Chapter 7 | Grandfather

A little over an hour after boarding the plane.

Ping.

A soft electronic sound echoes through the cabin, and the female crew member urges him to fasten his seatbelt.

It seems that Haruto’s first air trip will soon be over.

He was looking out the window with curiosity, but the acceleration at takeoff startled him, and his expression hardened and he shrank back.

Ayane was smiling at him, but Haruto felt like he was being watched in an embarrassing situation.


After the seatbelt light went off, the female crew members took care of everything. It was to the point of being excessive.

He thought that this might be natural since there were four crew members for only two passengers, but since he did not know the standard of what was normal or not, he could not make a judgment.

He is just puzzled by the woman who occasionally looks at Haruto, holds her nose, and disappears into the galley.

Ayane, though, makes a gesture as if she were enduring a headache when she sees these crew members.


The airport where they landed was clear, and the ocean not far away seemed to sparkle in the setting sun.

The airport, which had been visible in the distance, was getting closer and closer, and when the runway became visible, Haruto’s body, which had been looking out the window, tensed up again.

It seemed as if the plane was going to crash down toward the runway, but in fact, the landing felt more fluffy than Haruto had imagined, and it was a bit of a letdown.

Of course, this was due to the skill of the captain, Okochi-san, but Haruto did not know that, nor did he need to know, so Ayane did not say anything either.


The plane landed and moved directly to the tarmac.

When the ramp came down after the plane came to a stop, a car pickup had already arrived below.

A bright white limousine that looked so similar to the car that had dropped him off when he boarded the plane.

For a moment, Haruto was flustered, thinking that he had returned to the original airfield, but then he realized that it was a different car because the driver was different and his face turned red.

Ayane does not laugh at him and urges him to the limousine.

Haruto had completely forgotten about the bag, but it seemed that the driver or CA had moved it both now and when they boarded the plane, and the bag was also handed to him as soon as they both got in. [TLN: CA is Cabin Attendant, so basically Cabin Crew]

Then the limousine that they boarded took 30 minutes of driving.


“We’ll be there shortly.”

“Yes, yes, eh? But…”

When Ayane told him this, Haruto looked out the window, but he could not see anything that could be called a house within the area he could see.

The only thing that can be seen is a white wall that seems to be 5 meters high that seem to go on forever along the road. On the opposite side of the road was a river, and beyond that was a gently sloping mountain.

Despite Haruto’s confusion, he continued along the road until the wall was broken and a large gate came into view.

When the limousine stopped in front of the gate, it opened to the left and right without sound.

The limousine then proceeded directly inside.


Entering through the gate, the house finally comes into view.

However, no matter how you look at it, the house is still several hundred meters from the gate, and it looks more like a hotel or a museum than a house, to begin with.

“What? Is that the house?”

“Yes, it is. The house is small and the grounds are much smaller than where Haruto-san lived when he was young, but that is why he was able to take Haruto-san away from the house without being seen. That is why he moved his mansion to this place soon after that, so this is the first time Haruto-san has come here.”

It seems that the intent of the question was slightly misunderstood.

As for Haruto, he was puzzled by the scene, which was so far removed from the image of a house.


Passing through the grounds that remind one of a European park, the door of the limousine parked in front of the house opens.

Ayane, who got out first, holds out her hand to Haruto as if she were a noblewoman, but Haruto is indeed embarrassed to do so, so he declines and gets out of the car by himself.

Haruto does not notice that Ayane has a very disappointed expression on her face. He is frozen by the scene in front of him.

The building is not as large as he thought it would be when he saw it at the gate, and in design and scale, it looks a bit like a larger pension. In front of the entrance, the roof extends right up to the side of the car stop, just like a hotel.

Of course, he was surprised at the appearance of the house, which did not look like a private home, but what stunned him, even more, was that there were nearly 20 people in front of the entrance, including a woman in what looked like a maid’s uniform that he had only seen in pictures and illustrations, a man in a tuxedo like a butler, and a woman in a white tuxedo like a butler. They were lined up on either side of the entrance and bowed their heads in unison to Haruto.


“”Welcome back, Haruto-sama.””

Haruto cannot even reply when he is told so in a unison voice.

He is completely frozen like an animal that has been so surprised that it has frozen.

“You guys, you’ve startled Haruto-san.

I am sorry, Haruto-san. The servants in this house have been looking forward to your return. Please forgive them.”

“Huh? Ah, yes. It’s okay.”

For Haruto, he is not angry at being asked to “forgive,” but is simply confused because he doesn’t understand what’s going on.


Thus, they finally enter the building.

Contrary to the appearance of a resort hotel or pension, the entrance hallway is a three-way dirt floor.

On the right side, there is a huge piece of furniture that seems to be a shoe closet, and on the left side, there is a large shelf and a coat rack. On the stile and rail, slippers were provided.

Regardless of its appearance, this building seems to be a residence.

However, it is far from the image of an ordinary house, and the scale of the building is too different from the apartment Haruto lived in, or even from the house he sometimes visited for his newspaper sales job.


“Let me show you around. Master is waiting in the living room.”

A butler-like man who had been greeting Haruto at the entrance reverently leads the way as Haruto changes into his slippers.

Ayane smiled at him and nodded, so he nervously followed.

Surprisingly, the living room was located close to the entrance.

Without much walking, a butler-like man (called “Mr. Butler” because of the hassle) tapped lightly on the door in front of the large door and called out, “I have brought Haruto-sama with me, sir.”

“I’ve brought Haruto-sama with me.”

“”Please come inside…””

The door is opened at the same time as the faint voice through the door.


The butler stepped back from the open door and urged Haruto to enter the room with his hand. The butler only guided him to this point and did not go inside.

However, it was a bit difficult for Haruto to enter the room without being prompted.

Then, Ayane stood alongside him, put her hand on his waist, and went inside with him.

“Excuse me.”

“Ah, um, excuse me.”

He was so nervous that he didn’t know how he was moving, but he imitated Ayane and bowed his head.


When he raised his head, he saw a space much larger than a school classroom, several luxurious sofas, high-class-looking furnishings, and above all, a man sitting on a sofa about the size of a two-seater at the front side of the entrance.

“Master, I have brought Haruto Sairenji-san as instructed.

Haruto-san, this is Haruto-san’s mother’s father and Haruto-san’s grandfather, head of the Sumeragi family, Sumeragi Shigemasu.” 

“Nice to meet you! Um, Inoue-ta, uh, no, um…”

In the rush of Ayane’s introduction, he bowed his head and tried to introduce himself, but his words were choked in mid-sentence.

Although he understood that his name was not Tatsuya Inoue, the name Haruto Sairenji still didn’t come with any real feeling.

The fact that a man of such wealth is his grandfather is too unrealistic, and somewhere in the back of his head, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he might be mistaken for someone else.


“…Ayane, thanks for your help. I’ll ask you later about the details.

“Yes, I understand. I’ll leave you to it then. Haruto-san, there is nothing to worry about. You are Haruto Sairenji, and this man is definitely Haruto’s grandfather. Now, please try to talk to him properly.

Well then, see you later.”

Saying that Ayane left the living room.

She may have been trying to be considerate, but as he was left behind, Haruto could do nothing but stand there anxiously, not knowing what to do.

He reluctantly sits on the sofa, looking at the man named Shigemasu.

He was about 60 years old, slender, with a straight back and a stern expression on his face with wrinkles between his eyebrows.


(Ah, this is scary. But this is my grandfather?)

“You are the boy who called himself Tatsuya Inoue, right?”

Shigemasu suddenly asks Haruto. The eyes are staring at you as if they are shooting through you.

“Yes, yes! Yes, that’s right.”

Haruto manages to answer the question while shrinking.

Hearing his answer, Shigemasu stood up suddenly and approached him with firm steps.

Reflexively jerking his whole body and squeezing his eyes shut, the next thing he felt was not pain as he had expected, but the feeling of a strong embrace.


“Huh? Ah, um?”

“Well… well… well you’re alive! Haruto, oh Haruto! It’s all right now! I won’t let you suffer again! I won’t let that happen!”

With these words, he feels a warm drop of water running down from the side of his head to his cheek.

Perhaps because of his rising emotions, the force with which he embraces Haruto grows stronger and stronger.

As expected, Yotto starts to struggle and twitches, but he puts more and more strength into his hold so that he will not let go.

“Master, Master, Master Haruto is in pain!”

When Haruto’s consciousness was about to fly away, a woman’s panicked voice sounded from behind him, and his arms were finally loosened.


“I’m sorry. Haruto, are you okay?”

Shigemasu loosens his grip in a hurry. However, he would not let go of Haruto.

Shigemasu, who had been crouching down and holding Haruto in his arms, stands up while holding Haruto’s shoulders and urges him to the sofa.

At that moment, a woman in a maid’s uniform appears out of the corner of his eye. This woman probably rescued him from suffocation.

When Haruto and the others entered this room, she opened the door for Shigemasu, who was still sitting on the sofa, and although he was too nervous to look around, it seems that she had been waiting in this room for a long time.


The two of them sit side by side on a slightly larger sofa, different from the one Shigemasu was first sitting on.

Then finally Shigemasu takes his hand away from Haruto’s.

“Let me see your face closer… Oh, you still look a lot like Aoi when you were a child.”

“Aoi-san.?”

“She is my daughter, Haruto’s mother.  I apologize for not being able to let you see her while she was alive, but now that Haruto is alive, I can finally give her a good report.”

Saying this, Shigemasu again has tears in the corner of his eyes and looks at Haruto with a sincere love that is unimaginable from his first stern face.


“I, well, I still don’t really feel that I am Haruto Sairenji, and I wonder if there is some kind of mistake.”

“Well, it must have been sudden, so it is understandable to think so. I have thoroughly examined the DNA test since I found out about your existence. I showed photos to several people who knew her at the time and confirmed that the woman who abused you is the same person as the woman who once worked at Aoi’s house and kidnapped you. And just to be sure, I also had a DNA test done. And the woman in custody herself has admitted it.

You are without a doubt my grandson, Haruto Sairenji, son of Aoi.

You were kidnapped before you can remember, and you have been forced to suffer hardship, and you have the right to spend the rest of your life happily. You just have to adjust slowly.”

Saying this, Shigemasu gently patted Haruto’s head.


“…Grandpa?”

“Yes! I am Haruto’s grandfather!

When Haruto asked this fearfully, Shigemasu nodded his head firmly with a gentle smile on his face.

“Grandpa…”

Tears welled up from Haruto’s eyes as he muttered this once more.

After that, he just kept letting out unspoken sobs.

Shigemasu and the maids were all over the place until it subsided, and Yoto’s emotions were further unsettled when he saw this.


TOC

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