The Villainess Thinks of Yua
After arriving at home and washing our hands, we sat down to a meal of roasted Agile Boar, prepared by Yua whilst I was out that morning. The monster’s body is tough, sinewy and toned. But this meat is soft and tender. The beautifully delicate mix of fat and juiciness is paired perfectly with an unbelievable melt in your mouth quality.
“H-how is it?”
Yua doesn’t seem to have much confidence in her cooking, so I quickly swallowed and answered Yua with an “It’s delicious”.
Yua finally stops holding her breath. It’s a shame that she has so little faith in her cooking despite her obvious skill. When I asked her about it before, she mentioned that no matter how much she tried she was always several tiers below her cookery teacher, Prince Euberto.
In my opinion, though, Yua’s cooking is of the highest tier. I think she would be able to compete with the best chefs in the country, she certainly would match up against the best chefs that serve the Lilyfall family. To think that there was another member of the royal family who Yua thought exceeded her skill.
“That Euberto is so skilled a chef that even Yua would lose to him? I definitely want to try some of his cooking at some occasion.”
As I said that, Yua laughed and said; “Once all this is solved, I’ll definitely ask him to cook a meal for us.” What is this strange feeling? It’s the first time I’ve ever felt like this.
It would be wrong to say that I was bored when I lived life for the Second Prince. Rather, those busy days spent plotting against his rival were very enriching in their own way. I didn’t hate that life, but it just didn’t compare to how content I feel right now, at this moment.
(I don’t want to ever lose this.)
I was surprised myself when such an abrupt thought surfaced. Such an awful thought it was. I’ve already resigned myself to live a life on the run, no different to an outlaw.
Thinking back, I had steeled myself for that the moment the Second Prince turned his back on me. Of course, I don’t intend to just expire in a ditch somewhere. I will live a life on the run for as long as I can. I will never be able to return to a happy life again.
I don’t plan to involve this child in that.
It’s just for the time being. This can’t last forever…
As soon as I think that, I feel a deep ache in my chest.
(…I really am just as awful as they paint me to be. Am I going to break my word with this child, just like that?)
Elopement… At that time, I should never have taken Yua’s hand. Euberto still lurks in the royal castle. If Yua and Euberto join forces, they should easily be able to get rid of Arnight.
That’s right, Arnight would be completely isolated if she returned. It would be impossible for that incompetent to win when outnumbered in such a fashion. So, in the very instant Yua returned to the capital, Arnight would be set on the road to ruin.
Nevertheless, I took her hand. If Arnight becomes King, this country is finished. I knew that, but I still took her hand. Like a true traitor, I valued the feelings in my heart over the good of the nation.
I was abandoned by the Second Prince, cut off from my family, and was truly isolated. But I’m not strong enough to bear it all alone.
Deep down, I selfishly wanted at least one person to stay by my side. That’s why I took Yua’s hand at that time.
I’m the lowest form of scum there is.
Yua sees how much my mood has lowered, and begins to feel anxious herself.
“Veena-sama? Is something wrong?”
I answered her with a quick “It’s nothing.” and tried to continue on with my meal. She doesn’t need to know about such things. It’s the strong version of me that she likes. I can’t show her such a weak side of myself. If she left me now, I would…
(I wonder what I would do?)
How much would one person be able to bear of this before they broke? Or would the loneliness finish you off first?
(It’s no use. I’ve got to become stronger.)
Swearing this to myself, I stroke Yua’s head softly. Not just for myself, but for her. I’ll protect her as long as it takes so that she can return home. I need to become much, much stronger…
Mind, body, and soul.
As if she noticed there was something stirring in my heart, Yua softly took the hand I was stroking her head with into her own.
“…Veena-sama. There really is something going on, isn’t there?”
Her eyes are so earnest. Those eyes of hers always are. They are never to be fogged by doubt or sharpened with malice. Blue eyes, clear as crystal. Anyone would be drawn into that gaze. Even so, I shake my head.
“Really, there’s nothing at all to worry about. I’m sorry, the truth is that I’m just a little tired.”
I give Yua’s hand a light squeeze as if to assure her that I’m not wasting away.
“Veena-sama, I want you to know that I’m not like that idiot… I will never abandon you. I want to stay by your side forever.”
I guess she still thinks that I am depressed about my abandoned engagement, so she wanted to comfort me. But even if it was said for a completely different reason, those words still brought me a lot of comfort. I could feel my stress melting away.
“Thank you, Yua.”
All my life, I’ve been told that I am someone people find very hard to approach. Strong, cold and above all, proud. They’ve all been proven wrong. I’m such an easy woman that can be satisfied just by hearing the words that I long to hear.
With new found energy, I finish off my lunch and clean up.
— There’s still plenty of daylight left. Since the monster hunting today was such a quick success, I wondered if I should make a late expedition.
“Yua, I’m going to head out.”
As I’m thinking of where to go, Yua quickly manages to sneak up and sits her small behind on my knee.
“I wouldn’t mind spending the rest of the day together with Veena-sama, you know?”
Yua softly laughs, with a bashful smile. Ah, too cute. I grab a hold around Yua’s waist and hug her tightly.
“V-Veena-sama…? Um, doing that kind of thing here is a little embarassing…”
“Sorry. Just a little longer.”
Is Yua not used to a hug between girls? Her ears are a shade of deep crimson.
(So impossibly cute.)
In this manner, I embraced Yua until the house turned dark and I began to doze off. And as I fell into slumber myself, I noticed that Yua was already fast asleep in my arms.