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Chapter 152 – Family Meeting

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Author: Hidsuki Shihou Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3413 characters
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1635 words
Editor(s): Fire

A peaceful family interaction. Ever since Kotone went off the rails, this has been a rare scene. We have approximately one person missing, though. Now then, I can already guess what’s going to happen next. With my objective achieved, it’s time for me to scram.

“Now then, if you would excuse me.”
“Oh Kotone, our family will be having a very important meeting now, you can’t go home yet.”

With mom’s instructions, the servants closed off the doors. Just when did she take over the whole house? Is it possible that she actually has more influence within the house than my stupid father? I can’t believe my own home has become enemy territory.

“Mother, what is this meeting about?”
“It will be a discussion to decide Kotone’s future.”

And so the curtains are raised for the first ever Kisaragi family meeting. I have a bad feeling about this.

“Oh? Already thinking about the future, I see. Personally speaking, I think Kotone would do well in being the head of the family as she is now.”
“I’m also in favor of that. Rather than our foolish son, I believe Kotone would be more capable of properly managing the Kisaragi family.”
“Father, mother, Kotone actually has the potential to be something other than the next family head.”
“Ohh? And what would that be?”
“A singer.”
“”Ha?””

Grandfather and grandmother were dumbfounded. It looks like their brains stopped working due to mom’s unexpected answer. Even the twins seem like they haven’t processed it yet. Has she not actually told anyone about it?

“Actually, the madam of the Shimotsuki family consulted with me about this. She had asked if I would be willing to let Kotone debut as a singer.”
“By the Shimotsuki madam, you mean the renowned singer Sherry? How did such a conversation come to be in the first place?”
“She said she was enamored by Kotone’s singing voice.”

While mom and grandfather were talking, I sneakily tried to retreat toward the door, but then I felt my back bump into someone. Turning around, Sakiko was standing there with a smile. She’s not letting me escape, huh.

“Sakiko, move aside.”
“I will not. I shall take the madam’s instructions at a higher priority than yours.”
“The same applies to me.”

Even Misaki has turned to their side, huh. As long as I’m in this building, I have no way to win or escape. I was completely surrounded on all sides. And as the twins grabbed my hand, I have now seriously given up the prospects of escaping.

“Mom, is there really a need to decide about this now?”
“This is one of the few times we’re all gathered here together, after all. Whether we decide on something or not, we have to discuss it.”
“Otoha, is Kotone really capable of finding success as a singer?”
“Mrs. Shimotsuki has given her personal stamp of approval. Would you like to see all recorded instances of Kotone singing?”
“Mom, that’s complete torture for me, so stop that.”
“Big sis, I want to see it!”
“I want to see it, too!”

Now how do I stop these excited twins? As I was musing, a large monitor was carried into the room. So anything goes now, huh. There’s no more avoiding at this point. Stopping this family is impossible.

“I suppose we should take a look at Kotone’s exploits, then.”
“Oh my, that sounds intriguing.”

Why are grandfather and grandmother on board with this, too? Isn’t it normally not okay for members of the twelve families to sing in public? And why do they seem so excited about it? It’s going the same way it did with the Fumidzukis.

“Misaki. Please, earplugs and an eye mask.”
“I don’t have any of such items conveniently prepared. What do you think I am?”
“An ever-prepared maid.”
“I’m so happy I could cry. But I can see through your true intentions, lady Kotone. You are simply flattering me for your own convenience.”
“No, I actually mean it.”

It’s rare for Misaki to look shocked. Even though her face barely shows any change in emotions, I really do think of Misaki as capable and well-prepared for anything. Since Kotone surfaced before, it’s possible for her to take my place. I should probably show my gratitude while I have the chance.

“Misaki, thank you for everything.”
“Lady Kotone is being affectionate!?”

This is my first time ever seeing Misaki looking surprised. So this was nice. And while I’m indulging in escapism, the screening preparations are slowly being completed. Misaki, could you stop being frozen and prepare my defensive items?

“Now then, bear witness to Kotone’s exploits.”
“Wait! I’m not ready yet!”

If I don’t have ear plugs and an eye mask, then I just need to close my eyes and cover my ears. But with the twins holding my hands, I can’t do that. Even if I close my eyes, I’d still hear my own voice, so it’s practically meaningless.

“Give it up, Kotone. Take this as a good opportunity to reflect on your actions.”
“That kind of opportunity is unnecessary !” ‘That sort of opportunity is not necessary!’

Kotone and I shared the same sentiment. It looks like even for Kotone, being seen singing in public is embarrassing. Even though I was the one who did it. We have the same voice and appearance, so it’s easy for her to superimpose herself with me.

“Kotoha, Tateha. Keep holding Kotone’s hands. Misaki, hold her face in position. She needs to burn into her eyes exactly what she has been doing.”
“Mom, are you perhaps angry?”
“I’m by no means dissatisfied that you gave the data to her before me, not at all.”

Well that came from an unexpected place!? Of all things, she was upset at me due to her sense of rivalry with step-mom. On my part, we were together for a much longer time, so I couldn’t help it.

“You may have many questions, but please ask her directly after the screening.”
“Stop i-mngh-!”

While blocking my mouth, Misaki forced me to look at the screen. Seriously, is this some sort of torture? You have me watch my embarrassing antics while also forcing me to listen to other people’s reactions. The twins beside me are hyped up by the video and the song, while the grandparents are watching with great interest.

“And that is all for Kotone’s performance.”

Why was a video of my performance at the Shimotsuki’s song festival mixed with the recording? Is it because the recording at the restaurant was audio only, so it was used as a substitute? The Shimotsuki family is probably cooperating with mom to close off my escape routes. They move ridiculously fast.

“Big sis, so cool!”
“Elder sister, you were wonderful. As expected of our big sister.”

The twins’ genuine praise just hurts me more. As a show of resistance, I closed my eyes. Misaki’s hands were occupied with covering my mouth, so I was free to do so. Yet, I couldn’t shut out the sound, leaving me to endure it with my face flushed red.

“To think that Kotone had such a talent.”
“Your singing was brilliant, Kotone.”

Stop, I don’t want your opinions on it. Just give me the final answer. Just say that I can’t be a singer. With that, Sherry might finally just give up. I’m aware that this is just mostly wishful thinking.

“It shouldn’t be a problem for Kotone to be a singer, then. With the Shimotsuki involved, there’s no way around it.”
“Right. It wouldn’t be bad for Kotone to debut nationally. Besides, there’s no helping the Shimotsukis.”

Why isn’t there anyone against this? And what’s with their impression of the Shimotsuki family? They definitely wouldn’t be talking like that if there hasn’t been a precedent. Even I would rather not deal with the Shimotsukis with how annoying they are when they’re involved.

“In that case, shall we all agree that the Kisaragi family will approve of Kotone’s possible career as a singer?”
“It’s still not set in stone?”
“Only you can have the final say, Kotone. I’m just giving my solid support and approval.”

I don’t want to leave my future in the hands of other people, so I really appreciate that mom said that. Still, in that case, this whole thing shouldn’t be necessary. If she had left this problem all to me, I could still probably break things off. But now that the Kisaragi family is on board with it, I can’t be completely dismissive of it.

“You tricked me, mom.”
“Who wouldn’t be happy to show their dear daughter to the whole nation?”

I’m completely trapped. It’s probably alright if I tell them that I absolutely won’t be a singer. However, it likely won’t stop the Shimotsukis from trying, so I’m going to have to deal with them on my own. They don’t give up easily, after all.

“You’ll leave the negotiation with Yui to me, correct?”
“Yes, I’ll leave it to you.”

In that case, I’ll have to think of the best possible compromise. I can’t sing in front of people, and neither can Kotone. I was able to pull through up until now, but it’ll be an important hurdle to face when performing in a professional capacity. In that case, I just have to make it forbidden to show my face.

“I really don’t want to leave any problems behind, though.”

Tonight, I’m likely going to have a talk with Kotone. She surfaced earlier, so I’m almost sure it’ll happen. When it happens, we’ll have to discuss the future. And I’m fully aware of what that could mean for me.



 

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