To Natsuno Taiyou, Juunishima Youran was in a delicate position.
Taiyou, who was thinking of making seven brides and walking together through difficulties, had three brides and one candidate as of now.
The identical triplets had the unique attribute of acknowledging themselves as「one girl」, therefore Hayakawa Kotone, Suzune, and Kazane had been oriented toward a harem life before meeting Taiyou.
Being an Eternal Little and spending her really long life of eighty years alone, Taiyou accepted her regardless of that, so Azumaya Kohaku decided to offer him her everything, beginning with her chastity.
Then there was Miki Aoba , born in a normal household of wives and children and lovers and raised lovingly by her three mothers.
These three had currently exchanged feelings with Taiyou and had all recognized themselves as his「brides」.
There was one more: a girl currently stopped at the candidate level.
The white beautiful swordswoman who exploited her title of the world’s strongest to the fullest. Although her real name was unknown, Taiyou had fallen for Shirokiyami, repeatedly challenging the condition of 「Bride Acquired by Winning a Fight」.
Taiyou had clear feelings for these four.
Youran was not there. She was not counted as that type of existence in his consciousness.
But Youran was able to see the fairy by Taiyou’s side. She could see the Level Fairy whose form was only visible to the humans who had kissed with him.
They had gone as far as to kiss, and yet they did not have that relationship.
She was that delicate existence to Taiyou.
Traversing the wall that was demolished by the thrown spear-like telephone poles, he took relaxed strides into the area that was closed off until a moment ago. As if he were quite surprised, Tsukumo stood there dumbfounded.
Standing in front of Youran, he checked her condition.
「You…why are you here?」
「That conversation comes later-wait, there’s blood coming out of your mouth!」
「Eh? Ohhh, I might have lost it a bit. Because I was just trying to bite off my tongue.」
「What do you mean by ”just”? Isn’t that pretty major!?」
Taiyou’s voice cracked. Youran looked placid, but this situation seemed to be actually quite dangerous.
「Whoaaa, that does look painful…」
「It is in fact painful. I bit my tongue so that’s a given.」
「I got it, so don’t speak anymore. Just looking at you makes me feel like my mouth is hurting.」
Tentatively leaving Youran be, he turned to Tsukumo.
Right now there was something more important to him than Youran.
「So we meet again.」
「Where’s Aoba? Tell me.」
He cornered him with a quiet yet forcible manner of speaking.
It was evident that the one who had taken Aoba away was this man.
To Taiyou, Aoba was who really mattered.
「That was an accident.」
Coming back to reality, Tsukumo spoke with a grave face.
「I didn’t mean to do that. Miki Aoba and Akita Mio. I knew that they were mother and daughter, and I didn’t have the slightest intention of harming them. I’m the one responsible for Akita Mio suffering wounds.」
「……I’m asking about Aoba.」
「I did try to capture Akita Mio along the way, and thought about abducting the remaining two. Three mothers and their beloved daughter; I thought that I’d surely get to enjoy an unprecedented level of mother-daughter bowl. Oh yeah, do you know about the mother-child bowl composed only of chicken meat?」
「I don’t have time to tag along with your nonsense. I’m asking you where Aoba is.」
From their exchange on the ferry, Taiyou knew that he mustn’t be lured into his pace. Putting aside the three-mother mother-daughter bowl, he was a bit curious about the chicken meat-only parent-child bowl, but he reined his facial expression in, telling himself to not let even that behavior show.
「Taiyou-chan Taiyou-chan, how do you make a parent-child bowl with only chicken meat? I’m intrigued so I’m going to try and ask.」
Ignoring the hurried Hera who couldn’t read the air, he glared at Tsukumo.
「A chicken-meat-only parent-child bowl is――」
Tsukumo attempting to begin speaking without answering the question.
His heart rapidly cooling, Taiyou struck a portion of the wall next to him that was still not smashed.
The thick wall made clattering noises as it crumbled.
This was not intimidation. Taiyou didn’t have the presence of mind to do something as dreary as that.
He had become composed・・・・・・He lifted up a fragment of the crushed wall that had the surface area of a single bed, aiming at Tsukumo and hurling it.
Changing his facial expression, Tsukumo desperately evaded. Taiyou picked up yet another fragment, hurling one after the other.
Taiyou had learned from the fight aboard the ferry.
Saekusa Tsukumo took bizarre steps, making unpredictable movements. Even if he upfront tried to bash him, Taiyou would definitely not have been able to catch him.
At the same time, looking from a remote area at those movements, they weren’t exactly all that fast. It was needless to say that Shirokiyami could create twofold afterimages, and in this case he saw his movements as about as fast as the average adult male.
Therefore, he had thought of a surface attack of hurling things with huge surface areas like this.
Whether that was effective or not could be determined by observing Tsukumo desperately dodging with a frantic expression.
The fragments of wall soon reached depletion, but the wall itself was still there.
Taiyou further hit the wall, proceeding to hurl what he demolished.
「Ohhh, impressive as always, Taiyou-chan.」
「I’m at a loss for words. This has got to be rubbish.」
「Youran-chan doesn’t like this sort of thing?」
「No, it’s effective so I think it’s fine. I’m saying this because that man’s been dodging in a strange manner since earlier.」
「Was it that weird?」
「That’s not Japanese martial arts. I think that it’s a variety that emerged from some country’s ritual dance. Which is why I think it looks weird.」
「Right; Youran is also a Japanese person after all.」
The exchange going on behind Taiyou didn’t enter his ears. Tsukumo, who would usually look puzzledly at Taiyou seemingly talking to himself, did not have that leisure.
Taiyou devotedly hurled the bigger fragments with Tsukumo panicking and dodging in a desperate attempt to evade.
Taiyou hit the wall a third time.
There was an open space beyond the crushed wall, in which various tools were left discarded in disarray.
It seemed to be a form of storehouse, and Taiyou found something in there.
「Oh, is that a shovel?」
Hera came next to him, talking with a smile.
Taiyou cleared off the dust that had gathered on the shovel, lifting it up.
「This feels really nice in my hands.」
That was a mere shovel. It was designed with wood with a triangular handle and an iron end; a shovel that you could find amongst the dirt-cheap overflowing shovels at your typical hardware store.
But Taiyou unintentionally muttered that, that it felt really nice in his hands.
「This reminds me of when I met Taiyou-chan.」
「What do you mean?」
Youran came next to Hera as she said that, asking with a dubious expression.
「When I met Taiyou-chan he was digging a hole with this; digging holes and filling holes, and then Taiyou-chan’s level rose and the harem became 65535.」
「I don’t really get it, but I guess it’s an article of your guys’ memories.」
「Yeah…so that’s why it feels nice, huh.」
Taiyou tried swinging the shovel around. Spinning it round and round, his actions were reminiscent of that of a bojutsu master that would appear in movies and the like.
「That’s amazing Taiyou-chan. You look like the world’s best shoveler.」
「I don’t even know if you’re complimenting me or disparaging me.」
Taiyou laughed strainedly.
「Shoveler is a word of compliment.」
「Is that right.」
Hera spoke with a full smile. Returning that with a smile, Taiyou began coming closer to Tsukumo with the shovel.
For some reason, confidence welled up. Confidence with no grounding that if he at least had this, he could even fight with Tsukumo.
「……What do you plan to do with that?」
「If I do you in with this then on the news they might say『with a bar-like thing』, or perhaps maybe they’d say『with a shovel-like thing』. What do you think?」
He said, contorting his mouth into a grin.
Taiyou, a fan of bluffing, did not miss his opponent’s discomposure, soon taking advantage of it.
Until now that had ended with a simple bluff, but now it was different.
He sweeped horizontally with the shovel. Along with the booming sound of the air being torn apart, the shovel tore the wall apart.
As if it were cut by a sharp blade, a fresh wound emerged from the wall.
Vestiges that one would never associate with the doing of a shovel.
The essence of a bluff was falsity, and Taiyou’s shovel was an intimidation with actual power.
「I’ll ask once more. Where is Aoba?」
He approached Tsukumo.
「Whoa there. If you have something to ask then you can’t just kill him.」
「I know. I don’t get my objectives and methods confused.」
「Well then that’s good.」
Youran was satisfied. As long as her and Taiyou’s thinking patterns resembled each other closely, he would back down with the slightest warning.
If he intended to just not fess up, then they could just drop a finger or two. Doing so would probably make the other side feel like talking.
Thinking that, Taiyou raised the shovel overhead.