Chapter 3 - Riley
The boy yawned, lying against an apple tree in the mansion grounds. To him, it was just another bed.
“...Ah, I want some Coke.”
He was the third son of the Iphelleta House, Riley.
“It’s becoming more frequent. My dreams of the past.”
A world with concrete floors and skyscrapers...
It was a reflection of his past life.
Since the day he unintentionally pulled the holy sword from the ground, there were only battles. To prevent the destruction of the world with the coming of the demon lord, he had to slay countless monsters.
Instead of being able to attend school with his friends, he had to force his way through numerous battles.
He sighed as he remembered his past life from his dreams.
“It always comes back right when I’m about to forget.”
He scratched his head, remembering his phrase, ‘I want to have some Coke.’
It was his favorite drink back in the ‘past.’
Sadly, he did not know how to make it.
‘How I long for the burning sensation of the carbonated liquid pouring down my throat, but that’s impossible now…’
As he thought to himself, he locked his fingers and stretched out his arms.
“Well, there’s no need to repeat my past.”
‘I will live this life in peace.’
With his memories still intact, that was what he had thought upon being reincarnated into this world.
To fight with a blade, to save the world...
To become idolised, to be relied upon...
It was unneeded.
He would avoid any obstacles in his path.
Thankfully, he was now the third son of an important noble family.
Perfect for a lazy and carefree life.
“...Young master, young master!”
If only there weren’t any obstacles.
“Dear lord! Are you sleeping again?”
Although he had just woken up from a nap, he closed his eyes again to avoid this situation.
It was to appeal for his sleep to not be disturbed.
“It is already past noon and the sun is starting to set! How are you supposed to sleep at night?”
If a man tries, he can sleep all day.
Almost like a vegetable, although not quite.
‘Being drowsy at day and sleepy at night are two different things.’
As he made his answer in his mind, he snored loudly.
An act to show the butler that he was still in the land of dreams.
“Time may have taken much from me, but I can still tell between truth and lies.”
“I have been serving you for almost 20 years. You should stop that act of yours and get up.”
He may have talked like that, but Ian had a way of discerning the truth. At this point, he was just pleading for Riley to get up.
“Haah. It is almost dinner time.”
Ian shook Riley’s shoulders.
“Ahh, is that so?”
Riley stood up, unable to resist the sad voice.
He didn’t want the old man to cry.
“It seems...you did not train today, either.”
Riley did not respond to Ian.
“I am sure you will see your potential, if you would just try.”
The nagging began.
Riley began to doubt whether waking up was the right action.
“Just, what is the reason?”
“Hey, what do you think today’s dinner will be?”
“In terms of wisdom, you would easily surpass both of your brothers!”
Ian once evaluated Riley to be ‘too mature for his age’.
In a good way.
As a baby, he acted in a way which did not fit his age, due to his old memories.
“Others may be oblivious, but I know! That young master is...”
Riley responded with a smile.
“No! Not at all!”
Ian’s face was dyed red, with steam coming out of his ears.
“Ha...honestly! Do you know how angry I was at those bastards in Iffa village!”
Ian closed his eyes, and pounded his chest in anger, only to realise Riley had already distanced himself from him.
Ian followed, mumbling foul words as he did.
“Honestly, Lady Iris! Please discipline Master Riley. He still will not even touch the sword... It is as if he is trying to become a wizard.”
“What’s so wrong with that, Ian?”
Within the second dining room of the mansion, there were two...no, three people at the table.
The woman smiled towards her son who was sitting opposite to her.
Riley smiled back at his mother when their eyes met.
His mother was the only person in the mansion who would understand him.
She would listen attentively at his absurd stories about his dreams.
A great mother who truly wished for her son’s happiness, despite his lack of effort to learn the swordsmanship of the House.
If Riley were to pick his greatest treasure, it would undoubtedly be her.
“Haah. The same goes for you, my lady.”
Ian sighed at the two.
“Oh? What do you mean?”
“Young master is already at the age of 18. He is an adult. How long will you continue to accept his childish behaviour? It is time to be a bit more strict with him. And there is also the issue about the successor.”
Ian pressed his finger between his eyebrows as he said those words. Just remembering about it gave him a headache.
“Are you not angry? Lady Orelly and both her sons would visit you in their spare time, just to ridicule you. Those rude ingrates.”
TLN: The honorific that the butler uses here specifies that Lady Orelly is the first wife of the Iphelleta family, and the mother of the first and second sons. Lady Iris is the second wife and also Riley’s mother.
“Ian, watch your language. We are still in the mansion...”
“No, I will say it. The two of you...need some ambition. Do you not want to get back at them?”
Ian began his complaint.
“Instead of talking about that weird dream of yours!”
The dream Riley always spoke of to his mother. When Ian shouted at him that he should be talking about swords instead, Riley replied,
“Weird dream you say. But it’s still interesting right?”
“Huh? Yeah it is interesting... Wait, that is not the point!”
Ian began to appeal to Iris about Riley’s good traits.
“You know how smart young master is the most, my lady.”
At a young age, Riley was the fastest at learning how to write and speak.
That was not the only thing he could say.
There were countless more.
Riley’s problem solving skills were beyond his age, and whenever danger would approach, he would disappear from the mansion, using ‘hide and seek’ as an excuse.
He would only reappear once the danger had passed.
“I am still...”
Iris knew perfectly well just how different Riley was from an average person. The dreams, the way he spoke... Each word and action he took seemed imbued with maturity.
“His wisdom can be put to use for the sword as well! I have spoken to you before about his unprecedented talent...”
Iris cut Ian’s words.
“I am happy as long as Riley is.”
Even so, she was not bothered by Riley’s actions.
Because she was his mother, she would only wish for his happiness.
Ian’s shoulders drooped as he realised he had failed to convince her again.
He felt a little smaller than before, as if all of his muscles underneath had shrunk as well.
“Ian, it’s my life, so I’ll take care of it.”
Riley snickered as he took a mouthful of soup, knowing he escaped Ian’s nagging thanks to his mother.
Iris suddenly began coughing.
Did her food go down her airway?
Was there too much pepper in the soup?
The coughs seemed quite rough.
Riley’s face began to darken as the coughs did not stop even after some time had passed.
Iris covered her mouth with one hand, while shook the other to tell she was okay.
But Riley noticed something on her shaking hands.
“Mother, your hand...”
Her expression changed for the worse when she looked at her hands.
Blood soaked her hands and dripped down onto the table.
Riley stood anxiously, but quickly turned his head when he noticed someone was watching. At that moment, his eyes changed to that of a predator’s, but quickly returned.
The laugh was quite distant, but Riley could hear it, and then he saw it.
“Please wait, I will bring a doctor immediately!”
Leaving only a laugh of ridicule, the first wife of the Finn Iphelleta family faded into the distance.