I reeeally want to talk about the latest development in the raw, so I will try to catch up as fast as possible. Enjoy the chapter!
ED: clover, eristol
The next afternoon, Al came to play at my house as he declared.
“Good afternoon, Lily. As promised, I came to visit.”
“Thank you, Al.”
I lowered my head while feeling pretty relieved in my heart as I gave him my greetings.
I didn’t think of it, but if he did break his promise, I wonder what I was supposed to do.
If that were the case, I would have to worry about the future all by myself.
Yesterday I was determined to work hard alone, but right now it’s quite difficult as I don’t know which direction to take, so I am pleased that Al kept his promise.
Even if we are engaged, it’s not appropriate for women to invite men to their room.
For that reason, I led Al to the reception room facing the garden on the first floor rather than my room which is on the second floor. My father who had heard about the visit naturally showed his face, but he was forced to return to his room by Al who said he wanted to deepen his relationship with his fiancée.
As my father returned to his room, he told me, “If something happens, make a loud noise.” But we are merely collaborating with being engaged as a front. So nothing would happen. Outwardly I retorted, “Isn’t that rude to His Highness?”
I also drove away Luke who had finished serving, so there are only the two of us. Of course, the fact that a man and a woman are in a closed room together is frowned upon, so the door of the room was left slightly open.
There is a distance between us and the door, so the content of our conversation will not leak out if we suppress our voices.
“Ah, I forgot. I would like to give this to you.”
As soon as I opened my mouth to ask about the 『villainess』 matter, he cut off my words as if blocking it. Even so, I accepted the thing he handed to me immediately.
The thing which was handed to me was a blue box. A white ribbon was tied on top of it.
“Well, something like that. Please open it.”
Being urged by Al, I unraveled the ribbon and opened the box. A beautiful brooch appeared from inside. It was a beautiful red jewel carved into the shape of a butterfly.
“Well, how beautiful……”
I also have a couple of brooches, but none this elaborate. While I was honestly surprised, Al said—
“I’m glad if it suits your taste. And, since it’s the proof of our engagement, keep it on you at all times so as to not lose it. See, we’re matching.”
Al pointed to his chest. There was the same butterfly brooch decorating it. However, its color was green.
His appearance is not as splendid as yesterday, but the brooch still suits him who is wearing an ornate jacket today.
“Al’s brooch is green, huh?”
Although I said it without any deep meaning, Al who heard it laughed happily.
“Yeah. Because your eyes are green. For generations, the royal family members will give their betrothed a jewel of the same color as their eyes processed into an accessory. We were officially engaged yesterday. That’s why I brought it here.”
“Eh, is it possible to make it this quickly?”
The brooch which I got was elaborate, so there was no way that I could believe that it can be made overnight.
To my surprise, Al took off his brooch and showed it to me.
“Normally, it cannot be done. But, this was made using special magic. I can’t tell you the details because it’s a secret, but this actually can be made in a moment.”
“So that’s how it is……”
Hearing that it was made by magic, I then took a look at the brooch once again.
It’s a mysterious force rooted in our soul.
Everyone is born with magical power and uses it to cause various miracles.
From the simple magic of making a fire to healing a dying sick person, the range that can be performed by each person is different, but it is possible to create a miracle that matches their competence.
In particular, many aristocrats have more magical power than the commoners, and most of the mages who inspect the castle are aristocrats. I don’t have that much, but I do have a reasonable amount of magical power.
Although, right now there is no such mage who can heal a dying sick person.
In the past, there was only one such legendary person called the Great Mage, but the description that he used such magic only remained in certain documents.
In other words, even if it says that one can use magic, there is a whole range of it.
I observed every corner of the brooch.
I have heard of using magic to process accessories, but I heard that it takes quite some time. To be able to make this in a moment, as expected of the castle mages. They’re completely different from the town mages.
“So the castle mages also make accessories, huh.”
“Well. This was made by me. The accessory that would be given at the time of engagement is decided by the related prince. Fufu, it’s pretty good, isn’t it?”
“Eh, you made this, Al?”
I was surprised by his remark that this is his own work. The prince is very skillful, huh.
Many of the royal family members hold a huge magical power. Surely, with his excessive magical power, Al is also able to exercise difficult magic.
“Do you like it?”
“Yes. I’ll cherish it.”
I gently held the brooch I was given.
A proof that I am Al’s fiancée. Someday, there will be a day when I would have to return this, so I’ll take care of it until then.
I thought it would be problematic if I lose it, but when I tried to return it to the box again, I was stopped by Al.
“There is a special magic in it. So if possible, I would like you to wear it all the time.”
I am afraid of breaking it, but since the person who made it said that, I will obey him.
Quickly, I attached it on the chest part of the dress I was wearing. Today I’m wearing a dress with a soft atmosphere that was not chosen by me unlike the usual.
“Today, you’re wearing a completely different dress from yesterday.”
Al narrowed his eyes and said so as though admiring it.
“Yesterday’s dress also looked nice, but I like today’s dress better. Your makeup is also reserved, it makes the beauty of your skin stand out, and I truly can’t see you as the 『villainess』 my brother told me about.”
“……Thank you very much.”
Hearing the praises that came out of his mouth, I bowed gratefully.
Actually, at first I was about to pick out a flashy dress like what I had worn yesterday. But, I thought it over.
Primary colored dress with my gaudy face. I wonder if it would give a villainess-like impression.
If it were the usual, I wouldn’t have minded it, but once I thought so, it was hard to deny. As expected I was troubled, so I invited the maid who always helps me change my clothes and asked her directly what kind of dress suits me.
At first, she thought that I was angry, as she was the maid who recommended only fancy dresses with primary colors, but when I said that I wanted something different, before long she nervously pointed at a lovely off-season white dress.
I didn’t think that it would suit me, so I didn’t feel like going through with it, but I thought that it would be fun to try.
Makeup and hairstyle were all also left to the maid’s discretion, though I couldn’t calm down since I wasn’t used to it at all, Al seems to like it a lot.
“Um, I like things similar to yesterday’s dress, but I suddenly became anxious that I would look more villainess-ish or something. This was chosen by my maid who usually helps me change my clothes.”
“I see. But, it suits you very well. It suits you so well……that I don’t want you to show it to any man other than me.”
“Well, Al, you are exaggerating. But, thank you very much.”
It seems that he really likes it.
But, so that’s how it is. Al likes this kind of appearance, huh.
I see, while thinking that this kind of appearance is quite the opposite of me until now, Al said.
“Speaking of which, yesterday I heard from my brother, but the 『villainess』 seems to like gaudy dresses like the one you wore yesterday. Spending money unnecessarily, following the latest trends desperately, buying jewelries. I know you won’t do that sort of things, but if you want to leave the image of a 『villainess』 even a little, it would be better to change to a dress like this one.”
“Huh! I-I see. Thank you very much for your advice.”
I couldn’t breathe for a moment.
Following the latest trends, spending money unnecessarily, and buying jewelry.
All of them are familiar to me.
I thought that having the latest trend is important, and I also know that the amount of money for spending on making dresses increases year by year. I want high-quality jewels, I remember fighting my father about it recently.
I have never even thought that it was a bad thing.
Because my father told me that he doesn’t mind.
But, when I looked at Al, he was pulling a wry face.
“As expected, those are too over-the-top, right? Being a noble, wearing a beautiful dress is necessary to some extent and I also do that, but there is a limit to everything. It seems that the 『villainess』 my brother was talking about spends money like hot water. It’s very terrible since she spends the important money we get from the people to buy new dresses to wear at a weekly tea party with the other ladies. I heard that she never wears the same dress twice. Unbelievable. I also told my brother that Lily is not someone who would do something like that, but……aah, sorry. It must have been unpleasant for you.”
That was truly a terrible story.
Because everything that Al said was true.
Cold sweat flowed down my back.
It happened just a while ago.
Every week I would make a dress which Luke and the maid had advised me against as that was too much. And then, I would never wear the same dress again. If I were to do that, I would have been humiliated in front of the other ladies, I had shouted at them in anger.
To put it bluntly, I was indignant and severely punished them for saying such a thing.
Now, looking at Al’s face which was distorted in displeasure in front of me, I know that I was in the wrong.
—I, I, what should I do……
I never thought seriously where my father’s income comes from.
I demanded things from my father as a matter of course. However, as pointed by Al, when I seriously think about it, I can see that it was wrong.
A lady who spends money without thinking about the people’s tax. Moreover, it is only to make a new dress to wear at a weekly tea party.
Even without thinking it over, I understand. Just by the impression, that kind of lady is the worst.
—Aah, certainly. It seems that I am indeed the worst.
Before I noticed, I perfectly matched the 『villainess』 mentioned by Prince Wilfred. 「I will prove myself superior to him! 」 I had said that to myself enthusiastically, but I can’t help feeling miserable now.
“Lily, what’s wrong?”
My eyes were cast downward naturally. I hurriedly raised my face and smiled.
“No, it’s nothing.”
At any rate, let’s cancel the dress that I was planning to order today. The peddler is scheduled to bring jewels tomorrow, but it would be better to cancel that as well.
About the next tea party……I should let my maid choose my dress again. It seems that the result would be satisfactory.
While I was reconsidering the schedule for tomorrow in my head, Al said—
“So, here is the continuation of the story about the 『villainess』. There is no doubt that a 『villainess』 is a woman who has such bothersome behavior. It is generally a high-ranking aristocrat who abuses their surroundings with their excessive selfishness, speech and conduct, and will eventually be abandoned by everyone. My brother insisted that the gentleness of the 『heroine』 stands out because of the existence of the 『villainess』.”
“Will eventually be abandoned……”
“Most 『villainess』 are engaged to a person called a 『capture target』, and it seems that they are ultimately destined to have their engagement destroyed by that person. After that, their relatives will also abandon them, severing their parent-child relationship or their parents will be ruined alongside them. In the worst case, it seems that there may be executions. All of these are the horrible things that will happen to the 『villainess』. My brother told me that it’s a real pleasure when the 『villainess』, who had been doing as she pleased, meets a terrible end.”
“And that……『villainess』 is me, according to His Highness Wilfred.”
There was no power in my voice. Knowing how severe the existence of a 『villainess』 is, my body trembled in fear. Execution is horrible. But, I wonder if I truly have done something terrible enough to be executed.
Even though I was shocked when I was called a 『villainess』, when I thought that such a future awaits, my stomach felt bad with nausea. I feel like I’m about to collapse soon.