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Bertia 17 Years Old (4)
Translated by LynneSuzuran & Senhiro
“Cecil-sama was infiltrating a shrewdly hidden base of operations, even though it was in the neighboring country’s inner palace.. It seemed that there were traitors in our country and they seemed to be communicating with the neighboring country. Then, after arranging to invade our country, they took Cecil-sama’s absence as an opportunity to make a move. At the time, Charles-sama was visiting the neighboring country while on the search for Cecil-sama, and heard about it from Cecil-sama, who handed him evidence. Urging Charles-sama to immediately return, Cecil-sama said, [Even if something happens to me, there is still Shaun so everything will be fine]. Cecil-sama would be inspecting the neighboring country for a bit longer, so they wouldn’t be returning together. Immediately aborting discussions would raise suspicion, so after putting up a pretence of discussions, Charles-sama returned and handed His Majesty the evidence and letters that Cecil-sama had ordered him to deliver. After that, joining hands with Cecil-sama who was still infiltrated, they attacked the neighboring country simultaneously from outside and within, and brought that country to ruin. Incidentally, during that period of time, there was a romantic event that involved a female intelligence member completely looking like Anne-sama obtaining a piece of information shocking to Charles-sama, and his love with the heroine would rapidly grow from there until the two will reached their happy end.”
“…The war began quite calculatively, right?”
Bertia nodded dejectedly with teary eyes to my response.
Looking at her dejected state, I slightly tightened my grip on her hand, gently rubbing the back of her hand with my thumb to convey that, “Everything is all right.”
“The rest is… About me becoming a shut-in in Nert’s route and becoming a warmonger in Bard’s route, right?”
“That’s right. In Nert-sama’s route, Cecil-sama had too much leisure time and the brief period that Cecil-sama looked over the research Nert-sama had been working on, had allowed Cecil-sama to complete it. And then Nert-sama, who felt depressed, was cheered up by the heroine. Then after that, Cecil-sama was engrossed in the research of things like a new mineral or the composition of gunpowder, and ended up confining yourself in your self-made laboratory. Then, the neighboring country saw that as a chance and attacked. At that time, Nert-sama created a powerful weapon that used the gunpowder that Cecil-sama made, which guided our country’s path to victory. Then, Nert-sama who immediately turned into a man and the heroine who had been supporting him were tied by their deep love and welcomed their happy end.”
“It’s good that our country obtained strong military power, but on that subject, the victims of war would also surge, it seems?”
“I’m also very worried about it.”
The shadow in Bertia’s eyes grew a shade darker.
Though she would usually look on the bright side, and no matter how much of a fuss she kicked up, it would usually end up trivial, this not only weighed on her mind, she also became reticent.
Sorry, Bertia. I was wrong for taking you as only an idiot before all this.
“Then, what about the last scenario where I become someone who’s crazy for war?”
“For Bard-sama’s route… it’s exactly how it sounds. Cecil-sama was getting bored of the peaceful times when the neighboring country attacked. Using that as an impetus, Cecil-sama could appear on the battlefield. Then, under his so-called sovereign duty to his kingdom, Cecil-sama who was starving for another stimulus discovered several secluded countries in conflict against our country one by one, and focused on forcing them to surrender. Bard-sama stayed by Cecil-sama’s side and continued to protect him, and when he was worn down mind and body from continuously placing himself in the middle of war, the heroine was there to support him. In the end, Cecil-sama unified the neighboring countries and in the newfound peace, the two of them spent their days happily. It was that kind of story.”
“That… the damage that was done in the process of finding happiness is quite unusual. And when it becomes peaceful, I will become bored and do something else.”
Since it was boring, I went into wars with the neighboring countries and unified them. If it’s like that, once it became peaceful and once I got bored again, I think that I’d find another target to attack.
I see. That is certainly an amazing person who’s [crazy for wars].
Even when I feel that I don’t want to reach that point, but I ended up thinking about what I’d do if there is even a little bit of something that can moisten the thirsty and dry heart that had always had nothing to fill it up.
I wanted to deny it, but it’s a truth that can’t be denied.
“…I’m a more terrible human than I’d thought, huh?”
“T-that’s wrong!! The Cecil-sama I know is completely different from the Cecil-sama from the [otome game]!! You will always help me whenever I’m troubled, and you’re also a reliable existence for other people!! There’s no way that such a gentle person is a doll!!”
In response to my spontaneous whisper and bitter smile, Bertia didn’t care about disheveling her hair and shook her head vigorously.
Looking at her desperate state, I felt a fresh surge of warmth in my chest.
That warmth managed to heal the part of my heart that was unintentionally hurt by the illusion that the light spirit showed.
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Then, I thought once more.
It was because there was the existence called Bertia that the current me managed to become a difference existence than the me from the [otome game] that she talked about.
The only difference was the existence of one person.
The heroine in the world of that [otome game] might have been able to play a similar role, but even so, I’m sure that it wouldn’t make me become the way I am right now. …couldn’t make me become the way I am right now.
“There’s no way Cecil-sama is a doll!! There’s no way… you’re a doll… absolutely not!! The Cecil-sama that I love is a warm person. He is a person who’s able to become happy. He isn’t the same person as Cecil-sama in the [game], who is smiling with cold eyes without any single trace of warmth. Not the one who has the desperate gaze… as if he was tired of everything!! He is someone who possesses a gentle heart that is considerate to people. For him to become like that, there is no way…”
Perhaps due to her rising emotion while she was talking, Bertia’s tears began to spill in large drops. I gently hugged her as if I holding something fragile.
I’m happy that it’s not just anyone else, but Bertia who thinks of me like that and believes in me.
I’m happy, but… since I know the element of a [doll] that I’m holding within myself, I feel a little bit awkward upon hearing her high assessment of myself.
Bertia, I’m sorry, but I probably have yet to fully turn into a [human] to that extent, you know?
Sometimes, I don’t particularly feel anything towards others. There are also times when I feel like I don’t have any interest in anything, and even until this very day, I have yet to fully understand the feeling of bestowing generous acts and gifts without any personal gain.
You’re the only thing that I feel like I don’t want to lose, and even if I were to lose the others, perhaps I’d just say, “I see,” and that’s it.
Even if you said that I was relied by the others, it was mostly for things concerning yourself.
Even if there may be things that I want as the crown prince, but for me as my own person, there’s only that, okay?
…However, that’s right.
If you want me to be like that, then it might be fun to try hard to become like that.
Though there might be some troublesome things, as long as you laugh—then it might not be so bad.
The only one who can make me [human] is you, so I’ll have you take a full responsibility until the very end, okay?
“Cecil-sama, I’m so sorry. Since I couldn’t become a proper villainess, the existence known as the [fated girl] who could heal Cecil-sama is no longer here. But, but, but, please don’t abandon us! Don’t lose to the compelling force, and don’t return to be a doll… d-don’t disappear, don’t behave recklessly, and don’t become a shut-in, pleaseeeee!”
While patting Bertia’s back as she hugged me tightly as if to say that she won’t let me go, I felt that the corners of my mouth naturally curved up.
On top of her saying that she loves the [current] me, she also wishes for me to be here.
And, I also wish for her, the person who gives me warmth and enjoyment in life, to be here.
To be honest, currently, I have no interest at all in war.
Rather, I want to remove the option from my mind completely, because it would decrease my time spent observing her.
Knowing that there’s something more fun, why would I be willing to throw it away and become hooked on another thing? That is quite unthinkable.
I have no way to express this other than that it’s our matching interest.
If that’s the case, then there would be no problem for me to tie her to myself, right?
At that time, I suddenly recalled the [proof] of the [fated girl] that Baroness Heronia said.
…I see. Is that so? So it’s that kind of a thing, huh?
While I continued to pat Bertia’s back many times over in order to calm her down as she clung to me, I turned my gaze towards Zeno.
Without using my voice, I moved my lips to say, [Proof].
Zeno, firmly holding my gaze, quickly shook his head many times over.
Next to him, sensing the unsettling atmosphere, there was Kuro who felt flustered and continued to pay her attention to our direction as she was worried about Bertia who was clinging to me and sobbing.
“Everything is going to be fine.”
My gaze unwavering on Zeno, I showed a full-faced smile. This time, I said it clearly with my voice.
In response to my words, Bertia stirred restlessly in my arms and raised her face.
Adjusting to her movement, I also shifted my gaze towards her and smiled to reassure her.
[I don’t know anymore, all right? Please do the follow-up by yourself, okay?]
The wind that contained Zeno’s power delivered the words that only I can hear to my ears.
Satisfied with it, I firmly nodded without removing my gaze from Bertia.