Tendou Otome’s 17.
There’s four years age gap, and that’s huge.
Both glared at each other.
Tendou Otome mentioned that she learned martial arts from an acquaintance in her hometown dojo.
Haiji-san graduated from an academy in Europe that trains people to become bodyguards.
「 Who’s going to give the start cue? Referee? Are you doing it? 」
Tendou Otome asks Edie while still looking at Haiji-san.
「 Do actual combat have a start signal? A referee? 」
「 Hah, so you’re going with the street rules? Fine with me! I like that better 」
Tendou Otome clenched her fist and takes a stance, facing Haiji-san.
「 I mean, if you’re the judge, it would put me at disadvantage. Don’t interfere until I smash down this young girl 」
She barks a lot for a weak dog.
I recall that line.
「 I see. Otome-chan thinks that actual combat is a brawl 」
Nei stirs her up.
「 For us, actual combat means killing the opponent 」
「 So you say. But what can a decorative bodyguard of the young lady of nobility do? 」
Tendou Otome glared at Haiji-san.
「 You’re just taking it easy with your rich employer, and I don’t. We’re different. I lived through hell back at my hometown 」
Tendou Otome doesn’t know…
Haiji-san is born from a prostitution den in Europe, where she escaped by herself.
No, she doesn’t know us either.
She has no intention of knowing either.
I mean, she’s a daughter of Yakuza and so she has her hardships too.
Even this time, her father dragged her to this half-hearted plan, forcing her to come to Tokyo.
It’s not just Tendou Otome who experiences hardships.
What about Nei whose parents and brother were murdered and confined her for a long time.
What about Edie whose raised in a closed assassination cult and yet sold to Miss Cordelia.
「 I will not lose to a lass who’s just an escort of a young lady 」
Tendou Otome inspires herself.
That means, she can sense some fear towards Haiji-san.
Therefore, she’s trying to reason with herself that she should be stronger than Haiji-san.
「 Haiji-san, keep calm 」
「 Don’t panic, she’s someone you can beat 」
「 Yes, Kuromori-sama 」
Haiji-san takes a stance.
「 D-Don’t joke with me, why would I? 」
At that moment.
Haiji-san starts moving.
「 WOO!!! 」
「 Fuck off! 」
Tendou Otome tries to evade but Haiji-san’s faster.
「 Tsk!!! 」
She managed to guard Haiji-san’s kick with her arm.
「 Goddammit!! Haaa!!! 」
Tendou Otome lets out her Qi.
Haiji-san stopped moving, and she’s going to use that chance to take her down in a single attack.
「 NON! 」
Haiji-san’s body slips through Tendou Otome’s Qi.
It’s the technique to ward off Qi. Kudou style martial arts.
「 W-Why do you?! 」
She knows that Michi and Edie can use that skill, but…
She never thought that the four years younger girl also knows the same skill that can ward off Qi.
「 She evolves every moment 」
「 While Otome’s unconscious, Haiji already moved to the next level 」
「 That can’t be true!!! 」
Tendou Otome tries to hit Haiji-san with her fist filled with Qi.
The combat ended too soon.
「 !!!! 」
Haiji-san’s counter kick hits Tendou Otome’s flank.
「 Gueeee!!! 」
Tendou Otome’s body turned around from the momentum of the kick and she lied down on the mat floor of the dojo.
「 Guuuuuuu!!! 」
Tendou Otome twists around the floor as she holds her side.
There’s tears, snot, and saliva leaking out. She’s in pain.
She’s writhing in pain.
「 Otome-chan! 」
Tokuda Sonoko-san stood up and tried to rush towards her without thinking but…
「 Don’t go over here 」
Edie stops her.
「 B-But… 」
「 It’s okay. She’s suffering but she won’t die 」
「 Yes, she will not die 」
Haiji-san tells Sonoko-san.
「 Although, hitting a vital spot would really hurt. Amazingly, you didn’t pee yourself, Otome 」
「 Guaaaaa!!!! 」
Tendou Otome’s groaning in pain.
「 That’s disgraceful of you. After all that bragging you’ve done 」
Edie laughed at Tendou Otome who’s lying down on the floor.
「 Yomi, ease the pain with your power. She can’t talk like that 」
「 Yes, Sensei 」
Yomi uses her Miko power.
「 Hey, I’ll ease up the pain 」
「 Aah, gugu, aguguguuuu, uuugh, aaaa, fuuu, aaa, fuu, fuu 」
Tendou Otome’s breathing calmed down.
She still holds her side but she no longer writhes from pain.
「 Just because the pain decreased doesn’t mean you can move. The damage still remains in your body 」
Edie tells her.
「 If you force yourself now, it will be dangerous for you 」
「 Haaaa, haaaa, haaaa 」
She’s calmed down but her tears and snot still flowing.
「 Otome, you’re a hopeless frog in a well 」
「 Compared to ordinary people, you’re somewhat strong. But, your martial arts aren’t great. You haven’t learned seriously 」
「 Uuuuu 」
She wants to retort but Tendou Otome can do nothing but groan.
「 Oh right, you also learned martial arts at least. But, Otome, you weren’t serious in learning. The school of techniques you have is all plastered together from the best parts, you don’t know the foundation at all. That’s why you can’t gather up the right experience 」
She thinks that the martial arts flair is nothing and so she only learned the flashy techniques.
She uses Qi skills.
But, her foundation is overwhelmingly lacking.
「 Furthermore, you’re naive to think that your skill is good enough to get through this world and so you lack daily training. That’s why you are useless 」
Then, Edie looked at Haiji-san.
「 Haiji learned the foundation from the Academy. Don’t look down on academic training. It’s multiple people taking a long time to build all the theories. Each of the high-level techniques is different but the foundation isn’t. Human bodies have an identical framework. Haiji only received the training from the academy but she continues to train everything that she learned there. Therefore, she can master a new skill in such a short time. Her body is sharp and flexible.
Haiji-san’s proud that she graduated from the Academy.
And it has also become her insecurity.
Haiji-san has no connections with the elites nor any first-class bodyguard companies.
Therefore, she had no place to learn but the Academy.
「 During your exhibition match at the party Haiji, that “German Ninja Arts” that you used was something you made, right? 」
Edie asks Haiji-san.
Oh right, that one.
That strange technique where she takes out a blade on her toe and fights with kicks.
「 Yes, I’m sorry 」
「 Don’t. You thought that you have to show your appeal by learning a special technique you can use, right? 」
「 Yes, I’m half Japanese and European after all. I thought that saying that I mastered ninja arts from Japan would increase my chances in getting hired in Europe but I grew up in Europe so I don’t know any ninja arts 」
Thus, she called it German ninja arts.
In the end, Haiji-san couldn’t find an employer in Europe.
That she became a bodyguard of Torii-san in Japan instead.
I see. She wrote that she can use German ninja arts in her resume, and so…
She had to show off that skill during her fight with Anjou Kinuka-san as Torii-san’s watching.
「 Haiji’s German ninja arts were ill-prepared. It’s not a skill where you thought every corner, and so none of it makes sense 」
Yeah, during her fight with Kinuka-san, there was that strange atmosphere.
Kinuka-san’s cat claws also looked somewhat stumped.
Although, Anjou arts is an old-fashioned martial art passed down to generations of the bodyguards of Kurama house.
The sisters don’t cooperate with other bodyguards either.
「 Otome saw Haiji’s German ninja arts and thought that the ill-prepared skill means that she’s not skilled 」
Therefore, she had confidence that she’s stronger.
「 But I saw through her poor skills and understood that Haiji habitually trains her body with the basics. I thought that she could grow stronger as she has an honest personality, all she needed is a senior figure. That’s why 」
I see. So that’s why Edie…
That’s why she wants Haiji-san in our family.
Haiji-san’s arrogant on the outside because she’s impatient due to her having no connections.
She saw that the real Haiji-san is an honest and earnest girl.
「 I also got it somehow. Haiji-san’s speaks harshly with Torii-san but she makes sure to stand behind her Master 」
She’s enthusiastic about her appeal but she’s not desperate.
She wanted to get a higher class employer among the daughters of nobility at the party.
That’s because Torii-san is in that weird position where she’s not actually a daughter of nobility.
「 Yeah, I sensed that she’s not a bad girl. It’s just that she’s ignorant of the ways of the world. 」
Despite Shou-neechan, who graduated from the regular course in the academy, being present.
She started a business of referring graduates of the academy’s short-term course to the nobility.
「 But, I didn’t sense any displeasure with Haiji-san. She’s a troublesome girl, but I saw her as an interesting and cute girl 」
Torii-san, Kanou-san, and Kaan Momoko-neechan.
Also, Anjou Mitama and Kinuka.
「 T-Thank you 」
Haiji-san blushed as she thanked me.
「 Then, what did you feel with Otome-chan? 」
I look at Tendou Otome who’s still lying down and unable to speak yet.
「 Tendou-san has nothing but unpleasant emotions 」
I speak honestly.
「 When she came with us to rescue Sonoko-san and others in the Karaoke bar, I thought that she sees them as friends, but it’s different. 」
「 Tendou-san’s kindness is imposed on the other party. She doesn’t care what the other party wants nor what they think. She only forces them to do what she tells them to do 」
「 I thought so too 」
「 Therefore, Otome-chan thinks that all of the daughters of Yakuza are her followers and that she has to protect all of them 」
「 Yeah and those girls are using that attitude of Tendou-san back at her 」
Especially the blonde, red-haired, and perm-haired girls.
「 Or, it becomes an unwelcome favor, just like Sonoko-chan 」
Nei looked at Sonoko-san.
「 Sonoko-san, you should be clear with her. Tell Otome-chan that you can’t be together with her 」
「 Yes, you’re right 」
She speaks to Tendou Otome who’s lying down on the tatami mat floor.
「 Otome-chan, you see… 」
She speaks calmly, yet serious.
「 I don’t know if it’s the right choice to become a prostitute or not. I’m still 17, and so I don’t know a lot in this world. Maybe I’m just going with the flow since I’m told that I have no other way but to become a prostitute, and I might accept this fate. I’m just a weak girl. I don’t have a strong will. I know that my life will not go as how I expect it to be. I’ll always succumb. Maybe they’re people different from Tendou-san. I might still be a girl that is dominated, but… 」
Tendou Otome gives Sonoko-san an intense look from the floor.
Her voice is faint, but her eyes show light through Sonoko-san who has weak vitality.
「 I can’t go with Otome-chan. After all, to me, it means that I yield to Otome-chan, that Otome-chan will control my life. Nothing’s changed. Not for Otome-chan, not for me. After all, Otome-chan ignores my feelings 」
Yomi’s using her Miko power.
It’s not that Sonoko-san’s saying whatever Yomi wants her to say.
These are the thoughts Sonoko-san’s been keeping in her mind.
The emotions she couldn’t tell Tendou Otome, her friend.
She can speak honestly now…
It’s all thanks to the assistance of Miko power.
She learned this from Tsukiko earlier.
The technique to skillfully press the other party’s mind without hurting them nor putting too much pressure.
「 Besides, no matter where we go, we can’t live with just the two of us. Otome-chan and I can’t do it. After all, Otome-chan’s body is strong but your heart is weak. I can’t support the weak Otome-chan. It will only be painful to me 」
「 So…no…ko… 」
Tendou Otome finally speaks.
She speaks in pain, in loneliness.
「 Otome, you were misunderstanding that you were protecting her 」
「 You thought that you’re protecting Sonoko and the other girls, but in fact, it’s your way to keep your own heart stable. In fact, you don’t protect them, and you don’t have any bond with them 」
Tendou Otome looked up at Sonoko-san in surprise.
「 Yes, you didn’t protect us. After all, Tendou Sadao’s comrades still raped me. Earlier, when Otome-chan said “I lived through hell,” I thought “Huh?” It’s Shigeyo-chan and me who lived through hell. Otome-chan doesn’t get it 」
「 I can’t forgive the girls who watched us in silence as the men raped us. I hate them all. Eri-chan and Rie-chan are still young so I can forgive them…I mean, those girls will become sex slaves, right? Then they’re forgiven. Naoko-chan will become a prostitute together with me so I forgive her. But, I won’t forgive the others. Those who raped us, those who watched, and father. I’ll never forgive him. They all got loose screws in their head and will die soon? Good. They all should just die! 」
Sonoko-san’s dark thoughts inside her blow out.
「 Ah….what…about…me? 」
Tendou Otome asks in desperation.
「 I’ll never forgive you either, Otome-chan. I hate you! I hated you all this time Otome-chan!!! 」
Hearing that would be harsh for Tendou Otome as she holds homosexual love towards Sonoko-san.
「 I hate everyone. Nobody came to save me! I hate everyone! 」
「 But, saying that you hate everything won’t let you survive for the future 」
「 Even so, Sonoko-san. Tendou Otome’s one-sided kindness is some unwelcome favor but you still survived because she’s there, right? 」
Tendou Otome’s actions weren’t all in vain.
「 Tendou-san, whatever she does are all fruitless effort, but… She didn’t want you to get involved, and that’s why she invaded the Kouzuki house’s party alone 」
The first plan is for the daughters of Yakuza to attack the young ladies of nobility.
「 I don’t care about that 」
Sonoko-san turned her face away.
「 Oh, I see. Then, we’re going to put Tendou Otome now, you don’t mind it, do you? 」
「 Right now, she’s just a noisy girl with no use. She can’t even become a bodyguard since she lost to Haiji-san. Should we erase her memories and throw her out? 」
I looked at Yomi.
「 But, Sensei, if we erase Tendou Otome-san’s memories about Kouzuki house and us, then we will need to erase all her memories with Tokuda Sonoko-san. The reason why she is hostile to Kouzuki house is that she wants to save Tokuda-san 」
「 This incident and Sonoko-san has carved deep in her mind. Therefore… 」
「 If we’re erasing her memories of us, we need to erase her memories of Sonoko-san as well. Sonoko-san will become our prostitute. If Tendou Otome has some memories of Sonoko-san remaining inside her, she will desperately search for her, and that’s a problem 」
I said. Sonoko-san.
「 I don’t care if Otome-chan forgets me. It doesn’t matter to me 」
「 So…no…ko 」
Tendou Otome makes a face similar to a person who received a death sentence.
「 It’s okay. We can make it so that we never met each other. It’s better if nothing happened between us 」
Sonoko-san whose mind is freed is quite extreme.
「 That’s not it 」
「 Yes, memories of Tokuda-san in Tendou-san’s heart is carved deep inside, and it takes a big chunk 」
「 If we remove all memories of Tokuda-san, Tendou-san’s ego will crumble 」
「 It means that her mind will have a seismic shift and it will collapse in itself 」
That means, she’ll turn crazy?!
「 You sure you want Otome to become like that? Do you mind? 」
Edie said. Sonoko-san…
「 I-I… 」
She looks at Tendou Otome with a pale expression.