“I can’t believe you actually nabbed a person that good.”
“Y-You! That’s your real motive, isn’t it!?
You know I may be like this now, but I was actually popular back in the day!!”
Nobuhiko yelled that when he found out his son’s real motives, but his son wasn’t having any of it. Shinichi just looked at him with a half-dubious-half-scornful gaze that left him flustered.
From Shinichi’s perspective, his dad, Nobuhiko, was being pushed around by his mom, and the only reason he was able to maintain some semblance of dignity was because of his strictness. At the same time, though, that helplessness against his own wife, actually made him likeable to his children, but unfortunately, it also made it hard to believe that he was actually popular with women.
“So, what number is Rinko-san then?”
You have plenty of experience, right? Shinichi seemed to say as he asked that question.
Nobuhiko hesitated for a moment, but in the end, he honestly answered.
“She would be my 4th relationship.”
Nobuhiko did succeed in building a family, so it was hard to say that he was completely unpopular, but the number he gave didn’t really do a good job at convincing Shinichi of his supposed popularity. At the very least, it should’ve been two times as many.
That sort of thinking appeared on Shinichi’s face, causing Nobuhiko to frown.
“Well, what about you then? How— When did you first fall in love?”
“…We’re going there?”
Nobuhiko was about to ask how many girls Shinichi had gone out with, but when he remembered where Shinichi was, he forcefully changed his question.
After all, a first love should be possible despite Shinichi’s circumstances.
But for Shinichi that was actually a problematic topic since although he did have an interest in romance and in the other gender, he didn’t have any experience when he was 13.
He’d never met a girl who could make his heart flutter. Moreover, for someone like him who was so shy of strangers, it could be said that it was a completely unexplored territory to him.
“…Huh? Are you?”
Nobuhiko felt like he’d stepped on another landmine, but Shinichi just ignored him as he thought back to the 2 years he spent in Falandia.
Did he have such an experience during those 2 years? As he recalled those days, a smile appeared on his face.
“Now that I think back on it, maybe I did have such an experience. She was a foreigner, so we couldn’t really communicate well, but I was always being tossed around and toyed with by her.
She was like a spartan who always punished someone by hitting them, but she was bright and strong and was always laughing.”
The person Shinichi was remembering was none other than the woman who picked him up when was dying by the roadside in the otherworld.
She was an amazon of a woman who wasn’t suspicious of Shinichi despite his inability to communicate.
The figure of a violent nun with beautiful blonde hair appeared in Shinichi’s mind, but it quickly vanished.
When Shinichi thought back to his mental state way earlier, it was actually pretty dangerous.
“It’s a bit different, but her pushiness does somewhat remind me of Rinko-san.”
To think he would share similar tastes with his dad. Shinichi smiled as he thought of that.
But the response of his dad left him with a bitter face.
“…I’m not giving her to you.”
Nobuhiko didn’t sound like he was joking when he said that, so Shinichi folded his hands by the surface of the water and squirted out a water gun toward his dad’s face.
“Like I’d take her!?
What do you take me for!?”
“D-Don’t get mad! It was just a figure of speech! It was a joke!”
“Don’t lie! You were serious just now! Your voice had serious all over it!”
Nobuhiko accidentally let slip his real thoughts, but when he realized they weren’t proper, he tried to pull the wool over Shinichi, but unfortunately, the latter wasn’t having it.
It was as if he was really worried over the possibility that he ended up saying that.
“…No one would want his wife taken from him, right?”
“And I’m telling you that I’m your son!”
“Yeah, but you seem to have taken to her more than me.”
Nobuhiko was actually secretly jealous of his own son – a double-edged sort of jealousy – whenever he saw him helping Rinko out with the household chores.
But actually the only reason Shinichi kept doing that what was because he felt guilty for freeloading off of them.
“She didn’t know me before, so it’s easy for us to connect. And besides, I can’t calm down if I don’t do anything! Can’t you figure out that much if you’re my dad?”
“That’s right… I’m a no good dad who knows nothing about you…”
“Ahh, damn it! You’re a real pain in the ass, dad!”
Although Shinichi was shocked by his dad’s behavior, he was definitely his dad.
Because while they talked idly like this, Shinichi couldn’t help but think of something unrelated.
He had waited for so long to have this sort of stupid conversation with his dad, and yet he still kept on thinking about unnecessary annoying things, such as ‘was he the son that his dad was waiting for?’
The more he talked with his dad, the more they got to know each other, the more Shinichi felt like he was no longer that Shinichi Nakamura.
For some reason, he just couldn’t stop thinking that.
In the dead of the night, in the hour of sleep, when the lights of the Nakamura household were off, Nobuhiko, Rinko, and even Shinji lay asleep, filling the household with complete silence as not even an eek was made. Yes, everyone was asleep… Everyone except for a shadow atop the roof that no one noticed.
“I thought things would end up like this eventually, but this sure was quicker than I’d expected.”
The shadow fiddled with a small device as he said that to someone not present.
The black clothes was not used to this sort of equipment. Not to mention after 8 years with technology he was not familiar with.
But regardless, he could still infer from his experience as to what ‘purpose’ these were placed and ‘who’ it was that placed them.
After all, he was a professional in this industry, although he did not exactly wish to become a professional at it.
But in his search for a way back home, after sneaking into all sorts of places, he ended up naturally getting better at spotting when someone has sneaked in.
He also learned how to cover up his own trails, so he was especially sensitive to such acts.
That’s why when he got back, he immediately realized that something was off and stiffened up.
“…I still don’t consider this place my home, but…”
Shinichi thought back to the fulfilling days that passed this week.
He was taken in by the Nakamura family and he began his new life with them despite his troubles.
After a long separation, his dad tried to fill the time they lost and did his best to hear him out.
His stepmother was completely unrelated to him. She didn’t even know him from before, but despite that, she happily accepted him and took care of him.
His stepbrother easily took a liking to him for some reason. Did he know that he was his older brother?
Although he was yet to rid himself of the shock after returning, he knew that Rinko and his dad were doing their best to give him a warm welcome.
If there are people who wish to spit upon their warm thoughts and interfere with their peaceful life, then…
“Just a little… I shall have them taste the fearsomeness of Masquerade (Masked Assassin).”
As he whispered that to no one in particular, he emotionlessly crushed the listening devices and small cameras.
There were some in his room, some in the living room, some in the toilet, and even in the bedroom of the married couple.
There was no reason left for forgiveness. It was apparent that if he let them off, things would only escalate; therefore, he would teach them throughly.
Just what it was exactly they were making an enemy out of.
As the shadow atop the roof smiled, the light from teleportation clad his black clothes, and the white mask vanished in the black of the night.
Tl Note: Done. At long last. Whew.