Their gaze swept across the Miyagi mansion. Aoba’s uniform did not look suitable for one’s home and she looked nervous. Her face stiffened as she tightly clenched her fist.
Looking at her appearance, Taiyou thought about proposing to come another day; however, the thought was suddenly interrupted.
Taiyou nodded lightly and followed behind her. He wanted to ask her if she was still feeling ok to meet them, but to mention it now was irrelevant. They both entered the vast grounds and stood in front of the door. She was doubtful as she stood there doing nothing but the door made a deep sound and opened. Aoba passed through as if it was extremely natural. Taiyou had a feeling that not only was it not the time for visitors, but also the residents’ personal time, and was a little shocked when it opened.
「Welcome back, Aoba-sama」
When Aoba entered the foyer, she was greeted by Miho who was in a maid outfit. Taiyou was still a little shocked in regards to Aoba’s title, however considering the scene he saw the last time he visited, he expected it.
「I’m home, Mother. Is everyone here?」
「Only Atsuko-sama is inside, come in」
「…… Only Mama. That’s fine, I want to speak with her, is that ok?」
「I’ll guide you」
Miho led the two of them with a composed expression. She glanced over her shoulder at Taiyou but he couldn’t guess what she was thinking from the look.
It was because she did it so calmly.
Following Miho, Taiyou and Aoba were led into a different room from before. It wasn’t a reception room but it overflowed more with a lived-in feeling, like a cozy living room. Taiyou guessed that it was because Aoba was here and it was the room used for family.
「Sit down, Natsuno-kun」
Taiyou nodded and sat on the high quality sofa that was plentifully stuffed with a good filling. The quality of the level of comfort was excessive compared to the living room terrace in Taiyou’s Castle.
「Atsuko-sama will come soon」
Aoba called Miho as she was about to leave.
「Along with Mother as well」
Miho bowed gracefully and stood near the wall. She refrained from doing anything which made her look like a servant.
Aoba said nothing in particular, probably because it was the way of the Miyagi family. After waiting for a while, the door opened and Atsuko came in.
Atsuko dressed completely different from Miho and looked like a wealthy celebrity. Based on the previous information from Aoba, Atsuko was reaching her forties, but she looked youthful as if she barely approached her thirties.
Taiyou remembered the words “beautiful witch” from back then.
「Welcome back, Aoba」
Aoba did not respond to Atsuko’s preemptive punch by saying welcome home. 1
Atsuko’s eyes slightly wavered at the exchange while Miho’s face stiffened, but both of them reacted to such an extent that it would normally be overlooked, unless carefully evaluated.
(No, it was different! Even in that situation, the extent of the reaction was even more unusual)
Usually, 「I’m home」being omitted is not enough to cause turmoil.
Taiyou reconsidered and focused his mind once again.
Atsuko sat facing Aoba while they both stared at each other.
「Well, are you finished running away from home?」
「No, I’m still not done yet, but I will be soon」
The unexpected words surprised Atsuko.
「What do you mean? Isn’t it strange that you decided to sort out your feelings so suddenly?」
「Yes, I’ve already resolved to sort my feelings, therefore, it’s more of a distinction」
「I wonder where did you learn such a thing?」
Atsuko said as she turned towards Taiyou and gave him a flirtatious glance. The glance she gave him seemed to imply that he was a bad influence for her daughter.
That may or may not have been the case. Regardless, Taiyou decided not to say anything.
「Well then, what did you come back today for?」
「Because there is something I wanted to say to Mama and everyone. Is Mommy not here?」
「In a little bit. If you do have something to say, Miho and I are here, so you can say it」
「Mama and everyone are a parliamentary system right?」
Aoba unintentionally smiled. That somehow interested Taiyou. It was an unrelated matter however, thus the conversation advanced forward.
「I understand, well then, talk」
So Aoba started. Her face suddenly became tense and it was as if she turned into a completely different person. Taiyou was beside her and unintentionally had his breath taken away from the change.
Naturally, the two women opposite of them were astonished. Their face showed a hint of implying that they had never seen their daughter like this before. It was as if Aoba announced a declaration to them.
「That’s why I will do a DNA test」
Atsuko and Miho were at a loss for words because what Aoba said was too unexpected.
Taiyou thought that he understood their feelings. Suddenly returning and then saying such a thing face-to-face as well. He thought that surely the women would be two-times as shocked.
Aoba did not change her expression and looked straight at them both.
Somehow, Miho who composed herself easily before, reacted furiously.
「Aoba-sama! Do you know what you are saying!? Do not do such a thing as a DNA test!」
「So then, why won’t you tell me Mother? Who is my birth mother?」
「That……is something I will not tell you ……at least by my own discretion」
「I do not deem it acceptable as well. That’s why I cannot tell you Aoba」
「Yeah, I know. I figured that mama and everyone would say that. That’s why I decided to investigate it myself」
「Students like Aoba-sama should not be able to do such a thing like that――」
As Miho started to speak, she suddenly realized something and glared at Taiyou. Her expression seemed to have eloquently implied “if hatred could kill a person”.
「Yes, I will cooperate」
「You’re a student as well right?」
「I’m not just a mere student. There aren’t many things I can do, but I can introduce Miyagi-san to the highest level of DNA testing agencies. 」
「Won’t you give up? Is it fun to tear apart a person’s family?」
「It’s because I am not the type who enjoys leaving cracks. 」2
Taiyou replied undauntedly. It was at this point that he started to lose his temper a little.
It was a series of events where they were only thinking of themselves, and in a way, ignoring their daughter. Taiyou could not approve of it regardless of the circumstances.
In other words, he strongly felt that he did not want to become that way. Considering he was building a similar family, the Miyagi family was a negative example, one which he could learn from their mistakes by watching them. That was why he opposed them.
「Please give up Aoba-sama. There is still time now」
「It’s useless Miho-san. Look at Aoba’s expression. It looks exactly like that guy from Toushiro. You should have well realized the stubbornness of such a face, don’t you agree?」3
「It seems you won’t give up. Either we tell you ourselves or you will investigate it yourself? You’re giving me the feeling that you won’t stop until you know the truth. Even if we forcibly stop you?」
「I will stop you with all of my might」
「Because I will」
Aoba quietly but distinctly nodded her head.
It seemed that she was already resolved.
「I understand, do it yourself. If that’s the case, I wonder why did you come here and ask me? If you were going to investigate, you could have investigated it alone. Couldn’t a DNA test be completed just by stealing hair in some way? What good did it do you by coming here?」
(That’s a good question)
「Because I like Mommy, Mama, and Mother. It’s because I love you」
「Is that so」
(That being said, do you understand now?)
Atsuko expressionlessly comprehended it while Miho understood but had a sour face.
Taiyou was slightly surprised by their expressions.
「I have understood what Aoba wanted to say and her feelings as well. However…….」
Atsuko seemed ok but narrowed her eyes.
Her atmosphere had completely changed. She majestically exuded the attractive sex-appeal of an adult, but now it had changed into an atmosphere that no one could get close to. If Shirokiyami emanated a blood-thirst like a sharp blade, Atsuko emanated an imitating air that reached the ceiling. For a moment, Taiyou felt like he was suffocating, despite there being nothing.
「I do not approve of it. I will not allow it」
When Atsuko said that, Miho stiffened her face as well. She showed her willingness to follow her opinion by being silent.
「That’s our consensus. This is the one thing that we could never yield on. Does Aoba still have an intention of doing the test?」
Atsuko said after nodding slightly.
- Normally when someone comes home, they say “Tadaima/ I’m home” and the person at home says “Okaerinasai/ Welcome home” Atsuko greeted Aoba as per custom but Aoba did not return the proper greeting. ↩
- He means that he does not like unfinished business or ignoring a problem. ↩
- The original text is “藤四郎のヤツにそっくり” Not sure if it’s an iconic character in Japan, future character, or popular saying. Any suggestions? ↩