Heya, first chapter of the month here! Anyway, i’ve looked at the stats, and it’s better to post on Fridays than on Saturdays, I’ll keep that in mind from here on out, so the chapters will probably come on fridays (on wordpress).
As usual, for the Patrons, Chapter 32, Chapter 33 and Chapter 34 are all available on the Patreon page. (Chapters 33 and 34 are the first chapters of Volume 2)
Anyway, here’s the chapter, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
【”Can you read my fortune?”】
【”Of course I can, that’s my job after all. Isn’t that right, mister?”】
【”Then go ahead and read her fortune. Here’s the money.”】
Through his eyes, Kurats was telling the fortune teller that he was giving her hush money to keep her quiet about the events of the other day. And she happily nodded in response.
【”What would you like me to read into?”】
When the fortune teller asked that question, Cornelia peeked at Kurats’ facial expression and became red in the face, but she still found the will to speak.
【”I-I’d like to know about my l… love life.”】
It almost looked like steam was about come out of her head. That innocent reaction made the fortune teller unconsciously glare at Kurats.
It was not rare for her to see a man two-timing, but she really did not approve of playing with such a naive girl.
With cold sweat, Kurats stared back at the fortune-teller in an attempt to declare his innocence.
But even if not for that, the fortune teller was not boorish enough to start interrogating him on the spot.
【”A beautiful woman like you will be blessed with a great love life for sure… But let’s see what the cards have to say anyway, shall we?”】
【”Yes! Please do!”】
Throughout the ages, maidens in love had always been known to love this sort of fortune-telling.
And since there were no opportunities to experience it at all in a rural village like Gaura, it was no surprise that seeing the real deal in the royal capital was making Cornelia’s heart beat faster.
While openly displaying her excitement on her face, Cornelia took a seat.
Her eyes were filled with expectations and a child like-innocence that made the fortune teller grin broadly.
【”Is there any man on your mind?”】
【”Huh…? W-well… there is but…”】
Cornelia’s face was looking more and more like a red tomato. She couldn’t answer the fortune teller in a clear manner since Kurats was in front of her.
【”Then, I will pray for your happiness and give you the best reading I can manage.”】
This girl and the one from before were both beautiful in their own ways.
(If he makes them cry, I won’t let him get away with it) The fortune teller swore to herself.
She then made her cards dance around as if she was using sleight of hand, until three cards were lined up in front of Cornelia.
【”The high priestess in the upright position, interesting. You seem to have a high tendency to use your intelligence to think things through. That is no mistake, but when it comes to love, perhaps you need to let your feelings guide you. If you let logic alone dictate your decisions, you’ll let opportunities pass right under your nose.”】
Cornelia’s shoulders slumped, prompting the fortune teller to comfort her.
【”You were excited earlier, weren’t you? Please hold on to that feeling, alright? It’s okay, you have not lost yet.”】
Cornelia happily nodded.
Although Kurats did not know much about fortune-telling, he figured there was something special to it that could captivate a woman’s mind.
【”Next we have ―― The fool, in the upright position. This symbolizes a return to beginnings. You are like the fool who is not aware that he is heading towards a cliff. However, if you jump down that precipice, you can start a new life. So, if you happen to reach a ‘cliff’, it will do you no good to hesitate.”】
【”But what if I have to discard the life I’ve had so far for it?”】
【”That’s what starting a new life means. What you have to ask yourself is whether you have to resolve to jump off the cliff for the sake of your love.”】
【”―― I understand.”】
Deep down, Cornelia was aware of her inability to step forward.
Hence why the fortune teller’s words were echoing loudly in her heart.
【”The last card is…. The lover in the upright position? I’m afraid you’re going to have it hard…”】
【”I-Is it a bad card?”】
The fortune teller’s surprised tone made Cornelia feel uneasy.
【”No, it’s a good card for the fulfillment of your love. But when it comes out together with a strong card like the sun or the high priestess, that often means that there will be many temptations around your love interest.”】
Cornelia instinctively glared at Kurats.
By reflex, Kurats shook his head from side to side, tacitly declaring his innocence once again.
That scene made the fortune teller let a short laugh escape her before she proceeded to tease Cornelia.
【”Could it be that he’s the person you were referring to?”】
Cornelia’s whole body reached the same shade of red as her face.
This was probably her limit seeing as she was having trouble articulating words.
The fortune teller could not help herself from wishing the best for this innocent girl.
【”Please do your best. If you take the initiative and hold on to it with a strong resolve, you will surely pave your way forward.”】
Noticing the fortune teller’s implicit support, Cornelia cheerfully bowed her head.
She wanted to try now.
Still, that did not change the fact that her love interest was her little brother, even though she wasn’t related to him by blood.
Nevertheless, she was very happy to have to been pushed forward and told that she could pave the way to her happiness if she was willing to risk everything.
【”How about I read the fortune of the boyfriend, too?”】
【”I think knowing too much about what’s to come would ruin the fun of it, you know?”】
The playful look in the fortune teller’s eyes made Kurats strongly decline the offer, with cold sweat on his back.
【”I wish we could have seen your cards, too, though…”】
With those simple-minded words from Cornelia, the two siblings left the plaza.
Cornelia was in a great mood.
It had been a while since she and Kurats had last enjoyed themselves outside, and she had also gotten to taste some delicious tea.
As they walked side by side and browsed the goods of a clothing store, she focused her gaze on both of their reflections on the store’s window while secretly smiling to herself. She felt like the two of them looked like lovers from an outside view.
【”There is a place in the capital that opened pretty recently, how about we go have lunch there? I made a reservation yesterday.”】
Kurats spoke proudly. This felt like he and Cornelia were a pair of lovers going on a date.
Because of that feeling, he did not stop to consider the risks that could from eating at a restaurant that was famous in the city.
“The sun’s abode” Those were the words written on the big signboard of the elegant restaurant that stood out like a star in the night sky. The line of people waiting to get a table here was so long that it went all the way outside.
The building itself was decorated with warm colors like red and orange, giving it the feel of an aristocrat’s cottage. It looked luxurious.
Furthermore, their meals were probably delicious as well, judging by their popularity.
【”Welcome, the end of the line is right this way, please go ahead!”】
A female employee wearing an apron called out to the pair.
She was beautiful, had a bright and sweet smile, and seemed like a lively type of girl.
【”I made a reservation under the name Kurats Hans Almadianos.”】
【”Mister Kurats, we have been waiting for you! Please follow me!”】
Looking closely, there was a second, smaller building that was connected to the first one by an extended passage.
That place was likely for special guests who had made a reservation.
The girl opened the smaller building’s outside door and informed the rest of the staff of Kurats’ arrival.
【”Mister Kurats is here.”】
The waiters, who had lined themselves up on the left and right of the entrance, bowed very courteously.
While Kurats was appreciating how well trained the employees were, he heard a familiar voice.
【”Kurats? Did she say Kurats just now?”】
These words came from Lunaria, who was disguised as a town girl. Accompanied by Rosberg, she was waiting for her meal with her eyes were sparkling with curiosity.
【”―― Why is Luna here…”】
(Shit. Did I underestimate how much Luna likes food?)
Feeling chills run down his spine, Kurats looked behind him in terror.
Although there was a wide smile on her face, Cornelia was quietly watching Kurats with dangerous flames in her eyes.
【”―― Who’s Luna?”】
Looking at the beautiful girl who looked like she was born in a noble family and who was overflowing with elegance, Cornelia lost her bearings, but she still understood what was going on.
(This is what the fortune-teller was talking about…)
Now that she thought about it, Kurats certainly was a great catch.
He had the rare power of a mage on top of being a warrior with immense, unparalleled strength. Now, he had even become a baron, and he could rise even further in rank depending on his achievements.
There was the issue of him having a split personality, but that hadn’t come up since that day.
It was not strange to think that the gold diggers out there would want to aim for him.
Although Cornelia had not yet accepted Kurats as a man instead of a little brother, he had still confessed to her, so it was natural for her to expect some sincerity from him.
Meanwhile, Lunaria was also evaluating Cornelia.
Contrarily to Cornelia, Lunaria felt like it would be only natural for Kurats to see other women, but she had no intention to give up the on the legal wife’s seat.
It was hard for her to tell which of the two of them was better.
However, there was one clear difference between them.
(―― It’s my win.)
When she noticed that Lunaria’s eyes were fixedly staring at her chest, Cornelia dropped her shoulders in defeat.
Lunaria seemed younger, but she had the two heavy hills that Cornelia never had.
The battle of the two girl’s first meeting had escaped Kurats’ notice, but it had ended with Lunaria’s victory.
【”So, this is my step-sister, Cornelia Hans Almadianos.”】
【”I did not know you were her highness the princess, please forgive my rudeness.”】
【”Mhm, do not worry about it. I am trying to hide my identity after all.”】
In the end, Kurats sat down on the same table as Lunaria, on a seat that put him face to face with her.
He absolutely did not want to take the seat facing Rosberg, who was sitting right next to Lunaria with a demonic expression on his face.
【”Oh, that’s right…”】
Lunaria while nodded to herself as she looked at Cornelia like she had just understood something.
【”What is it?”】
【”The reason Kurats came to cure my sickness in the first place was that he wanted to save you from the dirty hands of that perverted noble. So, in a way, I owe you my life.”】
Hearing this from someone else made Cornelia realize all over again what Kurats had done for her.
She started blushing and awkwardly looked down at the ground.
【”….As I thought, you are an enemy that I have to eliminate even at the cost of my own life.”】(Rosberg)
【”He’s just joking.”】
Feeling the blood-thirst of Rosberg, who was clearly not joking at all, Kurats could only answer with a dry smile.
For Kurats, who was a beginner when it came to love, the difficulty of this situation was far too high.