My Beloved’s First Love

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The story of Rei’s first love was quite shocking.

She told us how she had fallen for a girl named Kosaki, but had troubles coming to terms with her feelings for someone of the same gender.
She then met Shiiko, who helped her come to accept those feelings, but when she tried to confess to Kosaki, Misaki found out and bullied her.
Shiiko, who Rei thought to be her ally, had actually been trying to manipulate Rei for the sake of her own love.
Shocked by the chain of events, Rei skipped school for a while, but her parents made a clear effort to understand her, and, in the end, she was able to get back on her feet.

Rei summarized all those events and shared the story with us.
I could hardly believe that Rei, who always seemed so aloof and indifferent to everything, as though she had nothing to fear, had gone through such an arduous past.
Though it was often said that first loves were not meant to be, I couldn’t help but feel that this was far too cruel.

“What horrid individuals.
I am absolutely livid, let’s burn them all Rei, take me to them right this minute.”
“L-Lily will come too.”

That wretch Misaki went without saying, but that loose-lipped Kosaki and manipulative Shiiko were all just as guilty to me.
Cardinal Lily seemed to feel the same way, wholeheartedly agreeing with my words.

“Now, now… Calm down, Misaki was going through a tough time with her family, so I don’t really blame her.
Besides, she and I made up when we met again after we graduated, and now we’re close enough to go on random escapades.”
“Ah, like hunting for UMA.”
“Yuu… Yuu mah?”
“Ah, sorry, please forget what I just said.”

Again Rei appeared to say something that made absolutely no sense.

“Anyway, there really was a lot going on for everyone at that time, it was a complicated mess.”
“But there’s nothing complicated about it.
That wretch Misaki was at the root of everything.”

I felt that Kosaki and Shiiko needed to take responsibility for escalating things, but that wretch, Misaki, was unmistakably the root cause.

“That’s not quite true.”
“W-What do you mean?”

Despite my conclusions, Rei said something unexpected.

“I mentioned Misaki’s family troubles, but on top of that, she actually held feelings for Shiiko.
Unfortunately, she had a difficult time coming to terms with her own feelings too.”
“I-Is that so?”
So, the reason she tried to shun me was because she was afraid I’d take Shiiko from her.”
“W-Wow… So it was a love triangle…”

So that kind of drama wasn’t limited to romance novels and plays… Just as I thought that,

“No, it was actually a square.”
“What do you mean?”
“It turns out that Kosaki liked Misaki.”

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“E-Everything’s a tangled mess…”

According to Rei, in summary things looked like this:

Misaki → Shiiko
↑ ↓
Kosaki ← Rei

Rei took some paper and sketched a diagram for us.

“This is such a muddy mess.”
“Y-Yes, I agree.”
“Well, I mean we were all so young…”
“Aren’t you yourself still in your teens?”
“Ah yes, I was, wasn’t I…”
“Shouldn’t you be saying that in the present tense!?”

Just what is with that distant gaze of yours?

“Anyway, the four of us all managed to make up after that.
I laughed a lot when I finally learned of Kosaki’s true nature.”
“Ko-Kosaki-san? Did she have some sort of circumstance surrounding her too?”
At the time she always came off as a cute little thing or even an angel, but when we all looked back on what happened, she might’ve been the nastiest one.”

Rei appeared to be reminiscing about how fun those times were.

“I think I more or less understand.
Kosaki was the type to believe she was just the cutest, wasn’t she?”
“You’re absolutely right, Claire-sama.”

There were a lot of people out there like Kosaki, or rather, strictly speaking people that appeared that way.
The aura of a harmless critter? A bashful smile? Reserved personality? A pacifist that preferred to avoid conflict? Girls who were actually like that are TRULY and HONESTLY few and far between.
Most of them simply act that way so that others don’t see them as threats.
Then, they manipulate the conversation and those around them in a way convenient to them, and everyone around them is just dancing in the palm of their hands.
It’s something like an initiation that many young male nobles from the countryside face when they come to the capital for the first time.

“In the end, Kosaki and Misaki ended up together.
Ah, do keep in mind it’s not MiKo but KoMi, okay?”
“Just what nonsense are you going on about now?”
“What do you mean nonsense! I’ll have you know that the left and right when shipping is very important, don’t you understand!?”
“Y-Your anger seems entirely unreasonable…”

I still couldn’t understand the reason, but it appeared that the ordering here was very important to Rei.
Again, I really couldn’t understand it myself, but she seemed serious about it, so I didn’t press any further.

“And so, that was the story of my first love.
Pretty boring, wasn’t it?”
“No, I don’t believe so.”

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“Y-Yes, I’m really glad I got to hear it.”
“Really? Well that’s good then.”

Having experienced such hardship would likely twist anyone’s character.
Now that I knew Rei’s cynicism had been born from such a tragic past, I felt that I too could be more understanding.

“You’ve… Experienced quite some hardship, haven’t you.”
“Not really.
Now it’s just another story to think back on and laugh about.
So, Lily-sama, don’t you feel disillusioned?”
“N-No, not at all.
In fact, Lily is even deeper in love!”
“Eh, huh?”

If anything, I felt that her words just now could have been interpreted as flirting.

“Well, in any case, first loves very rarely bare fruit, and especially as a homosexual one’s love almost always ends up being unrequited, so mental fortitude is really important.”
“M-Mental fortitude…?”
“Yes, exactly.
Thanks to that mental fortitude, I simply can’t get enough of Claire-sama’s cold attitude!”
“Rei! I think you may just be a little too brash!”

I take it back, I don’t think I can be more understanding after all.
I really think that Rei should be a little more honest and make an effort to do something about the gibberish she spouts.

“Come to think of it, Claire-sama, your first love was Manaria-sama, right?”
“Y-You’re wrong! That was… Uhm, Onee-sama was just such a wonderful person, I… Misunderstood.”
“But well, it’s me now, huh.”
“… Rei, don’t get carried away.
Any more and you’re fired!”
“I’m sorry.”

When I scolded her, Rei honestly apologized.

“Wait, how did we get on this topic again?”
“Right, we… Came to the church because we wanted a way to improve the living conditions of the poor, didn’t we…”
“W-Well, it can be nice to take a detour sometimes, don’t you think so too?”

When Rei and I recalled our original purpose, Lily-sama smoothed things over.

“T-There’s something Lily came to understand from Rei-san’s story just now, but ideals and reality are different, aren’t they?”
“What do you mean?”
“The church does want to do something about the Kingdom’s wealth disparity, and we even have ideals for how we would carry things out.
However, if we were to implement our ideals, I can’t help but have doubts about whether or not they would work as well as we had thought.”
“Hm? Could I ask you to explain in more detail?”
“P-Politics… Doesn’t work on empty goodwill.”

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My father would often say something similar to that, and, until recently, that’s what I believed as well.
However, I then remembered words that my mother had said.
She had said not to forsake one’s ideals to be content in reality.
I felt as though I was wavering between those two thoughts.
That should show just how much value and importance that I had placed in Cardinal Lily’s words.

“E-Even if it all makes logical sense, if the policies don’t work properly in the real world then there’s no point.
And… In a lot of ways, reality doesn’t make sense.”

Just what kind of experiences had she gone through at such a young age? Cardinal Lily’s words carried a wait beyond her years.

“L-Lily is already at the point where she doesn’t feel anything can be done about politics.
The church has already drawn a line between itself and politics as well…”
“Once again, you’re straight to the point, huh.”
“But then!”

Cardinal Lily’s words, which could be interpreted as saying to just give up, forced me to raise my voice.

“But then… The people will never receive what they are due! I don’t… Want to abandon my ideals.”

Reality does not operate on empty goodwill.
Even so, I didn’t want to abandon my ideals and content myself with reality.
So… What should I be doing?

“In that case, you must chase your ideals.
Those who insist on their ideals must always strive to realize them.”
“And remember Claire-sama, you’re not alone.
There may not be much that I can do, but I’m here with you.”
“Thank you.”

Just as Rei and I shared that touching exchange,

“Look, if you want to flirt this ain’t the place, scum.”
“… L-Lily, s-swears! She isn’t doing this on purpose, please believe her!”
“Well, I believe you.”

Whether she was telling the truth here or not, it was a bewildering habit to have.

“But well, Cardinal Lily, you’ve really helped us so much, we’re in your debt.
If possible I’d like to thank you in some form but…”
“N-No, not at all! Lily is more than happy just having had the chance to tell Claire-sama more about the church.”
“Hm, for example, Lily-sama, what is it that troubles you the most right now?”

Rei suddenly asked that, seemingly unprompted.

“W-What’s troubling me…?”
“Yes, you’ve been a great help to us, so I thought it would be nice if we could help you in some way too.”
“Fufu, that makes me happy.”

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“Stop, stop that ambiance, right now.”

There are some things that make me want to hurl insults too, I’ll have you know!

“R-Right, er… I’m currently researching a certain disease.
It’s called the opposite sex disease…”
“Ah, the one that causes one to suddenly become the opposite sex, right?”

I had actually heard about that illness myself as well.
If I recall, it’s an illness where if one contracts it they become the opposite sex.

“Oh, but if I’m not mistaken, doesn’t the church possess the Tears of the Moon? It’s a holy artifact, and I’m pretty sure its effect either lessens or entirely treats the disease.”
“Y-You know about the Tears of the Moon!? But that should be top level classified information!”

Rei covered her mouth as though to cover up her slip.
After all that had happened, I had gotten used to this habit of hers, so I wasn’t particularly surprised.
Ah, though I should make it clear that I still did intend to eventually get to the bottom of where she got all this knowledge.

“J-Just where did you hear about the Tears of the Moon!?”
“Ah, erhm… I heard about it from Yuu-sama.”
“T-That’s just not possible! If Yuu-sama already already knew how to resolve opposite sex disease, then Yuu-sama’s own body would already― Ah…!”

This time, Cardinal Lily was the one to cover her mouth.
What did she just…?

“Cardinal Lily, what was that just now?”
“Ah, bababa…”
“Is Yuu-sama suffering from the opposite sex disease?”

When Rei and I pressed further, Cardinal Lily appeared to give up.
She let out a sigh before continuing,

“W-Well, since Rei-san seems to be aware of one possible way to resolve the disease, Lily will tell you, but Lily asks that you both keep this in confidence.
If this information leaks out, consider your lives in danger.”
“I understand.”
“Of course.”

Despite warnings of the potential danger, Rei and I both nodded and urged Cardinal Lily on.
Having given up on trying to dissuade us, she began talking.

“S-So… The truth is―”

To put it simply―

Yuu-sama was actually a she.

Translator Note: Claire getting jealous of Lily and Rei is so cute… And of course, Lily is very very cute!! And so, Rei and Claire learn of Yuu’s secret…

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