In the moonlight, Taiyou slowly arose.
To his side were Akiha and Aoba, breathing as they slept. After putting the covers back over their exposed shoulders, he snuck out of the room.
It was a condominium with a similar construct to Taiyou Castle. As he left the room, he came into the living room that was connected to every room. That was where Kohaku and Ruri were silently facing each other.
He closed the door, walking over to them.
“Oh, it’s ye, Husband. Nay, we just be killin’ time is all.”
“The First…Domestic World War.”
Kohaku and Ruri answered two different ways as they looked up at him.
The table between them had a shogi board on it.
“That sounds exaggerated.”
“But we’re…putting many things on the line.”
“Like…a maiden’s pride?”
“The heck is that?”
“Aye, things like a wife’s dignity.”
“Wow, you’re so friendly with each other! And wow, you just both said practically the same thing!”
He sat in a nearby sofa as he made this comment.
“But wow, didn’t know you could play shogi, Ruri.”
“I used to…play by myself a lot.”
“By yourself? Like setting up a record or something?”
“No…not like that.”
Ruri shook her head.
She said, splitting herself into two.
She had begun to move so quickly that it looked as if there were two of her on either side of the table.
“I played…like this.”
“You trying to be some octopus teacher or something!? Wait, is that even necessary?”
“Also…there’s this too.”
She momentarily ceased her movement, standing up straight. This time she resumed her split form right nearby, proceeding to choreograph.
It was like a two-person comedy act.
“Dang you spoke fast! And you seriously did that on a regular basis!?”
“Because it’s a pastime…check.”
Surprised, Taiyou looked at the board.
Sure enough, Kohaku’s king was being pressed into a corner.
“Yep, ye got me.”
“That’s a surprise. I thought for sure that you’d be in it to win, Kohaku-san. With a nickname like Loli Baba, at least, I thought you would.”
Ruri tilted her head.
“One more game, ja.”
Ruri nodded. They rearranged their pieces, beginning a new game. Kohaku’s eyes were glinting fiercer than ever in the silence as she stared at the board, brow furrowed. Taiyou tilted his head, wondering what had come over her.
“The power of love…how fearsome.”
“Hm? What do you mean?”
“Umm, how about explaining what the heck you’re talking about!?”
“More importantly…we should flirt.”
Not waiting for Taiyou to finish his response, she got onto his lap.
Now, she wasn’t entirely on him. It was only one half of her as she was in her split form.
“Oi oi, she’s gonna get pissed if you do this.”
“It’s fine…no problem.”
“Sure there is!”
“I split myself up and leave one half idle…it’s a tradition of the machine cats.”
“What are you, a copyrobot!?”
“At least…that was what Hera said.”
“As usual, she says nothing useful!”
Ruri’s face as she confronted Kohaku was very serious, but the version of her reclining on Taiyou’s lap was clearly pleased with herself, smiling widely.
“Wow, that ability of yours is useful…”
Suddenly, he felt mischievous. What kind of expression would Ruri make if she split up a third time?
Without a word, he play-bit Ruri’s earlobe. It was so sudden that Ruri jumped up.
“What…was that supposed to be?”
“We were flirting, were we not?”
“Sure we were…but…”
As she did that, Taiyou grasped her from behind, touching her chest with his hand.
Ruri fidgeted, unable to keep her voice in.
“So you’re small today, eh?”
“Because this is…norm—-nnh-”
“Oh, right, yep, you’re better in your natural state.”
She made a pained expression in his embrace.
Taiyou took a glance at the other version of her playing shogi. At a glance, there didn’t seem to be any influence from the version receiving skinship next to him, but if he looked really carefully, he could tell that she was trying harder than usual to maintain a straight face. Usually, she would merely have a meager facial expression, but now she was just plain expressionless.
“I wonder how long this will continue?”
It was getting fun.
He got lots of skinship with Ruri, mischievously wondering how long she would last. You could say he was playing a prank on her. It was after all a little bit intended in that sense. But halfway through, that intent had gradually ebbed away, eventually vanishing. It was just such an unbearably adorable sight to see her fidgeting in his arms, and he just wanted to make her fidget more and more.
“Darling…you’re a bed yakuza.”
“Or actually…a sofa yakuza.”
“True, we are on the sofa after all…”
He gave her a smooch on the neck.
“What kind of yakuza do you want? I can do anything you want, hun. Kitchen yakuza, bath yakuza, you name it. I’ll even throw in veranda yakuza, what the heck.”
Ruri looked down at the ground before replying in a small voice.
“I’m fine with…the bed yakuza.”
The sight of Ruri’s cheeks reddening was unbelievably adorable.