Saijo no Osewa ~ Takane no Hana [LN] - V1 C1 : My Parents Ran Away At Night, And I Was Kidnapped
Chapter 1 : My Parents Ran Away At Night, And I Was Kidnapped
I didn’t expect to hear these words from my parents.
At ten o’clock in the afternoon, my parents left our rundown apartment, which cost 20,000 yen, after saying a line that was most likely inspired from a Western movie or comic book. “Are they going to a pub or something? Well, They’ll be back by the time the sun sets..” I thought at the time.
However, after a few days, my parents never returned to the apartment.
Apparently, I was abandoned.
[…You’re kidding me]
It was not so much about me being abandoned, but the fact that they just ran away in the middle of the night.
Originally, our family’s finances were in trouble, mostly because of my father’s alcohol addiction and my mother’s love of gambling. The reputation of our family has spread to the people around us, and our neighbors had witnessed my parents running away during the night. I finally understood what was going on when the neighbors told me that my parents ran off somewhere in a panic.
[….I mean, tomorrow’s my first day of high school]
Looking back at it now, the fact I’d been able to attend high school was a strange miracle in itself.
While taking care of my parents, I worked part time everyday so I earned enough money to pay for my tuition, and somehow, I was able to attend my second year… but I don’t know what my situation is now. What about rent? What about utilities? What about food? I’ve been living on my own money for the most part, but my parents had been paying some of the rent. I couldn’t suddenly bear all of that by myself.
…Let’s go buy lunch.
Let go of your thoughts.
The clock struck four in the afternoon and I hadn’t taken a bite of anything since this morning. I searched all over the apartment, but there was no money left, so all I had was a couple of hundred yen in my pocket.
Should I talk to the police? Should I talk to my friends before that? No, I felt like I’d just get lost and confused if I tried to talk to anyone.
The bright sun made me feel even more depressed.
As I walked through the familiar streets, I could hear voices talking from somewhere.
[Oh my god, yes]
Her back was very dignified (TN: we practically gave up)
I looked over to the direction of the voices and saw a pair of girls in neat school uniforms walking down a hill.
I’ve heard about this particular hill. I’ve heard that one of the top three most prestigious schools in the country was at the top of the hill. It wasn’t your average school, but a school for the rich.
The school is said to be full of children from wealthy families. The amount of prejudice was extremely high, the facilities were gorgeous, and the content of the classes were so refined it’s hard to believe it’s a high school. I heard that they lived a sophisticated life in many ways. My high school’s opening ceremony started tomorrow, but I guess that school had already started. Maybe prestigious schools don’t have long holidays.
[They live in a different world… the difference isn’t funny]
Even the way they walked was different. The goodness of their upbringing oozes out of them. I didn’t even feel jealous anymore.
However, it was unusual for students from that school to be walking in such a place.
It was after school now, and I was pretty sure that the children who go to that school were normally picked up by car. It was rare to see them in the city like this.
On the way to the convenience store, I noticed something that looked like a business card case on the floor.
I picked it up and looked inside, it was a Student ID card.
Apparently, one of the two girls from earlier had dropped it.
[Konohana Hinako, huh… No, this is not the time to be checking names]
The person who dropped it was right in front of you. I shouldn’t bother checking their name or address.
If I ran, I could easily catch up with the girl. I wondered if the friend she was with had left, because she was walking alone.
[Um, excuse me!]
When I called out to her, the girl turned around.
Her bright amber hair waved in the air, and the sunlight illuminated her neat and tidy profile. As I gazed at her, I thought, “This is what they call a beauty in retrospect”.
Suddenly, a black lacquered car pulled up right next to her.
The car door opened and two strong looking men emerged from inside.
In no time, the men dragged her into the car.
― What was happening?
Well, what they were doing was obvious at first glance. It was just that it seemed unrealistic and I had only seen something of the sort happen in comics and dramas, so I was both surprised and astonished…
But now was not the time to be confused.
Right in front of my eyes, a kidnapping was taking place.
[Wa-Wait a minute!!]
I couldn’t turn a blind eye to them, so I shouted out.
[What the hell!]
[You know this girl?!]
The pair of men, who seemed to be kidnappers, shouted back at me.
Unfortunately, there was no one around but us. That’s why my shouting only served to agitate them.
[Hey, we can’t leave a witness here! You! Come with me!]
The man grabbed me by the arm and pulled me into the car.
Thus, I was kidnapped along with the girl.
[Alright, you can’t move with this. You guys stay put]
A petite man, who was one of the kidnappers, said.
I was currently in the back of an abandoned factory. The kidnapping seemed to have been planned well in advance, and the girl and I were both shackled with handcuffs and foot shackles. In addition, they were connected with thick chains.
[…I don’t think my parents will be able to pay the ransom]
[Shut up. You’re just an extra]
The kidnapper said as he spat.
A sigh escaped my mouth. My parents ran away during the night, and now, I was involved in a kidnapping. What did I do wrong in my previous life to deserve this…?
My spirit was broken. I was in the dark anyways. No matter how the kidnapping ended, my future was nonexistent.
[You’re in luck, brother. She’s the daughter of the Konohana family. Isn’t she the biggest among the targets?]
[Yeah… Speaking of the Konohana family, they’re considered rich even in that school range. We can squeeze a considerable amount of ransom out of them]
The two kidnappers were discussing their catch, smiling at each other.
As I listened to them, I looked at the girl next to me, who was also handcuffed.
She could have been kidnapped for something other than ransom. She had a very good figure. Her eyes were dull and innocent, but there was a hint of intelligence in their depths, a combination of cuteness and intelligence. Her straight nasal bridge gave off a sense of elegance, and her vermillion lips with a hint of dampness gave off a sense of loveliness. Her light amber hair was silky and shiny, and her skin was as white and fine as the snow. Her arms and legs were also slender and long.
The girl leaked out a voice.
Her demeanor was a little… different from what I saw on the street. When I saw her on the street, she had the air of an Ojou-sama, but now she looked lazy and down.
That’s right — She had been kidnapped, so she must be scared. It’s only natural that she couldn’t act normally. Unlike me, she attended a prestigious school and had a promising future ahead of her. She must have been feeling much more scared compared to me.
Even though my future was dim, at least I might be able to comfort the girl in front of me.
I tried my best to choose my words and cheer her up.
[I’m sure you’ll be fine. Kidnapping for ransom has a very low success rate, if I remember]
[Besides, the Japanese police are good at what they do, so let’s just wait and… What?]
Did I hear that correctly?
I feel like I heard a word that was very selfish just now.
[Toilet. It’s going to leak]
She showed her intention to urinate forcefully.
Even a well-mannered Ojou-sama was human. So it was natural that she would need to go to the bathroom.
But would you say that now? And while being so calm.
[What should I do?]
[Wait, I don’t understand what you mean…]
[It’s gonna leak]
It was hard to tell because her tone was so blunt, but she was probably in trouble.
I called out to the small man in front of me, feeling somewhat uncomfortable.
[Sir! The Ojou-sama here wants to say something!]
The kidnapper tilted his head. She then said to the men without fear.
[…What about it?]
[It’s going to leak]
The kidnappers rolled their eyes, probably because of her unexpected response.
This girl was not afraid at all!
[If you want to leak, just do it. I’ll be bothered if you make any strange moves]
The kidnapper said in an annoyed tone
She, on the other hand, was in no hurry to respond.
Her eyes were so pure and stylish. It seems that she won’t hesitate to pee. Even if you were a wild cat, you’d still pee with an apologetic face.
[No, I don’t think so. I want you to be patient. Please be patient… for my sake]
I pointed it out to the kidnappers, who were very upright.
She and I were on a chain, so we couldn’t be too far apart. If she leaks her pants, I’ll also be affected.
[…Go, take her]
The taller men of the kidnapper said.
[I don’t know how many days we’ll be holed up. I don’t want to be dirty]
The words of his brother gave him a sense of satisfaction, and he scratched his head while approaching the girl.
[I’m not taking off the chain]
The kidnappers removed the shackles from me and the girl.
The girl and I, who were still linked by chains, moved to the bathroom together. She entered the private room without hesitation.
After a while, the girl came out, washed her hands awkwardly, and then looked at me and the kidnapper.
[ [No need to report it!] ]
The kidnapper and I shouted it at the same time.
With a strange sense of exhaustion, we returned to our original location and we were shackled.
She called out to the kidnappers once again.
Are you invincible?
The kidnappers were stunned.
[Hey, bro… Is this really the daughter of the Konohana family? It sure doesn’t look like it…]
[Yeah… Did we kidnap the wrong person? But that sort of thing is…]
Confused, the bigger man approached the girl.
[Hey, you. Aren’t you the only daughter of the Konohana family?]
[That’s right. What about the tea?]
She was too selfish. The kidnappers were also surprised to see her like this.
[Well, fine. I’ll offer you a drink. I don’t want you to starve… In return, you have to be very cooperative]
The kidnapper then placed a plastic bottle beside her.
But it was only mineral water.
[I said tea though?]
[HAH?! Don’t give me that luxury bullsh*t! Water is enough!]
[I want to drink tea. Also, some sweets and snacks]
The girl said, and a blue stripe appeared on the man’s forehead
(TN: When someone is mad, a line sometimes appears on their face)
[Hey! You there! Take care of this woman!]
[We’re busy right now!]
The kidnapper yelled.
There’s not much I can do when I’ve lost the freedom of my hands and feet… Reluctantly, I shook my head.
[Hey. What about the sweets?]
[…They don’t have any]
The girl picked up the bottle looking unsatisfied.
After a while, I heard the sound of spilling from her side.
I turned towards her and saw her soaking wet.
[Whoa?! Why are you so wet…]
Tilting her head, the girl moved the bottle to her mouth. But due to the distance between her lips and the bottle’s mouth, the water ran down to her clothes instead.
[What are you doing, it’s spilling!]
[I’m not used to drinking plastic bottles…]
Not being used to drinking from plastic bottles. That itself puts you in a different dimension from the rest of the world you know..
I wonder if all rich girls in the world were like this. I’m not too sure if she went at her own pace or if she had nerves of steel… Even though she’s been kidnapped, she doesn’t seem to be afraid.
[I’ll help you drink… Give me the bottle]
[…You don’t want it?]
[I don’t! You’re such a pain!]
Due to my shout, the kidnappers turned to me.
I thought, “Oh no, I’ve ruined his mood!” …But he looked at me with sympathy. Stop looking at me like that. You were the one who brought us here in the first place.
[…It’s turning to a puddle, so we’re going to have to move]
The girl got up and moved with me.
The next moment, she tripped and fell over in the middle of nowhere.
The girl stood up with tears in her eyes.
Her forehead that hit the floor was dyed bright red. It seemed that she wasn’t athletically inclined.
[Hey, big brother… According to the information I got, the daughter of the Konohana family is called a perfect lady, right? I didn’t think it’d be such a dullard…]
[N-No, but they look the same. I’ve never heard of another sibling…]
The kidnappers whispered to each other.
Meanwhile, the girl was rubbing her forehead that hit the floor, with tears welling in her eyes.
[…Let me see]
The girl sounded so sad that I couldn’t help but check on her injuries.
[It’s more of a scrape than a cut. Don’t touch it too much, since you may infect it]
The girl nodded, lowering the hand that had been placed on her forehead.
[By the way… Why are you here?]
The girl asked me a question in a carefree way.
[…I was going to give you the student ID that you dropped. Then the kidnappers came and took me with them]
She was convinced.
[Where’s my student ID?]
[What?…Oh yeah, I got it here]
I took out the girl’s student ID from my pocket.
After receiving the student ID card, the girl played with its surface with awkward movements. If you looked closely, you could see an out of place bulge in the lower right corner of the card. It looked as if a small button had been embedded in it.
The girl pushed the bulge with her nails.
[Help should be arriving any minute now]
The girl then let out a “Huff” and a gasp.
With a thump, she laid down on the floor beside me.
But the girl lying there was staring at me.
[…Is it okay to sleep?]
When I was about to say “there’s none here,” she silently patted my knee. She probably wanted a lap pillow huh?
Being able to pamper a pretty girl made my heart throb, but I’ve seen her helpless figure before, so I had some tolerance. The kidnappers told me to take care of her, so I sighed as I lent her my knee.
[Hmm… A good height]
The girl muttered in satisfaction.
[…Sorry, but lullabies aren’t in my repertoire]
[Then, tell me something interesting]
However, her boldness was so powerful that it blew away the gloomy atmosphere. Normally, I would have been so frightened that I would have burst into tears, but thanks to her, I was able to maintain my composure.
[The other day, I was on the train with my friend…]
It probably wasn’t interesting, but she kept quiet and listened to me.
A few minutes later, I heard a quiet sigh on my lap.
She seemed to go to sleep easily.
[…You’re drooling too much]
I wiped the drool from her mouth with the hem on her outfit.
[Oh, sorry. Did I wake you up?]
The girl replied as she turned around.
[My hair, it’s so stiff]
[Why don’t I tie it up for you? Just turn around]
I tied her hair up into a ponytail.
[You’re kinda good at this, huh?]
[Uh… I used to do my mother’s hair]
My mother worked at a cabaret club for a while, and I used to help her set her hair before work. It’s something I don’t want to remember.
At that moment, one of the kidnappers kicked a nearby piece of wood.
Suddenly a loud noise echoed and I jumped on my shoulders.
[That’s enough!! If you drag this out any longer, I’ll beat your daughter to death!!]
The kidnapper was holding a phone to his ear, fuming.
[Stop provoking the kidnappers like you did before, or that will happen]
I said to the girl.
[Don’t worry. I think I can at least shield you when the time comes]
Even if my future is dim, I can still help her.
Even though I knew it was for my own self satisfaction, I felt a bit of relief as I comforted the girl.
[…Why would you do that?]
[I don’t know]
I wasn’t going to bother telling her what happened to me.
I smiled as gently as I could at the curious girl.
[…You, I like you]
[Somehow, it feels good. It smells like a freshly aired futon]
I thought that was the smell of dead mites?
I’m not exactly happy to hear that…
[I have a lot of caretakers, but… They’re all too formal]
[But you take it easy on me so I can also take it easy on you… I’m glad]
The girl smiled at me and made me fall in love with her for a moment.
[What’s your name?]
[Yes. I’m Konohana Hinako]
The girl told me straightforwardly.
[You, are now going to be my-]
Right after the girl was about to say something.
Something that looked like a can was thrown through the broken window of the facility.
The can clanked, and in the next moment, it released white smoke all over the place.
[I’m going in—!!]
I heard a loud voice from the first floor of the facility.
At the same time, countless footsteps could be heard from everywhere around us.
[D-Damn it! I can’t see anything!!]
[When did these guys get close?!]
A group of police-like men appeared and quickly neutralized the kidnappers.
The men immediately approached me and the girl.
The men were hostile to me.
[Wait, wait! I’m a victim]
[Shut up! Be quiet!]
My head was pushed down and I was knocked to the floor.
[Shizune-sama! I’ve neutralized the third one!]
[I’m sure there were two perpetrators… was the information about the scouting party incorrect?]
When the smoke curtain had cleared, a woman with the sound of steady footsteps appeared.
The woman had black hair that was stretched to her waist without being tied. She was dressed in a black and white frilly outfit, which was commonly called a maid’s uniform.
[My Lady, are you all right?]
The maid approached the girl on the floor and removed the handcuffs and shackles.
In spite of all the noise, the girl was unfazed. The girl yawned loudly, as if she had finally woken up from her sleep.
[I’m sorry for the delay in rescuing you. But… I keep telling you. When you go out, you have to take us in advance]
[But, it was too much trouble]
[And as a result, this is what happens. …Goodness]
The maid let out a sigh.
[Quiet. This man is not a kidnapper]
[…Is that so?]
When the girl pointed at me, the maid rolled her eyes.
Slowly, my restraints were released.
[Excuse me sir. I thought you were one of the kidnappers]
[He’s in custody, so he can’t be a kidnapper…]
[In some cases, the perpetrating group may have had a falling out. This often happens in long-term crimes such as kidnapping.]
That may be… indeed, a possibility
Unable to say anything, I closed my mouth.
[Leave the cleanup to them, and we’ll go home. You, too, please follow me]
It seemed they were going to show me the way out. I nodded silently.
But the girl didn’t get up, and looked at me with an indifferent look in her eyes.
The girl pointed at me and made a statement.
[I want this person]
[As you wish. I will make the arrangements as soon as possible]
The maid bows her head in reverence.
Arrangements, for what?
[Wake me when we get there]
[As you wish]
After being ushered into the black car, the girl fell asleep immediately.
The girl went to the far end of the back seat, followed by me, and finally the maid went in and closed the door.
I fastened the seatbelt of the girl who had fallen fast asleep and fastened my own as well . Suddenly, I felt a gaze on me and when I turned around, I found the maid looking at me. The maid tightened her seatbelt and muttering in a small voice said, “I see, that’s why you like him.”
[Um… Where are you guys taking me, what about those other guys?]
[You’ll see when we get there]
Immediately after the maid replied, I heard a small vibrating sound.
The maid took out her smartphone from her pocket and held it to her ear. After a minute of talking, the maid quietly put the phone away in her pocket.
[Your background check is complete]
[Itsuki Tomonari is sixteen years old and a student at Ryuryu Miyagu High School. He has no brothers or sisters, and both of his parents are still alive… It is commendable that he has been able to earn his school fees on his own while taking care of his corrupt family. But five days ago, his parents ran away during the night and took all the money out of the house, so he is now in a critical situation]
[…Wh-Where did you get all this information from?]
[Don’t underestimate the network of the Konohana family. This is no major feat]
The maid told him that as if it was a matter of course.
[By the way, you were supposed to be a sophomore in high school starting tomorrow, but… you can no longer attend that high school]
[The school tuition hasn’t been paid. It seems that your parents were planning to run away from home from the beginning. The money you earned by working part-time every day has already been withdrawn too.]
[How, no way…]
[It seems that your rent and utility bills are being paid in arrears, and the house will soon be uninhabitable]
My home… was that bad already…
[So we have a proposal for you]
The maid said to me as I was dejected
[Would you be willing to work for Ojou-sama?]
Her suggestion was so unexpected that I tilted my head
[I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying]
[Then let’s go through it step by step]
The maid opened her mouth, making a pretense of choosing her words.
[Does the name “Konohana Group” sound familiar to you?]
[That’s right. You have an account at Konohana Bank, so you must know about it]
[That’s what I was thinking. My part-time job is paid into an account I created at Konohana Bank.]
The background check she just did was probably looking at the information registered on the account.
[The Konohana Group is not only a city bank, but also a well-known zaibatsu* business enterprise that includes major trading companies, heavy industries, real estate developers, and non-life insurance companies. Its total assets are about 300 trillion yen and its influence is felt not only in Japan, but also overseas] (TN: zaibatsu is a Japanese word meaning “conglomerate”)
The maid explained without a hint of hesitation.
[And the one sleeping next to you is Konohana Hinako-sama, the ojou-sama of the Konohana Group. I’m one of the maids that serve her]
Apparently, the girl sleeping next to me was an extraordinary ojou-sama. I knew she wasn’t a commoner, but it turned out that she was probably one of the most influential ladies in the country, if not the greatest.
[What I’m proposing to you this time is a job similar to mine]
[You mean… I will be working as a maid?]
[You’re not a maid, you’re a butler]
Oh, yeah, that sounds about right.
I got confused because I got involved in something that was too large for an ordinary person to handle..
[Technically, you will not even be a butler, but it will be something similar. I would like you to be ojou-sama’s caretaker from now on. Will you agree to this?]
[No consent, no nothing… Are you sure you’re okay with me? Because, I’m just a student…]
[Normally, you would not be able to get this job without proper training, but… this is a special exception because it’s ojou-sama’s wish. She seems to like you a lot]
The maid then looked at the girl sleeping next to me.
The girl in question was drooling all over herself.
[Hey! Oi… don’t be so clingy…]
The girl turned over and hugged me tightly.
From the girl’s long, soft hair, I could smell a strange sweet and faint fragrance.
[By the way, if you have any indecent thoughts towards ojou-sama, I will cut you off]
[…What do you mean?]
[What you just thought of]
That wasn’t good.
I was going to become a maid.
[As for the details, I’ll let you discuss them with my master]
The maid said while looking at the scenery outside.
After a break in the conversation, the car came to a stop.
[Ojou-sama, we’ve finally arrived]
The girl who was clinging to the right half of my body woke up languidly.
The car door opened automatically and we got out.
In front of me sat the biggest house I’d ever seen.
[This is a separate residence of the Konohana family. You will now meet with ojou-sama’s father.]
More important than meeting the lady’s father, I was astonished by the fact that the mansion in front of me was a villa and not the main house.
So this was a villa…
Compared to this, wasn’t my house just a mere doghouse or a latrine?
[Welcome home, ojou-sama]
As I approached the front door of the mansion, the maids and butlers on either side of me bowed their heads in unison.
In front of a group of at least ten servants, the lady in question lightly sighed, and then.
She just replied with a small grunt.
The Ojou-sama was still going at her own pace. However, the followers all already knew this, and continued to bow their heads without showing any particular reaction.
The solemn door opened and I stepped into the house.
The interior of the building, which looked as good as a luxury hotel, filled my entire field of vision. The red carpet stretched straight out and there were many luxurious furnishings scattered about. Unlike a hotel, this was a mansion where people lived, so the atmosphere was more relaxed than glittering, but even so, there were many golden ornaments that did not exist in the homes of ordinary people.
[What’s with the reaction?]
[No, it’s just that… this world is too different, and I’ve gotten goosebumps…]
[Get used to it. When you start working for ojou-sama, you’ll see this view every day, right?]
I hadn’t decided if I was going to work here yet, but I already had very little confidence in myself.
[Ojou-sama, what are your plans for the rest of the day…?]
[As you wish. Now, I have to show Tomonari-sama around, so I’ll send someone to take his place]
The maid called out to the other attendants who were waiting by the wall.
But the girl frowned at the maid’s words, and said.
[…I knew it, I can’t sleep]
[…Do you ever not sleep?]
[Hm… I’ll be with Itsuki for now]
The girl said as she picked at my sleeves. I was thinking, “I feel like I have a younger sister,” when I saw the maid next to me with her eyes wide open.
[I didn’t think… that ojou-sama would postpone sleeping…]
I wondered why she was so surprised.
I thought this was normal, as she had slept through the whole kidnapping incident as well as the car ride.
The maid, who had come to her senses, began to walk again.
After climbing the large staircase, the maid knocked on the door of the room at the end of the hallway.
[Excuse me, sir]
The maid opened the door.
There was a large room behind the door, and a man was standing in the center of it.
[You’re Tomonari Itsuki, right? I’m Konohana Keigon. I’m Hinako’s father and the chairman of the Konohana Group.]
The man — Keigon — greeted me.
He had a youthful face, but he wore a fine suit and was full of dignity.
[Even though I’m the chairman, I’m only in charge of the business operations of the group. It’s not a very important position]
[Don’t jest. The next head of the family should not degrade himself so easily]
[Haha, don’t get so upset, Shizune. It was just a light joke. If you create a reverent atmosphere, Itsuki-kun will shrink in fear]
Keigon smiled and said.
However, his eyes suddenly became very sharp.
[…I see. You’re right, Hinako is very fond of you]
Keigon-sama looked at the girl behind me, Hinako-san.
Before I knew it, Hinako-san was lying face down with her hand on my sleeve, bobbing her head up and down.
[Standing and sleeping…!?]
She was like a businessman commuting to work on the train. And she also started drooling again.
I had no choice but to wipe off Hinako’s drool with a handkerchief I took out of my pocket.
As I was wiping her mouth, Hinako leaned slightly as if to lean her body against mine.
[I’ve heard that …Itsuki-kun was only involved in the kidnapping of my daughter, but what happened in the meantime? I’ve never seen my daughter get attached to someone she’s never met that much before…]
[No, no, I didn’t do anything]
[I see. Well, Hinako lives by her instincts, so I’m sure you and her are on the same wavelength]
I don’t feel like this is a problem that can be settled with a few words about wavelength.
I, myself, don’t know how she became so attached to me.
[And Hinako always wanted a caretaker that she could be comfortable with. However, my position makes it difficult for me to provide such a person. That’s why she doesn’t want to let you go, who she met by chance]
I see, that made sense.
She did say that she wanted an easy-going caretaker. She said that because all of her caretakers were too formal and polite to her.
[Well, Before explaining about the whole caretaker thing, you need to know about Hinako first… Shizune]
The maid who was waiting in the back of the room curtseyed and started using the projector on the side of the room.
The lights in the room dimmed and a video was displayed on a wall.
[This is what Hinako looks like when she’s at the academy]
In the center of the video, I saw the girl who was sleeping behind me — Hinako-san.
The location would be the hallway of her school.
[Good day, Konohana-san]
Hinako responded to her classmates’ greeting with a sincere smile.
Eh…? I wonder what the difference was.
The scene changed, and this time it was a video of a class being held.
[So, here’s the question… Konohana-san. Can you answer it?]
Hinako stood up quitely as she was called.
Maintaining a straight posture, Hinako walked to the blackboard and without stopping, wrote her answer with chalk.
She had an air of elegance. The students around her looked at her with admiration.
The scene changed again. It was the same classroom but the color of sunlight told me that it was after school.
A female student was talking to Hinako, who was sitting on the window seat.
[Hey, Konohana-san! We’re going to have a party in the garden… If you would like to join us, please let me know]
[If you are okay with me, I’d be glad]
[T-Thank you very much! I have prepared some delicious scones for you, Konohana-san!]
[Fufu, you don’t have to be so cautious]
The girls’ cheeks flushed with admiration as Hinako smiled at them.
The video ended and the lights in the room brightened.
I honestly revealed my thoughts.
(TN: honestly, I died here)
The girl in the video was innocent, pretty, and a very noble ojou-sama.
She was nothing like the girl who had been sleeping behind me since a while ago, bobbing her head back and forth… There’s no way…
[Hinako can act as a perfect ojou-sama in public]
[That’s right. On the contrary, if it’s private…]
Keigon-sama looked at the maid.
The maid nodded silently and changed the image.
The scene was still a classroom. However, there were only two people in the video. Hinako and a female student wearing the same uniform.
[O-Ojou-sama, the next class is about to begin…]
[I’m tired. Sleep]
Hinako said lazily, and plopped down on her desk.
The scene changed, and now it was in a hallway..
[O-Ojou-sama! You have gym class next, so hurry up and get changed!…]
The scene changed to the schoolyard this time.
[Ojou-sama!? Just now, a message from the main house came. It’s about Ojou-sama’s credit card being fraudulently used!!]
[I think I dropped it]
[Why didn’t you tell me that earlier…]
The video cut off just before the female student screamed.
The last clip was unrefined…
[This is the real Hinako]
Keigon-sama said with a difficult face.
Apparently, this girl, Konohana Hinako, had a big difference in attitude while in public and while in private.
Even though it was in private, Hinako had been in a lazy state from when I met her, so this was more familiar for me. Even though it’s only been close to 3 hours since we met.
[Umm, is the other girl in the video a maid or something?]
[That is Hinako’s former caretaker. She was hospitalized the other day with a punctured stomach due to stress, and submitted her resignation]
That was a terrible thing.
[In short, Hinako can play the role of a perfect ojou-sama in front of others, but outside of that, she becomes a self-depraved degenerate like she is now. There’s a huge difference between them. She needs an aid who can support both of her lives]
[So that’s a caretaker’s job…]
[That’s what I mean]
Keigon nodded in affirmation.
[The job of a caretaker is to protect Hinako’s status as a perfect Ojou-sama. In other words, to support Hinako so her degenerate side doesn’t come to light… What do you think, will you accept? It was Hinako’s request as well, and it will be a huge help if you can take care of her]
I thought about it, and then I answered.
[I know I got rescued when the kidnapping happened and it might be shameful for me to ask but… Is there going to be any payment?]
[Of course. Housing, three meals a day. and we’ll pay you plenty]
That was… That was a whole lot of treatment.
Is this what it means to have an unexpected stroke of luck? To me, who seemed to have run out of places to live, I couldn’t have asked for a better deal… I wonder if they had taken my circumstances into account when they made this suggestion.
[As for the salary, how about… 20,000 Yen a day?]
[Oh, was that not enough? However, it’s a bit unreasonable to make your salary the same as a butler or a maid… So, how about 50,000 Yen per day?]
[The opposite! It’s too much!!]
I didn’t expect the amount to go up.
[Then I’ll hire at your price. How much do you want?]
Asking for a price. This is the first time I’ve ever heard it outside of a fictional story.
[If it’s a daily salary, 8,000 Yen is enough]
If you’re working part time, it’s more than enough to get 8.000 Yen per day.
I think I said something around the general market… but for some reason, Keigon-sama wrinkled his brows.
[Itsuki-kun. The responsibilities of a caretaker is bigger than you think]
He said, with a mysterious air around him.
[Between you and me, the Konohana Group’s performance has been dropping lately. The economy is a big factor, but there are also factional conflicts within the group as well as competitors, so things don’t always go as planned. It would be too much to overthrow a company, but they also can’t be completely ignored. That’s why the family my daughter will marry is important.]
[The family your daughter will marry into, you say?]
Keigon-sama nodded and looked at Hinako, who was sleeping behind me.
[The reason why Hinako plays the perfect role of ojou-sama in public is to find a better partner. In the time where someone isn’t sure what to do, they can always ask for help. The caretaker… is to assist in that. In other words, the caretaker is a crucial role to protect the Konohana family brand]
When I heard that explanation, I began to think again.
I lived in a different world. I’d never thought about marriages or brands until now.
[So, how much do you want me to pay you?]
I was pierced by Keigon-sama’s sharp gaze and swallowed my spit with a gulp.
I could understand the purpose of this question and I needed to answer carefully.
My resolution was being tested.
Keigon-sama was asking me how much I was willing to work for.
If I ask for the same cheap wage, I’d be looked down with disappointment, just like before. On the other hand, if I asked for a ridiculous price, I’d be laughed at for being unworthy.
In the end, the answer I chose was…
[…20,000 Yen, please]
[Hmm… the original price. Well, that’s fine. Then I’m expecting that much effort]
With that, Keigon-sama took out a document from his desk drawer.
While filling out something on the form, Keigon-sama continued.
[Then, you’ll start working tomorrow]
[You’ve seen it in the video. Hinako would get lost even in the house without a caretaker. We need someone to support her as soon as possible]
I wouldn’t be surprised if someone got lost in a mansion this big but…
[I’ll get you some clothes first. I’m sending a tailor to your room for measurements]
[Ha…? You will also prepare my work clothes?]
[It’s more like a uniform instead. You’ll be going to the Kiou Academy from now on]
I was expecting something like a butler’s outfit, but I got an answer I didn’t expect at all.
[Hinako goes to the academy. Of course the caretaker would go with her]
[Well, but, isn’t the Kiou Academy an incredibly prestigious school? I’m not sure if I’ll be able to fit in…]
[You’ll have to adapt somehow. It’s part of the job. You have good scores in your previous school, so it’s not like you’re bad at studying right?]
I had been working hard on my studies to increase my chances to go to college, but that was different from attending a prestigious school.
Will I be okay…? Studying, exercise, manners, communication skills… My worries were piling up endlessly.
[Since caretakers aren’t allowed in the academy, you will be attending the academy as a general student. In your case, your status will be that of a member of the Konohana Group. In order to get you out of trouble, you are the son of an heir from an affiliate company, while not a direct descendant. You aim to become a manager in the future but you are someone who is familiar with the lives of ordinary people]
[It’s not normal to be the son of an heir…]
[It’s a normal thing at the Kiou Academy]
Keigon-sama said simply. It seems that the academy itself isn’t normal.
[Your father’s company is part of the Konohana Group. That’s why you couldn’t raise your head against Hinako. I’m sure they’ll let you off the hook if you go with that]
I see. It’s true that I’d have less chance of being exposed that way.
I looked at the girl sleeping behind me. She was drooling again, so I lifted her chin and closed her mouth. She and I might be friends for a long time to come.
[By the way, if you ever lay a hand on my daughter-]
Realizing that Keigon-sama was glaring at me, I straightened my posture.
[Um, a little chop, right?]
[A little chop? Hahaha! No, I wouldn’t do that!]
Keigon-sama laughed gaily.
[I’ll kill you]
It’s a simple yet scary statement.
[Well then, I’ll see you tomorrow]
As Keigon-sama said this, the maid who was waiting in the back slowly opened the door.
Just before I was about to walk out with the sleepy Hinako, Keigon-sama continued to talk.
[Oh, and I’ve been doing some research about your family]
When I turned around, Keigon-sama said to me with a serious face.
[The daughter of the Miyakojima family is also there. I’m sure you have nothing personal going on but, just in case, refrain from unnecessary contact]
I see… so she’s also at the academy?
Well, she won’t remember me. We would never come into contact anyways. (TN: Say jinx right now)
[I’m sorry, I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself. My name is Tsurumi Shizune, and I’m the maid of ojou-sama. I’m going to give advice to Itsuki-san, who will become her caretaker, so please give me your attention]
The maid said as she walked down the hallway of the mansion.
[Itsuki-san’s status will be an heir to a medium-sized company for outer appearances, but as long as you’re inside this mansion, you are the caretaker for ojou-sama. Because of that, please change how you address ojou-sama]
[…I understand. Hinako-sama, is that right?]
[On the other hand, outside of the mansion, you will be ojou-sama’s schoolmate, so it would be better to call her by name at that time]
While attending the academy, I would call Hinako-sama with “san”.
I had to have a good sense of distance. I nodded.
[Then, this is Itsuki-san’s room]
Shizune-san said as she opened the door to the room. The room was about seven tatami mats in size and was simply furnished with only a bed and a study desk. It was probably a servant’s room. I was originally overwhelmed with the size of the mansion, but I felt relieved upon entering the room. I could easily adapt to this.
[If there is any furniture you need, we can order it for you later. You can stay in this room from now on]
I was told to get things I need but, a newcomer can’t be saying things out of the blue.
I’d at least think about it when I was able to work like other people
At that moment. The girl next to me made a strange voice and dived on the bed in the room.
[Um… Hinako-saama. That’s my bed]
[The caretaker’s bed… My bed… Zzzzz…]
With a squishy and happy expression on her face, Hinako-sama buried her face in the futon.
[…Can’t be helped. Let’s allow the young lady sleep for a while]
Shizune-san said with a sigh.
[Itsuki-san. You will be attending the Kiou Academy tomorrow as a transfer student… There are a few things you need to learn before that]
[Is it about the caretaker’s job?]
[That’s one thing, but there’s something else]
[The Kiou Academy is a prestigious school where the children of the rich and powerful gather. All of the classes are at a high level, so it’s not something someone with a normal life can suddenly keep up with. So, from now on until dinner, I will ask you to study the contents of the class]
[…Is it really that high of a level?]
[Yes. In addition, since you will be working with ojou-sama, your performance must be match hers]
[…I’m not confident]
[It’s not just academics. We also teach manners, etiquette, and self-defense]
[Just in case]
I was shocked, but Shizune-san continued calmly.
[Oh, have you lost your courage?]
[No… I’ve done a lot of labor. I’m confident in my physical strength]
[I see. Then let’s see what you can do after you finish your prep work]
I smiled wryly at Shizune-san, who told me in a matter-of-fact attitude.
Considering Shizune-san’s attitude, it would be wise to take the initiative. Of course, she must be my boss as a caretaker… Maybe if I wasn’t good enough, she would give me spartan education forever!
I’m going to exact my vengeance on those who live a life of luxury and elegance in their mansions. (!!!!)
Don’t look down on the struggling students—.
[I’m at my limit. Please forgive me. I’ll die]
That night, I was on my knees facing Shizune-san at the dojo in the corner of the mansion.
[Right. Then let’s finish today’s lesson]
After completing a series of lessons on studying and manners, I was exhausted to the point where I was fading in and out of consciousness.
The self defense lessons were especially wearing me out, both physically and mentally. I never thought I’d be treated like a baby… Shizune-san is an outrageous martial arts maid.
[Please refer to this manual for more information about the caretaker’s job]
[I gave you a verbal rundown before dinner, but if you have any questions, look at the manual or ask me]
Shizune-san said to me as I received the thick manual.
[Um… My room, Hinako-sama is still sleeping there]
[When she’s in the house, she’s usually asleep. Please do not bother her]
[No, but I’d like to go to bed soon…]
[You can sleep in the hallway. I’ll lay out a futon for you]
[I was joking. Please wait until ojou-sama comes back to her room]
[Well, I’ll leave it to you. If you need anything else, just call me]
With that, Shizune-san left the dojo.
After taking on the role of a caretaker, I received a smartphone provided to the servants of the Konohana family. I had Shizune-san’s number in my address book, but I didn’t want to call her… if possible.
[I’ve always known… Being a caretaker is a something that would normally require a very high-spec person]
I muttered to myself as I left the dojo and headed for my room.
I heard that Shizune-san’s lessons were going to be held every day. If I continue to do that, I’ll become a near-perfect human being, both literate and skilled, within a few months. It was that or… I’d give up before then.
When I returned to my room, I found Hinako-sama still on my bed.
Apparently, Hinako-sama loved to sleep.
She slept well whilst being kidnapped, but it seemed as if she would normally sleep soundly till morning.
I let out a sigh and sat down in the chair at the desk.
I wanted to go to bed early, because I’m exhausted today. But with Hinako-sama in my bed, I didn’t know what to do.
[Oh yea. The manual is for situations like this]
I turned the pages of the manual.
[Well, here it is. Things to watch out for when ojou-sama is sleeping, mansion edition… When she is in the house, the lady spends most of her time sleeping. If you wake her up when she’s sound asleep, she’ll be in a bad mood, so be sure to take her to her room… before… she’s… asleep…]
In the meantime, I had a grasp of where Hinako-sama’s room was, but I wondered if it’s okay to carry her without permission.
I tried to look it up in the manual as well… when suddenly my phone shuddered, leaving me confused.
Yuri: Do you want to come to school with me tomorrow?
When I saw the message, I couldn’t help but let out a squeak.
[…Oh god, I forgot to explain]
My previous phone was in my parents’ name, so I had to sync my data to the phone provided for me. Therefore, messages from the previous phone were also received on this phone.
How should I explain my situation? As I was thinking over this, messages started raining down.
Yuri: If you don’t want to, it’s fine! I’m going with my other friends!
Yuri: …Don’t ignore me.
I wasn’t ignoring you.
Since I couldn’t come up with a solution, I decided to be honest with her.
Itsuki: Due to certain circumstances, I can no longer attend that high school.
I got a reply immediately.
Yuri: Can I call you?
Itsuki: Sorry, I’m tired. Maybe another time.
To be honest, I couldn’t even think anymore. If I thought about something else now, I felt like I would lose all the information Shizune-san packed into my head.
The phone shuddered.
I said another time but… it was a waste of time. I don’t feel like going out.
After leaving my phone for a while, I received another message.
Yuri: Why didn’t you answer?
Suddenly, someone called out to me from behind, and I jumped out of the chair.
When I turned around, Hinako-sama was standing there with her eyes squinted sleepily.
[Oh, you’re awake…]
[Who is that person?]
[What?…Oh, um, it’s my childhood friend who went to the same high school as me, Hinako-sama…]
Hinako-sama, with her Implicative backchannel, reached for my phone.
I wondered if she wanted to do some research on the internet. So I handed over my phone.
[…I’ll be taking this for a while]
Hinako-sama crawled under the futon with my phone in her hand.
[Now I can be at peace…]
[Peace..? Hinako-sama, could I have that back please?]
Hinako-sama said with her back turned away.
[…I hate that tone]
What does she mean… Oh, was it the honorifics?
[If you don’t, you’re fired]
[…Is this what you want]
[Hmm… That’s it]
[Shizune-san told me to change my tone…]
[I’ll talk to Shizune tomorrow]
If so, would it be ok…?
I guess I could ask Shizune-san tomorrow.
[…What is it?]
[Starting tomorrow… I’m pleased to make your acquaintance]
Hinako said with a softly amused smile on her face.
For a moment, I got mesmerized by her gesture. And I responded a little later.
Satisfied with my reply, Hinako dove back into bed.
[Oh, hey! Wait! If you’re going to sleep, at least go back to your room!]
However, she had already fallen asleep.
What is with this girl…
Alright, that took way too long. I’m really sorry, but it turns out to be much more than I thought.
Also for the sentence with (!!!!). I completely gave up. I did give up on a lot of words though.
Here is the japanese, 豪奢なお屋敷で、優ゆう雅がな生活を送っている人に、一いつ矢し報むくいてやる。
If anyone has any idea, please do tell me and I’ll fix it real quick.
Massive thanks to Charnomi and Anima for helping me in this chapter.
Feel free to join our discord, and we’re hosting a chess tournament with extra chapters on a series of your choice if you win! This series is, unfortunately, an exception. There has been too much for me to handle, and the next chapter is much longer than this one.
Thanks for reading!
EDN: Sorry for the long wait! It’s probably going to be even longer for the next chapter too…
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