「Of course, I’m not telling you to do all by yourself. The top elite guys won’t curb Seki-kun. I will handle those guys. Seki-kun can just show her presence.」
Chief Tanizawa said with a smile on his face.
Seki-san’s too surprised she can’t speak that well.
「I-I-I-I…I’m still a young guard you know?」
「What are you saying? You were appointed as a leading candidate from the start…!」 「L-Leader…?」 「Didn’t you come to Europe to be a specialist in VIP escorting?」 「No, that…true, I did, but…」 「In the first place…do you know the reason why『Kakka』chose you as his full-time guard?」 「…Eh, eh, eh?!」 「Seki-kun. Do you think that someone like you could be on the same group as Ootoku and Choumoto, those two monsters…!?」
Ootoku-san and Choumoto-san…are guards with fearsome power. …They’re gay though.
「No…that is. But,『Kakka』is old…and since he meets up with various VIPs from inside and outside, he might’ve needed a female guard like me…」 「That’s right. No matter where he goes, it’s not that great to see only two big muscle guys. Thanks to an intelligent beauty like you…Ootoku and Choumoto’s man-stink softens」 「Yes, I thought that my role was like that. That I’m just someone who follows up Ootoku-san and Choumoto-san」
Actually…back at the theater the day before yesterday, Seki-san was ordered to separate from Jii-chan and protect Misuzu and Ruriko. Seki-san followed it. Even though she’s Jii-chan’s full-time guard. In short, to the end…the bodyguard job is Ootoku-san and Choumoto-san’s job. Seki-san is the one who always does the work the two can’t…for example, today, she arrived at the crematorium as the one『who got ahead』 and do the work. Or, she’s the one who goes around as instructed by Jii-chan…
「So, why do you think you were sent to that kind of work?」 「…That’s」
「In these past few years, …you’ve met various people as『Kakka’s』guard. Even meeting up with guards of other houses, you’re the one in charge, not Ootoku-kun. You were an elite employee who’s Kouzuki security service don’t know about but…now, your face should be familiar with inside and outside the security industry…」 「Y-Yes…I’m also the one who’s negotiating with the police agencies on the countries『Kakka』goes to…」 「Yeah…in short, you already have enough qualities to become the head of Kouzuki security service.」
Chief Tanizawa smiles.
「Rather than that…『Kakka』and I have trained you to become the head. I’d like you to understand that」
Seki-san’s…open mouth is locked up.
「Of course,『Kakka』and I have given you trials many times. We intend to demote you to an ordinary guard any time unless you showed enough guts to hold the top. However, you have met my and『Kakka’s』expectations amazingly」
…Could this be? Back at the theater and hotel from the day before yesterday? Seki-san has always acted with us… Was that part of Jii-chan’s『test』
「Fujimiya was sent together as a subject for comparison…was trapped by the flow of the place and lost sight of her position. But, you…you didn’t forget that you’re a guard of Kouzuki security service to the last minute」
Reika…easily accepted our proposal to join our『family』 But, Seki-san held her reply pending and fought as Kouzuki security service’s guard to the end. Therefore…she stayed with us all the time even after the hotel incident. Reika’s got nowhere to come back in Kouzuki security service now. On the other hand…Seki-san is present at the site cleanup and participated as security at the funeral today. As a member of Kouzuki security service.
「Today was also brilliant…Seki-kun precisely followed up Asami-kun’s inattentiveness」
Chief Tanizawa knows that she talked with the black-clothed guards in advance. Modifying the bad parts of Asami-san’s guard plan…on the site level.
「Those competent increase their discretion…don’t circulate on the foundation of the plan but modify those that are needed to be to a minimum. Asami-kun didn’t realize that you switched『Kakka’s』waiting rooms. She thinks that everyone below her is moving as she planned」
Because it’s a very minimal change…director Asami didn’t notice. In the first place, that person doesn’t have the personality to check the small details on site… Even if she thought『Huh, where was『Kakka’s』room again?』…she won’t check her plan again.
「Besides…you told the guards in charge that『I’ll take the responsibility』 They welcomed『Kakka』to the swapped room with dignity…and Asami-kun didn’t think of it as『strange』」
「By the way…Seki-kun, have you noticed that the work you did today was the one I usually do?」
「The site manager has to be steady or else the people below would be uneasy. Back when Yamaoka was the guard director…I get ahead of the scene like you today, and made corrections on the security measures to match with the situation Well…in my case, it’s an overkill. As a result, I’ve inhibited the growth of that Yamaoka bastard…」
Tanizawa-san jumps into the field too much that Yamaoka-san became a top-heavy person who can’t respond to the site flexibly. Yeah…if a problem happened, chief Tanizawa would’ve fixed it using the top elites or Kudou-papa before Yamaoka-san notices it. Yamaoka-san hasn’t gained any experience from handling problems.
「Either way…Seki-kun today is in the same position as me…there’s no doubt that you think as the head of Kouzuki security service. It’s not for just personal achievement…you judged what should be done as work for Kouzuki security service」
Asami-san isn’t interested in her own career so she’s only made failures as a person responsible for the site guards. On the other hand…Seki-san didn’t think of herself, put the security as a first priority and worked with the people on the field.
「To make it clear…Seki-kun you may think that you’re the one who’s『supervising the new security manager, Asami-kun』but…the subject for review was you…Seki-kun. 『Kakka』and I…were watching you today」
She looks down.
「I’ve planned Ruriko-sama’s kidnapping with Margo-san. That bus that rampaged…in front of Kouzuki house…!」 「…That’s no problem」
Chief Tanizawa said.
「There’s no injuries, no property damage. As I said earlier…the bus just got tire wear and needs disinfection」 「But…there’s no mistake that I exposed the guards to danger」
Seki-san looks at chief Tanizawa.
「I thought of retiring as a guard…」
「I have cooperated with everyone from Kuromori with that resolve」
「That’s the wrong part」
Chief Tanizawa smiles.
「You’re just a security officer…I think that’s right. But, you’re a『bodyguard』aren’t you…Seki?」 Seki-san’s startled.
「If you’re a security officer…you only have to protect your target. But, bodyguards must also protect the『heart』of their subject. Therefore, our gallery is much higher than guards…!」
「I don’t know the details. I don’t intend to pry. But…as『Kakka’s』bodyguard, I know that 『Kakka』evacuates Ruriko-sama from Kouzuki house…and left her care to that boy…!」
Tanizawa-san looks at me and Ruriko.
「With this happening to Shigeaki-sama…and Shiba-san becoming the head, making a new order…Kouzuki group would be in rough times for a while. Especially Misuzu-sama, Ruriko-sama, and Yoshiko-sama, his three granddaughters…they might approach them more than ever」
…Yeah As Jii-chan announced his retirement… Kouzuki house and board members are looking at the next generation…
「First is Yoshiko-sama. She was ignored until now but…if someone starts to that Yoshiko-sama is the memento of Shigeharu-sama who had died first…it would be bad. Therefore,『Kakka』went ahead and made Yoshiko-sama recognized in the public place today… She’ll stay by his side for a while. Making sure nobody makes a move on Yoshiko-sama…」
Yoshiko-san who’s never recognized as the daughter of Kouzuki house until now…Kouzuki house and the board members will try to handle her with an underestimating attitude. For example…just as Jii-chan announced Yoshiko-san… As proof, Kouzuki Souji declared calmly『If I marry Yoshiko, then I’ll be the successor of Kouzuki house』 If it was Misuzu or Ruriko, he can’t speak that loudly in front of a big number of people. Yoshiko-san’s a much easier target than Misuzu and Ruriko…so she’ll be targetted. Therefore, Jii-chan protected her beforehand.
「Following… Ruriko-sama has to lower her value. With Shigeaki-sama’s sudden death and the strangely fast progress of the funeral…everyone’s aware that Shigeaki-sama’s death is a calamity. Even with『Kakka’s』words at the funeral…he conveyed it widely that Shigeaki-sama has caused something scandalous and that he was deliberately murdered…」
Everything had Jii-chan’s message in it…?
「Especially…at the funeral seat, showing how『Kakka』dealt with Ruriko-sama carelessly…it strongly creates an impression that Ruriko-sama has lost her successor qualification to Kouzuki house」 「Yes…it is as Tanizawa-san says」
「I’m expelled from Kouzuki house」 「With that happening…Ruriko-sama now has judged that this is acceptable, hadn’t you?」
Chief Tanizawa said.
「If Ruriko-sama has brought disgrace to 『Kakka』…then nobody would try to contact with her. While『Kakka’s』in good health, there should be no one that would try to approach Ruriko-sama…」
Ruriko’s hated by Jii-chan…if you reach to her, you’ll just anger Jii-chan. If Jii-chan turns Ruriko’s possibility to succeed Kouzuki house to zero…bad guys won’t approach Ruriko. Yeah…that’s how it is. I finally see Jii-chan’s true intentions.
「…Tanizawa-san, that’s not it」
Ruriko speaks strongly
「Grandfather has really abandoned me」
If it was Ruriko from earlier… She’ll think politically from what Tanizawa-san said… She bothers to understand in roundabout ways saying…indeed, Jii-chan is thinking about Ruriko’s future. But, Ruriko now… After Misuzu and I threatened her thoroughly… Her thought…is more inclined towards『I was abandoned』
「To be honest…I don’t think that Kuromori house is the right place to leave Ruriko-sama. But…with this the Kouzuki clan, the board of directors, and other noble families…those who are trying to aim for the heir of Kouzuki house would withdraw their hand from Kouzuki-sama…the more vulgar people, those who don’t care as long as they make a relationship with Kouzuki house, then it’s possible for them to attack Ruriko-sama. No, if she’s taken out of『Kakka’s』protection, there would be idiots who would do something unreasonable…」
…Above all, Ruriko’s beautiful. If this ultimate sheltered girl is thrown out of the streets alone… You can imagine how horrible it would be…
「Normally…I should put someone powerful to guard her but…if Kouzuki security service’s top elite protects Ruriko-sama…then the premise that『Kakka』has abandoned Ruriko-sama would collapse…that said, if we have Kudou and the contractors follow, it’ll only damage Ruriko-sama’s reputation」
I see…Kouzuki security service can’t move. Kudou-papa and others are too eccentric…
「Therefore, entrusting Ruriko-sama to you people…is the last resort. Kyouko’s skills can be trusted, and Margo-jouchan is a good bodyguard too. You people aren’t against『Kakka』…and you would take care of Ruriko-sama. Above all, it’s good that it’s all women…!」 「No…I’m here though?」 「Weren’t you Misuzu-sama’s partner?」
「Even though you have Misuzu-sama…you won’t try to make a move on Ruriko-sama who’s Misuzu-sama’s relative」
「Above all…Misuzu-sama shouldn’t allow that to happen.1 Misuzu-sama’s a very strong-willed person. She has a strong desire to monopolize. Therefore, she’s sticky with you, isn’t she? If ever you try to seduce Ruriko-sama…Misuzu-sama will stop it. Besides, you don’t want to take the risk to cause Misuzu-sama’s displeasure, would you?…」
…Is that how it seems? Chief Tanizawa’s convinced that I’m dominated by Misuzu…
「…Eh, am I wrong?」 「No, that」 「Even if it’s you…you do know that Kouzuki house will become your enemy if Misuzu-sama hates you, don’t you? Anyway, you won’t be able to stay in Japan」
「Well, Misuzu-sama’s one year older…and since she’s the lady of one of Japan’s leading houses, I think it’s hard for you but…well, do your best」 「H-haa…I’ll do my best」
Is this the limit of chief Tanizawa’s way of thinking? This person’s a guard of Jii-chan and other noble people, right… He’s someone who lives with that as common sense. He thinks that Jii-chan and Misuzu won’t recommend me to have sex with Ruriko. No, he can’t imagine… Our morals are messed up though…
「Uhm, that reminds me… I understand the future situation of Yoshiko-san and Ruriko, but…」
…That’s right, I have to ask this.
「What about Misuzu?」
Would Misuzu be targetted
Chief Tanizawa’s amazed.
「First of all, back at the theater the day before yesterday…who was the one who showed his relationship with Misuzu-sama, a daughter of a famous Japanese family?」
…Ah …It’s me
「『Kakka』also shows that he tolerates it. At the hotel, you showed clearly that your relationship with Misuzu-sama’s recognized by『Kakka』 Do you get it?」
「If your relationship with Misuzu breaks up, it’ll cause『Kakka’s』wrath. That’s what they recognize. Nobody would try to make a move on you two anymore!」
I see…even at the funeral venue. Kouzuki Satoshi and Tsunoda, the two idiots tried to get involved with us. The other students didn’t try to get close to me?
「In exchange…everyone believes that Misuzu-sama won’t become the successor. Misuzu-sama fell for you…instead of staying qualified as a successor. They pleasantly felt that from『Kakka』…and accepted it」
…Haa Everyone’s making their own assumptions.
「In the first place, Misuzu-sama’s father is a state bureaucrat, he doesn’t have any power within the Kouzuki group. Therefore…Misuzu-sama was supposed to be married to the child of one of the group to solidify their forces」
In the first place, Jii-chan had decided on Misuzu’s fiance. Shiba Okitachi’s eldest son… For Misuzu, the engagement with Shiba house…would bring Mr. Shiba’s group strength. Shiba house would become related to Kouzuki house. As Jii-chan is trying to entrust the group to Shiba-san…that was the most convenient choice.
「However, Misuzu-sama chose you…that means, she steps down from the successor struggle. And that『Kakka』has approved of it…」
Therefore, nobody would target Misuzu in the future…she’ll be safe?
「As『Kakka』authorized…Us, Kouzuki security service, would protect Misuzu-sama from now on. So, don’t worry」
…No, well Michi’s with her, I think that Misuzu would be fine, but… …Hm?!
I organize my thoughts… Ruriko …is supposed to be abandoned by Jii-chan… Misuzu is going out with me so she dropped her candidacy…
「Could it be that Yoshiko-san is in a big trouble?」
Yoshiko-san’s alone… She’ll be targeted as the successor of Kouzuki house.
「…That’s how it is」
Chief Tanizawa affirms
Ruriko holds my hand tightly
「There’s no other way to ensure Ruriko-sama’s safety. Anyway,『Kakka』and I will protect Yoshiko-sama with all our power」
Chief Tanizawa answers.
「Now then…our talk’s been derailed. Let’s get back to the topic」
Chief Tanizawa looks at Seki-san.
「Seki…you know what『Kakka』wants…so you came up with this act. Am I wrong?」 「…That is」 「No, I don’t care about the details. It was『Kakka’s』will to entrust Ruriko-sama to Kuromori house, you just moved to make it happen. As『Kakka’s』guard, there’s no problem. I think so too」 「…But」
Seki-san seems to be not convinced
「Furthermore…the method you and Margo-jouchan didn’t have any negative consequences to Kouzuki security service as a result. No injuries, no casualties…the useless new director will be dismissed. The moral of the site is rather rising…」 「That is…the hindsight based opinion」 「It’s not hindsight based opinion! In the first place, a guard’s job is all about results!」 「Shouldn’t the process should be looked after in order to produce a good result?」 「Even though the process in the middle is going well…and the result was bad, it’s not good. Am I wrong?」 「That…that’s right, but」 「I don’t care about you being dragged with your feelings around here but anyway…a talent like you is necessary for Kouzuki security service!」
Chief Tanizawa says clearly.
「…Tanizawa-san」 「Or could it be that you want to quit Kouzuki security service and go with Kuromori house?」
「Seki-san…do you want to quit Kouzuki security service right now?」 「…That’s not the case」 「You like your job as a guard?」 「…Yes, I do」 「Then, you don’t have to quit yet」 「But, I…」 「Try slanting the worries in your heart! Then, you might get it off!」
「Seki-san…do you regret so much making use of the bus of Kouzuki house to kidnap Ruriko?」
「Rather than regret…I had my resolve. The resolve to quit…」
She’s really an honest person
「You can’t forgive yourself for making that choice even though you’re a guard?」 「…Yes」
Seki-san answers my question.
「I couldn’t forgive myself」 「Then don’t」
Seki-san’s shocked from what I said.
「Why not continue as a guard in the future without forgiving yourself?」 「T-That’s…」 「I also have a lot now… Things I couldn’t forgive myself. I’ve done so many bad things that normally, I would cut my stomach and die…」
These past few days…to Yukino…to the other girls. I remember.
「But…I can’t die. I must live」
Right now…I have a family.
「Therefore…I keep on living…while holding『I can’t forgive myself』within…!」
I hold Ruriko’s hand tightly… I have changed even this girl’s fate.
「Seki-san…can you not continue being a guard while holding『I can’t forgive myself』within yourself?」
I stare into Seki-san’s eyes. Seki-san…
「…No. If I endure it…I think I can do it」 「If possible, you want to stay as a guard, right?」 「…Yes」 「Then, you must endure」
I send Seki-san a smile.
「I’ll do my best for you」
「I want to be myself who’s not ashamed of anyone…in front of you!」