Chapter 12: Be Realistic

  The inn seemed to be frequented by people with special tastes, and the soundproof rooms were quite well equipped.
In one of the rooms, I had a table set up and tea prepared for Miss Charlotte, who came to the inn with the full intention of gaining the upper hand.

 Miss Charlotte looked at me in astonishment as I relaxed.
She had already lost her way and was unable to escape.
Reluctantly, she took the seat I offered.

 Emma quickly brew a pot of tea with fluid hands.
 The tea leaves she brought from the townhouse were of the highest quality.
The aroma wafted through the air.

 Miss Charlotte seemed uneasy, but relaxed a little when I took a sip of tea; unable to bear the awkward silence, she took a drink herself.

 Suddenly, she began to talk, saying that it wasn't supposed to be like this, that it wasn't right, that it was supposed to be different according to her memories of her previous life.

“Hey, Emma.
Did you put anything in our tea?”

    Emma tilted her head to the side, not at all offended.

“I just added in a special essence, it’s light and subtle enough that the young lady wouldn't notice it, the kind that gets you in a good mood and makes you want to talk freely.”

――That sounds more like a truth serum.

    Miss Charlotte's prattling continued.

“His Highness Garrett is the most handsome of all the capture targets, so that makes him the perfect match for me.
    My pink-gold hair and his Highness' shining blond hair.
    In contrast to my aquamarine eyes, His Highness' eyes are a deep sapphire color.
You see, similar colors go better together, don't they?”

Hmm? So she didn’t actually fall for His Highness Prince Garret.

“His fiancee, Rebecca, honestly annoyed me so much.
 She reminded me of my sister, which also pissed me off.
She's two years older than me, so I thought maybe my sister (that person) reincarnated, too.
 I tried several times to talk to her about her past life, but Rebecca had a constant scowl on her face.
No wonder she's a mere video game character.”

 At the time, my memory hadn't come back yet, so I thought she was a kid who would say the strangest things.
I would always give a blank stare.
 By the way, I don’t have a sister, neither in my previous life nor in this one.

“Even if she wasn't my sister, Rebecca was such a nuisance.
    A Marquis’ daughter, and incredibly smart.
She has strong magic power, everyone loves her, and most importantly, she is currently engaged to His Highness Prince Garrett.
 She is using that to her advantage and is always coming at me, and it's really annoying.
They are always trying to get on my case about my status, or to stop me from having a little skinship with them.
 I'm the heroine, so it's normal for me to make a good impression with someone other than His Highness.”

 No, no, it's not normal at all.
There is no way I would ever be close to people who have fiancées or lovers.
 But then again, if I behaved as I did in my previous life, it would be natural that I would be called a liar and an eccentric.

“I cried out to Garrett in a cute way, and it seemed that His Highness reprimanded Rebecca for my sake, since after a while, she stopped nagging me.”

 It wasn't a reprimand, it was a warning not to get involved.
I thought I had given her all the attention she needed, and she was getting a bit tiresome, so it was a good opportunity for me.

“I did think I went a little overboard.
That's the trouble with that.
Because then there would be no more material to sweet-talk His Highness with, right?
    And this isn't enough of a charge to condemn her at the graduation ceremony.”

 Indeed, this is too aggressive to break off the engagement.
You can analyze that calmly, can't you?
Then, you could understand that you can't be a princess consort if you can't handle this kind of guidance.

“So I came up with the idea of 'breaking' a broken fountain pen.
 It was a precious thing I had inherited from my father, and when I pouted my lip and said, ‘I can't study with this…’ Garrett gave me one of his own.
He said, 'This is a spare, don't worry about it.'”

 Oh, I wonder if that’s where he got the idea from.
 He thought that if he could pin the blame on me, it would make a good enough reason to absolve the engagement.

“So, I began to destroy things without calling attention, and anything that I wanted I pretended it was 'stolen'.
 Thanks to the otome game cheats, Garrett believed Rebecca was the culprit behind all of these incidents.”

 I see, she thought this was also a game correction.

“As expected, I knew I couldn't extort underwear or cosmetics from them, but the merchants who came by would barter or buy them from me.
 I could sell the goods they gave me as long as long as no one found out.”

 It's all too obvious.
How did they not find out—oh, yes, yes, game-correcting.

“Rebecca interrupted me when I altered my dress to see if I could tease  His Highness with a little bit of a bare backside.

 But the world is on my side, and as a result, His Highness tailored a new dress for me, and I got my absolution story.”

 She ordered Millie, the maidservant, to do it, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it.
 That's fair, I can understand the anomaly of an unmarried daughter, aristocrat or commoner, showing off her naked backside.

“I thought I was well on my way to finishing the prince's route, but on the day of the graduation party, the condemnation event didn't happen at all.
Even as I tried to trigger the event, Rebecca kept telling me off, and no one would help me.”

 Of course.
It was an outrage to pick a fight against His Majesty the King.
That's why the condemnation event didn't happen.

“In the end, it looks like His Highness Garrett and Rebecca are going to break off their engagement, so maybe this is all for the best… but what's with this nasty feeling?
 Isn't it strange? I'm the heroine here.”

So far, I had only kept quiet, but I finally responded to Miss Charlotte.

“Yes, I suppose so.
This world was made for you to be happy in, and I think you are the heroine.”

 Miss Charlotte finally looked up from the cup in her hand and stared at me.
 Her eyes were still blurry, as if she were still drifting in a dream.

“Huh? Rebecca …?
 Do you believe me …? I'm the heroine, right …?”

“Yes, I believe you.”

 Emma quietly said, “Are you out of your mind! Don't tell me you actually believe this Fushigi-chan!” but I silenced her with just a glance.

 The “special essence that makes you want to talk freely when you’re in a good mood,” diluted to a degree that even I did not notice, is not something that would normally work in such a dramatic manner.
 Perhaps Miss Charlotte's memories of her previous life were too dominant, and she did not fit in with this world, but she had accumulated an anguish that she could not tell anyone, and even if she did, it would not be understood.
Her resentment toward her current situation, which is not going well, has probably overflowed.
 Her tone of voice was completely that of a young Japanese girl.

“There must have been many paths to happiness that were prepared for you.
 But do you realize that it was you who ruined it? “

” … Huh…?”

“I'm saying that your choices caused the current situation.”

“I -! I haven’t done anything!”

“I think the only thing you did was something extra …
 Well, more like nothing at all.
That's the problem.
 We live in this world.
Everyone is learning, working, crying, laughing, thinking and acting for a better life for themselves, living in the present moment.
 And yet you have made no effort.”

 My accusation must have seeped into her head.
 Miss Charlotte's eyes lit up with surprise and confusion.

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