Men nearby peeked at Arista leaning against the wall.

Arista was thinking about the people and Bianca she’d seen in the garden earlier.

It was suspicious, to say the least.
What could they have been up to in the garden?

As she speculated about them, a glass of non-alcoholic champagne appeared in front of her.

“Would you like a drink?”


It was none other than Lucas who offered the champagne.
Arista was taken aback by the unexpected appearance.

Lucas handed her the champagne and leaned in next to her.

She stole a glance at him as he sipped his champagne, but when he made eye contact with her, she quickly looked away.

“Haha, you’re shy, the opposite of your brother, he’s a people pleaser.”

“Eww, please don’t compare me to him.”

“Did I offend you? I’m sorry if I did.”

“It’s not that I’m offended… we’re enemies.”

Arista pouted and glanced at Ares, who was dancing with his partner in the distance.

Some thought Ares was too handsome, but in Arista’s eyes, he was her flesh and blood, two years older than her, nothing more, nothing less.

When Arista made eye contact with Ares, she cursed with her eyes, and Ares looked just as disgusted as she did.

“How are things going with our Lucia?”


Arista, who had been locking eyes with Ares for a while, looked up in surprise.
She swallowed hard at the sudden seriousness of the usually playful Lucas.

“Yes, we’re doing great!”

“Well, that’s good to hear.
Lucia hasn’t gotten along with girls her age for a long time.”


Maybe it’s because she’s been hanging out with Herwin since she was a little girl, but she’s never really gotten along with other girls.
I wonder if it’s the same here.”

Arista suddenly remembered the girls whispering about Lucia.

They would gossip about her just because she was close to Herwin.

“…… Take care of our Lucia.
She’s so nice that when something bad happens to her, she tries to laugh it off, but she probably doesn’t mean it.”

The blue walls, identical to Lucia’s, were filled with worry.

“I know.
I’ll look out for her, she’s a dear friend of mine.”

The unexpectedly serious answer startled Lucas for a moment, and then he smiled a thin smile.
It looked more like a real smile than his usual wide grin.

“I don’t often talk about this… but I guess it just came out because I trust you.
Maybe because you’re Ares’ sister?”

“Wow, you’re flattering me.”

Arista flushed and threw up her hands.
Just then, something caught her eye.


Peeking through the slightly parted curtains, she saw Herwin entering the garden.

“Isn’t that… off-limits?”

“Huh? What did you just say?”

“Oh, nothing.”

Arista smiled awkwardly as she hurried to cover up.
But her mind was racing.

Why on earth would Herwin go to the garden? His personality would have turned him back at the sight of a no-trespassing sign……?

“What’s wrong, are you sick?”

Lucas asked worriedly as Arista’s face darkened.

“I mean, it’s just…….”

“Hey guys, is everyone having fun at the party?”

Before Arista could finish her sentence, a voice boomed down the hall.
She turned to see an organizer speaking into a megaphone.

“We have a special event planned for this party – fireworks!”

The hall erupted in cheers.

“Our organizers are preparing a spectacular fireworks display right now, so please be patient.”

“Wow, fireworks.
They’re pretty big.”


Looks like the organizer wasn’t lying about the fireworks.


The sound tickled their ears and made them jump.

[……and thought it looked good on you, so I bought it.
I haven’t given you a present yet.]

They heard a familiar voice behind the strange sound.

“Where is that coming from?”

Lucas and Arista’s eyes slowly widened as they heard a murmur of voices.


“That’s Lucia’s voice?”

Stunned, they tried to find the source of Lucia’s voice, but the next words stopped them in their tracks.

[I like you].

[Even when you’re like this…….]

[You’re not saying that for sure!]

[I’ve confessed before that I’ve been overcome by my feelings, but not today.]

“Who the hell is this voice?”

“It’s a voice I’ve heard many times before…….”

Each person was surprised by the suddenness of the voice, but when they heard the content, they became even more excited.

They should be too, it was such a passionate confession.

“Arista! Do you know where Lucia is?”

Ethan shouted, bringing Brian and Christine with him.

They seemed to recognize the voice as Lucia’s.

“No, I don’t know.”

“What kind of a jerk would pull a prank like this on……!”

“Come on, let’s find Lucia first, we’re going to get in trouble for this.”

“Someone must have set this up because this voice is coming from…….”

[From the age of eight until now, there has never been a moment when I have not been true to you.
I love you, Herwin.]

The entire hall fell silent, including the friends who had been chattering away.

[Please go out with me.]

“No way… Was this a confession to Phoenaeus?”

“Huh, what kind of person confesses to Phoenaeus……”

At the mention of Herwin’s name, hall stuttered again.

“Did she just say Herwin?”


The people looked confused as they listened to their friend’s confession.

“Wait a minute, it’s not……!”


Before Arista, who was the first to realize it, could finish her sentence, the curtain next to her suddenly flew open.

And so did the other window.

After a moment of panic, Arista felt her heart sink.

Through the tilted window, she could see Lucia and Herwin standing side by side in the gazebo.

“That can’t be…….”

They could see them both startle and look up at the hall in confusion.

A ripple went through the hall as they realized it was Lucia.

The people who were initially confused began to laugh and mock Lucia’s confession.

Few raised their voices, but most smirked.

As the chatter grew louder, Herwin and Lucia’s faces darkened.

Lucia’s shoulders shook with agitation, and she shrank back with trembling eyes, then her gaze went blank as she saw something.

Arista caught the look and turned her head to follow Lucia’s gaze.

She knew at once who Lucia was looking at in the crowd.


Bianca covered her mouth with her hands, looking as shocked as everyone else.

However, between her hands, she could see the corners of her mouth turn up.

As soon as Arista saw her smile, her head went cold and she realized what had happened.

Bianca proposes to rent the mansion for a birthday party, the organizers decorate something in the garden with her, and Herwin suddenly goes out into the garden.

All the suspicious things fell into place like cogs in a wheel.


Lucas called urgently.
She turned to see Lucia hurriedly leaving.

There was only a crumpled present lying on the floor where she was.

* * *

“What, she’s running away?”

“I’m sure she’s embarrassed.
She just made a public confession in front of everyone.”

“Poor Phoenaeus, he’s got the wrong friend and this is what he gets on his birthday.”

“It’s creepy that she’d been pretending she don’t like him in front of us and pretending to be his friend, but she’d been thinking about him behind his back.”

“That’s right, she’d been pretending to be a friend all this time, and now she can even do that?”

“Well, they say the kitten gets first dibs on the bunk, and that’s her.”

Everyone in the hall was talking about Lucia.

The mockery and sarcasm were breathtaking to hear.

But they didn’t stop talking, as if they’d found something funny.

“Herwin, are you okay?”

“A public confession in front of everyone, he’ll be tired for a while.”

As Herwin stared at the discarded gift, his classmates came to his side.

They comforted him in his embarrassment.

“Did you know that Agnes has had a crush on you for a long time?”

“Hey, don’t you realize what’s going on?”

But then someone let out a small laugh and asked something that shouldn’t be asked now.

“Oh, come on.
Honestly, you’ve got to be curious.
Your childhood friend has had a crush on you since she was eight years old.
Isn’t that the stuff of fiction?”


“Besides, if she’s Lucia Agnes, she’s got a pretty face, and she’s a nice girl.
I think it would be nice if I were you.”

It was full of sarcasm for a tone that said it would be good.

Without a word, Herwin bent down and picked up the broken gift box.

“It’s you……!”


“Who’s fighting?”

“Princess Lydia and… Lady Lawrence?”

“Ugh, the atmosphere is murderous.”

“Herwin, aren’t those two your friends?”

Herwin turned his head in response to their words.

In the distance, he could see Arista and Bianca arguing loudly.

Herwin watched them for a moment, then looked away.

“Yes, they were my friends.”

His gaze traveled to the bushes right next to the gazebo, where he saw something shimmering through them.

* * *

“Are you kidding me? You did it!”

“Aaah! Princess Lydia has……!”

“What do you think you’re doing, get your hands off me!”

Girls around them screamed and stopped Arista.

Currently, Arista was holding Bianca by the collar.

Aside from Herwin, no one could stop Arista, the head of the Swordsmanship Department.

Bianca bit down hard on her lower lip, unable to break free no matter how hard she struggled and glared at Arista with a venomous glare.

But then she smirked.

“You really shouldn’t be doing this in front of everyone, Princess Lydia.”

Bianca smirked and scanned the stares around her.

Anyone else would have flinched at the stares directed at her, but Arista’s words only made her clench her fists harder.

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