T/N: Today I’d like to thank my repeat Cookie Donor, Kamil!! Thank you for the sweets~!
“Morning, Alicia,” a voice says as large arms encircle me from behind.
A pleasant, slightly sweet scent wafts towards me.
Is he incapable of greeting me normally If memory serves, he had managed to do it not that long ago….
Did he lose that ability
Speaking of which, is it really okay for the prince of this country to be so lovestruck over a villainess With the way he’s acting, I’m likely to be punished for the crime of seducing the crown prince.
“Yick,” Gilles grunts, scrunching his nose at this blatant display.
“It’s first thing in the morning, Duke.
Can’t you give us a break” Henry-Oniisama chimes in, staring at the two of us bemusedly…..
Hmm, or maybe, rather than the two of us, it would be more accurate to say his gaze is trained on just Duke-Sama himself.
“Good morning, Duke-Sama.
Would you please kindly unhand me” I quip, lightly pushing against him with one of my hands.
To treat a prince this brusquely, I am truly becoming quite the fine figure of a villainess.
That being said, what a firm body he has.
Without being burly or overly large, he’s still managed to be quite muscular.
His physique is perfect.
The ideal body type.
“Before, you would have turned red at this.
Seems you’ve already gotten used to it.
Too bad,” Duke-Sama says teasingly, the corners of his lips turning up.
…..Could it be he hugged me from behind simply because he wanted to enjoy my reaction
“Yes, I’ve already grown accustomed to it.
So, from this point on, I assure you, you won’t be able to fluster me.
Not in the least,” I say primly.
And then, almost as an afterthought I add, “Though, I suppose a man other than Duke-Sama may be able to move me a bit” After this last part, I smirk up at him, feeling like I finally one-upped him.
And, I did it in such a villainess-y manner! That ought to have earned me quite a few villainy points.
“Hmm….” But Duke-Sama’s face….
“Alicia, is that really something for you to look so satisfied over” Duke-Sama says, his tone low; our banter’s over.
He’s looking at me now as if he can see right through me, right to the core.
And he looks….
Considering my words, he has all the right to be angry though.
That had been my intention.
After all, I am a villainess.
I have to be able to say such things brazenly and unabashed if I want to thrive in my role.
“I have nothing but respect for you, Duke.
Your self-restraint and control is on a godly tier,” Henry-Oniisama says, gazing anxiously in Duke-Sama’s direction.
But his words fall on deaf ears.
Duke-Sama makes no indication that he heard him.
He just continues to stare at me.
It feels like needles are pricking my skin, watching him like this.
The more I look into his eyes, the more his expression seems like one of hurt instead of one of rage.
Might this have been a miscalculation on my part ….But, no.
I’m a villainess.
A foul-mouthed, poisonous-tongued villainess.
I did exactly as I’m meant.
“Oi~ Class is going to start~!” Curtis-Sama calls.
“….What’s gotten into all of you” he asks as he draws closer.
He looks back and forth, taking in all of our expressions, with surprise filling his face as his gaze falls on Duke-Sama.
It is a rather surprising and rare thing to see Duke-Sama looking at me in this way…..
Let’s go,” Duke-Sama replies curtly.
With quick strides he walks towards the classroom, not sparing me a second glance.
I’ve really done it now.
He seems really mad….
If this was back when I had first decided to become a villainess, I doubt I could have withstood this pressure.
I probably would have apologized to Duke-Sama immediately if he looked at me like that.
And part of me still isn’t sure.
I can’t help but feel a little lost as I absentmindedly stare at his back while he walks away.
“Don’t ask me.”
“But you were there.
You have to know something, Henry.”
“Lots What’s that supposed to mean”
I can clearly hear Curtis-Sama and Henry-Oniisama’s heated whispers as they walk away.
Which means, I’m sure Duke-Sama must have heard them too.
“I guess I’ve really mastered acting like a detestable villainess…..”
At my words, Gilles gives me a rare, bitter smile.
“A detestable villainess More like a heartless wretch.”
I couldn’t have really been that bad….
“Look at it this way.
If the roles were reversed, would you have liked being told that”
If I fell in love with Duke-Sama, and after years of liking him whole-heartedly without ever hearing a word of love or affection from him, he told me that only another woman could move his heart……
“I would hate it,” I reply honestly.
“I don’t want to hear that sort of thing from Duke-Sama.”
“Huh From Duke specifically Alicia, don’t tell me, you–“
“Have I ruined it Maybe Duke-Sama’s already decided to throw me away now.”
“Hah There’s no way.
That will never happen.
But, Alicia, do you actually have feelings for–“
“Here I was, so proud of my actions.
But there was no elegance or refinement in what I said.
I wasn’t acting like a poised villainess at all.”
“Would you let me finish!” Gilles yells suddenly.
My eyes widening, I jerk my head down to look at him, finally giving him my full attention.
After heaving a small sigh, Gilles turns a serious gaze on me.
“Alicia, you like Duke.
Despite giving him all my attention, it takes me a couple of seconds to fully understand what he just said.