Extra 12.1 Witness: Kate Fairfield
“Just because she’s a bit cute, she truly thinks she can overthrow the Rose Garden?”
“How ignorant can one be? As if a mere countryside countess could match the royal family!”
“What’s more, ever since that day, she has been holing herself up in the royal palace… how very nice of her. Does she think someone who can’t even fulfil her responsibilities as a student is worthy to be a queen candidate?”
Fala Rubia Academy, the classroom of the 1st grade magicians.
The tightly clenched hands of a girl with dark brown hair and eyes shook from atop of her laps as she heard the hurtful gossip swirling around her.
She whispered the name of the girl whom was the current target of the academy students’ rumors and jealousy.
The girl’s name was Kate Fairfield. She was the third daughter of the Baroness Fairfield and also Sharina Clydea’s first friend at the academy—
“Hey, Kate, don’t you think so, too?”
At the words which were suddenly directed at her, Kate trembled. When she raised her face in a hurry, she discovered her two female classmates, whom were heaping trash talk upon Sharina, were gazing at her, sporting some nasty smiles.
“I, I’m sorry, as of now, I don’t know for certain, but, how unbelievable…”
She didn’t want to badmouth Sharina. Despite so, she also didn’t have the courage to ignore or deny the rumors. Kate just lowered her gaze as she responded with a vague, safe, answer.
“—Precisely. Even though that girl, Sharina, keeps denying it, turns out she has been deceiving us all along! We found it unbelievable, too!”
“For His Highness Leonardo to be deceived by such a girl… I wonder what kind of cowardly trick she used?”
Their malicious had interpreted her form of resistance into something that was very easy and convenient. Cornered yet again into agreeing, Kate’s trembling lips parted.
“You guys seem to be very engrossed in your conversation.”
A dignified voice echoed from behind.
“Ms. Kirklight… did you hear about the latest rumor—”
“—I’ll just be quick, move aside. With you guys there, it’s really troublesome for me to sit. Why don’t all of you cease the bull crap and return to your seats? The class will start soon.”
The red-haired girl in front of the girls surrounding Kate stood firmly. Her fiery red eyes, which bore the same color as her hair, contained anger. She was a first-year student in the same magic department as Kate—Angelica Kirklight, whom was also Sharina Clydea’s childhood friend.
“M-my, we got hooked into the conversation, and without realizing it…”
“…Without realizing it, we lost track of the time! Isn’t that right, Kate?”
Awkwardly lowering their gazes, the two female students tried to mend the situation. Judging from their lack of courage to continue speaking ill of Countess Angelica’s friend head-on, they probably hailed from viscount or baron houses.
Even without the difference in status, Angelica’s gaze, which was usually friendly and cheerful, didn’t bother to hide her disdain. It made her seemed indescribably powerful.
“Did you hear me? I told you to cease all the squabbling and move.”
“W, well then, excuse me…”
“M, me too, see you again, Kate.”
Angelica mercilessly shooed her classmates away. Her face was distorted.
Kate faintly heard one of the girls talking to her when they left, but she was so fixated upon Angelica’s firm back and swaying hair, she forgot to reply.
Lunch break of that day. Unable to withstand the tense atmosphere which enshrouded the academy, Kate left the academy grounds and went to the secluded courtyard.
“Sharina-chan, what are you doing now? I wonder if the people in the castle are being mean to you…”
Sitting on the root of a large tree, she thought about the current predicament of the girl whom had been taken to the royal palace a few days ago.
However, unlike other schoolgirls, she felt neither jealousy nor contempt towards Sharina. She was genuinely concerned for her and felt guilty for being so powerless. She basically felt awful about herself.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Sharina. The eldest daughter of the Count of Clydea. May I ask for your name?”
Looking at the pale pink flowers swaying in the wind, she recalled the day she first met Sharina.
The reason why Kate, who was an introverted baroness, became friends with Sharina the countess was because their seats happened to be close. That was the reason Sharina talked to Kate that day.
“Huh? Honorifics are unnecessary? Alright, thank you, I hope we can speak more to each other.”
Since they first met, Kate always thought of her as a strange girl.
Even though Sharina was an aristocrat, never even once did she trample on those below her, or kiss up to those of higher status.
However, that didn’t mean Sharina didn’t have common sense—she ha, a strong one, in fact.
The strength of that girl, whom always exuded fluffy atmosphere, could frequently be felt.
“No matter how I look at it, every noble looks the same. Same blond hair, same blue eyes… That man in the photos looks so boring, he should just be thrown away…”
She was truly a strange girl. During class, far from showing any interest in the prince of their kingdom whom was the target of all the girls in academy, Sharina even wanted to throw him away!
—…Well, no matter how disinterested you are in someone, you must never throw them away, though.
Sharina was a mysterious girl who appeared to be everywhere but nowhere at the same time.
Despite so, Kate had always liked her, longed for her, and truly thought they could be friends.
“Ms. Kirklight, you’re still saying that?”
“I’ll say it again and again—Shari isn’t that kind of girl.”
The end of lunch break was approaching while Kate was hazily killing time in the courtyard.
Returning to her classroom, Kate dragged her heavy legs. On the way, she came across a scene in which Angelica Kirklight was confronting a noble lady with the same harsh expression as that morning.
“Can’t you see that I’m just concerned about you? After all, you were the closest to Sharina Clydea… your heart must be hurting.”
“Well said, when in truth, you just want to dig further for new gossip.”
The only difference from that morning was the girl who stood in front of Angelica was more or less a count. However, even without the advantage of the difference in status, the red-haired girl’s determination to protect the prestige of her best friend didn’t lose its shine.
“…How pitiful. In truth, you just don’t want to face the truth, right? That your close friend was fooling you all along… but, if you keep running away from reality—”
“—The one being fooled, isn’t it all of you? By a tyrant who thinks that the world revolves solely around himself. From my perspective, someone who just can’t see the sad reality of the so-called ideal prince is much more pitiful.”
In that instant, the surrounding atmosphere froze. Angelica hadn’t mentioned a name, but she was clearly referring to Prince Leonardo.
“A, are you insane?! What do you mean by that?!”
***T/N: This month, American Faux will start translating second arc of Shariol, folks!