>Researching about a person that Takagi wants me to find that has been missing for two years was not easy: the longer a missing person has not been found, the harder it is to find them. Just searching for a child who has gone missing for only less than a week is hard enough, but a young adult could be anywhere in the world, including places that I’ve never even heard of.
There’s a vast amount knowledge and information stored inside me, but only ones that I’ve actually learnt, or what someone wants me to know (which gives me the strange feeling of knowing about something quite well about something I had never never learn), are only accessible to me. It’s quite ironic that I have to ask someone to access something that is a part of me. Why can’t I do it myself? Well, having a glance of what that information was, it contains every action of anywhere of any given time, which you could turn into what a particular someone was up to even though nothing was actually recording it. My poor mind would explode if I knew everything.
It’s the first time I went to the house I grew up in to have dinner since after Takagi gave me a case to solve. I haven’t seen Itsuki for some time since before that time.
Mom: “Ah! Saeko-chan! It’s been a while since you came. I’ll go prepare dinner. There’s nobody but us in here right now.”
Mom cooked for me my favorite meal, but she prepared an additional two sets of meals.
Mom: “Go ahead and eat yours. I’m just preparing these for me and Itsuki…”
Footsteps of someone wearing high heels were heard, followed by the sound of the front door being unlocked. Who could that be? That person didn’t say anything.
A very beautiful woman whose face look a lot like an older, more mature version of me, appeared. Even her actions were very feminine. Her outfit resembles a lot like a flight attendant or those who worked at the check-in counters of airports with the emphasis of her breasts and hips. The blouse has short sleeves and the vest worn over it doesn’t have any.
Mom (whispering to me): “Lately, I’ve never seen Itsuki change out of a businesswoman’s outfit, and only yesterday did that changed into something like those customer servicewoman at airports or high-class hotels. I wanted to be angry at him for being a pervert and imitating you, but underneath those clothes, his body completely felt like that of a real woman. It’s caused by that strange outfit he’s been made to wear at work and wants me to call him “Yuko” when he is like that. I’m speechless for having a very beautiful woman for a son, though I wouldn’t mind if you wore the same thing since you are my daughter.”
Sounds like mom is very creeped out about it. Itsuki was born as a male, and my body was born on a “what if” basis of being born as a girl instead.
Yuko: “I’m back… Mom, Saeko… What are you two whispering about?”
Just as what mom just explained, a beautiful woman appeared, wearing the said new uniform, in the kitchen. Wait, that’s the same person who kept torturing me? She looks serious and not the type to even accept jokes.
Mom: “We were wondering if there was a stranger at the door who has the key to our house because I heard unfamiliar sound patterns, but it was just you. Ah ha ha ha ha! Oh, there’s something on TV now. Excuse me.”
The part about unfamiliar patterns being heard is correct, but mom’s laughter seemed fake.
Mom went to turn on the television with a volume loud enough to not hear Yuko and I having a conversation. It seemed almost intentional as mom was watching something she would only watch to pass the time away and I know the program she’s watching now is not what she’s really interested in.
Yuko: “So, mom has probably told you how I had not changed out of this Mizuho outfit for such a long time. Well, you could say that I was, again, picked to experiment with the untested summer uniform. The technology behind it is the same as the winter version, but they wanted to see how if thinner clothing and shorter sleeves has any effect and make me go through the same conditions. I was picked because I don’t really have any friends besides Kotomi, and Kotomi herself isn’t close with anyone she knows of besides me. Since Kotomi and I, as Itsuki, are close to each other, and somehow realized that our genders are different after many years of being together, she proposed to me to get married. Or rather, she couldn’t love anyone else but me to the point of having to see my male face daily to keep herself sane. As for me, the other girls looked down on me because of my terrible grades. So, since we don’t have anyone else, we figured that we might as well be together. We haven’t figured out the wedding date yet, but it should be, at most, five years from now.”
Me: “And how does that explain you not taking off the outfit that makes you a woman? What is that you’re wearing right now? Have you been reassigned to work as a stewardess?”
Yuko looked as though I had said something she was hoping I wouldn’t ask.
Yuko: “Well… This is the summer version of the supervisor-level Mizuho uniform, but as to why I have not taken it off for days started not long after we last saw each other: my supervisor at headquarters wanted to punish me for the “unauthorized memory manipulation” I did to you. Even if it weren’t for that, it’s also helping me not to get lost in thought.”
It was on the morning of our birthday when Itsuki made me actually think that he was my older brother. Even then, I could feel that it is something is not right about how I was made to behave. During the process of thinking what it was, I’ve regained most of my memories. However, the mind wipe caused damage to my mental health, a tiny percentage of permanent memory loss, and behavioral change. I don’t know what exactly those changes were because I have no memory of what I was like before then, but I could remember what happened during the “mind wipe”.
Yuko: “Every day, I kept complaining about how they made the most annoying part of my transformed body also the weakest part that is exploited everyday and I could feel it jiggle when I move a lot. Sadly, it’s part of my body and not something you could detach. It seems that the reason behind the synchronized random daily bizarreness…”
Yuko abruptly stopped talking midway throughout her sentence. The only sound heard is mom watching the TV in the living room.
Yuko: “…happening in Mizuho is a result of first hand innovation of technologies not found outside until years later by the hardworking staff the of Hatsuya Research Corporation based inside Mizuho Academy. Most of Hatsuya’s new inventions come from their branch there. “
It’s hard to tell, but Yuko’s eyes are telling me that anything she said after the abrupt silence is not what she intended to say at all. Is it because mom is around, or is Yuko really not allowed to say what she really wanted to say? A secret that might cause negative things to happen to Mizuho should the outside know about it? High-level Mizuho staff and Hatsuya staff based there are able to think what everyone else in Mizuho can’t even think of (which is actually limited to things like common criminal acts and revealing events outsiders are not supposed to know), but even they are subjected to the mandatory uniform’s restrictions and although they can think about the earlier said limitations, they can only say or do it only if everyone else around knows about it and is not a criminal act.
Yuko seemed to have regained control of herself, but didn’t even say anything about the abrupt silence or her saying something else instead. I guess she was also made to behave as though nothing awkward happened and moving on.
Yuko: “Another reason is that they wanted to see my body’s health and the uniform condition if I wore my type of uniform for a prolonged period of time, including signs that my body might be rejecting being a gender my body wasn’t originally born as. We are still studying the mental impacts, and so far, my body’s condition seems normal, for a woman. The underlying composition of the student version is different than to the other versions of the Mizuho uniforms. My only complaint is that I couldn’t run or have my legs far apart. There will be a test to see if I would feel cold if I’m exposed to arctic temperatures while wearing nothing but the winter version of what I’m wearing. Based on the time viewer, Kotomi is going to see me for a while after returning from graduation before living somewhere closer to her new workplace. We would marry each other within a year of that, but as long as Kotomi wants to see me as a guy, you’re going to see me as a woman less often. Since she’s not around, and it takes too much effort for me to change out of this, I’m not changing out of this out of this until then. Besides, I don’t need to do anything to keep myself alive or clean with this outfit on as I don’t like to be mentally confused each time I turn into a woman and back into a man everyday.”
Me: “Say, Yuko. Do you happen to know anything about a colleague of mine whose friend she met on an overseas cultural exchange? Also, could you help me with it too? I can’t do it myself.”
Yuko: “Oh? You mean the cousin of a girl who approached me that calls herself Ito Yui? She thinks that I was you as I match her general description given by her cousin that isn’t enough to tell you and I apart. I gave her your location and told her that you look like a younger and shy version of me, which was probably when I accidentally refereed to you as my younger sister called Saeko. Either way, I’m afraid I don’t know anything more than you do.”
Me: “So you’re responsible for revealing my old self to a Mizuho student…”
Yuko: “I’m sorry, it slipped my mind.”
She seemed sincerely asking me for forgiveness, something Itsuki would never do.