Pre-Chapter Note: Publishing a bit early so I don’t forget this afternoon. Going biking, my dudes.
「Ah. It seems rain is coming.」
I muttered in the middle of work.
I’m water element aligned, so I can read signs of rain. I can sense about an hour ahead.
Father also stopped his work, and from atop his step ladder he looked down at me. He reports the result to my questioning look.
「That should be long enough. You might be worried because you may get stronger.」
Rather than messed up polite language, my father who seemed to prioritize information pondered for a moment.
「For now, let’s return.」
Because we entered the rainy season, for long spells of rain or something like that, in the duke’s estate is a small cabin we stay in. At the time something happens in the garden, you can deal with it immediately.
「Then, mother should be aware we’re staying here.」
While saying that, I collect wind in the palm of my hand and make a bird. From both hands, a small bird is jutting out, and I fire it off into the sky. From there, it flies in the direction of the house. If it arrives at mother’s side, it disappears, as it’s a convenient magic, but since it’s a signal you always use when the laundry is in danger, to this extent, mother should understand.
Father, at this state of affairs, was silent and looked, then said nothing while resuming his work.
The water element is my magic I’m proud of but, it doesn’t mean I can’t use earth magic. Elemental aptitude is only the status of the attribute that is assigned as your best. Those who have zero earth attribute value are very few. However, because between one’s elemental aptitude and an improper element there’s too much of a difference, generally only your elemental aptitude is strengthened. Because in my past life, I was aware of “party balance” and doing strength training, so with that unintentional understanding I had, I also was practicing other magic attributes. Using it to some extent it is strengthened, my wind magic which was about half my water magic has increased to three fifths. Because it’s not the case you can see status it’s just a sensation, however. I can assess my status like a game, which is good, huh. It’s a good memory of my past life, for when the hate level is high, the recovery nun raises defense, or the warrior’s magic defense is too low, raise that too, which was a good complement. [T/N: “hate level” is what we’d refer to as “aggro”, as it’s the usual term in JP games]
Which reminds me, it was my younger sister’s otome game, but I helped. I have the memory of having trouble with the short training period minigames. Ah, who is the capture target?
Because I have no interest in the capture target, so no matter how much I think I can’t recall. Instead of thinking about it, for the goal of this mini-RPG, you go to gather an herb for the sake of undoing a curse.
Maaaa, anyways, I’m simple, that being the case if it’s convenient, I’ll practice other attributes. The dark element has an image of something like danger, and incidentally can erase the shadows that are there, and is very active in hide-and-seek. [T/N: In this house we play hide and seek for KEEPS]
There is no need to publically use magic of other elements other than your attribute element. In front of your family is different, though.
「Ah, Ojou. You shouldn’t come here, because it’s dangerous.」
I can’t move because I am supporting the step ladder, so only my voice goes out. Right now, we’re making all of the bushes around the water fountain the same height. In preparation for the rainy season, as for the water fountain we’re extracting the water, and sitting in the center is a statue of a swan taking off, which is crystal rather than stone, so it’s refreshing to look at. That white swan is always polished, so it’s scary as it’s expensive.
Basabasa goes the water intermittently from the opposite fountain as it falls down, and from there Ojou worryingly watches.
It seems she’s worrying about a branch striking me. Because my father won’t make that sort of blunder, it’s okay.
Finishing cutting them evenly, my father descends from the step ladder and at the same time, I start to pick up the branches. It’s already fine, I call out, and the branches aren’t falling down, so Ojou approaches.
「Do you use that for firewood?」
「No, it’s untreated wood so using it immediately is unreasonable. For now, we’ll collect it, tie it up, then lay it horizontally off to the side next to the cabin. Because rain is coming, we’ll dispose it.」
Piling and tying it up with the hemp rope is my father’s job. My small strength isn’t enough yet. I’m only to gather it all in one place.
「Why do you know that it is going to rain?」
「I’m water attribute aligned. Didn’t I say it?」
Because I mysteriously asked, if she answers, she can be angry if I’m not listening. It might also be bad that I said, but she probably doesn’t need my information.
「Apart from that, because your dress will get wet, you should return quickly.」
「But, I have not talked with you yet……」 [T/N: Awwwww]
With an urge to turn back before the rain falls, until today’s report is finished, she’ll be hesitant. No, it doesn’t mean she must absolutely give me a report. I would be cutting into her daily lessons, wouldn’t I?
「Ah, I understand. I, from today, will be staying at the cabin, so if you tell me the time, I will go.」
There’s nothing to do while it’s raining. After advance preparations are made, periodically you’d patrol to look at the circumstances, in terrible occasions you do emergency measures, but basically only after it stops raining do you do work.
To my words, Ojou’s face sparkles.
「Then, in the evening?」 [T/N: Literally 「when the sun is setting」]
「Huh? Ahh. For the time being, that’s fine.」
「Then, after dinner I will send a messenger!」
「I got it.」
Again afterwards, and this time, she obediently turned back.
Why is she awfully delighted?
I can’t think of the reason she’s in a good mood, so I tilt my head to the side. In the first place, isn’t it a servant being summoned, although Ojou going to talk with a servant even though she is taking a walk is strange. Recently, because of her dance lessons, her stamina isn’t exhausted, it seems. She searches for me, who is here or there in the garden, moving around, and I can’t deny the feeling of being trained. Normally, this is something I will ask about, but I have work to do. I haven’t been called by Ojou before.
Which reminds me, from when I greeted the duke who went to the mansion. Before I go, I have to change my clothes. Ahh, I won’t be able to separate the cooking ingredients for the kitchen.
While collecting branches, I think about the order of preparations after this. The time we are staying at the cabin, I primarily make dinner. My mother is helping to train me, and my father can’t cook. My father can burn the whole dish. In that case, it tastes like raw ingredients but, every day the flavor is too strong. It does not mean he’s a domineering husband, but the housework is clearly divided. Basic housework is done by my mother, physical labor by my father. Because I can’t help with physical labor, I help with housework. If you become older, you can help with physical labor, my mother said, and to that I said, if she says that, I will look forward to it.
In my past life I couldn’t understand filial piety.
I’m not earnest. Before, the duke pointed out by all rights I was the age that I wanted to play, I also had those thoughts. However, because of regretful memories of my past life, my priorities change.
In my past life, I was an ordinary male student. I felt being a tofu seller was uncool and didn’t want to succeed the house, so I hunted for a job, and enjoyed all of the housework being done by my mother. Because my job gave me money to play with, I only persevered with my studies to go into higher education.
Then, I’ll regret it before I die.
The cause of death in my past life was an accident. But either way, I died.
I had received an unofficial offer for work, and during my student life I was fully enjoying myself until graduation. Because I had to submit it to my employer, I had a physical examination, and was sentenced to a life expectancy of three months due to terminal cancer.
「Is this a joke?」 I thought, but I saw the doctor’s face and then fell into despair at the reality.
On the return trip from the hospital, I gave something like an explanation to my family and friends and in the confusion didn’t notice the pouring rain. My eyes were open, but my eyes weren’t seeing anything while walking, and got into a traffic accident. It was obviously my fault. It would have made the driver feel sick.
I really respected the work of my stubborn father who was always fighting. Because I was young, I disgracefully would compare my surroundings at my own convenience, but if I couldn’t make it work by my thirties, at that time I would decide to lower my head to my father and succeed the tofu seller business.
The future I believed I had was sweet.
I won’t be stubborn this time.
Because of my past life’s memories, I already decided now.
Because I was stubborn, I regretted it. No matter what is said about your circumstance, it’s good if you can be proud of yourself.
I finish gathering the branches, and my father gently pats my head. My father doesn’t talk much, instead he uses actions to praise. It’s a bit embarrassing, but I break out into a grin.
Because the look of the sky has become ominous, my father turned his back on me and dropped to his knees. His hands finished tying the bundle of branches.
Understanding his intentions, I delightfully climb on his back. Scaling his back, I tightly grab onto my father’s short hair, and my father stands up. With my field of vision immediately becoming higher, I become excited.
Not minding my strange voice, my father rapidly walks. With my father being maybe at least 190 centimeters tall, while riding on his shoulders I’m more than two meters tall. Usually I’m looking up but because I can overlook things, it’s pure fun.
Automatically, with a giggle, I’m completely in high spirits, and then asked my father for something I almost forgot.
「Father, we’re close to the kitchens! We need to divide the ingredients for them,」
With that, father changed his direction, facing towards the kitchens. Something like steering a robot is exciting. There was a robot that responded to the voice in the sky.
I asked the older man in the kitchen to divide the ingredients, and then rode on my father’s back to the small cabin. Because it’s too different from a compass, when he was alone my father arrived very quickly. Believing in genetics, from here on out I have expectations.
However, “the cabin”.
Father was giving me a ride on his shoulder, but he looked at the height of the cabin. If you just compare the duke’s estate and the cabin, frankly speaking my house isn’t as splendid. Because there is also an area to put away gardening tools, aside from the areas where water is circulated, most of the living space is on the second floor. It was a house of wood and brick that could withstand the driving rain.
This house is also separated from the garden, and even if it is close to the garden, unless you come to it you won’t realize it’s here.
How spacious, this garden is. It’s a level you can generally get lost in. If this is the level of the duke’s estate, the royal castle must be at a distressing level.
Though we don’t use this for quite a long time, I haven’t seen spiderwebs or dust. I’m incredibly thankful that such a faraway place is regularly cleaned. We’re commoners, yet by staying in something like this house, there’s a little bit of feeling rich. Like various dukes.
Descending from the shoulder ride, I take the ingredients. I then use the towel to clean off as much as you can see at the entrance, and ask father if I can take a bath first. In the meantime, I’ll cook dinner.
After dinner is finished, when I stepped out of the bath, Ojou’s messenger arrived.
「Father, sorry. I’m only asking to have my laundry dried in the room.」
While pointing at the laundry basket I had cleaned after taking a bath, I search for my raincoat. Then, my father roughly wipes my hair with a big towel.
It’s certainly because my hair is not dry. Because from here on out I’ll be going in the middle of the rain, it’s not especially good, I thought.
「Thank you. I’m off!」
In the end, I put on my raincoat. I pull over the hood, close the door and go to the entryway where the servant who is waiting is.
「Pardon me. Thank you for waiting.」
To my hair which was roughly wiped dry, the servant gave me a doubtful look, but guided me to a certain room of the estate. My raincoat was hung up by the entryway’s servant.
I’m encouraged to sit on the sofa, which seems to be in one of the guest rooms.
「I will call Ojou-sama.」
With a bow, the servant disappears through a door on the other side of the room. It seems suspicious although their reception is incredibly polite. It seems they prioritize me as a guest of Ojou rather than a commoner. As for me, how do I perceive the servants of the estate? The fact that the Duke is aware of Ojou’s habit of reporting to me, is something known. The interactions with certain guys from the kitchen are friendly. The only exception to these people I’m aware of is Butler-san, however I’ve talked zero with him, because I can’t read his facial expressions, it seems.
As I was thinking carefully about it, Ojou opens the door and comes forward.
「I am sorry to have kept your waiting.」
Gasping, she’s holding something under her arms. Something that looks like books. From behind, pulling a part, I saw a certain older-sister-like maid coming after. On the cart sits a tea set.
「Ojou…… and Katherine-san.」 [T/N: Manga beat me to this point, so I’m taking their translation of the name for consistency’s sake.]
「Yes?!」 [T/N: Raw has no punctuation but it works better for the next sentence.]
When I say her name I heard from Ojou, I’m surprised that Katherine-san was not expecting to be called.
「Ah, saying a girl’s name is rude, I’m sorry. It’s only because I only heard your name from Ojou. I am called Issac Baumgartner. I’m an apprentice gardener.」
「I am humbly called Katherine Von Lehar, I serve Lydia-sama.」 [T/N: Thank GOD someone uses Lydia-sama it sounds less weird I was getting tired of writing Ojou all the time holy SH—]
With a bow, politely she pinches her skirt and greets me.
「Lehar-san, isn’t it?」
「I don’t mind being called Katherine.」
「Then, as you wish. It’s lucky that I can drink something like Katherine-san’s tea.」
「That’s… saying something like that…」
「Because Ojou is always bragging about how your tea is most delicious, certainly I’ve thought about trying it out.」
In the pause in my talk with Katherine-san, an Ojou who seems to be getting angry at my remarks becomes flustered.
「Wa—!? You’re saying too much!!」
「What are you talking about, Ojou often tells many stories about Katherine-san, doesn’t she? The other day, she brewed this sort of tea that she ordinarily makes, but she couldn’t be scared, and recently it’s reached the point she smiles, too……」
「Why are you being difficult!?」
With her face bright red, repeatedly she hits me with both hands. But, because Ojou’s physical offensive power is low, it doesn’t hurt.
「Ojou, truthfully, you really like Katherine-san, don’t you?」
「Be silent already!」
Rather than getting angry, Ojou is more like shrieking. Katherine-san, who had been calmly watching that kind of Ojou, with a chuckle began to laugh.
At that laughter, we stopped. The redness of Ojou’s face increased.
Katherine-san, who noticed Ojou’s appearance, stifled a laugh with a smile that didn’t stop.
「……I apologize for my rudeness. I was too familiar.」
Katherine-san apologizes for lacking manners towards her silent master. But, Ojou was looking embarrassed, however, Katherine-san’s smiling face that she could see dampened it.
「I do not particularly mind.」
Ojou aloofly pretends. At the exchange just a while ago, because of Katherine-san, Ojou’s true self leaked out, there’s no effect. [T/N: Raw uses 「Ojou’s basis/base/foundation」, which I interpreted as 「true self」 as it gets the point across.]
「……apart from that, Isaac. That hair.」
Ojou stared at my hair that was completely curled up.
「Huh? My father wiped it dry for me.」
「As for having a neat personal appearance, if I evaluate it, you messed up at the end. You should comb your hair.」
「Even so, I can’t make Ojou wait……」
「‘Even so’, that is not it. Katherine, when you make tea, go and bring a brush. Afterwards, you can go back.」
Follow Ojou’s directions, after making tea for us, Katherine-san brings a brush. With Katherine-san going back, sitting opposite of me Ojou is in the middle of drinking tea, and while doing so comes next to me and starts combing my hair.
While I’m drinking warm tea, it continues on as it is.
「Has the tea gotten cold?」
「Katherine’s tea is delicious even when it gets cold.」
As if completely weighing on her mind, Ojou grapples with my curled up hair. With Ojou’s pretty and maintained hair it’s different, as mine just washed with soap only needs to be combed, it seems.
However, because I come in the middle of the rain, the warm tea soaks in. It’s delicious. Thank you, Katherine-san.
「……are you making noise on purpose?」
While combing, a suspicious Ojou asked a question.
「For this way of drinking, it’s because the warm tea is delicious.」
It would be rude to hold a teacup with both hands and make noise while drinking. However, I have a memory as a Japanese person, and can’t help but drink tea like this. Sometimes, I wonder if in this country I can drink green tea. Certainly, black tea and leaves ought to be the same.
It’s no more than feelings on the matter, but generally it’s a little unsatisfactory if you drink it normally.
「Will Ojou also try it out?」
「I will not!」
To Ojou, this way of drinking tea is unacceptable.
It seems that she really wants to make my hair, which was originally fluffy, controlled, so she kept combing it with a brush for a while. As it is, she didn’t give up combing it so much that I had time to hear what happened while I wasn’t meeting with her.
「Ojou, what did you bring?」
To that extent, Ojou talked because I asked. At the end of my brushing, my hair had become smoother to touch than usual. With my question, Ojou picked up the book on the delightful looking table, and showed it to me. A princess and dragon seemed to be on the cover of a picture book.
「It is my favorite book! From before, I wanted to show it to Isaac.」
I don’t understand what a good reply is, and then motionlessly, I look at the book.
What to do?
「Um…… For Isaac, it’s too childish, it seems?」
Ojou, misunderstanding my reaction, covers half of her face with the picture book, concealing her disappointment.
「No…… that’s not it. Ojou.」
It does not mean I don’t want to read it.
Because the pictures are maybe an adventure, I can enjoy it.
But that doesn’t mean,
「I can’t read.」
The reason is because I can’t read and write. I can read and write Japanese, but this country’s words are different.
The literacy rate of the commoners is low. Signdrawers always accompany words together with pictures. Paper and ink is highly priced, and books are also a luxury item only a wealthy house can buy.
In my previous life, I didn’t like it, but it’s interesting that because I can’t do it here that I want to become able to study. During a time I passed by a signmaker, if it was vocabulary I was familiar with, that was the point I could read. But, any further grammar and I can’t read it at all.
「Ah….., I, I……」
Ojou’s gaze wandered about idly.
It’s natural that she thinks others can also do what Ojou herself is able to do. Ojou isn’t bad.
However, I catch the face of Ojou who is about to apologize to me with both hands.
Suddenly catching her face, and while Ojou is surprised, I lift her and put her between my knees.
「Ojou should read.」
To the Ojou who is understanding the circumstances and looking up to turn her head, I smile. As typical for our age, I put her in a good posture for reading out loud to others, so in this way we’ll face the same direction and the book is easy to read.
「Incidentally, I would be happy to learn writing from you.」
At my even more selfish additional request, from Ojou her barely apologetic expression disappears.
「It cannot be helped.」
I receive a smile from Ojou. This is good, I think.
To me, it’s all fine, Ojou being such things such as sad or apologetic, is unpleasant.
If Ojou were always full of happiness, that would be good.
While I match Ojou’s voice that is reading aloud, and chase after learning grammar, I pray that after this, Ojou will continue to laugh.
Wew, there we go! This chapter had a lot of large blocks of painful text, haha. I’m glad I’ve been able to keep my 3 week pace, but it is kind of brutal, recently, as I have to go to the office 3 times a week, and I suspect it will creep up to 4. I usually spend about 1.5-2 hours translating after I get home, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for me to relax or anything like that. When I get to doing 5 days a week at the office again, we’ll see if my translation pace ends up slowing down or anything that like that. I want to keep at 3 weeks per chapter, but that might become untenable down the line.
For now, I guess just enjoy the current pace, haha. Not much to say other than I am enjoying learning about MC’s past life in small bits. It feels a little more natural, and is nice to see why he’s the way he is. Let me know if there’s any questions, concerns, egregious errors, and what not. As always, though, make sure to support the author by buying the official work!
See you all next time!