Chapter 446 The Woman in the Storehouse
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
Cockroach’s (Saito) POV
”I apologize, but Takata won’t be meeting with anyone.”
The voice of an elderly woman came through the intercom, polite yet with a hint of dismissal.
”Um, wait a moment! We’ve come all this way, can’t we stay just for a little while?”
Fukuda-sama clung to the gatepost, leaning closer to the intercom, refusing to give up.
But there was no response. The intercom fell silent with a short, abrupt noise.
Takata-sama’s parent home was a large traditional Japanese house, typical of Kyoto. Beyond the fence, a sizable storehouse was also visible.
I, Cockroach (Saito), watched from a distance, hidden in the shadows of a telephone pole, observing Fukuda-sama, Natsumi-sama, and their actions.
”Seems like a dead end…”
When Natsumi-sama said this with a wry smile, Fukuda-sama impatiently tapped her foot in annoyance.
”I can’t believe it! Are they insane? They turn away a junior who came to visit her daughter, that’s just not right!”
”Well, there must be some circumstances…”
”But what should we do? It’s irritating to go back now.”
While appearing deep in thought with her arms crossed, Natsumi-sama gave me a meaningful glance.
(Alright, I understand. You want me to investigate, right?)
I nodded slightly as I shrugged, and Natsumi-sama smiled and said to Fukuda-sama,
”Well, let’s retreat for today. We still have some days to stay, so we can come back later. I’ll also send a message to my mutual acquaintance and ask about it.”
”Ugh… Well, I guess there’s no choice.”
Once the two figures had moved away and disappeared from view, I began my operation.
As a loyal servant of Confinement King-sama, I felt somewhat uneasy about taking my eyes off Natsumi-sama and Fukuda-sama, but this was the order from Natsumi-sama herself.
Definitely not because I was curious.
I adjusted my baseball cap, covering my face further, and concentrated my awareness on the presence of people inside the building.
There were a total of nine presences.
Surprisingly, quite a few. In a mansion of this size, it was possible they employed servants.
Among them, I recognized one presence.
(The storehouse… Takata-sama is on the second floor, isn’t she?)
Honestly, it was a relief that she was isolated from the other presences.
I leaped over the wall and landed in a corner of the garden, close to the storehouse.
Fortunately, the entrance to the storehouse was hidden from view from the main house.
Worst-case scenario, I was prepared to eliminate everyone, but if I could avoid killing, that would be better. Not because I cared how many people died, but I’d rather not incur the wrath of the Head Maid later.
The storehouse door was locked with a large latch.
I couldn’t open it from the inside.
In other words, Takata-sama was confined.
”Sigh… Once she’s released from Confinement King-sama’s grasp, she’s immediately confined in her parents’ house, huh…? Do they want to be called ‘Confinement King’?”
I couldn’t help but think my comment might have been disrespectful to Confinement King-sama himself. Silently apologizing to him in my mind, I pressed my hand against the door and focused.
(Space manipulation isn’t exactly my forte…)
I sliced through space and passed into the interior of the storehouse.
This kind of thing was really Earthworm (Inui)’s specialty. Even though I received guidance from Crocell-sama in the demon world, with a door this thick, it was a close call with my abilities.
The inside of the storehouse was quite dusty.
As expected of a historic mansion, there were many ancient items stored here. Stacks of old trunks and large jars were covered in thick dust.
Sunlight streaming in from a small window illuminated a staircase leading to the upper floor at the far end.
As soon as I approached and stepped on the narrow and steep wooden staircase, it creaked loudly.
A voice I recognized came from upstairs, but I continued ascending without answering.
Seated in seiza posture at a writing desk was Takata-sama, dressed plainly. She had no makeup on her face. Although she wasn’t wearing glasses, she seemed to have returned to her old self before becoming Taka-chi.
”Cockroach, huh…? It’s been a while.”
”Sarcastic humor doesn’t suit you at all, Takata-sama.”
”Huh? Oh… It came out sounding a bit like a rhyme, didn’t it? I didn’t intend that…”
Takata-sama chuckled awkwardly. I shifted my gaze to the writing desk she was facing.
”Scripture writing, huh…”
”Yes, I have to write a hundred pages a day. Quite amusing, isn’t it?”
When I responded this way, Takata-sama’s expression turned slightly annoyed, as if she had expected a different answer.
As I scanned the small room, there was only one folded futon beside the writing desk. That’s it.
It seemed she was truly confined here.
”So, what’s with that outfit?”
”Huh? Is something wrong? It suits my age, doesn’t it?”
Denim pants that reached mid-calf, a hoodie, and a baseball cap. Not fashionable by any means, but I thought it was typical attire for a high school girl.
”To be frank, it’s quite unfashionable.”
”I’d rather not hear that from Takata-sama.”
It was amusing how she could say that after wearing such horrendous glasses back when she was confined.
”Why did you come here? Did Fumio ask you to check on me or something?”
”No, Confinement King-sama doesn’t seem to have any interest in Takata-sama.”
”I see… Oh well, that’s too bad.”
When she looked as if she was wilting, it made me feel like I had done something terribly wrong, so I wished she wouldn’t.
”I came here on behalf of Fukuda-sama and Natsumi-sama, who are their escorts.”
”Fukuda, you mean Rin-chan? And Natsumi, is that… Natsumi Shima?”
I nodded, and a crease formed on her forehead.
”What’s up with that bizarre combination?”
”Well… I don’t know the details of how they got acquainted. Anyway, Fukuda-sama and Natsumi-sama came all the way here to visit Takata-sama, but they were turned away at the gate. So, I came in their place.”
”By the way, Takata-sama really seem to have a penchant for confinement, even at your family’s home.”
”I don’t like being confined! It just happened because I tried to escape!”
”It’s rather foolish to get caught, isn’t it?”
”You’re really rude, aren’t you? You should show a bit of compassion since I’m in a weak state.”
”Showing compassion to Takata-sama won’t benefit me in any way.”
”Yeah, you’re one of those, huh?”
Takata-sama sighed and slumped her shoulders.
”Oh well, confinement here isn’t enjoyable at all…”
I couldn’t help but tilt my head in response to that statement.
”It sounds like you actually enjoyed being confined.”
”Well, toward the end… The job was fun, and I grew attached to the customers. Fukuo-chi’s ‘equipment’ was amazing too… And arguing with you wasn’t so bad either. I think.”
”Finding enjoyment in confinement, that’s a kind of perversion.”
”Haha… Yeah, maybe. But this confinement here is ending soon.”
”Is that so?”
I tilted my head again, and she made a face that was somewhere between laughing and crying.
”The wedding is the day after tomorrow.”
”It’s an old man, you see. He doesn’t mind that I’m damaged goods… It’s kind of amusing, isn’t it? I’m more than fifty years younger than him, and become his second wife. For my mother, it’s a way to get rid of me, and she’ll also establish a relationship with a powerful local figure. There’s really no reason for her to refuse, right?”
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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