Happy Holidays y’all. I just finished my last Christmas party for the year, so here I am eating a hot pocket and relaxing before I have to attend those New Year’s Eve parties. They’re okay, but after working with these Chinese co-workers of mine and seeing how they celebrate Chinese New Year last year, I realize that we could really stand to step it up. In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys the last few days of 2018.
Fishing for Ortensia with a Pole…..
Lucy, who learned what the flower given to her by Claudio meant in the language of flowers felt stunned at first…..then she felt a little cold after a loud splash left her clothes soaking wet.
When Lucy looked around her, she saw several girls all glaring at her, the flames of jealousy burning in their eyes. One of them must have decided to harass her from afar with a little magic. Lucy took out a towel from her bag to wipe away some of the water dripping off of her…..and then she was treated to another drenching splash of water.
At first the girls on the road had brought water with them to throw in her face, but it looks like now they were taking the approach of remotely watering her down from a distance.
If the girls were to sprinkle water around like the criminals from the other day, they could possibly fall under Claudio’s scrutinizing gaze, and they would end up reprimanded while Lucy looked on. As a result, this splashing and radio bombardment continued. There was no shock or awe, but it was unpleasant nonetheless. With Lucy as their opponent, it could be said to be the most efficient form of harassment.
Seeing Lucy in such a state, Ortensia started waving her hands yelling, “Mi~! Mi~!” to complain that she should not get close to her with her body all wet like that. With a shrill scream, “Mi~!” when Ortensia realized her skirt had already gotten wet, she waved her hand to cast a magic spell. The skirt dried up in the blink of an eye.
As Ortensia was still upset that her skirt had gotten wet, her gaze quickly scanned the crowd to find the culprit responsible, and those who fell underneath that gaze became fearful, casting their own magic to dry Lucy up. Even though she is annoying and bothersome, even though she complains about how bitter her coffee is every morning, she is still the daughter of the Rosedot family. She possesses a magical ability at the top of the school, and even for those people who do not take family name into account at this school, those with a high magical ability stand supreme.
“Using such a cheesy tea scent for such basic magic, this extent is pathetic.”
“It worked out great. In the end using Ortensia as a shield was a brilliant plan.”
“Yes yes, sorrrrry……Indeed, this is truly the scent of some luxury tea leaves.”
Lucy was splashed once again halfway through her apology, but she was too busy enjoying the smell of the freshly brewed tea in front of her to care.
The scent of black tea had drifted through the air from all the splashing since a while ago, but the fragrance she was smelling now was completely different. It was to the extent that it was even disrespectful to compare the two, and it was easy to understand that this tea was a first-class item. Lucy wanted to taste it by all means.
While Lucy was admiring the Rosedot family brewed tea in front of her, she saw Ortensia looking obviously proud next to her. Still primarily focused on the tea, she was still able to hear a soft, “dress,” muttered to her side. A wry smile came across Lucy’s face at just how east to understand her roommate was…..*Splash!* And then she felt wet once again.
The story that Claudio had given a flower to Lucy had already circulated through the school in the blink of an eye, and because of it she was feeling well-cooked on the verge of burning from all the heated and jealous looks she was receiving.
In addition to his good looks, Claudio had an excellent personality and good grades. That was not including the fact that he was a faultless prince who dislike being addressed as a prince. It was easy to guess why everyone wanted to be escorted by him.
There was an escort ban placed so that people could not invite someone to the party sooner than a month before the party’s date¹, but Claudio had bypassed that rule by passing on a flower long before that restriction had been lifted. And that other person was a freshman from an ordinary class. It was easy to guess why everyone’s jealousy became so aggressive.
“Last year Claudio escorted the grandchild of the school headmaster. The only reason she needed him was because her fiancee didn’t attend this school, so there was no scandal in Claudio escorting her. However she graduated last year which means that all of the ladies were aiming for him this year.”
“And then I appeared. I see, so that’s why I get citrus smelling splashes whenever I’m not under Ortensia’s gaze.”
“After a little while they will be too busy finding their own dates, so just wait for that.”
Towards Conrad’s robust laugh, Lucy scratched her head and muttered, “Geez,” underneath her breath.
It was currently evening, and this was inside one of the school buildings after the day had ended. The Ortensia Rosedot Officially Recognized Night Fan Club was having its regular banquet, and all those with low magic power had gathered.
While talking about the aforementioned ongoing jealousy of her classmates, Lucy had become closer to her fellow fan club members, and especially Conrad was she able to speak freely.
—When this fact became known, Claudio had placed his hand on Conrad’s shoulder and said, “So I hear you and Lucy have been getting closer?” with dead eyes, while Ortensia blatantly accused Lucy with a loud, “Mi~!”—
“In the first place, is it allowed to circumvent the invitation ban with flowers like this?”
“It’s a privilege for second and third years.”
Pinching off some cut of ham, Conrad continued to laugh while throwing the meat into his mouth before taking a large bite of a bun in his hand.
The lifting of the official escort invitations ban is still in the future, but there are options that the first years don’t know about. Although it is a clear violation of the rules to use clear words such as ‘party’ or ‘escort’, it seems that implicit invitations like handing over a flower such as Claudio had done was acceptable. Other ways to circumvent the rules are agreeing to meet up in a secret place the day the ban is lifted, and there are even those people who are so bold as to go out to pick outfits out together without using any specific promises or words.
The news stunned Lucy as she had never thought of something like that. “It’s knowledge the first years learn from watching the second and third years do it,” Conrad told her while laughing. Having the first years learn this the hard way appears to be another implicit rule.
“Conrad, what did you do last year?”
“Me? During the first term I was asked to attend by a girl who already had a fiancee…….the second half I went with someone I knew really well.”
Lucy let out an unexpected voice when she heard Conrad’s story.
The students of Liztena Magic Academy had their differences in social standing, but they were still all members of a noble household. Many of them were already placed in engagements before they had even enrolled. Students with a fiancee outside of school would have to take care in inviting a person of the opposite sex as an escort, and so as to avoid any rumors of love affairs or other stereotypical incidents, people would often choose partners simply to attend the party together. This was exactly how Claudio escorted the headmaster’s granddaughter the year before.
So Lucy naturally thought Conrad was the same. In fact, he elaborated that the female student he escorted in the first term had attended the party together with him, but they split up once they got their to enjoy things by themselves. However, he actually attended the second party with a person he was on good terms with.
That means that…..Lucy tried to get Conrad to give her more information. Ortensia’s uneasy voice playing quietly in the back of her head.
“Conrad, this person you were on good terms with…….did you invite that child to attend with you?”
“No, nothing like that. I lost in the lot of life and ended up going with another guy I’m friends with. He ended up meeting a girl at the party itself though, so I ended up alone in the end.”
“………uwa, so strong.”
“I ended up watching Claudio for a bit, but the competition over him was amazing in its own way…..”
“That actually sounds like it would be pretty fun. But who will you be asking this year?”
“Around the beginning of this year I ran down one of the corridors shouting out, “I am Conrad, currently looking for someone to attend the next party with!” so I will probably go with my lover.”
“You’re unexpectedly pretty stupid……but, I see.”
Lucy watched Conrad with pity in her eyes while muttering her thoughts to herself.
Not knowing that there was a young lady crying over who he will end up inviting, he ends up making a fool of himself so casually.
“If you get on your knees and apologize for your past rudeness right now, and promise to do something about your rude attitude from now on, then I have no problem giving you the money for an elegant dress!”
“I’m back. I brought you a souvenir bread roll with some fried egg on it.”
“If you do so, I will personally arrange the necessary designers and tailors! You have never known such luxury!”
“Please wait a moment. I will prepare some hot milk for you before bed.”
“Yes yes, it was hot coffee wasn’t it? At night it was, ‘coffee free of any hot coffee and plenty of milk’ right?”
Ortensia was lying in wait at the front door when Lucy entered, and her ‘Mi~” was in top form against Lucy’s laissez faire attitude.
But then Lucy walked towards the back of their room as if she had not even noticed that anger. *Bam!* And then the sound of the door being vigorously closed echoed through the living room from Ortensia entering her room.
Lucy let out a small sigh at this as she prepared a cup of coffee with no hot coffee in it and her own cup of tea using the leftover hot milk.
Then taking a seat in the living room while holding those two cups,
“So, Conrad likes a dress like that huuuuuuuuuuh?”
and she cried out in a loud voice.
*Clank* and then a soft sounded could be heard coming from Ortensia’s door. Hearing it, Lucy took a small peak from the corner of her eye in that direction, but she was careful to not look directly at it as she continued.
“Conrad likes that type of dress, and he like a girl with thaaaaaaaat kind of hairstyle. So he was thinking he wanted to escort thaaaaaaaat type of girl.”
That’s right, Lucy was speaking out louder than she normally does.
At first this was just a soliloquy. As she came back and sat down in the living room, it was a story that wouldn’t interest anyone……….a truly common story. It is just because she is a bit tired that her voice is a little louder than normal.
But this is not just Lucy’s room. There, when her slightly too loud monologue was vocalized, *Kiii* the slight creak of a door swinging open could be heard, “Mi~” along with the slight hum of Ortensia’s voice. Still taking a peak from the corner of her eye, Lucy muttered to herself inside her heart.
However, Ortensia was still only in the state of half-body peeping. She would most likely end up retreating back to her room if Lucy were to look directly at her. That’s why carefully, avoiding any too flashy bait, Lucy blew on the steam rising from the hot mil- coffee in her hand…….
“The ideal dress he would like a girl to wear, he sure is quite the dreeeeeeeamer.”
“He said he would absolutely want to take the hand of a girl in such a dress.”
And with a slight shuffle, Ortensia left her room.
Was it because she was currently imagining herself being handpicked by Conrad that her cheeks were slightly blushed? Such an Ortensia approached the table to finally take a seat opposite of Lucy. Blowing on the cup to cool it down a bit, she took a sip of her pure white coffee,
“Let’s make a schedule,”
1. So in the previous chapter, it stated that people look for dates a month before the party’s date. In this chapter, it says it a little more forcefully, hinting me in to the fact that this was actually a rule.