Chapter 30 – She’s Mine Anyway (1)
During the night of the party Ian had visited Professor Juliana Lassen.
“Did you say flower auction?”
The professor at the desk regarded with contempt the auction’s juvenile-sounding name. Ian had expected this from the start.
“Yes. We can discuss the use of the proceeds later.”
“I’m not happy to hear about an auction inside the sacred Academy.”
“It’s only for light entertainment. We will make sure the bids are below the purchase price.”
Professor Lassen did not give a nod of consent.
She was an extremely strict professor, and wouldn’t approve a project without seeing a prior report at first. Ian was contemplating approaching it from a different direction when the professor made a modest offer.
“I have a student…sponsored by the Lassen family.”
The professor added,
“I think she needs some memorable experiences. And…”
Ian looked up. The professor was giving him a rare smile.
“The president of the student council is someone who knows how to deliver a moment.”
The meaning of the smile was clear. It was her only condition.
Louise left the dormitory with a blank look on her face.
“Actually, at the party, the president asked Stella Lapis to dance all of a sudden. “
Oh, right! Louise already knew about it because she read it in the original novel! She only forgot because of the recent events.
…Well, to be honest, she did completely forgot about it. How stupid was to miss the main event of the original novel!
Louise glanced up at the serene blue sky. It was a relief. She had been a little worried because the couple seemed to be going astray from the original story, but it turns out they seemed to have been following the script without her seeing it.
‘I don’t know the gaps in the story.’
Anyway, the male lead was probably off doing his male lead duties somewhere.
‘So now I don’t have to worry about it.’
The love between Ian and Stella was providence. Just as water flowed from high to low, just as the sun rose in the morning–Ian and Stella would love each other. It was the first law that existed in this world. Louise would become the top student in the school while watching and cheering for the sweet moments of the couple on the side.
The thought of this perfect future plan made her upset.
Louise was surprised by her reaction. What was there be upset about? Everything was going as smoothly as she wanted. She took a moment to retrace her thoughts.
She realized why she had a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach.
‘It’s because I didn’t see the romantic scene of the two of them dancing at the party.’
She somehow managed to hate Professor Lassen even more.
‘It must have looked amazing.’
Of course the scene of the party had beautiful chapter art as well. The sparkling look of the couple must have been even more dazzling in real life.
What was this! She didn’t come all the way into this world to only be satisfied with gossip. Louise grumbled to herself as she entered the library.
‘I want to witness one of the events in the original book. A normal date would be fine too!’’
Louise desperately prayed to the mysterious god who had sent her here. Any scene was fine, as long as she could see the two of them close together.
Why yes, exactly like that.
Two people standing face to face in the deserted library corridor.
Louise stood there and blinked for a moment. In her line of sight really was Ian and Stella.
In a moment of fright Louise quickly hid herself in a nearby column. Why was the god who watched over her always so sudden? As soon as she prayed she wanted to see the couple, it came true.
Her heart was pounding. It was so loud it seemed like she could hear it echoing all around the corridor.
‘Calm down. Calm down, Louise Sweeney.’
After regaining her composure, she peeked out from behind the column. Because of the backlighting she could not see their faces, but it made for a dramatic sight.
Their beautiful silhouettes facing each other! And at a close distance! With romantic air surrounding them! Oh, she was sure they must be looking for their destiny in each other’s eyes.
Louise hugged the cool column. If possible, she wanted to pull the column and wave it around like a light stick. Everyone nearby, take a look at this. They were the best couple in existence! Did yours even win the “Tomorrow’s Web Novel: Best Couple’s Chemistry of the Year” award?
A wide, ecstatic grin formed on Louise’s mouth. It was then that the lighting on the silhouettes shifted. From Ian’s shadowed face clearly shone bright blue eyes.
Looking straight ahead at Louise.
Louise pulled her arms away from the column and stepped backwards. Ian was still looking in her direction. She shook her head as if to say “I didn’t see anything.”
Ian’s eyes narrowed. She knew from their long friendship that he meant “That’s a poor lie.” He gestured for her to come over where the two of them where, and Louise sighed resignedly and walked over.
“What a surprise.”
He crossed him arms and fixed Louise with a stern look.
“The wicked smile of Louise Sweeney.”
“It wasn’t wicked. “
“But your mouth was so shamelessly wide.”
He pulled the side of her cheek and smirked.
“I was just waiting.”
“For you two to be done talking.”
“I didn’t hear anything!”
“This morning you said you didn’t see anything.”
“I’m telling the truth this time,”
Louise replied rather gloomily, and Ian released Louise’s cheek. He had only been fooling around anyway.
“Okay, get on with it.”
“You wanted to say something to me.”
“That is, uh–“
Louise hesitated as she tried to make something up. She suddenly remembered the list of students in her hand.
“I’m done! I mean, I finished visiting all the students on the list.”
“Great job. Is there anything else?”
“So, I was thinking about returning the favor to the president…”
“I’m going to ask.”
Her words were starting to jumble out of order. Ah, what should she say?!
“Do, uh…Do you like…?”
“Of course I like it. But what are you talking about?”
“How do you know if you like it if you don’t even know what it is?”
“I don’t think you’ll say anything bad.”
That may be so, but she still didn’t figure out what she could give him as a favor. An idea then caught Louise’s mind.
Yes, there were strawberries.
“The caretaker gave me some sugar to put in the students’ vases.”
“That’s very kind of her.”
“So in return I said I would help out on the strawberry farm for a day. I can give you some of the harvest.”
“So you’re exchanging manual labor for strawberries.”
“It’s for the president!”
Louise answered spiritedly with her arms up in the air.
“That’s a great idea.”
Before Ian could answer, Stella was the first to respond.
“You’re a very nice person, Louise.”
“Ah, thank you…but I’m only just paying someone back.”
“But aren’t strawberries a bit–?”
Stella made an expression as if she was thinking about something that tasted terrible.
“You mean the fruit, right? It’s pink and soft in places.”
“Oh my gosh, Stella. That’s not what a freshly picked strawberry looks like. It should be red and shiny. “
Her face turned red at Louise’s reply.
“I’m sorry, Louise. Maybe I’ve never seen a proper one…I mean, I don’t know why I’m like this. The ones I’ve had were soft so I thought all strawberries were the same way…”
Ah, you stupid Louise Sweeney! Louise scolded herself. The poor Stella wouldn’t have eaten expensive strawberries.
“Well, that’s not wrong either! No, you’re right! Even things that are picked fresh can easily become soft, you just have to be careful handling it–”
Oh, what was she doing? She was embarrassing Stella in front of Ian. She ended up being the villainess Louise. Louise wanted to make amends somehow.
“You know what, Stella! Let me give you fresh strawberries!”
“You can’t do that. You should give the fresh strawberries to Ian, not me.”
“Don’t worry, Stella. If I give him fresh, delicious strawberries, he’ll want to eat them with you, right?”
Louise looked up at Ian with shining eyes, expecting him to nod in approval.
“Fresh strawberries are just like cucumbers.”
His answer was not in line with Louise’s expectation. He turned to Stella to add an explanation.
“It’s like chewing on a peeled cucumber with seeds. That’s all. “
Stella nodded gently, and Louise gave a cry of protest. His remarks insulted cucumbers and strawberries at the same time.
“What kind of cucumbers are you talking about?!”
“Don’t you think that sounds about right though?”
“How could you really have such a dull sense of taste?”
“It’s you who has a dull sense of taste, Louise Sweeney.”
“Apologize to my tongue. At least I don’t treat cucumbers and strawberries as the same thing!”
Louise said passionately, looking sideways.
“But instead you tongue is–“
Ian paused for a beat, then lightly grabbed Louise by the chin and pulled her so she was looking directly at him.
Louise flinched a little. His normally smooth eyebrows were furrowed in displeasure. Uh, well, maybe because Louise had been peeking at their date. She was a bit sorry about that.
Ian looked scary when he was angry. Louise tried to hide her annoyed look and smiled.
‘Forgive me, please?’
Ian’s eyes shimmered as he looked at her face for a long time.
Then, the corners of his lips slowly curved upwards. That meant, “I’ll let you go this time.” As childhood friends she was glad that they could talk with their faces.
“…That’s an unfair expression, Louise Sweeney,”
Ian murmured, then let go of her chin.
Louise asked him what he meant, but he didn’t answer.