School Arc – Epilouge
Let me tell a little bit about what happened after.
It appears the master and servant, Ru Xiang and Oria, who gave me an extra large surprise at the very last moment as a present, will be staying in the royal palace of our country for this break.
There’s still a lot of things I want to talk to them about. I’m looking forward to seeing them again back at school.
Art was temporarily recuperating at home.
But what should be surprising was that it seems he left a letter of apology to Lily before heading home. The thing that had been shown to me was, sure enough, Art’s handwriting. The content of which was about how he was giving a lot of thought about the current incident in his own way.
But then, this was how the last sentence on the letter went.
『Be sure to tell Lycoris that I’m reflecting really hard on it』
It would’ve been splendid had that not been there. But then when I think about Art up until this point, even if I can see only a tiny little speck of it, sending over the letter was already clearly progress.
Hitting Art with my fist as punishment may work rather well.
Lily will be indulging me by staying the entire part of this break at my home.
We’ll cook meals, learn horse-riding, and go to Wolf’s place to have fun together. Since our schedule was jam-packed, not even a single day will go to waste.
It seems Shade will be discussing many things about his future prospects with Father after returning home.
To be specific, whether or not Shade will be succeeding the position as Duke of Lilia.
Given that Father had already gone through pretty much all the necessary arrangements so Shade can choose either option, the rest was all up to Shade.
It might just be the older sister in me speaking, but I think Shade would be able to fulfill the duties of being the duke.
Wolf received a loving sermon from Duke Ranunculas immediately after returning home.
We couldn’t rely on him during the incident with Gift, but I suspect it must have been painful for Duke Ranunculas. Such was the thing called parental love.
Wolf reported this to me in embarrassment so I think this sermon had shortened the distance between parent and child.
Once I finished getting dressed up, I kissed the picture of my mother which I placed on my bedside and stood up.
Deciding to kill time by wandering a bit, I dismissed my wet nurse and departed from my room.
Today’s my birthday.
Since it was a sudden return to home, the party was modest. The participants were Lily, Shade, Father, and Wolf. Duke Ranunculas will be gracing us with his presence for a short moment as well. And my birthday gift from Crinum and Aunt had arrived this morning. The other presents from relatives and academy’s students have arrived as well, but I intend to keep the pleasure of opening them up for later.
Right now, Shade, the party planner, ordered me to be on standby.
By chance, my feet led me to the direction of the library.
It was a place I spent a very long time in when I was young. Since it was a deeply intimate place for me, I wind up going there whenever I had the time to spare. Though, after entering the academy, I seldom had the time to visit the place, so the furniture and the like seemed considerably smaller than I remembered.
The top-most bookshelf that I used to never reach even when I stepped on a stool.
The ladder that I was banned from using because it was dangerous when I was young.
The gigantic dictionary that I’d had a tough time turning the pages of.
Now that I think about it, the me back then who furrowed her brows as she proceeded to read an obscure book with a desperate look, surrounded in this unique dusty odour, must’ve been a pretty lonely kid.
「Lycoris? Are you there?」
Hearing Father’s voice from out the corridor, I rushed out of the library.
「I’m here, Father」
Catching sight of my appearance, Father’s eyes grew wide with surprise.
「Lycoris! ….you look absolutely adorable, my princess!」
Father’s sweet words eradicated the insecurity I had at wearing a dress that was different from usual.
「Rather, you’re more beautiful than adorable. You look stunning」
「Just like Mother?」
「Yes, that’s right」
I placed a long gloved hand, that was closer to white than pink, on my father’s arm as he wore a very tender smile on his face.
My attire today was a soft-lined dress with an antique pink theme. The colors matched well with each other, but for me, who’d worn nothing but black and rouge dresses, it was a huge venture. Since it wasn’t a formal occasion, my hair wasn’t tied up and was flowing down the sides of my face and completed with a fresh flower ornament Lily had handmade for me.
Last night, feeling as if only rouge dresses looked good on me, I boldly decided to try wearing a dress that had simply turned into a decoration for my closet after being tailored with a fabric that I fell in love with. Making use of the flowers in the courtyard,Lily made a hair ornament to go with it by herself, and pinned it to the back of my flustered head.
I headed to the hall escorted by Father.
Once we opened the door, the colorful lights and petals rained down on me. It was due to magic that these disappeared before hitting the ground, right after completing their task.
Right after, everyone’s gaze fixed on me.
Shade, who had been nearby, widened his eyes, indicating surprise. Then, he showed praise by making a high-pitched whistle. It was rude, but it’s an informal gathering, so I won’t scold my younger brother.
With a smile of an accomplice, Lily exchanged glances with me, her hair adorned with a green rose — of course, matching mine– like our own secret sign.
Duke Ranunculas gave me words of praise and placed a gentle kiss on my hand as a greeting. With his grey moustache at the back of my hand, I felt ticklish, abashed, and of course, very happy.
If I wasn’t full of myself, then somehow, his eyes looked like it was smiling radiantly. He respectfully took over the role of escorting me from Father from then on.
Since Wolf just kept staring at me without opening his mouth, I flusteredly started the conversation myself.
「I’m actually aiming to be a lovely lady」
Wolf’s blue-violet eyes smiled as he gave a soft, rare laugh.
「To my knowledge, I have yet to know a woman lovelier than you」
Since he said it so happily, the first thought that came to me, rather than getting flustered, was 『I’m so lucky』.
Even without looking in the mirror, I knew. That right now, I wore a smile that the game’s Lycoris Radiata would’ve never had on.
The time of the game was ending, after this, was a world whose future was unknown to me.
Let’s work hard to earn more friends.
I won’t give up on Art’s training.
I’ll study to the max and have fun to the fullest for the remainder of my school life.
I’ll have to think firmly about my future. For instance, I found teaching Lily a lot of things worthwhile and very enjoyable. It might be hard to become a school teacher, but maybe I could do something like volunteer.
And after that, I’ll do my best at household training.
I’ll cook tastier meals than Wolf’s and impress Father and Shade as a start. It’s plain to see that Lily was very good with her hands so I’ll do whatever it takes for her to teach me handicrafts.
I should also be able to lend a hand in mediating a more intimate father-son conversation between Wolf and Duke Ranunculas.
I feel unease towards the uncertain future.
But by filling my heart further with hope, I’ll walk on.