Chapter 22: ‘Villainess’ best friend (2)
The day that became a turning point.
The lunch break was over. Flora was looking for Margaery to go to the next class when she accidentally found her surrounded by other noble girls in the courtyard.
Feeling a tense atmosphere, Flora quickly hid behind a tree. Peeking out, she saw the girls complaining to Margaery with complicated expressions.
“This is strange! Why is Margaery-sama paying attention to that kind of girl?”
Flora immediately realized that “that kind of girl” referred to herself.
The one who was leading the complaint was the Count’s daughter, who had also spoken ill of Flora at the party after the entrance ceremony. She was a student who had a tendency to choose her friends based on their social status and often caused problems.
(I guess I’m still disliked.)
Flora chuckled to herself while still hiding.
She had been glared at by that Count’s daughter many times. She had thought that it was because she was a commoner and didn’t suit her taste, but seeing it being said so clearly still hurt.
Ignoring Flora’s drooping shoulders, the Count’s daughter continued to complain.
“That girl is shameless! She’s getting close to His Highness Serge?! How dare she do that to Margaery-sama…! She’s probably flirting with him and using her charms!”
(What? Me getting close to His Highness Serge? …Ah!)
Flora was taken aback by the Count’s daughter’s words.
Recently, there was an incident where Flora’s handkerchief was taken by the cat owned by the academy’s principal.
For some reason, Margaery suddenly said, “Oh, I just remembered something I have to do!” and disappeared, leaving Flora to chase the cat alone.
Fortunately, their classmate and neighbor, Prince Serge from the same grade, happened to catch the cat.
(Indeed, I thanked His Highness Serge and had a brief chat with him that time. Since then, I’ve been greeting him when we pass each other… but being close to him like that!)
Flora turned pale.
Prince Serge was a wonderful person. He was kind, just like his appearance, and he smiled at Flora without any discrimination, just like he did with Margaery.
However, Flora had no intention of being like that with him. It would be a lie to say that she wasn’t attracted to him at all, but he was someone from a completely different world, and she knew that Margaery was rumored to be Prince Serge’s fiancée candidate.
Even if they were a good match, she had no intention of taking Prince Serge away from Margaery.
She might have given Margaery the wrong impression with her reckless behavior. She might have hurt her feelings.
The fear of being hated by Margaery made Flora feel like she was about to jump out of her skin.
“…I see. Since the villainess Margaery is no longer functioning, another person will take on the role of the villainess.”
Margaery muttered something under her breath. The Count’s daughters didn’t seem to hear her, and they all looked puzzled.
In the midst of it all, Margaery declared loudly.
“Is that okay? Flora-sama is my best friend. From now on, I won’t allow anyone to speak ill of her in front of me!”
“Besides, His Highness and I have no relationship whatsoever. If Flora-sama has become close to His Highness, I would support her with all my might.”
The Count’s daughter’s face turned red as she listened to Margaery’s words. She was about to stomp her feet in anger.
“Why! Why is Margaery-sama like that! Always defending Flora-sama! Taking her side! That girl is not suitable to be by Margaery-sama’s side!”
This might not be the first time that the Count’s daughter has complained to Margaery about Flora.
Thinking about it, Flora suddenly remembered that when she first entered the academy, her textbooks and shoes would go missing, or she would find herself covered in mud without realizing it.
At those times, Margaery would smile and say, “I just remembered something I need to do,” before leaving somewhere.
The next day, as usual, new textbooks and shoes were placed on Flora’s seat.
Margaery might have bought them for her. She had thought so many times, but Margaery always avoided the question and didn’t tell her.
So she wasn’t sure, but maybe Margaery wasn’t just preparing new things for her, but also finding and stopping the culprit who hid or dirtied her shoes every time.
(She never said anything to me about it…!)
Flora’s heart suddenly became warm as she thought about it. Margaery just smiled and said, “I don’t know,” when Flora asked her about it.
Mixed feelings of happiness and joy overwhelmed Flora, and she struggled to hold back tears.
Unaware of this, Margaery had a complicated expression on her face. She seemed to be reconsidering why she was protecting Flora, as the Count’s daughter had asked her.
But suddenly, Margaery let out a smile.
“Well, that’s right. There was another reason, to begin with.”
She wasn’t acting like a perfect lady. From the bottom of her heart, she looked helpless and troubled. With that strange expression, Margaery shrugged her shoulders.
“Surprisingly, I fell in love with that child.”
Under the sun, Margaery answered shyly, her silver hair swaying. Flora would never forget that moment.
Since then, Flora believed in Margaery more than anyone else. Even after falling in love with Serge and sharing her feelings with him, her feelings for Margaery never changed.
So when it came to Margaery, she had more sensitivity and confidence than anyone else.
“I’m going to stop His Majesty!”
At the corridor of Loire Castle, Margaery followed King Julius, leaving Flora behind.
Her expression gave it away. Margaery had something more important than anything else, probably even more important than Flora.
It was difficult to express the emotions that came up at that moment in one word.
It wasn’t exactly happiness, nor was it sadness.
It’s not exactly happiness, nor is it sadness.
I want to congratulate them. I feel lonely. I want to support them.
Perhaps everything is mixed up in a complex way, tangled up so much that it can’t be unraveled.
She consistently thought.
“――Has class ended?”
After a considerable amount of time had passed, Margaery appeared alone and looked at Flora with a puzzled expression. Flora stood up, brushing off her skirt, and smiled as she explained.
“I asked Madam Elsa to reschedule tomorrow’s class. When I told her that Margaery-sama had urgent matters to attend to, she kindly agreed to change it.”
“Oh…Flora-sama, you didn’t have to go through all that trouble just for me.”
“It’s alright. Besides, I have something I want to talk to Margaery-sama about.”
When Flora spoke frankly, Margaery tilted her head. Despite always having a composed face, she was bad at hiding things. Flora secretly thought it was charming.
“Let me ask you directly. Did something happen between His Majesty Julius and you?”
Margaery gasped, and her blue eyes trembled. Although she always had a calm demeanor, she was bad at hiding things. Flora thought it was charming, but kept it to herself.
“Also, is there something troubling you? Maybe something related to His Majesty or even Serge-sama?”
“Why do you say that?!”
Margaery tried to continue, but covered her mouth with her hand. Flora pressed on, looking at her with concern.
“Please let me help you!”
Margaery was surprised and opened her eyes wide. Flora didn’t back down and leaned in further.
“I want to be of help to Margaery-sama. Everything I have now is all thanks to you. I can’t repay you for everything, but I want to do something in return!”
Flora grasped the beautiful hand of her lover, like a white fish.
Looking back, it all started three years ago when she suddenly appeared in front of her and made a suspicious sales pitch.
Flora didn’t have the gift of gab like Margaery. Her vocabulary, quick thinking, and smooth tongue were all inferior to Margaery’s, and she couldn’t come up with any clever lines.
However, she wouldn’t give up on conveying her feelings.
She wrapped her hand around hers, and Flora smiled like the sun.
“Because I love you, Margaery-sama!”