Seven o’clock in the evening, on a weekday.
The only sound that could be heard in the dining kitchen was the sound of the refrigerator.
On the door of the refrigerator — which was already over ten years old — was a flyer for a pizza delivery store, held in place by a magnet that was yellowed with age and had been a handout from the water supply company.
On the side of the sink was a dish rack with tableware that had just been washed.
There were five sets of tableware, including five sets of chopsticks.
It was easy to see that a family had just finished eating dinner, a perfectly ordinary dining kitchen that could be found anywhere in Japan. However, a grave voice suddenly echoed within that room.
“……I can’t take any more of this.”
That sudden declaration startled everyone else present.
Everyone there had been fearing the day those words would be said. No, maybe they had just been waiting for it instead.
Everyone from the Kenzaki Family knew that those words would eventually be said by the central pillar of their family, Kenzaki Hideo.
“I just think… it’s impossible to continue like this.”
Kenzaki Hideo’s daughter, Kenzaki Nodoka, and his wife, Kenzaki Madoka, looked at him anxiously.
“Yasuo… you understand why this is necessary as well, right?”
The eldest son of the family, Kenzaki Yasuo, could only groan when his father called out to him, and gave no other response.
However, mixed in that groan was a feeling that Yasuo had resigned himself to the fact that there was no other choice.
It was something that would have been impossible for him until just recently.
However, Yasuo was no longer a child who could not see the reality before him or understand his father’s feelings.
Compared to the heavy atmosphere around the four members of the Kenzaki family, there was one more person there who was surrounded by an even heavier atmosphere.
She had golden hair that set her apart from the Japanese look, and her green eyes showed a level of exhaustion that she could not hide. She looked like she might vanish at any instant.
Originally, the current state of affairs that were plaguing the Kenzaki family should have been something that she should have welcomed.
However, that girl was not insensitive enough to be able to accept it without any guilt.
In fact, she was the most distressed among all the people here, to an extent that she looked like she wanted to disappear.
Hideo glanced at that golden-haired girl, Dianaze Krone, before finally saying what he was thinking about.
“……Dear, Nodoka, Yasuo… I…. I….!”
Seeing that the moment was near, Yasuo sat up and tensed his body.
“I will go to the other world, Ante Lande!”
Everyone in that place felt the impact from those words, spoken with a determination like steel.
“I want you to understand… Please understand, I can’t take any more of this……”
And after those words like steel came that weak-sounding excuse.
Kenzaki Hideo raised his right hand that he had weakly opened, and folded his thumb.
“First the main door… and then, the car.”
At that instant, Diana gave a start and cowered down, and Madoka also slumped her shoulders.
“And then even the bathroom.”
By the time Hideo had folded his middle finger, even Yasuo and Nodoka had no choice but to nod.
“……I’m so sorry! It was all because of my… because of our carelessness!”
Diana finally became unable to bear it, and started apologizing after bending her head down at the table.
“Yasuo, you understand, right? I am going to Ante Lande! If we leave things as they are, rather than our family, it is our house that will get blown away! Before that happens, I want to go to Ante Lande and get a proper hold of the situation! You understand, don’t you!?”
Just one month ago, Yasuo had rebelled against this statement from his father with all his strength.
However, in the present situation…
Yasuo looked at his father who was gritting his teeth, and at Diana who was bowing so low that she appeared to falling prostrate on the table.
“……Take care, and come back soon.”
He had no choice but to nod and respond like that.
“I’m glad that you understand.”
His father’s tired words reached Yasuo’s ears.
“One more thing, Yasuo.”
“About what should be done in the future, regarding Tatewaki-san…”
After hearing the string of words that followed, Yasuo said, “Huh………?”
After staring blankly with his mouth open for a while, “…..S-Seriously?”
The only thing he could do was fall into a panic.