All rights belong to Otomate.
*I’m not a professional translator. Please let me know if you spot any mistakes!
✧ There is only 1 choice this chapter.✧
In the Kingdom of Cattleya, Berndt goes to the Rosette Castle. There, he apologizes for his late visit to deliver news regarding the current situation. “Ah…I’ve been waiting, Prime Minister Berndt,” the Pope says. He then introduces the topic, that of the princes’ whereabouts. Berndt states that although they’ve exhausted every effort into this search, they’ve yet to find them. Cattleya’s Pope says this must be painful for the people of Fasan, to which Berdnt says that though it tears him up inside to think about the princes, he isn’t here to speak to His Majesty just about them. This is about the Renard Empire, isn’t it? The Pope reluctantly says they’re not likely to let an opportunity like this go, but does he truly think they’ll make a move?
They will if they see a chink in our armor, Berndt says. If Rendard’s ambitions are to unify Cattleya, their country will once more become a battlefield. The Pope asks which of the princes would rule if they are found, and Berndt smoothly replies that it would be none other than the fifth prince, Prince Dirk. Cattleya’s ruler nearly loses his shit because Prince Dirk is far too young. He also says he understands how competent Berndt is in battle, but can he protect both Cattleya and Fasan all by himself? He answers that he must, no matter the predicament. Has the King forgotten how this country was razed to ashes twenty years ago?
He could never forget, the Pope solemnly replies. So much blood had been shed and the grieving cries of children and parents who had lost a loved one…even now he can still hear them. Berndt pleads for the Pope’s help; the more time they give to Rendard, the fewer options they will have to fight back. The Pope finally relents, and addresses Klaus. He heard what Prime Minister Berndt had to say, didn’t he? Will he be his aid?
“As you wish.”
“Hello, Tiana!” Tiana stops cleaning to go and greet her visitor, who is none other than her best friend, Lotte. She tells her to ignore the mess and come inside and she’ll put some tea on for her. While Lotte would love to, she really needs to get back to the store. She apologizes and says she’s here because her brother asked her to deliver this, and she hands Tiana a familiar envelope. A letter from Mom? Lotte tells her that Klaus is sorry he couldn’t give this to her in person, and Tiana apologizes for her having to come all this way. Her friend happily tells her to come hang out at her place every now and then, and Tiana eagerly says she will and thanks her.
She looks on as her friend leaves, then immediately opens the letter. It was only recently that a letter had arrived; she wonders if this one is about something urgent. Her Mom, Belinda, begins by saying that she wrote to Tiana about coming back home soon, but now their plans have changed. It looks like they won’t be able to come back to Cattleya for a little while longer, and she’s really sorry about that. Her Mom and Dad have a dear friend who’s currently in dire need of help, and they can’t very well leave them like that. They’ll be bringing back twice as many gifts and they hope that Tiana can forgive them.
What? She thought she was going to see them soon! She’s sorely hurt by this and her shoulders sag. It’s not rare for her parents to vacate the house for long stretches of time, but…this is a really long wait. And who is this friend of her theirs? Tiana folds the letter and makes to put it back in its envelope when she notices there’s some more left to read:
“P.S. Go to Klaus right away if you’re ever in trouble. I’ve asked him to look out for you. So if anything happens, do exactly as he says and you’ll be fine.”
Her Mom has always put her faith in Klaus, she thinks to herself with a bitter smile. Maybe she should’ve confided in him since she’s in some deep water right now. Blowing out a tiny breath, she puts the letter back inside the envelope.
With one hand tightly gripping her bag filled with the exact amount of money she needs, Tiana opens the door to the apothecary. But Sylvio isn’t there. Did he step outside? “Meow!” Tiana cries out in shock. That spooked her. Ah, it’s a cat, she says aloud. The black feline with a stylish cloth winding about its neck looks up at her, and she wonders if it belongs to someone here. (I have no idea if the clothing Matheus and the other animals wear are even visible to her, because she always talks about how sleek their coats are but never mentions the very obvious human clothing. Yet she notices this scarf.) Tiana starts to gush about how cute it is when someone welcomes her into the store, causing her to shriek once more.
She’d been about to pet the cat when a woman practically materialized in front of her, causing her to jump in fright. She’s so sorry, she thought there was no one here, Tiana says. The woman apologizes and says that she’d been working in the back. Oh, so then she works here? “Um. Well…” she trails off. Tiana releases a sigh of relief. She’d thought she wouldn’t get to buy the medicine today. This person seems less confident than Sylvio, though. Hopefully it goes well. She tells her that she asked Sylvio to mix up a medicine that would keep an animal turned into a human for a long time. Oh, right, right. She’ll go get it for her. It should be somewhere around here…
There’s the sound of something falling, then the sound of glass breaking. The woman digs around the back of the shelves, sending several jars toppling down in the process. Tiana asks if she’s okay, and the woman exclaims that she’s got it, and she’s sorry for the wait. Here it is! The woman finally retrieves the gold powder and presents it to her.
Tiana asks if she can inquire about this medicine, and the woman frowns. Sure, what is it? A palmful of the first medicine she purchased only lasted around fifteen minutes, so will this one work? The woman arches a brow and asks if she’s calling her medicine cheap. No, of course not! Tiana shrinks back at her sudden anger, noting the woman’s appearance. She could be seeing things, but this lady is pretty suspicious. She kind of looks like how a witch might look.
May she ask another question? The woman nervously agrees and Tiana goes right ahead. Did she make this medicine? Absolutely not, she’s just a salesclerk! “Anyway, it’s perfectly fine now so please don’t worry about it.” She quickly thrusts out her hand, as if telling Tiana to hurry up and pay her, and in exchange for the money she forks over, the woman forcibly presses the medicine into her hands. Is this medicine really good, Tiana thinks to herself. She exits the shop carrying the medicine, feeling uneasy.
It’s like she’d been shoved out of the apothecary, and Tiana becomes curious about the woman. She doesn’t move from where she stands in front of the store. She’d always believed witches were older women but there’s a chance that that woman is actually the apprentice witch Sylvio spoke about. “That’s it, I’m going back in to make sure!”
She enters once more and starts to say excuse me, when someone welcomes her in to the shop. Eager to grill the woman for answers, she loses her steam when she’s greeted by Sylvio’s joyful voice. There was a woman here a moment ago, Tiana says. “Oh, Gerda? She was my new salesclerk, but she’s useless so I fired her,” he casually replies. He fired her?! God, she completely destroyed all of his medicine, he grumbles, getting to work cleaning up all of the bottles she broke earlier. He’s a little preoccupied right now and asks if she could come back later if she’s got business with him. Yeah, sure! She apologizes for being a bother and bows to him in a fluster, then leaves the store.
Tiana announces her return and says she got the medicine. Erik welcomes her home while Lucia asks her if this one will work this time. Maybe, she admits, and Lucia raises a wing. Maybe?! Well there’s nothing to lose in trying it out, Alfred posits. Agreed, Matheus says, before apologizing for asking him to hold Lucia down. “Roger,” Alfred says, while Lucia blurts out that they’re going to use him again in disbelief. He mercilessly pins down Lucia, who’s thrashing about in an attempt to resist. At Alfred’s cue, Tiana sprinkles some of the gold powder over the duck, careful not to get any on herself or Alfred. “It got in my eye!!! Ow!” Lucia cries.
And then – just as before, a glaring light fills up the area and white smoke rises upward. When the it clears, there, before her very eyes…
“Oh, did it actually work!?” Lucia says in a soft voice, once more in his human form. Matheus says he seems to have become human, more or less, though this is where the problem lies. Yes, Alfred says. Now it’s time for them to see how long it takes for the medicine to wear off. Lucia huffs. How come it’s always him? They stare at a very uncomfortable looking Lucia for around an hour. He yawns, saying he’s tired.
Erik excitedly says the medicine’s effects haven’t worn off. This one’s much better than the last one, Alfred observes. So then the curse has been lifted, Lucia asks. Maybe it has! Erik asks Matheus for permission to use some of the medicine too. Sure, he says. There don’t appear to be any side effects as far as he can tell. Don’t say scary things about side effects! Lucia says. And don’t go around picking people to be test subjects all devil-may-care – huh?
It happens far too quickly for Tiana to see what happened; the white smoke fades away and there’s a sullen Lucia as a duck. It wore off? Huh, the curse didn’t go away? Erik asks. It was too good to be true, Alfred concedes. But it’s enough to they know they can sustain their form for an hour, Matheus reasons. The problem now is how they’ll proceed. At his words, the other three lapse into silence. Even with a medicine that can preserve their human form for a long time, they still have to break their curse.
Tiana knows this too, but she can’t come up with a concrete way of going about this. Matheus tells them not to look so upset because it’s not like they’re out of leads. They should press the apprentice witch for answers. Oh, that reminds her. Tiana had completely forgotten about telling them what had happened at the apothecary but then Matheus reminded her. There was an unfamiliar woman at the apothecary. An unfamiliar woman? Alfred repeats.
She gives a tiny nod and continues her story. When she asked the woman if she was the one mixing up her medicines, she evaded her question. Though she’d gone outside for a moment, she thought the woman was suspicious and so she went back inside, but the woman was nowhere to be found. Sylvio tried to gloss over her, saying she was his shopkeeper…but Tiana thinks it was really the apprentice witch. Now they definitely need to conduct a thorough investigation of this place, Matheus states. Alfred says he’s going with her now that they have a medicine that can retain their forms for much longer.
Tiana is relieved they’re going with her to get answers, since doing so by herself would be pretty discouraging. Anyway, Matheus…can she still not ask about them? They’ve been living together for a while and she doesn’t mind what kind of people they are, but she thinks they can work together better if she gets to know them all. Matheus says her name but trails off and Alfred speaks up for her. “Don’t you think it’s alright, Matheus?”
Erik thinks they should tell her and so does Lucia, who points out that she’s been taking care of them. Right, he’s sorry for keeping quiet about everything. “Tiana.” Y-yes? Matheus closes his eyes. He’s going to tell her everything, but it’s going to sound impossible and it’s going to be a shock, so she should get comfortable and hear him out. That out of the way, he begins to recount to her how they came to Cattleya and how they crossed paths.
They were on their way back to Fasan by boat from the Sardine port that day. Matheus asks if she knows of the huge academy over there, and adds that Erik and Lucia were students there. Really? *The Sardine Royal Academy is so prestigious that people can only get in if they hail from a respectable family or if they prove their merit. Alfred mentions that he and Matheus both graduated from that academy. She can’t believe all four brothers were able to attend a school like that. Are they from good families? She’s had a feeling about them for a while but having the reality of it all being thrust upon her is making her nervous.
Erik and Lucia would’ve been left to their studies had their father not suddenly passed away, Alfred continues. Tiana is stunned to hear that their father died. Lucia casually tells her not to worry about that because it’s not like they’re terribly upset that he died and it’s not really a concern of theirs Σ( °o°) But he’s their father, isn’t he? Tiana protests. Alfred hesitantly says he’ll explain that bit to her later, but he and Matheus had to go to Sardine to pick up the other two and bring them back for the funeral service.
Lucia says that it’s not exactly a long boat ride from Sardine to Fasan but they had a ton of free time. They killed some time by playing with a black cat that somehow had climbed aboard with them. Yeah, says Erik. It was really cute! A black cat. Come to think of it, she’d been seeing one around lately. Lucia asks if she’s even listening to them and she snaps out of her thoughts to say that she is. Lucia says they could see the Fasan port coming up and soon they would have arrived, but then out of nowhere the cat attacked them. It attacked them? Her imagination gets out of hand as she scrambles to picture some kind of ferocious feline, but then remembers that isn’t really important.
By attack, they mean it sprinkled a strange powder over them, Erik clarifies for her. Their surroundings suddenly became white and before they knew it, they’d been turned into animals. A strange powder…Tiana immediately glances down at the powder she’d bought at the apothecary today. You noticed, Matheus says. It’s no more than a guess, but the powder the cat used on them resembles that medicine.
Alfred says that by the time they’d realized what had happened to them, everything had burst into flames. They’d heard Matheus saying that if they wanted to save themselves, they needed to jump into the sea. All of them jumped. Lucia says they drifted on broken pieces of the ship that had blown up and a fisherman rescued them. Right as he thought they’d been saved, the guy sold them to that merchant who put them all in a cage. And you know the rest, Alfred concludes.
They’ve been through a lot of hardship, is all she can squeeze out. She’s been so moved by their story. Alfred says it seemed like the other passengers had been rescued by a passing boat, but as for them, there’s been no trace of them. As if they’re dead. No one would believe they’d been changed into these forms, Matheus adds. She can’t argue with that, Tiana admits, only to falter. Wait a second. She’s heard a story like that somewhere before. “H-hey, guys. This is probably unlikely, but…” and she trails off, unable to continue. No way, she tells herself. It’s just a coincidence their story is similar to one she’s already heard before.
“Tiana…my real name is Matheus Bartels Fasan. This may sound unconvincing, looking as I do, but I am the *first prince of Fasan.” Lucia takes this moment to introduce them all to her. Alfred is the second prince, he is the third prince and Erik is the fourth prince.
Erik asks if she’s alright. Alfred says they didn’t want to shock her but it definitely was a lot for her. No way. They’re the missing princes from Fasan. Everything adds up, and she’d felt they weren’t your average person when she’d seen their human forms. She starts panicking, remembering how she’s been treating them all and her mind spins in circles from the day they met up until now. “Mom, dad. I’m so sorry…I could’ve figured this out myself if I’d just given a little more thought to everything!”
Matheus asks why she’s sitting there looking like a fool and tells her to get a grip on herself. Erik sadly says that they couldn’t tell her and they all wanted to be together like they always have. Like we’ve always been? she repeats. Matheus says they’re grateful to her and they all completely trust her. As such, none of them were reluctant to reveal their true social standing to her. Lucia smiles warmly at her and says they never would’ve been able to return to being human again if not for her. We’d actually have starved to death, Alfred corrects him. Erik says they’ll never forget how desperate she was to nurse them all back to health.
Tiana is moved to tears by their kind words. Matheus doesn’t mind if she treats them how she always does. He’d get the chills if she started addressing him as “your highness.” Yeah, it’d be really awkward for her to start humbling herself to them, says Lucia. She thanks them; she’s really happy that she can talk to them as she always does. Tiana says each of their names and then expresses her hopes in continuing to get along. Erik giggles and says he was worried they couldn’t be with her once they’d told her the truth. Alfred thought she might just kick them to all to the curb. She’d never kick them out! And if they wanted to stay here forever she’d let them.
Lucia would gladly take her up on that offer but Matheus says they couldn’t do that to her, though right now their circumstances call for it. Until their curse is broken, he hopes she’ll let them stay here and assist them. Sure, she understands. Until their curse breaks…they’ll have to return to Fasan as the country’s princes. They can’t stay together forever. Tiana knows this. She has a feeling that day will be coming up fast, too, and that pains her. So she changes the topic. She knows what happened to them, but why did this happen?
Matheus says he has too many ideas about why, and when she asks what he means, Alfred explains for him. They’re all lucky to even be alive because someone was definitely after them. This scandal has to be related to the death of their father…the former king, King Balthasar. The very King who had just passed away? Cattleya has always been stuck between the resentment that Fasan and Renard hold for one another. Having won the war 20 years ago, Fasan then allied with Cattleya, but Renard’s forces are pointing their blades at them both once more. Tiana’s been hearing nothing but these same rumors lately, but hearing this straight from their mouths has her thinking this is more and more real.
Is a war about to start? Alfred says there will be one. Fasan has managed to mandate their overwhelming authority due to the work of the late King, who was a brilliant tactician, and his close aid, Berndt, who has a whole slew of accomplishments as well. There’s no way the Renard Empire will turn a blind eye to this opportunity now that Fasan’s two greatest authorities have crumbled. Rendard’s goals don’t just extend toward assuming control of Cattleya, but also all of Fasan and its territories. Alfred believes the late king’s assassination and them being cursed are all part of one scheme. He was assassinated?! So then his death was…?
To the public, it’s an accidental death, but mostly everyone inside the castle knows that’s just not the case. Oh no, Tiana breathes, and Matheus tells Alfred not to frighten her. The wolf apologizes for saying too much. These kinds of dangerous occurrences are pretty normal back in Fasan, Lucia says, but Cattleya’s super peaceful. This is normal for them? She hadn’t known that about Fasan, and thinks it must be a terrifying place to live in. If they were to be publicly announced as safe, Renard might reconsider any plans of invasion, Matheus says. However, they need to find a way to break this curse first. They don’t even know whether they were turned into animals as part of a plan or if it was a mistake. Alfred believes their true aim is their assassination. Fortunately, the world thinks they all died. They can use this as an advantage to get the upper hand.
Matheus asks her if she’ll go with them to the apothecary again and she agrees, dipping her head. Their situation is super complicated, she thinks. And she’s a little scared, too. Lucia asks if she’s okay cuz she’s looking kinda pale, and Erik says that of course she’d be afraid after being told something like this. If it will help soothe her, Alfred says she can pet him. “That’s no fair, Alfred!” Erik whines. He wants to be petted too. Matheus has an itch he can’t scratch (sure you do rofl) and Lucia enthusiastically asks her to pet him.
Wow, progress with the grumpy boy xD All four of them sidle up to her, worried about her, and she smiles at them.
Tiana takes out her notebook and, like always, records the events of the day. She wants to do all that she can to help them break this curse. She’s not lying about how she feels, but if one of them were to get hurt during this…she stops her train of thought and shakes her head. She can’t let her thoughts turn dark. She absolutely doesn’t want a war to happen with Renard, and so they need to break this curse fast.
Alfred confirms with Tiana that this is the place. She gives a tiny nod, and then they quietly peer into the apothecary’s window. They can see Sylvio working inside, reaching for a jar on a shelf. Matheus tells his brother to watch the exit and then he breezily walks on in. Tiana follows him inside. Sylvio welcomes her in and then pauses, but she greets him. Forcing the most natural smile she can, Tiana draws closer to him. Does he have time? She’s not here to buy any medicine today, but she has some other business. Other business? Matheus asks if he can ask him some questions and if he’ll give them some of his time. Sylvio warily repeats what he’s heard: He wants to ask him some – only to cut off with a strangled sound. “No way, how are you still alive -“
Sylvio’s entire demeanor changes and Matheus’ expression turns grim. He demands to know what he meant. Does he recognize his face? Sylvio backtracks, saying he’s never seen such a good looking man before, that’s all. His gaze roves around while he reaches for a jar in the very back. Tiana steels herself, wondering what the boy is going to do, when he suddenly swipes the bottle from its shelf and drops it onto the ground. There’s a crash, and then Tiana’s coughing. What’s this smoke? She covers her mouth with both hands and hunkers down so as not to breathe anything in.
Matheus thinks it’s some sort of smokescreen for him to get away, and he tells her they need to step outside. They do, and she coughs and coughs. That caught her off guard, she says. Having escaped in a panic, Tiana gulps down the clean air. Are they alright? What on earth happened? Alfred asks. It doesn’t matter, Matheus says curtly. Did he see anyone leave the store? No, he’s been keeping watch. What? Matheus and Tiana exchange glances.
They’d confirmed there was only one exit, so maybe Sylvio’s still inside the store. Matheus apparently has the same idea, because he utters an exclamation of disbelief before hightailing it. She and Alfred call out after him. He rushes into the store with them hot on his heels.
By then, the smoke has already cleared and Sylvio is gone and fragments of the broken bottle litter the floor. She speaks up, recalling how the woman who had seemed like the apprentice witch had both appeared and disappeared without her noticing. “There’s gotta be some kind of hidden door here, then. For an ordinary apothecary, they’re sure well-prepared,” Matheus remarks.
Alfred asks Matheus to take a look at something. He’d been hitting the floor since he entered the store, as if searching for something, and now he beckons them over. Nothing unusual about the floor stands out, but when Alfred taps the floor, there’s a strange sound. It looks like there’s something underneath, Matheus says, before giving Alfred the go ahead. At Matheus’ order, he pulls a blade that hangs at his hip.
His blade pierces the floor and it quickly falls apart; they stare down into the depths below. There’s a flagstone staircase that leads down. At Matheus’ prompt to go, she nods and then follows them downstairs.
Tiana can only marvel at what they find: a small room with a suspicious atmosphere to it. She glances around but can’t see Sylvio anywhere. Alfred suggests he escaped through that door, and he points to it, where a long and dark path continues. “The Cattleya Underground Passageway,” Matheus says. It was created for emergency get-away purposes and likely connects to the Rosette Castle. Tiana had no idea Cattleya even had something like that.
Her voice rises in astonishment. She travels the shopping district streets all the time but this is the first time she’s ever heard of something like this existing below them. While Alfred wants to pursue Sylvio, it’s dangerous to go traverse the Underground Passageway unprepared. But now it’s clear that this salesclerk has a connection to their curse, Matheus points out. They may have gotten away today, but he’ll make them regret crossing them.
“…and so he got away,” Tiana explains to Erik and Lucia how they’d given up on chasing after Sylvio after they’d stopped back at her place. Lucia is stunned they got away and Erik asks what this all means and why they fled. Lucia can’t really believe it but maybe that lady is actually the one who cursed them all. Well, that hidden, underground room gave her the impression that she was the one, she thinks to herself. In fact, the likelihood of her being the apprentice witch is pretty high. Then she she says aloud, “Oh, by the way,” and Matheus asks if she remembered something.
On the way back home from Sardine, they said a black cat had sprinkled a strange powder over them, right? She actually saw a black cat at the apothecary. What sort of cat, Erik asks. If she remembered right, it had a stylish cloth about its neck, a gold bracelet around its left leg and on its forehead was a white pattern.
Alright how does this cat not seem super obvious now xD
She has to be kidding, Lucia deadpans. That’s the same cat they played with on the boat. It is? Then that can only mean Sylvio and that woman have some kind of connection to the one who cursed them all. Alfred’s heard that witches use familiars, and suggests this cat might be one. Matheus is silent, his gaze averted, and Tiana apologizes. If only she’d noticed sooner…He looks back at her and says they’re leaving. All of them. His words are so abrupt she tilts her head in confusion. Even Lucia’s puzzled. What’s up with him? Did he get a good idea all of a sudden? *Backing down just isn’t to his taste, he replies. So it’s about time they set up a trap.
A woman asks another lady if she’s heard the news: the missing Fasan princes are coming to Cattleya! Yeah, she just heard! The first woman continues, asking what the heck is going on with this crowd? Isn’t the festival still a while away? Oh she didn’t know? The princes are taking a carriage down the street. Really?! Look, they should be coming around now! A third woman lets out a scream worthy of any fangirl, calling out Prince Matheus’ name, enraging the first woman. Hold on, she says. She can’t see a thing! She starts ordering people to get out of her way. The second woman says she can see them and then starts to sigh, saying that she’s heard the rumors but the four princes are all absurdly handsome. Seems like the rumors about them dying were untrue, the first woman notes.
Tiana, meanwhile, is not having the best time. She can’t believe how many people are here. Is this everyone in Cattleya? More importantly, why is she even here? Matheus asks what’s wrong, she looks so pale. She should take this opportunity to have fun with this. What’s stranger is that you’re all enjoying this, she retorts. How come? Lucia would’ve done this much sooner if he’d known they’d get a welcome like this! Is she’s not used to this, Erik asks her. Used to this? She’s a commoner – she’s never experienced anything like this before – not that she’d want to. If she lived a normal life she would never experience this. Besides, she can practically feel the piercing stabs of the women staring at her and she doesn’t want to lift her face. She asks Matheus if it was really imperative that she ride together with them in the carriage.
Yes, she has a crucial role. In the event that an accident occurs and the gold powder wears off, she’ll be their insurance. Their insurance? If they transform into animals she can convince the crowd it was a new trick of hers. That’s insane! As if she could somehow pull the wool over everyone’s eyes! Tiana fervently prays that their carriage will make it back to the castle as fast as possible. He tells her not to make that kind of expression and tells her to take this seriously and try waving at the crowd. She murmurs his name and admits to herself that she does like the fact that she can help them out and she doesn’t hate that they’re relying on her, but…she doesn’t think she can keep up with their dazzling smiles as they luxuriate in front of the cheering crowd.
Anyway, she forgot to ask him if there’s a reason why they’re doing this. Does she think he’d do something without a reason? He’s 90% sure that the woman she saw at the apothecary is the one who cursed them. He’ll hazard a guess that the curse was a failure because she’s an apprentice. Her motive was to assassinate them. When her employer finds out they’re alive, they won’t just let her go. Her employer? Matheus doesn’t think an apothecary storekeeper and an apprentice witch would have a personal grudge so deep against the current four princes in line for the throne that they’d stoop to assassinating them.
The Renard Epire has to be behind this. If they let a useless witch who failed in her obligation to them live, she’d only be a burden to them. That leaves her and the shopkeeper with two options: either they try to kill him and his brothers again, or they spill the beans on their employer in exchange for protection. Either way, they’ll be forced to make a choice. They just have to sit back and wait.
Lucia says Matheus was always good at these kinds of tricks and his older brother grumbles at him, saying it’s called “strategy.” As they’re talking, their carriage finally arrives at the Rosette Castle. Erik happily asks her if she had fun and she just nervously agrees. And by that, she means it was a truly nerve-wracking experience. She hopes they never have to do that again.
Now that they’ve made a public appearance, they’ll need to remain vigilant, warns Matheus. Alfred agrees and says there could be attempts on their life just through simple correspondences. As such, he doesn’t want Lucia or Erik going anywhere by themselves. Yeah, yeah, Lucia says. Can they go home now cuz he’s starving. Matheus asks Alfred to take them both back home. He has to stop by somewhere. Alfred says he will and then tells them they’re going, and Erik cheerfully says he’s coming.
Tiana follows after the others but then a familiar face comes into view and she stops. “I can’t believe you barged your way in here demanding to use a carriage. You never bother to think about other people.” Klaus goes on a rant and Tiana inwardly curses herself for not getting home before she’d been caught. It’s too late for regrets now, so she lowers her gaze and desperately prays that no one will talk to her.
Matheus says Klaus should be happy to know he’s not dead, and the man’s glasses flash as he proudly declares he had made a congratulatory toast to his demise. He didn’t think he’d have to see his *lurid mug ever again.
I love Klaus omg
Matheus says nothing in response, and Tiana can only think these two are kinda scary. It’s almost as if they know each other. When Matheus and the others had dropped by the castle, Klaus had been really surprised, but only for a moment. Upon bumping into each other, Klaus relentlessly continues to go on a tirade and Matheus quips back. There’s no sign of them stopping anytime soon, and Tiana is already in a fluster. Klaus says he evaded his question before, and they’re clearly not here to mess around. So what’s their business?
Cattelya’s knowledge and military are important to Fasan, he says. Is there a problem with him, the future king, coming here to scope things out? And neglect the late king’s funeral? No, he doesn’t think so. Matheus tells him that even if there was something going on, Klaus doesn’t need to know. Klaus pauses before pushing up his glasses. He says he won’t force Matheus to speak on anything he can’t talk about. Snooping around in his business always gets him nowhere. Anyway, he’s prepared the princes some rooms inside the castle, and it looks like His Majesty, the Pope wants to throw them a welcome party.
Matheus extends his apologies to the Pope because he’ll be refusing both invitations. What? How come? Living in her home is much more comfortable, Matheus coyly says, and she squeaks when he wraps an arm around her shoulders. Tiana twists away, trying to escape from his arms, and then Klaus turns right around to look at her with a scary smile. He addresses her by name. She desperately tries to think up something she can use to get out of this but nothing comes to mind. Yeah, she really should’ve hurried on home with Alfred and the others. She uncomfortably casts a teary-eyed glance elsewhere and Klaus takes one deep breath before speaking.
They both do nothing but make his job more difficult. He tells Matheus to get his affairs in order and then go back Fasan. Matheus gives Tiana a look, and she starts to sneakily retreat from Klaus, looking as if she’s cowering behind Matheus in the process. Klaus’ voice sounds as though he’s barely reigning in his fury when he says, “Tiana. Wait.” Looks like she’s not getting away; she fearfully glances back at him.
His every word is practically punctuated with veiled anger as he asks her if she was planning on explaining what on earth is going on. W-well…you see…Tiana trails off and desperately looks to Matheus for help. But he’s already a little ways away from them. With a jerk of his chin, he seems to be telling her to hurry up and get back home. It hurts having to always deceive him, but Matheus hasn’t given her permission to talk about this. “I’m sorry Klaus, but I have somewhere I need to be right now. Another time, then!”
Klaus tells her to wait, but she turns away from him, apologizing over and over in her heart to him.
Tiana and Matheus race through the gardens and hide behind a hedge, quietly peeking over it and back the way they’d come. She’s not sure what they’ll do if Klaus pursues them, but it seems like he gave up and she lets out a heavy sigh. Matheus apologizes for putting her through so much anxiety, and she says his name. She’s had this suspicion for a while now, but do he and Klaus know each another? He says they were classmates at the Sardine Royal Academy. They were classmates!? Klaus did graduate from the academy, she recalls. Matheus adds that they were more like acquaintances.
The guy was always picking fights with him, just like he’d done earlier. He was also the only one who did that to him. Now that he mentions it, was it alright for Klaus to talk like that to a prince? Well, she’s one to talk, she thinks.
“Prince Matheus!” There’s the sound of footsteps, and Tiana looks over to see an unfamiliar man rushing toward them. Matheus appears to recognize them because he breaks into a grin. He tells Berndt that he’s over here, and the man runs over to them. He’s been looking everywhere for his highness and he’s so incredibly glad that’s safe! Matheus says that he’s alive, somehow, and he’s sorry for making him worry. He didn’t think he’d get to see Berndt since he’d heard they’d just missed each other on his way back home.
Berndt says he came back as soon as he got the news. He begs Matheus to return to Fasan together with him. The people of Fasan can’t sleep at night but if they can see him, their restless hearts will be soothed. But Matheus is afraid he can’t go back. Does he mean to remain in Cattleya? Matheus says that Berndt knows that someone in Cattleya wants to put them in the ground. Until he brings everything into the light, he can’t return. Berndt understands Matheus’ feelings but he urges him to take care of himself. He wants someone else to do this for him because he can’t do this by himself. Matheus responds by saying that Berndt knows the kind of person he is: he can’t leave things up to someone else. Berndt can only say his name.
“Very well. I shall remain here to investigate in your stead,” he announces. Though he’s repeating himself, he can’t allow the princes to remain here knowing they’re exposing themselves to danger. Matheus understands his perspective, but they’re already a step away from driving their enemy into a corner. It’s a waste of Berndt’s time to drop everything to start looking into the issue when he doesn’t even know what their enemy’s face looks like, he further adds. Berndt reluctantly concedes with his argument.
Matheus continues, saying that right now there remains two problems. The death of the former king has left their country weak. As such, they must first protect it. The second is eliminating the one who tried to do away with him and his brothers by scheming to take advantage of the late king’s death. He says it would be better for Berndt to return to Fasan to protect it rather than himself. “Stubborn as ever, Your Highness,” Berndt says. Matheus apologizes, asking him to back down. The man agrees and says he’ll tell everyone that the princes are safe.
Matheus will leave Fasan’s defense up to him, and asks that he contact him if anything happens. “As you wish. Please, take care,” he solemnly says. The man reverently bows his head before departing. Who was that person, Tiana asks. Oh, this is probably the first time she’s ever met him. That was Berndt, Fasan’s Prime Minister and his fencing instructor. He’s nervous that his country’s been so vulnerable lately, but now that Berndt will be there he has nothing to worry about. Tiana doesn’t know what sort of individual he is, but she gathers that he and Matheus trust one another and the man had a very amicable demeanor about him.
Matheus says it’s about time they head back. They’ve been out too long and the gold powder might wear off. He takes off ahead of her in a brisk pace and she asks him to wait for her, racing after him.
Back home, Lucia complains that he’s starving and asks if dinner’s ready yet. Erik tells him that if he has so much free time he should help with the plates. “I can’t. I’m so hungry I can’t move.” Erik seethes and says he’ll serve him only a little bit of food then. Why the heck is he being so mean? It’s not like he even cooked the meal or anything. Matheus tells them to shut up because their racket’s making him hungry. Alfred feels the same way. He tells Lucia he’s ungrateful to the girl who cooks him meals everyday, and he stutters that that’s not true – he’s grateful. Then demonstrate that with your words and your actions, Erik says, adding a cute little, “right?” at the end. Tiana giggles and says that she’s just happy seeing them enjoy her food.
Tiana’s quickly gotten the hang of cooking for five, and she deftly piles the food onto the plates Erik hands to her. This is the first time she’s set up a table for them all like this. Up until this point, Matheus and the others had been passing the days in their animal forms so they never needed to use any chairs or set the table.
Erik excitedly tells Caspar to look at tonight’s delicious meal. Lucia, meanwhile, is just happy he can eat with a fork and a knife again. Alfred says he better help himself to seconds before it’s all gone and Matheus tells them that the meat is all for him and they can have the veggies. Erik scolds him and says he needs to eat them and Matheus quickly says the same could be said of him. He just eats vegetables and he thinks he should fatten himself up a little. Erik says he doesn’t want to end up like Lucia, and the guy snaps, telling him not to talk like that because he’s not fat! And poor Alfred awkwardly asks if they can finally dig in.
Tiana’s finally gotten used to seeing them as humans but they’d probably get mad at her if she told them she felt more at ease with them as animals.
I love this girl She gracefully lifts the food to her mouth, a wry smile curling her lips, as she watches the four guys.
Translation Woes AKA “Why the fuck do I think I can Nihongo?”
Unlike the last chapter, this one gave me a huge headache. It didn’t help that I stayed up the last three nights translating up until 4 am, but good lord was it frustrating. I hadn’t seen some of these expressions or words before and I’ve listed them below along with my best guesses. On top of that, I assumed this would be a shorter chapter just like chapter 3 and that just wasn’t the case lol (or maybe it just felt that way?). But I got it all done in 3 days so now I can take a little break to rest. As always, if I have made any translation errors, PLEASE let me know! I really want to improve!!
*The royal academy’s two ways of getting in require the individual to be excellent in their academics or from a well-to-do family.
*First Prince. The Japanese literally states it as first prince, so while I was tempted to translate it as “crown prince,” there’s already a specific term for that. Being born first doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the heir apparent either, so for now I chose to stick with the exact literal meaning to err on the safe side.
*Backing down just isn’t to his taste. So it’s about time he lays a trap. 「やられっぱなしは性に合わない。たまにはこちらから仕掛けないとな」This was something I couldn’t entirely wrap my head around so if anyone knows where I messed up please let me know! A やられっぱなし type of person is someone who allows another person to bowl them over all the time. In other words, they’re a total doormat. Hopefully I was close!
*Lurid mug. I’ve never heard of くどい顔 before and every dictionary I used indicated it meant some kind of tedious, gaudy or ostentatious thing. Some other searches resulted in people trying to describe it as someone having very prominent and chiseled features – and based off of Klaus’ harsh disposition toward Matheus, I highly doubt that’s a compliment. I tried to find a synonym in Japanese. One of them was 執拗い and after a lot of thinking, I figured lurid fit the bill. Again, I’m not sure about this and I’d love to know how to translate this. Thank you!
Matheus’ routes is currently being translated. I’ll make a post later about how I’m choosing to release posts for this as it’s a much longer process.
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