Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 1: Mansion and the Murder Case, Part 3】
Putting that matter aside, this sudden information placed me in quite a pickle. To be frank, I didn’t know how I should respond to such a declaration.
When I looked at her closely, she was indeed cute, beautiful even, to the point where my heart might have or might have not skipped a beat or two. Why is that? Could this be what I talked about with my sister on the phone just a short while ago? Could it be that I, Sakuradamon Jiro, had possibly fallen in love with someone other than Shiinamachi-senpai?!
「Well, ummm, Monjiro… san?」
*BA-THUMP BA-THUMP* * BA-THUMP BA-THUMP*
There it is again! Just one look at her face made me feel as if my heart was going to jump out of my chest, and with each passing second, the palpitation only became more severe! Wait just a goddamn minute, Sakuradamon Jiro! Hold your horses! I know this feeling is fresh and new to you, but aren’t you getting too excited a little too fast?! And why is your face getting so hot?! And why are you avoiding eye contact with her?! What are you, some normie getting confessed to….. oh, wait….
「Fufufu, well well, you seem to be awfully embarrassed, Monjiro-san~~ So, what are you going to do about this? When a girl musters up her courage to confess to you, don’t you think that you should give her your reply right away?」
「N-No, Onee-chan, there’s no need for that! I-I am fine with things being the way they are, and Monjiro-san seems really confused about this situation, so…」
Yugao stood between me and her sister and waved her hands in front of her face in an attempt to get this whole situation under control. Since she was trying so hard to keep the brown stuff from hitting the fan, I guess the only thing I can do right now is to tell her my honest feelings without trying to sugarcoat things. Yes, I need to resolve this like a true gentleman. Therefore…
「Ah, uhm, Yugao-chan?」
When I called out to Yugao, she jumped in place as if she was electrocuted. Her face was almost entirely red, and she looked like she was on the verge of tears. On the contrary, her older sister, Asagao, was standing behind her, giggling with a mockingly smug look on her face. It might only be my imagination, but it looked like she was having fun with this whole situation.
「It’s the first time someone has felt that way about me, so to tell you the truth, I don’t know how I should react, but I want you to know that your feelings make me very happy, and I appreciate them. If it’s all right with you, can we start with being friends for the time being?」
「Ah, yes, gladly, I-I mean, incompetent ash I am, I’ll be in your care!」
And she bowed deeply to me. Actually, she was really cute when she was stuttering like that. All in all, Yugao possessed a specific charm akin to that of a small animal, and maybe that was the reason my heart was beating so fast just now. Could it be that shy, overly-maidenly girls are my type? Come to think of it, I always react in similar way whenever Shiinamachi-senpai is acting flustered or distraught. Wow, am I really that specific of a fetishist? Questions for later, now, in order to calm down, just take a few deep breaths, Jiro my boy. Inhale, exhale, inhale exhale, inhale…
「What is it, Shiki?」
I asked Shiki as she was tapping my shoulder with her index finger.
「If you try to guide Yugao up the steps to adulthood behind my back, becoming a guinea pig in my experiments will seem like mercy to you, mark my words.」
「S-Steps to adulthood?!」
Even I couldn’t help it but to get a little red when I heard such bold words coming out of Shiki’s mouth, and Yugao reacted by collapsing onto the ground with her eyes turned into spirals and steam furiously coming off from her beet-red face. Guess that was too much for her after all.
「Oh, my poor Yugao.」
Said Asagao as she knelt beside her sister and placed a hand on her forehead while using her other hand to perform fanning motions to cool her off.
「Way to go Shiki, you knocked her out with just three words, I’m honestly impressed.」
「Yugao is not so good at dealing with males and everything that involves them, including all things even remotely sexual, so she’s partially to blame, but nevertheless, that was still amazing. I’ve expected nothing less of Shiki-sama’s sharp tongue!」
「Right? And that was me in easy mode. But I can switch to hard mode anytime if you want.」
Probably due to Asagao’s praise, Shiki gave us an outrageous proposition and a thumbs up. I could already feel a headache coming my way, so I just facepalmed and averted my gaze from her.
「By the way Monjiro-san, how are you finding the villa so far? Are you enjoying yourself? Or perhaps you think that this place is a bit mysterious?」
My thoughts, huh? Certainly, this villa seemed like a place taken straight out of a detective novel, both in its size and the general air of the entire building. After we finish eating, I’ll have to make sure to carefully study the layout of the entire building from the map that was placed near the entrance. It would be so embarrassing if I were to somehow end up getting lost while trying to find my way around.
「Let me think… those are my personal thoughts only, but this place looks like a perfect setup for a murder mystery, and having a chance to solve it could be quite fun.」
「Ehh, really? You know, I heard that a big typhoon is supposed to be coming through the area tonight, and since this villa is on an island surrounded mainly by forests, then this whole area will quite literally turn into a sealed space, so who knows? Maybe we will really have a murder mystery on our hands? Wouldn’t that be great?」
「Even if that was really the case, I really hope nothing like that will happen.」
「Even if you were the one who said that having it occur would’ve been fun, Monjiro-san? You know, there is this famous saying: Be careful what you wish for.」
They might’ve been cousins, but Asagao was really similar to Shiki in one regard: she loved to tease people. Apparently both the Yatono and Yahata families were dating pretty far back in history all the way to the feudal times, and since their very establishment, the relationship between them has always been similar to that of Lords and Knights, with Yatono being the former and Yahata being the latter. In a sense, I guess you could even compare them to Nightkin and their Vassals, minus the supernatural powers. At the very least, it was a given that both families were different from the rest of their surrounding society.
「We Yahata’s have been serving the Yatono family for generations, and as for us, protecting and serving Shiki-sama is our most important duty. Isn’t that right, Yugao, my cute little sister?」
Asagao asked her younger sister, who regained consciousness and was slowly getting back on her feet, for confirmation.
「That might be true, but having a murder occur in the villa would be terrible, Onee-chan.」
「No worries! If it happens, just leave everything to me! I will make sure to strike down any evildoers who will so much as try to disrupt the peace of this house!」
「That’s great and all, but I think we all agree that it would be best if such things were not happening here at all.」
「Yes, that would be preferable of course, but there are so many rumors and local legends about this land being connected to the murders of various kind that I couldn’t help but to see with my own eyes if they were true. A girl can dream, right?」
Legends and rumors related to murderers, villa of a wealthy family in the remote region, typhoon/stormy night, twin maids, those were all tropes and clichés commonly used in detective and mystery stories with quite a reputation to them. Maybe that was just me being paranoid, but I really hoped that we won’t get dragged into another incident like that previous one anytime soon. I had my fill of those, and I wanted nothing more but to enjoy my vacation in peace and quiet with my friends here. Can we have that please? Pretty please?
「Goodness gracious, we were talking for so long that I totally forgot that we were supposed to make a delicious dessert for our honored guests! We’ll go and whip it up right now, so please return to the dining room and wait patiently, Monjiro-san, Shiki-sama.」
With that, Asagao waved her hand at us and cheerfully ran down the hallway.
Before she went after her sister, Yugao looked up at me with flushed cheeks.
「No, it’s just that… you know… about what my sister said, please… please don’t pay it any mind!」
And she came running after Asagao after she practically shouted that in my face.
Even after she was gone, the somewhat sweet, ticklish feeling I felt when I looked at her still lingered in my heart. This feeling, I could’ve sworn that it’s exactly the same one that I felt whenever I was around Shiinamachi-senpai. But the reason why still continued to elude me.
「You feeling all right, Monjiro? The rate of your heartbeat has increased dramatically, but other than that, I don’t sense any kind of abnormalities coming from you.」
「Honestly… I’m not really sure, since it’s my first time when a legitimately cute girl told me (indirect as it was) that she had feelings for me. Up until now, I only knew the feeling of love from TV dramas, novels, and whatever my sister told me about it, so I can say with absolute certainty that I don’t know anything about it.」
「You don’t understand it, huh?」
「Yes. But if love is similar to that warm, fluffy feeling I’ve felt just now, then I’d like to know more about it.」
If love was really the emotion that made the world go around, then I guess understanding it and putting the knowledge about it to practical use were the imperative components required for functioning as a healthy member of society. And since my current self, the current 「Sakuradamon Jiro」 aspired to nothing more but being a perfectly ordinary human being, then getting to know more about it should be one of my most important goals for the time being.
「That sounded a little sketchy, but if that’s how you really feel, the you should go tell that to Kaguya. I’d very much like to see her face when she hears that.」
Shiki nodded her head with a satisfied expression, and we decided to head back to the dining hall, where the rest of our friends awaited as along with a delicious dessert prepared by the pair of twin maid sisters.