This entry is part 5 of 5 in the novels Reiko's Manners

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Episode 5

“I think what’s strange here is that, for Kujouin-san, whose grandfather had been a generous person, to be living alone in poverty. Normally, those who received his favour should have reached out.”

 Ichijou-sensei is right.

“Perhaps there were people who offered help. But my grandmother, with her pride that was tall enough to tower over Everest, would rather die if the alternative was to receive funding from someone else.”

 I remember Mary-sama. Her back wasn’t bent even after her 90s, and her fingers looked beautiful. And she thus played the piano wilfully.

 But she was so outrageously prideful that she wouldn’t want to receive anything from even our neighbors. How are those tenants doing now? Though the tenants are no longer here, they were much more respected than Mary-sama. I was taught about the plants that can be harvested from the mountains and how to eat them. Fuki-san didn’t know about rural life because she grew up in the city.

“My grandmother’s personality was terribly awful. She was held in high regard, but still was just a selfish, grumpy artist that’s hard to please.”

“Actually, I’ve also heard a similar story from grandfather when he talked about the Kujouin family. So he said he couldn’t help, and he wanted to respect their pride.”

 Ichijou-sensei seems unconvinced. That would be so. An old woman and a baby who can’t take care of themself can’t live without any help.

“With regards to other questions I think you have, Ichijou-sensei. My grandmother and I have always had supporters. My grandmother called a maid and she was the one who raised me. That’s why I’ve lived this long. However, after my grandmother died, she― Fuki-san was her name, returned to her family, and was well over 80 years old.”

 Remembering Fuki-san makes me feel a little, no, I feel really lonesome. When I was little, we would often hold hands together walking. Even though it was just a matter of shopping, the talks while walking was fun. When we are at home, Mary-sama takes priority.

“Fuki-san seems to have taken a liking to grandmother. ‘To serve my noble Mary-sama,’ ah― that is to say my grandmother, ‘is an honour,’ or so Fuki-san herself often said.”

 Ichijou-sensei, I wonder if you are a little convinced. Anyone who knows Mary-sama and Fuki-san will be convinced immediately.

“That’s about it for my story. I understand the case of the villainess young lady. That said, the poor me can’t take the young lady part of the setting. But I’ll take on the villainess part.”

“Wha…what are you saying?”

 Sara-sama, you’re way too surprised. Your ringlet rolls are getting dishevelled.

“When my grandmother suffered from dementia, it often became worse if I denied what she thought was true. Won’t denying the delusion of Sakurada Yuria-sama not help her treatment? Ichijou-sensei, what’s your opinion as a physician?”

“Well, I haven’t really wanted to think too deeply about it. Just that, maybe there were so many dazzling boys around her that she thought of a delusional story. That said, today, I just happened to come across Kujouin Reiko, that very villainess young lady of her delusion. I was surprised at what I learned.”

 That delusionist, her delusion will get to a stage where it’ll be considerd an illness if left alone! 

“The outcome is that Rei-chan got injured. She even uttered some baseless abusive remarks. If you just enrolled and was told such things by an internal student, do you think you can spend your time at the school normally?”

 Sara-sama raised her voice. She was a bit angry for my sake. I feel guilty.

“Aah, it wasn’t a real laugh this morning. I am sorry I laughed then.”

 Ichijou-sensei bows down, but I got a free treatment so I have no complaints.

“I’m okay. Besides, thanks to Sakurada Yuria-sama, I’ve been able to make friends with Sara-chan. It truly is a fortunate error!”

 What’s this pleasant mood that seems to enveloped us, I wonder? When Sara-sama smiles a little, she’s so cute. Meanwhile Ichijou-sensei, well, he got a serious look on his face.

“Well then sensei, this would be a great opportunity to help Sakurada Yuria-sama’s treatment. The illness is not your fault.”

“… Assuming it indeed is a delusion, the catch is that Yuria knew about you. Have you ever encountered her I wonder?”

 I see. Certainly, Sakurada Yuria-sama knew of my existence. Although she was wrong about me being a young lady ― a penniless villainess would have been more correct. Having to correct myself this way is painful.

“What I just talked about earlier, didn’t it enter your head? The Kujouin house is a noble family. Everyone from our grandparents’ generation knows of them and received their help as well. It’s natural that they would talk about it if someone from the Kujouin house appeared, letting our generation know about it. Besides, hadn’t the new students already submitted their identity documents before enrollment, we would have already created a list of enrollees. Her childhood friend, Katsuragi-sama, belongs to the student council, so it wouldn’t be a stretch for her to look at the roll register through him.”

 Ichijou-sensei scratches his head, groaning.

“… Isn’t that so. It’s as you said. There’s some truth to Yuria’s delusion. No, I don’t mean that as in ― Kujouin-san looks like a villainess young lady. And you are prim and proper, and very beautiful. Yuria’s story is ridiculously specific. I was just listening for fun.”

“Don’t just praise Rei-chan so smoothly like that, sensei. Just monitor Sakurada Yuria diligently. I’ll protect Rei-chan.”

 He’s just like a knight in a picture book that will protect you. I want to hide my blushing face, but there’s nothing I can do about this.

“Thank you, Soujuu-sama. But I’m fine.”

 Yes, I am fine. When I was a junior high school student, people often talked behind my back. There was no direct bullying however. But I was usually alone at school. In the first place, I can’t earnestly go to the school due to caregiving.

 I’m Mary-sama’s granddaughter. It can’t be helped because I’m her granddaughter.

“There are guys in this school who do some vulgar things. I can’t help but be cautious.”

 Soujuu-sama says as such with a serious look on his face that I felt a chill down my spine. What exactly does he mean by vulgar?

“I don’t think there’s anything stupid about lending a hand to my dear friend.”

“Sara-chan, thank you. I feel reassured.”

 Sara-sama and I clasped hands. Aah, Sara-sama’s hands are so smooth. It’s an Ojou-sama’s hands.

“Hey, I’m there too, right?”

 Soujuu-sama also puts his hands and joins us. Although Sara-sama glares at Soujuu-sama, he remains nonchalant. Ichijou-sensei coughed and we returned to our seats. Thereafter, Sara-sama began to question Ichijou-sensei.

“Well then, I supposed I am to be a stalking horse, are you sure about that?”

 Sara-sama folds her arms as she raises her chin, scowling at sensei and asking.

“Hongou-san is a stalking horse for the Katsuragi-kun and Yuuki-san pair.”

 Sara-sama was looking much like a demon. As much as I want her to calm down, it seems impossible.

“I, a stalking horse for a woman called Yuuki. That’s a foolish thing to wish for.”

“Sara-chan, calm down. This is the delusional world of Sakurada Yuria-sama. Look, I’m a penniless villainess! An evil woman!”

“Better to be an evil woman than a stalking horse!”

 Certainly, stalking horses doesn’t sound too good. An evil woman certainly sounds cooler.

“In the first place, does Sara-chan like Katsuragi-sama?”

“No.”

 Sara-sama answered flatly.

“Then, isn’t there no problem in particular?”

“Isn’t it like this? Sara has romantic feelings for Katsuragi-san, but she ended up being a stalking horse?”

 What Soujuu-sama said is correct. However, I don’t think the tag of a stalking horse suits the noble Sara-sama.

“I feel sorry for Hongo-san, but I haven’t heard the details about it. See, Yuria seems to want to attach Takanashi-kun to the heroine.”

 Though Ichijou-sensei was apologetic, Sara-sama remains sullen.

“Sara-chan, I believe it’s very unreasonable indeed, but let’s leave the stalking horse part aside for a bit. This is all due to the illness of Sakurada Yuria-sama. Her abusive remarks are due to the nature of her illness. If she said something next time, I will refute it! Now then, we should be returning home soon, right?”

 Sara-sama who became my first friend at the school will protect me! Then, let’s buy some bonito on the way home. If I have bonito at home, I’d then cut back on my spendings. I’ll be having onigiri with okaka tomorrow!

 When I left the school infirmary with such thoughts, the sun was already setting. After this I’ll be on a two-hour journey to return home. But I am already exhausted.

TN: Stay safe everyone.

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