“It’s been a while, Christina Noir. I see you still look displeasing and impudent as ever.”
“Hey, don’t ignore me.”
I ignore the idiot even further, and beg an explanation from Viscount Igusa with a stiff smile.
“Viscount Igusa, my apologies for being unable to grasp the situation. Please kindly explain it to me……”
“H-hey, Christina Noir. I’m talking to you here.”
Shut up. I didn’t come to greet an idiot. The one I’m expecting to see is Charles. It’s only normal to want an explanation when an idiot has come in place of my fiancé. I have no intention of talking to Endo until I’m satisfied.
“His Highness Charles has been feeling unwell. The doctors said that it’s just a slight cold and that his fever will most likely dissipate by tomorrow. Even then, His Highness insisted on seeing you, Lady Christina. And somehow His Highness took on the role of representing him……”
Why the hell?
An idiot isn’t fit to be a replacement for Charles.
“Hey, stop ignoring me…… the least you could do is look at me, you little…!
Still ignoring Endo, I stare at Viscount Igusa to convey my dissatisfaction. He averts my gaze, perhaps because he is unable to bear it.
“Well…… my apologies. I could not have brought Charles here if it meant affecting his health. There was also the possibility of you getting infected, Lady Christina…… That was when His Highness Endo offered to come in his stead, since his schedule was open.”
“That’s how it was. Now that it’s settled, look at me already. Or are you too much of a filthy coward to face me?”
I want to grab the collar of the arrogant idiot who looks like he’s begging for an apology and throw him out with my own hands.
But as long as Viscount Igusa is present, I have to resist the urge and continue the role of a perfect Lady Christina. I have to keep in mind that it’s not a daily occurrence for the crown prince to visit so unexpectedly, no matter how much I may dislike it, and no matter how disagreeable we are with each other.
I’m about to sigh, but hold it in and turn it into a smile instead.
“It was certainly an unexpected turn of events…… but I suppose it cannot be helped. Very well, I understand.”
It could have been helped, but I don’t have the right to tell him.
Viscount Igusa sighs in relief to my assent. I can also tell he’s a little exhausted.
The maid looks at me as if she’s seen a rare beast as I’ve been flaunting my image as a proper lady. I ignore her for now and entice Viscount Igusa with a wide smile.
“Well then, you are going to greet my father now, are you not? I shall have the maid escort you to him. As for His Highness Endo…… Yes, I shall entertain him. Is that alright with you?”
“Yes, please. Thank you very much. I shall take my leave from you.”
Following my suggestion, the maid guides Viscount Igusa into the house.
Now it’s just me and Endo. I survey my surroundings once more to make sure no one is watching, then sharply turn my face toward him.
“Hey, idiot. What are you doing here?”
“Hey, idiot. You’re finally looking at me. I’ll make sure to teach you some respect and manners.”
We exchange words with our brightest smiles.
Of course, it’s not from friendship or love. It’s pure enmity. We’re merely expressing it through our words, or in his case, grating voices.
“Hahaha. Respect, huh. Yeah…… my performance as a lady might have been too dazzling for a prince who cannot even speak politely. Hehehe.”
“Shut up, you’re creeping me out.”
Is he trying to dig his own grave in this courtyard? Even his displeased face is getting on my nerves.
I send him flying for insulting my second form.
“Seriously, why are you here? Hmm? Did you come to win an argument? I can win easily with money from the family, you know?”
“You’re short-tempered as always. It’s as Igusa said. I’m here representing Charles.”
“So why does it have to be you?”
I frown at him because I can’t accept him of all people.
“Charles insisted on coming along even when we left him alone, and he only calmed down when we told him we would represent him. He’s stubborn that way.”
That was unexpected.
He’s really doing it on behalf of Charles.
“It took a lot of convincing, you know? He’s persistent for a guy who seems flexible.”
I nod while pouting in response to his accurate judgment of Charles.
It seems that he and Charles have gotten along much better than before. Before, it was His Highness Endo who disliked Charles. I wonder if his hatred has disappeared.
If that’s the case, then I’ll stop being aggressive towards him.
“Oh well. I’ll show you to my room, but you should go home right after that. ……Oh, yeah. I’ll write a get well soon letter to Charles. Once I’m done with it, you can take it and go.”
“That’s fine with me. I don’t plan on staying too long anyway.”
Now that we’re finally on the same page, I guide him to my room while thinking this task is beneath me. The maid escorted Viscount Igusa earlier. I don’t think it’s a good idea to let Father and Endo meet, since he’s already seen the way Endo and I interact. He might throw a fit if he saw us, so I plan to make Endo leave as soon as possible.
“In any case, what made Charles ill all of a sudden?”
“No idea. It’s just a fever anyway, and it’s so slight that he should be fine by tomorrow. He probably snuck out of his room at night and caught a small cold, anyhow.”
But I’m disappointed by the bad timing. Charles was still healthy last time. He was fighting with Michelie as usual, so I interfered and held his face with the gloves Michelie gave me. He was energetic enough to break free. I wonder what happened.
“I’m on enemy territory myself. Maybe I’ll go home after exploiting one of your weaknesses.”
“Huh? I don’t have any weaknesses to exploit.”
He says that while we’re walking in the hallways, as if he’s trying to do reconnaissance. I don’t think of asking him directly. First of all, I’m a flawless genius, so there’s no way I have any weaknesses.
I snort at his foolish words.
“As always, you’re an idiot. A genius such as I-”
I freeze as Michelie suddenly shows her face from the corner of the hallway.