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Chapter 865. High Life / Brandy

「 I also want everything to go smoothly to keep my family safe 」

I replied.

「 Right now, we let someone do something that we can’t do. And that is a lot if you look at your daily life. I’m thankful to the people around me, and I don’t look down on them. If it goes poorly and I looked down on them, I don’t know how they will retaliate 」

Most people in this world are not my family.

I can’t oppose all of them.

「 Naturally, if I have to crush them, then I will do it thoroughly. This world has evil people you can never make a compromise by talking 」

Shirasaka Sousuke.

Cesario Viola.

「 But, not everyone is an enemy. That said, they’re no allies either. Most people are neither 」

For example, the students in our school.

They’re not in favor of us.

That doesn’t mean that they hate us to the bone.

Most of them are in a neutral state, hardly caring about us.

「 First of all, I don’t want to gather hate from the “ordinary people” I don’t need them to like us, but it’s a problem if they hate us. I might endure anything that they do if it was me alone, I can push it aside, but I’d rather not have my family get hurt 」

I’m not living alone.

『 So you compromise on coexistence with other people? 』

Jii-chan asks me.

「 It’s nothing as great as coexisting. My family is quite a unique and odd group of people if seen from the ordinary people’s eyes. If we want to stay alive, then we have lots to pay for. At least, I want to have some respect from the people. Well, of course, if it’s Yakuza or others, they don’t need to be aware of us 」

『 This way of thinking is something Kouzuki house needs, that’s what I believe in 』

The girls in the courtyard hear Jii-chan’s voice.

『 Misuzu, what do you think is the biggest problem you are facing? 』

Jii-chan asks. Misuzu…

「 It’s how we have this status despite not experiencing success ourselves 」

She replied immediately.

「 We were born nobility. We have bodyguards to keep us safe all the time, and we’re allowed to live in such luxury. However, all these wealth isn’t something we earned ourselves 」

『 Correct. And it’s not a problem for the younger generations. It also is a problem I face regularly 』

Personally experiencing success?

『 Born in nobility, we lived a blessed life. We never highly skilled, but we belong to the high-class. It just happened that we were born in a good family, and so we were blessed with a good life. I always wonder if this is okay 』

Jii-chan said. The young ladies became noisy.

『 If I was born in the branch family, or if I was the third son in the main family, then they might allow me to abandon this too-rich life. Just like your father, Misuzu 』

Misuzu’s father is Jii-chan’s third son, he left Kouzuki house and became an elite bureaucrat of the country.

「 No, Father may have moved forward with his way without becoming affiliated with the Kouzuki group, but he still used the name and lineage of Kouzuki house. Or should I say that he couldn’t run away from it, no matter what 」

Misuzu said.

Oh, even if he’s a government official, he’s still named as the third son of the Kouzuki head house.

「 Father works in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. However, still, he receives cooperation because he’s a member of the Kouzuki family. It isn’t just the political and business circles here, when he has some deals in Kyoto, most of them say “if it’s Kouzuki-san, then…” 」

Kouzuki house isn’t just a large enterprise, they also have history backing them up.

Nobility with history will have acquaintances all over. Connections. They’ll listen, even if it’s absurd.

Just because he became a government official doesn’t mean he can’t count on the power of Kouzuki house. He must have a lot of cases where he has to use it.

『 It’s the fortune those born from nobility brings, and also a curse 』

Jii-chan said.

『 Especially for me, the eldest child, it was decided that I will become the next head of the clan. I cannot end the family lineage with me. Also, there are generations of retainers in our house. Companies with the name of Kouzuki house have numerous workers. I had to protect Kouzuki house not just for me, but for the retainers and all the workers 』

The girls turned silent.

『 That is the responsibility of those who inherit the house. All I inherited is this old blood. It’s not the assets. Honor accumulated by ancestors for generations and thoughts of many people who worked for Kouzuki house and their companies is what I inherit. Some students applying for a position in the company this year had their ancestors served Kouzuki house 』

「 How did you respond to such people, Grandfather? 」

Misuzu asks.

『 I answer, “I know. Your ancestors have served Kouzuki house from Kyoto generations ago. I’m grateful for that.” If people with a history like that appear in the final interview, then I have the secretaries investigate beforehand. That’s how I know about it when they suddenly bring it up while talking to me, and I show my gratitude to their ancestors. As a result, they pledge their allegiance to Kouzuki house. No, they can be applying for the company entrance test, but I cannot let them have the worse impression about Kouzuki house and its companies 』

Jii-chan’s going that far.

No, if he’s the head of nobility with a long tradition, it’s within the consideration of what he should do.

He knows their ancestors and is grateful for their loyalty, so they won’t hate Jii-chan.

Even if they can’t enter the company, they won’t blame Jii-chan.

『 Those remaining for the last interview in large scale enterprise means that they have the academic and skill to back them up. If they weren’t, then they won’t get hired no matter what…After picking a few people, the remaining students had to be told that they didn’t make it. However, those students will find employment somewhere else someday. It can be a rival company to Kouzuki house, or maybe somewhere wholly different. And in twenty years, they will become veterans. At that time, isn’t it better to leave the impression that “I failed my application, but Kouzuki is a firm company,” than have “Back then, I tried going in a company from Kouzuki, but I lost my face during the entrance test.” ? 』

Jii-chan said.

『 In entrance tests, the company will always have a stronger status. However, that relationship won’t persist afterward. The student right now may become someone great. No, in the first place, the students are possibly customers who buy goods Kouzuki produces. And so, we cannot let the applicant have the wrong impression with Kouzuki for the rest of their lives. Even students have their families. They have friends. People increase their acquaintances as long as they’re alive. Then, that person can tell them: “Back then, I tried applying for a company and met the head of Kouzuki house,” and then continue his story. That’s what I fear 』

「 But, Grandfather’s always showing an angry look 」

Misuzu tries to break the cold atmosphere with her pleasant smile.

『 Well, of course. I’m not going to spoil the students. I’ll never laugh when they try to flatter me. I don’t have to like them. I’m the head of Kouzuki house, and so I want a stern, serious, and honest, and fair personnel. That’s a necessity 』

Fair people.

『 I can’t trust people who aren’t fair. That’s what I believe in 』

Oh, I see.

You can’t trust people who are trying to flatter others, trying to gain their favor.

They’re people who will go against the rules as long as they can have others show favor for them.

Anytime, with anyone, and with whatever situation.

But if it’s someone who can deal with the situation fairly, then that’s trustworthy for the time being.

People who waver depending on the person, on the case, on time, aren’t trustworthy.

That applies not to people but also companies.

「 Kouzuki Kakka’s going that far when paying attention to your speech and conduct? 」

Kaan-san asks.

『 That’s natural. I’m the head of Kouzuki house 』

Jii-chan’s laughing voice is heard.

『 Kaan-kun, what do you think is nobility? 』

This time, Jii-chan asks.

「 Uhm, in what way? 」

『 I’m asking why the nobility is nobility 』

Kaan-san…

「 That’s because their founder accomplished a great deed 」

Yeah.

All the nobility come from their first ancestor doing something great.

Then, gaining high rank, assets, piling it up, becoming the head of household.

『 That’s right. All of the nobility exist because of their first head. The first person experienced success himself 』

「 However, the succeeding generations, all continued to protect their family, and that is the reason for us to exist 」

Kaan-san tries to add in a hurry, but…

『 Even so, the most momentous one is the first one. After all, he’s only a commoner 』

Yeah, the first family head to become nobility was a commoner.

The second generation is succeeding in a somewhat grander house.

『 Therefore, the story of the first generation is mostly handed down as a legend. The second generation’s story is usually buried and forgotten. Tales of ancestors who rejuvenated the family after collapsing remain, but the first generation’s glory never changes 』

Jii-chan said.

『 That’s because the first-generation’s story of success is the only genuine personal experience. He’s the one to rise up from the commoners 』

Oh, it’s something like the story of the servant in charge of footwear taking over the country.

『 Doesn’t your family treat the first generation as special, even going as far as worshipping him? 』

「 It is as you say 」

Kaan-san replies.

『 Then, what are we now? Aren’t we all leaning into the peace from the heroic achievements of the first generation? Well, it’s still hard to continue and protecting a family that has grown large. As mentioned earlier, I know about it the most as I’m the head of Kouzuki house. However, is there worth our existence if all we do is keep the family safe? We do not have achievements nor the personal experience 』

Jii-chan’s voice echoes.

『 I believe you all know what happened with Kurama house 』

Kurama house.

Kurama Misato and Arisu-san’s house.

I wonder what’s the cause why the two cute young ladies are now going to become prostitutes?

『 Kurama house inherited the “Kurama Kaku,” which is a hotel business concentrating at weddings 』

Oh, I heard about the Kurama Kaku group. I heard that they’re a hotel group with great traditional inns and wedding halls.

So that’s what Kurama-san’s family is doing.

『 Kurama Kaku is formerly a Japanese style garden built for Kurama house. It became a traditional Japanese restaurant during the early Showa and used as a wedding reception is for noble marriages. Most political and business circles gather there. During my age, most families conduct their wedding reception banquet there. That building doesn’t belong to just Kurama house. It’s a precious location for us nobility as it has memories 』

Oh, if the influential people go to Kuromori tower at night for their under the table meetings…

Then, Kurama Kaku is the social gathering place during the daytime.

『 However, the current head of Kurama house is a young man in his 40’s. He let some unknown foreign groups invest in his business and took down the whole Kurama Kaku, an old Japanese style building. Saying that he’ll rebuild it to a modern high-rise hotel 』

Huh? I think that’s Kurama-san’s father, but…

He broke everything…

『 I stopped it. I told him to keep the Kurama Kaku. That it’s not something, he should do. We knew that the internal conditions of the foreign company investing group are suspicious. That it’s an offer that is too good to be true. We told him that if he was low on funds for the time being, then the Kouzuki group can lend him as much as he wants. I talked to the other heads of families about Kurama-kun. To cut off the relationship with the overseas group. To stop the stupid attempt to create a new building. To protect the beautiful garden of Kurama Kaku and their history 』

Jii-chan’s voice has a hint of anger.

『 However, that man told me, “If all I do is protect the old, then I don’t know what reason I was born for.” “If I don’t challenge with a new hotel, then my life will not begin.” Then, ignoring my warning, he declared severing connections with us old men. Suddenly starting the construction work, destroying all and turning it to an empty plot, and establishing a new hotel 』

Oh, he’s done it.

『 However, when the construction was half done, the funds from the foreign investors suddenly blows off. Instead of the cash flowing in, the sum of money is sent over to the overseas investors. “We will return it, let us borrow it for now,” or so they say 』

Oh boy.

『 The construction of the high-rise hotel stopped. However, it already used over a hundred million yen. The money let to the foreign investors isn’t coming back. And above all, the wonderful Kurama Kaku will never return to normal. He dug down to the basement to create the high-rise building 』

It’s all out.

『 That said, the half-complete hotel doesn’t have enough funds to finish it. If the new hotel doesn’t open, money won’t flow in. The traditional inn and wedding hall of the Kurama Kaku group lack in funds that they were in danger. He came to us, crying. “I’m begging you, please lend me money,” he said 』

When everything we going well, he said he would cut off his connections with Jii-chan…

『 However, neither my friends nor I can’t give him money. He’s gone that far 』

It’s not just Jii-chan.

He ignored other people’s advice and failed.

There’s no help.

「 Indeed, it’s a miserable story. Grandfather decided not to give any help to Kurama house 」

Kaan-san said.

Therefore, she was cold to the Kurama sisters.

Kanou house, the last of the big three don’t have the assets, just their history.

If Kozuki and Kaan house isn’t helping Kurama house, nobody else will.

『 By the way, Kaan-kun, do you know why Kurama house did something that foolish? 』

Jii-chan said.

「 That’s…because he was deceived by the honey words of the foreigners? 」

『 Then, why was it easy to fool him? 』

「 That’s… 」

『 That Kurama bastard wanted to experience success personally 』

Jii-chan said.

『 He’s born nobility, and he wanted to achieve success than to live under the glory of the first generation. Kurama Kaku is the symbol of the Kurama Kaku group. It’s an elegant and splendid building, and so, all the other traditional inns and wedding halls have its style. However, Kurama Kaku is what the first generation left behind. A beauty already consummated, it doesn’t show anything new. It’s not allowed to do so. The current head of Kurama house didn’t like to see what he inherited from the past remains in the future. It isn’t proof that he was born and lived on this earth. Thus, he thought of breaking the whole Kurama Kaku of the past and create a new high-rise hotel to leave his mark 』

Thus, he demolished the old Kurama Kaku and tried to construct a new hotel.

It’s the worst case.

「 He was someone who wanted to show a great accomplishment of what he’s done 」

That means he wants to personally experience success.

Ah.

「 Just like Minaho-neesan’s father? 」

I muttered unconsciously.

『 Indeed. Kuromori Kouichiro was the same 』

Minaho-neesan’s father inherited the Kuromori tower, a building his father built.

He forcibly took it away from his father and tried to dye it as his own.

But, he lacks in talent, and so Shirasaka Sousuke took command.

『 His case is easy to understand. His father was the first generation hero to earn fortunes. His father had experienced success. However, he doesn’t have that. He was insecure, and so he tried to forcibly achieve that personal experience of success 』

Minaho-neesan’s not saying anything.

『 It’s a typical story. Cases where it’s the relatives who drag down their family to collapse 』

「 Born as nobility, yet no experience of success, it makes them feel at a loss to why they’re in that status 」

Misuzu said.

『 That’s right. Misuzu, Kaan-kun, Kanou-kun, you should be careful with people you interact with 』

「 It is as you say 」

Kaan-san said.

「 Up until now, I’ve been scorning on Kurama-san’s father, wondering why would he do something so foolish, but, I think that someone in my family or I might do the same thing 」

『 You’re in high school, and yet, you’re managing three companies, don’t you have the same cause? 』

Jii-chan asks.

『 You think of your company as lessons in company management, don’t you? Where if the three companies don’t grow, then you will assess yourself 』

「 T-That’s… 」

『 I can understand that if you seriously want to manage that many companies but, they will not succeed. It may not go smoothly. The season was poor. You couldn’t gather personnel, things don’t move as expected. Those you plan to go smoothly aren’t doing well 』

Jii-chan said. Kaan-san looked down.

『 If you grow older, you’ll learn that life isn’t all victories. A person never losing doesn’t exist. However, for some reason, young ones prefer winning. They fear loss. If they fail once, they see their life-ending. Living means that you will lose a lot. Losing repeatedly is what makes winning as delightful as ever 』

「 K-Kouzuki Kakka… 」

『 Don’t turn to Kurama-kun. Don’t get others involved if you want to receive experience from personal success. What I fear is that if the people around you let you win that you start to misunderstand 』

「 Let me win? 」

『 That’s right. If the business of the young lady of Kaan house lost, then it will hurt her. They think that way, and so they use the power of the world of adults, and so your company can have achievements without you knowing. You misunderstand that everything is going as you expect, that your ideas and management policies were correct 』

「 What does that mean? 」

『 I see. For young ladies like you, you can’t find such wrongdoings right away. For example, handing over secret funds from Kaan house to another company to create mass orders on your company 』

「 T-That’s, absurd… 」

『 I’ve done that once or twice. And it’s a common occurrence 』

「 !! 」

Kaan-san shows a frustrated look.

Oh, it looks like she recalled a case.

『 Letting the subordinates do that means that your company can succeed, but you will not experience success personally. However, you will misunderstand that this world is easy. Then, that mistaken success you have will let you look down on your subordinates, clients, customers, and consumers 』

Kaan-san bites her lip.

『 See? I told you the same thing Minaho-kun told you. However, when Minaho-kun told you that, all you did was oppose her, but when the head of Kouzuki house told you, you reflect on it obediently 』

「 I-It’s embarrassing, I want to bury myself in a hole 」

Kaan-san says while blushing and on the verge of tears.

『 Worry not, Kaan did call me. “My granddaughter is reaching the age of conceit, so I gave her various advice, but she’s not listening to her grandfather. I think that my granddaughter would obediently listen if it’s from the head of Kouzuki house, however. She will be coming over to your mansion, please look after her,” he said 』

Kaan-san’s Grandfather called Jii-chan?

『 Kaan sent over antique brandy as thanks. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about it 』

Jii-chan says jokingly, but.

『 On the other hand, I want you to keep a secret from him 』

「 W-What is it? 」

Kaan-san asks.

『 I no longer drink brandy. He probably suggested it out of his mental image of when I was young and drinking alcohol 』

Jii-chan stopped drinking brandy after getting Ruriko’s father killed.

Kaan-san’s Grandfather didn’t know that.

『 Therefore, I thought of handing over the brandy Kaan gave me to Misuzu and that young man. Keep it a secret from him 』

Jii-chan said.
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