*Conversation between Suou and Shuurei after Shuurei finally gets the go-ahead to go to Ran Province*
"Huh? You're going to Ran Province? Even though he kept kicking you out every day like that?"
Lunchtime. Shuurei opened her lunch box on the break table in the archives where she'd been doing some research.
"Yeah! It won't be right away though. Still, I got the head's permission."
"I get the feeling he gave in more than he gave his permission......" Suou muttered.
As an onlooker, it was more like a spiteful rush attack --> daily suicide attacks. It even came to the point where a note was plastered to the Gyoushi Taifu's office door: Kou Shuurei forbidden entry*. [*tachiiri kinshi - lit. standing entry forbidden] However, Shuurei said "It's okay as long as I'm not standing while entering, right?!" and crawled into the room on her stomach. Seeing that, Ki Kouki took the paper down the next day.
"What sort of animal are you?!" The expression on his face was quite something when he said that.
*Bits between Ensei and Seiran after Shuurei asks Ensei to go with her to Ran Province"
"......You're still holding a grudge against me because Hime-san said "Come with me!", aren't you?"
"You made her say it. She has the same reaction when she stops by the rice shop for the first time after a few months. In other words you're rice! Rice!!"
Ensei cocked his head to one side. Which is better, being a locust or being an inanimate object like rice?
"Seiran, from here on, if I have to choose between you and Hime-san, I won't hesitate in choosing her. Even so, don't cry about it, okay? I still have love for #2!"
Seiran wanted to split Ensei's head like so much shaved ice.
"Who would cry?! I expect it! I'd do the same thing too. If that weren't the case, I wouldn't leave her ladyship in your hands! If you hadn't come, I would've ended up having to go to Ran Province."
When it came to Shuurei, Seiran saw Ensei as being on the same level as himself. In other words, it meant that Seiran would leave Shuurei in Ensei's care and stay behind in Kiyou.
"Huh. You found something you want to do, eh?"
"More like something I have to do rather than want to do. I wanted to live quietly as a rice storehouse guard with her ladyship and the master, but I can't do that anymore. It's not normally my job, but if I don't do something they're hopeless nitwits. There's no way I can leave it to them."
"......You being a rice storehouse guard is scarier. I wouldn't be surprised if you cooked the books and stole from the rice bags putting it on the dinner table calling it 'incidental income'."
"That's old history."
"You mean you did?!"
*A controlled Shusui attacks Ryuuki as ordered by Ruka at the mountain shrine (Present in the room are Ryuuki, Shusui, Jin, Juusan-hime, and Shuuei)*
Shuuei shoved Ryuuki to one side. Shusui didn't even look at Juusan-hime and went straight for Ryuuki as Ruka ordered. Ryuuki was unable to get his body to roll with the impact. Despite hitting his head, he yelled, "Shuuei! Don't hurt Shusui!"
Shuuei didn't bother drawing his sword and grabbed Shusui by the arm, forced her to drop her weapon, and threw her to one side. However, she easily rolled over and got to her feet.
"Shuuei, can't you use love to do something? Isn't that the usual way to break brain-washing?!"
"That's right onii-sama!! Isn't that about the only thing you're good at?!"
Shuuei wondered, '......How did they know?' It was quite the weakness for them to learn of.
Seeing Jin smirking at him made him angrier. Damn him!
He recalled that Shusui broke free of the brain-washing once when Shuurei said her name.
"Shusui-dono--- Shusui-dono, please snap out of it!" he yelled, but she violently struck out at him instead.
Avoiding the attack using hand-to-hand skills like Ensei's, he said her name numerous times, but it seemed to have virtually no effect. Actually, it seemed like her attacks were becoming more violent. Shuuei deeply regretted the things he'd done (to her) in the past, but it was too late now.
(......I guess I'm lower on her scale than Shuurei-dono)
Shuuei felt depressed at that.
But he couldn't just leave things the way they were.
Shuuei decided to use his final card against her. Damnit! I really didn't want to have to do this--.
"Aah!! What's Shouka-sama doing there?!"
......The effect was immediate.
Shusui stopped moving.
Both Jin and Juusan-hime's jaws dropped. ......What the hell was that?
Even Ryuuki was shocked. I never expected the man Shusui was in love with to be---- that's not the issue!
"Shuuei! Don't you have any manly pride?! That's a little pathetic!"
"That's not 'a little', that's really pathetic nii-sama!! You're the worst!!"
"You know...... there are limits to not caring how you do things."
Shuuei was all too aware of that and yelled back at them in frustration. "You guys shut up!! I didn't have any other choice, damnit!"
After all, it was Shuuei himself who most wanted to cry. Love was love, but love for someone else.
But even more pathetic was that awareness returned to Shusui's eyes. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry. In any case, he couldn't waste this chance, so he shook her hard.
"Shusui-dono!! Pull yourself together!"
He even slapped her cheek.
Shusui glared at him.
"I'll take responsibility!"
"No, thank you!! Even if you gave money to do so, I'd throw it right back at you"
"Uuh" Shuuei almost never got rejected, so he couldn't help flinching at her immediate response.
*After the earth starts shaking, Shusui runs to the farthest room in the shrine where the holy relic is kept*
The door to the farthest room was open. Shusui ran into the room. Pieces of mirror were scattered everywhere and holding Shuurei was---
"Ensei-san!! You broke the mirror, didn't you?! Of all things!!"
Ensei stared in shock at the false accusation. Mirror?! That mirror was already broken when he came in--.
"No, I don't know anything abou--"
"Never mind the excuses. I guess you couldn't help it. No doubt you didn't know, and it seems like the sort of thing you'd do."
"Hey, hang on!" Ensei felt unjustly accused.
Whoops, that took a bit longer than expected. >.>