1. Rosa Wants to Meet a Friend (1)
“Wow, look, that seat over there!”
“Sshh, don’t shout like that, or she’ll notice you.”
At a magnificent opera house, with a grand chandelier.
In such a space, where the fire of the candlesticks danced, along with the exchange of people—done through the concealment of fans, and endlessly glittering chandeliers—a certain presence made themselves known.
At a secluded spot in the back, which was in no way superior, a girl sat quietly.
The girl, who was probably fifteen, was too young to go to the opera house.
She donned a fine yet simple dress. From beneath her veil, her blonde hair peeked out, along with her smooth and milky skin. Her marvelous beauty wasn’t one that could be hidden.
As of the present, in the royal capital of Berg, when it came to a fair-haired, angelic beauty of a girl, the first person who’d come to mind would be the Angel of Rose—Rosa Von Langheim.
“Is she concealing herself, perhaps? For her to be alone in an opera house that is close to downtown…”
“No, it appears that she came with an escort. Look, the seat next to her is vacant. She’s probably on a date.”
“Oh, my. Could it be, she’s on her way home from visiting an orphanage in the downtown area with her friend?”
The whispers of the other audiences went unnoticed by her.
She, who was hailed as the Angel of Rose by her people, quickly befriended the princess as soon as she entered the castle. Furthermore, she even pinpointed the illness of the bedridden queen, and led her to remission.
As expected, the details of her achievements were exclusive to the nobles, but her beauty and the fact that she was favored by Leon—a popular prince, tickled the interests of the downtown citizens. The royal capital of Berg itself was already swarmed by rumors about her.
The opera house was located on the outskirts of the area where upper-class citizens lived, blending in with the downtown. It had a wide range of customers—including youths from the downtown.
Although it was an unspoken rule to not mingle with each other, it was one of the few places where citizens and aristocrats would converge.
“But look, she’s fidgeting… I wonder if she’s alright?”
“It’s probably her first time to visit downtown. Therefore, she must be nervous. Poor thing… What on earth is her escort doing? Washing hands?”
“Not only that, today’s performance is a secular opera buffa, with affair as a theme. It’s quite unbefitting of such a cherub! What do you think? Should we talk to her?”
At the end of their gaze, was the restless and fidgety Rosa.
Perhaps because of her nervousness, her beautiful face tensed. As she sneaked a glance at the entrance several times, she sighed in embarrassment.
Towards such an appearance, even the commoners—who usually disdained the proud noble—had the urge to protect Rosa.
To them, she was akin to an innocent angel who was bewildered after descending to the underworld for the first time.
If possible, they’d like to accommodate her so that her delicate heart wouldn’t be damaged—seeing the alone and awkward Rosa, the commoners inadvertently thought so.
…But in truth, what was Rosa thinking about?
Bell-tan has left his seat for some time… I wonder if there’s some kind of exciting development with his childhood friend!? Otherwise, what is taking them so long!?
Akin to a nasty old fart who snickered at the drinking table, she was busy fantasizing about the romance between the two.
Indeed, Rosa had gone to the opera house with her half-brother, Bernardo.
To put it simply, the news about ‘a buffa that sells a rich depiction of love’ had reached her ears. The secular opera buffa, which was dominated by male actors, was much more popular than the formal court opera, Seria—
—Although, when she tried to attend it alone, her surroundings became concerned for some reason, and she had to go with an escort.
In fact, she was even told that if she came across any trouble, she wouldn’t be allowed to go outside until next year.
…Somehow, they mistook me as being frail again, didn’t they?
In contemplation, Rosa wondered and tilted her head.
A month had passed since the incident involving Kamil.
Certainly, during that time, she had collapsed as she pored through the mythology of Apt, and suffered an impact from Bernardo’s moe-moe words and deeds.
But of course, anyone rotten would know that it was all due to excitement.
Perhaps, rather than being sickly, they thought of me as a deranged person who can’t be allowed to step foot in society. Today, too, it feels like I’m on parole rather than an outing…
Rosa grew more serious.
W-well…! When compared to Bell-tan’s frivolity, my personal evaluation matters not! Even today, I was lucky to be able to go out with Bell-tan!
After that, Rosa immersed herself in her salacious excitement once more.
No matter how close that opera house was to downtown, who’d expect that she’d run into Bernardo’s childhood friend!?
Childhood friend! Childhood friend! Childhood friend! It’s the one word in the Berg language that I’m always excited to scream out loud!
At the sweet and sour excitement brought by the word ‘childhood friend’, Rosa covered her face with her hands, before wildly shaking her head without any shame.
Previously, when they were about to enter the opera house, someone had called from behind.
A friendly nickname for Bernardo. A youthful, yet calm and husky voice that had just passed puberty.
As soon as her brain registered the sound, Rosa reflexively turned around.
Far down the stairs of the theater, she saw a young man looking straight up at them from amidst the crowd.
However, after lightly waving his hand, the youth turned on his heels, and blended in with the crowd.
Nevertheless, when it came to Rosa, who had honed her memorization skills so much that it became intuitive, a moment was all it took to commit his image to her memory.
Black hair, tied in a ponytail. Slim, and tall.
Above all, his jet-black, obsidian, eyes, and slightly yellowish skin.
—An Oriental-looking Seme has appeared!!!
Undoubtedly, he was a good-looking guy with a different exoticism to Ladu, one with an Oriental descent.
As she stood atop the stairs, Rosa suffered an impact in her mind.
And Bernardo, her beloved bias, muttered in surprise.
“Bernardo, do you know each other?”
“He’s my childhood friend, back from my downtown days.”
Hearing the reply, it took Rosa everything to not stagger forward.
“I see, your childhood friend… Hey, Bernardo, why don’t you chase after him?”
“It’s alright, I can meet him whenever I want.”
“But previously, didn’t you mention that you haven’t met him until today? Maybe you should follow him, after all. He took the trouble to call you…”
However, when she tried to persuade him to go, Bernardo seemed reluctant.
“But, to leave my dear sister behind…”
“Why, you don’t have to worry about that at all. We’ve arrived at the theater! I can go find my seat on my own. If you’re still anxious, should we go after your childhood friend together?”
When she casually suggested that, Bernardo’s eyes went wide in surprise.
To the disappointment of Rosa, who pretended to be calm, he said.
“No, not on my watch.”
…Her plan to spectate their romance was a massive failure.
Even so, perhaps thinking that it’d be better to go by himself rather than having someone follow him, Bernardo finally agreed. “Alright, I’ll go see him for a bit.” And went down the stairs.
Are they having a reunion hug right now!? Or maybe, they feel too awkward to speak, and instead are wordlessly staring into each other’s eyes!? Both are excellent!! Very much so!!
Thanks to that, despite having entered the theater, her mind wasn’t there.
From the constant waves of excitement, her face tensed up, and she couldn’t help but glance at the entrance.
Although, judging from Bernardo’s tone, he didn’t seem too happy to be reunited with said childhood friend.
Nevertheless, he didn’t hesitate to refer to him as his childhood friend—
—There’s a lot of drama happening here, no doubt!
Full of excitement, Rosa was oblivious to the otherwise concerned gazes of her surroundings.
As if interrupting the other spectators who were about to reach out to her, the opening bell chimed.
After staring alternately between each other, those people gave up on approaching Rosa. As she swooned, she regained her bearings and turned towards the stage.
Upon reaching the stage of almighty rot, she could admire other roses, regardless of the fact that she was currently invested at her “ship.”
…I’m a capable rotten person—one who can separate her personal matters from rotten affairs!
Rosa stared sharply at her fingers.
The show was called ‘A Mistake in Love.’
The story told of two couples who were experiencing issues in their relationship. Both couples were best friends with each other. However, when they tried to reconnect, they found themselves falling for the other’s partner.
Apparently, it was a rom-com.
The real thrill of this show lay in the ‘subtleties of love between the two best friends.’ But of course, Rosa was more intrigued by the interaction between the two male best friends.
“Aah, my friend. Won’t you listen to my grievance?”
“A friend’s grief is my grief—talk to me, just like we did during that rainy day ten years ago.”
Oh…! A childhood friend setting…!
As soon as she learned that the meek Uke (*presumed) and the understanding Seme (*presumed) were childhood friends, she secretly clenched her fists.
“—My friend, my role model, please beat me for being so narrow-minded and foolish…”
“It’s alright, I understand. The intelligence that shines in your eyes—a kindness that otherwise can be mistaken for weakness!”
Kuh…! The kind of trust that can only be achieved through years of spending time together…! Impressive! Childhood friends are the best!
Almost unable to withstand the kindness of the Seme, who cheerfully encouraged the Uke, she clutched her head.
“—My friend, lend me your courage. Lend me your courage to see the truth!”
“Of course, let’s confront the truth together!”
Oh, the precious youth!
At the end, in the scene where the two joined hands and sang loudly, her respect for youth went through the roof.
Childhood friend, moeeeeeeeeee!
She was speechless.
After all, the entirety of her mind had been overtaken by the word ‘childhood.’
During that scene, In Rosa’s mind, she vividly pictured the Oriental, good-looking guy hugging the discouraged and lost Bernardo.
By the way, on the stage, a pair of female best friends also performed a similar dialogue at the same time.
“This is so precious, no way, childhood friend, moe…”
With messy vocabulary, Rosa muttered, pressing a handkerchief to her mouth.
Then, something strange happened.
“This is so precious, no way, childhood friend, moe…”
Like an echo, the same exact words came from a nearby seat.
Surprised, she turned around and saw a man sitting next to Bernardo’s seat.
Since it was dark, it was difficult to make out, but just like Rosa, the figure was sobbing with a handkerchief pressed to their mouth.
Sensing a premonition in her mirror image, Rosa’s heart started pounding.
*Me meeting a soulmate fangirl trash at Cosco venue C:
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!
Have a Japanese story or the like (Drama CD, etc.) you’d like to read? Want it to be translated? I’m open for commissions!
Previous | Table of Contents | Next