Alternative Settings (part 1)
- Fria’s Depression (Canon)
A few days before my 11th birthday…
The mansion was busy with the preparations for my birthday party.
(Why are they going to such an extent for just a birthday party…?)
Although I was a little amazed, I somehow felt a little excited as well.
Since I possess memories of my past life, I was way more mature than an ordinary 10 year old; but no matter how old I am, I couldn’t help but be happy when it comes to my birthday.
Well, in my past life, I was on the verge of becoming a wizard, so I was probably dreading my 30th birthday, though.
Unintentionally smiling as I thought of my past life, I weaved my way through the servants who were busying themselves with the preparations of the party and headed towards reception hall to look for Okaa-sama.
I finally reached her while holding nothing but a souvenir – an embroidered handkerchief I did for fun.
As expected of a noble, it matches my high noble-like mother, with flashy embroidery.
It wasn’t as good as I’d like it to be, but back when I was practicing how to embroider a huge rose, she wanted one, so I made one for her using gold and silver threads.
I kind of felt like I might have gone overboard with this, but Onee-sama who saw it said, 「That’s nice, make one for me next~」, so it’s probably fine.
「Well, Fria! I’m overjoyed!」
She said with a smile. Seems like it’s alright after all.
I took a seat on the chair that the servants prepared.
「By the way, Fria?」
Suddenly narrowing her eyes as she spoke, I was hit by a sense of foreboding.
These are the eyes of a calculating noble.
The mention of the word “noble” might bring about an impression of incompetent, pig-headed idiots, but in reality, many are not like that.
They do receive the best education of the era, so they don’t end up that incapable.
On the contrary, many of them are adept in hiding their true intentions as they scheme behind the scenes….
If you belittle them and take them for fools, that negligence will result in you receiving a knife in your back.
This is how nobles are like, and as the daughter of one, I’ve seen enough of it to grow sick of it.
Well, those who indulge in debauchery do exist, too, and once they set foot upon that stray path, they can never return.
But, at the very least, many of the nobles of this period are truly scary.
Who knows what they are truly thinking beneath their smiles…at the very least, it definitely isn’t anything good.
I hid my wariness beneath the façade of a smile, and asked.
「What is it, Okaa-sama?」
When I did so, she asked me back.
「It seems like you’ve had your first menstruation.」
「Eh? Eeh, well…」
An unexpected bomb.
It- it’s true.
I experienced my first menstruation a month ago.
I was born as a girl. I knew I would have to deal with it eventually, but when it came slightly earlier than expected, I got a huge shock.
I was already a real「woman」…
Since I still possess memories of my time as a male, this came as a shock to me… But, it’s been quite a while since I became a girl, and I was no longer a guy, so it should be fine.
What’s Okaa-sama trying to get at now? It’s definitely something stupid.
「Menstruating means that you are now able to have children, you understand?」
I now know what she’s going to say.
I nodded obediently. This day has finally come.
「There’s been a proposal.」
「Is that so…? Who is it from?」
「Grantham Count Rublade-sama. Have you heard of him?」
Eeh- I’ve heard of him!
The greasy, fat old man who’s above 40 years old, right!? And he’s bald too.
Ever since I met him in parties, I had a hunch, but turns out he really was a lolicon…
That said, he’s still not married?
「He’s picky about his bride, so he’s still single. But, he fell for you at first glance! Or so it seems? He sincerely requested for your hand in marriage.」
I forced a reply and felt my cheeks cramping.
My impregnable poker face I was confident of has cracked.
「Fria, I know you are unwilling. If it were me…I’d feel bitter too. But our house of Madeiredo holds the rank of Viscount while the house of Grantham holds the rank of Count. We can’t refuse them. That’s why, you have to be prepared.」
Okaa-sama said this when she saw the state I was in, before leaving the reception hall in haste.
Leaving me behind – I who was dumbfounded over my bitter future and the maids who watched me with sympathetic gazes.
I let out a big sigh and resigned myself.
It couldn’t be helped. This is the duty of a daughter of nobility.
It could even be said that living a life of comfort so far was for this.
But with this, I now understand why girls yearn for their prince charming on a white horse.
After all, I was currently wishing for a prince charming on a white horse to come for me.
The little festive mood I had was now completely gone.
While the maids were in a fluster and wondering what they should do, I told them I was going out for some fresh air and rushed out of the estate.
Though I described it as going out of the estate, it was only to the point of getting to the edge of the garden and staring at the outside world.
The scenery of the outside world that I can see from this spot is extremely novel and it made my heart pound…
Freedom was right before me, but as a daughter of nobility…
The thought cast a sad smile on my face.
As though it were natural, I paid no heed to the gaze of the lone male who was 『outside』…
「What I said yesterday was for the sake of having you prepare yourself as the daughter of a noble. We don’t actually intend to let you marry him. Don’t worry.」
The next morning, seeing how down I looked, Okaa-sama said with a mischievous expression unbefitting her age.
Seems like even with the pressure of a higher ranked family, they weren’t intending to marry their young daughter off to a bald and fat old man who was so much older.
Although the bald fat ossan seemed to be really keen on marrying me since he and his retainers earnestly requested for it.
They said things like “The Count won’t have a child with anyone other than her” or “If things continue like that, the Count won’t have a descendant” while in dogeza…
When I heard that, I thought that it couldn’t be helped and sighed deeply.
「…5 years. Please give me another 5 years. If at that time, Count Grantham-sama still remains unwed, and still desires my hand in marriage…I’ll gladly accept his proposal.」
Un, it couldn’t be helped.
That phrase popped up in my mind countless times since yesterday.
But, it really couldn’t be helped.
It’s a proposal from Count Grantham after all.
It will surely be beneficial to our house of Madeiredo….
That’s why….this is surely… something I have to do….
On this day, I resolved myself to marry this bald fat old man 5 years from now.
I’m sure my mental preparations would have been done by then.
Yet, by a twist of fate….
What turned up at my birthday party was not a Prince on a white horse, but a lolicon King who kidnapped me and raped me daily.
At least he was a better guy than the bald ossan.
But a King who rapes a girl who just turned 11…seriously?
Digressing from the story, Count Grantham was delighted and looking forward to the “5 years from now”, but after the King swept me away, he lamented from the bottom of his heart.
His feelings for me were true. Thereafter, not to mention marriage, he did not even approach any females. He adopted a son to inherit his title….and that’s the limit of what I know.