27.2 The Second Enemy
“It seems that His Highness Roland is the type to make evidence instead of gathering it.”
After listening to Tobias, Riol put his hand under his chin and said so.
“I’m sorry, give me more time to prove your innocence…”
“There’s no need. By the time he ordered the reconnaissance, he had probably intended to turn any report that Tobias brought back as,‘proof that Sharina is indeed a villain’. If we give you more time, it’ll only strengthen his belief—‘for her to be able to conceal her true nature this long, truly a cunning woman’, or just plain, ‘It means that there’s no evidence to back her innocence.’”
“It’s exactly as Riol said—the answer must’ve already been decided in His Highness Roland’s head. You’re not at fault, Tobias.”
As a matter of course, Sharina didn’t feel like blaming Tobias. She already knew the hassle which was a stuck-up person who thought he was absolutely right—no, never assumed he was wrong in the first place.
The white cat, which had basically turned into a fluffy hat, also rubbed its small forehead on Tobias’ head—as if agreeing with Sharina. It was such a heartwarming scene.
“Also, even if His Highness Roland tries to spread the theory that Sharina is a villain, I’m not sure everyone will easily believe him—especially after the case of His Highness Leonardo. The higher-ups are also cautious this time around.”
“Try as he might, if he’s merely repeating the same mistake as That, they’ll both fall to the ground together.”
“A-ah, I see, sometimes Sharina refers to His Highness Leonardo as That.”
“Yes, after all, she loves to run her mouth freely, it’s a mean of protection.”
What resulted from blindly following the crown prince had already been proven by the Ariarose family, from which the fiancée of the former crown prince Leonardo, Rosalind, and also his attendant, Edward, hailed from. The duke family, which was once the second most powerful house after the royal family, had lost its influence. They were also struggling to find a son-in-law for their daughter.
“However, a crown prince is still a crown prince no matter what. There’s no way any potential enemy of the future king will be left alone. It doesn’t matter how long it’ll take, I wish to resolve the misunderstanding.”
“I agree. There’s been no real harm so far, but in the long run, we may encounter problems with His Highness Roland’s backing.”
Although they weren’t too pessimistic, they also couldn’t be too optimistic. To put it simply, such was the current situation.
“…I’m sorry, my Lord has troubled you…”
“No, His Highness Roland hasn’t done anything too direct, yet. Moreover, we’re already prepared of being suspected.”
“Compared to what happened with His Highness Leonardo, this much is nothing. In fact, it’s much better than being the target of his love.”
Tobias bowed again, causing the white cat to fall.
“Ah, the cat!”
Sharina stretched her hand to prevent the cat from falling, however, the cat inadvertently scratched the corner of her eye.
The surprised white cat leaped from Tobias’ head and tried to run away.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you, oh—!”
Concerned about whether or not her sight had been damaged, the two immediately rushed to Sharina who fell on top of the grass.
However, in the next moment.
“Sharina! Watch out!”
The ground glowed blue. By the time she realized it was a water elemental magic circle, the water which sprang up from the circle had already formed several spears.
It was so sudden, she was too surprised to move.
“—! Earth! Pair with Heaven, great ruler, shield…!”
She could hear Tobias’ impatient voice, trying to chant a spell, but she was sure he wouldn’t make it in time.
When Sharina closed her eyes unintentionally—
—she felt the slap of cloth against her body.
The impact of the spears which she had expected didn’t arrive. When she opened her eyes, both the water spears and the magic circle had disappeared.
Instead, a uniform jacket designed by Fala Rubia Academy slid down her shoulder.
A familiar amulet peeked through the inner pocket of the jacket. It was that one amulet of Riol’s which disturbed the magic circles and cancelled the activation of spells.
At that moment, Riol had helped her by throwing the jacket which had that amulet on it.
“Thank you, Riol!”
Hugging his coat, Sharina stood up. She was about to get seriously injured. She didn’t know whose idea of mischief was that—it was plain nasty.
“Cat! You’re safe, too!”
The cat which escaped before had returned before she realized it. However, the cat soon tilted its head suspiciously—it was staring above them.
As Sharina walked, the cat followed and slid between her feet.
“I’ll return this to—Riol!? Watch out! Above you!”
She let her guard down! Even though the culprit hadn’t been identified yet!
Looking away from the cat, she lifted her face and saw the same water magic circle floating in the air, diagonally above Riol.
“The magic circle!”
In a hurry, Sharina tried to throw the jacket containing his amulet back. But, because she was panicking, the jacket instead flew in the wrong direction.
Riol’s surprised voice echoed.
That time, Tobias was quick on the uptake.
The water spears pierced the ground where Riol once was. Out of breath, Sharina rushed to Tobias.
“Thank you, Tobias.”
“It’s all because Sharina noticed it first. The two of you aren’t injured, right?”
It was a close call.
Tobias, who noticed the magic circle due to being notified by Sharina, had picked Riol up and jumped out of the area.
“T, thank you, very much…”
Riol, whom was on the ground, thanked him amidst a daze.
“I’m glad you’re safe, Riol.”
“The same goes with you.”
She returned the jacket to Riol while exhaling in relief.
But they still couldn’t relax, yet. Although the ‘mischief’ had apparently stopped after the two consecutive attacks, the culprit had a clear, offensive, intention.
Tobias unsheathed the sword on his waist and warily scanned the surrounding area.
The culprit was most likely listening to the situation from somewhere—who on earth would do something like that?
“Fuun? It seems that this result will do. Or, should I say, as expected of relying on Tobias?”
Amidst the tense atmosphere.
A person suddenly appeared in a place where no one was supposed to be. It was as if he was standing there from the beginning.
“Your Highness—!? What is the meaning of this—!?”
Sharina’s voice, which was asking for the person’s identity, was drowned by Tobias’ scream.
J, just now, did he say, ‘Your Highness’—!?
“I wanted to gauge the ability of the person who managed to defeat my prodigious older brother, whom is also known as the ‘Young Lion of Elgacia’—it was merely a little test.”
That person wasn’t only referred to as, ‘Your Highness’ by Tobias, but also called Leonardo his older brother—which meant that guy was…
“…As I’ve heard, the power of your amulets seem to be the real thing. Not to mention, he also doesn’t lack judgment, proven by how he immediately rushed to her aid.”
…Roland Louis Ulyssia Elgacia. The second prince of the Kingdom of Elgacia, whom was also the current crown prince.
He wore a number of high-class ornaments, and a brooch in the shape of the royal crest on his chest—he was certainly a prince.
Looking at his appearance again, he certainly resembled Leonardo a little. However, be it his hair, blue eyes, and complexion, it were all paler than Leonardo.
To sum it up, his appearance was that of Leonardo if he were to be diluted with water, and then chilled, hardened, and scraped by about 20%.
“Well, not bad, is all I have to say… but aren’t you a little too subpar?”
Sharina gritted her teeth.
What’s wrong with this guy’s head?!
Such was the overly frank impression of Sharina, which was contained in her heart.
***T/N: With that alone, Prince Roll-over has already topped his older bro, whose first meeting with Sharina ends with thievery–with straight up fohking murder attempt.