|Author: Hidsuki Shihou
|Original Source: Syosetu
|Word Count: 2662 characters
|English Source: Re:Library
|Word Count: 1336 words
It’s the first morning of the new year. I start the day early and prepare breakfast. On a toasted slice of bread, I set crispy fried bacon and an egg cooked sunny-side up. Having been granted permission to freely use the refrigerator’s contents, I gladly oblige.
“Hat, sunglasses, and mask, all good. Now then, it’s time to go.”
I cover my face as much as possible and hide my body’s silhouette with a baggy coat. This is the same outfit I wore exiting the cafe. Apparently, tricking the enemy’s eyes is a foremost necessity, but I still doubt that a disguise this simple could do much.
“Locks, also checked.”
I confirm the locking of the front door. While only for a few days, no one will be entering this room. If there are any, those would be criminals who should be reported to the police immediately. Even if those said people come from a security firm, they are to be shown no mercy.
“Lady Kisaragi Kotone, correct? Master Kisaragi’s orders, please come with us.”
“Is there any reason for me to follow sketchy individuals?”
The first thing they should do is present their identifications and yet they don’t. It makes my blood boil. I do not like people like them who assume that they’re always in the right. A fox borrowing a tiger’s coat precisely describes people like them.
“Besides, I am not Lady Kotone.”
I take off my disguise. I am but a maid entrusted by my lady to join in her scheme. I genuinely can’t believe that they would be deceived by such a simple trick. Perhaps Lady Kotone still has some other plans up her sleeve, but is it really alright for security personnel to be deceived so easily?
“Where is Kisaragi Kotone?”
“Is there any reason for me to answer that? I believe it should be your duty to chase after the escaping lady.”
Seeing them simply get shocked and angry over me undoing my disguise, they are undoubtedly incompetent. If it were the people who were originally assigned to Lady Kotone, they likely wouldn’t have fallen for this trick. They are familiar with my lady’s antics, so I’m sure they would immediately find my outfit suspicious.
“If you don’t leave soon, the lady might escape far beyond your reach.”
I know it’s already too late for them. My exit from the apartment was timed to be long after Lady Kotone had left. For that reason, even if they head for the cafe now, she would no longer be there. By now, she should be on a vehicle heading for her destination.
“Now then, I have my mansion duties to fulfill, so allow me to excuse myself.”
I have no time to spare for these fools. With it being New Year’s Day, I must be present to welcome visitors coming to give their New Year’s greetings to the Kisaragi family. Who knows what kind of scolding my mother will give me if I don’t perform my duties? For that reason, I will be diligent in my job and greatly look forward to Lady Kotone’s reward.
“My lady, please be safe. I await your return.”
Don’t forget the cake, please.
When speaking of New Year’s Day mornings, having mochi is a must. After having breakfast at Kaori’s place, I’m currently inside a car sent by the Shimotsuki family to pick me up. I’m not familiar with the driver at all, but he showed proof of his identity, so it should be okay. I have no idea why it had to be a selfie of me and Sherry, though.
“The target took the bait.”
“As anticipated, they really fell for it.”
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As I’m traveling, I receive a report from Akira. I was informed that those guys started watching me yesterday. Meanwhile, Akira and the others, who should have been on their holiday leave, have been monitoring their every move. I genuinely feel bad for them not being able to enjoy their New Year holidays.
“Still, I can’t believe they fell for such a simple trap.”
“They haven’t acquainted themselves with me, after all. Also, they must have underestimated me. That I’m just another wealthy family’s daughter.”
Any regular rich daughter can think of using a disguise to deceive their security team. This time, I just added substitution to the mix. Misaki and I would switch places and disguise ourselves. Having dinner at Kaori’s place wasn’t part of the plan, so we adjusted for that. Originally, we would have switched places after leaving my room.
“From their perspective, it must have been me inside since Misaki holed up in the room for a whole day.”
“Normal people would think that. In our case, we’d start to be suspicious from the moment you were disguised. You’d definitely be up to no good. We’d deploy people around the cafe’s perimeter to be sure. And of course, monitor the apartment closely.”
That’s how non-gullible people would handle it. If I had to shake off Akira’s group, I’d have to go at full force. I’d even need to employ other people’s help. That’s why it was necessary to ask for the cooperation of the other twelve families. There’s a limit to how much I can do alone.
“If it was us after you, what would you have done?”
“It wouldn’t be different at first. I would need to go back to my room. Then after the disguise, the plan would be to exit the room and start running at full sprint once I leave the building.”
“In that case, we’d catch you easily.”
“Individuals with the same build and clothes as me will split up in the middle of the escape. All that’s left is to reach a location with a lot of people.”
“Even so, I don’t think it would make much difference. While that would scatter our people, we’re unlikely to lose sight of you.”
“Even if I was actually in a completely different location?”
If a runaway acts together with the decoys, they’d all just be caught eventually. I’m fully aware of that. If it’s Akira’s team, I’m absolutely sure that they wouldn’t let their guard down until my disguise is off. The goal here is to disperse their people. Against pure numbers, I’m at a complete disadvantage.
“I will switch with someone else inside the elevator. While the escape drama is unfolding, I offer the apartment manager my New Year’s greetings. After all, the doorway of the manager’s room isn’t visible from the outside.”
“Wait a second.”
“Additionally, the manager’s room is on the first floor, so it’s possible to leave from the window.”
“Don’t you think that’s unfair!?”
The reason for the dispersion is to reduce the number of people monitoring the apartment complex. They’ll absolutely watch the apartment entrance, so I’ll go for the window. Since it’s on the complete opposite side of the building, there should be gaps in their monitoring. All that’s left would be to get on the awaiting car, and it’s done.
“That should be about it. I think a few adjustments can still be made, though.”
“We don’t have anyone in the team that can anticipate your movements that far.”
I’d be scared if there was. Besides, even with all that, there’s still a possibility for the old man to anticipate my moves. There’s a high chance of him suspecting that the first escapee was a fake. If I’m against him, I’ll need to choose more forceful methods. No mind games, I’d literally have to break through by force.
“On our side, you escaping us is a confirmed salary reduction. Please understand that.”
“How did you fare after the Kyoto incident?”
“We managed to avoid punishment. It was because you were completely safe and unharmed, and because we got you in the end. We also avoided criticism thanks to the chief’s intervention.”