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Chapter 626. Step Up

『 Well, Endou-kun doesn’t matter now, does he? Although, I never thought that you’d fight Endou-kun upfront. But, I think that it worked out in the end 』

Minaho-neesan’s talking about how I let Endou come at me as he likes and I avoided all of his attacks.

『 That also made Endou-kun understand. He must’ve been through tough times in these past four months but, you weren’t playing around either 』

「 Huh? 」

What?

『 Remember back when you just entered high school. Were you someone who speaks so much in public back then? 』

No, I wasn’t even good at speaking with people if you ask me.

『 Were you able to use martial arts? Were you good fighting people back then? 』

「 No way 」

I was utterly useless there.

『 And yet, you told Endou-kun “try hitting me if you can,” and didn’t get hit a single time, did you? 』

That’s right, but.

『 That was amazing. It surprised me. To think that you can move that well. You did your best 』

Minaho-neesan praises me, but.

「 That’s all thanks to everyone, Michi’s guidance 」

I’ve learned the foundation of Kudou arts from Michi in this past four months.

Currently, I’m certified as a 6th kyu.

「 Edie and Margo-san both train me. I’m not working hard. They’re all teaching me 」

Everyone’s cooperating so I can move my body even for a bit.

It’s not something praiseworthy.

『 No, it’s your strength. You’re training your body. Even if other people helped you, it’s your will that made progress. You worked hard. It must be praised 』

Minaho-neesan said.

「 Yes, Master always follows my guidance to his heart 」

「 Right, Darling never cut corners when training. He’s always serious. He doesn’t do it unwillingly 」

Michi and Edie said.

「 I’m doing it because it’s necessary. You al teaching me earnestly so I have to work hard 」

We’re a criminal organization.

There will be times where hostile forces are after us.

I need to learn self-defense to protect the family.

『 You really are an earnest child. You’re a bit dull and out of focus, but that’s what’s cute about you 』

Minaho-neesan?

『 Anyway, your training for the past four months are starting to produce results. Endou-kun should understand that. He’s a first-class muscle idiot after all 』

Right, Endou’s the kind of disgusting guy who’s proud for being a first-year student and yet already a regular in the baseball club.

Of course, it was because his father has bribed the baseball club manager.

Baseball is his only pride from the start.

I think his reflexes are reasonable.

『 To Endou-kun, you’re just someone he can easily beat down 』

That might be.

No, if this was back in May, if we fight seriously, I don’t think I’ll win against Endou.

I haven’t done any club activities even in middle school.

Endou was an active member of the sports club.

『 And yet, he lost to you today 』

「 No, there’s no win or loss. It’s not like I hit Endou at all 」

All that happened was him getting exhausted and collapsing.

『 That’s why it’s your victory. You avoided all of Endou-kun’s attack, and he fell down on the ground breathing heavily and yet, you weren’t sweating at all 』

「 Just like Megumi and Anya earlier 」

Edie?

「 That was overwhelming! Darling! 」

Was I like Anya this morning?

Megu sprinted the circumference of the ground, collapsed from exhaustion, sweating.

And Anya who looked tidy after all the running.

『 Endou-kun should be shocked from the decline of his stamina as he didn’t train his body for the past four months, but he’s more surprised by your change 』

My change.

『 For you, the four months difference with him is never something easy. You were training so much. Endou-kun should understand it with his body 』

No, I.

『 That’s why he felt ashamed and gave up. He was chasing after school because he thinks that you’re having it easy in the school. He’s having hardships, and yet you were having a fun high school life. That’s what he believes in, so he hates you. But, that wasn’t the case 』

Wait a second.

「 Minaho-neesan, what are you talking about? I didn’t have any hardships this past four months. I was having a fun high school life. All I’m doing is what I had to do 」

I’m not trying hard at all.

「 But you know, there’s still so many I haven’t done yet. I need to work harder to make bread faster, and more delicious. Even in martial arts, I’m still in 6th Kyu, that’s not useful at all 」

『 You completely avoided Endou-kun’s assault 』

「 No, Endou’s attacks are no big deal. I was just watching old man Dai Grepher before all that. Far from watching, Anya and Edie are guarding me. If I at least could protect myself, the two of them could’ve joined up attacking old man Dai Grepher 」

They lacked a person just to protect me.

「 I’m still useless. I can’t continue like this, I need to work harder 」

Even in the bakery, I’m only helping out Katsuko-nee, I still have ways to go.

「 Master. May I? 」

Michi said.

「 Master, you’re having your standards set too high 」

Huh?

「 Master reached the 6th kyu in Kudou arts in just four months. Master doesn’t understand how amazing that is 」

But, that’s 6th kyu though? Isn’t that just the basics?

「 Not just in martial arts, even in the bakery 」

Katsuko-nee speaks.

「 You always listen to what I say earnestly, and you work hard learning how to make bread 」

「 That’s because I want to do it properly as soon as possible 」

「 You don’t understand how much you’ve gained in such a short period 」

What are you all talking about?

「 I didn’t make progress at all. Katsuko-nee is still helping me out in making bread, we’re just barely making enough. I’m somehow able to reproduce the taste of Katsuko-nee’s bread 」

If I worked on it alone, it wouldn’t compare to the taste of the bread Katsuko-nee makes.

「 Yes, you were able to reproduce it. Of course, I do check each process but, you’ve made progress in four months to the point that you can replicate the taste. That’s just impossible 」

Katsuko-nee sighs.

『 Recently, your classmates are getting friendly with you, haven’t they? 』

Minaho-neesan said.

『 They all are supporting you, even cooperating at times, aren’t they? Do you know why? 』

That’s.

「 That’s because Megu’s popular with everyone. Also, we’ve invited everyone in the class to have a party before the summer vacation 」

『 Oh? The boys are more friendly with you than Megumi, aren’t they? Especially Tanaka-kun, he talks to you intimately, doesn’t he? 』

Right, earlier this morning, he told me about Endou.

「 Takana’s a leader type of guy, the guy who cares about people 」

I replied.

「 That’s why I think that he’s just worried that I might be isolated from the others as result of being the only one transferred to the “bread making course” 」

『 Is that all? 』

Minaho-neesan’s voice sounds laughing.

『 This morning, when you and Megumi skipped the first class and went back on the second class, everyone just accepted it kindly, didn’t they? Katsuko? 』

「 Yes, Ojou-sama 」

Katsuko-nee was listening to our interaction in the classroom from the mansion.

Then, she told Minaho-neesan, who came back from Kyoto, the events that happened.

『 Everyone knows how you were before, during the first day of classes, don’t they? Some of your classmates saw Megumi and Nikita-san race 』

That’s right.

『 They noticed that you were having a dispute, usually, shouldn’t they be negative since you skipped the first hour? Was there any student who got angry and said: “don’t skip classes and go to class” 』

Yeah, they were all friendly to us for some reason.

「 Isn’t that just because those who are negative were looking at us from far away with cold eyes? Or even ignoring us 」

「 No, most of the boys in the class gathered around you when they were discussing Endou-kun 」

Katsuko-nee said.

Speaking of which, they did.

Even the delinquents who were formerly in Endou’s faction have gathered.

They weren’t looking at me with cold eyes.

『 Why do you think so? 』

Minaho-neesan asks me.

「 Who knows? I don’t 」

I don’t know.

『 The bread you make is delicious 』

???!!!

『 In your class, Takana-kun and Megumi’s friends took the initiative to advertise. Therefore, they have a higher purchase rate than any other class, is it not? 』

That might be.

『 Well, they probably thought of buying at least once, but it was delicious when they ate it. It’s far more than they expected 』

「 But, that’s because Katsuko-nee guided me 」

『 You made it still 』

Minaho-neesan’s voice echoes.

『 Everyone knows you from the entrance ceremony in April. You were someone looking gloomy and inconspicuous upon entry. Then, you were suddenly engaged with Megumi. Then starting this September, you began the “bread-making course” for some reason. They don’t think that the products you make would be delicious. After all, you didn’t look like someone who’d bake delicious bread back in April 』

That’s right, back then;

I wasn’t someone interested in making bread.

『 Didn’t your classmates who ate your bread asked you? “Since when did you start making bread” 』

Huh?

「 Yeah, they did. I mean, they still ask me even now 」

『 So what did you tell them? 』

「 Just the usual, I replied: “after the holidays in May” 」

That’s the truth.

『 Why do you think they ask you? 』

「 Well, I also wonder why they ask that. Sometimes 」

I didn’t care too much about it.

『 It’s because they’re all surprised. To think that you’re able to make such delicious food in short time 』

Minaho-neesan said.

『 Furthermore, you started selling the bread you make every day in this past month alone 』

「 But Katsuko-nee’s helping me out. Nei and Megu are also assisting in sales 」

『 But, you’re alone from everyone’s eyes. Katsuko showed up just now, but in the end, she’s just your guide. You’re the only student taking the “bread making course” 』

Alone.

『 Your classmates know how hard you’re working to become a proper baker. Your actions and the deliciousness of the product you make are showing your hard work. Therefore, they all accept you. It’s not because you’re Megumi’s fiance. It’s because you work your best they support you 』

Is that so?

「 But I’m not trying hard enough! I’m still stuck on how to make bread like normal. I’m already at my wits’ end 」

I’m not doing things for praise or acceptance.

「 What you’re doing is impressive for ordinary people 」

Katsuko-nee tells me.

「 Seeing you evade Endou-kun’s attacks so carefree will improve the student’s evaluation of you further 」

「 Why? 」

I don’t get it.

Then.

『 Nei, I read the mail you sent me last night 』

Minaho-neesan tells Nei.

『 You have a point, he should know what’s normal 』

I don’t know what’s normal?

『 Proceed with your plan. I’ll cooperate 』

「 Thanks, Minaho-oneechan 」

Nei replied.

『 Speaking of which, you’ve been silent all this time. Nei 』

Indeed. Nei’s been silent even though we’re on the same room.

「 Hmm, well, Katsuko-oneechan told me to shut up earlier 」

「 It’s my fault? Oh my, sorry 」

Katsuko-nee apologizes to Nei.

「 No, I don’t mind! I’ve been a bit talkative recently, so I’m reflecting on it 」

Nei said.

「 Didn’t Minaho-oneechan say that earlier? These past four months, we’ve prioritized laying the groundwork for the family, and Yo-chan’s been spoiling all the girls as much as they want 」

Minaho-neesan let everyone free until they were all mentally calm.

The life-or-death struggle during the Golden Week was a huge turning point for the whole family’s life.

「 I wanted to be Yo-chan’s onee-chan. I might’ve been acting a bit rashly recently, I thought. An older sister only has to give advice sometimes, so I wondered if all I’m doing is cause annoyance to Yo-chan 」

「 That’s not true, Ya-chan 」

I replied immediately.

「 Ya-chan’s always worried about me. You teach me a lot of things I don’t notice, it helps me. I appreciate it 」

「 Thanks 」

Nei smiles lonely.

「 But, I think I’m overdoing it. Hearing Minaho-oneechan talk about it now, Minaho-oneechan takes her time, looks at Yo-chan’s state of mind, letting you take it step-by-step and want you to grow little by little, you see? There’s no need to rush to make Yo-chan understand 」

Is that so?

These past four months have been the preparatory phase.

The time to get familiar with the family, laying the foundation.

As for the bakery, the first step was to have customers buy and eat the product.

We can’t move forward unless we take our time building the base.

Minaho-neesan was waiting for our progress.

「 But, I keep on telling Yo-chan everything I notice. No, I was pushing it. I didn’t care about Yo-chan’s pace of understanding 」

「 It’s the same for me, all I did was push all the techniques I know to him. I wasn’t thinking of his progress at all 」

Nei and Katsuko-nee are repenting.

「 No, that’s no problem at all. I’m not troubled at all! 」

「 No, we were rushing you. We didn’t look at the long term of everything 」

Katsuko-nee said.

「 Me too! I’m sorry! Yo-chaaaaaan~!! 」

Nei’s crying.

「 If you cry here, you’ll look more miserable 」

Michi tells Nei.

「 Please endure it, you’re the elder sister here 」

「 Right, I have to endure this! 」

Nei.

「 Yeah, that’s right. Got it! 」

She holds back her tears.

『 Speaking of which, Michi-san isn’t rushing when it comes to teaching him martial arts 』

Minaho-neesan tells Michi.

「 It’s Martial arts, so it needs to accumulate. You can only reach the heights if you take the steps little by little 」

Michi who’s a warrior knows that even if she teaches me in one go, there won’t be any improvements.

「 Understanding is a step forward. When you reach the height of one stage, then proceed to the next. One has to wait until they reach an understanding 」

Michi’s mentally a grown up.

She’s mastered the Kudou arts at age 15.

「 However, I feel like I’m getting somewhat hasty when it comes to sexual progression. I seek too many things from Master. I’m sorry 」

Michi.

「 Walking naked on the beach while wearing only a collar on the Southern Seas during the summer vacation might’ve been too soon. Instead of doing it on a tourist destination, we should’ve done it on a night park in Japan 」

No, that was possible because Kouzuki house rented the private beach exclusively.

If we walked in a nearby park like that, it would be much more difficult.

「 From now on, I’ll think of things carefully and ask Master 」

「 Yeah, Darling’s always willing to do anything so Michi should hold back 」

「 Yes, I’ll keep it in mind 」

What’s with this conversation?

『 Now then, do you understand how spoiled you were, Megumi? That this won’t continue forever. It’s about time he reaches his limit if you include the external factors, we need to proceed to the next step 』

「 Minaho-neesan, that’s related to the matter in Kyoto, isn’t it? 」

I asked.

『 Yes. I wanted to prolong the reopening of the brothel until you all settled down but, it’s impossible now. Kouzuki-sama started moving 』

It’s about time for Kuromori brothel to reopen.

『 Megumi has no time to be jealous of Nikita-san. He will be having sex with a lot of women from now on primarily with the women in the brothel 』

「 Minaho-san that means 」

Megu looks down.

『 Our operations are done in the mansion. Don’t forget that you live from that money. Kuromori needs to continue the brothel’s business for at least five more years to survive. During that time, we need to gain the power to survive without collapsing even when Kouzuki-sama’s protection is taken away 』

Kuromori’s origin is of a brothel.

We can’t run away from that fact.

「 But, why Yoshi-kun? 」

「 It’s inevitable, he’s the only man among us, and is the only man of the house. He needs to the lord of the house 」

I’ll be the lord of Kuromori house?

In that case, I have to take responsibility for the business in the brothel too.

「 Got it, Minaho-neesan. I’ve made my resolve long ago 」

Kuromori is a criminal organization.

『 Yes, we’ll have you take charge of the darkest part of Kuromori. Else, there will be no progress. You need to join us as the core of our crime 』

「 Why? Minaho-san? 」

Megu asks.

『 The darkest part of our group is our secret weapon 』

Secret weapon?

『 Don’t forget, there’s always a possibility that I get assassinated. Everyone in the underground society knows that Kuromori Minaho is the boss of Kuromori 』

Minaho-neesan? Assassinated?

『 If I die first, you need to protect yourselves 』

Not just Jii-chan.

Minaho-neesan is also thinking of the future when she’s gone.

『 I will not teach Megumi or the other girls about the darkest secrets. You’ll be the only one to know. Yoshinobu 』

Minaho-neesan calls me with my first name for the first time.

『 You’ll have sex with a lot of girls, but it won’t be fun. It may only be painful. But, do it. You need it for the survival of Kuromori 』

I.

「 But, Minaho-san 」

Megu doesn’t like me having sex with women she doesn’t know.

「 But what? That’s bullshit 」

Yukino who’s been silent all this time speaks up.

「 You’re trying to survive, right? This is a critical moment deciding whether you’ll collapse or not, right? If that’s the case, then just accept it. That’s reality 」

Yukino’s a realist now.

「 Really, you’ve become an idiot after being so spoiled for four months 」

Yukino tells Megu.

「 Megumi, are you really his woman? Do you want to go back to Yamamine house now? If you want, I can call them 」

She speaks filled with sarcasm.

「 I won’t go back! I! 」

「 Then try to have some resolve!! 」

The two bark at each other.

「 Indeed, Megu-chan’s not suited for a criminal organization. That’s true, though 」

Nei said.

「 Nei-oneesan? 」

「 But, we need her now. You know, we’re not normal 」

Abnormal.

「 Right? When she hears that Yo-chan has sex with other girls, she feels jealous. Megu-chan’s always burning in jealousy 」

Nei said.

「 But, we’re not normal, our reactions are strange, and we’re aware of it 」

「 That’s right, I’m surprised sometimes when I look at Megumi-chan and see how a normal child react 」

Katsuko-nee said.

「 I learn a lot from her 」

Michi said.

「 That’s why she’s necessary for our family.

「 Nei-oneesan 」

『 Megumi. Indeed, everyone has some odd perception except for you. Therefore, you have meaning. But, Kuromori isn’t normal. Our organization doesn’t allow us to be ordinary. We’re a criminal organization 』

Minaho-neesan said.

『 Therefore, we’ll refer to your opinion but, we won’t go with your ordinary senses. Understand that. Otherwise, we’ll set you free 』

Banishing Megu?

『 Oh well. Megu’s made her first step in accepting Nikita-san. She’s not someone from the family. But, she’s a close friend. You’re already okay with Yoshinobu having sex with Nikita-san, aren’t you?

「 That’s because she’s a good girl 」

Megu said

『 What about Yukino-san? 』

「 I don’t want Yukino. Never 」

『 Oh, that’s unfortunate 』

She sighed.

『 What about you, Yoshinobu? Have you broken the taboo of not having sex with a girl other than the family, haven’t you? 』

「 Yeah, I can do it with other girls 」

I replied.

『 Seems like it. To the extent that you were the one who asked Yukino-san to have sex 』

That’s right.

I thought that I shouldn’t have sex with Yukino, someone who’s not in our family.

Yet, those binds were released from having sex with Anya.

『 Oh well, that’s the first stage. Let’s move on to the next stage 』

Minaho-neesan said.

『 For now, finish up cleaning there and come back here. Bring Yukino-san together with you 』

Even Yukino.

『 Also, Agnes-chan wants to talk to you 』

Agnes?

『 Agnes-chan, come here. You can talk to him here 』

It seems that Agnes is also in the room where Minaho-neesan’s talking to me.

『 Papa? 』

I hear Agnes’s voice.

「 Yeah, it’s me. Agnes 」

I replied. Agnes;

『 Please come back faster 』

「 Yeah, sorry about that, I’ll be back soon. Let’s see, wait for about 20 minutes 」

『 Faster! Agnes wants to have sex with Papa! 』

Err.

This is what means to have the women free do to do what they want for the past four months.

I always answer Mana and Agnes’ expectations.

「 Y-Yeah got it. I’ll finish cleaning up for now 」

I see. I thought that they might break, so they need to have sex all the time, but.

This needs to be improved.

Minaho-neesan is thinking of what will happen after she dies.

In that case.

It’s also possible that I die from some trouble.

Agnes and Mana shouldn’t be dependent on me anymore.
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