- Rewrite #001
- Side Louis
- Side Natsume
- Side Kaname（http://sanadayuina.tumblr.com/post/79729850844/the-cruel-winters-flower-is-falling-down）
- Side Kaname and Iori （http://raklya.tumblr.com/post/79876387563/title-side-kaname-iori-seventh-heaven-pov）
- Side Wataru
That Christmas tree was placed in downtown area.
In a small bus terminal, a waiting room was build.
I see the people who waiting for today’s last bus glitters in vague red and green from the tree.
(…. One year almost ended already.)
Arranging the coat’s collar, I chase away the cold air that tries to crawl into my body.
When I was trying to pass through the side of bus terminal, I noticed figures. Outside the building, the light from indoor room barely reaches that one spot.
Two person who looks like high school students.
The shadows of those two were tied up at first. And then suddenly they draw closer and overlapping.
While walking on the dampened road, I yelled at those two. My smile spilled unintentionally.
(For once, it was mean to be funny.)
About that, I feel slightly pleased.
————Approximately nine months since I leave home.
I live in a temple on a small northern city since then.
On a large temple on that region, there is fine temple lodging.Because Ryuusei-san’s recommendation they lend me a small 3x3 tatami room, where I can sleep and wake up.
According to the temple’s rules, I can’t do anything. Because I wants time to re-examined myself. Even though it is only 3 tatami mat, for the me now it is already a large room.
And then now, the sight under my eyes.
I seen it with a smile.
(The result is coming out by itself.)
As it is, I thought of continue staying in the temple for a little longer.
But, my wish didn’t quite come true.
The reason is that one letter. The sender is Hikaru, one paper is attached inside.
「Brothers Conflict Odds Sheet」
That was what written as the title, and under it, a table was written with a percentages of the numbers up to 13.
At first, I was taken aback, then quickly look over it, gradually I understand what it’s means.
The 13 numbers. The fact that the 3 to 10 is not divided. And then, the final factor is, memo in the margin written used a skilled penmanship.
“Each horse odds are reduced when one is straying. The number 10 will also return soon.”
And then, in the back of the odds table, an address of popular brand’s website and several volumes of fashion magazines name are written in it.
Even though I understand the odds table, the address and magazine names which written in the back really does not stick together. Then, I went to town to check out.
In there, what I come to understand is an surprising fact.
————Iori have been active as model.
If I think normally, I think it seems to be good news to know what my lost brother who getting out from home doing.
But as far as the letter from Hikaru goes, I don’t know if it is fine to happy for something so simple.
Along the road from the bus terminal to the temple, there is rarely home present. Slowly the darkness increases, the amount of cars coming and going also decreased, because of that, I feels really cold.
(This is, just like what happened when? Was it 5….. no, 6 years ago)
Two months after going out with his first girlfriend. He wants to give her a Christmas present, and asks what will be good for it.
Iori is someone who able to do anything, one can said he is a child prodigy. That why there is rarely time that he is relied on his older brothers.
Among them, sometime he asks questions to me.
The topic is always human relations.
He is smart, and have beautiful tall figure. There is no doubt that that Iori will stand out in his class. I thought because it does not buy the sympathy of his classmates, he always behaved cautiously.
Because of that, maybe he is the so called guy who got such luxurious problem. But, I understand his feeling of wanting to reduce the friction as much as possible.
That time, I was training in one temple in Tokyo. That why when I receive the letter with that kind of problem, in the first place itself, the fact that he has a girlfriend is only know to me from that letter.
“That Iori have a girlfriend?”
Provoked by curiosity, I quickly wrote down a reply.
Should rush in, but steadily. There is a meaning in each goods. It is better to approach from the deepest portion to the outer edge.
For a little brother who is in his second year in middle school, I think it might not seem like a kind laugh. But if it is Iori, this much is seemed to be rather nice.
And then lastly I mention something.
In the next letter do enclosure a picture.
One week after that, a reply reached me.
Thank you for giving me advice. For Christmas present I give her a jewelry box.
There is also a picture inside. She is a neat and pretty girl.
“………. I see.”
Not a bad answer, I thought. Only, I felt a little hasty at the same time.
There will be numerous ornament to be placed there. Of course, I have a clear idea why someone would give it.
Its meaning, to a girlfriend who just going out with him for two months, not to mention to express something for a girl who still in middle school.
There, I slightly felt a danger.
But, I didn’t contact Iori to change his way of thinking.
(……….. The feeling of discomforts I felt at that time, it’s become true.)
Usually there will be problem on liking someone because he have to mind that to avoiding a certain fraction with classmates.
Although, Iori is sensitive of the reaction of people around him. In spite of that, that was the first time he ever going out with anyone, his thought was showed in that first Christmas present.
I understand that perfectly, the event that happened in last year Christmas might have prevented that.
Of course, that was my groundless thought…….. no, it might be my presumptuousness.
But, I had a clue.
Because of that miss, I had to involve that girl.
Kaname: 「Sorry, imouto-chan.」
The words that leaked from my mouth is dissolving in the night’s frozen air.
And then, when I thought of her, it is not only feeling of regret which arises.
The Christmas tree and the figures of those two who hugging each other, even if it is possible to be viewed, why I only able to see her straight face.
When I leave home, I said to her to call me onii-chan from that time on.
But, when then she called me so, I wonder if I can hear it with a smile.
Anger welled suddenly.
(In the first place what does he think of making me keeping an eye to protect her from danger?)
I pick the letter Hikaru send me, tearing it up. The winter’s wind washes it away.
(I am not supposed to go back home.)
It was what I thought.
When I look up at the sky, white blinks were born.
White and fluffy drops, they are fall in circles from the jet black sky.
It seems that the letter which I just throw away is coming back and captures me in an illusion.
(…… Wrong. It is just a mere fluke.)
I arranging my coat’s collar once again, for the first time walking back to the temple at a quick pace.
Snow is gradually pilled little by little in this body. Like, that there is something that I can’t escape from, as if trying to tell me————.
Side Kaname and IoriEdit
First person: Iori
It’s not like I’m intentionally avoiding them.
Of course, the part about me not thinking of actively going home is real. But it’s just that, there’s no reason for me to go, that’s all.
The last time I visited home was when she was still in that mansion, a little bit before Christmas, I think.
It had been 3 years and 2 months since then.
I don’t want to go back to that mansion. That’s why I don’t know much about my brothers who live in that mansion, except for Louis-niisan who sometimes are asked to do my make-up.
Time elapse without stopping, changing everything. However, the relationship between me and him is an exception.
Until the day where an offer from Kaasan’s company came——.
In the meeting room that I entered where I was supposed to show my face, there was the initial surprise.
"I’m President Asahina’s secretary, Asahina Kaname. Thank you for bothering to come to our company today."
Said the man who stood before me as he hands out a name card.
"Please take this."
The sales department section chief in charge of the production who came with me inclined his head.
"Asahina-san? So that means you’re related to the President?"
"I’m her son."
"Eh!? Ah, that was rude of me."
"It’s alright, I’m still green myself. From now on, please take care of me."
Then Kaname-niisan glanced at my direction.
"Thank you for always taking care of my little brother."
After he said that, he politely bowed his head. Bold but not pushy, it was done in such a refined manner. I wonder what kind of hunch this section chief of mine held, for then he changed his tone of speech slightly.
"Nah, it is thanks to your little brother who always work hard that our company is greatly helped. At any rate, everyone from the Asahina household are full of excellent people, isn’t it? Asahina-san too, you’ll succeed after your mother, correct?"
Kaname smiled bitterly.
"This industry is harsh after all. I still have to learn much more."
And next it was Kaname-niisan’s turn to have his tone changed.
"However, this matter is related to the instruction from the President. I will only become an observer until the very end, but, as I have to make sure whether the President’s idea is implemented or not, please understand of that point."
(… As expected of him.)
Drawing out respect from the other party, and at the same time he abased himself, he also tightly securing his standpoint.
The Kaname-niisan whom I hadn’t meet for 3 years and 2 months, now had removed his piercings, and he’d also dyed his hair brown. And yet although he still seems gaudy for a company employee, his frivolous impression is nowhere to be spotted.
(That means, Kaname-niisan will really become Kaasan’s successor, but, what about his career as a monk? I wonder if he retired?)
As I was pondering about it, Kaname-niisan spoke up.
"This time, in order to launch a brand for men in their 20s which penetration rate is pretty low up until now, our company too will put a lot of effort."
Kaasan’s company is Japan’s leading apparel company. However, if I have to say, their more prominent line-up is the women clothing. The clothing for men that they’d released up until now has middle and old age class as their main target.
"The one who said that she want him for the promotion was the President, but, that wasn’t her feeling as a mother, but because she’s expecting his power to appeal the men of his generation."
"I understand, I understand."
The section chief nods in agreement.
"I agree with you, this model of ours, your little brother is the most suitable, is what you’re trying to say. Well, as expected of someone with keen insight."
As Kaname-niisan and my section chief keep exchanging words, I listened to them with lack of interest.
I simply carry out the work given to me, regardless of who the client is. It might be Kaasan’s company, but I don’t feel any special awareness.
However, as Kaname-niisan continues talking, it eventually draws my interest. It’s about the cameramen that he wants to use to work with me.
"Here is the profile."
Kaname-niisan hands over a profile with a photo attached to it.
"He’s a half-Japanese and half-French who is still in his thirties, but he’s a photographer who is said to be tremendously popular in Europe, at the heart of France. This is because our company is also having an outlook to expand our business to overseas as well."
The section chief ponders on it.
I thought the production will probably agree to it. That is to say, this cameraman had worked on promoting European famous brands a lot of times, so he’s a widely-known figure in the advertisement industry.
And so, I tried to guess the reason as to why the section chief didn’t give an immediate answer.
This cameraman, he was known to have a peculiar sense of things, and he doesn’t want to work with models that doesn’t suit him.
Though it’s recommended if the production wants to obtain a raise in popularity, it’ll be troublesome if they lose face because of it.
But, to me that’s nothing important.
(Now… how it’ll turn out?)
Several days later, with bearing the appointed cameraman in mind, the production accepted the offer officially. And for the photo-shoot, it’s decided that we’ll be using the studio within Kaasan’s company, and that’s when we’ll meet each other.
The day of photo-shoot. As I entered the waiting room that had been prepared for me, I immediately spotted Louis-niisan’s figure.
"Good morning, Iori-kun."
"Louis-niisan, thank you for specially coming here. Is it alright with the people in your store?"
"Yes. I got, a leave."
"It is I who should, thank you for choosing me."
It was my wish to have Louis-niisan to take care of my make-ups. Just like this time, when there’s a seemingly difficult commision, if possible I would have Louis-niisan come. That he has a good sense is of course one reason, but that he can deal finely even when the situation suddenly changes really helps me more than anything.
"Just now, on my way of coming here I met Kaname-niisan in the hallway."
Says Louis-niisan as he takes out his make-up tools.
"He seemed busy. But, he wants to be present during the photo-shoot, he said."
"… I understand."
"Then, shall we start right away?"
"Yes. Please do."
Louis-niisan lightly touches my hair.
"Yeah, it’s healthy."
Louis-niisan’s hand then started moving.
There was briefing related to the make-up earlier.
The clothes for the photo-shoot this time was high-class suits targeted to be worn by men in their twenties. They’re not ordinary clothes, but suits prepared to be worn on a special day; such is the concept.
That’s why, simply pursuing after ordinary men in their twenties that possess fresh and earnest image won’t be enough. It is necessary to have them naturally possess a quality that differs them from others, a kind of feeling that they’ll be able to make breakthroughs.
Louis-niisan applied my hair and make-up based on those circumstances.
"How is it?"
"… It’s good."
Reflected on the mirror is certainly my figure that resembled a young elite man. A man with promising future, blessed with social status and income. A splendid visage for the brand’s image.
And then the hairstyle is also the usual cameraman’s favorite style.
"This is magnificent!"
He said with such loud voice the moment I entered the studio.
"It’s perfect. Yeah, this really feels nice!"
Different from the stories that I heard, though he certainly is rather passionate, the person is easy to talk to. It seems like he usually lives in France, but he can speak Japanese casually, and there’s no troubles with communications.
Maybe that’s why, the photo-shoot progressed better than I initially thought.
"Alright, next we’ll do it this way. Hmm, good! Perfect!"
Kaname-niisan was also present during the photo-shoot, but he just stayed in the corner of the studio and didn’t interrupt with anything. Sometimes, he’s talking to someone in the phone, seeming to be busy just like what Louis-niisan said.
(At this rate, it’ll finish earlier than scheduled.)
I continued having my poses photographed just as instructed as I thought of that. However, the shutter sound didn’t cease, it kept being heard without any pause until it passed just about half of the photo-shoot duration.
The cameraman talked to me.
"I took a lot of magnificent pictures today. I’m sure they’ll be well-liked."
"I’ll be looking forward to that."
"It’s just that…"
His tone changed slightly.
"To me, it seems like there’s still a possibility to do much better than this."
"Yeah. In that clothing, and also, Iori, in yourself as well. It seems like there is still something that I couldn’t quite capture. I think it’s my job to look for it."
The cameraman is looking at me with such a enjoying smile.
"Just now, you said ‘something’."
"Yeah, I said that."
"I feel like it’s already too late for you to understand it."
His smile stays on his lips.
"Is that so. Hey, IORI, won’t you laugh for me?"
"I told you, smile. You understand, don’t you? Go laugh."
I pondered on it for a bit.
"Even if you tell me to laugh, I think there’s a lot kind of it."
"Yeah, you’re right."
"How do you want me to laugh?"
"I want you to laugh however you want."
Said the cameraman.
"Whether it’s good or bad, I’ll be the one to decide. That’s why, IORI, it’s fine if you laugh the way you think most appropriate for you."
"… I understand."
Answering that way, his request is terribly vague.
(I wonder how should I do it)
The way he spoke so ambiguously, obviously he’s trying to test me. After that, if I were to point out that I understand his intention, he’ll say “I feel offended” and the photo-shoot might be stopped. If it comes to that, the job will end as a failure.
(I can’t afford that to happen.)
At that time, I suddenly heard a voice.
"Uhm, I’m sorry to interrupt in the middle of photo-shoot."
Kaname-niisan approached the cameraman.
"The President said that she wishes to speak to you."
Kaname-niisan hands over his cellphone.
"Hm? Miwa wants to talk to me?"
"Yes. The President is in the middle of a business trip, but as I told her that you’re here right now, she said that she wants to thank you directly."
"Aah, if it’s like that then I can’t simply deny her. … Bonjour, Madam."
The cameraman goes off to talk. Seeing that, the person in charge from the advertising section in charge who is present there said,
"Then, let’s have 30 minutes break."
Kaname-niisan now have to constantly be beside the cameraman.I threw a glance at that back before heading to the waiting room.
When I returned, there was no one in the waiting room.
I drank a bit of the carbonated water that was prepared for me, and then started thinking after sitting on a chair.
(A laughter, huh)
Just, what does he intend to do by saying those words?
Certainly, during the photo-shoot before we had this break time I kind of smile, but didn’t make a better smiling face than that. That’s because I didn’t think that a smiling face doesn’t suit with the suit image.
But, even though it’s just a laughter, there’s actually a lot of its kind. He probably thinks that there’s a laughter that might fits the suit image.
(I wonder… what kind of laughter is that?)
After a few minutes, the door swung open and Louis-niisan entered.
"I’m sorry for making you wait, Iori-kun."
Louis-niisan approaches the chair where I sit on.
"I’ll now, fix your make-up, okay?"
I couldn’t answer him.
To me who kept silent like that, Louis-niisan spoke.
"By the way, Iori-kun. There’s, a message, from Kaname-niisan."
I spontaneously turned to look at Louis-niisan’s face.
“‘What’s important is, girlfriend’.”
"Is, what he said."
Louis-niisan’s complexion clouded a little.
"Do you understand, Iori-kun?"
I pondered about it.
(Although it’s a suit for men, why does the word ‘girlfriend’ comes out here?)
It was such a baffling word. But, seeing that it’s what Kaname-niisan said, I thought that it surely has a meaning.
At times like this, it would be better if I reset what’s in my head for once and fix my way of thinking. And then I, once again, looked back at the concept of the suits.
Men in their twenties. High-class ambiance. A clothing for a special day.
(… Is that so.)
At that moment, I suddenly understand what it means.
"I’m such a bad kid."
"I feel like I understand now."
I smiled as I faced the mirror.
The elevator goes down, and I come out to the entrance hall. And then, the figure sitting on the sofa over there stood up.
"… Thank you for the hard work."
"Kaname-niisan. … Thank you for the hard work."
Kaname-niisan spoke up.
"Right now, can I have a little of your time?"
"There’s another photo-shoot."
"My manager is also waiting in the car."
"It’s just for a bit."
Kaname-niisan smiles bitterly.
"It had been 3 years. Isn’t it fine if it’s just a few minutes?"
"… I understand."
I said. It was obvious that Kaname-niisan had been waiting here for me.
"Then, just a little."
Led by Kaname-niisan, I was brought to the cafeteria for employee on one of the higher floors. We sat together on the counter seats of the windows that overlook the city.
"The photo-shoot earlier was splendid."
Kaname-niisan opened his mouth.
"That cameraman, he was in a really high spirit, you know. Saying that it was the first time he met such a model whose sense suits his so much. … As expected of Iori, eh?"
"It’s not because of my power."
"If it were not for Kaname-niisan’s advice, how would it turn out?"
"… Is that so?"
Kaname-niisan averts his gaze.
"Such ambiguous speech can’t be referred to as an advice. In bad between, that time you seemed like you’re in a tight situation."
"No, I simply went along with him."
With Kaname-niisan’s word, he taught me the thing that I didn’t realize.
For ordinary men in their twenties, they can hardly get a high-class suits. That’s why, I visualized the image of those who can afford such clothes.
But, there is another prominent client that may buy the suit. That is… women.
A suit worn by men for special days.
The one who will choose it are the women… in other words, the ‘girlfriends’.
A present to give to one’s lover.
I ought to put my highest priority to appeal to those women. Not to mention, Kaasan’s company is originally more prominent with its ladies wear. They would already have a lot of customers.
If that’s the case, what’ll happen? What the girlfriends seek are men that makes them want to involuntarily buy high-class suits. … When I arrived to such idea, just as that cameraman said, I came to understand the meaning of the laughter.
So, instead of the style of an elite young noble, I applied the image of a clever flatterer, younger man, or a little devil style, so to speak. And then, with that make-up, facing the camera, I smiled. I wished that the message ‘buy this for me’ can reach the women who sees it.
The result is a success. I myself was surprised to know that I was able to present such image.
Rotating on the stool-type chair, I faced Kaname-niisan.
"For helping this inexperienced me… thank you."
As I did that, Kaname-niisan too slowly faced this way.
"To be told something like that by Iori, it makes me embarrassed."
Kaname-niisan looks at me.
"Iori is far more excellent that I am. Kaasan too, I’m sure if you don’t work as a model, he’ll choose you as her successor."
"That’s not possible."
I spoke up.
"It’s impossible for me to be a company president. Kaname-niisan is far more suited for it."
"That would be nice if it’s true."
Kaname-niisan looks down. In that instant, the conversation broke off.
"Speak of which."
I spoke up for a little bit.
"Kaname-niisan, did you retire being a monk?"
"Nah. That’s just something like a certificate. It’s not something that can just be ended and deprived of me. Right now, I’m leaving the temple, but, I’m thinking of becoming a bonze again when I fail."
"Aah, is that so… fufuu."
I laughed without thinking.
"Iori, can I also ask you something?"
"It’s a bit too late, but, why did you become a model?"
I smiled bitterly.
"I wanted to show her my good points."
"Eh? By her you mean…"
"Of course, it’s ‘her’."
"Is that all?"
Kaname-niisan’s eyes widen.
"Yes. … That’s all."
Then, once again the conversation broke off.
Kaname-niisan lets out a deep sigh.
"Don’t you think it took us quite awhile for both of us to be able to hold a conversation until this much?"
Kaname-niisan looks at me again. This time his stare is stronger than earlier ones.
"I wish that we won’t have to wait for years until we can talk to each other again."
"I’ll try to cooperate."
"You should turn up there sometimes. Suba-chan also said that he have something to talk about."
For once, I interrupted him.
"Is that an important talk?"
"Seems like it."
"… Is that so."
I fell silent for a while.
In this three years, I know so little about my brothers.
But, because Fuuto told me before he went to America, I knew about Subaru-niisan and her.
The important talk that that Subaru-niisan want to have—.
"… I understand."
I spoke up.
"I’ll come in the near future."
"… Thank goodness you said that."
"Then, the rest of the stories, we’ll have them at that time, hm? You don’t have much time, do you?"
"Aah, that’s right. I have to go soon."
I stood up from the stool. Then, at that time, Kaname-niisan called out.
"You’re the little brother I’m so proud of."
Involuntarily I stopped moving. Kaname-niisan’s hand reached out to me and slowly pets my hair.
"Please don’t forget that."
"Keep at it… Io."
When I heard that word, it seemed like I had a flashback of the memory of around ten years ago playing in mind.
That’s the nickname that Kaname-niisan used to call me up until I reach middle school.
It didn’t feel bad. I remember that time, whenever I have troubles, I would come to Kaname-niisan to discuss on it.
And then now, there’s Kaname-niisan who smiles the same way as he did during that time.
"… Niisan too."
I lightly touch the hand that’s right next to my ear with my own and gets up from my chair.
"It’s alright not to see me off. I’ll be fine by myself."
Once again I ride the elevator, traversing to the entrance hall. Right after I go to the front road, I can see the car that my manager drives.
(Maybe, the stopped time can move after all.)
I ride into the car as I thought of that.