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Chapter 399. I’ll succeed in life

Chapter 399. I’ll succeed in life

「Are you okay, Ruriko?!」

Misuzu speaks loudly

「That’s right, it’s obvious that Ruriko-sama would feel unwell if you show her this kind of thing!」

Kouzuki Souji shouts with dignity and seriousness in his voice.
I hide behind Seki-san’s shadow.
I’m wearing Kouzuki security service uniform…and since I’m not wearing the glasses for disguise Seki-san lent me, I think that he might notice me.
The students know my face.

「Grandfather…I think that it’s better for Ruriko to come home」

Misuzu hugs Ruriko and tells her grandfather.

「Is that so…Ruriko?」

Ruriko…takes a moment…

「…Yes. I’m not feeling well. I’m deeply sorry but I would like to excuse myself from here」

Ruriko’s already agreed to be kidnapped by me.

「…Stay here. Don’t follow me」

Seki-san whispers to me…then, she takes distance.

「I see, then it can’t be helped…」

At the moment Jii-chan said that…

「…I will accompany her」

Seki-san nominates herself
The people’s gaze concentrate oni Seki-san…

「Umu…then, I’ll leave her to you, Seki-kun」

Jii-chan answers naturally.
Everyone in this place knows that she’s one of Jii-chan’s full-time guards.
Nobody would think of it as strange.

「Then, I will look after Ruriko-sama」
「Thank you, Seki-san」

Misuzu entrusts Ruriko’s body to Seki-san…

「U-Uhm…!」

Yoshiko-san looks at Ruriko worriedly…

「I-I…Ruriko-sama…」

She must be worried that Ruriko will be gone.
She wishes to follow Ruriko’s side just like usual.
But, Jii-chan…

「No. Leave her to Seki-kun」

He declares coldly

「After this meal, it’ll be your debut」

Then, ignoring Yoshiko-san who’s still about to say something, he turns to chief Tanizawa.

「Hey, should we enter the shop on the other side or is it better to go back to the crematorium?」

Fifty people from Kouzuki house and security guards…are divided by the big bus into two.

「I’m very sorry, Kakka…Director Asami, hurry up and give your instructions!」

Chief Tanizawa scolds the new director Asami.

「Y-Yes…Err」

Asami-san’s completely panicking.
Her head’s spinning around.

「That’s enough, I’ll take over」

After a moment, chief Tanizawa cuts off Asami-san.

「Our priority is to take『Kakka』and everyone to that store! All guards reassemble! Each group must monitor their surroundings! Don’t overlook any anomaly!…Yugawara!」
「Yes?!」
「Check all the cars left in the parking lot with your reserve team. Someone might’ve worked on the vehicles other than this!」
「…Roger!」

There are about five black-clothed men that run into the parking lot of the crematorium.

「Sanada and Takahashi’s team will reexamine the inside of the shop over there. 『Kakka』 can’t enter until the safety’s confirmed. Hurry!」
「…Ha!」

Ten more guards dashed towards the restaurant.

「In the first place, there are too many guards in this place…Hamakita!」
「Yes!」
「 Your team will move this bus. We shouldn’t leave it on this road. Is there anyone who can drive a large bus?」
「Me…and Yanagida」
「Then transfer it to the parking lot of the restaurant, ASAP」
「…U-Uhm」

Guard Hamakita doesn’t move lighting fast like the other guards.

「…What?」
「What should we do about the people inside the bus?」

Inside the bus is…the naked Iwakura-kaichou, still attacking the helpless Kouzuki Satoshi
She’s looking at the situation outside the bus interestingly.

「The woman’s a prostitute or anything…she’s just hired to make a commotion. You won’t get any information from her」
「…I’d like the two insolent men to be handed to me. I’ll thoroughly punish them!」

Kouzuki Souji shouts to chief Tanizawa on behalf of the young group.

「Souji…do that late. We must eat first」
「But, 『Kakka』…!」
「It’s still time for the dead Shigeaki…can we all talk about our memories about Shigeaki instead?」

Jii-chan…says while holding the paulownia box in his hands.

「I-I’m very sorry」

Kouzuki Souji bows his head.

「Tanizawa…look after Satoshi and Tsunoda. I don’t like to see their faces for a while」
「Roger…Hamakita, you two drive the cars of security service. Keep an eye on that woman. You don’t have to interrogate her. Wait for my arrival」
「…Roger!」

Guard Hamakita takes his own group to the bus.

「Uwa, it stinks…W-What?!」

The black-clothed men who got on the bus noticed a foul odor.

「It’s pee! Satoshi-chan said he wants to drink my pee~!」

Iwakura-kaichou laughs.

「 Don’t say that!」

Kouzuki Satoshi’s completely worn out…he’s in low spirits.

「But, you drank it didn’t you, Satoshi-chan?」
「…I drank it, I did!!!」

What kind of play were they doing?
Chief Tanizawa who’s looking at the situation…

「Hey, Asami-kun…!」
「Y-Yes?」

Asami-san who’s dispirited as the site command was taken away…got surprised when chief Tanizawa suddenly called her.

「Keep the cars of Kouzuki house safe until the end of the meal」
「…Eh, Uhm?」
「 That bus can’t be used without cleaning it. Do you understand?」
「Ah…yes. Bus…we’re going to charter the bus?」
「You idiot…who cares if it’s a taxi or whatever. Ask each family how they want to return and call the necessary number of taxis. You can do that much, can’t you? Also, prepare taxi tickets」

Chief Tanizawa looks at the people of Kouzuki house.

「Everyone’s pay on their way back home would, of course, be paid by Kouzuki security service」

Chief Tanizawa smiles, members of Kouzuki clan felt relieved.

「How is it? Is there any abnormality in the surroundings?…Mogi?」
「There’s none!」
「Saito!」
「There’s none!」
「Kobayashi!」
「There’s none!」
「Kabashima!」
「There’s none!」

The guards from all directions reply loudly

「Everyone, I’m sorry to keep you waiting… Then, let’s go. Formation, advance!」
「…Ha!」

The guard in front starts walking

「Then… let us go too」

Seki-san tells Ruriko.
Then, she sends me a glance.
I head towards Seki-san and Ruriko.
I turn my back so my face won’t be seen by the students…

「Come…we’re going」

Seki-san calls me like it’s natural.
The guards from Kouzuki security service refers me to Seki-san’s assistant.
Actually, I’m wearing the yellow collar from top elite’s assistants.
Therefore, the guards don’t think of it as strange when I join up with Seki-san.

「…Ruriko, let’s go」

I whisper to Ruriko…

「Yes, Onii-sama」

She answers in a small voice.
Seki-san in front, then Ruriko and me.
We retreat from Jii-chan and the guards.

◇ ◇ ◇

「Ufufu…it went well!」

Nei joins up with us when Jii-chan’s parade was completely out of sight.

「No, but…is this even『kidnapping』?」

I just took away Ruriko legally before everyone’s eyes.

「It’s fine! It’s not that we’re antagonizing Kouzuki Ojii-chan!」

Well, that’s true, but…

「But, Seki-san…will you be fine?」
「About what?」
「Well, if we take Ruriko like this…Seki-san would lose her position in Kouzuki security service…!」

If the『kidnapping』is exposed…it’ll be a problem.

「It’s fine, I’ll be kidnapped by you guys as well」

…What?

「Look after me okay? I’m a hostage after all」

Seki-san smiles at me.
…I see.
Last night, the『kidnapping』plan Seki-san and Margo-san talked about is…

「Kouzuki security service aside…I think that Ruriko-sama should be taken in a way Kouzuki clan won’t be suspicious of it. If not, the clan would heat up again you see?」

Kouzuki house’s branch families are quite troublesome…

「Those people didn’t notice that Ruriko-sama’s is kidnapped. If possible, forever…it turned out like this when we thought of that」

Seki-san said.

「In the first place…I was the one who proposed to use the bus but…what’s with that perverted girl?」
「Sorry! That’s our secret weapon. Iwakura Yukiyo-chan who’s a pink nuclear warhead!」

Nei laughs.

「Surprised? Well, you see…We thought that it would be the best to make Ruriko feel sick suddenly…」
「No, rather… it did affect everyone other than Ruriko」

I’m more surprised than that.
Like Kouzuki Souji’s house who have people with strict morals.

「Well…everyone thinks that they want to go out after the meal, at any costs」

Seki-san said.

「It’s『Kakka’s』seat…furthermore, Shigeaki-sama has died, Yoshiko-sama’s recognized as a granddaughter, and it’s immediately after『Kakka』announced his retirement. Everyone from Kouzuki house would like to talk to『Kakka』by all means」

…I see.
The branch families of Kouzuki house are uneasy about their future.

「In this situation…the only ones who can think of leaving early or not be attending the dinner meeting is only Ruriko-sama and Misuzu-sama」

Whatever happens…Ruriko and Misuzu are Jii-cha’s granddaughters.
Their positions in Kouzuki house are unwavering.
From now on, Yoshiko-san will be included…the branch families are in a fight on who’ll bring them as the palanquin…
Ruriko’s got nothing to do with it anymore.

「Seki-sama…please call me『Ruriko』」

Ruriko said

「I was chased out of Kouzuki house. I’m now a property of Onii-sama. I’m a woman who has nothing to do with Kouzuki house anymore…」
「Is that so?」

Seki-san looks at me.

「Well, yeah…」

I answered.

「But, well…there’s also, an agreement between『Kakka』and Ruriko-sama, is there not? I have no concern about who’s the lower rank. I will still call you『Ruriko-sama』from now on」

Seki-san smiles.

「No…I now have fallen to a low-status. Being treated respectfully is beyond my position」

…Haa

「Ruriko…it’s about time you understand」
「…Yes, Onii-sama?」
「You’re…still thinking that Kouzuki house members are better than others or that they’re great…?」
「…That is」

Ruriko’s『social position illusion』inside must be destroyed.

「Whether you’re the lady of Kouzuki house or my slave…Ruriko is Ruriko. Nothing changed」
「 But, I’m just a helpless and worthless girl」

Ruriko discovers her reality from the conversation in the waiting room at the crematorium.
Without Kouzuki house’s backing, she’s just a naive girl who has no way of earning her living.

「That’s just the same as before」
「Yes?」
「Not 『Ruriko now』…but instead『Ruriko who was a lady of Kouzuki house』, a powerless girl…」

Ruriko

「…Yes, I think it is as you say」
「Look, nothing changed…Ruriko is still Ruriko」
「…That is, true. I was under the impression that the power of Kouzuki house was my own…」
「Not just the power…the tradition of the house and the honor as well…you’re putting it on top of yourself」
「…Yes」

Ruriko looks down.

「…Do you get it?」
「…I’ve always been a low-born woman from the start」

…Aaaaah!
…Geez!

「Why are you now self-depreciating!? Are you a roller coaster?!」
「…Onii-sama?」
「Well true…your birth is of a noble family, it’s definite that Ruriko’s a noble! But you see, that said…you’re only a noble or a low-life? Is there no normal inside Ruriko’s head?」
「But…I’m truly a lowly woman…I’m just a woman who can’t do anything by herself!」
「…That doesn’t mean that Ruriko’s worthless!」

I shouted.

「When you were smiling, I was happy. I felt I’m having fun. Ruriko’s an amazing beauty so I’m happy just having you stay by my side」
「M-Me…?」

Ruriko’s eyes opened wide.

「…I can’t express it in words that well but, anyway, Ruriko’s not worthless. Ruriko has a worth. At least, I do feel that Ruriko has. Therefore, don’t belittle yourself…Ruriko, you’re cute」

…Ruriko

「I feel like I have never『existed』to most people until now」
「…Huh?」
「Everyone in the family, my friends at school, even everyone at the dance practice…they look at me but never looked at me. Even if they turn their eyes at me, their hearts feel like they’re turned away…」

…Ruriko.

「I especially felt that during the presentation from the day before yesterday. I was dancing off in front of everyone and yet…everybody isn’t looking at me」

A few days ago…I remember Ruriko’s dance on the stage.
It’s an amazing dance.
But, the audience…towards the daughter of Kouzuki house…
They didn’t applause.
They felt like praising Ruriko is a blasphemy to Kouzuki house.

「Back then, Onii-sama gave me a flower…」

Yeah, I…

「I feel sorry that Ruriko’s the only one who couldn’t have flowers」

Ruriko felt shocked.

「Onii-sama…has never seen me as the daughter of Kouzuki house from the beginning」
「 Didn’t I tell you that?…Ruriko is Ruriko. For me, you’re only a cute girl…!」

Ruriko’s cheeks blushed…

「…Onii-sama」
「…What?」

Nei who’s looking at us…speaks

「Yo-chan, Ruriko wants to hold hands it seems」

…Oh
Ruriko’s cute hand is extending towards me.

「Yeah, let’s hold hands…Ruriko」

I hold Ruriko’s hand.

「And then! This hand is mine!」

Nei grasps the other hand

「Really, you people are such in a good relationship」

Seki-san said.

「Jealous? Seki-san wants to hold hands too?」

Nei-san presents her hand to Seki-san.

「Well, I guess I should…!」

Seki-san holds Nei’s hand.
The four of us walk side by side, holding hands.

「Seki-san, you actually want to hold Yo-chan’s hands, right?」

Nei asks.

「I’m fine for now…I’ll aim for the times you’re away」
「Why?!」
「Well…when you’re close, it won’t end with just holding hands, right?」
「…Gunu. That might be. Ahahaha」

Nei laughs.
Anyway, it’s the four of us for now…
The four of us move forward.

◇ ◇ ◇

We arrived in front of Seki-san’s Dodge Charger in the parking lot.
This is far away from the cars of Kouzuki security service.
Seki-san purposely parked here as she saw Asami-san’s plan.
I can’t see any guards nearby.

「Then…what should we do after this?」

I ask Seki-san.

「We’ll ride my car…and leave this place. Meeting up with Margo-san outside…that’s the plan」

Then, we’ll take Ruriko back to the『mansion』

「But…what about Iwakura-san?」

We can’t just leave her alone.

「Well…Sensei will just negotiate with Tanizawa-san and pick her up later! We can’t do anything until we escaped safely」

True…at this stage, she might be used as a negotiating card to take back Ruriko.
Anyway, we have to take away Ruriko first.

「Well, she’ll be fine… I think that she’s satisfied doing that perverted exhibition play in front of everyone from Kouzuki clan! Or rather…I think that she’s still naked at this stage. Even if she’s surrounded by the guards, I think that she’d just show off and say『Look, look at me』…!

Nei’s imagination is probably right.

「…Who is she?」

Ruriko asks me.

「Oh, she’s just a horny princess of the nymphomaniacs」

I don’t want her to know too much about Iwakura-san.

「She’ll return to the country of perverts soon so you don’t have to mind her」
「Well, anyway, she’ll be fine. She’s enjoying it」

Nei said.

「Rather than that…Seki-san, you’re coming with us too right? Seki-san’s going to be kidnaped together with Ruriko!」

Nei changes the topic.

「Well. For the time being, I will…afterwards, it’ll depend on chief Tanizawa’s movements」
「…Chief Tanizawa?」

…Not Jii-chan?

「『Kakka』has agreed that you’ll take away Ruriko-sama, hasn’t he? Then there’s no problem. It’s only chief Tanizawa. In a sense…this is an act of picking a fight with Kouzuki security service you see?」

Yeah, …we just kidnapped Ruriko openly from the guards of Kouzuki security service.

「…Seki-san, you might be dismissed though?」

Nei asks.

「I’m prepared for it…I double-crossed Tanizawa-san」
「It’s fine, get fired! Then, come to us…right, Yo-chan?!」

Nei says, but…

「Well, what should I do? I don’t think that Kuromori house has a much higher pay than Kouzuki security service though…!」
「That’s not true…should I go ask Sensei?」

…Then

「That would be troublesome. It would be painful for me if Seki-kun quits now…!」

Chief Tanizawa appears from the shadow of the car

「Tanizawa-san…why?」

Seki-san’s surprised.

「You thought that I can’t move away from『Kakka』because I’m guarding him?」

Chief Tanizawa smiles.

「When『Kakka』has entered the restaurant…I let Ootoku lead the site. He’s only been『Kakka’s』guard for these past few years but he’s also got a high commanding ability…Seki-kun might not know about it though. I said『I’ll interrogate the woman from earlier』and left…」

This might be bad.

「That’s quite the show…I feel sorry for the elders of Kouzuki house but there’s zero casualties nor injuries. The bus owned by Kouzuki security service got slightly worn down on its tires. Oh, and that girl’s piss has to be disinfected too…」
「Just send us the bill!」

Nei said.

「Don’t mind it…our men will make the expense somehow. It has helped me in a lot of ways too」

…Huh?

「Anyway…I’m grateful that the honor of Kouzuki security service didn’t collapse. Even if Ruriko-sama’s taken way at that time…nobody from Kouzuki house would notice. It’s a well-thought plan…was it Seki-kun’s plan?」
「Margo-san and I cooperated on it」
「…I see」

Chief Tanizawa laughs.

「Thanks to that…I managed to push it forcibly, the new manager’s also dismissed. If she shows such a blunder in front of Kouzuki house’s people…even she would be convinced to retire」

Does he mean Asami-san?

「One of the big shots from Kouzuki house shoves her saying…as replacement to Yamaoka, make her the director. Just because her father’s a politician and their friend…」
「Asami-san’s appointment wasn’t selected by chief Tanizawa?」

Seki-san’s surprised.

「Obviously. There’s no way I’d chosen such a useless person you know? With Shigeaki-sama’s death and Shiba-san being on top of the office…Kouzuki house is in a confusion right now. If it’s not balanced well a d post various faction members…the internal struggle would intensify. 『Kakka’s』also suffering from it…」

…I see.

「It’s fine. It’s fine for that woman to have a record of being the security manager of Kouzuki security service even for just a day. She’ll manage somehow after that. If she wants to be a politician, it’s better for her to be out as soon as possible」

Chief Tanizawa speaks as if throwing up

「Then…Seki-kun, I’d like to talk to you」

Eh…no way?

「I’d like you to leave『Kakka’s』full time guard post, to take a different one」

Seki-san’s nervous

「 Could it be that…I」
「No way. I’m thinking of choosing Hakamada for the next guard director. What do you think?」

Seki-san’s relieved from Chief’s words.

「I think that’s a good choice…if it’s Hakamada-san, he’ll do a fine job」
「I think so too…by the way, Seki-kun. Your next post would be…」

Chief Tanizawa snorts.

「…Would you like to be the head of Kouzuki security service?」
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