[ES!!] The Essence of a Butler

Yuzuru struggles to draw a design for his personalized outfit, and consults Keito for his thoughts…

This story is connected to the card [Devoted Valet] Yuzuru Fushimi.

Story Release Date: November 25, 2021


Chapter 1

Season: Autumn

Location: Meeting Room

—Oh, it’s getting late already. Right, let’s wrap this up. Keito Class ends here for today.

This was such a valuable session, with so much to learn from. Thank you for your guidance, Keito-sama.

Are you just being modest, or…? Because your traditional Japanese eating etiquette was flawless right from the start.

I’m extremely delighted to hear such praise. A butler is a mirror of their master—They cannot present themselves in any shameful manner.

While I do my utmost best to maintain graceful manners at all times, I am liable to perform tasks in my own way the moment I become accustomed to it. I’m grateful to have an opportunity to correct this oversight.

Huh, alright. Well, as long as it came to use for you.

…That said, what’s wrong with you guys over there? You three have been silent this whole time.

You’ve no need to worry about me. I was simply comparing the manners we’ve learnt to my hometown’s in my mind.

They share some similarities, but there are differences as well. Cultural differences are really interesting!

That’s a good way of seeing things. Curiosity helps better your mentality and autonomy.

—Shiratori, you’re next.

Eeep!? M-Me!? Umm…

My head’s all packed with all the stuff I gotta keep in mind, but I swear I’ll learn how to do it right…!

I wouldn’t want people to think I have no manners when I’m on cooking shows and stuff.

I gotta do my best, too~ Improvin’ my manners will benefit Oshisan, after all! He taught me a lot ‘bout it while livin’ in his house.

I think he started with correctin’ me on how ta use chopsticks properly? Man, this takes me back~

I wanna surprise him by gettin’ super good at it while he’s not ‘round, but I dunno if I can remember all the steps when I’m so forgetful…

Then you could try practicing what you’ve learnt as soon as possible! There should be Japanese cuisine on the staff cafeteria menu.

Ohh, yer right~ Our first lesson in Keito Class was ‘bout the importance of reviewin’ an’ practicin’~♪

Wow, that’s a surprisingly good idea coming from you, Hiro-kun! I completely agree~♪ What will you do, Senpai?

I’ll have to pass. I have to tidy up the place.

I’ll stay behind and assist you.

Lemme help out too, then. You’ll get the job done faster with more people ‘round ta help.

Oh, no, please don’t worry. Allow me to handle this. I enjoy tidying up~♪

It’s almost time for lunch. You’ll struggle to find a place to sit once the cafeteria becomes crowded, so I believe it’s best that you head over there as soon as possible.

Very well then! We’ll be taking our leave.

Hasumi-senpai, thank you so much for today~♪

Aight, see ya later~♪

…They lack the knowledge, but they have potential to learn a lot with how earnest they are. Teaching them feels worthwhile.

Fufu, your speech resembles that of a teacher.

To be fair, I am acting as something similar to that. I’m the instructor of Keito Class, after all.

Teacher, huh… That reminds me—How’s it going in Yumenosaki Academy? Anything new?

We’ve been having a peaceful time at the academy. I believe it may be because of our new Student Council President’s disposition.

Heh. I’d love to record you saying that and make Eichi listen to it.

While it appears to be Isara’s policy to settle disputes within the academy with only the current members, just because we’ve graduated doesn’t mean we’ve no relation to each other anymore. Don’t hesitate to ask me for help if you ever need any.

I see… Are you alright with it being a personal concern of mine?

From you? That’s rare. Yeah, go ahead.

Thank you very much. You see, I was approached the other day about my personalized outfit.

I have come up with multiple ideas for a design, but none of them feel like what I’ve truly been looking for.

I cannot risk showing this disgraceful side of myself to Eichi-sama and Young Master, so I’ve been at a loss of what to do… I can’t seem to come to a decision.

Hmm… Do you have the designs drawn anywhere?

Yes, here it is.


…What on earth is this?

It’s the designs for my personalized outfit.

No, I know that… But you can’t have them looking like this.

Yes, I don’t quite have the aptitude for illustration. There was once a time I received an explanation of a design through the phone, and thus illustrated it in order to convey it to Anzu-san…

But she was simply perplexed by my illustration.1

She’s just going to be confused again if you show her this design…

I’ll re-draw it for you. Could you explain to me the ideas you had in mind?

Ten minutes later…

You not only excel at watercoloring, but pencil sketching, too? You’re quite multi-talented, Keito-sama.

…Oh? How odd, I feel as though I’ve seen this art style before…

You’re just imagining it. …Alright, I’m done.

These designs do feel like they’d suit you, but they also resemble fine’s outfits. I don’t get a feel of your individuality from any of them.

Um… My individuality?

(A butler is someone who supports their master from the shadows. Therefore, wouldn’t my individuality be that I purposely present no personality?)

(However, if I keep my lack of individualism, it will no longer feel like a personal outfit… And such an error would harm the Young Master’s reputation…)

(Should I force some form of individualism within the design? Perhaps I can find something that truly represents me—)

Hm? I hear a knock at the door… Someone is outside.

Please, do come in.

Chapter 2

Oh, Anzu-san? Is there something wrong?

…Ah, this room will be used for a meeting soon?

I don’t recall anyone booking after us when I checked, but… I can see that there’s a meeting after us, indeed.

It seems to have been booked while we were having our class. Let’s leave at once, Fushimi.

Understood. …What’s wrong, Anzu-san?

Ahh, you’re curious about this illustration? To tell you the truth, I consulted Keito-sama about my personalized outfit.

He then sketched the designs out for me as I explained them.

Hm? Mizuhanome-sensei…? I feel as though I’ve heard that name before.

Hold it right there, Anzu—!

…Hmm. Mizuhanome-sensei is Keito-sama’s pen name, as well as your art master?

There was a time he drew posters for the academy? Ahh, that explains why I recognized the name and art style.

Incorrigible! I can’t believe you’d expose my pen name without my permission…

Please do not fret, Mizuhanome-sensei-sama. I will not speak a word of this to anyone.

It’s “Mizuhanome” only. There is no need for the “sensei” part.

I’ll help you with designing your personalized outfit as repayment for tidying up the place with me. Tell me when you’ve completed your design and I’ll draw a clean version for you.

Thank you very much for your kind offer.

Fufu, Anzu-san seems delighted to know she’ll be able to see new illustrations from Mizuhanome-sama~♪

Why do you look as though you’ve struck gold or something? Sigh

Location: Resting Room

A while later…

(I attempted to copy after the design Keito-sama illustrated for me, but I can’t seem to get it right.)

(Anzu-san is a busy woman—I must concentrate on finalizing a design so that I may pass it on to her as early as possible.)

(…Oh, speaking of Anzu-san—When she expressed delight about “Mizuhanome-sensei’s new design”, she looked so young and akin to her age.)

(Fufu, it reminds me of when she first transferred to Yumenosaki Academy.)

(We both transferred to the academy at around the same time, and I felt an affinity towards her. We both had the role of supporting something valuable to us—For her, it was idols, and for me, it was my master.)

(You didn’t know left from right back then, and yet you’ve now grown and become a highly respected producer.)

(I wish to serve only the very best for the Young Master too, similar to how you wish to support the many idols around you. I only hope that I manage to present those feelings into my personalized outfit…)

(But I cannot seem to formulate it properly onto paper… How frustrating.)

(…? Is someone gazing at me?)

Master Artiiist~…☆

Hello, Master Artist Fushimi, I hope you’re doing well! Is that a new drawing? I’ve been dying to see new art from you…♪

Ahhhh, what is this!? Is it two pill bugs arm wrestling!?

It’s sooo cute~! I’d love to have it! I wanna frame it on my wall…☆

Uhh, erm… These are designs for my personalized outfit, so I’m afraid I can’t hand it to you.

Personalized outfit… So you’re gonna get an outfit based on what you drew?

I wanted a drawing from you, but that’s somehow even more catered to me! Oh gosh, I can’t wait…☆

Ahh, no, no. Keito-sama will make a clean copy of the design for me, so I believe that it will look entirely different in the end. I haven’t decided which to finalize, though.

I have yet to find the appropriate individuality for my personalized outfit. I’ve tried as best as I can, but I cannot seem to come up with something that defines me besides “a butler who supports his master”.

Huh? Isn’t that enough, though…?

I feel like it’s sometimes more overbearing to look at a design if it has a bunch of unique things in it… Ermm, please look at this.

A mascot character key strap…?

This is the local mascot “Alien Tomato”.2 They’re a mascot born from a tomato farm, and even though being a tomato is the only thing they have going for them, they’re suuuper unique…♪

So I think it’s fine if you had your personalized outfit looking like a butler, Master Artist Fushimi. Your fans would probably enjoy seeing you in a formal uniform, anyway…

I see. I overlooked such an important factor to my outfit, didn’t I? Thank you very much, Takamine-sama.

I no longer need this design, so you may have it if you like.

Really!? Yay, yay, thank you so much! I’ll treasure it for the rest of my life…♪

I’m looking forward to seeing your personalized outfit, Master Artist. Oh, and—

I’d like your autograph, if that’s okay…♪

Location: Outfit Room

A few days later…

(I always wish to remain as a butler worthy of serving the Young Master, and this outfit is meant to represent those feelings.)

(That is why I would like you to be the first one to see it—Because you are the most important person in the world to me.)

Young Master, I apologize for asking you to visit me all the way here.

This is my personalized outfit. I requested Anzu-san to tailor it to look similar to that of a butler’s.

What do you think? Am I worthy in your eyes…?

The butler look really suits you, and I can definitely vouch for that, but don’t you think you’re overlooking something important here?

Something important…?

Mhm, you didn’t get this outfit made to only show it to me, after all.

A personalized outfit is a one-in-a-kind outfit that is meant to reflect the idol’s views, but it’s also supposed to be a way to make your fans happy.

Your fans are looking forward to seeing you on stage with that outfit. You’ve gotta make sure to go beyond their expectations to make up for all the waiting they’ve done for you!

So you should have more confidence in yourself as an idol. Your fans aren’t looking at you as a butler, but as you, “Fushimi Yuzuru”.

…You’re right. I completely overlooked something so crucial.

Thank you very much, Young Ma—No, Himemiya-senpai.

For your sake, and for my fans as well—I will pour my heart and soul, and continue to perform my utmost best…♪

Translation Notes

  1. Referring to Toyland. You can see an example of his art here. Please check this masterlist for a translation of Toyland.
  2. He first mentions this mascot in True To Myself, Staying The Way I Am.