Volume 2 Chapter 32
Albert Ke no Reijou wa Botsuraku wo go Shomou desu 72
It made everyone turned back and incited several expressions; loving smiles, the yearning heat, and endless sadness… he did not notice those looks and just called the name of his beloved one. “Alicia, so you’re here.”
“Sir Patrick, what’s the matter?”
“The dance is about to commence so I’d like to… oh Mary is here too?”
“Your attitude towards the main actress of the day just doesn’t cut it”
Mary jokingly stared at Patrick and he smiled wryly as he apologized.
However, someone interrupted into the conversation with a tense look and that’s Karina, who has been walking alongside Alicia.
“Lady Alicia…” she spoke in a timid voice, which is totally unlike her character. She kept her head down and took glances at Patrick; it’s clear that she’s bewildered. In the first place, considering the differences between their statuses and roles in the game; it’s no wonder that Karina behaved timidly when it comes to Alicia.
“Excuse me for my rudeness… but would you allow me to invite Sir Patrick for a dance?”
Karina’s declaration was reserved and yet bold; the ladies gulped and widened their eyes.
However, those reactions were normal; after all she has just invited the unofficial lover of the princess for a dance, right in front of her. Normally, she’d be rebuked against or even punished such that she’d not be allowed to join the conventional social parties anymore.
However, Alicia smiled with narrowed eyes and nodded deeply in return as she said “Of course.”
Having received that reply, Karina lifted her head up. After which, she slowly walked towards Patrick who’s so confused and could not follow the flow of the conversation; even so he knew that it’s a serious matter and looked at Karina.
“Sir Patrick, I’ve always… I’ve always held fond feelings towards you since the past. I’ve always…”
Karina tried to put her words together desperately; even so she cannot help but stutter and everyone were looking over her endearingly. Everyone probably figured out that she has had fond feelings for him for a really long time.
However, Karina has always loved Patrick for a long time, even beyond what those bystanders were thinking of; she loved him since her “previous life” after all and it’s not something that could be explained. Karina probably felt frustrated at how she could not express that properly; for a moment, she stopped talking and her eyes were wandering around… it seems like she has finally come to a resolution as she looked up towards Patrick.
“In order to remember these fond feelings I’ve had for you all these while and to move on with a ‘beautiful memory’, would you please, please, dance with me?”
Karina invited him with a trembling voice, probably because she felt the fear of being rejected after being so resolved like this.
She would not be able to move on if she’s rejected by him whom she has had fond feeling for since the past, or rather “her previous life”. She would probably be seized with endless regrets and pain.
Also, there’s another reason why Karina was behaving timidly in front of Patrick.
The Patrick that she knows of is after all the Patrick of the “Dora school”. His perfect appearance and skills in both literary and sports are traits of the prince that all ladies admire and yet his cold behaviour is also heart-fluttering. He’s strict towards himself and other people, but he looks at his lover, the main character (Alicia), tenderly.
Although he’s really good at taking care of people and would deal with people appropriately, sometimes he would joke sarcastically and try so hard to compose himself as he tried to contain his laughter with trembling shoulders; Karina only knew of the Patrick from the game, so she probably could not imagined how he would react.
That’s why, she’s afraid of being rejected, since she’s not the main character (Alicia).
Patrick gently smiled and took her hands at her timid request.
“If you’re fine with me, I’d be pleased to,” said Patrick as he escorted Karina to the party venue. She’s so happy that it showed on her face.
After seeing the two of them off, a commotion could be heard emanating from the party venue. Of course, that’s because Patrick Dice brought along someone who’s not the princess. Although the people around were making a commotion, Patrick did not care about that as the princess herself gave the permission.
Rather than that, Mary was more interested at how the expressions of the ladies started to change after Karina left. One after another, they muttered “Me too…”
Some of them wanted to dance with Patrick too and followed after the two, others have decided that it’s time to stop waiting and went to find their beloved ones; as they left to look for the princes of their hearts, there were only a few people left in the garden.
Mary and Alicia, who looked at the ladies who left, as well as Parfait and Gainas, who did not make a move, were left behind.
…Also, there’s a lady who grabbed onto Mary’s shoulder from the back.
“Lady Mary, I’ll go for it too.”
“For some reason, your ‘go for it’ sounds more like ‘hunt for it’ to me. Or rather, I thought you’d try to cut in the line and approach first.”
“I’m not someone who’d go for the same prey as someone else; I thought I should make a move after everyone else.”
“You’re a hunter with a good conscience. Do let me know if there’s anything that’s troubling you, I’d help you. I don’t hate your thirst.”
“I don’t mind if you call me sister-in-law.”
“Please don’t say something so scary.”
Mary muttered that it’s not a joke, the ambitious lady laughed as she headed towards the party venue (hunting ground). Mary cannot help but sigh after looking at her back and then turned to look at Parfait, who was dumbfounded by that interaction.
After Karina called out to Patrick and the other ladies also followed suit, she appeared anxious.
Well, she’s probably afraid that someone would approach Gainas. Well, conversely, Gainas was afraid that Parfait would head for another guy and looked at her worriedly.
Both of them uttered nothing but it’s clear from their faces that they’re respectively thinking “I hope no one comes” and “I hope she doesn’t go for someone else” and there’s probably no one who can butt in between them.
“So, Miss Parfait, what are you going to do? I’ll help you out if there’s someone you’re interested in. Of course, that would include my elder brother…”
Mary said that she would call her elder brother and hurriedly turned behind. Of course, that’s because she thought that the ambitious young lady would grab her shoulder like always.
However, when she turned behind, there was no one there.
Well thinking about it again, it’s because she has already headed for the party venue so there should not be anyone behind her… Mary bowed and said “excuse me.”
“Um, Lady Mary, I… about that…”
“…Well, how about taking a look around my house’s garden? The garden of the Albert family is quite well known, you know?”
“Y-Yes! I’ll do that!”
Parfait’s face brightened at Mary’s suggestion. After that, she purposely said “I’ll go alone!” as though she’s trying to ask Mary to stop teasing or perhaps she’s trying to convey that “she’s not going to find someone”…
Either way, Mary giggled softly and exclaimed “What a troublesome child” and sat down on the chair as she looked at how Parfait walked off cheerfully with Gainas following after her.
Just like that, there’s only Mary and Alicia left.
The comfortable breeze carried over the music from the party venue and their different-colored hair was swaying in it.
“Oh, it seems like you’re having fun.”
“Well, that’s because you look like you’re having fun, Lady Mary.”
“You’ve made many friends at the Eliciana academy, didn’t you?”
Alicia said that as though she’s happy for Mary; Mary’s face blushed ever so slightly and she cleared her throat to brush that away.
After which, she peeked at Alicia, who was sitting beside her. She recalled about her previous life in the game, and felt that it has been quite a while since she has first met Alicia.
Ever since then, things did not go smoothly as well as she thought it’d be… but today, it’s the best day ever. It was as though it was all a lie that she was not hated by her and was about to be led to her demise. Well, why did she work so hard to make sure that the game’s plot would go on accordingly?
While thinking about that, she recalled about the “Dora school” game. In the first place, she thought of the game and previous life as separate matters, and recently she has not been trying to think about that, so her memories have become quite blurry.
Alicia in “Dora school” has a bright sun-like smile that soothes the heart of all the strategy characters and melt their frozen hearts which have been cultivated as part of their noble status.
Thinking about that, Mary let out a soft laughter. She’s probably thinking that the person who’s most affected by that dazzling sun-like smile was none other than herself… she’s not able to express herself honestly about it so she just turned her face away towards the party venue.
Patrick has been invited by several ladies who viewed him as the prince of their hearts. Some of the dancers seemed to have captured the hearts of their crushes from their looks of joy, and now even those who were not at the venue have started to ask their crushes for a dance.
As usual… no, the speed at how all these are uncovering is so fast that it has surpassed that of a normal game’s progress; it’s just too perfect.
Mary thought about it and laughed softly; Alicia, who was sitting next to Mary, grabbed onto her hand.
She was shocked and wondered what happened, but when she turned to face Alicia, she was just filled with smiles. After which, she stood up, and Mary stood up too with confusion.
“What, what’s wrong?”
“Lady Mary, let’s dance!”
Alicia’s smile was so dazzling and Mary widened her eyes as she sighed “you’re making a fuss.” It seems like she wanted to dance like the other ladies too.
Well, she complained that they already have their respective partners so there’s no need to be influenced by that… but Alicia just pulled Mary’s arm tightly.
“Lady Mary, let’s go!”
“Yes, yes, I got it. However, it seems like Patrick’s busy right now, so why don’t you wait a little while for him?”
“What are you talking about? I’m going to dance with you, Lady Mary!”
What do you mean!? Mary raised her voice, but Alicia grabbed onto her arm and headed for the party venue.
As usual, Mary could not hold up against her un-ladylike forcefulness and could only shout “Wait! Let go of me!” as she’s being dragged along.
After that, they entered into the crowded party venue and Addie, who noticed them, headed towards them.
“Lady! Um, please have a dance with me.”
“Mister Addie, you have to wait till I’m done!”
“Till you’re done!?”
Alicia refused Addie’s invitation flatly and continued on without stopping.
Of course, Mary shouted “Don’t refuse on your own!” but that’s not enough to stop Alicia. Or rather, the previous song just ended so Patrick invited Alicia dance, but he was rejected too as she said “Sir Patrick, you too have to wait!”
The two pitiful men were dumbfounded, and Mary, who’s the most pitiful of all, found herself in the middle of the party venue.
Everyone, including those who were dancing elegantly to the music earlier, was surprised and stopped. The lady of the Albert family and the princess were holding hands- well, from the perspective of Mary, her hands were being held, or rather, were forcefully being pulled- and they were standing in the middle of the party venue. Everyone widened their eyes and even the orchestra members were staring at them as they played the music.
Not caring about those stares, Alicia happily grabbed Mary’s hands.
“Well then, Lady Mary, let’s dance!”
“W-Wait a minute!”
“Well the music is starting!”
“W-Wait, don’t pull me and drag me around!”
“Isn’t it fun, Lady Mary?”
Alicia spun around in accordance to the music, and Mary, whose arm was grabbed around by her, could not free herself. It was as though she was dragged by her. It’s definitely not elegant and cannot even be called a dance.
Everyone else was looking at them with wry smiles, while Addie and Patrick looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.
While it may be quite a scene, it was fun. Well, that could not be described as a dance though with how Mary was dragged around by Alicia who’s spinning round and round. Alicia does not seem like she’s going to stop, and the others could only look at them without interfering. She was desperate not to trip over.
After that, she finally breathed in deeply…
”Please listen to the words of other people! You rural girl!”
She shouted in rage at her marriage announcement party and it was overlapped by the sound of the different-colored bracelets on their wrists knocked onto each other.