The morning sun streams in through the small window in the carriage.
Gilles, sitting across from me, is snoozing, his head slightly nodding as the carriage sways and as he serenely breathes in and out.
Ahh, this time of the morning is so wonderfully peaceful.
Anyway, from today onward, I need to start thinking about my grand banishment strategy.
My heart starts pounding just thinking about it! Anything short of detestable misconduct likely wouldn’t land me with banishment as a punishment after all.
…..Speaking of which, I wonder if being rude to the king might be the easiest method Though would that be enough…
Hmm, I think more thought is necessary.
And, before I do anything, I’d like to ask Uncle Will what he thinks.
…..Ah, that startled me.
I was so sure he’d been sleeping just a few seconds ago! But now he’s looking at me with a very serious look in his eyes.
“I did a lot of thinking last night and I…….
Alicia, if you’ve decided that you need to do something alone, I won’t interfere.
If that’s what you think is best, I won’t object,” Gilles tells me, his eyes unwavering.
“But, there is one thing I’d like you to promise me.”
Gilles, in this moment, looks so breathtakingly genuine, that I can’t seem to look away.
He has me captivated.
His expression is so mature; there are no traces of the childishness he showed me yesterday.
“And I’m not saying this just for myself.
I’m not the only one who thinks this way.
Duke and Henry and Mel and Carol… they all really like you.
A future without you in it, Alicia, would be far too lonely,” Gilles clears his through.
“….is what Duke said to me, anyways.”
At Gilles’s surprisingly serious speech, I find myself stiffening.
As a villainess, is it okay for so many people to be that fond of me Gilles is being painfully honest, and yet I can’t stop these disgusting doubts from pervading my thoughts.
The fact that his words made me feel this happy, actually makes me feel anxious at the same time.
My goal of becoming a villainess clearly hasn’t changed, and yet I can’t help but wonder, what is it that I’m truly aiming to accomplish….
“No matter when it is, I’ll be your shield.
“Then I’ll be your sword whenever you need one,” I say back, smiling at him.
“……Together, I guess that makes us the strongest pair,” Gilles says, the corners of his lips quirking up happily.
With the morning light shining on his gray eyes, they sparkle, almost dazzling bright.
Mel and Carol call out enthusiastically, bounding towards us.
Their faces look almost desperate as they push and prod at each other, trying to obtain the best spot in front of me.
Just looking at this scene, you’d think I was Miss Popularity here at the academy.
“Morning,” I reply back to the two of them.
“Yes! She definitely said that to me!!” Mel cries, a triumphant glee spreading across her face as she smirks at Carol.
…..What are they even competing over
I’m the one she graciously replied to.”
“Hah~ Clearly it was me, Mel, that she said that to.
No matter how you look at it, it was ob~viously me.”
Even first thing in the morning, these two are still quite energetic.
Actually, now that I think about it….
It’s kind of weird to see them being so much more enthusiastic and lively than me despite both of them being older.
Then again, if you include the time spent in my past life, my mental age would be closer to 30 now, so I guess it isn’t that odd after all.
“I know you think they’re the anomaly, Alicia, but it would be best for you get rid of that misconception.
They aren’t the outlier.
There are a hundred kids in the academy who like you just as much as these two do.”
“100! Isn’t that a gross overestimation” I object a little more forcefully than I had meant to.
There’s just no way.
100 is obviously way too many.
“…..I was being on the conservative side when I said that.
There’s definitely at least a hundred.
Actually, I think there’s more than that.”
And how does he know that Just how far does Gilles’s information network reach What a truly a frightening child…..
“‘Cause I like Ali-Ali most!”
“No, I am the one who admires Alicia-Sama the most.”
I hear Mel and Carol still arguing, their shrill voices each fighting to be the loudest, as if that would prove they were the one in the right.
Gilles turns an exasperated look on the two of them.
“They’re still at it,” he sighs, somewhat bemused.
…..Maybe the person with the greatest mental age out of all of us, is actually Gilles, the youngest. Seeing this expression on his face, I suddenly think that in a small corner of my heart.