I was able to get permission to take Roy and Emma in as employees from the master.
When I temporarily returned to the main estate and met with him, he said, “I see, so its for Sophia’s social studies? I definitely can’t refuse in that case,” and laughed at me.
Apparently, all of my plans had been seen through.
Well, that much was still within expectations. Since permission was granted either way, there’s no problem. Rather, I should be happy that authorization was given even when my ulterior motives were read.
The question now was, how far will the slum children be able to grow, and how well will they be able to pick up etiquette?
I pondered this for a while before deciding to leave them to the maid. She– Rouché, was a flexible person and should be able to educate the two siblings despite their difference in values.
Once the policies regarding the two kids had been decided, the next matter to focus on was the entrance ceremony. As the individual who received the top scores on the admission exams, my lady would have to greet the new students as the freshman representative.
I wanted to look over the speech she wrote, but she was adamant about keeping it a secret.
I’ll admit that I was caught off guard, but my lady would eventually need to learn how to judge things on her own. I was sure she wouldn’t fail though, so this should be a good experience for her.
After telling her that I’d support her decision, she confirmed that she would make the greeting herself.
Since then, time slowly passed until the day of the entrance ceremony arrived.
As usual, I went to my lady’s room to pick her up. However, the caretaker maid told me that she wanted me to wait for her at the entrance hall.
In accordance with that order, I went on standby to await her arrival. Soon after, I felt the presence of someone approaching me from behind, and looked back.
I unexpectedly lost my words at the sight before me. She was donning an elegant blouse decorated with frills, and a long skirt that gently spread out from the corset-style belt wrapped around her waist.
In other words, my lady was wearing the school uniform from the game.
She was three years younger than her counterpart from the original work, and the uniforms between the junior high and high school sections were slightly different.
But even so, rather than the still image of her surrounded by effects, the real thing in front of me was far more breathtaking. The villainous daughter was gone, the girl before me was the personification of a crimson rose’s beauty.
“You look very lovely, my lady.”
“Did you know that you’re gossiped to be a saint that had fallen into high-society? If anyone were to see you now, they would undoubtedly believe those rumours to be true.”
“…Cyril, I want to hear your words, not others.”
Despite being so charming to the point of easily captivating the second prince, her amethyst eyes were still shaking anxiously. Although she was mentally more mature than how she was three years from now in the game, at this moment, she was just another girl of her age.
However, there was also justification as to why that was.
My lady was now surrounded by parents and servants who endlessly poured their affection on her. While outsiders have accepted that she’s carried on the prestige of the Rosenberg house.
Even if she were to make an unsightly mistake, they would still call her beautiful.
With that in mind, even a child would grow tired of the empty flattery. My lady understood that, and was now questioning if my words were the same as well.
After giving it a moment of thought, I first confirmed that there weren’t any other servants in the vicinity. With that settled, I said, “Your hair is a bit disorderly,” and as I brought myself closer to her face to fix her appearance–
“Now isn’t the young lady that I raised really cute?”
–I whispered that into her ear.
My lady blinked in surprise.
Towards her reaction, I pressed my index finger against my lips.
“What I said just now is a secret, okay?”
Now beaming, my lady seemed to be shining even more now. Just like a rose that’s been carefully nurtured in a greenhouse, she was finally blooming like the flower she was.
“Hey, Cyril. Can you escort me to the carriage?”
“As you wish, my lady.”
I took her hand in mine and guided her to the vehicle, but just before we arrived, she suddenly tightened her grip and pulled me over.
Although this usually wouldn’t do anything to me, my lady had been trained in self-defence techniques. She skillfully destroyed my balance to the point where I was just barely able to hold my ground with a step.
And during that one moment when I was leaning forward, she then brought her face up to my ear and whispered.
“Cyril, help me grow up even more cutely. Just until I can finally turn the person I love my way… promise me, okay?”
Letting go and flashing me an impish smile, my lady then turned her back to me and boarded the carriage.
After that– with my lady in a good mood, we traveled to the school before following the building directory to the campus auditorium.
Seated within the audience, in addition to the new students that had just enrolled, there were graduates from the elementary section, and upperclassmen from the junior high as well. The moment we entered, everyone nearby turned their eyes to my lady at once.
She was the daughter of a Marquis with beauty far surpassing all others after all. That, alongside her indisputable claim as the top student, it was only natural for them to focus on her.
“Their attention is gathering.”
“That’s because of you, Cyril.”
“You’re surprisingly insensitive to how others perceive you.”
“That’s my line, my lady.”
No matter how I thought about it, my lady was the center of their awareness.
However, not being unnerved at their attention wasn’t a bad thing, so I asked her, “Are you ready to give your greeting as the freshman representative?”
“Of course I am. Look forward to listening to its contents.”
Lady Sophia started to laugh mischievously, but how interesting could a speech really be? While pondering that, I accompanied my lady to the stage’s wing as her attendant.
Then after having a light discussion with the teacher in charge, Lady Sophia finished her preparations and turned to me.
“Cyril, please go back and take a seat.”
‘I’m your exclusive butler’– but my lady shook her head before I could finish my sentence.
“You’re also one of this school’s students, and I want you to see me from the audience, not from here, Cyril.”
After bowing my head, I told the teacher in charge that I’d leave the rest to them and departed.
When I returned to my seat, the surrounding students’ attention gathered on me because of my late arrival. However, once I sat down, their interest waned and the auditorium was wrapped back into its usual bustle.
As I waited for my lady to appear, I noticed some foreign voices within the noise. Focusing on my hearing, I could just barely make out their conversation.
Apparently, they were dissatisfied that the second prince wasn’t selected as the freshman representative to give the greeting.
However, there was an opposing opinion that said it was only natural because he was a graduate from the elementary section, and since the person chosen instead was a noble as well, it should still be fine.
It seems they held the commoners in low regard.
They were aristocrats with strong thoughts of elitism.
Just because such a group existed in the original work didn’t mean they were a powerful presence now. They shouldn’t be that big, but I should still keep tags on them for my lady’s sake.
My lady’s game counterpart was brought up in an environment full of harassment from her commoner maids, so she didn’t have a very good opinion of the lower-class. This became the foundation for the developments involving the elitist faction.
This was especially prominent in the route where the son of the Lacourt company’s president– Libert, approaches the heroine.
The elitists couldn’t accept that the common people were growing in power. Therefore, there’s an event in which they start to harass Libert, but my lady is the one found guilty for it instead.
The dark guild doesn’t become hostile unless their opponent is a domineering noble, but the elitists use Lady Sophia as the scapegoat against the commoners regardless.
In a way, they were worse than the dark guild.
Even so, since there’s still three years until the heroine arrives, we should still be fine for the time being… though I can’t help but feel like I’ve jinxed myself with how many times I’ve repeated that.
But it’s a groundless worry, I’ve already investigated this behind the scenes.
At a certain party, Viscount Lindberg– Alicia’s father, has testified that he was going to send his daughter to get a formal education starting from the highschool section. This has been confirmed.
I made sure of this after the first prince’s birthday party.
Consistent with the game’s setting, her parents were against her admission into the academy and will persuade her to relent until highschool.
Not to say that I didn’t have concerns.
Including my lady, the behaviour of the surroundings have changed from the game due to my interference. Eventually, a world that’s completely different from what I’m familiar with may arise.
Keeping that in mind, we still needed to be wary of the elitists.
In the game they moved more subtly. At least to the point that they wouldn’t be having such a dangerous conversation in public, where the chance of being overheard was possible.
I’m not sure if this was a revision that would occur within the three years before the game’s start, or if this was already one of the future’s changes, but it was still important to keep an eye on them anyway.
As long as my lady didn’t say anything to offend them in her greeting as the freshman representative, everything should be fine… damn. I should’ve confirmed the contents of her speech beforehand in anticipation of this.
…no, she should be okay.
My lady was the one who decided to make the script for her address without consulting me, so it wasn’t my job to stop or scrutinise it.
I should take measures in preparation for any problems that may occur later though.
But with that in mind, I needed to actually hear her speech first.
I made that decision as I waited for my lady to show herself.
Soon after, the freshman representative’s greeting was announced by a magical tool made to convey voices over long distances. Along with that proclamation, Lady Sophia appeared in her school uniform.
With each step, my lady’s blonde hair shined as it reflected the luminescence of the hall’s lighting, while her graceful figure created an almost fantastical atmosphere throughout the venue.
As if loved by the spirits of light, she calmly walked up to the stage’s podium under the spotlight.
Now standing in front of the megaphone magic tool, she slowly looked over the audience.
It probably wasn’t my imagination when I felt our gazes meet. When a small grin floated onto my lady’s face in response, sighs leaked from my surroundings at her beauty.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you all. My name is Sophia Rosenberg.”
The auditorium was wrapped in a clear and warm tone that relaxed its listeners. Having received vocal training from a young age, my lady’s voice was extremely appealing to hear.
Everyone was hanging off her words with just that one sentence.
“I’m not really the person who’s supposed to be standing here.”
She gently said that and smiled.
Combined with her facial expressions and tone, nobody understood what she meant at first. However, as the meaning of those words dawned on them, unrest quickly spread throughout the audience.
“When I was younger, I was very lonely and thought I wasn’t loved by my parents. I couldn’t speak for myself and was constantly harassed by my maid as well. A self-conscious and miserable child. That’s the person I used to be.”
My lady, what are you saying?!
This shocked me to the point that I could almost feel my soul leaving my mouth. Oblivious to my current state, my lady continued on, “But there was a person who reached out to me regardless.”
Her eyes caught mine again.
“Thanks to that person, I learned that my parents actually loved me. It’s because he taught me many things that I can stand here before you all now. He’s why I can greet you all as the freshman representative in his place.”
…everything up until now seems to have just been the prelude.
“In this new season where the breeze dances gently within the skies, we have been welcomed into this school.”
Just as her clear voice spoke those words, a soft wind blew through the venue. The central theme of my lady’s speech was herself, but it was still a good greeting.
I was worried about what would happen at first, but things seem to be safe for now. The buzz surrounding the auditorium settled down as soon as the main part of her address began.
However, this was the first time a freshman representative had ever said something like that. Her words had left vivid impressions in many ways… but the contents of her speech were a bigger problem.
Anyone who knew Lady Sophia would realise ‘that person’ she was talking about was her commoner butler, but on the other hand, if they didn’t know anything, they might misunderstand her intentions when she remarked that she was harassed by her maid.
It wouldn’t be surprising at all for people to think that my lady was hostile to the commoners.
There was a possibility now that the elitists would come into contact with her while thinking that she’s a comrade. If she rejected them, they’d then recognise her as an enemy, but if she welcomed them, there’s a high probability that they’ll use her as a scapegoat like in the game.
Normally I’d complain that this was a hassle, but it was my job to eliminate her problems and guarantee that she was content no matter what happened. I didn’t intend to cast a shadow on my lady’s school life just because of troubles on this level.
I will make sure that she gets her happy ending.
…but more problematic than that was the fact that she hinted that I was the person who was supposed to be giving the greeting. Just like when I was challenged at the exam site, it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to keep a low-profile this time either.
I had no intentions to affirm her claims myself, but I didn’t want to give people reason to doubt her words either. It seems it was necessary to show that she was telling the truth with my actions.
…seriously, all I wanted to do was support my lady from the background.
Written by Scarlet Rain (緋色の雨)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com