I’m Troubled That My Fiance’s A Villain – Prenuptial Travel Logs – Episode 02

Even as I stared dumbfounded at Elmenhilde hugging Bern with the hem of her skirt fluttering, and her flowing blonde hair, what I thought in the next moment was extremely simple.

I have to get rid of Elmenhilde.

Despite having been possessed with that unusually dangerous thought, I wasn’t even allowed to tear Elmenhilde off of him. She quickly removed her arms from Bern and let go of him.

“Forgive me for being impolite. I was happy being able to meet you again, Bernhardt-sama, so I unconsciously–“

If it’s unconsciously, do you have to hug someone else’s fiancé? Nope, this isn’t good.

I knew it, I have to get rid of Elmenhilde.

Even though I had these thoughts, in the end, I’m bad at resorting to violence or expressing my dislike for someone, so I could only grind my teeth in annoyance. It made others want to say, ‘All that’s left is for you to bite down on your handkerchief!’

On the other hand, Bern, who had been hugged by Elminhilde, stared at her hanging head expressionlessly like a doll.

Others might not be able to see an expression, but for some reason, to me, he looks angry.

“It seems that you mistook me for someone else, Hausknecth-sama.”

“Huh?”

With a reserved manner of speaking, at the words, ‘mistook me for someone else,’ Elmenhilde raised her head with a doubtful expression.

“I’m only an apprentice gardener and the son of a poor noble. I’m not this Bernhardt person.”

“A-apprentice gardener…?”

She made a stupid-looking face saying that she has no idea what he’s saying. I mean, it’s hard to suddenly believe that a former Duke would become an apprentice gardener.

He didn’t really become an apprentice gardener though.

After coming to the Reitberg estate, probably for the first time in his life, Bern was confronted with the problem of having a monotonous everyday life without anything to do. Or rather, what’s surprising is the fact that Bern doesn’t have anything that seems like a hobby.

His only daily routine is training his body, which he seems to finish early in the morning, and he really has nothing else to do, making the days longer for him. In a way, I’m the type of person that passes her spare time being idle, but rather than saying he’s bad at spending time, it’s more apt to say that he just doesn’t know what to do with it. Like a dog that doesn’t know how to play with the ball thrown at him, his flustered state is somewhat amusing to see.

Even now, whenever I ask him why he’s with me during his spare time, he tells me that it doesn’t count. Back in school, he was always busy preparing something and would often go about his own business helping Lucas.

Considering all that, he often came to drop in on me, but that’s not because he was free but because he made time for me. Sorry for thinking that you were always free.

In spite of being above average with many things, Bern’s world lacks hobbies; it may seem vast, but it may actually be rather small instead.

Because of this, the Bern who didn’t know what to do with his free time was finally able to find something, which was gardening.

It was by chance that our family’s old gardener hurt his back and had been asking for a helper.

During the first week, he was scolded for various things, but nowadays, he’s completely become a splendid gardener’s apprentice. His being scolded by someone looked really funny, so I thought that it’s become a little boring now that he’s being scolded less, which is a secret by the way.

If this was a villa in the royal capital, Bern wouldn’t have let that happen and would have made a fuss about it, but excluding Tia and the butler, the rest of the main employees haven’t met Bern yet, so most of them believe that he’s the capable son of a poor noble that was taken in by Father to be a son-in-law. That’s why even when he’s gardening, as expected, he just feels like an unusual noble picked by the head of the family, and the old gardener is even allowed to scold Bern.

As for me, I greatly approve Bern finding a new, quiet hobby, so sometimes I’ll help him out, but that’s not important right now.

“What do you mean? This sham of being a gardener…!”

I held myself back from shouting, ‘Elmenhilde-sama, to completely get angry and press for answers!’

“Our dresses might get dirty. Why don’t we head inside in the meantime?”

Before the employees gather around wondering what’s happening, we need to first move somewhere else.

The employees went about their jobs relaxed under the former, big-hearted Marquis and Marquess, so there’s not that many that patiently wait accordingly to their jobs. Jobs basically have no meaning.

Elmenhilde’s expression looks as if she’s not satisfied with that explanation, but it’s saying, ‘Surely we’re not going to be standing out here in the courtyard indefinitely, right?’ so I meekly showed her that I agree.

I thought, ‘If we argued here, my attention will further stay on the drills beside her beautiful face, so we should go in,’ and breathed a sigh, saying, ‘Thank God.’

First off, Bern went to go change his clothes that got dirty from gardening, and once again, we sat across each other in the parlor.

“I understand that you came here with no prior warning to look for Bern.”

Despite Tia and the butler looking at her from both sides, Elmenhilde was calm.

On the way earlier, the butler stealthily told me that Count Hausknecht is a relative of a Duke from the neighboring country and was the former head. It’s no wonder that her attitude is this unpleasant. I composed my expression, making it look like I know that much about her, and deceivingly laughed, ‘Ahahaha.’ Telling her that my brain isn’t that big enough to remember something I have no interest in.

This country has a proper class system, but your actual rank is based on various components, like assets or influence in the government, and because of that, it’s based more on power balances. Our house has a high position, but with that meaning in mind, it’s more of right in the middle of the middle.

As for the Hausknecht house, with backing from a Duke from the neighboring country, their real strength is that of the head.

Based on appearances, Elmenhilde looks like the stereotypical noble, and based on her real strength, she might win against the Rietberg house. Well, in her case, she’s confident in herself, so that may be the case as well.

“What is your goal for coming here?”

This is the second time in my life that I’ve interrogated someone, but as expected, I’m bad at this. In the first place, I hate facing people who’re hostile towards me. Crap, I’m already getting cold feet, so I’d like you to forgive me for that, or soften that gaze of yours a little bit — your eyelashes are long and so beautiful, ugh!

Thinking of those timid thoughts, a part of them began to think about her in extreme calmness.

If her goal has something to do with Bernhardt Brunsmeier, I’m going to immediately be suspicious of her.

The reason why Bern purposely pretended to be dead was because Bernhardt Youth Brunsmeier was a duke with royal blood.

Just how should I tell her that in a way that’s easier to understand… As for why, a way to confirm someone’s DNA or a mysterious magic that somehow verifies a parent-child relationship doesn’t exist. In this world, the only way to confirm that would be a family register. Nevertheless, because pictures don’t exist either, having the person themselves confirm it is useless if an outsider lies about the people concerned. So you could say that once someone disappears from the family register, it’s really hard, almost completely impossible to do so.

It’s rare for things to have a Sherlock Holmes*-like development where someone has a birthmark on their body.

In other words, what I’d like to say is that the most important thing for Bern was for Bernhardt Youth Brunsmeier to disappear from the family register.

If he didn’t remove himself from the family register, even if the person himself was alive, it would have been hard for Bern who has royal blood in him to move far away. But on the other hand, regardless of whether he cares about the ducal position or not, he won’t be able to get it back anymore.

Nevertheless, there’s a lot of people that know Bern’s face, and he’s “dead” in the meantime, so we went as far as to make a new family register and are waiting in the Rietberg’s countryside estate for Bern to disappear from society’s memories.

But it’s somewhat sad. It doesn’t seem like God is letting us live in peace that easily. If I had prepared a long mustache to go along with her long hair, her laughing right now would have definitely looked like ‘Hohoho!’

Dammit. I hope you go bald!

“I’d like you to stop with that scary face you’re making. I’ll talk about my important matter once Bernhardt-sama is here.”

I was offended, but I took a breath and held myself back. Well, even though it was me that asked right now, once Bern comes, she’ll be asked again anyways.

Uneventfully, the irritation grows, and the mood somehow turns sour.

“Leaving that aside, I have something I’d like to ask you.”

“What would that be?”

Before long, our conversation turned into that of a noble lady’s typical conversation, all business-like.

“How did you become Bernhardt-sama’s fiancée?”

“‘How…’”

I just don’t know how to say that ‘We met at a party, and when he helped me when I fell, he proposed an engagement.’

Oh yeah, when I first met Katerina, she asked something similar as well. Though even if I give her the same answer as I did then, the Elmenhilde in front of me wouldn’t easily accept it the way Katerina back then did.

“I mean, isn’t it weird? Bernhardt-sama, the successor to the Brunsmeier house, continued to name you, from the powerless Rietberg house, as his fiancée, threw away his position, and is still together with you even until now… And also, this may be shallow of me, but I don’t understand the reason as to why Bernhardt-sama would hide himself from the world. But I’m sure that the reason has something to do with you. That’s why I came here… If by chance, you tied him to you through ill means, I won’t forgive you.”

“What the?”

I’ve long gotten tired of the extreme development of things, so I unconsciously answered plainly.

Elmenhilde, why did it end up like this?

It’s true that a majority of nobles marry for their family. But not everybody’s like that. Both of my parents married for love.

Come to think of it, didn’t Clarissa get engaged to Alois because of her family’s debt? Thinking that, I came to the conclusion that marriage of conveniences may be more common than I originally thought.

Hmm, while that may be true, isn’t your threat a little too reckless?

On top of that, I assume that you’re the violent type. As expected, I’m bad with these types of people.

“Let’s see, we both carefully thought things through and decided to do things like this. I don’t quite understand how you came to that conclusion.”

You can’t endure the fact that we both love each other, so you tried to hide it behind vague words, but instead, that backfired on you.

“You, can’t you think more properly of your own position? In those days, the Brunsmeier family was a noble family that was second to the royal family and even had the capability to compete with the Queen faction. In the beginning, the Brunsmeier family thought of setting up a decorative fiancée in order to not encourage other families.”

You serious? People thought I was a decorative fiancée?

I was shocked by facts that I only found out about now.

But now that you mention it, I thought it couldn’t be helped if that’s how I looked like to everybody. It’s as she said, the Brunsmeier family before the rebellion was one of the five noble families, their power was boasted to just be second to the Queen faction’s. Either way, Katerina, who succeeded the position, is supporting Crown Prince Selim even now, so as always, they’re still upholding their position as one of the five noble families.

It’s unlikely that the engagement of a successor to such a family wouldn’t take political issues into consideration. And usually, if a noble possessed some sort of ambition, they would come to view such thoughts as extremely proper.

Bern is someone who doesn’t fixate on his own social status and is always absent-minded, so we agreed, without a care, that it might be trouble unless we stop paying attention to our surroundings.

It’s no wonder that in school, they would spread malicious gossip about people they knew nothing about. I actually wanted everyone to get along and be friends with the Brunsmeier siblings.

“So I thought, when the time comes, my chance would definitely come to become his real fiancée, with just that hope, I graduated, but I heard rumors of you entering school, and being doted on by Bernhardt-sama. Thinking that was definitely impossible, I even sent a letter.”

“Oh…”

“And then, just when I thought to ask him directly when he graduates, I heard that he died… I couldn’t believe it. No, rather, I didn’t want to believe it.”

“Huh.”

I wish I could give her an actual reply. Ah, but since I’m still annoyed about the letter, I didn’t reply back.

“Are you listening to me properly!?”

“Even if I were to tell you that I didn’t threaten Bern, I’m not exactly a person praiseworthy enough to properly listen to someone who’s talking badly about me.”

“… That’s true, I apologize for my behavior towards you. That was just an out of anger. I’m sorry.”

I was bewildered at how she unexpectedly apologized and just gave a vague reply.

Huh, so this person is aware that it was just out of anger. If so, I’d like her to keep being self-aware, but a person like her wouldn’t do that so easily.

“But I just don’t understand! I really love Bernhardt-sama, and to not embarrass him as a member of the Hidden Student Council, as well as to be helpful to him, even just a little bit… Even if he doesn’t choose me, if a chance were to come by just once, I would try my best but…! Because you met him even before I did, he chose you without even saying why, and without even seeing him face-to-face, I didn’t even get the opportunity to do so!”

I’m pretty sure this right here isn’t out of anger.

The reason why he chose me as his fiancée wasn’t exactly something I was happy with, but even if I were to object to her, saying, ‘I’ve put in great effort towards many things for Bern!’ Ah, but then I realized that this person right here is one of the few girls that truly likes Bern.

Even though I wanted to shout at her, ‘If you’re aiming for him because of his Ducal position or his royal blood, stop messing around!’

Finally realizing why Elmenhilde is here, my feelings became complicated. For some reason, I thought that she was similar to Katerina. The villainess Katerina from the game.

Suddenly, she let out a bitter smile, and at that moment, she held back her tears as she shot short, unexpected words at me, like a sharp arrow.

“That’s not fair!”

With her words truly just out of anger, she displayed an unreasonable way of losing her temper.

But that brought out an unexpected action from within me.

In the midst of spending my monotonous everyday, a thought suddenly came to me. Before I knew it, it became a prominent cause of annoyance for me, and sometimes, I would keep on thinking about it, never going away.

So the words, ‘That’s not fair,’ are words that I subconsciously distanced myself from, as if I couldn’t face them.

A painful, and sudden lump was stuck in my throat, but I didn’t want Elmenhilde to see that, so I squeezed out my words.

“… I understand what you want to say. But did you assume that it’s okay for people who didn’t even notify the owners ahead of time to search through somebody else’s home?”

‘I finally said it!’ But it completely didn’t leave my thoughts.

Her words earlier, ‘That’s not fair!’ have been spinning around in my head since earlier.

Interrupting her words, she said, ‘That’s…’ I stared at her, grinding my teeth as I tried to drive out the troublesome words from earlier.

Just how much better would it be if I could have gotten as angry as I did during that time with Lila or Alois. I wonder if the reason why I can’t is because I understand that Elmenhilde really loves Bern. Or maybe it’s because I feel like she resembles Katerina.

Or maybe it’s because I feel inferior…

“I apologize for making you wait.”

Bern came at just the right moment, breaking the stalemate.

Bern’s a former duke, but to say nothing of what his social status is right now, he has nothing except the fact that he’s on a family register, so it looks like he plans on being polite to Elmenhilde. Even if she respects Bern, I have a feeling she also fears him.

He quickly looked at the situation, exchanged a look with both of us, seemingly pausing for a bit, and guessed what had happened.

“Bernhardt-sama, please forgive me for my rude actions earlier…!”

She apologized, trying to get the upper hand right off the bat, and Bern sat beside me with smooth movements.

Similar to earlier in the courtyard, his emotions didn’t show on his face, and I felt uncomfortable at how there was nothing to be done about it. Seeing this face on Bern, I wonder if Elmenhilde’s scared.

Even though it looks like her eyes are glittering, getting ready to charge at meeting him again, that kind of feeling couldn’t be found on Bern’s face.

“Why are you here? Right now, you should be too busy to even consider this.”

What does he mean by, ‘too busy’?

I was going to ask Bern to explain his mysterious words, but I didn’t need to.

“You’re correct… The truth is that I’m in the midst of being exiled.”

Huh, exiled. Eh, exiled? By exiled, it’s that right, being cast aside by your own country and running away to a different country, things that higher-ups do, that exiled, right? That’s just before what a gestaltzerfall is.

I’m pretty sure that Elmenhilde thinks I have a talent for being surprised. Just today, in one day, I’ve already been surprised so much. To be honest, I’m already full from it. So please forgive me for that.

With too much information, surprises, and troubles spinning around in my head, it started hurting, and I softly massaged my temples.

What Elmenhilde said was that in Count Hausknect’s house, the main family and the various branch families are divided. In the middle of all of that is Elmenhilde of the main family, specifically the daughter of the direct descendant of the neighboring Duke’s line.

However, the head of the family, who had supported the Queen faction, fell from his standing as an aftermath of the fight with the fiancées.

While listening to her, Bern, with a small, rumbling voice said, ‘Damn you Wehner,’ so it probably has something to do with the dispute between the Second Prince, or rather, the current Crown Prince’s faction and the Queen faction.

While we hid ourselves in the countryside, the power struggle between nobles have continued in the Royal Capital. For me, I thought that we didn’t have anything to do with that anymore, so I didn’t listen much, but as long as Bern is here, he’s probably destined to get dragged into this. I relaxed a little bit and pondered.

With the rise of the branch families, the direct descendant, Elmenhilde, is being pressed to marry the incorrigible, piggish, trash head of one of the branch families. Aside from that, the branch families are fighting over the seat for the new head, and each and every one of them are pretending to sign themselves up under Elmenhilde’s siblings. What is this, the Warring States?

They couldn’t let the direct descendant, Elmenhilde, escape. Moreover, it’s clear as day that her life will be in danger if she were to refuse the marriage.

“I thought that I’d prefer to die than marry that guy and become a puppet. But anyways, if you were dead, did you really die in the end? If by chance, you were alive, if I could you meet you again even just once… Around the time I thought that, a secret letter came to me from the old maid from the Duke house, telling me to escape here.”

And so, with just the clothes on her back and relying on her hidden savings, she ran away from the Royal Capital until she reached the Rietberg estate in order to safely meet Bernhardt again.

Doesn’t this seem like Elmenhilde is the protagonist of a romance novel, if only I wasn’t here…

“And because of that… Bernhardt-sama, with my own will, I came here to…”

“What is it that you want to say?”

Bern was blunt towards Elmenhilde who wasn’t making herself clear.

“Your engagement with Lizia-san–“

“I’ve already said this multiple times, but I chose Lizzy because I like her, it was my own will about pretending to be dead. If you knew the details, you wouldn’t be exiled, so I can’t tell you. It’s better for you to not inquire any more than this.”

“…I-I–“

“Regardless of what it is, I don’t plan on responding to your feelings. Moreover, you may be obligated to me, but as for inviting you to join the Hidden Student Council, it’s because I thought that I would look suspicious if I didn’t include the child of a noble with a certain amount of status from the Queen faction. You should worry more about yourself rather than me.”

“Bern…”

Even though it’s Elmenhilde, isn’t this a little cold of you?

I mean, I know that the other person is the annoying Elmenhilde, but she came here to meet him while fleeing for dear life, and if he told her those things, Bern will look like a bad guy.

Or maybe I’m just too naive…

Elmenhilde looks dispirited compared to the vigor she had earlier when she had her outburst.

“If you quickly leave now, you should be able to arrive at a nearby town before the sun sets. From there, you should hire an escort.”

“…Yes. I’ve already accomplished my goal, so I shall be leaving now… I apologize for troubling you.”

“Eh–“

Elmenhilde’s drills shook as she bowed, and she seemingly got up to leave as she said that.

I’m happy about the part where she said she’s leaving, but doesn’t this just leave an awful aftertaste in your mouth?

Forcibly intruding here, just where did your guts from earlier go!?

Besides, it doesn’t look like Elmenhilde can properly flee all by herself. Although I’m reluctant, I’m still worried.

“E-excuse me!”

Before I knew it, I had already called out to her retreating back.


Thank you for always leaving reviews. This may be extremely inexcusable, but in order to send out the notification to those subscribed for updates, I’ve thought to hold back on replying to reviews in the meantime. As for why, I have yet to know how to proceed from here on out in terms of story development (especially about Elmenhilde-san), so I felt that it was difficult to reply. As for the update subscribers’ comments, it’ll stay the same from here on out, so thank you in advance for your replies.


*Sherlock Holmes – The original text used Kosuke Kindaichi, a fictional detective created by a famous mystery novelist, so I changed it to Sherlock Holmes seeing as it’s pretty much the same thing, and gives off the same feeling. Sherlock Holmes is more well-known to the international community than Kosuke Kindaichi.

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