5.2 Dance Party Invitation (Part 1)
“For today’s sandwich, I tried adding more onions and pickles!”
“…no wonder the volume increased.”
“Have some fried potatoes, too~”
“With a sandwich this large, you’re still offering more food…??”
So far, lunch break was Sharina’s only opportunity for increasing Riol’s love points. Today as well, Sharina prepared a sandwich with great enthusiasm.
“Our chef sent me a letter of advice—‘meat is a sure way to a man’s stomach, but after that comes potatos.’”
“I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time now, but your chef sure is unique—no, more like, your entire household is peculiar…”
Riol placed his book upon his knees and held the sandwich with both hands. As usual, most of his face was hidden behind his bangs—his green eyes are mysterious and cool…
“Now that I think about it… you’re the Earl’s eldest daughter, and yet you live in a dorm. No carriage, no chef, no maid, either…—only now did I realize your peculiarity.”
“It makes no sense to use a carriage for such a short distance. Besides, when the cafeteria is readily available like this, why would I need a chef?”
“For an aristocrat to possess quite common sense… why do I still find it strange?”
While eating the sandwich carefully, Riol nodded to himself.
“By the way, Riol, it’s about the dance party…”
“What is it?”
The sandwich grew smaller and smaller. After the final bite, Sharina was ready to talk.
“Umm, there’s a high chance that you’ll be swarmed by many pretty girls at the dance party—but please don’t forget me…”
“…Now I’m seriously wondering, how do you really see me? Your eyes must be perceiving a different world altogether…”
“That’s not true—! On the contrary, it’s Riol’s self-esteem that is too low—!”
Riol nonchalantly shrugged his shoulders—his expression was rejecting the possibility of such an outcome.
“Or rather, the one who’ll be invited by many people to dance is more likely going to be you. However, please do your best to turn them down. Stay in a position where I can follow you even after the party starts.”
“Even without you telling me that, I absolutely won’t leave Riol’s side!”
“…that’s good, then.”
Sharina was trying to sneak a peek at the profile behind his bangs—however, he suddenly turned away. Thus, Sharina couldn’t decipher his expression.
“Well… the easiest solution is to not attend the party in the first place.”
“You can try to avoid being invited to the party until next month, then feign sickness during the day. That would be less risky.”
—it was during that moment she remembered the true purpose of the corsage;
“O, oh, right… this corsage is just a way to prevent Leonardo from becoming my escort for the dance party…”
Everyone knew it—it was a violation of manners to request for a woman whom already had an escort.
That was why—if she were to don that corsage, even a prince would find it hard to invite her.
“…Yes, indeed, I don’t need to go to the dance party to begin with… this corsage is just camouflage…”
What Riol had suggested not only rang true, but was also rational—for her to have never thought about it that way… Sharina reached a whole new level of shame.
Attending the same party as Leonardo—what good would it do? Not only that, Riol even went out of his way to attend together with her…
…I’m truly lacking in foresight.
Sharina felt like a summer insect ignorantly flying towards fire.
Her wish to attend the party with Riol went out like a candle.
“…as I’ve said before, you only need to stay in a position where I can follow.”
“Huh?” Sharina meekly lifted her face.
“Well, That kind of trivial reason shouldn’t be stopping you from attending the party …Besides, for such an ugly-looking corsage to be an instrument in camouflage, are you kidding me?”
Stuttering, Riol buried his face in his big book.
The gloominess she felt not too long ago vanished into thin air. Riol’s words returned Sharina’s beaming smile.
“B-but, don’t expect too much, okay—!? For the formal wear, I only have my brothers’ hand-me-downs, after all—! I’m going to be blatant here, he bought it ten years ago—hence, it should be out of fashion by now—! Knowing full well of the consequences, don’t blame me if later you are being made fun of for walking beside me—!”
“The good ol’ retro fashion~! Looking forward to it~!”
“There should be a limit to being ignorant…”
A certain prince who couldn’t read the mood should appear around this time… Simply put, it had already become a common occurrence.
Fortunately, until the afternoon class bell resounded, That never appeared in the backyard.
—Ten days later.
“Everything sure is going well.”
“Too well, it’s freaking me out instead.”
Under the trees in the backyard, Sharina leisurely remarked.
There were three days left until the dance party. During that time, she went to school and spent lunch break together with Riol. There wasn’t a single interruption from Leonardo. It was very peaceful.
“I highly doubt That will attempt anything this late in the game…”
“As expected of a prince. He’s respectful towards manners—as he should be, and doesn’t attempt to disregard it. I’m glad.”
“…I sure hope so. At least he still has an awareness to respect it.”
…It was peaceful. It was eerily peaceful. She didn’t even see a trace of Leonardo in the last ten or so days.
“Maybe he has given up. It’s our win.”
“Who knew that being courted by the kingdom’s prince could be so annoying?”
No one got in the way, thus she could spent every day with Riol—alone. It was supreme bliss—as if she had already ascended to heaven.
“By the way, for today’s lunch, in addition to potatoes and a sandwich, I also made ‘Shaved Ice Juice’! The glaze was made using your favorite tea leaves, Riol—!”
“—Shaved Ice? Won’t it melt?”
“It’s okay! I applied an ice magic circle to the water bottle!”
“Aah, that’s right, isn’t water element your expertise?”
She kept working on hiz lunch every day. Of course, the idea about the ‘Shaved Ice Juice’ also originated from her chef, who said that sweets were as important as meat. Thus, she made it with a matcha flavor.
“Moreover, what’s ‘Shaved Ice Juice’?”
“It’s similar to ice cream. My chef makes it for me whenever it gets hot every year.”
Although he looked a bit skeptical, he still opened the lid and drank using the straw. At first, Riol looked confused, but in the next second, his eyes widened as he chewed with a ‘crunch’.
“…Do you like the flavor?”
Riol gulped the drink down with relish as Sharina watched him, full of joy. Later, she would sent a letter expressing her gratitude home.
“Yay! Say, if you make me your bride, you can drink it anytime you want.”
“Saying that, I could also just recruit your chef.”
“W-what—!? It couldn’t be—?! Even Astraea—!? My personal chef is also my greatest love rival—!?”
“The Clydea Family’s chef has quite a nice name.”
Sharina, whom was about to tear apart the thank-you letter, was told by Riol that he was just joking.
“…That was quite a surprise. Thankfully, it was just a joke. For a moment there, I was ready to pack all my things and leave the academy so I can start aiming to be a chef, instead…”
“Don’t decide on something that important so easily…?”
“I was just joking~”
“Yes, except that it didn’t sound like one.”
The wind blew and a birdsong flowed. A certain someone didn’t interrupt. What a peaceful afternoon.
Sharina was content with her situation—
—not knowing how fragile such a peaceful moment was; that it could easily be destroyed the following morning.
***T/N: –NO!!!!! NOT IF WE RAID THE CASTLE FIRST!!!!!! RAISE YOUR WEAPON, MY FELLOW NEW READERS AND READERS FROM MY OTHER STORY
(yes check it out please) WE MARCH AT DAWN!!!! WE LOCATE THAT JAMAMONO (pun is exactly intended) !!! FOR GLORY FLUFF!!!!
Oh yeah, in case you find it too fluffy, read this harsh story to slap your bubbly feelings away.