「 So, what happened? 」
Jii-chan asked me.
I’m in the reading room in the Kouzuki mansion.
The two of us are having a conversation.
「 Yeah, Ai’s father came back home at 8pm, just as scheduled 」
「 He must be surprised? 」
「 Well, yeah. It’s his first time seeing Ai’s friends in school at their home 」
Back then, Makoto-san dotes too much on Ai…
The house is a world for the mother-daughter, and so it didn’t have an atmosphere where she could invite friends.
「 The father knew Yukino, and so he’s surprised that Yukino’s in his house. But, he didn’t seem to find it odd since Yukino and Ai attend the same school 」
「 And what about Katsuko-kun and the Takakura miss? 」
「 Katsuko-nee’s named as Makoto-san’s friend in the cultural center. Koyomi-chan and Luna-chan are Katsuko-nee’s sisters. It’s a bit forced, but Luna-chan and Koyomi-chan… 」
「 Used their Miko power to manipulate him? 」
「 Well, yeah. But they only made him stop the suspicions 」
I feel sorry for Ai’s father, but…
「 In the end, we needed the power of the two to have a calm conversation… 」
Keeping their emotions in check…
If they get too agitated, then they’re forced to calm down.
「 Then, everyone ate dinner like we’re having a home party. Ai-san’s father was happy. After all, it’s a meal Ai cooked 」
It seems like that family never had a meal with all the members together.
Ai and Makoto-san eat together all the time.
The father eats what’s prepared in advance alone.
「 Ya-chan and Edie brightened up the night, Luna and Koyomi-chan took care of their needs. Ai’s father was interested in America, and so he talked to Edie a lot 」
We had dinner with no negative mood.
「 Then? 」
Jii-chan looked at me.
「 After the meal, Ai talked about wanting to enter the bread course to her father 」
Ai’s explanation was hard to understand, so I thought I had to follow up, but…
「 The father acknowledged it right away, didn’t he? 」
Jii-chan said, laughing.
「 He did, but why? 」
「 When he realizes that you came with his daughter to support her, then he’ll accept whatever the daughter tells him. Furthermore, it’s not just one or two people. Multiple people came just for her daughter 」
Megu, Nei, Edie, Yukino, and me.
「 Then, if we didn’t show up, would the development be different? 」
I asked. Jii-chan…
「 For male parents, they choose the path for their boy, but for their girl, they have a lighter attitude, going with “You can do whatever you want” 」
「 Above all, the father must’ve been happy that the daughter came to him to discuss it. Furthermore, the daughter waited for him to return home to tell him about it 」
「 Yeah 」
「 That courtesy must’ve made the father willingly give his consent 」
For a father and daughter, his relationship with Ai is fragile.
It must be the first time Ai faced her father like that.
Furthermore, the daughter made a sincere discussion with her father in front of us.
「 As usual, Ai takes slow to speak, and she expresses the details poorly. It was hard to figure out what she’s trying to say, but, Ai did show that she’s serious about wanting to become better at making pastries and that she wants to change herself using that opportunity 」
Therefore, Ai’s father understood it.
「 Also, Makoto-san talked about leaving the house and entering a job in the outside world… 」
Influenced by Ai’s enthusiasm, Makoto-san also did her best at talking with a blushing face.
「 Ai’s father was more surprised with Makoto-san’s talk 」
Since marrying, his wife hardly went outside the house.
「 Then, Katsuko-nee followed up, and then, they talked about working part-time on Nagisa’s flower shop. Then they showed the site for Nagisa’s shop 」
Fortunately, Nagisa’s shop got a good reputation on the internet.
「 He said that he doesn’t mind as long as it’s not some weird shop and that she doesn’t overwork herself 」
Ai and Makoto-san got their permission the right way.
「 Then, after they were done talking, we returned back to the mansion 」
Leaving Ai and Makoto-san with the father.
「 Then, after weekends, when the father heads back to Sendai for work, Ai will return to our mansion 」
Jii-chan’s listening to my story like he’s having fun.
「 In the end, the three had time to talk at ease after we returned home. Then… 」
Do I tell Jii-chan about it?
Yeah, I should.
Ai already belongs to my family.
「 Makoto-san confessed that Ai’s not his daughter, and apologized on her knees 」
「 Oh.. 」
「 But, the husband knew that Ai’s not his daughter since before 」
「 I thought so. Humans aren’t that dense 」
「 Makoto-san apologizes in tears. Ai also started crying. She started talking about divorcing and paying for the damages, but… 」
「 The guy didn’t ask for it, did he? 」
「 Yeah. Ai’s father… 」
「 Ai’s father was homosexual 」
「 I see 」
「 His boyfriend is that guy he goes mountain climbing with during his student days 」
「 I see 」
「 Yeah, he doesn’t love women. But, he couldn’t refuse the marriage talks of his boss’ daughter 」
「 That happens 」
「 That’s right. Then, he got married… 」
And he had sex with Makoto-san, but only during the wedding night.
「 And with his circumstances, he’s never dissatisfied with his married life with Makoto-san. He doesn’t mind that Ai isn’t his daughter 」
Instead, he thinks that having a child saves his face for his boss and his parents.
「 After all, he’s a homo, and so he’s given up on having a child from the start. He’s rather happy that he has a cute daughter, like Ai 」
Homosexual couples can’t adopt a child in Japan.
「 And so, he asked not to worry about it and continue to stay as a family 」
「 I see… 」
「 However, if Makoto-san were to find a man she likes, he asked to have her wait until he retires… 」
「 Indeed. Getting divorced must be damaging to his career in the company? 」
「 Or should I say that becoming an unmarried man comes with a lot of burdens and jobs in the company. Like, moving abroad, such as Africa or the Middle East 」
「 Really? 」
「 If you have a wife and child, then you won’t be sent to harsh locations 」
Therefore, he wants to continue the disguise as a married couple.
But, well, I guess there’s that.
「 It’s outside my reasoning to not be concerned about the incapability of creating descendants, however, people like them exist. The world sure is wide 」
「 No, I think that is probably conventional. If you can have a daughter take care of your grave, even if you’re not connected by blood 」
「 What do you mean? 」
「 In Japan, the value of a family doesn’t mean that they have to be related by blood. Even if it’s not your real child, as long as they hold a memorial service for your grave, then that’s good enough 」
「 In Japan, it’s a sin to not have anyone visit the memorial service of an ancestor. Think of the Records of Ancient Matters. The forecast for pestilence made it reasonable that nobody comes for the memorial service. Then, they hurriedly searched for descendants to hold a memorial service, when an epidemic occurs 」
「 I see 」
「 Kabuki still has that thought. The Danjuurou house isn’t connected to the Edo period Danjuurou house by blood 」
「 Wait, really? 」
「 However, they hand over the craft of the Danjuurou house to those who hold memorial service to the ancestors. That’s how they inherit the family 」
I think about the Yoshida house.
I’m no longer a Yoshida in the paper.
My father and mother would die someday.
Who would be the one to hold the funeral and visit their gravestones?
I belong to Kuromori now.
Minaho-neesan can’t bear a child anymore.
I need to protect the gravesite of the Kuromori house.
I don’t have time to think about Yoshida house.
I wonder about Grandma’s gravesite?
I never visited it.
「 And then, there are no problems with that girl and her family, is there? 」
Jii-chan said. I got pulled back to reality.
「 Ah, yeah. I don’t think there are any problems. Ai and Makoto-san stay in the mansion most of the time. They come home during weekends, and they’ll meet the father’s boyfriend.
「 I see. I’ll have them profiled just in case 」
「 I don’t know if it can cause a problem but, I would rather not have a homo couple get in the fight and spread the fire to Misuzu or Ruriko 」
Right, Kouzuki house has too much influence.
Staying in the mansion means that she’ll get familiar with Misuzu and the girls.
There is the possibility of Ai’s father causing some ridiculous scandal.
「 Umu, that was a candor talk. Thank you. I don’t mind if it’s something you can’t discuss, but do find some time to talk to me from now on… 」1
It’s inevitable. Jii-chan has to protect his house.
Jii-chan should know, even if it’s a problem I don’t recognize.
I believe I should tell Jii-chan about those anyway.
That’s my duty.
It’s painful since I had to talk about Ai and Makoto-san’s private life, but…
Jii-chan. Our relationship with Kouzuki house is our lifeline.
「 Especially if you took a new woman, talk to me about it 」
「 It’s something to entertain me 」
Then, he sighed.
「 As you know, I’m too old that I can’t have sex anymore. To be honest, I’m jealous of you 」
「 Sorry about that, Jii-chan 」
I didn’t think of that.
You wouldn’t talk to someone sick and has an IV drop that hadn’t eaten anything for the past few days about some delicious ramen.
「 Why the apology? You should get wilder. Get me burning in jealousy. I would like to hear your spicy stories more. Especially those with erotic developments. That’s the youth-restoring pill for me 」
「 The frustration and jealousy is a necessary spice in human life. Especially for old people like me 」
「 It’s much more healthy to spit out curses, than giving up on everything 」
This old man…
「 You’re watching my sex videos with Ruriko as usual 」
「 Naturally, Ruriko’s making such excellent expressions recently 」
「 However, if I was in my 20’s, I could satisfy Ruriko more than you do 」
「 I’m still in my teens 」
「 Then it can’t be helped. Fufufufu 」
Jii-chan looks like he’s having fun.
「 Anyhow. I’ll ask you to continue doting on Ruriko 」
Jii-chan’s love for Ruriko is beyond twisted.
「 What about Misuzu? 」
「 Fool. I didn’t talk about Misuzu because I can’t ask you for that 」
Jii-chan will bow his head to me if it’s about Ruriko only.
「 Now then, is that the end of your report for your present state? 」
Jii-chan changes the topic.
「 Yeah, we’re done 」
「 Then, I’ll tell you a story. Give me a second first 」
Jii-chan pushed the interphone.
『 Yes? 』
That voice is Shou-neechan.
「 What’s the situation? 」
『 About 70% of the guests have arrived 』
「 And who entertains them? 」
『 Yoshiko-sama and Ruriko-sama 』
「 Where’s Misuzu? 」
『 She’s waiting for Kakka’s instructions 』
「 I see. Can you ask her to come to this room? 」
『 Yes, I will bring her 』
「 Then, get her in this room. I just finished talking to Yoshinobu 」
『 Certainly 』
Jii-chan turns off the interphone.
「 Misuzu, saying that you’re awaiting my instructions, and yet, she’s actually worried about you 」
I came here to report about Ai to Jii-chan.
Jii-chan asked for us to be alone.
I guess Misuzu and others don’t need to know about Ai and Makoto-san’s private life.
Someone’s knocking on the door.
「 She’s already here? Come in! 」
The door clicked and opened. Then Misuzu, wearing her party dress, comes in.
「 Are you done with your conversation? 」
Misuzu asks with a gentle smile.
「 Yes, we were just finished. What is the situation in the courtyard? 」
「 We have good weather today, no hard wind. It’s the best for garden parties 」
Yes, today. In this main mansion of the Kouzuki family…
Misuzu and Ruriko hosted a garden party.
「 I heard that nearly 70% of the guests are present 」
「 Yes, Grandfather 」
「 You seem to have excellent personnel 」
「 That’s because Shou-oneesama, Yazawa-san, and Michi checked them all one by one 」
Today, Misuzu invited all the young ladies from their school.
Furthermore, it’s only those who have bodyguards that come with them in school.
In short, the rich among the rich.
Naturally, the bodyguards are with them.
「 Although, they’re also appraising our security measures on their own way 」
Today is an informal social gathering.
This is for the masters who have bodyguards in school to mingle.
The guests will receive lectures…
All coming from Shou-neechan and Rei-chan of Kouzuki SS.
「 Well, half of the guests want to see and talk to Reika-oneesama 」
Rei-chan’s the poster girl of Kouzuki SS, and she even shows up on TV.
She’s originally a beautiful woman dressing as a man, and so she has a lot of fans.
She’s in charge of sending Misuzu and Ruriko in and out of school, and so, the young ladies want to get close with Rei-chan.
「 Is there nobody asking to have Fujimiya-kun as their personal bodyguard? 」
Jii-chan laughs sarcastically.
「 Well, the current bodyguards do make a displeased face… 」
Yeah, it would put the bodyguards that came with their master in a bad mood.
Right, I mean, they protect their master their own way, yet…
To think that they’re receiving lessons from Kouzuki SS. They wouldn’t want that.
Bodyguards mostly have that lone wolf personality.
「 Well then, I’ll drop by only for a moment 」
「 Those who are bad-tempered should be able to fix their mood if they see me 」
The head of Kouzuki house came to show up after all.
Jii-chan’s worth is that high.
「 By the way, Yoshinobu… 」
Jii-chan looked at me.
「 I try to make a displeased whenever meeting up with people. Then, I speak to them arrogantly, and show that I don’t like listening to what they’re trying to say 」
He smiled at me.
When it’s just the two of us, he speaks cheerfully and laughs a lot, yet…
「 Well, yeah, Jii-chan’s always acting someone important when in front of people, but… 」
「 Isn’t that just because you’re in a position where you can do that? 」
I replied. Jii-chan smiled wryly.
「 I don’t think of myself as someone great 」
「 Then why? 」
Why would he purposely show an arrogant attitude?
「 It’s like you’re making the other party hate you on purpose… 」
「 Correct. I try to make people hate me on our first meeting 」
「 It’s the fate of the head of Kouzuki house 」
「 For example, I met someone for the first time. I happened to be in a good mood. Therefore, I dealt with the person kindly and politely 」
「 In the end, it just happened that I was in a good mood. But, that impression lasts 」
Oh, that’ll give the impression that Jii-chan is a kind person.
「 Then, it’ll spread around. “The head of Kouzuki house was a lighthearted person” 」
「 However, if I met that person again, and I happened to be in a bad mood. Let’s say that the person himself has nothing to do with it 」
「 However, from that person’s point of view. The suspicion of “He was so kind and polite last time, I wonder what happened?” And so, that person misunderstands that I dislike him or his company 」
「 And another rumor spreads around. “The head of Kouzuki house hates me, it’s over for my company,” and that rumor will create consequences. The stock prices go up, down, and unrelated companies get in danger 」
Jii-chan’s influence goes that far.
「 The biggest problem is with those excessively self-conscious people. Someone I just met once could have the impression thinking, “I get along with the head of Kouzuki family. He surely highly evaluates me,” and use that as a selling point 」
Someone who just met Jii-chan once saying that he liked them.
「 Naturally, I object to those people, telling them that “I don’t evaluate you that highly,” on the public. However, those people… 」
Jii-chan looks at me.
「 If I deal with the person that way, they’ll speak poorly of me. Saying, “The head of Kouzuki house turned back on me. He evaluated me highly last time. What a self-centered and arrogant person” 」
「 I couldn’t care less about people who depreciate my nature, but it’s problematic if they think that I’m someone who changes attitude frequently. It affects the trust in the Kouzuki group. Therefore, I show myself as someone self-important, arrogant, and egoistic man from the start 」
「 But, that would make everyone fear you, and it makes it hard to approach you 」
「 Yes, however, it’s inevitable. Liars, idiots, and thieves won’t come to someone who makes that aggressive look 」 」
That’s a lot of trouble.
「 IN truth, Grandfather always shows an angry look whenever outside 」
「 Yet, you’re having fun when with Agnes or me… 」
「 Well, there’s no need for acting when with family 」
「 Later, I still need to show a sour face to the lovely ladies from Misuzu’s school. 」
Oh, he still needs to do it even with the girls.
「 I need to be more careful with women than men. If I were seen to show a smile to any young lady, then… 」
「 The family would offer their daughter as Grandfather’s mistress 」
「 And when that happens, it would be rude to refuse the daughter, and so it becomes troublesome 」
「 Therefore, Grandfather visits Kuromori’s brothel frequently? 」
「 Indeed. There are no future troubles with the women in the high-class brothel 」
「 Anyway, I must continue the displeased look to not cause any odd ideas. I couldn’t show any interest to a cute girl. That is crucial 」
Hmmm. Being the head of a family is hard.
「 Do you understand, Yoshinobu? 」
「 Danna-sama, you’re attending the party as Kuromori Kou, my partner 」
Ah, wait. Me too?
「 You must show a self-important, arrogant, and egoistic attitude too 」
Jii-chan instructed me.
- これからも……どうしても話したくないことは構わないが、できる限り私に話してくれ ↩