332 – To the Hotsprings! – IV
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A road trip with nothing but the scenery passing by, the radio, and each other's company to pass the time.

Usually, Asako would be fast asleep or the one driving on such a long trip. But she couldn't do that this time.

It wasn't because Alphy was a bad driver. In fact, it was the opposite. After all, if Alphy had a manual car during the race they had, Asako was sure it would have been much closer.

Though, if it had, life wouldn't have ended up this way, so maybe it was better that Alphy didn't have a manual car back then.

But anyway, Asako wasn't worried about Alphy driving them. It was more the fact that it was *Alphy* driving. Especially with everything that had happened recently.

It was just... The thought of falling asleep and then knowing that Alphy would be stealing glances at her while Asako was fast asleep...

Yeah, that wasn't happening. So...

Asako turned back to look at Rin and said, "Did you decide on what you want to do for school yet, Sis?"

Rin paused in the middle of scrolling through her phone and frowned. "What do you mean, Aneue?"

Alphy glanced back in the rearview mirror and nodded. "That's right. The academy is mandatory for you, isn't it?"

"No." Rin shook her head and said, "I don't *have* to go to high school."

Asako frowned and said, "But school is important, Sis. We're doing well right now, but you don't know how long this will be going."

Rin gave Asako a look. "...With Mister John, do you really think that, Sis?"

Asako paused.

...That was true. With the amount of money John had, and with all the tech he was dropping, it didn't seem like they'd be out of a job for a while. And if he was the secret criminal overlord that controlled China from behind the scenes like Asako thought he was, he had plenty of resources to keep things afloat even if they were hemorrhaging money.

"...That's true. But school is still important. What if you want to do something else in the future?"

Rin crossed her arms and said, "I don't want to do anything else."

"That's what you say now, but-"

Alphy looked over at Asako and said, "Don't worry, Asa-chan. If Rin doesn't want to go to the academy, we can always have Papa teach her."

Asako blinked and said, "John's a teacher?"

"Mmhm!" Alphy nodded and said, "There's no one more qualified to teach in this world than Papa, no matter what it is."

"...You know. I still can't tell whether you're just a Daddy's girl or if John is that great."

Alphy giggled and said, "Can't it be both?"

"And now you aren't even embarrassed at being called that." Asako sighed and said, "I'm going to need to figure out new ways to embarrass you. Can't always be the butt of the joke."

Rin's eyes lit up and she said, "So Aneue likes being top?"

Asako gave Rin a blank look and said, "Do we need to have an intervention, Sis? It's starting to seem like you're a bit too addicted to certain things..."

"Ehe..."

"But seriously." Asako frowned and said, "I think you should keep up with school. Don't you want to make friends?"

"I already have friends though?"

"..." Asako sighed and said, "Whatever. I'll let Sakura sort that out. Anyway, what do you girls want to do first when we get there? I think there's skiing or something too, right?"

-----AI|IA-----

Chihiro stared out the window with a bored look on her face.

Snow. More snow. Some trees. Mountains in the distance... It was kind of pretty. But she'd been seeing the same thing for the past few hours now.

The artist in her had already memorized the scenery and now was telling her that there wasn't any point to continue staring. If anything, she should be drawing or something to put the scenery to use.

That was kind of hard to do considering how cramped it was in the car though. Not to mention that there wasn't an outlet for her to plug in her tablet...

Seriously. This was a company car, wasn't it? What happened to all the advanced magitech stuff?

Chihiro sighed and then glanced around the car.

Shu was fast asleep, leaning against the car door in the back. Yuri was in the middle, also fast asleep and listening to some music through a pair of earbuds. Suzume was listening to music as well, but unlike the others, she was wide awake and peacefully staring at the scenery with a smile on her face.

As for their driver...

"You bored?"

Seigi Mikata, the white-haired, super-fit and handsome man wearing really stylish clothing glanced at Chihiro.

Chihiro felt her heart speed up a bit at that, but quickly looked away. "...A little."

Dammit. Why did everyone working at Myth Incorporated have to be so attractive?

Seigi chuckled and said, "Well, if you're that bored, we could chat a bit. I've got a few interesting stories to pass the time."

"Really?" Chihiro sat up and said, "You don't mind chatting?"

"Of course not."

"Great! Then are you single?"

In the back, Suzume's eyes widened and she quickly turned to look at Chihiro. "Chi-chan! That's not something you should ask!"

Chihiro rolled her eyes and said, "That's what you pay attention to? What, don't tell me you have a crush on him? Not that I blame you. Seigi-san here is pretty hot."

Suzume's face turned red. "T-That is not the point! I-I am just saying that it is rude to... T-That is..."

Seigi laughed and said, "Don't worry, Suzume. I don't mind. And to answer your question, Chihiro, I'm already taken."

Chihiro clicked her tongue and then said, "Of course. Though... By who?"

Suzume gasped and said, "Chi-chan!"

"What?" Chihiro glanced at Suzume and said, "I just wanna know the sort of girl who snagged a guy like this. There's a lot to learn there, you know?" She looked back at Seigi and said, "Can we meet her?"

Seigi smiled and said, "That would be difficult. 'Justice' is hard to find, you know?"

"..."

"..."

"Seigi-san."

"Yeah?"

"You're a dork."

Seigi laughed and said, "So I've been told."

Chihiro rolled her eyes and pulled out her phone.

Maybe it'd be better to just go and troll people on Twotter after all...

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