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Chapter 244 : Futile effort

「I should be on the defendant’s seat as well, shouldn’t I?」

Nagisa smiles at『Kakka』

「Yes, you’re the first wrongdoer in this case」

『Kakka』answers with a faint laugh.

「Come Mao…let’s go to Onii-chan’s side」

Nagisa tells her three years old daughter.

「Okaaay~! Hey, Mama?」
「What?」
「What’s『defendant』?」
「It’s a person investigated whether he did something bad or not」
「Eh? Mao and Mama are going to be examined whether they did something bad?」
「That’s right」

Nagisa smiles calmly…

「Well fine…Mao didn’t do anything wrong!」
「That’s right. That’s why there’s no problem even if we’re investigated right?…!」

Then…the two come to my side.
Fujimiya-san and Seki-san in front…
Behind them is Ruriko-san and Yoshiko-san…
They’re looking at us with an anxious face.
Everyone’s afraid that we’re going to be disposed by『Kakka』
Everyone believes that『Kakka』is the absolute ruler of this place.1

「It’ll be fine…don’t worry」

In such a tense air…Nagisa speaks to Misuzu and me.
Nagisa’s smile gives Misuzu courage.

「…Grandfather, I can’t consent being subjected to such a trial」

…She tells her grandfather in the judge seat.

「I have done nothing to receive such accusation!」

『Kakka』counterattacks…

「Even though I have a『fiance』decided for you…isn’t it a sin to exchange affection to another man?」
「Yes. Of course」

Misuzu answers immediately.

「…W-What part of me are you dissatisfied?! Misuzu-sama?!」

Unable to endure the tense air any longer… the『fiance』Shiba Takahiko speaks up.

「…That part」
「…What?」
「You’re calling me who’s four years younger than you with a『-Sama』…」
「However…that is…!」

Shiba Takahiko tries to speak up but…he looks at『Kakka’s』face in surprise…

「…I’m very sorry. Uhm…I spoke without『Kakka’s』permission」

Four years older than Misuzu…then he’s college student?
Even though he’s taller and has a better physique than『Kakka』…Shiba Takahiko’s afraid of him.
『Kakka』then…

「I don’t mind…let’s have the prosecutor question the defendant first. Be sure to throw out all everything that’s inside your heart…」
「T-That’s…」
「Takahiko-kun, you’re going to be Misuzu’s husband aren’t you? If you’re no match against your wife…you won’t be a leader of the Kouzuki group…!」

『Kakka』fuels Shiba Takahiko…
His mouth is smiling but…his eyes are serious.

「Y-Yes…I’ll do my best. I’ll endeavor myself seriously…!」

Shiba Takahiko is under『Kakka’s』control…

「Let me tell you beforehand…」

Misuzu speaks to Shiba Takahiko…

「I’m very sorry for this selfish arrangement but…I would like to cancel grandfather’s decision about my engagement with Takahiko-san. I’m sorry…!」

Misuzu bows her head to Shiba Takahiko.
For the time being…I’ll bow together.

「Fortunately…it’s still a private talk…it’s not publicly announced that Takahiko-san is my『fiance』 I think that it won’t hurt Takahiko-san’s career」

Misuzu said clearly

「Is this the fault of that man over there?」

Shiba Takahiko opens up his mouth.

「That’s right. I’m going out with this person」
「Isn’t he just a brat?」
「He’s only a year younger than me. A first year high school boy」
「Uhm…from which house are you? Which department in Kouzuki group is your father…?」

Shiba Takahiko thinks that I’m someone from a noble family somewhere.
Inside Kouzuki group as well.

「This person isn’t a member of any household」
「…What do you mean?」

…Err

「I’m just a commoner. Or rather, I may be poorer than a commoner」

Yeah…My father disappeared

「Commoner?…Why is that person…?」

It seems that Misuzu got annoyed at what Shiba Takahiko said.

「He’s the man I’m in love with…it doesn’t matter to you!」
「It does! I am your『fiance』!」

Shiba Takahiko’s confused.

「Also…I’m the official『fiance』chosen by『Kakka』!」
「I just annulled that『engagement』just now!」
「You’re born from Kouzuki house so your duty is to be married to a certain『fiance』decided by『Kakka』!?」
「Please don’t decide my life without permission!」

Misuzu said clearly.
Shiba Takahiko trembles from Misuzu’s thorough rejection…
But still, he tries to bring it on his own pace.

「M-Misuzu-sama…No, Misuzu-san…Uhm, is it okay to call you Misuzu-san?」

He’s trying to build a friendly relationship?
…But

「Takahiko-kun…shouldn’t you just call her Misuzu without any suffix?」

『Kakka』speaks with a sour expression.

「Yes, C-Certainly. 『Kakka』…」

Trembling…Shiba Takahiko looks at Misuzu.

「I’m very sorry but, according to『Kakka’s』request…I will be calling you with only your first name…Miー」

At the moment Shiba Takahiko tries to speak…

「I refuse…I don’t want to be called by you as such!」

Misuzu clearly rejects…

「No but, that…『Kakka』asked me to call you…」
「It’s wrong for grandfather to tell you how to call me」

Shiba Takahiko tries to use『Kakka’s』authority to stand above Misuzu.
Therefore, Misuzu denies『Kakka’s』authority

「Err…that」

Shiba Takahiko looks at Misuzu and『Kakka』alternately.
Looking troubled…

「…I-I’ve made so much effort all this itme!」

Eh…what are you talking about?
Seki-san and Fujimiya-san…the spectators of the room are all stunned.

「One year ago…when『Kakka』has nominated me as your fiance…I’ve always been working so hard!」

…Hmmm
What is he talking about?

「Just what on earth is the effort you’re talking about…?」

Misuzu asked interestingly.

「…T-That is…everything and anything」

Shiba Takahiko speaks desperately.

「I-I’m going to become your husband…the center of the Kouzuki group. I’ve studied about business administration desperately more than ever. I’ll graduate at the top of the university. Definitely…I promise. I’ll make an effort. Next year, I’ll study in US abroad, taking MBA qualification, I’ll make connections with the economic people of each country. I’ll do that. That’s my plan…!」
「That’s got nothing to do with me at all」

Misuzu answered coldly.

「Takahiko-san…your father is a director in the Kouzuk group. Even if you haven’t talked to me…you should be able to join Kouzuki group with your own will and with Takahiko-san’s power, you can be on the top of the management department…there’s no meaning in marrying me, is there?」

Shiba Takahiko…

「Yes…I’m confident reaching a director with my own effort」

「However…more than being a director…you’re aiming to be at the top of the group, I need to be married with you」

This man…
He’s not feeling any love towards Misuzu…?
Since the start, he admitted that this『engagement』is just a『political marriage』

「By becoming a member of Kouzuki family…my success in life would become 120% certain. On the contrary…If I can’t marry you, my probability in winning in life would be halved」
「…Takahiko-san, what is victory in life?」

Misuzu asks.

「Isn’t that obvious?」
「Is it becoming the president of the Kouzuki group…becoming the chairman?」
「…It is to become a wonderful economy man like『Kakka』!」

Shiba Takahiko declares.

「I want to be a powerful economic man like『Kakka』who can move Japan…no, the whole world’s economy…!」

Misuzu…

「You’re free to dream whatever you want. But, I will never be happy in that dream of yours」
「Therefore…I’m doing all my best!」

Shiba Takahiko hits the desk!

「Even I don’t think that I can accept you easily. Either way, I…!」

He glares at me for a moment.

「…There’s no way a man like me can be liked by a lady like you! Therefore I have no choice but to make an effort. No, I have nothing but confidence in my own effort. Ever since I was born, I have always lived to do effort, effort, effort, effort. I’m using all of my effort to become a man you will accept!」

…Err

「…Effort, what kind of effort?」

Misuzu asks.
Un…I also want to know.

「For example…I…you have enjoyed dinner with me at the French Restaurant last night!」

Eh…the two of them?

「Well…your family and mine were having dinner」

Misuzu corrects.
What?…It’s a family dinner?

「At that time…you looked at me with disappointed eyes when I left the vegetables and carrot on the plate…」
「I didn’t make eyes like that」
「No, you did! You did that! You were looking at me with eyes like I’m such a pitiful person!」

Isn’t that just paranoia?

「Therefore…I have doctors and psychotherapist help me create a program to help me eat carrots now!」
「…What?」
「It’ll be a two year long tem program…I’ll be able to eat carrots! I’ll definitely will! You won’t look at me with those kind of eyes again! Never…after two years」

No…
I feel likeー
Misuzu’s looking at Shiba Takahiko with eyes worse than that time…

「A-Also…I’m studying about you seriously」
「Study about me?」
「Yes, I love studying after all!」
「I don’t get it」
「In short…I’ve been looking information about what you like…what’s your food preference, music preference, everything about you!」

Shiba Takahiko takes out a thick report.
He then puts it on the desk.

「Like this…I always carry it around and take a look when I have time! I memorize all of it! For example…what I learned today…You prefer Minami-Aoyama’s『L’radige headquarters’』chocolate!」

Shiba Takahiko said with a smile.

「Yes…that’s certainly right but」

Misuzu answers…

「Look, I’m right. That’s written on the top of the page 32 of the report. The investigation agency I asked is excellent! I have investigated a lot about you…I really know anything!」

Shiba Takahiko gives a victorious smile

「Then…Takahiko-san, have you eaten『L’radige’s』chocolate?」

Misuzu asks…

「No! Mother told me that I’ll get tooth decay when I eat sweets!」

…Hmm
It was a wonderful smile but…

「Even though you haven’t eaten my favorite『L’radige』chocolate and yet…you say that you know everything I like」

Shiba Takahiko points at the report with his fingertips…

「Well…your favorite food are listen in here. If I memorize this, isn’t it equal to knowing your taste? Look, I’m making so much effort for you!」

Now then…what should I do?

「Takahiko-san…you do know that I like Mendelssohn’s piano, don’t you?」
「Of course. If I recall, it’s an information listed on the upper right column of page 24 in this report」
「But…I never want to go to a piano concert with you」

Shiba Takahiko…

「No problem. I don’t have time to go for a concert…I’m not interested in piano in the first place」

What’s going on?
Then…Shiba Takahiko looks at me.

「…You there!」

…What?!

「That’s right…you now understand from our talk just now. I make so much effort to understand this person. By the way…what do you know? There’s no way I would lose when it comes to knowledge about her! That’s how much effort I’ve done!」

…I
Right…thinking about it.
I don’t know anything about Misuzu.
What does she like.

「…Sorry, Misuzu」

I apologized to Misuzu.

「I don’t know anything about Misuzu」

Shiba Takahiko snorts.

「Look, how’s that! I’m making an effort!」

Right…I
Have I ever made effort for Misuzu?

「…Misuzu. I」

Misuzu’s warm hand holds my hand tightly.
Then she smiled.

「Danna-sama’s always doing his best for me」

…Misuzu

「Please have some confidence…besides」

…Eh?

「Isn’t it obvious that we don’t know each other that well?」

Misuzu smiles

「We just have met…that’s why we can just take our time to understand each other」
「…Un」
「Next time, let’s go eat 『L’radige’s』chocolate. Let’s go to a piano concert too. Danna-sama, do you know the composer Mendelssohn?」
「…Only the name」

I feel like I’ve learned about it during music classes…
I don’t know what kind of songs they make however.

「Then, let’s go listen together. Ufufu…I’m looking forward to it」

Misuzu said.

「I will teach Danna-sama what I like…delicious food, amazing things, beautiful things… Let’s watch, listen, eat…with the two of us. Right, Danna-sama」
「Yeah…you’re right」
「Please teach me about Danna-sama’s favorites too」
「I don’t have those kind of things」
「Then, please teach me when you have one. When you think『This song’s good』or『I like this taste』, Then I’ll understand Danna-sama’s preference」
「Haha…it’ll take a lot of time」
「It’s better if it is. We’ll be together for always…!」

…I see.
There’s no need to hurry.
There’s no need to memorize Misuzu’s favorites in hurry…
We can just take our time and know little by little.
That way is fun for sure.
For Misuzu and for me…

「There’s a lot to look forward to…Danna-sama!」

Misuzu clings to me.

「H-Hey…M-Misuzu-sama! Get away…you, get away from Misuzu-sama!」

Shiba Takahiko says in panic but…Misuzu clings further to me.
Or rather…he’s back to calling her『Misuzu-sama』
He’ll stay being Kouzuki house’s vassal for the rest of her life.

「Sorry, Takahiko-san…I can’t accept you at all. I want to live with this person. I do love this person after all…!」

Shiba Takahiko…

「I-I…I made so much effort! I tried so hard1」
「That effort is just unbearably disgusting」

Misuzu answers.

「I hate human relationships where it’s nothing but effort」
「However…in the business world…you build connection with the customers by effort…!」
「What?」
「Like I said…if the customer’s hobby is fishing then I’ll fish…if it’s golf, then make him win by all means…!」
「Please don’t link men-women relationship with business!」

Hearing Misuzu’s voice…Shiba Takahiko looks at『Kakka』
While I’m embraced…
『Kakka’s』grinning.
He’s enjoying Misuzu and Shiba Takahiko’s confrontation.

「No, it’s no different! In our world…marrying a woman is an important business!」
「That’s something I won’t accept. I have someone I love from the bottom of my heart right now!」

Shiba Takahiko’s enraged.

「Isn’t that obvious that man just wants to get into Misuzu-sama’s family! He’s just a bad guy who approached Misuzu-sama! That’s right! That’s obvious! Because he’s a commoner!」

The『fiance』screams loudly.

「…Isn’t that just you? Shiba Takahiko-san?」

Shiba Takahiko’s frozen.

「Even your house…is just an ordinary house until your father became an executive of the Kouzuki group. If I’m going to borrow your words…you’re a『commoner』aren’t you?」

Shiba Takahiko rejects the cold words.

「The past is different from now! My father’s currently a director in the Kouzuki group! Besides, I’m enrolled in a prestigious university, I’m smart! I’ve got the talent! Above all, I make effort! I make effort more than anyone! I’m a special human!」

Shiba Takahiko who’s snapped off exposes his heart one after another.

「A high spec human with high academic background is enduring this much! All of this is to marry you and become the top of the Kouzuki group! If you’re not a daughter of Kouzuki house then I’ll never do this badly! In the first place…no matter how you look at me, I’m popular!」

Oh…I don’t get what he’s saying anymore.

「…You’re right」
「That’s right! My father’s a director…I go to a top-rated university, my car’s Porsche. A Cayenne Porsche. It’s the fourth generation. It’s on a different level! That alone makes women at college come near me! Everyone wants to take the passenger seat! They look forward to going to a fine restaurant I’ll pay up. But, I never dated anyone…I had no special relationship! Do you know why?!」

There’s no way we would.

「If I go out with some strange woman…my future will be damaged! I’ve been told by father and mother ever since I was a child! If I made a child by mistake…then I would have to marry such an idiot and talentless woman! That’s why I make an effort to shake them off!」

Shiba Takahiko screams with his eyes bloodshot.

「Yes, that’s right! I’m a virgin! But I’m not a virgin because I’m not goo with women! I’m making an effort myself to protect my virginity! I chose my own destiny as a virgin and I’m a proud virgin! It’s a honor virgin! A virgin gentleman1 I made effort to be thorough on that!!!」

Shiba Takahiko puffs his chest in pride appealing his virginity.
…But
In the end, this man…
…Isn’t interested in anyone but himself.
Therefore, he hasn’t been in a proper relationship with people…
Perhaps…that will be the same even in the future.

「This virgin me is trying so hard and yet why are you not accepting me!」

He glares at me with eyes of hatred.

「There’s no way this no-value commoner high school by would win against me who made so much effort!」

Misuzu answers.

「Takahiko-san…this person has a charm nobody else has…!」

Shiba Takahiko shouts angrily…!

「There’s no way I would lose to a commoner! Say it, what on earth is he better than me?!」

…Misuzu

「…Sex」

Shiba Takahiko froze
No, everyone in the room…

「…Mama, what’s sex?」

Mao-chan asks Nagisa.

「It’s a very pleasant thing!」
「Eh? Is that so? Mao wants that!」
「When you grow bigger okay?」

Nagisa pats Mao-chan’s head.

「Did you hear it…Yoshiko?」
「Yes. It seems that person knows about sex」2

Un…
The people who doesn’t know the meaning of sex in this room…
The three year old Mao-chan, and Ruriko-sanーYoshiko-san pair…
Ah…Seki-san and Fujimiya-san have a bright red face.
The two of them are unexpectedly pure.
Misuzu kisses my cheek…

「Sex with this person is very wonderful. This person, as a man…he uses his mind and body to love me. I also serve him to the utmost as a woman. Whenever we have sex…we’re both naked…using my own body to please this one makes me really happy. This person’s living body makes me feel my body. When I embrace him naked…I feel I’m glad to be born. I’m glad that I’m a woman…」

Nagisa…

「Yes, I also know that feeling」

Misuzu and Nagisa look at each other.

「It makes me feel easy when I’m with him. This person never lies in front of me. Rather than that…he doesn’t have that concept. Therefore…I can be naked. Not as a daughter of Kouzuki house or anything…but as a woman」

Misuzu looks at Ruriko-san.

「I’ve lived as a daughter of Kouzuki house…it’s always painful. I have to worry about the public eye anytime and anywhere…I thought that I shouldn’t disobey my grandfather and parent’s expectations. Even with friends…I can’t be jealous nor I can’t adore so I have to take a subtle distance. Always smiling…I had to be a bright and cheerful girl. Outside…and even inside the house」
「…I’m the same」

Ruriko-san mutters.

「But, I have Yoshiko with me…Misuzu-oneesama who doesn’t have a『retainer』, I think that it’s very painful」

Ruriko-san shows a gloomy face…Yoshiko-san stays quiet

「The me before shows a smiling face but my heart’s always clouded. But, it’s different now!」

Misuzu hugs me.

「I finally found a man I can show my naked mind and body. I’ll never let go of him! Even if I am going to disobey grandfather…I will remain with this man…!」

「…That’s what I know about Misuzu that you don’t」

Shiba Takahiko glares at me.

「There’s no way! There’s no way my effort can be beaten by an ordinary man like yo!」

I point at Misuzu’s back.

「Misuzu has a mole in here」
「…Danna-sama?!」
「Also…here in her stomach」

Shiba Takahiko’s frozen.

「There’s no place in Misuzu’s body I don’t know…」

Un…I’ve seen Misuzu’s naked body again and again.
Her whole body…all over.
No matter what kind of clothes she wear…I can recall Misuzu’s naked body in detail.

「Also, whenever Misuzu kisses…she brings her face close to my right side. She likes rubbing her nose against my cheek」

I look straight at Shiba Takahiko.

「It’s not a long time since I’ve become acquainted with Misuzu…our time together might be shorter than you but…I know; The things Misuzu likes, the cute parts of Misuzu…only I know that…!」

Keeping her embrace…Misuzu speaks.

「Yes. I’m already this man’s『woman』…!」


1. It’s actually Nagisa ↩
It’s unclear Ruriko and Yoshiko are referring to Nagisa or Yoshida therefore I kept this neutra
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