That night, just as I was about to turn off the light and go to sleep, there was a soft tap on the window.
—What is it?
I could only think of one person who would knock on my window at this hour, but just in case, I grabbed my sword and opened the curtains.
Sure enough, it was Hayato, so I put the sword down, opened the window, and stepped out onto the balcony.
A cool night breeze blew into the room, caressing my hair.
“Sorry, I’m coming from such place.”
“No, don’t worry about it… but why are you going through the window?”
“─ I was out for a while. When I came back, I saw the lights were going out, so I rushed across using the shadows.”
“Out? Where did you go?”
“… I went to pick up this. I really wanted to give it to you before this day is over.”
Then he took out a small black velvet box.
“A … ring?”
“Yes. I’m sorry it took so long. I had a hard time choosing the design.”
He opened the box and showed it to me, saying that he had decided on my name in the end. The diamond-lined eternity ring glittered in the moonlight.
“I wanted to find a ring that would suit Alice, but I couldn’t choose one because I thought they all would look good on Alice. I wasn’t planning on spending a month at first… sorry?”
He tried his best to make an excuse for being late.
I don’t think it’s too late, because I know you barely had any free time to be alone, and I didn’t think you had to get an engagement ring.
But still, I’m very happy.
I offered my left hand to him.
He gently took my palm and placed the ring on my ring finger.
… The size is perfect.
“Thank you. I’m very happy.”
We hugged each other tightly.
“…Am I becoming a little more Alice worthy?”
“Huh, what’s with that? Did you think like that?”
“Why… I’m the one who has to work hard to be worthy of you.”
“What? You don’t have to be better than this.”
I felt that we were about to get into a contest of praise, so I decided to change the subject.
I don’t mind praising, but I’m not very good at being praised.
I’m aware that my strengths are only what my parents have given me.
When someone praises me for something that I didn’t get on my own, I get a complicated feeling that makes it difficult to say either “thank you” or “that’s not true.”
If it were a formal event, I could say “thank you” without hesitation, but I don’t want to say it in front of Hayato.
I’m a pretty demanding person.
“Anyway, I’ll send you a return gift next time. Do you have any wishes?”
“That one is already yours, isn’t it? I’d like to get something to commemorate the occasion.”
“No need. I don’t want anything.”
“Mmm… I’ll choose one then. How about I give you an engagement ring too.”
“Yeah, that would be nice.”
“Are you sure?”
It’s not common for men to wear engagement rings instead of wedding rings, but if he wants to, it’s probably a good idea.
“Then I’ll go ahead and do that… just looking forward to it. Okay then, let me measure your finger size.”
I bring a long, thin piece of paper from inside the room and wrapped it around the ring finger of his left hand, and marked it.
Next to the ring finger, on the little finger, there was a signet ring with a coat of arms.
I was a little surprised.
“You wear it all the time, don’t you? I thought you would only wear it when the occasion needed it.”
“I was going to do that at first. But then Jeffrey got angry with me. Jeffrey told me that I couldn’t take it off because it was my official identification.”
“Oh, he did that?”
Well, Hayato is honest enough to put it back on.
“Well, you know…. even that was not the case this is already a part of me, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to put it on and off. It’s also rude to the duke who helped to get this far.”
That’s what he said, but I wonder, what his real feeling when he wears it.
I know that he didn’t dive into noble society because he liked it.
Although I can only guess, I’m sure he was feeling like he had to say goodbye to the person he had been.
I wonder how can I repay him?
There is not much I can give him as a person. I feel bad about that.
“Well then, I’m off, I’m looking forward to seeing that ring. Good night. See you tomorrow.”
“Okay. Good night.”
His figure disappeared into the shadows of the trees created by the moon. While the feeling of our joined hands did not disappear until he was completely out of my sight.
After watching Hayato leave the Duke’s mansion in his school uniform, I was summoned by my father.
“I’m going, to be frank with you, but aren’t you worried about sending him off to academy by himself?”
“I am worried!” BAM! I pounded on the desk and pressed my father.
My father stepped back a little and leaned his back casually into the chair.
“I trust him, but you see, your last fiancé was like that. Oh, that’s right about your ex-fiancée, as Alice mentioned, I’ve sent a request to His Majesty to spare his life. There’s still some room for debate, but I think he’s probably sitting comfortably in his royal prison right now.”
“I see. so?”
“…You really don’t care about His Highness, do you? Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I’d like you to go and keep an eye on Hayato.”
“Father! That’s a great idea! Let’s begin at once.”
“Wait a minute. When I asked the academy for permission to bring in graduates, they asked me to do this in return…”
“What did they ask?”
“Introducing you as a temporary teacher.”
Such exchange took a place this morning, and now I’m in the office of the head of the academy, being explained about the temporary lecturer position.
“I didn’t think you’d come, Alisha. I’ve always loved the story they told about you.”
This man who crosses his legs in a relaxed manner is Daniel Clark, the younger brother of the current head of the Clark family, the newly appointed head of the academy, who replaced the previous one who resigned after taking responsibility for causing a huge commotion at the graduation party.
“Teacher Clark, are you sure you want me to do this?”
“Please don’t call me [teacher]. You’re not a student anymore, call me Mr. principal Instead.”
This adult man, who was in a completely relaxed mood, had originally been one of the teachers at this academy. He had risen through the ranks after Maria’s rebellion caused a storm of purges against the teachers.
Our family, the Duke and Duchess Clark and the Stuarts, are close enough to each other that we could say that we are good friends, so I know that this adult is a very lazy person.
“What kind of principal are you, Daniel? You must be in deep trouble to ask someone like me to be one of your lecturers, even if it is only temporary.”
“As expected of Alisha. I’m sure you can figure it out. then………..
I had enough!!
I don’t want this!!
I’m not sure what to do, please help me!!”
As I stare at the crying eyes of the new principal, who had abandoned all attempts at keeping his dignity, I wondered how peaceful this country is, and thought about things I had nothing to do with.
About Alice ring… I can’t find the relation between Alishia and diamond. All I know is Alice, Alisha meaning is “noble”, and I forgot if there’s any correlation between noble and diamond.
Explanation why I keep getting slower can be read in NEWS section, I don’t want to taint chapter section with my rant.