“I love it. You’re such a naughty child. I’ve lived for so long, but this is a first time that a boy has actually made me cry.”
“Haha, it’s my honor.”
“You naughty child. Oh, by the way, do you mind if I ask you something?”
“Yes, of course, what is it─”
But Shinichi couldn’t even finish what he was about to say, for the Sister had suddenly drawn the blade and pointed it at him, just inches away from his throat.
“───Just what kind of relationship do you have with my granddaughter?” The sister smiled.
『Wait, wait, Mom! He’s good! Only someone like him him can accept that child and all the problems she brings! Tomoe genuinely likes him too, so please, Mom, approve of it! 』
While everyone was shocked by the Sister’s sudden display of violence, Shinichi could see Shouko dressed in a miko’s outfit trying to keep the Sister at bay.
It was a surreal scene. The Sister was holding a sword, and a miko priestess was trying to stop her. Unfortunately, the pleas of her daughter only served to intensify the Sister’s motherly glare.
“My granddaughter was looking at you quite passionately, wasn’t she?”
How did you swindle my granddaughter, you damned brat!? She didn’t actually say that, yet Shinichi felt like that’s what she was saying.
“So that’s how you’re approaching this.”
Shinichi wryly smiled and raised both of his hands as though to surrender, while Monica too wryly smiled as she answered Myuhi’s silent question.
“The Sister can get really noisy whenever one of her kids that’s left this place brings back a lover or a spouse. It doesn’t matter whether they’re actually suitable or not, she would pout and complain all the same. In fact, she’s complained at me a ton of times too.”
At that, Myuhi realized something and said, “You resemble your stepmom quite a bit, don’t you?”
“Didn’t you also pout because someone else was getting more attention from the kids than you?”
“Ah, no, that’s…”
When Myuhi pointed that out, Monica was half bewildered and half delighted. After all, Myuhi had basically told her that she was just like the person she admired, and that painted a smile on her, which led Myuhi to also smile.
Meanwhile, Shinichi realized that it was about time, so he relaxed the face that he’d forcefully tensed and lowered his eyes.
“Sister, I was going to tell you everything about your granddaughter anyway even without you resorting to this.”
Apparently, she was more interest in that than her granddaughter’s interest in him, or at least, that’s what Shinichi implied.
“…You do realize it’s actually irritating when you’re too perceptive, right?” The Sister said.
“I know right!” Myuhi said.
“Hina, don’t agree with her, or we’ll never get anywhere!” Shinichi said.
“Sorry, sorry, as an apology, I’ll talk about Tomotomo too!” Myuhi perfunctorily apologized.
Myuhi too had no objections about talking about her school friend with this Sister. While everyone took their seats again, Monica excused herself from the table.
“Alright, I’m gonna go and check on the kids. Sister, you guys just talk. Don’t worry about the time.”
Monica was planning on taking care of things while they chatted, but Shinichi stopped her before she could leave.
“Wait, you should come and listen too. This is basically about your niece too, after all.”
When Shinichi pointed that out, Monica froze for a moment and became thoughtful, then after a moment or two, she deliberately coughed and said, “Alright, I suppose you have a point.”
Then she settled back into her seat as though she hadn’t tried to leave just now.
The Sister didn’t know whether to laugh or not at her for that, and she ended up making a complicated expression, while Shinichi and Myuhi just smiled at her, ready to share what they knew about her family.
There were some things they couldn’t talk about, of course, but they still did their best to paint the strengths and weaknesses of the girl named Tomoe.
Though, due to her personality, there were inevitably many episodes of mishaps. If anything, that served to add credibility to the story they gave. Especially, considering how her talk with Shinichi just now went.
The Sister quietly looked at her daughter, who was currently a ghost, with narrowed eyes, while Shouko looked guilty, her spirit form seemingly breaking a cold sweat.
The Sister played the part of a grandmother with strong opinions about her granddaughter’s upbringing, while Shouko played the part of the mother who was on tenterhooks.
As for Monica, the episodes Shinichi and Myuhi recounted astounded her because she didn’t feel unrelated, and Shinichi, of course, enjoyed everyone’s reactions, while Myuhi was just exasperated by his antics for the umpteenth time by now.
There was another incident after that, but after some negotiation, the trio set out and arrived at this outdoor live venue.
Monica kept her word and maintained a composed attitude. It was curious if she was just faking it or not, but regardless, she didn’t waver one bit in placing Shinichi and Myuhi near her as her escorts.
However, it was also true that her argument with the manager showed no signs of ending, so Myuhi was starting to wonder if maybe they should say something too.
“Hey! What are you doing!?”
But then angry voices belonging to staff members suddenly echoed somewhere, and when Myuhi, Monica, and the manager looked around them, startled by the commotion, they became speechless. Without them knowing, Shinichi, that mischievous boy, had disappeared!
They still failed to understand him.
Perhaps they lacked imagination or consideration.
But regardless, that was what she thought after the incident today.
That which he could and couldn’t do.
That which he excelled at and did poorly at.
That which made him happy and made him sad.
That which he prioritized and that which he put off for later.
When one’s standing, experience, and perspective differed, then naturally their opinions would also differ.
They realized that they only thought they understood.
They intended to be considerate only to realize that it was he who was considerate of them.
They thought they could predict him, only to realize that he was completely unpredictable.
Despite seeing so much of him already, Somewhere deep in her heart, she still saw him as a superman who could do anything.
Common sense would dictate that there his actions were completely wrong. While he might have seen his actions as him merely doing the job, that was far from being an accurate expression of what he had done. After all, what he had done was merely to go through the motions, and there was a very important distinction between that and what he thought he’d done.
He had worn a staff jacket without anyone noticing, then he left the makeshift waiting room on his own.
Some of the staff were puzzled by his appearance, but it wasn’t as if they knew every staff member, so they just resumed their duties, thinking that since he came out of the waiting room, it shouldn’t be a problem. However, the man’s actions from that point onward were strange.
Without even asking anyone, he violently ripped open the packaging of a nearby equipment.
That drew a lot of attention, but he didn’t care and just pierced through large speaker inside with his arm.
Without saying a thing, without even any prior warnings, the man had suddenly started thrashing things.
It was no wonder then that the staff froze.
Even with the influx of status, iFoster, and otherworldly knowledge and technology, the people here were just normal people that did not understand the threat of those things.
The speaker was also a product that has been improved by the advancements in technology. It was more durable than normal, yet a man casually tore through such a sturdy box of steel, and when he pulled out his arm there was something akin to a part in his hand.
“Huh? H-Hey! What are you doing!?”
The first person to come back to their senses immediately yelled at the man to question him, but he didn’t say so much as a word, and before they knew it, he was gone.
The stranger had literally vanished from right in front of them, leaving behind only the screams of a woman.
Other staff members who witnessed him in the act would recount that he appeared out of nowhere, and before they knew it, he had grabbed the woman by the arm.
In their shock, the staff didn’t even realize that the man’s face was constantly changing.
“Hey! What are you doing!?”
The man didn’t care one bit about the woman’s screams as he ripped her sleeves. She screamed out, but it was muffled and couldn’t reach far, but then again, the man never cared in the first place.
And when he found a band wrapped around her exposed arm, he quietly tore it off, then knocked her out with a karate chop to the neck.