Chapter 1424. Next Mission / The Sense of Normalcy
「 Grandfather 」
Matsumoto Maki and Miki are trembling as they saw their grandfather from inside the limousine.
Their faces show fear.
I have some doubts.
Why are they so afraid of their grandfather?
Earlier, the siblings mentioned that they want to reconcile with their grandfather.
How is it possible that they’re so afraid of someone they feel kinship with?
「 Nii-san forgot about it 」
Luna replied to my thoughts.
「 Why? 」
「 Nii-san, you were scared of your Father and Mother before, weren’t you? 」
My blood parents?
They abandoned me, so I abandoned them too.
「 Recall your childhood, Nii-san 」
When I was a child, no, even just six months ago.
I was afraid of my parents.
They just took control of me, putting me in that narrow space in the kitchen.
I never had a conversation with my mother.
My father never complained about mother, and just let me continue the terrible life she’s giving me.
I was afraid of my parents when I was young.
I still remember that feeling.
「 Nii-san, you do remember why you were afraid, right? 」
「 Logic doesn’t go through them 」
I speak out.
「 I had no idea what they were thinking. I didn’t know what they want to do with me, or why they were tormenting me 」
I get to sleep on the kitchen sofa, have only one box of personal items, and minimum food. It was a big house, but all the rooms except for the kitchen were Mother’s rooms, and I wasn’t allowed to enter anywhere else.
Why did mother do that to me? Why did Father just let it happen.
And above all that, I was scared because I had no idea what my parents wanted to do with em.
Then, eventually, my parents abandoned me, left that house, and never returned.
「 It’s the same with Matsumoto-san 」
「 They don’t understand what their grandfather is thinking, that’s why they’re afraid 」
Miki-san and Maki-san both had talents in music, and they want to continue their studies even after their father had died.
Despite that, Elder Matsumoto wants to stop his granddaughters from studying music.
Talking about going to normal school, sell their late father’s violin, and other high-pressure absurdities.
As I recall, both sisters were even told to become pharmacists in the future and work at the drugstore he owns.
The Matsumoto siblings can’t understand their grandfather.
「 They’re relatives, so they want to be in good terms, but that’s still different. They are afraid of what they don’t know 」
Luna looked at the sisters and said.
So that’s how ordinary people feel and think.
Earlier, Minaho-neesan told me to learn how to treat normal people.
I’ve been feeling less normal in the past six months.
Both the Black Forest and Kouzuki house’s lifestyle has made me a bit numb.
「 Kurose-san 」
I look at my recently hired personal bodyguard.
「 Yes? 」
「 Tell me the situation from your point of view 」
She has sharp senses. She doesn’t miss the context.
I’m sure that she has much better information analysis than me.
「 Can you infer what the Elder Matsumoto is thinking? 」
「 He’s still half in doubt. He’s doubting if we really do belong in the Kouzuki house 」
She sees the expression of Elder Matsumoto from few meters away.
「 Anything else? 」
「 If there really was someone from the Kouzuki house, then he’s thinking to make the most out of this business opportunity 」
「 And the basis for that is? 」
「 Elder Matsumoto’s background as a businessman would hate to miss such an opportunity. I think that he feels strongly that losing this opportunity means defeat 」
He’s someone who built up a large drugstore chain in his generation, so he’s always positive when it comes to business.
He thinks of everything as victory and defeat.
「 If he can make a connection with the Kouzuki house, then he’s already thinking of what kind of new business they can develop 」
He might also get to know not only the Kouzuki group, but also the Kouzuki house, the family that ties the noble houses together.
Positive attitude leads to imagination of more possiblities.
「 For now, he’s showing interest on us 」
「 Yes, that’s for sure 」
Kurose Anju asserted
「 Onii-sama, I think it’s time for me to appear 」
「 Everyone, line up 」
Shou-neechan gave instructions from outside.
At the same time, coming from the three convoy cars of Kouzuki SS.
Men in black uniform come out all at once.
Ten men in black suits line up to protect the limo.
Elder Matsumoto’s gaze became intense.
This limousine has one-way mirrors, and so…
Elder Matsumoto can’t see what’s inside.
Shou-neechan walks to the limousine in front of the Benz.
Going to Ruriko’s seat.
「 Ruriko-sama, this is Matsumoto Hiroki-sama 」
She bows in front of the windowpane and told Ruriko.
Ruriko lowers the windowpane.
「 Thank you, Seki-san 」
She gracefully thanked Shou-neechan and looked at elder Matsumoto.
「 I’m Kouzuki Ruriko 」
She doesn’t bow to Elder Matsumoto.
She just names herself.
「 What’s this? 」
Elder Matsumoto’s confused as to why the person from the Kouzuki house in the limo, is a middle school girl.
He’s clearly showing a face that this is contrary to his expectations.
He doesn’t feel like he can’t open business talks with Ruriko.
「 I’m here as Grandfather’s proxy 」
Ruriko brings the head of the Kouzuki house’s name.
「 Proxy? No, but… 」
Elder Matsumoto’s confused.
He still thinks that Ruriko’s no match for him as she’s a middle school student.
It’s a luxurious limousine, Jii-chan’s personal bodyguard, Shou-neechan, and ten men in black uniform. Then Kyouko-san, who names herself as an employee of the Kouzuki house’s organization.
He knows from experience that this isn’t a normal situation.
「 Today, Ruriko-ojousama wants to talk to Matsumoto-sama about his grandchildren 」
This time, Kyouko-san, disguised as Chemin Koda, goes to the window next to Ruriko.
Standing on both sides of Ruriko together with Shou-neechan.
「 My granddaughters? Maki and Miki? 」
Elder Matsumoto’s surprised.
「 Yes, they’re both in the limousine as well 」
Shou-neechan said with a smile.
「 Why? How are my granddaughters with Kouzuki house? 」
Ruriko doesn’t respond.
Instead, Chemin Koda speaks.
「 Your granddaughter’s sister, Matsumoto Maki-sama’s attending a music high-school, doesn’t she? many of the young ladies attend to such schools 」
It’s different from the usual Kyouko-san, she’s explaining with an old lady voice with a slow and calm tone.
「 One of Maki-sama’s friend in school talked to Toii-sama from Torii electronics, and then Torii-sama told Kouzuki-sama 」
「 Torii electronics? 」
Following the Kouzuki house, Elder Matsumoto reacts name of the world-class electrical equipment manufacturer mentioned.
「 The wife of the president of Torii electronics is from the Kanou house, a noble family. They have a close relationship with the Kouzuki house 」
Chemin Koda explains.
「 Torii-sama’s daughter is also in the car 」
「 It’s my turn now 」
Mariko told me and then opened the windowpane.
「 I’m Torii Mariko 」
She greets Elder Matsumoto politely.
Mariko doesn’t bow either. She just named herself.
「 T-Then, I-Is Maki and Miki in that car? 」
Elder Matsumoto asks.
「 We can’t continue our conversation here, we have a room in the hotel so let’s move there 」
Chemin Koda speaks in a low tone.
「 But… 」
「 That’s what Kouzuki Ruriko-sama wants 」
There’s no way the daughter of the Kouzuki house would want to have a discussion in the parking lot.
She needs a proper place to have a discussion
「 Do you understand? 」
Behind the dark rimmed glasses of Chemin Koda is Kyouko-san putting pressure on Elder Matsumoto.
「 I understand, let’s change locations 」
「 Thank you 」
「 Ruriko-sama, Torii-sama, please come down 」
Shou-neechan opens the limo.
At the same time, the men in black uniform of Kouzuki SS took formation.
Ruriko and Mariko got off the car gracefully.
「 Everyone too 」
Shou-neechan gave us the cue, so we got off too.
「 Don’t worry. We’re here with you 」
I told the Matsumoto siblings.
「 You don’t have to worry 」
Luna also told the sisters.
「 Y-Yes 」
I got off with Kurose Anju following behind me. Luna and Marika, then the Matsumoto siblings, with Igarashi Izumi come off the limousine.
Michi also got off Minaho-neesan’s Benz and joins us.
「 Maki! Miki! 」
Elder Matsumoto saw his granddaughters and spoke.
「 Hey, you…why… 」
He tries to approach his granddaughters, but…
「 Okay, that’s as far as you’ll go 」
Kinosh*ta-san got out of the driver’s seat of the limousine and intercepts the approach of Elder Matsumoto with her flail.
「 Hey! I’m their Grandfather, move! 」
Elder Matsumoto shouts at Kinosh*ta-san, but…
「 I’m a bodyguard of the Kouzuki house 」
Kinosh*ta-san doesn’t move.
Meanwhile, the Matsumoto siblings, Ruriko, and I are completely surrounded by the men in uniform.
Now elder Matsumoto can’t approach his granddaughters.
「 Saito-kun and Togusa-kun, stay here. The remaining people will come with us guarding Ruriko-ojousama and everyone 」
Shou-neechan declares the no-contact form command to the bodyguards.
「 Matsumoto-sama, your driver will stay. Do you understand? 」
Shou-neechan’s a professional bodyguard.
Her strong attitude gives elder Matsumoto no room to complain.
「 I understand, he will stay 」
Elder Matsumoto reluctantly accepts.
「 Then, let’s move to he room 」
Gachari, gachari, gachari.
The flail’s a heavy metal ball chained to the end of the long handle.
Kinosh*ta-san’s weapon is really intimidating at times like this.
She’s between the bodyguards escorting us and elder Matsumoto.
Kinosh*ta-san’s walk gets her flail to make sounds.
Elder Matsumoto can’t approach us.
Furthermore, to keep elder Matsumoto from running away, Shou-neechan, Chemin Koda, and Minaho-neesan are on his side.
Even when riding the elevator, elder Matsumoto rides a separate one.
Then, we got up to the 23rd floor.
「 Stand by here, Ishii-kun 」
The men in black stands in front of the room.
Shou-neechan opens the door with the key card she received from the hotel employee on the way to the hotel.
「 Matsumoto-sama, please come in 」
「 Umu 」
Elder Matsumoto got in first, and we followed suit.
It’s a Western room with the size of 20 tatami mats.
This looks like a room usually used for rental conference, or small parties.
The desk has a U-shape.
「 Matsumoto-sama, please sit here 」
Elder Matsumoto’s desk only has one chair.
All the remaining chairs are arranged on the other side.
There’s enough distance that Elder Matsumoto and his granddaughters can talk.
「 Ruriko-sama, and Torii-sama, goes to this seat, the Matsumoto siblings will sit here 」
Shou-neechan assigns everyone to their seats
Next to the Matsumoto siblings are Marika, Igarashi Izumi, Luna, and then me.
Michi stands next to Ruriko as her guard.
To my side are Kurose Anju and Kinosh*ta-san, and they’re standing.
Shou-neechan, Chemin Koda, and MInaho-neesan are standing in front of us, between elder Matsumoto and his Granddaughters.
The security here is perfect.
「 After seeing the situation, he’s calmed down a bit 」
Kurose Anju whispers after seeing elder Matsumoto’s state.
「 This situation? 」
An old man versus many.
The situation seems to be at our advantage, but…
「 To him, we look like a bunch of women and children 」
Since we left the men in black outside…
The only person elder Matusmoto’s dealing with are women, and me.
Even among the adults. There’s one who look old, Kyouko-san as Chemin Koda, then…
Minaho-neesan, Shou-neechan, and Kinosh*ta-san are women at their 20s.
Mariko, Marika, and I are at our first-year.
Ruriko and Michi are middle schoolers.
Luna’s a grade schooler.
That’s why he thinks he can get the upper hand and get the conversation to his pace.
He looks at us and feel that wa y.
「 Can we start now? 」
Elder Matsumoto speaks up.