“Rosemary! I am discarding my engagement with you! Think of this as my last mercy to you for breaking it in this desolate place.”
At the school’s courtyard, while I was sitting on a bench, reading a book, and alone; those words were suddenly uttered towards me by the rumored most popular boy in school, the third son of the Marquis, Alfred-sama.
Towards my confused face, I could see the frozen look on Alfred-sama face.
Ahh, maybe it was like this. Although I shared the same hairstyle and color as Rosemary-sama, our face was not similar to each other at all. While the other counterpart was beautiful, I, on the other hand only had an appearance who was just a little bit better than the average. No matter how you look at it, the other person appearances were much higher than me.
“Sorry, who are you? You are not Rosemary?”
“You will be able to realize it just from looking, right? I enrolled in the same grade as Rosemary-sama. I am Maria…”
Despite conforming it, Alfred-sama still look somewhat confused. No, no, look carefully, you will surely able to differentiate it.
I wonder about this person who push through without confirming first. And to declared it without verifying it. This is the third’ son of a Marquis right?
E~ isn’t that bad?
“I’m sorry. I will go….”
“No. Wait, please wait a moment. Since I have already somewhat been involved in this, I will listen to your story. Is that okay?’
No. Truthfully, I did not want to be involved. However, this matter was different. I had always thought that this blond-haired, blue-eyed boy as someone who was gentle; who knew that he was actually the impulsive type. My Earl’s house was under that man Marquis’s house. If a scandal were to happen, I will not be able to face my parent for not doing anything to stop the situation that was actually occurring right in front of me.
While I was chanting ‘For the sake of my own life” in my head, Alfred-sama flopped down next to me with a furrowed eyebrow.
“So why do you want to get rid of your engagement?”
“……There is some bullying involves?”
“No, no, Rosemary! Ah, no it isn’t like that. I should talk about it in order. I am sorry.”
“No. But maybe if you tell me from the start, you can organize your thought, too?
“A, that’s true. Organization. It is certainly the most important to me now.”
That being said, Alfred-sama started his story,
Thereupon I omitted it.
Because the fiancée had been decided by his families, he did not spend any time with her who was also attending the same school as him. In fact, he had been fulfilling his day enthusiastically with his duties for the student council and studying every day.
….Talking about this alone took about 15 minutes. Since I had been trying to listen to him attentively, I had gently given up on reading my book.
One day, Alfred-sama had coincidentally talked with a special girl who had somehow lost her way around. It was this Erina-san who will become the victim of bullying later on. As a commoner and a special student, she was someone who I recognized only by names. As Alfred-sama told Erina-san about the direction, he began to have some kind of interest towards this girl who always seemed cheerful and doesn’t show any fear towards him.
….The descriptive scene regarding Erina-san—pretty, like a lost cat, this alone took a ridiculous 30 minutes so far. I completely given up my afternoon for this.
It seemed that he gradually got attracted to Erina-san as they walked down the road. Before long, he felt discontented to end this unexpected encounter; which make both of them decided to continue this tryst some other time.
…..Up until here, another 30 minutes had passed. There were plenty of tsukkomi for me to butt in, but it can’t be helped. By this time, my beautiful image of Alfred-sama began to shatter. Into small pieces.
It seemed that there were many boys who cared for her by trying to attach themselves to her. But, one day, an accident happened that overthrown everything. It seemed that someone was out and bullied Erina-san. Erina-san repeatedly said that there were no such thing no matter how many time Alfred-sama asked; and such worrying day continued to happen.
…Add another 45 minutes. It seemed that many boys like her, though I did not know who else. I wonder if it was going far beyond this, if so, my spirit might take an abrupt dive. No, I had to get my spirit back on.
However, one day, Alfred-sama witnessed the appearance of Erina-san who was crying while holding her damp textbook to her chest. Since then, Alfred-sama started to collect the information around to identify the principal offender of the bullying incident which Erina-san had been trying to hide for a while now. Then, one of the boys who was also in love with Erina-san told something; that he saw the scene where Rosemary-sama had been saying disagreeable things to Erina-san
…..30 minutes. Was there really a need to use 15 minutes to tell me how bitter Alfred-sama’s feeling was? Even so he told me a lot of unnecessary things along the way.
Alfred-sama tried to confirm this information with Erina-san. He cajoled her to rely on him was what I believe he meant to say. Ma~ as a result, it was decided that Rosemary-sama was the villain while Erina-san was the victim. It seemed that they had been throwing insect and spilling the tea; and all these small, small things which accumulated had led to stress. Alfred-sama was outraged to hear all this sort of stuff. That’s why he had been searching for Rosemary-sama in hurried. And finally it reached the current moment.
…..Oi, oi, isn’t this over the top? 30 minutes while thinking. 3 hours at this point. If we put it together, it is a 3-hour-story that can be finished in 5 minutes. Goodbye, my 3 hours. This person, wasn’t he totally suited to be a poet? It seemed that verbose story had been the latest craze nowadays.
“Now that I think about it, I had been too rash.”
“Yes, you do. Then, would you like for me to organize this story one by one for you?”
“A~.up until now, I had been telling you the story about Erina and you had been politely listening to me until the end. Is there anything that you would like to say?”
Is it usual for the story to be this long-winded? This person, will he be alright?
“Well then, without hesitation… Rather than that unexpected encounter, for a person with your standing who already have a fiancée to coerce someone for a tryst, you cannot simply use that as an excuse you know?”
Truly, this person, is he really alright?
It was good that he was the third son. I would like to believe that the second son was a decent human being.
“That’s why, please explain it properly to Rosemary-sama.”
“About Rosemary’s bullying. Well, I was too hastened to conclude. I’m really sorry.”
“No, that is…”
“Well, until then…”
Anyway, it was my turn.
Until the end, I felt like putting some tsukkomi on his excuses.
“I heard that many boys love her.”
“A~ Vice-chairman, Talis; Theo from accounting; the secretary, Krantz; and on top of them, the public moral committee…”
“You can stop at that.”
“……. ah, ah.”
“Then, who was the one that Erina-san has taken her fancy on?”
“That girl considered all of them as her friend.”
“Opps! Sorry for interrupting, however, since Alfred-sama had adamantly asking for an annulment of the engagement for sure she was yearning for you.”
“…No, that, you are being spiteful here.”
“…..Erina sees everyone as her friend.”
“Then what were you going to do after dissolving the engagement?”
“I want to confess to Erina.”
“What is the probability for you to success?”
“All right. It is not good to act in a rush. Maybe I should really go now.”
I am aware that my attitude towards Alfred-sama was getting worse by minutes, but I do not mind.
“In that content of bullying, it seems that it involved insect?”
“A, A, it seems that Rosemary threw that to her.”
“The person itself?’
“Ah, Erina said so.”
“But Rosemary-sama cannot handle insect well, you know?”
“Eh, what with your expression?”
It is rude. No, really.
Rosemary-sama’s pride might be high, but it was not that high that she will willingly hold the insect herself. I had seen it previously when a small caterpillar crossed her road, she had raised a lovely scream [Pyaa~] when she spotted it; she had also been clinging on her followers with teary eyes at the same time.
As a matter of fact, Rosemary-sama had stopped coming to the courtyard after that one incident.
“Well, that was….”
“Therefore, I will be telling you the most important point. Is that okay with you?”
“So what were your evidence that point out that Erina-san had been bullied by Rosemary-sama?’
“Well, ah, hmm, testimonials.”
“For example, if I were to bully Erina-sama, it is easy for others to mistake her for me, except for our face. In that case, it will be a completely false accusation.”
“Ah, no, but you did not have grudge…”
“Do you think that the fiancé who are having trsyts with that woman is the only one with grudge?”
In the end, he is unable to refute it.
Ga. I already spent more than three hours on this. Might as well do it thoroughly.
“There is no evidence, the engagement is destroyed. Rosemary-sama’s house is on the same rank as yours. What will this annulment lead to?”
“…Yeah, I do.”
Annulment of an engagement with the same rank partner.
The cause was cheating.
For it to be this bad, would not it be better for them to break off the relationship?
“Yeah, I suppose…… It was me who was bad.”
When I finished explaining it to him, Alfred-sama smile as if he managed to have a breakthrough on his doubt.
“Oya? Why are you being so meek?”
“Don’t bully me too much…. A, no, I already understand what I should do after this.”
“Is that so?”
“A-. First of all I will not do things blindly, I will talk with Rosemary properly. I have not taken any interest on her until now. I think that is one of the major reasons that nearly escalates the situation to this. The second one is, ma~ it is my own thoughtlessness.”
“If you could understand it so far, then I guess I did not need to say other words to you.”
“Wa…Ha… Is that so? No, that is right.”
Alfred-sama raised himself off the bench and stand in front of me.
And then deeply, he bowed his head to me.
“Thank you Miss Maria. I have woken up thanks to you.”
“No. I am happy to be at your service. I has been rude to you halfway, therefore I am asking for your forgiveness.”
“No, you did not need to ask for forgiveness, rather I was saved by it.”
Alfred-sama raised his head and smiled before he turned back and walk away. Right now, he wanted to have a conversation with Rosemary-sama.
However, as his back look strangely strained, I decided to tell him one last word.
“Since you are saying that you did not need any apology, would you like to have another one?”
“? A- Ah”
Alfred-sama turned around as he realized that I had used the earlier allusion as a tsukkomi.
It was the prologues of his 3-hour-story.
“Until today, this memory has never faded away is what I believe. Alfred-sama who was standing on the platform; the fireworks that had been released during the heartwarming festival for the newcomers. At that time, the smiling Alfred-sama who welcomed us looked so dazzling. If you allowed me to be rude, I would like to say one last thing.”
I got up from the bench and smile with encouragement.
“At that time, Alfred-sama was so wonderful. Therefore, don’t say anything like you are going to fade away.”
“…. A-that’s right. Thank you—Maria.”
After he showed a tremendous smile, he started to turn back and walked away.
I kept standing on the spot until his back is no longer visible.
In the end why did you address me without any honorific, Alfred-sama?
My day continued as usual and about 10 days had passed since then.
I did not know any detail, however, since I did not pick up any rumors regarding the 3rd son of a certain Marquis being isolated, so I guess everything ended well without any major conflict.
Right now, I can happily enjoy my reading time after having my lunch-break with my friend.
And that is what I had thought.
“What’s wrong? Maria.”
“Why are you here?”
I had opened my book and readying myself to immerse in it when Alfred-sama suddenly appeared.
“Next to you, is it good?’
“Ha~a, please have a seat?”
I don’t want to.
Still, I could not refuse, so I let him sit down on my bench.
“After that, I had properly talked with Rosemary. She was crying.”
“I guess so.”
“In the end, Rosemary becomes the fiancée of my older brother. I was told that she could not really relied on me.”
Instead of you abandoning the engagement, I guess you are the one who are being abandoned by it.
“Then you should be able to confess your feeling towards Erina-san?”
“No, if you carefully think about it, you will not be able to do well if you are marrying someone who always regard man as her friend.”
“Isn’t it sufficient if she holds to her female modesty?”
“A~ this is such a miserable conversation.”
At the end, the offender was unable to be comprehended. Everything seems to end in vain. Although Alfred-sama appearances seemed to be alright, but some of its brilliance appeared to had fallen off.
“Right now, I am without a fiancée. But, I am still the 3rd son of a Marquis. Though my option is limited, so my father had tried sending a request to one of the lady from other’s house.”
The cloud looks weird.
“That’s why, Maria. Please, with me…”
“I rather chew my tongue and die.”
“To that extent?!”
Who would like to be engaged to a man who had told you the long story of his extramarital affair?
Please, I would like to hand you to your own fan who want you, Alfred-sama,
“Then, how about this? If you fall in love with me before my graduation, then I want the two of us to be engaged.”
I wonder where that good-for-nothing person had gone to.
Alfred-sama quickly knelt in front of me as he gently held my hand. His current countenance and expression was far more beautiful and stronger that what I had seen before.
“Tha-, that kind of thing.”
“If you are confident that you will not like me, it will not be a problem, right?”
“There is only one year and a half until my graduation. Will you grace me with the permission?”
Who is this person?
No, really, who is this??!
“I was attracted to you more than anyone else.”
“I would like for you to give me the grace so that I can have some hope.”
“Wa, I understand.”
“Is it true? Thank you, Maria.”
A melting smile.
Where had that good-for-nothing third son-sama gone to?
“This person, who he is really?!
Eh? This is the same person? A~re?
By the time I came to my senses, I had been left alone in the courtyard with a stunned face.
To be honest, I couldn’t remember what kind of interaction I had with Alfred-sama.
However, I would like to say one word.
“How did it come to this?”
My voice echoed faintly.
Of course, there was no answer in return.
And then the-not-so far off future.
I had fallen in love with that strangely cool Alfred-sama just about the time when he is supposed to graduate from the school.
During the marriage ceremony; in the ceremonial hall, I unintentionally thought about the things that happened back then.
Back to the moment when he had made his promise in that courtyard.
I wonder if somewhere in my heart, I already had some kind of premonition that this was going to happen in the future–