“I still like her even as of right now.”
He didn’t feel bad about that at all. He had after all already factored in the fact that he had accepted both Akiha and the Aoba in her heart. Besides, it would be more astonishing to hear that she didn’t have those feelings anymore.
“So the sisters were all like a set, right?”
“Not quite the same thing.”
Not one set, but one person. But he decided not to mention that.
“I wanna be a set with Aoba too.”
“Aoba is a domestic girl, so I’ll be out and about. Aoba is a normal girl, so I’ll be a weird one.”
Taiyou could have made a lot of comments there, but he understood what she was saying very well.
It wasn’t difficult for him to understand these sorts of topics. The three mismatched sisters were already that way, plus above all, his brides had their own unique ways of thinking. He had grown well accustomed to this and had dealt with it properly as well, even if this time might be a little different.
“Didn’t know you liked me that much.”
“Am I mistaken?”
Akiha’s face grew red as she spoke looking down at the ground.
“…You’re not wrong, but…”
“Thanks, that makes me happy.”
“H-Hey, is that all?”
“Is what all?”
“C-Cause I said I like Aoba…so y’know, kinda, uhh…”
Akiha fidgeted. After thinking about it, he suddenly made a comprehending expression and clapped his hands together.
“Ah I see, you want to know if I’m envious of Aoba or not.”
“I never knew.”
“Never knew what…?”
“I totally never realized. Sorry.”
Taiyou held up a hand apologizing. After the blank expression on her face disappeared, Akiha burst out laughing.
“You never knew? Jeez that’s horrible.”
“Yeah, now let me tell you something.”
“See, girls sometimes actually WANT you to be jealous. Makes them feel even more loved after all.”
“Oh yeah, I’ve heard that before.”
“Yeah, in that sense, envy is like spice.”
“But I refuse.”
“Whaaaaat, why not!”
Taiyou and Akiha continued up the stairs as they flirted. Despite being in the middle of a fight, they merely took care of the remaining yakuza left over from Enya and went on their way. It was like they weren’t even in the enemy’s base but were instead in the uninhabited wilderness.
Taiyou did his best to hold back. He knew that Akiha wanted her share of it, so he let her handle the rest. He found the sight of her yearning to dirty her hands very endearing.
(I’m not very normal either, am I?)
Taiyou thought in self-derision. Come to think of it, that was usually what made him like someone else. Ruri was an obvious example of this. The moment he realized that she was wearing a black dress to compensate for her complex toward her pale skin, he had fallen hopelessly in love with her.
It was no different as of right now. Weird instead of normal. Outside instead of inside. When he saw Akiha moving against normalcy, he only felt amplified love for her.
Akiha asked Taiyou with a smile after defeating another person. He shrugged, playing it off.
“I don’t even wanna think about what would happen if you and Ruri teamed up.”
Akiha joined in on the fun, catching up to him. This two-person adventure (albeit a little short) was something fresh in Taiyou’s eyes. Different from Ruri, and different from the other brides. In a sense, this carefree attitude was quite enjoyable.
“I take back what I said.”
“I want to actually see both you and Ruri…in action. Ah, not as a pair but more like teacher and disciple.”
“Disciple? Oh, so like, have her train me?”
“Yep, exactly. I bet it’d be entertaining with you in the picture.”
“Entertaining? Is that all you think of me?”
“Alright, let me rephrase that.”
“If you’re in the picture, I bet things would get fantastic.”
Her eyes wide open, Akiha laughed.
“Fantastic enough for you?”
“I think so.”
“Then let’s try it after we get back.”
As they were doing that, they reached the highest, deepest room, where Enya had been fighting.
His opponent was an obese man in his late thirties. Just like Enya, he was naked from the waist up with a splendid tattoo that practically screamed he was a yakuza. In Taiyou’s opinion, Enya was a bit stronger.
“Gonna join in, Taiyou?”
“No, let’s not.”
Taiyou shook his head.
There were no other people in the room: in other words, it was a one-on-one fight. It wasn’t just a problem of being inelegant.
Taiyou could tell that Enya had the victory by far. In a fistfight like this that disregarded technique, Enya was at the top from start to finish. He didn’t see Enya as needing help, and that turned out to be correct. Not even a minute after they came into the room, Enya had defeated his opponent. The obese man had crumpled to the ground, not moving an inch.