The van we’re riding drives through the sunny May city. Agnes clings to me, looking out the window timidly. Everything is a first-time sight for her. On the other hand, Edie’s looking out of the window in a cheerful mood. If she were a dog, her tail would be swaying left to right in a good mood.
「 Even though she came to Japan, she wasn’t here to sightsee at all so seeing the city like this is fascinating she said 」
Ruriko translates what Edie said. Miss Cordelia didn’t take Edie to Japan to have a tour. Well, Miss Cordelia’s been tense until the end of the fight in the hotel. There was no time for it, I guess? In the first place, this battle girl with brown skin, blue eyes and brown hair is very unpredictable unless you watch her over.
「 Edie-san seems to be interested in vending machines 」
Ruriko said. I see she’s looking at coffee and beer vending machines.
「 Huh, don’t the US have drink vending machines too? 」
I asked in surprise.
「 It seems unlikely outdoors. Japan’s the only country that has vending machines all over the road 」
Reika speaks from the driver’s seat.
「 Is that so? 」 「 Yes, if there’s an automatic vending machine outdoors, it’ll be broken and have their money stolen from it 」 「 I see 」 「 Besides, selling alcohol is very strict in America. Selling alcohol in outdoor vending machines like that is impossible」 「 Is that so? 」 「 Yes. In the US, you’re arrested for just holding a bottle of liquor exposed outside. You must at least put it in a paper bag so it won’t be seen 」
「 Before, there were a couple of men and women taking out a small bottle of wine and drank it on the spot in a beach but, that’s not allowed in the US 」 「 You know a lot, Rei-chan 」
I smile at the eyes looking at the rear mirror.
「 No, that’s things I’ve learned from training with Kouzuki security service. We are sometimes sent abroad to guard various VIPs. Learning the difference in laws and culture on a country-by-country basis is trained strictly to us 」
Oh. Now that she’s driving the car, Reika’s gotten a bit more stable.
「 That’s right. We must avoid getting into trouble due to the difference in customs of the country 」
Ruriko said. Having Ruriko, the daughter of Kouzuki house in the car; Reika’s senses are leaning towards being the guard. Dressed in her usual cross-dress, holding the steering wheel of the car. She’s in a situation close to her usual work. Ruriko was a good choice. If it were Mana, she’d firmly stimulate the Rei-chan. The adult act of driving and her butting to retreat her to the toddler Reika, her mind’s balance would be even rougher.
「 It’s holidays but, the road’s less crowded than I thought. 」
「 Would the ocean be crowded too? 」 「 I don’t think so. It’s different when there’s an aquarium or tourist facilities; I think that sandy beaches are less famous 」
She answers my question calmly For the time being, it’s going well
「 Hm, hmmmmmm?! 」
I hear a strange voice from the back of the van. Haa. Is she awake?
「 What the hell is this? 」
Yukino shouts as she looks up the ceiling of the van. Agnes clings to me scared.
「 Shut up Yukino! 」 「 What the hell is this! 」 「 As I said, shut up 」 「 Where is this?! 」 「 Don’t talk! 」 「 Where do you intend to take me?!! 」
Yukino glares at me angrily.
「 The sea 」
「 S-Sea?! 」
Yukino opened her eyes wide?
「 Why the sea? 」
「 Edie-san said she wants to see the sea 」
Ruriko said smoothly Then, Edie turns to Yukino. She speaks in a low voice.
「 Err, she said You’re noisy, if you make too much noise then I’ll break your neck bones 」
Ruriko translates. Yukino got startled. She also knows Edie’s power from the fight at the hotel.
「 Anyway, we’re going to the beach. Yukino’s coming too. Or rather, you can’t get off the car now 」
I look at Yukino.
「 Even if you get off this car you have nowhere to go right? 」
Yukino can’t go back to her home. If she returns to old-man-Ichikawa’s house, she’ll be sent to a mental hospital.
「 I-I do, I have a place to go! 」
「 However, I don’t have the money. I have almost no money left form what I borrowed from grandmother’s wallet 」
Borrowed? You stole a thousand yen note.
「 Lend me money! 」
Yukino speaks like it’s obvious.
「 If I do, what would you do? 」 「 For the time being, I will eat. I haven’t eaten anything since last night 」
Ah, it’s just water and the Umaibo. But, her personality really can’t think of anything happening now.
「 Then, I’ll give you only 3k yen 」 「 Just that? 」 「 That’s a lot of money already. I bought Ruriko for that price 」 「 What are you talking about? 」
Yukino looks at me dumbfoundedly.
「 Onii-sama is right. I was bought for three thousand yen 」
I bought Ruriko from Jii-chan for 3000 yen.
「 Nono, anyway, here’s 3k. I don’t need you though 」
I take out my wallet and pull out a three 1000 yen bills. I have the money Minaho-neesan gave us before going to the hotel. I don’t know what’s going to happen later.
「 Here 」
I throw the bills to Yukino. Yukino hurriedly collects the three 1000 yen bills.
「 Then, stop around here, I want to eat something 」
Really, just how stupid her character is? Despite all this, she still doesn’t recognize her situation at all. She just follows her momentary desires.
「 You sure about that? 」 「 Huh, why? 」 「 Shirasaka Yukino’s a celebrity right now, you know? There’s not a lot of people in Japan who don’t know you 」
「 You were in the variety shows during the Golden Week, yesterday Yukino’s a prominent feature there too 」
The television broadcasted Yukino returning to Ichikawa-san, then her words “raped” and “do you intend to rape me too?” left a mystery. Afterward, Minaho-neesan leaked all of Yukino’s rape videos to the internet. The people no longer sympathize Yukino.
「 It’s all your fault! I’ll never forgive you! 」
Are her thoughts still looping?
「 No, I don’t care if you don’t but, it’s impossible for you to walk around outside you know? 」
She came to the mansion wearing sunglasses and a mask but; If she eats outside, she has to remove the mask.
「 Uuuuuuu! 」
No, even if you groan, Yukino.
「 Uhm, Margo-san prepared a disguise-set just in case, but; 」
Reika speaks from the driver’s seat.
「 Huh, is there? 」 「 Yes, there should be three paper bags behind the seat. She mentioned wearing whichever of the three is preferred 」
Is that included in the instructions Margo-san has written?
「 Hah, this? 」
Yukino quickly discovers the bags. There’s “Tom,” “Jerry,” and “Kon,” written on the paper bags. Yukino peeks into the bags, She leaks a big sigh.
「 I’ll take “Tom” 」
「 I’m going to change so don’t look over here! Don’t peek! 」
「 Onii-sama 」
Ruriko opens up the boiler suit she’s wearing. Her cute breasts covered with a black micro bikini appears.
「 Yukino-san seems not to like it, so please look at my skin for a while. 」
Ruriko smiles Next, to her, Edie compares with her breasts. She lowers the zipper of the boiler suit then opens up her chest. The sports bra stands out on her brown skin.
「 ……！！！ 」
Edie smile at Ruriko. Then, she said something.
「 What did she say 」 「 She mentioned, “Ruriko’s a good match” 」
Then, the brown American girl speaks loudly.
「 This is the only one I surpass Michi 」
If Michi heard that you’re half-dead, Edie,
「 Does anyone have a mirror? 」
Yukino said from behind.
「 You’re done changing? 」 「 Huh? Well, for now, 」
I turned to Yukino
「 What’s with that face? 」
「 I have no choice! These clothes are still human clothing, but the others are different 」
Yukino is wearing a navy blue security guard uniform But, for some reason, the outfit, sleeves, and even the pants are just seven-length long. Therefore, her arms and knees are exposed. Also, she’s wearing an afro wig for some reason. It’s a huge afro hair that’s like a bird’s nest. Then, she’s wearing the sunglasses she had last night. Hmm. A funny sized security guard uniform + huge afro + sunglasses. It’s like comedian contestant no matter how you look at it.
「 Well, that’s fine, nobody would think me as Shirasaka Yukino. 」
Yukino says as she looks at herself in the rear mirror. True, you’re undoubtedly right. But this enigmatic positive thinking ability makes me jealous.
「 By the way, what’s inside the other bags? 」
「 That, “Jerry” is just a rat’s costume. Are they idiots? It’s not a comedy program so there’s no way I’d dress like that! 」
No, your current look is just the same. Yukino.
「 Kon is just four packs of canned corn. What kind of joke is this? 」
I don’t know either.
「 Margo-san didn’t come up anything other than Tom and Con 」
Reika speaks from the driver’s seat.
「 By the way, why does this not have any shoes?! 」
Yukino speaks in ill-humor.
「 Oh right. I have to buy Agnes’ shoes. 」
I look at Agnes in my arms.
「 Speaking of which, I was curious about her a while ago but, who’s that? A foreigner? 」
Oh, this is Yukino’s first meeting with Agnes.
「 She’s my daughter! 」
Agnes stares at me.
「 Don’t be ridiculous! You’re still in first-year high school! 」 「 I made her my daughter 」
Agnes smiles at me.
「 P-Papaa 」 「 Yes, Agnes? 」
Her small hand holds my arm rightly.
「 Anyway, we’re going to buy shoes before going to the sea 」
I tell Reika.
「 Can we go to a shopping center somewhere? 」 「 No, let’s not go to crowds 」
I think it’s still impossible for Agnes.
「 We can just buy from an average shoe store. Let’s park if you find one 」
◇ ◇ ◇
Reika found a clothes store for workers and artisans instead of a shoe store. There are no customers since it’s holiday.
「 This is the only shop we can find on national highways with few people. 」
Reika bows her head.
「 We have no choice, let’s check it for now 」
Even this kind of shop should have shoes Agnes can wear. We’re not buying stylish shoes for now. Reika parks the car at the work clothes store parking lot.
「 Okay, let’s go 」
We get off the car. Hm?
「 Yukino, you won’t escape? 」 「 Huh, why? 」
Yukino said while stretching herself.
「 No look 」 「 You were right earlier. I have no place to go 」 「 So that’s why you’re staying with me? 」 「 For now. For now 」
Yukino tells me
「 I have no choice! I don’t know what I should do ahead of this! 」
I leak a sigh.
「 Ichikawa Ojii-sama seems to be hanging up a lot of calls from gravure magazines on whether I want to be exhibiting my naked body. If I wish to be an AV actress, or if I want to appear in strip clubs 」 「 But, you’re just 16, aren’t you? 」 「 Looking at my videos you leaked, some people misunderstood that I’m over 18 years old already 」
Oh. Some guys just ended up with the videos and never checked with her information.
「 Ichikawa-ojiisama is from an advertising company, so he has contacts in the entertainment industry. They want to dramatize what happened, and they want me to cast as the person herself 」 「 Seriously? 」 「 They’ll faithfully reproduce the rape scenes. Ah, it’s not a TV drama. V Cinema is said to have the project proposal passed already. They’re making a fool of me 」
Yukino snorts her nose.
「 Other than that, they asked me to speak to in television; “Anyway, let’s hold a press conference, and answer clearly who did what to you in front of a camera. That’s the interest of the public” Since it’s from a variety show of Moritsugu-ojiisama’s TV station, they’re laughing 」
A lot happened. Shirasaka house’s television station overthrown Shirasaka Moritsugu, and they’re going around calling Shirasaka house. Up until now, there’s only one company that defended Shirasaka Sousuke. They have no choice but to beat them up to show an image that they’ve outgrown Shirasaka house’s domination. The source of the problem, Shirasaka Sousuke is still missing. Therefore, they gathered their attention to Yukino where they know where she stays.
「 After that, a major production of comedian enthusiasts offered me to debut as a lewd high school girl on a variety show and talk nothing but sex. I don’t get it, but they mentioned that I have a talent for comedy 」 「 I think they’re right 」 「 Everyone’s making fun of me 」
No, if you say that now; You can’t convince anyone, Yukino
「 Those calls keep on coming that Ichikawa-ojiisama has gotten crazy 」
Old man Ichikawa tried to push Yukino to a mental hospital To think that they were cornered enough that they can’t protect their family honor.
「 Well, fine, anyway, for now, I’m here 」
Yukio who said that then she heads to the store while wearing “W.C.” slippers she stole from Ichikawa house.
「 Should we go too? 」
◇ ◇ ◇
「 It’s an unusual shop. It smells like rubber 」
「 Oh, it’s because it’s a clothing store for workers, like carpenters or something. Look, there’s plenty of tools on that wall over there, right? 」
Ruriko looks inside the shop interestingly.
「 Well, Ruriko won’t enter this kind of store 」
Kouzuki house’s daughter won’t go to this kind of shop.
「 In the first place, I’ve never gone to buy clothes or shoes at stores 」 「 Huh? 」 「 I mostly look at the catalog, then the department’s out-of-store sales department bring it 」
Hmm I don’t exactly know what the out-of-store sales department is. Anyway, she’s shopping with a different rule from ordinary people.
「 Ah, Onii-sama, this way please 」
Ruriko calls me Looking at her, Fortunately, there are little children’s sandals in the store. It’s not a worker’s clothes shop entirely. That said, there are only cheap vinyl sandals and four kinds of anime printed beach sandals Perhaps, a father who buys work clothes might buy a souvenir for their child. But.
「 No good, it’s too childish, or instead, it’s too small for Agnes 」
Though I’m carrying her in my arms, Agnes is already 12. This sandal is too small.
「 Then, those are adult shoes and sandals 」
I face the direction Ruriko told me. Oh, there’s not just safety shoes, there are also standard exercise shoes. All of them have a design one step behind than a regular sneaker. My designated sports shoes in middle school were like this.
「 I think that it’s better to choose sandals instead of shoes 」
「 She never wore shoes, and since she’s a half-foreign, so the shape of her shoes is different from the Japanese. I think that a proper shoe fitter must do her first shoes 」
「 Besides, it’s her first shoes 」
Ruriko smiles at me.
「 In the west, the first shoes of a child is essential 」
I see. Agnes doesn’t have an event like that at all.
「 Then, let’s go with sandals 」
But, work-related sandals are all dull. Well, I’ve got no choice.
「 Agnes, which do you like 」
I ask Agnes in my arms.
「 ?! 」 「 Agnes, you can decide it. It’s your sandal after all 」
I smile at her.
「 From now on, Agnes will choose anything by herself 」
Agnes looks confused
「 That’s not right, Onii-sama 」
「 Please don’t speak in that manner, make it easier for Agnes to understand 」
Ruriko picks out sandals from the women’s shelf. Then, she returns the ones that aren’t good. The remaining candidates are four sandals.
「 Agnes-san, which do you like among these sandals? 」
「 Which of these sandals do you like to wear? 」
「 That, pink, desuno 」 「 Okay, this one 」
Oh, I see. If I say choose, she’s forced. That’s why Ruriko asked Agnes “Which do you like?” and “which do you want to wear.” I still have ways to go.
「 Then, I’ll buy this, okay? 」 「 Yes 」
Ruriko picks up the pink sandal instead of me who carry Agnes. Yeah, though this is a work use, it may be cute if Agnes wears it Then.
「 ……！！！ 」
She’s holding a yellow basket from the shop, filled with Japanese style design towels, and T-shirts with “鯉の滝登り”1 printed on it Edie comes close. Her eyes are glittering.
「 You want that? 」
Edie nods. Shit, there’s a lot of goods in this shop that flicked this American girl’s heartstrings.
「 No, look 」
I expect that all of this would cost more than 10k yen. It’s not an amount I can’t pay with my money, but; While I was hesitating;
《 ＭＩＣＨＩ, ＭＡＮＡ, ＫＡＴＵＫＯ, ＭＥＧＵＭＩ！ 》
Edie points to each towel then names the women that aren’t here.
「 You want to give them souvenirs? 」
Ruriko translates what I said. Edie nods. If that’s the case, then I don’t have a choice.
「 Then, just the towels. No T-shirts. These are for men 」
Edie sighs but she agreed.
「 Also, pick one for Kyouko-san and Miss Cordelia’s group 」
Edie shows a reluctant face.
「 Or rather, if you forget them, you’re going to get punished 」
Edie’s body trembled. She goes to pick more.
「 I’ll pick for Minaho-neesan 」 「 Yes, Onii-sama 」 「 You choose for Agnes and Rei-chan 」 「 Yes 」 「 Or rather, let’s buy mine too 」
Instead of souvenirs, it’s better to buy for everyone. We go to the towel corner. Ah, is this okay? Then. Edie comes running again. Lightly, excitedly.
「 What’s wrong? 」 「 Edie-san mentioned that she found Ninja shoes, so she wants to buy it 」
「 It’s leather soled sandals 」
Reika said. Oh, right, it definitely looks like ninja shoes.
「 I almost wondered what to do if it’s work tabi 」
Reika felt relieved. Well, leather-soled sandals are okay
「 Got it. I’ll buy that 」
「 Onii-sama, may I talk? 」
「 I want to wear the same shoes as Edie-san 」
Oh, I guess that’s also an excellent way to deepen friendship with Edie.
「 Then, I’ll buy one for me too. Rei-chan too 」
It’s not that expensive. I will buy not just Agnes’ sandals but also everyone’s goods. It’s much better.
「 Hey, give me 18k yen 」
Yukino suddenly comes
「 This shop only has that shoes I can put on 」
「 Earlier, I gave you 3k yen. Use that to buy your shoes 」