TN: I have no excuses for my long silence, I’m really sorry. Right now I’ll be taking this project up again, and for the release schedule I guess I’ll try to post at least 3 chapters a week… Hahh, good to be back.
Today too like usual, Asahina came visited the Mizushima family and have fun conversing together with Yuriko.
Every time Asahina came visiting, he never forgot to bring gifts for Yuriko, such as a Brooch and a Hair Clip. And also for Tsubaki, such as a picture book and sweets.
“Asahina-sama. If it’s okay with you, would you like to have a dinner together with us?”
After done had a conversation together with Yuriko, “Oh my, is it this late already?” Asahina was surprised while looked at his wristwatch.
“Is it really okay? Even though this is the time of your family to spend together.”
Although Asahina knew he should decline the offer here, he wanted to spend more time together with Yuriko even a little.
Heard Asahine’s reply, Yuriko asked the servant to prepared the dinner for Asahina too.
Immediately the servant left the room, shortly after, the servant returned and informed that the dinner has been prepared.
As expected of the servant of the Mizushima family, they are doing their work fast. Asahina was impressed while looking at how fast the servant work.
Escorting Yuriko, they headed for the dining room and in there they found Haruki and the two children already waiting for Asahina and Yuriko to arrived.
“Seriously. Every week, every week you keep coming and coming. What are you? An idler? Go to work.”
“I am going to work. But I’m not even an executive staff or anything. I’m just an ordinary employee after all so I have quite a flexible time table.”
As expected even Asahina wouldn’t ditch his job to visiting Yuriko.
Asahina knew Haruki doesn’t meant it when said it, he also didn’t hate how Haruki spoke casually to him.
“Onii-sama. You are being rude to Asahina-sama. Even though he just trying to encourage the depressed me.”
“Yuriko, you… are you really believed that?”
At the same time Haruki look at Asahina with a sympathetic gaze.
For Asahina to couldn’t properly said he was came for Yuriko until now, it’s because he doesn’t have the courage to said it.
Feeling like wanting to run away, Asahina changed the topic to tonight dinner.
“Ah, it’s French today.”
“You really… whatever. Recently we only have Japanese cuisine after all.”
“Onii-sama. We are rarely have a dinner together like this so let’s have a fun conversation.”
During the meal, the situation became where Haruki was bullying Asahina while Yuriko remonstrating her brother.
The servants who has worked for the Mizushima since a long time ago thought this spectacle to be rather nostalgic, because the three had always been like this since their school days.
It was a familiar spectacle for Kyousuke who knew Asahina from the time he visited the Mizushima family from before, so Kyousuke was taken his meal silently.
On the other hand, Tsubaki was found the spectacle to be rather unbelievable so her hands was stopped moving. Looking at the current Tsubaki, Segawa whispered “Tsubaki-sama, your hands are stopping.” to her. Coming to her sense, Tsubaki continued her meal.
It was time for dessert after the meal. The servant came brought a tea set for brewing tea.
Looking at the brought tea set, Yuriko was suddenly smiled broadly.
“Maa, this is the first time I’m seeing this tea set. It is very beautiful and elegant. By the way, what is the name of the maker?”
“… That is one of the Asahina Pottery’s product. Around 3 years ago, Kaoru was the one who designed that tea set and he forcefully pushed the tea set into this house.”
“I’m not forcefully pushed it okay! I designed it with Yuriko-san as the image and I thought this was done very well so I gave this as a present to the Mizushima family.”
“Eh? A design with me as the image? It’s true, there’s a lily on it.”
Asahina was panicked and goes “Awawawa–” when he realized what he had just said.
Though Asahina was just spoke those words with the meaning to make things clear with Haruki, he doesn’t has any intention to conveyed that the tea set was designed with Yuriko as the image.
Without minding Asahina’s sentiment, Yuriko picked up the cup and looked at the design closely.
As if his soul were coming out from him, Asahina began to stare a dagger at Haruki but the person himself was just being feign ignorance.
“As expected, Asahina-sama really have a talent for this. This is a wonderful design. Ah, nee Asahina-sama do you still remember? There was a time when you gave a cup like this to me as a present, didn’t you?”
“… Un. I remember it.”
There’s no way he could forget it. It’s not an exaggeration to say that because of that event, it has made Asahina to become the current him.
Also, that was what made him to be fall in love with Yuriko.
“At the time Onii-sama and the others from elementary school return from school trip, Asahina-sama came for a souvenir from Onii-sama. At that moment, you also held a ceramic cup with lily design.”
“Right, you’d even took away that cup that Kaoru made for me.”
“Because the cup’s design was into my liking after all. Also, it’s not “took away”. I already had Asahina-sama’s permission at that time. Isn’t that right, Asahina-sama?”
To wiped away her past disgrace conduct, Yuriko was seeking Asahina’s agreement.
Because Asahina doesn’t has any memories where Yuriko was this willingly asked his helping hand, he came into agreement with Yuriko.
“That’s right. I gave that cup to Yuriko-san willingly. Haruki, it’s not really nice of you to falsify memories like that you know?”
“I agree with Asahina-sama. Onii-sama, it’s not really nice okay?”
Gained Asahina as her ally, Yuriko began to pushed her brother while half laughing.
After that, Haruki raised both of his hands and took a Surrender pose.
“Okay I admit it, my memory was wrong.”
Heard Haruki’s words, Asahina and Yuriko exchange glances and laughing together.
“Which remind me, after the cup was washed the picture suddenly disappeared, at that time I was crying and troubling Onii-sama, didn’t I?”
“In the end, you only began to calm down when Kaoru promised to redrawn it again.”
“I was really surprised you know, when you two came to me with the cup while Yuriko-san was crying.”
“I am very sorry to troubling you at that time. But did you know Asahina-sama, I still have the cup with me. On the other day, Segawa brought out the cup it’s really felt nostalgic.”
Asahina was really happy to know that Yuriko still have the cup until now.
Because, that cup what made Asahina to decide his future.
Asahina Kaoru was the third son of the president of Asahina Pottery.
Although his father was a person who does not spoke words more than necessary, he was a devoted husband and a doting father. And the one who stood beside that father was the mother.
Two excellent big brothers and a tomboy little sister.
The family relationship was really good.
However, the outsiders only spoke selfish words as much as they wanted.
[The third son who could not even become a spare]
[Compared with the excellent brothers, he is no good huh.]
[Can’t even follow after their footstep, a pitiful child.]
[Good at painting? His future is “a good-for-nothing”.]
By no means Kaoru’s parents was treating him like that. They gave an equal affections for their 4 children.
At the same time because of that, every day Kaoru rack his brain to think what could he do for the Asahina.
And at the time he turned 6 years old, Kaoru met with the turning point that would change his life.
As his two elder brothers attending a certain private school in a metropolitan town, Kaoru also thought to taking the entrance exam there.
However, what his parents told him to do was to took the Elementary department’s entrance exam of Takamine Academy.
Kaoru was told that a child of the same age as him, a son of the distinguished family of Mizushima Group, Mizushima Haruki, would also attending there.
With the others applicant who thought to get closer with the Mizushima, the acceptance rate for the Elementary Department for that year was really amazing, even it has became the biggest history for Takamine Academy.
With the other families has a big expectation like that, naturally the Asahina family too somehow began to grew expectation for Kaoru.
Though it could not be said Kaoru easily passed the exam, he somehow managed to enrolled the Elementary Department of Takamine Academy.
However, even after his enrolment Kaoru never had a chance to talk with Haruki.
In Kaoru’s eyes Haruki was a perfect human. Even though he was still a little child, Haruki was already claded with a majestic aura around him, as expected of a child from a distinguished family if one had to say. He was strict with others, and more to himself.
And that’s why, Kaoru bore an inferiority complex toward Haruki. Even more, his pride was wounded deeply. Thus Kaoru began to aware that Haruki was someone he is not good with.
Nevertheless, fate began to playing its part in Kaoru’s life and he somehow could came to had a conversation with Haruki.
It’s all began with Ichinose Risa, who was Kaoru’s childhood friend, merely entered the same committee meeting with Haruki and had a conversation with him, and along the course of event Haruki began to talk with Kaoru too.
To Haruki, talking with Kaoru was fun because he never use flattery and spoke frankly, it was also a comfortable time for him. And the time they was together began to remarkably increased.
Human is indeed a strange creature, once Kaoru began to get along with Haruki, his wariness toward Haruki began to fade, and the inferiority complex he held toward Haruki gradually disappeared.
And before long, their surroundings began to perceived the two as a pair of best friends.
The time he met with Yuriko was when Asahina in his upper grades of primary school.
Although Asahina already knew Haruki’s little sister from his little sister who has the same age as Yuriko, nevertheless he doesn’t held any interest toward Yuriko.
It’s all began when he came visited Haruki’s home to returned the book he borrowed from Haruki.
He could still remembered it clearly in his mind, the memory of the first time he met with Yuriko.
Guided by the servant to Haruki’s room and entered the room, by the time he began to took a seat, the door to the room was opened and a girl came entering.
She was a pretty girl with a beautiful black hair that has its luster and trimmed neatly, a lovely round eyes, plump lips and a red cheek like an apple.
Haruki, who was came in later, began to introduce the girl to Asahina that the girl is his little sister, Yuriko.
Asahina could only stared at Yuriko because the difference she has with her big brother was just too much. From her appearance and her ambiance was very far apart from her big brother.
Perhaps because she was embarrassed, Yuriko began to hide behind her brother.
That was their first meeting. At that time Asahina only had an impression of Yuriko as a cute girl.
Also about the aforementioned cup above, the truth is Asahina doesn’t planned to gave it as a present for Yuriko.
It’s merely he thought the cup he made was done quite well and wanted to bragging about it to Haruki.
But, he was caught by Yuriko before he could show it off to Haruki.
Asked by Yuriko his reason to visiting, Asahina answered with he came to show the handicraft that he thought was done quite well.
Took the cup in her hands, Yuriko treat it carefully to not drop it and looked at the picture that was drawn on the cup.
[Waa. What a beautiful picture! Is this perhaps, Asahina-sama who’s drawn this?]
[Un. I made it while practicing. Actually that picture is a Lily flower. It is Yuriko-chan’s flower right?]
[Yes. There is Lily in my name. True, it’s match with my name!… How nice] (TN: Yuriko’s name is written in kanji “百合子” and the first two kanji “百合” read as “Yuri”, in English it’s mean “Lily”)
[If you like, would you take it? There are mountains of ceramics in my home after all.]
After Asahina said that, Yuriko’s face began to glow and she asked if it was really fine for her to took the cup.
Asahina who doesn’t expected Yuriko to be this happy was nod his head many times and he gave the cup to Yuriko.
[My flower. My cup. How beautiful. Asahina-sama is really have a talent for painting. You know Asahina-sama? I love your painting very much. I will treat this cup preciously. It’s really beautiful… Please draw a picture of me next time okay?]
The moment Asahina heard what Yuriko was saying, he had already decided what he wanted to do in his future.
Yuriko who was really happy and said her impression of the cup Asahina made frankly, made Asahina’s heart was overflowing with joy.
He was really happy that someone, other than his family, was praising his work. For the first time in his life, he’d finally know what it is to being accepted.
[Asahina-sama!? What’s wrong? Did I say something bad?]
Looking at Yuriko who was peering into his face worryingly, Asahina then realized he was crying.
Although he always told himself to not mind what others said to him, without realizing, it became a stress for him and the stress was kept accumulating— Until now.
Yes, until Yuriko took off the shackle that burdening him.
That was where everything began.
At first, it was not love—- No, that was what he wanted to believed.
The other party is a little sister of his friend and a junior from the same school as him. Asahina believed it was strange if he held love feeling toward her and denied his feelings.
However as the time passed and Yuriko advancing to junior high school, Asahina saw Yuriko was slowly matured and he realized his feelings was not a lie.
Moreover looking at her sublime-like beauty, the way Asahina address her instinctively changed from “Yuriko-chan” to “Yuriko-san”. And he felt like he just had made a biggest blunder in his life when he changed the way he addressed Yuriko.
Asahina never thought that from then on, for almost close to 15 years his love for Yuriko would became an unrequited love.
For his parents and Haruki, Asahina’s feelings was plain obvious. And by the advices from his surroundings, his foothold gradually solidified and he began his approach to Yuriko indirectly.
But alas, by the time Asahina busying made his move behind the curtain, Yuriko has fallen in love with another man.
People around Yuriko began to told her to open her eyes, but for Yuriko who was fallen in love for the first time, it’s not brought any effect at all and she ran away from her home.
After few months passed, Asahina was called by Haruki and he headed to the Mizushima family.
And in there, Haruki informed a certain news to Asahina.
[Yuriko is going to get married.]
At first Asahina had no idea at what Haruki was saying to him.
His brain couldn’t process the information at all.
[Yuriko was pregnant with that man’s child, and my father was snapped. Sorry.]
Heard that Yuriko was pregnant, Asahina began to fall to his knees on the spot.
He couldn’t heard Haruki’s voice anymore.
After the report of Haruki, Asahina couldn’t even remembered how he had returned to his home.
However, when he noticed, he was already in his home.
[That’s right, let’s go on a journey.]
Made up his mind’s, Asahina began to took the suitcase and the stuffs in it began to gradually increased.
Going along with that impulse, Asahina goes to the airport, and took a flight to overseas.
When the news of Kaoru who was suddenly disappear came to his family from his workplace, it’s became a huge uproar in the Asahina family, but after looking at the purchase log of Kaoru’s credit card they learned that Kaoru was bought a ticket for going to overseas. To have a talk with him, the eldest son of the Asahina family decided to go after Kaoru.
There Kaoru and his older brother had a various discussion, and Kaoru was permitted to continue his journey as long as he periodically send his designs as the condition.
And four years ago, Asahina Kaoru returned to Japan.
Although his heart still not completely healed or he could already passed over it, for two years of his journey, his heart was recovered enough to atleast congratulate Yuriko for her marriage.
It was impossible for Asahina to forget about Yuriko even after so much effort he had done. Even after he came close with woman after woman, he always made Yuriko as their comparison and he couldn’t took any step forward since that day.
Let me love her like this as it is and continue my life, Asahina then realized he had long accepted this decision he just made while wondering on the overseas for two years.
His two older brothers already has children and their successor too. The fact that even if he continue his life unmarried was okay for his family business became a salvation to Asahina.
And in the third year of his journey when he decided to remain single, Asahina’s determination was perfectly turned upside down.
It was happened when he heard a certain information from his little sister, Emily, that she said Yuriko might going to divorce.
Unfortunately, his little sister was busy preparing for a trial that she has to attend to so she couldn’t go check the situation personally.
That’s why she asked her brother Kaoru to go in her stead. Kaoru readily accept his sister request, and he came intruded into Haruki’s office in the Mizushima main office.
Asahina was really glad that he made a swear to remain single in his life while on his journey, and while thinking like that, Asahina asked for Haruki to gave Yuriko to him.