「What’s wrong Natsuno-kun?」
「No matter how you see it, this only occurs after someone eats it.」
「Yeah, I think so too. Specifically, one person’s portion is gone and they even used the wooden chopsticks」
Aoba answers and the wooden chopsticks… that were split up were broken off badly and was of different lengths.
「So I heard from the waitress that this kind of thing happens “quite often recently”. But this is a tourist destination, don’t you think it’s weird?」
「I see, nearly all of the guests here are only staying at the inn briefly.」
「Yes, it’s hard to say just how long each guest stays in the inn, but normally tourist don’t stay over for such a lengthy period.」
「That’s true, I also thought the same.」
「Even though this has occurred for quite the long period, they still haven’t searched for the culprit. Furthermore, there hasn’t been anyone in particular that declared they hold a grudge against this inn.」
「Indeed….. This is a little mysterious. Natsuno-kun, are you bothered by it?」
Normally, this kind of thing is not something he would be concerned about, but for some reason this caught his attention.
Even if you asked him the reason for it, he wouldn’t be able to answer very well. Still, even though that may be, he was interested in how the food was eaten.
「I understand, then let’s look for the culprit.」
「You’re bothered by it right?」
「That’s true but…」
「Then let’s look for them.」
Aoba was being proactive and Taiyou agreed to her suggestion.
Though he’s started to feel this way for the past several days now, he felt like Aoba was much more cheerful in mood than when she first met him. She barely gets angry or depressed and differing from the first impression he had of her, she was actually a very lively and beautiful girl.
「Though in saying this, how are we going to find the culprit? I don’t think that they would purposefully leave breadcrumbs or footprints pointing to where they were hiding…」
The two of them looked around their surroundings and found that there weren’t any easy clues.
「Then let’s start by gathering information, perhaps we may be able to understand somethings after.」
「Alright, I guess it’s better than doing nothing.」
「There’s no need to do that desuyo~」
When the two of them were about to walk away, Hera showed up from thin air. It’s been awhile since she last appeared so Taiyou went “Ohh” as he saw her.
「You were here?」
「That’s so mean of you desu~!」
Hera pushed up both her hands as she protested.
「Ahh my bad, it’s cause I couldn’t see you all this time, so I assumed that you were staying back at home.」
「I wouldn’t do such a thing. Besides, even if I was at home, Taiyou-chan and I are barrier-free nanodesu. No matter where Taiyou-chan is, I can immediately appear before him.」
「I remember you telling me that before.」
「Yes nanodesu, I exist for Taiyou-chan desu~」
“I’ve also heard that before” he didn’t say this thought out loud and instead asked about the first thing she said when she appeared.
「What do you mean when you said that “there’s no need”?」
「I know who the culprit is desuyo. I saw them after all.」
「Over here nanodesu.」
Being led by Hera, both Taiyou and Aoba arrived to this particular building. It was a building that was about 10 minutes away from the establishment and it seemed to be deserted. Completely different from the Japanese style inn they were in before, this building had its own atmosphere. It was like a house that someone lived in before but is now gone from this place, or the kind of place that kids made into their secret basement, or the type of place to be used as a test of courage by the neighborhood kids in a summer night, the building had that kind of atmosphere.
「Is the culprit in here?」
Aoba who was very high-spirited moments ago was now tightly grabbing on to the cuff of Taiyou’s clothes. Her voice was trembling and it was obvious that she was frightened because of the atmosphere. It was the same way she reacted when the typhoon occurred just yesterday, but could it be that she was also afraid of the dark? Is what Taiyou thought to himself.
Seeing her like this, Taiyou naturally moved in to tightly hold on to her hand.
「I’m holding your hand, so it’s okay」
「Un…… Thank you.」
Aoba nods and squeezes back in return. After putting it to his mind that his top priority was to defend her if something were to happen, they both set foot inside of the building.
「What is it?」
「Please wait here for a moment desu.」
Why? Just when he wanted to ask her this, Hera already flew inside of the building. He didn’t understand the reason but he had no choice but to reluctantly wait there.
Before a minute passes, Hera had already warped right in front of him.
「I found them, they are in the same place as before.」
「Where is that?」
「It is in the building around the side, inside the storage room desuyo~」
Hearing this Taiyou nods, silently looking towards Aoba he maintained his grasp and walked together with her. Making sure to keep quiet as they advanced through a garden that was overgrown with weed, they went around the side of the building. When they did they found this prefab type storage room.
Taiyou silently looks at the storage room and after that looked to Hera for confirmation.
「Yes desu, that’s the place desuyo~」
Hera was talking normally and only Taiyou and the person he kisses can see her figure.
Taiyou nods and he heads to the storage room with Aoba. Unexpectedly his foot steps on a tree branch that dropped next to his feet.
a snapping sound resounded and the storage room shook as if in reaction to the sound.
In the next moment―――― The door of the storage room opens and someone from inside comes jumping out. The other party was agile and catches Taiyou off guard, however…
(Compared with Shirokiyami this is…)
He had enough surplus time to even think of this sentence in his own head. Comparing it to Shirokiyami who was able to leave afterimages from both the left and right, this person didn’t even seem like they were moving.
Taiyou extends his free hand and tries to catch the culprit. However,
This kind of sound effect resounded in his own brain. A soft feeling gets transmitted into the palm of his hand that tried to reach out to the culprit.
The moment he understood what it was that he felt in his hand, a piercing scream in the night sky that seemed like it was going to tear silk apart resound.
「Sorry, sorry, I’m sorry, sorry.」
Returning to the inn, he bowed his head to the girl who was now in his room alone with him over and over again.
From her looks she seemed to be quite a young girl and it was likely that she was close in age to Taiyou’s group, she seemed to either be in junior high or perhaps a high school student. She easily exceeded a height of 160 cm and she was a tall kind of girl. Furthermore, the reason she screamed so loud just before is because she boasted an overwhelmingly large breast size. He had never seen this type of huge breasted girl before.
「Ahh no, if you apologize so much, I will feel bad going home.」
「You grabbed her boobies real good after all desuyone~」
「Please stay quiet in front of others.」
When he suddenly swatted Hera who appeared suddenly in front of him, the girl was staring at him confused.
「Ahh, no nothing. More importantly, would you mind telling me your name?」
「Ah, Yes! My name is Pochi!」
「Ummm… Ah, yes. Mai neemu izu POCHI」1
「No it’s not about the language, moreover why did you speak your name so specifically the second time? 」
「After all it’s my name, so I’m used to saying it.」
「Is that how it is….? No that doesn’t really matter. Is that really… your name?」
Hesitating in calling this alluring girl by “that” name specifically, he wanted to clarify the matter.
「Yes! That is the name that my father gave me!」
「I see, for the time being let’s leave it at that. I have this one thing I wanted to ask you however…」
She looked despondent. It seemed like she could already guess what Taiyou was going to ask her.
Even though he started feeling guilty after seeing her like this, he still boldly opened his mouth and decided to ask her.
「Apparently there is someone who keeps eating the dishes in this inn without permission, is that perhaps your doing?」
「Yes… That’s me. I’m sorry.」
She keeps silent. Placing both her hands on her thighs, she purses her lips and looks downwards. Perhaps she didn’t want to say why, or perhaps she couldn’t say why. No matter what it is, she must have her own circumstances, is what Taiyou surmised.
「I see. By the way, let me change the topic a little, but are you still hungry?」
「We are about to go eat dinner soon. If you are still hungry I thought, we could prepare one more porti――」
「My stomach is empty!」
She declared it as if her life depended on it. It was enough to make you think that she led a life of hardship.
「I understand, then I will tell them to prepare more dishes. In the meantime please stay here――」
Saying that the triplets opened the sliding door and entered the room. Taiyou wanted to speak with his advisor so he left the room.
Outside was Kohaku, giving him a wink he headed outside to her direction. Before long they walked to a location that couldn’t be heard by the people inside of the building, Kohaku then proceeded to stand to a halt and turned around to face him.
The girl who talked to him was showing a strained smile. But it was hardly a laugh and it was more so filled with bitterness. When he saw such an unusual expression on her face, Taiyou thought something may have gone wrong.
After taking this Pochi girl home with him, Taiyou asked Kohaku to do an investigation on her background in private, so he deducted that her bitter expression is likely because of this fact.
「What’s wrong, did you manage to find something out?」
「I investigated it in a hurry jya, therefore it may be a mistake but…」
「You aren’t being articulate like usual, did something bad happen?」
「Rather than something bad… I would say it’s like an unknown experience? No even though I know this kind of thing exists, it’s an unpleasant knowledge jya.」
「Unknown? Knowledge? I’m sorry, but can you say it in a simpler way?」
「I suppose so. First I will start with the conclusion…. That girl does not have a birth certificate to identify her jya.」
In a certain way. Saying this made her even more uncomfortable.
「She legally doesn’t exist as a person, she’s like a ghost girl jya.」
Looking at the deserted house, Taiyou was astonished. After hearing this story, his face changed in a similar way to how Kohaku’s looked right now.
- Nefarian: she is speaking in English but it will sound something like this to us lol ↩