Mandarin Orange, Kotatsu, And A Found Cat - Chapter 83 The Cat And Housekeeper
The day after my blunder, Tsukiyama-san, the housekeeper of this house, found out my true identity.
She told me that she wanted to talk to me again today.
Yesterday, after Tsukiyama-san left my room, I put the clothes away in the wardrobe and immediately returned to my cat form.
Just as Tsukiyama-san had said she would pretend she had never seen me, Miku-san came back and treated me in the same manner as usual.
Last night, I could hardly sleep because I was anxious, wondering what Tsukiyama-san would ask me.
Looking at her, she was surprised to see me in human form, but she accepted me so quickly, which was surprising.
According to what I heard, Tsukiyama-san has been working as a housekeeper in this house since around the time Miku-san was born.
Such a person would leave an unknown person in the room of the only daughter of this house, whom she was supposed to protect.
I had no idea what she was thinking. My suspicions only deepened.
After seeing Miku-san off to school, as usual, the two parents also went to work.
It was just me and Tsukiyama-san in this house now. She would probably visit this room in a while.
I took a deep breath in my mind, then changed into human form and put on the same clothes as yesterday.
Come to think of it, I was too flustered to say anything yesterday, but Tsukiyama-san had told me about this outfit and that it looked good on me.
I took another look at my body in the full-length mirror in my room.
“It’s not bad…I guess.”
The dress was not that flashy or too cute.
But there was something sublime about the design and shades, and they seemed to fit in well with slightly unusual hair color like mine.
Now that I think about it, I have not had many opportunities to look at myself in human form like this.
After a while of observing myself like this, I heard a knock at the door with unusual clarity.
“May I come in? Lumi-san.”
Tsukiyama-san’s voice came from outside the room.
For a moment, I wondered if I should answer her honestly, but in any case, there was no more way out.
As I replied, Tsukiyama-san opened the door with polite movements and entered the room.
Seeing me standing in front of the mirror in the corner of the room instead of sitting on the sofa, Tsukiyama-san looked a little confused, but she did not seem to be bothered anymore and bowed neatly on the spot.
“You look very good today.”
“T-Thank you…very much?”
After greeting me, Tsukiyama-san immediately complimented my attire.
On the contrary, when talking about these clothes, Tsukiyama-san seemed to have a kind expression on her face.
Having little experience in greeting or expressing gratitude, I could only respond in katakana.
Even so, Tsukiyama-san seemed to like me, and she urged me to sit down on the sofa with her.
“So, can you tell me a little more?”
Tuskiyama-san, sitting in a model-like manner, raised her glasses and for some reason pulled out a note-taking board from her pocket.
Although her expression was the same as before and not too grave, the way she sat and her belongings looked like some kind of job interview.
“Then, please introduce yourself first.”
What, um…My name is Lu-Lumi… The name was given to me by Miku-san…”
“I see. What is your impression of Miku-san?”
“S-She’s kind… And also always cheerful.”
I thought I would be asked more difficult questions to answer due to the atmosphere, but she started with the easy ones.
I managed to answer the questions, although I got a little stuck in the conversation, which I was not accustomed to.
However, there was still something strange about the atmosphere. If I were to use an analogy, it would be like a real job interview…
“Then…Okay. What kind of occupation were you in before, Lumi?”
“O-Occupation…? Well, umm. Uh…a little bit of a stray cat?”
“I see. May I ask why you decided to quit your job there and transfer here?”
“The reason is because of Miku-san… Um, what do you mean by transfer….?
“I see. Then, please tell us why you want to work here and your PR…”
“U-Um…! Isn’t this for something different!?”
The atmosphere was like a job interview, or really just an interview.
Even though I had no veto power over the questions, I couldn’t help but be annoyed by the fact that the content of the interview was getting stranger and stranger.
“Fufu, just kidding. I was getting anxious about when you would stop.”
“That’s what I’m anxious about…”
“I’m sorry, Lumi. I just wanted to tease you a little bit.”
Tsukiyama-san covered her mouth shut and laughed.
I took the liberty of imagining that she was a strict person, but she may be mischievous…No, even more so.
My body, which had been tense all night thinking about today, suddenly relaxed.
I was thinking about what kind of questions I would be asked and even the least excuse, but the person in question was just teasing me.
“I had heard from Miku-sama that you were a very nice girl, but I didn’t have much to do with you myself.”
Tsukiyama-san said this with a somewhat sad expression on her face.
To begin with, Miku-san’s mother had made several conditions to keep me.
One of them was that all care regarding me was to be taken by Miku-san alone.
Miku-san was still in elementary school. It seemed quite a terrible thing to leave everything to such a child, but she did a lot of research and took care of me in her own way.
She could have relied on Tsukiyama-san, the housekeeper, but she never did, perhaps out of some sense of pride.
“I’m glad. Not only Miku-sama, but also Lumi-san seems to be a nice person.”
“U-Uh…I’m glad too.
“As for Lumi-san, I am responsible in no small way for what happened to you.”
The responsibility that Tsukiyama-san referred to was the time when Miku-san had a dispute with her mother about keeping me.
While her mother was vehemently opposed, Tsukiyama-san was the only one who stood by Miku-san.
It was thanks to this person, who was a collaborator, that she decided to make the final push, and I think she was referring to her responsibility in that regard.
“H-How do I put it, um…Thank you very much.”
“Heh. I never thought the day would come when I would be thanked by Neko-san.”
“Heh, was that weird?”
“No, no. You don’t have to thank me for anything. I was also relieved.”
There was no hint of reserve or pretense in her words.
The fact that she was working so sincerely for this house and for Miku-san was something that I honestly admire.
For someone like me who has always avoided getting involved with other people, Tsukiyama-san was quite dazzling. …Except for her mischievousness and teasing.
“Thank you very much for today. It was nice talking to you, Lumi.”
“Y-Yes. So, um…About me.”
“I will not tell anyone about you. I will take good care of you to the grave.”
I am grateful for all that Tsukiyama-san has done for me, and frankly, it pained me to ask her to do more.
But I still don’t have the courage to confide in Miku-san. I still wanted to continue my current life for a little while longer. Such selfishness.
“I don’t mind. …But, yes. If you’d like to thank me, I might not feel bad about it!”
Tsukiyama-san again begins to think with a familiar mischievous look on her face.
Then, after a while, she stood up quickly, without any warning. And then.
“Would you mind keeping me company for a moment?”
She smiled kindly and extended her hand to me.