Eleris thought about it for a bit before she nodded and said that she would do as I said. Sarkegaar was disguised as a noble, and Loyar was busy running her gang. Eleris, on the other hand, had nothing else to do but run her job that didn’t have much business to begin with, so it wouldn’t be difficult for her to take some time during my vacation.
Leaving Eleris’ store, I returned to Temple and handed Charlotte my reply letter.
“Thank you as always, Reinhardt.”
“Don’t mention it. It’s nothing difficult, after all.”
It should have been about time that she got used to it, but when I saw Charlotte secretly responding to my messages, she still seemed extremely excited, so I continued to feel guilty.
I even made sure that I used different handwriting to write those letters. I felt like a professional scammer.
“By the way, about what we wanted to investigate last time… let’s slowly start on that, okay?”
The Demon Gods’ Church and the Revolutionary Forces.
We had put it off for a long time by then, so I still hadn’t found out anything about them. There was not only the rainy season but also my kidnapping incident. It seemed like she thought that if we put it off any further, it would be our vacation, so it couldn’t be delayed anymore.
“…What about the final exams?”
Charlotte looked a little displeased at my mention of the final exams.
“Reinhardt… Although you sometimes seem to forget this fact, I’m the Imperial Princess.”
From my point of view, those two matters were obviously more important than the final exam.
“Anyway, I don’t think it’s as serious as I thought. I’m still preparing well enough for the final exam, so don’t worry.”
Charlotte’s attitude showed that she would do well on something like a mere final exam.
“Ah, come to think of it, Reinhardt, you might be concerned about this… Well, should I just go investigate on my own then?” Charlotte asked, remembering my grades from the midterm exams. She thought I might be seriously concerned about my grades and all that.
Even though I didn’t really look like someone good at studying, I had still reached 1st place, so it looked like I had to completely give up trying to appear like a normal student for the rest of my life, huh.
“No, it’s fine. I don’t really care much about the finals.”
Of course, I didn’t plan on studying at all.
Hearing that the person who ranked first in the midterms decided to more or less throw the finals made her eyes go round.
* * *
There were rumors that believers of the Demon Gods’ Church and Revolutionary Forces were hiding inside Temple.
I was unsure whether the believers were really here, but Charlotte seemed positive that there were members of the Revolutionary Forces somewhere in the school
If one spent a long time in Temple’s special environment, one would inevitably accumulate useless pride and dissatisfaction with the status system itself. It was a place where commoners could see people who were much dumber and inferior to them, although those people were nobles in society and looked down on them condescendingly in the wider world.
I’m so much better than that piece of trash, yet they are supposed to be superior to me just because of the parents they got born to?
Those were the thoughts that were bound to appear in a place structured like Temple.
However, there were no events in the original novel in which conflict between the main cast and the believers of the Demon Gods’ Church and the Revolutionary Forces happened inside Temple.
After all, they either didn’t have an important role right until the end of the story or only existed outside of the main story.
Anyway, whoever they might be, they were probably only petty threats because, in the future, there would be one big event that would devour all the small ones.
After our common classes on Thursday, Charlotte and I met at a cafe near the class building.
“I hate… Swimming…”
“Should we put it off for today?”
Charlotte shook her head at my words.
Her blond hair draped over the table like the tentacles of a jellyfish and fluttered along with her movements.
“It’ll be like this every day… If we decide to put it off today, we’ll never get to it…”
PE would always be the last of our common classes.
So, after the day’s swimming class, Charlotte could only lie on top of the table like that and mutter.
There was my kidnapping incident and other things, but in the end, what prevented us from doing anything was the much harsher PE classes, our swimming classes, to be specific.
Monday’s common classes (Swimming) → Charlotte’s physical strength got completely depleted, so she would be out of order for two days → Thursday’s common classes (Swimming) → Charlotte would be out of order for the whole weekend → Monday’s common classes (Swimming) → Completely exhausted.
Because of this infinite loop, Charlotte was always left completely exhausted.
Of course, those swimming classes and her daily morning training together with Scarlett would be a big reason why Charlotte couldn’t replenish her stamina.
Still, she was quite harsh to her own body. One couldn’t get a lot better after just a few months, but I believe that her stamina had improved quite a bit by then.
Of course, the after-effects of being kidnapped by the Demon King seemed to last quite long as well.
Charlotte laboriously lifted her head and took a sip of her lemonade.
Sometimes, she really looked just like a doll.
At some point, I just went to meet Charlotte without even thinking about Bertus. I had no idea what Bertus was thinking about it all, but it didn’t seem like he planned on causing me any harm.
To be honest, if I cared too much about what Bertus might think, I wouldn’t be able to do anything while living in Temple. I was just trying to make things work, somehow.
I figured I was part of Class A and that I was rather capable, so Bertus would need me in the future. I just decided to do what I wanted to do while still walking a tightrope.
We weren’t alone in that spacious cafe; some of our seniors were also there.
“By the way… how do we even find those who believe in the Demon Gods in all of Temple…?”
Right when Charlotte was about to begin her investigation, it seemed like we had already hit our first roadblock. It seemed like she wanted to look for the believers of the Demon Gods’ Church first rather than the Revolutionary forces.
“Did you find out anything?”
“Hmm… If there was anything suspicious, it would’ve already reached my ears, but there was nothing like that. I mean, if there even are any of them here, they would be a small, hidden group.”
In the end, she was searching for a needle in a haystack on the premise that this needle was actively trying to hide.
Charlotte and I were sitting by the window, so we could see all the people passing by through the glass.
So, naturally, I ended up making eye contact with a particular passer-by.
“…What’s the matter?”
Charlotte tilted her head, wondering why I was acting like that all of a sudden.
I saw someone I really didn’t want to meet right then. The person I made eye contact with boldly entered the store, whereas others would have just gone on their way.
“Reinhardt! It has been a while, hasn’t it?”
The one I made eye contact with was Olivia Lanze, the 5th year who had told everyone that she would marry me after I graduated and that no one should lay hands on me.
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* * *
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
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Olivia Lanze wasn’t on her own.
She was together with Ceres van Owen, another fifth-year student (and the student council president).
“…Why did you come here?”
“Why, how could I just pretend not to know my most beloved junior?”
Olivia sat very close to me, hugged me, and rubbed my cheek.
“Why- Don’t I smell good?”
“Please… Go away.”
“Hehe, I guess this is a bit much for you, huh? You’re a man as well, after all, right?”
‘Don’t do this to me, lady!’
Not only Charlotte, but the student council president who came with her, looked a little shocked seeing Olivia’s frivolous behavior.
What Charlotte’s expression showed: What the hell is this?
What the student council president’s expression showed: Why did she become like this?
That was what I thought their expressions meant, at least.
“Oh, the Princess was also here. Hello, my name is Olivia Lanze, a fifth-year student.”
“Ah, I see. Feel free to call me Charlotte…I heard a lot about you.”
Charlotte’s face held a bizarre expression seeing the weird actions and personality of the person in front of her.
“A lot? What did you hear about me? Did Reinhardt talk about me?”
This immediately piqued Olivia’s interest.
Why did she have to keep making those kinds of comments?!
“…No. I didn’t hear about you from Reinhardt but from other sources…”
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“Oh, is that so?”
Olivia, on the other hand, just stared at me as if she was completely uninterested in what Charlotte had to say.
“Reinhardt, why aren’t you telling others about me?”
“And why the hell should I talk to others about you, my senior?!”
“Why? You have to tell others that I’ll be your future wife. Isn’t that something to be proud of?”
“Why would I say that?!”
It was really hard to deal with her.
I felt like I was about to go crazy!
When I said that, Olivia glanced at Charlotte opposite of her and smiled darkly.
‘What’s with her?’
‘So she could make a face like that as well?’
“Hey, Reinhardt, there were rumors going around in Temple that said you had a lot of girls around you, right?”
“And whose fault do you think this is?!”
It was because she was flirting with me so aggressively that I landed in all that mess with that newspaper club!
“Looks like I have a lot of formidable rivals. I thought things would be easy.”
No matter if Olivia was a senior, it was still the Imperial Princess she was staring at, she even looked a bit mischievous.
It might seem that way.
However, why would a Princess want to marry a beggar? Wasn’t that basically a crime?
After she abandoned her saint title, she always went too far. Charlotte was puzzled by Olivia’s provocative gaze.
‘What kind of reaction should I have to this treatment?’
Charlotte’s brain seemed to have completely shut down.
* * *
“Reinhardt is my friend.”
Charlotte spoke calmly after she regained her composure.
“Oh, really? That’s good then.”
Olivia leaned even closer to me as if she had just gotten permission to do so. Seeing that, Charlotte only smiled subtly.
“He isn’t just a mere friend… he’s my precious friend.”
“So I would ask you to not trouble my friend any further.”
At Charlotte’s polite request, Olivia seemed to ponder for a bit, pouted, and let go of me.
I was really about to go crazy.
I disliked Olivia’s frivolous behavior the most.
“Reinhardt, you sure are popular, aren’t you?”
Charlotte looked at me with a subtle smile decorating her lips. I felt a chill run down my spine for some reason.
What’s going on?
Was I wrong, or was there a subtle war of nerves going on between Olivia and Charlotte? Was I just being delusional? Charlotte only cared about Valier, right? Although that was also me. Urg.
“I’m sorry, Charlotte. The president usually isn’t like this. She only acts this rude if it concerns Reinhardt. I hope you can accept this as an apology.”
The student council president brought over drinks and desserts to the table and sat down.
‘When the hell did she order all this?’
“I’m not acting rude; I’m just expressing my affection, Ceres.”
“That’s why I’m saying you’re being rude.”
Charlotte tilted her head when she heard the word ‘president’ come out of her mouth.
“But aren’t you the president?”
She was puzzled as to why Ceres, who was the student council president, called someone else president.
“Ah, she is the president of the club I’m part of.”
The president of the president. Olivia raised her shoulders in pride.
“Hmpf! I’m also Reinhardt’s president!”
“…I didn’t sign up for the club, though.”
“You’re a quasi-member!”
‘Who decided that!’
“Reinhardt, you’re in a club?”
“No, no… I only went there once.”
Seeming as if she had never heard of that before, Charlotte gazed at Olivia this time.
“Which club is it?”
“It’s a religious club. Its name is Grace. Of course, I’m not a believer anymore, though!”
A religious club’s president being a non-believer…
“Ah… That’s what it was.”
It seemed that Charlotte knew a bit about the religious club, but it seemed hard to believe that someone like that was its president. The incident with Olivia Lanze was quite well known in Temple, so Charlotte shouldn’t be unaware of that information either.
Did Charlotte not know why Olivia Lanze was acting like that towards me? I knew that Bertus knew, but what about Charlotte?
“By the way, what were you talking about? Something about Reinhardt’s crush? So were you talking about me?”
“We were talking about the Demon Gods’ Church.”
As soon as Olivia started to make stupid comments again, Charlotte completely batted them away.
In that instant, Olivia’s and Ceres’s expressions stiffened.