“Ha, haha…..so this is where my life ends….”
A young man with red hair mutters to himself. The wall of iron bars which surround him gleam as they reflect the light. He is inside jail right now.
However, unlike a typical prison, there are a lot of unusual features within this space. First of all, he is the only person here. There are no other prisoners who have committed crimes, nor are there any guards monitoring his behaviour. The clothes he is wearing are also far more elegant than what prisoners would usually have.
A robe adorned with a blue rose, a silk gown, and a pair of loose-fitting pants that are wholly dyed in luxurious purple. If you look carefully at his face you will even see faint traces of makeup that have been applied and his lips have been accentuated bright red.
—This is without a doubt, death makeup.
“Damn it!, I…I’ve only just reached 15 years of age! I haven’t even had a chance to mess around with a woman yet!
A single tray lay In front of Rondo von Édouard. On this tray lay 2 containers and a single cup. Inside these containers is a wine suitable to commemorate a young man coming of age…and a poison that will give death upon consumption. This wineIn japanese it is sake, and while wine and sake are not exactly the same, I used wine as the translation given its medieval theme and setting and poison was the gift given to him by his father MargraveA Margrave is the title given to a lord who is responsible for protecting the border of a kingdom. It can be thought of as a military noble Édouard. Rondo picks up the bottle and carefully pours the wine and poison into a single cup.
–At the end, you can dress up, enjoy the taste of the alcohol, and then commit suicide. I quickly understood the meaning of father’s message. It was too cruel, his first present was an outfit for him to look stylish and then a method of suicide. But the reality was that this was the last mercy afforded to Rondo. If for some reason I decided not to drink this cup of poison, I would undoubtedly be killed later in a far more brutal fashion.
A noble who has no talent in magic doesn’t deserve to live.
“Damn, damn, damn it!”
Gritting his teeth, he brought the cup of cloudy purple liquid to his mouth and drank it down. It was the very first wine that Rondo had ever tasted in his life—
There are 2 things the nobility needs in this kingdom of Yugutia. The first is a traditional bloodline that has been proven through countless decades of governance and has gained a certain level of trust and political legitimacy. The second thing that is needed is talent in magic. This is because magic is what separates the commoners from the aristocrats.
The ancestors of today’s nobility used the magic borne from their bodies to carve out new territories using their own strength. This type of pride has continued onwards through the years, unbroken even now as it has become a form of honour to be upheld. Only those people who possess these 2 traits can rightfully call themselves noble. To put it another way, if you are missing even a small part of those 2 things, then you will lose the privilege of calling yourself a member of the aristocracy.
And so in the case of Rondo—he had neither of those 2 things. Due to Rondo being born between a dalliance between his father the Margrave and a maid, his social status as a bastard was rock bottom. Furthermore, he didn’t get even a scrap of his father’s talent in magic.
There are 2 methods available to determine someone’s talent in magic. The first method is to have their aptitude in a certain type of element expressed through a special kind of mark called a magic crest. For example, if someone has a high level of affinity to the element of Fire and you use fire magic on their body, a shining red crest will appear. As someone who has a talent in earth magic, Rondo’s father illustrates his peak level of talent in this element through a turtle pattern which covers his back. When we speak of Rondo’s siblings, whether it is his eldest brother or sister, their magic crest was revealed when they were very young. But these magic crests, also referred to as a gift from god, only appear on those who are supremely talented in a particular element. The vast majority of people who use magic do not have the ability to manifest a magic crest, and for these people there is another method to test their aptitude.
This method of innate elemental identification is referred to as Attachment. It is where you analyse an individual’s affinity to the 4 elements one by one. You can test for fire magic by seeing if someone’s hand feels hot when placed over an open flame, or if it is for water magic then part of their body may be submerged in water to see how long they stay wet….these kinds of physical reactions. No matter how long they leave their hand over a flame, people with a talent in fire magic will never be burned. This kind of practical test is considered to be very effective in determining affinity. Furthermore, being able to experience the feeling of fire or water can be thought of as the first step to learning magic. This is because it is deemed impossible to create or manipulate the elements if you haven’t felt it beforehand.
Under this method of innate attribute identification, it is normally not possible to measure the affinity of magic outside the 4 orthodox elements of Fire, Water, Earth, and Wind. However, these unorthodox magicians were not common even during the time of the founding of the kingdom when all of the nobility had powerful magic. As a result, during this period when bloodlines are thinning out and magical talent is becoming weaker, unorthodox magic is considered to be irrelevant. And for Rondo…he was judged as having no talent in the 4 elements. He didn’t have a single type of the power called magic he needed in order to continue living.
So Rondo, having neither bloodline nor magic power, was fiercely ostracised by his siblings and was nicknamed the blank mageThe japanese translation of this was literally ‘no-magic’, so I used this term to illustrate the concept while still trying to retain a kind of insulting feeling.. The shame of the Margrave family, the child of a tramp…the number of insults thrown at him was uncountable. But despite everything that happened, he was not killed or banished and was instead protected by his father the Margrave until he reached 15 years old and officially came of age. Even though his name and person was never presented in societyIn many noble societies, before a child can be considered of the bloodline they need to be formally introduced and presented at a gathering such as a party or event. This shows that the family … Continue reading and was forbidden from going outside, he thought that being able to live until now was a form of kindness by my father.
–But in reality I was wrong. My father was simply waiting for me to reach adulthood so that I could commit suicide of my own will. Due to his position as a Margrave, if he recklessly went out to kill someone it could cause a scandal. In this way, he would be able to dispose of me without having to dirty his hands. He would be able to give the reason that in the end it was Rondo himself that wanted to die.
“Damn, damn, damn it!”
Without the will to resist, Rondo forcefully gulped down the poison. The first taste of wine in his life was bitter and the mixed poison made the inside of his mouth tingly, it was definitely something disgusting enough to die from. The wine went past his throat and flowed down his oesophagus. Anticipating his death, Rondo felt his nerves tense from adrenaline as the wine spread throughout his body up to his hands. And as the poison continued to flow – nothing happened.
“Huh?! What is happening to m-…ugh!”
Rondo was suddenly struck by a shock and unceremoniously fell to the ground. The tray flipped over with the wine and poison splashing onto his face. Even though his face was drenched in the poison, he didn’t feel any pain. On the contrary, what he felt was… heat. His back felt like there was an iron brand being pressed firmly onto it. Frantically rubbing his back, the intense heat turned into an itch that wouldn’t stop. Feeling his mind going insane from the itch, he feverishly scratched and tore at his back, completely ignoring the damage being done to his clothes. In order to turn his mind away from the expected pain, he focused his eyes on the gleaming bars around him. It was at this point that he realised something was awry.
His back – was shining. This light seems to be familiar to Rondo. It was the same as when his older brother, Felix von Édouard, revealed his flowing magic crest.
I suddenly heard a stream of words in my mind…[Gained understanding of poison magic. Cleansing of poison in body…completed. Weakness poison can now be used]
Then the light from his back started to fade, along with the pain and itchiness. As the light disappeared, everything fell to silence. As if it was all a dream, Rondo’s face slumps down in a daze. But the broken cup and overturned tray tells him that everything was real.
“Wait a minute, don’t tell me–”
As the weight of what happened hits him, a certain possibility comes to his mind and he frantically takes off all his clothes. In his haste to undress, his eyes glance at the iron bars while removing his underwear. Reflecting off the bars was an image of Rondo’s back – from which a black magic crest in the shape of a dragon was clearly revealed.
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|↑1||In japanese it is sake, and while wine and sake are not exactly the same, I used wine as the translation given its medieval theme and setting|
|↑2||A Margrave is the title given to a lord who is responsible for protecting the border of a kingdom. It can be thought of as a military noble|
|↑3||The japanese translation of this was literally ‘no-magic’, so I used this term to illustrate the concept while still trying to retain a kind of insulting feeling.|
|↑4||In many noble societies, before a child can be considered of the bloodline they need to be formally introduced and presented at a gathering such as a party or event. This shows that the family considers them a ‘true’ member and also kickstarts their social connections|