This chapter is the edited version of another translation. You can find the original chapter post here.
Please notice that this chapter has NOT been re-translated but only edited in order to improve the readability.
Please be sure to thank the translator in the link provided above, if you wish to express your gratitude.
This chapter was merely moved to this blog as the original blog has been inactive for quite a while.
By no rights Infinite Novel Translations claims ownership of the translation.
Editors: Garit, Loxy, Shasu
Having explained in great detail the circumstances that led our house to its current pitiful state, Erich (the fifth son) took a deep breath.
“That’s it for now. I have sword practice to get to.”
“No worries, it’s for my cute little brother after all.”
With that, Erich took his leave.
Because I have inherited the memories of the previous occupant of this body, I can recall that Erich is not really that good with a sword. Nonetheless, he seemed determined to learn it as quickly as possible, and he trains rigorously despite being a lower class noble.
In fact, there is no one in the Baumeister family that excels in swordsmanship.
That is likely because, although our territory is surrounded by monsters, we rarely come into conflict with them.
That is because monsters never leave their territory, a fact that has remained, without exception, for the past several thousand years.
You could say that, although the monster territory is close by, they don’t mess with us so long we don’t mess with them.
I’m ashamed to admit it, but because the Baumeister Knight Territory consists of only poor farming villages, each of the Baumeister children is assigned some sort of work. The only exception to this rule is Kurt, the eldest son and Father’s heir, who is not assigned any set duties.
I have never tried my hand at farming before. However, the population of the Baumeister territory is gradually increasing, so sooner or later we will need to expand our agricultural endeavors into the nearby plains, which are thankfully not occupied by monsters.
We also hunt in the forest for meat, but only where common wild animals live.
I can’t really say that this is noble work, but perhaps it is suitable for a poor knight family with a lot of kids. It is apparently the norm for lower class noble families in rural areas.
However, unlike most farmers, my family does practice martial arts, including the sword and bow, and they go horseback riding in their free time.
One day, as my mother was diligently making rope, I decided to ask her why the content of our lessons was surprisingly thin.
“As nobles, why don’t we learn etiquette, reading, writing, and math?”
“Why would a lower class noble family living on the fringe of the kingdom learn etiquette? Other than each family head’s official appointment ceremony, we have no occasion to visit the royal capital.”
In short, upon ascending to become the patriarch of the family, each head of the Baumeister House must take the long trip to the royal capital for the formal appointment ceremony. Once this small formality is complete, the family has no particular need for etiquette until a new family head ascends and the process must be repeated.
In truth, even at the appointment ceremony, which takes place in the presence of the king, the armour that the family head wears has been handed down from generation to generation within the Baumeister family.
“I, as Helmut’s King the (insert number) generation of Helmut Kingdom, grant thou, (insert name), the the seventh rank of peerage and the title of knight.”
“I wield my sword for His Majesty, for the kingdom, and for the people.”
It begins and ends with just this brief exchange.
Since there are so many knights in the kingdom, the king cannot be bothered to attend each ceremony for very long.
My new mother explained as she nimbly manipulated the loose, fibrous strands, dexterously braiding them into a hearty rope.
There certainly is no need for a lower class lord to learn etiquette if the ceremony is a once in a lifetime occurrence.
Besides, in Europe in the Middle Ages, even among those trained in etiquette, there were still some that ate meat with their bare hands.
Of course, high ranking nobles and nobles that enter government service in the capital had a completely different experience. For them, etiquette would be a skill that received daily use.
“Besides, about math, reading and writing…”
Here, too, there is little need.
I recall from a book I had read about the Middle Ages in Europe that there were many nobles who could not write. It appears to be the same in this world.
So long as a lower ranked noble is able to write his own name, he can just leave everything, such as tax calculations and other administrative duties, to the village chief and the village headman. Likewise, as a practical matter, math was almost completely useless.
Obviously, things were different for a noble in the royal palace. But for most nobles, whose role was to keep the peace within the kingdom and wage war upon its enemies, it’s hardly a problem to be illiterate and generally uneducated.
However, these nobles faced a different conundrum. Because none of our prospective enemies ever stray beyond the borders of their respective territories, there is no opportunity to hone or display any martial skill.
While I can write all of our names, some people can only read and write simple characters.
“Come to think of it, Wendelin, are you able to read and write simple sentences?”
It’s not surprising that she doesn’t know. After all, I am just the useless eighth son. And I can hardly be counted as an asset to the lord’s territory since I am just a child. For that reason, it seems that Wendelin often spent his time reading alone in the study before I possessed him. The most important job for the useless eighth son is to not become a burden upon the working members of the family.
“Yes, but only a bit.”
“You need to work harder.”
Now that I think about it, I doubt I can remain here once I come of age. Leaving may hurt my mother, but it is natural that I leave since I can’t inherit any of the family territory.
Even brother Erich, whose talent with a sword is decidedly lacking, works diligently to learn it because he believes that he may one day need it. However, considering his class and upbringing, it seems that Erich is exceptionally good at math, reading, and writing.
I decide to take my leave.
“I’ll be reading a book in the study.”
With that, I bade farewell to my mother and hastily traversed the mansion. I made my way to the study, which I found to be empty upon my arrival.
Everyone else is busy, I am just a useless kid after all.
Because of the large age gap between me and my brothers, I do not really talk to them, especially the eldest and second sons. That doesn’t mean that there is any bad blood between us. It would be more accurate to say that they see no point in initiating contact since our ages are so far apart.
Based on this body’s previous memories, Wendelin began to practice the sword and bow shortly after turning six years old. However, the training was too much for a six-year-old kid and, in the end, he had given it up because he wanted to avoid disturbing the adults.
It hadn’t been his choice to undertake the training to begin with.
“Oh, I’m surprised that we have so many books.”
It makes sense that even a poor noble family can compile quite a collection over the years, so there were many books in my father’s study.
Our collection spanned numerous fields and disciplines, including topics such as history, literature, mathematics, mining and minerals, biology, monsterology, a book on geology that would roughly equate to a high school level treatise in Hesei era Japan, a simple children’s picture book, and even a cookbook.
Even though we have a cookbook, our meals are poor and flavorless. That is because the cookbook is of little value when the ingredients used in the recipes cannot be secured.
“I can read it… it’s in Japanese!”
I had reason to hope that this would be the case, as I speak Japanese with my family, but it seems that the common language in this world is, in fact, Japanese.
Though there are slight differences in the way it is written that seem to depend upon the class of the author.
For instance, the style adopted by lower class nobles in rural areas bears little relation to that of the nobles in the capital (although the rural nobles are usually able to read and write in the style of the capital at least a little bit).
However, out here on the frontier, they don’t use kanji at all. Instead of Kanji, their style of writing seems to be a mix of hiragana and katakana. This seems to be how most sentences are formed in this world, which makes it rather tedious for me to read.
This style contrasts starkly with the style used primarily by the upper classes of society, such as royal families, high ranking nobles, the upper echelons of the church and various guilds, and scholars or academic societies.
This style, it seems, is closer to ordinary Japanese.
It is also the standard used in official documents published by the central government, both here in the kingdom and also the neighboring empire.
I can read this quite easily.
Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, as there were still places where the meaning of specific words or passages seems ambiguous or otherwise uncertain.
There are even a handful of English nouns mixed in for some reason, and occasionally some of the Japanese sections are written in romaji.
Even the more complicated English terms are only at a high school level. I didn’t have a problem with this because most of the sentences are in Japanese, but in some places nouns that had originally been written in Kanji had been transliterated into their romaji counterpart. The reason for this is a mystery.
Even the official documents are about 70 percent hiragana and katakana, 20 percent kanji, and 10 percent something else entirely.
Honestly, it doesn’t really matter either way, but worrying about this type of stuff is probably the defining characteristic of bureaucrats in every world.
Since I am just a six-year-old kid right now, all I can do is to continue working hard at my martial arts and building up my stamina. It will, however, be good to read the books in the study in my free time so I can become as familiar with this world as possible.
Lost in thought, I quickly skimmed the titles of the books on the shelves until I spotted the one subject that I had really been hoping to see.
Beginner magic, intermediate magic, advanced magic, foundation in alchemy, producing magic tools for the first timers. Oh! There really is magic!
I immediately grabbed “Introduction to Beginner’s Class Magic” off the shelf, feeling an ever-growing excitement. In this world, I may be able to use magic.