“Oh, wow. Since you didn’t want to enter the student council, you studied abroad in England?!”
Along the way to the infirmary to change my uniform after school, I asked about middle school. Since Lady Sara and Lord Souju didn’t want to enter the student council, they studied a year and a half abroad in the United Kingdom.
“I mean, it’s a bother, right? Why do I have to enter the student council just because I’m a salon member?”
“I also decline to be in the student council. It’ll tire me out being together with Lord Katsuragi.”
I see. Was this a duty of theirs when they became salon members?
“Is that what people refer to as noblesse oblige?”
When I said that, the two fell silent.
“I would say so, but I don’t think that’s necessary in this day and age. Besides, it’s not like we’re aristocrats. We have money, but we’re not landowners or anyone.”
“…It’s just as Sou says, I see. The Hongou family is already contributing to the school through their donations.”
Right, I was able to attend as a scholarship student because of these donations.
“Then, you have no intention of joining the student council this time as well. The next student council president will be Lord Katsuragi… I’m sure he probably…might have…some charisma. Although, I doubt it. And, after him, Lord Takanashi will be the student council president? Does not being a salon member have that much of an effect?”
“I think it’s just a dumb tradition. Well, I’m grateful that we can use the salon as a refuge as a salon member.”
There certainly were many crowds who would like to become close to the son and daughter of Hongou Pharmaceutical. To protect such students, the salon membership system was probably a necessity.
Lady Sara and Lord Souju accompanied me to the infirmary. Dr. Ichijou was inside.
“Hey, welcome. Kaoru entrusted your uniform to me. Use the spare room to change.”
I changed my uniform in the spare room next door. I think they should really reconsider the white uniform. Dirt stood out too much. Naturally, I made sure I didn’t dirty it when I wore it, and if it did get dirty, I would wash it each time.
After I finished changing, I folded the uniform I removed and left it there. I was told that a servant from the Katsuragi family come for it. So, Lord Katsuragi wouldn’t bring it home himself?
I returned to the infirmary with those thoughts in mind, and there were fragrant tea and colorful macaroons present.
“Takaoka contacted me. I did a truly inexcusable thing to you, Ms. Kujouin. I should have been better with my words.”
Dr. Ichijou said and lowered his head.
“No, it’s not your fault. Besides, Lord Takaoka saved me. Please don’t be hard on yourself.”
Lord Souju cut off the doctor.
“Anyway, don’t cause any more trouble to Rei, Dr. Ichijou. Since we promised that crazy Yuria Sakurada that we wouldn’t get close to you, we won’t come here unless necessary.”
“You must already know, no? Rei conversed with Yuria Sakurada and is pretending to be a reincarnator. So, please don’t trouble us anymore.”
Lord Souju and Lady Sara said as they grabbed my hands and left the infirmary. I was certainly greedy. That tea and macaroons went to waste. I couldn’t help but feel disappointed.
“Rei, if you want tea and macaroons, I’ll have something more delicious prepared.”
My regret was exposed, so I blushed.
“I’m such a glutton. How embarrassing…”
“Ufufu. That’s why Rei’s cooking is so delicious. But, you cannot follow someone whom you don’t know because they said they will give you treats,”
Lady Sara cautioned me as if I was a child, so Lord Souju laughed. Lord Souju was really someone who often laughed.
“I expectedly wouldn’t follow someone I don’t know.”
“You still can’t do that even with someone you know.”
I thought Souju would laugh again, but he had a serious face on.
Ah, this was how it felt like to have people be concerned for me. How delightful. How truly delightful.
“Yes, I’ll be careful.”
I unintentionally broke out into a smile.
“That smile is foul play, Rei!”
Fufu, I was delighted that I wasn’t alone.
“Since there’s much preparation needed for the party the day after tomorrow, do come home with us tomorrow and stay over. This is a message from Grandmother.”
“That reminds me. Grandmother has been having us call her Lady Youko recently. It looks like she wants to copy how Rei calls her grandmother Lady Mary.”
Lady Mary, even after departing from this world, you’re still causing others trouble. As expected of Lady Mary.
“I don’t think you should mimic me there. I think it’s wonderful to call her Grandmother. I also wanted to call mine that.”
I wonder what kind of reaction Lady Mary would give if I called her Grandmother. In the first place, why did I call her Lady Mary?
Ms. Fuki called her that, so I simply followed. …Ms. Fuki didn’t push me to call Lady Mary “Grandmother.” No, I’m sure I probably called her Grandmother when I was young, and this angered Lady Mary. Surely so.
We each headed for our separate cars and left the school. Mr. Suzuki drove me all the way home. Then, I changed into my jersey and headed to the piano. The day after tomorrow will be my first job. I cannot embarrass Lady Youko after she gave me this job. I kept in mind that my pieces should be treated as BGM and chose Goldberg’s variation. It was a famous yet modest piece. I carefully and thoroughly played. I hoped that the guests would enjoy my performance.
The next day, Mr. Suzuki came to pick me up as usual. As I would be spending the night outside, I made sure to close the door. Ah, well, this lock could be opened with just a hairpin. In the first place, you could even break in here through the veranda. Rather than the door, I felt that shutting off the water and gas was more important.
I boarded the car and silently looked outside as usual. The changing scenery caught my attention. I grew up never having left Hanaoka. It felt strange to now commute to the big city to attend school.
When I crossed the sea and could see the towering buildings from a distance, “The city!” was what I shouted in my mind every time. The fields and patties in between the cities began to disappear from view, and it soon became all cities.
This was how I enjoyed my commute to school. The roads must have been slightly empty this morning as I arrived at school earlier than usual. As I headed to the school building to prepare for class, I unexpectedly encountered Lord Madenokouji whom I met yesterday at the café. Since our eyes met, I had to greet him. I put on a refreshing smile as I greeted him. My greeting was simple. I meant no harm.
When I greeted him, he greeted me back with a surprised look on.
“Ah, Souju and Sara said that I was a bother, so I thought that I would be ignored.”
Lord Madenokouji bitterly smiled.
“I would still like to honor you with the minimum respect. Should I not greet you?”
When I asked in turn, he chuckled in agreement. Lord Madenokouji was an honest person. However, he was a capture target in Lady Yuria Sakurada’s mind. Furthermore, she said he would become poor in the future. Though, if you ask me if I felt any affinity towards a fellow pauper, then it wasn’t like that.
There were levels among the poor. I was a simple pauper with no debt on my back. However, if Lord Madenokouji were to become poor, it would most likely be because of debt. The levels were completely different. However, even if a public company were to become bankrupt, personal assets shouldn’t be seized. Thinking about it normally, I don’t think he will be suddenly forced to like the same poor life as me.
For some reason, the otome game in Lady Yuria Sakurada’s mind had too many flaws. In the first place, there was no way the penniless me could be a villainess. I thought I could be a bad person, but that was impossible given my own setting as someone concealing their presence for reasons. Lady Yuria Sakurada must have wanted to rationalize why the villainess didn’t become a salon member, but she didn’t figure out “those reasons” in her mind.
“Ms. Kujouin is good at cooking. Kaoru said that your rice balls were delicious.”
“…Lord Katsuragi stole Lord Souju’s rice ball the other day. And his fried chicken yesterday. I’m certain this left a bad impression of Lord Katsuragi on Lady Sara and Lord Souju. Um, I’m sorry for asking you this, but can you prevent him as much as possible from encountering us?”
“Yeah, I’ll make sure to strictly beat it into his head. Since we’ll be busy with student council matters for some time, we won’t have time to sit down for lunch, so don’t worry. If we do have time, I’ll have Kaoru eat lunch at the cafeteria.”
Lord Madenokouji was a truly genuine person. Because I had only encountered crazy people, I was relieved.
“Thank you very much. Then, please excuse me.”
We split and went to our separate classrooms. Our lunchtime should be peaceful in the meantime. Thank you very much, Lord Madenokouji.
I had physical education classes for the first time today. The class was female-only, and two classes would be combined to play basketball. However, I decided to sit out for this one since I had a piano performance the next day. Lady Sara also strongly suggested I do that.
When she also told the instructor in the same manner, they easily consented. I watched from a corner of the gymnasium. I didn’t know the rules of basketball very well. I learned as I observed.
During that time, the ball flew in my direction. The one who went to pick it up was Ms. Miu Yuuki.
“Ms. Kujouin, why are you missing PE just because you play the piano? I also play the piano, but I’m properly participating.”
Ms. Miu Yuuki said that and returned to the court. I didn’t really understand why, but it seemed that I was hated. She probably viewed this as favoritism towards me. My piano performance was my job. I will be paid. I wanted to accomplish it in my best condition.
After that, I continued to diligently observe the class. Ms. Miu Yuuki appeared to have good motor reflexes. I wonder if she was in any sports club. However, Lady Sara wasn’t bad either. As her ringlets swayed, she was both elegant and strong! So cool!
I felt that tennis suited Lady Sara more than basketball. Yeah.
After the physical education class ended, I told Lady Sara that, and she replied, “Is it because of my ringlets?” with an annoyed tone. It seemed that if she left her naturally curly hair alone, it would greatly puff out. So, she would curl her hair with her finger after brushing, thus producing these ringlets. Lady Sara truly was amazing!