Since the month changes, I have started my dance practice.
But before that, there is one obstacle for me. First, I shall aim to overcome that obstacle.
“1, 2, 1, 2”
I have to keep my posture straight and walk with high heels as high as around 2 centimeters. This, the height of the heels is my obstacle.
No, it’s not only high. Why is it that when the heels are already high, the ground surface is small? If I were to slip off a little bit, I will surely lose my balance and fall.
Look. If I am not holding Minoa-san’s hand right now, then I would have already fallen on top of the floor. Nah, I kept falling over my ankles since before, so it didn’t change very much. It hurts, it hurts.
“Are you alright, Seiren-sama?”
I sit down on the floor and look at the condition of my ankle. It seems to be slightly twisted, but well, this much should be fine. My ankles are fine, but the sole of my feet are cramping. Since the position that becomes the center of the gravity is different than usual, surely I will be overusing my feet too much, I think.
“It’s harder than I thought, with these kinds of shoes, eh…”
“That is so. Since Seiren-sama is slightly of small stature-“
“You should get used to those shoes. However, the shoes you’ll be wearing for the real performance would be higher than that.”
Towards the words that came from Oriza-san who’s watching my stance from behind and Minoa-san who’s supporting me, I hang my head heartbrokenly. The real thing is going to be higher than this one, huh? Just what kind of feet do women have? Ah well, but I am also a woman right now.
“That is why, please get used to it, okay? Seiren-sama!”
“I, I will put in a great effort to it… Uwaa, is this real?!”
With this kind of high heel, even with just standing, my ankles are already twisted. I’m done for, I guess.
Not only to walk, but why would anyone dance using this? They must have a really great sense of balance. Also, their ankles should be really strong.
The women’s legs are slender, but for them to walk with this kind of shoes… In a sense, it would be some kind of a muscle training, right? Yes, I’m awfully convinced of that.
“Well, it certainly is real. Please try to get used to it, okay, Seiren?”
“So this is all real, huh…”
That being the case, Kaa-san who heard my idle complaint, responded by pleasantly laughing about it. As I thought, women are strong.
After today’s dance—no, walking practice, I’m having a tea break in my mother’s room after quite a while. Unusually, Saryuu was also there with us.
Or more precisely, this little brother of mine has something he wants to talk about, so he seems to join us for that purpose.
“Nee-sama’s dance practice, why can’t I join?”
Is that it, dear litle brother?
Or how should I put it, I still haven’t memorized the dance’s steps. It’s just that I’ve been practicing to walk with the high heels.
And yet, why did you ask for it?
“Listen, Saryuu. In a dance, the role of a man is to lead. By leading, it means that the man’s dancing skill should be really good.”
So was Kaa-san’s answer to Saryuu’s question. I also hasn’t started practicing my dance, so bear that in mind as well, Kaa-san.
By the way, that’s the way a dance goes, I think. Well, since there’s an arrangement for the man to lead while the woman follows, the one who leads should be skillful. If not, then the one who follows will surely be uneasy.
“You’re already at the appropriate age too, but you haven’t even grazed the ‘da’ character out of ‘dance’”.
Being told that plainly by Kaa-san, Saryuu faltered. Regardless of the dance, you can never defeat Kaa-san when it comes to debating, dear little brother.
I also don’t have any motivation in winning, though. Also, Kaya-san is roughly shrugging her shoulders as if being intrigued by something. Even for her who’s having Saryuuphile, this is also something interesting.
“I, I understand! I will also practice, so that I can act as my sister’s partner!”
“Oh my, oh my. Good luck, Saryuu.”
“Yes! Well then, please excuse me.”
“Please wait, Saryuu-sama! T, then, please excuse me!”
Saryuu stood up vigorously, then he deeply bowed and left. However, he properly drank his tea. Well, that is typical of him.
Today, the maid who accompanied him wasn’t Kanna-san, but a maid with a ponytail and round glasses who seems to be a type of a serious person, and she chased after him in a panic. I wonder if it will be quite hard for her to get driven around by Saryuu like this.
By the time Kaya-san, who saw Saryuu and the maid exited the room, closed the door and returned, Kaa-san turned to me.
“He has become a child who’s thinking about his big sister, that Saryuu, eh?”
“Yeah. Well, it is far better than us being on bad terms, and it’s not like I hate it for being liked.”
“That is right. There is nothing better than siblings who are on good terms.”
Kaa-san then heaved a big sigh. Huh, I wonder did something happen?
I wonder if it is alright to ask?
“…Did something happen?”
“No, well. …I wonder if it’s alright to say it, Kaya?”
Kaa-san asked Kaya-san who’s making a second helping of the tea. I thought that it was a strange thing, but Kaya-san then calmly responded.
“You should do as you want, Madame. However, I think that it is something that she should know sooner or later.”
“That is right. …Seiren.”
Aah, rather than asking, she seems to be confirming it.
Kaa-san then gazed at me who just comprehended the situation, and then she asked a question.
“Have you heard about Saryuu’s real parents?”
“Ah, a little bit, just before. He talked to me about how during the Spring Festival, his biological father came to meet him.”
I properly listened to the talk of Saryuu’s biological father who has the same name as the orphanage director who raised me.
“That, about Saryuu’s biological father. It’s about Touya-dono, but, he had a younger brother of the same age.”
“Are they twins?”
“No. …Ah, right. In this house, there is only me so Seiren doesn’t understand it, huh.”
In other words, Saryuu had an uncle. The uncle is not his father’s twin, yet they are of a same age.
“The nobilities including the feudal lords are allowed to have up to two concubines. Touya-dono was the child of the concubine, while his little brother Touka was the child of the legal wife.”
Ah-. Such is the pattern of the men who are wealthy.
Well, it is the world where their own children would succeed their houses, so it won’t be that weird to have several wives. Because there exists such a thing, it is quite disastrous, right?
Anyway, the child of a concubine is the big brother, while the child of the legal wife is the little brother. Moreover, they were born in the same year.
The illustration of the family quarrel is staggeringly easy to understand, huh.
“And, it isn’t like the older brother could succeed that easily, right? With that.”
“Yeah, something like that. Some said that the legal wife’s child, Touka-dono should be the heir, while some also said that the concubine’s child who is the older brother, Touya-dono should be the heir. Since my home was nearby, such a quarrel, no matter how the circumstances might be, it should have been kept confidentially but I came to hear that.”
“…The surroundings were also involved in it, huh…”
“At any rate, the related person himself, or I mean the younger brother Touka-dono seemed to feel like he had a hostile feeling to his own big brother. It seemed like he said things such as how he was the rightful heir, but since the older brother was born a little earlier than him, the older brother was so important-looking.”
Hold on, this, is it even pardoned to be troubled over it? To be frank, Kaa-san who’s given all this talk looks as if she’s being fed up with it.
In the first place, this is a really easy-to-understand pattern, is this seriously some kind of a historical drama?
Even still, I wonder how the older brother thought of this. Since I am a female, it’s relatively no problem to hand over the position to Saryuu, but what if we were both males? Moreover, if we were of the same age.
Besides the person themselves, their retainers such as the servants or even the merchants also seemed to be divided into the two different factions. With that kind of thing going, then there is no way to keep the problem a secret.
“And then. One day suddenly, Touka-dono’s figure couldn’t be found anywhere.”
Suddenly, Kaa-san’s voice became low. I tried to choose my words, in consideration to all the development I heard up to now.
“Uhm… In other words, did he die?”
“Officially, yes. They made up a story that he fell from a horse during a hunting along with a visitor from faraway.”
Ah well-, to put it simply, did the concubine faction do something? It would surely be some murky rumors, right?
“After that, both the legal wife and the concubine passed away in succession due to some illnesses. The feudal lord with his two ladies all gone, then retired, and then Touya-dono succeeded the Shikino house. I think it was a talk of around 30 years ago?”
I think it might be a little controversial to say that there were no more obstacles at that time. In any case, Shikino Touya, the person with the same name as my foster parent, succeeded his own house.
“Well, after that, as the feudal lord, Touya-dono worked so hard, so nowadays there is no more person who’d talk about the rumors again. But since the successor in there is still a bachelor, this kind of talk is resounding again.”
“Ah, it’s scary for something to happen again, right?”
A murky case happened before the current feudal lord succeeded the house. That won’t limit the possibility of it not happening again to the next successor. In a house where that kind of trouble might arise, the house that would want to marry off their daughter to them is… well, none, I guess.
“…It is indeed bothersome, right?”
“You also think that?”
Kaa-san who’s stunned, shrugs her shoulders and nods. Even brothers who have the same father would do such things. However, in my case, it’s a real daughter and the adopted son.
Well, was it better for me to keep my own opinion to myself here?
“But, in my case it’s alright. I don’t have any intention of succeeding the house.”
Kaa-san’s eyes widened. And behind her, Kaya-san too, has a slightly astonished face. Nah, the one who stabbed her nails to me about Saryuu being the heir was you, right. I haven’t told my mother that, though.
“I mean, Saryuu’s here. I was brought up outside, so it won’t be appropriate for me to succeed the family, right?”
“Is that okay? If that is the case, you would be married to another family somewhere, though.”
“If there is someone who wants me, right? And, someone who seems to be fine even if they were to know about me.”
That I was swept away one month after I was born.
Until recently, I was brought up as a man in another world.
No matter how you look at it, there would be lots of things that we can’t keep as secrets.
If a man who would take this kind of me as his bride were to appear, to be frank, I would have no choice.
“…Is that so. There is no way we can keep silent about it, huh…”
Nah really, if we’re silent about it, then it would be a fraud, right?
Though it is a secret that only me, my parents, Jigen-san, and Kuon-san know.