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Chapter 869. High Life / Rite of Passage

「 Could they be gifts for Agnes? 」

Agnes’ eyes shine as she looks at girls of her age, Mizushima Karen-san, and Kinuka-san, the younger of the Anjou sisters.

「 Well, no. I don’t know what will happen to them for now 」

What I know is that Misuzu wants Mizushima Karen as her pet.

However, Kouzuki house and Mizushima house need to talk first.

Mizushima house undoubtedly allowed a spy from Kansai Yakuza to enter the household of the Kouzuki family.

Jii-chan will surely punish Mizushima house for that.

If not, the other families whose daughter came here today will not settle down.

Other young ladies have been dragged to danger after all.

The Anjou sisters are under Kouzuki house’s custody, but.

I don’t know what’s the plan for these girls.

「 I see. That’s unfortunate 」

Agnes says while pushing her cute breasts on me.

「 For now, this is Mizushima Karen-san, she is Misuzu’s guest, try to get along with her, okay? 」

She came here under Misuzu’s invitation, after all.

「 If I recall, you’re also 12, right? 」

「 Yes. That’s right 」

Karen-san replies with a gloomy face.

「 Eeh?! Really? Agnes is also 12! Luna and Koyomi-chan too! 」

Agnes said with a smile.

「 Then, since Papa instructed me, let’s get along! Nice to meet you! Luna, Koyomi-chan, be friendly with this one, okay? 」

「 Okay 」

「 I understand 」

Luna and Koyomi-chan replied with a friendly tone.

「 Also, Kinuka-san is 13, right? Mitama-san’s 18 if I recall correctly 」

I asked. The sisters show discontent.

「 That’s right 」

「 What about it? 」

Oh, do these girls hate me?

I mean, they’re bodyguards of the Kurama house young ladies since birth…

I guess they don’t want to speak with someone, not from nobility.

Or should I say that they’re trying to keep it as few as possible?

「 You will stay here for a while 」

Minaho-neesan told the Anjou sisters.

「 What about Kurama Misato-sama and Arisu-sama? 」

「 Sama! 」

The Anjou sisters glared at Minaho-neesan.

「 We have the order to follow. He and I will need to go to Kouzuki-sama to give a report. Perhaps, Kurama-san is over there, but, do you think you can go there without warning?

Minaho-neesan said.

「 That’s… 」

Mitama-san hesitates.

It’s the room of the head of Kouzuki house.

They can’t just barge in without permission.

「 I’ll negotiate for you to meet up with Kurama-san, but, well, it depends on Kouzuki-sama. I’m sure you understand, you served nobility after all 」

They know the power relationship between the Master and Servant.

They also know the great authority the head of Kouzuki house has.

「 If you do anything weird, then it’ll only put the Kurama house in further danger 」

Edie smiles.

The father of Kurama sisters broke down the Kurama Kaku, a traditional style Japanese garden and building, a place with lots of memories for Jii-chan and the old nobility.

He didn’t lend an ear on Jii-chan’s opposition, and foreign investors deceived him.

In the end, he couldn’t complete the building, because the funds were lost halfway.

If this goes on, all of Kurama house’s business will stagnate, and the business group will reach bankruptcy, which means the bankruptcy of Kurama house.

「 Earlier, Kaan-sama, and Misuzu-sama mentioned it. Their nobility status will not collapse. Kurama house do have the tradition and history backing them 」

Minaho-neesan said.

「 If that’s the case, Kouzuki-sama is thinking of saving Kurama house. But, he also needs to pay for his sins 」

In short, we are turning the daughters of the head of Kurama house into prostitutes.

Instead of paying up the debts of Kurama house…

Kurama house is given punishment for their disgrace.

If they don’t do that, Jii-chan and the other heads will never settle down.

「 If you show within that old man’s view, I’m sure that it will only offend him 」

Edie said.

「 Therefore, you should stay here 」

「 We’ll tell you how the sisters are doing 」

I said.

「 Eh, Papa, you’re going out again? 」

Agnes clings to me.

「 Then, take Agnes with you too! 」

Err.

「 Kyouko-san’s also there, do you mind? 」

Minaho-neesan tells Agnes.

「 Kyouko-san? The odd auntie who jumps too high?? 」

Oh, for Agnes…

The impression of Kyouko-san’s sudden appearance when she was confined in the basement has remained.

「 Well, yeah, she does jump around and breaks a lot of stuff, but she’s not odd, nor an auntie 」

I know that she’s watching this room through the security cameras.

After all, she’s Minaho-neesan’s teacher in that area.

「 That’s right. She’s a young and beautiful lady 」

Look. Minaho-neesan’s face is twitching.

「 Really? 」

Agnes looks blankly.

「 That’s right, Agnes 」

「 If Papa says so… 」

「 Then, go say it, “Kyouko-san is very beautiful!” 」

「 Why? 」

「 Let’s do it together 」

I speak aloud with Agnes.

「 Kyouko-san is… 」

「 Kyouko-san is… 」

「 Is very beautiful 」

「 Is very beautiful 」

Geez.

「 Really? 」

Hey, Agnes.

「 It’s true 」

「 Then, it’s true! 」

Agnes looked back.

「 Luna and Koyomi-chan! That’s how it is! Also…err. 」

「 Karen 」

「 Yes, Karen-chan, do you understand? 」

「 Y-Yes 」

Yeah. That’s okay for now.

「 Then, could you wait here for a bit longer? And the party in the courtyard is left between the schoolgirls for now 」

We can introduce Agnes later.

「 Tsukiko, look after them 」

「 Yes, Kou-sama 」

Tsukiko replied with a smile.

Tsukiko, the eldest, and the calmest is in here. I don’t have to worry anymore.

「 Darling, I’ll stay here too 」

Edie said.

「 I’m okay with the young and beautiful Kyouko, but the other one… 」

Yeah.

She’s not good at dealing with Miss Cordelia.

Edie had an experience where she’s almost turned to Miss Cordelia’s lesbian pet.

「 Okay. Then you can stay here too, Edie 」

If Edie stays, Anjou sisters will be in check.

「 I think that’s better 」

Tsukiko said.

「 Also, Kou-sama, may I have permission if the situation asks for it? 」

Situation?

Using Tsukiko’s Miko power?

「 They do carry a lot in their arms 」

Tsukiko looked at the Anjou sisters.

Oh, right.

These sisters should be thinking of leaving this room, taking the Kurama sisters and out of this mansion.

These girls do come up with some bold ideas and carry them out for real.

These were the sisters who tried to use “Skylab Hurricane Mixer” on that Kyouko Messer.

Tsukiko can read their mind if they come up with anything dangerous.

「 Yeah. You have my permission. Edie, cooperate with Tsukiko 」

「 Got it 」

Edie smiles.

「 Sensei, leave it to us! 」

「 Nii-san, it’s okay! 」

Yomi and Luna read my thoughts and replied.

Takakura sisters + Koyomi-chan with their Miko power, and Edie’s also here.

I don’t have to worry.

「 Then, get along 」

I patted Agnes’ milky white hair and said.

◇ ◇ ◇

Knocking.

「 Enter 」

That’s Jii-chan’s voice.

I opened the door and entered the room with Minaho-neesan.

「 Yes. Good job, well, sit wherever you want 」

Jii-chan’s sitting on a big chair in a room about the size of 20 tatami mats.

Behind Jii-chan are Ootoku-san and Choumoto-san, his bodyguards.

Kyouko-san and Miss Cordelia are sitting on the sofa on the other side.

Also, the Kurama sisters are sitting on the sofa close to the door. They have a frightened look.

「 It’s a party, and yet, you’re not drinking and eating anything? Katsuko-kun, prepare some tea for them 」

Jii-chan tells Katsuko-nee, who’s dressed like a secretary.

「 Ah, no need. Misuzu and Ruriko hardly drank and ate anything. I feel sorry for them if I drink tea here 」

As the host of the party, they’re sitting with Kanou-san, Torii-san, and Kaan-san, away from the table of other young ladies.

Misuzu and Ruriko can’t get away from their table.

「 No, the Torii’s daughter brought sandwiches to their table. Besides, Kaan’s daughter has come, the maids will bring in drinks and food 」

Oh right, Kaan-san is the type who won’t hold back and say, “Bring that here.”

「 So, don’t worry much about those girls. You’re the one who didn’t drink or eat at all 」

All I did was raise my glass to the toast.

「 That’s right. Drink some tea at least 」

Katsuko-nee hands me a cup of tea.

「 Thanks 」

For now, I sit in the middle of Jii-chan and Kyouko-san.

Minaho-neesan sits next to me.

「 Still, Kaan’s daughter is right, you’re good at not being a hindrance 」

Jii-chan suddenly said.

「 In a place where there’s nothing but women, you never went and asserted yourself merrily 」

「 I mean, it’s all women but me in our house too 」

I’m used to it.

I’m living with multiple women in a single roof.

Someone’s always with me too.

When taking a bath or going to sleep.

「 Even so… I’m sure that the girls have a good impression of you as well 」

「 No, I hardly talked to them, it doesn’t matter 」

「 That’s what’s great about it. The young ladies are fed up with greedy men 」

Katsuko-nee said.

「 All of them attend parties, you see? Naturally, men who ask them “Are you from **** house?” while grinning come one after another 」

Kouzuki Satoshi or Tsunoda.

Guys who love to pick up women are ordinary.

「 They all hardly care about men who come after them while showing a smirk on their face. They’re alert, more than anything. After all, the only attendees today are daughters of genuine nobility 」

Minaho-neesan tells me.

「 A thoughtless weird man will get to know them, and if they keep him company, then it will cause gossips to shame her. “That lady from that house is so promiscuous,” and she will have to live with that shame 」

That’s their society?

「 Those attending to their school are thoroughly trained to carry the honor of nobility. If it shames them, then they will feel sorry for their relatives and ancestors 」

Jii-chan said.

「 They’re the pampered young ladies in this age. If not, they cannot protect the nobility. That’s the reason why we don’t let daughters of upstarts and celebrities enter. If the parent is vulgar, the daughter is the same. Then, bad money drives out good money. If they get acquainted with rude people, then the girls will lose the modesty that was trained in them. Associating themselves with detestable men and become pregnant with their child. If that happens, the indecency they cause will affect the entire family 」

I see.

If one marries into a daughter of nobility, they can create connections with various influential people.

Some guys would want to seduce the young ladies, trying to get under their skirt.

「 Human education is only until 20 years old. That’s what I think. Once humans learned the basics in those 20 years, they can construct their life afterward 」

Jii-chan tells me.

「 Most girls who graduate from Misuzu’s school enters university. It’s an age where women are accepted to take higher education. However, even when that girl graduates, she’ll never drink together with the male students nor join any small groups. They learn in high school that the “it seems fun” acts are meaningless. They will never associate themselves with men who act that way 」

Err, that means; they won’t join drinking parties and circles?

「 They know how much trouble it will cause their family if one associates herself with a man and become pregnant with a child. The problem is that she’s not alone. It’s not just her ancestor and family, but also the vassals that serve them for generations, all the families managed by businesses, and the people working under it will be affected by the disgrace she causes, and she knows that 」

It’s not just herself who will be disgraced but everyone else as well.

「 The post-war doctrine where if one takes responsibility for what he did, then their parents and siblings don’t matter has been passed down to the children. It’s where one can do whatever they want, for as long as they receive the punishment alone if they disgrace themselves. However, humans don’t live alone; they have to form a crowd and live in there. And the minimum limit of that group is the family 」

Individual. Family.

「 If they disgrace themselves, it will reach their family as well, and understanding that as you live your daily life is the duty of nobility. That view isn’t accepted by teachers in ordinary schools who are cultures with democracy after the second world war. Therefore, we had to keep the school closed outside the daughters of the nobility. It is so that the young ladies don’t accept teachings for those who don’t understand the high class 」

That’s why Jii-chan, Kanou-san, and Kaan-san’s grandfathers did that.

They kept Japan’s best school for the young ladies from changing.

「 However, Misuzu suddenly chose a man who has no relationship with nobility. This is an astounding event to the girls in that school 」

Me?

「 About 90% of the nobility ladies are married to their fiancé. Their free love isn’t accepted 」

Ah.

It’s to protect the tradition of their family.

They marry their future partner their parents chose.

「 No, it’s a misunderstanding in the current age of Japan. It’s only a hundred years ago when people are free to marry who they choose. Marriage was when the parents want to tie bonds with their families 」

「 But I think Romeo and Juliet was quite an old story? 」

I asked.

「 Marriage and Love are different 」

Jii-chan said.

「 Do you know Marie Antoinette’s lover, Forsen? 」

W-Who?

「 The masses know that Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France, had a lover. Naturally, her husband Louis XVI 」

Her husband knows?

「 However, that didn’t mean that Forsen was punished for being the Queen’s lover. Marriage and love were different. Marriage is an act of combining two families, and so the wife or husband doesn’t need to love the other. Marriage needs no love. That’s the culture in the European royal court for long 」

Jii-chan said.

「 King Arthur’s Queen Guinevere and Arthur’s loyal servant, Lancelot, were in love with each other. Then, King Arthur knows that. But that relationship doesn’t hurt King Arthur and Lancelot’s master-servant relationship, and the Queen isn’t punished for her faithlessness 」

Haa.

「 Marriage is a family and family problem, so it’s not about trying oneself to the one you prefer. Therefore, love is a separate subject. That’s their thought 」

W-What the hell?

「 However, in Christian Europe, women had relative rights. In Europe, women had the right to possess fortunes. However, in the East, women had no such rights. Therefore, only men had rights to free love. Before the war, adultery is a crime. But it only applies to women. The husband can cheat all he wants, have some lovers, and even keep a concubine but it’s not a sin, but in case the woman goes with a man other than her husband, she’s punished 」

O-Okay…

「 The current moral sense of people was born from the middle class after the industrial revolution, where most families are a husband and wife, and their children, a small unit. Before the industrial revolution, family means a gathering of multiple households. Without that much number, one cannot do agriculture because mechanization doesn’t exist yet. The solidarity of the family is crucial, and do the question of who’s marrying who? Would they marry someone in the household? Or would they reinforce relationships with other households? It’s a long process to decide. 」

Yeah, you need a large family to tend on the farmland.

There’s also the problem of the soil and watering spots.

「 Then, it has its advantage. I think you know it already, but there are fewer cases of divorces among couples that had their parents decide their marriage than those who married in love. It’s a relationship between families, and so, if any problem occurs, then it’s not just the parents but the whole household involved. They will look after the small child and help them out in one way or another 」

Yeah, it’s a large family, after all.

「 Also, people who can’t marry will not exist. As long as one doesn’t have a significant flaw, then the son or daughter will find a marriage partner in the family 」

Oh, I get it.

「 The nobility is one large family. Therefore, we still try to do the ways of the old 」

I see. Kouzuki house’s branch family is just a branch family.

Therefore, they can seduce and chase after women.

But, for the members of the main house, that’s not allowed.

「 And yet, Misuzu-chan suddenly announced marrying you 」

Katsuko-nee smiled.

「 Furthermore, Kouzuki-sama gave his permission. Then, it’s natural for them to want and see what kind of man he is, don’t you think? 」

Minaho-neesan?

「 In short, most of the girls today came to see you. I think that is Kaan-sama’s main objective? 」

Me?

「 Then, Misuzu-chan and the young ladies were talking about the situation in Kouzuki house, right? 」

Katsuko-nee said.

Oh, Kouzuki house has no male heir, so they have to marry one into the daughters.

「 That convinced the young ladies. And since they saw that you’re not a bad guy, they accepted it 」

「 It’s great that you are well behaved. Furthermore, you’re the only male in there, so you stood out. Despite that, you never asserted yourself, just letting Misuzu take the spotlight 」

Jii-chan said.

「 Misuzu-chan and Ruriko-chan also passed. Ordinary girls would show themselves flirting with their boyfriend in front of people, but those girls were firm, and they never cling to you more than necessary, did they? 」

Now that she mentioned it.

They didn’t.

「 Women feel irritated when others are flirting in front of them. But, if the couple show a natural atmosphere where others see that they love each other, that they trust each other, nobody will look at you hatefully 」

I-I see.

「 Well, even so, some of them should still malaise with Misuzu-chan, but Kaan-sama’s young lady, the leader of the group, glossed it over 」

Momoko-neechan did?

「 After all, it’s Misuzu-chan’s hosted party, and before anyone noticed, Kaan-sama’s young lady is the one giving instructions 」

Right, pledging as sworn sisters and such.

「 That’s good. Kaan’s daughter took the spotlight, strengthening Misuzu’s status 」

Jii-chan said.

「 The girls who came to this party will surely solidify as a single group. Kaan’s daughter will be the leader, and Misuzu will be the vice-leader. No, that’s for the better. She won’t have to stand out. After all, Kaan’s daughter loves to be conspicuous 」

Momoko-neechan’s an attention seeker.

「 The gathering today serves as the rite of passage as a cooperative body. To ease the tension. Kyouko-kun’s attack, apprehending the spy, and my voice raise their anxiety. When I was scolding Kaan’s daughter, the girls in the courtyard also feel that I’m scolding them. It doesn’t matter if I kept on talking back then. They fear my scolding, and when I gave forgiveness, they felt relief. Furthermore, I opened up to them with my secret 」

Secret?

「 The “Kakka” part 」

Minaho-neesan whispers.

「 Oh that. Were you okay telling them that? 」

That the people calling Jii-chan “Kakka” were looking down on him.

Jii-chan has no history of becoming an ambassador, and yet, he made people believe that they have to call him “Kakka” because he was a former ambassador.

Where others don’t investigate before meeting up with a VIP.

「 It’s okay 」

Jii-chan laughs.

「 Those girls will return home and talk about what I told them. However 」

Yeah, historically, people who call him Kakka were the upstarts.

Therefore, calling Jii-chan like that would mean that they’re the same as them.

「 The parents can’t do anything about it anyway 」

Huh?

「 Kouzuki-sama never talked about “How he wants to be addressed” 」

Minaho-neesan said.

「 And I order my subordinates to forbid themselves from calling me anything other than “Kakka” 」

Right, whatever the “Kakka” means behind the scenes…

Shou-neechan and Rei-chan still calls Jii-chan “Kakka,”

That’s because Jii-chan ordered them.

「 My subordinates will still call me “Kakka” 」

Yeah, then the subordinates will continue to call Jii-chan “Kakka” as means of etiquette.

「 Instead, some of them will feel troubled of they don’t address me as “Kakka.” Only their daughters came to this gathering after all 」

I see. those who haven’t come here don’t know what’s the story behind “Kakka.”

Therefore, they will continue to call him that.

And if among them, someone stopped addressing him “Kakka” and called him “Kouzuki-sama” instead, then…

They’ll get cut off from others, stand out, and probably provoke antipathy.

「 In the end, they will pretend they didn’t hear their daughter’s story and still address me as “Kakka” That’s the best way not to aggravate people 」

Jii-chan doesn’t hate the fact that he’s addressed as such.

「 I’m sure that they will feel awkward about it, so I will be having fun watching them look troubled 」

Jii-chan shows a malicious smile.

「 What’s essential is that the ladies who came here today felt that the head of Kouzuki house opened up and told them a secret. Their extreme tension will ease up. Everyone had the same experience so that friendship will sprout. Therefore, everyone in the party is friendly with each other and enjoying the night 」

There’s no longer factions dividing them.

Momoko-neechan’s leading everyone to a pleasant conversation.

「 That’s for the better. Those girls will become valuable allies who help each other for Misuzu, Ruriko, Yoshiko, and you 」
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