Uuu~ this is one of my favorite chapters of this novel. It’s just. So. Cute~~~! Enjoy the chapter!
ED: clover, eristol
While I was desperately thinking about how to apologize to Luke, Al said to me.
“Speaking of which, my brother told me that the 『villainess』is often hated by their family members and servants……”
What a terrible story. I can’t laugh at all. The matter about 「hated by their servants」, in particular, resonates within me.
Aah, the word 『villainess』 pierced into my heart. It hurts.
With teary eyes, I declared to Al.
“I, I will apologize to Luke today at once! Yes! I will apologize until he can forgive me! Because, I, I’m not a 『villainess』!”
“Fufu……yeah, that’s right. You are a girl who can apologize properly if you do bad things. Right?”
“Yess! Of course!”
While I was nodding in half-despair, Al reached out his hand and caressed my head.
“Yes, yes, Lily is a good girl.”
The warm feeling of his palm transmitted to my head and I felt like my heart would jump out of my mouth.
When I was surprised at his sudden action, Al drew his hand back with a bitter smile.
“Ah, sorry. I’m not treating you like a child. But, I think that you’re cute.”
“Was it unpleasant?”
“N-no, no way. It’s fine.”
However, I was just surprised by his sudden action.
“Well, that’s good.”
With a gentle smile, Al changed the subject a bit forcefully while saying “Oh, right.”
“Also, my brother said that there seem to be many 『capture targets』 around the 『villainess』 for some reason and that most 『villainess』 are hated by the 『capture targets』. When the 『villainess』 is being judged, it seems that severe words will be thrown by those 『capture targets』 as they forsake her.”
“『Capture targets』, is it? You mentioned it earlier. That the 『villainess』 is engaged to the 『capture target』, or something like that.”
While I was recalling it, Al nodded.
“Yeah. Well, I think that you also noticed, but my brother said that I am one of the『 capture targets』. 『Capture targets』 are prepared for the 『heroine』, and it is said that they are men with good-looking face and a high-standing. It seems that the 『heroine』 will choose her partner from among these『capture targets』. Ah, the 『heroine』 seems to be the opposite of the 『villainess』, she’s mostly a pretty and gentle woman who is loved by all of the 『capture targets』…… hey, Lily, are you okay? Can you follow my story?”
I nodded once, but my head feels like it’s going to burst because too much information is given at once.
Not only 『villainess』, but there are 『heroine』 and 『capture targets』. I don’t know what those words mean.
While I was in confusion as I organized the information in my head, Al said.
“As for me, I’d like to think that those are just my brother’s made-up words. Because, just like you with the word 『villainess』, I also feel troubled when I was told that I am a 『capture target』.”
It isn’t as unpleasant as my 『villainess』 label, but still, it must have been unpleasant being told that he exists only to be chosen by someone called the 『heroine』.
“I don’t want to be chosen, I want to choose the person I love by myself. I don’t want someone I am unfamiliar with to 「capture」 me, but I want to 「capture」 the person I love by my own will.”
“Yes. I also don’t want to be a 『villainess』.”
Al agreed while nodding many times.
I timidly asked him who was in such a state.
“But, really, Prince Wilfred is amazing. I would say that the setting is too complicated to be made-up……um, is there any chance that His Highness used 【Prophecy】 magic?”
【Prophecy】 is magic that predicts the future, which very few use it. I have never heard that Prince Wilfred can use that magic, but if I listen to Al’s story, I think there is a possibility of that.
But Al quickly denied it.
“Because it’s a story about actual people, I also thought about that at first. But, he said it himself, it’s not that.”
“But sometimes, my brother says things that hit the bulls-eye. That’s why I can’t disregard it as a joke even if it’s absurd.”
Indeed, I perfectly matched the description of the 『villainess』 as he said.
Once I became aware of it, I couldn’t ignore it even if it is absurd.
“I’ll be careful. Um……thank you for everything. I think that I wouldn’t be able to notice it by myself. I was saved.”
I lowered my head in gratitude. Unless Al told me all those things, I wouldn’t notice them.
Like the matter about the dress, and the matter about Luke.
If I weren’t aware of those things, I’m sure I will become the 『villainess』 that Prince Wilfred had been saying.
“Thank you very much, truly.”
As I said that sincerely, Al smiled softly.
“……It’s fine. I don’t think that you are such a terrible woman like my brother said, because you have been able to reflect on your actions. It’s very hard to admit our own mistakes. So, I think that you who can do it is a very good girl.”
“No. Things like ‘a good girl’ is……”
I have no qualification to be called such. Truly, if he didn’t point out my mistakes, I wouldn’t have noticed it, and I would become more and more deplorable.
“You don’t have to repeat the same mistakes. It will be fine. I’ll be with you from now on. Let’s solve each one together.”
“Yes. Thank you.”
Tears were about to fall from my eyes due to his gentle words.
Aah, this person is truly kind. It will be alright if I do it with this person.
Passionate feelings filled the back of my chest. I told him my feelings spontaneously.
“Al, I’m glad you were there. Yesterday, because you talked to me about it, I was able to try and change myself.”
“That’s an exaggeration. It doesn’t have to be me. I think that anyone else would surely help you if they were in my place.”
Denials came out from my mouth.
“No, it will be useless with anyone else but you. It’s strange, but I’m sure that I wouldn’t have listened to anyone else but you.”
Not everyone is okay.
I think it was because he’s a prince, my fiancé, and my love at first sight, that I grasped Al’s extended hand. If it were anyone else, I would have brushed them aside.
This is about myself after all. I know that much.
“I am a person who is only attracted by physical looks, has a high pride……um, I’m a difficult woman. It’s because you were the one who told me that I obediently listened……”
I managed to explain it to Al somehow while saying various things I didn’t understand. Seeing me who was in a confusion, Al narrowed his eyes affectionately.
“I understand. You were trying to explain that it was useless if it were not me, right?”
“Thank you. I’m happy if you say so.”
As he said, Al seemed to be really happy, I was subconsciously captivated by him.
With the smile still remaining on his face, Al stood up.
While looking at the clock placed on the fireplace, he said—
“Sorry. I really want to stay a little bit longer with you, but I have work to do, so I will have to excuse myself.”
“Ah, I apologize. Because of me……”
I also got up in a hurry.
That’s right, Al is the First Prince. Unlike me who is merely a duke’s daughter, he has a variety of duties. He is not free.
However, Al shook his head gently.
“I came here because I wanted to, so don’t worry about it, Lily. And, I think that I had a very good time today. It was a lot of fun. Is it only me who thinks so?”
“N-no. I also think that I had a meaningful time.”
I nodded because I wasn’t lying.
“Yeah. Then, that’s good. This work is something I can finish after I get home and I have settled the urgent projects ahead of time properly, so you shouldn’t worry too much about it.”
“If that’s case……I’m glad, then.”
“But, it is true that I have work remaining, so I have to leave.”
When I nodded, Al said.
“You don’t have to see me off. Say goodbye to the Duke for me. See you, Lily.”
Waving my hand in goodbye, my heart felt suffocatingly painful. I wonder why I feel that way, even though it should be an ordinary action.
Looking at me who was standing on the spot, Al made a troubled expression.
“Lily, don’t make such a face. It will be hard for me to walk away.”
“Eh……what kind of face……”
I don’t understand it well. When I held my cheeks reflexively, Al said.
“It’s written on your face that you’re terribly lonely.”
When I was informed that my emotion appeared on my face, my face turned red in embarrassment. Al chuckled.
“Really, everything you do is cute. It’s fine. I will return for now, but I will come back here to see you again. I promise.”
“Yeah. Pinky promise.”
Offering his little finger all of a sudden, Al laughed.
This is the type of charm often used by children. A promise is made by entwining the little fingers of the two people involved. I also remembered doing this with my father and mother a long time ago.
Remembering that, my lips broke into a smile.
“Here, Lily. Put out your little finger too.”
Urged by Al, I entwined our little fingers together.
I felt somewhat embarrassed, but at the same time, my heart became warm.
“Pinky promise, if I tell a lie……well, what should I do? Lily, what do you want me to do?”
“Eh……E-Even if you suddenly asked me that—”
This is troubling.
When he saw me being confused, Al said “Okay then.”
“If I tell a lie, let me kiss you.”
And then my little finger was released. Al’s words kept revolving around my head.
Eh? Kiss? Me? Al?
You’re lying, right!?
“A, Al! By k-kiss, you mean……”
“You’re upset, huh, how cute. Even if I said kiss, I mean on your cheek. Or rather Lily, did you expect anything different?”
I was staring at his lips intently and I thought that blood would come up to my head from shame.
“I, I! I didn’t think that sort of thing at all!”
“Too bad. If you were hoping for it, I thought that it would be fine, you know? But, that will be the case only if I break my promise……hmm. I don’t want to break my promise with you, this is a difficult situation.”
“There’s nothing difficult about it!”
“For you, perhaps. But, for me it’s different. ……See you.”
Waving his hand, this time Al went out of the room.
When I was left alone, I held my red cheeks with both hands.
“~~! Jeez, that Al!”
Even if he was joking, the quality of the joke was too bad.
“I can’t go outside with my face like this.”
At least, it seems it would be better to stay here until the burning feeling and the redness of my cheeks disappear.
I stared at the door where Al disappeared.
My anxiety had disappeared unnoticed.