New names introduced in “High Life” Arc.
★Young ladies and their bodyguards
Kanou Sakurako 16y/o Daughter of Kanou house, a family with a long history rivaling Kouzuki house.
Shiranui Shie / 17 y/o Sakurako’s bodyguard. A daughter of a family that serves Kanou house for generations.
Torii Mariko / 16 y/o Young lady of Torii electronics. She seems cut off from others, unable to read the mood.
Haiji Katori / 13 y/o Mariko’s bodyguard. However, a girl hired by contract. Half-race
Kurama Misato / 18 y/o. Daughter of Kurama house, which is sinking down. Planned to become a prostitute.
Kurama Arisu / 13 y/o. Misato’s little sister. Always covers up her sister.
Anjou Mitama / 18 y/o. Misato’s bodyguard. “Will attack from the sky” – Favorite phrase. Silent.
Anjou Kinuka / 13 y/o. Arisu’s bodyguard. Thick nerves.
Kuromiya Motoko / 17 y/o. A young warrior lady. Instructor in the Kuromiya spearmanship style.
Mikuriya Kurumi / 14 y/o Motoko’s bodyguard, a fluffy-haired cute girl.
「 We will serve only Kurama house, we swear to serve Misato-sama and Arisu-sama only! 」
「 Only! 」
Anjou sisters tell everyone.
「 Girls… 」
「 Mitama, Kinuka… 」
Kurama sisters are moved, but…
「 But, their house is about to collapse so you can’t do anything 」
Torii-san says without reading the mood.
「 Or should I say that you, the retainers, should leave Kurama-san for their good. Kurama-san’s house has its pride as a noble house, and so it’s hard for them to dismiss the vassals that served them for a long time. I guess it’s embarrassing for them 」
「 Mariko-ojousama 」
Adelheid-san, Torii-san’s bodyguard, called her out.
「 What, Haiji? You got something to say about Kurama-san’s bodyguard? 」
Torii-san looked at Adelheid-san grinning.
「 My father found Haiji in Europe. She was a bodyguard on a boarding school in Switzerland, who has sons and daughters of noble houses studying. And so, we must seek world-class personnel when it comes to bodyguards 」
Adelheid-san’s birthplace is there.
「 Yes. I have graduated from an academy that trains bodyguards, and I possess a Rank A in the international standards 」
So Europe had that.
But that’s amazing.
Adelheid-san’s so young.
She’s at a middle school level.
「 Yes, that’s right. My Haiji is impressive!! 」
Torii-san speaks proudly.
「 My father was Japanese, so I can speak the language. As for other languages I can speak, it would be English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic 」
「 Yes, she’s not just a bodyguard, but also a personal secretary. See that? 」
Torii-san smiles and puffs her chest proudly.
「 And so, everyone. Is there anyone who would like to employ me? 」
Adelheid-san dropped something unbelievable.
「 Naturally, it’s only when the contract you’ll present to me is better than Torii-sama’s contract. Actually, I don’t mind if it’s an equal contract. As long as your family is on a higher status than Torii-sama’s family 」
Haiji-san started promoting herself, what?!
「 H-Haiji, what are you talking about! 」
However, Adelheid-san remains expressionless.
「 My contract with Torii-sama will end this month, so what’s the problem? 」
「 Isn’t that obvious that we’ll recur the same contract?! 」
「 It’s my decision whether I will recur the contract or not 」
「 Torii-sama, I’m grateful that you brought me to Japan, but… 」
「 Then swear your loyalty to me! 」
「 Yes. Only until the end of the contract period. However, if I think of the future, I don’t think I would want to continue being Torii-sama’s bodyguard 」
「 What do you mean by that! 」
Hearing the two argue, the other young ladies start whispering.
「 My, so that’s Torii-sama’s family situation 」
「 It’s a waste to have an international standard Rank A bodyguard for her 」
Torii-san never had an exchange with the other young ladies today.
At first, she was sitting at her table alone.
She forced herself to talk to Jii-chan and got scolded.
Then, she’s brought to Misuzu’s table, but…
She has the strong impression that she’s out of place from the other young ladies.
「 Bodyguards do step up in the west 」
Shou-neechan intervened with a smile.
「 They don’t need to stay as the bodyguard of the same house all the time. They only need to have their skill recognized at first, then find a better house to employ them next 」
「 Indeed, that’s how it works on the West with any job 」
「 Starting up with some specialty for oneself, and once they gained achievements, they switch to another company 」
「 Yes, a place with higher pay. Step up lures the head hunters from companies, and one can transfer to a better company by selling oneself 」
「 And then, you work on the grander scale company, you can ascend on a higher position, even if they have the same scale 」
「 Often, they find employment from the rival company. Recently, an executive vice president of a big company was inaugurated as the company president of the rival business 」
「 And so, I’m thinking of stepping up by now 」
Adelheid-san said. Torii-san;
「 What’s that?! You’re making fun of Torii house, Haiji?! 」
「 I’m not. However, I believe that someone with my skill is much more useful on a family that is on a higher status 」
That ideology comes from Europe.
「 Oh my, Torii-san. It’s inconceivable to have bodyguards betray their Masters 」
Kanou-san smiles wryly.
「 I-I will not accept this! 」
「 You don’t have to. Once the month ends, the contract is over 」
What a dry character. Adelheid-san.
「 But, I don’t think that anyone would want to hire someone like you 」
Misuzu smiled at Adelheid-san.
「 Why is that? 」
Adelheid-san doesn’t break her expressionless face.
「 Isn’t that obvious? A bodyguard who’s nonchalant about wanting to get hired by another family will never get hired 」
Kanou-san shows a displeased face as she says that.
「 I will never leak any information from the previous house I worked for. And I’m a bodyguard with an A rank in code of ethics and strict observance 」
「 You can talk about not leaking anything, you know, but it still unpleasant to hire you. That’s all. Bodyguards are people who are always with us in our daily life. They have to be trustworthy 」
Kanou-san said. Then she looked at her Shie-san.
「 It has to be a child of generations of servant, just like my Shie. She’s been my bodyguard since birth. Our trust differs from you 」
Shie-san remains silent.
「 But, not all houses have bodyguard family that serve them for generations like Kanou-sama 」
Kuromiya-san, the young warrior lady, speaks.
「 Our Kuromiya house is a family of warriors, and so we pick our bodyguards among our students in spearmanship 」
Kuromiya-san points at Mikuriya-san, her bodyguard.
「 However, I heard that most families have a hard time finding a girl who knows martial arts that can be a bodyguard for their daughter 」
「 Really? Seki-san? 」
Misuzu asks Shou-neechan.
「 Yes. Kouzuki SS only has a few listed. It’s only girls who we can trust as bodyguards and those in contract with us 」
「 Oh, I see. Michi accompanies me in that form 」
Michi is Misuzu’s bodyguard by private contract between Kudou-papa and Jii-chan.
「 In case of those unrelated to us, most of them accommodate each others’ relative as bodyguards 」
「 That’s how it is with our house! 」
One of the young ladies raised her hand.
「 My bodyguard has a little sister, and so… 」
「 Yes. That girl became my bodyguard! 」
Another young lady raised her hand.
Bodyguards show up behind them.
I see. They’re indeed sisters. Their faces look the same.
The two young ladies are relatives. Must be cousins.
Marriage between nobles is common, so this happens.
「 However, Japan has the issue of a declining birthrate, and that includes the family lineage of bodyguards. 」
「 Besides, families as such would want to have a male heir to protect the Master’s house 」
Yeah, they prioritize the protection of the head of the family than the young lady.
The head is a male most of the time, and the bodyguards are preferably male.
The Master’s house doesn’t always give birth to daughters.
It’s not pleasant to make multiple daughters protect a hypothetical young lady.
Putting aside the old age where there are lots of siblings.
With the current birth rate…
「 Furthermore, let’s say that a girl is born in the bodyguard family lineage, yet, her character and talent doesn’t suit being a bodyguard of the young lady 」
They’re girls, after all. Most of them aren’t suited for combat.
「 And most fathers would probably refuse, saying “My son has no choice but to inherit the family trade, but I will never let my daughter work as a bodyguard” 」
「 Henceforth, it becomes harder to search for an exclusive bodyguard for the young ladies 」
「 I’m surprised 」
Misuzu tells everyone.
「 Today, those who have their personal bodyguards with them in school have gathered here, but… 」
She looks at everyone in the courtyard.
「 I looked at the names of students in our school, however…Historic noble houses who don’t look strange even if they have a personal bodyguard aren’t present in here 」
Misuzu said, then the young ladies;
「 Now that you mentioned it… 」
「 I happen to know several, yes 」
「 Indeed, they’re families with history, and their business is doing favorably, and yet, they don’t have a bodyguard 」
Oh, they don’t have a problem in their house, and yet, they can’t find a bodyguard for their young lady.
「 And when you think about it, Torii-san who has this kind of bodyguard has come 」
Kanou-san glared at Torii-san.
「 W-What are you trying to say! I couldn’t find anyone talented in the country, and so I found Haiji from overseas! 」
「 Yes. And if you don’t mind, I can use my alma mater’s network and introduce more bodyguards from Europe 」
Adelheid-san isn’t just promoting herself, she’s even offering services from foreign bodyguards.
「 They’re all like me, they possess A-rank license with international standards 」
「 W-Wait a second! 」
One of the bodyguards who’s thinking of changing the employer speaks up.
「 It’s unreasonable to have a foreigner as bodyguards of Japan’s noble young ladies! 」
「 That’s right! It has to be us! 」
It’s a problem for them if the foreigners keep on coming and get hired as bodyguards before they could promote themselves.
「 My alumnus has lots of people qualified to become bodyguards of European royalty and nobility 」
「 If there’s a need to orient towards Japan, then we can do that right away 」
「 Wow, that sounds cool 」
「 Hmm, maybe I should have a foreigner bodyguard 」
「 I think that it’s a good idea 」
The young ladies speak out, but…
「 Everyone, please don’t trust that girl too much 」
Shou-neechan smiled wryly and said.
「 Adelheid Katori-san, was it? 」
「 Yes, what about it? 」
Adelheid-san replied sullenly.
「 Your A-rank license is only A-3, right? 」
「 !!! 」
「 Seki-san, do you know something? 」
「 It’s more than that, I graduated from that Academy after all 」
Shou-neechan studied VIP escort from Europe.
「 And I graduated properly. But I believe that Adelheid-san only finished the short-term course, which is A-3, isn’t it? 」
「 Well, you see, that Academy gives you an A-rank license, even if you only took lessons for half a year. It becomes easy to find a job when you say that you have an “A-rank” after all 」
「 It can’t be helped. That academy gathers people who want to become bodyguards from around the world. Other than their regular three-year course, they have a short-term program for those studying from abroad. Adelheid-san took that course if I’m not wrong 」
Now that’s mentioned, she’s too young.
It’s absurd if she finished the three-year course.
「 Furthermore, you took compulsory education during the day, and only take the course by night 」
Adelheid-san doesn’t respond.
「 I’m not saying that it’s inferior. It’s a night class for a half a year, but the academy’s lectures are proper, and you indeed accepted the A-rank license. However 」
「 It’s still different from professionals who accepted the full course and graduated from it. Earlier, Adelheid-san talks about graduates of the academy who are appointed as bodyguards of royalty and nobility in Europe, but all of them are S-ranks who finished the regular course 」
「 They’re both graduates of the same academy and license holders, but S-ranks are different from the A-3. It’s the difference between the emperor’s head chef to a street restaurant chef 」
Adelheid-san’s sales pitch is prosecuted as overbearing.
「 I’m Kakka’s personal bodyguard. Naturally, I have an S-rank license. And in case of meeting with a VIP from a different country, those who have the academy license smooths up the conversation between bodyguards 」
「 Oh, so A-ranks aren’t that important 」
「 My, that was embarrassing 」
「 If it wasn’t for Seki-san, I would’ve been deceived! 」
「 Indeed, I thought of informing my father about it tonight, but nevermind 」
The young ladies on Adelheid’s stock now dropped out.
「 A-3 license isn’t inferior. However, I doubt about assigning them to the young ladies of Japan’s nobility 」
Shou-neechan said flatly.
「 W-What do you know! 」
Adelheid tells Shou-neechan.
「 The A-3 short-term program graduates from the Academy are filled with ambitious people. Especially you for someone in middle school, it must be hard for you to obtain that A-3 license. But, it’s common for those with that license to find a child of a wealthy man in the West or in the Middle East, right? If it’s in Japan, you don’t promote yourself on the nobility but with the wealthy people 」
Shou-neechan speaks with a serious face.
「 Japan’s nobility is peculiar. They have tradition and history. Recently, cases of Academy graduates like me becoming a bodyguard has increased, but, I don’t think that the nobility in Japan would want a foreigner to be their bodyguard 」
「 That’s because the nobility in Japan’s society is exclusive, is that it? 」
Adelheid-san asks sullenly.
「 Wrong. The nobility is peculiar with the Japan-specific history and cultural background. International standards don’t apply to them. They’ll smack you down if you push the global standards to them 」
「 However, earlier, you mentioned about the family lineage of bodyguards that protect the nobility, and the decline of birthrate 」
「 That’s right. However, Kouzuki SS exists in this country 」
「 Our foundation is protecting the Kouzuki house, the Japanese tradition. We mobilize ourselves following Kakka’s principles. We will be the company to protect families with weakened bodyguards 」
Shou-neechan said. Misuzu…
「 Our gathering today opened my eyes to all various problems. For example, some lend their bodyguard to their relatives, and there’s this girl who hired a bodyguard from abroad. Also, families that can’t find bodyguards for their daughters 」
In the end, the bodyguard market isn’t settled.
Basically, each family hires its own bodyguard.
Some have one, others can’t find them.
Bodyguards who are showing a confused look right now, some bodyguards are dissatisfied with their current employer and want to transfer to a different one.
「 What do you think of letting Kouzuki SS become the agency? For example, we can notify other families if they have excess bodyguards, and as Seki-san just did earlier, she can inform you about other countries 」
「 Right. Kouzuki SS can train young bodyguards. And if we have a bodyguard with high skill and pleasant personality, I can introduce them to everyone 」
「 T-That’s…That’ll mean that Kouzuki house will dominate the bodyguard business! 」
Complained, the young lady Tendou Otome pushes from behind.
「 Business? That’s an interesting idea 」
「 Training bodyguards for the nobility daughter cannot establish a business. It’s troublesome and only poses loss for us 」
「 T-That’s… 」
「 That’s why I believe that this is a job for Kouzuki house 」
Misuzu shows a beautiful smile.
「 Kouzuki house protects the tradition of Japan’s nobility after all 」
「 Uuuu 」
The girl that complained fell silent.
「 Also, depending on the situation, we must think of swapping bodyguards 」
「 Right now, close relatives from other houses have their bodyguard, and so, for example, in my case, I can leave my two-years younger Michi as their bodyguard 」
Misuzu looks at Kurama and Anjou sisters.
「 As expected, it’s convenient if the girls are on the same age, like Kurama-san’s case 」
Then, she looks at the bodyguards who are dissatisfied with their current Master.
「 I believe that we should create an environment which makes it easy for the bodyguards to do their job 」
In short, the current messed up master-servant relationship…
It shows the bodyguards the possibility that they can reset with the master-servant relationship they don’t agree with.
「 Also, Misuzu-sama, another problem is the future of the bodyguards specialized for young ladies. 」
「 Oh, you’re right. We will have male bodyguards with us once we graduate high school 」
I see. Other girls will get discarded once their master Graduates.
「 I intend to have Michi serve me forever. But other families can’t do the same. Am I right, Seki-san? 」
「 Yes 」
「 If the bodyguards still desire to be a bodyguard after graduation, how about we hire them in Kouzuki SS? 」
「 I will report to Kakka 」
「 I’m looking forward to it 」
Misuzu looks at everyone again.
「 Of course, we’re not forcing anyone. Only for those who wish for it. If you have the experience and skill to protect your master from childhood, and you want to continue the job, that’s when you call for us 」
It’s not a bad deal for the bodyguards dissatisfied with their current state.
They’re in middle-high school, and so they’ll graduate after a few years.
Those tied up to specific houses due to the ancestral connection…
They can take off that chain by joining Kouzuki SS.
「 If you have other suggestions, don’t hesitate to talk to me 」
「 As for the bodyguards, you can go to Seki-san. I believe you have a lot to consult with her 」
「 Yes, I welcome inquiries 」
The flow becomes Kouzuki house deals with all the problems gradually.
「 But, I wonder what’s with her 」
One of the young ladies looks at Adelheid-san, who’s dumbfounded.
「 Yeah, nobody’s going to hire her now 」
「 Seki-san’s right, it’s better if wealthy families hire her as a bodyguard, not nobility 」
「 What. That’s nothing different from now 」
「 Torii-san’s family doesn’t belong to the nobility after all 」