I’ve decided to follow how the author numbers her chapters to preserve continuity. As you will soon notice, each chapter is split into several parts.
Asterisks (**) = I’m not too sure here.
Huge love to Nome for fixing many lines in this chapter!
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Chapter 1: The New Knight
Lesserhain territory, northwestern part. The town of Leca.
“What pleasant weather.”
Today, Vio enjoys tea in his room as usual.
Two years have passed since that cold winter day, in which Mikumo Yamato’s soul crossed over into Vio’s cooling vessel. Vio had only been fifteen at his death.
At present, he lives with a few servants in Leca Town, spending his days in his mansion atop a hill.
Leca sits at the foot of the Alpè Mountains. Although the winters stretch on, spring has finally arrived; within the garden, vivid and colorful flowers start their bloom.
Sipping his tea, he gazes at the figure of the gardener Ed, who is diligent in his labor.
Perhaps he should resume reading until lunch.
Vio contemplates his schedule.
In the past two years he has consumed nearly all the books in the study, though it is fine to reread them and review the information.
(That’s right, for the party I have to consider how to coalesce light into the shape of a butterfly. I should improve the spirit magic formula a little more.)
He studies the space between each flower, where the buttery flits in and out. Vio assesses the sight, deliberating on the structural formula and piecing together a correlation, when he’s interrupted by a knock on the door. At Vio’s reply, a fine old butler enters with an envelope in hand.
“Young master, a letter from the madam has arrived.” (奥様)
“Is that so? I have troubled you, Jill.” Vio accepts the envelope, flipping to its back. Written on it is beautiful penmanship of Viola Lesserhain. That is the name of Vio’s mother.
When he looks toward his chest, in search of a paper knife to break the seal, Jill presents one to him.
As one would expect, Vio breaks the seal quickly, with thoughtfulness and tact.
“Good grief. Mother is such a too diligent person. I send a letter once a week. The replies of thanks never make it in time.”
“Actually, there is one for me as well. It demands that young master reply to the inquiries.”
“I guess there is no avoiding it.”
Vio smiles bitterly. Yet in the nooks of his heart, he thinks about how Jill would not answer even if prompted. There is nothing to write in particular.
“The madam frets over you. She wonders if young master is doing well everyday, in this territory far from the lord’s manor.”
“Though I feel sorry for my mother, I am very relieved that I do not have to meet with my elder brother. He spouts nothing but disagreeable comments everyday and I’m tired of it. He says things like ‘not even able to leave the house, how miserable” or ‘disgraceful warrior.'”
“Do not concern yourself with that person’s reckless remarks. It is unavoidable that young master cannot go out. Besides, young master excels in spirit magic and that is enough.”
Despite being a calm individual, Jill will change whenever his elder brother Rupheus is concerned, the butler’s face becoming frightening. Currently, he says this in an indignant tone to encourage Vio.
Jill was his mother’s personal butler originally, but has taken care of Vio since his childhood. Until Yamato’s consciousness entered Vio, the boy was known as an incompetent son. This was due to his martial arts, academics, etiquette, and spirit magic that were all inferior to those of Rupheus, his older brother by five years. Because malicious gossip circulated in the lord’s mansion about an “incompetent younger brother,” Rupheus and his father regarded Vio as without talent, looking down at him with disdain.
Even so, Jill watched over Vio attentively. When the youth was driven out to Leca Town alone, he volunteered to follow suit. Among the servants, he is the man most trusted by Vio.
“Hehe, thank you Jill. Well, what is written in today’s letter?”
The letter predicts that Vio’s sister, Flora, would throw a tantrum from wanting to see him. Upon reading this, he corrects his posture, which he had relaxed unintentionally while in the chair.
Out of reflex, he grasps the letter with full strength. No matter how many times he reads it, the same thing is written.
“…This is the worst.”
At Vio’s grimace and mutterings, Jill inquires full of worry, “Are there any problems with the lord’s manor?”
“Ah, no. I do not have any issues with my family. That’s not it…Rather, a knight is arriving.”
“A knight, is it?”
“Yes.” Vio nods. He trembles from fear while speaking about the letter’s contents. “He will be my new guardian knight. My elder brother disliked him and had him dismissed. As such, my mother appointed him to me.”
He does not want to pick up or cast aside a person as if he was a stray cat or dog. Knights are troublesome as well. Beside the sighing Vio, Jill once again makes a terrifying expression. Those grey eyebrows scrunch up, wrinkles carving into his face.
“Rupheus-sama? …He has done something again?”
“Ah. This is the third time such a thing has occurred. It seems that this time I cannot avoid it. Moreover, that knight is this person.”
When Vio holds out the letter, Jill utters an “excuse me” before accepting it, and reads it. “How! Isn’t this Legion Salt-dono? Certainly it is impossible to dismiss this person. It is said that at the present time, he is number one in the kingdom in swordsmanship.”
As an individual who delights in intelligence, Jill understands how important the situation is just by looking at the name. Then he smiles, his face displaying slight happiness. “Is he not a wonderful person who loves justice and respects propriety? He is an appropriate candidate for young master’s guardian knight!”
“You are overestimating him, Jill. He will be wasted on me. Why did he volunteer for such a thing? It would have been better for him to enter the Royal Knights’ platoon.
Like in the comic “Princess Dances with the Night,” currently the Lesserhain family is crossing into the peak of corrupt nobility. The people are exploited: in order to pay taxes, they must sell their daughters to brothels as prostitutes or to noble residences as servants working free of charge. If one still cannot muster enough funds, then even if one is the breadwinner of a family, he will be brought to an arena and put through cruel situations, his death reduced to no more than a spectacle.
His father is vicious; his elder brother loves extravagance and has a bad personality. But neither are so bold to surpass the current management’s wickedness.
When war breaks out, those with distinguished merits will rise up in the vanguard without fail. Since his mother is the younger sister of the current king, no one can meddle with the Duke of Lesserhain readily.
Erik, the guardian knight who Vio had trusted, betrayed his master of such a background, fulfilling a modest revenge lost in his ways. After the circumstances were examined, it was revealed that Erik’s father had been imprisoned for false charges and succumbed to a disease-ridden death in prison. Because Vio did not bring this to his father’s attention, that person was successful in his task.
Erik has yet to be caught and Vio has no clue where he went.
Vio recalls his chest throbbing and complaining about the pain. He has not examined it since then. Jill shakes his head at his master’s objection, urging, “What are you saying, young master? Jill is graciously aware that you are a kind person. There are not many sons as splendid as yourself.”
“Good grief…What are you trying to do by pampering me, Jill?” Laughing with surprise, he returns the paper from Jill after sealing the envelope.”I am glad you are in high spirits, but send Salt-dono on his way.”
“But, young master…”
“I’m sorry, Jill. I do not need a guardian knight. I am still afraid.”
To this day, the pain from that winter day continues to scorch the deepest crannies of his heart. Although two years have passed, with spring already in bloom, as soon as he closes his eyes he can see the snowy earth.
His mind is still trapped on that day.
“Is that how it is…? This servant obeys.” The loyal butler bows, leaving the room.
Listening to the sound of the door shutting, Vio apologizes, closing his eyes.
Ending notes: The knight will appear in the next part. Yes, his name is Legion Salt! I don’t want to spoil too much, but when Legion first lays eyes on Rio, the scene is one of the most romantic things I’ve ever read, and the romance didn’t even start yet! It’s really great, watch out for it!
I’m not too clear about Vio’s elder brother’s name, though. Is it Lupheus or Rupheus? Maybe Rufus? And should the town be Reca or Leca?
Anyway, chapter one, part one starts off quiet. However, there’s a strong undercurrent if you squint. This novel is so interesting. I’m having a blast translating!