|Author: Hidsuki Shihou||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2243 characters|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1094 words|
Currently, I’m in a running minivan. It’s not that I’ve been kidnapped or anything. I’m just being taken away to the ocean trip scheduled prior. I’m not completely on board with it, hence taken away.
「Still, is it really alright?」
Our driver is Minagawa’s father. Both her parents came as our guardians. As expected, a beach trip with only girls must have been worrying for them. The participants are Kaori, Aiba, Minagawa, and me. The usual faces.
「It’s going to be tough to travel by train carrying a parasol and other stuff, after all. When I told dad, he gave his okay.」
Traveling by train with large luggage really is difficult. Particularly on the way back, that’s the most torturous part. With that in mind, it was best that we gratefully accept the offer. Still, if I call Minagawa by family name, it’s going to overlap with her parents.
「What, all of the sudden?」
「I just tried saying your name.」
「You’re about the only one who didn’t call me by my given name, right?」
「Well, that’s true.」
I just felt like it, though. And Harumi has been calling me by my given name since some time now too. Come to think of it, does her parents know about me? If they’ve had some interactions with the twelve families through work, then they might.
「Still, having second thoughts about coming even after you’re done packing up, you really don’t know when to give up, Kotone.」
「If I hadn’t picked you up, you would’ve been groaning at the front door forever.」
True, before Kaori came, I was just at my door. After that, I was dragged off as usual and stuffed into the van. Even then, Aiba was already asleep. She probably didn’t sleep yesterday.
Ever since we left, there’s been something bothering me. It’s not about something inside the car, but outside. It can’t be, can it?
「I guess the minibus behind us is going to the same place as we are. Since it’s been following us ever since.」
Kaori ended up pointing it out. I’ve told my bodyguards about today’s plans. And behind us, there’s a bus acting in a way seemingly related to that context. I really want to ask them why. I guess I’d do that.
「Are you behind us?」
I sent Kyousuke a mail. Now, what will be the reply?
『That’s right, is there a problem?』
「Why a bus?」
『When you informed us, the guys on standby came along. We have 11 people in total.』
「What’s with that number!?」
That’s too many people.
『I’ll explain the situation when we arrive on site. This was also unexpected for me as well.』
If it’s unexpected even for Kyousuke, then I wonder how Akira reacted. Was she mad, dumbfounded, or did she riot? I don’t really get how she acts that much, after all.
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「Who are you chatting?」
Could you not peek on my phone, Kaori? It doesn’t really matter who it is, does it?
「An acquaintance. There was something I wanted to ask.」
「Yeah. But we’re not really close or anything.」
She’s absolutely doubtful. We don’t have anything beyond the bodyguard and protected person relationship. I don’t know the contact details of the bodyguards other than those two, so if ever there’s any issues, I contact either Kyousuke or Akari.
「About how long do we have left before reaching the place?」
「Roughly an hour, I guess.」
To shift the topic, I tried talking to Harumi’s father but the conversation was immediately cut short. Now, what do I do?
「Still, it’s the first time I’ve seen you at work, but you seem really used to it.」
Harumi hopped on my plan. Incidentally, a lot of students visited the café this summer break. Moreover, the fact that I was working there was spread by word of mouth. It’s honestly a real mystery how this info didn’t get spread before summer break.
「I surrendered the position of poster girl to Kotone, you know.」
「Like you’ve actually worked a lot before surrendering it, Kaori.」
There hasn’t been any student stupid enough to cause trouble yet. Even if there will be, the bodyguards are arranged to kick them out, so it’s not a problem at all.
「What might it be, Harumi?」
「Could you interact with us like you do with Kaori already?」
「Is it regarding how I speak?」
「Right, that. We’re already on given name basis and aren’t we close enough to have events like this together? Isn’t it about time for a bit more progress?」
Well, that’s true. We’re already done with the judging of character stage. And I do my own position to account for. Just as the president told me, I have to choose my relations carefully. It’d be a problem if people arbitrarily use my name.
「Got it. But I’ll change it back when we’re at the academy, hope you understand.」
「How do I say it? Your situation seems really tiresome. Like, you can’t be yourself and so on.」
「It’s a public image problem, after all. It’d be real weird if a wealthy daughter had this kind of mouth, you know?」
As Harumi and I smiled at each other, the van suddenly shook. I guess there was a mistake at the steering wheel. That’s dangerous.
「Sorry, just want to ask something. Kotone, what’s your family name?」
Old man, so you actually didn’t know about me. I sent Harumi a gaze and she looked away. It’s not like I’m keeping it a secret or anything, though.
「Kisaragi. My full name is Kisaragi Kotone.」
「I might be wrong, but you’re a member of the twelve families, right?」
Reflected in the mirror, the old man’s face is wincing a lot. Moreover, he began using some half-baked polite speech.
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「Precisely so. Ahh, but no need to mind me in particular. I’ve separated from the house, you see.」
Adults are more sensitive about these sorts of stuff compared to youngsters. They’re concerned about their place in society, so it’s inevitable. With the future in mind, it will affect their work, after all.
「Kotone said so herself, so there’s no need to worry, dad.」
「Please think about it carefully. Where did you pick me up? Besides, if I was in the position you think I am, I would have never been permitted to join this event in this sort of manner, don’t you agree?」