Ruriko-san’s retainer…Yoshiko-san said. The vassal of the noble Kouzuki house, calls Kouzuki『Kakka』『Gozen-sama』
「Gozen-sama, once he has decided on something, it’s not something that can be overturned easily… Misuzu-sama is still young, isn’t it better to take a look at the situation and take time top persuade him so he can understand?」
Yoshiko-san’s suggestion is reasonable but…
「Then…won’t that be impolite for my current『fiance』?」
Misuzu said. True, even though Misuzu doesn’t intend to get married with him in the future…it feels sorry for the man who thinks『I’m her fiance』without knowing anything.
「Besides…I myself can’t endure the reality that I have a『fiance』other than this one」
Misuzu looks at me.
「I want to live with this gentleman」
Nei-san and Margo-san’s looking at us amusingly. Megu and Mana have a slightly complicated face. Yukino, her mouth is opened wide. I…what kind of face I’m making right now?
「I might be disowned by grandfather after this. I might be banished from Kouzuki house today. But still, I don’t mind. I know that even if I became just my body alone, I know that this gentleman will accept me…」
Misuzu’s prepared for it. If she’s disowned by Kouzuki house…she can’t stay in her home anymore. She can’t go to school either. Even the dance would be impossible. Misuzu would lose everything. But still…she said that she wants to be with me…
「What a wonderful thing it is…right, Yoshiko!」
「Are you really sure about that…Misuzu-sama?」
She’s shocked in the situation where Misuzu might be expelled from Kouzuki house.
「…Kuromori-sama too, are you okay even if Misuzu-sama leaves Kouzuki house…?」
Oh…this person. She thinks that I knew Misuzu was a member of Kouzuki house and that I seduced her.
「When I first met Misuzu, I didn’t knew which house she was born in at all」
I poke honestly.
「Even know…I don’t know Kouzuki house well. I think that’s fine. I came to like Misuzu, not Kouzuki house」
Misuzu smiled at me.
「Danna-sama…your hairstyle today is wonderful…!」 「Oh, this?…I thought that Misuzu would like it so I had Katsuko-nee fix it」 「…As I thought」
Misuzu leans her body to me.
「…I love you, Danna-sama」
…Misuzu. Misuzu turned towards Margo-san, Nei-san, Megu and Mana.
「I’ll ask everyone too. If ever I were to be expelled from Kouzuki house…will you allow Misuzu to live by Danna-sama’s side?」
Misuzu asks looking at each and every eyes.
「I don’t mind it at all! It’s fun to have the『family』increase!」
Nei-san took the lead.
「I am in that standpoint after all. If Misuzu would join in, I would be pleased to welcome you」
「When you talk about that, Mana’s the same too… Mana only has Onii-chan as her place to go after all. I’m completely okay」
「I don’t know about Minaho’s opinion but…as an individual, I welcome you. I like Misuzu’s personality and talent much more than her family. If you go to his side, then of course, you’d be helping out in our『job』right…?!」
「Yes, of course!」
Misuzu answered with a smile.
Michi speaks up shyly.
「Whatever the situation it may be…I will be escorting Misuzu-sama for the rest of my life. I will accompany you everywhere…!」
If Misuzu is disowned by Kouzuki『Kakka』 Misuzu and Michi would become members of『Kuromori』? the smart and sociable Misuzu… Michi who has a special fighting ability. It would be great if the two of them becomes formal members., …But. Kouzuki『Kakka』isn’t that generous to allow that… She might confine Misuzu and separate her from me. No, he might just kill me… For Kouzuki『Kakka』, the life of a man like me is just worthless. Is it okay for『Kuromori』to be hostile against Kouzuki『Kakka』?
「You won’t ask that person?」
Ruriko-san points at Yukino
「If I recall『Kiirode Kuroko』-san, was it?」
Yoshiko-san asks, Yukino;
No, you’re Shirasaka Yukino. Or rather, you’re proudly calling yourself with that false name? Did she like it unexpectedly?
「Right…how about we ask Kuroko-san as well?」
Misuzu looks at Yukino.
「I…don’t mind it… Just do what you want…you two. Either way, you already thought what I would say…!」 「Yes. Then, we’ll do as we like…!」
Misuzu answered Yukino with a smile. Ruriko-san stares at Misuzu…
「Understood, Misuzu-san…please leave the future of Kouzuki house to me」
Her face is cheerful.
「I am very happy. Misuzu-san who’s been holding back at everything for the sake of Kouzuki house has decided to make her happiness first… With this…I don’t have any more regrets」
「I will live as grandfather desires. I’ll dedicate my life to Kouzuki house. As long as I can see Misuzu-san happy…I’m satisfied」
…Wait Hey…wait a moment?1
「Ruriko-san…are you okay with that?」
I asked instinctively.
「Yes. I am a daughter born under Kouzuki house after all…!」
Ruriko-san replied with a smile that has no hesitation.
「In the first place, I am the daughter of the eldest son of Kouzki Shigetaka, Kouzuki Shigeaki Receiving the legitimate blood, I’ve been prepared to take over the next generation Kouzuki house since I was born」
That’s right…this girl’s the eldest son’s daughter. Misuzu’s the second son’s daughter. The current head of Kouzuki house, Kouzuki Shigetaka『Kakka』…has no other grandchildren. Ruriko-san and Misuzu are supposed to be fighting on succession… When you talk about blood, it’s orthodox that Ruriko-san would be succeeding…
「Misuzu-san, you’re very beautiful, you’re abundant in talents…among the clan, I do know that there are people who say that『they don’t know who would succeed between Misuzu-san and I』 I know that there are people who plan to divide the Kouzuki family into two by letting Misuzu-san and I fight on succession. Actually…they purposely whisper bad things on my ear so Misuzu-san and I would have discord…」
Ruriko-san’s eyes looks sad…
「I, of course …don’t believe those hearsays. I’ve known Misuzu-san from childhood very well…I admire her as a cousin」 「I also love you, Ruriko-san」 「Thank you very much. But…the people who speak selfishly just keeps on increasing. The cruel rumors spread, then a lot of people on my side misunderstands. They really think that Misuzu-san is fighting with me…」
…Oh, that person?
「Earlier…Haruka-san has caused trouble with Misuzu-san, I think that’s the reason. I understand. Haruka-san is just loyal to me…I am very sorry」
Ruriko-san bows her head.
「Raise your head. Don’t mind Haruka-san… We will be dealing with her properly」
「…Deal with her?」
Ruriko-san looks at Misuzu.
「I’ve thought that Haruka-san’s not fit to be a bodyguard for a long time. That person was first recommended to be my guard but I declined it and chose Michi」 「Yes. Then, Haruka-san became my guard」
…I see. Kudou Haruka’s a third year in high school. Nromally, Normally, she should take care of Misuzu who’s a second year in high school. When they do that, she can guard her even at school… And yet…Misuzu rejected Kudou Haruka. Therefore, Michi who’s in third year middle school protects Misuzu who’s older… Then that would mean that originally, Michi is supposed to protect Ruriko-san who’s in the same third year middle school.
「That is why Haruka-san has a grudge against me. To some extent, that is the reason why she’s treating Michi and I badly. It has nothing to do with Ruriko-san」
Misuzu bows her head to Ruriko-san.
「Not at all. Though she’s older, Haruka-san is still under me. I sincerely apologize for Haruka-san’s impoliteness」 「No, no, it’s my fault…I wasn’t able to remonstrate Haruka-san who’s the same age as me… Misuzu and Ruriko-sama didn’t do anything wrong. Yoshiko will take all of the responsibilities」
Yoshiko-san joined in and the three had a tournament on lowering their heads…
「But, it will be okay now. I am thinking of having Haruka-san quit her bodyguard job…!」
「Haruka-san should better concentrate as a Karate athlete. That person’s an athlete, she doesn’t have the sensibility fit for a guard」
She’ll cut her down.
「That is…I think so too. Haruka-san should devote herself in Karate…」
「Actually…even now, she takes more time in her Karate practice, she’s been neglecting to guard Ruriko-sama…」 「Yes, Michi-san guards me when in school」
…Eh, Michi protects Ruriko-san?
「Thank you for always」
Ruriko-san bows her head to Michi.
「That is because we’re classmates. It’s natural to protect a close classmate. Especially, Misuzu-sama didn’t give such instructions like『protect Ruriko-sama』…!」
Seriously, this warrior girl is bad at lying. I see…Misuzu has sent Michi in stead of Kudou Haruka who’s busy at Karate instead of work… Michi kept guarding Ruriko-san who’s always with her in the school.
「I know the best how the school feels very suffocating for people of Kouzuki…」
Misuzu tells her two year younger cousin.
「Yes. You need to be in a generous attitude so you won’t receiver any slander from anyone. You mustn’t be very intimate with anyone as well」
If you become intimate with the successor of the Kouzuki family…others would be jealous of that person. Therefore, Ruriko-san has to treat everyone around her equally. …She can’t have a close friend.
「The only one I can trust from the bottom of my heart is only Yoshiko…」
Ruriko-san smiled at Yoshiko-san, her retainer. Kudou Haruka…Even though she’s her guard, she’s not trusted at all.
「The me before is the same」
「However, I do not have a『retainer』…My father hates the Kouzuki’s old tradition…」
I see…Ruriko-san’s father is the eldest son belongs to the enterprise of the Kouzuki family… Misuzu’s father…if I recall, he’s a high rank bureaucrat in the ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. He must’ve hated the tradition of Kouzuki house descending from an old noble blood. Therefore, he refused to put a『retainer』for Misuzu.
「I understand. I lived together with Yoshiko since I was three. If Yoshiko-san wasn’t there for me, I would’ve been devastated by the loneliness. It must’ve been very painful for Misuzu-san…」
Regardless of her father’s will…Misuzu is Kouzuki『Kakka’s』grand daughter, she had to fight the world as a member of Kouzuki house. Envy and slander…she has to stand up alone from the self-assertive kindness… It’s very lonely
「I am fine. Grandfather helped me out during the most painful times…!」
Misuzu said then…she writes the word『Nagisa』in my palm …I see., That’s why Kouzuki『Kakka』entrusted Misuzu to Nagisa He believed that if it’s Nagisa, she’ll heal Misuzu’s loneliness…
「Then, I have a lot of people I trust from the bottom of my heart」
Misuzu looks at me. From Nagisa to me. Then…Megu, Nei-san, Margo-san, Mana. Everyone’s Misuzu’s『family』 Yukino’s the only one out of place though.
「Danna-sama?」 「Ruriko-san is Misuzu’s cousin. Then, she’s family to me. Isn’t that right…Misuzu?」
Misuzu looks at my face.
Then, looking at Ruriko-san…
「Danna-sama is very reliable. He’s a gentleman. He’ll never betray me. Therefore…he’ll never betray Ruriko-san「」 「…Really?」
Ruriko-san looks at me…
「Please trust Misuzu’s eyes for people」
「That is…I do trust him however」
「I…I’ve always thought of Ruriko-san as my sister」 「…Misuzu-san?」 「Though we’re cousins…right now, Ruriko-san and I are the only daughters who carry the weight of the Kouzuki house. I’m the position where I know about your suffering and hardships the most…!」 「…Yes」 「Please call me Misuzu-oneesan」 「…Misuzu-oneesama」2 「How does it feel?」
Misuzu smiled. …Then Ruriko-san’s face softens…
「It’s strange…Misuzu-san feels much more close than before」 「It’s Misuzu-oneesan」 「Yes…Onee-sama」 「Then, Danna-sama will be Ruriko-san’s brother. Is that acceptable, Danna-sama?」 「Un…you can rely on me on anything from now on, Ruriko-san」
Hearing me…Ruriko-san’s face blushed…
Misuzu looks at Yoshiko-san…
「Yoshiko-san…that’s how it is. I think this is better so the rumors between Ruriko and I won’t be spread anymore but…」
Misuzu worries about Yoshiko-san who’s been Ruriko-san’s long time retainer.
「Yes…That’s right. I think that this is good」
Yoshiko-san said that but she thought for a while… There’s no clarity in her words. It seems that she’s doubting if this is Misuzu’s plan to ensnare Ruriko.
「As mentioned earlier…I will marry this man. I don’t have any ambition on Kouzuki house. AS usual…I intend to have Ruriko-san as the head of the future Kouzuki house」
Misuzu…made it clear that she doesn’t have the ambition to become the owner of Kouzuki house.
「I’m grateful to you who have been watching over Ruriko-san since age three. Please stay by Ruriko-san’s side for always. But…I’ve also watched over Ruriko-san since she was born. I am the older cousin of Ruriko-san. I don’t have any relative at close age other than Ruriko-san. I’ve always thought of her as my little sister. The same as me…!」
「…Please forgive me for my impoliteness」
She apologized for doubting Misuzu in her mint even for a moment.
「Onee-sama! Misuzu-sama has become my Onee-sama! That’s wonderful! Yoshiko, don’t you think so too?」
Ruriko-san smiles happily.
Yoshiko smiled at her master.
「Let’s return to our talk…it would be dangerous to leave Haruka-san as Ruriko-san’s guard. That person is a very shallow person」
「True…I feel like she’s growing to become arrogant」
Yoshiko-san who opened up suddenly complained about Haruka-san.
「Did she gain confidence after winning the inter high school championship? The media’s been doing what they want featuring he as a『beautiful karate girl』 Today too, she brought four of her friends in Karate club saying『I made a security unit for Ruriko-sama』…And yet, she’s not around Ruriko-sama at all」
Those four followers are like that?
「Today’s Konpeki style presentation would have a lot of celebrities coming after all…」
「Yes…she came in a suit trying to make herself look good in front of those people」
So that pink pant suit was for that? She’s really a small shot or rather, she’s childish. Misuzu speaks to Ruriko-san.
「If she continues to grow like that, it’s clear that she’ll make a blunder and disgrace Ruriko-san sooner or later. We’ll have Haruka-san concentrate on Karate and retire from being Ruriko-san’s guard」 「However, would that obstinate one easily quit? That person boasts about being Ruriko-sama’s guard」
Yoshiko-san asks in worry. Boasting…she must be thinking that it’s a『status』 Nevertheless…she’s neglecting her job which is to protect her master.
「It’s okay. Earlier…I made Haruka-san acknowledge to have a duel with Michi due to her impoliteness towards us」 「Haruka-san and Michi-san will have a duel?」
「…Yes. I will fight with Aneue」
Michi answers with determined eyes. Her hands continue folding the pamphlet properly. By the way, the only one’s working at this stage are… Michi, Megu, Nei-san and Margo-san only…? Mana’s fascinated in listening to our talk. Her eyes are sparkling. She’s interested in the circumstances of the other houses. Nei-san doesn’t cut any corners. She’s a serious person to the root. Though her ears are tilted this way, she’s moving her hand properly. Megu’s a too serious of a child so she’s working silently. Even if she hear the circumstances of Kouzuki family, it’s clear for her that it’s impossible for her to do anything about it. Margo-san…she’s working while listening properly. She’s a person who can do two things at the same time. While moving her hand, her head is calmly analyzing the current situation. I’m together with Misuzu so I feel that it’s rude to Ruriko-san if I’m working on something so…sorry but I stopped my hands. Then, Yukino’s just staring on top of the desk absentmindedly. 『Why am I here?』her face says. That feeling…well, I can understand it.
「If she lost to her little sister, Michi and broke her nose…Haruka-san will stop her arrogance. She’ll notice that she’s not suited to be a guard then concentrate only the world of Karate. We intend to thoroughly corner her…!」
Misuzu told her cute cousin.
「…Michi-san can win against Haruka-san?」
Yoshiko-san’s surprised. It’s not unreasonable. Michi and Haruka-san have their age and physique completely different… Haruka-san’s strength in Karate is also known… She has never seen Michi fight with Kudou style I guess.
「Yes. Michi will win overwhelmingly」
「Oh…so it’s a duel」
「It’ll be fine, Yoshiko. If it’s a duel, Haruka-san doesn’t have a winning chance」 「…Ruriko-sama?」 「…Haruka-san came to guard me with such shoes after all」
…Ruriko-san noticed it?
「Today’s Haruka-san’s wearing a pumps」
Ruriko-san told Misuzu.
「Yes…it seems easy to take off, coming to guard with such shaggy shoes, you can only think of her as an idiot」
Misuzu said in anger.
「It can’t be helped…Haruka-san came here for her promotion instead of guarding me today」
「Therefore…we’ll have her retire from being a guard」
「Understood. I’ll leave it all to Misuzu-oneesama…!」
Ruriko-san gave her approval. With this, Michi can beat up Haruka-san fair and square.