She’s so Cheeky for a Commoner! 3

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Misha Yule

While walking through the academy I happened to see “her”.
There was something I needed to discuss with her, but it wasn’t something that I wanted Pipi and Loretta to overhear so I found my opportunity and slipped away.

“It’s been a long time since we last met, Misha.”
“Hm? Oh… Good day to you, Claire-sama.”

When I called out to her, the young lady gave a polite bow and courteous response.
This cool beauty with silver hair and scarlet eyes was Misha Yule.
Though a fair amount of time had passed since we last met, her expression retained the same composure that I knew her for.
She constantly maintained a very neutral gaze, making her difficult to read.

“There’s no need for you to force formalities.
Congratulations on your enrollment, Misha.
Though you may be a commoner now, you hail from true noble lineage, this clearly distinguishes you from the average commoner.”
“I appreciate the sentiment, but I believe that it’s important we keep boundaries clear.”

Ultimately choosing to maintain the proper stance that a commoner should take toward a noble was just like Misha.
House Yule was a distinguished lineage that held the rank of Marquis and was charged with managing the kingdom’s land and infrastructure.
They had deep ties with the royal family, and I had heard that Misha was particularly close with the Third Prince, Yuu-sama.
Historically, many members of the Yule family were both steadfast and earnest individuals and Misha was no exception.
Putting it nicely she was sincere, but at times a tad too much so.

“Is that so, then we’ll continue as is.
But well, it’s quite the shame that things turned out this way.”
“It’s only natural.
Struggles over authority are commonplace amongst nobility and the losers are meant to quietly disappear.”

Misha’s tone made it clear that her words were not a brave front; she had simply accepted the truth.
Her expression showed no signs of regret nor bitterness.
This dignity too, was another one of the Yule family’s exemplary qualities.

The Bauer Kingdom’s most influential powers were broken into four large groups.
The first was the royal family.
They defined the kingdom and have continued to rule over it for nearly 2000 years.
As such, it should go without saying that they hold the most authority.
However, the shape of that authority has gradually shifted.
Rather than directly vying for authority, the royal family drew on its rich history and deep ties to kingdom traditions.
In truth, some households were already beginning to eclipse the royal family in either financial or political pull.

Another group was the household that I belonged to, the house of the Duke of François.
Throughout the kingdom’s long history, the head of our family continued to serve as its Minister of Finance.
In recent years, we had begun to accumulate both financial and political momentum to rival the royal family.
While we did fall behind Salas Lilium-sama, the Prime Minister, and his faction of supporters in political influence, none came close to matching us in the financial pull.
As we held jurisdiction over the national treasury, no noble could survive should they catch our ire.
But rest assured, my father, Dor François, would never wield such authority for his own personal benefit.

The third group was composed of Prime Minister Salas-sama and his faction.
The reason it was not referred to as House Lilium was because Salas-sama’s household itself did not hold much power.
Salas-sama hailed from a lineage that could only be considered petty nobility.
Yet, in spite of that, he blazed his path to success and secured the position of the kingdom’s Prime Minister by his own merits.
While again, his faction did not hold a candle to our household financially, they more than made up for it with political prowess.
There was a tacit agreement among nobles that many of the policies the current King had put into motion would not have gained traction without Salas-sama’s backing.
It would not be an overstatement to say that this faction was held together by Salas-sama’s charismatic political influence.

Finally, we had the house of the Marquis of Achard.
House Achard was a house with history that ran almost as deep as that of the royal family itself.
Just a few generations ago, they held the rank of duke alongside us.
However, the head at that time made a poor political gamble against our very own House François and lost, resulting in the demotion.
In spite of that, House Achard continued to hold sway greater than the rank of their title may suggest.
In the end, authority and history meant absolutely everything to nobility, and in that respect, House Achard held true prestige.
Perhaps to be expected, this faction had fervently opposed King Rousseau’s new policies prioritizing ability over lineage.
They were a conservative group that pushed to maintain the tried and true.
Though they didn’t stand out, they took pride in their long standing stability.

Pardon me, the preamble went too long.
To return to the matter at hand, House Achard humbled House Yule in a political struggle for power.
Though the Yule family tried to avoid siding with any factions and keep a neutral stance, they unfortunately caught the attention of House Achard and were brought down.
Rumor had it that House Achard’s true aim was House Yule’s connection to the royal family, but nothing could be confirmed.

“By the way, Claire-sama, did you have something specific in mind when you called out to me?”

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“Ah yes, yes I did!”

I had almost forgotten.

“It’s about your roommate!”
“About Rei? Did she do something?”
“Not just something! Just what is with that commoner! Every time she speaks it’s nothing but nonsense.
I have never once lay my eyes on such a crass individual!”
“… Eh? That’s… my deepest apologies.”

Though Misha momentarily showed visible confusion, she quickly lowered her head to apologize and asked,

“For reference, if I may ask, what exactly did Rei do…?”
“T-that’s…!”

In contrast to Misha’s composure, I faltered and stumbled over my words.
What that commoner said… what she said…

“She said that she… L-, loves me or something of the sort…”
“Eh? I couldn’t hear you, what was that?”
“I, I said…”
“I’m listening.”

Why must I lose myself over something so trifle! There’s no way that I could allow those countless shameless phrases to escape my noble mouth!

“This is all that depraved commoner’s fault…!”
“Claire-sama?”
“In any case! See to it that she learns proper etiquette and to address nobles with respect!”
“Pardon my words, but I was under the impression that Rei was already quite prudent…”

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“In what way!? It’s as though someone took unadulterated crass, simmered it down and solidified it to form her very being!”
“… Are we still talking about Rei?”

Misha tilt her head in confusion.
Something was off.
How could our impressions of that commoner be so starkly incompatible?

“Let me ask you just for reference, but how do you perceive that commoner?”
“Well, how do I put this… She’s common?”
“Common!? That… her!?”
“Yes.
I’m not sure what she’s done to upset you to this degree, but Rei is truly just a normal child who tends not to stand out.”

Suddenly I felt faint.
That..
was meant to be normal? Could it be that I was oblivious and the majority of commoners acted in that same way? I suddenly found myself deeply concerned for Bauer’s future.

“She has a bright personality and tends to be optimistic, but otherwise doesn’t have any remarkable traits.
Ah, but she does excel in her studies.”
“But otherwise doesn’t have any remarkable traits… that… that…”

Commoners are truly horrifying.
It was just as I had thought, without nobles standing at the top to lead the way, this kingdom would surely perish.

“Then let me ask you, Claire-sama, how would you describe her?”
“She’s a depraved deviant.”
“What?”
“Like I said! A depraved deviant! Just what is up with her! That commoner dares to make attempts to court my affection as though completely oblivious of her proper place.
Absolutely incomprehensible! Besides, doesn’t she realize that we’re both ladies!?”
“Attempts to court your affection? Rei did something like that?”
“Yes, that’s what I said! While I’m sure she’s just mocking me, it’s not the least bit funny!”
“…”

As I continued without pause, Misha tilted her head further at a loss for words.

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“Is something the matter?”
“Not in particular but I just can’t escape the feeling that you and I may have met an entirely different person.”
“She has black eyes and medium black hair, maybe about as tall as me or a little taller with a peasantly build.
It’s that commoner, do you really think I would mistake her?”
“You’re really quite observant.”
“With the impression that she left, I couldn’t forget even if I wanted to!”
“Is that so?”

Leaving those simple words behind, Misha offered a chuckle.

“Hey, Misha, why are you laughing?”
“My apologies, but Claire-sama, you seem to be having fun.”
“Fun!? I am!?”
“Yes.”

With a faint smile still on her face, Misha continued.

“Claire-sama, you always wear an elegant smile befitting of your nobility, but that smile is ultimately a facade.
You only show your true smile to the select few that you’ve opened up to like Pipi-sama and Loretta-sama, right?”
“That’s…”

Not… I couldn’t say it with confidence.

“It appears to me that you may have actually taken quite the liking to Rei.
Otherwise, I don’t think that she would be able to draw out your emotions in this way.”
“There’s no way! There’s just ABSOLUTELY no way!”

Me!? Opening up to someone like that!?

“I just―that commoner is just so crass that I had to approach you.
As her roommate I ask that you warn her of her improper―”

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“Yes, I’ll be sure to give her a stern warning.
But Claire-sama, so far as I can tell, she’s only like that in front of you.”
“She’s like that… only toward me?”
“Yes, Claire-sama, perhaps Rei also sees you as someone very special.”

I’m… special…?

“I-In any case, I think I’ve made my intentions clear enough! If I catch that commoner spouting such nonsense again, there’s no saying what will happen!”
“I understand, I’ll make sure she hears it loud and clear.”
“Then it’s in your hands! I bid you farewell!”

With that, I parted ways with Misha.

“Claire-sama! Where have you been?”
“We couldn’t find you anywhere, we were so worried.”
“Sorry to worry you two, but there’s no need to fret.”

Reuniting with Pipi and Loretta, we went to have tea at our usual gazebo.
The tea that had been prepared by Lene, my long trusted maid, was delicious as always.

But hm.

“I’m… special…”

I just couldn’t seem to clear my mind of Misha’s words.
I felt no joy in garnering the affection of a commoner.
Not in the slightest, or at least I shouldn’t…

And yet, that girl’s carefree smile simply wouldn’t leave my head.

Translator Comment: Misha coming in huge!? Truly Rei’s ally from the very start ;~;

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