The question that suddenly appeared in front of us: Wasn’t Lucas’ first love Bern’s mother?
It was a bolt out of the blue.
Ah, well, that might be a little exaggerated. It’s more like seeing a cute dog on the side of the road while you’re walking, and then hitting a telephone pole.
“He never laid a hand on his own teacher’s wife, and before he was able to finish painting her portrait filled with his wish for her to be happy, she died. That’s why Lucas regrets not being able to give her the painting, and continued painting multiple portraits of her.”
Lila nodded her head as she said Yep, yep at her own words, and probably because of her excitement, she looked at me, slightly flush faced.
“It’s weird that Lucas’ first love is Bernhardt’s mother.”
“That’s true. And then?”
“…That’s as far as I can go.”
As far as you can go?! You’re right!
Sigh… I can’t just leave it to others, I should diligently think about this as well.
Okay, let’s put things in order for now.
That’s right, putting things in order is what’s most important. I’ll naturally be able to see the answer more clearly once everything’s been put in order so that I’m not walking around with just one sock. Though socks have nothing to do with this right now.
For now, we know that Lucas’ first love is Bern’s mother, Emilia. I heard this from Lucas himself, so there’s no mistaking it.
Actually, I remember he once drew a picture of me when I was in school but he drew a lady behind me then, which was probably Emilia. I did think Huh, she looks familiar but for some reason didn’t remember. Even though Bern looks really similar to Emilia and I see his face everyday.
Crap, that quickly went off-topic. I truly apologize.
Let’s get back on topic.
Emilia was the current king’s sister that didn’t officially exist and was Duke Rottger’s adopted child, having been made into a subject of the state. Because of that, she became step siblings with Lucas. Naturally, looking at it from Lucas’ side, Emilia’s son, Bern, is his nephew.
Emilia is a special person for Lucas, so after her death, he falsified his own status to enter the Brunsmeier estate and became Bern’s teacher and real guardian.
Yep. Okay. I’ve confirmed up to this multiple times now, so it should hold.
And what came to light just now was something that completely negated all of this.
The fact that Lucas’ first love wasn’t Emilia, but some other woman.
To be quite honest, I also felt that– No, rather, if we remove the possibility that I remembered incorrectly, I feel like I could simply agree, Ah, is that so? but Lila herself seems to be pretty confident of what she said.
Actually, I don’t remember anything at all.
Sigh~ To fans of Lucas all over the country, I apologize.
Personally, Lucas’ route packed a really terrible punch for me and because of that episode, I almost don’t remember anything about it.
I’ll say it once more: If I was in my previous world, I would like to sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart to Lucas’ fans all around the nation.
I didn’t particularly like how troublesome or how slightly crazy Lucas was but I’m sure there are tons of people who can say But that’s what I like about him! On one hand, there’s people like me who screamed with joy, He’s gonna stop talking about the woman from before now! at the end when he gave her portrait to the protagonist but on the other, there’s people like Lila who was moved to tears by it.
Generally speaking, that is.
First off, let’s see if what Lila said is true.
The possibility of her lying might not be zero, but she has no reason to lie after all this time so I’m certain that she knows more about the game this world is based on, My Lilac, more than me.
If so, then I would have to conclude that there’s a huge discrepancy in a character’s backstory let alone a change in the story.
When I think about it very carefully, in addition to being just an actual artist, game Lucas was an art teacher but the fact that he’s probably someone who has an important position in the Intelligence Bureau seems kinda weird. Because it’s impossible for such an impactful backstory to not appear in the story.
Though impossible, why have I not noticed it until now…
I’ve– That’s right, I’ve always thought that even if things don’t follow the scenario, it’s still possible. Because the world I’m in is real.
But Viola said that was wrong.
That the story is absolute, and for things to deviate from that would require an irregularity that holds information about the game.
Don’t tell me… Wait, but…
I spoke in a somewhat severe tone, noticing how difficult it would be to continue this conversation if I stayed quiet any more than this.
“…You see, I actually went to the Island of Grief before coming here.”
I heard Lila slightly gasp.
When I glanced at her, feeling uneasy for a reason, her face had turned pale and stern.
“Did you meet with her?”
Lila asked just that one question.
“I did. With Viola.”
Her face turned increasingly stiffer at Viola’s name.
And then, she replied in a very small voice,
“How’d it go?”
“She seemed fine. Though looks like she’s a little dissatisfied with prison life.”
She looked like she was ready to take action or break out of jail if she had the chance.
Crap! I completely forgot about him!
“He didn’t change much, just like Viola, probably…”
He might be locked up in a dungeon since he’s a guy but I’m sure it’s definitely better than that dark prison so I’m not wrong! I shouldn’t! …Maybe, probably.
It may seem like I completely forgot about Alois but that riot had disappeared from my mind quicker than I thought it would.
Of course it’s not because I forgot about him.
But it doesn’t feel real, like it was something that had already happened so long ago…
Besides, it’s because I’ve been busy with some other more impactful event just recently. Even though I should be lazing about in my own territory right about now. Huh, weeeird.
“Also, I met up with Viola and talked for a bit but she told me it was weird that Lucas and Bern got along pretty well. That’s why I asked you earlier if their being relatives came up in the story.”
“Yep. After that, Viola seemed to believe that fundamentally, everything follows the story. As long as people like us from another life — people with knowledge of the game — aren’t here, then everything will definitely follow the story.”
“Ah, she talked about the rule.”
“Yes, Viola said so. That there exists many rules in this world. That rule is one of those. There are many others but I think some of them were just lies. Lies to easily manipulate me.”
Contrary to her reproachful words, she sadly cast her eyes downwards.
I couldn’t possible know what went on but it’s probably not as simple as splitting it into the brainwashed side and brainwashing side.
But Lila, immediately coming back to her senses, raised her voice, probably beginning to realize why I was talking about Viola.
“Maybe she’s a reincarnator!?”
There’s a big difference between the game Lucas and the real Lucas.
As for the reason for that, I could only think of one thing.
A reincarnator who was born before us would explain it if they intervened in his life.
Because of that, the identity of his first love changed, which in turn also changed his future.
Well, but that’s if I believe what that creepy Viola said.
“The most likely one is Bernhardt’s mother. Uhm, what’s her name again?”
“That Ms. Emilia is the most suspicious one.”
That’s true, but–
“But she already passed away so we can’t even confirm it. Besides, there’s also the possibility it’s someone else we don’t know.”
“You’re right… How about the possibility that Lucas himself is a reincarnator?”
I folded my arms and tried to consider that slightly foolish possibility.
But what came to mind was that frivolous, devil-may-care purple-haired guy that I never knew what he was thinking.
“No, impossible. If Lucas was a reincarnator, it would make things even more of a mess. Probably.”
Probably because she didn’t seriously consider it either, Lila surprisingly and quickly agreed, That’s true and then withdrew.
In the end, the most likely for the reincarnator theory is Emilia but despite not having a way to confirm it, just considering the other possibilities was enough…
“I-I have no clue…”
Exhausted, we looked up at the sky.
Ah~ The weather’s so nice~
But the sun was more than a little bright. If I had to say it, it’s because I stayed up all night.
Even the bench we’re sitting has become a little warm from being constantly exposed to it.
I mean, is this even really that important? Probably because I asked what I’ve wanted to ask the most about the Bernhardt route, it’s a little cold, and I also used my head, I felt hungry.
There’s already no point thinking about this.
“Ahhh, I want to eat a steamed bun.”
Lila’s head twitched a bit at the words I murmured.
“I’d want a bun with red bean filling.”
“But if I wanted to be more luxurious, I’d want to eat ice cream in a warm room…”
Lila cupped her face with both hands with a Wah! and shouted, Wow! I want to eat that! Her scream sounded somewhat serious.
From there, the conversation began to steer off-topic.
“When I was a kid, I thought how life was so inconvenient. But humans are frustrating, huh? I don’t think that anymore. I just think, It’s cool if it exists, but if not, then I can live with it.“
“When did you realize it, Lila? That this resembles a game world.”
“I was convinced when I met Alois and Johann at Thanksgiving.”
Ohhh, it was already too late by then.
“Until then, I wasn’t sure whether it was a dream or it was real, always thinking everything was just by chance. I understood that I looked really similar to Lila after I realized what was going on.”
She held a tuft of her light blue hair and said in a voice with unreadable emotions, There aren’t many with this hair color, right?
“And what about you?”
“Around the time I was ten years old. I was at the Royal Palace, attending a tea party where kids of similar age to Prince Edwin gathered and when I saw Prince Edwin and Bern, I went, “D-Don’t tell me–!””
I didn’t want Lila to think that I was aiming for Bern and added onto my excuse.
“I still didn’t know Bern was the secret character back then. I just thought he was someone who felt like he’d become a scary guy in the future.”
“Hmmm. But in the end, you’re going to be marrying that scary guy very soon, right? Marriage, huh… I’m so jealous.”
When I thought, We are getting married, huh, I immediately felt embarrassed and awkwardly said, Is that so?
Even though I don’t think about it much, I’m going to be marrying him, huh.
I’ve always thought that I’ll marry Bern someday but even if I was told it’ll happen very soon, it hasn’t hit me yet at all.
“That’s why I came here to ask you about the Bernhardt route and about Lucas. Marriage is a serious thing so I was a little worried since Lucas was going to become my relative.”
Well, we went on this journey for a different reason but because most of it aligns with my reason for coming to meet Lila, I just nodded in agreement.
“Is the wedding next year?”
“Maybe? You make it seem like it’s someone else’s problem.”
I feel like I’ve had a conversation the same as this. I see. Is this what they call déjà vu?
“If I have the wedding next year, will you come?”
I tried asking, my heart beating fast.
I thought she probably couldn’t refuse but despite thinking that, on the off chance that she does, wouldn’t that be sad?
“If it’s fine for me to go…”
“Of course it’s fine.”
I added, But if it’s difficult for you to go, you don’t have to force yourself. Besides, I don’t know where to hold the wedding, in the Rietberg territory or the capital but either of them are far from here.
Speaking of marriage, I wonder what happened with Lila and her brother. This is just a maybe but it looks like Lila loves her brother as a man.
“Do you plan on staying here in the monastery forever, Lila?”
“Why’d you ask?”
“Uhm, I was just wondering what’s going to happen with your brother…”
She might hate the fact that I seem too nosy but there’s no helping the fact that I’m curious about it. Yep.
Besides, I already forgave Lila so I optimistically thought, I want her to be happy as well.
For a moment, Lila blushed but immediately hung her head.
Huh, w-what’s wrong?
“Probably worried about having an illicit love affair with your real brother…”
When I tried saying that in a joking way, Lila smiled, troubled, and said, That’s not it.
“To be exact, he’s my cousin. He’s adopted.”
“Ah, cong… I see!”
I unconsciously was about to say Congrats but thought, Wait a minute, I shouldn’t be saying congrats and hurriedly rephrased my words but that might have looked suspicious instead. This is so embarrassing.
Ah, but, that’s relieving!
I see, I see. This is good news.
I mean, a blood-related sister harboring an impossible love with her brother seems too much like a drama and was worried I was being too nosy with worry so this gives me piece of mind.
“But I plan on living here until I die.”
Did her brother reject her?
Something like, I’m sorry, I only see you as a sister!?
Lila said in a voice that seemed about to vanish.
“…I don’t have the right to be happy. Even though I was brainwashed, I still hurt a lot of people. I didn’t care what happened to anybody beside myself. TI don’t know how I could possible atone for my sins for the people punished by Prince Edwin and Johann, and of course, Johann himself included… Even now, I sometimes get dreams. A dream where I’m surrounded by the people I hurt, condemned and disappear.”
Even though the brainwashing was taken care of, it seems the fear of disappearing is still deeply embedded inside her. Her hands that were elegantly placed on top of her thighs trembled slightly.
“At least here, I can only continue to pray for the happiness of those people I hurt, and since I can’t do it for myself… Because of that, I…”
Which is why you’re going to be staying here your whole life?
I couldn’t clearly say why it was wrong but shutting yourself in a monastery to pray just felt somewhat wrong.
When Lila slowly raised her face, I hesitated and yet said, carefully searching for the right words.
“I certainly don’t think that what you did was right. But living a life where you put aside the chance to look for your own happiness, even though you decided on what to do with your life without people telling you to, without exploring this vast world, is such a waste. You said you don’t know how you can atone but even if you didn’t know, shouldn’t you go out into the world and experience a lot of things? …Well, I feel like I’ve also been living in my own, narrow world so I’m not exactly in the position to say something this selfish but even so, I think that you staying here for the rest of your life seems kind of wrong. We were finally given a second chance at life so… It just feels like a waste.”
An awkward silence befell and only the dry shaking of the trees’ leaves from the wind blowing could be heard.
In the end, I could only say what I felt but I wasn’t trying to tell her something obstinate like Aren’t you just running away? and yet, I further don’t want to say something insensitive like, Have fun living the monastery life!
As I thought, I’m being nosy, huh?
It happened when such worry began to vaguely echo in my heart.
I heard a small sniffing sound.
Lila forcefully stood up from the bench, faster than I could look at her face, surprised. After that, she turned to say, It’s gotten cold so let’s go back.
“I never got to say this properly but I’m really thankful to you. Even though Viola, Alois and Prince Edwin were like that… Even so, I’m really thankful.”
I couldn’t see her face but I’m sure those words were from the heart.
I stared at her light blue hair swaying behind her small back as I strangely felt relieved, like a load was suddenly lifted off my shoulders.
I did tell Lila earlier that I don’t think what she did was right but to be honest, I don’t think what I did myself was right either.
If I could become even wiser and stronger, I could have probably come up with a much better way to resolve everything. If I can, if I can…
But the thanks I got from Lila, her saying she was thankful, gave me a sense of relief.
At least one person, someone, was thankful of me. They appreciated what I had done.
Isn’t that enough?
Well, the one who actually did their best wasn’t me but Bern, but it’s nice to see that I’ve gotten stronger even if it was just to the same level as a flea. It’s nice even though I only tried my best a bit.
That’s why there’s nothing I could do even when my voice wavered as I said that.
“We were completely into our conversation but is that okay?”
We waited for the other to calm themselves, and went indoors.
I didn’t mind being really engrossed in the conversation but no matter how nice the weather is, winter is still winter. Our bodies have gotten very cold, and it felt like even my joints have frozen solid.
“He might have gotten tired of waiting and went to sleep.”
But Bern is a light sleeper so he’ll probably make a face that looked like he’s always been awake when he hears us coming in.
That’s right. I should try seeing what Bern has to say about the thing with Lucas that I put away earlier.
It might be a little difficult to explain to him the circumstances but because we’ve been together for this long, I feel it would be wrong to not say anything.
“It shall be lunch very soon, but what do you think about joining us? We don’t have a lot but…”
“Oh my. Then I shall take you up on your offer.”
We suddenly pretended to be nobles, but well, not like it’s make believe since we are noble ladies, but anyways, it happened as we walked down the corridor with a harmonious mood.
It was sudden, without any indication, so I didn’t know what it was for a moment.
It came from over my shoulder from behind.
A pale, brawny, big hand.
I was startled, frozen from fear.
This is bad!
Flustered, I tried to run away from that arm but I was already too late.
With unbelievable speed, that arm seized and tried to pull me to the ground behind with an incredibly strong jerk. The arm, cold to the point that I felt like shivering, was strong. catching my breathe.
I reached out an arm to Lila who took a step ahead, immediately looking for help, but my fingertips fruitlessly cut through air, and the world in front of me spun.
The last thing I saw was a grey, high stone ceiling and my own hand stretched out with nowhere to go.