A very cute chapter, and a good break from last time, haha.
「So then, Flora was amazingly walking around happily, but I’m happy she made sure not to step on the flowers.」
「Fufu, as always, Elias’ dream garden seems to be fun.」
Daniel-sama’s wife, Anika-sama, like usual, distorts my stories. Today is one of the days I do my part-time job as the Vito estate. For the sake of Anika-sama being made to eat, I started to eat lunch with Daniel-sama a little bit before today.
Since I don’t know table manners, I thought I would have an uncomfortable feeling, but because chances to eat a meal with the frail Elias at the dining room were rare, Anika-sama ended up saying that if I learned it, it’s fine. Because Anika-sama happily offered to teach me, I feel that at the very least, learning table manners is the least I can do. First of all, you can’t drink soup while making noise. But, because during tea time, I would always end up making noise, I gave up.
Recently, the times Anika-sama lay down in bed decreased, and it seems she was eating three meals a day. It’s just the garden, but she seemed to also be going out, and I felt her complexion was becoming better. Daniel-sama also seemed happy at that, I think, and because recently he’s been smiling, I’m also happy.
「Though, is it okay for us to hear about the secret garden you’re keeping a secret from Geordo?」
「Since Daniel-sama seems like he’ll keep quiet, it’s fine. My father…… I’m a little embarrassed to tell him.」
It’s the self-study garden I received permission from my father to use, so even if I talk about it, there aren’t any problems. But, compared to the gardens my father makes, it’s shabby. At home, I don’t get to talk about what kind of garden I can make.
For now, I’ll make as much as I can, and Ojou and the others will also be happy, but I don’t have the self-confidence to ask my father to look at it.
「I see. It’s an honor to be selected as your advisor.」
Daniel-sama softly smiled, so that I didn’t feel ashamed. At times like this, I feel Daniel-sama is a gentle person.
「Um, are my stories uninteresting……?」
Because I can only talk about the garden, I was worried that I’d be talking alone about it.
「The garden Isaac makes is interesting, so it’s very fun to hear about, you know.」
「That’s right. Elias’ dream garden is also wonderful.」
「T, thank you very much……」
There is no lie in Daniel-sama’s eyes, and Anika-sama who is properly listening to the contents even though she thinks they’re a daydream story nods her head, and I feel embarrassed. Even though I say my thanks, I end up falling forward.
「That’s right. But, this isn’t a thank you for a special story.」
Around the time we’re drinking tea after a meal, the maids bring something for Daniel, but they don’t give it to Daniel, but to me.
It’s a strongly bound, thick, book. The reason for its thickness is written in the title, and that reason causes my eyes to sparkle.
The title that’s written is an illustrated reference book for plants.
「It’s Isaac’s birthday this month, right? When I thought I should give something, Anika said this would absolutely be good.」
「Elias likes books,right? With this, the flowers in your dreams will increase, right?」
Anika-sama smiles as if joking.
I heard from Daniel-sama, that the stories that Elias liked were particularly adventurous ones. Certainly, he might have liked garden plants, but if she hadn’t heard my stories, Anika-sama surely would have properly picked his preference.
She can’t recognize again that I’m not Elias, but I understand that doesn’t mean my stories are entirely being disregarded, and feel happiness surge up.
Then, with the weight in my hands, I come to my senses.
「I’m happy, but I can’t accept this kind of expensive book!」
I see. Although this book was bought for me, it’s expensive enough I hesitate. Even more so for a thick illustrated reference book. So, I would have to bring it to the library to have Ojou read it to me.
Recently, when Ojou is guarded by Chairwoman, she goes to the library where we have to be quiet so we don’t fight. I’m happy to be able to read a reference book on plants, and in an instant the time would end up passing by.
Even if Ojou says it’s fine to borrow it, because I’m afraid of damaging the expensive books, I restrain myself. That level of expensive book, there’s no way a commoner like me could receive it.
When I refuse, Daniel-sama was expecting my reply, I think, and smiles.
「Are you happy?」
Because Daniel-sama and his wife’s feelings are very happy, I only nod my head.
「We already have the same reference book in our house. If Isaac says he doesn’t need it, then I can only throw it away, huh.」 [T/N: Smooth like butter lmao]
Being told that it would get thrown away, I was at a loss for words. Even of it was fine for Daniel-sama’s marquis house to throw it away, that doesn’t mean it’s fine for a commoner like me.
「……Daniel-sama, that’s sneaky.」
There’s no way I need it. If I hear that it would get thrown away, it’s the same as threatening me. I’d become unable to refuse.
When I look at Daniel-sama with a little bit of a reproachful look, I was gently smiled back at.
「If it would make you happy, please honestly accept this kindness.」
Trouble for several seconds, I gratefully received it.
「Daniel-sama, Anika-sama, thank you very much. I will treasure it greatly.」
I bow my head while saying my thanks to the two of them.
When I ask if it’s fine to look a little through it, since Daniel-sama gave me permission, I open the plant reference book to the appropriate page.
I’m happy to see the delicate plant drawings are written down in detail, such as the origin of their name and their habitat. I’m happy something like this is mine. I can read it any time I want to read it. That’s amazing.
During the time I’m absorbed in reading, I don’t know how Daniel-sama and his wife were looking at me. Around the time I lift my head, the way Anika-sama’s confused eyes met mine troubled me a little.
However, in the end she called me Elias, so I didn’t think there was a lot of progress. I can’t imagine what it will be like when Anika-sama realizes i’m not Elias, it might end up being like she got used to selecting the wrong kanji.
On the way home from the Marquis Vito residence, I realize I’m falling into a kind of resignation, and strike both of my cheeks. Daniel-sama didn’t give up, so it’s no good if I arbitrarily give up.
I’ll try again, and firing myself up, I heal up.
When I return home, my mother laughed while helping me cool off, as my cheeks were more swollen than I thought.
Several days later, in a flower bed where I hadn’t finished replanting the summer flowers, I was working.
My father was renewing the lawn. Since we only replace the areas that have gone bad after inspecting them, even if there is a lot of space, my father can do it alone. Since he told me next year, I’ll be taught the inspection criteria for replacement, I silently do the work I was entrusted with now.
Suddenly something leaned on my back, and I fell forward on the shovel I was holding. I remember the arm wrapped around my neck, and look over my shoulder while calling his name.
「As usual, you’re simply working.」
I was impressed at how’s able to not get tired of substituting a normal greeting. As for something showy about gardening work, I didn’t even look for it. When it’s complete, it’s pretty, but as for the process, there’s a lot of work that piles up.
Although, Nico’s thoughts are also understood. In my past life, I thought the same thing about how every day I would only do the same work as a tofu seller. What in the world was so good about work that simply would never improve?
If it’s now, though, I understand the feeling.
「If Ojou is happy with it, then that’s fine.」
The garden of the Ernest house is for those of the Ernest house to enjoy. I’m a gardener for that purpose, so even if the work is plain or uncool, it doesn’t particularly matter.
My past life’s mother and father must have always been doing the same thing because customers would say it was delicious. Now, since I’m aiming for my father’s work, thinking it’s cool, realize that my past life’s parents were artisans. Well, at the same time, I can’t stand my past self’s uncoolness for having defied something just by thinking it was unsophisticated.
I’m still an apprentice, however, I’ve become a gardener, and I recognized I didn’t mind what my surroundings thought of me when I had a clear purpose. In my past life, I didn’t pay attention when my father would tell me anything, and when I got angry, the things I would say would go unexpectedly far.
「Hahaha, not only in dust, but he’s also covered in dirt, how unsightly! Lydia-sama, please don’t approach this kind of dirtied person!」
Yes, like that.
The boy who is Ojou’s guard, because his name is hard to say, I forgot it. First of all, Nico calls him so Pochi, so is it fine? Pochi, whenever we meet, always has to say something, but I don’t particularly mind.
Rather, I feel the strength of the arm around my neck, and I calmed Nico down by patting his arm.
「That’s right. Ojou’s pretty dress will get dirty.」
Without a feeling of denial, with a seeming smile I say that to Pochi, who becomes at a loss for words. It’s different from the reply he was expecting, I think, but it can’t be helped that I don’t want to argue with Pochi, my coworker, and only replied in the way I thought.
「……you, you, you aren’t appropriate for Lydia-sama!!」
After Pochi shows troubled attitude like he’s trying to squeeze out words, he points at me and yells in a loud voice.
I don’t know what’s suitable for her, but not just our social statuses are different, but because Ojou as a person is amazing, I simply nod.
At my response, Pochi, who seemed to be shocked, looked for words, mumbling 「Um, um」. Nico relaxedly separated from me, and making a fist in one hand, after he started making the sound of cracking his knuckles, I grabbed the back of Nico’s collar to stop him.
To stop Nico from moving in Pochi’s direction, when I look Ojou’s way, she was keeping silent, biting her lips so she endures getting angry. Her cheeks are a little red.
「……! W, what is it!?」
After I call her, a little after realizing it, Ojou lifts her head and looks my way. The conversation until now hasn’t reached her ears, it seems.
「No, while I’m keeping Nico in check, I want you to do something about Pochi.」
When I ask it of her, Ojou who guessed the circumstances immediately hurls words at Pochi.
「Eric, again!? I said that Zack is my friend, didn’t I? Refrain from making such statements!」
Scolded by Ojou, Pochi bows and then stands diagonally behind her.
「Geez, just the reply is fine.」
Towards Nico who clicked his tongue, Pochi, who is standing where Ojou can’t see him, sticks out his tongue. At the appearance he’s clearly not reflecting, Nico pops a vein. Compared to me, somehow or another, Nico’s boiling point is low, huh?
In order to distract Nico, I ask him something weighing on my mind.
「What is it?」
「Ojou is feeling bad, isn’t she? A short while ago, she was making a difficult facial expression and seemed to be pondering something.」
At my question, Nico seems to be taken aback and makes an amazed facial expression.
「……It’s because Zack said that sort of thing right when he opened his mouth, you know.」
What I said to Ojou, it was only asking about Pochi, but it was in bad taste, maybe? But, before that request, she already had an appearance of being worried.
「Are you saying that it’s not good since it’s like tattling to one’s?」
「It’s amazing you didn’t notice until now after dropping that bomb.」
「Why did you say something so dangerous??」
When I tilt my head, Nico puts a hand on my shoulder in place of a reply. In the end, Nico didn’t teach me just what the so-called bomb was. Just what in the world was bad, I thought we were only talking like normal.
However, if it’s a day that Pochi is guarding, we can’t go to the secret garden. I don’t have a problem if it leaks out, but since Ojou seems to prefer keeping it a secret, and Nico seems to have no intention to show Pochi.
I think that in the beginning my father told me keeping it a secret was essential, but because I told Nico, although I didn’t say where, I ended up telling Daniel-sama and the others. Since I ended up leaking it on my own, even though it’s only one part, I was already prepared to receive a scolding for abusing the Ernest house’s property.
For now, I asked her to wait while I finish working on replanting the flower beds, and since there is a pathway nearby, I have Ojou sit down on a bench in the shade. Pochi, even during the time while talking and waiting, prepared a carpet for Ojou to sit on and was carrying a parasol just in case.
「Then, what’s wrong today?」
I squat down and meet Ojou’s gaze, and when I ask, Ojou’s gaze wanders, and then it drops to her knees, worried about something. Because it’s our usual exchange, I tilt my head without worrying.
When I motionlessly wait, Ojou tightly grips her hands on top of her knees, turning away.
「~~if I don’t have any business, I can’t come?」
「No? Since I’m happy to meet with Ojou, it’s fine.」
Because until now, Ojou came before she had something she wanted to report, I only thought it was like that this time, and didn’t mind if even if she didn’t have business.
Although I only answered it’s not a problem, Ojou’s face became red.
「Why did you have to say such an extra thing!?」
「Zack, your way of saying it is a problem, you know.」
「Way of saying??」
Somehow, I was scolded. I received a suggestion from Nico, but I simply didn’t understand what was extra in my reply.
To Ojou, whose face had turned red, Nico told her she did her best, patting her on the head and praising her, or perhaps I should say he calmed her down. Certainly, the tone was strong, but what in the world was Ojou persevering in?
Because Ojou got angry at me, I was unconcerned with Pochi holding back and glaring at me. Still, Chariwoman’s gaze was more sharply painful. If anything, it’s similar to the sulky look Johann would show when having a tantrum.
「That’s right, I also have something to give to Zack.」
Calming Ojou to some extent, Nico stands up from the bench, takes something out from his pocket, and places it in both of my hands.
「It’s a birthday present from me.」
I was smiled at, and at the present I was given, trying to say my thanks though I was attacked at an unguarded moment. But, I look at the thing in my hands, and instantly was at a loss for words.
「Nico, this is……」
「Because you’re a gardener, if you hurt your hands, it’s no good, right?」
No, that’s true, but…
Certainly, becauseI do a lot of manual labor, it’s better that my hands don’t get injured. But, the present from Nico, which had four metal rings, wasn’t something I needed for everyday work.
No matter how you look at it, these are knuckles. [T/N: NICO WHAT]
I don’t have plans to damage someone’s skull, but……
Rather than the wooden sword that I bought on a school field trip, this present is more truly suited for combat, and I don’t understand how I should reply. My friends in my past life couldn’t buy a butterfly knife, and seemingly regretful they bought me a cheap all-purpose knife, but it didn’t appear as a weapon to me. By the way, an all purpose knife is useful for camping. Particularly as a can opener.
Looking at the knuckles in my hand, I lift my head and look at Nico. That’s a big smile.
「……Thank you. I’ll treasure it.」
「If it’s fine with you, use them, okay?」 [T/N: Nico really wants to see Zack deck someone.]
I won’t use them. But, I think of them as something like a charm, and gratefully accept it. Without replying about how I’ll use them, I smile as a reply back.
「Now, it’s Lydia-sama’s turn.」
When Nico strikes my hands and calls out, Ojou is shocked, and her body freezes up.
After Ojou hesitates for a bit, she clears her throat a little, and points next to where Nico was sitting up until a little bit ago.
「Zack, sit there.」
When I’m told that with an intense stare, even though I don’t understand her intentions, I sit down on the bench as Ojou said. Because there is a bench in the promenade for the members of the Ernest house and their guests, I wonder if it’s fine for a commoner like me to sit on it. I’ll have to wipe the dirt that sticks to it off.
After I sit, I wonder what her intentions are, and when I look at Ojou, she flinches when our eyes meet.
「It…… it’s fine if you don’t look!」
「Even if you say that, I’ll worry.」
「Mouuu, close your eyes!」
Since I ended up being scolded, I gently close my eyes. Next to me, somehow I can hear the sound of a deep breath. I wonder if she’ll do a prank with that kind of spirit in her.
When I wait motionlessly, after several beats, I feel something on my hair. With a bit of a ticklish feel, something gently comes and goes on my head.
Unlike my father’s roughness and my mother’s way of concealing herself, because the area is small, I don’t immediately realize I’m being patted.
Realizing I’m being patted, I ask for Ojou’s permission to open my eyes, and then look in her direction. Ojou, surprised, stops her hand, and seems to be about to pull her hand back, but ultimately doesn’t pull her hand away from the top of my head.
「Z, Zack is an apprentice, but even still, he does a good job, so…… happy birthday, I will straightforwardly praise you……」
She says that, but compared to before she’s patting her slightly more restlessly. For Ojou who kneeled down because it’s normally hard to reach if she sits normally, compared to me, her eyes are a little higher.
Somehow or another, this seems to be a birthday present from Ojou. I was only doing what I could do in front of me, but the truth is receiving something like Ojou recognizing me simply made me happy.
「I’m incredibly happy. Thank you, Ojou.」
「……! It’s hard to do, so don’t look this way!」
When I look up at Ojou and say my thanks, again I was scolded. I say I understand and nod, and look in front of me and close my eyes.
After that, for a while, Ojou pats my head until she stopped. Around the time it was over, when I open my eyes, there was a Pochi who seemed to be terrifyingly frustrated in my field of vision.
A few days later, Katherine-san called for me.
Because the days I had visitors were priorly announced, I wasn’t thinking I would be meeting Ojou. Although, being called is rare.
「Um, this invitation isn’t from Lydia-sama……」
At Katherine-san’s hesitant explanation, I let out an inscrutable sound. I expressly can’t think of a girl guest who would point me out. If it’s Nico, he does things at his own convenience.
It’s someone of a higher class, I’m certain, and because I was sorry for Katherine-san who summoned me, with Katherine-san’s guidance, we went towards the part of the garden where Ojou and her guest are having tea.
「In accordance to your invitation, I have arrived.」
Rather than confirm who the other person is, I immediately bow my head and say my greetings. Katherine-san, who finished her guiding of me, also gives her greetings, and bows.
More or less I thought it was better to receive permission, so when I keep my head bowed, I heard a sound of stifled laughter that seemed amused.
「I see, you’re unexpectedly courteous.」
The laughter mixed in with that voice is familiar, and when I unconsciously lift my head to confirm who it is, there is dazzling hair like sunshine.
「……You, we met during the observation, right?」 [T/N: It’s oddly distant with how it’s worded, but I imagine Leo’s just doing this because it amuses him.]
Understanding that the prince summoned me, I became exhausted. Ojou, who seemed to be silenced by Leo, with a delicate expression, was peeping at Leo’s amused seeming appearance.
His guard, Matteus-onii-chan, while holding back, seemed to lower his eyebrows as if weakening. As for Pome…… she was chasing after a fluttering butterfly. It’s probably time to be still, but she’s free, huh?
「Today is the only day I can give this to you.」
When I tilt my head, Leo hands me a rose-colored bag tied with a white ribbon. Because the packing alone seems expensive, the coloration that seems like it’s clearly a girl’s is too strange, and I make a confused expression at Leo.
「It’s from Flora.」
At my puzzled facial expression that I made, when Leo answers, there’s a sound. When Leo turns in the direction of the sound, Ojou, whose posture with both hands on the table as if about to stand up, stopped.
Realizing we’re looking, Ojou reseats herself, and clears her throat.
「There is no problem.」
Because Ojou encouraged him to continue, Leo explains the situation.
「Flora, who knew it was Isaac’s birthday, said it was also a present as thanks for the other day.」
「Why did Elena know?」
「I consulted her about your present.」
Leo replied nonchalantly, but I don’t simply why he would know what to give me. Then, even if he consulted Elena, she wouldn’t know what I liked, right?
Even in my past life, for something like my birthday, I used it as the excuse of buying something she wanted. For example, I said she had to dress well, and finally she used the hair cream I bought her.
There’s something that you can poke fun at, but first of all for the purpose of confirming the contents, I undo the ribbon. The thing that appears on the inside, is a pure white teddy bear with mismatched green and pale yellow eyes.
What should I do with this?
It seems expensive, it’s too fancy, it’s something that’s terrifyingly difficult to deal with. If I hold it directly, it will immediately get dirty, so I hold it while keeping it in the bag.
「Since I helped make it a little, more or less it’s also from me.」
「What…… do royalty take lessons in sewing?」
「It’s that sort of thing.」
Turning towards that smiling face, I, who was originally making a subdued facial expression, immediately narrow my eyes.
「……I’m not happy.」
「Ahh. If it’s given from me, you don’t seem happy, so I took advantage of Philly.」
I don’t need that kind of offensive. If that’s the case, if you’re going to give something, choose an alternative.
Leo’s face is dreadfully dazzling, so it’s physically painful on my eyes. His face has no ill will, but I’m getting the feeling he’s amused. I think Leo’s has a good character.
「I’ll also convey that to Philly.」
Because I’m grateful for the mood of having it celebrated, when I say my thanks, he replies with a smile that reaches his eyes.
Once I tried to put the teddy bear back into the bag, I felt a gaze. When I trace its origins, Ojou is staring steadily at the bear.
「Ojou, do you want it?」
「T, that isn’t it.」
Because she likes cute things, I thought she’d like it, but she turns away and denies it. Then, why were you looking at it?
While putting the bear back the way it was, I remembered something.
「That reminds me, are you preparing to go observe again this month?」
Leo said he didn’t have the chance until today, but in the plan I received as a letter there was one more day after today. Even if it’s during my birthday month, that time is fine.
When I raise my question, Leo smiles brightly.
「It’s around the corner, but there aren’t any future troubles.」
I don’t understand his answer.
I understood he was thinking of something, but Leo doesn’t seem to have any intentions of saying anything further. In the end, I didn’t understand the meaning of Leo’s words.
Seemingly looking for some to agree, Leo turned to Ojou, but Ojou didn’t know, and so she only turned her head away.
Until the matter of the bear was finished, it was left in the employee waiting room. I was preparing to go back to the house, but this time when I arrived, I realized a card was there.
That night, before I slept, as according to the card on the bear, I poured a little wind magic into the magic stone used for its eye.
There, both eyes of the bear faintly shined.
[You’re laaate, you kept me waiting!]
The bear talked.
「Elena. You’ll be a nuisance to the neighbors, so keep your volume low.」
Although I did exactly as written, I was a little surprised something really happened, but rather than that, I cared more about the volume of her voice that was too lively.
[But, even if it’s this much distance, it should be fine. As expected of a magic circle of Roy-onii-sama.]
Elena’s voice, while one stage softer than before, was full of pride. I can easily imagine her making a self-satisfied look, and amazed, my eyes half-close.
「Your stupid amount of magical power is also appropriate.」
[What do you mean stupid!? If you’re going to compliment me, do it properly, you know!]
「Yes, yes, you’re amazing, you’re amazing.」
I wasn’t putting my heart in it, Elena complained through the bear, but I do think it’s amazing.
The magic stones used in this ber are Elena’s two elements, wind and light magic mixed together, and like a receiver, with a tiny amount of wind magic used, Elena is notified, and if she uses her mixed magic, she can communicate through it. The important thing is it’s like a phone.
「However, how did it come to this?」
I understand the function, but the structure is too much of a puzzle for me, ad I poke the bear with my finger.
[When I told Roy-onii-sama there is something I want to do, he thought of a magic circle. The sound with wind, and with light, a sensation of soaring, so maybe it’s like a light phone.]
「Leo being able to include the structure into this with that fluffy explanation of yours is amazing……」
Because I’m bad at hard things, Elena says, she entrusted that much to Leo and only mixed in her magic. Because even before she wanted to make a magic tool, around that age, being able to make a magic circle as she wished is strange. It’s in weird places he shows just how high-spec of a guy he is.
「So, why a bear?」
If there’s only a stone that a magic circle was placed in, it would function. Although, why was it done in the form of a stuffed animal is a great question. Because even if it’s only a magical stone, it’s very valuable, so ultimately I would still hesitate to receive it.
[That is, it’s cute, you know? If it’s this, even if I have it, it’s natural, right?]
「It’s unnatural for me.」
The image of me being old enough to know better and talking to a bear, if someone like my mother saw it, it would be too embarrassing.
I questioned Elena’s insistence that it was natural, but she didn’t seem to take notice of knowing my circumstances.
[In any case, now it’s possible to have a phone call twenty-four seven.]
「Calm down. You and I aren’t available twenty four hours a day.」
Because I don’t have a liking for carrying around a bear for a phone, Elena also will have to leave it in her room. I have work, and Elena also should have lessons like Ojou. At night is roughly the only time we can talk.
[Minor details, so it’s fine! Apart from that, from now, properly contact me, okay?]
She said not begrudgingly, but it’s already become somewhat bothersome. I don’t have anything I want to particularly talk to Elena about.
「I get it. Geez, what kind of problems are you sending over?」
Set about by her overbearing response, when I don’t talk to Elena but complain more, a sulky voice mutters out from the bear.
[……so, we can’t simply meet like Roy-nii-sama and Onee-sama.]
At Elena’s unexpected speaking of her mind, my eyes widen. Although in the past world, we were brother and sister, I wasn’t thinking I could miss someone to that extent. Something like the princess being unable to meet the common people, it’s natural.
Facing the talking bear, I understand she’s become sullen, and force a smile that says there’s no helping it. I understood the feeling wouldn’t be passed down, but I pat the bear on the head.
「I won’t forget to contact you.」
[If you understand, that’s fine.]
「Thank you for the present.」
Although the bear’s facial expression doesn’t change, it’s interesting that I understand somehow or another what kind of face Elena is making with only her voice.
[……Which reminds me, Isaac’s voice coming from the bear reduces its cuteness by half, what are you going to do about that?]
「I don’t know.」
Elena’s rudeness towards me absolutely doesn’t seem like it will change.
Awww. A lot of cute and funny moments in this chapter, especially with Nico giving Zack some honest to God knuckles to fight people with. Ojou giving Zack some headpats was hnnnng inducing, and then the finale with Elena giving Zack the bear so our sibling duo can talk with each other while they can’t meet.
Anyways, remember there will be no updates in November as I study for the JLPT. That leaves one last chapter in two weeks on October 21st, and then I will resume updates on December 11th.
See you all next chapter!