「 In saying that, where shall I begin I wonder….?」
Hanaeda’s face changed to the color of confusion. She wasn’t sure where to start and she had a concerned expression.
「In that case, would you mind if I asked you something I am curious about? First of all, the girls name…. Why is she called Pochi?」
After confirming that Hanaeda agreed to his request, Taiyou asked the question he was most concerned about.
The name of the girl was without a doubt like the name of a pet dog, that’s why he was curious about the answer.
「That is the girls name.」
「Her real name? You can’t be saying that her real name is Pochi right? I don’t think that the government office would accept a name like that――」
After saying that, he took a big breath of air. He suddenly remembered the thing he talked about with Kohaku minutes ago.
「That’s true, the government office would not accept a name like that. To begin with, it was never reported to the government offices. I will also talk about the details surrounding this matter.」
After Hanaeda says that she takes a small breath of air before beginning her story.
Fourteen years ago a woman came to a nearby mansion. The house did not have an owner living in it so the girl lived there as its new owner. That girls name was Karina, after living in the mansion there was something similar to a family name plate that was hung on the door.
Nobody had seen the woman’s appearance, after arriving at the mansion she closed herself inside and never showed herself in front of others. Every day all the things she needed in her daily life were delivered to her house, only when a person by chance heard her voice on the intercom would they notice that she sounded like a young woman, however nobody really knew exactly what she looked like.
Before long, it was known that a strange person by the name of Karina lived in that house.
After several years passed, a young girl sometimes showed herself from the mansion. Either the woman brought the child with her when she first moved or she gave birth to the child in the mansion, that was how young the child looked. Even though the child was playing in the premises of the mansion, the woman named Karina was still only recognizable via the intercom phone system, she did not show her figure at all.
Years passed and the little girl gradually grew up. Even though she became of age to go to school, the girl stayed within the house premises and did not enter schooling. When a certain person visited her mansion to find out more about the circumstances, that person found out that the young girl called Karina as “Master” and that the young girl was named Pochi.
The person who visited the house suspected that the young girl must have been abused in the household. However, in the end, there was no intervention by the person.
That’s because there was no trace of abuse on Pochi’s body. Another thing is that even though Pochi calls her by “Master” but if you imagined her saying “Mother” instead, you could sense that they had a great mother-daughter type relationship.
In the end, there was no room for outside intervention and both Karina and Pochi kept living in the mansion.
Pochi doesn’t go out of her plot of land and she did not go to school, but apparently Karina seemed to have given her some education so she properly had knowledge taught to her. She talks to friendly and sociable people who walks past the mansion, so to the tourists around who did not know of her circumstances, she seemed like a home town girl who was a little clever.
On the other hand, Karina doesn’t show herself to the outside world and only occasionally can her voice be heard.
And then another decade passes. On a certain fateful day, Karina disappeared from the mansion. Leaving only Pochi behind.
Ironically, just like the name she was given, Pochi continued to guard the mansion. As one would expect she would get hungry after a while, so she occasionally left the mansion to steal food at this inn.
Taiyou who had listened to the end of the long story was speechless. He had a few guesses here and there as to what may have occurred, but he never expected anything like this.
「That’s as far as I know. Up to this point, everyone living around these parts knows this story. In a certain way, both Karina and Pochi have become celebrities of sorts.」
「From here I shall take over. Pochi…..I heard most of the details from Hanaeda and I also relied on my intermediary sources to investigate further information. After doing that, I managed to uncover something surprising jya.」
「That’s right, when that girl named Pochi was born, there was no birth certificate issued jya.」
「No birth certificate created? Is such a thing even possible?」
「In itself the event isn’t that rare, but for it to have been left in such a state for more than ten years is something that can be considered rare jya」
「Is that so?」
「From there I’ve thought about various things and I thought about the possibility that Karina and Pochi were real mother and daughter, but the investigations led to nothing jya.」
「Why is that?」
「That’s because Karina had already passed away, there was a public record of her death and testimonials from the hospital, not only that but her cremation was also recorded. It isn’t possible to find out even with expert appraisal jya.」
「Is that so? Karina and Pochi. Karina…..Kana?」1
When he was saying out the name of the mother, he suddenly shifted the intonation of the mother’s name and it became a different word.
「Have you noticed it, Danna-sama?」
Hearing this, Kohaku answered with a faint smile.
「That’s exactly right, Karina was literally as it implied, a temporary name. Her real name was Suzuki Yuuko, once again, this was such a generic and ordinary name that it was difficult to get anything out of it jya.」
Taiyou became even more speechless. The girl named Pochi just continued to become more and more enigmatic.
「In fact, I was surprised.」
Hanaeda intervened the conversation.
「You were surprised?」
「Yes. That girl is a very good child. She often greets people courteously whenever they pass by the mansion, hmm, how do I put this, she is a really bright child very similar to you, Taiyou. If you exclude the fact that she doesn’t go out of her mansion, she is a very lovely and good girl. Furthermore, she has the ability to sympathize with other people. Whenever I was in bad physical condition even if it was just slightly, she would notice it immediately and be worried about me.」
「Is that how it is?」
「That’s why, the moment that Karina-san passed away, I continued to care about that child and visited the residence. If it was necessary, I even thought to take her in as raise her as my own….. however」
「That child does not want to go out of that mansion. As long as you pass through the mansion, that girl will remain very bright and tender as usual, but if you suggest or talk about her leaving the mansion, she will take a strong stance and refuse any suggestions. It was not just towards me, anyone in the neighborhood that did the same was treated as such. Everyone around here is concerned for the girl, after all, she is a gentle soul that can provide people with peace of mind when they are in her presence」
「…… Therefore, whenever she stole any of the dishes, you would not make any big commotion out of it.」
Hanaeda nods quietly.
「Because it wasn’t possible to get her out of the mansion, I could do nothing but leave her alone. I once tried to forcibly remove her out of the residence, but at that time she acted enraged and struggled violently. That’s why, I never would of thought that Pochi would leave that mansion.」
「Hm? Wait a moment, whenever she went out to steal the food, hasn’t she come out herself?」
「Yes, well she did come out, but that was all her going out by herself. Up until now, there has never been a time when that girl was taken out of the mansion by someone else.」
「Ahh, so it was like that.」
「Danna-sama, you are the first person to have accomplished this feat jyana.」
「….. What does that mean?」
「I don’t know. However, but if possible I would like to ask for a favor.」
Hanaeda says this and quietly lowers her head.
「If it is possible, please take that child out from the mansion completely. I sincerely request it.」
Even though Taiyou was at least two generations younger than herself, Hanaeda spoke with respect and sincerity. Seeing her head lowered down so deeply seemed to reflect her strong feelings towards Pochi and also how she regretted the fact that she was powerless in all of this.
After Hanaeda stood from her seat, only Taiyou and Kohaku remained within the room. Even though they were sitting next to each other, they did not create their sweet lovely dovey atmosphere.
That’s because the both of them were thinking about the girl known as Pochi and neither of them were able to get into the mood.
Taiyou places his elbows on to his thigh and he had interlocked fingers that was placed under his chin whilst having this pensive look on his face.
「Danna-sama, what are you thinking about jya?」
「…. I remember the story of how this girl grew up raised by wolves.」
「It’s the story of Amara and Kamara jyana?」
Taiyou did not even respond to indicate that he was paying attention to Kohaku, in this case the names did not matter to him. What mattered was that this girl named Pochi was in an environment and condition that was not very good.
「Danna-sama, when you went to the mansion, was there any particular place that felt off?」
Without directly answering Kohaku’s question, he called out to Hera. As soon as Hanaeda came into the room, Hera erased her presence but the moment her name was called out, the little fairy warped herself in front of Taiyou’s eyes again.
「Yes desu, did you call for me, Taiyou-chan?」
「When we went inside of the mansion previously, did you see inside of the building?」
「Yes, when I was looking around for Pochi-chan, I saw it desuyo.」
「How was it, I went directly towards the storage room, so I did not see what it was like inside.」
「Let’s see….. it was like a children’s room.」
「A child’s room?」
「Are you talking about that girls room?」
Both Taiyou and Kohaku were dubious.
「Yes, there was a small bed and lots of small sized clothing. In the other room, there was this picture book or children’s toys. There was plenty of those type of things lying around desu.」
「It seems that she was not being abused jyana.」
「Ahh, according to Hanaeda-sana, she did not attend school, but she was seeminly properly educated.」
「She seemed to have been cherished and she also received the proper education. She grew up to be a gentle girl that could understand a person’s heart. However, she was taught not to leave her mansion and she was not given a family register.」
「This is too odd, it almost seems like she was raised with such contradictions in her lifestyle on purpose.」
「That may be true jyana. Hey, Danna-sama, shall we return, I would love to hear the story directly from that girl’s perspective in person jya.」
Taiyou nods and stands up, a few breaths later, Kohaku also stands up. The both of them heads towards the door and they leave the main building and went towards the place they were staying at.
When he returned, only Kazane came out to greet him. She was looking around restlessly and after seeing Taiyou, she rushed over to him with a panicked expression on her face.
「What’s wrong Kazane?」
「That girl, that girl ran away!」
「What did you say?!」
- Nef: Kana can also mean alias for fake name ↩