The Otome Game's Bad Ending - Chapter 84
Names have a lot of power.
To destroy a mighty being beyond one’s ability, ancient people believed that one must first kill its name.
If no one remembers or invokes that name, the creature continues to exist but approaches non-existence.
As a result, this procedure became renowned as the best at ‘killing’ a god. But…
The page has vanished.
Who ripped it out?
I smirked bitterly at the blank page.
Because the book was so ancient, the pages had yellowed, and some had eroded.
I flipped past the damaged page to find one that was still intact.
…Beware. A god’s dying curse can have the most heinous repercussions conceivable.
This sent shivers down my spine for some reason.
I opted to carry the book under my arm.
Despite my intention to search the Gloucester family library, it is still someone else’s property.
They may conceal essential books from me.
“What book are you looking at?”
I nearly yelped in surprise.
I took a deep breath and gazed at Elodie’s pallid face, which had appeared right in front of me.
“…Make some noise when you walk.”
“I did. Lady Emilia was simply too preoccupied with her book to hear me.”
Even in complaint, her voice sounded sweet, making me feel uncomfortable.
Was she complaining at me?
As she chuckled and gripped my arm, I opened my mouth to respond but closed it again.
Elodie’s habitual behavior disturbed me, but I first inquired about her earlier remark.
“What did you mean by what you said earlier?”
“Exactly what I said.”
“What’s the point of becoming friends with someone who hates you?”
“I prefer something rough and ugly but real over shiny and fake.”
I couldn’t react since her tone was so strange.
Ophelia was priceless to me, and Elodie was incomparable to her.
They were, in the end, separate beings.
They were established as distinct individuals even within the game.
Even though their faces were similar, their souls were separate.
“Do you think people’s behavior towards you is fake?”
“If Lady Emilia thinks so, then it must be true.”
I was apprehensive when Edmund Gloucester came to mind.
The fool who is unsure if his feelings are genuine or not.
A ticking time bomb that can’t tell the difference between sincerity and deception.
Should I care about his involvement at all?
Ophelia will not return if secrets are revealed.
Beth barged in, almost knocking my head on the bookshelf.
She embraced me hard and shouted joyously, yet only muttered the book title.
“I found it! ‘Amy and Polita’ Volume 2!”
“That’s great, ugh, Lady Beth!”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I became overly excited.”
I yawned and moved Beth’s arm away.
Her letters appeared different, but our face-to-face meeting was surprisingly casual.
Perhaps she acted this way because she overheard my frank remarks at the palace tea party.
Anyway, I preferred this candor to be discussed behind my back.
That’s why I agreed to meet outside and didn’t back down when Elodie came along.
I was determined to confront the social world, but I still detested long social meetings.
“How did you manage to get such a rare book?”
Beth softly made a circle with her finger to indicate a backhander.
Her enthusiasm for acquiring books was wonderful.
Given the book’s popularity in the capital, the price had to be high.
I nodded silently in agreement.
With an inquisitive face, Elodie observed our connection.
“You two seem close.”
“Thanks to Young Lady Beth’s favorable view of me.”
For a brief period, I questioned my ears.
“I’ve always wanted a friend with whom I could be carefree and playful.”
Elodie’s demure look would have enticed any man to throw the world at her feet.
Her wistful, lovely eyes seemed almost sad. Why utilize such tactics for something so insignificant?
Then, utterly caught in by Elodie’s appeal, Beth quickly grabbed her hand in hers.
“Oh my, then let me be your friend, Lady Elodie!”
“Really? Would you?”
She has a large number of friends.
She could wrap them twice around a large mansion.
It was on display during the imperial tea reception.
Why is it now…?
No, and more importantly, Elodie from the game was not like this.
She was innocent, easily manipulated, a bear who could never act like a fox.
Her sly smirk now seemed to imply otherwise.
Cassio Brahamdorff was the only fox in my group, I assumed.
It’s a leap to compare Elodie to Cassio Brahamdorff.
Elodie could be a fox with its first tail if Cassio is a ten-tailed fox.
They do have the perplexing quality of flirting with me, if you can call it that.
“Do you dislike me, Lady Emilia?”
Her green eyes were innocent, and Beth’s eyes followed suit.
I was trapped in an embarrassing situation where denying would make me appear callous.
Beth grabbed my hand before I could react, even though I had always politely declined in similar instances.
“Lady Emilia would never do something like that. Today, we shared cream puffs and tarts as friends!”
If that’s the case, any group gathering for a meal will create the strongest relationships.
I wanted to discuss the problems among the ladies who had shared tea at the royal reception.
I replied, sighing slightly.
“…Let’s take it slow and get to know each other.”
“Of course, Lady Emilia, you have a keen understanding. You don’t want to casually label someone a true friend, do you? You have a strong sense of accountability.”
Beth said with awe, “To be a true friend, one must be able to share frog eggs and grasshopper legs without any trouble.”
No, that isn’t it.
That was all a ruse to tease Young Lady Betty with the Ophelia story.
Frog eggs and lizards are both repulsive to me!
I merely said that without thinking about my image back then, but hearing Beth talk so innocently today gives me a headache.
I have no regrets about my behavior back then, and I don’t mind discussing my history with Ophelia but being misrepresented in this way is a little…
“Someday, I will try to become a true friend of Lady Emilia.”
Elodie gazed at me with a gorgeous smile, pure and delicate like an angel fallen from paradise.
There was only so much else to do after selecting a book.
We strolled into a flower shop, appreciating the brilliant blooms and viewing the sky and riverside, turning a scarlet tone.
With blazing eyes, Beth encouraged me to sample some foreign cuisine as if unwilling to split ways.
The food was a little spicy, and the restaurant appeared popular with locals.
When three finely dressed noble ladies strolled in, the owner looked awkward, but there were no other issues.
We had to stay out early enough because Beth didn’t bring a maid.
We parted ways on the street, where the public carriages were congregating.
Beth was the first to go, having cleverly hidden her book within her garments.
She ultimately left after repeated promises to meet again.
Then, it was just Elodie and me in front of the next carriage.
“Are you comfortable where you’re staying now?”
“That’s why I could go for a walk like this.”
Elodie seemed to pause for a moment after hearing my response before speaking.
“All right, Lady Emilia. At the moment…”
In amazement, I widened my eyes.
Elodie followed suit.
He was gorgeous in any crowd and could never be mistaken for another.
Raretis looked at us with puzzled eyes.
“What are you doing here at this…”
“Oh… what a surprise to see you here, Sir Raretis.”