19. Sound of Footsteps

Posting a few days earlier because I’m hanging out with friends on Friday and if I forget to post it Friday morning, it’s going to be a long wait otherwise.

TL: Toasty
ED: Toasty


「Your Highness, recently you seem to be having fun.」

「The matter is a huge one, huh?」

Roy, who was looking at a document, for a moment, narrowed his honey-colored eyes at his attendant and looked, and then again returned his gaze to the document.

「Compared to Duke Ernest, even your father isn’t as harsh.」

「Ahh, the Ice-like Nobleman.」

Because he smiles while he says that, to the attendant, Roy doesn’t seem troubled to that extent. However, because even if it’s the everyday, his mouth doesn’t say that, it’s actually tough, it seems.
Because he doesn’t even know the contents of the connection to education, the attendant can’t see it from his point of view, but since he heard the rumor of the leaders of the Three Ministries, he understood it was a difficult point.
That duke, with a sweet smile that isn’t extinguished, given that he makes perfect objective judgements, there are people who fear that person existing at their work. He makes a tender, sweet-seeming smile, and as a result of his absolutely not taking advantage of anyone, the audit under direct control of the prime minister even evaluated him as a level-headed person.

「But, as for spring, it seems we can overcome the first hurdle.」

At Roy’s satisfied seeming smile, the attendant who helped collect the documents realizes the first hurdle.

「Is that so? I’m glad. But, the commoner’s side documents I was able to properly prepare, you know. Did Duke Ernest also comprehend it?」

「According to his reasoning, he hears it. Because I experimented myself, that certainty can be proved highly.」

「The time you ordered a sudden investigation into big-leaf hydrangea colors, everyone tilted their heads in confusion. Even myself, until we saw the colors of the hydrangea change, we were in doubt.」

Saying that, the attendant looks at a flowerpot by the window with fallen leaves that looks like a dead tree.

「But, accidentally cutting it when it’s blooming, what a waste, right?」

「That one, it’s out of alignment with the season, so I will hold onto it until winter, but if it isn’t pruned earlier than usual, it won’t bloom next year. Because Philly will be delighted, I also want to see it next year.」 [T/N: This is a character who will come up later.]

「It’s because Her Highness, the princess, very much yearns for His Highness. The expression her own brother makes is good, isn’t it?」

「Our attributes are almost the same, though.」

It was a voice feeling like a forced smile, but if he looks at Roy’s facial expression, he’ll understand he isn’t making a bad facial expression. For him as well, his sister is generally sweet.

「However, His Highness is acquainted well with gardening, isn’t he?」

Roy is brimming with curiosity, reading from sources of various fields, and gaining knowledge, and his attendant thought that it also seems like he is cultivating flowers.

「No, I heard a method of raising them from a specialist.」

But, it didn’t seem like that.

「Was that the case?」

「I received an explanation, and when I memorized almost all of it in one go, it was unpleasant.」 [T/N: I feel like Zack gave him a scolding about it lol]

He remembers the other person’s reaction, and Roy makes a stifled sound of laughter.

「Because my ability to remember is amazing, it’s enviable…..」 [T/N: Raw is not actually emphasized, but because I interpreted it to be sarcastic, I tried to convey that.]

His attendant, by no means did he believe he was an unpleasant person. Then, even he can’t understand his master’s state of mind that accepts and laughs at that. Because, he was told honestly to himself that he was envied.

「Now then, if it’s only this, it will be enough, I think. I’ll make my preparations and then will set out.」

「Certainly.」

Roy, who had finished looking over the documents, collected the necessary parts and entrusted it to his attendant. The attendant bowed his head, and went to prepare the coachman.
Quickly choosing his clothes for outside business, Roy boards the carriage. Confirming the attendant was traveling together with him, the coachman made the horse gallop. Inside the carriage traveling at a gentle speed, there is a lot of time to enjoy oneself looking at the scenery.
The people and scenery of the streets are reflected in Roy’s honey colored eyes, and he happily smiles.

「Your Highness, you don’t really lose interest, do you?」

「I won’t lose interest. Because every day is different.」

Roy sees the never changing appearance of the streets as something new each time. It’s a statesman’s eye, it seems, says his attendant, curiously nodding. He has a better nature than what one can wish for a prince to have.
When they travel for a little while, because only for a little while does that gaze that watches attentively change, when the attendant traces his gaze, there are children playing, chasing each other.

「Is it okay to ask them?」

「What are you going to ask?」

「For friends, how do you make them?」

When he thought that being asked a question is new, it’s hard to answer, and the attendant is dumbfounded. In the corner of his mind, he thought that this is the prince, but he has childish thoughts. However, he is the prince, but it does not mean he isn’t a boy. He is a being that irrespective of age, instructors serve. A friend, or someone of equal being, making them is difficult.

「Why so suddenly?」

「Before, someone who I wanted to become my friend, when I asked him, he rejected me.」

「What are you saying……?」

「Ahh.」

「The other person, is it a boy?」

「Yes?」

He looks at the prince who is tilting his head to the side, and the attendant is at his wits’ end. Saying they expressly wanted the prince to become their friend, for women, there are plenty. Furthermore, when there is the trend of girls who relatively easily restrain what they say, it feels like there is a rule of thumb with attendants.
Is it a girl?, the courage to make a retort towards someone of higher status by asking something like that, the attendant has none. He only thought that, but it felt disrespectful. How can he convey the sense of discomfort he was experiencing……?

「……Um, you see, Your Highness.」

「What is it?」

「A friend, are you happy if they talk to you?」

Roy thought about it for a few seconds, then made a quiet facial expression.

「Did I make a mistake?」

He’s really wise with his quick understanding of the point, the attendant feels.

「A person suited for being a friend, they’re someone naturally together with you.」

「Is it that sort of thing?」

「At least for me, that is the case. A person who I think that I’m having fun when we’re together, therefore because for many years we can get along, even if we only occasionally meet, it’s possible the way we see each other doesn’t change. Someone disagreeable, by no means, will it last long.」

「You have a good friend, huh. I’m envious.」

Impossible, for the prince to look at him with an envious gaze, he wasn’t even thinking an ounce that it was possible, and the attendant shook. He felt that the prince’s usual dazzling nature is increasing furthermore, and then discourteously turned his head away.

「I don’t understand how my experience will be helpful.」

「No, it’s thanks to you that I realized my error. Thank you.」

「Please don’t be absurd.」

It may be because of his magical element, but the holy light is too strong, and the follower somehow or another held back an urge to fall prostrate. He wants to pray that his smile isn’t awkwardly unacceptable. He has a timid nature, but when he is accompanying his master, with his social status, regardless of age, or perhaps one should say he keenly felt their different statuses, and frequently prostrated himself.
Because there is a bit more time until their destination, with the flow of the conversation, the attendant listened to things on Roy’s mind.

「With a rejection, afterwards, what did you do?」

The person who refused the prince was fairly reckless. It can’t be helped that the details weigh on his mind, he thinks.

「Sometimes, we meet each other.」

「You meet each other……?」

「Ahh, during errands, they let me go out with them.」

At Roy’s answer that is carelessly said, the attendant tilts his head to the side.

「Just to be sure and confirm, but, these errands, without this person, are they unreasonable?」

「They’re competent, but…… recently, because I’m also familiar with it, even if I’m alone, it will be fine. However, with him, it’s okay to notice interesting things.」

He looks at Roy, who is happily smiling after considering it a little, and the attendant unconsciously thought.

That, aren’t they already friends?

Even if he rejects Roy’s proposal, it’s the type that doesn’t do unreasonable things. Even still, since they are meeting, it isn’t only because this person is good-natured and kind. The attendant who worried about if he can apply his own standards to the prince, only thought about it, his mouth didn’t move.

「Is that so? Your Highness seems to be having fun above all else.」

Instead, he replies with that. He felt delight at how there is a person who his master can age-appropriately laugh with. Roy, for only an instant, widened his honey colored eyes, and answered with a happy-seeming cute smile.
Then, because the attendant didn’t seem to realize, Roy added.

「You’ve also met him.」

「Eh!? Who is it!?」

Roy, with a smile until he realized he truly doesn’t understand, tells him his intention that isn’t taught. There, the attendant, thinking above just candidates for who it is, started to mumble. Roy, until the carriage arrives, looked really amused at that worried state.
When they arrive at the destination, Roy, accompanied by his attendant, stands in front of the estate’s front entrance. Although Roy came, at the same time, in the middle, in order to invite him in, both doors opened. When Roy walks in, matching the opening speed, the residence’s daughter and a steward met them.

「Your Highness, welcome, and please come in.」

「Lydia-sama, it’s been a while.」

After attending to their greetings, to the girl who greets him with a smiling, raised head, Roy returns a familiar smile.

「Is that so? It has been two weeks since we met.」

「Lydia-sama, every day, is living a very fulfilled life, huh?」

「Eh……?」

「If it’s other people, they can say they were waiting impatiently.」

Lydia looks at Roy, who smilingly detected things, and embarrassed, blushes and closes her eyes.

「That is rude.」

「Ahh, that isn’t it. I only thought that listening to a noble lady’s stories is enjoyable.」

Stopping from hanging her head, before Lydia lifted her gaze, a dazzling smile was there. The redness of Lydia’s cheeks grew, and she couldn’t even make a reply of 「that’s right」. Seeing that look, the attendant admired how he is familiar with treating women. Even if he’s outside the standard of seven year old boys, he’s a boy, so, in other words, because with reason he can come to understand them, it’s incredible.
Entrusting the documents and materials meant for the Ernest duke to his attendant to give to the steward, with Lydia’s guidance, Roy went to a section of the garden where tea had been prepared.

「No, truly, Lydia-sama is good.」

Along the way, at Roy who seemingly happily says that, Lydia turns to look at him with a somewhat resentful gaze.

「May you please not bring it up again?」 [T/N: Formal tense is annoying to translate.]

As for Lydia, who is embarrassed and uses words that feel like they treat the prince slightly disrespectfully, when Roy’s words don’t have that kind of intention, even if she understands them, they unexpectedly have an effect. As for girls, with such things as everyday practice and with Tordelise who became her friend, she has a lot of experiences with exchanges, and because until a little bit ago, she was worried about a certain thing, she didn’t have the extra time to be worried about Roy.

「Although, I’m happy.」

「Happy, is that so……?」

「For each of us, during the times we don’t meet, it’s natural to have things we do. But, other noble girls want to hear only about me.」

A one-way conversation isn’t fun. Perhaps, with the result of being sold flattery that raises his own forte that was trained by his parents, it’s also a rather pitiable feeling. The expectation of pure kindness and yearning of noble girls, and the direction of his feelings, are distorted.
Lydia doesn’t have this kind of distortion. That is why Roy is delighted.

「Is it because Roy-sama has a story of great interest?」

For Roy’s stories that are told to be easy to understand, even the subjects she doesn’t know about are interesting. Lydia, knowing that, thought about if other noble daughters even do that. However, with Roy’s smile that seems to say that isn’t the case, she understood.

「With only that much, it’s not interesting, I think.」

「……As expected, I also have a story that should be listened to.」

Listening to Roy’s words, Lydia, who reflected on herself, mumbled as if worried. Able to catch fragmentary pieces, not understanding, Roy tilts his head to the side.

「This is the story.」

Lydia shook her head to say it is of no concern.

「Where will you show me today?」

「With the best time to see the silverleafs and gold silk trees, the nearby lily magnolia buds are also lovely.」

「I see. I’m looking forward to that.」

After this, Lydia, who remembers the scene she goes to and smiles at, is pretty. Allured by that facial expression, Roy smiles broadly.
When they arrived, the silverleafs and yellow of the gold silk trees were widely spread out in his field of vision, and he was realizing the arrival of spring.  At the place you can look out over everything, a table and chairs were prepared, and a maid waiting to serve black tea was there.

「The garden of the Ernest house, because it always looks different, it’s enjoyable.」

In accordance to what Lydia said, in the middle of the yellows, the appearance of peeking white lily magnolia buds is charming to see.

「Yes, for me, I love this garden.」

He understands well the feeling of Lydia’s pride. Since his heart was awakened to love flowers, as for the appearance of flowers blooming in the sun, Roy’s heart is satisfied
Confirming the black tea is prepared, Lydia has taken a step back. Then, first of all, with the calm atmosphere as they look at the flowers, when they turn to face each other, only the rustling of the silverleafs and gold silk trees starts to sway. The wind isn’t blowing so much that it greatly shakes.

「What, is it……?」

Although she is frightened by the disquieting noise, thinking because it is her house, she should check, Lydia comes close to a tree that is swaying.

「If you kept a bit of distance, it would be better.」

Roy, saying that before Lydia stood up, makes sure to protect the girl with his height. Because of the Ernest house’s current crime prevention, if you think about it, there isn’t the danger of an invader, he thinks, but with the circumstances where he is unable to confirm the truth, if it gets too close, he’ll be too slow to deal with it.
The two of them motionlessly stare at the swaying silverleafs and gold silk trees, and several beats and seconds passed. Then, suddenly, from the cloud of yellow trees a shadow of sizable size fell.

「!?」

Surprised, Lydia held her breath and unconsciously held onto Roy’s sleeve.

「……oof.」 [T/N: No real good translation for just “to”]

The boy, who although he seems to have lost his balance with the branch he is holding, landed on his back, is carrying a narrow belt saw inserted into a leather cover, and is bearing several bloomed branches of the yellow trees, stood up.
Understanding the true identity of the shadow, there is a part of her that regrets being scared, and ahead of Roy, she comes out and scolds him.

「Just why did you fall down from there!?」

「Huh? Ojou?」

Turning his head to the voice, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice sees Lydia’s threatening gaze, and curiously tilts his head.

「How can you be doing something like falling from the tops of trees!?」

「Eh? To decorate Oku-sama’s room, because my father entrusted it to me, I thought that because they’re rare, I should pick up pretty ones with good exposure to the sun.」

Aren’t they beautiful, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice says as he holds them up and shows them, smiling at timidly at what the situation has become. Lydia can’t allow that.

「Even so, it’s dangerous, isn’t it!」

The boy whose eyes went wide after hearing Lydia’s angry words, softly smiles.

「Thank you for worrying.」

「You aren’t reflecting on it, aren’t you…..」

While a kind smile comes to his face, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice pats the head of the angry Lydia to calm her down.

「……I’m surprised.」

There, a tone that showed the feelings as stated came down. Hearing that voice and coming to her senses, Lydia freezes, and the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice looks in the voice’s direction. When Lydia, with a slow movement, timidly looks back, Roy’s honey colored eyes filled with great interest calm her down.

「Lydia-sama also has this kind of cheerful face, huh?」

「Um, this is….., um……」

She accidentally raised her voice, and having shown unbecoming behavior of a noble girl, there isn’t even a way to repair it. Next to Lydia who is in a panic thinking about what she should do, rather than surprised, an amazed voice comes through.

「You, you’re Roy-sama, right?」

When Lydia looks at the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice, how he should react, he doesn’t know, and she makes a difficult facial expression. Facing him, Roy makes a beaming smile.

「It’s no wonder the stories I hear from her are weird.」

At those words sent forth together with a long sigh, being overlooked, Lydia objects.

「I, I have not said even one word about him being strange.」

「It’s wrong. The strange one is this guy.」

The boy who is a gardener’s apprentice points at Roy and says that. Lydia, while seeming to be taken aback at this behavior, scolds him.

「Roy-sama is His Highness, the prince, you know!? That’s rude!」

「……that’s right, but, should I fix it?」

「No, if it’s an informal place, I don’t mind.」

「How should I call you when I formally meet you?」

「I don’t understand?」

「If that happens, using formal language for you will be reeeeeally weird, you know.」

「It’s disagreeable for me as well.」 [T/N: I love how Lydia is so out of the loop here.]

At the exchange between the gardener’s apprentice who has his eyes half closed and Roy who seems to be happy, Lydia, this time for sure, is taken aback.

「……are you acquaintances?」

With a relaxed exchange of words, being friends is obvious, but because she doesn’t even have a fragment of the parts of how they got to know each other, with unbelievable feelings Lydia asks.

「This guy, he was a lost child, you know.」

「That’s close to it, you cooperate with me when I visit the city.」 [T/N: Literally “the edge of it”]

Not concealing the reason they met, rather than a forced smile, Roy continued to smile like he was a little embarrassed. Roy told her about visiting the city, but not in the slightest did she imagine that it was possible that an employee from her own house was helping him. Then, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice, what he was doing downtown, he nearly never told Lydia.

「I am not asking that……」

Not knowing is to be expected, however, Lydia felt a sense of discomfort like she was being left out.

「Even so, I didn’t know Leo knew Ojou. If there are complaints, say them to Leo. For this crime, this is absolutely a premeditated action.」

「No, at the time we met, I thought it would be better if I explain, but this is an unexpected meeting.」

Although he apologized, at Roy who seemed to really be having fun, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice is amazed.

「……just maybe, are you trying to make me surprised?」

「Being amused at how Isaac responds, certainly. However, you aren’t surprised, are you?」

「I knew that you were of a high social status. Either way, I thought you were older.」

「That’s it?」

「What do you mean that’s it?」

Even knowing Roy’s true character, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice didn’t even show the appearance of flinching in the slightest. If it’s him, he could understand that because of his dazzling nature, he was royalty. Whether or not he changes his manners, because the person in question confirmed it, he judged there isn’t a problem.
At the reason Roy didn’t reveal, if by any chance he had to have his manners changed, being in danger of that was an absurd fear. At his unchanging attitude, relief and happiness oozed out.

「I see.」

「Ugh. You, stop that pointless dazzling. Ojou, help me.」

「Please do not use me as a shield!?」

At Roy who has a pretty smile come to his face, the gardener’s apprentice finds shelter behind Lydia. Even if there is a separate reason for her lack of tolerating Roy’s smile, she raised a complaint.

「Ojou, because your magic is strong, your magic defense is also high. If it’s Ojou, she can do well.」

「What are you saying, with that theory!? Something like magical power is unrelated, isn’t it?」 

Lydia, who doesn’t understand the reasoning, becomes angry. She understands he is bad with showy things, but, going this far to be blatant about it is too much.
Roy, with a smile, looks over Lydia, who repeatedly argues with the gardener’s apprentice she often does not understand.
That kind of outsider’s perspective, seeing that bizarre spectacle, there was a person who froze. The gardener’s apprentice noticed the figure standing rigid.

「Eh? Big Brother Matteus, isn’t it?」

Roy, who looked over and traced his line of sight, recognized his attendant’s figure.

「What is it? There should still be time, but, should I hurry?」

「No…… because it seemed to be a bit noisy, I thought something was there……」

Though it seemed silly, at his master’s question, the attendant sincerely answers. Because he is accompanying and being a guard, he came to hear the sounds, but was bewildered at the unexpected scene.
Hearing the attendant’s words, Lydia apologizes.

「I’m sorry that it’s difficult. The employee of my house acts ill-manneredly.」

「Eh, me?」

「It’s because Zack fell from the top of a tree, isn’t it?」

「Ah, I see. I’m sorry for making a racket.」

With Lydia pointing it out, self-conscious of the sounds he made, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice honestly apologized.

「No, rather I’m glad that nothing happened.」

「Because if it’s me, it will be fine, so it’s fine to go back.」

「But Big Brother Matteus came because he worried about you.」

「It’s his job. Besides, if Matteus is there, I can’t settle down and talk calmly with Isaac.」

「Hmmm, you also say some childish and bratty things, huh?」

A place only for kids where he did not want adults to interfere, for him that was unusually childish. When the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice thought while mumbling, honey colored eyes opened to the point they seemed to be spilling open.

「Wh, what is it……?」

At Roy’s sudden change, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice becomes scared. With him, he’s casual, but for this pointing out, Roy was shocked. Being treated no more than age appropriate, for him that who had gotten used to that, this is the one face remaining.
Because there is a person who treats him age appropriately, for sure it’s the face of having noticed it. The boy who is a gardener’s apprentice, is unconsciously pulling out Roy’s childishness.

「Ah!」

「Eh, what!?」

This time, the attendant, pointed at the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice and raised his voice. At that voice, he and Lydia are surprised.
However, the follower was not able to consider the two of their circumstances. Finally, he realized the answer to his master’s riddle. Certainly, if it’s him who he hid his social status from, they’d also come to understand having a friendly relationship. From the circumstances now, even if his true character leaks out, the relationship won’t change, he thinks.
The two who are unaware of Roy and the attendant’s exchange are bewildered. Raising a finger, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice is particularly bewildered.

「Hahahaha!」

Although the prince himself sleekly sends him away, at this sort of thing, they’re surprised. Seeing him in a state of bewilderment for the first time is amusing, and Roy raised his voice, bursting into laughter.

「……Ojou, what was that?」

「Please do not ask me. First of all, it’s Zack’s fault, isn’t it?」

「Ehhhh.」

I didn’t do anything, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice insists, and with this state of affairs, Lydia thought he has no persuasiveness. Lydia knew firsthand just how much leverage his unaware actions had.

「……Well, I’m glad that Roy-sama seems to be having fun.」

「I didn’t say anything like a joke, but—」

With the duke’s daughter who seems to be smiling happily, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice tilts his head to the side.
At the sense of spring drawing close to the garden, there was the resounding laughter of the prince.

That this is the world of an otome game is irrelevant, and for them, the days piled up.
Not realizing that those everydays are changing—


And that ends Volume 1. I got a kick out of translating the last section, once the Trio got assembled.

I’m thinking of moving to a bi-weekly release schedule as well. I redid my schedule to give myself more translation time (usually I translate for one block of time on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, as Friday is a break day and Wednesday I use to study further grammar/vocab, but added an extra block of time to T/Th), and the three weeks was really just to give myself breathing room for editing/if real life came up as sadly, I have a job in real life and cannot just translate all day, as well as hobbies outside of translation, haha. With my upped pace, I think I can comfortably move to 2 week releases, and it will also motivate me to try to translate more.

Also I did see on NovelUpdates that someone else started translating this work. I don’t really consider it sniping or anything, because at the end of the day I do this for practice, so I’m not that territorial about the stuff I’m translating. So, my question to you all is if you want me to continue working on this WN, or if you have a web novel you’d like for me to move to. While I do it for practice, it also isn’t fun not to be retreading ground someone else is walking along, and I’d rather more stuff be translated. If we move to a new one, I’ll probably just accelerate the posts for this one to clear out my editing backlog, and then hop along. Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed the translation, consider dropping a comment or a like! Or, if you’d like to help keep the site running, the Ko-Fi for the website can be found here.

See you all next volume!



Published by Toasty Wind

Novice JP to EN translator for Web Novels, mostly just translate stuff that I find amusing.

2 thoughts on “19. Sound of Footsteps

  1. I like this novel, but if you want to translate something else that’s up to you. I haven’t checked out the other translator, since you started translating OtoMob first.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For continuing:
    The other translator’s update schedule is inconsistent. I get the impression that they burned out.

    Against continuing:
    The other translation is slightly ahead.

    In the end, it’s up to you. Even if the translation quality is about the same for yours and theirs, I do prefer yours since you had started translating this gem first.

    Liked by 1 person

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