18. Idle Talk: The Monologue of a Former Thieving Cat (2)
…Wait, he’s a prince? Like, an actual prince!?
For me to not even know the face of my own kingdom’s prince… I felt ashamed. I didn’t know I was that stupid…
That was how those days of having such an influential person wait on his people began.
“How could she…?”
“What happened with Ms. Luche?”
“Maybe, she’s his mistress…”
“Considering her rank, even the status of a pet is too high for her.”
…As I thought, it’s too much for me to stay beside the prince, isn’t it!?
Still, whenever I went to the cafeteria during lunch break.
“Lumiere, this way.”
Sazanjill, who waited for me, would raise his hand and beckon towards me.
I’d attempt to make myself appear small as I sat down on the chair Sazanjill had pulled out for me.
“…W, why are you referring to me without an honorific?”
“Do you dislike it?”
“No, I don’t dislike it…”
If one wasn’t close to someone of the opposite sex, honorifics were only to be expected.
Once I told him that, Sazanjill whispered with a serious expression.
“If we were to appear to be friendly to some extent, it’d be more effective as a shield. Besides, I never use honorifics with any of my friends in the first place.”
—I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad when I heard that.
I mustn’t think about it.
I just nodded, “I see.”
His Highness was merely offering me some countermeasures.
“If Lumiere doesn’t mind, I can just directly warn the person behind all this?”
“N, no, you shouldn’t…”
“Even if you refuse to admit it, this is actually an important matter, right? If your father heard about it, he surely wouldn’t like it. Well, now that you’re already using a prince as a shield, it shouldn’t be a problem anymore…”
There were times when I wanted to refuse that kindness. However, I had to be firm.
“But… is your fiancée alright with this?”
Looking down, Sazanjill silently took the stuffed animal out of his pocket.
“I’d like to explain everything to her, but until this is fixed, I won’t have the face to see her.”
…What is that?
Was the doll such an important thing between the two? Was he that concerned about Lelouche?
When I contemplated about what to ask, Sazanjill looked up.
“Therefore, I’d like to fix this as soon as possible. Will you help me?”
It wasn’t like I had the right to refuse. Besides… I had already gone that far, I had to see it until the end with him. Thus, I answered immediately without hesitation.
—Although I soon regretted that immensely.
He was truly clumsy. I thought that the original maker (Ms. Luche) was clumsy, but Sazanjill was even clumsier!
I never thought that it’d take that long! Most of the time we spent fixing the doll in the first half of the year didn’t bear fruit! As long as Sazanjill permitted it (about every three days, for less than an hour), we’d keep going at it. Then, we ended up spending about four months in total?
To merely fix the neck of such a small stuffed animal!!
I thought it was about to be over once he was half-done.
However, he instead was like, “No, I wonder if I can sew even better, now…”
He wasn’t even good at finishing it!
Then, after overcoming such a long struggle…
“Yes…! We did it, Lumiere!”
“Yes, you did it, Sazanjill!”
I didn’t care about honorifics anymore. It didn’t even matter if he was my senior, or the prince.
During that hardship, our bond had developed into something more than just friendship. We were comrades. The two of us clasped our hands and shed tears…
I was sure no one would blame me for having a small crush on him. After all, he did his best. Besides, since Sazanjill had been with me the entire time, I was also spared from the bullying.
But reality was cruel.
“At last, I’ll be able to see Luche!”
As a prince, he was true to his words. He truly refrained from seeing his fiancée during the last few months. His fiancée must had been angry… Of course, I didn’t say such a thing to Sazanjill who was happily hugging the peach stuffed toy, saying, “I can see Luche!”
So, I tried to keep silent.
So, I crushed the letter in my pocket.
However, god was cruel.
“Tomorrow is the start of a new semester! Let’s go see Luche together!”
Indeed, a new semester would start tomorrow, and also a change of heart. Sazanjill’s business with me was over… It was just the right time to stop seeing me. Besides, I was afraid of Ms. Luche, so I shook my head.
“I don’t think I can do that. You should go meet her by yourself, Sazanjill.”
“…Certainly, there may be no reason for Lumiere to see Luche. But, won’t you accompany me for my sake? I’d like to introduce you to her as a friend.”
…Rumors about the duchess having finally been abandoned had swirled around. Since he hadn’t had the chance to clear things up earlier, he was probably asking my cooperation to make up for it.
But—as I clutched the letter I had in my pocket, Sazanjill raised his eyebrows.
“What have you been hiding?”
“I’m sorry, but let me have a look.”
Before I could let out a scream, my hand was pulled—then, it was seen.
“Is this… from Luche?”
The envelope indeed had the same initials as Lelouche. It had been delivered to my house a while ago.
“The new semester will start tomorrow. You think you’re so cute. Know your place.”
Even a fool like me could see what it meant.
Nevertheless, Sazanjill asked.
“Did anything happen while I was away?”
…There hadn’t been any major damage. My notebook had only been torn, and I was cursed on the blackboard. I had also been hit from behind. Compared to the previous time, it didn’t cause much harm. As long as I didn’t dwell on it, it was nothing. I hadn’t seen anyone but Sazanjill during that vacation… However, during the tea party at the salon I attended, someone accidentally spilled juice on me, forcing me to get changed.
Of course, it wasn’t Lelouche. However, the culprit was probably in the same class as her.
But, I kept silent. Sazanjill forcibly pulled my hand.
“Let’s go to explain that this was all a misunderstanding! I honestly don’t believe Lelouche is the kind of person who’d do such a thing. This is a work of someone who wants to tarnish Lelouch’s reputation! I must prove it!”
Ah, how wonderful for her.
I looked up at that desperately serious expression of his, and thought that.
I also wanted someone to be that desperate for my sake. I also wanted to be loved by someone to that extent.
How wonderful. It must be great. How wonderful. It must be great. How wonderful…
Such a yearning, one that’d never come true, turned into feelings that were certainly love.
However, in the new semester, no matter how much Sazanjill approached Lelouche, she always ignored him. I was convinced that it was because he brought me—the thieving cat—along with him. Lelouche was angry.
But did Sazanjill understand that?
“…I’m sorry, but I want to prove that Luche isn’t the culprit. So, will you go out with me tomorrow and forget the tutoring?”
He said that, bowing to me every day. As we went out together, Lelouch became angrier.
Why wouldn’t you listen to him properly?
Sazanjill was that serious for your sake. He did that while thinking about you. Or, were you perhaps the real culprit and didn’t have the courage to face him?
If you wouldn’t listen to him properly—then I will.
If it was me, I would.
Thus, Lelouche’s anger gradually turned into a misunderstanding.
…If that catastrophe were to continue, will Sazanjill think of me?
One day, the news arrived.
Lelouche Elcage fell down the stairs and had been unconscious since.
Why wouldn’t you listen to him properly?
Why wouldn’t YOU explain everything to Lelouche during one of your MANY tutoring sessions with her, instead?
Which part of her is a former thief cat lmao.
“Well, it’s not like I’m actively trying to steal her man away. I did nothing, you see? NOTHING! Not even resolving the misunderstanding by explaining to Lelouche myself during one of our many tutoring sessions! I mean, sure, it might lead to them breaking up. But who can blame me? Once that happen, I’ll be sure to be there for Sazanjill for the slight chance of becoming his new fiancee!”
Ew, this girl, lol.
Before I read her perspective, I thought that the prince is another buffoon who doesn’t know what and what isn’t appropriate to do with someone that isn’t his fiancee and ended up catching feelings for some randos, but that doesn’t seem to be what is happening here. The prince is treating her like a close friend of his. Now, although the prince is still to blame because of his “uhh??” reason to not explain the actual reason to Lelouche and HURTING her, this thief cat is totally THRIVING from this drama.
Like, gurl, Lelouche’s doll and his relationship with her is the actual reason he met you and tried so hard to fix said doll–cause he frickin cherish Lelouche. Because of that, he spent enough time with you to know that you’re bullied, respected your wish of not telling your parents about it, and did what he think is the best for you. But you don’t even have the slightest decency to at least NOT RUIN THE RELATIONSHIP HE’S TRYING SO HARD TO FIGHT FOR?!
All this time, the reason the prince is super insistent on meeting Lelouche is to show her the result of his hard work for the past few months. On the other hand, this bi–ahem, thief cat, is purposefully keeping quiet about the whole thing so she can create an opening for herself. She even tried to mislead Sazanjill into believing that she’s bullied by Lelouche!!! I can’t!!!
Blergh. This girl is just revolting, but I applaud the author for creating such a believable, totally-can-happen, motif.
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