After entrusting Burt to some of the teachers, we all moved to a place more out of the way.
Sophia-sama refused to take her arms off me even as we were walking while El continued to hold my hand the entire time.
[Will]: “So, are you all right Rose?”
[Rose]: “Yes, I’m sorry to bother you like this Will-sama.”
[Will]: “No no, it’s fine so long as Rose is okay. But could you tell us what happened before we arrived?”
[Rose]: “Okay. It happened right after I left Julius-sama this morning───”
I left out no details. Everyone was worried for my sake, so I told them about how Burt had caught me right after I had separated from Julius-sama. I also informed them that it was Erina-sama who had incited Burt to act.
[Julius]: “…….right after you left me…..so everything would’ve been fine if I had gone to class with you.”
[Rose]: “No. …..M-More importantly…….what are you doing here El?”
That’s right. For some reason El has magically shown up here. Well, the question of why El is in this country got pushed to the side in favor of making sure Burt didn’t do anything strange, but I really want to know why he’s at my school.
[El]: “Hm? Oh, I really didn’t want Rose to see me today.”
[El]: “I’ll be attending this school starting in the spring. I came here today for orientation and a tour, but I wanted to keep this as a surprise for Rose until my first day of school.”
But I was found out as soon as I walked in. A big grin reached from ear to ear on his face after he finished explaining.
(C-Cute!! His wolf ears are sticking up and just begging to be cuddled. It makes me just want to ruffle his ears like I did the last time I saw him.)
I took a second to calm my writhing heart before turning my gaze towards El.
[Rose]: “So this is why your letters always told me to wait. You sure did surprise me I suppose. But, you really saved me, so thank you for coming when you did.”
[El]: “I’m just happy Rose is safe. I could never stand by and watch if Rose is being pressured by some strange guy.”
[Rose]: “Thank you. Did Will-sama know that El was coming?”
[Will]: “Oh, yes I did. But El……I mean, Routh asked me to keep quiet about it. Sorry Rose”
[Julius]: “Wai- Routh…….eh!?”
Julius-sama’s eyes flew open when he heard the name Will-sama mentioned.
(Oh, I see! I’ve just been calling him El until now without bothering to introduce him.)
[Rose]: “Sorry about that Julius-sama. I don’t think I ever talked about him to Lou either. This is His Highness Prince Routh, the second prince of the Ashtel Kingdom. He and I have known each other since we were young, and because several things happened, I call him El.”
[Julius]: “R-Right, good to……I mean, it is an honor to make your acquaintance.”
[El]: “No, I’m younger, so there’s no need to act so politely.”
El cut Julius-sama and the others off before they could say anything else. He’s gotten bigger, but I guess El is just as shy a person as he always was.
[Rose]: “El, if you’re going to our school starting in the spring, does that mean you’ll be staying with Will-sama?”
[El]: “Yes, that’s the plan. I’ll only be attending this school as an exchange student for a year.”
[Rose]: “Is that true? Then you should come stay with me just like you did before!”
[El]: “……is it okay? Can I really stay with Rose again?”
El’s ears perked up once again as his tail started playfully wagging behind him.
(S-So cute!!! I just want to hug him and pet his tail right now, but unfortunately Sophia-sama is still hugging me and refusing to let go. Rather, I’m starting to wonder if you’re all right Sophia-sama.)
[Rose]: “Yes, I don’t mind. Are you coming tonight? You’re not leaving immediately right? ……hey, Sophia-sama?”
After receiving a vigorous nod from El confirming his plans for the night, I turned my attention to the head which was still rubbing itself against my cheek.
[Rose]: “Yes, Sophia-sama.”
In response, a small voice whispered my name.
[Sophia]: “……how…….how could you!? Why did you never talk to me about this!?”
Sophia-sama finally released me from her hold and suddenly raised her face only for her hands to shoot out and wrap themselves around my cheeks.
[Sophia]: “I had to hear from Lucas-sama about how you were being bothered by someone, and I’ve been waiting ever since for you to come talk to me about it! Am I, really that unreliable?”
[Sophia]: “I don’t just think of Rose-chan as my best friend. You’re like a sister to me. …..I was really hoping you would let me be there for you…….”
[Rose]: “I, I’m sorry…….I just, didn’t want to bother you…….”
With everyone showing up and then El’s sudden appearance, I forgot about just how scared I had been. But with Sophia-sama’s words bringing back that moment, my body went cold, and I started to shake.
[Sophia]: “There’s also that Erina-sama left to deal with. This issue was caused from her instigation just like all the other’s we’ve been dealing with, so talk to me! The idea of you in trouble, it’s too much for me to bear.”
[Rose]: “……Okay. Sophia-sama, thank you.”
It was only now that El let go of my hand. So taking the time to hug Sophia-sama back, I thanked her over and over again.