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“Before I came here, I overheard several people talking about it. There was talk of His Highness The Prince breaking off his engagement before, but now it seems to be confirmed.”
“S-So it would seem…”
—Lilia, calm down! Yer voice ish trembling!
—You’re the one talking strangely. So what, did this boy actually know who I am?
—I-I don’t think so. No, I don’t think he does. He was probably just bringing up something to talk about, I think.
Lilia peered at Ray’s expression indiscreetly. He was glaring at the textbook at front of him, and then he let out a moan.
“Ray, why…why are you bringing up this Lilianne person all of a sudden?”
“Huh? No real reason. For her to be able to get into a quarrel with the prince, I was simply wondering just what kind of person she was. Come to think of it, you’re also part of the upper-class nobility, aren’t you, Mistress Lilia? Have you met Mistress Lilianne before?”
—Sakura. Which one is it? Has he realised who I am? Or has he not?
—Nn…He probably…hasn’t realised.
—Alright. I’ll trust your judgement, Sakura.
Lilia took a deep breath, and reciprocated Ray’s gaze. Ray’s smile was carefree as always. Seeing that, Lilia couldn’t believe that he was deceiving her.
“I do know of her. However, I haven’t talked with her personally.”
—Yup. That’s not a lie.
“Ah, that makes sense. Just based off the fact that she was quarrelling with His Highness The Prince, she sure seems like quite the self-important person, huh?”
“Y-You could be right there…”
Lilia’s expression stiffened. Knowing nothing about her, it would be easy to see her that way. As Lilia was thinking to herself, perhaps I should think more carefully about the way I conduct myself, Sakura said:
—Umm, Lilia. People who do know you well also think you’re self-important.
—That’s… I’ll take more care from now on…
“I’m sure I’ll have the chance to talk to her eventually.”
Before she could say something tactless or unnecessary, Lilia tried to bring the topic to a close. Whether he realised what she was doing or not, Ray said,
“Oh, really? I’ll look forward to it.”
He said so with a smile. Lilia returned a vague smile of her own, and brought her gaze back to her book.
After that, Lilia’s normal everyday life continued for some time. From the next day onward, Sera no longer followed Lilia around. However, it wasn’t as if she’d stopped coming to class altogether. She simply remained at her own desk quietly.
Of course, when Lilia entered the room, at first Sera tried to start a conversation with her. However, when Lilia ignored her, she gave up and returned to her own seat. After that, every time someone she knew came in, Sera tried to talk to them, too—but nobody wanted to speak with her.
Even so, the fact that Sera didn’t attempt to flee from the classroom was something Lilia could honestly praise her for. Lilia didn’t know whether that was because Sera had reflected on her actions or not, but for the moment, it seemed she wasn’t going to make a move.
By way of a rumour, Lilia had heard that Sera was summoned by the prince after school had ended. The prince likely pushed her relentlessly for answers. Lilia hoped Sera and the prince would both take something away from the incident, but Sakura thought that would be expecting too much.
Incidentally, Tina was quite troubled when she heard about this. However, in front of Lilia, she simply gave her a strained smile and thanked her.
By the weekend, nothing had changed. Sera sat at her own seat, and cast her gaze down in silence.
Sakura’s voice echoed in her head, and Lilia turned her thoughts to that.
—Is it okay to leave those five people aside from Sera alone?
Sakura was referring to the remaining five people who had sent those notes to Tina. From her agents’ investigation, Lilia knew who the culprits were. Yet, Lilia had not laid a hand on any of those five people.
—There’s no need. By making an example of Sera, I don’t think there’s anyone left stupid enough to pester Tina any further. Well, it’ll likely only serve as a temporary measure, though.
—Hmmm…that’s fine, then.
At that moment in their conversation, the teacher, followed by the prince, entered the classroom. Just as usual, the teacher sat at his desk, the prince at his, and class began. And of course, Lilia…
—Today’s lesson isーscience!
In order to listen to Sakura’s lecture, Lilia tuned everything else out.
The morning classes were over, as was lunch, and so Lilia spent the afternoon at the library. After this completely ordinary day came to an end, Lilia didn’t head back to her room, but rather, headed towards the classroom.
Just as class ended, the teacher came out of the classroom. When he saw Lilia, his eyes opened wide.
“Sir, aren’t you being a bit disrespectful?”
“A-ahh…Sorry about that. I didn’t think you’d be coming back… But, Aldis–and I realise I’m being a bit rude–but I don’t want to be told that by someone who doesn’t even pay attention in class.”
“Oh my, so you did realise. My deepest apologies.”
“It’s obvious you have no intention of changing your attitude. Well, while your grades are still good, I won’t say anything more.”
The teacher ended the conversation there, and without saying anything else, disappeared down the hallway. Lilia watched him until he was out of sight, and a slight sense of admiration showed on her face.
—That teacher, he realised, huh. That you weren’t paying any attention to his class.
—I didn’t think that he’d realised…surprisingly, he saw straight through me. I need to be more careful.
If that class was at least a little more meaningful, Lilia started thinking, but comparing it to Sakura’s lectures was perhaps too harsh. Lilia sighed slightly, and then opened the door to the classroom.
The classroom was full of students making idle chatter, but as soon as Lilia stepped in, the room fell quiet. They really didn’t need to be so mindful of me, thought Lilia as she looked from one end of the classroom to the other. Nobody would meet her eyes.
Though she felt that something was off, Lilia started looking for the person she’d come here to see; Sera. And she found her instantly.
Sera was still sat in her own seat. Because she was looking down, Lilia couldn’t see the expression on her face. And surrounding Sera were Kris and her entourage. Lilia could also see her other two followers hanging around the same place. Just by seeing that, Lilia could imagine what these girls were up to.
—Just what is that Idiot Prince doing?
—He’s nowhere around, huh. Well, he’s an unpredictable guy that can disappear at any moment, so I guess it can’t be helped.
—Well, he is still a prince, even if he doesn’t act like it. It’s possible he has been summoned to the castle. More importantly…
When Lilia looked at Kris and everyone standing around her, they all averted their eyes. My, my, Lilia thought as she started walking over to them.
—Lilia. Help her out, okay?
Lilia kept her reply short, and moved to stand in front of Kris and her entourage.
Mr. Teacher is surprisingly perceptive.