Afterwards, when Yui was about to sneak out one Eau-de-vie from the dinner party, dragged by a drunk Lute, they went to the billiard grounds inside the earl’s house.
“Yui, let’s have a showdown!”
“Even if you tell me to play, against a magic soldier this won’t be even a game……”
Although billiards was a game popular among the people in the royal capital way back the old times, with the golden age of magic at its current prime, the way of playing it changed from the old one.
In the past it was simply thrusting the ball with a stick called the cue, but in the recent years adding stress to the ball by magic is permitted on the rule, and for one who is not a magician it is an overwhelming handicap. For that reason, in the recent years the billiards of the magic-users came to be known as Magic Ball, and is considered gradually as a different category from the old billiards.
“You being the opponent won’t change anything. But fine. What should we play instead?”
“That’s right, should we do a game without magic involved instead?”
It’s not as he was a sore loser, but he, a magic specialist didn’t like taking advantage against someone like Yui who can’t practice most magic.
Eins, peeking glances while sitting meekly as a borrowed cat beside the two, made a suggestion with a soft voice.
“How about playing cards? You can play them without magic. And since we can do it with three people, I can participate as well”
Eins proposed playing cards, and because it won’t put him a handicap, they decided go with this.
“So, cards is it then? Since the game has been decided, Lute, can you borrow the cards?”
“Hmph. Okay, fine. But you don’t run on me”
With a haughty sigh, Lute turned his heels out of the room and looked for a servant nearby.
When Lute left the room, Eins called out to Yui again.
“Senior Yui, it’s been a long time”
“Yeah, for the first time in three years. But really, it didn’t even come to my thoughts that you would come to Carlin. If you’re going to come and all, you should’ve sent a message to me first”
Yui poked fun of his junior in a sulky tone, but the two were pleased with the reunion.
“But leaking the information on the confidential visit of the royal family will be really bad in various ways, you know?”
Knowing that, He faced Yui who was still saying contact me this contact me that, Eins who replied for a few days, smiled.
“Certainly, you’re right. However, I never thought you would come with a princess”
“Truthfully speaking, I also wanted to see my senior’s new place of designation…… but I never thought that it would be like this”
“Isn’t that right? If I were to be accompanied by a princess, my stomach will definitely go out of order completely. But I was really fascinated by the speech she made back then”
As Eins remembered the “I hate you all” speech of the princess, mixed feelings showed in his face.
“You see, the princess is famous for being an eccentric person. I always think she has some kind of motive to say such things…”
“My intuition tells me that they had done preliminary investigations before coming here. Actually, I really don’t want to go to work right now… just what on the world is she doing?”
Yui who was aware while spending three years in this town, recalling the facts they had investigated, he asked Eins.
“It’s still unclear. Although the earl mayor seems to be a good person, some people tend to go overboard. When my senior was knocked down the stage three years ago, I already heard the stories leaking inside the military, and the royal family seemed to be anxious about it. But despite of it not being directly under the jurisdiction of the royal family, Elise’s movements are completely unexpected even for the military. There is a possibility that my current position as a representative is within the range of the confusion Princess Elise wanted to cause as well, or that’s what I think”
Yui then began laughing at Eins’ answer.
“Now You’re becoming a real successor of the archduke right now. Time really passes by so fast”
“And who do you think is the main culprit that made me this way? Besides, I have also grown a bit when I was put in the military, you know?”
For being treated as a child, as a form of protest, Eins snatched the eau-de-vie off Yui’s hand, opened the cork, poured the contents in a glass and moved it to his throat.
“Sorry, sorry. But yeah, our ranks have finally ranked in the same sixth place, and I don’t want to feel like a teacher forever. In fact you might even surpass me next year”
“Well, even though there are circumstances in my household, the fact that you were my teacher won’t ever change. Well, you might say that it’s all thanks to the circumstances of my household that I was able to push through, so in other ways I am grateful to my father”
Unlike Yui who’s a commoner, Eins is the eldest child of the Duke of Rhine, one of the four major powers of the kingdom. It means that in the future he will be in a position to lead the country in his shoulders. Therefore, different from the treatment of the ordinary military school graduates, after Yui left the kingdom, he was assigned to work in the Posterior Service Division dedicated only to aristocrats.
Meanwhile, when the princess decided to have a sudden inspection, although the selection of personnel was mainly done by the a royal guard of Ministry of Magic, the Ministry of Tactics also decided to dispatch talented personnel under the reason of balancing personnel affairs from each ministry. This is where Eins, the son of the Grand Duke enters the story, who willingly consented as a volunteer.
“But for the Lord of Rhine to authorize it as well, normally, aren’t they supposed to oppose such mission?”
“Of course they were against it from the beginning. But when I brought up the topic about being the princess’ escort, they said “if that’s so, then its fine”. Well, it’s because he’s that, you know? He’s like “the princess and our son should get along well”, you know? Though his perverted mind is coming out when he said that”
“Was he that kind of person? When I was in your place, aside from being bold and open-minded, I thought he was a serious person at the very base”
As Yui recalled when he was still Eins’ tutor before entering the military academy, several nostalgic memories have been revived.
Yui had lost both of his parents, so that time when he was still in the military school he lived only with the support of the kingdom’s scholarship. Having difficulties making ends meet, Ahmed, an instructor at the military academy at that time, being pleased with Yui’s efforts, brought him a job of being a private tutor. And that pupil being tutored by Ahmad who is on good terms with the duke, is no one but Eins himself.
Actually, Eins is somewhat attached to his intelligent teacher, despite being young and lax. On the other hand, the Duke of Rhine who requested an introduction of a private tutor, wanted a person with better accomplishments and requested Ahmad to do it instead. And because of that, he didn’t even bother looking at Yui who was still a student back then, and intended to dismiss him as soon as possible.
But when Eins saw him, one month, two months after, the contract is extended and extended, and when the Rhine duke noticed, he started to prefer Yui better than anyone else.
Soon, Yui was formally entrusted as Eins’ tutor, also implying of financial support to Yui, and even after Eins entered his first year in the military academy, it still continued for one year, until Yui entered the Ministry of Tactics.
When Yui entered the Ministry of Tactics, Duke Rhine thinking that wants him to serve under Eins in the future, at first tried to recommend him to the Rhine Household as an officer. However, Yui refused, saying that he cannot take care of him any longer. Whenever he recall those times, Yui sworn in his heart that he will surely repay the gratitude he received many times to the father and son of the Rhine house by all means.
Comparing Eins in his memory to the man in front of him right now, Yui could only immerse himself in deep emotion as he became all grown up, then poured the eau-de-vie into the glass on the right hand of Eins, urging him to drink.
“Thank you very much. W-well, that’s it. This is my father’s ploy, but even if he is strangely serious, much more courting the princess, I can’t even start a proper conversation with her. Well, that level of ambition, I think it is more suitable for a person of his stature, right?”
As he said so, Eins wet his throat slowly with the newly-poured eau-de-vie.
“Well, isn’t ambition somewhat the origin of youth? Without a goal and getting old as a senior citizen, apart from the four archdukes, I guess it’s like that”
“Then you’ll be considered as fully matured, you know? Why did you get caught on something like being relegated by the Personnel Affairs? Do you dislike the royal capital that much?”
“Yeah, why did you leave the kingdom?”
At that time, Lute grasping a set of cards in one hand, walked directly in front of Yui. Then taking the eau-de-vie in his right hand, he chugged directly from the bottle at once.
Aaaah, even though I tried hard to filch that one…”
“Shut it! Answer my question first. Why did you leave the kingdom?”
Yui threw a sigh in the threatening attitude of Lute, then turned towards him.
“Lute, is the area clear?”
“Yeah. I checked. There is only us around here”
Lute was aware that Yui’s relegation is not just a simple adjustment between each ministry in the face of official/public military authorities. And they predicted that there is something that they cannot be made in public, he was taken out to make them do the talk. With Lute’s threatening attitude, Yui sighed and prepared himself, then after surveying around Lute and Eins, he began to speak with a frown slowly.
“Do you know Third-ranked Coatman?”
“is it about that director of the Information Bureau of the Ministry of Tactics? That Coatman?”
Eins put on his glasses, and remembered the always well-groomed midget who always wear of the foul smell of bureaucracy.
“Yeah, that Coatman”
“I also know that person. He always turn up in large scale exercises in the Ministry of Magic. So, what did that third rank Coatman do?”
“Oh, nothing much. They just staged a coup d’état, that’s all”
With eyes almost popping out in his sockets, Lute dropped the empty bottle of eau-de-vie. Yui gave a nod to his reaction and kept talking.
“The origin of it was selling information of the military to the Kerlun Empire, well, You might say he was a man of that level. That was then found out by Second-ranked Shalem and was blackmailed for it.”
“When you say Shalem, are you referring to the former vice-minister of the Ministry of Tactics?” Lute drank his spit to the name of the unexpected person who came out.
“Shalem dragged Coatman and tried to eliminate all his political rivals at that time. And unfortunately, on the very first of the list was my boss, Director Rheinberg”
At that time Yui was in charge of planning external strategies at the Bureau of Strategy in the Ministry of Tactics, analyzing the information entering mainly from the Information Bureau, and was involved in the future military projects. Of course the young Yui doesn’t have the authority of such a plan himself. His main duty is to coordinate with each of the Military Ministries with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The top of the Bureau of Strategy at that time is the third rank Rheinberg.
“Third rank Rheinberg may have some loose parts, but he is a good-natured person. Well, various kinds of stuff happened. They were eventually cornered in planning the coup, so they planned to sell this country to the empire”
“Is that really true, teacher?”
Eins by reflex looked back to Yui who was telling a story beyond their imagination. Yui saw their eyes mixed with bewilderment, and understanding the feelings of uncertainties they had, gave a light nod to remove their doubts.
“Ah, quite unfortunate, isn’t it? Anyway, they managed to stop their plans from happening somehow, then by tracing the concerned officials one after another, they succeeded in breaking down their factions. To be honest I expected that these actions will incur the enmity of these guys but I didn’t expect the sparks to fly towards me as well. Then, the director, in order to save me from the crossfire, sent me to a place out of their reach. In the pretext of a joint project with the ministry of other personnel affairs, he sent me here”
Towards Yui’s explanation, the two people could only gave frozen looks. However, Lute who remembered that there was an incident happening where several of the military officials suddenly retired or were suddenly demoted, he could not bring himself to doubt the credibility of Yui’s story, and was convinced that he certainly took a bite in it.
“For a man who did not even do anything about the incident, I didn’t think that a spark will also reach him”
“Well, I did worked on a little bit of mischief, you see. Aside from that, it caught the ears of the royal camp and as a result, Coatman was imprisoned. But Shalem himself, who was the source of all of this, didn’t let his tail get caught up to the very last moment, ending only in resigning as a vice-minister, and is still living comfortably in his territory”
Yui gave a bitter smile, removed his line of sight from the two, and then looked at the ceiling. That gaze seemed to penetrate the walls of the ceiling, reaching towards the sky.
“If what you all said is true, why didn’t you tell us a word of it? I dislike you, but including Alex, I still think you are my rival even now. And besides, do you know how rough it became for Eins when you left?”
“Senior Lute, please, just give me a break from that”
“Hmph. Leaving that as it is, you always ran away while I was about to win. I will make sure you pay back all the debts you owe me right now”
As he said so, Lute did a grin and threw the box of cards in front of Yui.
After that, Yui overwhelmed them by a big margin causing him to incur the wrath of Lute, which also became a new source of headache for Eins in this visit.
1.TL NOTE: Pretty ironic that the greatest pool player of all time is nicknamed “The Magician” for his superb kicks and bank shots, and how he amazes everyone in making unbelievable shots, all of it done in championship tournaments. The sad thing is his fame is overshadowed by Pacman.
3.TN NOTE: I want to change the names of these rankings but I can’t decide what I should follow. Do you have any set of names for ordinal ranks of one to ten? It’s kind of bothersome to keep saying “Sixth-ranked Lute, Sixth-ranked Yui Ystats, Sixth-ranked Eins Rhine, Second-ranked Shalem etc”. I’m thinking of using Spanish or Italian ordinal numbers for the ranks because it sound so weird in English, but it feels slightly cringey to use the Spanish and Italian ordinal numbers also… do you know any ranking words in games that doesn’t use any language? I just need alternative names from rank one to rank eight. BADLY. Or just leave them as it is if that’s what you want.