On the evening of the incident’s day.
In the emptied office of the king inside the palace were three figures:
The king, the guard captain Burgle, and the third princess Morena.
「….Is all of this true?」
「What would we gain by spouting lies like this?」
「father, please believe our words!」
After pondering the issue for a bit, the king decided on a course of action.
「Invite this girl to the palace.」
In opposition to the panicked third princess and Burgle, the king answered without losing a shred of his composure.
「With that many witnesses there is no way this information isn’t going to spread. And we can’t leave a person of such importantce alone in case some other noble or a spy from another country were to take notice of her…
There shouldn’t be a problem as long as we don’t touch upon matters regarding the goddess, right? Then just invite her as a reward for selflessly shielding a child with her own body to protect the honor of a princess. Or is there a problem with this? Shouldn’t this kind of reward be the natural thing to do as a king and as a father?」
「Morena, as the person who kept you honor from being defiled, ask that girl to please become your friend.」
「Y-Yes. I wouldn’t have dared to wish for something like that, so I’ll gladly oblige…」
「Very well. Burgle, as someone who knows her face, I order you to find the girl. Begin your search immediately.」
The search ended too fast to be called a search.
After all, Adel was wearing her uniform and for the royal guard to be unaware of Adorei’s or Ekland’s uniforms was unthinkable. Additionally, her glossy silver hair stood out like a sore thumb. It was too easy.
Guard captain Burgle immediately arranged an appointment with the headmaster and confirmed Adel’s background.
Faced with a direct order from the king, the headmaster wouldn’t lie to the captain of the royal guard for something as paltry as the hush money from a viscount, and thus he easily spilled Adel’s full name as well as her descent.
The headmaster held no ill will, thinking that with this inquiry Adel’s situation would improve. He believed that she would take a step towards greatness from here on.
When Burgle reported his findings to the king, he immediately sent out a messenger to viscount Ascham’s daughter inviting her to the palace.
「…And due to this the king requests the attendance of the daughter of viscount Ascham. Here is the invitation.」
Adel was troubled by letter the viscount whose name she didn’t remember was trying to hand her.
(Why did it turn out like this…)
Even though it was a direct order by a goddess, with that many people in the known there was no way the secret could be kept, and she was bound to be bothered by the nobility for being “The vessel of the Goddess”. Ignorant of this possibility, Adel continued to leisurely live her school life when she was called out by a teacher during the afternoon class. Now she was alone with the messenger inside the school’s reception room.
(If I don’t do something I’ll be restricted and confined. At worst I’ll be imprisoned or dissected? Even if you open me up, you find a goddess in there!
What should I do, what should I do…
I need to think, think….
Roar, my gray matter!)
Adel’s desperate mind then noticed something.
This messenger hadn’t been at the site when the incident happened.
She was certain that there had been no knight with a belly this round.
And the whole business he brought up until now had nothing do with the goddess or yesterday’s events, everything just naming her as a “benefactor of the third princess”.
And he probably didn’t know about Adel and the goddess since, even though he didn’t say anything about it, his behaviour was too normal for that.
(He wasn’t told anything about the goddess or yesterday’s incident?
Then this person is just a gopher who doesn’t know anything about the situation!)
If that was the case, there was a way out for her. Of course using the acting ability she had recently gained confidence in!
「Eh? And you want me to deliver this to the viscount’s daughter?」
The messenger was stunned in response to Adel’s unexpected words.
「I mean, didn’t you just say that this invitation is to be delivered to the daughter of viscount Ascham who attends Adorei Academy?」
Adel continued her offensive against the confused messenger.
「The daughter of viscount attends the higher ranked Adorei Academy, not this Ekland Academy. I might have received funds from the Ascham family to attend here, but I wouldn’t dare to use their name. I would be killed if I did that. Somebody probably made a small mistake.」
「Please keep it a secret that you were mistakenly direct to me. It would be bad if this angered the viscount and he were to cut my funding.」
「W-Well! Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone about this…」
With that parting sentence the messenger quickly took his leave. Probably to head towards Adorei.
(The invitation was for noon tomorrow…. It seems like this is it)
Adel resolved herself to retreat.
Her classmates immediately descended on Adel with questions about what had happened when she returned after previously being called for by an excited teacher. But she quickly deflated them with a simple “They mistook me for someone else.”.
Marcella and her friends only relaxed after Adel quietly replied to their worried glances with “The step-sister”.
After the class had finished, Adel started her preparations as soon as she arrived in her dorm room. First was writing letters.
One for her friends, her classmates, the dorm mother. A letter thanking Aron the baker and apology for her sudden quitting. And finally, a notice towards the school. She spent a lot of time on these letters, eating dinner on the side, while writing until midnight.
(Then, the next thing to prepare is…. nothing I guess)
Even over the period of one year, Adel’s inventory hadn’t really increased as all her spare underwear and leftover food was stored in her Item box. Her room, as always, was essentially empty.
After deliberating it for a little bit, Adel decided to keep the uniform and sports clothes. Both were quite worn already so they wouldn’t be lent out again, facing disposal if she left them here.
But before that, if she didn’t take them with her, she wouldn’t have anything to wear.
The clothing she had worn one year earlier was expectedly a little bit too small for her.
After carefully lining up the letters on her desk, Adel put a single blanket from her bed into her Item box before overlooking the room.
…It was splendidly empty.
Having finished softly whispering this, Adel pulled out the plate with the bone out of her drawer and moved the letters to her bed.
(It should be fine since it is a stray. And you’re probably the cat the other girls fed calling you such names as Kuro, Goldeneye, Key-Tail or Bug-Catcher.)
Since cats tend to dislike people who overwhelm them with affections, Adel’s place where it could get scratched whenever it wanted and sleep on the bed otherwise probably was very comfortable, which caused it to often stay there.
The only point of dissatisfaction with Adel was probably that she only offered bones as a snack, so it visited the other girls for snacks. A fact that didn’t escape Adel’s notice.
For some reason it only visited the girls though, avoiding the boys’ dormitory….
「Every thing set. Escape!」
The next morning, her teacher was worried since she didn’t show up to class and asked a free teacher to look for her. When that teacher went to the girls dormitory to find Adel’s room empty save for four letters, it turned into a huge commotion.
Some way or another, Adel had become something a mascot and was adored among the students as well as the teachers. Even though she herself only aimed to be a normal student.
By opening the letters everyone learned that she had left by her own will and since she had wrote an official notice about leaving the school, there was nothing Ekland Academy could do. The most the could do was informing her guardians about this.
「What is the meaning of this!」
「Is something the matter?」
Marcella replied with an annoyed look to Kelvin whose blood vessels threatened to burst.
「Adel, of course! Where has she gone! And why!!」
Although he was a stiflingly hot blooded man, his words were no meaningless lashing like before, but sincere worry for Adel that had gone to his head. Marcella understood this so she reluctantly bothered to reply.
Since the letter addressed at her classmates contained only an apology for her sudden disappearance and thanks for everything up to this point, but nothing about the circumstances of this sudden turn of events, so it was obvious that they would try to get the details from Marcella who had received a separate letter.
「A family matter. The problem of succession. A common thing among nobility, isn’t it?」
「…and she is the heir?」
「No, she’s in the way. The situation probably turned ugly, so she had to lay low.」
Kelvin was speechless, but Marcella only snorted at this.
「What are you worrying about. Do you think that girl would be done in by something small like this?
I’m sure she’s happy that she could throw away that bothersome family name and live her live like she wants. What kind of girl did you look at for the past year?」
「…..But I haven’t even apologized to her or thanked her yet.」
「That girl always said that she wanted to “live a normal life”, but do you think she can do such a thing? She will certainly fail somewhere along the way and land right on top of the big stage. Isn’t it good enough if you have become a good enough man to show your face before her at that time?」
Marcella watched over Kelvin with kindness in her eyes as he wordless left.
A boy who witnessed this scene unconsciously let out a mumble.
「Marcella….That’s a good woman…..」
The surrounding boys could only nod to that.