Beatrice’s White Day

* Release date: 3 2009

“Kyaaan, White Day is finally here! I wonder what I’m getting, I wonder what I’m getting! I’m so excited~”
This was a day that Asmodeus, who preferred love affairs to three square meals, had been looking forward to with much anticipation.

“So you’re saying this White Day is when you get a return on last Valentine’s Day?”
Belphegor asked in the way of a person that understood something in theory, but not so much in practice.
For once, Asmodeus, the youngest child, answered her older sister’s question excitedly.

“White Day isn’t just some day you get some candy in return for Valentine’s Day! It’s a response to the love you’ve given, to feel your partner’s love deepen and throb, and look forward to quiet peaceful time together, an event that’s both ancient and refined! And, of course, it’s not just about weighing the value of the love you’ve exchanged, that would be boooring. It’s about choosing a stylish response with the proper cost and value. That’s why it’s so awesome! You get to gauge the temperature of your feelings against their feelings, become more intimate, to take advantage of sudden meetings of love—that’s what White Day is about! Do you get it, my dear sister?”

“…I…I see. It seems to be an event with deep significance…”

“Beelzebub’s sooo excited! I’m looking forward to what Mr. Gohda is going to give me! It looks like he went training in Belgium to make chocolate, so I’m sure he’ll give me white chocolate in return! Forget about love, the sweetness of chocolate is much more bewitching! Myaaaa~”

“Asmodeus is looking forward to what Mr. Amakusa got her too! He’s soooo cool, and has such good taste. It’s not gonna be something lame like candy! It might be jewelry, or make up, or perfume! Kyaaan, I can hardly wait to find out what it is!”

Asmodeus and Beelzebub, being the two youngest, had a good relationship.
The older sisters had the strange sensation of being left behind in the face of the others’ squealing excitement.

“Is it really that exciting? How pathetic for high level furniture to be acting that way.”

“Mammon, didn’t you give yours to Sakutaro? Do you really think you’ll get something back?”

“In some sense or another. Lady Ange said we should have a White Day Tea Party, so we made plans. We’ll have a lovely time sipping tea.”

“You certainly have been seeming more impressive lately, Mammon~ So close with the group from ‘98. I’m sooo jealous. What ever happened to sisterly love?”

“I want as much love as possible, of course. I suppose that’s “greed” for you. Teehee.”
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 according to plan, and thus were looking forward to them very much.
But the older sisters, not being experienced with White Day and unsure of what to expect, were waiting with some amount of trepidation.

“You gave something to Rudolf, right, Belphegor? Are you expecting something back?”

“H-he said he didn’t know what to get me…so we could go shopping together.”

“Oh, really?! And did you say okay?”

“Um, well…I said I thought that helping middle aged men in their laziness was one of my duties…”

“Waa, Belphegor you dirty little…that’s great, that’s great! I’ve got a date with Kyrie too!”

“…Lucky you, Belphegor. Sounds like you’re going to have an exciting day.”

“A-an entire day to make Rudolf lazy! Leviathan, 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, Belphegor gestured wildly at Leviathan in argument, voices raised. It looked like fun, from the outside.

Satan and Lucifer were the only two left.
For some reason, these two were always the last ones to catch on to things.

“All of them are raising such a fuss. This is an embarrassment to the Seven Sisters!”

“What about you Satan? You gave Kanon chocolate, 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’d tried to give Kanon chocolate, only to meet with suspicious refusal before Jessica had chased her off.
It had been just shoving it at him. He probably didn’t even consider it having been given to him.
In that respect, she was the one least likely to get 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 been thwarted.

Then, suddenly there was the sensation of another person materializing.

When the two turned around, there stood Kanon with a look of distaste on his face.
He might have been there for longer than it seemed.
Because Satan and Lucifer had been too engrossed in talking, they hadn’t noticed.

“K-Kanon…wh…what are you doing here?!” Satan cried in bewilderment. With that shameful outburst, Satan realized the reason he must have appeared, and her face grew 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 me into taking your chocolate. 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 withdrew a very small, but beautifully wrapped box and shoved it at her.

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.”

“…Oh. 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 one you hear very often. Somehow, it suited the two of them and their antagonistic relationship, though, Lucifer thought.

Suddenly, it was Lucifer who received a sharp blow from the rear.

“Ow! Who did–”

“Hey there, Little Miss Thighs.”

“B-Battler! You’re participating in White Day too?!”

“You sure are a strange one. 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 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 it 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 was a little immature, 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, huh? Do you hate tea?”

“N-no…I don’t hate it…”

“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.

“Huh? Was that always there?”

“!!”

The butterfly they thought was a brooch began to flap its wings, then took off.
Battler was shocked, but Lucifer, who had already guessed that this sort of trick would be forthcoming, was unnerved in in a different sense.
The golden butterflies scales scattered and took the form of the Golden Witch.

“Dwaah, what?!”

“L-Lady Beatrice?!”

“Battler———!! You didn’t buy that Mariage Freres for meeeeeee?!”

“W-why would I buy you tea?!”

“Huh? Ah…umm… But, but! 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! I was sure of it! And then, it wasn’t for me at all, but my furniture! Grrrrrrrrrrrr!”

“Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow, please stop, Lady Beatrice! Don’t chew on my hair!”

“What are you doing to your subordinate?! Have some shame! I got this for Lucifer because of the chocolate she made me!”

“Huh?! Then where’s my preseeeent?!”

“I didn’t get you anything. It’s not like I got any chocolate from you.”

“Huh?! But, I 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…”

“Was it good?”

“Yes, delicious!”

Beato, bring relatively forgetful, had forgotten all about the chocolate Battler had given back until her afternoon tea, whereupon with a “oh, what is this delicious-looking chocolate doing here,” she nibbled it all up like a squirrel.

“…Do you have the brains of a squirrel too? 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 Valentine’s Day properly! So you have to give me something for White Day! White 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, thank you for the delicious chocolate on Valentine’s Day.”

“Um…well…actually, that chocolate…”
In deference to her master, whose mood was rapidly worsening, 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 box had broken.

“Kyaaafff, cough cough cough”
“Beato, you bitch…how dare you do that to my tea! Cough cough cough”
Beato rolled around in laughter as Battler and Lucifer coughed.

“Uhahaha! If I’m not getting it for White Day, then it might as well not exist! That’s what you get, Lucifer! Kihahaha!”
Leaving behind only her voice, Beato vanished in a huge storm of butterflies.

She had mistaken White Day for a holiday like Christmas.
She was certain that, as long as someone gave a man chocolate on Valentines Day, they 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.
Then, getting all worked up over something so trivial had made her mood even worse.

All the time she had spent under the covers with her hands folded, excitedly waiting until White Day finally arrived, suddenly seemed so hateful…

“Now, show yourselves, Calvary of Pendragon, the Siesta Sisters!” With a wave of Beatrice’s pipe, Siesta 45 and Siesta 00 appeared.

“Oh, how unusual. 00 has answered the summons.”

“I beg your pardon! 410 is participating in the Heavenly Sniper Exchange Program today, so please allow me to appear in her stead!”

“H-Heavenly Sniper…that’s quite a mouthful. Sounds like some sort of fraudulent excuse for training.”

“Y-you see, ma’m, since White Day is a continuation of Valentines Day, there’s too much work for Love Snipers alone to handle. It’s customary to request assistance from one of the Imperial Guard Corps!”

“…I had no idea. To think Cupid could have a manpower shortage…”

“Due to 410’s skill as a sniper, countless couples are rumored to form every year!”

Grk. An expression of obvious displeasure rose to Beato’s face.
And then, a toothy grin, like she was getting ready to rip into something.

“Siesta Sisters, I have a number of targets for you today! Ready your bows and prepare to fire!”

“U-understood! 45, enter firing preparation mode! Lady Beatrice, your target?”

“Kukukuku, more and more and even more! I’ll call it Operation: White Day Annihilation!”

And thus, the peaceful, heartwarming White Day that should have been, was ripped into pieces one by one by the Siesta’s sisters’ shooting.

First Target: The small box Asmodeus received from Amakusa.

“Kyaaaaaaaaa! I just got that from Mr. Amakusa! I didn’t even get to see what was inside!”

“…That’s not what’s important. I can always just buy you another one. Just be happy you’re not hurt, right?

“… … …Kyaaaaaaa! Mr. Amakusa, you’re too amazing to be reeeeaaal!”

Next Target: That irritating Amakusa.

“What’s lost isn’t important, it’s what―Uguh? Hrrk!”

“Kyaaaaaaaaa, Mr. Amakusa, stay strong!!”

“C…cool… …grk.”

Second Target: Gohda’s full course of chocolate that Beelzebub was just about to eat.

“Uwaaaaaaaaa! The chocolate Mr. Gohda learned how to make while training in Belgium exploded in my mouth!”

“Impossible! It’s the royal family secret recipe…did I make a mistake somewhere? Am I still so unskilled?! I-I’m going back to Belgium for training!”

“Forget about going back to Belgium, just make me another baaatch!! Uwaaaaaaa!”

But Gohda had already left to seek the mystery of Belgium chocolate.

Third Target: The pancakes Ange had made for her tea party with Mammon and Sakutaro.

“Lady Ange, 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 the tea.But because this is something I can’t acquire through money, I might burn some of them. And now we’re surrounded by the burning stench.

“N-no, even if you burn pancakes to charcoal, they shouldn’t explode. Don’t tell me…”

“…U-uryu. I’m okay…somehow. Are you okay, Ange? What about you, Mammon?!”

“Sakutaro wasn’t targeted. …does that mean someone from the alliance is attacking us?!”

Fourth Target: Rudolf, currently shopping with Belphegor.

“Ru…Rudolf…are you all right?”

“Heh. So this is the action they took. 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. Belphegor, unused to moves like this, was completely taken in.

“So they were aiming at me? But that sniping, it can’t be…”

“You know, a man that defends a woman can usually 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…don’t regret…taking this in your stead, Master.”

“Heh, even though you’re a stake? Heehee, don’t act so full of yourself. Let me help you to a hospital.”

“Forget about that! Master, I’d rather see you bring down divine wrath upon that cheater, Rudolf! I’ll watch from here, so please! S-see, look! Look what he’s doing with Belphegor!”

“…I’ll take you to the hospital in a moment. I hope they have two beds open. …24 x 365 x 6 7940323580435798438759847598788…”

Sixth Target: The bottle of perfume Satan got from Kanon.

“Ah…but…was that, just now…the Siesta Sisters?! Urk…grk…this must be my punishment for getting caught up in White Day… That’s right, Kanon isn’t any ordinary rival… but he has such good taste, I thought it might be okay… It huuurts. Unacceptable! Pull yourself together! I am furniture in service of Lady Beatrice, one of the Seven Sisters, Satan of Wrath. I-I shouldn’t be upset just because something from him got broken! … …sniff”

Seventh Target: That tea Lucifer got from…aww, who cares, go directly for that obnoxious Battler.

“Nooooo, an Endless Nine Barrier! It’s been deflected!”

“Hii! He deflected again! He isn’t human!”

“We cannot penetrate this anti-magic barrier! Please give us our next target, Lady Beatrice!”

“So you’re the one behind this, Beato! You’ve been destroying everyone’s White Day! I’ve had enough of this!”

“Kihahahahahaha! What’s the point of White Day if I don’t get anything! If I’ve wrecked everything, it’s just what they deserve! Fwahahahaha! Just look at all the White Days I’ve managed to secretly destroy!”

With another wave of her pipe, the Siesta Sisters vanished in a puff of smoke, one after the other.

“…Well, my stupid old man got what was coming to him, but aside from that, you’ve been horrible! You damn demonic witch!”

“Kuheeheeheehee! All I’ve been doing is making up for the slight given to me this White Day! Fear me, worship me! My wrath will continue for seven years, seven months, and seven days! From this day forward, both Valentines Day and White Day will be broken in my name! Ahahahahahahaha! 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 Lucifer——–!!”

“…Quit fucking around. Who the hell would want to do what a lying, selfish witch like you says?!”

“Mm…mm…”

Batter’s response caused Beato’s mood to rapidly change, and she fell silent.

“Valentines 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.”

“Yeah. Not at all. No matter what you do. I’ll even declare it. Hell, I’ll declare it in red.” “I will never ever, from this day forward, get you something for White Day!” Battler asserted.

And though Beato returned his words with a bitter grin, she couldn’t help but bite her lower lip.

“Kuhahahahahahahahahahahha! Fine, I’ll swallow your declaration! Wahahahahah, kyahahahahahahaha!! I hate Valentines Day! I hate White Day! To all you idiots out there, I will never forget this day! I will not allow another White Day to pass! Kuhahahaha! I will erase White Daaaaaaay!!”

“Waaaaaaaaaaah, Masterrrrrr! I-I just wanted something for White Day toooo!”

“Sigh. There, there. Now you’ve gone and done something thoughtless, only to up making a mess of things and become upset with yourself, right? Oh, there there.”

“Pukuku, honestly. This was the natural continuation of last month’s Valentine’s Day story.”

“Now that I think about it, it’s 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 wasn’t it delicious? Wasn’t the aroma suitable for even the Quartier Latin delicious?”

“H-hmm, it was good. I nibbled it all away.”

“Then it couldn’t have been my fault. It must have been yours, 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! And isn’t that exactly what milady wanted to do?”

“It isn’t Lucifer’s fault. She’s furniture that works hard to fulfill your exact commands every day. I’ll be very cross if you misuse her. Yes, really.”

“Oo…ooo…well, well… If it isn’t Ronove’s fault, and it isn’t Lucifer’s fault…then is it Battler’s fault?”

“Oh honestly, this child. 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 Duty-Chocolate as an example, it’s said men and women still enjoy the bittersweetness of it. It needs to be done with grace. Those that give Valentine’s Day chocolate in the hopes of coercing someone to reciprocate on White Day are not elegant.”

“Uu…uuuu…”

Even if she was angry at Ronove and Virgilia, there was nothing she could say in response.
Still, it seemed as though she couldn’t quite bring herself to accept those feelings, so she continued biting her lower lip as hot tears rose to her eyes.

“…Now be honest. You were lonely, weren’t you?”

“Uu…uwaaaaaaaaaaa! I wanted to get something on White Day too! It’s not fair! All the Stakes got what they wanted! It’s just not fair! And Lucifer got tea from Battler, but I didn’t get anything! And now I’ll never get anything, not next year, not ever! It’s so dull! 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 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 need is the desire to make him happy.”

“If I do that…Battler will 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 something sweetly sweet with a cool smile. It’s not difficult to make chocolate from your heart.”

“So…next year, if I make Battler chocolate, he won’t be in a bad mood any more? 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 exists?!”

“The ability to turn back time? Who would have thought madam could use such an impressive, secret spell. No, I guess it’s not so shocking, considering it’s you, madam. Even now, you’re still full of surprises.”

Time Regression. A skill that could shock even the great demon Ronove.
If Beato used this magic, this time she’d definitely be able to make chocolate and give it to Battler…

“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 know that.”

“Then, Beatrice, off you go to the day before Valentine’s Day. This time take it seriously and put your heart into it, all right?”

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…

“Time Regression is quite the tiring art.”

“…Indeed it is. If it was just me, I doubt I’d be able to pull it off.”

“Indeed, even with our small amount of cooperation.”

“Today is the day before Valentine’s Day. Have the calender, newspaper, televisions and all other related items been attended to?”

“Yes, to my knowledge, madam. I’ll leave the rest to you…”

“Stakes, have you been paying attention?”

“Yes, Lady Predecessor!!”

And thus, everything was set a month back to the day before Valentine’s Day.
Only Beato was unaware.

Beato, having been transported to the kitchen, paged through a recipe book.
On many of the pages were tags with the word “easy!” written on them, pointing out chocolate recipes simple enough for even a beginner to make. (Of course, this had been prepared by Ronove)

“…If I’m supposed to take this seriously, I can’t do something “easy”! I’ll show them what I can really do!”

…and so, in her enthusiasm, Beato ignored the tags and chose a complicated recipe that looked good.

“Ronove could certainly make this. And how is it possible that I, Ronove’s master, wouldn’t be able to do the same? I’ll make everyone regret underestimating me, fwahahaha!”

…Honestly. Virgilia, watching through the magical three way mirror, sighed. It seems like she never learned.

Half a day was spent in spectacular violence that would have shocked the culinary world. Chocolate exploded out of pots. Chocolate was sweetly scorched, exploded, and pulverized.
Chocolate grew legs and ran around the kitchen. Chocolate grew wings and took to the air. Thus a butterfly net was soon added to Beato’s “chocolate-making utensils.”
By this time, you couldn’t even call what she was doing “making chocolate.”
However, even though she had failed enough times that the kitchen was coated in chocolate, and the scent of it hung heavy in the air, she never forgot her purpose.

“This chocolate is absolutely stuffed with my feelings, considering how hard I’ve worked to make it! That damn Battler better accept it and give me something amazing on White Day. Kihihihi!”

As she laughed while mixing it in the pan, her mind brought forth the words of her Master.

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking White Day is an excuse to be given something.”
…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.

“Oh man, something smells great. So you’ve decided to push yourself into candy making, huh, Beato? I guess this means Armageddon is approaching.”

“Is that you, Gaap?”

The refrigerator opened, 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 holes.

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? Are you busy?”

“I don’t mind. You chose a good time to be a test subject for my samples.”

“Considering the condition of the kitchen from all your chocolate making, I might have to think that one over…”

Even Gaap was dazed over the state of things.
But even more than that, she didn’t understand 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 for tomorrow, right?”

“…isn’t today White Day?”

“…”

…Beato stopped stirring.

From the way the atmosphere froze, Gaap guessed there was something more to this.
But there was no helping what she had said now.

“I’m sorry. Did I say something wrong? You look busy. I’ll just be going now. See you later.”

Beato didn’t respond.
Gaap opened another warp portal and vanished into it without another word.
All that remained was Beato, frozen like time had stopped.
…Of course. I had my doubts…Because magic that powerful shouldn’t have taken just a snap of Master’s fingers…

“….sniff….”

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…

Deliberately.
Naively.
Thoroughly.

…And I only found out after I’d finally gotten close to tempering the chocolate.
Who cares any more. This is stupid.
This bowl I have in my hands. I’ll get rid of it. Toss it out.
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.
It wasn’t really because of love or anything.
It’s just…this season. The time of year when the cold weather ends, and the air begins to warm……I wanted to be able to feel that too.It wasn’t even really the prospect of getting something…

“…Uuu…sniff…isn’t this…the day before Valentine’s Day?…why is it the 14th of March…?”

It was too late.
All the feelings she’d had towards experiencing the two mysterious days of Valentine’s Day and White Day had already…

The calendar said… It was just a trick of Ronove’s. It might read “February 13th”.
But that was a lie.

“Just like the calendar says, it’s February 13th. If it isn’t, then what is the date, huh?”

“…Battler?”

Why had he come into the Witch’s Kitchen?
But she didn’t even need to ask before he already answered.

“I came to see what that weird, chocolate smell was. I sure got to see something funny. A witch named Beato, working her ass off, making chocolate for tomorrow.”

“…”

“…I wonder who she’s planning on giving it to. Well, sure hope it isn’t me…”

Battler’s acting was terrible.
If he’d been a little bit better, Beato’s wounded heart might have mended slightly.
But that acting only made Beato smile bitterly.
She understood.
Master or Ronove must have spoken to Battler and told him about my laughable circumstances and asked him to help out.This is pathetic… Absolutely pathetic.One of the world’s greatest witches, Beatrice the Golden…acting so absurdly.

“… …uh…”
Battler himself had probable realized how bad his own acting was.
Of course there was no way to continue the deceit with such obvious lies and simplistic acting.

It was time to end the charade. Beato realized she was the only who could end this uncomfortable stretch.
If she smirked wickedly at Battler and began to verbally abuse him, things would go back to the way they were before. In other words, back to rough and tumble scrambling.

Then, once again, for the last time, she 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…sniff…”

I’m the great witch that can master any sort of incredible magic.I’ll show you…how great…my mastery of magic really is…
“Uu…um…”

“…hmm?”

“That’s right. You’ve figured it out! I’m making chocolate for Valentine’s Day tomorrow!”

Even with tears and nose still running, she smiled mysteriously, like a demon was going to drop in.

“You can be sure whoever gets my chocolates 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 100%, 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. I didn’t know you had such a girly side to you.”

Strangely, as the conversation progressed, Battler’s words became more and more natural-sounding.
And it began to feel more and more like it really was February 13th.

“I wonder if the man I give these chocolates to will get me anything on White Day…”

“Yep. I’m sure of it.”

“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.”

“How?”

“All he has to do is use the blue truth. Like this.”

White Day is the on the same day as Valentine’s Day, just a month later. So, tomorrow, when the man accepts your chocolate, he’ll reciprocate a month from the day it’s given.

“Valentines is tomorrow, right?”

“Y…yeah…”

“Then, he’ll give it you a month later. And since 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!”

“Don’t be so pushy! You want me to help, right? …Heh, I guess I can spend some time with you, just for today.”

Tap.

It seems there was a noise from the other side of the kitchen, but all that was there was the fridge.
Was is the sound of the door closing?

“W…what is it? Your face is bright red. Did I do something wrong?”

“I-It’s nothing! Look, it’s boiling, it’s boiling! This is so much trouble. Maybe I should just dip you in chocolate and shove you in the oven!”
The End.