19. A Rainy Day has Come!
“—…There’s no need for you to do something like that.”
Oswald’s voice, astonished yet also reassuring, immediately flew into Charlotte’s ear.
Due to the strange tickling sensation, Charlotte felt weak in her knees.
Not only was she being embraced from behind by Oswald, he had also spoken into her ears. The scene was filled with mysterious charm.
“You don’t have to take that off. You don’t have to change your clothes, either. I know you didn’t mean anything by putting them on.”
“Eh? Is that so?! Uh…!”
She stuttered. No matter how many times she closed and open her mouth, no meaningful words came out.
At her current rate, she’d die of hyperventilation.
That wouldn’t do. She continued listening to Oswald.
“Then, slowly exhale… Have you calmed down?”
There was no way she could.
However, she felt like things would become more difficult if she were to say that. Charlotte lied and nodded her head.
“Then, it’s fine. But, what’s wrong?”
Then, as Oswald kept hugging her from behind, Charlotte realized something—
—T, this dress is really thin…!! I can feel the strength of his arms as he hugs me…!!
She wanted to free herself, but she didn’t think that she could afford to move.
“I guess it’s safe to assume that your other gowns are of similar fashion? However, it’ll be impossible to tailor a new one, for the time of evening ball is approaching.”
…Also, his breathing!! Every time Oswald speaks, a soft breath comes into my ear…!!
Unable to breathe, the pounding of her heart intensified.
What should I do…?
On the first day after she had regained her consciousness, Charlotte hugged Oswald and begged for his name.
She was the one who initiated the hug, so she was fine. Despite that, she couldn’t stand being hugged by Oswald.
She felt ready to cry. Still, Charlotte tried to maintain her sanity. Then, the next trial struck.
…Right next to her ear, Oswald had beckoned her name.
She really wanted to praise herself for not fainting right then and there.
It was truly a wonderful occurrence. She wanted to wriggle on the floor in celebration, but she was being embraced. Therefore she couldn’t do it.
If nothing is done, it’ll spell my death!!
The moment she thought that her heart was about to burst—
There was an echo.
Unfamiliar sights filled the entirety of her vision.
What had expanded before her was the view of wilderness.
She could see ‘Charlotte’ standing on top of a cliff, overlooking the myriad of troops beneath her.
“Come on, faster!”
‘Charlotte’ beckoned to the soldiers.
A large number of soldiers were colliding against what seemed to be enemy soldiers.
It was a battle between soldiers who possessed no magical power. Their weapons were drawn towards each other. They fought while shedding their own blood.
‘Charlotte’ looked down at those soldiers and laughed merrily.
“Never be frightened, even if you are to lose a limb or have your stomach pierced! Yes, don’t falter! Even if your heart is crushed, even if your head is chopped off…!”
As her pale golden hair fluttered in the wind, ‘Charlotte’ smiled bewitchingly.
“—I’ll heal you.”
The soldiers, who appeared to be hers, raised a battle cry.
“Charge! Defeat the enemy!”
“We have to hold out until the magicians arrive! No, we must prevail!!”
“Who cares about getting injured?! We have Saint Charlotte with us!!”
At that time, the scenery reflected within her eyes shifted.
A man stood in front of Charlotte.
It was Oswald. His expression was extremely frigid.
Oswald’s face was soiled with red. That was also her first time seeing him wear such a black cloak.
No… it isn’t a black cloak…
It was his usual blue cloak—only, it was dyed with blood.
Oswald was drenched with blood.
His red eyes smoldered with hatred as he quietly glared at Charlotte.
Because he had spoken of her name right beside her ear, she returned to reality.
Unconsciously, she glanced at the diary on top of the desk.
It was both an unrealistic and a surreal scene. It’s as if all my emotions, which should have been born from seeing that image, are sealed…
However, Charlotte immediately became conscious of the existence behind her.
“Charlotte? What’s wrong?”
O, oh! That’s right! Oswald is embracing me for some reason!
Because the emergency had passed, her consciousness flew away. Charlotte managed to speak in a human language as she confronted him.
“W, what are you doing…!?”
“I want you to show me your closet so that I can prepare for the evening ball.”
“I, I’ll show you!! I’ll show you as much as you like!! Thank you for your help!!”
Oswald then spoke in a slightly reluctant voice.
“…I won’t do anything terrible to you.”
But you already did?!
Are you not aware of the impact you have on me?!
At last, they were separated. She crumbled to the floor.
Somehow, she managed to lead Oswald to the closet.
“This is it… You may look as much as you want…!!”
Next to Oswald, who opened the closet, Charlotte took deep breaths many times.
The previous event, although glorious, was also bad for the heart.
I managed to recall one thing! The impact of being hit by a person is greater than the impact of colliding against others myself! The same goes for making contact with my husband! I don’t think I will be able to survive through that again…!!
“…As I thought.”
When she finally regained some calm, she looked into the closet with Oswald.
“…All of your gowns are too skimpy.”
…That must have been my former self’s hobby.
***T/N: I, I’m not gradually finding Charlotte’s eccentricity as adorable or anything…!
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