02 – Yukito, Buys a House
Upon hearing my requests, the manager brought out four different properties.
At first, he was just going to explain with photos and blueprints, but then decided it would be faster to show me directly. And so I got into his car and we drove to the location.
—Well, that was fine. However…
“…Why are you here, Ms. Iria?”
“Father told me where you were.”
She answered from the back seat.
Half a month had passed since that painful incident. However, during that time, she had returned to the same old person, as if to suggest that I was foolish for worrying.
—Actually, some things had changed.
But they seemed like good changes to me. As if a weight had been lifted from her shoulders. And she laughed just a little more.
“No…uh, we’re going to look at some houses. Why are you in the car?”
“Is that a problem?”
She said while petting Kuro, who was resting on her slender legs.
In general, Kuro did not like to be petted by other people. However, for some reason, he had become fond of Ms. Iria, and was completely relaxed now.
Kuro…I am almost jealous of you right now…
There was one other thing that changed recently.
It was that…Ms. Iria seemed to hold back less. As if we had become a little closer. Sometimes, it was a little surprising.
“So Teacher, what kind of house are you buying?”
I told her what I was looking for.
First, it should have a large garden.
That was a must. Kuro was fine indoors, but preferred to be outside. And so there had to be a garden for him to play in.
Next… I want a place for my sword training. Preferably indoors.
“Yeah… Recently, I’ve been stared at a lot…”
Ms. Iria nodded understandingly.
Ever since I had won at the Combat Technique Tournament, I could feel people’s eyes on me. Most did not say or do anything else. And it was not malicious. However, it was still tiring, knowing that you were being watched.
And so if possible, I wanted to train indoors.
“It’s the fame tax.”
“I didn’t even want to be famous. And I don’t care to profit from it.”
Well, it was not very high in priority. If I had to, I could train outside in the garden. Even if people did look at me.
“Please do not worry. We have the perfect house for you.”
The manager laughed as he turned the steering wheel.
—And so we arrived at the first house.
Within the quiet residential area stood…a great mansion.
“Ah, this one.”
Ms. Iria nodded calmly.
“It’s the villa we used a long time ago.”
It was a two-story building that seemed to shine a bright white. There was a vast garden and even a pool.
“Now, I will give you a tour of the interior…”
“First of all. How much does it cost?”
“Hmm? Ah, yes. With both land and building included, it would be about 2 hundred million…”
“As if I could buy it!!”
Is he crazy? Did I not tell him my budget!?
“Haha. Obviously, you would not be paying all of it at once. If you have 30 million right now, then it should be fine…”
“No, no. Even for a loan, that is way too high!”
“Is it? For someone like you, Sir Yukito, I think it is not that…”
Who did he think I was?
“In any case, please take me to the next one. Besides, I could never take care of a house this big all by myself.”
“Oh? Do you mean to live alone?”
The manager asked as he glanced over to Ms. Iria. She was walking through the garden with a nostalgic expression.
“No, no, no. That’s not it! She’s my student!”
“Oh, I see.”
But he was still grinning.
“In any case, please show me the next house…”
—And so we arrived at the second property.
It was one of those designer type houses. The ones with a lot of glass. It had a large garden and even a high wall.
There was a basement, which looked like it could be used as a training room.
“The best thing about this house is its location.”
It was close to the bus stop and train station. I would be able to travel with ease.
I see. That was also very important.
But as it was near the center of the city, it was also expensive.
“Hmm… It’s not bad. I’ll reserve it for now.”
And so we moved onto the next one.
The third property was….
Said Ms. Iria.
I suppose she could not be blamed.
While it was in the downtown area, it was also right next to that part of the city with glaring neon signs at night. In other words, the red light district.
“It is indecent.”
“Surely you are not saying that you are interested?”
“I would never say that.”
Well, I was a teacher after all.
It was possible that they might visit me sometimes.
And so this was out of the question.
“Out of the ones I saw, the second one was the best.”
“The first would also be a fantastic choice…”
“Instructors don’t get paid that much.”
It was too expensive.
Ms. Iria agreed, and when she laughed, she seemed just a little relieved. I wonder why?
“The next one is the Count’s personal recommendation for you, Sir Yukito. It is a rather unique house…”
I tilted my head at the manager as he held the steering wheel.
He was driving farther away from the city’s center. We were nearing the traditional district to the east.
The scenery from the window changed, and the amount of nature increased. And then we arrived.
It was a house surrounded by a quiet copse.
“It is not the most convenient location. The closest bus stop is a twenty minute walk.”
I couldn’t help but mutter.
…The sight was incredibly nostalgic.
The house…somehow…. The tiled roof, the wooden walls… It was an old Japanese style house.
“This house was built by a painter. A painter known for using oriental techniques. This house was supposed to be a recreation of eastern culture.”
The sun had started to set, bathing the sky around us in a red, warm light. There was a pond in the garden, which reflected the sun and glimmered beautifully.
The sight was so breathtaking that I wondered if the manager had purposely adjusted things so we would arrive at this time…
“Now, please come inside.”
While the outside looked easter, the inside was a blend of both. The kitchen, dining room had stone flooring, but there was also a Japanese style room…
“There are tatami mats…”
“So this is a tatami mat. There is something calming about the smell.”
I had not smelled that in so long.
It was like going back to my parent’s home…
Suddenly, I thought back on my old homeland.
I actually had very few memories of that house. Ever since I was sent to the orphanage, an old man who was a neighbor took care of the house.
Every time I returned, he would be so kind…
I wonder what happened to that house?
Perhaps it no longer existed…
“Oh. It’s nothing…”
I shook my head.
“As for this house, there are some conditions. There is no training room inside. However, since the house is surrounded by trees, there should be no problem training outside.”
Indeed, the garden was large, and so there was plenty of space.
“There are seven rooms on the first floor, and three on the second floor. However, as there is plenty of land, you could expand the building as well. You may use the furniture that is already here.”
“It really is perfect.”
“The furniture is also new. The Count must have felt that you would choose this place.”
He saw right through me then.
…Still, there was one thing.
“…How much will it cost?”
The manager smiled broadly as he told me the price.
—Which was exactly within my budget.
“That was a quick decision.”
Ms. Iria said with a chuckle as we exited the building. We had returned to the office once and I signed all of the necessary papers and received the keys.
“Your father had me right in the palm of his hand.”
“He has always been like that. He seems to see everything.”
The impressive part was that he made you feel like you did not mind being played.
Though, he was still someone to keep your guard up against.
“So, will you be living there starting today?”
“Yes, I think so. I already left Kuro there.”
Kuro had really liked the garden. He had practically made the decision to stay there before I did.
He was probably marking his territory now.
“I see. Well, I shall be sure to visit you soon then.”
“Oh. Like a housewarming? Thank you.”
“A house warming…party. That is a good idea. I shall call everyone too.”
“Hey. I didn’t say that it would be some big party…”
“Well, why not?”
Ms. Iria turned to look at me. The road was the color of the sunset.
“Teacher. Congratulations on the new house.”
“…I don’t know if it’s something to congratulate me on.”
Still, it did not feel bad to have Ms. Iria smile gently at me like that. And so I shrugged and walked on.