Chapter Twenty-Two: What He’s Asking Her to Wear Today (Part IV)
Reinhardt-sama’s tentacles retracted with a nyuru nyuru nyuru sound.
“I’m aware that this may be a little too stimulating for you to put up with. So, I’ll refrain from it today.”
Did you purposely make it too stimulating for me…?
Or was it only because this body was just that lewd…?
It could be both.
“At the very least, all you want me to do is embrace you normally.”
“Your lewdness and sensitivity are rather preferable to me, but it is by your virtue that you don’t want to indulge and easily drown in said lewdness that I find you so alluring.”
Reinhardt-sama was stroking my cheek as he said that.
Eh… Reinhardt-sama just praised me…!
I feel so fortunate… What exactly is going on?
For the two years’ worth of tsun, was this a lump-sum dere payment?
“I didn’t really quite fit with the original Annelier, who drowned herself in pleasure.”
A tingle rushed through my heart following Reinhardt-sama’s dere coming out.
This body belonged to Annelier, but it honestly doesn’t feel like we’re ever going back to how we originally were, or rather, since not a single fragment of her memory had returned to me, Annelier continued to be a stranger to me; someone distant and unrelated.
However, definitively, Reinhardt-sama’s wife is Annelier.
I was the one who went through the pain of pregnancy and gave birth to Wernhardt, but his mother would still be Annelier.
I wish I could just wholly merge myself with her and say, “I’m Annelier,” but that’s not possible.
In the beginning, Reinhardt-sama had already discovered that I was a different person from Anneliese, and since then, Reinhardt-sama had treated me as Anna, utterly separate from Anneliese.
And now, most of my world revolved around Reinhardt-sama.
The maids, including Ella, who spend the day together with me, are only in their positions to give service to Annelier.
If so, it could be said that the maids have been treating me as if I were Annelier… However, even if I talked to them and managed to get a reply which then led to a conversation between us, there was no such thing as complaints being had or talks of leisure going on.
…In a sense, it’s unnatural that I don’t hear anything related to my past self unless I talked to them about it, so the existence of the maids wasn’t an element that made me think of myself as Annelier.
In a sense, the unnatural part… Were them not denying that I was Annelier rather than the other way around.
Even if they were aware of the apparent change, they might be intentionally keeping their mouths shut.
Therefore, I’m still Anna… I’m Anna.
“What is it?”
“If… If the original Annelier were to make a return…”
The doubts and anxiety that were secretly smoking in the back of my mind suddenly swelled and burst out of my mouth.
His voice was as expected, but I was grabbed by the chin and urged to look closely into Reinhardt-sama’s eyes.
This… This is…!
The legendary agokui…!
…Wait… Th… This… This is scary. Is this really what I think it is…!?
Wasn’t an agokui supposed to be a heartthrob moment!?
“Are you seeing any signs of that happening?”
His cold blue eyes stared piercingly at me.
The fact that his voice didn’t waver made the situation even scarier.
“Ah, that’s not it!”
Perhaps my back, in this seiza, was now stretched at a whopping right angle from the floor.
“Is that so? Be sure to let me know if there are any such signs of it happening. No matter what kind of method I’ll need to use, I will prevent it from happening.”
When he said he’d prevent it, my chest felt tight.
Oh my God.
Even if the amount was scary, it did seem to be a lump-sum dere payment.
Maybe an advanced loan had been incurred.
But at the same time, it made me more anxious.
“Will that be okay with you…?”
“What’s wrong with keeping around someone I need?”
My heart went from throbbing to going over the edge.
There was no other way to respond.
Oh no… I think I’m really going to die today.
No, if you took out a loan in advance, you aren’t allowed to die until you pay it off, right…?
As I was seriously thinking about such things…
“I’ve never told you, but… Annelier is dead.”
If someone had been told that, they’d think, “then I’m already dead,” wouldn’t you…?
When did Reinhardt-sama become the winner at the end of history for him to tell a victor’s tale… Honestly!?
“I’m… I’m already…”
“No, I didn’t mean you.”
“I meant the original Annelier. I thought it’d be useless to bore you with the details, but it was due to poison. Telling you wouldn’t even be helping anyone. “
It was indeed a story I had never heard of.
I first heard from Ella that Annelier was poisoned.
I heard from Reinhardt-sama that it was executed by Mia, who was supposed to be the game’s heroine.
However, I’ve never heard what the poison actually did.
“Because the one who was supposed to be beyond saving had come back to life, wouldn’t you first suspect that they may already be someone else?”
“Is that so…”
When I first got caught, I wondered how long I had been suspected before confirmation.
So, it was from the very beginning.
Since he knew Annelier couldn’t be saved, he had already been suspicious by then.
“Furthermore, Annelier, who had recovered from a poison she shouldn’t have been able to, said that she had no memory of the past. I believed this was definitely because Annelier had really died and that maybe Busterman had another daughter who looked exactly like her as a replacement. Before visiting you, I even went as far as to check if such a thing had happened.”
So that was why no one had been there when I woke up…
After two years, that’s the first truth I’ve been told.
“I immediately became acquainted with you, given the opportunity to look into it further. However, in the end, I couldn’t find any evidence of you having been a replacement to keep me in line.”
That… I felt like some inappropriate portions were delivered lightly in passing.
At first, I didn’t have the right nor means that would’ve allowed me to resist him somehow, but that was just labeled as being acquainted…
“Is there anything else? Anna.”
I was still locked in an agokui, so I tried shaking my head with only the slightest movement.
“…Finally, the thought of a corpse being overtaken by spirits and demons had crossed my mind, but even then, that’d still be fine. Even if Annelier became Anna, many people aren’t bothered by it too much. Even those who are, have kept their mouths shut until now. Only Busterman’s political opponents are vying to reveal your secret. It is not contraindicated for non-human blood to enter the Royal Family, so it will eventually calm down once Wernhardt grows up a little more.”
My secret, it was surprisingly not a secret at all…?