Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 21: I Was Physically Assaulted (tw: physical violence)
Orzif Rowder, the Vice Captain of the Third Knight Order, felt discomfort in his neck while performing his usual duties. He tilted his head in an attempt to relieve the pain.
Hmm, is it just me or are there fewer documents than usual…?
Just as his position would suggest, Orzif’s main job was to assist Aresh, the commander of the Third Knight Order. Since Commander Indrak’s unparalleled prowess was more befitting for only the most difficult missions, he could care less about trivial matters such as administrative paperwork. Hence, he was known for leaving all of the Third Knight Order’s routine tasks to Orzif.
As troublesome it might seem, Orzif did not actually mind it at all.
Orzif had never been interested in competing with Aresh, even when they were little. The fact that they were cousins was another thing to consider about their amicable relationship.
Furthermore, by putting all of the clerical matters into Orzif’s hands like this, it was as if he was the only one who could be trusted to do it. That gave him the impression that Aresh and every other knight in the Third Knight Order were dearly depending on him.
While Aresh specialized in using swords and magic, Orzif excelled in keeping the Third Knight Order going behind the scenes. When things were put in perspective this way, it made Orzif feel more satisfied about the work he did.
But until then…
“Oh, Aresh. I didn’t see you there…” Orzif raised his head after noticing the presence of another person in the office, and his gaze met someone he knew very well. The tall, dark, and handsome knight commander strode in, clad all in black. As Aresh entered the office, Orzif was quick to notice the documents his cousin was holding in his hand.
“Hm? What is that?” Orzif asked.
Aresh replied, “These are the plans for the next expedition. I’ve gathered them all together.”
The knight’s commander had said it so bluntly without any hint of pretense in his voice. As a result, Orzif was unable to hide his disbelief.
Ignoring Orzif’s reaction, Aresh headed straight to his desk. He sat down and proceeded to examine a few of the documents more closely.
Don’t tell me…, Orzif thought to himself, Aresh is finally going to do his job properly. Right now of all times!?
If Aresh started doing all of his own work… He would truly be an impeccable human being, and the Third Knight Order would have the model leader they deserved at last. The thought of such a thing made Orzif restless. If that came to pass, he would no longer be the “backbone” of the Third Knight Order. Aresh fulfilling his role as a commander would, in effect, make Orzif seem obsolete.
While Orzif was busy dreading the future, a question from Aresh suddenly interrupted the vice captain’s thoughts.
“Orzif, if a person is not into someone younger… what might be the reason?”
“Huh?” Orzif couldn’t believe what he had just heard. What did Aresh just say to him? What did this renowned magic user, respected swordsman, noble aristocrat, and hardcore ladykiller just say?
“Not into someone younger…? Like, like like1?”
“Why do you care? Are you trying to impress this person or…?” Orzif almost did not dare to assume, but why else would someone such as Aresh even ask such a question out of the blue?
Aresh sat silent. He was not denying anything. To Orzif, this reaction could only mean one thing…
ARESH WAS IN LOVE!!!
Orzif could not believe it. Not only that, Aresh was indirectly asking him, of all people, for love advice!?
Aresh was Orzif’s cousin and five years younger than him. He barely showed emotion and appeared to have a heart made of ice. Had he, the man who was once so indifferent to the charms of countless women that had yearned for his attention, finally gone and fallen for someone on his own!? And a person who happened to be older than him to boot!?
Oh, how Orzif wished he could jump up and scream this happy revelation at the top of his lungs right this second, but he knew doing so would just end up aggravating Aresh. It might even risk Orzif losing the opportunity to hear more details about the knight commander’s true feelings.
Besides, Orzif’s cousin was considered the perfect man in the eyes of their peers and was apparently out of someone else’s league—just because he was younger! Of course, Orzif had to know who. What’s more, Aresh was asking Orzif, him, for advice to win that person’s heart!!! There’s no way the vice commander was willing to let go of such a rare chance!
Orzif regained his composure and cleared his throat behind a fist, trying his best to hide his excitement.2 That was how the vice commander began speaking in the manner of one much more experienced in romance than he actually was.
“Hmmm… Well, when you have a considerable age gap with another person, you’re bound to have different values due to how you’ve each experienced different things in life. So, yeah, I guess younger people don’t usually have the values that someone older might be looking for in a partner.”
Little did Aresh know that Orzif was only giving him the most probable reason, but he still listened keenly without interrupting his cousin.
“So it’s because we have different values, huh…?”
After hearing Orzif’s explanation, Aresh nodded in understanding. Suddenly, the knight commander’s expression turned even more serious, and he refocused back on his documents with a new intensity not previously there.
Orzif felt touched; this was the first time his cousin believed him without question. It just showed how desperate Aresh was to win over this mysterious older person who had completely stolen his heart.
Wow, Orzif marveled, for real!? I wonder who this older person is that Aresh is in love with?? I really want to know!!! Ah! Maybe that’s why Aresh has finally started trying to take his work more seriously? So he can at least try to impress that person in a different way!? Which means, that person must work in the royal palace, too!? Seriously, who are they if they work in the royal palace and have managed to steal Aresh’s heart!!??
Orzif had to refrain from asking any of those questions out loud. Ahhh, I really want to go and find that person right now!!!!!
Hearing his name called from behind him, Seiichirou stopped in his tracks. He turned around to see a calm smiling middle-aged man with rose-blond hair dressed in a blue cloak. He bowed to the other official as a sign of respect.
As Seiichirou was accustomed to the etiquette in modern Japan, it was only natural to bow before a superior. Seiichirou thought it might be even more appropriate he kneel before the prime minister instead, but he abstained from doing so.
Prime Minister Kamil did not seem to mind the gesture at all. In fact, he raised his hand towards Seiichirou in greeting.
“I was about to call for you. What a coincidence meeting you here. This is very good timing, yes.”
It was good timing for Seiichirou, too, as he was not in the middle of work, for once. He looked up towards Kamil, wondering if the prime minister was going to inquire about the budget again.
“How may I help you?” Seiichirou asked.
“Now that the Saint’s training is in its final stage,” Kamil informed him, “the miasma cleansing expedition to the Forest of Magic has been planned.”
Finally, it would appear the moment of truth was approaching. Almost three months had passed since Seiichirou and Yua were transported to this world. It had taken that much time to prepare the Saint for the ritual after her arrival.
Seiichirou thought the miasma issue could have been settled faster if the kingdom had sent people to control the damage little by little over a long period of time instead of waiting for their Saint to do everything for them.
All Seiichirou got in terms of an explanation for what this expedition entailed was, “The Second Knight Order and the crown prince are both against it, but what they think matters not. We need to wait for the Saint’s training to be completed before we can start.”
Now that so much time had passed, there was nothing left to do about it but wait. Seiichirou decided to focus on the present instead. “Prime minister,” Seiichirou addressed Kamil formally, “does that mean the Saint can use her purification magic now?”
“Yes, from what I hear.”
In his mind, Seiichirou flicked the beads of his abacus.3 He was mentally calculating the total amount of damage caused by the miasma and the kingdom’s budget allotted for the Saint in the last three months. It was an unconscious habit of his that he assess how much money was wasted at any given point in time. Seiichirou swallowed a sigh. He had already spent so much time feeling exasperated over how this kingdom managed its savings, and he was too tired to let out even one more.
Kamil made sure to add, “I’ve also demanded the expedition be carried out as soon as possible. Seiichirou, I’ll be counting on you for this, too.”
Seiichirou nodded. So it seemed he would be in charge of documenting the cost of miasma damage and the expedition as well. In any case, he knew that if the purification ceremony was delayed much longer, the kingdom would end up losing more money overtime.
Maybe that fact could be used to persuade the Second Knight Order, minus that one knight who threatened him in the dining hall the other day. On the other hand, trying to convince this kingdom’s bullheaded crown prince was entirely out of the question.
Kamil’s business with Seiichirou appeared to be finished. “Well then, see you later.”
“Yes, please excuse me.” Seiichirou bowed again.
Thus, Prime Minister Kamil parted from him. As Seiichirou continued walking down the corridor, his mind wandered back to the work still waiting for him in the accounting department and began mentally arranging his schedule for the remainder of the day.
I’m sure that I’ve already started working on the expedition documents… If I take them home with me tonight, maybe I can finish them by tomorrow evening, Seiichirou reasoned to himself.
While he was preoccupied with work, Seiichirou often lost sense of his surroundings. Oftentimes, he would not notice the things happening around him, including the sets of spiteful eyes that were so carefully watching his movements from the shadows.
In a corridor where no one else could be found, Seiichirou was suddenly and unexpectedly ambushed.4
“Ngh!?” He startled the moment something collided with his back and pushed him to the ground.
A hand came up to cover his mouth, and he felt himself being dragged away.
What… What is going on!? His mind raced with all the logical reasons this could be happening.
A rag was shoved in Seiichirou’s mouth, and he was hauled off to a dimly lit place resembling something like a storeroom. Seiichirou was thrown inside and ended up landing flat on his stomach. Something heavy could be felt weighing down his back, effectively pinning him to the floor. In such a dark and secluded place, it was easy to hear all the voices reverberating around him as they began talking amongst themselves.
“Look at how easy it is to toss him around…”
“Unlike the Saint, this otherworlder can’t use magic… He’s so weak!”
“Regardless of that, he’s awfully arrogant for someone so pathetic.”
Hearing that, Seiichirou managed to twist his head towards where the voices were coming from without alerting his captors. He saw two men standing over him. To his own surprise, he recognized both of them.
These men were knights from the Third Knight Order, a pair that frequently barged into the accounting department to complain about denied expenses over and over again.
Judging from their voices, Seiichirou could make out a third person as one of his attackers. It was this third individual who was keeping him pinned to the floor.
The longer he listened in, the easier it was to recognize the other man’s voice. It was then that Seiichirou realized he had met all of his attackers before.
“You think you can fool me that easily…? I know you’re lusting after the Saint, you perverted old lecher.”
Ah. Now it made sense. His third attacker was the same hot-headed young man from the Second Knight Order who had openly berated him in the dining hall not so long ago.
Of course, Seiichirou had immediately denied that knight’s accusations outright, causing him to awkwardly stand down in front of his Saint and knight superior, but it seemed that Seiichirou’s words had meant nothing to this man in the end. They probably went right over the knight’s head altogether.
Taking all of that into account, all three of these knights had reason to bore a grudge towards Seiichirou, so it made sense that they teamed up in the hopes of teaching him some sort of lesson.
Now that Seiichirou was cornered like this, he could almost predict what was going to happen next. All of this had happened because Seiichirou’s sense of values were not in line with the expectations from this world. It certainly did not help that Seiichirou’s body was also ill-suited to thriving here. He was more vulnerable than he had been in his previous world. There was no way he could possibly fight back, even if he wanted to.
A split second later, Seiichirou experienced physical violence for the very first time in his life as the person seated on top of him grabbed his head and slammed it into the ground hard enough that Seiichirou saw stars.5
Shortly after parting ways with Seiichirou, Kamil Calvader remembered the documents he had forgotten to hand over to the royal accounting official. Kamil turned back around and began looking for him.
Seiichirou on his own was good enough when it came to getting work done, but if he was provided with more information and the right materials, he could produce even better results.
Not only had Seiichirou demonstrated excellent work etiquette, he was also exceptional when dealing with numbers. More than once, Kamil had thought of keeping Seiichirou to himself by promoting the otherworlder as his own personal assistant because of how extraordinary Seiichirou was.
But due to Seiichirou’s natural affinity for numbers, he was better suited to the royal accounting department. Kamil thought that if only Seiichirou did not belong so exclusively to that particular department, he would make sure Seiichirou only worked for him. Kamil even had the authority to grant Seiichirou special permissions if he so chose, but he would need to exercise that with caution. All in good time6, he supposed.
Having worked in the royal palace for a long time, Kamil was familiar with all of the palace’s corridors. As he valued efficiency, he took a shortcut back to the accounting department. It was a pathway that others rarely passed through these days.
Taking this route was what led Kamil to pass an ajar door to a storeroom off on the side. He approached the door calmly, thinking that perhaps someone had forgotten to close it after they were done with whatever task had brought them to this side of the palace.
As Kamil moved to shut the door, he heard a pitiful groan eminatting from inside. It was a voice that Kamil knew very well, so he did not hesitate to throw open the door and rush in.
“Seiichirou!?” he gasped in abject horror.
The royal official he had been searching for was sprawled out on the storeroom floor right in front of Kamil’s eyes. When Seiichirou had stood before Kamil prior to parting ways, he looked to be in good health. His robes had been white and pristine, his brown mantle pinned respectably over one shoulder. Now though, the prime minister barely recognized the royal official with blood and bruises covering every exposed inch of his skin. Only in a short amount of time had passed since they last saw one another. What in the world could have happened?
Kamil was not sure what to do, but Seiichirou needed help, and he needed it now.
whistle after TLing this chapter:
Jen: And then Jen had to go back and add humorous gifs to counteract that. 🙃