In the train that was racing through the night in Juunishima, a disguised Youran slipped into the group of passengers.
She had ordered the maid Michiyo to continue the search for Taiyou, telling her to contact upon finding his location. Until that was cleared up, she figured she would first head to the hospital.
「Look at this.」
「What?『New Moon-sama looks even cuter when idle.』……What is this? Your Japanese is screwed up.」
She could hear two men of the community conversing. It seemed that・・・・she had been brought up as a topic, so Youran secretively listened in.
「If she became cute then it’s not a problem saying she became cute. What’s wrong with saying that she looks cute while idle?」
「She’s New Moon-sama. You realize that you need to use the appropriate words.」
「The heck? So what do I gotta do, refer to her head and butt as sir?」
「I’M GOING TO SLAUGHTER YOU!」
One of the men gave off a threatening voice.
「I get it, calm down. And what is this?」
「It’s a picture of New Moon-sama. It’s the one that was taken earlier by the mass media with the prime minister and princess of Phili.」
「Oh, it was on the news. I think it was some sort of conference or whatnot?」
「Yeah……New Moon-sama is so cute……」
The man let out an ecstatic voice.
「I feel like I can do anything if it’s for New Moon-sama.」
「Anything? So if she tells you to die then you’ll die?」
The other man was not being malicious; he simply was questioning him.
「Of course! If she says “Will you fight and die for me?” then I’ll take a round trip of all the world’s disputed regions.」
「You’re exaggerating. And do you really understand New Moon-sama? I don’t think someone like her would say “my”. She is refined after all.」
「Very true!『My cause』or『My sake』would probably be more accurate!」
（Sorry, but I don’t use either of those.）
Youran quipped in her head.
She was listening to the men gossiping about her like it was an everyday thing.
Youran, Juunishima’s New Moon Director.
A few years ago, she had this title added to her actual name.
Bombastically adhering to formalities, this name was the proof of being this island’s sovereign.
Since then, she had been called「New Moon-sama」by the island’s residents.
The name of the family that had served the island for generations and the appearance that she had been born with.
Thanks to those things, Youran believed that she was looked upon favorably by the island’s citizens. She confirmed with the men’s conversation that this was the case.
「Oh, she’s just so cute! New Moon-sama, she’s totally the new moon.」
「What do you mean by “totally the new moon”, you mean “angel”!」
「Don’t put New Moon-sama with the likes of an angel! That’s blasphemy!」
「Ahh, New Moon-sama…I wonder if she’ll have a handshake event.」
「……You sure you aren’t the one who’s blaspheming New Moon-sama the most?」
Exasperated at what his friend said, he said “Really now”.
「I just looked it up now, but there’s actually a New Moon cram school.」
Hearing what he said, Youran peeked over her shoulders. Both had their smartphones out, and she could see the big LCD screens displaying websites.
「That’s right. New Moon-sama isn’t just some transcendent beauty. She’s been providing assistance to kids without relatives and the like. While putting the talents of the children to use, she recruits the shining ones as her subordinates.」
「Yeah……I also wanna be New Moon-sama’s subordinate……Guess I’ll beat my old man to death.」
「Wait until you find a way to return to being a child.」
The man who was behaving in a violent manner, and the friend who was calmly evading him.
Listening for some time, Youran’s mind drifted off.
Those were conversations that she had heard numerous times up until now, all lacking originality.
Even amongst the members of Juunishima, she boasted an immense amount of popularity. If she were to face off against her father, the current head, in a democratic election, she would probably win with an overwhelming vote of 98%.
She was that popular.
So what exactly could she do to answer to her vast amount of popularity and support? Swaying in the train, Youran continued to think about that.
Having arrivated at the hospital, Youran went straight to Akita Mio’s room, having heard about it previously. Mio was resting on a bed in the two-person room of the general hospital wing. An IV tube was attached to her arm, and the exposed skin peeked out from bandages.
Her face was a color of the worst degree, and she wasn’t even conscious.
「Oh, who might you be?」
A voice approached her from behind as she was staring a Mio. Turning around, she saw a woman of about the same age as Mio.
With a gentle expression and strong bright clear eyes, this woman was exhibiting a special gentle, refined human aura.
From the report about Miki Aoba’s three mothers, she was able to immediately grasp that this was Atsuko.
「An acquaintance of Mio-san’s?」
「No, I’m Natsuno-kun’s friend. I heard that he was here earlier.」
「I passed by him as he left the room.」
「Do you know where he went?」
Atsuko came to Mio’s side, peering at her closely to check her condition. As if seeing something reassuring, her face from the side had a clear color of relief paint it, and Youran didn’t miss that detail.
「When I came, he passed by me and went somewhere. Said that he had something to do.」
「Something to do?」
Atsuko nodded, but she seemed to be implicitly saying that she wouldn’t explain anything else.
Youran was puzzled. From the information provided by Michiyo, the mothers’ beloved daughter Aoba was abducted, and yet Atsuko didn’t seem to be minding that at all.
At least that was what Youran thought. She was a bit concerned.
「Umm, is that person fine?」
「Huh? Hmm, well the doctor said that she won’t die, so I’m sure she is.」
「Seems like there will be some wounds remaining on her body though.」
「Umm……might I introduce a doctor? I know an plastic surgeon who’s skilled at that stuff. They’re a little weird, but they’re very skilled as healing women’s wounds.」
「Thanks, but I don’t think that Mio-san would want that.」
Atsuko made a slightly exasperated expression.
Youran wondered why she said such things with such an expression.
「Wouldn’t want that?」
「Yeah, I haven’t heard it from her, but I sort of get it. When Mio got injured, Aoba――That’s my daugher’s name by the way――she was trying to protect Aoba, I think. I don’t think she’d want those wounds to be erased.」
「Is that how it is?」
「Mio’s stubborn, see.」
A proud color was mixed within Atsuko’s exasperated smile.
Seeing that appearance, Youran・・・・envisioned something in her head.
「Is that Youran-chan there?」
Leaving the hospital room, she heard a carefree voice. She initially jumped at her name being called, but without revealing any of that, she turned toward the voice.
There stood a 30 centimeter, human-shaped organism with blonde hair floating in the air without wings- a fairy.
Youran silently turned aside, heading to the other side of the building.
「Did you not hear my voice? Waitー」
The fairy Hera cried out in a loud voice, following suit. She caught up to Youran in an instant, overtaking her in front of her face.
「Look over here! Ignoring me is a no-noー. That’s weird. Can you no longer see me?」
Youran continued to ignore her. After finally reaching a place where there were no people around, she turned back to Hera and opened her mouth.
「Long time no see.」
「Long time no see, Youran-chan. So you really can see me.」
「I’m the only one who can see you there, right? If someone saw me conversing with you there then they’ll think I’m a poor, stupid girl.」
「Oh, that is very true.」
「So why are you here?」
「I was asked by Taiyou-chan. He wanted me to stay here and notify him if anything happened to Aoba’s mother.」
「Okay, and, where is he?」
「I don’t know. I can get to Taiyou-chan’s side quickly, but I don’t know where he is whenever he goes to a new place.」
「You can’t show me the way?」
「No, it’s fine. Then later on, let him know that I’m searching for him. You can do that, right?」
「I understand. I will inform him.」
Hera said, immediately disappearing. It was like she had teleported.
If she could teleport then she’d probably return soon. Youran assumed that, waiting there briefly, but no matter how much she waited, Hera showed no signs of returning.
What’s wrong? Did something happen?
She was slightly panicking, and just like that, the phone she was holding rang.
The LCD screen displayed a call from「Michiyo」, so Youran returned to the stiff version of herself, answering the call.
「What hast happened?」
『Milady, we’ve grasped Natsuno Taiyou’s whereabouts.』