The noble dance began with Lily Ruhuna playing the male role while I danced the woman’s. It’s an easier time for me than with Olive since I no longer need to lead.
Right away I could tell Lily Ruhuna was a better dancer than Olive. There was no hesitation in her footwork, and the hand she used to support me drew in my waist, highlighting the curves in my body to accent the movements for those watching.
But more so than her skill in dancing, there was something else that took me by surprise. She smells really nice.
Did she not sweat at all despite speeding across the stage, swinging her sword around like that while wearing heavy iron armor?
Even if she didn’t, we’ve already hit nighttime. Our schedules have been tight ever since the ceremony began, so we haven’t had the time to take a bath or anything.
Yet she is giving off a small floral scent, too faint to be from some kind of perfume. It is probably her natural odor, but in that case, I can’t help but think she comes from some world foreign to our own.
I wanted to get a better smell, so flowing with the dance, I buried my face into her collarbone. And from there I had a moment of bliss. Every time I breathed in that smell, a shot of excitement ran through my brain.
The deeper the breath I took, the stronger the smell. It created an infinite loop that kept building up my excitement more and more. My body remembers all the steps to this dance on its own, so my mind was free to wander.
I moved my face down her shoulders to try and find the source of the smell. It was weaker near her neck, so I moved my head to the right. After a point, I could tell it was coming from her armpit.
I secretly moved my face bit by bit further to the right so as to not be found out. The smell keeps getting stronger despite not coming from anywhere else on her body.
However, my trip was cut short halfway down her collarbone. The demonstration she wanted to make seemed to have come to an end. I felt like a dog that was about to be scolded after being caught red-handed, so I looked up at Lily Ruhuna’s face expecting her to look displeased. Instead she smiled as if there was nothing wrong at all.
“Now then. That should serve well enough as an example. Everyone, please interact with each other without worrying about status.”
Saying that much, Lily Ruhuna left the noble circle and returned to the commoner zone. I felt awkward standing their in the middle of the room by myself, so I also returned to the commoner zone and sat next to Melia.
“Welcome back Lily-chan. Things got heated didn’t they? Are you all right?”
She seemed genuinely worried from the bottom of her heart. She was looking me up and down to see if I was hurt anywhere.
“Y…..Yeah. Things got a little hairy, but Lily-san helped me out.”
“That’s right! Lily-san was so cool right? Oh, but it all started because of what Lily-san said though isn’t it? She is the one who told Lily-chan to speak with the nobles.”
Yeah, I had completely forgotten about that since I was so fascinated by her smell. I never would’ve been in that position to begin with if Lily Ruhuna hadn’t said anything.
She sowed the seeds herself and harvested the crop when enough time had passed. Originally I didn’t think much of her, good or bad, but she earned a positive impression from me after that little incident. As for the other commoners here…..
“Now that you mention it…..I was almost tricked. That woman is shrewd. Is that how you’re supposed to earn points around here?”
“Mmhm. Not everyone here is a friend. Ah, but I’m safe! If I was going to knock someone down, I would aim for someone high up rather than Lily-chan”
I just caught a glimpse of Melia’s dark side. I can’t forget, she also passed the preliminaries and came here to the final selection. She is also aiming for the title of Hero.
It is natural to have the temperament to want to climb higher, even if that means having to knock others down. It is just a little surprising to hear those kinds of words come from someone with such an energetic and innocent sounding voice.
The conversation died there, so I took a look around the venue. Lily Ruhuna’s words were in vain as she was the only one to move out of the noble circle. Conversely, I was the only one who ever moved out of the commoner zone.
Despite that, she was earnestly talking to people she didn’t know. Without knowing what it was Lily Ruhuna was aiming for, I could only watch her go with that scent still in the back of my mind.
Once the party was over, we were finally taken to the dormitory. I call it a dormitory, but this is an event put on by the country. The dorms are no different than a first-class hotel, complete with doorman manning an entrance wide enough to fit four or five people at a time. The atmosphere is completely different from a bar with a passed-out drunkard lying next to the door.
“Whoa! What an amazing mansion…..”
Melia marveled at the place from right next to me. Naturally the noble daughters proceeded inside as if all of this were nothing out of the ordinary. Just like before, the only people whose heads acted on a swivel were the commoners.
The inside was also splendid, with sofas, chairs, and other fine decorations lined up inside the lobby. Every single item here was shining like it was their job to reflect the light coming from the chandeliers hanging off the ceiling.
We climb the stairs to get to our rooms. Those ranked eleventh and below get single rooms while everyone else has to double up. I’m sharing a room with Melia. Thankfully they didn’t put me with anyone strange.
The room inside was as stark as an ordinary inn. Just two beds with white sheets set on a wooden frame. If they had given me some luxurious bed with a canopy, I would’ve found it impossible to sleep, so I’m actually relieved.
“Lily-chan, should we take a bath?”
After we finished unpacking, Melia invited me to take a bath. These luxurious lodgings have a public bath that we are allowed to use as much as we want. And since we have the daughter of a minister staying here, it is sure to be as impressive as everything else here.
“You go on ahead. I will follow after changing my clothes.”
“Okay! I’ll see you there!”
Melia had thrown on a set of plain clothes and was ready to head to the bath before I had managed to get both feet into the door. I hurriedly got ready and changed into my own set of plain clothes. My hair was tied around an ornamental pin, so I had to slowly undo it with the help of a mirror. I still lost a few hairs before I finished though.
Remove my makeup, and I am ready to go. There was a bit of a skip to my step as I left the room and walked down the long corridor, ready to enjoy a beath.
It feels like someone could get lost in here with all the doors stretching on and on looking exactly the same, but since all the rooms have nameplates assigned to them, I should manage.
The eastern beauty Ran Longines’s room was two doors down from mine, so our rooms don’t appear to be in order of rankings.
I rounded a bend in the hallway. The room at the very end seems to belong to Lily Ruhuna. Everyone has to pass in front of it in order to leave the dorm, so it is the perfect place if you wanted to listen in to some gossip. Not that anyone here is stupid enough to say anything bad about her.
Just as I was passing it by, Lily Ruhuna’s door happened to open.
I turned my head to say hello, but then, someone suddenly grabbed my arm. I was then yanked inside with an incredible force.
I wasn’t given any time to resist before being pushed against a wall. Lily Ruhuna deftly used her legs to close the door behind her and locked it tight. A crass movement unlike the usual her. It doesn’t look like she’s going to kill me at least.
“So…um…did you need something?”
Lily Ruhuna gave me a fearless smile and a snort.
“Perverts need to be punished, right?”