17. Idle Talk: The Monologue of a Former Thieving Cat
‘Idle Talk’ is mainly about recollections from another character’s POV
I, Lumiere Alban, hated studying.
Since my father was an assistant director of an academic institution, it was expected of me to have some intelligence and knowledge. I found reading the history of art that my father specialized in quite refreshing.
“Lumiere is a girl, there’s no need to push yourself so hard.”
“Look, Lumiere is good at sewing. I’m sure you’ll become a wonderful bride.”
Every time I heard something like that, I felt truly sorry for myself.
I didn’t want to be introduced as my father’s, a scholar’s, daughter. Thus, I eventually distanced myself from the social circles. Gradually, I became scared of studying itself.
Nevertheless, through the connections of my father and my peers, I managed to enter into an aristocratic academy. I was told that, “Even if you get married, there’ll be no loss since you have an education.”
No matter how many connections I had, I was still a baroness. I wasn’t a gorgeous noble lady, someone described as dazzling in every rumor. Soon, I started to be bullied, especially because I was the odd one out.
I was in trouble. I didn’t want to go to school anymore. Despite that, there was no way for my father to know.
When everything felt hopeless—I met him.
“Did you drop this?”
During our first meeting, my first impression of that person was that he wasn’t a noble. Because what he had dropped was a stuffed peach rabbit. What was more, it was ugly. He probably received it from his sister, or brother…
…Then, the blond man replied with a smile.
“Oh, thank you…”
W, what’s with this handsome person!?
I had only seen a face that beautiful on paintings and sculptures.
It was unworthy for a prince to hold such a thing… But he was truly dazzling. I rushed to hand over the stuffed doll. However, I accidentally ripped it instead.
The rabbit’s neck tore… It must had been frayed since the beginning. The thread was already thinning. The doll was quite worn out. Even the prince-like man was aware of it.
“Ah… don’t worry, it’s worn… since it’s very old…”
W, why do you look like you’re about to cry!?
That was right! It was an accident! It couldn’t be helped! Even if he wasn’t truly a prince, it was still an aristocratic academy, right?! He should be able to purchase many such things!? Or, was it rare!? Maybe, it was a national treasure-class gem sewn by a famous seamstress who had died…!?
While being unsure of what I was hesitating about, I suddenly said such a thing—
“—D, do you want me to fix it…?”
“I’m good at sewing, so…”
Because I didn’t want to study, I always sewed instead. My mother even cried, “A commoner wouldn’t even do as much as you!”
Then, the prince’s(?) sapphire blue eyes sparkled.
“Please, if you would—no, if you don’t mind, could you teach me how to sew?!”
That was the beginning of my misfortune with him—no, if I said that, Luche would scold me… But I was sure that was my turning point.
Then, the days of teaching him how to sew began. During those days, we’d sit near a flower bed in the corner of the courtyard as he struggled to learn.
“Then, pass the thread through the needle—”
“—This needle is frayed. Is it defective?”
“No, senpai is just clumsy.”
I diagonally cut the end of the thread and handed it over to him once again.
Ugh… it would have been much faster if I were to do it myself… When will he be able to thread a needle?
Perhaps because he was embarrassed over learning something from me, our meetings were always early in the morning. I wasn’t good at getting up early, so I’d very much have preferred after school… But he seemed to be busy, so I was begged to come about 10-20 minutes earlier in the morning. I couldn’t say no when such a pretty person was bowing to me…
…Well, let’s think of them as days where I practice my patience…
However, it had been three days. It had been three days since he started practicing how to thread a needle. Then, we had to take a break the following week due to there being a ball. During that time, he went back to square zero. Thus, we spent two more days of learning how to thread a needle again… in no time at all, we became friends.
Still, for some reason, he was adamant about me not doing anything! I couldn’t even help him thread the needle! It’d be overwhelmingly faster if I remade everything from scratch. If it was something like that stuffed toy, I could make one with my eyes closed during class!
Even if it was a prince’s request, I was fed up with it. So, I gently suggested that I make it instead—
—but he shook his head with a tearful expression.
“I can’t. This is… something that Luche gave me. I want to fix it myself.”
Luche…? I felt like I had heard of that name from somewhere. Who was it again?
Does he have a girlfriend? …Well, that’s only to be expected. After all, he’s this handsome. It would be weird if he didn’t have a lover or two…
When I was a little depressed about the fact, he asked me.
“By the way, you aren’t wearing leather shoes today?”
I couldn’t help but yelp.
When I changed into my athletic shoes during P.E class yesterday, my leather shoes were hidden. I couldn’t find them. I would need some time before I could get a new pair, for it was custom. If I were to explain the situation to my parents, I might be able to quickly obtain a new set, but I refused to tell them about the bullying. As such, I had no choice but to go to the academy with these one.
I laughed like a fool.
“Haha~ I seem to have lost my leather shoes…”
“…Those aren’t something you normally lose, do you?”
“I know, right? How stupid of me!”
My grades were bad. I was bad at studying. It was a fact—I was an idiot, despite being a scholar’s daughter. No wonder I was bullied.
I was about to laugh and shrug it off, but for some reason the prince nodded.
“Did you finally understand how to do it?”
“No, I’ll try to stay by you as much as possible for the time being.”
B, but why?! Why would you do that?!
When I was at a loss, the bell rang. It was about time for a lot of people to leave academy. Hence, we would separate there. But he didn’t get up from the flower bed.
“…Shouldn’t you return to your classroom?”
“I’ll stay with Lumiere until the very last minute. The hostility should be reduced a little.”
“…Did I tell you my name?”
“I usually look into the names of those who help me. I’m sorry for not calling you by your name before.”
Then, he stood up and extended his hand with an utterly dazzling smile.
“My name is Sazanjill Lukino Lapisenta, once again, please take care of me.”
***T/N: So… it’s a mere act??? Did he then fall in love with her along the way??? Oh man, I’m not ready for the pain.
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