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King of Thieves - Treasure 8

Natsume: This is terriBLE. It seems as though Sora's been imprisoned in some sort of thieves' hideOUT.

Tsumugi: Imprisoned...? Are you sure?

Natsume: YES. Sora said he was in a locked room by the stairwell with a "Murky-oniisan," just the two of THEM.

I might just be overthinking IT, just like earliER, BUT... Sora isn't the type to distrust oTHERS. He might've been dragged into something BAD.

Tsumugi: This is terrible. I never thought things would take such a turn while we weren't looking.

And, uh. This might not be the time for it, but... I've been thinking about why you got mad at me this whole time.

Natsume: HM...? Which time are you talking about exactLY?

Tsumugi: Ahh, I'm sorry. It really happens a lot, doesn't it?

This is about today, when I said we could just buy some new lab equipment.

I angered you then, and it's been tugging at my chest this whole time —

In all honesty, I wanted to make Switch my number-one priority.

So I kept asking to have lunch together and things like that—

But it was all kinda superficial, wasn't it? I didn't really reach out to anyone's heart.

Natsume: Isn't it a little too late for reGRET?

Tsumugi: I've been full of regrets this whole time. I even had to rely on you to solve the burglary, too.

I've caused you nothing but trouble time after time. I didn't understand you or Sora-kun either.

But this time — could I ask you to rely on me instead?

Natsume:: HUH...?

Tsumugi: I've memorized the ES building's floor plan, so... I can think of a few places where this "thief's hideout" might be.

With all these middle management jobs I've been doing, I've just memorized it without thinking.

Though I've always been your unreliable senpai, please let me do this much.

Natsume: (sighs) Just when I wondered what you were going to SAY, it's THIS? Having once again seen your FLAWS, I haven't gained or lost any hope in you, BUT...

If you're going to go that FAR, then I'll write-off today's misTAKE.

Tsumugi: Right. Leave it to me, Natsume-kun.

Please just follow me. I'll definitely find Sora-kun...!

Mayoi: Glance, glance.

(Ahh, I've got a bad feeling about this. A place to hide would be nice, but...

It might just cause more misunderstandings, since I'd have to hide the ninja outfit too...)

Sora: Murky-oniisan, did you start looking for the treasure already~? Thank you!

Master should be coming soon! Then we'll have a crowd of people searching ♪

Mayoi: N-No. I'm not looking for it right now.

Sniffle. It would be far too impudent to think someone like me could work with Switch!

I'm nothing but a nuisance, so please let me just run away!

Sora: Murky-oniisan, was it a bother...?

Sora's sorry for making you help out so much. He should've considered Murky-oniisan's feelings more, huh~?

Mayoi: Ththththat's not it! There's absolutely no need to hold back, Sora-san!

It's just - it'd be bad if you were seen with me...

Natsume:What would be BAD?

Mayoi: Eek!?

H-How did you get in here...? It requires a passcode...!

Tsumugi: Oh, that? Since it's a "thief's hideout," I just tried putting in 0050, and it unlocked.

A play on "open sesame" 1? Wow, I didn't think it'd actually work.

Mayoi: ... (slack-jawed)

Tsumugi: More importantly, Ayase-kun, could you explain why you and Sora-kun were together in a locked room?

I hope this isn't some sort of misunderstanding on my part. Depending on your answer, I'm afraid I might not be very sympathetic.

Natsume: FurtherMORE, this ninja outFIT— isn't it a little too small for YOU? Just what were you doing with IT? It's not stoLEN, is IT?

Mayoi: Um, no, that's not...!?

Eep! I didn't! I would never... Please believe me, I'm innocent...!

Natsume & Tsumugi: ...

Mayoi: Yeeeeee!? Preeeeeeeeeetty please don't look at me with those doubting eyes! I'm sorry for being a coward, I'm sorry I seem so suspicious......!

Sora: Hold on. Master, Senpai, Sora thinks this is a misunderstanding~?

Mayoi: Sora-san...?

Sora: Murky-oniisan probably isn't a bad person. He must've had a reason for having Shinobu-chan's clothing, right?

Mayoi: It's embarrassing... That's the Ninja Association Uniform.

I thought I'd make one to match the chief... So I borrowed it.

Sora: Is that the truth~?

Then Sora's also at fault for causing a misunderstanding.

Still, Sora noticed something while hanging out with Murky-oniisan and his gentle color.

Mayoi: D-Did I offend you in some way again, Sora-san...?

Sora: No, not at all~. Sora never noticed he also had a murky color lately, too.

Sora wanted to keep being with Switch, so he'd pretend not to see Master's and Senpai's colors...

And before he knew it, that'd become the usual for him~?

Tsumugi: Sora-kun...

Sora: What about you two, Master? Senpai? Hasn't it been a gloomy, cold color lately?

That's "normal" now, but Sora wonders if the lost treasure is really missing — wasn't it in us all along?

Tsumugi: Cold, huh...

It's just as Sora-kun says. I've been very busy lately, so despite my best efforts, I haven't been paying much attention to my surroundings.

Natsume-kun called me insensitive for forgetting to tell him about the robbery. All I've done lately is break his trust.

Natsume: It's normal for you to make insensitive reMARKS...

HoweVER, I'm guilty of the SAME.

Sometimes actions with good intentions can come across in a terrible WAY. Isn’t that’s what’s always happening around ME?

My apoloGIES, Mr. Phantom.

And to you two as WELL, Sora and Senpai. I wasn't aware of it until something was SAID, but it feels as if I've been stubbornly stuck in the PAST, ignoring everything ELSE.

Memories are imporTANT, howeVER — they shouldn't distract me so much that I stop sympathizing with the feelings of other peoPLE.

Sora: Haha~♪ Sora's glad you understand!

Sora wanted to brighten up Master's and Senpai's colors, so he came here to look for the equipment, but -

Now that all of us are here, let's make it brighter together...~☆

Natsume & Tsumugi: ... (sharing a look)

Sora: Thanks for keeping Sora company today, Murky-oniisan.

Mayoi: No no, you needn't thank me the slightest bit!

Rather, I should be thanking you. Your kindness truly saved me.

Sora: Nuhuh. Sora should too, because he's happy he could express his feelings to Master and Senpai! And he's glad the misunderstanding about Murky-oniisan was cleared up too~♪

In the past, Sora was... called an alien, and people avoided him. It hurt.

Sora didn't like the thought of Murky-oniisan facing the same misunderstandings he did.

Can we talk again, Murky-oniisan?

Mayoi: Ufufu. You don't even need to ask. Of course, Sora-san.

I'm happy to help you in any way possible...♪

  1. In Japanese, open sesame is 開けゴマ. My proofer suggested the 00 comes from 開け's meaning of "leaving a space," the 5 from the same-sounding word for it ご, and 0 from 間 (read ま), or nothing. 0050!