Burikko Chapter 14

“Congratulations, Camille-samaa!”

“Gyah-!”

Upon coming home after work, I was hugged by Aimée.
Hurtss, heavyy… getting crushed.

“Did something happen? It shouldn’t be my birthday yet.”

Towards I, who was creating some distance in a panic, Aimée neared me while twisting her body back and forth.

“What are you saying…? Is it not obviously about your engagement being decided?”

“Engagement?”

“It couldn’t be! Have you failed to hear from Marquis-sama again?”

Getting contacted through my father again? It would’ve been fine just to tell me personally anyway, but…
Our butler Pierre retired last year, and his son took his place, but how should I say this…? His son is incompetent.
He completely forgot to contact me. If it gets too bad, I plan on firing him.

“Hey, who am I getting engaged to?”

“Uhuhuhuhuu, that is… you know?”

Instead of acting all dramatic, hurry up and tell me.
While I pressed my hand against my anxiously beating heart, I glared at Aimée.

“It’s Achille.”

A third person suddenly butted into our conversation.
Reacting to that voice, Aimée turned around.

“My, welcome home, Marquis-sama. You are early today, aren’t you?”

At the entrance to the house stood father.

“Otousama… Just now, what did you?”

“Like I said, Achille has been decided as your fiancé.”

“…!”

Why? After that one incident at the dance party, didn’t I thoroughly ask father, “Please protect Achille from falling into the disgrace of being my fiancé.”?
And yet, why did Achille end up engaged to someone like me!?

“Otousama! I remember asking you to free Achille from this…”

“But… the Jade family formally applied for it, you know? Soleil was on board with it too.”

“Heh…?”

“And I’ve judged too that Soleil’s son is the better choice. There was another, more annoying, request, you see.”

It seems that without my knowing, various things have been progressing.

“I am truly very sorryy!”

I had directed a sliding dogeza at Achille, and Royce-sama was overlooking me in curiosity.
As expected of the carpet in Royce-sama’s room! Even though I was sliding, it didn’t hurt!

“…Camille, did you do something to Achille?”

Royce-sama, a woman is a being with many secrets, you know.

“Ahh, could this be about the engagement?”

“Yeah!”

Damn Achille, what a thing to admit in front of Royce-sama!
…Wait, or is it my fault for not choosing the time and place properly?

“There’s nothing to apologise about, you know. I don’t mind, after all.”

“Buttt… Because of me, your shining future has been crushed, Achille!”

“Why did you come to that conclusion…?”

Achille is scratching his head, looking troubled.
Huh? For some reason Royce-sama is looking downwards, trembling.

“-kuku… Wouldn’t it be better for you two to have a proper chat about this? …P-pfft-”

At Royce-sama’s suggestion, Achille and I decided to talk about it properly. Royce-sama kindly left.

Having said that though, what’s there to talk about after all this time? What’s happening this time is all because of my blunder.
While telling him that it would be alright, it ended up like this… Aahh, I’m depressed.

“Achille… I’m really so sorry.”

“…Hahh.”

He sighed! Even though I know I’m in the wrong, it still hurts, huh.

“I’m not angry. Raise your head?”

When I raised my head like I was told, I found Achille’s face closer than expected.

“Umm… Achille?”

His eyelashes sure are long. A nose that runs beautifully down his face, and well-shaped lips… He had ikemen elements to begin with, but he sure grew up well too, huh.

I was staring at Achille, but he didn’t show any signs of moving away.

“About being your fiancé, Camille… I’m not against it.”

“It’s fine, it’s fine, you don’t have to worry about me. You’re kind, Achille.”

For some reason he sighed again.

“The one who should be apologising is me… Listen, Camille.”

He gazed at me unexpectedly seriously, so I became bewildered.

“The one who proposed for an engagement this time, was me.”

“You did, Achille? I-, It couldn’t be that because the rumours about the time at the dance party spread uncontrollably, you gave up on finding a good bride? What do I do…?”

“Won’t you calm down?”

Achille placed both his hands on my shoulders, after I stood up vigorously.

“But… this is terrible!”

I was panicked.
A huge problem that would mess about with Achille’s life, at this rate, won’t getting engaged to me be the worst disgrace in Achille’s lifetime?

“Since that time at the dance party, I’ve always wanted to become your husband, Camille. It seems like you’re misunderstanding something, but this is what I want, Camille.”

“Achille…?”

…Speaking of which, Achille was an ambitious person.
As he matured, he’s gotten better at hiding that, but his true self hasn’t changed.
If he marries me, he’ll become the next marquis in every meaning.
Is that why Achille decided to become my fiancé and compromised…? Thinking like that, it makes sense.

“I’ve got it, Achille. If you’re fine with someone like me as a fiancée… I’ll be in your care.”

“Camille…”

Achille is gazing at me painfully at point blank. What’s wrong?
Huh, it seems like Achille’s face is getting closer, and closer…?

Ah, that’s it!
I suddenly remembered a most important issue. I have to make sure I say this!

“Achille! …Even if you’re engaged to me, if you find somebody you like, you can make them your mistress, okay? I’m open-minded, you see, so as long as you properly do your job as the marquis, I don’t mind you doing that kind of thing!”

Huh? His face which is now point blank just stiffened… I feel.
I guess saying ‘mistress’ right to his face was bad, huh. Maybe he’s embarrassed.
But, if Achille became strangely considerate of me, and became unable to pursue his own romances, it’d be pitiful so…

I really don’t want this engagement with me to give him painful feelings, you know? Achille is an important friend after all.

“Anyway, Achille, I have work now so see you.”

“Wa-… Camille!”

It seems that Achille has rebooted from his freeze. Thank goodness.
If he says that he wants to be engaged to me, then that’s fine too, right?
I have no right to say anything more than this. …I feel relieved.

“Anyway, see you later~”

I enlarged the quill, and took off from Royce-sama’s window towards the Magic Building.

…Or so I thought, but Achille was grabbing my ankle.

“Uwah-, dangerous!”

“We’re not done talking yet, you know…”

Achille is in a bad mood for some reason.

“Sorry, Achille, but work is-”

“Your job starts in the evening today, right? It’s still daytime, so you’re still free for three hours, right?”

This guyyy, why does he know my shifts at work? Even though I thought I’d be able to indulge in laziness until my next job!
Because I had no choice, I landed in the room. Aah, my hours of sleep are disappearing…

The very moment I landed, Achille caught my arm. …Is it to prevent me from escaping?
Because we’ve known each other for a long time, he’s a man that knows me quite well.

“Not done talking, you say? Was there something else to talk about? If it’s about the number of mistresses you can have, I’m not restraining you, you know? If you have too many it’ll become troublesome, but if it’s two or three, then.”

I’m sorry about saying that he can’t have a huge number of them, but we have our financial circumstances too.
If it uses too much money, I’ll be troubled.

“You can stop talking about mistresses, you know? I’m not going to have any, after all.”

Not having any? I wonder if it’s a good idea to declare that now. He might want to make some later, after all.

“I’m fine with you, Camille. I’m fine with just you.”

“Geeez, this againnn.”

Honestly, this guy sure thinks of his friends, huh! Still being worried about me after all that time.

“You won’t believe me anyway, right? That’s fine… I’m going to prove it from now on, after all.”

“Prove?”

Achille gave a slight smile, and for some reason my back ran cold.
Huh…? Did I, say something bad?

“Yeah… Prepared?”

He raised the arm that he was holding, and gave the back of my hand, one light and gentle kiss.


―――――…

sailed7 sailed6 sailed5

Burikko Chapter 1

3 Years Old – Q of Hearts

“You know… because of you, I got dumped by Makoto-kun. Mind not getting ahead of yourself?”

There, stood an emotional schoolgirl, spitting out abuse at me, and I, who was standing there dumbfounded.
A few other students who were walking past turned this way to see what was going on… But they probably realised it was something bothersome. Like that, they pretended nothing was going on and walked away.
Tsk… Cold bastards.

Right now I’m at school, standing at the landing of an emergency staircase, being cornered by a gyaru-type girl with flashy make-up from the class next door.

“I’m not used to this kind of love conflict, you know.”

Right now I’m at an overwhelming disadvantage of 1 vs 6, and have nowhere to escape to.
Because of the fake lashes and double-eyelid tape she was wearing, the eyes of the schoolgirl in question had swollen up to three times the size they were during the entrance ceremony. It’s super intense.

By the way, I’m not a gyaru.
I’m the neat and tidy type… at least I pretend to be, and I’m camouflaged as a fairly attractive school girl… but, inside I’m actually just an otaku girl with otome games as my hobby.

Otome games are romance games aimed towards females.
They’re games where the female protagonist, through various choices throughout the game, fall in love with various ikemen… Honestly, as long as I’m playing the part of a schoolgirl with a reasonably fulfilling life, it’s a hobby that I can’t tell anyone about.
That’s why I made up this character I play at school, the type that goes “I don’t play games or the like. I enjoy going with my friends to karaoke or shopping.” If I seem like a hikikomori girl, various things will become difficult as long as I’m going to school after all.

Comparatively speaking, I’m quite good with dealing with school.
I hide my true self as an otome game otaku, and even if I’m not part of the gyaru group that’s ranked high in the school, I’m part of a group that has more influence than average in my class.
I was maintaining a neutral position with the girls standing before my eyes, and was supposed to be on fairly good terms with them, and I was thinking that things were going quite well…

――――Up until today.

“It’s a misunderstanding, I said… I don’t know what you’re talking about. Even though I’ve almost never even spoken to this Makoto person…”

Honestly, why’d it turn into this…?
There’s too much I don’t understand, so I let out a sigh. There’s nothing more difficult to get through to than an emotional person who’s snapped.
She’s crying and lashing out in anger. I wonder if it’d be a good idea to let her know, “Your mascara and eyeliner are coming off, and you’re starting to look like a Jiangshi.”

This all began with that Makoto-kun or whatever’s remark.
Makoto-kun is a fairly popular, sporty boy in my class.
He was the boyfriend of the girl standing in front of me, but apparently, the other day he one-sidedly broke things off with her.
And he left some extremely bothersome words.

“I’ve, fallen in love with Aizawa-san…”

By the way, Aizawa is my name. It’s fine even if you don’t remember it though.
Because of those last words of his, right now I’m having a terrible time being magnificently cornered by these girls who have misunderstood.

Of course I don’t seduce other people’s boyfriends, and I don’t have any memory of being confessed to by him either.
On the contrary, I’ve hardly even spoken to him in class! I can say this for sure! I’m innocent!
But then why do I have to be criticised like this? It’s incredibly unreasonable.
Oi Makoto, explain things to them right this instant!

“Ahh, it’d be nice if I could just summon him with magic, huh…”

If I could, everything would turn out just fine! …My sense of reality would be pretty damaged though.
Meanwhile, the girl is still yelling on and on, with no sign of growing tired. Can’t you guys just leave already?

“Are you listening? Break up with Makoto-kun this instant! And don’t come near him again!”

It seems that she’s still continuing with her misunderstanding.

“Um, like I said, we’re not dating. I’ve never talked to him properly, so I really think this is some mistake.”

To begin with, it’s a mystery as to why my name came out of his mouth anyway.
Honestly, my contact with the Makoto-kun in question is limited to eye contact once in a while, and I really haven’t interacted with him at all.

“Stop lying-!”

Unfortunately my words weren’t reaching the frenzied girl.

In a fit of anger, the girl ended up shoving me. Her hands hit me perfectly in the stomach.

“Ah-…!”

When I realised that things were bad, my body was already hanging in the air. As I stumbled backwards, I lost my footing on the stairs.

————I’m falling————

The girl who pushed me, widened her eyes in shock. Even if she was condemning me, she probably didn’t plan on pushing me down the stairs, huh…
I wonder if she’ll be arrested for assault.
Even though it was the instant I was falling down the stairs, the things before my eyes were moving extremely slowly…
Without sensing the danger of the situation, my mind stayed carefree and continued to think normally.

Bang!!

“Uwahh!”

A shock hit my body.
However, it wasn’t as painful as I had prepared myself for.
Because I hit myself against something soft, things ended without pain.
What’s going on? There’s something fluffy under my back.

“Geez, Camille-sama. I’ve told you countless times that you can’t jump on the bed…”

“Who are you…?”

Before my eyes stood an obasan with a ‘full’ build wearing a maid outfit.
She’s probably in her fifties, huh… Honestly, I think it’s pushing it for her to cosplay a maid at that age. If my mother wore something like that, I’d hate it.

“Camille-sama! This is terrible! I thought it was some sort of joke, but have you truly lost your memories? That’s why I asked you time and time again not to do something so dangerous!”

An unknown room, furniture and world.
It seems I dived onto this bed I’ve never seen before. It’s a bed that looks somewhat high class.
I should have fallen from the emergency stairs in my school, but… Why? The surroundings have changed.
…In the first place, where is this? There are too many questions, so I’m sitting still here.

“Aahh! The master[/Danna-sama] will be here shortly, okay…!?”

The plump maid-outfit obasan paced around me nervously.
…This seems like something I’d see in a dream.

No, this is a dream. There’s no mistake. Or rather, please let it be a dream.

When there are people around more panicked than yourself, you calm down quite a bit.
Once I wake up from this dream, I’ll be on a bed in my house, or in the infirmary.
I mean, there’s no way any of this is possible.

“Camille.”

The door suddenly opened, and a man I’ve never seen before quietly entered.
He’s wearing odd clothing, like a European noble from the middle ages. He might be one of the maid obasan’s cosplay buddies…

“Are you all right? Do you know who I am?”

His appearance looked a little cold, but he was young and handsome. His face is exactly my type.
He’s probably… a young adult, in the first half of his twenties, so there’s probably no problem with dating him. Were his head not pink, that is.
Whether a miniskirt-maid-obasan, or this pink haired man, nobody decent comes out in my dreams, huh.
That in itself might be proof that I’m an otaku.

I answered the pink man.

“I don’t… I mean, this is our first meeting, right?”

There’s definitely no way I’d forget such a high impact person.

“Ahh…”

The pink man held his head in his arms and squatted. The obasan hurried to his side in a panic.

“Are you all right? Marquis-sama!”

“There’s no way I’d be all right! For my daughter to have lost her memories… All I did was work and I neglected my daughter…”

The two of them stayed crouched like that for a while. …What on earth is going on?

My name is Camille Rhodolite.
I’m the eldest daughter of the Rhodolite Marquis family, and shockingly, I’m three! …Or so I was told.
Speaking of which, my arms and legs have been abnormally small, and my clothes are fluttery children’s clothing too.
Even though I’m a sketchy person, for something that came out in my dream, the craftmanship of this clothing sure is detailed, huh…

At any rate, both Camille and Rhodolite are names I’ve heard somewhere before. As for just where I’ve heard them, I can’t remember at all.

“And I am your father, Charles Rhodolite.”

“I am the head maid of this residence, Aimée Afriat!”

What I understand from all this is that the maid obasan is a very energetic person.

It seems that this is the residence of Marquis Rhodolite, in other words, the residence of the pink headed man declaring himself as my father.
Because his wife passed away when Camille was born, it’s a motherless family.

“I showed her to the doctor too, but it seems that besides the loss in memory, she’s very healthy… It’d be nice if by some chance she remembered everything, but…”

I think that might be impossible. I had no memories of living as Camille to begin with, after all.

“Right now is rest time, Camille-sama. Please sleep on the bed.”

Then I’ll do so without reserve. And after that, everything will be back to normal once I wake up.
Ahh, but wow. That sure was a dream with impact.

…Odd.

For the dream to be continuing even after I wake up… When I woke up the next day, I was still in that room.
I woke up on the bed I mentioned earlier, and I got up and was about to check the surroundings when the door opened before I could.

“Ahh, Camille-sama. Have you memories not returned?”

“…It looks like it.”

My body remains that of a three year old, and my surroundings are still a place I don’t know. It might just be because I’m little, but I feel like this house is really big.
Did I fall into a coma because of the shock in the fall, and that’s why I can’t wake up from this dream?
I still have my life to live after I wake up, so if possible I hope this ends with just a minor injury.

“Well, can’t be helped.”

Even if I struggle about, it’s not like I’ll be able to wake up from the dream. Last night before I went to sleep, I tried kicking and squirming so I can declare this with proof. That! Which is impossible, remaaaains impossible.
I’ve decided to enjoy this dream. I mean, I finally became something as interesting as the young daughter of a rich marquis family after all.
I’m a person who’s good at going with the flow.

“The pink-… I mean, where is father[/Otousama]?”

When I looked in the mirror yesterday, I found to my shock that, like my pink father, I had the same hair colour as well.
I can no longer ignore my own shortcomings and continue calling him the pink man.

“Marquis-sama is currently doing his job.”

“…What is father[/Otousama]’s job?”

“The Marquis-sama is a high ranking magician at the castle. Each day he maintains the safety of the country.”

I don’t really get it, but it sounds like a pretty amazing job! I’m slightly re-examining my views of pink dad.
And there’s magic in this world? How cool!

“Magic? How nice. I wanna do it too!”

When I was little, I admired a certain film’s wizard protagonist.

It was my dream to go to a school of witchcraft and wizardry, but even when I entered high school, I didn’t get an invitation from the magic school in question.
Since there was no other choice, I entered a public school in the neighbourhood. I just lived by camouflaging and dealing with my surroundings, but I’m aware that I’m actually a pretty embarassing girl.
But it’s fine, this is a dream after all. Let me do as I please!

“…Hahh, once Marquis-sama returns, let us discuss it with him… But honestly, Camille-sama, you sure have changed, haven’t you…?”

There a rumour going around Aimée and the other servants that since I hit my head yesterday, I’ve become smarter. Inside I’m a high school girl, so that’s a given. I’m being praised a lot just because I stopped jumping on the bed.

“Really?”

I’m a three year old child, so there should be leeway for a little change in personality like this.

More importantly, it’s my dream, so there’s no problem! Everything’s fine!

But just when am I going to be able to wake up?
Aahh, there were heaps of things I still needed to do, though!
I still haven’t cleared the otome game I stealthily bought two weeks ago!

Because I knew how to deal with high school life, I’ve been living while concealing the truth that I’m an otome game otaku.
∴(therefore), I basically never game outside of the room in my house. I can’t take out my games to play on the train or at school, so the time I have to play is necessarily limited to the time I have after I’m back from school, and I’m not making much progress at all.
Not only that, to maintain my decent grades I spend half the time at home studying.
It’s because all of my playthroughs have been done with the help of walkthrough sites in order to save time, following the guidance of my predecessors, that I’ve been able to maintain my gaming life.
The game I mentioned a little earlier that I’ve been playing recently is also one that I’ve been playing sporadically since it came out, and I’ve been progressing while reading the walkthroughs.

Mn… Hang on… This world is…

This place is, kinda, pretty similar to the world of that otome game, huh.
Mn, right. There was a pink person called Camille Rhodolite.
For the game to even appear in my dreams… I really do have some lingering attachments to it, huh. As expected of me.

『Carte à Jouer』 (←It means trump in French)

This was the title of the last otome game I played, and it was a game set in a world similar to this one.
In a magic academy where the four factions, Hearts, Diamonds, Clovers and Spades vied for power, a commoner heroine had romances with ikemen in the school, and it was a game about rising status in the world.

The love interests were the top members of the four great powers that went to the same school as the protagonist.
The men were nicknamed K(King), and the protagonist would eventually fall in love with a K from one of the four powers.
They were amongst the elite, and were people who had the best grades and highest social positions. As expected of an otome game. The love interests are all high spec.

The person whose form I’m currently taking, Camille Rhodolite, was one of the rivals who got in the protagonist’s way, and was the antagonist that appeared during one of the romance events with the capture target from the Hearts faction (K of Hearts).
Four rival characters appear for each of the four powers.
By the way, amongst the players, the four rivals are known as the ‘Evil Four Heavenly Kings’.
Camille’s role was that of the heart faction’s rival, and is popularly known as the Q(Queen) of Hearts.
Q is a term that refers to the various rival girls.
The Q of Hearts was a selfish, can’t-take-a-hint burikko type rival character, and after she appeared during the K of Hearts route, she was an unmanageable person who would follow the K of Hearts around, and get in the way of the heroine’s romance at every turn.

Of course, each faction’s Q would get in the way of the romance with their faction’s king, but amongst them Camille was a particularly infuriating woman. She was like a figure that personified all the annoying parts of a woman’s stubbornness, combined.
I was a fan of the King of Hearts, so I found her extremely irritating.
Well, she was a villain so in the end she was destroyed socially, and I felt really refreshed though.

…Wai-…Right now I’m Camille, aren’t I?
But the thought that I’ll be ruined at this rate doesn’t come to mind.
∵(Because) this is a dream.
There’s no way, way~, that I’ll fall into ruin~♪

Since I’ve come all the way to a country with magic, I’ll do what I want! I’ve come all the way to a dream where I don’t have to worry about how others see me, after all.
I wonder if the magic of this country has a game where you chase around a golden ball with wings. I’d be really, really be interested in playing it.