I’m Not Even an Otome Game Mob Character - Chapter 4
“Ah. Looks like it’ll rain.”
I muttered unconsciously during work.
Perhaps it’s because I have the water attribute, I can feel it when rain is about to come. I can sense the intensity up to an hour before.
My old man also stood up and looked down on me from above the stepladder. I read the question in his eyes and reported.
“It seems that it will be quite long. It might be trou- worrisome because it may also become stronger.”
My Dad seemed to prioritize the information over me flubbing my polite speech. He went deep in thought for a while.
(TN: Changed honorific to polite speech)
“We can’t go home for a while.”
It’s rainy season now. When it rains for long we have a cabin in the Duke’s land that we can spend the night in. It’s so we can respond right away if something happens with the garden.
“Then I’ll let Mom know that we’re spending the night here.”
At the same time I said that, I gathered wind on the palm of my hand and made a bird. A little bird peeked out from my cupped hands and I let it go into the sky. It went towards our home. It’s basic magic that will disperse as soon as it reaches Mom, but we always use it as a signal for when the laundry might get wet, so she should understand with just this.
Dad looked at me silently and went back to work.
Water is my specialty in magic, but it’s not as if I can’t use the other attributes. It’s just that the attribute one is most suited to is set apart in their information. There’s almost nobody who has no affinity in the other elements. But there’s such a big difference between the element someone is compatible with and the other elements that most people only strengthen the element they’re compatible with.
I’d always strengthened and nourished myself for party balance in the past world, so I automatically practiced the other attributes up to what I could manage. If you used it, it seemed to strengthen to some extent. My wind magic came from being about half of my water magic to three-fifths. I can’t see my status so that’s only from my intuition though. It would’ve been nice if you could see numbers like in games. Things like how sisters are healers and would often be prioritized so they would raise their defense, or how warriors’ magic defense would be too low so they’d raise it. Good memories of nurturing my stats to supplement my character in the previous world.
Come to think of it, these helped even in my Little Sister’s Otome Game. I remember suffering because of how little time I had to prepare my stats for the minigames. Huh, whose route was that again?
I had no interest whatsoever in the capture target so I couldn’t remember at all. What I remembered instead was that the goal of that mini-RPG was to gather herbs to dispel the curse over a monster’s territory.
Well anyway, I simply thought that it would be convenient if I could use it so I’m studying other magical attributes. The dark attribute has a dangerous image about it, and I’m just about unable to use it except to erase my presence when I’m in a shadow. It only sees use when I’m playing hide and seek.
I don’t publicly use attributes aside of water. Though it’s a different story only when I’m in front of my family.
“Ah, Ojou. It’s dangerous since branches might fall so don’t come here.”
I couldn’t move because I was supporting the ladder, so I gave her a time out with just my voice.
Right now we’re making the trees around the water fountain uniform in height. It’s prepared in rainy season and the water fountain lets out water. The white birds at the center aren’t made of stone, but they’re made of quartz so it’s still refreshing. Polishing those birds is always scary since they seem expensive.
Ojou heard the periodic rustling noise the branches made as they fell and gazed towards the fountain looking worried. She’s probably worried about the branches hitting me. My Old Man wouldn’t make such a mistake so it’s fine though.
After my Dad had finished and descended the stepladder, I started gathering the branches. It’s fine now, I said. Ojou drew nearer to a place where the branches weren’t falling.
“Will you use those as firewood or the like?”
“No, it’s unseasoned wood so we can’t do that right away. For the time being, we’re gonna gather and tie them together then pile them up beside our cabin. We can’t dispose of them since it’ll rain soon.”
Tying them up with hemp rope was my Dad’s job. I was still too small for it. I was just to gather them all in one place.
“Why do you know when rain will fall?”
“I have the water attribute. Did I not say?”
When I curiously asked her, she was miffed that I hadn’t told her. I might be in the wrong for feeling like I had told her, but Ojou doesn’t need something like my information, does she.
“That aside, your dress will get wet so go back.”
“But, I have not told you…”
When I encouraged her to return to the mansion before the rain fell, she hesitated saying that the information I had given her up to today wasn’t enough. I mean, it’s not as if I have to report everything that happens to me. Is this part of Ojou’s daily routine?
“Ah-, I get it. I’ll be staying in the cabin tonight so come if you can spare the time.”
There was nothing to do as the rain fell. After making the preparations beforehand, we would regularly watch over the garden and perform emergency measures after the rain stopped.
Ojou’s face sparkled at my words.
“Then, will you be here tonight?”
“Hm? Yeah. Seems like it for now.”
“Then I will send a messenger after dinner!”
She obediently returned for now with a see you later.
I tilted my head not knowing the reason Ojou’s mood brightened. for beginners it’s strange for a young lady to pass by the servants while walking instead of summoning them. Recently, Ojou’s stamina has been inexhaustible because of her dance practice. I can’t deny the feeling that she’s trained by looking for us here and there within the garden. We would usually be the ones to come to her, but I have work. Ojou hasn’t called us either.
Come to think of it, we have to go to the mansion and let the Duke know we’re staying first. And before that we have to wash up and change. Ah, we also have to separate our yields and give the appropriate ones to the kitchen.
As I gather the branches, I think about the order of plans after this. When we overnight in the cabin, it’s mainly me who makes the food. At home I get training with it since I help my Mom, and my Dad can’t do it, apparently. My Dad could roast all of it. That brings out a delicious taste in a natural way, but that natural taste would be too strong to eat everyday. It’s not as if our Dad doesn’t do anything, but we have our own clear roles at home. I’m still too weak for physical labor, so I help with housework. I’ll help with labor too when I grow up, my Mom says in anticipation.
I have to treat my parents well for the times I couldn’t in my previous life.
I’m not serious. Before, I used to think that I was supposed to be at the age to play around as the Duke had pointed out. But the regret from my memories of the previous life changed my priorities.
In the previous world, I was a truly average male student. I felt that a tofu seller was lame so I didn’t want to inherit it. I went job hunting and took all of the housekeeping work my Mother did for granted. I wanted money to play around with, and I didn’t put effort into studying except the bare minimum so I could go to university.
And I regretted it before I died.
In the previous world, I died from an accident. But no matter how, I died anyway.
Get a job offer and enjoy my student life until I graduate. Before I started working I needed to present my documents, so I got a physical examination where I was told that I had three months left to live because of terminal cancer. I thought it was some sort of joke, but I saw the Doctor’s face and despaired because it was real.
On the way home, I was confused about how I would tell my friends and family. I didn’t notice the heavy downpour. I walked with my eyes shut, not seeing anything, and I got into a traffic accident. It was obviously my blunder. I surely must have given the driver an unpleasant experience.
The truth was that I respected my stubborn father’s work, with whom I fought with all the time. Because I was young, I compared it to what I saw around me and got embarassed all on my own. But I had decided that if I still wasn’t able to bring out good results in work by my 30s, I would lower my head to him and ask him to let me continue the tofu seller.
I was naive to think that I had a future.
This time I won’t be stubborn.
That’s what I’ve decided from my memories from my past life.
I felt regret because I kept being stubborn. No matter what those around you say, it’s alright as long as you take pride in what you think is good.
When I finished gathering branches, my father patted my head with a ruffle. Dad doesn’t talk much. Instead he praises me with his actions when I do something. It’s a little embarassing, but more than that it makes me happy, and my face breaks into a grin.
My Dad turned his back to me and knelt, saying that the sky has gotten dark. His arms carried the tied up branches.
I understood his intention and gladly climbed on his back. I got up and held on tightly to my Dad’s short-haired head. He stood. I felt tense from my field of vision that had gotten all taller.
My Dad rapidly walked forward, not minding my strange voice. My Dad was over 190cm. On his shoulders, I was probably over two meters. Being able to look down on your surroundings despite usually having to look up is genuinely fun.
I ended up giggling on my own. Then I asked my Dad for something that I had almost carelessly forgotten.
“Dad, let’s go to the kitchen! We have to give them ingredients!”
When I said that, my Dad changes his direction and headed to the kitchen. It’s kinda funny since it feels like I’m piloting a robot. A robot like a castle that reached the sky who responded to voices.
We gave the uncle at the kitchen our excess foodstuffs, and my Dad let me ride on his shoulders until we reached the cabin. Our legs were so different and we reached it very quickly with my Dad walking by himself. I want to believe that I’ll inherit that someday, and I want to look forward to it.
But, the 『cabin』 is.
It’s a cabin that I could look up to even from my Dad’s shoulders. Compared to the Duke’s mansion it was just a cabin, but honestly it’s a splendid house bigger than our own. There’s even a place to store the gardening tools, and living spaces where the plumbing doesn’t reach are concentrated in these two stories. It was a solid house made of bricks that was strong against the rain and wind.
Even though such a house is close to the garden, it was hidden within its greens such that you wouldn’t make it out unless you got close. How wide is this garden? It’s at a level where you can get lost in it. If the Duke’s house is like this, the royal castle must be at the level of getting shipwrecked.
Even though it hasn’t been used for some time, there is no visible dust or spiderweb. I’m grateful that they even do periodic cleanings on a place as far as this. It’s as if we have a vacation house even though we’re commoners, so I feel rich. Like some sort of duke.
I come down from the shoulders and take the ingredients we’ve carried. We wipe ourselves off from the dirt that we can wipe off with a handtowel on the front door, and my Dad enters the bath first. In that time, I prepare dinner.
After we have dinner and I take a bath, Ojou’s messenger comes.
“Sorry Dad. Please just dry our laundry in the room.”
I point him to the basket of laundry I washed while taking a bath and hurriedly look for a raincoat. Then my Dad took a big rag, covered my head with it and roughly wiped my hair.
This means my hair wasn’t really dry. I was going to go under the rain so I didn’t think it mattered.
“Thanks. I’ll be on my way!”
Finally, he even put on my raincoat for me. I put on my hood and come to the Messenger who was waiting at the front door.
“Excuse me. Thank you for waiting.”
The Messenger put on a strange expression seeing my violently dried hair, but they led me to a room in the mansion. They put my raincoat on the hanger for employees at the entrance.
They had me sit down on a sofa in what seemeed to be one of the guest rooms.
“I will call Ojou-sama.”
The Messenger bowed and disappeared beyond the door. It’s a bit puzzling but they’re treating me with a lot of respect. It looks like they’re prioritizing my being a guest of Ojou’s more than being a commoner.
I wonder what the employees in this mansion think of me. If it’s entered the Duke’s ears, then Ojou’s habit of reporting to me is probably known. The guys at the kitchen are friendly when I interact with them. Someone who knows other than them would be Butler-san, but I’ve never talked to him before, nor can I read his expression.
As I thought deeply on such things, Ojou came and opened the door.
“I have kept you waiting.”
Her breath was out of order and she was holding something. Looked like some sort of book. A cart came from behind her, pulled by a Maid that I had seen before. The cart carried a tea set.
“Ojou… and Catherine-san.”
When I said the name I had heard from Ojou, Catherine-san was surprised as if she didn’t think she was being called.
“Ah, I’m sorry for rudely calling a woman’s name. I’ve never heard it except from Ojou. I am Isaac Baumgartner, the gardening apprentice.”
“I am Lydia-sama’s servant, Katherine von Lehar.”
When I bowed, she politely pinched her skirt to greet me.
“Lehar-san, is it.”
“I do not mind being called Katherine.”
“Then I will presume upon your words. I’m lucky to be able to drink Katherine-san’s tea.”
“Such a thing… it is not so-”
“Ojou always boasts that it’s the most delicious. I’ve been wanting to taste it by all means.”
As I was talking with Katherine, Ojou seemed to have gotten miffed from my words for some reason.
“Hey!? Don’t say anything unnecessary!!”
“What do you mean? Ojou often talks about Katherine-san. The other day she made this kind of coffee for me, she hasn’t been afraid of me, recently she’s been laughing a bit…”
“Why are you laying it open!?”
She hit me repeatedly with both of her hands and a bright red face. Ojou’s physical offensive power is inherently low so it doesn’t hurt.
“Ojou, you really love Katherine-san don’t you.”
“Be silent already!!”
Ojou screamed in distress rather than anger. Seeing her like that, Katherine-san widened her eyes. Then she began to giggle.
Her giggles stopped us. Ojou’s face became one grade redder.
Katherine-san noticed her and just barely stifled her giggles.
“…Please excuse me. You seemed terribly close.”
Katherine-san apologizes for forgetting her manners towards her Master. But although she seemed embarassed, that embarassment seemed to dampen upon seeing her maid’s smile.
“I don’t particularly mind.”
Ojou acted cold and prickly. Katherine-san has seen what Ojou is really like from our exchange just now so it didn’t matter though.
“…That aside, Isaac. Why is your hair that way?”
Ojou fixed her eyes upon my ruffled hair.
“This? My Dad wiped it for me.”
“I will acknowledge your tidiness, but the result is improper. At least comb out your hair.”
“But, I couldn’t make Ojou wait…”
“No buts. Katherine, after you brew the tea bring me a brush. You may leave afterwards.”
As Ojou had instructed, Katherine brought us a brush after preparing our tea. After she left, Ojou came from where she was seated opposite from me to my side and started brushing my hair. She hadn’t even finished her tea.
I drank the warm tea with a sip and went along with her.
(TN: changed the zuzo sound effect from the prologue to sip here)
“Your long-awaited tea will get cold you know?”
“Katherine’s tea is delicious even when it is cold so it is okay.”
As it seemed to weigh on her mind regardless, Ojou grappled with my messy hair. Unlike Ojou’s well-maintained hair, mine was only washed with soap. I wonder how it will turn out if it gets brushed.
But it was raining so the warm tea made a deep impression on me. It’s delicious. Thank you, Katherine-san.
“…Are you not deliberately making noise?”
As she was brushing my hair, Ojou asked me, puzzled.
“Warm tea is more delicious when drank like this.”
Holding the teacup with both hands and sipping it noisily is probably a rude thing to do. But as someone with Japanese memories, warm tea is something that must be drank this way. I wonder if I will be able to drink green tea someday in this country. If I recall correctly, the leaves are the same as black tea.
This is nothing but a matter of mood, but this is a bit too little to drink normally.
“Ojou, wanna try it yourself?”
“I will not!”
Looks like drinking like me was out of the question for Ojou.
To begin with it seemed like she wanted to make my ruffled hair quiet down no matter what the cost. She continued to brush for a while. Just like that, she kept on brushing without giving up for so long that she spoke about what had been happening to her in the times we didn’t meet.
“Ojou, what did you bring?”
I asked since she stopped talking somewhat. She even stopped brushing, and when I touched my hair it kinda felt more smooth than usual.
When I asked, she happily took a book that had been placed on the table and showed it to me. It seemed to be a picture book with a princess and a dragon on the cover.
“It is my favorite book! I’ve wanted to show it to Isaac for some time now.”
Not knowing how to respond, I stared at the book.
What should I do?
“Um… is it too childish for Isaac?”
Ojou misunderstood my reaction, hid half of her face with the book and peeked disappointedly at me.
“No… that’s not it. Ojou.”
It’s not as if I don’t want to read it.
From the picture it’s probably about an adventurer. Even I can enjoy it.
That’s not it.
“I can’t read.”
It’s just that I couldn’t read or write. I could do so in Japanese, but not in this country’s language.
The literacy rate among commoners is low. Even signboards always make sure to add pictures. Paper and ink are expensive, so books are also luxurious items that cannot be bought unless a family is well-off.
I didn’t like it in my previous life, but since I could no longer do it I wanted to do it. It’s strange. For a time I passed by a sign maker and became able to read simple and familiar words. But I couldn’t do any more than that, which included things like grammar.
“Ah… I… I…”
As if it didn’t have anywhere to belong, Ojou’s gaze wandered.
It’s natural for her to think that others could also do what she could do naturally. She didn’t do anything wrong.
But she tried to apologize to me in guilt. I sandwiched her cheeks.
While Ojou was still surprised from suddenly having her face sandwiched, I lifted her up by the flank and had her sit on my lap.
“Ojou will read it.”
Ojou turned around and looked up at me in an attempt to understand what was happening. I smiled. I took this stance befitting our ages so that Ojou could read it out loud to me, but since we’re both facing the same way it’s easier to read it together.
“If you could teach me the letters while we’re at it, I’d be glad.”
When I added a selfish request on top, Ojou’s guilty expression finally disappeared.
“It cannot be helped.”
Ojou smiled. That’s enough, I thought.
I don’t want Ojou to be sad or guilty about something I’m okay with.
Ojou should be full of things she’s happy with just as always.
As I followed the characters she read out loud, I wished for Ojou to smile and laugh in the future, too.