“My head hurts…… I don’t want to go to school……”
“What are you saying, weren’t you the one who said I shouldn’t switch in for you for a while?”
Ratoka was chewing his breakfast while talking, furrowing his eyebrows in puzzlement. Ever since that mock duel, I hardly ever had him substitute in for me. Based on the situation, I judged that it would be difficult for him to take my place.
“Hey, you should eat your breakfast properly as well. Just what exactly happened? I’ve never seen this type of expression on your face before.”
“……You’re being noisy. I don’t want to talk right now, Elise……”
I kept clenching my head, while Ratoka stopped eating, picked up a piece of bread and smeared some jam on it, and stuffed it into my mouth.
“Hurry up and eat. You’ll be late for the next class unless you leave soon.”
……Urk. My head hurts. I don’t want to go to school. I mean, why do I need to keep going to classes I’ve already learned? Rather than doing something meaningless, shouldn’t I use my time more productively instead on my domain lord work?
Am I the type of student to skip classes though? That thought kept circling around in my head as I listlessly ate my breakfast.
“Good morning, Kaldia. Are you alright? You don’t look so good……”
“Ahh, Zephyr…… Good morning.” (TL reminder: Jeff -> Zephyr, see last chapter TL note)
Zephyr sat down next to me and looked over with a concerned expression. I decided to go to class in the end, although I feel like I may feel worse if I don’t take a break soon. He often talks to me like this, even though his reputation may be affected. Lately I’ve been worrying as well if he’s suffered because of it, so as a result I’ve been chatting with him more often.
“My body’s fine. I’ve just been dealing with too much lately, I’m a bit tired.”
“I see. Try not to overdo things? Um…… it’ll be difficult for everyone if a domain lord collapses.”
“Ahh, thank you for your concern.”
He should also know the real reason why I’m not feeling well. However, I’m very grateful to him that he isn’t asking me to talk about it, it’s very difficult for me right now as it feels like my heart is being stabbed.
“Good morning, Earl Kaldia, Molton.”
“……Good morning, Rolentsor.”
“Good morning as well to you, Baron Rolentsor.”
Sieghart came over to us like it was the natural thing to do for him, his nonchalant expression saying he felt like he belonged, and I softly clutched my head again.
It’s been 10 days since that mock duel. However, after the argument between Sieghart and Eric on that day, they’ve been arguing each time they see each other every day now. Crown Prince Alfred and Grays still haven’t returned yet from their official business, so there’s nobody that can mediate between them.
And on top of all that, the general commander’s grandson now hangs out with me every day as if to guard me from Eric.
This is why my head hurts.
For Sieghart who’s a member of the prestigious Rolentsor military family, he can easily make a connection with Eric who has royal blood from Archduke Dovadain who is the king’s younger brother, if they just talk it out, I’m sure they can go back to being good friends again and forget about their argument.
The crown prince and the two brothers from the archduke’s family have a social status that’s far too different from mine, if at all possible I don’t want to associate with them, but the general commander’s grandson is a different story. I already get along quite well with several members of the Rolentsor family, and taking the future into consideration I think that I wouldn’t mind if I had a friendlier relationship with just Sieghart from the four capture targets.
However…… this situation is bad. Since I’m in the center of it all, it’s really bad.
After that mock duel – Sieghart forced Eric to apologize twice for his insults that went overboard. I also apologized myself, only to Sieghart.
Of course, Eric became more distant from us after this incident. Then, Sieghart declared in front of the entire class, that he wouldn’t renew his friendship with Eric until he apologized sincerely.
Even though Sieghart seems quite calm now, the way he’s dealing with this whole matter is…… he’s just a stubborn child, although I can’t say that directly to him.
This is terrible. ……Because of me, there’s now a rift in the crown prince’s retinue. Right now it’s still only to the extent of a children’s quarrel, but when I think about how the story might be twisted by the time the crown prince returns…… my head hurts.
“Come to think of it, I think it’s about time…… if it’s okay with both of you, I’d like to call you by your first names. Especially since I’ve heard that Earl Kaldia already has a good relationship with several other Rolentsors?”
“Or would you prefer if I just call you Kaldia like Molton does? In my opinion, I think that we’re friendly enough now where I’d like to be granted this permission.”
“Ahh…… I suppose……?”
During my headache Sieghart kept bothering me about something, but honestly I didn’t really pay attention to what he said and just responded with something that seemed appropriate. Then I noticed how happy he suddenly seemed to be, which snapped me back to my senses with a bad feeling.
“Is that so, thank you. Then I’ll be in your care, Kaldia. Is it alright if I also call you Molton then?”
“Oh? It’ll be my honor, becoming friends with you. Go ahead and call me Molton if you like.”
……Wait a moment. This is a conversation about what to address each other as?
Among nobles, what they call each other in private is a huge indication of their level of friendship. At first you’re supposed to address them by their proper name or title, they’ll use honorifics when they get to know each other, and when they become close friends they’ll start calling each other by name.
Now I’m deeply regretting that I responded without paying attention. I hope that this won’t cause the fighting to intensify even further…… and, when I noticed Eric glaring in our direction ferociously, my all too sweet dream was dashed instantly.
Before the crown prince returns, I need to figure out how to manage Eric and Sieghart.
……Ahh, my head hurts. I want to go back to my room and sleep.