TL : Ellionora
Editor : Kevin
Although Tsubaki gave a declaration of war to Mio in her heart with high spirits, her mother’s safety and rescue was still more important at the present.
Currently, Tsubaki does not have a single thing that can be called a weapon on her. Even if she did have her memories of her previous life, she can’t just walk straight in the house and drive off the mother and daughter duo from the place. As much as she wants to be rid of them, she was still just a kid so she can’t do much.
Even if her mother did held the same authority like the mother in the game and got married with her father, the mistress still holds the real power in the main house and her mother was quickly driven away. But despite being driven off like that, Tsubaki’s mother could only quietly accept it. At this point, Tsubaki could not imagine that her mother right now was the same mother that she saw in the game
To begin with, from what Tsubaki knew about her mother as she grew up was, a very gentle woman. This personality was definitely not the same as the mother that was inside the game, who was hysterical and had raised hell on earth towards her husband and Mio’s mother.
It was also with her mother’s personality that had changed greatly, that Tsubaki hadn’t realized that she was in the world of [Koi Hana] the first time she reincarnated.
There was a time where her mother always bedridden, and the servant told her that it was because her mother has a weak body. Tsubaki could only worry and concern for her health, as she was put a comment that was off the mark like —It’s really tough for a person with very low stamina, huh.
There was also a time when Tsubaki was watching her mother behind a cover silently, who was just absentmindedly staring at the far-off distance as if she was gazing at a distant past. At that time, she thought that her mother was a person with a weak heart, but now she understood, her attitude was all because of the pent-up stress from Tsubaki’s father and Mio’s mother.
Yet, in front of Tsubaki, she would always have a kind smile on her face while Tsubaki would tell her mother what she had done for the day.
Though I would be impressed if that calm and gentle personality was just an act while her real personality was the stern, strict mother just like in the game… but still– For Tsubaki who received a mother’s love ever since birth and had been raised for four years, she had a big gratitude towards her mother. Just by thinking how her mother will die in the near future and she didn’t do anything about it, it was hurting her conscience so much that she couldn’t even sleep soundly at night.
Let’s leave Mother’s personalities and the sort for now. At any rate, I have to make mother and father to divorce and return to the Mizushima house together with mother as soon as I can.
In addition, the number of times that Tsubaki heard from their only servant who worked here, that her mother was falling ill so she has to rest, are getting more frequent.
Does that mean that right now, Mother is already in the depression state?
With the aim to change the worst future, Tsubaki began writing a letter for her mother. After she was finished with the writing, coupled with a bundle of flowers that bloomed in the garden, Tsubaki went towards the room where her mother was.
But at the moment when Tsubaki was about to put her hand on the room’s doorknob with high spirits, someone had called her from behind.
“Ojou-sama. Yuriko-sama is still sleeping. You will catch a cold if you stay too long here so let’s go over there.”
“I-If that’s so, the please give this to Okaa-sama.”
Perhaps because the servant doesn’t wish to show the ill mother in front of Tsubaki, the servant made sure so that Tsubaki doesn’t get too close. Being pushed on the back by the servant, in a fluster, Tsubaki gave the letter and flowers to her.
Though it was just for a moment, the young servant was looking at Tsubaki with pity in her eyes, but as expected from an experienced servant, she quickly put a smile, crouched down, and looked at Tsubaki and received the letter and flowers from her.
“Yes, I will give these to Yuriko-sama. I believe she will be very happy when she receives these.”
The name of the young servant is Fumiko.
She has worked for the Mizushima family ever since Tsubaki’s mother was still in her childhood years. By the time her mother was married, she came to accompany her mother in the Kurahashi house.
At the present, it was only Fumiko who served Tsubaki and her mother in this distant place.
But because of her father’s threats, the other servants only worked in the main house and took care of Mio and her mother.
As Tsubaki’s mother said nothing on the subject, he regarded Tsubaki and Fumiko as no threat to him whatsoever as well.
Thus, what was sent over to this remote place were only a minimum amount of necessities. There was no contact from the outside world whatsoever besides the servant from the main house who was tasked to bring the one-week worth of food ingredients to the place.
There was no TV, no telephone either, even newspapers were restricted so it was natural for her mother’s heart to fall ill if she got house arrest for four years with no contact whatsoever from the outside world.
Nevertheless, in spite that the legal wife was being ignored and treated like this here, there were no actions from the Mizushima family which greatly bothered Tsubaki.
For four years, there were no contacts at all from their daughter and they weren’t bothered by it at all?– This is the question the bothered Tsubaki the most.
In the game, Tsubaki’s grandfather was a person who was very loving towards his family members. When news of Tsubaki’s mother who passed away reached him, the guilt that her grandfather felt was really tremendous and so to make amends to it, he spoiled Tsubaki very much.
Just because he spoils Tsubaki and Kyousuke so much inside the game, it doesn’t mean that he is caring towards his family members? No, I hope I was wrong.
Also, Tsubaki can’t use her uncle’s and grandfather’s names here because so far, there was no one who had taught her about her mother’s family. There was no way for a four-year old child to suddenly talk about information that shouldn’t be known to them yet.
And so the only plan that she could think of and make use was to take care of her mother, and hoped that her mother will return to her gallant self before she fell ill. It was this trust-everything-to-fate like plan the only thing she could do.
Though it was very mortifying for Tsubaki, who has the mental age close to a 30 year old, to slur her words like a pure and innocent child but, ‘one can’t change their belly on their back’. (TN: A Japanese saying; Not able to escape an urgent problem without making some sacrifices.)
The next day, Tsubaki once again wrote a letter and picked flowers from the garden for her mother and passed them to Fumiko.
There was a time Tsubaki was able to meet with her mother when her heart had began to calm down. At that time, without letting go of this golden chance, Tsubaki poured quite a lot of force unconsciously in her letter and wrote something like: “Don’t forget, you have a daughter this cute besides you okay~ It is Not! Good! to show your daughter that strange, gloomy aura, okay~”.
Days passed and it was close to half a year ever since she started sending letters to her mother. And before her mother completely regain her senses back, Fumiko was the first one to snap.
That day, Tsubaki passed the letters and flowers to Fumiko, and Fumiko would update Tsubaki on her mother’s condition, just like always.
There wasn’t even a single trace of anger on Fumiko, or perhaps she couldn’t bear her emotion inside her anymore.
After Fumiko received the letter and flowers from Tsubaki, she stood up, opened the door to her mother’s room in one breath. With full of determination, Fumiko marched quickly towards her mother who was still laying down absentmindedly, raised the upper-half of her mother’s body and… slapped her mother’s cheek with everything she had.
Because of the dry and crisp sound that was so loud, Aah, so this is kind of sound that comes when someone got seriously slapped.– Everything just happened so suddenly so Tsubaki’s mind went flying somewhere.
“Yuriko-sama, enough already! You are already a parent! Just because you were deceived by a man, you’re already reduced to this state!? Can you even still say that you are a lady of Mizushima!? Where’s the courage that you shown when you cut down those objections from your family about this marriage!? Are you not ashamed at all!? Do you not feel sorry for Tsubaki-sama who is always worried of you!? Do you not find it mortifying at all to be looked down upon by that kind of woman!?”
After Fumiko slapped Yuriko, she said it all in one breath without even taking in one herself.
With her cheek getting slapped all of a sudden, Yuriko looked at Fumiko with a surprised look while Tsubaki could only watch this spectacle by the side with her mouth gaped.
A minute later, Yuriko’s face began to crumple and she cried out loud like a child that got scolded by her parents.
Although Tsubaki couldn’t catch most of what her mother was saying because she was crying, but with the help of Fumiko smoothing out what her mother was saying, Tsubaki understood most of the story’s contents.
Just like inside the game, both of Tsubaki’s parents faced the objections from the Mizushima family and eloped. Fumiko, who was personally concerned for Yuriko, forcibly followed her as her attendant.
If judged from the way how Yuriko told it, it’s as if she didn’t make it as an established fact when Tsubaki’s father made her drunk, but to get married to him, she was willing to collaborate with him and marry due to unintended pregnancy.
For mother herself, she already knew that he still had a lingering affection towards his other lover, but she believed in the end that he will choose her, and at the same time she wasn’t aware, her husband was still tied together with the other lover as they moved forwards.
Then as Tsubaki was born, she got driven away to a distant place, and that was when Mio and her mother came in.
And then she finally realized it all, about how she was used because she was a lady of Mizushima, and about her husband didn’t even have a speck of love towards her. It was painful, too painful that she doesn’t care about anything anymore.
Furthermore, Mio’s mother, who saw her as an enemy since childhood, was the lover of her husband and it gave a great shock to her. For Yuriko herself to do the exact same thing like her deceased mother did to Mio’s grandmother, there was only guilt inside her and it continued to torment her.
Yet after getting married, she never once contacted her relatives. Before she left her home, she left sharp parting words towards her family so she believed that she couldn’t just return as she wished after not meeting with them for a long time. Moreover now, she doesn’t have any means to get in touch with the outside world and was trapped inside this confinement situation.
After hearing her mother’s story, Tsubaki’s impression towards her father and Mio’s mother are: Thoroughly a villain.
It goes without saying for her father, but Tsubaki believed there was also Mio’s mother’s involvement in this. She just brazenly pushed aside the legal wife and lived comfortably in the main house.
Although Mio’s mother was described as a patient and strong-willed woman inside the game, in her previous life, Tsubaki can only think of her as a shrewd and calculative woman because at the time Tsubaki’s mother passed away, she suddenly took the position of the second wife.
As I expected, this world is straying away from the original script of the game’s world.— Once again, Tsubaki confirmed one of her doubts while she listened her mother’s story.
“Anyway, we have to tell Danna-sama or Haruki-sama about this.”
“…. How? We can’t even get out of here.”
There were no telephones installed in this place. There weren’t any chances of getting out of here in the first place so even if they wrote a letter, it can’t even be sent.
The moment they were in a situation where they could not have any means of getting in touch with the outside world, it was already a checkmate. Though it was good that her mother had gotten a hold of herself once more, it was clearly visible her mother would fall ill again if this situation got stretched longer.
Above all, it was impossible to get out without going through the main house. With surveillance cameras around the premises, the chance for success was very low.
Also, because her father was still thinking that Yuriko was still ill, the monitoring should be lax.
If he were made aware that Yuriko had already regained back her senses, he will then send more servants to this places and the monitoring of Tsubaki, her mother, and Fumiko would only get tighter for sure. Before that happens, there must be something that I could do– Tsubaki thought calmly.
If Fumiko can’t go out, then it only left Tsubaki as the final option, but it was still unclear whether her mother and Fumiko would give permission to a four-year old child to go out alone.
In this situation, where they were driven to a corner, Tsubaki hoped that they will give her the permission to go out so she faced the two of them and said what she had in her mind.
“Okaa-sama, Tsubaki will go.”
“… Tsubaki-chan, what did you just say?”
When she heard the daughter, a child who was still four years old, and in addition to that, a child that has never gone out before, say that she would go instead, she doubted her ears.
Even if Tsubaki could get out of here, a child who doesn’t know anything about traffic rules and transportation facilities, venturing out in the outside world was unthinkable.
“There’s a wall over there that looks like it beginning to crumble. If it’s Tsubaki, then Tsubaki can pass through it. Then, Tsubaki will ask grandfather and uncle for help.”
When Tsubaki was exploring around the garden, a part below the wall was all crumbled up and when she started clearing those lumps of stone, she found a small hole big enough for a single child to get through it.
“Impossible. It is too dangerous.”
If there was someone quietly guarding her from behind then perhaps her mother would give the permission but for her mother, it was unacceptable for her to give her permission to her daughter, who is a four-year old child, to go out alone.
“However, Yuriko-sama. There aren’t any other options besides this. Tsubaki-sama is a very clever child. Surely she can send the message of Yuriko-sama’s current state in here. And also, if she takes the bus stop close from here, I believe she can arrive at a places near the Mizushima’s main office.”
Fumiko had dropped the lifeboat. Fumiko understood the situation more than the mother who was raised with a sheltered life.
Since they can’t get out of here, then the only way for them call for help was to entrust everything onto the four-year old Tsubaki.
At best, Tsubaki should arrive safely close to the Mizushima’s main office through the right bus route.
If she gets on the right bus route, then it wouldn’t be a matter for a four-year old child to safely manage this.
“But… I see. If she can arrive close to the main office then the risk would be lowered. This is the only option we have, it can’t be helped then. Tsubaki-chan, be careful of cars, okay? Do you know the proper way to check when to cross the road?”
“I know! Leave it to Tsubaki.”
Seeing Tsubaki giving her reply with so much confidence, Fumiko remembered how since Tsubaki was born, she had never held those small hands of hers.
Since Tsubaki was born, she was a child that rarely cried.
When she was hungry, or when she wants her diaper to be changed, she would only let out a grumpy voice as she calls out to either her mother or Fumiko.
Without anyone realizing, she was able to change her position in her cradle, able to walk on her own, and was able to write on her own.
She was a child that was blessed with a high comprehension ability. If somebody says one words, she can understand 10 meanings of it. Although there was no one who taught her about proper table manners, she fully understood it as if it was natural to her.
If she’s not planning on going to her mother’s place, then without doing anything dangerous or not straying too far, she would always go out and play in the garden. She was a child that was able to spend most of her time alone while basking under the sun.
This is why she always fawns over her mother. She made sure to tell her mother that even if she was alone, her daughter would be fine, and would bear everything for her mother.
Always receiving the letters and flowers that Tsubaki personally picked from the garden and passed it to her mistress, the image of how worried Tsubaki was when she asked Fumiko of her mother’s condition, this made Fumiko realize just how much she was saved by it and was amazed on the thought.
No matter how clever and mature Tsubaki was, she was still a four-year old child that still wants attention from her mother, yet, Tsubaki was always patient, always took everything consideration, behaviour unbefitting of her age. For us, who are called adults, to neglect a child such as her– Fumiko was really ashamed.
Now was the best chance to escape since her mistress has regained back her sense. With the four-year house arrest, and basically zero information of what has happened out in the outside world, Fumiko could only feel anxious letting a four-year old child to venture out alone.
However , this was the only way. There were no other options besides trusting everything to Tsubaki. Fumiko wrote a note and taught Tsubaki about how to cross the road, how transportation works in society, and so on, and always reminded Tsubaki to be careful.
Several days later on the day of the escape, Tsubaki, who has learned all the needed information about the outside world, to the minute details from her mother and Fumiko. She was also told about her grandfather’s and uncle’s names and also the address of the Mizushima main office. She got through the hole that was below the wall after receiving a letter from her mother and also a letter along with expense money from Fumiko that she had earned and saved up while still served at Mizushima a while back.
To not get caught right off the bat while she was moving out, Tsubaki took a route at the blind spots of the cameras, and got away from the Kurahashi premises.
The destination was Mizushima’s main office. It should be far away from Tsubaki’s current position because it would take 20 minutes from her position to the main office by bus.
However, because her line of sight was really low, reading the bus stops at the information board was took a lot of time for Tsubaki.
Though I’ve never experienced going out before ever since I got reborn, just reading the text on information about the bus stops is really painful.
Perhaps because Tsubaki looked like she was lost, there was a kind oba-san who suddenly talked to her.
“Ojou-chan, where is it that you want to go?”
“Etto ne. I want to deliver something that Papa forgot. I want to go here.”
And so, Tsubaki showed the address for the Mizushima main office that was written on a piece of paper to the oba-san.
“Ah. If so, then it should be okay if you take the next bus, it’s last stop would be around there.
“Really? Thank you, oba-san.”
The oba-san returned the paper to Tsubaki, and just like she was told, she took the next bus. Inside the bus, Tsubaki was filled with anxiety as she wonders if all of the would all go well.
If this world wasn’t like the game, then there was a possibility that her grandfather and uncle had already given up on Yuriko who defied them and eloped.
Even if she did successfully pass the letters but got kicked out in the end, then everything would be over. Please. I hope they are people who loves their family– Tsubaki quietly prayed. When the bus arrived at the last stop, she got down from the bus and stood in front of the Mizushima main office
Firstly, she needed to call her grandfather or uncle through the receptionist. With that in thought, Tsubaki walked towards the receptionist desk.
The receptionist was caught surprised when she couldn’t find the speaker in front of her, but she quickly realized that it was a little girl who called out for her with her small hands stretched on the desk. She stood up from her chair and walked around to the front of her desk, where she met with Tsubaki.
“What’s wrong, Ojou-chan?”
“Ano, I want to meet with Mizushima Souichirou-san or with Mizushima Haruki-san.”
“… Pardon me, what relations do you have with them?”
“Etto, my mother’s name is Yuriko. Kurahashi Yuriko. Mizushima Souichirou-san is Tsubaki’s grandfather.”
“I will have to confirm about this so please wait.”
The receptionist onee-san suddenly talk to Tsubaki politely and began to make a phone call.
If what the girl was said true, then it would mean she was the granddaughter of the Director. As expected from a receptionist from the main office of the Mizushima company, she knew how to take appropriate actions quickly. When she finished with the phone call regarding Tsubaki, she guided her with a smile to a sofa that was not far from the reception desk.
“There will be someone who will come and meet with you here, so please wait here.”
Thanking the receptionist, Tsubaki waited for someone who will come for her while praying in her mind.
After a dozen seconds later, a young man who wore a suit was out of breath and ran up toward Tsubaki.
“Etto, you are–“
“I see. I am Suzuhara, the First Secretary of the Managing Director. Because the Director has gone abroad since yesterday, you will be meeting with Managing Director Mizushima today. Now, this way please.”
As Suzuhara talked to Tsubaki, they entered the elevator. It felt awkward that there were no conversations between the two along the way.
Having arrived at the top floor, as Tsubaki threaded on a fluffy carpet, she finally stood in front of a conspicuous door.
“Managing Director, I have brought her here.”
With the impression of the cold voice that came from behind the door, Tsubaki unconsciously straightened her back.
Saa, it’s Game On the moment this door is opened. Tsubaki began to steel herself.