Chapter 26 - Friends
“I do need help, but I respectfully decline, Sir Ryu,” Yume said, turning her head to the other side, this prevented me to see her stoic yet beautiful face.
“I don’t get it,” I replied in a low voice but enough for her to listen to, while lightly scratching the back of my head. Some women are indeed hard to understand. Sometimes they are fine, but sometimes there’s a sudden line where you can’t cross — a sudden chill went down when I remembered my dear aunt — or is it me who is the total blockhead?
“Well, how long have we know each other?”
“Why does that matter?”
“Cause I don’t want to impose on a friend, and most especially not to someone who I just met.”
“But you’re not just someone princess, you have helped me way more than you could ever imagine.”
“Hmm? Isn’t this like the sixth time we met? And, it’s not like we did anything together.”
“Right,” I said. But wondering how did she count that.
“...Then, why don’t we let ourselves know each other more?”
“Pardon?” she was startled.
With no other choice to think of, my mouth suddenly becomes impulsive, speaking something that I’m not even sure about on the spur of the moment. Because of this, I can’t take it back anymore, and even if I can, I obviously don’t want to take it back. Maybe this is a good time to strengthen my bond with the princess.
Having no experience made me think about what people in my previous life do for their relationship to improve.
Hence, I remembered when I was still a student, that my classmates like to go and have fun with each other, I was even invited multiple times but always declined. Places like karaoke, sports centers, eating, and festivals!
Then on the next school day, they will keep talking the whole day about their enjoyable and exciting experience, which I think is ridiculous at that time. A waste of time and money by goofing around.
But now, I’m regretting that I didn’t try to experience any of that. So I decided not to miss this second chance that was given to me and initiated, “There’s an upcoming festival next month, would you like to accompany me, Princess?”
She suddenly turned her head to look at me with wide eyes full of excitement, but only for a short while, until her eyes returned to normal, she said, “I... I don’t think I can.”
“Do you already have plans?” I was sad that my first time asking another lady besides my family was rejected. I felt like my eyes started to get watery. It was embarrassing and depressing at the same time.
“I just remembered that I already promised someone, so yes.”
“I see.” Honestly, hearing her say this made me sad. Is there someone else in her heart that I do not know? Did I miss someone from the novel? Or is it because of my existence that the story is changing? I think I’m forgetting something important.
But the real question is why am I disheartened by this? Didn’t I already choose to be her support whatever the outcome of her decisions? So I took a deep breath and calmed down. “It’s alright, Princess.”
“Sorry and thank you, Sir Ryu.”
“As a consolation, just call me by my name.”
“Just ‘Ryu’, Princess.” The princess didn’t reply for a while, she was covering up her face with her knees when I started to feel uneasy if I made her somewhat uncomfortable. “Princess nevermind what I just—”
“Ryu,” she said.
“Huh?” That caught me by surprise. My blood abruptly flushed around in my head, I never knew that being called by my given name without any honorifics would give a deep impact on me. This never occurred when Roy, Gavin, and Blake spoke to me. Is this the feeling when your beloved idol suddenly felt more intimate with you? It must be. “Princess...”
“If you want me to call you by your given name, then be fair,” she said in a deeper but still adorable voice. “Call me Yume. I’m not even a princess.”
“Then... P... Yume.” I said, quickly closing my eyes with embarrassment. I hope my ears were not visibly red because I feel a little hot. If she sees and mentions it, I might hide in a hole for a whole week.
A little time has passed, the princess didn’t react, so I slowly glanced at her from the corner of my eyes due to my curiosity, luckily, she was standing while she is turned away from me.
“The afternoon class bell!” I said relieved, quickly jumping to my feet, preparing to leave. “Shall we go now?”
“Mmhmm...” Yume responded, “But before that.”
“Are we friends now?”
“Huh? Uh, oh... Yes! Gladly!”
“I see... And...”
“Next time, you should call me instead of just watching me embarrass myself like e-earlier, Ryu.”
“Oh! Hahaha! Don’t worry it was cute—” I froze, stopping myself from saying anything more when I heard a click sound on Princess Yume’s sword, a sound of detaching itself from the sheath. “I... I’m going now Yume, see you around!”
“Welcome back, Ryu. How’s your talk with Lady Rosie?” Roy said. He was sitting as usual beside Gavin and Blake. I can feel that the entire class is listening, waiting for my good news.
I almost forgot about this matter. I was happily preoccupied with the thought of my conversation with Princess Yume. Even though she doesn’t fully believe in my identity, I think we only need time for the thing to prove itself.
For now, I need to deal with things that are still on my hand, seeing that Princess Yume would refuse my help, then I should instead focus on secretly securing a path of retreat for her within the 2 years duration of the senior’s expedition. Since everything will happen at the celebratory ball. But it’s better to make a full-proof plan. We never know what the future may hold.
“We failed to have a mutual agreement,” I said.
“What? Does that mean we’re going to join the expedition?”
“Not yet, there is an extremely high chance that we wouldn’t be going, so let’s wait for the announcement in a few days, but still be prepared for the worst outcome.”
“Really? Is that true?” my classmates started to celebrate even if the expedition is not yet canceled. I didn’t know they would trust a word from someone like me. I was happy.
“Alright everyone,” the teacher who just arrived said, hitting his desk repeatedly to call our attention. “Go back to your seats.”
Our class students are mostly composed of people who are trained in combat, so the majority of us are great at dealing with weapons and martial arts. Even if we are considered the lowest class in the whole academy, my classmates are still talented individuals who passed the academy’s entrance examination.
The maximum age allowed to be enrolled in the academy, for now, is around 20 years old, and the minimum age doesn’t matter as long as one can prove to be talented.
But since this was still the opening week of the year, we are currently being taught about the history of the continent. This will allow us to at least know some things before being exposed to society.
Frankly, it was quite boring to listen to it in real life, because I already read most of the information being discussed a dozen times when the events in this world were written in the novel. I was thinking that instead of sitting here most of the time, I could have done more meaningful things... Like spending my time... With... other matters.
Yeah, probably with other meaningful matters.
Yume Valenz (Point Of View)
6 hours later.
Nibble... Nibble... Nibble...
“Oh my goodness, Yiyi. This meal is so delicious. Hehe,” I said, eating dinner in my dormitory room.
“Really, Milady?” Yiyi said, eyeing at me with a somewhat unsatisfied look. When I think about it, she was staring at me for quite a while now.
Is there something on my face? “Of course, why would I lie about this?” I said, cleaning my whole face with a piece of cloth.
“But that dish contains broccoli and you just ate them cheerfully.”
“You hated them, Milady. Do you remember now?”
“Pfffp!” — cough! cough! cough!
“—Milady! Here, drink some water first!”
Glug Glug Glug — “Phew... I’m saved. I never realize that I was eating them. Why you didn’t stop me earlier, Yiyi?” That was weird, I was dozing off too much that I didn’t see what I am currently consuming. What’s more, I can’t remember its taste. Even one of the things I don’t like to eat just went into my stomach without any trouble.
“Milady, you have been grinning nonstop since going inside your carriage.”
“Yes, did something happen, Milady?”
“Mm... I made a friend.”
“A friend?!!!” Yiyi screamed, “What kind of vicious lady you made friends with, Milady? Isn’t she another kind of those who just wanted to be your friend to be close to the Duke and the Royal family?” — blah blah blah — Yiyi started blabbering to remind me all the things that transpired in the past...
“Hmm? I think he’s a good guy. He even asked me to go to the festival.”
“A guy?! Festival?!” Yiyi fainted.
“Yiyi? Yiyi! Yiyi! Yiyi!” I panicked, carrying my maid Yiyi onto the bed. “D-Doctor!”