Mandarin Orange, Kotatsu, And A Found Cat - Chapter 99 Reconnecting Her Past Through The Phone
In short, it was undoubtedly Mashiro.
On the bulletin board, it was a lost cat poster.
The lost cat poster had a picture of Mashiro who looked younger than when I had met her.
It must have been some time like the Child earlier had said. The poster looks worn and old.
Based on Mashiro’s expression, this poster definitely is a clue, all we had to do was look for the person who had posted it.
As she stared at the poster with her hand on her chest, she seemed to be both happy from the bottom of her heart and at the same time nervous about the end of the trip that lay ahead of her.
The poster also mentions the name “Lumi,” which is Mashiro’s old name, so there is no doubt about it.
In addition to that, the poster had a phone number listed to contact.
From the fact that the number was a cell phone, this was probably Tsukiyama-san’s phone number, the housekeeper of that house.
Considering that Miku-chan’s mother was indifferent about Mashiro, it can be safely assumed so.
I take out my phone and just before I enter the phone number. Once again, I checked with Mashiro.
“Once I make this call, there is no going back.”
“…Yes. I am fully aware.”
Although she gave the same response I have heard so far, she wore a more determined look than ever before.
After exchanging a firm glance with Mashiro, I dialed the number.
While I pressed the call button and the ringtone was playing, Mashiro was looking at me with the same serious expression as before.
After about two rings, the sound stopped and a voice came back from the other end saying in an indifferent voice, “Yes, hello?”
“I’m sorry for calling so suddenly. I saw your notice on the bulletin board and called you. Name’s Satou.”
The moment I told the caller that, there was a pause from the other side.
I suppressed a somewhat impatient feeling inside me, took a deep breath, and waited for the person’s reply.
“Thank you very much. My name is Tsukiyama. Do you have anything specific about the notice?”
As expected, the person who answered the phone was undoubtedly Tsukiyama-san herself.
I was about to immediately tell her what had happened but then fell into hesitation.
Mashiro had made a promise, that would tell Miku-chan the truth while she is still in her cat form.
But that is for Miku-chan herself. Tsukiyama-san had already known the truth and therefore should be understanding why Mashiro had run in the first place.
If that’s the case, I’m sure she will understand our intentions without having to say much.
“I’m the one who has been sheltering an abandoned cat for a little while now. I was looking for you at her request.”
“Yes, just like the cat on this poster.”
Once again, I felt her pause on the other end of the phone.
Tsukiyama-san knows Mashiro. Of course, I am not talking superficially, but including all of her various circumstances.
That is why she must have understood the meaning of everything I just said.
“She would like to speak with you.”
“She really does want to…?”
“Of course, if you want, I can hand the phone over to her right now.”
I looked at Mashiro’s face as I said this, and she began to panic.
As I was amused by her reaction, Tsukiyama-san immediately replied.
“I’m surprised…So Lumi-san is with you right now.”
“Yes. I can also prove that this is not a prank if you would like.”
“…No, it’s fine. There is no doubt about it. Besides, this is something we should discuss in person. ”
Once Tsukiyama-san called Mashiro by her name, Rumi, there was a sense of trust built upon.
And I could tell from the tone of her voice that she had no negative feelings toward Mashiro.
“Regarding the meeting location, we need somewhere quiet and safe for this…”
“In that case, don’t worry, the mistress is not home today.”
Hearing these words, I understood again how much this person knew about Mashiro.
The day Mashiro left that house, it was because he bumped into the mistress…Miku-chan’s mother, as Tsukiyama called her, triggered it.
When Tsukiyama-san heard from her about what happened, she would have understood immediately that it was Mashiro.
It was very nice to have that kind of attention from the other side. I was most concerned about Miku-chan’s mother.
“Is an address alright for you?”
“That’s fine, thank you very much. Also, I have two additional requests…”
While expressing my gratitude to Tsukiyama-san for proceeding so quickly and efficiently despite the urgency of the matter, I have two more important things to say.
One is that when we meet with Tsukiyama-san, I would like Miku-chan to be there.
The other, which Mashiro had promised in advance, was that the first time they would meet, she would meet her in the form of a cat.
Miku-chan had never seen Mashiro’s human form before and decided to do so in the hope of seeing her reaction first.
After hearing what I had to say, Tsukiyama-san readily agreed, and the call ended with her giving me the address afterward.
Mashiro, as expected, was fidgeting and glancing at me.
“Don’t worry. She says you’re welcome there.”
“Yes, really. She gave me the address. All we have to do is meet them.”
It was already said and done, though it hasn’t been easy for either of us.
Of course, I am not wavering now, but I don’t even have to consider how big today is for Mashiro.
“Also, it seems that Miku-chan’s mother is not here today. It’s just Miku-chan and Tsukiyama-san right now.”
Mashiro clasped her hands together in front of her chest.
With this, all the arrangements are complete. All that remains was to head with her to the address I had just received.
As if to make matters better, Miku-chan’s mother, who would be the bottleneck, was also absent.
The conditions are so favorable. The initial problem is not in the formula.
Mashiro should be able to face them with pride…As she should.
After calling her name, I reach for her cheek and pinch it just the same.
Her face turns into a funny expression as I stretch her cheek out.
“You shouldn’t wear that kind of expression when we meet them.”
“You’ve worked hard and come a long way. Just be yourself. Otherwise, it’s meaningless.”
I don’t want her to be overwhelmed, though I may not be in the position to say so.
However, I would like to be the one to give her the final push.
I just want Mashiro to be happy, free, and smiling.
And I wish for Mashiro’s past to be settled in the best possible way.