Maa……SS stands for ‘Short Story’. Basically, it introduces and covers the backstory of a certain character who has already appeared, but honestly didn’t get much screen time yet. I’ll probably be using them in the future for other characters, so please look forward to it.
I’ll warn everyone in advance that it’s a bit on the sappy side, so please bear with me.
I also tried changing the formatting for the spacing of the lines, so do let me know what you think of it~
Lastly, I have a notice for everyone…
*IMPORTANT* Because it’s been extremely busy and it’s getting a bit hard to keep pumping out new material weekly, we’ve decided to alternate our releases. This week is my release, and Cross-nii will be releasing his chapter next week. I do apologize for the lack of releases, and would like to thank you guys for continuing to follow us throughout this journey. :3 Arigatou~nya!
With all that out of the way, please enjoy the story!
Kiriko SS: The Story of a Certain Noble
“May I have the honour of knowing this noble lady’s name?”
In the beginning, I had thought nothing of him.
He was but the son of a passing merchant, while I was the daughter of an Earl.
Looking at our social standings, he was beneath me. Normally, I’d have nothing to do with him.
Only the Goddess would know what on Paletia had possessed me that day, to actually give my name to such a lowly commoner.
On that day, I had snuck into town in disguise, hoping to catch a glimpse of the travelling merchants while enjoying the atmosphere. So naturally, I had prepared a fake name to use instead.
Yet, in the face of his earnest question, I found myself unable to lie to him.
“I’m Nelia. Nelia Terre.”
Thanks to my honesty, or perhaps, no thanks to my honesty, I ended up forming a sort of bond with the man.
Days passed, and for some reason, he seemed to find me every time I snuck away from the mansion. As he made for a good conversation partner, I didn’t turn him down and continued to interact with him.
Honestly speaking, he seemed like a good guy, and a great friend.
Unlike many of the men who’d give me disgustingly lecherous looks in town, he treated me kindly, without any ulterior motives at all.
When was it, I wonder, when I began to seek his sunset-coloured hair myself.
When a tinge of loneliness would assault me whenever I couldn’t see him.
When I would start to make a tiny jump of joy as soon as I saw his face.
It didn’t take me long to realize that I had been bitten by the love bug. And the ferocity of the Pink Disease following it was not something I was capable of withstanding.
In the days leading up to his troupe’s departure, I confessed to him.
And to my great delight, he accepted my feelings and embraced me.
We were in love.
However, as one might expect, the walls known as “status” and “social class” were far too difficult to overcome with our paltry powers.
But it was okay.
For him, I could throw it all away.
As long as I could be with him, I would be satisfied.
And the gullible, lovesick me, believed that he too, felt the same way.
After all, for me, he had been willing to run away from the troupe who had raised him.
Just to be with me, he eloped, leaving behind dear friends and acquaintances.
All for me.
When he came with me to this country of Auksas, I was soaring with happiness.
With my most beloved next to me, nothing could bring me down. His love and affections showered down upon me every day.
It was paradise.
A utopia that I wished would never end.
Scraping up money by selling off the few valuables I had brought from home, we purchased a home in a town a short distance from the Rosso border. There, we lived peacefully.
I utilized the magic I was taught from a young age to cultivate a small field next to our home.
He pursued his passions as a novelist, writing story after story, waiting for a big hit.
With the amount of money we had leftover, it was possible to live a few years without any worries. And if he needed any support, I was more than willing to give it to him. Because nothing made me happier than knowing that he needed me.
However, as time passes, things change. People change. And feelings……fade.
Unable to make a break, he began to drink at the local tavern.
While I didn’t quite agree with the large consumption of such a toxic substance like alcohol, I understood his frustrations. So I let him be. After all, there were some things that he probably didn’t want to show me.
So I waited, every night, for him to come home.
Pushing down the loneliness that continued to gnaw at my heart, I waited.
And, night after night, he did come home.
Seeing me wait so faithfully, he’d smile and kiss me, thanking me for being so patient with him despite his shortcomings.
To be honest, it made me happy.
His appreciation embraced me gently, telling me that he loved me, even if he didn’t always say it directly.
But soon……the nightly separation began to crush me. The seeds of solitude that took root in my heart grew, feeding upon my mind and soul.
It was lonely……so lonely.
I began to long for the light-filled days of the past, when he would stay by my side nightly, whispering sweet nothings into my ears as I fell asleep.
And eventually, I broke.
As the sun sank over the horizon, he prepared to go to the tavern, like so many days prior.
Seeing him off, I waved with a smile, like I had, so many days prior.
But, as he turned to leave, I sank to the ground, tears flowing down my face. I couldn’t take it anymore. I missed him. I missed the good old days.
For the first time in ages, he hugged me, apologized, and told me that he truly did love me, more than anything in the world.
My heart flew to the skies and everything was alright again. He was mine, like always. And he loved me.
That was all I needed to hear.
How incredibly naive.
Not long after that incident, we began to talk more again, like we had in the past. Warmth returned to my life, and the buds of solitude had withered.
At the same time, I began to hear about the meetings he had at the tavern. The different people he met. The interesting conversations he had.
It seemed like a world I had never seen before – and one where I wondered if I was capable of intruding upon it.
Above all, I felt that I shouldn’t intrude – it was his special place. A place that I should leave to him, so that he could have the joy of telling me about it later.
The thoughts of a true idiot.
Soon, I began to hear stories of a certain person with increasing frequency.
She was bright.
She was vibrant.
She was more interesting than anyone he had ever talked to before.
But, she was just a friend, he said. So I nodded, and believed him.
He was the one I loved, after all. It wouldn’t be good to doubt his words. He was a good man, he wouldn’t lie to me.
Or you just didn’t want to admit it. That he had found someone better.
In the end, I was too selfish, and was unable to suppress the growing jealousy within me.
I was weak.
And so, again, I confessed to the feelings that I had tried so desperately to lock deep within my heart.
In spite of the fragility of my mind, he forgave me once more, and told me that yes, his true love really was still me.
To prove the truth behind his words, and to heal the wounds on my love-torn soul, he brought me to that sacred place. That tavern that had become his solace during these turbulent times.
Meeting her, I understood that she too, was a good person.
She didn’t possess any ill intent, so there was no need to be envious. It was all in my mind.
I was just weak.
I had to be stronger.
It was my fault that I was suffering.
Because the demons of my heart were of my own making.
As I sat next to him, however, it somehow seemed like my chest was being attacked by countless arrows. Though I searched for the source of the pain, no wounds appeared.
He talked to her animatedly, in a way that I had never seen him talk.
Discussing about the stories he wrote with her, he looked happy.
Happier than he had ever been during the time I lived with him.
Within my mind, I begged him.
Please, look at me. Please, please……won’t you tell me that you love me again?
I’ll do my best to get rid of this hideous jealousy, so please……turn that smile at me.
Please……don’t abandon me.
But as the night went on, he continued, oblivious to my plight.
The more radiant his smile became, the greater the shadows covering my heart got.
Until finally……the flower of love that had once blossomed beautifully, wilted.
And so, I was cured.
With the Pink Disease gone, the thorny bindings holding me down disappeared.
The moment I regained my freedom of thought, I realized the futility in remaining at that place.
Turning to him, I professed that, perhaps, our fates did not lie with each other.
And he agreed.
At that point, the wilted flower burned to ashes, together with our relationship.
Returning to being my own person, I left the town, eventually making my way to Au.
From there, I had a “fated” meeting, and ended up caged in this cell.
Love really brings nothing good in the end, does it?
After all, if I hadn’t fallen in love, I wouldn’t have left home. And if I didn’t leave home, I wouldn’t have been captured and subjected to such humiliation.
But more importantly, if I hadn’t fallen in love……I wouldn’t have felt such pain.
That was why, from now on……I would crush the love bug before it got the chance to infect me with that dreadful disease again. Here, I swear.
I’ll never fall in love again.