this chapter is brought to you by mio
as translator, proofreader and editor!
pls do not share this anywhere or the transmigration gods will transport u into boku no pico !! this translation has been stolen from mioscorner.com, pls only read there i’m begging u :kneels:
“Oh my, what is this?”
After receiving a warm send off from the villagers when leaving the inn, I unknowingly spoke in a friendly tone to the object in front of me.
“I changed the carriage to a more comfortable one since you said the previous one was too uncomfortable.”
Tanma explained with a smile.
“I think this will definitely be more comfortable, but…”
Was this really a ‘carriage’…?
What was standing in front of me was far from what I knew a carriage to be.
First, there were no wheels. There were no horses either. There were only two slugs that were bigger than most cows, carrying what seemed to be a ride which looked around the size of a house.
‘I don’t even know which part I’m meant to be shocked at.’
The enormous size of the slugs? That there were no wheels? The fact that there were no horses yet it was still called a ‘carriage’?
Perhaps I wasn’t as shocked since this was after I had already met Kelber.
A slug harnessed sedan chair…
Yeah, well… something like that could exist too!
This is a world where my hair is blue and Linden’s hair is pink. Magic and divine power are a reality as well.
“Oh, this seems to be the first time you’ve seen a carriage like this! Fufu. It’s a local specialty of our region. It would be rare for you to see it in the capital.”
Tanma said proudly.
“Despite its appearance, it’s still extremely fast.”
Although what he said was unbelievable, I had no choice but to believe it since the person who had used it before said so.
“As long as Young Miss just rides it once, you’ll also get drunk on the feeling and only be able to use this as your sole means of transportation from there on. Fufufu.”
He kept smiling, as if he were absorbed in bragging about his local specialty.
Unable to find a proper response, I smiled awkwardly and walked toward the slug. The feeling of seeing such a large slug was different compared to those that were the size of my finger.
I carefully stretched out a finger and stroked the slug.
‘I thought it would be extremely sticky and slippery, but…’
It was extremely different to what I had imagined it would feel like. Perhaps the feeling of a plate that has just been cleaned? Furthermore, the long antennae that were wiggling toward me were…
It was obviously much cuter than I thought…?!
I thought I only liked furry animals, but that clearly wasn’t the case.
I liked everything, as long as it was cute! There was no helping it, even if I was a face dog1! How could you not like something when you see something this cute?
I hugged the slug’s neck tightly while I was at it. I felt like I was hugging a soft leather pillow…!
“Hugging you feels different to hugging Kelber too!”
Linden approached me when I was in a good mood while rubbing my face against it for no reason.
“You used to hate things like that.”
“You said you didn’t like things like animals. Since you couldn’t stay presentable.”
So Meliara was someone who didn’t understand the loveliness of animals.
What a shame!
“I decided to reconsider it again. Since there are no children who will give you an infinite amount of affection like these babies will.”
Animals will be the only ones who will trust you and love you unconditionally without calculating like humans do.
“Even though I’m not sure about the sophisticated cats or birds…”
Linden looked at the slug and I with a complicated expression on his face.
“This sort of horse…”
“Woof! Woof! Woof!”
“What a thoughtless dog…”
Kelber, who had rushed to my side at some point, tugged on my clothes, as if he didn’t want me to only hug the slug.
“You’re very pretty as well. You’re cuter than every other puppy, so don’t worry.”
I stroked all three of Kelber’s heads with as much affection as I gave to the slug. It was more accurate for me to say that the three of them just shoved their heads underneath my hands, one after the other, without needing me to move them at all.
“Sure enough, you’ve changed.”
Damn it. I told you not to say that since it stings my conscience.
As I tried to sneakily avoid Linden’s sharp questioning, Lecht came toward me at a good time.
“You’ve finished talking?”
I saw that he had been having a very serious conversation with the priests earlier.
“We decided that we’d travel separately first and then meet at Chiban Village.”
Although his tone was stiff, I smiled, knowing that it was one of Lecht’s charming points.
“But isn’t the temple there an abandoned temple? Is doing it there fine too?”
One of the procedures I had to undergo in order to confirm whether I was a saintess or not was to check my reaction with the holy objects in every temple. Of course, the temple I was going to was the closest temple of the moon god.
“Apparently it wasn’t that they were specifically shut down, but rather that there wasn’t a sufficient number of new priests to be dispatched to it instead.”
That seemed like a rather painful topic… I didn’t know they had to leave the temple unattended due to a lack of priests…
“But what about that holy thing?”
Since that was the same place I was going to find the spirit… could that perhaps be…?
‘No way, the temple wouldn’t only have holy objects, so both the holy objects and the spirit could be there too.’
…or was it too naive for me to think so?
‘If the spirit is a holy object, am I going to have to steal it sneakily?’
Wouldn’t that obviously cause a big problem…?
But I had to go to the temple first to see whether or not it was actually a holy object.
“What were you going to say?”
“Haha, it’s nothing!”
“Then, shall we continue on our way?”
I switched the topic.
As I headed for the carriage, Lecht, who was standing next to the carriage door, reached his hand out toward me.
The rather large hand put me into a good mood for no reason, so I smiled brightly and grabbed onto it. My body floated without needing my feet to touch the foothold, and I landed easily in the carriage.
“According to what the butler said, this carriage will reduce my motion sickness, so we can head to Chiban Village without stopping…”
…or so I thought, but now what? The heads of Lecht, Linden, and myself, all turned toward the people who were running toward us.
“Now what sort of fuss are you making?”
When Linden scolded him with a hint of anxiety in his voice, the knight tried to talk while taking a breather.
“The Head of the Ezzarson Guild has collapsed.”
The news he had delivered explained why he had run to us so hurriedly.
Linden’s face hardened. I bit my lip as I watched his pale face turn aghast.
‘I forgot. That Linden’s grandfather would pass away around this time.’
I had gotten caught up in so many incidents that I had missed out on this important fact.
“Is it his respiratory problem again?”
“It may be because of that, but apparently a heart attack has also come along with it.”
The knight bowed his head with an apologetic look on his face.
A tendon could be seen sticking out of Linden’s fist which was clenched tightly together. As he looked at the ground with an expression that seemed to say he was preoccupied with many thoughts, his face grew darker and darker.
Then he took a heavy step toward me.
“Let’s go. If we drag our feet any longer, we’ll be late to our appointed time.”
My eyes grew wider at his response.
“You’re not going to go back?”
They just said that his grandfather had collapsed. Wasn’t that also a complication?! This could probably wait until tomorrow. But you said that you’re going to continue on with us to the temple instead of going back to your grandfather?
“This sort of thing has happened a lot before. It’ll be fine.”
He placed his foot on the foothold of the carriage as he said so. However, I used my whole body to block his path into the carriage.
He looked up at me with a voice that seemed to have lost all its strength.
“Go back to your grandfather.”
“…I said it’s fine.”
“It’s not very convincing for you to say that with a face that obviously screams that it’s not okay.”
His shoulders flinched at my point.
How could I possibly not know when a guy, who normally hides his own feelings, is revealing his inner feelings so clearly to me?
I called his name softly. As if his appearance was one that seemed to be standing precariously on a bridge that was about to break soon, I reached out and held onto his hand.
“Haa… I was going to let it go since I thought it was just me being too self-absorbed, but as expected, I can’t.”
“The reason you’re following us to the East, it’s because of me, right?”
“…I told you, it isn’t.”
Although he still denied it, I continued to reply truthfully after a beat.
“Since I had my engagement broken off with the Crown Prince, you’re accompanying me in order to ensnare me because you think I’ll be an advantageous chess piece you can use if I turn to your side, right?”
Whether I had truly hit the mark with my point or not, his expression was one that was filled with helplessness.
It was normally extremely difficult to read his facial expression, but I was able to read his mind immediately because of the mess his mind was in right now. That’s how much I could tell the news of his grandfather had shaken him.
“…I told you, it isn’t.”
Like a child who had just been scolded, he bowed his head and gripped my hand tightl, repeating the same words under his breath over and over again.
“I’ve been disowned.”
I decided to inform him openly of my situation.
At that, Linden’s head whipped up as fast as a flash of lightning. His eyes which were round like saucers, seemed to be extremely shocked.
“If you were a little more quick-witted and observant, you might have guessed it, just from the fact that I had been walking around like this without a single maid or escort. Or maybe you’ve already done a background check on me, I don’t know.”
“…I haven’t done one though.”
Whether or not I had hit the mark again, his shoulders flinched once again, but he still successfully managed to find a response.
“The Duke said that he’d erase my name from the Duchy’s genealogy because I made the Duchy into a joke. So I told him to go ahead and do it.”
“You actually agreed to that..?”
“Yep. Even if I tried to cling onto it, nothing would change in the end anyway.”
This wasn’t something I said just because I knew the ending was doomed.
After her engagement was broken off and she had been abandoned by that faction, there was no family that was willing to offer a marriage to her unless they wanted to lose access to the temple or no longer be able to show their faces in society.
There wasn’t even a chance for her to become the next Duke since there was also a successful older brother before her.
There was no point in remaining in the Duchy too, since even if she lived off of them for a while, there was no future there other than being a lonely loser.
“Since I didn’t need the Duchy either, I didn’t have any other reason to remain in the Duchy too, so I thought now would be a timely opportunity for me to try and live the life of someone who wasn’t a princess. So I decided to take a trip to the East.”
I couldn’t exactly say, ‘I’m going to flee the country!’, so I just smiled and packaged my words prettily.
Linden looked at me without speaking. Those eyes of his were full of confusion.
“That’s why, Linden. It’s a waste of your time to try and use me as a political chess piece.”
“I’m sorry for only telling you now. I was going to tell you last time, but then you said that you were going because of something else instead, so…”
He, who had prepared a bunch of excuses, shut his mouth, wondering if there was a need for him to pull them apart.
But the situation is different now.
He might not even be able to stand guard by his grandfather’s deathbed. Yet he was still trying to capture the useless, good-for-nothing me.
“So go back. Your grandfather, I’m sure he misses you.”
I whispered with an apologetic heart.
Instead of answering, he just held my hand even tighter. It felt like a request for courage.
He started to talk after a moment of silence.
“I’m not sticking close to you just because you’re a princess.”
“At least not now.”
When I didn’t reply, he added, “I’m really not.”
I wasn’t able to easily believe what he said, since I knew all too well how thoroughly he had been moving in order to bring down the crown prince.
I was flustered and rather pitied his attempts at presenting himself nicely, even in this situation.
“Linden, you don’t have to put so much effort in front of me.”
I tried to speak as gently as possible.
“I don’t have a grudge against you, nor am I trying to find any fault in you. I’m not even blaming you.”
How could I possibly blame you when it was your background that made you like this? You’re just as much of a victim as well.
“You don’t even have enough time to give to those who will be of help to you and those who are precious to you, yet you put so much effort into me and aren’t afraid you’ll miss your time with them.”
“I don’t know what exact thoughts you had when you approached me, and what you’re trying to get through me.”
I’m only trying to make a vague guess of it.
“But what I want to say is, it doesn’t matter what it is.”
“I’m saying this because I feel sorry that you’ve wasted your time.”
Linden, who had only bowed his head and said nothing for a long time, whispered quietly.
“You’re not wasting my time.”
When I asked again since I couldn’t hear what he said very well, he raised his head and looked up at me. I inhaled sharply when I finally checked his expression.
The tip of his nose which was slightly scrunched up was tinged red, and his pretty blue eyes were wet with tears.
“Don’t say that.”
It was an expression that seemed to have genuinely been hurt. The emotions were too deep for me to consider it as an act.
“Don’t talk like you’re just nothing, as if I’m doing something pathetic.”
His eyes were filled with resentment. However, I could also see a great sadness that was even larger than that.
Just why… What on earth did I say wrong for you to make such an expression, as if you’re a mistress that’s just been abandoned…!?
He added, staring at me with an expression that seemed like his tears were about to fall at any second.
“I decide where my time should be used for it to be the most valuable.”
That voice was clearly choked up, but his tone was firm, without any waver.
“I’ll decide who’s precious to me, so…”
His face was arranged pitifully, and his voice resembled the growling of a beast, so I swallowed loudly, my nerves taut.
“If you don’t want to see me go crazy, then don’t say such a thing so carelessly.”
Somehow, I felt as if I had touched something of this scheming man’s that I shouldn’t have touched.
 face dog refers to someone who likes [sb/st] based on their appearance
yandere linden ???
THAT LAST LINE THO ???? second male lead has officially been hooked into meliara’s fanbase
also rlly like how meliara highlighted the fact that linden is a victim too and that he’s just a product of the environment around him and that his behaviour is just a reaction to the schemes he’s had to endure.