Saijo no Osewa ~ Takane no Hana [LN] - V1 Chp 4 part 11
While Itsuki was on his way to the Konohana family mansion.
The door suddenly opened in front of Hinako, who was sitting on her bed.
A servant, Shizune, enters from behind the door.
[Ojou-sama. How are you feeling?]
[…just like usual]
Hinako answered lazily and lay down on her bed.
She didn’t go to school because it was a day off, she only attended a singular meal. The time she spent acting was also shorter than usual. Even so, she sometimes collapses due to the stress she’s been having.
In particular, there was an inconvenient event for Hinako today.
That’s why Shizune stopped her work and visited Hinako’s room. She didn’t want anything to happen to Hinako, so she went to check on her.
[Shizune. …Where’s Itsuki?]
[…Itsuki-san has already left the mansion]
When Shizune replied, Hinako lowered her gaze.
[Itsuki… he’s only been a caretaker for a month]
[…That’s a long time]
Shizune gave a nonchalant response to Hinako’s words, not understanding what she was thinking.
Hinako’s voice sounded stiff, sad, and disinterested.
Perhaps Hinako wasn’t too concerned about Itsuki’s dismissal. That’s what Shizune thought, but―
[…If caretakers are not needed, why not hire them as servants?]
It was something she would never ask about other caretakers before Itsuki.
[I heard that there’s a shortage of gardeners…]
[What about the cook…? Or someone who just sweeps and cleans…. Actually, there’s a lot…?]
Shizune says more firmly.
[Keigon-sama has no intentions of hiring Itsuki-san]
Hinako should be able to understand such things as a matter of course.
Although Hinako acts very well, the real Hinako has trouble expressing her emotions. That’s when Shizune realized. Hinako was so depressed she turned away from reality.
Quietly, Hinako said
[…I want to meet Itsuki]
Hearing her small wish, Shizune bit her lips and slowly opened her mouth.
[That won’t be permitted by Keigon-sama. …You should give up, this one time. It is not a good idea to offend Keigon-sama any further]
Hearing Shizune’s words, Hinako’s lips twitched.
[Shizune… whose side are you on?]
[I’m just someone employed by Keigon-sama]
Hinako became even more upset.
[…Enough. If that’s the case, I’ll go find him]
Shizune ignored the sharp glare she received and took a bow.
[I have to help Keigon-sama with his work, so I will leave you now. I will have a guard standing by the door, just in case… so please refrain from any rash behavior]
With that, Shizune turned around and left the room.
Hinako let out a gasp when she saw the door slam shut behind her.
[…Shizune doesn’t understand]
As if determined to do something, Hinako tightens her grip on the futon with both her hands.
[I’m a woman who can do what I want…]
With a sparkle in her eye, Hinako sprang into action.
After parting with Naruka, I immediately went to the Konohana mansion where Hinako is in.
Keigon-san is now at that mansion. After the meal was over, he originally planned to return to the main residence, but he stopped by to check on Hinako’s life cycle. He also said he was going to work in the office, so he probably intends to stay for a while. Since I don’t know where the main residence is located, I must meet Keigon-san by the end of the day.
When I returned to the mansion again, I was stared at by 2 guards standing in front of the gate.
[What are you doing back here?]
His tone was cold… but his gaze was filled with sympathy.
After a month of working as a caretaker, I was recognized by the servants of the Konohana family. The 2 gatekeepers in front of me saw me every day when Hinako and I went to and from school.
[Let me in, please]
[…I refuse. If you want to enter, please follow the proper procedure]
I guess he wanted me to make an appointment with Keigon-san before I came in.
But I can’t just accept that and back down.
―There was no way Keigon-san would allow me to do so even if I followed the proper procedure.
I ignored the 2 gatekeepers and headed to the gate. The gate was amazingly tall, but there were bumps and edges to it. It’d be possible to climb over it.
As soon as I took a step towards the gate, the gatekeepers approached me.
[If you go any further, you’re a threat to us. We will take appropriate action]
It was a roundabout way to say they were concerned about me.
But there’s a reason why I can’t back down.
With determination, I ran to the gate.
The 2 gatekeepers were surprised and rushed to me as I tried to climb up the gate.
[This, stupid kid!]
[Don’t underestimate the gatekeepers of the Konohana family]
The gatekeepers pinched me from the sides.
If I get caught here, I may never see Hinako again. Such thoughts would come, and my mind would become a mess.
However, despite the situation, I was surprisingly calm.
I was the one who was surprised.
But, the other party was more agitated.
I quickly dived into the gatekeeper’s bosom and threw myself at him by springing my knees. The gatekeeper’s back slams into the ground and, bang! A violent sound echoed.
I turned away from the screaming gatekeeper at my feet and looked at the other one.
[W-What the hell was that..!?]
Maybe not expecting a counterattack, the remaining gatekeeper trembled.
There’s no way I’m missing this opportunity.
―My body moves on its own.
In my mind, the self-defense techniques that Shizune-san taught me came flooding at a dizzying pace.
The gatekeeper came to his senses and approached me, but it was too late. I quickly grabbed his arm and twisted it outwards. As soon as he was off balance, I knocked him off his footing and sent him down.
The second gatekeeper fell, as did the first.
[H-Hey you… where did you learn those techniques…?]
As the gatekeeper grunted and groaned, I stared at my fist and thought back over the past month.
I remember what Shizune-san said once.
I have a great talent for self-defense.
[I’m sorry… I’m in a hurry]
I climbed over the gate and landed on the ground on the other side.
The fallen gatekeeper shouted loudly
[Intruder! Seize him!]
I’ve been working here for about a month and have a certain grasp of the structure of the mansion.
As soon as I crossed the gate, I soon hid behind the bushes and made a detour towards the back of the mansion without making a sound. Remembering the course of the servants’ rounds and guessing their positions, I moved through the land laid out by the Konohana family.
[Where the hell is he!?]
[Search the main gate again!]
I could hear the voices of the servants in the distance. I quietly held my breath so that they wouldn’t find me.
[Now, where do I enter…?]
First, I must enter the mansion, but not through the conventional way.
I’m thinking about what to do ― Then I remembered the night walk I had with Hinako.
The kitchen door towards the back of the mansion was open. The narrow and unpopular corridor leads to the lower part of the house.
[…Thank you, Hinako]
As quickly as possible, I moved quickly towards Hinako’s favorite place.
[Did you find him!?]
[No, he’s not here!]
When I entered the mansion, many servants were shouting.
It was a big commotion, but I have no intention of retreating. Keigon-san isn’t going to talk to me anyways. If that’s the case, I’ll force through.
[I found him!!]
Servants of the Konohana family, dressed in black, came from across the corridor.
In a panic, I turned around and went up the stairs to the second floor, where I encountered another group of servants.
A relentless tackle was unrelenting. (TN: wha?)
I leapt backwards to avoid the tackle and kicked him back.
The servant fell back down the stairs with a lot of momentum.
Since it was a short staircase, he wasn’t severely harmed.
[T-This guy! He’s tough!]
[Surround him and hold him!]
As the men approached, I calmly reminded myself of Shizune-san’s teachings.
If the opponent throws his arm then―
Before he could get me, I sneaked below him and moved behind him while maintaining the clinch. While blocking the opponent’s action, I quickly tapped his knee with my foot, forcing him to kneel.
[You, keep quiet!]
Avoiding his fists, I grabbed his arm. Twisting his wrist outwards, I pushed his joints, so that he would try and escape the pain, and would naturally fall.
It’s a technique called kotegaeshi. (TN: wristlock, left the japanese cuz new word to learn xD)
I straddled the servant who rolled on the floor and quickly ran up to the 4th floor.
[Shizune-san… Thank you very much]
Self-defense isn’t a technique to defeat someone, but to protect oneself.
In other words, its true essence was to escape from the enemy. It’s the perfect technique for me right now.
[As I recall, the way to the office is…]
I head to the room where Keigon-san is.
The office was also where I first talked with Keigon-san. I couldn’t remember the whole layout in detail, but I have a vague recollection of the route.
At that time, I thought I saw something strange in the corner of my eye.
I stopped and checked to see if I could recognize it.
A long, thin cloth-like object hung outside the window.
The cloth is… a curtain. For some reason, the curtain is hanging from the upper floor, dangling and swaying.
Are they drying laundry? it doesn’t look like it…
As I tilted my head―A girl came down through the curtain.
It was Hinako.
What the hell is she doing!?
I rushed to stop her, but before I could, Hinako went to the lower floors.
Oh no―If she falls, we’re in trouble.
I could’ve made it to the office, but that’s not the point now.
I ran down the stairs and out of the mansion, and called out to Hinako above me. (EDN: Guards doko?)
[Hinako! What are you doing!?]
Hinako looked at me while hanging from the curtain tied like a string.
[It’s not safe, cmon―]
I have a bad feeling about this.
[Can’t, hold on…]
Hinako let go of the curtain.
Her gorgeous and slender body was flying in the air and fell down.
I opened my arms and caught Hinako in my chest.
A strong blow from the impact made me exhale all my oxygen out of my lungs.
[Y-You, what are you… even doing…]
[I just wanted to see Itsuki]
Hinako, who was smiling, looked relieved when she told me this.
If you say a line like that with that face… I can’t get mad.
[I have a suggestion]
I tilted my head at Hinako’s words.
I was about to ask what she was talking about when,
[O-Ojou-sama has been kidnappedー!!]
A servant who caught us through the window shouted.
I’m reluctant but… I can’t bear leaving Hinako here alone.
I was curious about her suggestion, so I ran away with Hinako in my arms.
(insert princess carry) poggers
[…I got kidnapped again]
[…I didn’t think I’d be the one kidnapping you]
Come to think of it, we met because of a kidnapping.
At the time, I had no idea I would become her kidnapper.
[…Somehow, you did]
I hid in the bushes and was relieved to see that there was not a soul around.
[So, what do you suggest?]
[…I will be a hostage]
[So that Itsuki can convince my dad]
[…Then that’s more like a threat instead of persuasion]
[Then, just do it like so]
I hesitated for a bit before giving my answer to Hinako, who was suggesting such a plan without hesitation.
After giving some thoughts, I realized I can’t just agree to that plan.
[…That’s no good]
[That’s not going to solve anything]
There’s no point in being peaceful on the surface only, leaving the root of the problem alone.
Besides, Keigon-san is a powerful man. Even if I tried to resolve this by force, he would overwhelm me by force as well.
[I’ll try to convince Keigon-san somehow. That’s the only way]
[Convince… Can you?]
It was an unfounded confidence.
Still, I assured her.
[I’ll talk him out of it, I promise]
I want to reassure Hinako.
I don’t want Hinako to be overwhelmed.
I want to repay Hinako for giving me a place to stay after I lost my home.
For that reason, I’ll fight stubbornly no matter how far I go.
[Where are you going with Ojou-sama?]
I looked up at the familiar voice… and I was dripping with cold sweat.
The head maid of the Konohana family, a maid who can do anything. (TN: Someone call Ein)
The one person I’ve never been able to beat in my self-defense lessons―is standing right in front of me.
Immediately after Shizune-san’s short announcement, servants approached from all directions at once.
If they all grab me at once, I won’t be able to move.
I got closer to the thinnest servant, dodging a swinging fist while escaping the encirclement. The defensive techniques they had learnt so far were different from the other servants. All of them were now obtaining presence of mind and cooperation. The fact that Shizune san brought them here, means they must have been well trained servants.
Out of the four of them, at least one was always trying to get around my blindspot. Sensing this movement, I launched a kick to the back without turning around. The sole of my foot caught a servant in the chest. The one who was kicked screamed and the remaining three let out a startled cry. Taking advantage of that, I lunged at the one in front of me and knocked him down with an overhand throw.
But in the next instant, I was grabbed from behind.
I realized that there was a fifth person, who was approaching without a sound.
It seems that the first 4 were decoys.
I tried my best to escape from the restraints, as it wasn’t too frightening.
I gritted my teeth, while Shizune-san walked to me calmly.
[I’m amazed at how well you’ve grown in such a short period of time. You absorbed the lessons so well that it’s obvious you work hard, however… this was beyond my expectations]
[…If you were complimenting me, I’d like it if you step back first]
[That I cannot do]
I was told once only.
Hinako then opened her mouth.
[I… will keep on acting]
Hinako says as she slowly approaches me, who’s unable to move.
[I won’t stop acting ever again. I’ll do it flawlessly anytime, anywhere. So please… Let me be with Itsuki]
Shizune-san was silently surprised by Hinako’s request.
Considering Hinako’s attitude until now, that request was unthinkable. The burden of acting should be best understood by Hinako herself. Even though she has a limited amount of free time, she was willing to give it all up to be with me.
That’s why―I have to deny her request.
I told her clearly.
[I don’t want Hinako to take on too much burden. For that, I want to be by your side. If no one else is there, at least I want to be the one there―There to make Hinako not push herself too hard]
I don’t want you to be forced to stay with me.
Hinako’s idea, as I mentioned earlier… Is the end of the story for me.
[I’m asking you, don’t try to throw away what I’m trying to protect, all by yourself]
For Hinako, those words must be unexpected.
The girl standing in front of me was someone who always looked sleepy-eyed.
Hinako nodded her head in a small but unmistakable way.
[I understand. …I believe Itsuki]
The mumbled tone of her voice clearly reached my ears.
Hinako is staring straight at me. In her eyes, she sees me staring at her in the same way. ―It was a strange feeling. I feel as if I can communicate with Hinako without exchanging words.
[I apologize for being so worked up]
Shizune-san opens her mouth.
Here comes the problem. I glared at Shizune-san to show my will to resist, but…
[Itsuki-san. Don’t worry, it won’t end the way you think it will]
I confusedly rolled my eyes at Shizune-san’s words.
[Your accomplishments as a caretaker will soon reach the ears of Keigon-sama. Until then, please wait]
[Well, I’ll wait…]
I don’t know what Shizune-san is talking about.
At that moment, I heard an electronic ring coming from Shizune-san. She took out her phone from the pocket of her uniform and looked at the screen.
Saying this, Shizune-san put her phone to her ear.
After a brief conversation with someone, Shizune-san looks at me.
[I’ve been summoned by Keigon-sama, so I will leave you now. Please wait here for a little longer, both of you]
Shizune-san’s stern expression breaks and returns to the usual calm demeanor.
[Shizune-san. …Whose side are you on?]
[I’m only someone employed by Keigon-sama]
Continuing, Shizune-san tells us.
[However… I am on your side, Ojou-sama]
Summoned by Keigon, Shizune knocked on the door of the office.
Opening the door, Shizune enters the room.
Keigon was seated behind a large desk.
[Keigon-sama, at your servic―]
Shizune gave a small nod to Keigon, who told her shortly, and she obeyed.
[What, the hell is this?]
Saying that, Keigon showed several documents stacked on his desk.
[Invitations to the social circle hosted by the Konohana family… Here are the invites. We were told you will be staying here for a while, so I have ordered the one delivered from the main residence. I wanted Keigon-sama to look over it as soon as possible]
[There was no mistake in that decision. But…]
Keigon said as he looked over the documents.
[…Describe these 4 invited guests]
Keigon handed over 4 invitations to Shizune.
Shizune nods, [Yes sir] and begins to explain.
[Asahi Karen-sama seems to be the daughter of J’s Holdings Inc. J’s Holdings is one of the top 5 electronic retailers in Japan, and is a major business partner for the Konohana Group]
The first explanation is done.
[Taisho Katsuya-sama is the son of a major transportation company famous for its moving services. This is also one of the top-ranked companies in its industry, and among the Konohana Group’s clients, banks and real estate-related companies have chosen Konohana as their business partner]
The second explanation is done.
[Miyakojima Naruka-sama’s family runs one of the largest sporting goods manufacturers in Japan. Currently, the Konohana Group is not involved in the sporting goods industry, but if we can get a connection here, it could be a good starting point]
The third explanation is done.
[And as you know, Tennouji Mirei-sama is the daughter of the Tennouji Group. They are in a competition with the Konohana Group, but as a group of the same size, we thought it would be a very important connection. If we join hands, it will certainly generate significant profits]
The fourth explanation is done.
After all the explanations, Shizune added one last sentence.
[In addition, all four of them――are Ojou-sama’s schoolmates]
Hearing Shizune’s explanation, Keigon puts his hand on his forehead.
His expression was clearly puzzled and perplexed.
[…Neither Asahi and Taisho has been invited before, but they’re not bad business partners]
[Miyakojima was acquainted with the president, but they didn’t participate much in social gatherings. However, just a few minutes ago, the president of the company told me, “If my daughter is going to participate, I will too”, and they’ve agreed to join us for this year’s gathering]
It is fortuitous. Shizune nodded, thinking inwardly. (TN: fortuitous is basically lucky)
[About Tennouji… Of course, I was acquainted with the head of the family, but this is the first time his daughter has participated in our event. Until now, our relationship has been superficial, for better or worse, but this may be an opportunity to build a stronger relationship of trust. The Tennouji family is more about people than numbers… I hope we can take the initiative first]
The second half of the explanation is like a soliloquy as Keigon speaks.
After looking over the 4 invitations again, Keigon exhaled deeply before looking at Shizune.
[They are all valuable contacts. …All of these, did Hinako invite them?]
[She never invited anyone before… and yet, here we have all these ridiculous connections]
Keigon says in a deep tone of confusion.
[I would like to say something, sir]
Shizune said to Keigon, who remained silent.
[If you are pleased with Ojou-sama’s change… I would suggest it to be unwise to let go of someone who’s done so much for us]
[…Someone who’s done so much?]
Keigon guessed Shizune’s intention.
[Although we are in the process of developing a business relationship with a shipbuilding company, we have little connections with 4 major companies that can become important in the near future…]
Keigon compares what’s gained and what’s lost.
It reminds him of a boy he met only a month ago, whom he hired on a trial basis. His impression towards him had somehow changed―From astonishment to admiration.
[…It’s pretty obvious which one should take priority]
The answer came quickly.
Letting out a sigh, Keigon said.
[Call Itsuki-kun back]
And with that, chp 4 is officially done! Props to ED that’s been on the massive grind, give him words of appreciation in the comment section, or in our discord
he’s still dying.
Anyways, let’s move on to epilogue and afterword, then V2 awaits all of us
Donations are very much appreciated.