Saijo no Osewa ~ Takane no Hana [LN] - V1 Chp 4 part 10
Eventually, after seeing all the guests off, Keigon-san turned to us.
[Who taught Hinako those unsightly gestures?]
Unable to bear the atmosphere, I decided to confess.
[…Excuse me. It was me]
When I honestly told him, he let out a sigh of relief.
As if he knows that was the case.
[I’ve always wondered. If having a caretaker was necessary]
[As you know, Hinako has a big gap between her true self and her acting. The role of a caretaker is to hide the blunders and follow up on them to the best of their abilities. …However, this is a roundabout way of doing things]
With a glance at Hinako, Keigon-san continues.
His eyes were so cold I could hardly believe they were the eyes of a parent looking at his daughter.
[We shouldn’t allow any blunders in the first place. …This is what happens when she has a true personality. The caretaker is the one who encourages Hinako and pampers her]
Muttering to himself, Keigon-san looked at Shizune-san.
[Shizune. From now on, make sure Hinako is always acting, both publicly and privately] (TN: can we unlive this man?) (EDN: Toaster Bath it is)
[All times, is it?]
[That’s right. Make her act at all times, not only in public, but also in the mansion]
[…I’m afraid that would make Ojou-sama collapse quicker]
Short and to the point, Keigon-san said sharply.
[This is the result of pampering her just because she collapses. It’s not like you have a chronic disease…. I can’t stand it anymore. We will provide the time and leadership if necessary. …Since she was born into the Konohana family, it’s her duty to uphold the family name]
When I heard those words, the worst possible future passed through my mind.
―It’s not a matter of collapsing or not.
Acting at all times means…
Hinako’s true self… is completely sealed away.
[W-wait a minute!]
I stopped him without thinking. He turned his head towards me, with his expressions cold. For a moment, I felt my nose freeze, but I uttered these words in a trembling words.
[That… I’m sorry for ruining the meal because of me. But whatever the price is, I’ll―]
[It’s not your fault]
[Originally, many caretakers quit after a short period of time. So I thought that you would too. …I expected your influence to be trivial and insignificant. It is not you who is to blame, but me for making such judgment, and Hinako for being so gullible]
With regret painted all over his face, Keigon-san said.
[Shizune. When you return to the mansion, pay Itsuki-kun]
I tilted my head at the end of our brief conversation.
Sure, it’s almost payday.
But, the reason for the sudden pay is…
[From now, Hinako won’t need a caretaker]
Keigon-san said as he glared at me.
[Itsuki-san. As of today, you will be dismissed from being a caretaker]
2 hours later. I was stunned, staring at the big closed gate.
[…This is a lie, right]
As the head of the Konohana group, Keigon-san’s dexterity is unusual.
After returning to the mansion, I was immediately ordered by Keigon-san to pack my belongings. Because of the sudden and abrupt dismissal, I was given extra as my salary. [If you don’t have anywhere to go, you should make do with this amount of money for the time being], he said, with a freezing and penetrating expression, exerting his dominance.
I was given an unbelievable amount of money for my services, and I was evicted out of the mansion.
In just a day…. Within a few hours, my daily life collapsed.
I will no longer attend Kiou Academy. As for the withdrawal procedure, I’m sure that it’ll be swift and quick. The Konohana family is powerful. They can clean up after themselves as much as they want.
A dry laugh came from my mouth.
[…Well, and I was living the life I always dreamed of]
The thought of giving up started taking over my head.
I wish it had all been a dream. If so―then Hinako wouldn’t have suffered so much.
If this continues, Hinako will be forced to live an even more harsh and painful life than before.
But with the way it is, I can’t even complain to Keigon-san.
―I’m the cause of all this.
Keigon-san said I’m not responsible, but that’s not true. All because I taught Hinako that stupid 3-second rule. Even more so, I knew that Hinako had an extraordinary interest in the culture of commoners, and left it at that.
The responsibility is mine. When I think about it… I can’t do anything about it.
As I was walking aimlessly around the city, someone called out to me.
I slowly turned around. There was a girl I recognized.
Standing there was a girl with her black hair stretched down to her thighs
[What’s going on? Why are you here?]
[I’m taking a walk. I told you, I obtained freedom by defeating my father. Now I’m allowed to somewhat go out―]
Narika, who questioned me, suddenly looked at me and stopped.
Her expression turned uneasy,
[…Itsuki, what’s wrong? Did something happen?]
Narika asked anxiously.
I was trying to keep my cool… but it looks like I can’t hide this feeling in my chest.
Since I don’t want to trouble the Konohana family, I will explain what isn’t a secret.
I was the cause of Hinako acting crudely in public. That I was kicked out of the Konohana house because of that. And the surveillance of Hinako would be tightened. These are the things I told Narika
Narika, who listened to my story, said with a strange expression.
[I find it hard to believe that Konohana-san would do something so crude in public but… from the looks of it, I’m sure of it]
Narika looked at me with a worried face, as if I had a very gloomy attitude.
[Though not as large as the Konohana family, the Miyakojima family is also large. So I kind of understand what’s going on. I’m sure Konohana-san was also struggling in some ways I don’t know about]
Even though I didn’t tell her everything, she was able to understand the situation.
[What happened to Konohana-san?]
[I don’t know the details. But from the looks of it, she’s going to be more restricted from now on. We may not be able to do things like tea parties and study groups anymore]
[I see… The Konohana family is really tough. How could they bind their own daughter with just one mistake, and also kick Itsuki out]
Keigon-san may not even consider Hinako as his own daughter. At least until now, Keigon-san’s words and actions never reflected a feeling of care towards Hinako as a daughter.
[It’s all… my fault]
Unintentionally, I told my true thoughts.
[If I hadn’t taught her those extraneous things, none of this would’ve happened]
Now I only feel regret. I resolved to do my best to heal Hinako’s loneliness. And this is the result. I made Hinako suffer more than before.
[After all, I’m just a commoner who doesn’t know manners. …If I knew this was going to happen, I should’ve never gotten involved in the first pla―]
[―That’s not true!]
Narika said loudly.
I was surprised and astonished by the unthinkable outburst from the usual Narika.
[Itsuki, that’s not true! Itsuki is never wrong!]
[Remember the old me!]
Narika said while looking me straight in the eye.
[I was once forbidden to go out on my own! But Itsuki changed that and my world! I still remember that day vividly! It made me realize how small of a world I lived in!]
Narika continued, looking extremely moved.
[If it weren’t for Itsuki, I would probably still be afraid of the outside world. I wouldn’t have known the taste of candy bars, how to shop… the buzz of the streets, or the quiet atmosphere of parks. …That’s why I’m very grateful to Itsuki, more than words can express, I feel very grateful to you]
Narika then lowered her gaze.
[And I’m sure Konohana-san is no different]
Sadly, Narika muttered.
[She’s raised to know nothing except what she needs to know. It’s very lonely. I’m sure that Itsuki not only saved me, but also Konohana-san from that solitude]
After saying that much, Narika looked me in the eye again.
[Be more confident. Because of that is why… I-Itsuki is the one l-I…]
Narika’s cheeks turned red as soon as she spoke the next sentence, and as she continued, she averted her gaze.
[I… A-Admire that part of you…]
For some reason, Narika sounded dejected as she spoke the last sentence.
It was as if she was trying to convey something but changed it to something else instead… Even so, Narika’s words were enough to make my heart flutter.
Even if it’s trivial for me.
Even if it’s something like common sense to me, or not very interesting for me.
For Hinako and Narika, it could be something life changing.
[Narika… Thank you]
As I thanked her, I thought back to my time at the Konohana house.
This was by no means a self-indulgence.
Objectively speaking, it can be seen as not wrong entirely.
―Hinako didn’t feel lost and confused with me by her side.
Hinako has put a certain amount of trust in me.
Then I want to live up to that trust.
I still haven’t responded to Hinako’s feelings.
I remember the day when I made up my mind.
Hinako is carrying a tremendous amount of weight in such a small body.
Someone had to be kind and gentle to her.
If her parents and servants don’t fulfill that role… Then I’ll do it myself.
[I’m off] (TN: ittekimasu)
[The Konohana family mansion]
I told Narika who encouraged me.
[I just want to have a little face to face conversation]
My dark mood is gone now.
With my confidence brought back by Narika, I set out for the Konohana family mansion.
Narika watched with a faint smile on her face as Itsuki’s back faded away without looking back once.
[I guess he was in a rush.]
In the end, Itsuki didn’t notice the tiny slip of his mouth.
[Aaahhhhh… now I’ve sent salt to the enemy…]
Her benefactor was in trouble, so it was only natural for her to help him.
She doesn’t regret it. But her feelings are a different story.
Narika held her head.
The two of them… really, what is their relationship?
Donations are very much appreciated.