4.1 Redhead Angelica
“…uggh—! Shari, where did you go yesterday—!?”
“Good morning, Ange. What’s wrong?”
—it was the next day.
According to the plan, Sharina and Riol went to school early. Due to the spare time, Sharina decided to devote herself to her studies. However, a certain classmate whom just arrived called out to her.
Sharina looked up from her book.
“—you know what, yesterday, Prince Leonardo’s carriage was spotted near the dormitory gate—!! I don’t live in the dorm, so I could only make one round trip. A shame, really…”
A red-haired girl puffed her cheeks, bemoaning how Sharina could do as many round trips while how she, herself, couldn’t.
—Angelica Kirklight. Count Kirklight’s only daughter.
“Aah… even though that was an once-in-a-lifetime chance to be noticed by His Highness Leonardo… All of you who live in the dorm have it good, huh? You can pretend you’ve forgotten something and wander around his carriage as you like…”
Apparently, Angelica had wanted to use Sharina’s—who lived in the dorm—help. Sharina would pretend she had forgotten some things, and Angelica would ‘offer’ her help to pick them it up together. That way, they could pass by his carriage numerous times.
“Speaking of which, Ange, during your pastime, you love to gaze at His Highness’ pictures, don’t you? Just like Rumi. That reminds me, Rumi’s coming to visit me again. She looks forward to seeing you!”
“I’m going! I’ll certain go! But now, let’s get back to His Highness—ooh, I should’ve chose to live in the dorm!”
Sharina and her younger sister, Rumi, had been friends with Angelica since childhood. The three of them used to play together.
“Aren’t you the one who chose to live in the capital, Ange? Since you have a home there, you said that you would go to school from there. I also want to live in the dorm with you!”
“…Well, living in the capital also has its own charms too, you know…”
Angelica sat beside her. She looked truly regretful.
“So, tell me, where were you yesterday? Did you pass by His Highness’ carriage at least once?”
“No, I went to the city right after class yesterday, so I didn’t see the carriage.”
“Eeh—!? What a waste—!! I feel for you, Shari—!!”
“I’m not sad. Yesterday was very dreamlike for me… oh yeah, thanks for telling me about the café. It’s a very nice place.”
Yup, Angelica told me about the café.
That one café had a wide selection of tea—including rare ones. Sharina could still recall how Riol beamed when he saw one of the menu items.
“Did you go to the Café? Could it be …a date—!? With whom—!?”
“Fufu, I wonder if Ange knows him. He’s Riol Glen, the ‘Research of Written Magic’ student. We are of the same year, you know?”
When Sharina recalled yesterday’s date, her cheeks were dyed red instantly.
Angelica, awestruck, blinked.
“Y-you mean… that impoverished, scholarship student, Riol? The one who received the highest score in writing exam and raised the academy’s overall point? That brooding guy… well, he certainly was a hot topic during the entrance exam…”
Angelica asked, looking incredulous;
“Why would you go on a date with that guy? His writing skill is topnotch, sure… but, isn’t that skill practically useless? Moreover, his dad is a poor baron who lives in the countryside, you know! In the COUNTRYSIDE! He isn’t even pleasing to the eye, and I bet he smells, too…”
The glass pen Sharina was holding cracked.
“I won’t allow you to insult Riol anymore than this.”
“I, uhm, uhh, so, sorry… uh, yes, right! It’s based on rumors! It’s because I heard such rumors, that’s why…”
Her childhood friend, who was shocked, lowered her head.
Angelica probably didn’t have any bad intentions in mind, and said so without thinking deeply—
—still doesn’t make it okay, though.
“Riol is my benefactor and also a very nice person. Don’t say mean things without knowing the truth first.”
“…right… I’m sorry…”
Immediately after that, Sharina felt depressed. Where was the previous cheerful atmosphere? Why did she utter whatever was on her mind on spot, without properly considering it?
…I’m such a kid.
“T-t-that’s right, he’s such an amazing guy, isn’t he, Shari!? To be so excel in writing and achieve first place! The countryside’s scenery must’ve been so beautiful and the air crisp! His family is poor? —doesn’t matter, even if you’re rich, there’s always something you can’t buy with money. The face behind that long bangs of his might also be comely!”
This time, Sharina’s pen broke in two.
“Ange, are you saying that you’ve fallen for him—!? Let me say this, if you become my rival, I’ll fight with all my might! I shan’t lose to you!”
“I’m not—?! I’m saying that I’ll never be your rival, so calm down, Shari—!!”
Sharina couldn’t forgive anyone who say bad things about him. …However, she also couldn’t keep calm if someone overly praised him—such was the complexity of a maiden’s heart.
“Riol, in case another girl approaches, you and act bothersome in any way possible. You mustn’t hesitate to come forward to me either.”
“…That’s really unlikely to happen.”
“Y, you needn’t come forward, then! Just let me know! Mere informing!”
“…that’s not what I meant. I mean, it’s really unlikely for any girl to approach me, so there’s nothing to inform you about…”
The afternoon’s lunch break.
Although it was a great lunch time with Riol as usual, Sharina couldn’t shake off her uneasiness about her possible future rival(s).
“Rather than concerning yourself about such an unlikely event, you should be more worried about the situation you’re in right now…”
“Talking is easy… speaking of which, I haven’t encountered That today.”
‘That’ referred to the First Prince of the kingdom, derived between the two of them, who held no respect towards That thing anymore.
“I see. Well then, this is it for today.”
While talking, Riol had already finished the sandwich. He opened his book.
Sharina stood up while thinking how unfortunate it was. Yet, she must leave—
—I mustn’t distract Riol from his book.
“…—where are you going?”
Riol, whom until now was reading, suddenly grabbed her arm.
“Eh? No, I was just about to go back to class… I just don’t want to get in the way of Riol’s reading, you see…”
Even if it was lunch break, it was also study time for Riol.
She shouldn’t disturb him. That was why Sharina always left as soon as Riol finished with his lunch.
“…you’re not in the way.”
“You’re not in the way, not really… besides, I already said it yesterday—stay with me as much as you can.”
Albeit his gaze remained on the page of his book, his intention was conveyed through his arm—which was grasping hers.
“Yes—!!! I’ll stay by your side—!!! Even until the end of my life, I’ll stay by your side—!!!”
“U, until the problem with That is solved—!! Not for a lifetime, oi—!!”
“Then let the problem persist until the remainder of our lives.”
“Do not say something so ominous that casually—!?”
I’m so happy—!!
I’m happy enough to die—!!
I want to spend the rest of my time beside this person—!!
I want this joyous moment to last forever—!!
“If only the time would stop,”—at the time, Sharina was thinking along such lines, which only belonged to a romance novel, when—
“—Fun. As I thought, you’re here, Uniquely Furred Cat.”
***T/N: …UGH!!!! PRINCE JAMAMONO IS HERE AGAIN!!!! SCRAM!!!!!!
yissss Sharina protecc ur boiiiii, and ughh, Angelica, if you turned out to be that stereotypical shoujo girl friend who always push the heroine to be with the most handsome guy in school (yeah, Prince That), you will be kissing the back of my palm soon, hard.