Translated and edited by Silver
10. Older Brother, meets a rival in the capital
We arrived at the capital, 3 days before the New Year. 2 days ago, we left the Alderton Dukedom’s central residence. The trip took about 8 hours in a specially made carriage with acceleration and vibration reduction magical tools. Furthermore, the carriages of the bodyguards seem to only have the acceleration effect, for at each break I would see people that were blue in the face.
Micheline seems to have been well off, I thought sharing the same small space with our parents would have been hard, but she handled it unexpectedly and surprising well. The conversations grew lively when the story of dominate ancient languages were brought up. At dinner, Father talked about the territory and used the normal, parent-child way of speaking, as we enjoyed the mystery and meaning behind the story, however mother still showed some disdain whenever commoners and nobles interacted in the story. The expressions of my parents seemed more natural than usual, and Micheline seemed happy too.
In this brief moment I thought so.
However, in the closest town to the capital in the Alderton dukedom, the land baron was fired immediately on the first day of travel, for some small faults with the inn we stayed in. The former baron was immediately kicked out of his mansion and his former chief administrator, who gave off a villainous atmosphere, quickly took over.
I learned from Miss Mary that the so called real nobility of the Arufetozo kingdom started at the level of viscount. The barons seem to serve as a chief administrators of the territories of those with the title of duke, marquis, or earl. When there are no errors in administration and with a lot of luck, the proceeding generations of the baron’s family may retain the title and control of the land. With that sort of pedigree, it would then be difficult to remove them from their positions. However, most of the barons are in a position where they can be let go if their employer is simply in a bad mood.
The knight class that resides under the baron class is in a similar of those barons, or in some cases have the same value as a few small villages.
Father and mother could control their means of livelihood, like puppeteers, without much thought and were having fun chatting with Micheline the next night as we stayed in the town of Sile. While it was difficult to accept the values of the two while on the journey, the parent-child bond still remained.
We finally arrived at the imperial capital.
The major cite of my family’s territory, Kalando, was great in its own right, but the capital city was truly impressive. The castle was surrounded by several district layers. As we passed through each district, approaching the royal palace, the streets became flasher and flasher. As is expected, the main street was maintained by the entrance.
However, the outer-rim of the city’s wall was composed of slums, that were filled with many poor people. The beggars, vagrants, and orphans were forbidden from entering the main streets. It was the same for the imperial capital and my domains major city Kalando. As we advanced the scenery becomes even more luxuriance, but my heart became more clouded.
“Since the trees came into view, we will be arriving at the villa soon.”
Micheline who remembered her recent stay became excited.
Since it has been 3 years since I last came here there was no strong impression of the place. But a large tree was remembered because of the disparity between it in the rest of the mansion’s street.
The mansion was located in the district closest to the palace, the resident district of dukes and marquis’, and was filled with elaborately designed mansions. My Alderton family’s villa had been prepared ahead of time, so that our family could recover from travel fatigue.
The house steward was named Ion. When we first arrived I was surprised that Ion was the one to greet us, but learned that it was, in fact, Ion’s twin brother Ian that greeted us. The similarity of the two’s appearance was at the level that they could be swapped and no one could tell the difference. It is great to see the siblings working so will together, despite the problems being twins may bring up. When I came last time I should have noticed them right away, but at the time I didn’t give them the time of day.
The time we arrived was almost evening so I took a bath and had a meal after a short break. I wasn’t aware of it, due to the magic tool that minimized vibration, but we all seemed to have built up quite a bit of travelers fatigue on the carriage ride here. By the time of the meal, Micheline could barely keep her eyes open. When we stayed in the town of Schiele the day before, I was fine, but I fell asleep the moment my head touched the pillow.
The next morning.
I seem to have been unusually tired because I slept in. I remember vaguely someone trying to wake me, but they seem to have given up.
As I was evaluating the fact, there was a knocking at the door.
“Ah, please enter.”
“Good morning, Marcel-sama. Has your fatigue disappeared?”
Roy who was waiting outside the room came in. Even he most have been tired from the carriage ride, yet he managed to tough it out. It looked as if Kana who was on the same carriage as him did not show up thou, is he going to be OK to work?
“Here is today’s clothing”
Roy hands me my clothes.
“Thank you, is breakfast ready?”
“Yes. I had Kana go to the kitchen so that it would be prepared when you were finished dressing.”
For the time being, they don’t mention the fact that I was Bedridden.
“Could you please ask around if there is a place I can run at near the villa?”
I did not want to miss a day of training so I packed my exercise clothes and wooden sword for the trip. Although there was a garden, it lacked a training ground like the family mansion in our dukedom. There should be some open space somewhere in the capital.
“I had asked last night, there should be a suitable open park 15 minutes away by foot.”
As is expected, Roy, he worked fast. Servants are amazing.
I at breakfast at once, had a short rest, handed my sword to ray, and then made my way to the park.
I had wanted to carry my own wooden sword, as I would be the one to use it. However, the nature of the location would cause problems, although open to the public it is owned by and frequented by nobles. Therefore, it would cause a bad reputation if the attendant was empty-handed while the master was carrying something. Although, Roy would not have been empty-handed because he was still carrying the basket of fruits and drinks for the breaks, it still would have been looked downed upon for me to carry anything. I thought that something like that could reach the ears of my parents as a bad rumor, so out of fear I made Roy carry everything.
In addition, I asked Ion if it would be alright to practice swordsmanship here, and learned that it was an obligation of male aristocrats to polish their sword skills and that I would be praised for doing so. In fact, nobles that stay in the royal capital often time practiced in spaces like this. So I can train here in piece.
By the way, I still invited Micheline to come. However, for the daughter of a duke to pass out from exhaustion in public would also lead to bad rumors. So, Micheline instead was reading a book on ancient languages in the villa today. It’s said that my parents, who I didn’t see today, are out to a tea party with other nobles who have come to the Imperial capital for the New Year’s celebration.
Meanwhile, the park became visible as my mind wandered, and with every step became bigger and bigger. The field we arrived at had a diameter of 6-70 meters with a large tree at the center. Cobblestone pavement encircled the park, moreover the large tree had eight walkways that stretched to the perimeter. At first I advanced strait from the entrance to the large tree. The small hill gained a pretty good slope as I walked to the center of the park.
“It was big from a far, but it is overwhelming up close”
The tree trunk was about ten meters wide, and the overall height was about 50 meters tall. In my pervious life, it would most likely be considered a sacred tree.
Even the roots had special characteristics. Part of the roots grew above the ground, giving them a floating appearance. I could believe that this hill was made because this tree was here.
These strange roots matched my memory. When I came to the capital before, I seem to have visited this place.
I hung my head unconsciously. I was somewhat grateful for the thought.
“Now that the greeting is out of the way let’s begin”
I return to the perimeter of the park and start to do some light stretches. It is a rough estimate, but 1 lap should be about 200 meters. I aim to do about 15 laps.
“Please wait here a moment”
When I said so to Roy, I started running.
It was somewhat difficult to run on the cobblestone street. As there were uneven patches, I had to watch carefully where I ran so that I didn’t sprain my ankle. I go carefully as I complete my lap.
While I kept it up, I caught a suited youth enter the park. He looked to be carrying a basket and what appeared to be a sword rapped in a cloth.
Where there other nobles doing the same thing as me?
I thought about such a thing while passing him. If that is the case, I will meet them while running. I mean, in this neighborhood, there are only people of duke and marquis families. So we should be of about equal status. The marquis families are officially at the top of nobility, but in actuality the duke families hold more power. So it would not be much of a problem if I did not know the circumstances of the corresponding party.
I continued to running thinking so. I did 5 laps but still didn’t meet the mystery noble (tentative name). I couldn’t see their back and there was no sign of them from behind. Perhaps, our speeds are the same. Because there was no sign of a person running, besides me, it could only mean that our paces matched each other’s. It’s an interesting coincidence.
As I ran the 10th lap a person’s silhouette is seen in the edge of my vision.
Fiery red hair.
I could not make out their height from here, but they should be a child just like me. When the noble of the red hair looked at back for an instant, they began to run fiercely and disappeared from the view.
…… Would you by any chance want to play a game?
I did not want to cause trouble but old habits are hard to break. I started to run the 3 km with little restraint.
“Oh, it’ll be OK.”
I think in an optimistic way, as I finish running the 15 laps just like that. Sweat is wiped off at a starting spot, and I begin to eat some fruit and have some water.
“Marcel-sama, you may have already noticed, that someone who ran on the opposite way had already came.”
“Yes, I noticed. The red-haired guy?”
“Yes. I saw the form many times while waiting here, from the heraldry of clothes and red hair, I think, it’s one from the marquis Lambert family.”
With red hair, is a person of the marquis Lambert house?
Because I am in the Royal capital, there is the possibility of the capture targets appearing.
The eldest son of the Lambert family, a noble house that held outstanding military power in the kingdom, he is one of the capture targets that existed in the game.
Since he was the age of the heroine, he should be 1 year younger than me.
If I’m not mistaken, one of his settings was that he was a secret animal lover.
Something like a delinquent that feeds abandoned cats, maybe?
However I can only base this information on the game.
I certainly must meet him myself this time.
However, it would be strange to return to running in such a hurry, so I stay put and prepare for my meeting with Gaspar.
I saw the shadow of a person of the red hair over the curve.
Did you come at last?
He don’t come easily.
No, he was coming, but the progress was slow.
The red-haired boy came but was sweating a lot, he advanced one unsteady step at a time. There were wounds all over his body, but his eyes still carried a strong light in them.
His appearance reminds me of a relay race runner that tried his all to finish the race.
While I am stunned upon seeing him, Gasper finally arrives at my location.
“It’s my victory”
When he faced here, and I said so, he collapsed on his knees at last.
I hurry to support Gaspar’s body up just like a concerned coach of a marathon runner.
From the central way, the young male attendant ran in a fluster.
This was the first encounter of me and Gaspar Lambert.
A capture target finally appeared after 10 chapters. The progress may be slow, but pleas bear with me.
※ I received some impressions and had revised parts of the story. Before revising the rest of it I wanted to introduce a capture target.