The graduation party of the Royal Academy, an educational institution where the country’s brightest youth study for three years from the age of 15, was scheduled for tomorrow. As for today, there’d be a dance party that’d also serve as a thank-you party. Due to that, everyone wasn’t in their usual uniforms but instead was glamorously dressed as they spoke about the joy of graduation.
The party itself could be called a success. Moreover, the crown prince was among the graduates of that year.
…At least, that was how it was supposed to be.
“Lady Amelia Keith—! As of today, I hereby annul my engagement with you—!”
However, the crown prince suddenly pointed to Amelia. To the woman who was touted as a refined and wise noble lady, he said such things.
“…The day is finally here.”
I, Countess Pia Parmesan, quietly became a wallflower and watched. Perhaps, due to the fact that I was a student and a researcher, I was left to my own accord. Nevertheless, I was comfortable with being alone.
Although, I’m sure that Mike, my escort, is around somewhere…
The beverage inside the delicate glass I held was non-alcoholic. It’d be wise for me to not compromise my judgment by being drunk.
Besides the crown prince, stood a blonde student with round, pink, eyes. As she quivered beside him, she tugged at his sleeve in a way that’d arouse the desire to protect.
Oh, how nostalgic. It’s just like in the game. As such, she must be Caroline…
There was no way a plain girl like me could compare to her.
How to say this, she’s akin to the moon, while I’m but a turtle who gazes yonder.
Behind them, stood the sons of famous families. Of course, they were all successors to their respective families. There was the son of a knight commander, the son of the medical division chief, and the teacher of arithmetic at the academy—and they were all harping on about how Amelia bullied that female student, Baroness Caroline Lamb.
I remembered that in the game, the chancellor’s son would read the list of offenses on bullet points.
“Hm, everything went as Pia had predicted.”
Before I knew it, said chancellor’s son, Marquis Rufus Stan, had stood beside me. Not to mention, he was very close. Then, he gracefully took my glass, before sipping the content. Afterward, he proceeded to lick his lips.
“Good job, Pia. You didn’t drink any alcohol.”
“W, w, what are you doing—!?”
Not even a family would drink from the same glass! It’s too intimate! Arguably, in this world, it’s the equivalent of… having intercourse—!!
The flamboyant act of the marquis, which polarized his conservative black attire, incited murmurs from the surroundings. Upon noticing that his pocket square—the only part of his outfit that was in a different color—bore the same color as my dress, some let out a gasp.
The color was emerald green—his eye color. Wouldn’t the dress be a mismatch with my light gray eyes? …Although, I’d like to believe that my universal black hair would fit anything.
Our engagement was certainly not a secret, since it had been approved by the king. However, it might have been the first time we stood side by side in public after a long time. The last time we were seen together was before I got enrolled in the academy. To be precise, during a certain children’s tea party at the royal palace.
…I left right away at that time, too.
After he set the glass down on the table, Rufus smoothly pinned me to the wall, preventing my escape.
…It’s a ‘kabe-don!’ How old school!
Rufus had the so-called fine macho physique and was one head taller than me. As he governed a vast territory where bandits were lurking everywhere, his swordsmanship skill wasn’t to be overlooked. Meanwhile, I had been holed up in my laboratory until recently, without any fieldwork. Suffice it to say, escape wasn’t an option.
Suddenly, his beautiful face approached me. As he did so, I could see his fine nose bridge. Then, his lips drew closer to my ear.
I let out a yelp.
…E-everyone’s looking at us!
Afterward, in a husky voice, he whispered to me—
“—His Highness annulled his engagement as you predicted. But as you can see, it has nothing to do with me. Pia, I’ve won the bet.”
Rufus laughed carefreely, before planting a kiss on my forehead like he always would.
…How did this happen?