Akuyaku Reijou ni Koi wo Shite:
“For the time being, my job is decided!”
When I opened my eyes, I saw I was in a different room than yesterday.
One to which I was guided to last night and told that it belonged to me.
There was a bed, a small desk and a wardrobe placed inside. Even with just that, there was hardly any space left in the narrow room.
Because it was similar to my former world’s room, I didn’t really mind. Its size had been 4.5 tatami mats with comfort room included, but no bathtub. It had been located about 10 minutes away by bus from the station and its only redeeming feature had been the price.
Those were my memories.
Even though I had already given up on my consciousness, why did I return? I tried both asking him and surrendering my control again, but there was no response.
It was possible that he was just sleeping.
Yesterday was quite tiring after all, particularly on the mind.
That aside, that ojou-sama was really a typical selfish little princess, huh? Even after doing however she pleased to her surroundings, there was no one to protest.
With that, I started to worry what kind of woman would she grow up into.
Even though she looked pretty cute.
On that note, my appearance was quite lovely too, huh? Was it because of my former face? When she put the makeup on me and dressed me in female clothes, my reflection in the mirror charmed me completely.
Even though my body was just that of a child, it already offered such glamou– What was I doing getting enticed by myself.
I was not supposed to be a lolicon.
The other me really felt down, huh?
Well, I guessed that was the proper reaction.
You had endured well.
I needed to somehow stop myself from heading down the wrong path.
Suddenly, while thinking about those silly things and wasting my time, I heard a knock on the door.
They were opened without even waiting for a reply.
I thought it would be the ojou-sama again, but it seems it was only the female attendant.
「Have you woken up?」
「Yes. Is there something I should do?」
「You don’t have to do anything. Just behave and remain in this room.」
「What do you…」
I started to ask because I got curious about her mode of speech, but her cold gaze stopped me.
「It is yet to be decided how you should be dealt with And no matter what Vincent-sama and Ariel-sama says, the one to do that is going to be the master of the house.」
「I’ll stay here and be a pet?」
The other me aside, this turn of events was favorable for me.
「Someone like you should never be in this house, I’m afraid that’s what’s going to happen.」
So not because of the owed favors, but due to disgust the source of which was…
「Is it because of… the heterochromia?」
「Is it that detestable?」
「It is, particularly to the aristocrats.」
「I have come here to explain the reason to Ariel-sama, but you should be told as well.」
「Do you know that the person’s eye color represents his attribute?」
Even If I managed to wake up and try asking the one inside my mind, I doubt he would know a thing about nobility.
「…Let’s start from that then. There is noble blood flowing in the aristocrat’s veins and it contains mana.」
So this is the reason why the other me thought that no one but nobility could use magic. The quality of a person’s blood was different. It was a concept hard to understand for a modern man like me, blood was blood, it should be possible to transfer it with a transfusion, why not do just that?
「A great example of that is the royal family and three great Houses. As the name indicates, the attribute of the Gran Flamm royals is fire. That’s why their direct descendants have red colored eyes. The eyes of the king are naturally the most beautiful scarlet.」
It was fire, so the color was red. Truly easy to comprehend. Though the other colors have yet to be explained, there was already a part that I didn’t understand.
「As the name indicates?」
「You… don’t even know that?」
「It’s because I come from the slums.」
Well, the other me did.
The woman was very surprised, but after giving it a little thought she dismissed the distraction.
「That’s right, isn’t it. You have probably never studied either. In ancient language, Gran Flamm means 【Great Flame】 fitting the fire attribute.」
( EN: This is Latin and neat. But since there can be no such thing as consistent naming scheme in a LN editor table flip incoming in 3… 2… 1… )
Hadn’t it been that the royal family had picked the name because the fire had been their attribute? I didn’t voice the thought to not draw her displeasure and keep the explanation going.
「Aqusmea means 【Sacred Water】,Fatillas means 【Fertile Soil】 and this family’s name means【Healing Wind】. The royal family and the three great Houses complete the four elements. That’s how special they are.」
(EN: …aaand table flip. This is no longer Latin, just random rubbish. Curse you author, curse you 😛 )
The attributes of magic were fire, water, wind and earth. Did they not have light or darkness, or were they just unaware of them? I guessed that even if I asked the female attendant, she probably wouldn’t know about it.
「In accordance with those attributes, they all carry specific eye colors, right?」
「That’s right. Now then, since you understand the background, let’s return to the heterochromia. And why people think it brings misfortune.」
「If the eye color indicates the attribute, then one person having two different eye colors… Can have neither.」
「Correct. The two elements would contradict each other. Being eligible for two elements will result in not being love by either.」
Again, an odd concept.
What did they mean by “not being loved”? even though the female attendant had a look full of disdain I decided to ask her about it.
「By not being loved you mean?」
「You don’t even know this… The effectiveness of magic depends on the intervention of the world, the four elements. Being loved by them will make one’s magic stronger, lesser affection means weaker effect and if there are no feelings then there will be no results.」
「… So, does it mean that the four elements have a will of their own?」
「The world itself has a will. And since it’s composed of the four elements, it is obvious those also have a will of their own.」
Perhaps the four elements were spirits. However, it seemed that the female attendant was not aware of their existence. Or if she knew, then maybe she was hiding that from me. That was probably due to the rules of the house.
「Does it mean that because you have blue eyes, you can use water magic?」
It was a total mistake.
Judging from her reaction, that person couldn’t use magic at all.
「I’m sorry. It seems I’ve misunderstood. You are not an aristocrat, right?」
「I am an aristocrat!」
It looked like this time I’ve made her very angry.
I relaxed my mind a little.
Inwardly I apologized for thinking that I could just ask any question.
「…Ignorance begets impoliteness. Even though it doesn’t concern you as you will soon leave this place anyway, I’ll tell you just in case. I come from the family of a baron.」
Maybe because she saw me feeling down or maybe due to some other reason, the explanations continued.
I felt relieved.
「There’s a hierarchy among aristocrats and the barons are on the lowest rung of the ladder. Well, technically there is also a peerage rank called a baronet…」
It seemed that her explanation of this country’s aristocratic system went on forever from there.
The most important title, aside from Duke that required a direct connection to the royal family, was Marquess. The parts about Dukes, I couldn’t really understand. All I got was that they were king’s retainers, highest in rank considering the status and somehow outside the normal hierarchy.
Normal titles, from the highest, would be Marquess followed by Earl, Viscount, and Baron. There were three Marquesses and each one of them had their own respective domain the northern, the western and the eastern territory. Those were vital points in the country’s defense.
Earls had their own respective territories under the great three located closer to the center of the country
There seemed to be an enormous difference in size of Marquess and Earl holdings.
The three great Houses were special in so many aspects.
Viscounts were used by superior aristocrats as administrators and often entrusted with their own territory and/or a castle.
In Japanese terms a Marquess would be a regional governor, an Earl would be a prefectural governor and a Viscount would be a town mayor.
It felt a bit different, but strictly speaking, I probably didn’t need that knowledge anyway.
Female attendant’s family was not regarded as a nobility in the truest sense because Baron is an honorary title granted due to achievements and owned no town or territory. Also, it could only be inherited once and second generation heir would become a Baronet.
Returning to the topic of magic, commoners doesn’t have the ability to use it. Baron rank families, due to how the peculiarities of the title, in order to have the ability to use magic had to frequently marry with a family of Viscounts. Their ability to cast spells was not guaranteed.
Unfortunately, she missed that opportunity.
Explaining this much, despite being displeased, was probably because she was a gentle person.
In conclusion, the thicker the bloodline the better the effectiveness of magic.
Which meant for me, who was a commoner with heterochromia symbolizing fire and water that was a horrible combination, magic would definitely be impossible.
My short-lived dream of casting spells vanished.
Feeling depressed again, I heard things that were similar to what was said the day before.
Since the person shouting yesterday was right in front of me and holding her head down, it was definitely someone else.
The selfish ojou-sama arrived.
「Rion! Come with me immediately!」
「Quit being absentminded! This is urgent, you know!?」
The ojou-sama seemed to be in a hurry.
「Ariel-sama, just what is happening?」
「It’s about father and the others, they are discussing Rion!」
「Ah… So that’s what it is.」
For me this was not really urgent at all, I had already heard about being driven out from the handmaiden.
「They said the way to deal with such sinister existences should be to dispose of them! I won’t permit such a thing!」
「If they see how Rion looks, they will surely reconsider! Rion is such a beautiful pet after all!」
「Come with me immediately!」
With the complex feelings coming to my mind, I followed the ojou-sama.
I disliked being a pet, but I hated the prospect of getting killed more!
Because the destination was quite far, walking towards it took forever.
The room I resided in was probably one of the servant quarters and the rooms of the family should be considerably distant.
With that in my mind, we kept on running down the hallway.
The ojou-sama in front of me seemed to be having a hard time, I wonder why was she this desperate? Running to the point of nearly getting winded.
Even though she was an aristocrat…
The last thought was not mine.
It seems the other had woken up. I didn’t really have any particular memories about aristocrats, but it seems I had come to hate them anyway.
I understood those feelings well.
People who had nothing envied those who had everything, even I felt this before.
It’s about coming to resent the unfairness of the world.
「W-We should be near.」
That voice instantly extinguished my gloomy mood. The ojou-sama never stopped running even though her face was marked by pain.
Was I that important for a pet? Thinking about it, I couldn’t help but smile bitterly at the irony.
「We’ve arrived… Haa, haa, haa.」
She adjusted her breathing as she held the door. I didn’t know why wouldn’t she enter immediately.
「Wait a bit. Is my hair disheveled?」
「A little, milady.」
Looked like she was concerned about her appearance. Was it something that all aristocratic women would fuss about?
Even though she was still out of breath, the ojou-sama was trying to straighten her attire perfectly. This was probably what people called “to correct one’s self”.
Hesitating a bit I put her disheveled hair in order. Noticing sweat that was starting to show on her forehead I let go of the hair that was tucked together, took the hem of my clothes, and wiped it off.
It seems this kind of thing was not good because her gaze became even more intense.
「H-have you not brought a handkerchief with you?」
「Eh… No, I haven’t.」
「Well then, use this.」
She presented a handkerchief that she took out from her purse. I took it and wiped the sweat from her face.
The ojou-sama was quietly keeping her eyes closed. The way she did that made her childishness increase.
「How is it going?」
「Ah… Yes. You look adorable.」
「I-Is that so?」
「…Well then, fine. Let’s proceed.」
With one final deep breath, the ojou-sama went towards the door moving her hands as if she was about to knock.
「Stop fooling around! I have picked that up and it belongs to me!」
We heard a voice inside the room.
It was familiar and belonged to the boy from the day before.
However, saying that a person belonged to him, why were those two siblings capable of such thoughts.
「Vincent-sama. This is not the time to be selfish.」
「Which part of this is being selfish!? You are tossing out my property on your own accord! This is something to be angry about!」
「However, there is a problem about the thing you’ve picked up.」
「I see no problems!」
「It is an orphan from the slums. Why are you feeling obliged to such a thing? You should consider that you are being taken advantage of.」
So that was why they would have me dead? Wasn’t that too extreme? My outward appearance was that of a child and even the one inside was just 18. I didn’t understand why they were so wary about a kid like me.
「I don’t feel any obligation at all!」
「But, weren’t you saved by him?」
「I have never said something like that! I have not been saved! In fact, I have been the one who saved him!」
「That’s why I don’t feel obliged in the slightest. The one who should feel in debt is him.」
Though the reasoning was absurd, perhaps this was the boy’s way of protecting me. Though the other me disagreed with that idea.
「He also has heterochromia.」
「It’s not like it’s contagious!」
「It’s not about that!」
「Well then, what is this about?」
「It’s not safe to carelessly get close to someone of unknown identity and origin!」
「He is Rion of the slums.」
「That’s not what I mean…」
Right after that quiet utterance, without even waiting for him to complete his reply, the ojou-sama proceeded to knock on the door and enter.
I wondered if that was good manners.
The man previously talking to the boy spoke with a troubled voice. Was it because he was about to face a formidable opponent? I didn’t know.
「This is Rion. You already understand who he is and where he came from, right?」
The declaration beat down the argument about unknown origins.
「Ariel-sama, pardon me, but that is not what I meant.」
「It is wrong to judge a person without even looking at him yourself.」
「Well that is correct indeed, however…」
His line of sight went towards me. Actually not just his, the eyes of everyone in this room turned towards me.
Was the man comfortably sitting on the sofa the Marquess?
Was the beautiful person next to him his wife?
Because the two resembled the ojou-sama, there could be no mistake.
Vincent was sitting in front of the two and the others were standing at the back of the Marquess.
「You, what are you called?」
「They call me Rion, sir.」
「What I want is your real name.」
「Please, call me Rion.」
I wondered why Ryou was so hard to comprehend. Maybe when I speak in Nihongo, the words coming out are different?
「Where are your parents?」
「I don’t have any. They have died when I was still small.」
「… How did you live after that?」
「Scavenging, sir. I was too young to work after all.」
「So you have never worked?」
「I have done chores, but that’s not a profession.」
「Well then, where did you learn to speak in this way?」
The man threw that question as if he had triumphed. It seemed he thought that he had obtained some sort of evidence. Using Keigo with expectations of a better result might have been a mistake on my part.
「From my dead parents, sir.」
I decided to lie with an innocent face for the time being.
「What have your parents done for a living?」
「I do not know. My parents have never spoken about their jobs.」
That was the truth and also more of a general rule. The jobs of slum dwellers were mostly shady, so not telling details to their children was the norm.
「When did you lose your parents?」
「I was around two years old, I don’t really remember the exact date.」
「Are you telling me you do not remember the day your parents died?」
「Sir, I do not even know what day is it now.」
Coming from the slums made fabricating my identity really easy.
「What was the cause of death?」
「I don’t know, when I woke up they were already dead. It’s not something unusual in the slums.」
「What do you plan to do after this?」
Since I didn’t seem to be shaken even a bit by the interrogation-like exchange, his wariness increased. It seemed we had arrived at a stalemate. Somehow I knew what kind of answer he wanted there.
「I have never given it a thought sir. There was no time yesterday.」
「…Then how about thinking about it now?」
「Right here? Is it really required?」
「What I want to do is my own problem. Though this may seem a bit rude, it is of no concern to the people present here.」
「… Do you mean, you don’t want to be meddled with by this family?」
「Sir, I do not understand the question. What kind of answer do you expect? If it’s about not wanting to be involved, then it would be better for the answer to come from your side.」
This man probably had no authority to make that decision. That’s why by finding faults in my responses, he would let the surroundings have information to make the judgment.
Although the worst outcome might have gotten me killed, I really couldn’t stand that man.
And anyway, I didn’t want things to go his way.
「It seems my son has been in your care.」
Suddenly, the man sitting on the sofa spoke. Because he said “his son”, it confirmed that it was the Marquess.
「It would be rude not to say that it went both ways your excellency.」
「I have saved your son from being taken hostage and as I fell unconscious when we were about to escape, he saved me in turn.」
「I see. So it was “give and take”.」
「Yes your excellency.」
「Then I offer you the freedom to do what you want next. I can even send you home.」
When I thought the matter settled, the siblings shouted simultaneously. I forgot that the two had opposed it. Despite thinking myself calm, I might still have been agitated after all.
「This thing belongs to me!」
「That is correct father, this is our pet.」
As my life was spared already, I wanted them to stop that talk already.
「Is it not too big to be your pet, however?」
Excellency, even you!?
「It’s fine. Since it always does as I say and most importantly, it’s beautiful.」
「…Well, that is indeed correct. However, it’s too early for you Vincent. You must grow a little bit more.」
「That’s… That’s just the way it is.」
I wondered what was the Marquess talking about? I felt like he was misunderstanding something.
「That’s right. Besides, the partner must not be a child or mother cannot approve of such a thing. Well, if it had reached the marriageable age I could probably agree.」
The words of both parents were complimenting each other. However, as I thought something was strange.
「Indeed. However, even if the other party is that beautiful, for her to become Vincent’s concubine, she has to have a certain pedigree.」
「Well, it would be just a mistress then there would be no problems.」
「I see. Mistress, huh? In that case…」
Were they convinced now? Or rather, what was the difference between concubine and mistress? It was not the time to think about that! There was an even bigger problem.
「What is it?」
「I am a boy, though.」
I didn’t make my gender clear before, but even though your daughter was making a fuss, was it actually that important?
Or did the gender of the orphan you picked up not really matter?
「Well then, what are you going to use him for Vincent?」
「What for? A lot of things.」
「…As a valet?」
「Something like that.」
「I see. However, we already have a valet.」
「Ah, if that’s Vincent-sama desire, I will resign.」
Said the guy who was interrogating me before.
So this guy was a valet.
Considering that, he was quite ahead of himself. Besides, what made him so happy?
「Well then, what are you going to do from now on?」
「Because I would be troubled by losing a job, if possible I’d like to attend to Erwin-sama instead. 」
「Erwin? A full-time valet of Erwin…」
I heard an unfamiliar name from the mouth of the Marquess. Because this was a discussion about valets, was he perhaps another sibling of the two?
「Well, that’s fine I guess. However, he must undergo a training to be Vincent’s valet. And as to who will we leave that to…」
「I shall see to that milord. I am the one handing the position over after all.」
「That would be good. Well then…」
The Marquess looked at me steadily… I already knew why.
「It’s Rion, sir.」
The Marquess didn’t seem to consider me worth worrying about.
「Well Rion, starting today you are Vincent’s valet. His well-being will now be your responsibility.」
「Yes, sir… Eh?」
How did it end up that way?
Wasn’t the conversation about driving me out of the house?
Wouldn’t, being a valet, mean that I would be staying here forever?
Being informed that the discussion was over, I was driven out of the room. But that question kept repeating in my mind while looking at the back of the Marquess and his wife.
Back to the japanese guy.
“That’s roughly about 7 square meters or 70 square feet for you imperial heathens.” – Peter.
I’ll be using ojou-sama because it’s more convenient.
TN: Okay, from this onward, remember that they have been referring to MC without using gender pronoun so think of *he/him* as neutral, this notice is to avoid contradiction in the latter parts.
EN: Or we might just use “it” since they treat him as an object / pet anyway.
The japanese respectful way of speaking.