I’m currently in the drawing room of the Grances mansion. Liz is currently clinging to my waist while Claire is coldly staring at me from the entrance of the room.
“You really do just look overjoyed….”
By the way, this is the second thing she’s said since seeing us. Liz returned to her sense and panicked before standing up.
Even though she was panicking, Liz politely curtsied before introducing herself.
“Nice to meet you, Claire Ridill-sama. My name is Liz. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today even though I asked you so suddenly.”
She continued her greeting with a flat tone. There’s no remnant of the airheaded girl there. It would make sense that this girl was enrolled in this school by Crane.
Seeing her like this has made me realize that she isn’t just an airheaded girl. She is also a kind-hearted girl.
While thinking about this, the greetings between the two ended….
“So, Liz, I heard that you had something you wanted to ask me, but may I ask you something before that?”
“Yes, of course.”
“The thing I wanted to ask you about was when I came into the room just now it really seemed like you were having a lot of fun. What exactly were you doing?”
I felt as if the air in the room froze.
This is bad. This is very bad. I don’t remember Claire being a very jealous person, but there were times when she was clearly jealous of Alice. I don’t think she’s that jealous of a person, but I can’t deny that there’s a possibility.
I don’t know what Liz wanted to ask Claire, but I’d feel bad if she were to decline just because she saw what was happening.
What should I do? Based on my conversations with Alice I should say, “I’m planning on making Liz my sister!”
…I can’t do that. If I were to say that I’d just be making the situation worse.
…I think something like that would only work on Alice.
— And so, I desperately tried to think about what to say.
“Leo-kun was trying to leave so I was holding him down.”
Liz responded without noticing the change in the atmosphere. How could she just say something like that in such a straightforward way after seeing how Claire’s behaving?
“Trying to leave? What do you mean?”
Claire’s gaze moved to me, looking for an explanation.
I feel like it would be best if I just clear this up now. So I told Claire exactly what was happening before she got here.
“So…basically, Liz-sama wanted Leo-kun to stay and support her?”
“And why is that? You wanted to meet with me, right? So why would you need him to be able to speak with me?”
It’s similar to what I suspected, but Liz really doesn’t know that I’m the head of the Grances family or Claire’s brother.
“Well…I’m not sure. I just thought I’d be able to rely on him.”
Claire pretends not to notice anything, but I can tell. She was pleased to hear someone praising her brother. Liz is just a natural airhead and doesn’t notice anything.
“Then, umm, Claire Ridill-sama, I wanted to ask you something.”
“Right…you can ask me anything. Ah, but first, you can call me Claire.”
“No, just ‘Claire’ is fine.”
“No, no, that’s not possible. As long as I’m a student here I should call you Claire-sama.”
“…alright then, but I’ll just call you Liz. Can you tell me what you needed?”
Based off of the current exchange, is it possible that Liz is someone that ranks higher than an earl? Is she a relative of the Marquis of Gramp? Or is she the daughter of someone from the Gramp family?
While thinking about this, Liz began speaking.
To summarize everything she said, Liz really hates the idea of arranged marriages.
But it is inevitable that she would be forced into a marriage she hated if she were to have just left things as they were. So, to avoid this, she asked Crane to get her enrolled in the school in Muhle. It seems that she told her family that she wanted to learn skills that could be used in her life.
It seems that she wanted Claire to provide her with some assistance.
To be honest, it’s a very troublesome story.
Because, based on everything that’s been said, Liz is almost certainly from a family that ranks higher than ours, and she’s asking us to get involved with this family.
It’s almost like asking us to be openly hostile to a higher ranking family than our own.
I want everyone to be able to live a happy life in a comfortable environment. And, as long as I’m going to school with Alice, I wanted to avoid getting involved in any political matters.
Being forced into a political marriage.
Both Claire and I have suffered in the same way. We both know how Liz must be feeling now.
Well, as I was thinking this…Claire began to speak.
“There is one thing I need to know…Liz, how do you feel about your fiancé?”
“I care for him deeply, but I don’t love him in a romantic way.”
“I see…that’s really the opposite.”
Claire began muttering to herself…the opposite? Is she talking about Caroline and our Father? But they eventually began to love each other.
As I thought about this, Liz continued speaking.
“Although Claire-sama was in the same position as me, you managed to gain your freedom and accomplish so much. Please, lend me your power!”
“I’d like to help you and allow you to become independent, but based on the circumstances, I really can’t help you.”
“– Is…that so….”
I really don’t think she was expecting to be refused so quickly. Liz quickly fell into a depressed state.
I was also pretty surprised. I wanted to speak up, but Claire was clearly trying to tell me to remain quiet…is she planning something?
“While I would like to help you, if I were to do so, your family would not recognize that as your own accomplishment.”
“That’s…that’s right. I believe you’re right.”
That is true.
It would be easy to give Liz everything she needs to become independent. All Liz would have to do is utilize the knowledge Claire and I can give her.
But, if that were to happen, I don’t think anyone would truly recognize Liz’s own abilities. Or, at the very least, they’d feel the need to test Liz just to believe in her success.
“Well, Liz, I’ll tell you this because you seem to be misunderstanding something. I didn’t get to where I am today due to my own abilities.
“…but…you were able to grow the Grances territory so much.”
“That was not my own doing. I received a lot of help from a certain person.”
“Is that true?”
“Yes. That person knew I hated the idea of a political marriage and did everything possible to grant me my independence. That person is responsible for everything here. Everyone tells me I’m amazing, but in reality, I’ve done nothing.”
…does Claire really feel that way?
Certainly, many people have credited Claire for developing the various technologies we use here, and she didn’t do any of that. So that part of what she said is true.
But Claire is excelling in many other fields. Alice and I would never be able to rule the Grances territory as well as Claire has. Claire definitely deserves all the credit for that…I don’t understand why she feels this way. Well, I can’t ask her now. I’ll just have to continue listening to their conversation.
“That’s why I don’t think it’s wrong of you to ask someone for help. Rather, I just think you’re asking the wrong person. You should be asking someone that you can truly rely on.”
“So you’re saying you know of someone that can help me? But, I don’t know who else possibly could….”
“I know of someone. In fact, it’s the same boy that you asked for support earlier.”
— Guha! That was dangerous. I just started choking after hearing her words.
No, I must have misheard her. There’s no way she just said that, right?
I’m just a student. Even if I were to manage to achieve something with Liz, everyone would just think it was the work of two students, or maybe I would actually receive all of the credit.
However…if my identity as the head of the Grances family was revealed, and everyone were to know that I was the one responsible for all of the drastic changes that have been made here…would that really help Liz out?
“Leo-kun, would you help me with Liz? That is of course if it’s not too much trouble for you.”
…hmm, it’s not like it would be troublesome for me. I’d be happy to help her.
However, right now, my main purpose is to live an ordinary school life with Alice. That must be why Claire is thinking it might be hard for me.
Although, if I don’t help Liz, her problem could escalate to the point that it completely ends Alice’s calm school life.
“Leo-kun, please. Will you please help me?”
Because I remained silent, Liz was beginning to feel anxious and spoke up. I can tell she’s feeling desperate, but…what does she think I can do to help?
“Before you start completely relying on me, are you really okay with this? You don’t know anything about me.”
“It’s true that I really don’t know much about you. However, this is Claire-sama’s recommendation and the Marquis of Gramp told me I could believe in her.”
“So you trust in Claire’s suggestion?”
“Yes, but I also feel like I can believe in you.”
She’s really making it impossible for me to say no to her.
…well, it should be fine, right? It won’t be that big of a deal if I just help her achieve what she wants. Helping her will also help Alice and this is a request from Claire.
For now, I’ll do my best to help her in any way I can.