Maria, however, decides in an instant that she will not stop.
She is sure that this kind of honest discussion is necessary.
Especially, it is necessary to know each other's inner feelings, which is not possible if Chihiro, the master of the group, is not present.
After a few seconds, Yotsuba answered.
「To be honest, I think it's an obstacle. Of course, it was the Master's decision - before I became his, so I'm not going to complain about it」
「Is it because Chihiro will have less time with you?」
There was no trace of apology in her answering expression.
「I mean, isn't it obvious? If there were no other slaves, including my sister, but me, I would be held by Master many times more than I am now. If Aika is not Master's lover, I can officially be with Master」
Aika clenches her fists.
This was probably due to the hostility - perhaps the strongest pressure - from Yotsuba.
But even so, Aika did not turn her head down.
She looked up and stared straight back at Yotsuba.
「I see... Slaves are a hindrance to love, huh?」
No one denied what they said.
Rather, it was a silent affirmation.
As Yotsuba said, it was natural. If the friendship, trust, solidarity, and convenience in life are ignored, and only the desire as a woman is taken into consideration, the presence of another woman beside Chihiro is nothing but an obstacle.
Aika shakes her head.
「Chihiro-kun chose this, and we chose Chihiro-kun. So I want to get along with everyone and be a good girlfriend for Chihiro-kun」
「So you don't have much time for Master and yourself?」
「Yes. Of course, I'll complain to Chihiro-kun as much as I can, and I'll ask Chihiro-kun to give up what he can」
"After all, I am Chihiro-kun's girlfriend", said Aika clearly.
This answer, Maria thinks, is typical of Aika, who is the only one who has the possibility to be more than equal to Chihiro, and even more so to Suzu, who is Chihiro's saffle.
If Maria were in her shoes, she wonder if she could be that open and honest.
So, she sighs.
「...Well, she is right. I agree with Aika, too」
Riko scratches her cheeks a little shyly and says in a blunt tone.
She then adds, "And I may have already told Maria and the others about this".
「You see, I like Chihiro. I love him. But I don't want to be Chihiro's girlfriend. I love Chihiro because he made me the way I am now. Chihiro told me to be a slave, so I will be his slave. Otherwise, I don't want to be a slave」
Riko was given the meaning of existence by Chihiro after Chihiro hurt her and broke her pride.
Therefore, she puts Chihiro first.
If her position is unshakable, she does not care about most of the things.
「If you want him to hold you, why don't you ask him? If he is not busy, Chihiro will hold you, right?」
「Riko-chan has been so crazy about Chihiro-kun lately, hasn't she?」
「Eh...A-am I doing that?」
「Yes, you do」
Suzu giggles at Riko's shocked muttering.
「Chihiro-kun and I are saffle, so we have a relaxed relationship. It doesn't matter if he has other lovers, slaves, or friends. As long as I can be spoiled by Chihiro-kun, it's enough」
But the more people there are, the less time Chihiro will spoil her.
「Besides, it's fun to be friends with everyone. People here don't nag me too much」
「Well, I think you have been saying that a lot」
「Riko-chan's sermons have love in them. I love it」
「Wait, don't you dare get up from your seat and hug me!」
As usual, Suzu is always quick to lighten the mood when the opportunity arises.
Maria felt that she was strangely reliable, and looked back at Yotsuba.
「How is it, Yotsuba-san?」
「...Maria and Hana? How can you two continue such an unstable relationship?」
Maria answered slowly to Yotsuba who was still struggling with her words.
「For me, being a slave is the same as living. In order to live, I need Chihiro-sama to be my master. Therefore, I should be happy that Chihiro-sama acts strongly as a master」
"I know it's crazy", though Maria herself.
But there is nothing else she can do. And it is Chihiro who accepts and acknowledges such a crazy person.
Hearing Maria's words, Hana glanced at her and said.
「For me, it's not that I want Izumi-kun all to myself or anything. Although Izumi is better than other men, I am a slave for Maria-chan and Chisato-chan. So, I don't care much where Izumi-kun plays around」
"You do care a little bit", thought Maria as she heard the end of a word that Hana probably didn't even realize she had said.
It seems that Hana is becoming more and more honest.
Yotsuba lets out a deep sigh and mutters a little.
「...Indeed. Everyone is a weirdo, aren't they?」
「Haha. Including Senpai」
「Yes, I suppose so. After all, we need time for a heart-to-heart talk like this. Otherwise, we won't be able to get along with everyone in a real sense」
Yotsuba smiled at everyone.
「Anyway, I am a slave to Master. Because he realized my pride, I pledged my allegiance to Master who made me realize it and recognized it. I will not bow down to anyone but tMaster, but I want to honor my family, friends, and "colleagues"」
After that, the group talked about various topics, trying not to miss the opportunity to talk each other.
However, in the end, Chihiro did not come back that day, so Yotsuba left before dinner with a regretful look on her face.
* * *
After Yotsuba's question was answered, Chihiro contacted Maria.
Chihiro, who had just finished the first round and was going to start the second round after a light meal, said that he is going to use Nanase crafted tools and Nanase has become his saffle. Hearing this, Maria was surprised and she reported back to everyone.
「Everyone, Master is going to have another saffle!」
It seems that Minakata Nanase, the lewd creator, has already accepted "Domination".
Basically, she will continue to live and work in her atelier as before. But she and Chihiro keep in touch and will play only when their schedules allow.
They have established a win-win relationship: Nanase has a partner for play, and Chihiro has a valuable connection to order many tools, etc., also Nanase has a client.
Now, they are on track to have chastity belts made to order.
Though Maria and her friends will have to deal with more troubles instead.
「It's a little late for that, isn't it?」
With this, the girls talked to each other in a casual manner, trying to laugh it off at least this much.