“Riol! You’re really awesome! Where do I even begin! First off, your firm, undisturbed, black hair! The way it swayed as you stepped towards the stage—the way it reflected the sunlight and shone fantastically…—”
“—It looks like the sun itself will set before you finish talking.”
“Then I’m willing to talk about this until tomorrow!”
“No, let’s not.”
The matches were settled one after another, and the players of the first group returned to the audience seats. Riol, who finished the match first, also came and sat next to Sharina.
“Where is Tobias? His match shouldn’t started until the afternoon.”
“He went to check on His Highness. Afterwards, he’d be attending His Highness to watch the second match. He feels sorry for not being able to witness the match with us.”
Angelica answered Riol’s question. It was only a while ago when Tobias left them a message and went to the medical office.
“I wonder if it’s alright. Didn’t His Highness Roland say he disliked Tobias?”
“Either Tobias isn’t the type to get bothered by that, or he just didn’t pick up on the sarcasm.”
“Well, there’s that…”
It was a rule for players who had finished their matches to watch the other matches. Because they had to work hard, praise, and support each other—be it those who had lost, or those who hadn’t. Although it was called a magic tournament, it was still part of the school event—it wasn’t just about fighting.
“…Then, while everyone was surprised by the entrance of His Highness, who used a magical instrument, Riol’s calmness, as he looked straight ahead, undeterred—…”
“It should be about time for the matches of the second group, so please stop.”
It seemed that the last match of the first group was settled as Sharina spun endless praises for Riol. After everyone was gone, the players of the second group approached the stages.
“Huh? It seems that His Highness hasn’t returned.”
Angelica, who scanned over the audience seats, murmured.
“Even though he lost, surely, the girls would still cheer for him. Despite so, I hear none of that.”
“Certainly… surely his condition isn’t so serious he can’t get up?”
“Maybe he went to the restroom?”
Sharina was anxious that the moment Roland regained his consciousness, he’d tell on Riol. However, there was no sign of the man, as such, she grew less alert.
Suddenly, a dull, low voice, descended.
“Hyaa! If it isn’t Tobias… you surprised me.”
“Huh? What’s wrong?”
“Why aren’t you with His Highness?”
There was Tobias, an attendant who should be by the side of his defeated lord—nevertheless, no one was beside him.
Tobias was being unusually meek. His gaze wandered as he was at loss for words.
“No matter how many times I call for him, His Highness won’t leave his dorm room…”
After listening to what he had just said, both Sharina and Riol were incredulous.
“Ah…so it has come to that…”
Angelica lowered her gaze, as if convinced of something.
“Even when I tried leaving the room just in case he didn’t want to go with me, he refused to leave.”
To revive just like how a phoenix would rise from the ashes, no matter how many times he was rejected—no matter how inconveniencing it may be—to endlessly delude his own self—
—they honestly thought the current crown prince, Roland, had the same characteristic as the former crown prince, Leonardo.
“Is he really withdrawn? Or is he perhaps feeling sick and just wanted to lie down?”
“The doctor told me that there’s nothing wrong with him. However, when we were about to return to the venue, His Highness suddenly ran back to the dormitory.”
“Afterwards, he refused to say anything?”
Tobias sat beside them and talked while his shoulders sagged. The shock Sharina suffered from the development wasn’t meager.
“W, well, if you were to make such a grand entrance, only to suffer a pathetic defeat like that, anyone wouldn’t dare to come out for a while…”
However, Angelica was convinced.
“He didn’t even dare continue watching the game just because he’s ashamed?”
“For him to refuse to show himself, especially at such a time—eh, somehow, it doesn’t really come off as that shocking?”
The purpose of the magic tournament was for students to fairly compete against each other, to praise each other, and to assess each other’s growth. Winning and losing were secondary in priority. Of course, being defeated was a bitter thing—but aristocrats usually wouldn’t reveal that outright.
In other words, it was simply too childish and embarrassing to withdraw from the venue just because he had lost.
“He probably justified it, as he had never been defeated before. ‘Well, since it’s a first this has ever happened, why don’t I give myself a last-minute break?’”
“That’s right. He is a positive person like that.”
Roland had always been deluding himself to the point that Tobias’s sensible words failed to make a dent on his persona.
What if in reality, he was so overwhelmed, he wanted to put an end to himself using his own two hands?
“No, Shari, you got it wrong…”
Beside Sharina, whom was still skeptical, Angelica shook her head quietly.
“For a power-hungry male lead, that’s the worst way to lose, you know…”
Such was the words of her best friend, who had a distant gaze. It was as if she had realized everything.
“What do you mean?”
“What are you talking about?”
As she thought, she didn’t understand at all. Sharina tilted her head.
***T/N: D-did they just praised Prince Leonarcisshit!? Also, get a grip, Prince Chuunidiot…
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