From then on, our daily lives passed in a peaceful and relaxed manner. We did not become involved with other people… Perhaps because the Kralvane family did something but . . .my ordinary student life continued as usual.
As a result of making the practical exam as an example, no more aggressive girls made attempts. Well, I have been more or less glared at and it seems that they are speaking ill about me behind my back, but I think there’s no more danger to my life so I don’t worry about it anymore. When I told Monica this, she told me that I became stronger in such a short time while smiling bitterly. The other person is my lover, so it can’t be helped after all.
Anyway, everything around us is stable and nothing has interfered with us but if I were asked if we made a progress. . . Unfortunately, we haven’t done anything. Because . . .
“Oh, Senpai is not here again today?”
“Yes. It seems he is absent again because of another family concern.”
“So, it’s another long absence. Isn’t it more than ten days already?”
As soon as the lunch break started, my best friend slightly shrugged her shoulders at me when I approached her instead of the door.
That’s right, Gilbert-senpai is going to graduate this year. In addition, he is extremely busy since he is going to succeed two titles, Noble Family of Magicians and the Future Viscount.
Legally speaking, he is now of age to succeed the title. Because he is enrolled in the academy at the same time, he would naturally have a lot of bills to pay after graduation.
But isn’t he already late? Senpai had incurred many absences and I haven’t seen his face for many days. Although they amended “regardless of one’s status” in the school rules, I think that the academy is not kind towards aristocrats at all. But it could have been intentional.
Anyway, because of that, we could not spend time with each other even though the situation has become calm. It would be a lie if I said I was not lonely, but I can’t possibly talk about this problem to anyone and be told that I am selfish.
More than that, I am more worried about his health. Is he eating properly? Does he take a rest?
“……Amazingly, you are here in body but not in spirit. You’re not eating anything.”
“Eh? Ah, sorry.”
Monica’s spectacled eyes are filled with concern. Snapping back to reality, my attention came back to the hustle and bustle of the lunch break in the cafeteria.
“You were spacing out. What are you thinking about?”
“I’m a bit worried about Senpai’s well-being.”
“As soon as you said that line, you were acting like a typical girlfriend. Senpai must be happy to be able to hook up with such a woman.”
While she laughed in astonishment, she stroked my head. Probably because I am not making a fuss despite my loneliness that’s why Monica is doing something like this for me.
“Thanks, Monica. I’m sorry for spacing out.”
“No problem but you should eat your meals properly. I understand that you are worried for him, but it is stupid to get ill just because of that reason.”
I hurriedly ate my almost untouched meal. Monica is absolutely right. Since I cannot help in Senpai’s circumstances, I’ll sit tight and wait for him. That is the best thing that I can do for now.
Yeah, although I knew it in my heart.
The meat I was cutting on my plate was the daily special which he liked very much to eat. But he would cut it more neatly, not like this. Our “usual seat” by the window is vacant. He is missing in that usual scenery.
“……I can’t help but feel lonely.”
“…I know, right?”
* * *
And so, while being absentminded most of the time, my usual day ended. Such behavior was permitted since I am still a second year student. If I did that during the practical exams of the upper year levels, perhaps I would not have just gotten injuries.
I must have caught a serious illness. Romance is certainly an illness.
After stroking my head, Monica smiled and said, “I will listen to your complaints anytime,” and returned to the dormitory first.
My other classmates also left one by one, and when I realized it, I was the only one remaining.
……What am I doing?
When I sighed and looked around, the scenery outside the window has changed from blue to red. The sun has dyed the world with dark orange light. This time is a little special after all. Since a lot of things happened at times like this in the past.
Wow, it kinda feels like a deja vu.
I am alone in the room. The intense light of the sunset created long shadows. Oh yeah, at that time . . . I think I was reading a book. The novel my friend recommended to me was unexpectedly funny and I was concentrating on reading it.
The next thing I knew, I was only one left and I was surprised.
As I prepared my things to go home, an unfamiliar senior suddenly came in……
“Found you. I’ve been looking for you, Meryl Foster.”
Tumble. My vision spun.
My eyes that were looking outside the window, were staring at the ceiling before I knew it . . .
. . . and a handsome man came into view.
In that dark orange world, he was like a stunning blue silver sword. He possessed good features. He has a straight nose and perfectly pursed lips. And golden eyes reflecting my idiotic face.
……The crucial difference from the past is that there is an evident heat in his eyes as he gazed at me and he is smiling gently. He was also careful when he knocked me down on the desk and I was able to free my caught hands immediately when I moved them. [T/N: *coughcoughcough*]
“……May I know your name?” [T/N: Meryl used a very polite tone in the raw.]
“How mean. Have you forgotten my face already?”
Relaxing his eyebrows, his smile never disappeared. Accepting my extended hand, he gently brought his lips on my palm.
“I missed you.”
Our shadows overlapped. It was not out of excitement or longing, but our kiss deepened and deepened. When I put my arms around his neck, he also hugged me in response. We kissed over and over again, feeling each other, making up for the time we could not meet. This hot and exciting feeling is irresistibly endearing.
It was only a few days. There is nothing wrong with that. But it’s just that I wasn’t able to see him.
But why does my heart ache so much? Why do my eyes feel hot?
“…Meryl, are you crying?”
Senpai released my lips and asked in surprise. The big hand touching my cheeks certainly seems to be wet.
“It seems like it.”
“I’m sorry. You don’t like it? Did I hurt you? I just followed my impulse and kissed you…”
Senpai’s stern atmosphere immediately vanished and peered into my face nervously. Are you okay? He repeatedly asked me. What a cute person.
To demonstrate that I am okay, I buried my face in his wide chest. His body temperature, his scent. Even the slight fast beating of his heart makes me feel irresistibly comfortable.
………That’s why my eyes were filled with tears again.
“Not seeing you, I could only feel lonely.”
When I said this, my nose tingled again.
That’s right. We have not seen each other for just a few days. And like this, Senpai came here for me. And embraced me.
But next year . . . he won’t be here.
Without him, this place will become ordinary. There is still four more years without Gilbert-senpai before I graduate. We won’t see each other for four years.
“……I already knew it, but I endured it for a few days. I don’t want to . . . think about it.”
Tears were streaming down my face even as I talked to him. What childish thoughts. I never thought that I would cry even though I already turned 17 years old.
In the first place, it is almost a miracle for a poor student like me to be able to stay in this institution. I should not get carried away by my excessive self-consciousness. Since it is still uncertain whether I will be able to graduate or not.
I know. I know, but…!
More tears spilled out of my eyes, but I can’t help it. I love, I really love this person so much. I cannot think of anything else. A future without him is painful.
Thinking about it, I rubbed my head on his chest.
……And I felt him hold his breath. When I slowly raised my eyes, Gilbert-senpai was quietly laughing for some reason.
“Hey… I know I am being childish. You don’t have to laugh at me . . .”
“Ah, no… Kuku… Sorry, that’s not it. I am not making fun of you. I just thought that you are cute. And I am glad that I worked hard.”
On the second half of his speech, the tone of his voice turned sweet. Did he work hard on the succession?
As I kept myself busy thinking, Senpai took something out of his pocket and presented it to me.
The school’s wax seal was pressed into the expensive-looking envelope. Since it is already opened, I took the liberty of examining its contents. The school’s emblem was also stamped on the same thick expensive-looking paper. It seems to be an official document . . .
“Organization of Research Students Registration Certificate? What is this?”
“Oh, the second years are not aware of this?”
Senpai’s name was well-written. Because I could not understand it, I carefully folded it and returned it, and Senpai explained with a smile.
“The ‘Organization of Research Students’ is an organization that is primarily for academy students who are aiming to become teachers in the academy. It is a right that is given only to those who are able achieve a certain score or higher, and they can freely enter the academy after they graduate.”
They can enter the academy . . . freely?
“This is one of the best domestic research facilities in the country. There are a lot of people who wants to have access even after graduation. It is because those who aim to become teachers can do an on-site training.”
“Eh? Wait, are you aiming to become a teacher, Senpai?”
“No, I will succeed the viscountcy. Well, I cannot come here everyday as expected.”
Senpai grinned to tease the agitated me, showing his white teeth.
“I’m sorry for making you sad, but starting next year, I will stay in the academy.”
Anyway, until Meryl graduates, he added.
After he announced it with his best smile, I hugged him with all my might this time.
Staggering two to three steps, Senpai firmly hugged me back. As if his big hands would not release me.
“It was difficult to obtain the registration certificate, but persuading my relatives was even more difficult. Thanks to them, I couldn’t meet you for a couple of days.”
“But then, it was also worth the trouble seeing that you are pleased. I’m sorry but I will not part from you. Are you willing to endure waiting for four years?”
He looked at my face–which was probably wet with tears–pressed his forehead onto mine and smiled again. With this warmth, I want to be with him forever. My tears of sadness became tears of joy, rolling down my cheek.
“Meryl, I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
In the same orange sunlight, two lengthening shadows overlapped until the last bell rang.
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