Seeing as I can’t fight on an empty stomach, I changed my clothes and went for my meal at the cafeteria.
Lunch already ended a while ago, so we had the cafeteria all to ourselves. It’s convenient that there’s no one that’ll look at us strangely, but it’s unfortunate that only the snack menu is available.
Although classes have yet to end, when I asked Darius who came along with me, ‘Do you want to skip class?’ he quickly answered, ‘Sure.’ This damn delinquent!
As the three of us ate messy sandwiches, Darius gives me the pickles that it came with, as always. I don’t get why he does that, but I have nothing against pickles, so when I munched on it, Bern also gave me his, which turned into an awkward situation where I’m eating three people’s pickles.
Pickles are delicious when eaten in small amounts, but it seems that they dislike eating it this much. Well, I’ll take what I can get.
Although I’ve talked myself weary a whole lot about the Hidden Student Council, a moderate amount of members, who were still in class like Darius was, have been busy for some reason.
Well, I did say a moderate amount, but even if it was only ten people, at least the central members, Ionius and Helena, are gathered as well.
As I pondered, my name was called, and Clarissa rushed over to us.
Despite rushing over, she looked as if she was lost on how to talk to me and stopped two steps away, fidgeting. I did say I’ve completely forgiven her, but she clearly hasn’t gotten rid her feelings of guilt.
Well, it’s because Clarissa’s an honest girl, so even though I’ve forgiven her with such complicated, human feelings, I’d probably feel the same complicated feelings she’s feeling if I was in her shoes.
“How’s your condition? Does it hurt anywhere?”
“I’m fine. Rather, I slept too much. Why are you here, Clarissa?”
Seeing as I wasn’t rejecting her, Clarissa relaxed to some extent.
“I couldn’t get out of doing homework despite being attacked as your roommate. Besides, I’m not so limited despite Alois-sama not taking revenge on me.”
I agreed with her, saying, ‘That’s also true,’ but realized that isn’t exactly it.
I have a feeling that the real reason Clarissa’s here isn’t because she wants to protect herself from Alois.
Alois laid out all sorts of annoying traps, but because his own hands aren’t soiled, we won’t be able to accuse him of his crimes with just Donald and Clarissa’s testimonies.
Innocent until proven guilty is a trait of noble society.
On the other hand, if Alois keeps his lips sealed, that itself may be sufficient proof, and we wouldn’t have had to do things this way from the beginning.
Most likely the Hidden Student Council protecting Clarissa is a diversion for Alois.
Seems I can finally figure out everything’s that’s going on.
I’m patting myself on the back, but it doesn’t seem like I’ve been so smart lately, right? If you added my previous life, I’d probably be in my forties, but it’s definitely as a famous person said: It’s not too late to grow up. Though I wish I hadn’t realized I’m in my forties already.
“Okay, since the President and the President’s wife are already here, should we start the strategy meeting soon?”
What’s with ‘President’s wife’? That makes it sound like I’m a rich wife brandishing her fingers full of rings like a weapon, but I don’t remember when I became like that.
At Ionius’ words, several of the members, immersed in their individual work, gathered around, bustling. Each of them brought chairs over, and when they finished gathering, they looked like an irregular circle.
I followed as well, and as I searched for a chair, Bern already prepared one for me. For him to suddenly do this with no hesitation, I felt a little embarrassed.
“Let’s see, Clarissa. This is a follow-up on your cooperation with Alois, but would you please tell us more about the fortune teller with the Donitz family?”
Oh yeah, she did mention that as well.
She did say that Alois heavily relies on that fortune teller, I think.
All at once, attention was on Clarissa and because she’s not used to it, she fixed the hem of her skirt for no reason, and with a bit of nervousness, began to talk.
“The fortune teller’s name is Viola. Originally, she had been the daughter of a chamberlain of the Donitz family and worked as a maid from a young age.”
“How did a simple maid become a fortune teller?”
“I was only told a simple version of it, but Alois-sama said that she had one day seen the future and managed to prevent his and his mother’s assassination.”
Wasn’t Alois’ mother a special existence?
When I tilted my head to the side, Clarissa explained further.
“Count Donitz has a wife and a mistress. His mother was the mistress, and uhm, they were originally business partners…”
“Ah, a prostitute?”
Darius bluntly said with an indifferent look as Clarissa hesitantly tried glossing over the matter. How should I say this? With that extreme ‘consideration’ of his, whoever becomes his wife will definitely be someone enlightened or close to it.
It does bring back memories of the fact that Alois’ mother was a prostitute, but I could only vaguely remember it.
Clarissa began to gently continue the conversation once more.
“Yes, well, that was definitely her occupation. I’ve met her several times, but she’s an extremely beautiful, and kind person, and because she was originally from an affluent merchant family, she’s also cultured. She could only lower her own position to that of a mistress for her own sake, but she’s favored by Count Donitz. And as expected, with extreme jealousy and envy from the countess…”
For a non-noble, much less a prostitute to steal away her husband’s love, the highly prideful wife finally planned the assassinations of both the mother and child in her hatred.
“And then Viola, who had seen the future, informed him of the wife’s schemes and saved both him and his mother, right?”
“Yes. Ever since then, she seemed to correctly predict various huge internal events and became the Donitz’ exclusive fortune teller. And because she had saved Alois-sama’s life, he has full trust in her. My becoming his fiancée was also correctly predicted by her… Additionally, although he didn’t clearly say this, but I think that if Alois-sama and I had married, he planned on taking Viola as his mistress.”
Just like how the Count took Alois’ mother as his mistress.
He may not be completely selfish after all.
There’s probably some female members here in the room who got offended at that.
Of course, I feel offended as well, but more so than that, I began to slowly remember more of my memories of Alois’ route as I listened to Clarissa’s story.
His mother was a huge influence on Alois.
His kind, good-natured mother was selfishly poisoned out of anger by the wife because she was a former prostitute, and having been poisoned himself as well, Alois hovered between life and death. The one who miraculously saved him was his mother, who he lost forever, and he only received the cold shoulder from the wife, with no allies in the estate.
Alois was the mistress’ son, and additionally, the second son, the possibility of him inheriting the title was extremely low, but when the wife tried to aim for his life once more, he purposely played the part of a happy-go-lucky playboy. If he acted like an idiot hooked on women, and additionally being the second son, the wife will turn a blind eye to him.
But it’s wasn’t as if Alois gave up on becoming the head of the family.
While acting as the playboy second son, he steadily increased his personal connections and even managed to gain the status of being a close friend of the Prince at school. Everything was for the sake of pushing aside his brother, born from the wife, from becoming the head as well as revenge against the wife.
It may be like the game, or it may not.
Hmm, sorry, to be honest, I’m not so confident about it. But I have a feeling this was the case. Maybe, definitely, probably.
Putting that aside, I’m sure that for Alois, his mother’s death was a huge turning point, and based on what I’ve been told, his mother escaped death.
But if Viola had knowledge of this?
Of course they’ll watch her actions after preventing her death.
“Hey, Clarissa. Was it Viola who settled this whole matter with the Donitz house?”
“I wonder… The wife was sent to a far off health resort because of the assassination attempt, and the mistress of the house is actually Alois-sama’s mother. Alois-sama’s brother seems to adore her more so than the wife, despite being hard to please… Probably. You could say that by chance, Viola settled the Donitz’ family’s problem.”
“There’s also a high possibility that Viola, who had immersed herself like that into the Donitz family, is being controlled by Alois…”
Bit by bit, I began to see the fortune teller who was shrouded in mystery.
I have no definitive proof yet. There’s the chance of Viola being an actual psychic that can see into the future.
But it’s still too early to think she’s a psychic, if I could get a good look at her personally, I should be able to do something about Alois.
As someone who knows of a method to find out the future despite not being a psychic — scratch that, of people who hold memories of the “future.”
There’s no mistaking it. Viola is a reincarnator as well, same as me and Lila.
I realized that when I heard that Lila had been actively moving about, different from the game, ever since Thanksgiving five years ago, I thought of the possibility that she was a reincarnator, and that someone aside from her who was around Alois and Johann was also one.
I definitely didn’t think that both of my guesses would actually be true.
About how, aside from Lila, there’s another mob-like person like me who has memories of a past life. Besides, there’s nothing mysterious about it. Even if she was a Donitz family maid.
If it’s like that, then that would explain why Alois quickly became cautious of Bern.
If I’m able to talk to her, I think I’ll be able to make sure of it, but on the other hand, she might come to purely hate me, just like with Lila.
Oh yeah, I wonder what happened to Lila.
Seems she was absent from class today as well.
As I continued to immerse myself in my thoughts, I was ripped away from those thoughts by the vigorous opening of the door.
Everyone’s gazes were on Katerina, and with no resemblance of having taken the queen training, made a miserable-looking face when she saw me, as if she was about to cry.
“I apologize. The truth is that I wanted to see your face immediately, but because I was suspicious when I asked onii-sama if you were really okay even though you took a leave of absence from school, he told me to go to school as usual. I was so sure that you had gone through an extremely dreadful experience. Were you really not injured anywhere? Even Ionius said you’re fine, but I don’t particularly trust that oaf right there.”
“Oh wow, you know what an oaf is.”
“Please shut your mouth, Ionius!”
Despite Katerina chastising the rude Ionius, she got worked up and waved her fan about.
Seeing her consideration and the usual scene in front of me, I unconsciously smiled..
“I’m fine, Katerina-sama. Thank you very much for worrying about me.”
In order to show her that I’m really okay, I put my hands on my hips, and showed her an imposing stance.
Ah, wait, I have no particular reason for doing that, but it just gives the feeling of, ‘See, I’m fine!’
Katerina stopped waving her fan and said, ‘I was so scared, you know!’ as she hugged me with my imposing stance. She passionately hugged me, overcome with emotion, and even though she barely put any strength into it and I had a hard time breathing, it’s not so bad that she was this worried about me.
When the touching scene between me and Katerina unfolded, a new visitor joined our meeting. The nearby Helena tried to deal with them, but Katerina prevented her from doing so.
After hugging me, Katerina then suddenly made a splendidly imposing stance in front of Bern as she gave a nicely, willful and daunting voice, shouting ‘Onii-sama!’
Bern unconsciously recoiled back from Katerina’s unusually angry look. Interesting.
“Onii-sama, just for whose sake is that big frame of yours!? Lizia went through a dangerous experience! Even that ham actor over there is better than you!”
I don’t think it has anything to do with Bern being big, Katerina.
By the way, ham actor and an amateur have the same meaning. Ionius, is your acting bad? Hmm, looks like it is.
Not even able to get a word in, Bern made his big frame look smaller as Katerina lost her temper at him, which was the same as always, and there were a lot of members inside the room that made complicated-looking faces, unsure whether they should be surprised or smiling, at the reversal of their roles.
“To begin with, I have a lot of things I would like to talk to onii-sama about.”
After that, Katerina’s scolding continued for a while, and from what I caught last, she even brought up something from a long time ago from when we were kids where he always left her to go horse riding. At the end, for some reason, it just ended up her verbally abusing him. He looks so pitiful.
I had no more interest in watching the funny scene of Bern angering Katerina, but Bern really looks pitiful and looks as though he’s not used to it. And because of the sermon, Katerina’s face reddened, and for some reason, gave up as she openly pulled away from Bern.
Halfway through, Ionius had taken me away with a bitter smile, and right now, I’m eating a cookie with herb tea.
I had been terribly hungry even with the sandwich, so for just a bit, I snacked on these. I wondered if the cookies had herbs as well as I smelled the simple, sweet smell coming from it, which had already become a habit of mine.
“I’m terribly sorry for making you wait, Titus-san.”
“It’s no bother. Rather, I was able to see something interesting.”
As I slowly ate the cookies, Bern apologized with embarrassment to the male student that had been completely ignored because of the scolding.
Because of his weak presence, he had been kept waiting and everyone had forgotten about him.
For him to also wait at the entrance because of his weak presence is a little too excessive though.
Wait a minute, why are they talking so formally?
Even though he’s not supposed to be older than him, I’ve never seen him in the clubroom either, so he’s not a member then?
Speaking of Titus, if I were to put it nicely, he looks like an adult with his glasses, but on the other hand, his looks are plain. He looks like the type to actually be a megane. And additionally, I have a feeling he’s actually angry.
“Is that Beryl from three years ago? Why is he here?”
“It is Beryl-senpai, huh. He used to be a member as well. I don’t know either seeing as I wasn’t really told the full details…”
It was as if Helena answered Darius’ usual arrogance with an, Okay, okay, I get it. Good job, do it some more, Helena-san!
Seems like Titus is a popular person.
Knowing that at least his face and name is in the same class as mine, I feel somewhat refreshed.
After Bern had exchanged a few words with Titus, he gave him the letter he had written in his room, and Titus also gave him a folded letter, just like the one he had just given.
Finishing their short conversation, Titus bowed with a grin and with an innocent face, easily left through the window facing the forest behind the school.
That’s right, not from the door, but from the window. By no means was that me mistaking what I saw, or a slip of the tongue.
Putting that aside, this is the third floor, is he going to be okay…?
“He’s, uhm, that kind of person…”
Perhaps no one was convinced, but from the sounds of it, no one asked again because of the absurd atmosphere.
There was still a bit of bewilderment, but Bern didn’t explain any further and looked at the letter he received from Titus.
He gave a slight groan and looked up from the letter.
“Looks like the luggage arrived. Katerina, can I borrow Ionius?”
“By all means.”
As always, she didn’t ask Ionius, with no regards to his approval on being lent, and it made me wonder if it was because of the scolding.
Or maybe she felt guilty?
When I thought of that, I had an aha! moment. The aha! moment where you realize it’s been two hours since the culprit was found.
It’s hard to imagine that Bern would specifically bring Ionius for just simple luggage. Considering the time, the luggage would be Johann. With Katerina close by, he called it luggage instead.
Wait a minute, does he also plan to interrogate Johann…? That’s unsettling!
Thinking that, I thought of testing something out just a bit.
I repeatedly poked Bern’s shoulder and spoke in a voice that no one else could hear.
“I have a request. I’d like to see the luggage as well.”
I thought that he would definitely make a surprised face, but he narrowed his eyes, slightly happy.
For some reason, he looks like an adult who’s happy that their kid’s finally growing up.
After some slight hesitation, Bern disappointingly nodded.
“But you’re sitting in with me and Ionius.”
Even I had planned on only sitting in with you guys.
The only time I’ve interacted with Johann was that one time at lunch, he was no different than an acquaintance. But I understand the person behind Johann Drexler more than Bern or Ionius.
What I’ll be doing from here on out will be the same as what Lila and Viola have done.
Though I’m still reluctant about feeling guilty of cheating.
But this stupid dispute should have ended a long time ago.