12.1 Dreaming Angelica
“Ange, prepare your heart! Oh right, I shall talk about Riol in detail too—but don’t you dare fall for him.”
“I know, already! I keep saying that you shouldn’t worry about that!”
—after school, as promised.
Sharina’s mind suffered under the heavy weight of indecision, pondering over whether or not she should be honest with her friend. In the end, she decided to tell Ange the truth after a careful decision-making method that was pencil rolling.
She didn’t forget to tell Riol of the circumstance, before heading to the dormitory with Ange.
He suggested the three of them go back together—but…
Even though there would in fact be three people walking together—Sharina couldn’t shake off her uneasiness. She was afraid that by having a direct contact with Riol, her best friend would turn into her arch nemesis.
“But, Ange… sometimes, some things are better left unknown—such is the way of the world…”
“There’s no longer any use in dissuading me! Come on, just tell me already, I’m alright with it!”
Sharina, who saw how bright her best friend’s eyes gleamed, finally decided to speak.
“Listen well, Ange …you see, when Mantis lay their eggs, when the time finally arrives for them to hatch, hundreds of larvae come out all at once.”
“—eeeeeh—!? Gross!! No!! C-could it be, inside those husks that stick to the branches of that tree…—“
“Yes. Hundreds, wiggling, maggots.”
“—nooooo—uh? Wait, what does that have anything to do with His Highness?”
Angelica held her mouth while she was visibly trembling. No matter how strong Angelica’s resolve was, she was still a girl. As such, she couldn’t win against most girls’ natural enemies. She seemed taken aback—however, the shock was still not enough.
“Not only that—!! Cockroaches—even if their heads are cut off—can stay alive for a week!”
“Both its head and its torso, you know. BOTH ITS HEAD AND ITS TORSO!”
“The head and the torso will each move separately. Each will transform into a new creature—they can only be killed through starvation!”
She seemed quite uncomfortable. After all, Ange was already crouching on the floor. Her face was blue. No wonder Sharina had recalled the way she cried hysterically when she heard such trivia from Gabriella.
When they were still children, she dared Gabriella to ‘test their guts’ on a summer night. Thus, Gabriella obliged and told them an ‘especially scary story’. Gabriella told the story with plenty of details and also realistically—in the end, it became gut-wrenching rather than chilling.
“—wait! What are we even talking about! I said, tell me about His Majesty!”
“Don’t you see? I was trying to mentally prepare you before you hear the actual truth.”
“W-what? Why would I even need such preparation?”
The story she was going to hear wasn’t an ol’ classic romance story, but more like a ghastly story that was akin to the repulsiveness of those hairy insects. Angelica tilted her head, not understanding such implications.
On the other hand, Sharina, being Sharina, thought that Angelica’s reactions proved that she still wasn’t ready to receive the truth. As she was, she wouldn’t survive the shattering of her dreams…
How would her friend face the crumpling of her hopes and dreams? How would her friend face That thing she liked after today?
—Pon! An idea appeared.
“History mentioned that they are supposed to symbolize loving, married, couples. But, in fact, the male mandarin duck fools around with other females of his species as his wife takes care of their children…!”
“Eh—!? No, no way, you’re lying—!”
Angelica collapsed, it seemed that this was the most shocking story for her so far. After all, Angelica always told Sharina about her dream of being a bride. Her future aspiration was to become part of the most lovey-dovey relationship that existed.
“I’m sorry, but just so you know, what you’re going to hear is more shocking than that.”
By the way, she knew about the cheating mandarin duck because of a song Gabriella used to lull her to sleep with every night.
~while the female lays egg, the male mandarin duck carries the feather while watching the surroundings to protect the female~
Then, at that time, Gabriella interjected, “I mean, men who’re kind to their wives are usually the ones with most secrets…” with a distant, hollow, eyes—it was such that Sharina began to worry about her maid’s past.
Ten minutes later.
When Sharina finally spilled about the Cookie Thief incident; when she was about to be kidnapped inside his carriage; when he stole her hamburger steak the day after—
—Angelica was bewildered with utter shock, as she should be.
“Hey, wait a minute. During that moment, shouldn’t you be saying ‘geez …how playful that man is~!’ Isn’t it weird that you’re actually angry?”
“What are you talking about, Ange? Thieving, no matter how trivial the stolen property is, is still a crime no matter what! He even used an offensive spell—as such, it’s safe to call the entire incident as ‘robbery’, and him, a ‘thief’.”
“S-stop! You’ll destroy my dream! Th-the fated encounter between the heroine and the Prince…”
Angelica kept muttering as she fell down—‘but, in that book, what was supposed to happen is—but, in this book, what happened is—‘ She listed all the titles of her favorite romance stories. It seemed that she could no longer enjoy them anymore.
“Even so, even though what he did is indeed thieving, in the book, it’s usually not treated like a serious criminal offense… in the book, it’s kind of a promise to meet again, where you then accidentally see him again and yell—‘—aah! You’re the thief from that time!’…”
“Promise? With whom? A thief is a thief no matter what. The only reason he wasn’t sued is because he’s a Prince. In my opinion, the guards should still catch him—“
“—no! Don’t mention the guards!”
Angelica cried while clutching her head. She had never heard of a romance where the male protagonist was caught by a guard. There was also the ‘Phantom Thief’ type of male protagonist—in the end, the fact that they couldn’t get caught remained the same.
What’s the difference between a thief and a Phantom Thief? Or rather, Phantom Thief sounds worse…
“—and even if he stole your Hamburger Sandwich, didn’t he praise its deliciousness? Shouldn’t that make you happy, even if a little?”
“Ange, let me ask you. If a thief stole your purse, look at its inside, and praise the contents, saying ‘wooow, there’s a lot inside!’ would that make you happy?”
“I would want to beat him up.”
Angelica responded with a serious face. A quiet anger could be seen in her eyes.
“…now that you put it that way, every actions that His Highness Leonardo has done—eh? Then, His Highness Leonardo is basically—eh?”
Through the fissure of shattered illusions, broken dreams, and decayed love, rose an epiphany—
“—doesn’t he just love to misunderstand things—!?”
“—plus, he’s also a tyrant who loves to abuse his power.”
Sharina didn’t hesitate to point out the facts.
“Eeh… he can’t… what a shock, so he’s that kind of person…”
“In the first place, I’m confused as to why everyone keeps saying he’s a wonderful prince. What’s so nice about a guy who ditched his fiancé candidate like that? Even if he were to say he did it for me, he didn’t even consider my feelings in the slightest!”
“W-well, at first, there’s the satisfaction that he isn’t actually falling for such a beauty, it gives us hope, you know? But now, when I think about it, indeed, he was mean…”
Love was often said to be blind. Whether they were commoner or a noble, many yearned for the Prince.
Leonardo was a good-looking prince, talented at magic, revered for both his literary and martial skills—on the surface, he was akin to the world’s best painting.
There were many ladies who had longed for him since they were but children—as such, it was rare for someone as levelheaded as Sharina to exist.
“I’m sorry Ange, for breaking your dreams…”
“No, no, it’s fine! It would have been even scarier if I had stayed in my bubble of ignorance and keep loving That kind of person…”
***T/N: WHAT’S WRONG WITH GABRIELLA X’D!?!?!?! Gabriella–Gabe… wait….
LMAO and Sharina went through such lengths to rise her friend’s mental prowess. what a friend we don’t need but deserve…
Now, if Riol has his quick wits and 200 IQ, Sharina has her clearheadedness from all shoujo cliches and shoujo bastard ml.