Here is chapter 65, did my best to edit it, please do tell me if there are mistakes etc….
Also, for my patreon Patrons, I’ve added patreon rewards now, please do check it out. Some of you will get to read Chapter 66 right away after this one, or other will get the teaser only, I know the reward system isn’t perfect, but I’ll take care of all this at a later, in the mean time, Here is the link to check it out.
Anyway, here is chapter 65, hope you’ll enjoy it!
After Harold’s departure, there was an awkward atmosphere within the banquet hall. But, despite his incongruous behavior, there was so much power behind his threatening attitude that nobody seemed willing to blame him.
In the middle of that whole ordeal, Erica had seen the look in Harold’s eyes. It was a look of deep, deep despair.
Then there was those words that Harold was about to speak. Guessing from Harold’s nature and his speech and behavior so far, finding the continuation of his sentence was but a natural deduction.
―― I have no need for things like a fiancee.
He had likely started saying that.
Though Erica couldn’t think of why he hesitated to actually say those words, she believed it had something to do with the hopelessness that was reflected in his eyes.
【”I am extremely sorry. Please allow me to apologize for his impoliteness.”】
Itsuki bowed his head to Mr. and Mrs. Berlioz. On the other hand, the couple told him there was no need to fret over it.
【”It’s fine. It’s my husband who went and said something insensible. Rather, Aurelian should be the one Apologizing.”】
【”Mhm, certainly, I didn’t consider Lord’s feelings. Perhaps he has already settled on a companion?”】
Itsuki hesitated to talk as he stared at Erica with sidelong glances. And Aurelian seemed to have guessed something from that.
【”Could that companion be you, Erica? If that’s the case, then allow me to apologize to you, as well.”】
Well, it was natural to have that thought after looking at Itsuki’s reaction. The Berlioz family knew about the story from five years ago regarding a boy named Harold who demanded to break off his engagement with Erica.
However, they did not think that the young man they had been talking to just before was the very same person as that boy, which is why they came to the conclusion that Lord was Erica’s new fiance.
They were correct, but they were also wrong. And Harold would have certainly perfered to reply that they were wrong.
【”There is no need to apologize. Lord and I are not in that kind of relationship.”】
Which is why Erica answered that. She decided not to look at the sad expression on Itsuki’s face.
But still, her heart was aching.
【”Then, does he have someone else?”】(Aurelian)
【”…..I haven’t heard about that. Although we’ve been associating with Lord for a long time, he’s not one to talk much about himself.”】(Itsuki)
Indeed, Erica didn’t know what was really going on in Harold’s mind. Of course, Itsuki and Erica had heard the bad rumors about him, but they did not believe them.
He was often misunderstood because of that behavior of his… Or rather, he made people misunderstand him on purpose.
He took on the disgrace of being a murderer so as to save a parent and her child, he acted in a way that would make Erica hate him so that she could cancel her engagement without having to worry, and he put his life on the line, killing the country’s enemies, in order to save many members of the knight order and the Stellar tribe. The result was Harold’s current situation.
He was treated way too unjustly. Still, there were many things he could have done to prove his innocence, and yet he didn’t, so Erica and Itsuki had to respect his choice.
【”He’s a mysterious person.”】(Brigitte)
【”You can say that. But, he’s not a bad person. He’s willing to stand up for other people and to fight for the sake of protecting them.”】(Itsuki)
【”Now that’s a real warrior! Next time, I’d like to have an actual formal bout with him.”】(Aurelian)
【”Right, but there is no fighting halfheartedly against him. Actually, I have…”】(Itsuki)
Aurelian once again got excited. Itsuki, who had had proper bouts with Harold, started talking about their fights.
And like that, the awkwardness in the air vanished.
However, there was a still a little anxiety remaining in Erica’s heart.
Harold’s pupils reflected such a strong despair. She had never seen him have those kinds of eyes before.
At the time, Erica had the illusion that Harold was grovelling in the face of his own destiny. Of course, that was nothing more than an illusion. She was likely just worrying too much.
However, Erica didn’t only know about Harold’s strength, she also knew he had ordinary weaknesses. He was constantly fighting against his inner weaknesses, and it’s for the sake of stepping over those very same weaknesses that he was so strong.
That was Harold’s way of life. He fought off his weaknesses, he fought off people’s evil ways, he fought off monsters, and then, he fought off the world.
Erica felt that, perhaps even she was Harold’s enemy. Which is why she believed he was seeking power excessively.
Training for ten hours a day starting from his childhood was just not normal. In other words, something was pushing Harold to do so without fail.
As if fate had forced him to fight from birth.
(…. As if the idea of fighting off everything had been “planted” inside his brain.)
Those words intuitively went through Erica’s mind.
She could picture the seeds of fate, which were quarreling within Harold, as they were about to blossom. That terrible picture made her shiver.
No way. That couldn’t possibly happen, right?
But still, that unpleasant image was now stuck to her mind and just wouldn’t come off.
She was worried because of how much she cared about Harold, and how little she knew about him. She was worried because she did not know how Harold felt, or what he thought.
In that case, she knew what she had to do. And even if Harold didn’t want it, even if he would hate her for it, she believed that, if it could benefit him, she had to do it without hesitation.
No matter how unfavorable the results would be for Erica herself.
Although Harold had rushed out in spite of himself, he couldn’t just wander inside a stranger’s home. Having said that, despite having rushed outside, he remembered that he might get lost as he was not familiar with the place. Therefore, in the end, he simply covered a distance from which he could keep the Berlioz family’s mansion in his line of sight. He was currently resting his elbows on the handrail of a bridge that went over the waterway.
(Damn I screwed up….)
He had heard criminals on television before claiming【”My blood just rushed to my head for a moment.”】, and now, he felt like he could understand what they meant. Of course, just like them, he was “regretting and reflecting”.
As Harold found excuses for himself, he was confused over his sudden outburst of “emotions that he couldn’t have possibly felt”. He had been trying to make Erica hate him for eight years, he had tried every possible means to cancel his engagement with her, and yet he had almost reflexively blurted out that she was his fiancee.
In other words, what he felt was――.
【”Like hell that would happen….!”】
With a low voice, he groaned in denial of his own thoughts.
There was absolutely no way what he felt was love. Harold was a young and healthy man. He only temporarily lost control of himself from seeing Erica’s attractive figure. It was nothing more than a physiological phenomenon, lust. That had to be it.
However, there was another problem, and that was the sulky behavior Harold had showed while he left his seat without Aurelian’s permission.
Even though Aurelian was also in the wrong, as Itsuki had said, he was this region’s leader. The Berlioz house had an even higher standing than Harold’s family, and yet a youngster like himself went and treated them with that much contempt. It would be no surprise if he was banned from entering the region for the rest of his life.
If that were to happen, he wouldn’t be able to follow Ituski’s request, and he didn’t know what Justus would say about that.
Though he considered apologizing now that he had regained his calm, it was surely going to be extremely difficult for him to express his gratitude properly. Or rather, the situation would most likely grow even worse if he tried that.
Under the light of dusk, Harold was wondering what he should do.
【”What are you doing in such a place?”】
Harold turned around towards the voice that should have had nothing do to here.
And then, in the middle of a vista that mirrored Medieval Europe, he caught a glimpse of Erika’s standing figure; dressed in a kimono, in an other-worldly contrast to her surroundings. Her startling beauty would probably spur anyone on.
She was not expressionless, but Harold couldn’t read her emotions from her facial expression, though she did give him chills.
【”I can go wherever the hell I want. What’d you come for?”】
【”My big brother thought you might have gotten lost.”】
【”Don’t treat me like an infant. It’s disgusting.”】
【”I’m just as troubled as you are.”】
Well, that was certainly right. It was safe to assume that Itsuki had pushed Erica’s back, telling her【”Go comfort Harold now, it’s a perfect opportunity.”】. In that sense, Harold felt sorry for her as she was being jerked around no less than him.
【”Then hurry up and go report to that foolish brother of yours that his concern is useless.”】
【”I’ll do just that, but first, there is something I’d like to personally ask you, Harold-sama.”】
【”Something you’d like to ask?”】
When he said that, Harold remembered. Itsuki had kept his presence completely secret from Erica.
So it was only natural that she would wonder why Harold was here. Though normally it would have been okay to explain it to her once they met face to face, the atmosphere and timing to do so had completely vanished thanks to Itsuki’s shenanigans.
He really excelled at creating trouble.
【”Hey, young miss, you’ve got quite the unusual get-up going on there. Are you here sightseeing?”】
Suddenly, a voice came in between Harold and Erica. The owner of that voice was a very well tanned, dark skinned man who had healthy, firm muscles. From his tank-top shirt, his short baggy trousers, his feet that were bare except for a pair of sandals, and the bandanna around his head, Harold could guess upon the very first sight that the man was a sailor.
At the same time, Harold figured what the man’s greetings were for.
【”We’re not going to board your boat.”】
At a nearby dock, on the waterway, one small boat was anchored, and unlike the ones made for traveling and transportation, it had a few simple decorations on it. Its size and shape weren’t much different from that of the other small boats in the area, but it felt like it was rather made for pleasure cruises.
This sailor was probably the owner of that boat.
【”Well, don’t say that. I mean, this is your chance to show how reliable your are to your lady.”】
Despite Harold’s cold answer, the sailor did not seem to be discouraged. On the contrary, he went and misunderstood Harold and Erica as being a pair of lovers.
It was no strange thought to have from the point of view of a third party. The problem was that the man’s misunderstanding had put a land mine between Harold and Erica.
Troubled by the sailor, Harold tried to walk away from that place. But his feet were stopped by one unexpected statement.
【”Right, right. Then, a trip for two people, please.”】
Harold couldn’t believe his ears. If Erica wanted to have a pseudo-pleasure cruise, she was free to do suit herself.
However, she said “two people”. In this situation, it was impossible for those two people to be anyone other than Harold and Erica.
【”…..I don’t see your maid anywhere.”】
【”Juno is helping with setting up the assembly hall.”】
Though Harold bet on a small possibility, all he got in return was an answer equivalent to a “what about it?”. As expected, it seemed like Erca wanted to ride on the boat with Harold.
Harold couldn’t understand what Erica was thinking at all. However, if she just wanted to have a talk, she wouldn’t have needed to go out of her way to board on the boat. Harold’s mind was confused as he couldn’t think of a logical answer.
As if she had seen an opportunity in that confusion, Erica took hold of Harold’s hand.
【”Let’s go, Harold-sama.”】
【Hey, what hell are you….!”】
【”But you won’t get on if I don’t do that, right?”】
【”Obviously! Why would I want to go with…. let go of my damn hand!”】
【”My big brother said that, when dealing with Harold-sama, the more aggressive I am, the better.”】
【”And you believe that guy’s words?!”】
【”I don’t. I’m just using them at my own convenience.”】
That was unnecessarily vicious. Erica really was her brother’s sister.
Having concluded that it was impossible to convince Erica with words, Harold used all of his strength to shake her off. However, from some reason, he couldn’t free himself from her grasp.
No matter how many times he tried, his strength would just scatter and leave him. His efforts had little to no effect.
It was Erica, who was holding Harold’s left hand, that gave him an explanation to that incomprehensible phenomenon.
【”Harold-sama, do you know about “Aiki”? Aiki is a sort of taijutsu, putting it simply, it’s a technique that robs the opponent’s body of its freedom.”】
From those words, Harold had a cold sweat.
Erica, who spoke indifferently, was mysteriously threatening. Actually, Harold even felt that she was a little scary.
(I do know about it, but why the hell does Aikido exist in this world?!)
Even if it somehow did exist in this world, it was still weird for Erica to make use of Aikido.
In the game, there was no close quarter combat command for Erica. Her only physical attack was archery, and besides, she was supposed to be a character that specialized in magic and focused only on rear-support.
And yet, how could she master something like Aikido?
It appeared that she had evolved beyond Harold’s expectations.
【”Wow, didn’t think the young miss was actually the most reliable one in this couple. Never easy to deal with a woman stronger than you, is it? Just hang in there, Lady-killer.”】
With a look that had surprise and sympathy mixed in it, the sailor lightly hit Harold’s back to comfort him.
Although Harold was very dissatisfied, in the end, he couldn’t shake off Erica’s hand and was taken to the small boat while feeling shy as the curious eyes of the people around had gathered on him, having likely seen “a man with an evil look in his eyes who dared to complain while being led by the hand of a stunning beauty”.
In that small boat, Harold couldn’t help but feel like he was riding with the grim reaper over the river Styx.
Author’s note: The founder of Aikido, Mr.Morihei Ueshiba once said “Aiki is love.”
Translator’s note: So, about that river Styx thing, I changed the sentence for the original so that you guys may understand what this means without having to research for 24 hours. The river Styx, to make it easy for you to understand, is basically that river in the realm of the dead from disney’s Hercules, that’s easier to understand than the children of limbo that the author references ><
Also, I’d like to thank Ogreri.A and Rangga.Q for their generous pledge on Patreon, thanks to which, we’ve reached the 100$ threshold! Thanks for supporting me, and a big thanks to all the other patrons as well, obviously. If you’d like to pledge as well, here is the Patreon Link.