Chapter 16 – I invited my friend
It finally became the promised day, when Sophia would come to visit my place. I waited restlessly for her arrival since morning.
“Ojou-sama, Sophia-sama whom you have spoken about has arrived……”
Anne told me about her arrival, but she seemed strange for some reason. However, I just thanked her and hurried to the guest room because I wanted to see Sophia again as quickly as possible.
And then, I went to the guest room –
Indeed, the beautiful Sophia was waiting there impatiently, but…… For some reason, there was also an incredibly handsome boy next to her.
With black hair and black eyes, his hair and eye color was different from Sophia, but it could be seen that his features were similar and they were related. And, with two such beautiful people in front of me, it was like lining up a pair of dolls.
Ahh, Anne’s expression was surely strange because she was by these two doll-like people.
While I was lost staring at the two beauties, the voice that snapped me back to reality, was the handsome boy’s.
“Thank you very much for inviting my sister. Since my sister almost never goes out by herself, I am accompanying her today. I’m her older brother, Nico.”
I thought they looked similar, and indeed, this handsome boy seems to be Sophia’s older brother. But even so, to accompany her whenever she goes out, she’s had such a sheltered life.
However, I’ve been under pretty strict guard in my own way as well. After all, whenever I go out, mother will say “take Keith with you. Listen to Keith, and absolutely don’t do anything weird.” So, Keith always has to accompany me as well.
Mmm. Since we’re both so overprotected, we should be able to get along well.
While I was thinking this, for the time being I raised the hem of my dress and turned towards Sophia’s brother.
“Thank you very much for accepting my invitation. My name is Katarina Claes.”
“I’m Sophia’s older brother, Nico Astarot. I’ll be much obliged to be in your care.”
The handsome boy introduced himself once again.
And, I froze upon hearing it.
Nico Ascarot…… That name sounds familiar.
“Um, this may be rude but, Nico-sama, would you happen to be the prime minister-sama’s son?”
“Yes. That’s right.”
He is!? This person, I was thinking he’s such a perfect handsome boy, it’s because he’s a capture target!
Honestly, I want to immediately go back to my room to read my “Previous life’s game memories” notes…… But in the meantime, I desperately tried to remember what I could.
Nico Ascarot, the prime minister’s son, Alan and Jared’s childhood friend. He’s one year older than the heroine, and is a taciturn senpai type of character.
Ugh, I can’t remember any more than this. To begin with, I haven’t even captured Nico yet. I died after finishing the Jared route. In the end, I never even got started on Nico’s route. All I know about him, is what was in the game’s character introductions, and little tidbits than I heard from my otaku friend A-chan that cleared the game first.
If I recall correctly, A-chan said…… the rival for Nico was…… his sister!! That’s right, Nico was designed as quite a siscon, and the rival is his sister. And, to capture Nico, I think A-chan told me that you have to capture his affections before his sister does.
Ahh, thank you A-chan. I’m sorry about being mad at you at that time for the spoilers. I can’t believe that A-chan’s spoilers from that time would come in handy here.
If the rival for Nico is his sister, that means it’s not Katarina! That means, even if I get involved with Nico, I probably won’t get any destruction flags.
Anyways, if the rival for his affections is his sister, that means I won’t accidentally steal anyone’s lines like that time with Alan and Mary and get in the way of their affections.
Good, if it’s like that then it won’t be a problem even if I make friends with Sophia. She’s my long-awaited comrade to chat about romance novels with. I won’t let her escape so easily!
It seems that I was completely lost in my own little world. Sophia was looking at me with a worried face.
“Ahh, Sophia-sama. I’m sorry. Once again, thank you very much for coming. If it’s alright with you, let’s continue from where we left off last time.”
As I said so, I invited Sophia over to a table prepared with sweets and tea.
And then, we spent our time very meaningfully. Although Sophia was nervous at visiting my place for the first time, once we started talking about books, she became quite talkative. It seems that she really loves books. Of course, she knew about all the popular romance novels right now, but she also read a lot of old legends and history books and fairy tales, and those stories were all very interesting as well. She recommended several books to me.
If I do say so myself, her brother Nico has been completely left out of everything…… Well, I don’t have the time to concern myself over such a matter, it can’t be helped. Man, he’s really such an emotionless and taciturn boy like in the settings. It seems like such a waste of a handsome boy.
Time flies when you’re having fun, before I noticed it the sun was going down, Sophia’s family servant raised her voice and said that “it’s time that we have to go now.”
And when the family servant urged Sophia to get up to leave, the sunlight hit her hair as she stood up and her hair sparkled in the sunshine. It’s so beautiful. I’m sure that it’ll be just like touching silk. Ahh~, I want to touch it even just a little bit.
“You really do have such beautiful hair. May I touch it just a little?”
I spoke my thoughts and tried requesting Sophia.
Somehow, since I was using lines similar to the ones in “The Emerald Princess and Sophia,”my mood was completely like the Emerald Princess. However, if it was like the story, Sophia should be blushing now, but……
Unfortunately, she had such a dubious look on her face! I’ve done it now! I realized my grave blunder upon seeing her face. Since Mary happily allowed me to touch her fluffy hair as much as I wanted, I might have forgotten that it could very well be considered rude in this world to ask to touch a lady’s hair like this.
In the first place, I almost forced her during our first meeting as I was breathing roughly…… They might think I’m a pervert…… This is bad! I can’t do anything about my villainous face, but I don’t want to be called a pervert!
“…Uh, uh, this is…”
Nothing came to mind as I tried to think of an excuse while panicking.
Sophia muttered something in a weak voice. I asked her to repeat herself –
“……It’s not disgusting?”
This time Sophia said it in a louder voice than earlier. Disgusting…… Me!? Since I’m a pervert, I’m disgusting!? Oh no, I’m definitely not a pervert! Even though last year a certain self-important prince accused me out of nowhere of seducing Mary…… I’m not interested in that! I’m quite straight!
“Uh, that’s…… I’m…”
I opened my mouth and tried to defend myself somehow –
“Katarina-sama isn’t disgusted by the way I look?”
I lost my words at hearing what she had to say next. Eh? What’s this mean, that I’m not the disgusting one? Sophia is? I had a completely blank face by reflex while Sophia looked like she was about to cry.
“……Hair like an old person’s and eyes as red as blood…… Everyone says I’m disgusting and a cursed child……”
What’s this!? Something this beautiful is considered disgusting!?
The people of this world have golden, silver, brown, red, and black eye and hair colors, a colorful assortment. So, I thought Sophia’s white hair and red eyes would also be common. Yet…… It seems to be something different from the rest…… Anyways –
“Saying you’re cursed… What on earth?”
While I was trying to question Sophia, as if to block me Nico spoke up in a cold voice.
“It’s just slander…… It’s merely abusive rumors spread by those jealous of father’s achievements.”
Indeed, the Ascarot family is very talented. Such talent probably leads to much jealousy, and many bad things must be said about them.
As for our Claes family, although Keith is extremely talented, as for the actual daughter of the family I’m referred to by some as “the weird girl over there” for some reason with no basis whatsoever.
“……Even so, it doesn’t change the fact that the way I am is disgusting.”
Sophia muttered without any strength in her words…… It’s probably because she’s been told such a thing over and over again.
Well, for sure, I’ve never seen anyone like Sophia before, but –
“But, I think you’re pretty though……”
Sophia opened her eyes wide at what I said. Sophia kept staring at me as I continued.
“I think, that Sophia-sama’s silken white hair, and eyes that sparkle like rubies are very beautiful in my opinion.”
If I don’t say something to this extent I probably won’t be able to shake off the impression of being a pervert. I must absolutely avoid being made out to be a pervert! I smiled at Sophia, trying to convey that I was straight and that she had nothing to be worried about.
“As such, I’ll be very happy if you could continue coming over to play with me. And if it’s alright with you, won’t you be friends with me?”
As I said so, I extended my hands and gripped Sophia’s hands tightly. Those beautiful white hands of hers clenched mine tightly as well. Happily, this time she no longer had such a dubious expression.
Thus, the friend that I had always wanted to discuss romance novels with, get!
After I sent off Sophia and Nico in their horse-drawn carriage. When I returned to my room, and pulled out my “Previous life’s game memories” notes –
I didn’t have anything written there aside from what I remembered today.
Well, I’m a little surprised that Sophia turned out to be a capture target’s sister, a rival character just like Katarina, but –
This time I have peace of mind because I probably won’t get in the way of their relationship.
And, it’s very good news that Sophia is the same age as me, and also has magic power. That means that she’ll be my classmate in magic school.
I’ll always be able to discuss books with her from now on! I was jumping up and down in joy on top of my bed, and ended up being warned to be cautious by Anne.
After that, Sophia began coming to my house regularly. By the way, Nico would always accompany her.
The best part was that Mary finally got influenced by our passionate discussions and asked if she could borrow some books, so Mary began reading with us and our book discussions became even livelier.
Also, for Sophia who had almost never played outside before, she began helping me in the field as well.
At first, Sophia and Nico were rather shocked, but now it’s okay to appear in front of them in my work clothes.
In this way, I increased the number of repeat visitors to my place.