Sorry for the long wait, chapter 16.1 is finally here~! FYI, chapter 16 is divided into 4 parts and after this chapter, we will have our sweet extras :3
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Bertia 17 Years Old (6)
Translated by LynneSuzuran & Senhiro
“…And that’s why, she went to the monastery that is located at the tip of the north.”
After quickly carrying out the entirety of the punishment and we could finally take a break, I explained the conclusion of this case after being pestered by Bertia.
It’s the spring break now.
Once the break was over, she would’ve found out about former-Baroness Heronia’s departure from the academy whether she wanted to or not.
There might’ve been another opportunity to explain it to her at that stage, but unfortunately… Really unfortunately, I’ve graduated and wouldn’t be there then to explain the truth.
Her friends or Kulgan or Shaun might be able to explain things well to her, but depending on the situation, there was also the possibility that a third party could end up telling her a version that had been dramatized here and there.
In that case, I judged that it’d be better for me to explain the truth ahead of time.
“So, that was what happened, huh? As expected of the heroine!! In order to restore the spirit who was injured due to protecting her, she went to offer her prayers at the sacred temple located at the northern edge by her own choice!!”
“That’s right. She’s surely doing her best over there.”
I smiled and gently patted Bertia’s head as she happily smiled with a relieved expression.
…I’m not really telling a lie, okay?
After all, the former-Baroness Heronia decided to go to the northern monastery by her own choice, right? …I only gave her two options, though.
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In addition, the monastery made a temple its annex, and the temple is [sacred] in its entirety.
There’s also the possibility that the spirit will be restored (in some decades or so) so long as she put forth the effort.
…Well, I intentionally omitted a bit of the superfluous details and made things sound the way that Bertia liked.
This much is surely still within an acceptable range, right?
Incidentally, I’ve already informed her friends and my close aide candidates of the parts that I shared with Bertia just now.
I’m sure they will be able to deceive her well in the future, too.
“Then, when will the heroine return? Until then, I will be preparing myself to step down from this position…”
“She won’t return anymore, and you will become my one and only partner, so you can’t step down from that position, okay?”
I cut off Bertia’s words as she had the wrong idea about things again and was about to continue in an outrageous direction, and quickly blocked off her escape route.
The hindrance was already eliminated after great pains, so it’s really unthinkable for me to let go of my cute Bertia.
“Eh? She won’t return?”
“Yeah, she won’t return. The spirit’s injury was severe, so even though it is able to heal, it would take some time, so going over there was also for his sake as well. That’s why she would be living there (by force) for the rest of her life. …In addition—”
When I hugged Bertia closer as she sat sideways in my lap, she jumped in surprise, with her face turning red.
“Even though you’ve captured me just like this, you still want to leave me, Tia? If that’s the case… I might take it a bit more seriously and try to capture you, okay?”
We’re in my room in the royal palace.
Almost immediately after she entered the room and sat down opposite of me to drink some tea, I embraced her and tugged her into my lap.
At first, her face turned bright red and it was adorable, but as soon as we talked about the former-Baroness Heronia, she became immediately became immersed in the conversation. I was somewhat irritated at her whose thoughts easily drifted away, so I forcefully made her where she was at the moment, and it successfully got rid of my dissatisfaction.
“Wh-what exactly is capturing meant to entail?!”
“We~ll, this just so happens to be my own private room, and I’ve already cleared the people out from this room, that’s a fait accompli1 already, but…”
“Your Highness, what are you saying?!”
“Eh?! Ha?! W-w-w-what…?!”
Contrary to Tia who began to cower with her face that turned bright red right away, Kuro who was on top of her lap tried to threaten me with her tail fur standing on its end.
Yes, Kuro was on top of her lap.
Kuro who was in the form of a little maid and stuffing her cheeks with snacks.
Then, behind me, there was Zeno who rebuked me while being half-surprised and half-exasperated.
Yup. As usual, I was able to clear out people from this room, but I couldn’t with the spirits.
I went through great pains to get Bertia on my lap, and even though Iwanted to bask in the sweet atmosphere between fiancés, the third wheel placed herself on top of Bertia’s lap as if it was natural.
…It was truly unfortunate.
“Just a joke, I was only joking. I’ll set aside my cute Tia’s first time for after marriage.”
“Speaking of which, in the first place we were only having a conversation, so how were you able to make this into a parent-child turtle, did you… Pfft… Where you thinking of making advances?!”
…Just now, you were laughing, right, Zeno?
It was true that Bertia was on top of my lap, and on top of Bertia’s lap there was Kuro who was in the form of a little maid—it might look similar to a parent-child turtle, indeed. But nevertheless, to laugh at your master, don’t you think that it’s not quite appropriate for a chamberlain to do so?
“…Zeno, can you become a horse over there?”
“A [horse]. It’s a [horse]. You can pretend to be one, right?”
“Y-y-y-your Highness?! W-w-w-what are you planning to do?!”
“We~ll, it isn’t good for you to be left out. I’m thinking of letting Zeno be included in the parent-child turtle. Don’t you think it’d be complete if I were to sit on you while you pretend to be a horse?”
I glanced at Zeno who bowed futilely while unhesitantly apologizing, and after telling him, “Let’s talk about it later, okay?”, I returned my gaze to Bertia.
After all, if I were to start lecturing him here, we’d quickly arrive at the time limit that the overprotective father-in-law decided, and my opportunity to talk with Bertia would be gone.
Time management is pretty important.
“Well, that about sums it up, so Tia doesn’t have to worry about the heroine anymore, okay? Even if something goes wrong, we’ll deal with it. That’s why, won’t you be at ease and just come with me as my bride?”
“…It’s been decided since we were younger, so why’re you surprised now?”
“No, but, uhm…”
“Also, since this mark had already been engraved on each other, won’t you just accept that we are inseparable?”
When I took Bertia’s hand and gently rubbed my thumb over the engraving of the mark bestowed by the spirit, Kuro’s face turned even more unpleasant, and Bertia’s face was reddening even further.
“B-but, I’ve always aimed to become a first-class villainess. Therefore, for me to become Cecil-sama’s princess, my confidence is…”
“It’s all right. Tia has always been working hard in your training to be my fiancée, after all. In addition, even if something were to happen, I would cover it up for you, and if it’s necessary, I’ll completely crush the opponent, so…”
“Not that. I said that I was going to persuade the opponent with utmost effort until they agreed, okay?”
Bertia tilted her head as she was bewildered at my words, thinking, “Did I mishear?”
On the other hand, I felt that Zeno and Kuro were gazing coldly at me, but surely it was only my imagination.
“Besides, we also have reassuring friends and the spirits, right? So, you can rest assured that it’s fine to take the seat of my wife.”
After sweetly smiling, I looked towards Zeno and Kuro, urging them with my gaze.
Kuro and Zeno who were in my line of sight seemed like they wanted to say, “Good grief!”, but they firmly nodded in agreement in order to make Bertia feel relieved.
Bertia showed a slightly relieved expression at their presence, but this time, she looked towards me with a serious expression.
“I, since things have turned this way, I’ll do my utmost to let Cecil-sama become a splendid king!! And then, and then, I’ll make you become so very happy!! To the extent that you definitely wouldn’t think of inducing a war out of having nothing else to do!!”
Clenching both of her hands tightly, Bertia declared vigorously as she snorted, “Humph!” with her nose and naturally, my lips curled into an arc.
Because she was here, I was able to smile from the bottom of my heart.
Though it was still vague, I’ve also become able to understand the meaning of the word [happiness].
I’ think I want to improve this country where I live along with her even further.
Since I was little and up until now I had always thought to do so, but it was out of obligation [for being the crown prince]. But now, I can think so with my own will.
That’s why, not only do I not have any time to spare, and I don’t even have any interest in war.
Since I have an amusing existence called Bertia by my side.
“I see. That being the case, you definitely can’t leave my side, okay?”
“Of course!! I will properly support you by your side!!”
“I clearly heard your words just now, all right? It’s a promise, okay?”
“I promise!! After all, since there was an irregular existence like me, the scenario ended up changing. That’s why I’m going to work hard to take responsibility for it!!”
“I’m relieved to hear that. …Because even if the scenario changes, the most important conclusion won’t change.”
Perhaps not understanding the meaning behind the few words that I muttered, Bertia turned gazed at me in inquiry, looking lost.
In contrast to that, my face showed a whole smile and I took her left hand.
“Yes, the most important thing is that the [fated girl] for me is here, and together we will be leading an [enjoyable (mostly just me)] life from now on until forever.”
When I lightly lifted up her left hand and kissed where I had been touching earlier with my thumb, my and her mark of partners faintly glowed as if they were hailing each other.
Yes. The most important thing is that the woman I chose is here.
That is the requirement for me to properly be the crown prince, and so that I can be myself.
I showed the same refreshing smile I usually displayed to Bertia, so that she wouldn’t see the contrasting warped smile that I had as I recalled the story I heard from my father just earlier.
PS: Why did I break the part at this point? …No, the original chapter has the part break (which is a line or a ‘***’) at this point, so I just used it to break the part :3 So, in the next part, we’re going to see the flashback that Cecil had~!
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- Fait accompli: a thing that has already happened of decided before those affected hear about it, leaving them with no option but to accept. ↩