Chapter 1: A Certain Butler’s Diary 《Prologue》
Today was an auspicious day. At the house of Finn Iphelleta, the third son had been born. His deep, black hair bore a striking resemblance to his mother.
He was named Riley.
“At least I have enough strength left to name him!” Lady Iris smiled brightly.
The child spoke. It was a word other than mama.
He mumbled, “Finally…”
What does it mean? We never taught him that…
I secretly inspected the young master’s body, checking signs for his talent. The result surprised me. I had never seen anyone with… with such grandiose talent over the past sixty years.
Excitement and envy filled my core—not as a butler, but as a swordsman.
Was it because I bore witness to a talent that could surpass geniuses?
I wasn’t able to sleep that night.
The first-born, Master Ryan, won second place in the novice swordsmanship tournament. The competitors were around the age of fourteen and possibly fifteen. He defeated them all at the age of nine.
The maids of the mansion clamored in mirthful excitement that he may someday surpass his father.
The true genius is right here.
Watching his brothers train every day should arouse some sense of curiosity, but the young master showed no interest in the way of the sword.
Watching his talent go undeveloped drove me insane.
Maybe it’s my age… maybe it’s why I’m impatient.
I handed him a wooden sword to practice, but unlike his usual intelligent composure, the young master bawled his eyes out, screaming and yelling that he didn’t want to touch the sword.
He never swung the sword, much less hold it.
Was I too hasty?
The Finn Ipheletta House had a bloodline blessed by the swords. The firstborn and secondborn, Ryan and Lloyd, did well in the novice tournament.
I mentioned the idea to Young Master Riley carefully, but he looked at me with a passive smile and said, “I won’t do it.”
Haa… just… why?
Young Master Ryan learned to imbue mana into the blade.
Mana was a pure and powerful essence. Therefore, the head of the house, his father, gave the young master the title ‘Strong Blade.’
Young Master Riley showed no reaction.
…If only he would just… wield the sword.
I’m disheartened. I truly am.
Even if I ignore my bias as his servant… ignore his talent for the sword…
Just… the young master is a truly intelligent boy and it crushes me.
Today, Young Master Lloyd was given the title ‘Speed Blade.’ His speed was swift and extraordinary. His skill had surpassed Master Stein’s.
“Did I see it wrong?”
A sudden thought occurred to me.
Master Stein finally made a decision. He suggested that the young master competes in the novice tournament.
On that day, the young master disappeared. The whole mansion searched for him.
One day… two days… one week…
At the end, when the competitors for the tournament had been decided, the young master showed himself.
“Hide and seek is fun! Isn’t that right?” he smiled brightly.
The servants in the mansion laughed nervously.
‘No. My eyes can’t be wrong.’
He’d nap under the shades of the apple tree in the garden and heat his meals… he’ll read a book before resting.
This was the young master’s daily routine.
He’ll sleep twelve hours a day never touching a sword.
Even Master Stein had long given up on his third son.
For f*cks sake! Why won’t he hold a sword?!
Young Master Riley’s laziness reached the pinnacle of slothfulness that Master Stein had enough and decided to give him a beating.
But however, the young master disappeared miraculously.
Master Stein couldn’t find him.
One day, I decided to complain to the young master and asked why he won’t learn swordsmanship.
He was mumbling. Wait. Was he sleep talking?
“I managed to kill the demon lord. Can’t I take it easy this time?” he replied.
I couldn’t understand him. I sighed dismally.
Though the young master may be lazy, there are times when he’s different. He’s a different person when he’s with his mother.
Lady Iris always said that his happiness was the most important thing to her. Whatever he chooses to become, Lady Iris would support him.
It had been months since all the members of the House of Iphelleta gathered together.
Master Stein… his two wives… and the three sons.
After dinner, Master Stein made an announcement.
“I’ll soon be picking my successor.”
The young master’s name was never mentioned in the discussion.
It was the first time I ever saw the seething rage in the young master’s eyes. He was someone who wouldn’t care to bat an eye despite the countless insults hurled towards him.
Today, his mother was ridiculed by Master Stein’s other sons. They ridiculed his mother, that she gave birth to a failure.
In that short bout of moment, I saw potential in his eyes.
I think Master Stein saw it too.
During her meal, Lady Iris collapsed after coughing blood.
The table had been dyed with a pool of blood. The young master’s face changed dramatically.
He raised a sword.