The Winter is Almost Here – Q of Diamonds (Part 1)
Note: Please don’t read it in the little pop-up for the reader. For some reason it doesn’t reflect my later edits (which I often make a lot of after publishing), so please click ‘view original’.
Think of it as throwing money at the author and Alphapolis, and getting a book with squiggles and pretty pictures as a pleasant extra.
Um, the reason it’s hard to tell between Beatrix’s casual and formal(keigo) speech is because she normally speaks in a non-keigo, masculine voice.
I could translate ‘sumanai’ as something simple like ‘Sorry.’, but the feeling is actually closer to ‘Apologies.’ or something.
A similarly masculine thing that would be closer to ‘Sorry.’ (at least in my opinion) would probably be a more casual ‘Suman.’ or ‘Suman, na?’ I guess.
Oh, and uh, iunno how it is in other countries, but universities are largely a mark of prestige for Japanese people. So just the name of a university can make or break it for you in some job interviews. That’s why being enrolled in a third-rate university really means that you’re super, duper average.
Because I had finished the bout with Raiga’s knights, I returned to my room temporarily to arrange my outfit.
Putting on the light blue dress that didn’t quit suit me, I glared at the door that connected my room to his.
“It’s fine. Calm down. Calm down, me.”
I need to ask about what’s happening in this country, and ask about the Heroine.
And I need to properly ask about the circumstances behind this engagement. After that, I’ll let him have it.
I need to face him without running away… the first prince of this nation.
Pressing my lips together, I gathered my willpower as I clenched my fists.
Like that, I reached my hand out to the doorknob, and opened the door with all my power.
I accidentally let out my natural voice, and froze on the spot.
It wasn’t a very ladylike voice, but it couldn’t be helped. After all…
For some reason… Right when I opened the door, I found His Highness standing there and looking towards me.
“Wha-… What are you doing there, Your Highness?”
Paying no heed to my confusion, His Highness smiled.
There were documents piled on his desk as well, today. I’m sure he does his work seriously each day.
Completely unlike a certain Second Prince.
“I was thinking that it was about time, and was going to head to your room, but for you to have come to me instead makes me truly happy.”
So we were trying to open the door at the same time? …Was that really it?
I had thought that this sparkling prince with the gentle features was the same as the one from the game, but…
What’s with this? There’s something about him that’s been on my mind since he invited me to the picnic.
“I was thinking of speaking to you this morning, Your Highness, but you seemed to be busy at work. I apologise for making you come as far as the arena.”
“Don’t mind it. It was a good breather for me too. Usually I can finish all my work in the Central Building, so I don’t often leave the castle, you see… And also,”
His Highness Royce looked at me with a tender gaze.
I found my reflection in his beautiful azure eyes, and realised that I was standing closer to him than expected.
“You don’t need to use polite speech with me, my bride-to-be.”
Even cheesy lines like that somehow seem cool when he says it.
Right. Royce was the type of character that could say cringe-worthy lines without anybody finding a problem with it.
Even in the game, his sweet lines often charmed the fans.
“It isn’t pleasant to stand here and chat, so how about you come in?”
His Highness splendidly escorted me by the hand. His beautiful blonde hair swayed smoothly with each step.
Led by the hand, I sank down into an expensive looking sofa. I-, I can’t calm down…
No matter when I see him, His Highness Royce is always smiling and gentlemanly, but I wonder if he’s naturally like this.
I regretted not investigating him more from Camille.
But I doubt the Royce in the game would do anything too strange.
Because after all, amongst the love interests and friend characters, he was the most harmless one of all…
Incidentally, as for the ones that were the least harmless, it goes without saying that they were the J of Hearts, the J of Clovers, and also Baka-sama. But well, when it comes to Baka-sama, because of me he’s become a completely different person though.
“Huhu, you worked hard during the match. You really are strong, aren’t you.”
“Thank you very much. I lost to Raiga-sama, however.”
“Don’t mind it. He’s not a normal human after all. You can just think of him as a monster or something.”
For some reason His Highness spewed harsh words about Raiga for some reason.
Are they on bad terms just like in the game?
No, but in this world, the Hearts and Spades have become more peaceful with each other. Maybe they’re more careless with each other because they’re cousins?
“More importantly, you’re still using keigo, aren’t you?”
There was a sparkling smile on his face, but I could feel a pressure that allowed for no refusal.
…It’s happening again.
There’s this aura that allows no argument being released from him.
Previously at the academy too, because of this smile that gave me no choice but to obey, I had various things forced onto me by His Highness Royce… At least that’s the feeling I get.
“I-, I am sorry…”
Why am I being criticised!?
There’s something strange about this!
Common sense dictates that I’m the one that should be criticising. Criticising this overbearing engagement.
His Highness Royce seemed to be satisfied with my words. There really is something strange about this.
Was he this sort of character in the game…?
I held this sense of displacement about him.
“Your Highness, um…”
“Mn? What? It sure would be nice if you called me Royce.”
…It’s no good.
When it’s him I’m dealing with, my vigour is somehow drained.
“Is that so… There is something that I heard from Camille that I would like to discuss.”
“M-, Miss Camille told me… That this engagement was related to the circumstances of Garnet. I would like to ask in detail about that.”
“…Ahh, that? There’s been something I wanted to ask you as well.”
His Highness gazed right at me.
Gentle looking eyes, delicate white skin, a tall nose, and well-shaped lips… a beautiful face.
“Did you have a lover in your old world?”
In that instant, the inside of my mind turned pure white.
E-, Ehh-? “Old world”? Why did His Highness say something like that?
Does he know that I wasn’t originally born in this world? But why?
For now, I tried to play it off. Although even without trying to lie my way out of it, it’s a hard-to-believe story to begin with.
“U-, Umm, whatever could you…”
“I’ve heard everything from Camille, you know? That you and the maid at Achille’s place are from her hometown. And probably Mei as well.”
M-, Miss Camille!
What the heck are you doing, talking about other people’s circumstances? And what’s more, to the First Prince!
“And so, did you have a lover in your old world? Is that why your heart was broken?”
And Your Highness, don’t fixate on a worthless part.
The person I liked was your cousin.
“I did not… In my old world, I was a normal student, you see.”
My appearance was plain, and the insides were even plainer.
A college student who loved manga, anime and otome games, and went to a third-rate university.
I was introverted as well, in the past, and definitely wasn’t the type of have had a lover. Far from it, I didn’t even have a male friend.
Since coming to this world, because I desperately struggled to avoid an end like in the game, I’ve become the person I am now.
“I see. Then you must be smart too, huh.”
“No, that is…”
His Highness Royce had an odd misunderstanding.
In this world, by no means could everybody become a student. Only the rich or the exceptionally talented people were able to gain the status of ‘student’.
It seems that Miss Camille did a half-assed job of explaining our old world to him.
“Well then, how about a lover after coming to this world?”
“…Your Highness, I would like to change to a serious topic now.”
“I did say that I’d like you to call me Royce, right? If you won’t, then I’ll keep changing the subject to your old lovers.”
What the heck is with this prince!
For a while now, he’s been saying nothing but remarks that screw up my tempo!
I’ve been completely swallowed into his pace.
Because of that, I vigorously said something unnecessary.
“I’ve had nobody like a lover! It was just unrequited love! …Ah.”
…I’ve done it now.
By the time I noticed that things were bad, it was already too late.
As for His Highness Royce, he gave the nastiest smile today.
“I-, I apologise, Your Highness.”
“Don’t use keigo or ‘Your Highness’; even though I’ve told you so many times already… Shall I have you practice here until you can say it properly?”
“Right. Maybe I’ll give you a penalty for every time you make a mistake… Like… Ah, I’ve got it.”
W-, Who is this? Who is this man in front of me?
This person who’s casually talking like a sadist is… His Highness Royce, right?
I’m getting this feeling that I’m catching glimpses of something dark behind his smile, but it’s just my imagination, right?
I mean, the Prince Royce in the game was… definitely not this sort of person.