Tensei Kizoku wa Taishi wo Idaku! - Chapter 20:Five-years-old, Valentine's Day.
Chapter 20:Five-years-old, Valentine’s Day.
Since New Year’s, a month has passed.
Everything was quiet and peaceful during the time after the party rush during New Year.
However, there was also an event in February.
――It’s Valentine’s Day!
February 14th is recognized as Valentine’s Day, even though there was no St. Valentine here.
White day too.
Even in this world, it was a day widely known as a day for women to convey their feelings.
A long time ago, a princess from some country fell in love with a knight.
However, their statuses were different.
Their love was strong, but it couldn’t be acknowledged.
So she presented him with a handkerchief, which she had embroidered with her own hands without letting anyone else know.
She wanted him to have a gift with her mark on it.
That was on February 14th.
The knight who received her present noticed the feelings of her princess.
However, their statuses were different.
Their feelings couldn’t come true.
Therefore, he decided to slay the small dragon that was ensuing chaos near the capital of that country.
The operation was successful.
As a reward for defeating the dragon, he asked for the princess’ hand in marriage.
――That was the event on March 14th, which will later be called as White Day.
(There is no comparison between that! Slay a dragon? The hurdles are raised too much. This must be so annoying for the ordinary men…)
When Isaac read that story in a picture book, he had such an impression.
In this world, women without any lovers would give embroidered handkerchiefs to the person they are interested in.
If the man was also interested then he’d go ask for permission from his parent’s home and the woman’s parent’s home.
Instead of the dragon’s neck, the man would do everything in his power to ensure the marriage.
For an embroidered handkerchief, the work needed in return couldn’t be compared .
Although the worlds were different, men were still at a disadvantage for this event.
But this was common sense in the Kingdom of Reed, and it was a big event before graduating from the Royal Academy.
The last chance for those who did not have a fiancé until just before graduation.
People desperately searching for a fiancé wouldn’t complain about it being a hassle.
Of course, there were a lot of people who didn’t spend Valentine’s day in a desperate search for a fiancé.
Many people already had a fiancé, someone they chose on their own or chosen by their family.
It was common for such people to view Valentine’s Day as “women serve home cooked food and men give them back gifts”.
Sometimes people from the same sex also gave each other chocolate as a sign of friendship.
Although the sentiments around that depended on whether they had a fiancé or not.
(Well, that doesn’t matter to me anyway…)
Isaac remembered his previous life.
Many of my friends used to say, “I got one this year”, but most of them came from their mothers.
(TL/N: Really? Parents do that? Mine never even hugged me.)
[PR note: Not your parent, but here you go mate ~(￣▽￣)~*]
In response, Isaac replied, “I got two”.
Of course, those were not from girls interested in him, but from his mother and sister.
The exchange was held every year for some reason, though it was a bitter memory for Isaac where every friend just licked each other’s wounds.
Why was Isaac thinking about this?
Due to the jet-black, ‘Object X’ in front of him.
Lisa was sitting on the other side of the aforementioned ‘Object X’.
“Thank you for telling me that I looked good for the New Year’s party. Now please, accept this.”
Lisa offered the mysterious object to Isaac.
Lisa probably just offered it as a friendship gift.
However, judging from the color and smell, it was just a carbonized clump of matter.
By any means, it was not something to be eaten.
(Hot cake or bread? Okonomiyaki?)
Because it has a round shape, it looked like it was cooked in a frying pan.
However, Isaac didn’t know what it was because the surface was scorched, completely scorched.
The occasional smell of roasted wheat amidst the hot charcoal like smell made it possible for Isaac to discern it as food.
Isaac looked around him.
There were only Isaac and Lisa, along with Adela and Patrick at the terrace courtyard.
Isaac turned to Adela who looked like his only chance at salvation.
However, she just averted her gaze.
“This is Lisa’s first dish. She would be happy if you took even a single bite.”
Adela wanted to cherish the feelings of her own daughter.
She was aware of the fact that this wasn’t something Isaac should put in his mouth.
But when she saw her daughter cooking for the first time, she thought, “If it’s just a bite …”.
(Oy oy oy! You’re my nanny right!? Shouldn’t you be stopping me from eating something like this!?)
Naturally, his concerns were ignored.
Isaac’s body was still young, so naturally its poison resistance was really low.
A considerable amount of damage could be done even with a bit of burnt food.
(Before Melinda tries to poison me, it’s Lisa…)
――The real enemy was in his own family!
Isaac now felt like Nobunaga Oda, who was betrayed by Akechi Mitsuhide.
(TL/N: Japanese history, ‘Akechi Mitsuhide’, famous as the person who assassinated Nobunaga Oda.)
“Lisa onee-chan, you cooked this for the first time right?”
“That’s right, but I made a few mistakes.”
Lisa laughed cutely with an “Ehehe”.
Isaac wanted to stroke her head saying “it’s okay, you did your best”, but he had his hands thinking about his survival.
Isaac desperately raked his brain to think of a possible escape plan.
“Lisa onee-chan, I’m sorry, but I can’t eat this.”
Isaac’s words froze Lisa’s face, which had a cheerful smile until now.
“I’m really happy that you offered me the first thing that you cooked. I want to eat it if possible, but I don’t think I should.”
Isaac said with a serious expression.
And then continued after a pause.
“In the future, when Lisa onee-chan gets married, I think your husband would be sad if he learns that the first person to eat your cooking was someone other than him.”
“But… Isaac… you’re like my younger brother.”
Lisa’s once cheerful smile had now turned into a face that was on the verge of tears.
“Still, we are not related by blood, so I don’t think it’s good. For Lisa onee-chan’s first time, I think you should save it for the person you’d spend the rest of your life with.”
Isaac said it openly, and he knew that his words could be easily misunderstood.
But if he hadn’t said that, then the other person might’ve thought,”if so, then….”
Being halfway clear would’ve been the worst thing, Isaac meant everything he said.
“But … Then what should I do with this?”
Lisa was staring at carbonized Object X with sad eyes.
As expected, this made Isaac uncomfortable so he decided to help her out.
“If you don’t want to give it to a man as a gift … I think it might be good if you gave it as a gift to a family member. I think they’ll kindly accept it.”
“Yeah let’s do that”
Lisa smiled brightly and began to think about whom she’d give this mysterious object as a gift.
This was the first dish she made.
Even if someone called it ‘mazui’, she wanted someone to at least taste it.
[PR note: ‘mazui’ essentially means unpalatable or disgusting]
So she was eagerly trying to find a soon-to-be victim.
On the other hand, Adela had a startled expression on her face.
She didn’t expect that Isaac would counter like that.
(Master Isaac…. so you did this?)
(You betrayed me first Adela, I just returned that favour.)
The two had a conversation with their eyes.
――A punishment for betrayal.
Adela betrayed Isaac, by abandoning her job.
So, as a punishment, she’d eat Lisa’s food.
The betrayal would be overlooked if she did that much.
(Is it because this is my new life or is it because it’s Valentine’s day?…)
He was glad that he had received a present.
However, there were limits to that as well.
(I can’t eat anything that has turned into charcoal like this. Only a fool would willingly eat this kind of thing. I respect Lisa a lot, but still, I can’t eat this.)
Isaac thought about it.
It might’ve been different if he had strong internal organs and some good medicine, but he still didn’t wouldn’t want to eat it.
Because he was anxious about his five-year-old body.
So for this time, it was a pass.
(It might be bad for her future husband, but hey you’re getting a cute wife, a bit of disgusting food won’t hurt.)
Besides, by the time she grows up, her cooking skills would also have improved.
The future changes depending on the efforts of the person.
Just because something is bad now doesn’t mean it will stay bad forever.
Adela looked troubled when Lisa asked her how she’d bring the mysterious object home.
Isaac was silently watching with sparkling eyes.
One of the maids came over to Isaac.
“Master Isaac, Lady Catherine is about to return.”
“I see, thank you”
Isaac had already planned for this.
He wanted to speak with Catherine.
“I’ll be back after greeting Catherine for a bit. So wait for me.”
Isaac told Lisa and Adela and then went into the mansion.
He was already five years old.
‘He just went to say hello, or maybe he wanted to go to the bathroom’, thinking such, Adela didn’t follow him.
(Now, time to put some effort in changing the future.)
Walking through the corridor, Isaac had a slightly strained smile.
Lucia, being the wife of the future Marquis, Randolph, stayed very busy during the New year.
Unlike her school days, most of her friends broke off after her marriage with the Marquis’s son.
No one knew she’d be treated like that.
But Catherine was on good terms with Lucia, even though in the beginning it was mostly flattery.
She knew that Catherine was visiting Lucia because it was Valentine’s Day.
Lucia only had a few friends now.
She used to have a lot, but quite a lot of them were royalists so they mostly refrained from visiting Lucia out of consideration for Milenda.
Therefore, the only one she had actual regular contact with was Catherine.
On Valentine’s day Catherine visited Lucia with a bottle of champagne.
A small girls-only gathering with some nice liquor along with cheese and crackers for snacks was prepared by Lucia.
“I’ll be leaving now.”
It was time for Catherine to leave.
“Yes, I’m sorry. I’ll get someone to escort you from the table.”
“It’s fine, I have to pick up Damian first”, Catherine said in an apologetic tone.
Fred, the heir to the Marquis of Wilmente, liked Damian, as he was a royalist and was of the same age.
In the end, he ended up becoming Nathan’s playmate.
But Damian wanted to play with Isaac.
She felt sorry for him, as he couldn’t interact with Isaac much because of his affiliation.
If it was the Catherine from some time back, then she would’ve rejoiced after hearing the news while saying,”friends of the Marquis? Let’s go!”
But she did not do it now, she had reflected on herself.
As she was Lucia’s friend, she came to Lucia on Valentine’s day, not Melinda.
She might be called an ‘opportunistic woman’ due to this.
However, this was the most sincere thing she could do.
“I wish everyone could get along well … Bye, see you again.”
Lucia said goodbye to Catherine.
At that time, one of her maids quietly went out of the room.
“Yes, I’ll come one or two more times before spring.”
In spring, Lucia would return to her territory.
After that, their only means of contact would be letters.
Lucia would feel lonely, but she was no longer a student, she was a mother and the first lady of the Marquis of Wellrod.
She couldn’t prioritize her own convenience over her duty.
When Catherine left the room, a maid escorted her towards Nathan’s room.
Even if it was a guest of the first lady, it was not good to let someone walk alone due to security reasons.
Isaac was waiting for her on the way to Nathan’s room.
“Mrs. Catherine, are you going home?”
A child’s innocent smile.
That smile hurt Catherine’s heart.
‘Damian wanted to play with Isaac, Isaac must’ve wanted the same as well’, Catherine thought.
“That’s right. Master Isaac seems fine and healthy as well.”
Catherine could only return a brief greeting.
She couldn’t find any other good words.
However, Isaac didn’t seem like he cared about it at all.
“Hey, Eliza. I want to talk to Mrs.Catherine for a moment, can you move a bit?”
The maid called Eliza moved back.
Catherine was surprised at that sight.
The member of a Marquis family and one of the future heirs remembered the servant’s name; this was nowhere to be seen in other houses.
―― “Hey”, “there”. “You”, “you”
Those were the words used to address the servants in other houses.
Catherine was surprised after seeing such an unusual thing.
“Hey, Mr. Catherine. I have a request, will you listen?”
Even though Isaac had his usual smile, he looked a bit sullen.
Maybe he wanted to play with Damian.
Thinking that, Catherine’s chest tightened up.
“I’ll happily listen to anything you have to say.”
Catherine had no choice but to answer that way.
Isaac’s smile took an even heavier toll on her conscience.
“Actually, I want you to tell Mrs. Melinda that Isaac is not suitable for her successor and Lucia thinks so too. Nathan should be the successor. And that Melinda is more suited to be the first lady.”
――Not a single word.
Catherine couldn’t say anything.
Isaac’s words contradicted all of the aristocrat’s teachings.
“If Catherine tells her that, it will be good for me and my mother. Can you please do it?”
“… Why me?”
That was all she could say.
She couldn’t utter any other words.
Not because her throat was dry.
She was upset due to the five-year-old’s words.
“Because Catherine is my mother’s friend. Catherine is from the Marquis of Warwick, right? So she will most likely believe you.”
“… Is it really good? Did you consult with your mother?”
Isaac shook his head in denial.
“Then it’s no good. I can’t do it.”
What Catherine said was correct.
She didn’t have the right to talk about the inheritance of the Marquis family.
Moreover, who was more suited for it was an internal matter.
“Please! When you meet Mrs. Melinda, just mentioning it would be fine. This is for me and my mother’s future!”
Isaac’s once smiling face now changed into one full of desperation.
That only clarified how much thought Isaac had put into his decision.
Catherine was moved.
“… I’ll just mention it once, just once. Is that okay?”
“That’s fine. Thank you!”
A smile returned to Isaac’s face.
Seeing that Catherine also felt relieved.
(Even though he’s just a child, he’s going through so much for his family…)
Catherine was worried about Isaac.
In particular, the power gap between Lucia and Melinda.
Isaac would face a lot of hardships because of the huge difference.
In face of that much suffering, surrendering and giving up the inheritance would also seem like a good option.
When she thought about that, Isaac seemed pitiful.
“Please give my best regards to Damian.”
“Yes, I hope both of you can play again someday… I’m sorry.”
Catherine apologized and left to fetch Damian with disappointment on her face.
Isaac saw her off from behind.
(I did it! I did it! I’m glad Catherine agreed. Coming from my mother’s friend, her words will be extra effective.)
The ones that gathered around Melinda already preached how, “Nathan is the only one suitable for the inheritance.”
And now Lucia’s friend Catherine would join them too.
With this Melinda would be fully convinced that, “After all, Nathan IS the only sole successor”.
Isaac wanted Melinda to be confident, too confident.
Catherine was just one of the stones.
(Fuseki would have no effect if you just keep taking drastic actions one after another. One needs to keep the opponent in a clogged state to play good moves.)
(TL/N: The opening move in the board game ‘Go’, kinda like the game Othello, but more complicated. Way more complicated.)
Isaac knew himself, he knew he was not talented.
That’s why he chose to build everything up steadily.
Catherine also didn’t think that the words, “Issac is not suitable for being a successor” was a stepping stone to push Melinda and others into the abyss.
Even if they noticed, Melinda and the others were already in their graves.
(It’s a small thing, but it’ll bear fruits only when it piles up completely. It might not look like much, but if you keep moving forward with spirit and guts, then you’ll somehow manage.)
Isaac had a big, almost-creepy smile while seeing off Catherine from the back.