「Wh-What do you plan to do with……」
「Relax, we won’t harm you any more」
「At least not until we reach where that boy is」
「Because you are a hostage」
Haku said from the side. She spoke in a courteous manner but there was faint ill intent and despise oozing out, transmitting.
「We will use you as a hostage in order to make Natsuno Taiyou listen to us. So until then we are saying that we will not hurt you. Honestly, if it were me then I wouldn’t do something like directly take you there」
Aoba fearfully inquired from Haku, who was clearly conveying her malicious intent.
「If it were me I would only take a portion of you with me」
「That pretty ponytail or……perhaps the second joint of your fingers」
「If we were to take you with us then there’s the unfortunate possibility that you’d be taken back on the spot, and that’s a poor move」
Haku said, looking at Tsukumo. He had been criticized but was acting like it didn’t concern him.
「Haah, well if this is how it’s going to be then I will exert all of my effort」
「Please don’t only react to that, it’s too convenient」
「I’ll be affectionate to you later, kay」
「I refuse even over my dead body」
Haku flatly declined.
Aoba developed the slightest question about that reply, but her head was still paralyzed with fear so she couldn’t process it very well.
Suddenly, the tablet that Haku had had rang. It was some sort of calling sound, and Haku operated it, pointing the screen in Tsukumo’s direction.
An image was displayed filling the screen, and projected there was the image of a girl wearing a hakama. It seemed like a videochat function using a tablet.
「How is it Chie」
『I’ve grasped the location of New Moon Director, I’ll forward it to Haku』
「Is that right, good job」
『Heeey, I think after all I should come with――』
「You’re not suited for this occasion, obediently wait」
She seemed a little unsatisfied, but even so she was rebuked by Tsukumo, so Chie backed off.
The video chat was severed, and Haku pointed the screen to herself, checking the sent information, and conveyed it to the person driving.
On the side, Tsukumo returned his gaze, staring at Chan Suu and Honoka.
「This time Chie isn’t well suited, you guys are the confidants……I leave it to you」
「Yeah, I got iiit」
「Leave it to me」
The two of them answered. Tsukumo nodded at the two, suddenly taking two small boxes out of his pocket.
They were small elegant boxes of velvet manufacturing. First Tsukumo opened one of them with a whack sound.
There was a ring inside, a ring emitting a calm glitter.
Tsukumo took that ring in his hands, splitting it in two vertically from the center with a whack.
The wide breadth ring become two narrow rings.
Chan Suu who was called made a meek face and stood before Tsukumo. Tsukumo took her hand, putting one of the two split rings on her finger.
He put the remaining one on his own finger.
「I leave it to you」
「Leave it to me」
The hundred ninety centimeter girl answered standing before Tsukumo. Just like what he did for Chan Suu, he took out a ring from the other box, split it in two, and put each half on her and his fingers.
In contrast to Chan Suu with an uncrumbling nihilistic expression, Honoka stared at the ring that had been placed on her ring finger, enraptured.
The rings fitted on the two females, and the split ring pieces fitted on Tsukumo’s fingers.
Aoba didn’t understand what they were doing and for what purpose they were doing it, but intuitively, she grasped just one thing.
She didn’t understand the meaning or the reasoning, but she comprehended intuitively that it was a variety of ritual.
As for the extent of the effects――
「I’m counting on you」
「「For your sake」」
Honoka and Chan Suu said together, jumping off from either side of the trunk simultaneously.
Surprised, Aoba followed them with her eyes.
The two who had jumped off each landed, soon disappearing and no longer in sight.
She turned back to Tsukumo with a start. He had been looking at Haku.
「What about directions from above」
「None at all, it would seem that as usual they have left it to us, the decision-making on-site」
「At some point we may very well be discarded, I think that it is best that we are at least prepared for that much.」
「That’s not it」
「Yep, not the mistaken “at some point we may very well be discarded”, but rather “at some point we will absolutely be discarded”」
「That’s right, that pig was that type of woman after all」
Haku said, smiling gracefully.
「Well, I don’t really care anyway. Even if I am discarded. At that time I will gain a reason to send that pig without reason to the abattoir, right?」
Tsukumo laughed, a cheerful laugh unlike that of Haku’s.
「Hm? What is it」
「Those two right now……could they be going to where Natsuno-kun is?」
「It’s not quite that, but well, it might as well be」
Haku answered, returning a glance at the same time as if asking “And what of it?”
「Heyy, there’s still time. Have them stop」
「Have them stop?」
「Yeah, after all……if they went to Natsuno-kun’s place, those people might get hurt……」
Just as she said, right now sympathy for the two girls was born in her heart.
The reason why she could hold such emotions for her enemies…for Honoka who had mercilessly broken her fingers was clear.
It was the rings.
The rings that Tsukumo put on their fingers.
With the coming of the sortie, doing ritual-like things, and the rings placed on those fingers.
The two girls who stared preciously, lovingly at those things.
Those expressions had changed to resolution. Aoba had observed that moment from close quarters.
The girls who solidified their will to fight for the man they loved. The scene now had no room to be interpreted otherwise.
Though their positions may differ, Aoba could understand those feelings. Even she would have thrown herself out there if Taiyou did the same thing to her.
The two rings, the symbol connecting the two.
If that was put on her finger, she was sure she’d be able to do anything.
Surely Chan Suu and Honoka held no fear moving straight for Taiyou.
But Taiyou was strong. Aoba wasn’t sure just how strong he was, and she wasn’t at all sure just how much power those two held.
But she couldn’t imagine the two of them returning unscathed after heading for Taiyou. If anything she thought it more likely that they would make frantic efforts for Tsukumo’s sake all the while suffering large wounds.
Now that she had seen the faces of those girls, it was a scene that she didn’t want to see.
At least that’s what she had said to Tsukumo.
「Well, they probably will a bit」
Tsukumo said with a nonchalant face.
「But why do you care」
「Are you……okay with that？ Putting those rings on means……」
Tsukumo put the rings on and took them off. It was such a casual action that it made Aoba’s eyes open wide.
「When I do this, they’ll work even in the face of death. Has more results than clumsily kisding or hugging them. Woman are mysterious beings」
「No way, so that earlier……was a lie？」
「Not really a lie」
Tsukumo answered with scornful laughter.
「I’ll love you, so work for me. When you return I’ll love you even more, so work with all your effort. See, nothing contradictory there right?」
「You put the rings on them with that mentality? What do you take women to――」
Aoba was indignant. From her viewpoint what Tsukumo did was something much too difficult to accept.
She didn’t know the details, but there was no mistake that Tsukumo had several females serving him.
Aoba knew that it took amazing resolve to share a man with multiple women.
Because she had seen her parents, and most importantly because she had experienced it.
Ahead of that was however much one’s heart allowed, which she understood, but if that was fake――.
It was something that Aoba could simply not accept.
「You! Are you still okay with that?」
She pressed, facing Haku.
「I’ve currently set myself to be a person who loves mother daughter bowls」
Tsukumo suddenly said that.
「So she’s outside of my target range」
「You could just set yourself to be a filthy sis-con bastard already」
Haku breathed a deep sigh.