After talking with Lucius, they made their way to the clothing shop, and she introduced him to the designer who caught her eyes.
It was also the first time Princess Estelle and Lucius met again after that incident, where she almost ended up being one of the victims. Lucius was indifferent towards their meeting, but Princess Estelle's reaction was strange.
She seemed a little…scared?
But when the designer saw these two standing together, she suddenly had a flash of inspiration and begged them to try on an outfit meant for couples.
Lucius glanced her way, his eyes pleading for help. But Aurora turned her head and pretended as if she didn’t notice.
“U-um, are you sure that’s okay?” Griselda asked, concerned.
“?? What do you mean?”
Griselda twiddled with her fingers. “A-aren’t there already so many rumors about the two?”
Griselda was taken aback. “Well, wearing a couple outfit will only confirm those rumors.”
Aurora raised her eyebrows. ‘Ahhh. She thinks I am jealous?’
When she heard gasps of amazement from the other customers, Aurora saw Lucius and the Princess come out.
Lucius wore a white and blue suit. The blue was light, like the color of the sky in the morning. And the Princess wore a long flowing blue dress with white lace. They looked awkward standing next to each other like she was with Lucius just an hour ago.
Aurora watched as the designer reluctantly pulled them outside the shop to show off the outfits. Little by little, the crowd started gathering.
Jealousy? Why would she be? After all…
Lucius glanced back at her, with worry etched on his face.
After all, she could feel his emotions for her. Worry. Irritation. And yearning to be with her.
It was then Aurora felt a sharp gaze coming from the crowd outside. She searched for where that gaze was coming from and quickly found it.
Standing in the middle of the gathering crowd, there she was.
Her eyes gleamed with malice, but this time it was focused somewhere else.
Aurora traced the direction of Lillian’s gaze.
Two people standing amid a large crowd, being praised and complimented on how the couple matched each other.
What Lillian saw was a scene that ripped her body and soul apart.
It was not until she turned around that Lucius lifted his head and watched as Lillian left. He wanted to stop her, but what point is there in talking after all that she did?
A criminal was only that, a criminal.
It was then Aurora felt a sharp pain in her head. It was as though something was nagging her.
A brief and vague image of her crying over the death of someone popped up in her head. But as quick as it appeared, it was just as quick to disappear.
She placed her hand on her forehead and frowned.
Why was she crying? No, she was no longer the sort of person who would cry and regret over losing someone. She’s already lost so much that she would never shed tears again for someone else.
However, she, who saw this scene play out, felt that she had forgotten something very, very important.
________________________________ (。>︿<) ________________________________
At the theater…
The instructor asked Aurora to check the costumes and other materials needed for the play. As she almost finished checking the list handed to her backstage, she spotted someone unexpected once again.
Lillian, who should not be at the theater, spoke with an adult in charge of setting up the stage and checking on the equipment.
"..." Aurora tapped the pen in her hand on her chin.
Someone who had not left their room since the archery incident was seen twice on the same day. And perfectly fine at that. While it was required for all students to participate in the festival, would Lillian actually care about such a thing?
Lillian stopped talking when she felt someone looking at her. She glanced at Aurora and then quickly left.
“….” Aurora approached the man Lillian was talking to. “Excuse me, can you tell me what you were talking about with her?”
“Yes?” The man in his late twenties blinked his eyes. “That’s…” He was a little hesitant, unsure of this young girl’s intentions.
Seeing this, Aurora moved closer to him. She lowered her eyes and put on a meek act, her expression filled with concern. “I was…just a little worried about my friend. She…hasn’t been feeling well lately and…I did something horrible to her, but…” Aurora grabbed the edge of the man’s sleeves. “She refuses to speak with me…sorry, I want to make it up to her.”
The man’s heart started thumping when the young lady came close to him. Even though she was a beauty, he knew she was a student due to her uniform and felt a little guilty. But he could not help himself. Thinking there was nothing wrong with telling her, it didn’t take him more than a minute to spill everything.
After her conversation with the man, Aurora moved to stand in the middle of the empty stage. She looked up at the three-tiered chandelier hanging from the high ceiling over the stage as she went over his words.
Lillian asked about the chandelier in detail.
“It’s rare for such large lighting to be over the stage, but it’s said that the first president of the student council was also fond of plays, so he ordered for a specially designed chandelier. The young lady asked about its weight. She seemed afraid it could fall. But I told her not to worry. While the chandelier weighs over 2 tons, it is specially reinforced with rune magic.”
“…” Aurora stared at the lights with her eyes narrowed.
Just what was Lillian planning? Aurora had a feeling she knew what it was but…
“Right, there was that…”
Aurora’s brows twitched as she remembered her first conversation with Lillian.
“The Princess from the Ignis Kingdom came to visit Lucius a few times."
"Ah! Now that I think about it, I heard rumors that the Princess came to the Empire to build a connection through marriage. But why did she reject attending the Academy at the Imperial City and come here...?"
“My husband-to-be seems to be visiting her more lately.”
“……Right……” Aurora pursed her lips.