Even So, We Are Living in the Present - Chapter 76
Chapter 76 – Hammer of Wrath
Those words were flung utterly cruel to Kyosuke by his birth mother.
Deeply wounded, Kyosuke’s heart drooped again along with his lifeless gaze drifting to the carpet.
And so, silence lingered for a while.
The corridor across the door was growing noisier, prompting Yuu to cast her sight in that direction.
The argument between the woman who complained and the man whose voice sounded overly familiar reverberated off the walls of the corridor all the way to the president’s office. Eventually, the door was wildly swung open. At the force of the action, Airi’s eyes slightly widened once, but immediately furrowed her brow as she glared at Natsume, who had intruded without authorization.
“… Who could this be?”
“I can’t stand it after all.”
Disregarding Airi’s question, instead of answering, a low voice ridden by rage was projected at her. Without hesitation, he approached Airi and stood in front of Kyosuke and Yuu.
“Can’t you even distinguish between what is acceptable to say and what is inappropriate to say?”
Being taller than Kyosuke, strong and fearless, Natsume was unaffected by the icy glance of the other party. At his initial question, Airi arched her narrow eyebrows and placed her hands on her waist, as if to exhibit her discontent.
“What a rude man… what is this all of a sudden?”
Hmmm, she exhaled briefly, exasperated. Natsume, disgusted by Airi’s domineering behavior, folded his hands and began to compose his words, unable to restrain himself.
“It is true that money can make life more convenient, but what children desire from their parents is not money, but affection.”
Those were the words that Kyosuke and Kouki thought of yet could not convey. Behind Natsume, Kyosuke remained motionless, slumped in a sitting posture. As if to protect him, Yuu gently embraced and stroked his hair.
Even though Kyosuke had resolved to part with his past, this was not the kind of conversation he could hold with someone on an equal footing. Even Tomoya, Yuu, and Kouki were all supported and aided by someone to attain their present stage. Everyone may seem to be living on their own, but they are all supported by someone else.
Natsume himself was linked to various people and brought himself to the present day.
Even Kyosuke needed support.
It was thanks to the support of those around him that he has been able to live all this time.
Natsume focused his gaze on Kyosuke for a moment, and then sharply glared at Airi.
“Do you have any clue how Kyosuke, who never received proper love from his parents, has grown up to be such a fine man?”
“Well, I wouldn’t know such a thing.”
It was like the other party showed no interest. This attitude, which led Natsume to wonder if she was indeed a parent, irked him even further. He took a deep, quiet breath to compose himself before speaking again.
“It’s because Yuu has treated him with love. Yuu and his family. The Sonohara family members raised him with love and affection on your behalf.”
Natsume’s emotion overflowed from his exhausted patience and could not be contained by a single deep breath, thus he assembled his words in a low, quiet voice, accompanied by his indignation.
“A parent should simply wish for their child’s happiness. Don’t try to deprive them of their happiness.”
Airi, who had been listening to the appeal up to that point, heaved a sigh of exasperation.
“All this neat and beautiful act is depressing… I’m the president of a company. I can’t afford to spend time dwelling on every single one of those issues. Do you know how strenuous it has been to develop my brand to this height? It’s because I put all of my energy into it. I have no connection to the well-being of my child──”
“If it doesn’t concern you, don’t get involved.”
Her remark was so egotistical that Natsume’s words forcefully trumped the other party’s affirmation, overshadowing her words.
Her eyebrows arched once more, distorting her beautiful face grimly, and she shot a chilly glance at Natsume. Once Natsume clenched his back teeth, he began to speak quietly, trying to be extremely moderate to refrain from outbursts of fury.
“Kyosuke came to you with a ray of hope… Even though he had been neglected and scared all his life, he still thought that maybe you would hear him out since you are the mother who gave birth to him… He is here to deliver his feelings with desperate thoughts on his back!”
Any composure that had been there before was finally ended up in a shouting fit of agitation as Kyosuke’s feelings and his own merged together.
Yuu muttered the name of the person standing in front of them in a small voice.
“Children are neither convenient pawns nor ornaments of their parents. Each of them is a human being with a unique personality.”
Just as he finished forming the final words he wanted to relay, Airi averted her gaze.
“… You’re nothing but a stranger.”
Although the ironic tone of his voice caused a blue streak to form, he was not to be outdone by the other party.
“So what? Even though you’re his parent, you didn’t even shower him with decent affection, so why should I be criticized by you?”
Feeling that the conversation was not progressing, Airi attempted to force Natsumasa to break off the conversation.
“I don’t care what other people say. This is between me and my son. No matter what it takes, I will make him proceed with the marriage proposal. As for the rest of you, please leave.”
The answer was immediate and unwavering. After coming this far, there was no way they would leave when asked to do so.
“Even if he went home, he wouldn’t have a place to live. I have no use for a worthless person who can’t listen to me… and I’m going to retrieve all the money I’ve transferred to him.”
At the words of the other party who was still standing on her grounds, Natsume let out a sigh and brushed his bangs up.
“Forget about being angry, I am just stunned. Don’t you think you’re insane?”
At this point, beyond anger and dismay, a person would think that she was hardly a human being. While Natsume’s expression remained dazed, Airi confidently lifted the corners of her mouth.
“Without money, life would be impossible. I’m going to make sure he lives here with me while the engagement is finalized.”
“… Ah, there’s only so much I can do once the financial aspect is offered huh…”
Natsume’s expression darkened at the other party’s words, and he dropped his gaze as if to say, ” Oh dear, I am at a loss.”
Airi revealed a smile as if she had won, only to have her smile severed by the words that followed.
“What did you expect me to say…?” Natsume grinned and wore a relaxed look. “Don’t underestimate my network.”
After saying this, his eyes shifted towards the door. The quiet sound of shoes resounded through the corridor. Before long, a figure emerged from the slowly opening door, drawing a gasp from Airi with wide-open eyes.
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