48 – Ah! Mu! Gwan! Gye!
Loneliness. The sudden realization of it made me startle. Why am I feeling like this all of a sudden?
I’ve never lifted my head with such a feeling even once. Why now?!
But soon, as I gazed at the empty seat opposite me, my strength drained away again.
No Karl. Ah, right. It was because of this that I felt lonely.
“Originally, this is the exact moment I meet Karl.”
After settling the awkward past between us, Karl and I became ordinary friends again. Well, more accurately, I still haven’t gotten closer to him.
Thanks to that, I could comfortably chat and meet Karl. How was his day? How were the lectures? Did he treat the juniors well? How’s the graduation preparation going? And what are the four of us, whose graduation has been postponed, up to now?
It was a topic that could be shared with others, a very ordinary conversation.
However, even this ordinary story felt special to me. Despite being a seemingly trivial subject, it was more interesting than any other topic, and laughter kept coming involuntarily.
Today, too, there were things I wanted to say to Karl, lining up eagerly.
Whether the four of us with postponed graduation have lost our minds and are developing strange food or if there’s news that even my graduation might be in danger.
“…I’m actually trying not to graduate somehow.”
I’m still contemplating that part. I want to continue my academy life with Karl a little longer, but at the same time, I don’t want to hear foolish remarks from Karl. I absolutely, absolutely don’t want that.
But today, I couldn’t avoid it. Because Karl is not inside the academy right now.
Karl is at the Institute, far away. Among them, he was at the heart of the empire.
It’s an imperial command that even the representative nobles of the family, loyal to the empire, hesitate to receive throughout their lives.
Either they committed a serious mistake, or conversely, it’s a level that would be issued when an incredibly remarkable person appears through ordinary achievements.
And Karl received it. A noble who is not even of the same rank as the representative nobles of the same age as me!
It’s a good thing. It’s really a tremendous thing. I must congratulate Karl when he returns.
I’m curious about what he received the imperial command for, but… that’s for later. Right now, congratulations come first. If Karl says it first, there can’t be better news than that.
I was lost in thoughts about when Karl would come back, but I heard a voice calling me from behind.
Someone turned their head, thinking it might be me, and I couldn’t help but sigh.
“Hello. It’s been a while like this.”
The red-haired woman, Lavrenti Hassa, politely bows her waist in greeting.
A priestly relationship with Karl… But Karl still didn’t quite understand, right?
“Weren’t you here to see your family?”
“I’ve seen them all.”
“Really? Are they all doing well?”
“Yes, thank you.”
Surprising. It’s a bit abrupt. He said he was going to see his family, but he reappeared in just a few days.
Not being an academy student, there’s no reason for him to come here. In that case, surely…
“Did you come to see Karl?”
“You came back to the academy. Right now, it seems like Lav has no business here other than Karl.”
“Haha. Does it look that way?”
Yes, it does. However you look at it. No matter how you look at it, it looks that way, you.
Surely, that woman likes Karl. And Karl is the only one who doesn’t know.
“Well, actually. Today, I came to see Lady Selena.”
“Yes. There’s something I want to ask.”
Something to ask? Not Karl, but me?
“Well, here is a bit awkward. How about going somewhere for tea, Lav? What do you think? I’ll treat.”
“If you’re offering, I’ll gladly accept! Actually, I gave all the money I received this time to my family. If you treat me, I’ll be very grateful!”
I take Lav to a nearby cafe. We sit in a secluded corner, order a simple drink and dessert, take a deep breath, and fix my gaze on her again.
“Now. Tell me what you want to ask me.”
“Oh, yes! Well… actually.”
“What… um, Lady Selena, what kind of relationship do you have with the master?”
“What are you talking about?”
“That’s, you know! So, um, well! Last time, I thought Selena and our teacher were, you know, like lovers… but the teacher said it wasn’t the case. So, I’m asking. What is Selena to the teacher?”
“What… is she?”
From Noble mtl dot com
For a moment, I almost unconsciously replied, ‘Someone who confessed to liking her.’ I had a feeling.
If I were a bit more shameless, it probably would have been a hundred percent true. Sure thing.
But that wasn’t the case. Despite regretting it, I had rejected that confession.
No matter how the situation was or what happened during it, I had ultimately pushed the person away with a knife. That much doesn’t change.
“Just a friend.”
Why does the thought of wanting to bury my head keep getting stronger when I answer ‘friend’?
Foolishly. If only I had thought a bit more back then. Even if I had pushed her away, it would have been better if I had done it more carefully, leaving some room. You fool!
“Just a friend?”
“Yes. Just a friend.”
Still. Yes, still. It could change someday. Someone might question if I have any conscience. If I have any shame, I shouldn’t say that.
I know. I know, but what can I do? It became good too late. Now it’s good.
I don’t wish for the knife to approach again. As much as he moved away, I can approach him.
Then, like I did, if the knife pushes me away, I can laugh and say I was young and foolish. Acknowledge it and walk our separate paths.
…Relieved? Suddenly? What’s there to be relieved about here?
Phew. I’m relieved. Yeah. Truly relieved! Lavrenti let out a sigh of relief.
It seemed unnecessary to bring out the Tangtang I had carefully kept at home for no reason.
“I was really worried that you and Selena might be in a romantic relationship or something similar!”
“That’s… a relief, then.”
“Yes! It’s really fortunate! It’s not any kind of relationship at all!”
Selena’s expression in front noticeably stiffened.
But Lavrenti either didn’t notice or chose to continue speaking.
“Yes, Selena? It’s really nothing, right!?”
Maybe, even though she knows, she might be pretending like this on purpose.
“I’m really relieved. This way, I can stay a bit closer to the teacher.”
“Next to the sword?”
“Yes. Is there any problem? It seemed like you weren’t romantically involved. Selena, who seemed like that, also said there was no relationship at all.”
After a moment of silence, Selena finally opened her mouth.
“Uh, Lav. We’re not in any relationship right now, but… um, could it possibly become something?”
“Ah, I see. Selena is right. It could definitely happen. We could become closer than just a priest and a sister!”
Uh-oh. This woman just interprets things as she pleases!
Just let it pass. Anyway, there’s nothing really important happening here.
What matters is the reaction of the sword. What form he will take, he alone will decide.
“Anyway. I’m glad, Selena.”
Why does he keep saying that he’s glad? I feel like my sanity is slipping away.
As Selena was about to put down the shaking teacup, she lowered her arm.
“Um, but… it’s not like we have any relationship.”
Shake, shake, shake—
An earthquake happened on the smiling lips that had been pretending politeness, and in the cup she was holding, a tidal wave occurred.
Moreover, she had squeezed the teacup so tightly that it made a clinking sound!
“But you seem very close to the teacher. Can you tell me the secret?”
“Yes! Actually, I’ve been separated from the teacher for so long. I’m curious about the secret that even Selena, who has no relationship, could get close to the teacher!”
Selena barely maintained her composure and spoke.
“Why are you asking me that? I want to know.”
“Huh? Isn’t that natural?”
Lavrenti answered with a bright smile.
“Because you have no relationship with the teacher, right?”
“…Hey. Isn’t that Selena over there?”
Wilhelm, who had been deeply engrossed in a serious discussion, spoke up.
Immediately, the other three who had been exchanging opinions turned their heads.
“That’s right, Selena.”
“Yeah, it’s Selena.”
“But who is she meeting?”
Soon, the four of them realized the person with the red hair they had seen recently, the lady who had come looking for a knife.
“Last time, the beautiful lady who came for the knife, right?”
“But why is she meeting Selena instead of Karl?”
They looked at each other and soon realized.
“That makes sense.”
Sometimes, scenes like this were seen in romance novels they read for fun.
Two women fighting over one man! It’s a classic! Unbelievable!
“We’ll have to tell Karl about this later.”
“Yeah. Alexander, do you have any popcorn?”
“It’s quite intriguing. I want to get a closer look.”
“Arthur, if you get caught, Selena will scold you.”
Watching other people’s love lives was always more entertaining than their own.
Especially when it involved chattering women! Where else could you find this much fun?