Taiga-san who held me firmly stepped behind as if he was sliding. In exchange of that, there was someone else who stepped forward. It was Saya-san who was wearing her maid uniform firmly. The thing that she held with both hands, could it be a tonfa?[1. Tonfa is a traditional Okinawan weapon similar to a nightstick.] So, it also exists here, huh?
“Seiren-sama, I’m really glad that you’re fine.”
She glanced over her shoulders and looked at me before she calmly smiled. Yup, perhaps she was satisfied at my nodding, Saya-san quickly returned her gaze towards the black-clothed person.
“Oh well, Taiga-chan, you’re quite careless, huh? You were also drugged.”
“I’m ashamed. I’m saved thanks to the detoxification magic spell that was put on me beforehand.”
As he gazed over the surroundings, Leo-san talked with his usual manner of speech. When Taiga-san replied as if he was embarrassed, I looked up at his face casually.
“Taiga-san also received the drug?”
“That’s right. Fortunately, Saya is slightly familiar with magic.”
“Though my big sister is poor at magic, I can use it to some extent just fine.”
Hee. As I thought that Saya-san was actually capable of using magic, Taiga-san looked into my face.
“…It was the same with Seiren-sama, huh?”
“It seems that magic is Oriza-san’s forte.”
With the situation being like this, I only told the facts. I think that Taiga-san would be able to understand it properly with just that, and in addition, I felt like it would be fine as long as he understood that fact.
Suddenly, the surroundings became bright. If I were to phrase it using the words from the other world, then it was a lamp similar to a street light, or rather, if there is something like that, then just use it from the very beginning! Or was it turned off beforehand by the one who came to attack us? Perhaps that might be the case.
Then, when I thought that we were surrounding the black-clothed person, it appeared that there were more black-clothed people around us. There seems to be around 10 people. The other side seems to be serious with this assault.
“Everything is fine, Seiren-sama.”
…Was I so pathetic? I don’t have any power, I also can’t do any magic, and I can only cling to Taiga-san. And since I’m clinging on him, it seems that I’m getting in the way of Taiga-san’s sword.
In a short time that I got indulged in my own thoughts, Saryuu also ran here while taking along three maids. I could see how the black-clothed people faltered for a moment when these people saw them coming. Was it unexpected for them to come?
“W-what’s going on, this…?!”
[Wha…?! Why are you still alive?!]
Oii, did you plan to kill even Saryuu, huh, you bastards?! Saryuu is originally this family’s child, you know? Why would you feel any need to deal with him as well, these guys?! Ah- damn it, why don’t I have any power to fight them? Be that as it may with me, but I don’t want to remain silent when they also target my little brother.
“Oh my-, morning, Saryuu-chan. Are you all right?”
“I’m not all right! After Tokino knocked me ‘til I woke up, suddenly there was a black-clothed person already toppled over!”
“I’m sorry. I’m not adept at magic, so I can only resort to physical means to wake you up.”
Leo-san’s tone of voice was still the same as usual. I wonder how far does this person understand the current situation?
Towards Saryuu who was still angry, Tokino-san who was next to him lightly bowed her head apologetically. Or rather, by physically, did she seriously knock Saryuu until he woke up?
“I’m sorry. Kanna and I were also knocked by Tokino and woke up from it.”
“And then, why did the drug have no effect on Tokino?!”
“It’s my genetic predisposition.”
Maki-san, Kanna-san, and even Saryuu—when you take a closer look at them, their cheeks are slightly red. It seemed like everyone was woken up by Tokino’s slap on the cheek.
Tokino-san answered nonchalantly, but just what kind of genetic predisposition does she have, for the drug to not be effective at her? Wouldn’t it be bad for her if she gets sick?
“Well, putting that aside, I have smashed up all three assassins who were sent to Saryuu-sama.”
“Only one person was sent to Seiren-sama, huh? I guess that person must be very skillful, then.”
Apparently, Tokino-san’s fists were directed right on the mark to the enemies. Or rather, the other side got all three people smashed up by Tokino-san, meanwhile, even though there was only one assassin here, but 3 maids couldn’t defeat them—just how much their ability differs?
Even so, it seems that it was unforeseen for the black-clothed person who attacked me that the other side’s three people was knocked down.
“The Shikino’s maids, too. You should have known about it the best, right?”
In response to the black-clothed person’s words, Oriza-san and then Saya-san answered.
You should know it well?
“I already know that it’s you. Show us your face, Fubuki.”
Taiga-san spat out an order. After clicking their tongue for a little while, the black-clothed person tore off their mask. The face that appeared underneath the mask was really Fubuki-san.
Then, the one who put the drug in the tea that we drank was…
“Taiga-chan, she is your maid…?”
“Yes. She promised to follow me after my father’s retirement, but…”
In response to Leo-san’s question, Taiga-san nodded with a loathsome expression. Leo-san then snorted and scowled at Fubuki-san.
Then, there was a sound of feet shuffling on the ground. It seemed that there was one person among the black-clothed people that surrounded us who slightly moved.
However, Maito-san immediately stepped forward a little bit and dealt with that movement. What’s more, right after he stepped in, he also smashed the person up. With that impressive scene, the black-clothed group’s movement was obstructed.
“The previous family head shouldn’t have handed over his headship to the young master that quickly! The young muster must have plotted something and banished the previous family head!”
Fubuki-san raised her voice that I’ve grown used to hearing. So that was their opinion.
Well, leaving the plots or intrigues aside, the previous family head… in other words, Touka-san—it’s true that he retired being the head of the family, though.
“If we can expose the treason and banish the young master, the previous family head will be able to return once more. That’s also for the sake of the Shikino family.”
“So you attacked Nee-sama for that reason?!”
“Well, leaving aside the thing about for the sake of the Shikino family, the procedural should be like that, though?”
When Fubuki-san’s words paused for a moment, Saryuu shouted, and then Leo-san speedily opened his mouth. He lightly shrugged his shoulders and shifted his gaze around the group of the black-clothed people who surrounded us. With just that, the black-clothed people’s shoulders quivered.
“Do you think that kind of a thing will be exposed through this situation? No matter how people look at it, they can only see it as how you’d want to thwart the Shikino family.”
“If Shiiya family’s children die, the young master’s position would turn bad in one go as you were the one who invited them over as guests. If the head of the Shiiya family becomes mad, we’d be able to remove his (Taiga’s) head from his neck.”
“With that, the previous family head can return and the Shikino family will be at peace? There’s no way that can happen, the possible option would be to crush the whole family down. The Shiiya family are the royal family’s relatives, so more than just their head of a family, it will also incite the anger of the royal family.”
“Then, we will just serve the previous family head until we can raise a new family name. Either way, we will have the young master and the children of the Shiiya family to die here. The same goes for you.”
Ah, this is not good. The conversation isn’t going so smoothly.[2. As in, the other party didn’t seem to comprehend what they said, and the conversation seemed to be in a disharmony due to it.]
Fubuki-san and the others seemed to be very determined to kick out Taiga-san and to have Touka-san return, or they have set their heart on that goal. Could it be that they knew that he wasn’t Shikino Touya, but instead, the younger brother Touka? It was quite possible, if I may say.
Or rather, so they targeted me for that, huh? If they just go and directly kill Taiga-san, it’s very easy to guess that the ones who did it were Touka-san’s people. Despite the sequence of events that led them to change the head of the family. Ah well, it doesn’t look that way in public, though.
That’s why, they targeted me who is Taiga-san’s fiancee. Though I’m quite certain that it’s still easy to guess that the mastermind is Touka-san’s people even if they also targeted me. However, if it were to be known to public that I were to die in Taiga-san’s mansion, Taiga-san’s fame would also fall because he wasn’t able to protect me.
…Though I can’t be sure whether the fief population would leave Taiga-san with that or not.
“If you said that you wanted to protect the old Shikino, then that’s fine. However, the current head of the Shikino family is me.”
Then, the person involved—Taiga-san himself was in an extreme anger. That kind of reasoning was quite preposterious and embarrassing, but well, that’s a secret.
“It’s also quite ridiculous for you to want to lay your hands on Seiren-sama. If you don’t leave immediately, I will dispose everyone of you in the name of the head of the family.”
That’s why, don’t say it. There’s no way they’d just consent by just having the blade of the Shikino family head turned towards them.
And certainly, if something were to happen to me, the relationship between the Shikino and the Shiiya family will be ruined—even I can understand it.
Nevertheless, Taiga-san glanced at me for a moment. Despite I know how seriously angry he is, why is it that he’d go smiling only when he looks at me? Really, for being able to change his expression so quickly like that is amazing. I’m honestly impressed, and I’m so happy with that, as it feels like a special treatment.
“It’s all right, Seiren-sama. As long as Leo-sama intervenes, we won’t be at a disadvantage at all.”
“That is right-. Fufu, please be rest assured. Though I may appear like this, I still understand how to use my authority.”
“…I see. Seiren-chan, you still don’t know much about me, huh? As expected of a girl who has led a sheltered life.”
Leo-san squinted his eyes as if he was really having fun. His gesture of raising his reddish hair was quite amorous, and it was at a level that I couldn’t match at all. Nn, no, this is no time for me to say such a thing.
Or rather, authority, he said, huh?
“My name is Sumeragi Leo. Though you don’t know my face, but this name and this wax seal type, you should have recognized it, right? With the exception of Seiren-chan.”
After listening to that name which Leo-san just brazenly introduced himself as, Saryuu and everyone from the black-clothed group stiffened their bodies. Uhm, since it’s weird for me not to recognize it, is it a name that is well-known at the same level as a common sense?
Towards them, Leo-san nimbly turned the back of his right hand and showed it to them. When I looked at the gem embedded in his ring… No, it isn’t a gem. It’s a wax seal stamp in which the crown mark was engraved.
It’s the same crown mark that’s used in the wax seal of letters sent out by the royal family.
Ah-, uhm, is this it? The pattern that I usually see in historical drama?
Which reminds me, I have never heard anything about the royal family. It seemed to be a very common sense that nobody hadn’t told me at all, huh?
“Our country is managed by the royal family of Sumeragi. The head of that family is the king, and that king’s first child is his Highness, Leo. Make sure to engrave that in your mind, peasants!”
Ayato-san’s voice as he said the expected words reverberated in the night sky.