The Start of the Walt House
Having experienced Growth, and having shown a painful side of myself to Novem and Aria… as well as all of the ancestors, I stopped by the Jewel’s conference room as per my promise with the First.
Unlike usual, the First was standing in front of his own room.
And today, the Second was sitting at the table.
“How rare, Second.”
As I said that, he gave a short reply.
The First was smiling.
I wondered if the two had gotten into a fight like always. That in mind, I asked what had happened.
“Did you get into another fight? What was it about this time?”
The First shook his head.
『As if all we ever do is fight. We just talked a bit about the past, and said what we wanted. Now let’s go, Lyle. Oh, right.』
The First opened his own room’s door, but before he entered, he called out to the Second.
『I’ll leave the rest to you, Crassel.』
The Second merely dismissed him with his hand. This sort of back and forth from these guys was quite rare, I thought.
(They usually do nothing but fight. How rare.)
As I thought that, I passed through the door with the First Generation to find an old townscape extending before me.
There were even some places where the stone pavement was crumbling.
The style was quite old, and the Walt House’s Weihs Territory was much further developed.
And there were even people walking around, carrying out their daily lives.
“I can’t touch them?”
As I suddenly tried to dodge a person that came at me, My shoulder was pushed against a wall.
But I didn’t feel anything.
『This is my recollections, or perhaps the inside of my memory. The amount of things you can touch are limited, and it’s useless no matter how many times you try talking to these guys. Hey, c’mon, let’s go already.』
As I watched through the main street that gave off a crude feeling, the First walked ahead.
It was surely somewhere I’d never seen before, but there was no doubt about it.
(Is this the past of the estate? No, for the First’s memory, the scale is off. It may feel a little crude, but the area’s scale is on the level of a town or city.)
If you think of the extent of the territory, the House’s land shouldn’t have advanced to this point in the First’s time.
Following the First, we stepped off the main road to a slightly narrower path.
There, four to five story buildings lined themselves up, as if to make the sky seem small, and the road slender.
I couldn’t smell anything, but the path seemed dirty.
“Just where is this?”
『Ah? It’s the Imperial Capital Centralle. About two hundred years ago, I guess?』
Hearing that, I was a little surprised.
“Two hundred years!”
『Don’t be so shocked, boy. I was born around fifty years into the kingdom’s history, you know. Right now, we’re around three hundred into it, right? Something like that isn’t shocking at all.』
I had never been too far into Centralle, but I wondered if it was this sort of place as I continued on.
And when we had slipped out of the alley, we reached a residential area, where houses were lined up.
『My parent’s home. That back there was a shortcut, so we took it.』
Hearing that, I…
(So this is where the Capital’s Noble Walt House was… well, we’re not related to them at all anymore, or so I heard.)
I heard that we became independent, and severed all ties.
Of course, with them being imperial Nobles, it’s not like they could act too friendly to the provincial Count House, the Walt House.
I mean, I think this Walt House was a knight house in the capital.
Even if you called them nobles, they were the tip of the iceberg, without even managerial posts.
“So what are we here for? Or wait, do you have something to show me?”
As I said that, the First silently nodded.
And his eyes were directed ahead.
There, watching a red haired woman… Aria, from afar was a young man carrying a large piece of luggage in his hand.
His age was probably in the early twenties.
『… That’s me.』
I don’t think it was wrong for me to be surprised. I mean, his young self looked like an amiable young man. His hair was put in order, and his face was cleanly shaven.
There wasn’t anything to point to his characteristic barbarian style.
『I-it’s no lie! Like that, I would occasionally catch sight of Alice-san. I swore to one day rise up from being the third son of a knight house, and resolved my heart to come for her one day!』
It seems he was surprisingly pure.
And the scene changed.
There, a young First Generation was staring at a recruitment flyer for the pioneering corps posted on a wall.
And the Young First shouted out.
『This is it! With this, I can get promoted, and I can finally go to Alice-san’s side!』
He delightedly sprinted off.
『It was at that time. I went and bought a discounted blue gem at a bargain. The other types were expensive, but these didn’t have any popularity, so they were cheap. And wait, there wasn’t anything like Magic Tools in my time, so if you wanted Skills, there was nothing you could do but buy a gem. If you didn’t record anything on it later, there was no meaning to it. Didn’t know that back then.』
The reason the Jewel was purchased was because it was unpopular, and cheap…
As always, that’s quite a reason there.
『It’s better than having nothing, right? Still, I really wanted a red one, you know.』
Taking the cheap blue gem in hand, the young First stared longingly at the red and yellow ones that were labelled at a price far beyond his reach.
The First looked at his own form, and found it loathsome.
『Perhaps this was a mistake. Of course, it’s not like I had a choice. For a lowly Knight House, without a managerial position, we were a low-return household living off pension. I hated a house like that. I wanted to become independent one day, and make it big… that’s what I thought, though.』
The scene changed yet again, and this time, it looked like a few years had gone by.
In a bar in Centralle, a young First, who looked a little wilder than before, was crying into his drink.
“… What happened?”
『… I returned to Centralle for a while. The village was kinda starting to take shape, so I thought I would go bring a marriage proposal to Alice-san.』
The result was just as I already knew.
Aria’s ancestor Alice-san married into the Lockwarde family.
『I was just starting to hate any and everything.』
“I do get that feeling from you.”
The youth drinking liquor before me continued pouring out tears, as he ordered more, again and again.
In place of his betrothal money, he had converted it all into drinking money. I heard the First whisper that as he held his head in his hands.
(That’s no good, isn’t it? To do that sort of thing all of a sudden. He should have brought the talk forward first, or stayed in touch… and wait, the difference in their status’ was still too great, so he would’ve been turned down at the gate.)
Love across rank.
Without fate lending the slightest of hands, the First’s first love came to an end.
And this time when the scene warped, a tranquil landscape extended before me. It extended, but on it, a heated battle was being carried out.
A barbarian-styled young First Generation was exchanging blows with another wearing similar pelts.
“… What is this supposed to be?”
『Hmm? Ah, it’s that. The territory of those who didn’t follow the rule of the kingdom from the start, and my territory overlapped. In that case, you have to decide who it belongs to, right?』
“No, even if you call talking with your fists the natural way to sort these matters out… ah, you won.”
The First pummeled his way to victory, and like that, he raised a war cry, as the barbarians around him fell to their knees.
Even the man he was fighting kneeled before him.
『How nostalgic. Back then, even thinking became detestable, so I just carried out my job.』
Like that, time went forward again, and a First Generation a little more weathered than before was having a drinking bout outside.
There, he cried out.
『Ya see, the wife I’m gonna take has to be a beauty! Healthy! And she’s gotta have a good head, and nice skin! I don’t got no interest in anything else! These ‘re the Walt Family Precepts, ya’ hear!』
With the drink as his fuel, he let out some outrageous things.
Looking at his own form, the First sighed.
『This time is that, you know… I didn’t want to have to deal with anything like marriage anymore. I mean, I couldn’t think it possible that there was a woman out there better than Alice-san.』
“You really are cruel. Because of this, all the future heads went through hell to get married, you know.”
『… Oy, did you seriously think I thought my drunken spiel would be taken seriously?』
That’s what the man said, but the people sitting around who heard his drunken spiel seemed to have taken his words quite seriously.
Hey, whose daughter here fits those conditions?
Ah, my place’s daughter isn’t too smart.
My sister’s a little sickly.
They began a serious discussion.
And within them, there was a single decent-looking man. He was older than the First, and he put his hand to his forehead with a troubled expression on his face.
His attire was more splendid than the surrounding civilians, and he had some dignity to him.
『Ah, that person there’s the old man. He had a territory nearby, and he taught me quite a bit. In the end, this person relied on his influence to bring a Noble wife over to me.』
By 『old man』, he probably means this generation’s Forxuz Head.
He looked like quite a decent person to me, so seeing him go through troubles for the First Generation made me feel a little apologetic.
“So you relied on the Forxuz House from back then as well. I wonder just how far our Walt House’s debt runs with them.”
『He was a good person, you know.』
Having my sarcasm fall flat, I sighed.
When the scene changed, an expanded village was burning up.
The First Generation of his memory wielded a large sword as he confronted the monster before him… with ashen skin, a powerful jaw, and large forelimbs, a Dragon Subspecies.
The sword in his hand, length alone, was more than that of a single person.
(TL: So that hunk of iron really could slay dragons.)
“That sword is…”
I was instantly able to recognize the similarities it had to the sword that came out when I gripped the Jewel.
『A monster this big came to the village. Even if we got all the men together, it looked impossible. That’s why I stood up front.』
The large sword in hand, the First Generation screamed out his Skill name as he began fighting the monster.
For the beast several times his size, he relied on the momentum and weight of the blade, and cut it down.
His figure was truly one of a hero.
『Full Burst… that was my trump card. I could raise my own abilities from two to five times over.』
“Eh? That high? I get the feeling it wasn’t that high when I used it? But if you raise your abilities that high, is there no backlash or anything?”
『Hah? As if I know! Just ignore the side effects. Ignore them!』
On the First-like opinion, I gave a strained smile.
『I usually saved up my Mana, and exploded it all at once when I used it. It raised my abilities in proportion to whatever I had saved up. For me, it would be around two to three times my abilities in a month, but it will probably be faster for you.』
Between us, the amount of Mana we possessed was too far apart.
With the Fifth onwards taking in the bloodlines of magicians, we became nobles able to use magic in the truest sense of the word.
While we were talking, the First finally managed to sever the Dragon Subspecies’ head, and emerged victorious.
And a single child rushed over to him.
… It was probably the Second.
『… I guess it was around this time. Papa’s amazing, or something, is what he got around to saying. Up to then, I couldn’t do anything fatherly for him, and it wasn’t easy on my wife. So I wanted to be able to leave something behind to the two of them.』
The child Second Generation seemed to be a boy who admired his father’s gallant figure.
And the times changed again.
The village had expanded even further, but my impression was…
“Isn’t that completely irresponsible?”
The First stayed quiet.
As the First Generation of his memory was doing work in the Fields, a grown Second Generation shouted at him.
『Please give me a break already! You’re irresponsibly expanding the fields so far… because of that, there are some fights breaking out among the people! Why not think for a second!』
And from that scene, time went on even further, and we found ourselves inside the manor.
The estate the First Generation lived in was ridiculously modest in comparison to the current Walt House’s.
The First was about to leave with a garden hoe in hand, and he passed by a silent Second Generation.
The two of them were unable to look each other in the eye.
『… It was a mistake, right? I just wanted to leave something behind, but in the end, all I left to the boy were problems with the territory.』
His haphazardly expanded fields caused problems among the people, but the First shut them up with his own charisma and strength.
The one who worked more than anyone else was the Feudal Lord, the First Generation… Basil Walt, and no one would oppose the hero who saved the village time and again.
But it looks like their dissatisfaction was to be directed at the Second.
『I just wanted to let them eat a little more. I cut down the forests, and expanded the fields… by the time I noticed it, I had left nothing but problems. No one would come complain to me. But those complaints were directed at that guy.』
『Back then, he had ignored me up to the end. Having come here, when he started complaining to me… I was honestly happy. I was only ever able to have a family shout out with him back when he was a kid, you know.』
It seems their usual belligerent attitude was more decent than how the two of them treated each other before.
Both of them must be awkward people.
And the Scene returned to the First’s fight with the Dragon, and froze there.
『In my time, we were recovering from the chaos, and we were going to make the times to come more abundant. There were many villages crushed by the war, so we set out pioneering. Reclaiming the land. However, food was scarce, and it wasn’t rare for there to be a problem with starvation.』
I did hear that it was a rough time.
That when the Walt House was reclaiming land for themselves, it was a relentless era. When my father was still nice to me, he told me such stories.
He also spoke of the greatness of the First Generation who raised a village like that.
Reasons aside, he truly was a grand person.
『Lyle, have you ever been troubled with food?』
To be honest, no.
Even when I was distanced from the rest of the House, I was still fed.
Even after I was driven out, Zell and Novem were there, so I never experienced starvation.
(He’ll definitely be mad.)
If you wanted to call it a luxury, it was definitely one.
From the point of view of the food-troubled First Generation, I, who had no worries of starvation despite being thrown onto the streets, must not be a good sight to look upon.
Even so, looking at my weakness, and my mulling over nothing, he must be infuriated.
“… Never. I’ve never starved. I’ve experienced hunger, of course, but even in times like those, I was able to find a meal.”
I prepared myself for whatever he was going to say, but when he turned to me, the First was smiling.
『I see. Then it’s all good. My descendants were never troubled with having enough to eat. Then all I’ve done wasn’t a complete waste! I’ve heard something nice at the end!』
The smiling First Generation produced the large sword from somewhere, and presented it to me.
It was the silver one that gave off a pale light from that time…
The sword that cut down the red orc in one blow.
『Let me teach you my last Skill. You were flapping around when you used it back then, so I’ve got to teach you properly. The Skill name is 【Full Burst】. It releases all the Mana you normally store up all at once, and it explosively raises your abilities. Try fighting the one over there.』
The First pointed to the dragon subspecies.
It wasn’t able to fly, and it was more like a monster that only resembled one, but a dragon was still a dragon.
They’re dangerous opponents.
“Eh? But I haven’t stored up Mana or anything.”
As I said that, the First put his hand on top of my head. After my head was violently stirred up, power started pouring into my body.
『Even I was able to do it. If it’s you, then you’ll do even better… have at it!』
Saying that, the First Generation hit my back with the palm of his hand.
As I unsteadily stepped forward, the dragon that had been frozen in memories up until now started to move. Before I noticed it, the First of his memories had vanished.
“Good grief, why does he have to spring these things up so suddenly. Please think of how I feel being thrown around like this!”
As I rushed forward with the sword in hand, I swung it.
No matter how you looked at it, it was a sword I shouldn’t have been able to swing, but perhaps from the effects of his Skill, I could wield it easily.
(For him to be able to use it with no side effects, I can call it nothing but cheating.)
As the dragon tried to crush me with its fore feet, I retreated back, and used Magic.
From the tip of my finger, balls of fire shoot out one after another, but each and every shot was exceedingly powerful.
As they hit the Dragon, they explode, and that large build falters, and even gets pushed back.
Like that, I led myself into the second magic.
I also wanted to confirm my output. Since my abilities were being raised by a Skill, just how powerful will it become…
As a purple flash of lightning assailed the dragon, the surroundings were suddenly brightened up.
It was light from the magic, but its elevated power output surprised even me.
It was greater than I had imagined.
“This is… I’ll have to get used to using it.”
If played poorly, even my allies could get dragged into it. On the thought, I broke into a cold sweat. And after running forward, I took a leap.
The black-burnt dragon turned its head left and right in order to find me.
But at that time, I was over its head… right above it.
I lower the large sword, and blow away its neck.
The same method the First used to end it.
And as the Skill’s effects wore off, the sword began to feel extraordinarily heavy, and it pierced into the ground. While still gripping the handle, I tried to lift its weight.
“As I thought… it’s hard.”
While I said that, the First walked up to me. Looking at me, he smiled.
『If you can do that much, there won’t be a problem! As expected of my descendant.』
Getting my breathing in order, I lifted the sword that had regained its original weight onto my shoulder.
The First raised his right hand.
Sensing something, I raised my right hand as well. With my left hand, I stabbed the sword into the ground.
Like that, the First Generation gave me a high five with all his strength.
My hand stung, but the feeling wasn’t bad.
『Lyle… have you decided on your goal yet?』
Having been told that, I remembered my conversations I had with the First up to now. As I stood unable to answer, the First smiled, and muttered, ‘so be it.’
『You’ll have to decide what you want to do. You can even go off, and become independent somewhere if you want. You can raise a village and become a feudal lord if you want. Living a quiet life with Novem-chan doesn’t sound bad either. Though personally, I’d like it if you look out for Aria-chan too. Also… you can even challenge that Celes if you want, you know.』
Hearing Celes brought up, it felt like something had grabbed onto my heart tightly.
My fear was being revived.
But to someone like me, the First spoke with a tone full of expectations.
『If there’s someone out there who could stop her, it may just be you. Well, just do what you want. Ask the others for whatever comes next.』
『My role ends here. I’ve said what I wanted, and it’ll probably be fine if I just leave the rest to you. Rather than someone like me, you’ll be much more reliable.』
I wasn’t able to comprehend what he was saying.
No perhaps, I just didn’t want to accept it. The fact that the First Generation was going do dissapear from my life.
And I tried stopping him.
“Please wait. I still need the First Generation… I still need Basil Walt’s advice! Why not save me with your instincts as usual? Your instincts are incredibly sharp, you know!”
My voice sounded like it was breaking down.
But even I wasn’t able to understand why it was I wanted to cry.
『I have no wisdom, or technique. And also… if it’s instincts, the Second isn’t to be looked down on himself. I mean, that guy’s my son. Oh, right, you’re also my descendant!』
Gahahaha. The way he laughed gave off an impression as if he had no regrets left behind.
『After all, we’re just memories left behind by Skills. The real ones have died long ago. We’re the Skills in the Jewel themselves… once we’ve transmitted all our knowledge, that’s the end for us.』
Once they’re transmitted, they’ll disappear. They’ll vanish.
“So you… knew?”
My voice was shaking.
『No, it’s just a hunch. I get it… it looks like those guys also have a vague inkling of it, so you better ask them for the specifics.』
I extended his hand to him, and he spoke.
『My Skill is already yours now. Use it however you want, Lyle… and don’t lose.』
Don’t lose to what?
I was about to ask that, but before I could let out my voice, the scenery around me changed.
In the same room as ever in the Jewel, I put my hand on the place where the First’s door was once before.
With his feet resting on the table, the Second called out to me.
『Don’t cry, it’s unsightly.』
Being told that, I touched my face, and found I was crying.
『He taught you everything. His role in this is over.』
“S-still! This is a Jewel, right? Then why is it in a form like this!? If it’s just teaching, a gem works well enough. I can’t understand the meaning of you guys coming out only to disappear!”
On my scream, the second gave a disinterested answer.
『… A gem cannot pass down everything. Unable to grasp the entirety of the Skill, all it lets you use is a small portion. We are here in order to teach you the Skills. That’s why we exist in this space. Did you know? Our memories end at the last moment where the real ones of us touched the gems. Meaning we only remember up to the moment where we passed it on to the next generation.』
Hearing that, I was taken aback.
The ancestors exist here for nothing but to teach me their Skills. No, the Skills were mimicking their forms.
『It’s also strange that we can even talk to you without a problem. The words we should be using trace back to two hundred years ago, you know. You said that that old book was hard to read, and yet like this, you’re able to hold a normal conversation with us. Why do you think that is?』
On the Second’s thoughts, I came to an answer.
Because there would be no meaning otherwise.
In order to transmit the Skills to me, the ancestors matched their words with mine. When the times change, the manner of speech subtly changes as well.
That was more than clear when looking back at writings of the past. Words that were once popular… words that change in meaning, but like this, I was able to converse without a problem.
And that was solely because the Jewel had a message it wanted to get through to me.
… That was the Jewel’s role.
『Did you notice? That’s right. We exist with no more of a purpose than to impart you with the Skills. We teach you how to use them, and even their effective usages.』
I noticed that the large sword had left my hand.
And it was floating in the space where the First once sat.
His chair had disappeared, and his door vanished… above the table, in the space he once sat, it simply floated.
A large silver sword, with a blue Jewel embedded in the hilt.
That sword was the proof that the First had recognized me.
“Why… in that case, why did you… if it was just to teach me, then why not just do that! Why did he get so involved with me, and make it so that I have to go through such sorrowful emotions like these!?”
At the first, I hated it.
He was loud, and there were even times I though of him as nothing but a pain.
But… he taught me various things.
He recognized me.
As I collapsed on the spot, the Second spoke.
『That’s what we would have wanted to do as well. But… with our memories, the damn thing even recorded our hearts. We couldn’t just leave you alone. And the First Generation… Basil Walt left you to us now.』
Couldn’t abandon me, the Second said. I didn’t know how I was supposed to respond.
It was pitiful.
In the end, I couldn’t even tell him my goal, and I gave him a pitiful parting.
“… Will we meet again?”
『… If someone comes to possess the Jewel after you, then perhaps meeting would be possible. Though at that point, you’ll be on our side. Still, I doubt that we’ll have a recollection of the memories we’re making with you now. The merits of retaining them are low. It’s because all we exist for is to pass down the usage, and the Skill names.』
In the end, I won’t be meeting the First Generation again.
Whatever is recorded in the Jewel will be my Skill, and not the real me.
The Second spoke.
『In the first place, it’s a miracle that you were able to meet like this in the first place. The blue Jewel was passed down again and again, and it made its way to your hands. Lyle, this is not your place to be sad… in fact, be proud. That person… my old man recognized you. Stick out your chest.』
Hearing that, I opened my eyes in the world of reality.
“Lyle-sama, are you alright?”
As I was lying down on my bed, Novem looked at me with a worried expression on her face.
She should have been sleeping in a different room, but for some reason, she had made her way to mine.
“It looked like you were having a nightmare. No, well… I heard you crying, so I came over.”
As I wiped my face, I found that it was covered in tears.
I forcibly made a smile, and directed it at her.
“I’m alright. I just saw a bit of a sad dream. Right now, I feel refreshed.”
“A sad dream?”
Novem tilted her head, as she handed over a towel soaked in water she had prepared. I accepted it, and wiped my face as I thought to myself.
(If I kept crying forever, the First would be angry with me. I’m a man that Basil Walt… the father of the provincial Noble Walt House has recognized.)
Now that I look back at it, he had some barbaric and violent sides to him.
But there’s no doubt he was a reliable person.
And ironically, while he hated me the most, he was the first one to accept me in the truest sense of the word.
(I’ve been recognized by that person.)
“Shall I prepare a warm drink for you?”
Novem looked worried, so I nodded, and left it at that.
“Right. Let’s go get something to drink together.”
Novem went off to prepare something, and I called out to her.
“Novem… thank you.”
Novem seemed a little perplexed, but she nodded with a smile.
“What’s happened to you today, Lyle-sama?”
“No, it’s just something I felt like getting across. There’s no deeper meaning.”
I rose from the bed, and headed to the Kitchen alongside her.