Remember when I said ETA is early next week? I meant its end of next week (I’m really sorry about this). Anyway, nothing else to say beside here’s another chapter of angery princess.
Please do support the author/illustrator as always.
P.S. No illustration this chapter.
P.S.S. I decided to just make an update page instead of giving out any ETA. I’ll be updating it every night.
Proofreader: Muge, Marv
Waiting to show his artistic talent in the next next chapter: Muge
Chapter 4: In the Former Seventh Research Building
That morning, an uncomfortable sensation caused a drowsy Leticiel to reach for her cheeks, only to find a liquid of some sort.
The cold droplet on her finger dully glowed as it caught the morning rays pouring into the room.
She spent a moment staring at its glimmer before finally realizing it was a tear she had shed.
(…It feels like I had a very painful dream.)
Despite thinking this, perhaps because it was a dream, she couldn’t remember what it was about at all.
Wiping away the tears with the sleeve of her negligee, Leticiel got out of bed to get changed.
After having breakfast in her room as usual, Leticiel informed Ruvik of what time she would be returning and invoked transference. It had been a week since her transmigration into this world.
After she arrived at the academy, Leticiel casually stopped by the Great Library. After finding out about the place, she had been coming to the Great Library whenever she had time.
While slowly weaving her way through the rows of bookshelves thinking about what she should read today, Leticiel suddenly recognized someone she knew by the windows.
In a spot that was hidden behind the bookshelves, Sieg was indulging himself in the book he was holding.
Under the gentle sunlight filtering through the windows, his green left eye sparkled, slightly concealed by his glossy jet-black hair.
The Great Library full of books was a perfect match for his intellectual air. His figure was so picturesque that a painting of him just sitting there reading would sell for a fortune.
(…Let’s not bother him…)
With that thought, Leticiel attempted to quietly leave without making a noise. However, as fate would have it, her first step caused the floor to make a small squeaking noise.
Having his concentration broken by that sound, Sieg’s gaze rose from the book to meet Leticiel’s eyes.
“Good morning, Sieg. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bother you.”
“Oh no, don’t worry about it. I just got to a good stopping point.”
Hearing Leticiel’s apology, Sieg slightly swung his head sideways and formed his signature refreshing smile.
“How long have you been here?”
“Since morning. I wanted to get some reading material.”
“… But isn’t it already class time?”
“Yes, I know.”
“You’re really not going to class, huh?”
“I don’t want to hear that from you right now, Drossel.”
“Oh right, now that you’ve mentioned it.”
Sieg made a bitter smile as he spoke, and Leticiel remembered she was in no position to talk as she was also skipping.
“What were you reading?”
“Ah, this? It’s a book about astronomy. I really like the author. When I heard that a new book came in, I just couldn’t contain myself.”
“Astronomy… So you’re reading a pretty complicated book again.”
Walking up to Sieg’s desk, Leticiel picked up the book at the top of the pile.
It seemed to be a book about what kind of stars could be observed throughout the year in the Platina Kingdom. Leticiel opened the book and skimmed through it.
By just flipping through the pages, she had already roughly memorized the contents of the book. Memorization Strengthening was truly a wonderful Magecraft.
“Ooh… So the stars in the southern sky look like this…”
“Yeah, there are a lot of famous stars in the south. Have you seen this constellation before?”
“Ah, this one with the red stars, right? I saw it from my window last night.”
“Since its appearance about thirteen years ago, it can be observed only on the night of a new moon. It seems that it had appeared before in the past, but there weren’t any detailed records about it.”
Having finished the first volume, Leticiel picked up the second volume. Every time she turned a page, Sieg would chip in with his explanation.
Stargazing wasn’t anything foreign to people from a thousand years ago, but it had not been systematized into a discipline like this, which made Leticiel slightly curious.
“Could I ask you to read this book with me too?”
Leticiel asked Sieg, as she was carrying the third volume that she had just skimmed through earlier.
“Oh? Are you also interested in astronomy?”
“Yes. It seems pretty fun, so I got interested in it. Or rather, I got excited because it’s a discipline I didn’t know of.”
“That’s fine, go ahead. I have to say, you do like reading, huh?”
“I love it. Books can answer any question I have; they’re more fun than anything else.”
Leticiel made a peaceful smile. It was a genuine smile this time, a beautiful smile like a flower opening its petals.
Getting caught up in that smile, Sieg also smiled. The boy and the girl didn’t notice that those smiling faces were different than their usual forced smiles.
The sound of a chime resounded through the silent Great Library.
Thinking that first period had ended, Leticiel raised her head from her book to look up at the clock on the wall.
It was a repeat of what had happened in the Large Conference Room. The hands on the clock were pointing at exactly ten minutes before noon.
Indeed, the chime from just then marked the end of third period. Morning classes had all ended.
(…Huh? That’s strange. I got to the Great Library at around nine, right…?”
With her eyes wide open, Leticiel looked down at the desk.
There were more than ten books scattered on top of it. Indeed, there weren’t just three books on the desk, there were more than ten. The number had somehow increased without her knowledge. Leticiel was stunned at how much of a bookworm she was.
“…Judging by your face, are you perhaps thinking that way more time has passed than you expected?”
Sitting opposite of her, Sieg let out an amused chuckle as he watched Leticiel’s expression.
“Yes, you’re correct. I’m pretty sure I got here around first period…”
“Anyway, I have to say your ability to concentrate is pretty amazing. I don’t think there are many people who can focus on reading so much that three hours pass without them realizing.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
Replying with a snap, Leticiel tidied up the books spread out on the desk.
“Anyway, since it’s lunch break already, do you want to head to the cafeteria?”
“That’s a good idea.”
“Oh, I need to put these books back first.”
“Let me help you. Where did you get them?”
“Hmm, on the bookshelf behind the stairs.”
The books were put away in the blink of an eye with Sieg’s help. Leticiel said her goodbyes to David before heading to the cafeteria along with Sieg.
The cafeteria was already in a state of chaos. It was no surprise, while Lucrezia Academy’s cafeteria was about twice the size of the Great Library, it also accommodated students from all three years, as well as the faculty.
“It’s so full of people as always, huh?”
“Yeah, seeing this is enough to make me feel sick.”
“Ah, so that was why you didn’t want to go the other day?”
“It’s not really like that. I’m just bad with places full of people.”
While an exchange like this was made with Sieg, Leticiel swept her head over the cafeteria to search for empty seats. With so many people inside the cafeteria, it was a task that proved difficult. However, thanks to her keen eyes, Leticiel found a bench for four by the window.
“Sieg, let’s go over there. Or rather, there are no empty seats besides the ones over there.”
“Yeah, you’re rig…”
As Sieg nodded and voiced his agreement, he was interrupted by the cry of a girl behind him. It was a familiar voice. It was the voice of…
“Oh my, Mira.”
Leticiel’s friend, Mirandalette, was running up to the pair.
Her brown hair was in a ponytail today. There was a smile on her face that also contained hints of amazement.
“Hi, Mira. You’re as cute as ever today.”
“Coming from you, I can only hear it as sarcasm… Oh well, thank you. Nice to see you too, Sieg.”
Even though she was exchanging greetings like an upright lady, in the next instant, Mirandalette suddenly interrogated Leticiel.
“Anyway, Drossel! Where in the world have you been since this morning?!”
“Uhh… I was in the Great Library like always.”
“Like always… but Drossel, what about classes?”
“It depends on the subject. Do you want to head over there first? Someone might take those seats.”
Putting an end to Mirandalette’s interrogation, Leticiel made her way to the empty seats.
As she passed by, the students seated on either side readily showered her with contemptuous glares. It was the usual negative reaction that Leticiel paid no heed to.
Luckily, the trio secured the table without any issues. Relieved, Leticiel looked around on a whim and found Christa and Rochefort. They were sitting behind her at a table for six with several other people.
Noticing Leticiel, Christa seemed to be surprised. On the other hand, Rochefort was glaring at her like usual. Leticiel gave a slight bow before turning her back against the pair.
“Uh… Aren’t we a bit too close to his Highness…?”
“Huh? It’s not something we should pay any mind to. They’re just strangers, after all.”
“…Are you sure? Technically, he’s still your fiancé…”
“It’s something neither of us have interest in, after all. It’s best to leave it be, don’t you think?”
Afterwards, the three took turns getting food from the counter before starting their meals. Leticiel and Mirandalette chatted about things like the topics of the morning classes or about the books Leticiel had read in the Great Library.
Sieg also got caught up in the conversation and the trio enjoyed a peaceful lunch indulging in idle chatter.
“Today’s dessert, hmm, looks like they’ve changed it. It’s not flan anymore.”
Hearing Sieg’s murmur as he looked at the menu, Leticiel tilted her head.
“Huh!? You don’t know about flan!?”
Unexpectedly, the person who snapped back at her question was Mirandalette.
“You absolutely have to try it… or rather, if it’s you, then you must have had it before! Flan’s production process is quite complex so a low-ranking noble like me can’t have it regularly, but it’s delicious! The combination of the fluffy, sweet custard and the bittersweet caramel sauce makes for an exquisite dessert item!”
Mirandalette’s eyes lit up as she explained with fervor. Seeing the girl this excited made Leticiel’s face twitch slightly, but she also became genuinely curious if it was truly as delicious as Mirandalette made it seem.
“…By the way, I’ve been wondering about this for a while now, Sieg is a commoner, isn’t he?”
Mirandalette spoke the moment after Sieg had just left his seat to get refreshments. Leticiel, who was still eating, paused her hand when she heard that comment.
“You think so?”
“Well, Sieg doesn’t have a middle name, right?”
It seemed that in this age, only royalties and nobles were allowed to have a middle name.
Back in Leticiel’s time, commoners didn’t have surnames, only royalty and nobles did. However, as commoners in the current age had surnames, middle names had become the distinction between nobles and commoners.
“But, what about the fact that only nobles can attend this academy?”
Hearing Leticiel’s doubt, Mirandalette drew closer and whispered into her ear.
“…I’ve heard it’s a rare occurrence, but sometimes commoners can enroll to this academy. They still have noble blood in them, but for familial reasons they can’t be part of nobility.”
“Most nobles don’t like them, so they’re not really welcomed here…”
Sieg’s full name was Sieg Viollis. Judging from the norms of the current age, Leticiel became aware of the possibility of him being a commoner with special circumstances.
Sieg also said that he had never shown up for class before. Perhaps, if he really was here under those circumstances, Sieg was also someone shunned by everyone around him like Leticiel.
“Oh? What’s with this atmosphere?”
As an awkward silence had settled between the two, the person in question returned to his seat. In his hands he carried a tray with a piping hot cup of coffee and two steaming cups of black tea.
“I have no idea what you two like, so I just got black tea to be safe.”
“Oh no, that’s fine. Thank you very much.”
Trying to remain as calm as possible, Leticiel looked up to see Sieg’s signature half-smile.
Leticiel then brought the black tea to her mouth. She was in the camp of those who drank tea without adding anything.
On the other hand, Mirandalette was dropping sugar cube after sugar cube into her tea. Huh? Wait a minute Mirandalette, how much sugar are you planning to put in there?
“…Of course! If it’s something you want, I’ll obtain it no matter what!”
Sieg had been enjoying his coffee until the sudden declaration caused all expression to disappear from his face. He turned his head in a particular direction. Mirandalette, who was sitting next to Leticiel, also turned her head around before groaning with an unladylike ‘Ugh’.
Wondering what was going on, Leticiel followed the other two and turned her head as well. What she saw was the form of the two love birds sitting at the table behind her. They were playing around without a care about their surroundings. The air around them seemed to give off a sickly sweet pink color.
“Wooow… He must know that his fiancée is right next to him, yet he’s still brazenly flirting with her younger sister like that…”
“Well, that’s to be expected. It looks like the first prince had a crush on my sister from the start, while I’m the most hated person in this school, right? Everyone must be thinking ‘Serves you right’, don’t you think?”
“…You sure can say that easily, Drossel.”
“Because I have no interest in His Highness or what others think.”
Looking at Leticiel who had returned to her food after just a few seconds, Mirandalette and Sieg exchanged a glance before sighing.
Indeed. The current Drossel didn’t care about the fact that her fiancé was being unfaithful, nor did she care about the fact that others were laughing at her. If anyone had asked her the reason, she would surely give the same answer. She simply didn’t care.
Mirandalette shook her head in frustration.
Sieg looked at Leticiel with a bitter smile on his face.
Leticiel attempted to continue her meal, but as it was her first time eating pasta, she was unable to use her fork effectively.
The lunch break peacefully continued.
“Okaaay, we should get going now.”
Sieg said while looking at the cafeteria’s clock. The other students in the cafeteria had already stood up from their seats as they had begun to return to their classrooms.
“Good idea. Mira, what are the afternoon classes?”
“It will be more Practical Magic Studies, continuing on from second period.”
“Oh, it’s a class I don’t have to show up for, then.”
Hearing what Leticiel said, Mirandalette became dejected. The phrase ‘So you’re skipping again?’ was clearly written on her face.
“…It’s not like I’m skipping class. I’m just making better use of my time.”
“Even if you put it like that, skipping is still skipping. Haaah, okay, I understand. Then please feel free to make better use of your time.”
“Don’t mind if I do. Let’s meet again later.”
“Okay! I’ll be waiting for you at the usual spot.”
After exchanging a promise to meet after school, Mirandalette parted ways from Sieg and Leticiel at the entrance of the cafeteria.
While seeing her off, Leticiel crossed her arms. I can skip class, but how should I spend my time until classes end? Should I just go to the Great Library and continue reading?
“What shall I do now?”
“If you don’t know what do with your time, why not try going to the laboratory?”
Sieg offered that suggestion to a troubled Leticiel. Like she thought, he also had no intention of attending afternoon classes.
It seemed that in the morning, before Leticiel had come to the Great Library, Lucas had instructed Sieg to show her the laboratory.
Now that she thought about it, since for the past week one thing kept happening after another, Leticiel had yet to set foot into Lucas’ laboratory… or rather, her own laboratory. It would be her base of research from now on, so she wanted to see it firsthand.
“Now that you mention it, I have yet to go there.”
“Do you want me to show you where it is?”
“That would be appreciated.”
“Okay. Then let’s go.”
With that, the two headed side-by-side for the annex where the laboratory was located. As classes would begin soon, there were no students in the hallway, only a few teachers who were heading to their classes.
Every time the pair passed by a teacher, they would give that teacher a slight bow and a small greeting. All of the teachers would then cheerfully return their greeting. It seemed that unlike the students, the teachers in this academy didn’t bear any ill will towards Drossel.
“I didn’t think the teachers would be this friendly to me.”
“Yeaaah… I’m pretty sure the teachers normally give all students the same treatment. Did you do anything, Drossel?”
Hearing Sieg’s question, Leticiel recalled what she had done this past week.
The only things that came to mind were attending lessons normally, rewriting some Formulas, being summoned by two teachers, venting her frustration at the faculty in a grand way, attending more lessons and spending her time after school with her friend. Nothing out of the ordinary.
“I don’t think I’ve done anything big.”
“I see, so you did do something.”
“Huh? What’s with that reaction? You sound just like Mira.”
“Well, anyhow, the teachers have a better impression of you now, so that’s a good thing, right?”
As they spoke, the duo had already exited from the main school building through the side entrance and arrived behind the academy. Before them was a giant lake, and past it were many identical buildings all evenly spaced apart.
As the sight filled their eyes, the pair continued on without speaking. The pair’s silence wasn’t due to a moment of awkwardness, but was instead a peaceful appreciation of the scenic view.
Sieg entered the rightmost building. It was a two-storied building made out of brick with a staircase leading up to the entrance. As they approached the building, Leticiel thought that it didn’t seem to be that big, but once inside, it appeared to be more spacious than she’d thought, as most of it was empty. Both the walls and the floor were covered in dust and gave off an archaic air.
“It’s quite bare, huh?”
“Yeaaah, this place used to be the Seventh Research Building. It was still used as a research institution about half a year ago, but due to the increase in the number of researchers, a new laboratory was built, and everyone moved over there. So this building isn’t used anymore.”
Leticiel looked out the hallway window to find a brand-new three-storied white building peeping out from behind the trees. Perhaps that was the new Seventh Research Building.
“Sorry, this is the only one available. The dean also wanted to prepare a better room, but every other research building was full…”
“No, I don’t mind. It’s fine, as long as I can do my research.”
For Leticiel, she only cared about having a table, a chair and a bookshelf to do her research. Something like whether it was an old or a new research building would not dampen her mood. Rather, the fact that she would be alone in this place might be even better.
Continuing up to the end of the hallway on the second floor, Sieg came to a stop before a door.
Opening the door, Sieg invited Leticiel into the room.
It was a much bigger room than Leticiel was expecting. There was a grand desk on the far side of the room, before it was an expensive-looking coffee table and sofa. The wall was decorated with an empty bookshelf and a cupboard filled with various pots and utensils. There were also various paintings on the wall along with two doors that seemed to lead to other rooms.
“…It’s more spacious than I thought.”
“Yeah, this used to be the dean’s laboratory, after all. I dare say it’s the biggest room in the Seventh Research Building.”
“But didn’t the dean move his laboratory to the new building? There’s still a bunch of furniture in this room…”
“The Dean’s laboratory was the last thing to be moved, and they only started on it a few days ago. In the end, they decided not to move everything, I think.”
In other words, while the rooms were being moved, it was decided that Leticiel would join Lucas’ laboratory. However, there was no room for her, so he decided to let her use this room instead. And in the end, the furniture was not moved and was left here instead.
Leticiel looked around the room.
“So I can use this room however I like, right?”
“That I’m not sure of… There are many cases of unused research buildings being renovated and used as another facility. I heard that even my dorm used to be the Fourth Research Building. So there’s a chance that they’ll repurpose this building in the future.”
Sieg made a troubled smile. However, Leticiel only cared about the fact that there were currently no plans to renovate the building, so she could use it as she pleased.
“Do you have a laboratory in the new building too, Sieg?”
“No, the Seventh Research Building is for people who focus on research relating to Magic. My focus is in the field of Science and Mathematics, so mine is in the Eighth Research Building.”
It seemed that the research buildings behind the main school building were divided based on their fields of research.
“Then let me explain to you about the facility itself, too. First of all, this laboratory has three rooms. The innermost room has been prepared for you to do your actual research in. Meanwhile, the other two rooms can be used in whatever manner you wish. Some people use them as a storage or as an archive, and there are also those who put a bed inside and use it as a nap room.”
What? I want to make a nap room too…! Leticiel was barely able to stop herself from voicing that thought.
(It’s truly a peaceful and quiet place. It’s perfect for doing research.)
Leticiel took a glance outside of the window. The vast lake radiantly sparkled under the sun, and past it was the majestic form of the main building and clock tower of the academy, completed by the lush green forest surrounding them.
As someone who had lived in a war-torn world, Leticiel had never seen such a great scene of nature before. Even though the Museum, the Magic Training Field, and the Swordplay Training Hall stood inside the forest, their placement was masterfully chosen to blend in with the surroundings. Leticiel thought about taking a slow stroll through the forest sometime.
“So you’re saying this room will be my research room?”
Leticiel pointed at the door furthest away from the entrance. From its orientation, it was the room that would catch the most sun during the day.
“That’s right. It used to be a storeroom, but it’s been cleaned up to an extent. Please use it however you want.”
“I see… Thank you.”
“Also, I have a message from the dean. He said that if you need anything, feel free to tell him about it.”
As if she couldn’t wait anymore, Leticiel excitedly walked towards the door.
Contrary to her usual calm, expressionless demeanor, her current impulsiveness reflected the typical behavior of someone her age. The sight of such an unusual Drossel caused Sieg to burst into laughter as he watched her.
Although she had no idea why Sieg was laughing with no sign of stopping, Leticiel calmed herself down as she opened the innermost door.
As Leticiel had a severe case of Magecraft Mania, a place where she could perform Sorcery Formula research was a place she would consider her home. In other words, she would much rather live in this research room than her own room in the Duke Filiaregis estate. Indeed, she was in the terminal stage.
Inside the room was a compact white desk, along with two bookshelves and a cabinet against the wall. While it was quite empty, it also meant that she could customize the room as she wished.
“What a wonderful room…”
“Is it to your liking?”
“Yes. I can remodel it to my liking, it’s a blank canvas to be filled with hopes and dreams! “
“…You’re really quite peculiar, Drossel.”
Leticiel had no idea why Sieg seemed to be amazed. She wondered if she had said something weird.
An empty room like this meant that she could furnish and design the layout in any way she wanted. It was impossible for her not to be excited.
“Then, I’ll spend the remainder of the afternoon here to focus on Formula research. Is there a large amount of paper here, Sieg?”
“Uhhh, that box over there should be full of white paper…”
“Okay, then I’ll head to the Great Library for a bit.”
Leticiel had already flown out of the laboratory by the time she finished her sentence. Time was a finite resource, and there was no time like the present.
She was going to the Great Library to gather books about the current age’s Magic Formulas.
It had started a week ago. After discussing with the teachers about ‘The ABCs of Magic (Sorcery) Formula’ and having stated her desire to research that area to Lucas, Leticiel had been thinking about starting with a complete overhaul of the Formulas in this country.
If she wanted to introduce a revolutionary concept that most wouldn’t be able to believe, she would need to start by showing them how inferior the current Magic Formulas were compared to Sorcery Formulas. And to that end, her first step was to gather up books about Formulas to create a ‘Summary of the Main Magic Formulas in the Platina Kingdom’.
Having utilized the superior ability of the librarian, David, once again, Leticiel returned to the laboratory with a large stack of books.
“…Welcome back. I have to say… that’s quite a lot of books. That tower of books you’ve built might hit the doorframe, you know?”
“It’s fine, it won’t hit anything. It’s just enough to still get through.”
“You’re probably right, but I still can’t completely believe it… No matter how many Magecrafts you have at your disposal, isn’t carrying that many books still a bit too much?”
Saying so, Sieg trotted towards Leticiel and took about half of the books from her.
Leticiel had used Body Strengthening Magecraft to help her carry the books, however, even with his knowledge of Magecraft, Sieg was unaware that she currently possessed superhuman strength.
Leticiel set down the mountain of books next to the desk in the research room, with Sieg placing his half next to it.
“Alright, I’m locking myself in here.”
“Got it. Then I’ll head back to my laboratory as well. Let’s meet again tomorrow.”
“Yeah, see you.”
After waving goodbye to Sieg, Leticiel returned to her research room. She then closed the door behind her and sealed it shut using Magecraft.
Above all else, Leticiel hated being interrupted in the middle of her research. Even in her previous life, she would often lock the doors to prevent others from freely entering.
Having created a space for herself, Leticiel immediately set down a giant stack of paper next to the book she had placed on the table. She then opened the book and chose the Formulas to transcribe onto the paper.
Incidentally, in the process of copying the Formulas, she invoked a Body Strengthening Magecraft on her arms to ensure that she wouldn’t get fatigued for a long time.
Leticiel only picked out Magic Formulas for Basic Spells from the books she brought.
While drawing out and transcribing specific information from books one had never read was no easy feat, it was nothing for the ‘Kingdom’s Greatest Treasure’.
Magic was divided into five general ranks: Basic, Low, Middle, High and Superior. Basic Rank Magic covered the simplest spells; they only used Basic Formulas with straightforward variables.
As knowledgeable as she was, rewriting all of the Magic Formulas by the time school ended was still impossible.
Because of that, Leticiel had settled with her goal being the lowest grade of Magic, Basic Spells, as she began to remodel them with burning fervor.
Just as the chime rang, Leticiel tossed the quill pen in her hand onto the desk.
It wasn’t out of frustration, but rather, because she had finished remodeling all the Basic Formulas for Basic Spells into the Sorcery Formulas she was familiar with.
After tidying up the books in the room and gathering the sheets of rewritten Sorcery Formulas into a stack, Leticiel left the research room.
As Drossel had no Magic Power, she couldn’t try them out herself. She was thinking about asking either Lucas or Sieg to test out the Formulas.
The first thing she saw after leaving the room was a person she had met in the second period on her first day as Drossel. It was the Magic Formula Studies teacher, Raven.
“Hello, Miss Drossel… It seems that you’ve settled into this laboratory without issue…”
“Yes, I did. But why are you here, Mister Raven?”
“I was interested in your laboratory… So I decided to take a look to see how it looks like.”
Hearing that, Leticiel’s eyes seemed to light up.
She looked up at the clock on the wall to find that the chime she had heard earlier marked the start of fifth period. That meant there was still an hour left before the end of school.
“As someone who teaches Magic Formulas, perhaps you might be interested in contributing to its evolution?”
“…And what do you mean by that?”
“I’ve begun to do research for the systemization of the introduction to Formulas I talked about before.”
“To tell you the truth, I was thinking about asking the Dean or someone else. However, I think that someone like you, Mister Raven, will be able to appreciate the greatness of my research results.”
“Why do I have a bad feeling about this…?
“I’m not asking you to do anything weird at all. Just a test trial of these remodeled Formulas.”
“…This much!? …Wait, wait a minute, Miss Drossel! I haven’t said a single word about agreeing to do thー”
“Well then, Mister Raven. Our time is limited, so let’s head to the Magic Training Field at once.”
“No matter how you look at it, with this amount, my Magic Power would run out before we finish! That’s unreasonable! At least get more people… Actually, I never agreed to help with this in the first place, so stop dragging meeee!!”
Afterwards, Raven would end up being the guinea pig for Leticiel at every opportunity, but that’s a story for another time.
One thing happened after another, and the test trial of the remodelled Formulas was completed. Leticiel had returned to her laboratory along with Raven, whose Magic Power had been run dry.
Lucas was also present inside the room. It seemed that he had come to check on Leticiel. He had actually wanted to visit earlier, but he had some business to take care of first.
“…I see, so that’s why Raven ended up like that.”
Immediately upon returning, Raven was lifelessly sprawled out on the sofa as if he was a corpse. Regarding his subordinate with eyes full of pity, Lucas let out a sigh after hearing Leticiel’s explanation.
“Oh well… Looks like he’ll live, so that’s good enough.”
With that, Leticiel gave him a short report about what she had completed. When the story finished, with his arms folded, Lucas gave a satisfied nod.
“What are you going to do now? Continue your research?”
“No. I’m meeting my friend after school, so I’ll continue tomorrow.”
“I see. Don’t push yourself too hard.”
The parting words from that athletic body were spoken with perfect clarity. After seeing a beaming Lucas off, Leticiel herself also got out of laboratory.
On her way to the Magic Training Field, Leticiel passed by many students in the main building. She noticed that the nobles in this time and age seemed to be quite busy, as they were all talking about their plans after school, such as attending private lessons, soirées, or parties.
It appeared that an evening party was being held in some noble’s house today, as it was the talk of all these noble sons and daughters.
(Hooray for being shunned!)
Drossel’s family was neglecting her at any opportunity. This was most likely the reason why she neither had to take any private lessons nor show up to any soirée or party. Leticiel was ecstatic that she was able to freely use her time after school.
By the time Leticiel reached the Magic Training Field, Mirandalette had already begun independent practice. Her usual level of energy would have been more than enough, but today, the sparkles in her eyes seemed to be shining even brighter.
“Mira, you seem especially motivated today, huh?”
“Yes! There’s no tea party or evening party after this, so I can focus on practicing Magecraft!”
“Really? But I heard there was some kind of evening party happening today.”
“It’s probably an exclusive one for high-ranking nobles. Those kinds of parties are few and far between, but I don’t get along well with those elites, so I’m glad I wasn’t invited.”
Saying so, Mirandalette assumed a triumphant pose with both her arms before forming a broad smile.
On that day, upon returning to the residence, Leticiel noticed that the Duke household was wrapped in a restless atmosphere for some reason.
“…Say, Ruvik. Is something going on today?”
Leticiel was standing by her room entrance with Ruvik next to her. Taking a glance at the servants bustling about the hallway, she raised a question to her butler. Ruvik himself had been also working with the other servants until then.
“Indeed. My lady’s residence is holding an evening party today, so all the servants have been preparing for it.”
“Oh, I see…”
Hearing Ruvik’s explanation, Leticiel realized that Christa and Rochefort were the ones hosting the evening party she had heard about. It seemed to be an extravagant gathering befitting a party which only high-ranking nobles were invited to.
However, despite hearing about it, Leticiel couldn’t imagine such a party. After all, ‘evening party’ only existed as words back in the age she lived in.
“Will you be participating, my lady?”
“Of course not. It sounds like a pain.”
For someone like Leticiel who didn’t enjoy socializing with others, an evening party full of strangers could only be a tedious event.
As the host’s relative, it would have been customary for Leticiel to attend the party. However, that oblivious girl didn’t know about such common sense.
Hearing Leticiel’s reply, Ruvik put his hand on his chin and thought for a moment before he began to grumble about something.
“But all the cooks are busy preparing food for the party tonight. The Master and the Mistress will be having dinner at the party too, so it’s likely the cooks won’t have any time to make dinner for my lady…”
”Oh? There’ll be food?”
“Well, I said food, but it’s more like light snacks. And there will be sweets and champagne prepared as well.”
Suddenly, the image of Mirandalette smiling as she talked about sweets flashed through Leticiel’s mind.
She was reminded of the girl’s fervent speech about the thing called ‘flan’, rekindling Leticiel’s interest about the dish.
“Say, Ruvik. Will there be… flan, at the party tonight?”
“Huh? Uhhh, there should be, I think. If you want, why not go eat them?”
“You’re right… I just happen to be hungry, so maybe I’ll have something at the party.”
“Underst… Wait a minute! My lady, are you planning to attend in your uniform!?”
Leticiel was made aware that showing up to the evening party wearing her uniform wasn’t a good idea.
She thought it was fine if she was only going there to have dinner. However, due to Ruvik’s frantic insistence stopping her, Leticiel acquiesced and went back into her walk-in-closet. Having changed to an appropriate dress, she headed for the banquet hall where the party was taking place.
The hall was filled with nobles clothed in gorgeous dresses adorned with various accessories. They were all enjoying friendly chats in the hall under the dazzling glow of the chandelier. Despite the spectacle unfolding before her, Leticiel’s gaze was fixed on a table by the side of the hall.
(…Huh? What’s with this dish? It’s so white… I wonder what kind of ingredients they used to make it? But the dishes over there are all colorful. Maybe its main ingredient is some kind of vegetable? And this dish over here too—”
Leticiel’s eyes were frolicking all over the table like a child seeing a myriad of dishes she had never seen before lined up next to each other.
While being at a loss for choices, Leticiel began to silently eat the plate of food in her hand. The nobles surrounding her were staring as if they were witnessing something incomprehensible. Their reactions were understandable. As the relative of the host, she should have been seated at one of the seats of honor, yet, this girl was single-mindedly eating among the guests.
“…—that was why I made that decision at the time. To not let people look down on someone like me. There are more too, for example two years ago…”
“Geez, Rochefort. It’s not good to tell your story without taking a break, you know? Here, please drink this and rest for a bit.”
“Ooh! Thanks, Christa! You’re so kind!”
While Christa and Rochefort’s voices could be heard from the other side, Leticiel, who currently only had her eyes for food, filtered out their conversation like background noise. Her mind was fully devoted to enjoying the unknown foods before her.
“Now that I think about it, isn’t your elder sister, Sareenah getting married soon?”
“Yes, your Highness. Lately, even my elder brother has been busy helping with the preparations for her ceremony.”
The cheerful voice of Christa went into Leticiel’s right ear and straight out the left as the girl was busy stuffing herself full with flan.
While she was half in doubt about what Mirandalette claimed, after trying some herself, Leticiel realized that the girl hadn’t been exaggerating at all. The moment it entered her mouth, it began to melt, and as it intertwined with the sauce, it created a unique sweet taste with a tinge of bitterness.
“…Elder Sister Drossel?”
While she was indulging in the bittersweet taste of the pudding, someone called out to Leticiel. She finished her last mouthful before turning around to find Christa and several other girls looking at her. Their faces looked like they couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
“Why are you… here at this party?”
It seemed the fact that Leticiel was attending the party was a surprise to Christa.
“The host of this party is the Duke household… or to be precise, you, right? So is there something wrong with me showing my face here?”
“N-no, no, but I mean…”
It had turned into a situation of answering a question with a question. Unable to respond to Leticiel’s flawless reasoning, Christa was left speechless. An air of silence filled the space between the two for some time.
“…Um, Elder Sister Drossel, what were you having just now…?”
Leticiel had no idea why Christa’s eyes were wide-open, as all she had done was answering the question that had been asked. Despite trying her best, Leticiel couldn’t fathom why her sister would be surprised here.
“But Elder Sister, I thought you disliked sweets?”
“I just felt like eating flan today. I mean, don’t you sometimes feel like eating a lot of sweets?”
“Y-yeah, you’re… right…”
Hearing Leticiel’s reasoning, Christa’s eyes began to lose focus. As if thinking about something, she stopped speaking and sank into silence.
“Hey, Drossel! Christa was kind enough to check up on you, and yet you can’t even answer her clearly. What the hell have you been up to?!”
A boorish voice entered Leticiel’s ears. Leticiel turned around while slightly knitting her eyebrows to find Rochefort staring daggers at her.
“…Hm? And what did you mean by that?”
Seeing the clear displeasure on her face, Rochefort’s glare grew even sharper.
“You, I’ve been watching you for a while now. You’ve been up to something!”
“Even if you asked me that, I simply showed up for the party to have a meal, you know?”
Hearing such a shameless answer, Rochefort’s shoulders began to tremble.
It was common knowledge that evening parties were for nobles to socialize and exchange information. The food prepared was merely for show as eating them would ruin their makeup. However, Leticiel was oblivious to those facts.
“To think that you don’t even know how disgraceful you were acting, and you call yourself a member of the Duke household! You wretch! How dare you participate in this party so shamelessly!”
WIth that, Rochefort let out a snort full of disgust. However, that only served to make Leticiel more confused.
“I don’t get what you’re saying, Your Highness. Is there something wrong with me, a member of the Duke’s household, participating in a party hosted by the Duke’s household?”
Because of Rochefort’s shouting, all the surrounding nobles turned their heads towards the pair out of curiosity and were surprised by Leticiel’s face.
“Wait, that person… could she be Drossel?”
“Huh? By Drossel you mean, that Drossel? I’ve attended these evening parties for years now, and this is my first time seeing her face.”
The whispers kept increasing, but Leticiel paid them no heed as she continued talking.
”Your Highness, did you know? In the olden age of chaos, people didn’t have grand mansions or lavish food like this. All they had were constant life-or-death wars as well as the power to defend themselves. However, even in that age, nobody would fail to respect another, regardless of their gender or lineage; every single soul was their own person.”
For Leticiel, that was simply common sense. However, it seemed to be a foreign idea in the current day and age as the audience began to chatter among themselves as if it had left a deep impression on them. Perhaps it was the fact that this way of thinking wasn’t mainstream in a kingdom with a rigid noble society like this.
“It’s true that I technically hold the title of Your Highness’ fiancé. However, before that, I’m a person named Drossel Noa Filiaregis. It’s a blessing for the Duke household to receive so many distinguished guests today. In front of those guests at such a wonderful party, wouldn’t you say it’d be better for you to act as a role-model by showing your magnanimity?”
In reality, Leticiel thought it would be easier to directly tell him ‘I’m not your tool or anything, you bastard, so stop telling me what to do’. However, the other party was still a prince and there were many nobles witnessing this charade. In the end, Leticiel bit her lip and stated her opinion in a composed manner.
Leticiel’s words had prevented Rochefort from being able to say anything. His eyes began to wander as he tried his best to find a response, yet not a single word came out of his mouth in the end.
The guests who noticed the situation began to take peeks in Leticiel and Rochefort’s direction as they secretly whispered among themselves.
Taking a glance at the current state of the banquet hall, Leticiel decided that it was about time for her to withdraw. She had been able to try most of the dishes that she wanted to eat, and she would only remain the center of attention if she stayed.
”I’ll be taking my leave now. Everyone, please enjoy yourselves.”
With some brief parting words, Leticiel promptly left the banquet hall while ignoring all the voices and eyes chasing after her.
“I have to say, Drossel is truly a wise person just like the rumors.”
“Yeah, I’ve never seen her in any social event before, so I didn’t know about that myself. But that speech and her demeanor must have been carefully thought out. How wonderful.”
“She did seem to be a bit peculiar. But she looked so dignified when she boldly admonished His Highness.”
Even after Drossel’s exit, the commotion in the banquet hall continued on for some time as everyone was whispering about her. Amidst that crowd, Rochefort was muttering his grudge against his own fiancé.
While silently waiting by his side, without a single expression on her face, Christa continued to stare in the direction her elder twin sister had left with eyes cold as ice.