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The Melancholy of Boys and Girls and the Settlement of the Game of Tag (Part 1)

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Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mab English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Silva

Luke, who had come out onto the deck for a change of pace even though lunch was only half-finished, couldn’t shake off his gloomy mood as he gazed at the cloudless blue sky and the azure horizon. He sighed restlessly as he watched the free-spirited seabirds, feeling unsettled.

Observing the melancholic demeanor of this beautiful young boy from a distance, the noble ladies of the imperial entourage on this voyage, along with their attendant maids (most of whom were either aspiring to refine their manners or aiming for advantageous marriages, being daughters of minor nobles or local gentry with decent backgrounds), secretly squealed in delight at every move and gesture Luke made.

“What am I doing here? (when I should have insisted on traveling with Jill instead)…”

Luke muttered with moistened eyes, trembling with despair as if it were the end of the world. At that moment, as if their souls were being drawn out, the ladies all collapsed simultaneously, spraying blood from their noses.1

They fainted with remarkably pleasant smiles on their faces. While being careful not to look at the rather catastrophic scene and their faces, the waiting crew and attendants wiped the bloodied deck with deck brushes and carried the ladies on stretchers to their respective cabins with accustomed hands.

The smell of blood attracted a school of sharks to the area around the ship, but of course, they ignored this as well—This had been the daily scene on the magic sailing ship “Eroica” for the past week or so.

Meanwhile, the individual responsible for the incident seemed completely oblivious to the surrounding scene, standing alone on the now-depleted deck.

“Is the turmoil in my heart merely a manifestation of my affection for you?! Then, oh wind! I beseech you, carry my love to my dearest! No matter when or where, let my unwavering heart, which never even considers forgetting her for a moment, reach her! They say that human souls transform into birds and traverse thousands of miles with the wind. Oh wind, at least let this unembodied soul nestle beside her!”2

With extravagant gestures and a voice reminiscent of a character from an opera, he addressed the empty air.

Watching the boy’s demeanor with his arms crossed, Daniel, the eldest son of the prestigious Rätinen Marquis family and a friend since childhood who was a year older, displayed a mixture of sympathy and resignation on his usually composed face.

“…crap, he’s gone to the deep end. This is why inexperienced3 people are the cringiest,” he remarked candidly.

It had been a little more than a month since the start of the cruise, and during the past week or so, his friend’s eccentric behavior had become more and more noticeable.

Perhaps he had been restraining himself until now—or maybe he himself was simply unaware of it—but being carried in a confined space with no possibility of altering the course for over a month seemed to have finally triggered the pent-up frustration.

The extravagant display of the young nobleman shouting his love sporadically had become material that stirred vivid romantic feelings among the noble ladies and, unexpectedly, fostered affection among other aristocrats for this unexpected side of the imperial family. So far, it has been perceived positively.

…For long-time acquaintances and servants, however, it seemed nothing more than a bout of confusion or madness.

Nevertheless, Daniel looked up at the seabirds flying in the sky, contemplating how Spring had transformed the staunch honor student into such an amusing fellow, as well as this Miss Jill character that never left his mouth.

“This is a tragedy for him, but from the outside, he only looks like someone who’s lost and longing.”

And yet, the surrounding young noble ladies only found the troubled beautiful boy even more endearing. It’s inexplicable.

“―Ah, I have a bad feeling about this! Even as we speak, I feel like something terrible is happening to Jill, like she’s in danger or caught up in some kind of incident, like she’s entangled with some strange man! Please, let it be no more than my imagination!!”

And so, Luke groaned in agony because of his own imagination.

By the way, at the same time, Jill, who was supposed to be heading to Cilento on a different course, went missing along the way. She found herself in some unexpected situations, such as treating her self-proclaimed childhood friend to a homemade meal, getting attacked by a group of orcs, and then being abducted by an evil peddler, only to be wrapped in a net and hung from a big tree… In a sense, his imagination all struck true, but as they said, ignorance was bliss.

“…he’s at an age where various things start to bud, huh.” Daniel, gazing at the calm sea and the cloudless sky, sighed again.

As a fellow exchange student, Daniel had heard about this famous Miss Jill —according to Luke, she was “a princess with long hair swaying in the gentle breeze, dreamy eyes, translucent white skin, and a fragrance like a delightful flower, as if from a dream or illusion”— and he was secretly hoping he would meet her on this trip to Cilento. Unfortunately, much to his disappointment, the young lady decided to take a different route. However, apparently, Daniel’s disappointment paled compared to his best friend’s withdrawal syndrome.

Daniel held his head, fearing that by the end of this trip, his friend would be lost beyond help.


“Even if they’re called ‘Leaders,’ there’s quite a range of them, from one end of the spectrum to the other.”

Seeing through the magic mirror, facing off against the self-proclaimed Orc Princess was a young priest with a grim expression.

The difference between them was about 50-60 cm in height. In terms of weight, the skinny boy was only about a quarter of the princess. It was like the difference between the minimum weight class and the heavyweight class in boxing, roughly double, so it was like a kindergarten child fighting a sumo wrestler, which was practically unfair.

Especially when he looked visibly exhausted from the consecutive battles, facing lively monsters waiting in the rear, this would usually not even qualify as a match. Normally, what’s about to unfold wouldn’t count as a battle but rather a plain massacre.

Anticipating such a development, Chaton grimaced, looking genuinely pained. In stark contrast, the peddler maintained a poker face, unaffected by any emotions — as if the gruesome scene unfolding before him was a rehearsed spectacle he had seen hundreds or thousands of times, speaking with a nonchalant demeanor while casually stroking his chin.

“The ones known as King are individuals that evolved from rare specimens that were born. Take an orc. These Leader Orcs aren’t so different from other orcs. They are simply born with stronger physical and magical abilities compared to regular orcs, so they stand above other small fry. But when they further evolve into something like, say, an Orc General, they start to command lower-ranking individuals of their own species at will. The other orcs obediently comply with any command, but the rationale behind this is generally not understood. The prevailing theory is that they instinctively understand the superiority of these specimens and submit.”

It felt like I was listening to Regina’s lecture.



  1. Syl: That doesn’t happen in real life.
  2. Syl: Oh, the cringe. No wonder you’re a prince.
  3. Mab: By inexperienced I think author meant not having experience in romance.

    Another meaning of the kanji is not immune.

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