Early morning on the following day, even before the doctor in charge comes in, Sara-sama and Souju-sama came to visit.
It seems that they had not been allowed to visit until yesterday.


Upon seeing me, the two of them seem like they are about to cry.
Sara-sama latches on to my neck and cries.


“Rei-chan, Rei-chan!”


Oops, the IV drip!


“Sara-chan, sorry to have made you worry.”


I rubbed Sara-sama’s back and looked up at Souju-sama.



“I’m sorry to have made you worry too, Sou-kun.”

“…! Rei-chan, I’m so glad you’re alive.”


Even the cool tempered Souju-sama has tears in his eyes.
They said that upon hearing that I was injured in the landslide, they had promptly left New York and returned to Japan.


“It’s okay for you to not have hurried home so soon.
It has been a long time since it was just the two of you with your father, hasn’t it?”


Sara-sama, while still clinging on to me, looks up and glares at me.


“Rei-chan, why did you not tell us you were sick? I mean, you had pneumonia, did you not? If someone from our household had brought you to the hospital, then, then… You would not have sustained such injuries, would you?”

“That’s right.
We’re like idiots, knowing nothing!”


This troubled me.


“Umm, I’m happy you feel that way, but we’re friends, are we not? I would like you to also understand that I did not wish to pose a disturbance to you.
You finally have a chance to spend time with your father; I did not wish to disturb you over trivial matters.”

The photo of Sara-sama and Souju-sama enjoying their time with their father in a luxurious Manhattan penthouse had made the me who was all alone in my tiny, dilapidated house greatly miserable.

I believe that had I told them I had a cold, they would have sympathized with me and been worried.
But I’m sure that would have made me feel even worse instead.

It seems that I resemble Mari-sama both inside and out.
Though involuntarily, I appear to find pity and compassion disagreeable.


“I’m not such a child.
I don’t feel lonely even if I can’t meet my father.” (Sara)

Why are you saying such a thing?” (Souju)


Ah, why won’t they understand? This is my way of showing them consideration, my way of keeping my pride.

We fell silent for a short while.


Breaking the silence, the doctor knocked on the door and entered.


“Good morning.
How are you feeling?”


The doctor in charge resembled Ichijou-sensei.


“He looks just like Ichijou-sensei!”


As if he had read my mind, Souju-sama uttered this exclamation.


“Hm? Ah, you’re from Meisei Academy.
Right, my younger brother’s working there right now.
I’m Ichijou Kiyoshiro, Akimi’s brother.
Kujouin-san’s going to the same academy too, aren’t you?”


Unlike the Ichijou-sensei from the academy, the one here is not gaudy.
But they look alike so it feels strange.


Ichijou-sensei has treated us to nice tea and delicious snacks.”

“That’s nice, then.
Ah, you guys, I’m going to perform some examinations on her so can you leave for a while?”


Sara-chan and Sou-kun left the room.


The older Ichijou-sensei looks as if he already knows what I want to ask him.


“You want to know about your left arm, don’t you?”

“… Yes.
Will my left arm return to normal? Will I be able to play the piano as before?”


The doctor shows me an X-ray image from the computer.

It looks to be my left arm.

A part of the radius is fractured.


“This bone here, it’s called the radius.
As you can see, there’s an oblique fracture running through it.
It’s a nondisplaced one and the bone is still in its original position.
Fortunately, the nerves around it aren’t damaged so you can take off the cast after a month.
There is nothing that can be said for certain in this world, but you should be able to play as you have until now.”


Ah! I can play the piano again!

I did not lose the piano too.

I don’t need anything so long as I can play the piano! That will be enough!


Now that I am feeling relieved, I feel terribly sleepy.
Yes, I could not sleep even a wink last night owing to my feelings of uneasiness.


“You seem to have found relief.
I suppose you weren’t able to sleep soundly last night? Rest easy.
I’ll inform your friends.”

“Thank you for your consideration.
I will take your word and sleep for a bit.”


I fell asleep soon after.


When next I awoke, it was already past noon.

Comrade Yoshio was next to me.


“Did you sleep well?”


I nod.
Comrade Yoshio patted my head.
I think to myself, thank goodness I had washed my hair the day before.
For it must be terribly oily had I not done so.


What about Sara-chan and Sou-kun, of the Hongou family?”

“I sent them to the academy.
Though they had insisted on staying here til you awaken.
They are beyond spoiled, but they were worried about you.
You have some good friends.”


So Sara-sama and Souju-sama had gone to school.
I was so curt to them.
They did not deserve it.
They were just worried about me.
Foolish me.


Right, I wonder how my handling at the academy will be from now on.
I have been admitted there as a scholarship student, but since I have taken an extended leave from school, I no longer meet the qualifications to remain a scholarship student.
In response to such musings of mine, Comrade Yoshio said that he will pay the tuition fees so I should just continue attending as a normal student.


Comrade Yoshio’s words makes me happy.
Yesterday, he even said that he will provide for me.
Those words alone are enough for me.


I will have my father pay! My father has money after all.
Right, he drives a vintage American car with poor gas mileage and wears expensive clothes.
He never paid child-support, did he? I will make him pay in full! And the hospital fees too! While I’m at it, I should also squeeze some consolation money out of him!”


I felt on top of the world, having regained the hope of being able to play the piano again.
How wonderful hope is! It gives me strength to live!

Now then, let’s collect information to exact revenge on my father!


“Comrade Yoshio, I’ll repay the debt when I am able to, so please procure me a cell phone.”

“Ah, okay.
What a look you have in your eyes.
Somehow, they’re overflowing with fighting spirit.”

I’ll finish my father off.”

“Oi! Kujouin-shi is in critical condition.”

“As if I will let him die just like that.”


I have turned into Mataro.




I need a rose patterned shirt, a cloak, and a pair of glasses!

I’ll unleash “Urami Nenpou”!


“What’s that?”


I recommend the masterpiece “Mataro is Coming!!”[1] to Comrade Yoshio.
I do like F-sensei, but A-sensei‘s dark pieces are wonderful too.[2]


“I don’t quite get it, but I feel relieved now that you seem more energetic.
But you still shouldn’t force yourself.
I’ll get you a cell phone soon.”

“I am indebted to you for everything.
You have done so much for me, just because I am my mother Ruriko’s daughter.
I’m thankful to her.”


I admit that it’s hypocritical of me.
I’m thankful to the mother I had so censured.
I was scrupulous.
I wanted my mother to be a saint.
I should search about my mother too.
I wonder what kind of life she had led.
Still, for her to have ended up in a human trafficking auction is quite something.
She could have died had she been careless.
Does that mean that my father, who had bought my mother, is someone who had rescued her? No, she still ended up dying during childbirth so I can’t make any conclusions.


Comrade Yoshio went home.
I told him there’s no need for him to stay accompanying me any longer so I want him to rest.
Comrade Yoshio may be tough, but still he’s not young anymore.


I then turn the television on.
That’s right, it’s a television.

I do what they call channel surfing.
Channel surfing, it’s my first time doing it.
I test out the remote control, pressing its buttons rapidly.
I see, I see.
I look like one experienced with the remote control, don’t I?


As I am thus playing with the remote control and television, a visitor is announced.
They also told me that I can choose if I want to let them in.
I ask for their name and when I hear the answer, I promptly ask for them to be let in.


“Kujouin-san! Are you okay?”


It is the outside student Kimoto-san, with her face filled with worry.
The other students with whom I have made plans to go to Yoshinoya the other day are also here.

I receive a flower bouquet and some cookies.
It’s a first for me to receive get well soon gifts! I am so happy I cannot contain my grin.


“Thank you for coming to visit me.
And you even prepared such wonderful flowers and cookies! Ufufu.
Sorry for causing you to worry.
As you can see, though I have some injuries, I’m fine!”

“It’s hard for us to see you like this.
Quit forcing yourself.
You lost your house too, didn’t you?”

“Hey, you’re being way too blunt!”


Kimoto-san jabs the boy.


“Yes, the house is gone.
And the piano too.
But still, I’m alive, aren’t I? Though I did break my arm, they said that if it heals properly, I can still play the piano as before! That’s why, I’m really okay.”


Right, I also now have a new goal of taking my father down.



“Kujouin-san sure is strong.
How to say this, you’re cool.”

“Yeah, if there’s anything we can do, just say the word!”

“We’ll buy you gyudon too.”


Oh, that’s called “takeout”!


“No, I would like to have the Oomori Tsuyudaku at the counter first.”

“Kujouin-san sure doesn’t get swayed.”


We are chatting animatedly when the sound of a knock comes.
I answered to come in and in came Sara-sama and Souju-sama.
It would appear that the two of them does not need my permission to visit here.


“Rei-chan, just what is going on here?”


Sara-sama was furious.

Translator’s Notes:

[1] Mataro is Coming!! is a manga by mangaka Fujiko Fujio A (pen name).
It was serialised in Weekly Shounen Champion from 1972 to 1975.
It was a horror manga, starring a middle school aged boy named Urami Mataro as the main character.
Mataro is someone who is often bullied, and when things get too far, he utters the line “Should.not.this.grudge.be.avenged.” and starts his revenge.
Mataro has extensive knowledge about occultism and possesses a superpower he calls “Urami Nenpou”, which, along with various occult items, he uses in his revenges.
These he achieves by a deal with Satan.
During such episodes, he dons a rose patterned shirt and a cloak.
He also wears glasses on the daily.

[2] A-sensei refers to Fujiko Fujio A, real name Abiko Motoo.
F-sensei refers to Fujiko F Fujio, real name Fujimoto Hiroshi.
The two of them often work together under the shared name Fujiko Fujio.
The work they published together was Obake no Q-Tarou, a comedy manga.
They were each successful mangaka as individuals too, with Fujimoto being the mangaka of Doraemon and Perman (among many others) and Abiko having published Ninja Hattori and The Monster Kid (again, among many others).
Fujimoto leans towards more light hearted comedy, while Abiko has a darker sense of humour.

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