“In other words, Alexia and Zenon-sensei are engaged, and I’m the stalking horse?”
I’m currently facing off against Alexia behind the school building after school.
“We’re not engaged. He’s just a fiancé candidate.”
So returns Alexia with a composed face.
“Whatever, same thing.”
“No, it’s not the same. It’s not even been confirmed yet, but he’s already trying to forcefully move the talks along. I’m quite troubled by it.”
“Ok, seriously, whatever. Sorry, but I have no intention to be swept up in the circumstances between you two.”
“Oh dear, what a heartless thing for my boyfriend to say to me.”
“Boyfriend? You just wanted a convenient stalking horse, didn’t you?”
“That is true. But the same goes for you, no?”
An unpleasant smile appears on Alexia’s face.
“Same? What are you talking about?”
“Oh, you plan to feign ignorance? Oh Sid Kagenou-kun who lost in a penalty game?”
Her smile deepens even more.
Oook, wait a second. Let’s calm down.
“How cruel, to play with an innocent girl’s emotions like that.”
So says Alexia while crying crocodile tears without even a shred of innocence coming from her.
No problem, I am calm.
“I have no idea what you are talking about though. What, do you have evidence or something?”
Regardless of how much suspicion she might have, as long as those two don’t betray me……
“Is his name Jaga-kun? As soon as I talked to him, his face became all red and he began telling me things that I didn’t even ask about. You have such a good friend.”
I mentally beat Jaga up and smash him into mashed potato to maintain my own mental health.
“Are you alright? Your face is convulsing like crazy.”
“Not a problem. My character is twisted so my mouth is twisted too.”
“Ahhh, I see.”
“Still better than you, though.”
“Nn, did you just say something?”
“Uh, no. So what is it that you want anyways?”
I admit defeat. The reason for my loss is my choice of friends.
“Let me see……”
Alexia crosses her arms and leans against the school building.
“For now, continue pretending to be my lover. Time duration is until that man gives up.”
“My status is but that of a mere Baron family. To be honest, I don’t even have the strength to be of much use as a stalking horse.”
“I am fully aware. As long as we can buy time, then that’ll be enough. The rest I’ll handle by myself.”
“Furthermore, I don’t want to be put into any danger. The other party is the country’s Swordsmanship Instructor. If anything happens, I wouldn’t be able to deal with it.”
“Blah, blah, blah, you sure are noisy.”
So saying, Alexia takes out gold coins from her chest pocket and scatters them over the ground.
“Pick them up.”
A gold coin is 100,000 Zeny. And there are at least 10 pieces there.
“Heeh~, do I look like a guy who would wag his tail for money?”
So I say while crawling on the ground and carefully picking up the gold coins piece by piece.
“Yes you do.”
“You’ve got a good eye.”
11th piece, 12th piece, 13th piece…… ah, there’s one more!
Right as I’m about to reach for that last piece of gold coin, Alexia’s loafer steps onto it.
I look up at Alexia. Alexia’s red eyes look down at me. I can see the inside of her pleated skirt.
“You will move exactly as I tell you to, yes?”
Confirms Alexia with a smile revealing every last bit of her terrible personality.
“Of course, of course.”
Answers I with a full-faced smile.
“Good boy, Pochi.”
Alexia pats my head like I’m a dog or a child, then leaves with a flutter of her short skirt.
I carefully wipe the gold coin that had her shoe print on it before pocketing it.
(T/N: ‘Pochi’ is an extremely common name for dogs in Japan, the way ‘Tama’ is for cats.)
Even after I entered the academy, I had continued cutting into my sleeping hours to continue my own training. But now with the whole fake love thing with Alexia, my time has decreased even further.
“Come with me.”
With just that single utterance, I was forced to come to the Royal Capital Bushin Style Group 1’s classroom early in the morning.
Shafts of the morning sun stream in, lighting up the quiet, spacious room occupied by only the two of us.
Alexia focuses solely on swinging her sword.
I, too, swing my sword beside her.
Alexia is singularly earnest towards her sword. That point at least is something that I truly appreciate.
We do not talk. We only continue swinging in silence. For me, it is a surprisingly not painful time.
“It really is quite mysterious, your sword.”
It was Alexia who first broke the silence.
“You’ve got the basics down. And that is literally the only thing you are doing. But still……”
Of course, I am suppressing my strength, my speed, my magic, my skill, and everything else while swinging my sword before her.
So naturally, the only thing left is the basics.
“For some reason, I find it hard to tear my eyes away.”
“Thanks, I guess?”
A bird chirps outside the classroom. That lovely voice is actually not singing, but struggling for territory. I can hear the beaks clashing, too.
“But I really don’t like it, your sword.”
After saying that, our conversation cuts off, then we resume swinging our swords in silence.