They got the verification without difficulty. As expected, a carriage, branded with the crest of the Baron household, has been sighted on the road. It has already returned to the mansion. They even took the evidence from the actual abduction site. There isn’t anyone who wants to make an enemy out of a noble, but that’s only natural if one takes the immediate danger of their life more serious than distant concerns. Bertrand’s lips warped.
“Shit… how foolish.” (Bertrand)
Were these words aimed at anyone? Bertrand stood in front of the gate of the Baron’s mansion. He is alone. There hasn’t passed a lot of time since he requested to be allowed inside. Footsteps, as if being in a rush, approached. The eyes of an elderly man peeked at him through the wood flap serving as peeping hole. This translation is property of Infinite Novel Translations.
“What’s your business? It is bothersome if you come visiting despite not even having an invitation because it catches the public’s attention.” (Butler)
It’s the butler of the Baron household. He is an acquaintance of Bertrand. His eyes have become bloodshot and he is even breathing roughly through the nose. It is a very great change from the composed expression Bertrand became familiar with. Without being shaken and enduring the nauseating strangeness, Bertrand softly clears his throat.
“What’s so funny!?” (Butler)
The gap in your character, answering in his mind was all he could do. He laughs.
The association between this Baron household and Bertrand is, in its own way, deep. It is affected by the sexual preferences of the Baron himself. Although nobles, indulging in love affairs of different tastes, aren’t rare, the Baron, in this case, is addicted to the eccentricity called 「Deflowering wild flowers」. Without even turning his eyes on high-classed prostitutes or high society, he is eager to exclusively have sex with inexperienced women of unrefined commoner origin and below.
(It is unthinkable to argue the tendency of one’s personal fetish, but his is unusually strange.) (Bertrand)
One day the talk about selling off slaves unexpectedly was dropped unto Bertrand by the Baron. As he checked the goods, it was ordinary village girls. Moreover he naturally didn’t comprehend the matter of them being sold as slaves at all. In the end he inquired about the distance of their journeys and such simply showing a smile. Listening to the consonance of their innocence and shamelessness, their stories were something that caused Bertrand to crook the edges of his lips. This translation is property of Infinite Novel Translations.
At daytime and night the Baron visited various places in cities and villages carefully seducing prey for himself. It wasn’t by force. Just like a fated prince appearing in a tale… he showed dreams to naive girls, took them away while they blushed and had them enjoy themselves in an illusion without even knowing how many nights passed… eventually discarding them after tiring of them. After deceiving them, they were changed into slaves.
At the same time as he was thinking that it was something foolish, it also was of great interest for Bertrand. Even though it would have been fine if they had continued to live with their feet grounded on the earth, a dream of personal fortune visited them unexpectedly. In the end, the ignorant women fell into anguish… In the process they eventually matured from being densely naive being far apart from death in all respects. They weren’t as fragile to die out of shame.
(Is that the thing called flexibility of wild flowers? Or is it something else? At any rate, it’s their strength.)(Bertrand)
Also, he admired the Baron’s eyes for one’s character for only choosing such women. It’s worth to show respect, if someone’s versed in any kind of obsession. Not all women are like this, Bertrand is aware of that.
That mother is proof of that. That woman, born into a household of an Eberia Empire’s noble, planning to elope with a minstrel, who visited the mansion, was sold to a brothel. At the time she was discovered, she held a single baby even in her visibly miserable state. She hanged herself without even leaving a will on the night her relatives held a meeting. Afterwards the baby was brought up in an orphanage of the church… it has led to me keeping a sword.
(Slavery is the act of humans. It can be seen as related to one’s character. For me it’s a method to obtain money and I can also observe those on the verge of despair which is a sickness until their death. For the Baron it’s not just the outlet of his sexual desire either, it’s apparent that he is seeking something.) (Bertrand) This translation is property of Infinite Novel Translations.
While his closed mind is bound by the darkness of immoral sexual relationships, there might be something that connects both of us.
And currently, Bertrand is laughing. He cannot help laughing. The stifled laughter resounds from his throat.
“Shut up! Be silent! Hurry up and tell me your reason for being here or leave!” (Butler)
The man, shouting without being able to separate from the peeping hole, was ridiculous. It’s fortunate that I’m physically shielded from his spit, eh? No, it’s even more fortunate that I can’t see his whole body, Bertrand assents. He hasn’t a strong point of expressing himself without gestures or words to begin with. Bringing the urge of bursting into laughter within his abdominal muscles under control, he tries to to speak as calm as possible.
“Reason and everything else… I just came to receive the disposal as usual.” (Bertrand)
“W-What stupidity are you uttering… Baron-sama isn’t here!” (Butler)
“That’s right, no? Nevertheless, once the carriage moves, I come… because you are a frequent customer. Even if you don’t call for me, I have at least the consideration to visit.” (Bertrand)
Bertrand slightly strengthened the glint in his eyes. The butler, who apparently tried to spit out many words, is flustered and making different faces upon that announcement without saying those words and before long quietly opened the door. Even as he once again felt nauseated seeing the butler’s pride without him even being able to feign serenity, Bertrand got over it with nothing but a snort. He gives his sword into the custody of the gatekeeper. This translation is property of Infinite Novel Translations.
“There are rats everywhere! They are skilled at sniffing out food!” (Butler)
“I agree. Though not all of them stop after devouring the food.” (Bertrand)
The way of cursing and chewing his words is the most laughable about him. The empty-handed swordsman kept floating a smile on his lips. I’ve seen the outfit of the butler, walking in front, often. Those are nice clothes but they are an allotment. The point is to distribute proper items if you look at it n regards to family status, huh? Concealing a thin body which doesn’t know martial arts, he is displaying a suitable authority, but… it isn’t able to hide his lingering unrest. Filth can’t be paid off completely either. Is it compassion that you can’t see the nether region?
“… This way. Won’t you question them after you came so suddenly?” (Butler)
He is guided to the back without entering the mansion. If it’s as always, I will interview the girls in a secluded room. And then, without speaking much, I will take them away. Everything happens under the supervision of the butler. It has never happened that the Baron made an appearance there. However, the business clearly takes place due to the Baron’s intention.
Consequently, there is no one but the butler accompanying him.
Having been guided to a cellar, there was a woman crouching along the wall of the interior, which stank of mold and dust. She probably noticed the sound. She glares in the direction of Bertrand, who is tilting his head in contemplation. Her hair is disheveled and her face, showing traces of being hit, is stained in blood and tears. She appears to be shivering as well.
She was in a terrible condition. Her ankles and wrists are bound and a gag is forced into her mouth. As the manner of binding is rather excessively shitty, especially her hands are in a state of having a quite deteriorated blood circulation. Her clothes are torn and disordered all over. The woman repeatedly stirs bravely without even exposing her skin. Bertrand was relieved within his heart. It seems I made it in time.
“She was a stray woman with a wild temperament. With such temperament it won’t do any good for her to have an audience with the Baron. Sell her. It’s fine for you to take her away immediately.” (Butler)
Throwing a glance at the butler talking rapidly, he approached the woman. As she tries to act violently, he brings his mouth close to her ear and tells her in a tiny voice,
“Hannah from Kikomaru? I came to rescue you by the decree of your friend who is worried about your body. It’s a black-haired, blue-eyed friend, don’t you understand? If you get it, be obedient. In exchange I will save your life as well.” (Bertrand)
The woman’s eyes hardened and opened in a perfect circle. Re-tightening the rope at the wrist after taking this as confirmation, he untied the rope at her ankles. Politely having her stand up, he supports her as she staggers and furthermore covers her in his own mantle. The butler, also seeing all of this, completely stared in wonder. This translation is property of Infinite Novel Translations.
“S-Splendidly done… The minion has a minions’s technique, eh… ?” (Butler)
He seems to be deeply surprised by the circumstance of the woman obediently obeying. Bertrand swallows down the laughter within his throat.
(He is showing an unsophisticated, greedy face. In other words, it appears as if there is some of it within him. You are a race of people looking down on minions having been sheltered beneath the umbrella of authority… a low-life yearning for that authority while looking up to it. That’s your character.) (Bertrand) This translation is property of Infinite Novel Translations.
“… Don’t get used to something of this level. You will be learning this the hard way after getting passed to a brothel.” (Butler)
Saying this over his shoulder, the butler, having become flustered, went outside the cellar. Hannah groans as if demanding to remove the gag, but Bertrand doesn’t answer that expectation.
(If it’s a villain, it will end here. But, if it’s a low-life, I have a feeling it will continue… look!) (Bertrand)
“W-Wait! You bastard, won’t you pay the money?” (Butler) This translation is property of Infinite Novel Translations.
Grabbing at her from the side, he tried to catch Hannah’s shoulder with his fingers, which are similar to twigs of dry wood. Bertrand, loosing any kind of hesitation, broke 1 amongst the 5 fingers. After a small amount of silence, a shrill scream echoed into the night sky. Seizing the chin of the butler, who was the source of the scream, Bertrand increases the grip strength while announcing,
“Your wicked indiscriminate act is unacceptable while your master isn’t here. Besides you made a mistake. You won’t obtain women and money any longer. Above having proof of your wickedness grasped by evil, your life from now on won’t have any other hue but misery. Despair. You, who planned to deceive your master, already aren’t under the protection of your master’s power. You were tested.” (Bertrand)
Bertrand took out a single parchment from within his pocket. He showed it in front of the eyes of the butler being stained with tears and drool. With the handwriting of the Baron and concluded with the seal of the Baron’s household, its contents overwhelmed the man, who was the butler. It’s a declaration stating that the butler is to be discharged if he made a sale during the time the Baron is absent from home.
“Misdeed and folly are different things. That’s the line at the end as postscript you have also failed to notice. Won’t you go greeting the new butler as ex-butler? It looks like you will be given severance payment.” (Bertrand)
Bertrand drags along the spasming, sobbing man. Even Hannah’s face, which was freed of the gag, turned pale. She followed without saying a single word in the time until they left the mansion.
“What did you tell Hannah, Bertrand?” (Marko) This translation is property of Infinite Novel Translations.
Marko grumbled from atop his seat as 3 people sat at a table, illuminated by torchlight, eating food and drinking. Bertrand, sitting at the foot of the table, humbles himself and quietly sips a sake cup. Having 2 people of that kind on his left and right, Oiva raised his eyebrow in bafflement while gulping down a large amount of sake.
“Let alone doing your duty, your face is blushing. Your mind isn’t here. Your attitude towards me is strangely polite as well… your other followers are also cocking their heads in puzzlement.” (Marko)
“A leader hides his true intentions in regards to society. I have nothing else but admiration about your deep design and forethought.” (Bertrand)
As if hesitating to look straight into his eyes, Bertrand replies in a solemn manner while bowing in his seated position. Even while showing sympathy, the giant besides him doesn’t pick a side. His eyebrows shaped in a 八 due to his bewilderment got even more steep.
“However, heeding his Highness’ intentions, it won’t do for a woman, attending to his everyday’s needs, to show contempt. Without informing her about the truth, I will only change her attitude indirectly.” (Bertrand)
Having childish shaped hands, his fingers will probably control the truth, which he didn’t reach with his previous death as ordinary person, but I will stay by the side of those closed blue eyes. Although his once again opened eyes are half-closed, his cheeks are expanding a little bit. He already has the dignity of being someone leading a cavalry of ten thousand… Bertrand thought.
“Hannah is, for better or worse, stubborn. It isn’t likely that she will change her attitude and way of thinking quickly.” (Marko)
“Ha! It is exactly so. If pressed, she has an disobedient temperament towards authority which is unusual for someone without education. I will make sure to teach her about the benefactor who bestowed salvation to her poor life.” (Bertrand)
“… In short, you induced her to honour me by making use of the point that she fell in love with Bertrand?” (Marko)
“I haven’t told her a single lie.” (Bertrand) This translation is property of Infinite Novel Translations.
Like this, it isn’t a lie. In Bertrand’s view there are 2 blue moons shining brilliantly.
(My faith was already rewarded. I have obtained the delight to kneel at the feet of a person that controls death. There is no longer any need for me to freeze due to fumbling in a fog. Even my heart has willingly become peaceful leaving the darkness of avidya*… Oh, my Lord!) (Bertrand) (T/N: * in Buddhism it is commonly referenced as ignorance or misunderstanding, wiki it if you want to know more)
Putting down the sake cup with a thump, Oiva asks,
“I don’t understand the reason. Although I don’t understand it at all, is it that? Is it fine to say that Marko and Bertrand tied a pledge of lord and retainer? If that’s after the exchange with the tossed coin some time ago, has it been decided that I will be the witness?” (Oiva)
The very young boy sighs. The swordsman of the green cloth smiled in silence. The giant tried to follow both sides. First he sighed, next he smiled broadly and then he laughed loudly.
“How nice! A truth, that is in no way amusing, spread in this world. Even if you give birth to an absurd lord and retainer relationship not yet seen, it’s nice! It’s great! You have my blessing!!” (Oiva)
On that night where the cold wind of winter crisply mingles with the moonlight, with the people, leading a life of immorality, gathered in a room on the upper floor of the bar, 3 people laughed as they would walk through life together after that. Marko, Oiva Otara and Bertrand. The men bid farewell, each of them heading towards the place they should be at, positively advancing through time. At the time they once again meet up, the continent will probably listen to the beats of a fearsome battle group.
“There is one person I want you to look for.” (Marko)
Marko requested at the end. For Bertrand this is an absolute order. The details got his faithful heart excited. Vowing to achieve it even in exchange for his life, Bertrand will accomplish this task risking his life in fact.
“It’s a woman having a darkish skin with red eyes and silver hair. As you have guessed, she is descendant from the minority trying to live on the huge ice fields in the north. Her name is Jikil Rosa (T/N: >> Jikiru roza <<). She was affiliated with the volunteer army of the Asuria Kingdom’s military, but I think she has already left the military now.” (Marko)
Marko continued that she probably hasn’t gone to her northern home and furthermore added another thing,
“She worked as adjutant of Salomon Hahato… explaining it like this, it’s probably easy for you to understand? There is the possibility of her being temporarily arrested by the church, but they should have safely released her. It might be good to follow her from there in order to trace her movements from the beginning.” (Marko)
Jikil of the Demon Eyes. This translation is property of Infinite Novel Translations.
It’s the other name of the brave woman who dashed across the battlefield as Salomon’s right hand retainer.