“…… I don’t recall hearing it.” Luca said, meaning that Elsa hadn’t replied to him. She sighed again.
“That means the information was impertinent?”
If you asked Elsa, the historian, information should properly be confirmed, but it seemed that the high society was filled with rumours, so it might be that kind of thing. It also meant that she gave up.
“…… For me.”
Luca placed his hands on the wall next to Elsa’s face. She inadvertently pulled her leg back but her back hit the wall.
“I want to hear your reply.”
She wondered if this was a shocking scene. Elsa looked up at Luca, with a serious look on her face to counter his own. She would be lying if she said she wasn’t shaken up but she didn’t let it show.
Elsa unintentionally pushed Luca when he whispered her name into her ear.
*You, were you that aggressive?*
“…… Who knows? I think you’re the only one I can’t be without. I haven’t thought about having anyone else by my side except for you.”
Was this about his gynophobia? Even Elsa didn’t make fun of it. She felt like she was being seduced, even though she was unconnected from her love life until now.
“…… I can’t become a good bride. I want to continue with my research.”
“I know. That’s fine, the person I like is that Elsa.”
“…… It’s embarrassing to hear that, you know.”
“Really?” Was that too natural? Or too straightforward? She sighed once again, starting to laugh. She put her hands on Luca’s chest, resting her head against his shoulders.
“Me too. If I were to get married, the only person I would consider marrying is you. You’re the only one who would consider marrying me.”
If not then, Elsa would remain unmarried for the rest of her life. She thought that she wouldn’t mind being alone for the rest of her life, but this happened. She didn’t know what was happening to her life.
Luca asked Elsa, who was laughing as if she was clinging to herself.
“Can I take that as a yes?”
“Yeah. You can.” Luca hugged Elsa when he saw her nod. The hug was a little tight. Elsa wrapped her arms around his back and tapped it.
“You’re too happy?”
“…… Yeah.” Elsa was surprised and inadvertently agreed with him when he asked it as a joke.
Elsa thought that they had settled into a strange place from being pretend sweethearts, but everything was fitting into place. She realised this when the third Philosopher’s Conference had ended and she left the meeting room.
“Elsa, you’re getting married, aren’t you? Congratulations.” The person who had said that while smiling was her sister, Teresa. Apparently, Duke Aquafresca and his wife had not returned to their territory yet.
“…… It’s scary how information spreads……”
Did the information already spread in a day or two? Teresa giggled and looked up at her sister.
“Well, I’m glad everything fell into place. It wasn’t unexpected though.” Rebecca had also said something similar. But what does that mean?
“What do you mean by that? I don’t understand.”
“…… Duke Inglacia was one thing, but you’re also too much.”
“It’s none of your business.” Elsa replied a little angrily to her shocked tone. Teresa explained, still in shock:
“There’s been talk about you being Duke Inglacia’s favourite around high society. Well, the people from our generation think so, don’t they?” People around Elsa’s age thought that way. Most of them were people who went to school with her., and the other people seem to have a different point of view.
“Favourite…… Are you saying that people in high society think that Luca likes me?”
“Yes, that’s right. He does, doesn’t he?”
“Yeah…… No. Maybe. That’s right.” She didn’t know when Luca started to like her or when she started to like him. They were so close that they both didn’t realise they liked each other.
“It’s a good thing. Duke Inglacia comes to the university just to see you. It’d be a strange thing to do if he didn’t like you.” Teresa’s emphasis was certainly correct, Luca did go out of his way to see Elsa. She wondered if it was fine to think that she was being liked.
“I am.” Teresa smiled and nodded. Elsa half-smiled and walked alongside Teresa.
“Come to think of it, what are you doing here, Teresa?”
“I wanted to talk a bit to the Queen about Lionelo.” As expected of the Princess, she could say that while smiling.
“So you’ll be getting married, won’t you?” Elsa had finally diverted the conversation but Teresa changed it back. She nodded helplessly:
“If father approves.” Elsa still belonged to her father, Duke Lombardini. Therefore, Elsa couldn’t marry without the Dino’s approval.
“He’ll approve of it!”
“I think he would too.” Most likely, no one would object to it. Neither Duke Lombardini nor Duke Inglacia. In the first place, Duke Inglacia was Luca, so he wouldn’t go against it.
“If so, we have to decide the date for the ceremony as well.”
“…… So we have to do that after all?”
“I think it’s better to do it just for the sake of it.” Teresa said and Elsa shrugged. Elsa felt embarrassed so she thought it was fine not to do something like that.
“…… Even so, I’ll be busy with the Philosopher’s Conference for the time being, so it’s impossible to decide the date now.”
“Fufu. That’s true.” Elsa had meant to reply calmly but it felt as if Teresa could see through her, making her feel uncomfortable.
Although she was in the middle of the conference, it didn’t mean that she couldn’t leave the university for a short time. Of course, Elsa would be restricted until the reconstruction has finished to some extent, but if the arguments settled down the meetings wouldn’t need to be held every day.
That’s why Elsa returned to the university when the conference had calmed down. Professor Trihory was an emeritus professor so he did not see students much, only having a few lectures, but Elsa was a in a lower position at the university and had a lot more office hours, although Sabina settled most of the work for her.
“Ah ~! Professor! Welcome back! Has the conference ended?” Sabina asked when Elsa returned to her study room. Elsa took off her overcoat and said:
“Not yet. The next conference is in three days, so I thought I should get whatever work I can done before then. Ah, I’ll be teaching the lectures for tomorrow and the day after, so let the students know.”
“Understood…… Ah, I also added the student’s corrected reports.”
“Okay. Thanks. I’ll look at it in a bit.”
“Yes.” After exchanging information with Sabina, she asked Elsa something as if she’d just recalled it:
“Come to think of it, are you getting married, Professor?”
“…… Who did you hear that from?”
“It’s spreading through the university.” She didn’t know who the source of that information was, but it seemed that it spread throughout the university somehow. Well, Daniele was also enrolled at the university right now and people from the royal palace also come in and out of the university, so it wouldn’t be odd for the information to spread.
“…… For now, I will be.” Elsa still hadn’t received permission from Dino but he probably wouldn’t oppose it, so, all she could make the decision. Sabina smiled and said, “Congratulations!”
“You’re getting married to Duke Inglacia, aren’t you?! You two are close and you’re both intelligent, you sure suit each other!”
“…… Haha, thanks.” She thanked Sabina, who was happily congratulating her. She saw Luca in a new light: he really did look intelligent from the outside.
After that, Elsa gave lectures for two days. Daniele came to see her and confirm the rumours of her marriage but Elsa had already returned to the royal capital, to attend the Philosopher’s Conference.
“Oh, welcome back.” When Elsa went to her residence at the Royal Capital, her mother, Palmyra, greeted her with a smile. She blinked in surprise.
“……Mhm. Why…… Ah, I see. Is it because I was chosen as one of the 『Twelve Philosophers』?” One of the servants probably told Dino that piece of information, as it was the natural thing to do. Palmyra and Dino probably returned to the royal capital in the off-season because of that reason.
“There’s that, but we didn’t come here for that. You’re getting married? I was surprised.”
“……” Palmyra was more concerned about her daughter’s marriage than about the Philosopher’s Conference. While they were heading for the royal capital, they should have received a letter from Elsa stating, 『I want to get married』.
“……Well, if father approves.”
“Of course he will. Your partner is Duke Inglacia, isn’t it? There won’t be a problem.” Isn’t it perfect? You two suit each other and you get along well, said Palmyra. Elsa wryly smiled and Palmyra grinned.
“If that happens then we need to decide a date for the ceremony.”
“……” Elsa thought it would turn out like that.