6.1 Dance Party Invitation (Part 2)
—in the morning, two days before the dance party…
As usual, she woke up early in the morning and was ready to go while everyone was still asleep.
However, when she was about to open the door—
—something fell, which caused her to momentarily lose her breath.
“What—? Did something happen—!?”
Sharina rushed through the intersection between the girls’ dorm and the boy’s dorm, towards the boys’ dorm gate.
There, she saw Riol, whom was about to pass through the dorm gate. She desperately called his name, not sparing a moment to adjust her breath.
Riol felt her desperation and approached.
“Just a while ago, when I opened the door, this fell!”
It was the reason Sharina ran all the way there—it was in her hands;
“A corsage of a blue rose and gold leaves…”
As soon as he saw it, Riol’s expression hardened immediately. They probably thought the same thing—that narcissist prince—!!!
“It’s from That?”
“It’s from That.”
““—as I thought…””
Their hearts became one.
“—and here I thought nothing would happen…”
Haa… Riol exhaled, his eyebrows furrowed.
“The corsage is too ominous, and you made sure to wear it on place everyone could see… it’s probably because of that…”
“Eh? You mean, the corsage Riol made for me?”
It wasn’t official, but there also existed a certain custom in Fala Rubia Academy—that was, to implicitly appeal to girl whom already had an escort.
They wouldn’t do it in plain sight, but chose an underhanded, often indirect, method to do it.
Of course, if the girl accepted, it would also be violation of manners.
Suffice to say, even if this one came from a prince, not even for a millisecond had Sharina considered of accepting it.
“Even if he’s an idiot who thinks that the world revolves around him, he should know that there’s no point in inviting you at this point.”
“Riol’s angry voice, especially when it’s aimed towards That—I love it very much.”
“That’s not important right now.”
Between them was a prior engagement. A prior engagement that was being made known to others. Yet, he still made his advances, anyway, even after knowing that she had a partner.
“But, he could excuse himself by saying that he’s an upperclassmen—that he rarely met us, that he “didn’t know” about your prior engagement, thus, ‘it can’t be helped’.”
What That had just done was a violation of manners—however, it would be different if he didn’t know about the prior engagement—that would just be him committing a simple mistake, and not violating any manners.
—that was why.
“T-then—!! I should try explaining it to him, find a chance to speak with him alone…!!”
“That would be unlikely. That will always be surrounded by many people.”
If Sharina could ‘explain’ to Leonardo why she had to turn down his invitation, things would be solved—however, if she were to do it in front of many people, she would be shaming him in front of many. But, if she kept silent, the day would arrive and Leonardo would naturally come to pick her up.
“If you can’t talk to him by the day after tomorrow, explain the situation to me, and return my corsage. Wear his, and wait for him to pick you up. That would be the safest option with That—“
“—I would end up choking him with the corsage, for sure…”
“You don’t care about your appearance, and lack self-control. Not that I hate it.”
If it were a formal party within noble society, things would be a lot more different than this. She would have to attend, regardless of anything.
However, this was only a school event.
They were in school where all students were equal. There should be no problem in refusing it normally. Nevertheless, status was status in the end.
That was why they were thrown into such a troublesome circumstance in the first place…
“…I guess I have no choice but to feign sickness.”
Between taking another man’s hand to the party and not attending due to a fake illness—Sharina chose the latter.
“That would be for the best…” Riol nodded absentmindedly.
“I-I’ll use a high fever as my cover, and say that I’ve been down with it since the day before, then—…”
Pangs of regret and sadness pricked the back of her eyes. Tearful, Sharina squeezed the blue rose corsage so strong, the petals crumbled.
“—then you’ll rest. By the next day, you’ll be better, thus, you can go to the party with no problem.”
Sharina was about to retort, what’s the point in feigning sickness, then?
However, Riol had already run back into the dormitory, while saying “Please wait there.”
“Hey, hey, is it true? Was there a blue rose corsage in front of Shari’s room?”
“Eh, uh, yes, indeed, there was…”
It was the next day after Sharina feigned illness. In fact, her physical condition indeed deteriorated, hence she rested for the day. She even entered her class later than usual.
Angelica beamed and rushed towards her.
“Did you bring it—?! Let me see, let me see—!! I’ve also promised to show it to the other girls—!!”
“I do. Here.”
“Yay—eeh?! It’s all crumpled up, though—!?”
“Because it was on the floor, I accidentally stepped on it.”
To be honest, it was because she crushed it with her own palm—however, she didn’t bother to explain.
“But the prankster sure was pretty elaborate with his trick, wasn’t he? Everyone in the girls’ dormitory received the same corsage. This joke is in bad taste…”
“Yes… what a cruel prank…”
Angelica was impressed by the corsage, even though it was in tatters.
“Were you in the dormitory yesterday? Did you spot anyone suspicious?”
“I’m sorry… Because I was feeling unwell, I slept through the day…”
“No, you don’t need to apologize!”
Yesterday, while Sharina had locked herself within her room due to sickness, there was quite a commotion both outside and inside the girls’ dormitory.
“Why would someone be this mischievous—!? Someone suggested that it was intended for some purpose; that the corsage was just a distraction, however, nothing was stolen. There was no evidence of an intrusion, either.”
Not only that, it only happened in the first year’s dorm, too—out of the four female dormitories.
Once the school was over and the residents returned, there were blue rose corsages outside everyone’s room. When they left in the morning, there were no such things—not even the dormitory manager knew why.
In other words, the deed was done during the day, when the manager wasn’t looking.
“What a tasteless joke—! Maybe the prankster just wanted to be the center of attention—well, it’s certainly going to be the topic of the day.”
“It’s quite funny, though. Causing such a fuss, he must be laughing right now.”
“Exactly. Well, the perpetrator might be closer than you think, so keep a close eye on your vicinity—heck, the person could even be right in front of us, right now.”
“Come on, don’t say something so scary…”
It would be truly difficult for a perfect outsider to break into the school premise, much else the dormitory. The prank was likely done by a student or a staff member.
It also spurred the speculation that the mischief was related to the corsage-giving custom of the academy.
“The rumors say that the perpetrator is likely one of those boys who’re heartbroken due to being rejected by the girls.”
“Ara, well, no matter how hard they try to invite a girl out, in the end, it’s still up to the girl, is it not? In no way is the girl obligated to accept it.”
“Ahaha, Shari sure is harsh~”
Indeed. Sharina would certainly prefer to be invited directly, and with dignity. Unlike a certain someone who used a roundabout way to make sure she couldn’t refuse.
Those rose corsages were originally white. Riol obtained them from his part time job, while Sharina applied the watercolor magic she had learned in beginner art class to them. Then, after taking her absence, placed them in front of everyone’s room.
If you want to hide a tree, hide it in the forest—the same goes for a corsage.
“The corsage is certainly beautiful, but still, it’s no good. The perpetrator is just heartless, he just wanted to cause a ruckus.”
It was truly troublesome. The two of them started their ‘work’ right after Sharina reported the blue corsage to Riol. After two minutes, Riol came out of his dorm carrying white rose corsages. Then, for five minutes straight, Sharina dyed them all blue, while listening to his devised plan. Finally, she returned to the girl’s dormitory.
Within a total of 27 minutes, she was able to finish all the preparations before anyone woke up.
Of course, even though everyone went to the school, there was still the manager. However, time was aplenty.
“It must be tough for you, Shari. Everyone in the girls’ dorm must’ve cause such a scene yesterday evening—I only heard of the news this morning because I went home right away yesterday.”
She hoped the commotion would reach the ear of the Prince, whom was in the 4th grade. However, things might had gotten a bit out of hand; the manager immediately reported to the teachers, and some students overheard—
—in the end, as she had hoped, it reached the boys’ dormitory.
“Uh-huh, everyone was very frustrated…”
Anyway, the corsage that Angelica was holding, which she thought was fake, was actually the one Sharina received in front of her room yesterday.
It became a joke—well, not like Sharina could convince her otherwise, either. Doing so would be pretty useless by that point.
“But, but, how did you initially feel, Sharina? Your feelings must’ve soared, right? Thinking that you were invited by the Prince himself!”
“After seeing that others had also received it, I knew it’s impossible right away. In addition—”
Sharina, while twirling her strawberry blonde hair, said with twinkling eyes—
“—don’t all the other nobleman also have blond hair and blue eyes?”
“Don’t just lump the entire nobility together…?”
Angelica, whose eyes and hair were the same color as a burning fire, answered with a wry smile.
***T/N: Riol is confirmedly a Hello Kitty inside.
Imagine if you’re the one who received that corsage.
…and man, if I was the one who received that blue corsage…