To Olivia, Adriana and I were her life’s saviors. Because the two of us had followed them, we had found out what was going on and were able to alert Temple with an anonymous letter.
Olivia was afraid of her foster father, so she couldn’t do anything independently. It seemed that she had decided to stay with Temple to solve all her problems, including the ones with her parent.
In any case, she wasn’t just troubled by personal matters; she was also a target of the Knights Templar and the believers of the Five Major Churches. Of course, they wouldn’t be able to put their hands on her as long as she was a Temple student.
On Tuesday, after class, I went to Mainstreet with Adriana. Olivia seemed to be doing well in class by then; she knew that being a Temple student was her only way to survive, so she wouldn’t go out of her way to cause any major problems.
“We’ll have to wait a little. Senior takes more classes than we do, after all.”
“Yeah, well. I guess so.”
Adriana and the other members of Grace didn’t seem to think that Olivia was a traitor just because she abandoned her faith. They actually started to question their own beliefs after hearing what Olivia had to suffer through and what she had been about to experience.
What if everyone in Royal Class suddenly ended up abandoning their faith or something?
“Anyway, how’s she doing in the club?”
“Well, she doesn’t pray anymore, but she still comes around.”
It wasn’t a place that strictly enforced faith anyway, so Olivia seemed to want to return to the club. However, it was strange for someone who abandoned her religion to be the club president of a religious club.
While we were killing time near the Main Street Tram stop, we soon saw Olivia getting off a tram.
“Oh, Adriana, Reinhardt. Did you have to wait long?”
“No, we arrived not too long ago as well, senior.”
Olivia’s Royal Class uniform looked so good that it seemed to have been made just for her. Naturally, she drew in all the gazes from the people passing by.
I hadn’t been aware that Olivia was so famous, but everyone seemed to know her.
Olivia grabbed our hands and started to walk.
“Wh-why do we have to hold hands…”
“Why? Do you not like it?”
No, we just didn’t need to hold hands. I didn’t like it because it felt like she was holding hands with a boyfriend rather than just a friend, you know?
The sharp stares of all the students stung my back. They seemed to think something like, “What are you doing, holding Olivia’s hand?”
“N-no… It’s not that I don’t like it…”
“Then let’s go!”
She even winked at me.
She was doing it on purpose! I was sure she was doing it on purpose!
The people’s glares seemed to sting even more.
* * *
The three of us went to a restaurant Adriana liked and ate some pasta. It was a pretty good place.
“I’m… I’m not going to join the Knights Templar.”
“Well… You must have gotten confused because of me. I’m sorry.”
“N-no… You have gone through much worse, senior.”
Adriana also seemed like she had given up on joining the Knights Templar. It was already a well-known fact that the Commander changed, but they didn’t seem to expect that the group would change significantly. Those two would talk about many different things, and Olivia would say something to me from time to time as well.
“By the way, I heard that you had supernatural powers, Reinhardt. Is that true?”
“What? Ah, well… Yeah, it is.”
“What kind of power do you have?”
Olivia seemed to ask those things because she was surprised that I turned out to be a supernatural power user.
“Well, the power’s called Self-suggestion…”
“Self-suggestion? Is it self-hypnosis or something like that?”
“What effect does it have?”
“It’s… It’s a little… vague. It’s like, if I give myself a certain suggestion, my body would be strengthened accordingly, or something…”
That was my power’s biggest weakness.
“Anyway, if I believe that I can run really fast, I’ll end up actually being able to run faster… Yeah.”
I got a little embarrassed while explaining it.
Saying that my ability made me win as long as I kept a winning mentality was kind of embarrassing!
“Reinhardt’s ability was actually really helpful this time.”
“Oh? Was it?”
Adriana followed up, telling Olivia how we followed her and how I strengthened my hearing to eavesdrop on them, after which we decided to help.
Yes, my supernatural power certainly did play a role in it.
“I see. Thanks again, Reinhardt.”
Olivia seemed a little gloomy after remembering those things again, but then she thanked me.
“Well. looks like I can’t help it, Reinhardt.”
“What are you talking about?”
Olivia smiled at me bashfully.
“You’ll have to marry me after you graduate from Temple, okay?”
I exclaimed at her sudden proposal, and Adriana coughed for a bit with tears in her eyes—it seemed that she choked on her food.
“What are you talking about?”
“I have received so much grace from you, so it would only be polite to repay you for what I received, regardless of doctrine, faith, and morality.”
Olivia smiled softly. Goddamnit, that face was such a cheat; I couldn’t handle it. What did she mean by repaying me for everything she received?
“Reinhardt, you saved my life, so I’ll have to give you something of similar worth as my life. Isn’t that fair?”
If she kept on doing that, people might think she was serious.
“You’re going to forget people like me when you graduate from Temple, though.”
When I told her to stop talking bullshit, Olivia shook her head.
“I’m going to attend Temple’s Graduate School anyway, so I’ll stay in Temple until you graduate, Reinhardt. I’ll come to visit often~.”
Originally, she planned to join the Knights Templar after graduating from the High School section, but since she decided to stay in Temple for a very long time, that girl would be there until I graduated from High School.
Adriana watched the senior she had admired freely flirting with a first-year boy. Her face was completely expressionless.
It looked like she wanted to deny reality.
“What’s the matter? Is there someone else you like? For example… Adriana?”
Was she doing this to test me? Adriana squealed at her senior, telling her to not be ridiculous. Although she had decided not to join the Knights Templar, Adriana still served Towan, the God of Purity.
“What’s wrong, Adriana? Loosen up, loosen up and be more comfortable, like me.”
Olivia was trying to corrupt Adriana as well.
She had already become a complete heretic and let go of all the problems around her. If she were to be taken in by a heresy inquisitor and put on trial, she wouldn’t be able to say anything.
It seemed like Olivia became quite attached to Adriana and me.
Adriana was originally close to her, but they seemed even more intimate after that incident. Then there was me—it seemed that she found my reactions interesting, so she kept on teasing me.
Seeing her flirting in such an unbridled way, I wondered how she managed to endure it thus far.
I didn’t know how Adriana felt about it, but I was a man, so I felt like I was going crazy every time she suddenly hugged me or casually grabbed my hand. Rather, I felt like she was merely playing around with me and not seeing me as a man at all. That had to be why she was able to act without hesitation like that.
Harriet’s reactions were great, so I kept teasing her.
That was how it felt to be in her position. I felt like I was dying.
No, strictly speaking, I didn’t simply hate it. Rather than hating it, I felt complicated about it.
Because if I were to say, “I actually love you!” she would undoubtedly say something like, “I’m sorry… I didn’t think you would take this seriously. Sorry, I hurt you a lot, didn’t I…?”
I could see that development happening clear as day. I could never fall for those things.
“Today was fun. See you two at the club.”
“Have a safe trip, senior…”
I felt like I got my soul sucked out, and Adriana stared ahead foolishly for a different reason. Perhaps she was like that because she saw her senior, who she admired dearly, showing her depraved side all day long.
“I feel like a toy…”
“Senior… How were you able to endure for so long?”
Adriana seemed to admire Olivia for managing to suppress that personality of hers for such a long time.
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
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Although the conflict between the Knights Templar and the Imperial family had yet to be resolved, Olivia would be fine for the moment. I didn’t end up joining ‘Grace’—I already gained the members’ trust without having to put my name in their roster, so nothing would change.
I didn’t want to cram even more things into my schedule. Of course, when the seniors from Grace saw me, they would greet me, especially Olivia, who found it very fun to tease me. As soon as she saw me, she would act all intimate.
She would do things like suddenly approaching and hugging me or stroking my hair and just walking off without saying anything. Even her kissing me on my cheek was a daily occurrence.
A pet or a toy.
That was my position.
Even more problematic was that she would do those things regardless of others being around or not.
That was how things had been going.
People who didn’t know me at all often looked at me with an expression that seemed to ask, “What’s with this bastard?”. They couldn’t even touch her hand while I didn’t have to do anything to get such treatment.
– Although he pretends not to do these things, isn’t he actually flirting with every woman he meets?
-What’s with this? Why is that bastard so close with all the girls? Even with the seniors, even though he has such a dirty personality.
-He’s only nice to girls. Unlike he is to us.
Those who knew me, mostly the guys in my class, started gossiping about me.
I wanted to say something, but I couldn’t actually refute any of it because it was technically true.
In the end, Bertus was the only male student I was somewhat close to in Class A.
And after I got closer to Ellen, Harriet, Charlotte, and Adriana, I grew close to Olivia, who was a far older senior.
I knew best that they wouldn’t listen to anything I had to say in that situation.
“Hey, erm… Reinhardt.”
Kono Lint came up to me and chirped.
“What’s your… secret?”
Besides those gossips, there was also someone who wanted me to pass on my’ secret method’ to him.
* * *
It was Thursday. Time for our common classes.
During our short break before lunch, while I was sitting quietly outside the class building where we had our common classes, Kono Lint suddenly approached me.
He whispered quietly to me as if he was asking for dirt on someone.
Even those guys behind me who had been gossiping about me waited for my answer with bated breath—although they were pretending like they weren’t interested.
They couldn’t stand me, but the reason for that might be because they were jealous. They were guys as well, after all.
“What do you mean by ‘secret’?”
“How… How you only got close to girls.”
The word ‘only’ was kind of offensive, but I couldn’t deny it.
The secret method to get close to girls.
“I honestly don’t know.”
I really didn’t know. In Harriet’s case, I really only teased her at first. Harriet still went “Hmpf!” or “Tch!” when she saw me.
Ellen and I just happened to take the same classes, and honestly, we only became closer after eating together. Because it was only Ellen and me who would go for a bite, even in between meals.
Concerning Charlotte, she threatened me at first. Then things started to take one crazy turn after the other, and I became something like a letter courier for Charlotte and ‘Valier’. So that was that.
Adriana’s first impression of me was incredibly bad. She had thought I would one day end up head-first in a concrete floor, so she got closer to me to stop me from doing stupid things simply because she was such a nice person.
Olivia’s case was a little special, but everything had happened partly because of Adriana, so I didn’t really mean for it to happen.
Honestly, I hadn’t actually meant to get close with any of the girls I was close with.
So, how could I answer a question like, “How does one get close to girls?” Simple, I couldn’t answer. I had no clue either.
Kono Lint seemed to think that I didn’t answer him because I didn’t want to tell him, not because I actually didn’t know.
“Ah, anything’s good, so just tell me something, please?”
Among the three useless brothers, Erich and Cayer were the ones who had shit personalities; Kono Lint, however, was only similar in competence to them. Kono wasn’t actually all that bad—he was just very interested in his female classmates.
That guy’s tenacity was really a force to be reckoned with. He even went to ask the crazy bastard Reinhardt himself.
“Who do you even want to get close to, huh?”
When I asked him that, he seemed embarrassed. Asking him who he wanted to get close to was almost the same as asking him who he liked.
“Huh… Rather than being interested in someone specific… I-I’m just, uhm, asking… That’s it.”
Rather than being interested in someone specifically, he answered quite vaguely. An expected answer because that was just the kind of guy he was.
I wasn’t a dating master, I was single, actually, but I still ended up in that situation somehow!
That bastard was talking to the wrong guy. I was able to act like that in front of those girls because they were nothing more than kids to me, and I was treating them as such. I couldn’t do shit in front of an adult woman like Olivia.
I was actually a completely different person in front of adult women. I was just comfortable with our classmates because they were kids…
Was that it?
“… Can’t you just treat them more comfortably?”
I didn’t see them as women, so I was able to treat them like any other person. Was that the right way?
“Yes, you bastard. If you approach them with weird intentions, it’s all too obvious. Just empty your brain and talk to them.”
“Empty your brain?”
“If you’re hungry, just ask them to eat together.”
That was what happened with Ellen.
“If you have something to say, just say it. Don’t falter.”
That was what happened with Harriet.
“If you think they need help, just help them.”
Although it was a little different, that was what happened with Charlotte.
“Just do it like that. If it doesn’t go well, then it didn’t go well. No big deal. Wouldn’t it make them feel more reluctant to be close to you if you act all nervous and insincere?”
I didn’t know if that was correct.
That was how it was for me.
“O-oooh… So that’s how it was…?”
However, Kono Lint was taking my words seriously, as if I was a love guru explaining a secret strategy to him.
I felt like I should’ve just kept my mouth shut.