“Now…. Shall we hear your defense?”
Tennoji-san, who had regained her composure, stared straight at me.
The center of the dojo. We were sitting on the floor facing each other, and the air was tense between us.
I explained my situation honestly.
I explained that I was not the son and heir of a medium-sized company. I usually work for the Konohana family as an employee. I explained all of this to her.
“I see … I see, I see …”
Tennoji-san shook her head after hearing the explanation.
“The actuality that you are actually the eldest son of a poor family, not the heir apparent of a company, and now work as an assistant to Konohana Hinako, and as part of that, you are also a student at the Academy. It’s …… hard to believe out of the blue, but it makes sense.”
Tennoji-san looked convinced.
Then, she looked at me with her still eyes and said,
She tells me briefly.
“You are a deceiver.”
“…I think you’re right.”
I couldn’t even breathe. I bowed my head.
“…… The way you talk.”
“I was wondering if that way of speaking was also an act. When you stopped my shinai, it seemed like your tone changed.”
It’s not as big of an act as it sounds, but it’s certainly not my normal tone of voice.
Just because they are students at Academy does not mean that they all need to use honorifics. In fact, Taisho and Asahi-san, who are classmates of mine, treat everyone in a frank tone of voice.
“You should return to your original tone of voice.”
“I am telling you to change it back.”
It was a forceful statement that left no room for argument.
In any case, it was no use trying to patch things up now that the situation had turned out this way.
“….. I understand.”
When I returned to my original tone in resignation, Tennoji-san rounded her eyes.
“I see that you really …… had such a tone.”
After telling me this with a mysterious look on her face, Tennoji-san looked at me again with sharp eyes.
“I am not going to let you go. You must never lie in front of me in the future. Not only in your words, but also in your attitude.”
“If you keep that promise, I promise to continue our relationship as before.”
“Are you sure about ……? The same as before.”
“I told you. I am confident in my ability to judge people. After all, …… you tried to follow through with the lie out of respect for the Konohana family’s wishes rather than for your own, so I can’t easily deny that.”
Even in this situation, Tennoji-san was a person of character through and through.
In fact, Tennoji-san would not say or do anything that would put others at a disadvantage. Depending on the situation, she would distinguish between what she should say and what she should not say.
“But from now on, instead of lying, please say what you can’t say.”
“…… I understand. I will no longer lie in front of Tennoji-san.”
When I said this, Tennoji-san looked as if she suddenly thought of something.
“Shall we change the way you call me? When …… we are alone, call me Mirei.”
“I’m going to call you Itsuki-san, too……. I’m going to use …… that as a signal to talk to the real you.”
I see what she means, that might be useful.
We call each other what we always call each other when we are around others and change the way we call each other when we are alone to let ourselves be comfortable with each other……. Oddly enough, since Hinako and I already have such a relationship……, it doesn’t feel strange.
“Then …… Mirei.”
As a test, I call Tennoji-san by her name.
Then, Tennoji-san’s face turned red.
“……So, let’s not do this after all.”
“I don’t think I’ll be able to keep my cool. I’m going to call you as you’ve always called me……. I will call you Itsuki-san.”
Tennoji-san played with her golden hair with her fingertips and looked away as she said.
“Anyway, You will not lie to me after today. I will not lie to you either, for the sake of fairness. You are welcome to ask me anything at …….”
“I’m not at liberty to say “anything.” ……”
When asked, I could not easily come up with a question.
I had thought so, but there was one thing about Tennoji-san that had been bothering me for some time. However, I decided that it was probably not the right question to ask …… right now.
“…..I don’t have anything …… else to ask you.”
“Now your eyes are darting.”
Tennoji-san did not miss the hesitation for a moment.
“Why are you so reserved now?”
“No……, I’m not that concerned about it…….”
“I told you, no lying. If there’s something on your mind, you can tell me.”
“Well, …… then.”
The actual person said that much, so I’ll ask honestly too.
“Your hair is …… dyed, isn’t it?”
As I uttered the question, a strange exhale spilled out of Tennoji-san’s mouth.
“What an airheaded question ……!!”
“…… No, it’s been on my mind for a long time.”
“Well, I never thought I’d have to answer it myself so soon……As I thought, you’re a fraud……!!”
I don’t think it’s my fault on this one.
“…… I’m sorry.”
“I’m dyeing it! Do you have something to complain about!?”
Tennoji-san said, her face turning bright red.
I shook my head, not that I had anything to complain about. The redness of Tennoji-san’s face faded as if she had regained her composure.
“I’ve been dying my hair blonde since I was a little girl ……, to make my appearance more befitting of the daughter of the Tennoji family. The …… same goes for my …… tone of voice.”
“Oh ….., so you purposely had that tone of voice in mind?”
“It’s no wonder. I’ve been in a situation where I can’t withdraw from it.”
Tennoji-san says with a complicated face.
The actuality is, it might be hard to imagine Tennoji with black hair and normal tone of voice, if you know Tennoji in everyday life. I would worry that she has eaten something bad.
“… I have one more question to ask you.”
I realized there was one more question I needed to ask.
“Is there anyone besides Tennoji-san who knows that I am being under the Konohana family?”
“No, just me. I personally commissioned the entire investigation. ……It was my mother who first suspected you, but I’ll deceive her.”
“…… I see.”
Thank you, I tried to say, …… but I kept my mouth shut.
“Is something wrong?”
“No, …… I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and now that I’ve been exposed, I might not be able to stay at this academy anymore.”
I had no choice but to keep quiet about this matter to Hinako and Shizune-san.
I believed Tennoji-san. And I am still convinced. She would never blow the whistle on the information she learned about this incident to anyone.
But I am sure that …… Kagen-san will not approve of it.
As I was thinking this, I noticed that Tennoji-san had a sad look on her face.
“I’m sorry……. I wasn’t thinking that far ahead.”
“No, it wasn’t Tennoji-san’s fault.”
Tennoji-san misunderstood and I immediately corrected her.
Tennoji-san is not responsible for this matter at all. Because….
“… I didn’t want to lie to Tennoji-san any more than I already have.”
I am not sure if I am, right now, laughing properly.
Will there be demons or snakes? All will be revealed after I return to the mansion today.
1 thought on “Takane no Hana Volume 2 Chapter 26”
Thanks for the chap~~~