The sun went down in the west and the night spread across the sky.
Just as after he had beaten the three thugs, Taiyou walked the evening shopping area with Aoba wrapped in his left arm.
They began walking away from the tourists milling about the center of Juunishima, off into an area with little tourists or cars.
The crowds decreased more and more, and the cars eventually disappeared from sight.
Occasionally a bus drove by, but there were hardly anyone riding inside.
It was clear that they had walked to an open place that most citizens were unfamiliar with.
「Take a left at the next light.」
Aoba was clinging to him while looking at her smartphone, and telling Taiyou which way to go.
Just then, an email had arrived from Youran.
It only had an address, and nothing else was written on the email.
It was an email that might have been auto-deleted as spam if she hadn’t been careful.
Of course, Taiyou didn’t do that. He understood everything more than enough, and he knew his own role in everything better than anyone else.
That’s why he made no mistake in walking, and followed the smartphone application that Aoba was telling him right to the location it indicated.
Finally, they had arrived.
Maybe because it was the nighttime.
They had arrived at an endlessly huge, white wall that surrounded a massive mansion.
Just looking at the area surrounding the building gave the impression that this was nearly a palace.
The 『Daimyo Mansion』in Seikaen-machi that Taiyou had previously attempted to board was huge, but this was multiples larger, a massive building.
Even those far away could see its massive wooden gate, giving off a strange air with two large gas lamps on both sides.
「You could find this place even without an address.」
「Yeah, something this big and they could just tell you ‘Go straight in any direction and you’ll find it’.」
「No way to get lost either…」
「Hey, how many Tokyo Domes do you think fit in here?」
「At least 100 of them, I guess?」
The size of the mansion itself surrounded them in awe.
If you were to take out one thing to compare it to for a Japanese person…the two approached it like it were a massive pearl.
They stood before a gate that stood like a towering wall, as Aoba took out her smartphone, and pushed the first number on her redial screen.
The phone rang and finally connected.
『Are you here?』
They heard Youran’s voice. It wasn’t the mood of Shingetsunokami, because the freshness and closeness of her tone.
「Yeah, we’re here. Did we really even need an address? This is such a freaking huge building.」
『Well, I guess. I don’t know about you guys, but there are geniuses in this world that get lost on straight roads.』
「I always go the shortest way, so I never get lost.」
『Because you just break down walls?』
「I do. Even so, what is this place, I heard it was a mansion, but this is more of a castle than a mansion.」
『That’s the image we wanted. That girl’s father was a maniac about the Warring States period, and at the beginning of it, he loved the Tenshukaku type of castle they built, so this is made using that concept.』
「His hobby, huh? He looks like he really liked this type.」
『I like it too, even though he was always against what his daughter wanted.』
Taiyou nodded, and it was a deep nod of understanding.
Youran hated the conversation to get off topic. When he thought back to the first time he met her, he thought she used to talk quite friendly.
On the other hand, now he would have to say that she was withdrawn and waiting for the other party to make the move now.
「So, you want me to say something now.」
『Yeah, just go in there and cause a ruckus. You can kill everyone if you want.』
『You can exaggerate as much as you want, it’s what you always try to do.』
「The only time I exaggerate is when someone touches my girl and feels some imperial-level wrath.」
『Well, what’s bothering you the most now? That your girls keep running away and get captured as hostages?』
He nodded and squeezed Aoba closer to him.
Aoba drew closer, and clutched on to him in response.
『Then, you should let those planning on grabbing this girl know that it’s dangerous, that you’ll protect her before they can do it.』
『Then get with it. If you don’t take this seriously, then Leticia will be in danger next.』
Youran tried to motivate him, and he could hear her emotions interlaced with her usual tone of voice.
Because she was worried about best friend Leticia, Taiyou knew what Youran was getting at.
「Is Leticia there?」
『What a bother.』
He could hear Youran become puzzled over the phone and then take on a pouting voice.
She was smart. He could tell by the way she talk to him.
Everyone knew that Youran and Leticia were both close friends.
The normally never talked with reservations, they were always friendly, and they both worried about each other though they never showed it.
Even though they had different attitudes, for some reason it never showed in their words.
Taiyou thought this all was mysterious.
That’s why when Taiyou tried to confirm Leticia’s presence in a roundabout way, Youran got angry.
Youran and Leticia.
There was still something between them that Taiyou didn’t know about, so he definitely wanted to know what it was better.
『Either way, just get it done right. You have the chance to redeem yourself.』
He whispered and turned to Aoba.
He held her after he had beaten the thugs, and he wanted to show her the good side of himself.
He had only shown her the lame parts of himself since they arrived at this island, he felt strongly.
「Yeah, I’ll show you.」
He said so and hung up.
He remembered what Youran had said, and cringed a bit.
「Hard and yet easy to understand.」
「What happened to her?」
Aoba turned her head up to him from under his arm.
It seems the conversation leaked out and she heard everything Youran said.
「Something will happen, it seemed an easy thing to do, it may be nothing.」
「It’s not nothing, but, maybe you’re right.」
She put Youran aside for now and talked only about what was right ahead.
They took deep breaths and stood at the gate again.
「Instead of a written challenge we just bust in.」
「Can you? It looks like a huge gate.」
It was a very large and thick gate, and the wood material used looked like it was very difficult to break.
(So then what?)
Aoba was beside him, and while he was protecting her, he wanted to show her something.
Before the real show, he wanted to show her him breaking one or two of the doors in the gate first.
He lightly balled his hand in a fist, and pulled back his arm.
He built his power and let loose a punch.
Creaaaak, came the sound as the gate opened up.
Taiyou was shocked, as a meaningless sound of surprise leaked from his mouth.
「It opened, huh?」
Someone had predicted that punch, and now since there was no place to use it, it seemed like he felt bad for trying in the first place.
However, this didn’t last long.
The two both unconsciously remarked about the huge scene that unfolded before them.
Over 100 men were lined up. It was a collection of warriors with no end to their lust for fighting and violence.
Aoba clenched on to Taiyou.
A golden opportunity.
Taiyou saw what was before him as one.
Can’t wait to see more? Want to show your support? CLICK HERE to be a Patron.