Ignorance is a Bliss
Anyone’s conduct would bounce around from one place to another, ended up cutting their own throat.
Violette thought that it was only natural. She was responsible for her deeds, and no one else could dictate her thoughts. She needed to consider the impact of her actions on others.
Even in this situation, the cause for this entire thing was Violette’s actions. She was conscious of that, which was why she didn’t have the right to complain even if she wanted to.
But whether she could spread her hands wide and welcome the consequences was a different matter altogether.
“I’m sorry, Miss Violette.”
“No, I’m fine with this.”
The person smiling warmly at her was Mirania, and next to him was Claudia, sitting right in front of her. The prince crossed his arms and averted his gaze, his expression complicated, unable to erase his dissatisfaction.
Violette realized that Mirania’s inner heart was also full of dissatisfaction, but didn’t criticize him for that. With his personality, he didn’t let his feelings show through his expression. He was nice to the girls even if he hated their company.
Originally, she believed that any of them wouldn’t want to have lunch at the same table as her.
Then you might be asking, why were they facing each other in such a close space? It was an unfortunate coincidence, and it could be attributed to the actions Violette had taken in the past.
First, the time when they came to the cafeteria was the peak of the lunch break, so there were a lot of people. The cafeteria was large enough that it wouldn’t feel cramped, but it didn’t mean that there were many special seats.
Only today was the gathering of students sparse, with many small groups scattered around with a distance in between. Because of that, the vacant seats became distinctive. Every vacant seat was crowded with many people around, unsuitable for the two people who wished for a quiet place.
And finally, the seats around Violette were unpopular. As if there was a hole in the gap, everyone could see that she was being avoided. She didn’t mind because she was aware of it, and she understood how there were many reasons for other people to do so.
Violette didn’t expect Mirania to call out to her. Even though he didn’t explicitly show his distaste for her as Claudia did, she thought that he would choose another place to sit.
He asked her whether they could use the seats, so she accepted without consideration since she had no reason to refuse… She never thought that they would take seats in front of her.
Violette sat at a large table that should be used by ten people, so she expected that even if they shared the same table, they would sit at the other end. No, maybe she should move to the edge or give up her seat since the opponent was a prince, but… If she did that now, they might perceive that she was avoiding them, so she couldn’t move at all.
“You aren’t with Yulan today?”
“We haven’t been together as much since I went to high school. He still fusses about me, though.”
Even though there were a lot of opposite gender childhood friendships, most would not stay together every day after middle school.
Violette was happy that Yulan cared for and followed her, but she was glad that he wasn’t here now. No, if Yulan was here, these two people might not have been here.
Violette and Mirania knew best that Yulan and Claudia didn’t have a good relationship. They didn’t behave childishly and clearly show their discord, but they were children who couldn’t hide everything and cheerfully laugh at each other.
“…Excuse me, but both of your meals will turn cold.”
“Ah, you’re right. Claudia, be more tactful.”
The dishes in front of them were not steaming, but each of them was freshly cooked, and the temperature while eating would affect the taste slightly.
Sharing a seat with someone else would make them consider the other person, especially if that person was an acquaintance, but that consideration was unnecessary for Violette.
Rather, she didn’t want to give them nor the outsiders who were conscious of them any misunderstandings, so she didn’t talk much now. Almost everyone here today had a common belief that Violette was interested in Claudia. Only Violette herself knew that her feelings had disappeared.
Even though Claudia felt something about her was different than before, there’s no way that he could think that someone who had annoyed him like a stalker had completely lost her feelings for him. It wasn’t overconfidence, it was only natural for him to watch out.
Finally, Claudia’s gaze moved to Violette… or more precisely, her dishes. Then she turned her eyes down, not meeting his eyes.
She did that just to eat her lunch, but for some reason, that small action squeezed around Claudia’s heart.
What came to his mind was… Violette’s smile that he saw that day. The gentle and soft look directed at Yulan.
There wasn’t that big of a change, but… Claudia remembered that even if her smile at that time was wider, her usual poker-faced expression was certainly broken.
Her lips were the deepest red color with beautiful, glossy hue, complementing the shape of her face.
“…Uhm, what is it…?”
It seemed like he had been staring at her unconsciously. Violette, who noticed his gaze, raised her face, and their eyes met. Even though he had no ulterior motive, he couldn’t continue his words and he moved his gaze here and there.
Next to Claudia, Mirania exhaled as if he was stunned, but he couldn’t explain what he had been thinking about just now. That was the same for Violette.
He managed to falsify his thoughts, looking at the small plate in front of Violette.
“I’m just… thinking that you’re eating too little.”
Claudia and Mirania had the normal amount of meals, with both the main dish and side dishes on their trays. Violette had one plate… with only a sandwich on it. He wasn’t seeing wrong, right?
Although there were differences between men and women, Claudia thought that the amount was too little for a healthy teen.
“It’s not strange to eat less since I’m a girl.”
“I… understand that. I’m sorry for saying that.”
Even if he was saying that out of desperation, he realized that it was an overbearing excuse. They might’ve eaten less, but diets were popular among some girls… Whether it was necessary for Violette or not, there were of course possibilities that she was careful of her body shape and intentionally reduced the amount of her food.
Either way, strangers of the opposite sex like Claudia shouldn’t have used that topic in a conversation.
“No… it’s not like I intentionally eat less, but this amount is just right so that I could eat the desserts.”
Violette was aware that she was eating less now. Rather, she chose to do this.
Her stomach was not small enough to fill with a sandwich alone. However, the reason she had a small portion was so that she could eat delicious desserts after the meal. Originally, she was the type of person that preferred sweets over meals, so this was her current arrangement. Although Yulan didn’t show a good expression at this, she could arrange her meals on her own for lunch at the school, so he never scolded her for this.
“So Miss Violette likes sweets?”
“Yes, well… People often tell me that it doesn’t suit me.”
Violette smiled in understanding at Mirania, who looked surprised. Of course, that was not the smile Claudia saw she gave to Yulan, but it was a smile that was the most appropriate for this situation.
Violette started eating, ending the conversation.
Her white fingertips grabbed the roasted bread and both the lettuce and the melted cheese disappeared into her mouth. Her small bite took longer than Claudia’s, and her cheeks moved slightly when she swallowed. When she was taking another bite, he saw a glimpse of her white teeth and red tongue through the gaps between her bright lips.
Claudia’s brain started to imagine things as they pleased.
“…I don’t think it doesn’t suit you.”
“I think it will look good. Sweet cakes and chocolates… and surely other things too.”
Because Claudia suddenly called her out, Violette had a spasm in her throat since she was swallowing while chewing. Her body was noticeably under strain, and he felt apologetic, even though alarms inside his head had been telling him to stop talking.
Mirania who sat next to him was surprised at Claudia’s remarks and stopped eating.
“It’s because your eating posture is very… beautiful.”
He imagined it. Her hands while cutting meals, her fingertips picking up sweets, her mouth sucking in the sweetness, and the tip of her tongue feeling it. Overflowing emotions, broadly smiling expression.
Surely, it would suit her.
Claudia realized that his remark was problematic because Violette had an unusual expression. She stared at him blankly, without even keeping her appearance. It was like a pigeon receiving a blow from a peashooter.
Her eyes were opened even wider, unable to understand rather than being surprised. She hadn’t shown any discomfort yet, but that was because she still hadn’t taken in the meanings of his words.
He couldn’t complain if she felt unpleasant having someone gaze at her eating manner impolitely. Even if he complimented her, it was important to know whether she would receive it well, or it would affect their relationship greatly.
There was no goodwill between Claudia and Violette.
He was the prince that was once forced with her annoying attachment, and she was the noble lady that was forcing herself on him. Then Claudia’s words could be taken in a good direction, but the problem here would be if it fabricated and captured emotions beyond those words. For example… she might perceive that Claudia was fond of Violette.
He immediately tossed away that possibility the moment it appeared. Although Claudia himself hadn’t completely trusted her, he already knew that something had changed within Violette.
Then, what about another possibility?
If Violette regarded his previous statement as a weird thing, she would feel hurt with the unpleasant feelings coming from the words that came from his mouth, even though she clearly wouldn’t show it since the company was a prince.
Claudia couldn’t even withdraw it now since he couldn’t find any good excuse. He cursed himself for doing something unusual, feeling the wrinkles between his eyebrows. People said that praising women was Mirania’s specialty, but being a poor imitator would only wring his neck.
He thought that he had to apologize even if he couldn’t specify why. But just a second before he opened his mouth, Violette spoke.
Violette pressed her mouth and… laughed, telling him that it wouldn’t be a reason. She hung her eyebrows down and she looked more confused than happy, but it was still a kind of smile.
It was far from the defenseless smile that Claudia saw before, which he would never forget even if days had passed. It was no wonder since her emotions and relationships with him were completely different.
Still, the fact that she was laughing resonated in Claudia’s eyes. And it grasped his heart.
That smile was the manifestation of Violette’s heart filled with her emotions, not the fake smile or pasted expression.
“But, thank you very much. I’m… happy to hear that.”
Her cheeks slightly reddened, her eyes loosened for a moment.
Claudia desperately pushed back against something that filled his heart and wanted to spit out. The silent voice emphasized that more than this was no good.
Before his dry throat could make a noise, a shadow hung on their table.
“Vio-chan, can I sit here?”