Vincent grabbed Shirone by the shoulders and shouted.
“Shirone! Why did you— That was a very dangerous thing to do! No, it’s all my fault! It’s because this father of yours is ignorant! Let’s just turn it down!”
“It’s all right, dad. The only thing we have to do is to keep our mouths shut.”
“It’s not that simple! How can you keep your job a secret? It’s crazy no matter how much I think about it! I will take responsibility for the refusal!”
Shirone shook his head side to side.
He was fortunate that he had good parents.
Vincent abruptly stopped, looking dazed at the sudden way Shirone addressed him for the first time.
What was more shocking, however, were the tears falling from Shirone’s eyes.
Said Shirone, who opened his arms while having a big smile on his face.
“You gave me the biggest gift in the whole world.”
Vincent cried, not caring whether he’d lose face or not.
In his entire life, had he ever seen his son’s face filled with that much joy?
“Don’t worry, Shirone! No matter what happens, I will protect you! Don’t worry about anything and work hard! I will protect you for sure!”
“Dad, I’ll do my best.”
“Yes, my son! My precious son!”
And the mother, Olina, was also wiping away her tears of happiness at the touching sight of her husband and son.
* * *
A week later.
The butlers of the Ogent family came to pick up Shirone.
It was a project that would take more than two years, but Shirone, who lived a simple life, only packed one bag.
Temuran decided to give 20 gold a month on the condition that Shirone would live with him. In comparison, the monthly income of Shirone’s family was only four gold, so it was a huge increase for a hunter family.
‘Will this house be a little more luxurious when I come back?’
He knew what his parents were like, but Shirone tried to imagine something happy and shook off his sorrow.
The butlers proceeded with the contract in a hurry, and a distracted Vincent had to send his son away in the carriage without a proper farewell.
‘It’s just the beginning!’
Contrary to his worries, Shirone’s mind was calm.
He didn’t show his parents, but he had decided that from now on, he would only make calculated, logical decisions that were not dependent on emotions.
Entering the Spirit Zone, Shirone felt his anxious parents through synesthesia.
PR/N: Synesthesia is a fancy name for when you experience one of your senses through another.
In that instance, Vincent and Olinas’ hearts suddenly warmed.
It wasn’t magic.
It was just that their son’s feelings were conveyed.
The moment the carriage rattled, Shirone bounced out from the Spirit Zone, but his closed eyes did not open.
‘Let’s not get shaken up!’ Have to stay focused!
While entering the Ogent family was a once-in-lifetime opportunity, it also came with huge risks. The opportunity was a double-edged sword.
Could he survive two years while living amongst the rich and powerful?
‘I have to concentrate!’
Leaving himself to an unknown future, Shirone plunged back into the Spirit Zone.
The Ogent family was a household that produced nation-approved Grade 3 swordsmen, which in the military corresponded to the rank of General.
“The family leader, Lord Bischoff Ogent, is a nation-approved Grade 4 knight. He is currently serving as a military commander in the city of Creas. In short, he is a big shot who commands this city’s military.”
Upon their arrival, Shirone, while listening to a butler’s explanation, looked at the main gate of the Ogent family.
In the center of the enormous mansion, a huge road opened up.
‘That’s the Ogent family’s Broad Way. When you think of the Ogent Family, you also think of the Broad Way.’
The road that stretched far without any obstacles revealed the characteristics of the family.
“Hehe, are you scared? You’re not already surprised, are you? They’re the real deal.”
“Watch your words. You want your head to fly?”
An old male servant snapped.
However, due to the fact that he could relate to some extent, the butler said no more.
“Come this way.”
The Broad Way was not a road for butlers or servants.
Shirone turned to the garden path next to the road and bypassed the mansion.
The place where the male workers were situated was a four-story, circular building. And in the office of said building was where the deputy butler, Temuran, resided.
“You’re here? Follow me, I’ll explain the work.”
“Yes. I’ll do my best.”
Temuran, who did not even receive a greeting, headed to the library with thick documents.
As soon as the old iron gate was opened, a scenery that Shirone dreamed of unfolded.
A world of books.
On the second, third, and fourth floor, all he could see were bookshelves filled with books.
Smelling the rich scent of paper, Shirone clenched his fist.
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It was worth risking his life.
“We will be moving the books here to the new library. All you have to do is sort the books. I’ll give you a list every week, so find and gather those. You work from 9 in the morning to 6 in the evening. You can’t go outside and you can’t enter the mansion without special orders. But other than that, you’re free to do what you want. As for the worker rules, another butler shall tell you of them. Do you understand?”
“Yes. When do I start?”
“ Tomorrow. Unpack and rest for today. In the meantime, make sure you understand all the rules a male worker needs to follow.”
The next day, Shirone went to the library to get to work.
When he started working, he finally realized why only one person had to do this job.
The list given by Temuran contained hundreds of titles, and among those, the classification criteria was subjective.
For example, it was unclear whether the book History of Swordsmanship should be classified as a history book or a book for swordsmanship.
‘Mr. Temuran has set the framework anyway. As long as it doesn’t go far off from the criteria I set!’
Shirone had set his order of priorities.
Since history was comprehensive and swordsmanship was technical, the History of Swordsmanship was classified as a book under the swordsmanship category.
It took as much as two weeks to set his own criteria in this way.
Of course, even this kind of work was beneficial.
This was because in the process of establishing his own category system, Shirone had realized a fact that he had not known before.
All knowledge was connected.
The work gradually became easier, and soon afterwards, he was able to reach the targeted quantity each day in time.
‘I’m going to start reading now!’
He wanted to use his time efficiently as all the knowledge here would become a huge weapon for him in the near future.
‘Okay, there are 10,000 books in front of me.’
Even with the approximate two years left, it was impossible to read all the books.
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‘Where should I start? Would it be best to just start off with a random book?’
Suddenly, a thought came to mind.
All knowledge is connected, so as long as you dig into one field first, you’ll be able to strengthen another later.
‘Then which field should I study first?’
After repeatedly thinking over it, the corner of Shirone’s mouth went up.
It was the core of all knowledge. Events and discoveries were recorded in chronological order.
Shirone imagined the concept of history as a horizontal line.
If zoomed in, the line would contain all human knowledge, including religion, science, magic, mythology, literature, arts, politics, war, and economy.
“Learning history will greatly shorten the time it takes to reinforce other fields of study. History is truly the Core of Knowledge.”
According to his self-written classification list, there were approximately 850 books.
Shirone made up his mind.
‘I’ll read all the 850 books in the two years I have left. This will be my foundation!”
From that day on, Shirone read books without going back to his lodging, even after his work was over.
He could skip the roll call using overtime as an excuse.
In fact, except for Temuran, the deputy butler, there were no workers who cared about Shirone, a temp.
Reading history books was a pain in the neck for Shirone.
The specific names of places on the continent, famous figures, and the events that occurred could not be easily memorized by a boy who grew up in a mountain for 15 years without ever hearing about them.
‘Should I just memorize the whole thing?’
Shirone shook his head.
‘While it’s important to memorize it, it’s more important to be able to pull it out of my mind anytime. Understanding even a single event is the quickest way to building a proper foundation!’
It wasn’t easy understanding history.
This was because he had to identify in depth why such an incident was inevitable and how it had affected the future.
Efficiency had dropped significantly and it had reached a point where Shirone couldn’t finish a book even after a week.
Naturally, the days he slept in the library became more frequent, and he would, at times, collapse as if he were about to faint.
Four in the morning.
The iron gate opened and Temuran with a crystal lamp came in.
Temuran would come in at this time every day to check on Shirone, who was oblivious to this fact.
His eyes turned to the book at Shirone’s feet.
‘It’s the same!’
Even though it was not a difficult one to read, the book had not changed for the past 15 days.
If Shirone was furiously mastering those practical books, he was going to ban him from accessing the library aside from working hours.
But it was complete nonsense. He was a fool who dreamed an absurd dream.
“Of course. Being a child of lowly commoners, what kind of success could you have?”
While you have to be smart to get ahead in terms of studies, you also have to be clever and know how to think intelligently.
Temuran, who only thought of Shirone as a child with a nonsensical, grand dream, thought he was far from promising.
[Translator – Anwen]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
Three months later.
Shirone gradually got more used to the classifying job. He also learned several pieces of information through the male servants.
The most shocking fact of all was that the nobles didn’t care if the books were leaked.
In any case, the busy nobles who already had a lot on their plates were not interested in whether or not a few books were to disappear.
But that did not indicate less danger.
An aristocrat could only have a laid-back attitude if he had the loyalty of the commoners.
Servants, to prevent even the tiniest of mistakes, could become cold and heartless.
Commoners had to risk their lives in order to not catch the attention of the nobles.
Shirone could tell just how different the two lines of thinking were from each other.
Then one afternoon, the library door opened and he heard an unfamiliar boy’s voice.
“Haah… That old man. On a day like this, who cares if I rest a bit.”
Shirone blinked as an uninvited guest had made a sudden appearance.
‘That person is…’
It was Rian Ogent, the youngest son of the Lord.
Having the blood of a mighty knight, he had a masculine, rugged face, and even though they were the same age, he was a head taller than Shirone.
Shirone’s train of thought was suddenly interrupted by a shout coming from outside the library.
“Rian! How dare you run away! Once I catch you, you’ll be made to run another hundred laps!”
“Argh! Damn it!”
Rian, who was running between the bookshelves, finally found Shirone.
Rian, who was running towards Shirone, grabbed Shirone’s shoulders suddenly and said.
“Hey! Don’t tell him I’m here, okay?”
Then, whilst he hid himself under the bookshelf, an old man’s thunderous roar shook the library.
“Rian! I know you’re hiding here!”
Although he was a gray-haired old man, his shoulders were wide. He was also tall enough to remind Shirone of a giant.
“You! A boy as tall as a peanut with blue hair came in here, right?”
Shirone thought about it.
He did know the blue-haired boy, but if the blue-haired boy was the size of a peanut, what did he look like in the eyes of this old man?
“From what I saw, he looked like the youngest young master. But excuse me, who are you?”
Shirone intended to change the subject, but the veteran saw through the boy’s mind.
“I’m a swordsman instructor! I’m saying that I’m the teacher who has the right to beat up that peanut. You’d better tell me quickly, unless you wanna get beat up.”
Shirone pursed his lips.
Anyone who taught the young master under the orders of the Lord was not a person who could get fooled by the words of a boy.
“Oh, I see. The youngest young master is hiding under that bookshelf over there.”
“Hey! Are you crazy? You wanna die?”
Rian crawled out with a frown.
Then, he discovered his swordsman instructor, who came up close to him. He started to tremble in fear.
“Master! This is a misunderstanding!”
The swordsman grabbed Rian by the collar and threw him to the ground.
As soon as Rian’s body fell, Shirone closed his eyes.
Rian hit the floor with a loud noise, as his limbs were spread out on the ground due to the shock.
“Follow me, you punk! Forget training! You need to be mentally trained again!”
His instructor dragged him out with his legs. With an upside down view, Rian faced Shirone.
And mouthed something.
Even though no voice was heard, and only the shape of the mouth was passed on, Shirone heard it clearly.
–You’ll pay for this.