003 – Women are …
「I’m hungry ～ Esteemed mother, is breakfast not done yet ～ ? 」 (Girl)
The girl who was sat on the stool asked in a disgruntled voice.
Being a military household, the morning came early.It was just past dawn, the sun was just showing his face.
It was slightly early for breakfast, but in the Molten household, mornings came early.
The girl selfishly whining about her hunger was Josephine. Being the 5th daughter of the household, she was Pastry’s elder sister.
This year she would be 12 years old. Being in a period of growth, her demand for breakfast was quite a natural thing.
At her side sat Pastry, the eldest son of the family sat at the foot of the table. His stomach and back looked as if they would meet and yet, he endured silently. TLN
In Pastry’s case, contrary to his sister’s case, this was due to the regular training from his father.
Being the eldest son and hence, the successor, Pastry was taught the duties of nobles. He had a firm understanding as to why he had to endure his hunger.
Right now the seat of honor was vacant. That is, the patriarch was in the middle of his official duties. Which is why they were waiting.
Pace, who was born with the memories and values of his previous life, was at first, confused about the system that closely resembled feudalism.
Decisions were made by the head and the members of the family had no choice but to follow them. The time of the meal was dependent on the circumstances of the head, rather, the time the head ate his food was the time for the meal.
In spite of this, recently it became customary for one or two complaints to be voiced when the stomach (腹の虫 – haranomushi) started singing. TLN
「I got delayed. Shall we start?」 (Casserole)
Finally, the figure of the father appeared.
Obviously, he took his place at the head of the table.
Thanking God and the spirits for the food, they started dining.
Tired of the wait, the elder sister immediately dug in. Of course, Pastry too started to eat, albeit by slowly savouring his food.
The contents of the meal were bare.
Bean and leafy vegetable soup. Bread. The head, Casserole and the successor, Pace, would eat dried figs, but Pace always gave his share to his sister. From the view of a modern Japanese person, one would be dissatisfied with it.
However, in the Molten territory, recently the food situation seems to have gotten better. Soup contained a gracious amount of beans. Rather than calling it soup, it was closer to a cooked beans dish.
Recalling the early days of territory development, it was just a soup with water.
The viscount who remembered both the not too distant past and the present, felt moved at the fact that he could feed his children till they had their fill.
For example, the bread used to be a hard brown bread.
Casserole’s not wanting to disturb his momentary gratification postponed the talk until after breakfast.
「Pace, is sword training fun?」 (Casserole)
「Yes, I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of it.」 (Pastry)
「I see.」 (Casserole)
Pastry, answers with a smile to the sudden question from his father.
Swinging the sword around needs power from the whole body. Given the faint memories from his previous life, everyday training his body and feeling himself improve. There is no way that he wouldn’t find it fun.
Memories of his previous life. When he was training to be a confectioner, the saying “If you’re kneading dough, all you need is brute strength” was driven into me. This meant that it was not just his arm but his entire body weight had to be used and as a result your body would remember it as well. TLN
「Even from my point of view, Pace is working pretty hard already, in his own way. Although its rather sudden, 3 days from now, I was thinking of making him participate in his Sanctification ceremony」 (Casserole)
「Sanctification ceremony?」 (Pastry)
Saying so, Pace turned his head.
This was, not because Pace didn’t know what the Sanctification ceremony was.
Isn’t it too early for me, he thought.
The sanctification ceremony was a ceremony to report to god and the spirits.
In modern Japan, it would be like the coming-of-age ceremony. The religious implications were to congratulate the growth of the child.
In this world, a child 10-15 years old would be considered an adult.
This decision would be up to the head of the family. If one became an adult, he would have to shoulder the corresponding responsibilities. A person who underwent the ceremony would be allowed to leave the house to build a house of his own or could even get married.
「Dear, isn’t it too early for Pace?」 (Mother)
At his wife’s question, Casserole nodded.
Certainly, compared to social norms, it would be considered too early.
Although he nodded yes to the question, the decision remained unchanged.
「If we were talking about Pace’s wisdom, it is as you said. His skill with the sword has raised to the point where he can defend against an instant hit. With his knowledge of the sword, he should not lose against younger nobles who have practiced the sword. In literary and military arts, I have deemed him to be worthy to be acknowledged as an adult. There are other circumstances as well, but this is what I have decided.」 (Casserole)
「Is that so. If you’ve already decided, it cant be helped.」 (Mother) TLN
From the mother, a sigh of disappointment leaks, distorting her face with worry.
Pace who inherited his mothers features had an understanding and honest face. He was a son who received unrelenting love from his parents. His mom was doting too.
That said, looking at their quickly growing son, they felt a pang disappointment. They wanted to dote on him as a child for a bit longer.
「We’ll leave in 3 days, so I’d like you to prepare for that. Anies and Josephine, can I leave this to you?」 (Casserole)
At the patriarch’s words, the people reacting were Pace’s mother and sister.
Stare. Their eyes glinted as they regarded Pace. As expected.
「Maa, ufufufu. Leave it me. Where ever it may be, in order to not be embarrassed I shall prepare thoroughly.」 (Anies)
「Mother, I will also help.」 (Josephine)
Fufufu. Such a laugh emanated from the weird womenfolk.
That caught the attention of not only Pastry but his father too.
The son shot his father a plea, ‘help me’.
His inheritance from his dad, his reddish brown eyes, started to tear up.
At his son’s rarely seen endearing state, his heart jolted, but it was already too late – even if was him, he could not reign in his wife and daughter.
At his dad’s answer, Pace’s face strained.
Pastry’s mother and sister.
There was a method to their madness.
For a noble, when going out of their territory, there was a necessity for tact and diplomacy.
When the motive was friendship, it would be considered foreign travel. If it was sightseeing, or negotiations, or inspection, the concept behind it does not change.
If a company’s president had an activity outside the company, for example a partnership discussion.
If the feudal lord traveled, then his retainers and close members of the family would also accompany him. Even trivial hassles could become a full blown military conflict.
For that reason, adherence to etiquette would become essential so as not offend the other party.
A prime example would be the attire.
As 70% of first impressions are determined by appearance, one cannot ignore the importance of first impressions.
If you wear a soldier’s uniform, you emphasize you military standpoint, whereas if you go in formal attire, it would become a formal discussion such as negotiations.
Expensive dresses show off the wealth of the territory, and wealthy people bring more people along.
Conversely, shabby attire, no matter how great the person wearing them will cause them to be looked down on.
This is because when visiting another’s territory, people who could not adhere to the minimum standard of attire would be frowned upon for not having the common sense to dress appropriately. In the first place, their inability to prepare appropriate attire due to their poverty would be both proof of their poverty and a reflection of their social status.
For example, when a salary man goes to another company, if he wore long johns, a haramaki (stomach band) and benjo sandals, in a similar manner, he would looked down on for not dressing appropriately. Wearing a suit would be the bare minimum. The brand of the suit and watch would be indicative of the status.
The noble society is also similar – there is a minimum standard of attire and any embellishments on top of that relate to the power you hold.
Specifically, when scrutinising the son’s clothes, the idea that “the mother’s helped him dress” would be a reflection on the mother’s ability to meet social norms.
The sister too, as somebody who will marry into another house, it is essential to learn the role of the wife of a nobleman.
As a noblewoman, to gaudily decorate the successor, is an important role about which she was, as a matter of course, exceedingly enthusiastic.
Then, why would Pastry have a crying face.
In the Japanese sense of aesthetic, if one were to ask “Do you hate to dress up?”, “NO” would be the answer.
For even a worker to be able to stand proudly on the world stage, a confectioner would understand the importance of appearance.
The art known as confection is something that one can enjoy with your eyes, there is chance that the dress will draw attention from the sweets.
Why Pace was feeling like crying is because of the attention he will receive from girls.
More accurately, he was too loved. TLN
「How about a ribbon in your hair? It’ll surely look cute.」 (Mother)
「Mother, if that’s the case, Liliana ane-sama ‘s dress would be suitable. Because she couldn’t fit into it, I took it, the frilly pink one.」 (Josephine)
「Araara. That does look good. Beautiful. But if that’s the case, maybe it would be better to not have any makeup on.」 (Mother)
Even in the countryside, its just as entertaining.
The fun from dressing up children like dolls is the ultimate form of entertainment.
「Ano, mother and sister, I’m a guy? So spare me from the girl clothes.」 (Pastry)
The conversation ignored the cries of the toy and turned a blind eye to the potential damage.
「It’s fine ‘cos you’re cute. You’re done eating right? Let’s start preparing at once.」 (Mother)
「Someone save me!!」 (Pastry)
Casserole saw his son taken by his sister and mother.
He held pity in his eyes, but did not move to stop them.
「Aah, dammit」 (Casserole)
Fu, he muttered , as he had forgotten to tell them the important thing.
In fact, the important words of his subordinate were now already a distant memory.
「I forgot to tell them that the proper ceremonial dress will come tomorrow.」 (Casserole)
Pastry’s suffering would continue till tomorrow.
The chapter was fairly short and the content is pretty fluffy.
In addition this was also an early release as I have plans this weekend so I can’t afford to procrastinate and stick to the scheduled release at the weekend.
Also, there were some issues when the formatting got … weird? Line returns were processed as paragraphs and caused the chapter to seem longer.
Reformatted using Shift + Enter to create line returns in the same paragraph. Rather tedious but it reads better this way.
From an “anonymous” friend (who wanted to be acknowledged in the credits yet not be identified) in the library reading over my shoulder, corrected a tautology. I apparently now owe him a free proofread of his dissertation.