There is a residential area at the back of the royal castle. From there, there are numerous important spaces serving different functions, such as the audience and meeting rooms– another one being a laboratory.
The masters of this facility were Tristan, the exclusive butler of the king’s younger brother, and his assistant Lynette, who was the daughter of a Viscount.
Tristan wasn’t just any butler though. He was directly scouted by the royal family during his days as a student and received an honorary noble rank of a baron due to his various achievements.
Although it was a title that couldn’t be passed on, he was a true member of the lower class of nobility.
Even though this country did follow the aristocratic system, it was also meritocracy. Therefore, it wasn’t unusual for Tristan to be the head scientist while Lynette was his subordinate despite their social classes.
While the laboratory was located in a very important place in the castle, it was still given special treatment even among its surroundings, showing just how valued Tristan and his work was.
“Professor Tristan, you’re going to destroy your body if you just throw yourself into your research without eating. Here, I’ve prepared a meal for you, so can’t you take a break?”
“Oh, so it’s that time already? As always, I’m sorry for the trouble, Lynette.”
Though when Tristan stopped his hands and raised his face, Lynette was making a dissatisfied expression with her hands on her hips.
“What’s wrong? Professor, I’ve already told you that you don’t need to be so formal around me. Just act like how we were during our school days.”
“Unlike when we were students though, you’ve already debuted as an official noble, so there’s no way I could do that.”
“Oh, but aren’t I currently your assistant? Or are you only doing this because you’re afraid of some kind of rumour spreading? Is that what you’re saying, professor?”
Flipping her red hair, Lynette then took a provocative stance that looked down on Tristan.
Her attitude was reminiscent to that of the players that were the character’s fans. Those gamers always had a strong desire to face him head on.
Standing up, Tristan scratched his the back of his head before placing his hand on her shoulder and drawing his face closer to hers.
“What a boring provocation. Why don’t you gather the research results for me instead? But if you don’t finish by today, you’ll have to be punished… or are you going to be lazy on purpose because you want punishment?”
Lynette instantly flushed bright red.
“Seriously, if you don’t want to be reprimanded… then don’t just stand there!”
Tristan then clapped her on the back, and pushed Lynette out of the room. Once she was gone, he then proceeded to scratch his head again before sighing.
After that, once the prepared meal was finished, a man entered the room.
“Tristan, has your research shown any results yet?”
“My apologies, I’ve been doing my best, but it’s no good.”
“I see… so her fate is sealed then?”
The man furrowed his eyebrows in anguish. Overwhelmed by the absurdity of the world, he was making a terribly sad expression.
“I’m sorry. If I just had a little more talent…”
“It’s not your fault. If this is something even beyond the likes of you, then there’s no one on this continent that can solve this. No one will blame you for failing to accomplish the impossible.”
They were words spoken from the heart.
Tristan wasn’t just an excellent butler, he was an individual that held knowledge no one else knew. Without him, the man couldn’t even dream of resisting destiny.
If Tristan couldn’t do it, then there’s no way anyone else could.
“There’s only one person I know that can change fate.”
Tristan’s next words completely overturned the man’s expectations.
“You’re aware of someone that can do that?”
“Yes. I’ve kept quiet about it because I still haven’t gathered enough information… but there’s a chance.”
This revelation was a light of hope the man had been wishing for.
But the man didn’t jump at that hope. He knew of the darkness of this world, it was too soon to be rejoicing. So he warily asked, “are they trustworthy?”
“I’m still testing the waters. Whether he has the knowledge to overcome destiny and if he’s someone actually deserving of our trust is still being checked.”
The person Tristan was referring to was Cyril. He was probably a reincarnator who was trying to save Sophia– an individual who was originally destined to be executed as the villainous daughter.
But that didn’t mean he was a good person.
If the chance he was a reincarnator was put aside, then his actions could be excused as him just being an excellent servant. However, when reincarnation was considered, other possibilities came to light.
He reformed the villainous daughter Sophia, and saved the heroine Alicia in the prince’s place. If he was a reincarnator, then he was obviously trying to win the favour of the main cast.
Furthermore, Cyril has continued to help girls since then, stealing hearts everywhere. If his previous incarnation was that of a man, then it wouldn’t be strange if his only goal was to take advantage of their troubles to build a harem.
If this was true, then the person he presented himself as in public was a lie, and there’s no way such an individual could be trusted.
Therefore, they couldn’t approach him poorly. Without the proper confirmation beforehand, there was a chance he’d unilaterally exploit them over information that might not even exist.
At the very least, they had to confirm in advance whether he had the knowledge they needed or not.
“Nothing has been verified, so it might be too soon to celebrate, but…”
“It’s fine. What I fear is the moment the light of hope dies out. I can’t give up while there’s still a chance. Just tell me what to do. I’m willing to even put my life on the line.”
“I just need authorisation for one thing.”
“Authorisation? For what?”
At Tristan’s request, the man who had just said he’d be willing to risk his life made an extremely bitter expression.
◆ ◆ ◆
A few days had passed since my lady was summoned by the king.
The two of us were now enjoying our unchanging daily life.
While things might have still been the same for us, that couldn’t be said for our surroundings.
The fact that my lady had taken the attitude of a ruler and had rebuked the prince and his followers hasn’t leaked. However, what did get out was that all of the listed parties were absent at the same time, and the indisputable truth that the entourage had voluntarily withdrawn from the school.
Moreover, the reality that those two were constantly trying to get involved with my lady had already been publicly witnessed many times.
What had happened to them– wasn’t that hard to guess.
Rumours were spreading that my lady had reached the end of patience, and had used her parent’s influence to expel the second prince’s followers.
In truth, their family had been driven to ruin after the evils of their parents were revealed. Oddly enough, the rumours were actually gentler than reality, but the things they were saying about her were still unacceptable.
Currently, what had actually occurred wasn’t known, but eventually Count Ahle’s arrest will spread alongside what had befallen the followers.
Once that eventually comes to pass, I didn’t know how the elitists would react. I’d like to think that most of them wouldn’t forgive the crimes the followers had committed, but I had no doubt that others would then turn openly hostile to my lady.
Although it was unlikely that they could do anything to threaten the daughter of a Marquis, there was a route in the game where she was driven to ruin by the elitists, so it was necessary to solidify her standing as soon as possible.
As I was ruminating over this problem, I was suddenly called by professor Tristan at the end of class.
“Did you need something?”
“Actually, I need a favour from you. In truth, the student council is seriously short-handed. So to fix that, we’ve recommended both you and Lady Sophia to join them as the excellent freshmen you are.”
“…the student council, huh?”
During the original work, the second prince led the student council as its president during the highschool section.
But in truth, they didn’t actually have that much authority. They didn’t distribute expenses, decided on school events or patrol the school grounds– but that’s not to say they did nothing.
Although there was some paperwork delegated to them, they were basically a faction in and of themselves. In other words, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say the student council of the game was the prince’s personal faction.
However, that was only the case three years from now during the highschool section.
I never heard anything about Prince Alforth being a member of the current student council. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even know the junior high section even had one until now.
Though to say that they were short-handed meant that they probably weren’t a faction…
“Who’s currently running the student council?”
“Don’t worry, the current president should be more than satisfied with you and Lady Sophia joining.”
I tried looking into professor Tristan’s eyes to discern his intentions.
The fact that we’d get along… probably wasn’t a lie, but even if it was true, that doesn’t mean he was telling me the whole story. At the very least, I want to know who we’d be working under.
My question from before was totally dodged.
The problem was that he avoided telling me the current president’s name.
If he was just a normal teacher, then it would’ve probably just been a coincidence. However, professor Tristan was a legendary butler that was recruited into the royal family while he was still only a student. So for him to not give me a straight answer to my question…
There had to be a catch somewhere.
However, even if I didn’t even know about the student council until now, information on its members should be something I’d be able to obtain immediately, so why bother hiding it?
Was he just trying to pique my interest, or…
“They must be pretty interesting if you’re sure we’ll get along with them. However, whether we’ll join or not will be something my lady will decide, please keep that in mind.”
I ignored the discomfort I felt and pushed on with the conversation. Since I felt like he was just trying to get me interested, I didn’t feel a need to probe him for his intentions anymore.
And just as I predicted, professor Tristan sighed in relief and went, “That’s fine, you can go now.”
After parting with the professor, I immediately started asking the people in my surroundings about the student council.
Apparently, the current president’s name was Fol.
She seemed to be a girl with the backing of a Count house.
A commoner girl with the support of a noble house behind her…
This was probably a case of noblesse oblige.
One of the aristocrats’ duties were to nurture excellent commoners to serve them. There were many ways they could go about this, such as adopting them in to later use in political marriages, but the information on Fol seemed oddly… obscure.
Incidentally, this was the same name as the dance partner my lady and I had during the entrance exams. With how their appearance was described to be similar as well, they were likely the same person.
However, I couldn’t figure out why professor Tristan was so reluctant to tell me she was the president.
If the student council was considered its own faction, while it would be unusual to have a daughter of a commoner as a member, a talented girl with the backing of an aristocrat wasn’t that odd at all.
There shouldn’t have been any reason for him to be so reluctant.
Was I just overthinking things because Tristan was the one saying them? No, it’s too early to make that decision. I might learn something once I actually meet with Fol, so let’s put that thought on hold for the time being.
That’s why I then went to my lady to ascertain her opinion on joining the student council.
However, Lady Sophia confusedly blinked her amethyst eyes at my query. Apparently, when others had asked her teacher about joining before, they were told something completely different–
“The student council isn’t accepting new members?”
“Yes. It seems that Fol has been running the council alone for some time now. During her term she hasn’t tried recruiting anyone even once.”
“I see, that’s… strange.”
It wouldn’t be wrong to say they’re short-handed if they only had one member. However, if they weren’t recruiting, it was also hard to say they needed more.
So where did the story of my lady and I being recommended to join come from?
I wanted to talk to professor Tristan to see if he misunderstood something– but after school that day, my lady was invited to the student council through her teacher as well.
Though they had summoned us, we still haven’t been informed on why. Actually, there was a chance that they have some sort of business with us… my lady personally thought that they wanted to consult with us on something.
On our way to the student council room, her gorgeous platinum-blonde hair was bouncing in time with her gait.
“You really want to join the student council, my lady?”
“Fufu~ do you want me to tell you why?”
“If possible, yes.”
“That’s too bad, because I wasn’t planning to~”
The mischievous way my lady laughed was really cute. Well, regardless of the reason, if this is what she wanted, I will support her.
In order to avoid ruin, joining the student council to establish a foothold that will help solidify her position wasn’t a bad thing. Fol also seemed to be a nice person the last time we talked.
And as I thought that–
“I don’t need your help.”
The walls of the student council office were lined with shelves that held various documents, while the far end of the simple room had a desk placed there. Looking down on us from behind it, the gaze of Fol’s blue eyes felt as cold as ice.
While we were still in shock, Fol continued on, “I’m sorry that you wasted your time coming here, but you can leave already.”
“Please wait. It was the teachers who asked us to join. If you’re going to reject us, you could at least tell us why.”
Lady Sophia requested an explanation in a calm tone.
“Why? Isn’t it obvious? I don’t need a noble daughter who causes a large commotion only a few months after enrolling, nor her servant who couldn’t even prevent such a situation from happening in the first place. Individuals like yourselves are unnecessary in my student council.”
Painful words were returned to us. Considering the school rules, she was technically in the right to be that curt, but compared to the respect Lady Sophia showed Fol as an upperclassman, her attitude was too much.
She even threw in some criticism of me.
I was afraid my lady might lose her temper, but she was surprisingly calm… her smile had disappeared though.
“Do you honestly think I’m just going to let you get away with such an explicit show of provocation?”
“Provocation? I was just stating the facts.”
“Is that so? Putting that aside, shouldn’t you at least try to see if Cyril or I could be of any use first? Or are you so shallow that rumours are your only source for credible information?”
…yikes. And my lady even said all of that with an indifferent tone. She was practically telling Fol she was incompetent to her face.
Even Fol herself seemed troubled on how to respond.
Well, I guess the upperclassmen didn’t really have the opportunity to see how my lady and I usually conducted ourselves. At most, all she knows about us personally is from the dance examination.
However, that wasn’t enough to decide that we were incapable.
Or rather, I thought she had a favourable impression of us from our first encounter.
Even if she insisted that she didn’t need anyone else, she should at least try to confirm with her own eyes first if we can be of any help or not. No matter how I thought about it, her blatant hostility towards us was unnatural.
In response to Fol’s glare, Lady Sophia calmly took it head on. Before long, Fol had brushed her rose-gold hair back as if to admit her defeat.
“Sophia, may I ask why you want to join the student council?”
“It’s because entering the student council will be another step towards achieving a certain goal of mine.”
From Fol’s attitude, it was easy to see that she had a reason as to why she didn’t want us to join. I’m pretty sure my lady noticed this as well, but she didn’t seem willing to give up.
With a troubled expression, Fol then let out a sigh.
“You really want to join that badly? Even with a spiteful upperclassman like myself here?”
“I like to believe I have a good eye for people. Not to mention… you somehow feel similar to Cyril.”
“You said something like that during our last conversation as well…”
Fol then directed her gaze my way, as if looking for something. For some reason, I couldn’t help but feel like her suspicions had increased after that statement.
“Oh, don’t misunderstand me. Cyril is a very kind person, but if it’s for my sake, then he’ll even say mean things sometimes. So I can’t help but feel like there’s a reason behind your provocation.”
“…I see, so you’re not going to give up no matter what I say?”
Fol let out another sigh, before directing her gaze back at Lady Sophia.
“Understood. In that case, I’ll give you a test to see if you’re suitable for the student council. However, I will announce the contents of it at a later date, and as for whether you’ll pass or not will be my decision.”
In the worst case, she could give an impossible challenge like ‘unify the continent by tomorrow’, and even if we do well on whatever test she provides, Fol could still fail us on a whim depending on her feelings.
As long as she didn’t want us to join the student council, it would be extremely difficult for us to pass.
–but Lady Sophia was looking at me. More beautiful than jewels, her amethyst eyes were appealing for me to help her.
I could tell what she was thinking. Even if what was given to us was impossible, I’ll at least do everything I can for her sake.
That’s why I nodded my head in agreement.
Seeing that, my lady mouthed, ‘Thanks, Cyril.’
“We have no objections. Cyril and I will pass whatever test you throw at us!”
–the girl I raised announced that with a smile akin to a blossoming rose.
Written by Scarlet Rain (緋色の雨)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com