TN: Change Takamine to Houmine
Season changes as the time slowly entering month November.
Few days passed after Tsubaki took the entrance exam of the Houmine Academy’s preschool, Yuriko received a notice from the academy that Tsubaki, and of course Kyousuke, had safely passed their entrance exam. Hearing this information from her mother, Tsubaki was sighed in relief.
As a matter of fact, Tsubaki was looking forward to the second school life she will have.
And it was not only the school life she was looking forward to.
This year, the Asahina house would hold a Christmas party at a private villa they owned, and of course, Tsubaki and her parents were invited too.
Because all of the attendees would be the member of the Asahina house, they don’t have to be so formal with etiquette and so on.
Actually, Tsubaki had yet to attend a party of the high social class people.
That’s because her uncle and her parents thought she’s still too young, although they also didn’t want her to be showered with inquisitive gazes.
After thinking and searching for the reason of this, Tsubaki believes they might allow her now to collect more experience from now on.
Seeing Tsubaki who was so quiet, Asahina thought that Tsubaki was nervous with her first party and began to talk with her.
“Well, although it was called an ‘Official Party’, there’s only our relatives who would be attending so you should take it easy.” (Asahina)
“Tsubaki-chan, let’s go buy some new dresses later okay? You have a white skin so I think a somewhat strong colored dress will suit you very well.” (Yuriko)
“Hmm… Wafuku will suit her well too, don’t you think?” (Asahina)
“That would be reserved until the New Year’s greetings.” (Yuriko)
At her mother’s words, Tsubaki suddenly had a premonition where she would be used as her mother personal dress-up doll.
Now that I think about it, is this would be the first time for me and mother to go out together? Thought Tsubaki.
Tsubaki never had any need for new dresses because she doesn’t have to attend a party, and the Wafuku she had right now, Yuriko once told Tsubaki that those were the Wafuku she once uses when she still a child.
As for Yuriko, she’s more into the indoor-type of a person so the chance for her to going out was almost nil. For daily necessity, there would be a person from the department store they had a contract with will come in a routine, so if she needs something she only has to say the words. And for the other things, her brother will take care of them. There aren’t any inconvenience for Yuriko and her daughter’s daily life.
Next day, as Tsubaki had expected, she was turned into her parents dress-up doll and was exhausted where they would always drag her into every clothing store they know.
Woah, so it was true that the rich could buy anything without hesitation. Tsubaki could only have this thought while looking at her parents.
Because we didn’t go to the register and pay it up right on the spot, I don’t know the exact price of these dresses. Although these dresses are for use by children, these must cost a lot. Tsubaki then began calculating the price of the dresses by their quality and design in her mind, but when she arrived at the answer she suddenly got a shudder.
Tsubaki was reminded again that even if Asahina was a person who was so easy going and had a lack of self-regard, he is still a person of a high society from watching this spectacle.
Yes, even if he had kept glancing on Tsubaki’s way which had a meaning like “I wish she would start calling me Father~(Glance).”
It had started to happen since Asahina said “It’s okay to call me daddy you know?” to Tsubaki.
The truth is Tsubaki had been troubled about on what order should she change the way she addresses him from “Asahina-sama” to “Father”.
The parents of Tsubaki from her previous life did not divorce so she had never been troubled by how she should address them.
Adding to that, the thoughts of a 6-year-old child, Tsubaki had no idea on their thoughts pattern at all. Because of that, she had been late in giving a response to Asahina.
Asahina, who took it as Tsubaki’s refusal, had begun to sulking since then.
And at the time he kept glancing on Tsubaki, it’s the same as he was asking “You won’t calling me daddy?”
Either gave up or fed up with Asahina’s persistence, Tsubaki had started to call him “Father.”
And there’s a detail on how that has happened.
At that time, it was to the extent where Tsubaki had begun to grow suspicious about Asahina’s origin.
Asahina’s grandmother in Tsubaki’s eyes was a woman who had a high self-esteem and she was like your strict career woman out from a textbook.
By the way, from the family name to household register, Asahina was officially Tsubaki’s step-father. But since the time she was born, Tsubaki had never addressed her biological father with “Father” and since she also didn’t want to admit Kurahashi as her father, she started to address Asahina with “Father” because of this sentiment.
And thus at the appointed day of the Christmas party.
Tsubaki and her parents get into the car and headed for the villa at the Kamakura city.
Inside the car, the newlywed had a sweet conversation to the level it was sickening for Tsubaki that she wants to vomit sugar for a few times already. Encouraging each other through the car’s rearview mirror, Tsubaki and the chauffeur, Fuha, could pass their hardship together and safely arrived at the Asahina household’s villa.
Step out from the car, Tsubaki was overwhelmed with the villa’s size in front of her eyes.
“Waa. What a big house. Father, what is that building over there? It looks like a westernized building.” (Tsubaki)
“Ahh that, that’s the Dancehall. The party will be held over there. That building has been built since Meiji era, that’s really an old building if I had to say.” (Asahina) (TN: the Meiji era is around 1868 – 1912 AD.)
“Amazing! Ah, but I can’t dance.”
Realizing that she never had any dance lesson at this late hour, Tsubaki drops her shoulder.
I never thought there would be a Dancehall. Tsubaki began to made excuse for herself.
“The children usually gathered up together with other children and there’s a resting room right next to the Dancehall, so if you feel tired it’s okay for you to take a rest there.”
That’s why it’s okay even if you do not dance. After heard this words from Asahina, Tsubaki felt relieved somehow.
At the entrance, the other Asahina family members who had arrived first were gathered together and exchange greetings.
Around this time Tsubaki realized there was a girl who had been watching her since her arrival.
From her appearance, she had a look like a foreigner with thin pigment, and she had a look that almost identical like Kaoru. From this Tsubaki guess she might be the daughter of Asahina’s little sister. But Tsubaki didn’t remember she had done anything that would made her to be watched like this.
For some reason the girl was being vigilant toward Tsubaki.
Is it because I am one of the Mizushima? Or maybe a jealousy because I had taken her beloved uncle? Even after thinking for a few possible reason, Tsubaki still couldn’t grasp the clear picture.
After exchange greetings with his relatives, Asahina began to move toward the girl, took her hand and walk toward Tsubaki.
“Tsubaki-chan. This is the girl I told you the other day, my sister’s daughter, her name is Anna. Now Anna, where is your greetings?” (Asahina)
“… Pleased to meet you. I am Yakumo Anna.” (Anna)
Somehow Anna was looking at Tsubaki like she was evaluating her.
“My name is Asahina Tsubaki. It is my pleasure to meet you.” (Tsubaki)
Tsubaki wanted to loosen Anna’s vigilance somehow so she shows her best smile to Anna, but sadly there’s no effect at all.
“What’s wrong? Usually, you are not a girl who would shy just by meeting a stranger though. Ah, are you feeling sick?” (Asahina)
“I have car sickness while on my way here.” (Anna)
“I see. Are you okay? Want to lay down somewhere?” (Asahina)
“No, it’s okay uncle. I will just take a seat and rest inside.” (Anna)
Right after saying that, Anna immediately took her leave and go inside the villa’s living room.
I see, so she was feeling sick, can’t be helped then. Stop thinking too deeply into this matter Tsubaki then continued her greetings with the other relatives.
When a notice about Anna’s mother’s, Yakumo Emily, arrival would be delayed because of her work was heard by Yuriko, she found it to be very regrettable.
Done with her greetings around the relatives that had come, Tsubaki entered the villa and go to the Living room. In there she found the other children have already made a group of their own.
Tsubaki was not really good with suddenly plunging into a group like that so she’s quietly taking a seat beside her mother.
“Tsubaki-san? You are not playing with the others?” (Yuriko)
“I prefer to be together with Mother.” (Tsubaki)
It has been decided that Yuriko will address Tsubaki as “Tsubaki-san” in this kind of social party, but Tsubaki still can’t get used with this way of act and speech of her mother even until now.
Yuriko’s image in Tsubaki was a woman who lacks general common sense and a little air-headed. When seeing her mother’s camouflage that was so perfect like this at her first time, Tsubaki was almost wanted to ask “Ma’am, who are you?” to her mother to make sure she is Yuriko.
At the other side of Tsubaki’s sentiment, the conversation of the madams of the Asahina household was getting more fired up. While kept their speech and act as elegant as possible, these madams were persistently wanted to hear more about Yuriko’s love story with Asahina from the person herself.
And about Yuriko, while she was narrating her love story on how she began to fall in love with Asahina, every time she opens her mouth, her cheek getting redder and redder while excluding an aura like a girl who was in love for the first time.
‘What a lovely person’ that was what each of the madams has in their eyes while looking at Yuriko and listening to her story.
“Isn’t that right, isn’t that right? My mother is the cutest, right?” Tsubaki was boasting her mother in her mind while took a sip of tea.
While the madams finished heard Yuriko’s love story, they began to change the subject to Haruki and Asahina.
“It was really a feast for the eyes when Mizushima-sama and Kaoru-sama are together.”
“The distance they have when being together was way too close. It is to the level of arousing one suspicion, don’t you agree?”
And etc, etc. The madams were talking while blushing.
In the middle of their talk, Asahina comes with glass in hand and took a seat beside Yuriko.
Since they spread a rumor while the person in question was not around, seems like the madams having a guilty conscience. Each of them holds their tongue while having an indescribable expression.
However, Asahina just smiles as if he didn’t mind what they had said—- and drop the bomb.
“Ah, that reminds me when I was still in the university sometimes I heard the girls were saying ‘Even the thin book was pale in comparison when seeing Mizushima-kun and Asahina-kun are together.’ I still don’t get it what they meant by that even until now.” (Asahina) (TN: The Thin book here mean Doujinshi. I don’t have to explain it further, right? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) )
“!? BUFFUUUUU!!” (Tsubaki)
The tea Tsubaki drank was magnificently coming out from her mouth.
OI! Fujoshi!! What did you teach to those girls!!?
Yuriko just saying “Ara ara” while took out a handkerchief and wipe Tsubaki’s mouth. Tsubaki could only stay still at her mother’s mercy.
After her mouth being wiped, Tsubaki looks at the children’s group. There, Tsubaki found Anna was looking at her with her mouth wide open.
Is it so unusual to seeing someone spewing their tea? Well, of course, it is. Thought Tsubaki with consent.
Evening. The invitee began to come into the Dancehall one after another.
Different with the Mizushima house, the Asahina house had a lot of relatives. That was one of the reasons why the Asahina household gathering needed a wide and big space.
What’s more the family from Asahina’s grandmother seems to be attending too. The place was filled with foreigner here and there in no time.
Because her parents were busy with greetings the other relatives, Tsubaki was standing around the corner of the room while looking at the crowds.
Suddenly Tsubaki’s hair was being pulled from behind. Her hair was being pulled so hard that made Tsubaki’s neck where bent back.
‘Which stupid brat who’s pulling my hair!?’ holding her anger, Tsubaki then turn around looking for the culprit. And the one she found was a pretty boy with blonde hair, standing tall as if he was looking down on her.
The boy seems to have the same age as Tsubaki. Tsubaki really wanted to complain to the boy right now but remembered where she was, she held her tongue.
The boy was talking about something to Tsubaki with the other side of his mouth raised up.
Tsubaki thought that what he spoke was probably a German language, seeing that some of the foreigners were also attending the party, he must be a person from the family of Asahina’s grandmother’s side. For the German language, sadly Tsubaki only knew a little about it.
And from the boy’s attitude and the way he spoke, it was very clear that he was saying something very bad toward Tsubaki. What’s more, seeing that Tsubaki doesn’t understand what he was saying, the boy’s speech was getting more heated up.
Although the adults should have noticed the situation Tsubaki had, there is no one who willing to help her.
What Tsubaki could only do here was observing everything that was currently happening right now. And what she got from watching the stance the adult took are,
One; the boy’s family have a higher position in the Asahina household—
Seeing Tsubaki who had kept her silence without spoke any words, the boy was sighed as if he lost interest in her.
And he throws one last word toward Tsubaki.
Although Tsubaki doesn’t understand the German language, there are still some words she knows.
What the words the boy was saying had a word “Mutter” in it, which mean “Mother” in English, from there Tsubaki took it that he must be saying something about her mother.
When the adults heard what the boy had said, there are some who shake their head in disagreement with the attitude of the boy, and there are also some who were showing a surprised expression.
Adding all of those into her observation, Tsubaki arrive at another point,
—Two; he has insulted my mother.
At the moment Tsubaki arrived at this point,
She throws a right straight punch at the face of the boy without holding back.
After that, the boy was crying as if he was caught in a fire, and Tsubaki was taken out from the room by the adults who only knew the outcome from the commotion.
Asked by the adults, Tsubaki told everything that has happened from how the boy had verbally abused her and insulted her mother.
Heard the explanation of Tsubaki, some of the adults who had watched the commotion from the beginning gave their agreement with Tsubaki. Asahina, who had come to check on her daughter, also received an explanation of what has happened.
When Asahina heard the explanation, he was frowning at the main problem, that Tsubaki had raised her hand.
Asahina then began to apologize to the others who were questioning Tsubaki and took her into another room to have a talk alone with his daughter.
Inside the room, Tsubaki then began to explain everything to Asahina, she also said that she didn’t have any regret at what she did because the boy was insulting her mother.
Heard Tsubaki’s explanation, Asahina made an indescribable face as he seems to be at his wit’s end.
I see, so the boy’s family was really from a high standing position. Did I just put myself in a real pinch here? Thought Tsubaki with anxiety.
“As a father, I can’t really agree with you to solve a problem with violence. But, it’s not like I don’t understand what you feel.” (Asahina)
“… Father, did you know what he was saying about me and Mother?” (Tsubaki)
“Tsubaki-chan, it’s okay for you to don’t understand it. I will talk with his parents after this so leave everything to me, okay? You should take it easy now.” (Asahina)
Asahina was talking with a smile on his face, but Tsubaki believes this is the pattern where he won’t say anything to her.
If she pushed too hard here, there’s a possibility where she might make Asahina angry, and Tsubaki didn’t want that to happen. Tsubaki was still unsatisfied with this, but she began to convinced herself that it is good she can silence the boy before he insulted her mother more than this.
Returning together with Asahina to the parlor room, Tsubaki saw her mother, who had heard what has happened, waiting for Tsubaki. Seeing Tsubaki, Yuriko immediately go to where Tsubaki was and gave a lot of scolding.
In the middle of scolding Tsubaki, Yuriko was muttered “See? I knew it, her true nature will come out sooner or later.” Of course, Tsubaki didn’t miss this.
At this time Tsubaki came to understand what she once heard “If you want to make a person be elegant, it would be impossible if you only change their outer appearance.”
The next day, Anna brought the boy, who had a swollen eye from crying to the garden where Tsubaki was strolling around.
“Tsubaki-san. I want to apologize for what my cousin had done last night. I am really sorry.” (Anna)
The boy followed Anna’s lead and apologize to Tsubaki, but he had a face as if he doesn’t content with this. The boy’s attitude was clearly showed that he didn’t understand what he had done wrong.
About the boy, seems like he was also got scolding a lot by his parents. Although the boy just playing deaf at that time.
“Enough with your apology.” (Tsubaki)
Hearing on what Tsubaki said, the boy looks at Tsubaki with a face as if he was saying “I’m apologizing to you here, you know?”
Based on that attitude, Tsubaki presumes he understands Japanese language and began to explain what he had done last night in Japanese.
“You are apologizing to me right now but, do you really understand what you had done wrong?” (Tsubaki)
The boy averts his eyes away from Tsubaki. In other words, he didn’t know.
An apology wouldn’t have any weight without sincerity. The boy doesn’t understand the weight of words at all. That was why, without thinking about the other party’s standing, he spoke without consideration to them, just like what has happened last night.
Tsubaki then repeated what the boy had done to her last night, with the same expression and tone toward the boy in the Japanese language.
The boy understood what Tsubaki was saying to him, his face suddenly went red in anger and he began to glare at Tsubaki.
“Seems like you understand now. That was how I felt last night.” (Tsubaki)
Tsubaki then looked at the boy as if she was saying “See? It’s pissed you off, right?”. The boy’s expression suddenly changed from anger to shame as soon as he realized on how bad the words he said toward Tsubaki last night.
Anna, who was quietly watching beside the boy, began to urge the boy to apologize again. At this time, the boy was properly saying his apology toward Tsubaki as Tsubaki can felt the sincerity in his words.
“Allow me to apologize too, I had raised my hand at you last night, and for that I am sorry. By the way, you had a nosebleed because of me, wasn’t it? Have you take care of your nose properly?” (Tsubaki)
Without any hesitation, Tsubaki moves closer to have a look at the nose of the boy, or rather she was staring hard at his nose.
The boy’s face suddenly goes red as he retreated with his hand raised to make sure Tsubaki didn’t get closer and he started to spoke something in the German language.
“Tsubaki-san, he said ‘your face is too close’.” (Anna)
“If I didn’t get closer I can’t check his nose properly. Also, this kid. He understands Japanese, no?” (Tsubaki)
“It’s still too hard for him to speak Japanese. What did you say? Ah yes yes. Tsubaki-san, this kid’s name is Leon Groth Klois. He said he didn’t mind if you called him Leo.” (Anna)
“Eh? I won’t called him that, you know?” (Tsubaki)
Tsubaki had no intention of getting along with him in particular, so she did not intend to call him Leo.
“See? I told you! There are no people who want to get along with someone who had insulted them. To begin with, just because it was your first time seeing her around, you gone and made fun of her but got the table turned on you, are you stupid or something?” (Anna)
“About that, I already apologized to her, and I mean it. There is only yes man around me so it’s kinda boring. Also, I’m not stupid.” (Leon)
“What’s with that excuse? Oh right, could you stop playing can’t speak Japanese and start speaking with her yourself? You look like a loser, you know? Ah right, you are a loser.” (Anna)
“Shut up!” (Leon)
For some reason the two began to had a quarrel in German language, Tsubaki could only watch the two as their exchange getting more fired up.
It won’t be a surprise if Tsubaki and the two get a cold if they stayed too long in the garden where the temperature was really low. And while Tsubaki was thinking to go to someplace warmer, at the perfect timing, one of the Asahina’s servant came to them and lead Tsubaki and the two into a room with a fireplace.
On their way, Leon was caught by his parents where they had waiting for him. Although it couldn’t be said he followed them quietly, in the end, he and his parents returning to their home first.
Anna passed a word to Tsubaki about Leon would write a letter to her so he will be waiting for her reply, but of course, Tsubaki have not any idea about the German language so she didn’t have any plan to live up to Leon’s expectation.
Tsubaki could finally take a breath as the storm(Leon) has passed.
Tsubaki then took a seat at the sofa that was close to her.
Inside the room, there are only Tsubaki and Anna. Tsubaki had realized this as she was looking around the room.
About Anna, she had taken a seat on the sofa across Tsubaki. For some reason, Anna was looking at Tsubaki as if she was searching for something. Straightened her back, Anna then began to spoke to Tsubaki.
“By the way, Tsubaki-san.” (Anna)
“Yes, what is it?” (Tsubaki)
“Do you have any plan to tackle a certain someone off from the rooftop on the day of the graduation ceremony in high school?” (Anna)
Tsubaki didn’t understand what Anna was saying to her, the topic Anna was talking about was too sudden that made Tsubaki couldn’t process the information at all. But shortly after, she understands what Anna meant. [Koi Hana], what Anna was talked about was the Bad End where it was dubbed the Normal End by the author.
However, why did she know this information about [Koi Hana]?
Is she perhaps, a reincarnated person like me? With that in mind, Tsubaki returns Anna’s question with a question.
“…. To begin with, a character named Asahina never came out in the first place, right?” (Tsubaki)
“Or rather, why your mother is still alive?” (Anna)
“Maybe because I had recalled this world was a game when I was at 4-year-old and do my best to do something about that situation.” (Tsubaki)
“…. So, what are you in your previous life?” (Anna)
“A woman in her thirties. A secretary. And you?” (Tsubaki)
“Same, a woman in her thirties. A childcare worker. Get surrounded by little girls is my hobby.” (Anna)
“Officer-san, over here.” (Tsubaki)
Unlike Tsubaki, Anna didn’t have her memories of her previous life right from she was born. She started to recall her memories when she heard Tsubaki’s name from Asahina, since then she began to aware that she was inside [Koi Hana]’s world.
Why? Anna began to seek for an answer about why Tsubaki’s mother is still alive, what’s more, she would have her second marriage with her uncle. In the game, Tsubaki and Yuriko’s personality had a very negative impact in Anna, if their personality still the same as in the game it was not a laughing matter for Anna as she could see it very clear that the Asahina house would go to ruin.
However, after meeting with the person in question, Yuriko’s personality was far off from what Anna know. Also, Anna didn’t miss how unbecoming of Tsubaki was at that one time.
Since then Anna had a suspicion if Tsubaki was maybe a reincarnated person like her.
Spot on with what she had guessed, the two began to exchange their personal information and knowing the two had almost the same age in their previous life, time began to pass as they have fun conversing together without holding back.
With how heavy a secret the two have, they found it to be very relieving to know they had someone they can share their secret with.
Thus, Tsubaki found a friend who could be said to be her one-lifetime partner.