“–Good morning. You must be Minori kun.”

What should I do? I didn’t expect this person to come first.

He is taller than me. Probably about 6 feet taller.

His face is very young. Perhaps, he’s in his thirties……or even late twenties, I might believe it.

“I’m sorry it’s so early in the morning. And it is the first time we’re meeting. I am Minori Souta, a friend of Nagi san.”

“……I’ve never heard that my daughter has a male friend.”

“It is true, Sir. Minori sama is a friend of young lady. ……A very important one.”

Suzaka san vouched for me. He twitched his eyebrows.

“……Come on in. Let’s talk.”

“Thank you very much.”

“And don’t try to use honorifics. I don’t expect that much courtesy from a student.”

“I understand. Thank you.”

Frankly speaking, I’m not good at using honorifics. I don’t understand the formalities.

I followed him.

“Oh, by the way, I haven’t introduced myself. I am Shinonome Nagi’s father. My name is Shinonome Soichiro.”

“….Then, Soichiro san.”

“You can call me whatever you like.”

Less conversation. I walked with Soichiro……and Suzaka behind me.

“Here we are. Sit down anywhere you like.”


I was then brought to the guest room. I should say it was a tatami room. It was a simple room with a long desk and a zabuton (Japanese cushion). ……No, I can’t call it simple. Both the zabuton and the desk are luxuriously decorated.

However……um. I think there are some rules for this kind of place. I think it’s called “Seat of honor” and “lower seat”.

“Minori sama, please come this way.”

“Oh, excuse me.”

In the end, I sat where Suzaka san told me to sit. Then….

“There are a lot of things I want to ask you. I’ll ask your business first. Minori kun.”


I ignored my pounding heart and looked at Soichiro san.

“I came to stop Nagi san’s arranged marriage.”

I said. Soichiro san’s eyebrows twitched.

–What’s the reason?

I thought he was going to ask me that.

“If things continue as they are, Nagi san won’t be happy.”

Soichiro san didn’t move his face at my words.

…..I’m thinking.

“Sir. Actually–“

“Wait, Suzaka san.”

I stopped Suzaka san, who was about to say something first.

This is not something that Suzaka san or I should say.

This is something that should be noticed.

“Yesterday, I went to an amusement park with Nagi san.”

“What….. !?”

–As expected.

Of course he wouldn’t know. ….Because Nagi didn’t tell him.

“And. Nagi san comes to my house every Saturday to play and take care of me.”

“Your place?”

I nodded to Soichiro san’s words.

[We have different thoughts]

It’s easy to tell. But no.

I have to make him aware. …..My intervention must be kept to a minimum.

“If that’s the case. Wait, what am I……..”

From the looks of it, Soichiro san began to panic. Suzaka san stared with a surprised expression.. 

……I guess this is really a rare occurrence.

“And there is one more thing. I was told by Nagi san yesterday that we can no longer meet. [I can’t see you anymore]. But I couldn’t give up. That’s why I came here.”

Soichiro san…..suddenly stood up. He put his hand on his chin.

……Ah. This is the same pose as the one Nagi did.

“Whenever Master wants to concentrate on something, he always does this. ……This is the first time he does it in front of a guest.”

Suzaka san whispered in my ear.. …… First time, huh.

I was staring at him blankly. He fell on his knees.

“S-Sir !?”

“….I see. That’s what happened.”

Soichiro san’s eyes turned to me.

“You. You were Nagi’s first friend.”

……He understands quickly. No, it’s obvious that he’s smart, incomparably smarter than me.


“……I see. Oh, I see.”

Soichiro san muttered as if to confirm the fact over and over again.

I looked at Suzaka san, wondering what to do. She nodded that it was fine.

A few minutes passed. Soichiro san sat back down.

“Pardon me. ….I was a little confused.”

“No, that’s fine.”

–As I thought. It was just as Eiji had said.

[Just give it a chance. That alone will solve the biggest problem. …But there are still other problems. Once her father notices it, it’s ours… no. Souta’s win.]

I’m relieved for now. ……Next.

I was thinking that way. Soichiro san opened his mouth.

“……I’m sure I’ve hurt you badly. I apologize for my rudeness.”

“Please don’t apologize. But may I ask you one more question?”

Before moving on to the next question. I wanted to ask him something.

“What is it?”

“…..If you know. Could you tell me about the day Nagi san changed?”

–A long time ago. Nagi told me that her parents spoiled her in a normal way.

I remember that her father told her not to show any weakness.

When did that start? When did Nagi start to live her life without being spoiled by anyone? I have always been curious.

Soichiro san closed her eyes.

“……I see. Yeah, that’s right.”

He seemed to be convinced of something. I tilted my head involuntarily.

That was just me being curious……

Then I waited to see what he was going to say.

“Before that, I must first talk about the mistakes that I made.”

Suddenly. Soichiro san said so.

“CAn I tell you an old story?  ….It happened after Nagi came here.”

I nodded to Soichiro san’s words.


To the words that follow, I was at a loss.

“I used to think of Nagi as a tool. That was when she was a little girl.”

There was silence for a few dozen seconds. Neither I nor Suzaka san. I couldn’t move my eyes from Soichiro san’s and I couldn’t even move my mouth.

 “……But Nagi. She was raised with love.”

Those were the words that finally came out of my mouth.

“”Of course, now I love her like my own daughter. ……But by the time I realized that… was too late.”

I didn’t know what those words meant. But then I looked at him. I knew one thing.

He must’ve regretted it–very, very much.

“My wife and I. We haven’t investigated who was at fault, but we weren’t able to have children.”

Just like that, Soichiro san began to talk.


My wife was my secretary. After we got married, there were twists and turns. I realized that right away.

I wish I could have found someone else to replace me, but there were no suitable candidates in my company.

Soon after, I thought, why not teach my own children?

My wife and I were troubled. But we soon found the answer.

“It doesn’t have to be a blood child, Soichiro san.”

My wife’s words led us to the conclusion that we should adopt a child.

We needed an adopted child, and a good one at that. However, there are few organizations that allow you to choose a child by looking at the child in person.

I found an organization where we could choose a child by looking at a picture, and my wife and I went there.

There we met Nagi.

There are two reasons why I chose Nagi. One is that she is excellent.

I have always had good eyesight. This girl is serious and kind. And I knew right away that she’s not bad at getting the point across.

The other is – her appearance is foreign-like.

My company has its sights not only in Japan, but also in the rest of the world. Appearance is a weapon.

That is why I chose her, because she’s like a Northern European descendant. One thing I was concerned about was that she was an abandoned child.

Nagi was about three years old when we took her in. However, it seemed that our fears were unnecessary. There seemed to be no internal abuse.

“From today, your name is Nagi.”


“Yes, that’s right. From now on, you are our child.”

While watching my wife hugging Nagi saying so. I was thinking.

How should I raise her to be an excellent child? What should be the educational policy?

First, I taught Nagi Japanese dance. Then I taught her tea ceremony and flower arrangement.

There is one reason.. I have a foreign child who wears a kimono. That alone was often an advantage in foreign countries. Especially if they like Japan.

However, I am aware of myself as a parent. IEven though I’m busy, we still get along well……Ah, there was a time when the three of us went to the zoo at my wife’s suggestion.

In such a situation. Nagi started to have a certain amount of respect for me. One day.

[I want to be useful to Father when I grow up. What should I do?]

I thought it was an opportunity. I heard that many children don’t like to study, but I thought that if I could use this to my advantage, she wouldn’t hate it.

[I want you to study a lot. ……And if you can, I want you to carry on my business, my dream. Oh, yes. Maybe I’ll get a cool son-in-law. And when you do, you’re going to get along.]

I looked at her and said so. The still young Nagi nodded.

[Yes, I understand ! I promise !]

This was the first mistake.  ……I found out when you asked me about it a while ago.

And the second mistake was also made soon after……a few days later.

[Father, what do you pay attention to when you work?]

I was a little lost for an answer. There are many things I’m careful about. Which one would be the best to teach her?

After some deliberation, I–

[Don’t let people see your weaknesses. That’s why I’m mending myself. I do this on a regular basis, and it often works to my advantage at work.]

That’s what I said.

I said it.

That was my second mistake–

It was the biggest mistake I ever made.

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