When Eric saw Adrian suddenly appear, he shut his mouth in dismay. Just a while ago, he was accusing his twin brother of being the culprit who had locked him up.
Eric’s face immediately lit up with worry, “Did he hear it all?”
Adrian felt somewhat different from usual he slowly approached him and asked,
“What are you talking about?”
But he didn’t look as curious as if he had already heard all the conversations between Eric and Lucy.
The strange manner made Eric speechless. When he kept hesitating, Adrian brought it up himself.
“I think you’re talking about being locked in the old building. Are you suspecting Lucy?”
“T, that’s not it……!”
“Without any evidence?”
Eric tried to explain with anxious eyes, but Adrian interrupted and repeatedly asked.
“Eric, you stole Lucy’s things only a few weeks ago. The apology you made when you returned the necklace, did you not mean it?”
“T, the apology I made at that time was sincere! So, Lucy……!”
But Adrian calmly interrupted him.
“Looking at what you’re doing right now, it doesn’t look like a sincere apology. It looks like you just did it to escape the situation. Where is the evidence that Lucy locked you up? Or it’s just a feeling because you really hate her?”
At Adrian’s words, Eric was tongue-tied and only his lips were twitching.
“The reason you ended up receiving a minor punishment was because you returned the items and made a sincere apology. But now I doubt its authenticity.”
Adrian paused for a moment and went on.
“Shall I tell the principal about what I just saw?”
Eric’s face went pale at the words. Gone are the days when the principal looked after him just because he had good academic performance. He was out of the sight of the principal because he caused trouble during the royal luncheon.
It will not end in a good thing if the principal learns about this situation.
Eric pursed his lips with a pale face. But no sound came out.
“Oh, no……. Please don’t tell him. I think I shouldn’t have doubted her.”
At last he replied. Then he left as if he were running away. The sound of rushing footsteps gradually grew farther away.
Adrian sighed as he watched Eric back. He trudged down to the flower bed.
Seeing Adrian flop down on the stone wall and bury his face in his hands, Lucy approached with a puzzled face.
“…I didn’t expect him to doubt you.”
Lucy looked blank at his quiet words.
“I didn’t know either. I didn’t know Eric would suspect me.…. He was totally different when he came to me and gave me back the necklace and apologized….…. Well, I’m the only one in the world who doesn’t like him, though.”
Lucy let out a sigh of resentment and bitterness.
Adrian said abruptly. A cool breeze flashed over her head. Lucy couldn’t understand the meaning of what she had just heard, so she asked back like a fool.
“The one that locked Eric up in the old building. It’s me. I did it.”
Lucy opened her eyes wide at the unexpected remark.
Adrian scratched his forehead as if he were in trouble.
“I don’t know why I did it then. I just couldn’t control my anger at that moment.”
His face looked bitter and sad as he spoke in low.
“He did such a thing to his only rival. They say he did it because of superstition, but they don’t know what’s really going on. Lucy, Eric should have been deprived of his chance to take the midterm exam. Besides, you’ve been…… Even if you were unfairly discriminated against, you did not protest and just accepted it.”
Adrian looked up. Now his eyes were filled with nothing but sadness.
“Being accustomed to discrimination……. It may look good on the outside, but not on the inside.”
Lucy looked a little stunned by his unexpected remark.
“In that situation, I couldn’t bear the thought of Eric going to the Royal luncheon shamelessly….”
After finishing his story, Adrian sat silently with his gaze fixed on the ground. Lucy looked anxiously at his face.
He was strange today. It was the first time she saw him express his innermost thoughts so much.
Adrian was someone who always remained calm and alert to his juniors. But at that moment, there was a strange and unfamiliar atmosphere in his face.
“Sunbae, are you okay?”
Lucy carefully extended her hand to Adrian’s shoulder.
But at that moment, Adrian suddenly raised his head and burst into laughter. His laughter, as clear as the autumn sky, spread through the air.
“I look really funny, don’t I?”
The young man there smiled innocently, his expression was nowhere to be found.
“I never thought that I could do such a thing.”
“But… It’s not as big as I thought it would be.”
He said so, and looked at Lucy with shining eyes more than ever.
“I didn’t know breaking the rules is not such a big deal.”
Seeing Adrian smiling faintly, Lucy could not answer back.
His smile was as good and soft as always, but somehow there seemed to be emotions that she had not noticed were hidden in it.
* * *
After disappearing so quickly that day, Eric did not even come near Lucy. Lucy felt relieved that the person who had annoyed her for the past few days disappeared.
But the thought of Adrian made her a little confused.
I can’t believe it was Sunbae who locked Eric up.
Lucy thought that Eric’s claim that someone locked him in the old building was a lie.
Although Eric was unfriendly, she thought that it was unlikely that anyone would have locked him up on purpose, so she thought his words were just paranoia.
But it’s true that he was locked up, and it’s none other than Adrian-sunabe who locked him up!
Lucy was confused by the unexpected behavior of her sunbae, whom she had been relying on.
Why did sunbae do that?
No matter how much she thought about it, it was an impulsive act that was not like him.
She began to think that Adrian, who had only seemed perfect so far, might have some circumstances that others do not know.
After finishing the last class with a restless heart, Lucy returned to the dormitory and found students sitting together in the lounge. However, the atmosphere flowing in the meantime was unusual.
Lucy looked at them with curious eyes and found Jemima.
“Jemima, why does it feel like the seniors are divided into two groups?”
“It’s the mood. I’m telling you.”
Jemima replied with a look at the third year seniors sitting in two groups.
“I mean Rosé and Claire. I guess they’re fighting a war of nerves again.”
Lucy looked around the lounge at her words. Indeed, it was Rosé and Claire Hamilton who sat in the center of each group and looked at each other with fierce eyes.
In fact, it was not a very special sight for the two to engage in a war of nerves.
They both had beauty and a good family, and Rosé stood out in the arts and Claire in the academic world. As a result, there were many who followed them, so a rivalry was formed naturally.
“But the atmosphere seems to be worse today.””
Then Jemima grinned and answered Lucy’s question.
“Dylan Huff decided to dedicate a flower to Claire on Knight’s Day.”
Knight’s Day was a custom in which men offered flowers to women at midnight on the first day of November. In the distant past, it was a culture derived from the fact that the legendary knight offered flowers to the goddess.
In commemoration of the legend, every year when Knight’s Day comes, the imperial men would prepare flowers in advance and offer them to their lovers and wives.
However, at Xenomium Academy, it was almost impossible to carry out this romantic event. The reason is that all students had to enter their own rooms in the dormitory at midnight, the time when they had to offer flowers.
If a male student wanted to offer flowers to a female student at that time, he had to break the school rules and sneak into the female student dormitory.
Right. Last year’s Knights Day was a riot.
Lucy’s gaze went up in the air as if she were trying to remember.
Xenomium, where entering the dormitory of the opposite gender is prohibited.
In particular, male students entering the female’s dormitory was never allowed unless there was special circumstances.
Flora, who is in charge of the female’s dormitory, was a person who was ready to roar and kick the male student lurking around the dormitory building.
Nevertheless, there was at least one male student every year who sneaked into the female’s dormitory and tried to offer flowers. Of course, no one broke Flora’s ironclad security.
And this year’s challenger seemed to be a male student named Dylan Huff.
“Dylan is a promising swordsman. He’s strong, he looks good, and he’s popular. Rosé was secretly expecting him to give her flowers, so she was very upset when he dedicated them to Claire.”
As Jemima said, Rosé’s gaze at Claire was unusual. It felt like a spark was about to burst out of her eyes.
“Why in the world would he go so far? Is it that important to give only one flower? What if he gets caught?”
Lucy murmured with an expression of incomprehension.
“That’s why it stimulates his desire to win. How romantic is it to sneak into a forbidden place and offer flowers?”
Rita shook her head when Jemima spoke with an ecstatic look. Soon she said with a pathetic expression on her face.
“It’s just a bluff, you know. If you look at romance novels, those scenes are portrayed romantically. Enemy families. Forbidden lovers. A man who does not hesitate to climb a high wall and confess his love.”
Lucy watched Rosé and Claire’s war of nerves, thinking they were just wasting their energy.
“Anyway, Rosé…… her pride must have been hurt.”
“I know. Claire-sunbae must have been a thorn in the side of her eye. There is no talented individual who can succeed in offering a flower.”
“Maybe Adrian or Felix-sunbae can beat Dylan.”
During the conversation between Jemima and Rita, Lucy’s face darkened when Felix’s name popped out.
It’s already been five days since Felix went to the west coast.
I’m sure he said it’ll only take about four days…
It’s been more than four days already, but he still hasn’t returned to the Academy. It seemed it would take longer than expected to handle their family affairs.
Lucy, with a sullen face, quietly called out his name.
I miss you, Sunbae.