Maria-sama ga Miteru:Volume20 Chapter5
 Part 1.
"'Various reasons' she said. Really there were too many various problems with that girl." Monday was dawning. That morning, Yumi of the second-year Pine group opened the door and entered. There she waited. There was no "good day" spoken to Yoshino. She took her to the corner of the room.
"Listen, Yumi-san. That Arima Nana, she's Tanaka-san's real little sister."
"Tanaka-san, is it? Tanaka-san from which group?" Since Sunday was strategically placed between then and now, her feelings were able to completely reset. Who was Arima Nana again? It took some time to recall. Moreover, which Tanaka-san was this? *
"Which Group? No, no. She's not from Lillian, but from Ohnaka Girls'. The three Tanaka sisters of Ohnaka... or is it four sisters? Anyway, she's the youngest. When I thought I had seen here somewhere, it was in a photograph from a newspaper article that Rei-chan had pasted into her scrapbook."
Of course, everyone understood and was ready for the conversation to advance... Except, unfortunately, this was the first time Yumi heard of the three-or-as-many-as-four Tanaka sisters of Ohnaka. The result was using her powers of imagination to their fullest extent to help her understand. In other words, Yoshino introduced a person named Arima Nana to Eriko-sama as her little sister. But she understood that it had something to do with the Tanaka-san from Ohnaka that Rei-chan met in the deciding tournament match.
"But, her name's Arima, isn't it?"
"That's right. She said that hoping to deceive me." Said it hoping to deceive you? She cocked her head in puzzlement.
"So, her name is Tanaka Arima Nana?"
"Her surname is Tanaka. Arima Nana is like her given name? It's amazing." Yoshino-san laughed through her nose. "Since her grandfather's name is Arima, and she became her grandfather's adopted daughter, she's not a Tanaka. But, because all three generations live together, she is an adopted daughter only in name. Nothing has changed in the lives of the Tanaka sisters. When you say it's different, that grandfather left the hope that she would enter Lillian.
"Huh." In the period of two days since Saturday, Yoshino had investigated this a great deal.
"It isn't 'huh.' What part of that did you not understand?"
"I didn't understand any of it." Yoshino's reasoning was as follows: "Nana's grandfather had a dojo that is by far larger than the Hasekura one, and he forever had many apprentices. From among many granddaughters, the youngest, Nana, was chosen to be adopted? After some future date, I'm thinking Nana succeeds him. Namely that Nana's kendo ability is unmatched among her sisters. Is any of that right?"
Is that right? She asked to confirm worriedly. The intricacies of kendo, dojos, and adoptions were for the most part lost on Yumi.
"Well, should I give up? She would be a little sister who's stronger than me."
"To say nothing of the fact that she's two years my junior. I shouldn't make such a troublesome girl my little sister. And Rei-sama too: after she graduates she can't come to love her soeur's little sister.
"She's not Rei-chan's little sister, is she?" After I said that, Yoshino-san had a face that read, "Damn it!"
"I was right, I don't like her."
Yumi laughed. "You've been hooked with the sickle, huh?"* Yoshino-san's words seemed regretful.
"Oh dear." While Yoshino-san was saying it was too problematic, in the end she wouldn't be able to eliminate Arima Nana from the running. Once she came to see it, she'd understand. Now it was her turn to say, "Don't make fun of your best friend. I have a special insight on such things."
"Do I like her...?" Yoshino-san muttered. After that her questions turned inward and she quietly turned to look in the direction of the middle school building. At length she clearly declared: "I know. If I'm not able to get a little sister by the time I become a third year, at that point, I'll make Arima Nana my little sister."
 Part 2.
"...That's what I'm saying." While walking on the gingko-lined street, Yumi reported to Sachiko-sama on the circumstances of Yoshino-san's little sister strife. It was after school that day. Because there was no meeting today at the Rose Mansion, the Rosa Chinensis sisters were able to walk home together privately for the first time in a while.
"And then?" Sachiko-sama asked.
"And then..." she was being grilled more and more.
"That kind of thing." A cool wind capriciously blew up some fallen leaves. In the small garden in which Maria-sama's statue stands, there were many evergreens. Yet, what kind are those over there that adopt autumn colors and afterwards shed their leaves? It gave the appearance that Maria-sama was also able to change and appear desolate somehow. Although, Maria-sama with her always unchanging, easy smile is still able to watch over students.
"What did you think of that person?"
"I..." Her hand, united with her sister's, worked restoratively on her and she was able to answer. "Today I visited the classroom of the three first years, I conveyed my displeasure with their not coming."
"Even if you hadn't intentionally sought them out, it was obvious that no one was planning to come." The fact that they didn't come to support Rei-sama's match proved it, Sachiko-sama was saying.
If they weren't able to go and help out, it's not possible to reach out to them. She was determined to voice her thoughts though, as it was appropriate.
"But, I might have gone looking for them because I was worried."
"...That's true. Those girls, they might be feeling relieved. If the job had fallen to me, your approach would have seemed fairly softhearted in comparison." Although they were just little sister candidates, Sachiko-sama had passed judgment on those first-years. Even under the most relaxed circumstances, a person would be nervous being in a special place like the Rose Mansion. Maybe in that case they wouldn't be able to start off by saying, "I can't come anymore." Even if Yumi regretted that this opportunity hadn't born fruit, those girls were not burdened with such regrets. If it happens that they still end up coming to the Rose Mansion to help, and Yumi were to say to them, "it would be good if you didn't come", they were not likely to let it pass without objection. That was why.
"Well, it's all right." Sachiko-sama did not criticize any more than that. However, it seems that Yumi's task of finding a little sister was not being let off the hook. For the moment, she was just pardoned from it. That was the feeling she got.
"Huh? That's..." Sachiko-sama muttered. Yumi followed the point of her glance. Tsutako-san was facing the sports grounds. Shouko-chan's retreating figure appeared small walking between the trees. "What's this?" Sachiko-sama asked.
"I want to wait and see." Shouko-chan was hot on the heels of Tsutako-san and had finally entered the Photography Club. But, for the moment, that was the extent of it. So far Yumi hadn't heard anything like a story of a rosary being given or some such. It would have been Tsutako-san's place to say so, but there had been no reports of an increase in soeur being formed from the Tea Party.
Unexpectedly, there had been Mami-san and Hidemi-chan. Because they had originally been close friends in the Newspaper Club, with the Tea Party as a launch pad, she had thought about becoming an older sister. When she tried to imagine her ideal little sister, that girl must have seemed to be exactly like it. But those two were covering the event in the Lillian Kawaraban themselves. When the "Tea Party Sisters" count was tallied, they had stubbornly refused to be included. Even if they were happy together, it was probably embarrassing.
"Onee-sama, I..." Yumi wanted to convey what she was feeling right now to Sachiko-sama.
"I think it was good that we had the tea party. I didn't find a little sister but, even from long beforehand I've always been seriously thinking about finding a little sister."
"Oh, how so?"
"Nothing so complex. When you meet your partner, and you each think you're in love. That's the best way I think."
"That's true." While walking, Sachiko-sama quietly nodded.
"I'm being simplistic: that feeling is unexpected and difficult but also the most important thing." Love is the most important thing. Yet, as she spoke thusly, Yumi was talking to her most beloved person.
"Yumi." Sachiko-sama said softly, and squeezed her hand. "Please find a little sister who thinks like that."
"Yes." Smiling, Yumi passed under the tall school gate. Invigorating, gentle, trying, heart throbbing. Does Onee-sama understand these feelings?
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