Mizushima Main Office.
In his office, Haruki was doing a final check on the divorce agreement letter that came from his lawyer.
Though Haruki had already prepared a countermeasure when he meets some sort of resistance from Kurahashi, but unexpectedly, he had already thrown in the towel. Seems like he had finally realized how grave the things that he has done.
Nevertheless that lover of Kurahashi, Shuugetsu Naoko, was really troublesome. Ever since childhood, she was already hostile towards Yuriko. Although given with her parent’s circumstances, it was somewhat understandable but…
Originally, Shuugetsu Naoko’s mother was said to be a candidate for the fiancée of Mizushima Souichirou, Haruki and Yuriko’s father.
There was nothing wrong with Shuugetsu family business as their hotel management was doing well, and the person herself yearend for Souichirou and believed that she was worthy enough to be the Mizushima’s head wife.
But then, Souichirou met with another woman, Yae, Haruki and Yuriko’s mother. At first Souichirou’s personal pick for the fiancée candidate was Yae, but the person herself refused with a sickness as her reason. Though Yae’s family doesn’t fall in the commoner class, her family is still far below the Shuugetsu household. The people behind Souichirou already decided to oppose the marriage from the partner that has refused the proposal once, and the Shuugetsu was fervent with the marriage arrangement. But Shouichirou stubbornly threw away the idea of marrying any woman other than Yae. Eventually, the two got married.
Arriving at this point, Naoko’s mother was fuming with anger and began on a rampage, and the talk about the marriage agreement between the Shuugetsu and Mizushima family was torn down. Since then, Souichirou confidently proclaimed that he will make the Mizushima company rise and double in scale, even if he has to use force on others.
And true to his words, Souichirou successfully made the business of the Mizushima flourish even more and made it even bigger than it was before. Others could only stare in amazement as they praised Souichirou for his achievements.
After Souichirou and Yae’s marriage, they immediately flew to France and began expanding the enterprise from its small scale business to a more larger scale year by year.
And when Haruki turned 4 years old, they returned to Japan and Souichirou passed the torch to Haruki.
On the other hand, Shuugetsu Naoko’s mother got married with one of her relatives and gave birth to a daughter on the same age as Yuriko, Naoko.
And ever since she was just a little child, Shuugetsu Naoko’s mother began brainwashing Naoko with words—-
[Don’t lose to that woman’s child.]
Since then Naoko began to see Yuriko as her enemy and competed with her.
At first it was just a pure feeling of wanting to get praised by her mother.
In fact, there was a time Naoko surpassed Yuriko and her mother exaggeratingly praised her.
She continued her harassments towards Yuriko for her mother’s praise.
Yuriko was a gentle girl from the start so without concerning Naoko’s harassments, she just ignored her, but because of that, Naoko’s pride was wounded and the harassments kept on escalating.
And the result was crystal clear.
She seduced and had an affair with Kurahashi, made a path for Kurahashi to be married with Yuriko, and took the timing to expose all of their affair after Yuriko’s childbirth.
Naoko arrived at this scheme when she was looking at Kurahashi in a certain party. Kurahashi’s appearance was almost the same as Yuriko’s big brother, Haruki. His character too, was exactly the haughty type of people, the exact opposite of people around Yuriko. Not like the type of man who will behave modestly just by hearing the name of Mizushima.
Naoko thought that if it’s Yuriko, she will never suspect people’s ulterior motives and will easily fall. And then Naoko began to falsify her name and age, seduced Kurahashi and steadily started to going out with him.
Since then, she began giving subtle hints about Yuriko into Kurahashi and successfully turned him to became Naoko’s ally. She slowly made Kurahashi thought that if he became one of the relatives of Mizushima, he would only be showered with benefit, and used him to hit on Yuriko.
Sure enough, Kurahashi, a type of a person who has never exist around her, started to flirt with her persistently and successfully made Yuriko crazy about him.
Also once for a while, she made sure Kurahashi to occasionally say [I still can’t forget about my former girlfriend] to Yuriko, and that made Yuriko believed that she has to give it his all for him..
And the result was Yuriko getting married with Kurahashi—- Moving exactly like what Naoko had wished.
After that, she only has to match the timing of her childbirth close to Yuriko’s by several months, and appear in front of Yuriko with her own child.
Though there are some oppositions and she had to run away from the Shuugetsu household, by the time she learned that Yuriko gave birth to a child, she gave a call to Kurahashi and told him to tell an imaginary lie to Yuriko.
All of these just to make Yuriko suffer from her own conscience as she believed that she had took away Kurahashi’s former girlfriend’s happiness, the same like what her late mother had done. What’s more, the other party is the lady from Shuugetsu household.
And so she easily stole Yuriko’s place in the Kurahashi household. At this time, Naoko was drowning with a sense of superiority and a sense of accomplishment.
In Naoko’s eyes, Kurahashi was just a pawn. To proof that, by the time her evil deed was exposed, she easily throw him away and return to her family.
For this case, Mizushima can’t put their hands on the Shuugetsu household, because all of the fault that laid on the matter with Souichirou. The matter about that marriage at that time first came from the Mizushima family, and the Mizushima themselves who had broken down the matter they had put up, and so about this matter with Naoko, they can’t denounce the Shuugetsu family at all. It was completely the result from the seed they had scattered. Long story short, you reap what you sow.
Haruki was regretful that he didn’t visit regularly on Yuriko and Tsubaki, and blindly believed in Kurahashi.
And also, to think Naoko was so fixed towards Yuriko to even sacrifice herself like that, it was beyond what Haruki can imagine. What’s more, that happened the same time Haruki’s wife had a bad child delivery and was falling ill, Haruki hands was already full with taking care of his wife.
He wanted to break off this chain of vengeance, but by the time Tsubaki and Mio was at the same age it was already impossible.
Haruki’s heart was full of guilt as he thought that the higher-ups will selfishly rail them in into this conflict.
“Managing Director. Is the agreement good like this?”
“Aa, sorry to drag you in into this.”
“No. Please don’t mind it.”
Talking with indifferent expression, Miyamura took the document from Haruki and stow them away.
With this we are done with Kurahashi– with that in mind, Haruki began to feel relieved.
Divorced with Yuriko, Mizushima finally can wash their hands away from Kurahashi.
Others might think this is just too light.
But to begin with, the product of Kurahashi’s company mostly handled consignment goods that were already scattered in the market. Because they had connection with the Mizushima, few– or probably, lots of small companies tried to consign their goods into Mizushima through Kurahashi.
That’s why, if they knew Kurahashi’s company already lost their connection with Mizushima, all of the small companies would definitely withdraw from Kurahashi.
Losing their goods is the same as losing their business. Sales would plummet down, and the management would surely go down too. If that happen, it would be only a matter of time before they meet the bankruptcy line.
If there are was an excellent individual they could probably avoid that line, but for Kurahashi, it’s impossible. To begin with, if he was indeed an excellent one, he should have probably developed his company’s own specialty product long time ago.
Getting divorced and losing support from the Mizushima, that’s all. From others perspective, it is something that can’t be helped and has already been done. And so, the resentment from the employees would rightfully go to Kurahashi and his management team.
Although I liked to be pardoned from things like people’s grudge, it doesn’t mean I will overlook this. We, Mizushima, are not some soft hearted people.
The moment Haruki laid his back on the chair, the telephone inside the room rang. Hearing that, Miyamura picked up the telephone and picked up the call.
Miyamura who heard the request temporarily puts the call on hold, raised her face to Haruki and began to ask.
“Managing Director. It seems like Asahina-sama wants to meet with you. How should I proceed?”
“Just tell him I’m in a middle of meeting right now.”
Miyamura then told the other side that Haruki is in a meeting and hang up the receiver.
There’s no need to meet directly and it was just a waste of time for him, it’s probably not something important after all.
Then, Haruki began to check important files on his desk from the meeting with a president from client’s company this afternoon, but suddenly the door bursts open and a person jumped in.
“See!? I knew that meeting was just a lie! Haruki, you are too cold.”
“I will hand you over to security for trespassing you know. So, how did you came in?”
“He seems like he was at loss in the reception lobby so I brought him here.”
Suzuhara who came in later began telling an obvious lie.
Although Haruki and Suzuhara have been associated with each other since their school days, as always, he is a man who doesn’t treat his boss as his superior.
The man in front of Haruki is Asahina Kaoru. They have been get along ever since elementary school in Takamine Academy.
The third son of the president of the Asahina Pottery. Currently affiliated with the Asahina Pottery’s Design Development Department and is mainly in charge of the design of ceramics pictures. And it seems like he received some income by painting. Though Haruki was wondering how can his paintings can be so popular but, it seems like his painting were sold in a high price.
Having been together since elementary school, the people around them somehow see the two of them as a pair of best friends. With a mother from Germany, he has a pale pigment and a deep chiseled face. However contrary to his looks, he has a gentle personality and sometimes quite unreliable but Haruki knew that he can guarantee Asahina’s character as a man because they had been friends for a very long time.
“So, what kind of business do you have with me to even come here without an appointment?”
“Please give Yuriko-san to me.”
Wait a minute, just now, what did you just say? It’s not about a job? Why did Yuriko’s name come out in here? Haruki was greatly perplexed.
Without even minding Haruki’s condition, Kaoru continued talking.
“She’s divorced right? If I keep dragging my feet here she will get taken by other man you know!? Strike while the iron is hot!”
“To begin with, she’s not something you can get by subscribing, you blockhead. Also the divorce process is still not done yet, even if it’s done she can only remarry after half a year.”
“Listen to me, I’m not done yet! Her daughter is Tsubaki-chan, isn’t? I will also take care of that girl too! I am sure I can love and bring happiness for both Yuriko-san and Tsubaki-chan.”
Once he started talking, he won’t bother listening to others. Haruki already knew Kaoru was this kind of man. Unintentionally, Haruki was talking with rough breathing but, in here there were only Suzuhara and Miyamura so there would be no problem at all.
Haruki already knew that Kaoru has feelings for Yuriko since long time ago.
Or rather, if Yuriko did not get married with Kurahashi, her marriage partner would be Kaoru.
After Yuriko married with Kurahashi, Kaoru went on a travelling trip, wandering overseas for about 2 years but in reality, it was just a trip for a broken-hearted man.
His personality, well… there were no problems at all. I believe he’s not lying when he says he will take care of Yuriko and Tsubaki.
As a big brother, I would like my little sister to be happy this time.
“Is that so? Do your best then.”
“Eee—, you won’t help me?”
“Isn’t that obvious!? Do it on your own if it only this much. And if Yuriko is willing to be marry you, me and our old man won’t say a thing. Do what you want.”
“Even a wee li~ittle help?”
Stop it. A middle-aged man in his thirties doing upturned eyes begging like that is not cute at all.
When Haruki stated his refusal, Kaoru began to pout and booed at Haruki.
Suddenly, the telephone inside the room rang once again and Suzuhara went and receive the call.
“Asahina-sama, it is a call from your company asking you to return.”
Separating the telephone from his ear, Suzuhara passed the message from the call to Kaoru who was still complaining to Haruki.
Still continuing his complaining, Kaoru reluctantly said his goodbye and then leave the room.
“As always, he’s like a typhoon isn’t he?”
“He’s just a man with a high tension, that’s all.”
“But still, it’s like what the saying goes right? Birds of a feather flock together.”
Suzuhara said that but, Haruki just ignored it.
Doesn’t that go for you as well? That’s what Haruki wanted to rebuke Suzuhara with, but he is a man who never wasted time in unproductive quarrels.
30 minutes passed since Kaoru left and once again the telephone inside the room rang. Suzuhara pick up the receiver and listened to the caller.
“Managing Director. Yuriko-sama wants to meet with you.”
Really, what a pitiful guy you are Kaoru. With that thought, Haruki listened on what the call was about.
Several minutes later, accompanied by Fumiko, Yuriko entered the room. On her face, excitement was written all over.
“I apologize for taking your time while you are in a middle of a job.”
“No, I have some spare times so it’s okay. So, what’s the matter?”
It was plain obvious that Yuriko was in a hurry. There was no way she would come bother her brother in the main office without a reason.
What’s more, not via a phone call but by a direct meeting. It’s better to think that there was a serious matter happening right now.
“Um, I came here to deliver a letter from Kyousuke-san.”
“From Kyousuke? To me?”
“Yes. It is a request from Tsubaki. I also think that it is not a good thing for Onii-sama to be avoiding Kyousuke-san. While I have the chance let me say this. Onii-sama, every conflict can be resolved with a little compromise, don’t you agree?”
Haruki understood what Yuriko was suggesting.
It’s not like Haruki was avoiding Kyousuke because he wanted to.
At the time his wife Risa was gone, at the moment of her death Haruki was not standing by her side. He was outside the region at that time because of job. He can return home with just the words “Something urgent came up”– But he didn’t said it. By the time the ambulance arrived, Risa already passed away.
The appearance of Kyousuke crying and clinging to Risa didn’t enter his view at that time. Though this sounded like an excuse, it’s because he was hit by a great shock.
She had a weak body from the start, but it’s not to the level to be unable for childbirth. However, her recovery from childbirth was bad and the time she spent on the bed was getting longer.
His memory of half a year after Risa’s death was vague. But it seems like the job in his workplace was done diligently.
By the time he got a hold of himself again, he was already avoiding Kyousuke’s view. What he afraid the most is if Kyousuke, who had the same eyes as Risa, was looking at him
He was afraid to look at Kyousuke’s eyes. It’s as if Risa was looking at him through Kyousuke’s eyes with condemn.
[Why didn’t you return?]
He was terrified if Risa was asking that to him as if blaming him.
That’s why even after he got hold of himself again, he kept avoiding Kyousuke. By the time he realized, slowly, the feeling of wanting to fix his relationship with Kyousuke began to fade.
He fully understood that if he leave things as it is, it would become something unfixable.
However, without knowing what to do about this situation and continued misunderstanding, this is what happens.
If the chance to fix their misunderstanding just happens to shows up in front of him, it’s not something to be against to, but something to follow.
If it is a letter rather than direct meeting, even he may be able to convey his honest feelings too.
“Certainly it’s just like what you said, Yuriko. I will surely read the letter.”
“Please do. Also, don’t forget to reply the letter too, okay?”
“Aa, got it.”
After seeing the letter in Haruki’s hands, Yuriko, accompanied by Fumiko, returned home together.
Looking at the letter for a few moments, Haruki put it inside the briefcase.
“You’re not going to read it?”
“I will, after return home.”
Ignoring Suzuhara’s reproachful gaze, Haruki began to resume with his work..