T/N: I want to give a special thank you to all of my patient Cookie Donors. I’m sorry I wasn’t keeping up with my page for you guys, but I’m all up to date now! So thank you once again to Shiro, George, Emma, Madeline, Yin, Mary, Aiza, and Djanelle! You have all finally gone down in Cookie Donor glory~
Side Story: Gray Randolph’s Suffering
The long-awaited Rehearsal Dance is tomorrow and I have a ton of things to think about before then… But I don’t have the time to leisurely think through them all.
My work for the student council actually keeps me quite busy. While I battle against the army of yanderes who are also attending this school (who as of present, I’ve yet to receive any sort of damage from, so I kind of feel like a fool freaking out over literally nothing), I’ve also been struggling to keep up with student’s requests for the student council, the paperwork that various teachers have entrusted to me, and the overall planning and management of all the school events.
And while that is all going on, I ended up accidentally embracing Alec Vivencci, one of said yanderes, as a close friend. Since he’s always slacking and procrastinating on his student council work, I would often end up doing a lot of it myself, so I unwittingly saddled myself with the image of being a useful person to have around in his eyes. Which means, that for practically every moment that I spend within the academy walls, I end up spending with a guy who could possibly kill me. From beginning to end, he was the one guy I did not want to be in close proximity to, and yet here I am, spending hours each day so scared out of my mind of irritating him that I can’t even think straight let alone contemplate my current situation.
Which leads me to my current state of cutting down my study time before bed in order to try to think some things through.
Cecile Alldington. She’s the first thing that I wanted to think about.
I should probably try to forgive and forget the fact that she convinced me to become the Student Council President without first telling me all the facts about Alec. Even without her interference, it was probably inevitable for me to become the president anyway, so it’s probably time to let it go.
Since there are only two third-year students who belong to Duke’s families currently in attendance at the school, me and Alec Vivencci, and because the school seems to like catering to the families with the most political authority by giving their children the most important positions within the student council, from the academy’s point of view, we were the only two options for the presidency. And since Alec is not really suited for a role requiring a lot of responsibility, the fact that the school decided to make me the president was honestly a good call.
But, going back to the topic of Cecile Alldington. Even if I was trying to be nice, I couldn’t really say that she has a good personality, and for a while I’ve had the sinking suspicion that not only is her personality bad, she may actually be an idiot as well.
She keeps claiming that she’s using Leila Morton for her own gain and just so happens to be saving him from getting himself killed while she’s at it, but I’m starting to think that her true character might not be as bad as that might suggest. For one thing, I’ve yet to see her actually make use of Leila even once. And for another, she doesn’t really threaten him much despite failing to make use of him (though that first time, her threats were literally disgusting). Instead, she’s always taking care of him, trying to clean up the messes he makes…
Which makes me wonder…. Is she actually a generous person? Is she actually a good person despite tons of evidence to the contrary, or what?
Though regardless of whether she’s a decent person or not, the fact that Cecile Alldington is the cruelest to Ashley Carlyle doesn’t change.
“I grew up together with him. He’s like a cute little brother to me, so I trust him completely,” is what she tells me, but no matter how you look at Ashley Carlyle, there’s no way he thinks of Cecile as an older sister.
And it’s this servant that Cecile has so much pride and faith in that seems to be the most dangerous character to me. She’s confidently told me that Gray doesn’t die on Ashley’s route, but having experienced firsthand that amount of murderous intent from the guy, I don’t have any desire to take her words at face value.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve happened to pass by him in the hallway and he stared me down, glaring daggers at me as if he might actually want to chop me up.
I’ve been trying to cautiously observe him for a while because of that, and on not very close inspection it was decently obvious that Ashley Carlyle is willing to do almost anything if it relates to Cecile. He just likes her way too much. Not only does he investigate everyone that comes even close to her, if there are any bugs that show any interest in his master then he’ll do a thorough background check on them and then crush them with whatever he finds.
It’s quite the effective little trick actually. By finding out all of his opponents’ weaknesses beforehand, I hear that he’s able to easily threaten or coerce them into giving up on her. Any sort of wrongdoing that the guy’s parents have committed — fraud, embezzlement, petty theft, badmouthing a family with a higher status than their own, etc. — he’ll find out about and use without mercy. And thanks to that, there’s not even the shadow of any okay-looking guys anywhere near Cecile. The whole reason that I know any of this, by the way, is because I’ve happened to stumble upon the such scenes of Ashley threatening someone a decent number of times already.
Though there’s no way I was going to try to step in and help them out, of course. Thanks, but no thanks. I can’t let that guy take any more notice of me than he already has.
Anyway, the point is that Ashley Carlyle’s feelings towards Cecile are obvious, even to an outsider like me.
Which means there’s no way that the person in question could be completely ignorant about them.
It looks like she’s purposely pretending not to notice them for some reason. I have no clue what’s making her act like that, but to completely ignore all of his obvious declarations of love, pretending as if they don’t exist, that’s pretty cruel in my book. She’s says that she trusts him, that he’s precious to her, but the one who’s putting the most distance between Cecile and Ashley Carlyle is her.
But, that doesn’t mean that Cecile herself isn’t someone that I can depend on. Putting Ashley’s matter aside, she’s decently trustworthy, though that doesn’t change the fact that she’s an idiot. But as someone who’s in a similar situation, I can more or less understand her feelings. And plus we’re both in this boat together. So at the very least, I’m going to do my best to make sure that this foolish partner in crime of mine can survive through this whole mess.
The next thing that I want to think about is Rona.
You might think that I’d want to ponder more about the fact that he might be aiming to take Cecile’s life or his still unclear origins, but that’s not really what’s on my mind. What I can’t get out of my head is the fact that I just can’t bring myself to see him as a bad person.
Maybe he’s just that good of an actor, but even taking that into account I still can’t seem to doubt Rona.
“Nice to meet you, Nii-san.”
When I came home for a long break from classes, this unknown kid had come out to greet me.
Apparently, Father saw him when he was visiting an orphanage and since his appearance was decent and he seemed quite clever, Father decided to welcome him into our family as an adopted son. Since this had all happened while I was away at school, I was extremely surprised by the Duke’s actions to say the least. I would have thought that adopting a son would be something that you would want to discuss with your family first, but hey, maybe that’s just me.
Nevertheless, I actually feel like applauding Father’s decision. He really is a good kid. I’ve come to like him quite a bit.
I actually talk to him rather often as well, though I would never admit that to Cecile since she’s super scared of him.
He’s quickly becoming like a beloved little brother too… Someone that I would want to boast about to others. I understand that such complacence towards him could end up costing me my life, but that’s why we need to hurry up and confirm whether he really is the hidden character or not. Because once that little detail is cleared up, I’d really like to get closer to him as his big brother. But until we’re sure that he’s not the hidden character, I should do my best not to let my guard down too much around him.
Oswell Arkwright is the last thing that’s been on my mind recently.
To be honest, I think that he’s far more suspicious than Rona is in regards to possibly being the hidden character.
I’ve already done a thorough investigation into Oswell Arkwright’s background but the more information I found, the more things didn’t seem to add up about him. For one thing, I’ve never heard of an aristocratic family bearing the name Arkwright…. So I did some digging and I discovered that Oswell Arkwright actually comes from a middle class family. Which brought up even more questions about him. Like how exactly did the child of a middle class family end up attending an academy where only the upper echelons of society tend to gather?
And despite making full use of the extensive intelligence network that I have at my disposal by being Duke Randolph’s son, how is it that I’m unable to find much information on him?
One of the things I did find was that Oswell Arkwright’s family had tried to commit group suicide 7 years ago. The whole family of four including Oswell Arkwright, both of his parents, and his little brother had all attempted suicide together but the result was that only Oswell Arkwright had ended up surviving.
But I could not find even one scrap of information about what happened to the guy after that incident. What the hell happened to him during these past few years? And how did he end up entering this academy? Where did he go? What sort of place took him in?
To be able to conceal information from the Randolph family which boasts of being one of the most powerful families in the kingdom, they themselves probably have immense influence and power. Like a secret organization. Or an order of assassins. Or Satan… (Let’s pretend that one’s a joke…) Whichever it might be though, they would be the worst kind of enemy to have to face off with. But with all that, Oswell Arkwright certainly has plenty of the characteristics of a last-boss type hidden character.
And as if that wasn’t enough, even though he’s been hanging around making passes at Cecile this whole time, it seems like Ashley hasn’t threatened him at all yet. Honestly, the fact that he still hasn’t been forced to distance himself from Cecile seems like the most important piece of evidence thus far. Even Ashley’s obscure intelligence network hasn’t been able to dig up any dirt on Oswell Arkwright. That may not be irrefutable evidence to prove he’s the hidden character, but I think that should be enough to make him the number one suspect.
But the thing that I’ve been worrying about the most was whether or not I should tell Cecile about all of this…. And in the end, I didn’t end up saying anything to her about it.
I did vaguely mention how Oswell Arkwright has a complicated family background, but that was it.
She would probably deny it if she heard me say this, but Oswell Arkwright is one of the few close friends that Cecile Alldington has. So I was anxious thinking about whether it would really be okay to take away one of those few friends from her already pitiful school life.
I feel something almost like motherly affection making me unwilling to do that to her….
Ugh, that’s enough. My head hurts from thinking too much about everything. I’ve been overworking myself recently, so could really use some time to just take a break and relax for a bit.
“……Maybe I should go use the public bath.”
Even though each room in the dorm is furnished with its own private bathroom, there is also a huge public bath located in each dorm as well.
And there aren’t a lot of students who like to use the public bath. It seems that rich kids don’t particularly like bathing in front of other people. But public bath’s are an important part of Japanese culture, and at heart I’m still Japanese…. So right now, that sounds like the perfect idea to me.
Though it’s a shame that there aren’t any public baths with a nice view of Mt. Fuji in this world…. Or anyone who even knows what Mt. Fuji is in the first place…. Alright, I’ve decided. Once I’ve succeeded the current Duke and I can use our house’s funds for whatever I want, I’ll definitely build my own bathhouse with a great mountain view.
“Do you also use this bath often?”
Then why does he have to be here!? Right at this particular moment??
Why does today have to be a day when there is literally no one else here!?
There’s usually 4 or 5 other people in here at least! And he’s literally the last guy that I wanted to see right now! Plus, this silence is not only awkward, why do I feel like there’s a faint murderous intent floating around in it??? Agh! If I die here, that means I’ll be completely naked when they discover my body! Isn’t that too cruel to me!?
I wanted to take a bath in order to relax but this is just stressing me out even more, d*mn it!
“Ashley, you have such pretty hair.”
Ahh! Idiot!! Shut up!!
So what if his blood-thirst is more obvious cause of the silence….. Don’t just throw out whatever words come to mind! Now he’s blatantly ignoring you!!! Hearing that sort of thing from a guy would probably be disgusting, it’s no wonder he didn’t reply…
“Oh yeah, come to think of it, who are you planning to take to the party tomorrow?”
“Cecile-Ojousama, but I don’t see how that’s any of your business.”
Uwah. He sure spit that reply out fast. Does he hate the idea of talking to me that much….? Hey, it’s not like I want to talk to you either or anything…. It’s just that I can’t take any more of that bloodthirsty silence of yours….
“Nice. I’m jealous~”
Gah, I’m literally digging my own grave! Why did I say that?
I’m not even the least bit jealous in the first place! It’s just that with the current flow of the conversation, that felt like that right thing to say so I ended up blurting it out. If at all possible, I’d want to go with a lady who’s curvy and graceful and ladylike! Even if Cecile is technically a lady, there’s no way I would be jealous of that graceless tomboy’s partner!
Ashley’s already stone-faced expression seems even more stern now…
I’m innocent, I swear! I’m not your enemy!
“I wish I would have been able to go tomorrow too. Student council work has just been keeping me too busy.”
Ahh, stupid, stupid, stupid… What the hell am I saying? Doesn’t that make it sound like I’m telling him that the only reason that Cecile is going with him is because she couldn’t go with me?
“But you know, Cecile is always talking about how great you are, Ashley.”
“I don’t recall us ever being friendly enough to be on a first name basis with each other.”
You’re master’s way of calling you is rubbing off on me, that’s all. Don’t read too much into it! Plus your last name just doesn’t roll of the tongue well, Carlyle. And if I had to correct your name in my head every time that Cecile’s talking about you, that’s just too much of a bother, especially since every once in a while when I would actually call you Carlyle, Cecile would start to look confused for a moment. Is it because she’s never really used his family name before?
“Yeah, true. Sorry about that, Carlyle.”
Would you at least look my way when talking to me?
…..No, wait. Never mind. Don’t look over here. I don’t want to see you looking at me with murderous intent…
Why isn’t this guy leaving already? He was already in the bath when I got here…. Hasn’t he been here long enough yet?
“Why’d you decide to use the public bath today when you normally wouldn’t?”
That’s obviously not what I’m saying.
Ashley splashes the hot water around a bit with his hand, but then he suddenly speaks up again, nearly scaring me out of my skin.
“Ojousama said that she wanted to hear my thoughts on the pubic bath because it seems that she hasn’t been able to try it out herself.”
That would be the case. Considering there’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing living over there (in the girls’ dorms). Though I won’t mention who that wolf is.
“But that’s most likely just a pretext. Ojousama seems to have realized that this place would be hard for a mere commoner like me to enter, and so she made that request in order to give me an excuse to come here.”
Woah, aren’t you actually making a pretty tender expression right now? Then, can you just forget that I’m even here? Just get lost in those thoughts about your beloved Ojousama. That way I can warm up a bit and then get the hell out of here.
“I’m sorry for intruding on your time in here then. I’ll leave you to it, so you can just take your time and enjoy yourself.”
“No, it’s fine. I’ve had plenty of time to relax so I’ll get out now. No need to trouble yourself.”
Then please go already! You’re presence is stressing me out so much that you might just end up killing me indirectly by giving me a heart attack.
I had thought he had left the room already! He must have changed his mind and come back in. What could it possibly be now??
“I think you should probably have realized this by now, but I despise you.”
Don’t come back just to drop that bomb on me! Please don’t say any more than that… I’m begging you. Ugh, I have such a bad feeling about this…. Agh, if you stress me out any more, I think you’re going to give me an ulcer.
“I don’t like you approaching Ojousama. If every other man, aside from her father, could just disappear from Ojousama’s sight, that would be ideal.”
Agh, my stomach hurts. I think I’m gonna throw up. I’ve never in my life seen another human being look at me with eyes full of such hatred.
“I’m in love with her. So……”
That’s the first time I’ve seen him smile.
I thought that Ashley Carlyle was someone that wouldn’t smile to anyone other than Cecile Alldington.
“I’ll settle with warning you for now. If you hang around with Cecile Alldington for more time than is absolutely necessary….. You will regret it.”
In other words, you’ll make me regret it.
So it’s come to this. Since my father hasn’t done anything illegal, and I don’t have any particular weaknesses, you’ve resorted to directly threatening to kill me.
Well, good for you. You’ve got me literally shaking in fear. I would say that your threat was effective for sure.
Honestly, how is it that your smiling face is even scarier than your typical glare? Since it’s so brilliant, it feels like it’s pressuring me to obey…. It’s frickin’ scary! And since I know his true nature, I feel even more terrified. Agh, I can feel it. Any minute now the stress is going to eat a hole right through my stomach’s lining.
Without another word, Ashley turns and leaves the room. When he’s finally gone I sink down even further into the hot water and start to take slow, calming breaths, but before my heart rate can even get back to normal more people come into the room.
Oswell Arkwright……! After Carlyle, he’s literally the second-most person I didn’t want to meet!
“Oh, Nii-san’s here too!”
Today can’t possibly get any wo–……..
“Ooh, how rare, there’s actually people here before me today. Hmm? Ohh, that you, Gray?”
Just why is it that every single guy that has the power to decide whether I live or die is turning up here today!?
“Let me just rest in peace…….!”
And so I ended up having a pleasant chat with a bunch of potentially deadly characters for the next half hour or so.
T/N: Poor Gray-Senpai. I can’t even imagine being naked and sharing a bathtub with a bunch of people that might want to kill me >.<
Also, I hope you guys enjoyed hearing from another character’s point of view!! Because Minor Spoiler, next chapter is also not from Cecile’s POV! But she’ll be coming back in chapter 23, so you won’t be without her for too, too long!
I’m also super curious to hear everyone’s thoughts now on everything!! Any new opinions on who’s the hidden character!? Do we still like Ashley now that we know for sure that he’s still doing very yandere things??? Anyone have a newfound appreciation for Gray-Senpai now that we know all the stuff that he’s had to put up with?? Let me know in the comments!!