「 Please come this way 」
Kinoshita-san leads the way with a smile.
It looks like she’s in charge of guiding us.
Leaving the Yakuza who were dumbfounded by the developments behind, we head to the northern side and left the room.
Margo-san, Nei, Michi, Edie, and me.
Speaking of which, where’s Kudou Haruka.
She carried her mother together with her brother.
「 Going through!! 」
The two guards from Kouzuki SS holding the door let us through.
The doors won’t open unless Kinoshita-san authorizes it with her fingerprint.
Then, we’re in front of the elevator.
「 This elevator also has an authentication system 」
Kinoshita-san places her hand on the panel, and the elevator door opens.
「 Let’s go 」
◇ ◇ ◇
We arrived in the VIP room where Jii-chan’s staying.
Looking down, I see the glass wall, and below it is the room we were in earlier.
「 Kou-sama! 」
「 Sensei! 」
「 Nii-san! 」
The Takakura sisters in their shrine maiden clothing saw me and rushed while crying.
「 Kou-sama, I 」
「 I 」
「 Me too! 」
The three of them found out that their aunt is the mastermind of all this.
And the one manipulating their aunt was their late mother.
Currently, they’re shaken as they watched their aunt die.
「 It’s okay now, you’ll be fine 」
I hug the three.
「 That’s right. Yo-chan’s here, it’s okay now 」
「 You don’t have to worry 」
「 It’s okay~ 」
Nei, Michi, and Edie pat the back of the three gently.
Then, the sister’s heart softens up.
The three of them starts crying louder.
I hug the girls and keep on patting their back.
「 You’ve accumulated their trust towards you since yesterday 」
Minaho-neesan shows up.
「 You can hug Yoshinobu all you want once we come back home. Sorry but Kouzuki-sama’s waiting. I’ll borrow him for a while 」
She tells the sisters.
「 Go, Yo-chan. You have something you have to tell Kouzuki-ojiichan, right? 」
Nei tells me.
I’m taking custody of Tsukiko and the two, they won’t become prostitutes.
I have to explain that to Jii-chan.
「 Hold it for a while longer Tsukiko-chan. Yo-chan’s going to talk to Kouzuki-ojiichan about you girls 」
Nei said and hugs the sisters tightly.
「 We’re here with you, please hold it for a while 」
「 Indeed 」
Tsukiko wipes off her tears.
「 Yes. We’re okay now, I feel relieved seeing Kou-sama and everyone. Sorry, I’m the eldest and yet, We’ll wait here. Please go on, Kou-sama 」
The eldest sister speaks firmly.
「 Yeah, I’m going 」
「 Kouzuki-sama’s waiting in the room in the back, come with me 」
I follow Minaho-neesan to another room.
◇ ◇ ◇
「 Who’s there? 」
「 Kuromori. I have my brother with me 」
「 Come in 」
This must be the waiting room for the VIP area.
Chief Yazawa and Jii-chan are in a 6 tatami sized room.
「 Then as mentioned earlier, you should switch with Seki-kun by now. I’ve imposed a lot of hard work from her this time 」
「 I think that it’s a necessary test on we’re to hand over Kouzuki SS to Seki in the future. It was the first time she had control on all of the sections of the company 」
「 Tell her that she passed 」
「 Certainly 」
Chief Yazawa salutes and leaves the room.
「 Jii-chan, you seem tired 」
Now that it’s just the three of us, I asked him.
「 That’s obvious, I didn’t think that I’d have to play a role at this age 」
「 That woman, Takakura Kiyomi told me that she didn’t know about Kouzuki house until she heard it from Oodori 」
「 Perhaps, the late shrine maiden knew about it. Furthermore, the idea was distorted 」
Tsukiko’s mother knows about Kouzuki house?
「 I have that experience. As I’m the eldest of Kouzuki house, it’s established that I will succeed as the owner. Nevertheless, there’s a lot of unexpected events until I was announced as the head 」
Jii-chan stopped and saw that Minaho-neesan and I aren’t seating yet.
He points at a chair.
We bring in a chair near the wall and sit down.
「 Takakura Kiyomi didn’t become the shrine maiden but confessed that she’s stronger than her sister. However, the elder sister has become the shrine maiden, and she is aware that she has to become one. It’s similar to the Kouzuki name. Kouzuki house is a family of wealthy people living in Kyoto from the start. If you go further back, it becomes a direct lineage in the Imperial court, the department of divinities. Shrines, priests, shrine maidens, mediating them is an old tradition of the Kouzuki house. Takakura shrine is an old one 」
「 That is why I had to act as the mediator according to the image of the late shrine maiden about me. If not, Takakura Kiyomi, who has her sister’s thoughts deeply rooted to her, won’t be as obedient as that. She testified that she didn’t use her power in me, but in fact, she did use a small amount of it, I believe. If not, I couldn’t possibly entrust the Takakura sisters to you. In short, the order was to keep the Takakura sisters in the most optimal custody. I think that’s the only command she gave me 」
I see. If it wasn’t because of the “power,”
Then Jii-chan wouldn’t bring in the sisters to a place where Ruriko stays.
After all, the Yakuza’s chasing after the sisters.
「 However, that’s all there is to it. Perhaps, she didn’t try to control me. The reason why Takakura Kiyomi didn’t go further is that her sister’s memory has some fear towards the Kouzuki house. In other words, she’s asking for help from the past Kouzuki, our prior authority 」
Kouzuki house used to be in charge of shrines.
Inheriting that memory from the late shrine maiden,
Kiyomi-san who has her mind overlapping with the late shrine maiden is under that impression.
Therefore, the mediation was entrusted to Jii-chan.
「 Meanwhile, I had to act in various ways just to match the image of that crazy woman. She probably won’t agree to anything unless I convinced her that I’m a man who holds overwhelming power. You can say that it went well for now. I succeeded in making Takakura Kiyomi commit suicide 」
Kiyomi-san’s suicide is a success.
No, there’s no other way, it’s unavoidable.
「 Have you seen the international news yesterday? About Mexico 」
Jii-chan asks me.
「 What news? 」
「 A gang in Mexico attacked a hospital car and stole all the goods that were for delivery. The gang took it because they thought it was something valuable, but the contents were a mass of “Cobalt 60” used for radiation therapy. It’s something where you touch for a few minutes and die due to radiation exposure. The police that they only found the empty protection case, but they found neither the gang nor the radioactive material. The gangsters maybe carrying something they don’t even know 」
「 Could it be that the people who got close to the gang were exposed? 」
「 You’re correct. And the problem progresses at this moment 」
There are people with radioactive material loitering around Mexico.
「 Cobalt 60 can be re-used as a weapon. It’s the so-called dirty bomb. If used for terrorism, it will ensure thousands of victims. Therefore, even the American police in the neighboring state is desperately trying to track the gang. It would be nice if the gangs ask the authorities for recovery once they become aware of the dangers of what they’re carrying, but if they dump it illegally somewhere, or if they sold it to terrorists, it would be dreadful 」
Yeah, that would definitely get scary. It’s a bomb.
「 Well, it’s a faraway country, and so we have to wait for the follow-up 」
As expected, Jii-chan couldn’t do anything in an incident in Mexico.
「 The Takakura shrine maiden case is similar to that story 」
「 The Takakura shrine maidens are a fearsome existence that would have horrible consequences when misused. And yet, the Yakuza’s controlling and managing that dangerous existence for some reason. On top of that, they only use it for their silly game called “arbitration ritual.” 」
The Yakuza’s in control of the Takakura shrine, but they clearly don’t know what to do with it.
「 It’s basically the same as the Mexican gang who’s carrying around radioactive materials without knowing how much power it contains. Fortunately, the old Yakuza didn’t notice what could be the use of Miko power. They were only interested in the balance of their power relationship in the Yakuza world. They didn’t want a single faction standing out. They’ve only thought of coexisting until now 」
And thus, the Arbitration ritual.
The bosses in dispute will have sex with the shrine maiden.
It’s a punishment game where they would have their minds read by the shrine maiden.
Once someone else knows their inner thoughts, they can’t act boldly with their ambition.
「 However, Takakura Kiyomi demonstrated how to use it. It shows how horrible it can get if one gets serious in using Miko power. This is definitely dangerous. Don’t you think so? Have you not thought of attaining heaven if you awaken the Miko power of the sisters? 」
「 I did. I talked to Misuzu about it. Once we have the Miko power, it would be useful for Kouzuki and Kuromori house 」
Making it advantageous for us when negotiating with companies and foreign countries, for example.
「 If you could think of that, others could too. As a result, it becomes a fight for the shrine maidens. A lot of people died. And as the Japanese way of thinking, if it’s going to become a dispute, there would be ideas that it’s better to kill off the Takakura shrine maidens 」
「 The successive generations of the Takakura shrine maidens knew that if they show off how mighty their power is, then everyone in their shrine and with their blood will die. Therefore, they resigned themselves to become toys for the Yakuza. And it was the shrine maiden who has to endure all of that. The one called shrine maiden is the person recognized by the shrine. However, Takakura Kiyomi wasn’t a shrine maiden. She didn’t have the dignity as the shrine maiden, yet she confessed that she has a stronger power than her sister, the shrine maiden. Therefore, Kiyomi was getting reckless 」
Because she wasn’t a shrine maiden,
She lacks awareness of what she has to endure when becoming a shrine maiden.
The result of her drowning in power, her sick sister, eroded Kiyomi-san’s heart.
Everything crumbles down.
「 Then, Takakura Kiyomi wishes for herself to be the last shrine maiden. She has inherited the desire for ruin from her sister and is trying to end the tradition of the Takakura shrine maidens. Therefore, I had to back that up. I prepared a stage where the last shrine maiden would die in front of spectators, the Yakuza who caused all the pain to the Takakura shrine. I think that she’s already emotionally dead. And this was the image that she wanted 」
「 Then, why did you not let Tsukiko make contact with Kiyomi-san? 」
The girls just look down from the VIP room with Jii-chan.
It’s in the distance beyond Kiyomi-san’s power’s reach.
「 One of the reasons was not to let Takakura Kiyomi notice that Tsukiko has begun to awaken their power. If she discovers that the sisters’ power is starting to bud, Kiyomi-san might kill the sisters together with her 」
「 The other reason was the possibility that Takakura Kiyomi passes through her ill heart to the sisters, just like how her elder sister controlled Takakura Kiyomi 」
「 I feel sorry for the sisters. That is the reason why I didn’t let their voice reach Takakura Kiyomi 」
Tsukiko and the girls might speak that they’re starting to awaken their power without thinking.
「 Then waking up their power is my failure 」
「 That’s wrong. Yoshinobu, Kouzuki-sama’s talking about what he just discovered. In fact; in the past few days, there’s a team making various investigations and came across the truth of the Takakura shrine maiden. It’s done from searching the ancient documents, hearing the testimony of the Yakuza who has conducted the arbitration ritual, and personal investigation of people involved with the Takakura house. And naturally, your discovery on the truth about the shrine maidens with the Takakura sisters was useful. We were able to find out the correct approach to Takakura Kiyomi because we were watching you 」
Jii-chan didn’t know the solution from the beginning either.
They were searching for answers for the past few days.
「 I think you already understand but do hide the power of those girls. Make it end up looking like intuition, or charisma. If it’s found out that the Miko power still exist, their lives would be in danger 」
Jii-chan tells me.
「 Yeah, you’re right 」
Jii-chan told the Yakuza to forget about the Takakura shrine maiden.
The memory of it will still remain.
Tsukiko mustn’t show a glimpse of their power at all.
「 Learn how to use it secretly without the other party knowing 」
「 Jii-chan, don’t you think that the Miko power should be erased instead? 」
Wasn’t that the conversation?
「 Why would you want such a convenient power gone? 」
Jii-chan speaks calmly.
「 The problem is about how you use it. We cannot show it’s existence to the world. Therefore, it can’t be a source of business. You can’t advertise it, and only evil people would target you 」
「 That’s right. That’s why instead of hiding it, how about we make it that the power isn’t used? 」
「 I won’t allow that 」
I don’t get it.
「 The Miko power is something handed down since ancient times. Do you really think that you can take it out for them? 」
「 You may not know it, but there’s more of that in this world. These are the knowledge that has been passed down since ancient times without the public knowing. Especially in Japan. Each of them only tells their successors. Then that child will say to theirs. It is a secret that would never reach outside 」
「 Takakura shrine has become strange because of the Yakuza’s intervention halfway, but they still hold a long history with them. The Miko power can return to a secret now 」
If it’s appropriately hidden then it doesn’t have to disappear, is that it?
「 Besides, don’t you think there’s merit on using the power secretly when you’re facing a personal problem? For example, to smoothen relationships, or when you’re starting a business, you can bring them and have the other party feel pleasant with you 」
「 Is it okay to do that? 」
「 If the other party doesn’t notice that you’re using their power, what problem will it create? 」
「 But, isn’t that unfair? I think it is 」
「 If you don’t want your family to starve then throw away that feeling 」
「 Use whatever you can. Don’t you want to make your family happy? Then be greedy. If not, you won’t be able to protect your family 」
「 You’ve decided not to sympathize with people, right? The thought that “this might be unfair to the other side” is similar to sympathy. You’re looking down on them. You think that you’re inferior to other people, don’t you? Then get greedier!! 」
「 O-Okay 」
「 By the way, we have secured all of the documents of Takakura Kiyomi’s husband 」
He found a method to strengthen the Miko power based on the old documents in the Takakura shrine.
「 Didn’t she say that she burned down all of the data? 」
Right before Kiyomi-san died.
「 The original copy, she did. But her husband’s computer backed up everything. That also includes records of how it went with Kiyomi-san and the results of it 」
Kiyomi-san didn’t check the computer.
「 I’ll hand them over to you. Do whatever you want with it 」
Jii-chan looks at me.
「 Sorry to say but everything from this point onwards will be yours and for the sisters to take care. I’m too old already, I don’t think I’ll live for another ten years. I’ll leave everything that you can use behind, and I’m giving you as many options as possible. Then, it’s up to you what kind of future you want to go to 」
「 We won’t take away the Miko power, nor the records of Kiyomi-san’s husband from you. We’ll hand them all over, and you can talk it out yourselves. This is for your future 」
The idea of “It’s dangerous, and so let’s take it away” is naive.
We’re already handling the dangerous goods, and so we have to think of it ourselves.
「 Earlier, I mentioned you to the Yakuza earlier, but someday, Kouzuki SS will be yours. Don’t let Misuzu or Ruriko get involved with the dealings behind the scenes. Talk about it with Seki-kun and Minaho-kun, and you’ll take command 」
「 Misuzu and Ruriko are too wise. Smart people think that their enemies are also intelligent, and so they fail. However, you saw it firsthand so you must understand it. People in this world are beyond unexpected. Most of them move out suddenly, without warning. Putting the surface aside, I think that Misuzu and Ruriko would be overthinking when it comes to this side. Therefore, you will be the pivot here 」
「 I’m dumb though. Jii-chan 」
「 And that’s just perfect. You’re certainly not bright, but that also means that you don’t get caught up in your own thoughts. You listen to people’s opinions, observe them, think carefully. You reflect on your ideas. You’re the one suited for the business behind the scenes. The surface’s core is to attack, but on this side, protecting is the key. I think you’re better suited in protecting people than attacking others 」
「 Now then, it should be time for you to return to your girls. They must be feeling anxious 」
「 Jii-chan, let me give a report first 」
「 What is it? 」
Yeah, I forgot about it.
I raise my right hand lightly.
「 Jii-chan, allow me to report. As for Tsukiko, Yomiko, and Luna, the three of them aren’t suited to become prostitutes. That’s my conclusion 」
Jii-chan asked me to give the Takakura sisters an aptitude test.
Actually, it possibly was just a way to get information about Tsukiko’s Miko power, but still.
Jii-chan gave me the request.
「 I see. Okay 」
Jii-chan replies, calmly.
「 Also, I have a request, Jii-chan 」
「 What is it? 」
「 Give the sisters, Tsukiko, Yomiko, and Luna, to me. I’ll make them happy as my woman! That’s why! 」
「 Okay 」
Jii-chan’s looking displeased all this time, but
「 That’s what I like about you. I like how you keep your thoughts in order 」
「 Naturally, you can have the sisters. Or should I say that only you can stabilize their condition? By the way, did you forget about something? 」
「 You’ll be taking another one along with the sisters. That is Takakura Kiyomi’s daughter 」
「 Koyomi-san is 12-years old. She’s under our protection in Kyoto, and is now heading towards Tokyo 」
She’s at the same age as Luna.
「 From Kiyomi’s statement, it seems that she has started her training to become a shrine maiden. As expected, I think you should manage her together with the sisters 」
It’s better to have her life together with her cousin, Tsukiko and the girls.
「 Take care of them. Nee-san won’t be helping you in that regard 」
Minaho-neesan says as if I picked up a puppy.
「 Yeah. It’s okay, I’ll look after them 」
「 You’ve stopped your “I’ll have to do my best alone” 」
「 Yeah, I was made aware of it. I’m not that strong, but my family is amazing. Everyone was there for Tsukiko and the two, and that’s why they opened up their hearts to us 」
It wasn’t me.
Luna had Agnes.
Yomiko had Michi.
Tsukiko had Misuzu taking care of her.
「 I’m impressed 」
「 No, it’s about Ruriko and Misuzu. I thought that those girls would drown in having sex with you and they’ll lose elegance. I’ve seen such women in my times after all. Especially women coming from a good family, they turn undisciplined after drowning in sex. They’ve lost their elegance 」
「 However, Misuzu and Ruriko, I don’t know how they look like when they’re with you but when they’re with me, or in public, they keep their dignity. They don’t look some woman that’s used to sex. It seems that the people surrounding them still believe that they’re virgins. In fact, even I feel that they still have their virgin spirit with them 」
「 The two of them have opened up to Yoshinobu, but they have not lost their vigilance to other men. Their only target for sex is Yoshinobu, and they don’t imagine having sex with other men at all 」
「 No, it’s not because of me. That’s also because of the family 」
「 Misuzu and Ruriko are also elder sisters and little sisters in the family. They don’t think for themselves but for everyone in the family. That is why they maintain their crisp thoughts 」
「 Umu, indeed, the livelihood in Kuromori house has made a good influence on Ruriko 」
「 By the way, Jii-chan, I’ve got a suggestion 」
I think that’s an excellent chance to cut to this topic.
「 Jii-chan, how about you start living together with us too? 」