Chapter 12 – Preparation and malaise (11)
Translator – Vodka
“There’s only one thing I would like to ask you.”
Said the man, Kirasaka’s dad. Having said so, he was silent for a while. Then, he continued in a refined manner.
“As you know, I have a daughter. From my perspective, she is an exceedingly brilliant daughter.”
“That’s true. Anybody would say so……apart from her character.”
I muttered the last few words in a voice inaudible to the other party.
Kuroi-san, who was standing behind me, might have heard me since I could hear his muffled laughter.
……You shouldn’t be laughing at the person you serve you know.
Kirasaka’s dad nodded at my words.
There was neither denial nor affirmation.
“I want her to inherit my company in the future. She has the makings for that. The circumstances too are appropriate. I believe this is the best choice for my daughter’s happiness, but……”
His smooth sailing of words came to a stop.
It was as if he was thinking about something.
It was a signifier of his reluctance to say what was coming next.
“My daughter opposed the decision……when I asked her the reason, she only said one word, “No”……that’s when I remembered hearing about you.”
I was curious as to how that situation led him to think of me. However, I decided to not ask that.
With this, I could finally unearth the reason for his earlier reluctance. The options at hand were either Kirasaka’s refusal, or his being reminded of me. Now, it was quite clear to me that it was the latter.
Since it was her we were talking about, she might have had brought up my name in the middle of some worthless conversation.
However, even more importantly, I was surprised by the possibility of her speaking normally to her family.
Was she loquacious at home? Or did she indifferently engage in the minimum amount of conversation as necessitated by the situation?
I was extremely curious.
“She, who usually wouldn’t speak more than necessary, talks about the events at school……she says she wants to keep spending her days like this.”
To think Kirasaka would say something like that.
I wondered when those ordinary days had become something precious to her.
No, it was probably just me who hadn’t thought about it. These ordinary days had probably been irreplaceable in her eyes since long ago.
Doting of his daughter, this man was similar to my dad.
Moreover, that daughter was none other than Kirasaka Ren.
This was just my supposition until the bitter end. However, given her personality, there shouldn’t be any drastic differences between her school and home versions.
Even at home, she probably remained engrossed in reading and went about her unfettered ways.
That was why this man must have had noticed the slightest change in her emotions.
When the taciturn her talked about an individual, it must have piqued his interest.
…….Let’s say that is how that played out.
Self-interpretation was important.
Every day felt like a parade of self-interpretations, but it wouldn’t do for me to worry about that now.
“Your selling point is that you can’t lie, right?”
“Could you please not make it sound like a catchphrase?”
I replied without a moment’s delay.
Where have you heard that from?……
That was something Yuuto had said.
I hadn’t communicated anything of that sort.
The slightly upturned corner of his lips and the warped expression on his face were just like Kirasaka’s.
I had a feeling that I was able to re-confirm that they were indeed father and daughter.
I turned to check up on Kuroi-san. With a serious countenance, he was listening to our conversation.
“As I said earlier, I want to hear your honest thoughts……Do you think I am wrong?”
A person couldn’t be said to have been in the wrong for thinking what was best for his family.
No, he shouldn’t be said to have been in the wrong for thinking what was best for his family.
It would be one thing if it were someone who ignored his family and did not take care of them, but not a shard of that could felt from this man in front of me.
From the flow of the conversation, however, I could feel that something was amiss. Hence, I proceeded to point it out.
“Did you ask her what she wanted to do in the future……?”
I wouldn’t know if she would succeed her father or not.
Just that, it was important to know what she was thinking, and which path she wanted to walk in the future.
A proper conversation would have sufficed to dispel the need to ask the opinion of an outsider like me.
This taciturn pair of a father and daughter.
Wasn’t it just that they didn’t have a proper conversation yet or something?
Suddenly, Kirasaka’s figure flipping through foreign books in the bookstore came to mind.
She had a road she wanted to walk.
“If you have the time to ask for the opinion of a stranger of a brat such as myself, it would be better to talk to your daughter as soon as possible, I think.”
A smile surfaced on Kirasaka-san’s face. He probably couldn’t hold it in.
Hey hey, I haven’t said it to get a laugh. Besides, it’s nothing to laugh about.
I looked at him with a sullen expression. However, the very next moment, his smiling face was nowhere to be seen.
“It was like Rei said. You have a composure unsuitable for your age…….No, I am reluctant to use the term ‘composure’.”
“It has been helpful. Sorry for taking up your time.”
With Kirasaka-san issuing words sounding like a soliloquy, our conversation came to an end. Then, he got up from the bench and left.
Taken aback by that overwhelmingly egoistic action, I stood stock-still. Kuroi-san offered a bow and chased after him.
“What was that……?”
He appeared all of a sudden, became one-sidedly convinced, and then left arbitrarily.
“He is like a typhoon”, I thought deep in my heart.
When I realized that more time had passed than I expected, I hurriedly returned to the training.
If they get angry at me for this, I am so gonna complain to Kirasaka.
“Hah……I am tired.”
The training came to an end. When I stepped outside from the hotel reception, a warm breeze greeted me.
It didn’t feel so good as I was a bit sticky from the sweat that I had worked up.
My body felt heavy with fatigue. Partaking in unfamiliar activities was more exhausting than I had thought.
I wanted to return home posthaste, take a bath, have supper and get into bed as soon as possible.
That was how I wanted to devote myself to recuperating my physical strength.
I went past the station. As I was going to enter the residential area, I saw a high school girl standing in front of a vending machine.
I am seeing a lot of vending machines today……
The first thing that came to mind was the option of pretending not to notice her and walk past. However, I had met her father today only.
Besides, there was a thing I wanted to give her.
I stood next to her who seemed troubled over what drink to buy, and decisively pressed a button to finish a purchase.
“Ara? Isn’t it Shinra-kun?”
“What’s with that “Ara”, huh? Your house is in the opposite direction.”
Despite her house being in the opposite direction to mine, she was here. I could easily predict the reason.
She was waiting for me here, probably because Kuroi-san had contacted her.
I handed over the cold café au lait I just bought, to her.
“What’s this I wonder? Your treat?”
“No way it is……pass it on to your father for me.”
“My father?……Why I wonder?”
Asked Kirasaka, her head bent slightly to the side, to which I issued a short reply.
“I hate not being able to return a treat.”
Kirasaka seemed unable to make sense of what I just said, but I paid it no heed and started walking towards my home.
Shizuku too was probably waiting at my home with a nonchalant look, anyways.
[TN – I felt like I should clarify the usage of the ‘nonchalant look’ part. You know it’s like how she had been casually popping up now and then at his house, as if there is nothing out of the ordinary with that.]
She was assigned to the same workplace as Kirasaka, after all.
“It feels like it’s been quite a while since only the two of us have taken a walk.”
“Isn’t that great?……”
The Kirasaka walking next to me with a smile on her face shone beautifully under the evening sun.
No wonder, people’s gazes would gather on her.
I kept on wondering if I had given the correct answer to her dad.
“Ah……this is delicious.”
“You don’t drink it……more like, go back already.”
As expected, she was beyond anyone’s control.
……Now that I have said it out loud, let’s have her return.