November 14, 2011

Yoshiwara Hana Oboro [Chapter 4]

Originally posted @ on November 7, 2011

Title: Catch Everything in One Net/Clean Sweep [Correction on the second chapter: What seemed to have happened was the real owner died of illness. He was replaced by Gonpachi who gambled and caused the store to become bankrupt. A new heir is sent from the capital to replace him but on his way, he was murdered by Gonpachi’s hired assassins.] Rushing to meet with Rennosuke, Hana hopes that he is okay. Somewhere else, Rennsouke asks the masked men as to what now, after luring him to some remote corner, and what business do they have with him. When one of the men starts to unsheathe his katana, Rennosuke says that is very dangerous. One of the men says that he is still very calm. He tells Rennosuke to quickly make a move else it puts him on a bad mood. To the man’s surprise, Rennosuke quickly rushes towards him and pushes the man’s katana back to its scabbard. He apologizes to the man and says that if he is talking about in a bad mood, it goes the same with him [Rennosuke]. As his scarf-hood reveals his face, the man is startled. Rennosuke tells him that honestly, it should be that, he has business with them. He punches the man’s face. The other man swings his sword but Rennosuke dodges and hits the [other] man’s nape. When he tries to stand up, Rennosuke is already standing on his head. Rennosuke looks at the man he punched earlier, and asks if they forgot about him already, but then it was dark before, so they probably didn’t see him properly. “But, I clearly remember your faces.” The frightened man asks what he is talking about, and then, he quickly tries to run away. Just as Rennosuke shouts for the man to stop, Hana arrives and shouts, ‘St--op!’. Then, she quickly slides down on the ground [like in baseball] and trips the guy. While Rennosuke is shock to see Hana, the man trips and falls into some buckets near the well. Hana happily turns to Rennosuke and says that it seems things have gone smoothly. Rennosuke looks aghast and speechless. After recovering from his shock, he angrily asks why she is there. Hana tells him that it is because she saw those two guys heading out of the store to go after him, and since she is in pins and needles worrying about him, she thought that it is necessary to warn him. Rennosuke shouts that there is no need for it and why can’t she have some foresight. Hana exclaims that there is no need for him to be angry. The fallen man curses over Hana. When he is about to stand up, someone steps on his hand that is holding the katana. It is Takamichi who comments that it makes him feel shameful because if one is going to do something, one shouldn’t fail at it. Hana wonders why the person, who ordered the owner to kill Rennosuke, is there.

To her surprise, Rennosuke goes to Takamichi and holds his shoulder. Rennosuke tells him that he apologized already and there is no need for him to be that angry since for now, it went according to plan. Hana is puzzled by this, Takamichi exclaims what went according to plan, weren’t the time to deal with those guys suppose to be a bit longer. Rennosuke says that he is wrong, and it is because he came late. Takamichi says that he isn’t late, because he came, according to the time, they’ve planned on. Hana is still puzzled over what’s going on. As some guards/police arrive at the scene, Takamichi says that it was difficult for him to call the Omon gate guards to come and catch the criminals red-handed. Hana asks Rennosuke that, isn’t that man plotting to kill him, and maybe she is mistaken but it seems that they have a very good relationship. Takamichi asks why Hana is there. Rennosuke tells her that he thought that it doesn’t have anything to do with her so he didn’t tell her but it seems to be a waste of effort. Just when he is about to tell her about their relationship, Gonpachi who was held by the gate guards, exclaims to Takamichi as to what is going on. Takamichi says that it is nothing, just him [Gonpachi], the mastermind in plotting to kill the son of the Kyoumatsu’s enterprise, and his accomplices, got caught in one net. Takamichi adds that they are now delivered to the [government] guards though acting out a play. “Even if it is an unsuccessful murder attempt, but you, and those guys lying over there, apparently have some other crimes. If you guys are put in jail, you won’t be able to get out for a short while.” Gonpachi is surprised that it was an unsuccessful attempt. Takamichi tells him that he still didn’t realize that the man standing there [Rennosuke] is the one, whom he [Gonpachi] racked his brains, to steal the store from. “The son of Kyoumatsu House, Rennosuke-sama.” While Hana is surprised, Gonpachi exclaims that is impossible for he got the obituary notice from the store’s capital. Holding up some tags, Takamichi says that in order for Gonpachi to lower his guard, they had made up some evidence and if he still doubts, he [Takamichi] can show him the gate pass promissory note. [In Edo, they usually carry one’s proof of identity along with the gate pass.] Rennosuke tells Gonpachi that he is so simple-minded that he wants to laugh. He says that it is actually a good plan to attack him, while he is on his way at night, but the one who fell down that cliff wasn’t him, but his attendant. “It is because the whole surrounding is so dark, the assailants mistook that person for me, and pushed him down the cliff.. What a blockhead.. Haha *Gonpachi looked totally aghast and shock* For the time being, I’ve let you play around as you wish, and I guess this is already enough. Can you give my store back to me?” While the guards take Gonpachi away, he shouts, ‘No..’ Rennosuke comments that he is lively fellow. After being shocked by all this, Hana exclaims why he didn’t tell her. Muttering that her expression looks scary, Rennosuke tells her that if he tells her, she might leak the information and that will be really bad. Scowling and pouting, Hana asks if her tone of speech isn’t strict [/she cannot keep a secret].

Rennosuke says that isn’t the problem, for even if she knew, she would blindly and impulsively does things. “I didn’t think that you would do it up to this extent. Or, perhaps, I’m negligent. Really.. *angrily grabs aghast Hana’s head* Because you look as if you are not a girl from Yoshiwara that I’m still worrying about you. And in the end of all ends, you still rushed to this place! I already told you not to be reckless! Even if you got involved and I got hurt, you also won’t be able to help me!” Hana looks surprised by this. Then, she apologizes and says that it seems that she is like this from the start because it is her nature to dash and go out when she has decided on something. She thinks that grandpa had also always told her that she should consider things before acting. Hana tells him that in the end, no matter what is said, she is very concerned. Rennosuke looks at Hana’s feet to see that they are badly bruised from running barefoot. He mutters that he really doesn’t know what to do with her. To Hana’s surprise, Rennosuke suddenly carries her. She exclaims what he is doing. He tells her that he told her before that he doesn’t hate a person like her. Slightly blushing, Hana says, ha. Takamichi is surprised that Rennosuke is planning to bring Hana back, and why not just send her to the others to get her out of Yoshiwara. Rennosuke says that in the end, Hana has also helped in arresting those guys so they cannot just let her feet’s wounds untreated. While Rennosuke is carrying her, Hana thinks that she always has this strange feeling. “All of a sudden, I’m at this bewildering place. And, honestly speaking, I’m very uneasy..even if I told myself not to think too much.. But, this guy’s arms are very warm that it seems to make me calm down..” Hana fell asleep. She dreams of a crying woman apologizing to her for not being able to protect her but she.. Thinking that it is her mother, Hana ‘sees’ the woman putting the flower decorated hair pin on the baby’s hand. Looking down on the baby, the crying woman says that no matter what, she still hopes that she [baby] can live on. End dream. Hana wakes up from the dream and finds herself lying down on a futon in a room. She sits up and wonders where she is. She realizes that she has fallen asleep and her feet are already bandaged. She thinks that it has been such a long time since she had dreamt of her mother. Wondering why it is so noisy, she goes out of the room. While some women mutter that Hana is still around, Hana looks down to see Rennosuke and Takamichi acting very busy while ordering the staff around. Rennosuke is telling the servant to re-do the wrong name written on the customers’s chopsticks. Takamichi is telling another servant that he brought the wrong seasonal [standing] screen. Rennosuke tells Takamichi to first go check the newly bought three person bed, and afterwards, the raw ingredients for the food, and tidy up the account book. Takamichi tells him that he did those things already and compared to that, is the Tamagiku lantern already prepared for this morning, the agent of the Yoshiwara Head will be coming by. [Tamagiku Lantern Festival is an important festival in Yoshiwara which originated from a eulogy of a young courtesan named Tamagiku who died young. The brothels would hang up lanterns on certain days in July. Source:] Rennosuke asks if that means, that not only the teahouse, but also the brothel has to participate. [Teahouse is usually for negotiating/front of the brothel]

Takamichi tells him that it is a formal festival wherein each and every store are asked to prepare a Tamagiku lantern. Rennosuke complains that it is obvious that because of Gonpachi, the store already doesn’t have money so are they going to find some room to lease.. Hana thinks that those guys are really managing this place, and even if she doesn’t know what they are talking about, but it looks like they are very busy. Then, someone says that she is already awake. It is Akesato and Natsu. Natsu says that Hana unexpectedly really came back and she is really surprising her, more and more. Akesato laughs and says that Natsu is being difficult with when she obviously really likes Hana-chan. Blushing Natsu denies it. They ask Hana about her feet. Hana says that they are okay, just some abrasions. Akesato says that she heard that Hana helped Natsu this time around and she doesn’t know how to thank her because it is brought about by her [Akesato] lie. After Akesato tells Hana that she is ashamed over her superficiality, Natsu exclaims that she already told her that she did it on her own will and how many times does she have to say it. Hana exclaims that Akesato didn’t do anything wrong because anyway, she tends to do things as she pleases, so sorry about that. They were interrupted when they overheard Rennosuke exclaiming what happened to the gathered money from the teahouse. As the three look at Rennosuke, Natsu says that she is quite surprised because she didn’t expect that person to be the real owner. Hana comments that it turns out that no one knew. Akesato agrees that it is surprising and even if she knew about Takamichi, she seems to have never seen the young master. They were surprised when Takamichi suddenly goes to them and calls out to the ‘girl over there’ to come with him for he has something to talk with her. Hana timidly points to herself and asks if he is referring to her. In a room, Takamichi gives Hana a small bag. Hana thinks that even if she knows that Takamichi is a good guy but she is still afraid of him. Hana asks him what this is about. He tells her that it is money and with that, she can quickly get out of Yoshiwara. Hana tensely asks if she can’t stay there and do some odd jobs type of work, something like a hired help. She tells him that even if she leaves there, she has no place to go to. Takamichi sighs and says that since it is like that, does she have anything that will prove her identity. Aghast Hana says, about that.. Takamichi says that he doesn’t ignore her relationship with the store but he cannot let someone with an unknown identity to stay there. “Can you understand what I’m trying to say?” Hana thinks that is true. Then, Rennosuke comes in and tells him not to decide things on his own, without informing the owner. Hana happily calls out his name. While Rennosuke sits with them, Takamichi asks if he has some business here and does he plan to hire this girl. Rennosuke says that before that, speaking of identity, there is something he wants to ask her.

He takes out Hana’s bow tie. Hana exclaims that it is hers. Holding it up, Rennosuke says that it is made of a strange material so he got some people to investigate it so is this something from her hometown. Wondering what of it, Hana admits that it is true. Rennosuke tells her that it seems like silk but it is quite waterproof and doesn’t have the sound of silk fabric. “The extendable belt [garter] is also something that no one has seen before... If you say that this is from your homeland, then where do you come from?” This surprises Hana that she wonders what to do, and would he believe if she told him. A bit tense, Hana says that she might not be able to explain it clearly. Later on, holding a cup of tea, Takamichi declares that Hana is lying. Rennosuke tells Takamichi that it is too early to jump into that conclusion though he admits that it is quite bizarre. Takamichi insists that it is definitely a made-up lie for Hana to be from some future era. Pouting Hana darkly thinks that is true because she also couldn’t believe it but aside from this, she has no way of explaining it. Rennosuke tells Takamichi that if it is true, that would explain the outfit. Takamichi says that it is now explained, so what now. Rennosuke says that whether it is true or not, can he sleep soundly after throwing out this girl who isn’t well-versed about the world. “And, she also mentioned that she is... looking for her mother’s memento in Yoshiwara.” As Hana looks surprised, Takamichi scowls and asks if he means.. Rennosuke tells Hana that she already knows that this store is already heavily in debt because of Gonpachi and even if they need staff, the store cannot pay high wages. “If you don’t need a reward, then there is no problem offering you shelter here, right?” Hana looks surprised and Takamichi scowls. While Takamichi grumbles, Hana happily exclaims that she’ll leave it to him. Hana is really happy because now, she can concentrate in looking for her mother’s memento. While walking in the street with Rennosuke, Hana says that yesterday, she passed by there. He tells her that brothel street [where there are many high class yujo] is nearby but lately, aside from brothels, there are other stores setting up there. Happily bending her elbow, Hana asks what her first odds job is, is it to carry luggage. Rennosuke says no, it’s helping him obstruct women and it is okay for her to just be there with him or else, he cannot do things [errands] on his own. Hana notices some yujo-s scowling and complaining that Rennosuke has a girl. Rennosuke tells her not to be lost in thought and look around for the memento while walking because if she didn’t get it back, she won’t be able to return to her original era. This surprises Hana because it is something that she couldn’t believe herself, and yet he believed it, so he is really such a nice guy. At a store, Rennosuke looks at a kimono and says that it is really nice. The owner says that he has sharp eyes and that is the newly arrived dyed kimono. Hana happily exclaims that it is a very beautiful Kaga Yuzen and she likes the color. [Yuzen refers to a traditional technique of dyeing silk fabrics for kimonos or products made with the technique. Kaga Yuzen is characterized by designs of realistic natural beauties in five vivid tones called "Kaga gosai" (literary means Kaga five colors), and it frequently uses gradation dyeing called "bokashi." Kaga Yuzen with splendid, fine, beautiful patterns is known as a luxury brand. Source:]

Puzzled, Rennosuke asks her what this Kaga Yuzen is. Hana says that it seems that it isn’t called that yet in this era but in her era, yuzen that doesn’t have gold leaf [beaten gold decoration/threads] and embroidery are called Kaga Yuzen. She tells him that this kimono is dyed so it is a special one of a kind kimono. Seeing him staring at her, Hana asks what it is. Rennosuke says no, he only felt that it is quite unexpected that there would also be kimono in her place because he thought they all normally wear that strange outfit, unless she is the only one who wears it. Hana says no, everyone wears that but because she stays at her grandpa’s place where satin kimono is sold, that is why she knows a bit about it. She also tells him that few people wear kimono. Rennosuke says if that is so, then he has a lot of things that he would ask her because in his hometown, they are also engaged in satin business. Hana says is that so. Rennosuke remembers that he is there to buy a lantern so he tells Hana to wait there for him. Hana says okay. She looks around the rental store and finds the things there very interesting. Then, she notices a box of hairpins at a cabinet. An old saleslady asks her if she wants to look at it. Hana takes a peek and she finds the flower hairpin in it. While Hana couldn’t believe that it is there, the saleslady tells her that it is quite rare for a hairpin to be decorated with jade. Rennosuke is surprised when Hana exclaims that she has found it. He goes to her and asks her what happened since she is shouting out loud. Holding the flower hairpin, Hana exclaims that she has found it, it is this one. Rennosuke looks surprised that he quickly holds her wrist and says, that is.. This surprises Hana that she wonders what is it. Rennosuke nervously asks if that is really hers. Hana says yes. She thinks that even if it isn’t a phone strap, and she doesn’t know why it became a hairpin, but from the time she was born, she always had this thing so she couldn’t have made a mistake about it. Then, an oiran[/courtesan], who is breathing hard from running, arrives at the store. She calls out to the owner and the owner recognizes her as the tayuu of Mitubaya. He asks her what it is. The tayuu says that a young girl had mistakenly pawned her hairpin. She asks him if the jade decorated hairpin is still in the store. The owner says that if it is that, then, that customer has it. The tayuu turns around to see Hana holding the hairpin. Hana looks surprised and thinks that it is strange for it seems that she has seen that woman before. When the tayuu nervously asks why s/he is there, Hana recognizes her and says that ‘no..may I ask..I..’ Rennosuke replies, “It has been a long time. Utae-- no, I should call you Takitzuki..” While Hana is surprised by this, Rennosuke takes the hairpin from her and goes to Takitzuki. Returning it to Takitzuki, Rennosuke says that he was quite shock to see it there. Takitzuki thanks him. Hana exclaims for him to wait for that is hers. Rennosuke tensely calls her name. Hana insists that it is hers. She tells him to look at the back of the flower, hers is missing a sepal. Takitzuki says that it is true, it is missing a sepal. Just when Hana is happy about this, Takitzuki takes something from her kimono and says that it is because she was careless yesterday and it broke off. Takitzuki fits the missing sepal and tells Hana that it fits perfectly. Hana looks surprised by this for Takitzuki said that she broke it yesterday but that hairpin is definitely hers, so does it mean that her mother’s memento is originally from Yoshiwara. Blurb: “The original owner of her mother’s memento is Takitzuki?!”

 Scans by 不良汉化组.

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