Lilia headed towards the library after Tina left the room. Her goal was, of course, Ray. She still hadn’t heard about his test results. The solutions to the exam were open to all so as she walked over, she passed by a couple of students. All of them made way for her as they saw her.
[S] You’ve still got a ways to go, huh. Hey everyone, Lilia isn’t scary! She won’t bite you know?
[L] How rude… It can’t be helped then. I’ll talk to everyone firmly one by one...
[S] Stop that. Your conversations with the Prince are essentially bullying you know.
[L] How unfortunate.
Lilia was actually serious about it but it seemed like Sakura was against it. But then, Lilia hadn’t thought about what to say to other students at all. Even if she were told to talk to them now, she wouldn’t have been able to say anything.
As she opened the door to the library, a couple of students noticed Lilia and froze. They probably didn’t expect Lilia to come here. Lilia, without saying anything to those students, continued to walk towards the entrance to the small room.
[S] Speaking of it, Lilia. You being at the library is a first.
[L] Huh? Aren’t I always coming here?
[S] No, I mean you being seen here.
Being told that, Lilia realized and thought of something else too. Whenever she came and, of course, left the library, she was always doing so at times when there weren’t that many eyes around. In the afternoon, she would bring over her lunch while everyone else was eating lunch and leave before classes ended. It was possible that today was the first time others saw her coming to the library.
[L] Do you think there is likely to be a problem?
[S] It’s alright. Rather, let’s have you appeal to them some more! If you show them yourself reading a book from the bookshelf, your intellectual image can…
[L] Books are to be read sitting down.
[S] Darn it, I didn’t think you would say that.
As Lilia and Sakura were lightly exchanging words, she entered the room Ray usually used.
Like yesterday, no one else was in the room. The table had an exam result and sheet on it though so, unmistakably, Ray was just in here a few moments ago. Lilia sat down and looked over the exam sheet.
Ray was one grade level lower than Lilia. He was first place. From this, it appeared that Ray was continuously studying. She felt a bit proud but also, ended up tilting her head, confused.
Why wasn’t he here?
[L] Sakura, do you know where Ray is?
[S] Sorry, as expected, I can’t. At the very least, it seems like he isn’t around the immediate vicinity.
Lilia sighed softly and stood up. If Sakura didn’t know, there was nothing Lilia could do. She was a little worried but if there was nothing she could do, it couldn’t be helped.
[S] Is this okay?
At Sakura’s question, Lilia made a difficult expression. Sakura informed the troubled Lilia,
[S] Use what you can use!
[L] Yes, true… Let’s use what I can.
Lilia nodded her head and left the room.
Lilia, who returned to her own room, walked over to the table and, following Sakura’s instructions, shifted her gaze to the ceiling.
“I have a request I would like to make.”
Saying that, a part of the ceiling moved and a man and girl stuck their face out. They came down in front of Lilia, and kneeled with their heads bowed. Lilia nodded her head, approvingly, and while looking at both of them in turn, spoke.
“Somewhere on these school grounds, there should be a boy here called Ray. Find him.”
The two of them knitted their brows in confusion. “Why?” asked the man.
“Because he isn’t in the library where he usually is.”
Lilia answered concisely but the man shook his head again. He narrowed his eyes in confusion towards Lilia and said,
“What kind of person is this to Mistress Lilia?”
“My apologies but, for us, our number one responsibility is to protect Mistress Lilia. It is not to assist complete strangers.”
I see, said Sakura, understanding the situation. What is the meaning of this? asked Lilia, and Sakura explained.
[S] They mean that while they are here, they will follow Lilia’s orders but above that, they must follow what they were ordered to do first.
[L] And that is to protect me?
[S] Yea. And if they have to go beyond that order, they can not act. Right now, since they are still doing background checks on those around you, if they exhaust even more personnel, they will not have enough to protect you.
In short, if they didn’t have her previous order to follow, they would have been able to cooperate. Lilia regretted that she didn’t cancel her previous order earlier but now it was too late. If these two couldn’t act right now, then Lilia really did have no methods left.
Lilia closed her eyes and sighed softly.
[S] What are you going to do now?
[L] I will find him.
This was within school grounds. Tomorrow he might be back there. However, for some reason she couldn’t leave it alone. The school grounds were vast but if she searches until nightfall, she might be able to find him.
Thinking that, she started to head over to the door when a voice called out.
Turning around, Cynthia took off her mask and fixed her gaze at Lilia.
“Cynthia. What are you doing?”
asked the man beside her with a stern voice. However, Cynthia, without responding, stared at Lilia firmly.
“Mistress Lilia, if I could say one thing.”
Although Lilia was tilting her head, confused, she turned to face Cynthia. Cynthia continued.
“Um, that person, Ray, to Lilia what kind of person is he?”
Does that really matter right now, wondered Lilia but still replied honestly.
“Lets see… A friend, perhaps? I do not know how he thinks though.”
“A friend is it. Just for that reason you, yourself, are willing to act?”
For what incomprehensible reason is she asking this, Lilia thought as she glared but Cynthia appeared to be slightly smiling, delighted. Seeing Cynthia’s unexpected expression sucked the malice out of Lilia and left her dumbfounded.
-- Author’s Note --
It’s the resumption of negotiations!
If there are any mistakes, please leave comments!