Chapter 18 – I Haven’t Forgotten (1)
Simon Hillard was a boy who was preparing for all the misfortunes that would befall him. That was how Louise defined him when she first met him. It was quite cruel that he was only about ten years old when he learned to act this way, but it was also inevitable under his circumstances.
It was a defense mechanism. To survive.
Simon was Ian’s cousin and was the only son of the king’s brother, and therefore was also in the line of succession for the holy throne. He was the same age as the Crown Prince, and his existence was a potential seed of conflict. Simon was always careful to not upstage Ian in grandeur.
Of course, it was still important he didn’t look or act any less like a member of the royal family either. It was a constant tug-of-war, but he was brilliant at making compromises in his situation. It wasn’t by choice, however; if he failed it could cost him his life.
Simon Hillard. He was also a young man who was struck by severe first love fever for Stella Lapis in “The Academy’s Fake Lovers.” He was often called the unfortunate supporting male character.
Louise was nine when she first met him.
“I’m Louise Sweeney. It’s an honor to meet you, Prince Hillard.”
He nodded his head mutely. Ian had brought Simon along to the Sweeney greenhouse to “get him some fresh air,” but to Simon it was nothing more than harassment.
“Why don’t you answer her? My fiancée is upset,”
Ian said in a displeased voice.
“I’m not upset! And please stop calling me your fiancée.”
“You don’t have to say that every time I call you that.”
“Jerk! How insensitive…!”
A quiet voice interrupted their quarreling.
Ian and Louise stopped arguing and looked at Simon at the same time. That seemed to be his answer to Louise’s greeting. Louise laughed out loud at his endearingly clumsy self-introduction, despite how impolite it was to do so.
As time went by, Simon and Louise managed to become friends. Louise was the one who would lead their conversations, while Simon simply nodded or gave a short answer in reply.
“You know, Prince.”
Despite Simon’s reticent nature, Louise loved talking to Simon. They had a camaraderie. Unlike the male lead Ian, Simon and Louise had to embrace their misfortunes at the end of the original novel.
“I want to give this to you.”
Simon looked surprised as Louise gifted him a lily of the valley.
Louise forced the flowers into his hand. Her father had said that the flowers had to power to bring happiness.
“It’s our secret, okay? His Highness might get mad.”
Besides, as the male protagonist Ian had no need of its powers.
“… Thank you,”
Simon said in a small voice and looked down at petals.
He nodded his head. As she looked at him, Louise prayed that future Simon would not fall in love Stella too much. Of course it was incredibly bad-mannered to pray that the love of others won’t be great, but Louise still remembered how the original Simon had deeply loved Stella, and how deep of a scar it had left on him.
“I’m glad you liked it. It’s my favorite flower.”
What did he say? Louise asked him a few more times but he wouldn’t repeat his words.
What probably wasn’t an illusion was his happy expression when he looked at the flowers.
Louise slowly blinked her eyes at the dim light as she woke up. She had a dream, like a fleeting shadow of the past.
Louise whispered that long-cherished name. He was the same age as Ian, and his intellectual capabilities were similar. It was quite natural for the two to go to the Academy in the same year, although Ian had a slight edge over him.
‘I haven’t seen him yet.’
When she arrived here, she thought she would see him everywhere.
It was strange.
She had bumped into Ian a thousand times, but she hadn’t even come face-to-face with her good friend! The Academy didn’t give out individual contact information, and the students had to rely entirely on chance to meet someone.
‘I hope we’ll have one of the same classes.’
Otherwise, she may not be able to find the reclusive Simon. Louise slowly sat up and stretched her arms upwards, fully healed from her treatment yesterday.
‘Magic is amazing.’
After the healer’s treatment, all of the heat and prickliness had disappeared. It didn’t hurt one bit to stretch. Magic was the best.
She got out of bed barefoot, and while still in her pajamas she padded over to the dorm window and opened it wide. Fresh air blew into the room at once. Louise closed her eyes for a moment and felt the breeze flowing by her face. The short season of spring was still here.
Louise washed, changed, and combed her long hair neatly. She debated whether she should put up her hair or not, then gave up. She didn’t really have the skill for that.
‘Come to think of it, Simon was always good at doing my hair.’
During their childhood, it was Simon who sorted out the tangles in her long hair and did it up neatly. It didn’t quite suit his brooding nature.
‘His fingers were always so skillful.’’
Such dexterous fingers were not much use to a prince who could one day lay claim to the throne, and the only time he displayed his talent was when he did Louise’s hair.
After a battle with her hairbrush, Louise cheerfully picked up her bag and opened the door. It was two days after the start of the semester. She was relatively free today since she didn’t have much classes.
Louise ran into Claire, who was standing at the doorway. They looked at each other with surprised faces before dissolving into laughter. Louise seemed to have opened the door when Claire was about to knock.
Claire continued to giggle as they walked down the corridor together.
“I heard you had thrown yourself to saved the princess yesterday in the library. I came here to see if you were all right. “
She had stopped laughing and looked at her with concern.
“I’m fine, they healed me with magic. And I saved the princess? Is she really that popular? “
“Yes, the first-year, Stella Lapis. I heard she is a great beauty.”
Claire smiled knowingly.
“She is such a great beauty. So much that her surroundings are glittering…aaah! I mean, Claire is beautiful too!”
“Thank you, though I know you’re just saying that out of courtesy. After all, Prince Louise had fallen in love with the beauty and saved her.”
“It’s not a big deal.”
“I think it is!”
Claire suddenly stopped walking and swung around to face Louise. She had a humorously strict expression.
“He caught her body from falling! He was almost crushed and flattened!”
“My body didn’t get flattened, as you can see.”
“It still must’ve been painful. The president’s face was pale in fear as he told me about the accident. I was really worried about him too.”
Louise doubted her ears for a moment. Ian’s face turned pale? That guy?
“The student council is a group that protects students, but you’re an important student too. Don’t forget it,”
Claire said firmly as she looked directly into Louise’s eyes. Her words were strict, but the meaning behind it was so sweet that Louise was a little moved. The student council really did watch out for each other.
“Anyway, I’m happy that you don’t look hurt.”
“Thanks for thinking about me.”
“Of course, I was the one responsible for bringing you into the student council.”
“It was my choice.”
Claire petted Louise’s head and gave a smile.
“I can see why the president thinks you’re cute.”
“Don’t tell the president that I’m petting your hair. He’ll be on his guard against me.”
Claire shrugged and turned around.
“I’m going to stop by the office now. How about you?”
“I have to go to the lecture hall. Professor Hewitt said he would post our assigned reading list today.”
“Professor Hewitt probably already posted a notice at dawn, so you’d better hurry.”
“He’s the kind of person who would keeps time by the seconds.”
Louise nodded. That was the impression she had of him too.
“I’ll see you later. Take care of yourself and don’t forget to go to the infirmary again if you’re sick.”
“Yes, thank you. Have a nice day, Claire.”