First Year First Semester – Q of Hearts – Mansion (Part 5)
Note: Please don’t read it in the little pop-up for the reader. For some reason it doesn’t reflect my later edits (which I often make a lot of after publishing), so please click ‘view original’.
The most pitiful one, was the count’s daughter who remained.
Her face had already gone past pale, and had become white. She did nothing but wholeheartedly gaze in Raiga’s direction.
“Raiga, is this young lady one of yours, I wonder?”
Royce-sama who had noticed the girl’s gaze asked, and Raiga replied curtly.
“I don’t know such a woman.”
“R-, Raiga-sama… She’s one of the students in the Spades class, you know?”
Mei interjected from the side.
“The count’s daughter, Claire Tito is certainly enrolled in our academy, isn’t she.”
Achille supported her words as well. Achille, for you to even remember students from other classes…
“Raiga-sama… I… was…”
Claire began speaking in a feeble voice.
“There’s no worth in listening to somebody like you. Immediately shut that mouth of yours that spews nothing but unpleasantries.”
Raiga shows no mercy even to the noble daughters of the Royal Prince Faction.
Claire began to shed large tears.
“-… This, cockroach womann-!”
Suddenly, squeezing out a voice that seemed to have crawled out from the bottom of the earth, Claire glared at Mei.
Being father and daughter, it seems that they direct their attacks in the same direction. They blamed Mei, who was the weakest one here.
“Just what kind of things did you say to deceive Raiga-sama!? Why would Raiga-sama, with the likes of you-!?”
Up until just now, I thought she was curling herself up, but she suddenly began spouting abuse at Mei.
I felt something wrong with her lack of consistency.
“Well!? Even though you’re a woman who never, ever does anything except hide behind someone else, and gets protected! Why is it you?”
Claire screamed as her hair became violently disheveled.
“I’ll kill you! I’ll exterminate this cockroach woman again and again! Until Raiga-sama opens his eyes!”
While screaming, her face contorted in ugliness due to the pain of trying to crawl out of the thorny vines.
I walked towards the nobles daughter who was mad with rage.
“Hey, Claire, won’t you calm down a bit?”
“What do you want!? This has nothing to do with you, right!?”
“You’re unhappy about the fact that Raiga-sama and Mei-chan are engaged, right? You like Raiga-sama, right?”
“It’s not something that has anything to do with the Tattoo Woman of the King Faction!”
As planned, the brunt of Claire’s attack switched to me.
“Were you rejected by Raiga-sama?”
“Shut up! Shut up!”
“Did you tell him your feelings?”
“As if you could understand my feelings! He couldn’t even remember my face, even my name! Without even being given a chance to speak to him, he always shook me off annoyedly… I couldn’t even get close to him! In those kind of circumstances, there was no way I could confess, right!?”
“But despite that, before you knew it, Mei-chan and Raiga-sama were engaged…”
“That’s right! Even though I’m overwhelmingly more suitable for him! I can’t forgive that cockroach woman! Even though she just happened to be assigned a job close to Raiga-sama! That’s why I spoke to Otousama, you know, and I asked him to use me in his plan…”
“Are you saying that you knew about Count Tito’s conspiracy from the beginning?”
“No, a certain person told me about it. That father was scheming to overthrow the king, and would soon be putting it into action. When I told Otousama about my plan, he said it was a good idea and happily let me! Otousama would gain power, and I would gain Raiga-sama!”
“Did you think I would love you or something? How stupid.”
Ahh, Raiga retorted from the side.
He should also have a slightly better way of wording things.
“I didn’t think something like that! But if you were close, I’d have chances to talk to you, and someday…”
“Hmph, how worthless. Something like that will be impossible all my life.”
Claire’s eyes widened enough that her large pupils seemed like they could spill out.
“Why… Why that woman…? I would be…”
As though her vigour from before was a lie, Claire’s words suddenly became weak. Her eyes were hollow.
“Could it be…”
Having recalled the symptoms for a certain something, I drew even closer to her. It’s not as though I’ve been reading magic books for show.
I discovered on her neck, a bruise probably given by magic.
“How cruel… Who did this sort of thing?”
“What’s wrong, Oneesama?”
From a place far away from me came Mei’s concerned question.
Even being subjected to something so frightening, it looks like she was worried about Claire.
There was a curse on the girl’s neck. Even if I say curse, it’s a kind of magic.
Only, it’s not a normal magic, but one that belongs to a type that acts on the mind.
As one of the types of magic that are generally considered unacceptable for use, these magics are referred to as forbidden arts.
In this country, with the exception of certain occupations, the use of mind affecting magic is forbidden by law.
By certain occupations, I mean those such as the interrogation bureau. They have permission to use confession magic only.
“It’s likely that she, Claire, has a forbidden art cast on her.”
“What did you say!?”
Realising the seriousness of the issue, Mei covered her mouth with her hands.
Royce-sama who was near me asked me a question.
“Camille, you’re certain that’s a forbidden magic? You can tell what magic it is?”
“Yes, Royce-sama. I’ve never used it, but if it’s just knowledge about it… This is a magic that works on the mind, and primarily amplifies hatred. In ancient times, it was a magic used to increase the morale of soldiers, but in modern times, it is forbidden due to its immorality.”
“…Let’s leave aside the matter of why Camille knows about forbidden arts. For there to be a person who readily uses curse magic is a grave situation, isn’t it.”
“…QUITE SO. (monotone)”
I was exposed! I accidentally spilled it out of my mouth!
Books on forbidden arts are strictly managed, and you can only find them in the royal palace and academy in the sections of the archive that are forbidden for reading.
Aahh, even Achille… Don’t look at me with those eyess… I just snuck in because I was a little curious, that’s all!
“Can you undo it, Camille?”
“I can… but, there’s one more forbidden art that even I don’t know about, cast on top of it. I’m not sure it would be a good idea to carelessly undo it without understanding it…”
There might be a bad effect on Claire’s body due to the backlash.
“That would be troubling, huhh. Camille, I’ll give you permission to read the forbidden magic books later, so could you have a scan through them? We’ll be bringing the captured count and his daughter to the castle.”
Hooray! To think I’d be able to openly read the magic books in the forbidden section! It’s a little imprudent though.
In the meanwhile, Claire continued making a hollow expression.