If there’s one thing I have to term the current Mob chapters, it’s all world-building. I seriously can’t wait till he meets all his potential suitors.
Chapter 3 – My past, my present and now, my future
Editors: Nahct & Karma
In my past life, my family of six consisted of Father, who was strict with everything; Mother, who was gentle yet overly pushy; my terrifying queen-like elder sister; and my unbelievably cute younger twin brother and sister. It was honestly just an ordinary, normal family.
Father was a martial arts enthusiast. Starting with the art of fencing, jujitsu, the sakkatsu* method of the naginata, spearmanship, bojutsu, the art of iai, torinawajutsu*, and many more were hammered into me.
In the deepest corners of my heart, I thought about what I would have to fight against in this peaceful world and even questioned it. I considered it a blessing in disguise that he didn’t make me do ninjutsu.
As for my gentle mother, she believed it was natural in this day and age for boys to help out in the house! And without realizing the truth, I did all the basic house chores. From cooking to sewing, cleaning, doing the laundry… These various things were drummed into me and, saying「With this, you’ll always be good with any bride」, she gave her sign of approval. Although, back then, it was completely incomprehensible, now it’s just a good memory.
Also, for some reason, I took lessons with my sister in calligraphy, tea ceremony, flower arrangements, and even the various traditional Japanese dances. Just who was the daughter!? Mother’s demands were really incomprehensible…
My terrifying queenly elder sister said,「I have no need for an idiotic brother!」, and forced me to immerse myself in my studies. Was the person teaching me my elder sister’s own extraordinary boyfriend? No, it was both of them. Thanks to that, I was always first in my year*.
Sister was an exceedingly beautiful person. With a fine appearance, she naturally had the air of a woman who was out of one’s league. However… everyone is being tricked by this woman!! I shouted this in my heart many times. At this point, I had thought there was no one who was as good as her at the art of reading people.
And the~~~n there was my solace — my ever-cute, adorable younger twin brother and sister.
I would often play various games with my younger brother. Although my day was full of lessons, whenever I could make some spare time, we would play together. Because of that brief moment of bliss, I was always certain that I would be able to overcome my daily training!!
With my younger sister, we would get excited over manga together. I, myself, had never read manga until she took an interest in it. The type of books we would read were nothing other than stories of queens-to-be and their boyfriends.
It was my sister who created a new world for me. Whenever there was time in between moving about and taking a break, I would read the manga I borrowed from my sister. After, if there was time, we would talk about the protagonist and so on.
In various senses, it was due to my younger siblings that my world expanded.
And now. Yes, that’s right.
The world that I was in was the shoujo manga that I borrowed to read from my younger sister.
If I remember correctly, the title was 「Koihana」— short for 「Koigokare, Kono Hana wo…」*!!
This manga was already a simplification out of all the simplified springtime school-love manga. The heroine was a commoner who enrolled in a certain school. Together, she and the prince met three sons of dukes, quarrelled, came to an understanding, jointly overcame their hardships, tightened their bonds, and finally, were married to each other. Til the very end, it was a conversely stu~pid!? heroine school-life story.
The story was so popular that the manga became a social phenomenon. It spanned out into an anime, games, goods, and even a live-action adaptation film and drama.
For that reason, the life in school until they got married was made into the school arc. After which the story continued.
In the middle of that… Strictly speaking, “Asnord” was a bit… different?
That guy wasn’t the main character. He wasn’t even an exploitable. He was a mob! And, in addition to that, a supporting mob!! The underling of the stalking horse*, who existed as both an aristocrat and as the heroine and prince’s kiramen (referred to as a kirakira member). His name was Asnord.
I said「strictly speaking」because his name never showed up in the original work. There was also that thing about the stalking horse kiramen. As he was also a good-looking character, he inversely became popular. And so, the stalking horse had his own spinoff — in which — I first appeared. And also, disappeared.
So why do I even bother remembering the name of a mob?
That’s because, in my previous life, I loved the author so much that I assisted him on the manga… Well, I was like a guest assistant, and Asnord was drawn by me. That’s why I remembered his name. From when he first appeared in the spinoff all the way until the end, he was the stalking horse’s No. 1. Moreover, in the spinoff, there were also other people drawn in (probably by the original assistant-san) who’s segments I looked forward to, which I surprisingly still remember to some extent.
And then, this Asnord was used… like he was nothing more than a lizard’s tail… to cover up all the crimes, until he eventually earned the death penalty. But because he was just a mob, it was smoothly washed over.
That’s right… since I had started a fight with the prince and the three dukes’ sons, it was understandable.
My life went astray!! No, calm down, it’s not there yet. The stalking horse hasn’t appeared. In that case, there should still be enough time. I will not die, I’ll live! That’s because, in my past life’s final moments, no matter how many times I wished and begged, I was unable to obtain a healthy body.
… Although I’m currently somewhat covered in bruises, strictly speaking, it’s a healthy body.
Carefully recalling my knowledge, I deeply considered the way of life I should take as Asnord.
When I said my name to Mooks-san earlier, my memories were slightly blocked. Instead of declaring that I had no memories, it would have been better if I’d said I was a different person from the start… However, in Asnord’s memories, the warm love of his parents still lingered in his heart, so I was unable to do so. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to deny that I was Asnord, because I am him.
For the time being… When does Asnord encounter the stalking horse? If I’m not mistaken, a part of it was shown in the stalking horse’s spinoff.
It was right before his school enrollment. At this school, you could enrol when you turned fifteen. I know this as I was in the same year as him… When he was roughly fourteen, the stalking horse had picked up Asnord from the slums, so Asnord must also have been fourteen years old. Are the slum quarters in the northeastern direction…?*
Having been double-crossed and beaten up by his comrades in the slums, he was found by the stalking horse, who took an interest in his magic when his magical powers nearly ran wild. And so, judging that he could be useful, Asnord was employed with money and became the stalking horse’s underling.
… Huh? That means I can use magic!! Awesome~~~!!
I can go to school as long as I’m able to use magic it doesn’t matter if I’m an underling or not. In this country, anyone who can use magic is allowed to go to school no matter what.
Hnn? Even if I used magic without encountering the stalking horse, wouldn’t I still have to go to school anyway? It’ll be quite risky if I go to school… I don’t know what will happen there. I also don’t want to be acquainted with the stalking horse who’s undoubtedly a main character. For the sake of having some peace of mind, I feel that it would be better if I don’t use any magic. Furthermore, I should move to the distant countryside, or rather, another country. That way, there’ll be no chance of us encountering each other.
Somehow I recalled the neighbouring country, as Asnord had the information…
This country was a country surrounded by the mountains and sea. The sea was peaceful and naturally lacked disasters, so our country was peaceful throughout the year. Because of the sea, we were able to obtain marine products and stabilize both agriculture and selective breeding. Because of our mines in the mountains, being a rich country is a given. We also trade frequently with a country across the sea. This was why the empire… Erm, I believe it’s the Daitonia empire, has always been aiming at us.
There was a small neighbouring country, but the empire had attacked and subjugated it.
After that, there’s the heroine’s country! The episcopal* country of Vallomehl! In that country, the heroine was a miko*. As it was more or less a country ruled by the shrines, it was quite religious. However, due to the eruption of discontentment among the aristocracy, there was a conspiracy behind the scenes to take over the country with the aid of the empire, and they aimed for the lives of the mikos.
The heroine, who was able to escape with the help of a certain intermediary, enrolled into the school as a commoner. By the way, that person was revealed in the Vallomehl arc.
Koihana was about how her love blossomed with the prince in the school arc, followed by their lovey-doveyness in the circumstances of the prince’s home arc — the Riestinne arc. And finally, breaking into the Vallomehl arc, the pursuers from Vallomehl approached. Somehow, everything was settled in the end, and they got engaged.
And just when you thought it was going to be over, the empire then came and picked a fight with them, leading to the empire arc. When is this manga ever going to end!? So I thought.
Hmm? There isn’t a country I can go to, is there? The empire was a restless nation because they were always at war and only subjugated countries existed around it.
I don’t want to go to the heroine’s country, as it gets involved in the main story, and a difficult problem suddenly occurs. Is this checkmate… Nnnn~~~ Ahh, shouldn’t I just go to the country across the sea that we’re trading with?! I haven’t heard anything bad about it, and because it’s across the sea, it gives me a bit of peace of mind. Wait, that’s an excellent idea!!
Yosh! For the time being, my objective has been set. I’ll go to the trading country!! For that reason, I need money.
I wonder if there are orphanages in this country. If there are, I could go there, reserve a bed, and learn how to read and write. First, I have to acquire more knowledge about this world. I don’t want to be a vagrant. Due to Asnord’s circumstances, he wasn’t able to study these past three years and could only do his best to keep on living every day. I’m thankful that, at the very least, I’m able to speak the language.
As my queenly elder sister once said, knowledge becomes great power~. I owe it to my past life for my ability to predict future events and the knowledge to survive.
As I recall my martial arts knowledge, I’ll study and temper my body to familiarize and adapt to it. If nothing else, I should be able to protect myself.
Next is magic. It’s a rare fantasy element and I want to use it. I want to use it!! It’ll be fine if I use it without being exposed, right!? In order to protect myself, it’s also better if I’m able to use it when the time comes… I made an excuse for myself.
Yosh! It’s a hidden practice!! I’ll live honestly for myself!!
And above all, I must save money. Shall I set the deadline for when I turn fourteen?
The prince was about fourteen years old when the king passed away and this country slowly fell to ruin. As the eldest in succession, the prince was next in line to be king. However, as he was not of age, the country was at risk, and he and his younger brother fought for the right of succession. Upon his defeat, the prince, at fifteen, then enrolled at the school.
While the country is falling to ruins, would it be difficult to go to a foreign country? Could I go easily? It was troubling, but I won’t have to worry about it until I depart for the trading country when I’m fourteen. It would be before the story begins.
Another eight years to go. With the feeling of death approaching, I’ll do whatever it takes. If I can’t, it’ll be troublesome.
Whether it’s in the past, or the present life, it’s all the same. If I can do it, I’ll do it. Whatever I’m able to do, I’ll be able to do it because of my own strength.
Well, currently, my body still has to heal and until it recovers, nothing can really be done.
Later, I’ll improve my appearance… The manga version of myself was a yankee. I won’t be able to go across the world with that. A smile is precious! Oh, I* should say「I」in public because I’m a child! It’s not embarrassing! It’s one of the secrets of success in life.
Haaa… Though I’ve been saying past or present life, is this a parallel dimension trip? … No, reincarnation? It seems that way. Although I still have trouble believing it, this is not a dream.
- 殺活法 Sakkatsu method: You can read more here in English. Sakkatsu Yoshin (http://jtweymo.angelfire.com/SakkatsuYoshinPage.html).
The TLDR version; the idiom “Sakkatsu” means “taking and preserving life”. This expression comes from the martial arts principles from traditional Aikido.
One incarnation of the idiom “Sakkatsu” is 殺活忍刀 Sakkatsu Ninpo ”Sword that perseveres by taking and sparing life” . You could consider this a motto of sorts to any military practitioner where the sole purpose of a weapon is to protect one’s self. Though perhaps a better example is Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin and how he conducts himself with his sword.
- 捕縄術 Torinawajutsu: Read it on Wikipedia. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoj%C5%8Djutsu). It’s essentially a traditional Japanese martial arts technique to restrain someone using ropes or cords.
- Year: In Australia, each grade is called year. Where I’m from, we follow the British(?) system, so it’s different depending on whether you’re in elementary or senior high school. There’s no such thing as junior high. If you’re in elementary, it’s primary 1/2/3 & etc. If you’re in high school, it’s form 1/2/3 & etc. Since I’m more in tune with Australia than I am with the US grade system, I chose to use year. Apologies to my American and British colony readers for the confusion.
- 「恋こがれ、この華を…」- Koigokare, Kono Hana wo … means Madly in love, with this flower …
「恋華」- Koihana … Therefore means Love Flower 😀
- Stalking horse: a candidate put forward to divide the opposition or to conceal someone’s real candidacy. Just think of all your stereotypical shoujo manga rival characters who appear to create havoc and then just vanish into the background.
- Northeastern direction: Asians (Japanese, Chinese and Koreans) believe that if your house faces north, it ushers in bad luck. So Asnord’s basically asking if him being in the slums was bringing him bad luck. LOL. Another interpretation is if he should avoid the slum quarters.
- Episcopal: a church governed by bishops. In this situation, it would be a country governed by bishops.
- Miko: shrine maiden
- I: You probably won’t get this unless you read the original text but throughout the whole narration, he uses ore, an arrogant and rough way of saying I. Here, he uses boku in the dialogue bit. Boku’s a bit more polite and child-like way of addressing one’s self. He’s a child so it makes perfect sense here.