Chapter 116 – Entire Breadth of His Literary Skills (2)
While Louise felt terribly sorry for Ian, his evil magic failed. She had melted from the sweet taste of romance, but only for a moment.
There were more problems to solve now.
She had to see the court official, alone if possible. But how? Louise had no excuse to arrange a meeting, and the official was always stalking Ian. In addition, the student council was currently busy with the preparations to clear the dormitory rooftop open for use. Of course, this was primarily done by the two monsters who were well-versed in school regulations–Ian and Claire.
They overcame this complicated issue, and the rooftop was soon to be unveiled. Meanwhile, Louise focused on finishing all of her tasks safely.
Louise held a nail between her lips as she deftly hammered a board, and the nail she was hammering quickly slid in with a few taps. Claire was holding Louise’s chair and exclaimed, “Kyaaa, Louise is so cool!”
Below her, Dean Crissis looked quite frustrated, as it has taken him five attempts to hammer in the nail at his side of the board. Louise was a little proud of herself.
You weak aristocrat! You’re after Claire and you can’t even use a hammer?!
Louise nailed down the other corner and jumped down from the chair.
“Is this enough?”
“Perfect! You’re so dependable!”
Claire clapped her hands, and Dean seemed to crumple in on himself even more. Louise’s official-looking board bore the title: “Safety Precautions When Using The Rooftop.” Now that the board was tightly secured to the entrance, it was time to post the same notice on the bulletin boards and classrooms throughout campus. Claire gave Louise her assignment in accordance to how they divided their roles.
“You go to the library. The President probably already started there. When you finish with the library, please help me on the first floor of the lecture hall. It’ll be the most difficult there.”
“So I join the President?”
“Yes, but don’t worry. There court officials are there, so he can’t push you around as he likes.”
Louise’s eyes widened at the mention of the court officials. If she was near the President, she might be lucky enough to have a private conversation with the young court official, even for a brief moment.
Louise dashed to the library. Just as Claire said, Ian was there putting up notices and doing an impersonation of an honor student.
“Hello, Louis Sweeney. I’ve been waiting for you.”
Louise divided up the stack of notices she carried and gave half to Ian.
“Where are you putting them?”
“I’m almost finished. Just need them on the bulletin board inside and then it’s done.”
“I’ll do that. When we’re done here Claire said to go to the first floor lecture hall.”
“I know. Don’t run and take your time. We have all day.”
Louise passed by Ian and encountered the two officials. They briefly glanced at Louise but did not greet her.
“Hello. How…how are you?”
Louise spoke first, but they didn’t respond. Ian turned to her.
“It is customary to treat a record-keeping court official as a non-entity.”
But yesterday the “non-entity” had given her a signal, although the exact meaning was unknown.
“But don’t you usually talk to them?”
“Not since they first spoke in the student council room. Their only job is to preserve history in writing.”
“And they really write down everything that’s happened?”
Louise looked at the young official as she asked her question, but as expected there was no reply from him.
“Yes. And they’re probably going to record that you and I aren’t working and simply talking about their jobs like this.”
Ian tapped Louise on the back and urged her back to work. She hung around the court officials a little more, but the private conversation she was hoping for did not come. It was all the more disturbing that they didn’t even make eye contact with her in the first place.
On the way back to the dorm after work, she wondered if she should confess to Ian. It could be kept secret if she wrote it by letter.
‘But if the official is keeping it a secret…’
Then letting Ian know would be wasting a lucky favor.
‘Oh, what should I do?’
The officials would soon return to the palace, and she hoped she could figure out what to do before that. She just couldn’t find the right method.
Louise didn’t slip into a slumber until late at night.
She thought she was finally asleep when she heard someone call her name. She blinked opened her eyes and saw a male uniform.
“Oh, sorry. I’m not the person that Louise of the Greenhouse loves.”
Louise leapt up from her bed at the sound of the friendly voice.
She looked around. She was still in her room.
“H-how did you get in?”
Louise quickly hugged her blanket, and Hesse grinned and pointed to the window.
“It’s okay. It’s always like that. But shouldn’t you be more mad at me?”
Hesse held out a basket which smelled like candy.
“I am surprised, but I’m not mad at you. The President said there’s a reason why you’re moving about.”
“Heh, I think you’re going to turn into the crown princess at this rate.”
“D-don’t say that!”
“But it’s true. He gives his life to love you, and you marry him. And the world calls the crown prince’s wife the crown princess.”
“Ah, but being in that position–”
“What? Louise of the Greenhouse. Do you ever want to kill him?”
“Of course not!”
“Then you’ll marry him.”
Hesse’ transcendental logic was indeed unwinnable. And sometimes, he was right. He was rather perceptive despite his rough mannerisms. How strange.
“Thank you…for the candy.”
“Don’t forget to brush your teeth after eating.”
“I’m not a child. I know that.”
“You’re still like a child to me. A precious young lady that’s always on the edge of the water!”
“So what are you up to?”
Hesse had visited the Sweeney mansion with various circumstances each time. Probably.
“I saw you and the Prince together today.”
“Oh…I guess so.”
“Do you know how many times the Prince kept twitching?”
“He was so desperate to get close to you without the others noticing.”
“I didn’t see anything…”
“Of course not. He cheated your and the officials eyes, but not me. It was at least ten times that he almost casually kissed your face.”
He stretched out his fingers and smiled brightly.
“I felt sorry for the twitching prince because it was so cute. When the court officials finally go back to the palace, make sure to give him some love.”
Louise flushed deeply in embarrassment. She wondered if Hesse came all this way just to say this to her. In any case, she could tell how much Hesse cared about Ian.
“And you were wiggling a lot too.”
“I never tried to kiss him! Really!”
She shook her head furiously in denial.
“Of course. That’s why you’re getting more agitated.”
Hesse swept back a strand of his reddish hair. At that moment, his gaze changed; the kindness in his eyes vanished, only to be replaced by a serious and heavy expression.
“Louise, what were you trying to say to the official?”
…So that was it.
“I have something to ask—”
“What would like to ask?”
He spoke immediately, and she was troubled.
“Well, I don’t want to bother you. It doesn’t really have anything to do with you so if Sir Hesse doesn’t want to–”
“The officers are always together, but there is one time when they work in shifts.”
Work in shifts?
“And you already know that time.”
Louise recalled the conversation with the court officials in the student council room.
“What do they do when you’re asleep?”
“We take turns guarding him.”
Oh my god, Dean Crissis asked a really good question! That explained why Hesse came to Louise at this time. They were probably working shifts now, and Louise had to speak with the young official. She leapt to her feet.
“You must have figured it out.”
He grinned and moved gently to sit on the window sill. As if he just remembered, he quickly added,
“Don’t tell His Highness that I came here.”
“Why? I’d like to give credit for you helping me.”
“Well, of course I’d love your praise but…to be a crown princess, you’ll have to learn how to use people secretly. It will be convenient when dealing with intrusive people.”
Crown Princess. She felt a little strange hearing that again. When he mentioned “dealing” with people, she remembered something he had said before.
“You want me to take care of it? I know a few ways to make him stop breathing by tomorrow morning.”
She was moved by his intent, and Louise approached the window and bowed her head graciously.
“Thank you very, very much.”
“Heh. Thank you for thanking me.”
Hesse answered in a smiling voice and gently patted Louise on the head.
“Don’t walk around for too long. It’s chilly at dawn so be sure to dress properly no matter how urgent it is. The number of people with colds tend to go up this time of year.”
“Don’t run around dangerously either.”
“Only with your permission!”
And then he jumped back. Louise scrambled to the window and looked down, and saw that he was using the architecture on the building wall to deftly make his descent to the ground. He landed, waved wildly to her, then quickly disappeared into the darkness.
The door to Ian’s room opened just as she arrived there. The young official was coming out. As he cautiously closed the door, Louise paused in the hallway. Her fists were clenched with tension.
Finally, the official turned and spotted Louise. She was worried about what to do if he left or simply ignored her.
Instead, he smiled and faced her. With a rather friendly expression.
“…I have a question to ask you.”
Louise approached him and spoke in a low voice.
“It appears so.”
Fortunately, he responded to the conversation right away.
“I can guess. You were concerned, weren’t you? Over if I recorded what happened that day. My apologies.”
He gave a nod of his head. There was no way to know what the apology was for, so Louise could not receive it.
“I’m afraid I caused you concern because I might not have communicated it properly to you. This, I mean.”
He took his index finger to his lips.
“I’ll keep it a secret, so don’t worry. It also meant that I wouldn’t tell the Crown Prince. Only if things get bigger am I obligated to write it down.”
Louise was relieved at the unexpectedly kind answer. It turned out she was more worried than she needed to be.
“I’m glad that you did not want it written down anyway. Smart.”
“O-oh. It was just embarrassing…”
“Yes, it is embarrassing. But not in history.”
He smiled again at Louise.
“Your name and the prince’s name cannot be side by side.”