But if it's not death, it is usually a cute maiden...with a knife.
The weather has been wet since the rainy season started, but there wasn't a cloud in the clear blue sky today.
For the 2nd year middle school student Kazuki Ootaki, whose goal was living the most peaceful life possible, it was an ideal morning.
Hmm, what great weather.
Maybe I should take care of the laundry I've been putting off.
Kazuki left his room with light footsteps.
While yawning, he walked down the stairs.
As his left foot landed on the last step of the staircase...
Kazuki froze on the spot, his mouth hanging wide open.
He stood frozen and stared at the sight before his eyes.
There stood a blond girl named Sabrina, who had joined Kazuki's household as his little sister not too long ago.
Without a single bit of clothing on her body.
Wet hair glistening with water droplets.
A straight face which didn't show expressions very well.
Pure white skin that looked like freshly fallen snow.
Detailed, slender shoulders and a slim waist.
And a slightly lacking, but nevertheless puffed up chest.
She was like an antique doll sculpted by a first-class craftsman.
Despite being naked, she was holding a briefcase for some reason. It didn't fit her at all.
Sabrina lifted her briefcase and hid herself behind it... but there wasn't much point in doing so.
"Why... are you naked?"
Kazuki managed to squeeze his words out somehow.
Sabrina was Kazuki's little sister.
To be precise, she had just become his little sister not too long ago.
So to Kazuki, this current situation was no different from suddenly seeing a beautiful girl naked. Hence, he couldn't really remain indifferent just because they were family.
He was so astonished, he thought he would have a heart attack.
"... Si. I was taking a shower until just a while ago."
She must be feeling embarrassed as well; her expression did not change, but her words sounded disheveled. She turned red up to her ears.
"I get that. But why!? Where are your change of clothes!?"
"I forgot about them. It's a failure."
"How did you forget about your change of clothes when you're holding your 'toolbox!?'"
The toolbox Kazuki mentioned was the briefcase in Sabrina's hands. Inside the case were various firearms and other weapons.
Sabrina was actually the estranged child of the boss of the "Jevini Family" - a mafia gang that possessed considerable power in Italy. As a result, she was not allowed to leave the house in a secret location and was trained to be an assassin.
However; when the boss passed away, Sabrina became the new boss in accordance to the boss's will and entered into the Ootaki household as an adopted daughter.
A certain person who did not accept Sabrina's new position as boss plotted to kill her, but Kazuki and his friends somehow thwarted his plan. Sabrina was unanimously accepted as boss, so it was possible for her to live with Kazuki. Kazuki suffered injuries during that incident, but he has nearly recovered.
"Couldn't you have wrapped yourself in a bath towel or something?"
"No, there weren't any."
"Ah, that's right. I haven't been able to do the laundry lately because of the rain..."
"Si. I was going to dry myself with the clothes I was already wearing and return to my room."
"Well... h-hurry up and go to your room and change."
Averting his gaze from Sabrina's naked body, he moved to let her pass through.
She drew closer to him.
The sweet fragrance of shampoo tickled Kazuki's nose. Although they should be using the same brand, it smelled completely different.
Sabrina must've been thrown off balance and she tripped over Kazuki's foot.
Kazuki fell onto the hallway floor along with Sabrina.
"Ouchhhh.... Sabrina, are you all ri—."
As Kazuki tried to get up, he froze up on the spot with his mouth hanging open (again).
This time, he couldn't react at all.
His positioning was the issue.
He was pinning Sabrina's naked body to the floor with his hands and knees.
""... ... ...""
His and Sabrina's eyes met.
"Hold on! Why are you closing your eyes like you're preparing yourself! This was an accident!"
Kazuki retorted straight away.
...In her birthday suit?
"—Hold on, where did your toolbox go?"
He felt pieces of wooden splinters hitting his head.
Kazuki looked up, nothing thinking much about it.
The toolbox was embedded into the ceiling. Sabrina must've hurled it up there as she tripped.
...Started falling due to gravity as soon as Kazuki noticed it was moving.
Yeah, I won't be able to avoid this.
Kazuki prepared himself with great calmness for its impact.
The toolbox (or rather, the edge) hit Kazuki's head just a second later.
Kazuki experienced a drowsiness unlike the sleepiness he felt before and passed out.
Shortly after the unfortunate accident in the morning...
Kazuki, who was miraculously revived, was heading to school with Sabrina.
Arghh, this is really awkward....
Kazuki glanced at Sabrina (who was walking beside him).
Unlike before, Sabrina had her hair tied up in twin tails and was wearing the school uniform.
Her expressionless face hadn't changed.
A normal person wouldn't be able to read any emotions in her face, but Kazuki was starting to notice some subtle differences in her facial expressions over the time he spent with her.
Sabrina was somewhat tense as well...
It wasn't that surprising.
She did show her naked body to him and they... ended up in that awkward position.
Yeah, she did seem to be tense....
After giving himself some time to prepare his heart...
He deeply bowed his head.
"I'm sorry Sabrina!"
She must have been surprised by this sudden action, because Sabrina's shoulders flinched.
"...What do you mean?"
"About what happened at home... you're angry, right? I know it's not something that's forgivable just because it was an accident, but I'm really sorry. Can you forgive me?"
Seeing the apologetic Kazuki, she blinked her eyes.
"...Si. If it's about that, then I'm not that angry."
Sabrina's cheeks were lit up and she continued to talk as she brought her hand up and covered her mouth.
"It was definitely embarrassing, but there's no problem because it was you, Onii-chan..."
Her roundabout way of saying it was somewhat suspicious.
But unfortunately, Kazuki took her words literally.
"Ah, I see. I'm glad. You seemed different than usual, so I thought you were concerned about it. I see. I guess it's obvious right? You're not that concerned because we're siblings."
As Kazuki let out a sigh of relief, Sabrina denied it.
"I don't mind because it's you, Onii-chan."
"Yeah? So, it's because we're siblings, right?"
Sabrina's "Onii-chan" was Kazuki, hence their relationship was that of "siblings."
But Kazuki didn't know the crucial difference between those two interpretations.
Squeeze. Sabrina clung to Kazuki.
It seemed like she was charging herself.
She often clung to him like this whenever she was feeling bad.
"Huh? Huh? Whyyy? What did I do? Moreover, we're on our way to school."
Whenever Sabrina clung to him like this, she wouldn't let go (like a leech).
Kazuki could only keep walking with Sabrina clinging to him.
As Kazuki continued walking with Sabrina clinging to him, he bumped into a girl who suddenly jumped out from an intersection.
Roll, roll... smack.
After being knocked back from the collision, the girl rolled and hit a pole.
The girl was a fair skinned foreigner who had wavy red hair tied with a band.
She appeared to be in her 3rd or 4th year of primary school.
Large teardrops started forming in the corners of the girl's eyes.
"I'm sorry, are you all right?"
"Yes. I'm sorry for running without looking in front of me."
The girl smiled straight away and stopped her tears.
She had quite a friendly face and was a cute girl.
"Can you stand up?"
Kazuki extended his hand to the girl - but stopped moving.
It wasn't because he could see her striped panties because her skirt was rolled up.
The problem lied next to that.
There was a solid and profound black L shaped silhouette lying next to the girl.
It was an object that Kazuki previously would've only seen in mangas and movies.
But recently, he has been seeing it frequently, thanks to his new little sister.
That's right, it was a—.
"Um, what's the matter?"
The red haired girl looked where Kazuki's gaze was directed.
...and hid it in embarrassment. Her striped panties, that is.
No! That's not what I'm looking at!
Finally realizing what Kazuki was looking at, the girl quickly pounced on the gun to hide it.
— But she put too much energy into it and smashed her head on the ground.
The red haired girl held her head as she trembled in pain. She secretly hid the handgun in her small shoulder bag.
Then she stood up and started glaring at Kazuki.
"D-Did... y-you see something? Did you see a suspicious black object!?"
"No, not at all...."
The girl was so desperate that Kazuki sort of mumbled it.
"Of course, that was dangerous. I must dispose of anyone who finds out my secret."
The red haired girl sighed and wiped the sweat from her brow.
Her expression changed again and again, like he was looking through a kaleidoscope.
As Kazuki was thinking to himself how funny it looked...
The red haired girl let out a yell.
This time, she had a surprised expression.
"To think that we would meet somewhere like this. I'll be retreating for now!"
She flung herself forward and disappeared at a speed that can only be appropriately described by the onomatopoeia "phew!"
But tripped straight away.
She looked back at Kazuki and Sabrina with a guarded expression.
"You just wait and see!"
The red haired girl spat out words normally said by a fleeing person and headed back in the direction she came from.
"What's going on...."
"Did something happen, Onii-chan?"
Sabrina asked while she was still clinging to him with closed eyes, as he stood there in a bewildered state.
It seemed like Sabrina was too busy charging to notice the girl just now.
"No, the thing is... I'm not too sure either."
Ooba Middle School was the public school Kazuki and Sabrina attended, but its eastern wing was destroyed during the assassination attempt on Sabrina.
Because of this, their school was holding classes in the western wing and some public buildings in the city.
Although the building was being rebuilt thanks to anonymous funding from the Jevini family, there was also a movement in the student body to hold fundraisers contributing to the new building.
The school board supported the students' views and as a result, the school decided to hold a "charity festival" aimed at civilians in order to raise money.
Each class was using both class and after school time to prepare something for the upcoming festival.
Right now was first period and Kazuki's class was busy preparing for the charity festival.
Their class was holding a maid cafe. The students were hard at work after being assigned to groups which either handled making menus, outfits, or decorations.
Although Kazuki was making decorations in his seat, his attention was fixed on the sports field outside.
Sabrina was with her class, year one class two, which was having PE lessons some distance away from the makeshift stage built for the charity festival.
Sabrina was confronting Kitazawa.
Kitazawa was the infamous PE teacher who performed judo moves on boys and near-sexual acts on girls, both in the name of education.
Today, he was making the boys play futsal while leading the girls in high jumps (as usual).
But when a female student was no longer able to deal with Kitazawa's passionate teaching methods, she asked Sabrina for help.
"O-Ootaki! Do you have a problem with my teaching methods!?"
Kitazawa raised his voice.
Kitazawa was trying to intimidate Sabrina by puffing out his chest. It seemed like Sabrina still didn't comprehend the situation.
There was an incident where Sabrina threw Kitazawa before. Ever since then, Kitazawa considered Sabrina an enemy.
Sabrina, don't cause any trouble... please.
Even Kazuki could tell from all the way up in his classroom that Kitazawa's knees were shaking.
His intimidation was only a bluff.
When Sabrina glanced towards the school building, her eyes met Kazuki's. It seems like she noticed Kazuki's gaze.
(Onii-chan, may I dispose of him?)
He understood her perfectly.
Understanding eye to eye communication was truly amazing.
"What's the matter, Ootaki-kun?"
He heard a voice from behind.
With a warm expression and her brown hair pinned in place with a hairpin, it was his class president Saki Kinoshita.
Saki was popular enough to be ranked first or second by the boys in his year level. Not only was she pretty, her caring personality earned her trust from boys and girls alike.
According to Kazuki's long time (bad) friend and self-proclaimed information broker, Ryouta Miyamoto, Saki was confessed to by nearly 40 boys. However, he said that she rejected all of their confessions.
"Ah, sorry for being so sudden. Were you surprised?"
"N-N-No, not at all. Ah ha ha...."
Truth be told, Kazuki was also one of the boys who held unrequited feelings for Saki. Saki also held feelings for Kazuki, but neither of them realized the other's feelings yet.
Kinoshita is pretty again today....
—No, now wasn't the time to be thinking about that.
Kazuki again turned his head towards the sports field. When he did, Sabrina looked up at him again.
They communicated again with eye contact alone.
(Hmm? What's wrong, Sabrina?)
(Onii-chan looks happy right now.)
(Onii-chan's expression while you talked to Saki was peculiar. What's going on?)
(Um.... I-It's your misunderstanding.)
Kazuki and Sabrina were sending some pretty complex eye signals.
And what's more, Kazuki was being told off by eye contact alone.
(I'm telling you, it's not like that, and you shouldn't do anything to your teacher.)
At that moment,
"Ootakiiiii! If only... if only you weren't here!"
Not being able to stand being ignored any longer, Kitazawa attacked Sabrina.
"I'm busy right now."
Sabrina threw Kitazawa away with great ease.
With a dull thud, his big body landed in the sports field, forming a dust cloud in the process.
"Sorry Kinoshita! Tell the teacher that I'm going to the infirmary because I have a stomach ache!"
"Huh? U-Um Ootaki-kun!?"
Ignoring what Saki was saying, Kazuki ran out of the class at a speed impossible for a person with a stomach ache.
Now it was third period and Kazuki's class was still preparing for the charity festival.
Kazuki and Sabrina have been stuck in the student counseling office since first period.
They were finally allowed to leave after second period finished, but Kazuki's fatigue reached its peak. He buried his head in his desk and fidgeted while making decorations.
A male student spoke to Kazuki as he was in that state.
It was Ryouta Miyamoto.
"What? I'm not budging, so go back to your own seat."
"No—I don't feel like getting into what our class is doing. It's meant to be a festival, a maid cafe these days is too common."
"Really? But don't you think it's better to do something normal rather than doing something that's really out there and end up failing?"
"Something normal huh... you're always so boring. If it was up to me, I wouldn't hold a normal maid cafe, but one with eccentric costumes instead!"
"Do you really think we can attract customers like that? ...And give an example of the costumes you have in mind."
"Something like sailor uniforms with swimsuits!"
"Ah, I see."
I was a fool for asking....
As Kazuki started regretting wasting what little energy he had left...
"Isn't it all men's romance? Imagine this! Kinoshita with a sailor uniform and school swimsuit! I'll throw in cat-ear headbands as a bonus!"
Ryouta continued talking to him.
Geez, Ryouta never says the right things when it comes to th—
Wait a second, Kinoshita wearing a sailor uniform and school swimsuit... and a cat-ear headband on top of that?
It might actually be a great idea.
Kazuki pictured an image of Saki in his head; wearing the sailor uniform on top and the school swimsuit on bottom. Of course, she also had the cat-ears on.
Kazuki ended up blushing as a result of his imagination.
"Heh heh, what do you think? Don't you think it would be great? Doing something like this will be a great success. It's not too late, so let's suggest it to the class!"
"—Me with cat-ears? What do you mean?"
Saki appeared before them.
"Ah. You see, why don't we change the costumes to sailor uniforms and school swimsuits with cat-ea— arghhh!"
Kazuki hit Ryouta as he started to suggest the costume.
Ryouta's head collided with a cabinet edge and he dropped to the floor in pain.
"Whew, that was dangerous."
"Huh? Umm, will Miyamoto-kun be OK? He seems to be in a lot of pain..."
"Don't worry about him. Recently, Ryouta has awakened to the pleasure of hitting his head on things."
"H-Hmm... I see."
When Saki stepped slightly away, Ryouta passionately complained to Kazuki.
"Hey Kazuki! The only pleasure that I awoke to is the pleasure of being abused by girls. Who would take pleasure in hitting oneself!"
"Ryouta, that doesn't make anything better."
Kazuki cleared his throat after hearing an annoying confession and continued talking.
"Anyhow, I think it's fine to leave the maid cafe as it is."
"...How dare you betray me...! Well, it doesn't matter. I do have my second and third backup plans. I'm preparing a project separate from whatever the class is doing. Don't beg me to let you in, because it's no use!"
With those words, Ryouta fled from Kazuki's desk.
"I wonder what happened to Miyamoto-kun?"
"He's been like that for a long time, so let him be."
"Ootaki-kun, I think I'm sensing a different meaning behind those words...."
At that moment, there was someone tugging at Kazuki's uniform sleeves.
It was Sabrina.
Sabrina came to Kazuki's class during Japanese, English and Math classes to do some self-study with printouts.
This was actually a solution the school came up with in order to avoid trouble with Sabrina. The only one who Sabrina obeyed was Kazuki and this was supposed to keep Sabrina tame.
"What's the matter?"
"Onii-chan, I'm not too sure about this part."
"The meaning of this 'ありがたし' is slightly different from modern Japanese, so it's rarely seen. "
Saki answered in Kazuki's place.
The two girls exchanged glares.
Saki was wearing a smile. Sabrina was stone faced.
Kinoshita was both smart and good at taking care of others.
She really is flawless.
As Kazuki was thinking that:
"Si. Then Onii-chan, please teach me this part."
Without writing down what Saki taught her, Sabrina asked a different question.
"Ah. You see Sabrina, since this is a perfect auxiliary verb—"
As Saki started explaining in Kazuki's place (again), Sabrina bit her hand.
"A hihnt ahk uuu (I didn't ask you)."
"Kyaaa. Sabina, it hurts, it hurts!"
"Whoaa—aa! Sabrina, what are you doing!?"
Kazuki hurriedly pulled them away.
"Please don't interrupt my studies, Saki."
"But didn't she just teach you!?"
Kazuki retorted at Sabrina as she spoke of Saki like she was troublesome.
"They're at it again." "They sure are close, aren't they?" "I wish she would bite me as well." "Yep. Being bitten by her would be like a prize for us."
Kazuki's classmates were already used to these things.
And just like that, their class ended.
As the school gates were closing, Kazuki and Sabrina decided to go home after working on the charity festival preparation.
"Ootaki-kun, I have to visit the cathedral again today. So, could we go back together?"
Saki talked to him.
There was a cathedral near Kazuki's house.
Saki often visited the cathedral to look after the plants in its back yard.
So as of late, whenever Kazuki was about to go home, Saki often asked to walk with him.
As Kazuki had feelings for Saki, it was a blessing for him to be able to walk home with her.
Although his parents were no-good to him, he was always grateful they built their house close to a cathedral.
"Of course. Right Sabrina?"
"Si.... You never get tired of it, do you Saki?"
"Ehh!? Isn't that rude!? That's not what you should be saying when we're going home, right!?"
"I-I'm not going to lose today!"
"Even you Kinoshita!? What's going on!? And that aside, what aren't you going to lose at!?"
He was happy that they were all able to walk home together, but Sabrina and Saki's relationship wasn't that great. Although Kazuki didn't realize it, he was the cause of it.
As a result, every time the two girls glared daggers at each other, Kazuki found himself surrounded by a suffocating pressure.
"Uuu, my head itches for some reason....."
—Clang, clang. Clang, clang, clang
When they finally reached the cathedral, loud noises were coming from inside the hall.
"Huh? What's going on?"
When Kazuki, Sabrina and Saki entered through the Cathedral doors and went to the back yard where the noise was coming from, they saw a nun pulling various objects out from a shed and throwing them into the yard.
"Izuna-san, what are you doing?"
The nun's name was Izuna Tachibana. She was the nun recently assigned to this cathedral.
"Huh? If it isn't Kazuki-kun, Sabrina and Saki. So school's already done for the day? Good work✩"
She smiled brightly and her pearly white teeth were visible.
"What on earth are you doing, pulling out all those things from the shed?"
"Oh, just looking for some things I need to find—. I'm sure I put them in the shed when I arrived—."
Izuna went back inside the shed as she said that.
"This isn't it. That's not it either."
Things unrelated to a cathedral, like a set of Russian Matryoshka dolls, a Statue of Liberty shaped lighter, a mysterious mask (worn by indigenous jungle tribes), and a Blue Dragon Scimitar covered in a red-black substance were being thrown from the shed.
Saki let out a scream.
On closer inspection of the cathedral garden, the plants Saki had been growing had disappeared, only ripped out roots remained.
Hearing the scream, Izuna came out of the shed.
"Huh? What's the matter, Saki?"
"Izuna-san... the garden...."
"Ah~ I was feeling hungry, so.... I ate it all up✩."
"Ahh no way...."
It really did seem like Izuna ate them all. After all, she did the same thing before.
"Saki, the Lord once said: 'Never mind.'"
Kazuki retorted for Saki as she was not in the right state of mind to answer.
"That aside, take a look at this. I found my provisions."
Saki half-heartedly accepted the reality of the garden she worked hard on being gobbled up.
She was really pitiful.
"... Provisions, you say?"
Comforting Saki, Kazuki looked at what Izuna dug out.
The object that Izuna dug out of the chaos in the shed wasn't something particularly amazing.
With a "ta da" sound, Izuna showed him a rectangular box.
Izuna mimicked a cat shaped robot.
It didn't suit her at all.
"What kind of provisions are those!?"
"No, you'll see~. You know how when milk goes bad, it becomes cheese?"
Giggling, Izuna opened the aged carton of milk.
Rotten odor leaked out from the (nearly indescribable) rotten contents of the carton.
Sabrina, who was standing right next to Kazuki, quickly hid behind him.
Even Izuna-san must admit that this is....
"Wow, it looks delicious."
"Are your eyes only for decoration!?"
"Kazuki-kun, you mustn't judge something by its look and smell alone. Let's take an octopus or sea cucumber for example - they taste a lot better than they look, right? Don't you think this cheese could blow your mind?"
At that moment, a stray cat who was previously walking on a nearby fence started foaming at the mouth and convulsing.
Kazuki looked at Izuna with a dumbfounded look.
"It might blow your mind, right?"
"Yeah, in a different sense than before!"
When Izuna tried to eat it, Kazuki took the bio hazard... no... to be precise, milk, from her.
Izuna's stomach let out a loud grumble.
"Woaa—aaah. I'm hungry~. Kazuki-kun, feed me. It's my life's wish~."
"This is the fifth time I've heard that from you this month! Wait—don't cling to me, Izuna-san!"
Izuna's well developed breasts pressed against Kazuki's body.
Even though she had a great figure, Izuna seemed careless about those things. So, she often made Kazuki's heart beat faster when she hugged him.
"I-I get it. I get it."
"I'll pay you back when I hit it big."
"You'll pay me back when you hit it big?"
"I'll give you the half of the world✩"
"Do you plan on becoming the Demon King, or something!?"
"Kazuki-kun, what's~ for~ to~day's~ dinner?"
After parting ways with Saki, who was still unable to walk very well due to the shock, Kazuki, Izuna, and Sabrina returned to Kazuki's house and were standing in front of the door.
Izuna happily hummed a rhythmic tune as she asked.
"I was thinking of cooking some dumplings that the next door neighbor gave me. So I guess dinner will be ready in half an hour if I start now."
"No way! No, don't make me suffer any longer! Hurry, hurry and make something hot! Dumpling, dumpling, dumpling! Hurry up and make it, make it, make it!"
"Are you a kid or something? Sabrina, is there anything to eat until I finish cooking?"
"Si. We do have some strawberries that we also—"
"O—K, Sabrina, lead me to them!"
Clinging to Sabrina's arm, Izuna quickly disappeared into the house like the wind.
"Such a headache."
Kazuki sighed loudly.
Then, he grabbed the door knob to follow behind them.
Suddenly Kazuki noticed something moving out of the corner of his eyes.
Turing around, he saw a small person's shadow moving sneakily .
Kazuki remembered seeing that person before.
Wavy red hair tied back with a band...
A friendly voice and unique style of talking.
That's right; it was the red haired girl Kazuki saw earlier that morning.
Specifically, she was the red haired girl who walked around carrying a handgun in her small shoulder.
"But why is that girl here...?"
Gulp. Kazuki felt worried.
The red-haired girl was looking in the opposite direction, so Kazuki held his breath and approached her.
What was she doing here?
Huh!? She's crying?
He stretched out his neck and peeked at her.
When he did, he saw her desperately trying to light a matchstick.
She must not be using enough force, because the matchstick wouldn't light and snapped.
"Hii... it didn't work again. This is the last one.... Please let there be a miracle. Please give me strength, mother and father in heaven."
The red haired girl prayed while holding the last matchstick in her tiny fist. There were broken matchsticks scattered all around her feet.
After watching the girl, Kazuki realized what was going on without too much thought.
H-Hold on! What was this girl doing?
Why is she lighting matchsticks in my yard?
I gotta stop her!
"... Hu yah?"
He spoke to the girl who was looking at the matchstick with a serious expression.
The pair of innocent eyes looked up at Kazuki.
Uuhhhh... her eyes are so innocent.
What was this feeling boiling up deep inside me.....?
I want to protect her.... I can't leave her alone....
Her trying to light a matchstick in my yard doesn't matter anymore....
— That's not it, what the hell am I thinking!?
This definitely isn't normal! I need to be stern right now!
"Now then, hand that over."
The red haired girl handed the matchstick over obediently. Kazuki succeeded in taking the matchstick.
"This is how you do it."
He gave it back to her after lighting it.
"Ah, thank you."
He wasn't being stern at all.
Hold oooonnnnnn! What the hell did I just do!?
The red haired girl cheered up so quickly after she received the matchstick that there wasn't a trace of her tears from before.
Her expressions change really quickly.
"How amazing. You must be a matchstick lighting genius to do it in a single try."
"I don't feel too great after being called a genius for something like that.... So, what are you going to do with that matchstick?"
"Ah, I'm going to set this house on fire of cou-"
At that exact instant, Sabrina opened the front door and came outside. She must've thought it was strange for Kazuki not to come in after such a long time.
The girl pointed her finger at Sabrina's face and started overreacting. Because of that, the matchstick went out.
She looked back and forth between the matchstick, that was producing smoke from the tip, and Sabrina. Tears started welling up in her the corners of her big eyes again.
"I was caught again. I'll be retreating for now. Just wait until the next time~~~~~!"
The girl rushed by Kazuki.
"...Riche is a strong child. I won't cry just because I tripped over! Hii-ng."
She stood up, looked in Kazuki and Sabrina's direction, and ran away without her words matching her actions.
"Just what was that...?"
The gun (-shaped toy, maybe)? The one in the small shoulder bag....
Lighting matches in his yard...
That reaction whenever she saw Sabrina.
Combining those facts in his head led to a single thought.
—Could she be related to the Mafia?
"No way.... No way."
"What's the matter?"
Sabrina walked towards the stunned Kazuki.
Kazuki stopped himself as he was about to tell Sabrina.
Sabrina only knew a handful of people inside the Jevini family in the first place.
If the girl was indeed after Sabrina, Sabrina wouldn't know her anyway.
Also, if Kazuki did say "someone might be after you," Sabrina would be on edge.
"No, it's nothing."
Kazuki patted Sabrina's head. As he did so, Sabrina tilted her head in a curious manner.
"Hmm... yeah, you really are a good kid."
Izuna appeared, saying that while holding a plastic container that was previously full of strawberries.
"Don't ever lose that heart."
Izuna winked while moving the last strawberry towards her mouth.
Kazuki also had something to say to Izuna.
"Your head... is in danger."
At that moment, the toolbox hits home, and Izuna's head.
"Izuna, I thought we promised to leave my brother's share."
"...Sabrina... even so... don't you think the briefcase is too much...?"
"Thanks for the food✩"
Izuna returned to a blissful expression after eating an incredible amount of dumplings.
Kazuki returned to his room after washing the dishes with Sabrina.
He offered Sabrina the first bath and after checking that she obediently went downstairs to the bathroom, he took out his phone.
He called a number he added earlier.
After five rings or so, the recipient answered the call.
The voice was an elegant, yet cool one.
"Yes. Long time no speak, Sofia-san."
The owner of the voice was a female named Sofia, Sabrina's previous instructor.
There was a time when she tried to take Sabrina back to Italy, but after being moved by Kazuki and Sabrina's strong relationship, she let them be. She was currently the stand-in boss of the Jevini family and was it in Sabrina's place.
The reason why Kazuki called Sofia was because he was concerned about the red haired girl.
Sofia might know something about it.
Kazuki trusted Sofia.
『Well? How are things with Sabrina?』
"Ah, yeah. There are troubles every now and then, but we're doing okay."
『I see, you're doing well. Then hurry up and bite your tongue off and die.』
The trust he had for her was currently under fire.
『You ask... why?』
She asked, with a near-threatening voice.
Kazuki realized for the first time in his life that threatening auras can also be felt over the phone.
『You're doing well with Sabrina, right? With my Sabrina... you're hitting it off with her. That's more than enough reason for you to die.』
"Umm, then would it be better if I wasn't getting along with her?"
『If you make Sabrina unhappy, then I'll throw you into the pits of hell myself.』
"Hold on, then doesn't that mean that I'm dead either way!?"
Sofia held feelings for Sabrina that exceeded "normal." So, she often took her anger out on Kazuki, who was getting along with Sabrina.
『But anyway, I'm glad you called. I was about to call you anyway.』
『Boy. Have you seen a suspicious person lately?』
Sofia lowered her voice and asked.
He could feel cold sweat running down his spine.
Kazuki called Sofia because he did see a suspicious person around.
I should tell her... shouldn't I?
But the "suspicious person" that Sofia mentioned and the red haired girl didn't match up well inside Kazuki's mind.
The girl was indeed suspicious, but she was only a primary school kid.
Was she really the suspicious person Sofia mentioned?
Hmm-mm, she was about to call me first....
It could get bad if Kazuki told Sofia about the girl while he was still unsure, so he decided to observe the red haired girl just a little while longer.
"N-Nothing suspicious really."
『I see. Then that's good. But boy, listen carefully to what I say and stay calm.』
Sofia continued to talk.
『It seems like Sabrina's whereabouts in Japan were leaked.』
"What did you—?"
He felt like he was just struck by lightning.
『If they dispose of Sabrina, my role of boss will be over. I don't know if the ones who leaked the info want to take control of the Jevini family, or if they sold the info for money.... But there seems to be a traitor aside from Juan.』
Juan was the former number two of the Jevini family, and was the one who planned Sabrina's assassination before.
『So with that, we're not sure when an assassin will arrive there.』
Sofia spoke like she was in pain. Her anxious voice made Kazuki realize how serious the situation was.
Then does that mean that something similar to before... could happen again?
Kazuki recalled the last incident Juan caused.
Kazuki nearly died and Sabrina was nearly assassinated.
His body started to shake unintentionally.
『Well, it's only a possibility, so you don't need to be so worried about it... but we'll be investigating the matter from our side soon. I'll send a team of bodyguards if needed, so you guys be careful as well. Also, contact me if anything suspicious comes up, no matter how small it may be. Understood?』
"...Yes, I understand."
He ended the call in a half dazed state.
Does that mean... the girl is the assassin...?
Should I have told Sofia about the girl...?
He didn't think so.
The klutzy girl and Juan are so different.
It might just be his imagination.
Not that it would be better if a skilled assassin were to come...
He was finally able to spend some normal time with Sabrina.
He wanted it to remain this way for a long time.
Sofia said she was looking into it, so he wanted to wait it out for just a little while longer...
While he was deep in thought, he heard a knock on the door.
"Yes, come in."
After he replied, Sabrina came in having just finished her bath. Her light pink negligee was lovely.
"Onii-chan, please take a bath."
Maybe he really should warn Sabrina that an assassin may be after her.
"Si. Then Onii-chan, good night."
He stopped Sabrina as she was about to close the door behind her.
He should ask her just in case...
"Hypothetically speaking, and by that I really do mean hypothetically."
"You know, what would you do if an assassin was to come and try to assa—."
"I will dispose of him instantly."
It was quite a frank answer.
"I'll kill before I get killed. I won't leave a trace behind."
"... I-I see. Thanks for the insight."
"I'm glad to be of use to you, Onii-chan."
Having said that, Sabrina left Kazuki's room.
I hope that girl isn't the assassin.
Kazuki prayed that deep inside his heart.
1. Futsal is a variation of Association Football (Soccer). ↩
2. "有難たし" means "it's hard to stand." In old Japanese, "有難う" means "thank you." ↩