After Genjirou’s figure could no longer be seen, I turned to face Saya again.
I have something that I’ve been wanting to tell her from when we met before.
“Uhm, Saya-san. Thank you very much for raising Saryuu to be a good person. As his big sister, I’m so happy that a good heir has come to our Shiiya residence.”
Oh my, she’s surprised. Uhm, I haven’t said anything weird, right?
Could it be that she would get scolded by Kaya-san if Kaya-san were to find out… Nah, there’s no way. After all, Kaya-san wants Saryuu to succeed Shiiya house. Uhm, I can’t understand it well.
Aah, that’s right. I still have something to say about Kaya-san.
“Also, I’ve been indebted to your big sister, Kaya-san.”
Ah, yeah. Is my sister doing well?”
“Yes. She has been working hard by my mother’s side.”
I was only indebted to her when I went to drink tea at my mother’s room, but I can somehow understand that the Shiiya residence’s maids have been working so hard because Kaya-san has been working so hard, as well. In a sense, it feels like a good office, yes, that kind of feeling.
Still, though I only said that without telling her any details, Saya-san put her hand on her chest, as if she was feeling relieved.
“Then, I’m glad. To be honest, my elder sister has a little exaggerated favoritism, so I’m quite troubled.”
“Ah, is that so?”
“Kaya seems to be thinking that she has to raise me well as the Shiiya family’s heir. Even I have an awareness about it.”
Hearing Saryuu’s murmur as if he was amazed, I heaved a sigh only inside my own chest.
Oi, oi. Could it be that Saya-san is troubled that Kaya-san favors Saryuu too much? It seems somewhat terrible.
Once I get home, I think I should indirectly tell her about it. Yes, not directly to her, but I’ll tell that to my mother. Kaya-san might scowl at me again, and it might not be what I hoped for, but if that’s the case, fine then. No matter what, it’s not like I’d succeed the house.
Perhaps thanks to Saryuu’s words, Saya-san pulled herself together and raised her face. That’s right, she needs to guide me and Saryuu around here.
“A-at any rate, let me guide you. Seiren-sama will use the guest room, meanwhile, Saryuu-sama, please stay in the room that you used to use in the past.”
“Eh, you’re leaving the room as it was?”1
“We changed the interior, though.”
At Saya-san’s answer, Saryuu suddenly turned cheerful.
I see, so his so-called child’s room still remained. My room was also left as it was in order for me to use when I returned home, but it seems that the same principle was also used in the Shikino mansion.
So that it could be used for Saryuu to stay in, whenever he came to visit like this.
In the first place, this was his own home, so that should be good. Yup.
After entering the center part of the mansion from the entranceway, as expected, there’s a hall. The residence space seems to be concentrated at the east side, so we proceeded towards that direction from the hall.
When we went deeper with Saya-san taking the lead, there were Oriza-san and one of the Shikino’s maid already waiting for us. The maid has a tall and slender stature, with her ponytailed black hair that has no crease. There was a strange glint in her eyes that seemed to be quite sharp.
Then, she wears a black clothes under her green maid uniform. Her legs are exposed, but well, that’s normal. However, the bottom of her neck and her wrists can also be seen. Nah, it’s fine since it looks quite stylish, though.
When Saya-san stepped forward next to her side, she turned around and faced us.
“There’s a guest room beyond this area. This Fubuki was pointed to be in charge of the things related to the guest room that’s going to be used for Seiren-sama.”
“I’m in charge of assisting and guiding you to the guest room. My name is Fubuki. Please do not hesitate to order anything from me.”
“Thank you, I’ll be in your care. Oriza-san, I’ve made you wait, huh?”
“Ye-s. Alica and Minoa are currently finishing the preparations inside the room-.”
The maid who introduced herself as Fubuki deeply bowed her head. It was quite a contrast to Oriza-san who was nonchalantly laughing as usual beside her. It might be quite interesting to look at them.
“Then, I will guide Saryuu-sama to your room. Please follow me.”
“I understand. Well then, until later, Ane-sama!”
“Yes, see you later.”
I waved my hand and separated ways with Saryuu over there. The family residential area seems to diverge from this point. Because we can only walk sideways, it seems quite far.2
Anyway, Oriza-san and I followed Fubuki-san to walk further inside. Since there are no stairs, the hallway is a bit long, but since the wall and the ceiling are uniformly white-colored, it doesn’t feel gloomy walking through the wall. Meanwhile, the pillars have a slightly strong brown color, adding to the liveliness.
Also, in comparison to the Shiiya mansion, the carpet here is a little bit thicker. Since it seems like I might trip over it if I don’t get used to it, I walk carefully. Along the way, Fubuki-san talked about various things.
“Taiga-sama has ordered me many times over to take good care of Seiren-sama. Therefore, please feel at ease.”
“Really, I’m much obliged to you. Taiga-san is quite busy, right?”
“Yes. Although the transfer of control from the previous head has almost ended, since it’s about time to harvest the crops from within the territory, there are still many things to take care of, such as tax calculation.”
“And that’s why he’s meeting with the village headman?”
As I was tilting my head, wondering if the meeting was to talk about the tax calculation, Oriza-san explained it to me.
“Seiren-sama. If I’m not mistaken, there was an area that suffered from flood (Oomizu) in the Shikino territory 2 years ago.”
“Oomizu… Aah, do you mean a flood (Kouzui)?”3
With that, I understood.
I have seen it several times at the news in the other world, but after the water from the flood faded away, that’s the end—no, it’s not. Because of the flood, the crops that grew in the field for growing fruits and vegetables, as well as the paddy field—all of them mostly got spoiled. Then, the farmers wouldn’t have their income. Not just for that day, but their life after that becomes even harder.
In the other world, the government’s supposed to issue some subsidy or money for them… Could it be that Taiga-san went out to have a meeting with the village headman in relation to that matter?
“Yes. And so, the village headman went to borrow some loan to be used for funding and supplying the people’s livelihood for the last 2 years. The village headman’s about to repay the loan that was used to purchase agricultural machinery and equipment.”
“I see. Even though it has been 2 years ago, things are still quite difficult now, huh?”
As for the agricultural machinery and equipment, there’s no way it’s a tractor, right? Perhaps it’s something that the horses can pull. The tools they used before must have been washed away and destroyed by the flood, along with the fields.
Anyway, the money that was used to buy new ones, huh? Since the earned money should be used for their life expenses first, the payment of debts must wait until later on, is it?
The orphanage director had ever taken two or more part-time jobs in order to pay the debt, if I’m not mistaken. I also helped him a little bit at that time.
“I’m saved the trouble because you’re quick to understand it. And then, around that time, we have also received some support goods and fund loans from the Shiiya, so our previous head of family was really saved thanks to that as well.”
“Is that so? I was still away from the mansion at that time, so I don’t know the details.”
I see, I see.
I hope that the fields could recover in just one or two years, but the degree of recovery varies based on the place too, right? If it’s located deep in the mountains, the road might have crumbled already.
I think it might be quite difficult to arrange everything with the village headman. Taiga-san, I hope you can do it properly.
Or anyway, so Touka-san also properly did his duties as the feudal lord, huh? Tou-san and Kaa-san also cooperated. If the incident with me never happened, Touka-san will still remain as Touya-san by now, and he might still sit in his feudal lord position as usual. I wonder how did things turn out this way?
“Seiren-sama. Your room’s been prepared, please come in.”
While we were talking about it, we finally arrived in the guest room where I’ll be staying in. Alica-san greeted me outside and opened the firm wooden door for me to come inside.
Right after entering from the entrance door, there was another door next to the room. It seems that there’s another room at the opposite side, and it seems to be located slightly further inside after I open the door. When I tried to peek at the room, there are table and sofa, and then a small bed further inside. Minoa-san who was unwrapping her own luggage noticed me and turned up in a fluster.
“Ah, Seiren-sama?! I apologize for not going out to greet you!”
“No, it’s fine. By the way, this room over here is…?”
“Aah, it seems to be a room made for the servants to use.”
“Yes. In Shikino, the servants and employees who are accompanying the guests will be using this front room.”
Fubuki-san took over Minoa-san’s explanation. Wa-, a dedicated room, huh?
“There were various things happening in the Shikino in the past, so we have considered the security of the family members and the guests by inventing this room that could be used by their bodyguards. We haven’t reached the stage where we’d be able to pile up magic barriers just like in the Shiiya mansion.”
I see. Unlike the arrangement at our house, Oriza-san and the others would stay here near my vicinity.
Well, the security at our house is too strong, but perhaps it’s because there was that incident with me. I can’t talk much about it, then.
Anyway, inside the front room used by the maids, there seems to be things that can be used to prepare for tea and many other things. In our house, we have to bring the hot water from the kitchen or the bathroom each time, but for things like this, I guess we can follow the Shikino’s example.
“Well then, please go back to the inner room.”
Fubuki-san lent me her hand as I passed by the front room and entered the guest room. There are table, sofa, dressers and many other things—every necessary things are all present here. The thing that separated the bedroom wasn’t the wall and a door, but instead, there was a big partitioning screen dividing the area.
The maids explained the interior to me, such as how the bathroom and the toilet were located deeper in the back, and then about the time for meal.
“We’ll have breakfast at 8 o’clock, lunch at 12 o’clock, and dinner at 7 o’clock in the night. You can follow the person who’ll come here to escort you until the dining room.”
“Thank you very much.”
The time is not that different from ours. Or rather, I think that we will need approximately the same amount of time to prepare for many things, and that schedule was made so that in the meantime, the servants could clean up the room and also have their own meals—or else, it’d be an irrational schedule for them.
As Alica-san has already prepared the tea, I sat down on the sofa. Oh, it’s a bit hard, but it’s perfectly comfortable to sit in. It might be because its height is compatible enough for me to use.
- As in, ‘the room’s not used for anything else, and kept as a vacant room?’ ↩
- Sideways, as in, there are no stairs or second floor… It’s a one-storied house, so they can only walk on. ↩
- Again, it’s just a different term used. In Japan, a flood is normally called Kouzui, meanwhile in Seiren’s world, apparently the term is Oomizu. Some interesting thing: Oomizu’s kanji consists of 大 = Oo (big/a lot) and 水 = Mizu (water). ↩