Chapter 19 Assault
When I asked them about it, they gave me an awkward look before turning their heads and falling silent.
They were already half-admitting because they hadn’t said anything, but I still wanted to confirm what that guy told them to do.
I assume it was some kind of honey trap because they were sent by that musclebrain who was almost always moving forward with vigor.
“I don't intend to blame you two, and I won't tell anyone what I will hear.
I just hope we can cooperate.”
“Cooperation, is it?”
Karina looked at me as if she were probing.
“Yeah, You may act as if the two of you have accomplished what my Elder Brother has asked you to do, and I will help you to the best of my ability.
I may not be able to do much, but…you two are prospective fiancées of my Elder Brother, right? If so, I can tell Mother about your attitude and recommend you to her.”
Crista remained silent, but Karina took the bait after I said so.
One more push, huh?
I've already come this far, so I suppose I could just directly ask them.
“Elder Brother told you guys to seduce me, right?”
Crista turned her head down and looked away further, and Kalina widened her eyes in surprise.
It appears that I was correct.
Despite their differences, they were both easy to read.
They were so honest.
“We’ll tell you everything.”
Seemingly convinced, the two shared the details over a cup of tea that Yuno had freshly brewed.
“Ethan called me and told me to, ‘make him fall in love with you and swing him around!' because you were getting in the way of his efforts to seduce the Saint.”
“He also told me to get information about the Saint.”
My hand holding the teacup hardened.
“Eh!? Who's trying to seduce who? And whose information does he want to get out of me?”
“It’s the Saint.”
“I heard she was sent to Astraea by the grace of the Goddess.
“Yes, That’s right.”
I looked at Yuno unintentionally.
You're leaking information about the Saint!?
I'll have to inform the Queen about this.
“Let me see…have either of you told anyone about the Saint?”
“No? I was asked by Ethan-sama to keep it a secret, so I didn't tell anyone about the Saint.
“I see, that’s a relief…”
Wait, no! That was still bad news!
When I told them that the appearance of the Saint was restricted, Crista's face turned pale, but Karina's expression brightened in contrast.
“Ethan-sama just told me such an important thing!?”
“You were not supposed to be happy about it!”
The information that was restricted could be dangerous to anyone who heard about it, but neither Ethan nor Karina have the slightest idea!
“Please keep quiet about the saints in the future.
But…why did you accept that stupid order?”
“That’s because…! I love Ethan-sama! I want to be his wife! Ethan-sama has many potential fiancées.
But he said that if I did what told me to, he would make me one of his wifes…!”
I had mixed feelings when I saw Karina shouting such words while tears flowed down her cheeks.
Please forgive my dumb Elder Brother.
But, I was very bothered and…irritated for some reason.
“Is that enough to make you his wife? You are being forced to cooperate to seduce other men.
Are you okay with that?”
He spoke normally, but my voice naturally turned into a reproachful tone.
“Of course, I'm not okay with it! But there are many more beautiful women with better status than me around Ethan-sama! So the only way to catch his eye was to grant his favor…”
Krista was leaning close to Karina, who had started crying in earnest and handed her a handkerchief.
I sighed quietly.
I felt guilty because most of what happened were predictable, and I felt like I could have done more to prevent the girls from getting hurt.
However, until I became involved to some extent, I couldn't tell if the two of them had bad intentions or not.
“Ethan-sama was probably joking about it.
So, it was my fault for taking it seriously.
I’ll just pretend I haven’t heard anything.
That’s why can you please let this go…? I’m just going to report to Ethan-sama that I couldn’t do it…”
You were still defending Ethan after being treated like that?
Because you like him…?
“…You’re amazing Karina…”
How could you not say a single bad word about him and still like him?
I wasn't being sarcastic or dismissive.
I was being completely honest here.
I don't know if Karina's feelings are good or bad.
No, maybe it was stupid and overwhelmingly “bad” to continue to love and be used by someone who doesn't love you.
Still, I think Karina was amazing, and I felt a little envious
Unlike me, I couldn't do that.
I really couldn't.
Ah~ That was why I felt frustrated…
I was remembering the time when I saw Mana cheating on me.
The moment I realized that I was being cheated on by someone I couldn't compete with even if I tried and that my efforts were in vain, I immediately gave up and ran away.
If only I had the same feeling as Karina, to the point that people around me would think I was an idiot…
…No, I should have had it.
“What do you mean by amazing!? Are you mocking me!?”
I guess she heard me muttering, and I ended up making her cry even more.
I felt bad for making a girl cry, but was it really my fault?
—No, I didn't.
Is it my fault that I didn't deal with her sooner so she wouldn't get hurt?
—No, that's not it either!
Why was it my fault?
I know who was to blame!
“Karina! Christa! Let's go and complain to my Elder Brother Ethan!”
“Aren't you angry? Who does he think he is? He has no idea what it's like to be human!”
“If you two don’t want to say it, then I will! Don’t miss it! Yuno, prepare the carriage!”
“Wait for us, Edward-sama!”
Carina tried to hold me back as I stood up, but I'm definitely going!
I will protest!
You guys can decide for yourselves if you want to go or not.”
We immediately returned to the castle after that by riding the carriage.
While checking on Ethan's whereabouts, I made an arrangement to meet with the queen.
“You two, wait for us in the parlor.”
As we were leaving the orphanage, Karina and Krista came after us.
Ethan was found in a private room in the royal area, which Karina and Christa were not allowed to enter, so I asked them to stay inside the castle.
“Well then, please…”
“I’ll leave them to you.”
I left them with Yuno and went to Ethan alone.
First I would go and protest, then I would drag him out in front of the two of them!
My anger toward Ethan was boiling over as I walk.
My footsteps echo in the hallway, rougher than usual.
I wanted to punch him in the face, but it was unfortunate that he was stronger than me.
I think I would probably hurt myself more if I hit him, but I think I should at least give it a shot.
I'm so quite angry that it was no wonder I'm walking right past her, but I recognize the little voice calling out to me.
It was coming near Mana's room, and when I followed the source of the voice, I saw Mana looking at me through a gap in the door that was slightly open.
“Welcome back, were you out somewhere?”
“Yes, I was in town earlier.”
My anger was cut short when I saw Mana.
We parted awkwardly this morning, and I have yet to apologize.
I'd like to give her the dog cookies too, but I've got Karina and Krista waiting, and because of that, it was not the time for that.
“Sorry, I'm in a hurry right now.
Let’s talk later…”
I interrupted what Mana was about to say.
The apologetic look on his face made me feel guilty, but now I had to talk to Ethan anyway.
With renewed energy, I head to Ethan's private office a little further down the hall.
Remembering Karina's tears, I walk, raising the voltage of my subsided anger.
“I'll make him apologize to Karina, Christa, and me!”
If I had walked calmly…
I might have noticed that I didn't hear the door to Mana's room close after I passed by, and I might have noticed the presence of someone following behind me.
“…Ed, are you mad at me…?”
(TL: Probably not, but I’m mad at you though.)
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