The Villainous Daughter’s Butler ~I Raised Her to be Very Cute~ - v2c19
- The Villainous Daughter’s Butler ~I Raised Her to be Very Cute~
- v2c19 - His and Her Plan Part 1
During the afternoon of the first day of the School Festival, I hurriedly decided to take on the role of the prince. Before the live performance of Espressivo of Light and Darkness was to begin, a lot of students, along with their families, had gathered in the auditorium.
Just like they had said in the past, Pamela and Ferris occupied their seats in the front row. They had done so not just because they were part of Lady Sophia’s faction, but also because they seemed to be wholeheartedly looking forward to her performance.
However, a large part of the audience was not looking forward to the performance. Since many of them wanted to secure connections with the royal family or the marquis household, they were there simply to be able to say that they had seen their children’s performance.
Nevertheless, that didn’t matter. We understood the wishes of Fol and Prince Alforth. To fail during Lady Sophia’s performance as the heroine was impossible.
The curtain lifted and Lady Sophia, playing an innocent young girl, spoke in a clear voice. At that moment, the atmosphere in the audience changed. Everyone looked a little surprised, and became very interested in the stage.
The scene where the heroine, after she got lost at the party’s venue, was harassed by a dead-beat young aristocrat.
With the orchestra’s performance serving as background music, Aurelia stood in the venue. At this point, the narration came in, and her performance showed my Lady’s confusion. It was likely due to the voice of the narration not belonging to me, as we had previously planned.
It wasn’t that we didn’t have the time to inform my Lady of the role switch because of Prince Alforth’s proposal being last minute.
It was a proper surprise.
Incidentally, the one in charge of narration was the prince of this country. The people who realized whom the voice belonged to began murmuring among themselves, but Prince Alforth, holding the script in one hand, went on with his narration. It seemed like a good way to highlight the fact that he wasn’t an Elitist, but instead, that he was a Prince close to the common folk.
At the previous party, he had confirmed that he wasn’t an Elitist, so if his actions afterwards didn’t show that he was close to the common folk, people might say that it was all an act.
It seemed that he had thought that far ahead. Truly, in this short amount of time, he was already showing his growth as a prince.
His narration presented the predicament of the heroine, and, at last, the time for the prince’s appearance arrived. Right before I stepped up onto the stage, after I had adjusted my costume, my gaze met Prince Alforth’s. He nodded and I nodded back in response, and took one step forward onto the stage.
A magic powered spot light rained down on me. Showered with its light, I headed towards the centre of the stage, standing behind the bewildered Lady Sophia to defend her.
Using his quick wit, Prince Alfred, in disguise, chased the dead-beat young aristocrat away. Synchronized with the narration, I abruptly turned around.
The heroine was standing still, bewildered.
“Are you alright, young Lady?”
When I asked her this, in the role of the dazzling prince, Lady Sophia mumbled with a surprised look on her face: “Cyril?”
“Certainly, it’s me, Cyril. However, right now, please, prioritize the play,” I whispered. As if she had suddenly remembered about it, Lady Sophia straightened her spine.
“Thank you very much for saving me. I am alright.”
“I see. I am glad to hear that you are unharmed.”
Lady Sophia’s cheeks reddened. This was the moment when the heroine fell in love with the prince at first sight. Nevertheless, I had to mention that Lady Sophia was truly exceptional, to have even her cheeks go red during the performance.
Indeed, this was a performance. As proof of that, even though her expression was that of a young girl in love, deep in her eyes there was just a critical look that seemed to say: “Why haven’t I heard anything about this?”
‘I wanted to see my Lady’s surprised face.’ I couldn’t say that, no matter what. We were still on stage right at that moment.
We reached the scene where, when he spotted the maid that came searching for him, the prince ended up leaving without even introducing himself.
“Well, this is my cue to leave,” I said turning around as if I were running away from questioning.
In that instant, Lady Sophia said: “Please wait,” and pulled at my sleeve.
“Is something the matter?”
Pretending it was part of the performance, I asked this question loud enough for it to reach the audience. However, I also tilted my head in puzzlement, actually asking her what was wrong. With the expression of a mischievous child, Lady Sophia whispered: “Since we’re here, I won’t let you run away.”
Before I could think of what she meant, Lady Sophia held out her right hand.
“Truth be told, I was bored.”
In this world, only rarely would someone get asked to dance by a girl. Therefore, this was an indirect request, letting me know that my Lady wanted to dance with me.
I couldn’t remember ever teaching her such a way of inviting someone to dance. However, my Lady had grown up.
Nevertheless, was this acceptable? Although this development was completely different from the script… just as Lady Sophia had said, it was impossible to reject the heroine’s offer here.
…No, that was incorrect.
My Lady had always wanted to dance with me. And so now, in this situation, even if I were the one to ask my Lady for a dance, there was no one who could reproach me for it. Therefore- I faced my Lady and extended my hand. Although I was closer to her than anyone else, there was still a distance between us that seemed impossible to overcome. And yet, this distance was bridged over surprisingly easily.
“Would you grant me this dance?”
“Yes, if it’s with you, gladly.”
Immediately, as if we had arranged it beforehand, a waltz began to play. Thanks to the orchestra, the play’s background music was a live performance. Tucked in a wing of the stage, they began performing the song for us, seemingly in reaction to our adlibs. In sync with the music, I held Lady Sophia, and we began to dance a slow waltz.
At first, as a means of checking to see how Lady Sophia was doing, I danced slowly, but I quickly switched to a very difficult step sequence. My Lady, who was dainty, yet at times boldly showered in the magical spotlight, was performing these difficult steps exactly like a stage’s heroine, her silver hair sparkling.
“…So, why are you playing the prince, Cyril?”
“Oh, do you dislike it?”
“…If I disliked it, we wouldn’t be dancing.”
She slightly averted her eyes. Could it be that she was flustered? I pondered about it, but then I was reflected in those amethyst eyes once again.
Urged by her gaze that said: “Explain,” I quickly told her about my conversation with Prince Alforth.
“I see, so Prince Alforth said such things… I have to express my gratitude to him.”
She smiled like a rosebud that had bloomed into a flower, dancing with ease. It was possible that my Lady had realized what Prince Alforth was thinking when he handed over the role of the prince to me.
However, at that moment, the play was more important. Since we began dancing after the opening scene, I was worried about the audience getting bored, but everyone’s attention was turned towards us. Some people were gazing at us enviously, others with admiring eyes. And even from up here, I could tell that the eyes of the young Ladies who belonged to my Lady’s faction were sparkling particularly bright.
“As you wish, my Lady.”
She wanted me to lead in a way that would fire up the audience even more. Sensing that this was my Lady’s intention, I took even larger steps than before. All the noises from the audience disappeared, and I immersed myself into the music.
Thinking of my Lady, I danced, only paying attention to making my Lady shine. Suddenly, there was a slight resistance to my lead.
Surprised, I switched to another way of leading so that my Lady could be in the spotlight. However, as I suspected, she kept resisting me. My Lady continued to show dissatisfaction with my lead. When I wondered why, I noticed that my face was reflected in her amethyst eyes.
She was looking at me.
Lady Sophia’s earnest wish was getting through to me. When I took the lead, single-mindedly wanting my partner to shine, I didn’t look at Lady Sophia. Lady Sophia didn’t wish for her own self to shine. She wished for the both of us to shine together.
‘Don’t stand out too much.’ Her father’s warning flashed through my mind.
However, it didn’t matter.
If Lady Sophia wished so, no matter what difficulties would stand in my way, I would simply move forward. I began to lead in such a way that wouldn’t just keep Lady Sophia in the center, but that would make the both of us shine together.
This time, she didn’t resist. In fact, as if she was able to predict my lead, my Lady began to dance as if she was gliding across the stage. Her feelings were getting through to me perfectly. At the same time, my own feelings were probably getting through to her as well. My Lady, who resembled a rose in full bloom, let an innocent smile show on her face.
Caught up by her smile, I smiled as well. As we embraced this sense of harmony, as if Lady Sophia and I became one, we danced under the spotlight to our own personal waltz.
“My name is Aurelia. May I learn yours?” Lady Sophia asked right after the dance ended and we had stepped away from each other. However, if I were to reveal that I was a prince now, the story would fall apart.
“Due to some circumstances, I cannot tell you my name. So just call me Al, please.”
“…Lord Al. I will definitely come meet you one day.”
My Lady, filled with silent determination was very beautiful, but there weren’t any lines this proactive1 in the original work. Not meeting again by chance, but going out of one’s way to meet the other, was just like what this world’s Alicia… no, what I was thinking about was just a conjecture.
While our schedule wasn’t followed from the opening scenes, the play continued without any problems.
Finally, when the two of them met again at the academy, they were instantly attracted to each other. However, the prince had a fiancée, Elvira. Because she knew about this, the heroine was conflicted. Nevertheless, she couldn’t give up on the prince, and her love towards him grew stronger.
During this time, in the original work, the heroine received her maid’s support, and she finally accepted the prince’s love. These were the somewhat passive developments that were supposed to happen. However, Lady Sophia’s portrayal of the heroine was a little aggressive2.
My Lady added in a lot of adlibs, but Isabella followed her lead without any problems. Playing the maid, she kept up with Lady Sophia’s performance. Her character became someone who understood Aurelia well and who supported her.
When Elvira realized that the prince’s heart had grown distant from her, since the prince and the heroine shared their feelings for each other, she fell into darkness.
“Why do you not look my way?”
These were the words that would trigger her fall into darkness. I stood there facing Alicia, who was playing Elvira, with my face full of guilt. And yet, I looked into her eyes and began to speak.
“I’m sorry. I’ve fallen in love with Aurelia.”
“I don’t care even if you have! So please, look at me as well!”
Eh, no… this wasn’t in the script. If I nodded my head here, I would just be a two-timing, playboy prince.
“Elvira, I am truly very sorry about hurting you. However, I’ve sworn to be by her side. That promise won’t change, no matter what happens from now on.”
I changed my lines in order to get back to the main plotline of the story. In truth, they were words that pushed the villainous daughter a little bit further away from me. After all, the villainous daughter had already started to fall ill at this point, and the prince was distancing himself from her.
For this reason, this was a farewell scene. And yet-
“Saying you will be by her side is no reason not to look my way. Haven’t I told you that I simply want you to look my way?!”
So-somehow, I felt like I myself was the target of this critique.
No, calm down. This was a performance in a play. Following the script’s plot, I said: “I’m sorry,” and turned on my heel, trying to get away. Upon doing so, she raised her voice sorrowfully from behind my back.
“Why won’t you look at me?” The grieving girl asked before finally reaching just one conclusion.
“…That’s right. If that girl didn’t exist, he would definitely look my way.”
It was frightening. For some reason, her voice seemed to be filled with killing intent. Was it just my imagination making it seem like this villainous daughter was falling into darkness more deeply than in the original work?
Alone on the stage, Elvira devised a plan on how to get rid of Aurelia. Full of madness, Alicia’s performance had even the audience trembling with fear. It was a truly believable performance.
Although Alicia hadn’t been able to perform as the heroine’s maid well because she couldn’t empathize with her, she performed the role of the villainous daughter incredibly skillfully.
In other words… that was really the issue all along, huh?
Even though they were exposed to unexpected threats, Alfred nurtured his love for Aurelia. That was the ‘light’ part of Espressivo of Light and Darkness. When it comes to the ‘darkness’ part, it was Aurelia getting mistreated by Elvira. Once Prince Alfred realized what was happening, he took action.
Although he prevented her from getting harassed over and over again, it was of no use. Therefore, Alfred purposefully distanced himself from Aurelia, inviting Elvira to do her evil deeds. And the instant Elvira was about to cross the line, he apprehended her as the prince of the kingdom.
Elvira was being publicly led to the gallows. Acting as the prince, I exposed the villainous daughter’s crimes one by one. Although it was a performance, I, who was attempting to save Lady Sophia, would be the one sending the villainous daughter to be executed.
Filled with complex emotions, I recited Elvira’s charges.
“Wait, please,” Lady Sophia’s dignified voice resounded.
This line of hers followed the story. The heroine would give the villainous daughter a chance for atonement. However, having fallen into darkness, the girl spits out curses at the heroine, and gets executed.
That was what was supposed to happen, but-
“I love him.”
Suddenly, Aurelia, played by Lady Sophia, challenged Elvira.
“I- I love him as well!”
Alicia, performing as Elvira, took up the gauntlet.
Without warning, a carnage was upon us.
“I am aware. I knew that you did, and yet I took the prince from you. Therefore-”
Lady Sophia turned her back to Elvira and faced me once more.
“Prince Alfred, please grant her mercy.”
“…Are you alright with that?” I did my best to reply right away.
After all, this was the play ‘Espressivo of Light and Darkness’. It didn’t have any relation to the original work, much less to the reality of this world. However, despite that, when none other than Lady Sophia decided to save the villainous daughter, an indescribable feeling took hold of me.
“I don’t mind. I took someone more important than her own life away from her. Therefore, I will forgive the girl who tried to take my life, just this once.”
“If that is your wish.”
Thinking about the crimes I had recited earlier, realistically, it wasn’t possible to declare her innocent. According to this train of thought, still in the role of Alfred, I declared that she was to be confined to a monastery. Upon hearing this, Lady Sophia approached the kneeling villainous daughter.
“I won’t give up.”
Alicia, sitting on the floor, looked up at Lady Sophia. I didn’t know whether it was just a performance, or if she was expressing her true feelings.
Nevertheless, Lady Sophia smiled.
“You don’t have to give up. However, I won’t lose. That’s why I will always accept any of your challenges!” She declared loudly, and gently stepped aside.
Finally, the last scene began.
“Your Highness, I apologize for my overly pushy behaviour.”
“You don’t need to worry about it. I exposed her crimes in order to save you. So, if you say that you forgive her, I will forgive her as well,” I replied, and embraced Lady Sophia. Although we added many adlibs and didn’t adhere to the script, I would swear my eternal love to her in this scene, and we would reach the happy end.
But before that, Lady Sophia spoke up first.
“…To begin with, aren’t you the one at fault? Recklessly paying so much attention to other girls. Think of the manipulated girls’ feelings, and please, restrain yourself a little.”
Instinctively, I felt very apologetic.
Just now, her voice had been quiet and the words wouldn’t reach the audience. Since I noticed that they weren’t really connected to her previous lines, these were probably Lady Sophia’s true feelings. Believing so, I looked at her face, and she chuckled.
“This is the you that I love,” she declared loudly. These were Aurelia’s lines. However, I wondered whether Lady Sophia adding: ‘This is the you’, was about Alfred forgiving Elvira, or instead…
I shook off that thought and said: “I also love you,” and I embraced her.
At this point, the lights were supposed to turn off, and the play was supposed to end. However, the lights weren’t turning off. When I quickly glanced at them, I spotted teacher Tristan’s figure standing in front of the magical lights’ operating device.
“…Cyril, what’s going on?”
“The lights didn’t turn off. Teacher Tristan seems to be pulling a prank on us.”
“Oh, that’s troublesome. What are we going to do?”
Whispering quietly, Lady Sophia was smiling like a mischievous child. Come to think of it, when I withdrew backstage earlier, Lady Sophia was whispering something into teacher Tristan’s ear.
This situation might just be a practical joke of Lady Sophia’s.
“Bad girls need to be punished.”
I raised my Lady’s chin with my fingers.
As if I was peering into her wide open amethyst eyes, I slowly brought my face closer to hers.
Thank you so much for reading! I gasped so many times during this chapter lmao~. Hope you’ll enjoy!
A huge thank you to my editor Barebones for the extensive, detailed work she always delivers! <3
- 男前な – ‘otokomaena’ literally ‘manly’. I think the author here means that she didn’t have such proactive, ‘aggressive’ lines, in the same way how a man invites a woman to a dance but it rarely happens the opposite way in this world, so the woman is more ‘passive’ in this sense.
- 肉食系 – ‘nikushokukei’, literally means a ‘man’s man, man aggressively pursuing relationships and riches, carnivore’. I opted for the term aggressive, as it also contrasts the passive developments.