「I see, that does make sense」
「What are you talking about？」
Her body still next to him, Aoba looked up.
From her tilting her head, it was clear that she wasn’t keeping up.
He explained to said girl in a whispering tone.
「First, the reason why Pochi even almost got taken away is because there are people who want to use Pochi to oppose Youran. Although they were born of different mothers, they are legitimate sisters, so she has the background of equal rights. If it were a household dispute between sisters, either one could have a decent excuse. But the story is different if a guardian and ward come into the picture」
「Uhh, so not a fight between sisters, but something along the lines of rebellion against the parents？」
「That’s right――Thanks for skillfully wrapping it up in one sentence」
Giving her a smooch on the forehead, he continued further.
「Just as you say, it would be fine if the younger sister were disputing with the elder over the headship, but it won’t make sense to do that to one’s guardian. Provoking antipathy too much would definitely make their reputation worse. In this case Pochi was the one who did it, and once she was on the other side it counted as rebellion, so of course the people allied would significantly decrease」
「Yes indeed! Kohaku-tan said that『In the present or the past, politics be in the end somethin’ fought with numbers』」
「The means of gathering numbers changes from age to age, but the objective itself hasn’t changed at all from long ago, after all」
Taiyou laughed derisively.
「And it’s also a natural state of things. The older sister who already has societal power taking the position of protecting her younger sister who knows nothing is an architype that’s easy to accept. Although if it were the reverse then this wouldn’t go」
「I see. Wait. But if that’s the case then wouldn’t that mean you don’t have to fight here anymore, Natsuno-kun？」
「……It would certainly stop being a “must” condition, yeah」
Taiyou said, picking up his chin deep in thought.
Absorbed in thought, he wondered if there were any sort of ulterior motives mixed in with what he hadn’t been informed of.
But even when he thought about it he wasn’t sure, so he abandoned it.
「No, Kohaku-san is linked with this situation. So I only have to continue at this pace」
「Yeah, that’s right」
Taiyou and Aoba nodded at each other. They both trusted Kohaku.
「Now then, I guess we’d better do our part as well」
Taiyou nodded, reaffirming his determination.
「Standing around――Yeah, you’re right」
Aoba also pulled on her chin in the same manner, afterward leaning more on Taiyou than before.
What was there was not a sweet air, but firm resolution.
「And I can just take it easy in your arms, right Natsuno-kun? I can・・・――make myself comfortable with all my might, right」
「That’s right. If that’ll help rouse your spirit then I can even set it to be in the middle of a date」
「Seriously！ Don’t act like that guy」
After Taiyou and Aoba had messed around for a bit, they nodded at each other.
With that as a signal, Taiyou rose up embracing her, advancing further in along with Hera.
On the way, they had encountered enemies several times more.
They were all small forces of three to five, and there wasn’t a single leader-like person among them.
Each time, Taiyou swung his fists and mowed down all of them, and Aoba purposefully exchanged everyday conversation like「What’s for breakfast tomorrow？」.
On the path that Taiyou and company were advancing along, with the clattering sounds the enemies made as they fell down, they were like a trail of breadcrumbs.
That was how they reached the innermost part of the estate.
The most splendid door they had seen was in front of them.
It was a door with a superabundance of decoration, five meters tall and three meters wide.
(It must be here), Taiyou thought, signalling with his eyes to Hera and counting on her for scouting.
Hera briefly passed through the wall entering the interior, then soon came out and said「They are here」.
Nodding, Taiyou kicked the door that was possibly some hundred kilograms, forcibly wrenching it open.
The room was of a making in which the back was spread out.
There were several one-person sofas and side tables, and they were all lined up like the katakana character「コ」.
In the center, sitting in the seat where the socially highest person likely sat was one middle-aged woman.
She was a plump woman easily passing fourty; a woman who had thick enough makeup on to where it was evident from further away.
「So you’re Tsubaki Juunishima」
Taiyou intentionally addressed her as the name Youran had told him without using any suffixes.
Tsubaki twisted her face at that behavior.
「Wait, why have you come this far? Just what are the people outside doing！?」
「I defeated them all」
「You did what？」
「I knocked ‘em all down, that is to say, all those who stood in my way before I reached here. You’ll be the last. Any last words？」
「Wait a second Natsuno-kun, there’s blood on you」
As if to say this was her turn, Aoba said that, wiping his face with a handkerchief.
「Okay, I got all of it」
「Thanks. Now then――」
After fitting in a little play, he once again faced Tsubaki.
「And you think that you’ll get away with doing these kinds of things？」
「Let’s completely turn around those words. Do ya really think you’ll get away with doing those kinds of things？ Having your subordinates come and attack my family and take them away」
「You did this kind of conduct because of something like that? You’ll regret this」
「Something like that, eh」
Taiyou repeated Tsubaki’s words.
The depths of his chest were discomposed.
The objective he had come this far with was to show off his power and instill fear in his opponent. As a means to that end, he tried to play the part of the person who pitilessly, mercilessly displayed violence.
That was an act, and the boy known as Taiyou had almost no grounding in that area.
He was not the type of human who could display tyranny without a reason.
However, now was different.
They had assailed Kotone and the others, assailed Kohaku, and taken Aoba away.
All of those things were the instructions of the woman before him, and on top of that she had straight up called them「something like that」.
That was more than enough to earnestly evoke his scarce but certainly existent brutal nature deep within him.
「Understood, how about I do this」
Tsubaki sighed, continuing thereafter.
「I will pay you consolation money, let’s see, how does ten million sound」
「Do you understand how much of an amount that is? Even a student like you should be able to comprehend that around your age」
「I will have it prepared for you right now. I will say nothing bad, it will be in your own best interest to immediately return taking it with you」
「In my best interest」
He repeated the same words in a flat tone.
Still embracing Aoba, he quickly took a step forward.
「Yes indeed, it is in your best interest. Leaving aside Adashino, it is not like I have no guilty feelings about wrapping the other people into this」
「Then, with that――」
Taiyou slowly crouched, putting his hand to the high quality carpet. He the firmly grabbed hold of it, immediately after pulling his arm up with all his might.
The carpet was peeled from the floor. Tsubaki, who had been standing beyond that point, fell over backward.
Fallen on her backside, she then glared at him.
「What are you doing！？」
Tsubaki started yelling at him.
Paying it no heed, Taiyou briskly went to the lined up sofas, this time lifting up one in one hand, throwing it at Tsubaki without any hesitation whatsoever.
The some ten kilogram sofa brushed past Tsubaki’s side, crashing into the wall behind her and making a crack.
「It missed, huh」
Speaking coldly, he once again lifted up a sofa and threw it. It missed, and he threw yet another sofa.
Holding her head cowering, Tsubaki began shivering.
Ignoring that, Taiyou began throwing sofa after sofa.
Boom！ Clatter clatter――Boom！
The sofas that had changed into gigantic cannonballs of pure mass crashed one after the other, and the wall behind Tsubaki made noises and crumbled.
「……Out of ammo, huh」
The one side in the shape of the katakana character「コ」had gone, so Taiyou turned on his heels and headed to the opposite side.
「W-Wait just a minute！」
As if it were because she had enough time to take a breather, Tsubaki raised her voice, stopping Taiyou.
Halting, he glared at her with cold eyes.
「I understand, so how about this. Twenty million, double the――Kyaa！」
Not letting her say the rest, he began throwing another sofa.
Colliding with the sofas that he had thrown earlier, they ruptured along with a rumbling sound. The wood pieces that had split into pieces flew around.
「Wait just a minute, h-how about this. Not money, but land――」
「Don’t speak anymore」
Slowly making his way toward her, Taiyou grabbed the still-fallen Tsubaki by the collar, lifting her up.
Both of her feet left the ground as Tsubaki kicked and struggled. She seemed to be in pain having her neck constricted.
「Taiyou-chan Taiyou-chan, no killing her」
「Natsuno-kun, what should we do about this」
Unlike the admonishing Hera, all Aoba did was conduct herself so as to carry out her role. That phrase that had the premise of doing something made the already-blue face of the constricted Tsubaki grow even bluer.
「What do you want to do？」
He said in a gentle tone facing Aoba.
He intimidated Tsubaki, while he spoke to Aoba in a whispering manner.
That gap frightened Tsubaki even further.
（For the time being, I’ll threaten her to death……）
Taiyou thought, beginning to move toward the wall while gripping Tsubaki.
At almost the same time that chills raced up his spine, Hera had screamed.
He got away from Tsubaki, hurriedly leaping back.
In a hair’s breadth, the place where he had been was ripped apart by a silver flash of light.