Main Story 34


The following day, Madenokouji-sama once again called out to us.


“Good afternoon, Kujouin-san.
May I have a bit of your time? I have asked my grandmother about Shirasagi Mari-sama.”


Oh! We can hear about the Madenokouji-sensei who had so frightened Mari-sama! I’m not sure if I should say I’m deeply involved, but I do so want to hear it.

My face must have betrayed how truly excited and filled with anticipation I was.
Souju-sama, while seeming reluctant, said,


“…… Madenokouji-san, please, take a seat beside me.”


We always sit with me and Sara-sama side by side, and Souju-sama opposite me.
Madenokouji-sama therefore sat diagonally from where I was seated.




Madenokouji-sama started on the topic of Mari-sama right after giving the waiter his orders.
Since Sara-sama and Souju-sama’s orders had yet to come either, all three of us assumed listening stances.


“According to what my grandmother said, she had heard from my great-grandfather that her grandmother Matsuko had been governess to Mari-sama.”

“From Mari-sama’s, pardon me, from my grandmother’s perspective, I believe Matsuko-sama was a very harsh individual.”

I’ve heard that she was terrifying beyond words.
My great-grandfather was himself also known to be stern, and the sole person he was afraid of was Matsuko, so my grandmother had said.”


Just what kind of person was Matsuko-sama?!


“If your posture was even the slightest bit incorrect, she would whip you with a ruler.
If you were to speak in a manner deemed improper, you would be hit.
At any rate, it seems like she was someone who would hit you relentlessly.
My grandmother also used to get hit often when she was a child.
Moreover, my great-great-grandmother herself did not have any openings to criticize so you could not even complain even if you were hit.”


The food everyone had ordered was being set up on the table.

They had ordered simple course meals so they each had an appetizer to start with.


“Let’s eat while continuing with the rest of the story.”


I opened my lunchbox.
Today, too, I had the usual two balls of onigiri wrapped in bamboo skin and leftovers from the day before.


“Kujouin-san, do you always bring your own lunchbox?”

But I do get something from here once a week.”

“Madenokouji-san! We’re not going to give you any of Rei-chan’s ongiri, got it?”


Souju-sama, just how much do you like onigiri!


I am not The Naked General, I do not want onigiri.”


…… The naked general? I wonder what he is talking about.


“Rei-chan, Madenokouji-san blurts out random things at times.
No need to sweat over it.”

“Eh? But I can’t help but wonder after he said the naked general.
Doesn’t that imply public indecency? Right, Sara-chan?”

“Don’t bring me into this, Rei-chan.”


Madenokouji-san laughed awkwardly and started to explain.


“I enjoy watching old movies and dramas.
It’s actually a private hobby of mine to study the subcultures of the 70s and 80s.
The Naked General was a television drama based on Yamashita Kiyoshi.
He’s not actually naked and wears proper clothes.
He likes rice balls.”

“Yamashita Kiyoshi was the artist who utilized colored papers to make collages, was he not? I have seen his works in picture collections.
I see there was also a drama made.”


When I so answered, Madenokouji-sama nodded with a smile.


“He wandered all of Japan and whenever he got hungry, he would say this.”


While looking at my onigiri, Madenokouji-sama uttered a line from the drama the Naked General.


“Whe, when my mother was on her death bed, she, she told me to, to receive some rice balls whene, whenever I get hungry from some, someone I meet.”


It was not only me but also Sara-sama and Souju-sama who were dumbfounded.


“This was Ashiya Gannosuke’s version.
I recommend it.”


We just witnessed an unexpected side the perfect prince Madenokouji-sama with perfect conduct has.


“Eh…… Madenokouji-san, I can’t believe you just did that…”

“Uf, fufufufufu, fuhaHAHAHAH! No can do, I can’t hold it in anymore!”


Sara-sama laughs easily.


“Sara-chan, get a hold of yourself!”


I stroked Sara-sama’s back.
Sara-sama took deep breaths in an effort to control her laughter but, just at that moment, Madenokouji-sama whispered “I, I want some rice balls” and Sara-sama ended up not being able to cease her laughter.


“Madenokouji-sama, do put a stop to it now.
Sara-chan must be suffering.”

“I apologize.
This kind of behavior is not something I can show in front of others.
I got carried away for a bit there.”


Madenokouji-sama looked down while apologizing, He must not be able to be carefree in this way, being the son of a distinguished family and also the student council president.
He is, after all, of such perfect conduct that he became everyone’s role model.
No matter how capable he might be, it must have been suffocating.
Although he has Katsuragi-sama who, as a salon member and the next student council president, must be of equal standing with him, if he were to fool around in this way around Katsuragi-sama, I can imagine that he would only join in and escalate matters.
He will only behave in more reckless ways.
In this regard, he can relax around Souju-sama and Sara-sama.


Souju-sama had already finished his lunch.
The only items left were the dessert and tea.
He was gazing intently at the onigiri in my hands, and only continued to do so.


“Sou-kun, are you hungry? If so, go ahead and help yourself to one.”


I lost to Souju-sama’s gaze.
But since he has already finished his lunch, it should not be rude to the chef to offer him one now.


“Hey, Souju, Rei-chan’s going to be hungry!”

“Here, Rei-chan.
We can exchange it with my dessert!”


The dessert was tarte tatin.
There were plenty of apples on it.
It looks delicious!


“Yes, let’s do so.”


I have ceased to hold back around the two of them.
I want us to be on equal standing.
And especially in regards to food.
This was a trade with both parties’ consent.


“Ah, right.
We were talking about my great-great-grandmother Matsuko.”


Madenokouji-sama continued with a prince-like refreshing smile.


“I certainly verified that Matsuko had been Shirasagi Mari-sama’s governess once, but I know nothing more than that.”

“I used to often get my thighs and back hit by Mari-sama’s bamboo ruler.
 It is just as you just iterated; if I were careless in my posture, manners, or in any such disciplines, I would instantly get hit.
I see that it had originated from Matsuko-sama.”

“Ah, is that right! When I first saw you, I felt that you were not like a stranger to me.
So that was because your way of carrying yourself was similar to my grandmother’s.”

“Was it now?”


When Madenokouji-sama nodded while showing a bright smile, Souju-sama who was beside him interfered.


“Hey, Madenokouji-san.
Our grandmother told us that she would contact with your grandmother herself, so there is no need for you to make contact with Rei-chan anymore.
Though you still need Rei-chan’s permission regarding the unveiling of Mari-sama’s cassette tapes.
Ok, Rei-chan?”


Souju-sama, have you really finished the onigiri already?!


“For me, if there was a person who desires to listen, I would very much like them to do so.
It’s the piano playing I have been listening to since my early days.
Mari-sama often played for only me, so as to show me the way.
How nostalgic.”


Although Mari-sama had a deeply unpleasant personality, her piano playing was truly something to behold.
It seemed to me that she was honest only in matters concerning the piano.


“A formal contract will likely still be made, but Rei-chan herself has given her consent.
Our grandmother will probably hold an appreciation meeting sometime in the near future.”

“My grandmother must be so excited for that too.”


As such, the lunch where we were able to witness an unexpected side of Madenokouji-sama had ended.


Along the way back to the classroom, Madenokouji-sama was all we talked about.


“To think that Madenokouji-sama would do such a thing.
His fangirls must be disillusioned were they to witness it.
Although it is all the same to me as I am not a fan.”

“I was put off.”

“It made me want to watch the drama The Naked General.
Do you not think that it seems very interesting?”

“That’s right! Let’s watch The Naked General for our next movie night.
Ok, Rei-chan, Souju?”


I nodded, and Souju-sama seemed interested too although outwardly he said that whatever was fine with him.


On the weekend, we decided to watch the episode in which Ashiya Gannosuka made an appearance.
The episode was one with parental love as the theme.
Sara-sama sobbed violently, Souju-sama put up a front of not being touched at all, and I let my thoughts wander to leading a life of wandering as Yamashita Kiyoshi did.

After that, for a short while, The Naked General became a boom amongst ourselves.

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