Chapter 10: Love – Lv 1
“How was yesterday?”
The first thing the Director said to me when I entered the room were those words.
He had a teasing smile on his handsome face.
“It was fun.”
He bluntly reply with, “That’s good”.
He looked like he wanted to ask something, but I ignored him and placed the documents from the researchers onto his desk.
“These are the reports from the researchers.”
I quickly turned my back from the Director and just like I’d thought, he called out to me.
“Where’d you go?”
“What do you mean?”
What do you mean, “So”?
I turned around to face the Director and I knew it! He had that teasing smile on his face.
It wasn’t something for me to be troubled over, but it annoyed me how he was amusing himself.
That’s why I also grinned.
“Are you my father, Director?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, you asked me where I went on my day off. It’s similar to a father worrying over his daughter.”
“Hey, hey. I don’t have a daughter.”
The Director also knew that I was teasing him, right? He’s smiling bitterly.
“I went into town. That is all.”
“Oh right I heard something about you, Director. You used to be very naughty, right?”
“Wait a minute. What’d you hear?”
I only heard what the Captain told me while we were eating at the stalls, but I said it in a way that could be misinterpreted on purpose.
Since he asked with a twitching smile, it seems that he’s guilty of many things.
I felt good because it was irritating how he was amusing himself a while ago.
“We went to the market, ate at a stall and then looked at various shops lined up along the streets. We returned when it got dark.”
“I see. That’s really proper.”
I only went into town, I don’t know what was proper about that.
I thought and the Director dropped a bomb.
“Anyway, I’m glad you had fun on your date.”
I was flabbergasted with the bomb he had dropped. The Director had a dubious look on his face.
“…… It was a date?”
“I just went into town.”
“You went into town with Al, just the two of you. You ate lunch and looked at stores, didn’t you?”
“Isn’t that a date?”
I gaped while looking at the Director and then he delivered the final blow.
“When a man and a woman go out together, it’s called a date.”
I want him to stop for a bit.
No, no, did date mean something like that?
I thought back upon it. Other than my father, I never recalled going out with a man on my day off.
Even if I did, it was just to go buy things for the cultural festival with my classmates.
Was yesterday my first date?
When I realised that, my face got hot.
“No, I was only accompanying Hawk-sama into town, you know?”
“Accompanying…… Al invited you to go out and you left with just the two of you, right?”
“Yes, but Hawk-sama only invited me because he had spare time, right?”
“Well, even if he was free, he wouldn’t invite a woman he didn’t like to go out.”
“Is that really surprising?”
“Because he likes me… He likes me…”
My words gradually thinned and I looked down.
Because isn’t that so?
It’s impossible for the Captain to like such an unpopular woman like me.
Well, I don’t think I dislike the idea but……
Heaps of thoughts ran through my mind as I looked at my feet and the Director called in a quiet voice, “Sei”.
“Was Al cold to you?”
“No…… He properly escorted me when I got off the carriage…… But is that not something aristocrats here do?”
“Well, it is.”
“I thought so. He held my hand while we were walking and treated me to lunch.”
“When we returned he gave me a present.”
I took the box out of my skirt pocket and passed it to the Director.
Inside was the hair clip I received the day before.
When I looked at the hair clip I received from the Captain again, the gems embedded in it were different from the ones at the shop.
It was light blue. The blue-grey colour matched the Captain’s eye colour so now I was a bit hesitant to return it.
I could’ve bought the clips at the shop if I saved up since it was only that expensive. But I wondered if it was okay for me to receive something that expensive.
In the end, I put the box into my skirt pocket, worrying about whether or not I should return it or not.
The Director picked it up, opened the box and looked inside before returning the box to me.
“Sei, it’s common for aristocrats to escort woman while they’re getting off the carriage or while walking.”
“But Al never gives them accessories as souvenirs.”
He stopped his teasing manner a while ago. The Director said that in a serious tone.
From his attitude, I knew that the Captain didn’t just casually give me the hair clip.
I looked at the box in my hand again and my face heated up when I realised this.
“Is it really okay for me to receive something so expensive?”
“Just take it if you don’t mind.”
I grumbled and the Director quietly smiled and returned it.
I didn’t say anything, I just moved my neck and nodded.
“How do you do, Sei?”
The next day, I went to the library to return the book I’d borrowed. I met Liz in front of the door.
She also seemed to have just arrived.
It was rare for me to meet her in the corridor.
We never arranged to meet. I came to the library for work, so the times I came also varied.
That’s why even if I went to the library, I couldn’t always meet up with Liz.
“Oh? You changed your hairstyle today.”
“Yeah. It’s hot so I decided to do it up.”
“I see. That’s a nice hair clip you have.”
The door squeaked open and I let Liz go in first.
Liz immediately went to find the book she was looking for.
As for me, I handed the book I’d brought with me to the librarian and looked for another book to borrow.
As expected, as soon as we met again, Liz pointed out that I’d changed my hairstyle.
Liz was really fashion-conscious, she’d noticed that I had my hair up just by glancing at me.
The hair clip was something I’d received from the Captain and it was somewhat embarrassing so I mumbled.
“Hey Sei. That hair clip is really pretty. Would you mind letting me have a closer look at it?”
“I don’t mind but……”
She called out from behind me when I was standing in front of the medicinal herb books.
When I turn around, Liz has a beautiful smile on her face.
I didn’t mind showing her, but it was a bit troublesome to do my hair up again after I unfastened it. But I didn’t mind showing her it if I didn’t have to unfasten it so I answered.
I couldn’t show her if I stood there, so we moved to where the desks were. I sat down on a chair and Liz stood behind me.
Although she didn’t touch it, she seemed to be looking at it very closely.
“This is good workmanship.”
“The embedded gems are really nice.”
“Yes…… Hey, who gave it to you?”
“Well, it seems a bit expensive for everyday use. That’s why I thought someone must have given it to you. Am I wrong?”
“No, you’re right.”
“Did Hawk-sama give it to you?”
“H-how do you know!?”
“How……? I think it is pretty easy to tell.”
She was right about the Captain giving it to me. I was surprised and turned back, Liz looked shocked.
Eh, what’s with that?
Easy to tell?
When I asked her about it, Liz sighed, she stood in front of me and lifted her index finger up.
“First, rumour has it that Hawk-sama has someone on his mind.”
“I think that person is you.”
I haven’t heard this rumour, you know?
And what’s with that, huh?
Liz lifted her middle finger up.
“Second, the gems on your hair clip matches Hawk-sama’s eye colour.”
“You looked at it really closely, huh……”
“Of course, the gems give the hair clip a nice finish.”
“No, not that I meant at Hawk-sama’s eye colour.”
“Hawk-sama’s eye colour is the Margrave family’s special trait so it is well known.”
“I thought it was you because of those two things.”
“Still, can people make a connection so quickly just because the gems match the colour of Hawk-sama’s eyes?”
“Yes, that is right. It is well known that Hawk-sama favours Sei.”
“Besides, it is common in this kingdom for men to give his colour to the girl he likes.”
“For example, his hair colour or his eye colour. It seems that men generally give gifts that match the colour of their eyes.”
I didn’t know this.
So that means, the Captain likes……
No, no. Wait, wait.
It’s impossible for me to think further than that!
What should I do? Was is really okay for me to receive this?
Director, you definitely knew this, right?
Why didn’t you tell me!?
I held my head in my arms while sitting and then I heard Liz giggling.
“Sei, you’re so red.”
“I’m…… I’m not used to this kind of thing!”
“Oh, is that so?”
Ah, I can’t believe Liz is lecturing me on love when she’s about 10 years younger than me!
Liz was watching me warmly when I lifted my face. I really want to run away.
Ah, seriously I want to run away!