After reaching the courtyard, Cordelia made sure that no one was around and slowly stretched.
“I’m so tired…!”
Although she knew this was an unfit act for a young lady, she couldn’t help but do so. The remaining burdens on her shoulders were all lifted, and her mind was really clear.
It’s over, it’s over, it’s over.
That thought spread down to her fingertips. The phantom of『Cordelia』was covered in a haze, and she no longer cared about wearing red dresses.
She didn’t have to think about the fear which was caused by the relationship between the『Heroine』and『Cordelia』that had been nested in her heart for a long time. She may encounter trouble in the future, but that wouldn’t be determined by the fate of the in-game 『Cordelia』.
Shadows of 『Cordelia』shouldn’t cross through her mind anymore.
“I don’t know what kind of punishment will be given to Shelley, but hopefully this will give her a chance to face reality…”
Cordelia wasn’t going to get involved with Shelley anymore, but she wasn’t going to blame her either. She did feel something towards the curse, but she felt that she could have become 『Cordelia』if she didn’t have memories of her previous life.
Besides, there was something that worried her more than Shelley’s future.
That is the magic that Shelley had used. Since she had felt something similar to Lara’s curse, it was highly possible that this magic came from Dulaus Kingdom.
(I don’t think… Shelley was forced to obey the curse like Lara was. If anything, it’s possible that she accepted the curse because she was tempted to.)
Given Shelley’s personality, she would gladly accept the curse if she was told that it could expose my true nature.
It was easy for Cordelia to guess who would say such a thing.
In the game, there was a red-eyed man who had instigated 『Cordelia』. It wouldn’t be strange for that man to be interested in Shelley since her personality was similar to that of 『Cordelia’s』. Someone who knows a lot of Dulaus magic and takes pleasure in tricking people ――― she thought and only one person came to mind.
(What the hell did Ghost do this for…?)
Her sense of liberation turned into tension again.
Ghost had said that he didn’t want to go near the castle because he didn’t like how guarded it was, but if he had instigated Shelley, then he wouldn’t miss this. A large part of his reasoning for doing things is because he wants to see it happen.
Cordelia squinted her eyes and looked around.
If Ghost is around, then he would be in a place that doesn’t have a lot of guards. And if he wanted to see that hall, then he would need to be in a high place, ――― Cordelia thought and looked up at the castle walls, then she saw a shadow move slightly.
She couldn’t see who it was clearly, but her instincts told her that was Ghost.
And she felt a disgusting smile was directed at her from the direction of the shadow.
She thought that all her problems involving『Cordelia』had been taken care of, but there were still some left.
If I don’t settle things with Ghost, then I can’t really bid farewell to 『Cordelia』.
(If Ghost had really instigated this, then he would approach me again.)
When she thought that, she heard hastened footsteps and put her guard up.
(Who is it…?)
I’m sure they will call me when the carriage is ready, but those rough footsteps don’t seem to be from someone who’s coming to call me.
What on earth is going on? Cordelia turned around and saw an unexpected person.
Cordelia was speechless at the appearance of the ――― breathless, black-haired, and golden-eyed young man, Sylvester.
There was no way the host, Sylvester, would be dawdling at a place like this. She couldn’t see any attendants nearby. Why the hell did he come to a place like this by himself? Cordelia was so surprised that she even forgot to curtsy.
Sylvester didn’t even try to catch his breath as he approached Cordelia. Watching him, Cordelia finally realised that she had to greet him and quickly curtsied before opening her mouth to do so.
But before she could, shock ran through her body. It wasn’t until she heard his voice by her ear that she had realised that it was because Sylvester was hugging her.
No, there’s nothing good about this situation.
Cordelia couldn’t comprehend his actions and could only blink. Her body had stiffened from her confusion and she even felt as if she had become a tree.
However, the hug didn’t last for long, and Sylvester let go off her as if he had been repelled and stepped back.
“I’m sorry for my sudden action.”
She was certainly surprised, but she was hesitant to tell him that, so she slurred her words. Sylvester had apologised but he looked more relieved than sorry.
“Umm… did you hear about the commotion?”
Cordelia asked timidly while feeling something that was difficult to explain.
Of course, she understood what she had said, but there was nothing else to talk about. It was natural for the host to worry if their guests are harmed. But as far as she was concerned, she was safe, and she wanted to tell Sylvester that he should return soon since he had to give his greetings. But it was also uncomfortable to say this to someone who had come all the way here because they were concerned about her.
However, it was very strange for someone, who she had been avoiding, to be this worried about her.
Sylvester looked gently at Cordelia, who was experiencing mixed feelings, and nodded.
“The knight did report to me, but I felt a strange magical reaction. I’m sorry. I apologise from the bottom of my heart for putting you in danger.”
“No, you don’t need to apologise for that.”
He had people in the room who were ready to react to anything that could happen. Cordelia felt that the knight wouldn’t make it in time, but she might have been able to. Cordelia also thought that the guards prepared today was appropriate since it was hard to imagine that a normal guest, or even a royal or important person would be harmed directly.
Sylvester laughed in a troubled manner at Cordelia’s reply. From his expression, Cordelia could tell that Sylvester felt responsible as the host, and he might have come here because the victim was someone he knew.
However, she thought it was a bit too much for him to hug her all of a sudden―――.
Even now, she didn’t have any particularly good feelings towards Sylvester.
Although she didn’t have any good feelings towards him, she suddenly realised that there was no reason for her to avoid him anymore since she had bid farewell to 『Cordelia』and 『Shelley』had become a nobody to him.
(Well, it’s not like it matters… Yeah, that’s right. There’s nothing wrong with keeping things the way they are.)
There may not be a reason to avoid him, but I don’t need to get particularly close to him either.
“Nothing. More importantly, don’t you have to give your greetings soon, Your Highness…?”
“I still have time. But you’ll get angry if I stay here and don’t give my speech.”
Then Sylvester removed his cloak and wrapped it around Cordelia.
“The wind is getting a little chilly. Please be careful on your way home.”
“Yo-your Highness! It’ll get dirty!”
Even Cordelia knew that her dress wasn’t dry yet. The cloak might have already gotten wet, but she still tried to quickly remove it, however a hand forcefully held it in place.
“It’s alright. It’ll be more troublesome if you were to catch a cold.”
“But you dressed up for this event… Especially since you’ll be giving your greetings soon.”
“… Am I bothering you?”
“Then, don’t worry about it.”
I can’t do that, but I don’t think he will back down at this rate.
“If you’re worried about it, then please bring sweets with you when you return the cloak to me.”
“Vernoux always brags about them, you see. He says the sweets at your house are top-notch.”
If that was his biggest compromise, then Cordelia had no choice but to follow it. Rather, she was worried whether it was alright to give him sweets in exchange for dirtying his cloak, but if she questioned him further, then he would be late for his speech.
“You don’t have to return it quickly. You can take your time and return it when you’ve calmed down.”
“Yes, thank you very much.”
“――― But, I’m really glad that the bracelet protected you.”
Cordelia widened her eyes in surprise at those words, but Sylvester had already turned his back towards her.
Then, without pause, she heard the sound of Vernoux’s familiar voice, “Your Highness!”
“Clive is searching for you with a red face.”
“I told him I would be right back.”
“You know that he’s a worrier. Please return.”
Cordelia looked down at the shattered bracelet in her left hand while listening to their conversation.
Would someone tell him that my bracelet had shattered even if they told him about Shelley’s outburst? Is that kind of detailed description reported in the first place?
(No, he might have heard about it…)
But it’s bothering me.
Even Cordelia didn’t know that the bracelet contained some kind of defensive magic.
The person who would have known this was ―――.
(… No way, right?)
Cordelia felt her cheeks twitch, but she decided that it was her imagination.
Even though she thought so, she couldn’t help but be bothered by the fact that the name 『Gille』was close to『Sylvester』TN: In Japanese Gille is the first 2 characters of Sylvester’s name.
(But Vernoux-sama acts differently towards Gille-sama and Sylvester-sama…)
But, if Gille-sama is really Sylvester-sama, then I understand why Vernoux-sama didn’t reveal this straight away. He couldn’t just mention that His Highness was sneaking out to go incognito.
(Am I thinking too much? But…)
While Cordelia was puzzled, Vernoux had finished speaking to Sylvester, and had approached her.
“Dilly, I heard that your carriage is ready.”
“That was quite showy.”
As he said this, Cordelia took the handkerchief that was handed to her and wiped her hair. The liquid had stopped dripping, but her hair was stained. At this rate, the cloak would be stained as well.
“It wasn’t my fault.”
“I’ve heard all about it. I’m glad you’re not hurt, but what are you going to do about that?”
That would be referring to the cloak that Sylvester had lent her.
“I’ll return it once I’ve had it cleaned.”
“No, that’s not what I’m asking. When are you going to come to give it back?”
“When I find a suitable time. I don’t want to think about anything else today.”
When she said that and showed him she was tired, Vernoux just said, “I see,” and didn’t pursue the matter any further.
(He might be able to clarify this if I ask him. But, since he’s helping His Highness go incognito, he can’t possibly tell the truth, and if I’m wrong… he’ll definitely make fun of me.)
It’s definitely bad to ask him carelessly.
“I feel like you’re in a bad mood… Well, would it be strange if you were in a good mood after what happened today?”
He had jumped to the wrong conclusion, but Cordelia didn’t correct him. It was obvious that it would be complicated to explain what she was thinking.
“I’m going to go home and relax for today. I have a lot of things to do tomorrow.”
The matters that have been settled and new questions.
She thought about many things, but first, she had to clean the cloak and give it back. But she decided that she would think about that tomorrow.
(If Gille-sama is His Highness, then I don’t know what kind of expression to make when I talk to him.)
I didn’t say or do anything rude to him, right? She thought back, but her head hurt when she thought that she had lectured the next King on their first meeting.
Hopefully, I’m just thinking too much. ――― But if I am, then who is Gille-sama?
(Let’s go home and sleep. I should sleep and clear my head.)
However, when she returned home, Elvis was outraged by her stained dress and the fact that the cloak she was wearing belonged to Sylvester. He asked her furiously what had happened, and she had spent the entire night trying to calm him down, thus it was only when the sky began to brighten that she was finally able to sleep.
|↑1||TN: In Japanese Gille is the first 2 characters of Sylvester’s name|