The next day, when I unexpectedly ran into His Highness at the cafeteria, he opened his mouth to say something. I decided to turn my heel and leave.
When I’m told to wait, it’s strange how my feet naturally start moving quickly. I start to hurry, then walk fast, and before I know it, I’m running.
His Highness shouldn’t chase after a woman who runs away. He’s a gentleman. He’ll bring his fiancé to bed and kiss her, but he’s a gentleman.
As expected, His Highness doesn’t chase after me. Instead, whenever we meet, he always speaks to me with various emotions on his face, making you wonder if his frown and Buddha-like expression he puts on other people is a lie.
In the morning, I can avoid meeting His Highness by leaving through the window of the first floor room instead of using the front or back entrance. He may have taken that into account.
The residents of the first floor room kindly let me use their window without asking for an explanation. I feel like they’re looking at me with warm eyes, which makes me a little uncomfortable, but they’re people I can talk to and they’re really helpful.
By the way, yesterday, Emilia took care of my cold all day long, as she declared, and stayed in my room for some reason. This morning, while crossing the window with me, she said something like “it’s like a [spy movie]” and laughed, and she seemed to have a lot of fun.
That’s how three days passed.
“His Highness that day was persistent. He must have felt the need to force a conversation. To be honest, I also feel it. When I see His Highness’ face, my feet just want to run away.
Earlier, I was the first to notice the other person. I quietly left the scene after spotting His Highness in the distance. When I looked back, His Highness was coming towards me and in a hurry, I ran towards a place where there was no one, it was my mistake.
I ended up at the lecture hall, which is not often used.
Let’s just go inside for now, I at least want to shake off His Highness.
Anyway, because I was in a hurry, I didn’t check inside. But still, who could have predicted that I would close the door behind me and bump my nose into someone else’s chest.
“Ow, sorry, are you okay?”
That hard chest belonged to a male student I had never seen before. He had deep forest-like hair and eyes. He is undeniably a handsome man with a cute face and a strong body that would be popular with older sisters.
Hm? I feel like I’ve seen him before. Where did I see him?
As I stared at him, my thoughts were interrupted by surprise. He gently touched my eyes.
“Are you crying? If someone is bullying you, talk to me. I might be able to help.”
I’m aware that I’m teary-eyed. It’s because I just bumped my nose on your iron wall of a chest, or simply put, his iron plate.
What should I do? I wonder if it’s better to distance myself from this person. I scratched my nose and thought for a moment, but gave up. He’s just genuinely worried about me. You can tell from his expression and how calm my Christina in my pocket. He’s just a kind person.
“Thank you for your kindness, but it’s okay. I’m fine,” I tried to say.
But in my head, a passage from my strategy book came to mind.
[Are you crying? If someone is bullying you, please talk to me. I might be able to help.]
[No, that, thank you for your kindness… but it’s okay! Don’t worry about it.]
[No, I can’t just leave a crying woman be. Sit here. My name is Oswald Ceden. Let’s talk for a bit.]
This is the encounter event that the protagonist was originally supposed to finish in April. And he is the one and only, the final target for conquest, Oswald Ceden!
Ever since I entered school, I’ve often seen that person’s name. In the strategy book, it says “Target for conquest, Class 5, Second year, Dark green hair, Phantom Beast: Mole, Note: Has a reputation as one of the next top three.”
At the presentation last time, I saw him, but my eyes were on research and I didn’t look at his face properly. He was very interested in the research on the combination and effects of auxiliary magic added to weapons. It was a very interesting research, and it is no wonder that it was more highly evaluated than mine.
Oswald is definitely a person with a calm and kind personality, but he also has a strong sense of justice. He has a younger sister in the first grade.
He comes here to feed the cat that often sunbathes in the auditorium. In April, when Emilia chooses to go to the auditorium after Rebecca sarcastically tells her to go there, she meets him. I didn’t speak ill of her in the first place.
“But it’s alright——no, it’s not alright, your iron plate hit my nose and it hurts.”
After thinking in a scattered way, in the end, all I could do was be honest. He said “I’m sorry” and worriedly touched the tip of my nose lightly.
It was just at that moment that the door opened with a burst of energy and His Highness came in.
A low voice like crawling on the ground. Even if it’s said that this is the demon king, there’s no doubt that there are many people who believe it.
At least for me, even if I am told that this is the voice of my fiancé who embraces me to hide me from Oswald, I won’t believe it.
“Oswald…if there’s an explanation, I’ll listen.”
“Eh?… Oh, darn! Llewayne’s fiancée, the daughter of Slutarch?!”
Oswald seems to be in a hurry. I should also say that nothing happened. When I finally turn my head, Oswald was bending his body at 90 degrees and lowering his head.
“Forgive me. I didn’t realize you were engaged. I swear I didn’t have any wicked feelings. I’m sorry. Please believe me.”
I also moved my head, and looked up at His Highness who was tightly embracing me. I felt sorry for making him apologize. His Highness was looking down at Oswald’s head expressionlessly, but after a little while, he breathed out as if giving up, and met my gaze.
“Alright. Raise your head, Oswald. If it wasn’t for you, I’d probably beat the shit out of you for being such a whitewash.”
(TL: Not sure that’s the right word.)
Surprised by the ominous words, His Highness said “I was just joking.” as if to brush it off. Even when Oswald waved goodbye saying thank you, I was still being embraced by His Highness. Recently, there’s been too much contact and it’s starting to become a nuisance. When we’re alone, I feel like running away again.
“Are you going to run again?”
His Highness buries his face on my shoulder and says that, his soft golden hair tickling my neck. I honestly admit to finding it cute when he pouts like a child.
“I was embarrassed.”
That’s all there is to it, nothing else. It wasn’t that I hated what His Highness did to me. I hugged him back thinking that was enough to convey that.
“…I see. You are.”
His Highness’ arm wraps around my waist.
“I liked the porridge. I wanted to thank you for it.”
Oh, that porridge. I wondered what happened to it. He ate it, I’m glad!
Feeling touched, I unconsciously press my lips to his cheek. I was going to say “I’m glad you’re better” but couldn’t because of what he whispered in my ear.
“But it seems like that feeling might have gone somewhere when I found you here, alone with another man.”
The atmosphere becomes tense. I gulp down my words. His Highness kisses me on the ear as if in response and laughs lightly.
“I love you, Rebecca. It’s not enough to say that. If you do something like this again, you won’t be able to leave this place.”
I nod with a dry throat (gulp). I note here that this is a strategic defeat, due to my realization that if I didn’t, I would be punished right away.