「 Why is Yukino-chi taking over the center?! 」
「 No, I know that Yukino-chi has that kind of personality so I can get a bit of the reason, but you know, Megu-chan, what’s up with you?! I thought you two spite each other? Why are you two sitting next to each other looking like you’re having fun?
Nei only knows Megu’s falling to the bottom of despair and declared that she’ll become my slave.
「 I mean, Megu-chan, I thought that you’re in the gloomy mode tonight?! Kana-chan did corner you if I recall correctly 」
「 That’s 」
I’m trying to explain it, but then, I suddenly realized.
Nei should know everything that happened in school as she’s watching through the cameras.
She went with Margo-san to send Kana-senpai off, but,
They can’t use the built-in monitoring system in Margo-san’s car while they’re with Kana-senpai, but,
They should be able to use it on the way home.
They picked up Michi and Kudou Haruka on the way,
But they should be able to use earphones to hear what’s happening in the mansion on the way back.
No, someone should’ve told Nei on her way back to the mansion about Yukino and Megu reconciliation. Katsuko-nee or Nagisa should’ve contacted her.
She shows that she doesn’t know anything other than what happened in school…
「 I’m home 」
「 Hello 」
「 Looks like we’ve reached just when everyone’s eating 」
Margo-san, Shou-neechan, and Rei-chan appear at the entrance of the dining room.
「 While I was parking in the garage, Shou-oneesan and Rei-chan arrived just in time 」
「 I parked my car at the entrance. I would head to Kakka’s mansion later anyway 」
To send off Yoshiko-san, Misuzu, and Ruriko.
「 Welcome back, desuno! The hot pot is still boiling, eat up a lot! 」
Agnes smiles at the three.
「 Ladies, you can sit here 」
Nagisa carries small bowls to the seat next to Kudou Haruka.
Shou-neechan looked at Haruka.
「 What’s with that? Are you going to a show? 」
Well, she’s wearing a Karate uniform and her hairstyle’s cut in an interesting way. Then, she still has the wrapping cloth in her neck.
「 Uhm, I’m going to make a living with Karate, and so I thought of staying like this all the time 」
Haruka said with a serious face.
「 By that, you mean abandoning your womanhood? 」
「 No, I didn’t. I’m still a woman no matter how you look at it 」
「 Indeed. A woman. If you ask me, you feel more of a female entertainer 」
「 Entertainment is a craft, but I will live through martial arts. I’m going to show the guts of the Japanese spirit in America! 」
「 I see. Well, good luck 」
Shou-neechan gave up on her.
「 Oh, you’ve accepted Margo-san’s martial arts talk 」
Rei-chan talks to Haruka.
Seems like Rei-chan heard that Margo-san invited Kudou Haruka to her martial arts team.
「 Yes. Now that it has come to this, I’ll do it. I’ll become a star. A shining star in America. I’ll do my best in becoming the “Japanese Karate Princess” I’ll get hold of the stars 」
She’s beyond prepared, she’s proud.
「 I’m worried about you the most though 」
「 What? 」
「 I mean, compared to Margo-san and Edie, I think that you won’t become the Karate princess unless you grow stronger 」
「 That’s why I’m living in here starting today! 」
「 Oh, I see 」
「 But, you’re joining in the fights with only Karate? 」
「 Yes. I’ve been a Karate practitioner for a long time 」
「 No, what Shou-oneesama’s saying is that it won’t be a match against Kudou style 」
「 I won’t use that! 」
「 Did you not learn at least the basics from Kudou-san? 」
「 I forgot about it! Not from that man! 」
Oh well, Haruka’s got antipathy against Kudou-papa.
「 Really? Let me warn you beforehand, if you’re participating in American martial arts tournament, then you should learn Kudou style 」
「 Indeed. They should’ve matched with a lot of Karate users before. It won’t make a lot of impact if you’re just a “women’s Karate champion in Japan” 」
Shou-neechan and Rei-chan said.
「 But, not Kudou style! 」
「 If that’s the case, get yourself a good teacher. A unique martial artist with original moves. There’s not that many as strong as him. He’s stronger than Haruka’s father 」
「 Who is it? 」
「 That one kicks out enemies at high speed through its unique rhythm of action. And it takes everyone down. It’s unbeatable. That man is quite strong, it literally is a different dimension style 」
Could that be?
「 That man is the natural enemy of Kinoshita-san, you met her, right? 」
「 What? That man is on par with that lady? 」
「 Not really, I mean, the different dimension man is much stronger. Although, for some reason, that man falls to Kinoshita’s level whenever they fight 」
I knew it, isn’t that Dai Grepher?
「 If I train under that man, will I become stronger? 」
Haruka’s nostrils are expanding.
「 I think you’ll become stronger. After all, he likes girls like you 」
「 I mean, he’d definitely be delighted if you present him a high school girl 」
Shou-neechan and Rei-chan looked at each other.
Old man Dai Grepher’s known as a pedophile along with his strength.
「 Wait, you’re not pushing me to someone crazy, right?! Is he a pervert? 」
「 Hmm. I don’t think that he’d be real harm. Isn’t that right, Reika? 」
「 Yes. He would never make a move for real 」
His motto is “YES, LOLITA! NO TOUCH!” after all.
「 But, his gaze makes you feel like he’s licking you all over, it’s disgusting 」
「 Yeah, his gaze is definitely disgusting. It’s the eyes of a degenerate after all 」
Rei-chan, you’re exaggerating.
「 I’ve tried to beat him up with all my strength time and time again 」
「 Oh right, Reika joined in right after graduating in high school, and so a lot of people look at you 」
「 But, I couldn’t hit him at all. He avoids all my attacks with his weird looking movements. Then, he would say “Reika-kun, your movements are all right today as well” 」
「 That was when Reika’s still wearing male clothing, right? 」
Shou-neechan entered Kouzuki SS after graduating in Europe…
She doesn’t know Rei-chan’s days as a newcomer.
「 That’s right. Well, thanks to that, I became faster in my attacks. I never failed on thinking that I want to hit him at least once back then. But, ever since I started dressing up as the British Gentleman, he stopped coming. He got interested in other girls instead 」
「 But, that man is skilled 」
「 But if you master that Man’s skills, it would be too disgusting that nobody would come close to you anymore. Especially when you’re showing up in martial arts tournament, right? 」
「 I can’t recommend it 」
I think so too.
「 I see 」
Hearing Shou-neechan’s grave opinion, Haruka reconsiders.
「 That guy moves strangely, but he also speaks strangely whenever fighting, remember “Nyohohoho?” 」
Yeah, he definitely sounds strange.
Even Kinoshita-san got disgusted by it.
「 Ah, I think he was mimicking Iwata Tesugoro’s Yohohoho 」
「 Who? 」
「 You don’t know him, Yo-chan?! He’s a legendary pitcher! He’s at his 90s by this year already 」
「 Yoshinobu-kun, Nei’s joking, don’t take it seriously 」
「 Sorry to disturb the meal but, Yoshinobu-kun, Nei, Misuzu-san and Edie, could you come with me to the room next door? 」
The dining room fell into silence.
「 Oh, it’s nothing big. I just want to finish up something while we’re all eating, it won’t take that much time. We’ll be back right away 」
「 Do I not have to go? 」
「 There’s no need, Ojou-sama. You already know about it 」
Oh, so it’s that?
「 Okay, let’s go right now 」
Misuzu stands up.
「 Hey, what is this?! What’s the story? 」
Nei doesn’t seem to know.
「 You should go. I’ll look after Michi-chan 」
Nagisa came to my seat and said.
「 Master 」
She’s feeling down earlier,
Michi clings to me like a kitten begging for milk, but,
She seems lonely.
「 I’ll be back right away 」
I pat Michi’s glossy hair.
「 Okay. Let’s switch 」
I stand up, and Nagisa sits on my chair.
「 Don’t make that face, Michi-chan 」
「 Yes 」
She’s depressed about her mother, and so,
I think that Nagisa’s warm motherly feeling would heal Michi better than me.
「 Then, thanks. I’m heading out 」
I head out of the dining room together with Margo-san.
◇ ◇ ◇
We enter Minaho-neesan’s monitoring room in front of the dining room.
This was the room where Minaho-neesan summoned Megu last night.
This room is soundproofed, and so our conversation won’t go outside.
「 There we go! 」
Edie closed the door and locked it.
Misuzu remains silent.
「 Oh, by the way, Yo-chan, I talked it out with Kana-chan, and you’ve got to look forward to Ai-chan. We cooked up quite an exciting plan 」
「 Nei 」
Margo-san calls her out.
「 Huh, what? 」
「 “That one isn’t going well so stop it,” that is the goal of our conversation here 」
Edie, who closed the door, tells Nei.
「 Why?! I-I was only doing it for Yo-chan to enjoy 」
「 Then, shouldn’t you talk it out with Yoshinobu-kun first? 」
「 But you know, it won’t be fun if it’s not a surprise 」
「 Are all Nei’s plans just surprises? 」
「 That’s right. It’s Darling, and so he won’t mind even if it’s a surprise, but ordinary people would get angry. Like “Why did you decide without asking me” 」
Nei sends me a glance.
「 But, if I ask Yo-chan, he’d just say “Stop that” or “I don’t need it,” it’s a plan I took time to make and so I don’t want it to be gone 」
Yeah, if she did consult me beforehand,
I won’t go with the plan to rape Kana-senpai at all.
Since it’s me, I’d most likely stop in the middle of the plan.
「 It’s Nei who thinks that it’s fun. Not Darling 」
「 Right. I think you’re going a bit overkill. You two 」
Margo-san looked at Nei and Misuzu.
「 Yes, I’m very sorry 」
Misuzu bows her head to Margo-san.
「 We’ve been short-sighted 」
Unlike Nei, Misuzu;
She saw Yukino freeing Megu up.
「 Wait, why are you going that way now Mii-chan?! Also, Edie?! I handed over the seat with Yo-chan and yet… 」
「 That’s because you don’t want to be the one cornering Megumi, do you? 」
「 T-That’s true, but, Edie, weren’t you allied with Mii-chan and me? You’re with us making plans, so shouldn’t you also be responsible for this?! Now, why are you with Margo-oneechan now?! Shouldn’t you be getting scolded together with us!? 」
Nei’s also overdoing it.
That’s why she knows why she’s being scolded.
「 In short, it was Ya-chan and Misuzu’s plan on using Kana-senpai and cornering Megu to let her say that she’s my slave? 」
「 Ugh, gununu. I-I don’t know anything about that 」
Nei tries to whistle and gloss it over.
「 Nei-oneesama, it’s useless. It looks like they know everything 」
Misuzu tells Nei.
「 Edie, you traitor! 」
She blames Edie.
「 Nope. I did carry out Nei and Misuzu’s schemes, but I’ve been on Margo’s side from the beginning 」
「 What?! A spy?! 」
「 Not really, Nei 」
「 Edie stays with Yoshinobu-kun to make sure that he could press on the brakes before Nei and Misuzu’s plan turn grave 」
Now that you mentioned it.
Edie’s clinging to me a lot.
「 Your schemes didn’t go well. But, it didn’t become a problem thanks to Edie and Mana-chan. Nagisa-san, Katsuko-san, and I requested the two beforehand 」
It’s not just Edie but also Mana.
Yeah, she was paying attention to a lot of things.
「 The three of us tried not to give any direct assistance if possible. We’d like Minaho to make minimal intervention, but if we didn’t move, Minaho would’ve intervened like usual. Well, even so, it’s Minaho who always give Yoshinobu-kun and Megumi-chan preferential treatment 」
The other members of the senior group let us free, but,
Minaho-neesan’s the one trying to make contact at each critical point.
That’s her personality, and so it can’t be helped,
「 Margo-oneechan, I thought that you’re leaving this case all to us? 」
Nei speaks in a depressed tone.
「 I did. We didn’t do anything at all. Nothing but watching over the situation 」
「 We asked Edie and Mana-chan to be the brakes, and it was the two of them who made the decisions. We didn’t give them any other instructions, also 」
A moment of silence. Then Margo-san tells Nei.
「 In the end, it was Yukino-san who saved Megumi-chan. We didn’t do anything. Yukino-san’s the one who pulled Megumi-chan out 」
「 Yukino-chi?! 」
「 Yes. We planned to shrink down Megumi-san and keep her in check. But it seems that our idea was wrong 」
「 Wait a second!? But, 80% of Megu-chan’s problems is herself, right? That girl doesn’t understand anything that we try to explain to her, and she’s throwing out the harmony of the family. That’s why we had no choice but to… 」
「 Indeed, Megumi is indeed hard to convince. But, you’re also biased 」
「 Megumi and Nei think differently. That includes the way you accept information. Your rules in your living are different, as well. 」
「 Right. That’s not bad. People live in various ways, and so their outlook should also be different 」
Margo-san tells Nei.
「 And the problem, in this case, is that Nei and Misuzu were both living in the same rules. Therefore, you two have the same opinion. And you two communicate well because your rules are the same 」
「 But, Megumi-chan lives under a different rule than Nei and Misuzu. No matter how many times you teach her with your logic, she won’t understand 」
「 But, everyone other than Megu-chan understood how we think 」
Nei said. Misuzu;
「 But it doesn’t get through Megumi-san herself, and so it’s useless 」
「 Oh, Nei’s thought of “why can’t you understand” whenever approaching Megumi-chan keeps on escalating, but 」
「 Megumi gets angry as “why do I have to keep hearing this again and again?” 」
「 In short, Nei thinks “why do you not understand” on Megumi-chan, but 」
「 Megumi also thinks “why do you not understand” to Nei 」
And as they both don’t understand each other, their emotions and expression escalate.
「 And yet, I think that Megu declaring herself as a slave did for the better 」
「 No, but we wanted Megumi-chan first recognize the reality, and look at her relationship with Yo-chan and the family again 」
「 I get why. But, demoting her from being my fiance only makes Megu feel desperate. I mean 」
I look for the words.
「 Megu knows what Ya-chan’s talking about. The reason behind it. She thinks that it’s fair. But, she can’t be convinced in her heart 」
「 Heart? 」
「 That’s right. She can’t accept it in her heart, and so the unpleasant emotion accumulates, and it refuses the logic 」
「 Yet, you all just push the reasoning that Megumi-chan doesn’t understand. That she doesn’t accept the logic 」
「 Furthermore, Minaho initiated this pressure on her 」
「 Yeah, I’m glad that Minaho wasn’t in a hurry. If Minaho herself rushed it, Megumi might’ve committed suicide already 」
「 That won’t happen. Minaho-neesan’s weak to Megu 」
「 Besides, Minaho-neesan knows moderation 」
Then, I turned around to Misuzu and Nei.
「 Ya-chan and Misuzu, you two are too smart. If you’re presented with the logic that says “this is for the best,” then you’d understand right away, but Megu or I am slow thinkers, we don’t get that right away. We don’t have Ya-chan’s comprehension speed 」
「 Sorry, Danna-sama 」
「 No, of course, Megu is also at fault. Megu didn’t grow up within the family for the four months. Ya-chan’s right, she’s throwing out the harmony of the family 」
「 But. That doesn’t mean that your approach is right. That only makes Megu reject it all, and if you leave her alone like that, she might commit suicide in despair 」
「 That’s 」
Megu hangs her head.
「 No, it’s also my fault for not understanding what’s happening and just watching it. Sorry. I’m not smart, and so I only realized what’s going on. We don’t know what’s going on at the moment. I’ve been thinking so desperately on what can I do for Megu at that place back then, but 」 」
My power to understand is only so much,
That’s why Margo-san,
They left Edie to push the brakes when needed.
She knows that Edie can judge whether the state is going just right.
「 I really am useless 」
I muttered. Then Edie took my hand.
「 You’re not. If you feel like you are, then make use of that as experience and become better 」
「 That applies to you Misuzu and Nei as well. It’s okay to make mistakes. I mean, no human doesn’t make mistakes. Even making the same foolish mistakes because of some attempt is also natural. That’s how you experience life 」
「 That’s right. Nei. Misuzu-san. You thought that it’s for the better, weren’t you? You weren’t acting out of malice, and so, even if you fail, it’s okay. You can do better next time 」
「 However, if you make too big of a mistake, then it will leave a scar. Therefore, sorry, but we sent Edie to you to observe what you’re doing 」
The relationship between Megu and the family has to be protected from breaking down.
「 But, I still don’t understand why Megu-chan didn’t get it. What should we really do? Why is it that Megu-chan and I got both stubborn 」
Nei speaks with a serious look on her face.
「 You can’t change her outlook 」
「 Recently, I’ve been teaching Agnes and Mao-chan chess 」
Oh, the European Shogi.
「 And so, I taught them how to move the pieces and the rules 」
The youngest two?
「 Then, the next day; I surely thought that the two are already playing chess, no, I was sure that they can play it, but I was wrong 」
「 Those girls made a new game for themselves instead of following the rules I told them the day before 」
「 I taught them about the king, queen, knights, castle, the ordinary parts in chess. But, Agnes and Mao-chan started making their new pieces 」
「 They named each as President, Train staff, part-timer, public hall, and such 」
「 If I recall, they also named some as “stuffed toy,” “knife,” “Shou-oneechan’s car.” Then, they decide the moves of each piece. For example, the “cheetah” can move forward three tiles and back by two 」
「 When I explained that “In chess, it simulates a war, and so, one has to be gallant,” then they started using “poison gas,” “bossy commander,” or “attack” pieces, but 」
「 Oh, that one’s from the archive, “Nora Kuro” 」
Our library is filled with a huge collection of Manga which the previous prostitutes left behind.
No, I think “Norakuro” was a gift from the customers of Jii-chan’s age.
「 I see. Then, I think the anime they watched with Nei also had an effect, what’s “Reflex Gun?” 」
「 I don’t know 」
What comic, what power?
「 Anyway, the small girls made some interesting thoughts. They looked at the game and didn’t follow the established rules, but instead, they made a new set of rules and played with it 」
「 If Misuzu and Nei were given a chessboard and pieces, then I’m sure that you two would play with the rules of chess. Perhaps, you’d go decently well, and get strong over time. But 」
The two look at Margo-san.
「 You don’t know how those who made new rules feel, and you can’t imagine it either 」
Margo-san speaks harshly, but she’s smiling gently.
「 You’ll only follow the rules given and think that it is the correct way to play, and if you see someone playing with different rules, you’ll exclude them for being wrong 」
「 You are logically correct. Reasonably correct. You play chess with chess rules. But, what will you do when someone who doesn’t know the rules comes in? You’d push your correct rules to them. But, if it’s just a game, shouldn’t you also play with other rules? Don’t you think that it’s too precious to let the children create new pieces, new rules, as they please? 」
「 But, we’re a family, and the family has it’s rules 」
「 Is that really it? 」
「 I know what’s your mistakes 」
「 You were trying to guide Megumi-chan from above. You were forcing her to learn the lawful rules 」
「 You could say that, but 」
「 I think that you should become Megumi-chan’s friend before doing all that 」
「 I played with Agnes and Mao-chan with the rules they made and the pieces they named. I also made a new piece for myself. I called it “my Maserati,” and it can move six forward and two perpendicular tiles. I run over them with the piece I made, but 」
「 Do you think that both parties can reach an understanding unless you teach them the rules? 」