Leaving the field, Raishin returned to the dormitory, stopping in front of his room.
“Raishin, the light’s on…”
Yaya murmured a warning to him. Raishin ignored it, brazenly opening the door.
The scent of jasmine and thick smoke assaulted his senses. The room was filled with tobacco smoke whirling about, and the smell of the tobacco caused him to cough a little involuntarily.
The cause of the smoke was a woman, who was sitting down next to the windowsill.
She was a bewitching beauty whose open kimono revealed her voluptuous breasts. It was Karyuusai Shouko.
At her feet, a large amount of tobacco ash had been carelessly discarded.
Shouko tapped her pipe, causing more ash to fall, before speaking in an off-handed manner.
“I wonder, how many years has it been since tobacco tasted this bad?”
“… I’m sorry. Because of all my selfishness—”
“Not even the dignitaries in the military have managed to do this, you know. To order me, the great Karyuusai, around as you see fit.”
Shouko reached inside her sleeve, pulling out a sheaf of papers.
She threw it onto the table with a thud. There were letters almost calligraphy-like in their beauty, schematic diagrams of the human body, and countless number crammed onto the paper.
“As you can see, everything is normal. There are no problems with that girl’s body whatsoever. You could even say she’s in superior condition. Are you satisfied now, Master Raishin?”
“Thanks for the info. So Henri’s herself is alright?”
“Don’t make me repeat myself.”
“I got it. Thanks, and sorry for making you go to all that trouble.”
Shouko fixed him with a piercing gaze, speaking with a tone that made it sound like she was confirming something.
“It’s a promise, boy. This is the last selfishness of yours I’ll indulge. From now on, you better listen to the military’s orders.”
“Stop your childish behaviour. If you keep it up, I’m afraid I won’t be able to be to pamper you anymore.”
She lifted her chest up suggestively as she said so.
Raishin felt the blood rush to his nose, hurriedly turning around.
“Stop joking with me like that.”
“Raishin… since when… did the both of you…!”
“Nothing happened! Shouko’s just being an unreasonable tease!”
“Unreasonable tease!? What do you means by that!? What did you two do?!”
Yaya was blowing her top. Slipping behind her, Shouko wordlessly exited the room.
Although she had been the same as always, it looked like Shouko had really been in a grumpy mood.
Even so, she had put in a lot of effort for Raishin’s sake.
Raishin inwardly bowed to her, sending Shouko off with his eyes.
After letting her calm down, Yaya eventually drew towards Raishin with a worried look on her face.
“Raishin…Did you make a deal with Shouko?”
“These documents are Henriette’s biological reports, aren’t they? In exchange for Shouko investigating Henriette, did you agree to back away from the matter totally?”
“In that case, it means you’re not going to be reckless anymore, right?”
“No. I feel bad about doing this to Shouko, but thanks to her we should be able to proceed successfully.”
“Eh… You lied to Shouko?”
“There’s no one on earth who can fool Shouko.”
She had understood, and given her tacit approval. Which explained her grumpy mood earlier.
“But, Shouko is also someone who won’t forgive betrayal. If you really end up betraying her…”
It could be said this was the last chance Shouko had given to him.
If Raishin really did end up betraying Shouko’s trust, he had no idea what she would do.
With determination hidden in his eyes though, Raishin spoke like it was nothing.
“In the first place, I’m just a helpless idiot. Didn’t you know that?”
“But Raishin, you have a goal! It’s the reason why you came all the way to England! Because Nadeshiko is so important, Raishin, you…”
“Even now, I still regret I couldn’t protect Nadeshiko.”
Raishin confessed his true feelings.
“It’s because I am a weak human. The regret I feel might be the reason for my hatred. Killing him won’t bring Nadeshiko back to life. Revenge is just something I know is for my own self-satisfaction. Even so… that’s all I can do for Nadeshiko.”
“I don’t want to experience the same regret as before. In the end, I guess it’s for my own sake. Because I am a weak human— I don’t ever want to experience regret again.”
Placing his hand onto Yaya’s shoulder, he stared straight into her black eyes.
“This isn’t an order from the military, in fact it might be a violation of their wishes. Also, it means I’ll be going against Shouko’s wishes. Knowing all this, will you lend me your strength, Yaya?”
“… Raishin, you should know it by now.”
She placed her hand over his and gave him a gentle smile.
“Yaya is Raishin’s doll. Yaya will protect Raishin, no matter what happens.”
“… Thanks. But I promise you this; I will try my best to make sure you don’t suffer a single scratch as well.”
“After all, I don’t want to be scolded by Shouko anymore than I already have.”
There was a snap.
“Shouko, Shouko, Shouko… Again with Shouko…!”
“… Hm, Yaya? W—wait a minute! You just said you’d protect me!”
“Raishin is an idiot!”
Confused over what was going on, Raishin flusteredly flew out of the room.