Mercenary 14

Chapter 14

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 Protagonist’s POV

 ’Hydrangeas, yesterday’s sincerity today’s lie’ (Masaoka Shiki)

 In Tokyo during the rainy season, it is very cool even though it is summer.


 ”Your nose is runny.”

 ”Thank you~♡”

 Tsukasa wipes her nose with a tissue offered by her fiancée (for the moment, her stepbrother, or me).

 The two of us are sharing an umbrella at this time of the year.

 I would like to use it alone, but Tsukasa, who is brocon, does not allow me to do so.

 Around her neck, she wears a scarf, even though it is summer.

 As you can see, I bought this scarf for winter from a mail order site, but it has been taken away by her.

 Tsukasa seems to have a tendency to want anything that belongs to me, as long as she likes it.

 Perhaps she is showing co-dependence.

 And among the characteristics of co-dependence,


 (1) Wanting to take care of others (obsessive-compulsive caretaker)

 (2) Low self-esteem

 (3) Oppressive

 (4) Easily obsessive-compulsive

 (5) Want to control others

 (6) Cannot face reality

 (7) Cannot help but depend on something

 (8) Poor communication skills

 (9) Blurred boundaries with others

 (10) Lack of trust

 (11) Feelings of anger do not work properly

 (12) Difficulty in enjoying s*x

 (13) Extremes of behavior and action’


 (1), (5), (7), and (9) probably apply to Tsukasa.

 However, I am not a doctor, so I cannot make a diagnosis.

 This is only a guess.

 (If it is too severe, I should consult with Satsuki.)

 I’m OK at this moment because she doesn’t bother me, but if she’s an addict, she needs to be treated.

 ”What, are you staring?”

 ”No, I just think you’re beautiful…”

 ”Geez, come on, Takkun!”

 Tsukasa takes advantage of the fact that my hands are blocked by the umbrella.

 She stood tall and kissed my lips softly.

 Immediately afterward, she pulls away, so the sensation is not so subtle.

 But the kiss is real.

 Like a little devil, Tsukasa laughed.

 ”I’ve marked you~♡!”


 ”If you wipe it off, you’re cheating on me, okay?”

 The way she looks at me when saying so is scary.

 She’s like a devil’s wife.

 ”…isn’t it too heavy?”

 ”Of course, my love is heavy. I have told you, right?”

 (*´σー`) Ehehe.

 Her smile is the complete opposite of dark.

 She must really, really love me.

 I don’t want to imagine it, but she might have turned out to be a psycho if she took a wrong turn.

 ”Well, it’s heavy. But I love you.”

 ”Then, good.”

 Satisfied, Tsukasa stands tall again and pats my head.

 My fiancée, who is also a kind big sister.

 ”By the way, Takkun?”


 ”You’re good friends with Teacher Bradley, aren’t you?”

 Oh, she’s grumpy again.

 Today’s Tsukasa is emotionally unstable.

 ”We’re good friends… because we speak English.”

 Even at Myojin Academy, where English education is a big part of the curriculum, no one can match my English skills since my previous life is American.

 Long live English imperialism.

 ”You used to be bad at it. Now you speak it better than I do. What? Do you want to date a nice blonde girl in the future?”

 ”I didn’t say that, did I?”

 ”So you’re thinking about it?”

 What’s with all this foot dragging?

 It’s as if I’m watching a live session of the Diet.

 But Tsukasa is right to be suspicious.

 Before the memory transfer, Ren, who was not good at English, woke up after his recovery.

 Before, he was a 2, but now he is a 5.

 ”I don’t think so.”

 I deny it and kiss Tsukasa’s forehead.

 ”Look, the only one I like is you, okay?”


 She seems to believe me, though she seems to be dissatisfied.

 Anyway, the sun is shining.

 And I can see the school gate.

 I try to close my umbrella, but,

 ”Let’s go to class like this.”

 ”What? Why?”

 ”I want to show off.”

 ”…okay, I get it”

 Well, we’re officially couples now.

 There’s nothing to be ashamed of.

 So, we went to school together, admitting that we were a couple.

* * *

 Third Person Perspective

 (Stupid couple)

 Natalie watches them from the middle school building.

 In front of her is Sharon.

 ”You must be Natalie, right? May I come in?”

 She smiles and offers her hand, but Natalie refuses.

 The only people she opens up to are her foster father, Robinson, and her superior, Ren.

 As usual, she uses a mechanical voice.


 ”Well, you’re the one who’s close to Ren, aren’t you?”

 Sharon sneers mysteriously.

 ’Are the American soldiers a nest of s*x offenders? Don’t mess with the students, okay?

 ”Oh, aren’t you harsh? Thanks for the warning. But in this country, next year, 18 is the age of adulthood, right?”


 Natalie is reminded of a movie she saw a long time ago.

 In the movie, the main character travels back in time from 1985 to 1955 and happens to fall in love with his young mother.

 Sharon may have mistaken the familial love she subconsciously feels for heteros*xual love and fallen in love with Ren.

 ’…Still, you shouldn’t do that.’

 ”Why not?”


 Natalie is silent.

 She wants to explain, but the circumstances make it difficult.

 Even if she did, it would not be easy for her to understand.

 Also, this is a family matter, and Ren’s consent is necessary.

 Natalie can’t make a decision on her own, but Sharon, who has no way of knowing this, smiles and asks again.

 ”Why can’t I fall in love with him?”

 ’…because she has a fiancée.’

 ”Oh, that girl?”

 Sharon look at Tsukasa through the window.

 They were still holding each other’s umbrellas even though it was sunny.

 They are such a stupid couple.

 Natalie is appalled, but it seems that the other students have become immune to the situation, and no one seems to be attracted to them.

 The school doesn’t seem to be paying any attention to them too.

 ”…I’m not going to cuckold her, but I’m not going to give up…”


 The CIA report also states that Ren was “the world’s worst giver-up” in a previous life.

 Sharon must have inherited that trait from her parents.

 ”Or are you his legal wife?”


 Natalie turns bright red at this word.

 ”Oh, was I right?”

 ’…I’m sorry, but he’s just a friend, okay?’

 ”Really? But you cared about him, didn’t you?”


 ”I won’t tell you unless you start being honest with me.”

 ’So you’re lying?’

 ”I think you should ask it and decide if it’s a lie or not.”

 ’…you’re the worst.’

 ”Thank you.”

 Natalie turns away and leaves.

 Although she and Ren are getting along well, she and Sharon seem to be like oil and water.

 Every time she talks to her, she becomes more and more uncomfortable.

 This is also the case when she sees Tsukasa.

 Although Natalie is not interested in other people, in the case of these two, their very existence itself is unpleasant.

 If they were connected on social networking sites, she would block them immediately.

 The farther she gets away from Sharon, the stranger Ren becomes to her.


 As she walks to the school, she stops.

 One more step and she would be in the high school building.

 When there is a transfer class, she don’t see it as a problem at all, but for some reason, she has been having a hard time with the high school recently.

 (…should I call him after a long time?)

 She takes out her smart phone for work.

 Ren and she are business partners.

 So she has never had any personal communication with him, nor has she contacted him.

 (…but is that a nuisance for him?)

 In case of emergency, she has Ren’s phone number in her personal correspondence.

 It is easy to call or text him.

 But now Natalie couldn’t make up her mind.

 (But he seems kind… and I want to believe him…)

 Natalie bends her knees and buries her face between them, pondering.

* * *

 Protagonist’s POV

 Lunch break of the day.

 I was having lunch with Tsukasa as usual.

 …but, no, not today.


 ”This is delicious. Tsukasa-chan, is this your cooking?”


 Tsukasa, who had been looking at Sharon as an enemy this morning, is now putting on a mask when it comes to food.

 Women are scary.

 ”Eat it, Takkun.”

 ”Yes, yes.”

 She gives me raw vegetables with chopsticks.

 But Tsukasa’s eyes were on Sharon for a moment.

 (…a check?)

 No wonder Tsukasa makes more intimate contact with me than she should in front of Sharon.

 Today, Tsukasa is busy kissing my cheeks and holding my hand at every opportunity.

 And yet, she is concentrating and attending a classes, so I guess she can do a lot of things at once, just like Prince Shotoku.

 ”Are you two dating?”

 ”Yes, we intend to get married.”

 Tsukasa smiles.

 Sharon is smiling, too.

 (What’s this mysterious battle between smiles?)

 It’s like a Muslim husband who brings together his first wife and his other wife who are on bad terms.

 I can only imagine, since I have not converted to Islam.

 ”I see. By the way? What kind of cosmetics does ((Ren)) use?”


 Tsukasa’s forehead twitches at the mention of my first name.

 I hope she’s not upset.

 ”Why do you call him by his first name instead of his last name?”

 ”Well, his surnames are hard to read no matter how many times I practice.”

 It is true that I have never seen foreigners who can pronounce ‘Kitaoji’ fluently.

 Just as there are names such as Saltalamacchia that are difficult for Japanese to read, there are Japanese names that are also difficult for foreigners to read.

 An example is “Sugihara Chiune”.

 Knowing that “Chiune” is difficult for foreigners to read, he used to call himself “Sempo” to foreigners.

 As a result, after WWII, it took Israel a long time to identify him.

 On that note, although spelled differently, ‘Ren’ is also the name of an asteroid.

 ”So, ‘Ren’ is easier to read than ‘Kitaoji’.”


 This is the first time I’ve ever seen someone say “Gununu” in real life.

 ”So, I’ll ask you again, which cosmetics do you use?”

 ”I don’t use any cosmetics.”

 ”Really? I thought you were using cosmetics because of your fair skin for a Japanese.”


 I use the camera function on my smartphone to look at my face.

 But I am not sure.


 I’m reminded of an example.

 A white-skinned Russian who received an organ donation, and whose skin color changed to look like the donor’s African descent.


 '[A liver transplant from a black person makes the skin of a white person darker and darker! He looks like a different person!]

 A Russian man who was suffering from hepatitis C and liver cancer and whose last hope was to have a transplant surgery tried to get in touch with an organ transplant coordinator in the U.S., not in Russia where there is a serious shortage of donors, to find a way to have the surgery.

 As a result, he received a liver from an African-American male donor.

 However, after the surgery, an unbelievable change occurred in the man’s body.

 His skin gradually began to turn darker and darker.

 When his friend first pointed this out to him, the man thought it was a bad joke.

 According to his friend,

 ”I noticed that his skin color was getting darker and darker.

 ”I’ve known him for several years, and he used to be a pale guy. But now he has the darkest skin color I’ve ever seen.”

 ”I heard that he had received a liver transplant from an African-American man, so I thought that might be the cause.”

 Eventually, the man himself said,

 ”I was told that I had received a liver transplant from an African-American man, so I thought it might be the cause.”

 And he believed so.

 However, he did not seem to be concerned about it.

 ”My skin color might get darker. But I don’t care. The important thing is that my liver is functioning and staying healthy.”

 ”I am full of energy now. I am going back and forth between the U.S. and Russia. Who cares if my skin has turned darker? There is no problem at all.”


 Thinking about it, I feel whiter than a year ago.

 ”Tsukasa, have you noticed?”


 I simply confesses.

 ”But I didn’t tell you because Takkun didn’t seem to care about it. At first I thought it might be congenital leukoderma (albinism), but since it is not congenital and there seems to be no photophobia, I thought it might be a physical change.”

 ”…I see.”

 If Tsukasa is aware of it, of course Satsuki must be aware of it too.

 But as long as Satsuki didn’t point it out, Tsukasa can’t worry too much.

 (Is this also memory transfer?)

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.

Thanks for reading.

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