ame thing you just did.
That she would do what she can.
She was a very fine woman.
Both inside and out.
I was deeply enamored with her.”

I slightly recoiled at Comrade Yoshio’s beginning to tell his life story.
I suppose I should keep quiet and listen.
Umm, to be frank, I don’t like such raw stories.
Much less Comrade Yoshio’s; I don’t want to know such sides of him.

“I believe you should keep to yourself the memories of a person so precious to you.
There is no need for you to tell them to a simple girl like me.”

“Heh, is that so.
But I have to tell you this.”

“No, that’s fine.
I have no interest in such things.
I will leave this town once all preparations have been made.
I will come again to say goodbye before I leave.”

I still have to go to the convenience store to purchase the resume form.
Let’s leave here quickly.

“Wait! Where are you going? Someone with no relatives like you.”

“To the convenience store.
I need a resume form.”

“So you’ve found a job? Are you really planning to continue living alone by yourself?”

I fixed my gaze at Comrade Yoshio.
I wonder, if my father was someone decent, would he have on a worried face like this?

“I have always been alone.
Even when Mari-sama was still alive, or when Fuki-san was still here.”

It is indeed so.
I have never before sympathized with anyone, nor has anyone ever sympathized with me.
Not at school, nor at home.
Before meeting with Sara-sama and Souju-sama at the academy, I have always been all alone.

At this, Comrade Yoshio took hold of both my shoulders.

“Wait! I’ll look after you.
Go to school as you have til now.
And continue to play the piano too.”

I could not help but be taken aback by this sudden proposition of his.
Somehow, I found my voice and said,

“…… Why, how can you be so kind? You have always been so since I first met you when I was 4.
It was all so curious.
I thought that if I tried to get close, you might disappear.
I could not ask you anything.”

Comrade Yoshio had on a puzzled look.

“That, Comrade Yoshio, you said? What’s it about? My name is not Yoshida Yoshio.”

Oh no, I have done it now.
I have always referred to him as Yoshida-san.
But in my surprise at this unexpected development, I have become careless.

“Umm, I have this setup in my head where you’re a spy from KGB, and I’m a novice spy under your guidance.
Your codename is Yoshio.
I’m calling you as so to myself because you’re from the KGB.”

I told him everything as it is.
That the landlord was MI6 and Tanaka-san was Mossad.

With a somewhat disappointed look, Comrade Yoshio heaved a sigh.

“My name is Michael Yoshida.
I’m an American of Japanese descent and I was in the US Navy SEALS.”

So Comrade Yoshio was not called Yoshida Yoshio.
His name was Michael.
If that’s the case, I should have made him affiliated with the CIA instead.
But I like the KGB.

No, this is not the time for such musings.
He just said Navy SEALS so simply like that! Isn’t that a well-known special operations force?! I wonder why someone so accomplished is living like someone discarded by the world.

“As a member of the Navy SEALS, I was involved in the operation to raid Al-Qaeda.
…… And when I came back, I discovered my wife had been seeing another man.”

He has started again! I thought he was a decent man.
Stop! I beg you, stop!

“Of course, I separated from my wife.
I fell into ruin.”

“Is, is that so.
Thank you for telling me something so painful to recall.”

I don’t want to hear such things.
I would like to just keep thinking of Comrade Yoshio as a KGB spy.

“At such a time, I met a woman.”

Comrade Yoshio, now deemed Michael-san, had a distant look in his eyes and continued his story.

“That woman was Kiryuu Ruriko.”

To think that it would be my mother! I did not expect to hear my mother’s name like this!

“My mother?”

Michael-san nodded with a smile.

“Umm, were you kind to me because I am my mother’s daughter?”

She was my goddess.”

A naked goddess.
What is this, Venus’s birth? It is true that she was naked in the painting… I wish to change the course of this conversation, but Michael-san would not stop speaking.

“She saved me from the depths of hell.
I was betrayed by the wife who I thought loved me and I could no longer trust anyone.
Ruriko taught me love.”

No, stop! I do not wish to hear about the love story of that naked artist mother of mine!

“I was once again deployed to the Middle East.
When I returned, Ruriko was already gone.
This time however, unlike with my wife, I believe that something must have happened to her and went about inquiring.”

“No, enough with this story already!”

“You HAVE to listen!”

Seeing how serious Michael-san’s expression is, I reluctantly continued listening.
Although I really do not want to!

“She had been sold at an action, in place of a friend of hers.
That friend had 2 children.
Ruriko had no family of her own, so she put herself out.”

A human trafficking auction.
What kind of a life was my mother living? To have a friend of that sort.
She was indeed not a normal person.

“The one who bought Ruriko was Kujouin Tooru.”

And here comes the trash star performer! So he won his wife at a bid in the auction house! I may have thought of him as trash, but he turned out to be even more dubious.

“At first, I only came to see the orphan child Ruriko had left behind.
Although you don’t resemble Ruriko, you were an angel-like child.
But the circumstances you were under were much too cruel.
I came to this town time and time again, until finally I came to reside here.”

“And how about work, Michael-san?”

With a pleasant smile, Michael-san told me that he retired.
Does that mean he’s currently unemployed? He’s a veteran though, so he should be receiving pension.

“I have money.
I manage assets.”

As one would expect of an American! No matter though.
I should leave.

“Michael-san, I am not my mother.
You were looking at my mother through me, were you not? I am me.”

Michael-san looked taken aback.
Alright, now is the time!

Thank you for treating me kindly.”

I climbed down the mountain and returned home to find the Hongou twins there.

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