It is with a painful heart that we, Ainushi Translations, announce that we will be dropping MnU. MnU has been a really interesting story and one that we wished we had the means to continue. However, given the constraints and our inability to continue with this dense novel, I’ve spoken to Shasu and he will be continuing it at his own pace.
Thanks everyone for the ride. We will be posting up the official bio pages and any illustrations in the light novels including the prologue manga included in Volume 2. Till then~ Thank you and please show all your support and love to Shasu from Infinite Novel Translations.
Chapter 9: A Date with the Object of Admiration of the Academy
First published on Ainushi
Few days after the Academy’s joint practical excercise, Hildegard suddenly appeared in Class E. After elegantly bowing to Claudia at the entrance of the classroom, Hildegard went straight toward where Kamui is.
「Do your best, Lutz」
「I’ll refuse her, alright?」
Lutz made a bewildered face when Kamui gave him this unreasonable task. Negotiations was his weak point.
「Think about it, after telling her to leave you alone, there’ll be no need to answer her」
「Then, Kamui should be the one replying」
「… I can’t handle that person」
Though Kamui was not bad at negotiations, he was weak against Hildegard. Against Hildegard, who did not seem like she could handle jokes, it seems impossible to take control of the conversation with her.
「Me too, you know」
「It’s been so long that I thought she had long since given up, though」
Hildegard arrived before them as Kamui and Lutz were having that conversation.
The one being addressed by Hildegard was Kamui.
「May I have your time as I would like to speak with you for a while」
「Regarding the matter with Lutz, please let me refuse once again. Lutz doesn’t seem to want it, and I also don’t intend to let Lutz go」
If he couldn’t deceive her, then he would have no choice but to answer her honestly. Kamui made his refusal while thinking so.
「That matter has already passed」
「… Then what’s the matter?」
Hildegard had a different agenda. Kamui had no idea what this other agenda was.
「I want to speak to you alone. It’s a matter I don’t wish others to hear」
「Haa… Then, how about I visit your room? 」
「No, I don’t want the others to hear about it too. Since the thing I’m about to ask for is a little complicated. This is for your sake, not mine」
The conversation was going towards a suspicious direction. Something like a talk that she wouldn’t want other people to know – it must not be a decent one.
「… Then, where?」
「Do you not know a suitable place?」
「… I have a location in mind, but it’s not somewhere I can bring Hildegard-san to」
If it’s a place suited for secrecy, Kamui had nothing in mind other than the General’s store. However, he didn’t feel like bringing Hildegard there, as could be expected.
「I see. Well then, there’s a store that’s familiar with my house. How about we go there?」
「I’ve no problem with that. When? 」
「Is it fine if we go now?」
「No problem. Are we leaving immediately?」
There’s nothing better than to finish troublesome things as soon as possible.
「Well, let’s go then」
Kamui left the classroom following Hildegard. Right after those two left the classroom, the classroom instantly turn noisy.
After Diefried, it’s Hildegard’s turn. It’s natural for them to make a fuss about what was going on with Kamui.
「Hey, what kind of talk was it?」
Lutz was in the same boat, not understanding what was going on. So he tried asking Alto.
「Of course I didn’t understand either. She even said “Don’t want others to know”」
As expected, even Alto could not understand the situation.
「To leave even his close aides in the dark. I really can’t imagine what’s going on」
「What’ll you do? If it was something like love confession」
Otto said in a joking manner.
「Please don’t say something so ominous, Otto-kun」
It’s not a joke Alto could laugh at.
「Ominous you say, if it’s a love confession from that Hildegard, isn’t that a brilliant achievement?」
After all, the other side is the male pupil’s object of admiration. Wouldn’t it be some kind of brilliant achievement if it really was true. Although Alto was not in a position where he could be amused at the idea.
「She’s not just the daughter of the Earl of East. Just having this kind of rumour going around is bad enough, isn’t it?」
「… Sorry, I forgot. She’s the foremost prospective fiancee of the crown prince. That’s a problem.」
Even Otto could understand Alto’s concerns. Becoming the lover of the crown prince’s prospective fiance is nothing but bad news. He would not just incur the ire of the crown prince, but also the ire of the house of the Earl of the East as well.
「We need to make up a suitable story for now. For that uproar. The other classes will find out soon. … I think the matter about Lutz will work. We’ll just say they have yet to conclude that matter」
「That’d be a safe choice. How about saying that she wanted to persuade him one last time without mixing in other matters, and to share her true intentions」
Having reflected on making that inappropriate joke, Otto was unusually proactive in helping to come up with a reasonable excuse.
「Aah, that’s fine. Well then, thanks, Otto-kun, I’ll be counting on you」
As expected, Alto’s request came as a surprise for him.
「If we were the source of this information, people would get suspicious, right? So, we have to depend on you.」
「Ha~, it can’t be helped then. I ate something delicious thanks to Kamui-kun too」
Otto accepted his request because they gave him a chance to speak to Diefried. If he left the debt unpaid, he might be requested to do something even worse later.
「Though I should not be saying this as the one making the request, why do you feel like you owe us a debt despite being the son a wealthy merchant?」
「I worked hard to earn money when I was young and thought a lot about it. I can’t be a good merchant without knowing the worth of money」
「Well that’s correct」
「That’s why I can’t complain about anything. We live frugally by limiting our allowance」
「Aren’t we practically the same? I think it’s unreasonable for all 3 of us to study here. Just obtaining food was all we could do back then. But I’m thankful to be able to study, so I’m not going to complain」
「Is that so, it’s three persons’ worth of school fees, right. … But, what will you do if it’s really a love confession?」
Though he had reflected on it, once again, Otto brought up the topic.
「I’ll crush it with every bit of my power」
「That’s obvious. But, how will you do that?」
「With something called “Kamui’s lover is Selene”」
Her name suddenly came out so Selene was in a state where she couldn’t understand what Alto just said.
「What, didn’t you hear? If it’s necessary, Selene-san will act as Kamui’s lover」
「Do you understand how bad things are? Besides, if Selene-san were to act as his lover, in the off chance that it’s a confession, Hildegard-san will have to give up.」
「What will become of me?」
For the sake of preventing any strange rumours with Hildegard, they were going to go all out in spreading false information. That meant making the whole school think that Selene and Kamui were going out.
「What do you mean? Is there some sort of problem?」
Alto showed a puzzled face at Selene’s question.
「… You know, I’m also a girl at marriageable age. The other boys won’t approach me if you spread that kind of rumor, right?」
「It doesn’t matter, no one will approach you even without that rumor…」
「What does that mean!?」
When it comes to teasing others, Alto won’t lose to Kamui.
「It’s a joke, a joke you know. What, don’t tell me it’s because you think of Diefried-san that way? 」
Moreover, once he began, he would keep pestering on, like Kamui.
「Why are you bringing Diefried-san’s name into this matter?」
「I mean, aren’t you blushing every time you’re teased by Diefried-san? Don’t worry, I will reveal the truth behind the rumour to Diefried-san soon」
「That’s not it」
「But, even if it’s Diefried-san, he would be like that. Well, since Diefried-san is a man, it can’t be helped if he had a woman or two before」
Even if Selene denied it, Alto continued the conversation under the assumption that she likes Diefried.
「Like I said, that’s not it」
「Then, there’s no problem, is there?」
「… Uhm. Eh, that’s not the point here. Why must I sacrifice myself for Kamui?」
Selene put up resistance, without letting herself be deceived off-track.
「I guess we don’t have a choice. Alright, I’ll specially treat you to the General’s deluxe soup.」
This time, he tried the strategy of enticing her with material rewards.
「… Somehow, I’m kind of cheap?」
However, there’s still the issue of whether or not they have the money for that.
「That’s the best I know」
「Well, okay since it’s delicious」
「It’s a deal then. You’ll be compensated with that」
Eventually, despite her grumbling, Selene accepted her role.
「Hey, what is this special soup?」
Incidentally, after the negotiation between Selene and Alto is concluded, Otto asked that question. Otto didn’t know about General’s store.
「… Oya? Could it be that we haven’t brought Otto-kun to that place yet」
「Why am I the only one being left out again? Please, I am also in the same group right?」
「That’s right. Even so, Kamui’s permission is necessary to go to that place. Let’s try asking him next time」
「Don’t forget, okay?」
In any way, Alto’s verbal promise doesn’t have any credibility to Otto.
「I said it’s okay. My memory is good you know」
「Acting as if you forgot is also your strong point」
「Don’t say unnecessary things, Lutz」
「… I’m kinda worried」
Kamui followed Hildegard to a certain high class restaurant in the imperial capital. Its luxurious appearance made it rude for Kamui to compare it to the back alley restaurant which he usually goes to.
Hildegard didn’t even go through the front door. She entered via a small door a short distance to side of the front door. They entered a narrow winding passage which led to a small door that, even if small, was a luxurious door. Without hesitation, Hildegard opened that door, where the store employee was already standing by inside.
The employee said that while deeply bowing. It seems that the employee has already confirmed who was coming while they were walking in the passage.
「Is the inner room empty?」
「Then, I’ll use it」
Hildegard is went inside without even asking to be guided by the employee. The employee remained in the deep bow the whole time.
「That’s something like a custom」
Hildegard explained to Kamui, who seemed interested in the attitude of the employee.
「Showing his face is no good?」
「Rather than for me, it’s for the sake of the person who comes with me. This is a place we frequently visit when our house visits the imperial capital. Since the opening of this shop, it’s been used numerous times for clandestine meetings, when the other party wants the meeting to be kept secret」
「Even so, there are actually checks, right?」
「Well, you’re right about that but pretending to not see is important」
「Is that so」
「There are various ways to use this kind of shop. There’s the political negotiation… Please don’t make me say anything further」
What she meant by further – at this time Kamui did not understand, but he guessed it right after entering the room.
The room he entered behind Hildegard, rather than a dining room, was a hotel room. Moreover, quite a luxurious one at that.
A rather big table is placed on one side, which gave off the feeling of a dining room, but there were many more rooms that could be seen further inside. Office-like rooms and bedrooms.
He can roughly guess the what other kinds of clandestine meetings are done here, other than political negotiations.
「…There are no other places available?」
「This the best place to talk without being overheard by others」
「Your family also uses this?」
「Therefore, please don’t make me say it. To be honest, I also don’t like using this place」
It seems to include her father. It seems that his daughter does not feel comfortable imagining it. Moreover, this father of hers also brought his family along to this place. His nerve couldn’t be understood by Kamui.
「Well, please sit」
Hildegard said that while facing Kamui and pointing at the table before them.
After Kamui sat on a seat at the table, Hildegard also sat on the chair at the opposite direction from him.
「Well then, what’s this about?」
「You’re quite impatient, aren’t you?」
「This place isn’t really comfortable. Even if it’ll surprised Hildegard-san, I should have brought you to the shop I’m familiar with – I’m currently regretting it」
「Sorry. I don’t know any other stores. Please take me there next time」
Kamui nodded, although he was thinking “Will there even be a next time?“.
Their conversation was interrupted by the topic of the store. Hildegard didn’t seem to want to speak.
「Sorry. I’m worried about what I should ask first」
「Is that so?」
「… What do you think about the current state of the Empire?」
Coming out from Hildegard’s lips after her hesitation was a subject that he was asked before.
「Is that question in fashion right now?」
She did not understand the meaning of his question.
「Diefried-san also asked the same question previously」
「Is that so, Diefried… And, your reply at that time was? 」
「I’m not in a position to answer that question」
「…That’s true as well. But, please put that aside, I wish to hear your answer」
Diefried gave up trying to get the answer from Kamui, and told Kamui his own views, but Hildegard did not do the same.
「… Would I be replying to Hildegard of the Earl of East’s household?」
「No, to me as an individual」
「I see. That’s how it is. But, can you take the words I’m going to say directly?」
Kamui stared directly into Hildegard’s eyes as he said that. His amber irises seem to pierce through Hildegard’s eyes.
Incidentally, after that happened for several seconds, Hildegard averted her gaze. It was obvious, even to Kamui, that from Hildegard’s side profile she turned slightly red.
「Uhm, sorry. It’s not like I feel guilty about anything. It’s just somewhat」
「Yes. I understand. Hildegard-san isn’t quite used to being stared at directly, right? That’s a little surprising」
「You can say that, but many would have averted their gaze」
「Aah, it’s because not many men can withstand your gaze, right?」
「Are you going to keep repeating that?」
Hildegard looked down with flushing face. As expected, even Kamui felt a little uneasy when seeing her in that state. It was even affecting the atmosphere in the room somewhat.
「… I’m done for. Honestly, my impression of Hildegard-san has changed quite a bit」
「How did it change?」
「You won’t get angry?」
「I used to think that you’re slightly more manly. But, seeing that you have such a feminine demeanor, there should be many men who would willingly throw away their life for Hildegard-san」
「But, you’re different from them」
Hildegard replied without shyness to Kamui’s words this time.
「That’s right. That’s right, I currently don’t have that kind of feeling」
Going with the flow of the conversation, Hildegard said a slightly provocative line.
「Those words should be set aside for another man. There’ll be many men who would misunderstand it」
Even though other guys might be like that, as expected, Kamui is different.
「……The talk isn’t advancing. Won’t you do as I’ve asked and answer me? 」
「That’s so, isn’t it? Since your embarrassed appearance is quite valuable, I’ll talk as thanks for letting me see that」
「… Then, please do」
Hildegard’s expression tensed after she finally heard that she could hear his answer. Looking at that, Kamui resolved himself, and started talking.
「The current Empire huh. … I think it’s warped」
「Yes. But as expected, talking about the Empire would be problematic, so let’s talk about my opinions regarding the Academy. Is that okay?」
If they were to speak about the Empire, they would end up indirectly criticising the Emperor. Naturally, that made him hesitate. It was a crime to do so, and even Hildegard who listened to it silently might be considered at fault.
「Yes. That’s enough. I’ve been wanting to hear your opinion on the lecture in the Academy the other day」
「That? Well, that’s fine. First, I’ll ask a question. What do you think was the purpose for establishing the Academy?」
「To groom talents of the Empire, that can in turn support it」
Hildegard gave an immediate reply without hesitation. This is a question every student of the Academy knows the answer to.
「Yes. I think so too. Then, what kind of capable talent do you think the founder wants?」
「Is it so shocking to guess the thoughts of the founder?」
「No…. It’s just that I can’t think of anything else besides “talent to support the Empire”」
「Is it because I phrased my question poorly? In my opinion, the founder wanted capable talent regardless of their birthplace or social position」
「Aah, that’s how it is, isn’t it? The door of the academy is open to everyone as long as they are capable」
This is also something that basically all the students in the Academy were aware of. The Academy’s ideology is the first thing they teach students after enrollment.
「Yes. The door is open. But, the exit closed before anyone noticed it」
「Hildegard-san must be aware of it too, right? Even if a commoner graduates from the Academy, they’re not appointed to a political job」
「But, it’s not completely true either. If they’re favoured, that person can receive such a job」
「Even so, this is due to whose favour?」
「… The noble houses」
Hildegard gave her answer after thinking for a while.
「Indeed. It’s ultimately dependent on the favour of the nobles. And who does this favoured person work for? Is it purely for the Empire? That’s not it. It’s for the noble who gave them favour」
It did not mean that they were not working for the Empire. However, it was undeniable that they would mix in the noble’s desires into their work.
「Where do you think the personnel who couldn’t find work for the empire would go to? Especially the talented ones?」
「…The noble houses」
The answer was also the same for Kamui’s next question. It was ‘noble’. Even Hildegard understood what Kamui was trying to say.
「Indeed. With this, you understand what I want to say, right? The Imperial Academy is not a place to groom talent to support the country, but rather to support the nobles. I really don’t think that this is the academy the founder envisioned」
「But, the noble houses are also the beings that support the Empire」
Whether it’s in military or politics, many the posts are held by people of noble birth. At this point, having the noble houses support the empire is not wrong. But, ‘supporting the Empire’ in Kamui’s words mean that the nobles should not monopolise important positions in office.
「That’s the official stance, Hildegard-san, you should know about this, right? If you don’t understand that, then I’m afraid that this is the end of our conversation. Since that would mean that I’m not speaking to Hildegard-san, but to Hildegard-san of the house of the Earl of the East」
「Sorry. You’re right about that. I promised to hear your explanation as an individual. Please continue」
「It’s probably fine to say that that’s all, but well, since Hildegard-san seems unsatisfied, let me continue a bit more」
「I think, the founder had another purpose」
「Yes. It’s to have the students interact without caring about their identity or their house. I think, the system of the academy was established for this purpose. The most obvious thing to show this is the group activity, right? Acting together for a long time as one group, without caring about each other’s house and then even forgetting about their own house as well. However, what do you think it’s like in reality?」
Hildegard knew better than anyone else that reality was quite different. Hildegard made her own group with a completely different mindset.
「It’s cruel to make you answer this question, right? The reality is that the groups were created based on the relationship with one’s house. Deepening the gulf between fellow houses, widening the gap between noble and commoner – it’s going the complete opposite direction of what it was originally meant for」
「That’s why it’s warped. If we’re considering the current situation, it’s the current system that is bad. Even if this system was devised by the founder, it needs to be changed to keep up with the times. That’s what I think」
At the very end, Kamui ranted.
The various things established by the founder could be called sacred in the Empire. It would not be strange to consider Kamui’s words problematic.
「Whether you’ll treat this as an insult to the founder, I’ll leave that matter to Hildegard-san. Even so, this is my opinion. The current state of the Academy, which warped the intention of the founder, is a blasphemy to the founder」
「…Thank you very much. I ended up making you share your opinion rather unreasonably」
「Yeah, I fear it from the bottom of my heart. In this matter, I, Kamui Kreutz, will cause trouble even to my house if Hildegard made public what I’ve said about the system that was established by the founder」
If that were to be the case, Kamui would treat Hildegard as the enemy and take appropriate action. This is by no means mere empty words.
「Your worry is unnecessary. This talk will remain within this place. I won’t spread it」
「That’s a relief」
Kamui is not someone who would trust others with just a verbal agreement, but he somehow felt that he could trust Hildegard.
「… Can you indulge me a little more?」
The talk hasn’t ended yet. Hildegard still had something that she wants to ask Kamui.
「I … What should I do?」
「I’m sorry. Can I ask for the meaning of your question first?」
As her question was too vague, he couldn’t understand what she wanted to ask.
「I, uhm, may I ask a question about my future?」
「Aah, is it about that. …Is the thing you’re worrying about the so called “The candidate for future Empress”?」
「Indeed. I don’t think that the current Empire is fine too. Is there something I can do one way or another for that?」
「…Could it be that this is the real matter that you wanted to ask?」
She was thinking of what she could do as the future Empress. Hildegard’s worry is about this point. Being worried about this point, as an Empress, and as a member of the house of the Earl of the East, Hildegard was thinking of how she should do things differently.
「Why me? You have an excellent close aide, namely Matthias-san, and also other people you can trust, right?」
「Matthias will answer while thinking for my sake, which I am thankful for, but…」
「Ah, you want the opinion of a complete outsider?」
「Simply put, yes」
「I see. Is it okay if I answer even with it being contrary to the interests of royalty and nobility?」
「You’re torn between your identity as a member of the house of the Earl of the East and your identity as a member of royalty」
Hildegard widened her eyes slightly while looking at Kamui. She’s quite surprised that Kamui could easily understand what was inside her heart.
Hildegard felt that consulting Kamui wasn’t wrong.
「Really, you have no need to worry」
Kamui’s words instantly cut down Hildegard’s worry.
「That kind of thing is impossible. It’s a very important matter to me. Right now, it’s my own house that I treasure. But if I become a member of the royal family, I think that I would protect my position as royalty」
「Yes. Even so, you omitted the most important thing from your consideration」
「The most important thing?」
「Currently, the Hildegard-san in this place has no connection whatsoever with her own house. You’re here as an individual, as Hildegard-san herself. What does Hildegard-san herself personally want to do?」
「Indeed. What does the individual, Hildegard-san, want to do for this country?」
Kamui’s question was difficult for Hildegard. She is used to live her life as Hildegard of the house of the Earl of the East, suppressing her own feelings and doing what was right.
「There’s no need to give me your answer right now. I know that what I say is truly hard for you. To achieve your own desires, you might have to forsake the people around you. That’s not all, you might even end up opposing your family. Therefore, take your time to think about it. You still have the time for it. We’re still 12 years old, and has yet to reach adulthood」
「There is still three years till that time」
Adulthood is 15 years old. And then, once Hildegard reaches the age of adulthood, she’ll marry right away.
「Yes. Remember that you still have 3 years. No, it’s longer than that. It’s not like you can’t change your mind after making a decision. That would mean that it’s pointless to start over. Starting over in life is possible. This is the truth. Because I experienced it once before」
「You… Hey, how did you start over?」
She feel the weight in Kamui words. Hildegard is pondering what the difference between herself and Kamui, who is of the same age.
「To put it simply, I died once before. I can say that it’s really painful when I died. I can endure most things compared to that. Ah, that’s just a metaphor by the way. I won’t be here if I truly died. If I did, I would be an undead, right? Which would be subjugated right away」
He did not give any details. Halfway through, Kamui tried to divert her attention by joking.
「Fufu. That’s right」
Hildegard smiled broadly to Kamui’s joke. She showed a smile befitting her age, which is different from her usual smile.
「A~h, that’s the first time you smiled naturally. Though the usual one is also lovely, the way you’re smiling now, I like it」
「Geez. You’re saying such thing again. I also like the current you who’s speaking in a more casual tone, more than the formal you. But, it seems that it’s still far from the real you, right? 」
「…Excuse my rudeness」
Kamui really didn’t have any intention to show his true nature. Hearing what Hildegard said, Kamui noticed that his act is slipping and instantly corrected his behaviour.
「Like I said, please stop talking that way. Will you grant me my last wish for today?」
「Though I feel little cheated by that, go ahead」
「Call me Hilda. And, please stop with your keigo, bit by bit」
Her last request is the most difficult challenge.
「…That request, is quite problematic you know? Since I’ll be asked many questions about it if I call you “Hilda” from tomorrow onwards」
As far as he knows, there’s no one who calls Hildegard with “Hilda” in the academy. Just thinking of the repercussions gave him a headache.
「Then, should I indirectly let my family know that the 2 of us came here alone? I wonder what will my father think when he finds out?」
「… Is that a threat?」
「Yes, it is. Since you don’t seem likely to do as I say unless I do this」
Whether or not she would actually do it did not really matter, but for her to say something like that, it’s proof that she did not intend to back down.
「… Got it. I’ll call you Hilda when it’s just the two of us」
When realizing that resisting is useless, Kamui decided to grant her wish with under a condition.
「Yeah, that’s enough. Best regards, Kamui」
「You’re also calling me without honorifics?」
「It’d be strange otherwise. Or would you rather I call you “dear”? 」
「Please call me “Kamui”」
Hildegard was being willful towards others. Kamui did not know how unusual that was.
Their paths had no way of crossing. But the two paths were slowly approaching each other without them noticing.