Oriyakata Town Station, shopping district.
The arcade in afternoons on days off was overflowing with not only housewives, but also people like salarymen and student couples in plain clothes.
Kazana and Kohaku were walking amongst them.
The two of them looked like elementary schoolers, both around 130 centimeters tall.
They were walking hand in hand, just like “friends” who got along well.
「Whoosh whoosh whoosh, fire whoosh whoosh, if a fire were to happen――jump over iiit」
Kohaku was waving her arms, walking in a good mood.
Kazane, who was more of having her hand held by her, had a bit of a worried face.
Kohaku corrected the nervous Kazane in a childish manner.
Perhaps because they were in front of the masses in the shopping district, or perhaps because of some other reason.
Kohaku was speaking in a way that wasn’t how the elderly would speak.
Kazane was baffled by it, but it couldn’t be helped, as Kohaku was an Eternal Little. She was a woman who had stopped her growth at the age of ten.
She wasn’t the typical case of being called a loli simply because she was a short adult, but rather, she looked no different from a ten year old no matter how you sliced it.
There was absolutely nothing off about her speaking like a child.
Rather, you could even say that Kazane was the one who felt off, her appearance “hardware” as that of a ten year old but her inward “software” being completely that of a high school girl.
「I can’t do anything like that」
「Then if ya don’t call me Kohaku-tan, our friendship is over」
「And I’ll tell Onii-chan about it and have him spank you」
「Spank――T-Taiyou-san wouldn’t do something like that」
「I wonder about that？」
For a quick instant, Kohaku’s normal voice was mixed in with her child-like talk.
Her eyes were also filled with their usual crafty glint.
「Onii-chan has really begun to enjoy tormenting me as of late. I think he’d love to give a spanking」
Kazane was at a loss for words. Her reaction showed that she had some sort of understanding as to where that came from.
Seeing that, Kohaku giggled.
「I thought Kazane-chan would think the same way」
「So if ya don’t call me Kohaku-tan, I’ll tell on you」
Kazane swallowed her breath in response to Kohaku’s threat.
After hesitating for a bit, she finally nervously spoke.
She called her it.
Overjoyed, Kohaku once again began waving her arms, walking off while pulling Kazane along.
There was the girl who meant no harm alongside the girl with a troubled face.
A reserved girl being dragged along by a lively girl. That composition was a sight to smile at if you were watching from the side.
The two made their way to the supermarket「Stars」together.
They pulled the cart out from the front, entering inside, and they pushed it together.
Being inside the supermarket on break, they stood out quite a bit with their strange young girl combo, but no one around them really did anything about it, simply watching them with warm eyes.
Probably because there was the fact that Kohaku was frolicking about and the fact that the two of them looked like small girls on an errand.
They stood out, but they were a sight to smile at.
「Uhh, the drink corner――」
「It’s over here, Kohaku――Kohaku-tan」
As Kohaku was about to continue, Kazane corrected where she was looking.
「Oof……I still can’t adjust」
「Then how about you adjust？ I’d be happy if you’d be happy about it at the house as well」
「Hmm, okay, then let’s try this」
Kohaku clapped her hands.
「If you call me anything other than Kohaku-tan before we get back, it’s punishment game time, kay?」
Kazane swallowed her breath, wondering what would happen.
But Kohaku didn’t say anything. Alongside Kazane, who was secretly frightened, she began tossing various things they needed to get from the supermarket.
Initially, Kazane was timid about it, but as she became more used to it, she naturally began talking to Kohaku like that.
Suddenly, Kazane let out a voice, stopping.
「Please wait a minute」
Kazane said, dashing into the nearby alcohol corner with small steps.
Kohaku was puzzled over what had just come over her. After she had waited there for a bit, Kazane had returned carrying a 700ml bottle in both hands.
「This…is for Kohaku……tan」
「Yeah. You like this, right Kohaku-tan?」
Kohaku looked at the bottle that Kazane was holding.
It was definitely the brand of alcohol that she was fond of.
Though she looked to be ten on the outside, she was an old woman of 87 years on the inside.
She had a habit of drinking at dinnertime, and the brand that Kazane had brought was one she drank often.
Kazane had apparently remembered it for the welcome party and brought it with her.
「Yes. Let’s go to the next one」
Walking off with her, Kohaku inquired after thinking a bit.
「Maybe we should buy something for Aoba and Youran as well」
「True, Aoba-chan is currently obsessed with baumkuchen, so let’s go buy that. Although Youran-chan’s is going to be a bit difficult」
「Yes. It hasn’t been that long since she’s lived with us, so I’m not sure what she likes. I don’t know what she likes other than hard things――like rice crackers and hard-baked sweets」
「……How ‘bout we get her ice or something」
「No, that’s seriously mean……Although she’d probably munch on them」
Thinking a bit more again, Kohaku returned to her normal elderly voice, muttering.
「Ye be looking well」
「Eh？ Did you say something？」
「Nope, nothing at all. Now, let’s go ahead and quickly buy things so we can go home and help out」
The two of them finished their shopping, going back home together hand-in-hand.
Nighttime, Taiyou Castle, living terrace.
Shirokiyami muttered as the Natsuno Household + Shirokiyami were all assembled.
Taiyou had been persistent with her until close to sunset, but when she had discovered that that her welcome party had been prepared for her return, she began saying she was betrayed.
「Heheh, got you――ow！」
「Come on, you can handle it. You’re a man, right?」
Youran said as she was tending to Taiyou’s injuries.
「Still, if stuff hurts, it hurts」
「And I’m telling ya to deal with it」
「But I’m happy. That Taiyou wasn’t hurt too badly」
「Aye. His wounds appear ta be a little gaudy, but none of them seem ta be too bad. I had prepared meself at worst to ‘ave Danna-sama’s sleeping face as an appetizer fer the ‘ole night」
「Maybe you……still, can」
「You’re going through with this?！」
「That nuance sounds like when someone goes in for the finishing blow」
「Sleep like a good boy, aye」
「I don’t think I can hear that as anything other than a sexual nuance！」
「Taiyou-chan Taiyou-chan, is your mouth okay？」
「Yes, your mooouth. If you got an injury in your mouth then you wouldn’t be able to eat the food that Yuri-chan went to all the trouble to make」
「Oh, don’t worry about that. The interior of my mouth is somewhat cut, but there’s no way I can’t eat」
”More importantly”, said Taiyou as he turned to Youran.
「You made this food?」
「I-It wasn’t just me, Kotone made it with me」
「Is that right」
「Incidentally Taiyou-san, the ones who made it were us, but the style was from Aoba-san’s place」
「Ooo, the whole trinity combination, eh」
「Incidentally, I be cheering them on」
「Doesn’t that mean you did nothing?！」
Kohaku then spoke to her.
「It sure be fun. If ye hurry up and become Danna-sama’s, it be even more fun, matey」
「Only if he defeats you, right? Yes yes, we know. And Kohaku-san, stop trying to persuade her」
「Be it futile?」
The females spoke amongst each other.
Treatment finished, Taiyou got up, heading to the kitchen.
「I’m gonna wash my hands real quick. Youran, you should too, since you touched medicine」
「During that time, get things ready. Nothing wrong with entertaining the guest of honor~」
「Yeah, Suzu-chan, take out the cups」
「Kay Kaza-chan, hand it to Yami-chan」
「Here you go~」
Taiyou went to the kitchen along with Youran to wash his hands.
As his eyes met with Kotone, she gave him a wink.
As if to say “Leave it to me!”.
Taiyou nodded back.
With the meaning of “I leave it to you!”.
Shirokiyami saw that, making a mixed face.
Her expression felt like she was saying “You tricked me”.
Taiyou walked off while laughing “Kukuku”, copying Kohaku.
He came out “behind” Shirokiyami.
He opened his eyes wide.
He jumped at her, pulling the bowstring on his fist.
Pumping full power into his right arm.
Just for this single moment.
Everything up until now had been ground bait.
Trick her once, and have it be [complete].
Make her delusioned: that he had fulfilled his objective; that it was the kicker.
This was all to drive in an attack with all his might as she was lowering her guard.
No one had realized this. Not even his target, Shirokiyami, had realized.
That is, putting aside the irregular three girls following up with him and looking at one another.
Taiyou was thankful to the three sisters.
His strong arm drew closer than ever before！