Albert Ke no Reijou wa Botsuraku wo go Shomou desu 56
Volume 2 Chapter 16
The three days exam-period after that went smoothly with Mary aiming to be part of the top five in the subjects.
In the middle of which, though, as usual, there was an incident where Parfait came to her with tears while complaining about Gainas and talked about how he apologized to her; after witnessing the conflict of Lilianne and Karina, she stayed silently in her seat… well, the situation was considerably better than before.
It’s a good thing that unlike the usual school schedule with classes, the examinations end in the mornings, so they do not have to visit the school cafeteria; the sight of that reverse harem would definitely not put her in a good mood.
Mary thought about eating outside in the future and decided to have lunch on the bench located at the side of the school. Eating luxurious lunch box meal, with the view of vast sky and well-maintained flowers and trees, is like a treat after the tests; it also makes her forget all about the mess of that reverse harem and blow away the fatigue of taking the examinations.
The occasional breeze was comfortable and her silver hair strands swayed beautifully in the air; it’s graceful.
“Lady Mary, how was the examinations?”
Parfait, who was eating sandwich with red jam next to Mary, asked her. Her lunchbox is decorated with a cute color theme and it’s filled with cakes and such which prompted Mary to raise her voice and said that those are desserts and cannot be considered as a proper meal a few minutes earlier.
After all, Mary’s lunchbox was covered with croquettes and it’s generally brown in color. Parfait was curious and asked her what it was, and she told her not to question as they share different body constitutions.
“Well, it was alright I guess. How was it for you?”
“I… don’t have confidence this time round.”
“I see; you have been distracted a lot lately after all. I don’t know what you’ve been plotting though.”
After receiving the sharp comment from Mary, Parfait gulped.
After that she tried to hide her face and it’s clear that she has been plotting about something, and it’s something that she cannot reveal to Mary.
It’s probably something related to Lilianne and since she’s not talking about it, Karina’s probably the one behind it; Mary shrugged her shoulders. It might be a good idea to enforce a no-talking rule towards Parfait, but her reaction was so obvious that she totally revealed that they’re plotting something; this made Mary think that a distance-yourself-from-others rule might be more effective.
While thinking about that, Parfait awkwardly changed the topic by saying “Lady Mary… it’s the break after tomorrow”
“If you are free tomorrow, would you like to come over to my house…?”
“Oh, sorry for saying this when you went all the way to invite me, but I have to go home tomorrow.”
“I-Is that so… I’m sure you don’t want to come to my house because I’m keeping a secret… I-I’m…”
“Please do not say things to hurt yourself and over-think about it! I really have something to attend to!”
Parfait’s eyes were filled with tears and Mary hurriedly pacified her.
To calm Parfait down, she took a piece of the croquettes and placed it in her lunchbox while saying that it’s fine. She has no idea what scheme Parfait’s plotting, but she has no thoughts of digging deep into it, and she’s not really upset about the fact that that she’s keeping it a secret from her.
Having sensed that, Parfait’s teary eyes seemed relieved and she happily said that they’re going to exchange the food as she gave a piece of sandwich; Mary unconsciously let out a small sigh.
Compared to the time when Parfait first approached her, she’s a little more cheerful and brave, also it seems like she’s mentally strong enough to plan to take action about the matters of Lilianne. However, even so, Parfait is weak against pressure.
She cannot leave troubled kids alone and sighed while telling Parfait again that she really have something important to attend to.
It’d be fine any other day, but Patrick and even Alicia, who’d be coming afterwards, would reproached her and tell her to come back in a hurry. Even though Mary is the lady of the Albert family, she has no choice but to abide to the instructions of those two. Or rather, even if they kept their silence and smiled, there’s a high possibility of a horse wagon, carrying the crest of the royal family, coming in front of the dorm early in the morning to fetch her.
In other words, they’d force her to return home.
Or rather, Alicia has that power to force her to, and Patrick is a guy who possesses the drive to do so; with both of them, there’s no knowing what’d happen. Therefore, Mary has to return home… and she said it with a serious expression. Parfait who heard her story was taken aback by the largeness of the scale and nodded.
“However, what’s that thing which’s so important?”
“Well, that’s, I…”
While trying to explain, Mary suddenly stopped.
Parfait tilted her head in confusion but she just gave a light smile and said “it’s must be something joyous.” She smiled as though she’s talking about herself and that in turn made Mary tilt her head in confusion.
“Well, Lady Mary’s saying it with a happy smile after all.”
Parfait giggled and Mary’s eyes widened as she touched her cheeks; it seems like she’s smiling without realizing and after having being pointed out, her cheeks turned hot.
However, she could not say honestly that she’s happy and tried to brush it off as she fanned herself while saying “that’s not the case”… when she suddenly stopped moving.
It’s an important thing.
It’s an important thing that has a huge effect on Mary’s life.
However, she does not have any bit of anxiety nor hesitation toward it. No matter how many times she thought it through, she can firmly say that this decision is not wrong.
Tomorrow, Addie and I…
While thinking about the future, Mary was self-aware of how her expression has lightened a bit and she hurriedly cleared her throat.
She then tried to put on a cold front.
“It’s natural that it’s important as I’m getting married after all.”
After she said that, Parfait’s eyes widened and the red jam of the sandwich, which she was eating, dripped onto her skirt.
After that, Parfait asked her repeatedly who she’d be married to, but she evasively dodged the topic- and four days has passed since then when she has finally arrived in the Albert family domain.
Mary’s not affected by the usual sight of the Albert family house and she opened the door with one hand as she’s carrying her luggage on the other hand; it has not been a while since she’s back, but still it’s the return of the Albert family lady who came back from schooling overseas after all.
“Hey, shouldn’t there at least be one person who’s here to welcome me!? I’m going to cry of loneliness!”
Mary complained as she opened the door, but after that she swallowed her words in.
After all, it’s busy in the Albert family household, and there’s a maid who dashed across in front of her. With how busy they were, there’s no wonder why no one came to welcome Mary… she understood the situation and tried to carry her luggage herself.
That’s when a familiar voice called out to her; the origin of the voice, Addie, was there, and next to him was Patrick, who’s passing out instructions skillfully as usual.
“Lady, when did you return?”
“Sorry for not fetching you outside. Ah, I’ll carry your luggage for you-”
“It’s fine; it’s my luggage after all. Rather than that, things are moving along amazingly like usual.”
Looking at the people coming in and out of the mansion in the hurriedly made Mary overwhelmed; Patrick nodded as though it’s natural.
“We’re proceeding with unprecedented speed for this marriage after all. Also, we have enforced a no-talking rule to the people involved; we can’t help but hurry.”
“I guess it’d be kept a secret till the party huh; it’s something that my mother, who loves surprises, would think of.”
“Even so, it’s not possible to keep it a secret to the closed ones; this matter was made known to some of your relatives, the higher nobles who were on my side, the royal family members including the king and queen, along with the royal family of the neighboring countries- it’s also made known to the highest-ranking officials of various related institutions.”
“Oh, that’s surprisingly a lot of people. I’m somewhat embarrassed.”
“Whoa, the preparations have proceeded pretty well… I’m indebted to you, Sir Patrick, really…”
Mary replied nonchalantly as she thought that it’s natural for the people whom Patrick has mentioned to be made aware of the matter, Addie in contrast looked pale.
After that, they chatted about some other trivial stuff when a maid rushed over and whispered to Patrick.
It seems like someone has arrived and she talked about how “approval was received” and “the person have the document.” The maid looked pretty nervous so that person must be of considerably high status.
“I’m sorry, but please wait for a while longer, both of you; I’ll call you guys once the preparations are ready.”
After saying that, Patrick followed after the maid and headed somewhere else.
The two, who were left behind, looked at his back view with dumbfounded looks; they faced each other when Patrick was out of sight.
It seems like he’s hurrying about the matters of Mary and Addie’s marriage, but the two person involved were left behind. They looked at each other as they wondered what they should do, when another maid came towards them.
“…why don’t you have some tea before being called?”
“That’s nice… by the way, um, lady…”
Mary was about to walk off when Addie stopped her.
He sounded quite incoherent and that made Mary curious as she tilted her head and looked up towards him.
“Is it fine?”
“If this goes on, you will end up marrying me, you know?”
Addie once again confirmed if that’d really be fine, and Mary shrugged her shoulders as it’s quite late to be saying that. The preparations have already proceeded on and when she looked up at him, his expression was filled with uncertainty and he sought her reply. It’s not usual for Addie to show such a timid behavior and Mary giggled.
Why is he saying something like this when most of the preparations have been done?
No, that’s not it. Well, after all…
“You said that you’d follow me and be by my side forever, didn’t you? That feeling did not change, right?”
“Yes, of course. I’ll always be by your side.”
“In that case, please be by my side even on the marriage forms.”
Mary laughed without concern.
After being smiled at like that, Addie narrowed his eyes a bit and nodded deeply as he said “yes.”
“Lady, the order has changed, but I… I’ll always be…”
“Also, you said there’s something you wanted to do, right? If there’s an aim in your mind, you shouldn’t be choosy about the method!”
“…Yes, that’s right.”
Mary was laughing nonchalantly and brushed off other’s concern as usual, Addie became despondent.
Someone who passed by and happened to overhear the conversation patted on his shoulder and told him to cheer up. That made him even sadder.
“Addie, what’s wrong?”
“No, it’s nothing… I’ll take up on your advice to not be choosy about my method as it’d stop me from reaching my aim… Right, I cannot be choosy about the method!”
Addie stood up with force and that made Mary widened her eyes.
She’s happy if her advice was of help, but Addie’s reaction was not normal… while thinking about that, Mary once again asked “what’s wrong?” when Patrick called them.
It seems like the preparations are done and Patrick’s here to fetch them.
“Lady, let’s go!”
“Eh… but is it alright? You look like you’re staring into thin air though.”
“That’s your imagination!”
Addie was behaving so abnormally that it’s definitely not Mary’s imagination, but she said nothing, nodded and followed after him.