It’s now a month later. I have lived cleanly, rightly, and modestly, unlike the previous Cordelia.
My relationship with Stella is no longer a hidden shame—it’s a well-known fact.
“It’s Lady Cordelia and Ms. Stella.”
“They’re such good friends, they’re like sisters, aren’t they?”
“Don’t you know? Lady Cordelia has been radiating a gentler aura recently.”
“Love changes people, doesn’t it?”
“I think it’s because of Ms. Stella, right?”
The students around me thought it was unusual at first but recently they’ve shifted to watching over us with smiles on their faces.
I wonder what is with this school. Do they all like Yuri so much??
“Lady Cordelia. I made a lunch for us today. Why don’t we eat it in the courtyard?”
“That sounds lovely, let’s go.”
We head out to the courtyard and open the lunch box.
Inside are colorful sandwiches.
There are chicken sandwiches, vegetable sandwiches, and roast beef sandwiches.
As an Otome Game protagonist, Stella is not only a cute and gentle girl but she’s also excellent at cooking.
I picked up a chicken sandwich.
“… How is it? Is it to your taste?”
“Yes, it’s very delicious. Perhaps it’s the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten.”
“I’m glad to hear that! It makes me happy to receive a compliment from you.”
“It’s not flattery. It’s really delicious.”
I never had the chance to eat such elaborate sandwiches in my previous life.
The aristocrats of this world don’t like foods you have to eat with your hands.
I think it is the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten. No exaggerations.
A person was walking up to us. It’s Alphard, Prince of this country.
I should mention, Alphard is a Capture Target for the Otome Game “Étoile of the Magic Academy.” He’s the most popular among them as the blonde, blue-eyed Prince.
He has a close relationship with the Hamilton Duchy and our parents are talking about getting us engaged, or so the rumors go.
But the dignified and prideful Alphard hates the lazy and arrogant Cordelia.
In the game, he falls in love with Stella and proposes. Cordelia, who harassed the future Queen, will either be executed or deported—it was that sort of scenario.
Alphard had the other capture characters with him.
Ymir, the Son of the Supreme Knight Commander, Ville, the Son of the Chancellor, and Marc, the son of the Knight Commander.
These were the handsome elites.
“Cordelia, just what are you planning?”
“Wha-What are you saying?”
“Don’t play dumb with me. You, the arrogant, lazy, lady who looks down on the commoners, falling in love with Stella? I heard you confessed your feelings to her—just what is your aim?”
“I-I have no ‘aim’! I just confessed my honest feelings to Stella!”
Stella stares at me with admiring eyes. Uuh, I’m sorry…
“I reflected on who I was since I started dating Stella. I have been rude to all of you so far. For that, I apologize. But I will still be in a relationship with Stella. I’m surprised you think there’s something behind all this. She changed me. She’s a precious person to me.”
Well, well, I’m quite the eloquent speaker. I’m proud of myself.
But if I make a mistake here, I’m going straight to the Ruin Route!
Because in the game, Alphard and the rest of the young men were aiming for Stella while I, Cordelia, was driven to ruin.
They could become so devoted to Stella.
If they find out that I was toying with Stella’s feelings for my selfish reasons, it means immediate ruin for me!
I have to do my best to lie here!!
Alphard and I were locked in a staring contest. I’m terrified—but the one who looks away first loses.
… Why is the Crown Prince of this country and the Duke’s Daughter playing a game like rowdy children…? If you think about it, you lose.
“… Fuu. It seems that true love does change people.”
“For the past month, we’ve been observing your actions. If you were using Stella with malicious intent, we’d have forced you to stop. But it looks like we’re the ones in the wrong here.”
“Well then, Prince Alphard. It seems that Lady Cordelia and Ms. Stella do love each other truly.”
“Please look, Prince Alphard. While Lady Cordelia was locked in that staring contest with you, Stella was holding Lady Cordelia’s hand the entire time. Didn’t you see it as well, Ville, Marc?”
“The two of them care so much for each other, it’s so precious…
Eh, eh, what is this? What is going on right now??
“At first, we intended to monitor you, but eventually a shared feeling was born in our hearts.”
“The intimate relationship between two women is so beautiful. Such beauty must be protected.”
“Observation first, strictly no touching.”
“A man trying to get between lilies deserves death.”
“So Cordelia and Stella are truly in love with each other? If it were a ruse, our hearts would be broken. It’s too painful to consider. So, we’re glad to be proven wrong.”
“When you managed to glare back at me, the Prince who can kill a bear with just his hands, I knew your feelings were real, Cordelia.”
“We don’t have to worry any longer. Please love each other as much as you please. Oh, and if anyone tries to interfere with your relationship, please contact us, yes?”
“The ‘BIG-4 of the Magic Academy’ will be the deciders!”
What do I do? All the Capture Targets have awakened to a fondness for Yuri.
With this, Stella’s life as an Otome Game Heroine was been completely shot…
Stella’s eyes are shining.
“… Thank you very much! I’m so glad to hear that from everyone! I’ve yet to reach that level, but I will love Lady Cordelia with all my heart! Please continue to watch over us!”
She declared it was okay to watch over us from a distance and the Capture Targets were overjoyed…
I believe I was able to avoid my Ruin Flag because all the Capture Targets became supporters for my and Stella’s Yuri Capture Flag—I think.
However, all this raises a different issue.
It’s my guilt of robbing Stella of her future as an Otome Game Heroine.
No, there was an ending in the original where she wasn’t in a relationship with anyone.
The issue is that we live in this world, this is our reality.
There can be no reset or playing around with it.
In this world, Stella only had the present and this one life.
I have to take responsibility for Stella’s life.
Even if she doesn’t get tied up with the handsome elites, I have to ensure Stella will live a happy life…!
What do you need for that?
Money, work, and social status.
As long as these three are available, women can happily live independently.
Fortunately, the Magic Academy is a school for training the elites.
Let’s study hard during these three years and find good careers.
“Stella, it’s about time for the midterms. Let’s study at the library.”
“Yes, Lady Cordelia.”
“… By the way, why haven’t you stopped calling me Lady Cordelia and other honorifics?”
“Ah, there are others around. Then why don’t you drop them when we’re alone?”
“… Are you sure?”
“Of course. I feel lonely at the thought of you having to be so formal forever.”
“That makes me happy… thank you very much!”
We study together at the library, but Stella, a commoner enrolled in the Magic Academy, is quite smart.
With that in mind, I think she’ll be safe for the future if I can set a course where she doesn’t change.
“Stella, do you dream of what you want to be in the future?”
“Eh? Well, you see, I want to succeed my father and become a magic tool artisan.”
“A magic tool artisan.”
I should explain Stella’s parents’ background.
“Magic Tools” artificially reproduce spells. Magic was the sole domain of royalty and aristocrats, so it was despised in the past.
However, it definitely made life more convenient, so it’s started to become prized in recent years.
I quickly learned about the history and culture of this world.
Magic tools are a growing market. I believe the demand will definitely grow.
Stella will be able to succeed in life if she establishes her position as a magic tool artisan.
“What about you, Cordelia?”
“It’s embarrassing to admit, but I haven’t really thought about it till now. I have decided now, though. I will study magic tools as well!”
The librarian glares at Stella. She slaps both hands over her mouth.
“Should you really be deciding that so easily…?”
“It’s fine. The demand for magic tools will surely grow in the future. If you learn to use the knowledge and the skills we’ve learned here at the academy for magic tools, you’ll certainly become famous. To be clear, in this era women are still beholden to the lords. It’s difficult to live without relying on marriage but with money, work, and status all, it’s not impossible. On the other hand, you have to acquire all three first.”
“My younger brother is supposed to take over the family, so I have to do my best. I’m a despised woman so I don’t think I’ll make an attractive marriage prospect.”
“I don’t think that’s the case.”
“I appreciate your comfort. I’ve made my bed and now I have to lie in it.”
“All I know is what I like about you, okay?”
Stella puts her hand on the back of my hand.
It’s a surprise to me… hold up a moment, what is with this excitement? Why is my heart pounding?
The sun is shining on the library. Stella has a happy smile. Our hands are overlapping.
The librarian clears their throat and brings us back to reality.
We look at each other. Stella looked embarrassed and returned to studying.
On a related note, after that test came and went, both I and Stella were in the top 5.
“You’ve always been making our lunches, Stella. I’ll be making them tomorrow.”
“Eh, is that okay?”
“Of course it is. Please look forward to it.”
… I regretted making such a promise so easily.
In addition to the kitchen used by the chefs, the dormitory also has a simple kitchen that students can use.
It’s 6 o’clock in the morning. Today’s lunch is burnt black and charred.
It’s all gone wrong. I am no supreme chef.
I was able to cook in my previous life.
Even Cordelia was good at making sweets.
But… in this world, they use charcoal or wood-fired stoves.
In my previous life, I only cooked on stoves with burners.
And after putting it in the oven, it was up to the servants to watch Cordelia’s sweets.
“Why doesn’t this world have burners…?”
I’m used to having conveniences like magic tools.
… I wonder why aristocrats in this world have such status when they need to hire so many servants to work for them.
So there are no stoves with burners. As long as I don’t have them, it’s difficult to adjust the heat.
–Wait. There might still be hope!
“… That’s why I’m thinking of making a magic stove. What do you think, Stella?”
“Yes, a stove that–”
We were having lunch at the school cafeteria that day. Of course, it was my treat.
After classes, I told Stella my idea for the stove in the courtyard.
“There are already ‘Magic Heaters’ for boiling bathwater. I can use that for cooking. It looks something like this.”
No matter how many servants you hire, it’s a lot of work to boil water every day.
That’s why magic heaters are used for bathing.
It’s a magic tool that uses “Magic Stones” as fuel.
It’s been around for the last decade or so, and is only used by some aristocrats and other wealthy people.
It will be miniaturized and repurposed for cooking.
To give you an idea, it may be more like an induction heater than a gas burner stove.
As I drew a diagram to explain it, Stella’s eyes shined.
“This is amazing, Cordelia! If you can realize this, it’ll be a breakthrough invention!”
“Let’s develop it, sell it, and get a patent. We shouldn’t wait until graduation. In two years, other people will certainly get the same idea.”
“Yeah, I thought the same. I can understand it somewhat because my father is a magic tool craftsman.”
“So while we’re in school, I’d like to develop then announce it later this year. It’s going to be summer vacation soon. Stella, let’s do our research together at Manor Hamilton!”
“Eehh? No way, is it really fine for me to visit your mansion…?”
“Of course it is. I want to pick at your brain with your opinion as a magic tool artisan’s daughter! I’m sure it’ll be impossible for me to develop and announce in such a short time period. But two people may be able to do it.”
“If there’s two of us… yeah, I understand. Let’s work together!”
Thus, we spent our summer vacation at Manor Hamilton.