Chapter 1426. Next Mission / Music Release
「 W-What about you? Do you enjoy tormenting me like this? 」
Elder Matsumoto glares at us.
「 You’re just a kid who knows nothing about hard work, I started a small pharmacy alone, and now I have expanded it to 1500 stores all over the country 」
He talks about this in this place, but…
That’s all he can talk about.
「 I’ve gone through such hardships that many of you could never imagine! I’ve been betrayed, deceived, and gone through crisis, and almost gone bankrupt so many times. But I overcame all those hardships! 」
Elder Matsumoto speaks desperately, but we only look at him with cold eyes.
「 What I’m doing is real work! I fight against reality, and established my standing through blood and sweat! Music is different from risky business! 」
「 I don’t understand what you’re trying to say 」
Kyouko-san, disguised as Chemin Koda, mocks him.
「 Of course people like you who cling go the power of the nobility will never understand. I’m Matsumoto Hiroki! I live standing on this earth with my own power, I’m not like you 」
Elder Matsumoto rants.
「 You’ll never understand my life that’s filled with hardships! 」
「 I don’t understand, and it’s not like I want to understand either 」
「 Nobody can understand everything about a single person’s life, just as Matsumoto-san doesn’t understand mine or Ruriko’s life 」
「 Obviously! Lives of rich people’s sons or daughters are none of my business! 」
「 But at least we do make an effort to understand the people we interact with. No matter who it is 」
I looked at Shou-neechan.
「 Do we have the papers on Matsumoto from Kouzuki SS? 」
「 Of course, we did our investigation 」
「 First, tell me how Matsumoto-san started his pharmacy business 」
「 Yes 」
Shou-neechan pulls her tablet and reads her report.
She had it all memorized, but when in front of people like Matsumoto-san, then it’s the style of Kouzuki SS to read out the report formally.
「 Matusmoto Hiroki-sama, full name, Matusmoto Hirokichi. Born in Oita prefecture. After graduating from middle school, he moved to Tokyo in a group employment, graduating from night high school while working at a pharmaceutical factory. He gained scholarship from the pharmaceutical company and went to Asano university in their college of pharmacy 」
「 Oh look, you also got scholarship 」
Mariko points out.
「 After graduating, he joined the pharmaceutical company who gave him the scholarship, but left after four years due to poor interpersonal relationships within the family. With the help of relatives from his hometown, he opened his first store named ‘Kusuri no Matsush*ta Hiroki’ in 1975 」
Shou-neechan reads elder Matsumoto’s past.
「 I want to hear what’s next 」
「 Yes. After his arrannged marriage in 1977, with the help of his wife’s family, he opened his second pharmacy in 1981. The chain grew to an urban drugstore expanding to 300 stores in Japan by 1988 as they ride the boom of the bubble economy. By 1998, they reached 500 stores, and listed in the first section of the Tokyo stock exchange. Currently, they have expanded their business to 1500 branches. That’s all 」
「 Receiving help from scholarships, from relatives, from his wife’s family, and even when you were expanding your store, you received help from a lot of people, haven’t you? 」
It wasn’t as elder Matsumoto said, he didn’t grow the drugstore chain by himself.
He always had help from someone.
「 That’s… 」
Elder Matsumoto falters.
「 That’s also included in the report. All of Matsumoto-sama’s circles, and the people who supported him, all of it 」
Elder Matsumoto’s company is so big that it’s usually included in the Kouzuki SS surveys.
「 I also know Matsumoto-sama’s backers from the other side 」
Minaho-neesan said and laughed.
Elder Matsumoto came here because Minaho-neesan invited him.
Minaho-neesan holds information to be a middleman.
「 Matsumoto-san also received help from others, so why do you say that it’s wrong for Matsumoto Maki-san, and Miki-san to receive help from the Kouzuki world cultural exchange center as scholarship recipients? How can being a scholar and receiving help be a bad thing? 」
「 No, I received scholarship when I was younger, and the Kouzuki house’s scholarship is… 」
「 What’s the difference? Both of them are aid to those who are young and have dreams and talents. Matsumoto-san’s grades in night high school was good, and they see that you desire to study more, thus, they gave you scholarship, didn’t they? When you opened up your store, your relatives must’ve lent you money because they wanted to help Matsumoto-san’s dream, didn’t they? 」
One can’t survive by themselves.
Someone’s always helping you no matter when.
「 Maki-san and Miki-san are the same. They can become scholarship students because their musical talent is recognized. They’re just like you, Matsumoto-san 」
「 No, they’re not! 」
「 You can study music all your life and still not make it! You could spend your whole life in music and still not make a living out of it! There’s plenty of those artists in the industry! I don’t want to send my granddaughters to a half-baked world where they might fail 」
The grandfather said, the siblings tremble.
「 Is that why you’re telling them to stop studying music and work at your drugstore? 」
Mariko’s speaking angrily.
「 Yes, in pharmacy, they can be sure with their living expenses! 」
「 So, is running a pharmacy that easy? 」
Mariko stirs him up.
「 Easy?! Do you think businesses are easy?! Do you think working with sweat on your forehead is easy? 」
Elder Matsumoto is angry, but…
「 Even pharmacies are a tough business to run, right? There’s no such thing as a job that succeeds easily. If that’s the case, then it’s no different than Matsumoto-san and others who want to pursue music career 」
「 There’s plenty of management slobs out there who failed at running a company 」
「 You brat, don’t say it like you’ve heard of it!! 」
「 Even your drugstore chain could fail and go bankrupt, right? I know 」
「 How could I possibly fail! I’ve been in this business for forty years! 」
「 Who knows what the future holds! At the very least, I’m not investing in your company 」
Kaan Momoko-neechan has influenced Mariko in buying and selling stocks.
「 My company doesn’t need investments from a small girl like you! 」
Elder Matsumoto shouts at Mariko out of anger, but.,…
「 You have your company listed in public, don’t you? Don’t be stupid 」
Mariko strikes back.
「 Maybe if the company was still small, being the founder of the company with your vitality and self-righteousness could grow to some extent, but if the head of the company is such a narrow minded man, then you won’t develop in the future 」
「 Are you saying that I’m wrong?! I’m already past my 70s! I’m a business owner who grew an entire company in my lifetime! What could you possibly know?! 」
「 Your past is just history! What I’m talking about is the future! 」
「 Grandfather told me once that it’s jeopardizing to have the founder who grew the company in one generation to continue leading the company when they’re old. Especially on companies where the charismatic founder is making a top-down, one-man decision on everything. Once the aging leader makes a wrong decision, the whole company can collapse in a heartbeat. The most dangerous part is when the founder is over 70 years old, just like you, who doesn’t realize that his senses no longer step up with the times 」
「 Don’t make fun of me lass! 」
「 I mean, you have no interest in other people’s opinion! You just shout like you’re the boss, and you don’t even understand the position you’re in right now! Someone as rude as you isn’t qualified to be a leader! 」
「 You’re rude! Who do you think I am? 」
「 I’m the who should be asking you that! I’m Torii Mariko. 」 I gave my greetings earlier. In short, you’re picking a fight with Torii electronics right now, do you get it?! 」
「 You’re also being hostile to the Kouzuki group 」
Mariko said. Shou-neechan added.
「 You’re exposing your disgraceful behavior in front of Kouzuki Ruriko-sama 」
Elder Matsumoto realized.
Mariko’s the daughter of the president of Torii electronics, a global manufacturer of electrical equipment, and Ruriko’s the granddaughter of the head of the Kouzuki house, the family that unites the nobility.
Ruriko’s silently and coldly staring at elder Matsumoto.
「 Ruriko-sama will tell Kouzuki Kakka your behavior just now, and I will tell my Father too. I’ll also tell the various businessmen I’m in contact with 」
「 A-Are you trying to threaten me? 」
Elder Matsumoto tries to act brave, but…
「 We’re merely just stating facts. It’s the truth that your attitude and speech had made Ruriko-sama and me feel uncomfortable 」
The room fell silent.
Elder Matsumoto’s shaking, he’s reaching his limit.
「 Mariko, time out 」
I stopped Mariko.
「 Thanks to you, I finally figured Matsumoto-san out 」
That is to say;
「 Matsumotoo-san’s the type of person who doesn’t listen to other people’s opinions, and just do whatever he wants. That’s why his son had no choice but to leave home and start his own business 」
I look at the Matsumoto siblings.
I heard from Maki-san and Miki-san that their father had started a small trading company separated from their grandfather.
Then, he got sick and passed away recently.
「 You never had a proper discussion with your son for years, even decades, have you? 」
The son didn’t want to take over the drugstore chain under his father.
It’s because he refused to let elder Matsumoto take control of his life.
「 So what? 」
Elder Matsumoto glares at me.
「 Then that means that you never had a proper conversation with Maki-san and Miki-san, have you? You never asked them directly what their dreams for the future are, far from that… 」
「 I bet you never heard them play music at all, have you? 」
The Matsumoto siblings look at me.
「 Never, so what about it? I didn’t ask because it wasn’t necessary. If I had time to go to my granddaughter’s concert, then I’d spend that time doing business. That’s how I built my status 」
I knew it.
「 Then, let’s have him hear it, Minaho-neesan 」
I looked at Minaho-neesan.
「 Yes, we have it prepared in the hotel 」
If we’re in a hotel, then they’d have a piano.
「 Then, lets go to the next room 」
「 I… 」
Elder Matsumoto refuses, but…
「 Oh, are you saying that you lost the fight already? 」
Mariko provokes him.
「 If you don’t listen to their performance, then you lose. You lose as a person, and as a manager 」
「 How is this related to management! 」
「 I don’t think that someone in management business, should make Ruriko-sama or me feel any more uncomfortable than we already are 」
Mariko said. Ruriko;
「 Would you like to join us and listen to your granddaughter’s play? 」
She speaks calmly.
「 It’ll only take a short time 」
「 If you’ll end it right away, then I’ll bear with it 」
Then, Shou-neechan lead us.
We went to the next room.
The room next door was also a hotel banquet room, but it’s a large party room, much larger than the room we were at earlier
Then, in the room is…
Two grand pianos.
「 Marika, play together with Matsumoto-san 」
Minaho-neesan told Marika.
「 But I’m… 」
Marika’s surprised, she looked at Maki-san.
「 If it’s just Maki-san, she might get too nervous that she can’t play, so help her out, Marika 」
I appointed her.
Maki-san and Miki-san are afraid of elder Matsumoto.
He’s someone who oppresses them, someone they don’t understand.
But, since he’s their grandfather, they want to understand him from the bottom of their hearts.
They can’t ruin this chance to perform in front of their grandfather because they’re too nervous.
「 This might be their first and last time to perform in front of your grandfather, so I hope you won’t have regrets 」
Minaho-neesan said. The Matsumoto sisters still look lost.
Their faces show their worry.
「 Hold my hand, Maki-san, Miki-san 」
Luna holds their hands.
「 Look into my eyes, now take a deep breath, suu, haa, suu, haa 」
Luna uses her Miko power to cleanse Maki-san and Miki-san with every breath, relaxing them.
「 Okay, you’re good. Play like it’s usual 」
Marika also made her resolve.
「 Shall we go with Panchelbel’s Canon? 」
She suggested to the Matsumoto sisters.
「 R-Right 」
「 I understand 」
The Matsumoto sisters have also strengthened their resolve.
Miki-san opens her violin case.
「 Matsumoto-sama, sit here 」
Kyouko-san, disguised as an elderly woman, asked elder Matsumto to take a seat.
Elder Matsumoto, who’s about to listen to the sisters, should also relax.
「 U-Umu 」
Elder Matsumoto took a seat.
「 Then, we’ll begin 」
Matsumoto Maki-san told her grandfather
Then, she looked at Marika, and her sister.
Then, the two gave Maki-san the signal with their eyes.
They started their musical performance.
I felt this in the music room earlier this morning, but…
Those who have talent in music makes it sound different.
The sound from the piano and violin is transparent, pure…
You won’t consider this coming from a middle school, and high-school students.
The sound is thick, clean, and vivid.
This performance is worthy of receiving scholarship from Kouzuki world cultural exchange center. I think that everyone can agree to that.
Maki-san and Miki-san’s performance was perfect, but…
Marika and Maki-san’s music completely blends together.
It’s even better than the performance earlier today.
The trust and love between the two of them is something you feel in this performance.
Their five minute performance ended.
「 …………… 」
Nobody spoke for a while.
We’re immersed in the reverberation of the music.
「 What do you think, Matsumoto-sama? 」
Kyouko-san speaks to elder Matsumoto as Chemin Koda.
「 Kouzuki world cultural exchange center accepts Matsumoto Maki-sama and Miki-sama as recipients of scholarships. We’ll do our best to support them in the future. It’s already set in stone. Whatever Matsumoto-sama’s opinions may be, we’ll make sure that both of them become world class performers 」
Tears are flowing out of his eyes.
「 I… 」
He speaks in a small voice.
「 Is there anything I can do for my granddaughters? 」
「 I didn’t expect such a great performance. I can’t believe that my granddaughters can play music like this 」
Hearing their actual performance changed elder Matsumoto’s mind.
「 I was wrong. They should continue their music studies. You are right 」
Elder Matsumoto speaks honestly to Chemin Koda, who looks like an old lady.
「 But…is there…is there nothing I could do for them? 」