TL: Sponsored chapter. Thank you Fran for the ko-fi donation!
~Ryosuke’s father’s point of view~
─ ─ Kazuhiko, was hurrying to the police station.
He had to work late today, but he forced himself to leave it early.
“N-no way …… Is that true…….”
He parked his car in the parking lot of the police station and entered the building while muttering to himself.
Kazuhiko regained his composure and went to the reception desk, exhaling deeply.
“U-uhm, I’d like to see Kawashima-san……. Is he here?”
“Please wait a moment.”
The woman at the reception desk was responding quickly and efficiently. But Kazuhiko has no time to worry about the smoothness of the woman’s work. Like his daughters, his mind was a complete blank.
He was not at all calm, but only on the surface.
Even when he had made a huge mistake at work when he was younger, he had never been this upset.
He called his son’s name after a long time.
His daughter Kaede told him what happened.
Apparently, there was a news report that a woman who was almost violently attacked by Ryosuke had been arrested on fraud charges.
He immediately called the police station to confirm the facts and was told to visit a man named Kawashima, which he did.
“Are you Ryosuke Yamamoto’s father?”
The man in charge of the case, a middle-aged man called Kawashima, showed up in less than five minutes and explained the situation.
[Ryosuke Yamamoto’s father.]
He asked that question, but he couldn’t answer clearly.
He had not behaved in a fatherly manner for the past year. The policeman, however, was oblivious to Kazuhiko’s struggle and began to tell him the whole story of the case.
“I checked and found that there were six victims, including your son. Ryosuke Yamamoto, your son, is apparently the first victim. …… After the second victim, it seems to avoid suspicion by the police, they communicated directly with the victim’s parents.”
“It’s really cunning. If the police get involved in the same way, we will be aware of it. It seems they were threatening the victim’s family to prevent that from happening.”
“W-Why would they do such a thing?”
“Excuse me, but it seems that they got a taste of your son’s case when it went so well. It seems they got more money than they bargained for at the time.”
Is this my fault?
No, but it is also true that I agreed to the settlement of the price because I did not want to make things bigger.
I heard that the second and subsequent parents didn’t want the police to intervene, so they simply paid the money to settle the case. …… I can understand how those parents feel.
If it can be solved with money, there is nothing better than that.
That would be for my son’s benefit, plus if I have other children, I have to pay to protect them.
“……But then again, Ryosuke-kun has been blessed with good parents.”
The good-natured police man said this with kind eyes.
(That wasn’t meant to be a roundabout accusation earlier, was it ……? ─ – and a good father at that? Me?)
Kazuhiko has no idea what he’s talking about……. Unfortunately, he’s definitely not the kind of person who would be considered a good father to Ryosuke.
“Your wife just thanked me with tears in her eyes. I was really moved by the way she truly believes in her son.”
“My …wife ……”
Rinka, his wife, has hardly spoken to him since the incident with Ryosuke. He is tired of the way she spoils their son, who has committed a crime.
But he never thought that his wife was really right, even though he had just recently yelled at her about Ryosuke. ……
“She was crying and happy the whole time. I’m sure you believed in your son too, since I saw the way she was acting.”
“Y-yes,…… that’s right.”
It was a disgusting lie.
A shameful lie to try to get away with a crime…… he told a lie so shallow that he did not want to be disrespected by this police officer.
There is no way he can say that he truly despises his wife for believing in their son and that they have a cold marriage at home. …… He is ashamed of it. The actions he thought were right are now so shameful he can’t help but feel guilty.
Unlike Ryosuke, who turned out to be falsely accused, he repeatedly made disparaging remarks and actions toward his son, whom he cherished of his own volition.
He treated his protective wife in the same way.
There was no longer any affection between the couple.
There was no doubt anymore that he was falsely accused.
It was they who were wrong and Ryosuke and his wife who were right.
And once he was found to be falsely accused, his reputation was turned upside down.
It brought to light how strong his son was, who never admitted his guilt, no matter how many terrible things were said to him.
And his wife, who continued to protect Ryosuke, is also amazing.
She was different from himself, who couldn’t even tell the truth to a complete stranger, a police officer, and simply ran away.
“He had……. been fighting all the way”
He was no longer worthy of respect. If he were in the opposite position, he would have admitted to a crime he did not commit.
Kazuhiko thought so with a pale face.
“So, where is my wife?”
“Yes, she is talking over there.”
Rinka was talking with a female police officer. It has been a long time since he saw his wife smiling like that, probably because she was relieved to know that Ryosuke was innocent.
—Yes, Kazuhiko here doesn’t know that.
Kazuhiko doesn’t know the fact that she doesn’t laugh in front of him, but she laughs frequently in front of their son. Kazuhiko doesn’t even know that.
“……, it’s you, I see?”
“Won’t you go back …… with me?”
“……… I guess so. I have something to tell you too.”
This is how his wife and he got into the car together in a long time. It had been about a year since the Ryosuke incident.
The car started off with the two policemen watching over the car.
While driving the car, he is feeling a bit nervous.
“I’m sorry …… for everything that’s happened.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
(It doesn’t matter —- I never thought I’d be forgiven. I’ll do my best to make up for it from now on.)
But he soon realized that he was naive to think this. Normally, one would have figured out that …… is not a word that should be taken in a positive light.
“Nagisa is already 15 years old, right?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“We’ll be a couple until she graduates from college.”
“………Wha!? W-What do you mean?!”
His hands shook as he gripped the steering wheel.
It’s a phenomenon that shouldn’t happen while driving, but it was such a shock to him.
“Do I really have to tell you what I mean?”
─ ─ Divorce.
He really knows …… without saying it, but he can’t admit it …… yet he can’t say it.
“But now that Ryosuke’s innocence has been proven, we can start over…”
“Impossible, I can’t do it. I’ve already made up my mind after that exchange. It is absolutely impossible for me to start over with you.”
He was so angry that his words made him unintentionally reveal his anger.
“If I protect Ryosuke, people will think I’m a father who protects criminals in my company! It was necessary to avoid that impression! I was actually looked at in a negative light, but I managed to gain the support of the employees by taking a tough stance against Ryosuke!”
“Calm down, yelling won’t solve the problem, will it? And don’t treat Ryosuke like he’s a criminal. It’s more offensive than anything else.”
It’s …… embarrassing to be distraught.
He was also sorry for Ryosuke.
But still, his wife is calm.
She doesn’t get upset, she doesn’t yell back, she talks to him as if she’s trying to admonish him.
It reminded himself once again that she has a …… strong heart, which he is still far beyond.
Having been rebuked by his wife, he calmed down and continued his story.
“If I had let the employees become disgruntled, the press would have dragged Ryosuke down with them, and the company would not have been able to operate successfully. Then I wouldn’t have been able to provide for the family, right?”
“It’s okay if life was hard. If you had protected him,……, at least he wouldn’t be in the [really hard life] that he is in now.”
……Even if it wasn’t painful for him and his daughters, it was no different than a life of hell for his wife and Ryosuke……. he doesn’t realize that now.
His wife continues to talk further.
“Besides, if you had defended him with me, the girls would have believed him. But you blamed him more than anyone else. Because of that, those girls have changed… You chose your own position and money instead of trusting your precious son.”
“I’m in the company too, …… and I’m still in the company—-but Ryosuke was more important to me than my position in the company.”
There were no words of reply.
Certainly be patient even if relations with employees deteriorate. The company is not a big one, but it is not a well-known big company either, so the media coverage should not cause much public interest,……, and the chances of bankruptcy are quite low.
As soon as Ryosuke is found to be innocent, he realizes a lot of things. No matter how much he tried to make it sound, he was still just a pathetic father who was concerned about his position in the company.
Even though his innocence has not yet been confirmed, Rinka continues to protect Ryosuke even though everyone around him scorns him.
There is no way he could complain about the divorce.
“……Are you sure you don’t want to change your mind?”
“No. I can’t even bear to be alone with you like this.”
“…… I see.”
He could not say anything back and could only silently droop his head.
His wife, Rinka, is quite petite at 140 centimeters tall. How much of a burden had he placed on such a small woman?
She was more than qualified to speak the heavy word of divorce.
On the contrary, he is not qualified to persuade his wife. …… As soon as his daughter, who is in junior high school, graduates from college, he will lose her.
—-He went home and looked for Ryosuke first thing, but he was nowhere to be found.
It was late at night and he was worried about where he was, …… something he had never paid attention to before.
“I’m going to Nakazato-san’s house next door.”
“….. Could it that Ryosuke is in Nakazato-san’s house?’
“What are you talking about now? We’ve been having dinner over there frequently.”
His wife said in disgust.
Instead of improving their relationship, they are getting further and further every time he opens his mouth.
“But I’m celebrating with Ryosuke today, so I’ll be back ……, but I think Ryosuke will stay over there.”
“Oh, he’s staying at a girl’s house?”
“It’s not going to be what you think. But I think it’s okay for him to have that kind of relationship with Mai. Because she is a kind-hearted girl who believed in Ryosuke until the very end.”
With that, his wife left.
He is really anxious about whether she will come back or not.