Part 188: Beatrice's White DayBeatrice's White Day
Original Translation by musouka of AnimeSuki. Edited by tiistai and oath2order
BGM: String Quartet #1 in G Major
This was a day that Asmodeus, who preferred love affairs to three square meals, had been looking forward to with much anticipation.
Belphegor asked like someone who understood something in theory, but not so much in practice.
For once, Asmo, the youngest child, answered her older sister's question excitedly.
"White Day isn't just some day you get sweets in return for Valentine's Day! It's about finding out how strongly they respond to the love you've given, how deep and throbbing their love is, stuff like that, and then you enjoy spending time together in a peaceful and quiet atmosphere - it's a timeless tradition! But of course, although you might weigh their love by the price of the return gift, going by just that would be pretty boooring! There are times when the value of a suitable gift can't be measured by its price alone! And while you're enjoying that, you get to gauge the warmth of their feelings compared to yours, and become more intimate, and use it as a chance for new encounters of love - that's what White Day is all about! <Do you OK>, Onee-samaa?"
"...I ...I see. It seems to be an event with deep significance..."
"Beelz's sooo excited! I'm looking forward to what Gohda-sama is going to give me! Seems he went training in Belgium to make chocolate, so I'm sure he'll give me white chocolate in retuuurn! Forget about love, the sweetness of chocolate is much more bewitchiiiing? Squee~~?"
"Asmo's sooo excited! I'm looking forward to what Amakusa-sama got her too! He's soooo cool, and has such good taste~! It's not gonna be something childish like candy~! It might be jewelry, or cosmetics, or perfume! Kyaaah, I can hardly wait to find out what it is!"
The older sisters had the strange sensation of being left behind in the face of their squealing excitement.
"Mammon, didn't you give yours to Sakutaro? Do you really think you'll get something back?"
"In some sense or another. Ange-sama said we should have a tea party on White Day, so we made plans. We'll have a lovely time sipping tea."
"You've been pretty distant lately, Mammon~! You're always so chummy with the group from '98, I'm sooo jealous! Isn't the love of your sisters enough for you?!"
Mammon chuckled over getting one up over her sisters, however slightly.
Mammon, surprisingly enough, valued her relationships with people. It seemed she was also greedy for friends.
So it could be said, of all the Seven Stake Sisters, she was the one that had the most of them.
The three youngest sisters had their White Day schedules pretty much laid out, and so they were giddy with anticipation.
But the older sisters, inexperienced with White Day and unsure of what to expect, were uneasy about what was to come.
"You gave something to Rudolf, right, Belpha? Are you expecting something back?"
"H-he said he didn't know what to get me... so we could go shopping together."
"What, really?! And you said okay to that?!"
"Um, well... I said I thought that helping middle-aged men in their laziness was one of my duties..."
"Waah, Belpha, you dirty little... that's great, that's great! I've got a date with Kyrie too!"
"...Lucky you, Belpha. Sounds like you're going to have an exciting day."
"A-an entire day to make Rudolf lazy...! Levia-nee, you better not interfere...!"
"I won't get in your way, I'll just be jealous along with Kyrie! You'll have two pairs of envious eyes following you the whole way!"
Acting unlike her normal self, Belpha was waving her arms and yelling at Leviathan in argument. It seemed fun, looking at it from the outside.
"All of them are raising such a fuss. This is an embarrassment to the Seven Sisters of Purgatory!"
"What about you, Satan? You gave your chocolate to Kanon, right?"
"...That was more like forcing it on him. Even if I wanted something, I don't think I'd get it."
Last Valentine's Day she had tried to give Kanon chocolate, only to be met with suspicious refusal before Jessica had chased her off.
Never mind forcing the chocolate on Kanon, she had outright thrown it at him. He probably didn't even consider it a Valentine's Day gift.
In that respect, she was the last one to expect getting anything in return.
Satan was very prideful. She had spent the last month feeling terrible, because she had been the only one whose Valentine had gone sour.
Then... they suddenly felt the presence of another person.
BGM: About Face
Judging by that, he had probably been there for a while.
Because Satan and Lucifer had been so engrossed in talking, they hadn't noticed Kanon's presence.
"K-Kanon...! Wh-what are you doing here?!"
Satan cried out in bewilderment. With that embarrassing outburst, Satan realized the reason he must have appeared, and she couldn't hide her face growing bright red.
But Kanon had no sensitivity towards girls' feelings. To him, she appeared in the same foul temper as always.
"...Back on Valentine's Day, you pushed your chocolate onto me. It was annoying, but I thought it would be rude not to return the favor."
As he was saying that, Kanon reached into his pocket and took out a very small, but beautifully wrapped box.
He tossed it to her carelessly.
He might have said it was a trifle given out of duty, but the wrapping paper made it clear that this was not a cheap brand of item.
Working for the Ushiromiya family meant being paid not inconsiderable wages, and since Kanon had no outside interests or reasons to use money, he'd ended up with quite a store of it.
"...You say it's out of duty, but you got me something so high class. How ridiculous."
"...Don't worry. I just picked it up while I was getting Milady's gift. It wasn't worth going to a cheaper place just to get you something."
"...I... I see."
"All right, I've paid my debt. Don't ever do this again."
And with that parting rejoinder, Kanon vanished.
Out of all the things spoken on White Day, "I've paid my debt" isn't something you hear very often. But somehow it suited the antagonistic relationship of these two, Lucifer thought.
Suddenly, Lucifer received a sharp blow to the rear.
"Ow! Who was th...!"
"B-Battler...! You're participating in White Day too...?!"
"You sure are saying some strange stuff. Aren't you the one that gave me that handmade chocolate? And didn't I promise to give you something in return? I might believe that the past is better forgotten, but do you really think my head is empty enough to forget something from just a month ago?"
Battler brandished the box he'd been hiding behind his back with a "ta-dah!"
The store must have wrapped it, since the packaging was neat in a way that was unlike Battler.
...The wrapping must have been magical. It captured a person's attention before they could ask what was inside. That's how Lucifer felt.
"I thought candy would be a little too childish, but I didn't know what sort of jewelry you liked. So, here. Since it's tea, it's something most people will like, more or less, and it's still pretty fancy, right? Don't you like tea?"
"N-no... I don't hate it or anything..."
"All right then! Open it. You'll be amazed once you smell it!"
Since Battler was pushing her to open it, Lucifer reached towards that lovely wrapping paper.
Sure, she was interested in what was inside, but unwrapping something so beautiful seemed like a waste.
It was held in place by a thick, deep red ribbon, which was, in turn, adorned by a golden butterfly brooch.
The butterfly they thought was a brooch began to flap its wings, taking off!
Battler was shocked, but Lucifer, who already had a hunch about this sort of a trick, was unnerved in in a different sense.
BGM: Dancing Pipe
"Baattleeeeerr?! Didn't you buy that Mariage Frères for meeeEeEee?!?!"
"W-why would I buy you tea?!"
"Huh? Ah... umm... Because, because! Didn't you get something for me for White Day?! I've been so excited! I've waited sooooo long for this day to come! And I saw you going into that lower level of the department store and picking out that expensive tea! And then, choosing that pretty wrapping paper in to show your appreciation for me! I was so sure it was a present for me, but noooooo! It wasn't for me at all, but my furniture! Grrrrrrrrrrrr!!"
"What are you doing to your subordinate?! Have some shame! I got this for Lucifer because of the chocolate she made me!"
"Huuuuuhh?! Then where's my preseeent?!"
"I didn't get you anything. It's not like I got any chocolate from you."
"Huh?! But I also gave you hand-made chocolate, didn't I?!"
"You lied to me and said you made it, even though it was Lucifer's! So I gave it back!"
"...Oh, now that you mention it... I think I had it with my tea that afternoon..."
Beato, bring relatively forgetful, had forgotten all about the chocolate Battler had given back until her afternoon tea. "Oh, what is this delicious-looking chocolate doing here," she had thought and then nibbled it all up like a squirrel.
"In any case, I didn't get any chocolate from you, therefore, there's no reason for me to get you anything."
"No, no, that's wrong! You just decided not to take it! I did everything perfectly on Valentine's Day! So you have to give me something for White Day! Whiiite Daaaaaaay! I was looking forward to what you were going to get meeeee!"
"Well, I don't have anything! If you want to get in a temper tantrum like a spoiled brat, fine! Embarrass yourself! Lucifer, this is for you. Thank you for the delicious chocolate on Valentine's Day."
"Um... well... Actually, that chocolate..."
In deference to her master, whose mood was rapidly getting worse and worse, Lucifer nervously thought it best to confess that she hadn't made her chocolate by hand either...
But before she could, a muffled thump rang out and the area was enveloped by the smell of tea. The tea box had been broken.
BGM: Black Lilliana
"Serves you right, Lucifer! Kiihhahhahha!"
Leaving behind only the sound of her laughter, Beato vanished in a huge storm of butterflies.
She had mistaken White Day for a holiday like Christmas.
She had been certain that as long as you gave a man chocolate on Valentine's Day you were sure to receive some sort of exciting present in return on White Day.
So she had prepared chocolate for Battler in hopes of forcing him to give her something on White Day out of a sense of obligation.
But then, Lucifer had gotten something and she hadn't gotten anything. She didn't like that one bit.
She didn't really understand why, but at any rate, she really didn't like it one bit.
The White Day that she was so excited for that she was counting the days for it with her fingers in her bed suddenly just sucks...
"Come, arise, Pendragon's Memorial Troops, the Chiester Sisters!"
With a wave of Beato's pipe, Chiester 45 and Chiester 00 appeared.
"I beg your pardon! 410 is participating in the Heavenly Designated Marksman Exchange Program today, so please allow me to appear in her stead!"
"H-Heavenly Designated... That's a mouthful... What kind of training is that supposed to be?"
"Y-you see, Ma'm, since White Day is a continuation of Valentines Day, there's too much work for the Heavenly Love Snipers alone to handle. It's customary to request assistance of a designated marksman from the Imperial Guard Corps!"
"...I had no idea. To think the Cupid could have a shortage of manpower..."
"Due to 410's excellent skills as a sniper, countless couples are rumored to form every year."
And then, a toothy grin, like she was getting ready to rip into something.
"Chiester Sisters, I have a number of targets for you today. Failure is not tolerated, so ready your bows and prepare to fire!!"
"U-understood! 45, entering firing peparation mode. Lady Beatrice, your target?"
"*cackle*cackle*, there are many, many and more! I'll call it Operation..."
BGM: Dread of the Grave
And thus, what should have been a peaceful, heartwarming White Day was ripped into pieces one by one by the Chiester sisters' shots...
"Kyaaaaaaaaa! I just got that from Amakusa-sama! I didn't even get to see what was inside!"
"...That's not what's important. I can always just buy you another one. Isn't it more imporant right now that you aren't hurt?
"......Kyaaaaaaa! Amakusa-sama, you're too amazing to be reeeeaaal!"
"Kyaaaaaaaaa, Mr. Amakusa, stay strong!!"
Second Target: Gohda's chocolate full-course that Beelze was just about to eat.
"Uwaaaaaaaaa!! The chocolate Gohda-sama learned how to make while training in Belgium exploded in my moouuth!!"
"Impossible! It's the secret recipe of the royal family, did I make a mistake somewhere...? Am I, Gohda, still so unskiiiilled?! I-I'm going back to Belgium for training!"
"F-forget about the training, just make me another baaatch!! Uwaaaaaaa!"
Gohda once again set out to Belgium to explore the mystery of chocolate...
"Ange-sama, Sakutaro, are you all right?!'
"...I had no idea that pancakes would become explosive if cooked for too long. Good going, me... I guess there was a reason I got such low scores in Home Ec."
Let's make pancakes while we're enjoying the aroma of black tea.
But because this is something I can't just solve with money, I might burn some of them... is what I said, and now we're surrounded by the aroma of a burning stench instead.
"N-no, even if you burn pancakes to charcoal, they shouldn't explode... Wait, could this be..."
"...U-uryuu. Why am I the only one unharmed...? Are you okay, Ange? What about you, Mammon...?!"
"Sakutaro was the only one who wasn't targeted... Does that mean someone from the alliance is attacking us?!"
"Ru... Rudolf... Are you all right...?"
"Heh... I wonder who did this. Sorry, sweetheart... Looks like they mistook you for my woman. At least I was able to protect you."
Of course they were actually aiming at Rudolf. Trying to dodge while pretending to protect is one of Rudolf's talents.
And, if it fails, it's the perfect technique for making it look like you were trying to defend someone. Belpha, unused to moves like this, was completely taken in.
"You know, a man that has collapsed after protecting a woman can be revived with a kiss."
"I-I'm not going to fall for that one! Let's get you some medical help right now. Ah?"
Fifth Target: Kyrie, currently stalking Rudolf with Leviathan.
"You all right? Hang in there! Your wound isn't deep...!"
"...That was close. I, Leviathan of Envy... w-will gladly put my life at stake for your sake, Master..."
"Pfft, because you're a stake, right? *giggle*, don't act so full of yourself. Come on, let me help you to a hospital."
"Never mind that! Master, I'd rather see you bring down divine wrath upon that cheater, Rudolf...! I'll watch from here, so please! L-look, over there! See what he's doing with Belpha... eeeek!"
"Ah... t-this can't be... Was that, just now...the Chiester Sisters?! Urk... grk... This must be my punishment for getting caught up in this White Day nonsense... That's right, Kanon isn't any ordinary rival... I just thought for a bit that his taste in stuff was pretty good... Gh, it's so frustrating... Unacceptable! Pull yourself together! I am furniture in service of Lady Beatrice, one of the Seven Sisters, Satan of Wrath!! Just because something I got from him got broken... t-that doesn't upset me in the least!! ......*sniffle*"
Seventh Target: That tea Lucifer got from... aww, who cares, go directly for that obnoxious Battler.
BGM: Endless Nine
"Oh Nooooooooo! Battler's Endless Nine Barrier!! It's been deflected!!"
"Eek! He deflected again! He isn't Human!"
"We cannot penetrate this anti-magic barrier! Please give us our next target, Lady Beatrice!"
If I've wrecked everything, it's just what they deserve! Fwahyahyaah! Just look at all the White Days I've managed to secretly destroy!"
With another wave of her pipe, all the incidents caused by the Chiester Sisters' shootings were reflected on smoke-like screens.
"...Well, my stupid old man got what was coming to him, but aside from that, you've been horrible! You damn demonic witch!"
"Kuhihihi!! This is just what you get for ignoring me on White Day! Fear me, worship me! My wrath will continue for seven years, seven months, and seven days! From this day forward, both Valentine's Day and White Day will be ruined in my name! Ahhyahyahyahyah! ...How's that? Do you regret what you've done?! I want to hear you say, Lady Beato, please forgive me, I promise I'll get you something on White Day!' But it had better be something more expensive than what you got Lucifeeeeeer!!"
"...Quit screwing around, dumbass. Who the hell would want to do what a lying, selfish witch like you says?"
Batter's response caused Beato's mood to rapidly change, and she fell silent.
Valentine's Day and White Day are all about the feelings that spring from your heart. Someone who thinks of them as excuses to get stuff doesn't deserve anything."
"O-oh... So you're saying I don't have the qualifications to receive anything on White Day."
Battler made his assertion.
And though Beato returned his words with a bitter grin, she couldn't help but bite her lower lip.
"Gh, hahahahahahaha, hahhahahahaha! Fine, I'll accept your declaration! Wahahahahaha, kyaahhahhahhahahahahaha!!
"Y-yes, yes... Once again you've gone and done something you didn't mean to, only to make a mess of things and become upset with yourself, right? Oh, there, there..."
"Speaking of which, this is all your fault, Ronove! Battler called me a liar because you made that chocolate!"
"My goodness, how regrettable. I could have sworn I made that chocolate under Milady's orders. And it was delicious, was it not? Was it not delicious enough to match the fragrance of Quartier Latin?"
"I-indeed, it was. I nibbled it all away."
"Then it could not have been my fault. The resposibility falls to you, Milady."
"...That's correct. You shouldn't blame Ronove."
"T-then it's all Lucifer's fault! She told Battler her chocolates were handmade, and that's why Battler called me a liar!!"
"Pukuku! Was lying about the chocolate being handmade not exactly what you yourself did, Milady?"
"It isn't Lucifer's fault. She's furniture that works hard to fulfill your exact commands every day. I will be very cross if you misuse her. Yes, I really will."
"It's just like Battler told you. Don't make the mistake of thinking White Day is an excuse to be given something."
"Even using obligatory Valentine's chocolate as an example, it's said men and women still enjoy the bittersweetness of it. It needs to be done with grace. Giving Valentine's Day chocolate only in the hopes of coercing someone to reciprocate on White Day is not elegant."
Even as she was being scolded by Ronove and Virgilia, there was nothing Beato could say in response.
Still, it seemed as though she couldn't quite bring herself to accept those feelings, as she continued biting her lower lip. Hot tears rose to her eyes.
"...Now, be honest. You were actually just lonely, weren't you?"
"It's just not fair! And even though Lucifer got tea from Battler, I didn't get anything! And now I'll never get anything, not next year, not ever! It's so stupid... I can't stand it, uwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah...!"
Beato buried her face in Virgilia's dress as she cried.
Virgilia and Ronove looked at one another and sighed.
"Now listen carefully, Beatrice. If you want Battler to get you something on White Day, you have to give him chocolate that you've put your feelings into. It doesn't matter if it isn't well made. And if making it proves entirely impossible, you can go buy one at the store, as long as you choose it with care. What you really need is that you want to make him happy."
"If I do that, will Battler reciprocate on White Day...?"
"As long as you put your feelings into it, he will."
"And as far as handmade chocolate goes, I can take a recipe suitable for a professional such as myself, and modify it so that even a beginner like Milady can make super sweets (pukuku) with a smile. It is not that difficult to make chocolate from your heart."
"...On next year's Valentine's... if I make Battler chocolate... he'll be in a better mood...? So I have to wait until next year...? So that means, Battler will be looking at me with those cold eyes... all this time? ...I don't want that..."
Virgilia sighed and then smiled wryly.
At least Beato had settled down. All it usually took was time and the patience to help her express her thoughts properly. She was actually quite an obedient child, once you got down to it.
"Beatrice, why don't we do this? ...I'll use my most secret spell to turn back time to the day before Valentine's Day."
"...Huh? ...What?! M-magic that amazing actually e-exists?!"
"The ability to turn back time... Who would have thought Madam could use such an impressive, secret spell. No, I guess it is not so shocking, considering it is you, Madam. Even now, you are still full of surprises."
"This is not a magic that can be used very often in one's lifetime. I'll use it for you, but you must promise not to waste this chance."
"O-okay. I understand..."
"Since you will be going back in time, you must struggle against time's currents. If you relax your guard for even a moment, the spell with dissipate. Be careful."
"A-all right. I will."
"Even though I'm the one casting this spell, you will have to cover the cost of maintaining the world of the past with your own magical power."
"I get it already. How should I go about it?"
"You must believe in it. If you doubt that this is the world of the past, the spell will break. That's the basis of magic. As long as you believe, there's nothing magic can't accomplish."
"I... I got it."
With a snap of Virgilia's fingers, Beatrice was transformed into a swarm of golden butterflies and transported to the kitchen...
After Virgilia and Ronove had seen her off...
"I understand. You have our humble assistance."
"Have everyone involved know that today is the day before Valentine's Day. Make sure the calender, newspaper, television and so on are dealt with, okay?"
"To my knowledge, it has all been taken care of, Madam. We leave the rest to you...!"
"Stakes, have you been paying attention?"
"""""""Yes, Lady Predecessor!!"""""""
And thus, everything was set back a month to the day before Valentine's Day.
Only Beato was unaware.
"...If I'm supposed to take this seriously, I can't settle for something 'easy!' I'll show them what I can really do if I put my mind to it!"
...And so, in her enthusiasm, Beato ignored the tags specifically placed for her sake and chose a good-looking but complicated recipe...
"I'll make everyone regret underestimating me! Fwahahhahahahahaha!"
...Good grief. Virgilia sighed, watching the situation through a magical three-sided mirror. It seems like she never learns...
Half a day was spent in a spectacular series of events that would have shocked the culinary world.
Chocolate exploded out of pots after simply warming it in hot water. Chocolate was sweetly scorched, exploded, and pulverized.
Chocolate grew legs and ran around the kitchen. Chocolate grew wings and took to the air. A butterfly net was soon added to Beato's chocolate-making utensils.
No matter how you looked at it, you couldn't even call what she was doing making chocolate.
However, even though she had failed often enough that the kitchen was coated in chocolate and its sweet scent was hanging heavy in the air, she never forgot her purpose.
As she laughed while stirring the pan, she recalled the words of her Master.
...T-that's right. This is the chance Master gave me with her secret ability. I can't think like that. That sort of attitude is what I'm trying to solve with this spell.
Beato looked up at the page-a-day calendar that indicated this was the 13th of February and imagined how it had been previously, before shaking her head and engrossing herself once again in her work.
"That voice...! Is that you, Gaap?"
The refrigerator opened with a clank, and out stepped Gaap.
She hadn't actually been lurking in there, she had just used the fridge door to materialize one of her warp portals.
Since directly appearing so suddenly in front of a friend was rude, she used the appearance of a door as a measure of small etiquette.
"Did I pick a bad time to come and play around? Are you busy?"
"I don't mind. You're just in time to be my food sampling sacrifice."
"...I'll think about it after you explain how making chocolate got the kitchen in this sorry state..."
Even Gaap was dumbfounded over the situation.
Actually, she was even more confused as to why Beato was going to the effort.
"Hey, Beato... Why are you making chocolate?"
"For Valentine's Day, of course! I have to have it done for tomorrow."
...Beato's hands stopped in their tracks.
From the way the atmosphere froze, Gaap sensed there was something more going on there but she couldn't guess what.
There was no helping what she had said just now, however.
"...I'm sorry. Did I say something unnecessary...? ...You know, you look busy. I'll just be going now... See you later."
Beato didn't respond.
Gaap opened another black warp portal on the floor and vanished into it without another word.
...All that remained was a stunned Beato, frozen like time had stopped...
BGM: Worldend (solo)
Saltiness slipped past her nose.
Tears fell one by one into the bowl with the melted chocolate.
...I'm such an idiot. How much stupider could I get... I can't even be angry at anyone... It was my fault for being dumb enough to fall for such a ridiculous lie... I'm upset at myself more than anything...
...And I only found out after I'd finally gotten close to tempering the chocolate.
...Who cares any more. This is stupid.
I should just throw this out, this bowl that I'm holding tightly in my hands.
...I only worked a few hours. This bowl that I spent so little time on, blocking my way to atonement. Why can't I... toss it aside?
All I can do is cry...
Valentine's Day. White Day.
...I wonder why I was so excited over them in the first place...
It wasn't because of romantic feelings or anything.
It's just... this season... That time of year when the chilly early spring weather ends and the air finally starts to warm up...
...I wanted to experience that too.
I didn't... even really... want to get something back...
It was all too late.
All those feelings she'd had towards enjoying the two mysterious days of Valentine's Day and White Day...
The calendar... It's probably just Ronove's trick. It might read "February 13th". But that must be a lie.
"Based on this calendar... it's really supposed to be February 13th today..."
Why had he come into the kitchen of the Witch...?
But she didn't even need to ask before he already answered.
"I came to see what that weird, sort of chocolatey smell was. I sure got to see something ridiculous. You're telling me the witch who calls herself Beato is working her ass off to make chocolate for tomorrow?"
"...I wonder who you're planning on giving it to. Well, I sure hope it isn't me..."
If only he'd been a little bit better, Beato's wounded heart might have mended slightly.
But that obvious acting only made Beato smile bitterly...
...I already know.
Master or Ronove must have spoken to Battler and told him about my l aughable circumstances and asked him to help out.
This is pathetic... Absolutely pathetic...
One of the world's greatest witches, Beatrice the Golden... acting so pathetic...
...Even Battler himself must have realized how bad his own acting was.
The least he could do... was to stop forcing out his cheap lines and shut up so he wouldn't hurt her any worse.
It was time to end this farce. Beato realized she was the only one who could bring an end to this uncomfortable tension.
...If she just put on the usual wicked smirk and laughed while abusing Battler, things would go back to the way they were before... We could go back to the usual rough and tumble fooling around.
Then, once again... she finally remembered her Master's words.
'You must believe in it. If you doubt that this is the world of the past, the spell will break. That's the basis of magic. As long as you believe, there's nothing magic can't accomplish.'
"Th... that's right... *sniffle*..."
I am... the great witch that can master any sort of incredible magic.
I'll show you... how great... my mastery of magic really is...
"That's right. You've figured it out! I'm making chocolate for Valentine's Day tomorrow!"
With tears on face and her nose still running... she wore a mysterious smile, like she had all of a sudden come to her senses.
"You can be sure whoever gets my handmade chocolate... is in for a surprise!"
"S-surprise, huh? Did you put something in there? It's not something that shouldn't be eaten, right?"
"How rude. I'll have you know this is perfectly normal Valentine's Day chocolate! It's a miraculous, once-a-year holiday where the world's men gets chocolate labored over by women. I wanted to participate too."
"Heh. Trying to put up a girly act at a time like this."
It was strange, but as they kept talking... Battler's words started sounding more and more natural.
And... it began to feel more and more like it really was February 13th...
"Yep. I'm sure he will."
"...Even if this man used the red truth to say he wouldn't get me anything on White Day...? There's no way he can, right...?"
"No... he can."
"Valentine's Day is tomorrow, right?"
"Well then, if he has something to give back to you, he'll do it in a month. But if for some reason that day a month later isn't technically White Day, the person you're giving your chocolate to won't be violating the red truth."
"...Hmph. He's quite the sophist... H-hey, look at what you've done! I messed up on the tempering again because you were chattering away! Now I have to start all over from the boiling water. You help too, my arms are getting tired!"
I wondered what that noise was, so I turned around towards where it came from, and there stood the fridge.
Was that sound of the fridge door closing...?
"W-what is it? Your face is bright red all of a sudden. Did I mess something up?"
"I-it's nothing! Now, hurry up and start boiling and melting it! Uugh, this is such a pain, maybe I should just dip you in chocolate and shove you in the oven instead!"