The Staff of oniichanyamete(OCY) Issue a Challenge to All Readers
– Post a video of your saying this as many times as you can in a row without stumbling
– If we judge that you made no mistakes or pauses, we will reward you.
– If you wish to wear a mask, it must not cover the mouth area.
“Kilimanjaro Kirilimanmajanranjo Estelion Sharlulu Asheel Vinchance Celenalia di ef Falufiluu’Luufilaafee (The 35th) da ne!”
The prizes are as follows,
x3 or more within 15 seconds: a bear picture drawn by Estelion
x5 or more within 35 seconds: a picture of your favourite OCY character, drawn by Ame
x7 or more within 55 seconds: a picture of you (a stick figure), hanging out with your favourite OCY character, drawn by Komorebi
She heard Count Jalousie’s voice by her ear.
Her legs were shaking, and she couldn’t speak.
Her mind was in chaos. Why did this happen? Lynette didn’t know.
Perhaps somewhere deep down she did. But she didn’t want to admit it.
The smiles of the maids who told her to come here flashed endlessly through her head.
How could they do something like this just because they didn’t like each other. She couldn’t believe it.
Right now she was in a dark room, being hugged by this count. She didn’t want to believe.
But no matter how much her heart denied it, reality wouldn’t change.
(I have to run…)
But although she thought this, her legs had no strength.
Her mother’s face came to mind.
But―――”Just endure a little”―――what came to mind wasn’t her mother’s worry for her, but her mother’s worry for her position as personal maid.
Would her mother even save her in this situation?
It was a terrifying question to her.
The next to come to mind was Fiiru-sama, but she was the star of the party. She was busy, and it was impossible for her to appear here.
There was nobody else to save her.
Tears of despair ran down Lynette’s face.
“There we go. That’s a good girl. Just behave.”
The Count smirked, and was about to stroke her body when,
Lynette suddenly screamed and struggled to grab something in the darkness. Her hand made contact, and she swung it in reflex.
A dull sound rang out, and she heard somebody call. She couldn’t feel the arm around her any longer.
Lynette frantically looked for the door in the darkness.
Her hands desperately groped the wall, and upon making contact with a doorknob, she turned it.
It opened. The Count hadn’t locked it.
Lynette immediately flew into the hallway.
Just the relief of being somewhere bright caused her to collapse powerlessly to the ground.
But there was nobody in the hallway. Was it coincidence, or had the Count cleared people away?
(I-I have to run…)
But her legs still wouldn’t move.
“I wonder if you know what you’ve done… Lynette…”
Count Jalousie appeared from beyond the door.
When she saw his face, it felt like her heart stopped.
There was anger mixed into his gaze now. A line of blood ran from his forehead.
“You’ve really done it now. A girl of a mere Baron’s house actually used violence on I, a count, and relative of Her Majesty the Queen…”
“B-But, that was because you…”
“I just wanted to get to know you a little better. I don’t know what you were thinking, but you actually misunderstood and then suddenly attacked me. The thing in your hand is proof.”
A bloodied copper ornament lay in her hands.
It was unreasonable.
It was unreasonable, but she was at the disadvantage here.
There wasn’t any proof that Count Jalousie had attacked her in that room. Considering the evidence they did have, as well as their two positions, it was a simple matter to see who would be blamed.
It wasn’t a matter of who to believe.
Here in the palace, it was quite simple for the guilty to push their crimes onto somebody weaker.
The maids would definitely not shield her either. Far from it, they desired this.
Perhaps Fiiru-sama would cover for her. But Lynette believed that she would be hurt if she had to fight with her parents and everybody else. It wasn’t possible for her.
“I don’t think such a dangerous person is fit to serve Fiiru-sama. Perhaps I should tell Her Highness this. Are you fine with that?”
Again, she remembered her mother.
“You can’t start any problems.”
When Lynette was chosen to be Fiiru’s attendant, her mother had said this to her.
“You can’t lose your position. You’re the hope for our ‘distinguished maid family’. You have to make things work, no matter what happens.”
If she lost her position because she started a problem now, what would her mother think?
“Please don’t say anything to Her Highness… Please…” begged Lynette.
It was absurd…
She didn’t know why she had to do this. She didn’t know why she had to beg this man like this. However, she couldn’t betray her mother’s expectations.
Hearing her words, the Count grinned in satisfaction. That very grin caused her to shudder.
“Come now. I won’t treat you badly. All you have to do is listen to me. If you do, I’ll forget about your crime.”
While flaunting his wound, the Count approached her, step by step.
Lynette couldn’t escape any more.
Even though the hallway should have been well lit, it felt like she was drowning in darkness. Even the Count’s voice seemed far away.
Even if she couldn’t run, she wanted her heart to at least escape.
“What are you doing?”
Shockingly, the girl’s voice reached her clearly. Her voice resounded in this place that should have only been occupied by the Count and Lynette.
“P-Princess Fii!” exclaimed the Count, causing Lynette to look over as well.
From further down the hallway, the girl from the time at the well was now walking towards them. With the same golden hair as Fiiru-sama, wearing an outdated dress, was this nation’s other princess.
(Ah-, she’s wearing it a little better now.)
The wrinkles in her dress were straightened out this time. For some reason that was what she was thinking about, despite the terror, exhaustion and disgust towards the Count.
With slow steps, Princess Fii approached them.
After stopping a distance away, she looked at Lynette on the ground, and then at Count Jalousie, before asking once more.
“What are you doing?”
The first one to reply was Count Jalousie.
“This girl used violence against me. Look, this is the evidence. Normally after doing such a thing, she would be disqualified as a maid! But I felt that it would be too pitiful, so I thought that I should train her myself a little bit in exchange for my forgiveness, you see. Isn’t that right, Lynette?”
It hadn’t taken long for the Count to come up with an excuse.
And right now, Lynette’s position meant that she could only agree. Even if she went against him, it would still only bring harm to herself. If others found out about the problem, they would become stains that would threaten her position as Fiiru-sama’s maid. Even if it was the Count who was in the wrong, it would surely be her who was censured.
Lynette couldn’t lose this job. She needed it for both her mother, and her family.
Even if Count Jalousie was in the wrong…
“Yes…” she nodded with a hollow expression.
“Well then, please excuse us. Lynette, let’s go.”
The Count moved to leave, and Lynette moved to follow.
“Hmm~ Evidence, huh? Show me.”
But Princess Fii demanded the copper statue instead and held out her hand to Lynette.
In other words, ‘give it to me’. Although Lynette was bewildered, she looked at the Count, and since he didn’t seem to want to stop her, she obeyed.
“See? My blood is all over it.”
After turning it around and examining it at multiple angles, this time Princess Fii spoke to Count Jalousie.
“Count, please show me your wound as well.”
(What is this girl… trying to do…?) Lynette couldn’t help but think.
The moment that she injured the Count, Lynette had already lost all standing. No matter how wrong they might have been, as long as they came from a Count’s house, as the daughter of a Baron, the harm would always be greater for her. Not only that, this time the Count had evidence to use against her.
It was too late for her to do anything.
If she just… If she just endured a little… then the problem would resolve itself.
She would be able to protect this position that her mother cared so much about. So she just wanted to get things over with…
Although the Count was also confused, he squatted down to show Princess Fii.
“Hmm~ So this is the evidence that girl hit you then.”
No sooner had he agreed did Princess Fii raise the statue, and then smash it into his head with all her might.
Apparently it had been quite a serious hit. Blood danced through the air, and the Count grasped at his wound as he sat on the ground.
Lynette simply watched with wide eyes.
After writhing around for a while, the Count stood up and glared at both Princess Fii and Lynette.
“What on earth are you doing! Do you think I’ll let this slide!? Leaving you aside, that Lynette over there will definitely be fired!”
Princess Fii simply laughed.
“You have evidence that you were hit, but where’s the evidence that it was this girl who hit you?”
A new wound seemed to overlap with the wound from earlier. And now, Princess Fii’s hand was soaked in blood.
Any observers would immediately come to the same conclusion.
“If that’s not enough, then I’ll hit you until it is!”
Princess Fii raised the statue again and struck down once more.
The merciless strikes caused the grown man to curl up in fear.
“HII! STOP! GYAAAAAAAAAHHHH!”
Lynette could only watch on in shock.
Before long, the Count’s screams caused both maids and guards to come rushing in. What they saw was a princess beating the crap out of a count.
“Please stop at once!”
In a panic, the guards dragged the count and princess apart.
The Count was holding his bloody head as he muttered curses.
“I won’t forgive you… I won’t forgive you…!”
But Princess Fii stared back and spat coldly,
“You won’t forgive me? I am a Princess.”
Princess Fii’s position was quite odd in this palace.
She was as good as ignored by the royal family and great nobles, not treated as royalty at all. She had no favour with the King or Queen, and had no supporters at all.
At the same time though, she was certainly a princess of this country.
If you asked if she was normally treated as a princess, the answer would be a resounding no.
The maids took the bare minimum care of her. Her dresses were old and out of fashion. She had never even been invited to any events.
Even so, she was a legitimate descendant of the royal family and was undeniably a princess.
If she played the card that was her position, the retainers had no choice but to accept.
And Lynette realised something while she watched this.
If this girl really wanted people to treat her like a princess, she could make it happen.
It was a simple matter.
All she had to do was be selfish.
If she did, leaving the most powerful nobles aside, the maids and the other retainers would have no choice but to listen.
If she wanted to be treated better, she could have been. If she wanted beautiful dresses, she could probably secure a number of them as long as she ordered. But she, Princess Fii, never did so.
It was surely because she didn’t want to trouble the people around her. No matter how badly they treated her, and no matter what.
But just now she used her position to force them to listen.
(For my sake…)
“Hey. You lot know what the difference between a count and a princess is. Just looking at this man displeases me. Throw him out for me! And never let this man into the palace again! As Princess, I command you!” spoke Fii, just like a haughty princess.
The position of a princess was undeniably higher. Just like the difference between count and baron that had been used to threaten her…
But it wasn’t something that would end so simply. If it was only a matter of their hierarchy, then it would end right here. But if you forced things using your position without the corresponding trust, it was inevitable that you would pay for it yourself. In the form of distrust, that is.
Although the guards did as she ordered, their gazes were cold.
“What on earth is she doing by causing a fuss like this…?”
“Because His Majesty doesn’t love her, she’s grown twisted hasn’t she… How scary…”
“An arrogant princess like this is… She’s too different to Fiiru-sama…”
They were badmouthing her even in front of her.
Of course Lynette understood.
She knew that Princess Fii knew this would happen. That if she abused her power, her image would grow even worse.
And even knowing that, she did so to protect Lynette.
“And move it already. You’re blocking my way!”
Paying no heed to their back-biting, Princess Fii’s arrogant expression remained unfaltering as she cleared the area of the people.
Eventually, it was only Princess Fii and Lynette.
The Princess squatted down before Lynette, and then with a kind, terribly kind smile, she spoke.
“I’m sorry that you had to go through something like that at the castle. Shall I bring you back to Fiiru?”
The warmth in her smile was no different to Fiiru-sama’s.
Warm hands embraced her own and pulled her to her feet.
Without letting go, Princess Fii pulled her all the way to the party where Fiiru-sama was waiting.
“It looks like Fiiru is tired as well, so please support her as her maid. Fiiru would be happier that way too.”
With that, she pressed her hands against Lynette’s back to urge her towards the party.
And without entering herself, Princess Fii began to walk away.
In panic, Lynette quickly bowed to Fii.
“Umm, thank you very much, Fii-sama…!”
After staring blankly for a while, she gave the same smile again and nodded,
“Yeah. You’re welcome.”
At the party hall, the King and Queen were snuggling against Fiiru in the centre of attention.
They were surrounded by many nobles and were illuminated by light.
None of them even noticed Princess Fii.
And neither did Princess Fii try to gain their attention.
After bringing Lynette here, she quietly turned around and departed.
After that, perhaps afraid of Princess Fii, Count Jalousie never showed his face in the palace again.
A year later he tried to repeat the same thing, but this time it was brought to light, and he finally lost his peerage as a noble. As it turned out, his connection with the Queen was a much smaller deal than he had bragged.
As for the maids that entrapped Lynette, to begin with, they were the useless ones, so they simply ruined themselves and disappeared as well.
But more importantly, what pained Lynette’s heart most was that Fii’s bad impression spread to every corner.
Lynette desperately wanted to defend her, but Fii told her that she didn’t care and stopped her.
Fortunately, perhaps you could say, because Fii had little presence to begin with, the bad rumours quickly ran out of steam and people stopped mentioning them.
On the other hand, it also meant that when the Count’s misdeeds were finally brought to light, Princess Fii’s name was never cleared. This was something that Lynette found unbearable.
As one other consequence of this event, ever since that night, Lynette had a wish.
(I want to serve Fii-sama.)
Soon after the incident, Lynette told this to her mother, but what she received as a furious reply.
“What on earth are you thinking! Who would allow you to serve a princess like that! You’re the hope of our ‘distinguished maid family’. Fiiru-sama is the ultimate master. She will definitely marry in as the Queen of a large nation, and at that time, you can even become her first attendant! We’ve raised you all this time for this one chance! Don’t say stupid things, and protect your current position with your all!”
(Fii-sama doesn’t deserve to be called ‘a princess like that’…)
For the first time, Lynette felt a little defiance towards her mother.
(To begin with, what value is there in a distinguished maid family?)
A ‘distinguished maid family’ wasn’t a ‘distinguished family’.
If they were a real ‘distinguished family’, to begin with there would be no need to become maids. There would be no need to be raised from childhood, spending hours each day doing nothing except learning the etiquette of servants, or repeating the method of brewing tea. There would be no need for antiquated practices such as poison testing.
There would be no need to be threatened by a man like that count… or to follow his irrational orders…
Her ‘distinguished maid family’ was just a Baron’s family. That was the reality.
Simply a low-ranking bunch whose entire family trained in the ways of a servant and was used by royalty and higher nobility.
Still, if it was somebody she could serve with pride, Lynette could still see the value in doing so.
Fiiru-sama was certainly a wonderful personage.
But Lynette was sure that even without herself, Fiiru-sama would still shine just like she did now. No matter what dress she wore, she would look beautiful, and there were plenty of others who would protect her.
And to Lynette, Fii-sama was a no less wonderful personage.
But not a single person around her wanted to support her. Neither the people who did the laundry properly nor the people who managed the clothing properly ever bothered to support her so that she could shine.
Lynette was certain that the skills she had learnt would be of greater use to Fii-sama.
Although Lynette wanted to serve as Fii’s maid, in the end her wish was never granted.
Had the King and Queen finally realised Lynette’s worth? They showed no signs of allowing her to stop serving Fiiru. And each time Lynette asked for permission to do so, her mother would fly into a rage. Lynette couldn’t become strong enough to oppose the mother who had raised her…
Still, Lynette never stopped wishing.
(One day I want to become a maid who can serve Fii-sama.)
It had been her dream since that day, and it was her dream even now.