To lead someone was to make your partner shine. Even though I just said such grandiose words, I was going to abandon the girl I was with when we were only half-way finished our dance. I can’t say I wasn’t hesitating a little bit.
However, a young lady– the one whose condition seemed to be worsening, was shaking as her upper body started to fall forward. If this went on, she might injure her head on the wooden floor.
“–please forgive my rudeness.”
With guilt welling up inside of me, I unilaterally stopped the dance and started dashing over to the young lady. While voices of confusion rang out, the shaking girl’s upper body was already falling.
Leaving behind all of my doubts, I reflexively used magic to raise my physical abilities without chanting, and simultaneously pushed off of the floor.
–make it in time!
Closing the distance in a single breath, I slid down to the place where the young lady was about to fall and caught her to protect her head. This all happened concurrently as my back impacted the ground.
Suddenly, the music stopped and screams came out from the nearby girls. The exam’s venue was in an uproar, but I ignored that and confirmed the state of the person in my arms.
A panicked female examiner rushed over.
“This young lady was collapsing, so I protected her before she injured her head. I apologise for the commotion.”
“She was collapsing? Well, at least you made it in time. Is she okay?”
“By the colour of her complexion and nails, it seems to be anemia… but we shouldn’t be negligent. Call over the person who came here with her, we should have them confirm whether they know the cause or not.”
“Understood. If I remember correctly, she was with–”
“If it’s that girl, then I saw her earlier! The maid she was with should just be outside, so I’ll go get her!”
“Oh, uh… okay, then I’ll leave it to you.”
A girl’s clear voice intervened, followed by footsteps clapping against the wooden floor, but when I looked up, all I could see was the back of a young lady with bluish hair running away.
She wasn’t a maid? She gave off a really friendly feeling for a noble’s daughter.
…no, right now I need to focus on the girl that collapsed. Still in my embrace, I gently laid her down to the floor, and used my jacket as a makeshift pillow for her to rest on.
“Are you alright? Is your consciousness clear?”
“…huh? I…what happened?”
Perhaps panicking when she realised she was lying down, she tried to get up in a hurry, but I gently pushed down on her shoulder.
“Don’t. Please sleep a little more just in case.”
“…and you are?”
“Cyril. A butler of the Rosenberg house.”
Although this was an emergency, she was still being held down by a man. To ensure that she didn’t feel anxious, I used the name of the Rosenberg house to guarantee my identity.
Maybe that had alleviated her worries– or maybe she was just tired, but the young lady lost all of the power in her body and relaxed, lying back down on the floor. Soon after, a maid came in flying through the door.
“I heard that my lady collapsed?!”
“Her complexion is a little bad, but she’s still breathing and conscious. I think it’s anemia, but do you have any idea as to what it might be?”
“…ah. My lady… has only been eating small meals recently.”
She was probably on a diet. In this country, it was considered beautiful for women to squeeze their waists with corsets to make themselves look slim, this was probably to supplement that.
“Is that so? Then it’s probably anemia, but that’s just an amateur’s diagnosis, so you should take her to the infirmary just in case.”
“I will do so. My lady is in your debt. Excuse me, but may I please have your name?”
“I’m Cyril. A butler in service of Lady Sophia and the Rosenberg house.”
“Sir Cyril, understood. We’ll be sure to thank you at a later date, but right now I’m going to take care of my lady, so please excuse me.”
Lifting up the young lady, the maid then left after apologising for the disturbance. Seeing that she’d be okay, I went to pick up my jacket when I noticed the surroundings.
Everyone’s attention was completely on me. The exam having been thoroughly interrupted.
“My apologies for the commotion, but as you can see, the problem has been resolved, so please return to the exam.”
I encouraged the onlookers to disperse, and turned back to the female examiner before bowing.
“I’m sorry to have interrupted the exam. It was something I did of my own volition, so please give the others the opportunity to retake it.”
“What are you saying? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you saving that girl. Everyone, including you can retake it. Hey! You all think so too, right?”
The examiner in charge of me asked her co-workers for their approval, and they all nodded in response. Their decision was unanimous but– I shook my head.
“I abandoned my partner and finished the dance on my own initiative. Therefore, please only let the others retake the examination.”
I said this while looking straight into my examiner’s eyes, and she looked right back at mine. Not long after, she sighed.
“You seem to have made up your mind. Understood. You finished half of the exam, so we’ll only give you half the score.”
I gave my gratitude to the examiner and returned to Fol.
“I’d like to apologise for any displeasure my actions might have caused you.”
“…I am disappointed that our dance ended only half-way, but don’t get me wrong. I’m not upset, not in the slightest.”
I was wondering if she only said that to be polite. However, she smiled as if she could read my thoughts and added, “I hope you successfully enroll.”
Thanking her for her generous response, I stepped down from the stage and returned to my lady.
“I’m sorry, my lady. I promised that I would prove that your eyes weren’t wrong, but this was the result.”
“…you really think this was a bad outcome?”
“Does that mean you regret your previous actions then?”
“…no, I don’t.”
I did things that didn’t follow my lady’s will. If I wanted to prove my abilities and achieve the best results in the exam, I should’ve continued dancing until the end, no matter what happened to that girl.
However, even as my lady’s exclusive butler, I had no regrets for the actions I took.
“Raise your head.”
When I raised my head according to her order, my lady had a slightly peeved expression on.
“Cyril, did you take advantage of that unexpected situation?”
“What do you mean?”
“You didn’t have to decline the re-examination.”
Returning her an ambiguous smile, I didn’t answer that question.
I didn’t hold back at all. I took the appropriate actions as my lady’s butler, and if as a result, she was coincidentally elected to be the freshman representative, all the better.
“Someday… I’ll definitely catch up with you someday, so don’t give up at that time, okay?”
“If that is your desire, my lady.”
“It is, so promise me.”
“I understand. I promise.”
After making a promise to her just like how I did when we first met, my lady’s expression softened.
She then turned around. However, as if she had suddenly remembered something, she looked back, and sent a glance up my way.
“Cyril, you were really cool back there.”
Laughing so innocently, my lady truly was cute.
In this way, the junior high entrance examination to the capital city’s school had finished.
Normally, we would return to the mansion and wait for the acceptance letters to come at a later date. However, my lady and I remained at the dance examination’s venue.
The results of the practical test were released the same day they were taken.
Lady Sophia knew this and wanted to know the results of my dance test.
For commoners, the system seems to have been made to select those who were talented, so there were many students who were worried about the results of the practicals.
So a multitude of applicants still remained in the hall, not just us.
While waiting inside the noisy venue, an examiner with several rolled up papers had appeared.
Which were then placed on the wall and stretched out.
First came the results of another other group. The top among them receiving eighty-three points. Subsequently, a second paper was posted.
When it was unfurled, the test venue broke out into a commotion.
Beside the name Sophia Rosenberg, a hundred points were written. Moreover, it was an indisputable first place, a large gap between it and the runner up.
I heard that it was rare to get a full score in any of the exam’s subjects, so this was a great achievement.
Second place dropped down to eighty-seven points. From there, points overlapped with each other beside names I wasn’t familiar with. This much was as expected.
And finally, my name had appeared in the bottom half. At that sight, the surroundings broke out into an uproar once again. Beside it, fifty-one points were written.
“As expected of you, Cyril!”
My lady exclaimed that excitedly, but I hung my head.
“…I’m sorry, this was unexpected.”
“There’s no need to apologise. I’m actually quite proud of this.”
My lady had received a perfect score, but my evaluation– which was declared to be cut in half, still had more than half in the end, albeit by one point.
If it weren’t halved, there’s a chance I might’ve done better than her, but despite this, she still laughed happily at the results.
Not just in appearance, she was also growing up beautifully on the inside.
…no, even her counterpart in the game had a noble side to her. The version of her from the original work was just distorted by her home environment and her love for the prince. Her current state was probably how she was always supposed to be.
“I’m proud to be your exclusive butler, my lady.”
“Thanks, Cyril. I’m–”
“–Lady Sophia, please listen.”
It was Raymond who interrupted her.
I didn’t say anything because Lady Sophia had already declared that commoners were her equals here, but if he really wanted to become her exclusive butler, then I wanted to tell him that he shouldn’t be interrupting the conversations of his would-be employer.
“Do you need something of me?”
“Yes. I have compiled the results of the practical examinations to show how superior I am!”
Raymond tried to hand the paper over to Lady Sophia, but I stepped in and received it first, confirming that there was no danger before I passed it over to her.
“I see now, I guess you really weren’t all talk.”
Lady Sophia was making a slightly surprised expression.
It was only a glance, but when I checked the paper for safety, it was written that he had scored over eighty points with all the practical exams. He was definitely A-class material, and if compared to the average grades of previous years, it wouldn’t be surprising for him to be elected as the representative.
I had no intention of giving up my position as my lady’s exclusive butler, but these results were definitely impressive enough to hire him as a servant.
“Thank you so much, but I’m still nothing compared to you, Lady Sophia. I just saw the dance exam results earlier, but as expected, you received a perfect score.”
Although she was smiling, my lady’s reply wasn’t serious at all. It’d be a perfect response with some slight changes… but she seems to get easily emotional with matters related to me.
“By the way, what was your score?”
Just when I thought that, Raymond turned the conversation back to me.
“I’ve only seen the results for the dance examination, but I received fifty-one points.”
“Only fifty-one points? You can’t claim to be Lady Sophia’s exclusive butler with pitiful grades like that.”
The moment he said that, the surroundings were enveloped in a dangerous air. Though we seem to have been gathering attention for some time now.
“You probably didn’t know, but there’s a reason for that.”
One of the maids who were in the same group started raising her voice, the people around us following up in sync.
Its true that I only received fifty-one points, so I didn’t really care what he said… but the kindness of the people here really touched my heart. Unfortunately, Raymond didn’t seem to feel the same way.
“I don’t know what those circumstances are, but that doesn’t change the fact that he just barely passed his examination.”
“Like I said–”
“–no, he’s right. The fact that I only scored fifty-one points is still the truth. Its my defeat when it comes to the dance section.”
Faster than the maid’s argument, I admitted my loss to prevent the situation from growing any further.
“Oh? You’re surprisingly sportsmanlike.”
“I wonder? Even if I won, would you have really given up on the position of my lady’s exclusive butler?”
“…probably not. Well, it doesn’t need to be right away, so… one year. I will gain Lady Sophia’s recognition within the year, and then I’ll take over your position.”
Raymond loudly declared this.
Was there a reason why he was so adamant on one year?
“Lady Sophia, I’m sorry for my impolite behaviour today, but I’m serious about this. Please consider hiring me as your exclusive butler in his stead.”
Raymond then bowed before taking his leave. He was both childish and impolite. However– for a twelve year old, he had potential.
When I told my lady that he could become an excellent servant with the proper training, she sent a smile oozing with displeasure my way.
…apparently, it would be impossible to hire Raymond.
A few weeks later, we received letters of acceptance from the school.
My lady had passed all the subjects without dropping a single point, easily becoming the representative, and except for the forty-nine points I had lost in the dance examination, I was the same– taking second place.
…well, this was the expected result.
Written by Scarlet Rain (緋色の雨)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com