Takane no Hana Volume 2 Chapter 21

Trying to Fulfill My Responsibilities

I am getting used to my dance lessons with Tennoji-san.

Ballroom dancing is performed by a man and a woman in close physical contact. I felt like I showed a lot of weakness at first, but as I watched Tennoji-san’s serious attitude, the malicious feelings I had inside me vanished.


“That’s all for today.”


Tennoji-san wipes her sweat lightly.

I looked at my watch and saw that we had only been practicing for an hour.


“Earlier than usual, isn’t it?”


“Yes. I’d like to go on a little longer, but I have something to do today.”




When I casually asked her back, for some reason Tennoji-san’s expression became clouded.


“……This is about the marriage proposal I told you about before. Today we are meeting with the other party.”


The Tennoji-san’s expression was still cloudy as she told me that.


“Um…… Tennoji-san, you don’t want to accept this marriage proposal?”


“Why did you think so?”


“You don’t seem to be very enthusiastic about it.”


I had always thought that Tennoji-san was keen on the idea of a marriage proposal, and I was going to support her. I remember that she had shown some anxiety for a while, but it was only because she was nervous about the unknown experience of the marriage proposal, not because she was anxious about the proposal itself.


However, I may have been wrong.

Once again, I asked Tennoji-san about her true feelings.


“There is no need to worry, I am positive about the proposal.”


Tennoji answered with a deceptive smile.


“And …… I am in a position where I have to accept the offer.”


“Your position ……?”


“Yes. Since it’s a good opportunity, I’ll tell Nishinari-san about it.”


Tennoji-san looked at me with a serious expression.


“I am an adopted child.”


My eyes widened at that statement.

Tennoji-san continued calmly.


“I was adopted, but I was taken in by the Tennoji family when I was a baby, so I don’t really feel like I’m an adopted child.”


With a slight look of guilt on her face, Tennoji-san said.


“Both my father and mother treat me as if I were their own daughter. However, it is still an undeniable fact that I do not have the blood of the Tennoji family in my veins. I am not a daughter of the Tennoji family. …… therefore, I need to be more mindful of my behavior to be appropriate for a daughter of the Tennoji family. Since I have no blood in my veins, I must at least carry on the achievements. This is my duty.”


Somehow, I managed to wrap my head around the confusion and put Tennoji-san’s story into perspective.

In other words, Tennoji-san thinks that she must not betray the expectations of the Tennoji family because of her position as an adopted child. And Tennoji-san believes that this is her duty.


“Wait, wait a minute.”


As I got the story straightened out, I had a feeling that one of the assumptions I had been holding on to had been broken.


“Tennoji-san, did you get engaged because of your …… duty ……?”


To this question, Tennoji-san nods her head with a thin smile on her face.


“Yes, but this is a common occurrence for people of our social class.”


It may be true, but …….


–Is it really okay?


Is it really okay, as it is?

I immediately thought of Hinako. It is not always possible to be happy if you do what your parents want you to do. I know this from my relationship with Hinako.


However, in this case, Tennoji herself is satisfied with her current situation.

The outsider should not say anything. Even though I know that, it still bothers me.


“My case is somewhat unique, but …… you, of all people, would understand, wouldn’t you?”




“Because you are also adopted, aren’t you?”


I was so taken aback by these words that I stiffened up with my mouth open.


“Do you remember what I said before at the study group that Konohana-san and the others were attending?”


After hearing those words, I remembered.

During a break in the study session, Tennoji-san asked me, “Are you really the heir to a medium-sized company?”


“…. As I recall, you said that my mannerisms are not what you are educated to be as an heir.”


“Yes. At that point, I had an idea of your status. Perhaps you are someone who, like …… me, is trying to do your duty to protect the family name.”


As a result, Tennoji-san apparently decided that I was an adopted child.

But – unfortunately not.


She was right up to the halfway point. Like Tennoji-san, I am also trying to fulfill my duty to protect the family name.


However, the family name I am protecting belongs to the Konohana family.

I am not an adopted son, I am just a servant employed by the Konohana family.


I cannot explain this to Tennoji-san. That would violate the contract between me and the Konohana family.

I am not a very smart person, but I could still imagine how much trouble I would cause the Konohana family if I revealed myself here.


“…… Please keep it …… confidential.”


“Of course. ……Hmmm, after all, there is no mistake with my eyes.”


Tennoji-san smiled happily.


My heart ached.

It was a feeling of …… guilt that I had turned a blind eye to all this time.