At the the Hou Household’s Secondary Residence in the Royal Capital
Volume 12 starts.
(Thank you for reading at bayabuscotranslation.com)
About a year and a half had passed, and it was the year of 2320 of the Royal Calendar. It was nearing the end of January. I had turned nineteen.
“I think I’m going to have a baby.” (Suzuya)
I, who was told that…
“Eh… really!?” (Yuri)
I asked back.
“Yes… I think I’m probably right.” (Suzuya)
‘I guess she knows because she has experienced it.’
Here was the secondary residence of the Hou Household in the royal capital. Rook and Suzuya were sitting in front of me.
“Eh… since when?” (Yuri)
“When… I don’t remember.” (Rook)
Rook said with a hint of embarrassment. You were still doing what you had to do.
I looked at Suzuya’s belly, but I didn’t think it looked bloated.
‘I wonder if it’s because the period has stopped.’
“This is the second time for your mother, so I know it. It’s the same as when I had Yuri.” (Suzuya)
“Heh… is that so?” (Yuri)
‘Really? I think it’s the kind that makes you want to eat something sour.’
“Yuri can finally have a younger brother and sister.” (Rook)
“Yes, I’m looking forward to it.” (Yuri)
‘I do really look forward to it. The joy rises from within my heart. So, I’m going to have a sibling? Would I be called Onii-chan? Yeay. It’s a win.’
“Okaa-san, please take good care of yourself. It’s not good to use a carriage.” (Yuri)
“It’s fine. I’m still good.” (Suzuya)
Suzuya showed her biceps. It certainly looked good.
‘However, I’m already nineteen years old, and I’m almost twenty. In other words, it’s been a while since Suzuya gave birth to me, which makes it a bit difficult to have a baby at old age.’
“Even so, why did you come to the royal capital? If you call me, I will go to Karakumo.” (Yuri)
“She wanted to have all the maternity stuff and clothes for childbirth. Right?” (Rook)
“Ehehe, yes. I wanted to wear the clothes I wore when I had you, but your father scolded me.” (Suzuya)
‘Somehow, they look really happy. Well, it’s fine…’
“And I wanted to surprise you. I was worried that you wouldn’t be happy about it.” (Suzuya)
“No, no. I’m really happy, you know. I’m looking forward to it.” (Yuri)
“I’m glad you’re happy.” (Suzuya)
Suzuya looked really happy. She wiped the tears from the corners of her eyes with her fingertips.
‘Of course, I’m happy. It will be my younger brother. Or younger sister. It’s the best! It’s different from the younger brother that I have never met. He was conceived by my shitty father who impregnated a 17-year-old foreign girl. This is the child of Rook and Suzuya.’
“Of course, I am. Why wouldn’t you think so?” (Yuri)
“Okaa-san is a farm girl. You see, when you have too many children…” (Suzuya)
‘Aah. Is that what she worried about? Well, even if it’s a farmer, it’s not uncommon for a second child to be unwelcomed.’
“You don’t have to worry about that. I even welcome three to four children.” (Yuri)
‘To be honest, I can feed twenty people.’
“Thank you, Yuri. Okaa-san is really happy.” (Suzuya)
“I’m the one who is supposed to thank you. Please deliver the baby safely.” (Yuri)
“Yes. I’m going to make it. I promise.” (Suzuya)
“Yes. It’s a promise.” (Yuri)
“Soim is coming. He wants to have a bout with you.” (Rook)
When the gathering had finished, Rook said it.
“Eh, is that so?” (Yuri)
“I heard it was a wish.” (Rook)
‘A wish, huh? Ojii-chan’s wish is pretty high on the list of priorities. It would be better if he says it often.’
“Alright, I’m going.” (Yuri)
“Well then. Good luck with your studies.” (Rook)
Suzuya was waving her hand flutteringly.
Rook was more familiar with the circumstances around the lesson at the school of Knights, so he looked at Suzuya with a wry smile.
‘He knew well even though the studies were over a long year ago. The last gate to comply with the 20-year-old graduation regulations is a lesson called ‘Advanced Hand-to-hand Combat Technique IV, but I have already received the letter of approval, so I don’t need to attend this lesson. The letter says ‘It doesn’t mean you have completed the lesson, but… it is just between you and me that the instructor has recognized your skill (coyly)’. In other words, it’s a certificate that I will receive credits unconditionally after the last semester.’
“Go get your A kicked once in a while. Your body is probably sluggish.” (Room)
“Uh… I’m not. Well then, I’ll be going.” (Yuri)
I left the room, putting my hand where it hurt.
When I went to the front door, Soim was there. He wore comfortable but well-tailored clothes that were suitable for hunting.
It was a youthful outfit for a man with gray hair and a wrinkled appearance, but it looked oddly good on him.
‘The reason is that the torso is solid, and every part of his body that supported his body gave him a sense of grandeur that belies his old age image. If he goes out of town, he’ll be popular. There is a certain demand for it. According to what I heard, Komimi Culottes is a big fan of this kind of old man.’
Soim held a slender spear, stoned to the floor and resting on his shoulder. Even though it was his wish, he didn’t seem to be very motivated. He just stood there, near an unobstrusive pillar, as if he was meditating while standing.
When I called out for the side…
“Oh, Young Master. I haven’t seen you in a long time.” (Soim)
He opened his eyes with a snap and answered.
‘You weren’t sleeping, were you…?’
“Yes. It has been a long time.” (Yuri)
It had been about nine months since I had seen Soim, as we had crossed paths in many ways. Even nine months before that, we hadn’t practiced crossing spears.
“What’s up with you today?” (Yuri)
“I would like you to come with me to practice.” (Soim)
Soim said as he bowed his head lightly.
“Aah, it’s fine.” (Yuri)
‘Practice, is it? It’s been a while. When I practice with Soim, he usually says to me when I meet him ‘Shall we exchange spears for the first time in a while?’, and we start practice in that flow of time. After I entered the school of Knights, he didn’t call me to practice until I was ready. With that in mind, I guess there may be special circumstances today.’
“Well then, let’s go to the dojo.” (Soim)
(Thank you for reading at bayabuscotranslation.com)
When we got to the dojo, I didn’t see Soim changing clothes, so I stayed the same. Rather than a sweaty practice of running and leaping, he might be planning to do it just for fun.
“Young Master, this unworthy Soim came here today with the intention of giving you the last lesson.” (Soim)
‘What is the last?’
“I am 105 years old this year. It seems that I have reached the limit of my growth as a warrior.” (Soim)
‘No no no. I didn’t know your age, but 105 years old? Reaching the limit… No, were you growing?’
“Were you growing?” (Yuri)
“Yes, I was.” (Soim)
“Are you stronger now that you were in your thirties and forties?” (Yuri)
“Yes. I believe that there are many kinds of strength, but this Soim convinced the present is the best state as the mind and technique developed even if the body declines.” (Soim)
‘Is that so…? I don’t really get it, but if a man as good as Soim says so, then, it must be true.’
“Does that mean we can’t do this anymore?” (Yuri)
“To put it bluntly, you’re right. I have a feeling that both my physical and mental skills will decline in the future.” (Soim)
‘Well, that’s true… If one is growing all the time, when is it going to decline? I mean, it’s weird that he started to decline at the age of 105. However, if a man as good as Soim assured that he will decline, I wonder if the rapid progression of blight will begin tomorrow. That’s scary.’
“I see. So, you want to have a bout with me before that happens.” (Yuri)
“You’re indeed quick to guess. You’re right.” (Soim)
“Understood. Let’s do it.” (Yuri)
“I wish for a true spear.” (Soim)
‘What? Somehow, it sounds strange. With a true spear? Are you serious?’
“Are you serious? I’m not going to go along with killing each other, you know.” (Yuri)
“I will stop it. I wonder if there are many things that can be conveyed.” (Soim)
“I’m not so sure about that.” (Yuri)
“You don’t need to go easy on me, Young Master. I would rather be stabbed to death if you do so.” (Soim)
‘Hmm… What’s this all about? Could it be that the old man is looking for a place to die? I don’t think that’s the case with Soim.’
“Please be assured. Your fears are unfounded as I’m prepared to do anything to prevent it.” (Soim)
“Well… if you say so.” (Yuri)
“Then, choose your favorite spear.” (Soim)
‘There are several types of spears with crushed blades on the walls of the dojo. It’s for practice. Well, if it doesn’t scratch, it’s still a spear. I would rather not have to worry about us getting seriously injured.’
I chose a suitable slender spear and proceeded to the middle of the dojo.
“Are we… doing it as always?” (Yuri)
Soim quietly held his spear.
It was a quiet movement, more like a lifting motion than to hold it. The way he was holding the spear, there was no strength in any part of his body, and it didn’t feel like he was holding a spear.
I also held a spear, and we faced each other.
He didn’t come even after for a while, so I rushed myself in.
The moment when I tried to stab in a sudden step, Soim’s spear was pierced at my belly. The tip of the sharp spear stopped at the piece of skin on the belly.
I had a tingling pain, like when I stabbed my finger with the tip of a knife.
“…Young Master, that was too careless. Don’t let me down too much.” (Soim)
Soim said with a reproachful look in his eyes.
I sweated cold in my heart, and when I did, I retreated and repartitioned.
‘Was I careless? How could I be careless? Soim had a spear-stretching motion before I could take a step forward. It wasn’t that the movement itself was faster than me, and the movement probably started earlier than me.’
‘This means that he sensed the beginning of the intention, and he took the opportunity. I can only think so. The term ‘the beginning of an intention’ is difficult to express, but it’s a kind of terminology, and in fact, it’s a preliminary action. In addition, the movement of eyes, the movement of the fingers in the grip, and the sounds made by the body are all referred to as ‘the beginning of an intention.’
‘But wouldn’t that be an extreme preliminary motion? I don’t understand. The fact that I don’t understand may itself be evidence that I was distracted. I wasn’t out of touch, but my mind was somewhat distracted, and I couldn’t remember even if I tried. I didn’t even pay attention to it. Maybe, I wasn’t prepared to go along with Soim’s last practice.’
“My bad.” (Yuri)
“A man who will become the head of the household shouldn’t apologize casually.” (Soim)
“I apologize. I was disrespectful of your resolve to come here.” (Yuri)
I held the spear again.
This time, I pushed and Pulled Soim’s spear with overlapping tips. I was pressured in proportion to my strength. As expected, I couldn’t feel his strength at all.
‘In the case of students with brain muscles, they often don’t give up, saying ‘if I’m pushed here, I will lose’, but this isn’t the case with Soim. It’s as sloppy as water, and even when I push it, I only feel the weight of a spear.’
After repeating the process two or three times, I quickly leaped up on the spear and plunged it. I threw a series of stabs at his face and stomach.
Soim dodged the spear that aimed at his head. His lower half of the body would remain, so it was impossible to dodge…
As if anticipating this moment, Soim had caught my spear with the tip of his drawn spear.
The spear that was received by Soim stuck to it as if it was working with some kind of suction force, and when Soim received the spear, it slid over it. While that happened, in the place where Soim grabbed his spear, his grasped hand was opened and slid to the blunt end of the spear.
Soim put his spear behind his body as he slid up, turned himself around, and pricked me in the side with the spear he held briefly in one hand.
‘What is that? Is it a magic trick? The place where the spear stuck to the other spear was a mystery. How can that happen? I know he’s using my reflexes, but it’s a strange feeling. Is it like Aikido?’
“…No good. It seems that our strengths are too different.” (Yuri)
I said as I moved away.
“You did great earlier.” (Soim)
“No, I don’t get it.” (Yuri)
‘I don’t think I can win.’
“Young Master, when you stab the spear, you seem to be moving as if you were stabbing from above. There is a feeling that the body floats once before moving. At first, it was clear, but the previous one was clearly erased.” (Soim)
‘Eh… Is that so? I’ve never had anyone say that to me.’
“If you focus your mind, it will disappear. So, it’s probably suitable for actual battles.” (Soim)
“Do you want to have a go again?” (Soim)
“Yes… shall we? It should be the last.” (Yuri)
“It is the feeling that seeps into this old man’s soul.” (Soim)
‘What an exaggeration.’
In the end, I did it five times and never beat Soim.
“After all we’ve been through, you didn’t aim at me, Young Master.” (Soim)
‘Well, why did you do this lesson then?’
“The skill I have has been developed by thinking only of spears all the time. There will be another way for Young Master.” (Soim)
‘Does that mean the natural nobility of the Hou Household is in trouble because of a spear idiot?’
“Well, that may be so.” (Yuri)
“Today happens because of my selfishness. I had hoped to be scattered on the battlefield, but it seems that’s not possible” (Soim)
Since Soim’s great grandchild has succeeded the Hao Household this year, the person himself should be the one who commands the troops. Well, normally, even the current head of a household doesn’t go to war if he’s over a hundred years old.
“Then, at least before this old bone breaks, I will at least try to make the Young Master remember my techniques…” (Soim)
“No, do it with your great grandchildren.” (Yuri)
‘There are many other students.’
“Of course, I did it without any delay.” (Soim)
It seemed that he was doing something similar here and there.
“However, Young Master, you are especially similar to me when I was young.” (Soim)
It was my first time hearing it.
“It’s the spear. I taught you the basics, so it’s only natural that it would be similar.” (Soim)
“Aah, I see. That’s right.” (Yuri)
‘That reminds me. Rook said something about spearsmanship being something you don’t teach your own children. Soim is also a member of that school of thought, and his real and great-grandchildren may have been entrusted to others.’
“I have reached the height of my life in terms of skill. Even so, I was still worried about how it would be compared when I was young.” (Soim)
“I’m happy for you. You win.” (Yuri)
“Huhu, thanks to you, I was able to confirm that the study of the last fifty years wasn’t in vain.” (Soim)
‘That’s great. But the scale is too big though.’
“I’ve also benefited. It has given me a lot to work on.” (Yuri)
“That’s splendid.” (Soim)
“I’ll try to keep it a distant goal at best.” (Yuri)
“If you do so, this Soim will be honored for seven lifetimes.” (Soim)
‘What an exaggeration.’
“You said something about a premonition of decline, but is it something that makes you sick tomorrow or something?” (Yuri)
It would be lonely if I said goodbye to Soim and the next time I would meet was a bedridden old man.
“No, that’s not the case. It’s just that this body of mine has been declining for some time now, and I’m starting to feel my attention and concentration waning as well…” (Soim)
“Is that so? Then, I’m relieved. I can’t send you into battle, but I hope you live a long life.” (Yuri)
“I’m not tired of life, you know. I intend to live in the royal capital for a while and try to make new discoveries.” (Soim)
‘Is Soim living in the royal capital?
If that’s the case, he may have chosen this outfit because it looks like a playboy. Well, the royal capital is full of suspense, violence and stimulation. So, if his body is healthy, he might as well go out and prevent himself from getting old.
(Please consider supporting at https://www.patreon.com/bayabuscotranslation)