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Chapter 9 – Surrounding At a Distance?

After being told by her brother that she could take any seat in the classroom at her disposal, Bianca avoided the conspicuous seats in the middle and moved near the window.

Students began to arrive in huge numbers as the opening hour drew near, yet none of her classmates called out to Bianca, instead simply observing her from a distance.

Seemingly adrift in the classroom, a sense of discomfort washed over her. From her surroundings, whispering voices could be heard.

It seemed that Bianca was not particularly well-liked at this school. No one called out to her, notwithstanding that it had been several months since she had attended school, suggesting that she was not welcome here either. That fact disheartened her.

As she began to wonder if she was hated, a girl with ash blonde hair called out to her.

“Um, Lady Bianca, right?”

The joy of being the first person to call out to her nearly brought her to tears. But then again, after all, she likewise asked, “Are you Bianca?” to confirm. Why?

“Yes, that’s me, but I have no recollection of it. Um, you are?”

A reply was told with a throbbing heart.

“I am aware of your circumstances. I go by the name of Regina. The daughter of Count Highland.”

Gingerly, she began to introduce herself. She had mustered up the courage to speak to Bianca, who was all alone.

“Um, may I sit next to you?”

“Y-Yes, certainly, by all means.”

Nodding repeatedly, Bianca gleefully drew out a chair beside hers for her.

“Your older brother is an incredibly wonderful person, isn’t he? I have always only spotted him from afar, so it’s surprising for me to see him in the classroom.”

Despite all the attention, the older brother brought his younger sister to the classroom. Until the time he left, he was the center of attention. An upperclassman coming to a junior student’s classroom attracted considerable attention. She felt a little bit of pity for him.

“Yes, he’s a very cheerful and friendly person.”

“Well, is he?”

Regina was taken aback.

“Yes, my brother may look like he’s a bit cold outwardly, but he’s remarkably kind.”

The first time Bianca saw her brother, her impression was that he was awfully difficult to get along with, yet he was the sole person who would look after her without running away.

“Lady Bianca, I was sure you were getting along with your other older brother.”

“Is that so?”

She must be referring to Julian. Were they once that close? It was not that they were not close with each other to this day, but if anything, she felt more at ease with Satias.

“Yes, from time to time, we would share a cup of tea or lunch on the terrace of the café.”

It was shocking to her that they had such a relationship. Although the current Julian was amiable, he had a somewhat detached air about him. In contrast, Satias tended to be rather cold and expressionless, but regardless, when asked for help, he would comply.

Afterward, the bell rang, marking the beginning of the class.

Regina was extremely considerate and gave her a tour of the school building. From libraries in each wing to high-ceilinged, chandelier-laden saloons to the independent library, the tour of the school was jam-packed with highlights.

For Bianca, this was her first time here, making it a fresh experience. While amnesia was often a source of uncertainty, she figured this was fairly enjoyable.

A girl by the name of Ellen joined them on the café terrace after the morning sessions were over, and they decided to have lunch together.

“Lady Bianca, may I join you?”

For some reason, Ellen was slightly trembling. She was an exceptionally lovely girl with soft brown hair.

“Oh, please, I am the one who invited you to join us.”

Following a brief exchange of words, the three of them settled down at the same table and proceeded with their meal. It turned out that Ellen feared Bianca.

Out of concern, she asked, “Did I do something disrespectful before?” Nothing, in particular, seemed to have transpired, nevertheless.

All she was concerned about was her status as the daughter of a count. Even within the same title, there were family ranks that varied significantly from Regina’s. The understanding that the Dukes held a high rank was evident to Bianca, but the difference in social status was completely lost on her, given that she had no recollection of it.

“Isn’t there any difference in social status in this school? I read that in the school rules.”

With Bianca’s stupefied expression, the atmosphere became more relaxed.

“Well, Lady Bianca, is that all you eat?”

Regina looked at Bianca’s plate narrowly. For Bianca, soup, an asparagus salad, and a sandwich were standard portions. Incidentally, the servants in the mansion were likewise astounded by Bianca’s modest appetite.

“Yes, somehow, I’ve gotten used to having a small meal.”

Both of them widened their eyes in amazement.

“Did I used to be such a glutton before?” asked Bianca curiously.

“Oh, no, not at all.”

“No, you didn’t.”

They both shook their heads as if in panic, their eyes slightly swirling.

They were aware that Bianca was once a glutton. She was notorious for devouring two servings of lunch and three servings of dessert afterward.

Bianca had her followers back then, so it stood to reason that she never shared lunches like this with Regina and Ellen. Her followers disbanded when rumors of her disappearance and the cancellation of her engagement began to circulate.

Nonetheless, they refrained from sharing that with Bianca, who had no memory of the event. The former Bianca was unapproachable, but the present one was somewhat unreliable.

Although she has slimmed down, grown in beauty, and looked different, it appears that not only her appearance has changed but her personality as well.

She was impeccably tense and constantly on edge before but now, she carried herself with a laid-back demeanor and a somewhat fluffy manner. At times, she seemed very distant and extremely simplistic. Anything that would hurt her was not something they wanted to bring up.

Perhaps due to the atmosphere she exuded, she looked like an utterly different person. But from every viewpoint, she was Bianca Kesler.

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