Chapter 12. 13 coming soon™ (relatively).
When Lilia’s face showed displeasure at hearing her words, Tina flusteredly corrected herself.
“Uhmm… Sorry for keeping you, Lilia.”
“Very good. I do not mind. Since with this we managed to become friends after all.”
Saying so with a smile, Tina also gave an embarrassed laugh. Having exchanged their greetings, Lilia hurried towards her room. Alisa, who was silent throughout, naturally also followed suit.
“That was splendid, Mistress Lilia.”
‘Thank you’ was Lilia’s reply as she continued to advance. Almost as if she was escaping from that location.
—Sakura. Everything was fine back there right? She won’t think it strange right?
—With all that’s happened up until now, it’s quite strange no matter how you think about it. There should be some suspicion of being fake yeah!
—Stop messing around.
—How cold~. Well, yup. You did well. In fact it was completely contrary to expectations, in a good way. I hadn’t expected you to suddenly become friends.
Lilia’s feet came to a halt. Behind her Alisa also stopped, tilting her head as she waited for Lilia’s next move.
—Ahh, everything’s fine okay. As I said earlier, you did great. You really worked hard!
—Then… Very well…
Lilia herself thought that she was being quite hasty back there. If anything it should have been better if she didn’t declare a friendship right then and there. Especially due to having been treated so badly, Tina certainly should have been harbouring resentment at this point. Thinking about it, Lilia didn’t even know what kind of face she should be making the next time they meet.
—I think that girl was simply happy about it though.
However, in the end she just couldn’t fully believe in Sakura’s words after all.
All of the rooms on the third floor were of the same construction, but they were quite large all the same. Lilia’s room was no exception; while not as large as her room at the Estate, it was still reminiscent of a comfortable life. In the large room all the furniture needed for daily living were prepared, with nary a speck of dust on any of them. It was such a thorough cleaning, one would not think that the place had been left by its owner for over two weeks.
On one side of the room two doors stood out from the wall, leading to the separate bedroom and bathroom.
Lilia proceeded to the middle of the room, sat down on the prepared chair, and sighed deeply.
“Mistress Lilia. I shall go confirm the luggage now.”
“Right. Please do.”
Alisa gave a bow and headed for the bedroom. Lilia’s belongings were delivered and carried in the day before. Therefore Lilia herself had arrived empty-handed.
—Well then, Lilia. What will you do from tomorrow on?
At Sakura’s prompt, Lilia gave it a little thought and answered.
—That’s not something to think too deeply about right. I will go to school.
—Uh huh. Hey escaping from reality is no good. I’m talking about regarding the prince and Tina.
Lilia’s words were cut off by an “Uu”, and she diverted her eyes to the window. Opposite to the door they entered from was a window that provided a good view of the outside scenery. After having looked out for a while,
—Ooi, Liliaaa, come on baack.
Sakura called. With a cramped face, Lilia responded.
—Really… Then, what will you do when you meet the prince?
—I will avoid him as much as I can… I have already resolved to give up on His Majesty, though when I actually see him again, I have no idea how it will turn out.
—Well that’s a pretty wise judgement. Then, what about Tina? What will you do about your ‘friend’? This is certainly unavoidable.
This was something Lilia understood even without being told by Sakura. She definitely couldn’t ignore the matter concerning Tina. Saying that they should become friends, avoiding her immediately after and going back on her words was something she could not do.
It would be fine if it was just Tina. Meeting her, she could talk to her like she just did earlier. The problem was that in doing so, the prince would almost certainly appear as well.
—By the way, I won’t make a peep regarding this stuff you know. You should try doing what you want to do.
—Are you… Trying to test me?
—Well then, I wonder.
Sakura snickered happily. Lilia heaved a heavy sigh and then shook her head as if changing gears.
—Sakura. Let us study.
—Ohh, it sure is rare hearing that coming from Lilia!
While her words were mocking, it seemed Sakura was actually surprised. Other than on that first day, Lilia herself had never suggested studying. It was always Sakura urging her to do so. The simple reason being that Sakura’s lessons were so hard that she ended up feeling it was somewhat tough to go through.
Today however, she felt that it was better to do so. It could be said that this was more of her escaping from reality, but at the very least she wanted to concentrate on something else.
—But, how about we have a different person instruct you for today.
So came this response from Sakura. Lilia’s eyes widened at the unexpected proposal. For Sakura, whose voice no one else could hear, how on earth could she possibly request for anyone else.
—Since Alisa is quite knowledgeable in magic, today let’s learn some things regarding that. Alright, let’s go ask her!
Now that she mentioned it, Lilia also recalled – during her time back at the mansion there wasn’t a sliver of magic in her studies. Even as she learned everything else from Sakura, only the topics of magic and etiquette were not touched upon. On that point, Alisa was knowledgeable on these things Sakura did not know, almost as if she was there to perfectly compensate for what Sakura lacked.
But even so, having to learn from a maid was something she wanted to avoid no matter what. Lilia made a difficult expression as groaned when,
“Mistress Lilia, is something the matter?”
Before she knew it, Alisa was standing before her. In her usual maid outfit, she looked at Lilia with worry filled eyes. Presenting a lightly bitter smile, she shook her head to assure Alisa that it was nothing.
“Alisa. If I am not mistaken, you are knowledgeable in magic yes?”
“Eh? Yes, indeed… Compared to the Madam it would seem like mere child’s play, but I should know enough to the degree of being able to graduate from the academy.”
—What is with this girl, is she actually something amazing?
—Yup. In the first place for the sake of the magically inept Lilia they wanted a girl well versed in magic, which led to her being hired here.
—First I’ve heard about this.
—You should have heard about it. Though you probably just had no intention of paying attention around then.
That being the case, this was probably from before her shut-in period. If that was the case, she certainly paid no heed to anything she held no interest in then.
—About me being poor at magic, there was no such thing though?
—Like you can say that. Even though, always being compared to your mother, you’d be in self loathing at how you couldn’t be as great as her.