They were sitting in the living room of the condominium after returning. Aoba happened to be in the house when they got back, and Sakura was sitting on the sofa without any real restraints. Taiyou was firmly holding Shrokiyami, making her sit on his lap. Aoba was sitting by Akiha’s side, tending to her injuries.
“Yeah, darn skippy!”
“Yes, yes. Look here.”
Akiha squeezed the hand that was currently being treated in an attempt to show that she was fine, but all that did was make a little more blood come out.
“Blood is coming out.”
“But I’m fine.”
“Your face is contorted.”
“Oh really now?”
Akiha patted her face down with her other hand.
“Come now, don’t make the situation worse.”
Aoba grabbed Akiha’s hand and stopped her before continuing her work.
“But you know, I had no choice but to do it. Taiyou was out of it, and it wasn’t like I could leave things the way they were.”
“That…may be true, but still…”
Aoba made a mixed expression. She had heard the explanation of what had occurred, but still couldn’t quite find herself agreeing with it.
“Plus there was this, so you know, I kinda thought it would be alright.”
“Still, don’t be so reckless.”
“Well what would you have done, Aoba?”
“What would you have done if you were in that situation and you knew she was about to bite her tongue?”
“In your case, you probably would have done the same thing that Atsuko-san and the others did.”
“Then we ain’t different!”
Akiha grinned. After Akiha had mentioned her mothers, Aoba could no longer say anything. This was because recently, she had begun to feel that she resembled her mothers.
Now, this wasn’t necessarily always a good thing for her. What she had in common with them was that they were all in some sort of harem, but she also had them as an example of what not to do in some cases. On one hand, there was much to learn from them, but on the other hand she would have to take extra care once she was a mother.
“It’s fine, it’s fine.”
Akiha said in a jovial tone, hitting Aoba’s shoulders as she spoke.
“If such a time ever comes, I’ll be there to stop you.”
Being her best friend, Akiha knew Aoba’s troubles very well, including how they came to be and how to compromise with her. So whenever things got rough, she was there to straighten it out.
“Yeah, you’re right.”
“Yep yep, it’s gonna be aaall right.”
As he looked at them conversing, Taiyou spoke to Sakura.
“So, this is the second time I’ve restrained you, isn’t it?”
“Quite the interesting history we’ve had.”
“My apologies for the last time.”
“A lot of stuff was going down, and I kind of left you there longer than I intended to.”
“It wasn’t a big deal, so don’t worry about it. And for whatever reason, I’m not tied up this time?”
“We’re quite close in proximity, so I won’t let you escape no matter what. I can deal with you.”
“Quite the confidence.”
“Plus I just want to show off as a man. There are three brides right here with us, so I need to prove to them that I’m more than capable.”
“Capable of bullying a fragile woman?”
Taiyou pointed repeatedly at Akiha.
“There’s at least one person who’s totally down for that.”
“Right, I hadn’t considered that factor.”
“Now then, I suppose we should get down to business.”
“Indeed. I do enjoy our occasional banter, but I suppose this is the time to get serious.”
“It isn’t hard to stop all of this from happening.”
Sakura nodded. Her face was entirely serious.
“But how long can you keep this up?”
“What do you mean?”
“I am a woman of the Juunishima family, and a daughter of a mistress at that. This will probably continue from the next occasion to the next. Will you stop this every single time?”
Taiyou was at a loss for words. It was clear as day that he couldn’t just keep butting in whenever her family tried to get her married. But that wasn’t all.
He had essentially succeeded this time around because of a sneak attack. If he were to return Sakura back to her place, they would be on guard and try to ensure that none of this happened again.
“But why are you so insistent on this anyway?”
“…Because Juurokuya asked me to.”
Sakura showed understanding.
“Is that what the issue is. Well it is true that she has the same face as New Moon-sama, after all.”
“Perhaps it is the same as it was for those three sisters? You wish to maybe make every girl who has the same face yours?”
Akiha was surprised.
“No, c’mon. Heck, I didn’t even fall in love with Kotone and the others for that reason. It was because their souls were all connected and I could sense that.”
He said, turning to Sakura.
“So that isn’t the case for Juurokuya. They don’t even resemble each other anyway.”
“No, they do not.”
Taiyou nodded. He could sense a difference between them that was a bit difficult to put into words.
“Then why are you so insistent on doing all this for Juuryokuya?”
“Am I really?”
“There isn’t really any other way to interpret this, now is there?”
A voice came from the door. It was Kohaku, who had just returned, hand on her hip and with her usual unique, all-knowing smirk.