>Lawyer Tamaru had no choice but to drop out of university.
By then, he had already thrown his youth away to study with everything he had.
He was a young man from the countryside, with glasses as thick as the bottom of glass bins and hair cropped in a crew cut.
The young man Tamaru fell into depression and was locking himself up in his apartment when his parents escaped from the countryside.
The three of them lived in a studio apartment measuring only 11 m2 in size.
They were considering family suicide when the debt collector appeared.


“It somehow sounds like something from a manga.”

But the civil law amendment will bring a change to the system of joint guarantors.”


Lawyer Tamaru continues his story.

The debt collector was a hoodlum.
He threatened them in his peculiar way of speaking, rolling his r’s to seem stronger.


In such a situation, my father made a dashing appearance.


“Kujouin Tooru-sama had an air about him, you can tell he’s a refined elite just by a glance.”


Lawyer Tamaru said this looking nostalgic.
He also somehow tried to speak in a Tokyo accent, but I don’t think that was necessary at all; it rather feels forced.


Back to the story.
My father brushed off the threats the hoodlum was making.
He then gave them a cheque right then and there.


“With this, your debts are gone in an instant.”


A strange story that does not make even the slightest bit of sense.
Why did my father, who had so far had nothing to do with them, appear in such a scene? Would the small fry from the yakuza promptly take the offered cheque, as a businessman would? There is already one too many plot holes in the story so far.


“Tooru-sama told me this, he happened to hear about our situation from the creditor.
He couldn’t let them sacrifice the future of such a promising young man and thus came to see me.
‘In the future, become my legal advisor.
My shouldering your debts this time is an advanced payment made’, so he said, giving me a pat on my shoulder while smiling.”


Thus, the young man Tamaru returned to the life he had previously led.
 Through meeting with my father once in a while, he had the chance to learn about a world different from his own.
One of them was the world of rock music.


“I discovered freedom.”


The young man Tamaru got into heavy metal, letting out all the anger he felt towards the absurdities of the world.
If expressing discontent against society was his goal, punk rock would have better suited.
I wonder why he chose heavy metal instead.
I continue listening to him while wondering about such matters.
The young man who had worn glasses with lenses as thick as glass bins and had a crew cut changed into contacts and grew his hair out, dye his hair blonde.
Perhaps he calmed down after some time, for he eventually got into Yngwie Malmsteen.

He did not neglect his studies.
He passed the bar exam while still in university, and after graduating, he started a legal internship.
After which, owing to his excellence, he would have been able to become a public prosecutor or a judge.
Instead, in order to fulfill his promise with my father, he became a lawyer.


This was set in the asset price bubble period.
People kept him at a distance due to his long blonde hair, leather jacket, and leather pants.
It was a period where young executives donning Armani suits were celebrated.
Despite this, Lawyer Tamaru refused to bend, choosing instead to stay true to himself.


“Wouldn’t it have been fine for you to compromise just your appearance?”

“Nah, rock is my soul itself.”


Though he looked that way, he was capable.
He became independent while in his 20s, and flourished in his work.
He was particularly strong in civil cases.


After the asset bubble burst, my father, who had then not meet Lawyer Tamaru for some time, came to him.

He wanted Lawyer Tamaru to take care of some debts for him.
The debts belonged to Kujouin Mari-sama.
She had lost her assets in investments.


“That’s odd.
Mari-sama does not do investments.
She did not even have her own wallet.
There is no way she was managing her own money.
She does not even have the ability to survive on her own.”

“…… At any rate, we had to sell the principal residence of the Kujouin family, let go of nearly all their fortune, and had her move to the remaining villa.
After which Tooru-sama returned overseas.”


It seems that my father had been in the habit of living abroad.
And they did not meet again for 10 years after that.


“When Reiko-san was born, Tooru-sama entrusted you to Mari-sama, who was living at the villa.
He said that his mother was better qualified to raise you into a fine lady.”


I wonder what that father of mine was thinking.
Entrusting your baby to an old lady in her late 80s is not something an ordinary person would do.

Later, after I had turned 1, Mari-sama again fell into debt.
Mari-sama had once again failed in her investments.


“As I was saying, Mari-sama would not do something like that.
She had no interest in money.”


Instead of addressing what I said, Lawyer Tamaru continues on, relating now our lives after.

The debt was not of an amount we could pay back.
The villa and its furnishings, they were all sold to the highest bidders.
The rented house in Hanaoka town was the final abode Mari-sama got, where she spent her last years.


“Was the piano not sold?”

“The piano was bought by that helper Yamada Fuki-san.”


Which means, that piano was Fuki-san’s.
Which in turn means that what Takanashi-sama had said was right.


“I must say I think it strange for Fuki-san to live in that small rental house in the countryside when she had enough fortune to buy that piano.
Everything going on just feels so out of place.”


Lawyer Tamaru scratches his head, which hair has started to thin, showing the skin underneath, and expresses his agreement.


“I have heard that some kind of agreement had been reached between Tooru-sama and Yamada Fuki-san, but I am not privy to the details.”


It seems that Lawyer Tamaru was going through the motions of enrolling me in school.
My father was still my legal guardian, so though I was living separately from him, I was included in his health and social insurance.
It is thanks to Lawyer Tamaru that I can receive treatment using my health insurance.

Ever since the time I had the mumps, the only time I had seen a doctor for something was with the red beard doctor.

If I had had more instances of going to seek medical treatment, I might have had a look at my health insurance and known about my father.


After relating all this, Lawyer Tamaru bowed his head to me.

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