「Natsuno-kun, can I have you for a second?」
It was nighttime at Taiyou Castle, and they were in Taiyou’s room.
It was a Japanese room with eight tatami mats, just a bit wider than the other rooms.
That was where Taiyou was relaxing as Aoba sought him out.
「What is it?」
Taiyou asked, motioning for her to come closer. Aoba had been standing at the door, so now she entered the room, sitting beside him.
Aoba was about to say something, when Taiyou spoke before her.
He pointed repeatedly in front of himself, sitting cross-legged.
Pointing at the top of his knees.
While her cheeks were flushed, Aoba timidly moved over to where Taiyou was, sitting in the center of the ring that his feet were making.
She snugly fit.
Taiyou enveloped her shoulders in a gentle hug.
「So what did you want to discuss？」
Taiyou asked her naturally, chatting her up.
「So it’s about Youran…」
「Youran? What about her？」
「I heard from Kohaku-san…She apparently said she wanted to make Natsuno-kun the king？」
「Yeah, that she did. Seems she wants to make me the『King of Juunishima』」
「What about it？」
「Yeah, so I was wondering how I might assist with that」
Still hugging her, he peeked her face in from the side.
「You wanna make me the king or whatever too？」
「Not really. Ah, I don’t mean that in a bad way. I’m not saying I don’t care about Natsuno-kun」
While smiling, Taiyou poked his head into hers.
There was no pain. The skinship was itchy, if anything.
「I get that, but I don’t get why you want to assist」
「Well, Juunishima is Youran’s hometown, right? I know it’s on a different scale than us, but that’s her real home, right?」
「Real home, eh……It’s true you could think about it that way」
「Yeah. I don’t know how Youran herself feels, but when it comes to real family……I just feel like, I wanna help, y’know?」
When it comes to real family…
Aoba had condensed everything about herself with that one statement.
By this point, there were practically no ill feelings, but that didn’t change the fact that the term 『real family』held a special place in her heart.
「Alright, so assistance…」
「Mhm. How about it?」
She slightly leaned against him.
She was depending on him, pestering him.
Taiyou felt that.
He repeated that in his mind.
He had once thought it to be ridiculous for one’s loved one to pester the other, but he was no longer of that opinion.
（Plus……she’s not even doing it for her own sake）
It wasn’t for her sake, but for Youran’s.
Taiyou suddenly remembered something.
「What does Aoba think about Youran？」
「What…do I think?」
「I mean straight up, do you like her or dislike her」
「I still……don’t know. We haven’t known each other for long after all」
Aoba stirred within his arms.
She was more relaxed than earlier, entrusting her body weight to Taiyou.
All of it.
「If it’s someone who likes Natsuno-kun, then I think I could probably like them」
「Because they like me？」
「Mhm, because they like Natsuno-kun. I think that sort of person might be okay」
「If it’s someone with the same interests as you, you can trust them. I wonder about that…」
「What do you mean？」
Taiyou tilted his head, smiling.
He understood the sentiment of wanting to trust those who share your tastes, and even nearly “agreed”, but would that truly hold the same weight when it came to love?
At the very least, Taiyou didn’t consider that to be common sense.
But Taiyou didn’t pay it much heed. Life is full of unknown things in the first place.
Unknown things had increased at a particularly explosive rate after meeting Kohaku.
After receiving additional “instruction” from her, he had become further unconcerned about it.
Which was why he decided not to care.
Instead, he decided to “grant” it.
「Alright, let’s think about it together. Cause I actually dunno what to do either, so let’s enlist Kotone, Suzune, Kazane, and Kohaku for assistance」
Nodding vigorously, Aoba conveyed her joy.
Taiyou was becoming happier and happier.
「And I have one more thing I wanna ask you. Or rather, I’d like you to work with me」
「With me? Kay, I’ll do whatever, so ask away」
「It’s about what Youran said to me. Or rather, asked me for……uhhh, or threatened me?」
「Eh? Wh-What did she say？」
「Yeah, about that……」
「Actually, you see……」
Taiyou put on airs with a grave tone.
Aoba was lured in by that, holding her breath in anticipation.
Taiyou was inwardly chuckling.
He’d been able to have his fill of her cute side, so he figured he’d disclose it about now.
「She told me to pull your ponytail」
「Said for me to pull it」
「Yeah, this ponytail」
He pinched the tip of her hair, not quite pulling it but tugging it.
「You’re going to do that……」
「She apparently wishes for it.《Haven’t the foggiest idea of why though》」
Taiyou inwardly questioned, then spoke again.
「So she was wondering if I’d help grant that」
「……Mhm. Please do」
Aoba timidly nodded in his arms.
She got up, making it so that he could pull on her ponytail.
Taiyou gently pulled on her sweet, lovely ponytail.
That was all it took for her to jump.
That was overwhelmingly cute to Taiyou, and he became eager to do more.
They would then proceed to have reckless sex.