Within the first floor of the mansion, Vio studies spirit magic in a quiet room, a place where the sun does not meet.
During the afternoon, as he was walking toward the room, he encountered the maid Lil (リル). She was dressed in the appropriate uniform, a white apron hanging over a black dress. A pair of fluffy white rabbit ears atop her head.
These people are known as beast folk. There are roughly four types of this race: those whose ears and tails resemble rabbits’, cats’ and wolves’, and those who have feathers springing from their backs like birds.
In this world called Edelbaran, humans and beast folk coexist.
Depending on the country, either humans or beast folk are considered to be a lower class. However, there is no discrimination in the Kingdom of Istia, where Vio lives. The separation between nobles and commoners is striking. There are even beast folk among the nobility.
There is no distinction between the two races apart from appearance. Spirit magic proficiency and physical ability depend on the individual. Some beast folk are bad at exercise; some humans are poor at spirit magic.
In a sense, they are quite similar.
He summons Lil, who is walking quietly at the end of the corridor. Before long, she turns around. She beams, her smile blooming like a flower.
“Lord Vio, are you going for a stroll?”
Apart from emergencies, Lil is always calm and relaxed. Taking in that bright expression, Vio feels as if he and the surrounding nature have been soothed. She exudes the aura of an elder sister two years his senior, one who can be relied on. As a matter of fact, her legs are very fast. However, it is hard to tell just by looking at her usual appearance.
“No, to the laboratory. Lil, I have composed a new magic. Won’t you come see?”
“Is that alright? Certainly.”
Grateful, she accepts his invitation. Because Lil is poor at spirit magic, whenever her master utilizes it, she would watch happily like a child. He invited her because she thought of him as a great person and looking at her expression made him happy.
After entering the laboratory, Vio scribbles a magic circle with the ink made from the powder of melted spirit stone. He utilizes spirit magic to produce a light for the party at once.
As the magic circle shines, a butterfly made of light materializes, jumping out into the room.
A little while ago.
Legion Salt is at a loss.
“Here is the duchess’ power of attorney. Yet, it’s still useless?”
Even when he presents the letter that he received from the Duchess of Lesserhain, the old butler shakes his head. “Please forgive me. Such is the master’s intention. He has stated that a guardian knight is unnecessary… I apologize for having troubled you to travel so far. Please have a safe trip.”
“I will not leave with such a decision! I’ve already received one month’s wage from the duchess for my father’s medical bills. I must serve. Do have some pity on me. May you please grant me a favor regarding this?”
This exchange goes on for thirty minutes. He laments, but the old butler continues to deny him stubbornly.
(In this case, it would have been better if I had stayed with the Royal Knights.)
Legion hailed from the Duke of Lesserhain’s territory. He grew up in a merchant’s house, inheriting his talents from his father, a retired mercenary. At nineteen years old, he was known to have the best swordsmanship in the entire country. By chance, he became the subordinate knight of a traveling noble. He left the kingdom’s capital at the age of twelve, but returned to his birthplace at twenty years old, intent on working for his hometown. Since his father suffered an injury, he returned earlier than planned, but…
The hometown he had held in his dreams was a worse place than he thought previously.
Commoners were kidnapped from left and right, as if the duke’s rule did not exist. Though the current lord was difficult, he thought he could guide the heir apparent Rupheus on the path to righteousness. Despite this, after three days he was dismissed with a single utterance: “do not preach to me with such vulgar social standing.”
For Rupheus who was confident in his martial arts, to see a commoner like Legion rise into the position of a knight was irritating.
Or, was Legion’s sense of justice from his youth the problem?
If the duchess did not pick him up, he would be lost on the road.
Well, currently he is pretty bewildered.
(If I cannot serve here, then I can’t repay my debts. Regarding the duke, he will send me to the arena. That would be a bleak future.)
The road to hell is easy to predict. Legion blanches.
(Even the infamous incompetent younger brother is unlikely to receive me.)
This is the worst. He entertains the thought of absconding to a neighboring country.
If one is caught deserting his debts, the punishment is death by hanging.
Legion cradles his head with his hands and groans, earnest as he argues vehemently and desperately. Even so, the old butter’s answer remains as “no.”
“Would you at least let me meet with the younger brother? Please.”
“Please have a safe trip,” says the aged butler, obstinate in his ways. Legion breathes out a sigh.
He considers staying in town today and coming back tomorrow.
If pushing is no good, then he can only retreat for now.
“Understood… I will return for today.”
He turns toward the gate to leave. As he pushes the door made of steel fencing, behind him the old butler clears his throat unnaturally. “Cough cough.”
When Legion looks back, startled by the cough that is strange for a cold, the elderly butler casts a fleeting glance at the garden while covering his mouth with a hand.
“Sir Salt, the garden of this mansion is breathtakingly beautiful. Please examine it if you would like.”
“Ha? No, the pleasure is mine.”
The words of refusal are interrupted by the loud coughing. The aged butler laughs with a smile. Legion blinks, understanding finally what the other is playing at.
The old butler cannot guide him; despite this, if he meets the master of the house by accident while strolling through the garden, he cannot be faulted. His face brightening with hope, Legion bows to the aging butler.
“Without fail, I shall indulge in such a magnificent sight. I appreciate your concern.”
The old butler returns his thanks, setting forth to the mansion with a “farewell.”
As the butler stated, the garden is arranged in a resplendent manner. The shrubs are trimmed round, with colorful flowers lining up charmingly between them. Even through untrained eyes, one can tell that the gardeners are diligent. Fascinated, Legion remembers his original objective and starts to move.
He appreciates the garden to the utmost while pretending to be the wind, inquiring about the mansion’s state of affairs.
Where is the master? Since that old butler insisted for him to visit the garden, the master should be in a location visible from here.
(Going to the arena or death by hanging. I don’t feel at ease fleeing to a neighboring country to avoid crisis. This place is very different from Nada Town. It doesn’t look like Lesserhain territory at all.)
It is incredible how people’s cries and screams go unheard there. In the castle town of Nada, where the lord’s manor is located, children with dark eyes stay at the slums. At present, Leca has a calm atmosphere.
As Legion walks in contemplation, he notices that a room in the back is shining. He hears the cheers of a woman who is enjoying herself.
Secretly, he peers through the open window to presumably a servants’ quarters. His eyes widen.
There are palm-sized butterflies twirling through the room. They are composed of light and flutter about; instead of scales are dancing petals made from scattered light.
A silver-haired boy creates butterflies from his hands through the use of a magic circle. Each time a new butterfly appears, a girl of the beast-folk race applauds.
Perhaps because he is glad to see her reaction, the boy smiles softly.
The moment he sees his smile, Legion suffers a shock as if he were struck by lightning.
The silver hair reminiscent of a clear stream flows smoothly, resting on cheeks as white as porcelain. Violet eyes with a slight droop. A straight nose and a pair of pleasant lips. Even with the cool appearance, the drifting atmosphere seems warm.
He is reminded of a flower on a plateau.
Even in harsh soil, those white flowers bloom with dignified statures.
(This is Violant Lesserhain…)
Legion understands immediately.
He appears to have inherited the beauty of his mother, the duchess Viola Lesserhain. Whether the blood of the royal family is worth special consideration, he has an elegant bearing.
In truth, Legion does not hold much hope for Violant.
That is because within the lord’s manor in Nada town, there are rumors regarding Violant as a good-for-nothing. Rupheus, the elder brother, spouts abusive language about him unreservedly, “incompetent” and “dullard” to name a couple.
He has no talent in either martial arts or spirit magic. It is an open secret in Nada town that he was driven away to the suburbs due to his weak constitution.
No matter how clumsy or foolish the master, if he has a bit of common sense and a place to work, then it will be fine. When the wall is lowered, Legion is shocked by his unforeseen and excellent positioning.
He almost forgets to breathe while watching Vio, staring into those purple eyes by accident. Startled, his eyes widen.
Vio pales completely as if he saw a ghost, staggering without aim. He screams, crouching down on the spot.
Legion wonders if he is being seen as a criminal, bubbles of impatience expanding in his chest. It is not amusing to be so misunderstood. Though, he acknowledges that he is slightly dirty for traveling one week by horse.
The beast-folk girl supports Vio’s shoulder, hiding him behind a desk. Then she turns around and breathes in hard.
“Someone, there is an intruder! Someone please come!”
Calling for help with a surprisingly loud voice, the girl holds an arm in front of her body and takes an offensive posture. The stance is familiar. There is a shrine dedicated to the great spirit that guards the country. A priest protects the shrine using a profound martial art.
Whichever way one looks at it, her martial art and that of the priest are one and the same.
But Legion cannot escape. If he runs away, he will seal his destiny as her foe. He is flustered upon forming an excuse.
“Oh, I apologize for causing a stir. Um, I was given permission to appreciate the garden…”
“Talking is useless!”
The beast-folk girl zips toward Legion at once, cutting off the distance between them. From her calm outward appearance, one would not expect such agile steps.
“Lord Vio’s enemy is my enemy!”
Since Legion hesitates, he has no time to defend, and he is blown out of the garden by a kick in the face.
Ending notes: They finally meet!
So, uh, plenty of lines that need to be checked (lol). I don’t have a TLC so I’ll just leave the blue text for a few days in hope that someone would take pity on me XD. After three days, I’ll revert the font color to black and drop an asterisk after each confusing line.
Also, I don’t really understand what the author means by “party.” Is that an actual party? She writes it in katakana, so maybe the Japanese meaning is different. Anyway, I’ve decided on Rupheus and Leca. Now, I need your opinion again: Lil or Ril?
Chapter two of NHAD should be released by the end of tomorrow. It is very long.
Huge love to Nome and Mint for checking over the lines!
As always, if you enjoyed this chapter, please leave a like or a comment below, and rate/review this novel on NU if you can!
You can also add to my tea fund wink wink.