I’m Troubled That My Fiance’s A Villain – Prenuptial Travel Logs – Episode 08

I was inside a small stone room.

With just a simple bed and a chair with an extremely high yet sorry excuse of a skylight overhead, the inside of the room was dark and desolate.

He was rolled into a ball on the stone floor.

The shackles around his ankles were connected by chains to latches at the corner of the room, and this time, even his hands were tied to his sides.

He was a prisoner.

Ah, it’s this dream again, huh?

Is this what they meant when you’re aware that you’re inside a dream? Lucid dreaming, right?

I was standing in front of him absentmindedly, but as I expected, it doesn’t look like he can see me.

He — Bern — was in a severe state.

It seems that his hair has grown unruly, and he looks slightly thinner than before. And above all, there were new bruises on his limbs that were peeking from his prisoner uniform.

In last night’s dream, he was preparing to escape, so he must have failed.

Looks like there are things that Bern can’t do either. Of course, I prayed that he was able to escape.

Wondering what I could do, I sat down near Bern despite the fact that he couldn’t see me.

Even his face that was peeking through his long bangs that lost its shine looked severe. His bleeding nose is probably due to being thrown onto the ground. On the right side of his face gazing downward was thick blood that had dried into light brown around his mouth.

Why is no one treating him? This is too much even for a prisoner… This is…

Probably because the pain was too much, but he had rolled up into a ball, not even twitching. The only indication that he was still alive was the rise and fall of his shoulders.

Just how long has he been like this?

I don’t think a whole night, or even five minutes, have passed since then.

Somehow, the passage of time felt obscure. Or rather, is it my presence that is?

“…Dammit.”

A low, almost breath-like murmur came from between Bern’s clenched teeth.

His body trembled, and he rolled into himself until his forehead was touching his knees. Like a shrimp being boiled. Or a fetus inside a mother’s stomach.

As if I could hear the creaks in his bones throughout his whole body.

“Dammit!!!”

He shouted, spitting blood.

It rippled through the air, echoed, and sprung back, but no one answered back as the cold air gradually absorbed it.

I don’t really know why, but I thought that he was crying.

I unconsciously reached my hand towards his round face, but similar to how you forcibly push two same poles of magnets, I couldn’t touch him.

Suddenly, Bern moved his head.

His irritating bangs that had been covering his expression revealed his eyes.

And so that he would look at me, the moment he raised his head and our gazes met, I immediately opened my mouth, and–

“What the…”

When I woke up, I was met with an unfamiliar ceiling. Just what’s with this pattern?

When I tried to get up while holding my head in pain, I was suddenly assailed by the cold and hastily raised the blanket up til my neck.

My neck made cracking noises when I turned it while groaning.

My nape felt tense, and for some reason, my nose felt stuffy as well.

I saw that dream again.

Recently, I would see the same dream every time I slept. Rather than saying it was the same dream, it’s more of a continuation. Like a drama series.

But dream Bern’s treatment turned increasingly worse, and I can’t do anything either, so this dream left the worst aftertaste.

I didn’t feel so good yesterday, so I just woke up and fell asleep, but every time that happened, I would see that dream. So much so that I’d call it a nightmare.

Just what the hell… What’s with that?!

When I was about to get angry at no one in particular, I was assailed with a thirst that I couldn’t ignore.

When I looked around the bed, thinking ‘Is there water around here?’ I saw a small, black pile beside the bed.

Carefully looking at it, I could see that it systematically moved up and down. Rather than moving, it’s better to say it was breathing — even without looking at him carefully, I knew that it was Bern.

It seems that he fell asleep on my bed while sitting on a chair.

After confirming with my eyes that his wrists had no injures nor handcuffs — ‘Ah, wait, that was a dream’ I told myself.

Even so, I couldn’t separate it from that world since it was so real.

Because of the still lingering dream, I stared at Bern’s exposed, black, round head as I slowly recalled what had happened before I slept.

When I did, I immediately groaned.

My body had been unwell the entire time we stayed at the Bormann territory.

Let’s see, I don’t completely remember the others, but I at least remember one person.

Viscount Bormann.

That damn Bormann who repeatedly aimed for the young Bern’s life, wanting the queen to like him.

When I first heard of Bormann, I vowed that I would definitely hit him in one go someday, and even now, I still want to.

After that, I faced Elmenhilde and said a lot of shameful words to her. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I was crying… And ahhhhhhhhh… I can’t take this…!

I have to properly apologize to her.

Outside the window, it was cloudy but bright.

I do remember that when we found this inn, the sun was just about to set, and right now, the sun is high in the sky, so I must have slept the whole night.

After stretching, for some reason, I softly caressed Bern’s head. I had expected it, but I was able to properly touch him this time.

For a brief moment, I was hit with feelings of ‘Wow~ So soft~! So round!’ and like a toy spring, Bern forcefully got up from the bed.

“Woah, you scared me.”

That should be my line! Don’t act like a wild animal, you!

“Good morning.”

Bern put his hand on my forehead with an innocent look as he brushed my hair aside, and for some reason, I let it go. It felt cool and also nice.

“Are you still sick?”

I touched my stomach with my hands. Despite my stomach grumbling, I didn’t feel horrible so my appetite should have returned.

When I shook my head, Bern sighed, and his expression softened.

“You still look like you have a fever, but does it hurt anywhere else?”

“… I’m okay.”

When I said that while sniffing, he let out a bitter smile, amazed. My expression probably doesn’t look so believable.

Nevertheless, yesterday was really intense. Even though I thought ‘I might be getting sick~’ I suddenly felt cold, had a headache, and got sick, and I couldn’t distinguish what’s what. My body’s only redeeming feature was its inability to catch colds, and I had never experienced it — Ah let me correct that, it’s been a while since my body’s been in this much pain.

I’ve troubled both Bern and Elmenhilde.

If I hadn’t gotten sick, I would have been able to say goodbye to this annoying Bormann territory. That’s right. THIS. ANNOYING. BORMANN TERRITORY!

“Where’s Elmenhilde-san?”

It’s too early, so she might still be asleep.

“…”

The silence went on, so when I looked at Bern, he made an obvious face as if something bad had happened, and looked away.

…What happened? I have a really bad feeling about this.

When I waited for the silent Bern to talk, he started talking with a grim expression on his face, which was unusual even for him.

“After you fell asleep yesterday, I went to town with her to go shopping.”

I see. I mean, I was sleeping, so they managed to finally visit the town.

That’s what I thought, but I couldn’t help but think, ‘Are you trying to get a head start, Elmenhilde?!’

Well, that’s fine. I believe in Bern anyways.

“There, a carriage that Viscount Bormann was on was about to run over an old woman, and she rushed out to stop it.”

“Hmm?”

Wait a minute, that last part seemed really important.

“Uhm, so you went shopping with Elmenhilde-san.”

“Yes.”

“And out of nowhere, Viscount Bormann’s carriage showed up.”

“Yes.”

“Because that carriage was about to run over a grandma, Elmenhilde-san rushed out to stop it.”

“That’s right.”

“… And where’s Elmenhilde-san?”

“Arrested.”

“Ehhhhhhhh!?”

Elmenhilde–!!

Ah, but the very act of her saving the grandma was very noble, and I would have done the same thing as well. But due to her current situation, standing out would be suicidal, or dare I say, very rash.

Wait a minute, she got arrested even though Bern was with her?

Seeing that it didn’t add up, Bern said his excuse with his hand on the back of his neck.

“Bormann would have figured me out through my mask. So saving her wouldn’t have been wise of me.”

Meaning you abandoned her…

O-Okay. I should probably scold him about that.

“Also, looks like Bormann knew about her. He still has her locked up in a room in his residence and late at night, sent a messenger towards the Royal Capital. She and Viscount Eimer are in the same faction, so there’s a high chance he’s getting in touch with him. Or maybe he plans on using Elmenhilde to make a deal with Eimer.”

What’s with this information?! There’s been so many revelations so far!

And who’s this Viscount Eimer?!

“He’s the head of the Hausknecht branch family.”

I completely forgot about that since when Elmenhilde told us about her story, she only called the head of the branch family — that man — a pig. Rather than forget, at least now I can finally remember him.

“Don’t tell me you just watched?”

Bern shrugged his shoulders and made an affirming noise.

I’m surprised. I was wondering how I could persuade him to have us go save Elmenhilde. Appealing to the good in Bern to help others without considering the pros and cons–

“It’s an order from Uncle. We have to escort her until Bell by any means.”

Guess it hasn’t woken up in him yet.

What’s with this mysterious sense of defeat…

To even bring out Lucas’ name on top of that, I’m just getting more and more lost.

Bern gave me a small piece of paper as I frowned.

One side of it wasn’t even five centimeters, and due to being rolled up for so long, the ends curled freely when it wasn’t held tightly.

For some reason, I remember this.

“Around the time we were about to leave the Rietberg territory, I told Uncle just in case. I thought it might have something to do with the Royal Capital. That’s his reply.”

Speaking of which, a pigeon came to Bern yesterday morning. At the time, he didn’t tell anyone what it was about, but that might have been Lucas’s carrier pigeon.

He prompted me with his eyes to read it, and I opened it.

As he said, what was in the letter were polite words saying to escort Elmenhilde.

And as for why Lucas wrote a letter telling us to escort Elmenhilde, the reason was frankly laid out below that.

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