Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist Editor: Weasalopes
【Episode 2: Heart and Heart, Part 4】
「Also, you seem to be forgetting one tiny, but ever-so-crucial detail, Monjiro. Since Asagao and Yugao are twins, then it wouldn’t be hard for one of them to impersonate the other.」
Shiki was right. The only way for me to distinguish between the two was their hairstyles and personalities: Asagao was the lively twin with a ponytail, and Yugao was the shy, timid one with twintails. Thankfully I didn’t made a blunder of not distinguishing between the two of them so far, but if they decided to switch places for whatever reason without telling anyone first, then I think I wouldn’t have been able to tell that they switched at all.
「But you know, I’m pretty sure that it was Asagao whom I helped with the trees in the courtyard, and after we were done there, she said she’s going straight to senpai’s room to join you all.」
「And she did just that. We ended up playing around for quite a while after that.」
「And Yugao-chan didn’t come to you at all?」
「Nope, she never did.」
After we agreed to meet without telling anyone she said that she 「Will go inform Onee-chan and the others that you’re taking a bath and I still have something to do, so I will join them all later, so can you please wait for me in your room?」. I wonder, was that 「something to do」 actually her procuring the murder weapon, the knife, for herself?
「In the end, neither of you showed up, so we started to worry, and Asagao even went as far as to say 「The two of them must be having a romantic time of their lives somewhere, so maybe we should go ruin the fun for them, nishishishi~~!」 with that usual smug smirk on her face.」
I see. If that was the case, then Asagao being the actual culprit was certainly not entirely out of the question. After all, Yugao did tell me to wait for her in my room, but when she came, she told me that we should change locations for safety’s sake. Then again, there is this whole issue of my encounter with that older Asagao in that strange dark space after I died. She seemed somewhat different, but familiar at the same time.
「Even if they did switch places, I think the one who came to my room and told me to go to that study with her was definitely Yugao-chan.」
「It would seem so.」
Shiki looked like she was pondering something as we continued to walk side by side at a steady pace. I wondered where were we heading, exactly? If she knew that I was going to get back to life, then there’s no way that Yugao-chan would just sit quietly in her room, pretending that nothing happened.
We walked to the entrance hall from the first floor, and headed in a counter-clockwise direction. If I remember correctly, that was where the bathroom on the ground floor was located.
「That reminds me, how much did Yugao told you about her blood?」
「The blood of the Yahata clan, you mean?」
Just a mention of it made me feel my stomach tightening.
「…Yes, Yugao-chan told me about it, and how it attracts the Knights of the opposite gender. I didn’t want to believe it at first, but after witnessing what she was talking about firsthand, I have no choice but to accept it. When I was looking at her, it felt like I was no longer myself, my head felt heavy and fogged, and that my male urges were on the boiling point.」
「In other words, it felt like you were drunk on a strong aphrodisiac?」
Once again Shiki hit the bullseye with her conjecture.
「But I still can’t believe that she went as far as to strip in front of me. I’ve known her only for a few hours of course, but she’s was getting flustered at the slightest sign of anything remotely sexual. Shiki, are you sure that she and her sister are do not have a third sister or something?」
「Such a thing is not impossible.」
I meant to say that last part as a joke, but the reply that I have received was dead serious.
「In every generation of the Yahata clan, there is always at least one pair of twins, and they are almost always bound to be born with special abilities or talents. Also, the probability of the mother of such twins dying during childbirth is very high, and after that, they are raised by other family members and receive the 「Priestess」 training. When I met them for the first time when we were very little, their training was already well underway, so it wouldn’t be all that strange for both of them to possess powers that could even rival the strongest of Nightkin Gifts.」
「Their powers as those… 「Priestesses」 are that amazing?」
「No, not really. I just wanted to say it because it sounded cool. Training aside, they were just normal, cute girls.」
From what I understood, both sisters went through something similar to my assassin training when I was younger, and it matched with Yugao’s words, and that made me think: did Fujisato had to go through something similar just because she was born as a Lord? I really hoped that was not the case, because having a girl go through such a brutal way of life where there was no place for friendship or happiness would be inhuman, even for Nightkin standards. And what about Shiinamachi-senpai. She lost her memory so there was no way for her to remember, but she told me once that she thinks her past holds some kind of secret related to her.
Up until now, I thought that the girls from my surroundings have all been living an ordinary, peaceful lives. If they didn’t have it in the past and only managed to obtain it now, then as their friend, and as a man, it’s my responsibility to help the protect it and treasure it. We are at the peak of our youth, after all. It would be great if we could make it the best time of our lives that we will always remember and look at fondly.
「Monjiro, is it just me, or are you looking more fired up than ever?」
「I am, but the reason for it is kinda embarrassing, so I won’t tell you.」
「If you’re feeling embarrassed, then that means your emotions are still intact. You have no idea how happy this makes me feel.」
I don’t know if me being embarrassed is really that big of a deal, but if Shiki’s happy then I’m happy for her too. Oh look, I think I can even see a faint smile on her lips! I think I mentioned this before, but she’s really good at tugging at my heartstrings.
「So, uhm… about those abilities that the twins poses?」
「Yes, Monjiro? What about them?」
「What are their abilities, exactly?」
「I regret to inform you that I do not have any information regarding that matter.」
「So like, you’re cousins, a close family, and they didn’t told you something that important?」
「The Yahata’s and Yatono’s are related, yes, but we are not allies by any measure.」
Well that’s the first I heard of it. That’s kinda messed up now that I think about it. I mean, Fujisato and Shiinamachi-senpai are both Lords and they are cooperating with one another by sharing information and protecting one another, but Fujisato decided to do that only after we defeated her an Kuhoh in battle. Going by Shiki’s logic, If it wasn’t for that, then she probably wouldn’t lend us her hand in this current crisis.
「In other words, even if they technically serve us, nothing stops the Yahata’s from plotting behind Yatono’s back to overthrow us and take our place as Lords for themselves.」
That was quite a big reveal, and yet she delivered that information to me in her usual detached manner void of any kind of emotion.
「But wait, aren’t you on good terms with those two?」
「We were, but that was years ago when we were little. After that, we kinda drifted apart I guess.」
This time her words were ice-cold, and she didn’t even hesitate to speak them. Moreover, she just walked forward without looking at me, keeping her eyes straight forward. At that moment I thought that she sincerely hated them, but then I saw that she was clenching her tiny fist up so hard that her hand was shaking. Just what happened between those three that they ended up like that?
I can’t say that I know what Shiki is thinking, hell, I can’t even say that I know her all that well, but what I do know is that she’s not the kind of person to hate someone or hold a grudge without a reason. She might be saying that they’ve drifted apart, but I’m sure that in reality… yes, that might actually be the case.
「You care about those two, aren’t you?」
That made her stop right in her tracks.