Thank you all so much for your patience! I know it was a long wait but I’d rather not give up on this project because I got burned out like I almost did with the previous 4 chapters. I also had other games I wanted to play as well as other obligations.
Matheus’ route is comprised of several chapters which have been compiled into one post that is split into several pages.
All rights belong to Otomate.
*I’m not a professional translator. Please let me know if you spot any mistakes!
Matheus Bartels Fasan CV: Midorikawa Hikaru
Gerda sneezes and says it’s freezing. She laments her fate, all thanks to Sylvio letting the cat out of the bag. Isn’t it her fault they got into this mess in the first place, he asks her, pointing the blame at her botching up the medicine’s mixture. She didn’t botch anything! She made sure it worked! Wasn’t he the one who was supposed to make sure all of the princes were asleep after he poured the medicine on them? Sylvio argues that the boat had gone up in flames and was filled with smoke – how was he supposed to tell? “How were you supposed to – I knew you messed something up! I can’t think of any other reason!”
While she rages at him, Sylvio raises a question. The fishing boat that had rescued them – only the royal guard and the sailors had been on it, themselves included. There’d been no sign that the princes were saved, so how come they survived amidst a burning ship? She’s been wondering about something, Gerda says. The girl who’s been coming by to buy medicine lately, why was she with Matheus? Now that she mentions it…Sylvio trails off, only to cry out as an epiphany hits him. Startled, Gerda tells him not to suddenly shout.
The girl who bought the medicine! She didn’t seem like she wanted him asking her any questions so he didn’t pry. Gerda finishes his sentence for him, saying that she was also curious about the girl. Why did she need a medicine to turn an animal into a human? No way. Could he have used the Gold Powder on them instead of the sleeping powder?Ah, that makes sense, he reluctantly admits. They must’ve turned into animals, so it’s not like he could’ve known whether or not they survived.
Gerda calls him out and says this is all his fault. He nervously laughs. Everyone makes mistakes, yeah? But she’s relentless. He knows what will happen if they fail, doesn’t he? Sylvio says the princes made a garishly flashy show above ground so he thinks their employer already found out they’re alive. They have to do it again, she says. They have to end their lives, no matter what it takes. Sylvio tells her to leave everything to him. This time, he’ll make sure he kills them.
Lotte greets Tiana and apologizes for bothering her so early all the time, to which she reassures her it’s all right – she’s just finished tidying up after breakfast. Her friend tells her she got her something, and hands her a basket of jams and freshly baked bread. It smells delicious! Tiana thanks her for the bundle and Lotte giggles happily and says she’s very welcome. “And…well, I actually have a favor to ask of you.” Lotte takes out a small book from within the basket Tiana’s holding. What’s that? Lotte explains how she needs to return this book to the Royal Library but the Carnival’s starting today and she doesn’t have the time to go do so herself. Oh that’s right, Tiana comments. It’s already that time of the year again.
Lotte’s bakery has many devoted fans even in other countries, and attracts a long line of people to the front of her store during this season. When Tiana had once helped her out during the Carnival, there’d been no time to rest. Lotte hopes Tiana can give the book to her brother on her way to the castle. Sure, it’s no problem. Lotte thanks her and wishes her well, and Tiana, likewise, wishes her well with her shop. Her friend laughs and expresses her hopes to sell a lot of the new jam she’s made. Tiana steps outside with her and watches Lotte jog back to her store. A new jam, huh, she thinks to herself. Lotte’s been working hard. Tiana needs to do her best, too.
Now then…she’s already tidied up so she should probably get going to the Royal Library. She’s afraid that when she does meet up with Klaus, he’ll try and nose his way into her business, but she also has something she wants to ask him. Tiana lets Erik know where she’s headed and then she sets out.
Alright, where’s Klaus…ah, there! The Royal Library has only just opened and there’s not many people around, but now more and more people are coming inside. He seems to notice her too, for he starts to head her way. “…What are you here for?” Lotte asked her to take care of this book for her. Why does she have it, he asks her after a moment’s pause. Hasn’t the Carnival started today? It looks like her store is going to be pretty busy. Ah, so it is. Then he apologizes and the both of them fall silent. Tiana can’t help but note how awkward this all is, preparing herself for his questions about Matheus and the others and wondering how she’ll answer them.
Though he looks disgruntled, he keeps quiet. Then he asks if that was all she needed. Oh, well she actually needed to ask him something but if he’s busy it doesn’t need to be right now. Klaus patiently informs her that, as she can see, it’s not their peak hour yet. Oh, it isn’t? Then she’ll just ask him a few things. She’s been curious about this for a while: he and Matheus were classmates, right? Yes, but why is she asking about that? He never talked about his days as a student and she’s intrigued by something. Did he and Matheus get along? Klaus asks her if she’s blind 😂 What is she seeing between them to get such a grossly wrong idea?
She was mistaken? Klaus asks if she thinks someone of Fasan royalty – and the first in line to inherit the throne, no less – would readily wish to make friends with commoners. He does have a point, she admits to herself. Yet she insists that despite how he may seem, Matheus is actually very friendly and caring. She thought he’d be popular in school.
Friendly and caring? Who on earth is she talking about? The guy never hung around the other students. He was cold-hearted and cruel and he never let anyone approach or speak to him. That’s the kind of person he was in school. You’re kidding, Tiana says, unable to believe it. Klaus asks if she thinks the Fasan royal family are just like the Cattleyan one. Those who actually knew what was going on feared the late King Balthasar and didn’t speak on the matter. The Fasan royal family is a rather vicious one; there are even rumors about the former King slaughtering his own siblings when he took the throne.
He killed his own siblings?! Klaus further adds that by all appearances, the cruel and cold-blooded King and Matheus are like two peas in a pod. Originally, Prince Abel was the first in line to the throne, and rumors say that Matheus has some connection to his death. The concubines who’d given birth to sons apparently lived each day wary of Matheus. Tiana asks him to hold on a second because he has to be mistaken. Matheus isn’t cruel or cold-hearted and he’s got a good relationship with his four brothers.
Klaus doesn’t regularly deal with the Fasan royal family, so all of this could just be hearsay. However, it seems as though practically everyone who’s come across Matheus believes the rumors to be true. Klaus thought the same when he first met Matheus, as all of the stories about the cruel and cold-hearted King Balthasar seemed to piled on top of each other. The guy always possessed an intimidating heir, too, frightening the teachers and students alike.
It’s as if Klaus were talking about a different person. Try as she might, she can’t accept what he’s saying. She can’t believe this. How could Matheus be…but then Tiana remembers that she has seen him make a face like that before. She gasps aloud, prompting Klaus to ask her what’s wrong because she suddenly made a weird noise. She apologizes, inwardly reeling as she thinks back to the day he’d waited for her in front of the apothecary. We get a flashback to when Alfred explained Matheus’ strange “allergy” to men in chapter 2. When it concludes, she wonders if Matheus was actually trying to appear intimidating to everyone in order to hide his own weakness.
Alarmed, Klaus asks her what’s wrong (the literal translation is “why are you making that face” but he’s genuinely concerned here). When she makes a confused remark, he says that she looks about ready to burst into tears. Does knowing about Matheus’ past upset her so? She tries to protest, but he tells her not to worry about it because there are people out there who don’t hate him. PFFT
He then begins to go on a rant about how the guy was always an eyesore in school, but it’s got nothing to do with his disrespectful attitude nor his personality. Klaus barely clawed his way up to the top of the class through his test scores, but could never once best Matheus in horse riding, fencing or in strategy.
The salt is real. He can’t say they were buds, but he knew Matheus hated to lose. Tiana erupts into laughter hearing this, and says it’s like he found himself a worthy rival.
Klaus scowls as she pokes fun at him. He shouldn’t have breathed a word to her, he mutters. Tiana giggles, thanking him for sharing that with her. She feels better. But Klaus fixes her with a serious look and tells her not to forget what he told her. It doesn’t matter what sort of individual Matheus truly is, he says, and then he tells her not to get involved with the Fasan royal family. They’ll return to their country once their curse is broken, so Klaus has nothing to fret about, Tiana thinks to herself. On the way home, she tries countless times to shake off Klaus’ words, but they remain with her.
Erik cheerfully welcomes Tiana home and Lucia remarks that she finally made it lol. She’s sorry for being late, but she’s back now. Erik then announces that he’s leaving. They’re going out? The Carnival’s started today, right? He and Lucia are going to take a look around. Lucia whines about how he wanted to laze around at home but Matheus said it would be too dangerous for Erik to go by himself. Of course he’d suggest he go with him, says Matheus. They’re lives are in danger, and he warns them not to go anywhere without many people around. Erik agrees to this.
Alfred says he’ll be going as well, and Matheus tells him to be careful and not to forget to use the gold powder each hour. His brother says he will, and then they all head out, leaving Matheus and Tiana in the entryway. She asks if he’ll be leaving too, and he says he is – with her. He’s unfamiliar with Cattleya’s geography. Should push come to shove, it’ll be a losing battle if one doesn’t know the lay of the land – no matter how good they are at strategizing – right?
With a laugh, she says she understands and tells him to leave everything up to her. With a sly grin, Matheus smoothly says she’ll have him all to herself for the day. She shouldn’t have any reason to object, now would she? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Tiana grumbles about him going on about that all the time and wishes he’d be honest and say ‘thank you’ instead. He is grateful, he says. What, does she want him to demonstrate it to her?
She stutters in her refusal, saying he’s already conveyed enough to her. Matheus carefully extends a hand to her, and in a fluster, she makes her escape. Cruel and cold-hearted…is how Klaus described him, but when Tiana is with Matheus, those words don’t come to mind. Both the people at the castle and those at the Royal Academy must be wrong about Matheus. This all must be because of his strange allergy, and just thinking about this is too much to bear. She takes a huge, deep breath to try and get rid of these feelings, and then she opens her door.
Now then, where should they go? Tiana first chooses to go to the fountain’s front. As it’s always bustling with people, the fountain is referred to as the entryway of Cattleya. Now with the Carnival under way, it’s become even more congested. One corner in particular has a rather large gathering of people, and Tiana cranes her neck in an attempt to peer into the crowd. Matheus remarks that something interesting must be going on over there so they should go and check it out.
Tiana follows him as he carefully pushes his way through the throng of people, making sure he doesn’t touch any men, and then all of a sudden her line of view is clear of obstructions. A man is expressing his regret, exclaiming that he’d nearly had it (Man 1). It looks like the center of the crowd’s attention is a game of tarok. With a curse, the man (Man 2) demands another match, and the first guy tells him it’s time to quit because he’s already done all he can, yeah? He (man 2) says he may not have any money on him, but if he goes back home he’s got some stashed there.
Then the gambler speaks. He’s not running or hiding. He’s gonna keep playing, so the other guy can go home, get his money and then come on back. At that, an enraged woman raises her voice. She’s been watching the whole time and no one’s been able to beat him. Even if he’s fired up about this all, he’s still just an ordinary guy and yet he’s been burning through them all. A second woman readily agrees with her, asking the people if it’s not strange that he keeps winning so effortlessly. With a stunned voice, the man who’d lost speculates that the gambler’s a cheat. Yeah, he has to be one!
The gambler laughs, telling them all to check him and his cards all they like if they doubt him. Or is there no one else who wants to take him on? It seems like he’s won quite a lot of matches, considering the pile of gold coins before him. Oh, no one will? The gambler says it’s still a little early for him to wrap up for the day, but if no one’s gonna challenge him, then… “Aren’t you brimming with confidence? I’ll play you.” Before Tiana can stop him, Matheus steps forward to volunteer. Pleased, the gambler rubs his hands together, only to widen his eyes when he realizes who it is. “Y-you’re – no way!”
“I’m Matheus, first prince of the country of Fasan.” The gambler practically chokes and the first man asks why his highness is in a place like this. The first woman believes the prince is here on an inspection tour of Cattleya, which confuses the first man because why would he be coming here then? To this, the second man says it doesn’t matter who he is right now, and he begs the prince to please beat his opponent. Matheus expresses disbelief at how stupid everyone is getting deceived by a swindler of this standard. A swindler?! The second man says he knew there was some kind of foul play going on.
Matheus replies by saying this trickery isn’t anything complex, and then he directs his attention to the first man who’s at the front of the crowd overseeing the games of tarok. Matheus beckons him closer. With a sly smile, he comments on how the guy’s been fervently rallying them on, but perhaps he’s been a little too fervent in his gestures. The man nervously asks him what he means and Matheus says that it’s rare to notice someone who’s acting a little odd in a crowd of people, but this is overkill.
The crowd is uncertain whether he’s making a false accusation against the first man, and they begin to murmur among themselves when they see their expressions change. You can’t be saying I’m his accomplice, the first man says with a laugh of disbelief. *The gambler asks his highness to please not throw a wrench in his games after all the matches he’s won. While he doesn’t look it, he’s earned a reputation as a gambler all over the land in his youth, and he doesn’t need to act like an uncouth swindler to win.
Matheus asks if he’ll take him on after they bind this man’s wrists and ankles. He also says the gambler can’t say he’s dropping out of the game now. If Matheus wins, the gambler has to fork over all his winnings. But if Matheus loses, he’ll pay him with everything he has. Tiana is shocked, but she chooses to stay quiet and watch the match rather than try and stop him. This is Matheus, so he has to have an idea of what to do. Tiana intently observes the match with bated breath.
The second man wishes Matheus good luck, and the first woman says this is likely to be an amazing game. It looks like there’s no going back, the gambler says. He challenges the prince, asking him to show him what he’s got. And after only fifteen minutes since the match began…
“You’re all talk, aren’t you?” Is this really the skill of a gambler renowned throughout the land? Gold coins pile up beside Matheus so fast that Tiana can only stare, dumbfounded. The second man is amazed by Matheus’ overwhelming skill; the first man can’t believe his eyes, wondering who the prince even is. Matheus considered taking all the gambler had, but he might leave him with enough coin for supper.
Frustrated, the gambler accuses him of cheating, saying there’s no way he can keep on winning like that if he didn’t have any tricks up his sleeve. Matheus makes an amused sound. “Don’t be ridiculous.” Is he saying there’s no way to win at tarok? He suggests remembering every bill he’s used as a strategy. But the gambler exclaims that no one can remember them all. “Absurd,” Matheus argues, telling him that’s a poor attitude to have if he’s claiming to be a gambler. *And while the fees are expensive, Matheus tells him to turn a new leaf and start over again. The gambler curses, and just like that, the game concludes and the crowd raises their voices in delighted cheers of joy
The second man enthusiastically thanks his highness, saying he’s so relieved by the outcome. Matheus pauses for a moment. He doesn’t recall having done anything to merit his gratitude. He turns his face away as if to hide his embarrassment, then gathers up the coins and gives them all to the man. He has no idea what he’s supposed to do with all of this money, so Matheus tells him to split them among those who’d lost to the gambler; he has no need for money. Seemingly touched by this gesture, the man expresses his heartfelt thanks to the prince. He’ll never forget his kindness in his lifetime.
When Matheus doesn’t respond, a strange look upon his face, Tiana asks him what’s wrong. “Nothing. This is out of character for me, that’s all.” She laughs, then says she’s glad he was able to make everyone happy because she wasn’t sure how things would turn out. Matheus makes a face and tells her that he’d just done it on a whim and they should be getting back home because his hour’s almost up. “Ah, wait for me, Matheus!” She chases after him, trying not to break into a smile at this uncharacteristically bashful side of him.
Tiana then takes him to the marketplace. He’s not exactly keen on this place, he says. He must be remembering the time he’d been forced into a cage, for he looses a despondent sigh. Our girl here giggles because this is where she met them all.
Lady I cannot xD Is that how she sees things? For some “predestined meeting,” the whole thing is lacking in charm, says Matheus. Okay, so maybe the delicious scents of fish and meat wafting through the marketplace isn’t the most appropriate place for a first encounter, she admits.
And then our favorite shady dude slides into the DMs to ask if they’re out on a secret date. Tiana turns around toward the sudden voice. “It’s so nice to see you again, Miss. Have those four animals been helpful?” At the appearance of someone she really didn’t want to see again, Tiana immediately goes on the defensive. (The notes reveal that Hannes is 27 years old) Matheus asks Hannes what he wants, who exclaims how much of an honor it is to be able to meet his highness. He felt as though his very body and soul had been split apart when he’d heard that he’d gone missing!
“Let’s go, Tiana. There’s nothing here,” Matheus announces, and Hannes frantically tries to get them to stop. They don’t have to be so cruel to him, now do they? He’s started a new business and he’d like them to have one as a token of their acquaintance. A new business? When she glances down at Hannes’ feet, she sees a lineup of unfamiliar devices. What the heck are these, she asks him. Oh, she doesn’t know? These have become pretty popular among the aristocracy who raise animals. More and more people are seeking comfort from their animals – not as livestock, but as companions.
Is that so? Spending time with animals is pleasant, but having them around for healing purposes? But of course! He’d thought it was the perfect opportunity for business, and so he developed toys specifically for pets. What does she think? He believes the animals she bought from him a few days ago would enjoy them. He forcibly imposes on her with his new merchandise, one of them being a long rod with a tuft of feather attached to the end. Tiana accepts the proffered item and admires it. What is this thing?
Matheus tells her not to take something so weird from him, and she nervously agrees, making to hand it back to the merchant. But Hannes shakes his head. He’s not going to charge her for it – he’s giving it to her. Matheus warns her that there’s no such thing as a free lunch and tells her not to let this suspicious merchant wheedle her into it. Hannes laughs, saying his highness is overly cautious. He reassures him that he has no ulterior motives and merely wishes to entertain good business with the girl. Oh, right! Tiana begins to ask Hannes about her brooch when he suddenly announces that he has somewhere he needs to be and wishes them a happy holidays.
Hannes packs up all of his wares with stunning agility and then hightails it somewhere else. Matheus tells her they’re leaving; if she wants to shop they can do so later. Alright, she says. But she didn’t get to give this back to Hannes. Tiana gazes down at this strange rod he’d dumped on her. It’d be wasteful to toss it so she decides to hold onto it for the time being. Unsure how to even use it, she places the item into her bag.
Tiana chooses to go to a resting spot next. What is this place, asks Matheus. She explains that there’s lots of shops here that sell snacks and cakes, so after you do some shopping, you can sit down at a table and eat. Which kinda makes this Cattleya’s refreshment area, she adds uncertainly. (The notes for “cheese” states that this is Klaus’ favorite food. It seems as though snacking on some cheese with a glass of wine after work is the only thing he indulges in.)
Eating outside, huh. It must be a custom for Cattleya, considering its mild climate. Matheus gazes around with keen interest. Tiana thinks back to all of the times she’d buy a bunch of different things to eat. And that food cart over there is selling some divine looking cheese…Matheus grins slyly, causing her to ask him what’s up. He thinks she wants to eat some of that cheese at that stand. What!? Why does he think that, she hesitantly asks. “Bulls eye. You’re gazing longingly over at that stall.” She was not!
He calls her stubborn, then asks if she wants to eat some. Tiana inwardly grumbles to herself. Yeah, she’d like to but…“I-I’d like to eat some.” At her honesty, Matheus happily smiles. Okay, he’ll go and get her some cheese. Oh, no it’s okay! She can get it herself- Matheus wants to buy it for her, so she shouldn’t protest and just let him treat her. He runs off before she can stop him.
As she frets over whether she should go after him, Matheus soon returns with a small bag. He says she has a good eye for things, and then asks which she’d like. As he talks, he lets her take a peek into the bag. Oh my god, he bought so much. There’s all sorts of cheeses, all of them tightly packed together in the bag. So…which would she like? Tiana reaches for the bag, only for him to nimbly dodge her outstretched hand. He asked her which one she wanted, he says. He’ll feed it to her. He’ll what!?
Why is she so surprised? He’s doing the same thing she did for them. The same thing she did? Is he referring to the time when they were all so weak? Tiana only did so because they weren’t well enough to feed themselves. It’s fine, he insists. He tells her to open her mouth – or would she rather he cover it with a kiss?
His words come out of nowhere, bewildering her; he reaches for her chin. *He calls her an extravagant woman, preferring a kiss over cheese. Tiana panics, saying she doesn’t want that and to stop teasing her in a place like this/ in public. She squeals, and Matheus bursts into lively laughter. Her being so frank about despising a kiss wounds him! Well, he said something weird! His gaze narrows with mirth. Alright, if it’d bother her to do that in public then he’ll feed her at home. He’ll take his time with her after everyone has gone to bed tonight ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
If he turns back into a lion then she’ll blow her whistle with all her power in retaliation, she promises herself. He’s smiling cooly at her. Tiana grips the whistle hanging at her chest and scowls at him.
I love this girl.
When she takes him to a tourist attraction spot, Matheus’ eyes widen at the sheer amount of people present. “There’s quite a lot of people here. Just where the heck are we?” Can he see the rose bushes over there? There’s a mysterious tradition associated with them. Tiana explains how the buds at the end of the branches never bloom, but should you pluck it and present it to someone of the opposite gender, it will bloom. A flower that blooms for the first time after it’s been plucked, huh? Interesting. Would she wear it in her hair if he picked one? No, he can’t!
He can’t? Why not? Tiana says that the flowers don’t bloom for just anybody. They only bloom when romantic feelings between two people are mutual. Meaning they won’t bloom if either one of them doesn’t reciprocate, Matheus concludes. “I see. Even more of a reason to try it out then.” What?! Matheus tells her to wait where she is because he’s off to go pick one for her. Hold on, she says, but he tells her not to worry. He winks at her and says he’ll take responsibility if it blooms. Take responsibility!? She knows he’s only kidding, but it’s getting harder and harder for her to remain calm. “Jeez, just knock it off already –
Shrill squeals suddenly sound behind her, and Tiana timidly glances over her shoulder. Three women are whispering to each other. Is that Matheus? He’s right over there! The last woman can’t believe she’d get to meet him here! There’s the sound effect of a rushing stampede gunning for Matheus like the animals in the Lion King crashing down on Mufasa, and before she and Matheus have the chance to get the heck out of there, dozens of young women have surrounded them. One woman says it’s an honor to meet his highness, and she begs him to accept her gift. A second woman tells him to please accept her rose instead. A third angrily demands the other women to wait because she was going to give him hers first!
With rose buds plucked from the bushes in their clutches, the women surge forward to be the first one to give him theirs. He asks them if accepting these imply that they’re “testing out” love? The first woman enthusiastically wants him to accept her passionate feelings for him. Another woman pleads for him to look her way. She’s longed for his highness for so long.
“I see. Very well…” Matheus accepts the rose buds one after another. In no time at all, he has amassed so many buds that he can’t hold any more, but not a single one of them looks like it’ll bloom. The women’s shoulders collectively slump in disappointment. Matheus is kind in his rejection, saying that it takes time for feelings to deepen into love. But if their feelings are genuine, he’ll welcome them. As they writhe in anguish and wail, Tiana finds herself blushing at his speech.
Matheus asks her what she’s doing just standing around. It’s time they headed back home. They quietly take their leave in an effort to prevent an even larger uproar. “This should be good enough,” Matheus says after they make a dash for a deserted alleyway. They both take a breather. He asks if she can carry half of the rose buds for him. They’re a little drab, but he doesn’t have the heart to throw them away. She could decorate her home with these, he suggests.
You just called them drab and now you want her to decorate her house with them?! lol
She apologizes to him. If only she’d realized sooner what they were giving him, this wouldn’t have happened. Matheus hands over half of the bundle to her, but she still has to be careful not to drop them. He says it took all he had not to flee during that – !? He abruptly stops talking, prompting her to ask him what’s wrong. The rose buds, he says, confusing her. But then she sees what’s happening. No way. They’re blooming!? Wait, why are they doing that all of a sudden? Matheus asks in disbelief if it’s because he handed them to her. Yeah, she’d taken them from him, but only the half that weren’t looking too great. So it’s not like she “accepted” them.
Both of them fall silent as they try to find something to say. Matheus is the first one to break it. “They’ve bloomed beautifully. I never imagined my own feelings would be spelled out for me like this.” At Tiana’s surprised exclamation, he says he was only joking. Breaking off so many rose buds must’ve pissed the flowers off, huh? “O-oh, you’re right. You almost had me there!”
Well, his hour’s nearly up and these flowers are bothering him, so they should drop them off at her place. She agrees, all the while telling herself that he’s right about the flowers. This was just some sort of accident. And she doesn’t dislike Matheus…but until she makes it back home, Tiana can’t seem to look directly at his face. With her own face concealed by the fully bloomed roses, she walks behind him.
Next, Tiana and Matheus take a peek at a small theater in the shopping district. The stage doesn’t appear ready to begin yet and the audience is quiet. What is this place, asks Matheus. Tiana explains that this small theater is for traveling entertainers to demonstrate tricks and perform plays. Right as they make to leave, Tiana hears footsteps coming their way, as if chasing after them. A man she’s never seen before tightly grasps her hand in both of his own. “E-excuse me?” she asks, and the man apologizes lightly, introducing himself as the owner of the theater. He calls this a stroke of luck and he asks if they’d make an appearance in his play.
A play? The owner had a special performance planned for the Carnival, but then the two leads suddenly came down with a bad stomach ache. Really? That must be rough, she says. “So, what do you say?” Tiana doesn’t understand what he’s getting at. It would be a huge help if they would take the leads’ places and appear in his play, he tells her. She says this is crazy (agreed lol). She doesn’t know about Matheus, but she’s certainly never studied theater before. And though she knows it would pose a problem for the theater owner, she and Matheus don’t have to perform in the play. The owner reassures her that everything’s fine because it’s not a difficult play. Besides, the moment he saw them it was like he’d instantly felt a connection. He’s positive they got this.
He asks Tiana if the man beside her is her lover. He has quite the face and he even looks more of an actor than his own actors do OOF. While she flounders for a way to introduce him, Matheus does it for her. He’s the first prince of Fasan: Matheus Bartels Fasan. The owner sputters, asking if he’s Prince Matheus. He’s dumbstruck, mouth hanging open, and Tiana gives him a tiny nod. She says the prince is currently inspecting Cattleya and she is showing him around. The owner scrambles to apologize for his behavior, further adding that he’s heard rumors of the prince’s beauty, but they pale in comparison to the real thing.
Matheus asks what he’d have them do. Surely he has a script for them? Tiana tries to ask him what he’s doing, and the owner can’t believe his ears. His highness is really going to perform in his play for him?! Depending on what it entails, he’ll consider it. He is? Tiana asks. He points out that this is a good opportunity for them and it’s not like they have a reason to refuse him, right? He’s in a rather good mood as he accepts the theater owner’s proposition. Tiana chooses to say nothing and goes along with his lead.
She’s never had any experience with acting and she’s not sure she can do this, but she doesn’t say anything because she doesn’t want to dampen his spirit. And, she admits to herself, she does want to see him act in something. Matheus asks what kind of play this is, and the owner is beyond happy to know he’ll play a part for him. He’s been saved! The owner gives him the script, saying this is the sort of play it is. Tiana just finds this entire situation odd, because normally a theater owner wouldn’t do something like this, and yet here he is cheerfully handing off his script. Matheus takes the script and thumbs through it, his eyes scanning quickly through the contents before he gives a small nod. “No problems here. I’ll do it.”
He will?! He asks Matheus to please give him a moment to set everything up; Tiana fails to get his attention as he runs off with a huge smile on his face. She asks Matheus if he’s alright with this. He accepted the job really easily. The play is less than an hour long so he doesn’t need to worry about the gold powder wearing off. “Hurry up and memorize your lines.” He dumps the script onto her and she reluctantly opens it. This is a lot, she thinks. And…nearly all of the lines in this play are just for them. Matheus asks what’s wrong – she’s looking pretty pale. Well yeah, they pretty much have all of the lines. He tells her to stick hers somewhere she can read them if she can’t memorize them all.
Okay, she can do that…but what about him? No worries, he says. He already memorized his part. What, no way! He only glanced at it! He says she’ll have time but right now they need to get their sizes checked for their costumes. Why is he so into this play? He could genuinely want to help the troubled theater owner, but she breathes out a tiny sigh, unconvinced about something.
A few hours since they’ve accepted the script: What ensues is one of the cheesiest scenes I’ve ever had to play through, Tidus’ laugh included. *”Why did you come here, my beloved? My family will kill you if they see you!” Matheus tells his lover not to worry, for on his back are the wings she has given him with her love. Even these tall walls can’t stop their love. Love makes one strong and so no matter what her family does, they can’t stop him. She protests, saying that if they spot him, they’ll murder him. Matheus says that what scares him are her heartbroken sighs and her beautiful eyes clouding over with fear. No matter how many swords were to pierce his body, the pain of her turning away her gentle gaze from him would be far greater.
Cue the screeching fangirls cheering for Prince Matheus. He’s so beautiful, a woman gushes. Tiana’s amazed by the crowd. She has no idea what the heck kind of advertising had been done for this play, but the theater is overflowing with guests. It’s a huge success. “Hey, pay attention. The next line is yours!” Matheus whispers, causing her to apologize. Tiana hastily looks down at the balcony’s banister, where she’d affixed the script. She can’t believe Matheus was able to memorize all of these lines so quickly. He hasn’t even looked at the script since then, and he’s played his part perfectly. His face is animated and shining as he basks in the shrill cheering of the crowd. Tiana inwardly wonders if he’s a show-off. But then her mind starts to wander.
Tiana slowly finds herself unable to take her eyes off of his each and every move, and it’s like she’s one of the girls in that crowd. And before she realizes it, the act is over and the curtain closes to grand applause. Thank God, it’s finally over. Matheus muses to himself about how the pair (from the play) are never to be together. (I’d like to say he’s referring to star-crossed lovers here but I’m not 100% certain so take that as you will) What? He tells her not to mind him. Yet when she turns around to ask him what he’d said, he looks somewhat sad as he smiles at her.
The owner interrupts them by bursting onto the scene to exclaim how much of a success the play was and he thanks them for their help. He jubilantly slips a small paper bag into her hand. It’s their payment, he says when she asks him what it is. He’s aware that it could be rude of him to give this to his highness, so he gives it to her. She thanks him for the money, but worriedly says she messed up so many times. The owner reassures her that it’s all fine and dandy because the crowd only had eyes for the prince, and she awkwardly agrees with his statement. Still, when he puts it that way it almost feels like a backhanded compliment.
“You did great,” Matheus praises her, saying she’s got an unexpected talent for this. Touched, Tiana says his name. This is the first time she’s ever seen him having such a good time. He likes being the center of attention, doesn’t he? Matheus admits he doesn’t hate it. He was born beautiful so wouldn’t it be a waste to hide himself? Tiana bursts out laughing at his overconfident proclamation. The owner thanks the prince, saying he’ll never forget this in his lifetime. With that, he holds out a hand to him as if for a parting handshake, and Matheus falls silent.
Oh, right. As she wonders why he looks so confused, she remembers his strange allergy. “Um, we’re in a bit of a hurry so we’ll see you next time -“ Tiana interrupts them in an effort to help get Matheus out of there. *But he takes command of the situation by holding up a hand to her. “It’s alright, Tiana.” It is? He proceeds to formally thank the owner for giving them this experience, saying that he should be the one thanking him instead. The owner can only utter his name in response, and the two firmly shake hands.
To an outsider, this might very well be a moving scene. Maybe a handshake is alright for him, she thinks, anxiously observing him. It’s as he’s beaming that she sees the bead of sweat on his brow. So a handshake isn’t good, then. “Tiana. Though I’m loathe to leave so soon, we need to get going.” Right, she stutters. She tells the owner to take care, and he thanks them for today. They’re welcome any time and he asks them to come again. She waves goodbye, all the while frantically following after Matheus.
Matheus makes several pained sounds and she asks if he’s alright. He snaps at her. Of course he’s not alright! Sweat is dripping from his forehead and he’s white as a sheet. If there weren’t anyone around, she’s positive he’d be painfully scratching away at his entire body. She tells him that he didn’t have to shake the theater owner’s hand if it would turn out to be this painful. *Like he could refuse him in that situation! Well, maybe, she says. Matheus angrily says that nothing good comes from being kind to men.
If she had his condition, she’d probably find it difficult making friends. It’s no wonder he’d avoid those of his own gender. As royalty, he probably doesn’t get much of a chance to freely meet with other people. Tiana recalls what Klaus had told her this morning. She can’t imagine how it must’ve been like for Matheus to force himself to distance himself from the other students. But she’s seen him do all that he can to take care of Lucia and Erik and she knows that he’s fine with looking after others. She’s sure that that’s the real Matheus.
“I…I’m sorry, Tiana.” He shouldn’t have forced himself to just grin and bear it if it upset her. Commoners are used to royalty ignoring their extended hands and coldly ignoring them. That’s just how things are. Even if rumors were to spread about him having been cruel and arrogant to the owner, his social status wouldn’t change. Commoners are used to royalty ignoring their extended hands and coldly ignoring them. That’s just how things are. Tiana wonders if he’s been telling himself these things all his life. She walks beside him, hiding her face, which has miserably bunched up (from emotion – sounds like she might be holding back tears).
Before Tiana heads back home with Matheus, she heads off to the Kinnbart Forest. He makes an annoyed scowl as he asks her where the heck she’s taking him. Sorry, she says. But there’s someone she wants to meet around here. He seems to be an acquaintance of Slyvio and Gerda’s, so maybe he knows where they went. “Hey…if you knew someone like that was here you should’ve said so sooner.” She apologizes, saying it slipped her mind, and in her panic he looses a small sigh. *Hmm, she’s heard that there’s a lot of people/animals around here but…
Oh, there it is! She spies a familiar looking hat fluttering in the grass and she rushes toward it. “Hello!” she calls out, and Kurt pops into view. “Oh, uh, you’re?” She introduces herself as Tiana and says they met at the apothecary in the shopping district. Oh yeah! She’s the girl that was crying about her stomach hurting. Was the medicine effective? No, that wasn’t her…yep, he really doesn’t remember her. Who’s this guy, asks Matheus.
He’s a treasure hunter named Kurt and an acquaintance of Sylvio’s. Treasure hunter? Why does he get the feeling he’s seen his face somewhere before? Matheus cocks his head to the side as he stares intently at the boy. As for Kurt, he gives no reaction to Matheus as to whether or not he may recognize him or forgotten who he was. Kurt asks them what brings them around. Are they here to help him gather medicinal herbs?
No, they’re here to ask about Sylvio, she says. Oh, about Sylvio? Kurt grins and says that if she’s asking about if he has a lover, Sylvio said he’s single. N-no, that’s not what she’s here for! Tiana asks if he’d tell them where he is or if there’s a place he might be at. Sylvio’s always at the apothecary. Where might he go if he’s not there? What, he’s not at there? Oh no, Kurt whines. He needed to buy some medicine. Matheus asks if he doesn’t know where Slylvio and Gerda are when he’s not there then.
But Kurt looks troubled. Since when has Sylvio been gone? He was just at the shop recently. It’s been a few days, Matheus says. He really doesn’t have any idea where they could’ve gone? “What?! A few days? I picked so many herbs for nothing. What am I gonna do?” With a sigh he says he’ll just have to come back for them all when Sylvio returns to the shop.
Matheus tries to tell him that’s not the issue. Does he know where they are? Kurt suddenly perks up and excitedly tells them to take some of his herbs. They’re really good for colds and even if he brought them home he couldn’t use them all. Matheus awkwardly starts to thank him for the herbs but then remembers their dilemma. Fed up with Kurt’s carefree attitude, Matheus shouts at him to listen to people when they talk to him.
Uh, what were they talking about? Matheus’ voice sharpens with his frustration. “I’m asking if you know where they could’ve gone.” Kurt laughs and says sorry but he doesn’t know. Matheus sighs. Tiana apologizes to him since it looks like this was all pointless. “…I’m tired. I’m going home.” (ಡ艸ಡ) W-wait a second, Matheus! Tiana cries out as he begins heading down the mountain. He looks done with it all as she hurriedly chases after him. Bruh I can’t even blame the guy haha.
Matheus asks if that’s the end of the tour and she says she was thinking of heading down to the Royal Library. He’s not interested in that place. She can go on ahead by herself if she has business there. Oh? Alright, she’ll be gone for a little while then. “Don’t stay out too late,” he tells her. Thank God he didn’t say he was tagging along, she thinks to herself. The Royal Library is where Matheus’ mortal enemy, Klaus, is. She figured he’d say he’d rather wait for her at home, and she’s so relieved to see that was indeed his reaction. But she doesn’t have a lot of time left so she has to hurry.
“You again. What do you want this time?” Despite looking quite bothered at seeing her her again, he still pauses in his work. She’s here to borrow a book but if he’s busy she can look for it herself. She’s here for a book? Well, he’s busy but he still tells her to tell him what book it is. She asks if there’s a book about preparing medicine to make one better at dealing with men. Klaus’ eyes widen. “What?” I’m choking on air someone call life alert
She awkwardly laughs, saying that of course they wouldn’t have a book like that. Ever since that incident (Matheus’ allergic reaction to the theater owner), she hasn’t been able to get it out of her head. And now she’s here. But when she says it like that, Klaus is promptly at a loss for words. Moreover, if it was that simple to cure his condition, she’s sure he would’ve already figured it out by now since Matheus is so bright. In a drained voice, he says she always comes running to him with nothing but outlandish favors.
She apologizes, saying she thought he might know something. He wants her to explain to him why she needs a book on that kind of topic. Yeah, she figured this would happen. “Figured this would happen?” he repeats with a huff. “Here you are yet again trying to get information out of me without bothering to even tell me why you’re asking.” Tiana apologizes and says that today this is about something different.
“…Klaus. I’m just want to know whether or not there’s a way to cure it. If there is, I’ll tell you everything about it.” He doesn’t say anything at first. Then he says there is one book that comes to mind. He makes it crystal clear that it’s an incredibly valuable book. Only a few people are granted permission to look through it. As such, he can’t lend it to her unless she has a very good reason. So she agrees to tell him everything. On the condition that Klaus doesn’t share this with another soul, she tells him everything about Matheus’ allergy.
Pushing up his glasses, Klaus says that he understands. He’s skeptical about it at first, but when she’s done talking he sighs, a solemn expression on his face. “That’s an unbelievable story, but a lot of things make sense. Let’s say you’re telling the truth and that he was able to hide this condition of his for so long.” Tiana speaks up to correct him. He wasn’t just good at hiding this condition – he had no choice but to hide it. He agrees, adding that Matheus isn’t just the heir to the Kingdom of Fasan but is the future ruler of both Fasan and Cattleya.
That explains why Matheus would fear another person learning of his weakness, leading to him distancing himself from everyone around him. He always thought Matheus was an idiot, but it turns out the guy’s an even bigger idiot than he could imagine. But he can understand how Matheus wouldn’t want anyone to know about his weakness. He thinks Matheus will get terribly angry at her if he finds out she told him about this and she admits that she’s not even sure she was right in sharing this information. Maybe she’s poking too much into Matheus’ personal business. But she couldn’t just sit back and do nothing either!
“So you have feelings for him? For that guy?” At her confused utterance, he says that she’s the kind of person who takes care of others but she ignored all of his advice about not getting involved with him. She can’t tell sit there and tell him she doesn’t hold any special feelings for him. Tiana protests. He’s the prince of Fasan! Klaus smiles softly. And why should his social status matter? She wants to help him as a fellow person, doesn’t she?
She’s really never thought about it like that. She thought all she wanted was to do anything she could to help him. So then…maybe she does…like Matheus… “This is hopeless. I’ll lend you the book,” Klaus says with a sigh. He’ll go and get it for her so just wait there. She patiently waits for him and he returns a short moment later with the book in hand. But he doesn’t look too well.
He says that there’s a description for the medicine and trails off, prompting her to ask if something’s wrong. Klaus opens the book to the desired page and presents it to her. A cursory glance indicates that it’s not a difficult medicine to make. However, one of the necessary ingredients is the Traum flower. It’s a medicinal herb infamous for being difficult to obtain. He doesn’t think she’ll be able to easily get her hands on one. A Traum flower? Its distinct characteristics have been noted in the book and it’s unlike anything Tiana’s ever seen before:
“The Traum flower is native to the Rakette mountains located in Sardine. However, even the people familiar with the land say the flower is difficult to find. A patch of them are rumored to grow at the summit, but in actuality none have ever been seen.”
When she lets out a tiny sigh, Klaus smiles encouragingly at her. He tells her not to give up before she’s even started looking. He’ll go around the marketplace to find out if any of them know anything. Yeah, he’s right. She’s gotta at least try first. “Klaus…thank you so much. For everything.” With a chuckle, he grins and says there’s no need to thank him. If she’s successful, they may just be able to use this flower as a trump card in diplomatic matters.
Tiana strains a smile at his proposal, unsure if he’s actually serious or just joking. She’s glad she went to confide in him, she thinks, inwardly thanking him again. She continues to thank him in her heart, and when he returns to his work, she leaves the Royal Library.
She announces that she’s home to Matheus. He’s sitting down on the living room floor, but he slowly gets up at her return. She’s back pretty late, he says. Tiana apologizes that it took her longer than she expected it to for her to finish shopping for dinner. Where’s Alfred and the others? They’re still out. God, where the heck are they loitering about? he grumbles, eyes narrowed. Matheus seems to be in a sour mood after waiting around all by himself. Tiana suggests she groom him, asking if he’s itchy anywhere. He asks her what she thinks he is. He’s not her pet so she should stop trying to treat him like one as if it might butter him up to her.
Tiana dejectedly apologizes. That wasn’t her intent. He doesn’t say anything for a while before suddenly asking what she’s doing just standing around. She said she’d groom him, didn’t she? BRUH Uh, he’s okay with it? No one said not to do it, he says, which makes her go silent. She’d thought he didn’t want to be petted, but maybe he’s just embarrassed about it all? She’s having a hard time understanding where he’s coming from. Confused, she sits down. Tiana announces that she’s going to groom him so he needs to sit still lol.
“Matheus, are you hungry? I’ll go whip something up for -“ Right as she holds up the with ingredients for tonight’s dinner, something falls onto the floor. Hm? What’s this? When did she buy this thing? Tiana retrieves the slim rod from the floor. A feather tuft sprouts from one end. This must be some sort of toy. Matheus asks if it’s the toy that merchant called Hannes dumped onto her. Ah, that’s right. He’d said it was some sort of toy for animals but she has no idea how to play with it and she tilts her head as she regards it.
She asks him how she’s supposed to have fun with this and he looks super uncomfortable as he responds by saying he’s not an animal, so how would he know? She innocently waves the rod in front of him. Maybe you’re meant to tickle animals with the end, she thinks aloud. Matheus is starting look more and more displeased by the moment, a frown pulling at his face. But this might only be fun for pet owners. What are they supposed to do if they agitate the animal?
“See what I mean? Using something like that to tickle an animal is pathetic…” he trails off as she continues to wave the toy in front of him. And then, gradually, his eyes start to brilliantly gleam. Matheus? She screams and leans away from him when he suddenly reaches out with his fore paws to snatch at something in front of her. What’s wrong, she asks him. He just…
Matheus doesn’t know why, but he had the overwhelming urge to knock the feather off of the end when it moved. He did? She waves it in front of him again and he tells her to stop it because he’s not having any fun. Despite his words, he’s breathing harshly and he’s staring intently at the moving feather. “There!” he says, and with his fore paws he aims for the feather and knocks it off of the end. She doesn’t know why, but this is kind of…fun. Though she forgot to ask Hannes how she was supposed to use it, she’s certain this is how it’s meant to be done.
“Hey. Tiana.” Matheus snags her attention and she asks him what he wants. Is she done with that? She asks him if he wants to play some more. Matheus stammers that he never said that. But just a little more is fine by him. She laughs. Though he told her to stop he doesn’t appear ready to do that anytime soon. Alright, they’ll just play a little more –
“…What’re you doing?” Someone behind her suddenly speaks up and Tiana drops the toy. Lucia! She gasps. W-what is it, Matheus asks his brother. When did he get home? Just now, says Lucia. Anyway, what the heck is that rod? They looked they were having fun with it. It’s nothing! Matheus opens his jaws in a snarl. She was just working out her hands! Working out her hands, Lucia repeats with a slight tease to his voice. Matheus tells her that he’ll be in his room and to call him when dinner’s ready.
Looking highly offended, Matheus flees to the second floor. Lucia looks a tad uncomfortable as he asks if he was maybe interrupting something. No, nothing like that, she says. Well, it’s about time she gets dinner ready. Wait a little bit, okay? He tells her to please go ahead with dinner because he’s exhausted from hanging out with everyone all day long. Ah, but she’d wanted play with Matheus a little more…Disappointed, she returns the rod back into the bag.
After dinner, Tiana takes her notebook out of its drawer and opens it on top of her desk like she always does. A lot of stuff happened today. Ever since Matheus and the others arrived, so much has happened that now her pages are overflowing with events. The Traum flower, huh? Klaus said he’d help her look for one but will Matheus be happy if they do get one for him? He might get angry and tell her she should’ve minded her own business.
Just thinking about this has stopped her from writing anything down and the notebook’s page remains blank. Maybe she should get some fresh air outside. The weather’s good today so she might be able to see the stars from the courtyard. So Tiana closes her journal for a moment and steps outside.
“Oh…? Matheus?” She struggles to see them, but there’s someone already there in the gloom. She’d thought no one would be out here in the courtyard. Matheus responds to her inquiry by asking her what’s wrong. Can she not sleep? She just needed some air. Maybe gaze up at the stars, too…
She’d come outside because she’d been worrying about him, yet here he is. One step ahead of her. She looks up at the sky with a wry smile and asks him why he’s up so late. He’s even used the gold powder. How come? He was researching, but there’s not a lot you can do with lion paws. True, she says. She giggles and asks if he’s taking a break then. Yes, just like her, he’d thought he’d get some fresh air. Oh, yeah. If they’re both going to keep at it, how about she fix them up a late-night snack?
He declines, saying that her cooking is already so good it’d be overeating if he accepted a snack too. Besides, he already has a snack right here. He holds out a paper bag. Curious about what it could be, Tiana peers inside and – Oh, these are the cheeses he bought at lunch. Matheus reminds her that she said it would be alright if it was somewhere without anyone around to see ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) What? Oh no.
He comes closer and tells her to open up. He’ll feed her. Without giving her the chance to say anything, he rips one of the cheeses in the bag into pieces, and then reaches for her. She’d agreed as long as no one was watching, Tiana thinks to herself. “I’ll pinch your nose if you don’t hurry and open your mouth,” he teases her. Tiana chooses not to resist lol and opens her mouth a little. His finger barely grazes her lip as he pops a piece of cheese into her mouth.
Matheus asks if it’s any good. Y-yep, it’s delicious. To be honest, she really couldn’t tell him what it tastes like ROFL He doesn’t give her a moment to do anything other than let him put piece after piece into her mouth. Jesus she’ll be constipated for life. Like a bird feeding its young, Tiana stays quiet and accepts the food. And then he says he’s glad she wasn’t placed under with the same curse like them. The same curse?
If she’d been turned into an animal, he’d take care of her. While he’s not particularly fond of animals, he’d enjoy looking after her. “Matheus…” Tiana thinks that if she were under the same curse, she’d do her best not to be a bother. He’d be a diligent caretaker. She’d like to see him care for animals. “Hm? Hold still for a second.” Matheus’ face suddenly is very close and she feels something touch her cheek. And holy balls do we get a CG. He says she has some cheese on her cheek, and startled, she says his name.
What is it? He hasn’t forgotten that he’s not an animal right now, has he?! There’s no way he’d forget that. Besides, if he did this to her as a lion, it would hurt her and that would be inexcusable. That’s not what she meant! Matheus says he’s kept repeating this over and over again, but no matter what form he takes, he is himself. He tells her to calm down and then asks her if she’s still not used to him like this. It’s not like she’s avoiding him in this form, she thinks to herself. She wants to tell him she’s just awkward around him when he’s a human, but she gets the feeling he’d poke fun of her so she casts her gaze to the floor and doesn’t say anything.
What, there’s no more? Matheus says he’ll have to go buy more cheese. He turns the empty bag upside down and grumbles. Finally free from his pranks, she heaves a relieved sigh. “Anyway, this is good timing. Tiana, I wanted to ask you a few things.” Oh? He asks her what her parents are like. Unsure what he’s after, she repeats what she’d told him before about them: her mother is a beastmaster and her father is a musician and they travel the world together as entertainers.
Matheus says he’s already heard this, but isn’t this the longest they’ve left her alone with the house? Yeah. They actually said they were on their way back soon, but then she’d gotten another letter from them about how they wanted to a help some friends of theirs that were in trouble. So they won’t be back for a little while longer…
Has it always been this way? Yes, more often than not, no one else is home. Oh, but ever since he and his brothers got here it hasn’t been lonely at all. Every day is so much fun. He feels the same way. He’s never enjoyed every day like this before until he started living here. Though his words make her happy, it’s almost like she can see through them to all of the hardships he had to endure in his life. And it hurts her heart.
“Everything you’re thinking is practically scrawled all over your face,” he tells her. It is? She hastily tries to force a smile and he gives her a tiny one in return. There’s actually one other thing he’d like to ask her…It’s about that brooch she bartered off in exchange for them. Does she happen to know how it came into her family’s possession? Tiana thinks about it before saying that her mom had told her that someone had given it to her. Why’s he asking about this? He never had the chance to tell her until now but that brooch belongs to the Fasan royal family.
This absolute bombshell leaves her speechless. The brooch is inlaid with a famous gemstone, which is how he and his brothers instantly knew what its true value was. While Matheus has no clue how her mother was able to come into its possession, it undoubtedly belongs to the Fasan royal family. Tiana understandably asks him to hold on for a second because this is all too sudden for her and her head is hurting.
Her mom’s brooch belongs to the royal family? There’s no way her mom would steal it from the castle, even if this is her mother they’re talking about. (Based off the context and her mom’s background as a traveling beastmaster, she sounds like quite the daring individual so I’m assuming that’s why Tiana is like, okay not even she would do that.)
Tiana asks Matheus if he’s sure he’s not mistaken about this because her mom has no relationship to the Fasan family whatsoever. It’s hard to believe, Matheus agrees, but surely the way Hannes had gotten so excited when he saw the brooch should be evidence enough. He further explains that this jewel is passed down through the royal family to all of its princess consorts. *And after the late Queen Mother’s death, the jewel had gone missing.
“H-hang on, Matheus! My mother’s never once spoken about the royal family to me!” Sure, she could’ve made her way over to the Kingdom of Fasan during her travels as an itinerant performer, but… Matheus apologizes. He only brought it up to see if she might know something. He tells her not to worry about it. But if that brooch is really that important, Tiana says, only to trail off again. She means to steal it back from Hannes, then? Matheus thinks the gemstone was a cheap price to pay if it meant that they were able to meet each other.
She doesn’t know if he truly feels that way or whether he’s only saying this because he’s worried about her, but his words do help ease her nerves. And then he tells her that after he’s done with everything here and he’s returned to his own country, he’s going to look for the largest and most cunning beast he can find just for her. When she questions him about this, he says that her dream is to become a beastmaster just like her mother, right?
Well, yeah. Her mom told her to find the biggest animal she could practice with but actually obtaining one is pretty difficult to do. It’s because of this that her meeting with all of them has been a miracle for her. But when she found out that they weren’t actual animals it was a letdown 😂 He tells her to leave it to him. This is the least he can do to thank her after taking care of them all. Tiana thanks him and says she’ll be waiting for that day to come. She dips her head to him and he smiles gently back at her.
Inwardly, she reflects on his words. Once everything is over…huh. She’s been enjoying every day with all of them, and she wishes it could be this way forever. Once everything is finally over, she’ll likely never see them again. Tiana doesn’t know how much time they have left together, so she wants to cherish the peaceful time she has left with Matheus.
The next morning.
Lucia lets Erik convince him to go out to see the Carnival and Alfred heads out soon after, leaving her alone with Matheus. For some reason he’s currently lounging about the living room and making himself at home. In his lion form. She asks if he’d like her to show him around the town. Matheus has a good idea of the place from yesterday’s tour so he’s good. Oh, really –
There’s a loud thump. “Ouch,” Tiana says. “This is dangerous, Matheus!” His forepaws send her flying, and she loses her balance and collapses on her back on the floor. He proceeds to pin her down with his front paws. He asks her why she’s just laying there. Does she want him to devour her?
Confused, she desperately tries to remember if she’d done something to tick him off, but nothing comes to mind. She tries to ask him what’s going on but he cuts her off. If she’s not going to fight back then she’ll die. Matheus raises the paw he’d held her down with, and his claws glint like daggers as they cleave through the air. He’s serious!? Tiana grabs the whistle at her throat.
She blows the whistle with all her might and Matheus’ face stiffens. The claws he’d meant to shred her face with barely graze her as his paw falls to the floor. But he doesn’t ease up in his attack and he raises his paw once more. But he’s unable to fight off his drowsiness. Matheus crumples into a heap on the floor. She’s breathing harshly as she tries to calm her racing heart. Right as she’s about to ask him just what the hell he was doing, her whistle has gotten the better of him and he’s sleeping contentedly on the floor, breathing softly.
She orders him to wake up and blows her whistle. The ringing note causes his huge body to jolt awake. He knew her whistle was effective at its job but he had no idea just how powerful it could be. Who cares if he’s impressed? Why did he do that? As Matheus shakes his head side to side, grumbling, Tiana presses him for answers with a slightly critical tone of voice. She doesn’t know? This was practice. Her mother told her to practice reigning complete control over large beasts, didn’t she? He’s not a real beast so even if she messes up, she won’t lose her life in the process. There’s no better sparring partner than him. He did this for her? From now on he’ll attack her if he sees a weak spot so she has to use that whistle to ward him off.
Okay, but why is he suddenly doing this? He’d told her he would find her a beast the other day, but now he thinks he could do more for her. Still, if this would be a bother for her…No, it’s not a bother! He just surprised her, but she’s really happy that he thought of doing this for her. She confesses that when she learned they weren’t actually animals she was a little disappointed. And then Lotte praised her, saying she was super cool for teaching Matheus tricks. Knowing that she wasn’t really doing this with a real animal made her feel pathetic.
He thought she felt that way, which is why he wanted to do something for her. This is all he can do right now but he’s hers to command. He even encourages her to be tougher on him because he can live with it. Tiana is so overjoyed that she wraps his huge body into a bear hug. He instantly freezes, but he doesn’t try to shake her off. He petulantly tells her that he’s said this over and over again but if she’s gonna do this than she should do it when he’s in his human form. She giggles, saying it wouldn’t matter if he was a lion or not. She thinks she’d still embrace him. “Thank you so much, Matheus.”
To her embarrassment, Tiana feels like she’s going to cry. So for a little while, she buries her face in his bushy mane and doesn’t move.
Matheus sits down in a chair in the living room and when the other three get back home, he listens to their accounts of the day. Alfred says that he’s been going around these past few days looking for Slyvio and Gerda, but the two haven’t made their presence known. Erik says they took a look at the apothecary but no one was there. Lucia reckons they just ran off somewhere, and Matheus agrees that it’s a possibility, though they could also just be waiting to see who will throw in the towel first. Tomorrow he’ll see if he can think up something.
Alfred says that would be very helpful because waiting around like this isn’t to his taste. Tiana listens to their reports while sitting next to Matheus for a little while before she gets up and returns to the kitchen half-way through their conversation. She still hasn’t cleaned up after dinner.
Is Sylvio truly after their lives? Even if he’s acting on someone’s orders, murdering someone is just…She didn’t interact with either of them too often, so she really doesn’t know what sort of people Gerda or Sylvio are. But each time she went to purchase medicine from them, they treated her with kindness. There has to be more to this, she thinks. If she could just meet with them one more time and hear their side of the – Tiana gasps. There’s a sensation like blood lust in the air, and she grabs a small pot in one hand and turns around. And sees sharpened claws before her very eyes. Without a moment to waste, she grabs the whistle and blows.
“Never let your guard down,” Matheus warns her in his lion form. He praises her reaction before falling to the floor, limbs splayed out. That scared her. But it’s good practice, she supposes. She smiles as she gazes down at him, fast asleep.
Now then, it’s time to get some sleep. Tiana returns her notebook to its drawer after she’s done writing in it. She’d been relaxing after dinner, and before she knew it, it was a new day. Matheus said he’d think up things he could do for her but she wonders if there’s anything she can to do help. As she’s mulling this over, she started to sit down on her bed when a loud scream punctuates the silence.
Was that Lucia? What happened? Wait, could Gerda and Slyvio be here for a direct attack? “Tiana!” Matheus bursts into her room. What was that scream, she asks him. He doesn’t know, but being alone is dangerous and he tells her not to leave his side. She sidles closer to him and they make to leave her room when she hears someone’s footsteps racing toward them. It’s Erik. He says there’s trouble and he needs to come down to the entrance now. The entrance, he asks, but Erik simply insists he needs to hurry with a stern expression. They chase after a rattled looking Erik and rush down the stairs.
As they race toward the entrance, they find Alfred desperately trying to keep the door closed. Matheus orders him to explain their predicament, but his brother says it’d be quicker to take a look rather than explain. He then directs Matheus to carefully peek outside through the window. Outside? Cue the sound of absolute nightmare fuel.
Together, she and Matheus move to peer through the window and in the darkness, they can see a crowd of people surrounding her house. One woman squeals when she sees Matheus and another pleads for him to show his face just for a little bit. W-what the heck is this? Looks like information about where they were living leaked, Alfred says. It’s the dead of night, Lucia says. How much time do these people have on their hands? Erik thinks it might have been better if they’d stayed at the castle if an uproar like this was going to happen.
Oh, yeah, great. And what would they do if someone found them lazing about in their animal forms, Lucia quips back sarcastically. He doesn’t disagree with his point but, Erik nervously trails off. Meanwhile, Tiana is freaking out because at the rate things are going, they’re going to disturb her neighbors. Matheus tells them all to stand down, and with a small sigh, he touches the doorknob of the door that Alfred is currently trying to keep shut. The second he opens the door, a cacophony of screams greets him. The first woman sounds like she’s about to lose consciousness as she screeches out his name. Another begins to proclaim how much of an honor it is to see him –
Matheus raises his voice and commands them all to pipe down. The women who had surged toward her doorstep collectively flinch back from his loud rebuke and they go quiet. What time do they think it is? They need to think about how their disturbing the neighbors. At that, the women all exchange glances with one another before apologetically casting their gazes to the ground.
The first woman apologizes. She only wanted to see even a glimpse of him. The second woman says she knew what time it was, but everyone else said they were going to see him so… This results in all of them bickering over who it was that first said they were going out to see him, and Matheus heaves a huge sigh. He tells the women that he and his brothers are all living in this house in order for them to learn how the people of Cattleya go about their daily lives. And one day, they might stay at one of their houses.
The women are shocked. He means it!? He cuts off their excitement early, saying that if there’s going to be a ruckus everywhere he goes, he’ll have no choice but to return to his country sooner than anticipated. He asks them if they’ll be reasonable about this for today. So then that means he’ll be coming to her home, a woman asks him. Another woman realizes this is very bad news for her because she needs to get back and clean her house.
No sooner have they heard this than they dash away in a panic. Amidst the fervor, one woman falls onto her rear end. “Are you alright?” Tiana asks her. The moment she reaches out a hand to the woman, Matheus’ voice rings out. “Tiana. Get back!” The woman grasps Tiana’s arm and yanks her forward. It’s Gerda. “You’re too late,” she says.
Am I the only one super confused by this CG? That’s the interior of Tiana’s house and yet Gerda was on the street outside. If the guys are standing in the doorway, it wouldn’t make sense for Gerda to have her back turned to them. Anyway, Tiana is like oh my god, it’s you! And Gerda apologizes, saying she doesn’t hold a grudge against her but there was no other way. There’s a stinging pain, and Tiana lets out a strangled scream. The blade cuts into her body, sinking into her like mud.
“Tiana!” She can see Matheus rushing toward her. All of the words she wants to say disappear from her mind. And then it’s like she can’t even think. Matheus is telling her to get a hold of herself. His grief stricken voice calling her name is all she can hear as her consciousness fades.
Gerda laughs, saying it looks like things worked out. Alfred curses at her, and then Slyvio pops in to tell Alfred that he is his enemy. Sylvio tells Gerda to get away because he can take care of them. He didn’t need to tell her that. She was already leaving. Erik tells her to wait and Lucia says she’s not getting away. With an amused laugh, she asks if they mean to become her opponents. Can they even keep up with her with those legs of theirs? Lucia instantly snaps. What’s that supposed to mean?
There’s a blinding white light, and then Lucia’s coughing. Erik says it’s way too bright. Giggling, the apprentice witch bids them farewell. When the light fades, Erik has turned into a bunny. She’s getting away. Lucia, now a duck, raises a wing and furiously demands she stop running, calling her a treacherous witch.
Matheus is currently trying to wake Tiana up. There’s no blood flowing from her wound, observes Alfred. What the heck is this? Sylvio smugly says that the blade is cursed. The magic in the blade steals away the person’s life, little by little. Sylvio tells Matheus that if he wants him to lift the curse from Tiana, he’ll need to kill all of his brothers. Alfred unfastens his blade from his belt loop with a curse. What kind of ridiculous nonsense is he spewing?
“Whoops, that was a close call.” Sylvio would love to play with Alfred, but his part in this is just buying time. No hard feelings. The brilliant light flares again, blinding Alfred and Matheus. Wait, is this the gold powder!? When the light fades, Sylvio has transformed into a black cat. It’s much easier for him to run away like this. Alfred and Matheus instantly recognize him as the one who had sunk their ship.
Sylvio tells Matheus to listen up. He wants him to kill his brothers and then come to the Underground Passageway at this time tomorrow. If he doesn’t, then she’ll die. Sylvio turns around and flees. Alfred starts to give chase but Matheus orders him to halt. It’d be impossible to run after a cat in the middle of the town. Alfred makes a frustrated sound, and Erik starts crying for Tiana. Lucia tells her to hang in there. Matheus tells them not to touch her. He’ll carry her up to the second floor. Lucia calls after him.
Translation Woes AKA “Why the fuck do I think I can Nihongo?”
I hope you’re all staying safe out there wherever you are. I also hope that these translations were able to give you some escape from the real world for a little while. There were quite a few lines I wasn’t too sure about. Rather than just assume I knew what was going on, I’ve added further explanations to each. I’m not a professional translator by any means so this is all just a good learning experience for me.
“The gambler asks his highness to please not throw a wrench in his games after all the matches he’s won.” 「せっかくの勝負に水を差すような真似はよして下さいよ殿下」More idioms, yay! It reads to me as if the guy is whining about having his streak potentially broken after won so many matches, (also evident by his piles of gold coins).
「ほう……面白いことを言うな。タロックには必勝法がないとでも？ 例えば、過去に出た札を全て記憶できたとしたらどうだ？」My best guess is that this “tuition fee” Matheus is talking about is the amount of money the gambler loses after his day of cheating others. He can lose all of his “winnings” to have a chance at starting a new life. As always, I’d love any help regarding incorrect translations. Thank you!
「チーズよりキスの方がお好みとは、お前は贅沢だな」The last part of this sentence stumped me, and after a few days of thinking this one through, I decided to just stick with a literal translation in the hopes that I was close and someone who knew better might point out where I went wrong or if I somehow got it. I wonder if this is a reference to Hana Yori Dango xD
「もし家の者に見つかったなら、ここがあなたにとって最後の場所になりましょう」Tiana says that if her family sees Matheus, this will (literal translation) be his last place. The implication is that he’ll be killed on the spot. If I’m wrong please let me know. Thanks!
だけどマティアスは、それを片手で制す。So what I translated is all based on context. The literal translation is that he one handedly controlled the situation (the owner’s attempt at a handshake with him). Since Tiana tried to get him out of that social obligation it makes sense to see him using his authority as a prince to hold up a hand to get her to stop. Of course, I could be wrong so please let me know! Thank you!
*“Like I could refuse him in that situation!”「あの雰囲気で断れるか！」 The Japanese sentence implies that the atmosphere of the situation made it impossible for him to refuse a handshake. Whether or not this means the theater owner held a degree of power over Matheus to adhere to social obligations isn’t clear to me, but I’d hazard a guess that this is the case. The added notion of other people being in the general vicinity likely adds to this tension. As always, if I’ve made a mistake please let me know.
（ええと、確かこの辺りにいることが多いって聞いたんだけど……）I honestly couldn’t tell you if she’s saying she’s heard that there’s a ton of people here or animals here lol. It’s a forest, so I’m leaning toward animals, but since Kurt dwells in the dankness, maybe more shady people do too? Actually this one might be more likely. Then again it’s like 5 am and I’m losing every brain cell so who knows. Fun times.
*”And after the late Queen Mother’s death, the jewel had gone missing.”「あの宝石は、ファザーンの正妃に代々受け継がれてきた。王太后の亡き後、行方知れずになっていたが……」This sentence had a lot of terms I had to research because oh boy I know nothing about royalty! 正妃can also be called a Queen Dowager. A lot of Chinese readings came up upon further research, and one title that popped up frequently was Queen Mother. Apparently, this means she is the formal queen and (usually) guarantees her son will assume the throne. Of course, I could be wrong since I’m not too familiar with any of this so if any of you know about these terms I’d love to learn more!
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