Murder At The Rainy Mansion ~The Never Ending 100 Tales~ - Chapter 65
Chapter 65: Precipitated memories – Flashback Part 3
Hayase Chizuru was thinking about how many years she had lived in the mansion as she put a hand on the sliding door and called out to the old man inside the room. She knelt down and lowered her head to greet him politely.
“I have taken care of the locked room in the east side. I’m here to give a full report.”
When she slid the door open, she saw a refined man dressed in kimono waiting for her. He was reading a book at the writing desk as usual. After giving the full report, she looked at the book in his hand and smile.
The man, the master of this Rainy Mansion, gave her a puzzled look. Actually, everyone always thought that Natsu was the master of this mansion though. Meanwhile this man, Sudo Kengo, was the master in name only. Other residents would bypass him and report directly to Natsu for anything related to this mansion but Chizuru would always go to Kengo first.
Although, it seemed he didn’t really care that people weren’t giving him respect as it should be. He wasn’t a talkative person and might seemed hard to get along with, but once you get to know him, Chizuru realized he was a funny old man who understood humor.
“What are you reading?”
“Oh, this?” Kengo dropped his gaze down and looked at the book in his hand.
“I have a lot of free time recently. I wonder if you can recommend some books to me.”
“Hmm, let me see.” Kengo got onto his feet.
Looking at the old man’s shaky legs, Chizuru immediately walked to the bookshelf and said, “Let me do it.”
Kengo frowned. He normally didn’t like to show his weak self to others. In the end, Chizuru took the book from the shelf herself. She held the book borrowed from Kengo in her hands and bowed down to thank him before leaving the room. When she walked out the door, she bumped into Natsu.
Although Natsu like to dress plainly, she always looked neat and not a strand of hair was out of place. Natsu gave a glance at Chizuru who was wearing bright colored clothes and said, “Chizuru. Don’t you think your outfit is too flashy?”
“Natsu-sama. This can’t be considered as flashy. It is a popular fashion these days. How about I lend you some of my clothes?” Chizuru replied perfunctorily.
Natsu looked displeased hearing her words. However, Chizuru knew that Natsu had always looked after her and backed her up whenever outsiders said bad thing about her origin or her relation with the Sudo family. As a master of the mansion, Natsu always defended the residents even if it was against her will.
Even though Natsu’s personality was 180 degrees different from hers, Chizuru actually respected the woman. Although, from Natsu’s perspective, she might feel annoyed if she found out Chizuru actually looked up to her.
* * *
“You are going to fall.”
“No, I won’t,” Chizuru replied half-heartedly to the staircase ghost. After so many years, she already gotten used to his warning and it felt more like a greeting. She was about to climb up the stairs when the ghost suddenly said, “You look happy today.”
“Is it? That is not true though. I have been letting you off because I’m too lazy before. If you think I look happy, maybe I should help you to move on from this world.”
The staircase ghost went silent after that.
Chizuru returned to her room. She sat leaning against the wall under the window and opened the book. She was immersed in the dreamlike world inside the story while the corner of her lips turned up. The book was quite old. Most likely Kengo had read the book multiple times since he was young.
“Maybe I should show this book to Satoshi-san. Although he seems to forget about the real world, he might remember the story from this book.”
Her throat felt dry, so Chizuru closed the book and got up on her feet. She recalled the staircase ghost had said that she looked happy. She wondered if it was true. She did feel happy up until when she borrowed the book. But when she saw Natsu went into Kengo’s room earlier, she felt a bit agitated for some reason. She wondered why.
Chizuru went out the hallway and bumped into Toru.
“Are you free?” he asked.
“So-so,” she replied while walking down the stairs. “I might be free depends on what it is about.”
“What do you mean by that?” he complained.
Chizuru knew he was frowning without turning around to look at him. She couldn’t help but laughed at him.
After leaving Toru behind, Chizuru walked down the hallway while contemplating whether she should go see Satoshi or not. Suddenly, someone grabbed her arm and she was pulled to the corner.
“Hey! Stop it!”
The white slim fingers that were grabbing her arms tightly were quite strong despite of its weak appearance. She was pulled to the hallway in front of the toilet where Satoshi was in.
“What the hell are you doing?!”
Chizuru shook her arm trying to get away from the man’s grab. The man slowly released his grip. He stared at her while saying, “Are you in a relationship with Toru?”
“Huh? What are you talking about?”
“Everyone was gossiping about it.”
Chizuru looked at the fair and handsome face and laughed. “I never thought that you are interested with those kinds of nasty gossips. Akito, are you that boring?” she said in a light tone.
Akito stared at her with a serious look on his face and replied, “You can’t be with Toru. He is a womanizer and like gambling. He even has a fiancée.”
“Aren’t you the same? I mean the fiancée. Congratulations on your engagement,” Chizuru said and glanced to her right. The toilet door was left open, perhaps someone had cleaned it.
She had always wondered whether Satoshi could see outside from the open door even though outsider could only see him through the window at the back.
“Chizuru. Are you listening to what I’m saying?”
“Huh? What is it?” She noticed that Akito had grabbed both her arms since who knows when.
“… If you are willing to follow me, I will cancel my engagement.”
“Haha. What are you talking about?” Chizuru burst out laughing. “Isn’t it too late for that?”
She looked straight at Akito, who was Kengo’s grandson and the heir of this Rainy Mansion.
 開かずの間 : this term usually refers to a room that is forbidden to enter or locked by supernatural power. ↩
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