants to check on Jii-chan’s safety all the time.
「 When that happens, it will trouble Minaho-san, won’t it? Seeing that Yazawa-san and the bodyguards are now residents 」
It would mean that Yazawa-san and others will be inside of Kuromori.
Another organization with Jii-chan as the head will live together with us.
Jii-chan will act like a king no matter where he goes.
I mean, that’s the only lifestyle Jii-chan had since he was born.
And if he’s in our house;
If Jii-chan and Minaho-neesan disagree. Yazawa-san and Ootoku-san would be on his side, and it will be troublesome.
Yazawa-san will try to meet Jii-chan’s expectations no matter how unreasonable it can be.
「 That’s why, it has to be discussed in private what to do specifically, and what kind of preparations and monkey business needed to accept Kakka in the house 」
Discussing it behind closed doors with only a few people.
Then, advancing the steps to accept Jii-chan in.
「 But, I agree that Kakka should live together with you guys. To an old man, it’s happiness to see the smiles of young children 」
「 My granduncle was like that. He’s living with his son’s family, and there was a small girl in it. He looked happy to spend his old age watching the child grow. He’s passed away already though. I think it was right when the girl was about to become a high school student 」
Old people, especially men, become happy when they spend their old age with children.
It’s a world I couldn’t understand.
「 Kakka’s life with only Yoshiko-sama is indeed dark. It’s nothing compared to the cheerfulness of your house. Yoshiko-sama also seemed to have fun seeing her yesterday and today 」
「 Huh, all Yoshiko-san did was talk to Yukino though 」
Talking about professional shogi problems,
Professional bowling organizations got taken down and something.
This morning, she was talking about mahjong competition or something.
What kind of topic is that?
Just what happened to Yukino’s interests.
「 That’s what’s fun about it. Listening to stories about a world you don’t know or unrelated to you eases up your mind 」
「 Yoshiko-sama can meet Ruriko-sama in school, but she seems to be isolating herself in the class 」
「 She’s thought to be Ruriko-sama’s friend, but she’s suddenly declared as one of the successors of Kouzuki house. Her classmates are having trouble on how to deal with her 」
Oh. I see.
「 Furthermore, most of the students there have been there since nursery, see? 」
Misuzu, Ruriko, Yoshiko-san, and Michi are attending the best school for the wealthy family’s daughter in Japan.
It’s an entire school from kindergarten to university.
There would be girls enrolling halfway, but most of them know each other from an early age.
「 That’s even more trouble. She’s thought as an attendant, and so they may have done something rude to her. They’re not that close with her so they don’t know if they should keep it or not 」
「 And when she comes home, she’s alone with Kakka. Yoshiko-sama was only an attendant before, and so all she had to focus on was to attend to Ruriko, but she’s suddenly receiving a lecture on business admin and economics 」
It looks like that will happen if Jii-chan’s alone with Yoshiko-san.
Jii-chan’s fond of teaching. He even has his own private class.
「 If Ruriko-sama had been there then the two would be talking happily, but 」
Yoshiko-san feels lonely to be alone in the Kouzuki family’s mansion.
「 Therefore, she’s having fun talking to Yukino-san. Yukino-san talks to Yoshiko-sama without care after all 」
That’s what’s great about Yukino.
She doesn’t care who she talks to, she’ll always take it on her pace.
「 Therefore, I think that Yoshiko-sama’s real intention is to stay in Kuromori house 」
Got to do something about Jii-chan and Yoshiko-san.
「 U-Uhm 」
Kudou Haruka speaks from the backseat.
「 What? 」
Shou-neechan looks at Haruka through the rear-mirror
「 I-Is it okay for me to hear all of this? 」
Haruka asks anxiously.
「 Oh, you were listening? 」
「 I-I’m riding in the same car, I’d hear it. I heard it all 」
「 Didn’t you have the choice to pretend you didn’t hear anything? 」
「 W-What? 」
Kudou Haruka’s confused.
「 W-What does that mean? 」
Then, Edie who’s sitting next to her;
「 You’re in the same school as Michi and Ruriko, right? 」
「 Y-Yes, what about it? 」
Kudou Haruka’s temporarily hired to be Ruriko’s bodyguard, and so she attends the same school.
「 What year you’re in? 」
「 T-Third year? 」
I knew it, Haruka can’t deal with this brown-skinned blonde-haired genius American girl.
Edie’s two years younger and yet Haruka’s already polite to her.
「 What a coincidence, if I recall, Yoshiko’s also in third-year high school 」
「 Yes, she’s in the class next to me 」
Kudou Haruka replies with a confused look.
「 That’s enough Edie-chan. Looks like we can’t use her no matter what 」
Shou-neechan says while operating the steering wheel.
「 C-Can’t use? Me? 」
Kudou Haruka complains.
「 Do you know what “information leak” means? 」
Edie laughs as she asks.
「 It means to purposely let the other party discover some information to do what we want 」
「 What? What does that mean? 」
Oh, Haruka’s really an idiot.
Shou-neechan’s been talking to see if Kudou Haruka would try and support Yoshiko-san’s school life.
Yoshiko-san’s recognized as the daughter of Kouzuki house after all.
She’s no longer a retainer nor an escort.
It just happened that Kudou Haruka’s in the same school and she’s vacant.
It was a test whether Haruka’s useful or not.
「 You failed 」
「 W-What is this about? 」
「 I wonder, what do you think it is? 」
「 No, you see, you should give me a test before saying I’m disqualified. I’m not useless. I’m sure you’ll find a use for me 」
What happened now was the test.
「 Let me tell you this, for now, everything you heard just now will not go anywhere but here. If you tell anyone about it, then Kouzuki SS will dispose of you 」
「 Y-Yes! 」
Startled, Kudou Haruka straightens her posture.
「 That said, you’ll tell someone about it. I don’t mind either way. Your friends don’t trust you anymore after all 」
「 W-What are you talking about. I-I have a lot of friends. 」 They all tell me that I’m a good girl! 」
Kudou Haruka reacts.
「 The students in your school are all rich family daughters, or their bodyguards/attendants, right? 」
「 They already know about your mother expelled from Kouzuki SS. They also know that your mother was the cause of it 」
Haruka and Michi’s mother had an affair with the former security director Yamaoka, and both of them were useless during the fight with Cesario Viola.
They’ve abandoned their post, and chief Yazawa fired them.
「 You were confined in the hospital, and so you returned after the end of summer vacation, didn’t you? Did you not notice anything strange? Weren’t they all cold to you? 」
「 That’s 」
「 Well that’s natural, they can’t get along with someone that has Kouzuki house’s eyes on 」
「 Kouzuki SS is no longer a part of Kouzuki group companies. Kouzuki SS has all of its shares owned by Kakka alone. Shiba-san will be the manager of the group, but even he couldn’t use Kouzuki SS. Kouzuki SS is now a private company only for Kakka 」
Jii-chan’s second son killed the eldest, and so he created Kouzuki SS to protect the other families, especially his granddaughters.
It was Jii-chan’s second son who hired the hitman “Cesario Viola.”
On the surface, it looks like a company who specializes in guarding him, and other noble families, but.
In reality, it’s an organization with the combat prowess to fight even international crime groups.
「 Your mother worked for Kouzuki SS, and so your friends trusted you. But, your mother betrayed Kouzuki SS. Isn’t it natural for them to decline their relationship with you once that happens, don’t you think? 」
Much more, Haruka’s mother right now is…
She’s with Yamaoka, employed by the Yakuza.
From the noble ladies to the bodyguards, they’ll all avoid Kudou Haruka.
「 You should’ve seen their strange behavior after leaving the hospital and coming back to school. They’re distant. You thought that this can’t go on. You feel that way, and so you contacted Michi-chan, didn’t you? You were trying to promote yourself to Misuzu-sama through Michi-chan, to try and be employed by Kouzuki SS 」
Haruka isn’t officially employed yet, and so,
The people look at her differently.
「 T-That’s right, that’s why! 」
Haruka admitted it right away.
「 That’s why, please give me a test! It’s too cruel to be disqualified even though I didn’t take a test yet! 」
「 I’m not good at trying to market myself like Michi! Please look at my skills instead. 」
Why are you mentioning Michi?
「 She’s unfair. She’s buttering up Misuzu-sama and everyone. She only thinks of herself 」
「 Oh. Michi’s evaluation hasn’t gone down one bit in school, has it?
「 That’s right! She’s the same as me. She’s also that person’s daughter, and yet, I’m the only one taking all of the scandal’s embers, and now I’m in the worse position and yet, nothing changed in her! It’s strange! That girl’s unfair 」
Elder and younger sisters.
「 That girl did something while I was in the hospital! That’s why my reputation fell! 」
「 That’s not it 」
「 But, she’s always sticking to Misuzu-sama. Usually, she should also ask to recommend me, her sister! That girl’s my little sister, you know! 」
Haruka can’t throw her complains to Shou-neechan, and so,
She throws all of her ill-feelings to me.
「 You really don’t get it 」
Edie said, looking amazed.
「 What do you know?! 」
「 It’s the opposite 」
「 Everyone knows that your mother committed a scandal. That’s why Ruriko and Misuzu approach Michi themselves when people who resent her are watching. They show that they’re close with her 」
「 That’s why they all okay with Michi. It’s not Michi. Michi’s not good at dealing with those people. I mean, Michi’s the type who doesn’t care about the evaluation of people around her 」
Michi’s like that.
「 That’s why Ruriko and Misuzu look after Michi 」
「 They all are good girls 」
But, Kudou Haruka;
「 That can’t be true! Why would a lady of Kouzuki house look out for a bodyguard like Michi!? That can’t be!! That’s ridiculous!!! 」
Kudou Haruka only lives within her narrow-spaced imagination.
「 Do you know how Michi calls Misuzu and the girls recently? 」
「 I-I don’t! I don’t care!! 」
No, you should.
「 Michi calls Misuzu “Misuzu-oneesama” and Ruriko “Ruriruri” 」
「 On the other hand, Ruriko calls Michi “Mitchi” 」
The way you call a person shows your relationship with them.
「 W-What’s with that?! 」
「 It’s the truth 」
「 The truth 」
「 Hey, wait! Seki-san! Look, isn’t Michi much ruder than me?! She’s being disrespectful to the ladies of Kouzuki house!! You can’t allow that. You should punish her!! 」
「 Really? Misuzu-sama gave her permission, and so I don’t see any problem with it 」
Shou-neechan replies, coldly.
「 But, it’s Michi! 」
「 Yes, it’s Michi-chan. She’s cute. Misuzu-sama loves her as a little sister, and Ruriko-sama treats her as a close friend 」
「 That’s not allowed! 」
What’s not allowed?
「 Geez, just how far did she go on promoting herself! 」
Ah, it’s spinning around in circles again.
Just what’s going on inside Haruka’s head.
「 It can’t be helped. Michi-chan’s cute unlike you 」
「 Right, Michi’s cute. Unlike you 」
Shou-neechan and Edie laugh mockingly.
「 I see! That’s what she’s using! That’s unfair of her! 」
「 Wrong 」
「 Michi’s cute. But, Kudou Haruka-san, you’re not. That’s all 」
「 What’s with that way of saying. Don’t look down on me! 」
「 Haruka-san, when you were temporarily hired as Ruriko-san’s bodyguard, you were looking at the people around you with a self-important attitude, haven’t you? That was being irresponsible as a bodyguard 」
I’ve seen Haruka’s irresponsibility during the traditional dance event.
She’s Ruriko’s bodyguard, and yet she’s not near Ruriko’s side at all.
「 I-I 」
「 I’ve read the reports about you, do you think that nobody’s watching? 」
「 As for Michi-chan, she’s always with Misuzu-sama no matter what, she doesn’t say anything unneeded on the other students, has she? She’s still modest-mannered. She always acts while considering her master. Unlike you who keep talking about the information, you know to other people 」
I knew it, she talks a lot.
「 For example, the floor plan on Kouzuki house, or even the meals they’re having. You don’t even know how confidential that is 」
That information can be used for an attack plan if leaked out.
I mean, you can’t trust a security officer who talks about their master’s house without care.
「 In that regard, Michi-chan works amazingly as a bodyguard. She gets a full score. The girls in your school all know how well Michi-chan works. Honestly, Kouzuki SS received offers to hand Michi-chan to their daughter instead this spring. Most of them were from the Kouzuki clan 」
Other families want Michi as their bodyguard.
「 Although there are hardly any voices saying that anymore. Everyone in the school knows that Misuzu-sama and Ruriko-sama trust Michi-chan and treats her like a family. There are only a few people in that school who know Michi-chan’s strength as a bodyguard. Some laugh at the name of Kudou style martial arts. But, they don’t look down on Michi-chan’s role as a bodyguard. They all respect her. That’s why Michi-chan’s evaluation didn’t go down even if her mother caused a scandal 」
Misuzu and Ruriko is looking out for her but also,
It’s all the result of Michi’s effort above all.
They can see it.
「 I-I I can’t agree with this! 」
Kudou Haruka said.
「 I can’t possibly be inferior to Michi 」
You lost to Michi last May and even today.
「 Well, if that’s what you think then stay in your closed world 」
Shou-neechan speaks coldly.