“Kidnapper, you say…”
“Aah, yeah, Jirou-kun. I kidnapped your little sister and your classmate.”
The image on the screen changed.
A somewhat dark indoor space.
And reflected there, lying side by side were Suzutsuki and–
The two of them didn’t move, as if they were dead.
Were they unconscious? Or were they…
“It’s okay. They are just in a deep sleep. I told you, right? That I am a kidnapper. Not a murderer.”
Then the screen once again showed the wolf.
“Well, that doesn’t mean that things will stay that way…”
“Calm down, Jirou. Don’t fall for his provocation.”
Don’t ask of me the impossible. How can I keep calm while my little sister has been kidnapped!?
“Tell me, kidnapper. What is your objective?”
“Hyuu~ As expected from the Butler-kun. You are so calm. Or are you unexpectedly cold? Don’t you care about what could happen to your master?”
“Shut up! Try laying your fingers on any of them. I will cut your fingers off without leaving a single trace of them.”
Konoe balled her fists tightly. I am not the only one that can’t be calm. I don’t think that what she said just now was a joke.
“Uuh–, so scary~. If you do that, I will never be able to play rock-paper-scissors again. Then, how about deciding this through rock-paper-scissors? If you win, I’ll set the two of them free. But if I win, I’ll kill the–.”
“I told you to shut up. You didn’t kidnap Ojou-sama just to have this weird conversation, did you? What is your aim… no, what is your request?”
“Hyahaha. What I want? What I want, huh? Is it okay? Then I will say it. I only have one request. Why don’t we just get along and play together?”
… he is taking us lightly.
I became convinced of that.
This bastard. He is definitely not sane.
“Come to the attraction that is in the middle of construction in less than ten minutes. This is where the game will take place. And of course, if you call the police, the game will end immediately, so take care. Also, don’t try bringing those dangerous tools that you brought in your bag, or it’ll raise a death flag.”
“…! Why… How…”
I caught my breath. How did this guy know the contents of Konoe’s bag?
“How, you ask? It is very simple, Jirou-kun. I was tailing you guys the entire time. Ever since before you even entered this place.”
The wolf said, “This is the so-called ‘planned crime’” while laughing.
“This took so long. I had been waiting for this moment for a long time. For the chance to take revenge on this Butler-kun. This time, I won’t fail.”
–This time, I won’t fail.
Don’t tell me… That this guy was one of the kidnappers that Suzutsuki mentioned before? She said that all of them were arrested, but could there have been one that escaped?
“I understand. So, I should go there alone, right?”
“–?! Ei, hey, Konoe!”
I screamed without thinking.
“Don’t be a fool! This is clearly a trap! And also, Kureha is there too, we should go toget–.”
“Jirou. I am responsible for things turning out like this. I will save Kureha-chan, no matter what. So please, let me go alone… And besides…”
I can’t let Jirou do something this dangerous.
Konoe said that clearly.
…Don’t mess with me.
Are you telling me to just shut up and wait?
Without doing anything, only praying to God or something?
Even though my little sister—An important person is in danger…
“Hyahaha! What a good youth, what a good friendship. I don’t care about which one of you will come. No matter whether it is Jirou-kun that comes, or even the Butler-kun, the subject of the game won’t change. But—”
But do you think you can reach here, Konoe Subaru?
Saying that, the wolf took a silver and shiny object from his pocket.
The blade was about twenty centimeters in length, and the design seemed evil.
That moment—Konoe’s face was dyed in surprise.
“Un? What, this isn’t strange, is it? I investigated a lot about you. Enough to even have counter-measures prepared.”
With a speech that seemed like a challenge, the wolf cut the call.
But Konoe was still holding the cell phone tightly.
And somehow, her fingers seemed to be trembling a bit.
I called that name uneasily.
But there was no response.
Like a puppet with its strings cut, Konoe fell while trembling.
Before her body reached the ground, I somehow managed to hold her with both of my arms.
Her lips became blue and were moving weakly.
“Do… Don’t worry! I was… I was just a bit surprised.”
She managed to say that with a shaky voice with all her might and somehow managed to get up.
But no matter how you looked at her, she was not normal.
Konoe lacked so much strength that she was about to fall again.
The color of her face made it seem like she was about to faint.
…What is this all about?
It’s as if she is just like me.
She is not having a nosebleed, but the symptoms that she is showing are the same as those of my phobia.
Yeah, just after she saw the knife that the wolf held, it started…
*Dokun* My heart shook.
I see… Suzutsuki had said that.
That Konoe had a weak point that was just like my gynophobia.
Despite the fact that she was a butler, she had a mortal weak point.
The condition of Konoe now.
A condition similar to my phobia.
Don’t tell me, this is…
“Konoe, don’t tell me that you’re afraid of—blades.”
I voiced the conclusion that I reached.
Now that I think about it… Since before, there was something strange.
[That cooking was mortal to her]
I’m certain Konoe said that to me before.
Not that she was bad at it, but that she couldn’t.
Why did you have to say it like that?
Maybe rather than being unable to do it, you just can’t use it.
A kitchen knife—in other words, blades.
And that discomfort that I had felt in the changing room.
The contents of Konoe’s bag. In the middle of all those self-defense tools, there was only one thing that was not inside.
Yes, a blade.
Even though there were remodeled gas guns and stun guns, the only kind of weapon that she didn’t have was blades.
Not even a little knife…
From that, I based my conclusion.
In other words, Konoe Subaru is—
“…Exactly as you thought, I have a fear of blades.”
A heavy tone of voice that was like a person confessing her own sins.
As expected, she has a fear of blades.
This is Konoe’s weak point that Suzutsuki mentioned before.
Then, the reason is…
“Something happened the time you were kidnapped here, right? And that was the trigger for your having a fear of blades.”
This is only a guess, but I think that they were threatened with a knife that time. That became a trauma, and after that she always…
“Aaah, this is a shameful topic. After that incident, I started to fear blades. Just from touching… No, just from looking at a blade, my body will lose its strength.
Konoe trembled while saying that.
Which brought about a phobia.
I know that feeling very well.
Even if you will it, your body won’t listen to you.
Since I have the same kind of phobia, I understand Konoe’s feelings so well that it hurts.
Don’t tell me that she agreed to help cure my phobia because she has the same kind of problem herself?
She helped me only because I had the same kind of problem…
“I’m sorry, Jirou. I am fine, really…”
After releasing my hands, she stood up with trembling feet.
…Is she an idiot?
What in all this is fine?
“JIrou… I am a failure as a butler.”
“Not only am I not a guy, but more than that I have fear of blades… It would be strange for me, who can’t even protect her master well, to be serving Ojou-sama as her butler.”
Konoe was trying to walk, even though she was about to fall.
It’s just like a sheep.
A little sheep that was attacked by a hungry wolf.
Even while trembling from the cruel fangs and trying to avoid them.
Only earnestly trying to save her master…
I said lightly to that small back.
“Be at ease, Jirou. I will save your sister no matter what. So please, wait here.”
Konoe, who said that, became silent.
In other words, she was silenced.
With my right fist—I thrust into her stomach.
After receiving my strong fist, Konoe’s face filled with agony.
Those clear pupils gazed at me, full of questions.
“Sorry, Konoe. This is not a butler ticket, but afterwards I will listen to anything that you want to say. That’s why I want you to sleep for a while now.”
One more blow—Clearly meant to cut off her consciousness.
This was something that Mom taught me a very long time ago, but I am glad that it went well.
Konoe silently lost consciousness.
I left her body sleeping at the bank of the pool side.
…I wonder why.
“Stand by me… huh?”
Somehow, I felt that I heard Dad’s words.
The reason was only that. I have the same feeling as when I saved Konoe in the science room, and the same feeling as when I jumped in the pool just now.
–I have to protect them no matter what.
Somehow, I thought this.
This is what they call unexpected crime.
“Aah, I really don’t understand it…”
I said that to the blue sky over the glass.
Now—Let’s meet with a kidnapper.