“Go on, take a seat over there.”
In the art room that contained most of what looks like Lucas’ stuff, I was urged to sit on a single chair by the window and quietly sat down on it. Even though the other chairs were either stools or too shabby, this one was the only ornamental one.
With the unique smell of dried oils in the air, I scrunched my nose.
Even though Bern was persistent about entering the art room as well, Lucas whispered something into his ear, and reluctantly accepted to wait outside instead. Y-you’re kidding…
Although Bern was still worried, since it didn’t seem like he was on guard, it doesn’t look like I’ll get hurt.
Ah, but still… I don’t think I can have an honest conversation with Lucas. To begin with, I’m not sociable enough to be able to speak comfortably when meeting others for the first time. Especially someone who I’m bad with dealing with.
“Don’t be so stiff, just relax for a minute.”
For a minute, he said. If it’s a minute, then I can’t relax at all. I’m unsettled.
Grabbing a stool from somewhere, Lucas dragged it in front of me and sat down. In his hands were sketching materials.
As I wondered if he’s going to look this way with a serious expression, he suddenly added two new lamps around me. Without pause, my surroundings became bright, and I became slightly relieved.
Even though I was relieved, I felt scared, since it felt like the beginning of a ritual or something. Lucas really looked like a magician. Even the arrangements of the lights felt as if he was sacrificing me to summon something.
Only now was I thankful that this wasn’t a world of magic.
He did many minute adjustments to the lamps, over and over. With nothing to do, I killed the time by observing the absentminded and restless Lucas.
Finally satisfied, he returned to his stool, rested an art board on his knee, and then looked my way with a grin.
“Wh-what is it?”
“Nothing, I’ve just been wanting to have a proper talk with you for once.”
But I don’t particularly have anything I want to talk to you about!
“…Hmm~ Straighten your back a bit… Face a little to the right. That’s right, ah, tilt your chin down.”
I don’t know the reason why, but I did as I was told. If he plans on doing something here, with me being exhausted, I probably won’t put up much of a fight.
Ughhh. He was even saying lines that I was told when I took a photo at a studio in my previous life.
It was for my coming-of-age ceremony. While struggling to get used to the kimono, I also struggled with the poses that were changed with minute details many times over. Even now, his requests sound like the old photographer grandpa that looked like he was about to fall off. To this day, I still don’t know what’s up with that.
“Okay, keep that pose.”
Having my posture like this, even though I intended to straighten it normally, I knew I was a little hunchbacked.
Because of the surrounding lamps, my feet slowly got warmer.
And speaking of Lucas, without asking me any questions, his eyes would switch between me and his hand as he drew.
Despite him sometimes staring at me, our eyes wouldn’t meet, and I wasn’t able to relax at all.
My gaze wandered about, and I couldn’t see anything interesting because of the darkness. Rather, with the shadows from the lamps’ light, the paintings adorning the walls looked terrifying.
Although it wasn’t the middle of the night, the dark art room still looks terrifying. This would definitely be included in the school’s Seven Wonders.
Even though the room was too quiet, all I heard was the bzzt sound of the lamp’s light.
Wait a minute, why is he drawing like usual!?
As it all happened too naturally, I was made to believe that I was brought here to have my portrait drawn for a moment, but he had brought me here to ask me about pushing Lila. No way was it to draw a picture.
I-I wonder if it’s okay to ask him like this…
Or rather, coming from this person, is this his intention? It’s not like he was serious about asking me about it, right? A hallucination? Did I hallucinate it?
Confused, I broke the silence and said.
“Weren’t you going to ask me about the issue?”
“Then, did you push down Lila-san?”
“There, that’s it.”
“No, no, wait.”
He didn’t even ask how it happened. Thinking that he wouldn’t ask me anymore than this, I became nervous.
Without thinking, he stood up and thrust the pointed pencil in front of me.
Including my superiors in my previous life, teachers are the type of people I’m unable to disobey, and so I hurriedly went back to holding my pose.
Nonetheless, I can’t let him just finish sketching like this.
In order to learn of Lucas’ true intentions, I nervously talked to him as he concentrated on drawing.
“…Sensei, you believe I didn’t do it, right?”
Giving a vague answer, Lucas’ hands stop.
As before, I said.
“You’re not interested, huh?”
“That’s not it.”
Because of the orange light of the lamps, I couldn’t figure out the color of his eyes, but looking at them through the gaps of his deep purple hair, visible even in the dark, I could see that he was intensely focused on the drawing.
And suddenly, he raised his head, and as if he was gossiping, lightheartedly said.
“Oh yeah, I was the one who introduced Carneille-san to my father. That’s why even I’m interested in this matter.”
That’s why, no matter how you look at it, of course you’d be interested. In the game, he seriously was the type of person to go against public opinion.
Or rather, for him to say that with no hesitation, I’m pretty sure the root of the rumor of Lila being Duke Rottger’s illegitimate child is Lucas.
So that means that Lucas is on Lila’s side. If so, I wonder why he stopped them earlier…
No, wait. Alois looked like he was at a disadvantage at that time. Thinking about it, it seemed like he saved Alois then.
Then, if Lucas is on Lila’s side, I wonder why he brought me here to talk.
Does he plan on ending it here irresponsibly, and then announcing that I really am the culprit?
But Bern wasn’t cautious of him. That’s because Bern decided that Lucas meant no harm.
Hmm. I don’t know anymore.
Since I don’t know, I should really just ask him directly. At any rate, I can’t win if I don’t do anything.
“Sensei, whose side are you on?”
As I was too nervous, I accidentally said that with a slight glare, and he looked back at me as if I was an impatient student.
“Hehe, don’t look at me with that scary face on you. Let’s see… If I had to say it, I’m a knight.”
“The type that would offer his life and loyalty to a single princess.”
Single princess, does he mean the girl who passed away?
To the bitter end, he’s still the type of guy to suffer from his first love, but I wonder how that girl relates to all of this.
It seems that just this once, I have to properly learn more about Lucas’ first love.
Let’s ask Bern or maybe Ionius tomorrow.
As I pondered, Lucas finally gave up on the drawing and did a slight stretch.
“Hmm. I wonder if this is fine for today. It’s already late, it’d be troublesome if your fiancée gets tired of waiting and breaks down the door again.”
“Did you lock the door!?”
“No? Ah, you wanna see? It came out nicely even if I do say so myself.”
Damn, he’s definitely making fun of me.
Ah, I really want to go back quickly and have a pajama party (temporary)… As for the pillow fights, Katerina can’t do it since she’ll get angry, but if it’s gossiping about love, then I’m pretty sure she’ll be okay with it. Nonetheless, we have to be careful since it seems like there are idiots that break into the women’s dormitory here at the Royal Academy.
Although I haven’t said anything about wanting to see it yet, Lucas excitedly looked my way and turned over the board.
On it was me, sitting on a chair, and a woman standing behind me.
As expected of an art teacher, although it’s only a rough sketch, he’s really good.
Particularly because I’m fond of realism, what stood out from the woman behind was that she was really lovely. Even though he made it look prettier than… it really is? Why are there two people? No, wait! Who the hell is that!?
“S-Sensei, who’s the girl behind me?”
I nervously asked, but Lucas only gave me a quiet smile.
As I said, that’s really scary.
W-was it because you didn’t warn me that a ghost was behind me? Stop it~! I’m bad with occult stuff!
It felt as if the air behind me suddenly turned cold. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough courage to look behind me, so I didn’t.
Ah, Bern, why didn’t you stay with me? If it’s him, I’m sure he’d even defeat a ghost. Although I have no evidence, that’s what I believe deep down.
Looking again at the woman in the drawing, she looks back with a cool-like, expressionless gaze. Despite the unrefined sketch, I was still able to look at her beauty, but she gave off the feeling of an extremely cold woman.
At that moment, I wondered why I was struck with a feeling of familiarity.
Do I know her?
“…You’ll know sooner or later.”
Lucas avoided the question again.
Even though there was no breeze coming through, the lamps suddenly swayed.
“Since you’re an important girl to me.”
With his eyes seemingly like an inky abyss, Lucas stares right through me at something far away. At that moment, he felt like a living being whose nature I don’t know. I got goosebumps all over my arms.
What does he mean by ‘important girl’!? Since we haven’t talked until now, then doesn’t that mean we haven’t directly met each other before today–?!
This isn’t good. Since it’s like this, I can only think that I’m being sacrificed.
It’s no use, I’m scared. Let’s go home. That’s right, that would be great.
In the first place, being in the art room at night is a dangerous situation to be in!
“…If you’ll excuse me!!”
Although that was improper of me, I stood up as the chair made a creaking noise. I quickly went past Lucas and headed towards the door.
I quickly opened the door and immediately went out. Standing by outside was Bern, who upon noticing me, let out a sigh of relief.
Just before I left the room, I heard Lucas let out a small laugh.