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Chapter 158 – Dear Tenma, Men Are Creatures That Are a Little Insensitive, Aren’t They? II
December 16th, the second volume of the light novel is released!
At least, I should update the web novel too! With that in mind, I ended up writing a slightly long chapter (*´ω｀)
Well, the plot itself didn’t advance much, though…|д゜)
Sophie didn’t know what kind of discussion took place among the black stars. However, it seemed nobody expected that Gerald, the bearer of three stars, would kneel on the ground and lower his head since everyone’s eyes were colored with astonishment, and they swallowed their breaths as they looked at the prostrating Gerald.
Among the black star students, the one who was most surprised by Gerald’s action was the man right behind him.
“T-there’s no need for you to kneel now, is there?”
He put his hand on Gerald’s shoulder to stop his apology, but Gerald didn’t even twitch and kept his head down. Gerald’s attitude made the man’s beautiful eyebrows furrow as if he swallowed an insect.
Sophie saw the handsome man and recalled that he was the man who was together with Gerald the other day.
Unlike Gerald, who seemed to have left his affection in his mother’s belly, Sophie thought the man was one with a light atmosphere, but now he had an expression of impatience and astonishment, leaving no trace of the impression he gave Sophie last time.
If I’m not wrong, he is supposed to be Evert Orion… right?
He belonged to the same generation as Gerald and was the only black star student who acted naturally toward Gerald. He’d earned one black star just like Keith, but it could be said the sense of comfort he gave was different.
[“Those two seemed to be best friends.”]
When Luca said that, Sophie couldn’t help but raise her voice out of astonishment.
To think that an expressionless, apathetic, and steel-faced man actually had a friend, moreover, one who he could call a best friend, was something Sophie had a hard time believing.
―But now, Sophie was convinced.
When Evert understood that Gerald had no intention of ceasing his apology, Evert also immediately kneeled next to him. For a moment, Sophie could see anger in his eyes when he looked up at Sophie.
Sophie realized through those eyes.
Aah, this man is truly Gerald’s friend.
Evert’s eyes weren’t filled with dissatisfaction of having to apologize to the female purple star, but with resentment for making Gerald kneel and bow.
Gerald Forsius was the pride of the black star students.
Born in a famous family, possessing exceptional talent, and the youngest person to receive three black stars. He was a special presence in the same generation.
For Evert, Gerald was his friend and his pride.
And his pride was wounded―Evert’s eyes that were filled with resentment conveyed that.
Best friend, huh…
Even when Sophie received his anger, she couldn’t say it was absurd anger.
If Sophie were in his position, she was sure she would do the same.
She wouldn’t want to see her friend kneeling. It was even more so if it was a friend she was proud of.
Seeing Evert following Gerald to kneel, the other black star students were dumbfounded but then immediately followed, forming a splendid apology line. They failed to hide their inner resentment though.
Since it came to this, it would be a good idea to receive the apology.
When the person at the top lowered their head, the people below had to follow even if they didn’t like it, regardless of their actual feelings. That was how society and organizations worked. If so, it made sense to obey, and the immature feelings of wanting to speak in opposition had long gone due to his experience working as a salaryman in her previous life.
That was why Sophie had no intention of showing antagonism toward Gerald, who led the apology, and the black star students who had to follow suit.
If I receive the apology…
Sophie was aware. That was the best course of action.
All she needed to do was to say that she understood.
Sophie opened her mouth and tried to speak, but suddenly stopped.
Even if it’s the correct action as an organization, what did he think of it… as a friend?
When Gerald suddenly kneeled, considering Evert’s astonished expression, it was clear that Evert hadn’t heard of it in advance.
Did this man not even tell his own friend about what he would do?
He didn’t tell him that he would lead the apology?
…You should at least consult him beforehand.
No, forget consulting, would Gerald have even discussed it with the black star students beforehand?
Of course, Gerald must have tried to pursue the matter beforehand, but there was no way the black star students could admit they had acted rudely toward the purple star even if their mouths were to be pried open. If they admitted it, it would mean capital punishment. It wouldn’t fall on just themselves either; their disgraceful behavior would also involve their respective families, so there was no way they could make it public.
Exactly because Gerald was aware of that, he didn’t pursue it too deeply.
In exchange for not pursuing the matter, he made them apologize. It was for the sake of making the black star aware of their crime and to prevent them from committing further offenses.
All while knowing if he took initiative to apologize, the students of the black star would have no choice but to follow――
It was the quickest method and would resolve the matter outwardly. However, the mud that gathered would never disappear. Over time, it would only become more turbid.
…This is irritating.
Unknowingly, she furrowed her eyebrows and exerted strength on her palm. An irritated feeling arose and she couldn’t keep her usual calmness.
Stop it. This inappropriate irritation is unfit for Sophie Linier.
Indeed. It was inappropriate.
After all, this irritation wasn’t Sophie Linier’s but her previous life self’s―it was Tasuku’s.
I’ve always hated this man…
From the day they first met, this man gave her terrible discomfort.
Was it his atmosphere? His tone of speech? His gaze?
She didn’t know the cause all this time.
Sophie thought it was due to his high-grade face and because he received affection from her onee-samas (though it was a special kind of affection in a sense).
However, that wasn’t it.
When Sophie saw Gerald and Evert together, she finally realized it. Even though she didn’t want to realize it, she still noticed it nonetheless.
The true nature of her discomfort: hatred toward the same kind.
When Sophie saw the man known as Gerald Forsius, she ended up remembering.
The person she hated… was herself.
Gerald’s figure overlapped with her previous life’s self, Nakamura Tasuku.
They had different appearances, pedigrees, and environments. Everything about him was different, yet there was one thing that resembled Tasuku:
It was how they didn’t ask for others’ help.
They didn’t approve, have expectations, or have an interest in others.
No matter how much the people around them reached out, they wouldn’t even look at them.
No, they didn’t even bother to notice them and only continued to look at what was in front of them.
All they knew was the path known as the best course of action―
As long as they believed it was the best course of action, they had the arrogance to abandon everything else.
Tasuku’s teenage self was such a person.
Sophie suddenly recalled the memory of her previous life.
It was summer when he was in the third grade of high school.
Tasuku had decided to get a job instead of going to college, but his homeroom teacher strongly opposed it, saying, “Please continue your studies. It’s a waste to stop here.”
However, Tasuku had no intention of changing his mind no matter how much his homeroom teacher was opposing it, so he requested Tenma’s help to persuade Tasuku.
Tenma also seemed to never think that Tasuku, who was the valedictorian, would choose to get a job instead of continuing his studies, so he appeared in front of Tasuku looking more panicked than usual.
“Getting a job, you say? Are you serious? …Why did you choose that?”
“Why? Of course because I thought it was the best course of action.”
As Tasuku casually responded, Tenma’s face was dubiously distorted.
“…Why didn’t you consult me beforehand?”
Although his words were short, Tenma showed unusually clear dissatisfaction, but Tasuku responded with,
“The result won’t change anyway, so is there any need to consult?”
Casually stated facts.
When Tasuku said that, Tenma’s eyes felt similar to Evert just now, somewhere between disappointment and despondency.
AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!! That was insensitive of me! I really was insensitive! I’M SORRRRRYYYYYYY!
When Sophie recalled that, she felt like holding her head performing a dogeza from how insensitive she was.
My previous life’s self was just a fool! It’s not a matter of results! There’s no way everything would go well by hindsight-based opinion only!
When Sophie thought about it later, if Sophie was in Tenma’s position, she could easily imagine Tenma’s shocked and depressed appearance, yet she had no idea why Tasuku didn’t know that when it took place.
At that time, Tasuku firmly believed that his future was something he decided upon.
Tasuku firmly believed that he wasn’t going to receive help or follow someone.
Besides, Tasuku believed that Tenma would understand him without needing to explain every little thing through words.
No, there’s no way he could understand! I could speak, so I should have told him properly!
Tasuku shouldn’t have hesitated to say it and never ignored the effort to convey it.
After becoming a member of society, Tasuku learned the importance of reporting, contacting, and counseling as well as the capability to thoroughly implement it, but he realized how immature his behavior toward his best friend during his youthful student days was and was disappointed by his own stupidity.
Since I was a man in my previous life, being insensitive to some extent is tolerable… Well, I guess not… but I am sure I am doing things properly in this life!
Exactly because of the regrets she had in her previous life, she made an effort to not hesitate to say things.
It was also the reason why Sophie tried to not hide anything about herself as much as possible from Christina and Lilina’s group.
To prevent things from breaking down from trivial things, Sophie always chose her words while looking at their expressions.
It was to prevent others from feeling the same way as Tenma did back then――
AAAAAHHHHHHHH. This man is really annoying! Why is he showing off my previous life’s shortcomings after all this time!?
When Sophie looked at Gerald, although the situation was completely different, she felt like running away as he showed her her previous life’s self and thinking: You’ll definitely regret it later! Such a repulsive spirit was about to appear on her face.
No good, calm down! I’m Sophie Linier, not my previous life self, Tasuku!
As Sophie regained her composure, exhaled a little, and relaxed, she noticed she was squeezing the hem of her dress so tightly that it wrinkled. What should she do? Having wrinkles on her beautiful dress was totally not ladylike.
That’s right. I am a lady. All I need to do is to accept the apology gracefully like a lady would.
All she needed to do was to accept the apology while saying neither beneficial nor harmful words to settle the situation.
She was a salesman in her previous life, while she was a daughter of a merchant in this life. It was natural to choose profit.
That was obvious. It was natural to choose such a thing.
As Sophie was looking at the black star students below her, she ended up thinking about how they would fare in the future.
Even if she received the apology here, it was hard to think there would be no more friction occurring. Their irritation for having to lower their heads toward the purple star they didn’t acknowledge would continue to sublimate and drag themselves down.
Would the two be able to continue as friends without having their relationship strained?
Friendships between aristocrats often crumbled just from a small scandal and a bit of dissonance.
Moreover, it was about the treatment of the unusual purple star. It was hard to think that their hearts had grown enough to be able to accept and tolerate her.
And what’s with that? It’s totally none of my business…
Sophie scolded herself for thinking something unnecessary, but her tongue was tied as if refusing to move.
Moreover, even though she only needed to say her acceptance, she found herself about to say something completely different.
That’s no good. I would only dig a hole for myself. There’s no benefit for me, and things would go beyond my control.
It was a foolish act, and there was no way Sophie Linier would do so.
That was her opinion as Sophie Linier… Then what about as Tasuku?
Suddenly, she recalled the words of her best friend.
When Tenma realized Tasuku had no intention to continue his study at the university, Tenma didn’t say, “Rethink it.”
However, that didn’t mean Tenma was convinced by Tasuku’s decision, so toward Tasuku, who chose to enter society early, his best friend told him with a chilly voice,
[“You don’t have as good an outline as you think you have. You are the type who won’t change your decision and end up drawing the short stick in the end, so you might fail spectacularly when it matters most.”]
Yep, as expected of my best friend. It was clear and accurate.
Unfortunately, regarding the advice Sophie received, even after dying and reincarnating, it didn’t seem to be fixed yet.
―Gh. …It’ll be just this one time. This will be the only time I will prioritize my feelings as Tasuku…!
That’s why, please forgive me, thought Sophie as she made an excuse for herself.
If her choice now would become an obstacle later, she would deal with it perfectly when it happens.
That’s why… just for now…
Once her heart resolved, her thoughts came together in no time.
All that was left was to say it as Sophie Linier―
Sophie quietly called Gerald’s surname.
The bearer of the purple star had the right to refer to anyone but the royal family by first name. However, she still called Gerald by his surname.
It was to declare that their paths definitely did not intersect.
“There is no meaning in the apology from all of you. That’s why I won’t receive it. It’s because there’s no need for me to respond to something meaningless.”
＊report regarding the second volume
・The interaction with Lorenzo felt a little different by the end compared to the web novel version.
・”The Young Lady Named Sophie Linier ~Dismay of Lilina Zellbell~
It’s the side story when Lilina was still prickly. There was an additional female character added.
・”The Young Lady Named Sophie Linier ~The Secret of the Ladies~”
It’s a side story of what happened at the girls’ academy a week after Sophie departed.
・”Dear Tenma, Apparently, People Directed Their Suspicion toward me.”
It’s something I deleted in the main story and remake for the light novel version (・ω・)ノ
That’s all! (‘◇’)ゞ
Thank you very much!
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