The Deeds of Arrogant Noble Volume 1 chapter 1 part 3

“You must be tired from your long trip. Welcome.”

“Thank you very much.”

While they may not be first-rate, I do come from a noble family.

I assumed I wouldn’t be turned away. Though I anticipated some snide remarks. But in reality I received unexpectedly good treatment. It makes me probe what this could mean.

“Will black tea do?”

“Yes, thank you very much.”

A maid who had been waiting nearby poured black tea into the teacups. A pleasant aroma spread through the room.

We exchanged some more small talk but I didn’t sense any malice at all.

“Well, no point in me staying. I’ll fetch Alfred right away.”

“Thank you, I appreciate it.”

Saying that, Lord Gilbart left the room. Though I wasn’t alone in the room. A maid was still attending me.

…Yes, strange.

The Mirestia Kingdom where magic proliferates was founded by people skilled at magic gathering together. So the lineages of first-rate nobles generally have some magical aptitude, though the degree varies.

In other words, magic largely belongs to the nobility.

There are extremely rare cases of commoners with magical aptitude, but those are very special exceptions.

Whether you can use magic or not. Given the history of magic supporting this kingdom, this divide will never disappear.

…Or so I thought.

I didn’t sense that at all from Lord Gilbart earlier.

If anything, I felt a certain level of respect…I truly don’t understand the meaning.

–Knock knock

Bubbling questions.

As if ignoring those, I heard knocking on the door resound.

The maid waiting nearby immediately opened the door.

“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.”

Ah, a truly nostalgic sight. Feelings from long ago well up at the sight of him.

Though it seems he’s changed considerably since I last saw him.

“Pff…”

Seeing Al bow his head solemnly, I somehow managed to stifle the laugh that nearly spilled out.

“I’ll take over from here. You may leave.”

“Yes sir, Alfred.”

The maid left this place. Now it was just the two of us here, me and Al.

Remaining silent, Al sat on the sofa opposite me and casually lit and smoked a cigarette. –Then,

“Yeah…”

“Pfft, ahahaha! You’ve become quite the proper butler, haven’t you Al? Who could believe this man was once feared as the [Demon] vice captain of the kingdom’s knights on the battlefield?”

Unable to endure it, I hugged my stomach laughing.

“Even though just recently you were still awkwardly using polite speech.”

“Whaddya mean recently? Don’t talk about stuff from years ago like it was yesterday.”

“Ahaha, I see. Has it really been that long? How frightening the passage of time is.”

“So what business do you have with me, Elka? You didn’t just come to see an old friend’s face right?”

“As ever, you are unchanged. Learn to mince your words for goodness’ sake.”

“No way a guy like me can do something that doesn’t suit me.”

“Hehe, I suppose so. I’m relieved you haven’t changed. –Then I’ll get straight to the point.”

I paused my words for a moment, then immediately continued.

“I want you to lend me your strength in raising my disciple.”

There was no point in going too far in my conversation with Al. So, let me speak my mind.

“Took in some orphan and just ended up teaching him the sword situationally. His name’s [Abel], I think you’ll like him.”

This was my true feelings, sincere words without pretense.

“Oh…he got talent?”

“What?”

“Does he have talent?”

It was an unfamiliar question.

Anyone who knows the man called Alfred would surely doubt their ears hearing that.

Al is a commoner. From a home environment extremely close to utter poverty at that. There was no one to teach him swordsmanship.

Yet Al crawled his way up. Through amassing tremendous efforts.

He was a man with the eyes of a starving wolf. Single-mindedly carving his own path just by swinging a crude sword. He never once talked about something like talent.

…Until this moment. But since I’ve been asked, there’s nothing for it but to answer.

“Swordsmanship talent…no. Strangely he seems to have magical aptitude but being a commoner, he can’t use attribute magic.”

It’s hard for me…to definitively state my disciple I’m doting on lacks talent.

But it can’t be helped, that’s the reality.

And it’s also a fact that the essence of the boy named Abel is absolutely not something as mundane as talent.

“However–“

So I strongly continued speaking.

“He possesses frightfully immense [mental strength]. Truly…frightfully immense. A monster in the truest sense.”

Yes, the fearsome power I sensed in Abel–it was that deranged [mental strength].

Just remembering it now sends a shiver down my spine.

“Doesn’t it make you curious?”

I posed the question to Al.

Honestly I want to talk more extensively and carefully about Abel.

I have a mountain of episodes I want to tell. But unfortunately there’s no time for that now.

So I asked. Confident that Al would definitely be interested.

…But his reaction was slightly different than I imagined.

Al’s eyes were frighteningly empty.

Leaning back on the sofa, blowing out puffs of cigarette smoke while looking up at the ceiling.

“Hey Elka. We often had talks like this huh. Which comes first, the sword or the heart? Remember?”

“Ah…yes.”

Without answering my question, Al started speaking.

“Does your sword skill improve because your heart is strong? Or is your heart strong because your sword skill improved? Your answer was always the same. The heart comes first…right?”

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“That’s right. A righteous heart comes first, the sword follows it. At least that’s what I believe.”

The reason I won’t take certain disciples no matter how talented they are stems from this belief.

“I thought the same.”

Hearing Al say that, I felt relieved. As expected, Al is no different than–

“No…I used to think that.”

It felt like my heart was being grabbed and squeezed.

“What…do you mean?”

“Simple. I changed my thinking.”

“You mean…the sword comes first?”

“No, it’s a bit different. –The sword and heart have absolutely no relation, that’s my answer now.”

I couldn’t find a trace of human emotion in Al’s eyes.

“That’s wrong!”

I unintentionally raised my voice.

“Now now, listen up.”

Despite me slamming the table and standing up, Al calmed me with a perfectly tranquil attitude.

I was also ashamed of losing composure in a discussion with a friend.

“Come over here for a second.”

Al unexpectedly stood up and headed over to the windows.

Wondering what but I silently obeyed.

“Take a look.”

As told, I peered outside the window. Reflected in my eyes was a lovely courtyard and a single boy. A very handsome boy with blond hair and eyes.

I recognized this boy–the Gilbart family heir, Luke Wizalia Gilbart.

But I didn’t understand what about this boy.

“It’ll be time soon. Young Master Luke usually begins [forms] around now. Watch and tell me your impressions.”

“What? He practices swordsmanship?”

“Yeah. I was asked to. I’ve been teaching him the sword for about a year and a half now.”

“Oh…”

I see, so this was why Lord Gilbart treated me with respect.

But I still don’t grasp Al’s aim. One and a half years holding a sword is insignificant. What exactly does he want me to see?

As I turned over thoughts, I watched the boy. Then, the boy moved.

He took out a sword.

And–I was shaken to the core by the supremely beautiful swordsmanship.

Frightfully refined [forms].

It lightly exceeded the bounds of swordsmanship, sublimating into exquisite art.

To have your eyes stolen away, this is precisely that. Though my mind should have been occupied with various thoughts, in an instant it was completely filled with the two characters [deeply moved].

So very beautiful.

I’ve never seen [forms] executed this perfectly. Myself included, that answer won’t change.

…No, wait.

Wait wait wait. Blinded by emotion, I didn’t notice immediately.

Could this…could this swordsmanship–

“One and a half…years you said?”

“That’s right. This, this right here is–[talent].”

I suddenly looked to Al. And was shocked.

An extraordinarily disturbing grin was plastered there.

Like a worshipper of demons granted an audience with that demon.

A fanatic’s smile like that.

“Al…you…”

“…Ah, sorry about that. Well, enough of that, please have a seat.”

My heart is still racing. I sit down, feeling drained.

“So, what do you think?”

“…Incredible, that’s the only word for it.”

There’s no other word to describe what I just witnessed. I can’t find any more words.

“Yeah, right? But you know, Lord Luke isn’t a good person by any means. If a commoner were to accidentally bump into him, he’d kick them without hesitation, you know? That’s the kind of person Lord Luke is.”

“…………”

I see… that boy has changed you…

“Talent is something given out whimsically by the gods. There’s no such thing as good or bad when it comes to that.”

“That’s… right…”

I wanted to deny it. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t say it.

Not after witnessing something like that.

“Looking back now, the reason I couldn’t beat you was simple. You had talent, and I didn’t. That’s all there was to it.”

Al muttered with a gaze that seemed to be looking far into the distance.

“…………”

No, Al… you weren’t that kind of guy…

“Again, I’m going to have to decline your offer. …I’m sorry.”

I knew it, that’s how it would be. The moment you didn’t give an immediate response.

No, I knew it when I looked into your eyes, back then.

“I’ve been watching closely, Lord Luke, to see what he’ll accomplish. Whether it’s good or bad, I’ve been watching from the closest vantage point!! Haha, did you despise me, Elka?”

“…………”

There are no more words left to say. There’s nothing left of the Al from back then.

“Abel… was it? That kid might face Lord Luke one day. I hope with all my heart that he’ll resist as much as possible when that time comes.”

With those words, I left the Gilbart mansion.

“…I’ll raise Abel.”

I’ll stake everything on that. Otherwise, I’ll never be able to defeat that boy named Luke.

I felt a fiery determination welling up from the depths of my heart.


Inspired by Elka’s words, Alfred was supposed to become the second mentor to a boy named Abel.

However, that didn’t happen, and Elka and Alfred began to walk different paths.

The cause, needless to say, was the “talent” possessed by a man named Luke Wizaria Gilbart. Or rather, what’s truly frightening is that such a man has begun to “work hard.”

Yes, this story had already begun to go awry…

Chapter 1 end


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