Flower Spelling - Chapter 1.5
Chapter 1.5 – Follow-up Story
A few days have passed since the ruckus at the Tatsumi Residence.
Takasugi, Kusaka, and Ito, who had been freed from house arrest, paid a visit to the Tatsumi Residence together and bowed to the landlady with a mystified look on their faces.
“By the way, that Sogetsu is a peculiar young lady.” Takasugi cut to the chit-chat as the topic drew to a close. “I’ve known a lot of gutsy girls, but I’ve never encountered one who could communicate English. I heard you were once in Yokohama, but did you work for a foreigner?”
“Well, I wonder how it went. After all, there are numerous women from various walks of life here… And Master Takasugi? It’s not a wise move to delve into a woman’s past.”
It was Ito who exclaimed, “Eh!”.
“I don’t want to bother her, but since we’re already here, let’s pay her a visit. She’s here, right?” He inquired about it with the landlady.
“Unfortunately, she is in the Nihonbashi neighborhood on an errand. I’ll send for her if you need her.”
“No, that’s unnecessary.” Kusaka lifted one hand to stop the landlady. “I’m just stopping by to apologize, and if she’s in Nihonbashi, I’m sure we’ll run into each other on the way home.”
As he walked away, he told her. Kusaka strolled a little slower than usual along the street before promptly stopping in the centre of Nihonbashi.
“Isn’t that Sogetsu over there?”
“Where is it?” Ito remarked as he stretched up to search for it. Unlike Kusaka, who was unusually tall, Ito’s height merely enabled him to see the head of the person in front of him.
“With so many people around, it’s difficult to distinguish.”
“Over there, near the bridge, under the willows.”
“――Is that her?” Takasugi, who had his foot on the railing of the bridge, glanced in the direction Kusaka was pointing and noted.
When they approached and called out to her, Sogetsu, who had been retying the furoshiki, erupted into a delighted smile when she identified the three faces.
“Mr. Takasugi! Mr. Kusaka and Mr. Ito, too! Thankfully, your home arrest has been lifted. What happened today?”
“I’m on my way back from a quick stop at Tatsumi Residence. I was planning to meet you, but I heard you were out on an errand.”
“Oh, I came there to retrieve up the bowl I had requested the repair shop to fix.”
She pointed diagonally across the street to a store.
Even though the day was becoming shorter, the sun was still shining brightly. Children dashed by with yells of pleasure as she squinted in the glare.
There were many people coming and going down the main street, which was lined with enormous businesses, and there was a lot of hollering and shaking here and there.
For some reason, the voice of Yomiuri was the only one that struck out.
“Well, well, well. Today’s news is about excitement, suffering, and a masked group! It has been three and a half days. The masked group rose to protect the landlady from being falsely accused of a crime she did not commit. Only three of them went to the prison house in Kodenmacho, the frightening valley’s Kishimojin! Were they successful in saving the landlady? If you want to know more, come and buy it.”
The mob surged towards the Yomiuri that he held out as soon as he concluded his speech.
The others exchanged glances as they noticed Kusaka’s tone of voice, which sounded as if he was chomping down on something bitter.
“… It’s about us, right?”
“Wow, I’ll go buy one!”
As soon as she said that the four of them all looked at the Yomiuri that Sogetsu had purchased with her.
With the headline, “Righteous Masked Group Advances to Edo,” the tale of what happened the other day was amusingly presented, with some exaggeration and supposition. It also depicted a duel between a fox-faced ronin and a government officer.
“… ‘So, the masked group, at the end of the day, was able to commit seppuku with honor’… Wow, isn’t that great! I can’t believe it’s in the Yomiuri!”
Sogetsu, who read it aloud, squealed with delight.
“Masked group, huh? It’s not a very stylish name for children of Edo. Still, the narrative is beautifully crafted. If Mr. Sufu sees it, he’ll be amused and forward it to the head of state.”
Kusaka, who had been looking reluctant, lightened his countenance and laughed heartily, which was rare for him.
“If it’s Teacher Sufu, then it’s fine.”
Ito’s body trembled as if he didn’t want to think about it. “If the one who finds out is Mr. Katsura, we’ll get another sermon.”
“His sermons are long.”
The three of them laughed and parted ways with Sogetsu, but when they returned to the clan residence, they were immediately summoned by that Katsura.
When Takasugi and the others went to check what was going on, Katsura Kogoro silently held out a piece of paper.
There’s no mistake about it.
It was the Yomiuri, which they had just finished reading.
“What the hell is this all about?”
A silent yet enraged voice reverberated in the room.
Ah, the long sermon begins again.
In their imaginations, the three of them stared up at heaven as they wondered how to describe it.
Yomiuri – Yomiuri is the name of newspaper, though I don’t think newspaper existed by that time in Japan (?) I might be wrong though
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