I’m Troubled That My Fiance’s A Villain – Prenuptial Travel Logs – Episode 01

It’s already been a few days after settling Bern’s funeral since we finally moved to our territory to live peacefully.

Suddenly, a letter addressed to me came from Count Hausknecht’s daughter, Elmenhilde Hausknecht.

“Elmenhilde Hausknecht…?”

Murmuring a long difficult name, I tilt my head. It’s from someone I don’t particularly remember, but I expected letters arriving. It’s probably a condolence letter.

Maybe this time it’ll be, ‘My condolences,’ or ‘Losing your fiancee is heartbreaking.’ Ever since Bern’s funeral, a pile of letters with those words came from the Hidden Student Council members addressed to me.

But I’ve pretty much expected them ahead of time.

Omitting the indirect, polite courtesies to the point of being hypocritical, the gist was, ‘I’ll be coming over to meet with you on the 13th, so do receive me.’

In an instant, I carelessly thought, ‘It’s so troublesome having to be hospitable,’ and came to my senses.

Wait a minute. When is she coming?

I have a feeling she wrote ‘the 13th,’ but hold on, today’s the 13th.

But that’s absurd.

Even as I repeatedly said, ‘No, no, no,’ for no reason, I broke out into a sweat.

When I timidly confirmed the letter once more, for some reason, it really did say the 13th.

No way, no freaking way. ‘The 13th,’ ‘The 13th,’ are you– are you kidding me? There’s no doubt it says the 13th… right?! It really says the 13th, doesn’t it?! Wait a minute, her handwriting’s really pretty. Wait, that’s not important right now.

Splendidly looking at it three times, reality finally sunk in. For whatever reason, the letter arrived just before the scheduled date.

Just as I panicked, ‘Oh no!’ and instructed for preparations to welcome her, I heard a horse neigh from the front of the grounds. D-don’t tell me…

When I shakily walked to the entrance, a two-horse, and an even splendid carriage stopped.

As if trying to ridicule me who was unable to catch up to the rapid developments and could only stand still in shock, the carriage door slowly opened, and the guest showed up.

I had changed into casual clothes at the sudden visit, and elegantly descending from the carriage, the girl’s dress, hair, and even make-up looked good on her — she looked perfect.

I screamed inside, thinking, ‘Wouldn’t I have to give up in front of this perfectly armed rival with my level 1, paper-thin equipment?’ Even if I screamed, it doesn’t change the fact that my equipment is paper-thin.

“Nice to meet you, Lizia Rietberg-sama.”

“N-nice to meet you.”

At the same time as she greeted me in a lady-like manner, her splendidly curled, blonde hair swayed.

Contrary to Elmenhilde’s gentle manner, I sternly stared at her bright blue eyes. Feeling her gaze stick as if she was avenging her parents, I unconsciously took half a step back. Why is she so hostile right from the get-go?

This is our first time meeting, right–?!

As I signaled to the tightly glanced letter in my hand, I started talking to her with as much of a smile as I could.

“Due to a mistake, it seems that your letter had arrived just a short while ago, and I was unable to prepare…”

“Do not mind it. Being that the Rietberg family are of Marquis rank, I have heard that they are not mindful of their nobility.”

Elmenhilde was laughing ‘Ufufu,’ and at the same time, ‘Ahahaha,’ I was laugh-laugh-la–as if I could laugh! Y-you jerk!

I didn’t say this, but no matter how rotten, is it really okay for a Count’s daughter to make light of a Marquis’ daughter? No, right? Anyone would say that it isn’t.

If not, I might self-combust because of too much anger.

I don’t particularly remember her, but when I see just how hostile she is towards me, there’s a high possibility that she purposely put off sending the letter. Rather than put off, it’s more apt to say that she made sure that it came just when the scheduled date arrived. As if to say, ‘I’ve come here to fight.’

Seemingly finding fault with me, Elmenhilde’s appearance felt like she was saying, ‘What noble’s daughter?!’ as she moved her gaze from my feet up to the top of my head.

She looked nice, with a dignified appearance, beautifully clean nails, and pure white skin which had probably never been sunburned once.

And two tempered rolls beside her face.

She felt like a villainess, even exceeding Katerina, who was the head villainess.

Earlier, I had deceivingly described her curled hair using nicer words, but because I had been apprehensive of her and am not a nice person, I’ll clearly say it now.

The things this jerk has beside her face, no matter how you look at it, are drills!!

“Come, please do guide me in. I’ve been looking forward to talking with you today, Lizia-sama.”

“…Come in. This way please.”

I spurred my already tired body and showed Elmenhilde to the parlor. As that was happening, she was looking at the residence’s surroundings rudely, going as far as to scrutinize the employees’ faces in great detail. Just say it properly, this feels really annoying. Just what exactly…

Ah~ I don’t wanna. When I thought of how after this, it’ll just be the two of us in the parlor, my stomach quickly started hurting. But I definitely can’t take her to the courtyard.

“Ah, Tia. Could you please bring some tea to the parlor?”

“…Understood, madam.”

Along the way, I called out to Tia as we encountered her in the corridors and managed to get her involved. From long ago, she’s given up on respecting or being kind to her master, and for just a second, she made a dangerous face as if she was arrested. Hehehe, I’m taking you down with me.

We reached the parlor with a weird, tense atmosphere.

The tension rises with minimal effort from either of us, with an awkward silence surrounding us until Tia comes in with the black tea.

Elmenhilde traces the rim of the cup with her slender, white fingers, and finally begins to talk about the reason for her visit.

“It’s extremely unfortunate about Bernhardt-sama…”

“Yes, it is.”

Although it was obvious from her preemptive attack, it’s still within what I’ve predicted the reason for her visit was.

For some reason, her attack was of a bit of a let down.

“I’m a year above Bernhardt-sama, you know.”

In the meantime, I harmlessly replied back, ‘Oh, is that so?’ Which means that she’s three years my senior. No wonder I don’t remember her face.

This might be a little late to say, but Elmenhilde’s a really long name. I wonder if her pet name’s El. It’s not that I plan on calling her that right now, but there’s not even a sign I should.

“When I was a third year, he invited me to the Hidden Student Council and was helped out by him a lot. It’s embarrassing even though I’m a year older than him.”

Elmenhilde is surprisingly a decent person. Wait, it might be rude of me to say surprisingly.

The Hidden Student Council also knows that Bern is alive, but it’s actually just a small part of it. That’s why it’s reasonable that at the beginning, there were people that came to give me, his fiancée, their condolences. Bern was really loved by a lot of people. Though she’s the first that visited in person and talked to me.

Though I’m kind of grateful for that. I described it as grateful, but I remembered her smile from earlier that gave me a bad feeling with its evil intent clearly directed at me, and that I can’t really be thankful at all.

“That’s why when I heard that he passed away, I decided that I had to meet you.”

“…Is that so?”

The atmosphere turned solemn, which made it really uncomfortable.

It’s inexcusable to deceive her, but it’s not like I can just say, ‘Bern’s actually alive~’ and because of that, I quietly pretended to look sad.

With my eyes downcast, Elmenhilde looked at my face and made a worried face.

“Your face looks pale. Of course you’d be affected by him.”

Does my face look pale right now? Well, my stomach does hurt, so it’s possible.

“Eh, I guess…”

“Your hair color also looks bad…”

Hair? I looked at my hair tips that were hanging down to my chest. It’s the usual chestnut, curly hair though. Wait a minute, what does she mean by color? Is it supposed to hurt? As I thought of asking her, I agreed in the meantime.

“Hmm? Eh, I guess.”

“Your nose is flat as well.”

“That’s how it was from when I was born.”

“Oh my, excuse me.”

Th-this jerk–!

Did this person just come here to pick a fight with me?! I’m pretty sure she did!

I just don’t know why she’s being mean to me though. Maybe it’s because when I was in school, I wasn’t that close to Lila, or because I’m close to Bern and Katerina, I was harassed and attacked with rumors but…

Don’t tell me it’s because Elmenhilde likes Bern? That thought vaguely came to mind.

But why is she doing this now? Publicly, Bern is supposed to be dead, did she come here to rub salt onto my wound even though I’m supposed to be in grief? Or maybe she came here to really confirm Bern’s death? Speaking of, earlier, wasn’t she straining herself earlier at scrutinizing the employees’ faces?

Either way, I have to prevent her and Bern from bumping into each other.

“U-uhm, I feel a little unwell, so would it be acceptable for me to go outside for a bit?”

“Ah, that’s true. Your face looks horrible.”

Even if she said my face looks horrible, or if she meant something else, there’s nothing else I could do except wryly smile. Hehehe. Just this much won’t piss me off, you know. Deep down, I was thankful that I had a big heart, and stood up.

“Tia, I’d like you to accompany the guest for a bit.”

“Understood.”

I couldn’t help but signal to Tia with my eyes to observe her, and while pretending that the situation was bad, I quietly left the parlor and dashed full speed to the courtyard.

I don’t always do this, but because it’s an emergency just for today, and this is my parents’ home, I’m hopefully allowed to. I ignored the surprised faces on the employees I passed by and ran through the corridors.

Coming out of the corridor facing the courtyard like a bullet, I looked around restlessly searching for the person I was looking for. Even here, he still has to work, so I looked through the middle of the shrubbery, and there he was.

I rushed over to his side, crouched down, and when I poked his curled back, he asked with a tender smile, ‘What’s wrong?’

Ah~ I’m so relieved. I’m steadily being healed. But the situation right now isn’t one where I can carelessly be healed.

“What should I do, Bern? A weird person came…”

“Weird person?”

Bern’s hands that were pruning stopped, and asked that question, in doubt.

“Someone named Elmenhilde Hau-something. She also said that she used to be part of the Hidden Student Council.”

What was her name again? Hau… Hau…

It’s no use. I could only think of Howl’s Moving Castle*. Man, I miss Studio Ghibli films.

“Elmenhilde Hausknecht?”

“Yeah, that!”

Elmenhilde Hausknecht, Elmenhilde Hausknecht… I have a feeling I won’t remember that. Why the hell is her name so hard to pronounce? It feels like she’s trying to torment with just her name.

Having thought of something, Bern muttered, ‘Elmenhilde, huh?’ and slightly frowned.

“I came here to tell you to hide yourself for the time being since she’s in the parlor.”

The courtyard is further inside the estate, so I thought we’d be fine since she can’t walk around as she pleases, but Bern sees that I’ll have to trouble him for a lot of things.

“Got it.”

Bern quickly stood up, and just when I took the hand he held out,

“Ah–!!”

A loud voice resounded through the courtyard, seemingly breaking the moment.

When I looked at the where the voice came from, there was a weary Tia, and a provoked Elmenhilde who I was trying not ignore just a tiny bit.

I looked at Tia, asking why Elmenhilde was here, but even now, she’s still trying to hold Elmenhilde back by clinging to her body. But Elmenhilde’s horse power is too much that it really doesn’t make sense.

“Move aside!”

“Ah…!”

Elmenhilde shook her off, and finally using up all her strength, Tia falls to the floor. T-Tia!

While I was worrying about Tia, Elmenhilde rapidly comes closer.

Honestly speaking, I’m really scared. That’s because a beautiful girl with two drills beside her face is intensely glaring at me while walking this way. What else can this be aside from fear?

Wh-what should I do!?

For a moment, useless explanations went through my head, like ‘This gardener just looks like Bern, but is someone else,’ or ‘He’s actually Bern’s long lost twin brother.’

“U-uhm, Elmenhilde-sama…”

When I called out to her to say that she can’t come any closer to Bern more than she already is, she suddenly stopped.

“…knew it.”

Muttering something, Ermenhild raised her face. She sniffed as her light blue eyes teared up, trembling and shining.

“I knew that you were alive…!”

The next moment, in the blink of an eye, she quickly and desperately hugged Bern’s neck as if she transported.


*Howl’s Moving Castle starts with hau in Japanese, hence the joke.

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