Playing in my headphones as I key in this author's note is Oriental Sky of Scarlet Perception. I think at least some readers know exactly what that means.
It means play it yourself when you read this chapter, or at least, everything past the first couple scenes.
Ah, but alas, this story has now reached its conclusion. It ended rather abruptly, yes, but my gut was telling me to end it liek nao, so I decided that this would be the final chapter. That, and I simply can't juice out enough filler to make the first two scenes and the rest of this chapter separate chapters.
Even so, this one's pretty short for me as well. As I say at the end of the chapter, that's just life in Tohohana.
"…Akira was behind this, wasn't he?" Unbelievable. Osamu had been running the yakuza since before that man was even born. Despite a massive age difference, it appeared that Akira was going to have the last laugh. "Were he alive, I'd like to congratulate him. But, like any good yakuza boss, I have one last card to play…" The table the current diners sat at was a square. A surprisingly small one for such a rich family. Enough so that even Kaguya, who sat across the table, was easily within reach of Osamu's arms. To say that he could reach Mokou, who sat to his right, was an obvious statement.
That was probably what a police officer would expect as a last card. Take the detective's daughter hostage, and threaten to kill her if anybody tried anything funny. However, Osamu specialized in doing things police didn't expect; it was one of the leading reasons that he wasn't in prison yet. Instead, Osamu's last card was to raise his hands, and put them behind his head as he waited for the officer to get close enough. He could hear the footsteps, getting closer and closer. Surely, he'd be able to-
"DAMMIT!" That was the last thing the yakuza boss saw coming. Instead of getting close enough for Osamu's secret escape technique, the cop shot him in the back of the knee! The man fell right out of his chair and onto the floor, trying not to squirm or writhe any so as to not look weak. As much as Osamu hated to even think it, only two words seemed appropriate in his mind. It's over…
"I swear," Mokou whispered to the girl sitting next to her, who had just earlier today attended the funeral of a dead detective. "I have no idea what's going on here." Mokou didn't get a response. All she got was a sight she'd probably not soon forget. Kaguya Houraisan, trembling something fierce in her chair, looking about ready to explode into tears.
"Which one of you is Akira's daughter?" Ichirin didn't really have to ask. She used to see Mokou all the time, but only when she was too young to remember any longer. Odds were that Mokou had no idea who Ichirin was anymore. "I think a few things have to be explained about this whole situation."
"I'm his kid," Mokou said, standing up. "But I want Kaguya to hear this too. She's Osamu's daughter, so she's got just as much a right to know what's going on as me."
One lengthy explanation later; Tohohana Police Department…
"That was quite a move," both the Fujiwara and Houraisan girls said at once.
"Kaguya, I have to tell you something…"
"Too bad. When your father burnt down my home, the doctors found a note in my father's coat pocket. It said that I was going to be Miss K's foster kid until I was ready to face the world on my own, hopefully alongside a friend other than my teacher. He also said that the friend could have been you."
"H-He…he said that?"
"I don't get it either. He also said it was okay to assume that all's well. At first, I didn't get it. He was dead, and I was wracked with grief. But now, later on, I see what he meant. Tohohana has some really dangerous people living here, not the least of which is your old man, but if I just keep on going and do what I think I should do, then things should be able to sort themselves out pretty well. I'm really sorry about your dad going to jail, but at least he's alive, right?"
"You drew up the conclusion yourself, that we only hate each other because of our fathers. Now, with mine dead and yours in jail - probably for life - they can't really influence us all that much anymore." Like Mokou had said, she understood what Akira meant by It's okay to assume all's well. If she just did what she thought was right, everything should work itself out, just like Keine said it did for her mother. "I think the best thing I can do right now is help you get over what's happened today, and turn my lifelong enemy into my friend. Plus, it'll make our project that much easier if we like each other."
"I'll take your silence as an answer I like."
Some weeks later; Tohohana High School, Class 12-A…
"…and that's our presentation!"
"Wonderful job," Keine applauded excitedly. "Absolutely wonderful, you two! Kaguya, Mokou, you both get a 100% score for the project! Congratulations!"
"We did it!"
"I can't believe it," Kaguya happily said. "Way to go, Mokou!" Lost in her excitement for a second, Kaguya ran right up to her partner, and wrapped her arms tightly around Mokou. "…"
"By the way," Keine said. "I have a confession to make."
"Even if I wanted to, I couldn't treat your project grade different from everybody else's. Even if you both failed the project, at least Mokou would graduate. The whole story was a way of motivating Kaguya to work."
"Don't hold it against me, you two. At least it worked~"
"I can't believe you actually did that," Mokou said.
"It's against the law for me to do something like that. Being Akira's kid, I figured you'd notice that if anybody, Mokou."
"I guess I was too distracted worrying about failing the year."
"Well, you're going to graduate. So, now that you know that, what exactly do you want to do with your life? Both of you."
Fifteen years later…
Today was it. The culmination of everything Mokou had worked at for the last fifteen years, with funding from Kaguya's family once they figured out alternative ways of maintaining and even increasing their fortune. Before her last day of high school, if somebody had said that this would be the happiest day of Mokou's life, she'd say that it wouldn't be number one, but a good second. Now, however, she was certain. Today was the best day of her life. In front of her was a bright red ribbon that stretched out across her and around the building behind her. That building was red, and about the size of a large diner. In Mokou's hands were a pair of large shears, and standing right next to her was the same NEET that made all this possible with her funding. "Fujiwara's Diner is now officially…open!" SNIP! Today was the day that Mokou opened her own five-star diner. After all, her cooking abilities were becoming all the more useful as Mokou got older.
For fifteen years, Mokou and Kaguya have always had each other's backs. One was the rugged child of the city's finest detective, and the other was the lavished princess of a former yakuza leader. Whatever one couldn't handle, the other could, and together nothing was impossible. Not even the unthinkable. The sun's rays caught it perfectly for a second, that around the finger next to the pinky, on the right hands of both Kaguya and Mokou, were gold rings, with one diamond each. Fifteen years was a very long time, after all. Mokou refused to give up her family name; she was the only Fujiwara left. Otherwise, the restaurant would have been called Houraisan's.
After the crowd went in, Mokou followed, next to the girl who had inadvertently set all these things into motion by slacking so much in school. "You know something, Kaguya?"
"What's your take on adoption?"
"Well, we're both girls. Unless medical science has some new breakthrough…"
"I have a doctor friend. I'll ask her later."
"Okay." That would be nice. Mokou had little doubt that such a breakthrough existed by now; technology had an astounding way of getting faster and faster. In the event that the two were able to create a child from that breakthrough, there were infinite possibilities for what kinds of things would be in the world by the time he or she was fully grown. Maybe it could, and maybe it couldn't.
That was just life in Tohohana. A tale of enemies turned friends is no different.
As my thanks for sticking with the story this far, I'm going to give you a couple of bonus prizes. The entries for Fujiwara no Mokou and Kaguya Houraisan in my Tohohana database, which is getting closer and closer to completion! Mokou's first, here they are. I promise that you'll learn at least one new thing about each character ^v^
The daughter and only child of Tohohana's greatest detective, Mokou is always happy to lend out a helping hand to somebody she knows and trusts. She has a particularly defined sense of justice, as well as a fondness for fire, but is horribly hydrophobic, to the point that she'll don rainwear from head to toe during any rain, no matter how light or heavy. Her dream is to become a detective just like her father, but Mokou may be better off opening up a luxury restaurant in a big city like Tokyo or Osaka with her mind-boggling cooking abilities. She also aspires to be a manga artist because of her love of shonen anime, born from watching shows like Fist of the North Star and Deathnote with her father from a young age and continuing to the present day. Despite living in a trashy trailer park - one of the few particularly bad neighborhoods in town - Mokou has some of the highest grades in school, and attends Class 12-A at Tohohana High. Like a large handful of students in Tohohana High, Mokou is a member of the TCG club, but since she and Kaguya attend the same events for this club, chaos often breaks out…and no, not "Chaos Emperor Dragon" either. Of course, she wasn't always a girl of justice. Indeed, her younger years were marked by plenty of delinquent behavior alongside three other troublemakers. Nue Houjuu, Marisa Kirisame, and Yuugi Hoshiguma - formerly Mokou's three best friends in the world - have since become the kind of people Mokou would put behind bars if she had to.
Kaguya is the daughter and only child of Osamu Houraisan, the boss of Tohohana's local yakuza. Because of this, Kaguya was brought up on underworld dollars and values, and it has affected her now that she's a young adult. Often using her own wealth to get other people to do things for her, Kaguya is most at home when in her bedroom in front of her computer screen, with all other electronics in the room turned off. Kaguya is also known to bribe her way out of unfavorable situations, not the least of which is her frequent attempts to tip off her teacher to avoid doing schoolwork. Not that it ever works! There is also a mysterious and bitter rivalry between Kaguya and Fujiwara no Mokou, though nobody is certain where it roots from. This grudge has worked its way all the way into their senior year in high school, in which they've both been placed in Class 12-A. Luckily, Kaguya can forget about Mokou by being captain of the gaming club and a respected member of the anime club and TCG club.
Thanks again for sticking with me this far! Whatever the next story is, I hope to see you there!