Listening to the side, Tina who didn’t understand the current situation tilted her head, puzzled. At first, Lilia also didn’t know what Chris was going on about but immediately realized something. The results of the exam were just released so it was probably something in relation to that. Thinking from Chris’ perspective, Lilia could guess what Chris was going to ask.
Probably about what “measures” Lilia took to achieve that score.
Chris probably didn’t think it was through Lilia’s own ability and Lilia understood that too. It wasn’t possible to believe that someone could just raise their grades all of sudden like that.
It wasn’t necessary for Chris to believe anything but still, deciding not to deceive her, Lilia stared fixedly at Chris.
“It was my own genuine ability.”
Chris narrowed her eyes and observed Lilia intently. It was as if Chris was trying to ascertain the real truth from her but Lilia didn’t feel particularly insulted from it. From the corner of Lilia’s eyes, Tina was flustering about so Lilia waved her off, sending her a sign that everything was alright.
“I see, very well then.”
Finally, Chris averted her gaze from Lilia and raised a smile to her face.
“You are amazing, Mistress Lilia. To speak truthfully, I doubted you. My apologies”
said Chris, bowing her head.
Lilia sniffed and waved her hand dismissively to show she didn’t mind.
“If I were in your position, I too would definitely doubt them.”
Lilia sat down in an open seat and took a sip of the black tea Alisa brewed for her. After savoring it slowly, she let out a breath.
“Even so though, how did you know my grades? Well, even if you do not answer I have a sense how.”
“Eh, well… It is as you have guessed. I will say it for his Highness’ honor but the one who asked was completely on me.”
“I see. Well, if it’s like that there is no problem. It is something you, Chris, would have eventually found out about anyways.”
For the prince, it is obviously so, but Chris’ parents too are in a position able to inspect the grades of the students. If it was a matter of finding out earlier or later, finding out earlier was not that much of a big deal.
“Does that mean that the Prince selfishly looked up Lilia’s grade?”
“Miss Tina. It’s Mistress Lilia. I let it go last time but since I, an outsider, is here let us maintain some standards.
“Ah… I apologize. Mistress Crystal, Mistress Lilia.”
(T/N: Crystal is Chris. Previous translation group used Krystal/Kris.)
Tina bowed her head respectfully. Speaking of standards, first of all, entering a room without informing its owner is also an issue but Lilia decided to pretend she didn’t notice that.
“Tina. Do not worry, I believe that the Prince was, without ill intention, looking into it for this time only. Also, rather than checking my grades specifically, he was probably looking into who was the one that got better grades than him. If it was a promising individual, he probably wanted to put them under his wing while he can.”
“It is exactly what you have said. However, it resulted in him making a complex expression due to Mistress Lilianne. Yes, even I had a hard time suppressing a smile at that.”
Chris, amused, laughed sarcastically but also a bit apologetically.
“So? What did the Prince say then?”
“Nothing in particular. But, he wondered if Lilia really did nothing and just ordered me to confirm it.”
“Well, that is to be expected. Thank you for your hard work, Chris.”
As Lilia said this to Chris with a smile, Chris widened her eyes for a second and then let out a small sigh. Lilia tilted her head, wondering what was wrong, and Chris shaked her head.
“Good grief. Mistress Lilia, you too, Miss Tina is here you know. Don’t you think you are being too informal?”
“Oh my, there is no one here who would care. Since there is no one else here but me, I will permit this.”
“You’re the same as ever huh… I understand that you’re trying to change yourself but it is better if you pay more attention to your speech and conduct you know.”
“That may be true. I will take that into account from now.”
Lilia accepted Chris’ words honestly. Chris seemed surprised at that, but this time, only narrowed her eyes a little and didn’t show any other reaction besides that. Now that her business was finished, Chris got up from her seat.
“Well then, I will return now.”
Saying that, Chris headed towards the door. Lilia thought about calling out to Chris but in the end, said nothing and simply watched her retreating figure.
“And so? Tina, how did you do?”
Tina, who was staring blankly in a daze, came back to her senses when Lilia called out to her. She tried to reply cheerfully, but, for some reason, her energy quickly dropped and she became dispirited. As Lilia knitted her brows in confusion, Tina spoke in a small voice.
“Hearing about Lilia’s grades… I feel shameful about being so cheerful… I think it might be good if I leave.”
“Before you leave, you must first reply properly. I will not let you remain silent on this when I was the one who tutored you.”
“Ah,” said Tina, at a loss for words, and finally let out a resigned sign. She quietly placed her report card and exam paper on the table. Looking at the papers, Lilia tilted her head.
“Eighth place. I believe that is good enough, no?”
“I received tutoring from Lilia though. I feel sorry because my grades aren’t higher…”
[S] How high is her goal that she doesn’t feel satisfied with this….?
[L] For a lower class noble, with this grade, it is more than enough though.
However, having ambition is a good thing. If Tina were satisfied with those results, Tina would stop putting in additional effort. Lilia felt sorry for Tina but decided to let Tina continue with her disappointed thoughts.
“By the way, what about Lilia? I think I have a sense from the previous conversation but...”
“I got first place.”
“Uwah… As expected of Lilia. As a friend, I’m so proud. In comparison though, I’m…”
“If you are not satisfied with your results, you can just study again next time. I’ll tutor you anytime.”
After Lilia had said that, Tina vigorously raised her head and began staring fervently at Lilia.
“Is that really okay?”
“Of course. Because.... because you are my friend.”
Lilia ended up saying the last part with a soft voice. Even so, Tina heard it clearly and her face brightened. As Lilia averted her gaze down, embarrassed, Tina laughed.
“Yea! I’ll be in your care then Lilia!”
After somewhat giving a reply, Lilia wondered if that was enough when Tina, as expected, laughed again.
-- Author’s Note --
When the Prince was trying to scout a promising person, it ended up being Lilia. It's that kind of story.
Please leave comments if you catch any mistakes!