For those who didn’t read the chapter post, here is the short information: I will be splitting the chapter. Otherwise I’d have to translate 40 pages of Japanese in one go… As a chapter of this series equals to 40 pages of 11 px Japanese text…
Bertia 16 Years Old (1)
Edit: The white cat magical button has been removed~.
NOTE: Changed Gyafun to Downfall~
It was spring when Bertia enrolled into the upper secondary school, it was my third year in the upper secondary school, and once again, I assumed the position of the president of the student council.
…and Bertia has started to avoid me.
The beginning of it all was when I saw Baroness Heronia said such terrible words towards her during the summer last year.
She has begun to show her anxious expression more often whenever she sees me. Also, even though she has always come crying to me as soon as something troubling her has occured up until now, recently she doesn’t consult anything to me and only shows a restrained expression that looks like she wants to say something.
I have seen her restraining herself more often, something that doesn’t suit her at all.
When I thought about the time when she started to avoid me and grew more distant, it was easy to guess that she was being influenced by Baroness Heronia’s words, so I was thinking about how I should handle this, but… Due to the excellency of her friends and my close aides, they managed to decrease the contact between Bertia and Baroness Heroina to utmost limits with their own ways while muttering, “We really don’t want to see Bertia getting hurt”, with their gloomy expressions.
Even so, Bertia’s uneasy appearance didn’t change.
That is why, I tried to pamper her more during the time when we were together, which was also increased in comparison to how it usually was.
…And thus, as per Bertia’s suggestion, we participated in an event linked to the scheduled [School Festival], in which there would be a voting among the students to select the best couple (limited to fiancees only), and claimed the first place.
Since it was a middle school’s project, even if I was participating as a partner, I still wondered about what would happen if I—who was in senior high school—were to participate. But due to Lady Joanna—who just became Shaun’s fiancee shortly after they dated—wished to participate with Shaun, Shaun stipulated a rule as following: [As long as one of them is a middle school student, a couple consisting of a high school student and middle school student can participate either by others’ recommendation or self-recommendation], and once we noticed, Bertia and I participated because we were listed in others’ recommendations.
When we won the prize, Bertia lamented, “Since the ‘Downfall’1 is waiting next year, I thought that I’d want to create good memories with my friends while it was possible to do so!! This one that left a strong impression of, [Whenever you recall it, it’s a bitter event], but it has changed now!! It’s terrible!!”. Despite that, I still smiled and as part of service to the other students, I hugged her shoulders and kissed her cheek.
It can’t be helped, as enlivening this sort of occasion is the duty of the royalty, right?
Bertia’s body hardened as she turned bright red just like an apple. So I thought, ‘It can’t be helped,’ and I held her up in my arms as we descended down from the stage. Of course, I’m being gentle, you know?
I thought that by appealing our intimacy to the others in that manner, Bertia would feel relieved a bit. However, her attitude didn’t change.
No. When she entered senior high school, she began to run away from me even more obviously.
Because things have turned like this, there is only one countermeasure that I can take.
“Since you continue to run away from me, then I have no choice but to catch you, right?”
I smiled widely while cornering Bertia to the wall, placing both of my hands on both sides of her head, while tucking one of my legs between her body.
Of course, I chased her who ran with lightning speed the moment she saw me… there is no need to pretend, as I led her to the rear garden where there are no people around, so there is no need to care about the public.
…In addition, since we strayed “inadvertently” during when she ran away along with her maids, there is no one other than Zeno and Kuro around this place, observing our condition from a spot apart from us.
“A, are you telling me that I have no option to escape?!”
And, “this is the rumored [Kabedon], right?”, while muttering yet another icomprehensible word, she returned to the present condition, with her face getting bright red and her eyes loitering around. After that, I raised Bertia’s face and when she looked back at me with her teary eyes, the corner of my mouth spontaneously elevated.
“It’s in males’ nature to catch the prey who escapes right in front of his eyes, isn’t it?”
“Prey, you said, but I am not a fodder!!”
“You look pretty delicious, you know?”
“…I may more or less have meat, but it’s not tasty to eat!! Please don’t eat me!!”
“…That’s the implication you got? How typical of you, Tia. Now that you mention it, even if it’s not for food, there are also wild carnivores who chased after their preys so that they could play around with them, right?”
“Please do not treat people as toys!! Besides, what you’ve been saying is quite savage!!”
…I can still more or less deny that part about being [savage], but wouldn’t it be way too late for her to notice about me [toying around wih people]?
Aah, since Bertia is obedient, could it be that she still hasn’t realized about how I always had fun watching her reaction?
She is truly adorable (plus a bit foolish).
“Look, Tia is as adorable as a doll, so I end up wanting to play together with you.”
“Oh my!! That is!! As adorable as a doll, you said!! I, I won’t be deceived with that kind of f, flattery, okay?!”
Despite saying that, Bertia’s face turned red and her expression made it clear that she wasn’t dissatisfied at all.
Despite the fact that she went along with me and was moved by this easy-to-understand flattery while saying she won’t be deceived by it, why would she even run away from me?
If there is a reason, then it’d be better for her to tell me quickly so I can make some countermeasure.
Although I have a feeling that the key is her previous talk with Baroness Heronia about [the fated girl]… but somehow, Bertia stubbornly won’t tell me anything about that matter alone.
After saying various reasons such as, “I don’t want to hurt Cecil-sama,” she always runs away.
…and it’s not escaping by changing the subject, what I mean here is that she physically runs away.
I thought to catch her, but now that I’ve managed to catch her, she still wouldn’t disclose anything, could it be that to this adorable fiancee of mine, I have to be forcefu… a little bit coercive so that I could hear about her story. Since it can’t be helped, I will just go through with it.
For sure, if only I was a real [villain], then the talk could proceed with ease, right? Since I will be able to choose any possible means besides being a little coercive.
Also, the other person who knows what the story is about would be the one and only character—Baroness Heronia. I have thought to ask about it to her, but… it will certainly bring me more trouble, so I’m putting it as my last resort.
As much as possible, I don’t want to become an [acquaintance] of the bad kid who’s bullying Bertia.
“But Cecil-sama, a, at last, the compelling force has begun to operate! Destiny has started to move!! There is only one more year at maximum until I experience [The Downfall] and until I have to get down from the stage. I’ll have to say my farewell to Cecil-sama. I’ve decided that it’s better for me to distance myself from Cecil-sama in order to serve that role flawlessly!!”
‘Now then, in what way should I handle this?’ Amidst my pondering, when I noticed it, Bertia has already started to run wildly. The fact that she furrowed her eyebrows with tears showing on her face as if she was enduring something has caught my attention.
At her words from before, I naturally also furrowed my eyebrows deeply.
This is no good. Recently, my feelings have started to project easily on my facial expression when it comes to the matters related to Bertia.
If it were other things, no matter what was told to me or no matter what was done to me, I’d be able to let it all go past with a smile easily, so I wonder why?
“By compelling force, I wonder did something happen?”
Following those words, somehow there is one question that got caught up in my throat. ‘Did something happen again with Baroness Heronia?’
It is not good for me to be making a statement that doubted someone imprudently when there is no evidence whatsoever.
Especially for the likes of me who’s got a high status and influence, I have to be really careful in this kind of circumstances.
Restrain the pressing impulse, take a deep breath once, and keep your mind.
Once I have regained my awareness back and relaxed my eyebrows, if I were to launch my usual sweet smile, Bertia would nervously examined my expression with her upturned eyes.
If I were to urge her to continue the story by deepening my smile even further, she would squeak her lips once and try to keep it closed. Because it then turned into a serious expression, it also brought about a grave ambience, and she slowly opened her mouth.
“Since it’s Cecil-sama, I will tell you. Actually, I… have gotten weight.”
“I’m telling you, I’m getting fatter!!”
“…Uhm, what do you mean?”
Towards Bertia’s earnest expression, I also thought to inquire more about her story with my serious look. And since she didn’t really understand my insistence, she would begin to spontaneously tilt her head with a question mark on her mind.
It was the usual occurence, but she went above my expectation.
She is truly a mysterious and interesting woman.
“During last year’s autumn, precisely right after the [school festival] ended, for some reason, I have begun to gradually gain more weight. At first, I didn’t understand why, but I’ve managed to realize it! This is the so-called [compelling force]!!”
Bertia held her own cheeks with both of her hands, as she earnestly talked about it with a shocked expression, but… I don’t really get what she’s talking about.
“Tia, there are several things that I want to comment, but for the moment, there is one question that I’d like to ask you, is that okay? Why would your getting fatter become the so-called [compelling force]?”
At my question, Bertia had a slightly dissatisfied expression that seemed as if she was asking, ‘why wouldn’t you understand that?’—though she didn’t really say it.
…But I think I’m asking a proper question here.
“That is because, you know, after the first time I met Cecil-sama, I went on a strict diet in order to overcome my fate of becoming a third-rate villainess, so that I would overthrow the establishment of the original game’s chubby self. Despite this, now that the downfall is right before our very own eyes, my body build has reverted back to the original game’s Bertia’s state of figure!!”
Uhm, in other words, since she was [forced] to get closer to the appearance of Bertia that came out in that [Otome Game], she thought that it was the [compelling force] that started to begin working… Is it okay for me to perceive it like that?
Well~, I think this is where I’m supposed to laugh?
No, Bertia seems to be very serious, so it’s better for me to not laugh.
If that’s the case, then I think it’s better for me to give her an accurate explanation.
“Look here, Bertia. It might seem bad for you who’ve been earnestly worried over it, but the increase in your weight might not be due to the so-called [compelling force], but I think it’s because of the content of your pocket that caused your dress to expand a lot, wouldn’t you think so?”
“The inside of my pocket?”
She frowned quizzically, and then timidly put her hands inside the concealed pockets located in her own dress, and took out the things inside of them.
“…Are they the sweets you received from Ymir-sama and Otomeria-sama?”
Staring at the two baked sweets on top of her palm, Bertia blankly tilted her head. I spontaneously heaved a sigh in astonishment, and I don’t think this reaction of mine is bad.
“Tia, ever since last year’s autumn, accurately after the [school festival], you’ve begun to receive more sweets from the other noble daughters, right?”
“Wha-! That is certainly the case!! For some reason, the people who didn’t try to engage in friendships with me suddenly began to give me sweets. Could it be, the [compelling force] has already started ever since that time…”
“That’s not it. After the event called [school festival], it has become a common knowledge that you are a lovely woman, and so the noble daughters who wanted to get along with you have started to approach you by giving your favorite things as the evidence of their intention. That’s just it.”
Actually, since the top rankings during the event to select the best couple were all monopolized by the noble daughters who were closely associated with Bertia and the fact that those noble daughters have been giving Bertia sweets was witnessed by a lot of noble daughters, a rumor has started to flow as if it was true. The rumor goes as this, ‘If you present sweets to Marquess Bertia Evil Noches, your long-yearned love would come true, you will fortuitously find a dreamy love and become happy.’
Thus, there was an outbreak in the number of students who presented sweets to Bertia, but… since Bertia has her conscientiousness, each time she received the sweets, they would exchange greetings and then became [acquaintances], then after they got acquainted, there were a few people who’d sometimes consult their love or ask for advice or assistance, resulting in them being joined together splendidly. And so it has turned into such a condition where the rumor continued to be expedited even more.
Hence, since the amount of sweets presented to her increased, Bertia who [consumed] them would naturally gain more weight, such was the case.
In other words, since there is a reason for the outcome, this is not the sort of thing such as the so-called [compelling force] that Bertia talked about.
Aah, afterwards, since Bertia didn’t want to overdevelop her muscles, she would keep a [moderate] amount of exercises, so perhaps that also enhanced the effect of her weight accumulation.
Please do tell me if there is any mistake or anything else. I hope you’re happy with my translation ^^
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- EDIT: The initial text was Gyafun as it was written in Japanese. After considering a few options and looking at the content, it’s settled that the term should be “The Downfall”, referring to a villainess’ downfall at the end of otome game. ↩