She’s so Cheeky for a Commoner! 10

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Sein Bauer

“Oh? What is this I hear?”
“Yes, I hear something too.”

As we were on our way to a tea party hosted by a young lady from a family that supported House François, we heard a beautiful melody.
It was distant so we weren’t able to hear it very well, but I could tell that it was a lyre.

“Ah…”
“?”

The commoner raised her voice as though she had realized something.
As I stood there confused, she abruptly reached for my hand.

“Claire-sama, it’s this way.”
“J-Just a second, commoner!”
“Rei-chan, we’re going to be late to the tea party!”

Both Lene and I raised our voices in protest, but she continued to tug at me without relent.
While she did have a tendency to force her way, she seldom resorted to physical means.
Just what was it that she wanted to do?

“Just where are you taking me, hey, commoner!”
“Shhー! Here, just take a look.”

We had gone all the way out to the very corner of the academy’s courtyard, far away from where I normally had tea with Pipi and Loretta.
In this corner we found a gazebo next to a pond.
There, a lone young man with silver hair had found serene respite.

“Sein-sama…”
“Wow… what a wonderful tune.”

Lene and I shared the same feeling of awe.
It was well known that Sein-sama had a way with music, but this was the first time I had been able to hear it in person.
While the tune he played wasn’t dynamic, I could feel the notes stripping away the layers that covered my heart.
It was that kind of melody.

As a noble, I too had received instruction in the fundamentals of music.
Given the sheet music, I was confident that I could competently play most anything on the piano, but that was also as far as my skills went.
In contrast, Sein-sama stood on an entirely different stage.

He didn’t simply follow what was written on the score, but was expressing himself as an artist.

“A lovely performance, Sein-sama!”

Unable to hold myself back, I rushed over to Sein-sama’s side.
The commoner seemed to say something, but the only thing now on my mind was the overwhelming desire to express my admiration and gratitude for that wonderful performance.

However, Sein-sama’s hands froze over as he gave me a cold glare.

“… You’re… from House François’…”

It stung that he had yet to remember my name, but I wasn’t the kind of person to lose heart.

“It’s Claire.
I’d appreciate it if you remembered.”
“… Ah… Right.”

Clearly uninterested, Sein-sama began putting away his lyre.

“Oh? Already done? I’d really like to listen for a bit longer.”
“… That was but play.
It is not something I intended for others to hear.”
“Do you really think so? You played it so smoothly.”

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Lene joined me in praising him.
She was by no means well versed in music, but even her untrained ears could tell that Sein-sama’s performance held something special.

“… The lyre is only useful in a social capacity.
It serves no purpose to a prospective king.”

With his lyre stowed away, he spat those words out with disdain.

Sein-sama was a stoic individual.
Though he was second in the line to succession, he continued to forge himself each day so that, should his opportunity come, he would be prepared.
He had set his goal to become like the current king, His Majesty Rousseau Bauer, renowned as the Wise King… And yet, recent gossip claimed there was something brooding between them.

This was the first opportunity that I had to hear it, but Sein-sama’s lyre play was remarkable.
I felt that it was a shame to chalk it up to play.

“In that case, would you be interested in a game that tests the qualities required of a king?”
“… Oh?”

Sein-sama reacted to the commoner’s words.

“… Rei Taylor was it.
I heard that you had become Claire’s maid…”

Sein-sama… you had yet to remember my name, but I see that you had no troubles remembering hers.
This was absolutely humiliating.
Rodd-sama and Yuu-sama too… just what was it that they all saw in her?

“Yes, as a result, my each and every day is blessed.”
“… Enough with that.
So, what is this game that you claim tests what is required of a king? Is it chess? I have heard much about your skill.”

Sein-sama was referring to the commoner’s match with Rodd-sama just the other day.
The fact that she maintained equal footing against Rodd-sama caused quite a stir among a portion of the students… But to think that information had made it to Sein-sama as well.

“A game that tests what’s required of a king… that is…”
“… That is?”
“None other than the King’s Game!”

The commoner named a game that I had never heard of before.

“… I see, you have my interest.
What are the rules?”

Even Sein-sama in his vast knowledge did not know about it.
According to the commoner, it was a game where the participants randomly drew lots.
The one who drew the marked lot would be the king.
The king would then issue one order that the others must follow.

“… Can something like that really measure one’s aptitude as a king?”
“Yes.”
“… Very well, I’ll do it.”

The commoner made lots and assigned a number to each of them.
Holding the lots so that the number was hidden, she held them out toward us.

“Alright everyone, please draw your lot.”

Sein-sama, I, and Lene all drew our lots in that order, leaving the commoner with the last one.

“So? Who’s the king?”
“… What’s up with that?”
“It’s part of the rules.
Everyone has to say it as we check to determine the king.”

What is up with that weird rule?

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“… Is that so.”
“Alright then, together this time.”

““““Who’s the king?””””

The first king was―

“Me.”

It was Sein-sama.

“Sein-sama, your order.”
“… Mm… Let’s see…”

Sein-sama showed his hesitation, he was a very kind and gentle individual, so he was surely carefully deliberating an order that would not offend.

“… Number two, hold number three’s hand.”
“I’m number two!”
“Kh… I’m number three…”

The commoner suddenly gained the chance to hold my hand.
Really, how did it come to this?

“Claire-sama! Your hand.”
“I suppose I have no choice.”

The commoner held my outstretched hand.
As we held hands I came to realize that her skin was much smoother than I would have expected for a commoner.
Hmph, I wonder if she had some sort of care routine? How cheeky! Just as I had completed that thought―

“Kyah!? Wh-Wh-Wha, what are you doing!?”

The commoner rubbed the back of my hand with her thumb.

“I just thought I’d take this opportunity to really get a feel for Claire-sama’s smooth skin.”
“Just hold it normally! Alright, isn’t that quite enough? Let’s move on, next!”
“Alright then, let’s proceed to round two―”

““““Who’s the king?””””

The second king was―

“I-It’s me.”

It was Lene and she was visibly flustered.
Surely she felt the weight of potentially having the chance to give an order to royalty.
After spending even longer than Sein-sama had, she said―

“Could number four please pat number two on the head.”
“… I’m number four.”
“I, I’m number two.”

Aah, I couldn’t believe it.
Sein-sama, the prince that I admired so, would he really pat my head…? I could feel my heart skip a couple of beats.

“… I don’t believe that I should be touching a maiden’s hair so casually.”

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“Sein-sama, these are the rules.”
“… But…”
“Sein-sama, really, I’m okay with it.”

At this rate, Sein-sama would withhold his pats.
That thought pushed me to perhaps appeal more forcefully than I should have.

“… Got it, pardon me.”

Sein-sama’s beautiful hand that had just produced such a delicate sound reached out toward me.
I closed my eyes and braced myself.
I felt a moment’s hesitation when his hand first touched my hair, but soon he began gently patting my head.

“Haahh…”

It was said that touching the opposite gender’s hair may be more intimate than certain amorous acts only to be done in one’s chambers.
That would mean, Sein-sama and I were… No! Calm yourself, Claire François! I was in the presence of Sein-sama, so I could not afford to abandon myself to fantasy.

“… Isn’t that enough.
Let’s move on.”

I doubt that even ten seconds had passed, but as Sein-sama withdrew his hand, I saw that his face was flushed red.
Absolutely adorable.

“Okay, on to the third round―”

““““Who’s the king?””””

The third king was―.

“Ah, it’s me.”

It was the commoner.
The one individual who absolutely should not hold that sort of power was now our king.
I felt chills race down my spine and braced myself for whatever ridiculous order she decided to give,

“Alright, number two and number four, please kiss.”
“… What was that?”
“H-Hey, commoner!?”

I was four… Considering his reaction, Sein-sama was number two.
Eh, ehh!? Could it be, could it really be?

“… Hey, that order goes too far.”
“H-He’s exactly right!”

I opposed the order as I knew any proper maiden should… And yet, deep down, there was a small… just a tiny part of me that was hoping for something.
Er, only after taking the appropriate steps of course…

“What’s this? Isn’t the king’s order meant to be absolute? If you understand, get it done.”
“… Fine.”
“Sein-sama!?”

I panicked when I heard Sein-sama’s words.
Would we really kiss? In this public setting!?

“Then, the kiss―”
“… Don’t misunderstand.”
“Sein-sama?”

Sein-sama’s tone was firm, filled with wrath.

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“… This game has nothing to do with kingship, isn’t that right?”

Sein-sama glared down at the commoner.

“… Have you just been teasing me?”

Sein’s glare said, “Depending on your response, I may not forgive you.” Though the commoner kept her calm, it was clear her insolence had gone too far.
As she was now my maid, the responsibility ultimately fell on me.
It may worsen Sein-sama’s impression of me, and I truly regret that, but as a proud Bauan noble, I needed to follow things through to their proper end.

“Sein-sama, forgive―”
“Just what I’d expect from you, Sein-sama.”
“… What was that?”

Cutting off my words, the commoner commended Sein-sama.
Caught off guard, Sein-sama gazed at the commoner in wonder.

“The essence of the game was in whether or not you could realize that.”

The commoner spoke boldly.

“Sein-sama, if you had just gone with the flow and forced yourself to obey that order, then it would have been clear that you did not have the qualities of a king.”
“… You were testing me?”
“I ask for your forgiveness.
But Sein-sama, it has become clear that you do possess what is required of a king.”
“…“

Sein-sama appeared to have mixed feelings about all of this.
Even if those were the words he had been longing to hear, they had come from this misfit of a commoner.
There was no way that would make him happy.

“… I’m leaving.”
“Sein-sama!”

With a sour look on his face, but also without slamming down a death sentence, Sein-sama stood and promptly left the gazebo.
He was moody, but that was exactly what made him feel close to my own heart.

“Rei-chan.”
“What is it, Lene?”
“Was what you said just now true?”
“Nope, I just wanted to play more Claire-sama.”

W-What did she just!?

“C-Commoner! Why you…!”

No matter what, this time, she had gone too far! There were limits to what should and should not be done!

“Claire-sama.”
“What now?”
“How did it feel having Sein-sama pat your head?”

 

Aaargh, geez! Of course it made me happy!

Translator Comment: Claire is too cute…

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