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Chapter 854. High Life / Loyal Retainer

New names introduced in “High Life” Arc.

★Young ladies and their bodyguards

Kanou Sakurako 16y/o Daughter of Kanou house, a family with a long history rivaling Kouzuki house.

Shiranui Shie / 17 y/o Sakurako’s bodyguard. A daughter of a family that serves Kanou house for generations.

Torii Mariko / 16 y/o Young lady of Torii electronics. She seems cut off from others, unable to read the mood.

Haiji Katori / 13 y/o Mariko’s bodyguard. However, a girl hired by contract. Half-race.

Kurama Misato / 18 y/o. Daughter of Kurama house, which is sinking down. Planned to become a prostitute.

Kurama Arisu / 13 y/o. Misato’s little sister. Always covers up her sister.

Anjou Mitama / 18 y/o. Misato’s bodyguard. “Will attack from the sky” – Favorite phrase. Silent.

Anjou Kinuka / 13 y/o. Arisu’s bodyguard. Thick nerves.

★Kansai Yakuza Spy:

Tendou Otome / 17 y/o She infiltrated as a bodyguard of the granddaughter of Mizushima holdings’ president.

「 Isn’t that for you to hide so others won’t steal it? 」

Torii-san, who can’t read the mood, speaks loudly.

「 Haiji, isn’t that how it is with bodyguards? 」

Adelheid-san…

「 In our world, it’s ordinary that we try to steal each other’s skills. If you don’t want your secret technique taken, then hide it, bodyguards know that 」

「 That means, it’s the fault of those who got their skills stolen, right? 」

That’s harsh, Torii-san.

「 It is as you say. And as we sisters want to protect our family’s secret technique, we would like to refuse cooperation with other family bodyguards 」

「 Indeed 」

Anjou Mitama-san followed, and Kinuka-san agreed.

「 I wonder if there are skills you can genuinely hide? 」

Edie said while smiling.

「 Anjou martial arts have a history of 350 years with it 」

Mitama-san shows slight anger while still being expressionless.

「 It has nothing to do with history, it’s about whether you’re weak or strong, and whether you can use it or not 」

Edie provokes Mitama-san.

「 Can you use it at this age? That secret technique you’re talking about 」

Edie said.

「 Right. Like, that skill where you jumped to the sky earlier didn’t work on Kyouko Messer at all 」

Torii-san said.

Yeah, the Skylab Hurricane Mixer something.

「 Haiji, what’s your opinion on that? 」

Adelheid-san looked at the Anjou sisters coldly.

「 ……DUMM! 」

「 What do you mean? 」

Torii-san giggled.

「 In German language, it means “Fool, stupid, dimwit” and the likes 」

Adelheid-san replied.

「 ……!!! 」

Shit, Anjou sisters are…

Especially the little sister, Kinuka-san, looks like she’s about to jump.

「 Haa?! Can you really say that? 」

However, Edie gets in between.

She shows a fed-up look.

「 Can someone who didn’t even do anything, not even a single attack, when Kyouko Messer showed up laugh at that? 」

Edie and Michi had a fight with Kyouko-san.

Though she’s no match, Adelheid-san didn’t move a single muscle has no right to criticize.

「 I-I was watching the situation! 」

Adelheid-san refutes, but…

「 And if it’s your current self, everyone would die while you’re still looking at the situation. All the Masters and bodyguards 」

Edie speaks sadistically.

「 W-What do you know? 」

「 I think it’s time for you to stop 」

Kanou-san tells Adelheid-san.

「 She’s shown her skill to everyone. No matter what you say, you’ll only look like a grumbling loser 」

「 My Haiji isn’t a loser! 」

Torii-san shouts at Kanou-san.

「 That’s not what I’m talking about! My Shie couldn’t even do a thing against Kyouko Messer-san! 」

「 I’m very sorry 」

Shie-san bows her head to her master.

「 I’m not blaming you 」

Kanou-san tells her bodyguard.

Then, she sighed.

「 I understand, I acknowledge Misuzu-sama’s suggestion. It’s the right choice 」

She tells Misuzu.

「 Times have changed. We can no longer rely on each family having their own bodyguard protect them, foreigner criminals are coming in Japan 」

「 We need everyone to deal with that absurdity! 」

Adelheid-san speaks intensely, but.

「 Should I call her back again? 」

Edie smiles.

「 Yomi, Kyouko, and Cordelia are still around, right? 」

「 Y-Yes, I don’t think they left yet 」

Yomi replied.

「 As everyone can guess, Kyouko Messer and Kouzuki house are currently business partners. Naturally, Kouzuki house pays Kyouko a lot of cash. And so, when Kyouko-sama has business in Japan, she will have to let Kouzuki house know the details, and if another foreign criminal organization comes in Japan, Kyouko Messer will deal with them as soon as they land 」

「 Then, what about Fujimiya Reika-sama’s fight on television? 」

One of Rei-chan’s fan asks.

「 That is Kyouko Messer’s pastime. However, she’s not playing around, and so we always put our lives on the line when dealing with her 」

Rei-chan replied.

「 Kouzuki SS asked Kyouko Messer-san to train them in combat 」

Misuzu said.

「 Though it’s training, the current age of bodyguards need to develop to deal with people of her skill 」

「 But, it’s unknown whether Kyouko Messer would continue her cooperation with us for long 」

Ruriko said.

「 She’s a genuine world-class crime syndicate head after all. If she finds someone who can offer better terms than Kouzuki house, she will change sides immediately 」

They all turned quiet.

「 Please imagine that. Kyouko Messer’s party went and raided our school. We’re all daughters of noble houses if a criminal group were to kidnap us… 」

They could take hostage of the whole political and business leaders.

「 And once that happens, do you think that we should protect ourselves? Our bodyguards saving only oneself, evacuating you to a safe place. Do you mind letting the criminals kidnap the other students who don’t have their personal bodyguards? 」

Now that they saw Kyouko Messer, an overwhelming existence…

Ruriko’s lines become solid in their imagination.

「 If we want our bodyguards cooperating, then it has to start with regular training. And gathering such as this is a necessity, depending on the situation, they might need to share each other’s secret techniques 」

Kanou-san said.

「 However, it’s our family’s treasure! 」

Anjou Mitama speaks with a firm tone.

Kanou-san looks at Shie-san.

「 Shie, does your family have a secret technique? 」

Shie-san speaks without care.

「 Yes, we do have a few 」

Shie-san’s house also had those.

「 Have you used that in combat at least once? Also, do you think it would pass if it’s against Kyouko Messer-san’s level? 」

Shie-san…

「 I cannot answer the first question. Everyone’s listening, and so my answer to the second question is “I don’t know” 」

She hides the real answer.

「 I see. But I think that you should test out your skills at least once 」

Kanou-san said.

「 I don’t know if Kuraman-san’s bodyguard display of a strange skill is their “secret technique,” but… 」

No, I doubt that anyone other than people before their thirties can do that “skylab hurricane mixer.”

Like, it’s combined “Skylab Hurricane” and “Hurricane mixer” or so they say

「 Kouzuki SS also has some old martial arts techniques that are obsolete for the current age. So they’re working out on arranging it to become usable for the present era. Right, Michi-san? 」

Shou-neechan looks at Michi.

「 Yes, I’m sorting through the ancient skills of Kudou arts and turning them usable for the current age 」

Hmm, Kudou style turned weird since Michi’s father.

「 I believe that it’s about time for everyone to sort through the techniques passed through your family generations 」

Shou-neechan said.

「 Kouzuki SS knows how to do it. We have gathered professional who uses various martial arts, and we have an understanding of modern warfare. If you don’t mind, we are willing to help 」

「 However, that only means that Kouzuki SS will also absorb the secret techniques from family tradition 」

The one complaining is the girl Tendou Otome pushes forward.

That spy looks like she hates it if things don’t go her way.

「 There’s no need for you to reveal all of your secret techniques. If there’s something you want to hide, then please continue hiding it. But, I think that it benefits you if you have your skills checked by professionals, right? 」

Shou-neechan said.

「 Not all of the family tradition secret techniques are passed from parent to child anyway 」

「 The point is that we want to create a system where we can cooperate with each other in case anything happens. If it’s now, we cannot assist, and we don’t know who has what skills. But, if we could collaborate, even for just a bit, then it makes it easier to support each other 」

Edie said.

「 Michi and I displayed a lot earlier. Both our secret and hidden techniques 」

No, it wasn’t on purpose.

You two were trying to fight Kyouko-san seriously, and so you didn’t hide anything.

Edie is trying to persuade the girls with reason.

Then.

「 Can I ask a question? Earlier, there was a technique you used to stop Kyouko Messer from moving for a moment. Was that a Qi skill? 」

One of the young ladies raised her hand.

Beauty with long straight black hair.

The other young ladies are wearing a party dress, yet.

She’s the only one wearing a short white suit like it’s a school uniform.

「 Right 」

Edie smiled.

「 Then, allow me to speak boldly. Could you teach that skill to me?

Huh? You want to learn that?

But, she’s not a bodyguard, but a young lady.

She’s sitting down.

「 Were you not taught to introduce yourself if you seek instruction? 」

Edie tells the black-haired lady.

「 You’re rude! You’re just a bodyguard! 」

Torii-san scolds Edie, but…

「 If it’s between a fellow soldier, there’s no bodyguard, there’s no young lady 」

Edie said. Then the black-haired young lady stands up.

「 I’m very sorry about that. I’m Kuromiya style spearmanship teacher, Kuromia Motoko 」

Kuromiya-san bows her head to Edie.

「 I’m born in Kuromiya house, and as you can see, I do have a bodyguard, but I do intend on continuing the path of the warrior myself 」

She’s becoming a martial artist despite being a young lady?

I guess they exist too.

「 Mikuriya, greet them 」

The girl with fluffy hair standing behind Kuromiya-san bows her head.

She’s a bodyguard, yet she’s wearing a skirt. She’s more of the young lady at a glance.

「 Kuromiya school, Mikuriya Kurumi 」

She holds her dress and greets with grace.

「 And I’m Edie 」

Edie greets.

「 If it’s Qi, I can teach you anytime. However, it depends on you whether you can use it or not 」

「 We don’t mind no matter how strict the training 」

「 Yes 」

Kuromiya-san and Mikuriya-san said.

「 The severity of training doesn’t matter. It’s a matter of sense 」

Edie said.

「 Those without the sense can never do it no matter how much they try. You already know which ones have the sense, right? Michi? 」

Edie talks to Michi.

「 That’s right 」

Michi nods.

「 I mean, if there’s anyone else who wants to learn, just say it immediately. I’m an American, and so I don’t talk about hiding secrets or anything about your school. That’s narrow-minded. Skills carried out from the old days are disappearing after all 」

Edie said. Shie-san;

「 That’s not true. Japan respects tradition. They inherit the family tradition from generations. Americans probably will never understand that 」

「 Didn’t I just say it earlier? I’m only looking at the sense 」

Edie smiled wryly.

「 If the child born in a family can’t use their family technique, then that will disappear. You don’t always give birth to a child with a sense for martial arts after all 」

Oh.

Right.

Children who don’t have that battle sense can’t ultimately inherit the family tradition style.

The secret technique passed through generations becomes lukewarm.

「 If it remains in the right shape, then the other blood will need it 」

「 Edie-san’s right. In Noh and Kabuki society, the old traditional arts aren’t passed down in one family. They pick the performer with a good sense from other blood, going through multiple performances on the way, and that connects to the current age 」

Ruriko talks about traditional performance art.

「 Furthermore, martial arts isn’t artistic like the performing arts. You take down people or protect someone. Even if it’s a secret technique passed down for generations, if you can’t use it at the current age, then it’s useless. You can leave it behind as traditional art. However, if it’s a skill you need to protect someone, you must abandon useless skills 」

Edie speaks strongly.

「 If you’re sticking to some obsession, you won’t be able to protect anyone 」

Edie smiled.

「 Also, it’s not just the bodyguards, the young ladies need to learn something to defend themselves 」

Hey, Edie?

「 Like Motoko 」

Edie points at Kuromiya-san.

「 Hey, you’re rude to Kuromiya-sama! 」

Shie-san shouts at Edie, but…

「 No, I don’t mind. I aspire to become an apprentice. It’s natural for martial artists to be addressed without honorifics 」

Kuromiya-san said calmly.

「 Uhm, I also am taking lessons in Kudou style’s self-defense 」

Ruriko tells everyone.

「 Me too, I train together with Danna-sama 」

Misuzu said.

「 Sometimes, Fujimiya-san and Seki-san also join in our training 」

Yeah, when Shou-neechan and Rei-chan stay over in our mansion.

Everyone trains together.

We have machines in the training room in the mansion…

We sweat ourselves in the garden or in the basement, where Agnes was confined back then.

「 I often join in their training as well 」

Margo-san enters.

「 Why don’t you try coming over and move your body together with us? 」

She smiled.

「 No, uhm, it’s the bodyguard family’s duty to teach their Master self-defense 」

Shie-san said, but.

「 Why not? It’s more fun if we’re all together 」

Margo-san shows a refreshing smile.

「 However, I don’t think we can take it easy if we’re in a mansion where Kouzuki-sama is staying! 」

This time, Kanou-san resists.

Oh, She thinks that we’re living in the main mansion of Kouzuki house.

I mean, everyone’s wearing a beautiful dress.

They’re fussing because it’s a place where they might meet Jii-chan.

「 If that’s the case, would you like to use the older building of Kouzuki SS? 」

Shou-neechan said with a smile.

「 It’s only separated a street from this mansion, we can head there immediately. The duty bodyguards and standby have used this place for long, but we moved everyone to the new building, and nobody uses the old one. We have a dojo over there 」

「 Is that okay, Seki-san? 」

Misuzu asks.

「 That mansion belongs to Kouzuki house as well 」

「 I understand. Then I will ask Grandfather 」

「 Me too 」

Misuzu and Ruriko said.

「 Then, I will be training there periodically 」

Rei-chan agreed with everyone.

「 I will drop by sometimes too 」

Margo-san said.

「 Huh? Reika-sama, you won’t teach self-defense? 」

「 Wow? What do I do? 」

「 Misuzu-sama, I would like to participate 」

「 Me too! 」

The leader charges and the soldiers follow.

If Rei-chan’s fans say that they’re participating.

Their bodyguard has to follow as well.

While at it, it becomes a joint training.

And fellow bodyguards can deepen their bonds naturally.

「 By the way, Motoko 」

Edie speaks to Kuromiya-san.

「 Yes, what is it? 」

「 Earlier, you mentioned something. Soujutsu, was it? 」

Edie smiles.

Kuromiya Motoko-san understood it from that smile.

「 Then, I will teach Soujutsu 」

「 Then please 」

Yeah, cooperation begins from the upper level.

「 Then, please join in, everyone 」

Ruriko invites everyone once again.

「 I-I won’t join in! 」

「 No! 」

Even so, Anjou sisters refuse.

「 M-Mitama, Kinuka 」

Kurama Misato, who shrunk down, looks troubled.

「 T-That’s rude to Misuzu-sama, speaking so loudly 」

「 That’s right. You two 」

Kurama Arisu-san, the little sister embracing the frightened elder sister, scolds her bodyguards.

「 B-But 」

「 But! 」

Why are these two so obsessed about?

「 Kurama-san. It can’t be helped, these two are desperate on making a market for themselves 」

Torii-san?

「 With Kurama-san’s situation right now, you can’t keep your bodyguards, and that means that they’ll be unemployed 」

Torii-san said. Kurama sisters tremble.

「 That’s why they’re so desperate. They even tried to make some daring appeal of going at Kyouko Messer 」

「 T-That’s wrong! 」

Anjou Kinuka denies it in a low voice.

「 Making a plea that you have some traditional secret technique, advertising yourself so desperately to get hired by another house. It’s commendable, but to think that you’re already looking for your next Master when you still have the current one. Although, I guess Kurama-san’s family is a carefree one that they don’t think of their own children’s future. If you don’t move on your own accord, you’ll die together with Kurama house, I’m worried about you 」

So that’s the reason why the Anjou sisters are in a weird mood?

Their wild action and speech were all for job hunting?

「 Anjou house has a secret technique! 」

Mitama-san glared at Torii-san and said.

「 It doesn’t matter. I can understand how you feel 」

Torii-san doesn’t listen to them.

「 I will search for an employer for you two 」

Kanou-san?

「 Huh? That’s kind of you 」

Torii-san speaks teasingly.

「 Torii-san’s family can’t talk to other families, right? 」

Kanou-san glared back.

「 Shie 」

「 Yes, I will talk to Father and tap other bodyguard families 」

Kanou house is a family with a history, and so they have a network for between bodyguards.

「 I’m grateful for your offer, but we refuse 」

「 Refuse! 」

Anjou sisters tell Kanou-san.

「 But, if you stop your job, it will become easier for Kurama house 」

Kurama’s house looks like they’re nearing bankruptcy.

「 No, we already received our pay! 」

「 Pay! 」

W-What?

「 Kinuka and I are Kurama house bodyguards from birth! 」

「 From birth! 」

「 If Kurama’s house were to perish, then we will come with them! 」

「 With them! 」

H-Hey! Wait!

「 We jumped in the fight with Kyouko Messer to show the spirit of Kurama house vassals! Their family may be sinking, but us retainers will never yield! 」

「 Yield! 」

The sisters said.

But…

「 What faithful servants… 」

「 I will talk to father and find a new household to serve for them 」

「 Indeed, after all, Kurama house is expected to fall 」

「 Let’s find a new employer for their sake as well 」

Kurama house’s collapse is already determined, really?

They think that they can’t bounce back.

「 It’s a waste to have such loyal retainers stay with Kurama-san and disappear with them 」

「 How about we employ them at our house? 」

「 Oh, the younger is a cute one, yes 」

「 My little sister as at the age where she needs a bodyguard 」

This doesn’t look good.

Actually, this looks bad.

If the young ladies continue that topic…

The eyes of the bodyguards thinking of working for another family has changed.

If this goes on…
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