“Why do you guys keep going after each other’s faces so relentlessly?”
““Because I don’t like her face.””
Our voices overlapped. We had the same voice, so for a moment, I thought my own voice was echoing back to me.
I knew that we had the worst chemistry with each other. Surprisingly, we haven’t managed to kill each other yet.
When I got up, I asked #2.
“Where do you plan to go after this? It’s getting dark, do you want to stay the night?”
“I don’t want to sleep in your house.”
“Okay, you can camp out here and I’ll come back tomorrow.”
“Ha? Shouldn’t you normally invite guests over even if you have to bow to them?”
Ah, you do want to stay over. But she doesn’t want to feel like she owes me—what a troublesome personality.
This is where I’ll be the adult. I wouldn’t want to lower my head and say, please stay over. I should really let her camp outside.
Then, Patrick whispered in my ear.
“What the hell? Are you sure you want to invite her?”
“I think it will be okay, #2 is friendlier than I thought.”
“Because she didn’t use her magic at all.”
We exchanged a few blows, but we weren’t serious. If we intend to kill each other, using Black Hole as the first attack is a good move. Instead, she was not using any weapons or magic, which meant that she was willing to have a peaceful discussion.
He seemed to grasp the point.
“Ooh, I get it… after seeing that epic fistfight, I didn’t think that far ahead.”
“Epic? But neither one of us is bleeding?”
There shouldn’t be any blood or lasting bruises.
We didn’t strangle each other or use any other lethal attacks. Oh, and no gouged out eyeballs, either.
Sure, I punched her with some force. A little taste of Yumiela punch and defense. It was just that the latter was stronger.
After a short whispered discussion, #2 seemed to think that she was being ignored. Her voice held a hint of anxiety in its irritation.
“Fine! Please let me stay at your house. You want to hear that, right?! Are you happy now?”
“You thought I would leave you here alone… oh, are you getting used to being alone too much? Even I wouldn’t go that far.”
#2 tried to send another punch.
This time she also tried to gain the advantage. I flipped #2 over, attempting to get a better position.
We kept repeating it and rolling around on the ground, wrestling with each other.
Just like the heavens and earth flipped back and forth, I heard Patrick’s voice.
“I’m not even gonna try to stop you now. Both of you are equally at fault.”
Patrick is a little soft on #2, isn’t he? Shouldn’t he take my side, as my fiance and not #2 whom he has never met before?
Or is it our faces? Maybe it’s because we have the same face, but I’m pretty sure #2’s face is right up Patrick’s alley. Despite the fact that we have the same face… was it possible that he was being seduced without me realizing it?
While rolling around in a fistfight, we exchanged some swears.
“Stop ogling Patrick! You mekakure gothic lolita, wench!”
“Haa?! I’m not ogling at him! You suck at relationships!”
“I don’t want to hear it from someone who has never been in love before.”
“You keep talking about love, love, and love… your head is full of flower gardens!” ((T/N: she’s using an idiom here, basically meant happy-go-lucky.))
“Not in my head! Although I’m a maiden who looks good in a flower garden!”
“Haaa?! You really lack expression! You make no sense, it’s sickening!”
“That goes both ways!”
“Ha! You can’t eat bell peppers either! You have a kiddie palate!”
“Eh, I can eat it just fine… but that frilly fluttery outfit doesn’t suit you!”
“Really? That’s great… your taste in clothes is so plain!”
The exchange went on for a while.
Both #2 and I were running out of things to say.
What am I doing here? I questioned myself as I rolled around on the ground.
Neither of us said anything but we stopped punching each other. I can’t even remember what I was angry about anymore.
“…How did this happen?”
“…Ah, I forgot.”
Even she didn’t seem to remember why we were fighting.
We stood up, looked at each other, and nodded our heads. It felt like I was looking in a mirror, partly because we moved simultaneously.
To test it out, I raise my right hand. The girl standing across from me rose her left hand.
I lightly wave my raised hand. The girl across from me did the same.
““It’s a mirror.””
It’s perfect. All that was left was a ball. We need a bouncy ball and a non-bouncy ball.
When I looked around to find any alternatives, my eyes met Patrick’s, who was watching us from the side.
“Are you guys getting along? Or not?”
“No, we aren’t.”
According to common sense, you don’t get into a fistfight with friends.
The reason why he concluded that we were getting along is a mystery. No matter how you look at it, we’re on bad terms.
It would be impossible to get along with someone who has the same face. The subtle resemblance between us is also disconcerting. Perhaps she’s thinking the same thing. Ah—this is the worst.
By the time we were done fighting with each other, the sun had completely set. Let’s go home before it gets completely dark.
“Let’s go home. Didn’t you say you were coming?”
“Because you insisted.”
Did I say that? I thought #2 was the one who had asked to stay over, but if I pointed it out, it would turn into another fight so let’s not talk about it.
“I mean, it’s not like you don’t know the house, right? Didn’t you used to live there?”
“I have no emotional attachment to that place. I just stayed in my room by myself, slept, woke up, and ate. The most conversation I had was with my tutor from outside.”
“Oh—I used to feel the same way a while ago. The dormitory at school was similar, and I had nowhere to go.”
“…Right, you’re Yumiela too, aren’t you?”
“Eh? That’s true, but….”
“Then, why don’t… you and I… no, it’s nothing.”
Yumiela #2 muttered and looked in the opposite direction. What’s beyond that, I wondered, but all I saw was a dark sky.
We headed home with mixed feelings.
Since meeting #2, Patrick has been quiet, Remn stayed in my shadow and didn’t say a word, and #2 was in a foul mood. I’m feeling gloomy too.
How should I explain #2 when I return to the mansion? There was no way I could say that she had destroyed a world or that she was just a look-alike I met by chance.
I also didn’t know if I should let her meet Eleanora.
I’m being so friendly with #2 like this because she doesn’t immediately want to cause trouble. Things may be good now, but it will be a battle where one of us will die one day.
Although Patrick and I were able to come to terms with the bad ending that had already been decided from the beginning, I don’t think Eleanora could accept it.
We walked through the streets in silence. Patrick and I walked side by side while #2 walked a little behind us.
Not many people crossed our path as I chose to walk through the less crowded streets. Nobody noticed that I was there or someone who looked exactly like me in the dimly lit streets.
The three of us probably had the same vision in this darkness as we did under the daylight.
The mansion was already in sight. Hmm, I wish I had taken a detour or something to buy some time. I haven’t finished thinking about how I will explain #2 presence.
I have no idea why. Although I was the one who suggested it, I felt that if I invited her to my house, things would go in the wrong direction. With #2 whom I’ve had a relatively peaceful interaction with, fighting and mirroring each other, I have a feeling it’s going to be irreversible.
The one who would get hurt the most by it would be me, Patrick or Eleanora… or her.
We can still backtrack now. With the feeling of not wanting to go back, I looked at the mansion right in front of me.
Then I saw this cute head peeking out from the backyard behind the building. Scurrying around with its large head, it seemed to have found me.
“Ryuu-kun! I’m home!”
My Ryuu looks cute today. He was cute yesterday and he will be even cuter tomorrow.
I can’t say that I don’t want to go home and leave this adorable dragon behind. What about Yumiela #2? I will tell them that I picked her up around the corner. If her behavior is detrimental to Ryuu’s upbringing, then she should be removed immediately.
All my worries were blown away, leaving me to run towards Ryuu. It was something trivial to worry about. Compared to Ryuu’s cuteness, almost everything in the world turns into something insignificant.
Ryuu also swept his large wings to greet me. He easily flew over the two-story building to the front side of the mansion.
Although we see each other every day, today we were together just a few hours ago, but every time we see each other, he is as happy as if we hadn’t seen each other in years. I do my best to reciprocate.
Ryuu leaned his head back and bowed his head to me. Okay, okay, I hugged Ryuu’s head as hard as possible. Then I rubbed him under the chin.
“Who’s being a good boy? Of course, it’s my baby. Such a good boy for welcoming me home! You purr like a good boy!”
Bliss. I live to hear the sound of Ryuu’s purr. I live to see his adorable behavior. I will live to rub my cheeks against his cool scales.
Everything in the past, present, and future is for Ryuu.
While I was enjoying my healing time, there were voices behind me. I remember that it was Yumiela #2, or something I’m not sure about.
I could hear her and Patrick talking.
“What the hell did I see?”
“Oh—you’ll have to get used to it.”
“How did you fall in love with her? Are you crazy?”
“…I guess there’s something wrong with me, too.”
I turned around, away from Ryuu, though I was reluctant.
Yumiela #2 was scrutinizing at Ryuu.
Ryuu seems to have noticed her and looks at me and #2 in turn, staring in wonder. I know it would be surprising to see someone who looks the same.
It may seem silly to #2, but I’m proud to introduce my son.
“This is Ryuu. Isn’t he cute?”
“……Friendly dragons are creepy.”
My God, what a thing to say. When I looked over in a panic, I saw that Ryuu was shrinking at the thought of being called creepy by someone who looked just like me.
“Hey! That’s a mean thing to say?!”
“Oops, I’m sorry. He understands the language.”
“Ryuu-kun, don’t listen to her. She and I aren’t the same!”
You poor thing. He’s so sad.
As I thought, he and #2 are incompatible. I glared at her while patting Ryuu’s head good-naturedly.
“My bad. Your pet isn’t that bad.”
“Ha?! He’s not my pet, he’s my family?!”
“…Right, family. What does he eat? What kind of food do you feed him?”
“Haa?! He didn’t eat fodder, he ate normal food.”
“You’re such a pain in the ass.”
After hurting Ryuu so much, you say I’m a pain in the ass?
The war is inevitable. I’m gonna thoroughly beat you up.
I can’t keep saying I won’t use magic anymore. In a battle between Yumiela vs Yumiela, the first move is creating the Black Hole.
All these problems will be taken care of once Yumiela #2 is gone without a trace. I won! Chapter 3 is complete!
While thinking about this, I heard a muffled voice from behind my back. When I turned around, Ryuu was whimpering with sad eyes.
Oh, I know. He’s pleading not to fight because of him.
“Sorry. Sorry for being a violent mother. You shouldn’t solve problems with violence. Ryuu is a kind child.”
“What am I seeing?”
The decisive battle was brought to an end. Thank goodness Ryuu is so sweet.
Well, I couldn’t keep playing around with Ryuu. When we were about to enter the house, I heard the voice I didn’t want to hear the most.
“Yumiela-san? I was worried when you left so suddenly, you know?”
Oh, no. Eleanora found me.
Looking at #2, wondering how to explain this, she looked uncomfortable. Oh, she knows, doesn’t she?
“What is the Duke’s daughter doing here?”
“Something happened that caused Duke Hillrose to fall into ruin. You could say… she’s a freeloader?”
“Haa? What do you—”
#2 tries to ask for details about the fallen daughter, but such conversations will not happen for a while. Once Eleanora appeared, everything went at her pace.
Eleanora must have heard my voice and came outside. Rather than seeing me hiding behind Ryuu, she makes a beeline for #2.
As she got closer, she noticed the difference in the clothes and hairstyle and—
“Wow! Nice dress! Why are you wearing this? You usually don’t like wearing frilly things. Oh, your hair has grown longer since I last saw you. You need to cut it soon.”
Oh, she hasn’t noticed yet.
#2 seems exasperated with Eleanora, who is circling her to observe her gothic lolita dress.
“Hey! You’re getting too close, get away from me!”
“I knew you’d look good in a black dress, Yumiela-san! You look lovely!”
“Stop it! I’m not the Yumiela you know!”
“I know, I know. I’m glad I got to see another side of Yumiela that I didn’t know existed!”
Eleanora is too steel-headed.
The outburst caused some damage to Ryuu and I realized that he is a very sensitive child.
Feeling sorry for the poor girl, I tapped Eleanora on the shoulder. For the record, I’m referring to #2.
“Hey, I’m here.”
“I’m your usual Yumiela, and she’s… my look-alike.”
Eleanora looked at me and #2 and went silent.
It was a spur-of-the-moment thing to say, it’s impossible—
“You do look alike! I can’t tell you apart at all.”
Seriously? You do believe that? She’s gone beyond being a naive girl.
“Nice to meet you, Yumiela’s look-alike. I’m Eleanora. What’s your name?”
“Woww! You have the same name! What a coincidence!”
Oh, I may have underestimated Eleanora. I swear it wasn’t sarcasm, but that girl, seriously. This reminds me of the time when I believed in Santa Claus. Where is the innocence I had those days?
Eleanora began observing #2 again. Trying to get a better look in the dark, their faces are almost close enough to stick together.
In response, she frowned and turned away. She could have pushed her away by force if she wanted to, but she let her be.
I still believe that #2 is not that bad of a person. But she did destroy a world, didn’t she?
She glared at me with a prickly look and said.
“Hey, do something about her!”
“Oh! Your tone is a little different. A little conversation would go a long way.”
“Miss Eleanora, my lookalike is having trouble.”
I grabbed Eleanora by both shoulders and pulled her back. She was unhappy but didn’t resist.
Still holding onto her shoulders, I pushed her towards the mansion.
“Okay, let’s go inside. Sorry for not being very prepared, Ryuu.”
Despite my reluctance to leave, I had to part with Ryuu and go inside the house.
Rita greeted me as soon as I opened the door.
“Welcome home. The dinner is almost ready, how would you like it?”
“Ah—that’s the thing. Can I get an extra serving? I have a guest.”
“No problem. But a guest?”
Rita was surprised to hear that, it’s a rare sight. It’s not often that we have guests over. I should expand my circle of friends a little more from now on.
Shortly after, I hear a sound from behind me. Patrick and #2 seemed to have arrived as well.
Rita curtsied, then looked up before stiffening when she saw the guest.
“Welcome… eh? Yumiela-sama?”
“Hmm, you’re here too. I expected to see a lot of familiar faces. Have you stopped playing dog with your Master and Mistress? Are you taking the stronger side?”
#2 didn’t like Rita either. If their relationship is still the same as in the early days, I don’t blame her.
From her point of view, I guess that Rita was someone who simply carried out her parents’ will. I would have been the same way if it hadn’t been for that one assassination attempt.
But it was not right to direct that anger at her. Just as I tried to defend the puzzled Rita, #2 lowered the tone of her voice and continued.
“……Sorry. It has nothing to do with you.”
Rita’s eyes wander in confusion as she is treated with malice by someone who looks exactly like me and immediately apologizes. She doesn’t know how to respond.
“Rita, this is our guest. ……She’s just someone who looks just like me. I’d like you to prepare the guest room.”
“If you insist, Miss.”
There was no way she was just someone who resembled me, but Rita nodded obediently. Unlike Eleanora, I think she believed me even though she knew I was lying since I told her.
◆ ◆ ◆
We are moving to the dining room for dinner. Two Yumiela’s, Patrick and Eleanora. If you only look at the names, it’s the same as always.
While putting the stew in my mouth, I observed the other me. She was eating slowly with refined manners, ignoring Eleanora’s heated gaze.
Are we not only similar in appearance but also in manners? No, I’m sure I’m more elegant than her by a narrow margin.
Eleanora, who had been observing #2, gave her impressions.
“This Yumiela has more grace.”
“I have more grace than her!”
“Hey, don’t make so much noise while people are eating. Are we a gathering of barbarians?”
She is a refined girl, but she mocks me with her smile in a vulgar manner.
I can’t keep silent when she calls me a barbarian. Another fistfight to settle the score… oh, maybe I really am a savage.
When I grit my teeth, trying not to say anything back, she says in a bored tone.
“It has been a long time since I’ve had warm food.”
“What have you been eating?”
“There are plenty of foods that can be preserved.”
Some foods can be preserved for long, such as military-grade preserved foods. But this world has no canned foods and poor preservation techniques. The foods we eat in this world are generally unappetizing, from salty dried meat to hard bread made with little regard for its taste.
“You should have cooked for yourself.”
“There is no way I can cook. You can’t cook either, can you?”
“Cooking? I can cook.”
Haa—, this is the difference between having a boyfriend and not having one. I can even cook. It’s an essential skill for a girl.
I treated Patrick to a home-cooked meal full of love a while ago. Although he slept for three days and banned me from the kitchen, it should prove that I can cook.
Tell that to #2, who assumes it’s a lie from the start. I sent Patrick a glance, but he immediately looked away.
…Huh? Eleanora didn’t get to taste it, but she would have seen the finished dish. I tried to cast a glance at her, but she had already turned her face away. Why?
“…I knew you were lying.”
“I’m not lying.”
Someone who can’t cook looked at me with pity.
I can cook. If it weren’t for the ban on the kitchen right now, I would cook her something.
During the silence, I thought again. She really did destroy the world. She was living alone in a world where no one else existed. It was too long since she had a warm meal.
The people who should be pitied are those who died because of her, but I can’t help but empathize with Yumiela.
She’s not a bad person. No, she committed a huge crime that she can’t undo, but even so, she is not an evil person at heart. She knows the difference between right and wrong, and she is not spreading hatred around.
She eats her meals in silence, giving the impression that she is much more mature than I am.
I thought that defeating Yumiela, who had become a hidden boss, would be the end of it, but we couldn’t seem to find common ground.