47. Girl’s Meeting
I sat down on a chair in the counseling room while looking down at the three people kneeling on the floor.
“Umm… Sumire didn’t really think that ghosts exist, but she was trying to punish the person who was scaring everyone.”
“I see, I see. So you were trying to punish people while having a lot of fun.”
As a result, she swung the bug net and captured my head.
Yeah, I will never forgive you, Sumire.
“Sorry, I couldn’t stop her….”
There was an insect cage in Hitomi’s hand when she said that, but whether it was a ghost or a person, it wouldn’t fit. I’m surprised that Hitomi, who usually stops Sumire from doing something reckless, actually joined her. Maybe she’s tired. How pitiful.
And then, there is only one person left.
To begin with, the person who started the rumor about the ghost is the cause of this trouble.
I gave her a deliberate smirk as she swept her gaze over my words with an indescribable expression.
“I never thought that the rumored ghost was you, Ryune Shinonome.”
The true identity of the ghost is Ryune Shinonome, the Little Puppet. She’s the Kiryuu brothers’ childhood friend.
And, she started the rumor about the ghost to hide Keito Kiryuu’s existence in the counseling room. It had the opposite effect on the curious Sumire, though.
“What kind of relationship do you two have?”
The rabbit puppet in her hand looked at Keito and me in turn. Keito blatantly frowned, seeming to dislike the situation.
“…Please stop with the puppet already.”
The meaning of the words that Keito said was probably about making the doll speak rather than speaking with her own mouth. I wonder if he, as her childhood friend, knew why she started carrying around the puppet?
Little Puppet didn’t make eye contact with him and didn’t say anything, as if she hadn’t heard Keito’s words or she was pretending that she didn’t hear him.
“He and I met by chance.”
“And so we were having lunch together.”
“Eating lunch together, eh?”
The person next to me is noisy, though. I haven’t said anything wrong. When I glared at Keito, who seemed to have a complaint, he glared back at me. Hiiii.
“I see. I was trying to keep people away from this room. but I guess the ghost mission was useless.”
Little Puppet dropped her shoulders in disappointment while Sumire next to her said, “What a troublemaker!” The biggest troublemaker is Sumire, though. I don’t know how many times I’ve been pushed around!
“Umm, you’re Keito Kiryuu, right?”
When Hitomi looked at him cautiously, Keito narrowed his eyes and bent his mouth. One way to describe it was a bad laughing face.
“Oh. so you know about me?”
“I’ve seen you at the parties and around town, though it was quite a long time ago.”
I can still understand she saw him at the parties. Keito probably attended parties before he was absent from school. But the word “town” sounds a bit disturbing.
Well, I guess Hitomi also goes into town too, but in Keito’s case, it’s probably with his friends who don’t behave well. This is very likely why Hitomi is wary.
“Don’t tell me Kiryuu is….”
Sumire, who was listening to the conversation between the two of them, scrunched her face. Come to think of it, Sumire is on bad terms with Takuto Kiryuu.
“It’s nice to meet you. I’m Takuto Kiryuu’s older brother.”
Wow. Her face is so tense that her mouth is twitching, and her eyes are a little white. Keito is also quite taken aback, and he dropped the mask he always wears. Hang on, Lady Sumire!
But well, I thought it was a disaster when I first saw it, but it’s a lucky situation for me.
“That being said, I have a favor to ask Sumire, who ruined my lunchtime and put a bug net over my head.”
When I smiled and tilted my head, for some reason. I felt everyone gasping as if they were scared. I’m sure I was not scaring them that much, but Sumire was holding onto Hitomi’s sleeves while trembling.
Since they are here, I might as well ask everyone for their “cooperation.” After all, I don’t think I can do it alone.
“Sis, what kind of situation is this?”
Aoi asked with a dumbfounded look on his face when he saw the situation in our house.
“It’s a girls’ night out.”
“A girls’ night out?”
In the parlor, Ryuune Shinonome was reading a suspicious book and talking using her rabbit puppet, and Hitomi was very seriously reading a book called “Elementary School Sweets.” Aoi was skeptical that this was a girls’ night out. I think it’s less scary than the flower club that is called Sabbath or Witches Gathering. This was a pure maiden’s gathering.
“N-Nice to meet you.”
When I turned around, a slightly nervous Sumire was standing behind Aoi and me.
“Hello, Mizutanigawa. Thank you for always getting along with my sister.”
“N-No… I have given the cake to the servant. Please enjoy it if you like.”
Sumire is not good with boys, and her speech is a little awkward, but Aoi doesn’t seem to think it’s strange, maybe because he doesn’t know what Sumire’s really like.
“Aoi, Sumire’s brother, wants to be a pastry chef and is very good at making sweets. I often eat them, too.”
But, sometimes, he randomly comes up with a horrible cooking prank. He can’t do it poorly, so I eat it properly, though.
“Oh wow, that’s amazing. I will eat some later.”
Sumire, who was not her usual self, was modest, so if Aoi knew that she had put a bug net on his sister’s head, he might distrust women. That’s not good. Let’s avoid that alone.
It would be terrible if my cute little brother, Aoi, began to distrust women and said he would never get married. I want to attend my little brother’s wedding. I’d be sad, but I want to say to his bride, “Please take care Aoi,” while in tears!
I also want to report to Aoi’s parents, who passed away, so I want Aoi to enjoy his youth, fall in love, and get married. But well, if possible, I want to quit the Flower Princesses. Because there are a lot of people with strong personalities there.
“Well then, Aoi. We will have a girls’ meeting here.”
“Girls’ meeting? Not a girls’ night out?”
“It’s no good for a man to speak out!”
“I see… Then, call me if you need anything. Call me before it becomes a scene.”
He has a suspicious look in his eyes as if he is completely positive we’re going to do something stupid.
But you know, Aoi. This is not a strange meeting. It’s a girls’ meeting! Man is not needed in girl talk! This is something I should do by mobilizing all the girl power sleeping inside me.
As soon as I confirmed Aoi had left, I sat down on the sofa and started today’s girls’ meeting.
First, I cleared my throat and calmed this place, then said a few words.
I wanted to try this for a while.
“Well, may I? Today we are assembling a meeting to make sweets to celebrate Takuto Kiryuu’s birthday. If any of you have an opinion, please raise your hand to suggest it.”
That’s right. This is a meeting for Takuto Kiryuu.
When I told the girls about the situation and that I wanted them to help me with the older brother Keito’s mission to “make Takuto laugh,” their childhood friend Little Puppet said, “It’s almost his birthday, so I want to make celebration sweets!”
No, no, this is mission and sweets! When I objected, Hitomi said something nice that we could make him smile by letting him eat something delicious instead of laughing at funny things.
The client, Keito, also agreed, so we changed the idea to make him smile by eating delicious foods instead of making him smile with gags. By the way, Sumire, next to me, was laughing by herself when she said, “I’m not going to make him laugh by being funny. I’m going to make him laugh by eating sweets,” but I ignored her.
“Yes! Yes, yes, yes!”
Sumire, who wasn’t interested in the idea because of Kiryuu, cheerfully raised her hands. That’s a banzai, so please just raise one hand.
“I think the two-layered Christmas cake in the book is good!”
“It’s midsummer, and it’s clear who wants to eat it, so it’s rejected.”
Why are we celebrating by making a Christmas cake in the middle of summer? Even though I told her it was for Kiryuu’s birthday. I’m beginning to understand Sumire’s intentions. It’s not for Kiryuu. she intended to suggest what she wanted to eat.
The next person to raise a hand was Hitomi.
“How about this citrus jelly that everyone can make easily?”
“Hitomi, ‘elementary school student,’ was written on that book, though.”
I was relieved to think that Hitomi would make a safe suggestion, but the book she was holding was clearly for elementary school students. Is that what happens when we try to match our level? Certainly, these members make me anxious about making sweets properly.
“The children’s version is also quite interesting. It will be useful.”
“But, isn’t citrus jelly a bit mundane for a birthday celebration?”
It’s summer, and refreshing is good, but it lacks impact when it comes to celebrating. If that’s the case, I guess it’s safer to have a whole cake.
The next person is the rabbit puppet…err, I mean Ryuune Shinonome raised her hand.
“I think this cake is great.”
I look at the opened page and let out a shameful voice. As expected, even Sumire was taken aback. If Sumire had this kind of hobby, Hitomi and I would probably have been in a world of hurt by now.
“Ryuune, let’s not use insects in the cake. He will definitely be angry.”
“Is that so? I thought it was a very good idea.”
Does this group have a grudge or something against Kiryuu!? There aren’t many people who are happy with insect cake. Most people would think it’s harassment.
“Ryuune, is there anything that he likes?”
“Things that he likes… I think he likes Western sweets more than Japanese sweets, and he likes cookies more than cakes.”
He likes cookies more than cakes, which is a problem for a birthday gift.
“Also, Takkun liked the plants in the garden.”
Takkun she says, that Kiryuu is Takkun! I was quite shocked because I didn’t know that the guy with the sour face was called by such a cute nickname. Sumire is laughing “heh heh heh,” with an evil look on her face, but if she makes fun of him…, Kiryuu will repay it twice on you, Sumire.
“Also, we used to draw and play together when we were little. We used to draw a house for this rabbit together.”
I had a flash of an idea at the word house. I had an inspiration about something very special.
Little Puppet and the others rolled their eyes in surprise at me when shouted suddenly. I grinned and then raised my index finger.
Everyone was surprised at my proposal and sighed.
“Maria, right now, we’re talking about the sweets that we eat.”
No, Sumire. It’s true that we are talking about sweets, but to be exact, it’s about the sweets to give to Kiryuu, okay? It’s not for Sumire to eat, okay?
“Like I said, it’s a house of sweets!”
That being the case, we can make the cookies that Kiryuu likes. It’s not often to give a house of sweets as a birthday present.
“A house of sweets!?”
“Yes, not for Sumire but for Kiryuu, okay?”
“Oh my god! How wonderful!”
While I was taken aback by Sumire’s sparkling eyes, both Little Puppet and Hitomi gave me the okay, so my idea went through.
“But… I wonder if we can make it?”
Hitomi’s concern was justified, and I didn’t think I could pull it off with these members. I felt like the cookies would break, and the house would look like a mess.
“It can’t be helped.”
Sumire stood up and put her index finger in front of her face.
“The ultimate secret skills, I can only ask for help from my Sweets Fiend! Wahahaha!”
Who is that?
It seems that Sumire’s ultimate secret skill was to learn how to make it from her older brother, who wanted to become a pastry chef. For some reason, Hitomi sensed some danger and said to share their work.
Making cookies, Hitomi.
Making animals with marzipan, Little Puppet (because she wanted it.)
Icing the cookies, me.
In order to divide such work, it seems to be quite hard for Hitomi and Little Puppet, but Hitomi is going to ask Sumire’s brother to help her. She’s also planning to borrow Sumire’s brother’s wisdom on how to make animals with marzipan. Hearing it to this extent, Sumire’s brother seemed like a very nice guy, but Sumire said, “That’s a fiend! A smiling fiend! That’s my third brother!” so it seemed there was a problem.
After Hitomi and Sumire left to go ask Sumire’s brother for help immediately, Little Puppet and I ate the cake Sumire gave us.
This was also made by her brother, right? The shortcake is delicious. Between the sponges, there was a sweet and sour jelly, and the whipped cream sweetness was just right. It’s a simple and not heavy cake.
“Do you know why he doesn’t laugh?”
“It’s not that he doesn’t laugh… he can’t laugh.”
I’ve heard from Amamiya, but I didn’t hear from Keito, which means I don’t know, so I asked her, but from the looks of it, it seems she knows too.
“H-How can…he can’t laugh.”
It’s rare that it’s not the rabbit puppet that spoke, but she said it herself in a trembling voice.
“Ryuune, it’s okay to slow down.”
Ryuune, who was choking on her words, seemed to be impatient and smiled calmly.
“If someone you care about, your mother, tells you not to smile, it’s obvious that you won’t be able to laugh well. After that… Takkun’s smile became stiff even in front of non-family members, and he said he couldn’t remember how to laugh… He was in pain.
Bit by bit, she began to talk about her own awkward and painful past, as if thinking back on it.
“I couldn’t do anything… If I got closer, I would hurt him even more… Even now, it looks like I would break him…so I could only watch him from a distance.”
The Little Puppet’s, Ryuune’s expression changed. Her eyebrows furrowed, and she bit her lower lip. Her hands on her knees are clenched tightly.
“But, that guy… Tengenji told him, “You don’t have to force yourself to smile.” I was angry with Tengenji for being able to say what I couldn’t say to him. I know this is just venting my anger. But…I was frustrated and envious of him for saving Takkun then.”
I got up and sat down on the sofa opposite her. I gently touched Ryuune’s hand, which was squeezed tightly.
“I’m sure your feelings will reach Kiryuu.”
Seems like she loves Kiryuu. He is important. She wanted to save him. She wanted to be needed, yet someone else saved him when he was young. It made her angry. That’s why she was so hostile when she ran into Tengenji before.
“I don’t know what makes Takuto happy. All I know is what makes ‘that person’ happy.”
That person that Keito was talking about is Ryuune. He knew that Ryuune had always cared about Takuto Kiryuu, and Keito cared about Ryuune. I don’t know if they each have some sort of a love triangle, but it’s a sad relationship.
“Ryuune, please promise me one thing.”
“On the day we celebrate Kiryuu’s birthday, you must tell him yourself.”
She should say it from her own mouth, without using the puppet. I think it’s just an escape if she lets something else talk to him about her feelings.
From her trembling appearance, the unsettled Ryuune’s eyes moved to the rabbit puppet next to her.
“This was…given to me by Takkun.”
The rabbit puppet and Kiryuu are too mismatched. I almost laughed a little, but it was not the time for that, so I straightened my face.
According to Ryuune story, since she was a little girl, she was not good at talking to people and was shy, so she was ostracized and talked about behind her back.
Although the Shinonome sisters were excellent, the eldest daughter was said to be gloomier and weirder than the second daughter, and the cold stares she received made her feel even more depressed.
It was Takuto Kiryuu who approached Ryuune.
Apparently, she had been invited to the same party by chance and was playing alone in the garden when Kiryuu approached her. At first she was scared, but Kiryuu took out a small rabbit doll from his pocket. Then he pretended to be a rabbit and talked to her, “Hello!”
After the tension dissipated, Ryuune was able to talk to Kiryuu, and they occasionally played together.
And then, on her sixth birthday, she received a rabbit puppet doll as a birthday present. Since then, Ryuune has cherished it.
“By the way, I put the real one in my room… I have a large number of the same type of puppets to use.”
“I-Is that so…?”
“There’s one for viewing, one for carrying, and one for sleeping together with.”
No wonder I thought it was pretty clean.
Or rather, Ryuune is pretty outrageous too, preparing a bunch of the same dolls.
“I wonder…… if the those two will be able to talk again?”
“Are you talking about the Kiryuu brothers?”
“Yes… Because Kei is clumsy. But…he is kind, so I’m worried about him.”
Ah, I see. I knew that she had a special interest in Takuto Kiryuu, but she also cared about his older brother, Keito. I’m not sure if he’s aware of it or not. In that situation, it looks like Ryuune-sama cares more about Takuto, but perhaps she, herself, doesn’t even realize it.
“I think Keito asked you to make him laugh because he thinks he can’t go on like this. So I’m sure it won’t stay like this forever.”
I hope this is the beginning of a change. As expected, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future that’s not in my original story. But, I think this is a chance for Ryuune-sama herself to change.
“Thank you, Red Rose… I will do my best.”
“Yes. Ryuune, a woman should have courage.”
“…Isn’t it about charm?”
Was that so? Hehehe.