Sorry it’s been a while, but I’ve been busy and all that. You know, classic real life stuff. Also I did mention before that my releases weren’t always going to be as frequent as the beginning. I do feel bad that after all this time we still haven’t even gotten to the school yet, but yeah, finals start next week for me. I’ll try to squeeze out at least one or two a week though. Anyways here’s chapter 8, enjoy!
Even though Sakura said so, no matter how much Lilia tried to think about it understanding just wouldn’t come to her. She felt that just thinking about it was probably useless.
When Lilia called out to Alisa sitting opposite to her, a reply of “yes” came immediately.
“I can’t quite seem to figure out what Theo’s intentions were back there. Do you get it, Alisa?”
“That’s… I somewhat understand, but I can’t be sure that I’m correct.”
“Is that so…”
Alisa knew. Therefore recalling all the things that have happened up to now, Lilia should also be able to reach somewhat of an answer. The events of today, and at that just thinking back to the encounter with Theo, the conclusion she reached was,
“He wanted to get along better with me…?”
After muttering such, Lilia immediately said in self derision.
“As if, like that could be the case. There should be a limit to being self conscious.”
Hearing that, Sakura gave a small sigh, and Alisa lowered her eyebrows sadly, but Lilia noticed neither of them.
The distance from the Aldis duke estate to the academy could be traversed in around three hours by coach. With that in mind even if one left the estate in the afternoon they could arrive on the same day with time to spare. However, for today Alisa wanted to rest easy in the dormitory, and departed from the estate before noon to avoid having to run into anyone. After classes ended people would be returning to the dorm in the evening, so if she entered her room now there should be no one there to question her.
The prince’s declaration of the break-off to their engagement should already be well known by now. Just imagining the gazes from her surroundings brought her dread. That said, it would be impossible to attend school without running into anyone. Today would be the only exception.
—Nothing will change even if you run away right?
—Oh shut up…
Lilia too understood that much. That’s why, it was just for today. Diving into the atmosphere at school, she would use tonight to properly harden her resolve. She knew that it was just an excuse to herself. Even so, to Lilia this was the only choice she could take.
A little past noon, the academy’s structure came into view.
The academy’s grounds were quite large. Along with the enormous school building for education, training and various other sporting facilities also existed. For times of rain, there were even indoor athletic buildings on campus. What’s more, though placed at a corner of the academy, there stood the dormitories boasting a size even greater than the main school building itself.
“Mistress Lilia. I…”
With one look at the academy Alisa turned around to face her master. Before she could continue her words, Lilia, anticipating her question answered preemptively.
“You will be in the same room as me.”
“My, is there a problem?”
As Lilia narrowed her eyes and questioned the maid, Alisa flusteredly shook her head. Lilia accepted the response, and looked away.
—To be stuck with noisy Miss Selfish from dawn till dusk, how pitiful.
—And who might that be.
—Really, I wonder?
It was a voice that seemed to carry with it a mean-spirited smirk. Lilia knit her eyebrows,
“After all I’m just so loud and selfish right?”
Lilia sulked as she said that. Sakura was laughing and said that it was a joke, and,
“Tha-that’s not what I thought at all!”
Alisa shouted simultaneously. Lilia stiffened in surprise. Even Sakura hadn’t expected Alisa to respond to Lilia’s quiet mutter, and was at a loss for words.
Alisa was gazing over with an earnest expression. Lilia thought for a moment, and nodded lightly.
—There’s no difference between talking to her now or tonight right?
—Yep, I’ll leave it to you.
Receiving Sakura’s acknowledgement, Lilia opened her mouth.
“Hey, Alisa. Is that really true?”
“Of course! That’s definitely not what I was thinking about the current Mistress Lilia!”
“Then, what about right now?”
“That’s… of course I don’t think that way.”
Though Lilia decided to overlook the slight pause in Alisa’s words, she did not feel particularly displeased about it. It was an expected response.
“Alisa. Our voices here will not be heard at the driver’s stand right?”
“Eh? Yes, it will not reach but…”
“Then let’s have a frank discussion.”
Lilia said as she fixed up her posture, and Alisa’s expression turned serious.
“You see, I’ve decided to change. For that purpose I’ve studied things I didn’t want to, and worked to fixed my quick temper. But, by myself there are limits to what can be accomplished, and the people around me would certainly be unable to understand me.”
That was to say she was only making use of Sakura’s words. Lilia herself, to this day, did not fully understand where all of her own faults were. Even so, in this one week, it was certain that she managed to somewhat change the people in her estate’s perception of her. That was why Lilia listened to Sakura. That was why she simply followed Sakura’s words.
“I, to change myself, want someone to assist me. Someone who knows well what I was like before, a person who can tell me ‘no’ when I need it.”
“Is that… What you wish of me?”
“That’s right. I wouldn’t be saying all this otherwise right?”
Alisa closed her eyes, and fell silent. Her expression remained serious. Lilia refrained from interrupting her thoughts, and waited silently for her answer. As they continued to simply leave their bodies to the jostling of the carriage, finally as the academy drew up close in front of them, Alisa opened her mouth.
“Mistress Lilia. Please tell me just one thing.”
“Are you still aiming for His Highness?”
‘How blunt,’ thought Lilia as she smiled bitterly inside. With a level expression, she shook her head.
“I’m over it already.”
“Well I would be lying if I said that there were no lingering feelings at all though.”
With some self ridicule in her answer, Alisa finally showed a smile. With an ‘I understand’, she gave a nod,
“If you are fine with me, please allow me to provide assistance. I am Mistress Lilia’s personal maid after all.”
At Alisa’s response, Lilia also gave a satisfied nod. As Sakura said, there was a considerable difference between having or not having a helper at one’s side. It was a pillar of emotional support, and in a certain sense that was the most important part.
With an ‘I’m in your care’, Lilia returned her sight to look outside the coach. She did so, a little happy, though mostly out of
embarrassment, but Alisa took no notice and continued to speak.
“Well then, as to my view of what sort of person Mistress Lilia has been up until now, should I give a description here?”