After school finished that day, I visited the noble C-class to meet with Alicia.
When I asked for her, a blonde maid in her mid-twenties appeared instead. Her name was Melissa and she was also the same person that collided with me on the day of the entrance examination.
I didn’t notice it at the time because her clothes and hairstyle were different from the still images shown in the original work, but I know her. Supporting Alicia throughout the game, she had the position of the heroine’s trusted friend.
“…you’re Cyril, aren’t you? What do you want with my lady?”
“Please forgive me for my sudden intrusion. I heard a rumour that Lady Alicia would be attending a certain tea party, so I have a personal request to make of her. Actually–”
“Forget it, just leave.”
Without even letting me finish, Melissa flatly rejected my request.
“Please wait for one moment. Are you by any chance, misunderstanding something?”
“I’m not misunderstanding anything. My lady is very busy and doesn’t have the time for personal conversations. So–”
“Melissa? Who are you talking to?”
An unexpectedly clear voice suddenly resounded out. It was Alicia, who had appeared from behind Melissa.
“Isn’t that Cyril? Why is he here? Could it be… that he came to see me? Is that why you were talking with him, Melissa?”
Melissa’s eyes were swimming. Apparently, she didn’t want Alicia to know that she was trying to drive me off.
It was because she loved her like family.
“Just now, I was telling her that I had a request for you, Lady Alicia.”
“Oh, you need something from me? Well… for now let’s talk over tea on the terrace. Melissa, I’m going to go grab my luggage, so can you take care of Cyril’s welcome?”
“Wait, it’s… understood.”
‘It’s the servant’s job to grab the luggage’– Melissa definitely wanted to say that, but stopped herself.
Both of them already knew that. So Alicia probably only said what she did because she had to take care of something and needed a reason to excuse herself.
But putting that aside… I turned to look at Melissa.
I didn’t say anything, but a bit of awkwardness seemed to appear on her profile. Noticing my line of sight, she then asked, “…why did you cover for me?” with a slightly dissatisfied expression.
“You were a bit curt, but you were just trying to protect her. Your vigilance was only natural.”
Melissa was Alicia’s maid. No matter what route the heroine chose, she alone was by her side from start to finish every time.
Her previous response was only because Alicia was that important to her.
In the first place, Alicia was invited to a tea party hosted by the commoner faction, then immediately after, the butler of Lady Sophia– who was currently under suspicion of being an elitist, appeared to meet with her. If she wasn’t wary of me, then she’d be disqualified as a servant.
“…I’ll make sure to return this favour, but that’s only personally. I won’t make any concessions regarding matters with my lady, so keep that in mind.”
After speaking some unique lines that appeared in the game, Melissa then guided me to the terrace. A short while later, Alicia then arrived as well.
“Thanks for waiting, Cyril.”
Her cheeks were slightly flushed, and there was a small accessory adorned on her bluish-black hair. She wasn’t wearing it before, so it seems that she left before to make herself a bit more fashionable.
“That’s a beautiful hair ornament. It looks very good on you, Lady Alicia.”
“Fue?! T-thank you so much!”
As Alicia’s cheeks were dyed vermillion, I was angrily nudged by Melissa, who was standing diagonally behind me. ‘Don’t say anything unnecessary, just get to the main topic’ is probably what she wanted to convey to me.
“Okay then, now what did you need from me… ah, but before that, I’m sorry for not serving any tea. Melissa, can you please bring out some drinks for Cyril and I?”
Melissa was reluctant to follow her mistress’ order. Considering the circumstances, I could imagine what she wanted to say. She didn’t want to leave Alicia alone with me.
“It’s okay, Lady Alicia. I’ll be leaving right after I finish my business here anyways.”
“…is that so?”
Although she seemed crestfallen at my answer, I pretended not to notice– to which Melissa started to whisper in a dissatisfied voice behind me, “where are you going with this?”
“I just thought it would be meaningless if I didn’t convince you as well.”
If it were just Alicia, it would be easy to get her to accept, but then Melissa would likely oppose her decision after I left.
So it would be better to persuade them both at once.
“Let’s see if you can, but what’s your motive in making my lady feel downhearted? Don’t tell me, did you seriously not notice when she asked you for a dance before?”
“…no matter what my motive was, would you not oppose me anyways?”
“Of course I would. Regardless of the circumstances, the action of making my lady grieve is unforgivable.”
That was a double-standard, but I wasn’t going to point that out because I worried the same way about my lady… even now.
Therefore, I had no intentions of ridiculing Melissa for her contradictory actions.
“–what are you two whispering about?”
“Its nothing. I was just asking if he was really okay with not having a drink, isn’t that right, Sir Cyril?”
“Y-yes, its true. I was just telling her that she really didn’t need to worry about it.”
To Alicia’s cold voice, I replied in conjunction with Melissa.
Espressivo of Light and Darkness– just like its name suggests, the game that became the base for this world had a dark side as well.
Examples of this would be when Lady Sophia fell into darkness, or Alicia’s voice when she was angry.
“…for some reason, you two seem to be in perfect sync.”
“T-that’s definitely not the case. Right, Sir Cyril?”
“Yes, of course.”
Our hurried denial only seemed to deepen Alicia’s suspicions though. Turning my eyes away, I decided to avoid this issue by redirecting us back to the main topic.
“…speaking of which, you said you needed something from me?”
“I do, but let me check one thing first. Lady Alicia, I heard that you were invited to Sir Libert’s tea party, is this true?”
“Eh? Yes… it’s just as you say.”
“I see. Actually, I would like to accompany you to the party by temporarily working as your exclusive butler.”
Melissa immediately denied my proposal.
“That’s enough Melissa. Aren’t you being rude to Cyril?”
“He is a servant, not a guest.”
“Geez~ does that really matter? …Cyril, is there any chance you could forgive her?”
“No, she’s in the right. It’s only natural that’s she’d oppose my suggestion.”
Melissa was the one I needed to persuade here, but it would actually be better if Alicia raised her awareness as well.
The moment I thought so–
“I guess that’s true. I can’t answer without hearing your intentions first. So Cyril, what’s your… no, what’s Lady Sophia’s goal here?”
Alicia seems to have realised that my objectives were faction related. Although her version from the game was three years older than her current self, this surprised me because she wasn’t supposed to be familiar with worldly affairs even then.
“Oh, did you think I wouldn’t notice?”
“…please forgive me.”
It would’ve been rude to agree with her words, so I just apologised instead. However, contrary to my expectations, Alicia suddenly burst into laughter.
“Cyril it’s okay, please don’t worry about it. I was only told the truth last night. Rather, I should be the one apologising instead. A lot of things must’ve happened because I asked you for that dance…”
“Oh, I see…”
Alicia’s behaviour was clearly different from yesterday. Her actions back then were the embodiment of the commoner faction’s ideals. However, the butler she requested a dance from served a Marquis’ daughter that was suspected of being an elitist.
Some might see it as Alicia trying to break down the elitist faction, but others would see it as the butler having seduced her to break down the commoner faction.
It’s no wonder Melissa was so wary of me.
“So Cyril, why do you want to attend the party?”
Alicia dejectedly looked down and asked why I wanted to enter the tea party, not why I wanted to be her exclusive butler. Her words and attitude hurt my heart.
However– no, that’s exactly why… I couldn’t lie to her here.
“I need to get in contact with Sir Libert as soon as possible. This is so I can inform him that my lady holds no hostility towards him.”
Was it the truth that my lady wasn’t an elitist, or the fact that I’d be willing to openly disclose this that surprised them? Probably both. The two looked at me with wide eyes.
“…in other words, you want to tell him that Lady Sophia isn’t part of the elitist faction, Cyril?”
“Yes, that’s right. My lady has no intentions of discriminating against the commoners at all.”
“If that’s the truth, then why would you tell me that?”
“There are several reasons… but if I was to name one, it’s because I’ve decided that you were someone I could trust, Lady Alicia.”
“Y-you trust… me?”
Next to Alicia– who’s cheeks had flushed red, Melissa sighed. She was surely complaining in her heart that her mistress was too easy.
But I wasn’t just saying that. The heroine in the game had an unquestionably good character, and I’ve judged that Alicia’s current iteration was the same.
That’s why I was willing to entrust her with this secret.
“I’ll say it again. Both my lady and I are incapable of sympathising with the elitists. Therefore, now that the mistress I serve is being misunderstood, it’s all the more necessary to contact Libert.”
“…in short, you’re saying you want to use me for Lady Sophia’s sake?”
Alicia’s blue eyes seemed to be able to see into the depths of my heart.
So I immediately admitted, “That’s right,” without looking away from her. To that answer, Melissa revealed the anger she’s been holding back and went, “Don’t screw with–”
However, it was Alicia herself who stopped her.
“Stand down, Melissa.”
“But my lady, didn’t this guy just say that he was going to use you?!”
“Wasn’t that obvious from the beginning? And Cyril didn’t hide it.”
“That’s true… but I don’t think whether he hid it or not is the problem here.”
Melissa began to complain while scolding her, but Alicia put an end to it and turned back towards me.
“Hey Cyril, since you’re taking advantage of my feelings, isn’t it only fair that I use your goals for my own objectives as well?”
I was caught off-guard by Alicia’s response, but I wasn’t going to deny that I was using her, so I agreed and said it was fine.
“In that case… here are my conditions. Please accompany me not as my exclusive butler, but as my escort. Just this one time alone is fine. If you can agree to this, then I’ll take you to the party.”
“What? No, that’s a bit…”
“You’ve acted as Lady Sophia’s partner before, right? So there should be no problems with doing this for me either. Or are you saying… that you’d rather give up on attending Libert’s party?”
Alicia then tilted her head and started to laugh like she was having a lot of fun.
…just how was I supposed to explain this to my lady?
Written by Scarlet Rain (緋色の雨)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com