10.1 The Rose Garden’s Visit
“Do you still remember the scenario we came up with yesterday?”
“Yes, definitely! …His Highness was only worried about a collapsed student. He was trying to bring me to the break room. His Highness didn’t know my name, nor ask for it. Immediately after His Highness had taken his leave, Duchess Rosalind came. She soon followed him back. Hence, the two of them probably didn’t return to the venue because they were spending time together.”
It was the morning after the party.
As usual, Sharina left her dormitory early in the morning and joined Riol. As they walked, they practiced the dialogue they had arranged yesterday in the school building, when no one was around.
“However, you need to be more dramatic, otherwise, it wouldn’t sound convincing.”
“Yes! Then, I shall reenact the despair I felt when that violent man slammed you to the wall with wind magic. I shall immerse myself in the self-loathing I had felt because of my utter inability of doing anything—“
“—you needn’t go to such an extent. Besides, it feels like you’re taking aim on the Prince instead of trying to convince people…”
Yesterday’s happening caused a commotion.
It didn’t even matter that Sharina was at the end of the venue—all the participants knew, already. Soon, it would spread to the rest of the school.
Just like Rosalind, everyone was under the false assumption that ‘the Prince and the Countess were in love with each other.’
“Some of them will definitely try to cause you trouble—be careful.”
“It doesn’t matter! Whatever troubles comes in my way—they would still be a better one than Leonarcissist—!”
“That’s—well, not like I disagree with you.”
Sharina’s evaluation of that Narcist Bastard was already so low, it sank deep under the ground. In the contrary, her evaluation of the girls was so high, it penetrated the cloud.
There was no way for her to forget what he had done.
The supposedly handsome and perfect Prince!! Always gentlemanly and stoic!! Wasn’t interested in most of the girls or even his own fiancé candidate!! There was still a chance for anyone because his fiancé hadn’t been decided, yet!!
She recalled her redhead best friend who encouraged her to dream—
—how many times had she tried to ‘wake up’ by pulling both cheeks, already?
…however, I prefer her to stay as my friend rather than my love rival…
“Just you wait, Riol—!! By this afternoon, the rumor will change to ‘Prince Leonardo and the Countess aren’t in love or anything. Because to her, a certain Baron’s third son with intelligent eyes, jet-black hair, vast knowledge, and kindness like the sea has already become her night and day—after meeting the world’s number 1 handsome, best boy, why would she consider anyone else—!?’ for sure—!!”
“Stick to the original lines—!”
They finally arrived in the entrance of the academy.
Sharina lightly patted her chest for a boost of confidence before heading to the class.
“…His Highness was only worried about a collapsed student. He was just trying to bring me to the break room. His Highness didn’t know my name, nor ask for it. Immediately after His Highness had taken his leave, Duchess Rosalind came. She soon followed him back. Hence, the two of them probably didn’t return to the venue because they were spending time together, or so…”
Inside the classroom, as expected, Sharina was immediately surrounded by several girls who demanded an explanation. She recited the previous dialogue.
The questions were as follow:
“—what happened yesterday!?”
“—His Highness didn’t return to the venue at all, you know!”
“—are you familiar with His Highness? What kind of relationship? …No way!!”
“Eh? Duchess Rosalind?”
“According to rumors, aren’t they on bad terms?”
“Well, he certainly didn’t return to the venue last night…”
“How dare her—!? It doesn’t matter even if she’s a fiancé candidate, she couldn’t just prevent His Highness from attending the freshman’s welcome party—!?”
Because of the dialogue, everyone’s focus shifted to Rosalind almost immediately.
Sharina felt sorry for Rosalind, however, this was certainly better than the rumor of Prince Leonardo and Sharina being in love with each other…
“…we mustn’t ignore this! I’ll let everyone know!”
“Besides, if it’s Rosalind, what can we say? Not like we can compete against her…”
As simple as that, the girls soon dispersed.
“Moreover, I’ve already decided that my heart belong to the world’s coolest, strongest, gentlest, smartest boy—Riol Glen—!”
So, when Sharina arrived to the main topic, no one was there to listen to her.
“Shari! Are you alright!? This class is being crowded by both freshman and the upperclassmen—are the rumors true—?! I heard something happened yesterday—!”
“Oh, Ange. Good morning.”
The out of breath Angelica burst into the classroom. Apparently, she managed to pass the swarm of students—other than that, she wasn’t mistaken.
“They are making a fuss about yesterday’s party—! Do they have no shame? They said a lot of bad things, which is the same as trampling over His Highness’ generosity! What if His Highness heard them and feels hurt—!?”
Unlike the other girls, Angelica didn’t blame Sharina. Angelica was genuinely looking forward to seeing Leonardo at the party.
“I’m alright, Ange.”
She was glad for that and smiled cheerfully to her best friend.
“Are you sure? Have you heard anything from anyone other than them?”
“So far, no one else has come. Even if they are talking bad about me, they aren’t saying it right to my face…”
“Well, who knows about that? As we’re talking right now, they are surely busy saying nasty things regarding you—like those small villains in love novels would do!”
As soon as she explained that, Ange gave Sharina some examples—
—she covered her mouth with a fan, while glaring condescendingly at her—
—“What do we have here?”, “Huuh, isn’t she just a mere countess?”, “No wonder she’s unaware of her own stature!”
…some of the crowds outside, whom were murmuring, became silent as soon as they heard that.
“Thank you, Ange.”
“I was just stating the obvious.”
With the royal family obviously inhabiting the top rank in the aristocratic pyramid, the Clydea Family was located in the middle.
The pyramid got smaller as it went up, so there weren’t many who dared insult Sharina directly.
All of the girls who confronted her earlier were probably ranked above an Earl.
However, the Clydea’s territory was rather close to the countryside. As such, it possessed neither mines nor harbors. Hence, be it people with a rank below her or beyond—as long as they possessed territory with excess natural resources—or were just disgusting rich, they would be able to insult her with basically no consequences at all.
The authority system of the aristocrats was very complicated.
“…what happened, exactly? Give me the details later, you! I promise, I won’t tell a single soul about it!”
Sharina was grateful for her friend, but she laughed unintentionally when she saw Ange’s eyes. Ange’s eyes glimmered, as if about to hear a long-awaited theatrical romance play.
It was because this dreamy, redheaded, best friend of hers didn’t know what kind of severe education and training princesses and princes had to go through from an early age.
“Could this be… a love triangle—?! With that Riol Glen and His Highness—!? But Sharina is tilted towards Riol Glen—!?”
If she were to be honest and told Angelica the truth, the redhead girl’s dream would certainly shatter into pieces—
—Sharina didn’t have the heart for that.
**T/N: Don’t worry, Sharina, because I’m already writing sonet about that ‘World number 1 gentlest, strongest, kindest, coolest Baron’s third son.’ He probably acquired a lot of fangirls too… *got chased by Sharina