Almost didn’t finish this due to Ryza 3, but I somehow managed to finish Ryza 3 and this chapter, phew.
When it became the early summer, the season became warm, and the sensation of the blowing wind being refreshing.
I planted flowers my father indicated together with Yan-san. When first I show him how we plant flowers before and teach him how to arrange them, Yan-san’s eyes go wide with doubt.
「Why are you planting them when they aren’t blooming?」
「You can enjoy them longer this way. Since this flower blooms starting in the rainy season, so when the sky is cloudy, the ground will look cheerful, so people who look at it will feel better.」
Because they have a long bloom, the snowflake grass is planted when it’s already blooming, but the silver cups are planted together to add to the joy of blooming. Certainly it looks like they are blooming, and with the state of greens in full leaf, even if it’s completed immediately the outward appearance is already good. But, it’s no different than a flower shop. The garden is always here, so it’s a fun thing to change.
In the middle of the white, there’s blue, and in the middle of the purple is the dark purple, and they should bloom as if to dispel the rainy season. If it’s together with the white of the snowflake grass that is like a snow coming down, even if they get wet, the silver cup grass will shine.
Understanding the explanation, Yan-san’s eyes glitter.
「You’re amazing, Aniki!」
「……stop with that ‘Aniki’.」
With an indescribable facial expression, request it for the how-many-th time of Yan-san.
「Because I’m younger than you.」
「Aniki became an apprentice of Dennis-san before me, so he’s my senior! In other words, Aniki.」
Facing those genuine black eyes, I feel exhausted. With Yan-san’s rule of prioritizing the amount of experience, with this topic, we never come to an agreement.
「For Aniki, because I’m your junior, you don’t need to use polite language around me.」
I’m troubled by this request that yet again comes from Yan-san.
With Yan-san turning twelve years old as a start after becoming a pupil of the Baumgartner house, with how my birthday is soon, there’s one year between us.
I, even from the kids downtown and even from Leo, don’t mind casual speech being used towards me. Rather, when formal speech is used towards me, I feel bad. But, because up until now there weren’t any kids who were close to my age, so I use polite language for those equal to my age.
Even if I think that, the truth is I’m tired of not coming to an agreement after one month. It’s better if I break things down here, I think.
「Then, Yan. Is that fine?」
「I want you to stop calling me that, though……」
Incidentally, I ask Yan one more time, but he cheerfully rejects it.
What is it? There’s a feeling of looking at a young bird that’s been imprinted on. Yan is often safe. The time he came to the royal capital, it’s amazing he wasn’t pickpocketed or scammed.
「Let’s get back to work. Yan should also go back.」
I give up. This is an impossible guy. I get the sense that Yan is absolutely don’t back down on this matter.
It’s just a little under one month, but my understanding of Yan is good. It seems he was from a farming family that primarily dealt in vegetables in his hometown, so he’s used to gardening.He has knowledge about vegetables, but it’s useful to know the bare minimum about fertilizers and plant diseases.
During the time we’re taking a break after finishing planting the flowers, I ask about something weighing on my mind.
「Yan, why did you want to become a gardener?」
「Ah, that’s because of this.」
When I ask the reason he applied, Yan takes off his cotton gloves, and from his chest pocket, takes out a thin sheet of paper. The sepia of the thing he called his treasured item, is a picture of the Ernest family garden.
With this world, the photos are monochrome. Because cameras are expensive, taking pictures of things other than people is a hobby only for nobles.
I’m certain that Duke-sama’s father, the duke before him, had photography as a hobby. I’ve been shown photos taken by him in the previous generation. While being told he was squandering his money, he was laughing happily.
As for what Yan showed me, it’s one of the old man’s photographs.
「I’ve been shown it many times, so Benno-san gave it to me.」
So he could look at it anytime, but it was important to him, so he carried it around, wrapped in a towel, it seems.
「I heard a rumor, but I couldn’t believe that people put their hands on nature for anything other than to eat, and until I met Benno-san, thought gardening was just a rich person’s hobby.」
I agree with Yan’s opinion. There’s no leeway for commoners to use plants for anything other than to make a living. Because the royal capital’s standard of living is high, there are even ordinary people who grow potted plants, but it’s rare where nature is commonplace.
If in Yan’s home he was a farmer, he’d know the discomfort of treating plants unnaturally. The act of forcing them into unnaturalness, farmers do it naturally, and for gardeners, they do it to be pleasant on the eyes. People can’t live without food, but people don’t need gardeners to live. That difference is large.
「When I told Benno-san what I thought, with a really scary smile, he showed me this photo.」
Although I don’t know how it is, Yan apparently picked fights with the old man a lot. The spirit of Yan, who can tell a story while saying no, he was scared, is strong.
「For me, I didn’t understand anything about how it would be beautiful, but when I saw the photo of the garden, that something this pretty existed in the world, it surprised me.」
Even if it’s from a sepia photo, it seemed to convey how bright it was, Yan said with excitement. What he saw from the photo was like looking at a dream, and so the Ernest family garden he hadn’t even gone to was scorched into Yan’s mind, it seems.
「It’s amazing that people’s hands making something this beautiful.」
I understand the words Yan said. When I first saw my father’s work and thought it was like magic, I got excited.
「So, because I was disinherited by my father, I came here.」
At his indifferent look when that was said to me, I’m troubled.
When he said he wanted to become a gardener, his father told him that if in spite of being the eldest son, if he didn’t succeed in his work and took up some silly job, they would sever relationships, as he hit him. When I tried to double check, Yan, with a smiling face, said he would tell me the specifics. No, I don’t think that means I want to hear the specifics.
I also often eat my father’s punches and am scolded by my mother, but only during the times I must absolutely reflect. I never quarreled with my parents. But, in my past life, I only ever quarreled with my father. Maybe, during the time I was Tanaka Taichi, if I hadn’t gotten ill or not been in an accident, I would’ve been disowned. Certainly, it’s not different from the reason Yan was disinherited.
「Is Yan fine……?」
With one of my regrets in my past life being being unable to reconcile with my parents, I become troubled. Yan brightly smiles, but maybe he regrets it like me in my past life?
「It’s fine. I will absolutely become a gardener, then send my father a photo of the garden I made!」
I look at Yan’s smiling face and am relieved. It seems he hasn’t given up on his family yet.
「It would be good if someday, your father can recognize you.」
I feel like Yan is enthusiastic about proving himself superior to his father. I felt that his will, in comparison to mine, is very praiseworthy.
「Now then, next is pulling the weeds.」
After we finished our rest, when we tried to go back to work and stood up, from behind, something beared down on my shoulder with the force of a tackle. I unconsciously fell to my knees.
I have a memory of this faint and sweet smell, and called out their name while turning around.
「Yeees, I wanted to meet you. Recently, that idiot, my sister’s fiancé, has been really annoying.」
「I get it, so wait a second.」
Somehow or another, it would pacify Nico, who was implicitly badgering me because he had gathered up stress, he wanted to go hit something.
After Nico’s older sister, Heroise-sama, became healthy, her fiancé seemed to come back and forth. From Nico’s standpoint, since they were indirectly the cause of the curse on his family, he still didn’t trust them. But, as for Heroise-sama, because she was happy that it reached the point she could talk with her fiancé, Nico restrained himself as much as he could.
Because I have work, when I told him to wait, while pretending to be upset, he loosens the arm around my neck.
「Who’s this guy?」
Nico, who finally realized Yan’s existence, asks.
「Ahh, you haven’t already met, huh. As for Yan……」
「Ni, Nicolas-sama, didn’t I say that because Zack is still working, to wait for later!?」
「Are you Aniki’s girlfriend!?」
Seemingly, because Nico had found me and quickly come my way, Ojou, looking like she was at a half-jog, chased after him. With Ojou’s timely arrival, something strange slipped out from Yan, who was surprised at the situation.
I understood the meaning, but surprised at the misunderstanding, Nico raised an eyebrow.
「What is this guy saying?」
「Ah…… let me tell you, but Nico is a guy.」
Towards Yan, who was surprised from the bottom of his heart, Nico hits his chest with his hand.
「Which part of me looks like a girl?」 [T/N: Nico’s still using ‘atashi’ which is feminine so he’s not helping his case.]
「But, there’s no reason a guy would have a face this beautiful. Furthermore, the way you talk……」
「Don’t be silly, I don’t have breasts and my voice isn’t high, isn’t it? You, are your eyes and ears working!?」
「I-I am sorry!」
Losing to Nico’s spirit, Yan vigorously apologizes. Although Nico’s words are reasonable, I think Yan’s misunderstanding of seeing him as he isn’t a well-built guy was inevitable. Nico, compared to other women, is beautiful.
「……what do you mean by girlfriend?」 [T/N: Ojou coming in with the steel chair]
Ojou, who was troubled at Yan’s abrupt statement, asks with a whisper. It seems she might possibly not understand the meaning.
「For commoners, engagement is unusual, so they fall in love, become lovers, and after that, get married. There’s a lot of people who refer to the girl who is your lover as your girlfriend.」
Chairwoman, who was following her and escorting, kindly answered. Hearing the explanation and understanding, Ojou puffs her cheeks.
「You, are you the name Bauer, perhaps?」
「Eh? Ah, that’s me. I’m not used to it, so please call me Yan, Ojou-sama.」
During the time Yan was filling out his employment documents, he seemed to finally remember his last name. His home village was too rural, so they all used first names, and it seems there was hardly ever a reason to use last names.
「With mistaking Nicholas-sama as Zack’s girlfriend, there were two people you were rude to. Furthermore, your question was too rude.」
「I am very sorry. With how he clung to him, I thought surely that because they were on close terms……」
「Yes, that is correct! Nicholas-sama, please separate from Zack.」
At Yan’s words of reflection, Ojou scolds Nico, who was still clinging to me.
「Buuut, it’s been so long since we met.」 [T/N: Nico uses ‘Yaayo’ as a way of sounding cute but it doesn’t translate nicely into English. Link here to Megumu from If Her Flag Breaks using this. And yes, that’s a guy.]
「Just because it’s been a long time, does not mean it is fine to cling to him.」
Even if Ojou tells him to stop, Nico doesn’t show any concern. In reality, over the course of a month, Nico and I hadn’t met up. Because we didn’t know if the fiancé of Nico’s older sister would show up, he was cautious if it looked like it would be just the two of them, was the reason he told me before. As for today, it means that he got a preliminary warning of when the fiancé would show up.
From the circumstances a short while ago, it doesn’t seem like the interference has stopped.
「Zack has the scent of a sunny day, so it calms you down, you know.」
「Nio……!?」 [T/N: Not a typo, although it looks like one.]
Nico’s nose touches my hair, and I shake from how ticklish it feels. Certainly, because I’m in the sun, smelling like this isn’t strange, but I think if anything I smell of sweat. Besides, if it’s this condition, then Yan and my father should also have the same smell.
At Nico’s remarks and actions, Ojou, whose face turned bright red, puffs her cheeks even more than before. Because her stress emission takes time, I’d like for the teasing of Ojou to stop. I don’t understand the reason, but Nico is good at provoking Ojou.
「Stop disturbing Zack’s work!」
「Oh my, are you mad about only that, Miss Dia?」
I let out a long sigh, and when I call his name, Nico obediently lets go. With that way of seeing how things go, it’s as if he doesn’t hear her, and Ojou gets mad. If it’s this division of attitudes, Nico understands it, huh?
「Ojou, thank you for saving me.」
「I didn’t particularly……」
Ojou, who warned me but couldn’t stop Nico, tries to be modest even if I thank her.
「Yep. But, I’m happy you tried to help me.」
With a duke’s daughter, although she can’t run, Ojou came rushing at full strength, trying to warn about Nico so I could quickly return to work. Whether or not there is an effect, I’m thankful for those feelings.
When I thoughtlessly smile, Ojou blushes and turns her head away.
「……Nicholas-sama, let us go back!」
「There’s no helping it, huh. Until Zack’s free, I’ll endure it for Miss Dia.」
「Nicholas-sama, you’re being rude to Lydia-sama, you know.」
「And you, no matter how much time passes, are stubborn.」
「Emilia, Nicholas-sama is putting on a performance, so please don’t scold him over minor things.」
「Who was the one who reached the most just now?」
Seeing Ojou chiding Chairwoman for her oversensitive reaction, Nico snickers. In the end, while arguing, Ojou and the others go back to the estate.
We try to go back to work, but Yan, for some reason, keeps looking between me and the direction of the three who just left. When I tilt my head to ask what’s wrong, Yan, as if confused, mumbles.
「Aniki, if Nico-nee-san isn’t your girlfriend, what is she?」 [T/N: The way I laughed reading this]
Why is Yan calling Nico with ‘nee-san’? Certainly with their exchange a little bit ago, he must have guessed something. Inadvertently he called Nico with his nickname in Kimiboshi. This is the first time I’ve heard someone other than my sister call him that.
「Being friends with nobility, Aniki is amazing!」
‘No, it’s just occasionally, so……」
It was seriously just a coincidence we met. Nico was bad at making friends with other nobles, so it’s only that we’re on good terms. Furthermore, it’s not because he’s a noble, I became friends with him.
At my response, Yan says that even if it’s a coincidence, it’s amazing, and his eyes sparkle. I can only return a forced smile. Apparently, I’m not good at being praised. Up until now, I didn’t realize people recognized the effort I put in.
With work quickly coming to an end, I go to help Nico relieve stress. I’ll feel much better that way.
A few days after learning what they’re not good at, it’s almost time for people to close up shop as the setting sun dyes the market streets. In the middle of this, I was at a place where people are conspicuously gathered.
「Yan is nice, but……」
「Your father also doesn’t seem to be good with that part of Yan-kun, huh?」
「Eh, father, too?」
At the words of my mother who seems amused, when I look at my father’s direction, he looks grim. For other people, his face gets even more grim and it looks like he’s mad, but it’s only weakening.
My father seemed to be receiving Yan’s sense of honor even more than me. I can’t help but sympathize with him.
However, although he was genuinely praised, why can’t he be honestly happy?
「Being clumsy with this sort of thing, it’s like father and son, isn’t it?」
When I tilt my head in confusion, my mother, while smiling, states her impressions. There, my father lightly frowns and looks at my mother.
「……what about Rie?」
When my father asks what about that person, my mother’s eyes widened as if she didn’t think she would be asked.
「Me? Let’s see, I’m happy.」
My mother laughed as if indifferent, saying that everyone similar is family. But, if it’s my mother, it seems she’s able to laugh, say her thanks, and parry it. As expected, as mother says, I resemble my father.
「What is it?」
While eating herb-baked chicken, I ask a question.
「It’s simple. We don’t know Yan-kun very well.」
「Ah, I see.」
While distributing the potato salad, my mother returns a reply. I finally agreed. Although only one month had passed since meeting Yan, but I can’t accept him single-mindedly affirming me. I have the feeling I’m being viewed through a filter of the gardener job he yearns for.
I understand the reason, so I’m a little refreshed.
「Then, I’ll patiently take a chance.」
Even if it’s unreasonable to do so immediately, someday, I want to be able to get along with Yan properly. It’s fine even if he finds out that the true-to-life me isn’t the important person he thinks I am.
「See, even your father should pull himself together and eat. Especially because it’s Zack’s treat.」
After I’m patted on my shoulder as if to cheer me on, my mother also patted my father’s upper arm. My father, if anything, had a feeling as if he was motivating himself.
We, now, are eating in a place called Ingrid’s Pub. It has lots of food for and alcohol for adventurers, so it’s only attached to a tavern, and also serves lunch. It’s like a family restaurant from my past life. The restaurant is popular with commoners so there’s a line at lunch and at dinner it’s basically a full house.
In my past life in Japan, during May there’s Mother’s Day and during June there’s Father’s day, so it was easy to do something to take care of my parents around that time. I decided it. Since it had reached the point I received my salary, I took my parents out to a rare eating out.
My mother took a bite of her delicious looking corn soup and smiled.
「Thank you, Zack. I wanted to come here once.」
「Is that right?」
「It’s because recently, there was a rumor that it’s flourishing too much because a cute girl started working here.」
「A cute girl??」
If a pretty girl who attracts customers to the store starts working here, will it be a popular point of conversation among the housewives? Because she’s a girl, if she’s popular, maybe she has a good personality and is a good person.
For me, I thought it would be good if my mother had a day where she didn’t do cooking preparation or clean up, and only picked a restaurant with a reputation for good food. In fact, when I requested for a complex menu with things you can’t make at home, my mother seemed to be happy.
「Thank you for waiting for your salmon and spinach baked pie!」
The other dishes are pushed aside so the requested dish can be placed. when I look in the direction of the voice, a short-haired boy who was suitable for restaurants smiling. He looks to be the same age as me.
「Thank you very much.」
「It’s no problem. Are you fine with the meals going together? I’ll bring dessert afterwards.」
「Ehh, it’s fine.」
「That’s good. No matter what it is, Aunt Ingrid’s cooking is delicious, so please enjoy yourselves.」
The boy, boasting as if it were about himself, resembles a golden retriever with his soft light brown hair. Because he says that no matter which one it is, it’s delicious, I understood that with the smell and appearance, even if I haven’t tried it, it’s good.
「Frank, you’re next.」
With that, I casually watch the boy who lightly bows before pushing the kitchen trolley. Although he’s young, he’s greatly courteous, so I’m impressed.
Is he a guy? That is, he’s suitable for the talk of the housewives. He isn’t a pretty girl used to attract customers, but I was surprised it was a guy drawing attention.
「He’s a good kid that works hard.」
Is that the meaning of cute? Because I wasn’t interested at all even if she was a girl, I listened to what my mother told me.
I’m told that for the sake of sending money to his large family, he came to the royal capital by himself. In spite of being unskilled at living independently for their age, they’re working away from home, so it’s a story that arouses sympathy.
When I eat while looking, the boy called Frank worked very energetically. His smile doesn’t go out, and he moves so as not to run into people, removing empty plates, and even in taking orders he’s quick. Although he isn’t restlessly and openly move, his power to judge everyone’s condition is very high.
I felt genuinely amazed. I can’t copy him.
Since I’m receiving martial arts training from Heinz-san the butler, I feel that my viewpoint on people’s movements have changed. I realized this was a whole new stage.
「Miss, where can I wash my hands?」
「It’s to the right of the inside.」
Although they don’t ask in a loud voice, the older lady who has a good physique tells them where the washroom is. Because the customer who asked was at the table next to ours, my eyes are drawn to their finished meal.
That customer doesn’t go towards the bathroom, their existence becomes cloudy.
At the sudden indication of dark magic, my throat suddenly felt like it was stuffed with food. Even when I drink the tea my mother handed me and calm down, I didn’t take my eyes off the guest who released dark magic. Rather than erase their sensation, it felt like they became mixed with the people here. It’s magic that can’t can’t completely erase the presence since there’s a little bit of magic power, but for me there’s only an uncomfortable feeling of seeing a mosaic.
I realized they aren’t going towards the bathroom, they’re going towards the store entrance, and put down my dishes, leaving my seat. If I call out to them, then all the more they’ll run away. When I’m worried about what to do, Frank, who had finished serving the customer, goes in front of them.
「I’m sorry. Ah, if it’s the bathroom, it’s that way.」
Was he able to recognize the customer and lightly bump into them? After Frank apologized, he guided them with a smile.
「Out of the way!」
The instant the customer tried to push Frank out of the way, I ran up the five meters of the distance and struck his back shoulder with my foot.
While holding onto the guest’s head with my legs, I twist my center of gravity backwards. there, his upper body falls. Because I’m on his shoulder, it’s a posture where he can’t easily get up.
「Hey, pin him down on his leg, too!」
「Eh, um, yes!」
Because there might be techniques with his feet free, even while Frank is bewildered by the request, he helps me in capturing him.
「This guy was leaving the restaurant without paying!」
When I raise my voice, the gazes of the guests at the surrounding tables gather. When I look at them, they seem drunk, but it seems they’re strong adventurers.
「Trying to eat Aunt Ingrid’s food for free, you’ve got guts, don’t you?」
「Oi, bring me the rope left over from the monster capture!」
Oh, they’re reliable.
Confirming that the muscular adventurers are surrounding the diner-and-dasher, I get off from his top.
「I’ll call a guard.」
Frank, who retreated the same time I did, leaves the shop. He’s also quick to cooperate.
When I’m relieved it’s fine, I feel something behind me. When I look around, my mother and father had stood up. It feels like they’re mad about something.
「It’s not ‘What’! You promised before that you wouldn’t do anything dangerous!」
「Eh. But, if you don’t take surprise someone who’s trying to dine and dash, you won’t ca—」
Before I finished speaking, there’s a thud, and I ate my dad’s unforgiving fist. I let out a silent yell from the pain, and held the area I was hit with both hands.
「It was dangerous, wasn’t it?」
「……I, I’m sorry.」
From the beginning, even if I made a moment of opportunity, I feel like I would have asked for help from the surrounding adults. It’s a store with many adults, so I thought there would be one or two people with good skills. So, even if I say I didn’t think it was dangerous, it’s only an excuse.
Because there’s no change to the worry it caused my parents, I obediently apologize. The me at this time didn’t know I would receive a lecture from my master about overestimating my capabilities.
A little while later, I finish eating and pay for the meal. While talking with my parents about how delicious it was, someone called out to me around the time we were leaving.
「Excuse me, sir.」
「Hm? Did I forget something?」
The one who called me was Frank.
Just to be sure, I check my pockets. My wallet is properly there, so I shouldn’t have anything else I brought with me.
「No, thank you for today. You saved me.」
I tilt my head at Frank, who deeply bows.
「The ones who caught him were the older guys.」
When I point out the adventurers who seemed to be in the middle of having fun and making a racket, after taking a glance, Frank smiles at me.
「You were the one who noticed first, sir.」
「Hm? You were the one who noticed first, though.」
When I tilt my head, asking what he’s saying, Frank looks at me with a little amazement.
I noticed because I was steadily watching them, but because Frank was watching over everything, they anticipated it. Because he understood the customer asking where the bathroom is was a diner and dashing criminal, maybe he understood the positioning of where he would be.
「Because I have a lot of siblings, I became good at this kind of thing….. but, I couldn’t stop him myself.」
I see Frank’s seemingly embarrassed smile and am curious.
「Hm? That’s amazing, isn’t it?」
Because I’m bad at remembering people’s faces and names, I feel I can’t copy him. I think it’s an amazing ability, and even trying to stop someone from leaving without paying, the courage to do that is an impressive thing.
When I say my honest impressions, Frank smiles as if he’s shy and says his thanks.
「Thank you. Next time you come, I’ll serve you.」
This time, I was honestly thanked. The way he casually acts as if we would come again, he’s good at business. I think that Frank is good for this store.
While returning home, both of my parents promise that we’ll go there again.
Nothing too special about this chapter, I think. Nico is always fun to translate, though, and doubly so when he gets mistaken for Zack’s girlfriend in front of Ojou, no less. Also why do I get the feeling Frank probably ends up being one of those hidden otome game routes, bahahaha.
Anyways, not much else to say. See you all next time!
2 thoughts on “43. Photograph”
You gotta love jealous Ojou
Definitely some hidden route character. Looking forward to more! I can’t help but re read the chapters we do have ♥️