Chapter 16 Act 3: Adaptation

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Author: Starving Wind Original Source: Joara Word Count: 2947 characters
Translator: Anonymouss English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1788 words
Editor(s): Silva

With bright blonde wavy hair and blue eyes, the woman in front of me had a very bright and lively look. The clear and defining features of her face were beautiful enough to think she was a movie actress.

“Who are you?”

The problem is that I’ve never met this person even once. I technically started living in England just yesterday and the number of people I’ve met since then can be counted on one hand, so it would actually be weird if I did remember someone from the past.

“Huh, you’re going to pretend not to know me from now on? You’ve become quite childish after being sick, Elizabeth~”

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The beautiful lady who was playfully teasing me that matched her outward appearance knew exactly who I was behind my disguise. She must have definitely been a very close person to Elizabeth.

Only then my face became tightened up a bit.

“I’m sorry but. I really don’t know you.”
“Why you…!”

Hearing my words, she furrowed her smooth forehead and tried to do something, but ended with just grabbing my hands.

“Let’s talk this out first…”
“Just invite me to your residence already!”

Because of her pushiness, I couldn’t help but send her an invite message to the residence out of confusion and was dragged by her back into the mansion that would have usually kept anyone else out. She only let go of my hand after practically crashing into my home.

“Hey! I know you don’t like me, but to pretend that you don’t know me? That’s going too far!”

Although I was sure that it was fake, she had tears welling up in her eyes. It seems that there is quite a big misunderstanding.

“Well um…”

What kind of excuse can I make? Or should I just tell her the truth? I wondered what to do.

“Youuu. You’re just being like this because you think I’m going to ask you to give me Merlin’s Staff, right?”

The woman once again stabbed into my weakness. Aw come on, that’s not it…

In the end, I decided to be truthful to her because I didn’t know what else to do. It’s not like I can hide away Merlin’s Staff completely, and she looked as if she was extremely close to Elizabeth after all.

“In truth, I suffered a memory loss. I really don’t remember who you are. I’m sorry.”
“…!?”

Hearing something that even I wouldn’t believe, her expression strangely soured before changing between a number of expressions that I couldn’t understand.

Wouldn’t a person just be surprised usually? Well, every person reacts to things differently in their own way, so I decided not to ask about it too deeply.

“It’s true. I really had a memory loss, amnesia. Whether you believe me or not…”
“… I believe you!”

I was about to explain my words, but she cut in with hers instead. Fine, if she does believe it, that’s good… Wait! Why did she accept it this easily!?

The thousands of different analogies and explanations that I was preparing in my mind started to dissipate.

“You’re believing me pretty quickly.”
“It’s because the Elizabeth I know never says something like ‘I’m sorry’.”

She replies in a puzzling sentence. And for someone that’s dealing with someone who lost their memory, her expression was still way too bright. Looking at her smile like that, I thought for a moment that I may have made some kind of mistake.

“To think that our little Ellie would get amnesia!”

Could you not call me by a nickname like that?

“Could you answer my question? Who are you?”
“Me? Mmh, that makes me sad. To think that Ellie had forgotten about me.”

Instead of replying, her expression that looked sad for a moment suddenly took a step towards me closer. As her face came up to mine real close, I couldn’t help but flinch and take a step back from her.

“Hehe. Just as I thought, you’ve become much more innocent! All right, as a reward for that, I’ll tell you my name. I’m Katalina Wimbledon.”
“Katalina Wimbledon?”

It was an extremely familiar name. Although I remember seeing it recently, I couldn’t remember where I saw it.

“And my ID inside the game is ‘Merlin’.”
“Ah!!!”

Then I remembered. That the user named Merlin had the real name of Katalina, and that she was the esteemed daughter of Marquess Wimbledon household.

I felt that I had some sense of familiarity with the ID, but to think that they actually knew each other.

Then, as if puzzle pieces came together, I realized the reason why she had come to me and was talking about Merlin’s Staff.

“One more thing! I’m Ellie’s fiancee as well.”
“I see.”

Is this what ‘marriage of families’ is? Seeing as how there was still the age-old tradition of noble households in England, it definitely seemed like such a thing still existed as well. It was a common occurrence of extremely rich families marrying into each other through their children in Korea as well after all. The concept didn’t feel alien to me at all and it was understandable why it needed to happen. But marriage between a man and a woman is… Wait a minute!

“… Something’s strange.”

I’ve forgotten for a moment, but my body is a woman. There’s no way that Katalina could be a man and… Just what is this situation?

“Hmmm~? Ellie, you’ve become even cuter!”

Realizing that she’s now practically hugging me directly, I pushed Katalina, I mean, Merlin back and was busy trying to reorganize my head that was in chaos.

“H… How could an engagement between us be possible? It’s also problematic in terms of the law!”

It’s a marriage between two people of the same sex. Such a thing was so impossible back in Korea that I became shocked and couldn’t find the words to say1.

“There’s no problem with legality at all though? On top of that, you’re the only daughter of the Kent household. I’m the only daughter of the Wimbledon household. It was a pre-planned marriage of convenience, which was why both of our parents agreed to it, and even your grandfather that has passed away allowed it to happen.2

“No way…”

Is this what they call a culture shock? Of course, I did hear about marriage between same-sexed couples via news about countries overseas, but I didn’t think that such an event could happen to me.

I used to have some curiosity about homosexuals when it comes up in TV drama shows sometimes, but I’ve never seriously thought about it.

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‘But you’re not originally a girl anyways.’

Hearing the inner thoughts that suddenly came up in my mind, everything in my head became even more chaotic. That was certainly true. Even though I am currently living as Elizabeth, I still have my gender identity of a male that I’ve been living in for the last 30 years.

There was no way that just because I’ve become a female for a day I would completely change all those values and ideals I’ve built up over those years immediately. In the end, I had to give up the idea of being able to have a normal heterosexual relationship in the future.

But that means it may not be so bad to be engaged with such a beautiful woman, right?

“You know, I like you Ellie… How about you, do you not like me?”

In my honest opinion, she was not bad at all. It’s just that I would continue to think like that only if my actual body was male.

“Sorry. My mind is just in a mess right now.”

I dodged trying to give a straight answer. My mind certainly was in a mess, but what she’s saying may not also be completely true. She may actually be just teasing me.

“Aww… That’s a shame, but it’s fine. I’ve waited back then, so I can wait this time as well!”
3

Making a hurt expression, I saw her psyche herself up so that she put on a smile in front of me, making me have mixed feelings.

Even though my grandfather had left me the will telling me to not trust anyone, I didn’t think he was seeing this marriage that transcended the barriers of gender simply for convenience and wealth. Even if there was no problem in terms of legality. In high society, even small problems like that could spread like wildfire through gossip and damage the reputation, so I don’t think that a household that has a high status of Marquiss would stop their only daughter from marrying another woman just because of such trivial matters.

Therefore it was a shame that even though I was being courted by such a beautiful woman of high status and class, I wasn’t able to be all that happy about it.

“I’ve lost my memory, yet you still like me?”

I don’t know why I made that question.

“Yeah. I just like you, Ellie. That hasn’t changed at all. Even if you did lose your memory. Actually, I like you more than ever since you show much more emotion through your face than before you lost your memory.”

Looking at Merlin making an innocent expression at me, I couldn’t form any words to say back to her.


[This is the Author’s comment, not part of the story.] 

I’ve always thought about this particular part about stories revolving around protagonists who have their genders changed. I think that the part that’s difficult to get right in those stories is the romance part.

The reason is that if the protagonist was to date a male person, it would be a gay relationship in psychological terms, while if the protagonist dates a female person, it would be a lesbian relationship in physical terms. In my personal opinion, I think that the protagonist going with a female is closer to reality.

Although it would definitely be different if the protagonist had a feminine personality and mindset from the beginning, but usually if the protagonist has a male mindset, they’d go for dating a female, right?

In any case, what I am writing is just a small story for my own enjoyment, so I won’t be aiming to think too deeply about this. Therefore I decided to take an easy way out. To just outright skip the romancing part altogether.

The content of this episode was altered this way because of the importance of this ‘Merlin’ character to the main story, so I ended up introducing them early and had to deal with this problem somewhat. It’s a major headache for me, really. If the protagonist was just a guy, it may have gone much easier~4



References

  1. Lilith: I… find this hard to believe
  2. Lilith: Aren’t planned marriages usually set up so that there can be HEIRS?
    Robinxen: We’re a progressive nation now. Two wonderful ladys marrying is a far lower hurdle than marrying an American. In reality I think this is an awkward arrangement where they promised to wed their children and both had only had daughters and rolled with it.
  3. Robinxen: Originally I didn’t like her thinking she was pushy and manipulative but she’s just….a lovestruck idiot isn’t she?
  4. Robinxen: Author-san is overthinking. YURI!
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