Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 1: Mansion and the Murder Case, Part 9】
「Why would I want to make making girls flustered my hobby?」
「How am I supposed to know?! Maybe because you really are a man whore at heart? Jesus Christ, Monjiro-san, see what you did here, making me say such things unconsciously?!」
「There, you said it yourself now! Un-con-scious-ly. It’s not like I’m doing it on purpose! I am not that sick in the head!」
「And that’s exactly what makes me worried about Yugao! My sister might be extremely shy and somewhat naive, but she’s a good child, and cute to boot while we’re at it! She’s never been interested in guys before, and yet the second she sees you, she gets all dreamy-eyed and absent minded! How are you going to explain that, Monjiro-san?! If it’s not some man whore witchcraft, then I don’t know what is!」
It’s great that you worry about your sister so much, but aren’t you getting a wee bit overprotective here? Maybe Yugao-chan is not as quiet and timid as you think she is, and she was always interested in matters related to love and romance, but she was always bottling those feelings up for your sake? And besides, the proverb 『It’s always the quiet ones you have to look out for 』 exist for a reason. But since that comment might be a little rude to say out loud, I’ll just keep it for myself.
「How about this then: why don’t you and Yugao-chan join us at our party in Shiinamachi-senpai’s room? That way you’ll be able to have some fun with us and confirm that I’m not a womanizing man whore (I don’t want to speak those words ever again). Fujisato and Kuhoh are asleep already, but I’m sure that both Shiki and Shiinamachi-senpai will vouch for me.」
「Fine, bring it on! Hey, Yugao!!!」
Asagao waved her hand and shouted at someone who apparently stood behind me, and sure enough, when I turned around, Yugao was there, approaching us from the other side of the corridor. The moment she saw me, she immidiately got all timid and fidgety again, and likewise, I could also feel certain nervousness and anxiety creeping its way back into my heart.
「Ah, g-good evening, Sakuradamon-san…」
She bowed to me politely with both hands on her chest, but as soon as we’ve made eye contact, she blushed crimson red and turned her gaze away in a hurry. Seriously, why is she always reacting like that whenever she sees me? And more importantly, why am I always reacting the way I do?! Breathing deeply, I fixed my glasses in an attempt to calm down even a little.
「W-What are the two of you doing here, Onee-chan?」
「Ah, you know, discussing various interesting topics, some of them more adult than others.」
In a flash, her nervous face changed into a shocked one.
「And to top it off, Monjiro-san invited us to Shiinamachi-sama’s room where he and his friends are having a party! Isn’t that great, Yugao? A golden opportunity for us to confirm whether or not Monjiro-san is the man worthy of you!」
「O, O-O-O-O-Onee-chan, w-w-w-w-w-what are you talking about?!」
「Confirming whether or not Monjiro-san is a man whore or not of course!」
「MAN WHO… ABABABABABABABABA!!!!」 (TL Note: Damn, Khaos-sensei noises are strong in this one. Shout out to everyone who watched Comic Girls and understood that reference.)
Emitting a series of high-pitched noises from her throat, Yugao-chan waved her hands in front of her face in a rather futile attempt to cover her extreme embarrassement. Seeing her acting in such an expressive fashion, I couldn’t help it but to get a little jealous. If only I could express my emotions as freely as her…
「Uhm, Sakuradamon… san? Is, is what Onee-chan saying true?」
Probably still dumbfounded from hearing her sister’s sudden words, Yugao-chan looked at me with teary puppy-dog eyes. This sight alone was enough for me to agree with Asagao’s statement that her sister was cute to boot.
「Well, it’s true that I invited the two of you to play with us, but that second part is just Asagao-san’s delusions.」
「O-Of course it was something like that, r-right? I-I know it won’t mean much, but I’m sorry you if my sister teased you too much, but t-that’s just… who she is, so…」
「I get it, Yugao-chan, you don’t have to beat yourself up over it, it’s not like I’m mad about it or anything. Once you start hanging around Shiki, you kinds=a get used to things like that… but I digress. Long story short: You coming to senpai’s room to play together with us?」
「I see no reason why not.」
「W-We’d love to, but before we do that, umm… maybe you’d like to… t-take a bath? I-I mean because you look completely drenched, and if you don’t warm your body up, you’ll most definitely catch a cold, and that’s something that we absolutely cannot allow as the head maids of this mansion! And that goes for you too, Onee-chan! S-So, with that said…」
「R-Right, bath. Yes, I’ll do that, thank you for your concern.」
Hearing the word 「bath」, a certain pleasant memory popped back into my head and refused to leave it, no matter how hard I tried to think about literally anything else. It was a recollection of that one time when I took a bath together with Shiinamachi-senpai. Even now, quite some time after it happened, I could still vividly remember every little detail of it. Senpai’s curvaceous, towel-wrapped body and the droplets of water that made it shine like diamonds, the sensation of her voluptous chest pressing against my back as she was washing it for me, the blissful anticipation when her towel came undone… and the disapointment when it turned out she was wearing a swimsuit underneath. All in all, it was one of my most treasured experience of my entire life, but also the one that probably shaved a fair amount of my lifespan off of me. Ever since then, every bath I took was reminding me of that lucky happening, making my bold boil.
「You can take your time to warm yourself up in the bath here on the ground floor, Monjiro-san I’ll go to Shiinamachi-sama’s room and wash myself up there. Yugao, go and show him the way to the bathroom and come upstairs as soon as you’ll be done with that, okay?」
「Huh? W-Wait, O-Onee-chan!」
Whistling happily, Asagao ran through the corridor and up the stairs to the first floor without looking back. I hope she won’t slip up and hurt herself because of her wet clothes.
「W-Whatever am I to do with you, Onee-chan…?」
Yugao-chan, on the other hand, looked quite perplexed by this development. I on the other hand, managed to remain calm and collected. As I said before, I owe my resistance to strange happenings to Shiki’s shenanigans, as ironic as it sounds.
「Looks like your sister can also be quite a handful when she wants, huh, Yugao-chan?」
「Y-Yes. She’s usually dependable and has her bearings straight, but there are times when she… she likes to tease me a little bit too much.」
Oh, trust me, I know exactly how that song and dance goes.
「Well then, shall we go? Or is this whole situation bothering you too much? If so, I can find a way on my own, so you don’t have to…」
「N-No, it’s fine, r-really. This is my duty as one of the maids of this villa, so I’ll see it through to the end.」
She clenched her tiny fists, and walked forward beside my while grasping the hem of her skirt tightly. Even though this situation was visibly difficult for her, she still wanted to do her best and do her job properly. It was quite admirable for someone so young.
That’s why I thought that what Asagao did and said before she ran of was, to put it mildly, highly inconsiderate of her sister’s feelings, and made me feel sorry for her. Perhaps I should talk to her about it next time I’ll have the chance…
「Yes, what is it?」
Even though she was more than thirty centimeters shorter than me, she still she still made sure to look me in the eyes properly, even if she had to look up and strain her neck to do so.
「I-I’m sorry if I’m being a hindrance, but there’s something I’d like to say to you, so would you be willing to listen to me?」
「I know that I’m being a bother to you, Sakuradamon-san, but I have to tell it to you no matter what.」
I wonder if it is something that she could not talk about while her twin sister was around? As I was pondering that, Yugao-chan brought her face closer to mine, and whispered into my ear in a quiet voice that was almost unhearable:
「 『Something Dark』… is among one of the girls.」
Yugao swallowed hard, and nodded her head.
「You see, my ability… is to sense the 『Evil of This World』 … like, sometimes I can see visions, vestiges of evil spirits, unfulfilled grudges, and sometimes even demons or phantoms who refuse to move on. Sometimes they are very clear, and sometimes mudded and unrecognizable… but this time I felt it clearly like never before… that something dark is going to appear in this villa, and that it’s going to be among one of your companions.」
So that’s why she wanted to ask me for advice, huh? Because I am the only non-female member of our group. That information she revealed was quite unexpected, but if this 『Something Dark』 she mentioned is the same thing as the 『Darkness』 that is related to Shiinamachi-senpai’s risky day, then hearing what she has to say cannot be a bad thing.
「All right, I’ll listen to what you have to say. Tell me as much as you know. Oh, but before that, can you please drop the 「Sakuradamon」 bit? You can just call me Monjiro like everybody else.」
「Eh? So… does that mean that you… believe me? You don’t think I’m crazy?」
She was surprised, but so was I. Who would’ve thought that I’ll be having a nice chat about the Occult with someone like her?
「Lords, Knights, supernatural powers, assassins, secret moves being passed down for generations… if I were just your ordinary high-school student, I’d have probably labeled anyone who believed in such nonsense as crazy, but since I became a part of such nonsense myself… well, you know. Let’s say that after what I’ve been through lately, I’m more than willing to listen to some more crazy talk, especially if it can shed some light on the current situation.」
「Is that… so? You really are amazing, Sakuradamon…. Monjiro-san.」
Suddenly being praised like that made me feel a little troubled.
「Since we’re about to talk about something important, why don’t we go to my room. At least it’ll be better than talking out here in the open.」
「Y-Yes, that’ll be for the best indeed. If it isn’t too much trouble, would you mind going ahead and waiting for me? I’ll go tell Onee-chan and the others that you’re taking a bath so that they wouldn’t get overly suspicious.」
「Fine by me.」
That’s what I said, but truth to be told, my imagination was inadvertently running wild again. I mean, this was like the reversal of my first meeting with Shiinamachi-senpai, except now a girl would be visiting me in my room… NO! Get your sh*t together, Jiro. You’re not going to do anything lewd, you’re going to discuss serious matters that could prove vital to overcoming yet another of senpai’s risky days.
I put one of my hands on my chest to stop my heart from beating loudly like a church’s bell.
「No, it’s nothing. I’ll see you later then.」
Yugao bowed before me again, and made her way towards senpai’s room, where all the girls were gathered. I could still faintly smell the sweet fragrance of the shampoo she apparently used to wash her hair, and it made my heart flutter again. In order to calm myself down, I adjusted my glasses once again. After shaking my head to the sides for a few times, I slowly made my way back to my room, forgetting about the fact that I was supposed to take a bath first.
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