Alma-chan and I are now second year students at the Knights School this spring. We are still in the same class! Hooray! Nick too. And Kodak-sensei will also be our teacher.
Unfortunately, there were no girls among the freshmen this year. So me and Alma-chan are the only girls. I looked at the gold ring on the little finger on my left.
This gold ring is a proof of the friendship between our four girls.
Before our Seniors’ graduation, Alma-chan brought a small piece of gold and said she wanted the help of Granzeus. She seemed to have been searching for a mineral that is much easier to process while receiving the guild request on holidays.
“With the meager amount of money I had earned…… I’m a little embarrassed…… but I want to make something that connects the four of us…… But I have no ideas on what form it should take……”
We were moved to tears. Alma-chan dearly cares for us. And I know this isn’t a one-sided feeling.
Even in this world, gold is expensive. If sold, it would be about one million gold coins in value.
But in the end, it wasn’t a matter of money, but rather, we chose a past and future together over money.
I gladly asked Papa to introduce us to a goldsmith. Four delicate rings, with the images of the ivy surrounding the Knights School imprinted on them, are completed. They are prepared for the little finger of the non-dominant hands so as to not be a deterrace in battles.
When I received it from the craftsman, I secretly cast some spells on them. A new magic this time. It will detect when the lifeforce of the three people other than me are about to go out, and release a lightning strike to whomever is responsible. I ended up feeling dizzy when I used the magic on the three.
At first, I decided to cast a spell which, when they are in danger, it will be conveyed to me. But then I realized, it would end up being useless if I am no longer alive.
On the morning of the graduation ceremony, Eris-san and Sasara-san both wore them on the spot, and hugged Alma-chan and me.
May my first friends be protected even after I’m gone.
And I have another extra accessory… Though it might be too heavy to actually call it that… Ghilane’s plate.
Every time I touch it and see it, I remember that snowy night. Then, I would become so red, turn blue, squat down, and say something in a strange voice. Which would be followed by,
「The springtime of youth.」
「Ash, you seems to have read a lot about youth and spring.」
「I do? I guess?」
“……You both seem to be having a lot of fun with this! I’m so grateful I might want to make Ghilane bald at this rate!”
「Sera! My bad! Sera shouldn’t say that it’s fashionable and cast such spells! Don’t even utter such words!」
「Sera! Don’t involve Ghilane in this! I’ll be punished! Also, it’s your Sacred Beast who is at fault!」
Although Ghilane frequently sends Ash, he respects my willingness to do my best in the current situation.
Can I be strong enough to line up next to Ghilane in two years?
Will Ghilane even need me two years later?
Three years later, even if I turned 17-year-old, and not convicted… Can I be loved by someone?
Then, lunch time. Me, Alma-chan, and Lu are at a table… Cecil as well. Cecil too is in the same class as us this year.
“I’m thrilled to have lunch with Serafiona-sama! I am overwhelmed with emotions! I want someone to please tell me that this is not actually a dream!”
Alma-chan looks at her older brother, who is also now in second grade, with clear and obvious scornful eyes.
Lu sighs sadly on my shoulder after giving a glance at Cecil. Today’s Lu talks rather less.
“Cecil, the matter we have been talking about, report! Briefly! Accurately!”
“Yes! Following the order of Serafiona-sama, I’ve attended the cherry-blossom viewing party at the Royal Palace!”
Cecil is becoming my obedient dog… But he’s not the only one! Many such perverts are at my beck and call!
“The invited guests are the top nobles and those in key positions. Oh, I however didn’t see the Finance Minister.”
Papa can’t go… He might be captivated by Maribelle.
“Umm, Prince Schneider, unusually for him, attended for the first 15 minutes. During his presence, Her Royal Highness seemed a bit nervous. While His Highness Schneider looks to be in good condition.”
So… He feigned illness after all?
“I was invited as a friend of His Highness Gardner.”
I nod while eating the salad.
“Among the guests of His Majesty Gardner are Isabella-sama, and of course, Lady Maribelle.”
“How was the drill Noble Lady? How was she?”
Alma-chan asks while swallowing her sandwich. She seems to care for the Marquis Daughter.
“Isabela-sama has a composed aura, and was in a dull-pink dress. She was quietly looking at the flowers outside, but she was quickly surrounded by the other Noble Daughters, and was complemented for her gorgeous looks with the dress.”
I designed it after all!
“Lady Maribelle seems to be interested in Serafiona-sama. She was by His Highness side all the time, and keeps chatting with the male students from the Magic School.”
“Which male students in particular?”
“The second son of Marquis Dale, Cain-sama; and the son of Viscount Wentz, Harry-sama.”
They are the sons of the Prime Ministers, the two allocated the positions of loyal dogs following Maribelle’s every order. There should have been more around her, I thought…… And I wondered if Older Brother, the magician; and Cecil, the macho; will join them.
“So, what of the mission I gave you?”
“Of course, I accomplished all three. First, I went to greet Lady Maribelle while wearing my Knights School uniform, and had a polite conversation with her. Second, I stayed a little distance away from her and stared at her for about 3 seconds. And lasty, the third, when the party was over, I went to greet her again, said she was beautiful like a rose, and asked for a handshake.”
“Sorry to put you through such troubles. What is your impression of Lady Maribelle then?”
“She said, ‘I’m sure you’ll be a great commander in the Knights Order soon after graduation, I wish you would defend me with your spear.’ However, I had concluded that it is not an era where knights on horses with spears are needed, so I picked up only the bow as soon as I entered this school. Of course, I wanted to practise the bow besides Serafiona-sama. Ufufu.”
“When I asked, ‘Since you’re a very powerful magician, would I even have to protect you?’ She replied, ‘My magic is not meant to hurt people, so I need a Knight to protect me’.”
“So, umm, how did Cecil answer?”
“‘A knight isn’t one who protects the strong, I will protect the people who have neither magic nor power’.”
“Cecil is actually saying the 『Knight’s moral code』!”
Alma-chan is wide-eyed in shock.
“And how does Lady Maribelle reply?”
“‘What? That’s strange! Is it broken?’ Or something.”
“Finally, what do you think of Lady Maribelle? Tell me if you think she is fit to be a queen?”
“Well, Lady Maribelle, apart from her amazing magic powers, is just a commoner… Or rather, just mediocre. She kept on bringing up the story about the Knight’s Commander, so she might be a bit slow in her head. She has no consideration for social status. Also, we’ve only just met, but she was already talking so intimately to me. I gave her a handshake, but her palm isn’t one that belonged to someone who has been swinging a sword all her life. Unlike Serafiona-sama and Alma. Her being the Queen will be… harsh. I think Isabella-sama, who has been seriously educated by the royal family, is a safer bet taking into consideration the future of the country.”
“But isn’t Maribelle cute? And, the more His Highness likes her, the more he wants her as the queen! Don’t you feel something like that?”
“I worship women who are stronger, rather than cuter, so I won’t mix my hobbies with my servitude to His Highness.”
Cecil turns to us and we stare right back at him… He’s blushing.
And he is more than 30 centimeters taller than me!
“I see… Cecil, thank you for your hard work. And, here’s a token of my gratitude!”
I gave him a vanilla ice cream.
“Ah… Serafiona-sama! I will never forget this wonderful day!”
Cecil is in tears.
“Hey Serafi, why is your reward ice cream?”
“I do not want to hand him my leftovers.”
“I get it.”
Cecil puts one hand on his cheek and eats the ice cream in glee.
It is a small price to pay if Cecil is happy to work for just one ice cream. Although Cecil’s actions in the previous life are imprinted in my mind, after today, I can actually use Cecil, who is in close contact with His Majesty Ghilane. So I will keep using him. In the future, he may turn to my enemy once again, but it doesn’t matter. When things get to that, I can just crush him with my full power.
Though I say that, I don’t particularly intend to be hostile unless he turns against me. After all, he is my Sweetheart Alma-tan’s twin after all.
Cecil spoke to Maribelle, stared at her, and got in contact with her. However, Cecil’s feelings do not lean towards her at all.
Cecil is… This time, white.
“The verification is over. Lu, are you prepared?”
On a luxurious spring day holiday, in the territory of Granzeus, I gave my beloved Lu and Papa a heel drop on their heads…