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「 I’ll accompany you 」
After everyone finished their lunch, Tsukiko comes to me.
「 I agree, we should have Tsukiko-san come with us, Kou 」
Mariko looked at me.
We’re just meeting Marika in school, do we really need the Miko power?
「 Let her accompany you, Tsukiko-san’s been holed up in the break room this whole morning, right? 」
「 I’m sorry, I can’t help out with baking 」
I know that Tsukiko’s lying about that.
The Takakura shrine maidens can read memories from other people.
In fact, she’s been reading and practicing Katsuko-nee’s sex techniques more and more so it should be easy for her to read Katsuko-nee’s baking techniques as well.
I guess Tsukiko doesn’t do that because she doesn’t want to interfere with her sisters, or with other family members when baking.
Luna, Koyomi-chan, Agnes, then Yomi, and Ruriko are girls of the same age learning how to bake bread.
If the eldest of the shrine maidens enters the group, then the younger sisters would be conscious.
「 That’s not it, my little sisters will be in Kou-sama’s care, but I will have to return to the shrine in Kyoto 」
Tsukiko replied after reading my thoughts.
The Takakura shrine in Kyoto’s a historic one so someone has to take over.
The Takakura shrine had been in Kyoto since before the shrine maidens with their mysterious power gathered there.
Tsukiko and the girls inherited the lineage.
Right now, they still can’t return to Kyoto since the war with the Kansai Yakuza isn’t over yet, but one of the sisters will officially become the shrine maiden to keep the shrine.
「 Oh? I don’t mind opening a branch of my bakery in front of your shrine in Kyoto 」
Katsuko-nee smiled gently at Tsukiko
「 Yes. Right now, we’re in the process of constructing a building for the Kansai branch of Kouzuki SS in front of the Takakura shrine 」
Jii-chan decided that the Takakura shrine and its shrine maidens will be under Kouzuki house’s control, and the Yakuza can never toy with them anymore.
To show that intent, the Kansai branch of Kouzuki SS will stand guard at the Takakura shrine.
The first floor of the Kansai branch building could be used as a bakery, and Tsukiko could be the owner.
「 Anyway, we don’t have to consider that yet. Tsukiko’s still a student here until spring next year, so you should have fun with your school life 」
Tsukiko still has a few months before she graduates from high school.
「 Yes, thank you, Kou-sama 」
Tsukiko bows to me.
「 Tsukiko sure is serious, also beautiful. You could’ve helped out in the cafe together with Misato-san and the girls. Tsukiko-san’s also from the Nadeshiko department, right? 」
Kana-senpai doesn’t know that Misato and the girls are prostitute cadets.
「 Those girls are in the same department, but we’re on a different course 」
「 Yeah, Tsukiko and Mitama are in the same course 」
I explained in a hurry.
「 Today, we want Misato and her group to get along in the same group. Apart from Misato, the three girls came from the province 」
Sumitomo Momoka, Shirahata Setsuna, and Asahina Nozomi accepted to become prostitutes to pay off the debts of their fathers who owned a business in the provincial city.
「 Oh, is that so? 」
「 Misato-san’s lunch is in here 」
Mariko points at the pad containing lunchboxes brought from the mansion.
Motoko won’t forget Misato, who’s a daughter of nobility.
Misato also went to that school from an early age.
「 Oh, they’ll have their lunch break after hours so I’ll tell them to come when I come back 」
「 Indeed, they’ll eat together with Nei-chan 」
Kana-senpai and Katsuko-nee said.
「 So, Kou will have Tsukiko and I come with you, and you’re our bodyguard 」
Mariko tells Kurose Anju who’s already shrunk after eating her meal.
「 Me? 」
「 Yes, you. You’re going to be Kou’s personal bodyguard, right? Then you should go with him now 」
She’s not a daughter of nobility, but Mariko’s a daughter of the president of the Torii house.
There should be a bodyguard near her.
「 We’re safe here, Mitama-chan, Kinuka-chan, and Haiji-chan are outside, and we’re going to lock the door while you’re not here 」
Katsuko-nee told me.
The bakery can only be opened from the inside and there’s a camera watching outside.
The door’s unlocked since the tennis girls are coming and going, but we’re going to return it to its usual state.
「 Also, you should go check on Edie-chan too 」
「 I agree, I’m curious about how it’s going 」
Katsuko-nee suggested. Mariko agreed.
Right now, Edie’s preparing for the school swimsuit judo tournament in the schoolyard.
「 I know that you’re tied up to the bakery all day, but you’re everyone’s husband so you should check on Edie-chan 」
Oh, Katsuko-nee’s right.
「 Right. Edie mentioned that the event starts at 3, but from the looks of the cafe today, I think I’ll be here baking 」
But, the match will be televised, so we’ll be able to watch it while working at the bakery
「 Yes, that’s why you should take a look at them now 」
◇ ◇ ◇
「 Hey, I brought these girls 」
After leaving the bakery at two o’clock.
Margo-san brought Marika and the girls.
Oh, Margo-san picked up Marika and her friend from the train station.
「 I parked the car at the faculty parking lot so we walked here 」
「 Thanks, Margo-san 」
I thanked her and looked at the girl that she brought with her
Err, Marika, and Erica.
Then, three other girls.
Erica’s wearing a pink cardigan over a waka piece with a pretty print fabric.
Marika’s wearing her high-school blue blazer uniform.
Among the three girls, two are wearing the same uniform as Marika’s.
However, the last one is a mature-looking girl with slit eyes, wearing a neat uniform, and hair tied up in a bun.
The other girl’s wearing a men’s black leather jacket over her uniform and her skirt is pulled up short. Her hair is in wild style, her face is flashy, and her red lipstick stands out. She’s got a bad eye expression, she looks like she’s already grumpy.
The last one is wearing a navy blue sailor uniform, making me think that she’s a middle school girl. Only one of them looks young. Her eyes are moist as if she’s nervous. I think she’s carrying a violin case. Her hair is, well, it’s bob cut.
The three of them are beautiful, but, anyway, the one wearing a leather jacket seems very grumpy.
Also, I’m curious as to why Marika and Erica look gloomy.
「 You have a rare group with you, Yoshinobu-kun 」
Margo-san looked at Mariko, Tsukiko, and Kurose Anju who came to meet with them, and smiled.
「 It’s the school festival so everyone’s busy 」
「 Yeah, I’m feeling nostalgic too 」
Right, Margo-san also went to our school until last year
Unlike Nei, whose school registration is fake, Margo-san’s supposed to be an exchange student from the US, so she could properly graduate from high school.
Now she’s registered at a college or university. It doesn’t seem that she’s going to it at all.
「 In the meantime, it’s awkward to just stand outside, so why don’t we get inside the cafeteria and have a cup of tea? 」
Our cafe is fine but it’s outside. It would also be hard to explain to the tennis club girls if they see me drinking tea with stranger girls.
「 Then, let’s go to the cafeteria 」
I led everyone to the school cafeteria.
◇ ◇ ◇
Not as much as our cafe, but…
The school cafeteria is moderately crowded.
It should be crowded, and yet…
「 What’s going on? 」
「 I wonder? 」
The students who were near the table were sitting all got out of their seats in a hurry.
For those who escaped late…
「 Idiot! Come here already! 」
A senior schoolboy called out to them.
「 Remember? I’m famous in this school 」
Oh, Margo-san’s a legendary delinquent, who was with Nei until last May, taking out delinquent students and other thugs in the streets.
「 Nei dyed her hair back from blonde to black to show that she’s reformed, but I have blonde hair from the start 」
Even now, the seniors consider Margo-san as someone they should fear.
Those who saw Margo-san turn the teacher, who’s a follower of Shirasaka Sousuke, who attacked Nei, into someone beyond recovery, still haven’t graduated.
「 Oh, welcome Margo-oneechan, you can eat this with everyone 」
Nei who came through the bakery door brought us some freshly baked bread.
「 Jasmine and Erica-chan, have you eaten lunch already? 」
「 Ah, yes, Motoko-oneesama gave us a lunch box from the mansion. 」
Nei asks. Erica answered, as expected, she doesn’t seem to have the energy.
「 It’s delicious, right?! I’m going to eat now so I can’t stay and talk to you girls! So, listen to them for me, Yo-chan 」
Nei speaks loud enough to make the surrounding student hear it.
「 Oh, I forgot to bring some drinks, Yo-chan, sorry but can you buy them drinks from the vending machine 」
「 Yeah, I don’t mind, but… 」
I stood up.
「 What do you girls want? 」
「 Since we’re eating bread, I’m okay with tea. Cold. Lemon Tea. What about Tsukiko-san? 」
「 I’ll take tea without sugar, I don’t mind if it’s cold 」
Mariko and Tsukiko replied immediately.
「 I want coffee, hot. Low sugar. Jasmine-chan? 」
Margo-san asks Marika.
「 I’ll take cold tea too. Lemon tea please 」
「 I want a warm milk tea, oh, I’ll help carry them 」
Erica stood up, but…
「 No need, Erica-san’s a guest here. I mean, this is the part where you stand up and say “I shall help!” 」
Mariko looked at Kurose Anju
「 Ah, yes, right! 」
The students watching us laughed, probably because of Kurose Anju standing up in a hurry was funny.
「 What do you girls want? 」
Mariko’s acting like the host already.
It’s like Kurose Anju and I are servants.
「 Matsumoto-san, it’s okay 」
Marika told the girl with long slit eyes.
「 I-I’ll take a warm tea, no sugar please 」
「 What about Miki-san? 」
Erica’s eyes look at the girl in her sailor uniform.
Erica’s in her second year in middle school, so this girl might be the same age as her.
「 I’ll take cafe au lait. 」
「 I don’t drink anything but black coffee. Let’s see, the S-coffee in the vending machine there will do. Warm black coffee, you hear? 」
The girl who wears a leather jacket says without being asked.
However, it’s all over the place.
「 Let’s go 」
「 Y-Yes 」
I took Kurose Anju and went to the vending machine.
Minaho-neesan gives us a train card with a bit of money in it just in case of emergencies.
「 Oh, Baker, what’s with those people? 」
A senior called me out, but…
「 Sorry, I don’t know either. 」
I replied honestly.
For now, I just ordered the drinks they wanted.
「 What do you want? 」
I asked Kurose Anju.
「 I can get a drink too? 」
「 Why do you think not? 」
This girl’s too earnest, and she’s a little timid too.
「 Then, uhm, orange juice please 」
Despite that, she picks a drink different from everyone else, what an amusing girl.
「 Okay, I’ll buy that then 」
「 Okay 」
Kurose Anju carry the drinks and returned to the table.
「 Here you go 」
「 Thank you 」
「 Thank you 」
The bun high school girl and bob cut middle school girl thanked me, but…
The leather jacket girl ignored me and took her drinks.
「 Then, sit down. Why don’t we talk while eating bread? 」
Margo-san said, Kurose Anju and I took our seats.
Oh, Nei’s no longer here, she’s back at the bakery.
「 Then, I’ll introduce them first. This is my classmate, Matsumoto Maki-san 」
Marika introduces the girl with the bun hairstyle sitting next to her.
「 Name’s Matsumoto 」
Matsumoto-san bows slightly.
Marika’s classmate, meaning she’s in her first year.
「 Then, next to her is Masaki-san’s little sister. Miki-san 」
「 Miki 」
The bob-cut hair girl bows her head.
Oh, so they’re sisters.
The big sister is in her first year, so the little sister must be in middle school.
「 Also next to her is 」
「 Igarashi Izumi 」
The girl in the leather jacket names herself with a displeased attitude.
What’s with this girl?
「 Igarashi-san is from the neighboring class 」
She’s wearing the same uniform as Marika under her leather jacket since they go to the same school, but they’re from different classes.
Hmmm, Marika and the Matsumoto siblings seem to be friendly, but…
Also, why does she have such a bad attitude?
「 Err, I told you about him in the car, so you know already, right? 」
Margo-san points at me as she said.
She already told me about me to Marika’s friends?
「 I’m Torii Mariko 」
「 Takakura Tsukiko 」
「 K-Kurose Anju 」
Mariko gave her a glare so Kurose-san named herself.
「 And I’m Margo Starkweather Kuromori. Right, Jasmine-chan, we talked about this in the car, but can you elaborate once again for them? 」
Margo-san urged Marika.
「 Ah, yes, well… 」
Margo-san is pointing at us.
Marika looked at me and started talking.
「 Uhm, can you…well, listen to our musical performance? 」
Musical performance? Marika goes to a music school, so the three girls she brought must also be playing some instrument.
「 Err, what about it? 」
But, I don’t get music.
It’s got to be Minaho-neesan, Katsuko-nee, or Nagisa.
「 I’m about to tell you later 」
Marika’s face shows that she’s serious.
Erica looks at her sister worriedly.
「 Wait a second! I don’t like this! I never heard about this so I’m not doing this! 」
Igarashi-san shouts angrily.
「 I only came here because I heard that I could meet Fujimiya Reika 」
「 Also, what’s this? Isn’t this just an ordinary high school festival? What’s going on Takahata-san? 」
Igarashi-san asks Marika.
「 Oh, Fujimiya-san, she’s coming soon 」
Margo-san said with a smile.
「 Right, Yoshinobu-kun? 」
Err, right. It’s about time for Rei-chan to come again from the mansion to deliver bread in the van.
「 Y-Yeah, I think she’s coming soon 」
But, is that okay to talk about Rei-chan coming here?
「 Huh, Fujimiya Reika’s coming over? 」
「 I haven’t seen her come here last time 」
「 Wait! Let us in too! 」
Look, now the students are making a fuss.
「 Fujimiya Reika often comes to this school, right, everyone? 」
Margo-san stirs the students even further.
「 Yeah, I’ve seen her! But from a distance 」
「 I got a selfie with her 」
The first years who don’t know Margo-san immediately react.
「 There you go, Jasmine-chan wasn’t lying 」
Margo-san smiled at Igarashi-san.
「 T-That’s good, but, I’ll never sing! 」
Igarashi-san isn’t playing but singing instead?
「 But, Igarashi-san didn’t come to meet Fujimiya-san as a meek person, right? You want to get to know Fujimiya-san and have her introduce you to the entertainment industry, don’t you? 」
Oh right, the public thinks that Rei-chan and Kyouko-san’s fight is just a promotional show for the Kouzuki SS.
That’s why they think that Rei-chan’s an entertainer.
「 Well, it’s not just Fujimiya Reika, our school’s got a lot of people who appear on TV. Isn’t that right? 」
Margo-san continues to stir up the students.
「 Yeah, you can find the twins from Shirasaka Yukino’s show doing a talk show right outside 」
「 Anjou Mitama’s also doing some plate spinning tricks and things 」
「 I mean, I haven’t seen her today but Shirasaka Yukino herself is a student in this school 」
The students speak out.
「 I didn’t tell you before but I’m a professional martial artist. My matches are televised, and today, Edie’s… 」
「 Oh, she’s setting up a ring in the schoolyard 」
Margo-san said another schoolboy continued.
「 There’s also a TV crew setting up 」
「 Wasn’t that just the national TV crew from earlier? 」
「 No, it’s a different one. They have a different logo! 」
The TV crew that’ll broadcast Edie’s school swimsuit judo tournament has arrived already.
「 Indeed, Edie and her friends will have their martial arts tournament at the school festival and it will be broadcasted live 」
Margo-san told the students calmly.
「 Uhm, shouldn’t you be there with Edie, Margo-san? 」
「 I’m just a spectator for today. I’ll show myself later. Edie planned all this today 」
「 You know, I just got the championship last time. It’s better if I don’t show up today 」
「 Well, apart from Grace Marinka-san, it would be a tournament between Edie and high school students, right? 」
I heard that the other participants would be Kudou Haruka, Kendou Maria, and Line Haruko-san.
「 I went to the Golden Balm Gym and picked up Line Haruko this morning 」
Oh yeah, that was this morning.
Picking up Marika and Erica, and then picking up Line Haruko-san as well.
「 Then, Rodulfo Seiko-san, the owner of the gym, said that if there would be a live TV broadcast, she would go too 」
「 But, Edie’s plan is a school swimsuit judo tournament, right? 」
Rodulfo-san’s already past her 20s.
Grace Marinka-san is someone who doesn’t care as long as she gets to fight with her all, so she would come even if she’s dressed in a school swimsuit.
Rodulfo Seiko-san’s a woman who’s fussy about her sense of beauty, right?
「 Well, that’s because opportunities for women’s martial arts aired on TV are hard to come by nowadays. Even the tournament I won last time was at a late-night slot. Well, it was on a key station even if it was on late night, so it went well on air 」
Margo-san said with a smile.
「 But today, they’re airing it live on at Sunday 3 o’clock, right? It’s rare to find an opportunity for publicity like this so she wanted to go 」
「 I’ll just let take care of the minor details, I’m not touching that. I’m not even participating 」
Margo-san won’t do the school swimsuit judo.
「 Well, I’ll go check on them after eating this bread 」
Margo-san took one bread and ate it.
「 Yeah, delicious, you should try it too 」
「 U-Uhm 」
Marika looks confused.
Oh right, she was in the middle of talking.
「 Jasmine-chan’s friends would need a place to perform later, right? 」
「 It has to be somewhere with a piano, right? 」
Marika specializes in piano in her school.
That’s why Matsumoto Maki-san must be playing piano too.
「 Is there anyone from the choir or brass club? 」
Margo-san asks the students in the cafeteria.
「 M-me, I’m in the choir club 」
One student raised her hand.
「 What’s going on with the music room right now? Most of the choir and music bands are in the auditorium today, right? The music room should be used as a waiting room 」
You can’t get people to come and listen to your performance or choir in a small music room.
「 Y-Yes, the choir club already finished their recital. The brass bands are playing outside so they’re not there
「 I see, is Otani-sensei still in charge of the music room? 」
「 Yes, it’s Otani-sensei 」
「 Then, tell him this, Margo’s going to borrow the music room later 」
「 W-What? 」
「 Don’t worry about it, Otani-sensei knows me. I’m the one who made him get a false front tooth after all 」
「 Then, why don’t we go with our schedules? 」
From the school cafeteria, the schoolyard where Edie and everyone are setting up the ring, and to the music room.
That’s one route.
「 Then, why don’t we eat the pastry while we have the chance, Marika-san, eat yours too. Ai and Kou baked this
Mariko recommends the pastry to Marika and the girls.
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