First Year First Semester – Q of Diamonds (Part 3)
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Why…? Did I do something to make this happen?
I can’t comprehend it in the slightest.
Why is it that I’m doing something like having a picnic with His Highness Royce of the neighbouring nation?
My boots crunch against fallen leaves as I advance.
For something as simple as walking through this forest, something like a guide is unnecessary.
“Not that way, Camille. Over here.”
J of Hearts Achille Jade was guiding Miss Camille. She’s bad with directions to the extreme.
She’s veered off in the wrong direction countless times now. And with full confidence in herself, too.
“Huhu, Achille and Camille sure get along, huh?”
Royce-sama gazed at them, seemingly finding it heartwarming.
Certainly, the two of them do seem to get along. This is the first time I’ve heard Achille use anything other than Keigo.
In the game he gave the feeling of being an “intellectual keigo-using character”. For him to talk in such a manner is completely unexpected.
He was a character whose true self was difficult to read, but he feigned innocence with the game’s heroine as well, didn’t he?
“Your Highness, is this truly all right? To be walking in the forest with so few people.”
As expected, I really was uneasy about moving through the forest with so few people, so I asked him as such.
“It’s fine. Those two are strong, and I’m good at hiding myself.”
His Highness Royce seems to have confidence in his two subordinates, but honestly if I had to say, those two don’t look strong in the slightest.
Miss Camille is a frail noble’s daughter, and Achille is quite slender for a man. They don’t look suited for battle.
If it comes down to it, I have no choice but to fight, do I? I gathered strength into the hand that held my sword.
“You’re strong, aren’t you, Beatrix?”
“You’re the personal knight of the second prince after all, and in Topageria’s swordsmanship tournament you were the champion six times, right?”
Why does the prince of the neighbouring country know about something like that?
Prince Royce sure is well informed, isn’t he…? Or rather, perhaps he’s fond of the swordsmanship tournament.
I musn’t think of this prince as the same as the prince in the game.
We arrived at the lake earlier than predicted.
We departed in the morning, but it still isn’t noon yet. The three members of the Hearts faction have quite the strong legs, it seems.
Using Baka-sama as the basis for predicting the time it would take might have been rude to them.
There’s a large clearing around the lake, so there aren’t any obstacles blocking the view of the sky. The weather today is fine, so the water in the lake is calm.
Camille and Achille spread out a cloth in place of a picnic blanket on a place with flat ground, a little distance from the lake.
It looks like this cloth is of a design unique to the Garnet Nation. With red as the base colour, there’s a three coloured pattern. Honestly, it like a waste to spread it out on the ground.
It seems like lunch was made by Royce-sama’s maids. A Garnet cuisine that comprised a baguette-like bread with various stuffings were inside the lunch boxes. It resembles the sandwich from my old world.
I was the one who brought the drinks. It’s the magic tea that Miss Camille likes.
From the number of foods lined up inside the basket, I chose a baguette with the meat of something similar to a chicken, named a teikeen, mixed in with various herbs, and a chocolate cream baguette with lots of nuts mixed in. Shockingly, this world has normal chocolate. It might be because of somebody else who like us, came from another world.
“How is it, Beatrix? Does Garnet’s cuisine suit your taste?”
Prince Royce was being attentive to me. Even if he didn’t worry, it’d be fine, since this is a taste that I experienced in my old world.
“Yes, it’s very delicious.”
“I see. That’s great.”
“Topageria is a country in the middle of the desert, so the foods have a lot of spices in them. You start to want to eat something different, once in a while.”
“Wow, a nation in the desert sounds interesting too. I know about it, but I’ve never actually gone, so I’m attracted to the idea.”
“This country’s climate is easier to live in, so I like it. In Garnet, there are oceans and mountains, after all.”
“I see! That sure makes me happy.”
Crap, did I give him some weird expectations? His Highness’ sparkling aura increased by 50%.
I’ll enjoy the climate and land of Garnet as much as I please, but I have no plans on permanently living there though.
“By the way, I’ve heard that your dorm room is a room borrowed from Tria’s floor. Since it’s the same anyway, why didn’t you just take your own room in the floor right below?”
Did Baka-sama speak to Prince Royce about the circumstances of my room?
“Well, it is because I am Waka-sama’s knight. His guard as well, you see. Waka-sama is using the entire floor as his own room, so I do have my own room, you know?”
Incidentally, I’m not only his guard, but I also have the duty of keeping a look out so that Baka-sama does the things that he’s supposed to, so I try to stay as close as possible.
At present, you could say that most of my job comprises that aspect. When it comes to Baka-sama, because he’s famous for the stupidity of his actions, he’s considered as a politically harmless stupid prince. Nobody would think of harming him. All this time, at most it was a few villains who tried to hold him for ransom.
“How’s the dessert? You like maingoes, right?”
Why does he know something like that?
I certainly do like the maingo, a rainbow coloured fruit that resembles the mango. But I have no recollection of telling anybody anything like that, so it’s something known only to those quite close to me.
“You like strawbrees and grayps as well, right? And as for flowers, you like deep crimson roses, and on weekends, you go to the rose garden on campus…”
There are plenty of the fruits that taste like strawberries and grapes in the basket. For all of the things that I enjoy to have been prepared… And moreover, why does he know even the flowers that I like…? I don’t think even Baka-sama knows about that.
Could this prince be a stalker?
What a shocking development, even our Baka-sama seems better than that.
No, maybe not. I mean, he’s a man who’ll even drug you if he has the chance. He only deals in substances that don’t harm the body, but as a human, that’s as low as it gets.
No… No matter how much of a stalker he might be, if he unskilfully follows me, I’ll notice his presence but… for me to have noticed no such thing at all, just what kind of method did he use?
While I was at a loss as to what to reply, Miss Camille who was sitting next to me stood up.
Perhaps because she noticed the anxiety on my face, she called out to me.
“C-, Camille… Suddenly standing up like that, are you going somewhere?”
“A stroll. I’m just going to walk a lap around the lake, so I’ll be right back.”
“M-, Me too…”
At this rate, staying here will be awkward, and it seems like I’ll get to find out “the prince’s true nature” even though I don’t want to which is scary, so I stared at Miss Camille while entreating her in my mind.
“Well then, together with Beatrix-…”
“I’ll come with you, Camille. It’d trouble me if you wandered off somewhere weird again, after all… And Beatrix-sama, while I’m gone, could I trouble you to look after His Highness? We won’t take all that long, so it’d be great if you could enjoy the lake after we come back.”
Achille cut off Miss Camille’s offer.
What was that!? You plan on leaving me alone with this prince!?
“Mn, that sounds good.”
Prince Royce answered Achille’s slightly overbearing proposal.
Even though I haven’t said a thing yet… These two are in cahoots aren’t they? Even in the game, they showed their flawless combination plays whenever chance permitted.
“Achille, Camille, you two go on ahead. I’ll be fine.”
“…If you say so, Royce-sama.”
Miss Camille was led by the hand and left. Please, wait a momentt!
However, the screams of my heart didn’t reach her.
While Miss Camille and Achille were gone, I spent my time awkwardly with His Highness Royce.
“Umm, Your highness.”
“Does Your Highness like me?”
I’ll pass on both awkwardness and annoying things. For these sort of things, there’s nothing better than to be straightforward and clear.
After looking bewildered for a moment, Prince Royce answered my question.
“How troubling. Even though I wasn’t planning on confessing like this.”
While giving off the sparkling aura that I mentioned, he smiled bitterly. I feel that there are plenty of schoolgirls who would swoon just seeing him do that.
“That’s right, I’m interested in you, Beatrix. It’s the first time I’ve met a girl like you, after all.”
“That is to say, a girl who wears men’s clothing?”
“That’s right, there’s your appearance as well, but I think strong girls are cool.”
Why? I’m terribly popular amongst young ladies, but in contrast, men do nothing but pretend to respect me while avoiding me. Occasionally, there are even those who hold open hostility to me.
“You sure have strange tastes, don’t you, Your Highness…?”
“Normally, a member of the opposite sex wouldn’t pay a woman like me a glance.”
“That’s great. It saves me the trouble if my love rivals decrease.”
His Highness laughed, unruffled.
“However, Your Highness. I apologise but… I can’t return Your Highness’ feelings.”
I clearly let him know what I thought.
I know much too well that I’m being rude. However, I also think that you should avoid taking a vague attitude.
If you can’t respond to the other person’s feelings, then I don’t think it’s good to let them hold too many expectations.
“I see. Somebody else you like… You don’t have one, right? Would it be okay to hear the reason why you can’t?”
It seems that His Highness Royce even knows about my dating history. Won’t ask, though!
Whilst lost, I decided to speak the reason.
“It isn’t as though I dislike you, Your Highness… It’s simply that I’ve only recently been heartbroken, so I’m not in the mood for new romance.”
Truly, I only just recently discovered that Raiga had a fiancée, so my words aren’t a lie. It would be rude to Prince Royce, so I refrained from saying “I don’t like gentle men”.
“Then it can’t be helped, huh.”
Unexpectedly, His Highness easily backed down. His sad look would make a picture too.
Frankly, it was anti-climactic. Even though he did something so stalkery.
“I’ll give up for now. But since we’ve already gotten to know each other, I’d be happy if we could go out together again… Would that be problematic?”
His Highness is gazing at me with sparkly and teary eyes like that of a pure puppy… It’s a face that our Baka-sama would definitely not be able to make.
I won’t be moved by those eyes of his…
“I-, Isn’t it obvious that there’s no problems with that? If it’s somewhere close-by like today, then let us go out together again.”
By the time I realised, I had already ended up replying as such.
Even if I regret it, it’s already too late…