I Don’t Care About Being Liked by the Capture Targets. I Will Be Myself and Free! – Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Spring at the Age of 11 (Part – 4)

A few days later――

Chloe is currently hiding sneakily in the rose garden of the royal palace.

She’s wearing a proper dress in a shade of green, and has gone so far as to put grass and leaves in her hair.

(Fufu, my hiding skills are perfect. My efforts to play hide-and-seek here have paid off.)

Of course, she knows that her behavior is out of place in the solemn atmosphere of the royal palace.

If she were to be found out, she would surely be scolded severely, so she can’t afford to be caught.

Chloe’s father, Duke Beltoise, is the younger brother of the king, and their family lives in a mansion given to them within the palace grounds.

That’s why Steed can visit Chloe whenever he wants.

Chloe, too, can move around the palace to some extent.

So today, as Steed instructed her, it was easy for her to wait secretly behind the hedge.

(But I wonder if what Steed said will really happen. . .)

It was five days ago when Steed told her about his past life.

On that day, Steed declared, “I’ll show you the evidence,” and then proceeded to predict in detail the shocking event that would happen today.

Chloe remembers Steed’s words from that time.

“In five days, I’ll hold a botanical study session with Duke Bloom’s sons in the castle’s rose garden.”

Duke Bloom’s son are Steed’s classmates and Chloe’s cousins.

“And the Prime Minister brings a young boy to the scene. After being slightly concerned about the existence of his cousins, the Prime Minister introduces the boy.”

“A boy? Is he someone’s son?”

Steed shakes his head.

“The Prime Minister says this: ‘This person will be living in the palace with us from today, at the request of His Majesty. He has lost his mother and is now alone in the world. Your Highness, please treat him as your brother.'”

“. . .As Steed’s brother. . .That means. . .”

“[You and this person share half the same blood,] is how the Prime Minister put it.”

(Half, same. . .)

When she realizes the meaning, Chloe is at a loss for words.

“Yes. This boy is my father’s illegitimate child――my half-brother.”

In this country, even if you are the king, having multiple wives is not allowed.

However, Chloe has heard that there are cases where men have children with someone other than their wife.

But this time, it’s the king’s child.

Moreover, the fact that he took him in means that the king acknowledged him.

That’s a big problem.

“The boy’s name is Roland. He’s the same age as me.”

While Chloe is frozen with her mouth open, Steed remains calm.

“At this moment, very few people know about this. It’s a secret that was quietly searched for. The only ones who hear about it from my father’s mouth are my mother and my eldest brother, who is the first prince. It’s information that I shouldn’t even know about in the first place.”

“So you’re saying that you know the details because of your knowledge from your past life?”

“That’s right.”

“But. . .even so. . .”

(Maybe he just happened to find out about the story of the illegitimate child by chance. . .)

As she thought that way, Steed guessed her thoughts.

“Just knowing the current information is weak evidence that I know about the future. I understand that. That’s why I’ll explain in detail what will happen in five days. I want Chloe to confirm with her own eyes whether what I said was true or not.”

“Do you really know such detailed things?”

“The events of the day Roland came to the castle will be told as a major event in the main story, so. . .”

Steed continued to explain.

“Roland is a boy with fiery red hair. His facial features don’t resemble mine much, but his strong-willed gaze is very similar to Father’s. Maybe he’s not used to wearing formal clothes. He seemed to be uncomfortable in his tight-fitting clothes and kept sticking his fingers into his collar.”

Not only did Steed explain Roland’s appearance, but he also recounted the conversation that took place there in detail, making Chloe shudder a little.

She began to feel that his story might not be true.

The moment she heard what Roland said from Steed’s mouth, her body temperature dropped.

[I’m not planning on playing with princes or rich kids. It’s seriously annoying. Don’t bother with me.]

She can’t believe that such impolite words came out of Steed’s mouth.

If he didn’t reproduce someone else’s words, it’s a tone he would never use.

“If everything goes as I explained, you’ll believe me, won’t you? On the fifth day after noon, Chloe will be hiding behind the garden hedge and watching.”

She feels a growing desire to confirm if it will really happen.

If it clarifies the situation of today’s conversation, she feels it’s worth it.

This half-baked and incomprehensible situation is making her feel uneasy.

“. . .Okay. I’m curious about how much of what Steed said will come true.”

“Is that so? Chloe is very curious. For now, just keep that level of curiosity.”

Looking at Steed’s gentle smile, Chloe feels a complicated emotion.

(If this story is true. . .I wonder if Steed is hurt.)

A new prince has appeared.

If the king takes him in, he may have a claim to the throne.

It’s a big problem for Steed and the others.

To be told such an important thing by the Prime Minister, and in the presence of his cousins no less, instead of directly by the king.

In the first place, you’d think it’s a shock to find out that your father had various things going on with someone who wasn’t your mother.

(If I were in Steed’s position. . .just imagining that Otou-sama had various things going on with someone other than Okaa-sama makes me feel sick.)

“Chloe, what’s wrong? Your lips are pursed. Even your angry face is cute.”

“Well! I know it’s impolite to say, but His Majesty is terrible. He doesn’t consider Steed’s feelings at all!”

“Are you worried about me? I’m happy. It’s painful to see you upset, but I’m happy that Chloe cares about me.”

“Ugh! I’m really angry!”

“. . .I see. Thank you, Chloe.”

“Don’t you get it?”

Steed smiled maturely and furrowed his brow in distress.

“Because of the memories of my past life mixed in, I feel like various things are somewhat detached from me. The base of my personality and memories are Steed’s, but there’s also a past self who calmly analyzes myself in comparison to the game.”

Steed said that he feels like his own feelings are vague.

But in his eyes, a lonely color floats.

“Among all that, my feelings for Chloe are the only thing that’s clear to me.”

“Me. . .?”

“That’s why I’m preoccupied with preventing your downfall, and I don’t care about anything else. Not even myself.”

“What are you even saying. . .!”

“I think it’s because I just regained my memories and I’m confused. So don’t worry about it, Chloe.”

“. . .Steed. . .”

“At this point, it feels like it’s someone else’s problem, but it might be uncomfortable if it actually happens. But since I haven’t experienced it with my own heart yet, I can’t imagine it.”

Steed smiled jokingly to reassure Chloe.

“Hey, Chloe. If I get hurt, will you comfort me?”

Steed looked at her with unusually timid eyes.

Her heart fluttered at the sight, and she didn’t know what to do.

So she put her hands on her hips and put on a bold front.

When in trouble, a strong attitude is the way to go.

“I won’t comfort you. A villainess wouldn’t do that! If Steed is feeling down, I’ll tickle and tease you until you feel better!”

When she showed a proud expression, Steed smiled very happily for some reason.

Chloe didn’t understand why Steed made such a face. . .

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