Chapter 33 – Social gathering
This year, when I turn 4 years old, I will start attending kindergarten.
As I had always been a stay-at-home kid, it was in a sense my debut in the world of society.
I am going to make my debut in the Onmyoji world accordingly.
I heard that a get-together will be held for children of the same age and their parents.
The host of the party is the Abe family, a family that is considered as one of the three major Onmyoji families in Japan and the head of the Kanto region.
The Abe family, founded by the famous Onmyoji Abe no Seimei, has been in existence for more than 1,000 years and is considered the most influential of the three major Onmyoji.
There was no way I could just sit back and enjoy a get-together held by someone who could be described as the president of the company where my father worked.
The Abe family has two children. The eldest son, Seikyu Haruku (6 years old), and the eldest daughter, Akari (4 years old).
They are the stars of this get-together and are important figures in the future of the Onmyoji world.
I would like to get to know them somehow.
Connections and money are important in society.
I regretted that fact when I became an adult and found out that I had few friends.
“Please make it a little taller. Yes, I think the length looks just right.”
The mother is happily preparing my formal wear.
She had prepared a well-tailored outfit for me, even though I would soon outgrow the clothes of a four-year-old child. However, if I had to describe the outfit in one word, it would be Onmyoji fashion. If we were not Onmyoji, it would be a complete cosplay.
“You have grown up, haven’t you? Your mother is happy that Sei has grown up so well.”
I guess it’s like the 7-5-3 day for my parents.(T/N – 7-5-3 or Shichi-Go-San is a day of prayer for the healthy growth of young children. It is also called 7-5-3 because in most regions around the country, boys and girls aged three, boys aged five, and girls aged seven visit a Shinto shrine with their parents.)
Seeing my Onmyoji look, my mother had a big smile on her face.
That smile is a sign of happiness for my growth, and I can feel her deep affection for me. It made me feel itchy, but it also made my heart warm and fuzzy.
…… I remember that even in my previous life, I went to a photography studio to take pictures at the time of Shichi-Go-San. …… I wonder if the growth of a child is a joyful thing for any parent. …… Well, my parents in my previous life gave me a lot of love, too.
I thought about it at the funeral, but now I regret that I didn’t give them much filial piety.
I will be very filial to my parents in this life.
As a first act of filial piety, should I give my shitty father the gift of a connection with his boss?
To do so, I need to get the main actors to remember my name at this get-together. Since I have memories of my past life, I will play a trick that only a child can pull off in a mature and grown-up way.
The Abe family’s mansion was magnificent beyond any comparison to our home.
It is a two-story Japanese-style house, lovingly preserved by the passage of time and of great historical value. The Japanese garden, which extends from the main gate to the entrance, must be tended daily by a full-time gardener, and is a work of art that makes one sigh in admiration.
Even though I was too old to appreciate bonsai, I could understand the beauty of this house with my heart.
However, I was also thinking, “How much does it cost to maintain this house?”
The Kyobe family enters this mansion with the stream of participants who arrive one after another.
I walk alongside my father, and my younger brother is carried in our mother’s arms.
The main invitees this time are children around five years old and their fathers. It also says that the whole family should attend, but that is in order for the mothers to take care of the children so that the heads of the families can talk without distraction.
Although the society is calling for gender equality, the old customs still prevail in the small world of the Onmyoji community.
Even this is a much more liberal arrangement, according to my father.
Also, according to my father, in my great-grandfather’s generation, women walked three steps behind men, were not allowed to attend social gatherings, and were completely male-dominated.
Well, that too was abolished with the arrival of strong female Onmyoji, along with the modern trend.
The last part of this conversation was, “Be kind to women, especially to your mother. Especially to your mother”.
“You guys go to this room. I’ll be in the back chatting with the others. Call me if you need anything.
“Yes, please don’t worry about us here. Good luck.”
The mother’s cheering on fucking father who proceeds to the back of the mansion.
The adults interact with the adults.
And we kids interact with the other kids.
“Ha-ha-ha, over here, over here.”
“I’m Erica, and you are?”
“Well, I’m …… ugh …… still~”
It was like a kindergarten setting, or rather, like free time.
The boys were running around in the tatami room. Children’s cries could be heard everywhere, and mothers were engaged in small talk.
Now, let’s see where the main characters are this time.
As I look around, my mother crouches down to talk to me.
“They are all your friends who want to become Onmyoji just like Sei. If you get to know each other, I’m sure you will have fun. Come on.”
Mother pushes my back as she says so.
I’m always playing by myself, even in the park.
She must be worried about me.
With Yuya in her arms, the mother heads toward the group of women. She seems to be concerned about me from time to time, and to reassure her, I’ll make a friend or two to invite them to play with me. I will do that in addition to finding my true love and making connections.
Now, who should I call out to?
After all, I would prefer a boy who looks promising or a girl who looks like she will be beautiful in the future.
As I look around the hall, the sliding doors in the back start to open.
Then, the children who had been playing so excitedly become quiet. They must have instinctively sensed the aura coming from behind the sliding doors.
I, too, cowered a little at the presence of this unknown aura.
When the servant opened the sliding door, a man in his 30s appeared. He looked like he was at the peak of his physical and mental maturity required for a Samurai that was fighting against Yōkai.
The current head of the Abe family, the 57th head – Abe no Haruaki.
He was the man at the top of the Onmyoji world.