“However Tomorrow Morning, It’s Hot Tomato Juice Instead of Coffee”
“Don’t get close to Claudio!”
These yelled out words and a splash of water came together and caused Lucy’s eyes to open wide in surprise.
A few days after the magical power measurements, the lessons had started to pick up, and her days had finally started looking like a normal students filled with studying. After school, Lucy was called out to by the headmaster for a nice conversation–he was apparently close friends with the person who had sent Lucy there in the first place. She was completely unaware……or didn’t remember. They had talked a lot over tea and cake before Lucy was able to head back to her dormitory……..and she was called out once again.
Fortunately the water was not boiling hot, and there were no chemicals or perfume inside it to make it cause pain or leave behind an irritating odor. Was it a little muddy though? Lucy’s thoughts were surprisingly calm, and she gazed out at the girls standing before her.
There were five girls in total all wearing a dark blue cape. The color of the buttons holding them up were blue, red, yellow……it was a complete set from every grade. It didn’t look like any of them were her classmates, and she didn’t recall seeing any of their faces before.
Surrounded by her fellow girl classmates, Lucy gripped her wet skirt and started ringing out some of the water. Unfortunately, her nonchalant behavior just drew the students’ ire even more, and with another *Splash!* she had even more water dumped on her.
“Being just a commoner, it is stupid of you to try and get close to His Highness Claudio!”
“That’s right, and following Lady Ortensia around as well. Know some shame!”
Listening to all of their grievances, Lucy started shaking some of the water off her hands to dry them.
In other words, it’s that. These girls were so easy to understand, all Lucy could do was let out a sigh. This was once again like pouring oil on the fire, and in seconds there was another *Splash!*
This was the third time. At this point Lucy was more concerned about just how much preparation these girls had gone through and had passed anger and gone into complete puzzlement.
“I am not even that close to Claudio, and I am in no way following Ortensia.”
“What is that, are you trying to say then that those two willfully approached a commoner such as yourself of their own will? Be a little more self-conscious of just how deep your idiocy descends!”¹
“No, what you said before was the truth. I am the one approaching her.”
Everyone’s shoulders began to tremble as a cracked voice spoke behind them, and their faces went pale when they turned to confirm who was standing there. One of the female students called out his name in a stifled shout, “…….Your Highness Claudio.”
Blue eyes and golden locks, the vivid dark blue color of his robe complemented his looks and painted a beautiful picture. He really did have beautifully good looks…….but only now did he look astringent, and his usual refreshing and casual smile was replaced by a small frown and a crease in his brow.
“Y-Your highness Claudio, this is…….”
“If you are truly thinking about me, then you should focusing on how to be the best students you can be.”
“Your highness, that is”
“It’s not ‘Your Highness’ here.”
There was a coldness to Claudio’s boldly said words, and even a sense of intimidation could be felt from his normally sunny disposition. Whether or not they realized it, the girls’ faces had gone even paler and now their whole bodies were shivering instead of just their shoulders.
Although he does dislike being called His Highness and is often times friendly to all his fellow students, he is still a member of the royal family. He is also the second prince to boot. And even if he wasn’t so, he is still the student council president of Liztena Magic Academy.
Angering him could ruin your place in the academy’s already established social circles…..
That’s why the female students began to show true terror in their eyes as Claudio was about to say something else…..until Lucy hastily stopped him by grabbing the hem of his shirt.
What’s the matter, as Claudio was about to ask that and turned his gaze towards Lucy, the other students took the opportunity to run away. Their capes and skirts fluttering in the wind, they yelled back, “We are terribly sorry!” in a most unelegant way that you would not expect from a group of noble ladies. Realizing that they had escaped, the wrinkle between Claudio’s brow grew even deeper.
It is evidence of his state as the student council president that he took the time to yell after them, “Don’t run inside the hallways!” as if that line had ever stopped anyone, yet it did prove the fact he was angry not as a royal, but as a fellow student.
Then, when the figures of the girls were no longer visible, he let out a long sigh before turning back to Lucy again. Looking a little surprised, his blue eyes were shining in a way.
“Forgiving them, aren’t you kind?”
“No, I want to hurry and return to my room, and Claudio lecturing them would just have made this drag on longer than it needed to.”
“……It would have been better if you had just stayed quiet after I complimented you for forgiving them. However, if that leaves a stain on your cape, won’t you raise a complaint later on?”
“Getting into a second argument with them sounds troublesome, and I’d like to avoid it. Was what I thought, but maybe one more fight might be called for.”
Lucy made such a declaration clearly causing Claudio to sigh and start patting her head to try and appease her anger.
Lucy unexpectedly closed her eyes and started wondering why that felt so nice and comforting.–Claudio muttered to himself, “As if she was an animal,” to himself when he noticed, but luckily his words did not Reach Lucy.―
Then after being beaten back with a few more pats to the head,
“How skillfully negotiated. But there is nothing that can be done right now, so let’s let them be fore now.”
and eventually Lucy relented.
“But as expected of Liztena Magic College.”
“As expected? Why do you say that?”
“There is no way I would use high-quality tea leaves for some mild bullying like them. Now my cape smells great!”
“As the student council president, I feel a little complicated hearing you say that…….”
While having such a conversation, Lucy and Claudio were making their way back to the women’s dormitory, but they suddenly stopped in their tracks when they heard a loud crash and some fancy sounds in the distance. Afterwards, a sharp, “Mi~” was screamed out…….
“Was that Ortensia?”
“That was definitely Ortensia right?”
The two nodded at each other and then in the next moment, they were on their way in the direction of the noise.
Lucy and Claudio eventually arrived at the back of the school building.
Although Liztena Magic Academy has no areas that could be described as dim or creepy, there are still a few areas where people rarely walk by because there are no school facilities near there, a fact that is only exacerbated during times where classes are not in session like right now.
The back of the school building is one of those areas. And when Lucy and Claudio came by seeing Ortensia halfway up a tree, sitting on a branch while clinging to the trunk, they could only silently stare with their mouths open as words escaped them.
In the vicinity was a stepladder collapsed onto the ground, and next to it was Lucy’s bag…….Claudio, who grasped the situation after looking alternately between Ortensia sitting in the tree and the bag on the ground, stretched out his hand and started patting the top of Lucy’s head once again.
Nevertheless, this time only Lucy shook her head saying, “This is impossible,” completely breaking down any hope for negotiations.
Meanwhile, Ortensia sitting in a tree greeted her two visitors with a proper, “Greetings,” despite the fact that she was trembling in fear.
“There is no one in this school less hospitable than Lady Ortensia.”
“Perhaps while you were trying to grab my bag off the tree, you accidentally knocked over the step ladder and are now unable to get down? But you are a lady of the Rosedot family, so shouldn’t you be able to just move the bag with your magic?”
“You really know nothing! And besides magic to make things float is difficult and consumes a lot of magic power, why should I use magic like that for a commoner like you! Now that you know, you should also know what to do next, so quickly do it!”
“No, I have not yet heard what you would like for dinner yet.”
“There is no need to discuss dinner yet in such a situation! Absolutely, this is why I don’t like ignorant low-born roommates!”
To express her anger, Ortensia angrily turned her head away in a huff. Then after ten seconds had passed, she looked at the tree once again before turning her head back to Lucy with a downturned gaze as if she had given up……..
“………there is nothing I can do, so please help me.”
Lucy’s response to this was,
“No, thank you.”
It was a complete breakdown of negotiations.
“What a rude commoner!”
This situation no longer has anything to do with me being a commoner or not.”
“That is, that is, …………Mi~ Miii~!”
“Yes certainly, I’m going now.”
Shrugging her shoulders, Lucy picked up the ladder with a sigh.
Claudio saw this and tried going up instead as it was dangerous, but there was no way Lucy could allow the prince of a country to do such a thing. That’s why she waved him off saying, “This is also a roommate’s job.” He must have misunderstood something though because he started once again patting her head as if to praise her. So is this more of a compliment than a way to negotiate with her?
When Lucy initially saw Claudio’s hands she thought they were delicate with a thin and supple palm, but when they touched her she realized they were bigger and thicker than she thought. She was starting to feel embarrassed by how much she enjoyed the head pats, and the thought of how more manly his palms were than she had thought just made it worse.
“It’s something that can’t be helped,” Lucy finally said with a smile before that smile morphed into a sigh as she put her foot onto the ladder.
“I thought about just throwing you off at a suitable place, but I guess I’ll forgive you for Claudio’s sake.”
“Yes yes, I won’t throw you off, so come over here. Cling to me, and I will help you down.”
“Eh, you smell a cheesy tea smell? There is no way I can tell you about the difference in our living standards in such a place.”
With such a conversation, the rescue was able to be successfully finished, and the two girls returned to solid ground once again.
Even though she makes jokes, Ortensia is the young daughter of the Rosedot family, and Lucy, who had a bit of anxiety playing in her mind that she may have gotten hurt, let out a sigh of relief. Ortensia on the other hand was patting her skirt as if to wipe off some imaginary dust that may have gotten on it and pushed back her golden hair with the back of her hand to try and play off the whole incident as not a big deal.
“Well, it was a good bit of exercise at least.”
Hearing this Claudio once again started patting Lucy on the head, but this time she ignored him and re-entered negotiations for her already completed rescue.
“If you’re going to say something like that, then dinner tonight will be tomatoes only!”
“Ah, what kind of direction…..”
“Appetizers will be tomatoes cut longitudinally, then we’ll have tomato soup followed up by a tomato salad, the main course will be tomatoes cut horizontally, and for dessert we can have more sliced tomatoes!”
“Lucy, Ortensia is unable to say anything, so won’t you please show her a little mercy.”
Thinking Ortensia was just a little too pitiable like this, Claudio stepped in and started patting Lucy once again.
Lucy felt a little troubled over it for awhile–this negotiation technique was just too comfortable–and then narrowing her eyes……..,
she presented a concession proposal.
Rather than respond with something like, “That sounds nice,” using normal human words, Ortensia gave Lucy a simple, “Mi~,” and Claudio, who had just removed his hand from Lucy’s head, let out a deep sigh before putting it back. At that time, to part the once again mounting irritation, Claudio began stroking Lucy’s head instead of patting it, “Caprese² will be the appetizer,” and her concession proposal went up.
In the back of Lucy’s mind she was aware of how badly her hair was being messed up, but the feeling of having her head being stroked felt so good she felt all such concerns melt away. Claudio laughed happily after seeing her relaxed smile.
Still concerned however, he made sure to yell after them, “Remember you’re both friends!” as Lucy headed back to her room with Ortensia at her side.
1. Side note: I wish I could insult people like this in real life. ‘You’re stupid’ just doesn’t get my feeling across, but nothing else comes to mind in the moment. Kudos to these girls for taking the time to know the proper way to make someone check themselves.
2. I hate tomatoes, but that looks good.