Chapter 6 Part 2
The next day, all the Baron’s household members are lined up in rows in front of the mansion.
Father, Xellos nii-sama, me, and Rumia, in that order.
At a distance behind us are the butler, Neil, and all the servants. Martha is with us, too.
The tutor, Kachel, stands behind nii-sama.
“I’m relieved that Yuuki nii-sama has returned”
Next to me, Rumia murmured quietly.
“Now Yuuki nii-sama can declare himself as a member of the Grossalia family in front of the Princess”
“I wonder if I can I stand with Martha and the others”
Rumia grabbed my sleeve. She looked like she was about to cry.
It didn’t seem like I could escape.
“Quiet, everyone. They’re here”
A black carriage with golden trimming, pulled by two white horses, approaches. An excellently dressed coachman is holding the reins. Behind the carriage are soldiers. Next to the carriage is…the bodyguard, I think. He looks oddly familiar to me.
He is an old man with white hair, and he carries a long-handled axe on his back.
There is no doubt about it. It’s Barnes-san, who I met in the mountains behind the mansion a few days ago.
Now, before he could even look at me, I was already on the ground kneeling.
“Hey, Yuuki. It’s still early”
I’m sorry, Father. I need to hide.
It’s not rude to kneel early, right?
That’s why I didn’t want to come to the mansion. I knew they were related to the Princess.
If possible, I would have preferred to be among the servants, with Martha and the others.
It was none other than the tutor, Kachel, who dragged me here.
‘How can a member of the Baron family be absent, Yuuki-dono?’
── Or so he says.
If he weren’t Xellos nii-sama’s private tutor, I would have already punched him.
“We are very grateful to Her Royal Highness, Princess Iris Restia, for her presence!!”
Father suddenly exclaimed.
The black carriage stopped in front of us, and all of us knelt at once.
Then, Father raises his voice again.
“We, the Grossalia household, would like to thank you for this opportunity by allowing Xellos Grossalia to take the examination”
“Thank you. I appreciate your courteous welcome”
The sound of the carriage door opening could be heard.
Someone is coming out.
“This is not the royal palace. I’m not here as a princess, but as an examiner for the ‘Lindbel Magic Guild’. There’s no need to be so humble, Xellos Grossalia-sama”
Someone in white shoes stopped in front of me.
I looked up and saw a girl with silver hair standing there.
She is about the same height as me and wearing the same golden hair ornament that Clara-san gave me.
“I’m Iris Restia”, said Clara with a kind and gentle smile on her face, as if she was meeting me for the first time.
“I’ve heard that you have outstanding magic skills, Xellos-sama. I am very much looking forward to meeting you. I wonder how much practice you have had at such a young age ──”
“You got it wrong. Your Royal Highness!”
“That is his younger brother, Yuuki. This one here standing next to me is my legitimate son, Xellos, who will be taking the examination”
“…Sorry for the mistake. Please accept my apology”
Princess Iris bowed lightly and moved over to stand next to me.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you. Xellos Grossalia-sama”
“…I am honored to have the opportunity to have an audience with you, Princess Iris Restia”
*Grind*, I heard the sound of Xellos nii-sama grinding his teeth.
Nii-sama gave me a sideways glare. Kachel, too.
In the awkward mood, the family members of the Grossalia family, Her Royal Highness, and her escorts were facing each other.
On the side of Her Royal Highness are Princess Iris herself, and Barnes-san with an axe.
The other soldiers are at a distance from us.
So Her Royal Highness and Barnes-san are the ones involved in this examination, huh?
“Well then, without delay, let’s start the examination”
“Yes. The exam site has already been arranged, Your Royal Highness”
The tutor, Kachel, raised his head.
“I will guide you to the exam site, ‘Kitral’s Forest’”
“…Thank you. Kachel Mieghem”
Princess Iris sighed quietly before answering.
“From here on out, it’s going to be related to the field of magic, so let’s only have a few people accompany us”
“I have made no oversight. I already told Baron Georg-sama and his family to wait for the examination results at the mansion”
“Understood. I’ll have Barnes and the others to accompany me. You don’t mind, right?
“As you wish, Your Royal Highness”
I was still on my knees, listening to the voices of the Princess and Kachel.
Clara-san was Princess Iris Restia.
Barnes-san is her bodyguard. So that means he is a man of considerably high rank.
They had come to perform a preliminary inspection on the examination site, hiding their identities. The reason they used pseudonyms was probably so they wouldn’t cause a commotion. Since I didn’t reveal my name, it’s no wonder that they mistook me for Xellos nii-sama. After all, I was also using magic at the time.
“…I didn’t want to be involved with the royal family”
It’s difficult…to be an ordinary human.
Uncertainties pile up one-by-one, and human relations change.
To tell the truth, I want to run away right now.
But considering the position of the Grossalia family, that’s not going to happen.
“Let’s hope nii-sama passes the exam”
If Xellos nii-sama joins the ‘Lindbel Magic Guild’ and becomes friends with the high-ranking nobles, the Baron Grossalia family will be at peace. I can go to a public school without worry, too. It’s also not a problem if I go missing in the future.
After all, I’m just an outsider in this household.
As the ‘monster’, I’ll stay far away quietly and pray for the happiness of my family.
“…That’s why we need the baron household to assist us with the examination”
“A member of our family?”
“Yes, Baron Georg-sama. To ascertain the magic aptitude of Xellos-sama, we need a comparison”
“Hmm…but, the member in our family who has any knowledge of magic…”
“There’s no need to know anything about magic. After all, the examination requires the ability to manipulate magic, apply it, and deal with crises. If possible, I’d like someone close in age and physique”
“I see! In that case, take Yuuki”
When the situation finally hit me, Father and the Princess were looking at me.
“As my son, Yuuki excels in the ability to adapt. What’s more, he can set traps in the mountains and catch prey on his own, without me teaching him how to do so. And he is so kind as to present it to me so readily, too! I’m very proud of him”
Father. What have you done?
Don’t just go “Oh, really?” with me, too, Princess Iris.
You’re here for Xellos nii-sama’s exam, right? There’s no need for you to pay me any mind, you know!?
“Well then, Yuuki Grossalia-sama. Can you please assist us with Xellos-sama’s examination?”
“He’s an illegitimate child! Your Royal Highness!!”
“He is of unknown lineage, born to a woman whom Baron Georg-sama met on the battlefield. How can such a person be allowed to take part in the examination!?”
“My, my, did you know my grandmother was a commoner, too?”
said Princess Iris with a smile.
“My grandfather ── the Marquis of two generations ago, fell in love with my grandmother at first sight, proposed to her, and so my mother was born. If you’re going to criticize me for being of common blood, then I shall have to leave this place, too”
“That is not what I mean. I’m talking about the hierarchy”
“The younger brother assists the older brother with his examination. Don’t you think that’s conforming with the hierarchy?”
The Princess closed one eye mischievously.
“Kachel Mieghem! This examination is already off your hands!!”
The Princess suddenly shouted.
“Your task was to choose the examination site. And that has already been settled. To allow the examination to proceed smoothly, we will not discuss it now!! With that, we should give priority to the examination to discover someone’s talent, right? You should know that”
“…Your Royal Highness. I…I…”
“Your Royal Highness is right, Sensei”
Father took a few steps forward.
He knelt in front of the Princess and bowed very deeply.
“I’ll obey Your Royal Highness’s wish and order my son, Yuuki, to help with the examination. That’s also fine with Xellos, right?”
Xellos nii-sama looked at me, glaringly.
“Don’t you run away, Yuuki”
He whispered to me.
He put his face close to mine so that no one else could hear.
“I’ll remind you of the difference in our birth. You should know what will happen if you run away”
“I’ll be the next head of the family. Me. Eventually, I’ll reshape the Grossalia family to whatever I want it to be. After all, I know you’re trying to incite the members of the mansion to get rid of me”
“What’s the matter? Xellos, Yuuki”
“It’s nothing. I was just asking Yuuki for a favor”
Hearing Father’s voice, Xellos nii-sama pulled away from me.
He’s smiling as if nothing had happened. And Kachel, too.
“I understand, Father, nii-sama. I will be there for the examination”
After all, I wanted to talk to nii-sama.
It can be during the examination where Kachel won’t be present.
We arrived at the ‘Kitral’s Forest’ in a carriage.
At the forest entrance, there’s me, Xellos nii-sama, tutor Kachel, the Princess, and her soldiers.
Barnes-san, the axe-man, is already in the forest. It seems that he will supervise the examination.
“The goal is on the other side of the forest. You will have to run to the location”
“Xellos-sama, and Yuuki-sama. Please use this”
The Princess took out two bracelets.
“These are ‘Ancient Artifact’s replica’ developed by the ‘Magic Guild’ after the last war”
“Ohhhhhh! What an honor!”
“‘Ancient Artifacts’ are the legacy of the ‘Capital of Ancient Magic Civilization, Elysium’, and they are beyond human comprehension. What an honor it is to be allowed to use it in the examination, even though it’s just a replica! I’m in tears!!”
“I-I’m honored, Your Royal Highness”
“…It’s an honor”
Following Xellos nii-sama, I also bowed my head.
“Even after two hundred years, the mages could only produce an item of this level. It is not as accurate as a real ‘Ancient Artifact’, and it will lose its magic power after one use. But it is also a product of gathering the most sophisticated engineering done by the ‘Magic Guild’. Don’t forget that”
Hearing the Princess, Xellos nii-sama and I bowed.
This bracelet is an ‘Ancient Artifact’ ── a replica of it, huh?
Back in my day, there were holy swords, holy spears, and so on. The ‘Sanctuary Church, Elysium Temple’ would use them all the time.
The real thing was lost, so they made something similar, huh. It’s amazing.
“This is an item that, when equipped, will provide your body with the spell ‘Body Strengthening, Boosted’. We will have the two of you go through the forest with it on”
The Princess continues with her explanation.
“Barnes will interrupt you on the way, and you will have to get past him till you reach outside of the forest”
“May I ask you a question? Your Royal Highness”
“Go ahead, Yuuki-sama”
“Why do I have to run with Xellos nii-sama?”
“Please think of it as a way to see the differences between Xellos-sama, who is accustomed to using ‘Ancient Magic’, and the ordinary person”
“Differences, you say?”
“Even if you’re used to it, running through the forest with ‘Body Strengthening, Boosted’ active is…. The speed can still be quite frightening because there is still the branches, the roots, the slippery ground, and the wet grass that are all closing in on you much faster than usual as you run”
The Princess smiled boldly.
“We can’t see how brilliant Xellos-sama is if he runs alone. It is only when he is compared with someone who is not used to ‘Body Strengthening, Boosted’ that we can know how outstanding he is”
I want to talk to Xellos nii-sama, where Kachel is not present.
If nii-sama hates me, I don’t mind leaving the mansion.
But, I don’t understand why…nii-sama says I’m trying to get rid of him. I’ll feel bad if he doesn’t clarify.
If I leave him alone and something happens to Rumia and Martha after I have left ──
Then I’ll have to come to detest Xellos nii-sama.
“Thank you very much for this valuable opportunity. Your Royal Highness”
I received a golden bracelet from the Princess.
When I put it on my wrist, strength welled up in me.
It’s the same feeling I got when I used ‘Body Strengthening, Boosted’.
Nii-sama and I walked over and took our starting position.
Kachel has left. At last, he finally left us.
When we enter the forest, I’ll have a talk with nii-sama.
“Are you both okay? Now then, on your mark. Get set”
The Princess raises her arm.
Clara-san ── no, Princess Iris Restia, as I thought, really does look just like Alice.
Alice was the only daughter of Lyle, the chief of ‘Fila Village’, where I lived in my previous life. Alice inherited Lyle’s eyes and her mother, Remilia’s hair color and lips.
Seriously, the resemblance is uncanny.
Is it just a coincidence? Or is it ──
── No, let’s focus on the exam now.
It’s obvious that Xellos nii-sama will clear it, and I will just follow him without being a hindrance.
Let’s have a human talk. Because after nii-sama goes to the ‘Magic Guild’, I won’t get the chance anymore.
“Let the examination begin!!”
“── I’m going” “Ha!”
Nii-sama and I started running at the same time.
Straight into the forest.