Right before Kasumi-machi, Rihito and Kahoru got out of the taxi at the Zaimoku-machi stop and proceeded toward the west. Eventually, they changed their direction to the south and before they moved a little further, they arrived at a quiet residential area.
“By the way, what kind of request is it?”
“It seems that they want you to look for something.”
After a few exchanges, they arrived at a small white Western-style building.
A detached house surrounded by green hedges, with a calm orange tiled roof and white mortar walls. It was two storeys high, with a golden weather vane shining on the roof.
The nameplate on the gatepost read ‘Kanamori’.
Kahoru, who was leading the way, pressed the chime button attached to the gatepost.
After a while, the front door opened and a young woman showed her face. She was dressed in Western clothing, and walked towards them with class, clacking the heels of her shoes.
On the way, she was finally able to see Rihito and Kahoru clearly, and her eyes widened in surprise. Her drooping eyes were painted with dark eye shadow and her eyebrows were drawn long and thin. Her plump lips were smeared crimson red.
Wearing a slightly larger one-piece dress with a small flower pattern, she came to the gatepost with a bewildered expression on her face, but fell forward as if she stumbled over something.
Rihito immediately reacted, reaching out and supporting her body. He held her in one arm, leaned her against his chest and called out to her.
“Are you hurt?”
When Rihito asked with a smile, the woman’s cheeks blushed and she looked up at him blankly for a while. She didn’t particularly care about Rihito, but most women who saw Rihito’s face up close reacted like this, because he had foreign blood.
Before long, the sound of a light throat clearing—made by Kahoru—returned the woman to her feet.
“I-I’m sorry. It seems that the heel of my shoe got caught.”
While saying that, she retrieved her heels that got stuck in the cracks in the stone pavement, putting them back on with Rihito’s arms as support.
The woman finally regained her posture and lowered her head towards Rihito.
“Oh, my pleasure, my name is Chizaki and I’m here on behalf of Fumiko Otoki. This is my assistant, Ono.”
When Rihito smoothly introduced Kahoru, Kahoru silently smiled and nodded.
After looking at Rihito and Kahoru alternately, the woman, who mainly looked at Rihito, welcomed them and told them her name.
“Welcome. I am Mieko Kanamori Yaeko”
This woman ―Yaeko Kanamori― was probably the woman who approached Mrs. Otoki for advice. She glanced sideways at Kahoru, who gave her a nod and encouraged her to continue her story.
Rihito asked Yaeko with a quiet smile on the corner of my mouth so as not to frighten her.
“Could you tell me more about your consultation?”
“Yes. Please come in.”
Yaeko opened the front door and invited Rihito and Kahoru into the mansion.
Rihito and Kahoru were invited to the reception room through the entrance hall, were they sat down on a large two-seater sofa.
“There was a large wall clock in the entrance hall, wasn’t there?
As he spoke, Kahoru looked around.
“What about Mr. Kanamori?”
Yaeko, avoiding the question, replied, “I’m going to make some tea.”
Kahoru, tilting his head after hearing Yaeko’s question, asked.
“Is there no maid?”
Certainly, most families that own Western-style houses like this have live-in maids. Rihito was also curious.
“She took time off because we are coming today.”
“Is that so…”
Kahoru, putting his finger under his chin and pretending to think, sat down next to Rihito. Rihito then whispered to him.
“By the way, is it okay to be like this? What about my role as a ‘detective’?”
Kahoru didn’t say anything but Rihito was a little worried. Conversing with women was his forte, but did he have to do what Kahoru wanted?
That’s what Rihito thought when he asked, but after Kahoru blinked his eyes like a fawn, he suddenly bursted out into a feat of laughter.
Rihito was slightly offended by the unexpected reaction to which Kahoru immediately apologized.
“Excuse me. Until a while ago, I was impressed with your detective behavior and how you treated women. As expected of a former scion, your words and behaviors do not show outright. I was a little surprised that you were interested in me and asked me.”
“Can I interpret that as a compliment?”
Kahoru answered with a straight face, but Rihito couldn’t take it honestly.
He couldn’t help but feel a little ironic about being familiar with women and being a former scion. Glancing at his face, Rihito got a clear smile and an honest question; “What’s wrong?”
Just when he was thinking again, that Kahoru was a difficult child, Yaeko came back with a tray.
“Sorry to keep you waiting”
She skillfully arranged the teacups on the table. The white teacups were filled with tea that had a light crimson tint to it.
Yaeko sat down on the sofa across the table after Rihito and Kahoru had picked up their tea. After taking a sip of his hot tea, Rihito asked her.
“So, what is your consultation? You said you wanted me to look for something.”
“Yes. Actually, two months ago, my grandfather, Shinzo Kanamori, passed away.”
“That’s… I apologize.”
“Thank you for your consideration. This house belonged to my grandfather, and my family will take over it in my will, but there is a little trouble.”
Yaeko, who cut off her words for a moment, stared at Rihito.
“My grandfather said he would give me another inheritance, but he passed away before he could tell me what it was. I would like you to find the inheritance hidden in this ‘Golden Bird Mansion’.”
Saying that, Yaeko lowered her head.