“I’m very sorry, Francesca-sama. The black ivory that was ordered from the East, again, it seemed to have been transported to another country.”
“Do you know which country it was transported to?”
“As the delivery was caused by miscommunication it’s rather complicated, unfortunately it will be difficult…”
Francesca di Rosenthal, it was her tenth autumn. In the past two years since she regained her memories, she was now thoroughly prepared in medicine and pharmaceutics. She was now beginning to develop the potion for Black Crest Disease. According to the knowledge she had of the game, Marianne would contract it during next winter. She luckily had the outline of the potion recipe to study, there was time to spare. There should be more than enough.
Or so I thought.
“It’s serious, Francesca-sama. Please don’t get upset.”
“There has been a large fire in the medicinal herb garden of the royal city. Research may not be able to continue at this rate.”
When Francesca started working on the potion, as if fate had bared its fangs, various problems had arisen. If she tried to get rare materials from overseas, pirates would attack the ships, or it was carried to another country by mistake. On the contrary, the royal medicinal garden was burned to the ground, it was even more difficult to even get common herbs now. Even if they could be purchased from another herb garden, the supply that year was short due to cold weather.
“So, the research can not proceed… what can I do?”
Francesca was worried. However, a helping hand came from an unexpected place.
“There’s no problem… there’s a medicinal herb garden in our house too.”
Francesca’s father, Ashley di Rosenthal. Two years ago, he had made an herb garden inside the premises of the mansion for his daughter. To care for the herbs, he had hired an expert. Ashley, himself, seemed to have always longed for a home garden, he would secretly grow tomatoes or eggplants in the corner. Occasionally they would make an appearance on the dining table, they were quite good.
By using the medicinal herbs in her family’s garden, Francesca was able to retrieve the bare minimal amount of herbs. While she settled this incident… another one would occur. Francesca was given a lab located in a corner of the Royal Academy of Medicine, but an explosion had occurred in the one next door, many of the prototype potions and materials were lost. Although she moved to another compartment after the accident, there were many cases of theft. None of the medicinal herbs used could be defective products, even if she ordered more, they would hardly arrive.
“Francesca di Rosenthal… come with me.”
Certainly, even kidnappings would occur. Another country’s spy noticed Francesca’s talent, and tried to snatch her away.
“My daughter is not yours to take. Don’t think that you can leave this country alive.”
Her father, Ashley, had arrived. The soldiers on duty quickly and skillfully apprehended the spy.
And so, Francesca was safe, but, she started to have doubts.
“Everything was going well up until now, so why?”
As soon as she started developing the potion for Black Crest Disease, several problems would occur one after the other. What did this mean?
“It feels like the world is going against me.”
Francesca unintentionally let her complaints spill out, grumbling to herself.
“Francesca-sama, did you know. The world has a set course—an existence called fate.”
…They had said, a young man who served as Francesca’s assistant at the time. His name was Ludwig Bern. He had dark purple hair and exuded a somewhat mysterious and calm atmosphere.
“There’s a saying in my hometown… do not go against fate. Even if you were to try, it will always correct itself. That is the power that exists in this world. Perhaps the development of the potion is not going well because it is not what fate has in store. If we continue to research, in the future, it’s possible for a disaster even worse than a kidnapping to happen… seeing as it’s like this, why not consider freezing the research?”
Ludwig’s speech was like a serene prophet trying to convey the words of God. I almost nodded unintentionally, his words were very persuasive in the graveness and seriousness of the situation.
But Francesca could not afford to accept Ludwig’s idea. If she quit her research, it would be the same as abandoning her mother, Marianne.
“I will continue the potion development. If I don’t give up, my dreams will definitely come true. Even if it’s the fate of the world, I can change it if I set my mind to it.”
Ludwig bowed down with an impressed look on his face.
“Then I, Ludwig, will help Francesca-sama challenge fate. Once again, please treat me well.”
“Oh, okay…? Is there something wrong, this sudden change.”
“No, I just wanted to support Francesca-sama.”
Although there were many troubles along the way, Francesca was able to successfully make the cure for Black Crest Disease. It was at the very last minute. It was completed during her 11th winter, and on that day, her mother, Marianne fell to Black Crest Disease and was brought to the Royal Hospital.
“Ludwig! Deliver this to my mother! Please!”
Black Crest Disease progressed rapidly. On the first day, the whole body would become paralyzed, on the second you would lie in a comatose state, and then they would lose their lives on the third day. If the potion weren’t drunk as soon as possible, it may be too late.
During this time, Francesca was at the border of the royal city, inside of a prefabricated laboratory. The other day, a second explosion had happened at the academy and Francesca’s lab was rendered unusable.
Francesca was somehow able to complete one potion and entrusted it to Ludwig. He got on a horse and rode towards the royal capital at great speed.
“Ludwig, stay safe. There’s still time, right?”
There was enough time, there was, but. Ludwig could not make it.
“I am extremely sorry, my lady… There were thieves, the potion was robbed…”
Perhaps it was someone who was aiming for the results of Francesca’s research. Ludwig was ambushed by masked men, after they had beaten him, they stole the cure for Black Crest Disease.
Francesca immediately started refining a second potion, when it was completed, her mother’s condition had already progressed to an irrecoverable point. Just like the original, Marianne lost her life. It was on the same date that she was told in the game.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of it. Feeling responsible for Marianne’s death, Ludwig resigned and disappeared.
There was more. To begin with, the potion invented by Francesca was a failure. Even though it could relieve the symptoms of the disease, they would still lose their lives.
Is it because the potion’s recipe was different than in the game? But, she couldn’t come up with any other recipes. It should have been a perfect match.
There was still another cause… what Ludwig had said, about fate. The cure for Black Crest Disease was to be invented by the heroine. That’s why Francesca could not fully complete it.
“…That’s the only possibility.”
If fate is present. Then it absolutely won’t change. The world was tremendously sturdy.
—And so, Francesca turned away from everything.
Effort will not always bear fruit. Doing your best will not guarantee a reward. No matter how much you struggle, the result is the same.
“I will be abandoned by Leon.”
The 15-year-old Francesca, had muttered aloud. Then, Leonhart, who had slept as if covering Francesca, moved his body with some rustling sounds—and hugged Francesca tightly. He placed his lips close to her ear and whispered with a low voice that made her tingle.
“I won’t abandon you. There’s no reason to abandon you. My cute Francesca.”
Don’t have expectations. Don’t dream about useless things. Nevertheless, my chest started beating quickly.
“I love you. You belong to me. I will not give you to anyone… Do you understand?”
Leonhart’s words filled her with happiness, Francesca nodded in understanding. She slept peacefully, feeling his body temperature beside her until morning.
The next morning. Francesca who went to school came across a very shocking scene.
“Umm… I lost my way…”
In the courtyard of the school. There was a girl with soft and fluffy, curly, caramel coloured hair with a troubled expression. I didn’t remember her name, but that girl. She was the game’s heroine.
But, it’s strange. There should still be more time before the heroine appeared.
“Sorry, would you be able to guide me…?”
The heroine was talking to none other than Leon. The original also had this scene. It was the prologue to the game. The heroine who got lost in the school, not knowing that Leonhart was a prince, would ask him for directions. Although impolite in the beginning, Leonhart fell in love with the heroine at first sight and happily guided her.
Francesca felt like she was suffocating… Last night I went through great pains to bind us, but, I wonder if I’ll be discarded. I don’t want it. That sort of thing, I don’t want it.
Unintentionally, she called his name. Then, in that moment, she saw Leonhart look her way. He turned back towards the heroine and spoke to her.
“I’m sorry. I’m also in a hurry—Hey you, I’m entrusting you to escort this young lady.”
Leonhart caught hold of the boy who was walking nearby and pushed him to be the heroine’s guide. This was not like the original. Francesca could see right from wrong. So, what was happening?
“Eh, hm, this is different from the original…”
Although the heroine quickly panicked, Leonhart ignored it and came towards Francesca.
“Good morning, Fran. I’m sorry, I spoke to a woman other than you. Will you forgive me?”
Leonhart lifted Francesca’s chin and gave her a kiss. Not only that, he put his tongue between her teeth.
The tongue that was inside of Francesca’s mouth was stroking roughly around the ceiling. The sweet pleasure ran towards her hips, and she unintentionally collapsed.
“Wh-wh-what are you doing…?”
“It’s to demonstrate our love. I’m not interested in anyone but you. I want you to understand.”
Leonhart laughed—it’s frustrating, I was captivated by his refreshing smile.