Chapter 103 – Confession

“I like you! Can we be friends with the notion of dating in the future?!”

…Eh?

I blinked several times as I stood frozen in front of an unfamiliar figure who was bowing his head earnestly.

I’d like to ask: WHO ARE YOU?!

But alas, the person before me had introduced himself before he said the shocking words. So, I definitely couldn’t respond with it now… sobs sobs.

Can someone help me and kindly tell me how should I react in this kind of situation? Please send me a telepathy ASAP, I’m waiting! ( ; ω ; )

Ahem, howdy, world? I’m Alrescha Lyra Hartmann, Intermediate Level 1 special class student, turning 11 this year.

And this is my first love confession in my whole life—let me add an emphasis: whole life as in… as Reinst and Lyra.

As a noble, I had never expected a love confession like this as I still had the belief that nobles would end up getting an engagement arranged for them.

But then again, time has changed and I am in Harmonia Academy, which is famous for its freedom and equality. Though some of the nobles here already have their future spouses decided for them in engagements, some are still free.

Ah, but there were stories of “forbidden love” where love confession scenes like this happened—like (in my past self’s school) how classmates fell in love with each other despite having their engagement decided on them by their families… I never found out their fates, though. I also forgot their names… Too bad.

As for my last life as Reinst, I guess my status, rumors about me, and my cold face were enough to chase away others’ interests of me.

In this lifetime, I thought that people would still think twice before they confessed to me due to the fact that I was close to the crown prince and how people were speculating that an engagement between us would soon be made official…

To be honest, I had a mixed feeling due to it. At one side, I felt a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to have a good romance story myself due to it. Well, I might be able to do something about it once I found someone I like.

On the other side, I was relieved because I wouldn’t need to think about ‘what if someone confessed to me?’

And the latter was already smashed to pieces with this incident.

Gabriel Erneste de Schubalt.

Marquis Schubalt’s only son, from Intermediate Year 2’s regular class. He’s 14 years old this year and oddly enough, he still doesn’t have a fiancee. It is said that he is really pampered by his parents as the only son that they agree to his request of finding his life partner himself.

Hmm? How did I know about it?

Eeh, it’s simple. This person has been hailed as the “prince” in school. And no, the title isn’t the same as Luca’s official title as the country’s formal prince. Erneste’s title is ‘bestowed’ by the students here—mostly the female students.

As a part of the female tribe—I mean, as a female student myself, I came to learn some information about the school’s “prince” naturally.

His popularity… how do I say it? Is it fine for me to say that his popularity might exceed the real prince’s popularity—Luca?

Now that I got to see the real person up-close, I could tell the reason behind his popularity as the “dashing prince of Harmonia Intermediate”.

Long, slender legs coupled with tall and slender body. Snow white skin that I even envied…

Beautiful face which consisted of: long eyelashes, gentle-looking golden eyes, even his nose and lips looked perfect.

His hair color was soft yellow, and it looked quite soft too. His hair was a bit curly, yet he kept it short and tidy.

His voice when he spoke to me earlier was also gentle and could definitely send the ladies flying to the fangirling heaven.

Add the information I acquired from the rumors: though he didn’t enroll in special class, he was a top student in his class, a model student, a student which the teachers praised.

He didn’t only excel in the lessons, he also excelled in music, arts, horse-riding, and combat via bowgun. I heard that he was blessed with an average [Neutral] magic that he honed so he could play a supportive role in his party.

The [Prince Erneste fans club] even sold a candid picture of him riding his gallant white stallion while holding his bowgun…

How could such a perfect man exist?

Wait, it could be that “male beauty” trap!

God would never create anyone so perfect, so what could be his flaws?

He might be a psychopath or an evil being off-stage!!

I gotta stay alert!!

(Erneste would definitely cry if he could hear Lyra’s inner thoughts…)

 

“…Miss Lyra?”

Erneste was looking at me with eyes full of concern as he slightly tilted his head.

Ugh!

With that kind of face, I don’t think that’s possible.

I have only heard rumors on how kind he is, so…

Alright, I was definitely on my denial back then, to think that I could be suspicious of such a man…

More importantly, how could he confess to… ME, of all people?!

 

“…Why?”

When I could finally utter something out, it was with a very small voice.

“Pardon?”

As expected, Erneste couldn’t hear me, so I steeled myself and looked straight at his eyes before repeating myself more clearly this time.

“Why do you like me?”

I don’t remember having spent any time getting a proper conversation with him, let alone spending my time together with him.

Yet, he confessed to me out of the blue.

Did he get the wrong person?

The fine-looking youth before me seemed to be startled for a moment before his face broke out in a smile.

“I’m sure you must be wondering that. We haven’t had that many chances in getting to know each other so far. But I’ve seen you several times.”

…And that’s enough for you to ‘like’ me?

Ah, but then again, he especially said that he’d like to be friends with me with the notion of going out in the future, not directly asking me to go out with him.

+1 point to his gentleman side.

“You’re quite famous, Miss Lyra. I was curious about you because of it, so I ended up looking at you whenever you were close by. I think that you are kind, cute, smart, and quite mature for your age. Those attractive points made me wonder if perhaps you’re the one for me… And so, I braved myself to talk to you. I don’t want to stay silent and regret, after all.”

Then, he ended his explanation with a smile so bright that even his eyes turned into crescent.

TOO BRIGHT!

 

“…Is that not a good reason to ask you to be my friend?”

After not getting any reaction from me, Erneste’s face grew concerned again as he asked.

“Uhm… No, that’s a valid reason, alright…,” I stuttered.

“So, if I may ask, your answer is…?”

“I-if you’re just asking about my answer to becoming your friend, then sure… But as for going out with you, t-t-t-that is…”

“It’s fine. Thank you very much for willing to be my friend!” Erneste’s face immediately brightened up like a sunshine upon hearing my answer.

“About my asking you to become my… special one…,” Erneste seemed to have blushed a little before continuing, “There’s no need to rush. We can take one step at a time. It’s my pleasure to be your friend, Miss Lyra.”

“Uhm, drop that ‘Miss’ then…”

“Then… Lyra. I’m looking forward to hanging out with you,” Erneste said as he smiled.

Luckily, he didn’t go straight off to hanging around with me, as we went our separate ways after that.

I returned to my pals, who were all speculating about what just happened.

“Lyra, you’re finally back! I-is it really a love confession?” Iris, the most girly one out of my pals, said as she wrung her handkerchief.

“Whaaat? Someone actually dares to confess his love to Lyra?” Harvey asked in disbelief.

“Why not, Harvey?” Iris asked with her cheeks puffed. Then, she added, “In any case, it’s the Prince Erneste!”

“Prince? Wait, Riviera only has one prince now, right? That is, this Luc over here?” Carbuncle immediately frowned.

“Urk. It’s just a figurative title, Kuu!” Iris touched his forehead as she tried to explain things to Carbuncle.

Meanwhile…

“Hey, hey, did that girly boy really ask you out, Big Sis Lyra?” Ein asked as he tugged on my sleeves.

Though Ein was now in the same class as me, he was still the youngest out of us all, which made him currently the smallest—Iris was the second shortest out of us all.

I patted Ein’s head.

“You’re still too young to be concerned about things like this, little Ein,” I said like a big sister figure I was.

“…,” Ein was rendered speechless.

“Wait, did you just say girly boy?” I asked after I recalled his words.

“You just remembered it now?” Luca asked in disbelief.

“Yes, why?” I asked Luca back.

“…Your focus is off sometimes, you know?” Luca shook his head.

“Uh, well, true…”

I was more concerned with Ein than Erneste. After all, Erneste was someone I just got to know today.

Moreover, girly boy, huh?

He looks like one, certainly.

“So?” Luca suddenly asked as he raised his eyebrows.

“Hmm?” I tilted my head.

“What’s your answer to Ein’s question?”

“Oh? Well, yup, he asked me out… Ah, no, no, no! He asked me to be his friend with the notion of going out in the future…”

“…What’s the difference?” Luca quickly asked.

“Uhm…”

“And what did you say to him?” Luca didn’t give me a chance to talk before he gave another question.

“Yeah, Big Sis Lyra! What did you say?”

“I told him that it was fine being friends but as for going out or something, that’s not something I can answer now, so…”

“Still, you’re giving him a chance by saying yes to his request of being your friend,” Alt-nii finally opened his mouth.

“W-well, I don’t know what kind of person he is, so isn’t that only natural? It’s not wrong for me to befriend someone, right?”

Now I’m not sure what’s wrong or right anymore…

 

“Hehe,” Alt-nii only chuckled.

What’s so funny?

“Don’t get fooled by his appearance, Lyra,” Clavis suddenly gave me a warning with a stern voice.

“Eh? Do you know him, Clavis?” I sensed that there was something wrong in Clavis’ tone, so I asked.

“Huh? Oh, no,” Clavis seemed to have snapped out of something and answered.

“? Then… Why did you say so?” I tilted my head, not understanding why he said that.

“That… I-I, I just don’t want you to end up hanging around a bad guy,” Clavis said as he avoided my eye contact.

“Hmmmm?”

Clavis is the one acting weird!

 

“Hehe,” Alt-nii chuckled again.

“Alt-nii?” I turned to my eldest brother in hope he could enlighten me.

“Nah, don’t mind him, Lyra. Remember, don’t be hasty.”

“Of course!” I didn’t know what was going on with Alt-nii and Clavis, but I answered nevertheless.

“Eeeeeh? No, Big Sis Lyra! Rather than being with someone unknown and shady as that girly boy, why not be with me?” Ein suddenly offered himself.

“Ein? Aren’t you my little brother figure? You proclaimed it yourself!” I protested.

Me being with my former self’s nephew? Yeah, as if I could do that, right?

“But, but! I like Big Sis Lyra sooo much!” Ein said as he gestured with his hands.

“Uuuuuuh!” I refrained myself from hugging him. After all, he was Ein, not Freyr. Moreover, if this child really developed a romantic feeling to me due to misunderstanding my display of affection to him… Yeah, that’d be not good.

“For one, I gotta admit he’s quite brave to confess to our Lyra here!” Harvey suddenly added.

“I agree!” Kiri chimed in, after being so silent this whole time.

“Whaa? He really did that to Lyr? Oh, wow. A brave human, indeed. But I don’t like his appearance. He looks weak,” Carbuncle stated her opinion.

“Now, now, Kuu! He’s the famous school prince, you know?” Iris looked at Carbuncle in disbelief, her expression saying, ‘do dragons have a different sense of aesthetic than us?’

“Nah, I’m just stating my opinion. I don’t know what you guys are fretting about from him,” Carbuncle shrugged.

Kiri seemed to glance at Luca for a moment—as Luca only remained silent with his eyes closed and his arms folded in front of his chest—then, Kiri turned to me and asked.

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“What do you think of him, Lyra?”

“Eh? Me? Hmmm…,” I looked up as I thought.

“I think he’s a good guy… But I’m not sure about it.”

“Oh? Is he your type, Lyra? And what kind of a man is your type?” Alt-nii took the chance to ask me.

“I’m not sure about it… My type… I never really considered it before, but I guess as long as the man is good, kind, and loyal…”

“Standard answer, huh?” Alt-nii put his hand on his chin.

“What about you, Alt-nii?”

“Me? Ah, I like someone who’s strong, elegant, beautiful, charming, kind, and gentle! She has to exude this extraordinary aura, haha! Oh, and she has to be a family person, as I consider myself one, too” Alt-nii quickly answered.

“…”

When will spring come for Alt-nii, then? It seems that his standard is pretty high…

“What about everyone else?” I quickly shifted the topic.

When I did so, I was greeted with my friends’ surprised gazes.

“Me? Well, I…,” Harvey scratched his head as he (perhaps unconsciously) glanced at Iris.

“…,” I grinned.

“The school prince is good! I think… but i-if I’m allowed to dream of my romance, then I want someone who’s kind and protective of me…,” Iris said with both her hands resting on her reddening cheeks.

Ah, Harvey could be included in her criteria, then?

Shall I play matchmaking next time?

 

“He has to be able to beat me! And he must yield to me like a princess I should be!” Carbuncle laughed arrogantly.

…That seems hard, too… Someone who can beat her, yet is willing to yield and follow her orders, hmm?

“I have never thought of it yet…,” Kiri murmured.

“…Big Sis Lyra!” Ein immediately answered.

“Urkkk!” I unconsciously raised my voice.

“For me, I guess it’s someone who can be patient and understanding towards me, someone who’s willing to accept me for who I am,” Clavis answered.

I nodded. Yup, that’s important.

I turned to the last person who hadn’t given his answer yet—Luca. Now, it’d be something about the future queen of this country! Why wouldn’t I be curious?

“Huh? My type? Why does it matter to you?” Luca sensed my gaze on him and asked.

“Everyone’s already given their answers, you know? I’m just curious as a friend.”

“Well, it’s definitely not someone as curious as a cat like you! Curiosity might get the cat killed, you know? I don’t want to be with someone that might be killed because of their own curiosity,” Luca taunted me.

“You! Must you always pick a fight with mee?” I asked in my agitation.

“Pfft,” Luca held his laughter.

“Just you see! I can’t wait to know who will end up with you! I’d pity that person!” I harrumphed.

“Yeah? Likewise!” Luca said as he turned the other way, too.

“You two… are really ‘rivals’, huh?” Harvey shook his head.

“Having a rival like that is good, too,” Clavis sighed, looking relieved for some reason.

“Heee…,” Alt-nii only said that.

Kiri looked like he was confused on why we suddenly fought like this.

“Big Sis Lyraa! Pick me, not him!!” Ein begged as he tugged on my sleeves.

“Uuuh, Ein! Romantic love and familial love are different, you know? You will understand it when you’re older,” I patted Ein’s head patiently.

“What? I know it already, Big Sis!”

“No, you don’t~”

“Yes, I know!!”

“Nope~”

That day, after having a quality time with my small circle of friends, I ended up forgetting about how nervous I was with Erneste’s love confession.

I even almost forgot about it all the way to home, when…

“WHAT?”

I heard Dad’s voice as it was followed by the sound of the table being slammed.

I quickly went towards the source of the noise—and saw Alt-nii chatting with Dad in the family room.

The twins followed me behind, their heads sticking from my left and right side respectively.

“Dad? What’s the matter?” I quickly asked.

“…Lyra, that should be Dad’s line, right? Why didn’t you tell me immediately as soon as I returned home?” Dad asked.

“Tell you what…?” I tilted my head to the side as I looked at Alt-nii.

Alt-nii’s mouth was forming a word, [confession].

My body froze up after I figured the reason why Dad got so agitated like that.

The little me in my head clapped a fist to the other hand as she shouted, ‘AH, RIGHT!’

 

“Oh, what’s the matter?” Mom also entered the family room and asked.

I breathed deeply before narrating the whole story.

Gosh, it was my first time talking about stuff like this with my family! I felt my face was burning hot when I was telling them what was happening.

And then…

“Well, as expected of my daughter!” Mom said proudly.

“Whaaaat? How dare he do that!” Dad looked upset.

The twins tilted their heads in confusion. They seemed to be unable to comprehend why Dad looked upset while Mom was proud.

“Someone confessed to Lyra,” Dad gritted his teeth as if he didn’t want to admit it.

“Oh come on, isn’t that a good thing?” Mom argued.

“Confess…?” Freyr tilted his head as he thought.

“…Someone confessed their crimes to Lyra-neechan?” Freyr suddenly approached me with his eyes shining.

“Wow, really? How did you do that, Lyra-nee?” Freyja excitedly asked.

“Uh, you’ve got it totally wrong, that’s not what ‘confession’ means in this context…,” I wanted to laugh, but I couldn’t because I was still seeing Dad’s grave expression.

Who knows what hell will break loose with Dad being like this?

“Someone just said that he liked your big sister,” Alt-nii chuckled as he simplified things for the twins.

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“Like?” Freyr tilted his head.

“Isn’t that a good thing, then?” Freyja tilted her head, too.

“Hmm, technically, yes,” Alt-nii said.

“Then, Dad, why are you so mad?” Freyja bravely asked Dad as she tugged on Dad’s sleeves.

Dad calmed down a bit as he swooped Freyja to his arms.

“It’s because that person wants to snatch your big sister away from us.”

“…”

DAD, WAIT, THAT’S WRONG!!

“Eeeh? Then, I don’t wanna!” Freyja immediately shook her head as she buried herself in Dad’s arms.

“We like Lyra-neechan, too! Lyra-neechan, don’t get snatched by that person!” Freyr clung to my arms tightly.

“D-dad, you really put it in a horribly wrong way…”

Although I admit, I was so happy to see them not wanting to lose me.

 

“Come on, dear. Let our daughter decide it for herself, okay? And Alt, you’re her big brother. Warn her if you feel like the person Lyra chooses seems sketchy or unconvincing,” Mom said to Dad, then to Alt-nii.

“B-but…,” Dad wanted to protest.

“Of course, Mom! I wouldn’t let any bad person get close to our Lyra!” Alt-nii chuckled.

“Good, Alt. …Cyan, but what?” Mom smiled at Alt-nii before turning stern to Dad.

“But—”

“Lyra’s turning 11 this year. Until when are you going to confine her? Just let her do what she wants, as long as it’s not something bad. Don’t you think it’s best for her to get to know to many people so she has more choices?” Mom asked.

“…,” Dad was speechless.

“Dad…?” I asked Dad in a worry.

“Don’t worry about your father, Lyra. He will get over it and understand, soon,” Mom said as she hugged me.

Then, she whispered in a voice that only I could hear, “Next time, there’s no need to inform your dad about it, lest he makes a commotion of it.”

I slightly nodded.

Mom’s right.

 

“Alright, then. Now, what kind of person he is, again?” Mom clapped her hands.

“…”

 

***

Perhaps since this was my first time getting a love confession, everyone was quite excited.

Because of this incidence, I also found out that Alt-nii had his shares of love confessions from the girls, too. I had a hunch when I saw his Valentine chocolates, though…

Although Alt-nii had never gone out with a girl, he said that there were some girls who he felt attracted to and befriended, but he didn’t feel like they were the ‘one’.

…His standard was pretty high, alright.

Tonight, I wondered about my friends as well, especially Luca, the crown prince.

Surely there were many girls aiming for him, or more precisely, his position?

I felt bad for him, and then I realized that I was also a duke’s daughter.

But I didn’t want to have any prejudice against people I didn’t know, so I guess I should just wait and see for now.

After thinking about it like that, I slept soundly that night.

I completely forgot to consider that the school prince’s extreme fangirls might target me due to this incident…

So, I never prepared myself for their attacks the next day…

Nor did I ever imagine it to happen to me……………

[T__T I haven’t done anything wrong, hellooo?!]

-Lyra in the next chapter-

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- my thoughts:
Sorry for the late greeting and late new year release, but Happy New Year 2020! I wish you all a better year :3 Thanks for reading the first chapter of the year and don't hesitate to comment! It's my resolution to respond to each and every comment (and also to update more in this year) XD See you in the next chapter~
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