Volume 9 Chapter 26 Tsukimachi Ayana, First Love
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
Reira-san and I watched the government-sponsored matchmaking party from the waiting room with Amakusa Shikimi-san, the head of the National Confidentiality Bureau and the head of the Amakusa family of the six noble families.
For me, who is not very interested in variety shows, Morikawa Kaede, the announcer for the national broadcast, and Aqua’s light talk were educational to watch.
Aqua is outstanding as an actor, singer, and idol, and yet he can also be an MC and talk well even as a mere guest. It’s almost unfair how talented he is.
”Really, how far can he go…”
Aqua may not be interested in other people’s evaluations, but he was the only one from this country to rank in the world’s top ten young actors announced quarterly by the home state, even though he had only debuted about a month ago, along with Stars’ rising star Charles Henderson.
Charles Henderson, who ranked 10th, was only 14 years old, but his genius-level acting was unbelievable. Even Aqua was ranked third among young actresses in the world, so the world is truly vast.
And there are still two people above him, and that’s within the framework of young actors, so only Mishu-sama from this country is ranked.
Even with Kuga Reira-san, who is next to me now, we cannot be among the top 10 people in the world. It’s really a ridiculous world.
In the decades-long history of this young actor ranking started by the home state, these two are the first men to rank, not just because they are men, but because they are highly regarded as actors.
Many actresses want to co-star with them, and Charlie Henderson the Stars Prince, and Shirogane Aqua the Platinum King, who surpass them, are now the center of the entertainment market.
Really, every time someone extraordinary in the same generation comes out, I sigh. I’m just struggling to survive in this world…
That’s why I think it was significant to co-star with Aqua in the Monday 9PM Drama.
I’m also ranked eighth in the domestic young actor ranking created following the example of the home state, but comparing myself to Aqua, who reigns at the top, is futile. Moreover, I think the day is coming when I will be surpassed by Tenga Akira, who is currently ranked 10th below me, and Mayuzumi-kun, who is increasing his power with each episode of Heaven’s Sword, even though he’s outside the ranking.
Tenga-san has a star quality that catches the eye, and flashy action that makes use of his tall height, and Mayuzumi-kun’s occasional abyss shines even more deeply by co-starring with actors with strong star quality, such as Aqua, Tenga-senpai, and Henderson-san. Oh, talent is truly cruel.
But I don’t intend to give up. Right now, my goal is Toa-chan, who is ranked sixth above me.
I’m a singer, so I just said that I’ll do my best to act according to my surroundings, but still, being ranked higher than me at sixth place is amazing. To be frank, compared to the other three members of Beryl, Toa-chan’s acting didn’t have much impact, but the reason he’s ranked higher than me is due to his skillful execution and high expressiveness.
I may not become Aqua, but I think referring to Toa-chan’s acting will help me grow.
Kohina-senpai said it wasn’t a bad perspective, but I was still only given a score of 80. What could be missing for the remaining 20 points?
As I was thinking about that, Reira-san next to me talked to me.
”Oh, no, it’s just that being with Reira-san like this again feels like a dream…”
”Hehehe, Ayana-kun, you and I spent a night together in the same Shirogane family. Don’t say such things.”
Looking at her up close like this, I still thought Reira-san was cool.
With a blessed physique and a beautiful face, I’m also told that I’m pretty, but my beauty and Reira-san’s beauty are different.
My beauty doesn’t work in States or Stars, but Reira-san’s beauty is a beauty that works even over there. But there’s no point in envying what I don’t have. I have to compete with what I have.
I’m working hard as an idol now because of the harassment I received during my childhood as a child actor, but my original dream was to become a top-class actor.
”But Rihito’s popularity is amazing. What’s so good about that guy?”
”Well, even from my perspective, Rihito-san is just a normal person who can attract people. He’s calm, kind, and seems smart…”
”Hmm… then, Ayana-kun, who do you like better, Aqua-kun or Rihito?”
Reira-san peered into my face with a grin. It was a bit mischievous, like Kohina-senpai when she was teasing me, and it irritated me.
”I see. Ayana-kun, that’s the right choice. Aqua-kun is a much better guy than Rihito. After all, he has chosen to be with the person he loves the most, even if it means giving up everything.”
”Hey, Reira-san! I haven’t really…”
Reira-san silenced me by pressing her index finger against my lips.
At that moment, Reira-san looked so cool that even as a woman, I couldn’t help but be a little charmed.
”You don’t need to say it; it’s written all over your face, Ayana-kun. You should work on your ability to respond quickly when pushed into a corner.”
Well… I’m not as good at improvisation as Aqua, that’s for sure.
While I do admire him to some extent, I’m not sure if what I feel is actually love.
I think I have stronger feelings related to things like meeting someone my age for the first time whom I deeply respect, feeling like we’re comrades, and being happy when he helped me. Probably…
Because, you know, I’ve only seen love happen in dramas, and if someone asked me if this feeling is love, I wouldn’t really know.
”What about Reira-san? You were really pushing for it the other day, weren’t you?”
”Me? I’m always ready to accept it. After all, my genes will mix with the genes of those two. Isn’t that great?”
Sigh… having the genes of Shirogane Aqua, Kuga Reira-san, and Yukishiro Mikuni is cheating.
I thought a great actor would be born.
”But… I don’t force my children to do the same job as us. A child’s life is their own. Children are free to do what they want. However, to get my children to do the same job, I’ll still show them Mishu-sama’s and Aqua-kun’s videos and make appeals.”
Reira-san turned around and looked at Amakusa-san, who was standing alone against the wall. Amakusa-san was staring at Rihito-san on the screen.
”Is it really okay, Shikimi-oneechan?”
”Reira-chan… I see, this is something you started. That’s why Shirogane-kun asked the prime minister…”
Amakusa-san smiled kindly at Reira-san. It was a smile that came from a loving heart, like a real big sister or mother.
Then, she looked at me and bowed apologetically.
”I’m sorry. Tsukimachi Ayana-san, I got you involved because of me.”
”No… And besides, I kind of understand Reira-san’s feelings.”
Amakusa-san’s gaze on Rihito-san on the screen looked painful. Even though she was the head of the Amakusa family, she was unmarried and had not yet produced a successor. It was clear to everyone that she was still carrying feelings for Rihito-san.
”I’m really sorry, Reira-chan. Even though Rihito has already married several wives, I’m still the only one who hasn’t moved on…”
”That’s not true! Shikimi-oneechan, Rihito is the same as you! He… had the same look on his face as you do now! But why did the two of you… Sorry. Both of you have your own circumstances…”
I thought Reira-san really liked Amakusa-san. Unlike when we were talking, I could see that Reira-san was really childlike and looked up to Amakusa-san as a real big sister.
”But, this is just impossible!”
”Yeah… I cried many times too. And I searched for various ways without giving up, even if I abolished the Amakusa family and transferred everything to a branch family…
Plus, for a marriage between the six families, more than half of the heads of the families need to approve it. Amakusa and Kuga families are excluded from voting, so all four remaining heads of the families with voting rights need to vote.”
Certainly, I thought that would be unrealistic.
I don’t know if the Fuji family or the Sumeragi family would be okay with the current balance being disrupted by the departure of the Amakusa family, let alone the Kokucho family, which doesn’t have a very good reputation. But even if they know how she feels, I think people in that position will just think of it that way.
The Yukishiro family is said to be moving in a dimension where it’s okay, but even if one person approves, it doesn’t mean they will be accepted.
”Even so you should at least convey your feelings!!”
Reira-san grits her teeth and clenches her fist tightly.
”Shikimi-oneechan…were your feelings for Rihito really just that?”
”That’s not it! Look at Aqua-kun! He’s a boy!! And yet, he boarded the Stars and confessed his feelings to Kanon-kun, the next queen candidate of another country… and they got together. I saw it on video on-site and thought that this was happening. I was moved.
Some people said it was a miracle, but it wasn’t. Aqua-kun moved forward on his own and grabbed it! If you don’t act before thinking about it, you won’t really get what you want! And yet, Shikimi-oneechan is always looking for reasons why it won’t work out, but even now, you definitely likes Rihito!”
Reira-san sobs uncontrollably. I hand her the handkerchief I had and turn my gaze towards Amakusa-san.
”I’m an outsider, so I don’t really have the right to say anything… but can I say one thing?”
Amakusa-san nodded slightly at my question.
”I really don’t have any talent as an actress. I realized that when I co-starred with Aqua and Kohina-senpai on the monday 9PM drama. Ah, real people are really different… but even so, I can’t give up on this dream. So I have no choice but to struggle and cling to it desperately. If you really like it, you can’t give up, no matter how embarrassing it is.”
I already know that I don’t have any talent.
But that doesn’t mean I can give up easily.
Co-starring with Aqua and Kohina-senpai on the drama made my feelings even stronger. I don’t want to be left behind by these two.
I wanted to act alongside Aqua and Kohina-senpai on the same screen again.
”Even if you know it’s hopeless, if there’s a possibility, you should express those feelings. At least, the person I admired was always like that.”
During a break in filming, I once stared at Aqua’s profile standing next to me.
I liked Aqua’s face as he raised his head and looked straight ahead, and now I realize I might have been fascinated by him.
Since then, I realized that this person is just as serious as I am.
He never holds back and does incredible things unconsciously, and sometimes does outrageous things, but everyone knows that Aqua is serious, so no one says anything.
”Amakusa-san, as the top of the National Confidentiality Bureau, is it okay for you to let a boy work so hard like this? When I first met a boy who was working hard, I thought I didn’t want to lose. Even if I knew it was reckless, if there was a chance of winning, I would hold onto it. Are you… Amakusa-san not like that?”
Amakusa-san’s eyes trembled at my words.
I thought her heart had moved. I sent a glance to Reira-san so as not to miss that opportunity.
”Is it really okay, Shikimi-oneechan? You’re not Amakusa Shikimi-san of the Amakusa family. It’s okay to express your feelings as just Amakusa Shikimi! Tell him your feelings and work hard with Rihito, even if you have to give up after that!”
Looking at Amakusa-san bowing, I thought it was one step away from success.
What can I do, how can I push her forward?
Even though I know that much, I can’t come up with the best move from here.
No, if I say anything more, it will only make her take a step back.
But Aqua relied on me…! I was crushed by my own powerlessness.
”Oh, there’s someone here.”
At that moment, a girl entered the dressing room where we were.
A beautiful girl with a noble aura that made everyone turn around. I know her.
Sumeragi Kukuri, the girl from the Sumeragi family that Mary-sama brought to the cultural festival.
”Kuga Reira-san, Tsukimachi Ayana… and Amakusa Shikimi-san.”
Kukuri-san looked at us and then at the monitor.
”I see… that’s why Aqua-sama… Hmm, so it’s one step away.”
What did she understand in that instant?
Kukuri-san turned her gaze to Amakusa-san and moved her big eyes.
Amakusa-san couldn’t help but raise her head and return her gaze to her, despite the pressure that was beyond that of a junior high school student.
Seeing that, Kukuri-san smiled.
Her voice, which was completely chilled, lowered the room temperature. It confused my head, as it was too different from the gentle and cute image I saw at the cultural festival.
For the first time, Amakusa-san showed a feeling of anger. It was an emotion that neither I nor Reira-san could bring out.
”Wh-what’s wrong with you——”
Before Amakusa-san could finish speaking, Kukuri-san spoke up.
With just one words, the pressure from her voice made everyone around her silent.
Kukuri-san pointed her index finger straight ahead.
”I don’t care about the Sumeragi family. It’s the same as the six families and this country. But… if it’s for that person’s sake, I don’t mind being Sumeragi Kukuri of the Sumeragi family. And I only want one thing. Yes, ever since the day I found the treasure that I wanted to love for the first time, I have been moving for the sake of that one treasure. What do you know about me, who only has a half-hearted feeling that can easily give up, like you?”
When she was talking to Aqua, it didn’t feel like that, did it…?
That’s how pure her smile was, enough to purify a fake idol like that in an instant.
And yet, this child in front of me is showing a black smile that is no different from the villain played by Kohina-senpai.
”I’m not half-hearted…! I also…!!”
”I also… sigh… that’s why we’re in this together while making excuses like that.”
I inadvertently made eye contact with Reira-san. Is this child really in junior high school?
”Oh, I see! That’s what it is!”
Kukuri suddenly hops and approaches Amakusa-san with a cute gesture.
”You’re not young anymore either. Kuga Rihito isn’t interested in an old hag like you anymore. Look, he can chooses as many young girls as he wants.”
”What!? Rihito-kun isn’t like that…!!”
Kukuri-san, who had been agitating until a moment ago, looks up at Amakusa-san with a serious expression.
”Even so, those two challenged recklessly. And one of them won. When I heard that, my heart and body trembled. His surroundings are always interesting. They are full of the kind of fun that punches and destroys everything that I thought was common sense in this boring world. That’s why I’m spending my precious time with you like this.”
I know who that person is now. I see, so Kukuri-san is only like that in front of Aqua…
Even though I work in a field where I am relatively exposed to the malice of women, I realized again that girls are scary when I saw Kukuri-san.
Reira-san seems to have thought that this is a chance, and she raises her voice to interrupt the two.
”Shikimi-oneechan! It’s true that Rihito is a very serious guy and inflexible, and he’s a boring guy compared to Aqua-kun, but is it okay for Sumeragi Kukuri to say that?”
”Well, I didn’t say that far… but you, who are his family member, are saying terrible things. Yeah…”
I also nod my head at Kukuri-san’s calm retort.
”Then prove it! Rihito is not such a man that can’t receive Shikimi-oneechan’s feelings.
Reira-san grabs Amakusa-san’s hands.
”I’ll think about it together, so if it still doesn’t work, the three of us can cry together!”
”Reira-chan…! I, I… actually, I didn’t want it. Other girls are bound to Rihito-kun, and yet, only I…”
”Then there’s no choice but to go. Aqua-kun taught us that nothing will change if we don’t challenge ourselves. Even if we fail, it’s different from giving up without trying.”
That’s right, we have to challenge ourselves and move forward. There’s nothing we can win without fighting for it. On the day when I was overwhelmed by Kohina-senpai’s performance, Aqua still looked ahead.
He seemed to have seen the real strength, unlike me who was about to lose.
[Now, it’s confession time for Kuga Rihito-san!!]
At Morikawa-san’s words, everyone turned their gaze to the monitor. Rihito-san’s confession, which was probably the most popular, was the last one, as the program was reaching its climax. Rihito-san politely declined each woman’s confession one by one.
”That’s right. I don’t want to be taken away by those sudden girls!! I’m going!!”
Go where? The program is still in progress… I said to confess, but isn’t it after the program or something…? Amakusa-san opened the door vigorously and ran out of the waiting room.
Reira-san saw it and hurriedly followed. Then, only I and Kukuri-san were left in the room. Kukuri-san stared at me with her big eyes.
”Tsukimachi Ayana, what will you do?”
Even if she asks me what to do, I can’t follow them because I have something to do later… While I was thinking about that, Kukuri-san sighed.
”You really are still a child, just like your tsundere appearance.”
I couldn’t help but raise my voice. It’s true that I’m still a child in terms of age, but I don’t want to be treated like a child suddenly by a younger girl!?
”Well, that’s okay. Please entertain me as much as possible.”
Kukuri-san said only that and left the room. What was that all about? It’s true that the problem has been resolved, but it’s a little unsatisfying. When I looked back at the monitor, Morikawa-san had a disappointed look on her face.
[Well then, the confession time for Kuga Rihito-san is over. Everyone, you did your best and I was moved. Although the results were disappointing, I want to applaud the 21 brave women who confessed to him!! No, let me applaud them!!]
Morikawa-san clapped with tears in her eyes. I don’t think she’s popular because she’s sarcastic or anything, but because she can genuinely do this.
Aqua, who was next to her, wiped Morikawa-san’s runny nose with the handkerchief he had. Now, all that’s left is the ending live with Aqua.
When I thought about moving to the backstage, I heard a familiar voice from the monitor.
[Wait a minute!!]
Amakusa-san, out of breath, stopped Rihito-san from retreating. Fortunately, this was only shown in the summary and not broadcasted on TV.
Amakusa-san’s unusual appearance surprised Rihito-san.
[Rihito-kun… there’s something I’ve always wanted to tell you! No, there still is. My heart is still burning with this feeling. I love you. I really do! I don’t want to spend any more time lying to myself, even if it’s not good. I want to give a proper answer to these feelings and move forward!]
It was a confession driven purely by momentum.
But that’s how it is, right? It’s impossible to stop a burst of emotions once it’s started.
I can’t imagine a love that’s been troubled, carried, and endured for such a long time.
Rihito-san became tongue-tied. He also has a position to consider. Unlike Amakusa-an, who just kept being agitated, he hasn’t caught up with his emotions yet. But I thought it was okay. Because Aqua was there…
See, I knew it.
[Rihito-san, the answer is always simple. Does your simple self want simple Amakusa Shikimi-san…? That was the answer I arrived at when I confessed to Kanon. I’m the only one who can make Kanon happy. I still think that way now. What about you? Are you different from me? If it’s only that kind of feeling, you should give up.]
Aqua slowly approached Rihito-san and grabbed his collar. The staff around them screamed at the sudden event.
[I won’t let you say that you weren’t moved by Hamada-san’s confession, Uesaka-san’s effort, or Haraguchi-san’s smile!! If you’re a man! At least respond to the feelings of the woman you love!! Forget about your home! Forget about other people! You can think about that later!! Just think about your own happiness!! Right?!]
Aqua looked around at the people. The men nodded at Aqua’s words.
[Kuga-san, if you love that person, you shouldn’t let go. At least, I regretted it when Akiha-san left me at that time!!]
Everyone followed Hamada-san’s passionate words. And the last one to open his heavy mouth was the tongue-tied Uesaka-san.
[I’m not good with words… but when I saw the girls trying to talk to me, I was moved. And I thought… my admired Mayuzumi Shintaro… surely, he wouldn’t make those girls sad… That’s why I chose them during the two-shot time, and responded to all the girls who confessed to me.]
Uesaka-san lifted his fake glasses that he wore to emulate Mayuzumi-kun.
[Of course, there may be things that don’t work out while we deepen our relationship… But even so, we won’t know until we try dating. Mayuzumi-kun taught me that… and so did Shirogane-kun who was there.]
Uesaka-san approached Rihito-san slowly and gently patted his shoulder.
[If we don’t stand up and face this now, then when will we? Do we have to run away again?]
Everyone trembled at the familiar words they heard. Some of the female staff were already shaking and crying.
[I hate seeing girls become victims because of me. Just like they want to protect men, I want to protect them too. I may seem unreliable, but I still have some pride. That’s why I will never give up.]
These were the words Mayuzumi-kun said when he first transformed into Driver. There was once an unverified survey taken by boys who watched Heaven’s Sword on the internet. Most of the scenes they found cool were dominated by Aqua.
But the scene where Mayuzumi transformed for the first time was the one where the boys could relate the most. Everyone longed for the moment when an ordinary boy like them could become a hero like Aqua.
[These words changed me. But I don’t know if they will change you. However, I will give that words from my favorite scene in Heaven’s Sword.]
Uesaka-san quietly handed a handkerchief to the staff member who was crying behind him and led everyone back to the waiting room.
It was amazing. Aqua changed Mayuzumi-kun, and Mayuzumi-kun changed Uesaka-san.
Aqua’s passion spread to everyone, and the world was changing for the better. My heart was beating faster than ever before.
[Rihito-san, it’s up to you now. Everyone, sorry, but could you leave them alone for a moment?]
Aqua hugged Reira-san and Morikawa-san, who were crying on the side, with both hands and led the staff to the back. The camera only captured that much.
I was curious about the confession of Amakusa-san and Rihito-san, but I had a live performance after this.
Oh, damn it. I already did my makeup…! I thought so as I wiped my tears quickly and hurriedly moved to the wings of the stage.
But then, I was shocked when I saw Aqua’s face in the wings. I was surprised at myself and became a little awkward.
”You’re amazing after all.”
Me…? Isn’t it you who’s amazing?
”Thank you for moving Amakusa-san. Shintaro was the one who moved Uesaka-san, and I thought I couldn’t lose to him either.”
Hey, you know, it’s okay for you to get a little carried away, okay?
I mean, it was you who moved Mayuzumi-kun, you know?
And even I was saved by you…?
As I confused by my own unknown emotions, Aqua, who was next to me, stepped forward.
”Now, it’s time for our live performance finale. Let’s go!”
Saying that, Aqua reached out his hand to me. I nodded slightly, following the beating of my heart, and took his hand.
[Well, finally, for all the participants and those watching this TV, we have a live performance by Shirogane Aqua and surprise guest Tsukimachi Ayana-san. Here it is!]
The spotlight illuminates the live stage along with Morikawa-san’s words. Even though the live has already started, my heart feels a little fluffy somewhere. No, I have to concentrate because I’m the first one to sing!
’I still remember your big back that I saw on that night when I had a fever. The cold drops ran down my hot cheeks, and my trembling wet body.’
I actually wrote the lyrics for this song that aired on Getsuku (Monday 9 PM Drama).
’Every time the rain and wind hit the window, my heart makes a big noise. The drops of moonlight that lit up the darkness shine on your face.’
I had never been in love, and I don’t think I had such good feelings towards boys. I wondered if I could write a duet song with a boy like that.
’I was quietly looking at the fire, avoiding your gaze. Because when I realized this feeling, I felt like my heart, which had been stubbornly closed until now, was melting and disappearing. I thought it would be nice if time stopped like this.’
What I remembered was what happened in the abandoned school building that night when we were alone during the filming of Getsuku.
Maybe it was because I had a fever at that time, but it wasn’t normal. Seeing Aqua, who was kind to me, I realized that something big was changing inside me. I turned my gaze to Aqua next to me.
’I want to be by your side, seeing your face in pain and wanting to help you. The heart and rain that tighten each other, as if to fill the loneliness and seek each other. The horn that announces the end, sways.’
Ah! Enough already! You sing so well that it really makes me angry! You’re amazing as an actor too, but what are you really! Look at the audience. They’re all looking at you!
’I called your name for the first time. I called it again as if to confirm. Every time I called that name, I became more fond of you.’
I might have realized it earlier. When I was called Ayana’s name, my heart skipped a beat. So, just a little, I blamed it on the fever and tried to test myself.
’I was looking at the fire, trying not to look at your body that I held gently. Is this heat because of summer or our body temperature? Overlapping bodies, touching skin, hearts melting and becoming one. In the slow time, I was actually looking at you.’
My body was touched by a boy for the first time. I was surprised that I didn’t hate it as much as I thought. I didn’t know that a boy could touch a girl so gently…
’The flickering flame’
’The warm fire’
We sing together alternately.
’Illuminated your face’
’Illuminates your face’
Our voices entwine with each other.
’My heart is shaking’
’My heart shook’
As if our hearts were getting closer.
’I want to be by your side’
’I want to be by your side’
So that the two of us can share our feelings.
’Just a little more’
’Just a little bit’
Only honest emotions dominate inside me like this.
’Is it okay like this?’
’I want to be like this’
I faced him, and his gaze met my gaze.
’In the two-person night world where no one else was there. The memory I still cherish and the heat of the palm I touched.’
I sing my solo part, trying desperately to suppress my voice that is about to waver.
Ah, I see… So this is what this feeling of love is.
And then, when I realized it, my heart suddenly became painful. In an instant, Aqua’s voice overlapped with mine.
’We were softly kissing, only illuminated by the bonfire. I felt like it was the beginning of something at the end of summer. As my slowly melting heart made me aware of my own feelings, I had a happy dream in the arms that held me.’
When we managed to finish singing, we were enveloped in cheers and applause.
Aqua approached me and whispered in a small voice that no one else could hear.
When I looked there, I saw Amakusa-san and Rihito-san holding hands.
It went well. It is very nice.
”Aqua-kun, Ayana-chan! You both were amazing!”
”Oh no, thinking about that scene with Kazuya and Rina makes me want to cry.”
”No, not want to cry, you did cry, didn’t you?”
The backstage was also full of smiles.
I don’t know why, but wherever Aqua goes, it always seems to end up like this.
Everyone was laughing together, and it felt comfortable… yeah, not bad. That’s what I thought.
But that peaceful mood was shattered by a few people.
”Director Amakusa, Kuga Rihito-san, this is unacceptable.”
Government officials, identified by the ID hanging around their necks, approached the two, who were holding hands, and seemed to be related to Kokucho.
Nevertheless, the two responded firmly to their words. Judging by their expressions, it seemed that Rihito-san and Amakusa-san had made up their minds.
Even so… even if they oppose it, isn’t it too late now? I want to ask them what they were looking at.
I thought about saying something, but someone tapped my shoulder and stepped forward before I could.
At first, I thought it was Aqua, but it wasn’t. It was the Prime Minister who came forward in my place.
”Ayana-chan, you did a great job! Leave it to the adults from here on out, though. But we’ll still borrow the power of the children, haha.”
As always, she approached Amakusa-san and the others in a nonchalant way.
”Prime Minister! This is a problem for the six noble families! A commoner like you has no right to interfere!”
”Well, if it’s those noble families, they have the right to interfere, don’t they?”
”What on earth…!?”
The Kokucho personnel froze as they looked at where the Prime Minister was pointing her thumb.
Even I, who knew that Kukuri-san was coming, was surprised.
Sumeragi Kukuri, Kokucho Agewa, Fuji Shion-san, and all the other six noble families except the Yukishiro family were gathered there.
”Agewa-sama!! You’re just in time! The heads of the Kuga and Amakusa families getting married is a joke…”
”It’s not that big of a deal, is it? Anyway, can you go home now?”
Ehhhhh! Wait a minute, wasn’t that the part that was against it in the pre-discussions!?
Aqua and I looked at Reira-san in surprise.
Moreover, Kokucho Agewa-san left alone after leaving her family behind, and seeing that, Fuji-san burst out laughing, and I wonder what is happening….
”By the way, I have the same answer as the head of the Kokucho family. Because if I oppose what Aqua-sama is involved in, I might be killed by my sister Ranko later. I still want to live longer.” “Me too, because there is no reason to oppose.”
There is only one person left, but the head of the Yukishiro family disappeared after riding on a crab boat or tuna fishing boat…
When I think about that, I hear a banging sound from the back of the aisle.
”Is it hereeeee!?”
Everyone looks at her at once. She was the one who was Mary-sama’s maid…
”Hey, Kukuri! Is it true that Aqua-sama is in trouble!! Hey, Aqua-sama!?”
Oh, come to think of it, isn’t this person’s name Yukishiro Emily-san? If she was called by Kukuri-san, she must have been related to the Yukishiro family after all.
I thought she might be different because she was a maid.
I wonder what it is. But the killing intent towards Morikawa-san is so strong that she is glaring at her as if her family were killed by her.
”Yes, yes, the temporary head of the Yukishiro family, will you approve of these two getting married? Do you not approve? Which one?”
”Huh!? I was suddenly called out, I don’t know what’s going on…”
”She confessed to him and got his OK, but these guys are complaining.”
Hey, Kukuri-san is sloppy! Is that explanation okay? Explain it more carefully.
The Prime Minister and Fuji-san next to me are laughing like they’re watching a comedy.
”Hey, you guys…”
Emily-san approaches the Kokucho family members with her spirit.
”I don’t know what happened! A woman had the courage to confess to a man! If that’s the case, isn’t it reasonable for us women to clap and smile as well?”
”No, buts!! If you’re a woman, don’t nag! Even I, when I saw Hogekawa’s stupid face, thought she was really stupid and I sent a killing intent or two, but I hugged her and praised her properly!! If you’re the same woman as me, be a cool woman in front of men too!!”
The Kokucho people are stunned by Emily-san’s spirit. Then Kukuri-san interrupts again.
”So, do you approve of these two getting married?”
”Yeah, I do!! I’m from Edo, born and raised!! Yukishiro Emily, as the representative of the Yukishiro family, approves of the marriage of these two!! A woman has no words!!”
O-ooh! The flow has become unclear, but everyone applauds together.
”No…you’re were born and raised in Kanagawa, aren’t you…?”
Huh? Did Morikawa-san mutter something nearby or is it just my imagination?
”Okay, let’s step back now as it will become more complicated.”
”Wait a minute! I have something to say to Hogekawa who is there…”
”Yeah, yeah, later…”
Kukuri-san scolds Emily-san and takes her to another room.
Wow, that’s impressive. I was surprised because I thought she was a quiet person.
The people of Kokucho were initially stunned, but gradually recovered.
”No, please wait. Even if that’s the case, the Amakusa branch…”
”In that case, it’s alright.”
The Prime Minister smiles with a somewhat suspicious, yet friendly smile.
”Huh? Is it possible that none of you have noticed?”
There’s something odd about this, a sense of discomfort that makes my heart race.
”Even if the Amakusa family is abolished, there is someone from the Ten family who even dominates the heavens. Written as ‘taking over the heavens,’ Tenga Akira, his family used to be a farmer in Tohoku and now he is a commoner, but if you check his bloodline, he is a distant relative. If he becomes the head, won’t the other branches oppose it?”
Ah… I see, that’s right. If Kokucho is related to Mayuzumi, it’s not strange for Amakusa and Shirogane to be related.
Branch families of nobles often use one letter from the main family’s name, so it’s not uncommon for that letter to be mixed up with commoners over time. But can they really return to the main family from being commoners?
People around who learned about Tenga-senpai’s connection to the Amakusa family also become restless.
”Isn’t that a conveniently timed story…”
The Prime Minister drops an envelope from his pocket with a suspicious smile.
”Oh, speaking of which, Tenga-kun said he’s okay with becoming the head under certain conditions. I thought I lost the envelope with that information, but it turns out I had left it in my pocket all along… I almost sent it to the cleaners. Oh well, that’s a relief.”
”Geez, Prime Minister, please get it together! You’ll get scolded by the minister again later.”
”Mengo, Mengo (Sorry, sorry)!”
The Prime Minister jests with her secretary as usual.
On the other hand, the people of Kokucho are speechless and collapsed on the spot. They probably have no more options left.
Amakusa-san and Rihito-san look stunned at the sight.
I understand… Everything was resolved so quickly, like all the previous struggles were for nothing.
”Well, I was really wondering how it would end, but it’s great, isn’t it?”
”But I was surprised that Shirogane-kun was connected to Amakusa.”
”But still, the Prime Minister is the same as always…”
”I know. I know. It was a cool moment, but I wish she had been a little more serious at the end.”
No… this person, the Prime Minister, is like Kohina-senpai and Aqua.
She doesn’t have the same elegance as the two of them.
Of course, she’s not just a simple clown.
This person… This person has a very fierce monster in her heart.
Kohina-senpai turns that fierceness into awe, and Aqua turns it into respect, but the Prime Minister keeps that fierceness as it is and tames it in the depths of her heart.
Different from the Prime Minister I only know from TV. That was just an illusion. This is the Prime Minister of our country, the person who stands at the top of people of this country, which exceeds 100 million people….
Right. There is no way that a person who aims for that position from nothing, just an ordinary citizen, is just a normal person. This person has been everything from the beginning….
My body flinches at the voice of the Prime Minister.
”Thank you for today. The live was really good.”
”Ah, thank you.”
It is a warning not to go any further. Did they realize what I have realized…? Ugh, I was just warned by Reira-san, but it seems like I have a really easy-to-understand expression.
”Well then, see you. I’m also cheering for the drama.”
Saying that, the Prime Minister left with government officials. I breathe a sigh of relief.
A day of turmoil is over. When I looked next to me, Aqua was there.
”Hey! Ayana, thank you so much for today.”
”No, in the end, I wasn’t very helpful…”
Actually, it was mostly the Prime Minister, Kukuri-san, Aqua, and other male members, or Emily-san who solved everything, and I didn’t do anything.
”Huh? That’s not true, right? I was mostly behind the scenes this time, so if Ayana, who can move behind the scenes, wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything. This event definitely wouldn’t have moved just by Reira-san’s words…”
I couldn’t tell if I should be happy or not and looked down. Aqua peeks into my face.
”Ah, no… I just remembered about the Monday 9PM at the live earlier and felt a little nostalgic, and I just thought it would be nice to co-star again.”
I lied to cover up my feelings. I sigh at myself for not being able to be honest and rely on others here.
”Then let’s co-star again.”
Surely, Aqua will continue to move forward without me. Like Kohina-senpai and Reira-san, the Prime Minister, Kukuri-san, and Emily-san, I lost my confidence today when I saw them.
I’m not a celebrity, but Kukuri-san and Emily-san have much more charm than I do.
Oh… Emily-san is a relative of Mishu-sama because she’s from the Yukishiro family. When I think about it, it makes sense. I think that girl could conquer the world in an instant if she became an actress. Talent is cruel like that.
”Ah, sorry. It’s nothing. I just thought Aqua was amazing, that’s all.”
When I tried to dodge with a vague word, Aqua lifted my chin.
”I want to co-star with Ayana again. Don’t you want to?”
”That’s not… true!”
I actually want to co-star with Aqua again.
”Then let’s co-star.”
”But Aqua will surely move forward before me.”
”So what? I know the effort that Tsukimachi Ayana has put in, because I’m putting in the same amount of effort as you. And I know everything about Ayana, including that she’s not the type to give up easily and that she’s competitive. So even if I go ahead, catch up to me. My rival, actress Tsukimachi Ayana, isn’t the type to be easily discouraged, right?”
Seriously… what a guy.
Normally, he would comfort me like he does with other girls, right!?
But the words Aqua gave me were the words I wanted the most.
Yes. I want to co-star with Aqua again. I haven’t even defeated Kohina-senpai yet, and I can’t give up in front of talent. I’ll struggle and struggle, and if it still doesn’t work, I’ll cry.
I can still work hard. I can move forward. If there’s a limit, I’ll go beyond it.
”It’s not just Kohina-senpai. There are amazing people in this country and in the world. But someday… let’s defeat them all and co-star together, okay!”
”That’s a good idea… I’m in. If you become the world’s best actor, I’ll show you that I’m the world’s best actress by then. Then let’s compete to see who’s better.”
”Ah! That’s Ayana for you!”
Aqua released me and held out a straight fist.
I did the same and clashed our fists together.
”Hmph. Be prepared. I’m definitely going to surpass you.”
And he said it. That he’ll go out with me.
So wait until then. I’ll make you regret making me realize these feelings and making me take it seriously.
Kukuri-san’s criteria for judging things is simple, Aqua > (insurmountable wall) > what Aqua values > (wall) > herself > (everything else).
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.