Part 42: Furniture and People II
"Father. Today is our annual family conference. Haven't the siblings gathered here to get a glance of you, Father?"
"Aaah, be silent!! I'm saying I won't leave! I imagine that you are there, Genji!! Why haven't you had my food brought here as I ordered you to?!!"
Kinzo screamed across the door. Genji was waiting behind Krauss.
"Father. I don't mean every day. Even if it's just for tonight, won't you gather together with your family?"
"Who are you calling family!! When did you start calling those vultures who wait for me to collapse and die family?! Have you started calling rotting, gushing maggots family?!!"
Krauss shrugged at this answer, which he had half expected.
"Genji, carry the meal here as you were told!! Why don't you listen to what I say?!! Why?! WHY?!!"
"...Genji-san. I will leave the rest to you. My voice will no longer reach that person."
Krauss gave his head a small shake, and quickly turned his back on the door to the study. He had only called out for the siblings' sake, even though he knew it was useless.
After Genji watched Krauss go down the stairs, he called again across the door.
"...Master. We have finished preparations for the meal to be carried here. What about a serving for Doctor Nanjo?"
Nanjo had announced as a doctor that Kinzo's days were numbered. In that situation, if Kinzo pestered him about finishing a chess game while he was still alive, Nanjo couldn't refuse. Kinzo was thinking deeply about his move, concentrating more than usual. It had been Kinzo's turn for quite some time, and Nanjo, who was tired of waiting, had randomly pulled out a book on magic that he couldn't understand and was skimming it.
"...Kinzo-san. You won't think of a good move just by folding your arms and sitting in front of the board. I wonder if it wouldn't be good to take a break and refresh our minds...?"
"Be silent. Hmmm... That should be good enough for defense. Will the bishop and the knight be able to penetrate that hole...? ...nnnnnnnn..."
Today, Kinzo was insistent on a strong defense. Normally, Kinzo's motto was that offense was the best defense. However, today was completely the opposite.
"...I am also hungry. Shall we suspend the game here? And I've used my head so much without a break that I'm already feeling dizzy. Any more of this might limit my ability to make my best moves."
"...That is a problem. In chess, both players must always make their best moves. Other moves are painful to understand, and ruin a game that is about reading thoughts. That considerably reduces our enjoyment."
Kinzo sighed deeply, and finally shifted his gaze away from the board. Chess needed an opponent. If that opponent was tired and was trying to suspend the game, too bad...
"It is true that the goal of chess is for both players to aim for victory and make the best moves possible in order to achieve that. It is an intellectual game of being able to read each other."
"...But Kinzo-san, are you forgetting that there is another goal separate from victory?"
"...What? What goal could there be other than victory?"
BGM: Worldend (solo)
"Ah... I give up. I believe those are words I said to you a long time ago. I give up."
Kinzo, who normally wore a frown, surprisingly relaxed his face and laughed. Nanjo felt like he had been reunited with a close friend he hadn't seen in a long time.
"That's how it is. Now that I've taken a shot back at you, what do you think? Will you go down to eat with me? What do you say about discussing Kasparov's middlegame along with some coffee?"
"...A good plan, but I will refrain. I can no longer leave this room... Because the ceremony has begun."
"...Is that so? Well, my stomach is growling. I will go downstairs. Any time you feel like it-"
"Nanjo... Thank you."
"...Oh, what could you be thanking me for?"
"...We didn't resolve our chess match. However, it seems that I have somehow succeeded in that goal of chess which I forgot. It seems that was just as important as checkmate."
"This isn't like you. Why so sentimental?"
"...You said it, didn't you? My days are numbered. Now, go. And don't come to this room again. Maybe we will continue in the Golden Land."
"...That is fine, but I have a score to settle. Losing that rook was a serious blow. Well then, I will see you later."
"Yes, later. Maybe in the Golden Land, or in Purgatory. Or maybe the next world."
Nanjo didn't say anything beyond that. And, with a practiced hand, he pushed the button on the table that would release the auto-lock. Then after looking at Kinzo's back one last time, he left the study.
"...Well then, Master. I will now carry in your dinner."
"It may be my final dinner. I must savor it. Please, prepare it."
"Certainly. Is everything to Master's satisfaction?"
Shannon entered the honored guest room, bowing her head and pushing the serving cart. The young woman by the window, gazing out into the darkness, where nothing should have been visible, was definitely that witch.
BGM: Melody (instrumental)
"...Thank you very much."
Shannon solemnly prepared dinner. There were actually several things that she wanted to ask and talk about with the witch... But those things were all jumbled up, and she didn't know where to start. Her heart was also jumbled up with various things, and she didn't even understand her own emotions. Therefore, still remaining vague, she could only do her job indifferently.
However, the witch guessed what was in her heart. You couldn't hide things from a witch...
"...I won't apologize. Because I am a witch."
"Come. Kanon must have told you about it. Saving your love life was simply my mischievous spirit. It was nothing more than a seed I sowed to appreciate how things would get complicated, become twisted, and fail."
"...There are some who think it is more fun to hear about love than to have it."
"You... couldn't possibly be trying to thank me, right?"
"...Yes. No matter what kind of ulterior motive you had when you gave me the magic of love, it doesn't change the fact that I received it from you. So even if you sowed that seed knowing that the two of us wouldn't be able to stay together for life, I won't hold a grudge against you."
"...Hmmmm. It appears that furniture isn't interesting after all... *cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*. This is where I show my skill by cooking it into something interesting."
"...I don't understand what you are thinking, Beatrice-sama. You are a Great Witch, and people like us don't even reach your feet, nor can we even imagine your grand thoughts. But there is at least one thing I can say."
"...What is it?"
"...Be silent, furniture. If you were a true human, hearing the announcement of your death on the day that you were to receive an engagement ring should have you dancing around, mad with grief."
"But what are you doing? Doesn't your face look so enlightened, as though you have accepted everything? Truly an anticlimax. Furniture...!"
"No. I am not furniture."
"Be silent, furniture."
"I won't be silent. Because I am not furniture."
"Are you saying you won't listen to my orders?"
"Furniture obeys orders. But a human decides for herself whether to obey orders or not. So I won't obey your orders."
"...If I hadn't sowed those seeds, you probably would have allowed the ceremony to control your fate without clinging on to any emotions. But now you have been brought up to be truly interesting, which pleases me to the bottom of my heart. That will be fine. Because I have no love for boredom. *cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*!"
"...I have finished preparations for dinner. Here you go."
"Hmm. Doesn't this look delicious? If Gohda makes it to the Golden Land, it would be desirable to commission him as my chief cook."
"...I heard from Kanon-kun. Something about, if I rejected George-san's proposal, you promised not to make me a sacrifice."
"Hmm. I did. that was only as a candidate for the sacrifice of the second twilight. Kanon cried and screamed that I should forgive you for that, so I graciously listened to his words. With the condition that you give up your engagement. *cackle*cackle*, see how gracious I am?"
"...What a foolish condition. And what a foolish threat. Is that how you bullied Kanon-kun so much?"
"Hoh. So you understand. *cackle*cackle*cackle*!"
...Apparently, she could imagine how much Kanon had been bullied and humiliated by the witch, with that horrible promise as bait.
"I made him crawl on the carpet and kiss my shoes. *cackle*cackle*cackle*! And that's not all. Do you want to hear the other ways in which I humiliated him...?"
Shannon silently shook her head.
"I have finally come to understand you. You like to bully, confuse, and trouble people, and you do it to entertain yourself. So I'm now sure that this is the way to resist you."
"I will have nothing to do with you. I will carry out the fate that has been given to me. So I won't entertain you."
"Nothing to do with youuu...?"
The witch's features twisted in hatred for just an instant. It disappeared immediately, but that expression that rose to her face for only a brief time was unusual for the witch, whose malicious smile hadn't disappeared even once.
"...If that is the fate that you have decided, that is up to you. I won't be afraid of that or go against that. Because I don't believe that the severe fate that will start occurring from here on is something controlled by your will. We humans don't know anything about fates that could occur in the future. Therefore, until the last instant, I'll live to the fullest, relying on my own fate and conviction. Fate is just a roll of the dice. You can't feel malice from it. I don't believe that you inspire it."
"...Hoh. Even though you have stopped being furniture, you have no fear of death. It seems you think that will bore me, but that's a huge misunderstanding. My interest will be increasingly satisfied as I see whether you really can stick to that until your last moments. *cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*!"
"It's so frustrating. Why did you take the form of a human, appear in front of us, speak with human words, and ridicule us? If you hadn't appeared in front of us, if you hadn't predicted the future, we would have been able to live life to the fullest until the last moment."
"That's what witches do. I live off your fates, reigning as a high-order being does over low-order beings. After all, your fates are merely fragments. If we cup our hands together, we can scoop out as many as we want.
"...Just like how no matter what the beef cows I raise babble, it won't change whether I invite them to my dinner table. *cackle*cackle*!"
"...We are powerless, so we can't go against your ceremony or fate. But I can make you unhappy right now."
"Hoh. What would that be?"
"I see, I see. You may be able to take a shot at me. But you cannot defeat me, right? I have the power to kill anyone for eternity."
"...I can't wait to see whether you can keep up that resistance in an endlessly repeating cycle of death and rebirth. Don't forget it, now. You spoke those words yourself. *cackle*cackle*cackle*"
"Well then, if you will excuse me. If you have any business, please call me."
Shannon gave a reserved bow, and faced away. With that gesture, maybe she really had taken a shot back at the witch, just as Beatrice had mentioned. Because when the witch called out again, she sounded a little more quick-tempered than she had before.
"Kanon thanked me. Can't you? Can't you thank me for giving you your day of rest?"
"Furniture will be happy about their day of rest. But I am a human. So I have nothing to thank you for. Do you have any other business?"
"...You plan to receive the ring from George? Don't forget that if you do, I will abandon the promise I made with Kanon, the promise that you would not be selected as a sacrifice."
"If you have any more business, I'll have someone else come for you. If you will excuse me."
A flat-out interruption. Shannon still hadn't answered her. And the sound of the door closing came instead of an answer. It seemed that Shannon's resistance probably struck far more deeply into the witch than Shannon herself thought. Because an expression of hatred once again rose to Beatrice's face.
She had made Kanon submit, even though he hadn't been ensnared until the end. And after that, Shannon, who had until now been easily ensnared, refused to submit this time.
In the past, Kinzo, who had been serious about the family conference, took everyone's yearly gathering for dinner very seriously. Because anything embarrassing that occurred during the dinner would cause the deepest shame for him as the host, he had strongly ordered Natsuhi to sincerely attempt to avoid anything embarrassing. Because of that, she and Krauss had employed Gohda, who had confidence in his cooking abilities. As a result, even though they could announce a wonderful dinner they had confidence in, by that time, Kinzo had closed himself up in his study and did not appear for dinner. Maybe you could call that ironic...
When the main dish for tonight, calf steak, was set out, Gohda began to brag about it, further exciting everyone's appetite.
"Of course, the red wine base I used was excellent even among those made in Bordeaux, but in addition, I prepared an original blend of this house, a blend of choice alcohol from around the world to further deepen the taste. This sauce is limited to this year. It would greatly please me if you were to enjoy yourselves."
"...Isn't that wonderful? However, isn't Bordelaise sauce common to French cooking? It almost seems like using alcohol from outside France with that is heresy."
"Master. Today is the annual family conference. As a dinner for those who normally live far away, and have traveled far from across the world to gather together, I realized that a sauce made from a blend of fine alcohols from across the world that have never met each other before would be most fitting, so I had it specially prepared."
"Wonderful! A truly wonderful cook, that's what you are! If you add in good advertising, food and medicine are twice as effective! The original tastiness is doubled, and then doubled again by yer advertisin'. It's a game of multiplyin' taste! Wahahahahaha!"
"*giggle*. Come on, Nii-san. Didn't he see that question coming?"
"There's no mistake. Having Gohda-san handle the truly delicious part."
"Is that so? I thought there might be some people here who didn't notice that today's food was in the French style."
"...Just now, Eva said that not using butter was a virtue, but that's the Spanish style. Well, I guess they do share a border, right?"
"...That's not what I meant. Will you please not take a part of the conversation out of context and manufacture something?"
"...It's a very delicious sauce. Gohda-san, you certainly are wonderful."
"It is a great honor to receive your praise. And this is all thanks to Madam's habitual guidance."
"...No, it was all Gohda's idea. I only listened to the recipe and approved of it."
It looked like the siblings quickly got into a loud argument about the sauce, ...but for the most part, dinner proceeded peacefully. However, something that they really wanted to ask about smoldered inside all of their hearts.
BGM: At Death's Door
In actuality, Eva and Rudolf and the rest were cautious during dinner. If the mystery guest was to be introduced, this dinner table was the most appropriate place to do it. However, no place was prepared at the dinner table for the witch.
The family conference would begin in earnest after the meal, and previous experiences told them that it could last until deep into the night. But they couldn't understand what it would mean if this person, who should be introduced, still hadn't been by late that night. So Eva and Rudolf and the rest began to feel some doubts... About whether this guest was actually unknown to Krauss as well. If this wasn't an assassin called by Krauss to give him an advantage in the inheritance problem, maybe they should speak frankly to Krauss beforehand, and create a common front to resist anything disadvantageous to the four siblings. If she was Kinzo's saboteur, whose purpose was to keep the inheritance from being handed over to the four siblings, the enmity between Krauss and the other siblings could only become a weak point that benefitted the enemy...
When he finished explaining the table setting and the cooking, Gohda tried to leave the room, but Kyrie called him to a stop with a small voice.
"...Yes, Kyrie-sama. What is it?"
"Umm, I'm sorry. I thought that there was a guest here today, but I haven't yet seen them at dinner..."
She had planned on saying it nonchalantly, but unfortunately, it reached the ears of Natsuhi, who was sitting in the next seat. It seemed that Natsuhi had heard it as, 'Even though the guests have come, won't the host come to dinner?' In other words, that Kyrie had asked whether Kinzo was going to come to dinner.
"The head's condition is not good, so he said that he will take his dinner in his study. My husband explained that in the beginning, but is something...?"
"...I'm sorry. That's not what I meant."
...In an instant, Kyrie realized from Natsuhi's reaction that this unknown visitor was also unknown to Krauss and his wife. And what that meant... On the chessboard placed inside Kyrie's mind, it felt like there was a loud sound as the arrangement of the pieces changed...
It seemed that Battler, who had been sitting next to Natsuhi, had heard Kyrie's words without misunderstanding them, and thinking it was a question about whether yet another person had been invited to today's family conference, he let out a wild voice. Thanks to that voice, the uncomfortable feeling in the siblings' chests suddenly exploded...
Everyone looked at Gohda at the same time. Judging by their appearances, it was at least obvious that no one here had invited that mystery woman. For an instant, Gohda was startled to find everyone's gazes gathered on him, but because of his naturally vain personality, this actually gave him a feeling of superiority. Therefore, he answered in an extremely calm and graceful manner.
"...Yes. Because that person wanted to eat alone in the honored guest room, their food was carried over there."
Therefore, Gohda's extremely graceful and reasonable response made it obvious to everyone that a 19th person, a visitor, existed...
"Honored guest room? Guest? What, who are you talking about?"
Natsuhi's words echoed the question that everyone who didn't know about the visitor, the Golden Witch, was thinking. Gohda was slightly disoriented, as though he hadn't thought Natsuhi would actually question him. It had been an honored guest spoken of so severely. He hadn't imagined that Krauss and his wife might not have know.
"Beatrice!! See, see! Beatrice came, uu-uu-uu-!!"
Maria had been telling the other cousins over and over again that she had met Beatrice that day. The cousins had answered, saying 'Isn't that nice', but they hadn't believed. So, their eyes grew wide.
"S, sorry. I was sure you were just joking, Maria... S, so, she really was there..."
"...By Beatrice, you mean that Beatrice of the gold...?!"
"Uu-!! Maria has been saying she 'exists' the whole time! No one believes!!"
"Sorry, Maria-chan... That's not what we meant..."
After learning that everyone had doubted Beatrice's existence, Maria, who had been in a good mood all day, completely lost her temper. George, who sat in the next seat over, tried frantically to calm Maria.
"...Gohda. Is that another bit of dinner entertainment? *cackle*, quite a good performance."
"...Aniki. Stop playing dumb. You called her, right?"
"Called? Called who? From where?!"
"Nii-san. Let's make this clear. Who is that? Surely you aren't going to tell us that it really is the Beatrice from that portrait, right?"
"I don't have a clue what you people are talking about! Gohda, isn't this really a joke?!"
"I, I, umm... I was just ordered by Genji-san, umm...!"
"Call Genji. Immediately!!"
When Natsuhi yelled, Gohda shot out into the hallway. At that time, with the sound of the door being thrown open as a spark, the dinner table was suddenly engulfed in an uproar.
"...I don't know anything about this. It seems that you people believe that I have been pulling the strings behind the scenes, but that is a huge misunderstanding."
"Calm down, Krauss nii-san. We are no longer at the stage where we can sound each other out. If you also say that you don't know this mystery person, the situation becomes ridiculous...!"
"Hideyoshi-san, won't you be a little more discreet with you words? My husband would not invite unnecessary humans to the family conference."
"Seriously. What are you people talking about? Are you saying that the witch of the portrait has broken out of her frame and appeared?! There's no way anyone has actually met this witch."
Eva and Rudolf nodded at Rosa's proclamation.
"Uu-! Maria also met her!! Uncle Krauss, belie-ve it! Believe Mama! Uu-uu-!"
The brief tension was broken, and Maria also started to make a ruckus. The room was already chaotic.
"I don't have a clue what's going on... So what does it mean? Does it mean that the witch who gave Grandfather the gold is appearing as a special guest in this year's family conference...!"
"But... really...? Aunt Rosa didn't see it wrong, did she...?"
"Maria met her too--!! Uu-uu-uu-uu-uu-uu-uu-!!!"
"Aunt Rosa, are you... sure?"
"...Yes. Maria and I met her... we even talked to her."
"...I met her!! That was definitely a witch...! Believe it!! I definitely didn't see it wrong or hallucinate or anything! What... was that?!"
But that scene had been so hard to accept as truth... The more she spoke of it like this, the less she understood what it was she had met. Ironically, because she had lost her composure and said that she had definitely met the witch, the more desperate she became, the more vague the witch's existence seemed. Because, with that one composed sentence, she had definitely affirmed that existence.
"...I also met with her. I greeted... well I really couldn't call it that. I exchanged a few words with her. It's definitely not something that Rosa-san saw wrong."
"Kyrie-san, are you serious...?"
"Yes... But she didn't tell me her name, so I can't conclude that she was Beatrice."
"That isn't possible! In the first place, where did that woman come from? That boat will only make the trip to the island to escort everyone there and back. Was she riding on that boat?!"
"...There's not much we can say if you ask us that. Of course, I have no memory of that woman getting off the boat with us."
"Ooh, really? How can you prove that there wasn't a boat other than the one we rode on? You can't! You can't prove one 'didn't come'!"
"That's right. You could prove that it 'came'. All you have to do is say that someone saw it. But you can't prove that it 'didn't come'. Even if everyone says that it didn't come - that they didn't see it - you can't deny that it could have 'come secretly'. It's that thing they call the 'Devil's Proof'."
Just by saying that no one has ever met a devil, you can't deny the possibility that they're hiding away somewhere that humans cannot go. You can't deny the existence of aliens for exactly the same reasons. Until humanity searches the whole of space and can show perfectly that aliens don't exist, you can't be sure that they don't exist. And it's definitely impossible for us to ever check the entirety of space for the existence of aliens. Therefore, while there may be a number of ways to prove that aliens do exist, it is impossible to show proof that denies their existence.
"...In that case, even if we discuss whether a boat separate from the one we rode on came to the island, we would just be wasting our time. She wasn't on the boat with us. That much is a fact, and she visited this island through some other means."
"That's right. There may be no need to discuss how she came here. The essential point is the fact that she actually is in this mansion now, and doesn't feel like having dinner with us."
"Let's review. Right now, there is another guest on this island other than the 18 of the Ushiromiya family. And that is a guest that even Aniki and Natsuhi-san don't know about, right?"
"I don't know...! I don't know what you're talking about...!"
"Be silent for a while. Your headache will get worse. It is as my wife says. I have no idea what you people have been talking about up until now."
"Then there can be only one answer. Father called her. For today's family conference!"
"For the family conference?! Then for what reason?!"
"I don't know that! I thought you knew, Nii-san, that's why I thought I'd question you!"
"Eva, could you give it a rest?! Krauss nii-san said that he doesn't know! So this is how it happened. Father stealthily invited the witch of the portrait as a secret guest. And she met with Rosa-san and Maria-chan and then Kyrie-san. That's all for now! If she has something to say to us, she could just quickly show herself! The question becomes why she's shut herself up without greeting us."
"Does this mean that Father, who never had any interest in the family conference from the beginning, secretly called a new mistress here? And had her wear the clothes of his ideal witch? This day is too important for us to come to that conclusion."
"There can be only one reason. To join in on the family conference. She wants to claim some right to Father's inheritance!"
"Ridiculous!! The head wouldn't have something as filthy as a mistress!"
"I told you to be silent! I've been in this mansion with Father the whole time, and I haven't heard about this once. At best, all we can guess is that Father's hidden mistress of several decades ago had a hidden child, and Father searched her out and called her today. Is that what you want to say?"
"Dear! Father couldn't have something like that! To waste the noble blood of the Ushiromiya family on a mistress...! This is nothing more than a few people saying that they saw something! It's obviously an illusion, a delusion, a daydream! Or is everyone taking part in some kind of act to trick my husband?!"
"What act?!! If anyone is acting, it's you!!"
"Quit it Aneki. This is a slightly reckless way to say it, but Natsuhi-san is correct. Kyrie saw her, I did not. Neither did you, Aneki. But Rosa did."
"...However, that means that she 'exists'. Because there is someone who can prove that she 'exists', we directly conclude that she exists. It is the opposite pattern of the Devil's Proof."
"...And I want to meet her too. And I want to ask her directly what kind of business she has with the Ushiromiya family."
"I agree with you on that. I truly wish to enquire as to what business she has on Rokkenjima."
"Don't say such obvious lies! She is after one thing. It's Father's inheritance! We should polish up any further strategy relating to the inheritance problem with a knowledgeable lawyer. If the mistress claims equal rights as Mother, then our shares will be cut right in half!"
"...W, wait a second, everybody! Genji-san will come very soon. He knows everything. I'm sure he will answer our questions! Until then, let's stop talking about this!!"
"Hey, kids?! Sorry, but the adults have to start talking about something complicated! Return to the guesthouse!!"
Rosa yelled at the children, slightly emotionally. The children didn't understand why they were suddenly being yelled at this time, but Eva and the rest realized it too late.
...There was no way that they'd want their children to remain here. So they all immediately agreed with Rosa's plan.
"Th, that's right, just as Rosa-san says! George! Return to the guesthouse with all cousins! Play friendly with all of them!"
"George, do as you're told. Take all of the cousins, and leave right now!"
"W, wait a second Mother...! We still haven't finished eating...!"
"Uu-! And dessert hasn't come ye-t!! Uuu--!!"
"We will have Gohda-san carry dessert to the guesthouse! So leave!!"
"Jessica. From here on, the adults will be talking together. Go."
"...U, understood. Even though I'm still eating..."
"...Guess that means I'm not the only exception."
"Thank you for understanding, Battler-kun. But you sure are lucky."
"I'd want to leave if I could."
"...Ihihihi! That's right. Why don't you adults have fun like adults, with your happy family get-together surrounding the inheritance."
"...I will also leave my seat. Anyhow, it appears that my turn will not come tonight."
Nanjo softly rose from his seat. He had been calmly watching the whole discussion without pointlessly interrupting from his seat in the farthest corner. His reaction was very adult, like a calm old gentleman.
When Nanjo rose from his seat, it urged the other people who were supposed to leave. The children noisily rose from their seats and as they hurried into the hallway, the servants returned.
"...I was checking to see that all of the doors and windows were shut, so it took me some time. My apologies."
"Come on! Children, to the guesthouse! Gohda-san, my apologies, but could you carry the children's portion of the dessert to the guesthouse?"
"Ha... Is that what you wish...?"
It seemed that Gohda didn't find it interesting to see that the dinner he had worked so hard on had been interrupted like this. He sent Natsuhi a look as though asking her whether that was really alright.
"Do as Rosa-san says. After that, it will not be necessary to set out dessert for us. Try not to approach the dining hall until we call you. Tell that to the rest of the servants too. Alright?"
"Y... yes. Certainly..."
"Come, everyone. Shall we go? Even Maria-san must not trouble her Mother any further."
"Uu-uu-uu-!! Maria also talk about Beato-!! No no no, uu-uu-uu-!!!"
"Maria-chan, will you tell us about Beatrice in the guesthouse? I really want to hear about the witch. Okay?"
"...You're really good, George nii-san. I'm moved."
"Are you sure you don't have kids? You're too used to this, ihihi!"
Maria's mood was completely back to normal at George's words, and she took the initiative, saying that she wanted to go to the guesthouse.
"...Do you all have some business?"
"Yes, we do. A bunch of it. And we all do. So much that we almost want to have a lottery to see who asks the first question."
"But no matter who wins the first lottery, the first question will be the same, won't it?"