「To your house?」
Blinking his eyes, Taiyou was looking up towards Aoba who was standing. Although she looked serious when she spoke, it didn’t seem like something that she thought about carefully and calmly.
Having such an invitation delivered with such an expression on her face was something beyond the limit of what Taiyou expected she was going to say. At the very least Taiyou did not predict she would say something like this.
After all she was running away from home right now and the cause of the situation has not even been resolved.
Moreover, they were making plans to resolve the problem in the near future so at the very least, it wasn’t necessary for her to go back home right this instant.
Therefore, Taiyou was perplexed and was wondering as to why she would say such a thing.
「Yes, I want you to come together with me」
But before he was able to think any more than this, she unwaveringly uttered the same invitation again with a determined facial expression.
「That is, you just want me to come?」
「Yeah, just Natsuno-kun」
「For what reason?」
Taiyou just asked a natural question. Even though it was obvious that she didn’t want to bring him over just to introduce him to his parents, he was still quite wary and was trying to read her intentions for inviting him over.
Aoba was keeping quiet and averting her gaze. Thought she wanted him to go with her, she was hesitating on whether or not to tell him the real reason.
And seeing that Taiyou was also hesitating, she was wondering if he wanted to question her reasons.
Although she felt bad if he just came along without knowing anything, at the same time, there weren’t any major problems that could arise out of him just following her.
Leaving feelings aside, because he was an outsider to her family’s point of view, there wasn’t really anything that he could do to make her situation worse.
It was mainly a problem of feelings.
Therefore, she was confused as to what she should do.
「Eh? What are Natsuno-kun and Aoba-chan talking about?」
It was at this moment that a classmate Katsuki Nakajima spoke to break the stagnant atmosphere. He was well known as being sociable and he was the type of person to just jump from group to group and talk to anyone.
Coming to where Taiyou and Aoba was at, Katsuki showed his usual friendly smile, but he also had a slightly surprised face as he asked the question.
「What an unusual combination, since when did you guys get along so well?」
「W-well, thing’s just happened this way」
「Huh? Fufun, I see I see」
After nodding his head repeatedly, he started switching his gaze between Taiyou and Aoba. Seeing Katsuki’s gaze, both Aoba and Taiyou seemed slightly uncomfortable as it gave them a bad feeling.
Katsuki was a man that was brimming with curiosity, and he could occasionally become too interested in something and would be unable to read the mood. Therefore, for the current situation, Katsuki was probably the most troublesome fellow to deal with right now.
“I should probably try to change the subject somehow”. Taiyou was thinking about how to do this when…
「「「Nakajima-kun, can you come with us for a sec?」」」
A voice could be heard from a little place away and Katsuki turned around to it.
When Taiyou also turned himself towards the source of the familiar voice, he saw the figure of the three sisters. The girls were beckoning Katsuki to come towards them.
「Kotone-chan, Suzune-chan and Kazane-chan, what’s up?」
Perhaps because he didn’t really have any major business with Taiyou or perhaps it was because the three sisters who were usually very hard to get in touch with called out to him, but in any case he was merrily walking towards them. His entire face was smiling widely as he danced with joy and walked towards them.
Looking past Katsuki who was in very high spirits, the three sisters gave Taiyou a knowing wink.
It was the kind of look that said, “leave this to us!”.
Taiyou also returned a thankful look towards the girls.
Because they were blushing just a little, he thought that he conveyed his gratitude without trouble.
「Let’s change the place」
Whispering to Aoba, he stood from his seat and left the classroom. Aoba nodded her head silently and subtly followed behind him.
After going out of the classroom, they headed towards a corridor that connected the buildings together. The corridor which linked to the building of club activities was quite empty as long as it was not after school when the club activities began.
After making sure he was in an area that was deserted, he turned around and looked at Aoba.
「If it’s here we should be fine」
「Yeah. We got saved by the three girls didn’t we?」
「I suppose we did, I will make sure to thank them later」
A feeling was welling up in Taiyou. The women who gave him a lifeboat in his time of need made him feel both thankful and he loved them for it. He decided that he would properly thank them later as he swore it in his heart.
「The Hayakawa sisters, somehow resemble mothers」
「You think so?」
Taiyou just went with it without trying to expand the conversation in this regard. Previously, Aoba told him that he resembled a father figure and now she told him that the three sisters resembled a mother figure.
He couldn’t help but to notice that she was probably relating Taiyou’s situation to her own family situation, but right now, her family was in the midst of a big turmoil.
At the very least, it was big enough to cause their daughter to run away from home.
Even when he went to the Miyagi Mansion and talked to her family, there were certain details and circumstances which he could see happening to himself in his own future. After thinking about such things, Taiyou felt awkward and found it hard to sympathize with her.
Therefore, he intended to let the matter pass and change the topic.
「So let me clear it up by asking again. Why did you suddenly want to go back home today? Furthermore, you wanted me to come with you?」
「Well like I told you a little while ago, there was something that I wanted to talk about with my mothers」
「The thing you wish to talk about, do I need to be there for it to work?」
「Is it inconvenient if you…. come together with me?」
Aoba doesn’t answer his question and just repeated her invitation like she was pleading him.
「It’s not like I can’t….. but I don’t understand why I am needed. I also don’t know what you are going to try to say to them. At the very least, I want to know what you plan to do, is that really too much to ask?」
Aoba looked downwards and became silent.
Her fingers were fidgety, and she licked her dry tongue to moisten it up.
It was not like she was trying to keep silent, after seeing such actions it was easy to tell that she was conflicted whether or not to tell him the reason.
Therefore, he just waited for her in silence. After a short while, she took in a deep breath and faced him with resolve.
「I want to say to my mothers, that I want to perform a DNA test in order to determine who my real mother is」
Taiyou knitted his eyebrows. Because her conduct was just so inexplicable, Taiyou’s brow was deeply wrinkled.
「Is it necessary to do that?」
「Since yesterday, I’ve been watching Natsuno-kun and the others, and I’ve also heard stories from Natsuno-kun」
Saying this, Aoba had an intense look on her face.
「And it got me thinking, if I just secretly did the DNA test without telling my mother’s about it… Even if a result does come out, if I did it secretly, I will be sure to experience feelings of guilt」
「Feelings of guilt….」
As if he was examining the words, he repeated them to himself. He remembered those words from last night to this morning. They were words he said to her several times.
「I….. yeah, it’s true. I really like, love and treasure my mum, mama and mother. They were affectionate to me since I was a child, and even now, I think of all of them as my mothers. For my mothers to hide who the true mother is from me, I think that they must have their own good reasons」
「Even so, I really want to know who my true mother is, the woman who gave birth to me. Because Natsuno-kun is willing to cooperate, it has become possible to investigate it. However….. if I secretly investigate behind their backs, I am sure to experience guilt in return. Therefore, I want to meet them face to face and tell them that I will be investigating this issue」
「So basically, you don’t want to hide anything?」
This was also one of the main points of what he discussed with her previously.
And after taking in his own words, she made this decision herself.
Taiyou didn’t know whether this was a bad thing, right thing, wrong thing, or if it was a good thing.
But, there was one thing that he understood clearly.
Coming up front with someone and declaring things honestly, is something that he definitely liked to do.
「I understand, I will go with you」
「Yeah, although this is not what we originally intended, it appears that I am partially to blame for instigating you to take this action. Therefore, I plan to take responsibility till the end」
「That’s not quite right, you didn’t instigate me. It was not like you spurred me on」
「Is that right?」
Taiyou smiles bitterly as he asked her back but in the next moment, his smile changed into surprise.
「Natsuno-kun opened my eyes. I was always running away and you helped me see clearly」
「Isn’t that a little exaggerated….」
「At least that’s what I believe, is that not good enough?」
Aoba’s face showed no hesitation as she spoke.
Trying to build a harem, Taiyou never thought that what he was doing was the right thing (although by no means did he ever think he was doing something wrong). He felt slightly sorry about the fact that he might not be the best influence on her but that was trivial.
Right now, the girl he saw in front of him was a like a totally different person. Since he first met her, this was the happiest expression she ever showed him.
There was no anger in it, no confusion, nor was it a reckless expression.
She had clear eyes, and a bright cheerful smile. Seeing her have such an expression on her face, Taiyou could not say anything more to her.
At the same time the emotions within him…. In particular, a feeling which he recently got to experience started to bud.