She’s so Cheeky for a Commoner! 23

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Aug 05 2021

Escort

“…”

Having finished another shift at the Cavalier, I entered the break room next door.
Waiting on customers was a job meant for the commoners.
There was no way that I, as House François’ sole daughter, wouldn’t feel tired after being forced to do something like that.
While the princes too worked the job without a single complaint, this was something that they would normally never do.
It wouldn’t sit well with me if the others were to think that I couldn’t do the job, so I carried out my duties flawlessly… But at times some of the customers would get ahead of themselves to make unwelcome advances, and I was fed up with it.

“… Geh”

To make things worse, the commoner entered the break room to change.
I quickly turned away from her hoping she wouldn’t notice me, but unfortunately, she already had.

“Great work on today’s shift.
Claire-sama, will you be going for your break too?”
“That’s right.
Really though, why must I do something so low, like waiting on customers?”

Thinking that it may be unnatural to not make any conversation, I half-mindedly spoke as I changed.
As my current butler uniform was tailored toward utility, I could change in and out of it without Lene’s help.
I intended to change on my own, but the commoner rushed to help me before changing herself.
Hmph, it appears that she’s learned to be at least of some use.

“But Claire-sama, you’re actually really good at it! I was surprised.”
“I’m well accustomed to keeping appearances and smoothing things over.
Might you have forgotten that I am the daughter of this kingdom’s Minister of Finance?”

Just moments before, royalty from a foreign nation tried to start some trouble within the café.
As it appeared that the commotion may impact our other customers and because the commoner’s response was just absolutely unbelievable, I reflexively stepped in to extend her a lifeline.
Trying to deal with someone like that the standard way was a fruitless effort.
It was best to have them believe that they held superiority, and then string them around my finger.
Such tactics were often necessary within high society.

“But Claire-sama, I like you when you’re honest too.”
“… Just what part of me do you find honest? Stop with your flattery.
I’m well aware I have a problematic personality.”

I knew myself well, and honesty was a concept distant to my personality.
Most would not dare to say it to my face, but I was aware that most saw me as the duke’s pompous daughter.
But in the end, that was the truth.
I have lived simply doing what I pleased.
My selfishness could by no means be referred to as honesty.

“I won’t deny that you have a difficult personality, Claire-sama, but when it comes down to it, doesn’t everybody?”
“… Do you intend to say that I shouldn’t think of myself as special?”
“That’s not it.
Just that it hurts me to see you insult yourself.”
“That wasn’t my…”

As I spoke to deny the commoner’s words, I looked back on my previous statement.
It was as though I had said those words hoping she would deny them.
Such disgraceful behavior was unbecoming of a member of House François.

“Hah… I must be tired after doing something that I’m not used to.
To think that I’d let such words slip out in front of a commoner.”
“Being able to see your weak side makes me happy though.
Is it okay if I exploit the opportunity?”

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The commoner acted as though she hadn’t realized anything.
She was oddly sensitive in understanding where the boundaries were.
It was as though she drew the lines so that she’d never do anything to truly upset me.
The way she cleverly maneuvered emotional boundaries was something that I felt I could never do.

Though, I must say that I was still fed up with her usual heavy-handed antics.

Hmph, yes.
Perhaps a commoner like this was just right to accommodate my whims.

“Enough with your jests.
Hurry up and change, how long do you intend to keep me waiting?”
“Wha?”
“What, cat got your tongue? I’m asking you to accompany me, have I not made that clear?”

When I turned away from her and said that, the commoner opened her eyes wide as though she couldn’t believe my words.
Just what was that face meant to be?

“Claire-sama.”
“Wh-What is it?”
“How do I look in these?”

At her prompt, I took a moment to take a closer look.
She remained in her butler’s uniform, similar to the one that I had just worn.
However, she pulled it off far better than I ever could.
I was just wearing the uniform, but the commoner looked like the genuine article.
It suited her quite well.

But of course, it’d be frustrating to honestly admit that, so…

“Haven’t I already said it? The butler’s uniform is quite the natural look for a commoner like you.”
“So you’re saying the clothes are a good fit on me, right?”
“What of it!?”

When I tried to gloss over and muddy the details, the commoner ruthlessly pounced on the opportunity.
Goodness.

While I puffed up in anger, the commoner extended her hand with the uniform’s white gloves still on.

“For a short while, I ask that you allow me to serve as your escort.”

The commoner looked me straight in the eye as she said those words.
I must admit, for that moment, she appeared just a little charming.
N-No! That was nothing but a temporary slip!

◆◇◆◇◆

“So, where should we go?”
“I don’t want anything to do with food, alright? I know for a fact that it’ll all be mediocre.”

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“Isn’t that just how food generally is at these events?”
“I prefer to choose what I eat.”

We maintained a simple conversation as we walked through the academy’s halls.
The Founder’s Festival was open to the general public, so there were more commoners on the campus today.
I wasn’t very fond of commoners in general, so I found it unpleasant, but this too was academy tradition so there was nothing that I could say.

“In that case, let’s go here.”
“What exactly is here?”

The classroom that the commoner pointed to was littered with eerie decorations.
I knew that this couldn’t be good.

“It’s a haunted house!”
“Absolutely not!”

When I tried to run away, she simply strengthened her grip on my hand and pulled me back.
It was then that I first realized that I had been holding hands with the commoner this whole time.
How absolutely careless of me!

“Hmm? Claire-sama, are you really afraid of some silly ghosts?”
“O-Of course not! I simply don’t have the time to waste on something as childish as this―!”
“Of course, of course.
Excuse us! Admission for two students please~”

With my objections in one ear and out the other, the commoner promptly secured our admission.
I had no choice but to enter.

“Claire-sama.”
“Wh-What now…?”
“If you get scared, feel free to hug me any time, okay?”
“Don’t say something so… Eeek!?”

Something akin to a zombie suddenly appeared forcing me to cling onto her.
Commoner… I’ll remember this!

◆◇◆◇◆

“That was absolutely horrifying…”
“I received a priceless opportunity to witness Claire-sama’s cute side.”

After the haunted house, we found ourselves at a rest spot in the academy’s courtyard.
Exhausted after having been frightened at every turn, I didn’t even have the capacity to take in the vibrant colors of the springtime flower beds in full bloom.

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“Let’s take a quick break.
I’ll buy something for us to drink.”
“Don’t go off and buy something strange now.
Water would be just fine, do you understand?”
“I’ll do what I can.”

After I gave my warning, the commoner left and returned in the span of minutes.
In her hands she held two cups filled with juice.

“You’re so slow.”
“My apologies.
Here you are..”

Though I hadn’t really waited all that long, I still chose to speak in spite.
Completely unfazed by my words, the commoner naturally offered me one of the cups.
When I drank some, the faint aroma of citrus spread through my mouth.
The invigorating scents were so refreshing.

“Claire-sama, it may not be much, but please take this.”
“What is this…?”

The next thing the commoner gave me was an amulet.
A small magic gem sat in the middle of the silver.
It appeared to be an artifact from the church.
One of those protective charms, and proclaimed effect was―

“… A fulfilling love?”
“I really hope things go well between you and Sein-sama.”

The commoner gave me a cheerful smile… Yet, something about this didn’t sit well with me.

“You really are quite the strange individual.”
“Why would you say that?”
“I know that you’re just teasing me, but in your own way, don’t you claim to love me?”
“I mean, I’m serious about it though.”
“Silence.
But then why would you go out of your way to encourage me in my love for Sein-sama? Isn’t there something weird about that?”

As I fidgeted with the chains of the amulet that she had given me, I decided to ask the commoner directly.
Even now, I didn’t understand just what she was after.
If she really―and truly―desired me, then there was no way that she should be able to encourage me in my pursuit of Sein-sama.

“I… over having my own love fulfilled, wish that Claire-sama would find happiness.”
“That’s entirely hypocritical.”
“Well, I do understand why you would think that.
But, it’s how I really feel.”

Even while wearing a pained smile, the commoner remained firm.
Having heard her resolve, I decided to ask her what I had been curious about for a long time now.

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“… Why are you willing to go such lengths for me?”

The commoner had expressed her affection toward me from the moment we met.
At first I thought that she was either just after my favor or joking, but in that case there was no reason for her to become my maid.
I was sure that this commoner had something that drove her actions.
Having been surrounded by false affections for my entire life, I was left unable to properly gauge this commoner’s affections.

When I asked, I couldn’t deny that I felt just a little hopeful.
But, the answer she gave was―

“Because… you are the one who saved my soul.”

An answer that could only come off as a lie.
Really, how could I think otherwise? I met the commoner for the first time at our high school entrance ceremony.
We would not have had any opportunity to meet before then.

“You intend to stick to that farce? I saved you? That’s absolutely ridiculous.”

While suppressing the disappointment I felt deep down, I gave the commoner a sneer.
That moment, just for a single instant, the commoner looked deeply disappointed.
It was only for an instant though, so it must been my mistake.

“In that case, could you save me now? Specifically with a hug or a kiss.”

… Yes, it must have just been a mistake.
The commoner was still her usual self.

“I believe that’s quite enough.
Our break will be ending soon, let’s head back.”
“Okaay.”

With that playful response, the commoner once more extended her hand.
I imagine she wanted to escort me until the end of our break, but I had no intention to take her hand now.

“Our little session of make believe is over.
I am me, and you are you.
We’re a noble and a commoner, nothing more, nothing less.”
“How sad.
To think that I’d lose the only valid excuse I had to hold Claire-sama’s hand…”
“You…”

You constantly make a fool of yourself and laugh everything off.
Not once have you allowed me even a peek at your true intentions.
Do you really expect me to be able to trust you?

I rushed on ahead of her, and yet―

I couldn’t bring myself to let go of the amulet that she had presented me.

Translator Comment: Aaah, that ending… Rei you idiot! It’s easy to forget about it looking at Rei in some of the later stages of the story, but she’s pretty dense herself…

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