There were two girls relaxing in a room within the dormitory of the Royal Academy.
“You have so much free time.”
“It cannot be helped. I applied for a week’s leave in order to get away, so I cannot afford to show myself in broad daylight.”
They were Rona and Catalina.
Three days had passed since they carelessly ran away from Chris. They had been hiding together.
They foresaw the worst possibility in which Chris hunted them down all the way to their homes, so they decided to hide in plain sight.
The room was bigger than necessary, yet they felt bored and suffocated from hiding there.
“Three days have already passed. I wish Lady Chris’ wrath would fade with the passage of time.”
“I wonder. ……Oh.”
They got along pretty well despite the difference in social status, but staying together that long made them exhaust their conversation topics.
In contrast to Rona who leaned gracefully against her chair, Catalina stood up suddenly and went straight to the windowside to examine the situation. She used a hand mirror to reflect the light from the window.
“Ah, looks like she’s still upset after all. Also, word is that Lady Chris dissolved her own fan club.”
“……Is there any meaning to that strange action of yours?”
“Of course. I’ve been in contact with the club members outside and getting info from them.”
Rona didn’t know what to say.
Everything seemed suspicious to her.
“You are in the newspaper club, are you not?”
“……You are not a spy, correct?”
“Ahaha. Lady Rona, have you been reading too many entertainment novels? I wouldn’t be getting information in such an obvious way. That would reflect poorly on my job. Trust me.”
Catalina replied casually, so Rona didn’t bother pressing on. What she said was true. There was no way the newspaper club would do something so ridiculous as to use light signals. Although Catalina had been behaving as if she knew something, Rona pretended not to notice.
“I-I see. I am impressed that you managed to apply for leave.”
“Well of course.”
Rona changed topics in order to avert suspicion. The Academy had strict policies when it came to applying for leave. Even a family member’s wedding or funeral wouldn’t warrant a week’s leave.
Catalina simply nodded.
“I have something on the dormitory matron and one of the teachers, so this is a piece of cake for me.”
“I don’t know why I asked.”
“Ahaha. It’s okay. It’s provided us with some convenience.”
Rona looked scornfully at Catalina, who laughed without showing an ounce of guilt.
“Well, that’s true…… But how on earth did you manage to get dirt on them?”
“I love how you dislike injustices, Lady Rona. Leaving that aside, I didn’t expect Lady Chris to find out about the fan club at this point.”
Perhaps because Rona seemed unhappy, Catalina changed the subject.
The fan club was an idea that Catalina brought up half jokingly, which Rona brought into fruition in no time.
She was aware of the possibility that Chris would get upset because they made it without her permission.
They did it anyway, thinking that it would be alright as long as Chris didn’t notice.
“But she disbanded it, huh. We worked so hard on it, yet it was over in an instant.”
“Yup. it was convenient in many ways, but we can’t do anything about it now.”
“It’s nothing. Also, we were invited here because of that…… oops.”
Catalina had been exchanging information even while conversing with Rona, but suddenly withdrew from the window.
“……Did something happen?”
“The Princess is back.”
Catalina looked like she was making fun, but Rona made a tight face.
The person, whose room they had been taking shelter in, was coming back.
The owner of this room.
The third floor of the dormitory.
Only people whose status were higher than the marquis and his family were allowed here.
“I have returned. ……Is this place comfortable enough for you?”
“Thank you very much.”
Catalina replied casually, while Rona made a polite bow.
The girl smiled in response to their contrasting way of thanks.
“Please, make yourselves comfortable. This room is too much for me.”
Her blue eyes contained a mixture of sky blue and earthy green. Her soft, golden hair reached her shoulders. It was a short length for a lady, but it showed some personality.
The very own sister of Chris had given them shelter in this room.
“Ahaha. It’s embarrassing. Lady Chris got furious, yet her own sister is sheltering us. How strange.”
“I think Big Sister is just she about it. She does tend to overreact when it comes to things she is embarrassed about.”
The third floor, where only high nobility was allowed.
A thought came to Rona.
Michelie was the daughter of the Duke, so it seemed natural for Rona to see her here.
But at the same time, she was nothing more than an adopted child.
Then, did she truly have the right to stay here? Excluding her identity as the adopted daughter of the Noir family, what else gave her the right to be here?
Rona began to have a strange feeling, while Catalina was enjoying her conversation with Michelie.
“But it’s all right. I think my sister will change her attitude soon.”
“I see. Well, knowing Lady Christina, she will have her hands full with the daughter of Uncle Istar.”
“……I would prefer that Freesia had never met my sister.”
“Why’s that? They seem to get along.”
“They’re getting along too well. ……By the way.”
While Rona was lost in thought, Michelie shifted her gaze to her and gave a sweet smile.
“Is something wrong?”
She hesitated to ask.
She thought that she should stay silent for now, then discuss the matter with Catalina later.
But Michelie’s blue eyes started to overwhelm her.
Her eyes looked like they saw right through her, and would swallow her whole.
“……Is something wrong, Lady Rona?”
Catalina shook her shoulders and brought her back to reality. She was relieved for a few seconds.
Yet she didn’t have the courage to look Michelie straight in the eye.
“N-nothing at all, really.”
“Really? That’s good.”
Rona was frightened by this girl who was two years younger than her. She looked down slowly and decided to bury her thoughts and never bring up Michelie’s background again.