Chapter 12: The Villainess Also Gets Anxious at Times

Ever since that day, Esther started appearing before me and continuously aimed for my male friends and acquaintances.

She could have done it without my knowledge when I wasn’t with them, but purposefully chose not to. It seems like she developed an intense desire to get under my skin. She must have gotten obstinate after losing Albert.

I don’t hate this type of assertiveness, but it’s still irritating when she does it right in front of my eyes. It seems as though she’s deliberately trying to provoke fights. She won’t give up even if I ignored her and let her do as she pleased. So instead, it’s better to fight back and blow off steam, like I did with Albert. Once I managed to let go of my self-restraint, I was no longer hesitant to play the villainess against the dainty little heroine.

By the way, I was somewhat selective about which fights to pick. I’d stop her when she aimed for important friends or those who could become valuable business partners in the future—but with minor acquaintances and superficial friends, I’d let her do as she pleased. I don’t have that much free time, after all. It was best to deal with her with as little effort as possible. 

I suppose she must think she managed to beat me whenever I don’t try to stop her; In Esther’s mind, the odds of success should be around 50–50.

I started to get the feeling that Esther’s goal has evolved from marrying a wealthy nobleman to stealing them from me.


“Ta-da!”

“What’s that?”

Joshua showed me an envelop that looked like it contained a letter, holding it proudly in front of my face. It had a very girly look, with a pink floral pattern running all over it. I have a bad feeling about this.

“I got a letter from Esther,” Joshua said in a sing-song tone and narrowed his eyes in pleasure.

“…Oh?”

I see. So you’re aiming for Joshua this time around, huh? I immediately realized the intent behind the letter. I could feel a chill in the pit of my stomach.

She’d never paid any attention to him until now, but it seemed like Esther had finally decided to aim for Joshua out of pure spite for me. 

It’s undoubtedly true that Joshua was an aristocrat too. However, he was the second son of a remote region aristocrat, and very unlikely to inherit his house. Moreover, he was my servant. And yet, she’s trying to get her hands on him. Seeing how nondiscriminatory she is quite inspirational.

“Can I open it?”

“Go ahead,” Joshua said, taking out the letter and placing it in my hand.

“Wha–”

The moment I unfolded the letter, I felt a chill and dropped it, horrified.

“Whoa there.” Joshua quickly grabbed it mid-air before it could reach the floor.

What the hell was that? My heart was beating wildly at the memory of the forced, rounded handwriting. I only saw it for a moment, yet it was burned into my mind and wouldn’t leave. When was the last time I saw this style of phony flirting? 

It was the stereotypical Burikko behavior [Note 2]But that definitely isn’t a concept that exists in this world. There are no TVs or Internet through which such trends could be spread, and certainly no connection to my previous world. So why would Esther act in a way that fits the mold of the pretentious, cutesy flirting so well? 

Do I really have to deal with this bullshit even in a world without social media? This is horrible.

As for the letter’s actual content, it was something along the lines of “I’ve always thought you were wonderful” with an invitation to a date.

At first glance, it could be read as humble and reserved, but underneath that, it was written in a very bullish manner, as though the writer couldn’t have imagined the possibility of being rejected.

“…Just to confirm your intentions, do you wish to date that girl?” If so, I wouldn’t get in the way.

I loathe the idea, but I want to respect Joshua’s feelings as much as I can. I can honestly say that I detest her, but taking care of Joshua and his wishes is my highest priority right now.

And so, I asked him bitterly, and Joshua gave me a look like I was a stranger.

“Give me a break, Lady.”

He was always smiling, so I was stunned by the disgusted expression that appeared his face for the first time.

“You should know how much I hate that one, shouldn’t you?”

“Are you sure? I thought you enjoyed watching her antics, in your own way.”

He was doing his best to mimic her, and always got excited to see who she was going to target next. I couldn’t help but wonder if that interest might have sprouted from romantic love.

“Frankly, I think anyone who tries to mess with Lady should just die,” Joshua said with a smile.

The look of his smiling face drove a shiver down my spine. He spoke in a light tone, but I’ve known him for long enough to understand that he genuinely meant it, without any exaggerations.

“I’m just trying to entertain Lady, since you decided you wanted to play around with Esther.”

“But weren’t you happy to receive the letter?”

“That’s just because I thought Lady would be jealous.”

“Me?”

“Yeah. But you weren’t, not at all,” Joshua said in a disappointed voice and tore up the letter. I was relieved at his lack of hesitation.

I wasn’t jealous, but I was worried. After all, all men like that type of woman. Or at least, that’s what I thought.

I didn’t say anything to Joshua. I had a feeling he’d just make that disappointed look again.


Notes:

  1. I’ve finally gotten rid of the annoying WordPress banner ad and the occasional ads after posts. It costs a few dollars per month, but I think it’s worth it.
  2. After looking at the letter she wrote (link to paragraph), Ilse described Esther’s writing and behavior with the Japanese term Burikko (ぶりっ子). I’ve thought for a while about how best to translate it and decided that the best option, in this case, would be to leave it at least one occurrence of it untranslated and explain what it means in the notes. It’s more or less the same situation as the tanuki face from a few chapters ago.
    I’ll quote this Wikipedia page to explain it:

Burikko … is a derogatory Japanese term for a style of personal appearance and demeanor that is considered phony childishness and cuteness… Burikko is not so much a style or state of being, but a set of tools employed to mask the self, particularly women’s sexuality.

Burikko is being cute, but with a childlike style to go along with it. It includes the “idea of a helpless, submissive, and cute look of a young girl”. The burikko subculture is an example of adults embracing child-like behavior and speech as a form of cuteness.

Behaviors associated with burikko include “kitten writing”, a rounded form of handwriting characters, as well as forms of baby talk “to sound like children learning to speak”.[5] As part of this childish way of speaking, people may refer to themselves by name as though they are talking about a third person. Burikko may also include a nasalized pronunciation, high pitch, amusing or light phrases, and mannerisms such as covering the mouth when smiling.

Vocabulary will also convey burikko, by using melodic, sing-song vocabulary or onomatopoeia. Examples include otete instead of te for hand, katchoi instead of kakkoii for “cool,” and wanwan “woof woof” for dog. Burikko may also use person suffixes added to nouns, such as takuchan “Mr. Little Taxi” instead of takushii for taxi.

I’m sure this sounds familiar.


5 thoughts on “Chapter 12: The Villainess Also Gets Anxious at Times

  1. Thanks for the translation! I hope this give Esther a bad reputation at school, not all the guys can be as stupid as to not realize she’s a gold digger. I really hope Ilse realize Joshua’s feelings soon.

    Like

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