Campione! / Campione! Vol 8 Chapter 2


Chapter 2 – Seeking the Mysterious Devil King, the
Campione- FINALE
Part 1
During the long weekend in early October, Kusanagi Godou had
unexpectedly headed to Nikkou.
A week had already passed since surviving the life-and-death struggle
there and his subsequent return to Tokyo. Also, certain changes had
occurred in the affairs of the young devil king.
Getting out of bed early as usual, he made himself presentable.
A cool, refreshing and sunny autumn sky could be seen outside the
window.
Today seemed like a good day. Feeling satisfied, Godou went to the
entryway and was putting on his shoes when-
“Onii-chan is up so early today as usual… Are you meeting that person
again?”
He heard a voice from behind.
“Persevering from day one, your astounding devotion truly overwhelms me
with admiration, Onii-chan. The seeds sown under grandpa’s edification
sure are flourishing, aren’t they?”
Her voice was lovely but it carried a peculiar sting.
Godou turned around to find his little sister Shizuka standing there,
sneering with clear derision.
“…How often do I need to tell you until you admit you’re wrong? Show
some faith in me already.”
“Then prove me wrong through your behavior. And anyway, it is strange for
you to go wake Erica-san up every morning just because she’d oversleep
otherwise. Absolutely strange! And lately, you’ve started meeting lovers
openly in front of the house — or rather, having illicit trysts, even!”
The accusations left Godou silent.
Then she began nagging along the lines of ‘Don’t you feel ashamed before
our dead grandma’ and so on.
Godou hastily left the house to escape Shizuka’s clamor. He felt like he
had had a similar conversation in May, but back then he had not met this
girl yet.
“Good morning, Kusanagi Godou.”
It was a dignified greeting, without even the slightest hint of sleepiness.
She – Liliana Kranjcar was as lovely as a silver fairy and possessed
dazzling noble spirit worthy of her title as a knight.
Liliana always got up earlier than Godou and waited in front of his house.
“Morning. Early as always?”
“Naturally. As your premier retainer, getting up after my king is
unforgivable. Please do not confuse me with Erica in any way.”
After exchanging greetings, they made their way side by side.
Denouncing her self-indulgent old friend, Liliana’s expression was a bit
rigid.
“In the first place, for you as her king to go wake her up every day is truly
putting the cart before the horse beyond acceptable limits. Seriously, Erica
is always doing as she pleases…”
“Come on, don’t be like that. It’s not like it’s that inconvenient for me.”
This silver-haired knight had been manipulated by the [Diavolo Rosso] ever
since their childhood days.
A lot of resentment must have piled up. It was reasonable for her to get
worked up into a vicious tone of voice.
“But she seems to stay up late so often. What is she busy doing anyway?”
“Erica is exceedingly diligent when it comes to matters she judges
essential.”
Liliana’s unexpected answer was accompanied by a sigh.
“Other than martial arts and the study of magic, she also devotes herself
towards cultivating public relations as well as the planning, design and
execution of various projects.”
Godou nodded, understanding.
While Liliana kept Erica at arm’s length, she clearly recognized her talents.
Their association ran long and deep; it was impossible for strangers to
fathom the intricacies binding the two of them. And somehow or other, this
might be why they made such good partners, too.
“Oh my, good morning. You’re early as always.”
Someone suddenly called out to them.
The shopping street of Nezu’s Area 3 was virtually devoid of people during
early mornings.
The current rare exceptions were Godou, Liliana, and the passing old lady
who spoke to them. Dressed in a kimono, she seemed rather elegant and
dignified.
Godou and Liliana properly greeted her “good morning” in return and
bowed their heads.
The old lady responded to their polite greeting with a gentle smile.
“Lately you’re always with girls, aren’t you? Slowly but surely, you’re
starting to resemble your grandfather.”
…Was she smiling because of his female companion instead of the
greeting?
This old lady was a teacher of flower arrangement who had moved here
four years ago. Apparently a lot had happened between her and Godou’s
grandfather in the distant past. Soon after she moved here, Godou had
witnessed the two of them reuniting in a chance encounter at the shopping
district. Letting out cries of “Oh” and “my” and smiling meaningfully at each
other, they seemed like long lost friends.
After hearing Ichirou point out his grandson, she had smiled fondly at
Godou.
Ever since, she would always call out gracefully to Godou whenever they
met on the streets.
As a side note, she still seemed to be a spinster even at this age.
“Uhm, she is my friend and recently started coming to pick me up.”
“Yes. You could say he and I have cordial relations or that we have sworn
ourselves to partake in life and destiny as a single soul. At any rate, this is
no ordinary amorous affair for our deep relationship is founded upon bonds
of undying loyalty.”
Liliana supplemented Godou’s introduction.
Her choice of words was rather exaggerated, but that’s how she was, and
for some reason or another they had made a similar promise.
And after the battle with the Great Sage Equaling Heaven, Liliana had
unilaterally declared victory and began to follow Godou closely like a
shadow.
She had also announced to the other girls: She was Kusanagi Godou’s
premier knight and grand chamberlain. They should clearly understand that
it was her duty, Liliana Kranjcar’s, to manage their king’s private affairs and
control women’s access to him.
In response to this declaration, Erica and Ena had objected harshly in
unison while Yuri’s eyes became clouded with sadness.
But as soon as they heard about Godou and Liliana’s promise, all the girls
turned towards Hikari at once. The twelve-year-old hime-miko apprentice
smiled cheerfully and diplomatically declared her support for Liliana: “I
have no objections. Please take care of me, Liliana-oneesama.”.
Her words astounded Erica, caused Ena to pout, and deepened the gloom
in Yuri’s eyes.
But in the end, everyone agreed to the silver knight’s proposal. As a side
note, Godou’s claim of ‘How did it become Liliana’s win? I don’t get it at all’
was flatly rejected.
And after some time…
Although Godou had winced at the sudden appearance of his grand
chamberlain(!), he grew accustomed to it as days went by.
Unlike the beginning of the second school term when Liliana’s
overenthusiasm drove her to obsess over the tiniest of details, in recent
times she was gaining Kusanagi Godou’s gradual acceptance as an
unobtrusive existence by his side.
Such was the current state of affairs when he encountered the old lady in
the morning.
Godou had reached an understanding with Liliana’s declaration to ‘partake
in destiny’ at the same time as his own epiphany for the sake of the battle
against the Great Sage Equaling Heaven.
However, wouldn’t normal people misunderstand if they heard?
Contrary to that sudden concern, the old lady smiled faintly at them.
“Well, hehehe, this sure takes me back. Long ago, I also made a similar
promise with Ichirou-san. I wonder how many years ago that was…”
Did something like that really happen between this old lady and his
grandfather long ago?
Godou was intrigued but refrained from asking. After a bit of gossip, he
parted with the old lady and continued on his way, accompanied by Liliana
who tried her best not to step on his shadow^ 1 *
This was when he got a message on his cellphone.
He read it as he walked. It was from his childhood friend Tokunaga Asuka.
‘Why are you involved with a girl in the morning? It’s too early to fuck
around!’
Godou was being assaulted by undeserved abuse, accompanied by an
angry smiley.
Asuka’s parents owned a certain sushi restaurant in the shopping street of
Nezu’s Area 3. She must have been watching the shopping street from her
home and restaurant without Godou and Liliana noticing her.
Why was she so inexplicably easy to anger, just like Shizuka…
Puzzling over this longtime problem, Godou closed his cellphone. It might
be a good idea to introduce her to Liliana and Erica sooner or later.
Hopefully, the misunderstanding could be cleared up at that time.
“Is something the matter, Kusanagi Godou?”
“Not really. There are just so many people around me who like to say
whatever they want. But as long as they eventually realize it’s all a
misunderstanding, there’s no need for me to get worked up over all the
nagging… That’s my take on it anyways.”
He was the one to decide his own path.
Whether that path turned out to be a fate of fortune or suffering, it didn’t
matter what other people said as long as he and the comrades following
him understood.
When he articulated his unaltered thoughts, Liliana nodded vigorously.
“How fitting of a king’s resolution. You have truly become reliable,
Kusanagi Godou.”
Undoubtedly offering heartfelt approval rather than sycophantic flattery, the
loyal knight accompanied her lord Kusanagi Godou as he headed for Erica
Blandelli’s apartment building.
The two of them arrived at the entrance to Erica’s flat.
The mistress and her personal maid lived on the tenth floor of this high-rise
mansion.
But when Godou and Liliana crossed the threshold as usual, they were
welcomed by a girl who should be completely unrelated to this flat
whatsoever.
“Good morning, Kusanagi-sama. It’s been a while, Liliana-sama. Would
you two like an espresso?”
A beautiful girl sat at the living room table, bringing to her lips a cup that
overflowed with the fragrance of coffee.
That was none other than Karen Jankulovski.
Liliana’s maid and apprentice witch for the [Bronze Black Cross] magic
association.
“What do you mean, ‘it’s been a while’… We were at home together until I
left this morning. Karen, when did you come here to Erica’s place?”
“While you were meeting Kusanagi-sama of course, Liliana-sama.”
Questioned by her silver-haired mistress, the maid in her early teens
smiled nonchalantly.
Dressed in casual clothing instead of her maid uniform, it meant she was
here in private.
“Not too long ago, I advised Liliana-sama to investigate Kusanagi-sama’s
past, but actually conducting it proved to be rather time consuming…
However, thanks to Liliana-sama acting proactively with such vigor lately, I
finally have some free time to myself.”
Karen smoothly made a momentous confession.
Was that it? Those details that precipitated the wager the other day?
Godou remembered.
Godou glanced at Liliana to find her face twitching a little. So that’s the
reason. Liliana directing her attentions to investigate such a weird subject
turned out to be Karen’s suggestion.
“Today being my day off, I thought it’d be nice to pay my friend Anna-san
an occasional visit. Ah, it never occurred to me that I could peep into how
Kusanagi-sama’s and Liliana-sama’s honeymoon play would go, not in the
slightest. Don’t get me wrong.”
She sounded like she had confessed her ulterior motive, but Godou
decided to let it go.
The other maid came out from deeper inside.
“I am terribly sorry. Since Godou-san arrived, I went to check on
Erica-sama, but… Again, she is still in bed.”
Arianna Hayama Arialdi, nicknamed Anna, was very apologetic.
“Well, it’s just the usual. By the way, you and Karen are friends?”
“Yes. We became acquainted auspiciously by chance. Really, Karen-chan
is so much younger than me and she’s already so reliable.”
Smiling cheerfully, she answered Godou’s question.
This typical cheerful and trusting naivety, was not only characteristic of
Miss Arianna but also her greatest distinguishing feature. Well, ignoring the
fearsome existences of her pot-stewed cooking and dangerous driving
skills for now.
“Alright, I’ll go wake her. You don’t mind, do you?”
“Of course not. I’ll leave Erica-sama in your care, thank you.”
Even though this had become the daily routine, Godou still felt it would be
improper to enter a girl’s room directly without consent from a member of
the household.
Immediately after Godou had followed his good sense and received the
OK from Anna:
“No, Kusanagi Godou. Leave this to me. She may be like a devil, but a
man should not set foot in a woman’s bedroom so easily. Do not forget that
I serve by your side for occasions such as this.”
Godou was taken aback when Liliana called him to a stop.
Right. He had been swept up by the flow and gone to rouse Erica from bed
every morning, but that was really improper after all. Liliana’s objections
had made him recognize that once more.
“I see…! Can I trouble you to go instead, Liliana?”
“Most certainly. Even at the cost of my life, I shall fulfill your imperial
decree without fail!”
This conversation resembled a king ordering the extermination of the devil
king and a hero responding in return for loose change.
Anyway, on Godou’s orders, Liliana set off on her expedition to Erica’s
bedroom.
Their sense of morality and justice was really similar. That made her easy
to get along with.
He had felt this ever since the fight with Perseus in Naples. As long as her
thought processes did not derail, her affinity with him was outstanding.
–They waited for a moment.
Before long, they could hear voices from Erica’s bedroom.
“Lily!? How insolent of you, coming to wake me up instead of Godou! Know
your place! I won’t forgive you for interfering with my sweet morning
moment with Godou!”
“No, you know your place! I have never heard of a knight who needs her
lord to rouse her from bed every morning! And you still call yourself an
honorable great knight, a descendant of the Knights Templar?!”
“I am the special exception, for I’m Godou’s lover! So you stop interfering!”
“Ha. I, Liliana Kranjcar, am Kusanagi Godou’s premier knight and also his
grand chamberlain. Even if you are his lover, I have the authority to put you
in your place should you be impertinent. Therefore my interference here is
exceedingly justified! Will you stop grumbling about these trivialities?”
“Oh really, premier knight and grand chamberlain? Why don’t you add
another title, third mistress?”
“W-What!?”
“Understand, Lily? Since times immemorial in China, eunuchs have
managed the emperor’s sexual life. They were given this right and
permitted to frequent the premises of the harem because they were not
‘women.’ Yet you want to wield power over other girls while being one of
Godou’s women yourself? My, what a great deal you have going there.”
“N-No, that is not what is going on here. Ultimately that is just a historical
similarity…”
“Yes, but history proves the rational justification of such an existence. I can
accept the outcome of Godou’s foolish wager, and even approve your
management of his private affairs, Lily. But you won’t interfere in his lovers’
relationships! If that’s what you really want, you must first give up being his
woman. How about it?”
“Uh, no, that is, uhm, what should I say, ehm…”
Erica had partially acknowledged Liliana’s argument, but refused to
concede any further beyond that.
It was one of the basics and the pinnacle in the art of negotiations.
Although she was no morning person, she was still able to verbally subdue
Liliana immediately after getting up. Erica’s wits were just that impressive.
Nodding next to Godou, Arianna was going ‘my, my’ in amazement as she
witnessed the knights’ battle of words.
With an impish expression that seemed to be saying ‘just as expected,
developments stemming from the Nikkou trip are truly worth looking
forward to,’ Karen secretly laughed to herself. Godou deliberately ignored
her.
Anyhow, it was a lively morning.
Kusanagi Godou’s days always started in such a turbulent manner.
Part 2
In the end, Godou, Erica and Liliana headed to school together.
The three walked together on the well-trodden way to school. As
evidenced by the many passersby who kept staring at them, it was
apparently highly conspicuous for a highschool boy to be accompanied by
blonde and silver-haired beauties. Nevertheless, he had already gotten
used to this.
Kusanagi Godou was so adaptable it even surprised himself.
After all, he had also grown accustomed to his more-than-unnatural
constitution as a Campione after around a week.
“Well, I actually had many objections to the details of how Lily became
your grand chamberlain.”
Erica was muttering with a displeased expression.
“Gradually I’ve come to think it might not be too bad an idea. If I cling to
you all the time, it would be more difficult to expand the roster of Kusanagi
Godou’s ‘Round Table.'”
“…My Round Table?”
“Exactly! You know it, right, the legend of King Arthur’s Knights of the
Round Table?”
England’s legendary king. The daring knights who had gathered from all
the directions to join under his banner.
The big, circular table where they sat around was the Round Table. The
13th century king, Edward the First of England, was the one who
“discovered” the original and had a replica made as decoration for
Winchester Castle.. 7 2]
“Over the past six months, the name of Kusanagi Godou has spread
among the magi and wizards throughout the world. It’s time for you to take
the next step.”
As Godou recalled historical trivia in his mind, Erica explained further.
Hearing that, Liliana interjected.
“In short, you are saying that Kusanagi Godou should take you and me, as
well as Mariya Yuri, Seishuuin Ena and others to form his independent
group or association?”
“Yes. The more Godou’s power and influence rise, the more people trying
to gain favor will appear. Of course, there will also be those who show up
out of paranoia or overreaction. Even amongst the upper echelons of my
[Copper Black Cross] or Lily’s [Bronze Black Cross], there should be some
who are trying to make use of Godou’s power somehow.”
“So to ward off that chaos in advance, you want to unite the followers
bearing Kusanagi Godou’s flag. From now on, we should also maintain a
certain distance from the associations we owe allegiance to.”
Liliana sided with Erica’s proposal with well-matched additions.
At times like these, the red and blue knights made for a good combination.
“But you know, if I want to live peacefully all along, do we really need to go
so far?”
“Godou, even if you insincerely put on airs as a pacifist, it’s completely
unconvincing whatsoever.”
“Refusing to face your own disposition and true nature… I must point out to
your face that bad habit of yours, Kusanagi Godou. Hypothetical situations
with no hope of coming true are meaningless.”
Even when trashing him they coordinated with perfect timing.
Damn them, how could they describe him like a beast starved for blood!
Erica ignored Godou’s teeth gnashing and continued.
“Then here’s a question: From here onward, someone needs to lay down
the groundwork in various areas, to enter diplomatic negotiations with the
former organizations of girls who choose to follow Godou, and to build an
organization characterized by discipline and ambition. I believe that aside
from me, Erica Blandelli, there is no other suitable candidate, is that
correct?”
The question held unshakable conceit.
Of course, neither Godou nor Liliana could find words to refute her.
“Now, in order to maximize my full potential I will need to travel all over the
place. In that case, leaving Lily who excels as both a bodyguard and a
housekeeper to support Godou by his side is not a bad choice of personnel
deployment.”
I see, so that’s the idea. Godou nodded.
“So, Godou, you don’t mind if we proceed in that direction, do you?”
“I think nothing bad will come off it if I leave matters in your hands, so no.
But that Salvatore Doni doesn’t have a faction either, does he?”
The Campione who was the ‘alliance leader’ ruling over the magic
associations of southern Europe.
Using soccer as an example, that role would be something close to a
national coach.
Without a subordinate association, he was served by at most a handful of
private staff. However, he was able to summon important magi and knights
during times of emergency. Regardless of affiliation, all were under his
command.
Usually, he neither controlled nor commanded. He was the [King of
Swords] ruling southern Europe’s world of magic by laissez-faire.
Couldn’t things work like that for Godou too?
Ruling over those who admired him in order to form a faction. Doing things
in such an ostentatious manner felt repulsive to Godou.
“Imitating that person should prove difficult. Sir Salvatore achieved his
position by refusing to aid any individual person or faction. Nor does he
form emotional ties with anybody. I don’t think you could do the same,
could you, Godou?”
Godou had to agree with Erica.
Certainly. Given his personality, ‘not helping anyone’ was impossible. Just
like the path he had taken so far, he would continue to meet various
people, get close to them, become comrades and they would help each
other out, no doubt about it!
After attending a full day of classes as usual, it was now after school. Erica
was apparently busy and hurried out of the classroom first. Godou, on the
other hand, fell into deep thought as he looked at the message he had
received on his cellphone.
The content of the message was as follows:
From: Koudzuki Sakura Title: ‘Godoh-kun, help me!’
Body: Please! There’s another thing I want you to help me with regarding
that great devil king from the other day. Could you assist me?
“…What should I say, this stinks of trouble.”
Godou guessed as much simply from experience rather than a Campione’s
intuition.
A month earlier, he had gone about with his second cousin, Koudzuki
Sakura, to search for the great devil king. Amakasu had passed the baton
to Liliana and, lost as for what to do about it, Godou had suggested ‘How
about we say… Liliana suddenly had to make an urgent return to Milan,’ to
roughly bring matters to an end.
When he passed the word to his naive cousin, she believed him in blind
faith. Since then, Sakura never brought up the topic of Liliana again.
“What is the matter, Kusanagi Godou?”
“Well, the truth is…”
He briefly explained the situation when Liliana came to his desk.
As one of the people involved and familiar with Sakura’s temperament, the
silver-haired grand chamberlain frowned lightly.
“…This smells of trouble.”
She voiced the same impression. Well, it should be the right guess.
“That’s how it is, so I’ll go check up on her. Let’s split here for today. Since
we said you aren’t in Japan, it’d be troublesome if you came along.”
If it was going to be trouble anyway, he should just take it in stride.
Liliana pondered Godou’s decision for a bit, then said:
“No. In that case, why don’t we do this…”
Godou nodded at the knight’s plan and they immediately went into action.
About an hour later, Godou arrived at Akinomizu Women’s college.
It was a famous ladies school in the Bunkyou Ward. A place where a first
year high school boy would be intimidated by the mere thought of
approaching it.
He entered a fast food restaurant near the school and instantly found the
one who was waiting for him.
Godou quickly headed towards her table.
“Ah, Godoh-kun! Over here! Long time no see!”
Sakura called out to him while waving energetically.
Due to her lovely, childish face and diminutive stature, she was often
mistaken for a middle schooler.
However, the girl next to her was even shorter and had an even more
childish face.
…Was she in fifth or sixth year of elementary school? Her graceful features
could probably pass for an artiste. Her long hair was apparently naturally
curled and she was wearing a fluttering one-piece dress. Lovely as a doll,
the young girl stood out excessively.
“Ah, Godoh-kun, let me introduce. This is Renjou Fuyuhime-chan, the first
friend I made in Tokyo.”
The introduced elementary school(?) girl snorted with derision.
Then she closely scrutinized Godou and said piercingly:
“You meant this guy when you mentioned that relative’s child who could be
of service? He seems conceited.”
Renjou Fuyuhime’s manner of speaking was unusually aggressive.
For some reason, her sharp and severe gaze was focused somewhere
above Godou’s head.
“Uhm… do I look that conceited?”
“Of course! Why do you tower so high even though you’re younger than
Sakura and me! Are you trying to tire out my neck, forcing me to look up at
you, is that it!?!”
Her complaints were like an outburst of anger delivered with all her might.
The girl called Renjou Fuyuhime seemed to possess a complex over her
lack of height. And while only sixteen years old, Godou stood almost
180cm tall. Was that the reason for the unreasonable remark just now?
No, wait, there was one more important remark. ‘Younger than Sakura and
me’?
“Are you perhaps the friend in the same year that taught Sakura about
magic…?”
“Ah, you remembered? That’s right. Fuyuhime-chan is my magic teacher.
She’s sooo knowledgeable and teaches me new things all the time!”
Godou looked at Fuyuhime in astonishment. He had never expected to
meet anyone more child-faced than Sakura. The wonders of nature never
ceased to amaze.
Come to think of it, Miyama-san in the class next door also looked like a
little child. But rather than being of the same age, Fuyuhime was older
instead… At this point Godou suddenly noticed.
Her family name was “Renjou.” That meant she was—
“Hey! What are you doing, staring at people!”
Fuyuhime suddenly told him off.
Without conscious intent, Godou had been staring at her doll-like face.
“Ahhh, you weren’t thinking something impertinent, were you!? Like, you’re
so short or midget or shorty or something!”
“Calm down, Fuyuhime-chan! Godoh-kun may be tall, but he would never
make fun of you.”
Godou ignored Sakura and the fuming Fuyuhime and went straight to the
point.
“Leaving that aside, Sakura-san, what did you want my help for?”
“Ah, right. Uhm, actually Fuyuhime-chan finally decided to tell me the
name of the fearsome great devil king. Previously, she had been agonizing
in fear of getting me involved.”
Godou’s wariness heightened. He hadn’t been found out, had he?
Had the overly naive cousin found out Kusanagi Godou’s secret?
“Around a week ago, news was received that Toushouguu in Nikkou had
started repair work, right? Apparently the one who destroyed that place
was also the great devil king, so Fuyuhime-chan got really scared. That
person might also do something horrible to her.”
“But Sakura said she’d accompany me to visit that great devil king who
commits every evil imaginable.”
As Sakura nestled closer to her, Fuyuhime face’s brimmed with resolve.
Godou became even more nervous. If she belonged to the “Renjou family,”
she would know his name for sure. She wouldn’t say it, would she!? She
wouldn’t say that name in front of the very campione in question, would
she!?
“That’s why I have made my decision! I won’t run anymore and before I fall
to his evil grasp, I’ll go to him first and give him a good piece of my mind! I
will resist that hated enemy of womankind, ‘Kusasagi Goroh’!”
Kusasagi Goroh…?
Godou felt like he was completely drained. Who the heck was that!?
“So you see, Godoh-kun. Fuyuhime-chan has already investigated the
people close to Kusasagi-san. We decided we will now go around and
demand his location from those people… Would you please come with
us?”
Sakura asked him with those subconsciously pleading eyes.
As the saying goes, if eating poison don’t forget to lick the plate. But was
this also part of it…?
While exhausted, Godou nodded and agreed to go along with Sakura and
Fuyuhime.
They got rid of the trash as was customary in fast food restaurants.
While the two college girls were gone with their trays, Liliana whispered
into Godou’s ear.
‘I wonder what the deal is with that Renjou girl? I believe she belongs to
one of the four families, Sayanomiya, Seishuuin, Kuhoudzuka, and Renjou,
that have deep ties with the History Compilation Committee.’
“Yeah, I thought so,” Godou whispered back.
Liliana was using [Concealment] magic.
Last time, she had used the same spell to become invisible on the grounds
of Nanao Shrine. That was how she had been following Godou secretly.
“But it’s strange how she remembered my name like that… Come to think
of it, Amakasu-san said something about using memory tampering magic
to confuse her. Could that be the reason?”
That night after Godou had gone to Aoyama with Sakura, Amakasu Touma
had mentioned over the phone.
At that time, he had said something about using hypnotism magic.
‘Really? That would be worrisome. If you use that kind of spell on someone
who understands magic, their memories could come back at the slightest
chance impetus.’
“Eh!?”
If that was true, the deception wasn’t really reliable at all.
‘It seems better if I confirm matters with Amakasu Touma first. If possible, I
will also confirm with Sayanomiya Kaoru at the History Compilation
Committee. I will take my leave here and visit those people. Is that all
right?’
“Yes, thanks. I’ll continue keeping an eye on the situation with these two
for now.”
Godou felt Liliana’s presence fade away.
Having gotten rid of their trays, Sakura and Fuyuhime returned shortly.
Rather than full of motivation, it would probably be more accurate to
describe their faces as fulfilled looking.
Part 3
Under Fuyuhime’s leadership, Godou and Sakura came to Akihabara.
Rather than an electronics district, it had evolved in recent years into more
of a town for niche hobbyists. Fuyuhime entered a store located in the
outskirts away from the main street, Chuuoudoori.
The building before their eyes was a hub of a multitude of businesses.
The signboard was obvious to the eye.
‘Maid Cafe – CurePure’ ‘Innocent Maid Tea House – Disruption’ ‘Maid Yum
Cha Chamber – Peerless Statesman’ ‘Maid Relaxation – Go To Heaven’
‘Maid Dispatch Service – Plutonium Thermal’ …
Apparently they were all shops and businesses with the concept of maids.
Godou then remembered his three classmates Nanami, Sorimachi and
Takagi. Those guys had suggested for the class to do a ‘school swimsuit
maid cafe’ during the next school festival. Needless to say, the girls
rebuffed them.
“Could you tell me why we came to such a place?”
“Apparently the disciple of the great devil king, the campione, frequents
this place.”
Fuyuhime replied to Godou with great emphasis in tone.
He didn’t remember having a disciple, so what was this about?
“1-1 wonder, a disciple of the devil king would be a magic practitioner,
wouldn’t he?”
“That’s not what I heard. At the mere age of three, he made a splendid
display of his unarmed skills in front of a kungfu-type Campione who
proceeded to remark ‘This child is truly a prodigy, most gifted and showing
great promise!’ and thus accepted him as a disciple.”
Hearing Fuyuhime and Sakura’s exchange, Godou thought to himself.
He had an idea of the woman who would attach undue importance to such
lines.
Are they referring to that particular guy? Given that eccentric misogynist,
how could he possibly be a regular customer at a maid cafe… but before
his thoughts could finish.
A boy passed before his eyes and entered the multi-tenant building.
Unmistakable. Staring at the profile of the boy’s face, Godou really knew
him. However, the shadow of obstinacy and arrogance disappeared from
his handsome features as soon as he spotted Godou.
“If it isn’t my Honored Uncle! What brings you to this place?”
The moment he noticed Godou, the boy called out with a surprised
expression.
The only person in the world to call Godou ‘Honored Uncle,’ his name was
Lu Yinghua. He was the young master of Hong Kong’s Lu family and also
the personal disciple of the Demonic Cult Leader Luo Cuilian.
“The reason I am in Japan, and Akihabara at that, is for business and
business alone.”
Lu Yinghua told them as he brought a cold oolong tea to his lips.
After their sudden reunion, he had led Godou’s group to the Maid Yum Cha
House ‘Peerless Statesman.’ With that, they occupied a table and began
the conversation.
Furthermore, once everyone had taken a seat, maids immediately served
drinks to them.
“My Lu family has already established bases in Japan at Shinjuku and
Ikebukuro, you know. In order to expand into the prosperous district of
Akihabara, we started running this building.”
“…Could your family be behind all the maid-whatevers here?”
“Yes. We entrusted things to my boys stationed here and it ended up like
this. At the time, I mentioned it might be better to sell cheap PC parts or
doujinshi^ to attract customers, but my boys got all excited about the maid
theme park, so, yeah, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try and gave the okay.”
He sounded more like the boss of a new venture than the triads.
So that was the kind of business his family dealt with in such a place. And
apparently, people like the Three Idiots existed everywhere…
While Godou was impressed by Lu Yinghua’s explanation, Sakura
interjected.
“Hey, hey, Godoh-kun. This boy calls you uncle. Is he maybe part of our
clan? Although I’ve never met him at New Year’s…”
The Kusanagi family had a custom to get together every New Year’s to
catch up and renew old friendship.
Not only the main family, but even the branch families gathered there from
all over the country. This enabled one to remember the names and faces
of essentially all the relatives, whether by blood or marriage.
“There are all kinds of delicate circumstances. Please don’t probe any
further, Sakura-san.”
“…Ah. I see. It must be Grandpa or Aunt Mayo or Uncle Genzou… Your
side of the family is also quite complicated, isn’t it? Alright, I understand!”
Sakura accepted Godou’s half-baked excuse with a nod.
At times like this, Godou was amazed he could actually feel thankful for the
notorious reputations of his grandfather and both his parents. On the other
hand, on hearing this exchange, Lu Yinghua turned to Sakura for the first
time.
“What, you’re one of my Honored Uncle’s relatives? Excuse my rudeness.
Hey, somebody, get some food over here!”
He had ignored the girls, Fuyuhime and Sakura, so far, but as soon as he
learned of Sakura’s identity, he immediately became extremely courteous.
Very soon, a maid came over with a tray carrying some dim sum.
Xiaolongbao^, shrimp dumplings^, pork dumplings^, mini-sized
steamed buns with pork filling, steamed peach-shaped buns filled with
custard cream…
These colorful and exquisitely shaped articles of food were laid out all over
the table. Godou picked a shrimp dumpling as a test. Delicious. The fresh
and springy texture of the shrimp was out-of-this-world. In contrast to the
maid uniforms, the taste was authentic Chinese.
“Godoh-kun, he is such a good boy, right!”
Sakura was overcome with emotion from being treated to the superb dim
sum.
On the other hand, Fuyuhime was harshly glaring at Lu Yinghua all the
while.
“Enough of this trivial stuff, tell us where Kusasagi Goroh is! I already
investigated beforehand, you are that Campione’s disciple, no doubt about
it!”
“…What?”
Lu Yinghua narrowed his eyes at Fuyuhime’s domineering attitude.
Godou did not fail to catch the shadow of killing intent that flashed for an
instant.
“Miss, you said something strange right now. I am who’s what? And with
that conceited tone of yours? Since you’re in my Honored Uncle’s
company, I’ll let the first time slide. Should there be a second time, prepare
yourself for the consequences.”
“…Hya!”
The rather quiet warning sent Fuyuhime cowering back in fear.
Lu Yinghua relaxed his dreadful glare after Godou casually winked at him.
“…Well, let’s leave it at that. I have some mundane business to attend to,
so please excuse me. Honored Uncle, I hope to speak to you alone on a
separate occasion. I would like to rely on your extraordinary insight for a
certain matter. Now, take care.”
Lu Yinghua stood up from his seat and departed after performing a martial
arts salute.
After that, they waited for the shivering Fuyuhime to recover and left the
shop together.
Outside the building, the petite yet domineering girl finally opened her
mouth.
“H-He was more difficult than expected. Let’s ignore this place and
proceed to the next destination.”
“Fuyuhime-chan, are you alright? Stay strong!”
Sakura directed words of encouragement at Fuyuhime who had set out
towards a new goal.
“O-Of course I’m alright! I am still the heiress to the Renjou family of
distinguished pedigree. As if I’d lose to that gangster from Hong Kong!”
Hong Kong’s Lu family was reputedly in the business of heroic outlaws
(Chinese triads), and hence a clan who operated extrajudicially.
Fuyuhime’s words revealed that she also knew his background. Right,
wasn’t she also the one who had instructed Sakura in ancient German?
Equipped with such knowledge, should she be treated as a member of the
four families after all?
Blissfully unaware of Godou’s evaluations, Fuyuhime led the group to
Toranomon station.
Their destination was a shrine not far from there.
Entering the grounds of Nanao Shrine required a climb of 300 stone steps.
It was the place where Godou’s acquaintance worked as a miko — Looks
like Fuyuhime really checked up on me beforehand.
Next to the nodding Godou, Fuyuhime explained to Sakura:
“Located here are two miko that Kusasagi Goroh has made into his
playthings. Furthermore, they are sisters and the younger one is still in
elementary school! Can you believe that!?”
“Heh!? That’s so dirty, such a thing! As a person, that is no, no good!”
Don’t comment. Don’t inject unnecessary emotions.
Godou desperately tried to keep his feelings in check.
While complaining about the man-eating demon who wore the skin of a
man, the two college girls entered the grounds. Godou followed wordlessly.
Along the way, Fuyuhime repeatedly tried to call out whenever they met a
Shinto priest.
But the priests quickly left after greeting with a nod. Even when Fuyuhime
called them to stop, they did not stay.
“Th-th-the-th-the daughter of the Renjou has arrived! How can these
people be so rude!?”
Fuyuhime was angry, but her anger was ill-judged.
The priests were actually running away because they saw Godou… In fact,
this was the usual reaction. Unless Godou himself called to them, they
would never approach on their own initiative.
In the meantime, the group arrived before the oratory hall.
The precinct was entirely covered with gravel.
Two girls in miko attire were standing around. Naturally, they were the
Mariya sisters.
“Ah, Onii-sama! Welcome! What brings you here today?”
“Well, if you were going to come, you should have said so… I will prepare
tea right away.”
Mariya Hikari waved to him with a cheerful, dazzling smile.
Mariya Yuri welcomed him with a graceful, refined smile.
The sisters showed their affection for Godou each in her own way. It was a
thing to be treasured.
Lately, the little sister Hikari often said ‘One day, I will also join Onii-sama
by your side, so when the time comes, please love me like the others
without distinction.’
It sounded a bit strange, perhaps that was her own way of expressing
attachment?
When the older sister heard that, her face turned troubled, but remained
beautiful and gentle as always. Ever since the conclusion of the battle with
the Great Sage Equaling Heaven, Godou felt the bonds between him and
Yuri had mysteriously strengthened.
The atmosphere was just right, or they had gotten used to each other…
Even without saying much, just by being in the same room, they felt
vaguely fulfilled. That was the feeling.
But, that aside, there was the current problem of his two fellow travelers.
“Oh? They are also friends of Godoh-kun’s? Somehow the coincidences
keep continuing—”
“Ah, yeah. There are days where you meet friends one after another like
this, aren’t there? I’m quite surprised too.”
When Sakura pointed it out, Godou could only make a lame excuse.
His naive cousin innocently laughed ‘Yepyep. Because you’re always doing
good deeds, the gods must have rewarded you.’ The beauty of her soul
was magnificent.
Renjou Fuyuhime, on the other hand, kept quietly shooting doubtful stares
at Godou.
“Ahh… I’m not here today for anything in particular. These two said they
had business here so I’m simply accompanying them. Apparently, they’re
looking for someone.”
The Mariya sisters nodded “huh?” at Godou’s explanation.
With that, Fuyuhime recovered her original vigor and sharply declared:
“You are the Mariya sisters, huh? I am Renjou Fuyuhime. You should
know of me, right, the daughter and heiress of the Renjou family, a position
even higher than you hime-miko, right? Listen, I must meet that brutish
devil king, that campione, Kusasagi Goroh. Call him here at once!”
As always, her manner of speaking was meaninglessly self-important.
However, the Mariya sisters were not impressed. They simply inclined their
heads and looked at Fuyuhime in wonderment like some sort of rare beast,
then proceeded to glance at Godou.
Indeed, the Campione in question was standing right beside them. One
would not normally make such a demand.
The sisters were probably perplexed as well. Godou made a troubled face
and shook his head.
Thereupon Hikari instantly replied.
“Ehm… I’m sorry, but that is forbidden.”
Although she was in the sixth year of elementary school, she was
admirably smart. She had already grasped the situation.
I’m saved… Just as Godou thought so, Hikari pressed on.
“And I’m sorry again. I believe the Renjou family has not yet named their
successor. Some time ago, Ena-oneesama from the Seishuuin said so.”
What? In that case, Fuyuhime was not a wizard related to the Renjou
family…?
Godou was surprised. Fuyuhime on the other hand looked angry as her
lips began to twitch.
“Th-that’s not true! I will become the next head of the Renjou family!
What’s the deal with you anyway, just because that dirty campione has
been a tiny bit affectionate with you, you belittle others? Listen, the Renjou
are one of the four families, we’re not someone you can make fun—”
Although she spoke faster and faster with greater intensity, she had lost all
momentum by the end.
With an awfully scared look on her face, she gulped down her jeers.
She looked as miserable as a dog with its tail between its legs. But she
was not the only one scared. Mariya Hikari was also looking in terror at the
elder sister next to her.
“The successor to the Renjou family – is that what you said you were?”
Mariya Yuri was whispering calmly, with the beauty of sagacity itself.
“Then I shall converse with you as if you were an informed descendant of
the four families. Your current behavior is an affront to the devil king whom
our nation has addressed as the Rakshasa monarch since ancient times,
as well as to those who serve him with reverence. Showing the appropriate
respect in regards to him is the foundation of manners, it is a custom. One
who cannot comply to that is not qualified to be a member of the four
families. Know some shame!”
As Yuri reprimanded, her beautiful face displayed the imposing intensity of
a yakshini.^
Godou reflexively ducked. Only Sakura was tilting her head in puzzlement.
Completely unfazed by Yuri’s pressure, Sakura’s inability to read the mood
was truly magnificent.
“Furthermore, your inability to show respect to us miko who have inherited
the title of Hime constitutes impudence unbecoming of the four families.
Leave. You are not qualified to stand on the holy grounds of Nanao
Shrine.”
She flatly deported Fuyuhime.
As expected of a Hi me- Miko. She possessed solemnity and sublimity
beyond any normal young lady.
At some point, Fuyuhime was on the verge of tears. Although she had
been so domineering in attitude, she turned out to be not that courageous
after all. Godou decided to step forward and offer her an escape route.
“I’m sorry for my companion’s weird demands. She’ll come apologize
another time, so we’ll take our leave now. Come on, Sakura, let’s take your
friend and go. See you later!”
The forcible goodbye brought down the curtains.
Patting his cousin on the shoulder, he prompted her to take Fuyuhime
along.
Along with the two girls, Godou left the Mariya sisters behind. He decided
to send them a text message later to apologize and explain the situation…
“Fuyuhime-chan, if you ask the way you did earlier, anyone would get
angry-. You need to do it gently!”
“1-1 know! B-But those hime-miko earlier were just too rude!”
The group of Godou, Sakura and Fuyuhime was on the move.
This time they were on the way to Aoyama.
“Could you tell me why we are going there?”
“Urgs. Since long ago there have been many magic practitioners near
Aoyama Doori. I heard lately an evil witch, an associate and mistress of
Kusasagi Goroh, has been hanging around there lately. *Sniffle* I will
capture that woman and this time I will find that devil king for sure!”
Fuyuhime answered Godou’s question while sniffling.
She looked like she would cry if she relaxed. Apparently she was rather
incompetent. Standing next to her, Godou thought: She had managed it
twice, a third time would certainly follow…
They entered a small side street a bit away from Aoyama Doori.
Street stalls and little shops sat in rows. It was the area where Godou had
come with Sakura for her question one month before.
Fuyuhime was heading for the focus store [Kogetsudou] in one corner of
that area, explaining that the female shopkeeper there was like the
representative of the Aoyama neighborhood.
When they came to the shop, Godou pressed his ear against the door.
He tried to hear what was going on inside. Fuyuhime and Sakura seemed
surprised by his suspicious behavior, but they still copied him.
They heard two women talking.
‘In short, you are trying to get the latest scoop about the Committee from
me?’
‘Could you phrase it more pleasantly please? What I want are details of a
personal nature rather than anything of crucial importance. Such as, which
girlfriends Sayanomiya Kaoru went on dates with last week, or that
Amakasu-san actually has a wife and kids, that kind of stuff. Of course, if
you come across any latest news, you can always tell me later.’
‘You’ve already paid me for my services and you’re satisfied with this little?
I love helping people, you know.’
Tm pleased by your offer, but your prowess is not sufficient to hide things
from the Committee. Even someone better than you would find them
difficult to handle… And all I want to know are those people’s interests and
personalities. Whether as enemies or friends, knowing more can only be
beneficial.”
They were smack-dab in the middle of a clandestine conversation.
Earlier that morning, that particular girl had mentioned plans for a “Round
Table.” Of course, the plan also included reconstructing their relationship
with the History Compilation Committee.
In accordance with that plan, she was gathering useful information in order
to conquer them?
Godou was greatly impressed. Like Liliana had said, Erica was really
diligent when it came to matters she judged essential.
Then Renjou Fuyuhime took a deep breath before the door.
With a determined expression, she reached for the door knob and
vigorously threw it open.
“I’ve finally found you, Italian witch who serves the devil king Kusasagi
Goroh! You might feel like you are something big because they call you
[Diavolo Rosso] or whatever, but to me you’re as good as dead! Obediently
tell me where the Campione lives!”
Having finished this declaration in one breath, Fuyuhime was subjected to
the inquisitive stares of the people inside, the shopkeeper of [Kogetsudou]
and Erica Blandelli.
The Milan-born blonde beauty smiled with great amusement.
“…Godou, I leave you alone for just a few hours and you already found
someone with such distinctive talents. What in the world is the idea here?
She is together with the Campione, Kusanagi Godou, and yet she asks me
to tell her his address?”
Of course, Fuyuhime and Sakura heard her response loud and clear.
Part 4
“Hm, what do you mean by that?”
Sakura inclined her head, bewildered. Godou’s head was spinning about
how he should fix this, when…
His cousin suddenly collapsed to her knees and fell forward like a puppet
with its strings cut.
Hurrying before her, Godou found her peacefully asleep, breathing calmly.
“Looks like I made it just in time.”
Someone spoke behind him. That husky and seductive voice belonged to
someone he knew.
He turned around to find Sayanomiya Kaoru standing there. Liliana, whom
he had parted with a few hours earlier, was also present.
“Letting the situation deteriorate any further would be troublesome, so I
magically put Koudzuki Sakura to sleep,” reported Liliana as she
approached.
“Fuyuhime, regarding your problematic behavior, you will be properly
lectured and punished accordingly.”
“Wan… P-P-Please forgive me, Kaoru! I’ll definitely be a good girl from now
on!”
“No way. How many times have you tricked me with those words? Please
come this way, Godou-san, and everyone else as well.”
Kaoru was speaking with a refreshing smile while Fuyuhime was cowering
in panic.
Fed up with the whole affair, Liliana sighed. Godou and Erica blankly
exchanged glances.
Leaving Sakura to continue sleeping in the care of the [Kogetsudou]
shopkeeper, they went outside.
Since there was little vehicular traffic in these parts, it was fine for the
group to gather on the side of the road. Godou, Erica, Liliana and
Fuyuhime stood around Kaoru as she started the conversation.
“I only became aware of the situation because Liliana paid me a home
visit. As you may have guessed, Fuyuhime here is indeed the Renjou
family’s eldest daughter. Originally, she was meant to become the next
family head like Ena or me or Kuhodzuka’s Mikihiko-san and work for the
History Compilation Committee.”
Kaoru brought up names of important people that Godou and the others
knew.
Come to think of it, due to being controlled like a puppet by the witch
Asherah, Mr. Kuhoudzuka Mikihiko’s mind and body had been severely
weakened, and he was currently being treated at a Committee-affiliated
hospital.
“Unfortunately, Fuyuhime’s body has an exotic constitution which cannot
store magical power. Unable to use spellcasting techniques , she was not
chosen as a hime-miko, naturally.”
Godou recalled Salvatore Doni’s past.
That man apparently suffered from the same condition before he became a
Campione.
“Well, it’s actually not a requirement for a head of the four families to be an
excellent spellcaster. As long as she made a clean break and focused
herself on the duties of an organization head, it would’ve been fine.
However, Fuyuhime developed quite a complex over her dwarfishness and
inability to cast spells… Consequently, she always had difficulty getting
along with others and was thus unsuited for field work, resulting in the
current situation.”
The talentless Fuyuhime had put her all into studying and apparently
stockpiled a great amount of knowledge related to wizardry.
But what she desired were “practical” techniques. It was such a sad story
that Godou could not help but pity her.
“Well, she is a troublemaker who disclosed Godou-san’s information to his
relative sleeping inside there, so I’m not 100% sympathetic.”
“The one who made her mis-remember Kusanagi Godou’s name, must
have been Amakasu Touma after all.”
Liliana added as Kaoru shrugged beside her.
“Were Renjou Fuyuhime a normal wizard, she would likely regain her
memories. However, for someone on a layman’s level, the probability isn’t
that high. His measures were appropriate.”
Hence, Liliana and Sayanomiya Kaoru had decided to subdue the
out-of-control Fuyuhime directly.
Brought up to date on the situation, Erica nodded.
“…Looks like all sorts of amusing things happened. So Kaoru-san, how are
you going to punish this troublesome girl? You’re not going to acquit her of
all charges, are you?
“Let’s see… maybe we should call in a hime-miko specializing in the spirit
power of mental manipulation to give her amnesia…”
Kaoru’s dangerous suggestion made Fuyuhime cower and tremble again.
“Oh poor thing, maybe I’ll simply throw her into a nunnery to train for a
decade so she can spend all her time to reflect and improve her
character… How about that?”
“Ka-Ka-Ka-Ka-Kaoru! W-W-We are childhood friends, right? Are you going
to throw me to the wolves?”
“As one of the organization leaders, I have to prioritize discipline over
personal ties. Showing you leniency would set a bad example.”
Kaoru shot a glance at Godou at this point. It was a meaningful look.
“Actually, she didn’t cause me any real trouble, so can’t she be forgiven
this once? About me being a Campione… The only one she told was
Sakura-san anyway.”
The whole commotion was like a farce. However, if they let Fuyuhime off
too easily, it might happen again.
Feeling he had more or less grasped Kaoru’s intentions, Godou had cut in.
“It’s not quite fair for me to speak, considering I’m her relative and all… But
even if Sakura knew about devil kings or something, I don’t think she’d be
able to do anything major.”
“The king hath spoken! In that case, she shall be granted a special
pardon.”
Kaoru bowed her head in reverence then turned around to Fuyuhime.
“That’s how it is, so let us express our utmost gratitude to the king. There
will not be a second time! You’ve also heard lots about how fierce
Godou-san can be, right?”
“W-What’s going on? Why are you bowing down to a commoner, Kaoru!?”
“That’s because Godou-san here is Mr. Kusanagi Godou, the very one we
call the Campione. Hasn’t Amakasu-san’s [Derangement] spell worn off
yet?”
“HIHHH! l-l-l-ls that how it was?”
About to faint from shock, Fuyuhime fell on her backside. Her legs had
given out.
Nevertheless, she continued to look up at Godou and stuttered as she tried
to say something.
“Uhhh-uhm, I didn’t mean it, but c-c-c-corporal punishment or chastisement
is still in order, right? It must be something terrible, right!? Of course, as a
daughter of the Renjou, I will resolutely accept punishment, but p-p-painful
or scary things are a bi— ”
“It’s fine already. Nothing is going to happen.”
She had become inarticulate and her choice of words was baffling. Still,
something resembling Fuyuhime’s gratitude made it across.
When Godou nodded generously, Kaoru also made a wry smile.
“Well, this concludes the incident. Godou-san, Liliana-san, Erica-san, sorry
for the trouble and thank you for your cooperation.”
“You’re very welcome. I think it was a worthwhile opportunity for me to find
out what an open-minded person you are, Kaoru-san.”
The one who replied like the mistress of the house was Erica, naturally.
Despite having done virtually nothing, her attitude was grandiose. She
freely showed off her subconscious talent for taking the spotlight, no matter
the time and place.
“No matter the kind of relationship, dealing with disingenuous people is
simply unpleasant. But with Kaoru-san and Amakasu-san, I should not be
bored, at least.”
“You’re welcome. …Ah, right, Godou-san.”
At the end, Kaoru asked him with a sly smile.
“Why not simply add Fuyuhime to the ranks of your army of paramours one
day? It seems like the next step.”
“What next step!? Please stop joking around before this turns into another
weird rumor!”
A few days later in the Kusanagi residence.
Together with Sakura whom they had invited for dinner, Godou and
Shizuka were sitting around the dining table.
As a side note, their grandfather was away on some business. In the
master of the kitchen’s absence, the siblings and the cousin had made dry
curry^ and salad, together with all kinds of oven-roasted vegetables for
just the three of them.
“After that-, Fuyuhime-chan has completely calmed down-.”
With a smile all over her face, Sakura reported her friend’s recent state.
Because she didn’t like spicy things, that night’s curry was made especially
sweet for her.
“She says that thanks to talking things over and receiving care from her
distinguished childhood friend, she doesn’t need to seek Godoh-kun’s help
anymore.”
“I see. That’s good to hear,” Godou perfunctorily answered and put some
curry in his mouth.
After the events, Godou had returned to [Kogetsudou] alone to wake up his
cousin.
He explained that Fuyuhime had been called by her family and had left
already. When Sakura wondered why she had fallen asleep, he simply
tricked her by saying it was probably anemia.
Now, as for Erica’s statement she had heard just before falling asleep…
‘Did that girl say something about Godoh-kun?’
‘Nope, I think you misheard.’
Sakura firmly believed his arbitrary explanation.
Next to him, the shopkeeper of [Kogetsudou] was listening with a ghastly
pale face, but of course, she did not interrupt Kusanagi Godou.
“Hmm. Looks like Onii-chan was a little useful to Sakura-chan.”
Shizuka’s self-important comment caused Sakura to nod with a big smile
on her face.
“Yep. Godou is really reliable… Ah, right. Lately, Fuyuhime-chan frequently
furrows her brow in deep thought…”
Godou had a bad premonition as he tasted the dry curry.
Too sweet! Just as he thought, he really should have spiced up his own
portion.
“Fuyuhime-chan said, you know, ‘As I thought, maybe I should maximize
my charms as a woman to aim for the top. I need to use everything at my
disposal…’ And she asked me to give this to you, Godoh-kun.”
With that, Sakura held out a letter.
“Somehow, Fuyuhime-chan wants to become penpals with Godoh-kun to
develop a closer relationship. And some day she must obtain a high
enough position surpassing that distinguished childhood friend, she said. I
don’t really get what she means though.”
Sakura probably did not understand the true meaning of her friend’s words
for real.
Smiling without a care in the world, she handed the letter over. Godou
found her smile too dazzling, while Shizuka’s severe gaze looked like
trouble.
“What’s this about, Onii-chan? I thought you were discussing things with
Sakura-chan, so how did it come to this? Explain the situation properly!”
Of course, Godou had no intention of answering his little sister’s request.
Carelessly muttering ‘now what might that be about’, he single-mindedly
munched his curry.
And then it struck him. His grandfather was strangely competent at playing
the fool when things got inconvenient. Surely, it had to be a skill honed
through one too many similar experiences.
References
1 . t trying not to step on someone’s shadow: In (Japanese?) magic,
shadows have several meanings. One is the element opposing light,
but it is also viewed as part of the soul. As such, it is sometimes seen
as rude to step on the shadow of others, especially superiors.
Alternatively, it’s a reference to a Japanese children’s game where a
child, the it, needs to step on one of the other children’s shadows to
make that child it, rinse and repeat.
2. t Replica Round Table at Winchester Castle: Ask
Wikihttp://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_Castle
3. t http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C5%8Djinshi
4. t Xiaolongbao: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaolongbao
5. t Shrimp dumplings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Har_gow
6. t Pork dumplings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shumai
7. t Yakshini: a broad class of female nature spirits from Hindu
mythology, known to be beautiful but
vengeful. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakshini
8. t Dry Curry:http://justhungry.com/japanese-dry-curry

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