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[Update] Katsucon 2022!

Okay, well, this is awkward.

Long story short, won’t be going to Katsucon 2022. There were some policy changes that just hit when I got my email about registering for the panel (basically get your panelist badge) that left unable to go. Won’t really elaborate further on that for professional reasons, since there’s no need to go further beyond that much either.

I know that like, no one was really chomping at the bit to come see my panel, but just wanted to let you all know. I’m guessing while all of this craziness dies down I might do any panel runs, but probably in 2023 I’ll start up again.

33. Chamomile

This chapter is mad long. You can’t understand how it to translate lmao, it just kept GOING AND GOING, but it’s a fun one. Lots of new people to meet.


TL: Toasty
ED: Toasty


Spring arrived.
The lovely lily-of-the-valleys I was enjoying will end in a little bit. Next month, the multi-colored tulips will liven up the flower beds.
I wonder what my dad will grow in the next flower beds. It isn’t natural, perhaps, but while helping with his work, I’m looking forward to what he’ll plant next.
What should I do for the self-study garden? Right now, it’s easy for Ojou and her sister Flora to play with the violet dandelions, but soon it will be time for western ajugas. Because they have the height, it might be interesting to make a walking maze with them. In spring, yellow and red flowers stand out, but there are many unexpected blue flowers.
Even after Ojou and Leo’s engagement was decided, my surroundings didn’t change very much. Rather, because I stopped dance lessons and substituting at parties, the times I can be absorbed in my garden work increased. I’m simply happy with that.

However, I can’t be glad, huh……

The time I was told by Ojou I wasn’t required to substitute for dances, although I was glad I didn’t have to do dance drills, I couldn’t honestly be happy.
Here, in the otome game my sister in my past life was playing, I realized in the world of Kimisei, I knew the future of Ojou’s engagement. Even with the state of affairs now, I thought it was very probable it would become that. Simultaneously, the potential she would come to like Leo, who seemed to embody Ojou’s ideal of a prince, was more than present.
If that’s the case, I should be able to make preparations to say congratulations.
However, Ojou doesn’t like Leo with romantic feelings.
She didn’t have the words for the situation of being engaged to someone she doesn’t like. I saw Ojou’s refreshingly resolved facial expression, and I realized I shouldn’t interfere. I don’t understand what the right thing to say is, and in the end, all I could do is praise Ojou who was way cooler than me.
I wasn’t prepared as I thought, so I became miserable.
I’m the Ernest house’s gardener’s apprentice. I can only help Ojou on the road she chooses and watch over her. Although I’m not even a mob, I hadn’t properly made preparations to watch over her.
I tightly clasped my hands wearing cotton gloves.
Because I can’t be helpful, at the very least, I can make a garden Ojou will be happy with.
Firing myself up, I resume the work I had stopped doing.

「Wah, it’s cute!」

「Do you like it?」

「Yes, very much! I heard about it through Roy-nii-sama, but the Ernest house’s garden is very lovely, right?」

「I don’t lie, you know.」

「I know. Ah, the sun……」

When I think I hear someone in high spirits, under the warm sunlight, two people with dazzling blonde hair and a pale blonde girl who was easier on the eyes arrive near the swaying tulips.
Then, the girl whose long golden hair reflects the light, looks at me who is in front of the flying ladybugs and stiffens up. What kind of reaction is that, as if I saw something unpleasant? It’s not like you were acting especially innocent.

「Zack.」

「Hey, Isaac. Are these the flower beds you’re looking after?」

「Yep.」

Although I matched my father’s bowing, I also lightly bowed my head.

「Philine-sama, they’re this house’s gardeners.」

Ojou, who doesn’t know this isn’t our first meeting, introduces us. There, Elena pinches her skirt and says her greetings.

「I am the third princess, Philine Elena von Rosenbein. I am very happy to be able to see this kind of lovely garden. Thank  you very much.」

She mainly faces my father and conveys her feelings of thanks. Around the time my father replies saying it is an undeserved honor, I approach Ojou and apologize.

「Sorry. I’m late in finishing the maintenance.」

We heard about having visitors beforehand. Even though we had arranged the preparations…

「No, it is us who are early. I do not mind.」

「It’s our fault. Sorry. Philly is in a hurry for something……」

「T, that sort of thing……」

At Leo’s words that seem to be amused, Elena shyly blushes and hesitates to say something. Waiting to see how things go, Ojou also pleasantly softens her expression.

「Being able to give you something to look forward to, I’m happy.」

「……! A, a, after all, with the first time I was given permission to leave……」

At even Ojou who was smiling at her, Elena lets out an ‘awaawa’ in a panic, making excuses.

「It’s because with me, a precedent ended up being made.」

「A precedent?」

「Philly became seven years old.」

Because Leo, at his birthday party for turning seven, had his debut, it seems the younger prince and his sister Elena also ended up having the chance flow to them. Because they showed up at an official space, they reached the point she could receive permission to exit the castle.

「Ahhh, gardener apprentice-san, what is this flower called!?」

「Wait……」

Was she unable to endure it, I wonder, and Elena suddenly withdraws from the subject, leads me by hand, and brings me to a lily-of-the-valley by the promenade.

「What in the world are you doing?」

「Hey, what is this! What is this!?」

「Ha?」

Asking what’s before our ours with all of her might, I tilt my head in confusion. I’m certain what Elena is pointing to isn’t a flower, but what in the world is making her so excited? First of all, I only understood she distanced herself because she didn’t want to show Leo and company something.
This seems to be a habit of reporting information one by one that she carried over from her past life. No, this is a fundamental for girls, right? The time I went to school, schoolgirls also, with their friends, loudly yelled.

「Miss Lydia, this is incredibly cute!! What, are you a fairy!?」

「Ahh, is that it?」

I understood the cause for her excitement. I thought when my sister from my previous life sees a beautiful girl, she charges at her, but I didn’t think I would be rushed by her. Well, I’m glad Ojou wasn’t hurt.

「It’s natural that Ojou would be cute. She’s a beautiful girl.」

「That’s true, but! It’s different, I thought she would be more aloof in my imagination, but her interior is also cute!!」

Elena is emphasizing, but it’s too natural for me to understand.

「Although you are also just as beautiful, but you react to Ojou.」

「It’s because it’s a different person. You see, Taichi…… no, that isn’t it, Isaac, did you change something……」

「Did I?」

With the exception of not being stubborn and make reflections on my past life, because I wasn’t doing anything in particular, I don’t understand if there’s any difference from my past life.

「First of all, since it’s painfully bright on my eyes, I should get away before long.」

When there’s a really dazzling beautiful girl in front of me, it’s painful on my eyes. Especially golden hair.

「As expected, you aren’t unusual!」

Having to immediately eat her words, as impolite as ever, Elena makes her cheeks swell, pouting.
With the power of her excitement, there’s a lot of strength in her tightly clasped hands. Because they cross through my cotton gloves, with a girl’s strength, it’s not especially painful.
At Elena’s hand, another white hand comes on top.

「……Philine-sama, your hand will end up getting dirt on it.」

Ojou, softly saying those words, undoes the Elena’s hand that is gripping onto mine, and with my handkerchief, removes the dirt that was on Elena’s hand. At how Ojou helped me, I let out a sigh of relief.

「Ah, thank you very much.」

When the blushing Philine thanks her, Ojou smiles. Elena, who saw that, hugs Ojou with unrestrained vigor.

「Please become my big sister!」

「Eh……!?」

「Oi, Elena! You’re sekuhara’ing Ojou!」

「Philly, saying that kind of thing, won’t you make your big sisters sad?」

「Leo, that isn’t the thing to be pressing about!」

「After all, I love my big sisters, but they already have married into other kingdoms, so I rarely get to meet them. Furthermore, I want a big sister close to my age.」

「Eh, um……??」

「Hey, hey. It’s fine, Lydia-sama?」

「U, um……」

Ojou, not quite understanding the situation, has bewildered eyes. Leo, who is sweet on his sister and tolerates things, only watches over the situation, and there’s no sign he will come to help.
I sigh, thinking there’s no helping it, so I grab the nape of the neck of Elena, who is clinging to Ojou, and separated them.

「Don’t say selfish things and trouble Ojou.」

「Isaac is stingy.」

Fuu, Elena lets out that noise, pouting. Even though she’s in front of Ojou, her princess mode is removed, but is it fine, I wonder. Well, I also am not treating her like a princess. Because Matteus-onii-chan, who had been holding himself back as an escort, turned pale, I quickly let go out Elena.
At the angry Elena, Ojou looks to be at a loss on what to do, and gives her follow up.

「Um…… although it is a great honor for a lovely person like Philine-sama to adore me, there isn’t any feeling of disagreement.」

「Then, please call me Philly, Big Sister!」

「Philly-sama……?」

「Yes, Big Sister!」

With a smile on her whole face, Elena clings to Ojou again. She’s perfectly holding Ojou in her arms. The way she closes the distance between them is forceful.

「She twisted her arm, huh?」

「Philly, from long ago, has been good at getting others to spoil her.」

When I’m astounded, Leo ame to boast about the strong point of his sister. Well, Ojou has a shyness of strangers, so maybe it’s better she was forceful.

「Then, Philly-sama……」

「Yes, what is it, Big Sister?」

With a look of being somehow dispirited, Ojou asks.

「Zack…… our family’s gardener’s apprentice, you seem to be very open with him, right……?」

Elena’s facial expression, which was all smiles, suddenly froze with a snap. Then, immediately, the stiffness loosened and a frantic look came in.

「It’s different, you know, Big Sister!? The person ideal for me is cool and smart like Roy-onii-sama! Someone like Isaac is out of the question, there is no interest!!」

「But……」

「Don’t stand there vacantly, Isaac should also clear up this misunderstanding!」

「Eh, what is it?」

「She’s suspicious of our relationship! Realize it, idiot!!」

「Haa!?」

How can she have that kind of misunderstanding? The other person is calling me an idiot right now. From Leo and company’s view, do nobles have love for brains? Is it something like sweets? Isn’t this only casually speaking with each other?
Something like our relationship being misunderstood is seriously disagreeable to my sister from my past life. So, Elena frantically revises that sort of thing. Understanding the state of affairs, I deny it with all of my might.

「Ojou, it absolutely isn’t like that!? She was only a lost child, I only know her face a little!」

「But, I’ve never seen Zack talking with a girl so closely before……」

「That’s because……」 

How good would it be if I could say it’s because we were related by blood in our past life? Well, even if I were believed for that reason, in the end, because it’s a different person, it doesn’t change anything. How can you trust me if I said she’s just a person that I can’t think of as another person?

「It’s because Philly-sama is very cute……」 (Implied to be Ojou here)

「Certainly, Elena is a beautiful girl, but for me, Ojou is more cute!!」 [T/N: Ah yes, Zack’s manwhore ways are finally coming back to bite him.]

「……wh!?」

「It’s because furthermore, compared to Elena’s blue eyes that are like gems, I like Ojou’s pale blue eyes that are like a flower.」

「I, u-u-u-understand, so close that mouth of yours!」

Somehow or another, when we resolved the misunderstanding and argued, when I noticed it, Ojou, whose face turned red, scolded me.

「Are you still misunderstanding……?」

If I’m being misunderstood again by Ojou, I have to weaken it. When I become worried and meet her eyes to check, Ojou nods her head.

「I won’t misunderstand again……」

「I’m glad……」

With relief at clearing up the misunderstanding, I soften my facial expression as if becoming weak.
I feel guilty at how I made Ojou mad and the degree she turned red, but because that misunderstanding was a matter of life or death, I’m seriously relieved it was cleared up.

「…………Roy-nii-sama?」

「This is a difficult problem, Philly.」

「Big Sister, you’re Roy-nii-sama’s fiance, right?」

「Yes, that’s right.」

「Is it fine?」

「He’s better than anyone else, right?」

I can’t understand what is being said, but Elena, who looks at the smiling Leo, sighs.
Somehow, even though after this I didn’t do anything special after this, again I was called an idiot by Elena.

In any case, having cleared up the misunderstanding, I passed the time with a bright mood. A few days passed, and this time a separate person came accompanying Ojou. Waiting behind Ojou, a girl who seemed to be the same age as her, Katherine-san, was wearing the same maid clothes. She had straight black hair that reached her shoulders, beautifully cut evenly.

「……We’re in the estate’s grounds, you know.」

「We may be on the estate’s grounds, but we cannot leave someone alone.」

Ojou, who appeared to drop her shoulders, was decisively responded to by a person who greatly resembled the butler, Heinz-san. But, this girl’s words were more emphasized.

「Ojou, who is this?」

「Zack, she’s……」

「You’re being rude to Lydia-sama for a person of your social standing!」

Before Ojou could try to introduce her, the girl whose hair stood up like a cat’s took out a sharp piece of metal from her sleeves and faced me. She only threatened me by putting it to my throat, but I understood, so first of all I should avoid her.

「Ah, a guard? Being trained with a stiletto is dangerous, huh?」

The dagger that’s like a cross, it’s smaller than something I knew. It’s something small you can cram in your clothes, huh?

「Wh—how can a gardener avoid……!」

「You shouldn’t worry about me, but rather behind you.」

When I point behind her, the irritated girl looks over her shoulders.

「What’s behind……」

When she turned her head, Ojou, who even if she couldn’t scream, held her breath and had turned pale, was there. The girl, who realized that Ojou is there seemingly waiting to see how things turned out, seemed to realize she did something bad and froze up.
Although Ojou has seen an act of violence, she’s not used to it. She was thinking of Nico hitting with the glove as a sport. I was thinking it would be better for both Ojou and I not to get used to it.

「If you’re a guard, don’t make your Ojou, your master, afraid.」

「Ugu……」

She didn’t want me to say anything, I think, and the girl grimaced. Because she understood it was easy to avoid, Ojou, who understood I’m safe, put on an angry face, and once more, after tightly closing her lips, opened her mouth.

「Emilia…… at any rate, he’s a coworker, isn’t he? Can you not differentiate my friend from my enemies?」

「B…… but, this guy was rude to Lydia-sama……」

「Emilia.」

「……I am very sorry.」

This is the first time I’ve seen Ojou get mad at someone who isn’t me. While the girl called Emilia seemed to be frustrated, she said her apologies.

「Not to me, but to Zack…..」

「It’s fine, Ojou. It was my words that caused it.」

「You, again with that rudeness coming out of your mouth…..!」

「Emilia.」

When Ojou sternly glares at her, Emilia falls silent. If you look in her eyes, Emilia’s gaze is sharp, but Ojou is angry again, so her spirit lost.
But, at how Emilia pointed it out, I remembered my attitude on how I disregarded social standing between us.

「Hmm…… If I’m like this to my juniors, I’ll set a bad example, won’t I? I’ll correct my attitude……」

「Don’t!」

「 「 Eh? 」 」

Surprised at the sudden, loud voice, Emilia and I look in Ojou’s direction. Ojou, who ended up seeming reflexively shouting, right away put her hand on her mouth, but she couldn’t take back the words she already said.
Lowering her eyebrows, while blushing, Ojou intermittently mumbles.

「A… at this stage, Zack humbling himself is…… disagreeable……」

Seeing Ojou saying that with an appearance of getting smaller as she spoke, after Emilia made a facial expression that seemed to be worried, she let out a long sigh.

「I understand. I will tolerate him.」

「Thank you, Emilia.」

She seems happy to have gained her understanding. When Ojou smiles broadly, Emilia, as if unsure how to best respond, makes an exhausted facial expression.
First of all, since we secured an understanding, I say my greetings.

「I’m the apprentice gardener, Isaac Baumgartner.」

Because it’s a coworker, I give my hand, but I’m glared at and turned away.

「……Emilia von Pechstein. Don’t get carried away just because Lydia-sama has her eyes on you.」

I feel as if somehow there is a terrible deal of hostility, but after thinking she’s like a ct, I don’t mind it and smile.

「Yep, best regards, chairwoman.」

「Ha!? Don’t call me by that strange way!」

When I call her by the impression she gave me, I was scolded.

「Ehhh, but you’re like a disciplinary committee member, right?」

「Public morals and respecting decorum is natural, isn’t it, and furthermore why is there a necessity for a committee member for that!?」

「See, you’re like a chairwoman.」

「I told you already!!」

I was snapped at by the chairwoman, and ultimately Ojou told us not to fight. Somehow or another, this included me. Even though I tried to talk normally, it’s no good.
In my inner thoughts, I was relieved that Duke-sama gave Ojou a guard as promised. The likelihood Ojou will go through something dangerous lessened.

[T/N: There’s no formal break here, but in the raw text there’s a bigger chunk of whitespace which is sort of like a divider line]

Again, a few days later, with a boy who seems like a different guard, Ojou came. This time, Nico also came.
I notice that Ojou already looks tired out. What’s wrong, I wonder.

「Zaaack, I wanted to meet you.」

「Yes, yes, thank you.」

The moment we meet, Nico embraced me, and since I understood he simply only enjoys using the mitt to hit something, I let him do as he likes.
The boy who’s a guard looks this way, opens their mouth a few times, but leaves it alone, when Ojou, who looks as if she got a little angry, raises her voice.

「Ojou, are you okay?」

「I, I’m not particularly jealous, you know!?」

「Huh? No, that isn’t it.」

The wrong answer was returned to me. Before clinging to me, Nico might have been teasing her, but I wasn’t worried about that.
Because it’s difficult to move, I tell him to wait a little bit before peeling Nico off, and I face the flower bed I was working on until just a little bit ago. Plucking a few flowers at my own discretion, I hand over a bundle to Ojou.

「Here.」

「This is a chamomile, right?」

With how it seems to smell of tea, Ojou immediately guessed the name of the flower. Because it’s an herb with an effect of healing tiredness, it’s also used in tea.

「Yep. It’s because we were just pruning these. Ah, but, I just chose and picked these guys!」

「Fufu, I don’t know if Dennis will scold me.」

「Ah……」

I didn’t want to think about it to that extent. First of all, because Ojou’s expression relaxed, it’s acceptable. I’ll be prepared to eat a fist from my father.

「What’s going on over there! Did you say two swords!? Lydia-sama, falling into the clutches of evil……!!」

Abruptly, the boy came between us and shouted. There’s a lot of lively guys in Ojou’s escort, huh? Or rather, does that make sense? Somehow, I’m reminded of Johann.

「For some time now, with this mood, he’s been yapping at me, you know.」

While he has his arm around my neck, Nico says that. At the same time as reporting the damage, I think it’s better if he stops teasing.

「Two swords……?」

「Ojou, even if you learn it, because it’s meaningless, you shouldn’t mind it.」

At Ojou, who not understanding the boy’s words, tilts her head in confusion, I give a warning that even if she learns the meaning, it’s not pleasant.
Mainly, it seems like with Nico’s onee acting, it caused a misunderstanding, but I’ll correct my previous greeting.

「I’m the gardener’s apprentice, Isaac Baumgartner. Nico is only a friend.」

The hand I put out for a handshake was slapped away.

「I am Eric von Kollwitz! The house of Count Kollwitz has produced knights for generations. As Lydia-sama’s knight, at your sinisters ways—!?」

His light brown, short haired head was smacked. By Nico.

「……Nico.」

「But, this stupid brat, was rude to my Zack.」

I’m not yours, I thought as my neck is wrapped by his arm. I’m happy his friendship is heavy, but I think the open palm of Nico who’s normally hitting with the glove with the mitt on is incredibly painful. After a while, your true nature comes out, doesn’t it, Nico?
Holding where he was hit on the head with both hands, Eric bites his lips. As expected, it seems to be painful.

「What are you doing, you gayman!?」 [T/N: The term Eric uses is “okama”, which is something along the lines of “effeminate gay man”, but it’s hard to put in without it being clunky.]

「I’m an onee, you know. If you appear to be rude to Zack again, I won’t forgive you.」

「I’m only looking after Lydia-sama!」

Nico and Eric glare at each other. Ojou and I are completely at a loss on what to do.
I understood the reason Ojou was tired just a bit ago. Before coming here, Nico agitated him, and Eric is honest to a fault, I think. However, Eric is a difficult name to call out, huh? I’ll bite my lip.

「Miss Dia, please properly train this dog of yours!」

「M, me?」

Suddenly brought up by Nico, Ojou is bewildered.

「That’s right. Here, take this and throw it as far as you can, then try to tell him to go fetch it.」

Nico designates Ojou to throw a branch from around here.

「Nico, why are you seriously treating him like a dog……」

「I… I have taken it.」

The branch Ojou threw without understanding the reason fell down just a few steps away.

「…Oh.」

I, forgetting Ojou’s offensive power was low, ended up unconsciously laughing in surprise.
At once, I use my first to cover my mouth but Ojou shyly blushed and glared at me as if to make me stop laughing.

「Haha…… Ojou is cute, right……」

Ending up being mad, with how badly I apologized while unable to hold back a laugh, Ojou’s face turned further red.

「~~!!」

「Here.」

At Ojou who got mad, with her raised fist of low offensive power raised overhead, Eric, with two hands, presents the branch Ojou threw. Turning towards his smiling face that held no doubts, Ojou stops her movement.
I’m not the only one who could seem to see an invisible wagging tail, right?

「As expected, he’s a dog, right? Miss Dia, I request you to discipline him.」

「I don’t do things like disciplining!」

Ojou’s full power denial resounds through the Ernest garden.


Several days later, again, Ojou came with an unknown maid as an escort. How many people are there? If there are anymore, it’ll be hard to memorize them.
I think Ojou is about the same, but the small girl is wearing a larger maid outfit, and I can’t see her hands from the cuff-holes. She isn’t walking straight, and with a swaying step, her evenly cut beige hair sways like a dandelion.

「Ojou, is this girl also a guard?」

「Yes.」

「Heeello. I’m Petra von Damaaa. I’m Ojou-sama’s guard and maaaid.」 [T/N: She elongates the end of her sentences as a verbal tic of sorts, so it’s a little hard to convey.]

The thoughtlessly smiling Petra, with a lazy voice, presented a hand that you can’t see due to her cuffs. This is the first time the other side asked for a handshake.

「I am—」

「The gardener’s apprentice, Isaac Baumgartner, riiight?」

I reach over the sleeve to take her hand in reply, and when I try to give my name, inversely, my name is said to me.

「Because my family is the prime minister with direct supervision of inspectors, intelligence gathering is a pushoveeeer.」

「Is that so?」

Is that how she knew, and since before I could ask, I was given the answer, I can only nod my head.

「Emilia is part of a military family, Eric is part of something like a knight family and while I can’t fight, if it’s information gathering, that’s my strength, you knooow.」

I get the feeling that my master has told me before, that in noble society, manipulation of information is essential. Even with an armed struggle, because muscleheads will gather, somehow who has brains is certainly good.

「Which reminds me, I’m sorry for the other day. Please forgive me for telling Heinz-san and asked him to scold him.」

「No, I’m not mad?」

At what point was that the case? Because the Chariwoman had been scolded by Ojou, Pochi had been hit by Nico, I thought they had been sufficiently scolded. In the first place, I hadn’t been mad.

「Or rather, why did you know?」

Although Petra wasn’t there, what was the reason she knew, I wonder. I didn’t think those two would explain the circumstances.

「Ahh, the focus of our eyes is differeeent. Buuut, it’s a trade secreeet.」

「I see. It’s something you can’t tell me, huh?」

When I apologize, somehow for a moment Petra stopped smiling. Then, again, she thoughttlessly smiles.

「Isaac-san is intereeesting.」

「Ah, I’m glad.」

「Yeees?」

「You can properly smile.」

Petra was smiling from the beginning. However, with that always same smile, just as how Master’s facial expression doesn’t change, Petra’s smile is the default state.
But, because the area around her eyes certainly narrowed as if something was interesting, I could judge it was a truly amused smile.

「I’m also relieved. Because Petra always doesn’t laugh, so I was worried I was worried I had done something to hurt your feelings.」

「If your facial expression doesn’t change, she’ll get worried, you know.」

When she smiles as if glad, Ojou also seemingly happily smiled. It seems Ojou was worried about the same thing.
Petra, after staring at us, puts her cuffs over her mouth and laughs, amused.

「Fufufuuu, I like the two of you. Please treat me well from heeere.」

「Yes, once again, please treat me well.」

「Yep, I will, Petra.」

After giving our greetings, somehow a complaint came from Petra.

「It’s only me being left ooout.」

「Eh?」

「I’m the only one being called by name. I’m being leeeft out.」

「Ehh?」

Her arms flapping, she demanded to be called by a nickname. I only called Chariwoman like that arbitrarily and the person themselves didn’t give me acknowledgement of it, and I didn’t give the name to Pochi.

「Um, then…… Pome?」

She’s something like a Pommeranian. Pommeranians also have a default face like they’re smiling, but it doesn’t mean they’re always happy. It’s not just in hair color,but that too, she resembles one.

「Woooow, Pomeeee.」

She seemed to be pleased with it, repeating 「Pome, Pome」 many times over. Is this kind of casual naming fine?

「Theeen, as thaaanks for this cute nickname you gave me, I’ll tell you how long it to Ojou-sama to hand over that looocket.」

「How long ago did you know about that!?」

When Ojou asks with as much force as if her hairs had stood on end, Pome smiles back while answering it’s a company secret.
For now, because Ojou has become a pitiable bright red, I should refuse the giving of information.
It’s the season that spring has arrived, but is very busy. At any rate, the number of people newly hired as guards is easy for me to remember.


THIS CHAPTER IS LONG. Pain da yo.

Anyways, WEW, well, there’s a lot to break down. Three new characters plus, Elena figuring out that something is different about Ojou’s character. Eric is important later, but I do find it hilarious that it’s Nico that deals with him.

Personally, my running theory is Zack is actually setting up the base events of the game to begin with, as I keep swearing that there was a note way earlier that the otome game ends up a happier note, with Ojou actually not being banished or anything. However, as they keep up the charade, the players of the otome game don’t see the full picture. I’d have to go back digging through old chapters to check, but the thought crossed my mind.

Anyways, one month out-ish from November, so remember there will be no updates in November as I study for the JLPT. That leaves 2 chapters on October 7 and October 21st, and then I will resume updates on December 11th.

See you all next chapter!

Other than that, not much else. If you’d like to support the website and keep it running, consider dropping by the Ko-Fi or by my Redbubble to get something out of it!


32. Game

Welcome to Volume 3!


TL: Toasty
ED: Toasty


There was a memory of my past life, from when I was born.
However, it wasn’t that much.
Around the time I became aware, I realized I have memories of my past life, but with how I ended up being born with a lot of magical power, I couldn’t control it, and caused a lot of worry about my nature to end up invoking magic like having a spasm. Gradually, the surrounding people became afraid and the only people who would approach was the maid in waiting.
Even to myself, I was unpleasant, and I was rescued from the brink by my older brother.
My older brother, from the beginning, even if he’s at my side, was calm. Then, because he had the same unusual light magic, he immediately noticed the magical effects, and strongly did his best to teach me to control it. I couldn’t help loving that sort of older brother.
So, I was happy to have the same kind of face as him. Everyone spoke a lot of us resembling each other. That is, I was very proud.
Even with the times big brother was busy and couldn’t meet, if I look in the mirror, the same face is there. Naturally, a habit of looking in the mirror appeared.
Then, I suddenly notice.
I knew this face.
Because it’s my face, it’s natural I know it. However, that isn’t it. I realized it was another person’s face.
I mutter my name.

「……Philine Elena von Rosenhein.」

I knew. It’s the younger sister of Roy-sama, the capture target I loved in the otome game I was playing.
For the sake of the happy ending, it isn’t from Roy-sama, but rather depending on the choices, if you don’t meet and listen to Philine, you won’t set the flag. Because you hear stories that you won’t hear from Roy-sama himself, she is the next favorite supporting character next to Roy-sama.

「This… is Kimisei……!」

I realize I reincarnated in the otome game I was playing in my past life, A Small Star Only For You -Dein einziger Sternchen-. However, why was I rejoicing in front of myself in the mirror?

「I see. This is why Filine is fond of Roy-onii-sama.」

I address the person in the hand-mirror I’m holding.
Although the times Filine, a princess, leaves the castle are few, in the setting of A Small Star Only For You `Dein einziger Stretchen-, abbreviated Kimisei, in spite of it she enters the royal academy for magic. Worrying about her brother Roy, she periodically comes to see how things are going. In my past life, I thought that it was natural since my brother was also a handsome guy, but if I think about it well, a brother and sister yearning for each other that much is strange. Because she isn’t a capture target, there isn’t any information on her magical power or element, but I see, because she had few supporters from the beginning, it can’t be helped she’d be this way to her brother who was the only one who received her warmly.

「Philine-sama, why are you looking in the mirror?」

Understanding by herself, when she nods to herself, Terese, the maid in waiting calls out to her, seeming puzzled. She had been by her side since she was born. The times she would scold her are frightening, but she knew Terese was honestly worried about her.

「Terese, um, um, I recognized something amazing!」

It was something she was happy to notice, and while drawing near, when she reports the information, Terese tilts her head to the side.

「What did you notice?」

「I, you know, am a princess!」

When she teaches her why she’s so excited, this time Terese seriously tilted her head in confusion. The degree of her puzzlement can be understood through the depth of her wrinkles.

「That is correct.」

「So, you know.」

Not minding that kind of Terese, she continues her report. There’s no helping how she wants to Terese to listen to the decision she determined just now.

「I want to make Big Brother happy!」

「……is it not the reverse?」

Although they are blood relatives, isn’t it usually the man bringing the woman happiness, Terese said, citing the values of the world in general. As for the reasons without logical connection, Terese doesn’t point it out. More or less, it’s in her own head, but for Terese, she always listens to ideas without any logical connection.

「It’s fine, I want to return the happiness Big Brother gave me!」

Even in her past life, her big brother gave her plenty of happiness. So, she would return that.
She doesn’t know if it will become like the game’s world where her brother enters the academy. To that extent, Philine was a minor character, so she honestly doesn’t know. In every route, because she isn’t an interfering character, she properly listens to the state of affairs, and only is able to judge which route you entered.
If that’s the case, right away, she should solely aid in her brother’s happiness.
When she decides the goal of her life from here and is excited about it, Terese is amazed and let out a sigh.

「……Philine-sama is thinking rather simply, but that thought itself is is lovely.」

「That is, I’m weak at thinking about difficult things.」

She forces a laugh at the too harsh pointing out before being praised.

「I speak highly of you being appropriately like yourself, Philine-sama.」 [T/N: literally “praise you for being like Philine-sama” but expanded for clarity.]

「If you’re going to praise me, praise me more properly.」

She wanted a compliment correction, but it was easily swept away.

A few days afterwords, although she had decided to work for her brother’s happiness, it was the same as always everyday.
She tries to mediate between Roy-onii-sama and his other brother, Klaus-sama, but as for that, with only the siblings, because she doesn’t want it to be unsociable, it’s her own selfishness. When it comes to what she can do herself, although she’s very young, by seeming to work nonstop, she can invite her brother to tea and disturb him sometimes.

It’s simple.

Because she’s a princess, she thought she can be more flashy about it, but finishing every day of her princess manner training, she spends time with her brothers over tea. It’s very regrettable. She expected to be able to do something more amazing, but this was unexpected.
Since it’s too regrettable, at the same time as her magical control training, she tested out what various magic she could do during breaks. The light attribute is rare, and as for light and wind element combined, the materials and literature books on it don’t exist, so she was trying to find the solution herself.
With the mechanism of composite elements, around the time she able to make a hologram phone call, she was in a good mood, but the moment she showed it, she ended up being told by Terese and her big brother not to divulge it, and went to sit on the floor grasping her knees for a few hours, pouting.
The more she discovered how to use her magic, the more she was forbidden from leaving the castle. She was gloomy because in a memory of her past life, she knows about playing outside and having fun, or maybe it was just rebellion to being limited in what activities she can do.
Around that time, from her older brother, she hears a name she knows from the game.

「The Ernest house’s garden is really splendid, I want to show it to Philly. Miss Lydia also agreed.」

「It must be that lovely of a garden. Then, Lydia-sama, how did she dress today?」

「The dress’ white base changed to a rose hem, she was like a fairy of flowers.」

With how she thought that because she’s a girl, she’s conscious about fashion, her brother, when asked about it, answered her back with a smile. But, the Lydia she knew from the game is different, so inwardly she tilts her head in confusion.
In the still pictures of Lydia’s childhood she is wearing a bright red dress, and in the game even her plain clothes were aggressively red. However, the clothes of the girl she heard about from her big brother, from the beginning, were light colors far from being aggressive. In the first place, in the memory recollection where Lydia and Roy met, having ended up falling for her with a dance, Roy extended his hand towards her and followed her, and love bloomed….. it was that kind of episode she expected.
However, in reality her dress was blue, and rather than falling, her big brother praised her as the best dancer.
What kind of thing was that?
The girl she heard about from her big brother is too different than the one she knows In Kimisei, she couldn’t imagine them.

「Even so, Roy-nii-sama…… recently you seem to be having a lot of fun.」

It isn’t anything she did herself, and even if she’s happy her big brother is having fun, she’s frustrated at how there’s nothing she can do. Because it feels similar to the times he met Lydia, perhaps the cause is a girl.

「Is that so? Yes…… you could say that. It’s because I made a good friend, it seems.」

His smiling face is dazzling. I can’t be big brother’s friend because I’m related to them by blood. On the other hand, the reality that his family’s affirmation isn’t enough for his happiness was a little lonely.
Then, curiosity apart from that emotion welled up.

「That’s good. I also want to meet Lydia-sama someday.」

What kind of girl is she in reality? Up until here, she’s been different from the game, so is she someone making good use of being a reincarnated person? If that’s the case, she’ll have someone she can speak to about their previous lives. Even if that isn’t the case, she’s worried about the person who will become her big brother’s fiance.
She wants to meet her, and with that thought, the desire to go outside became more severe.
That was it. At that time, she couldn’t win against temptation……

「I reached my limit……」

She crouches down at the corner in the city town. In her current state of mind she wanted to put both hands on the ground, but her dress would get dirty, so she can’t.
Because she asked her brother about going downtown for observation, when she visited his study den, her brother’s overcoat was simply laid on the sofa. Because no one was there, she secretly tried to wear it, and then her brother and servant came into the room, and with the situation being as if they didn’t notice her, the two of them began to speak, so she was surprised.
At the effect that everyone seemed to treat her as invisible, her heart fluttered, and she thought there was no helping it. Since she experienced the effect of the magical item for the first time, there was inevitable excitement. It would be interesting to follow her brother as it is.
She miscalculated losing sight of him.
Compared to what she thought, there were too many people.
And as it is, if she got lost, no one would be able to find her.

「No, up to the game’s original story, everything is fine. But, if I don’t take it off now, no one will notice……」

It’s to be expected if the princess disappears, there will be a large search, but because she made the story of how she was playing hide and seek in the castle, it will be a while until they notice she disappeared. When she originally came to the castle town to look, she was in high spirits, but right now she’s at rock bottom. The feeling of getting her just deserts was painful.

「You, are you okay?」

There was a voice behind her. If the voice wasn’t calling out to her that was wearing the cloak that made her transparent so everyone nearby wouldn’t notice, this voice was facing and talking to a wall.
Because she wasn’t thinking she had been noticed, she thought her heart had jumped out of her chest.
While doubting the voice was truly talking to her, when she fearfully looked over her shoulder, a boy who was a little older than her was certainly there, and their eyes met.

Who was this??

She’s sorry she worried him, but he’s a complete stranger. In the first place, how was she, who other people weren’t noticing, discovered?

「You, are you Leo’s younger sister?」

Furthermore, when she’s bewildered at a name she doesn’t know, he corrects it to her brother’s name when asking again. Certainly, if you abbreviate her brother’s middle name, it’s Leo.
He guessed she was suspecting him, so he revealed that he was an employee of the Ernest house, and also explained his connection with her brother. When he heard the circumstances of how she got lost, he patted her on the head.

「It’s fine already. If it’s your older brother, he’ll do it.」

She can meet her brother again. When she becomes relieved at this, she looks as if she’s going to cry. Even for a moment, because there was the potential she wouldn’t meet with her brother again, it was too much.
Somehow or another she endured being about to cry, and she was guided to get on the back of the boy. Imitating her older brother, she gave her middle name.
The boy called Isaac, although he knew her true character as a princess, was a strange boy who talked to her normally. Perhaps, for commoners, there isn’t a real feeling of being too far apart in social standing. Then, for the first time, she was told that outside of the face, she resembled her brother.
Because he was thinking it was only her face that she can say she is related by blood to her older brother, while thinking he’s strange, that evaluation made her happy. She’s different from her smart brother, and because she ended up acting with sensitivity, if they didn’t match in the face, she wouldn’t have confidence in them being brother and sister, it was that kind of anxiety.
With the swinging of him carrying her, her body very much relaxed.
In her past life, when she was little, she didn’t want to be left out, so when she would follow her older brother, she became tired and couldn’t walk. So, she didn’t like it, she’d put herself down, and when she thoroughly complained and cried, her older brother would carry her and go home.
The memory of her past life, even while she knows it isn’t herself, remembering it was nostalgic. 

「Don’t say it like Yuuka.」

It’s a reaction that made her dumbfounded.
It’s a name she truly shouldn’t be familiar with. However, it’s a name very familiar to her ears.
She stopped thinking.
The name she was called by. In her past life.

「…………Taichi?」

「Ha? Is it really Yuuka??」

His footsteps stopped and again called me by that name. I thought it was a delusion that came from my memories of my past life, but it seems it was different.
When I understood reality, I became confused at the situation.
He’s a complete stranger, but he’s my brother from my past life.
No, if Taichi became a capture target he would have either burst out laughing or complained about not having become someone else. In the situation you became someone who didn’t even appear in Kimisei, what’s the correct response?
My head was spinning, however only feelings that talking formally with each other welled up.
Taichi was an idiot of a big brother. He always argued with our stubborn father, only had idiots for friends, and since he was an idiot, he died in an accident. When I returned home normally, I couldn’t believe I saw my mother drop the receiver phone like a drama. Furthermore, when I learned of the illness he had later on……
Even so, after reincarnating, he apologized, so really, what an idiot.
My older brother can’t be helped. But even saying he’s an idiot isn’t enough.
It’s very different than Roy-nii-sama.
That’s right, Roy-nii-sama. My brother right now is Roy-nii-sama.
Taichi, who isn’t even a mob, no, if Isaac is doing as he wants, then I’ll do what I want with my full power.
Parting with Isaac after linking up with my big brother, I made my declaration of war to him as someone who seemed close to a rival girl. Because he made the same declaration, my fighting spirit welled up. That my big brother was suspicious that Isaac and I were close was a miscalculation, but……

「Roy-nii-sama.」

「What is it, Philly?」

In the return carriage, while eating the cookies given as a souvenir, my big brother speaks. The cookies we ate had a simple flavor that I remembered the ohara cookies I ate so much of that I got sick of them in my past life.

「I won’t do it, but I’ll tell you. If I have something, I want to discuss it with you.」

「What’s wrong, so suddenly?」

「It isn’t sudden. I know. Roy-nii-sama is scheming something.」

「Calling me a schemer is cruel, huh?」

My big brother makes me look at his honey colored eyes, and from there forces a smile. I understand that he isn’t in a mood to speak, and I pout and turn away at the expected reaction.

「It seems I’m inadequate for my sister to consult with me!」

Big brothers don’t discuss things with their sisters. Taichi also was like that. So I understood that much.

「Still, I’m worried about it!」

When I declare that, pointing a finger, my big brother is surprised, he holds me against his stomach.

「Hahaha, I’m no match for Philly.」

「Mou, I’m talking seriously here!」

If you’re mad, I’ll seriously listen, big brother replied, but that is absolutely a lie.


A shorter chapter, but that tends to be the case for the volume starts. It was cute to see things from the side of Taichi’s younger sister, though. My only real hangup this chapter was whether to keep “onii-sama” as it was or put it as “Big Brother” like I did, which causes some minor whiplash when I leave the honorifics in when characters address each other. I might go back and ninja edit them

Other than that, not much else. If you’d like to support the website and keep it running, consider dropping by the Ko-Fi or by my Redbubble to get something out of it!


31. Spine

Shoutout to everyone who corrected “Iron Crow” to “Iron Claw” last chapter due to my insane tunnel vision haha. You guys rock, thanks for catching my very obvious oversight.


TL: Toasty
ED: Toasty


When I woke up, the worried-seeming faces of her parents were there.
Surprised at this, while being confused, Lydia sat up in her bed. Just when she did come back, she thought, tilting her head to the side.

「Father……? Mother……?」

「Are you okay? My angel, are you hurt anywhere?」

「Dia, it was scary, right?」

Her cheeks were stroked by her father as if to confirm she was okay, then she was hugged by her mother, and then she remembers the incident that happened before she went to sleep.

「I am fine.」

To be more accurate, she was already fine. She had cried for a while, and now, she had a strange feeling of calm.
When she smiles to make her parents relieved, she sees the relieved color of their faces, and because Lydia felt guilt in her chest at making her parents worry that much.

「Father, Mother, I’m sorry. Because I selfishly acted unreasonably and forcibly brought her, please do not blame Katherine……」

Collecting herself, Lydia realized the potential that her maid Katherine would take the responsibility for her own selfish actions.
She heard the boy who was a gardener’s apprentice was confined to his bed, and at the start she got angry, but gradually with time, worry exceeded it. If she carefully thought about it, the time he fell in the pond was because he was trying to help her, and feelings of guilt welled up.
When she decided to go and meet him, she had reached the limit of her worry and guilt, and asked Katherine to go with her because she wanted to visit someone who was sick. Because if she looks at Katherine’s face, she’s relieved, she was the one who pushed through.
At that time, she didn’t think for even a moment something like that could happen. She hated the idea of Katherine, who had ended up dragged into the results of her making light of this, being punished.

「That’s no good.」

From her father Geordo, a quiet rejection is given, and Lydia’s chest felt heavy.

「She has to be properly lectured by the head maid.」

When Lydia vacantly looks up, Geordo smiles while closing one eye.

「Because if we pretend something didn’t happen, Katherine won’t reflect on it and will become spoiled, you know.」

With being completely blameless, she’ll only end up blaming herself more, and will self-satisfyingly put all of the blame on herself, and again Lydia reflected on her imperfections as a master.

「I’m sorry.」

Seeing his beloved daughter hand her head in her mother’s arms, Geordo forces a smile.

「I didn’t have any intentions to scold Dia, but……」

「Why……?」

She should be scolded. Even with her father whose love for his family is strong, there is no way he can overlook the matter this time. Lydia turns her doubting eyes towards her father. There, the same pale blue eyes softly narrowed.

「That is, you’ve already been scolded, haven’t you?」

When such a thing was pointed out, Lydia was surprised at how she guessed right.
The boy who is a gardener’s apprentice that she went to meet, the instant they met they argued, and when she was saved, she was first criticized. She was very surprised because she was thinking he was only worried and then relieved at their safety. Somehow, realizing at how she thought he was sweet to her made her embarrassed.
While thinking she doesn’t want to be spoiled, she was made to notice the truth he was spoiling her.
Again, she knew how much she worried him, with the strength of his clasped hands and mumbling voice that shook. She remembered the head of his clasped hands and how she tightly grasped onto both of his hands. 

「Towards someone who is already reflecting, doing something such as criticizing the same thing has no point.」

「Dia hasn’t finished reflecting with this much, right?」

「Yes……」

She decided she would never make him sad again. With that determination, in the middle of her mother’s arms, Lydia nods.
If that’s the case, now, they were just happy for her safety and again, both parents held her tightly.

A few days later, the first prince, Roy, who had already visited before her, visited Lydia.
There are many glass doors on the walls facing the garden, but the multicolored orchids guide the way to the parlor. From inside, the garden you see even looks like a good painting, Roy says, showing a brilliant smile.
Katherine, the maid, who finished preparing black tea as always, withdraws, and the other servants clear out. Around the time he took a breather with the warm black tea, Roy smiled as if his honey colored eyes melted in the fireplace’s warmth.

「Then, what is it? Miss Lydia.」 [T/N: Literally “Lydia-jou”, as in “ojou” without the “o”]

Staring at those eyes that seem to be filled with expectation, Lydia opened her mouth.

「……before, you told me to use you.」

「Ahh.」

Roy affirms the conditions of the time they talked about engagement. In exchange for limiting Lydia with her engagement, she has the right to take advantage of her fiance position, was what he suggested.

「Then, please allow me to use you.」

At her words that could be taken as disrespectful, with her own determination Lydia opens her mouth.

「You’re going to be engaged with me, right?」

At Roy’s words of confirmation, Lydia nodded her head.

「Yes. At the present time, there is no one other than Roy-sama more suited for my marriage partner.」

「Is it okay if I hear the reason?」

Roy doesn’t ask the reason for engagement, but instead the reason she arrives at that determination.

「I… want the power to protect the things important to me.」

She doesn’t want anyone to be sad. At the least, she wants a future where the people within her own reach are smiling.

「For that reason, I want to learn about the world.」

She doesn’t want to learn everything in the world, but for the sake of knowing her own merit and making sure of the course of her future, she wants to understand what kind of world surrounds her. As just the daughter of the duke,as it is, she only sees the narrow world. The quickest method was an engagement with Roy.
So, she would use Roy. Even with the restrictions on those on the edge of royalty, for Lydia who couldn’t defend even herself, it was favorable.
At Lydia’s eyes full of determination, Roy blinked once, then brightens his facial expression.

「No, Miss Lydia is truly awe-inspiring, huh?」

「Please don’t say it like Zack……」

The expressions he’s using are intended for women, but Roy’s manner of speaking are like the time she was praised by the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice who called her cool. It didn’t feel like being praised and Lydia half-closed her eyes. Roy ended up strangely resembling him.
However, he is different, as immediately he apologized.

「Then, we’ll begin holding negotiations. Let’s get along from now, Miss Fiance.」

Standing from the chair, the approaching Roy presents a hand to Lydia.
Lydia also stands up and takes the presented hand in return.

「Let’s work together well, Roy-sama.」

Roy adds on something with a smile.

「Of course, because the engagement will be canceled when the other person asks to be able to be with someone else, let’s keep that part a secret, yes?」

「I understand…… but, does Roy-sama have that kind of person?」

At the way of speaking with a condition in regards to the other person, when Lydia asks, Roy sincerely smiles.

「I don’t know yet.」

「Huh?」

「It’s because I haven’t met them yet.」

It seems meeting them is a settled manner. She doesn’t understand how he is so sure, and Lydia tilts her head in doubt. With how Roy only smiles back, it doesn’t seem like he wants to talk about the reason.
Then, Roy presents a situation that is likely there.

「Maybe it was when I met Miss Lydia before, huh?」

「Me……?」

Neither denial nor affirmation leaves Lydia who is at a loss for words. Just what in the world is caught in her throat?
At her hesitating reply, when Lydia is having great difficulty, she can hear a voice of stifled laughter, and in her line of sight is a Roy who is smiling with amusement.

「Roy-sama?」

「No…… if we don’t take notice of each other, isn’t that somewhat strange……?」

When Roy said that to her, she noticed it for the first time. He was talking about how if Lydia and Roy both became engaged to each other, they completely hadn’t considered the potential that they would end up liking each other.
Of course, it isn’t disagreeable and a feeling of favor for the other is there, but to the end, they’re a friend.

「Now that you mention it, that is true.」

It was a funny story when she ended up realizing it: an engagement where absolutely, they wouldn’t want the other person to fall in love with them. Lydia also felt a smile come up, and they laughed together.
After laughing for a while, their eyes mutually met.

「I like Roy-sama.」

「I also like Miss Lydia.」

It’s the feeling of smoothly exchanging communication.
With how they absolutely wouldn’t come to fall in love with the other person, for this reason the other person was someone they absolutely wouldn’t come to hate.
Certainly, it was a big decision, Lydia thinks in the corner of her mind. But, because she feels as if it’s not a big deal that he is her accomplice, it’s strange.

Would the day she comes to regret the decision that day come, she wonders.

Thinking about that, she immediately shakes her head.
Certainly, she had a premonition that if she didn’t regret it, she would be proud of it. 

During the new year, at the new year’s celebration party, Roy and Lydia’s engagement was officially announced.
Several days after that, Lydia was strolling through her residence’s garden by herself. At the party, many people had made noise about the engagement, but if she is in her own house’s garden, there is an unbelievable silence.
Only the short sounds of Lydia’s footsteps in the winter garden make noise.
She follows a road she doesn’t frequently travel. If she notices that even by herself, she became able to reach the destination. This growth is fine, isn’t it, Lydia thought to herself.
Because usually he’s guiding her, unconsciously she starts humming.
Then, she puts on a hood and ducks underneath the hedges she saw.
In her field of vision that opened up, at the place clear white sunshine fell, ivy enshrined the fountain like battle standards. The ivy didn’t immediately put its root in the fountain, but a fence of wood was used to encircle it, and that ivy twisted around the fence.
The perpetrator who arranged the water fountain is crouching at its side, doing work.

「Hm? Ojou.」 

When seeing her, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice lifted his head. Maybe as a result of using his cotton gloves as they are to wipe sweat, there is dirt on his cheeks.
At that dirt he doesn’t realize, Lydia spills out a smile.

「Although, I can’t do it yet.」

He mumbles as if seeming to regret how he can’t show her its perfected state. Lydia moves until she is next to the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice and looks at what he’s working on.

「A rabbit?」

There was a rabbit with white hairs made of chrysanthemums and red eyes.

「This one, rather than a mountain hair, would you hold it?」

It’s only one rabbit that was drawn by the side of the water fountain, but because he said it was still incomplete, from here, they’d multiply, perhaps.

「It’s cute.」  

He doesn’t have any confidence in his artistic taste, does he, Lydia thought, and at Lydia’s impressions, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice let out a sigh of relief.
At how she appeared to regret the dissolving of her rabbit last year, she remembered the magic her father Geordo used for her. When she faces the reality of remembering all of those trivial memories one by one, at that tenderness, her heart fills with warmth.

「When it’s complete, I want to show Flora as well.」

「Mhm, that’s fine.」

When she says that her sister would also be delighted, he acknowledged it with a smile. Standing up their next plan was looking forward to the near future.
Towards the boy who went back to his work, Lydia calls him.

「Zack.」

「What is it?」

While tilting his head to the side, he looks at her, and the boy sho is a gardener’s apprentice continues to wait for her words.
Inhaling the air that had become cold, Lydia told him.

「I don’t need a dance substitute anymore.」

「Eh?」

「I was engaged to Roy-sama.」

She remembered the optical illusion as if her heart had grown cold with the inhaled air. Even though all she did was tell him the ordinary truth.
The eyes of the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice went wide, and clapped as if understanding.

「Is it okay to congratulate you?」

When she was asked anxiously, Lydia ended up smiling. At the beginning, he was worried about Lydia’s feelings. He really did prioritize her too much.

「I don’t understand.」

「Ha?」

「It’s that, I, while I like Roy-sama, I don’t like him romantically.」

He’s the lovable prince that came out of a picture book himself. He’s the best partner for some of the Ernest house. The way she can’t come to like him is strange.
However, because that strange thing actually ended up happening, there’s no helping it.
The boy who is a gardener’s apprentice shows an appearance of firmly thinking.

「……Ojou, do you hate it?」

Asked with a final confirmation, Lydia tried to cheerfully smile.

「I decided it.」

「I see. Ojou is cool, huh?」

It isn’t either good or bad, but she receives the highest grade of compliment from him. He sees her quietly smile, and feels like she’s grown up a bit.

「I’m not happy, you know.」

「Even though you were praised?」

「You are not praising me.」 [T/N: God, these two are so precious.]

When she deliberately looks angry, she turned towards a proud looking face. When she’s smiled at just like that, she ended up thinking of the self he believed in.

「Will you be my partner for one last song?」

When Lydia lightly lifts her hand up, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice understands, puts his cotton gloves into his pockets, and politely takes her hand.

「With pleasure.」

Each humming a waltz rhythm, they dance around the water fountain.
Lydia suddenly straightens her spine.
Because that was his highest grade of compliment from the beginning.

No matter what the future held from here, she would keep her head up.


And that is Volume 2 done.

These two are going to give me a heart attack with how precious this chapter was. All the pieces are slowly being assembled for the start of the otome game.

Anyways, small announcement that isn’t relevant for a few months. I will be taking a hiatus from updating in the month of November. This is because I will be taking the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) in December and want to take the full month to study instead of translating. I’ll obviously post this again in October but just a heads up.

See you all next volume!

If you’d like to support the website and keep it running, consider dropping by the Ko-Fi or by my Redbubble to get something out of it!


30. Thunder

Hey all, sorry for the delay. If you didn’t see the post I put up last week, I got a terrible cold. Like, it gave me fatigue and drained my energy so badly that even standing up from my chair exhausted me. Not lot of fun. But I’m back in fighting form, now, so here we go!


TL: Toasty
ED: Toasty


That day, after staying at the cabin, properly entering the bath, and going to bed, I thought it was fine.
I sent a bird of wind to my parents, conveying I was staying at the cabin. Because it was Ojou’s birthday, it’s easy to get a meal from the kitchen. Because I entered the cabin and immediately dried myself and changed clothes, the measures I took were flawless.
The next day, because I had conveyed I was staying over, my father came to the cabin and peeked into my room.
I realized my father had come, but I wasn’t able to get out of bed. In reality, I thought I should be waiting for my father at today’s work site.
Somehow, his face is dim. Strangely, I wasn’t feeling any coldness, and he checked my condition.

「Oh……」

Thud.

「It’s hot.」

When I thought my field of vision suddenly became dark, the upper half of my face was gripped by my father. Because I overslept, I wonder if I can eat an Iron Claw as it is.
While my head is held, I thought about if I’m lifted up, but my father lifted me along with the quilt, carrying me. Because I’m already enveloped by the quilt, it’s like I’m luggage.
My father who is carrying me descends from the second floor. The sound of tapping footsteps systematically wavers, and I become sleepy. [T/N: I’m dumb, “Iron Crow” was “Iron Claw”, the actual martial arts move. I just got a big heap of tunnel vision and refused to rethink this translation because I am dumb.]

I became a hindrance for work, huh……

Those feelings of apologies and frustration couldn’t even overcome my sleepiness, and I let go of my consciousness.

When I next awoke, it was in the room of my house.While remembering the familiar feeling of my bed, I didn’t understand how long had passed and tilted my head in confusion.

「Did you wake up?」

「Mo… ther……」

I shift my gaze sideways from the ceiling, where my mom is. When I open my mouth with a dazed look, it’s difficult to talk.

「Thirsty……」

It feels like the water in my body evaporated. I realized with the dryness in my mouth, it’s hard to talk. Although I’m sweaty, it’s not sticky. My mother, while I was lying in bed, wiped it dry for me, I think.

「There’s water. Will you drink it?」

「……I’ll drink it.」

When I sluggishly get up from bed and sit, my mother pours water from a jug into a class and handed it to me. When I lift the glass to my mouth, the lukewarm water is easy to drink. I wonder if it was boiled.
I drank until my throat isn’t thirsty. Waiting for me to finish drinking, my mother, while taking back the glass, asks.

「If there’s a meal, will you eat?」

「I’ll eat.」

After checking for if I have an appetite, my mother smiles as if to say there are no problems with the preparations. Then, she pats my head.

「Since you can, I’ll wake you up, so go lie down.」

「Okay.」

I obediently lie down in the bed again. I thought lying down was nice, but when I lay down, again my eyelids seemed to become heavy. 

「Zack. You did something unreasonable, did you?」

A voice that rather than scolding, is amused, falls down on me. In the middle of dozing off, I denied it.

「I didn’t.」

I didn’t even do anything. Because I wanted to study martial arts, it was decided I would also be a dance partner. Furthermore, Master and Ella-sensei gave me a reasonable schedule.

「Yesterday was Ojou-sama’s birthday, right? The bird from before was also made from magic, right?」

「That, well……」

After all, that place was good, so I wanted to show a big of a rainbow as I possibly could. I used up as much of my magical power, however, because the wind bird could fly, I thought it was fine. With my condition of MP Exhaustion, my immune system’s strength dropped, huh? [T/N: Literally “condition of exhausting MP” (MP is with English letters), but naming it MP Exhaustion was a little smoother]

「Separately, it doesn’t amount to much, right, but if you do your best on every single one, it will become unreasonable. Zack’s nature is to always and only do his best.」

While patting my head, I was smiled at and told I resembled my father in that way.

「You, even though you’re already working, until a holiday, you’re always doing something.」

Is it assisting Leo’s observation, or Daniel-sama’s work, or was I asked to babysit for someone?
Leo was only interacting and playing with the kids, and Daniel-sama’s work also is halfway like going out for a trip because I get to eat sweets and can see the garden. Babysitting also only takes a little bit of time, so it isn’t bad.
I try to think about a few possibilities, but I thought all of them are different. Before I can open my mouth to return a no, my cheek is poked with a finger and I fall silent.

「That. What comes to mind now is a little eagerness, right?」

The things that came to my mind are pointed out by my mother, and I frown. I’m trying to bear it so my eyelids won’t fall down.
Because even playing became unreasonable, I become frustrated at the feeling of having no endurance. Even though I was training my muscles.
Meeting my frustrated eyes, my mother gently smiles.

「What are you in a hurry for?」

「……because…」

She guesses right that I was in the middle of something. That I was crazy about something, I was thinking about how it leaked out.

「Certainly, I regret it……」

For me, who sees Ojou practice, and day by day, nearby, I only see Ojou become more splendid, there isn’t much I can do for her. If that’s the case, at the very least, I can properly do what’s in front of me, and even if it’s only a little, I can be proud of myself.
I also promised to quickly become a fully fledged gardener, but didn’t understand if I would meet the deadline. If I don’t do everything that I am able to, Ojou, who is more dependable than me, will surely leave me behind.
Regretting things I didn’t do, it’s because I’m tired of my past life.

「It’s fine.」

Mother talks with a kind voice. Although her tone isn’t strong, there is a quality of conviction in it.

「Because it’s fine, until you’re better, don’t think of anything and rest.」

I see.

I mumble without making a noise. If mother says it, then it will be fine, right, I think, and relieved, I fall asleep.

Then, for two full days, outside of meals, I was resting. The doctor came to see me, but I was told if I rested, I’d be cured. When I told him about falling into the pond as the cause, the older grandfather of a doctor made an indescribable facial expression as if asking why I was there during this season.
On the morning of the third day, I claimed I became healthy, but a hand was put on my forehead, and because I had a slight fever, I was to rest for today as well, just to be sure, my mother told me. Because my mother judged that, my father went to the Ernest house for work alone.
It’s different when I wanted to stay in bed, but because my head and my body weren’t sluggish, it can’t be helped I have free time. Because I sufficiently rested, there isn’t the feeling of wanting to lie down. Since in the room, it’s fine if I’m alone, after doing stretches, I train my muscles.

「Ah.」

In the middle of training, suddenly I remembered. A little before, when I met Anika-sama, she made a worried facial expression towards me.
She thought I was a weak Elias, but perhaps she is worried like my mother because I wasn’t generally tired out.
She doesn’t realize that, and because I’m lively, she ended up rejecting that I was fine.

「I did something bad, huh……」

I think I should apologize the next time we meet. I should also take something as thanks for the concern.
Finishing the set that Master gave me, because there’s nothing to do, I go downstairs, and call out to my mother.

「Mom, is there anything I can help with?」

「Zack, as expected, you can’t sit still, right?」

She looks over her shoulder, and with an amazed voice, says that.

「I got tired of only lying down.Since my body seems to be dulling, I want to do something.」

「It can’t be helped, can it?」

Maybe she understood I wouldn’t be docile, so my mother asked me to go on an errand for ingredients.
When I diligently put on my winter clothes and leave the house, the weather had cleared up. Stretching while bathed in sunlight, I went walking. Since for two days I had been shut inside, even the cold air outside felt good.
When I enter the market street, there were many people as usual. It’s still the morning, so it’s easy to walk, but when it becomes noon, the lines to restaurants begin, and with the time limit, since food stalls that serve things like sandwich pop up, going against the flow of people and walking become difficult.
Certainly, with the cooperation of a baker’s shop and a butcher’s shop, she’s selling sandwiches, I was told by one greengrocer auntie. As for sandwich food stalls with a time limit, it seems it also serves as a promotion. The commercial spirit is strong.
Among the list of ingredients, because I have things to do at the greengrocer, I have to go earlier than usual and buy things. Deciding on the order of stores to go around, I change my direction of travel.

「Zack……」

Hearing a familiar voice, I stop walking and look over my shoulder.
However, even if I look back, the main appearance of the person the voice belongs to isn’t there, and there’s only the waves of people coming and going.

「…………Ojou…..?」

There’s no way she’s in this kind of place. But, I can’t believe I would mishear Ojou’s voice.
Although she spoke, the truth of not being able to see her gave me a cold feeling.
At the center of the direction the voice spoke in, I look over the surroundings. There, it’s for an instant, however, around the entrance of an alleyway, lightning struck.
I immediately head to the entrance of the alleyway when I saw the lightning. Something like a bolt out of the blue, it’s no joke. Although Ojou, with the strength of how much magical power she has, hasn’t attacked a person, this timing of sensing lightning magic is the worst.
The correct place, I felt around for it by following the drawn in spirits of lightning magic.

「Ojou!!」

In the back alley, I find five men holding Ojou and Katherine-san.
Katherine-san is in front of three men, protecting Ojou, holding her arms open while shaking. To protect that Katherine-san, furthermore, is a thin semi-circular membrane of lightning. While hiding behind Katherine, Ojou probably made it.
While scared of the guys, Katherine glares at them, but Ojou’s pale blue eyes are moist, yet don’t spill a single tear while staring stoutly at the people in front of that.
That moment it seems I saw a tear well up in her blue eyes, my thoughts turned red.

「Za……」

「Don’t let your guard down! Keep spreading the lightning!!」

The Ojou I found, I scold her not to relax. With the current status of not being able to break down, dissolving the lightning is troublesome. Thanks to the lightning membrane, there’s a fixed distance between Ojou and them.
At me who shouted in anger, while frightened with a jump, Ojou steels herself and maintains the lightning membrane.
There’s three guys ahead of me, and two on the other side of Ojou. One of the people in the interior has a composed facial expression, and although he looks down on people, because he’s used to this, he might be the boss member.
It might be extortion or abduction, but certainly there’s malicious intent. All of their members have good physiques, and because they brought someone to an unpopular place, it’s very likely they had an aim to abduct for ransom or to sell as slaves.
It’s hard to escape without being aware that I’m still a kid.

「What is it, this……!?」

I first aim and then throw the various sized rocks that I found along the road at the foreheads of the three guys in front of me. Because I, as a child, have a disadvantage in reach, Master taught me to be able to use something closeby as a weapon.
In the time the guys grabbed their foreheads and staggered, I rush up over to Ojou.

「Katherine-san, Ojou, get down!」

Katherine-san, to immediately protect Ojou, holds onto her and crouches down.
With the force I had running, I hurl rocks at the two guys in the back.

「Guu!!」

「Uu!?」

Because they passed through Ojou’s lightning membrane, the stones were clad in lightning and gained the effect of a stun gun, it seems. Hearing a sound as if they had received its effects, the two guys fell over.

「……Isaac-san.」

「Katherine-san, can you run while protecting Ojou?」

Towards the quivering Katherine-san, I understand I’m saying something harsh, but I get down on one knee and meet her gaze before asking.
Katherine-san clutches her quivering hand, takes a deep breath, and stops her trembling.

「Yes……」

Strongly nodding her head, Katherine-san apologizes, and held Ojou in her arms. Ojou also tightly holds onto Katherine-san.

「Ojou, don’t undo the lightning yet.」

Because I called attention to it earlier, I present a hand to Katherine-san. Naturally, when I passed through the lightning field, rather than becoming numb, there was a strong, piercing pain.

「Zack, your hand……!?」

「……it’s fine! Katherine-san, since there isn’t really a feeling in my hand, can you please take it?」

Ojou reacts as if to scream, but as if reminding her not to undo her magic, Katherine-san takes her hand. Because I don’t have any feeling, when I’m held onto, I might be mistaken in the strength. Well, because there’s the sensation of numbness, whether or not she’s filled with strength is doubtful, but because she has gloves on her hands, I’m not worried about her receiving an electric shock.

「I’ll guide us to where there are more people, so until then, please don’t let go of my hand.」

「Yes.」

Visually confirming that Katherine-san is taking my hand, with the three of us, I return to the road I came from. Thanks to Ojou’s lightning field, when the three guys tried to pass us, they received an electric shock and their movements became slower.
Because I don’t know whether or not they have additional partners, I can’t be relieved in thinking there aren’t any more pursuers. I run at a speed that is careful to make sure Katherine-san won’t trip. Because she’s holding Ojou, the speed isn’t very high, but rather than rushing, it’s better.
The moment we return to the market street, I shout.

「It’s a kidnapper, someone please call the guards!!」

About half the people respond to my voice, looking our way. Ojou was surprised that I yelled and undid her lightning field.
After that, it was fast. Some shop people came out, someone went to call the soldiers, several men grabbed rope and went to tie up the guys in the back alley when I explained. Some passing aunties were worried about Katherine-san and Ojou, and waited with them until the soldiers arrived.
Until we escaped, there was a feeling of a lot of time passing, but undoubtedly the incident only took twelve minutes. I became exhausted with a feeling of relief when the soldiers arrived and went into that place.
When the soldiers arrive, Ojou and Katherine-san are guided to the closest outpost for the sake of protecting them. I’m also brought along together with them to be questioned.
At the investigation, one of the older soldiers was worried about my injury, and showed it to a combat medic. I’m cautioned not to scratch the burns on my wrist since they will become blisters otherwise. What should I do, when I look at them, I want to scratch them because they seem itchy. I have to do my best and endure. It seems the numbness in my hand is alleviating as well. I’m also told just to be sure, to get it checked once more by another medical professional.
During the investigation, I was puzzled about whether or not I should let this just pass by, but since I revealed my personal identity, they wanted to get in contact with my mother. The older guard scolded me, saying that a child did something absurd, and promised he would notify my mother.
Ojou and Katherine-san decide to wait at the station until someone from the house comes, and I, as a servant of their house, am worried, so the guard lets me meet them.
In the neatly tucked away reception office, Ojou was drinking something warm. Because there’s a sweet smell, it’s cocoa, I think.

「Zack……」 

When I enter the room, Ojou gazes at me, puts down the cup of cocoa, and rushes over to me.

「Are you okay!? Your hand……」

「It’s fine. It was only a little numb.」

It’s especially fine since with my sleeve, the bandages aren’t visible, and I thoughtlessly smile, waving my hand around. Because I willingly put my hand into the defense magic, it’s just the consequences. So, I want Ojou not to worry.
Ojou, as if searching for my true intentions, looks between my eyes and my hand. Then, she wasn’t able to understand a bit, but is relieved at my safety.
When I look in Katherine-san’s direction, I wondered if she had been crying, as her eyes were swelled and red.

「Katherine-san. You did your best, didn’t you? You were cool.」

「……No, that…」

Although it was a ridiculous request she was given, Katherine-san, for the sake of Ojou, persevered. Although she looks cowardly, she’s strong. In that situation, if she had frozen up, they wouldn’t have been able to run away.
Katherine-san’s eyes were a little wet as she humbles herself. That facial expression was showing she was regretful.
The source of her regret, I was expecting it. I put my gaze back at Ojou and seriously ask.

「Then, Ojou, why were you in such a place?」

Ojou looks at me and with a jump, her shoulders shake.

「…………I, I, was going to visit Zack since you fell ill……」

「Did you not tell anyone, since the guards weren’t with you?」

「……well, Roy-sama also came to the downtown area, didn’t he!?」

Ojou raises an exception, but I calmly reply.

「Because Leo doesn’t say anything, but he also has escorts. That guy also can defend himself to some extent, so he comes.」

Behind Ojou who suddenly fell into silence, Katherine-san tries to defend her, but with a look, I ask her to stay silent for me.
To meet the eyes of Ojou, who has fallen silent and hung her head down, I get down on one knee. I then cover both of her hands that are balled into fists.

「Ojou.」

When I call out to her, she’s afraid, but meets my eyes. Looking back into those pale blue eyes, I tell her.

「Ojou, you should be aware of how pretty and charming you are.」 [T/N: My sides]

「……!?」

「Listen.」

Towards Ojou who is misunderstanding that I’m poking fun at her with how her cheeks turn red, I convey I’m being serious with my eyes.

「For me and Katherine-san who know Ojou, understand how pretty and beautiful Ojou is on the outside as well as in. But, even for strangers, Ojou is pretty and charming .」

Ojou, not understanding my intentions, looks puzzled.

「With something pretty and charming, those guys who thought there is value there, Ojou is the same as a jewel. The eyes of those guys today, they were scary, right?」

She remembers the eyes of those who didn’t see the other person as a human, I think, and Ojou trembles, slightly nodding.

「Among the guys Ojou doesn’t know, there are guys who don’t grasp that Ojou is a fellow human being. So, you have take care of yourself.」

「……I won’t do such a rash imitation again.」

「Mhm. Thank you.」

After tightly biting her lower lip, Ojou told me her decision. Hearing that reply, I’m relieved and smiled.
Because it’s just right, so incidentally, let’s do it.

「Though, Ojou. I’ve always wanted to invite you downtown.」

「Eh……」

「But, I can’t guarantee your safety. First of all, if I become strong, I don’t think there will be a problem, so…… Heinz-san is training me.」

When I smile as if I’m a simple fool, with great surprise, Ojou froze.

「But, right now, it’s not enough. It would have been better if I had properly talked to Ojou together about it…… I’m sorry for having such a scary desire.」

If I had said my thoughts to her beforehand, Ojou might not have done this kind of unreasonable thing. This is the reason I was expressly avoiding Ojou hearing about this dangerous talk. It’s too shameful, and I feel I can’t even cleverly smile.
Ojou shakes her head and denies it. Certainly she blames herself.
Although the numbness of my hand weakened, I notice it, that it’s taken into both of Ojou’s hands with a strength that isn’t painful. Gradually, her temperature is being transmitted.

「I was training, but really…… it’s better if I don’t do that sort of thing.」

With the sense of her training being like extra-curricular activities, I’m glad it wasn’t useful. I didn’t even think one bit that I wanted to use her earned abilities. I’m glad that I was able to be of use in this one scene for my whole life.
What sort of facial expression should I make towards Ojou, I don’t know, as Ojou’s collar is attached to me, so I can’t see her face.

「It was scary.」

I thought about if Ojou wasn’t there. That was very frightening.
The time I found Ojou, my mind became red with anger at those guys, but that was for the sake of wiping away the fear.
Would I now lose even the warmth in this hand?
I already don’t want to have these kinds of scary feelings.

「……I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Zack.」

Her shaking is transmitted through her forehead. At that trembling voice, when I lift her head, there was a crying Ojou.

「I will never make Zack cry again……」

With a face of tears coming out one after the other, while heaving with sobs, she says something incredibly handsome.

「The one who’s crying is Ojou, right?」

Somehow I ended up smiling.
Even though there was a part that was enduring until now, I feel guilty that she ended up crying, and patted Ojou’s head.

「It was also scary for Ojou, right?」

「It was… scary……」

I wanted to calm down, but it seems to have the opposite effect, as tears furthermore gathered in her eyes, and Ojou burst into tears. Then, she pressed her forehead into my chest, beginning to cry.
As if to check that I am there, she tightly grabs onto my clothes, and as if to say it’s okay, I gently pat her back.
Until Ojou calms down, I stay with her, and she ends up crying until she’s tired and falls asleep. Because she didn’t let go of my clothes, I hold her in my arms and sit together with her on the sofa she originally was sitting on. Katherine-san dampens a handkerchief to cool the area around Ojou’s eyes.
Incidentally, when she was weakening, the door opened, and a guiding soldier led someone familiar into the room.

「I’m sorry for being late.」

「Duke-sama.」

Duke-sama is accompanied by my teacher, his butler, Heinz-san, and came to pick up Ojou. Katherine-san immediately recovers from waiting near the sofa and bows her head, apologizing. But, for me, who Ojou is clinging to, I can’t move, so I don’t know what I should do.
Duke-sama, who was approaching with a stride like a flowing stream, kneels down, and runs his palm across Ojou’s head.

「I’m pathetic…… it must have been very scary.」

As if to sympathize with her, Duke-sama puts his lips on the forehead of Ojou who cried her eyes out.
At Duke-sama’s words, there was a deep sense of guilt weighing on me. Suddenly, he bites his lip, and then opens his mouth.

「I’m glad Isaac is also safe. You did well to escape.」

「Eh……」

Preparing to be scolded, I ended up having my head patted.
Seemingly amused at my reaction, Duke-sama smiles.

「Katherine and Zack are both important employees of our house. There is no way I won’t be delighted at your safety, right?」

Because I wasn’t expected something such as being worried about, I was surprised. Although Duke-sama is only kindly smiling like always, it looked extremely trustworthy. At the same time, I realize that I’m a child, and become embarrassed.

「T… thank you very much. I’m sorry for having worried you.」

I thank him in some way or another while my face becomes hot. I was happy to have had a fever. I’m glad I work for the Ernest house, that feeling filled my heart.
When he smiles as if satisfied at my reply, Duke-sama using his hand, then separates Ojou from me, carries her in his arms, and stands up.

「Well, right now, because I want to make Dia my top priority, I’ll go back home.」

I stand up and firmly stand up straight.

「Yes, please take care of her!」

When I make my body stand at the right angle, Duke-sama makes an amused laugh.

「Then, Zack should also be careful when going home.」

「Um, Duke-sama……」

When I panic and call him, Duke-sama looks back over his shoulder in an elegant movement.

「Is there a problem?」

「I think that you’re busy, but soon, may I humbly have some of your time? There is a something I want to talk about.」

「I understand. Then, until then.」

With the relief that I was acknowledged, I breathed a sigh of relief from behind Duke-sama and the others.

Duke-sama unexpectedly made himself available, as the next day, in the evening when I was at work, I was called.
Guided by Master, I was brought to Duke-sama’s study. There’s a tension and mood of being like the school principal’s office. With something like the principal’s office, there’s the impression only guys who have done something amazing or very dangerous guys get called in, huh? In my past like, I had never entered because I was neither of those.
When I give my greetings and enter, Duke-sama smiled as if to say it’s fine not to be nervous. I look at the sparkling Duke-sama, and as soon as I thought about such a young principal, I became a little discouraged. Even inside, Duke-sama’s blonde hair is radiant.

「So, what did you want to talk about?」

On the opposite side of the desk, Duke-sama cheerfully asks.

「Before that, for yesterday’s incident, I’m truly sorry!」

I deeply bow and apologize.

「In the first place, I, even though I’m working, I neglected my health, but because I’m something like the cause, and I didn’t properly say that the downtown area could be dangerous, so……」

When I argue my case while bowing my head and apologizing, the sound of something gushing out like 「buha」 could be heard.
When I raise my head, Duke-sama was there, smiling and making an amused sound. I don’t understand the meaning and tilt my head in confusion.

「Um……?」

「No, I’m sorry. I was just thinking you’re a good kid, aren’t you?」

Even though he’s restraining his smile while talking, it doesn’t feel like he’s praising me.

「The one who decided to be here with Isaac was myself. Rather, for apologizing, it should be me. For crisis management, I should have been taught by my parents. Via was also mad at my similar weak points.」

Saying that, Duke-sama has on a strained smile. If he ends up saying it in that style, there is now ay I can apologize anymore.
As if to say this matter is finished here, Duke-sama brings up a new topic.

「Then, what did you want to talk about?」

「Ojou… Lydia-sama, please provide her an escort.」

Because I was receiving Duke-sama’s precious spare time, I directly conveyed my request.
Duke-sama, in the same way as Ojou, has his pale blue eyes go wide.

「Why?」

「Mas…… Heinz-san, I heard, is arranging preparations for an escort. Because if something like yesterday were to happen again, I would find it unpleasant, I want that time to come as fast as possible.」

「Unpleasant?」

「Yes, unpleasant.」

I don’t think very hard about it. So, because I simply want to avoid things I find unpleasant, for things that are unreasonable to do alone, I should do what I could. It’s only that much.

「Is that so…… unpleasant, huh?」

Repeating my words, Duke-sama again strangely smiled. Ojou would get mad at my foolishness, but Duke-sama is smiling, it seems. I intended to have a relatively serious discussion, though. After he smiled for a while, Duke-sama spoke.

「That’s fine. I’ll consider it. Although I must say, I wasn’t originally thinking I should advance the time.」 [T/N: “Originally” isn’t in the raw, but it helped to clarify the sentence. Otherwise, it could read as he isn’t thinking of advancing the time even with this info.]

「Thank you very much!」

At Duke-sama’s smile, my facial expression lights up.

「……I didn’t say you would be protecting her, you know.」

「Eh? Ojou smiling is more important.」

Rather than a question, it was closer to a mumble, but what was I saying, as I unconsciously replied with that.
At my dazed self, Duke-sama’s eyes went wide, and he smiled again. Then, he said the same thing to me, saying I was a good kid, wasn’t I.


Next chapter is the final one for Volume 2. It’s been a long one, huh?

Not a whole lot to say for this chapter, other than Zack got to be kind of cool. We didn’t get the usual “taking care of someone sick” schtick, but that promise by the end, wew. “I will never make Zack cry again”, Ojou really hammering it in. Man, these two are adorable.

Next chapter is fairly short, but it’s hnnnnng-inducing all the same.

Either way, see you all next chapter.

If you’d like to support the website and keep it running, consider dropping by the Ko-Fi or by my Redbubble to get something out of it!


29. Tone

TL: Toasty
ED: Toasty


Lydia was regretful.
When she rethought about what was wrong, because of her own childishness, from her face, heat began to gush out.

Doing something like that so cruelly to Nicholas-sama……!

Although it doesn’t mean she hates him, she ended up thinking rudely of him, she came to want to apologize to him. However, when she did that, she would be questioned by him, and because she’d be teased, she couldn’t do it.
In this place, in a few days, when it became evening, she anguishes again over the feeling of regret over the words she ended up inundating the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice with.

Although Zack also treated his friends cruelly, why didn’t they get mad?

The boy who is a gardener’s apprentice accepted it without pointing it out, Lydia was glad to overwrite it. Looking like she was in the middle of venting her anger, in her heart, she was fretting. As for being troubled at having it pointed out, it was Lydia herself who was troubled, but until now she had been dragging him along, hadn’t she?
If that’s the case,

One by one, the thing she didn’t have to remember, although she didn’t have to remember, she ended up doing it……!

One after another, she remembered that smiling face afterwards. When she remembers that excessively happy seeming facial expression, in spite of it being the cold season, her face became hot.
Although there isn’t anyone who can see her, she wanted to hide it and cover her face. She doesn’t want to be aware of it, but when she thought that during this time she’d worried, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice would sleep without knowing anything, rather than shyness, she was angry.
The next day, because of such mental fatigue, when it was time for tea with her mother, unconsciously she let out a sigh.

「Oh my, are you bored of me, I wonder?」

「That isn’t it……」

「That’s right, it’s better if it’s Isaac-kun, right?」

「Zaaack?」

「Wh—!?」

Lydia, who became panicked and tried to raise a voice of denial at her seemingly-lonely mother who used the name of the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice. Lydia’s sister, sitting on top of her mother’s lap, reacted to that name, and looked all around as if he was on the verge of appearing.
Lydia didn’t want to deny it any further, but because the cause of her mental fatigue had ended up being exposed, she ended up at a loss for words. Holding the tea cup while trembling, she wasn’t even able to stop it from shaking.
Seeing that appearance of hers, Octavia pleasantly smiles. Patting Flora, who became dispirited because she wasn’t able to find the boy, she doesn’t even forget to comfort her.

「Dia is easy to understand, you know?」

「……is it because my world is narrow?」

For a moment, did she understand what was wrong, and at the urge of wanting to ask, she was spurred on, but if she exceedingly thought about it, since her field of activities was narrow, Lydia realized it was natural.
Although the chances to go for tea at other houses increased, because outside of greetings she only talks to her friends, and everything else is done at her estate. Even Prince Roy, with the order of fiance candidacy, hadn’t invited any of them to the castle, and he himself came to the estate that included Lydia.
With that narrowness of Lydia’s friendships, it limits her worries. Because her relations with people like her friends and Roy was good, it was unnecessary.
When Lydia asked as if pouting, Octavia narrowed her eyes, seeming interested.

「Oh my, it’s wide, isn’t it? You became friends with the son of Count Rudolstadt, didn’t you?」

「Nicholas-sama had lost his way, so it was a coincidence he was in front of our house.」

She decides to say that sort of thing. From the employees, she’s aware that the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice invited him in.
They had arranged with Nicholas to get their stories straight so there wouldn’t be contradictions, but she didn’t know to what extent her mother believed. Octavia only smiled normally, but Lydia couldn’t read what her mother was thinking.

「Even if it’s a coincidence, it’s still one connection. Since you were able to properly maintain the connection you got, Dia’s world is extending.」

Is that so? Because Lydia felt her views were narrow, she couldn’t honestly accept her mother’s words.
Because she hears various stories of the outside from Roy, even in just Arventrot, she knows the world is wide. For herself, who practically only knows outside of the estate through hearsay, does it mean her world is narrow? She remembers that kind of uneasiness.

「Dia is a little too fastidious. Because your desire to monopolize is cute, you should successfully get along a little longer.」

In order to change the knowledge and vision in her, her mother’s words to her were too much on the point, and Lydia gazed at her in wonder, her face blushing.

「W…… wha……」

「Ufufu, Isaac-kun and Nicholas-kun use nicknames with each other, right? Because their ages are also the same, since Dia can’t join in boy’s games, it’s very amusing, isn’t it?」

Lydia’s mouth opens and closes at her mother who looked as if she was completely right. Her sister Flora, thinking this was a game, similarly opened and closed her mouth over and over gain.
Certainly, Nicholas feels close with him, both in age and physically. They’re the same gender, so it can’t be helped, so even if in her head she understands that, there’s a lot of times he hugs his shoulders or touches him. Because he isn’t giving the feeling of telling him to stop, he doesn’t seem to mind, but because sometimes she sees Nicholas give her an amused seeming smile, it became a little annoying.
Because of the distance he would put when using herself as a shield when Roy is there, she didn’t mind it up to here. It might be Nicholas’s character, and again it seems the feeling of blaming him came welling up, so she shook her head horizontally, shaking off those feelings. When her sister mimicked that appearance, Lydia didn’t notice it.

「Dia. You’re pretty, aren’t you? For me, in my student days, I was jealous of Heinz, you know.」

「Eh……」

「What are you talking about?」

When Lydia was struck by unpreparedness, after knocking, Heinz entered the room almost at the same time. When Lydia looked in Heinz’s direction, his usual calmness that was like still waters was nonexistent and instead his facial expression showed complete disagreement.
For Lydia, who saw this facial expression of Heinz disliking something this much, she was surprised even more.
For Octavia, she relaxedly smiles back as if not minding Heinz’s change.

「Oh my, I’m sorry. Even now, there are times I’m jealous, that is more correct.」

Heinz’s expectation was Octavia would give the exact opposite of a correction and apology. Heinz further knits his eyebrows, and when he sighs, his ordinary quiet face returned.

「Geordo-sama has entrusted me to tell you today’s preparations are slower than expected.」

Receiving a bouquet of flowers made of chrysanthemums and pipe cloves, Octavia smiles at the accompanying card.
He would only be returning a little later, but gifted a bouquet as if to apologize while his wife was waiting, but for Lydia and Heinz who works for her, it’s strange why she made the statement just now.

「For Geordo-sama, there’s only Octavia-sama, isn’t there? He does not tell words to another woman that can be misunderstood.」

「This and that are different. Each time we meet, I’m happy to be told about an interesting junior coworker, I can’t help but find it interesting. Even now, I’m very trusted.」

At Octavia, who said she was jealous and pouted, Heinz is troubled about how to respond. It isn’t that the received love is being mistrusted, rather she envies something that isn’t considerably suited for her, so it can’t be helped. At the very least, he wants to tell the person their unreasonable satisfaction himself.
Confirming Heinz found answering unmanageable, Octavia turned to Lydia’s direction and smiled.

「Hm. Dia is cute, right?」

「Um……」

This time, Lydia ended up not knowing how to respond. The shown strength of her mother’s desire to monopolize is unexpected, but she hesitates about whether or not to nod her head.
Heinz, understanding she was being used as an excuse, felt a sense of doubt at the necessity to use her as an example, but remained silent. Then, because of Octavia’s gaze giving him permission to leave, he calmly gave his bow and exited the room.
Even if she understood he only left because his business was complete, Lydia, with a need for an answer, seeing Heinz seemingly escape, ended up envying her.
Seeing her daughter troubled, Octavia becomes amused. Because she isn’t used to saying bad things about people, it seems, and apart from that, in contrast to the parents she admires, even realizing she can say something like a fault confuses her. Even if she shows this kind of facial expression, she isn’t disillusioned, what a pure existence, she thinks.

「……ufufu.」

「Mother?」

At her mother who gradually burst into laughter, Lydia, not understanding the reason, tilts her head to the side.

「Dia really is cute, isn’t she……」

Lydia closely examines the contents of her words that let her feelings show in the pauses in her laughter. Then, roughly understanding, she became angry.

「……you’re making fun of me, aren’t you?」

「You finally realized?」

At Octavia, who seems to be truly amused again, Lydia became more angry, and even at that situation, being laughed at again and not being satisfied, the tea meeting that day ended.
After that, while she doesn’t have the chance to meet with the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice, her birthday arrived.
She greeted the invitees with her mother. Because of Geordo’s work, there are preparations to celebrate as just a family at dinner.
Finishing her greetings, Lydia went to join her friends. Her mother Octavia was only giving greetings, and saying to relax, she left, returning to deal with other guests. Like that, finally Lydia relaxed.

「Dia-sama, truly, congratulations for today.」

「Since I also have a birthday present for you, afterwards, I’ll give it to you.」

「I hope you are pleased with it…..」

「Tore-sama, Fanny-sama, Kia-sama, thank you very much. I am very glad that you would come for me today.」

「I decided to come!」

At Tordelise who makes that declaration, Stephanie and Zaskia only nod their heads. At their three answers, Lydia blushed and again gave her thanks.
When the three friends are talking, someone’s son raised a voice to Lydia.

「I’m sorry for interrupting your talk. Lydia-sama, thank you for inviting me. In addition to growing one more year, you’ve grown more beautiful, haven’t you?」

「Nicholas-sama.」

Saying his greetings as if he was flowing, Nicholas tilts his head a little bit and smiles. Matching his movements, his purple hair swung softly like flowers shaking in the wind.
In front of Nicholas, who has a lovely face and passed on his charm as a boy, the three outside of Lydia’s faces turned red and they closed their mouths.
Lydia, towards the congratulations, returned her thanks slower than Nicholas opening his mouth.

「Even if I say that, though, you are no match for me.」 [T/N: Dammit Zack, see what you did?]

「Nicholas-sama……」 

Nicholas declares that close to her ear after brushing her hair to the side. At Lydia who looked like she was amazed, and she repeated his name. The other three, taken aback as if their palms are returned, again lose their words.

「At the very least, after introductions, will you go back?」

「In any case, because Young Rabbit-chan and her friends are surprised, let’s go together.」

She doesn’t deny that opinion, but Lydia thinks she could have been given a little more time to mentally prepare herself.
Pulling herself together, Lydia introduces the three of them to Nicholas.

「He is the son of Count Rudolstadt.」

「I’m Nicholas. You can freely call me Nico-chan.」

「 「 「Nico… chan……」」」

At Nicholas who closed one eye and requests a handshake, the three girls who are surprised are told the name he wanted to be called. At the time of the handshake, the girls introduced themselves.
Nicholas repeats his name that was abbreviated like Lydia’s, but no one pointed it out. If the other person is a guy, somehow, calling them with an abbreviation seems to have ended up as natural.

「Which reminds me, there was a new cake. Why don’t you go?」

When she follows Nicholas’ line of sight, things like a berry tart were placed on the dessert table. Tordelise and the others’ eyes sparkle at the cake in their distant view as if it were a gem.

「Um, Nico…… chan-sama……」

「For me, sweet things are no good. I will hold back.」

While perplexed, Stephanie asked Nicholas if he would accompany her to the cake selection, and he smoothly refused. Is that so, Stephanie said, nodding her head.

「Dia-sama, how about you?」

「Because I’ll end up overeating at dinner, I will hold back.」

At Tordelise’s invitation, Lydia gives her apologies while refusing. Because the chefs would muster all of their ability at dinner, if she eats dessert now, she’ll end up not eating much at dinner.
Knowing the reason without an explanation, Tordelise, who acknowledged it, went to select cakes with the other two. Nicholas arrived at the table with the remaining Lydia, and waited for the maids to prepare tea.
After drinking a mouthful of tea, Nicholas makes a stifling sound. Was there something funny, Lydia asked, tilting her head to the side.

「Nicholas-sama?」

「What is it?」

Thinking she tried to casually ask, Lydia asks what’s weighing on her mind.

「Um, somehow…… you don’t think you changed?」

「How so?」

She doesn’t ask who, so Nicholas asks for details.

「A little more adult-like, or perhaps I should say……」

Lydia searches for the words while giving it careful thought. She can’t skillfully say who or how, but she feels as if the mood, or perhaps she should say, occasionally the facial expression she showed changed.
Because it was a trivial change, she doesn’t understand whether or not expressing it that way is suitable.

「Since when?」

「Compared to before I met Nicholas-sama……」

「That, do you think I can understand that?」

「That is the case.」

Because Lydia also understands that it’s crazy to request Nicholas’ opinion when he doesn’t know the comparison from before, she’s lost for words. Since there was only the feeling he would understand the new Nicholas, she apologizes for the unreasonable request.
Seeing Lydia hang her head, Nicholas sighed, and put his teacup on the saucer.

「I trusted in Zack, you know, and it’s because he seriously felt sympathy for me.」

At the abrupt confession, Lydia raised her head. Measuring his intentions, she waits for him to continue.

「Although I seemed to try to live my life nonchalantly, he understood my feelings. Surely, you’ve experienced something similar, you know.」

The serious, copper color eyes that understood her efforts and looked back at her, certainly understood her own feelings of fear or something similar. So, although it was their first meeting, she could think about following him.
The feeling of being looked at with sexual eyes, let alone his own self being denied, with the other party overwriting him at their convenience. Even now if he remembers it, he’s horrified. He’s a carefree seeming guy, but why does he know? Nicholas doesn’t have  the intention to investigate that.

「I think that’s strange. What Lydia-sama is feeling, perhaps it’s that.」

Nicholas, finishing saying his thoughts, again drank a mouthful of tea.
Lydia unconsciously had made a fist on top of her knee.
As for Lydia, with how he is an existence like a sunny spot, and as Nicholas says, those shadows on someone’s happiness are unbecoming of him. Even if there was an incident that poured shadows on him, because he would be out of his own depth, would he say nothing? When she thinks about that, a frustrating feeling simmered out of her.

「Simply, if Zack only becomes cool and is in a hurry, because we’re on equal status there, it’s unreasonable to only worry about it.」

「Wh……!?」

At Nicholas who was tidying up nonchalantly even with his extreme expression, Lydia blushed and her words choked up. When she reflexively raised her head, her forehead was lightly poked by an index finger.

「You shouldn’t be gloomy on your birthday. You should smile. Because that much alone is fine for Zack.」

Saying that, Nicholas sweetly smiles. Holding her poked forehead, Lydia, who was presented with a solution that she couldn’t think of solving alone, widened her eyes.
Because Tordelise and the others returned from their cake selection exactly at that time, that became the end of the conversation. After the waiters placed the cake the girls selected on the table, they included Nicholas and had fun talking to him as if with a friend.

After the tea party that celebrated her birthday, finishing seeing off the invitees, Lydia went to the western arbor at full speed. She had an intent to be careful not to do something like running, but unconsciously she ended up going at a half-jog and was slightly out of breath.
When she goes through the connected passage, on the other side of the arbor’s pond, she found the person she was looking for.

「Zack.」

When she calls out to him in the place in the arbor that splits off into two in the middle, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice turns his head back and forces a smile.

「Ojou, it’s fine if you take your time.」

As if to say there’s no helping it, he smiles at Lydia who runs up to him. Facing the evening sun, that smile has more warmth to it.

「However, I made you wait. The reason is……」

He’s worried about Lydia who entered, out of breath, in the middle of the arbor, and the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice encourages her to sit down on a bench. It’s a round shaped gazebo, so there are benches prepared in the gazebo that encircle them which makes it easy to take a break.
Waiting for Lydia to catch her breath, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice asked.

「You wanted to relax with the rabbit-like girl, right?」

「Because during the tea party, I was mostly together with Torde-sama and the others, it is enough. That is because I can meet them again. But, when the sun falls, I can’t see the rainbow, right?」

Of course she was happy her friends celebrated her birthday. However, the reality is that she was looking forward to seeing the promised rainbow.

「Even at night, I can put up the rainbow.」

「Eh!?」

Hearing the reason he doesn’t worry even if she was late, Lydia is surprised. In what way can she see a rainbow in the dark night, she wonders.
He understood her curiosity was drawn in by the night rainbow, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice patted Lydia’s head as if truly amused.

「Well, as for the night, because it’s cold, it’s dangerous, so it will be after Ojou grows up a little more.」

Pacified, because there is no intent to selfishly whine, Lydia acknowledges and decides to expect it in a few years.
The boy who is a gardener’s apprentice, worried about Lydia staying long in the open air of the winter, immediately decides to make the promised rainbow. [T/N: Zack can’t resist her]

「Here should be easy.」

Mumbling that, he faces the pond and puts his hand up. There, like fog, the pond’s water floats towards the sky in small beads.
Receiving the sunshine that is closeby, from where Lydia and he is, at the left side a bridge of seven prismatic colors is formed. Even if there aren’t any water lilies, even if the mini-rose flower beds are unused, the chilly scenery instantly was colored.

「Waaah……」

Understanding that transformation, Lydia lets her admiration show. At the rainbow that was bigger than last years, her heart danced.

「Ojou, congratulations on your birthday.」

While saying his congratulations, from his pants pocket, he presented something wrapped in a cotton handkerchief.
Although it was wrapped in a handkerchief, there was a matching knot to undo it, and inside an oval-shaped glasswork appeared.

「Eh……」

Was he misunderstanding the appearance of Lydia who froze up and held back from saying anything, he wondered, and the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice apologized and lowered his eyebrows.

「I’m sorry. It’s around what I could buy, perhaps it should have been plated, but……」

Whether or not it was plated, Lydia didn’t judge, but the oval-shaped glasswork has the upper two thirds of stained glass colored blue, and the lower third was a polished copper color. At the borderline of the glass, it was decorated with a flower pattern going around. So it can be placed, there were three legs to it.
She thought about if it was a jewel box, but with a closer look, there was something in the blue glass.

「This is……?」

「It’s a music box. When you turn the top, it plays a sound.」

When Lydia takes it into her hands and finds it difficult to turn it like that, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice twists the top part clockwise. There, although it returns by turning counter-clockwise, a matching sound of a music box rings out.

「This music……」

「I thought a music I knew would be better. the other day, I was able to hear it.」

The flowing music now, was the music Lydia is practicing on the piano. Somehow or another, during the times she received piano lessons, it seems he was doing gardening work close by.
Originally, the music was based on the neighboring kingdom of Chanson, and this country’s composer made twelve variations. She was taught that by her teacher. For that reason, there are thirteen ways to play this music, and recently Lydia was only practicing this one.
It’s music that commoners widely are aware of, but they aren’t aware of it on music boxes. This melody, which seems to basically amount to the original song, with a light metallic sound, plays itself and charmingly resounds.

「It’s pretty.」

At the cuteness that even the tone contains, Lydia’s facial expression breaks into a broad smile. Even though she was moved by just seeing the rainbow, she didn’t even think there is something that could be prepared that would make her even more happy.

「Thank you. I will take good care of it.」

When she’s filled with happiness and says her thanks, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice, seemingly filled with anxiety, laughs with a sigh of relief.

「Thank goodness……」

At seeing that smiling face that was like a sunny spot that makes her forget the coldness of the winter air head on, Lydia suddenly remembers Nicholas’ words.
Lydia thought that she can’t be the only one to smile. But, although she was made glad, rather, he is the one making a facial expression like he received a present, and Nicholas was exactly right.
Was this too expensive? She became worried if he was too careless.
While recognizing that truth, she felt her body’s temperature.

「Ah, sorry. We’ve been out here for too long, huh?」

When the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice checks on her temperature, having misunderstood the wintry weather for why her face turned red, he extends a hand to Lydia’s forehead.

「I…… I’m fine!」

Almost touched, Lydia reflexively avoids it, standing up.

「But, you caught a cold, haven’t you……」

The boy who is a gardener’s apprentice, also standing up, once again tries to check her temperature.

「I am fine.」

Lydia becomes panicked and retreats, making distance from the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice. Somehow, her heart was warning her being touched now is unfavorable.
Thinking about if she used too much force, she ended up going down from the entrance of the gazebo, and Lydia, at the difference in level, fell off of her heel.

「Hya……!?」

「Ojou!」 [T/N: Congrats Ojou, you played yourself]

When she guards the music box, Lydia held it to her chest and unconsciously closed her eyes. However, her arm was pulled in the opposite direction of falling down, and Lydia only ended up falling to her knees.

「Owa……!?」

As soon as the perplexed voice of the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice rang out, immediately there was the violent sound of water.
Lydia opens her eyes wide in shock. Even when she looks back in the voice’s direction, she can’t see his figure even on the surface on the pond.

「Zack…..!?」

「Buha!」

In a hurry at how she can’t see him, when Lydia tries to look at the surface of the pond, from there, the face of the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice appears.

「Uhaa, I messed up. Hahaha.」

「Don’t laugh, get up, quickly!!」

Although the cold water is freezing, Lydia scolds the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice who is laughing at something funny.

「If I change clothes at my house, it will be fine. After I get up, Ojou should stand a little away from me since your dress will get wet.」

「You should not be as worried about myself. Are you an idiot!?」

「Then, I won’t catch a cold, right?」

「It isn’t that kind of problem!!」

Even with how much Lydia shouts, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice smiles.
After all, even while arguing, Lydia reaches out with her hand, but when she ended up falling into the pond, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice, with his own strength, brought them into the hallway.
A few days later, when Lydia visits the garden, the fool didn’t seem to be there, and she was told by their exclusive gardener his son had caught a cold.
So even though she said that, Lydia unconsciously scolded the boy who wasn’t there.


Zack really can’t stop spoiling Ojou, huh?

We’re almost at the end of Volume 2, as well. Just two more chapters to go.

Not a whole lot else to say on this one, other than Nicholas is clearly on the Ojou-Zack train. I swear that in an earlier chapter very close to the beginning there was a note that like, Taichi (past life Zack) was surprised that Ojou, who was supposed to be the villainess, didn’t get exiled or anything and seemed very accepting of the breaking of her engagement to the prince. And like, with every passing chapter, it’s more and more evident on why, hahaha.

Either way,  see you all next chapter!

If you’d like to support the website and keep it running, consider dropping by the Ko-Fi or by my Redbubble to get something out of it!


28. Miracle

TL: Toasty
ED: Toasty


「Are you having a birthday party this year, too?」

When I ask again, Ojou nodded. But, that facial expression isn’t happy.
While sweeping the fallen leaves with a broom, I tilt my head in confusion.

「Isn’t it fun?」

「No, Torde-sama, Fanny-sama, and Kia-sama, if I invite them, they will come for me, and……」

Outside of the rabbit-like girl, with the friends she made, it seems to have reached the point she calls them by nickname. Because I think that’s good, Ojou, who also talks about the friends she’s made this far, also seems to be happy. But now, she’s making a facial expression like it’s hard to be happy.
It seem this year as well, the birthday party will be with a tea party. This time, the Ernest house is hosting, so there isn’t a dance, so I don’t have to act as a substitute. As for substituting in, so far, it’s happened a few times, and basically with only Ojou and the host daughter, if I became their dance partner, somehow or another it was fine. Because Oku-sama said dancing is rare at a tea party, it’s that kind of solution, I think.
Surely, after this, every year Ojou’s birthday party would be held, right? Duke-sama and Oku-sama, because they think of Ojou as important, take into account her shyness and invite only friends and relatives for the minimum number of people. That’s what Katherine-san, the maid, said. For me, even though the number of people feels like a lot, but for a duke’s house, on the basis on their family status, the scope is small.
At Ojou, who is different than normal, why doesn’t she seem happy, I wonder. Because of her appearance of looking down and sinking into silence, there must still be something.

「Hm?」 

Briefly stopping my hands that are sweeping, I go in front of Ojou, and after crouching down, meet her eyes. When I gaze into her pale blue eyes for a bit, her closed mouth opens a bit.

「……that is, recently, Nicholas-sama is also there.」

At her mumbling like she’s pouting, I stare blankly.
Certainly, if we assume Nico goes along with me for stress relief, because he has to go through Ojou to come, there’s a feeling there were three people very often. Which reminds me, Nico, how was he grasping the days Ojou came to meet me, I wonder.
Until my work is finished, there is someone to talk to and I’m not bored, but conversely, the times Nico vents his stress, Ojou was waiting in vain. Something like practicing punches and smelling of sweat, to girls, is boring. So, I forgot to stay silent about the training I was receiving from my master, the butler Heinz-san.
I stand up, temporarily take off my cotton gloves and after wiping my hands, patted Ojou’s head.

「After the party, can we meet for a little while?」

「Eh…… but, it will be the evening, you understand?」

「If that’s the case, the western arbor is just fine. Can we meet there?」

「What, what is it??」

At Ojou, who is looking up at me without understanding the situation, I smile.

「It’s the promise to show you a rainbow.」

Fully widened in surprise, her pale blue eyes twinkled. Why is she surprised that much, did she think I forgot? There’s no way I can forget a promise with Ojou.

「As soon as it finishes, I will go.」

Well, since Ojou smiled, it’s fine, right? Especially if I can see Ojou’s smiling face, something like my work is secondary.
With my hands put as they were, after patting her to the degree that her hairstyle won’t collapse, I let go.

「Today, I can relaxedly listen to Ojou’s stories.」

The stories I listen to during the times Nico is here are a good, bustling tempo, but I also like to listen to her talking with all of her effort at her own pace. I can’t talk back to show I’m paying attention, but even if I’m not watching while at work, hearing Ojou’s happy sounding voice is fun.
I realized Ojou pointed it out, but in this way, it feels as if it’s been a while since it was only the two of us. Then, I realized I liked this time.
Somehow, becoming happy, I softened my facial expression.

「……if you listen to someone’s story, stop making that loosened face!」

「Sorry. I’m happy that I’m with Ojou.」

「W……!? Close that mouth, too!」

I was scolded by Ojou who turned red.  Was I making that much of a frivolous facial expression, I wonder.
Really, I only say unnecessary things, Ojou preaches. If I repeat my real feelings, I’d be scolded furthermore. I understand that.
First of all, during the time I sweep fallen leaves, while talking to show I’m listening to Ojou’s story, I was listening. Ojou’s voice was comforting like leaves fluttering down.
Next holiday, I came to the market. I was requested to guide Leo’s observation, but compared to that time, I came ahead of time, and right now am in the area for clothes and general goods I don’t usually come to. It’s to buy Ojou’s birthday present.

I don’t understand at all.

After no time, I was already at a loss.
The extent of what I can buy with my money, because it’s only cheap clothes, it’s no good, and for ornaments, even if I understand they’re pretty and radiant, because I’m weak to those, I don’t know their value.
Someone like Leo who seems to be skilled at dealing with girls or Nico who is on the same wavelength as a girl, maybe I should consult them. But, ultimately, that means if I don’t select it, there’s no meaning to it. If I can, I don’t want to leave Ojou’s preferences, so I’m worried.
For a moment, I see four leaves, and fired up again, I fixed the locket in my shirt.
This time, incidentally when I thought I should peek in the general store, the air became gloomy. With how the traffic was coming and the fair weather, I felt the air cool as if there was shade.

Dark magic?

With the place having these signs of life, I strongly feel an out of place dark ghost’s presence.
Even when I look around at my surroundings, the faces of the people going by are good. Because generally for people, commoner’s magical power is low, the times they use magic, they aren’t even aware of it, so it seems they aren’t noticing the sign of a spirit.
For the purpose of using magic without an aria, because I’m using the assistance of the spirits, I can sense the times the signs of spirits are strong.
The times people use magic, letting out their magical power, since they draw in and gather those spirits of the attributes, naturally the signs become strong. Before, I felt a criminal try to invoke magic, and when I told the patrolling soldiers, he was arrested for a failed attempt at a crime. The feeling at that time was also dark magic.
Trying to feel out the signs of dark spirits, I tilt my head to the side.
It’s different from the time I sensed it before, although it’s dark spirits, there is no ill will.
Dark magic meddles with the mind, that is to say, there’s a lot of things like hypnotism, so it’s easy to abuse. So, for dark magic, it’s easy to carry ill will. When people use magic with maliciousness, the signs of spirits become impure, and although I feel it, dark magic where I don’t feel that is rare.
While feeling curious, I face the direction the dark spirits are being drawn to and search for the source of the magic. There, near the wall of a general store on the opposite side of the road, something was crouched over. When I come close, because of the size, I realize it’s a child younger than me. From how they are looking towards the wall and mumbling, it’s a girl, I think.

Who is this person?

Due to the hood attached to their large overcoat, with the exception of their head if you take the hood off, it’s an ordinary lump of cloth. This thing is human, but it’s the feeling that I encountered a strange living being.
Their actions are also weird, but because their blonde hair that reflects the sun is dazzling, it’s fine for them to be more eye-catching. And yet, outside of me, people don’t notice this girl and pass by. Because they’re avoiding her, it doesn’t seem like she’s completely invisible, so it’s too strange.
Is it an effect of her coat? The source of the dark magic seems to be the girl’s coat. It’s probably a magic tool for diluting the user’s presence, I think.

「……right. …………until, ……expected. But……」 [T/N: It’s just a bunch of weird fragments so I did my best lol]

「Are you okay?」

Unconsciously, I plainly asked. It’s fine that people don’t notice, but the girl who is intently mumbling is strange. Is she really okay?
Greeted by a voice that she wasn’t thinking would call out to her, the girl’s shoulders suddenly jumped. Then, timidly, she turned around.
I was reflecting in those anxious seeming blue eyes, and with a voice that didn’t come out, asked who I was.
I looked at the face of the girl who turned around and understood. I had seen this kind of dazzling hair before.

「You, are you Leo’s younger sister?」

She’s in Ojou’s stories, so I’ve heard about her. If Leo was a girl, I can think he would have these features, and so, the girl resembled his face’s appearance. Certainly, they’re blood relatives, I think.

「Le, o……?」

「Ahhh, Roy-sama’s sister, I mean?」

I realized that name isn’t known by the girl, and crouched down to match our eye levels, and asked again. Just in case, I keep my volume in check so other people won’t hear.

「Do you know Roy-onii-sama……?」

I was asked a question in return with pure surprise. That is, commoners who know the face of Prince Leo are rare, I think. Because portraits are highly priced, they aren’t circulated. With the common people who can’t buy them, the prince’s outward appearance is passed by word of mouth. By all rights, there is no way to know.

「Ahh, he asked me to show him around for his downtown inspection. I’m Isaac. I might look this way, but I’m the apprentice gardener for the Ernest house.」

「Then, Lydia-sama’s……」

When I revealed who I am, the girl understood. Lightly sighing, she loosens up how stiff she is. Understanding who I really am, she seemed to no longer be nervous towards me.

「Then, are you lost?」

When I ask, she awkwardly sinks into silence, and reluctantly nods.

「Why are you in this kind of place?」

「I came concerning Roy-onii-sama’s inspection of the town near the castle, but when I looked all around, I lost sight of Roy-onii-sama.」

On top of that, washed away by the crowds of people, she wasn’t even able to understand the way to return. She said she came along with him, but because of the effect of the coat she is wearing, I’m suspicious of whether or not Leo knows.

「What’s with that coat?」

「It was in Roy-onii-sama’s study, and I tried wearing it, and um……」

「That guy, just what is he holding onto……」

If I didn’t hear it from the mouth of this girl, I wouldn’t believe it. I thought the size is big, so it’s impossible, and didn’t think the owner of the magic item is Leo, so I was at my wit’s end. At the very least, put it in a place your younger sister’s eyes won’t reach it. You shouldn’t underestimate the curiosity of a small child.
As for complaints, I would say them during the times I met Leo, but seeming uneasy, I patted the head of the girl who is waiting and smile.

「It’s fine already. If it’s your brother’s, it’s fine.」

Scolding is the duty of her older brother Leo or her parents. Right now, first of all, I prefer to cause her relief. I don’t know how long she’s been lost, but for something like a small child being alone in an unknown place, there’s no helping being anxious.
In the beginning, her blue eyes were wide open, but while being patted, became moist. But, even when they became moist, she didn’t cry, she suddenly nodded.
Confirming that, I pull my hand back, bring my hands together like a saucer, and gather wind magical power. Making the gathered magical power into the shape of a bird, I bring it near the overcoat the girl is wearing. If it’s Leo’s property, more or less, it will have traces of Leo left behind. After the wind bird reads the presence, it shoots into the sky.

「That bird just now……?」

「Le…… It will guide us to a place Roy-sama will meet us.」

While looking at the direction the bird was flying, since I was asked, I honestly answered its purpose. And then, when I unintentionally look down, from underneath the overcoat, the blonde hair that is touching the ground came into my sighs. I undo the her hair’s decorative string, and go behind her.

「Um……?」

「Just hold still for a bit. Since your pretty hair will get dirty otherwise, I’ll raise it.」

It seems that she noticed it for the first time when she was told, and she looks down to the ground and lets out an 「Ah」 in a soft voice. Afterwards, she looks motionlessly in the direction she was told. While I struggle with her thin hair to slip my fingers through her it, I make it into a ponytail, then wipe the ends that touched the ground. While confirming if isn’t painful, the girl seems to be used to someone else doing her getup. Because looking after this long hair by yourself is difficult, it’s natural.
Finished tying up her hair, I stand up and start talking to the girl.

「Right, then shall we go? Can you walk?」

「Ah……」

The girl’s facial expression became troubled, she showed a gesture as if to protect her ankle.

「Is it painful?」

「It seem to be tired from walking……」

The apologetic girl is disheartened, but there’s no helping it, I think. The castle is large, I think, but the floors and roads there are expected to be smooth and flat. This is the first time she’s walked in a place like the market road, with carriages and so forth, and uneven roads, huh. There isn’t footing she’s used to, so by all means her fatigue would escalate.
I turn my back on the girl and crouch down.

「Get on.」

「Eh?」

「Commoners don’t have money to call for something like a carriage, so please make do with this.」

The girl, who seemed to understand the intention, after hesitating a little, apologizes,before putting her weight on my back.
Confirming she was holding onto my shoulders, I stand up and start walking. In the beginning, her hands are only holding onto my shoulders shyly, but it was unstable, so she put her hands in front of my neck.

「Which reminds me, you…… um.」

「I am Elena.」

「Elena, it’s only after all this time, but is it better if I treat you with proper manners?」

「No, this isn’t an official place, so I do not mind.」

This is a bad place for it to leak out royalty is here now, she gave that reason like Leo.

「As expected, you and Leo are an older brother and younger sister, huh.」

「Yes. Except for the color of our eyes, people often say we are like two peas in a pod.」

The happy seeming affirmation was a bit different from what I said. I tilt my head to the side.

「No, you don’t resemble each other in appearance.」

「Elena’s facial expressions change and are honest. Rather than your face, your words and actions are similar.」

It’s only the facial appearance, but if you look at the average they are identical twins, however the features are completely different. Elena makes age appropriate faces, but Leo is basically an adult.
Leo is familiar with making a smiling face, making sure adults can’t read his feelings. He seems to be having fun in front of Ojou and I, but the time during Leo’s birthday party, that was an adult engagement. A kid who hasn’t even reached ten years old acquiring a perfect customer service smile, someone like that is a weird person.

「……this is the first time I have been told we resemble each other with the exception of the face.」

「Is that so?」

Being unexpectedly mumbled to, I curiously think. Such things like family, even if they don’t resemble them in personality, they’ll end up slightly resembling in habits. Actually, with how I wake up in the morning, my mother has laughed about how I take after my father. Although, for my face, I resemble my mother. It’s that kind of thing, I think.

「If you are tired, it’s fine if you sleep until we arrive.」

「…..I am not that shameless.」

「Is that so?」

At the voice I can hear behind me that is evidently pouting, I laugh. Elena’s age appropriate reactions, rather than amusing, are pleasant.
Because she’s tired, for a while, I don’t start a conversation, and when we’re walking, I was able to hear a long sigh from behind.

「I’m glad…… I thought I had reached my limit.」

The muffled mumbling of relief was unintentional, perhaps.

「Don’t say it like Yuuka.」

That kind of impression spilled out. Occasionally what I’m thinking would end up unconsciously spilling out, but because it was a speech I would often hear from my sister in my past life, when I helped her during a game’s deadlock.
When she was a kid, I’d arbitrarily follow Yuuka, and in the end, when her feet got tired, she’d grumble, and I would carry her on my back. Since it resembled the state of affairs at that time, it seems I recalled too much, maybe.

「…………Taichi?」

At the name she mumbled as if confused, my feet stop.

My previous name, which I already thought I wouldn’t be called anymore. Moreover, with the exchange to this extent, being able to identify Tanaka Taichi, there is only one person that would call me by that name.

「Ha? Is it really Yuuka??」

I tried to look over my shoulder, but with this posture, turning my head back is unreasonable. Since in my field of vision, only radiant blonde hair will be displayed, I give up and face ahead.

「Is that really you, Taichi?」

「Telling by that alone, you’re doubting that much, huh?」

It’s an exchange of each other’s evaluation criteria that only an older brother and younger sister do. When I understand, Elena, Yuuka, fell silent. Maybe she is searching for a component she can deny.

「……first of all, I don’t use honorifics towards Taichi.」

「Oi.」

She’s rude to me as always. After understanding it’s me, that’s the first thing you say?
Elena understands Yuuka, and it’s the first thing on her mind. Becoming worried, she cautiously asks.

「Yuuka, no way, you also……」

「Iiiidiot, you can’t understand that kind of thing? I had a peaceful death, you know?」

「I see.」

I am frankly reassured. I was glad that Yuuka didn’t die prematurely.

「Well, maybe, however.」

「What is it?」

「This is the world of Kimisei, and I can only properly remember things about Kimisei. After that, it’s hazy.」

「Is it because you simply don’t have the ability to remember?」

「I don’t want to be told that by Taichi.」

After complaining, she pulls both of my cheeks. It’s not very painful.
However,  I understood. For me, who died an unexpected death, there isn’t much change to the Yuuka I remember, since the scope of what I remember is close, huh? Well, if a little girl suddenly remembered the memories of a grandmother, it would overload her capacity.

「……Yuuka.」

「What is it?」

While pulling my cheeks, Yuuka puzzlingly replied. Because I’m behind her, I can’t see it, but the appearance of Yuuka from my past life came to mind.

「It was bad, huh?」

With how I only had Tanaka Taichi’s memories, Elena, here, only had Yuuka’s memories of her past life. I understand that.
But, even with those memories, we were able to meet.
I thought we couldn’t meet again. I thought I couldn’t apologize anymore. That I had selfishly given up on my life.
With my past life, my death was an accident. But, I caused it as I stopped thinking.
In my remaining years, I despaired, and among other things, made as many excuses as I’d liked, but the me at that time didn’t see anything other than myself. As a result of crudely dealing with my life by myself, I caused trouble towards people I didn’t even know. I’m the worst.
Although I was myself in my past life, when I think back on the time I died, I become filled with self-loathing.

「I……!?」

When it seemed that I would sink into apologies, both of my cheeks were pinched at full strength.

「Iiidiot.」

Yuuka, verbally abusing me, clung to my neck.

「Taichi’s an iiidiot.」

「Yeah. I was bad.」

The way she condemned me was like a child., although this time somehow or another, it was funny. Yuuka cried and trembled, and for a while, tightly clung to me.
While I felt the warmth on my back, I resumed walking again.
Some time elapsed, and at my back, Yuuka raised her head.

「That reminds me, how is Taichi in Kimisei!? Or rather, who is Isaac!!」

She isn’t aware of him, she says, and with a feeling of seeming renewal, Yuuka talks on and on. She was feeling sad for a while, this person rising to the surface is really robust. There’s a feeling of her nature simply not needing negative thinking.

「I think I know. Because it doesn’t seem like I’m a mob, so I’m doing it my way.」

「But, you know Roy-sama, right?」

「That was by accident.」

「Moreover, you’re working at Lydia-sama’s place, too?」

「That was also by chance.」

「Somehow, there’s even more accidents, it seems……」

What is it? Although I can’t see it, I feel a gaze staring at me from behind. I’m not comfortable with how it feels like she’s feeling around for my stomach.

「You, in that Kimisei……? Where are you?」

「I, Philine Elena von Rozenvein, am a support character who comes out in Roy-sama’s route in A Small Star Only For You -Dein einziger Strenchen-!」

I can grasp she’s using a voice with a self-satisfied look from behind me. Then, why are you touting the game’s official name and bragging about it like it’s the nickname? I’m not particularly envious, however. I feel it’s like someone playing a guy in a play towards someone playing a tree.

「Oh, right. I don’t understand, but I’m glad that you became a beautiful girl with blonde hair and blue eyes.」

「Right?! I’m cute, right? It feels like I’m royalty, right!?」

It seems like she wants to say it, but because it will become a narcissistic statement, it seems she was enduring it until now. I was delightfully boasted to.

「Yeah, yeah, you’re cute, you’re cute. And because of that, is it fine having your beloved Roy-sama as your older brother?」

Her outward appearance has a lot of excitement, but  come to think of it, she’s Leo’s younger sister, so she would be out of the range of romantic interests of the Roy-sama I had heard so much about that I was sick of it. Because it was the otome game Yuuka played, in any case, it’s regrettable.

「That—」

「Hm?」

「Even now, I really like him, but for Roy-onii-sama, I can’t think of him as something like a capture target. That is, I don’t feel that sort of feeling……?」

While fumbling around for how to word it, at the appearance of her speaking her own thoughts, I laughed a little.

「Is that so?」

I slightly noticed it. After all, from the beginning, with how she continuously called him her older brother, not saying it like she did in her past life. Her older brother now is Leo.
Reconfirming what I had realized, I was relieved. Yuuka was also properly here.
At the boundary of the downtown residences, I arrive in front of the house with potted plant with a silver plum blossom design, and drop off Yuuka who was on my back. I face the girl with a dazzlingly blonde ponytail. This girl also isn’t gentle on my eyes, say my inner thoughts.

「Whose house is this?」

「My house. You, since if you take the overcoat you’ll stand out, I’ll call Leo here.」

「……has he come here before?」

「Then, keep your stomach tied up.」

Because I think I’ll be scolded and make a grim face, I resolve myself and tell her to be prepared. I can’t protect her from suffering the consequences.
I put my hand on the doorknob, and before opening the door, look over my shoulder.

「Then, from here, let’s get along, Elena.」

「Let’s get along, Isaac.」

Confirming who each other is in this world, I opened the door.

「Mother, I’m back. Leo, did you already arrive?」

「Ex… Excuse me for intruding.」

While hiding behind me, Elena waits and looks around my home.

「Welcome home. He already arrived, with his older brother.」

「Isaac, why did you change the meeting place, is something wrong?」

Behind Leo who had on a brown wig, is Matteus-onii-chan acting as his escort, who Leo said was in the way.

「Ah—…… that’s right.」

Noticing my mother and Leo’s reactions, with how they tilted their heads in confusion, I tore off the cloak of the cause.

「Since you’re in the house, it’s reasonable to take it off.」

「Wa……!?」

「Philly! What are you doing in this place!?」

「Oh my, it’s a cute girl. Welcome.」

Behind Leo whose eyes were wide open, Matteus-onii-chan turned pale with worry. Are you okay? Will he not collapse?
When mother notices Elena, she starts to prepare additional tea.
Elena, losing her stealth functionality, after becoming panicked, glared at me who had taken off her overcoat in one go.

「Wait, I also have to prepare my heart!」

「If we wait for that, the sun will go down. Were you intending to be a spirit behind me until then?」

「But, that…… Isaac, you idiot!」 [T/N: Roy, one hundred percent right now is thinking “Bro, are you flirting with my sister?”]

In our past life, the times she get to make a decision, she was always groaning. With the feeling of that time, it ended up being overbearing, but on the brink of venting her anger didn’t seem strange. Which reminds me, when I found her today, she was mumbling by herself.

「Flora……?」

「Ah……」

Leo was looking at her sister in extreme surprise. Then, Elena remembered she is in her brother’s vision and stiffened.
Because Matteus-onii-chan was also surprised, Elena usually spoke more princess-like, I think. Until I noticed her true character, she was polite.
When I think it’s better that I don’t interrupt, I watch over the development of these two.
After a bit of silence, Leo was the one who opened his mouth first.

「You’re very open with Isaac.」 [T/N: Countdown to “Are you flirting with my sister?” advances by 1.]

「Eh…… no, yes…… he helped me when I got lost.」

At the smiling Leo, Elena, after making a facial expression that seemed to disagree for a second, smiled back as if to smooth it over. I think she wasn’t happy about the remark we were on close terms. For me, also, since with this short time I was repeatedly called an idiot, being called close is upsetting.

「Leo, you shouldn’t leave her alone like this.」

When I lift up the overcoat and show him, Leo forced a smile as if he guessed the details.

「I’m sorry. This time it was my mistake. I didn’t take into consideration that someone else would use my things.」

「For using it without permission…… I’m sorry, big brother. I wanted to go together with you……」

「No, it’s my duty to talk with Philly who wants to go outside.」

「That, I……」

Because it was a little like a loop, I intervene for the two of them, and press on the back of their heads to make them bow.

「It’s fine if both of you did something bad. Now, since both of you apologized, it’s already done.」

Instantly, the two stop, and one of them smiles. The other side is a little angry.

「That’s right. For me, from the next time, I have to be more careful about managing things.」

「Doing things as Isaac says is a cause for offense, however, it can’t be helped.」

「Since everyone is standing while talking, please have some tea.」

Mom puts out the teacups, and invites us with a smile as if to tell us to sit down.
There are only four chairs at the wooden table. There are four cups at the table. Because mom is in the flower garden watering the plants, she went to the back. In front of me is Matteus-onii-chan, and to my side is Elena, and diagonal from me is Leo. For now, this is an arrangement that doesn’t let radiant things into my vision as much as possible.
Drinking tea and taking a rest, Leo asked Elena something.

「Philly, if you say nothing and sneak out, won’t you worry Terese and the others?」

「Which reminds me, especially if the princess goes missing, I’ll receive a quick letter, but it hasn’t come.」

「I, well…… no, sometimes I want to be alone and I play hide and seek, so Terese and the others surely will search inside the castle……」

「Philly…… you were doing that sort of thing, huh?」

「Princess……」

Matteus’ gaze saw the indescribable facial expression of Leo who is genuinely surprised at the new truth and Elena was at a loss for words. The Elena who seemed to be deceiving others, again drinks tea.
While drinking tea, I watch over the exchange. Who is Terese-san, I wonder.

「However, the time you return together with me, won’t they become aware of the story?」

「Yes…… I will voluntarily tell them.」

She’ll say it, Elena says, avoiding the mug to the side, and with a tense face puts both of her hands in front of her. In the spot on the table where there’s nothing, her hands are concealing something that seems to be there. Then, magic power begins to collect.
When I read the attribute with the indication of the spirits, I unconsciously mumbled at its rarity.

「Wind and…… light?」

「Fufun, for me, I have two elements, wind and light, you know.」

Elena looks my way boastfully asking how it is. Why are you boasting to me? While I turn my head away, I neglectfully respond.

「Heeeh, it’s amazing.」

「Wait, why did you look the other way?」

「No, after all, you’re uselessly radiant, is the problem.」

「What was that!?」

「Philly, he also does that to me, so don’t mind it.」 [T/N: Roy too used to this behavior lol]

「To Roy-nii-sama too!? That’s rude, isn’t it!?」

Towards Elena, who was trying to intimidate me like a cat with its hair stood up, Roy smiles, seemingly amused, while chiding her.

「Everyone has something they’re weak with. Because Philly is my little sister, can she tolerantly accept something small like this?」

「Uuu……」

「No, so Leo, you should get a little angry.」

How can he be amused now? The way Elena flares up is normal, I think.
I’m weak, or in other words, because I think not making eye contact with people is rude, each time I want to apologize but because Leo doesn’t get mad, I miss the timing. I more or less was able to apologize, but only the first time.
Elena was told by Leo she had stopped concentrating on her magic and focused on it again. The particles of light gathered together with the light’s shadow coming out. It became the size of something like a doll, and after a short time took the appearance of a grandmotherly maid.

「Tere—」

「Philine-sama! Where in the world are you hiding this time!?」

When Elena tried to talk, the grandmotherly maid scolded her with a terribly angry look. Elena unconsciously and reflexively became troubled and took a defensive stance.

「I, I’m sorry….. um, right now, I’m together with Roy-onii-sama……」

「His Highness, the princes!? His Highness is busy, you know. No matter how much you love him, please do not cause trouble for him.」

「Terese, I am not troubled, so please do not blame her too much. Philly will properly return safely.」

「That sort of thing is not the problem! His highness is too sweet towards Philine-sama! I understand the feeling of wanting to dote on the future princess, but……」

When Leo looks in Elena’s direction and puts in a good word, he’s included in the grandmotherly maid, Terese-san’s sermon that began. At Terese-san’s angry look, Elena’s face became grim and she endured it, and as one would expect, Leo had a forced smile he listening.
I was admiring the science fiction like hologram call right before my eyes. The wind was for the sound, the light for appearance, it seems. Certainly, I can’t do it with my not high magical power. It’s an interesting composite magic.
However, Terese-san’s angry voice is considerably loud. My house isn’t soundproof, so will it be fine, I wonder.
When I think about if I can form a soundproof membrane in this room with my magical power and look around the room, already a soundproof membrane has been placed. In addition to the composite magic, another spell had been started side by side.
Terese-san’s sermon finished, and at Elena, who ended the hologram call, I clapped.

「Elena, you’re amazing.」

「At last, you understood my greatness?」

Having been preached to, Elena was dispirited, but when I seriously praised her, she seemed to reemerge, puffing out her chest and happily having flushed cheeks. As for having thought that being lectured until a little bit ago wasn’t cool, it had been kept in her heart.

「Um, Isaac-kun……」

Matteus-onii-chan, seemingly anxious, started talking ot me.

「Ahh, in addition to Elena being here, I will keep the secret of her having dual elements of light and wind. Should I seal it with my blood?」

「No, going as so far as a seal of blood…… but, another day, just to be sure, because I will prepare the documents, will you be able to sign them?」

「Yes. I understand.」

Because my mother doesn’t know anything, when I ask my mother be exempted, Matteus-onii-chan understands. It’s only a downtown child’s promise, so he’s uneasy, it seems. Since it’s something like a state secret.

「Which reminds me, Leo, what’s with this overcoat?」

Because the soundproof membrane seems to be working, I ask the thing that has been on my mind.
Then, Leo smiles broadly, seeming happy.

「I made it. I used the privacy membrane Isaac made before as a reference. With the way Isaac said it, I also was able to use other elements.」

Imitating the shadow membrane I used, it was a greatly high spec magical tool. I can’t do something like stick my magical power into something.
With how the overcoat was originally something of Leo’s, furthermore secrecy magic was stuck in there using magical circles, it seems. There is a need to accumulate dark magic power again in proportion to the effect of the magical tool used, and even with leaving it alone for a long time, slowly the dark magic ended up dispersing which seems to be a demerit.
Just what is this charging equation? It’s a charging method that only a person with high magical power can do.

「It’s interesting how you aren’t noticed by anyone and it isn’t different than usual. I just ended up unintentionally putting it in an easy to use place.」

Although Leo apologies, his facial expression is smiling. This seems to be extremely fun. Elena also understands the feeling, it seems, nodding her head up and down saying 「yes, yes」.
First of all, those guys who are conspicuous are strange, it seems.

「……well, hide it so it won’t be misused.」

「Ahh, I’ll be careful to do that.」

There’s self-awareness that Leo made something greatly terrible. I think he understands, but just to make sure I purposely say it. When I see Leo smiling happily, I become a little anxious.

「Isaac-kun……」

「Yes. There’ll be additional documents, I know.」

I nod towards Matteus-onii-chan who seems more worried than me. With me signing the documents, it’s only a little, but if his worries decrease, it’s fine.

「Then, let’s return while you’re deceiving Terese.」

「Yes…… I’m sorry for hindering your observation.」

When Leo encourages her to return, Elena, understanding she interrupted her older brother’s inspection, falls into a slump.
Leo pats Elena’s head, tenderly smiling.

「My younger sister, even when you put your hair up, you’re cute. It’s a good day today when I was able to realize a new charm of Philly’s.」

「Roy-onii-sama……」

I haven’t personally met her, but I fiercely agree with Terese-san’s opinion. I also think Leo is sweet on his sister. At their exchange, unconsciously I half-close my eyes.

「Oh my, are you already going back home?」

My mother, returning back from watering the garden, asked as if it was a little unexpected. If it’s the usual, I lend Leo clothes, and after returning from observing, but this time it’s much earlier.

「Yes. I’m sorry for coming and heading home immediately.」

「Please excuse our intrusion.」

Leo gives an unchildlike response, and Elena who say that becomes flustered and bowed her head quickly. Outside of their faces resembling each other, they really are a brother and sister who don’t resemble each other.
Does my mom think the same thing, I wonder, and she sweetly smiles, and falls to one knee to meet Elena’s eyes.

「If it’s okay, eat it with your brothers on the way home.」

「……yes, thank you very much.」

Receiving the baked cookie from my mother, Elena smiles, seeming happy.
Because Elena will stand out if she leaves as she is, again, she puts on the overcoat and also properly puts on the hood. Because of the stealth functionality, in order not to get separated, she holds hands with Leo.
This time, because the effect of the magic tool is there, Leo says it’s okay to see them off at the front door. So, I see the three of them off at the entrance.

「See you.」

「Until next time, Isaac.」

「……Isaac.」

Elena points her finger up at me, lightly curling it and calling to me. Why is a princess calling out to me like a delinquent?
While tilting my head in confusion, when I go down on one knee and come close, my collar is swiftly grabbed and pulled close.

「Gu, you…… what are you doing now?」

「I will only support Roy-onii-sama’s happiness.」

At that declaration said close to my ear, I gaze at her, then smile. Then, I also whisper back.

「Yep, I also will only support Ojou’s happiness.」

Hearing my declaration, Elena released the hand that was gripping onto my collar. Being released, when we face each other, I meet the blue eyes hiding their resolution. I thought that if they have the same resolution as my eyes, it’s fine.

「Hm……?」

Thinking we were doing something strange, when I look up, there was Leo looking surprised and Matteus-onii-chan who had stiffened. [T/N: “bro are you flirting with my sister”]
What’s wrong, I ask, tilting my head in confusion. Elena also seems curious.

「Philly……」

Beyond that point, Leo said nothing. However, with the appearance Matteus-onii-chan came to his senses, Leo tried to continue in asking.

「Have you fallen in love with Isaac-kun!?」

「「 Ha?」」

This time, Elena and I froze up. What in the world did this seem to become?
I rethink on the situation just now. If it’s me, it was a delinquent-like threat, but maybe if it’s from another angle, did you think it was a foreigner-like greeting?
When I notice it, something horrifying ran down my back.

「 「That isn’t it!!」」

Elena and I deny it with all of our power. It even makes Matteus-onii-chan flinch.
Although it was my previous life, if I suspect it’s a relationship with my sister, it’s extremely disagreeable. Because we say the same thing in unison, it seems to be the same for Elena.
To the very end, it’s extremely exhausting, and I separate from Leo.

「If Elena-chan can come again, it’s fine, you know.」

「Is that so? It’s a miracle you were able to meet her today.」

At my mother’s words, I return my impressions as I thought of them.
I don’t know when the next time they can meet is. At any rate, the other side is a princess.
With this place of reincarnation, just what in the world is the probability of meeting family from my previous life, I wonder. Furthermore, with me as a commoner, and the other as a princess. It’s an incredible miracle.
My sister called me an idiot immediately, however, I was happy we could meet again.
At today’s miracle, I let a smile show.

「Ah.」

Suddenly, I recall what I was forgetting.

「Ojou’s birthday present.」

Today, I had given myself a serious mission.
Because the observation guidance had been canceled, once again I go towards the market street.


This chapter seriously warmed my heart. We won’t see Philine/Yuuka for a bit, but she’s a real treat.

Also, I’m such an idiot. So, Yuuka’s name is written with the characters as “evening song”, and for a solid three days, I was so friggin’ confused at what an evening song was. Like, I thought it was some cultural thing in Japan I was missing. Then it hit me that that’s a name. Goodness, I’m really dumb sometimes, hahaha.

Not too much else, though. We’re approaching the end of Volume 2, surprisingly. I’m already translating Volume 3, so we’re chugging along.

See you all next chapter.

If you’d like to support the website and keep it running, consider dropping by the Ko-Fi or by my Redbubble to get something out of it!


27. Perfume

TL: Toasty
ED: Toasty


The leaves changing colors in autumn started. If it already does this a little, gathering fallen leaves is necessary.
While feeling that kind of change in the seasons, I was helping transplant flowers into the flower bed. The part I was originally raising, because they are still blooming for a little bit,  it let me avoid the employee entrance and exit and wait for when they become seeds, and so when it’s the time for planting seeds, I’ll raise them. Tuberoses and tumerics are bulbs, so I’ll only cut the flowers, and after a short while, I’ll dig them out, and prepare for them to pass the winter.
The last part is changing things like the potted plants of the pine cones and angel’s raiment flowers, and using the trolley, I carry them near to the employee entrance and exit. From the estate entrance to the back entrance of the kitchen, there is a road connecting them, so along this road, if you put potted plants, I can make sure they are exposed to the sun.
With the size the flower bed has and because there is quite the distance of making a round trip, it’s several days of work. I have stamina, but little by little, the change of the flower bed is interesting. My father plants new flowers, and I clear the flowers that have finished blooming.
It becomes early afternoon when I finished today’s portion of clearing flowers. When I end up doing only this work all day, I can’t do something like inspecting the whole garden. When I wipe my sweat dry with a towel, someone I recognized appeared from the employee entrance of the estate.

「Good afternoon, Katherine-san. Are you going out shopping?」

「Isaac-san, good afternoon. Yes, I’m going out to buy things like tea leaves and coffee beans.」

When I greet Ojou’s maid in waiting, Katherine-san, a greeting is returned. She’s holding onto a memo and wearing a small pochette that a purse might be in.
Somehow she looks a little weak, so I tried asking.

「How much are you going to buy?」

「With the current supply of beans, it’s a little bit of a larger portion.」

When she lets me look at the memo, certainly for Katherine-san alone, it seems to be a heavy quantity. I think about it a little, and then ask Katherine.

「Um, I’ll only be holding the payload, but if I go together with you, is it a bother?」

「Eh……」

「With how I don’t have the chance to go to something like a store directed for nobles, even only looking from outside, I want to try.」

A commoner like me has no reason to be in the store, I understand that. But, even if I can only observe from the outside, there might be something of use as a reference for gardening.
After this, because patrolling the garden is serious work, it becomes studying as I’m following my father. It doesn’t mean I’m making light of that, but for me, my sense of what is beautiful to aristocrats isn’t sufficient as it is now, and I have a feeling that I can’t landscape the visitor area like my father.

「I don’t mind.」

When I stare at Katherinne-san as if to ask, while confused, Katherine-san accepts.

「Then, I’ll go tell my father. I’ll immediately come back, so please wait just a little.」

「It’s fine if you don’t rush……」

When I immediately break off running, Katherine-san uses a voice of worry to my back. Is she worried about whether or not I’ll fall over? For the sake of conveying I’ll be fine, I raise one hand and wave.
I receive permission from my father, and go towards a store on the center road with Katherine-san. With only one road being different, the usual market road and scenery, as well as the people, are different. Basic carriages go back and forth, and the people here and near the entrance of stores or on the terrace of cafes. People like us going on foot appear to be servants.
For me, I hold a bag for coffee, and in front of a store that deals with tea leaves and tea sets, I am waiting for Katherine-san. At the market street, nearly every store is distinct, but I learned that for stores catered to the upper class, there are specialist shops that specialize in this one genre. There is a big glass window, and their merchandise is being displayed. It’s like a Japanese store window.
The appearance of a symmetrical building also leads to the Ernest house’s garden near the front entrance. As expected, the feeling of being arranged with bilateral symmetry is popular with nobles. I also think it’s pretty, but I prefer peacefully blooming flowers and grown trees, so I thought I have to get used to this. I regret that I’m still not good with pruning flowers even now.

My salvation is that the Ernest house, rather than extravagance, prefers elegance……

In my field of vision, almost every store had large windows displaying their merchandise. Even if it’s not a precious metal store, they dazzlingly decorate them with gems, and encase them with artificial flowers such as roses, and there are several stores whose goods stand out. Yes, it’s painful for my eyes.
I don’t understand whether or not the product or the store wants to stand out. But, now, for the store Katherine-san is entering, by the window there is a table and velvet tablecloth, and the pure white silk that is drawing a line sits on top. Then, surely, the teacups and the porcelain pots that were unified with the design, were arranged as if they were just before you drink. Near the pot, I don’t know whether or not they have any contents, but there are cans filled with tea leaves with the store’s logo. I felt a sense of nonchalant elegance.
Because, with the mood of the store where one is sent on an errand, one can tell the tastes of the employer, asking to come along paid off.
When I was satisfied with that, in front of my eyes, a carriage passed by.
I take a step backwards to check the width of the road. Unconsciously, my eyes follow that carriage, and the cafe we passed by earlier enters my vision. It’s exactly the early afternoon, so it’s thriving. On the terrace seats are guests. Because there is sunlight, at the tables, umbrellas are placed, mainly to protect the women from ultraviolet rays. For this world’s people, they’re aware of UV rays, aren’t they? Well, even if they don’t understand them, being sunburnt is disagreeable, right?
Somehow or another, I look at the guests underneath umbrellas as they are. Then, my gaze stops on two of the guests that are there.
One of them is a noble woman. As if they can go to an evening party, they are wearing luxurious dresses and their makeup is thick. To put it bluntly, it’s gaudy. It’s the type I’m weak with.
The other is a boy around my age. He was a handsome boy that exceeded women. His hair is colored like lilacs and gently wavy. Because I’m used to seeing beautiful people at my employer, I’m not surprised, but with only a marvelous appearance, I get the impression he has the smell of gardenias.

His complexion is bad.

The reason my eyes stopped is, even if you account for how he was under the parasol, he still looked pale.
I look for the cause of his complexion and understand, it’s the woman next to him.
Although she doesn’t seem like family or a relative, she’s strangely close. Hugging his shoulders, she strokes the contours of his face as if intoxicated. Her eyes aren’t pointed at the child.

A molester?

No, isn’t this one step short of sexual harassment? If this is something like power over them, it’s power harassment, right? Because it’s easy to understand why the boy isn’t resisting, that potential also exists.

「Isaac-san, thank you for waiting.」

Katherine-san comes out, holding a can from the tea specialty store she entered. I remove my gaze from the cafe and turn back to look at her.

「No, I gained some good knowledge. Thank you very much.」

When I put my feelings into my thanks, Katherine-san smiled a bit.

「……Fufu, because for Isaac-san, there is no lie about that sort of thing, I’m worried. Although I should be giving my thanks.」

She’s troubled, or rather than that, she seems to be amused when smiling, and I tilt my head in confusion. Although I asked, why is Katherine-san saying her thanks to me, I wonder.
Katherine-san encouraged us to go, but the boy from earlier weighed on my mind, and I looked one more time at the cafe.

「What’s wrong?」

「No……」

This time, Katherine-san tilted her head in confusion. This isn’t a place I usually come, so Katherine-san doesn’t understand what I’m looking at.
Because today, Katherine-san came only as an attendant, the assessment of the situation and what I can and can’t do is only in my head. But, as for disregarding such a facial expression of someone who’s the same as me, I can’t do it.
Rather than being afraid, it’s horror. The woman next to him doesn’t seem to be carefully considering the boy’s opinion. It feels like she’s completely playing with a doll. Receiving looks like your existence is painted out, how scary that is, I know.
When I look around the surroundings, I recognize a certain person and call out.

「Big brother!」 [T/N: Argh, it’s really more just the sense of “a young man” but to be consistent with “Matteus-onii-chan” becoming “Big Brother Matteus” I stuck with this.]

「Zack. Meeting you in this kind of place is rare.」

One of the young chefs who I meet in the kitchen is alone. Out of all the young guys in the kitchen, as one of the still younger men, I often catch sight of him preparing vegetables. He has a shaved head, like a first year baseball club member.

「Did you also go shopping?」

「Mhm. My dad told me that there were good smelling mushrooms……」

「Then, incidentally, let me request this of you! Katherine-san, sorry for pulling out mid-route!! Please return with this young man!」

Because this young chef is a coworker of the Ernest household, I leave the sack of coffee beans I was holding to him, and bow to Katherine-san. I include the meaning of asking him, raise one hand, and show her, and then start running from the two of them.
I could hear their voices call out my name, but I didn’t look back.
Avoiding carriages and people, when I approached the cafe terrace, a smell not suited for a place where you eat meals assailed my senses.
Concentrating the smell of lillies, it’s a strong smell that had a sharpness to it like a Winter Daphne. I’m not proud that I even know which flower it smells like. Breathing in the thick air with a smell I’m weak with, I start to feel bad. The surrounding guests also, their faces were frowning.

「Miss, it smells.」

「Wh—!?」

I tell the woman who is the cause of the smell straightforwardly. The woman, towards me who suddenly appeared and said something rude, turned her astonished eyes to me.

「If you use too much of that kind of perfume, meals, tea, and also alcohol, everything won’t taste good.」

When you’re making a meal, if you have perfume on, it will be a hindrance to cooking, and you can’t taste it. In my previous life in Japan, as for stores that have a No Smoking sign, it’s important for the sake of smelling the flavor of food and enjoying yourself.
In my high school days, there was a time I was attracted by the smell of a little tobacco, but the times the chemistry teacher smoked, because the food would taste bad, and when he stopped the thickness of my blood vessels returned and the rice would taste good, so I gave up, striking my stomach and declaring hopelessly I would become fat.
Tobacco can be regulated, but perfume is in the category of fashion-conscious things, so regulating it is difficult. That is, as well as in my previous life in Japan, this country of Avrentrot is the same. Some of the guests in the surroundings looked at me with eyes as if asking what is this guy saying.

「Perfume that’s a little bit fragrant is exactly right, isn’t it? Miss, although you’re a lady, are you not aware of that sort of thing?」

It’s a smattering of knowledge from my younger sister in my past life, so I’m not making a mistake. It seems like something similar to Oku-sama.

「~~what kind of rude commoner are you!?」

I confirm that the woman, whose face turned red in anger, stood up with a bang, and then catch the upper arm of the boy. At my statement, his eyes went wide, but because his eyes had fear in them, he looks back head-on.

「If you want to remain here, shake off my hand. If it’s unpleasant, escape.」

「Eh?」

I say it so only the boy can hear, and then pull on the arm of the boy and start running.

「That glitzy aunt, I think I’d prefer if she used cosmetics sparingly.」

At that time we left the woman who had strong cosmetics on, I said only a few words.
Although he has poor control over his feet, he runs while pulled along. But, does he not exercise, I wonder, as he’s slower than me.
A voice is raised behind us, and when I glance fleetingly behind us, the woman’s servants or guards, there are two of them chasing after us. At this rate, they’ll catch up to us.
I immediately make a turn, and step into the gap between stores. With the width being barely enough for an adult to fit into, because it’s in the shadows, just to be sure, I conceal us with dark magic. This is the first time I’ve disguised my image of being erased while moving, but I don’t understand how skillfully it was done. It’s only a little, but if it’s hard to notice, it’s only a character. [T/N: Honestly this one had me stumped, as it’s literally “character” as in a kanji character]
When we come out of the gap between stores, we appeared at the market street. In one go, the waves of people filled our vision.
For a commoner like me who is used to this many people, without hesitation I enter the market street. The seized arm, for a moment, hesitated, but followed along without retreating.
At the point we entered the market square, the shadow membrane broke, but finding two children in the middle of all of the adults here is next to impossible, I think. Certainly, with the extent that the signs of our pursuers vanished, both him and I were silent.

「……w, wait!」

I stop walking at the voice mixed with a long breath, and when I look over my shoulder, I could see the outline of the face of the boy breathing heavily, covered in sweat. Because of the pedestrian traffic of the market street, we can’t run, so I was only speed walking, but it seemed to be hard work for the boy.

「You don’t have endurance, huh?」

「I’m, I’m not from a calvary warrior family, although, for nobles, there’s no reason to be exercising, right……」

「But, if it’s Leo, he nonchalantly follows.」

「Who, who is that……」

Even if I say he’s the prince of this country, I won’t be believed, huh?
Or perhaps I should say, Leo is strange. If it’s the case that nobles, due to their family lineage, don’t train, the royalty training is something that generally won’t be understood.
Which reminds me, because the minigame of Leo’s route, with the tactical RPG, is close to commanding forces, even in the game, I’m not aware of his fighting strength.
First of all, because we’ve taken a considerable distance, I tell him it’s fine, and matched his walking speed. When he gets his breath back, I give him my name.

「I’m Isaac.」

「Um, Isaac. You, why did you help me?」

「I didn’t help you.」

「Eh?」

He’s surprised, but I also tilt my head in confusion.

「Even though you escaped with your own feet, how did I help you?」

I was only holding onto his arm with enough strength that it can be shaken off. Even now, although I’m not holding his arm, he is walking together with me.
At my words, he is confused.

「Furthermore, because I couldn’t endure that situation, I had to think of countermeasures.」

「Ah……」

The boy, who realized it was only temporarily escaping danger, imagine how it would be from here, and his complexion turned poor. When I stroke the back of the boy’s back, I wonder if it was too much, and even though it was only a little, he fell forward.
He’s never received this kind of treatment, has he, and he looked at me as if perplexed. But, because his facial expression became better, I laughed.

「Here, let’s go.」

「C…… come to think of it, where……?」

「Finding shelter is also difficult, and because a commoner like me won’t understand, I’m thinking we should consult someone.」

「Who??」

He tilts his head in confusion while following me. Going through the employee entrance, I walk to the middle of the garden. With a timid appearance, he continues on behind me.

「Is this okay, I wonder……?」

「Because I will properly ask, if it’s no good, only I’ll be scolded.」

Coming out of the trees that are like the middle of a forest, when we go under the hedge, he stops and lets out a sigh.
Now, around the water fountain, the verbenas surround it with red, white, peach, and purple, in that order. Those in the back, because they are below the edge of the fountain, I encourage the boy to sit at the edge of the fountain.

「You, your name…… ah, should I be using formal language?」

「Hah, really, after all this time? It’s fine, already.」

I ended up being smiled at as if in shock. Well, he was making a less gloomy facial expression, so it’s fine, I thought, while sitting next to him.

「I am Nicholas von Rudolstadt.」

「Then, I’ll introduce myself properly. I’m Isaac Baumgartner. I’m working as the Ernest house’s apprentice gardener.」

The moment Nicholas heard the Ernest house’s name, he gazed in wonder.

「Eh?! Then, this is the Duke’s house’s garden!?」

When Nicholas looked around restlessly and became panicked, the hedge made a rustling sound, and Nicholas’s shoulders sprung up.

「Ah, Ojou. I was just thinking I should call out to you.」

「Zack, as expected, you were here. Dennis was worried you were late in returning, you know.」

I can’t make a detour, she says, and while taking off her overcoat’s hood, Ojou scolded me. I thought rather than worried, my father was angry, but with the extent that she knows someone to search for them, Ojou is kind. As for the matter of my father, because even after this, I can’t go back, I resign myself to at the least being hit with a fist.
While preparing myself for a scolding, I smile and thank Ojou.

「Thank you for searching for me, Ojou.」

「I…… it wasn’t for you in particular, I came to look at the verbenas……」

As she turned her eyes towards the water fountain where flowers are blooming, Ojou’s words are cut short. When I also follow her gaze, hiding on the other side of the water fountain, Nicholas becomes startled while looking at me.

「Ah, Ojou. This guy is Nico.」

「……Nicholas.」

「That. Sorry, I can’t remember long names.」

「It’s…… not a ghost, it’s a person……? Zack, he’s someone’s son! Why is he in this place!?」

「I’m protecting him.」

After Ojou is surprised, at my answer her facial expression becomes one of shock, and she deeply sighs.

「He isn’t a pet, you know……」

「But, it was because he encountered a molester.」

「—what are you saying to a young woman!!」

Ojou is surprised at my vocabulary, Nicholas’ face turns red in embarrassment and in a hurry, he closes my mouth. I remove the blocking hand, and look over at Nicholas.

「Because I was thinking of consulting Ojou, it’s faster this way.」

「W…… why to a girl~?」

Nicholas’ facial expression weakened as if he was about to cry. For Nicholas, a guy, because consulting a girl is pitiable, he’s embarrassed, but with commoners or a guy like me, there’s nothing I can do.

「A girl’s opinion is also needed. Hey, Ojou. If you look at him, what do you think?」

Ojou stares at Nicholas who is trying to hide behind me. After a short while without words, as if to let out a sigh of amazement, she states her impressions.

「He’s pretty, as if being drawn in……」

「As expected, this guy’s a beautiful person, huh?」

Although women aren’t as beautiful as him, he’s strangely mistaken for a girl. Ojou, for a moment, mistaking him for a ghost is also fascinating, isn’t it. I don’t understand, but maybe because it’s this guy, something can be done.
It’s pheromone-like, huh.

「Ah, I am sorry for being late in my greetings. I am called Lydia von Ernest. Please forgive the rudeness of my family’s servants this time. Please accept my apology instead.

「Hyoee…… it, it’s fine, it’s nothing like that! I’m Nicholas von Rudolstadt.」

「……Oi, don’t apologize with me in the middle. Though, why is Ojou apologizing?」

Nicholas is hidden behind me, so I’m put in the middle of their conversation.

「Zack being rude, this isn’t the first time, isn’t it?」

「There’s no need for Ojou to apologize, because it was my action, I should apologize. Nico, I’m sorry. It seems I did something rude.」

「Seems, huh…… it’s because you were rude, I was saved, so it’s fine. Or perhaps I should say, there’s no feeling of remembering my name, is there?」

「For that too, I’m sorry.」

When my apologies pile up, already at that way of being called, he forces a smile to say it’s fine.

「Which reminds me, why are you hiding?」

「Um, because a young girl is also a woman……」

From some time ago, Nico is trying to hide himself as if to not enter Ojou’s field of vision. But, in the self-study garden with a small water fountain where the sun is shining, because there are little places to hide, I’m used as a shield. It seems that with the encounter with the molester, because girls are coevaluated, somehow or another if he thinks their gaze looks towards him, it’s the subject of fear.

「Ojou is fine. It’s because she has tolerance to Leo.」

「What kind of foundation is that? That’s rude to Roy-sama. First, Nicholas-sama is in a different category.」

「Eh, then, Ojou also wants to sekuhara Nico?」 [T/N: I kept this term in because with the way Ojou speaks in the next sentence, it came across as him using a Japanese term that she wouldn’t understand.」

「I don’t understand what sekuhara is, but for me, the daughter of a duke, I cannot do something rude to Nicholas-sama.」

「As expected, Ojou is cool.」

Because Ojou puffed her chest out and declared it, I put praise into my applause. But, was it because I said she is cool, that Ojou’s eyes became half-closed as she looked at me. Even though I’m praising her.
Because again, I hadn’t properly asked, for the purpose of thinking of countermeasures afterwards, I sat back down at the water fountain, and asked Nico the circumstances. Encouraging Nico to sit back down again, I lightly patted my thigh.

「Here, Ojou.」

「? What is it?」

「If you sit like that, pollen will stick to your skirt.」

After she tilts her head in confusion, Ojou understood the intention, and her face became red.

「No thank you!! If it’s sitting on top of Zack, I will stand!」

「That sort of…, if there is a young lady being made to stand, then I will also stand!」

「Since there’s space to sit, if you sit down, isn’t fine, isn’t it?」

「The main point is, why are you instilling these ideas!?」

「Because I think it’s cute.」

If the water fountain was surrounded with colored blocks, it was like a frame of flowers, I thought. I heard something like scolding from Ojou, and when I honestly replied, two people were drained of strength.

「Enough already……」

「It’s hard, isn’t it, Lydia-sama?」

At Lydia who seemed to be worn out by something, Nico says some sympathetic words. What is Nico feeling sympathy for, I wonder.
Anyways, once we settle down and talk, I lead Ojou by the hand, and have her sit sideways on top of my knee. If this is the case, it’s easy to walk with Nico, and flowers won’t stick to the hem of her skirt.
Ojou being seen as slightly stiff is in my imagination, right? Well, the level of comfort of a boy’s knee is painful, is it?

「Nicholas-sama, are you going to even tell us about the situation!?」

「Y, yes!」

At Ojou, seemingly in a hurry to break the ice, while feeling obliged, Nico teaches us the circumstances.

「My house is a count’s, but my father, for the purpose of working for the prime minister, is often invited from other higher noble houses.
So, I am brought along by my mother, and frequently participate at tea parties…… she wanted help choosing presents for her nephews and so on, so with that reason, I was personally invited, um, and couldn’t refuse……」

While talking, Nico became dispirited. Although there’s no helping being unable to reject someone higher up, at his state of affairs of being unable to resist being pressed to do something by women, for a man, it’s a miserable feeling that injures someone so bad you can’t recover.

「And then, because I was entangled with an older woman with bad dispositions, I was brought along.」

「Older…… now is fine. If it comes to it, with the situation you were taken away by a commoner’s child, they are certainly making a clamor, aren’t they? I will tell the Rudolstadt house, as soon as you return, that we coincidentally invited Nicholas-sama, who had lost his way.」

「Ojou, you talk fast.」

「Since it’s Zack, you wouldn’t do something like tell the other person you’re a relative of the Ernest house.
Nicholas-sama, can you say that since you didn’t have money, you were immediately released?」

「Of course.」

「Because this time, I have a relationship with this, because the expectation is that certainly my mother is close with the Rudolstadt house, from now on, if you are here for something, you can visit this house.
However…… concealing the circumstances and intending to ask my mother for cooperation, please understand there is a possibility she will be aware of it.」

「I, I understand……」

「Even if you secure shelter, we still have to do something about the main cause.」

「The other person is a woman, but……」

「That’s right, huh—」

If the other person is a man, then you can punch them or use force, but if you do that kind of thing when the other side is a woman, Nico will be treated as a perpetrator of violence. When Ojou and I are worried, Nico’s facial expression gradually becomes gloomy.

「Well, first of all, let’s vent out your stress until now, right?」

「Eh?」

At my proposal, Nico makes a face that says he doesn’t understand how he should respond. After I ask Ojou to excuse me and let her down from my knee, I opened the pouch I brought along from the laundry drying area close to the route I approached from.

「What is that?」

Seeing the lump that’s like a leather pillow that I took out from the large sack, Ojou and Nico look into it, seeming curious.

「This is something you hit.」

I brought along a tool that I use during the times I train with Master, but I don’t know its name. There is a place for you to stick your arm through and one side has a handle, so it’s something that is set up like a shield. It’s a reasonable size, so you can also use it for kicking.

「Right, come as you’d like.」

「Eh? Eh?? Wh…… what should I do……?」

At me, who set up the leather bag, Nico is bewildered. It’s far from battle training, but it seems he hasn’t been in a single fight.

「Hit this with all of your strength. With all of your complaints about things like disgusting feelings or old hags.」

「Disgusting feelings… what is that?」

「It means something you find disagreeable.」

「What kind of meaning is in this……?」

「First of all, it’s refreshing.」

Nico and Ojou don’t really understand the situation. When he’s told only to try punching, timidly Nico makes a fist, and hits the leather bag.

「Weak. Do it with all of your strength. After, tighten your sides more.」

「Eh……」

Compared to before, he’s filled with more effort, but he’s still weak.

「You aren’t using your voice. Trying saying it’s disgusting.」

「Th…… that kind of thing……」

「Since if it’s here, no one will hear you, no matter how you verbally abuse it, it’s fine. Here.」

I said something like that to Nico, but that reminds me, Ojou was here.
When I convey to Ojou with a gesture that just to make sure she is plugging her ears, with both hands, she plugged her ears. I confirm that, then with wind magic, make a membrane that hinders the sound that arrives only in Ojou’s surroundings. Making it perfectly soundproof is unreasonable, but I can make it so it’s difficult to hear. Well, even if she was able to hear it, Ojou who couldn’t say the abuse, I don’t think she would remember it.
After showing some hesitation, Nico pushes out his fist together with his voice.

「D, disgusting……!」

It was the first time such a heavy sound was made. He understands that until now, the feeling of his fist is different, and Nico’s eyes light up.

「It’s good, isn’t it?」

「Certainly, it’s a little refreshing……」 [T/N: Oh Zack, you corruptor.]

Once again, I say, and when I set it up and fix it, this time without hesitation, together with his voice, he hits it with his fist. When he hits it several times, Nico, even if you left him alone, began to voluntarily vent his complaints.

「Clinging, clinging, clinging, clinging…… it’s disgusting, you know, you old hag!!」

A good fist came in.

「If my father has something, say it…… that’s the reason you can say that, right!!」

Again, another good fist comes in. Or perhaps I should say, Nico, compared to me, is worse? Well, that’s only the stress he’s accumulated. Even with his angry facial expression, that he’s still beautiful in a sense is amazing, huh.
Nico, finishing hammering in his fists, when breathed heavily and wiped his sweat with his sleeve, took deep breaths to catch his breath. Then, he shows a beaming smile.

「Ahh, that was refreshing!」

「I’m glad.」

「……I don’t understand boys.」

Undoing the wind membrane, when I communicate that it’s fine if she already stops plugging her ears, Ojou looks at us as if it’s hard to understand.
In my previous life, after something like a test, with my friends at the batting cage, we shouted things without any meaning while swinging, but I didn’t see a girl at that sort of thing. It seems girls don’t understand the feeling. While saying something like the names of ramen, without any meaning, it’s fun.
Even if he’s finished venting his stress, I think about future countermeasures.

「Since you aren’t always at your mother’s side, after your mother doesn’t notice you, there are times when the other side conveniently ends up attached to you……」

「How should I avoid them, I wonder……」

「Ah.」

At my voice I unconsciously raised, the two of them look my way.

「In the first place, if you’re not a target, it’s fine, right?」

「What do you mean by that?」

「If it reaches the point Nico has a different perspective, because the other side won’t approach and come, he won’t have to run away.」

For the enemy in a game, the enemy is only fixed in place, so it’s a matter of whether or not to encounter, but because it’s reality, you can change the circumstances itself about becoming an enemy.

「Can I do that sort of thing?」

「Maybe you can, but……」

「But?」

「There’s risk to Nico. Beyond this point, because it will become hard for your friend, and it will be difficult when there’s a girl that you like…… but, will you do it?」

「I will do it.」

Because Nico immediately replied before hearing the idea, I’m surprised.

「……That’s a nice resolution, but is it fine?」

「Rather than think such repulsive thoughts, I’ll do anything. Originally, since women came, weren’t they jealous, and with my face, I don’t have any male friends because there are only those who speak ill of me. Furthermore, I don’t feel I have the spirit to do it, at the time that by any chance that kind of girl is born, it’s important she has a beautiful body!」

「O, oh……」

With ghastly vigor, he talks while growing stronger, and when I notice it, Nico’s face was at point blank range. You’re going that far, Nico? Ojou also, from Nico’s appearance, seemed to earnestly feel a sense of danger. I turn towards Nico’s compassionate look.
I press on Nico’s shoulders, and after making some distance, say the idea I thought of.

「If Nico becomes an onee, it would be fine, you know.」 [T/N: Purposely kept untranslated, as the raw gave the idea that Isaac is using JP terms, much like ‘sekuhara’]

「「Onee??」」

Nico and Ojou, not understanding the meaning, repeat the words.

「Since it’s fine just to pretend, you can keep the gestures and wording as a guy, but make it womanly.」

「Certainly the public opinion of his surroundings will change, but will there be an effect because of that?」

「Because Nico is thought of as the opposite gender, he becomes a target. However, from that other person, will they respond to the same sex, I don’t think so.」

「Is that the way that is it?」

「Words and gestures that seem like a woman……」 [T/N: Dammit Zack, you’re making him into a trap.]

Nico, who doesn’t understand what he is good to use as a reference, because he looked at Ojou, I give him advice.

「Ojou isn’t of use as a reference. It’s because she’s cute.」

「Wh……!?」

Abruptly, Ojou’s face turned red. Was she angry I said she isn’t of use as a reference? It isn’t badmouthing, as if you use Ojou as a reference, maybe Nico won’t be like an elder-sister, won’t he? Certainly, although it’s a man who looks to be a girl, it’s like a job change. I heard that my sister in my previous life complained that there was one friend that she didn’t see eye to eye with. If that’s the case, rather, the extent of perpetrators seems to have expanded. [T/N: Literally “child that’s a girl of a boy” but it’s honestly super clunky, so I took a small liberty with this one.]

「Then, what kind of style is good?」

After Nico forced a smile at Ojou’s reaction, I was asked.

「Umm, for the first person, use a feminine-sounding I, something like an advisor…… and a feeling that you say your opinion without holding back.」 [T/N: Frustrating translation, because Japanese has a lot of first person pronouns, so Zack says to use “atashi” (rather than “watashi” [neutral], “boku”, or “ore” [male]). It doesn’t convey as well, so blegh.]

「Something like that, I can’t have the confidence for that……」

「Nico is a beautiful person, so if he’s domineering, it’s fine. In exchange for being unable to physically attack, use the weapons of a beautiful person.」

「This face as a weapon…..?」 [T/N: Zack is setting him up to be the ojou-onee-sama I can’t]

At Nico, who with the nature of a beautiful person, had encountered harm, it seemed he didn’t have a thought to use that appearance of his as a weapon. Make those large eyes of his round by adding a border to his long eyelashes.
After a bit of silence, Nico seemed to mumble he was prepared for the worst and he’ll try to do it. Even though it was only his speech, he’d practice a little to get used to it, and receive cooperation from Ojou for confirming its practical effects. When the other person, the duke’s daughter, didn’t flinch when she said that, he gained bravery.
Taking a deep breath, Nico opened his mouth.

「Even if Miss Lydia is passably cute, it is no match for my beauty, isn’t it?」 [T/N: help i coughed up a lung laughing]

Lightly sweeping his hair, domineeringly, Nico declares it. There, Ojou lets out a muu sound, becoming angry.

「……I don’t have an objection, but somehow it’s frustrating.」

「Ahhh, I’m sorry, Lydia-sama!」

「You can’t turn back halfway, Nico. It’s a success, isn’t it?」

「Eh……」

「Ojou, how do you feel?」

「It was the feeling as if I had it pointed out to by someone of the same gender. If someone had taken an attitude like that, I could not be aware that it was a man.」

Hearing Ojou’s impressions, when Nico seemed to have a real feeling of its effect, his facial expression shined. He’s happy with how he wasn’t believed to be a guy, and it’s a little strange thing to say, but since it’s Nico’s circumstances, it can’t be helped.

「I…… I, will go with this!」 [T/N: Uses “boku”, then “atashi”, there’s really no way to convey this in English, dammit.]

Nico, making a guts pose, although it emphasized his femininity, he was seen as indomitable. [T/N: You can search it, but “guts pose” is where both hands are clenched up and held up at just around shoulder height. Sadly, this is not the “guts pose” as Guts from Berserk.]

「Ohhh, do your best. If it’s for stress relief, I’ll go along with you.」

「Thank you.」

Smiling with his whole face, Nico nodded. Looking at Nico’s appearance full of determination, Ojou mumbles.

「……Zack comes up with really strange ideas, doesn’t he?」

「Is that so?」

「Although it’s expected as a serious question, it became somewhat ridiculous. It’s strange.」

「I see.」

Understanding I’m not being praised, I smiled.
I see Nico, whose face is a complete change from the time I first saw it, and became happy. There are things you don’t understand when you don’t try them, but I think it’s important Nico is looking forward to it.
That day, Nico and Ojou return to the estate, and with a carriage of the Ernest house, send him back home.

One month later, when I’m working in the garden, Ojou visits just as always. Behind Ojou, there’s one more person together with her. That other person, while waving their hand in a big way, passed Ojou.

「Zaaack, I have arrived, you know.」

「Ojou. Nico, you came again, huh?」

「Although I didn’t tell him, why is Nicholas-sama here the day I meet Zack……?」

「Well, Dia-sama, I told you to call me Nico-chan, haven’t I?」 [T/N: Zack what have you done]

At Nico, who shows a forced puffing of cheeks, Ojou is worn out.

「Isn’t it too serious?」

「My, if you perform, you have to do it thoroughly, or you’ll be found out, won’t you?」

「Nico seems to be a cunning person now, huh?」

When I say my admiration, Nico smiles sweetly.

「Even so, it is fine, isn’t it? Then, Zack—」

Smiling like that, swiftly an arm was put around my shoulder.

「Let me punch it.」 [T/N: You have no idea how much I was tempted to translate this to “let me hit that” because it’s still accurate.]

The misleading statement that is too honest is cruel, but I’m already used to it. When he seems to be happy with the tested method of relieving stress, Nico periodically asks me to become his partner. Because the damage from perverts and sexual harassment seems to remarkably disappear, it seems to already become an ordinary hobby.

「Because I’m almost finished cleaning, so wait.」

「Please huuurry—」

While sweeping the fallen leaves with a broom, I entertain Nico.
Nico, who seems to be waiting impatiently, clings to my back and urges me to hurry. [T/N: Zack, you did this to yourself.]

「If that’s the case, you can separate from me.」 

「That’s right, please do not be a hindrance to Zack’s work!」

Sweeping is fine, but when I say because movement is hard, he should let go, Ojou also gave a warning.

「Not a chance, Dia-sama. Are you jealous?」

「Y, you’re wrong!!」

At Nico, who cheerfully asks, Ojou who was teased, had her face turn red as she got angry. From there, because the two began to argue, I absorbed myself in my work.
Recently, the work BGM has become lively.
Well, rather than waiting motionlessly, if Ojou isn’t bored, it’s fine, isn’t it? 


This chapter was L O O O N G.

But still hilarious as usual. A much more lighthearted chapter was nice. Of course, it isn’t a complete set without the reverse trap, hahaha. And of course Zack would be responsible for it. Dammit, man.

Next chapter isn’t as humorous though it’s still overall lighthearted, but I think you’ll all definitely enjoy it due to the absolutely mad twist that gets pulled.

See you all next chapter.

If you’d like to support the website and keep it running, consider dropping by the Ko-Fi or by my Redbubble to get something out of it!


26. Curtsy

Sorry if this isn’t quite up to the usual editing standard, I got a new desktop and rushed to get this out on time since I’m moving all of my stuff over and redoing my setup.


TL: Toasty
ED: Toasty


Although the summer heat remained, not showing even an atom of feeling the heat, the duchess of the Ernest house smiled.

「Hey, Dia. Do you know about your calyx?」

「Ca… lyx?」

She doesn’t know, but Lydia, who somehow remembers hearing the sound, stopped her hand that is lifting a teacup. While placing her sister Flora, who had grown one year older, on her knee, Lydia waits for her mother who continues to elegantly drink black tea. Appeasing her thirst, after putting the teacup back on the saucer, Octavia opened her mouth.

「The young women who danced with your calyx have unexpectedly dropped marriage proposals. Truthfully, a certain baron’s daughter who hadn’t been able to raise a marriage proposal, seemed to have a marriage proposal from Marquis Saru. 」

Isn’t that wonderful, thought Lydia, as she looks at her smiling mother, and with understanding where each person’s respective house is, realized it was blurry. There is no way her mother, the exemplar mirror of a lady, would act rashly on a groundless rumor.

「……why is the name concealed?」

Lydia understood she was being guided to ask a question, but still asked.

「I’m not concealing it, it’s because whose name it is, isn’t known. And then, the appearance isn’t either.」

The appearance also isn’t known, that is to say, it’s strange. Dancing is something you can only do with a partner. At the strange discussion, Lydia tilts her head in confusion.

「Does this person actually exist?」

「Yes. Because he is charming to many young women, he seemed to gather a lot of attention there. He’s like a magician of ash-covered princesses.」

Fufu, Octavia laughed, comparing him to a children’s story, but Lydia’s facial expression froze. She has an idea of a person who danced too much that didn’t want to stand out. The extra result is that the person in question, is that perhaps with the guidance she gave, unconsciously deals with dancing partners like flowers. Her father, who saw his way of dancing, from the beginning assessed him as a gardener.
Suddenly, after Octavia signaled to a maid who was waiting for her with her eyes, the maid brought out a silver tray. On top of the tray, there was an envelope that was apparently written invitations that form a small mountain.

「Yes, yes, there are invitations for a tea party for Lydia. Dia’s dance was greatly wonderful, wasn’t it? The young girls want to follow your example, mostly in dance.」

「……for dancing, if it’s possible, I would like to refrain from it.」

Because it isn’t the age for evening parties, she can understand there being invitations for tea. However, preparing a chance for dancing at a tea party is rare. Looking at the mountain of written invitations, Lydia didn’t want to be troubled. Even at the best of times, she received Madam Ella’s strict guidance, and although she doesn’t have self-confidence in her dancing ability, the pretext for invitations raised the bar higher.
For a moment, Octavia’s pink eyes became cold. Compared to Lydia’s coldness, it felt colder, and she recalled the sensation that hung in her eyes is similar to her mother’s.

「—the young women want to feel magical. Those parents want her to be in marriage talks with an influential person. Truthfully, it’s easy to understand, isn’t it? However, a situation that troubled Dia is unacceptable.」

As if amusing herself with the conclusion, Ocativa narrows her eyes, and the mood that was always there returned.

「……I feel as if it is getting worse.」

Worn out, Lydia slumped her shoulders. Although they don’t remember his existence, he stood out, it’s too strange.

「My, compared to having Isaac-kun stolen, it’s better, isn’t it?」

「……!? That isn’t it! I was only making sure Zack doesn’t say something rude……!」 

Lydia frantically tries to dispel her mother’s misunderstanding. After she requested that the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice become her partner, she recalled his nature of expressing his impression with his own timing, and realized the potential to make the other noble girls surprised. Although they are used to being praised, without a preface, if it’s sudden, it would be rude.
With how she was only anxious over her partner’s trouble, she is worried about her mother misunderstanding. Even with her mother helping dress up, with how the boy who is a gardner’s apprentice tried not to stand out, and worried about how he would react when he saw other cute young women.
At her daughter’s claims, Octavia only softly smiles and listens. Lydia recently stating her own opinions had become delightful. Before, she strongly yearned for it, and in spite of her mother being the other person she restrained herself. Even though she was her mother, not even being relied upon is lonely. However, for the subject of the boy who became a gardener’s apprentice, because a particularly good response is returned, now it is very enjoyable. Her daughter earnestly argues, but no matter what she says, it feels like an excuse, and gradually weakening, at the end, with how she blushes and closes her mouth, it’s sweet.

「Hey, Dia.」

「Yes?」

「Feeling a desire to monopolize is bad, isn’t it? He’s close to you, but if he becomes friendly with other people, it’s absolutely normal to feel lonely.」

「Eh?」

「For that reason, feeling justified to restrict the other person, for a lady, is shameful. However, denying that is also bad.」

The problem is how to deal with the problem she had. Restraining the emotions that naturally well up, the person in question only groans.
She is free to think, explains a smiling Octavia, and at her, Lydia feels surprised, again understanding. Because her mother never shows intense emotions, it was an unexpected feeling, but because she caught various emotions, she was comprehended as a dignified lady. For Lydia who doesn’t think her mother has these sorts of emotions, for a while, she’s confused.
After that, Lydia was a little angry.

「……you don’t believe what I said, don’t you?」

「No? However, that isn’t everything, is it? Dia is a shy person, right?」

When Octavia, searching for agreement from Flora, tilts her head, Flora, on top of her knee, imitates her gesture and happily smiles. At her mother pointing it out, unable to return a reply, Lydia bites her lip and remains silent.

「It’s fine, you know.」

Returning the hug to the spoiled and clinging Flora, while lightly rubbing cheeks together, gently, Octavia weaved a web of words.

「He’s an employee. One of a duke’s house, the Ernest house, right? Trying to use someone in our house, for the advantage of ourselves, thinking that person exists in our family is thoughtless, right?」

Because it’s the scene of a mother valuing her daughter, it should be pleasant. However, Lydia felt that it was oppositely cold.

「Ahh. But, I’ll get a little, you know.」

「What is it!?」

Lydia, who was thinking she can reject everything from the flow of the conversation, is surprised. Facing her, Octavia, like a young girl, puffs her cheeks a little.

「……after all, I also want to see Dia’s majestic figure with my eyes.」

Lydia falters. Certainly, especially since the prince’s party is different than a tea party, there isn’t a problem if her mother accompanies her where the host is a woman. Then, concerning Lydia, for Octavia, it’s a sign she’s longed for. That kind of mother, she is nervous about the dance presentation, but there is also a desire to see it. After, that appearance of pouting is sweet, but also sneaky.

「I, I understand.」

「Really?」

Seeing her mother shine with a seemingly happy facial expression, Lydia lets her feelings show with a smile that says it can’t be helped.

「I’m looking forward to it. I was hearing from the other wives that the Dia some time ago was very stylish.」

「T, that……!」

At the reality that the matter of the party had reached her mother’s ears, Lydia’s cheeks turned red. When Octavia waits for a reply at how Lydia broke off her words, while hanging her head with embarrassment, a few mumbles escaped.

「…………I only imitated what mother said.」

Last year, Lydia’s first party she participated in, the words Octavia had given her, she used the girl of red and yellow flowers. Because it was perfectly secondhand knowledge, it’s the limit of Lydia’s embarrassment. However, because they were the words that were very trustworthy and were the best at encouraging Lydia who felt such nervousness for the first time, at that place, she thought it was relevant.

「Dia, because you though that, you said that to her girl, right?」

Because she was asked, Lydia selfishly nodded her head.

「If that’s the case, certainly with your words, that girl had courage. I’m proud of you.」

「Yes……」

At her mother who gives positive words while smiling calmly, Lydia blushed with a different meaning.
The refreshing yellow and green flowers that made her, her mother, and her sister forget the summer heat, and after drinking tea with with scent of the flowers of cherry trees in the garden, she went to go tell the gardener’s apprentice who is pulling weeds that from here on our, he would be her dance substitute.

「Your calyx? What is that?」

「……it’s you, Zack.」

At the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice who raised a wild voice, when she explains the details, he only tilts his head more.

「A guy that girls fall in love with, isn’t it because they were charming and lovely from the start? Because of that, aren’t I like a ghost??」

However, noble children seem grown up, don’t they, and although he mumbled that as if in admiration, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice didn’t rest from pulling weeds.
At the appearance that he didn’t completely understand the influence he had, Lydia worries about what’s to be done. In the first place, is this something that if she makes him self-aware, will it be fixed?

「A ghost, something like that, I don’t understand, but it became a chance to dance with Zack. Zack, what in the world did you say to those girls?」

「Eh…… for me, fundamentally, because I was looking only at Ojou, I don’t remember much, you know. That Ojou was incredibly pretty, I remember well, though.」

「It’s fine for me to hear it!!」[T/N: Literally just “It’s fine for me!” but added a bit for clarity.]

Although she listened to the exchange with the other person, at being told about herself, Lydia’s cheeks became red. He’s weak to dazzling things, but with how he doesn’t see himself as anything more than a follower, she understands he doesn’t have any ulterior motives, but his way of talking is confusing. Certainly, taking into account his accompaniment, she held back to the minimum of wearing metal ornaments, but the degree he wasn’t looking at anything but her, she wasn’t thinking he was that vulnerable to dazzling ornaments.

「At any rate, remember what you said……」

Scolded by Lydia, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice frowns while thinking and mumbling.

「Well, we talked for the sake of filling in the time? Ummm…… the Moth Orchid girl, said she wanted to dye her gloomy pitch black hair, although jet black suits her, so it’s a waste.」

「……next.」

「The Calla girl, she doesn’t like being taller than those of a similar age, so she was bending her back, and such a thing, even if a few years go by, because even if she has the height, she won’t be able to conceal her femininity, so it’s better to stretch her spine.」

「……the last one.」

「The Dahlia girl, said because she has tight eyes, she isn’t cute, but comparatively when she smiles, because the outer corner of her eyes come down, if she laughs normally, it’s fine, right….. ah, maybe I should have properly used polite language.」

「That isn’t it!」

As if not relieved at the supplemented information, Lydia cries out no. The time of the party, he partnered up for a dance in order of the voices that called, but after the girls danced, the time that the strength of the voices that called out lost momentum, it became natural that he unconsciously was advising them.
While he is saying he didn’t do anything, wasn’t he making a mess?

「Ojou, did I do something wrong……?」

At Lydia who was troubled, a voice that seemed to be worried comes down. When she lifts her head to respond to that voice, his copper eyes were wavering in anxiety.
For him, who doesn’t understand the party environment, he was worried that he caused trouble. However, from the start, it was a request to cooperate from Lydia, so even if there was an unexpected situation, it isn’t his responsibility. Besides, it was unexpected, but at the present, she confirmed there were only good effects.
Because Lydia shows no signs of scolding him, there isn’t the hint of being blamed. No, that’s the expectation, but there’s only a little feeling of that remaining in her chest.

「Zack, you did a good job. Thank you for listening to my unreasonableness. But……」

「But?」

She hesitated in talking beyond that point. Even during the time that her words that were coming out were sinking into silence, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice patiently was waiting for Lydia’s words.

「…………then, the other girls…… what did you think of them?」

「Huh?」

Becoming unable to look at the eyes of the gardener’s apprentice who is surprised at the unexpected question, Lydia lowers her gaze. Since she is self conscious about asking a childish question, her cheeks turned red with shyness, but because she already asked, afterwards she forcefully listens.

「In… In addition to the girls you danced with, at the party, there were a lot of cute and pretty people, right? Um, compared to me…..」

Because there were people close to her age, maybe there were people who felt they got along with their dance partner. When she thought about it, somehow, she became anxious.

「That is, maybe it was the case, but……」

Listening for his words of affirmation, her heart made an uncomfortable sound.

「Ojou.」

Called out, when she timidly raises her head, there was the gently smiling boy who is a gardener’s apprentice.

「I said it, didn’t I?」

「Eh……?」

「From the beginning, I was only looking at Ojou. The people I danced with, until you talked about them, I didn’t remember.」

「But, that is……」

「Yes. With how I was stepping in to dance, I went as an employee of the Ernest house. So, I, as an employee of the Ernest house, was lucky.」

「Eh?」

「Always from the side, being able to see the incredibly pretty Ojou, is a side benefit, isn’t it?」

Slowly, Lydia felt hot. The feeling from until some time ago had suddenly been blown away. Unconsciously, she had gripped her skirt tightly. How did he easily remove her anxiety?
The boy who is a gardener’s apprentice smiles as if he has nothing to do with that.

「But, it’s a strange worry, isn’t it? There’s no reason I, who is something like a servant, can associate with those young women.」

「E, even so……」

With her face as red as it is, Lydia tries to argue vehemently, and becoming panicked, with both hands covers her mouth. At that appearance, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice tilts his head.

「Ojou??」

Putting in the blame of asking what she was trying to say on him, Lydia glares while covering her mouth. She doesn’t want him to know the words she was seemingly going to say in that instant. It does not mean he was particularly trying to ask, but it’s so embarrassing that a feeling like resentment surges.
Not understanding Lydia’s inner thoughts, he blankly stares back.
For the sake of him not investigating further, there is a moment of silence, and unable to withstand that pure gaze, Lydia gave in.

「N…… it’s nothing.」

「Oh.」

First of all, as for that he might be stepping in as a substitute from now, the boy who is a gardener’s apprentice agreed. The walk that day was something that tired her.
Several days later, at her friend, Tordelise’s ordinary tea party she was invited to, Lydia took a breath. Seeing that, Tordelise apologetically slumps her shoulders.

「Lydia-sama, I am sorry. I was only able to do something small scale, but……」

With how she lowered her ears having the appearance of a dispirited rabbit, Lydia reflexively smiles at her.

「No, do not worry. It is because I am the cause.」

The table Lydia and her companions are sitting at gathered the gazes of those from a distance. This time, it’s a tea party with only women in attendance. After the matter of the prince’s birthday party, the girls following Lydia increased, and despite being in the same generation, treated her specially. It does not mean she wanted a lot of friends, but until now, as for being shown this much respect, there is no one she can turn to.

「Which reminds me, you aren’t together with your servant today.」

Casually asked, Lydia is scared in her inner thoughts. The hand that elevates the teacup from her saucer slightly shook.

「It is because he was an agent chosen by my father for the dance. Furthermore, today is only for women, isn’t it?」

「Is that so…… because it’s like a story, it’s a little disappointing.」

「Why……?」

That Terese, who was weak when talking with men outside of her family, was trying to talk about this is rare. Why does she have an interest in him, it weighed on Lydia’s mind.

「That gentleman, because Lydia-sama is held dear by him, I was thinking he is a fellow kindred soul.」

「H, held dear……!?」

「Yes. At the party, when it comes to Lydia-sama, his facial expression softened.」

At Tordelise, who is seemingly gladly smiling, Lydia doesn’t understand how she should reply. Given that her face turning red is somehow or another avoiding losing, she tries with all of her might not to. Even though it’s Tordelise who was smiling at her, she was Lydia’s friend, so she says it. She realized an unnecessary truth. Immediately, she thought about how much she should hit him.  [T/N: literally “stop the enemy team from scoring” rather than “avoiding losing”, but it’s weird as a translation]

「Um, Lydia-sama, it has been a while.」

「Oh my, it’s you.」

Her voice became a little bit restless, and when she looked, there was curled red and golden hair she has memories of. That girl, while feeling obliged, gave her thanks.

「I am humbly called Saskia von Vight. Although I am from a baron’s house, please forgive me for saying something rude. By all means, I want to give my thanks for a few days ago……」

「It is no problem. Which reminds me, Saskia-sama, it seems your engagement was decided. Congratulations.」

「Eh!? Um…… not yet, well…… that person, to me, was awe-inspiring……」

Seeing Saskia blush and become flustered, Lydia and Tordelise felt a sensation of charm. It seems like it wasn’t a marriage request against her wishes.
Tordelise also finished her self-introduction, and when she tried to have tea together with them, someone laughed. Moreover to someone laughing, Lydia and her companions furrow their eyebrows and trace the origins.
Before following, while timidly examining the surroundings, was a girl who eyes were looking down. It seems they are the same age, but it was obviously amateur and hastily prepared manners. It’s rare for Lydia and her companions that it appears there is a girl who has no bit of conduct to her.
Perhaps, with only that, varied guesses from those surrounding at a distance were murmured, and they were made the target of ridicule, it seems.

「……I am not impressed.」

「Yes……」

「I will go to them!」

「「Eh?」」

Lydia, to Tordelise who was the host this time, was thinking she should consult what to do, but Saskia declared it with fighting spirit seeming to burn in her eyes. The girl’s anger was the same as the one at her situation a little bit ago and she nods her head, but her ability to take action is more than what she thought. Even when based on the time of the party, she, rather than think about it, was the type to take action first, wasn’t she?
She greets the girl who became a bed of needles, and Saskia was taken along to make a declaration. With that state of affairs, Lydia, a duke’s daughter, rather than directly greet her, makes an appropriate judgment, and Lydia smiles, then ushers in the girl.

「I am Lydia von Ernest. If it is okay with you, shall we go together for tea?」

「Ah…… Um, I, I am humbly call, called Stephanie von Vitting……」

It wasn’t the case she was lowering her head. With only that, she was able to understand the girl isn’t of noble origin, but the way she gave her name weighed on her mind.」

「Oh my, are you perhaps the daughter of Count Vitting……?」

「Um…… in the spring, my mother was Count Vitting’s second marriage, and I was brought along…… um, so I’m something like a daughter in law.」 

「I see. Congratulations on your mother’s second marriage.」

「Th, thank you, very much……?」

Not thinking she could receive words of praise, Stephanie stared in wonder reflexively as she gave her thanks. From the other girls, she seemed to exude the appearance of a commoner, although she scornfully laughed, before their eyes, the daughter of the duke, rather, gave her a warm look, and she was confused.

「Nevertheless, you are amazing.」

「Eh?」

At Lydia’s mutterings that felt like admiration, Stephanie tilted her head to the side.

「Being able to improve your posture to that extent in a few months, you really did your best, didn’t you?」

「That’s right. Wearing a dress like this and straightening your back is hard, though.」

「Yes, Stephanie-sama is incredible.」

「……!」

In order to match the dress given by the count even a little, she recalled the practice of etiquette and straightening only her back, but as for being recognized for that, unconsciously Stephanie stares in amazement.
Because of the attitude of the other girls, was she too hasty to participate in tea parties, she wondered, and felt regretful. As for friends of the same generation in noble society, if she cannot desire them, she was giving up. At that time, as for receiving this kind of tender words, she ended up seeming to cry.
Seeing Stephanie’s eyes water up and frantically trying to endure, Lydia forces a smile.

「But, it’s better if you remember to curtsy next time, you know.」

「Cur—?」

「It is a girl’s greeting, Stephanie-sama.」

Receiving Saskia’s explanation of a curtsy, Stephanie’s eyes light up.

「I see. Yes, it’s only a little, but I will do my best to get closer to Lydia-sama……!」

「!? Why me……?」

Suddenly being made a target, Lydia’s eyes widened.

「Because I admire the feeling Lydia-sama has of a young lady.」

「Is that so!? I also follow Lydia-sama’s example, and want to become a lady that matches her.」

「It’s because Lydia-sama is wonderful, right?」

Seeing two people sympathetic to Stephanie’s opinion, Lydia lets out a 「Hamuu」, becoming angry.

「……Although we are the same age, why am I made the target?」

Because she is only mumbling softly, she thought she wasn’t able to be heard, but it seems like that when the three of them were able to hear her, they froze. Identifying that reaction, Lydia blushed as if feeling embarrassed.

「「「…………cu」」」

「Cu?」

「「「Cute……!!」」」

The three of them said it at the same time. At that, Lydia is startled with a jump.
While the eyes of the three of them glitter, they approach Lydia.

「Lydia-sama, you’re too cute.」

「Having that kind of cuteness on one side of you, it’s unfair.」

「If someone like me is fine, I would like to humbly become a candidate to become your friend.」

「Eh? Eh??」

She thought she had said something childlike and were disillusioned, but rather, Lydia is surprised at the situation of the three of them seeming delighted.

「What should we do, so Lydia-sama’s lonely feelings will disappear?」

「Wait….. for me, something like loneliness……」

「That’s right, isn’t it? It might be something like an idea of commoners, but calling you by a nickname, how about that?」

「A nickname?」

「For me, Stephanie is a long name, so for someone like my mom… my mother, she calls me Phanie.」

「Ahh. An informal name, is it? For me, call me Torde.」

「For me, if it’s fine, call me Kia.」

Telling their nicknames, the three of them altogether turn towards Lydia’s direction. At the three sets of eyes loaded with anticipation and staring at her, Lydia falters. Then, timidly, she opened her mouth.

「For me, call me Dia……」

「「「Yes, Dia-sama!」」」

For Lydia, who is a little embarrassed, blushed while hanging her head. Seeing that, the three smiled, seeming satisfied.
In the future, at Prince Roy who came to visit, assessed that she is very popular.


ZACK. ZACK, WHAT’CHU DOING, MAN.

Overall a pretty fun chapter, I really wish I had been recording myself laughing when translating what Zack said to all the girls he danced with. He’s a danger to himself.

Not a whole lot to say, though. Again, sorry if there’s a drop in editing quality. My new computer came in on Tuesday and I set it up, but with work and other things, I didn’t get my usual day to sit down and edit the chapter to clean everything up. If there’s any super egregious errors, let me know, I’ll try to clean it up. I just didn’t want to accidentally miss my usual 2 week deadline, so oof.

See you all next chapter.

If you’d like to support the website and keep it running, consider dropping by the Ko-Fi or by my Redbubble to get something out of it!


25. Fork

Oof, almost forgot to upload this in the morning. Sorry folks, I have Friday off for Memorial Day weekend and went full vacation mode already.


TL: Toasty
ED: Toasty


「I don’t mind, you know.」

「Is that true?」

When Duke-sama acknowledges it with a smiling face, Ojou’s face brightened up. Are you serious?
I covered my face with my hand. Although with just how much Duke-sama is sweet to his daughter, this is a different person. I was expecting to receive a rejection.

「Um…… I, even if the way I dance is strange, is it fine……?」

「I find Isaac’s way of dancing fascinating and like it. Besides, compared to allocating strange insects, I’m more relieved with Isaac.」 [T/N: Yes, he does say “strange insects”, and I nearly laughed myself off my chair. I’m still a little confused at what he means, but I personally took it as Duke not wanting to have any other guy with Dia.]

「Is that so?」

On top of Duke-sama’s smile being dazzling, it also has impact. Because he’s an overdoting parent, he strangely agreed. Although it’s only dancing together, is it that disagreeable?
During dance practice, at Duke-sama, who came to observe, when Ojou made an approach about if it is fine for me to substitute at the party, easily got permission. [T/N: Literally “pinch-hitting” at the party but changed for ease of understanding.]
A little bit before, the written invitation for Leo’s birthday party arrived, and there was a second one to Ojou, being a fiance candidate. Identical invitations were delivered to other fiance candidates, with Leo’s intention of refusing to dance with anyone. Ojou and I knew about this beforehand, but as for really carrying this out, he’s a guy with amazing ability to take action.

「Well, if you are going to be dancing on behalf of His Highness, the prince, do not be content with this level!」

「Hiie, please don’t be too harsh on me……」

At the voice of Ella-sensei who was obviously ignited, my body freezes. She’s someone who even at the best of times, has guts. Her special training is scary. There’s already the feeling of it being a done deal.

「I have a question before that.」

The voice of Heinz, the butler, and my master who held himself back while not uttering out a single word, forced its way through. At my master’s voice, all present turn their gazes to him.

「Master?」

Master comes up to in front of me, and asked a question.

「Isaac. You, what do you think of noble parties?」

「Although there are delicious meals, it’s not good to eat to one’s heart’s content?」

When I answer the question, Master, as if having a headache, presses down on his forehead, and Duke-sama faces the back and starts to tremble, and Ojou turns a disappointed seeming look at me.

「Zack……」

「Eh? Something like that feels like a waste, doesn’t it?」

The food reportage, with how I feel like afterwards the staff conveniently received it, the servants would eat the remainder, but compared to just before the “best before” date, right when it is delicious is better, I think.

「You aren’t wrong, but where you’re focusing is too limited.」

When I say that, Ojou looks at me with an amazed look, and Master almost simultaneously sighs.

「…..You, first of all, need to fix your speech, and need to learn the etiquette of an attendant at the very least. To hurry, time to practice will be allotted.」

「Eh!?」

When I wasn’t able to conceal my shock at my martial arts practice being suspended, Master’s sharp look pierces through me.

「If you don’t lack basic training, there won’t be questions. There isn’t time.」

I understand, I implicitly said, bowing my head.

「Yes, thank you very much!」

From the start, my free time is busy, as I was receiving instruction from Master. My intelligent Master, if he calculates backwards and judges he won’t be in time unless he uses all of our practice time, there’s no choice but to obey.

「Training?? Which reminds me, why does Zack call Heinz Master?」

I look at Ojou who is blankly staring, and remembered I was hiding from Ojou that I was receiving martial arts instruction from Master. Rather than hide it, it’s only that if I’m not asked, I won’t say.
What should I do? It’s not cool, and even if I don’t say anything, even if there’s a leak it won’t be particularly troublesome.
I thought I wanted to protect Ojou, and the motive is only that I was self-aware of my weakness. But, huh, with my current lack of strength, thinking of wanting to protect is pushy, and for me, I was thinking conveniently that Ojou didn’t ask. In either case, the point of being able to invite Ojou downtown is far away.
While in my head, I worry about how to explain what happened, when I open my mouth, the ponpon sound of hands being clapped filled the room.

「Whispering is fine, isn’t it? Time is finite. You should return to practice.」

「「Yes!」」

At Ella-sensei’s voice, Ojou straightens her back, and I salute.
During practice, in order not to disobey Ella-sensei, Ojou and I had a conditioned reflex ingrained in us. Furthermore, we stop whispering, and return to practice.
Several days later, there is an invitation for tea from Oku-sama, and I put Flora, who I hadn’t met in a long time, on my knee, and was eating sweets.
This place, the gazebo, in the middle of the pond, has something like water lilies in full bloom. Although the times they are held are near and far, Oku-sama always uses this place for tea parties. As expected, when it comes to looking, for someone who takes care of gardens, it’s pleasant.

「Isaac-kun, I heard you’re going to a party with Dia?」

「Ah, yes.」

While being pestered by Flora to take a financier, I replied. What the difference is between a financier and madeleine, I really don’t understand. With the exception of the form, I don’t sense anything like a difference in flavor. First of all, because it’s delicious, I’m happy with that.

「Oku-sama isn’t going?」

「If Isaac-kun is going, I won’t go. Flora will get lonely.」

What, me??

I understand the latter reason, but how am I the basis for judgment, I wonder. When I tilt my head in confusion, Flora also eats a financier while tilting her head the same way.

「If Isaac-kun, who she’s become attached to, looks after her, I’ll have peace of mind and she can go to the party.」

「I’m sorry?」

At Oku-sama, who gently smiles while letting out a Fufu, I inexcusably apologize. Certainly, Ojou and Duke-sama won’t be there, and furthermore, if Oku-sama also isn’t there, Flora will be lonely. Because babysitters in downtown were always requested, with me, no matter who the other person is, I don’t particularly mind.

「It’s fine. Because it will be fun.」

「Fun?」

Although she isn’t going to the party, I don’t understand the reason Oku-sama is looking forward to it. Oku-sama narrows her eyes that seem to be having as much as she said, looking in Ojou’s direction.
While drinking tea and talking with us, as if being vigilant, Ojou, who was waiting, at that gaze, freezes. However, as for why, Ojou is like a stray cat that is cautious of every time there is a person.

「Right, Dia?」

「Not, not particularly……」

「My, is that so? Rather, you’re anxious, right?」

At Oku-sama who said it as if realizing, Ojou tilts her head to the side. I’m a commoner, so is that meaning that I’m going to make various mistakes? Because I can’t afford to embarrass Ojou or Duke-sama, I’ll do my best.

「I have get my spirits up and dress up.」

I’ll help with that, says a cheerful Oku-sama. She’s someone who is like the embodiment of elegance, I don’t feel she matched the word “spirited”. When I was thinking that, when Ojou understood the meaning of the words, frowned a little. For a short while, she’s worried, and suddenly stopped her gaze over me. Because it was held like that, I tilted my head in confusion. Flora also tilts her head.

「Ojou?」

「Sishtah?」

Because we called out to her whether or not we understood, Ojou, with both of her hands, was at her wits’ end and put her elbows on the table. For Ojou whose posture is always good, it’s rare. Somehow, because she is groaning, just what in the world is wrong? First of all, because Flora is imitating her noises, even though it’s only groaning, it would be good if someone told them to stop, wouldn’t it?
With something bothering her, Ojou, after ample time waiting, requested something from her mother.

「…………Mother, please cooperate with me.」

「Of course.」

It doesn’t look like the softly smiling Oku-sama is being coerced at all. And yet, because Ojou says it seeming too frustrated, the feeling she was made to say it is there, and it’s strange.
But, I see. Going to the part, Ojou does things like dress up, doesn’t she? Being able to see Ojou, who she doesn’t get the chance to properly be able to see, seems to be fun.

「If Ojou, who is always pretty, dresses up, it’ll be amazing, won’t it?」

「Mm. Sistah, pret—」

「!!」

Ojou, who turned bright red, trembles. Ah, this, she got mad, didn’t she. Even though I put myself on guard a bit, Ojou swallowed her anger, and said she was tired.

「Zack……at the party, ‘pretty’ and ‘cute’ are taboo.」

「I understand.」

Is that so? Noble parties have strange rules.

「But, if I can’t give something like compliments, so I rarely say it, I thought.」

Ojou seemed to look at me with a facial expression asking ‘what is this guy saying’. While smiling, Oku-sama asks me.

「Which reminds me, Dia’s dress today was picked by me, you know. Isaac-kun, what do you think of it?」

「It’s pretty.」

It’s a dress with green and white stripes. The lace is less, but because the color fits this season and is refreshing, below, at two points her hair is tied up not with a ribbon but into braids. I don’t know how many stripes the dress has, but it suits Ojou well.
At my smile, somehow Oku-sama seems to be on point, chuckling. If a beautiful girl puts on clothes that suit her, generally she’s cute, isn’t she? Although I’m only saying the truth, what is so amusing? When I realize it, Ojou fell prostrate at the table.

「……Zack, it’s better if you stay silent.」

Somehow, with this exchange, I, with this party, properly using polite language made me anxious. Somewhere, the manners were bad, it seems. Flora, who is trying to imitate Ojou, as it is, I, while trying to pin her body down so her forehead wouldn’t hit the table, thought I should do my best at learning my master’s attendant course.
If I think that now, that tea party was the end of my peace.
It goes without saying Ella-sensei’s dance instructions changed into intensive training, and Master’s attendant course also, with being compressed into the short term, was harsh.
According to Master, it’s easy, but that doesn’t tell me anything. More than memorizing properly the faces and names of all those present, it also seems to be necessary to understand the relationships between the factions. What is this super secretary? I’m bad at memorization. In my past life, when I would do my best at studying history, I could make something of it, but I always had average marks. Giving up around there, I was honestly glad.
The one month until Leo’s birthday passed by like surging waves.
That very day, I was riding in the Ernest house carriage, but because I was reviewing internally what Master taught me to not be confused, there isn’t time to look outside. When we arrive, descending first, I remain silent and although Ojou comes down, I lend a hand. I feel I can’t relapse into my inner thoughts more and more, and for an instant I wanted to go back.
Duke-sama also comes out, as Ojou’s escort. I am only following the two of them. Looking from behind, I see and recognize, Duke-sama and Ojou are drawing attention. While paying attention not to show it on my face, my inner thoughts are ones of admiration. Their fully equipped beauty is amazing. Because of them, my appearance is overshadowed, and breathing is easy. I was worried whether or not I’d be conspicuous, but it seems it was an absurd fear.
However, a follower is subtly complex. Although it’s the first time I came to the royal palace, because I can’t look around, since my master had warned me about not doing something foolishly, there is an austerity to the preservation of the degree your serious face can’t show expression.

「A showy appearance as ever, Geordo.」

「I’m not doing anything particularly different.」

When I thought it was an undaunted voice raised, a bearded noble man came this way. It seems to be an acquaintance of Duke-sama. This kind of wild type of noble exists, doesn’t it?

「Zinvarka-sama, Tordelise-sama, it has been a long time.」

Ojou pinches her skirt, and lightly curtsies to the bearded man and that girl behind him. Her name, I memorized it. It’s the person curtsying.

「I say, I say, Lydia-sama. today you are all the more lovely.」

「It has been a long time as well, Lydia-sama.」

The two return their respective greetings. The girl turned a happy seeming expresing towards Ojou. It’s the first time I see it, but this girl knows her. She’s a girl like a rabbit. Things like showing rabbits, her favorite stuff toy is a rabbit, she is a friend of Ojou’s who talks a lot about rabbits.

「Hm? Who is this one?」

For a moment, the gaze of the bearded man falls on me. I bow my head in silence. Rather than me, it’s Duke-sama who the question is directed towards, so I don’t have the right to answer.

「This is an employee of our house. He’s Dia’s dance partner, you know.」

「……you can take care of your daughter’s dance partner yourself, you know.」

At Duke-sama’s answer, the bearded man appeared to be shocked. It seems that Duke-sama’s foolishness for his family is well-known. However, this is a man who talks less formally with nobles.

「Apart from that, a rare person arrived.」

「Who?」

When the bearded man raised his hands and looked over his shoulder, exactly at that moment the called person arrived here.

「Augusto, you’re as quick as ever.」

「What are you saying, Vito? My daughter is following, isn’t she? Is your stamina running out?」

「You… for once, it would be better to look over your shoulder.」

The one who returns a forced smile to the bearded man was Daniel-sama. Just as Daniel-sama says, surely, with an effortful speed that isn’t running, his daughter who is following him, faintly is out of breath and her cheeks are flushed. Because it seems for girls, there is a rule they mustn’t run, accompanying their father who seems to walk with big steps was difficult.

「Here you are.」

Because a waiter happened to be passing by exactly then, the rabbit girl was presented with an apple and black tea non-alcoholic cocktail.

「Ah…… thank you very much.」

「It is not a problem.」

She was a bit scared, but I, as Ojou’s attendant, realized it, she was relieved and accepted the drink. Maybe she’s bad at males outside her family. But, she is a girl who can kindly give her thanks even to employees like me. I’m glad Ojou’s friend is a good kid.
Somehow, motionlessly, I was stared at by the rabbit girl.  I think about if there is something strange, and immediately realized it. For an instant, I had lost focus. My inner thoughts become panicked, and I tighten my face, and raise my voice to Ojou.

「Ojou-sama, should I do the same for you?」

「I am fine now.」

「Certainly.」

I bow my head, and again return in waiting behind her. I thought about if I had been too forward in my imitation, but because Ojou isn’t scowling at me, it should be fine. When push comes to shove, with one’s light of sight, she was telling me to be careful. Because Master instructed me to be considerate of her, so maybe, if it’s this much, even if she moves from me, it’s safe.
Ojou begins talking with the rabbit girl, and Duke-sama is talking with the bearded man and Daniel-sama. One time, Daniel-sama and I’s eyes meet, and he gently smiled at me. I only returned a slight bow. Bracing myself is absolutely necessary, but a little mentally tiring.
If I avoid being conscious from here, it’s better that I don’t listen to what the girls are talking about, naturally I heard what Duke-sama was talking about.

「As expected, rejecting an invitation from the royal family twice is unrefusable. Well, at the very least, when I finish greetings at the minimum, I’ll go back.」

「Moreover, it’s fine for Geordo to be surprised.」

The bearded man amusedly look at Duke-sama with half-open eyes, but Duke-sama, with a smiling face, wards that off.

「It’s because I’ve met with him several times.」

「Mu…… it can’t helped, can it? Even if I go, I can’t say anything tasteful.」

At the bearded man who seems to be awkward, Duke-sama smiles, and Daniel-sama also seemingly happily narrows his eyes. Somehow it appears these three are friends. Naturally, speaking of that, there are people outside of Duke-sama who worry about Daniel-sama, so somehow I’m a little happy.
When Duke-sama and his friends are peacefully talking, and Ojou and her friend are happily chatting, solemn music starts to play, and all present face the staircase with double doors, and bow their heads. When I emulate that, the sound of the a door opening is heard, and the sound of several people’s footsteps draw close to the hall, a man’s voice is raised. Because everyone is told to raise their heads, I lift my head while seeing the king of my country for the first time in anticipation.

Huh? The crown??

Along with the crown, I was imagining a full set of capes I don’t understand and a fluffy long mantle dragged along. At the difference in image, my inner thoughts are shocked.
Certainly, in this place, they are wearing the finest quality clothes compared to the nobles, but the basic design is the same. As for how the royalty and nobility are different, it’s around the mantle? There are two queens, the mantle for women seeming to have one part, with a metal chain kept in the front with jewels on the shoulder, and up until the elbow, the fabric is ultra-thin or see through.
To me, rather than the king, it feels like a stage actor playing Leo’s father. Because his appearance is showy, for being the king, rather than a politician, it seems more like the public entertainment family, huh. It started to feel like this place is a theater. However, for the king, compared to my father and Duke-sama, looks older. Is he in his early or mid thirties?
While thinking that, I looked, and noticed a certain problem. My eyes are pained. They’re dazzling. Glaringly so.
With Duke-sama’s house, because they’re close to royalty, it was the ruin of me. Because I had only met Leo off the record, I could try to look away, but because now that would be rude, I can’t. Though, with my elementary school’s morning assembly in my past life, the principal’s wig, with a tendency to fly, the times his dazzling scalp would appear, I’d stare at it. How, I wonder, is the king not a bald father? If that’s the case, I can look.
As for minimal aid, it’s different than the long, drowsy talk of my principal, as the king’s is short, and afterwards, Leo’s greetings were also short. I wasn’t properly listening, but I have a feeling Leo is like the president of the student council. First of all, he quickly finished the opening of the ceremony that’s like a morning assembly, and I tightly kept my eyes on him. The nobles, how are they fine? Is it because they’re used to seeing precious metals?
From the band, BGM for a party began to play, and each person started to move as they pleased, and for me, was relieved. If it comes true, perhaps, I want to immediately massage my eyes. I understand well the state of mind of a middle-aged man who is applying a hot towel to his eyes. After, if I complete the dance quota with Ojou, just that is fine. Ojou also said only one song is fine. With Ella-sensei’s intensive training, if I think about continuously dancing, it’s completely easy.

「It’s been a while since I met with the public.」

「Congratulations, Your Highness. You’ve grown taller since last year.」

「Thank you. Even outside of growing taller, growing up makes me happy.」

「You are very humble.」

Ah, I forgot. Leo’s courtesy calls, for people like Duke-sama and Ojou, were also a target. For an instant, the Duke-sama and Leo set were too bright, and the stiffness like a frog being stared down by a snake started, but somehow or another I pretended to be calm and endure it. In the surroundings, noble wives and daughters glowing bright. It entering my field of vision is painful, and temporarily I want to borrow that camera filter. [T/N: “glowing bright” is literally “yellowly being colored”]

「Lydia-sama, it has been a few days. Today, again, you are still beautiful.」

「Yes. As for this time, congratulations, Your Highness. Receiving a compliment from you is an honor. However, it is not as good as Your Highness.」

「Thank you. It’s more or less because I am the leading part of this party. I must not be buried in beautiful ladies, or I’ll stretch to my breaking point a little.」

Because Leo gives a dazzling smile while sleekly saying that sort of speech, the glow, let alone the high pitched squeals, go up. At the least, I wanted them to do it in a place not close to me. Not only my eyes, but my ears were also damaged.
When I was thinking about if they will quickly go somewhere else, Leo glanced in my direction. I felt it has been a long time since directly looking into those honey colored eyes. It was only an instant, but those honey-colored eyes were amusingly narrowed.

「Is it him, today?」

「Yes. He is an employee of our house.」

「Is that so? I’m sorry, but thank you.」

To look respectful, I silently took my thanks. The brightness is extinguished from my field of vision, and in my inner thoughts, am relieved.

「I am unsuited for this role, but I will humbly do my best.」

Even Leo and Ojou’s exchange felt shameless, but as expected, there was an uncomfortable feeling of using honorific language with Leo creeping on my back. If you go out in society, it’s common that a friend or junior will become your boss. First of all, I, as much as possible, didn’t want to meet with Leo in public.
Because the music changes exactly then, I present my hand to Ojou.

「Ojou-sama, please give me your hand.」

Ojou, with the appearance of being cold like a noble daughter, put her hand on top of mine. I escort her to the dance area, join together with the music, and dance.

「…………so, Ojou, is your hearing okay?」

I ask with a volume that can’t be heard by the other people dancing. Ojou, as she kept a smile for dancing, replies with only a voice that’s a little weak.

「Because again, we’re in the middle of a party, so stop using those words…… but, honestly, I’m saved.」

「Ojou, your hearing is weak, huh?」

「Please do not talk in a way that has misunderstandings……!?」

Ojou, seeming to have a good sense of sound, her ability to listen to sounds in public is high. She was spoken well of her teacher for piano. Even during times we’re in the garden, for the distant, small chirping birds, Ojou realizes them before me. Instead, she’s weak towards loud sounds. Those high-pitched shrieks, it’s expected I’m not the only one who has damage.

「I was also helped in escaping from Leo.」

「…………well, as much as you can’t close your eyes, Zack did his best, didn’t he?」

While I was thinking about if I had been cautious about doing something discourteous, there is a pause, and I was told that with a voice of amazement. The time with the three of us, because I often use Ojou as a shield, it became clear how weak I was with dazzling things.

「There are a lot of dazzling people at a noble party, huh? In this way, if I can only be looking at Ojou, it’s fun, though.」

In the middle of the noble daughters dressed with metal accessories, Ojou had the minimum in hair ornaments and earrings. Although the precious metals are little, because the embroidery of the hem of her dress is terribly attentive, it mainly became like imitation flower decorations, and there is a showy, high class feel. Practically, it’s an expensive dress design, isn’t it, but with how it was a minimum source of light, I am very thankful.
At the beginning, not being able to look around was regrettable, but for a moment, the crystal chandelier and gold candlesticks, among other things, enter my view, and I changed my mind that restricting my field of vision was better. Even the interior design was radiant.
Which reminds me, Ojou, from a little bit ago, is silent, so what’s wrong?
When I curiously think about it and examine Ojou’s appearance, suddenly, at the bottom of her neck, a bloomed flower entered my sight.

「Your charm, I used it……」

The ribbon I gave her that was attached to a white baby rose from before was being used as a choker. Unconsciously, I mumble, and seem to start loosening my facial expression, and immediately put effort into my facial muscles.

「……for a party, I had to temper my muscle memory.」

「Yes, truly………… afterwards, please remember it.」

Eh. I, can I tighten it?

Although her voice had seemed to keep her anger in limit, Ella-sensei trained her, so Ojou’s facial expression stays a smile. What is this, that gap is scary. Even my Master told me that until we came back to the estate not to lose focus, so, even talking with whispers as usual, will be lost points, won’t it?
When one song finishes, clapping hands and cheers burst out. Though I’m trying my best not to change my facial expression, I’m surprised. I wasn’t hearing clapping for every song. I escort Ojou back to Duke-sama and realized it, but Ojou was gathering attention. When we return, Duke-sama met us with a smile.

「As always, Dia’s dancing is like calyx supporting the pedals.」 [T/N: The calyx is green leaf-like structures that enclose an unopened bud]

Duke-sama seems extremely satisfied. I am very grateful, I say to him, giving my thanks. Ahh, I see. Duke-sama finds my strange way of dancing interesting, but Ojou is number one for him, isn’t she?

「I get it now…… certainly, I can’t imitate it.」

Leo mumbled as if in admiration. He was there again, huh? I thought he had already got to greet the others.
Towards Ojou who had finished dancing, everyone’s daughter approached. Everyone unanimously is praising Ojou. My nonexistence is particularly good, but Leo is the prince, isn’t he? Ojou, compared to Prince Leo, had come to stand out. Is it fine although it’s his birthday, I think, but when I peek at his appearance, Leo seems to be smiling happily and when he excuses himself from Duke-sama, was greeting the next person. The point where Leo has fun is something I don’t really understand.
When I put my line of sight back on Ojou, the young women, with their eyes shining with excitement, again were surrounding her. It doesn’t show on her face, but because she has a fear of strangers, she seems to be troubled. Not losing to the energy of the girls, the noble boys who seem to have gotten a late start look at Ojou from a distance. Ojou is popular with boys and girls, isn’t she? For a beautiful girl, it’s amazing.
Even while I’m recognizing Ojou is a beautiful girl, the noble girls who want to get closer to Ojou greet her.

「Lydia-sama, that was lovely. I am humbly called Erika von Diestel, from the Marquis’ house.」

「My father, working with the Sorcery Ministry, is very grateful to Geordo-sama. I am called Florenzia von Maurer, from the Count’s house.」

「My mother said to please greet Octavia-sama. From the Count’s house, I am called Marguerite von Revelentz.」

「I……」

Ah, it’s impossible. I can’t remember. Master, for me, it’s impossible. Everyone’s names are too hard. At the display of what sounds that seem to crash against each other, the insides of my mind broke.

「U, um…… h, how did Lydia-sama reach that point……!」

A noble daughter who was tinged red, with a mood of unconsciously blushing, asked that. For Ojou, it was soft, but she opened her eyes in surprise.
In the time Ojou was lost about how she should answer, two minutes passed. She has to discern her social standing and discriminatorily whisper, and the girl who asked has a gaze that expects an answer from Ojou with a look of yearning. Maybe, because of the mood of the surroundings, her social standing is below a count, so perhaps she might be a baron. At her voice being heard, the girl’s cheeks turned red in shame.
Ojou, who saw the meaning in her redness, has a dangerous light in her pale blue eyes.

「Ojou-sama.」

I softly whisper into Ojou’s ear. Ojou isn’t looking back at me, but the dangerous light in her eyes is extinguished.
Ojou approaches the girl who asked the question.

「Is it okay to touch?」

「Y, yes……」

The girl who doesn’t quite understand the meaning, with an immediate reply, nodded. Ojou reaches for the girl’s hair ornaments, and pulls them out. The instant her hair comes loose, the girl’s eyes become dyed with fright. However, Ojou, not minding, with her fingers, combs the girl’s hair, and puts the hair ornaments in the side. Above her left ear, a pearl bloomed.

「Ah…..」

The girl becomes panicked, and tries to pin down her hair. With that hand, Ojou stops her, and pierces the uneasy shaking in her eyes.

「Be confident. You are lovely.」

After those strong words, Ojou softly smiled. The girl, with strong curled hair, turned red, and her eyes became moist. Ojou, that was cool. The girls that are around them, all of them remain silent.

「There is no need to become like me.」

The curly-haired girl shakingly nodded her head.

「Um…… then, at the very least, may I request to dance with Lydia-sama’s attendant……?」 [T/N: If Leo is listening to this he’s going to die of laughter]

Ha? Me??

Until just now, with the mood that changed, I was asked for, and startled. Because I was scolded by Master, it doesn’t show on my face, though. Or rather, my existence my recognized, wasn’t it?

「I, I…… don’t have a dance partner, so with that……」

Isn’t my social status as an attendance low? Or, for the attendant of the Ojou she admires, is it treating me like shared goods, maybe?
However, the girl’s self-deprecation is a little sad. Because Ojou also feels that, it’s difficult to refuse. Inviting someone to a dance is generally from the man. The girl is mustering the incredibly small amount of bravery she received from Ojou.

「This is too great of an honor, young lady of red and yellow grasses.」

When that bravery shouldn’t be rendered futile, she smiled as if relieved, and gave her thanks. However, I don’t know her name, or rather because I can’t remember it, I want to be forgiven for addressing her with her appearance.
Although I started talking on my own accord, the curly haired girl is surprised to be acknowledged as I escort her and dance. This is the first time I’ve danced with anyone outside of Ojou, so my inner thoughts are anxious about paying attention not to make my partner fall.

「Um, why……」

「I was only following Ojou-sama’s idea.」

Because the girl who still can’t believe she is dancing asks, I replied. As for Ojou hesitating on whether or not to refuse, was she taking into consideration me or the girl. But, Ojou, who regretted the humiliation she put Katherine-san, the maid, for some time, there is no way she can overlook this girl.

「In addition, Ojou-sama also has the same worries, doesn’t she?」

「The same?」

「Do you know our house’s lady?」 [T/N: literally “our house’s wife”]

「Yes. It’s from a distance, but I have seen them. Straight hair is really beautiful……」

With that, the girl who seems to recognize it, stopped her words. Because our worries are the same, it seems we realized something immediately.

「Please keep what I have done a secret.」

I was scolded, with a forced smile, and the girl is a little surprised and smiled like she’s amused. It might be the effect of feeling an affinity towards the existence of admiration, but the atmosphere softened. [T/N: In this case, I believe they both admire Lydia]

「That reminds me, what did you say to Lydia-sama?」

Around the time the music stopped, I was asked by the girl whose facial expression had become terribly bright. It seems it was being wondered just what I whispered.

「Flowers, rather than buds, should have bloomed.」

Before Ojou undid her hair, like a ballet dancer, her hair was binded at the top. Her curls were deliberately complex, but because the dress she is wearing that looks like red and yellow grasses has an expanded skirt that looks like flowers piled on top of each other, it felt like the silhouette was badly balanced. The time my father was pruning the garden, because he is aware of the silhouette while cutting, that image was just conveyed to Ojou.
Rather than like a bud on top being too clean, it was better, now that her curled hair is blooming like a flower.
Because the time I answered was exactly when the music stopped, when we return to Ojou, the attitude of our surroundings towards the curly haired girl was a little different. The girls with straight hair are touching their hair while being envious of her, and some of the boys are glancing worryingly at the girls.
First of all, just some time ago they were the same, and because I wasn’t being noticed, I quickly go to Ojou’s side.

「Just now, I have returned.」

「You overdid it.」

To not be heard by the others, Ojou is careful to whisper. “What in the world were you doing?” Because what Ojou did was overkill and clearly stood out, the influence towards the noble girls is strong.

「Attendant, will you dance with me next?」

「That’s sneaky. Next, with me……」

「No, with me!」

Somehow or another, it seems my existence at Ojou’s side was recognized. Well, because if you look at Ojou, I’m partially in the field of vision, so that’s how it is. But, although it’s expected that being invited by a girl to dance is rare, just what in the world is this. I’m a servant, so the hurdle is low, but is it that I count as something like a sparring partner?

「Um, please calm down. Moth Orchid Ojou-sama, Calla Ojou-sama, and Dahlia Ojou-sama.」

This kind of spirit is scary. Something like securing an advantage is being circulated, but is there anything from having a servant as your partner? Not understanding the meaning, I put a stop to it with a voice that is as calm as possible.
When again, I call out using their outward appearance, the girls immediately stopped. Afterwards, even if I’m scolded for not properly calling their names, after a short period of time, I sigh with relief.

「Then, for me, what flower am I?」

「Annual aster Ojou-sama?」

Because the other girls asked with immense curiosity, reflexively I say the name of the flower that came to mind. Somehow, the girls let out “kyaa”s and were seemingly happily in high spirits. This time, it became something like a game that asked what plant it seemed to be. Again, because I was asked by some people, for now, with their appearance, I gave them the name of the plant. In addition, the girls are pleased. I really don’t understand girls.

「For Lydia-sama, what flower is she?」

Someone asked that.

「Hm.」

That mumbling, was it me or Ojou? Which one of us was it, I wonder?
Ojou, what kind of flower……

「Ojou is like a flower herself.」 [T/N: I mixed up the kanji during my first scan through just to see preview any interesting lines and for a second I thought this was 「Ojou is my flower」. The way I would’ve screamed if that were the actual line.]

Yes. Ojou is Ojou. She’s a girl who smiles like a blooming flower.
Suddenly, a tight grip pinched my arm from the side. Being careful at that faint pain, I realized my facial expression was loosening. Pretending to clear my throat, I fix my facial expression and tighten it.
The girls somehow raise their voices to a high pitched scream. Is Leo passing close by? Are Ojou’s ears okay, and with a sideways glance, when I peek, only her ears are red. She’s getting mad at me. Outside, Ojou is very skilled. In this strange place, while admiring that, I’m relieved Ojou’s ears are safe.
After that, in the end, I danced with several people. I wonder if I was something like Ojou’s promotional item.
Rather than what was planned, I became hungry in the second half of the party. Because all I have to do already is follow Ojou, so because I don’t address any other servants, even if I remain silent, it’s fine, however, even with how I’m trying to make sure consciously my stomach doesn’t make a sound, it’s the best I can do.
Ojou, who was pleasantly chatting with the Rabbit Girl, suddenly separates and went towards the stand-up buffet that looks like it hadn’t been touched. I wonder if Ojou was tired of talking with many people. I wonder if she’ll eat fruit, instead she takes a plate and fork.

「Which one would you like?」

「That one, and then…… after, this also……」

At Ojou’s direction, I take things like the salad, meat, and fish, and take care to arrange it while putting it onto the plate. Ojou was hungry too, huh?

「Here you are.」

I hold the plate of arranged food at a height that’s easy for Ojou to eat. Ojou, who held a fork, eats a bit of the salad, and chews a little bit on the strawberries.
When she eats only that, she puts down the fork. When I tilt my head in confusion, while wiping her mouth with a napkin, Ojou turns her head away.

「I don’t need it already. Dispose of it.」

Instantly, I opened my eyes wide.

「Thank you very much.」

Ojou is kind. Because even if I make a strange sound, she’ll be troubled, she softly whispers, but she remembered if I can’t eat a feast, it would be regrettable.
After whispering my thanks before eating, I hold the fork and start eating.

「Wait…… that……」

When I’m chewing while feeling it’s delicious, Ojou started to say something with a flustered voice. While eating, when with only my eyes I ask what’s wrong, Ojou again turns away.

「It is nothing……」

Ojou, also pretending not to see, waits for me to finish eating. Thanks to that, until we go home, my stomach wouldn’t make a sound, since I was able to eat delicious food.
When we reunite with Duke-sama, when we leave the royal castle, the sunset dyed the sky in a deep orange. Finally boarding the Ernest house carriage, after a short while, the carriage begins moving.
At least, I’m relieved it’s over, and let out a long sigh. There, Duke-sama smiles, half amused, half sympathetic.

「Thank you, Isaac.」

「Ah, I’m sorry. We haven’t arrived at the estate yet.」

When in a hurry, I straighten my back, Duke-sama says he doesn’t mind.

「You aren’t used to the clothes or uniform. It’s fine to relax.」

「Then, I’ll accept your offer.」

When I undo the tie and two of the buttons on the shirt, it becomes easier to breath.

「……Ojou?」

When I feel her gaze and look in Ojou’s direction, suddenly Ojou vigorously changed where she was looking to outside the carriage. As for the window, the curtains are covering it, so you can’t see outside, but it’s fine, isn’t it?

「Always doing that sort of thing, it must be hard for Duke-sama and the others.」

「However, today was fun, you know.」

I can’t feel the same, and from the bottom of my heart, felt it was only for today. Duke-sama’s smile brightens. I unaffectedly scrutinize his eyes.

「Is that so?」

I, did I do that sort of strange thing? Although my Master especially taught me, if I wasn’t able to be a proper attendant, I’m sorry. I tried my best with polite language, didn’t I?

「Ah. Ojou, are you fine already?」

「? What are you talking about??」

I forgot the essential part. Ojou, curious, tilts her head.
She didn’t seem to understand what I was asking, and because the usual Ojou had returned, I decided it’s fine.

「Today’s Ojou was incredibly pretty, huh?」

I smiled, and with a feeling of relief, gave my impressions. With how I couldn’t say what I thought, it was a bad feeling all along.
Duke-sama agrees, and nodded his head many times over.
Ojou’s anger had been stored up, and not just her face, her whole body turned red as she scolded me.

「Zack is an idiot, isn’t he!?」

This and that, with these words, Ojou repeatedly hit me, but because she only used those pronouns, what she was talking about, I didn’t understand. [T/N: Slightly confusing, but essentially Ojou isn’t specifying, she’s just saying “for this” or “for that”]
For a while, I received Ojou’s non-painful blows, but the carriage’s shaking, for our tired bodies, was so comfortable that when we noticed it, we had fallen asleep.


GOD THIS CHAPTER WAS LONG

But it was SO, SOOOOO worth it.

I really wish that Zack had said “Ojou is my flower” because the way I would’ve screamed holy shit hahahaha

Not a lot to say other than this chapter was SO LOOOOONG. It was like it would never end, geez. But I’m glad it’s done, definitely one of the more fun chapters, especially after the sudden dramatics of last one.

Sadly that was just through a glancing pass through and when I got to the actual line I was a little disappointed. But either way, Zack causing more chaos as usual. Next chapter is basically the follow up to this one, and well, Ojou gonna Ojou.

See you all next chapter.

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