『Are we really able to have a conversation…… Suzu-chan can you also hear us?』
『Yeah, loud and clear.』
『What’s going on? It feels like we went back to our childhood.』
『Back then we always used to talk like this amongst ourselves. While the other people around us kept looking at with faces that said “What are those girls doing?”』
『Since when did we lose our ability I wonder? Eh, but there’s probably no need to ask that.』
『Yeah, it’s when father…..』
『That’s right… Therefore, the reason we were able to regain this ability is because ――』
『Of Taiyou-san, right?』
『As expected, Taiyou is our fated person.』
『Yes, I’m so glad we met him.』
Since a while ago, Kazane had been keeping silent. Without a doubt she must have been conversing with her two other sisters.
This could clearly be seen on her face as she constantly changed her expression dramatically from one of surprise to one of joy.
After some time….. It would seem that she finished, so she turned to face Taiyou.
「Taiyou-san, there is a message from Suzu-chan. She said that she’s joined up with Aoba-san, but because Koto-chan and Yami-chan are keeping track of the girl, Aoba-san is going to be coming back here to meet with us.」
「I understand, please tell her we will be waiting for her here. Also, when you’re done, I want you to go meet with Kotone and Suzune. I have somewhere that I need to go with Kohaku-san for a little bit.」
「Where will you be going? I also want to come.」
For a moment, Kazane’s small face showed an incredulous expression. Just when she thought that she was useful to Taiyou, he suddenly wanted to go somewhere without her, so she thought she was still insufficient and she looked like a puppy that was about to be abandoned.
Looking at her like this, Taiyou gave her a peck on the lips *chuu* in order to comfort her mind.
「It’s not because I don’t need you, in fact I know that I will need you girls from now and long into the future. That’s why, now that your telepathic abilities have returned, you girls should really meet up with each other. It’s hard to explain it with words but, I really feel that it would be better if you did so.」
Though she gazed into Taiyou’s eyes for a while longer, Kazane was eventually convinced as she went away in order to meet up with her two sisters.
Seeing her off safely, Kohaku let out a small sigh. This was a rare reaction coming from her.
「What’s wrong Kohaku-san?」
「I just thought that…. The potential within young people is truly magnificent. I envy how dazzling they are and how they can look forward to their future with hope. It makes me wish that I met danna-sama back when I was in my prime…」
「Back then I wasn’t even born yet, you know?」
Taiyou replied to her in a joking manner.
「Now that you mention it, you’re right jya. But still, I’m still envious.」
「Is that so?」
「That’s right jya, everyone is growing alongside danna-sama and its really enviable jya, I’m already old like this and there isn’t any room left for me to grow so…」
「I don’t think that’s the case, is it?」
「Then let me paraphrase it. When someone reaches my age, their head becomes hard and it’s not possible to change jya.」
This time Kohaku spoke jokingly. Although she was almost saying the same thing in substance, putting it in this light hearted produce the right amount of self-blame so he could understand it.
「It makes it slightly more convincing somehow.」
Kohaku covered her mouth as she giggled. Even though she was saying that she was jealous, it didn’t seem like she really took it to heart.
Therefore, Taiyou didn’t worry about it for much longer and he just enjoyed playing with her as per usual with their interesting conversations.
In this manner, the two people were conversing with each other without stopping until Aoba returned.
Taiyou, Kohaku and Aoba, all three people were lined up together and walking along the street at night. This was the road that Taiyou and Aoba used together a couple of hours ago. It was the route towards Pochi’s house.
Kohaku was the one who suggested that they head there. While leaving the shadowing of the girl to Shirokiyami and the three triple sisters, their plan was to investigate Pochi’s mansion.
Because there were also some parts to the story told by Hanaeda that were inexplicable, Taiyou readily accepted the proposal to check up on the place.
And so the three people walking shoulder-to-shoulder headed towards the residence.
「Come to think of you, you have really beautiful hair jyanou. As expected, having a hair so long, doesn’t it require a lot of maintenance?」
On the way there, Kohaku suddenly brought this up. It was something that had nothing to do with the place they were heading to and it was directed at the girl on the other side of Taiyou, the girl with the pony tail.
「Once you get used to it, it isn’t such a big deal. Kohaku-san hasn’t ever grown her hair?」
「I don’t remember, I think the longest I’ve ever had my hair was at the length where it reached my shoulder jyata.」
「Is that so?」
「But when I look at you like this, it makes me remember of Junishima Yurikago.」
「Jyuunishima Youran? Who is that?」1
「Ahh that’s right, you’ve never met her before jyana. Just like you she had long her, she also had a twin tail jya. When you walk, both of you share the same walking gait.」
「That girl she often decided to walk in front of danna-sama and at the same time danna-sama liked to pull on her hair as she walked jyata」
Aoba showed a surprised expression and Taiyou smiled bitterly.
「Did he really pull her hair?」
When she asked back, Kohaku nodded.
「Every time I saw her, he was always pulling on her hair jya. He also ignored all of her complaints.」
「……Somehow, whenever I saw her twin tail, I just had this irresistible urge to pull on it. Including her reactions when she told me that she didn’t like it.」
「It’s not like I don’t understand, when she was in her disguise, it felt pretty good to tease her.」
As the two of them were talking about Yurikago, Aoba who was walking side by side with Taiyou suddenly moved forwards half a step in front of him.
Aoba keeps walking silently as her ponytail shakes from side to side like a lively fish tail. Wondering what was going on, he called her out on it.
「Aoba, you don’t have to be in such a rush. In the case that Pochi returns to the mansion, the girls would give us a report so we can take it easy.」
Aoba turns around and watches Taiyou silently. For some reason, he felt like she was giving him a slightly reproachful look and he was puzzled by it.
This time she had a sulky expression as she slowed down her pace and started walking next to Taiyou again. ‘What was going on with her?’ is what he was thinking in his own mind, this time it was Kohaku’s turn who was on the opposite side to stifle a laughter.
Just what on earth was going on? Taiyou inclined his head to one side and was oblivious to the current state of affairs. He wanted to just ask the girls straight out but he suddenly imagined a scene of him stepping on a field full of landmines. Suddenly feeling two droplets of sweat dripping down his back, he decided it was best not to touch on the subject.
After continuing to walk towards the mansion in such a way, the three people shortly arrived at their destination. This was the mansion that Pochi was staying at.
Aoba clung to Taiyou’s side and under Kohaku’s leadership they headed towards the entrance of the building. The young looking old woman placed her hand to turn the door knob and a sound of *click* resounded, however the door merely created the sound without showing any intentions of opening up.
「It seems that it is locked jya, is danna-sama going to take care of this one? Or shall I?」
「I just want to clarify but, what does Kohaku-san intend to do?」
「It’s a peculiar skill I learned a long time ago, if it’s a lock like this, I can open it in less than a minute.」
Saying this Kohaku takes out a hairpin. Regardless of where she pulled it out from, it was a wonderful item that allowed someone to know instantly what it was going to be used for with a single glance.
「You past is really heavy isn’t it?」
Smiling bitterly, Taiyou placed his hands on the door knob and turned the handle. Instantly the door makes a snapping noise and opens up.
「Danna-sama that took you three seconds jyatana?」
「We are a little pressed for time so… I will make sure to properly apologize later for breaking it.」
Shrugging his shoulders, Kohaku smiles at him approvingly. Going through the entrance of the door one by one, they attempted to turn on the light switch but it didn’t turn on after pressing it.
「If this was a horror game, we would probably start by restoring electricity to the place.」
「In that case we need to find the fuse first. But this is real life, so it’s probably because the bills haven’t been paid for?」
「That’s probably true, in this case we would probably need to find both a power generator and some gasoline to fix it jya.」
Kohaku takes out her mobile phone and uses the light function attached to her camera. A light comparable to one that is given off by a flashlight illuminates the inside of the dark building.
It was like the three people were exploring a haunted house together. Some of the doors they encountered were also locked, but each time Taiyou would break the locks in place and intrude inside.
Gradually a sense of unease spreads out to the three of them.
「Hey Natsuno-kun, isn’t this room……. A child’s room as well?」
「Ahh, it is a child’s room.」
「This room, the one before…. and even the one before that, they were all children’s rooms.」
「That’s correct, all the rooms we have seen so far were children’s rooms.」
The three people wondered at the oddity as they stood still and looked all around the inside of the room.
Hera had mentioned before that there were children’s rooms being properly maintained. Therefore, he was not surprised to see the rooms even after intruding the mansion.
However, no matter which room he went in, they were all children’s rooms and he could not help but to feel a sense of discomfort. The size of the furniture along with anything and everything else was made under the premise that it would be used by children.
「What could this all mean? That woman by the name of Karina, did she really want to spoil Pochi to this extent?」
「Even so this is abnormal.」
「Danna-sama, take a look at this.」
Kohaku had found something by the side of the room and presented it towards Taiyou. It was a slightly dusty and heavy old album.
After dusting it off carefully and opening it, there was a photograph of Pochi with an unknown woman next to her.
「This is…. Something that was taken in this room right?」
「It looks to be the case. Then this is the room we were in a while ago?」
「This very young looking child is Pochi I think? It really resembles her face.」
「If so, who is this young child over here?」
The three people were confused. In the photograph, they saw a girl around the age of ten, carrying a baby in her arms. There were babies that didn’t really look so different when they grew up. Pochi was no doubt one of these types of people.
Still not really knowing the identity of the other girl, they flipped the pages of the album one after another. Gradually, they were able to find out that this was an album that recorded Pochi’s growth throughout the years.
The Pochi within the album soon grew up. From a baby that was crawling on the ground to a toddler who was taking its first tottering steps. Changing into different colorful clothes she eventually grew up into a very beautiful girl.
The face of the three people looking at this stiffened up little by little.
In 1 out of every 5 pictures, there was a girl in the picture with Pochi.
Somehow, that girl never grew up into adulthood. Whilst Pochi continued to grow and pass the other girls height, the other girl looked completely the same as the first picture they saw.
At first she seemed to be relatively healthy, but in the current picture, she still looked to be ten years of age…… however, she was riding on a wheelchair.
Aoba was in astonishment and Taiyou was taken aback.
「She’s one of the eternally little?」
Kohaku muttered in response, she had the most surprised look in her face. The expression on her face conveyed that she could not believe what she was seeing in front of her eyes.
「An eternally little gave birth to her own child jyato?」