Extra arc 『The Stage Ghost’s Cappricio』 Chapter 3
It’s been a while since I’ve paid attention to it, but… I’m a duke’s daughter.
Even though we were both dukes’ daughters, it didn’t mean I was bright and sociable or equipped with the same 『gentle princess』 vibe in the likes of Solana Brugmansia-sempai.
I had black hair and a mole under my eye. If anything, I had an appearance that was on the dark side.
In addition, Father and I were invited here as potential patrons of this theatre this time. For that reason, the theatre’s manager, along with a popular actress, came out to greet us.
We haven’t decided to support them yet and neither me nor Father have given our family name. Only that we were 『someone related to the 5 duke families』, well it’s not a lie, we only offered our first names and social statuses.
In other words, Miria didn’t know my exact rank, but as far as she was concerned, I was a high-ranking noble that looked difficult to approach (or, to be more blunt, I looked a little scary). And as a potential sponsor, I was probably both unnerving and terrifying to her.
But, I didn’t want her to have a bad impression of me.
If possible, it would be great if we became friend…ly.
I feel like I have a long road ahead of me though.
(No), I thought, lifting my spirits.
Seeing that she was already a famous person at the capital, it was unlikely to have this sort of opportunity for a face-to-face meeting that had nothing to do with my status. This happened because I took advantage of my political influence… Not! I doubt I could’ve even met Miria personally without depending on Father’s connections. That’s why, being treated a little warily by her is inevitable.
(This is just the beginning, the beginning! If I give up here, then the battle will end before it even begins!)
I paused to tell her that I was her fan at this very first encounter. But even though she told me 「please feel free to call me Miria」, it clearly feels like she was told to say that by the manager.
I was not only firmly denied from using polite speech towards her, a girl older than me, but also when I informed her 『I’d like it if you’d call me Lycoris』, she only bowed her head deeply at me. A passive rejection.
Even though we got to see a few of the dress rehearsals and the like, we quickly departed since it seemed like Miria couldn’t concentrate at practice with us around.
Thus, it opened the doors to me aggressively offering her gifts.
Everyday, I came to see her performance. Bearing presents.
It’s no good to give massive presents right at the start. So I started with bouquets. Then, sweet snacks that were popular at the capital. I checked that Miria took in food just like a human, of course. I also investigated that she liked sweet things. In these sorts of things, she was no different from a human girl.
Incidentally, the theatre manager’s behaviour was thoroughly polite towards me who continued to frequent this theatre. I don’t know the exact sum, but it’s obvious that Father investing in this theatre for the foreseeable future had something to do with it.
Regarding my behavior, Shade said this to me as if disgusted.
『I’m a little skeptical over the wisdom of financially supporting someone you want as your friend』
Having been told that, I was at a loss for words. After all, the words that were painful to hear, were incredibly sound that I didn’t know how to refute them.
『……Th-then help me think of an honest way to be friends with her too, Shade! It’s not like I can just disturb her when she’s so busy practicing… The only thing I could think of was giving support after her performances』
There was also the matter of time. I can only visit the capital until school starts, so I don’t have infinite time. During this holiday, by all means, I want to build a relationship with her to the point where 『it’s okay even if I send letters to her』 . That way, I won’t be completely forgotten by her.
Shade answered with a 『don’t ask me』 , looking like he found helping me out both unpleasant and troublesome.
『If you won’t bother helping me at all, then just leave me be』
Being scowled at by me, even Shade seemed to realize how resolved I was.
『I know you’re serious about this… and even though you’re going about this all wrong, I also know you’re doing your best』
『Eh? So are you going to help me out?』
I held on to a little hope. When making friends, I don’t think it’s good to get any further help from Father who was influential. Having said that, it’s also hard to depend on Wolf for this. In times like these, it’s easier to ask favors from siblings.
Even though he took in my hopeful look, Shade gave me a slightly mean-spirited smile.
『I’ll help out by not getting in your way』
『Shouldn’t that be natural?!』
In the end, knowing that I was being teased by Shade, I abandoned any naive ideas of relying on my little brother.
With that exchange, I renewed the vow that I’d figure something out on my own.
First, I had to get to know the person.
Naturally, I knew about her achievements as an actress and all the various roles she played thus far. But though I had those sort of topics as a starting line, to begin with, she gets frightened every time I try to talk with her at the moment.
（First, I have to observe! Find the opening that will close the distance to her heart!）
Looking at her, I learned something almost immediately. That was… that she shows very few emotions on her face.
I find it really hard to believe after seeing her perform with an abundance of emotions on the stage, but Miria Galant was near expressionless off the stage. Even though it was clear enough to tell that she was frightened of me in our first encounter, it seems that was an exceptional case, if anything.
She doesn’t appear excited or nervous before a performance, and she doesn’t look relieved when it ends either.
However, due to my persistent observation, I had just barely been deciphering the emotions hidden in Miria’s limited facial expressions. Of course, since I don’t have the confidence, I’ve been fumbling, day after day.
I’ve come to realize that she likes small cute flowers over large showy bouquets. It seems that she likes flowers that are white in color. And it appears she isn’t fond of flowers with overpowering smells.
So besides the bouquet I handed to her on stage, I also gave her a basket filled with small flowers at the dressing room.
It appears that among the sweets, she had a fondness for baked confectionaries. And it looks like she preferred not the overly sweet taste of artificial seasoning, but the natural sweetness and fragrance of plain simple fruits and nuts.
It had been a certain evening that passed while I was continuing to observe her in that manner.
I visited her dressing room, bringing a small basket of flowers like I’ve been doing these last few days. She earnestly welcomed me without shaking in terror like she had the very first time we met.
Even though I’m happy that she grew accustomed to me up to this level, our emotional and physical distance was still very far from 『friendly』 . I talked with her near the door without so much as stepping into her dressing room so that I wouldn’t scare her.
The development that differed from usual was when she laid eyes on the flower basket I brought.
「Don’t tell me… are those snowdrops?」
What grabbed her interest seemed to be the small white flowers that occupied a corner of the basket.
Miria stood up from her chair, still in her stage costume, and charged forward towards me — well, to be exact, towards the flower basket that I was holding.
「I knew it, these are snowdrops. And there’s so many. You even managed to get them in this season……」
「Well yes. They may be out of season but there are some stores that handle off-season flowers. Uhm…but since they’re rare, I just found them by chance……」
Actually, I relied on my connections to search for this flower, knowing that it was going to be a little expensive because it had matched her preference to a T– small cute white flowers with a mild smell. But since I’m scared she’ll draw back in terror if she ever finds out what I did, I can’t tell her that.
「Is this flower to your liking?」
When I asked while handing the flower basket over to her, she made a nearly imperceptible expression, but I knew well enough to tell that it looked happy, and then nodded.
「This is a special flower for me」
Looking like she remembered something, she brought the flower basket closer to her face. Snowdrops really were nothing but very mild-smelling flowers. But it appears that was enough for her to like it.
As the sender, there’s no way I won’t feel happy hearing something like that. Although I’d been pleased with myself, a short time later, she completely wiped the expression from her face again.
「……I’m sure it was expensive, wasn’t it?」
Panicking as I was, in front of me, she continued on as if she had determined my intentions.
「There are many people who tell me they’re fans of my performances. But, I’m a doll, I think it’s such a waste to devote energy on me like this…」
「That’s… but… this is something I want to do」
「……I don’t understand. Why is a person like you, well… being kind to someone like me?」
Looking bewildered even with the her limited expression, she looked even more charming than the flowers in her hand.
Had I been a man at this moment, I think I would’ve been drunk on the atmosphere and blurt out 『Because I’m in love with you!』 . That was close.
Despite thinking stupid thoughts, I squeezed out my courage from within my body.
I squeezed and wringed.
If I could say this to her now, I wouldn’t mind even if I shrivel up dry tomorrow! That’s what I’d felt.
「Uhm… If possible… I want to be friends with you…!!」
It may have been just a little, but upon my words, her eyes opened wide.
「Friends with me? But I’m a doll…」
「Eh? Is it impossible for you to be friends with humans?」
「That’s not it. But, something like friends… is a luxury beyond me」
I doggedly opposed her pessimistic views.
「I don’t think so」
「But I’m sure there’s- how should I put it… something 『lacking』 in me」
「Lacking? To be friends?」
「But, on the contrary, what could be that something required to be friends?」
「I think so long as one holds goodwill towards the other person, I think that’s enough. I’m sure you have feelings of like and dislike, right? That’s what made you especially happy about the present I gave today, isn’t it? … That’s why, if perhaps, you don’t hate me. If you think you’d come to like me, then, uhm, please… be my friend…」
I thought I came on too desperate.
But though it was only a light one, Miria clearly nodded back at me.
「……you’re the first one to tell such kind words to me… Okay. I think I’d like to be friends with you too」
I shouted for joy.
People who feel uncertain about future since Lycoris is proceeding way too smoothly, raise your hand~
Lol. Doesn’t Lycoris seem like a man courting his beloved in this chapter? 😀
Heads up Wolf, you
and Lily suddenly got a rival.