The Otome Game's Bad Ending - Chapter 89
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“The lady appears to be sick. She kept asking for Lord Raretis.”
It was already late.
Raretis, who had returned home late at night after dropping off Emilia, heard a maid’s words as soon as he entered the mansion.
He changed into lighter clothes and walked upstairs, where he discovered the Marchioness seated in a dimly lit room with no lights turned on.
Her hollow greenish-brown eyes resembled those of a dead.
Raretis pondered for a bit before cautiously speaking out.
“Do you know?”
The question was incoherent.
The Marchioness appeared disheveled.
Her tiny silver-gray gown was crumpled, and her makeup was nearly wiped away.
Her fine hair, which required careful upkeep, resembled a beehive.
The Marchioness, like a ghost, stumbled to her feet and clutched Raretis’ hand.
Her fingertips felt frigid.
Raretis didn’t run away.
His normally calm visage glowed palely in the gloom.
“Do you know, the, the things that, that child, heard while living in our house?”
“Thi-this time too, after making her debut… the ignorant people, the things they, say…”
The Marchioness’s words were jumbled, but Raretis appeared to understand what she was trying to communicate.
“…People who speak recklessly anywhere, anytime never cease to exist.”
“Knowing, why didn’t you tell me…!”
That’s correct; Raretis couldn’t call the Marchioness ‘mother’ after all.
Even though she reared and cared for him as if he were her son.
She was warm and affectionate.
He realized he depended on her like a true son.
That is why he was always by her side.
However, there was an obstacle.
It would have been easier to deal with if he had been like Marquis Windrose, who could quantify the gains and disadvantages of everything.
Because she was kind.
Because she was affectionate.
Raretis Hope realized, albeit reluctantly, that facing her was more difficult since her heart was true.
Raretis Hope tends to meet expectations.
If he hadn’t known anything, he would have returned that much.
As high as the world’s expectations for him.
As much as the Marchioness’s expectations for him.
Ironically, the only person who didn’t expect anything from him was…
“I think she must have had some idea.”
The brightness disappeared from the woman’s face.
“That child, hearing such… insults…”
“…It’s a thing of the past, but even at the Marquis’s residence, there were such servants.”
“If they had only talked, just talked, I would have dismissed such people immediately…!”
“What would you have done?”
Raretis’ voice was steady, but the Marchioness’ face became pale.
“Even if you punish them outwardly, the whispers always continue.”
In the end, she was irritated since it hit a sensitive region.
If it actually didn’t matter, if she had nothing on her mind, it wouldn’t matter what somebody said or made up about it.
It’s enough that she’s upright.
So in the end…
“…Is it my fault?”
“It’s my fault.”
“No, it is not. It’s me. Yes. It is my fault… It’s correct. Who would have treated that kid in that manner if I had not been so careless? I had no idea.”
Who would dare to speak negatively about Emilia in front of the ‘tender-hearted’ Marchioness?
Everyone kept their mouth shut.
They pretended they didn’t know.
They pretended to be kind to Emilia.
However, a child is more likely than anyone else to detect deception.
Rumors are the same.
Ophelia is ‘slumming’ with Emilia.
In other words, Emilia is alone, except Ophelia.
Emilia doesn’t require much attention.
Emilia is invisible.
Like light and darkness, as Ophelia’s fame spread, so did the slander against Emilia.
Envy and jealousy twisted and developed as they were unable to be directed at Ophelia.
“I… I made that child leave.”
Tears ran down her face.
“Ophelia was… correct. She was correct all along…”
If you don’t articulate it, it remains unknown.
That is true for everyone. T
he Marchioness had never dared to mention Emilia’s narrative.
Even when others mentioned it, if the Marchioness remained mute, they chose not to pursue the subject.
They simply spread what they wanted to believe among themselves.
There are limits to explaining anything to someone who is not present, or who has already left.
She’s not sure where she went or what she was thinking.
Maybe it would have been better if it had simply been buried.
Instead, it became a popular topic in society.
Emilia returns, holding hands with Cassio.
Elodie came about too.
The rivalry between the two created a fascinating dynamic.
There were even ludicrous rumors that Edmund Gloucester’s commotion at the debutante ball was the result of the Marquis’s family’s disapproval of Emilia.
Countess Betty, while eagerly answering the Marchioness’s questions, slyly peered about as if to suggest, “Did you really not know?”
As if accusing her of knowing everything but remaining silent.
The Marchioness was completely speechless when she saw that look.
Everyone had been silent towards the Marchioness.
You will get wounded.
You will misinterpret.
So, why bother informing you specifically?
Surely you are not a child and would have guessed it.
It was a public deception.
“…What should I do?”
The Marchioness inquired, her eyes perplexed and childlike.
“How do I apologize to her…? If I had known what was going to happen, I would not have acted the way I did. I…”
“…The fact that the Marchioness didn’t do it intentionally, she knows that too.”
“But how can I fix my mistake? By now, she must despise even the sight of me…”
Raretis gazed down.
He remembered the last time he saw Ophelia.
Raretis departed the Marquis’s residence in early April.
Emilia lay at the foot of the bed, as if she had collapsed.
Ophelia’s eyes looked odd.
Both were dry and not.
Her face was pale from lying awake all night by a sickbed, and her black hair, soaked in sweat, clung to her brow.
Her fingertips, which touched Emilia’s hair, were as pale as withered flowers.
‘She is cowardly.’
Despite her dry lips, Ophelia stated strongly.
‘She will flee again and again. I understand. This time, she will rush into my grave.
A patient, confronted with the destiny they had denied their entire life, smiled deceptively.
‘It’s awful to think that certain things only start when I die.’
For example, new sprouts grow more easily on trees that have been charred in a mountain fire.
For example, it is preferable to replace a rotting tree with a new house.
Like the spring flowers that blossom above graves.
‘Do well, another coward.’
“Just don’t turn away, that’s all you need to do.”
Raretis smiled cruelly.
The Marchioness’ gaze wandered.
“Don’t turn away, extend your hand… whatever choice you make, just wait with that mindset.”
On a day when a carriage wheel almost struck an innocent person.
On a day he couldn’t forget, even if he tried, he ran into someone he couldn’t forget.
Raretis Hope recognized how painfully his heart was throbbing.
Like fins emerging from his fingertips.
Like touching the fin despite knowing it would hurt.
Like the prophecy about the dead developing from a seed into a tree.
After two years, he was back where he started.
It was time to face the wounds that everyone had turned away from.