Petra: [Beatrice-chan, can you tell me about what happened in Priestella?]
In a private room in which tea and baked snacks were prepared, a voice asked. Beatrice made a face like “Of course you would ask.”.
In front of Beatrice who made that expression, sits Petra, holding a teacup with a serious expression
This is her private room in the mansion. Tonight, Beatrice was called by Petra to her room for a sleepover. Generally speaking, Beatrice sleeps with Subaru most of the time, but sometimes she gets called away by Petra or Emilia to sleep in some other place.
A month had passed before Beatrice’s return to Roswaal’s mansion, so there is no real reason for her to refuse Petra's slightly forceful invitation. However, she doesn't know how, but she had a premonition that the hardship of her travels would not be rewarded, and that the two of them wouldn’t just sleep together peacefully. Her premonition just came true.
Beatrice: [...Nothing. You were just a little bit too direct, I suppose.]
Petra: [But we have been apart for a month. This sort of question is normal.]
Petra turned away in a huff and took a sip of her tea. Seeing the girl’s adorable jealousy, Beatrice slightly parted her lips and also took a sip of her tea.
After wetting her tongue, she realised how fragrant it smelled. She then raised her hand.
Beatrice: [In just one month, there was such a huge change, in fact.]
One month, compared with the time that Beatrice has lived so far, is incredibly insignificant. In the eyes of Beatrice, who had wasted most of her life, human growth was remarkable. Especially when she was near Subaru or Petra, she felt it even more.
Beatrice: [Well, since Petra made such delicious tea, I'll consider it a reward, I suppose. So? What do you want to know?]
Petra: [Great! Then tell me about Priestella. From the beginning to the very end? I heard that Otto-san and Garfiel-san worked very hard....]
Beatrice: [That so? It seems that Subaru wants to hide his struggles, I suppose.]
Perceiving Petra's mind, Beatrice also understood.
After the Priestella fiasco, Beatrice and her party are going to head to the Augria Sand Dunes at the easternmost tip of Luganica to visit the “Sage”, in order to find a solution to their many problems. While returning to the Roswaal mansion, they sent a letter. However, the letter did not contain any details relating to the events of Priestella.
Of course, it is impossible for Subaru to honestly write down what happened as it would make Petra worry. It is precisely because she knows that, that she feels uneasy.
If Beatrice doesn't speak of it, then it'll really get pushed under the rug by Subaru. If Subaru is allowed to succeed, even Beatrice doesn't know how many unreasonable and reckless things he will do. Therefore, he should also know how much the people he cherishes and cares about worry for him.
Knowing how she feels, Beatrice told her everything about Priestella without hiding anything.
What happened to Subaru, how hard he worked for the city, and how recklessly he acted.
Petra listened, sometimes her face turned pale with fear, sometimes she blushed. Sometimes she was happy and sometimes she was worried. And finally, she said...
Petra: [Hmm. So, what about Beatrice-chan?]
Beatrice: [...About Betty?]
Petra: [Yeah? Because I know that Subaru worked very hard... But if Beatrice was there, he would've worked even harder together with you, right? But Beatrice-chan wasn’t there. Why is that?]
Beatrice: [That, that's because...]
Petra: [Huh, because?]
Just as Petra finished speaking triumphantly, she was suddenly interrupted by a bewildered Beatrice. Petra's round eyes locked Beatrice in her gaze, not allowing her to run from the question.
Under Petra's questioning, Beatrice felt her uselessness and reflected deeply.
In fact, Beatrice believes that her performance in Priestella is worth zero points. Failure to stay with Subaru at such critical moments, and putting her friends such as Emilia, Otto, and Garfiel in danger. Therefore, if Petra scolds her for it, she can't help but accept her anger willingly.
Petra: [Oops! No! I’m not angry about this, but about being with Subaru, even Beatrice-chan forces herself!]
Compared with Petra, whose face was red, Beatrice’s wide open eyes quickly blinked. Beatrice wore a face that said “what's she talking about...?”, making Petra sigh deeply.
Petra: [That, Beatrice-chan... Used a lot of magic and had to sleep, and fought dangerous people with Otto-san... Isn't that it? It's not just Subaru that worked hard, but also Beatrice-chan ...I'm always worrying]
Beatrice: [Worried, do you mean about Betty?]
Petra: [That's what I said! Beatrice-chan, you haven't realized it yet!]
Hearing such unexpected words, Beatrice was pointed at in surprise, and Petra expressed deep indignation. She messed up her bright brown hair, puffed her cheeks, and stared at Beatrice.
Petra: [Recently, Beatrice and Subaru have been acting a lot alike. Since Beatrice is always with him, she's unconsciously imitating Subaru. Everyone is so troublesome! Although there is a reason, imitating Subaru is dangerous! Understand?]
Beatrice: [Really? This sort of attack was completely outside my expectations, I suppose...]
She thought that she felt the same about Subaru's bad habits, but Beatrice was stunned about the fact that it was her that was being worried about. At the same time, she certainly felt that Petra's concerns were directed at her. But, other than that...
Beatrice: [Petra... is always so worried about the people around her, but Betty worries that Petra won't be able to relax enough to sleep.]
Petra: [Then stop worrying about me! Come on! Sleep with me! Don't let go of me tonight!]
Beatrice: [Got it, got it, got it...]
Petra suddenly got grumpy, and Beatrice quickly finished up her tea under the pressure of Petra’s gaze, ate her snacks, brushed her teeth and went to bed with Petra.
Underneath the quilt where the two slept together, Petra held Beatrice's hand. Beatrice glanced at her, and Petra made a "ehhe" sound.
Petra: [Beatrice-chan's hands are small and cute.]
Beatrice: [...Now that I think about it, did you forget it's shape just because you got a little taller this month? If you touch Betty like this again, then Betty won't sleep with you in fact.]
Petra: [Aww, don't say that. It can't be helped that I got a little bigger. I will become a big and beautiful woman like Frederica-neesama and Emilia-neesan.]
Petra lowered her voice and looked sleepy. Ram was not included in her vision of the future. Although she assumed there were various reasons, Beatrice did not interject.
Beatrice: [Petra is really a worrying person I suppose....]
Petra: [I feel like Beatrice is the same.]
The girls fell asleep on the same bed with smiles on their faces.
In the middle of the night, Beatrice, who felt thirsty, quietly got out of bed and slipped out of the room.
Beatrice stepped onto the silk carpet and walked down the dim corridor. She touched her snow-white neck, finding it very strange that she felt thirsty.
Beatrice is a spirit and does not need to eat or drink. Of course, it's not that ingested things can't be decomposed and stored as mana, but it’s very inefficient, and is really insignificant compared to the mana collected from her contractor.
Therefore, when Beatrice feels thirsty, it's purely as a habit.
Living with Subaru and the others in the mansion, of course, eating and drinking tea is a natural thing, so the same activities as ordinary people have become a habit.
Frederica: [Ah, is it Beatrice-sama?]
Carrying such a feeling, someone called out to Beatrice who walked into the kitchen. Seeing this sudden visitor, Beatrice raised her eyebrows slightly.
In the clean and tidy kitchen, the maid with long blonde hair turned around... It was Frederica. She had taken off her familiar maid uniform and stood there in her pajamas.
Beatrice: [Frederica... staying up late is not good, it’ll stunt your growth in fact.]
Frederica: [About that, please don't worry about it. In my opinion, I don't want to be even taller... I actually want to get a little bit shorter.]
Beatrice: [Some want to grow bigger, some want to get a little bit smaller. Everyone is different I suppose...]
Faced with Beatrice, who recalled the conversation with Petra a few hours earlier, Frederica asked and tilted her head. Beatrice responded...
Beatrice: [It's nothing. Betty is thirsty I suppose. Give Betty a glass of water.]
Frederica: [Ah... Is that what Beatrice-sama came for as well?]
With that, Frederica pointed to the pot on the stove. There was something boiling in the pot, and a warm and sweet fragrance wafted out.
Beatrice: [That is?]
Frederica: [It's nectar made from berries and it is melted in tea to drink. This is what Subaru-sama told me. It is said to be called “Russian Black Tea”.]
Beatrice: [Eh... Subaru.]
In front of Beatrice who was deeply fascinated, Frederica prepared tea for three, and then put the boiled sweet berries into the tea.
Frederica: [Try it, Beatrice-sama, it's very sweet and delicious.]
Beatrice: [How exotic, then Betty shall try it. Now that I think about it...]
Beatrice: [I heard from Petra that Frederica occasionally eats sweets in secret… I feel touched to be able to encounter such a situation.]
Friedrica's face was beet red, feeling ashamed of Beatrice's accusation. Beatrice's reaction eased a little and took a sip of the “Russian Black Tea”. On the tip of her tongue, the softly boiled nectar faded, and the taste made her involuntarily relax her eyes.
Beatrice: [Indeed, it's delicious... as expected of one of Subaru's ideas, I suppose.]
Frederica: [Yes, really. Subaru-sama is quite knowledgeable about a lot of things, even I was surprised. Although I said that, I also took care not to make it too sweet.]
Frederica, who also took a sip of tea, said that while agreeing with Beatrice. Hearing this response, Beatrice narrowed her eyes.
Frederica held the cup with her slender hands. Without her maid uniform on, her usual charming maid temperament was suppressed, and she looked a little unreliable and a little uneasy.
Frederica: [I heard about Garf and Otto-sama, I also know how brutal the events in the Water Gate City Priestella were, I can mostly imagine how it was. Because of this, I want to know.]
Frederica: [I want to know of the safety of Emilia-sama and Subaru-sama.]
Frederica lowered her tone and looked at Beatrice. Her beautiful emerald eyes are exactly the same as those of her brother Garfiel. Moreover, Garfiel also had also once stared at Beatrice, showing frank feelings.
Beatrice could not help it with such a look. This sincere look really makes her feel troubled. Because of this, Beatrice could easily guess what she was going to say next.
Frederica: [As far as I know, Garf is stronger than most people. Otto-sama's wits are also beyond ordinary people's ability. Those two people were so injured that they couldn't move. This is important evidence.]
Beatrice: [...Well, Betty can't exactly refute that I suppose....]
Frederica: [After cleaning up the situation over there, and immediately rushing to solve the next problem... Moreover, the next destination is that place, the Augria Sand Dunes, the difficulty is easy to predict.]
Frederica: [So, Beatrice-sama, please take care of those two.]
With that, Frederica bowed her head deeply. Beatrice closed her eyes, looked at her bow, and sighed softly.
Frederica’s thoughts are probably shared by everyone in the mansion. Subaru and Emilia, as well as the fellow Anastasia and Julius. As soon as they conquered the fierce battle in the Water Gate City Priestella, they immediately rushed to the next predicament. Such courage made people feel reliable and at the same time deeply reckless. Someone has to watch over them.
At this point, it's about time for Beatrice to play the role of her age.
Frederica: [Also, Beatrice-sama, please love yourself.]
Because as she made her determination, Frederica's additional words seemed abrupt.
Her abrupt words caused Beatrice to blow out bubbles in her tea, and she hurriedly turned her gaze back to Frederica. Frederica’s clear gaze hit her head on like a bullet. As Beatrice said herself, she is very sensitive to these eyes
Beatrice: [Ah, you're...too cowardly I suppose.]
Frederica: [Ah, despite me clearly worrying about Beatrice-sama, how could I say something so cowardly...]
Beatrice: [No, I didn't mean that... No.]
Her words of refutal were weak, and Frederica was puzzled by Beatrice's weakness. However, Beatrice hated this attitude… she just couldn't help it with those sincere eyes.
Beatrice: [Isn’t it the same look as Ryuzu...]
A long time ago, there was a girl who stared at Beatrice sincerely in the same way, begging sincerely. For Beatrice, this was her most memorable friend, and she regretted not being able to repay her, so Beatrice could no longer ignore the same request.
And, Frederica is worried, isn't it the same as Petra?
Beatrice: [...So, do you think Betty is a very reckless kind of person?]
Frederica: [No, I just feel like it would be dangerous to be with Subaru-sama, adding Emilia-sama, it's hopeless.]
Beatrice: [Isn't that the same...]
Facing the retorted Beatrice, Frederica put her hand to her mouth and smiled gracefully. Beatrice turned her face and drank her sweet tea to moisturize her parched throat.
...While drinking, she thought about Petra's words and Frederica's words, and sighed gently.
Beatrice: [...Really, everyone is troublesome, I suppose.]
Subaru, plus Emilia, and Beatrice herself, there are far too many people to take care of.