The sleep of autumn(fall) is comfortable. It’s also nice to curl up in a warm futon during the winter, but the sleep of this season is even better. It’s not hot or cold, it’s just the perfect temperature for sleeping.
This morning, I woke up in that futon again and got out of it without hesitation.
I opened the curtains in my bedroom.
There was a flower and a message card outside the window frame. It’s been happening almost every day recently, so I collected it as a matter of habit.
Recently, His Highness has been busy.
It seems that work is not ending anytime soon and that time to meet is not available. The last contact was two weeks ago.
At that time, I sent a reply with a set of tarts in one-bite size that can be eaten in spare time. I remembered that he had said my cookies were delicious when we first met.
I wrote a message card that said “Thank you for your hard work, please take a break, take care of your body”, and sent it along.
The next day, I received a reply and a flower.
“Thank you. Work has been going well because of you. I want to see Rebecca soon.” It was written and it made my face feel hot.
I was happy, so I made more sweets and sent a reply, and since then our exchange has continued naturally.
I am asking Melinda’s owl to deliver to the window of His Highness’ room, but His Highness probably relies on Grue.
On today’s card, it was written, “The pie was delicious. Thank you. If it weren’t for the gift from Rebecca, I would have thrown or burned all the documents already.”
I put it away carefully in my desk while laughing a little today too. The fact that we’ve been engaged since I was five, and now we’re still exchanging letters, it’s itchy or something, and I can’t help but feel my cheeks loosen.
So as I headed to the washroom to get ready, I saw in the mirror that my face looked worse than I thought, so I decided to suppress my cheeks from loosening with all my might.
As I descended to the first floor of the dormitory to have breakfast, I dropped my head in the middle of it. I couldn’t find my usual close friend today as I usually would.
Then I was pulled by the sleeve of my uniform from behind. I turned around to see Emilia standing there, her eyes less than a third of their normal size.
“Good morning, Emilia. Melinda is not here today?”
“Really? That’s unusual.”
The two of us tilted our heads together. The student who had called out to us from the side was also a female student from the same grade.
“If it’s Melinda Cuey-sama, she took a sick leave yesterday afternoon.”
Emilia and I thanked the female student and left the cafeteria, heading up the stairs to the dormitory. The cafeteria is on the first floor, and Melinda’s room is two floors below mine, on the fourth floor.
I knocked on the door strongly while calling out her name.
“Melinda—? It’s me, Rebecca. Are you still feeling bad?”
“Melinda-san, are you okay?”
Then, after a short pause,
“Yes, it seems like I won’t be able to do anything today either. I’m sorry.”
When I heard those words from inside, Emilia and I exchanged glances.
——Melinda’s voice just now was strange.
I quickly step back and make way. Emilia, as if it were natural, put her hand on the door knob and broke the lock with a “snap!” as expected of her, nothing much.
I peeked in through the door. Melinda was sitting in the hallway right in front. I met her dazed eyes. Was this her first experience having her door broken down? Welcome to my world.
Emilia, without paying attention to Melinda’s state, walked in and sat down next to her.
“Not talking to us, how boring. We’re friends aren’t we?”
Even though I think she’s acting like her usual self, I follow suit. I casually approach and sit down next to Melinda, who is holding her knee.
“That’s right, Melinda always helps me, but it’s not good that she won’t let me do anything for her in times like this.”
As I speak, her red eyes look up at me.
Please talk to me.
“Melinda, why are you crying so much?”
She must have been crying all night, and her face twists again as tears appear in her eyes.
She clings to me and Emilia as if a dam has broken, wailing and crying.
“U, gu, bu, buri-bobaya.”
“I’m sorry, Melinda, I don’t understand at all.”
“It’s okay to take your time.”
I pat her delicate back. Melinda is surprisingly sensitive, and I remember seeing her crying like this at the Viscount’s residence last year when her pet died.
“Fe, fweeed zama.”
“Oh, Fried-Neher, right?”
“Snifle, even though we’re lovers, he hasn’t told me to get engaged.”
“That reminds me.”
I listen while nodding.
Melinda’s face, which had been swollen with tears, became even more distorted as she said her next words.
“He said [I don’t have the resolve to be together with you].”
Emilia and I got up silently. It goes without saying that we were headed to where that man in the black robe was.
The boys’ dormitory and girls’ dormitory at the Royal Academy are positioned symmetrically with the school buildings in between. Therefore, generally speaking, male students have no connection to the girls’ dormitory in the morning, and vice versa.
So, I found out for the first time today that the boys’ dormitory in the morning is just as chaotic as the girls’ dormitory.
Compared to the women who take an unusual amount of time to prepare, it may be that many of you men are fundamentally slow to wake up.
I walked through the crowded boys’ dormitory, dragging along a pair of swords in my hands.
Emilia didn’t want to leave Melinda alone, so stayed behind.
As I met the male students, they all froze in place and their mouths hang open. Some were in the middle of brushing their teeth, and others had bread in one hand. They looked like strange mannequins.
I arrived at the cafeteria. The man I was looking for was there, calmly eating breakfast. Melinda couldn’t even come to the cafeteria.
Finally realizing the strange atmosphere, I threw something I had taken the trouble to put in my pocket at the man who turned to look at me.
————It was a glove.
“Pick it up, Fried Neher. That’s right, it’s a duel.”
I threw the sword I had been dragging at his feet in his black robe. I myself pulled out a short sword from under my one-piece and prepared myself.
As soon as he saw that, the people around us began to get excited.
“It’s a duel! A duel!”
“It’s more like a fistfight!”
“It’s Rebecca Slutarch, one of the top strong!”
“Hey, someone wake up the guys who are still sleeping!”
The small ring formed by the male students who were gathering more and more.
It’s like the ring of a fighting arena, an implicit understanding in noble duels and one-on-one battles. Third parties are not allowed to intervene. Both parties are surrounded by other people so that they cannot escape.
The dormitory supervisor also came upon hearing the commotion, but he kept his mouth shut when he recognized me. Maybe it’s because of the title of the three strong, the power of the Duke family, or both.
Fried knows that I’m skilled in handling swords, yet he doesn’t pick up the sword.
I can’t see his face because of his long robe as usual, but he seems to be confused.
“The reason is…”
“I have a personal grudge against you.”
I can see that Fried is becoming increasingly confused. For the sake of my best friend’s honor, I won’t say something like “You dumped Melinda,” here.
But he probably has some idea, he makes a bad-looking face——I feel like he did. Probably, under the robe.”
“Well, I’m leaving.”
I said it quickly because I was angry. I kicked the ground hard. In an instant, the distance closed. I swung my short sword like a flowing stream. Fried dodged it. Without hesitation, I greeted him with a left fist to his face.
He dodged by falling backwards, then jumped up with both hands on the ground, keeping some distance from me.
The crowd around us cheered in response to our every move. This morning’s dormitory will be a memorable event.
Fried lifted his face and quickly widened his eyes. My short sword was approaching him soon. Finally, his hand reached for the sword and took it straight on.
The blades collided. They made a low noise while resisting each other.
“I have my reasons too——”
“Melinda was crying.”
When I whispered close to him, the agitation appeared on his sword as I expected. I pushed with all my strength. Fried lost his balance and fell to the ground. His robe hood fell off. I looked down at him with my sword pointed at the tip of his nose.
“This is the first time we’ve made eye contact. Nice to meet you, my name is Rebecca Slutarch.
The first time I saw the face under the black robe, the clear blue eyes were striking. They were staring at me while trembling.
“Melinda, is she crying?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Perhaps he didn’t know. Because it’s Melinda, she probably showed off her courage by laughing on the spot. He tightened his grip on the short sword even more.
“Why did you reject Melinda? After a year of dating, did you think it was just a connection until you got engaged to someone else?”
“She’s important to me!”
Fried responded to my words with hostility. Even though it seemed like he was being seriously poked in the nose and eyes.
But when I asked that, he became silent. He just tightened his lips.
“I don’t know what the circumstances are, but please stop thinking things like [I want her to be happy].”
He opened his eyes and looked up at me.
I know that Fried loves Melinda. Whenever I see the two of them, Melinda is always smiling happily, and Fried is always looking at her intently.
I don’t know what kind of change in emotions there was, but if you’re thinking of Melinda that much.
“Don’t just wish for happiness on your own, make yourself happy. Try to be happy with all your might. That’s what [sukapontan] is!”
Fried peeled his eyes open, breathed heavily, and without any words coming out, he gazed around and threw his upper body onto the floor.
He put away his sword, considering it a loss of fighting spirit.
“Rebecca Slutarch wins!”
“Wow! She won against a guy bigger than her!”
“By the way, what’s [sukapontan]?”
“Hmm? But it sounds nice.”
Feeling the boys simmering behind me, I left the scene.
Me, Emilia, and Melinda all skipped all of our classes today. Another person, the 190 cm tall black man who had gone to visit Melinda’s room, also decided to skip his first period.
After Melinda returned after disappearing with Fried for about 30 minutes, she came back with the sudden news that she would be getting married soon, which left me and Emilia surprised.
After that, the word “スカポンタン” (Sukapontan) became popular at the academy.
The word that my mother taught me, which I believe means something like “fool” or “idiot”, became firmly established with the very limited meaning of “[a word used to mock a man who lacks manliness when thrusting a sword at him]”.
The one who most arbitrarily used this word was Emilia, and because of her habit of saying “スカポンタンスカポンタン” (Sukapontan sukapontan) repeatedly, several male students were hurt emotionally.
TL: I Seriously don’t know the context.