「 Err, T-Thank you for inviting us today, it’s an honor 」
Torii Mariko-san comes to our table and starts greeting Misuzu and Ruriko.
「 Uhm, it’s the highest honor to have the two granddaughters of Kouzuki house be this close 」
「 Thank you for your greetings. Please, sit. Torii-san 」
「 Y-Yes 」
Mariko-san sits down nervously.
「 Kanou-sama, please sit down as well 」
Kanou Sakurako-san is hesitating.
「 Grandfather asked us to do this, please don’t worry too much. Everyone in the table over there won’t think badly of Kanou-sama even if you take a seat 」
That table has Yoshiko-san dealing with the young daughters of the Kouzuki group.
Seeing that she’s sitting alone on a different table, Kanou-san’s house might not be getting along with Kouzuki house.
Misuzu calls her “Kanou-sama.”
「 Indeed. This is a rare chance, please join us by all means 」
Ruriko, who comes in from behind, encourages Kanou-san to sit down.
「 You’re right. I understand. Then, excuse me 」
Kanou-san joins in our table.
Kanou-san’s attendant, a bodyguard who is tall and has a sharp look in her eyes, pulls the chair.
Kanou-san sits down gracefully.
I wonder why did Torii-san’s bodyguard not pull the chair for her?
I look at Torii-san’s bodyguard while avoiding their gaze.
Oh, I didn’t see it that well because of the sunglasses, but…
Her eyes are blue. She’s probably mixed race. Her hair is black, and her facial features seem Japanese, so I thought she is, but…
「 Kurama-san, please 」
Misuzu calls out to the trembling Kurama sisters.
「 W-We… 」
The big sister’s afraid.
「 Onee-sama, this might be our last chance 」
The little sister speaks to her weak-hearted big sister.
「 But, for someone like us to sit on that table… 」
Kurama Misato-san’s in panic.
「 Do you mind? Kanou-sama, Torii-san? 」
Misuzu smiled at the two.
「 I-If Misuzu-sama doesn’t mind… 」
Torii-san forces herself to make a smile.
「 I don’t mind either, this is the last opportunity for Kurama-san to talk anyway 」
Kanou-san speaks coldly.
「 It’s genuinely, unfortunate, I have known Kurama-san since childhood after all 」
Then that means, Kanou Sakurako-san is at the same age as Kurama-elder.
「 Although, we never had a friendly talk before 」
Misuzu’s school is connected from kindergarten to high school
They were together for at least ten years, and yet.
They never talked.
「 How long are you going to stand there? If you continue to do that, it will look like Misuzu-sama sand we are bullying you 」
Kanou-san speaks strongly
She puts herself in the same rank as Misuzu.
However, she ignores Torii-san.
Oh, I can see their relationships now.
「 I-If you’d excuse us 」
「 Excuse us 」
In Kurama sisters’ case. Oh, their bodyguards do pull their chairs.
The sisters have one bodyguard each.
Oh, these two might be sisters as well.
They look the same, and their Qi…
「 Ruriko, sit down 」
「 Yes, Misuzu-oneesama 」
Ruriko pulls her seat and sits down.
「 Danna-sama, let’s reintroduce everyone 」
Misuzu smiled at me.
「 This is Kanou Sakurako-sama. Kanou-sama, this is my future husband 」
「 Kuromori Kou 」
I bow my head.
「 Kanou Sakurako. Pleased to meet you 」
Sakurako-san shows a standoffish attitude, as she replied.
Oh, maybe she hates me.
I don’t sense malice, but I sense hostility.
「 Then, this is, Torii Mariko-san, was it? 」
I guess Misuzu’s not acquainted with Torii-san.
「 Y-Yes! Torii! Torii…Torii Mariko! 」
Torii-san’s a bit energetic.
That helps. I feel less nervous when there’s someone way more nervous than me.
「 Kuromori Kou. Pleased to meet you 」
「 Y-Y-Yeeee!! 」
What? Why are you bowing like that?
Am I a shogun?
「 And then, the Kurama sisters. They belong to the Kouzuki group 」
Misuzu explained it that way, that means…
Kanou-san and Torii-san’s family don’t have relations with Kouzuki clan.
She introduced them last to me because they are members of the same organization.
「 Kurama Arisu! 」
The younger sister replies cheerfully.
「 Kurama Misato… 」
The elder sister is depressed.
「 Kuromori Kou. I thank you for looking after Misuzu and Ruriko 」
「 N-No, we’re not… 」
「 W-We’re in the same class in Japanese dancing as Misuzu-sama! 」
The little sister follows up to the trembling sister.
「 Oh, Nadeshiko-sensei’s class? Then, that means you were there during the dance presentation last May? 」
「 Indeed, Danna-sama, these two were surprised 」
Oh, that time.
「 Oh, but forgive me. I didn’t know much about traditional dance. I watched it, but I didn’t know who the dancers were… 」
I don’t remember these two.
「 We do dress up and put on some makeup, it alters our appearances 」
「 W-We saw that… 」
The elder sister speaks bashfully.
「 Kuromori-sama and Misuzu-sama…that… 」
Oh right. Misuzu and I kissed on stage while everyone’s watching.
「 I-I saw that too 」
No, you got me there.
「 U-Uhm, what is that about? 」
Torii-san doesn’t seem to know.
Then that means, she’s not in Nadeshiko-sensei’s traditional dance class.
「 Uhm, could it be that Kanou-san danced that day? Before Yoshiko-san? 」
I remember someone with this mature face.
「 Yes, I participated in the dance presentation 」
Kanou-san replied with hurt feelings.
「 Err, uhm, can you explain it to me? 」
Torii-san’s trying to get into the conversation desperately.
「 Can we end this conversation? I have other topics that need discussion 」
Kanou-san speaks strongly.
I see. I get it.
Kanou-san’s house is perhaps on the same line of history as Kouzuki house.
That’s why Misuzu calls her with respect.
And, during that day, Misuzu was last, Ruriko was before Misuzu, Yoshiko-san was before Ruriko, and Kanou-san was before Yoshiko-san.
With that sort, it’s not about who’s the best, but who’s superior.
Furthermore, Yoshiko-san wasn’t announced as Jii-chan’s granddaughter yet.
Kanou-san must be discontented that Ruriko’s attendant, Yoshiko-san came later than her.
「 Indeed. Torii-san doesn’t seem to understand what we’re talking about, let’s leave it at that 」
Misuzu put Kanou-san into consideration.
Perhaps, it’s a lot of trouble if she doesn’t.
Well, I can take steps to understand. No need to hollow it out.
「 Putting that aside, I’d like to know the names of your bodyguards 」
Kanou-san shows a startled face.
「 Bodyguards are just servants 」
So that’s how she thinks.
「 But, it’s a social gathering about your bodyguards, right? Since while we’re at it, I’d like to know them 」
I said with a smile.
「 Indeed, as you can see, the masters are having conversations, yet the bodyguards aren’t 」
Misuzu looks at the other tables.
Yeah, the master’s who are sitting down are having a conversation, but.
The bodyguards behind them are silent.
「 They’re away for now, but we will introduce our bodyguards later 」
Misuzu speaks brightly.
Speaking of…Where’s Michi?
「 Still, if that’s the case, then shouldn’t the servants talk to each other? 」
「 Introducing themselves as bodyguards, and if they were scouted for another company later… 」
Well, I guess there’s that.
They think that Kouzuki SS only wants to scout the good bodyguards.
「 But, since we have this opportunity, could you at least let me know the names of your bodyguards? 」
「 We’re all fellow humans, it would be sad not to know their name 」
「 You can check that and know right away, don’t you? Kouzuki-sama’s got research body with Kouzuki SS 」
「 Indeed, I think I can know the names of the bodyguards if I ask them. But, that’s not a relationship between people 」
「 Relationship between people? To a servant? A bodyguard? 」
Oh, she doesn’t get it.
I stand up from my chair.
I look at the eyes of the four bodyguards.
「 Hello. Nice to meet you, I’m Kuromori Kou 」
I greeted them one by one.
The four were confused.
「 Ufufufu, fufufufufu 」
「 Kuromori-sama, you’re such an interesting person! 」
Then, she looked behind her, to the black-haired yet half-foreign girl.
「 She’s my bodyguard. Her name’s Haiji 」
Then, the girl named Haiji…
「 Adelheid. Mariko-sama 」
「 Yes, Adelheid, that’s why I call you Haiji 」
Torii-san said and laughed.
「 Pleased to meet you, Adelheid-san 」
I greeted her, then…
「 Katori Adelheid 」
She bows her head to me.
「 That’s right. This girl’s Haiji, yet, she’s also Katori! Lololol 」
I don’t understand why Torii-san’s laughing.
「 Torii-san has introduced Adelheid-san to us. Kanou-san, could you introduce your bodyguard as well? 」
I speak gently to Kanou-san.
「 I will ask the same, Kanou-sama 」
Misuzu also speaks.
「 Haa, if Misuzu-sama goes that far. It can’t be helped then 」
Kanou-san finally gives in.
「 This is my bodyguard. Shie, go and greet everyone 」
The tall girl called Shie faces not me but Misuzu and Ruriko.
「 I’m the officially appointed bodyguard from Kanou house. Shiranui Gou 」
She bows her head. What a brisk movement.
「 Danna-sama, the character ‘江'(Gou) is read as Shie 」
「 Oh, you know about it, Misuzu? 」
「 Yes. Shie-san’s been Kanou-sama’s bodyguard since she was young 」
Oh. I see.
Kanou-san stubbornly didn’t introduce her bodyguard to me.
Misuzu and Ruriko already know.
Their super-high-class-lady school has only a few people, and so, they see the bodyguards daily.
And they should know the name.
Therefore, there’s no need to introduce their servants this late.
Then, I’m the only one who doesn’t know the names of the bodyguards here.
Kanou-san doesn’t want to accept that.
「 Well, nice to meet you, Gou-san 」
I greeted her.
「 Please call me Shie 」
She replies, expressionlessly.
「 That is what Sakurako-ojousama wants 」
「 She uses her real name, Gou, when introducing herself on formal locations, but, she doesn’t look your way unless you call her Shie-san 」
Then, that means.
「 Yes, Shie-san is in my class 」
That means she’s in second-year.
「 Kanou-sama and Torii-sama are both in their first-year 」
Putting Torii-san aside, I seriously thought that Kanou-san is a senior.
I mean, Misuzu’s calling Kanou-san with “-sama,” and so she must have a high status for that.
「 My Haiji is in middle school, first-year 」
That’s another one. “Eeeeeeeh?!”
Two years younger than Michi?
I guess half-foreign girls are tall.
To think that she’s already a personal bodyguard at age 13…
Maybe she’s strong, or perhaps it’s in her family. It’s either of the two.
「 Well then, Kurama-san, please introduce your bodyguards to Danna-sama as well 」
I already heard about Kurama’s relationship with Kouzuki from Misuzu.
「 Y-Yes…U-Uhm… 」
The big sister, Kurama Misato-san, tries to introduce her bodyguard to me, but…
「 Does it have meaning? I mean, it’s Kurama-san’s family 」
Torii-san speaks without thinking.
「 Right. They’re bodyguards you’re dismissing anyway, aren’t you? 」
Kanou-san also speaks coldly.
「 If you look at your situation, Kurama-san’s house no longer is in a place to talk about having a bodyguard anymore 」
「 Uuuuuu 」
The big sister starts to cry.
「 O-Onee-sama! 」
The little sister embraces her elder sister.
「 Kurama Mistato-sama’s bodyguard, Anjou Mitama 」
The elder sister’s bodyguard greets me.
「 Kurama Arisu-sama’s bodyguard, Anjou Kinuka 」
The younger sister’s bodyguard too.
I knew it, they’re sisters too.
「 What do you plan in your future? 」
Kanou-san starts questioning them.
「 If you’d like, we can hire you in our Kanou clan 」
And now going out of the blue.
「 Oh, if I recall, Ruriko-sama’s personal bodyguard is no longer present! Since you have the opportunity, would you like to take them? 」
Torii-san adds something unnecessary.
「 Uhm, I’m still contracted with Kurama-sama… 」
「 Yes, we’re still within our contract period! 」
Anjou sisters declare firmly.
「 But, you soon will be. Think about my proposal. There’s nothing bad about it 」
「 Misuzu-sama, Ruriko-sama, please leave these two bodyguards to me. 」
She speaks with a sharp look.
What’s going on?
Kanou-san, this Anjou sisters….No, the Kurama house.
「 You don’t have to ask us, it’s Kurama-san’s family bodyguards, and so it’s for them to decide. I don’t think we should make a fuss when they haven’t decided on anything yet 」
「 You’re right. I’m sorry for being too forward with it 」
Kanou-san bows her head.
「 Uhm, how old are you two? 」
I ask the two to ease up the mood.
「 I’m in my third year in high school, my little sister is in first-year middle school 」
「 Kurama-san has their bodyguards at the same age as their masters 」
Misuzu explains to me.
Then that means Kurama Misato-san is 18, and Arisu-san is 13.
「 Yeah, now I know who’s who 」
I nod to myself.
「 Well then. Pleased to meet you all. Uhm, I don’t know if we will all get along, but, let’s have good discussions 」
Like, Kurama-san’s house.
Like, why is Torii-san ousted by the other girls?
Like, why is Kanou-san a loner?
「 Anyway, let’s fulfill what Kouzuki-sama asked for. Kurama-san, hurry up and talk about your family circumstances 」
Kanou-san talks to the Kurama sisters.
Oh, Kurama Misato’s older, and yet, her attitude…
「 You can talk about it, but this person can’t do anything about it. Anyway, if you talk about it, then we can break up this strange table. I would like to return to my table from earlier with Shie 」
Nobody’s in that table, though.
「 Ah, please wait, Kanou-sama 」
「 We still haven’t introduced our bodyguards yet 」
Michi’s already here?
I tried looking at the mansion, but I can’t see anyone. I can’t sense anyone.
「 Michi, you should show yourself now 」
As soon as Misuzu said that…
「 I answer to your summons! 」
Y-You were hiding in there?
Michi in her usual uniform stands behind Misuzu.
Kanou-san, Torii-san, and Kurama sisters’ bodyguards got startled.
No, all the other bodyguards too.
「 I have erased my presence 」
She speaks with her usual expressionless face.
「 I am Kouzuki Misuzu-sama’s personal bodyguard. Kudou Michi 」
She bows her head.
They’re still silent from Michi’s sudden appearance from the courtyard.
「 And then!!! 」
W-What? Someone’s on my back now?!
「 I am Kuromori Kou’s guardian, Kamen Edie!!! 」
Y-You weren’t here until now, were you?
「 I am called, so I came! Tada! Don’t get left behind, Paman! 」
No, I didn’t call for you.
「 Hmmm? Why is everyone so surprised? 」
Edie’s wearing some pink jersey and muffler on her neck. She’s wearing huge sunglasses covering her face.
「 Let’s go! KAMEN EDIE! R! X! 」
She’s making some pose I don’t even understand.
Must be Nei’s taste flowing into her.
「 Hey, err, Edie? 」
I called her.
「 Huh? Should I have gone with “Perfect Edie canon Mark2?” 」
No, I get what perfect means, but canon?
You just want to get inside a canon, don’t you?
「 Ah, sorry. These girls are quite mischievous 」
For now, I just followed up, but.
I-I don’t think that did it.
Everyone in the courtyard looks at Michi and Edie dumbfoundedly.
「 Huh? What was that about? 」
Misuzu laughs at the surprised me.
「 It’s only ladies of wealthy families and the bodyguards who assist them habitually… 」
I get that, but…
「 Everyone’s surprised. They didn’t perceive Michi just standing behind me 」
「 Furthermore, Michi just showed herself, and yet, nobody noticed Edie-san’s presence 」
Ah, there should be girls who can sense Qi just like Michi and Edie, and yet.
They didn’t notice Michi and Edie.
Furthermore, Edie’s wearing pink and flashy clothing.
「 I’m the child of the sun! EDIE BLACK! 」
No, you don’t have to do that.
「 If you’re surprised with that, then you won’t be able to hold yourselves later 」
「 Something more amazing is about to come up!!! 」