I Heard Something Strange (Finne’s Side)
I like Liselotte Onee-sama. I love her. Though maybe it would be an exaggeration to say that I’m in love with her, I think.
But, I still love and respect her anyway.
When I first met her, if I’m going to be honest, I was a little frightened of her.
Onee-sama is the ideal noblewoman, who never left a gap in her armour. As a commoner, that perfect blend of elegance, lineage, appearance and merit was actually a bit scary to come up against.
Also, those beautiful purple eyes that I have never seen anyone other than Onee-sama and Marquis Riefenstahl with, that mysterious shade of violet always looked so beautiful, so serious and so fierce. I was convinced I would always be afraid of them.
But one day, I noticed her gaze when she was watching over Prince Siegward, like a playful kitten watching a ball of yarn.
And after seeing that, as I thought back on everything I found scary whenever she confronted me, I realized she wasn’t just tsun, there was a dere side to her as well.
Onee-sama was a truly good person, but the problem was that when she was nervous or embarrassed, her language suddenly got stubborn and harsh to try and hide that. Though, that was part of her cuteness.
She generously gave me a wand, uniforms, lecture notebooks, hair accessories, dresses and even helped me study.
When she found out I was related to her, she immediately accepted me into her family. She even made me her younger sister.
But for me, who felt like I had just been given the cutest Onee-sama in the world, I wanted to do something to return the favour as well.
“Hey, Finne? Could I ask something of you? There was something I was hoping you could do for me…”
So, the moment Onee-sama asked me, my mouth moved before even thinking.
“Yes! Anything you want, Onee-sama!”
As I forcefully answered her, Onee-sama smiled happily. It was a refined and elegant smile, but there was something sexy about it too. How lovely.
“Thank you. But, it isn’t anything too difficult. However, it will require you to stay quiet and behave yourself for a while.”
Instead of telling me what the reason was, she simply stood up and walked me over to the room’s big walk-in closet.
As I stood next to her, I looked up slightly confused, but she gently stroked my head.
“You’re a good girl, right? Listen, Finne. No matter what happens from now on, you can’t make a sound, okay? Just be quiet and listen, can you do it?”
As she talked to me, I nodded repeatedly, intoxicated by her hand that ran through my hair.
I’ll be a good girl. I won’t talk. I won’t run rampant. I’ll behave myself. Definitely!
I didn’t know whether or not that determination was reflected well in my eyes or not.
But, as she looked at me, she nodded firmly as she closed the doors.
So, that’s how I got into this shameful situation.
Onee-sama had ensnared both myself and Bard-senpai.
Whilst Onee-sama had coaxed Bard-senpai into confessing that he loved me, I struggled with all my might to stay quiet like Onee-sama had told me too in the closet.
“Please believe me, Miss Finne. I truly do love you, with all my heart. When you aren’t by my side, there’s no colour in the world. When you aren’t standing next to me, the world loses its lustre. When I can’t see your smile, this world doesn’t feel worth living in. That’s what I feel in my heart. I love you. But these words, are they even enough to express what’s raging inside of me?”
And now, Bard-senpai was attacking me directly.
“Wait, wait, just wait a minute…”
As I barely managed to squeak a voice out, Bard-senpai finally fell silent.
Suddenly being pulled out of the closet like that, should I apologize for eavesdropping? Or should I pretend I didn’t hear anything? Even though I was still confused and didn’t even know what to say, Bard-senpai had suddenly opened up with a barrage of passionate feelings like that.
That he didn’t care about inheriting the House, that he truly only loved me, he told me that directly.
You… Aren’t you usually the stoic kind of character!?
I was so frustrated I wanted to blurt that out. As I faced his onslaught of feelings, I felt like I was in a battle.
Should I kill him? If I didn’t, would I die from embarrassment first?
“Bard-senpai, do you just not have any idea of the meaning of shame…? How can you just say things like that so easily…?”
When I finally let that spill out, Bard-senpai just looked slightly confused as he asked me back.
“Because if we’ve already come this far, what’s the point of being ashamed anymore? Of course, I’m nervous, but how should I put it, it’s like the excitement of being in a difficult battle? In a desperate situation, wouldn’t you agree that the best thing to do is to throw away your defenses and focus on the attack?”
Ah, right, this guy was a battle junkie.
Whilst I’m also the type that burns brightest in a pinch, I didn’t exactly think of applying something like that outside of a battle, and especially not in a situation like this. But, well, maybe it could work in theory?
“This truly is such a desperate situation for me, Miss Finne, because I really do love you. I’m begging you, please let me stand by your side.”
So, as Bard-senpai kept my other hand in his, I clutched at my forehead with my other.
Even if you say that…
Even if you beg like that…
“I… I’m still a little confused. I don’t dislike you at all, Bard-senpai. Actually, um, right… I like you, I think.”
Although my voice trailed off towards the end, as I somehow managed to get it out, Bard-senpai’s face suddenly lit up. Uh oh. There’s so much hope in those eyes.
“But! Something like marriage or engagement, right now it’s absolutely impossible!”
When I told him that in a panic, Bard-senpai nodded calmly. Wait, he understands…?
“I… I’ve always lived as a commoner until now. To us, marriage is something you go through with a person you’ve loved for years… Ha… But even if there are some people who don’t go through with it, their relationship still reaches a point where they feel safe living together with each other first, then maybe after that, um, they think about…”
As I spoke uneasily, Bard-senpai slowly nodded on every syllable.
“That would make sense. I wouldn’t ask you to throw away your own common sense, either. Even if I was ordered to marry someone else for the sake of the house other than Miss Finne, I’d flee into the mountains. But, if you truly don’t hate me, then I would like to propose marrying using your idea.”
That was how he replied.
No, but, there’s no way anyone would normally accept a proposal in a crazy situation like this? Besides, if I accept, Marquis Riefenstahl would be so over the moon that I don’t think I’d ever be able to break up with him without breaking his heart as well…? But, it’s not like I really hate the idea of having a relationship though…!
As I fretted on the spot, Bard-senpai just silently looked straight at me.
Ahh, I get it, it’s all up to my decision, then?
I hate this. It’s too hard.
Ahh, jeez, someone, anyone, help me!
Help me, somebody… Help me, Gods…!!
『Ahh… if only they could hear us…』
『We’re just outfielders if Sieg isn’t here, huh…? Seriously, if only they could hear us. These two are way too serious…』
Suddenly, I could hear the 【Voices】of a man and a woman.
Eh? What? Who? Where?
『I guess the protection I gave Baru is working well, if we can see his actions like this…』
I heard the man’s voice again. Yeah, he’s definitely above me. But, when I looked up, all I could see was the ceiling.
『It’d be nice if they could get along even without us…』
『Right? Well, even if worst comes to worst, Finne can go rely on Aru at the church for help, or go down the commoner route and maybe become adventurers with Baru, right? Even if they don’t become Marquis and Marquise, they can still get married, it’d just be a little more normal…』
“Hey, stop, just… wait a minute.”
Not being able to silently listen to the voices of those two anymore, I raised my voice.
The voices from above suddenly stopped.
Bard-senpai looked at me like I was crazy.
He wasn’t looking up at all.
“Um, those two voices from a while ago, don’t tell me… I’m the only one who heard them?”
I asked Bard-senpai just in case, but he still just stared at me strangely.
“You know, the man and the woman… Huh? Wait, wasn’t this what Prince Siegward was talking about…? The Voice of God thing…?”
As I talked, I suddenly realized the possibility and couldn’t stop myself saying it.
『OHHH, IT’S FINALLY HAPPENED, FINNE HAS AWOKEEEEEEN!?』
『Has she really awoken!? Finne-chan, if you can hear us, give us a signal! Just give us a wink!』
“What the…? Cute.”
It seemed like that wink, that I was trying to signal the supposed Gods with, actually had an effect on Bard-senpai as well.
I heard something strange from Bard-senpai’s mouth again.
『She can really hear us! I’m Endo, the Play-By-Play Commentator!』
『I’m Kobayashi, the Colour Commentator! You don’t need to reply to us, just listen to our voices!』
“Why did you do something so cute…? If you do something like that, you’re only going to make me love you more… Why…? I feel like I should hunt down a dragon…?”
The great【The Play-By-Play Endo】and 【Colour Commentator Kobayashi】! No doubt about it, these were the two Gods the Crown Prince was talking about!
Even though I was convinced by that, the first thing I had to do was stop Bard-senpai, who was slowly spinning out of control. Why was this guy so restless?
“No, please stop. There’s no point in doing something so dangerous.”
After soothing him down a little, Bard-senpai, who had shot up to his feet before, knelt back down to look at me again.
『That’s right, don’t worry about us! Do your best to talk to Baldur, Finne!』
『It doesn’t seem as if Baldur truly cares at all about the succession. How about confirming that with him first?』
It’s true that Bard-senpai had said something like that a couple of times. Receiving support from the voices of the Gods, I spoke.
“Bard-senpai… What if I… If I told you that I was afraid of becoming the Marquise, what would you do?”
“Then, we can escape from this country together. Fortunately, both you and I are skilled warriors. We can live wherever we want.”
The part that I was most uneasy about was paved over so simply.
There was something so honest in Bard-senpai’s words that I wanted to cry.
“…Bard-senpai, is that really fine?”
Even if he thought it was okay and I was happy with it, I couldn’t let Bard-senpai overdo it.
As I asked him that fearfully, once again he answered so simply.
“When I believed that you were still a commoner, I was prepared to abandon the name of Riefenstahl for your sake. I would never want to put you through any hardships, Miss Finne, but if the House you succeed isn’t comfortable for you, then it’s worthless. So long as Miss Finne can smile, then I am happy.”
“…Don’t you think it’s unfair, being able to say something like that with a straight face?”
“It’s only because I’m so desperate.”
From how calmly he was telling me all this, I wanted to tell him it definitely didn’t sound like it. But, somehow, those words let me relax a little bit.
“Is that so? Then… that’s fine.”
As I got pulled into this absurd atmosphere, I said that with a sigh.
Oh, damn it, I don’t think he got it.
Bard-senpai still looked confused.
“For the time being, let’s put all the marriage talk aside and just get along for now, okay? About being together with me, I accept.”
As I felt a weight fall off my shoulders as I laughed, for some reason only after all that did the knight in front of me blush.