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Published at 11th of November 2019 11:58:03 AM

Chapter 23

ED : Jingle


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On the way home from her private lessons, Tsubaki remembered that her father’s birthday was getting near .

Ever since she’s got into primary school, Tsubaki has been given pocket money from her parents . However, getting pocket money without doing anything made her feel ashamed, so she asked them to change their way of giving her allowance .

At first, she gave them a piece of paper where she had written a price list for her services, such as;

Wash the dishes 100 Yen ($1) Clean up the entrance 200 Yen ($2) Air the laundry 300 Yen ($3)

And of course, they disapproved of this idea .

As expected, her parents had the view that housework is the servants’ job . And the idea Tsubaki had was the same as someone who was going to steal others’ responsibility in their eyes, so they gave her a light warning about this matter .

Nevertheless, seeing that their daughter was still displeased with their decision, they gave her a job of “Look after Sumire,” although reluctantly .

I’m doing that every day . How is it different? This what Tsubaki wanted to ask them, but realizing it wouldn’t do her any good if she kept making things hard for her parents, she decided to get her pocket money by becoming Sumire’s playmate .

Since this job was an everyday thing, even with a small amount of reward, she could get more than enough money if it was saved for a year . So buying a present for her father’s birthday would not pose any problem at all .

Tsubaki calculated her pocket money in her head and then concluded a necktie would be okay with her current allowance . Thinking of having the driver stop at the shop they always use, Tsubaki addressed him .

 

“There’s someplace I want you to take me to . ” (Tsubaki)

“Where would you like to go?”

“To Ginza, please . Otou-sama’s birthday is getting near, right? I’m planning to give him a necktie as his birthday present . ” (Tsubaki)

“I see, it’s already that time . I take it that you would not mind shopping at the store that master usually uses then?”

“Yes, please . ” (Tsubaki)

 

Changing the lane, they then entered the route headed for their next destination, Ginza .

The driver’s name was Fuwa, who was employed as the driver, and the bodyguard of the Asahina family .

Going to work and home, her father basically uses the company car, while her mother rarely goes out, so the one who frequently spends time with Fuwa is Tsubaki .

For a child like Tsubaki, a car is a vital daily necessity . Plus, she had hope for someone who would listen to her somewhat absurd requests .

Thus, by spending time together, Tsubaki and Fuwa’s interactions deepened .

Although what was happening was mostly a one-sided interaction by Tsubaki . Such as; telling what happened at school, or what she was doing at her private lessons, or informing she could finally do 100m swim, or how hard it is to prepare the sweets at her tea ceremony lesson and what song she had been taught at her piano lesson .

At first, Fuwa had kept a clear line between private and professional matters, so he would always give Tsubaki business-like replies . However, perhaps because he had gotten used to her master’s daughter talking to him casually or perhaps because he had grown attached to the girl who idolized him, Fuwa began asking Tsubaki about the topics she would bring up .

 

Considering that Fuwa had gradually opened up to her, Tsubaki believed he would at least listen to her request . So she requested him to bring her to a park on the way back home from her private lessons, even if only for a little while .

Fuwa hesitated at first . Still, with how Tsubaki always pestered him, he finally permitted it with the condition that she would not go too far from him .

When she went to the park accompanied by Fuwa, Tsubaki played on the swing with everything she had (Fuwa immediately stopped her), stood on top of the monkey bars (Fuwa immediately stopped her), and used her full power on the spinning jungle gym (Fuwa immediately stopped her) .


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On their way home, the one who was exhausted the most was Fuwa . And in the end, Tsubaki got scolded by him .

 

“… . Tsubaki-sama . What would you do if you got injured?” (Fuwa)

” Children are beings that grow up with injuries . Also, I won’t die from just a scratch . ” (Tsubaki)

 

Ahaha, laughed Tsubaki as Fuwa let out a troubled sigh .

 

“”As the heiress of the Asahina house, I hope you would be more conscious of yourself . ” Right? I’m aware of it, okay . ”

 

Fuwa’s wrinkles deepened as Tsubaki’s words overlapped with his .

 

“If you are, please act with more prudence from now on . ” (Fuwa)

“Okay, I promise I won’t play carelessly again . ” (Tsubaki)

 

Feeling that she won’t be able to play at the park again, Tsubaki readily made a promise with Fuwa to use the park’s playground equipment more carefully .

To be honest, Tsubaki was planning to steadily go with this flow and get Fuwa’s permission to go to a convenience store . But she thought it was still too early for now and decided to be more patient and wait until Fuwa lowered his acceptance line .

 

“Tsubaki-sama, we are here . ” (Fuwa)

 

While she was reminiscing about her barter with Fuwa, they had arrived at one of the stores in Ginza . The back seat door was opened for her, then Tsubaki got out of the car and took a step inside the store .

Within the Italian brand menswear store, lots of suits and accessories of every kind were lined up .

Since she had decided what she would get, Tsubaki immediately headed there without letting her gaze wander .

 

“Hey, between this blue and red neckties, which one would look better on Otou-sama?” (Tsubaki)

“I think either one would suit master well . ” (Fuwa)

“What an unreliable answer . Fine then, I’ll take both . Fuwa . ” (Tsubaki)

“Certainly . ” (Fuwa)

 

Fuwa immediately called one of the store’s clerks who was near them and passed the neckties after informing them those were a gift .

And while Fuwa was passing the neckties, Tsubaki could feel a gaze filled with malice somewhere from behind her .

As a matter of fact, she had noticed this gaze by the time she entered the store, but she decided to disregard it .


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She had hoped to finish her business here quickly before getting caught in troublesome matters, yet that wish wasn’t answered .

 

“Ah, as I had expected, you were indeed Yuriko-san’s daughter . Even your ambiance and looks are exactly like her . Is Yuriko-san doing well?”

 

Turning toward the person who called her, Tsubaki was met with a woman who was looking down on her .

Tsubaki had a recollection of her face . Memory, or rather, she was one of the Game’s characters that she had seen multiple times, so it wasn’t strange for Tsubaki to know her .

Nevertheless, since this would be her first time meeting this woman, Tsubaki acted like a stranger .

 

“Pleased to meet you . My name is Asahina Tsubaki . Are you perhaps one of my mother’s acquaintances? If so, please pardon me for not knowing you . And yes, my mother is doing really well . ” (Tsubaki)

 

Thus answered Tsubaki toward the woman–Naoko–Mio’s mother .

Yes, it was Mio’s mother who was standing in front of her . Inside the Game, she was described as a strong-hearted and somewhat willful woman, but perhaps because her bad personality showed through, she was making a considerably willful face in reality .

I’ve actually met her in a place like this, huh . How unlucky, thought Tsubaki as she cursed her misfortune .

Not knowing what Tsubaki was thinking, Naoko then continued while looking at her with an evaluating gaze .

 

“Ara, is that so . Well, let’s leave that aside . I’ve heard it, you know? It seems like all the gentlemen in your school are becoming your yes-man . As expected of Yuriko-san’s daughter . That person too had a crowd of gentlemen accompanying her all the time . It is exactly like that saying, like mother like daughter, don’t you agree?” (Naoko)

 

Tsubaki was bewildered by what Naoko said and wished to know where she got this information that was so off the mark with reality .

Thereupon, Fuwa, who had heard what Naoko said, was going to stand in front of Tsubaki, but she told him to stand down by gesturing with her hand behind her back .

Shortly after, Tsubaki put her brain to work on how to deal the most damage to this rude woman .

If they have a direct confrontation like this, Tsubaki can’t rule out the possibility of Naoko saying rude remarks toward her mother . However, only standing by without doing any retaliation also doesn’t sit well with Tsubaki .

That reminds me, in my previous life, one of my coworkers in the secretarial section often made her coworkers blow up by unconsciously dealing damage to them .  With that in mind, Tsubaki immediately tried to put that into practice .

After taking a lung full of air, Tsubaki talked to Naoko with the best smile she had ever mustered .

 

“Maa! To think my mother was adored by so many gentlemen, that’s my mother for you! Of course, with that appearance and graceful nature of hers, the gentlemen of her year–No! Of the entire school would definitely adore her! Since she was a frail and fragile woman by nature, it must have made those gentlemen want to help her within their capacity .

What’s more, with how modest she is, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that she is the very image of a modern Yamatonadeshiko . I also heard she had excellent academic scores in her school days, and even all of the underclassmen female students were addressing her with “Onee-sama . ” As expected of my mother . She’s just like the incarnation of a holy mother–No! She is the holy mother herself! To think I have a mother who is so refined, kind, modest, and yet so courageous . What a blessed daughter I am, don’t you agree?” (Tsubaki)

 

Without even giving any chance for the other party to talk back, Tsubaki cheerfully fired all of the words above in one breath .

And it seems Tsubaki being an airhead was an effective weapon against Naoko . When she realized that her sarcastic comments don’t work on Tsubaki, Naoko gritted her teeth irritatedly while stabbing the little girl in front of her with a piercing glare .

It didn’t matter if Naoko threw a fit of rage and bellowed angrily at her . Or rather, Tsubaki would welcome it . Since if she started to make a scene by yelling towards a nine-year-old girl in a place where a lot of pedestrians were walking by, it wouldn’t be a surprise if it created quite a hot topic for gossip and it spread quickly . It would only turn her into a laughing stock .

 


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“… . and yet, despite being adored by so many, she chose that third son(spare) of a mid-scale company’s president of Asahina house as her spouse . He matched her well, indeed . ” (Naoko)

 

As expected from an experienced person, Naoko didn’t take the bait at all . Sensing that she had failed to rile Naoko up, Tsubaki clicked her tongue in her mind .

However, without killing the momentum, Tsubaki kept pressing forward .

 

“It is as you said indeed! Asahina otou-sama is such a wonderful person, you know? He has always taken care of me dearly . Also, my mother smiles a lot more because of him, and it has polished her beauty even further . As I expected, after personally seeing my mother, I realized that women can exhibit their true beauty when they are being loved . … By the way, ma’am . I still don’t know your name, so may I know who am I speaking with? You were praising my mother this much, surely you also love her as much, no?” (Tsubaki)

 

Although it was questionable whether Naoko was praising her mother, toward a person like Naoko, it was more effective to be roundabout while saying, “Hey, how does it feel?” than countering head-on .

What’s more, Tsubaki didn’t insult the other party at all . All she did was praise her parents .

And to rub salt on the wound, Tsubaki asked her, “Who are you?” which had an underlying tone of, “To talk casually to me without introducing yourself, where are your manners?”

Also, since she felt it would be rude toward her father, Kaoru, Tsubaki decided not to bring up any topic about the matter with Kurahashi .

It seems like the line where Tsubaki said, “Also love her as much,” hurt her pride the most . Naoko’s face then went red in anger, and Tsubaki clearly noticed this .

 

“… . Really! It seems like there are only flowers inside those heads of you both . Your mother, you see! Had married someone else beloved, you know?” (Naoko)

“Ara, surely that happened because my mother hadn’t known of that fact . If she knew that person already had a beloved, my mother would definitely be the one who would give up on him . Besides, the one who was at fault was the lady who didn’t get chosen in the end . Well, if he didn’t want to be married to her, even if it would cost him everything, that just shows how unattractive that lady was . I wouldn’t say my mother doesn’t have any fault in this; however, I think it is unfair to blame everything on my mother in this matter . ” (Tsubaki)

 

Hearing that Naoko brought up the taboo topic of her mother, Tsubaki chuckled in her mind .

Naoko was talking as if it was another person’s problem when the fact is she was the culprit .

Still, if Naoko got more cornered by Tsubaki like this, it would possibly turn her annoyance and hatred towards Yuriko .

Naoko could still keep her calm, probably because she assumed Tsubaki didn’t know the identity of her conversation partner

And she also might have found it unbelievable that this nine-year-old girl was saying words filled with sarcasm masterfully .

I think it’s about time to pull out . Now then, how should I end this? Thought Tsubaki .

At that moment, the driver, Fuwa, cut into their conversation with perfect timing .

 

“Pardon me . Tsubaki-sama, it’s about time for us to return . I will have to explain everything that happened here to master and the others if we are late to return home . Well then, ma’am, excuse us . ” (Fuwa)

“Ara, it’s about time already? What about Otou-sama’s birthday present?” (Tsubaki)

“I have received it . Now then, Tsubaki-sama . You shouldn’t cause any more worry for the master like this . ” (Fuwa)

“You are right . …So that’s how it is, ma’am . With this, I bid you farewell . Gokigenyou . ” (Tsubaki)

 

The lines Fuwa said toward Naoko had an implication of a threat in which, if you were going to speak more than this, I’d report this to the Asahina and Mizushima house .

Seeming troubled by the idea of her encounter with Tsubaki getting turned into a serious matter, Naoko kept silent in frustration . And so Tsubaki left that place after giving a single last glance at Naoko .

If she’s only that much, I guess I don’t have to worry about what she would try to do later, thought Tsubaki as she let out an evil grin on the back seat .

 

“I’m sorry for that shop, but I won’t go there for the second time . Though the present isn’t at fault, so I won’t return it . Also, not a word about what happened today to Okaa-sama, got it?” (Tsubaki)

“Understood . ” (Fuwa)

 

Tsubaki told Fuwa to keep that event a secret from her mother, but on a side note, it also meant she didn’t mind if he reports it to her father .

After arriving home, right after entering the house Tsubaki saw her mother was waiting worriedly for her .

 

“Tsubaki-chan, where have you been? I was so worried, you know . ” (Yuriko)

“I’m sorry, Okaa-sama . I was looking for Otou-sama’s birthday present, and it took longer than I’d thought . ” (Tsubaki)

“I see . So, did you get a good present for him?” (Yuriko)

“Yes!” (Tsubaki)

 

Answered Tsubaki cheerfully, but remembering her encounter with Naoko, Tsubaki’s mood turned gloomy .

It’s because that was the first time she got showered by a genuine hatred after her reincarnation .

And that event became a wake-up call inside her tepid and lukewarm daily life .

To replenish her happiness supply, Tsubaki hugged her mother without saying a word .

Yuriko was surprised by her daughter’s sudden action; however, she was also pleased seeing her daughter that was so independent behaving like a spoiled child after a long time and patted her head in return .

 

“Ara ara, what’s wrong? This is so rare to see you acting like this, Tsubaki-chan . ” (Yuriko)

“… . It’s because I can’t have Okaa-sama for myself in these recent years . ” (Tsubaki)

 

Hearing her daughter saying she was just feeling lonely, Yuriko immediately crouches down and returned her daughter’s hug .

 

“You are a wonderful person, Okaa-sama . And I’m really proud to have a mother like you . ” (Tsubaki)

“Maa, I’m glad to hear that . I’m also proud to have a daughter like you, you know? Although I hope you can do something about your tomboy-ish side . ” (Yuriko)

“Please give up on that . ” (Tsubaki)

 

Mou, this girl! said Yuriko as she pouted at her daughter’s immediate reply .

All of the Asahina family’s servants were watching over the mother and daughter banter with a warm gaze .

The next day, Tsubaki was given an expensive pudding by her father after he returned home while saying: “Here Tsubaki-chan, a gift . For your perseverance . ” and she realized that Fuwa has reported what had happened on that day to him .



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