14. What is Love?
—42 days remaining.
On a cloudy morning…
“Lelouche! I believe you were able to meet Baron Aljerk safely! So, do you have any other worries?”
“I’m doing well. Thank you for introducing me to the baron. Thanks to you, my father made a new friend, so I’m not worried anymore.”
—41 days remaining.
Then on a rainy morning…
“Lelouche! Today, there’s no need to hesitate! Just say what you want!”
“I’m doing well. I have no other worries today. Even if there were, I won’t admit to them in public. I still have modesty, after all.”
—40 days remaining.
Once more on a sunny morning.
“Lelouche, come here! Let’s talk about your worries! I’ve reserved the entire cafeteria for you!”
“I’m doing well. Unfortunately, home room will begin in five minutes, so let’s talk on another opportunity.”
—39 days remaining.
Even on a slightly chilly morning.
“Lelouche! Today, your homeroom teacher is off! You’ve studied enough, so let’s go to the cafeteria!”
“I’m doing well. However, I’ll have to apologize. I’ve been feeling morose lately due to always failing to respond to Your Highness’ invitations, therefore, I’ll have to excuse myself…”
—38 days remaining.
Again, on a morning with a strong breeze—
“—Good morning, Lelouche! This is such a great morning! Hence why—”
“—Oh, if it isn’t Your Highness. I’m doing well. That’s right, the weather is very nice today. It’s a day where I can aim for more. For some reason, my homeroom teacher has been forced to use his paid leave every day this week. I feel a bit lonely, so I’d like to resolve this feeling through self-studying, excuse me…”
—37 days remaining.
Finally, a morning where I could go to the academy without being called out to by weirdo arrived.
It was rude to refer to him as a weirdo, for he was the first prince, Sazanjill, of the Lapisenta Kingdom.
Regardless, being ambushed by your unfaithful partner at the academy’s gate every morning was disconcerting.
Somehow, his habit had become an academy custom. Day by day, he attracted even more attention from the students. Behind the scenes, it seemed that bets were being made over whether or not I’d turn down His Highness’ concerns. It was commonly referred to as ‘Today’s Pick-up Line from His Highness.’ Well, even if it was called gambling, the rewards were a glass of juice at best. Besides, it wasn’t very likely anyone would ever win that bet in the first place, so I pretended to not notice.
By the way, more and more people seemed to be taking part in the betting. Other than that, I didn’t know much because I believed His Highness should be the one to deal with it.
…So, how many people could’ve expected that day’s development?
“Lelouche! I’ll have you talk to me today!”
…He rushed into my class. I wasn’t the only one who expected that.
As I thought, he had resorted to it.
I had expected him to arrive along with my homeroom teacher.
While listening to him, I answered while continuing to face forward.
“Your Highness Sazanjill, I’m doing well today. But right now, I’m in class? And I believe you should be as well? Shouldn’t His Highness be taking exam about world history at this time?”
“I’ve already answered all the questions! The teacher was surprised, but can’t say anything about it because all my answers were correct!”
…Even though it has only been three minutes since class has started?
What excellent academic ability, one truly suitable for the next king—but wasn’t it also a waste of talent?
I replied bluntly while facing forward.
“But as you can see, I’m in class. I’m sorry, but let’s discuss this at some other time.”
“But you don’t have time in the morning.”
“Because I’m on my way to school.”
“You also don’t have time during lunch break.”
“That is a precious time when His Highness Zafield teaches me swordsmanship.”
“—or even after school!”
“I have study sessions with Lumiere.”
“Then, how about our next day off?! I’ll pick you up at the Elcage Family residence!”
“I’ll be work in the fields from early morning. After eating my mother’s specially made breakfast, I intend to practice swordsmanship. After having lunch, I’ll be going into town with my father to look at some seeds. I’m also planning to go to the house of Baron Alban to speak with Ms. Lumiere, and then go home again to enjoy my mother’s exquisite dinner. I don’t have time to see Your Highness.”
While I was talking, I heard a voice from the corridor.
Why, if it wasn’t Lumiere.
Did she leave her class to take a peek?
The ‘voice’ I heard wasn’t a scream, either, but an utterly bizarre noise.
…Even though she’s a noble lady.
Alright, I’d point it out to her later.
Loud footsteps were approaching. When he finally came to my seat, His Highness Sazanjill struck my desk.
I still spoke while facing forward.
“Your Highness, that scared me. Why did you make such a loud noise from so close up?”
“You don’t look scared at all?”
“That’s not the case. I’m crying in fear on the inside?”
“Then, why don’t you show it on your face?”
“Because I’ve been educated as a lady, thus I won’t be unnecessarily emotional.”
“Listen to what I say!”
“I’ll return those words as they are.”
“Just come with me, already!”
His Highness, who had run out of patience, strongly pulled my arm. His Highness Sazanjill, who was said to be weaker than his younger brother, was still a man in the end. Even if I had some training, I couldn’t shake him off due to inherently being weaker.
I wondered if it was time for me to get angry.
However, as I began to exhale—
“—My brother, how unsightly of you.”
His Highness Zafield, who was stronger than him, separated us. Naturally, His Highness Sazanjill glared at His Highness Zafield.
“It’s none of your business! Don’t get in the way!”
“But it is, for you are obstructing our lesson.”
“I don’t recall having a younger brother this enthusiastic about studying.”
“Hmm, then frankly, as an older brother, should you be exposing your younger sibling to such an abomination? Couldn’t you at least be a little smarter in persuading your fiancée?”
“That’s because Lelouche is—!”
“To blame her—is that the best thing you can do?”
His Highness Zafield coldly said that and turned towards the corridor. Lumiere was trying her best to maintain her posture. I had to commend her bravery for remaining there despite having already been half-crying.
Although, again, that was a waste of bravery.
Of course, the dishonesty of His Highness Sazanjill was well-known to everyone. Feeling awkward, His Highness Sazanjill diverted his gaze.
“…Alright, let’s have our discussion on some other opportunity. I’m sorry for disturbing your precious study time.”
With a regretful expression, His Highness Sazanjill went back. His wide back looked unprecedentedly lonely… Before I knew it, guilt had crept up on me. Thus, I looked down.
***T/N: … //look up for ‘Medieval-Self-Restraining-Order’//
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!