Chapter 35 – The graduation ceremony has arrived
Sirius Deek, his real name was Rafael Walt. It seems that he was the son of one of the maids that had worked for Marquis Deek, he told us everything.
How he was raised, and why he was living as Sirius Deek. How he acquired dark magic.
And how, he’s always been manipulated as well by dark magic for seven years.
Listening to his story, rather than staying angry at him for being the culprit, everyone’s feelings changed.
Setting the original issue of attacking me aside, Maria seems to also have decided to forgive his crime of having locked her up for a few days. Especially since because, it seems that Maria was able to see the instant when the dark magic lost its hold on Rafael, so she had an easier time believing his story.
However, Rafael decided to turn himself in to the school officials anyway.
“I have to tell them properly myself. The things that happened to me and my mother…… About the man in black…… And about the real Sirius as well…… And about the manipulation…… I’ll properly tell them about the things I’ve done as well.”
After Rafael said so, he headed off to meet with the school officials to tell them about Marchioness Deek and her minions’ crimes, as well as his own crimes.
And then, a bit later, rumors about how Marchioness Deek and her underlings were arrested began spreading.
Only the part about forbidden magic was left out, and not public information but, they’ll probably still have to pay for their crimes in some way.
However, there were no rumors about Rafael whatsoever, where he’s been after he went to the school officials and how he’s doing, I have no idea at all, and I’m very worried.
And so, a few months later, it’s now almost time for the graduation ceremony.
Since the graduation ceremony is upon us, the student council members are all really busy. So, in order to not get in everyone’s way, I’ll work in my field to the point where I become a spirit of the fields, and I was on the way to my dorm room to pick up my tools.
I looked back when I heard a voice that seemed familiar for some reason. There was a boy with inconspicuous auburn hair standing there, wearing a uniform similar to what people from the ministry of magic always wore. Everything about his atmosphere felt very ordinary, and if he hadn’t raised his voice I probably wouldn’t even have noticed his presence, he left no impression at all.
Huh? Who’s this? When I heard the voice I thought that it would be someone I knew…… But I can’t remember him.
As I was thinking this, I looked into the boy’s eyes. They were gentle grey eyes that I knew quite well.
“It can’t be…… Rafael?”
I thought it couldn’t be possible, and asked in a daze. The boy, or Rafael, opened his eyes wide.
“You knew really well. Even though I’ve changed my appearance so much.”
Ahh, it really was Rafael.
Even though his appearance was completely different from a few months ago, but his gentle grey eyes were the same as always. When I told him so, Rafael smiled a bit shyly.
I haven’t seen his smile in so long.
“You’re coming back?”
Since he’s here all by himself, I wonder if that means he’s coming back to school.
“Yes. Since everyone has testified so much in my favor, I’m finally able to come back to school.”
We tried our best to do everything we could for him, with the things he’s experienced, and what Maria saw, and how gentle he’s been, and we used all of our connections to appeal to the higher-ups. It’ll be good if it was any help at all.
But anyways, he looks so different from the way he was before, I’m really surprised. I wonder why he changed his appearance so much……
“Could it be, that you’re going to enter school again as a new student under a different identity?”
After that incident, he just straight up left the school immediately. Although it was ostensibly in order to “receive treatment for a medical condition,” there were already rumors in society floating around that Marchioness Deek had been arrested, and that her son Sirius must have gotten involved in some incident as well. That’s why, it would probably be hard for him to keep pretending to be Sirius and attend school.
However, if he completely changes his appearance like this, it would be possible for him to enroll in school as a different person. Although, that’s just what I think.
“Nope, I’m not going to return as a student. Although, it is a bit of a pity that I wasn’t able to graduate properly. I’m going to be working for the ministry of magic from now on. As Rafael Walt.”
Rafael was able to dispel the dark magic affecting him on his own, but at the same time, he lost his own ability to use dark magic.
But even so, Rafael Walt himself has really powerful magic as well. It seems that his magic has been evaluated, and that he’s gotten a job working for the ministry of magic.
Well, there’s also the incident where he obtained dark magic powers temporarily against his will, so that’s why he felt it would be better to entrust himself to the ministry of magic, is what he told me.
Because of that incident, for the time being he’ll be working for the ministry of magic’s facilities at this school. In order for the students to not find out and cause a fuss, that’s why he’s changed his appearance.
It’s just about impossible to tell that he’s the same person as before, he must have been helped with his disguise by the work of a pro or something. If you’re wondering just how good the work of a pro is…… The disguise is quite high level, where even the shape of his face has been changed. As expected of the work of a pro. Until everything’s settled down a bit, it seems that he’ll remain in this form.
“Then, we’ll be able to meet like this again, right?”
“That’s right. Since we’ll both be here.”
“Hehe. Then, if we get the chance, will you make that delicious tea for me once more?”
As he said so and laughed, Rafael suddenly and unexpectedly kneeled before me and held out his hand. This is the exact same pose that Jared had when he proposed to me so long ago.
Eh, huh? What’s going on? I had no idea what was going on and was confused.
“Katarina Claes-sama, once again, I’ll be in your care. I, Rafael Walt, wish to stay by your side. Would you please give me permission to stay by your side?”
“Of course. I’ll be in your care from now on as well.”
I laughed and took his outstretched hand.
“Ah, that’s why, uhh…… Please, you don’t have to call me ‘-sama,’ and I would like it if you called me as you always had before.”
When I said so, Rafael laughed with a bit of a troubled look.
Finally…… Finally, the time has come.
Our second-year senpais will be having their graduation ceremony tomorrow night, and I was clenching my fists tightly alone in my dorm room.
It’s finally come. The final event in the otome game “Fortune Lover,” the graduation ceremony……
The otome game where the heroine is surrounded by nothing but nobles will end after one year of her studying magic at school and having love stories with her fellow students when her senpais finally finish school and have their graduation ceremony.
During the graduation ceremony, the heroine will officially be with someone from the capture targets, or even be with everyone if she was on the reverse harem route.
I somehow survived the Katarina Claes condemnation event, but I can’t relax my guard until the game finally ends.
Honestly, everyone’s completely become my important friends, and I can’t imagine that they’d exile me to another country by myself, or do something like take my life away, but…… I have to be careful until the very end.
I’ve had Tom-san’s masterpiece, the toy snake, prepared and stored in my dress pocket.
And just in case that I get exiled, I’ve prepared my own hoe, work clothes, and books on agriculture so that I’m always ready at a moment’s notice.
My sword skills have been evaluated that my swings are good. I’m also able to perfectly throw the toy snake quickly. Thanks to Mary who has a green thumb helping me, I can also properly raise vegetables now without having them die. And every day, I keep plowing my field with the hoe.
It’s finally time to test the fruits of my efforts all this time ever since I recovered my memories eight years ago.
Come if you dare, destruction flags!! I’ll show you the culmination of eight years of effort! Katarina Claes shall be your opponent!
I raised my clenched fists to the ceiling.
And so, while I was burning up with fighting spirit, I heard a knock on the door and Anne entered.
“Ojou-sama. You said that you would prepare a congratulatory bouquet for Nico for tomorrow, have you prepared it properly yet?”
Anne asked me as she looked at me dubiously because I had my fists raised to the ceiling.
There’s a custom at this school to give the graduating seniors that have taken care of you a gift of some kind. Well, that’s similar to my school in the previous world.
As for the congratulatory gift, flower bouquets are the most popular item. Some people also spend a lot of money on items like expensive accessories, but mostly only if they have a special relationship of some kind.
That’s why, I was also going to use a flower bouquet, but…
Then, I started thinking.
The devilish earl Nico, is extremely popular. It even seems that it’s to the point where he has something like a fan club. If so, Nico would probably receive a mountain of bouquets. In that case…… wouldn’t it be better if I didn’t give him a bouquet?
In the first place, it would probably be pretty difficult to take care of that many flower bouquets, and honestly, I’m not very good at decorating a flower bouquet.
That’s why, I’ll specially prepare something else for him.
And so, I showed the item I specially prepared to Anne. It was beautifully wrapped and it looked like a bouquet at first glance, but when you look at it more carefully you can tell that it’s not a bouquet.
“How is it, surely it’s ground-breaking!”
It’s really such a wonderful idea I had. I’m so wonderful.
Well, I’ve prepared the perfect gift for Nico now! My anti-destruction flag countermeasures are complete as well!
“……Um, ojou-sama, what exactly is this……”
Tomorrow’s finally the final battle!
“……Um, ojou-sama? Are you listening to me?”
I raised my fists as high as I could towards the ceiling once more!
And so, this is how the night before the final battle went.
The graduation ceremony began with the same feeling as the entrance ceremony.
The representative responsible for giving a speech for the graduating class was Nico. It should have been Sirius Deek’s role originally, but there was no way about it since he wasn’t a student here anymore.
At Nico’s speech, regardless of gender or age, many people’s faces started blushing, or sighing sweetly, having been completely enraptured by Nico. His devilish charm is really so frightful.
Jared was the representative giving the speech for the first-year students. By the way, it also seems that he’ll be the student council president for next year.
Jared’s speech as well, caused a lot of girls to sigh and turn red. As expected of a good-looking orthodox prince.
And so, while listening to all the girls around me sighing, the ceremony ended without incident.
And so, it’s finally time, the critical moment of the otome game, the ending event. The graduation party.
After the ceremony was over, everyone would gather in the school courtyard, and a buffet party would begin.
During this graduation party, the heroine and her capture target of choice would secretly leave the party…… And, the capture target would confess his passionate love for the heroine.
Therefore, I’m going to carefully watch Maria’s movements, meaning whoever Maria calls out will decide which ending it is. And so, I stuck to Maria much more closely than usual.
However, I can’t only stick close to Maria. After all, this is the graduation party. I have to properly say my congratulations to the seniors.
For the time being, I headed for Nico who was the person I had to congratulate first together with Maria.
When we arrived, Nico already had a large amount of bouquets on hand. There were even more bouquets placed in a bag next to him.
This is more than I would have thought. While being taken aback by the amount of bouquets, I congratulated Nico together with Maria.
And so, Maria presented her flowers to Nico first. The bouquet that Maria had prepared, wasn’t expensive but was a nice and lovely bouquet that seemed just like something Maria would prepare.
After her, I also presented the special item I had prepared to Nico.
At first glance, it appeared to be a flower bouquet, and I received a smile from Nico that one only sees so rarely, but…… After checking what was inside, he just completely froze up.
Maybe he was suspicious at the way Nico seemed, Alan who was close by peeked into the bouquet as well.
“Oi, what’s the matter…… I mean, what is this!? Grass!?”
Alan’s voice was so loud, that Jared and Keith came over as well. Offended, I responded to Alan’s remark as well.
“How rude! It’s definitely not anything like grass! They’re vegetables!”
Alan made a dubious look, and looked again at what was in Nico’s hand. Nico also confirmed what he was really holding.
A little behind them, Jared and Keith were trying to see what it was as well.
“I thought that you’d be troubled if you only got flower bouquets, so I picked some vegetables from my field and wrapped them up for you. This way, you won’t have to just throw a decorative item away, and I think it’ll be practical since you can fill your stomach.”
It’s not a flower bouquet, it’s called a vegetable bundle instead!
During this season, my field doesn’t have a wide variety of vegetables, since I made green vegetables such as leeks and onions the centerpiece, certainly it might seem a bit like grass at first, but it’s different from a flower bouquet, and is really excellent if you look at it with your stomach.
Ahh, what a wonderful idea it was! I was in love with the wonder of my idea, and kept praising myself. However……
“……Uh, no matter how you look at it, it’s grass…… I mean, calling it vegetables…… Bwa-…”
For some reason, Alan exploded into laughter. I wonder what’s so funny. How rude.
Nico who had finally melted from his frozen state said “thank you. I’ll treasure it as I eat it,” and Maria also said “it looks delicious.”
By the way, Jared was hunched over with his shoulders trembling again, and Keith sent a shocked look at me for some reason.
And so, just like that, the party was almost at its end before I noticed it.
Honestly, I’m really quite worried. As for why, it’s because I haven’t seen any sign that Maria was going to leave the party at all.
Rather, “I’m so happy that I’m able to be with Katarina-sama all day today” is what she said so happily next to me.
Why is it that you don’t have a capture target in mind, Maria…… Ah! Could it be that without me realizing it, you’ve gotten on the reverse harem route, and you’ll end up with everyone!
I’ve never cleared the reverse harem route, so I don’t know the ending, but I seem to remember hearing from A-chan that Katarina would meet her destruction end there too……
Ahh, which is it? Maria, is it the reverse harem, or have you decided on someone!
I’m so worried I’m so worried I’m so worried…… I waited and waited…… until finally……
“Hey, Maria. Do you have someone you like?”
I asked her directly. At such a sudden question, Maria seemed badly surprised, and her cheeks gradually turned red.
“I, look up to and admire Katarina-sama.”
She replied with the same response as usual as if it was natural.
“……Um, Maria. While I’m thankful for that, but…… That’s not what I mean, do you have someone you’re interested in, someone of the opposite gender that you want to be with? That’s what I meant.”
This time, I should make myself absolutely clear and hear her response.
“……Someone I’m interested in, that I want to be with…… of the opposite gender……”
Maria thought over and repeated my words, and I watched her with bated breath. Now, tell me clearly! Maria, which capture target do you want to be with?
“……There isn’t one……”
At Maria’s answer, I involuntarily let out a sound of helplessness, and froze up. Eh? Huh? Did she just say she doesn’t have anyone? While I was in a state of confusion, Maria continued in a clear voice.
“I don’t have anyone of the opposite gender that I’m interested in. The person that I’m interested in, and admire, and always want to be by, is Katarina-sama.”
As she said so, Maria took both of my hands.
“That’s why, from now on as well, please let me always be by Katarina-sama’s side.”
This line is something that I seem to have heard somewhere before.
Ahh. That’s right. This line was what the heroine said to the capture target at the very end. “From now on as well, please let me always be by your side,” as she took the hands of the capture target.
But, I wonder why she’s saying that to me……
I didn’t understand the situation…… I’m even more confused. Another pair of hands reached out for my hands that were being held by Maria.
“Maria-sama, getting a head start on others isn’t allowed. I also want to be together with Katarina-sama forever.”
As she said so, Mary took my hands from Maria’s, and she smiled gracefully at me.
“Me, me too! Katarina-sama! Please, please allow me to be together with you forever!”
The face that appeared by Mary’s side was Sophia’s, who seemed to be quite excited as she said so.
“Then, me too. Within the limits allowed.”
Nico said so with his usual lack of an expression.
“If, if that’s the case, me as well!”
Alan came to the front as he said so as well.
“Everyone, what are you all saying? Katarina’s my fiancee.”
Jared calmly appeared, and immediately stole my hands away from Mary. Then right away, he also defended my hands from someone else’s hands that came out from the side.
“Prince Jared, I think I’ve said it many times before but, I don’t think my nee-san is suitable to become a prince’s bride. Please cancel the engagement. I’ll properly take care of my troublesome sister.”
Keith took my hands away from Jared as he said so.
Then, for some reason everyone around me started getting heated up.
“Keith. I’ve said this many times already but, I won’t cancel the engagement. Katarina will definitely become my princess.”
“Nope. Prince Jared, there’s no way I can let you monopolize my important sister all to yourself. I’ll definitely eliminate the engagement.”
“Indeed, in order for Prince Jared to not monopolize her, first, we have to get rid of this engagement. Keith-sama, I, Mary Hunt, shall lend you a hand.”
“That’s right. I hate the idea of Prince Jared having her all to himself. Mary-sama, please allow me to help as well. Onii-sama as well, please lend us your aid.”
“……If you all say so.”
“Eh, if that’s the case I’ll help as well!”
“Me too, I’ll definitely be of help! By all means, please let me assist!”
“………You’ve finally all started ganging up on me, how terrible. You all…… But I’ll never let any of you past me!”
Before I realized it, my hands that were taken by Keith had become free, but……
Mmm, I have an incredible feeling of being in the middle of all this without being involved. I don’t even know what everyone is talking about anymore……
I even felt a bit lonely, as I looked at everyone who seemed to be having so much fun heatedly.
They really seemed to be getting along so well, but…… But I didn’t see any signs of love among them…… If it had been the reverse harem route, the atmosphere should have been a little sweeter. In the first place, I feel like there’s something off about the additions of Mary and Sophia here.
Even though I feel a little left out, but…… It doesn’t seem like a destruction end for me.
While still being quite confused, I worked my head as desperately as I could.
Um~. This is…… This situation…… Probably…… Everyone becomes friends, the friendship end?
The friendship end, also known as the normal end. The heroine doesn’t pick any capture target in particular, and everyone remains good friends. Since it’s a romance game, and she wasn’t able to pick anyone to be in love with, in some ways it’s a bad end as well.
Why would Maria, tell me the line meant for a capture target, when in the previous world the friendship end that I had achieved had different lines and location……
But even so, the way how everyone seemed so happy…… It really did seem similar to the friendship end that I’ve seen in my previous life.
In my mind, I had thought that there’d be no mistake that everyone would be madly in love with Maria. I mean, Maria is really, so lovely and gentle, and is easily embarrassed because whenever I look at her directly her cheeks will flush red, to the point where even I as the rival character would skip a heartbeat whenever I see her like that.
What’s more, as for Jared and Keith, whenever I was sticking to Maria, they would often come and peel me off of her, and this was definitely evidence that their hearts had been stolen by Maria, and that they were jealous, is what I thought.
That’s why, I had definitely thought that Maria would have someone, or even be with everyone in the end.
And yet…… Unbelievable, for it to be the friendship end……
If it’s the friendship end, no rival would receive any serious blows. I mean, everyone only ended up as friends after all.
Meaning…… I, Katarina Claes, won’t have a destruction end……
Together with the breath that I had been holding, all the tension seems to have left my body.
I relaxed quite a bit, and when I spied on my friends who seemed to be chatting so happily, it seemed like the party was about to end.
And thus, the graduation party ended. And…… the otome game “Fortune Lover” has concluded. It’s an extremely unexpected end, but…… As for me, it’s a really great end.
After the graduation party finished, we headed for the student council room. Here the student council members plus me gathered, and there was supposed to be a mini party here to congratulate Nico.
Since the congratulatory party was right after the graduation party, it’s enough to only have a few sweets and just a little tea.
This party isn’t known to the other students of the school, but we also called the former student council president of the school over, Sirius Deek, also known as Rafael.
He seemed to be a bit timid at appearing before us, but everyone greeted him warmly. All the junior members had also prepared flower bouquets for him, and Rafael received them happily. But, when I presented him with my specially made vegetable bundle, just like Nico, he froze up for a bit. He’s probably really surprised at my wonderful idea.
And so the student council members were all together for the first time in a really long time, and we all had a good time.
“Please go ahead, Katarina-san.”
Rafael poured a cup of tea for me with a smile.
“Thank you very much.”
I thanked him as I received it, and I sipped on the tea. The tea that I haven’t tasted for so long was just the same as before, having a very gentle taste to it.
It seems that before, he had always prepared it for his mother who would always return home tired. Rafael’s expression was very calm as he told me that story.
“Katarina-sama, if it’s alright with you, please have something to eat as well.”
Maria invited me to try some sweets as she said so.
“Wah, it looks even more delicious today. It’s the first time I’ve seen this sweet though, is it also something Maria handmade?”
On the top of something that seemed like a fluffy sponge cake, it was covered in a lot of syrup, and just by looking at it, I was about to drool, and it’s something that I’ve never seen Maria make before.
“Yes. It’s something new that I came up with. Together with my mother.”
“Wow, with your mother?”
“Yes. Since Katarina-sama said that you’re very pleased with the sweets I made, I thought that maybe you’d get bored if I always made the same things, so I thought up a new recipe together with my mother.”
“Is that so. I don’t think the day where I’ll be tired of Maria’s sweets will ever come, but I’m still very happy. Thank you. By all means, please tell your mother thanks from me as well.”
“Yes. I’ll tell her as well.”
As she said so, Maria smiled so happily.
I received the sweets that Maria made with the new recipe, and they were even more delicious than they looked, and I wasn’t able to stop myself anymore.
“Katarina…… If you suddenly eat that much all at once, you’ll upset your stomach again.”
“That’s right. Nee-san. During the graduation party, didn’t you also eat quite a bit more than other people? Don’t be too irresponsible.”
While I was lost in stuffing my cheeks with sweets, Jared and Keith caught my attention.
Mmm, both of them are looking straight at me. Almost just like my mother.
If I upset my stomach like this, they’ll definitely get angry at me. Jared would nag me with a smile on his face. Keith would get a long, troubled face.
There’s no helping it. I guess I’ll just save a little. I slightly slowed down the rate at which I was stuffing myself with sweets.
“Katarina-sama, I recently bought a new book series. Since it’s a very nice story, please, let’s read it together like before.”
When I slowed my pace at stuffing myself with sweets slightly, Sophia invited me with some new romance novels. Any books that I would really like, she would always immediately lend to me. Mmm. I’m really so happy. And so, I got all fired up for talking about books.
“Katarina, I might not be able to meet you for a while but, I’ll leave my sister in your care.”
Nico asked me with his usual lack of an expression.
“No, no. It is I who should be saying I’ll be in her care.”
I smiled as I replied, and Nico’s devilishly charming smile appeared. ……Mmm. It’s really amazing how strong his charm is…… After many years of associating with him, I’m mostly immune to it, but my cheeks still became red involuntarily.
In this next year from now, I won’t be seeing Nico much. I’ll be lonely but, Sophia who loves her brother so much will be even more lonely.
“Onii-sama, please come visit at any time! If you spend a year out of the loop, you’ll be defeated by the others!” and she asked him to come as frequently as he possibly could. Honestly, I didn’t really understand what she meant in the second half there. But anyways, I understand really well that Sophia really loves her brother.
“Katarina-sama, next spring, what do you plan to grow in your field?”
After smiling at seeing Sophia’s brother complex, this time it was Mary who spoke up.
That’s right, it’ll almost be spring. What shall I grow in the field this time. I wonder if I should try growing some new vegetables. Mmm. It looks like it’ll be fun from now on as well.
Mary said “I’ll help you again as well next time.” With the help of Mary who has a green thumb, it’s like having the power of a hundred.
“……The field is fine and all, but…… Whenever you enter your field covered in that, you should really stop and do something to change your appearance…… No matter how I look, all I can see is a middle aged farmer lady.”
Alan said such a thing to me. To begin with, he’s already said this to me several times over. Honestly, work clothes that are easy to move around in are the best for working in the field, but…… But if he keeps saying that I’ll try to do something to improve my appearance.
“……I understand. I’ll try what I can to improve my appearance.”
Indeed, my work clothes are rather plain and in drab colors. It can’t be helped that they make me look like a middle-aged lady.
Alright! Next time let’s try using floral fabric for my work clothes!
Since my stomach was quite full, I moved a bit away from the table to the window, and rested my stomach.
Everyone seemed to be talking happily about something, and they were all relaxed. While watching everyone, I thought over everything that had occurred in these eight years.
Eight years ago, during my eighth birthday, I recovered my previous life’s memories. And then, I noticed that this was an otome game, and what’s more, that I had unluckily reincarnated into a noble girl villainess…… I had lamented so many times about my misfortune when I realized that.
However, when I look back upon what actually happened…… Things were completely different from the game.
Jared was supposed to be indifferent to Katarina, but he was always very kind to me and got along with me well.
Keith who was supposed to be avoiding Katarina, was together with me all the time, and helped me so much.
Even though they shouldn’t have had anything to do with me, Mary, Alan, Sophia, Nico, and even Rafael, are all my irreplaceable precious friends now. And, even though she should have been my enemy originally, and the heroine who would bring destruction upon Katarina, Maria’s also become my important friend.
“Katarina-sama, are you alright?”
Since I was holding my stomach while leaning on the windowsill, Maria seemed to be rather worried about me.
“I’m alright. Thank you, Maria.”
Becoming the evil villainess Katarina Claes, how unlucky I was…… I had lamented how unlucky I was every day……
But in the end, the destruction that I was so afraid of never came.
On the contrary, just like this, everyone cares about me, and are my wonderful friends that will help me out.
My magic is shabby, and I’m bad at studying, but they never forsook me, when it was difficult, or when it was painful, my irreplaceable, precious friends were always by my side.
Now, I can say it in a loud voice.
Having met all these wonderful people – I, Katarina Claes, am – such a very lucky person.
The warm sunshine coming in from the window told me that spring was almost here.
A new season was arriving without any otome game scenarios.