When I was working with the garden, my master, Heinz-san the butler, came. With martial arts practice, I came to visit him, but this is the first time he came by himself. He’s always accompanied by Duke-sama.
「Master, what’s wrong?」
For an instant, my master slightly frowns. Because I always call him Master when I see him, it’s a habit.
Even if it’s work for my dad, I unconsciously ask first. My father is untalkative, although for coworkers in the Ernest house such as the maids, he’s difficult to talk to. Therefore, if I start talking first, talks advance easily.
With the same as usual, unconsciously I called out Master, but because if it was master, he was unconcerned, though it might have been superfluous.
「It’s a call from Geordo-sama. Please follow me.」
This is the first time I was called by Duke-sama. When I thought it’s certainly about my father’s work, it was for me.
I, did I do something?
Although I’m surprised, I follow Master. While I follow him, I think about the possibility that I was called.
The clothes I borrow while dancing, did I rip or dirty them? Or, if I borrow them, do I wash them myself? But, such good-quality clothes, rather than me, it’s better that the professional maids wash them, huh. Or, did the secret self-study garden leak? No, if that was the case, it’s a problem of the Baumgartner house, and my father would also be called.
Such a thing as being called, I don’t have a memory of the previous world of being called to the student guidance office.
So, being called, where it’s concerned, I can’t remember being scolded. But, I haven’t done anything especially good, but I don’t think I’ve done anything bad. I want to think that.
It was the reception room for guests. There are furnishings without a speck of dust and many expensive seeming things. I removed the dirt from my clothes more or less, but is it fine to be here in work clothes?
「I have brought him along.」
「Please excuse my intrusion.」
Master leads me, and when I bow and enter, on the other side, I meet the gaze of Duke-sama who is sitting on the sofa.
「I’m sorry for calling you during work, Isaac.」
「No, it’s fine.」
With a smile that as ever, even if he’s burdened, doesn’t have a feeling of discomfort, Duke-sama greeted me. On the other side of Duke-sama, is another person sitting with their back to me. It’s a visitor, so they were in the reception room, it seems. However, I don’t understand the reason for calling me while there’s a visitor.
When I’m thinking, the person facing away from me stands up and looks over their shoulder. It was someone I know.
「It’s been a long time, Isaac.」
Did I remember him, he asked. The young nobleman who smiles with a little self-confidence, I didn’t forget him.
Compared to the time I accidentally compared him to a ghost, his complexion is better. That gives me a bit of relief. Because I wasn’t thinking we could meet again, I was worried about what was going on.
I was glad I could meet Daniel-sama again, but in the end, I didn’t understand the reason I was called.
Because Duke-sama urged me to sit on the couch between them, so I sat and put my hands on my knees. The maids nonchalantly prepared my portion of tea and then withdrew.
「Um…… is this a secret meeting?」
Because I was told it’s okay to drink, while lifting the teacup, I asked. Duke-sama and Daniel-sama slightly widened their eyes. What are they surprised over? The maids withdrew, and as for waiting, it’s only Master who will absolutely keep his mouth closed. I understand the contents are something that must be kept private with this kind of situation.
When I drank the tea, Duke-sama affirmed it.
「That’s right. I want to keep this a secret from Dia.」
「It depends on the contents.」
Asking Duke-sama while I unusually force a smile, I honestly answer. Although I haven’t heard anything, I don’t know whether or not I can. At my answer, Duke-sama narrows his eyes in seeming amusement.
「I agree. Then……」
「Geordo, I’ll talk.」
At Daniel-sama’s proposal, Duke-sama hands over the right to explain.
「Isaac, I told you that my wife was ill.」
「For the sake of healing her illness, I want to borrow your power.」
At the unexpected detail, I’m dumbfounded. A child like me, what can I do for someone with a mental illness? In my past life, I was only a foolish student. Because I don’t even have the qualifications for a counselor, I haven’t even done those kinds of studies.
「What did you say……?」
「I want you to pretend you’re my son.」
I increasingly don’t understand. Daniel-sama’s gaze, with its seriousness, felt earnest. But, why especially ask a common person like me?
Daniel-sama, perceiving my confusion, apologized and lowered his eyebrows.
「I know I’m asking something unreasonable. However, by myself, it seems my wife won’t see reality……」
「Our son died last year.」
A sudden sense of dread crossed my heart. Shadows fall into those green eyes like fresh leaves, and he tells me that if he had been alive, he would be the same age as me.
「Originally, my wife has a body that made it hard to give birth to children, and a child seemed like a miracle. With a child that’s weak but has a bright smile, my wife and I cherished him. Losing that child, my wife still can’t accept he isn’t here.」
That’s the mental illness of Daniel-sama’s wife. The time Daniel-sama’s wife gave birth, it was already past the reasonable time, the doctor had declared, and his wife was appropriately shocked, it seems.
Grasping his fists fightly, talking as if enduring the pain, Daniel-sama looks in my direction and softens his expression.
「When I saw Isaac, I was surprised, you know.」
「You look similar to my son.」
I have the same hair and eye color as Daniel-sama’s son. We aren’t exactly the same, but somehow the feeling seems to be there.
Certainly, Daniel-sama and I have the same hair color, but the same hair color is nothing amazing. The eye color isn’t anything curious, it’s a common color.
Words of denial came to mind, but because I understand these aren’t superficial, I can’t say anything. Turning towards eyes mixed with sadness and longing, I didn’t know what to do.
Maybe because he realized me, Daniel-sama for a moment took his eyes off me.
「If Isaac, who resembles my son, talked with her, little by little she might recognize an uncomfortable feeling and improve, I thought.」
Talking to someone without their sanity is difficult, so there isn’t any pressure to do it, Daniel-sama says, making me relieved with a smile. If I think about it, Daniel-sama is running away from this difficult thing everyday, I become anguished.
However, it’s a story I can’t accept unless I prepare accordingly.
I properly think, for a short while. I fix my gaze onto Daniel-sama’s eyes and tell him.
「I can’t pretend to be your son.」
At my answer, Daniel-sama’s voice of discouragement, saying it can’t be helped, comes through.
「But, I want to go to Daniel-sama’s wife.」
Daniel-sama’s eyes widen. Duke-sama also seems to be surprised.
I, with myself, can’t substitute for anyone. But, possibly by talking with someone outside her family, there might be something useful. I know of Daniel-sama’s tough condition, and if I do nothing, I’ll become unable to smile in front of Ojou.
If it isn’t fine to pretend to be her son, I’ll meet her, and at my proposal Daniel-sama uneasily asks a question in response.
「Is it okay……?」
「For me, deciding to do nothing about this, is disagreeable.」
I approached Daniel-sama, who seemed to be like a ghost from before. If I don’t bear the responsibility of my actions, it will be no good.
Daniel-sama smiled with a face that seemed to burst into tears.
Duke-sama, who was silently and elegantly drinking tea, places his teacup on the saucer, and suddenly looks at me.
「Then, will you keep this a secret?」
I firmly nodded my head. Certainly, it’s better if no one leaks the circumstances to the surroundings, and I think that is the expectation, but more than anything else, it’s because I understand Duke-sama does not want to make his important friend sad.
Because I also don’t want to make Ojou cry, I absolutely won’t talk.
Afterwards, we decided to go to see her once a month. Duke-sama and Daniel-sama promised something like that if it became painful or I got sick of it, to say so.
Several days later, I went to the estate Daniel-sama told me about before. Daniel-sama tried to send over a carriage to meet me, but I politely refused. If the place is the Ernest house, my house is close, isn’t it, and I didn’t want to be obtrusive.
If Daniel-sama isn’t in my imagination, he’s like the type that is too kind and occasionally thoughtless.
When my name is called at the front entrance, the servant who seems to be calling for me politely guides me.
Daniel-sama, who came out to greet me, led me with a gentle smile to his first son’s room. With Daniel-sama’s indication, when the male servant opens the closet, clothes are lined up in rows there.
「Because he was prone to being sick, there are only a few clothes. If you’d like, will you wear them?」
「Um, I forgot to ask, but Daniel-sama’s rank……」
「I’ll wear them.」
Because as expected, it’s Duke-sama’s friend, he was a higher ranked noble. At my immediate reply, Daniel-sama seems to curiously tilt his head to the side.
Although I met with the marchioness, the appearance of ordinary people must be a discourtesy. In the Ernest house, because it is known I’m a gardener’s apprentice, I’m inside the grounds, so it’s fine, but if I am discourteous in other’s houses, I’ll make trouble for the Ernest house.
When the male servant measures my size with a cord, he makes a little bitter facial expression. When I’m thinking about what’s wrong, he whispered into Daniel-sama’s ear. Because those green eyes like fresh leaves gazed at me, it weighs on my mind.
「No, the ones my son wore seem to be a little small for Isaac. I mistook the speed of a child’s growth.」
Because it’s not my clothes, that sort of thing also happens, but if the clothes are too small, with my height remarkably growing, I made a happy noise. But, I see, there’s also one more person other than me who is shorter than Leo.
「Even if I meet her as I am, it won’t be rude?」
「No, it’s on the grounds, so it won’t be minded, but……」
I think about if there aren’t any clothes, there’s no choice but to receive permission to meet her as I am, and when I ask, Daniel-sama starts to say something with the aim of not minding, but seems to suddenly have remembered something. He says something to the male servant, and from his son’s closet, a set of clothes is prepared. These new clothes are brought in front of me, and Daniel-sama apologetically smiles.
「My wife prepared these. Because someone hasn’t put them on, I was thinking it’s just a waste as it is.」
「It’s more than I deserve.」
Nobles don’t have the general idea of recycling, don’t they, I instantly thought, but if it is decided they’ll be handed over to someone, I realize the main reason would be scrutinized. Even when these clothes were made, that information control of that situation was serious, wasn’t it.
「Is it fine to borrow them?」
「Yes. If daily items aren’t used, there’s no point, right? Rather than uselessly meet its end, it’s much better.」
Daniel-sama is a noble, but he seems to take good care of his belongings. To common people like me, it’s a desirable sense of values. Because the furnishings in the estate harmonize with each other, the paintings, the decorations, and the tender-feeling landscape paintings are many. Because of the interior design, Daniel-sama’s character peeks out.
I accept the offer, borrow the clothes, and wear them. I changed in his son’s room as it is, but I see there are many picture frames in the room, and look for a while. Daniel-sama, the woman who seems to be his wife, and a boy who seems to constantly be my age are shown. When I look around the room, I understand the main point is that when the owner returns, its current status is preserved.
I wonder if it was like this feeling for a while after I died.
In the previous world, I was a Japanese person, Taichi Tanaka. Because I abruptly died, my family was considerably surprised. I myself had no way to confirm the things after my death, but I have such a feeling when I look at this place that my family isn’t.
My chest was packed with something like that feeling. Once again, I look at the calm-seeming boy in the photos who doesn’t feel like me.
「This guy, also, is he the same as me?」
I left my family behind. With only that, aside from the hair and eye color, we’re matching, I thought.
「I’m sorry to keep you waiting.」
I finish changing clothes and when I leave the room, Daniel-sama who is waiting is a little surprised.
「……it matches you well, you know.」
He started to say different words, but Daniel-sama, who seemed to hold back from saying something with those words, gently lifts the metal stopper that was inserted into the shoestring tie with gem colored like fresh leaves.
「Thank you very much.」
I thought it was a little filtered, but I thanked him. It’s identical to Duke-sama’s hand-me-downs, it seems to be an expensive fabric. Why was I dressed in these clothes?
The room of Daniel-sama’s wife, from their son’s room, we soon arrived. Daniel-sama knocks, raising his voice.
「Anika, I’m coming in.」
Waiting several moments, and confirming there isn’t a negative reply, Daniel-sama opens the door. Sitting on a bed in the room is a woman. She is facing the glass door towards the garden, and slowly looks this way.
「Eli, as……?」 [T/N: literally “Eriasu”; and “Elias” means “The Lord is my God”]
With a look that is vaguely between dream and reality, she mumbles a name.
Certainly, it’s her son’s, isn’t it?
「Elias! You, when you did you come home?」
I firmly came into her focus, and her eyes glittered. That happy sounding voice isn’t suited for me. The one in her eyes isn’t me.
At the feeling of adding the existence of someone who isn’t myself, I felt dread. But, I look at Daniel-sama who is examining me, seemingly worried, and endure it. It’s fine, Daniel-sama knows it’s me.
I took a deep breath.
「I am glad to meet you, I am called Isaac Baumgartner. I have come to visit.」
Going close to the bed, I bow my head. Then, taking it out from behind me, I present the bouquet of flowers I made with yellow and white zinnias and bitter orange lilies. Instead of soaproots, I decorated it with mints.
「Maa, it’s pretty, isn’t it? However, these flowers, were they blooming at our house, I wonder.」
「These are blooming with my work I do on the estate. I asked my father, and was allowed to take a few.」
「That’s an unpleasant way of calling Daniel, you’re at the age of wanting to act tough, aren’t you?」
Daniel-sama’s wife, Anika-sama, smiles pleasantly. Yes, this absolutely isn’t a conversation.
Because the maids prepared a seat for Daniel-sama and I, we sit while talking.
「Your complexion is a little bad, but…… are you eating meals properly?」
「It’s fine if you don’t worry about me. Because Elias is in his growth period, you have to eat a lot and grow strong.」
「I eat… a lot, so it’s fine.」
I’m patted on the head as if to sympathize with me, but I’m not that weak. Around the level of my father’s rough caressing is just right.
However, talking politely is absolutely difficult. With entering Anika-sama’s indomitable mood, I’m going to change it into something like casual speech. Daniel-sama seems amused when I look at him, at how although I’m talking, I’m falling forward.
「Um, if it’s bad, it’s fine not to eat, but I made a carrot pound cake. If it’s fine……」
「Wow, Elias cooked? It isn’t burned!?」
「It’s fine, even just one bite is fine, so please try and eat it!」
I said that I properly tasted it, and Anika-sama held a slice of the presented poundcake. Having received it, Anika-sama blankly stares while gazing at the cake for a short while, and then put it in her mouth and eats a little.
It’s only her impression. However, I wanted to hear those feelings in the words.
With her sense of taste not lost, I’m relieved and smile. Prior, because it reached the point she left behind meals from Daniel-sama when I asked, I prepared a poundcake that would fill you up.
「My mother taught me. I’m glad it’s suitable for your taste.」
Looking at me who’s smiling, Anika-sama seems to freeze up. When I think she blinked a little, again she pleasantly smiles.
「The cooks helped, didn’t they? If that’s the case, I’m relieved.」
Dammit, it’s still no good. Troublesome information seems to be altered. I understood that it wouldn’t go easily, but not one bit of the conversation changing is frustrating.
Because even if I get frustrated, it’s no use, I pull myself together, and present a slice of poundcake to Daniel-sama.
「If it’s fine with Daniel-sama, here you go.」
「Is it fine……?」
「Of course. Ah, can I also eat it?」
「Ahh, I don’t mind.」
「Then, thank you for the meal.」
Confirming I received permission from Daniel-sama, after I put my hands together, I fill my mouth with my share of food. After properly chewing, I grumble.
「As expected, freshly made is delicious. Anika-sama also thinks that freshly made is delicious, right?」
「Yes, that’s right, isn’t it……」
Anika-sama, while blankly staring, reflexively replied. Ah, it was like a proper conversation. Even while Anika-sama is confused, little by little, still, she eats the pound cake. At that situation, it’s something like slow rehabilitation, I thought.
At that appearance of Anika-sama, Daniel-sama stares in amazement. Then, he smiles as if something loosened. When Daniel-sama ate a mouthful of the poundcake, he turned towards me.
「It’s delicious, you know. Thank you.」
I broadly smile. He can eat food and think it’s delicious. It’s small, but it’s happiness. If he accumulates happiness like this, he might save up the energy to live. Well, I can only do this much.
After, although Anika-sama consistently treats me as Elias for an hour and it doesn’t become a conversation, we talk, and when I change into my original clothes, Daniel-sama treats me to tea in the reception room.
The maids made black tea at the time we ate the poundcake, but because I gave it my all and was talking, I was thirsty, so I’m thankful. Tea with milk is gentle for my throat.
「Isaac, for your reward, whatever is fine.」
「You listened to my absurd request. Because you’re also working as an apprentice, I want to properly repay you.」
Certainly, half of my holiday is used up. But, this is something I wanted to do. I won’t do anything unpleasant.
I didn’t think I needed a particular reward, but I think about it a little. If it becomes drawn out, it will be a part time job of talking to Anika-sama, and when my way of thinking changes feelings, it might be fun.
I’ll accept Daniel-sama’s offer.
「Then, please show me your estate’s garden!」
「Garden? My house’s garden is not as big as Geordo’s, and there aren’t any rare flowers blooming……?」
「I want to see it. It’s rare to be able to see something like a garden that someone other than my father prepared!」
Even though I only saw a little from Anika-sama’s room, I assumed that with the glass door cutting me off, there are beautiful greens like a landscape painting. I’m interested in a garden prepared by another person.
I got a chance to visit another noble’s garden that was worked hard upon. There is no way my hands won’t make the best of this chance. I stare intently into Daniel-sama’s eyes.
「Isaac doesn’t have greed, doesn’t he, you’re a child I don’t really understand.」
Daniel-sama smiles as if beaten down by my persistence.
Being led to the garden, my eyes sparkle. Slowly, but unconsciously I end up looking here and there.
「Daniel-sama, the goldencups are blooming. And the orange jasmines also have a good smell!」
As Daniel-sama said, the garden had the impression of having lots of greenery. However, at every point they are blooming, and it becomes as if you were able to feel the changing seasons in one place.
Being excited in a garden that has the feeling of calming you down, am I strange, I wonder. But, my spirits go up. As for the garden someone else prepared, it’s enlightening and interesting.
「This arrangement is so you can watch the moon while looking at the orange jasmines. If it’s here, because the sweet smell reaches the room…… which reminds me, even the jam made with fruits is delicious, wasn’t it? Does Daniel-sama like orange jasmine jam?」
When I turn my face, Daniel-sama is taken aback, his mouth open. Crap, I excessively talked one-sidedly. I honestly apologize for getting carried away.
「No, it’s fine…… what was blooming in this garden, I completely forgot……」
He could only remember this one, Daniel-sama said, crouching and touching a goldencup in his hand. His gaze as if yearning for something falls upon the goldencup.
「Elias often told us what was blooming now.」
「Did he like flowers?」
「Did he, I wonder? That child being able to freely walk around, it was only in my house’s garden and in the story of a book.」
He can’t endure it anymore, it seems, and Daniel-sama’s face seems to become pained.
「You said he was a brightly smiling child, right?」
If that’s the case, there isn’t a lie, I think. Even in the middle of his restrictions, he was a guy who was good at ways to enjoy himself.
「Yes…… until the end, he was smiling, easily becoming lively……」
「Heeeh, he was amazingly cool, huh?」
At thoughts, Daniel-sama widened his eyes.
「Mhm. Something like smiling and dying isn’t something anyone can do, you know. Moreover, until the end, he didn’t give up on living, right? That’s super cool, isn’t it?」
I think he’s truly amazing.
Because the me of the previous world couldn’t smiling at the point I heard of pronouncement of remaining years, even so, something like a feeling of doing my best and having to live never awoke. It was absolutely scary.
Compared to that, Daniel-sama’s son Elias is strong. To the end, he was a properly living human being. I respect him.
「…………Ahh, is that so……」
Together, with his mumbling, a trickle of tears fall from eyes that are green like fresh leaves.
「Elias von Veit, he is our pride.」
After proudly smiling, Daniel-sama wept. I was a bit surprised, but until Daniel-sama stopped crying, I patted his head. That was about all I could do. Surely, with supporting his wife, he absolutely couldn’t cry.
I looked at the crying Daniel-sama, and my chest became painfully tight. The me of my previous life, I realized the extent of a fool I had been. If I struggled until the end, I would be fine. As for something like consulting with my mother or relying on someone coming to my mind, like an idiot I stubbornly refused. No, it isn’t like, I truly was an idiot.
As for Daniel-sama and I, the me of my previous life didn’t try to escape. This time, I want to face each other without turning away. I don’t think this is the atonement for my previous life, though.
Elias is too cool.
With something like thinking I am proud of both of my parents, there is a great difference between the me of my past life. Causing trouble for that stubborn father of his and other people, I feel like it’s called shameful.
It’s a little too miserable, that I don’t want to smile.
Daniel-sama, who was crying for a while, smiled and thanked me, seeming a little embarrassed. I shook my head, not having done anything considerable.
Then, leaving behind Daniel-sama’s garden, the Veit estate, around when I returned home, it had become evening. Holding onto a silver plum blossom designed potted plant, I open the front door.
「Mom, I’m home.」
「Welcome home, Zack.」
Seeing that it’s me reflected in mom’s eyes, I’m deeply relieved. It’s like I was bracing myself. I realize this only at this point.
My mother, who was preparing dinner, noticed that, and when she came over to me, knelt down and met my eyes.
I don’t understand my mother’s intentions and tilt my head to the side. Rather, I have to go over to my mother and help her with dinner preparations.
Looking into my eyes, my mother brings me into her arms.
「Hm? It’s something like, you seem to be doing your best.」
When I curiously ask her, I received that kind of reply, and my back is gently patted. That palm of her hand, and the arms that envelop me, and the heartbeat transmitted to me, all of them are warm, and I place my head in my mother’s shoulder.
Somehow, I was filled with an amazingly frustrating feeling.
「I, this time, will absolutely live a long life……」
「Is that so?」
Not minding her shoulders getting wet, my mother, for a while, was there for me.
I’m finally back. Sorry for the delay, but moving is really a thing lmao. I actually almost died, too. Nearly got ramrodded by a pickup truck towing a massive load on the way to my new place. Good times.
Anyways, man that took a swerve for the dramatic at the end. This story really does remain mostly upbeat but the times MC reflects on his past life’s death usually take a turn for the more somber. Next chapter is 100% more humorous, though, and it was one of my favorites to translate. If I’m feeling good about my translation pace, I might post it a week from now.
Not too much to say other than that. Oh, I guess I’m in a new timezone now so if upload times are weird, that’s why.
See you all next chapter.