Taiyou and the three sisters lined up their shoulders, gazing into the evening sun. They were out in the open cafe terrace overlooking the ocean, enjoying the sea breeze. They were sitting on a white sofa, gazing at the evening sun while munching on sweets. It was a truly peaceful time.
“The sun is super round, isn’t it?”
Taiyou muttered in deep interest as he gazed at the orange sun. Perhaps because it was emitting a calm light, it appeared smaller than usual, and round as well.
“I feel the same way.”
“It’s normally too bright to look at, but…”
“When we get the chance to look closer like this, it’s super round, yeah.”
“Yep. Oh, and it actually looks smaller than the moon.”
He said, directing his eyes to the moon, which was comparatively much larger.
“I actually quite like the moon when it comes out in the afternoon.”
“””Why is that?”””
“Well, the afternoon is supposed to be the sun’s time to shine, right? Oh, and I mean the actual sun, not my name.” (**Taiyou means sun in Japanese, so that’s always the word they use**)
He said jokingly as he pointed at the sun.
“Sure, there are other stars out there as well, but you can’t see them, right? The only thing you can see clearly in the afternoon is the moon. It’s not like it stands out all that much, but when it’s there you can definitely see it. Doesn’t stick out, but it’s there all right. The afternoon moon…”
“It is there every so often when you look up, isn’t it?”
“The afternoon moon…”
“And I think you girls resemble it.”
The three sisters exclaimed in surprise at once. They looked at Taiyou, questioning what he meant. He continued speaking as he split a cake with a fork and fed the pieces to them.
“Amongst everyone in our family, you probably stand out the least out of everyone. There were some incidents that occurred and there were even those events at the school. But you girls don’t really get wrapped up in stuff like that. That’s usually because I help you take refuge or protect the family.”
“That’s true. It happened with Youran-chan as well.”
“And with Aoyama-san as well.”
“We weren’t able to be of help.”
The three sisters were in low spirits. He had anticipated this happening, so he gave them all a light kiss.
“Didn’t I say that I was the one who did that? There’s absolutely no reason for any of you to feel down about this.”
“So I think that you resemble that midday moon. It doesn’t stand out, but once you look at it it’s definitely there. Honestly, just from looking at you, you all should really stand out the most. With all your mismatched sizes, if you stand next to all of my brides and no one speaks a word, you would definitely stand out the most. But you usually don’t, which is why you remind me of that moon.”
“Are you sure?”
“Plus if you guys hadn’t been here, there’s no way that our family would be the same right now.”
He said as he gazed at the three of them.
“If I’m the sun, then you’re the midday moon.”
The three sisters leaped into Taiyou’s chest with moist eyes. He caught the sisters who shared one soul in an embrace.
“Seems like there’s a lot of moons in our family.”
In his arms, Kotone giggled as she said that.
“You think so?”
“Of course. Kohaku-san loves the moon and is always trying to imitate it with her hairstyle.”
“And Youran-chan is literally ‘New Moon’.”
“So if all three of us are the midday moon, then there are a lot of moons to go around.”
“Ahaha, gotcha, you do have a point.”
Taiyou laughed pleasantly. Now that they had mentioned it, he really did have a lot of moons amongst his brides.
“Well after all, you are the sun.”
“I don’t know what you mean by ‘after all’, but in the first place, if I’m the sun, then wouldn’t it make more sense for you guys to be planets?”
“That’s a bit difficult.”
“We can only go up to seven, but…”
“There are a total of eight planets in the solar system.”
“True. We’d be down by one.”
Taiyou said, and everyone laughed together. Enjoying an incoherent conversation in the evening sun, he felt a warmth develop in his chest.
At length, the sun began to descend, and nighttime approached.
The three sisters left their seats for the bathroom, leaving Taiyou gazing up at the moon above his head.
“May I take your plate, sir?”
A male employee came his way, and Taiyou nodded, furthering his gaze at the moon.
“Were those ladies with you your family?”
Being asked a question so suddenly, Taiyou inclined his head, looking at the employee. As he cleaned up the plates, he smiled and approached him. He didn’t seem to have any ill intent, so Taiyou answered him straightforwardly.
“No, we’re lovers.”
“Is that so? And may I ask which one of them?”
“All of them.”
Even though he was a stranger, Taiyou answered without hesitation. It wasn’t something that he felt should be hidden. If anything, by this point he would rather boast about them. On the other hand, he still knew that this was something peculiar in today’s day and age, which was why he expected the man to make a strange face in response, but…
“Is that so? That’s amazing.”
Betraying his expectations, the employee did not make any sort of strange face, instead speaking in an awed tone. Taiyou was surprised by that. Moving his gaze from the moon, he looked at the employee.
“Is it, now?”
“Yes. I’m jealous.”
Taiyou parroted his words. Sure, if someone was looking from the sidelines, they would be envious of someone who has a harem, he thought to himself. As if reading Taiyou’s thoughts, the employee spoke while wryly smiling.
“This was quite a while ago, but I once was confessed to by my wife’s younger sister.”
“So in other words, your sister-in-law confessed to you?”
“Technically. At the time, we weren’t yet married, so she wasn’t my sister-in-law yet, but she confessed to me. Of course, I turned her down, but she was upset after that for quite some time.”
After having cleared up all of the plates, the employee continued as he wryly smiled.
“It’s only recently that we’ve been able to interact with each other as family.”
“Have you heard the reason why she liked you and confessed to you?”
The employee made a further strained expression.
“Apparently, she started liking me because I was a man who treated my wife with care. And I heard this recently as well. So I rejected her because I already had my wife as a lover, but that seemed to only make my sister-in-law further pained.”
“I was not mistaken in what I saw in him and began to like him more and more—-”
“—-But my feelings will never be reciprocated.”
“Wow, that’s pretty tough.”
“Yes. Which is why from time to time, I wonder: Was there perhaps a way to make both of them happy at the same time?”
“Is that right.”
“My apologies for telling you such a strange story.”
“Then please continue to make yourself at home.”
The employee said, bowing and returning to the shop’s interior. As he was staring at him go, the three sisters returned.
“We’re back, Taiyou-san.”
The three sisters sat on the sofa.
The sisters were all gathered, the moon was floating in the sky, and the employee was continuing back to the shop.
“What’s wrong, Taiyou-san?”
“Are you perhaps tired?”
“Want to rest for a bit?”
“No, I’m fine.”
Shaking his head, he grinned. (Guess it’s about time), thought Taiyou. Firmly gripping the things he had been keeping hidden in his pocket, he took a deep breath.
Nothing would change too greatly from what he was about to do. It probably only had symbolic significance. Still, he was nervous. Probably the most nervous he had been since first meeting the girls.
“There’s something that I’d like to give you all. I figured it’d be best to start with you.”
He held out his hands to the three sisters as they puzzled over what he said. Three small boxes containing rings were handed to them.