Class B’s coverage went better than Class A’s. Most of the guys didn’t know Reinhardt that well, so it was Charlotte, Louis Ankton, Scarlett, Delphine, and Ludwig giving some answers.
“Although he can be a bit old-fashioned, he’s a good friend. He can be kind and knows how to help those in need. He was also ranked first during the midterm exams. In our last group mission, he even helped our class, who were supposed to be his opponents. He is rather strange, but you’d also get to like Reinhardt as soon as you get to know him. Appearance? Well… He’s definitely handsome.”
The Princess, Charlotte de Gardias, praised him highly.
“…I thought he was a bully at first. He definitely is one.”
Those were the words of Louis Ankton. When asked if he could give some more details, he said that he didn’t want to get caught and ran off.
“…I often find myself being jealous of him because he has a lot of things I lack. Namely, courage… I think he’s a good person. I want to get closer to him, but… I don’t have the courage.”
Scarlett answered vaguely.
“I don’t know him that well, but I think he’s a good guy.”
That was Delphine Izadra’s answer.
“Reinhardt? I think he’s a great guy! He’s hard-working, smart, and can use his ability really well, you know?”
Ludwig answered cheerfully.
* * *
The club president Layton Zabry, who reviewed the results of the interview in their club room, pulled a very strange face.
“…I can’t tell if his reputation is good or bad.”
“Wasn’t it good enough?”
“No, it’s good, but I heard that those that didn’t like him ran away without saying anything, right?”
Certainly, most answers were positive in nature, but there were some that didn’t dare answering—afraid that they might get harmed.
“And even among the positive answers, they all said that his personality was bad… So that bastard was actually a villain whom his classmates were scared of.”
In fact, there were many people who mentioned that Reinhardt had a rather bad personality.
How notorious was Reinhardt for his victims to run and refuse to answer when they heard they would publish their statements in a monthly newspaper?
Èrich even warned them that if they were to go interview Reinhardt in person, he would react very harshly.
“This… this guy isn’t your regular bully.”
The president shook his head, convinced that Reinhardt wasn’t your regular crazy bastard.
“Hmm… But I think there were more people who liked him, though…?”
“Ah, who cares about that?”
“Even if he wasn’t that kind of guy, we just have to make others believe that he is.”
The pen was mightier than the sword!
Even if he wasn’t like that, those words would get deeply embedded in people’s hearts.
* * *
“…What? A newspaper?”
When I heard about that when I had dinner with Ellen, I wondered what it was all about. It seemed that some senior went around Class A asking about me.
I had no idea they did something like that because I was training outside. What was going on? Why were they digging up information on me? How are they going to use that?
“He asked me what kind of person you were.”
“…Why did he ask that?”
This was weird.
Why did those seniors who I didn’t even know cover my life in their newspaper? Anyway, I was royally pissed because my neck hurt from all these weird looks I got. Still, I didn’t want to cause any more trouble, but even if I wanted to, I couldn’t just barge into those seniors’ club.
It was also my first time hearing about something like a newspaper club. However, it was clear that they went around here and there to ask questions. It seemed they also asked Ellen some questions.
“So, what did you say?”
“I couldn’t answer.”
No, did she mean that she couldn’t say anything even when we had so much contact with each other?
Ellen seemed to ponder a long time about this, then she tossed a question at me.
“What kind of person are you?”
What? If she asked me those kinds of things so suddenly, I could only draw blanks.
What kind of person was I?
“Huh… Come to think of it, I don’t know either.”
I didn’t know how I could describe myself. Ellen seemed to think about it from a similar point of view but couldn’t come to a conclusion.
“Let’s just keep on doing what we’ve been doing.”
I held my training sword, and Ellen also faced me holding hers.
It was a bit annoying, but once I meddled with what those seniors were doing, I’d just get served a feast of nonsense.
* * *
It was June.
The first weekend of June.
Editions published by the Royal Class club’ Monthly Royal Class’ that almost no one knew about were placed in the lobby of each class.
Most people knew that there would be something about me published in that newspaper, so everyone took one with them as soon as it came out, and I, who was rather curious and concerned, also took a copy of it and opened it in the lobby.
I skipped all the small details and only looked for my segment.
[ Celebrity Special – What kind of person is Reinhardt, Royal Class’ 11?]
Now, this Demon Prince even made it into the Royal Class’ internal newspaper.
It was such a ridiculous situation in more ways than one.
[Reinhardt, the first year that has been a hot topic in Royal Class lately, just who is he? We strive to uncover this truth…]
What truth are they talking about? Did they think I’m some evil mastermind?
No… Actually, if my true identity is revealed, not only Temple but the whole Empire would get overturned.
It felt like those guys did a lot of research about me. They even wrote that I wasn’t from some noble family but just a beggar from the streets. They mentioned that I had a supernatural power as well.
Of course, those things weren’t really secrets.
[…Many students praised Reinhardt, but we were able to read between the lines of their statements…]
[…We were able to find out that a significant number of students were actually afraid of him. An interviewee who shall remain anonymous clearly described Reinhardt as a ‘gangster’.]
“…Which bastard wrote this?”
Was I a gangster? Well, yeah, it could be thought of like that. I went around doing this and that, after all.
In the end, the segment’s content didn’t confirm any specific criticism about me, but one could definitely deduce from it that I was a bad guy based on the fact that there were several people who refused to give any statements—scared that I would retaliate.
No, what the hell?
I could clearly see that they wanted to paint me as a bad guy, you know? They deliberately picked at my shortcomings and went on about them.
Ultimately, the purpose of the article was to paint Reinhardt as a type of bad guy that was an object of fear for his classmates.
They even evaluated me as a playboy who only conversed with women because I only got a good reception from the female students.
After reading that part, I got a slight idea of what it was all about.
They were just the petty actions of some seniors that didn’t like me getting close to Olivia Lanze. Otherwise, there was no reason for those seniors a few years older than me to do something ridiculous like that.
I could feel the other people who read the newspaper in the lobby slowly turning their eyes towards me.
That bastard’s going to cause trouble again.
That was what their expressions were saying.
“Hey bastards, if you look at me like that, you make it seem like this fucking article is true!”
As I shouted that, I could feel the atmosphere becoming even chillier.
What I shouted more or less proved that the article was true.
“That’s why you’re getting criticized like that. Idiot.”
Harriet laughed while covering her mouth when she saw my red face. It seemed like she was pleased that a malicious article about me got published.
“Hey, did you tell them that I was a gangster?”
“What? I-It wasn’t me! I didn’t say anything!”
Harriet seemed shocked and shook her head.
“It was you for sure.”
“No! It’s not me! You dummy! I-I… I was just trying to help you!”
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Harriet just rushed back into her room with red eyes, huffing and puffing all the way there.
Seeing that she was so disappointed, it was clear that she wasn’t the one.
…I should apologize.
I really have to apologize for this.
* * *
Eventually, I called Harriet into my room and apologized to her for saying those things. She must have been really upset because I could see that she seemed to have cried a little. Her eyes were red and puffy, so I really wanted to pinch those cheeks of hers.
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
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Of course, I didn’t do that because I thought she wouldn’t forgive me for that for the whole week. Instead, I took her to the dormitory-adjacent terrace and sat her down.
She didn’t even look me in the eyes, keeping her head turned and saying, “Hmpf!”
“You were really too much.”
“I’m sorry. So what did you say?”
When I asked her that, her face turned red because of a different reason.
“I-I don’t know… I didn’t say anything.”
…She definitely complimented me, not slandered me.
The guilt I felt grew even heavier.
“By the way, what are you going to do now?”
Harriet folded her arms, trying to change the subject so that I couldn’t dig any deeper.
“What do you mean by that?”
“I mean, are you going to let this slide? Aren’t you going to make a fuss like you usually do?”
People held certain expectations even towards troublemakers.
The guys who read the newspaper in the lobby earlier looked at me as if I was going to cause trouble again, but they actually pretty much looked forward to that.
With how things usually go, Reinhardt would always get at least one hit in; he wouldn’t be able to sit still, right? He’s going to turn everything upside down again.
Will he give it to them?
He’s going to give it to them, right?
I could clearly read that this was what they were thinking. Harriet must have also thought that I was the type of person that wouldn’t be able to let this go.
Just what was with this?
What people wanted to see was me acting aggressive towards those arrogant people because that was “just how I was”?
Should I really do it?
Still, although I really wanted to beat them up while they twisted a lot of things and wrote that article with malicious intentions, some of the things they wrote were partially true.
“All the seniors will think that you’re that kind of person, so are you just going to sit still?”
“…Some things are partially true.”
Harriet turned her head at my words. She looked really surprised.
“Y-you… You really, erm, only think of doing pervy things to women… Is that so?”
“No, not that part!”
Harriet suddenly became scared and covered her chest with both of her arms.
No! Do you think you’d have to hide those two insect bites of yours?
“That’s right… You’re only close to women… The boys don’t even talk to you, except Bertus…”
She seemed to think that I just admitted that another part of that article was partially true, not the one I meant. In fact, everything Harriet said was true except for the part where I only think about doing pervy things to girls, so I couldn’t really retort.
“Come to think of it, even the female seniors…”
That was how Harriet was looking at me.
“That’s not it, okay? I didn’t intend for that to happen!”
“T-then who do you like? Do you have someone you like or something?”
If I said “It’s you” at that point, I could predict that her face would explode into red again, but if I did that, I probably wouldn’t be able to handle the aftermath. That could leave permanent scars on her mind, after all.
“I don’t really have anyone like that…”
Put differently, I liked all the girls I was close with; I didn’t like them as members of the opposite sex, though, because of reasons!
“…So, you want to be close with everyone, is that it?”
“Why are you saying that?”
“My brothers say that guys like you are the worst in the world.”
Why did she bring her personal grudges into it? And why did she even talk with her brothers about me?
B-but what she said was true…
Someone like that was nothing but utter trash…
It seemed that the impression that I was a playboy that didn’t really like anyone but flirted with everyone was about to solidify in Harriet’s mind.
Why did that shit happen just because of some fucking newspaper?
I really didn’t want to worry about those small things, after all. I didn’t even know what I could do about what my seniors already did.
The Demon Prince of the Realm, Valier, might be able to endure it and be patient…
“I’m going to fuck them up good.”
But the gangster, Reinhardt, couldn’t stand that shit!