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Chapter 871. High Life / Demotion

「 I’ll do it. If you go there, Agnes will just follow you 」

Minaho-neesan said, then bowed to Jii-chan, and left the room.

Yeah, the impression Agnes gave earlier is that she wants Mizushima Karen-san as her friend.

But I can’t bring Agnes together here.

I mean, the atmosphere will get intense later.

Even so, I wonder Jii-chan is leaving the Kurama sisters in here?

Kurama sisters came to Misuzu’s party and tried to make an appeal to Jii-chan to save Kurama house.

Then, Jii-chan refused them, all in front of the young ladies.

Then that means…

They’re in despair that Kurama house is already in ruins, but they don’t know that they’re to be sold to the Kuromori brothel.

I don’t know how much their father, the head of Kurama house, knows.

Maybe Jii-chan will call the head of Kurama house and talk about it in front of the sisters.

Despite that, Kurama house’s matters are put aside.

And now we’re dealing with Mizushima house who brought a spy here.

「 Onee-sama, please strengthen your heart. Arisu’s here with you 」

「 Yes, I know 」

As usual, the younger encourages the elder sister.

Then.

「 Excuse me 」

Minaho-neesan comes back with the nervous-looking Mizushima Karen-san.

「 I would like to apologize for the awful trouble I have caused this time 」

She bows her head.

「 That’s an admirable attitude, but nothing will happen even if you apologize 」

Jii-chan speaks coldly.

「 This is a problem between Mizushima and Kouzuki house, no, with all the nobility that participated in this party 」

Tendou Otome’s infiltration is a big scandal among the nobility involved.

The fact that Tendou Otome was able to enter the school for the young ladies generates the worry that she might’ve gathered information about the young ladies and revealed it to the Yakuza.

Even in today’s party, she teamed up with the lesbian partner of hers. She tried to pick a fight with Misuzu, spreading false rumors, trying to lower the evaluation of Kouzuki house.

The person who allowed that infiltration is a problem between all nobility.

Karen-san, the daughter in elementary school grade, can apologize, but it will do nothing.

「 It is as you say. I’m still young, and so I’m not qualified to take responsibility for this blunder 」

Karen-san speaks in a dignified tone.

「 I know that you didn’t bring that hoodlum from your own will 」

Hoodlum. The spy from Kansai Yakuza, Tendou Otome.

「 It’s your father, or grandfather, who told you that you will have a bodyguard. Therefore, the sin all falls to Mizushima-kun. I’m not blaming you 」

Jii-chan speaks kindly, but his expression is cold.

「 I thank you for your word, but I was aware that she will cause problems. Despite that, I brought her as my bodyguard 」

「 That is why I’m saying that you couldn’t refuse your father’s order 」

Jii-chan speaks in slight displeasure.

Right. It’s Karen-san’s father and grandfather’s fault.

Karen-san herself is innocent.

However.

「 Even so, I have my personal reasons 」

Mizushima-san replies with resolve.

「 I’m aware that I cannot stay as nobility with that reason 」

You mean?

「 I may be young, but I’m still the daughter of Mizushima house. Whatever situation I’m involved in once I’m outside the house, I think of myself as the representative of the family 」

She’s the daughter of the head house.

People will look at her, no matter where or when.

The “Daughter of *** house” is raised with the honor of that family.

「 Therefore, regarding the blunders Mizushima house has created, I also am equally guilty. My father and grandfather’s sin is the sin of the family. Therefore, I need to receive punishment as I belong to the same house 」

Karen-san is sweating on her forehead.

She’s doing all her best to face the fearsome head of Kouzuki house.

「 Especially that today’s party doesn’t have only Kouzuki-sama’s family, the seniors I respect and love, and all my precious friends are present. I brought someone dangerous with me without resistance. Such blunder is unforgivable 」

That’s…

Everyone sees Karen-san as innocent, but…

Even so, some ill-feeling will remain if left alone.

Karen-san needs some formal punishment, or she cannot stay in school any longer.

「 Kouzuki-sama, I know that you will bestow punishment on Mizushima house. Then, please include me in the people who will receive it. And I ask of you, please do not let the penalty reach my father’s servants, the businesses under Mizushima holdings, and the workers. I humbly beg 」

Karen-san bows her head.

Jii-chan.

「 Cunning 」

「 Kouzuki-sama? 」

Karen-san looks at Jii-chan in surprise.

「 You were doing well in the first half, but you said too much on the last one. I can sense artificiality 」

Artificiality?

「 A young girl like you talking with that attitude would be too pitiful to look at, that you would think of saving her, but… 」

He stares at Karen-san.

「 Was that your father or grandfather’s teachings? 」

That if Tendou Otome is exposed, she has to explain and apologize to Jii-chan.

Was that an order of her grandfather?

「 No, those were all my thoughts 」

Karen-san looked straight at Jii-chan and said.

「 If that’s the case, you’re a cunning girl 」

Jii-chan snorts.

「 Very well. I will know the truth soon enough. However 」

Jii-chan looks at the Kurama sisters.

「 You’re just 12, but you can come up with such praiseworthy views. Kurama Arisu-kun is 13, and Kurama Misato-kun is 18, aren’t you two? You’ve stayed in this room for so long and yet you never tried to make such an appeal, I wonder why? 」

Huh?

「 The crying elder and the caring younger. Do you not know that you represent the Kurama house? 」

I-I see.

The Kurama sisters remained afraid when they were brought to Jii-chan’s room.

「 T-That’s because we thought that it would be impolite to Kouzuki-sama if we say anything 」

Arisu-san says in a panic.

「 Hmph, you can give all your excuses later. Didn’t you accept Misuzu’s invitation as a pretext to appeal about Kurama house’s wretched condition to me? 」

「 But, Kouzuki-sama reprimanded us before the party started 」

「 A single scolding, and you already gave up? What will happen to the tradition of Kurama house? If your house collapses, how will you apologize to your ancestors? How do you explain it to the workers of the “Kurama Kaku group”? 」

「 I-I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! 」

Kurama Misato-san apologizes to Jii-chan while spilling tears in her eyes.

「 Enough! I’m putting you off for later! I will deal with Mizushima house now 」

Oh, so that’s it.

To stir up the sense of danger of the Kurama sisters…

He purposely ignores them after letting them in the room.

And in the end, they’re put to later, and Mizushima house is placed first.

Their pride is shattered into pieces.

Mental assault has started.

「 K-Kouzuki-sama! 」

Kurama Arisu tries to connect in a hurry.

「 I told you to stay silent, didn’t I? 」

「 I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! 」

Kurama Misato-san cries again.

That agonizing cries of her are putting pressure on Mizushima Karen-san.

「 Katsuko-kun, could you give Mizushima house a call? 」

「 Certainly 」

Katsuko-nee makes a phone call, just like a secretary.

This flow of events, it’s been rallied beforehand.

「 It’s connected to Mizushima-sama now 」

「 Hmm 」

Katsuko-nee said Jii-chan pushed a switch on the tabletop.

「 It’s Kouzuki 」

「 K-Kakka, I-I’m very sorry for this occasion 」

An old voice comes from the speaker.

Perhaps, it’s the head of Mizushima house, Karen-san’s grandfather.

『 I will not give excuses. A Kansai Yakuza intruded into our house. When I come to, I couldn’t run away, and I had to follow what they tell us. And thus, it leads to this scandal 』

The old man narrates.

「 Then, so what do you intend to do? 」

Jii-chan asks.

『 T-That is, of course, I will take responsibility and will retire from all my posts in Mizushima holdings. And my son will… 』

「 That’s not enough. Not enough at all 」

Jii-chan cuts it off.

「 Then, shall my son stay away from Mizushima holdings? Or do you want Mizushima house to leave their hands from Mizushima holdings? 」

Jii-chan.

「 I don’t care about that. I have no interest in Mizushima holdings. Try not to do any trivial negotiations with me 」

Jii-chan speaks harshly.

「 Mizushima house can back off from Mizushima holdings, but you still are in control of most of the businesses. There’s no difference even if Mizushima house no longer has jurisdiction on Mizushima holdings 」

「 T-That’s… 」

「 Your plan is to reach a compromise with me and do whatever you want after that 」

Oh.

If Karen-san’s grandfather leaves his post and has his son succeed.

He knows that Jii-chan would reject it.

Thus, he’ll pretend to do what Jii-chan tells him, he won’t let his son take the managerial position, and the story ends.

In reality, the Mizushima house is still the largest stockholder of the company.

He could return as the top position in the company anytime he wants.

「 Besides, you caused this scandal on purpose with that goal in mind, didn’t you? 」

Jii-chan said.

『 N-No, it wasn’t on purpose. This case is only because the Yakuza coerced us, and we can’t do anything 』

「 I have a report on the many periods of Mizushima holdings’ administration. It’s quite an achievement to be this corrupt 」

『 Huh? No, well… 』

The old man’s voice goes higher.

「 Did you know about this joke from when the second world war ended? 」

Jii-chan speaks.

「 A country in economic collapse, and yet, internally, branching out and conquering various powers. Because they protect their vested interests and power, the social system can never reform. If things went that way, the country’s demise is definite. Thus, someone suggested of electing a new minister of government 」

『 Y-Yes 』

「 “If that’s the case, then there’s no other choice but war. We will declare war on the strongest nation, America” 」

Declaring war on America?

「 “Naturally, our country will be defeated. We might be punished as war criminals. However, our country can board on the victor, America, and rebuild. They will send thousands of millions as economic assistance, and they will collaborate in breaking down the old attitude, creating infrastructure, medical care, and education. We will lose the war and rebuild America will rebuild our country” 」

What the hell is that?

「 Actually, after the second world war, America did assist various countries to recover. America doesn’t declare war to reform and rebuild a country’s economy, but… 」

Jii-chan said.

「 Your goal this time is basically that, isn’t it? 」

Ah.

「 It’s my belief that nobility must not collapse, that we must not shut it down. Most nobility was lost in the war. Back then, we all had our hands full from just protecting our house from collapse and the evil trying to attack us. Therefore, there were plenty of families we couldn’t save. To repent from that, I thought of not letting any more nobility disappear, no matter what 」

『 Y-Yes, I’m aware that Kakka thinks that way 』

The old man from Mizushima said.

「 That is why you purposely created this scandal, making me intervene with your company, pour funds to your company, compensate your personnel. And have Mizushima Holdings, which is near its collapse, recover, Am I wrong? 」

Jii-chan wouldn’t end it with just removing Mizushima house’s members from their management ranks.

Kouzuki group will give aid and let Mizushima holdings recover.

Mizushima house is a major stockholder, and so they are okay with it as long as it is revived.

Thinking that they’d use Jii-chan’s sentiment for nobility, what a horrible plan.

『 T-Then, w-would you not give assistance? 』

The old man is in surprise.

「 You have a big misunderstanding. What I want to remain for the next generation is the nobility, not the company the nobility has 」

『 H-However, if this goes on, Mizushima holdings will collapse. If that happens, Mizushima houses’ assets will all go away 』

「 That won’t happen 」

Jii-chan said.

「 Mizushima house will remain as nobility. However, Mizushima holdings’ enterprise group will be split and sold off 」

『 S-Sold off? 』

「 All the current businesses and employers will stay as is, but without your affiliation, they seem companies that can raise their achievements. Other companies will be transferred to rival firms. If we’re to consider the lives of the employees, then that would be for the best. They have no future as a business if they stay inside the incompetent group, which is Mizushima holdings 」

『 Y-You mean we have to let go of the Mizushima holdings group? 』

Mizushima said, Jii-chan.

「 That way of thinking is what allowed the Kansai crime syndicate to get into you 」

He speaks coldly.

「 Mizushima house, no, it’s you who had no management ability as the head of your own group company. That’s all there is to it. Do not cause any more troubles to the society than this, back off…then I can help you after putting things in order 」

Jii-chan said.

「 Gather the assets of the Mizushima house and transform it into a foundation. You can keep the culture of your ancestors with it. I will guarantee that Mizushima house can keep their honor and social status, just like Kanou house 」

Oh, basically giving them only the necessary honorary position and social organization.

Enough to keep them alive.

『 It’s as if Mizushima house is dead 』

The old man speaks in a dispirited tone.

『 Losing Mizushima holdings is just… 』

「 Then, fall into ruin along with Mizushima holdings 」

Jii-chan said.

「 Sending in a subordinate of a crime syndicate in my residence will rouse anger to all nobility. I can proclaim that I will destroy Mizushima house and they will all support me 」

All of the nobility that has business will stop making transactions with Mizushima holdings at once.

「 And this decision isn’t just mine, Kaan and Kanou agreed to it 」

It’s not just Kouzuki house but all of the big three?

『 T-That’s…all of the nobility forsaking Mizushima house 』

「 It’s the result of what you’ve done. You should’ve been prepared for this 」

『 K-Kakka… 』

「 Oh, as for your granddaughter, she will stay in my house. She will marry the man I pick for her and inherit Mizushima house. This girl is cunning and bold. And she’s also intelligent. At least, better than you or your son. She will still belong to Mizushima house, be grateful 」

『 P-Please wait. Karen is my precious granddaughter 』

「 If she’s precious, why would you entrust her to a criminal? 」

A harsh rebuke.

『 T-That’s…uhm 』

「 I’m ending the call. It’s futile to talk to someone like you. You’re insincere nor earnest 」

『 P-Please wait! K-Kakka!!!! 』

Jii-chan hangs up the call without responding.

Then, he makes another call.

「 It’s me. If Mizushima calls, don’t transfer it to me. You deal with it. Also, move forward with the plan on dividing Mizushima holdings. It’s okay, he cried immediately, so you know what to do. Also, make adjustments, so Kaan and other houses benefit. They have to pay each family for the inconvenience they caused. The families will not be satisfied unless you do that 」

Oh, It’s the cost of putting the precious young ladies in danger.

Talking it out with the other families to split the assets Mizushima house has before they could attack.

「 Umu. Please do. As for Takahama products’ daughter, she’s just an idiot. Takahama already gave his apology and is going to pay enough compensation for those who came to the party. If only Mizushima was able to see around him, this wouldn’t have happened. Oh well, it can’t be helped 」

As for Takahama-san, who defied Kouzuki house and collaborated with Tendou Otome…

Her family already surrendered to Jii-chan and other nobilities.

Therefore, they’re forgiven without any grave consequences.

On the other hand, Mizushima house did something underhanded, so…

It’s a full-scale breaking.

「 Thank you 」

Jii-chan ended the call with his, secretary or subordinate, I don’t know which.

Then.

「 That’s the situation. Mizushima Karen-kun 」

He shows an intense look as he speaks to Karen-san.

「 The fortunes of the Mizushima house from the ancestral times will be split and sold off. And also, we will be taking custody of you. Maybe it’s not just you personally, but also the long time property and foundation… 」

For now, the next generation is reserved.

「 Mizushima holdings group company is no more. You need to take that in 」

「 Y-Yes 」

Karen-san looked down in bitter emotions.

「 And I cannot come back to Mizushima house anymore, can I? 」

「 Indeed, I feel sorry to say, but I cannot send you home. You’re no hostage, but, I have to separate you from Mizushima and his son 」

Jii-chan said.

「 Earlier, you asked me to punish you if I punish your family, but that hasn’t changed, has it? 」

Karen-san…

「 Yes. As said earlier, I am ready 」

Karen-san stresses out that she’s not ordered by her father or grandfather.

「 Then, as for your punishment 」

「 Please tell me anything 」

Karen-san bows elegantly

「 Umu. You will become a vassal of Kouzuki house 」

Jii-chan?

「 You are no longer a daughter of Mizushima house. You’re now a vassal of Kouzuki house 」

Karen-san looked at Jii-chan.

「 Let’s see. When you reach the age of 20, you will become the next head of the Mizushima house. But for the remaining 8 years, you will serve Misuzu as the servant of Kouzuki house 」

「 Misuzu-sama? 」

「 I have no jobs for 12-year-old girls 」

Jii-chan said sullenly.

「 I’m sorry 」

Karen-san apologized.

「 To tell you the truth, your father and grandfather don’t understand the weight of their actions. They’re both raised as the stereotypical innocent boys. They don’t know what they’re doing, and they are too optimistic about the results of their actions 」

「 I have the same sentiment 」

The old man seem to think that all is forgiven once they step back from their chairs.

Far from that, they think that the Kouzuki group and other nobility would help rebuild Mizushima holdings.

「 nobility needs unity. We could have the same type of industry, but we try to share ownership between those with similarly long history families 」

Jii-chan said.

「 That is why what Mizushima house did is an act of treachery among the nobility. They’re destroying the mutual trust between houses 」

Sending in someone involved in crime to a party where the young ladies of nobility gather…

Furthermore, his attitude shows that he thinks that they will forgive him, no matter what happens.

「 It’s punishing a crime to make an example. In short, if Mizushima house isn’t punished heavily, then someone else will do the same 」

Jii-chan sighs.

「 It’s not just crime syndicates, but all the evil people want nobility all the time. Other families need to be cautious as well 」

「 Therefore, I’m deprived of my status as nobility and demoted as Misuzu-sama’s vassal? 」

Karen-san replies.

「 Indeed. If I don’t go that far, other families will not see it as a lesson. Also, if in 8 years, once you’re an adult, I promise to restore Mizushima house, but, that depends on your actions 」

「 If I cannot fulfill loyalty to Misuzu-sama, Mizushima house will no longer recover? 」

「 Correct 」

Karen-san thinks for a moment.

「 Does the promise include the preservation of the ancestral assets handed to Mizushima house? 」

She gives up on the group company, but not in the old mansion and the work of art.

「 I guarantee you that. I’m an old man, but I’ll talk to Kaan’s son and all the other heads of nobility. Mizushima house’s assets will not liquidate. However, you will take it over. I will no longer make transactions with your father or grandfather 」

Jii-chan is cornering the 12-year-old girl.

「 You will use your own power and show the other nobility your loyalty to Misuzu. And if they accept your conduct, then, you will revive Mizushima house and become the head of it 」

Loyalty to Misuzu. That means;

Becoming Misuzu’s pet.

This 12-year-old girl probably couldn’t guess that.

「 I understand, then I serve Kouzuki house 」

Karen-san replied.

「 I think I have no other way of letting other nobility forgive Mizushima house but that 」

Nobility…

「 And above all, Kouzuki-sama’s going that far for Mizushima house and me… 」

The 12-year-old beautiful young lady said.

「 Then, I swear loyalty by serving Misuzu-sama! 」
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