I suddenly found myself waking up. It’s still dark, but somehow the air feels refreshing, huh… when I think about it, I managed to remember. That’s right, I have arrived at the villa. Because it is much closer to the mountains than the mansion, I become able to spend the morning easily although it is a summer morning.
“Excuse me. Are you awake, Seiren-sama?”
A knock which sounds softer than the one I’m used to hear during the time in the mansion can be heard. Ah, did she come to wake me up?
“I’m awake-,” I raised my voice while trying to get up, and coincidentally, the door opened and my eyes met with Minoa-san who just came in.
“Good morning, Seiren-sama.”
“It’s about the right time for you to prepare and dress up before having a breakfast. I’m saved since you’re already awake.”
I could sense that Minoa-san smiled a tricky smile from the expression of her eyes. Could it be that she’s trying to tell me that I should be awake earlier?
Well, there are still a lot of things needed to be done although it’s still morning. From washing my face, changing my clothes, brushing my hair, and then applying some make-ups, then going to the toilet afterwards, and then it’s already time to eat breakfast.
Nah, applying the make-ups were excluded from my routine in the other world, and that’s why I become confused about it now. After all, I was a man in the other world, so I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to my personal appearance.
“Good morning. I’m bringing in the hot water-“
The door opened, and Oriza-san brought over the hot water and towel. Ah-, it will mostly be the maids’ jobs to do them, so I can be quite easygoing about it, huh?
“It’s another fine weather today-“
Oriza-san put the bucket containing the hot water on the bedside, and quickly went to open the louver door. Then, I washed my face and felt completely awake.
When the louver door opened and the bright light entered the window, she suddenly stiffened her body. Minoa-san looked outside with a puzzled expression, and the next moment, she seized and raised the basket that was besides the window with one hand. She then strongly swung it… wait, the white thing that I saw out of the window, isn’t that Taiga-san’s horse?!
“Wai-! Minoa-san, stoppp!”
Some way or another, Minoa-san stopped at my command. I stood up from the bed in a hurry, made my way through the bedside and headed quickly towards the window. Oriza-san’s body was stiffened for a while, but once she realized what was going on, she yelled, “But why-?!” Well, I understand her feelings.
Anyway, outside the window, there really is Taiga-san’s white horse, but with the crow’s head. In addition, it isn’t just his horse, but there’s properly a person riding on its back.
“Yo! Good morning, Seiren-sama.”
“……Good morning, Taiga-san.”
I think that perhaps my face is twitching, but still, I don’t intend to hide it. Or rather, it’s good that he wasn’t hit by Minoa-san’s basket and fell down, maybe, so I slightly thought.
“Uhm, Seiren-sama, Taiga-sama. Are you really in the situation where you can exchange greetings carelessly?”
“Isn’t that fine? At the very least, he doesn’t seem to be coming over here to attack or creep into my bedroom sneakily.”
As expected, Oriza-san’s face becomes stiff at the comment that was retorted earlier. Nah well, no matter how you look at it, Taiga-san doesn’t seem to be carrying any weapon, and in the first place, since he came here by such a gaudy horse, he would be found out right away after we spotted it.
“Please be at ease, Seiren-sama. This villa is being covered by a strong protective wall. I dare say that Taiga-sama won’t be able to approach us from that position.”
“Despite that, you were about to throw a basket at him reflexively, Minoa-san?”
“…I really am sorry about that.”
I was slightly amazed at Minoa-san’s words. Or more precisely, by the strong protective wall, which is a barrier, huh? Is this villa a secret hideout or something like that?
…Or could it be that since I have ever disappeared, the security’s been made stricter?
If that is the case, then the same thing would be put up even in the mansion, and yet, as soon as night falls, the louver doors would be tightly shut and the guards are placed early.
Perhaps, the one who created the protective walls was Jigen-san, I wonder?
Well, let’s not think too deeply about that thing first. To put it simply, the security is quite strict, yes.
First, let’s deal with the next feudal lord who’s smiling on top of his horse, in the middle of the sky, right in front of my eyes.
“So, what are you doing this early in the morning?”
“Actually, I am on my way to visit a grave.”
Taiga-san answered my question quickly, stating it as something natural.
Visiting a grave, huh. Well, since it’s currently Obon (Festival of the Dead), so it’s quite a natural thing to do, but that’s not it. Instead of quickly showing your face to the ancestors, why are you looking at the room of a woman that you just met yesterday? I am a man inside, though.
I unintentionally stared at him with scornful eyes. Taiga-san just lightly shrugged his shoulders, and continued his words.
“I just wanted to see Seiren-sama’s face, although I may say that it’s rude of me to come here in this sort of method.”
There won’t be anyone who’s gonna blame me for getting my hands too attached to the window frame reflexively, right?
My shoulder was being touched by what could possibly be Oriza-san’s hand, but for some reason I felt that it was quite lukewarm, perhaps it was just my imagination, though.
“Taiga-sama. It’s not a praiseworthy thing to peek at the room of a feudal lord’s daughter like that.”
“I did not mean to peek in. But if my action seemed to be like that as a result, I deeply apologize.”
As usual, Minoa-san’s words are harsh, but it seems to be a fair argument.
Since he is still a rich ikemen1 onii-chan2 who’s riding a flying horse, so it’s still tolerable in some way or another. In this case, if I was brought up as a normal girl, I wonder what would I think about this?
Ah, there is no way of knowing even if I think about it, so let’s stop. For the time being, I should be more cautious.
“Even if you didn’t intend to do so, we can only conclude that you’re peeping, and in the first place… I’m still in my pajamas. Please give me a break.”
“That is certainly true. Please forgive my thoughtlessness.”
I think that his refined bow is really cool, even from my point of view. However, only if he’s apologizing not for the fact that he’s peeping3.
“Well then, please excuse me. Next time, I will come to meet you from the front, fair and square.”
Taiga-san flew just like that, leaving a very refreshing smile just like the morning’s air. Ah, this should be approximately where I should wave my hand and say, “Take care.”
Uh unh, is an ordinary girl, no, a rich daughter, supposed to be that delicate?
Oh well, I understand the feelings that men want to look cool, but when he did that, it caused me who watched from his side to feel the cold air. I had better tell him, but I need to be careful in choosing my words.
But, for the time being, there is only one thing that I want to utter from my mouth.
“…What was that, just now?”
“I don’t understand.”
Minoa-san answered shortly. Those girls also don’t have any single clue on what’s happening, how do you expect me to understand?
Nah, perhaps by some chance, I might be able to understand it4. But this one, I don’t understand it after all.
“Really, didn’t he come just to see Seiren-sama’s face?”
“No way, that’s absurd.”
In the middle of the conversation, Oriza-san’s optimistic conjecture popped out, but I can’t help but to perfectly deny it.
Nah, but actually, he’s giving the feeling like he’s got nothing else in mind besides that.
“Seiren-sama, you’re popular, huh-“
“Well, since he’s the next head of the Shikino family, so he’s perfect as a partner.”
“…Ah-, that kind of thing? Could it be…”
As I expected, I can understand Oriza-san and Minoa-san’s lines.
Although I didn’t fall in love at first sight with him, but it’s quite likely that Taiga-san was charmed with me.
I see, that person is still single despite his age, that’s because he doesn’t have good eyes for women, huh.
No, I think he’s relatively a good person as a friend. I still feel like a man inside, so honestly I can’t imagine being in a love affair with a male partner. Well, even when I was a man, I didn’t even know about girls, too5.
“Or how should I put it, let me think for a while. From the way he’s pushing forward, women wouldn’t think that as a sweet move…”
There seem to be some reasons as to why Taiga-san is still single. Aside from the thing concerning the house, of course.
During breakfast, I talked about Taiga-san with my family and Godou-san. Unexpectedly, Saryuu who’s in the room next to me didn’t even notice it happening. You, could it be that you still slip out of your room to do independence training early in the morning?
“Bu-! *cough cough* …Ta, Taiga-dono did that?”
“Oh my. It’s good that he inherited his father’s assertiveness, but he should have thought more about the right time and place, right?”
Tou-san seemed to choke on the water lightly, and coughed violently. By the next time our faces met, for some reason, I don’t know how to react.
Kaa-san is simply being amazed. Eh, Taiga-san inherited it from his father? Which means, Kaa-san had possibly received that sort of attacks as well, huh……well, that is not something she could have chosen, though. It’s no good, the Shikino family. Saryuu was originally from there, so I wonder if he would be alright. I am worried as his older sister.
“Fu-mu. Taiga-sama said that he was going to visit the grave, right?”
Said Godou-san while slightly thinking. Ah, since this villa is close to Shikino’s territory, he would understand the circumstances, I guess.
“Shikino family’s graveyard is still further inside the mountains from here, so it’s not weird for him to be leaving his house early, but did he purposely make a stopover here? It’s the first time I heard about this kind of thing happening.”
…So there is no previous example, huh.
Which means, it’s quite serious? Nah, even if he is not being serious, I’m still troubled. About many things, there are just lots of things that I need to think about.
Mainly, regarding the current head of the Shikino family. Ah- well-, it’s quite bothersome that I need to think about his house and family before thinking about the concerned person himself. Not to mention that Taiga-san doesn’t seem to be a bad person.
“In the middle of his way to visit the grave, he purposely made a short visit just to see Ane-sama’s face, huh? Nii-sama…”
Yup. But well, even when he is not a bad person, still, for having that kind of big brother, I understand your feeling that you’re greatly perplexed as his biological younger brother, Saryuu. Or more precisely, if I were to have that kind of biological big brother, of course I’d also be greatly perplexed, and even if I am not Minoa-san, I would still want to throw a basket at him.
- Japanese term for good-looking man. ↩
- Japanese term for an older male which is still too young to be called uncle. ↩
- Did I convey it right? Here’s the gist of it: his refined bow would look cool if he’s apologizing for any issue other than… peeping, which destroys his cool image X”D ↩
- Meaning: Because she was once a male, she might understand things that normal girls don’t understand. ↩
- Oh, Seiren. She is implying that she never dated even as a male, too, back then. ↩