Silence ensued, and it was not because we were in a graveyard.
It’s because we came to understand various things, but they are not something comparatively fancy. That’s why, nobody can utter any single word.
However, something suddenly came to my mind. Could it be that the [timing] Jigen-san talked about was referring to this right now?
That is why I abruptly shifted my gaze towards Kuon-sensei. When I did so, Kuon-sensei gazed back at me and slowly nodded. Deep inside her eyes beneath the glasses, she seemed to be saying that it would be all right.
I raised my voice daringly. I can easily understand how everyone present in this place quickly shifted their gazes to me all at once.
“There’s something that I would like everyone here to hear. Including Taiga-san, too.”
“Yes. Since it’s about your father.”
Taiga-san, whose name I mentioned, turned around to face me as he seemed to be surprised.
Normally, it wouldn’t be so weird if I were to say that this was a talk addressed only for those who belong to the Shiiya household, but it can’t be helped since the content of the talk is related to him.
That’s why, I think it is better for me to inform this matter to him at the same time. Besides, Taiga-san also disclosed some information about his own family because he considered that it might be related to me.
“…Understood. Let’s listen to it.”
“Seiren-sama, go ahead. It will be all right.”
Kuon-sensei replied after Taiga-san nodded, and then smiled. …since she is Jigen-san’s granddaughter, I can’t help but wonder if there is something. Even so, I can’t understand what.
The men of our family are somehow wearing the same expressions on their faces. After living as a parent and child for so many years, they have become so much alike, huh? Meanwhile, my mother was staring at me. She had the expression that said, ‘I will accept anything, so come and say it.”
In that case, I would just go and say it.
Tentatively, since Taiga-san was here, I skillfully omitted the explanation about how I grew up in a different world. In other words, I only explained how the person who raised me had the same name, same face, and the same voice as Taiga-san’s father.
Nah, as expected that both my parents and Taiga-san’s expressions all went blank. Especially mother. Suffice to say that my mother was childhood friends with Touya-san.
“Father and that person are really that alike?”
“Yes. And so, the moment I first saw his face, I couldn’t really comprehend what was going on.”
“Ane-sama rested lightly afterwards. Even when I talked with Father Shikino for a while, I couldn’t help but be worried about Ane-sama’s condition.”
I nodded and answered Taiga-san who furrowed his brows as he asked for my confirmation. Based on Saryuu’s way of speech, it seemed that Touya-san didn’t say anything particularly strange yesterday.
Then, Kaa-san opened her mouth as she was reminded about the thing that happened yesterday.
“Yes, and then your condition turned worse. Sorry for not noticing it, Seiren.”
“No, the one who should apologize is me. Tou-san, Kaa-san, I’m sorry. With the circumstances being like that, I wasn’t sure whether I should say it or not.”
“…that’s right. If the circumstances have unknown meaning and reason, it isn’t the kind of story you would want to spread too much.”
My father had a complicated expression on his face. After all, it might turn into a totally meaningless story, or it might turn into a big trouble. At the very least, I think I understood that meaning behind his words.
My mother put her face down as if she was absorbed in a deep thought. I think she’s listening attentively as she observes everyone’s reaction.
Taiga-san whose expression was a similar thinking expression raised his face and said, “Understood.” Ah, his face is showing a resolute expression now.
“I think I will try to investigate the things here. At the very least, it’s because only I can investigate the stories that are inside Shikino family.”
Ah, no, obviously we’ll be saved if he helped us investigate it. However, if it was found out, then wouldn’t the situation be bad? It’s the risk for us, members of the Shiiya household, but if it becomes a serious matter, then the one who’ll be put in the most dangerous situation would be Taiga-san himself.
“Is that all right?”
“For sharing this conversation with me means that you trust me even a little bit, right? I have to repay your trust, as a person who’s going to succeed the Shikino family.”
Towards my question which only consisted of a few words, he answered it clearly. Ah well, certainly if I don’t trust you, then I won’t disclose this thing with you. Still, I wonder if it’s really okay? Although this is just my excessive self-consciousness if I don’t have anything to reward his story earlier. Even so, well…
“…I’m sorry. Although this is my personal matter.”
“No. If nothing will happen, then it’s good. But if something were to happen… well, let’s deal with it at that time.”
Taiga-san smiled as if it was a matter of course, and I don’t know whether or not he knew that I was thinking about it.
After arriving at the graveyard village’s entrance, Taiga-san rode in a separate carriage. When we started to move, Tou-san suddenly opened his mouth.
“Seiren. The person who raised you… was he a person from the world in which you grew up?”
“Yes. He is also the one who named me Seiren from the embroidery in the clothes I wore when I was a baby. One of the letters used in the other world was similar to this world’s letters, that was how he could read it as Seiren.”
Hearing my answer, he thought about it for a little while. Then, my father moved his line of sight towards my mother, who was sitting next to me.
“Have you ever met Touka-dono?”
It’s about Touya-san’s little brother, Touka-san? Well, certainly he is quite weird based on Taiga-san’s story just now.
However, since my mother was Shikino family’s neighbor, I thought that she would have met him at least several times.
“…Only about one or two times. Since it had been officially decided that the successor of the Shikino family at that time would be Touya-dono, and to avoid any future dispute, he was protected in another distant villa.”
“Protected, was it?”
Saryuu asked in his curiosity. Ah well, I also thought of that, too.
Ah, but that was also the case, huh? It was something about how they wanted to isolate him because they didn’t want the family trouble to turn into something big, right?
“Well, there were lots of things going around. It was a story that I heard from someone else, but Touya-dono and Touka-dono were brothers separated by only a few weeks.”
My mother gave such an evasive answer, but that might be true. The child born later was the legal wife’s child, so it would certainly be a material to bring about future family troubles.
“But, I felt like the Touka-dono I met seemed to resemble Touya-dono very much. It was a talk of 40 years before, though, so I couldn’t really remember it well.”
“Is that so…? Fumu.”
Father, who listened attentively to her words until its very end, nodded as if he was agreeing with something.
Or rather, it won’t be so strange for siblings to resemble one another. Even when their mothers were different, half of their genetics was the same, after all.
While thinking about it, my father looked at me again.
“Seiren, have you told this to another person?”
“I have told this to Saryuu, Minoa-san, Oriza-san, and then Kuon-sensei who passed it to Jigen-san. Only to them.”
“Since Kanna accompanied me, there’s a probability that she heard about it, too.”
“Fumu. Then, let’s leave the investigation on our side to Jigen.”
After I answered, Saryuu added. After hearing us, my father concluded this case in a simple approach. Jigen-san can be greatly relied on, huh? Well, since he has done such a great feat as bringing me back from the other world.
My mother seemed to agree with that conclusion, as she nodded and looked at us sternly.
“That’s right. Seiren and Saryuu too, you can’t let this talk get to the public.”
“Yes, I understand.”
“Yeah, of course.”
That’s a given. There’s no way I can let this kind of story to be distributed to other people more than this.
In the first place, just how many people will believe the kind of story that involves things such as the other world?
I get the feeling that it was a crucial matter when I talked to my father and Taiga-san about it.
“Come to think about it, Tou-san. What happened to the magician who disappeared at the same time as my disappearance?”
I tried asking as it made me curious. Then, my parents exchanged glances at each other. Ah, something happened, huh, certainly?
“Well, normally he would be suspected as the criminals who kidnapped you. However, that suspicion was quickly cleared up. At that time, though…”
“That night, we discovered something. At the back of the mansion, there was some trails of blood.”
“That he was unable to protect you… written in blood…”
Both my parents stopped talking at that point. However, after listening to their words, I could understand what happened afterward without thinking.
I see, he died, huh? The magician. Based on the situation, I thought that I really couldn’t do anything about it.
Based on how my mother spoke, perhaps the crime scene wasn’t shown to her, as it was barely one month after she gave birth to me. No, even without it being shown to her, the damage had been done.
However, since I went to the other world, the possibility that the magician did something else was brought back again.
Perhaps father’s [At that time] was referring to it.
The magician who died after leaving the writing of how he was unable to protect me.
I wonder if I managed to stay alive at the price of that person’s life?