「 Nei and Misuzu-san are too smart, and so you understand the rules of the game, and you can quickly think of methods to win against an opponent who follows the same rule 」
「 If you’re playing in a tournament where the players have to follow every single rule, then you’ll be the strongest in it. But, unfortunately, the world isn’t that easy 」
Misuzu looks gloomy.
Nei looks confused.
Edie’s just looking at the two of them with a smile.
「 To demonstrate, we’ve joined with Kouzuki-san on the case, but it is interesting. Nei who was at the hotel didn’t notice it, and Misuzu-san who wasn’t there understood 」
Right. Misuzu didn’t come out of the kitchen and stayed with Nagisa even when we came back.
She didn’t want me to see her look sad.
On the other hand, Nei returned with a nonchalant face.
「 After all, I know Grandfather 」
「 As for I’m the daughter of the Kouzuki house 」
Misuzu’s lived as the granddaughter of the head of Kouzuki house, Jii-chan.
「 It was beyond my expectations that Grandfather would decide like that 」
She heard everything that happened with the Yakuza in the hotel.
Minaho-neesan, Shou-neechan, or maybe Jii-chan himself, one of them contacted Misuzu.
「 What do you mean by that? 」
Nei turns to Misuzu questioningly.
「 Nei, you weren’t born from a distinguished family. You don’t know what “impurity” means 」
「 Impurity? 」
「 Yeah, back then, people with good standing never do dirty work. They let people with expertise do the dirty work. That’s not exclusive to Japan. It’s a common thing in this world 」
「 Dirtying one’s hands is an ill-omen. Therefore, there is always an underground society no matter what country you’re in, and that means you can never take away criminal syndicates 」
「 If there’s nobody there to do the dirty work, the people with good standing would be in trouble 」
「 No matter how sophisticated the democracy in the country is, the mayhem of the underground society is insoluble. No administration of justice, prosecution, of the police force can take it down 」
「 Therefore, the people who work on surface and people who work on the other side are clearly divided 」
Margo-san and Edie explain.
Margo-san’s the disciple of Kyouko Messer, an international criminal. Edie’s raised and sold from an assassination cult to Miss Cordelia, she knows a lot about the underground society.
「 Nei looked at Oodori and Satake’s attitude towards Kouzuki-san and thought “what stupid people,” but 」
「 I mean, they really were idiots! They didn’t understand the power of Kouzuki house at all! 」
Nei’s right, the Yakuza looked down on Jii-chan, on the power of Kouzuki house.
They’re thinking of how they can take advantage of the situation and Jii-chan.
「 That’s not it. They’re only following their own rules 」
「 It’s the rule between the Yakuza and distinguished families so far. Kouzuki house is above when it comes to assets and authority in both the surface and the backside. They know that from the start. But, when it comes to the other side, a distinguished family, like Kouzuki house will never dirty their hands, and so, they ultimately have to borrow the power of Yakuza or other organizations from their side. Therefore, they think that Kouzuki-san will never cross the line 」
「 And so they purposely speak rudely and take the attitude that they’re not scared of him, they raise the pressure against Kouzuki and try to find common ground to strike the deal 」
「 And in there, Kouzuki house, won’t involve themselves with the underground society that deeply. Either way, they can’t cast away the Yakuza completely. They have that much utility value, and so they think with that rule in their mind 」
「 Then, their ideology isn’t mistaken 」
「 No matter how much power and assets Kouzuki house have, capability that Kouzuki SS have, how strong Shou and Reika is… 」
「 It seems foolish if Kouzuki house does the dirty work themselves. The risk is too high, and they’ll be opposing all the underground organizations that exist 」
「 And nobody would do something that foolish. That reluctance is what saves Yakuza’s face 」
「 Even if Kouzuki-san were to take Tsukiko-san and the two in his custody, then he would have to pay the Yakuza a hefty amount of reparations, or give them interest, either way, you restrain towards the underground organization 」
If they don’t want a fight with the underground society, then,
Kouzuki house may have all the power they could have, and yet, they’ll show that they concede to the Yakuza.
「 Therefore, Oodori-san had that kind of attitude 」
「 They’re trying to cheat out of Kouzuki even for a bit 」
「 However, Grandfather declared that he’ll destroy all of Yakuza 」
「 That means, Kouzuki house will directly control the underground society. Kouzuki house won’t be using the Yakuza, who already belongs to the underground society, as an intermediary, but they’ll do it themselves 」
「 It’s not the Kansai Yakuza who’d be making an uproar but the Kouzuki group executives 」
「 After all, their head just made an absurd decision. And it’s not because he’s trying to remove the Yakuza and start clean management. Kouzuki-san’s choice is… 」
Right. Jii-chan said it.
「 Kouzuki house itself will take control of the underground society of Japan. Anything that they can’t deal on the surface would be settled using Kouzuki SS 」
Crushing all the Yakuza groups who defies Kouzuki house, and those who yield will become subordinates of Kouzuki SS.
「 It’s absurd. The underground society won’t consent to this, and they’ll fight against Kouzuki SS 」
「 But, it’s too late. Kouzuki-san declared it to the leaders of the Yakuza. Kouzuki SS is a separate organization, and so, Kouzuki Group has no say in it. The executives can’t stop it. Furthermore, Yazawa-san’s units are already sending off their second assault in Kansai area 」
He’s already declared war.
「 Today, the old leaders of Kansai Yakuza promised Jii-chan that they’ll deal with Oodori-san and Satake-san, but, they’re hesitating on doing it for real. Especially with the subordinates who didn’t do anything wrong 」
All they did was hear about the Miko power from Kiyomi-san.
「 Kouzuki-san set up a trap as he let the old men dispose of the people in that place. If they didn’t kill Oodori-san and others by tomorrow, it means that they broke their promise and Kouzuki SS can go all out with them 」
「 That’s perhaps what will happen, and then, Kouzuki group will have to prepare themselves for the worst. Now that this happened, the Yakuza won’t stop even if someone assassinates Grandfather 」
No, it’s not just Yakuza, someone from the Kouzuki group might try to kill Jii-chan off out of fear from the Kouzuki group.
「 Assassination is impossible. Kouzuki SS has all sides protected, and so the executives can’t send over an assassin 」
The executives have Kouzuki SS as their protection,
And so, they can’t contact people from the underground society and request to assassinate Jii-chan.
「 Thus, the events in May will be put into function 」
「 Back then, the disturbing elements among the executives of Kouzuki group were eliminated 」
Matching with Cesario Viola’s attack; Some executives covertly tried to rebel together with Ruriko’s father, and they’re all exterminated.
「 Even if the others were thinking of rebelling someday, 」
「 Kouzuki-san and Kouzuki SS let them know to fear them back then. Even if the management tries to give their honest opinion to Kouzuki-san, they can’t complain about it in the underground society. None of them can 」
They know that Jii-chan used the whole Kouzuki SS and took down all units in Cesario Viola’s attack.
Then, he hired that Cesario Viola to kill off his first son.
Ruriko’s father was executed.
「 Everyone knows how scary he is 」
Those who betrayed him, even if it’s his son, will have to pay with death.
That’s how harsh Jii-chan, and it etched into the minds of the executives.
「 And so, the executives will have to prepare for the worst until it’s sure that the Yakuza’s going to fight by tomorrow. They can’t do anything about it anymore 」
「 Indeed. Now that’s happened, they’re talented, and so they’ll change the way they think. If Kouzuki house were to control the underground society, then, they’ll see which can make a profit for them. They’ll be positive about it 」
Edie and Margo-san said.
「 But, it would be unthinkable for them. It’s not worth to have Kouzuki house fight the underground society 」
「 But, there’s nothing anyone can do, Kouzuki-san’s aim isn’t to obtain the underground society, but to cause this dispute 」
Margo-san said with a bright face.
「 What does that mean? 」
「 It’s simple. If they’re to fight the Kansai Yakuza upfront, Kouzuki group would be united. They’ll set aside the internal power struggle they had until now. The opponent is the Yakuza after all. They don’t know what the Yakuza will do, and so the group will scram and share information with each other. Naturally, the people who were trying to push down the new CEO, Shiba-san, from the rising faction, would be gone. Shiba-san won’t be able to fire off people from the Kouzuki branch families because they don’t align with his opinion 」
Kouzuki group will become one.
「 Then, Kouzuki-san is the leader of this dispute. The charisma that Kouzuki-san has will solidify the group further. As a result, adding to the time where Kouzuki-san is the best CEO, the loyalty of the people in the group will just increase 」
「 Kouzuki-san himself set out to discuss with the Yakuza. He stood in the frontline of the battlefield. He brought his soldiers with him. Then, if anything were to happen to Kouzuki-san, Misuzu-san and Ruriko-san would take over the loyalty of the group 」
「 Kouzuki-san is purposely making this choice for his granddaughter’s sake 」
Causing all this uproar and all the troubles,
He even picked a fight with the Kansai Yakuza.
「 Why? 」
「 He’s impatient. Kouzuki-san’s already 82-years-old. He thinks that he doesn’t have enough time left. Therefore, he’s taking measures 」
Jii-chan doesn’t want his granddaughters to have difficulties after his death.
He wishes that they take over the power and assets of Kouzuki house smoothly.
That’s why he’ll do anything to achieve that.
「 Grandfather! 」
Misuzu drops her shoulders.
「 You can’t do anything anymore, Misuzu. You have to act like nothing’s happening, just like Ruriko 」
「 She knows. But, she’ll entrust everything to her Grandfather. And so, she’s composed 」
「 That’s right. This is Kouzuki SS’ fight. You’re not involved. Naturally, there will be the same bodyguards with you, as Kouzuki SS has the best security out there. Therefore, you can continue your life like usual 」
「 Misuzu. Jii-chan made his decision and is already moving the Kouzuki group. We can’t do anything about that 」
「 Danna-sama 」
「 Believe in him. He won’t do anything bad. Jii-chan has Yazawa-san, Shou-neechan, and Rei-chan supporting him. Minaho-neesan’s helping Kouzuki SS in their job as well. They’ll definitely pull through the Yakuza’s attack. It’s them after all 」
「 …Okay 」
Misuzu nods lightly.
「 It’s okay. They’ll win. Kouzuki SS has thrown away their rules so far. And Majority of the Yakuza is still bound by their rules. But once an influential man begins to attack with all his might, they’ll tremble and yield in turns. Well, a few organizations would be destroyed just to set an example 」
「 With that said, that’s all we have to discuss, you can return to your usual routine by tomorrow 」
Margo-san looked at Nei and Misuzu.
「 Do you understand now? There are people beyond your expectations that breaks all the rules 」
Nei and Misuzu, these two are smart, and so they get caught in the reasoning they have.
「 Edie and I belong in this world, and so we are used to it. This is how it is. For example, a discussion talking about I one has three times more power, then they’ll surely win. That’s common sense in battlegrounds. But, we don’t swallow that whole. Real experience is a scary thing 」
「 There are always people who are stronger than the ordinary 」
「 Kyouko-san, for example. Do you remember Kyouko-san back then? 」
If I recall.
「 She crawled from the rooftop’s outer wall and came down from a vent 」
「 That’s right, Yoshinobu-kun. No ordinary person would do that. If you’re using common sense that is. Just climbing to the rooftop through the outer walls uses a lot of stamina. But, she did 」
She surpasses common sense.
「 Either way, there’s that military movement rule existing. In battles, people think a lot, try it out, then say “this is the situation, and so this will do,” creating a concrete plan to follow 」
「 But the professionals know it as well, and so you need to break the rules 」
「 On the other hand, those who are imprisoned by the rules, die 」
The two said.
「 There are people in this world where they refuse no matter how attractive the proposal may be. Their motives are higher, and so they don’t comply with a buy-out. They can’t understand no matter what’s told 」
「 Reason isn’t what makes human relationships. For example, some sign up some absurdly suspicious contracts just because the other party seems trustworthy. On the other hand, some refuse the other party because they feel something’s off, even though the situation should be to their advantage 」
「 People live with their senses, not with words 」
「 That’s how it is. You know that Minaho’s investing in businesses on the surface, right? Then, Minaho found a company project that seems to have promise, and so she tried to invest in it, but the president refused. He thought that Minaho’s attitude was quite bossy. Despite it being a chance to receive investment 」
「 What happened to that company? 」
「 Minaho got offended. She used the backside, and have the main bank collect their loan, and so they went bankrupt. Aren’t you the one who’s being arrogant here? She said self-composed 」
If one’s reasonable, they should behave modestly to an investor.
At least, try not to say anything rude to the other party.
But, Minaho-neesan was a young woman, and so they looked down on her.
Therefore, she shut them down.
「 No matter how much of a fair argument you present, telling them that if they think about it, “this method” is way better, unless you build a relationship of trust, the other party won’t bat an eye. Much more to those with a competitive relationship 」
「 Is this about Megumi-san? 」
「 That’s right. You seem to be annoyed that Megumi-chan never fixes her attitude no matter how many times she says that she understood your logic, but 」
「 It’s natural. Megumi-chan’s always suspicious that Misuzu-san and Nei might be trying to deceive her 」
「 That’s not my intention though! 」
Nei tries to oppose, but,
「 That’s not about how you intend it to be but how Megumi accepts it 」
「 Megumi thinks that Misuzu and Nei are smarter than her. And so, she feels that you two will talk her down. That status frustrates her. That’s why she feels insecure 」
「 Therefore, she’ll never listen to whatever Misuzu-san or Nei says. She won’t understand what you mean, all she feels is that you’re trying to sermon her from a higher standpoint, and so it’s miserable and irritating for her 」
「 Furthermore, you add the school event. Megumi knows that it’s Misuzu and Nei’s plan that Mana called Kana in. Therefore, she lost her cool. After all, you didn’t personally preach her but instead, sent Mana and me as proxy 」
I thought that it was Misuzu and Nei who sent them.
I had a hunch that they planned this.
「 Thus, Megumi-chan dropped herself to a salve out of desperation, she stopped thinking 」
「 She detests everyone at that time 」
「 That’s natural, Misuzu and Nei’s plan ridiculed Megumi-chan too much 」
「 Not everyone in this world is as honest as Darling. Darling will accept our plans as “something done for him,” but 」
「 Megumi-chan thinks of you girls as her rivals. You don’t want to be made a fool of your rivals don’t you? And so, do you really think that she’ll accept the unpleasant words the older ladies say, even if they are a sound argument? 」
Edie and Margo-san said. Misuzu;
「 No, I don’t 」
「 Ugh, now that you mentioned it 」
「 You prioritize your thoughts, and got obsessed with pushing the correct reasoning, but, you know. No, actually, if the other party knows how to prioritize reason, just like you girls, then it would go through, but, 」
「 Megumi uses her emotions before reason. She’s like Yukino 」
She prioritizes her emotions, and so,
She thinks more about how the other party said it, not what the other party said.
If she doesn’t like the way it was said, then she’d turn a deaf ear.
「 Not everyone is as smart as you girls, and not everyone can understand what you mean 」
People who live in a different rule than them exist.
That includes people who break the rules.
The thought that “this is the proper rule” hurts their eyes.
「 Even so, I’d admit that Megumi-chan is a troublesome girl. If it were Megumi-chan listening to what I say, she wouldn’t feel as despondent as you girls 」
It’s Misuzu and Nei, and so when you find an opportunity to talk them out like this, it will resolve itself.
「 But, you see, I’d like to ask you two 」
「 Do you understand that having a family is always bothersome? 」
「 You don’t have to answer, Yoshinobu-kun. I know that you understand 」
Margo-san looked at Misuzu and Nei.
「 Even in a family, everyone is different, that means, their way of thinking, and how they accept things are also different. There’s always someone who’ll take time to do anything and someone who complains about everything 」
「 I know that, but 」
Nei tries to speak up, but,
「 No, you don’t. Nei and Misuzu-san, you try to ask Megumi-chan to become like you, smart, and can guess anything, even though Megumi-chan has her individual characteristic. You’re displeased that Megumi-chan can’t become like you, and so you push her to her breaking point 」
Megu was near the breaking point from being separated from the family.
「 That might be true 」
「 Danna-sama kept repeating that “we’re family” to Megumi-san, and I don’t think I’ve understood it until now 」
「 That’s right. Family. You, me, every one of us decided to join in this family by our own will 」
「 Therefore, you should understand that you can’t push Megumi-chan out of the family because she breaks the harmony, don’t you think? Just like you, Megumi-chan joined in the family out of her will. Nobody gave her an order to enter the family, and so you shouldn’t force her out of the family, should you?! 」
「 Once we’re family, that won’t change until death. Wasn’t that the resolve we had? 」
「 We accepted those who’ll take time, those who cause troubles. We showed them love. Shouldn’t we think about how we coexist, than coerce? 」
「 Things are going to get harder. Do you understand that? 」
「 Mana, Agnes, they’re all cute, but they’ll grow. They’ll become conceited. They’ll reach their rebellious phase, and someday, they’ll see the truth about their birth 」
Mao-chan thinks that I’m her father, but,
Someday, she may want to meet her real father.
She may hate me.
Agnes, someday, she’ll see the purpose of her life, and the reason why she was confined underground.
Once she discovers that her father created her to turn her to a sex toy,
She might feel despair.
「 People change. For good, for the bad, it’s inevitable 」
「 But the family itself will not. No, it cannot change. If it does, this family will crumble 」
If our family allows anyone to leave when they don’t like it anymore.
Then this family will collapse immediately.
「 Darling knows that. That’s why he kept telling Megumi, “Because we’re family,” “We’ll always be family,” that even if Megumi changes, Darling will continue to love Megumi as family 」
「 And Yoshinobu-kun carries truth in his words, so, even if Megumi-chan feels desperate, she never said that she’ll leave the family out of despair 」
「 She declared that she’ll become Darling’s slave because she trusts Darling and she knows that she can devote herself to him 」
「 Darling, you get that too, don’t you? 」
「 I’ll never leave this family. I resolve to stay with this family forever 」
She speaks with a serious look on her face.
「 I don’t want to be separated from Darling. And it’s futile to worry, why? 」
「 That’s because Darling will never be alone anymore! 」
「 It’s okay, even if Mao-chan becomes rebellious, or Agnes rejects you, I’ll do something about it. And it’s not just me, but everyone. That includes Megumi’s case 」
「 That girl is in the family, and so it’s a case for everyone. There won’t be any compulsion or coercion. We’ll put Megumi’s individuality into consideration and solve it together. We’re family, and so it’s not troublesome, no matter how much time it takes. Supporting the family is the natural thing to do 」
Oh, I see.
That’s why Edie’s always close to Megu and me.
That’s to make sure that Megu doesn’t behave recklessly.
「 Edie, you 」
「 You use that odd speech pattern to throw Megu off. But in fact, Edie’s a genius, you use your mind and body to make sure that Megu doesn’t feel insecure about you 」
「 What, Yo-chan? 」
「 Danna-sama? 」
The two are surprised.
「 That’s how it is. Megumi-chan’s never surprised with how Edie speaks, right? The thought of “Edie’s always so sudden and surprising, but she doesn’t mean anything bad, and she loves Yoshinobu-kun” has piled up for the past four months. It accumulates throughout the days 」
Margo-san said. Edie smiles.
「 Well, Megumi-chan knows that Edie’s smart, and she knows well how much physical strength she has. But, Megumi-chan never felt insecure towards Edie 」
「 Megu thinks “Edie is Edie,” and accepts it as usual 」
I unconsciously said.
「 Yeah. Once she understands “she’s like that,” and that there’s no malice, she’ll accept her. No matter who it is 」
Thus, there’s no insecurity created.
「 Edie built a steady relationship of trust with Megumi-chan. Therefore, even if Nei acts rashly, she’ll function as a brake 」
As long as Edie’s present, she’ll be able to calm down the atmosphere no matter how cornered Megu becomes.
It won’t turn to the worst situation possible.
「 Now then, what about you girls? 」
Margo-san asks Nei and Misuzu.
「 All you did for the past four months is corner Megumi-chan, and thus, you’re the cause of her insecurities 」