TLN: I added a new feature on the site. If you want to put spoilers in the comments, surround them with spoiler tags in square brackets. For example:
[spoiler] That truck novel in the Thanksgiving announcement wasn’t real [/spoiler]
Barcus was busy since the morning.
“Luce, are you doing okay with the meal?”
“Yeah, that’s fine, but…is, is someone really coming over? I don’t dislike it. But, having the daughter of a prestigious household come over is a bit much.”
The reason was that Leon had returned home in the morning.
Barcus, Leon’s father, was at his wits’ end.
“That idiot, to think that he picked a fight with his Highness the crown prince, and now he’s bringing home the daughter of a duke household this time. He needs to be more considerate of my own heart. If I die from shock, it’ll be his fault!”
Something like having the daughter of a duke household come over was unthinkable, so they have been in a great haste since the morning in order to prepare.
An attendant from the duke household appeared in the kitchen.
“Excuse me. Since the preparations for the room you’re lending us have been finished, the assistants here await for further instructions.”
The assistant was wearing thick maid clothes.
She was raised as a high class maid, without a doubt──and simply put, the assistants were from notable families that came to work for the duke household.
They were knights working as retainers or those under their guardianship.
From Barcus’ viewpoint, they were not people he could treat rudely.
“Well, we’re fine over here, so you can take a break. The preparations for the room will soon──”
“We’ve already finished that some time ago.”
Barcus had been busy since morning.
A disaster soon struck him again.
He heard a high-pitched yell coming into the kitchen.
“Hey, these people are servants, and yet they’re not even listening to my orders!”
Barcus covered his face with both of his hands.
After apologizing to the maid in the kitchen, he hurried towards the entrance, and there was Zola. Lutart and Merce were there too, and both Zola’s and Merce’s exclusive servants were standing by.
(Why are there so many visitors today?!)
Barcus saw Zola drawing closer to the maids from the duke household. He appeared in front of the maids, suppressing the urge to scream.
“It’s been a while, Zola! What are you here today for?”
Zola hit Barcus on the cheek with her folded fan.
“What I’m here for, you say?! Do you even know what your incompetent son did?! The royal capital is in an uproar. How are you going to take responsibility for this?”
The eldest son, Lutart, fiddled with his long hair while showing no interest. Merce wasn’t interested in Barcus either.
“N, no, that…”
Barcus didn’t know how to respond.
Recently, his daily life had become really hectic, and he couldn’t keep up with a lot of things.
To escape from reality, he thought about things like “Perhaps Nicks should hurry up and graduate so that he can help out~.”
Thereupon, the maids gathered at the entrance, and stood in a line to greet their master.
“Welcome, our fair lady.”
Zola and the others turned around, and saw Anjelica.
Hiding behind her was Leon.
(You should step forward!)
He wanted to criticize his son, but he couldn’t interrupt, so he remained silent.
“How noisy. What happened?”
Seeing Anjelica squinting, there was a wrinkle in Zola’s brow.
“And just where did you come from, little girl? Anyways, since that absolute moron is behind you, you’re probably not from any significant household, though. I have some business with that waste of space hiding behind you. Step back.”
When Leon was about to step forward unwillingly, Anjelica held him back with her hand.
She had a stern gaze when Leon was looked down on.
“Aren’t you being quite arrogant? How about letting this little girl introduce herself?”
The corner of Zola’s mouth twitched.
“Wait, Zola. Let’s talk about this. Right, everyone come inside. C’mon. C’mon!”
Barcus, stopping the conversation and forcing everyone inside, thought about how he wouldn’t forget this day in his entire life, and wept.
“W, well, I see. I didn’t think that the Redgrave family’s daughter would come to a rural area like this.”
Zola, who made a complete reversal, was flustered and in a cold sweat.
While thinking in my mind about what an idiot she was, I listened to the conversation between Anjelica and Zola.
The two faced each other, and sat on sofas with a low table between them.
“Much obliged. However, it’s quite strange to hear about a wife that’s constantly away from the residence. It’s also hard for me to understand why the eldest son doesn’t help out with work. What is the eldest son, Lutart, doing currently? I don’t see him being a soldier, so perhaps he’s doing civil service?”
Lutart was not here.
Zola cast her eyes downward.
“R, right now he’s studying for the future of the royal capital.”
Lutart was nineteen. Merce was twenty.
Both of them weren’t married, and lived in the Baltfault household’s residence within the royal capital. Though it was called the Baultfault household…it was more like the Zola household. The residence in the royal capital where Zola and the others were living was prepared by my father.
It was nice being able to see Zola getting embarrassed, but just then, my father told me “Do something,” with his eyes.
“L, leaving that aside, what business do you have here?”
Zola behaved modestly and asked about what she was doing.
Anjelica made a tiny smile.
“I’m just sightseeing. I went to a newly discovered floating island today. There was a hot spring, and it was a nice place.”
Zola made an expression of delight.
“If you’re happy, then I’m happy.”
“Yes, so I’ll be in your care for a short while.”
Zola froze after hearing that.
“H, how many days are you planning to spend?”
“I don’t really have a plan. I suppose it will be until my household comes to contact me. Be at ease, I will pay lodging expenses for having a baron household letting me stay here. Of course, it will go to the barons.”
When hearing that, Zola said “By all means, make yourself comfortable,” but…she took her children back to the royal capital the next day.
To be honest, it delighted me to see Zola scurrying home. When I applauded Anjelica, she had a complicated expression. I shed tears when she said “It seems you had some hardships,” but my father and mother looked at me with a calm gaze while not understanding.
Couldn’t they have been a little bit kinder to me?
The floating island was my territory.
“You don’t need to go out of your way to use the hot spring, my house has a bath.”
I went to go see the two, who had taken a liking to the hot spring. They went there on an almost daily basis.
“Isn’t it fine? This is a place that people rarely come to. Besides, it feels a little pleasant on the skin.”
Of course. This was the world of an otome game where women dominated men. Turning that around, if one was able to earn the favor of women, they would be able to find success. And the one who gave beauty effects to the hot spring was…Luxon!
Luxon really was useful.
“The beauty effects are quite outstanding, aren’t they. Alright, I’m going to make easy money off of this in the future.”
“You really do like to think in terms of money.”
As I made that decision, Olivia touched her warm cheeks.
“My skin became smooth. Furthermore, the milk we drank after getting out of the bath was delicious.”
They seemed to have enjoyed it. Well, thinking about it the other way, it meant that my territory might only be seen for its hot spring. Since there were no tourist attractions at my parents’ household, the two would probably be bored there.
Anjelica looked at Olivia and got close to her. She touched her bare skin.
“Your skin is quite nice. I’m jealous, Olivia.”
Olivia seemed to be having fun, and allowed her to do as she pleased.
“Aren’t you quite pretty yourself, Anjelica? I’m jealous of your beautiful hair.”
Seeing the two having a pleasant chat while being lightly dressed from having just gotten out of the bath was…a scene that I was thankful of being able to see. I’ll store this spectacle I was seeing today into my memory. I’ll store this within the hard drive in my head.
When I looked at the two, Olivia looked at me. I was glad that I didn’t reveal any sign of tension. At times like these, I made a poker face. I was a gentleman, after all.
“What’s wrong, Olivia?”
Olivia told me to call her by a nickname.
“Call me Livia.”
She said so while looking at Anjelica and me.
It made me feel a bit uneasy.
“I, is that bad? Back at home, everyone called me Livia, so I wasn’t sure about being called Olivia…”
Aah, I see. She wasn’t used to being called that, and it felt like she was being treated as a stranger.
“In that case, call me ‘Anjie.’ People who know me well call me that.”
Anjelica allowed us to use her nickname.
“Um, is that okay?”
While I was surprised, she nodded as if it was natural.
“I’ve caused you trouble, and on top of that, I’m indebted to you. If you don’t want to do it, you can call me like before. Well, I suppose you wouldn’t want to get acquainted with such an unpleasant woman like me, though.”
It seemed like Anjelica, who was being self-deprecating, was putting on a brave front after the uproar of the duel.
Olivia──Livia made a slightly angry face.
“You can’t say that about yourself. Anjelica──Anjie, you’re a wonderful lady.”
“You’re saying nice things to me …His Highness didn’t look this way, though.”
She felt down after being so forcefully rejected by the one she liked. Actually, her being able to to act that tough was quite praiseworthy.
All things considered, it was quite curious that the villainess was surprisingly decent. Thinking about it, the reason why the protagonist was bullied in the game was because she approached her fiance…Well, anybody would get angry at that.
Perhaps it was also because they didn’t like a commoner being in the academy, and there might have been some other reasons, but I didn’t really remember.
Perhaps it was because she didn’t have any sub-race lovers accompanying her, or that she didn’t own any high-class items?
The villainess had no lovers, was earnest, and was a rich beauty…Was Julian really okay with abandoning her and picking Marie?
“Anjie, you shouldn’t criticize yourself so──”
“…I’m the worst. His Highness said that he was happy, and yet when I think about him, I can’t forgive him. When I wonder just where I went wrong, I can’t help but hate Marie. I’ve thought many times over about getting revenge. Even though I’m supposed to love his Highness, I sometimes find myself hating him. Now I don’t know if I really do love him. It would be natural for him to cast away a woman like me. I would hate someone like me as well.”
Livia was worried, but I went to work.
“I think you’re fine, though.”
“Well, when thinking about what they did, I think I’d only forgive them if I got to knock their lights out.”
The people in the academy were getting roused and arbitrarily blamed Anjie, but when thinking about it, the real fiend here was Marie. It was definitely not a good thing that she deceived men who already had fiancees.
No matter how much this world favored women, that wasn’t allowed.
“You want revenge? Great! Let’s go full-out!”
As I supported her, Livia criticized me.
“What are you saying, Leon?!”
Anjie was slightly surprised.
“It’s okay to…take revenge?”
“Let’s do it!”
“You can’t! Leon, don’t tempt Anjie!”
I asked Livia a question.
“It’s not right to just sit here and do nothing about it though, right?”
“Y, you’re right, but…”
In reality, it was over for someone when they made fun of the noble community. I wasn’t sure if it could be called revenge, but at any rate, the duke household was going to begin work on numerous things now. They would think about dealing punishments, but that matter was different from this. This was a matter of Anjie’s feelings.
“I know the best method of revenge.”
Anjie gritted her teeth.
“Anjie, don’t be swayed by him!”
Livia told us that revenge was bad, but I told her to calm down and then explained.
“In this world, the best way to get revenge is to make yourself happy.”
Anjie looked at me with a doubting gaze, so I unveiled the smattering knowledge of my previous life. This was what my knowledge culminated to.
“In the first place, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to make the other party unhappy. Even if you take revenge on them, you’ll have nothing left yourself, resulting in mutual destruction. Rather than having all that effort be for naught, you’re better off using it to seek your own happiness.”
Livia tilted her head.
“Um, and that becomes revenge?”
“In society, there’s this thing called karma. Julian and the others will likewise receive punishment, and they’ll have to face reality even if they don’t want to.”
Making enemies of a duke household didn’t mean that their backers would sit still and do the same.
Anjie pondered about it. She still doubted it.
“…It’ll be revenge if I become happy?”
It was healthier than running around trying to seek revenge. Or rather, since things would get serious for Anjie if she tried to get revenge, I wanted her to let it go so that I wouldn’t get rolled up into it.
“Make no mistake. Once they understand reality and are at their worst, flaunt your happiness. It’s a struggle until Julian will look at you and will regret abandoning you! It’s a more refreshing sight for a bitter heart compared to inflicting pain and torture! Just imagine Julian in anguish, begging to be back with you!”
Perhaps imagining it, Anjelica seemed eager.
“R, right. I’ll make a display of how happy I am!”
Livia, perhaps in agreement, supported Anjelica.
“Right! If that’s what revenge is, then I support you. Anjie, let’s do our best to seek revenge!”
“Yeah, we’ll surely get revenge! Against Marie, his Highness, and the other four!”
Seeing these two smiling while taking about revenge made me ponder.
The refreshing scene of two beauties smiling together…didn’t really suit with what they were saying.
If I were to speak honestly…the scene of the protagonist and villainess holding hands while smiling and swearing revenge was frightening. Could this be the birth of the strongest team?
I felt just a little bit of sympathy for Marie and the others.
…I was the one that started this, though.