Miin miin miin…And thus the world entered summer vacation.
Children and students were alive with joy, whereas the family heads saw it as the prime of their working lives.
The head of the Natsuno household was also preparing for a big job.
The Natsuno household arrived at the vast parking lot on the outskirts of Seikaen Town.
At the parked trailer model wheeled vehicle, the girls, especially Hera and Pochi were spinning around and around with great joy.
「So this is the motor home that Kohaku-san mentioned before.」
Despite being the patriarch, Taiyou spoke to Kohaku using only polite language. Kohaku responded to him in a good mood like how a parent would to their child.
「That’s right. When I was young, I went all over the country with this.」
「You wouldn’t know that it was such an old car by looking at――Ow!」
Taiyou’s head was struck――by Kohaku.
Kohaku asked him after giving the top of his head a good snap with her open hands, with a face that was smiling but also with eyes that were not smiling.
「Did ya say something, Husband?」
「N, no. It’s nothing.」
Taiyou hurriedly glossed it over, realizing after being hit that he had indirectly brought up her age.
「T, this seems like the sort of thing that comes up in American movies.」
「’Course; it was imported from abroad after all. The Lylac Company’s product, Athanasia’81. It’s praised fer being a famous car among famous cars at the highest peak.」
「So you drove this all the time?」
Aoba inquired nearby. Unlike Taiyou, she approached Kohaku with a quite familiar tone.
「’Course. Michael might’a been willing to drive for his partners, but ‘thing is, I was alone back then.」
「Your area of expertise is astounding as usual.」
When he gave a strained laugh, Kotone of the sister trio appeared from out of the interior. Evenly matched with the still-spinning Pochi and Hera outside, her eyes were also sparkling.
「Taiyou-san, it’s amazing in here.」
「Yes; it’s a one-room!」
Taiyou gained an interest in that word choice that was completely unrelated to cars. Slowly lowering an elated Kohaku to the ground, he stepped into the inside of the car.
He let out a voice of admiration upon entering.
The first thing that met him was a sofa with an attached table in the shape of the Japanese letter「コ」. It likely had the capacity for eight people, and if everyone lined their shoulders together then more than ten people could probably sit down. Facing it was a close to 40-inch LCD flat screen television embedded into the wall: an environment that everyone could pleasantly appreciate.
There was a kitchen to the side. A deep sink and an electric burner as well as compact, general facilities like a refrigerator, an electronic range, and so on, had been fully equipped.
The opposite side had a long, narrow passageway connecting further back; midway there were doors for the restroom and shower room; and going to the innermost location revealed two bunk beds furnished on either side.
Though it was of course a motor home, when he saw how space was fully used without waste and how the upholstery was set up to be functional as well as charming, Taiyou was reminded of 「A Carpenter’s Work」 that was often among the renovation programs.
When he imagined this 「building」 being towed racing along public roads, he suddenly became excited.
「This is…rather than a one-room, isn’t it more like a 1DK?」
「And come take a look at this kitchen, Taiyou-san.」
「With these many tools gathered we can cook like we usually do!」
Taiyou who couldn’t hide his excitement, and the irregular three sisters who didn’t even have the intention of hiding it. The girls, who liked housework, seemed to be the most excited about the kitchen functions that allowed cooking with no inconveniences even whilst traveling.
Taiyou looked around inside. He opened up the doors and storages one by one, checking them. He also examined the level of comfort of the bed and sofa.
「This may actually be more agreeable than the one-room that I lived in until just recently.」
「Yeah, it was inconvenient in many ways with a six-tatami-one-ken. Storage; that general area.」
Taiyou once again surveyed the surroundings, realizing something.
「Come to think of it, Kohaku-san, you mentioned earlier that the max amount of passengers was eight people, but there are no more than four beds. Do the other four sleep on the sofa?」
「Tsk tsk tsk.」
Kohaku shook her fingers with a prideful expression.
Kohaku said, reaching her hand to the panel installed in the wall. She operated several buttons.
When she did that, there was a mechanical “weeen” sound, and a small vibration ran through the car.
「It’s amazingー, it’s changing form, it’s a Transformer!」
「Things are changing one after the other!」
Two excited voices could be heard from outside. Even more excited than earlier, these voices could be heard even through the wall.
「When you say transformation…Whoooa!」
When he was searching for the source of the mechanical sound to figure out what was going on, he realized that he was hearing it from the ceiling. When he looked up, Taiyou saw that the ceiling that had until now been slightly taller than him began to gradually rise.
When the slowly shifting motor home’s machine noises came to a stop, there was now a loft――a space like an attic room had opened up.
「So it becomes like this.」
「Sweet! It transformed.」
Matching the two outside, Taiyou was also hugely excited. His eyes were glittering like that of a boy seeing their first robot anime.
「As I thought, ya really dig these sorts of things, eh?」
「Yeah, this is amazing! To think that it doesn’t only move, but transforms too! Hey, how do you get on top?」
Smiling, Kohaku silently adjusted the panel. This time a ladder descended, and Taiyou used that to climb up.
Ahead of where he had climbed up, though simple, there was a space where four people could sleep.
「I see, so now eight people can sleep here!」
「That’s right; although at the time when I used it I was travellin’ alone, so I didn’t use it very much.」
「Yeah, this’ll definitely be enough!」
Nodding widely, Taiyou had at first wondered what would happen, but now thought that everything would be alright.
The only thing that was a sham about this, was・・・・・・・that he himself could not ride.
That day, Taiyou had driven back Juunishima Anna and her subordinates, taken back Pochi, and returned with everyone to the repaired 「Taiyou Castle」.
Kohaku had busily engaged in obtaining a birth certificate for the family register, then had added her foster daughter――Azumaya Pochi, to the Natsuno household.
During that time period, Juunishima tried various methods to retrieve Pochi.
There were times when they had tried to steal her with force, and there were times when they had used old-fashioned, similar-case negotiation methods like sending rolls of banknotes.
Each time he had refused or chased them off, but these methods were all just tiding over the situation on the spot and never led to fundamental resolutions.
One day, when he had rejected an amount of money that would rival a salaryman’s lifetime annual income, Taiyou had started a conversation with Kohaku when they were alone together.
「I think I should really go to Juunishima. At this rate nothing will be settled.」
「I’m also of the same opinion that we should cut off the source from its foundation, but is there any way to do this?」
「I’m thinking of meeting with Youran first. These things are happening because of the conflict revolving around the next head’s inheritance, so I want to firstly meet with the closest person to that and listen to what they have to say.」
「I see; understood. Then while Husband goes to the island, I’ll take those girls along with me and cloud our whereabouts. If we completely erase our whereabouts, doubtless they’ll have no choice but to negotiate with Husband.」
「Can you really do it?」
「Of course. And besides…」
「I want to show that girl more of the outside world. From second semester onward I did intend to have ‘er enroll in school, and before that I wanted to take ‘er on a trip.」
That was their exchange, and they decided that while Taiyou was going to Juunishima, Kohaku would take Pochi along to see all of Japan.
And today was said day of departure.
Taiyou saw off the motor home with the girls in it and Kohaku driving. Smoothly leaving the parking lot and merging onto the public road, one would never imagine that this was all possible for a small-framed, 130 centimeter person.
「And they’re off.」
Standing next to Taiyou, Aoba saw them off. She was the only one to remain with Taiyou.
「Was this really okay with you, remaining here? I’m sure that being with them would be a lot more fun.」
「No, I’m with Natsuno-kun so I’ll be fine.」
「That’s fine then; so let’s head off I guess.」
「Wait a bit; the person who’s coming with us hasn’t arrived yet.」
「The person who’s coming with us?」
Taiyou quizzically inclined his head. The poston bag lying at his feet was packed with luggage for two people. He had always thought that this would be a two-person trip, so he was surprised to learn that they would be accompanied.
「Yeah, one more person. There’s someone who’s a little knowledgeable about Juunishima, so I had them come with us.」
「Whaaat, are they someone who I know?」
「Yeah, Natsuno-kun also knows them.」
Aoba nodded. Curious, Taiyou wondered who in the world that could be.
「Don’t tell me――」
「I’ve kept you all waiting.」
When he had begun to ask who it was, he heard a voice from behind. When he turned around in surprise, he was further surprised at the identity of the person who had come.
The woman who donned an apron dress with the appearance of a maid. The woman who, while sporting a courteous demeanor, her gaze would never look favorably upon Taiyou.
She was one of Aoba’s three mothers.