Worst Case Scenario
As I shuffled the paperwork on my desk, I was lost in thought.
I’ve been working nonstop today… but thanks to that, even though I spent the last few days with Sasha and Laurier, I’ve managed to catch up a little bit.
I just can’t place it, but… I feel like there’s something just on the tip of my tongue every time I see Laurier’s face.
“Laurier… Laurier Fall…”
If someone saw me muttering my daughter’s name whilst my nose was buried in documents, they’d be rightly disturbed, but… there’s no one around, so who cares.
“Laurier Fall, the Duke’s daughter… Hm?”
When I thought of her as an aristocrat, a thought whirred to life inside my head.
The aristocracy, huh…? Even though what remained of my memory as a person from Japan intermingled with my memories of my current life, just thinking about noble titles shouldn’t bother me like that… No, wait a minute…
“Laurier Fall… I know that name…”
Of course, it was only natural that a father would know his own daughter’s name… but, somehow, I felt like that name was being drawn from my previous life, one without fiefs and nobles.
That’s right… and it gave me a bad feeling. Like I was standing at the edge of the abyss, peering down into the darkness – that kind of sensation.
Yet, despite that… I couldn’t leave things half finished, so I thought even harder, throwing that disturbing thread of memory weaving its way through my mind, and finally…
“No… no, that shouldn’t be possible…”
But, it was. I had finally arrived at the answer.
I felt my throat run dry and a cold sweat break on my forehead as I croaked out the answer with a rasping voice.
“The villainess, Laurier…”
In a different world during my previous life in a land called Japan, there were games that portrayed a romance. One of the specific genres of these games were ones aimed at young women… And for some reason, I still had a vivid memory of one of them from my past life: 『Pure Love Princess ~ You and Lovey Dovey ~』, a game where the heroine squared off against a rival in love… The name of that rival, the one who went to great lengths to tear apart the heroine and the man she pursued, was the villainess Laurier Fall.
“This… this can’t be a coincidence, can it…?”
And what happens to that villainess when the heroine successfully managed to avoid the bad end… perhaps such a thing could happen in this world as well. In the first place, it was strange enough that the only vivid memory I had of my previous life was about this game, I don’t think I’m wrong in thinking that this world and the world of the game are the same.
But, if that’s true…
“Laurier? A villainess…?”
It was impossible to imagine that cute girl who easily rivaled any angel could ever become a villain of any sort, but… I couldn’t afford to let my guard down. It would be best to use the full extent of my power and influence to remove any dangerous elements.
“Remember… That’s right, in the story…”
The story was quite a trite one, a story where a common girl and a man from high society fall in love despite their stations in life… if Laurier was truly the villainess, then there should also be the protagonist character as well as one of the main capture targets, the Prince. Another one would be Laurier’s adoptive brother… but for the time being, there’s no such adoptive child in my family, so I can shelve that problem.
Then, the main problem, for now, should be the Prince’s route… but so far, I haven’t received any word of an engagement proposal. Certainly, there was a Prince around my Laurier’s age… but there are Ducal houses other than my own, so I shouldn’t consider a proposal set in stone.
The only way it could truly develop into a major problem would be…
“If Laurier fell in love with the Prince…”
That was one situation I couldn’t plan for. Whether or not Laurier would fall in love with someone neither I nor she had met yet… Certainly, in the game, Laurier develops an unrequited love for the Prince and cattily harasses the Heroine out of sheer jealousy – but instead of winning his heart, it only drives him further away from her, and if the Heroine avoids the bad end, near the finale all of Laurier’s evil deeds are thrown back in her face in the public eye… It’s all very generic for a Prince route.
Although it wasn’t detailed in the main story… in the extra materials that for some reason I remember having read, after her downfall Laurier is cast out of her house and lives on the streets, eventually being assaulted by men in a back alley and losing her life as part of her terrible fate… Though, I’m sure that even if Laurier did something terrible, I would never banish her from my home like that.
But, well… when I think about it more, Laurier wasn’t really so evil, was she? It’s only human to lash out in anger and jealousy if someone tried to steal away your beloved fiancée. Well, maybe she overdid things in a few places, but… some of the blame has to lie with that indecisive Prince, I feel.
What are you doing fooling around with other women when you have a fiancée? Well, if he really is such a fool of a Prince, then I won’t have any qualms about not letting him even catch a single glimpse of my darling daughter, I’ve decided.
But, if by any chance, Laurier really did fall in love with the Prince… then, I suppose there’s no helping it. I’d keep a close eye on their relationship, and if that Prince really did fall in love with the Heroine, at the very least I could be there to advise Laurier to nip the engagement in the bud…? Gah, anyways!
“I… I swear, Laurier… I will never let my cute little girl die like that.”
That’s right… So, there’s but one thing I can do. Along with Sasha, I’ll give Laurier all of my love, and hopefully, she can fall in love normally and live a happy life… Of course, I won’t neglect my wife, I’ll make sure that my heart is big enough to dote on both of them heavily.
With that settled, I managed to calm down a little bit. Yeah, there’s no need to overthink it… so long as she doesn’t have to play a part in that trite story, then Laurier will be safe. Naturally, just because I know about the story, wouldn’t mean I was suddenly going to neglect reality… Right now, I would make sure that this wouldn’t get in the way of the new life as a family we were going to live together.
These chapters sure are short