Saijo no Osewa ~ Takane no Hana [LN] - V1 Epilogue/Afterwords
A week has passed since my dismissal was suddenly revoked.
I was scheduled to attend a social event hosted by the Konohana family.
[How do you feel about the suit?]
Shizune-san carefully checks the suit.
The event is said to be gorgeous, as it is hosted by Konohana Group under its prestigious name. The venue is already packed with people, ready to start at any time.
[This time, Itsuki-san is ostensibly in an awkward position… In other words, as the son and heir of a medium sized company, you are invited here. If you aren’t confident in your manners, at least try to act inconspicuous]
As Shizune-san worked casually, I suddenly opened my mouth.
[Shizune-san. Once again, thank you]
I continued to say to Shizune-san, who turned to me.
[After the incident at the meal the other day, It was Shizune-san who convinced Keigon-san to hire me as a caretaker again, right?]
[…It is true that I approached Keigon-sama about it, but it is thanks to Itsuki-san’s achievements that made it possible]
Shizune-san said while tightening the tie around my neck.
[To be honest, I was a little nervous that day. I decided that words alone weren’t enough to persuade Keigon-sama, and I was going to try to do so after showing him the invitation letter I ordered from the main residence… I never thought Itsuki-san would make such a bold move before that]
I still remember what Shizune-san said to me that day.
I’m someone employed by Keigon-sama, but I am on Ojou-sama’s side. ―Shizune-san told us so. I’m sure that Shizune-san also works hard for Hinako in ways I don’t know about.
[Now then, I’ll go back to work]
Shizune-san says after checking the suit.
[During the event, of course, you have to stay on your toes, if you can’t do that, you can at least observe the people around you. I think you will learn a lot]
[I understand. …For me, this is like training]
[From now on, Itsuki-san has to continue growing]
With that, Shizune turned around.
From now on. Those words brought relief to my heart. At least Shizune-san will take care of me. She thinks days like these will continue.
A few minutes later, the event began.
The event brought together political bigshots, presidents and executives of major corporations, and other related parties. When I stepped into the glamorous venue, I instantly felt uncomfortable.
[…I’m so out of place]
Shizune-san told me not to stand out, and I should remain quiet about it.
I moved to the sides of the venue, avoiding line of sight.
[Hey hey, Tomonari-kun!]
Suddenly, a voice called out to me from behind and my shoulders jumped.
I turned around and saw 2 familiar figures.
[Asahi-san, and Taisho-kun huh…]
Next to Asahi-san, who was full of energy, Taisho also greeted me casually.
Unlike me, they’re used to the atmosphere here, and they walked down the hall and approached me with dignity.
[Oh, Tomonari, you’re using a nice suit. That’s an Italian brand, right?]
[Yes. I prepared it for this day. To be honest, I’m not used to wearing it…]
[Ahhh… I feel the same way. The most important thing to remember is that you can’t be too careful with what you wear. I can’t afford to be embarrassed by a bad suit, and I think it’s worth taking care of]
Taisho is probably right.
I nodded and looked at Asahi-san’s outfit as well.
[You look gorgeous in that dress, Asahi-san]
[Right!? Then, did you fall in love with me!?]
[Y-yeah, I fell in love with you…] (TN: secret contender?)
I answered with a wry smile to Asahi-san, who spun around and puffed out her chest.
It’s a little stretch, but I won’t tell anyone.
[Tomonari, you can be honest with her. Anybody can look good with the right clothes.]
[Ahaha! Taisho-kun, you make funny jokes. Do you mind coming over here for a minute?]
Taisho disappeared somewhere after Asahi-san pulled him by the ear. (TN: False alarm! We’re clear!)
After the two left, a blonde girl approached me as if swapping with them.
[They’re as lively as ever]
It was Tennouji-san who muttered this with a sigh.
[But perhaps one of your talents is that you can be at your ease in any environment]
[…Is that so?]
It was a word that stuck strongly in my mind as I was wasting away on the side of the hall.
From behind me, I heard a familiar voice.
[Uuu… help me. What a glamorous space. It’s too dazzling… too bright…]
Naruka looked pale and weak.
Tennouji-san sighed at the sight.
[Miyakojima-san… you won’t survive it in the future at that rate]
[W-well, that’s true, but it’s all in my nature…]
[Geez. …This is a good opportunity, why not take drastic measures for once?]
[Come with me to make rounds. Fortunately, there are bigshots from all industries in this venue, so you should be able to find the nerve to talk to them]
[N-no, I don’t want to! If I do that, I’ll die!]
Tennouji-san forcefully took Naruka, who was half-crying, somewhere.
They’re as lively as Asahi-san and the others.
[Everyone’s having a great time…]
I watched the girls’ back as they went away and muttered to myself.
I felt a little thirsty, so I went to get a drink.
Along the way, I spotted someone with a luxurious suit.
I made up my mind, and called out to them.
I bowed my head to Keigon-san, who turned to me.
[Thank you for all you prepared for us today]
Keigon-san looked a little surprised.
[I thought you might hold a grudge or two against me]
[It doesn’t mean anything if I say it… In the end, it was a good result for me, so I won’t strangle myself here]
There’s no merit in offending Keigon-san’s mood in this situation.
As I told him so, Keigon-san gave me a calm gaze.
[I thought you were more of an intuitive person, but it seems like you’re able to turn your head. …But that day, did you try to rush me?]
Keigon muttered and turned around.
Keigon-san started walking with a glass of wine in his hand and beckoned me over. Looks like he wants to change places.
We went to a balcony connected to the venue. We walked a short distance and turned the corner, and we arrived somewhere with no people around. Keigon-san stopped there and rested his elbows on the railing to catch his breath. I stood next to him silently.
[Hinako is a genius]
Keigon-san suddenly said.
[She seems to be the best in the school]
[That’s not what I’m talking about]
Taking a sip of his wine, Keigon-san spoke.
[Hinako has a problematic personality, but she has a natural gift when it comes to practical matters. …She has inherited talents befitting her Konohana family bloodline]
Keigon-san said as he stared into the distance.
[That’s why I want Hinako to take over the family. Of course, ostensibly the son-in-law will take over… but there’s no reason not to take advantage of that talent. And once she graduates from the academy, she’ll be free from the constraints of time, and if she’s given a private room for work, the workload will be greatly reduced. If we can get through this time, we can make a breakthrough]
I felt like I understood a little bit more about what the future looked like as Keigon-san saw it.
However, I don’t want to understand it, I don’t want to sympathise with it, and I don’t want to agree with it.
[…However, is it really necessary for it to be Hinako?]
[Hahaha, if there’s a replacement, I will take that without doubt]
[But, the burden of Konohana is heavy]
Keigon-san’s smile quickly faded, and he said with a mysterious look on his face.
[The total number of employees in the group is approximately 800,000. Half-hearted talent isn’t enough. A single mistake can cost many employees their lives, or they can be crushed by pressure… and even lose their loved ones]
Saying so, Keigon-san stroked the ring on his ring finger.
According to what Shizune-san told me, in the Konohana family, not only the head of the family works, but also the wife of said family head. …But I heard that Keigon-san’s wife had passed away.
I’m sure that Keigon-san has experienced something in his past.
But that doesn’t mean he can look down on Hinako.
[Keigon-san, how do you feel about Hinako?]
It was something I always wanted to ask.
Keigon-san lowered his gaze and replied.
[I put the house before my daughter. At this point to me, both my daughter and my son are cogs in the Konohana family]
Lifting his elbow on the railing, Keigon-san turns to the hall.
[And of course… myself included]
With a small mutter, Keigon-san left the balcony.
A chilly night breeze hit my cheeks. Even the heat of the hall doesn’t reach here.
I decided to stay on the balcony to cool down my head.
Someone called out to me.
There was a pretty girl with amber hair.
Hinako, wearing a beautiful white dress, approached me with small steps.
[What are you doing here?]
[Papa said Itsuki was here, so…]
[…Is that so]
There’s no one around. So Hinako is here as her true self.
[…Thank you for continuing being my caretaker]
Hinako said, while touching the balcony railing.
[What Itsuki said to me that time… it made me really happy]
That must’ve been the time when I dared to say it in front of Shizune-san. I was thinking a lot of things in the heat of the moment, so being reminded of that time was kind of embarrassing. …But if Hinako feels happy about it, it’s not a problem.
[I… will continue to believe in Itsuki]
She stared at me with pure and innocent eyes.
Her attitude, her expression, her words and her actions strongly affected my emotions.
I pushed down my agitation and replied.
Sometimes―I almost forget.
Hinako doesn’t see me as the opposite sex. In order to meet her expectations, I shouldn’t see her as the opposite sex more than necessary.
Hinako resting her chin on the railing, letting out a distracted sigh.
[Are you okay?]
[I greeted a lot of people, I’m tired. …Pat my head]
I chuckled as she offered me her head.
After all, what I’m expected to provide is the warmth of a family member. To meet that, I stroked Hinako’s head as gently as I could.
As I stroked her, Hinako let out a strange sound.
As I continued to stroke her head, her face began to flush red―.
Hinako, who was bright red to the tips of her ears, suddenly backed away.
Hinako’s eyes widened in confusion.
[What’s wrong? You’re suddenly all flushed…]
[…No, it’s nothing]
Hinako was puzzled, as she didn’t seem to understand what happened to her.
She could’ve been sick. Worried, I walked up to Hinako.
[If you’re not feeling well, you shouldn’t push yoursel―]
[N-No, it’s nothing, really…!]
Strangely restless, Hinako backed away again.
Don’t tell me… she’s avoiding me?
As far as I know, this is the first time Hinako has been so plainly flustered. …I wonder if she wants to get away from me so badly that she conveyed it so clearly.
Did I get too close?
No, but I’ve done things like this many times before.
Hinako, as if hiding her bright red face, touched her cheeks with both hands and muttered curiously.
[I…. something’s strange…]
This is Sakaishi Yusaku. Thank you for picking up this book.
I’m very bad at managing page counts, which is why the space in the afterword is so small. I have done this often in other works. Sorry…
This work [Saijo no Osewa] is a romantic comedy set in a school where children of rich people gather. If you like romantic comedies, or if you like Ojou-sama heroines, you will enjoy this one. We hope you will love these heroines, who are rich, gorgeous, beautiful, noble… and also prone to different troubles.
I would like to thank the editorial staff, reviewers, and others involved in this work. Thank you, Miwabe Sakura-sensei, for the wonderful illustrations. The various Ojou-samas you’ve drawn are all very attractive and full of individuality.
Finally, I would like to express my utmost gratitude to all of you who have picked up this book.
Translator here, with this, V1 is done! SS not included. It should be out pretty soon, but as for V2, I’ll let it stack up a bit more for now, I want to work on the other series I’ve been neglecting. Hopefully y’all enjoy the first volume like I did (ignore the long in betweens), and we shall now move on to the volume of Tennouji Mirei-sama! Thank you all for reading so far.
Donations are very much appreciated.