15. Older Brother, finds a accomplice at the party
At the heart of the capital was the imperial castle.
Although named the imperial castle, it’s functions and structure are more like that of a palace.
Even though it’s midwinter, the garden temperature is still warm and flowers were still in bloom.
Of course, the phenomena was created with the use of magic tools.
It could be said, that this party is a spectacle that made one forget the season.
In the depths of the gorgeous garden, stood a glamorously large building.
The only comparison I could make from my past life, is if you added some tall towers to the Versailles Palace.
It was like a spectacle of the heavens watching the sunlight gleaming off the structure.
As expected of the king’s castle.
While admiring the castle, my family and I made our way inside.
The party has already begun.
While you could say that opening banquet for the party had started. First, the low-ranking barons and viscounts entered. Then the dukes, marquis’, and earls arrived in ascending order. Finally, the royal family entered to officially start the festivities.
Since they were equal or above in status of the ones who entered before them, there were already people chatting among themselves.
Each new guest would make their way to the center of the grand hall, but before that they had to wait in a gradually moving line outside.
Since we were a duke family, we did not make our entrance till right before the royal family did.
Normally there would be more formalities involved for each entrance, but the New Years party was regarded as a simple get together.
In addition, children like Micheline and I could freely move about the grand hall.
It was a privilege only offered to the late entering high noble families.
In the first place, the barons could only bring their wives to this event, and the children of the viscounts had to stay by their parents side.
Only members of the earl and above families could move around.
When you reached the marquis’ and dukes the freedom was virtually unrestricted.
Despite being a relaxed party, such actions are taken to prevent deep rooted conflict from spreading between the children.
The noble society seemed to worry a great deal about socializing.
At the entrance of the grand hall
The house attendant Ion informed the masses of our arrival.
“Duke Alderton and his family have arrived.”
It was not a loud voice, but it was clearly heard.
It was probably amplified by the use of a magic tool.
After our introduction, we slowly entered the grand all.
The hall was as big as its name implied. I estimated it to be around 100m x 200m. Between each column there was an expertly crafted sculpture. Between each stained-glass window hung a beautiful painting. Hanging from the high ceiling was a tapestry depicting a mythical scene. Illuminating the room was an abundant amount of chandeliers, that were all powered by magic tools. Tables filled with food and drinks are scattered all around the room.Finally, there were many castle servants elegantly moving through the room.
When I stepped into the hall, I felt all the attention focused on my family. However, there was not a single criticizing gaze among them; instead we received only casual glances from everyone.
In accordance with etiquette, people that seemed to be viscounts, came up to greets us. Father just generously nodded to this without speaking to any of them.
I wonder if they reside close to the Alderton dukedom?
Due to the sheer size of my family’s territory, there were a lot of small and medium sized land holders coming to greet use. I sympathized with them for having to rely on such a powerful feudal lord.
In retrospect, my parents did seem to have a lot of frequent visitors.
Father also seemed like a very capable feudal lord.
Putting the thought aside, I continued to make my way to the center of the room.
The members of the other duke families awaited.
The difference between them and the other nobles could be felt.
The clothing of the nobles were similar to the ones wore in the European middle ages. The men commonly wore tight fitting hemmed pants, though there was a lack of shoulder pads. The women were using old fashioned corset, that had fallen out of use in my past life.
The Japanese ideal of beauty is nowhere to be seen.
Despite being in such luxurious outfits, all of the dukes acted absolutely natural.
I wonder how I appeared in the eyes of the others?
In my current state, the common sense and personality of another life has been integrated into my current one.
There are still trace superficial behaviors left on the surface, but the insides have greatly changed.
The previous Marcel was more like a fat pig then a person. However, as the eldest son of a duke, there is an incongruity between my position and actions now. Some would even say that the arrogance of my former self was a necessary tool in my life.
So it was very difficult for me to act naturally in this situation.
When I try to act natural it comes off as feeling artificial. It takes the greatest effort to not place any effort into your actions. Failing to do so will only make your actions appear unnatural.
Then there’s the fact that doing nothing is also useless. Its as they say, there is no tale without its own hardships.
……Since its going to feel unnatural anyway, I might as well try be remembered for human actions instead of pig ones.
I braise for the worst.
“If it isn’t Duke Alderton. Long time no see.”
A tall man in his mid-30s speaks up with a smile on his face.
“Well, the same to you duke Brensmia. “How have you been?”
Father replies with a smile of his own.
It is unnecessary to have sympathy, as it was normal for nobles of the same rank to interact with each other.
Mother also delivers a smiling greeting.
“There is another set of greetings left to be made, Duke Brensmia, this are my children Marcel and Micheline.”
Spurred on by father, I take a step forward.
“It’s an honor to met you. I am Marcel, the young lord of the house.
I introduce myself in accordance to proper etiquette.
“It is an honor to met you. I am Micheline, the young lady of the house.”
Micheline also says a proper greeting.
“Ah, what splendid children you have. I would have loved for my children to introduce themselves, but they’ve already left. Perhaps later on.”
Duke Brensmia seemed a little upset.
“Hahaha, Its only natural that children would want to interact with other children.”
“Father the ladyship of the duke Claudette family is coming this way, may I go speak with her?”
After spotting a friend, Micheline asked for permission to leave,
“Oh, it’s one of your daughter’s correspondence partners. Of course it’s fine to leave. Go ahead.”
Father beamed with joy as he allowed her departure.
Micheline seems to know a lot of people, doesn’t she?
Hmm, maybe I could do it to.
Father, there are also people that I would like to greet, so may I be excused as well? Also, may Ion come as well?”
Father’s expression is a surprised one.
Could he be the first one to notice my changes?
“Oh, go ahead. Ion, I leave Marcel in your care.”
“Thank you very much. Duke Brensmia, I am very sorry, but I will be taking my leave.”
My apology left Duke Brensmia with a wide-eyed stare.
“……A truly excellent son. I wish my son would follow his example.”
“No no, the rumors I head say that you have a son overflowing with brilliance duke Brensmia.”
It seems that father heard a rumor about that family’s son, so there is no doubt that me-related rumors have been spread around to,
I don’t no the source of those rumors, but perhaps hearing them will help me regain the memories of my pig self.
After all, it’s hard to act without any information.
Frankly, when talking face-to-face, the one that has to hide their surprise has no excuse.
“After my farewell, Ion and me make our way towards the edge of the room before he speaks up.
“Sorry Ion, but there is something I have to ask you. Was the investigation fruitful.”
“Don’t worry, I have investigated properly.”
Ion smiled gently.
What a nice smile.
“The person in the myrtle green jacket is Bruno of the marquis Vaster house.”
“Oh, then lets go.”
I slowly approach the boy from my generation.
“Parton my rudeness, but you are Bruno of the Vaster household right”
“Th-That right, and you are?”
Bruno was surprised at my question.
Hmm, I intended to ask normally, but why are you so cautious?
Immediately, an attendant of the Vaster house whispered something in Bruno’s ear, and it caused him to take a step back.
He seems to have become aware of my identity.
The attendant seems to have a skill for identify key figures of the noble houses.
“As you heard, I’m Marcel of the Duke Alderton family. 3 years ago, it seems that I kicked at you, and I would like to apologies for that. That’s all.”
Although it may seem a little exaggerated, I lowered my head in sincerity.
The point of my greetings is to properly apologize to the people I talk to.
Even thought they were wrongdoings I committed 3 years ago, it was wrong to leave thing as they are.
Normally,if you act too outside your normal behavior then people would be shocked at it, but I will not get another chance to fix my mistakes if I miss this opportunity. I want to avoid leaving things unsettled, so I have to do this.
“Eh, eh eh!?”
Bruno was even more shocked then he was a while ago.
“……You, are you really Marcel Alderton?”
Bruno unintentionally called out my full name in response.
Oh, in the face of this unexpected turn of event the attendant dandy expression broke.
It seemed that he didn’t predict that Bruno would make such a mistake.
“I had the same reaction the other day, when I told some that I was the real Marcel Alderton.”
When I showed that I was not upset by the reaction, the realty of Bruno’s actions finally registered with him, and he lowered his head in shame.
“……I know it is selfish to ask, but will you accept my apology?”
“Ah, of course! Although I was scared and it hurt, I didn’t suffer any major injury at that time.”
After meeting with Gasper, I had Ion tell me of my past wrongdoings. At first Ion was reluctant to tell me, but after I told him my intentions for the New Year’s party, he told me everything in great detail. To summarize, the injuries were limiter to light bruises, and father had Ion pacify the families of the effected parties, thus settling the matter.
However, things were not as simple as they appeared to be. I have to apologize to the victims by any means. Some part of myself would be left in disarray otherwise.
So I will have Ion point out the victims, so that I can own up to my actions. Although lightly, I still injured two other people like Bruno.
“Thank you for giving me your forgiveness. ……ah, I’m sorry to ask, but would you be willing to help me apologies to the other two? The other side would probably cower if I go alone.”
“Apologizing to Nicholas and Enrico?”
Bruno watches me with a surprised look.
“You see, because they were victims like you.”
When I said so, Bruno began to think about something with a complex expression.
“…I can’t believe it. That you are Marcel Alderton.”
Suspicious, Bruno mutters that in a subdued voice.
“I don’t know if it will help even if spoken, but half a year ago my little sister was engaged to prince Edward. This caused me to reflect on myself. I decided not discriminate based on family status and to emulate the king’s older brother Raiheart.”
“Even if I accept that, there was a rumor going around that surprised me. The thing I heard was amazing.”
Bruno put his mouth to my ear to tell me something.
He voice seems to reach the attendant, who rolled his eyes in bewilderment.
Dandyism is ruined.
This Bruno had a subdued atmosphere but he gave off the same reliable feeling of Roy.
“Ah, I didn’t notice. This alone would end the fear of those I visit, I ask again that you come along with me?”
“……Hmm, Okay. You, who is genuinely sincere, seems interesting.”
He was in.
Bruno laughed merrily, upon accepting my request.
Well, I was worried about this a little, but now I have a mediator.
I can now justly apologies.