Claus and Iris (1)
“You are finally here.” Katherine frowned when Rose and I arrived at the meeting place.
“Sorry about that, captain. The class lasted more than we expected.” Rose apologized with a smile.
Katherine looked at us with a frown before nodding. Now that everybody was here, she opened her mouth.
“As you know. I’ll be the leader of this team. You already heard the headmistress’s orders. Our task is to patrol the campus and try to find anything suspicious. Are you clear?”
We nodded in understanding.
The four people in our group were Katherine, Rose, Iris, and I. Two people of the students’ guards, and two of the student council. Katherine was the leader of the students’ guards, so she was chosen as our leader.
“Captain, how are we going to do this?” Rose asked.
Katherine thought for a moment before answering.
“I think it’s best if we separate. Each one chooses a zone to patrol and so we covered more ground. What do you think?”
Iris and Rose agreed, but I shook my head. “I think it’s better if we form groups of two.”
“Huh? Why?” Katherine asked.
“Well, in the case we are attacked, two people can react more effectively. Plus, even if one of us is attacked, the other can help him.” Of course, I have another reason besides it.
Katherine looked at me with a frown and thought about it, but in the end, she nodded.
Even although she disliked me, she knew it was not the moment to let her personal thoughts to influence her decisions. My proposal made sense, so she accepted it.
I had to admit that Katherine was rather capable and steadfast. Another person of her age would have shot down my opinion simply because of our differences, without considering if my opinion was the best option or not.
The groups were decided quickly. Katherine and Rose were in a team and Iris and I were in another. According to Katherine, she was used to working with Rose in the students’ guards, and Iris and I worked together in the student council, so this was the best manner to distribute the groups.
I was pretty happy with that decision. I was waiting for an opportunity to be alone with Iris, and this one was perfect.
Rose, on the other hand, looked at me with disappointment.
“… I wanted to team with you.” She pouted.
I looked at the hero curiously. “Why?”
“… I improved my strength a great deal recently, so I wanted to spar with you again.”
How expected of a hero, only thinking of becoming stronger.
I must admit that the idea of going with her was tempting, but Iris was my goal for today. I’ll have to leave it for another day.
Katherine gave us a communication magic tool for each one. This magic tool allowed us to communicate with our team in case of an emergency. Unfortunately, it only worked when the communicators were at a certain distance, just enough to cover the entire academy.
And so, our patrolling started.
Iris did not talk to me during the time we started to patrol, and she always tried to walk a few steps ahead of me.
In fact, she had been avoiding me since we met again in the student council. Although she never refused to talk to me, she limited our interactions barely to the work of the student council.
After all, she was Bryan’s fiancée. It was not good if she was too close to me after having fiancée, much less after Bryan openly accused us of cheating.
Iris’s family, the Siri Family, was a very traditional house of nobles. They were almost as old as the three great houses, but unfortunately, they were not so powerful.
Despite it, they were a first-rate family in the capital. Compared to my mother’s family, the gap was incredibly big.
Due to it, Iris had to be careful of keeping the reputation of her house. Even if she did not like Bryan, she knew it was her duty as a noble daughter to be loyal to him.
I looked at her violet hair from behind and sighed.
“Iris, we have not really talked since we met again, huh.”
Iris paused her steps briefly before she continued walking.
“There is not much to talk about.”
I smiled. “As I thought, you have changed a lot.”
Iris trembled briefly.
I continued speaking. “Do you remember that night? It was around six years ago. Back then, you were completely different.”
“… I remember.” Iris mumbled.
I chuckled. “So you remember you were crying?”
I could see Iris’s neck turning red. “… Prince, please forget about it.”
“Impossible. Hahahaha, imagine my reaction when I heard a child crying in the garden of the palace. I thought it was a ghost.”
Iris blushed even more. “… I was lost. Besides, I was not really crying.”
“Is it so?” I smirked. “If I’m not wrong, you screamed when I appeared. Did you think I was a ghost or something like that?”
Iris flushed red and lowered her gaze.
At some point, we were walking side by side, talking about our encounter some years ago. Back then, both of us were children.
Iris had come with her father to the palace to officiate the engagement with my brother. But at some point, she had left her father and escaped.
Normally, she would have had a guard accompanying her, but because Iris was a very mischievous kid, she managed to escape without attracting her guard’s attention. After escaping, she started to run around the palace and reached the garden.
The palace’s garden is gigantic, and it’s filled with all kinds of shrubs and trees, forming strange green labyrinths that can confuse even the most experienced gardener.
So, unsurprisingly, Iris got lost.
And to add to her nightmare, the sun hid a few minutes later.
In the darkness, Iris tried to find the way back to the palace only to get even more lost. When she finally discovered she did not have an idea of where she was, she started to cry.
There was where we met.
While I was practicing my sword, I heard her crying.
Curious, I found a girl crouched in the ground, with scratches in her legs caused by the branches. I treated her wounds and comforted her. Afterward, I promised to bring her back to the palace.
When she asked me who I was, I told her that I was the prince.
Iris became very excited. She told me that she came to meet her future husband, the prince. And told me that she was going to be my bride.
But when returned to the palace, she realized that I was not the prince she was going to marry.
“… I cried a lot that night, you know.” Iris confessed. “Father even got angry and scolded me.”
“Is it so?” I tilted my head. “Well, not many noble daughters had the right to choose her husbands.”
Iris nodded. “… You are right. But I would have liked it if… No, nothing.”
I stared right into Iris’s brown eyes and smiled.
Iris blushed slightly. She moved her gaze aside and sped up her steps. I smirked and followed after her.
At that moment, a strange noise came from a building near us.
Iris and I looked at each other with startled expressions. Then, we looked at the building where the noise came.
It was one of the institute’s few abandoned buildings.
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