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「 I belong to Kuormori Kou-san. I've made our resolve 」

Matsumoto Miki-san speaks to me with a dark look on her face.

But…

「 That's not resolve, you're just being desperate 」

I feel it.

Miki-san's feeling desperate.

「 That's not true 」

The violin girl looks away from me.

Seeing her dark expression, I'm sure of it.

「 True resolve means that Miki-san won't make that face. 」 You'll have the same breakthrough and positive face as Maki last night 」

Last night, when she received the scholarship from the Kouzuki house foundation, knowing that she could continue playing music.

Accepting to become Marika's partner, and my woman…she had a clear and refreshed face.

That's the face of someone who made their resolve.

「 I'm not Maki-neesan 」

Miki-san said, but…

「 What's the difference? You two were in the same situation, weren't you? 」

Edie said.

Miki-san also received a scholarship from the Kouzuki house, and she'd be able to continue playing her violin.

She has the same condition as becoming my woman.

「 You currently understand it with your head, but you still can't make a clear decision with your heart. You're feeling that your current situation is unfair. That's why you don't feel relieved 」

I thought so too.

「 You don't like the idea of Yo-chan taking care of you, do you? 」

Nei said with a smile.

「 You could continue playing music thanks to Yo-chan. Your relationship with your Grandfather has improved, you got out of the relationship with a guy you're not even close with, and there's no more possibility of your photo in your underwear leaking out 」

Miki-san looks at Nei.

「 But still, there's something different about becoming Yo-chan's woman and joining our family. You feel that this isn't it, right? 」

Miki-san…

「 No, uhm, I… 」

She looks at Nei.

「 I'm grateful to Kuromori-san for helping me. That's why I understand why Maki-neesan did that, belonging to Kuromori-san. I know. We have no way of repaying everything done to us unless we do this 」

「 And that's why you understand it with your head, but your heart isn't satisfied 」

Edie sighed.

Then.

「 Matsumoto Miki-san. Having sex with Kou-sama isn't an obligation for us 」

Tsukiko, who had been silent all this time, tells Miki-san.

「 It's our right. Receiving Kou-sama's embrace is a privilege only reserved for women Kou-sama has chosen. 」

The shrine maiden speaks and it echoes in the room.

「 But, uhm, I'm… 」

Miki-san desperately tries to speak up, but…

That's when…

「 Uhm, sorry to interrupt nyan 」

Izumi interrupts the mood.

「 It started steering off to Miki-san, but the topic about me is still halfway nyan 」

Speaking of which.

But still, you're cutting in at this moment?

Geez, Izumi.

「 I mean, since everyone's talking about Miki-san, I should go back to school as soon as possible nyan 」

Wow, that's just silly.

She even demands to put herself first.

We just told her that she'd go back by afternoon and she has to stay here for now.

In short, she's not even listening to me at all.

Even when Miki-san was being strong with her tone on her, she just let it pass on her ears.

Why is Igarashi Izumi so dumb.

「 No, Kou-sama, it's not like that 」

?

Tsukiko tells me after reading my mind.

「 Izumi-san isn't what Kou-sama thinks she is 」

Tsukiko has the Miko power, so she can see Izumi's thoughts.

Then that means…

「 Is Izumi purposely pretending to be dumb? 」

If that's the case, then she's a great actress.

But, I can't imagine Izumi having that skill

I've been watching Izumi since yesterday afternoon and I can't feel that she's hiding her smart at all.

「 No, Kou-sama. It's not that 」

Tsukiko denies.

「 Izumi-san, in some ways, is a shallow thinker, just like how Kou-sama thinks she is 」

Shallow thinker, so she's just dumb.

「 No, that's not it. Just because her thoughts are shallow doesn't mean that she's less intelligent. Izumi-san's thoughts are much faster than other people. She thinks about many things one after another, immediately observing the situation in front of her and reacting at high speed 」

Tsukiko said.

Are you saying that Izumi's brain, as seen by Tsukiko, is constantly rotating at high speed?

「 I think that she's smart in essence 」

Izumi's smart?

「 However, she can't organize her thoughts logically. That's why in Kou-sama's eyes, it appears that she has inferior thinking, making decisions and acts based on intuition alone, rather than understanding the information that she perceives, and deciding what's best 」

She acts on intuition.

True, Izumi's somewhat like that.

「 I see, it's natural to judge Izumi based on what she's doing 」

Edie?

「 I also don't know much about girls like Izumi since I haven't met a lot like them. But, I see what Tsukiko's trying to convey 」

Edie's eyes look at Izumi.

「 Izumi seems like the same type as Yukino 」

Yukino?

「 She reacts to the events in front of her. When she's surprised or saddened, she expresses her feelings right away. She doesn't hide her feelings, or care about what others say or do 」

Now that you mention that. Izumi indeed resembles Yukino in a way.

She doesn't cry or make a fuss like Yukino, but…

「 But Darling doesn't see Yukino as badly as her, right? 」

Edie looked at me.

「 Indeed. Kou-sama doesn't see Yukino-san as dumb 」

Tsukiko's always watching my thoughts.

Tsukiko's right, I don't see Yukino as dumb.

I used to think that Yukino's selfish, and useless, because she doesn't think of others, but now I know many good things about Yukino.

Even now, Yukino doesn't try to help with housework in the mansion, but she takes care of Mao-chan and Agnes.

She rarely interacts with the other family members, but she no longer rants and bothers people like she used to.

Sometimes, she's also being considerate to the family.

Besides, she's showing her talent on the TV show.

If she was just a self-centered and stupid person, then Snatch and Francie won't be able to converse with her well.

Yukino responds to other people's reactions and actions in her own way.

Yukino's show has high ratings because of her interesting conversations.

So, Yukino's not an idiot.

But…

「 But, Izumi's different from Yukino, right? 」

I don't think the two are the same.

「 It seems like it, but it's because Yukino's too special for Darling 」

Edie said.

「 That's why you're being harsher to Izumi, who's similar to Yukino. That's how I see it 」

That's…

「 Maybe Izumi-chan and Yukino-chan grew up in similar environments? 」

Nei speaks suddenly.

Yukino was born into a family that owns a TV station and newspaper publisher, growing up in a privileged environment, as her father's an elite employee at a major advertising agency.

Izumi…

Oh.

I don't know anything about Izumi's family background.

All I know is that Izumi's a singing student in the same school as Marika and Maki.

Also, she's not on top of the class in the voice department, but that's all.

「 Do we have any reports on Izumi? 」

I asked Minaho-neesan.

I'm sure that Minaho-neesan knew in advance from Marika that Izumi was coming along with the Matsumoto sisters yesterday.

Minaho-neesan would've done some research in advance about Izumi.

「 Of course 」

Minaho-neesan took out Izumi's paper.

Then.

「 You finally got interested in Izumi-san 」

She looked at me and laughed.

I…

「 You've met too many people with varying personalities over the past six months. That's why you're getting a little numb now. So, you're being lax in your judgment of someone you don't perceive as dangerous 」

When I first met Izumi, she was a student in the same school as Marika.

I thought of Izumi as a normal music school student.

Izumi came in dressed as a delinquent and was very childish with her words and actions.

In short, I looked down on Izumi.

「 I think that you should be more greedy in knowing about people 」

Minaho-neesan speaks gently.

「 Since Izumi's a person that doesn't have two sides to her personality. You only see her as a dumb girl, right? So you didn't care to know more than that and decided that's all you needed to know 」

「 Yeah. Seems like it 」

I admitted to my mistake.

「 Remember this, there are some really stupid people in the world, but even the stupidest actions of stupid people have some meaning and reason. That's why you shouldn't fail to try to get to know the people you're involved with, no matter who they are. Don't make your assumptions and neglect to make an effort on researching the people you're dealing with 」

Minaho-neesan's words soak in my heart.

「 Right. I was wrong. Sorry 」

I could've asked Minaho-neesan and she would've given me more information about Izumi last night.

Yet, I just didn't try to know more about Izumi.

「 Then, I'll tell you. Igarashi Izumi-san's grandfather is a well-renowned orchestra conductor. Igarashi Hajime-san 」

Izumi's face turned grave after hearing her Grandfather's name.

「 Her father, Igarashi Kiyoshi-san, is an opera singer in Japan. Her mother, Igarashi Hidemi-san, was an opera singer in her youth. She's currently a voice teacher at a music college. In short. Igarashi-san's family is no stranger to the music world. 」

Minaho-neesan speaks while reading Izumi's file.

「 Neither Marika nor Maki told me that 」

That Izumi's family is famous in the music world.

「 Well yes. There are several kids whose families are like that in their school 」

Minaho-neesan smiled wryly.

「 Rather, it's much rarer to find girls whose parents are not in the music business. There are daughters of musicians who are even more famous than Izumi-san's family 」

「 Oh, when a family has a child attending music school, it usually isn't just the father and mother, but also their grandmother and grandfather, who had been musicians 」

Nei said.

Marika and Maki weren't hiding the fact that Izumi's grandfather and parents were musicians on purpose.

Or should I say that…

They didn't ask Izumi, so they can't tell me either.

Especially, Marika brought Izumi with the intention of turning her into a pet.

She consulted with Minaho-neesan, asking her for permission before doing so.

Marika didn't speak unless I asked her.

If the information about Izumi's family was of any use to us, Minaho-neesan would take that opportunity to tell me.

「 U-Uhm, please don't cause trouble to Grandfather or my parents. No, please nyan 」

Izumi looked at Minaho-neesan with a complex face.

「 I know. Your grandfather and parents are not in trouble 」

Minaho-neesan told Izumi.

「 I mean. Izumi-san's been with Kou all morning so you should know how he acts, right? You know that Kou won't do anything that would harm his family 」

Izumi saw me ride to Miki-san's middle school.

I do anything for the family.

And, Izumi's also a part of the family.

Although, she's a pet.

「 You understand that, and isn't that why you're acting spoiled right now, asking Kou to let you go to school now 」

「 That might be nyan 」

Izumi looked at me with a gloomy face.

I see. She's not an airhead, she just thought that she could say something more lenient now.

That's why she said that so suddenly.

「 Don't worry about it. Izumi-san didn't return to the dorm yesterday, and to school this morning, we'll make up a valid reason on our side and tell the school about it. There's no need to trouble Izumi-san's grandfather and parents, and they won't scold you either 」

Minaho-neesan said.

「 Izumi, do you still want to go back to school sooner after that? 」

I finally get what Izumi was thinking.

「 I was scared of Kou-kun-san last night and this morning so I didn't get to say it. But, if possible, I want to go back to school sooner 」

Izumi said.

「 I'm afraid that not returning to the dorm and skipping classes would lead to strange rumors about me and it would put shame on my Grandfather's and my parent's names 」

Izumi's afraid that not returning home last night and skipping class will be a problem.

Especially if her grandfather discovers it.

「 It's okay. Your school is making a fuss about how Maki-san received a scholarship grant from the Kouzuki house. You're supposed to be in shock and sick, you'll get a doctor's note too. I already talked to a Kouzuki-owned hospital through Kouzuki SS. 」

Minaho-neesan said.

「 Besides, if you go to school now, you'll walk into the classroom in the middle of a lesson. Stay with Kou until noon and return to school in the afternoon as planned. That's much more natural 」

Minaho-neesan can see Izumi's concerns and took steps in advance.

「 Anyway. Please help me so my parents and Grandfather don't worry nyan 」

Izumi bows her head to Minaho-neesan.

「 Izumi-san, you respect your parents and Grandfather from the bottom of your heart, right? 」

Minaho-neesan asks.

「 Yes, of course, nyan 」

Izumi replied with a confused look.

「 Izumi-san's grandfather is also on the board of several music foundations. That's why Izumi knew that now was not the time to be selected for a scholarship 」

That's…?

Minaho-neesan said. Nei;

「 Oh, so that's why Izumi-chan thought that it was weird that Marika told Maki-chan and Miki-chan that she could get a scholarship from the Kouzuki house 」

I see. Nod.

This case all started with the Matsumoto sisters, whose father suddenly passed away, and they were at risk of not being able to continue their studies due to financial problems.

Then, Marika introduced me to the Matsumoto sisters, asking if they could get support.

Then, before I could make my move, Minaho-neesan and Ruriko were working to get the Matsumoto sisters a scholarship grant from Kouzuki cultural foundation.

But, that's…

「 Normally, any scholarship organization won't grant the Matsumoto sisters a scholarship in the middle of the year, when they're in the process of selecting the recipients for the next academic year 」

Minaho-neesan's right, the Matsumoto sisters aren't getting the scholarship in the usual way.

Ruriko, the daughter of the Kouzuki house, forced them to become scholarship students of the Kouzuki cultural foundation.

「 And so, Izumi-san thought that what Marika-chan's telling Maki-chan was suspicious, that's why she dressed up like a delinquent and was forced to come with them 」

If Nei's conjecture is correct, then…

Izumi was sure that we must be trying to trick Maki and Miki from the start.

That's why she was trying to break the conversation no matter what.

In short, the delinquent look was forced, but…

Her reasoning was right.

「 Maybe, Izumi-chan was planning to ask her grandfather to give Maki-chan and Miki-chan a scholarship grant from some music foundation, right? 」

Nei asks.

「 I couldn't make that request nyan. Grandfather is indeed on the board, but he's not a scholarship judge nyan, but still 」

Izumi;

「 I've been meaning to ask if Maki-oneesama or Miki-san could apply for next year's scholarship. nyan 」

She even thought that far.

Izumi isn't dumb like I thought.

She's a little instinctive, but she has some reasons for her actions.

「 Of course, I know that it's better for Maki and Miki if they could be scholarship students of a big foundation like the Kouzuki world cultural exchange center nyan. It also means that they can get to know the daughter of the Kouzuki house and Torii house 」

Izumi understands.

She could figure that out, and yet…

Why was I so set on thinking that Izumi was a selfish and dumb girl?

「 Listen carefully, Kou. You need to understand it now 」

Minaho-neesan looked at me.

「 I told you earlier that Izumi-san's grandfather holds a special position in the world of music. 」

Yes.

If I recall, he's a world-renowned orchestra conductor.

「 It's not uncommon for children or grandchildren of someone in a special position to follow the footsteps of the older 」

I heard that Izumi's father followed her grandfather and became an opera singer.

Izumi, who was born to opera singer parents, is learning vocals in a music high school.

「 Those who rose to a special position in their field know from their own experience what kind of education to give to their children or grandchildren, and can provide the best environment for them to learn. They have contacts and connections within that field, "at what age, where, which teachers, and what the child should study?" They can successfully guide their children and grandchildren into the same world they're in 」

Izumi's listening to Minaho-neesan with a depressed look.

「 But you know, it's hard for a child raised by parents who are top-notch in those particular fields to become top-notch in those worlds as their parents and grandparents. It's only a rare case 」

Huh?

「 Of course, if they received a specialized education since childhood, then they'll become a professional in that field. But, at best, they become first-rate, but most usually end up at second or third at best. It's rare for someone to become first-class professional like their parents 」

「 True, in sports, many children of famous athletes who become professionals aren't as successful as their parents. On the other hand, children whose parents were second or third-rate professionals, have become great athletes 」

Nei said.

That analogy makes sense.

Indeed, there are often second-generation athletes, but I think it's rare for the children of the top athletes to achieve the same level of greatness as their parents.

「 Why do you think it's that way? 」

Minaho-neesan asks me.

「 They were given the best environment for everything from a young age. So, why can't the child grow on the same level as the parent? 」

That's…

「 Is it because the parents provided it? 」

I replied.

「 Are you saying that if everything's provided for them, they won't learn how to take things on their own? 」

Minaho-neesan;

「 I think so too 」

She smiled.

「 A top-class parent would think that the child would need a professional before the child seeks it. But even if it's all the right stuff, the child will just keep accepting and digesting the massive amount of stuff the parents keep giving them all the time. They're so preoccupied that they don't develop the ability to think about what they need, to search for it, and to gain it by themselves 」

The environment given by the parents is too good that the person can't digest them all

「 Even so, if the child is an adolescent and rebels against their parents, they can be critical of what they try to give to the child, trying to take care of themselves to be independent, but if the parents were too great and the child has deep-seated respect, then they'll accept everything and anything they do for them without criticism 」

Minaho-neesan continued.

「 Those kids would have weaker judgment when they need to think for themselves. It's because they accept whatever their parents judged as necessary for them without question. They don't develop the skills to think for themselves, with what to do about what's happening in front of them 」

They just do whatever their parents tell them to do, becoming too dependent.

「 Izumi-san's like that, don't you think? 」

Minaho-neesan said. We looked at Izumi.

「 I think Izumi's personality became like that because of her Grandfather and parents. Izumi-san just unconditionally accepts whatever her Grandfather and parents tell her to do. She doesn't think much about the reason, and just accepts it as it is. If not, she can't deal with the barrage of things her parents and her grandfather want to give her 」

If her parents tell her to do this, do that, she'll do it without thinking much.

If she thinks about it every step of the way, she won't be able to digest it all, so she just swallows.

That personality started in childhood, through her studies in music.

「 And now, Maki-san is just as important as her parents are to Izumi-san 」

Izumi feels admiration for Maki.

「 So, she accepts what Maki-san tells her as much as her parents, and if she thinks that it's for Maki-san, then she'll also accept whatever Marika or you tell her, no matter what it is 」

Maki's the precious one for Izumi. She only accepts Marika and me through Maki.

「 Earlier Tsukiko-san mentioned that Izumi reacts in detail to what's happening and what people are saying and doing. She analyzes it in her own way, unable to act by herself. It's because she's always done what her Grandfather and parents told her to do that she never had the experience of thinking for herself, and doing something on her own 」

Izumi looks down and trembles.

「 Furthermore, Izumi-san doesn't want the people around her to hate her. She fears rejection. It's a common trait for children raised under the control of very influential parents. They don't want their parents to hate them, so they just do what their parents tell them to do with a bright face. That also applies to other people. So, they make it a top priority to act in a way so others don't hate her, looking like they don't think, that they're a frivolous person 」

「 So that's why Izumi keeps talking with nyan at the end of her sentence. She doesn't want to get hated, so she follows as she's told 」

Edie said.

「 Yes, doing something that silly is also just so she doesn't get hated. Izumi-san, didn't you just accept everything we told you no matter what? 」

Minaho-neesan's right, Izumi;

She just accepted being Maki and Marika's pet right away.

She even gave her virginity to me.

That wasn't because Izumi is dumb, or that she was not thinking.

But, she lived a life without having to make her own decisions, and she was afraid of being rejected by others.

Now, what's most important for Izumi is Maki or me not hating her, so she's desperately trying to keep going with "nyan nyan"

「 Izumi-san will remain inferior if this continues. With her Grandfather and parents backing her, she might be able to become a professional vocalist or opera singer, but won't reach the top class. She'll become a second-rate opera singer at best, or through her Grandfather or Parent's connections, she'll become a teacher at some music school, or work in some music-related job, but still 」

Minaho-neesan said. Izumi listens in silence.

「 Well then, I've been talking about what I think about Izumi-san for a while now, but what were your thoughts? About your current state 」

Minaho-neesan looked at Izumi.

Izumi;

「 I honestly…don't know what should I do nyan 」

Even so, Izumi doesn't forget to put "nyan" in her sentences.

「 I'm just afraid of Kou-kun-san. Really scared 」

Those are Izumi's feelings as she's into girls.

She didn't want to have sex with me.

Furthermore, she sees me as a dangerous man now that she saw my work on the other side.

Therefore, she's afraid of me.

No, without Maki around, everyone around her is scary.

She looks like a bright yet dull girl, but the truth is that she gets scared easily.

「 So Izumi-san says, but what do you think Kou? 」

Minaho-neesan looks back at me.

I…

I think…

I only have one method I know of.

「 I'll have sex with Izumi for the whole morning 」

I said. Izumi trembled.

「 I'll be alone with Izumi. We'll have sex, and I'll see what kind of a woman Izumi is through sex 」

With my whole body and my penis.

「 Right. I think you should 」

Minaho-neesan smiled.

「 Use the next room. Here's the key 」

She gave me the keys to a hotel room.

「 By the way, do you have anything else for me, Kou? 」

Do I have anything to ask Minaho-neesan?

「 I'd like some of the research documents for the girls in the agency, especially the two ones we have our eyes on. I'll read it later after having sex with Izumi 」

Was it Enjo Madoka and Takaoji Shiori?

Minaho-neesan's explanation from earlier wasn't enough.

If we have research, then I need to read that before going to the office.

「 Also… 」

I look at the girl who had been quiet all this time in the room.

Kurose Anju.

「 Kurose Anju's papers too 」

Kurose Anju looked up at me.

Yes, I…

I took Kurose Anju from Ishigami Mizuki the other day and made her my bodyguard, but…

I don't know a lot about her.

Shou-neechan and Minaho-neesan aren't saying anything, which means that Kouzuki SS found that she poses no problem.

I need to know more about her.

「 Okay. I'll prepare them 」

Minaho-neesan smiled satisfied.

That's why I can see that I got it right.

However.

「 Uhm, what about me? 」

Kinoshita-san looked at me with a confused face.

Well…

Sure, I don't know anything about Kinoshita-san's past with the Banbarubie.

But…

「 I can hear more about Kinoshita-san once you have time to talk about it 」

I replied.

I feel like Kinoshita-san's past would be a plot of a TV drama.

Reading reports won't do it justice.

「 Oh, so that's it. Got it. Then, I'll talk about it while you deflower me 」

Kinoshita-san said brightly.

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