Mikoto-san muttered in a faint voice, “I wonder who it is that Akihara-kun might like.”
“Either way, there’s no place for me, right? No. I won’t be in this town anymore, so I guess it doesn’t matter.”
“Are you really going to the dormitory in Tokyo, Mikoto-san?”
“I’ve already made up my mind. I will call Akihara-kun’s father tonight.”
“Are you sure you want to do that?”
When I looked at her, she looked away.
Mikoto-san shook her head.
“I really want to stay at Akihara-kun’s homse forever, too.”
“If that’s the case, why don’t you do that?”
“But I can’t do that. I am not allowed to stay in Akihara-kun’s house. The people in Tomi’s house won’t allow me to stay.”
“I don’t mind the trouble.”
“That’s because Akihara-kun doesn’t know the horror of the Tomi house, that’s why you can say so. Those people are trying to hurt you just because you are close to me.”
“That doesn’t scare me at all.”
“It’s no good. I don’t want to see Akihara-kun get hurt because of me!”
“So don’t try to be nice to me …!”
When Mikoto-san said that, she shook me off, lashing out with all her might.
This is not good.
Mikoto-san ran off down the slope in the rain.
I hurried after her and she turned left at an intersection.
That was a busy national highway.
Moreover, she had lost her composure and did not seem to have checked that the traffic light was still red.
I turned blue.
A tanker truck was coming at a brisk pace from the other direction in the pouring rain.
Mikoto-san, who was just about to cross the street, saw it and froze.
She might have been unable to move due to fear.
The tanker was definitely approaching Mikoto-san’s trembling body.
I jumped out reflexively.
Holding Mikoto-san in my arms, we fell onto the sidewalk on the opposite side of the road.
Just in time, the tanker drove off down the road.
I sighed in relief and looked down at Mikoto-san directly below me.
Both Mikoto-san and I were soaked with rain and mud, and we looked terrible.
I was on my knees, with Mikoto-san on her back.
Mikoto-san was sobbing quietly.
Tears were streaming from her eyes.
“Why did you help me?”
“How could I not help you?”
“Even Haruto was in danger! …You could have died like that.”
“Don’t say that.”
“I don’t deserve your kindness, Akihara-kun. If it weren’t for me, my father and mother wouldn’t have died.”
Mikoto-san said this while crying.
I asked Mikoto-san slowly.
“Can I ask you to tell me what’s going on?”
I had always avoided entering into her affairs.
I had done so because I thought she was a stranger.
But she is no longer a stranger to me.
She is important to me…
Mikoto-san hesitated for a moment and then began to speak.
“My mother was half British, and she was very beautiful.”
“Well, she was your mother, so I guess she was.”
Hearing my words, Mikoto-san’s cheeks flushed.
“Akihara-kun …It’s not good to say such things unknowingly.”
“I’m not unaware of it. I’m saying it on purpose because I think Mikoto-san is pretty.”
Mikoto-san blushed more and more and averted her gaze.
The embarrassed Mikoto-san seemed to have regained a little bit of her energy.
“Um, well, that’s not what I meant! My mother was the mistress of the then head of the Tomi family, and I am what is called a illegitimate child.”
So, Mikoto-san is using her mother’s last name.
I finally understood the situation.
I guess that’s what being a “fake young lady” means.
I can imagine that if she was the daughter of a mistress, she would not have been a welcome presence in the Tomi household.
Still, there was no doubt that she was the daughter of the Tomi family.
“But my father liked my mother more than his wife. When I was in elementary school, he tried to take me and my mother to Hong Kong.”
“You mean they eloped.”
“I think so. But …”
The ship to Hong Kong sank.
I think it must have been quite a news story at the time.
I remember that too.
And Mikoto-san’s parents sacrificed themselves to save their daughter.
“So, Kotone … my sister hates me very much. No, it’s not just Kotone. Everyone in the Tomi family hates me. If it weren’t for me and my mother, our father wouldn’t have died.”
“It’s not your fault, Mikoto-san.”
“But if I were in Kotone’s shoes, I think I would understand why she can’t forgive me. My father chose me and my mother instead of Kotone and Kotone’s mother. And because of that, he died.”
“I don’t belong to the Tomi family. That’s why I’m on your side, Mikoto-san. No matter what the Tomi family says or does.”
Mikoto-san shook her head to the side.
“Kotone said she would not allow me and Akihara-kun to be together. She said she would never forgive me for living with someone I love so happily. So, as long as I am around you, she said she will use the power of the Tomi family to hurt Akihara-kun in a reckless way.”
Mikoto-san shivered as she said this.
We looked at each other as we were drenched by the rain.
So that’s how it is.
That’s why Mikoto-san had stopped pretending to be my girlfriend and started saying she was going to Tokyo.
I was angry at the young lady from Tomi for making such a threat, but the first question was what I could say to Mikoto-san in front of me to persuade her.
Mikoto-san said in a quiet voice.
“The Tomi family scares me. They are really scary. I can’t bear the thought of those scary people trying to hurt Akihara-kun. That’s why I’m leaving. I am no longer staying with Akihara-kun…”
I called out Mikoto-san’s first name in a low voice.
Mikoto-san … shuddered, no, Rei-san shuddered.
“Why … are you calling my name at a time like this? Akihara-kun, it’s not fair.”
“You have to call me ‘Haruto-kun’. We’re pretending to be lovers.”
“I said we would stop doing that.”
“I don’t want to stop.”
“I don’t want to stop either. I want Haruto to spoil me like a lover. But…”
“I will protect Rei from the Tomi family, or rather, from everything that threatens her. That’s why I want Rei to stay with me.”
Rei’s eyes widened.
Still, Rei-san seemed to be lost.
I repeated that to Rei-san.
“If you are afraid of the Tomi family, you can fight with them. Rei-san and I are not alone, and we will manage.”
“I told you there’s someone else I might like besides Kaho, didn’t I? That was Rei-san.”
For a moment, Rei-san was stunned.
Then, her face turned red and she twisted around in embarrassment.
“Wow, me? Really, me?”
“Who else could it be?”
“Haruto-kun might like me … I’m very happy about it, but what does ‘might’ mean?”
“Too many things are happening all at once, and I can’t think straight.”
Rei-san, Kaho and Yuki.
Too many complicated situations were uncovered at the same time.
The main problem was that Kaho might be my sister, but she likes me.
Whether Kaho was my sister or not, I wasn’t going to be able to face Rei-san until I worked that out.
Rei-san glared at me.
“Haruto-kun… you’re so indecisive.”
“I think it’s more sincere to say that you like me than to say that you like me out of a sense of insincerity. So, I’ll do my best to get Haruto-kun to say he likes me.”
“I’m going to make Haruto-kun like me more than Sasaki-san.”
“Haruto-kun told me the other day that I can decide the relationship between me and you as I want to do.”
“Of course. I would never forget that.”
“I’ve made up my mind. I’ve decided to become Haruto-kun’s girlfriend and let him spoil me. I like you, Haruto-kun. No, I love you.”
Rei’s face was getting redder and redder, but she smiled happily.