12 Years Old – Q of Hearts
“Camille-sama, what will you be wearing to the dance party?”
Aimée suddenly said something incomprehensible to me.
Meaning, that, huh?
“As in, young men and women dancing madly in ecstasy trying to win each other’s hearts?”
“No, Camille-sama! Where on earth did you learn something like that?”
Aimée showed her indignation openly, placing her hands on her hips. Because she was bending backwards, a button on the chest portion of her maid outfit seemed like it was about to snap off and go flying.
How strange, in my beloved otome games and novels in my past life, dance parties were that sort of thing, but…
“And so, what about the dance party?”
“You will be attending, will you not? …Have you heard nothing from Marquis-sama?”
“I haven’t, but… if it’s father, then he’s always engrossed with his work so I think he probably forgot to tell me.”
The one other person who should have heard from father, our butler Pierre, hasn’t contacted me either. Because he’s old, though he won’t admit it himself, he feels a little senile so he’s dodgy.
He’s a good old man who is enthusiastic with his job, but it might be about time that it’d be better for him to retire from the frontlines.
“Hahh, Marquis-sama’s love for his job is troubling, isn’t it? …Even though it’s his daughter’s dance party debut!”
“It’s the same as always… I have learned dancing and manners, so I think it would be fine as long as I ask Achille about the things I don’t know in advance.”
“Hahhh, each and every time I want to take my hat off to Achille-sama… It’d be nice if he one day he married into the marquis family.”
Aimée has a high evaluation of Achille who comes to play on occasion. Not just her, but there are a huge number of his fans among the servants too. You can’t make light of Achille’s ‘surface mode’.
The more he matures, the more polished Achille’s smile becomes, and the less fake it looks too… It’s already reached a level that I can’t see through anymore.
“…No matter what, that would just put Achille in a pitiful position, you know.”
I may be saying this myself, but I can’t call myself a normal noble’s daughter.
I don’t mind since I’m like this because I want to be, but I feel sympathy towards any men who marry into this family. Well, I feel sympathy, but I have no intentions of changing the way I roll though…
If it’s with his specs, Achille can hunt as many good women as he wants. This isn’t bias because I’m a childhood friend; it really seems like that in reality.
To him, it’d be a tragedy to be stuck marrying someone like me.
It’s that guy, but I hope he’ll be happy.
In the game, Achille was a guy who wanted to ruin me, but if it’s now that we’re on good terms, as you’d expect, I don’t think he’d relentlessly drive me to destruction.
Achille seems to have at least that much affection for me, and I’m filled with love for him.
Isn’t my destruction flag getting weaker and weaker?
Having thought that, to me, the Achille right now is a good friend.
“Haahh, I’m beat.”
On a day a few days after the time I heard about the dance party from Aimée, I finished my “Red” work, and came to the castle to report the details.
Because I left for far away to complete my job, it took nearly a week going there and back. And it was night time right now.
“Welcome back, Camille. Good work with the dragon extermination.”
For some reason Achille came out to meet me when I returned to the castle. Certainly I was coming home from a dragon extermination, but…
This time I was left the job of exterminating the dragon that attacked the villages in the frontier one by one, by my “Red” boss. I moved together with a number of other magicians, but the one that found the dragon responsible and finished it off was me.
“Why do you know about it, Achille?”
“It’s under my jurisdiction, so there’s no way I wouldn’t, right? I received the mission complete communication magic too, you know.”
Speaking of which, Achille was working in the public order bureau.
I don’t really get the difficult stuff, but the intellectual jobs of this kingdom sure transfer a lot, huh. Up until just a while ago, he was supposed to be working in the finance bureau, but…
Even though Achille is a little twelve year old, he’s been left a bunch of jobs for proper adults. The monster extermination of a certain region was left to Achille as well, so… tracing things back, it means that I was sent out on the dragon extermination by his instruction, huh.
I don’t really care where the requests come from and just focus on my job though, you know?
…It’s kind of complicated.
My skill in magic has been noticeably going up, and right now I’m at a level where I can take down high class monsters alone.
But I have no skill in bringing jobs and people together, or giving directions, so I can’t be like Achille.
I’m totally fine with that. I like hands on work after all… I’m definitely not jealous of Achille or anything!
“Speaking of which, Camille, you’ll be attending the dance party this time, right?”
“Mmn, I’m attending… You too, Achille?”
“Mmn, an invitation arrived for me too, after all. I plan on going.”
How reassuring. This is much more comforting than having just father and I attending.
It’s a dance party open to princes of foreign countries and whatnot, so both the King Faction and Royal Prince Faction will be attending.
The security is flawless, but if I don’t make sure that I don’t let Royce-sama out of my sight… And I must carefully observe Royce-sama’s dancing form. Royce-sama is growing into a pleasant and kind ikemen.
I’m suddenly filled with enthusiasm.
…And then, leaving aside my delusions of a dancing Royce-sama that I’ve never seen before, I suddenly felt doubt about something.
“Heyy Achille, why are you in the castle at this hour? Overtime?”
Usually he’d have gone home at an earlier hour.
“Today’s a little busy. As for your report, I’ll listen to it. After that, let’s go home together.”
It seems that he plans on seeing me home, but if he does that, Achille will get home even later…
These last few years, I feel that Achille has suddenly gotten gentler.
The amount of times we meet at the castle hasn’t changed, but on days off, he’ll help me with my studies, or accompany my shopping.
…In the past he was a calculating child (damned brat), but he’s growing in a good direction for a person, right?
There was also the exhaustion from work, so on the carriage home I accidentally began to doze off.
I was considering getting on my broom and flying home, but it might have been the right decision to let Achille drop me off in the carriage. A magician falling asleep at the ‘wheel’ and falling off her broom… I can’t laugh about it.
“You can sleep, you know. Once we arrive, I’ll wake you up.”
“Mn… But I’d feel bad, you know. Being escorted home, and even falling asleep…”
“I don’t mind, so it’s fine. You came home from somewhere far away this time, right?”
“Mmn… I saw the ocean, you know. One day I want to go with you, and Royce-sama… too…”
At some point I fell asleep in the rattling and swaying carriage.
I feel like somebody was stroking my hair, but once again my consciousness left me and I stopped being able to think about anything…
In the end, I was fast asleep all the way up until the marquis’s residence.