Tensei Saki de Suterareta no de, Mofumofu Tachi to Oryouri Shimasu ~Okazari Ouhi wa my Pace ni Saikyou Desu~
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1.The Villainous Daughter Awakens
“Leticia, let’s break off our engagement,” a voice informed me.
I was dumbfounded by Crown Prince Fritz’s pronouncement.
“It’s cold,” I muttered, trembling. It was not just from the frosty gaze of Fritz, who was supposed to be my fiancé. I was also drenched with water from head to toe. The abrupt drop in body temperature left me shivering.
“Cruel. To push me into the fountain…”
“Huh, what are you talking about? It’s your fault for trying to grab Sumia, isn’t it?”
I didn’t do that.
When I looked up to argue back, I saw a delicate girl clinging to Fritz. She had soft, chestnut hair; green eyes; and a downcast gaze, and was shaking and leaning her lovely, fine-featured face towards Fritz.
“Look at how scared Sumia is. Don’t you feel sorry? Shouldn’t you be ashamed of yourself?”
“…I have nothing to be ashamed of.”
By no means should I be apologizing for anything.
With Sumia standing by, Fritz suddenly informed me of our broken engagement.
I had simply seen them and approached to ask what the hell was going on. In response, I was pushed into the fountain by Fritz’ entourage.
“Are you still going to act ignorant of your crimes and talk nonsense? Why don’t you cool your head in the fountain and wake up a little?”
“…Wake up, you say?…” I muttered in a lowered voice.
In a sense, I was only now fully awake.
One could say that you awakened me.
The shock of being told of the broken engagement and being pushed into the fountain had awakened the memories of my previous life.
“Jiro, let’s take a walk.”
I peeked into the red-roofed dog house and was greeted by my Shiba Inu, Jiru. Already awake, he came out and stretched first his front, then his hind legs.
Feeling healed and warm inside from Jiro’s fluffy appearance while he stretched his entire body, I fitted the harness on when he was done. To make my job easier, Jiro tilted his head and moved towards me so I could easily fasten it.
I passed the harness over his head, where I could see greying fur. Like humans, dogs’ hair grows white with age.
Jiro, who had joined our house when I was a high school student, was now a fine old dog.
The season was spring.
It was a pleasant day for a walk.
I hummed quietly as we proceeded along the country road near my family’s house.
While paying attention to Jiro’s weakening legs, I thought about the kitchen in my parents’ house, where homemade strawberry ice cream was chilling in the refrigerator. I was planning to eat it after I got home from walking Jiro.
Thinking of the slightly pink, strawberry-colored ice cream, your mouth will start to water.
Strawberry ice cream was a favourite that I made every spring. It was cold and smooth with a bittersweet taste and it melted as it touched the tongue, making the texture of the fleshy parts of the strawberries much more enjoyable.
It had become a custom to make strawberry ice cream when in season. But the first timeI made it, I misread the amount of water contained in the strawberries, resulting in failure.
If there is too much water, the ice won’t crystalize as it should and the taste of strawberries will be dulled. After several failures, my strawberry ice cream has turned into a delicious snack that is enjoyed by my entire family.
“Straw~berries ♬ Straw~berries ~~~ ♬”
I added rhythm to my improvised humming.
Please overlook my terrible singing.
It had been a few years since I graduated and started working. The company I entered was a very busy one. It was a so-called black company1. I could count on one hand the number of people who didn’t do overtime. It was normal to go to work on holidays, even before we got our settlement of accounts. It was such an exploitive company.
Today is Sunday.
It has been a long time since I had a whole day off, so after doing all the piled up housework, I took the hour-long train ride to my parents’ house.
It was supposed to be a calm holiday, visiting my parents, making ice cream from the strawberries that the farmer auntie gave us, enjoying eating it, and playing with Jiro.
The traffic light in front of us was red.
Jiro followed my command and stopped.
I was the one who taught Jiro when he was a puppy how to stop and stay.
Shiba Inu are known to be both wise and willful, and Jiro was no exception to that stereotype, so it was hard for me to make him listen at first.
I remember how, during my high school days, it was especially hard to have Jiro memorize “stay”. The waiting time was gradually extended from 3 seconds to 5 seconds, then to 10 seconds, but it was a series of three steps forward and two steps back2.
That’s why, when Jiro at last learned to wait obediently in front of the house, I was very proud. It meant that he acknowledged me as his master.
“Jiro, okay. Let’s go.”
The traffic light turned green when we were halfway through the crosswalk.
A truck rushed towards us, roaring.
Why is the light green?
This is dangerous.
I have to avoid it.
I have to protect Jiro.
I screamed while pulling the harness ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ―
My field of vision shook from the impact. When I was able to see clearly, I found myself lying on the road, a lukewarm liquid spreading underneath me.
My last memory was of Jiro rushing to me as my consciousness slipped away.
Remembering my past self, a single tear trickled from my eyes. It didn’t seem like he was seriously injured, but was he okay?
I wanted to believe that he was smart enough not to be run over by a car.
“Jiro? What’s that? Are you crying? Are you going to cry?”
“…I just got fountain water in my eyes.”
I’m not crying because of the current situation. I’m crying because of my thoughts of Jiro. For all I knew, the pain in my chest might have been from the broken engagement.
It’s painful. So painful. It hurts.
I held back my tears. If I let Fritz and his followers see them, it would tarnish the pride that I had spent 17 years cultivating.
― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― ― Lady Leticia Gramwell, Duke Gramwell’s daughter.
That was my status and name in this world.
We were currently at the Royal Etruscan Academy for the children of royalty and aristocrats.
Fritz stopped me while I was walking past the entrance fountain and abruptly declared an end to our engagement.
The students around us stayed silent as the scene played out in broad daylight. Fritz and his followers looked down on me as I lay in the fountain.
Fritz was the Crown Prince and my supposed fiancé.
Sumia, the daughter of a Baron, was clinging to the Crown Prince.
Ileus, the third son of the Chancellor of the Kingdom, was well-known for being a prodigy.
Dustin, the son of the leader of the Royal Knights, excelled in swordsmanship.
…The so-called humans, who were supposed to represent the future of the kingdom, were glaring at me with open hostility.
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