The Otome Game's Bad Ending - Chapter 48
Raretis shouted out to Emilia once again.
Anyone who knows Raretis would be astonished by the sincerity in his voice.
His ordinarily stern expression betrayed a tangible confusion.
Was it just instinct?
Raretis reached out into the emptiness, attempting to grab Emilia, who was averting her gaze.
It was at the time.
“We can’t inconvenience another person’s cavalier.”
The voice was clear as if slicing something with a knife.
Raretis opened his eyes wide, as though startled.
Cassio Brahamdorff took Emilia’s side, proudly displaying his presence.
He had a friendly smile on his face at first, but a harsh look at Raretis.
Emilia remarked emphatically, whether she was aware of the circumstances or not.
“I’d like to reschedule clarifying the situation and apologizing for now. I’m exhausted.”
“I won’t forget today’s events, Sir Edmund Gloucester.”
Cassio Brahamdorff’s voice had a lot of undertones.
Raretis, who seemed unusually restless and perplexed.
Edmund Gloucester appeared to be at a loss for words. Elodie was attracted by the sensation that Cassio Brahamdorff, with his beautiful gray eyes and welcoming grin, was not as nice as he appeared, as she brushed her dazzlingly bright blonde hair away from her forehead.
That smile, yes… It was like a hunter inspecting his catch.
When he grew obsessive, Edmund Gloucester had a propensity to go all-in on anything, often making blunders, but he always held solid in his convictions.
His obsession with Elodie was the same.
He was a man who either ignored or boasted about other people’s murmurs.
However, when it came to Emilia, he became overly enthusiastic.
Like a child, he buried a sensation of remorse deep within his heart, wishing to forget its mere existence.
What exactly is going on?
Elodie had tried several times to persuade Edmund since the day he clashed with Emilia in the dressing room, but he only hung his head.
Yes, whether it was Raretis Hope, Edmund Gloucester, or Cassio Brahamdorff.
It was bizarre how everything appeared strange when Emilia was involved, and more crazier how they didn’t seem to notice.
Even after the events, Edmund Gloucester acted restless, like a thirsty puppy, but he would never acknowledge it was due to ‘Emilia’.
When one doubted his love for Elodie, he even raised his voice, feeling unjustly accused.
Let’s see about Raretis Hope. During Elodie’s lengthy tenure in the House Windrose, he never mentioned Emilia, not even in passing.
Today was no exception.
He couldn’t reach out and firmly clasp her hand because he was disturbed in an unusual way.
And the blonde who volunteered to be Emilia’s partner…
“… Sir Edmund Gloucester.”
Elodie sighed as she shouted.
Edmund bowed his head dramatically.
“… Lady Elodie.”
“No matter the reason, you’re aware that what you just did is something you shouldn’t have done, right?”
“Can you tell me what happened? Please tell me the truth.”
The blue eyes of the man trembled.
Edmund Gloucester licked his lips several times before speaking feebly.
“… I’ll try not to inconvenience Lady Elodie.”
“The issue isn’t whether you inconvenience me or not.”
Raretis, who had been silent, reached forward and grabbed Edmund Gloucester’s shoulder.
It appeared to be a simple, familiar motion.
However, Edmund inhaled sharply in discomfort the next minute.
Raretis Hope’s expression was emotionless.
He patted the back of Edmund Gloucester, who was convulsing in pain, with his free hand.
“If you touch Emilia one more time, regardless of the reason…”
His voice was really quiet.
Elodie inhaled a sharp breath unconsciously.
The violet eyes of the man glistened with icy blue.
“… I’ll break you.”
He let go of Edmund’s shoulder, and the next thing he knew, his fingers were brushing up against Edmund’s collarbone.
Elodie took a step back instinctively, sensing oncoming peril.
Edmund struggled to breathe and gasped.
“Lo, Lo… Lord Raretis, my lord…”
“If you think it’s unreasonable, you might want to try slapping my cheek first.”
That voice sounded like a savage beast, hardly containing its wrath.
Elodie recognized that the Raretis Hope she had known was a mask.
It was a fiery voice, boiling over with controlled wrath, like molten lava that had been distilled and cooled numerous times.
Under that kind of pressure, Edmund couldn’t say anything.
Raretis raced away with brisk strides.
Elodie couldn’t stop him.
Marchioness Windrose, who had been standing at a distance with a worried expression, then approached.
Her face was flushed, as if she had witnessed something shocking.
“Uh, Elodie. That person…”
“Are you alright, Marchioness? You don’t seem fine. Are you perhaps feeling sick?”
“No. The person who was just here…”
Elodie shut her mouth.
How was she going to explain this?
Marchioness Windrose had similarly been silent regarding ‘Emilia’.
Elodie realized right away that she was a sweet person who was easily surprised by trivial things.
She hadn’t been to a social gathering in a long time after her daughter died and her health deteriorated.
“…Sir Edmund Gloucester, ah. He departed because he misbehaved and drew attention to himself. That’s Mr. Cassio Brahamdorff’s partner….”
“Ah, I see… Brahamdorff’s partner…”
Marchioness Windrose said the same thing, her expression strangely remote.
Elodie felt a strange discomfort, but she buried her feelings and smiled cheerfully.
“…Are you all right? Perhaps you should take a break in the lounge. Earlier, she appeared to be uncomfortable by people’s stares and went to the lounge.”
“Oh, she did? Did she go to the lounge?”
“Yes. She appeared surprised. Could you please go soothe her?”
“All right. Elodie, you have a wonderful heart. Then I’ll go see her. Take care, and…”
Elodie simply smiled instead of reacting.
What was she meant to be concerned about?
It was an odd sensation.
It was the first time Marchioness Windrose hadn’t given Elodie her full attention when she was beside her.
Her focus seemed to be entirely elsewhere.
It wasn’t all about the Marchioness.
Elodie’s unusual uneasiness had started earlier.
It was everything…
“You were here, Elodie.”
“What happened to Lord Raretis? Why are you here by yourself?”
It was owing to the presence of Lady Emilia.
People with glittering eyes approached her, sensing the scent of talk.
Elodie smiled as she greeted them.
An innocent, kind smile.
Nobody could blame her for her perfect white smile.
“It’s fine. Lord Raretis took a rest since he was tired. I’m not the only one. Sir Edmund has joined me.”
She didn’t have a choice.
Elodie’s only option out of this dilemma was to act like this.
* * *
“You suspect someone, don’t you?”
My eyes expanded.
Cassio Brahamdorff’s smile resembled a glass bead.
When light shone on it, it glistened with a rainbow of hues, yet it was hollow on the inside.
A frigid, mineral-like gleam that lacks warmth.
“…Don’t belabor the point. Tell me.”
“Have you never thought it strange?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Right, Lady Emilia. Her relationship with Sir Edmund Gloucester was strained from the start. But she seemed more upset than usual today.”
“Why do you think that is?”
This man has a strange sense of humor.
I locked my gaze on him.
Cassio Brahamdorff didn’t flinch even when I locked my sight on him.
His demeanor irritated me.
It was vexing.
I knew my presence in this world was as small as a pebble thrown into a vast sea.
Although I had always suspected that I shouldn’t trust this man completely, I was genuinely irritated at times like these.
What a beautiful thing it would be if I could gather all my little feelings and smash his smiling face.
“You call that an explanation?”
“Lady Emilia once said she had no interest in Lady Elodie.”
Unbearable discomfort rose up.
Why are we having this discussion?
“That is significant. Almost everyone who had known ‘Ophelia’ fell in love with ‘Elodie.'”
Cassio Brahamdorff beamingly smiled.
“…What are you trying to say?”
“As the saying goes, Sir Edmund was a man head over heels in love. I’ve heard that the House Windrose had a similar reaction.”
The mere phrase of ‘House Windrose’ caused a void in my chest.
I fixed my gaze on him, trying not to appear shaken.
“The Marchioness awoke from her gloom, and Marquis Windrose, unable to refuse her entreaties, agreed to support this debutante ball. And, as if to brag, you emerged as the most noteworthy lady at this debutante ball. But, when you think about it, isn’t it strange? Who exactly is Lady Elodie? Of course, she’s lovely and thoughtful, but isn’t there more to being acknowledged in high society?”
“You’re making quite the assumption.”
“It’s as if they grew to revere Lady Elodie in the same way that they once revered Lady Ophelia. They are the same age and appearance. There would have been rumors regarding their births if their family histories had not been known. For example, Marchioness gave birth to twins back then.”
That was clearly the case.
Wasn’t it a plot element in the game to have her simply superimposed over ‘Ophelia’?
This world, though, had become my reality.
What I did know was that Ophelia and Elodie were strangers.
Although Ophelia and I are distant cousins, we share no blood with Elodie.
It was incredible how two complete strangers could look so similar.
“High society always looks for something new, exciting, and ground-breaking. Lady Elodie is perfect for the job.”
“Why are you playing dumb, Lady Emilia?”
“What do you mean?”
“About the possibility that Ophelia and Elodie could be some kind of ‘special people’.”
They were unique.
After all, they were the main characters.
I never anticipated Cassio, a sympathetic character in the game, to address this directly to me… But then I started to have doubts.
That was an unusual game.
Ophelia was almost always killed before reaching the age of maturity.
Elodie was frequently unhappy as a result of those who missed that ‘Ophelia’.
There were a few typical endings but brief moments of joy.
I wondered whether a player I didn’t know was in possession of ‘Elodie,’ just as my transformation into Emilia altered several plotlines…
But there was no proof.
Elodie’s personality was exactly as portrayed in the game.
Gentle, affectionate, and kind.
She was the ideal that men desired.
The few normal endings, on the other hand, had requirements that were difficult to achieve with that ‘ideal’.
There were just too many unhappy endings.
Attacks by strange masked people in alleyways, and inexplicable carriage mishaps.
The game seemed to be designed from the start to have poor endings.
“To anyone who sees them, they…”
My voice trembled with fear.
People who adored Ophelia or Elodie saw them in a completely different light than I did.
Maybe it was because I wasn’t originally from this planet, I was familiar with the game’s material, I wasn’t the main character, I could only be a minor character, and I envied her.