Chapter 4: A Long Night in Autumn (Part 4)

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Chapter 4 Part 3 | Contents | Chapter 4 Part 5

“So, Holmes, you’re still fixated on what the deputy abbot said back then, huh?”

A rectangular portable cooking stove had been placed in the well-ordered garden, and the crackling sounds of charcoal flame could be heard.

The autumn sky had already turned dark, and the lamp that Holmes-san had brought over was lighting up the garden.

I was sitting in a camping chair and receiving some juice slightly excitedly, while Akihito-san was laughing joyfully and pointing at Holmes-san with an opened can of beer in his hand.

“Could you stop pointing at others?”

Without any change in his expression, Holmes-san took some meat out of a storage container and carefully placed it on the mesh.

Holmes-san had brought over five storage containers. They contained Wagyu beef, Iberico pork, herb-infused chicken, vegetables, and…

“I also made onigiri, if you’d like to try some.”

Upon seeing his perfect figure, with his container in his hand and a grin on his face, my face stiffened.

“Holmes, you actually have quite a great deal of woman power, huh.”

Akihito-san said calmly. I agree with him whole-heartedly.

“I’m not a woman, though.”

“Yeah, you’re a sheltered boy, right?”

As Akihito-san guffawed, a rare grimace openly showed on Holmes-san’s face.

Seeing a grimace on his face was rare, but he seemed to have one relatively often whenever he was with Akihito-san.

“By the way, what’s with the phrase ‘sheltered boy’?”

“Oh, you were listening, Aoi-chan?” Akihito-san leant forward more than necessary.

“At Nanzen-ji, this guy tried to chase after the escaping forger, but he was told by the deputy abbot that ‘a sheltered boy like you ain’t catchin’ him’. I can still remember his unwilling face from back then.”

Akihito-san hooted with laughter. In response, Holmes-san drew an annoyed breath.

“Yes, I was certainly unwilling to accept his words. I’m always surrounded by my vainglorious grandfather and my father, who is a nice person but goes by his own pace. I have to take care of them, manage the shop and the house, and sometimes work as a cook, driver, porter, bodyguard, translator, errand boy… I ain’t a sheltered boy, really.”

As the meat sizzled on the stove and started to blacken, Akihito-san and I went pale.

“W-Well, the deputy abbot didn’t know you’d gone through such hardship.”

I held my hand out to pacify him.

“No, he does know. Compared to Enshou, I’m indeed like a rich kid with a sheltered upbringing. I’m just frustrated that he could see that.”

He must have thought about all sorts of things after that encounter.

There was no doubt that Holmes-san had won this round, but it was more of a shaky victory than we would have expected.

“I wonder what kind of life Enshou led before this?”

“…I wonder about that too. The first time I saw him, his lips were tilted upward on the left. That means that he’s the type to have unstable feelings, and violent undulations of his emotions. However, he properly looked me in the eye without faltering when talking with me, so I understand that he’s a confident person.

“Moreover, he has a tendency to copy. He must have always worried about what others thought about him. With that, I believe he used his talents to do all sorts of things to get through his disadvantaged childhood.”

Holmes-san smoothly continued.

“It’s hard to think that a normal person suddenly turned to forgery, so he must have had someone close to him… his father, perhaps, who was an artist. With that influence, Akihito-san was inducted into the arts. He then found his talent and was recommended to be a forger by his father. But then for him to think of joining the priesthood after reaching the peak of forgery, he must have lost his family, or cut his ties with them…”

Holmes-san said as much, but we were lost for words.

As expected, he was too amazing.

“…What’s the matter?”

He looked at us curiously.

“Nothing, I was just thinking that you are indeed ‘Holmes’.”

Akihito-san replied in a dumbfounded state, while I added, “Indeed,” and laughed.


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