FUL Chapter 70

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“I’m sure he’s a journalist who came at the request of Baron Roman! Does he know that the son he is proud of is stealing someone else’s things?” Colin said with a rare look of cynicism.

He had a bad feeling about Eric after hearing the whole story about the necklace missing from Lucy. In addition, this time, he pushed Lucy away and took the first place, so his feelings about Eric were bound to get worse.

“Hmph! Let’s go, Lucy.”

He snorted Lucy with a loud snort.

“Tell him to enjoy this moment and you’re going to get the first place back!”

Colin exclaimed indignantly, as if he had been robbed from the first place.

“Stop it. They can hear you.”

Lucy tried to cover his mouth with her palm in embarrassment.

“Tell him to listen!”

Colin shouted louder regardless. Eric, who was interviewing, glanced over them. When he found Lucy and Colin, his expression quickly turned bad, but soon he turned away pretending not to see them.

Lucy calmed Colin, who was about to scream a few more words, and took him elsewhere.

“Me, failing the midterm has nothing to do with Eric.”

Lucy was aware. Eric Roman didn’t unfairly take the first place.

The reason why she failed the test was clear. Because she couldn’t concentrate during the test. And the cause was not Eric.

Maybe Eric Roman was one step ahead of her in terms of concentration and mental strength. Lucy fell three places at once because of her complicated mind, but Eric brazenly maintained his usual skills even after being disciplined by the academy for stealing.

“Anyway, the academy didn’t deprive Eric of the chance to take the test. He duly took the test and scored. But if you talk like that, people might end up looking at me strangely, Colin.”

At Lucy’s words, Colin eventually stopped criticizing Eric. Although he still huffed and puffed.

The results were shocking, but the midterms had already passed and the results couldn’t be changed.

In addition, the scholarship issue ended after finding a sponsor. It was wiser to prepare hard for the final exam than to keep regretting and blaming herself.

With that in mind, Lucy took out the books that she had not been able to open for a while.

But the next day, news that dampened her motivation spread to the academy.

All the students who won first place in the midterm exam were invited to a luncheon at the Imperial Palace.

“They’re giving preferential treatment like they were waiting!”

The day before, Colin, who barely kept his mouth shut due to Lucy’s dissuasion, started scoring again.

“They didn’t treat you much when you were at the top! As soon as Roman’s son won first place…….”

“It’s a coincidence, Colin. It’s not like they waited for Eric to get first place to have a luncheon at the palace.”

Lucy said calmly.

Only three students were invited from each prestigious academy in the capital. It was held immediately after the midterm exam, so it seemed natural for Eric, who recently won first place, to attend.

But somehow, it made her uncomfortable.

“Doesn’t the top have to go? You’re still the top of our grade, Lucy, because we haven’t got our final grade yet!”

It was just as Colin said. The official head of the second grade was still Lucy, as the semester was not completely over yet and the final exam was not yet taken.

Furthermore, she was a genius who never missed the top spot for three semesters. Although he missed the first place this time.

In many ways, Lucy may be the best qualified person to attend the royal luncheon.

However, the student the Academy pointed out was Eric. It could not be challenged as it was purely the principal’s authority to choose who would attend the luncheon. 

Lucy suddenly remembered the day of the entrance ceremony. Eric Roman, who was going up on the podium on behalf of her, the top student…….

Why does today’s happening seem to overlap with that day?

She didn’t necessarily want to attend the Imperial Palace luncheon, but Lucy’s mood was bitter when she felt that she might have once again been discriminated against because of her origin.

* * *

Lucy, who was organizing her books in the library, found out that there was another top student who would not attend the royal luncheon besides herself.

“Adrian sunbae.”

Appearing from behind the bookshelf, he looked tired and barely had a faint smile around his mouth. He tried to help Lucy organize the book, but Lucy stopped him quickly.

“I can do this by myself, but why are you here?”

She naturally thought he would attend tomorrow’s royal luncheon.

“You have to go to the Imperial Palace tomorrow, right? Go inside and rest.”

“I don’t have to go to the palace.”

Lucy opened her eyes wide at the unexpected answer.

“You’re not going? But if you’re not going, who will go?”

Then he remembered another third-year top student. At the same time, Adrian picked up the book and answered.

“Felix is going.”

It was unexpected, because she thought Felix would be annoyed by such a position. Adrian, who seemed to have the same question, continued with a little doubt.

“The principal recommended it to Felix first, and he didn’t refuse.”

“Felix sunbae?”

“I don’t like that kind of situation. Anyway, they only invited three people to the palace, and the principal recommended me, Felix, and a sophomore, Eric Loman. But I didn’t feel like there was any need for two people from the same family to go. That’s why I gave way. The other will be a freshman who took first place.”

Adrian, who was talking, suddenly looked sad and sorry.

“I wish you would go. Actually, I was wondering if the principal would pick you. Since Eric has a previous theft case and you are better than him.”

He glanced at Lucy’s expression and asked quietly.

“…… You’re disappointed, aren’t you?”

He dropped his head suddenly.

“Me too … I know how it feels. No matter how hard you try to run, you’ll feel despondent when you realize that the limits you can reach are fixed.”

At that moment, an expression she had never seen appeared on Adrian’s face, making Lucy a little embarrassed. The atmosphere seemed to be gloomy in an instant. 

She replied as if she were not interested in visiting the palace, pretending nothing happened.

“No, I don’t care at all. I never wanted to go in the first place.”

It was true to a certain extent. Having lived as a commoner all her life, she did not know not only the royal etiquette but also the manners that should be observed among the nobles.

If she had been invited to the royal luncheon, she would have felt more burdened and afraid than overwhelmed and honored.

“It would be a great honor to visit the palace for most of the students here…… It has nothing to do with me. Visiting that place, seeing His Majesty, will not likely significantly change my life.”

“What are you talking about, Lucy? His Majesty is also looking at the abilities and talents of non-noblemen.”

Adrian spoke very seriously, so Lucy closed the book and looked at him.

“In the current situation where families other than the imperial family are growing rapidly, they want a new power. Rather than maintaining the power of the ruling aristocrats, they want to bring up the new power and bring it to an appropriate equilibrium.”

And he also told Lucy unexpected things that she didn’t know.

“Didn’t you know that the Xenomium Academy decided to accept students from non-noble backgrounds because of His Majesty’s order?”

“What? Not at all….”

Lucy, who lived on the outskirts far from the capital, had no clue.

“Of course, this is my guess…… The royal family might want you to attend the luncheon. They may already know that a person who entered the Xenomium last year was a terrifying girl who lightly shot and beat a noble. Wasn’t the sudden luncheon held because they wanted to take a look at you this time?”

“Oh, no way.” 

It was a speculation close to delusion, but the speaker’s face was quite serious. Lucy looked at Adrian with a puzzled expression. Then he burst out laughing.

“What? Are you teasing me?”

Unlike him, Lucy pouted at Adrian, who laughed with his shoulders up and down.

“Sorry, but I don’t want you to be upset.”

Lucy shook her head at what he said as he straightened his posture.

“I really don’t want to go.”

“Where?”

Then they heard a voice behind the bookshelf. Soon after, Felix appeared.

He then asked with displeased eyes, where he had previously found Lucy and Noel together in the library.

“……Where are you going?”

Even his voice was cautious.

“ … the two of us?”

“What are you talking about? We’re talking about tomorrow’s royal luncheon.”

Only then did Felix nod as if he understood. Then he suddenly frowned on his forehead.

“Speaking of that, I thought you would go as the second-year representative.”

Felix looked right at Lucy and said,

“But why, Roman the little thief is going?” 

Adrian stepped up before Lucy could answer anything.

“We’ve talked about it for a long time before you came. And right now, Lucy is the most upset here. I don’t think she needs to hear any more words from you.”

Adrian’s tone of voice did not appear to have any intention to embarrassment him.

However, Felix’s face, which was frowning because of Eric, quickly disappeared. His face was completely expressionless. But somehow he looked angrier than before.

Looking at Adrian, Felix said in a low voice.

“Adrian Berg. I know very well that Lucy will be upset. So, you don’t have to tell me everything.”

Adrian’s face wrinkled at Felix’s words. He put down the book he was holding. He had a look of formidable displeasure.

Sienna

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