Chapter 11 | First Christmas

While timidly looking at the dumbfounded faces of Shigeto and Ayane, Haruto made up his mind to ask again.

“Ano, is it a no?”

Shigeto came to himself and looked straight at Haruto.

Haruto’s eyes seemed to be shaking with anxiety.

“The high school is a place with some special subjects? Or is it some kind of foreign school?”

When Shigeto asked him that, Haruto’s expression turned blank for a moment, but he shook his head hurriedly because he could hear what he was saying.


“Oh, so then is this a challenging school for Haruto’s academic ability, or is it a high school with special requirements for admission?”

Furufuruufru. [TLN: Shigeto scratching his head]

“? Then is it a difficult school to commute to from here?”

Thinking about this for a moment, Haruto eventually shakes his head.

The other day, he had already done some research on the prefecture where he had been living until the other day. In the first place, as a third-year junior high school student, such topics were discussed in the classroom as if it were a normal thing, so even though he had half given up on going to school, he knew at least about the high schools in the neighborhood, but this house (or should it be called a mansion?) is not so far from his house, and he had never heard of it. However, he knew nothing about what kind of schools were in the vicinity of this house (or mansion, as Haruto thinks it would be better to call it).


Seeing Haruto shaking his head at all the questions, Shigeto looked more and more puzzled.

And then Ayane finally understood the meaning of what Haruto was trying to say.

“Come to think of it, before you came here, Haruto-sama, that kidnapper woman didn’t even allow you to take the high school entrance exam, did she? And now that you have come to this house, you are worried about whether or not you will be allowed to attend high school, is that correct?”

Ayane’s words finally made Haruto shake his head.

Then, glancing at Shigeto’s face, he had an indescribable expression on his face.


“I see what you mean. I’m sorry about that, Haruto. We took it so much for granted that Haruto would go to high school that we didn’t think about his situation. Let me get this straight, you want to go to high school?

“U, Un.”

When Haruto nodded, Shigeto asked a series of specific questions about the high school he wanted to attend and his future direction.

However, Haruto himself could not answer most of the questions because he had never thought that he had so many options for his future.


“Yes. Well then, Haruto, I have a proposal for you. There is a high school called “Reisei Gakuen” within commuting distance from this house. It is of a good level and has good facilities. Above all, Haruto needs to stay safe, and I can rest assured that there is proper security there. Why don’t you go there?

Besides, since I am now able to live with Haruto, I would be sad if he went to a school that is too far away for him to commute.”

At Shigeto’s words, Haruto nodded happily, with a hint of a smile on his face.

“Ah, but I haven’t been able to study much for the entrance exam, will I be able to handle it?”

He had originally planned to take the University Entrance Qualification Examination someday and had continued his studies even after giving up the high school entrance exam. That is why his homeroom teacher, Akashi-sensei, had also recommended that he take the exam.

However, due to the influence of Aoyama, his homeroom teacher in the second year and subject teacher in the second and third years, English was the only subject he was not very good at. Although he studied on his own, there was no one around to teach him (English). As for other subjects, he rarely took mock exams, so he does not even know his deviation score.


“In that case, we can arrange a private tutor for you. If you have the academic ability, I think you should have no problem. The entrance exam for Reisei Gakuen High School is in the last week of January, so I think you should be fine if you concentrate on your English. Of course, I can speak English as well, but since it is for the entrance exam, it would be better to have someone who specializes in English.”

The conversation went so smoothly that Haruto was puzzled, but more than that, he was happy that he would be able to go to high school.

He spent the rest of the day with Shigeto until lunch, and when he saw him off at the door to go to work, Wada, the butler, pushed him out of the room with a look of dismay on his face. And this would be repeated every time Haruto saw Shigeto off.







After seeing Shigeto off after eating a lunch of steamed chicken salad, croissants, and plenty of fruit, which was unthinkable in Haruto’s life so far, Haruto returns to his room with a flustered feeling as if he were dreaming.

Suppressing the feeling that he was about to jump up and float away, he went to his bedroom and opened the bag in the closet.

Inside were his school books, a dictionary and reference books given to him by someone at work, notebooks, stationery, and a few changes of clothes.

All of Haruto’s possessions up until yesterday were in this cheap sports bag.

Then, tucked in among the textbooks, he noticed the smartphone and accessories given to him by the boss yesterday, as well as an envelope of cash.

It seems that he had put them away properly despite being shaken up by the bath disturbance. I was relieved and at the same time reminded of my promise to contact the president.


For now, Haruto takes his clothes and other items out of his bag and places them on the corner of a shelf, then lifts the rest of his bag and moves to the study.

He then places his textbooks and other items on his desk, and before returning to his room, he uses the key Minato gave him to open the safe stored under the stacks to the left of his desk.

The safe was too large to be for personal use, measuring 70 centimeters in width and depth and about one meter in height.

The key seemed to be of a type that required a metal key and a numeric keypad with a five-digit number.

Haruto put away the bankbook and cash card in Haruto’s name that he received in Shigeto’s room, securities and land documents, and an envelope containing cash given to him by the president, and registered the PIN while reading the instruction manual for the safe.


He checks the lock on the safe and glances sideways at the textbooks on his desk.

Resisting the urge to immediately start studying for his dream high school entrance exam, Haruto picks up his smartphone.

The president of the newsagent’s office told him to call when he had settled down.

He can’t say that he has settled down yet because he has just arrived, but he is not in the condition that the president is worried about, and it seems that he will not have to worry about that in the future.

So first of all, Haruto taps the phone number of the president registered in the phone book to contact the president and tell him about the current situation and the possibility of going on to higher education.


Turururururu, puttsu.

“Hello, Tatsu-bo?”

The call connects in just one single ring.

Indeed, at this time of the day, the dealership is almost empty, and the president of the company is usually resting his body. He probably had the phone right next to him.

In fact, he was so worried about Haruto that he kept the phone right beside him even when he went to bed, but there was no way Haruto would know that.

While being pressured by his energetic tone of voice, Haruto told him in order what had happened since he left the newspaper store yesterday.

“I see, I see, that’s good, isn’t it? If it looks like Tatsu-bo is going to be able to make it there, for now, I can rest assured. However, I’m sure you’ll see a lot of things once you live with him, and everyone tries to look good at first. Anyway, for the time being, you should contact me regularly. If you have any problems, call me even in the middle of the night or during busy hours. Okay?”

He still speaks in a rough tone of voice, but his words of concern for Haruto almost make him cry with happiness, but he manages to hold back because he feels bad if he causes him to worry about something strange.


After finishing the call with the president, he called each of the people who had given him their contact information, explaining the situation and thanking them.

It was hard to keep repeating the same story over and over again, but for Haruto, these were the people who had been kind to him during his difficult time, and he could not let any of them go without a word of thanks.

It was more than an hour before he finished all the calls, and he felt sorry when he realized that the president had to pay for the calls.

Deciding to ask the boss to deduct the call charges from his salary the next time he called, Haruto decided to study until dinner.







Knock-knock.

At the sound of a knock, Haruto raises his head and closes his problem book.

Looking at the small clock on his desk, he sees that it is almost eight o’clock. He seemed to have been concentrating very hard.

He usually studied only in the noisy office of his workplace or in a corner of his room, so studying in a quiet and well-equipped environment like here seemed to help him progress a lot since he was not distracted by other things.

However, the reference books and problem books were given to him by someone at work, used by their children, and he has read them dozens of times, so he has memorized almost all of the answers to the problem books.


Knock-knock.

At the knock again, Haruto, who had been impressed by the environment in which he could concentrate, suddenly came to himself and hurriedly opened the door.

“Yes!”

“I apologize for keeping you waiting so long. Dinner is ready and I will show you around.”

Minato was at the door, bowing apologetically as he said.

Come to think of it, once he was thirsty and drank some water in the living room, but neither Minato nor Hiromi were in sight at that time. However, for Haruto, it was more natural that there was no maid in the room, so he did not mind.


“Oh, um, it’s all right.”

He said that to Minato, but since he is usually at work at this time and does not eat dinner except when an employee of the dealership brings him a gift from time to time, he does not feel that he has been kept waiting, and he is embarrassed to be bowed down by such a thing.

“Usually dinner is served around seven o’clock, but today we had a little more to prepare, so we had to keep you waiting until this time.”

Minato explains to Haruto as he leads the way down the hallway.

Since Haruto doesn’t know the rules of this house, he is very serious in his listening attitude.

As has been the case in the past, once he hears something, he memorizes the meal times and other details so that he does not forget.


Going down the stairs, expecting to head for the dining hall where he had breakfast and lunch, Minato continued on his way to the front door.

“We will be having dinner at a different location today. However, it is located on the same grounds, so it will only take a few minutes.”

Minato says with a reassuring smile, perhaps sensing Haruto’s doubt.

As he puts on his shoes and steps out the front door, a limousine pulls up right in front of him, and the man who had given him a ride from the airport the other day, the driver, opens the door and waits.

He was surprised to hear that they were on the property, but he got in maturely, even though he was surprised to hear that they would be driving.


It was already dark outside, but there were electric lights set up in various places in the garden so that one could see into the grounds to some extent.

Passing through a path laid out by the side of the garden, which once again was too large to be a private residence, and passing through a small gate that was different from the one Haruto had used when he first arrived here, he saw a building even larger than the residence he had been in so far.

“The building here has been turned into a guest house. It’s where the master welcomes guests and holds parties.”

Apparently, Shigeto wants to completely separate his private space from the place where guests stay. The fact that he has gone to the trouble of preparing a separate building for this purpose is not something that Haruto is able to follow.


This building, like the hotel, seems to allow you to leave your shoes on.

As they walked through the entrance hall to the large door in front of them, Minato knocked on the door. Minato then takes a step to the side and urges Haruto to come in.

Immediately the door is opened wide and the inside of the building catches Haruto’s eye.

In a large room that could have been the size of several school classrooms, there was a Christmas tree so large that it almost reached the ceiling, and on a table covered with a pure white cloth, there was a large cake, a whole roasted turkey that he had only seen on TV, and countless other dishes.


“Eh? Eh?”

“Haruto, I’ve kept you waiting. You must be hungry, aren’t you?”

Haruto is surprised at the unexpected sight, but Shigeto beckons him with a kind smile.

“A, ano?”

“Today is Christmas Eve. Since it is a special occasion, we decided to have a party with the servants.

Apparently, the Master was thinking of having a luxurious dinner with Haruto-sama, but since Haruto-sama, who is not accustomed to that, would not be able to enjoy it and would be bothered by us servants, we decided on this form of party at Minato’s suggestion.”

When Haruto went to Shigeto’s side, Ayane came up to him from somewhere and explained so.


“Eh, um, Ayane-san, that outfit…”

Haruto is more perplexed by Ayane in her miniskirt Santa outfit than by the explanation. Or rather, he was at a loss for where to put his eyes.

Minato, seeing Haruto’s face reddened and downcast, leered at Ayane as if he were dumbfounded.

“Ayane is getting too carried away.

Haruto-sama, Haruto-sama has not always lived a regular life, but he lives in the city and has very general values, therefore, he is not used to being served by servants, is he? So I thought a party like this with the servants participating would be a good way to relax.

Besides, this kind of interaction will naturally allow you to get to know the faces of the people who work in this house and bring them closer to each other.”


From what he heard, the present servants were supposed to take turns eating the food and chatting with each other.

Shigeto usually doesn’t say too much as long as they are polite and respectful, so the atmosphere is rather relaxed.

Naturally, Haruto had never been to a standing buffet-style party like this before and did not know what to do, but Minato handed him some dishes on a plate and led him to the table for the standing buffet.

Normally, there are certain manners and rules for a standing buffet, but this time the party was for friendship and there were not many people there. It seemed that each person behaved freely.


Haruto also does not dislike a lively atmosphere. In fact, the newsstand where he worked part-time had many cheerful and dynamic employees and was very lively at work and at the occasional dinner, he was invited to.

So Haruto also likes the joyful atmosphere, and when he sees people smiling, he is happy to be in the circle.

While Shigeto was chatting with Haruto and the butler men in a good mood while pecking his food like a little bird, Ayane approached him, holding a wine glass in her left hand and hiding her right hand behind her body.


“Are you enjoying yourself, Yoto-sama?”

“Yes, I am. I’m having so much fun, it’s like I’m in a dream.”

Yoto responds promptly, but he cannot look directly at Ayane due to her bare shoulders and wide-open bosom, so he sips from his glass of orange juice as if to cover up his mistake.

Shigeto only looked at him smilingly.

“I hope you will eat a lot because I prepared it for you to enjoy. And yes! Here’s a Christmas present for you from Santa onee-san.”

Ayane mischievously bent forward, showing off her cleavage, and handed him the package in her right hand.

He finally comes to understand that she has a cheerful and mischievous personality.


Although he was puzzled by the impression, which was very different from the image he had at first, Yoto, who feels kindness underneath, of course, did not have any bad feelings and accepted the package with a sincere smile and a “Thank you”.

“Ahh!”

As soon as she saw him, Ayane made a strange noise, her cheeks somehow dyed, and she quickly moved away from him with an awkward smile on her face. The others laughed at him.

The box was not very big, but it was very heavy. It seemed to be a book in texture.

He was curious to see what was inside, but as expected, he could not open it right then and there. So he decided to save it for a later time.


Following this, people in maid uniforms, butler uniforms, and security guards one after another introduced themselves and handed a small package to Yoto.

Then, as soon as they had settled down, Minato and Hiromi arrived.

“Are you surprised?”

“Um, yes. But I didn’t prepare any gifts.”

“I’m sure you don’t have to worry about that. In the first place, Christmas presents are usually given from older people to younger people, unless they are lovers or something. And this time, it also serves as a self-introduction and greeting for those who will be serving you from now on.”

“They are not expensive things so that Yoto-sama doesn’t mind, they are just school supplies that can be used for examinations and high school life.

Besides, it is a great deal for us because we can enjoy the chef’s cooking and delicious drinks thanks to it.”


Minato and Hiromi’s words may be true, but that does not change the fact that Yoto is still happy.

He smiled as much as he could to express his gratitude with tears welling up unbearably.

Some men turned their faces away from him, and some maids held their noses and hurriedly left the scene. Minato and Hiromi, who were standing in front of him, turned their faces down and shook their heads.


“In the end, I’m sorry I couldn’t decide on a gift, but since we will soon be celebrating your acceptance to high school, I’m going to give you a present at that time. But for some reason, other people don’t want me to do it.”

Shigeto was the only one here who looked reluctant.

As expected, he could only give a dry smile, though, as he felt that even Yoto could imagine why he was opposed to the idea.


The first Christmas party for Haruto continued after that, and he felt until the moment he fell asleep in his bed that he would never forget the happy time he spent in a warm atmosphere from start to finish.

On the other hand, no one knew yet that the number of servants who tried to pamper Yohto would increase tremendously, thanks to this party.


TOC

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