Reinhardt was acting weird.
She didn’t know what he had been up to all night, but he kept on calling her ‘young lady’ after that.
“Young lady, you should go to the club room.”
Hearing him say that didn’t feel right at all. It caused a strange chill to run down her spine and an itch to develop all over her body.
That feeling became very difficult for her to bear.
“Why do you keep calling me ‘young lady’?!”
“…Because you are a young lady.”
That was true.
She was the young lady of the Saint-Owan Grand Duchy. In fact, she had lived while hearing others calling her ‘young lady’ rather than her own name, so Harriet had actually no aversion to being called ‘young lady’.
When the words “young lady” left Reinhardt’s mouth…
It kind of…
“Don’t do this! We’re in Temple! You aren’t allowed to mention my background!”
“No, it’s only prohibited if you try to use your status to pressure others, the title itself doesn’t have anything to do with that, young lady.”
She felt like she was getting teased.
No, why did being called ‘young lady’ feel like an insult when it came out of his mouth?
Harriet felt like she was about to go crazy.
She had heard those words a lot in her life.
However, she didn’t want to hear them coming out of his mouth.
“Wait, I’m not teasing you. I’m actually trying to be nice to you, so why are you freaking out? Aren’t you a young lady?”
“I am! I know! Just don’t call me that!”
“J-just call me ‘Idiot’ like before! This makes me feel uncomfortable!”
That would be better.
Harriet shouted, blushing out of embarrassment.
“Y-you… You! Th-that’s the reason! That’s why you did this!”
In order to make her say those words with her own mouth, he’d kept calling her ‘young lady’, which was uncharacteristic of him.
She’d fallen for it.
“Not really? But for you to want to be called ‘idiot’ over ‘young lady’… You’re a real legend.”
“Yeah, you idiot. As expected, that one is pretty fitting.”
In the end, Harriet, who was in a bad mood, had no other choice but to accept it as her actual nickname.
She felt more comfortable being called ‘idiot’ than she felt being called ‘young lady’.
“U-urg…Uuh … Urg!”
“N-no… Are you crying? Why are you crying?”
Harriet felt really sad, so she cried.
She didn’t like being called ‘idiot’.
However, she hated being called ‘young lady’ even more.
“Y-you… You really are a bastard…”
“Ah, sorry. Should I just call you ‘young lady’ then?”
“Arg! Don’t! Stop!”
There were many people who called her ‘young lady’.
There were many people who called her ‘Your Grace’ and many who called her ‘Harriet’.
Reinhardt was the only one in the world who called her that.
Harriet herself found it rather weird that she placed such importance on that word.
She wasn’t sure about others, but she found him calling her ‘idiot’ felt much better than him calling her ‘young lady’.
She hated herself a lot.
* * *
Reinhardt, who had been out all night, didn’t receive a demerit because he managed to properly attend class. He didn’t tell her what happened, but Harriet would soon find out.
‘I heard you fought with your father.’
‘…Why are you bringing that up?’
‘Why did you fight with your parents about something like that? They only did it because they care for their child.’
‘Wh-what do you know?’
‘Anyway, reconcile with them. I mean, parents aren’t as one-dimensional as their children think. Do you know how much it upsets them when they have a fight with their children?’
Reinhardt, who knew that she had a fight with her father, suddenly told her to make up with her parents.
Normally, she would have shouted something like, “Why are you interfering in this?” or “Who are you to put your nose in other people’s family matters?”
However, Reinhardt didn’t have parents. She couldn’t just ask him things like “what do you know about such family matters?” or “who do you think you are?”
She thought that, no matter how she decided to say it, she would end up hurting him.
That was the only thing Harriet said.
She used the communication device within Temple to connect to the one within the White Palace Arnaria.
After some time passed, the communicators were soon connected with just a slight delay. That was when Harriet said that she had been too much and that she was sorry.
They had a long conversation.
She made up with her father before her mother took over the call.
-Oh my, my baby knows how to apologize first now. You’re all grown up.
“…All grown up?”
While she wasn’t so sure about her being completely grown up yet, everyone at home simply treated her like a little kid. Especially her mother—she still called her ‘baby’ even.
She hated it.
-By the way, he was here.
-I don’t know about anything else, but he sure is handsome. That’s good. Your mom approves.
“…What are you talking about all of a sudden?”
And who is the ‘he’ she’s talking about?
-Ah, that was supposed to be a secret. Oh my, I made a mistake…
“No, what do you mean?”
-Oh my, oh my, he said we should keep it a secret, so we should…
“What on earth are you talking about?!”
It was often the case that her mother ended up talking to herself like that, so no one but her could understand what she was trying to say.
-You know, Reinhardt.
“…Reinhardt? What about him?”
She often talked to her family about Reinhardt, but her mother’s words seemed a bit strange. Why did she call him handsome? It was like she met him personally.
-He came to see us the other day. What’s more, it was at dawn.
“Whaat? N-no. In Arnaca?”
-Do you know how surprised we all were when he suddenly came to us in person and asked us to open the gates?
She’d been wondering where he’d gone, only returning to Temple early in the morning, and even keeping it secret from others.
-He was so cute. Just how desperate was he to rush to our yard at dawn like that?
“That guy… Why did he go to Arnaca?”
-Why? Maybe because he felt anxious about his origins. That was why he came to ask for our permission. He’s already so sincere and serious. So different from other kids his age.
A very huge misunderstanding…
Was about to happen.
“Permission? Permission for what?”
-Of course, for you two to date, what else?
-Hmm? Aren’t you two dating already? It’s about love, love. My baby obviously loves Reinhardt.
What on earth is she talking about?
Harriet’s brain seemed to have stopped working.
She’d never told them, but it seemed like her whole family already knew her feelings.
-So it seems like Reinhardt came all the way to Arnaca to ask if it was okay to date you. Well, he has quite a way with words. The whole family approves of him.
“W-Wait… What on earth…? How…?”
Reinhardt went to Arnaca to ask for permission to marry her?
How did that happen?
He’d seemed to try to be nice to her by calling her ‘young lady’ and such ever since getting back. She didn’t like it because it felt kind of gross.
Did he act like that because he wanted to ask her out properly?
It wasn’t simply that.
According to her mother, Reinhardt seemed to think that they were already in a relationship.
He didn’t go to them to ask if he could date her but seemed to ask if it was okay that they were dating.
It couldn’t just be a misunderstanding.
What other reason would Reinhardt have to go to Arnaca?
He had absolutely no reason to go to that place that had no connection to him other than her.
-While it’s a bit early, your father said that he’s in favor of a marriage between you two. Why the rush, I wonder? Your father and Reinhardt talked about the matter separately, but it seems like he really planned that far ahead already.
Did Reinhardt and dad already talk about what comes after dating—marriage?
-Anyway, you two are just students and are too young, so don’t do anything reckless. Otherwise, mom will get angry. Understood?
Just what happened?
-By the way, how long has it been since you two started dating? It seems like you started talking differently about him ever since you came back from the deserted island.
Marriage between her and Reinhardt…
A secret meeting…
* * *
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
Harriet’s brain ended up freezing, flooded with all that nonsense and the circumstances surrounding it.
She turned into a real idiot.
Why did Reinhardt go to Arnafia and suddenly talk about love matters and marriage?
That meant that Reinhardt already seemed to believe they were already together and in love.
It was already more than clear that he first talked about them dating and then marriage.
I… was already dating Reinhardt?
Why didn’t I know until now?
Harriet felt like she was about to go crazy.
Lines of reasoning that start with preconceived conclusions tend to be erroneous.
The Grand Duchess started off with the assumption that no one in the world wouldn’t like her pretty and loveable youngest child.
She couldn’t help but think that Reinhardt came to them because of her young daughter, so she didn’t even ask why he’d gone to Arnaca in the first place.
Why? She simply took it as a matter of course that he came because of Harriet.
That was why Harriet de Saint-Owan found herself in that great mess.
“Why do you keep staring at me? Do you have something to say?”
Harriet’s heart started to race as she saw Reinhardt shooting her down in a slightly harsh manner like usual.
He’d said to her parents that he wanted to marry her…
However, it seemed like Reinhardt wanted to keep that meeting a secret, so her mother urged her to pretend not to know about the matter.
After worrying about the huge gap in status between them, he’d gone on a trip to Arnaca in the middle of the night.
Reinhardt seemed to believe that they had already been dating each other for some time.
Since the deserted island? Since they visited the Edina Islands?
…Or even long before any of that?
When she thought of it, at some point, Reinhardt had started taking care of her in various ways even though he seemed ticked off outwardly.
Could that be the reason why? Was he acting like that in an attempt to do something nice for his lover?
No matter how much she thought about it…
Reinhardt always seemed to lose his composure if something involved her, but still, it was just too much.
Common sense made it hard for her to believe that he just took off to Arnaca in the middle of the night to ask her parents for her hand in marriage.
She felt like it was some sort of misunderstanding.
It had been a while since Harriet had left Arnaria.
She knew that her family was especially protective and a bit too proud of her.
So there had to be some sort of misunderstanding.
Harriet spent her day with those complicated thoughts haunting her mind.
During her Practical Magic lecture…
Harriet focused and completed all calculations necessary to manifest the spell and invoked it inside a fortified facility built as a precaution.
A blazing fireball was summoned about five meters above Harriet’s head.
The fireball was five times larger than a normal one.
Its speed exceeded that of sound, and it rushed towards the pile of practice targets.
It shook the ground with a fierce explosion that encompassed a radius of about 20 meters from its impact point.
Harriet had the earring Reinhardt had gifted her hanging from her ear.
“Casting time is about 30.2 seconds, power is rank or higher. Mana control stability is rank or higher.”
The teaching assistant judging her magic invocation and its process nodded.
“Harriet de Saint-Owan, you have perfectly executed the Flame Strike spell. Excellent job.”
Harriet was the only one among her classmates that, despite its complexity, succeeded in demonstrating the large-scale destruction spell Flame Strike.
It was a high-ranking destruction spell for which one had to create a Fireball five times its normal size and fire it at a speed exceeding the speed of sound. Upon collision with the target, it would crush it, emitting a shockwave.
Fireballs could completely crush Orcs, but Flame Strike could actually decimate Ogres.
Its execution was a complete success.
The others didn’t know, but Harriet could already challenge the higher-ranking destruction spell, Explosion.
She was already able to use the highest-ranking destruction spell that could cause an immediate explosion at a designated coordinate. It wasn’t a projectile spell.
Flame Strike was a spell she had already mastered during the vacation.
However, all of her classmates were looking at her as if she was some kind of monster.
Magic spells were simply formulas.
After she memorized Flame Strike, she could easily activate it if she started controlling her magical power.
Harriet completely understood the spell in her mind, so unless she was lacking magical power or her mana control was off, it would activate.
Those formulas were created by numerous scholars and archmages. One didn’t have to create new ones, one just had to follow those that already existed.
Therefore, most wizards were, above all else, copycats.
Copying was just too easy for Harriet, who might step into the realm of new magic creation quite soon.
Harriet couldn’t understand the students who weren’t able to do something so obvious. They just had to do it as it was written down, so why couldn’t they do it?
Harriet used to despise such people because of that.
She was a person that was used to standing above others.
—Both in status and ability.
That was how she had been until she had met that weird guy.
After her Practical Magic lecture was over, she headed to the Magic Research Society’s building.
Harriet and the other students who had been assigned research topics tended to pursue them in the Magic Research Society. Reinhardt didn’t stop by, as he was doing his job outside unless it was a regular meeting.
“Haah… I have no idea. There are too many reagents needed for this, and I don’t even know what I should do to get rid of the side effects.”
Christina, who was tasked with creating a special drug that would heighten one’s mana sensitivity and smooth one’s mana control, let out a heavy sigh as if she was facing many difficulties.
It was the same for Adelia, who had been told to develop an artifact that would enable one to use exterior magical power just like one’s internal magical power.
“Is it possible to make something like that to begin with…?”
Everyone was pretty pessimistic. Harriet also didn’t think things would work out. To top it off, she was even tasked to study something like Dimensional Magic and ways to travel to a different world.
The things the other two were told to develop would be insanely valuable if they were made.
Why the hell did she have to research Dimensional Magic?
Harriet didn’t understand.
However, Reinhardt believed in her.
He thought she could do it. Regardless of what happened in Arnaca, she eventually developed some interest in it.
Rather than her classes that only touched magic that had already been created, she didn’t know what to do or where to start when it came to her topic.
She grew more and more appreciative of her task, regardless of whether she was successful or not.
It wasn’t just memorizing or studying something someone else had created but pioneering a field of magic that didn’t exist. She realized that she was still lacking in many ways but could still try her hand at it.
Of course, even the genius Harriet hadn’t found a solution yet.
They were in the middle of having some tea because everyone was completely exhausted from researching.
“Senior, are you in a bad mood?”
According to Christina, she was actually the youngest and yet the most senior there. No. 1 of the second year, Redina, muttered with a forlorn look on her face.
“Y-yes… a friend of mine dropped out. Adriana…”
“Ah, that… isn’t that the senior who was always training with Reinhardt?”
Harriet knew that she was the senior that usually worked out with Reinhardt at dawn. When they ran into her, she often saw her greet and talk with Reinhardt.
What does she mean by “she dropped out”?
“Reinhardt tried to persuade her to come back when he went to the Monastery located in the Saint-Owan Duchy, but I guess it didn’t work out…”
The Saint-Owan Duchy…
It was only then that Harriet remembered what Reinhardt had said to her a while ago.
‘Do you know the Artowan Monastery?’
‘The Artowan Monastery? I don’t?’
‘I heard it’s in the Saint-Owan Duchy though?’
‘Do you think I know every nook and cranny of the Duchy? I don’t know that place, you idiot.’
‘If you don’t know, then say that you don’t. Why are you getting angry?’
‘I didn’t get angry.’
‘You’re mad, right? You always get angry when you see me, right? I’m hurt.’
‘I’m not maaaad!’
Reinhardt had clearly been asking for the location of a monastery somewhere in the Saint-Owan Duchy.
That night, Reinhardt had disappeared somewhere until the early morning hours.
Harriet finally realized the truth about the incident.
His goal wasn’t to go to Arnaca but to meet up with the senior named Adriana.
She didn’t know why, but it seemed like he wanted to talk to that senior that dropped out.
The senior didn’t come back with him, so it looked like the talk didn’t go well.
Reportedly, Reinhardt had suddenly shown up at Arnaria’s doors, requesting priority use of the gate. She wasn’t sure about the other things, but that part seemed to be the truth.
Gate usage priority…
That was the reason he’d stopped in Arnaria. The queue to the warp gate was far too long to just return to Temple. It would have taken several days.
They got it wrong, it was a total misunderstanding.
Wasn’t just her family making a huge fuss? She had an inkling, but it turned out to be true.
Talking about marriage and all that stuff… Reinhardt wouldn’t have mentioned those things directly.
They just thought it was like that, which had caused a misunderstanding.
That was a relief.
She wasn’t affected by that misunderstanding for too long because she managed to discern the truth from someone else’s, not Reinhardt’s, words.
Harriet just sat there blankly until the tea in her cup turned cold.
“Urgh, my body…”
Harriet ran into Reinhardt, who stumbled out of the training room in the middle of the night. He faced her as he yawned and stretched.
“Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”
“I’m going to.”
It was a misunderstanding.
Her family’s delusions had spread to her, and she almost had the wrong idea.
“Oh… Erm… Have you talked to your parents?”
Reinhardt hesitated before he opened his mouth as if he had just thought of something.
“Well, your father…”
“I know what you want to say.”
Harriet somehow became very calm as she interrupted Reinhardt, who was about to say something embarrassing.
“You don’t have to tell me.”
“Oh… Erm. O-okay.”
Reinhardt tilted his head, slightly bewildered, and looked at her. All that talk about marriage was a simple misunderstanding.
Harriet knew that it was one hell of a ridiculous misunderstanding.
However, she didn’t even want to hear Reinhardt confirming it with his own mouth.
She felt like she would only get hurt if she let him talk.
“I… I’ll just go then.”
Harriet didn’t want to listen to Reinhardt’s explanation.
She glanced at his back as he returned.
Rather than knowing the truth, she would have liked to just misunderstand for a bit longer.
Harriet took off the earring she had been wearing for all that time.
As soon as the tranquility magic didn’t affect her anymore, she covered her face with her hands.
She wanted to cry.