Chapter 22: White bread and little bird
“What? The bakery owner released a new product that I like while I wasn’t there?! If the entrance ceremony was a little later, I would have been able to eat that new bread too…”
The girl surrounded by white roses is listening to the animals’ voices, changing her expression as she twists and turns. Each time she moves, her red-brown, waving hair that reaches down to her waist shakes.
While peeking at her like that, Prince Finlay whispered to William-sama.
“Hey, is she just pretending to be crazy or is she really crazy…what do you think, Will?”
Prince Finlay’s eyes, sparkling as if he had found something interesting, are looking at her with excitement.
“Finn, that’s not a nice way to say it. There are people among animal lovers who enjoy talking to animals, and I’m sure she’s one of them.”
William-sama smiled as if troubled, indulging the prince.
“But Will, doesn’t it seem very natural for her to talk to animals?”
Hearing those words, William-sama narrowed his eyes and looked at the girl.
“…Certainly, she seems to understand the animals’ words.”
“Right? …Hey, why don’t we try talking to her?”
Prince Finlay made the proposal, unable to suppress his curiosity. Seeing the prince’s excited face, William-sama gave a wry smile.
“If Finn really wants to, I won’t stop him, but I can’t agree. Everyone has a side that they don’t want others to see. Maybe she doesn’t want people to see her talking to animals, and that’s why she avoids attention in a place like this. I don’t feel like talking to her.”
Hearing those words, Prince Finlay considered and eventually nodded with a serious face.
“…You’re right, that makes sense. It’s a shame, but we’ll stop talking to her. I don’t have a hobby of embarrassing people.”
The prince said this and stood up.
“We’ve enjoyed the white roses enough, shouldn’t we go to a different place now? This school has many other interesting places.”
William-sama, who had also stood up, smiled.
“Yeah, I’d like to visit different places too. For example, the school library.”
“Then let’s go there.”
As they said this, they began walking.
It was at that moment.
“What? Princess Sofia secretly cut bread into pieces and gave it to the birds this morning? Wow, she gave the white, fluffy bread with a pattern like dice to the little birds…hmm, if you were given bread from the palace all the time, your tongue would get spoiled and you wouldn’t be able to eat regular bread anymore?”
Hearing the girl’s words, Prince Finlay stopped in his tracks.
William-sama turned back to the hedge and said,
“It doesn’t feel very good to be imagined like this about a friend’s actions.”
Prince Finlay muttered.
When William-sama asked for clarification, the prince turned to him.
“It’s true that Sofia scattered bread for the birds as feed this morning. But no one should know about it…”
Hearing this, William-sama’s eyes opened wide.
Without changing his expression, Prince Finlay continued speaking.
“After breakfast, Sofia came to see me and said “I hid the breakfast bread and want to give it to the birds”. I thought it was a strange thing to do to scatter bread for birds, so I secretly came to consult. I had the servants go away with a convenient excuse and watched Sofia scatter bread crumbs in a corner of the garden. That was this morning…the characteristics of the bread match too.”
After saying this much, the prince fell silent.
William-sama, surprised but calm, asked a question.
“Is there a possibility that someone from the servants saw and the girl heard about it from them?”
Prince Finlay shook his head.
“The place where Sofia and I were was a blind spot in the garden. If a servant had gotten close enough to see us, I would have noticed first.”
This time, the two of them couldn’t find words and closed their mouths.
Only the girl’s voice from the other side of the hedge echoed around.
William-sama opened his mouth with a serious expression.
“If she knows the movements of the royal family that no one else knows about, it’s a significant situation. First, inform His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen about this.
“No, I will speak directly to that girl now.”
Prince Finlay asserts, blocking William’s voice.
Turning his back on William-sama, who was blinking his eyes, the Crown Prince turned to his escort knight.
“Edward, does it seem like she has weapons?”
Upon hearing those words, his escort knight glances over the hedge.
When his guard knight shakes his head, Prince Finlay nods.
“Edward, wait here. I’ll rely on you in case of an emergency.”
Saying so, he tries to walk towards the girl, but William grabs Prince Finlay’s shoulder.
“Wait Finn. The person has the ability to obtain private information about the royal family. It’s dangerous to approach carelessly. After identifying the person’s identity, observe their actions and see what kind of person they are before making contact.”
Prince Finlay bites his lip.
“Certainly, what Will says is the most reasonable. However…”
The prince directs a sharp gaze towards the girl.
“If anyone is harmed while I am hesitating, what if His Majesty the King or Her Majesty the Queen are exposed to danger? If there is a possibility that Sofia or His Majesty the King or Her Majesty the Queen will be exposed to danger, I cannot leave that girl alone…!!”
Saying so, he jumps out of the hedge.
Upon seeing this, William looks worried, but says,
“Leah, watch the situation. If we are in danger, please jump in. Please.”
I followed after Prince Finlay, who left those words with me.
When they burst out of the hedge, the girl shook her body as if in surprise.
As she said that and turned around, she recognized the existence of the blue-eyed young man with golden hair and showed a surprised expression.
“Oh, Prince Finlay…?! Why are you here…?!”
Her gray eyes opened wide.
Upon hearing this, Prince Finlay spoke with a stiff expression.
“Do you know me? Then the conversation will be quick… Why do you know Sofia’s movements this morning?”
It was a voice like a sharpened blade.
The girl, who was asked, gasped.
“No way, you heard the voice earlier…?”
As she muttered that, the girl’s eyes revealed caution and fear.
The girl, who was slowly backing away, and Prince Finlay, who was piercing him with a sharp gaze.
A tense atmosphere floats between the two.
“Finn, calm down.”
Under such circumstances, William-sama’s calm but firm voice hit my ears.
William says to Prince Finlay, and smiles at the girl.
“I’m sorry, we surprised you by suddenly appearing. I am William Moore of the Duke of Moore house. I understand your feeling of caution, but please listen to our story.”
After saying those words, William glances at Prince Finlay.
Prince Finlay, upon receiving this, looks surprised and opens his eyes wide, and then makes a face as if he had done something bad.
“…Will, thank you. It seems I was lacking in calmness.”
The prince clears his throat and faces the girl.
“I’m sorry, miss. You probably already know, but my name is Finlay Martinez. I am the prince of this country. Miss, may I ask your name?”
Saying that, he awkwardly smiled at the girl.
The girl, who was not sure of the prince’s intentions, reluctantly revealed her name.
Upon hearing this name, William and Prince Finlay tilt their heads. The prince asked Charlotte in a softer tone than before.
“I have never heard of the Michelle family… What is your social class?”
Upon being asked this, she pursed her lips tightly.
“…I am not a noble. I am a commoner.”
“A commoner? …Oh, I see. The special scholarship program?”
William nodded as if he understood.
Here, at Luke Royal Academy, nobles generally attend this educational institution, but occasionally commoners are allowed to enroll as an exception.
This system is called the “special scholarship program.”
Only outstanding commoners who meet various conditions are allowed to enroll in this program.
“Well, may I go now? I’m not free.”
Prince Finlay raises both hands lightly to pacify Charlotte, who is retreating.
“Wait a moment. As far as I can see, miss, you are a new student like us, right? The ceremony should have ended and we should still have some time.”
Saying that, he took a step closer to Charlotte.
“Let’s get to the main point. If you answer honestly, I promise to release you right away.”
The prince’s young grass-colored eyes emit a sharp light.
“It’s the same question as before… Why were you aware of Sofia’s movements?”
Under the prince’s gaze, Charlotte silently looked down without saying a word.