Volume 1: Chapter 050: Tooru Getting a True Taste of a Stratified Society
Translated by Zzonkedd
Edited by Gumihou
This is Tooru.
Right now, I am lurking within the Royal Palace Garden.
While music and lights spill out from the ballroom, I am seated at a fountain’s edge. One of the smaller ones a little farther away from the brilliant happenings in that gorgeous world.
Well, it’s not like I’m lonely or anything.
Or upset that I am technically not allowed in.
Haaahh… is this what being an outsider in a stratified society is like?  I had once been the most powerful man, however, being on top of the social pack and being outside of it are two completely different things…
Well, at any rate, I can’t appear under the brilliant chandelier lights with these so-called aristocrats due to my status as a servant.
“… is Makia able to meet with Ulysses?”
Well, it’s not like I have anything better to do, so I might as well take a peek. I just need to make sure no one finds out.
I am just about to stand up when I notice a girl hidden in the shadows to my right. She is huddling behind a tree, staring into the ballroom.
She surprised me a little.
Just a little, really.
I soon realized that I am staring at the so-called ‘Green Shrine Maiden’ from the other day. Her grass-green hair as well as her fluttery dress is exactly the same as before.
“… Oi, what are you doing here?”
From the way she jumps, it looks like she did not notice me at all until I call out to her.
She blinks her large round eyes at me rapidly from the shadow of the tree.
“…ah! You’re that older brother from that time.”
“What are you doing? Why are you not in the hall?”
“…” the Green Shrine Maiden’s cheeks puffed up. “Well, it’s like this, I’m not allowed outside of the sanctuary and I’ve never been to a ball.”
“But, aren’t you outside now?”
“I sneaked out. There’s a passage that connects the Royal Palace to the Sanctuary… Ah, that’s a secret by the way.”
For a secret, she reveals it too easily.
Then, she sighs and looks longingly towards the lighted hall.
“Why don’t you go and take a peek? Just make sure not to get caught.”
“I- I would, but… I’d be even more sad since I can’t enter…”
Hmm, once again I am forced to realise how stratified this society is.
Neither I, as the servant of a noble, nor this Green Shrine Maiden are allowed entry to that glittering world behind those walls.
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We have just climbed up to the fork of a large tree by the hall overlooking the glittering ballroom scene.
I pull the Green Shrine Maiden by the arms and settle her on a stable branch.  The tree barely shakes at our weight, but still, she’s trembling and hugging the tree trunk like a frightened koala bear.
“Look, we can see the hall from here. …woah, as expected of a Royal Grand Ballroom, it’s quite beautiful.”
The girl is looking in with a fascinated expression on her face. Her cheeks flushed with excitement as she stares wordlessly into the hall.
Girls must be instinctively attracted to balls or something.
Colourful dresses with bell-like skirts shone like jewels under the amber light of the chandeliers. Men and women in elegant clothes drifted  across the floors like something out of an ancient painting. We are clearly outsiders looking into a completely different world.
“Ah, it’s Ulysses!!”
She tugs at my cloak, crowing, ‘Look, look,’ like an enthusiastic child.
The name ‘Ulysses’ pulls at my attention, and I look.
I found him right away.
The whiteness of Ulysses’ hair stands out even in a venue filled with various shades of colours. As in most things, he is the exact opposite of me.
“Ah… He’s with that princess again.”
Next to Ulysses is a good-looking girl, one that I have never seen before.
Hold on, if I remember correctly, that should be the First Princess of Fresir of the East, Princess Shatma.
“What is it? Are you jealous?”
“… It’s just… during the entire Holy Festival, Ulysses is always circling around that woman.”
“I- I see…”
The Green Shrine Maiden is frowning, eyes still staring straight at Ulysses.
How should I say it? That Ulysses, if one were to objectively compare his situation against mine,  he had it way better in terms of food, clothing and status. He even has more women going after him.
However, I also understand that he is not happy in this situation.
Even back on Earth, he had been the flag-crushing type. His philosophical view in life  makes it so that he doesn’t seem to want to have a special relationship with the opposite sex.
“Ulysses… always seems to be waiting for someone. I’m sure he’s waiting for someone important to appear.”
“Which is why I…”
As her voice fades away, I stiffen.
That’s because there is a sudden vacuum of silence from the lightly chattering hall.  A silence that is louder than any noise.
The Shrine Maiden and I look up.
In the centre of the hall were Makia and Ulysses.
While I am painfully aware of the two of them being overwhelmed by their emotions and understand their reactions. However, no one else around knows what is going on.
I start to laugh at the dumbfounded people staring at two completely unrelated people hugging it out emotionally in the middle of the ball.
As for the Shrine Maiden, well, she is sitting next to me with a rather hollow look in her eyes.
She had been acting more like a child until now. At this moment, she gives off a more grown-up impression.
“Isn’t it wonderful? …Ulysses has always been so lonely. Not that he would ever show it on the outside, but I really do feel like he has been waiting and waiting for someone to show up for the longest time.”
She is nodding to herself as she said this.
I am not really sure what she is talking about, but it does look like she has come to some kind of decision.
“I’m going back to the Sanctuary.”
“… Hm? Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m glad that Ulysses is happy. That’s enough for me.”
She steps off the branch and more or less falls off the tree we’re occupying.  Luckily, her fluttery clothes caught onto the branches and she is stuck part way down.
“O-oi, are you alright?”
“I’m sure it does.”
Her clothes were showy but thin, contributing very little in terms of protection.
I jump off the sturdy branch and help to untangle her from the grasping twigs. A bit of the cloth is torn as she flaps around like a captured bird, but I manage to get her down without further injuries.
“Are you okay? Can you make it back?”
“Yeah, I’m fine… Thank you. What is this elder brother’s name?”
“Oh, I never told you? It’s Tooru Sagaram.”
“I am Percelis.”
The mature look in her expression from earlier disappeared and she is now grinning at me in that cheeky girlish way again.
“Now that I have a better look at you, you look a lot like someone… I guess it’s a bit weird for you to hear it.”
“Is that so?”
It is, in fact, very surprising.
Black hair and eyes are very rare in this world.
The hall is returning to its former liveliness again.
Percelis uses this opportunity to escape.
“Alright, see you again, Tooru.”
‘See you again’, well, I’m not sure if we will ever meet again.
As her fluttery, childish, otherworldly form disappears into the darkness, it feels like she is not there at all. Especially with how quickly her bright figure had vanished.
While I ponder upon what she really is, I turn my eyes towards the hall, wondering what is happening now.
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“Oi, Yuri! Yuri!!”
I had been  skulking in the gardens by the hall when I spotted a white-haired young man rushing along the terrace a couple of storeys above me. He happens to have a small creature on his shoulder, which I identify as a spirit, solidifying my assumption towards his identity. Still, he is in such a hurry that I had to call him twice before he even noticed me.
 Even then, his reaction is more urgent than glad.
“Tooru-kun!! Big trouble! Maki-chan is with… with that guy…”
“Anyway, just come with me.”
“Ah, I can’t. I’m a commoner, unlike you two. In fact, I’m Makia’s servant.”
“Ah, hm, that kind of fits you, Tooru-kun.”
“Anyway, just come up. There’s a staircase just right there, I hereby grant you permission to enter.”
“… Oh, haha damn you! Damned prince! Damned prince!”
There is an edge of hysteria in his laughter as he kept saying, ‘Well, it’s like that… it’s like that…’
“It’s fine. The terrace is made for privacy and out of the main hall lights. I don’t think anyone will realize you’ve entered.”
“What nonsensical argument…” I mutter as I climb up the aforementioned stairs.
Finally, I am standing next to Ulysses.
“It’s been a long time, Tooru-kun.”
“… Well, I go by Tooru Sagaram now. Nothing much has changed, but still.”
“In that case, may I still call you Tooru-kun as before? I’m glad you look well.”
“You too. When I heard that you’re a prince, I kept thinking about how you got lucky again.”
“Oh my~ I can’t say that I got lucky. Trust me,  there are more downsides to this identity, but that’s a story for another day. Suffice it to say, it’s basically a battle royal with the royal princes’ lives at stake.”
“… I see.”
Ulysses has a slightly faraway look in his eyes. Well, I guess a lot had happened to him.
Also,  perhaps having expended his emotions earlier with Makia, our encounter is quite calm.
“So, you said something about Makia…”
“… Look over there. That girl is battling the Hero right now.”
I turn my eyes to the ballroom and have to blink a few times at the sight.
Why is… Makia dancing with the Hero aka General Kanon?
Well, calling it dancing is a bit…
“As I have said, she is battling the Hero…”
“Indeed, we have to keep an eye on those two…”
 Also, in addition to the battle/dance, it looks like Makia is speaking with the Hero. As expected, her expression is unnaturally stiff.
“What are they talking about?”
“I don’t know… But, Maki-chan looks a little strange…”
Ulysses touches his chin, eyebrows furrowing.
 A frisson of… something goes up my spine and I quickly look around, recognising the feeling of being stared at-
“Ugh!! The Duke of Beigrates is looking at us. This is bad, this is bad, I swear he’s been watching Makia and I for some reason. L-let’s get out…”
“Hold on, I think it’s too late anyway. Ah, Maki-chan is coming over.”
Indeed, Makia appeared to be done with her battle/dance with General Kanon. From the way she’s  mincing her steps, it looks like she had lost whatever battle she had been engaged in.
“U-uwaaahhh… I feel kind of bad for her. She looks kind of ragged… it must be something that guy said to her.”
Ulysses has turned pale,  well paler, as he ushers her out to the terrace.
I immediately zero in on the scar on Makia’s hand.
“You… Your hand.”
“Tooru, what are you doing here…”
After casting a glance at me, Makia averts her gaze.
Ulysses takes her hand with an ‘Are you alright’ as he casts his healing magic.  True healing magic is quite the sight.
As Dark Magic users, we could only heal surface injuries and accelerate the natural healing process. However, Ulysses’ magic could completely heal injuries of such level.
I look back into the hall at General Kanon.
He is seated beside Princess Shatma and is staring right back at us with sharp eyes.
“Thank you, Yuri.”
“Maki-chan, are you okay? What did he say to you?”
Makia smiles unnaturally at us.
Ulysses and I tilt our heads to the side and exchange a glance. I’m feeling rather uncomfortable, to be honest.
“Apologies, but could we join you?”
Right then, a voice called out to us.
The next thing we knew, we are boxed in by three gentlemen.  Their tall figures blocked the light from the hall and cast shadows on us.
“… Duke of Beigrates,”  I said.
“Uncle, Lord Medite,”  said Ulysses.
Their expressions, as they stare down at us, look very grim in the shadows.
[Gumihou: Added a little more poetic spin to the words. The author tended to be a little too austere, to the point that some paragraphs lost their meaning and Gumi had to guess who was speaking and what was happening based on sentences that came after. Like the terrace scene. It was unclear where Tooru was standing until Ulysses mentioned the stairs, half a page later.]
 Added details to Tooru’s opinion on the stratified society
 Added details in general
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 Very unclear movement, they just… happened upon each other. Give a little more transition and action. Seriously, the hair alone should count for a lot?
Deleted paragraph: As I went around the salon, I found a person who looked just like Yuri. I was lucky enough. I was able to tell him apart because he was carrying something that looked like a spirit.
It’s like reading a bullet point.
 Add detail on how he detects Duke Beigrates’ eyes on him. Via warrior instincts instead of ‘I was curious about another gaze and followed it’
Gumihou: Which might totally work in Japanese, but only resulted in broken sentences in English.
 Mincing her way
Okay, Gumi added this. Because tottering or limping seems rather odd under these circumstances. If you’re not sure what ‘mincing walk’ looks like, think of British gay actors mincing their way across the room in little steps. Especially since she must be in heels and her hand spread out to keep her balance as she pretends she’s alright with a slightly exaggerated gait to compensate for injury to her feet.