She’s so Cheeky for a Commoner! 22

Sponsored Content

Commemoration Concert

The Bauer Academy had a dedicated off-site concert hall.

“Woah… this is my first time here, but it’s amazing.”

Next to me in her wheelchair, Catherine raised her voice in awe.
Quite the reasonable reaction.

The Founder’s Festival had finally begun.
While various festivities and functions were being hosted all across the academy, the Commemoration Concert would take place in the neighboring concert hall.
After serving my shift at Cavalier to open up my schedule now, I met up with Catherine and we made our way here.

The concert hall had five theaters, all in various sizes ranging from small, medium and large, and in total was about one fourth the size of the academy.
As the premise was built for royalty, the numerous furnishings were all top class.
Additionally, because the concert hall was reconstructed every couple of decades, despite its history, it remained very modern.

Catherine and I entered the facility through a door decorated by a gorgeous relief and made our way toward the largest concert hall.

“I doubt that you could find another concert hall of this caliber even if you searched the entire world.
This facility stands on equal ground alongside the Naa Empire’s Imperial Theater and the Sousa Kingdom’s Opera House.”
“I can tell just by looking~ The facility’s interior is practically on par with our Royal Palace, isn’t it?”

Catherine was uncharacteristically restless.
Despite the fact that she had been born to one of Bauer’s most prominent households, Clément-sama’s cold attitude toward her had left her without much experience in high society.
As a result, things like this concert that other nobles normally experienced as part of their everyday lives, were distant to her.

When I asked Catherine to go out with me, I told her that I was too nervous to attend Loretta’s pivotal concert alone, but that wasn’t my only reason.
In truth, it was because I wanted to drag her out of that cramped dormitory room.
While other nobles revelled in their freedoms, she alone was forced to close herself off.
Though she told me that she did occasionally head out, considering her leg, I doubt that she could traverse very far.
As if that weren’t enough, Clément-sama’s general disposition also meant that it was unlikely that she held meaningful connections with other nobles.

“So Catherine, aren’t you glad that you came?”
“Yup, thank you Claire-chan.”

When I smiled at her, she returned a smile of her own.
Seeing that, I was really glad that I had invited her.

However―

“Esteemed ladies, I ask that you refrain from causing a commotion.
By my master’s orders, we are to avoid any actions that may cause us to stand out.”

The one who interrupted our fun was a tall middle aged woman with black hair and black eyes.
She was Catherine’s maid.
Her hair was tied back tightly into a bun, giving her a cold and stern impression.

Sponsored Content

“Sor-ry Emma.
But come on, you too got the chance to enter this wonderful building, don’t you feel even just a little excited~”
“Not in particular.
More than that, my lady, I’m concerned that you might do something that will make you stand out in a bad way.”

Without even so much as blinking, Emma stared straight at Catherine’s wheelchair as she said all that.
There was no denying it.
Ever since we stepped onto the premises, Catherine and her floating chair continued to garner attention.
Perhaps in consideration of my existence, there were none who had given us a prolonged stare, but it was true that we continued to receive countless glances in passing.

“Don’t say something like that, Emma~ This is something that Claire-chan went out of her way to make for me after all~”
“Yes, well, I wish that you would have consulted me about that as well.
If the master found out that we received something like this unbeknownst to him…”

With a scowl, Emma breathed a deep sigh.
Despite being Catherine’s maid, she made it clear that she only intended to prioritize Clément-sama’s wishes.

“You… you said your name was Emma?”
“Yes, Claire-sama.”
“Aren’t you Catherine’s maid? Clément-sama might be your employer, but the one you’re meant to serve is Catherine, right?”

I came to a stop and questioned Emma.
Like how Emma’s employer was Catherine’s father, Lene’s employer was technically my father.
Even so, were I to try something mischievous, Lene did not go out of her way to file a report behind my back.
Lene had sworn her loyalty specifically to me, and yet this woman!

“Claire-chan, I’m fine.
Let’s not get into this.”
“No, this is not okay.”
“I apologize if I have offended you.
However, this matter strictly pertains to House Achard.
Claire-sama, even if you are House François’ eldest daughter, I ask that you hold your tongue.”
“… What did you just say?”

Making her displeasure apparent, Emma gave me a stern word.
Me! The absolute nerve!

“How dare you―”
“Emma, silence.
This is an order.
Claire-chan, you too.
Please.
It’s been such a wonderful day… I ask that you don’t ruin it now.”
“Catherine…”

She made her plea.
Despite having maintained her usual meek smile, I could tell that Catherine was desperate.
There were plenty of things that I wanted to say to Emma, but it wasn’t my intention to bring trouble to Catherine.
Left with no other choice, I held my tongue.

“Thank you, Claire-chan.”

Sponsored Content

“… Let’s go, the concert will begin soon.”

Though my frustration remained visible, I resumed walking.
Not even Catherine’s own personal maid was her ally… I couldn’t help but think that, if only Emma was a little more like Lene, then at least Catherine could spend her days just a little less lonely.

 ◆◇◆◇◆

We seated ourselves in reserved boxed seats in the large concert hall.
The sour mood Emma had created almost ruining our date was long cleansed by the lovely performances from all of the various musicians.
All that was left was an eager anticipation as we awaited Loretta’s own.

“Look, she’s coming onto the stage now.”
“It’s finally her time~”

So, when she finally stepped onto the stage in her white dress, we both felt a sense of elation.

“Loretta-chan seems pretty nervous, doesn’t she~”
“I can’t fault her for it.
This concert may very well decide her life.”

It would be good if she nailed the performance to earn an invitation to the autumn concert, but if she didn’t, she may very well be forced to give up her pursuit of music.
It would be unreasonable to ask her not to feel nervous.

(Loretta… do your best…!)

As I concentrated my feelings as though in prayer, Loretta took a deep breath before letting her fingers take to the keys.

“The Late Maestro’s Solemn Exhibition…”
“Yeah.”

The composition that Loretta had chosen was composed by a legendary composer who once lived in the great nation to our north.
The composer’s name was Myssurgska and the title was “The Late Maestro’s Solemn Exhibition”.
An ambitious composition with a prelude and five promenades that acted as intermezzos connecting a total of ten songs, it was a composition played not only on the piano, but that had also been arranged for the orchestra.
With its memorable melody and fluid tempo, it gave the listener a lot to take in, but at the same time demanded incredible technique from the musician.

“…”

While Loretta was stiff just moments before, once she began playing, her expression gradually softened.
That said, she did not allow herself to relax, but maintained a good sense of tension.

Sponsored Content

“Loretta-chan seems to have found her groove~”
“Yes.”

One single emotion shone through―pure bliss.
She loved playing the piano, revelled in giving birth to the notes, and found joy in frolicking with them.
All of that was clear just looking at her face as she played.
The melody weaved together as her fingers danced freely across the piano’s keys transcended the auditory and became visible.
It was as though we ourselves could see the ten renowned paintings that Myssurgska was said to have seen.
On that day, the critics who attended this concert would evaluate Loretta as follows… Loretta Cugletto, is a pianist who holds a rainbow colored palette.

“Amazing~”
“Yes, a spectacle.”

I was completely unaware that I had been crying.
I knew very well that Loretta blazed her path forward with her own strength.
House Cugletto was a house with deep ties into the military and martial arts.
Under normal circumstances, she would be expected to just marry into another household, but for her, the expectations lay elsewhere.

Namely, she was expected to become the Bauer Kingdom’s first female soldier.

While that wasn’t possible in the past, with the discovery of magic, everything had changed.
As stated, House Cugletto was one of the earliest lineages to incorporate magic into their techniques, and had patiently awaited the maturation of a female soldier over the last couple of generations.
To that end, Loretta was drilled in military matters from a very young age.
Not even Loretta herself felt any doubt in regards to that path…

That was, until she discovered the piano.

The Duke of Cugletto did not place much value on cultural refinement, but was still a noble at the end of the day.
To give Loretta a minimal exposure to the arts, he took her to a concert.
It was there that Loretta, who had also just entered elementary school, was charmed by the piano.
Unfortunately, her wish to learn the instrument would go ungranted until much later, when she entered middle school.
At first she was much worse at the piano than the others around her, but under the guidance of Catherine’s mother, Carole-sama, she improved rapidly.
Now, she was considered one of the best, perhaps the best pianist in our generation.

Her performance today convinced me… Her journey as a pianist was far from over.

And, as though to prove that I was right, Loretta received an invitation to perform at the autumn concert just a few days later.

 ◆◇◆◇◆

“That was amazing~”
“Yes, truly.”

Catherine and I left the hall practically in a daze.
That was just how amazing Loretta’s performance was.

“Loretta-chan really did her best, didn’t she~”
“She truly is an individual deserving of my respect.”

Sponsored Content

That she had offered up that performance proved that she was a talented pianist.
However, because I knew the effort that she consistently poured into her practice, I knew that I couldn’t just chalk everything up to talent.

“So, Catherine, shall we share our impressions over some tea?”
“Ah, that sounds―”
“You mustn’t.”

As Catherine was about to give a happy nod, Emma cut her off.

“Emma…”
“We’ve accomplished our goal for today’s outing.
You must promptly return to your room.”
“Just a moment now… Don’t you think you’re being too intrusive? A servant’s role is to grant their master’s―”
“Claire-chan, it’s fine.”

When I raised my voice against Emma who again ruined the mood just as everything seemed to be going so well, Catherine was the one to stop me.

“I got to listen to such a wonderful performance~ That’s more than enough for me~ really.
Thank you for getting angry on my behalf~ Claire-chan.
But really, I’m fine~”
“But!”
“Claire-chan, you’re going to meet up with Loretta-chan, aren’t you? I’ll be waiting for you back in our room.
Alright Emma, let’s go.”
“Yes, let’s.
Well then, Claire-sama, au revoir.”
“Catherine…”

As Catherine rushed to leave, there was nothing that I could do but watch.
Even with my status as a duke’s daughter, I was powerless to protect the free will of my closest friend.

However―

“… I won’t give up.”

I am Claire François, I refuse to simply give in and accept things as they are!

Translator Comment: This maid clearly doesn’t understand the Way of the Maid! Someone call Lene-sensei over…!

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like