7 Years Old – Q of Hearts
I, who was a high schooler, was constantly controlled by the gazes and opinions of those around me, skilfully went with the flow, and lived however it led me.
So that I could look even a little better to others, I paid attention to nothing but the eyes of others, and did nothing but keep up appearances.
But what meaning did that have?
In this world, there was no meaning in being ‘reasonably good’.
From when I was three years old until I was five, I averted my eyes from reality, and lived by nothing but my desires and whims.
Were I to accept this world in the true sense of the word, there was no way that it would be alright to stay that way.
I’m reflecting on my actions.
The way I’ve been up until now is no good.
If I don’t change myself, my wishes won’t come true.
Up until now, have I ever devoted my body and soul to anything?
Paying no heed to flattery from others, and earnestly facing reality without running away…
Right now, I’m wholeheartedly studying magic. The amount of study is incomparable to any I’ve done before.
I don’t want to feel that way again. I don’t want to despair due to my lack of power.
Without being content with only the tasks given by my tutor, wholeheartedly reading magic textbooks from morning until night, and occasionally showing up at the Magic Building…
Aimée and the other servants backed away from me due to my enthusiasm.
But I don’t mind if people back away from me. I’ve decided not to worry about the eyes of others anymore.
If I don’t, let alone Royce-sama, I won’t even be able to protect myself.
In the incident that happened in the castle town last year, had I messed up, Royce-sama, Achille and I would have died. I won’t let something like that happend again.
If I don’t master magic more than anyone… If I don’t become strong enough to protect my loved ones from everybody else…
Even though this is supposed to be the world of an otome game, there’s no saving, loading or resetting.
――――This world is my reality.
I felt impatient.
Protecting Royce-sama from destruction was not something so simple.
I’m not certain if they could understand my zeal, but when I turned seven I was allowed some work at the Magic Building.
My job at the Magic Building was to be an apprentice “Red”. It was a job within the red robed magician group that I saw at the castle before.
The colour of the clothing worn by magicians working at the castle depended on their jobs.
“Blue” was a magical research job, involving the development of new varieties of magic, items or medicine.
“Black” worked as the guards of people of influence.
“Red” had the most personnel, and were responsible for all of the work not covered by “Blue” or “Black”.
Doing things like solving problems that arose in the country’s cities and villages, heading to certain places to do magic inspections, eliminating monsters that troubled the citizens; it was a pretty hectic job.
It seems that even monsters appear in this world. It’s seriously too “fantasy”.
They mostly live deep in the forest or in caves; dark places with no human presence, and if you lived normally in a town, you would almost never see one.
They didn’t appear in the setting of the otome game.
If something like monsters appeared in the academy, it would be undoubtedly a major incident, so that’s basically the end of the story, but…
Starting from simple inspections, then eventually making my way to exterminations of lower class monsters, I would be learning the jobs of “Red”, little by little.
During this time, it was made sure that Royce-sama had capable adult guards with him.
As expected, guarding the prince wasn’t a job you could leave to a little six year old, so until we entered the academy, there was no need for me to stick to Royce-sama. My contact with him was limited to visiting a few times a week.
It seems that Achille was also working a simple administration/odd-jobs job. That was because he was an apprentice like me, though.
While living like this, one day, I had an encounter.
An encounter with the enemy of Royce-sama that would appear during the K of Spades route; the heroine’s rival, the Q of Spades.
Mei Zakro, the Q of Spades, was the loyal servant of the son of the king’s younger brother, the K of Spades.
She and her younger twin brother served as the guards of the K of Spades.
Mei was a taciturn woman who loyally followed her orders, clad in a mysterious aura, and amongst the rivals she was the one with the best personality. Incidentally, the one with the worst personality was Camille.
After all, Camille was jealous towards the heroine who was growing close to the K of Hearts that she was one-sidedly in love with, and was a rival who harassed the heroine as much as possible.
However, when it came to Mei, because her love for her lord was too strong, she ran wild and persistently tried to get rid of the heroine who was deceiving her lord.
Once the heroine cleared the K of Spades route, the fact that Mei tried to harm the heroine was revealed and she was fired, and like that it became unknown what happened to her.
…Up until the end, she remained a somewhat mysterious rival.
That Mei Zakro was now bawling in the middle of the corridor.
“FUAAAAAAAAAH, NOOOOOOO! WHERE AREEE YOUUUUU?”
That mysterious, devoted-to-her-duties, silent beauty is also the same age as me right now. There’s not a trace of mysteriousness here.
“So Mei was working from such a young age too, huh…”
Her deep blue hair and dark skin were just like in the game, and tears overflowed endlessly from her golden eyes.
The enemy was a little girl… It might get annoying to get involved.
I have no idea what to do with crying children.
But I’ll feel guilty leaving her alone too. And I look like a child too, right now…
“What’s wrong? Are you looking for someone?”
Just like Achille did to me recently, I tried patting her on the head.
It seems that it was effective, and the girl’s sobbing receded just a little.
Just by knowing her future self, seeing her crying face feels plenty wrong.
It seems like she’s looking for her master Raiga Transbaal; in other words the K of Spades.
Was Mei all LOVE♥Master at this young an age?
But wow, it really is too weird seeing this gap between the always calm, mysterious Mei from the game, and the Mei right now.
“You’re looking for Raiga-sama?”
“Uuu… I had an afternoon nap, and then Raiga-sama was gone… (sob)”
Mei and afternoon naps… It really is a mismatched combo.
I stayed by her side for a while comforting her, so her crying calmed down a lot.
After a while came the pitter patter sounds of multiple people coming down the other end of the hallway.
In an instant, I could tell who the owner of those footsteps were… How troubling.
Before my eyes stood the K of Spades, Royce-sama’s enemy, Raiga Transbaal.
Because he’s Royce-sama’s cousin, he’s an ikemen as well, but that overpowering atmosphere of his has not a smidgen of friendliness.
Behind him was Mei’s younger twin brother, J of Spades Kai Zakro, standing there inconspicuous as the air.
Her face still dirtied from crying, Mei reached her hand out to him.
“Why are you in a place like this…? I told you not to leave the room, didn’t I”
“Fueeh, because, when I woke up Raiga-sama wasn’t there.”
“Mei… You musn’t… bother Raiga-sama…”
Ah! Even though he’s young, the little brother is speaking just like in the game.
Kai the little brother was taciturn and mysterious just like his older sister.
“You. What did you do to Mei?”
Raiga glared at I, who had been reduced to decoration.
When he did, Mei grabbed Raiga’s arm and shook her head side to side in protest.
“The pink Oneechan didn’t do anything wrong!”
Hang on, is ‘the pink Oneechan’ referring to me? Certainly I didn’t give my name, but…
“She listened to me when I was crying!”
“Is that so…?”
Raiga made a complicated expression. He was clad in a difficult-to-approach aura, but this expression of his held some amity.
“You’re… Royce’s hanger-on-er, right?”
He knows about me? The information network of the royal prince’s son sure is amazing, huh…
It’s still better than being called a flunky, I guess.
“I’m not a hanger-on-er; I’m his future guard, you know.”
“Like I care… Oi, Mei! Don’t wipe your snot on my clothes!”
The dignity of the royal prince’s son is being ruined.
As I thought, I feel like I don’t really understand their relationship.
“Did Mei-chan always have this kind of personality? At a glance she looks like the calm type, but…”
‘Could it be…?’ I wondered about a certain possibility in my heart.
Raiga might know something about it.
The one who reacted to my worsd wasn’t Raiga, but surprisingly Kai.
“You… What… do you know… about Mei?”
I don’t know where he got it from, but he was holding a long needle in one hand.
Oi, oi, are you trying to threaten me with a deadly weapon? We’re in a corridor used by other people, you know?
The twins Mei and Kai were characters that looked docile, but were prone to quickly resorting to violence.
“Stop it, Kai.”
Held in check by his lord, Kai readily withdrew. He really does feel like the “by my lord’s orders” type, huh.
After making sure that Kai sheathed his weapon, Raiga turned to me and spoke.
“Mei has been like this since I met her. Don’t make weird complaints.”
“…I’m sorry. I was just thinking that they weren’t a very similar pair of twins.”
“Just because they’re twins, doesn’t mean their personalities have to be the same, right?”
“You are… right…”
“We’re heading back.”
” “Yes!” ”
Leaving the frozen me behind, Raiga left with the twins in tow.
Does Raiga not know, or was that acting?
But Kai knows something for sure.
I can’t say anything since I only know how she was in the future, but perhaps Mei is a human from the same place as me…
I don’t have any confidence in that though…
‘persistently tried to get rid of‘ is ‘排除’. Since I mostly read action fantasy, it almost always means ‘kill‘, but I’m hoping that’s not the case here. ><
‘(sob)‘ → ‘gusu‘ which is a sobbing noise
‘her crying calmed down a lot‘ → ‘her style of crying mostly became less extravagant (i.e. less bawling more sniffling)‘
“You’re… Royce’s hanger-on-er, right?”
It’s still better than being called a flunky, I guess. There’s a world of difference between a pouch and poop.‘
‘Hanger-on-er‘ is ‘hang-on pouch‘, whereas ‘flunky‘ is actually ‘goldfish poop‘. Both refer to people who follow another around like a sycophant. I omitted the last line, since it wasn’t significant, and would be like impossible to translate anyway. Ruins the flow to leave it in with an explanation, but fyi, there was such a joke present.
Also there’s no ♥ but it’s like a set phrase thing in JP
(___LOVE or ____ラブ)
so I had to try and find a way in Eng that wouldn’t just look like two words awkwardly stuck next to each other.