El and Rinoa-sama are a year below us, so it’s weird running into them in the break room like this. Then again, Sophia-sama regularly comes to have tea with me even though she’s a year ahead of us, so it’s not like there are any rules against students of different years mingling.
But since the break room is so far away from Rinoa-sama and El’s classroom, it is almost impossible for them to make use of it.
[Rose]: “What are you doing here?”
[El]: “I was looking for you, and I thought I’d take the time to show Rinoa around the school while I was at it. I’m happy I found you.”
El’s tail was cutely wagging behind him, and I almost gave in to my usual habits, extending my hand outwards to rub the top of his head. But then I saw the look Rinoa-sama was giving me, and I instinctively drew that hand back.
(Rinoa-sama…..was she, just now, glaring at me? No, impossible.)
Our group tea party went on with two additional members, a peaceful gathering with nobody saying anything about Rinoa-sama’s sharp gaze.
[Rinoa]: “Roselia-sama, could I have a bit of your time?”
I was called out right after school had finished.
Once class had been let out for the day, I was on my way to the school’s second library to look up a small matter real quick when Rinoa-sama suddenly appeared before me.
(I feel like something similar happened before……I have a bad feeling about this.)
[Rose]: “Is there something wrong Rinoa-sama?”
Since her two hosts El and Prince Eric are nowhere to be seen, she must have come to look for me on her own.
[Rinoa]: “I’ll just come out and ask. Roselia-sama, are you in love with Prince Routh?”
Exactly what you’d expect from a carnivorous beast.
I could feel my soul wanting to leap out of my mouth from the sharp glare she is digging into me that is no different from any other predator that’s cornered its prey.
Ordinarily she is more of a sweet black cat than a black panther, but every now and then she brings forward that full knightly atmosphere in her words and actions.
I couldn’t respond.
Not because she scared me…..
But because I’m still not sure how to answer that.
[Rinoa]: “Why aren’t you saying anything?”
[Rose]: “…..and how deep are your feelings for E-, Prince Routh?”
(I’m answering a question with a question. But, it’s just, problematic to be straightforwardly asked like this.)
[Rinoa]: “I’ve been with Routh since we were small, before he ever even came to this country. Back then, my parents would tell me, ‘That’s your future husband’, ……but, it’s comfortable being around Routh. I like him, not just because my parents told me to, but because of who he is!!”
(……you feel comfortable when you’re together with him……)
Obviously I have fun and can relax when I’m with El. And in the opposite case, I get lonely whenever he isn’t with me, and I often find myself thinking things like, “What is he doing right now?”
El has been staying with Rinoa-sama at the castle recently instead of home with me. Whenever I think about that, my heart begins to ache. And just earlier today my mood got all hazy when I saw the two of them together.
With all these thoughts swirling around in my head, I opened my mouth to give Rinoa-sama an answer. But then I just as quickly clammed back up.