Here it is, the actual last chapter. The fact that this is over is actually hitting me hard. I like the next story I chose to do after this one, but part of me hates it because it’s not Lucy. I wonder if this was how my Mom felt when she realized all my brothers weren’t me. Jokes aside, HTG and Monette were both stories I liked that were dropped, so I picked them up to finish them. Lucy was different. I read a couple of stories that Monette’s author wrote, and Lucy really stood out to me. There is a special place in my heart knowing that I picked this up, started it from the beginning, and finished it to its ending. (Side note: I’m a huge yuri fan, so I may have been cheering until the very end for Ortensia and Lucy to get together instead. Didn’t happen but their friendship is adorable nonetheless.) The truth is I went to college to be an editor for books or newspapers, but unfortunately there isn’t much of a market for that in Iowa. But doing this and putting to use those ten semester hours of Japanese in college is certainly the next best thing. Once again I hope you all enjoyed Lucy and look forward to the next novel I want to pick up: The Villainous Noble Woman’s Slow Prison Life Began With Her Broken Engagement. (Another side note: I wanted to get this chapter out faster, but it was a really long one, and I haven’t been super focused the past week or so. Sorry ;P)
“What was Forgotten?”
It was now the winter holidays and Lucy had decided to spend them in the dorm.
Until now she had spent all of her holidays living with Elena, but when she asked this time around, she found out that Elena would be spending the New Year in her hometown. Lucy had been invited to come along as well, but she didn’t want to intrude on their familial holiday. And besides, her bizarre constitution created a risk when traveling, so Lucy wanted to avoid crossing the country.
If it was the previous Lucy, she would have thought it to be fine to lose her memory in order to cross the country. She was that kind of high-risk wanderer.
However her feelings had become stronger now, and there were memories she really didn’t want to lose. There was also a level of anxiety to losing her memories that wasn’t there before. —An anxiety that came from picturing a certain cat dragon swooping down and carrying her off into the distance while she had no idea what was going on.—
As she told them, Elena gave her a big hug with a bitter smile. A gentle, yet strong embrace. “The next time you have a day off, tell me all about your winter holidays,” and her words left Lucy feeling somewhere between happy and embarrassed.
That’s why, with just a few hours left to the new day on the eve of New Years, Lucy was carrying up some food to her room from the cafeteria.
There weren’t that many students who had remained in the dorms without returning home for the holidays, but Lucy was saved by the fact that the shops were left open despite their shrinking sales. Thanks to that, she was able to buy plenty of food, so it would be fine for her to hole up in her room for the next couple of days.
“There is no noisy lady going ‘Mi~ Mi~’ here, so I can spend all day in my futon.”
She spontaneously muttered those words aloud to herself.
Of course the “noisy lady going Mi~ Mi~” was Ortensia. —What other girl could it be?—
When the winter holiday first started, while walking out the door with a maid who was carrying all her luggage,
“If you say you absolutely want to go, then there is nothing else for me to do about allow you to reside in the Rosedot home! And if you get lonely and insist on sending me a letter, I will have have no choice but to answer!”
was what Ortensia was shouting as she entered her carriage.
At almost the same time, Claudio was patting the top of Lucy’s head,
“I want to spend time with Lucy, even if it means I have to neglect my duties as a prince. But there is a royal ball at the turn of the year, and Conrad is watching me so I can’t run away…..”
while muttering his grudge.
Lucy listened while having her head patted before nodding that Conrad was indeed a qualified supervisor. The relationship between the two was one where they didn’t care about their status, and since they didn’t care, Conrad didn’t have to hold back.
In this country, Conrad is the only one who could look the royal family in the eye while dragging Claudio by the scruff of his neck, so there would be no one better to keep an eye on him. Lucy unconsciously muttered, “The supreme ruler,” with shining eyes.
Conrad’s victorious expression gave away the fact he had heard her.
His words, “We always spend New Years together,” said as he dragged a lamenting Claudio behind him, was filled with enough amused/teasing emotion to satisfy his revenge-filled heart.
Watching them all leave in such a noisy way, Lucy’s expression would crumble whenever she remembered it.
After that Lucy went by herself into the forest to visit Ril before he left as well for a warm winter facility that the headmaster had arranged for him beforehand.
And now the New Year was upon her.
“Now that I think about it, this is the first time I’ve really been alone as far as I can remember…..”
Lucy mused to herself while walking towards her dorm.
She had come to this school with no memories, and she had stayed in the dorms ever since. Long holidays were spent in Elena’s shop, and she would often have tea with Conrad in the various shops throughout the city. The Rosedots would sometimes kidnap her to spend time at their home, and Claudio would oftentimes come over to the flower shop and linger there.
Was that not a bustling day?
That was why this quietness now felt so unusual to Lucy. The students who would oftentimes crowd around or stare at her from distance weren’t even here when she looked around.
She felt almost as if she had gotten herself lost…..
There were times where she wondered if the road she was walking on was really the right one, but when she turned around to confirm where she had come from, she became even more aware that there was nobody there.
“There’s no way I’m afraid just because I’m alone for the first time in a long time. I’ve probably been alone many times before that I just can’t remember. And I’ll be in room soon”
so hurry forward without making any mistakes.
She would leisurely travel back to her room, drink some warm tea, and watch the end of the year pass. If she did so, she would certainly feel calm and could relax.
She would sleep all day…….but what would she do after that? Nothing came to mind.
Passing through the front door of the dormitory, Lucy scratched her head feeling like she was going crazy as she quickly headed up to her room and walked through the door…..,
“You’re late Lucy. You properly brought a cake along with you right?”
Lucy slowly closed the door to her dorm room when the appearance of Ortensia was seen looking high-and-mighty in the entranceway.
She took a deep breath to try and calm herself down.
Who was it that was in there? That gorgeous blond hair, that high-handed aura overflowing from her entire being, the loud “Miiiiiiiiii~!” being shouted from the other side of the door……
Everything fit, that was definitely Ortensia.
Lucy sighed when she found no substantial way to dispute the obvious and slowly opened the door once again. —As she did, she received a loud “Mi~!” in response which roughly translated to, “Hurry up and get me some hot coffee!”—
“Ortensia, didn’t you head back to the Rosedot house?”
“I came back because I had forgotten something. So then, I decided to stay a little while to hear the academy’s sacred bell ring in the new year.”
Lucy nodded her head towards Ortensia’s story while preparing a cup of hot coffee for her. —Although this hot coffee is nothing more than sugared hot coffee by now.—
Yes the sacred bell. She recalled the story Claudio had told her right before the winter vacation began.
As the new year opens up, the school mages sound off a bell all around. The bell rings a total of 108 times–there was apparently some significant meaning to that number–and it is well-known to to heal the spirits of the students who hear it and there are rumors about that the students who hear it can enjoy future prosperity and happiness.
There are some students who stay in the dorms just to hear the ringing of the bell, and there are also those who gather across the country in the vicinity of the academy to ring in the new year.
Isn’t that quite the fitting way to celebrate the New Year? At the very least it seems like it was enough to keep Ortensia on campus after she came back to pick something she left behind.
“Somebody will pick me up tomorrow morning. I will spend the end of the year in this room with Lucy since it can’t be helped. Feel free to grovel on the ground in thanks, and be sure to clean up down there while you’re there.”
“If you spilled something on the ground, just be honest and say so.”
Silence! Ortensia was trying to scold her while Lucy simply shrugged her shoulders. It appeared that this noisy Mi~ lady was going to be same this next year as she was this past one.
Lucy was apparently going to end this long holiday in her care.
I think I’ll go to sleep…..as Lucy said so quietly while trying to walk past to her room, Ortensia grabbed her arm, “Mi~!” and started scolding Lucy once again for her slovenly attitude.
Although she had tried to get away, Lucy was subjected to a number of “Mi~ Mi~’s” by Ortensia, and the two of them were now waiting for the new year to roll by together at the table together.
They drank tea, ate some cookies, and enjoyed the cake Lucy had bought while reminiscing about the past year, recalling some of the classes they had taken, and later……they talked about their lovers as well.
“Conrad said before, ‘Although I would certainly like to spend the new year with you Ortensia, but I received an imperial command straight from the king,”…..Conrad at that time looked so dignified and nice.”
“So Conrad’s surveillance was an imperial order? I have a large queue formed from all the messenger cats I’ve gotten from Claudio.”
Perhaps he was taking frequent breaks throughout the night’s ball, but when Lucy returned to her room for a moment, she saw a large line of cats waiting at her window patiently.
Lucy wanted to scold him, tell him to stay focused for a night and listen to the words of his king, but when all the cats took a step forward and their translucent tails started waving, her eyes naturally softened.
Their loveliness alone was enough to make her want to stretch out her hand. Each cat in turn stuck out its tongue or lifted up its nose before turning to smoke and revealing the messages Claudio had sent.
“The ham is delicious.”
“The saute is quite tasty.”
“As I thought, the ham really is delicious after all.”
“I’m having a slice of cake. It looks a lot like Lucy.”
“Claudio can actually be pretty boring. He’s been only sending me messages like this every ten minutes since the night started.”
“I’ve been receiving messenger cats from Conrad as well. They can’t compare to yours in number, but I anticipate poking their noses all the same. Mi~ Mi~”
Because Conrad’s cats were made with his exceedingly low magic power, it is somewhat difficult to see the creature that just jumped on the table as a cat. Even now it wasn’t moving much, looking looking weirdly chunky in some places and thin in others as it patiently waited with one of its paws extended outwards.
However the two’s overwhelming love for cats allowed them to completely these faults, and while Lucy was stroking the magic-made cats fluffy back, Ortensia poked its nose getting Conrad’s message.
“Terribly sorry. We have successfully arrested the on-the-run criminal.”
“Hmm, I guess Claudio got caught trying to run then?”
“As expected of Conrad. He can do the work and meet the king’s expectations. Mi~”
Ortensia thought about Conrad’s dashing figure as he hunted down a wanted criminal and swooned. Lucy on the other hand was imagining Claudio’s appearance as he was dragged back to the ball, probably shouting out his complaints to his captors, and a small smile came to her.
Claudio had only thrown out his right to succeed the throne so he could be with her, but apparently the king, his father, had told him about how much more fun he was afterwards.
Secretly sending numerous messenger cats out during a formal ball or trying to break away from his royal obligation and run away from the ball because of how bored he was…..the king was having a grand time playing with his suddenly rebellious son.
—Claudio insisted this change of heart was because, “I have fallen so in love with you that my emotions cannot be contained,” but Conrad had laughed when he heard that and replied, “He’s always been like this, Lucy just tore off that prim and proper mask of his.”—
“Claudio should be getting busy greeting guests soon, so he probably won’t be sending any more cats to you. Let’s leisurely enjoy our tea and cake together.”
“I suppose so. Ortensia, would you like a refill on your tea?”
Lucy shrugged her shoulders, ignoring Ortensia’s high-handed praise, and rose the teapot up.
She poured slowly so the scent of the tea could waft to their noses, but when she dropped in two sugar cubes with a *PLOP*, she got back a, “You are filling the role of my caretaker well,” rather than any real words of thanks.
The royal palace is busy, but it’s probably not as noisy as this room……was a small thought that popped in Lucy’s head. But since an angry “Mi~ Mi~ MI~” would undoubtedly be thrown at her, she didn’t voice that thought aloud.
So while enjoying tea and cookies together, the long and short hands on the clock continued getting nearer until the inevitably met over the 12. The date and year had just changed.
Lucy and Ortensia, who had been counting down the last couple seconds, both turned their heads away from the clock, and Lucy lowered her head.
“Ortensia, thank you for another year.”
“Please give me a proper greeting here.”
“A ‘thanks’ is all I shall give you.”
Lucy sighed upon seeing Ortensia’s usual attitude wouldn’t change with year, and at the same instant, the sound of a bell started ringing.
It was most certainly the academy’s sacred bell. The low chime was comforting and felt as if it were filling up the room.
“So this is the sound of the sacred bell. It’s beautiful…..ah, there it is again.”
“Mi~. The feelings of the headmaster who is thinking about his students and the country as a whole are included in each ring. Mi~”
“While you listen, your heart naturally calms down. It’s like each ring is gently making its way into my chest…..”
“Mi~. It’s like the sound is a reflection of the man’s personality. So calm…..Mi~”
I think so too, but Lucy stopped herself before saying anything else.
Meanwhile the bell continued to chime, and Ortensia, “Mi~” made a small sound.
…….have they resonated?
“What is it Lucy? Listen, it’s still ringing. Mi~”
“It’s still resonating. Ortensia, please tell me your new year’s resolution.”
“So suddenly? That’s good, listen to my divine aspirations and take them as a guide to better yourself in the future. Well~, it would be reckless for a commoner such as you to try and aim for the same heights as a fine upstanding noble woman like myself, but even commoners should aim high Mi~”
“Amazing. You’re resonating even in the middle of a conversation.”
The person didn’t seem to notice it herself, but Ortensia would quietly raise a “Mi~” whenever the bell rang. A fact that caused Lucy to groan when she realized, “I’m going to have to hear this almost a hundred more times…..”
The sound of the sacred bell eventually faded away into the night—for Lucy alone it was the sound of the bell and Ortensia’s “Mi~” resonance—and having finished listening, they both rose up to go to sleep.
Despite the both of them wishing each other a good night sleep and splitting up at the table, Lucy wasn’t able to say anything when Ortensia barged into her room as if it were a matter of course and slept while being deprived of two thirds of her bed and her pillow.
Such a night passed and morning came.
“Mipu~ Mipu~” Lucy woke up to Ortensia’s sleeping face and small murmurs and immediately started brewing some coffee after getting out of bed.
First up was preparing a cup of hot coffee for herself, adding a moderate amount of milk and sugar. Next was to prepare a cup of hot coffee for Ortensia…..a cup with extra milk, no coffee, and a lot of sugar. The the cup had to be left alone to cool down beyond a reasonable amount of time.
Lucy finished her brew when a thought suddenly struck her. She remembered she was originally going to sleep this whole day away. But now there were two cups of coffee sitting in front of her…..
The realization that her role as a caretaker had become so embedded in her way of thinking cause a wave of self-pity to overcome her.
“Will the annoying Mi~ Mi~ continue on this year too……?”
“How rude. Since it is the dialect of the prestigious Ortensia Rosedot, it is something to be revered and worshiped. You should feel honored to hear it!”
“Good morning Ortensia. Would you like a cookie?”
The two greeted each other in the early morning, and Ortensia accepted a delicious chocolate chip cookie with a short Mi~.
Before even having to listen to her reply Lucy was all ready on her way back to the kitchen.
The two of them were both enjoying their share of crispy cookies when Ortensia suddenly spoke up.
“It is almost time for my house to pick me up.”
“You’re going back?”
“My, do you want to serve me during the holidays? If so, I don’t mind taking you back to my mansion. Well it’s not like we wouldn’t allow a commoner such as yourself to stay, normally you would end up spending the night in a sleeping back in the foyer, but I suppose I could allow you to sleep in the bedroom next door as a special privilege to my roommate.”
“No, I think I’d prefer the sleeping bag in the foyer.”
“You are as cheeky as ever!”
Lucy’s attitude also isn’t going to change in the new year much the same as Ortensia’s angry Mi~ response.
Ortensia’s gold hair shook violently before her head snapped to the side. Her expression clearly showed she was in a bad mood, and if she had been a cat, her ears would’ve been folded down in her frustration.
“I went to great pains to offer you this and thought if you were to humble yourself I would take you home with me!”
“…….please take me with you.”
“If you want to serve me, you need to fix that personality……..Mi!?”
Not believing the words she had heard, Ortensia’s words cut away halfway through her sentence and a loud Mi~ came out in her shock. She quickly turned her head back and focused her eyes on Lucy.
Lucy on the other hand was looking away, clearly embarrassed and a little uncomfortable.
“I seem to have forgotten how to spend time by myself. Please take me home with you……..by all means.”
“Mi~ MiMiMi! It can’t be helped, so get ready to go quickly!”
Her eyes shining like stars, Ortensia started shouting out orders in a high-handed attitude.
Lucy unintentionally made a large smile and returned, “Certainly,” as she began preparing to depart to the Rosedot home.
“By the way Ortensia, what did you end up coming back for?”
Lucy raised a question while the two of them were leaving the room. Ortensia had originally returned to pick something up, but she didn’t look like she was bringing anything back.
Lucy thought at first it might have been a trivial thing, and it probably was, but Ortensia had gone so far as to return for it and missed the new year celebration at her family’s home. It was important to her at the very least. But there was no sign of it.
Lucy had imagined it to be something large and heavy rather than small and light, and she was waiting for the inevitable, “You should feel honored to carry this for me!” But Ortensia wasn’t saying anything of the sort, and her hands were completely empty.
That’s why Lucy made sure to bring it up so that Ortensia wouldn’t forget it a second time. Ortensia calmly looked at Lucy to the side in response………..,
“I already have it,”
and gently answered.
A large question mark formed over Lucy’s head. No matter how she looked at it, Ortensia wasn’t bringing anything with her, and there was no sign of anybody having come up to get it all ready either.
But before Lucy could ask any other questions, Ortensia swung her hand as if to say this topic was done, and urged, “Hurry up and turn key!”
Lucy held back her lingering doubts and obediently locked the door.
The sound of a *CLICK* echoed inside the corridor of the school dorms.
“Since we are making people wait for us, let’s hurry up!”
“If Ortensia had locked the door instead, then we could have left earlier though.”
“My, perhaps after I bring you home, I will send a messenger cat over to Claudio. He would certainly thank me.”
“Yes, I will tell him that Lucy is in the Rosedot mansion. Claudio is more likely to be able to visit the Rosedot mansion rather than the academy after all. I will invite him over with Lucy as the bait.”
“So you’ll use me as bait and feed me to Claudio while you feed yourself to Conrad and”
Silence! Lucy shrugged her shoulders as Ortensia walked ahead, starting to scold her again with a bright red face.
A loud Mi~ urged Lucy to move faster as the sun just started to rise up over the surrounding forest trees.