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Chapter 77

It appeeeeared!!!

            I didn’t scream it so someone praise me please. Aah, it’s not a ghost or a magic beast, although it certainly feels like one.

            The figure I encountered while trying to go home was the very common Tuvalu-san. Appearing at such a peaceful place… Is this a horror?

            This person standing in front of the door would usually know the timing to enter, but his surprised face when he noticed me made me realize it really was a coincidence. Tuvalu’s surprised face, how precious. I’m not happy at all though.

            If I could, I’d like to push him aside and flee but, if I did that I would probably be unable to look over my shoulder ever again.

            “How do you do, Tuvalu-sama. Please excuse me.”

            “Good day to you. I’m sorry, I was out doing work… I ended up leaving you alone with Runa-sama.”

            Your smile is scary right now you know. Runa’s expressionless face is much more honest. It’s my first time seeing someone reacts this way to their childhood friend being alone with someone else. Well, surely no one but me would notice, he has a perfect mask afterall.

            “What do you mean, Tuvalu?”

            “I’m concerned about your hospitality. Although a butler is here, you’re not tactful.”

            “… Shut up.”

            The way he deals with me is way too different, I mean Tuvalu, of course. The two childhood friends smiling and talking; if I didn’t know Tuvalu’s true self it would be a charming spectacle.

            But, it’s not something I want to keep watching.

            “Then, I will be-”

            “We should have the snacks from yesterday. You came all this way so please have some. We can’t eat all of it by ourselves.”

            “Aah, come to think of it…”

            “Please, Mariabell-sama. I will prepare some black tea.”

            “… Yes.”

            I hate my disposition that can’t say no. But, the prince did invite me after all; it’s not something I can just reject.

            By no means did I lose to the temptation of sweets. Absolutely not.

            “Help yourself to what you like. We have plenty, so don’t hold back.”

            “Thank you, very much…”

            It was like teatime, with even black tea and a cake stand. The cakes were crammed closely together and varied fro


m shortcake to choux cream. There was even gateau chocolat. The student council has such snacks? The collection almost made me regret declining to join them.

            “Itadakimasu.”

            “Yes, please go ahead.”

            When Tuvalu said that, for some reason I felt like I had been served poison. Although he was giving off such an impression, of course in reality it was normal, delicious cake. Tuvalu obviously wouldn’t do that to food that Runa would eat.

            Taking up their offer, I chose a gateau chocolat, and ate a bite. The perfect level of softness that melts in my mouth combined with my favorite flavor of sweet chocolate is the best. As expected of a tribute for the student council, and the prince.

            “It’s delicious, very.”

            “That’s good… We don’t dislike sweets but we can’t consume this much.”

            There are two people sitting in front of me, but for a while now only Tuvalu has been opening his mouth.

            It’s a characteristic of being Runa’s childhood friend. Runa naturally isn’t much of a talker. In contrast to Tuvalu who if you disregard his interior, you see a nice young man. At least, to everyone besides me, his smile gives off a favorable impression and his tone is calm.  That’s if I didn’t have my personal opinions though.

            “Come to think of it, I heard you found a second attribute holder, or something.”

            “urk….!”

            “By the sudden statement, the black tea in my mouth almost spurt out. In front of the prince, in front of the son of a noble, a young woman doing that is unfavorable.

            I resisted barely enough, but my throat moving in such an odd way made me almost choke. Of course, I resisted that too.

            “I heard that the new attribute holder you discovered is your childhood friend”

            “Eh…. Yeah. Yes.”

            He was speaking pretentiously but, I wonder if Tuvalu has met Keito before. He did say he was in the same class as the prince but maybe Tuvalu and Runa are in different classes?

            I was under the impression that the two were one body and soul but there are three classes so they could be separated.

            “It’s a little impertinent of me but, you should be careful. Although he may be your childhood friend, the difference between the two of you is like the heaven and earth.”

            “What….?”

            Because his expression and tone appeared worried, for a moment I did not understand what he was saying.

            He’s talking about my childhood friend, Keito. I understood that but, what does he mean “be careful”? That’s not vocabulary you’d use for childhood friends like Keito and I.

            “You can’t be sure that he’s not using you. After all, he is just a lowly commoner.”

            “….”

            Tuvalu’s words stirred many things from within me.

            It was to punch him in the head or be completely silent.

            I could feel that the cup in my hand was endangered, so before I dropped it I put it down on the saucer. I couldn’t remember the aftertaste of the black tea that was just in my mouth.

            “Tuvalu, speaking like that is-”

            “A valuable opinion. I have never had that thought before. As expected, the words of someone in the same position as me have credibility.”

            “Tempest-sama…?”

            “… What do you mean?”

            “Oh you know, Prince Runa and Tuvalu-sama are childhood friends too. Finding fault between strangers such as my childhood friend and I—you have experience in the same position so that was your aim, right?”

            “…. I’m using Runa is what you want to say?”

            His face looks dark, I could see he was mad.

            Reasonable, I did just clearly insult their relationship. I intentionally formed the words and I ridiculed them from the bottom of my heart so he wouldn’t misunderstand that.

            That’s why, I think.

            “You really are lacking in imagination.”

            Even though he understood my insult.

            Even though he knew my words were an invitation to get angry.

            Why don’t I have imagination?

            “The anger you feel now from having your feelings towards the Prince taken lightly is the same as mine right now. I’m angry you spoke ill of the relationship between Keito and I, so I wonder why I can’t say the same to you?”

            Just like how I trampled over his wrath, he had also ridiculed something precious to me.

            As far as Tuvalu is concerned, the only trustworthy people around him are Runa and his younger sister. He has nothing else he considers important. Because he is always witnessing gloomy things and is familiar with the corrupted side of a beautiful surface, the world Tuvalu sees is full of preconceived notions.

            Among Tuvalu’s narrow field of view, I don’t know where I stand—nor do I want to—but there is no doubt I’m hated tremendously. I accidentally said I knew his secret after all. He’s surely on guard towards that.

            And, for a topic to hurt me with, Keito is the best one.

            If it’s about me then I can disregard it easily. No matter how many times I’m made a fool by my eye color, it’s fine because I can explain it clearly by saying people have different sense of values.

            But this time, Tuvalu chose to ridicule Keito as a method to attack me.

            I don’t want to imagine what he was trying to do by saying those things but, he was probably trying to plant seeds of suspicion that my childhood friend would betray me. I might be a villain originally, but I don’t remember doing anything that would cause a capture target to focus on me to this degree.

            But in other words, he’s implying Keito is the kind of man who would betray me.

            Tuvalu doesn’t know Keito, he only knows him as an attribute holder, my childhood friend, and a commoner. He’s only thinking of utility. Even if Tuvalu hadn’t consciously mocked Keito, I still wouldn’t forgive his words.

            “Prince Runa, I apologize for making a racket. The sweets were delicious, thank you for the meal.”

            “Ah, yeah…”

            I only smiled at Runa while apologizing and thanking him. I don’t want to see Tuvalu any longer.

            “Well then, please excuse me.”

            I could feel the nerves at the tip of the tip of my fingers stretched out.     

            My posture and stride, don’t you collapse until I open the door and leave.

            Perfectly, I gathered all the beauty of Mariabell. I determined to show not even a bit of weakness. Showing weakness, you think I’ll show even the possibility it exists?

            After leaving the student council room, I walked leisurely for a bit, but I realized my pace was quickening little by little and started running away. I hadn’t decided where I was going but I was sure to go to where Keito was at this rate.

            The me right now is surely making a horrible face.

            A smile wanting to hurt someone, Mariabell herself. I definitely don’t want to show Keito this face if met him.

            I hate him.

            He’s a capture target, he’s scary, I had many thoughts, but those were only a portion of them.

            I, from the bottom of my heart, hate that man.


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