She’s so Cheeky for a Commoner! 21

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Date Plans

Late at night, I had a conversation with Catherine while in bed.
With the founder’s festival right around the corner, I was too excited to sleep.

For a moment, the conversation stalled.
With the rest of the academy sound asleep, only the sound of Catherine rolling a piece of candy within her mouth could be heard.

“So, Catherine… I have a request―”
“Don’t wanna~”
“… I haven’t said anything yet.”

I broke the silence to make my request, but Catherine coldly refused me.

“I mean, if it’s something that Claire-chan has to go out of her way to ask me, it’s gotta be trouble.”
“It really isn’t anything that significant… Really, it’s just a simple little request.”
“… Too suspicious…”

I felt Catherine lazily shifting around on the bunk above me.
As she let her head hang upside down from above, she looked straight at me.

“But well, since it’s Claire-chan that’s asking, I guess I could at least listen~”
“I knew you’d come around Catherine! So, uhm… I’d like you to accompany me to the Founder’s Festival Commemoration Concert tomorrow.”
“Hey, come on, Catherine!”

Catherine immediately withdrew comfortably into her bed.
Conversely I forced myself up onto the bunk ladder and called out to her.

“There’s a lot of significance in tomorrow’s concert.
It may be the deciding factor in whether or not Loretta is invited to the fall concert!”
“That sure does sound like an important concert, but I don’t get why I’d need to be there~”
“I mean, it’s such an important concert… It’d be too nerve wracking for me to attend alone…”

Loretta was the type to perform when it mattered, but it was always possible that she’d make a mistake.
If she wasn’t able to secure an invitation to the fall concert tomorrow, she’d have to immediately start preparations for her wedding.
Though it didn’t appear that Christophe-sama himself was concerned about their promise, considering Loretta’s personality she would certainly act to fulfill it.
While I personally was supportive of their marriage, I could tell that Loretta wasn’t enthusiastic.
In that case, I’d like for her to pursue her music career to her heart’s content.

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“Aren’t there others that you could rely on? Like Lene-chan~”
“Lene will be supervising the Cavalier for the entire first day so she can’t.”
“What about that commoner then~”
“The time of her shift overlaps with the time of Loretta’s performance… Beyond that, if I were to go with her, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the concert in peace!”
“Geez, you’re so selfish~”

Eh, was I really the one at fault here?

“In that case, what if you try inviting Sein-sama~”
“… Eh?”
“A concert, the appreciation of the fine arts, isn’t that the ideal date for royalty and nobility?”
“A-A-A-Absolutely not! There’s no way that Sein-sama would agree to go with someone like me!”

Even as I denied the possibility, my mind gave in to the wicked thoughts and my imagination immediately went to work.

『… How wonderful.』
『Yes, Loretta’s performance really is superb.』
『… That’s not what I meant.』
『… The one I’m talking about… is you, Claire.』
『… Even this lovely melody pales in comparison to your voice.』
『No… please spare me the jokes…』
『… Am I the type to speak in jest?』
『… Look at me, Claire.』

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Our faces drew closer and―.

“Earth to Claire~?”
“Eh? Ahh!?”

Just before I was about to achieve the unthinkable in my delusions, Catherine’s voice called me back to reality.

“I-In any case, it can’t be Sein-sama, absolutely not!”
“Geez, you’re so selfish~”

Again, was I really the one at fault here!?

“Alright, so what about Pipi-chan?”
“Pipi needs to attend to her own class’ activities, so it seems she can’t.”
“Father will be busy with work.”

Catherine went into silent thought.

“What is it?”
“Claire-chan… don’t you have any friends?”
“D-Don’t say something so foolish! Social exchanges are but a pastime to me! I have as many friends as there are stars in the sky!”
“And yet, now that you’re looking for someone to invite to an event as big as this one, why do your options seem so~ limited?”

There was nothing that I could snap back with, she was completely right.

“And just think about it, my leg is like this, you know? It’ll be tough just getting around~”

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“Ah, if that’s the issue then don’t worry.”
“The commoner had an interesting idea, please wait just a moment.”

I took the artifact that had been folded up and tucked away into the corner and returned it to its original shape.
Pushing it along with me, I returned to my bed.

“Wh-What’s that?”
“A wheelchair, or so I was told.
With this, I believe you should be able to get around much faster than with a cane.
So, what do you say?”

When I mentioned Catherine’s legs to the commoner, she suggested this wheelchair as a solution.
I should make it clear that the commoner took no part in assembling the wheelchair.
I asked her for the concept and submitted a special order to have professional smiths craft it.

“Originally it seems that you would move using the attached wheels, but based on Lambert’s suggestions we’ve also incorporated a Wind Gem.
Simply put, you’ll be able to travel by floating slightly off of the ground.”

Using wheels made traversing stairs or uneven ground cumbersome, but with this, while cliffs were still out of the question, so long as the difference wasn’t too steep, regular traversal should be no problem.
The wheels were still available as a backup option should the user run out of magic.

It was again Lambert who had made that suggestion.
It seemed that he really enjoyed working on projects like these, and had participated very enthusiastically.
According to him, there would be a large demand for an artifact like this among the elderly.

“So Catherine? What do you say, would you please come with me?”

Catherine’s eyes were not her usual sleepy lines, but were unusually wide open in surprise.
She was looking directly at the wheelchair.

“… Hah”
“Ahaha… hahahah…!”

Catherine was laughing.
She normally kept a cheerful disposition, so it wasn’t unusual to see her smile… But right now, she appeared to be laughing from the bottom of her heart.

“I-Is something the matter?”
“Claire-chan, how can you be so stupid…?”

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“Wha!? Just what do you mean by stupid!”

I snapped back in anger, but was silenced by Catherine’s next words.

“I mean… you’ve gone and done all this… for me… I’m basically just a broken toy… I can’t…“

Tears began to form within Catherine’s eyes.
Immediately, her situation with her family was brought to the fore of my mind.
That damned Clément, how dare he…!

“… Eh?”
“I’ll go with you for that concert tomorrow~ No, in fact, please allow me to accompany you~”

When I heard her response, I was so happy that I rushed up onto her bed and hugged her.

“Claire-chan, it hurts, stop~”
“Ah, I’m sorry.
But really, thank you so much, Catherine.”
“No no, I should be thanking you.
Ah, about the money you paid for this wheelchair―”
“There’s no need to concern yourself with that.
I mean, to me, the cost was inconsequential.”
“Just accept it as a token of our friendship.”
“… Looks like I’m still no match for you, Claire-chan~”

And so, completely content that I had found someone to come along with me for tomorrow’s concert, I returned to my own bed.
Tomorrow, I’d go out with Catherine for the first time in a long time.

“I’m really looking forward to it.”
“Yeah, me too.”

Translator Comment: Oh my, what would Rei’s reaction be if she knew that Claire had set up a date with Catherine!? Magic hovering wheelchair technology sounds pretty slick though, I have to admit.
Catherine and Claire have a fun dynamic~

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