It was the next day after the [fall]. I was walking in the school building hallway with Melinda. I interrupted her as she was talking about how Fried-sama was like this and like that.
“Hey Melinda, can I go to the stairs I fell from?”
“Sure… just don’t fall again.”
Melinda started talking about Fried again as we walked towards the stairs. Apparently, they had already decided on the wedding schedule.
I looked down at the entire staircase as we reached it.
Since it was now break time for classes and there were many students with classes, the stairs were not as quiet as they were on that day.
The stairs were divided into eight steps and then an open space and then eight more steps. It made me shiver to think that I had fallen down all of these.
“Rebecca, hold onto the handrail.”
Melinda started to go down the stairs. I followed behind her, but stopped at the open space.
I look at the back of my best friend, whose hair is like dark purple silk threads, as if I am seeing her off.
“Melinda, do you like Fried- Neher?”
“Yes, I love him.”
She answered as she went down the stairs.
“Do you think he’s cool?”
“Yes, very cool.”
She didn’t turn around or stop.
“Is he the best in the world?”
“Yes, of course.”
“——That’s right, that’s it.”
I finally got her attention and I told her with a biting and swallowing tone.
“Melinda Cuey has a strange taste in men.”
“What? Are you suddenly picking a fight?”
Melinda made a motion as if to roll up her sleeves, as if saying “I’ll take you on,” but when she saw that I didn’t laugh, she seemed to think something strange.
Her eyes, which seemed to have been coated in honey, blinked as she looked at me.
I’ve always loved her, with her color that reminds me of the night sky.
The first time we met was at a theater in the Royal Capital. I remember that Melinda laughed and called the handsome and famous actor “a sixty-two points out of a hundred” at that time.
————and yet Melinda, shortly before I fell down the stairs that day, remarked that Sajad Mahajanjiga was “good looking.”
“At first it was just a vague discomfort.”
When I fell down the stairs, she said “there was no one there,” and her first assumption was that I had been pushed.
Her Phantom Beast is known for its good ears, and should be able to distinguish between small sounds and many sounds, but it didn’t pick up my voice when I was blocked by the crowd in the [summer].
In [summer], Sajad acted as if someone had let him know that I was watching him.
The Melinda in front of me had a face that I couldn’t understand. There’s no lie there.
I, on my part, keep talking to myself as if I were trying to answer the questions.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. Why is it that Fried Neher didn’t come to help me or even check my safety when I was pushed down the stairs?”
Fried is a serious man. I know that he is devoted to his loyalty to His Highness from the bottom of his heart.
——That’s why I didn’t think about it.
Fried’s testimony, “No one pushed Miss Rebecca’s back,” may be a lie.
“I recently found out, Melinda, your lover is a very loving person.”
I remember Fried’s figure I saw in the men’s dormitory dining hall just now. His love for Melinda was unwavering.
But at the same time, he was certainly struggling with something.
He is excellent. He should come to help no matter what if there is danger to His Highness’ fiancée.
—If only something shocking had not happened to him, something that would have made him unable to take a single step.
If he witnessed his beloved lover pushing his best friend down the stairs.
“And so——get out of my best friend’s head, Sajad Mahajanjiga!”
As I shouted, a silver-haired girl appeared from the corner on the bottom of the stairs. What she raised in both hands is a shining light of salvation——Emilia’s 18th spell, healing magic.
Melinda turned around. She noticed Emilia approaching. The look in her eyes was fear.
It was a survival instinct that if she didn’t run away from there, she would be erased.
Melinda ran away like a rabbit. She ran towards me. I tried to stop her.
But before that, a shadow broke through between me and Melinda.
The man jumped down from the upper floor, flipped down his black robe, and this time stood there protecting me.
Emilia immediately grabbed Melinda’s hand with both hands. A strong light spread throughout Melinda’s body as if it were dyed.
The chain of magic that was wrapped around her body was now visible due to the healing magic.
When everything melted into light and disappeared in an instant, what Melinda Cuey saw was her lover who was about to cry and looked at herself.
“…What is it? No, Fried-sama, what’s wrong?”
Melinda reached out her hand to Fried’s cheek and picked up the tear that just flowed.
Fried hugged Melinda tightly. It was a force that worried that her spine would break. And he let out a muffled sob.
I called out to its broad black back.
“I’m sorry for saying various things without knowing what you were thinking when we met at the boys’ dormitory dining hall.”
Fried turned around, and his clear blue eyes were directed towards me. His eyes seemed to be melting and becoming like tears.
Fried does not know about Sajad’s abilities. That’s why for the past few months, he has continued to suspect that Melinda is the perpetrator who harmed his master’s fiancee.
He couldn’t get over it
But the two of them were still lovers. Melinda would embrace him when she was scared of the test of courage, they would spend summer together, and they would go on dates during holidays.
Not only that, but Fried decided that day to formalize his relationship with Melinda, not only to get engaged, but to get married.
I remember Fried’s words “I am not prepared to be with Melinda.”
What Fried decided on that day was to abandon everything for Melinda’s sake, to follow her to the depths of hell.
Fried let go of Melinda, knelt before me and lowered his head.
“I have betrayed you, Your Highness. I have placed my lover above you. It is not something that can be forgiven.”
His tears fell to the floor drop by drop.
Emilia stopped Melinda from going to his side while she had no idea what was happening.
The first prince’s fiancée is the next queen. Attacking that is rebellion against the state, and harboring the perpetrator is also the same. Indeed, this is a big problem.
I looked up at the upper floor to seek judgment, and there, His Highness Llewayne Huaverdon was watching everything.
“Fried Neher…you weighed the lover against the master and took the lover, that’s what you said.”
Fried replied, lowering his head even more, his forehead almost touching the floor. He accepted the punishment without any explanation, just as his master commanded.
Looking at such a loyal person, the His Highness——my lover spoke.
“I do not ask others to do what I cannot do myself.”
Fried raised his head in surprise. “Unbelievable,” his face said. He is not accustomed to suppressing his emotions, as he always hides his face with the hood of his robe.
His Highness descended the stairs and took my hand.
“This is an exception. There won’t be another.”
Fried lowered his head again. I felt relieved and turned to Melinda.
“Melinda, it may be hard to believe, but you were brainwashed by Sajad Mahajanjiga.”
“What?! No way, that guy?”
Melinda accepted the reality with ease. It’s good that things are moving fast.
“So, you said he talked to you around May, right? Don’t you remember what he said?”
“Umm, I think he asked me if I could do something for him, but I was taught to reject by Rebecca…”
Melinda tilts her neck. But being a smart girl, she remembered exactly what he had said.
“If it’s a [dream], I’m already on time, I said and ran away.”
Emilia burst out. She probably imagined Sajad being rejected with a sales-rejecting attitude.
I face His Highness. What His Highness said to Sajad two months ago was, “Stop trying to show me [Dream].”
It’s clear now.
Sajad is using [Dream] as a trigger.
“Everyone, don’t mention [Dream] in front of Sajad.”
Emilia, Melinda, and Fried nod mysteriously to my words.
I didn’t tell Emilia and Fried about the strategy guide, I just brought them here to tell them about Sajad.
“Emilia, I’m sorry, but can you cast indiscriminate healing magic on the students for a while? And also, please tell Maysen-sama about Sajad Mahajanjiga.”
Emilia nods. It was a stroke of luck that her healing magic worked.
Brainwashing is essentially a [abnormal condition]. The people who became my big fans in [Summer], were able to return to normal with the healing that Emilia did experimentally as they passed by.
But that’s already a story of a brainwashed state. At this point, when [attack] is entering the head like this six weeks like what happened to His Highness, it will be difficult to remove it with healing magic.
His Highness whispered to me while looking at Melinda.
“Rebecca, let’s search again for the victims.”
“Yes, that’s right…”
The first person who was brainwashed by Sajad to do something wrong was, of all people, my best friend, and the contents are an attack on the first prince’s fiancé.
If we bring this up and can not prove that it’s Sajad’s fault, Melinda will be in a bad position. I’ll have to cry myself to sleep on this matter.
“But we know the trigger and how to deal with it. Next time he takes action, let’s corner him.”
He was like a lizard that runs away even if you grab its tail. I clenched my fist, determined to catch him someday.