Arc 1, New Moon
Maybe it was another rule that in Meissen, all three meals consisted of the same thing. In the morning and at noon it was always the same soup as ever, and dinner was soft baked bread.
The same as last night, the head butler glanced at Ernst as if telling him to ‘Quickly go to bed’, so Ernst found himself in front of the hearth in his own room.
Letting out a sigh of relief at the warm fire, Ernst sat in a chair. The candle they had given him was short. Was this to tell him to go to bed before the candle went out?
Snow blanketed the earth; the night was quiet. Ernst wondered if everyone in the manor was asleep. He had thought that normally, if the lord of the manor was awake, then all of the servants would also stay awake, but it seemed that things were different here.
First, he should try to follow the way the people of Meissen did things, Ernst thought.
Ernst heard the sound of a hesitant knock at his door.
Easily pushing open the heavy door, an enormous man nervously entered the room. Ernst silently pointed toward the one other chair in front of the fireplace.
Looking up at Ernst from his lowered face, the man sat in the chair. His large body was unable to fit in it, so he sat with his buttocks hovering over the seat, his body squeezed to take up less space.
But of course, it wasn’t the chair’s fault.
“If I’m not remembering wrong, I know you.”
Ernst glanced at the large man from the side of his eyes. The man’s large body flinched.
“Hmm. So it seems like you’re the one I was thinking of, after all.”
That large body grew stiffer and stiffer.
“Well then… for what reason did you come here?”
The man nervously opened his mouth.
“I, had come here to join the militia.”
“Since that was where I found you, that seems obvious enough. What I am asking is why are you, who had been serving the bathhouse of the crown prince, now here, in Meissen, as a member of the militia. Surely this can’t just be chalked up to coincidence.”
The sight of those large hands tightening on themselves caught Ernst’s attention from the corner of his eyes.
The large man currently cowering before Ernst was that very same manservant who had served in the bathing chamber. He was a person of the courageous Grude race, the Dunberts. It was hard to believe that this figure who was so tense under Ernst’s questioning was supposed to be of such fearless character.
“It… isn’t a coincidence. I heard that Lord Ernst was to become the Lord of Meissen, so just a short time before that happened, I entered Meissen and joined its militia.”
Those who desired to govern the kingdom, or otherwise those who desired power and authority, would no doubt cling to their social status. Ernst didn’t know which he was, but it seemed that he himself was an obstacle, he thought. When Ernst thought over his situation, it was easy to guess that somewhere out there, someone was trying to ostracize him.
So it seemed like this large man hadn’t come here to kill him, Ernst guessed. After all, there was no way an assassin would stand out this much. This overly large body wouldn’t be able to hide anywhere.
In that case, what was he doing for him to be in a place like this? In Ernst’s chest, a single light flickered to life.
He turned his delicate body slightly towards the large man, waiting for the Dunbertian’s words.
“I… wished to serve Lord Ernst.”
With his head lowered, the words this large man whispered made Ernst feel a swooping sensation.
In that palace, in that cold palace where Ernst had not formed a single connection to another person, there was someone who had missed and yearned for him.
Of his own free will, he had chosen to follow Ernst even in the face of the dangerous forest and steep cliff faces that Ernst had crossed.
“I see! I see!”
Overturning his chair in his haste to stand, Ernst grabbed the large man’s hand. It was a warm, faithful hand.
“I had never before had someone that I wanted to praise and commend. As I am now, I’m unable to even give appropriate recompense to those who are willing to serve me. Even knowing that, you still willingly chose to serve me; how magnificent you are!”
The large man raised his head. For some reason, his reddish-brown eyes held some distress.
“Lord Ernst, that’s not it. I, I…”
“What is it? Did I get something wrong? Is it that I misunderstood something, somewhere. You did say that you wished to serve me now, didn’t you?”
The swelling delight within Ernst deflated.
“That’s not it! I do wish to serve Lord Ernst. If it is for Lord Ernst’s sake, then I am even willing to throw my life away!”
His large hand grasped Ernst’s and squeezed. His grip was tight and powerful.
“In that case, what did I get wrong…?”
“I… I adore Lord Ernst…”
The large man painfully spit out these words.
“Adore? So you’re saying there was even a person who was able to adore me… Aah, what an honor that is. For someone to adore even a boring person like me…You understand how delighted this makes me…?”
Everyone had sought out Ernst’s value as the Crown Prince. There hadn’t been anyone who wanted to follow Ernst when he had lost everything. They each had their own lives, and they lived steadily in the place they had rooted themselves to. Ernst was just an existence that passed by between them. A faint existence.
Yet this giant man had thrown everything away, and he alone had chased after Ernst. Ernst did not know any joy greater than this.
“That’s not it! That’s not it!… That’s not it!”
The giant man violently shook his head.
“Just what, isn’t right…”
Pain rose within those reddish-brown eyes as they stared at Ernst. He didn’t know exactly why, but Ernst felt that this man was pitiable.
“The meaning of my adoration, and Lord Ernst’s adoration… is different. I love Lord Ernst to the bottom of my heart…”
I thought these chapters would take longer to translate, but I was eager to find out what happened next.
This chapter might actually be the first time we see real dialogue in this story. Before, all of the dialogue was narrated through Ernst’s thoughts.
This is the last chapter I read through MTL. From here on, I’ll be discovering the story while translating. I’m looking forward to finding out how Ernst will work to improve Meissen, and just what exactly is going on with the Dunbertian manservant!