She and Her Friends 2
“Thank you, Marianne. It was a very interesting story”
“Was I helpful?”
“Yeah, of course”
I thanked Marianne and lowered my gaze. The other two turned questioning eyes towards the brooding me, but I couldn’t help but have it on my mind.
Just what kind of person is he. Just like me, he reincarnated from Japan. At that time if I hadn’t left the venue, I could have had talked to him, how regrettable I couldn’t. I wonder if I could somehow meet him, before I noticed I’d been seriously pondering that.
“Eh? Aah, what might it be, Char”
As I sank into the bottomless ocean of thoughts, Char nervously called out to me.
When I raised my face and smiled in a fluster, Char relaxed her body in relief.
“You had a scary face…”
“I am sorry. I was thinking about something a little. And? Why have you come here?”
“Of course it’s to talk with Dear Sister! I want to know more about Dear Sister!”
“I, I see… Thank you”
I urged Char, who vigorously sprang up, to sit down.
I’m honestly happy about being liked like that. Especially because Char is the type whose face shows what she’s thinking, you can understand when she’s not telling a lie.
After cheerfully smiling, finally I turned my eyes to Miriallia.
She hasn’t participated in even a single one of the conversations until now. She has only been elegantly drinking tea. Really, why did she even come.
In the letter she had only written she wants to talk.
When I called out to her, she put down her cup with a clink.
Then she slowly raised her face.
“Please call me Milly. Lady Lidiana”
“Then, Milly. Why did you come here? I’d received the letter, but it didn’t specify a particular reason”
As I asked about the important matter, That’s true, she nodded.
“I believe it would be improper to explain the reason in the letter. Especially if I’d expressed the desire to apologize, surely Lady Lidiana would not grant me the opportunity to meet”
When I tilted my head in confusion, Milly met my eyes and breathed out.
Then she deeply bowed.
“Lady Lidiana, I am truly sorry for the other day. For taking the impolite attitude just as I was leaving, I offer my heartfelt apology”
I recalled I’d been glared at at the end, and Marianne sitting next to her raised her eyebrows.
“Lady Miriallia! What in the world did you do. Because you said no matter what I asked Lady Lidiana for something unreasonable. I am too ashamed to face both Crown Prince and Lady Lidiana!”
“… I am sorry. Marianne. I’m reflecting”
Even if Milly’s father has a higher court rank, these two must be close friends. Milly accepted Marianne’s rebuke as a matter of course.
“… Both of you. I do not mind. More importantly Milly, did you write the letter for that purpose?”
“No, of course there was also that but… I am well aware it’s an impudent request, but taking the opportunity I wanted to become one of Lady Lidiana’s friends”
Yes. With a firm expression Milly nodded. There was resignation on her face that she’s asking for something unreasonable.
Examining her state, I thought a little.
I don’t hate Milly. It’s not like she’s done anything to make me hate her, she took the aggressive attitude towards me because she earnestly loves Freed. I understand these feelings, and I should appreciate she apologized that it’s her fault despite that. Or rather, she gives off a very favorable impression. Isn’t her gallant attitude cool.
That’s why if she wants to become my friend, I have no reason to refuse.
“Yeah, it’s alright. Best regards, Milly”
“… Is it fine?”
No way, as Milly looked at me with such a surprise, I smiled to show that I don’t mind.
Marianne next to her also stared at me with an astonished expression.
“Lady Lidiana… is it fine? I do not know the details, but Lady Miriallia did something impolite towards Lady Lidiana, right? To not only forgive but also become friends…”
“It’s not a particularly big deal. Besides, it’s not like I don’t understand her anger. If she wants to become my friend, I welcome her. Because I don’t have many friends, I’m happy”
When I mixed my real motive in, Milly once again bowed with a complicated expression on her face.
“… Thank you”
“Jeez… Lady Lidiana is too good-natured”
Seeming to want to say It can’t be helped, Marianne let out a breath.
Char cut into the conversation as if to stick up for me.
“That’s Dear Sister’s good aspect! I like such Dear Sister very much!!”
With that warm atmosphere, the mood turned peaceful at once.
When I thought that with his everybody generally stated their business, the door was knocked on.
There should be no more visitors scheduled for today.
When I gave the permission to enter while wondering who it could be, it was Head Court Lady Clara who entered the room.
“Clara? What’s the matter?”
“I apologize for disturbing your pleasant talk, Princess Consort. His Highness is here to see you”
“Eh, Freed is?”
I haven’t heard of that.
When I frowned at the unexpected development, Clara stood on the side of the door bowing her head.
Who followed into the room was Freed, who should now be busy at work.
At the sudden entrance of the Crown Prince, the three jumped up.
Freed directed a gentle expression at those three.
“Please relax. It is me who suddenly came here uninvited. Thinking Lidi’s friends are coming, I also thought of giving my greetings, that’s all”
While observing him spin words with a pleasant smile I was impressed that this is the rumored gentle prince.
For him Marianne and others are neither enemies, nor subordinates, nor friends. So his tone is neither commanding nor natural. That must be it.
Now then, when I thought about how I should treat such him, Freed turned his eyes to me.
“… Your… Freed”
Thinking it’d be more correct to call him Your Highness here, I started with that… Then Freed’s eye sharpened for an instant. When I corrected myself in a hurry, he narrowed his eyes that this is fine… Scary.
“They are Lidi’s friends?”
“Yes. They are Count Petra’s daughter, Count Vidal’s daughter, and former Marquis Lowe’s daughter I notified about in advance”
As expected, I wouldn’t be blamed for the polite speech.
Or rather, I don’t want to expose that I have franker conversations with Freed than them. Somehow, that feels extremely embarrassing.
I feel it’s already been exposed to Char, but I can only ignore it.
It’s such a force majeure.
“Lowe… Ah, so you’re Bertrand’s treasured little sister?”
“Ye… yes, Crown Prince!”
With Freed’s eyes fixed on her, despite her nervousness Milly answered.
Her face is bright red.
Ah, while looking at the face of a maiden in love, suddenly I thought I perhaps make similar faces towards Freed.
Supposing I do, I feel it’s possible I got exposed.
Indeed, that’s bad. I have to come up with a countermeasure.
As I looked at the two of them while thinking such things, Freed talked about her Brother, Marquis Lowe who’s the Primera Chivalric Order Commander and she desperately answered while stuttering.
“… Then, please give my best regards to Bertrand. Princess Miriallia”
“Ye, yes. Definitely”
Having finished talking, Freed came to my side.
He leaned over as if wanting to have a secret talk, and spoke to me in a whisper.
“Lidi, how long will it take?”
“Nn? We’ve finished important matters, so it won’t take that long”
Do you need something from me, when I returned that question, I heard a reserved voice.
“Um… I am sorry to interrupt the conversation. As a matter of fact, I have business I must take care of by all means afterwards… I am well aware it is impolite to Crown Prince. However, please allow me to leave…”
It was Milly who stated that in a stiff voice.
As she said that with her head hung, and gripped the hem of her dress while shivering, I realized it’s perhaps painful for her to see me and Freed together.
When I called his name with the desire to obtain the permission, Freed lightly nodded.
“Yeah. If you have something to do, it cannot be helped. I allow you to leave”
“… Thank you, Crown Prince. Lady Lidiana. Please excuse me”
As she left as if running away, I chased her with my eyes.
Looking at her back that seemed to say it was too much for her to bear, I couldn’t call out to her.
She’s still in love with Freed. Despite that, why would she bring up wanting to be friends with me, who’s her rival in love. I couldn’t help but find it mysterious, but I sharply switched my thoughts thinking she surely must have her own thoughts.
… After all, it’s different from understanding and sympathizing with her. She said she wants to be my friend and I accepted. That alone is enough.
“Eh, ah, sorry”
When I absentmindedly looked in the direction she left in, Freed called out to me.
As I turned to him, wondering what it is this time, Freed drew his face near and spoke close to my ear.
“… Remember our talk about the date before? It’s about how we’ll go out. Could we talk about it afterwards?”
“Ah, the date in town? Yup, I want to hear it”
As he brought up the date I’m looking forward to, I looked at him with joyful expression.
Freed wrapped his arms around my waist and bumped our foreheads.
I felt my body temperature boil up from his usual sweet gesture.
“No… um, Freed”
Everybody is watching――――.
I stared him wanting to say that, but as the heat only increased it became impossible.
While I was unable to say anything out of embarrassment, Freed’s soft voice reached me.
“Truly cute. You’re red up to your ears
“Wro… Jeez, stop this in such a place”
I desperately pushed him back, but it didn’t turn out well.
On the contrary, Freed smiled delightfully.
“Don’t hang down your head Lidi, show me your cute face?
“… No, it’s embarrassing
When I turned my head towards the timid voice, Marianne and Char were there with bright red faces.
“Um, could we also receive the permission to leave. We do not want to disturb the two of you. We finished our business, with this we would like to excuse ourselves”
Quickly bowing her head, she urged Char to obtain the permission to leave.
Char seemed a little unwilling, but breathing a sigh she said to me.
“I will return because I don’t want to disturb Dear Sister. But, if there is something, please tell me anytime! I will do anything for Dear Sister!!”
I could tell the implication in her words caused Freed’s mood to nosedive as he hugged me.
My smile twitched, still I thanked Char.
She said it out of goodwill.
Understanding that, it was hard to rebuke her.
As they left, before I noticed I became alone with Freed.
“… And they’re gone”
“Sorry, in the end I caused trouble”
Freed spoke troubledly.
“I won’t make excuses, but it’s not like I wanted to disturb you. I just wanted to replenish on Lidi a little during a break at work. I wonder if perhaps what I really wanted was to see Lidi surrounded by fellow girl friends”
“… Isn’t it meaningless if you drive them away”
“I didn’t drive them away. I said it, didn’t I. I just wanted to replenish on Lidi. I intended to return to work after talking a little… But, you’re right. The result is I’ve done something bad to them. As an apology, I’ll prepare something for them as a compensation”
“Yup, I’ll also think of something”
As Freed didn’t let me separate despite saying sorry, reluctantly I relaxed my body.
Looking happy, Freed tightly hugged me who obediently calmed down inside his arms.
I was vexed by his gentle gesture as if enclosing something important, even so my heart beat fast.
… Ah. After all I can’t win anymore.
Whether it’s a misunderstanding or not, I can probably be sure of that.
“… It’s nothing”
I won’t answer Freed whose doubt showed on his face. I don’t want to tell him.
While rubbing my forehead against his chest, I breathed out.
I’m troubled that it’s so comfortable in Freed’s arms that it could become a habit.
I want to stay here forever.
Firmly concealing that, I switched over my thoughts.
“And? When are we going to town?”
“… Right, let’s talk about that”
For some reason Freed showed a disappointed smile. I found that expression of his extremely impressive.
Afterwards, Marianne caused a great uproar.
“Kyaa! Lovey-dovey, after all those two are lovey-dovey! I have to tell that to every member of the support group!!”
… In the future, Lidi could be seen desperately trying to erase that rumor.