「She’s not the person in the past Kyouko-san talks about」
「Yoshida-kun…who do you think Shirasaka Moritsugu want to kill the most in the list?」
Minaho-neesan spreads the list in front of me. Misuzu and Megu also looked at the paper on the table. Written on the『Murder list』is… First…the people of『Kuromori』that’s hostile against Shirasaka house. …Minaho Kuromori Shirasaka Moritsugu only knows Minaho-neesan as the leader of『Kuromori』 Therefore, the surname’s『Kuromori』instead of『Yuzuki』 Following…Katsuko Takanashi. Margo Starkweather He recognizes both of them as people in『Kuromori』… Nei-san’s name isn’t here. It’s obvious…Shirasaka Moritsugu doesn’t know Nei-san. Nei-san has never appeared in front of the guests of『Kuromori』 The only one who has business with Nei-san is the『fourth Cesario Viola』 Nagisa’s name isn’t here…I feel relieved. Un…it’s already been four years since Nagisa has retired from『Kuromori』 Following the list are the number of people with『Shirasaka』in their last name. It’s all names I don’t know. Perhaps, these people are rebelling against the Shirasaka head; Shirasaka Moritsugu, trying to rebel against Shirasaka house by making a deal with Kouzuki『Kakka』 Lastly…Shirasaka Sousuke and his family. The list ends with old man Ichikawa’s name.
「If you’re Shirasaka Moritsugu…who’s the highest priority to kill?」
Minaho-neesan’s the mastermind of this case. Minaho-neesan should be the one Shirasaka Moritsugu has the most grudge against. Margo-san laughs.
「Sadly…it’s not her」
Misuzu mutters …Why? Shirasaka Sousuke is his nephew isn’t he? Even though he’s been looking after him up until now…
「You’re right…if Shirasaka Sousuke-san’s mouth is sealed, it’ll become a futile situation」
「This time’s Shirasaka house’s scandal…to be honest is all just crimes of Shirasaka Sousuke being exposed. Therefore…if Shirasaka Sousuke dies, you can just make everything vague…!」
「Right…rather, the Shirasaka house thinks that if Shirasaka Sousuke continues to live, it’ll be bad for them. He’ll be caught by the media and just talk about Shirasaka Sousuke…!」
…I see. It is as Katsuko-nee says. As of now, the only evidence Minaho-neesan released is about Naomi-san’s remains. Various entertainment reporters shed bad rumors about Shirasaka Sousuke on TV… Shirsaka Sousuke’s comment hasn’t been taken yet. If ever Shirasaka Sousuke’s taken to an interview, or a press conference… This scandal will flame up even more.
「Therefore…before that happens, Mr. Shirasaka Moritsugu would like his cute nephew to die. That’s the only method remaining to extinguish this scandal」
It doesn’t matter if the death is suspicious. If Shirasaka Sousuke dies…the spark this scandal will disappear. The media’s pursuit will stop.
Yukino mutters in a small voice. Mana, she’s not saying anything. She’s just holding Megu’s hand tightly.
「Therefore…Minaho has instructed Kyouko-san to turn Shirasaka Sousuke missing」
Un. Nobody knows the current location of Shirasaka Sousuke.
「So that’s why that woman asked Margo-san about Kyouko-san! 「That’s how it is. Those people know that Shirasaka Sousuke is with Kyouko-san」
Shirasaka Sousuke and Kyouko have left Australia. If they discover the departure record…what’s left can be imagined easily.
「Miss Cordelia spoke to us in Japanese and intimately is part of the plan. She thought that someone would accidentally talk about something that can be a hint」 「But sadly…not a single one of us knows Kyouko-san and Shirasaka Sousuke’s current location」
「Wait a moment…does that mean that those three want to know Shirasaka Sousuke’s whereabouts…?」
A bad feeling crosses my mind.
「That’s how it is Yoshida-kun…Miss Cordelia lied about her being just a『witness』for the other viola」
「Those three have come to kill us according to their contract with Shirasaka Moritsugu…!」
「I don’t think those three are running under『Fourth Cesario Viola’s』orders No matter how you look at it, those three are on a higher rank. And yet…them searching Shirasaka Sousuke’s location…!」
They are aiming for Shirasaka Sousuke’s life too.
「The reality is that they overlooked us this time so they can know the location of Shirasaka Sousuke」
Margo-san leaked a sigh.
「Then, they intend to kill us either way?」
「…Should be. Shirasaka Moritsugu didn’t make a contract with the『Fourth Cesario Viola』but rather with those people’s『Organization』」
Minaho-neesan answered. In short…Our enemy only the『fourth Cesario Viola』 Our enemy is the whole『Organization…』 Even the other『Cesario Viola』 would come to attack us.
「Is there no way to annul that contract?」
「It’s only when the client can’t pay up a lot of money, then they can void the contract」 「Un, regrettably…underground world prioritizes trust. Once the contract has been signed, it has to be executed no matter what」
「There’s only two ways of cancelling the contract. Shirasaka Moritsugu withdraws the kill contract by paying a penalty…」 「And the other one?」 「Shirasaka Moritsugu is unable to pay up the reward for success…!」
…Err. Margo-san explains what Minaho-neesan said.
「If the client is judged to be unable to make payments…the murder contract will immediately be cancelled. It’s foolish to do work if it won’t turn to money, don’t you think?」 「They have to make such a rule…the person who’d do anything just to dispel his grudge relying on a『Criminal organization』should have the resolution of being killed later…!」
I see…if a person who pretends to have money requests for a murder.
「If they killed the person as requested and he said『I don’t have money』…The『Organization』would have net loss. It costs quite a lot of money for people to kill people after all」
The client’s life won’t be equal to it.
「Therefore…the『organization』constantly monitors the client’s pocket. Then…If ever the client no longer has the ability to pay…the contract would be cancelled at that point」
「Shirasaka Moritsugu…has requested to kill this many people. The contingency fee would become several hundred of millions of Yen. But if Shirasaka Moritsugu loses power…and falls down from the head seat of Shirasaka family, he can’t spend that much money freely」
It would become impossible for Shirasaka Moritsugu to pay up hundreds of millions of yen as an individual. No, in the first place, the kill request was made only because Shirasaka Moritsugu is sticking to the head status… After he’s chased out as the heads of the house…it would be meaningless.
「Therefore our current strategy is to endure Shirasaka Moritsugu’s downfall」 「Meaning…making the deal of the rebels in Shirasaka family with Kouzuki『Kakka』a success?」
I asked, Margo-san;
「On the contrary…the night hotel would become a bloodbath. Everyone on that list would be gathering together」
They can reasonably kill everyone.
「Are they going to blow off the hotel with missiles?」
It could be the radioactive material and murder gas that came out from the conversation with miss Cordelia a while ago Mana asked worriedly
「Mana-chan…cost-effectiveness is very important in business」
Margo-san gently smiled to Mana.
「Even though they’re going to earn millions of yen…it’s stupid to hammer it all for a missile. The『expense』enemy use would only several ten million yen」
But still…that’s a lot of money. If it’s the foreigners that attacked earlier, they can easily mobilize hundreds of people.
「With this…I’ve understood the gist of why Miss Cordelia approached us」
「But still…I think them purposely greeting us that way and talking about her having something『borrowed』from Kyouko-san is true…」
Margo-san answers with a dark face.
「But, we don’t know if Miss Cordelia’s『borrow』is『Favor』or『grudge』. Either way…the number of enemies have increased」
「But…why is Kyouko-san’s name not on the list?」
Katsuko-nee who’s been looking at the list all this time asked. Speaking of which…『Kyouko Dothnomechey』the name that’s most famous in the underworld is missing.
「Could it be that Shirasaka Moritsugu failed to notice her?」
「No…Shirasaka Moritsugu knows that Kyouko-san is the guard of『Kuromori』」
Minaho-neesan said Right…Kyouko-san’s been the guard of『Kuromori』even before Margo-san and Katsuko-nee joined. There’s no way Shirasaka Moritsugu is unaware…
「I can only think of Miss Cordelia negotiating with Shirasaka Moritsugu to remove her on the list」
I don’t know the reason
「Why did she do it…even I don’t know」
「Isn’t that obvious?」
Yukino speaks up.
「That person’s not a『job』…but a personal kill target?」
「…Un. Yukino-san might be right」
「There’s nothing else possible!」
No…Uhm Yukino, do you understand your own position?…
「Haa…Somehow, I’ve gotten hungry」
「Even if you think about it, nothing’s going to change. Either way, whatever happens will happen…!」
Sometimes, I’m envious of Yukino’s thick nerves just like climbing mountain ropes. Margo-san laughs.
「Right…Yukino-san’s right. I think we can trust Miss Cordelia’s promise that they won’t attack the theater nor raise an incident until after 8. However, it’s not only the three of them, endless spies have invaded」
Right. Miss Cordelia said. Even if the attack starts at 8…the agents would be sneaking before. As soon as it’s 8PM…there’s a possibility of the person next to me being shot and killed.
「Well…there’s only Kouzuki security service and the child’s guards here now but, The venue would be gathering more and more guards from each respective houses」
Katsuko-nee said. Right, before the opening time…various families would be coming here starting with Kouzuki『Kakka』 Of course…the VIPs would be having top level guards. The safety of the venue rises.
「Everyone, try to be together as much as possible. Don’t separate from each other. Don’t approach people you think suspicious even for a bit. When you feel something strange then report to Minaho or me immediately…okay?」
No…Yukino. What are you to us again? I’m getting even more worried.
「Should we report Miss Cordelia’s matter to Kouzuki security service?」
Katsuko-nee asks Margo-san.
「No…they’re using IDs from American commerce department, director Yamaoka can’t deal with it. Those three are special. I don’t think the agents would be using the same method. Rather, I think it’s better to let Kudou-san know it. That person will be checking on the people coming to visit from US government today」 「…Michi-san, where do you think your father is right now?」
Katsuko-nee asks Michi…
「I think that father will be flying around the theater anyway.1 Norma-san’s in the front entrance so I think you should call her instead」
Yeah…we should stop going out of the theater.
「Got it…I’ll contact her」 「Please…Katsuko」
Katsuko-nee bows to Minaho-neesan and head towards the entrance.
「Now then…what should we do?」
Margo-san asks Minaho. Then…Misuzu speaks.
「Uhm…I should prepare for my『dress rehearsal』soon…!」
O-Oh right. She has to change costumes.
「Un. You’re going to the dressing room right?」 「Yes. Does everyone want to join in?」
Now then…what to do?
「Right…Megumi and Mana-san should be with Misuzu-san for a while if possible」
「That’s the safest place in the theater right now. There are girls doing practice independently outside but most of the performers are in the dressing room, right?」
I see…the guards who protect the performers should be in the dressing room too.
「Yes, that’s why everyone should go there」
「That’s not going to happen. Today’s performers are small children, aren’t they? Shouldn’t the guardians come along, not just the guards?」 「Yes, I think there are some」 「It would be fine if it’s their mother but…if it’s the father, they’ll know our faces…!」
Ah…They might be customers of『Kuromori』 At such places…furthermore, before the opening time, it would be bad to see Minaho-neesan’s face.
「Therefore, we’ll stay in the lobby for a while」 「Okay, then I’ll go there too」 「If Maru-chan’s there then me too!」
「You see, Maru-chan’s the safest place for me!」
Nei-san said and smiled. What’s left is Michi, Yukino, and Me.
「Yukino-san…I think she shouldn’t come to the dressing room」
「…Why?」 「Her look…is indeed strange」
True Yukino’s wearing a yellow-and-black construction dress. It’s definitely not vulgar clothing but… No matter how you look at it, it’s a girl weak in the head. Her hobby is too bad…it stand out too much.
「Besides…Today, Takabayashi Sayaka-san is here?」 「…No way?!」
Hearing Misuzu, Yukino raised her voice.
「…Who’s that?」 「It’s Yukino-san’s classmate in middle school」
Mana told me.
「She’s been talking about Yukino-san in the dressing room since lunch time. 『I’ve come to play in Shirasaka Sousuke-san’s house』she said…she’s always been talking about the arrangement of the house and even the snacks served」
Misuzu smiled wryly. Shirasaka Sousuke’s a director on a leading advertising agency. As a member of Shirasaka family…Yukino even attended an Ojou-sama school until middle school. It’s not strange if she’s acquainted with a pupil of Konpeki style school.
Yukino made a bitter face.
「Then, it’s better not to show your face」
No matter how disguised she is…Yukino’s former classmate will be able to identify her identity.
「Mana, is it okay to meet her?」 「Maika-san has never met that person even once…in the first place, Mana isn’t Maika-san!」
Mana said then smiled.
「It’s okay. I’ll be with you」
「Danna-sama, what about you?」
…I …What should I do? …Then Several people come this way. Kanako-san who asked us to work on the pamphlets is walking ahead. Behind her… Kudou Haruka’s four followers.
「Sorry…I had to take off my costume after the『dress rehearsal』…!」
Kanako-san who changed to her practice Yukata came back breathing roughly.
「The clothes today were borrowed from the headmaster so I can’t let it get dirty」
Kanako-san wiped her sweat with a small hand towel then said.
「My…are you done already? I’m sorry, Misuzu-san and her guests did everything…!」 「It’s not just us. Ruriko-san and Yoshiko-san came to help out too」 「Really?!…I’m very sorry」 「Don’t mind it」
On behalf of everyone…I spoke to Kanako-san.
「We’re Misuzu’s 『family』after all」
Hearing what I said…Kanako-san’s surprised.
「Misuzu-san…could it be, this person?」
Ah…shit Kanako-san seems to have misunderstood me as Misuzu’s secret『fiance』
「This one isn’t the『fiance』grandfather has decided on me…」
Megu and Mana pats my back.
「…Eh?」 「This is Misuzu-san’s territory」 「Un…it can’t be helped」
「Geez, you’re slow~! Hurry up and go to Mii-chan’s side…!」
Nei-san thrusts me from behind. I line up next to Misuzu. Misuzu smile as she look at me.
「This is the person I chose…the one I love…!」
「My…Is that so?!」
Kanako-san’s face turned bright.
「Yes. I’ll tell only Kanako-san!」
Among these two…Kanako-san has her face feel very mature but… She’s younger than Misuzu.
「…I can’t tell Manami-chan?」 「Ufufu…you can. But, only Manami-chan」 「…Yes!」
Misuzu and Kanako-san smiled peacefully at each other… Kudou Haruka stares at us with a bitter face.
「Then, we can leave the pamphlets to Kanako-san, I assume?」 「Yes…Nadeshiko-sensei’s apprentices would be coming soon」 「My, isn’t Kiyoko-san already here if you’re talking about apprentices?」 「I’ve seen Kiyoko-san do independent practice with Midori-san and Makie-san」 「I see…the apprentices are busy aren’t they?」
Misuzu and Kanako-san are having conversation only apprentices of Konpeki style can understand.
「It’s almost time for Misuzu-san to prepare…」 「That’s right… I have to hurry」
Kanako-san looks at me.
「Have you seen the order in the pamphlet?」
「Misuzu-san…will be the third from the end for today’s dance」
Third from the last?
「The last would be the headmaster, Nadeshiko-sensei’s dance」
Today’s gathering is a symposium of Konpeki-style dance. So the last…the teacher will be dancing herself.
「Before Nadeshiko-sensei is Manami-chan who’s the best in our class」
True…they said that Manami-san’s the headmaster’s granddaughter wasn’t it? Misuzu’s before her. Then that means that Misuzu’s the second most skilled among today’s apprentices?
「It’s a huge selection. Misuzu-san really did her best」 「Don’t say that…it’s embarrassing」
「Un…I’m looking forward to it. Misuzu」 「Today…I will dance for Danna-sama…!」
I want to kiss Misuzu. But…it would be bad here. Kanako-san’s looking… Behind her are people glaring at us.
「…Sorry but, you haven’t forgotten your promise with us?」