「The fear of Cesario Viola and the trauma from the days when she was confined has been confined inside Nei’s heart the whole time. With Viola dead, the balance inside her mind is lost」
Kyouko-san tells me.
「You do know that Natou Nei is a personality Najima Yasuko made so that her own heart won’t break, don’t you?」 「Yes, I know that」
The real Nei-san…Yasuko is a girl who’s too meek and delicate. When we stayed under the principal’s room, Nei-san has talked about her past.
「When we came back to Japan…a lot of things happened」
Minaho-neesan said sadly
「Nei entered out school but…at that time, her name was already Natou Nei. The name Najima Yasuko can’t be used…」 「Why?」
「Najima Yasuko in the census is still missing in the US. We came back to Japan with counterfeit passport made in Los Angeles. We used the Chinese Canadian name Mei Lin If we applied for Najima Yasuko’s passport reissue, Viola would find her whereabouts…that’s the reason why」 「But…the school?」 「I all forged the papers in our school. Therefore, she has a student register but…Natou Nei isn’t supposed to exist in Japan. It’s just a Canadian named Mei Lin staying in Japan…」 「Could it be the reason why Nei-san had to repeat a year…」 「That’s one of the reason she can’t graduate. She has a student register but…she’s normally a child who can’t be enrolled. Even studying abroad as a Canadian…Nei’s never lived in Canada in the past.」 I can’t leave documents with pictures everywhere. Do you understand it?」
Nei-san’s photo was uploaded to the criminal’s network and Viola identified her and went to Japan immediately…
「Therefore, the Canadian Mei Lin is in Japan on a short term visa. She has to go out of the country once every 90 days to get visa」 「Well, Canadian embassy is anywhere in the country but…my face is effective with American embassy staff so I often went to America. If we’re not careful, it’ll be exposed that it’s a fake passport. We head over there on a private jet…we try not to face other people except for customs staff. We’ve always stayed on a place that’s a closed villa for the rich. Then we never come out of there. Well, she had practiced driving a car with Margo though. Oh…she’s got an international driver’s license in a Canadian rural town」
Kyouko-san explained. Despite of Viola’s presence…they’ve come to America so many times because of that reason?
「That’s why Nei-san often takes a day off from school」 「That’s not the only reason」
「I put Nei in our school…wanting to let her live as a normal high school student, regain her brightness, but… Nei has also entered the chorus club at the start of the class, but… 「What happened?」
From what I know…the Kendo grounds was burned down and the arsonist was Nei-san.
「That girl was still having black hair back then…she’s a beauty that would make any men look at her. She stood out too much within the campus… But, she’s in reality a shy girl」
Yeah…She would be in a mess if men were coming to attack her.
「On top of that, there were many staff members who have the same tone as Shirasaka Sousuke…so she’s been harassed in various ways」
Shirasaka Sousuke’s looking for girls in our school as prostitute candidates. Katsuko-nee and Nagisa…and Iwakura-senpai were turned to prostitutes.
「He has a grudge to us for stealing Nei in Los Angeles. Thus, his protégé male teacher attacked Nei」
That’s the incident when Nei-san was in first year.
「Well, Margo was a student at that time so she was able to protect Nei somehow. but. The teacher who attacked Nei is paralyzed. The kendo grounds he used as a stronghold was burned down as a result」 「Then, anyway…we kept Nei and Margo away from the general students… It would be troublesome if Shirasaka Sousuke’s catastrophe befall into Nei’s friends or something. That man would do that without any problems」
If Shirasaka Sousuke attacks Nei-san’s friends…there’s no response. If he takes a hostage and threaten Nei-san and Minaho-neesan…
「Thus, the girl herself avoided making friends inside the school. Not going to the chorus club…she still has her membership however. An official departure hasn’t been issued」
…Nei-san Without Margo-san who’s her only friend in the school… She’s been lonely all this time. Though she’s registered as a student…it’s a counterfeit so she can’t graduate. She can’t make friends. She’s singing alone on the rooftop of the school building.
「But…even if Nei rejects them, other students will still come for her you see? Especially the boys. Then…she joined up with Margo, pretending to be a delinquent who’s too dangerous for ordinary students to approach. So, Nei dyed her hair blonde and wore blue contact lenses」 「A girl who’s too beautiful like Nei coloring her hair blonde and her eyes blue would make her stand out more you see…she creates an atmosphere where normal children can’t come close to her」
Kyouko-san says so but…in reality, Nei-san’s isolation just deepened.
「Nei made a personality like that to adapt to the image of a delinquent girl, but…in order to comfort her loneliness, Nei thought that her true character won’t be able to endure it」
Everyone’s convinced of the current Nei-san. The delinquent blonde haired girl, Natou Nei’s personality…was born from that …But
「That’s wrong, Kyouko-san」
「Nei-san…longs for a woman with a strong personality like Kyouko-san. That’s why she imitates Kyouko-san’s personality…which results to the current Nei-san」
Thinking that if it’s a woman like Kyouko-san…she’ll be fine no matter what situation she’s in
「Nei, me?…No way」
「No, I think that he’s correct. Nei thinks she wants to be like Kyouko-san」
Nagisa who’s been listening to the talk…answered.
「Because…I’m just a muscle head girl」 「No, I think that Kyouko-san’s middle cuts are refreshing and are fascinating for me」 「Hey hey, nothing will come out even if you flatter me…In the first place, I’m a lesbian」 「I too like girls. But that’s not the topic…I think Nei-san longs for Kyouko-san’s way of thinking, of living with such confidence in oneself」 「Nei thinks that she’s hopeless, that she can’t do anything herself. Even about herself」
Minaho-neesan said sadly
「Yeah…in the end, she closed herself in her shell」
Kyouko-san also shows a troubled face. Nagisa fell silent too. Megu and Mana are playing with Mana-chan while listening to our talk in a way they don’t disturb us …I
「Uhm…I’ve got an idea. Could I have everyone’s attention?」
In order to realize my idea… I need Minaho-neesan and Kyouko-san’s cooperation
「What? Say it」
I begin to talk quietly.
◇ ◇ ◇
Nei-san is in one of the several bedrooms in this suite.
I knock the door
This is Margo-san’s voice. She must be accompanying Nei-san all this time.
The door opened Margo-san looks down on me worriedly
「…You okay?」 「I’m fine」 「Well…come in」
I enter the room. Nei-san was in the bed. Nei-san looks at me.
「Uhm…are you okay?」
It’s not Nei-san. This is Yasuko
「Because of me…I’m sorry」
Tears spill off.
「No, it’s not Nei-san’s fault. It was mine…I was careless」
Margo-san blames herself.
「I imagined what would it be like if you had a gun. And yet…in that situation, I have overlooked Seki-san handing over the gun to you」
Speaking of which…I was told not to hold any guns. If I had a gun, I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot…Margo-san has noticed that before.
I laughed gently
「Is there a problem?」
「Because…I’ve made you carry the cross of killing people」
「Yes. I shouldered it…I’m finally same as everyone」
The two of them look at me in surprise.
「…Minaho-neesan, Katsuko-nee, those who are prostitutes in the past. MArgo-san who killed the person who raped her. Nei-san who can’t help out her brother…I’m finally able to stand on the same place as all of you…!」
I’ve already gotten over it.
「And…the experience I had can no longer be changed. The only way is forward. With my face raised…facing forward…」
Reach towards Nei-san.
「Margo-san…please teach me martial arts starting today. It’s not to become stronger. If ever the opportunity arises that I have to use violence…if it’s to protect the family, then I will do anything. My resolve won’t change…I don’t want to do excessive injury on people I use violence on so I want to be able to have brakes」
「The beat up stick Margo-san gave me…is a weapon that won’t be able to kill even if I beat up the opponent, right? Margo-san purposely handed me a weapon that only has that amount of destructive force…」
The beat up stick…is a short stuffed golf club that’s cut off. If the grip is long then it’s possible to crush the skull of the other party by applying centrifugal force, but… If you swing something that short, the destructive power of that extent won’t come out.
「Even if one hurts people…it doesn’t lead to killing. You chose this weapon so I won’t cause any fatal injury to the other party by mistake due to my recklessness. Margo-san has been worried about my mind issues for a long time. Thank you very much」
Right now…various things have really come to light. Margo-san and Minaho-neesan…has been taking care of me in various ways…
「With that thought…I want it to be thoroughly charged in my body. No, even if I can’t hurt the other party if possible…I think it’s best to learn the skills to be able to stop Please teach me. Please… !」
Moving forward. I can’t stop. I have a『family』I need to protect. There’s no choice to move forward…I must be active and not be greedy.
「Okay, I get it. I’ll train myself too. Polishing skills where you can’t kill thoroughly…」 「Yes, we may be a criminal organization but…we’re not murderers」
If I could protect the『family』that’s good enough.
「…Are you really sure?」
Yasuko speaks in a timid voice.
「What are you saying this late…Nei-san」
I smiled. I’ll drag out the Nei-san from inside Yasuko-san.
「We’ll be together forever…I’ll protect Nei-san」
Yasuko looks at me.
「By the way… what kind of place is America?」
I start the topic calmly
「It may be impossible right now, but…I’d like to go there on summer vacation with you, Nei-san」 「…Eh, Why?」
「Ah…you’re not coming? But, we can meet each other over there…and come back together」 「…What is this about?」
I smile at Nei-san.
「I asked Kyouko-san to smuggle us out of Japan. I don’t know how to do it…maybegoing out to the sea with a fishing boat and board a cargo ship at sea? Or jump from an island to another using an airplane…then ride a ship. Anyway, I’ll let Kyouko-san choose the route」 「Why are you going to sneak out of the country? Couldn’t you just take a passport and fly with an airplane normally?」
Margo-san looks like she doesn’t understand it as well…
「Speaking of passports, Nei-san leaves the country with her usual Canadian passport, right? Thus, she can go to America anyway. Oh, come with us too Margo-san. Then, in there’s someone in Miami Japan consulate who’s close to Kyouko-san so they’ll meet up. Kyouko-san and Minaho-neesan will come」 「…Miami?」
Nei-san doesn’t figured it out yet…
「That’s where we’ll issue Najima Yasuko’s passport. he girl who’s been missing in US is coming home. There’s no more cruel criminal coming for you, Nei-san. Let’s burn the counterfeit passports in Miami. You’ll come home as Najima Yasuko…!」
Nei-san’s eyes comes back to life.
「If we come back from the America…we can use your original family register. Even in high school, it won’t be fake documents anymore. You can graduate. Isn’t that great!?」
…That’s right. Nei-san will follow the formal procedure…and come back home. Then, reclaim her lost life…
「Un, I agree with that. That’s better, Nei」
Margo-san’s also pleased with my talk
「But…I understand about Nei however why do you have to sneak out of the country?」
I was waiting for that question…
「My passport will also be made at the Japan consulate in Miami…」
「Nei-san…I’ll definitely fulfil the promise I made…」 「…Promise?」 「That’s right. Didn’t I promise to become Nei-san’s real brother?!」
…I’ll move forward. …Far more forward. By myself, actively…
「In Japan consulate in Miami…I’ll become Najima Keito. The siblings who went missing in US…will be coming home together!」
I’ll take over Kei-san’s register… That’s the path I’ve chosen.
「…You’ll be Kei-chan?」
「Of course, it doesn’t mean that the lost Kei-san has to be erased. It’s fine for Kei-san to stay alive in Nei-san’s heart」
That’s right, I’m not Kei-san’s substitute. I just want to be Nei-san’s little brother.
「When we return home, Minaho-neesan will process adoption papers immediately. Therefore, I’ll be Kuromori Keito. Minaho-neesan said that she’ll build a grave with the name Najima Keito…for the late Kei-san」
Nei-san stares at me.
「Therefore…I’ll just take over the family register and Kei-san’s name. No, I’m really sorry that someone like me is going to take over the lost Kei-san, but… But, I’ve made my decision. I’ll never leave Nei-san’s side. This is the only way in order to be with Nei-san for the rest of our lives…!」
Once I’ve become the younger brother in the register…I can never leave her. Even if I die, I can’t leave.
Margo-san says as she look into my eyes.
「But…are you sure? Are you fine with that life?」
Yasuko asks me
「The live I had until now is nothing…」 「But, you…you’re going to throw away your past for me…」
「I don’t care about my past. The future where I can live with Nei-san is much more important…!」 「…Yo-chan」
The Nei-san comes back from inside Yasuko-san… No, that’s not it. I’ve only been with Nei-san, not Yasuko-san so… If I’m going to be with Nei-san in the future… Yasuko-san has to awaken Nei-san’s element in herself. By doing so… Yasuko-san and Nei-san will be fusing gradually. Slowly taking their time… That is the real reason why I have to be Nei-san’s brother. Yasuko-san is too fragile. Nei-san thinks that her personality is an act. By fusing the two somehow… A new Nei-san who can survive no matter what will be born…
「From now on, I’m Keito. Ah, but…『Kei-chan』is the name of the lost Kei-san. Please think of a new way to name me」 「…That’s」 「Ah, too troublesome. Kei will do. Call me…!」
「I’m Nei-san’s brother. I’m the brother so Nei-san can depend on me. Anything will do. I’ll allow it all, forgive it all…」
Err… What should I say after this?…
「Anyway…I love Nee-chan!」
Tears spill out of Nei-san’s eyes… Like a grain of pearl…
「Love…I also love you…」
Margo-san pushes my back. I go to Nei-san’s front. Then…we hugged each other.
「I’ve loved you since the first time we’ve met. Nee-chan」 「…Un. Thank you. Thank you…Kei 「I won’t let go anymore」 「Me too…I won’t let go」
We can’t become lovers. What Nei-san needs is『family』…a brother. Therefore, I’ll love my sister as the brother…
「Sorry, I…think I won’t be able to leave Kei anymore…」 「That’s fine」
That’s what I wish for…
「We’ll be together forever…I’ll bear Kei’s child, raise it with Kei…and grow old together Are you still okay with that?」 「Isn’t that obvious, it’s okay…」 「I feel sorry for Kei’s wife」
I laugh and look at Nei-san…
「There’s no one among my『women』who cares about that. Everyone will accept it happily.」 「…Is it okay?」 「I’m with you so have some confidence. You’re everyone’s『onee-san』…Nee-chan」
Nei-san leans her body on me…
「Can I do it?」 「You can…you’re my dear sister」 「Yeah. I’ll entrust my mind and body to Kei. If I’m with Kei…I’m not scared of anything」