Chapter 3-1

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Once the afternoon lecture had ended, Raishin and Yaya exited the lecture hall.

With Sigmund resting atop her head, Charl watched them through a window in the hall.

The sun was setting, and the outside grounds were becoming dim.

As twilight descended, Raishin met up with Felix, and the two of them cut through the front yard.

The figure of Felix’s back slowly vanished into the distance. Charl felt a slight warmth throughout her body, and her chest hurt at the same time. Watching them go off brought about an unbearable feeling.

“Are you interested?”

Sigmund asked a sharp question.

“N-n-n-no I’m not. Don’t say such i-i-idiotic things.”

“You don’t have to hide it. He really is an interesting guy.”

“H-h-he’s not interesting at all. I’ll feed you green peas from now on.”

“I’m not referring to Felix. I’m talking about Raishin.”

“Eh—“

While blushing, Charl pondered over Sigmund’s words.

“… Really? Isn’t he just a regular insolent pervert?”

“Remember. In the cafeteria, he asked me how I was feeling.”

“What about it?”

“That means he treated me as a distinct individual.”

“—“

“It might because of the automaton he himself possesses, but he doesn’t treat other automata as literal puppets. Normally, he wouldn’t have addressed me, but would have asked you ‘how’s the condition of your puppet?’.”

Now that he mentioned it, it was certainly odd.

“During the Machine Physics lecture, his automaton throttled his neck, correct?”

“You mean during their lover’s quarrel?”

“He was being strangled. The other students were laughing at him. That’s probably because they thought he couldn’t completely control his own automaton.”

Charl suddenly realised it.

Sigmund was right. That scenario wasn’t possible, and she knew it. Even if he was a little rough around the edges, he was still an excellent puppeteer— brimming with powerful magical energy.

If he felt like it, he could have easily stopped Yaya at any time.

“This is what I think— He’s a rather sentimental sort of person.”

Sigmund gave a little chuckle as he spoke.

He was poking fun at Raishin, but it was clear he had left a good impression on Sigmund. It was possible that Sigmund had become interested in Raishin himself.

“Don’t you think the two of you get along rather well?”

“… There’s no way that’s possible with that pervert. Plus, I’m a realist. I don’t mix with sentimental fools.”

“You’re a realist?”

“… Are you laughing?”

“No. However, let me pose a question to you.”

Sigmund’s voice became stern.

“He was already helped you twice. First when he aided you during the fight, second when he let you off. If you do face him in battle, do you have the resolve to defeat him?”

There was a brief silence.

Finally, after deliberating over such a serious question, she raised her head firmly.

“I am Charlotte Belew, of the noble house of Belew, who the Queen herself bestowed the unicorn coat of arms and conferred the northern grounds to.”

There was pride in her powerful declaration.

“I will eliminate all who stand in my way, no matter who they are.”

“… No matter who they are?”

“That’s right. No matter who they are.”

She clenched her fist tightly.

“Even if I have to stain my hands with blood, there’s a dream I have to realise at all costs.”

Once more, she glanced out the window.

Dusk had descended, and the figure of Felix had already disappeared.

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