Akuyaku Reijou ni Koi wo Shite – Chapter 4 :
“The first day of the Valet”
Full-time valet of Vincent, the eldest son of the Marquess House Windhill.
That was the job given to me.
As for the reason why things turned out this way, no matter how much I thought about it I couldn’t come up with an explanation.
It couldn’t be helped, I had to ask the guy whom I hated listening to the most.
「What? Is there something you didn’t understand?」
As opposed to his temperament from a while ago, the man attended me in a gentle manner. Which meant that just being able to let go of his job as Vincent’s valet made him absolutely delighted.
「Just how did things turn out this way? The purpose of the conversation back then was to expel me out of this household, was it not?」
「Oh, that? Just focus on the matters of your job! I want to finish handing it over to you quickly.」
「Erm… Well, I can’t help but wonder.」
「I guess there’s no other choice. At first, it was indeed like that. There is no way we can trust anyone from the slums after all. When one becomes indebted to such people, they think of the person as nothing but a source of income.」
「Well, even though I come from there myself, I agree that there really is nothing but that sort of people back in the slum. 」
「Although the demands are usually insignificant, this is a Marquess household, we must not appear weak. So when they insist on coming back, we have to get rid of them. And if we expect things to lead in that direction, the best course of action is disposing of the problem from the beginning. That’s how it is.」
Though this guy just smoothly talked about it, what he described was a murder.
I thought of asking if it wouldn’t cause a problem, but I figured that it wasn’t something I should inquire about. So I stopped myself from voicing the question.
「How did it develop from there into me being young master’s Valet?」
「The truth is, disposing of you has already ceased to be an option ever since you’ve stepped into Ariel-sama’s room. The lord and his wife are much more lenient to her compared to Vincent-sama.」
In other words, they were doting parents.
I wasn’t really trying to make fun of them by thinking that. For someone like me, who lost his parents, it was something to be jealous about.
「If that’s the case, why the interrogation earlier?」
「I was opposed to it. Just being Vincent-sama’s valet has proven to be difficult, I didn’t think I could deal with an orphan from the slums on top of that. 」
How dared he say that face-to-face with the person involved. As I thought, there was something wrong with this man as a human being. My impression was definitely correct.
「Pardon me for being impolite, but do you have such authority in your role?」
「A full-time valet is a butler to be and can even become one of the aides to the family head. A person having that much of a connection to Vincent-sama, their right to speak will be recognized.」
「Eh? Such a position, for me..」
「Not you. As common sense would dictate, it’s impossible for someone with doubtful origins to become a close aide of the Marquess.」
This guy, there was a limit to being insensitive.
Just how did he pass being the valet of the Marquess’ heir?
「… Come to think of it, what was your name?」
「Will. Will Dirk.」
「”Dirk-san”? Call me Will-san.」
So calling him by given name was the correct way. I should store the simple things like that in my mind carefully.
「Is calling you by “Will-san” really alright? We’re going to be future working colleagues..」
「That…, Don’t mind it. I hate those kinds of formalities.」
「Is that so?」
He was clearly lying, however I couldn’t really press the point.
Something was fishy.
This guy would never be in such a good mood otherwise, but I should be able to find out what was up after working in this house for a while.
「Let’s resume. At this rate, we will never be done with the handover process.」
To summarize the job, Valet was a person in charge of miscellaneous affairs aiming to fulfill all the desires of his master. That is what I was told but, something was not quite right.
I just couldn’t imagine Will being able to fulfill all the desires of that obviously self-centered boy.
Though he called it handing over, it was actually quite different to what I imagined. All he taught me was Vincent’s schedule for the month.
Other than that, it was his food preferences.
His likes and dislikes in study subjects, but he seemed to like nothing at all.
His magic specialty… it was not even worth talking about.
His attitudes to people…
Why was Will not on the list? Surely, he would’ve been hated by him.
Anyhow, there was nothing about the job itself.
Though I have heard worrying rumors about Vincent, Will brushed the topic off by saying he was just persistent.
Just as the Valet wanted, the handover finished in the blink of an eye and afterward the bastard immediately fled.
The ones left behind, me and Vincent, started choosing the clothes I was going to wear.
Come to think about it, I had only been wearing sleeping robes all this time. The boy prepared a couple sets of clothing for a valet, but none of them seemed to fit me.
It looked like I had an unusually small build for… Well, I didn’t even know my age.
Maybe the reason why no clothes seemed to fit, was because I was yet to reach the proper age for the job. To make up for it, we tried a selection of clothes that he had grown out of.
「How about this one?」
「… I think it’s too flashy for a valet.」
「Even this one? Well, you’re probably right. A valet’s attire must have a muted look.」
Vincent seemed to have gotten the rough idea, but this boy, fussing over how my clothes should be, was quite stubborn.
When choosing his first and foremost concern was based on the idea, that the clothes of his valet had to appear proper.
However, the boy’s taste in clothing was really lame.
Though it might have been proper this world, for me it was just a bunch of clothes that I would never be able to endure wearing. No matter what I tried on, I was not able to find a thing I could agree with.
Finally, when I thought of giving up, I stumbled upon a suit in the corner of the closet larger than my room. It was different than the usual, monochromatic black, and gave out a composed feeling.
「Is this one alright?」
The boy shifted his attention to the clothes I presented. His facial expression became cloudy. It seemed he was not fond of it.
「These are clothes of a knight.」
「Clothes of a knight?」
「Knights wear clothes like those.」
「No, I get that. Does that pose a problem?」
「You’re going to be a valet, not a knight.」
「…Ah, that is correct.」
This stubbornness might prove to be more difficult than I imagined. However, I couldn’t just pull back when it came to this because I’d rather die than wear a frilly shirt and short pants.
「However, I am Vincent-sama’s valet, so won’t there be times where I will have to protect you?」
「…That is correct.」
「Someone, who protects his master, is not dissimilar to a knight. Although the occupation might differ, as far as duty goes, they are the same.」
「That’s why for person given the job of a full-time valet, wearing the attire of a knight shouldn’t pose a problem.」
「…That should be fine. Very well, let’s use this as your uniform.」
Persuasion successful! I immediately turned my back to the closet and changed my clothes.
Though I’ve heard it was clothing that knights wore, it felt just like an altered gakuran with a higher collar and slightly longer coat. Though I had said it was monochromatic black, there was some silver embroidery on parts of it.
After putting it on and checking the result in the mirror, it seemed to fit me better than I expected.
That lead to the question of why was only this set of clothes like this? Was it the difference between the attire of knights and aristocrats?
While I was occupied with that thought, the boy got out of the closet and looked at me astonished.
「…Does it look strange?」
「No, it’s the opposite. It suits you well.」
「I’m grateful for that. It’s because this knight’s garb looks good.」
「…You look like the black knight.」
「Do you not know about it? It’s the protagonist of the book I have read since childhood. Black hair and eyes, the clothes he wore were of the same color. He was a hero who came from another world long ago. Your clothing was made to imitate the one worn by the black knight on the illustrations in that book.」
I wonder if that person had been Japanese. If that was the case, I wasn’t the only one in this world who came from another world. But even so, If it was really a black-haired and black-eyed Japanese then the way he was sent to this world was different from mine.
It seemed like this was an “everything goes” kind of world.
「Do you know how to use a sword?」
「Not at all…」
「Is that so? Then you will take lessons with me.」
「Do you not know my schedule?」
「No, I do. You have a fencing practice three times a week. Is it about that?」
I learned that this world had a six day week when I was being taught Vincent’s schedule. The days were tied to elements like in Japan, but there was no equivalent to Friday, and Thursday was the day of the wind.
The days were composed of Sun, Moon and the four elements. Truly easy to understand.
「You’ll participate in those fencing practices.」
「Won’t I be in the way?」
I would really be delighted to be taught the sword. However, me being able to join or not, was not within my discretion.
「It’s for the sake of protecting me properly so naturally you should work on your skills in the sword.」
This was my reasoning from earlier. Well, that was fine
「I understand. I shall do as you say.」
With this, I would be able to take fencing lessons as well, but the swordsmanship matter was yet to be settled.
Learning about his schedule, my impression of the boy changed.
It was quite a busy schedule after all.
Every day, he was taught academic subjects by the live-in tutor throughout the morning and magic in the early afternoon. Late afternoon was taken by fencing class half of the week and learning social skills like etiquette in the other half.
His whole day was filled with studying.
When I first saw his schedule, I thought that it should really be that busy because he was the heir of the House. However, witnessing his classes by myself, I was filled with feelings of sympathy.
「I did not understand, because your way of teaching is poor.」
「I apologize for that, but if the one I am teaching is not interested in learning, then there is nothing I can do.」
「Are you saying that I’m at fault?」
「I was merely saying that we should both work harder.」
The boy with poor grades only shifted the blame on his tutor. The tutor was pushing it right back.
His name was Harvey Moore and he was a little different from the other servants.
I learned the reason immediately.
Although he was a live-in tutor, he was capable of doing many other jobs, so the family was reluctant to fire him. This was why he could behave in a much more carefree way than the people who came from established families of servants.
Was that carefree way of speaking by him rude?
Just looking at the lesson, one would understand.
Because teaching the boy on its own was difficult.
It looked like Vincent was quite an idiot.
「I am working hard.」
「Is that really the case?」
「If you listened to me properly, you would be able to understand what I am teaching right away. Being unable to do so only means that you haven’t been paying attention.」
「…That’s not true at all!」
「Sadly, that’s how it is.」
「Why do you say so?」
「Because even the person sitting at the far end of the room was able to understand it.」
This was the worst possible development here.
I wanted them to stop shifting the talk towards me.
I understood it indeed, however, not because I was listening carefully but because I was already taught the subject long ago.
「Is that true?」
「Not answering is the answer in itself. He does so due to his consideration of Vincent-sama.」
The tutor was driving me into a corner even more. Just what the heck was he planning?
「…Well then. Rion. Have a look at this problem.」
「Ah no, that is…」
「If you do not solve it, you’ll be punished with the loss of dinner.」
Vincent took this matter seriously. This ordeal turned into a choice between being envied or not having dinner.
I wasn’t able to win against my appetite.
While sitting on the chair I assessed the problem presented to me. It was about the multiplication and division of fractions. As expected, I could answer this much.
I picked up the pen which was harder to use than solving the problem itself. I wasn’t used to pens that needed dipping in ink every single time but I was able to write a solution even though the resulting characters were messy.
「…Have you taken arithmetic lessons before?」
「Just a little bit, from my parents.」
「But I heard you were an orphan?」
「I was taught before they died.」
「…The dwellers of slums teaching their children?」
「I would not know whether this is usual or not. I was only able to remember the things that I thought useful to get out of the slums.」
「Well that is justified. However, to think you could do mental arithmetic…」
It seems that I had really done it now. Multiplication and division of fractions are just simple problems, however, I have overdone things by solving them with mental arithmetic.
I shouldn’t have done it considering the level of education of this world… No, considering my apparent age.
And Vincent’s reaction was…..
「As expected of my full-time valet. Alright, you must study with me from now on. Teacher, that is fine, right?」
「Eee, of course.」
Not even tinged with jealousy, he was actually happy about it.
Was he a fool or a sage, I just didn’t understand him anymore.
What I was sure of, though, was that it was too early to write him off as nothing but a selfish spoiled brat.
After the lunch finished, it was the time for afternoon classes.
This time, it was fencing. The one teaching us was the captain of the Marquess’ knight squad in the capital, Eric Marvin. Because my position was also one of the students and Vincent was stubborn about it, he told me to call Eric “mentor” instead of “knight captain”.
Since this was fencing, as expected it would not result in the same thing as what happened to arithmetic.
I have practiced neither fencing nor kendo and it was already decided what a complete beginner like me should do at first.
Practice swings, nothing but practice swings.
Mr.Marvin, who was at the boy’s side, looked at Vincent who was wholeheartedly swinging his sword.
It was way past the thing called practice swinging.
The footwork, the movement of his ankles and knees, the adjustment of his center of gravity by moving his hip and lower back, the smooth swings of his arms in the space of one breath without defiance.
I was told to do the same thing but, I couldn’t understand what was happening let alone execute the action. Our Mentor’s explanation was that the correct way to swing a sword required the use of not just your arms but your whole body.
Keeping that in mind, I practiced swinging while being conscious of my body movements.
I kept on earnestly doing that the entire time. Or so I’d like to say, but me back then still couldn’t keep it up.
When I ran out of breath, I wasn’t able to lift my arms any longer. I understood the limits of my stamina with this fencing lesson. I needed to create time for myself to train my endurance.
Like this, I was able to formulate my own schedule little by little.
After the fencing lesson, it was time for an afternoon nap.
Of course, that was Vincent’s schedule, someone like me would not be granted rest.
Having said that, someone like me who only recently became a full-time valet had nothing to do during his free time and, as if she anticipated that, the ojou-sama arrived.
「Rion, you are free, am I correct?」
「Well then, accompany me.」
「My class begins now. You should study with me as well.」
Though I did not know what the subject was, learning was a good thing nonetheless. No matter how much I wanted to study in my former world, I was not able to do so. The other me had never been able to study.
Just being born poor robbed one of his prospects.
I immediately remembered that phrase.
「Mayers-sensei, I have brought Rion along with me.」
「Ohh, so that’s him.」
As though she had refused before, Mayers-sensei was clearly not very happy with my arrival. Giving off a strict vibe, she seemed to be very fitting for her job as a tutor of a noble’s daughter. She really fit what I imagined her to be although it was an image that I selfishly imposed.
「Well then sensei, I am pleased to be in your care.」
「Of course, Ariel-sama. I’m pleased to be in your care as well.」
「…What’s with that look?」
As I stood there stiff from surprise due to her sudden application of proper decorum, the ojou-sama looked at me with displeasure.
Now this was the Ariel I got used to.
「Ariel-sama, isn’t that behavior unbecoming?」
「….Oh my, I have shown you my embarrassing side. I will be more careful from now on.」
Again, it changed to that unexpected… Politeness.
「Erm, may I know what is the subject of this class?」
「Could you not tell by looking? It is the lesson of etiquette.」
「Etiquette? Am I participating as well?」
「You are not only the valet of onii-sama but also my…my…」
It seems she decided that it would be difficult to call me a pet in front of her manners tutor.
「Anyhow, since you are now a person of this household you should learn enough manners to avoid being an embarrassment in the public.」
「…However, I am nothing but a servant…」
「Even if you are just a servant, you are surely going to be someone who will always follow onii-sama’s endeavors and at times mine as well. Do you intend to become an embarrassment for us when that time comes?」
「Then you must learn proper etiquette.」
It was hard to go against this girl even for someone like me with my considerably older mental age. Was it due to the dignity that the aristocrats are born with?
Vincent did not give off such a feeling, though.
「Well then, today we start with dance lessons, don’t we?」
「That’s exactly why I called you. I require a practice partner to be paired with for the duration, you know?」
「Milady, I know nothing about dancing.」
Though I recalled dancing in my primary school, it was very different from the way it was done here.
「That is fine. After all, it is my first time as well. Well then sensei, let us begin.」
In the end, I had to accompany her on the dance floor for an hour. Luckily, it was the first dance class and the steps were pretty simple.
*Steps, to think I would be able to casually use this word.
Afterward, I had to join her in manner lessons too.
Well, I figured it was alright.
However, was this really part of my job as a valet?
After Ariel’s etiquette class was over I came back to Vincent’s room.
His magic lessons were next on the schedule.
This would be the only thing that I wouldn’t be able to learn.
I stood in the corner of the room in order to not interrupt the boy who was focusing on grasping his mana, just as the magic tutor instructed.
Although this was a magic class, it seemed he wouldn’t actually use magic in today’s lesson.
According to the tutor, the most important part was to be able to grasp and control your mana properly. In order to invoke a magic, one had to be able to circulate the power properly and allocate the correct amount of it to the spell.
Mastering this mana manipulation would increase one’s the precision and effectiveness of magic.
At the time Vincent was practicing that skill.
He was softly whispering the spell aria at times.
It seems the process of spellcasting was divided into three steps, the invocation of magic being the first phase and manifestation of mana dwelling inside one’s body the second.
It seemed that this process didn’t change regardless of what element one possessed but because its details were very reliant on one’s mindscape, the outcome would arrange itself according to that mental image..
In other words, the purpose of the aria was to make mental image creation easier on the individual. With enough practice, one should be able to use spells even without chanting.
“I shall bestow magic upon thee”
This is the second time I heard that phrase.
Naturally, this would change the effectiveness of magic. For some reason, it affected the circulation of mana inside one’s body.
But I felt something was wrong.
Actual circulation did not follow my mental picture.
“Blessed wind, come and heal!”
In the third phase, the elements to be used had to be established. In this case, after imbuing the mana with wind attribute it turned into a healing magic. Sensei said that would then induce the mana residing in one’s body and the will of the world to act accordingly… But where exactly did the world take action?
It had no part in the chanting of the aria neither on the mana manifestation part. My former world’s knowledge of fantasy genres suggested that this explanation somehow mixed up the spirit and elemental magic.
Well, that knowledge was rather crude.
Maybe I should have read more light novels before.
The will of the world and the four attributes, if those were spirits then did they manifest when one invoked magic? I looked around relentlessly but there was no trace of them.
Maybe it really was impossible for me to use magic after all.
If that was the case I could only raise my fighting prowess through the sword. I could not remain like this forever so I began to focus on my future.
I decided not to care anymore no matter what people said. I had to properly obtain the power I need to live in this world.
I would put all my strength into training, with the same application as those fantasy protagonists.
I swore that from the bottom of my heart.
 That’s Japanese male high school uniform.
The days of Japanese symbolizes elements. The element they symbolize can be seen in the words itself actually, for example Friday is 金曜日 (Kinyoubi) which has the kanji of 金(Kin) literally meaning “Gold”. Thursday on the other hand is 木曜日(Mokuyoubi) which has the kanji of 木(Tree/Wood).
This is english