I’m Troubled That My Fiance’s A Villain – Main Story – Episode 23

“Lila.”

A gentle and warm voice calls me.

He’s a studious person who frequents the library, so that was the first place I went to look for him when I wanted to see him.

His usual place was at the table by the window, with various piles of old, heavy books on it.

Looking at his blonde hair quietly buried under towers of books, my heart skips a beat.

The light shines in through the window, and makes the dust dancing around him glitter.

He was mysteriously sensitive to presences, so no matter how quietly I had approached him, he suddenly noticed me and turned around. It’s a little frustrating but because I’m the person he finds the first out of everybody, I could only helplessly feel happy.

“What’s wrong?”

Smiling in amazement, he would once again call my name, Lila, and beckon me.

I hate my name.

Whenever someone calls me Lila, I become someone I’m not. It makes me feel as if I’m being told that I’m the protagonist, Lila.

The Lila that everyone loves and treasures. The cute and heroic Lila. The protagonist Lila.

But I love it when he calls my name.

I still hate the name Lila, but whenever he calls my name, I feel treasured.

“I think this is a good time for a break. Tell me more about your previous world again.”

I remember that it’s more of a previous life. I don’t remember much from it, but I still sometimes miss the convenient life.

But if I were to mention that I have memories of a previous life, people will definitely think I’m a weird kid.

Also, I’m this game world’s leading actress, Lila. If I stay quiet and do not do anything unnecessary, I’ll definitely be happy. That’s right, it seems that the me before was heart-breaking — I don’t need a painful life.

But only he believed me when I confided in him about my previous life. He’s the only one who looked at me properly. Not at Lila Carneille, but the real me.

“You know–“

As I reached out towards his arm, wanting to embrace it, I called out his name, and–

Baam!

I was suddenly looking up, and before I knew it, was pushed away.

“Eh?”

The once warm library scene completely transformed into a bleak, staircase landing.

Standing on the landing, he pushed me and told me it was game over.

“You’re not Lila, so I don’t need you.”

The ground suddenly vanished, and my surroundings dimmed.

My body was thrown towards the air, freeing it from gravity. My insides felt like they were floating — it’s such a hateful sensation. Annoying, exceedingly conspicuous, light blue hair danced from the edge of my vision, and everything happened minutely, as if it was slow-motion footage.

Why?

Without voicing that question, even an answer doesn’t echo in my head and vanishes.

I’m supposed to be loved.

That’s because in the game, a lot of people love Lila.

And the me right now is Lila.

I have to collect all the things and memories that Lila receives — everything. They’re necessary for the ending that Lila gets. Because the game’s ending has complicated branches, I can’t miss even one.

If I were to miss one thing and can’t arrive at the true ending, I’ll be useless and disappear.

From this world. Without a trace. Just like that time…!

…It’s fine. I’ll definitely do it properly.

I’ll do as I’m told, just as what Lila would do.

Even if I can’t be myself, Lila is a happy existence that’s loved by many, so I’ll definitely be happy.

That’s why I never gave up on that sole thing that I really wished for, and tried my best as Lila, but…!

Why.

Did I make a mistake?

But I don’t want to disappear yet. Even though I don’t want to live as Lila, I don’t want to die again. I want to be happy! I want to be loved! What’s wrong with wanting that!?

Why, why, whywhywhy

“Why?!!”

As I was pushed down the staircase landing, I turned toward him, and shouted. I shouted until my throat felt like it was being ripped apart.

“I don’t want to disappear! I don’t want to disappeaaar!”

I could only slowly fall as the landing steadily got farther.

I continued to rapidly fall towards the darkness.

My body starts disappearing, starting from my limbs.

“I don’t want to! I don’t want to disappear! Help…! Someone! Help–“

I desperately struggled with nothing to hold on to and continued falling.

And falling.

I woke up, like surfacing from water.

My blurry, dark vision gradually sharpened, and a familiar ceiling appeared.

I timidly raised my hand in front of my face, and there was my hand.

Next, I raised my body to check on my feet that were hidden under the blanket.

Thank god. I didn’t disappear. I’m still here.

This was already a habit I would repeatedly do every time I opened my eyes.

I would open and close my hands several times, properly savoring the sensation of my hands while welling up with emotions that I’m alive today as well — I feel slightly relieved.

I guess that was just a dream. I don’t remember much of its contents, but it seems like they weren’t good..

From the gap between the curtains, the glaring sunlight shone in. The sunlight coming from between the dark clouds were sunbeams, and without doing anything, I just gazed at them.

Why was I born as Lila?

I don’t want to be Lila.

I’d be really happy just being with the person I love. I don’t desire anything else.

But even so, why did I come to a far off place like this?

Just when the small sunbeams coming from between the curtains noticeably got stronger, they quickly disappeared, as if they were erased.

I was the only one left behind in the room with its unbearable silence and gloom.

I absentmindedly looked at my own palm and then suddenly wondered what day today was.

I feel like I haven’t been to class in a while.

His Highness and several of my friends have come by to check up on me out of worry, but I didn’t feel like meeting any of them whatsoever. Especially Alois and His Highness…

I haven’t been doing anything special except staring off into the distance and sleeping, so when I came to my senses, night had passed, and then I knew that morning came from the light coming from between the curtains.

This kind of lifestyle continued for a while.

I know that when I go outside, I’ll have to be Lila. But I absolutely don’t want to leave. I don’t want to see anybody. I don’t want to act like Lila anymore.

But the world might not allow me to do this forever.

I’m scared… I don’t want to disappear…!

But I don’t know what to do.

If it’s her, she might help me out. If it’s that girl who also a reincarnator.

But the truth is that when I thought of Lizia, a surge of hope as well as hatred came from within me.

For someone like her who’s not a character from the game, she definitely doesn’t know how I feel. Much less being loved by that Bernhardt. She definitely doesn’t get that, so it’s not as if she’ll understand how I feel.

It’s slightly developed differently from the game, but I managed to get closer with His Highness, and events have been properly occurring.

And yet, everything went wrong after I failed to raise Bernhardt’s likability points. Even though Johann said that he liked me…

Alois told me that I’m suffering because she’s in the way. She’s definitely a threat.

The reason why I’m not doing so well is Lizia.

“This isn’t a program…! This isn’t a game!”

Suddenly, Lizia’s crying face came to mind.

Even I know that!

That’s exactly why I’m afraid of disappearing. Is that so wrong of me?

I didn’t say anything wrong. Even if Lizia gets hurt, it’s her fault that I’m distressed.

But every time I remember her sad expression, my chest hurts, and a small voice would ask in my head, Does she really like that person enough to get in my way? Didn’t she just take her anger out on me that time in the meadows?

That voice would desperately shout, ‘You’re wrong,’ and then I’d block my ears with all my might. If I don’t, my resolve might crumble.

It’s fine. Viola and Alois said that she’s just in the way, and they’re right.

I have to believe them.

If I do, I’ll be at ease.

Everything’s going to be fine.

I hugged my pillow, and rolled into a ball.

Let’s think of happy thoughts.

When I thought that, what naturally came to mind was the library. The smell of old books. The twinkling dust in the sunlight. The voice of that person who gently chimes in with a remark to my story.

I wanna go home. To that gentle place.

At that moment, warm tears fell from my shut eyes, and spilled over.

A knocking sound resounded.

Who is it? His Highness again? Or maybe Alois?

“Carneille-san.”

A voice of a kind old woman. Probably the dorm mother.

She most likely came here out of worry for Lila who’d shut herself up in her room.

I can’t deal with her as Lila, so I stayed quiet. I’m sure she’s busy as well, so if I wait a few minutes, she’ll leave. Despite her having come here, I felt bad, with feelings of wanting to be left alone mixed in.

When a few more minutes passed, a woman’s voice that’s different from the dorm mother spoke.

“Hey, Lila-san. Won’t you open the door?”

“…Ah.”

When I thought about it for a bit, that voice was Lizia’s.

Don’t tell me she came here to help me?

That absurd thought flashed in my mind for a second. Just what am I thinking? Isn’t the other person that hateful Lizia?

“Can you please talk to me for just a little bit?”

With her extremely anxious voice, I thought of how miserable I was, and couldn’t help it anymore.

While I wavered on what to answer back, and whether she concluded that I didn’t want to answer, she didn’t talk anymore than that.

Now would be a good time to leave. If I were to get off the bed, open the door, and come face-to-face with her…

And then ask her if she’s here to save me? That’s stupid. There’s no way something like that will happen.

But if by chance she’s not as Alois said she is–

As I meandered back and forth like that, a tinkling sound resounded from the lock. I looked surprised as the door opened, and the light from the hallway illuminated the dark room.

There was the dorm mother and Lizia. And a third-year female student that I sometimes see, as well as Bernhardt. Because I haven’t been eating much and have only been sleeping, I probably look really horrible. I heard someone murmur just how haggard I looked.

Bernhardt calmly approached and stared at me. I could see in those grey eyes the pity, and then, I realized.

“Ah… It’s all over, huh?”

It’s been forever since I’ve talked, so my voice came out all hoarse. Completely unlike Lila.

“That’s right.”

I couldn’t detect the emotions in his words, but tears willfully fell from my eyes at them. Maybe because of my fear of the end. Or maybe it’s from relief.

Disappearing and dying — both of them are terrifying. But when I thought of how the days where I’ll live in fear of those was about to end, I just helplessly felt relieved.

“We’ve come to set you free, Lila Carneille.”

“We’ve come to set you free, Lila Carneille.”

When we told her that, Lila stared for a minute, dumbfounded, and then suddenly started laughing, Hehehe.

“I see. So in the end, I’m going to disappear.”

“Disappear?”

“That’s right, since I couldn’t fulfill my role as Lila, I’m going to disappear.”

What did she mean by ‘disappear?’ Is Alois going to make her disappear, like how an organization would do so? I feel unsettled.

Lila has been laughing ‘Hehehe,’ since earlier, as if she’s lost her sense of reality.

In the dark room with the closed curtains, the laughing Lila looked haggard. To be honest, she looks really scary.

As I thought that, she suddenly stopped laughing and weakly glared at me.

“You have it so good.”

“Eh?”

As Lila raggedly cried, she let out a crooked smile.

Seeing the vivid malice in those eyes, my body unconsciously froze, as if I turned to stone.

“You’re just a mob with no role, haven’t you been doing whatever you please and living happily?”

“Wa-wait a minute.”

“I don’t like being Lila! But I! With that person, I–!”

“Calm down, Lila. What do you mean by ‘role?’”

Lila leaned out of bed and shouted. She was leaning out too much, so she reached out her arm to prop her body up so as to not fall and pulled my arm towards her.

“You don’t have one, so you wouldn’t understand. I’m really jealous of you.”

Just what is she going on about? Anyways, I’ve thought of this before, but Lila’s really strong! Ow, ow!

Bern quickly tried to pull her off of me, but instead, I took over and let her do as she wished.

It’s true that she’s scary, but it’s not like she’ll go so far as to strangle me. Yeah, well, I just hope she doesn’t.

Without provoking Lila, I slowly and gently tried to ask her some more.

“I’m sorry, Lila. I don’t really get what you mean by role, or disappearing. Won’t you tell me what you mean by those?”

“…You know that Lila’s the protagonist of this world, right? Lila has to fall in love with His Highness Edwin in this world. If I don’t properly reach the happy ending, I’ll be useless and disappear.”

Y-yeah. I still don’t get what she means by that.

“U-uhm, so you mean if you don’t end up with His Highness, you’ll disappear?”

“That’s right. You don’t believe me? But it’s true. If I do as Lila would, then everyone would fall in love with me since I’m kind to them. That’s why I have to be like Lila. But it’s no use… I can’t continue being Lila anymore. I’m pretty sure I’ll disappear before long.”

The strength from Lila’s hand gripping me slowly disappeared, and she cowered.

I’ve always thought that Lila wanted to be His Highness’ fiancée, but from what she said, it seems I was wrong.

Putting aside what Lila thinks of His Highness, it seems she had to get close to His Highness. Should I assume that she was forced?

“It’s cause you got in the way. Even though I did as I was told. Even so…! I don’t want to disappear… Don’t wanna disappear…”

“You’ll be fine, Lila. You won’t disappear. Okay?”

“You’re lying! Even Viola told me so, so you’re lying! But if that’s true, I’ll really disappear! My hands are disappearing… my hands…”

Confused, I confirmed that her hands weren’t disappearing as Lila fervently cried.

Not knowing what to do, she sobbed convulsively while repeatedly saying that she didn’t want to disappear. I gently rubbed Lila’s small back.

“I’m scaredd… Help me… Onii-sama.”

As to how she’s going to disappear, going by her words, it doesn’t seem like she’s going to be killed, but that her body was actually going to disappear. It’s a very unlikely story, but I have no choice but to believe that Lila’s out of her wits.

Maybe she’s talking about a god-like existence? And if Lila, as the protagonist, wasn’t able to be together with His Highness, she’d disappear as punishment?

But I’ve also reincarnated, same as her, and I’ve never met a supernatural being like that.

Is it because I reincarnated as a mob, just like what Lila said? No, there’s no way. But if so, that kinda pisses me off. It’s not like being a mob is that bad!

Actually, Bern’s been listening to our conversation like normal –is this okay? Saying words like protagonist, and mob, that is. Speaking of, when Lila and I had our quarrel a while back, he didn’t ask anything either.

As I worried about various things, I saw that Bern didn’t look doubtful, and only looked at the back of Lila’s head with a worried look on his face.

After thinking about things for a while, Bern spoke up.

“That’s just a hallucination, Lila Carneille.”

“…Eh?”

“I’ve seen cases of someone being brainwashed by being fed a drug, given suggestions, and purposely shown hallucinations. Most likely, you were either fed the drug or made to inhale it.”

Isn’t that a dangerous drug?

So that means it’s just a hallucination that Lila thinks her hands are disappearing.

I’m glad. I was worried that a fantasy story would have begun and that Viola was God’s messenger, but that’s not the case at all. I can believe that Lila was shown a hallucination to think her hands were disappearing with a type of hypnotism.

“No… way. Are you saying that Alois onii-sama tricked me!?”

“That’s right. You were brainwashed. By Alois and Viola.”

“To say that I’ll really disappear. I don’t think they’d lie about that. Plus those two have always supported me. They were helping me so that I wouldn’t disappear, that’s why I listened to what they said.”

“You’ve been brainwashed. By Alois and her.”

“You’re… You’re lying!”

Expecting that Lila wouldn’t readily accept that, Bern gave off an expression as if there was no helping it.

“So you’re not going to accept it that easily, huh.”

He took my hand, helped me up, and lightly brushed off the dirt from my skirt.

It seems that the slight pity he had for Lila earlier completely disappeared.

“If you want to release the curse, feel free to come to me. Of course, you’re also free to shut yourself in here forever.”

Lila didn’t say anything else. She only absentmindedly looked at us, seemingly wavering.

I think Lila’s been told bad things about me up til now.

But for some reason, I just can’t seem to hate her. Of course, that doesn’t mean I like her either.

It’s probably because it felt like she wanted me to help her.

Although that may be a bit too arrogant of me as a mob.

“Hey, Lila. You said you wanted someone to help you, right? But I think if you really wanted to be saved, you should save yourself. Wasn’t it a saying? Heaven helps those who help themselves.”

Although I was worried some other proverb may have fit better, but well, that’s still a good thing to say, if I do say so myself. Yep.

With the rapid beating of my heart, I held out my hand to Lila, and she stared at it for a while. As I stared at her, waiting for her to move, she slowly raised her hand, and at last, timidly grasped my hand.

“Bernhardt!”

“Your Highness, please calm down.”

“As if I could calm down! You suddenly took out Lila. On top of that, you told me to come to the lounge at such a busy time because you had something to talk to me about? What the hell are you thinking?! What did you do to her!?”

His Highness entered the lounge in great strides while rattling on and on, and Titus, who we met in the clubroom the other day, was following behind and trying to pacify him with great embarrassment. As expected, Alois also tried to enter the narrow lounge, but he was instructed to wait out in the corridor, unable to accompany them like a sucker fish.

And then, for some reason, Lucas came in last, accompanying His Highness and the rest.

He stood in the corner of the room, and as always, was smiling as if he found something interesting. Yeah, that’s really creepy.

Those who were already inside the lounge were Bern, me, Ionius, Lila and Johann, so it was already considerably cramped.

While waiting for His Highness and the rest to come, I asked multiple times if I should wait in another room since I wasn’t confident that I’d be useful, but since Bern said he wanted me here, I sat my useless self on a chair instead.

I mean, it’s because he told me he wanted me by his side as he grasped my hand, you know?

The world would probably end before I could tell him no. At least I can’t say it.

As His Highness said, right now was a busy time, and he came in a hurry with beads of sweat on his face. Well, it’s probably because summer started and the temperature rose.

One other thing was today was the day when the merchants came to discuss the setups of their stalls for Thanksgiving.

His Highness was busier this day moreso than anybody else — in other words, we cannot make a fuss today by being seen all together.

“Nothing. As you can see, Lila Carneille is here.”

Immediately upon seeing Lila, His Highness and Alois suddenly approached her and Johann, with Ionius sitting in between them, and were surprised.

“Johann, didn’t you go back home?”

Johann glanced at His Highness, but the air quickly turned awkward and fell into silence.

Alois looked at Johann with a face as if he ate an extremely bitter bug.

As expected, the two of them didn’t know, but a few days ago, Johann came back to school and was secured by the Hidden Student Council. He wanted to participate today, because he wanted to settle something with them, so he came with us.

He said it’s because he had something to settle with himself as well.

“Lila, are you okay? You look a little worn out.”

“Y-yes. I’m quite fine…”

He obviously looked hurt from how formal Lila was with him.

The atmosphere felt uncomfortable, what with these pair of lovers being awkward for some reason.

“I knew it, you did something, didn’t you? Bernhardt, you bastard…”

“First off, I’d like to apologize for bringing Lila and calling you out here.”

Finally, Bern got up, and without breaking strides, apologized to the angry Prince.

He did that so elegantly that it wasn’t obvious that he was making fun of His Highness instead. He’s the kind of guy that’s superficially polite but actually rude in intent.

“What did you say?”

Deep down, it seemed that His Highness believed that Bern did something to Lila and glared at him with hate in his green eyes.

Or perhaps I should say that his prejudice has gotten worse, as always. Or maybe Alois whispered strange things to him again.

Completely ignoring His Highness’ words, Bern announced to everyone present today’s purpose with a clear voice.

“I called all of you here today for one reason — His Highness’ fiancée. In order to settle this stupid dispute.”

His Highness restrained himself from raising his voice when the words ‘stupid’ came out, and Alois came forward with a grin.

But it looked as if he didn’t have much composure with that grin of his. Moreover, he’s been repeatedly glancing at Johann and Lila from the side since earlier, his anxiety and impatience leaking through.

“Just because your younger sister wasn’t picked by His Highness, aren’t you the extremely stupid one for being this rude to him?”

After that, he put on an unaffected air with all his might and pompously pretended to notice me.

You didn’t have to be so forced. Since I’m keeping quiet over here, could you not take notice of me? Damn you.

“Oh my, I haven’t seen you much, but it seems that you’re doing okay, Rietberg-san.”

“…Hello.”

Th-This bastard. It’s your fault I’ve been scared, and in addition to that, I ended up having to take several days off from school, is what I wanted to say but I firmly endured it.

As if I won’t forgive you with this light jab of yours. After all, I’m aiming to be a big-hearted woman.

“How dare you say such a shameless thing.”

Bern calmly talked back at Alois’ light provocation. His purposeful restraint is considerably scarier than his apathy.

“What are you saying? My concern is heartfelt. Or are you falsely accusing me of having to do with the attack on Rietberg-san the other day? Did my former fiancée perhaps say something?”

His way of speaking seems as if Clarissa accused him of a crime as revenge for being thrown away. He had a rather obstinate attitude, seeing as we had no evidence.

I felt like crying again, knowing that Clarissa was so pitiful to get engaged to this kind of person. But I didn’t.

“Oh yeah. In addition to that, Alois, you’ll be paying back for everything that you’ve done from here on out.”

“Huh?”

“You guys manipulated Lila Carneille and others and deceived His Highness.”

“Deceived me…?”

His Highness, named as the victim, scrunched his eyebrows and looked at Alois.

To relieve His Highness, Alois calmly addressed everybody.

“Such an unthinkable accusation. Do you think so low of me, enough to tell such a lie, Bernhardt?!”

“It’s true though, right, Alois? You manipulated Lila to get close to His Highness. You were going to make her queen, all for the sake of becoming the Donitz’ family head.”

“Enough is enough. Lila is a cute younger sister to me. She loves His Highness, so I just helped her out with that. Isn’t that right, Lila?”

When Alois turned towards that cute younger sister of his, he looked with an unbelievably cold gaze, and Lila gave a small yelp.

“I–“

“Lila?”

“Ah…”

“You love His Highness and wanted to become his fiancée. That’s because you’re Lila, right?”

Somehow, the way he said that just now was weird. As if he was instructing her to keep to her role.

Lila’s hands trembled and pleadingly looked at Alois.

“A-Alois onii-sama, I… don’t want to disappear, I don’t want to disappear…”

“Lila!”

Alois raised his voice, scolding Lila as if he was annoyed at her for not following his instructions.

With just that, the whole room’s suspicions of Alois grew worse and descended into silence.

“Anyhow, why don’t you guys take a seat?”

Bern was the only man that would ignore that kind of atmosphere, and it was only him who suggested to His Highness and the rest to sit down with a nonchalant expression.

Alois, who had received a parry with Bern’s expressionless face, was bewildered for a moment but quickly waited for His Highness to sit with disappointment and slowly sat down in displeasure.

Confirming that both of them had calmed down, Bern started the conversation without a moment’s delay.

“Does Your Highness and his company still believe that it was Lizzy who pushed down Lila from the stairs?”

“Why? Is there a need to talk about that?”

“Do you?”

Intimidated by Bern expressionlessly repeating his question, His Highness gave up asking why and reluctantly answered.

“…I don’t know. But I can’t say that you’re wrong. Since Lila also said that she doesn’t know who the perpetrator is.”

As always, he’s honest, for better or for worse… Isn’t it a little rude to still suspect them when they’re right in front of you? Well, he’s been a person of high status ever since he was born, so he’s probably never thought of that.

The person in question told Lila to say something, but before that happened, there was somebody else who managed to quickly get a word in.

“The one…!”

Having been looking down quietly up til now, Johann’s voice filled with some emotion as everyone’s gazes fell on him.

“The one who pushed Lila down the stairs… was me.”

Someone gasped, having been taken aback.

At the very least, it’s someone aside from me, Bern, and Ionius. The reason being that we already knew about this.

“I’m sorry, Lila.”

In the still lounge, Johann’s faint apology seemingly dispersed and vanished.

What Johann said goes back to the night he was brought back to school while everyone was burdened with preparations for Thanksgiving.

I had successfully managed to score a face-to-face talk with Johann with Bern and the rest accompanying him, and I only had one thing to say to him.

And that was, You did it because you love Lila, right?

These were the exact words His Highness told Johann who had recklessly committed a crime in his bad ending.

If I were to describe the game Johann in a few words, you’d think he was like a puppy, but he was actually a yandere. He misunderstood Lila’s words, and in the end, ran rampant enough to attempt murder. In the bad end, he was accused of the crime by His Highness, confessed, and in the end, atoned for the crime.

That itself had so much impact on me that it made me remember it, but because he transforms into a full-blown yandere only in the bad end, I didn’t think he was dangerous.

In addition to his transformation into a yandere, there were also the scary rumors about Lila that Helena and Clarissa mentioned.

I could somehow see it when I remembered how people started complaining about Lila when Johann was gone.

Bern and the rest most likely noticed it as well.

Johann forcefully removed those who opposed Lila.

And then, when His Highness told him, You did it because you love Lila, right? to have him plead guilty to the crime, Johann easily turned around and started talking about his wrongdoings.

I understood, even if the things he did were horrible.

I knew that he would open up if I told him of my knowledge of the game. By no means did I draw that conclusion when I came face to face with the person called Johann in front of me though.

But he might have listened to me because my words completely summarized the ruined Johann’s feelings.

Putting aside the fact that I denied that this world is a game, I did cheat using my game knowledge however.

On top of that, things went well, which left me a bad taste in my mouth. Anyhow, if someone had quickly noticed me cheating and stopped me… for some reason, it fills me with an unbearable feeling.

But I wonder why Johann rampaged enough to push the Lila he loved?

Johann calmly started telling the reason why.

“I’ve always loved Lila. And although Lila’s not mine, I was expecting that to happen someday. Alois had a fiancée, and Lila understands my troubles the most and stays with me. Moreover, she’d always ask me, ‘Johann, you love me, right?’ and confirm it…

So for her sake, I silenced all of those people who hurt and talked badly about her. Even though I was just protecting her…!”

The reason why there was barely anybody who talked bad or harassed Lila was because Johann was taking care of them behind the scenes.

That’s why after he left, the whole school was openly filled with so much antagonism against her.

Because Johann, who covered it up by silencing these people, wasn’t here.

“Despite that, Lila chose His Highness. There’s no way I can compete with him. But I hate the idea of helping him out even more. That’s why at the very least, I prayed for his ruin and for him to give up on Lila. If he didn’t, even I was scared at what I would do.

And then that day, I told her on the staircase landing that I didn’t want to see her ever again. You know what she did? She smiled, as if she was thinking deep down, ‘Johann has to love me, so he won’t leave my side.’ At that moment, I realized that I didn’t fully know this Lila and got a bad feeling about her, so… I pushed her.”

Johann looked at his own hands as if to chide himself, and Lila, who had been quiet up til then, suddenly flared up.

“That’s because you love Lila, right!? You had to, that’s what Viola said!”

“…Lila. I really did love you. I did. But I don’t get why you think that… Why? Why did things turn out this way?”

Sitting in between Johann, who was apologizing as he cried, and Lila, Ionius looked uncomfortable and made his large stature look smaller.

“Ionius, have Johann step out.”

In the end, Lila and Johann weren’t able to talk things out, with Johann being forced to retire to his room earlier.

Though having said that, he did threaten a large amount of students and assaulted Lila, so those will have to be investigated, and because of that, patrol will most likely be tightened.

Just before he left to go to his room, Johann looked at Lila with traces of regret in his eyes, but she didn’t look back at him. For some reason, that scene looked really cruel and sad.

“Lila, why did you say that to Johann?”

“That’s because I’m Lila, everyone has to love me… So when Johann told me he didn’t want to see me anymore, I thought that I made a mistake. If I did, I’m scared I might disappear.”

“Why?”

Despite repeatedly opening and closing her mouth multiple times like a goldfish, the hesitant Lila squeezed out in a fragile voice,

“Because Lila has to be with Prince Edwin.”

“What are you saying, Lila?!”

His Highness stopped Alois who interrupted her and continued exchange looks with Bern. For once, I wanted to know about the things I wanted to.

“Who told you that?”

At Bern’s already robotic way of questioning, Lila had already forgotten to keep up appearances and answered.

“Viola and… Alois onii-sama. They guaranteed me that if I successfully play my role and become the queen, that they’ll promote him…”

“So it’s not because you love me…?”

Unable to see His Highness looking like a lost child, Lila’s voice quivered.

“That’s…”

“Bernhardt, what did you tell Lila!? Your Highness, I’m sure that Lila was forced to say these.”

“But–“

“Onii-sama…! Alois onii-sama, you told me you’d help me not disappear, right? That day, Bernhardt-senpai told me that you deceived me with hallucinations about me disappearing and lied about saving me. He’s wrong, right? Right?”

Alois could only make a grunting noise as if the words were stuck in his throat, not giving any answers.

It may be because if he confirmed Lila’s words, that would mean that he admits to manipulating Lila and deceiving His Highness, but if he were to reject them, her brainwashing may come undone. It was a situation where if he affirmed one, then he negated the other.

I wondered if this would be the end of Alois if Bern were to press for more answers.

“…Hehehe, hahaha! …I get it, Bernhardt. You planned on looking down on His Highness by defeating me, huh.”

What. Why? Did he finally snap?

It was only Alois who made noise in the lounge, laughing as if he found something amusing.

You’re rapidly becoming a deplorable man, Alois.

If it was the me from my previous life, I also have had my heart beat fast just a tiny bit at some of Alois’ scenes. But now, there was no traces of his sex appeal, just an extremely deplorable man was left.

“Your Highness, this guy’s actually your cousin. And it’s for the sake of getting the crown that he’s dragging you down by improperly ruining me.”

“Cousin, you say…?”

“This guy’s the child of the unrecognized Third Princess who was born from one of the late King’s maids.”

Wait, why do you know that? Was it Viola? It’s Viola, huh? Dammit… I haven’t done Bern’s route so I don’t know much about it!

“I’ve never heard of this before!”

“That’s certainly true. I definitely didn’t believe it at first, but it’s the truth. Isn’t that right, Rottger-sensei?”

“Yeah, well, I wonder.”

H-hey! Why are you admitting it so easily–!?

I don’t quite understand but, I don’t think you should admit it with just a light mood.

“Bernhardt, are you really…”

Ah, His Highness as well, he looks as if he was forced to swallow something…

Though speaking of Bern, he only sighed, as if he found this troublesome, and with furrowed brows, said,

“It’s true that my mother was the unofficial Third Princess.”

“Wh–“

“However, what you said about wanting the crown is wrong and also too much. Even if I were to be recognized as royalty, what’s the point of aiming for the crown? Even if you said such things, I’d like to refuse it.”

“You bastard, are you making a mockery of my father, the King?!”

“How did you even come to that conclusion? Haa… Your Highness, we’ve gone off topic, we should be talking about Lila.”

“That kind of thing doesn’t matter. This is treason against the royal family.”

“That… kind of thing?”

I felt like I heard Lila murmur something in shock at Alois’ words, but because their argument was so loud, no one was able to respond to it.

Bern responded calmly as His Highness slowly took in this new fact that has somehow agitated Alois, and the discussion turned into chaos with Alois trying to turn Bern into a villain.

Somehow, Alois wanted to get things back under his control by presenting himself as someone trying to be friends with Bern, but Bern turned out to be an outrageously insincere person that was friendly for the sake of stealing the crown, and that Katerina and I were both jealous and tempted by the position of Queen… Those were all of the false accusations of his excessively rude display.

With the way His Highness was, he would only see what he wanted to see, so it would be difficult for him to ignore the loyal Alois.

And although Bern also looked uncomfortable, he never said anything back…

I’d feel guilty though if I were to put a word in and become a hindrance. But even if I do feel guilty, my anger was already at its max.

Anyways, I’ll wait for Alois to settle down, is what I thought as I firmly resisted my anger while staying silent. Until Alois said this.

“Your birth is a mistake itself.”

That definitely made something snap within me. And by snap, I mean really snap.

I don’t care if I’m called a usurper or a traitor. I’ll wring my neck later for such lies.

But to go so far as to deny Bern’s life, just what does he plan on doing that for?

In the next instant, before I realized it, I had hit the table as hard as I could and imposingly stood where I was.

“Take back your words!”

“Wha…!”

Alois tried to verbally attack me who had impolitely shouted, but before he could get a word in, I rapidly spoke.

“I’ve let you say whatever you want, but isn’t everything a result of His Highness’s uselessness?! Going on and on about something that has absolutely no relationship with the topic… When did we even start talking about the inheritance for the throne?

And speaking of you, Your Highness! I was just going to quietly sit and watch, but have you ever properly faced Katerina-sama? She’s always loved you, but you’re an extremely insincere person that chose Lila without even facing Katerina-sama’s feelings. What gives a person like you the right to call Bern insincere?!”

“I…!”

“But most of all!”

Don’t think that my anger will settle with just this!

“To instigate and be jealous of the position of Queen — people are people, but the desire to be Queen is something you’re completely wrong about! Instead, I’d like to refuse. Aren’t you the only ones that think being surrounded by beautiful gems and dresses or being waited upon by everyone as the Queen is happiness for a woman? Don’t you dare think that Katerina-sama, Lila, and I are the same as other women!

That’s not what happiness is for us… I mean, I wouldn’t pass up on indulging myself. But in the very least, for me, as long as I can be beside my special someone, I don’t really need that kind of happiness. Isn’t that true for you gentlemen as well? Is the royal family that enticing?

And Alois! I dare you to say that Bern’s birth was a mistake again. I’ll beat up that beautiful face of yours and curse you with baldness! Got it?!!”

Even if I can’t, I’m going to try! At worst, I’ll have to pluck every single strand of that red hair of yours that you boast about!

I wondered if Alois and His Highness were angry. My face had become so red that I looked like a lobster.

I looked at their faces as I ran out of breath, and regardless of what was appropriate to say, the words I wanted to say burst out one by one.

Anyways, it couldn’t be helped that I would regret them as I gritted my teeth when my tightly grasped hands were covered by something warm.

“You’re right, Lizzy.”

What am I right about? Is it about cursing him to be bald? It’s a really evil curse, even if I do say so myself.

When Bern covered my hands with his, unconsciously, the excess strength in my stiff body gradually began to disappear. In the end, I dejectedly sat down.

“Your Highness, I’m not looking down on you whatsoever. This may be rude of me to say, but what Lizzy said is true — not everyone thinks the throne is tempting. I just wanted you to open your eyes yourself… Because despite what’s happened, we’re still friends.”

His Highness, who had lost his temper, was suddenly taken aback at Bern calling him a friend, and it seemed that he had calmed down.

With Bern’s usual unreadable, downcast eyes, in addition to its sorrow — they were fully effective.

“For you to open your eyes, I first have to break the curse on her. Darius! Come in!”

I wasn’t informed of everything that was to happen today, so with some nervousness, I saw Darius come in with an unknown man.

With his dull, blonde hair and glasses, he gave off a serene aura.

In other words, he was an extremely quiet man that could only give off a gentle impression.

Despite all of that, he slowly gave his greetings without any hesitation. Betraying his appearance, he was unexpectedly a bold person.

At one point, as he slowly bowed, he gave us a troubled smile.

Lila unsteadily got up, with Ionius accompanying her. As I wondered what his relationship with Lila was, she answered it with her small lips and a pale face.

“O-onii-sama…”

Eh!? Lila’s brother!?

This may be rude of me to say, but they definitely don’t look like it. Her brother’s plainness… Though I don’t really want to say it, it’s the same as mine, who’s the best of the best when it comes to plainness.

I looked at Bern to check if he was surprised, but instead, he was observing Lila with rapt attention.

I don’t really get why, but he smiled just a tiny bit, as if he was satisfied with her reaction. Although depending on how you look at it, rather than cold, his expression looked as if he was watching his prey.

Y-yeah. For some reason, his face just now honestly looked like a villain’s.

Even though Alois’ evil deeds were being exposed, why is it that Bern looks more like a villain than him? As expected, even villains can have a dignified appearance.

“By chance, I came to help with Thanksgiving, so I was on standby in the room next door.”

That’s definitely a lie.

Look, even the pure but somewhat idiotic Prince is making an expression as if he knows that it’s a lie~

It’s not an accident, or rather, he was accompanied and slipped in with the merchants coming and going, is what everyone is thinking right now, but even so, the shrewd and meddlesome Alois unnaturally fell into silence. Lila being her usual self, she stood on her feet for a while, as if she was being pulled up like a puppet.

I wonder if Lila’s brother’s only role is to persuade her.

“This person is Raul Carneille. Lila’s brother.”

“This is the first time we’ve met, Your Highness.”

“Yeah…”

It looked as if His Highness didn’t know how to react to his appearance, but when I looked at Bern and Alois, Alois was grinding his teeth as he glared at Bern, unaware of His Highness’ gaze at him.

And Bern gave a small smile to Alois in provocation.

By the way, I have a bad feeling about how things are turning out, but I carelessly thought that he looked handsome like that. For just a moment, I thought that I had definitely gone crazy.

I’m probably tired because of the tense atmosphere that’s been persisting for a while now.

“I came to apologize about my younger sister today. To seduce Your Highness despite having Katerina-sama…”

“You’re wrong!”

“Lila…?”

“You’re wrong, onii-sama, I… I…”

Lila unsteadily staggered backwards.

“Lila-san was coerced into getting near His Highness because you were held hostage.”

Lila’s eyes widened and looked at Bern.
“In order to get back your brother who was taken hostage, you did as Alois said. Isn’t that right?”

“A-ah…”

“Stop saying weird things! Bernhardt, your actions are intolerable. I’ll sue you for defamation!”

Alois yelled, with sweat glittering on his face.

“Is that true, Lila?”

Before she knew it, Raul had found out that he was taken hostage and seemed to be troubled on how to explain it.

It seems that he was brought here without being informed of the situation.

“Lila! I’ve always been on your side, right?”

Alois with his disheveled hair.

“Didn’t you love me!?”

His Highness scrambled about, like a boyfriend finding out about his girlfriend’s infidelity, which was pretty much what’s happening.

Lila’s gaze restlessly wandered about from Alois, His Highness, and then settled on Raul.

She was being cornered by all three of them with their words piling on top of each other, so as expected, Lila looked pitiable. I, who had been keeping quiet all this time, half rose to my feet.

Suddenly, Bern stood up, and in my place, threw a single cold glare to silence the three who were pressing her for answers.

Th-That’s Bern for you…

Just like that, he stood in front of Lila who was breathing roughly beside the wall and unexpectedly asked her in a voice that only I could hear.

“Lila, even if you were to disappear, it’s weird that you have yet to do so.”

“B-but–“

“You’re not wrong for being afraid. But think about it properly. What is it that you really want? Where does your happiness lie?”

“I…”

Lila slithered down to the floor to sit and looked up at Bern from below as he continued on.

“Lila, I don’t get what it is that you’re clinging to. But see, if there’s one thing in this world that you can have without needing anything else, it would be love. But you already knew that, right?”

He said that with a surprisingly gentle voice like he was talking to a kid.

Finally, Lila’s eyes widened as if she had woken up from a dream. Then bit her lips as she looked at someone behind Bern.

She slowly opened and closed her hands in front of her eyes, and after digesting that sensation, tears rapidly fell from her tourmaline eyes, intricately mixed with pink and light blue.

Her expression didn’t seem to have any pain in it. Instead, she looked refreshed as if her demons were laid to rest.

I have a feeling Lila’s fine.

“Then let’s hear it. Lila Carneille, are you prepared to become the future Queen?”

At Bern’s question, every one of them waited for Lila’s answer with their own respective selfish reasons.

She tightly closed her eyes and hesitated just a tiny bit.

Though the next time she opened them, she looked straight at Bern despite the traces of helplessness in her eyes.

“…No. I… can’t become the Queen. I was manipulated by Alois to get close to Prince Edwin.”

“Lila! What nonsense are you…”

“No…”

His Highness fell onto the sofa, all his strength leaving him.

“Your Highness, please get yourself together. Everything was devised by Bernhardt. Lila too, wake up!”

“No, it is us who have to wake up. Even if I really were to disappear, I’m fine with that. I was wrong… I’m sorry, Your Highness. For loving me and for helping me out with a lot of things. But my true happiness isn’t by your side.”

As she said that, Lila awkwardly averted her gaze from His Highness and glanced at Raul.

Despite how elegantly she had done that, it still showed just who she really loved.

Huh, but, they’re close relatives… Well, it’s such a minor detail, that’s fine!

“…I’m really sorry.”

She apologized as she knelt on the floor, bowing deeply.

“I’m sorry.”

Her apology sounded as if she wasn’t apologizing to him as a prince, but as a person who she directly or indirectly hurt.

Someone slowly walked and knelt down halfway to that small body. That person was Lila’s brother, Raul.

“Lila, raise your head.”

“Onii-sama, I did a lot of horrible things–“

“That’s fine. You were scared all by yourself, right? I’m sorry for not noticing.”

“No, it’s not your fault. Everything was mine!”

Lila’s words worsened, and like he was handling a fragile object, he softly hugged her.

“We’ll talk about this properly. That’s right, tell me about your strange world, like back then. Won’t you tell me again?”

“…Yeah, sure.”

With her red-rimmed eyes, Lila was supported by Raul as she stood up.

“I sincerely apologize for doing this at this time. But I still have yet to properly understand the situation…”

“You helped me out this time. Regardless, please do help Lila-san calm down.”

“I’m extremely grateful for this… Lila, let’s go.”

Lila took a backward glance at the heartbroken prince, who had clearly been dumped, and the ruined Alois, who she had betrayed, and gave a small bow to both of them along with her brother. Darius, who had been on standby by the door this whole time, was to accompany them and left the lounge.

“Lila!”

When I hurriedly called after her retreating back, she awkwardly looked back.

I was at a loss for words as I had no reason for calling her.

Wh-what should I say?

‘Let’s meet again,’ or ‘I’m not angry,’ maybe something like that? That’s a little too overtly brazen of me… Or better yet, ‘Be happy!’ or something… Maybe? Yeah, never mind.

That suddenly brings up the question of what I really think about Lila. I do think she’s pitiful. But by no means do I like her.

My feelings of wanting to be friends with her haven’t changed, but I can’t forgive her for everything she’s done. It’s because I can’t just immediately forget the hateful things she’s told me.

When I think about it, I’ve tried not to hate anyone until now. It’s not particularly because I wanted to become a saint, but it’s because I was afraid to hate someone.

My official stance is that I probably don’t hate Lila, but the truth is,

“I hate you.”

Whack.

I’m pretty sure that’s the sound that would suit Lila’s idiotic expression, and because of that, I gave a slightly inappropriate smile.

But without her Lila facade on, I think that her idiotic expression is by far better and more beautiful than the perfect smile she always had on til now.

And that’s why I said,

“I’m pretty sure we would have been good friends enough to joke like that.”

Although it seemed like a joke, I definitely did think that deep down. Though I was worried she didn’t hear the sarcasm in it.

I’d surely feel sad if she didn’t reply back, but when I looked at Lila, she was tightly pressing on her lips as if she was overcome with emotion.

“Thank you for properly looking at me. After all the mean things I’ve told you, I’m sorry.”

Then with an awkward smile, she finally moved towards her brother who was waiting for her by the door and disappeared.

“I made a mistake, huh.”

His Highness, who was shocked from having been dumped and couldn’t get one word in, mumbled.

For some reason, the way he said that was annoying.

It seemed that Bern felt the same way, and he sent a cold look towards His Highness.

“Does Your Highness really understand what you misunderstood?”

“What?”

“Is it the fact that you fell in love with Lila Carneille without looking at her true colors? Or how you participated in Alois’ cajoling and criticized both Katerina and Lizzy? Or is it how you only believed Alois’ words?”

“It’s all of those. As the crown prince of this country, I needed to be mindful of my actions… but for once, I wanted to decide something on my own. My whole life, ever since I was born, everything’s been decided for me. From what I had to wear, to what I talk about, and even how long I’m supposed to sleep. That’s why in the very least, I wanted to choose my queen with my own will. It’s only her that I wanted to choose myself… Haa, and this is the result.”

“You wanted to choose with your own will, you say?”

Bern opened his eyes wide open, and the face of a demon showed on his face.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen him this angry.

“Not considering the significance of forcing others, mistakenly doing whatever you pleased, or saying things like your own will — stop acting like a spoiled brat. If you wanted to do things with your own will, then you should have said what you don’t like from the beginning. If you’re annoyed, then just work hard to shut up those annoying people. You, Alois, and Lila — It’s because you all entrusted your responsibilities to other people and surrendered yourselves to them that everything turned out this way, isn’t it?”

His Highness was offended at Bern’s choice of words, but he recognized it was his fault and didn’t say anything. He’s an earnest person through and through.

“I’m sorry.  I’m still inexperienced, but…”

“You know, I’ve always hated the idea of forgiving you for your mistakes.”

The corner of His Highness’ mouth twitched. It seems he’s really angry.
Bern regained a bit of his composure, and this time around, quietly continued.

“But at the same time, I was jealous of you. Someone definitely wished for you to be born and was allowed to be born. It was the exact opposite for me.”

“So you still hate me?”

“…That’s not it. Despite both of us having the same royal blood flowing through us, you were loved and protected, while on the other hand, my life was constantly targeted. I… hated you. I’ve also considered stealing the throne away from you. Until Lizzy changed me.”

Hmm!?

Suddenly, I was brought up, and for a moment, I had a bad feeling, but it was already too late.

Instead of looking embarrassed, Bern looked really serious and spun a tale filled with pleasantly embarrassing things one after another.

“Lizzy taught me the joy of having my existence acknowledged. Even though she knew that my hands were dirty, she still held them and taught me the warmth of a person every time. For the first time, it felt like she was telling me that it’s okay for a person like me to live. For me, that was like a faraway dream, and something that you guys wouldn’t understand.”

Waaaaaaaahhhh!! Th-this is embarrassing! Stop, it’s so embarrassingggg!

I wanted to scream that, but because I rarely hear Bern talk about his own feelings that he keeps hidden, I was surprisingly sweating as I frantically strained my ears.

Mine isn’t that exaggerated, but if Bern was saved by my existence, then I shouldn’t be this happy. I really don’t think I did something so important though.

Ah~! If I had a voice recorder, I’d preserve it for life~!! At the very least, if magic existed, I would have worked hard at it for this…

Just ignore my idiotic thoughts, please.

“That’s why I don’t plan on forgiving you guys for involving Lizzy.”

With Bern’s ice-like gaze, Alois flinched.

“You! To say you won’t forgive us, what are you going to do!? Are you going to sue me? With what crime? I didn’t do anything. I only cooperated since Lila was in love with His Highness. What’s the crime in that? Come on, tell me.”

“Dunno. But the King has already been informed of everything. His Highness forgot his own duties, skipping out on his work being preoccupied with Lila, cancelling the engagement with Katerina without knowing its significance, and running about, right?”

“Huh?”

“Titus-sama over there was charged with a royal order to monitor His Highness. When His Majesty hears of this information, I think he’ll reconsider the succession to the throne.”

Titus gave a hatefully theatrical bow.

Fooling around, his glasses shined. If he wasn’t, why would he have a self-satisfied grin on his face?

“Why?!”

Flustered, His Highness shouted, and with no ounce of pity on his blank face, Bern coldly answered.

“School is not a place to relax. Your abilities were being tested. And you messed up. It’s rather unfortunate, but it’s over.”

As expected, in addition to having been dumped and the fact that his succession to the throne was in jeopardy, His Highness seemed as if he couldn’t take it anymore, and he held his head between his hands, his face ashen. For some reason, he was mumbling under his breath, which made it look kind of horrifying.

“No! It’s not over yet!”

No matter how you looked at it, it was over, but Alois cried, unable to give up.

The redhead’s face was covered in sweat, and his face looked lifeless with eyes shining like that of a wounded beast — worthy of being described as evil.

As if he was making fun of that Alois deep down, Bern said,

“Speaking of which, I wonder what happened with that rumor about Duke Rottger. Didn’t you plan on making it seem like she was the Duke’s daughter through Lucas?”

“Lila… is the Duke’s real daughter. That’s right, Duke Rottger won’t silently let what you did go!”

At that moment, he thought of an obviously transparent bluff.

To end up like this, he looked really pitiful.

“Ah, about that, I haven’t talked to the Duke yet about what you suggested~”

Lucas had been grinning in the corner of the room as he watched the events unfold, but when I thought that he would suddenly butt in, he instead dropped a serious bomb with an inappropriately carefree attitude.

“What did you say!? Lucas, you bastard, did you betray me!?”

Alois looked like a deplorable man who wouldn’t stop despite having a bomb dropped on them.

With his usual unreadable, smiling face, Lucas, this time around, looked at Alois with scorn in his eyes. Somehow, it looked like a villain’s face similar to that of Bern’s.

“If you’re talking about me betraying you, I’ve been doing it since the beginning. How should I say this, it’s because I’m the Hidden Student Council’s adviser! Oh dear me, I may be Bittner-sensei publicly, but for you to believe even that, you’re unexpectedly so obedient, huh~”

When I heard of what the Hidden Student Council does, I thought that they were crazy, but the real crazy one was their adviser.

Or rather, for him to officially be that old Bittner-sensei. I have often seen him basking in the sun near the Fifth Building though.

I mean, I’m not sure anymore if I had the energy to be surprised at this, but for some reason, I understood and could only let out a smile, which made me feel bad for Alois, who was being made fun of until now.

But I wonder if he was a guy that repaid horrible things done to him.

“You finally understand. You’ve lost from the start.”

“I-I told you, so what!? I have nothing to do with Duke Rottger anymore!”

Just a while back, he wouldn’t shut up about Duke Rottger, and despite running out of things to say, it seems that he just won’t give up.

“That’s not enough, huh? If so, I’ll tell you about my trump card. An army of officials from the Investigations Bureau is already heading towards the Donitz house. I have a good feeling that the fortune teller is there as well, but there’s also a large number of rural noble families that came out complaining about the damage from fraud. Despite the sudden jumps in prices with various products, they suffered heavy losses, because they were told that they had to buy at these ridiculously high prices by an oracle. You thought of covering this up by having Lila be the queen, huh? And that lifeline of yours that you so heavily depend on, Viola, should have been arrested by now.”

“It… It shouldn’t have…”

“To go so far as to dirty your hands by relying on oracles, the price for what you want isn’t that cheap. You picked the wrong person to fight, Alois. We’re on different levels.”

With Bern’s finishing blow, Alois fell to his knees and finally gave way. Although it was extremely provocative, it felt like overkill.

Titus restrained both of Alois’ hands behind his back, was forcibly made to stand with no strength left whatsoever, and taken away.

As I idly watched over that scene, I thought, ‘Ah, finally, it’s all over,’ and was overcome with an extreme sense of fatigue.

For some reason, there wasn’t much of a sense of relief, nor was it a weight off my shoulders.

Even after remembering how Alois didn’t know when to give up and the miserable prince, a hateful feeling gushed within me when I looked at their terrible states.

I’m pretty sure Bern also has a lot of things going through his mind right now. As I carelessly thought, ‘I’ll probably try and reward him later just a bit,’ it happened.

I noticed Titus smiling.

He whispered something to Alois and smirked, one corner of his mouth raised.

That smile gave me an extremely bad feeling, and at that moment, I rose to my feet.

In the next instant, with the last bit of his strength, Alois shook off the surprised Titus and turned his body towards Bern.

In his hand, he was gripping a shining, long silver object.

A sharp and bright tip of a sword. There’s no mistaking it. It’s a dagger.

Why does Alois have a dagger!?

The mood within the room relaxed after having reached a conclusion, but it immediately filled with tension.

While shouting weird things like ‘Die’ and ‘Disappear’ in his madness, Alois charged at Bern in a straight line. My feet froze, shock going through them, and at the same time I heard the killing intent in his angry voice.
When I looked at the confused Bern, he only had his arms to the side and was firmly focusing on Alois.

Everything looked slow, just like that time during Thanksgiving when a knife was pointed at me. And yet, I turned pale — everything felt extremely close and far at the same time.

‘Why is Alois suddenly attacking? Was he hiding a weapon all this time? Why is Bern just standing there?’ All these questions were trivial right now!

I have to save Bern right now!!

That one thought instantly ruled over me.

“Watch out…!”

My body unconsciously rushed towards Bern to push him away.

He looked at me rushing over with a bit of impatience in his eyes and pushed me away instead.

“Bern!”

A shriek tore through my throat.

With a repulsive smile, Alois swung down the dagger.

The dagger, with its cold glint, cut through muscle.

At that moment, Bern suddenly looked at me with his gentle grey eyes and then smiled.

A red painful color danced before my eyes just beyond the tip of my extended hand.

Bernhardt Youth Brunsmeier’s funeral service was grand.

The chief mourner was his sister, Katerina Ema Brunsmeier, who took over his Ducal responsibilites, and even the king personally came — a lot of people mourned his death.

His death had a huge effect, even going so far as to putting an end to the feud of Prince Edwin’s fiancée.

First off, it’s been established that since Bernhardt had royal blood flowing through him, the Queen had been relentlessly aiming for his life throughout the years. Furthermore, a note from her sent to Alois Donitz, the murderer, was discovered and hinted at the murder. Although the Queen herself wasn’t charged with the crime, the power of the Queen faction was greatly reduced.

In addition to that, because of the fiancée feud that had led to his death and the decline of the Queen faction, the First Prince Edwin had seceded his right to the throne. With this, the Second Prince Selim was backed to become the Crown Prince instead. With his guardians being that of the Wehner family, whose power extended far despite being a rural noble family, and the Brunsmeier family, other emerging nobles supported him. Although the change in inheritance for the throne was sudden, its foundation had already been firmly established.

The leader of the rebellion, Alois, and the mastermind fortune teller, Viola, were incarcerated in a prison on a solitary island for their rest of their lives, and naturally, the land from the Donitz family was seized, and they had met a miserly end. As for Lila Carneille, although she was pardoned, she herself intended to enter a monastery instead.

And as for his fiancée, Lizia Rietberg, whom he was known for being intimate with, she dropped out of the Royal Academy, unable to cope with his death. One year later, the Rietberg family took in a son-in-law who almost never shows his face in high society, and they were said to be living their life in peace in their territory.

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