…Err Me, Katsuko-nee, Megu, Nei, Margo-san… Kyouko-san, miss Edie…miss Cordelia and Eenie & Meenie… Ten people head to the basement. Minaho-neesan’s the only one who’s not participating…either way, she’s watching through the surveillance cameras. Katsuko-nee’s taking the lead, miss Cordelia and her two subordinates push the wagon where the dishes and the plates are on. What should we do when we reach the stairs? I thought… Oh…those three are ladies with too much strength. One on each fronts, Eenie and Meenie goes down the stairs lifting up the wagon. These two are a good combination and their trunks are well trained so the wagon’s not shaking at all. They carry it in parallel with the floor without any problem. Margo-san and I are carrying out the rolled carpet but…Margo-san’s carrying it lightly but I’m going “Wheeze” already Why are carpets so heavy? Behind me are Nei and Megu holding cushions in both arms.
「We’ll only carry some for now then get some more once I know the location!」
Megu said There’s two on each arm, a total of four…Nei has the same number so it’s eight in all. Yeah, there’s ten people in need. No, Minaho-neesan might come in later too… Reika, Mana, Nagisa and Mao-chan might join in too. It’s better if we have a lot of cushions. Kyouko-san is on the last of the line, carrying miss Edie on her shoulders. Eddie’s flapping her arms and legs a while ago but now she’s limp, showing a displeased face. She’s now sticking on Kyouko-san’s shoulder like a stuffed toy.
「Kyouko-san, you don’t have to do that…it’s okay to talk to her properly I think?」
「No, this is fine. It’s better to treat her as a foreign object when it comes to Agnes…!」
Kyouko-san seems to have an idea. Miss Edie doesn’t have anyone she thinks of a kindred spirit other than Michi… Mao-chan, her favorite isn’t here too. Nagisa…the kind mother of Mao-chan, who seems to be receiving Edie’s favor quite a lot is also absent. Rather…she’s together with miss Cordelia who she doesn’t get along with and escaped from. Kyouko-san who she can’t match against too…if you ask me which, she’s bad with her. Miss Edie right now is an extreme away situation.
「You all too, don’t be kind to this girl! Nei and Margo, don’t speak in English! Just talk in Japanese so this girl suspects on everything!」
「Oh, Cordelia and your girls, speak in something else but English. I think this girl also understands Spanish」
Kyouko-san instructs Eenie and Meenie who can’t speak in Japanese. They seem to cut off Edie from any information.
「Cordelia…you’re educating those girls properly, right?」 「Yes, of course I’m teaching to speak multiple languages…but that girl’s from『New Orleans’』assassination organization, right? I think she’s somehow indoctrinated with French too」 「Then, go with Russian or Swahili」 「Urdu would be fine too…!」 「I won’t understand that then. Since it’s a rare opportunity, I’d like to be friends with them…!」
Margo-san told her teacher.
「Margo, what language are you studying recently?」 「German and Italian…」
So Margo-san’s studying those.
「Then let’s go with German」
Kyouko-san then starts talkin in very fluent German. Eenie and Meenie were immediately convinced…replying in German. Margo-san talks to the two in German. There seems to be a joke spoken and only those who knew German laughed.
「Kuku…I don’t know German!」
Nei says frustrated. Even if you say that…I only know Japanese.
「Yoshi-kun, let’s talk in Japanese!」
Megu tells me.
「Ah, that’s sly, Megumi…! I’m talking to Yo-chan too!」
Nei comes interrupting. We walk through the corridor while having such conversations.
「But still, Anges would definitely be surprised if these many people rush in」
I tell Katsuko-nee
「True…there’s hardly anyone entering that girl’s room. It makes me a bit worried…besides」
Katsuko-nee looks at the wagon.
「What’s wrong?」 「It’s her first time to have this kind of this…would she eat it?」 「Huh…what does that mean?」
Katsuko-nee shows a gloomy face.
「Agnes’ meals are restricted…her calories are calculated so she can grow up as a beauty, she’s never eaten anything but special meals with balanced nutrition. It’s mostly soup, jelly and juice. A set of daily exercise and those kind of meals…it’s a plan to make her artificial beauty」
…Going that far.
「Masayo-san who raised Agnes is unconcerned about food. Far from tasteless…she’s a person who’s not interested in eating at all. That person has no experience eating meals harmoniously with a family. Therefore, Agnes hasn’t eaten anything but bland hospital food」
Katsuko-nee leaks a sigh.
「After I became the food in charge…I tried to make regular meals several times for Agnes but…she didn’t eat it. For that girls, hospital food are the『food』 It’s imprinted inside her…!」
Hearing Katsuko-nee, Kyouko-san…
「Well, that’s just Katsuko serves the meal badly」 「…What?」
「Either way…Agnes only saw the dishes served to her, right?」 「Yes…that’s true, but」 「That won’t do then…!」
Kyouko-san laughs…then look at Edie on her shoulder.
「Agnes looks an angel but…you have to think of her as a similar existence to this one」
Agnes is the same as miss Edie?
「This girl is also raised in a confined space just like Agnes…but, they’re an undisciplined『wild animal』don’t you think? You just have to treat them like they’re that kind」
「Oh, I just remembered now…the girl, Mana-chan was it? There was a plan to make her a super model beauty right? The data for her diet and exercise are almost complete. That’s Agnes’ data back then…」
Kyouko-san looks at me.
「In Agnes’ case, she started from infancy but…I think that we can formulate a physical remodeling program from age 14. The bad taste from the hospital food would be improved by Katsuko」
I see…if we have Agnes’『Beautification development project』in progress, we can just have Mana take the same. We can have a reliable program even without starting to plan from scratch. Actually…Agnes’ has grown to an amazing beauty. Mana’s also got some good foundation. I’m sure that she’ll be an amazing beauty too…
「But, we have to keep that a secret from Mana-chan…!」
Kyouko-san said. Not only to me…To Nei, Margo-san, Megu too…
「…True. Mana-chan would feel sad if she learns that it’s originally a project of Shirasaka Sousuke for Agnes」
Katsuko-nee mutters. …I see. Her real father was aiming to make her half-sister beauty just for him to rape after all… To re-use that and experience it herself is just…sickening.
「Got it. I’ll keep it a secret from Mana…!」 「Un. Let’s make it a plan we made from scratch for Mana-chan’s sake…!」
「Nei and Megu-chan too…okay?」 「…Yes」 「Got it…Margo-oneechan」
Both of them agreed. …Now then. Before long, our group of people arrived in front of the doors lined up…the one I visited with Minaho-neesan a while ago.
I look at the door where Minaho-neesan’s father was confined.
「It’s okay…it’s already transfered」
Kuromori Koichiro who’s crippled by drugs…is no longer here. But still, I feel like there’s some black grudge remaining in that room.
「Now then…we’ll be rushing in」
Kyouko-san said…Katsuko-nee tries to unlock the door to Agnes’ room.
「Ah…wait, it’s not fun if we just come in normally」
「…I’ve got a good idea!」
「Let’s come in singing a song!」
「A musical form」
◇ ◇ ◇
「Okay everyone? I’ll confirm the lyrics again so confirm which number you are okay…!」
Kyouko-san looks at all of us.,
「Uhm…Kyouko-san. Can’t we not do this song but instead let’s sing a normal song like『Happy birthday to you』?」
Nei says confused…
「No!」 「W-Why!?」 「Ain’t it unusual for us to sing『Happy Birthday to You』at this kind of timing?! There’s no element of surprise!…Besides」 「…Besides」 「『Happy Birthday to You’s』copyright hasn’t expired yet…!」
Eh…is that so?
「No, Kyouko-san…In US copyright protection period has extended, so that song won’t expire until 2030 but., This is Japan…」
「The copyright has expired back in 2007」 「My, is that so?」 「…Yes」 「Well then, isn’t it fine for us to sing『Happy Birthday to You』!」
Nei strongly insists on changing the song.
「No no…we have to do what’s originally planned right? Let’s go with my plan! It’s fine, it’s perfect with the number of people」
「Kyouko’s unstoppable when this happens. She’ll never yield with her plan…also, you all know this person’s character, don’t you?」
Miss Cordelia tells us.
「But…this song is a joke towards me…」
Margo-san looks at her master. Speaking of which…that’s true.
「You don’t have to mind that! It’s just a nursery rhyme!」
Kyouko-san laughs out loudly
「Hey…everyone get ready, there’s no rehearsal!」
Kyouko-san confirms Agnes’ position from the peephole.
「Okay…Agnes is at the bed as expected. With that said…everyone, when I open the door go in front of Agnes in turns」
I also check inside. We have to proceed fast about five meters from the door…
「I’ll run the final check…《One》is me. 《Two》-Margo. 《Three》you boy. 《Four》Katsuko, 《Five》 Nei, 《Six》Megumi-chan. 《Seven》is Cordelia, 《Eight》Meenie, 《Nine》Meenie, 《Ten》would be this『monkey』on my shoulder but I don’t think she will sing so we all will…okay?!
…It’s too late.
「I’ve prepared myself already」
Katsuko-nee mutters powerlessly
「Okay…well then, let’s go!」
Kyouko-san unlocks the door. Agnes deep in the room put herself on guard…
Kyouko-san opens the iron door. …Then.
「…Dedededen! A sore! Dedededen! A sore!」
Kyouko-san comes in the room while clapping her hands together strangely. Edie on her shoulder is just still. She stands in front of Agnes’s bed and takes a pose, smiling. Okay, that’s starting. I rush inside while holding the carpet with Margo-san. We can’t catch with the song unless we do it in this timing. Kyouko-san sings out loud
A bit hurried, Margo-san…
Following, Katsuko-nee, Nei, Megu comes in.
《♫……Four little, five little, six little Indians！》
Miss Cordelia, Eenie & Meenie slowly push in the wagon…
《♫……Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians！》
Lastly, Kyouko-san raised Edie high…and everyone!
《♫……Ten little Indian boys！！！》
Then, a pose of your own…! …What the hell is this? It’s true that there’s ten of us, but… Actually, there’s no other Indians than Margo-san… I’m the only boy…
「…Taha, that looks good!」
Kyouko-san laughs happily. I look at Agnes sitting on the bed once again. …Agnes is. Her eyes are in perfect circle, surprised. …Well of course. It’s too odd for a group appear singing so suddenly.
「Okay, infiltration successful. Suppress the floor…Margo and lad, Lay the carpet in front of Agnes」
Margo-san and I are instructed on where we should position the carpet. This carpet is wide…it’s around 10 tatami mats.
「Katsuko, lay down the placemats wherever needed…Nei and Megumi-chan, arrange the cushions on proper places」 「Kyouko-san, I’m going to take over more cushions!」
Nei says, but…
「That’s enough for now! If people come and go, Agnes would feel nervous…Ah, keep the door open. Make Agnes see that the door is open. Cordelia and Margo, make sure this『monkey』can’t run away」 「…Roger」
Agnes needs to be shown the door world. But, Edie’s not allowed to run away through there.
「Okay, everyone sit wherever you want…Katsuko, take care of the food. Make sure that this room is filled with a delicious food!」 「Yes, Kyouko-san…I’ll warm it up for a bit」
One of the wagons has a large pot of stew made by Katsuko-neesan.
「Connect the cord to the outlet there…this wagon’s also an IH heater」
As told, I plugged the wagon’s cord into the wall outlet. Katsuko-nee flips the switch…takes off the lid of the large pot, then stir it up The smell of the stew drifts.
The swallowing of saliva and the rumbling of stomach sound at the same time. Both of them were from Edie. Miss Edie…weren’t you eating just a while ago?
「We’ve got tacos here too!」
Miss Cordelia takes off the big round metal cover on the second wagon. Yeah, there’s a lot of plates.
「This is the salad Megumi-chan and I made. There’s tortilla for tacos so it’s delicious just eating sandwiches of it!」
Kyouko-san opens the third wagon and said., Katsuko-nee takes out the stew bowl and spoons from the bottom of the wagon.
「Katsuko…listen, you should show it to Agnes clearly」
「Show that you’re distributing the stew scooped out from the same pot to everyone. Make this girl understand that everyone’s eating the same thing…!」
…I see. Agnes has only seen dishes served for herself. If she knows that everyone else is eating the same stew from the same pot… Agnes might eat together with us. For now… She’s looking at us with eyes filled with vigilance… Her body’s stiff…making sure she can escape further in the bed.
「Okay, give out the stew」
Katsuko-nee makes a plate of stew…then hand it to everyone. Katsuko-nee’s the current food in charge of Agnes. She should know that this is food from the smell. Katsuko-nee giving out food should stimulate the image inside Agnes. …In short. Making her recognize that she’s in charge of food of everyone even outside of『Agnes’ room』… If the image of the outside world springs up even a bit…
「Okay, everyone has their plates…」
「Miss Edie and Agnes don’t have one yet…!」
Kyouko-san lowers miss Edie… Purposely closer to Agnes.
Katsuko-nee smile…giving Edie a stew bowl. Edie accepts it scared.
「…Fufufun! Cordelia」 「Okaay~」
Kyouko-san and miss Cordelia approaches Edie to restrain her.
Edie hates the approach of the two and head towards Agnes’ bed. Agnes is frightened but she can’t respond to Edie’s speed. Just like that, she can’t move from the edge of the bed. Edie also hates being too close to Agnes. In the end…She sits in a slightly away position from Agnes’ bed. Then, she noticed that there’s no spoon.1
「Yes, I’m taking one out right now」
Katsuko-nee takes out a spoon for Edie to see.
「But, before that…」
Katsuko-nee scoops a stew from the large pot for Agnes. Then, she put a spoon on it and took it towards Agnes. Agnes is nervously looking this way… Katsuko-nee didn’t give the dish to Agnes directly… But instead she put it on Agnes’ front and left the spoon. Following…she handed the spoon to Edie. Edie tries to eat the stew right away, but…
Kyouko-san shouts to Edie in a frightening fashion! Edie freezes.
Nei answers my question.
「It’s an order used for dog discipline…In Japanese, it’s called『待て』I guess?」
Miss Edie’s treatment turned from『Monkey』to『Dog』…2 Ah…Agnes who’s right beside her is also frozen from Kyouko-san’s roar. It seems that she knows that she’s not the one being told off though…
「Everyone…I don’t know whether God really exists or not. But, I don’t like to thank God for everything. Before you give thanks to God…there’s a lot of people in this world you have to thank too…」
Kyouko-san tells us. Miss Cordelia translates it to German for Eenie and Meenie.
「Above all…I’m thankful to those who cook food. Thank you, Katsuko, Thank you, Cordelia, Eenie & Meenie. Megumi-chan too, thank you」 「Kyouko-san too…thank you!」
「Yeah…thanks」 「Thank you very much!」 「Thank you very much!」
We al speak our thanks to each other.
「Well then…let’s eat!」
We bring the spoon to the stew…and to our mouths. Yes…Delicious Edie’s watching us eat…
Kyouko-san gives out an OK Edie slurps the stew with an amazing momentum. Agnes looks at her dumbfounded.
「Agnes…try and eat it, it’s delicious」
Katsuko-nee speaks to Agnes while eating stew. I see, this girl understands Japanese. She looks like a foreigner so I thought that she’s the same as Edie who doesn’t understand what we say, but.
「Yes, it’s delicious! Agnes!」
Nei also speaks to Agnes smiling. Agnes stares at the dish in front of her…
1. And then Edie became the ONE ↩ 2. We’re going to complete the Zodiac ↩