The Otome Game's Bad Ending - Chapter 54
I genuinely considered whether it would be better to burn the documents or rip them up as a stress release.
And I discovered that doing both was beneficial to my mental health.
“As Elodie becomes more famous, everything about her changes and starts to be forgotten…”
I couldn’t care less what strangers had to say.
She was like that.
More proud than anyone else.
That made me jealous.
Despite saying I didn’t care and that I’d be proud, in the end, I was only trying to be fine when there was always a storm raging inside me.
And I was envious of her for it.
You’ve got everything.
You can say those things because you have something definitive that is yours.
A stunning beauty that would make anyone question their vision, parents who adore you, and even a prestigious family that is second to none in the country.
But, in the end, I suppose I appreciated her approach as well.
“Even though everyone knows Ophelia’s personality isn’t great, they all try to cover it up with nice words. Countess Betty, who stated in an interview that ‘the deceased young lady has a heart as angelic as her generosity,’ must be the angel sent to improve Ophelia’s reputation.”
“You won’t have to worry about not fitting in with elite society. You have a gift similar to mine.”
A fantastic sense of humor?
I’m not as good as Countess McGinty, who managed to silence the famed Cassio Brahamdorff.
When I do it, it’s just the grumbling of a young lady with a lousy personality, but when Countess McGinty does it, it becomes an outstanding caustic remark and black joke.
The voice of Countess McGinty was serene as if she was congratulating me.
“Thank you, ma’am.”
“I was wondering who that Cassio guy would bring and insist I support. The more I learn, the more interesting it becomes.”
Instead of responding, I politely smiled.
“It’s awkward to say this, but I used to think that with how flashy he is and how much pride he takes in himself, he would need to stand next to a beautiful woman to balance things out. But standing next to you, everything appears to be fine.”
“Thanks to Sir Cassio’s excellent cavalier skills.”
“It also helps that you blend in well wherever you are.”
“But I’m not a striking beauty, am I?”
“Where is a beautiful person born? There are many ladies in society that their husbands would not recognize without makeup. Even if there are defects, as long as there are sufficient merits to compensate for them, that is charm. You may appear ordinary at first glance, but your ability to adapt to any hue or shape is a valuable advantage.”
“I’m not sure, but thank you.”
When Cassio and I stood side by side, it appeared that we were a good combination.
That was a huge relief.
Yesterday, the ballroom was simply packed with stunning men and beautiful ladies.
Cassio’s appearance, in particular, was as exquisite and bright as a peacock.
Even if Cassio was dressed casually, standing next to him without any preparation would be like comparing a chicken to a phoenix.
A lady is humiliated because her partner is too attractive.
I didn’t like it, no matter what.
However, based on how Countess McGinty spoke, it appeared that I was more attractive than I believed.
It was a huge praise.
In other words, ‘you complement not only my nephew but also other people.’
That’s a fantastic asset.
“Therefore, there’s no need to feel inferior by comparing yourself to incomparable things.”
Countess McGinty fixed her gaze on me.
That was the primary point.
I smiled as naturally as I could.
It was much easier now than when I had to witness and live with unparalleled beauty every day.
Even Ophelia, who complained about everything and flung teacups at guests, was adored by all, let alone Elodie, who was considered to be sweet and pleasant to everyone.
I’ve heard that the girls who used to pathologically follow Ophelia are now eager to follow Elodie.
The number of letters coming into House Windrose is increasing alarmingly, and even exchanging hand-written letters with a few young girls in the early days is now considered a pleasure.
The rumors I heard were so extravagant that they made me nauseous.
Countess McGinty’s reservations were understandable.
Anyone who saw her would undoubtedly feel cheated by her overpowering beauty.
Admiring, envious, and feeling cheated.
That could happen to anyone.
This place was full of females who drank only a sip of water the night before the ball.
“It’s enviable that you can reminisce about Ophelia just by looking in the mirror.”
But that’s all there is to it.
Photography had not advanced much, and portraits were still popular then.
Portraits were especially popular among the aristocracy, who were said to have sophisticated taste.
If you examine House Windrose, you should be able to uncover a few portraits of the deceased Ophelia.
Some merchants drew tiny images of Ophelia and marketed them as products back then.
However, no matter how hard they tried, a painting could never capture the fullness of her aura.
Even individuals who had never met Ophelia in person would look at the portrait and think, ‘If the painting is this gorgeous, how magnificent must she be in real life?’ and are filled with longing.
I once heard a story about twin brothers who were involved in an accident.
The older brother died, but the younger brother lived.
When asked about his feelings, the younger brother said he saw his elder brother every time he glanced in the mirror.
I imagined what it may be like to see someone else’s face when staring in the mirror.
And in this case, it was someone you’d never met or seen before but who everyone else adores.
Furthermore, that individual is no longer alive, and you believe your appearance to be your own.
Perhaps in that scenario, one could simply enjoy the moment without issue.
Of course, none of this was confirmed because I hadn’t asked Lady Elodie.
“Memories vanish inevitably, which is a shame. Ophelia was more beautiful, in my opinion, but there is no one to compare her to anymore.”
“Do you not feel a sense of deprivation, being the same age?”
“How could I? I knew right away that it wasn’t my share.”
An only child does not comprehend when others comment, ‘It must be lonely growing up alone.’
If you dislike people by nature, you may choose to spend time alone rather than with siblings.
That has always been the case.
It’s not unusual.
After all, you do still have parents, don’t you?
On top of that, there are people’s undivided attention, affection, and admiration.
I wasn’t envious of the public’s indiscriminate devotion but of her living situation.
I went over the rules of the game again.
The first love of everyone.
Death came too soon.
Someone who couldn’t be forgotten by others till the very end and ended up wrecking someone else’s life…
Ophelia never loved anyone and instead cursed the world as she died.
I desired to be the sole provider for someone else.
That was all I wanted since I was a child.
All the people in the Marquis’s family belonged to Ophelia, so I couldn’t be ‘someone’s own.’
In a similar vein, the resentment I swallowed as I grew older.
But it was Ophelia who made me her only person.
As a result, I lived for Ophelia.
She was too charming and beautiful to dislike because of the circumstances.
Would she have listened if I had admitted, ‘I remember my prior life,’ to her?
That was a thought I had from time to time.
If Ophelia grew up safely and reached adulthood, I’d tell her about that ‘game’ whose story I’d forgotten.
Let’s do it if she comes back to life and her fate of having to die has changed.
But, in the end, she died, and I lost hope.
“I believe it is possible to sympathize with that young lady. If I told someone this, they might laugh at me and wonder who I am to feel sorrow for someone else.”
Ironically, I could sympathize with Elodie since I knew Ophelia better than anyone else.
Even though I couldn’t stop Ophelia from dying because I knew about the game, I knew how Elodie would have ended up.
Nobody ever said to me, ‘Ophelia doesn’t matter. You are more valuable to me than everyone else on the planet.’
Would it have been acceptable if I had seemed radically different?
However, all of the targets in the game were huge.
It would not have been simple for Elodie to approach them at first.
She wouldn’t have gotten so near to them so quickly if she hadn’t been wearing the halo of the deceased Ophelia.
“Would people have been able to talk as freely if that young lady Elodie had come from a noble family comparable to the Windrose family? Saying stuff like the deceased Ophelia left behind a lady for the survivors. Aside from the fact that they are the same age. There aren’t many people who will gladly accept presenting the story of a departed person through themselves for the rest of their lives.”
Everyone knows that Elodie would not be in this position if she were her original self.
They know that the true Ophelia would not have permitted such remarks and deeds.
That is why they behave in this manner.
“However, I can’t just say it’s unpleasant. I heard she traveled to the capital with all her might, hoping to make a name for herself in society because her family is in financial trouble.”
“Of course, you can’t say anything bad about the deceased while receiving favor from the Marquis’s family.”
Countess McGinty also spoke up.
“There are many people in society who believe that obtaining the halo of the deceased is not a problem, even if it means buying and selling coffins. The Marquis’s deceased young lady’s shadow was too great.”
Was it young Werther’s grief?
I recall reading a story about young kids who followed the protagonist and committed suicide when it was released.
If Ophelia had died by suicide, a similar trend might have emerged in society at the time.
“Because this is Ophelia. I think I can’t help myself.”
With a complicated heart, I laughed.
‘What the hell are you doing after I died, you bastards!’ she would have exclaimed.
She would have scoffed at the individuals being misled and those joining in, saying it’s worth seeing how ridiculous they are.
Her shadow is so powerful that it causes innocent people to suffer.
I believe some people believe this.
“Everyone is envious of Elodie as if she were Cinderella. Few people believe she rose to high society overnight, as Miss Emilia did.”
“Because they know all this envy is as fleeting as bubbles.”
At least, that was my experience.
“Even if I love to death, if my feelings are a burden to that person, what meaning does it have?”
So I couldn’t love someone while residing at the Marquis’s house.
Ophelia only confessed her deepest sentiments to me, the only person who openly accepted her death.
Ironically, this is why I could be genuine with her.
Even if the mountain and sea delicacies were stacked up, and priceless fabrics that couldn’t be used foolishly even in the royal palace were utilized as floor mats, all of it was useless to her.
She stated that as long as she remained well, she would like to spend the night in the mountains.
She desired to traverse the vast sea.
She wished to encounter a tribe that eats bugs in another country.
She said, ‘Would bugs taste worse than the countless medicines I’ve had?’
The innumerable individuals who cheered and cried for her name outside the Marquis’s mansion were as transitory to her as bubbles.
She also clenched her teeth in rage.
‘Would the stories of noble young ladies climbing over walls and sneaking into gardens to offer flowers and songs have remained beautiful anecdotes if I were a man? People would say things like, ‘Those nasty young girls harassed the ailing prince again.’ I wouldn’t have been eaten since ‘roses have thorns’ even if I threw a fit and booted them out.’
“However, I’m on her side. So I resolved to stop unconditionally sympathizing with Miss Elodie.”
“Because no one can take everyone’s side more than anyone else.”
Regardless of reverence for the dead, it is logical for the living to come first.
The theme was consistent across all of the newspapers that are currently discussing it.
“The Marchioness has recovered from her illness. Everyone is overjoyed to be alive. Isn’t that great? Let us set aside our regrets for the deceased young girl and look at our omission as a new source of admiration.”
I was tired of such reasoning.
I should never have left the Marquis’s house in the first place if I had considered efficiency.
If it hadn’t been for her, I would have decided to manage it alone so that no one could take it away from me.
It wasn’t out of the question.
Because the Marchioness was weak.
If I had been gentler and more affectionate to her, she would have opened her heart.
I didn’t mind if her feelings were motivated by guilt.
I felt conflicted every time I imagined Elodie holding hands with Raretis Hope.
To get the best ending in the game, she had to get entwined with Raretis.
In that regard, she was acting appropriately.
The best finale was when the Windrose Marquis’s House accepted complete responsibility for her.
Edmund was nothing more than a bomb with Ophelia’s fuse concealed inside.
Let’s not forget Cassio.
Cassio’s words were bothering me in the midst of all of this.