Chapter 15 – I got a new hobby
It’s now the second summer I’ve experienced in this world since I recovered my memories. I’m ten now.
Last summer, my field wilted, and I was challenged many times by Alan, but this year has been peaceful so far.
My fiance Prince Jared, his brother Prince Alan, and Alan’s fiancee Mary have been visiting me all the time, just like last year.
Instead of being in discord, I don’t know why but, Jared and Alan were getting along normally.
And, Alan has begun focusing on piano and violin performances seriously, and he’s even being called a poster child for being blessed by the god of music.
When I met Mary, she was a shy, nervous girl with no self-confidence, now she’s already become quite the splendid lady. However, her admiration for me hasn’t seemed to change.
The other day, Mary told me something like “if only I was a man, I’d marry Katarina-sama” with her cheeks flushed. Mary is so lovely.
By the way, I said to Mary “since you’re Alan’s fiancee, wouldn’t it be good if you two spent more time together?” However, it was categorically rejected with “no way, then I’ll get to spend less time with Katarina-sama!” Since she said it so bluntly, I won’t say anything more on the subject.
As for my cute stepbrother Keith, he’s living cheerfully without being a hikikomori shut-in. However, he’s still become a ladies’ man just like in the game, and is always saying “you have to treat girls gently and kindly.”
By the way, my destruction flag countermeasures are proceeding smoothly as well.
Countermeasure against being cut down by Jared’s sword –
In order to be able to flawlessly dodge his sword, I diligently practiced my swordsmanship, until my teacher said “just like this! Your movements are excellent!” I was able to pass with excellent grades. In addition, in order to distract Jared from cutting me, the toy snake had been completed –
I asked the head gardener Tom-san, who’s known for being very good with his hands, to help me create an elaborate toy snake. With this, Jared will surely be scared for his life. Since it’s made this well, maybe he’ll even run straight out of town.
Countermeasure for being exiled out of the country by myself –
My strategy is to continue improving my magic so that I can get a magic-related job to take care of myself. After learning from my magic tutor for one year, my ultimate technique Earth Thud that started out at two, three centimeters, has improved all the way to fifteen centimeters. Soon, I should be able to look cool while calling out “Earth Barrier!”
By the way, Keith has completely mastered how to control his magic in this year, and can even manipulate the giant earth golem from that time skillfully.
I also really wanted to manipulate earth golems, but…… putting magic power into earth golems is surprisingly delicate work…… Unfortunately, since doing delicate work isn’t my strong suit, I can’t learn it.
My magic tutor told me, not only is the right amount of magic power necessary in order to use the right magic, but also magic sense. Magic is such a deep subject.
As such, as my fulfilling days went by, I picked up a new hobby besides tree climbing and taking care of my field recently.
My new hobby is reading. By the way, not hard books like history or economics. I’m talking about so-called romance novels.
At the current moment, there’s a secret boom in these romance novels among all the girls. Meaning, that in noble society, it’s a secret pleasure because these types of novels aren’t allowed in public. By the way, the person who lent me the book I have now, is one of my maids who’s sensitive to what’s trendy.
I was splendidly hooked by the books I borrowed and got addicted.
Since I had lost my succulent living environment with anime and manga from the previous world, I fiercely devoured the stories here instead. These romance stories would typically be about being in love with a wonderful prince or knight, with beautiful stories of friendship. Honestly, it’s not as good as the ones from my previous life, but…… Even so, I had completely gotten into my element as I got totally absorbed by these novels. By the way, the most popular story right now, is about a beautiful friendship between two girls, a princess and a commoner, titled “The Emerald Princess and Sophia.”
And then the luckiest thing about it all was, unbelievably, mother understood and supported my new hobby. She was even willing to buy new books for me.
Anne said it was because that “she probably thinks it’s better for you to be sitting at home quietly reading a book, rather than going outside……” Well, whatever the reason, I’m so happy that I can buy the books I want to read.
However, I have just one regret. It’s that the maid that recommended these books to me, has gotten married and left our family. And so, I lost a comrade to talk about these romance novels with. Now, I have nobody to talk with about the novels.
In order to find a comrade, I tried to persuade Anne and Mary, but…… It seems that neither of them are interested in romance novels. How disappointing.
Ahh, I really want a fellow comrade. Let’s look for one at the next tea party.
By the way, in a few days, Jared and Alan are planning to host a tea party at the castle. Since the princes themselves are hosting it, a great number of noble sons and daughters are going to attend. If so many people are going to be gathering, I might even find a comrade. I’m looking forward to the tea party.
The tea party was held in a corner of the wide castle garden. The format was just like the one I participated in last time at Mary’s home, a buffet format consciously mimics high society’s dance parties.
As befitting of a tea party being hosted by royalty, this tea party is the largest one I’ve ever attended, with the most people as well.
There was always many people around us, and as the hosts Jared and Alan were kept extremely busy doing nothing but exchanging greetings with everyone at the beginning of the tea party.
I had already learned my lesson from my first tea party, that I can’t eat too many sweets, so I was just sitting there gracefully drinking tea. However, as befitting of a royal tea party, the sweets are delicious, and the tea is delicious. There’s also many different types. It’s getting too hard to suppress my desire. I saved one of each kind of sweet for myself for later, and there were so many different types of tea, that I had to drink a little of every type to taste all the different novel flavors.
However, as I had greatly improved at being a noble daughter, I gracefully told Keith and Mary who had been together with me as well, “excuse me” as I went to the restroom before I hit my limit –
A tragedy occurred along the way. While I was making my way towards the castle’s restroom – I encountered a watchdog that had escaped its chain. Honestly, I’m really bad with dogs. I’ve been hated by dogs ever since long ago. It’s something carried over from my previous life.
Most dogs become hostile the instant they see me as if they’ve just seen their mortal enemy.
On top of that, this watchdog was baring his fangs at me in order to intimidate me. However, all that happened was that our eyes met, how unreasonable. And so, my nemesis that wasn’t on a leash, was being belligerent towards me.
I might be able to repel something like a Chihuahua, but this opponent is Doberman-class, I highly doubt I can defeat it. I fled desperately while holding up my dress, and climbed a nearby tree.
Since my nemesis was unable to climb trees, it just barked at me threateningly for a while under the tree, until its owner noticed it was missing and called out for it, so it finally left me alone quietly.
It’s finally gone. With peace of mind, I tried to descend from the tree…… Replacing the dog that was under the tree, there was now several people there instead. I think it was about six or seven people, they were talking about something under the tree that I was in.
If I go down now, then it’ll be known that I climbed a tree.
Although it was a perfectly unavoidable incident, if it became a rumor that a duke’s daughter climbed a tree in the castle garden, it would be bad…… I wished they would hurry up and move to a different place already.
However, I had just about completely reached my limit. In the first place, I was on my way to the restroom when I got chased by the dog, and a considerable amount of time has passed since I was forced up this tree. So, I’m…… My bladder has reached its limit.
Alright, there’s no way around causing a fuss about me climbing a tree anymore. After all, it would be even more embarrassing if I caused an incident about wetting myself. I made up my mind, and descended the tree smoothly.
When I suddenly appeared, the people by the tree were all greatly surprised.
“Could you please let me pass?”
I asked the people that were gathered around the tree. They took up positions almost as if to surround me, and I won’t be able to go to the restroom like this. My face was scowling a bit and my voice was awfully cold, but I didn’t have the time to worry about that now.
Am I really that scary…… The people around me scattered quickly and fled like spiders. My feelings were a little hurt, they didn’t have to run away like that – Did she react too late or something, there was still one girl remaining in front of me. Since she seems to have her back turned to the tree, she must have missed seeing me come down the tree.
I held my breath by instinct upon seeing what a beauty the remaining girl was. She had white hair with red eyes, and albino skin as pure white as snow, a truly beautiful girl.
I was lost in her beauty for a moment there, but the pressure on my bladder quickly brought me back to reality. If I don’t get to a restroom soon, there will surely be a tragedy.
To the girl that was staring at me somewhat uneasily, I gave a smile to tell her not to be afraid, then I hurried off to find the restroom.
Somehow, I made it in time and avoided the worst possible consequence at this tea party, but I was really in danger of committing such a large blunder. I’m seriously considering bringing a portable toilet next time.
After I finished in the restroom and returned to the tea party safely, now I can’t find Mary and Keith anywhere. There’s just too many people here. While I was complaining to myself, and pinching the sweets that I haven’t eaten before –
I heard a voice from behind. When I looked back and wondered who it was, it turned out to be the girl from under the tree.
“Hello, you’re from earlier.”
“Y, yes. That’s right.”
The beauty nodded. Seeing her again, she really is so pretty. She’s quite luscious even though I’m already used to seeing beautiful people like Jared. Her white hair is silky smooth, and her albino skin is as white as snow. Her red eyes shine in such contrast to her white skin.
It’s almost as if she jumped straight out of a romance novel. That’s right! She’s just like Sophia from the popular novel “The Emerald Princess and Sophia.” The commoner girl Sophia had beautiful silken black hair and snow-white skin. The princess that was exploring town while incognito was taken in by Sophia’s beauty. This girl was really like the Sophia from the story. I was entranced by this girl.
“Uhh… just now…”
The girl’s snow-white cheeks were dyed red. Ahh, the story’s Sophia also had her cheeks flush red upon first meeting the Emerald Princess. Well, unfortunately, this girl isn’t looking at a princess, but instead the noble girl villainess Katarina Claes……
The story’s princess said this to Sophia at their first meeting.
“Your hair is just like silk! I wonder if I may touch it just a little bit?”
I noticed that the girl before me was considerably surprised. Oh no, I blurted out what I was thinking inadvertently!
The girl was quite shaken. After all, I’m no beautiful princess like in the story, if a girl with such a villainous face said that to you, it would be natural. She might even be scared of me.
“Um, that was, uh.”
I tried desperately to think up of some excuse. Then, the shaken girl said something unexpected.
What’s this!? Could it possibly be!? I instinctively grabbed the girl’s shoulders and my face reddened.
“The Emerald Princess romance novel!! You know the story ‘The Emerald Princess and Sophia!?’”
I approached her like a demon and my momentum probably upset the girl even more as she just nodded. After that, I also named off some other romance novels, asking her if she knew of them, and the girl nodded at each one.
Such a thing! I’ve finally found my comrade in romance novels! And she’s even just like a beauty right out of the story herself!
And then, while I was trembling in excitement –
“What are you doing, nee-san?”
I heard a questioning voice from my side. When I looked towards the source, I saw my stepbrother Keith and Mary looking at me with the same wondering eyes.
“……What, you say…”
I saw my state for the first time. I was up close against the beauty, with my hands on her shoulders, while breathing roughly.
I was a splendid pervert.
“Ah, I’m really sorry.”
I quickly let go of her. I felt like everyone around me was looking at me dubiously. Ahh. I’m so sorry. I was so overjoyed that I lost my reasoning completely.
Come to think of it, I don’t even know this girl’s name yet. I haven’t introduced myself either. As a lady, this is quite a breach of etiquette.
I grasped the hems of my dress, and curtsied gracefully in greeting.
“I apologize for my earlier rudeness. I am Katarina Claes. I’ll be much obliged to be in your care.”
Being suddenly grabbed by a suspicious girl, and now being greeted, although the girl must be shaken badly, as expected of a noble daughter, she returned my greeting properly.
“……I’m Sophia Ascarot.”
What’s this, I had just thought that she was like the Sophia in the story…… And if her name’s Sophia, this girl might even be the model for the story! My excitement meter was about to burst.
“Sophia-sama! If it’s alright with you, would you like to chat with me for a bit?”
I immediately gripped Sophia’s hands tightly and pressured her.
However, I was interrupted by a calm voice next to me.
“Nee-san. I’m sorry to interrupt you while you’re so excited, but the tea party has already ended. It’s time for us to return to the mansion.”
What!? Even though I thought I’d finally found a comrade to discuss romance novels passionately with…… If that’s the case –
“Well then, Sophia-sama. Next time, won’t you please come over to play with me at my place?”
Once again, I grabbed tightly onto her hands and desperately pleaded until I was able to get confirmation from her that she would come visit. I did it~!
Just in case, I even decided on the exact date with her right now.
“Then, I’ll be waiting for you!”
Thus, I said goodbye to Sophia with a big smile on my face.
As such, I was finally able to discover a fellow comrade for romance novels at the tea party, moreover even successfully getting a beauty to promise to come and visit me!
And then, I grinned like a maniac during our trip back in the horse-drawn carriage, while Keith looked at me strangely for the whole way.