As we left the mountain villa, the brilliant evening sun colored the west sky.
So it’s already sunset. Was that a long meeting, or a short one?
“I wonder if my mother is alright.”
Fuyuki-san turned back to look at the villa with concern.
“Kurashina went after her, so she should be fine.”
Holmes-san replied as he reached the car.
“Oh yes, please tell this to Ayako-san when the time is right. The aquamarine ring that Kajiwara-sensei gave her is not just about the birthstone, but also contains his feelings in the language of gemstones.”
“The language of gemstones, you say?”
Fuyuki-san asked with his mouth agape. Holmes-san nodded.
“Just as there is the language of flowers, there is also the language of gemstones.”
“I understand, but what does aquamarine mean?”
“Aquamarine mean presence of mind, wisdom, as well as ‘freedom’.”
I see, so Kajiwara-sensei wanted Ayako-san to move on to the next part of her life after his death.
This time, he was really entrusting Kurashina-san with Ayako-san.
As Fuyuki-san and I were lost for words, Akihito-san heaved a deep sigh.
“…Wow, that’s amazing.”
“I’ll admit it, you sure are ‘Holmes’.”
With a grin, he opened the door to the backseat.
“Please get in, Holmes-san.”
With that sarcastic smile on his face, Akihito-san put a hand on his chest.
“Thank you very much.”
Holmes-san responded with the same first-rate smile.
As usual, they were fighting over something I could not understand, but a competition between two handsome men was a delectable sight.
With such thoughts, I also entered the car.
“Kiyotaka-san, thank you so much for today. I apologize that you had to see such embarrassing things just now. Please allow us to visit your place at a later date to bring you gifts.”
Fuyuki-san bowed outside the car. In response, Holmes-san shook his head and said, “No, no.”
“We don’t need gifts, but come over to hang out anyway.”
Fuyuki-san lowered his head again, and the two of us also nodded.
“Shall we go off then?”
Taking hold of the steering wheel, Akihito-san drove off.
We went off the small road into a main road.
“You’re seriously amazing, though.”
Akihito-san muttered as if talking to himself as he drove, causing me to almost laugh.
“No, I’m not quite that amazing.”
“Just when did you figure it out?”
Ah, that was what I wanted to ask as well.
“As soon as I saw Haruhiko-san, I immediately knew that him and Kurashina-san were father and son.”
Upon hearing Holmes-san’s smooth reply, Akihito-san and I choked.
We asked with amazement.
“I mean, they look so alike,” Holmes-san said, as if that were obvious.
“Ehh? How did they look alike?”
“E-Ears?” Our loud voices betrayed our surprise.
“Yes, Kurashina-san and Haruhiko-san had similarly-shaped ears, and that would be impossible unless they were father and son. At that moment, I thought that since the two of them were father and son, Ayako-san and Kurashina-san could be in an adulterous relationship.”
“Wait, you were having such thoughts behind that fresh smile?”
“Yes. You have a problem with that?”
As Holmes-san casually answered, I shuddered.
“You’re really too scary,” I spoke, causing Akihito-san to burst out in laughter.
“Well, you seemed like a creepy rascal with a high level of education1, but you’re quite interesting, aren’t you?”
“You’re also a creepy person, but you’re quite interesting too.”
Holmes-san immediately shot back.
“Creepy, you say…” Akihito-san was lost for words.
“…You used that word yourself first, so don’t be so dejected when it’s used against you.”
Holmes-san chided exasperatedly as Akihito-san pouted. Seeing their appearances, I couldn’t help but laugh.
“…Come to think of it, the two of you were having a date today, right? Sorry that you had to get caught up in our affairs.”
Upon hearing Akihito-san’s words, my cheeks grew hot.
D-Date, he said.
“Right, shall we go to see a Kabuki performance with the tickets we got today, Aoi-san?”
Holmes-san directed a gentle smile at me, to which I replied, “Y-Yes!” with an excited nod.
“Hey, what’s with the two of you enjoying yourselves so much at the back? Hurry up and go home already.”
Hearing Akihito-san grumble, I chuckled yet again.
As the laughter echoed, the car raced down Kurama’s mountain road.
The dazzling sun lit up the green maple leaves from the west, giving them a
reddish tint, and creating a picturesque scene of a summer sunset.
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