26.2 The True Identity of the Rising Star Writer
“I just did it on a whim, I didn’t mean to put it out into the world. I never thought this would happen…”
A book sat on the table beside a large plate of sweets.
On the cover, a pattern of blood-sucking flowers could be seen. The title was, ‘The Real Prince ~the True Love of Countess Rishana and the Poor Baron Lurio~’.
“Even the title alone sends a shiver down my spine…”
“Ange, please, lend me the book! No, publish it!”
To sum up Angelica’s explanation, it was basically that;
Two and half a month ago, the day of the duel between Riol and Leonardo, Angelica, who couldn’t sleep throughout the entire night, wrote a novel out of excitement.
“I didn’t mean anything bad… it’s just that the bookshelf seemed so empty. I thought I was doing myself a favor.”
After reading the finished product, a thought sprang inside Angelica—
—I want to read it as a book, not just a bundle of papers.
It was a few days later when she disguised herself as a maid and visited a workshop on the outskirts of the royal capital.
By the way, when asked for the reason for her disguise, she said it was a means of concealment. If her noble identity was to be revealed, everyone would know she was a student of Fala Rubia Academy. Then, the people who read the story during the bookbinding process might discover that the story wasn’t the product of fantasy, but based on a series of events at the academy.
“The person at the workshop told me if I want to be a novelist, I should’ve gone to a publisher instead of that place. But, I told them that I just wanted to write a book for my own enjoyment.”
Angelica told them that the price didn’t matter and to only make one book.
“When the bookbinding was finished, were you asked if you really didn’t want to sell it, or to show it to anyone else?”
“Yes, that indeed happened.”
After finishing the story, Angelica said she didn’t understand how the content got leaked to the wandering troupe.
“The person in charge of the bookbinding probably did it to earn some pocket change. He probably thought there’d no harm in selling the script to a wandering troupe whom was about to depart from the royal capital.”
“Oh, you may be right…”
After listening to Riol’s explanation, Angelica dropped her shoulders.
“It’s not your fault, Ange. There’s no need for you to be sad. I wonder as to how much you can sell the book for? Maybe you can ask for someone in the workshop to make another?”
Sharina tried to comfort Angelica… and also negotiate.
“Sooner or later, it’ll become widespread. There’s no need for you to worry, Ms. Kirklight. I also want to read the origin of the stage play because there are limits to hearsay. As such, I want to borrow this book for a few days.”
Similarly, Riol looked down on the book and said so.
“Got it! I will burn this thing! I’ll file a complaint against that workshop and find which wandering troupe they sold it to. I will also cancel that stage play!”
“Wait, wait, wait, anything but that, please!”
“Wait, at least give me one day to copy—no, to finish it!”
As Angelica reached for the book, everyone also did the same. The author and the two models for the lead characters, whom were in a complicated sharing of rights, got into a stalemate.
“Wait, if it’s Shari, I understand, but Riol, why you…! It’s based on the story I heard from Shari, as such, it’d be embarrassing for Riol to read it! It’s Shari’s pure, unadulterated, feelings, you know!?”
“No, well, true, but there’s no need to burn it, right!?”
“Then, it’s fine if I am the one who reads it, right, Ange!? Please, don’t burn it!”
As expected of Sharina, although the story was based on her, all that mattered to her was the fact that the hero was modeled after Riol.
“Riol, is stuttering…? How unusual? Also, Shari, please be more concerned about it.”
“No, I just thought it’d be a waste to burn the book you put effort into writing.”
“If you give it to me, I will pay with any number of gold coins!”
After a sloppy discussion.
Riol would borrow the book for a day, then it would be Sharina’s turn—finally, Angelica would burn it right after. Such was the compromise.
“Riol-kun, there’s something I’d like to talk about, only the two of us.”
Angelica’s two friends were about to leave their seats. But as they headed for the door of the room, Angelica stopped one of them.
“Huh? But why?”
“Shari, you can get on the carriage first. It’s okay, I won’t talk about anything weird.”
Her childhood friend immediately showed an anxious expression. Sharina was very easy to understand.
“Don’t worry, I promise you, it won’t be anything strange.”
“I, I understand, see you tomorrow, Ange. Then, Riol, I’ll be waiting in the carriage.”
Sharia left the room with jerky movements, as if someone were pulling her hair.
“Riol-kun, I will be straightforward with you.”
The door was closed, leaving Angelica and Riol inside the room.
“…You haven’t said anything to Shari, yet?”
Angelica was wise enough to not say it clearly.
No answer, …which meant…
That silence was an affirmation.
“It has been months since then, Riol-kun…”
“B, but at the very least, three months haven’t passed yet!”
He still couldn’t say it. It had been a while since the duel—there were no longer any hindrances. That pitiful boy couldn’t even muster a single word of love for the girl he loved.
“You told me that you’ll absolutely do it after the summer break! It’s already been a week since said break ended!”
Angelica thought it was strange. If he had confessed his feelings, surely, her best friend wouldn’t have kept silent about it.
However, instead of anything, after the summer vacation, Sharina only reported to Angelica, “Listen, Ange! It seems that Riol has developed a new amulet during summer break! It can absorb magical power from plants and other non-human objects!” because it was long, Angelica cut it in the middle.
“You already confessed once! What are you scared of!?”
“As I’ve said, I can’t say it under normal circumstance… I can’t do it unless I’m really excited!”
Riol Glen unknowingly tighten his grasp on the book he borrowed. Spouting an excuse, his voice was quivering.
Where did that brave figure, who had turned over all adversities and predicaments, go?
“…So, you thought you’d read that book and raise your tension?”
Another affirmative silence.
“Well… I’ll be happy if that book could prove useful…”
Recalling the time when she wrote it, Angelica looked at the book held by the boy with a subtle feeling.
***T/N: Reading that Riol is actively trying to confess to Sharina killed me. D’awwwwwwwwwwww
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