It was night at the Miyaki home.
Mio left from Nazuna’s room, and started speaking with Atsuko in the hall.
Atsuko’s back was against the wall, which she then stepped away from. She had the look that she was worrying about someone.
「She couldn’t sleep. She looked a bit pale, just as usual.」
「Well, it’s fine if it’s like usual.」
At Mio’s words, Atsuko seemed relieved.
Just after leaving Taiyou, they had taken the sickly woman home, Atsuko is always being worried and having a depressed expression.
After coming come, it seemed that Nazuna had finally stabilized.
From the three women of the Miyagi home, Nazuna was the weakest. She was usually quite ill, and so to a degree Mio and Atsuko were used to this.
If she was at her usual, then there was no reason for Atsuko to be worried.
Atsuko began walking first away from Nazuna’s room.
Mio, in a maid’s garb, walked the same direction a step behind.
「I’m very sorry. If I had noticed Nazuna’s health problems a bit earlier…」
「No reason to apologize, Mio, I’ll take care…of her today.」
「Don’t oppose me Mio, If one of us were to be opposed like her, then there would have been no need to go to the park. 2 to 1, with Mio being the one opposed. Well, since we decided majority rule among us three, it’s fine the way it is, though…」
She stopped momentarily, then continued.
「If we’re going to talk about who’s in the wrong here…out of the ones that joined Akiha in her request, I did so just because it would be interesting and that makes me the worse one.」
「If you say that, then Nazuna will be angry.」
「I know. I won’t say that to her, but I didn’t stop us from going out like we did today. Even so, I will apologize on my own.」
Atsuko and Mio, both seemed a bit down but not gloomy.
Nazuna was sick and weak, but it wasn’t an illness that they had to worry about.
She had a weak body, so she just needed more rest than most people.
Atsuko sat in a chair while Mio stood beside her.
It was the usual way the women spent their time at the Miyagi home.
The night breeze caressed the two women.
「Why didn’t you join our ploy? To go along with Akiha?」
「Mio, don’t you hate that stupid son of ours?」
「No, I don’t.」
「I despise him.」
「Oh, that much?」
Atsuko put on a surprised face.
As she said, she expressed shock at Mio’s words.
「So then why didn’t you join us?」
「Aoba actually does love that boy, at least, she does now. I was thinking of how to separate that feeling for him.」
「I realized that it was impossible to separate their feelings for one another. Any difficulties they have will simply make their relationship stronger. There’s no reason to participate in something that would do that.」
「I see. Just like you, Mio.」
「Why did you go along with it, Atsuko? Do you like him…you call him a stupid son so much you must have some like for him.」
「You said drive him out, after all.」
Atsuko snickered happily.
「Mio, you should hurry and join us, it’s fun, right?」
「I’ll see when I get there.」
「You really are Japanese.」
Atsuko snickered again.
「Well, even with that aside…it’s half fun to mess with our stupid son, and half of it is a kind of training in a way, I think.」
「Have you forgotten? After we got over our hardships, it seemed like our connection deepened. Just like the difficulties that make your relationship stronger. Maybe it’s just me, but I really think that’s it…those times felt really good.」
「So I thought I’d make an obstacle for him.」
「Was Nazuna thinking the same?」
「I don’t know.」
Atsuko put her palms up and shrugged her shoulders.
「I don’t know what the woman is thinking, she’s always so secretive. Other than loving Tojiro, have you ever seen her reveal any secrets about herself?」
「Right? She’s like that, so of course I don’t know.」
Mio nodded and Atsuko continued grinning.
There was a silence between them.
After a bit, Atsuko acted as if she remembered something and clapped her hands together.
「Okay, enough of the gloominess. Did you see it Mio?」
Being forced…it seemed, but the tension between the two finally seemed to lighten.
It seemed a natural thing.
Mio had adapted herself to this, as Mio seemed to frown at the question.
She twisted her neck, and responded.
「What do you mean?」
「Our foolish son, with SIX wives.」
「That’s double of us, right? The three girls with the same face, the one that looked very young, yeah, and that twintail, that was the first time I met her.」
「She tried to look normal, but she’s lived a pampered life somewhere.」
「Yes, she seemed from a noble family. Her position must be above Tojiro.」
「Now all of them are madly in love with our idiot of a son.」
「It seems that way.」
「I went there with the desire to mess with him somehow, but I couldn’t do anything. It seemed there was something a bit disdainful about the place, since they all seemed they were about to get hot and heavy with each other. I was quite surprised about their…dangerous balance? Even though I thought they all had a good relationship, or rather, expected it.」
「So, did you notice? That young looking girl? She was just standing there, observing us.」
Atsuko nodded to the questioning Mio.
「You didn’t notice.」
「I see. But, oh well. That girl, even though the others around were laughing and surprised, she was just standing there, stoic. And then…she was watching the three of us.」
「I see…I didn’t notice that.」
「That stupid son of ours is doing quite well, I thought. And also…」
Atsuko continued to talk about their time at the sports festival.
Mio nodded and acknowledged with small yeses and nos.
The night continued on at the Miyagi home.
It was the same night as many before.
「Oh yea, Mio, would you make a bet with me?」
The subject suddenly changed and Mio was surprised.
「Yes, a bet.」
Atsuko again laughed, and like a woman, a mischievous look crept into that smile.
「That because of this, that Akiha girl will fall for our foolish son…」