It’s the holidays, a time for people to relax and enjoy themselves. So why does it feel like I’m busier than ever? Just always remember, if you haven’t wrestled an old woman for a present, then you aren’t shopping for gifts the right way.
…..Dance With Me
Lucy always carried a small book with a magnifying glass with her.
This book was small enough to be carried on the last joint of your little finger, and it was tiny enough that your eyes would become strained if you tried reading from it without the loupe. It was always hanging from a silver chain worn around her neck, and she never let it leave her.
Although she does occasionally write in it similar to a diary, the purpose is something completely different than that. She does keep a diary which is left in her desk in her room, but she does not write anything important enough in it that she would have to always carry it around with her.
On the first page was a very important letter she had written to herself.
Too many times–so many she couldn’t count–she had read that message, yet every time she did, an overwhelming feeling of shock overcame her.
Such an important book……Ortensia had recently started aiming for it.
She had asked Lucy about it previously, and sometimes, “Mi~” along with a mysterious sound, she could be found darkly staring at her as well.
“I am being targeted……”
Whenever Lucy caught sight of Ortensia so blatantly wearing her emotions on her sleeve like that, she would hug the book underneath her clothes close to her chest.
One day while the two of them were having tea with Conrad and Claudio, Ortensia–while continuously murmuring “Mi~….” underneath her breath in an endless loop–was once again staring at Lucy’s bosom. She wasn’t being too subtle about it, so Claudio and Conrad both noticed rather quickly and gave her a strange look.
They followed her gaze towards Lucy’s chest as well, and with a sigh, she pulled out the book from underneath her clothes and said, “She’s staring at this.” At that moment, Ortensia reacted with a solid, “Mi~!” as passive confirmation.
“It’s a very small book.”
“Lucy is always wearing that book on her person. The Rosedot information network informed me so and I took care to write it down!”
So it must be true! was what Ortensia was trying to say.
“The other day, I took a bath with Lucy because she said she wanted me to wash her back by all means. She was wearing it in the bathtub! Everyday she tries to avoid using magic, but despite that she still used a spell to make it waterproof!”
“What are you trying to accomplish lying like that? Didn’t you decide to come into the bath with me because you had heard a scary story or something of the like?”
“What are you saying, it was definitely because you said you were bad with baths, so you needed me to take one with you! And after that, you said you absolutely wanted to sleep together, and you were still wearing that book in bed!”
“You are still telling lies. I was sleeping soundly in my bed when somebody suddenly barged into my room, and the next thing I knew, that person silently pushed me into one corner of my bed and slept with me without my permission.”
“It’s the truth.”
Ortensia responded like a hurricane, and in the war she had started against Lucy, she tried defending herself with a loud “Mi~!”
Meanwhile Claudio and Conrad were no longer listening to what they were saying, instead muttering to each other, “Together in the bath…….” and “One bed……”
Even though one was a member of royalty, even though the other was a good friend with high-class etiquette mannerisms, they were both still schoolyard boys. Especially with two eye-catching beauties like Ortensia and Lucy, the imaginations of the two flared……and even the scene of the two of them quickly waving their arms to shoo away the scenes forming in their minds could be said to be the picture of youth.
“What’s the matter Claudio?”
“Conrad, what happened?”
So Lucy and Ortensia asked upon seeing their embarrassed looks, but Claudio and Conrad started waving their hands in front of their faces saying that there was a bug they were trying to shoo away. Being honest here was not the prudent move.
Then when the moment came where Ortensia tried to bring up Lucy’s book again……
“H-have you all heard about the party that is gong to be held this next time!?”
Claudio scrambled to change the subject in a panic. —At that moment, Conrad was thinking in his heart, “Nice Claudio, as expected of the prince! The royal family would be proud!”—
Lucy and Ortensia strangely didn’t notice the sudden topic change, but the new topic did catch their attention and Claudio’s loud voice did take them by surprise.
…….Rather Lucy looked more like a parrot with her head tilted to the side at the word, ‘party’.
“Before this, the teacher did mention something about that to us. There was a party at the end of the previous term.”
“Although it is still early to be thinking about it, you first years don’t know much about it, so you are told to prepare early.”
“……..when was this?”
“Five days ago. Don’t you remember saying, ‘I’m sure they will be putting out some delicious rice,’ back then?”
“Ah………I used magic after that, but I do somewhat remember.”
Lucy nodded her head convinced, but then she once again raised the word, ‘party’ looking a little forlorn.
Everyone gave her a strange look. But when Claudio tried to ask what was wrong, Lucy killed any misunderstandings they had formed with the words, “I don’t have a dress,” and a large grin spread across Ortensia’s face instead.
One year at Liztena Magic Academy is split into two terms, and a gorgeous party is held on the last day of each.
The scale of these parties isn’t comparable to ordinary dances put forward by other schools as apparently grants are put forward from each student’s house for these events. Professional orchestras are hired alongside performers, and they even hire professional chefs to help out in the dining hall to further assist the first class chefs that are already employed. Calling it a student party doesn’t quite fit. There is a disparity between students, but many of them try to intermingle and network while dancing elegantly to the music produced by the orchestra. It was no different than a party held in high society.
But that doesn’t mean that the student’s didn’t get excited for it. A month before the party begins people start looking towards classmates to attend the dance with, and by that time it is said that almost everyone would already have their dresses prepared.
Returning to their room, Ortensia gave out characterized all the details of the party with a puffed out chest that showed Lucy just how excited she was for this upcoming party.
Unfortunately Lucy had no idea why Ortensia was so excited. An uptight party like this just did not get her worked up.
“By the way Lucy, you don’t have a dress.”
“Yes, just a simple one-piece.”
“So, then if you kneel down before me now and change your usual cheeky way of speaking, then I shall be happy to bestow upon you the money necessary for a good dress worthy of my roommate!”
“No it’s okay, I just won’t go. I can’t dance very well anyway.”
“It seems that there are many students with tailor-made dresses provided by on behalf of their roommates, so there is no shame in your commoner person poverty? Well, you don’t need to feel ashamed, but you should change your attitude!”
“So why don’t you go by yourself then?”
Cheeky! was what Ortensia was trying to get across.
But even when she heard it, Lucy did not feel like changing her mind even though she had been told that the the parties at the end of Liztena Magic Academy terms were very luxurious.
That does not mean that Lucy did not want to go to the party. Lucy was a girl at that age, and imagining herself attending a gorgeous party like that while wearing a fine dress was something that made her heart race. Even though it would just be an affair inside the academy, it would also be nice to have a boy escort her for a night.
For example, if she were to have a wonderful date like Claudio, she would surely feel like a princess. She was unable to dance, but in her imagination she could dance gracefully as the lead.
However, even though such a picture easily came to her mind, she did not feel like nodding her head. Even if it is common for students to kneel and have money issued for these end-of-term parties like this…….still
“I do not want to change my attitude!”
This was her honest feelings.
Lucy’s eyes had a fire to them as she declared so, and she strongly gripped her hand into a fist to show her determination.
She didn’t want to change her attitude that much. —With such a determination, there was already no room for negotiations.—
“What! You should show at least a little will to change!”
“No matter what happens, I will never change my attitude! Whatever you offer me, whatever you do to me, my determination will never shake!”
“Aside from my firm resolve to never change, I’m fine with not getting the money to buy a fancy dress. Since I will be trying to arrange for myself to get a job with the school headmaster.”
So Lucy said without any worries.
The answer she received in return was a short, dragged out “Mi!” followed by a soft, “Really, that’s right…….” Then after a quiet moment, Ortensia returned to her room with a sullen look in her eyes.
This was clearly Ortensia’s cue to shout something out like, “I just have to work you more like the commoner horse you are!” to show off her usual high-handed pride, or for her to go on about, “Make sure your job is done inside your room!” because she is afraid of being in the room at night by herself. But instead, Lucy called out, “Ortensia?” as she watched her roommate silently retreat to her room.
“Lucy, that was your fault.”
Or so Claudio told Lucy with a laugh and a grand smile.
His blue eyes narrowed happily and the tips of his lips were drawn in a wide arc. His golden hair shook every time he laughed. He had good looks and was as beautiful as the shining sun.
But Lucy didn’t have the margin to appreciate his good looks right now. Right now it would be better to solve the mystery of Ortensia who had been secretly glaring at her since this morning and standoffish whenever asked a question.
“What on earth did I say that was so wrong? Was it because I refuse to change my attitude?”
“No, that’s not a problem. Well, it might be a problem from Ortensia’s perspective, but the reason why she has been lurking around like that is because Lucy refused to allow her to dress you up.”
She didn’t allow Ortensia to buy her a dress, why would Ortensia feel upset about that?
Seeing her confusion, Claudio’s smile strengthened even more.
“So Lucy, when you first entered school, do you remember how I explained the roommate situation at that time?”
“You said it was a bitch, didn’t you?”
Claudio began laughing once again as he remembered back then and started patting Lucy’s head.
It felt comfortable, but the main conversation was still escaping Lucy’s understanding, so she tried to get him to go on.”
“I suppose that’s one way of putting it, but essentially it is a low-ranking student acting as a servant while being called a roommate. It’s a terrible story…..but it doesn’t end there.”
“That’s not all?”
“People change having been in school for a couple months like this. People can build up gratitude for things done, and feel regret for actions taken.”
Lucy listened to Claudio’s mutterings and as the point started to click, a small, “Ah,” escaped from her lips.
“………..That’s it, it’s as usual. Those with high magic power have too much pride.”
“Please don’t say that.”
Lucy started laughing while still be comfortably patted.
In other words, it’s that. Even if they are a roommate in this school of disparity between classes, after living together for a few months, family starts to feel like it doesn’t matter as much and more pure feelings begin to rise up. Friendship, gratitude, and feelings of guilt for the words said during the more shallow portion of the relationship.
However the difference in magic power still stands, and a fine son or daughter of a noble house cannot always be easy and say things like, “Thank you,” or “I’m sorry,” any more than they can say more meaningful things like, “Let’s be friends from now on.” That is why this tradition of having higher class students giving their roommates suits and dresses came into existence.
And a servant called a roommate……is just supposed to understand that sentiment and supposed to say, “I will continue to adhere to My Lady’s wishes from now on,” with a bitter smile as they try on these ornate outfits.
It is an incomprehensible story. But Claudio told her that it was the duty of Liztena Magic Academy seniors to pass on this tradition which was another implicit rule.
“Sometimes there are rooms that clash more than others. That’s why we don’t just casually float the practice around.”
“Even though it just means more work for you.”
“Well about that. There are privileges reserved for us second and third years as well.”
Laughing with a large grin, Claudio moved his hand in front of Lucy’s face.
He was not asking for a handshake or moving to pat her head again, he simply stopped his hand in front of Lucy’s nose. Then putting his thumb and middle finger together……there was a crack as he snapped his fingers.
Lucy suddenly closed her eyes on reflex, but when she slowly opened them back up, she was amazed to see a flower swaying in front of her.
It was a yellow flower. A small yellow flower in bloom that looked like it had been plucked right off the branch of a tree. Two petals spread downward in contrast to the upraised lips. It was an unusual yet cutely shaped flower. However even though there was a colorful red ribbon tied around the stem, it still did not look like a flower you would give away as a gift.
Even so, Lucy gratefully accepted what was presented to her and looked alternately between the flower and Claudio.
“Lucy, do you know what this flower means in the language of flowers?”
“Do you think that I like flowers enough to learn their language?”
“No, I suppose not. So you should be sure to ask Ortensia after you’ve made up.”
Those were the words Claudio left behind as he parted.
When he was gone, Lucy’s eyes inevitably fell onto the flower in her hand as it slightly shook in the wind.
Lucy returned to the dormitory shortly afterwards and tried to ask Ortensia about the flower, and as expected of the young lady of the Rosedot family, she did seem to know about the language of flowers. However after her still sullen eyes opened wide in shock after seeing the flower in Lucy’s hand, a sharp “Mi~!” was what she had to say.
Other than working herself up into a state of excitement.
“What is this flower supposed to mean? Claudio gave it to me. But the language of flowers…….”
Ortensia told Lucy exactly what that flower meant in the language of flowers. —Rather, she actually only said the single sound of ‘Mi~’. But Lucy has become fluent in that language.—
Hearing that sound made Lucy take a step back, and under her breath–using human language of course–she muttered that flower’s meaning out loud.