When the race was approaching its final stage, the partic.i.p.ants started moving away from me in order to raise their ranking.
“Is this enough?”
“Now that we’ve beaten him up this much, he shouldn’t be able to run anymore.”
“See ya, blabbermouth!”
Watching the backs of the blockheads as they left, I gripped the handle and turned up the throttle, causing the engine to greatly rumble.
The body of the airbike was battered, and the visor of my helmet fractured──but my heart hadn’t broken.
How unfortunate for these trash heaps! Not finis.h.i.+ng me off would be their undoing!
“──Shall we go, Luxon?”
[Whenever you’re ready. However, it’s strange that that the referee didn’t intervene despite the amount of open rough play that happened. Aren’t you being hated on a little too much?]
“I should have bribed the referee with some money.”
[You really come up with the worst ideas. However, I think the other students have already done some bribing, so the referee probably wouldn’t comply unless you offer more money than them.]
“If it’s money, then I have more than I could possibly need! However, my heart won’t yield even in the face of this kind of injustice!”
The boys who had surrounded me not too long ago were now competing against each other. As I increased the speed, I broke up the commotion.
I then pa.s.sed them.
The airbike was in its best condition after Luxon had taken control over it.
Despite my skill, I was able to easily overtake the partic.i.p.ants.
I waved my hand towards the boys, who seemed irritated.
“I’ll commend you people for trying to stop me. As expected from you all, it amounted to so little, idiots!”
As I pa.s.sed through each and every partic.i.p.ant, I began to run into Clarice’s followers, who had been monopolizing the lead. Different from the others, they seemingly wanted to share the lead with each other.
[They’re pretty fast, aren’t they.]
“Can we catch up to them?”
[What a funny joke──it won’t take even a minute to pa.s.s them.]
Once the engine began to work past its limits, merely holding onto the airbike became a tough task.
The control of the airbike was done by Luxon. All I could do was frantically cling onto the bike whenever it swayed or leaned over.
[Master, you’re a bit late on s.h.i.+fting your weight. To say it plainly, you’re bothersome to work with.]
“You’re making too many back and forth movements! Also, don’t call me bothersome! You’re going to make me cry.”
I moved my body according to the motions of the bike, and pa.s.sed the partic.i.p.ants in the lead one after the other.
The venue was in an uproar after seeing that. The announcer shouted, perhaps in astonishment as well.
“W, who would have thought that Baltfault would be competing for the lead now! Is this even possible? Could it be that he has done some illegal modifications?!”
Did they really hate seeing me win?
“I see. In that case, I’ll win no matter what.”
I definitely wanted to see their tear-stained faces by all means.
When I pa.s.sed the the partic.i.p.ant in third place, the one in second appeared in front of me.
“Let’s see you get through this!”
Blocking the direction I was moving in, the partic.i.p.ant smiled while saying so.
“Sorry! I’m about to get through right now~!”
Once I s.h.i.+fted my body along with the airbike and bypa.s.sed the partic.i.p.ant in second using some very tricky moves, the only one in front of me was him──the third-year uppercla.s.sman.
When I tried to pa.s.s him through the outer track, the uppercla.s.sman made a beeline to the goal instead of trying to do something to me──a race to the goal without any pointless nonsense.
I had already seen that he was the type that hated doing cheap tricks, but this affirmed it.
When a fire sprouted from the m.u.f.fler of the airbike Luxon was controlling, the airbike took a speed that frightened me.
──While sensing this speed which made me reluctant to do an airbike race again, my airbike had reached the goal first.
I had won.
Once the speed of the airbike lowered and I took off my helmet, I faced the stadium with a smile and raised my hand.
“Eveyone, I won~! Sorry~.”
Objects were being thrown from audience seats.
“Give me back my money!”
I waved my hand when hearing such vocal cheering. Their faces of irritation were my biggest reward.
“What? I’m enjoying the situation right now, so leave me be.”
[No, the thing is at its limit.]
When I turned around, I saw white fumes coming from the airbike. I did indeed think that my back was feeling a little hot. It felt like the seat, or rather the whole airbike itself, was hot.
When I grabbed Luxon and was about to take a leap of faith off of the airbike, the uppercla.s.sman drove up to me from behind and picked me up.
The uppercla.s.sman had a gentle expression, but also seemed like he was going to sob.
“You really saved me.”
When I gave my appreciation to him, the uppercla.s.sman made a smile that seemed as if he was troubled.
“It’s fine. You really gave me a shock back when that duel happened. Thank you for what you did back then. I was also able to earn a little cash because of it.”
It seemed that this uppercla.s.sman hated Jilk and made a bet on me during the duel.
We were in the medical office.
Now that I had been awarded, I came to to Jilk and the others while carrying the prize money.
I showed off my medal while looking at Marie’s frustrated expression.
I wonder why it felt so nice.
It was a refres.h.i.+ng feeling that I hadn’t felt in a long time, similar to when I would talk down my younger sister.
“Lookie here, I won. You didn’t forget your promise, right Jilk~?”
Jilk made a sigh while looking at my grinning face.
“Yes, a promise is a promise. I’ll do anything you want. I’ll comply as long as it remains within my limits.”
He said for it to remain within his limits, but that indicated how black-hearted he was.
He was saying that he wouldn’t do anything he didn’t want to do.
What a terrible person.
This was why these otome game capture targets were the worst.
“So what are you planning on having him do? Have him do a handstand nude?”
Kyle, with his hands clasped behind his head, spoke frankly towards me. Wasn’t his att.i.tude a little overbearing for someone who knew that I was a baron?
“Are you an idiot? What value is there in having him do a handstand? No wait, there’s some value if he exposes his nude self in front of the girls. I could make a profit from it.”
Thereupon, Marie pointed at me.
“So you’d go that far just to get money! You cheapskate!”
“Go take a look in the mirror! You’ll find a bigger cheapskate than me!”
“More importantly, hand over the prize money!”
She really was shameless. I thought it would have been fine to divide the prize money, since it was indeed thanks to Jilk that I was able to compete in the final race. However, I decided to give Marie the full amount, just as she wished.
“Alright. Take it.”
“H, how awfully compliant of you.”
“You could say it’s my saving grace.”
Once I handed over the prize money of three hundred thousand dia, Marie jumped at it. However, she seemed curious about the white gold coin that I had. I fiddled around with the white gold coin in my hand to purposely show it off.
“T, that’s a white gold coin, right? Why do you have such a thing?”
“It’s the profit I made with today’s bet. I made a bet on myself, and since I was an unexpected winner, I made some large gains.”
When Marie watched as I swapped the white gold coin in my hand for gold coins and silver coins, Marie trembled. I had a hunch that this would make her envious, and it seemed that I was right on the mark.
The amount of money I had in my hand outs.h.i.+ned three hundred thousand dia.
“C, coward. How unfair! Betting on yourself shouldn’t be allowed!”
“I see no problem with it. You all should be satisfied with the amount of money you got.”
When I acted as if three hundred thousand dia was of no concern, it seemed that Marie was genuinely irritated. It really was easy to read this person.
When a furious Marie glared at me, Jilk stood up.
Were his injuries okay?
“I understand. So it’s no problem what I do as long as it makes you feel better.”
I looked away from Marie as if I didn’t care about her, and turned to face Jilk.
“How foolish. If I just let you do as I please, Anjie and Livia would likely get angry. I’ve decided to give you a more realistic order. Actually, I suppose I could call it a request.”
Jilk looked at me with a doubtful gaze. Did he really have that little trust in me?
The academy was filled with sorrow after the festival.
Tools were each taken out from school buildings, beginning the cleanup.
Now that the three days of the festival were over, it finally felt like everything had come to an end.
I was in my cafe, beginning to put away the utensils.
Also in there were Jilk, Clarice, and her followers.
Jilk was wearing a hospital gown and had his head and arm wrapped in bandages.
Clarice stood in front of such a pathetic-looking Jilk.
This was part of my request for Jilk.
“I’m truly sorry about the matter.”
An apology towards Clarice.
Before coming here, I also allowed my older sister to apologize. That matter was not as important as this one, though.
Clarice had teary eyes.
“You’re late for only doing it now at this point! I had been waiting! Did you really think that you could erase everything between us with just a single letter?”
Clarice was furious.
That was natural. Jilk should reflect on this matter.
“I’m sorry about how I fell for someone else, and the matter of our marriage. I don’t want to lie, especially not in front of your face. The fact of the matter is that I’m in love with another woman.”
Clarice took a step forward and slapped Jilk in an instant.
What a nice sound it made within the room.
Do it some more! Go on, Clarice!
Jilk didn’t talk back. However, it seemed that he was prepared to accept whatever came his way. He should’ve used the bravery he had here for something else.
“What is there to lie about?! You were seduced by that woman. Did you want to abandon me that much? Why that girl?! Why…am I not good enough?”
“I don’t know myself. However, I do know that I fell in love with her. Due to that, I was hesitant in seeing you.”
No matter how cruel an excuse was, it sounded better when said by someone good-looking.
It seemed to me that Jilk didn’t want to meet her because it was just plain troublesome for him. If I did something bad to a woman and gave an excuse like that, everyone around me would go “What did you just say?” and treat me coldly.
Come to think of it, what kind of excuse would I make? No wait, I wouldn’t even be in an affair to begin with. In an otome game world like this, a guy cheating on another would result in them being tracked down and beaten up. On the other hand, a woman doing it would end with just a slap on the wrist.
This world really was unreasonable.
“Are you trying to deceive me again? Jilk, you’re always like that! You’ve never spoken towards me once about what you truly think! Even now, aren’t you just trying to escape by pretending to apologize?”
“These are my honest feelings. I’m not in a position to meet you. Even just us meeting could drag you down. That being the case, I wish that you could remember me as you had before.”
Although Jilk was a capture target, he basically was a troublesome person who wouldn’t speak to others about his thoughts. He would always grin, but never would talk about what he liked or disliked.
Thus, he would try to run away from things he didn’t like, making him a truly troublesome guy. I suppose that according to the game, the reason for it was for the sake of Julian. However, this was a matter of apologizing to his ex-fiancee!
Clarice’s followers were about to ready their weapons in their hands.
When I a.s.sessed that the situation wasn’t looking good and was about to intervene, Clarice spoke.
The third-year uppercla.s.sman was concerned about Clarice. Clarice wiped her tears.
“There’s no point in dirtying your hands. I have nothing to do with this man anymore. He’s just a stranger from now on. I don’t want to get involved with him again.”
Jilk lowered his head, although it seemed like he wanted to say something about the fight that almost broke out.
“My apologies. And, thank you, Clarice.”
Clarice hung her head and gritted her teeth.
“Don’t speak to me so casually! I don’t want to see your face anymore!”
Jilk left the room as he was told to do. H, huh? Didn’t that mean I was the only one left here?
When a nervous atmosphere covered the room, the third-year uppercla.s.sman spoke up.
“I’m sorry. We inconvenienced you.”
“N, not at all.”
Clarice sat on a chair that her followers brought and began to cry.
I wanted to go home.
“I’m heading off as well. I probably shouldn’t be here.”
“No, wait for a moment.”
When he said that, all of the boys around bowed their heads. I was in surprise, imagining that they were about to beat me up.
“Even when we tried calling him, he wouldn’t come. We have to thank you, Baron. We’re sorry for the numerous rude things we did!”
Speaking plainly, this was a situation where a first-year student like me was being surrounded by uppercla.s.smen who were bowing their heads. It was kind of frightening. I wasn’t sure why I was scared!
I was puzzled by all of the boys making an apology, and when I took a bit of distance, I noticed that there were sub-race slaves simply watching us.
Servants had no devotion. Their relations.h.i.+ps were purely contractual.
“If you’re not satisfied, I don’t mind if you hit me. Do whatever you need to do. However, leave my lady unrelated to this matter.”
“Will that really do?”
The uppercla.s.sman made a small smile when I made that mean-spirited comment.
“If that won’t do, then I’ll take responsibility. I’ll offer my life.”
He would take responsibility with his life, he said? That really was frightening. I was jealous that there were people who had this much loyalty to others.
When hearing that, Clarice stood up.
“Wait! Do you think I would allow that? This is entirely my responsibility. You all were just following my orders. That’s all you did.”
“But, my lady!”
I spoke in amazement when seeing them argue over who should take responsibility.
“How about stopping this emotional drama? Trying to figure out who should take responsibility is troublesome, so no thanks. I hate having to deal with troublesome things.”
Thereupon, the uppercla.s.sman looked at me.
“Y, you──err, is that so? Are you going to forgive us?”
Did they think I was here to drive Clarice into a corner? In the first place, Jilk was the one in the wrong. If he had actually taken the proper course of action, this matter would have been resolved before it even began.
He really was a troublesome guy.
“Clarice, you should get back on your feet. There are as many stars as there are men out there.”
Clarice hung her head and made a feeble smile towards what I said.
“You’re twisted, but you’re pretty kind, aren’t you.”
Hearing that, Luxon was saying [She’s mistaken. Master, you’re not twisted, but rather crooked beyond repair──] and other such trivial things, so I took a look at the exclusive servants.
“Don’t talk as if you know my feelings. I’m just grateful that these troublesome things will end.”
“Is that so. It has already gotten late. My clothes are dirty as well.”
Behind Clarice, who was making a sorrowful smile, I noticed one of her exclusive servants making a telling grin. It was a smile that spoke as if they had won.
“Rest a.s.sured. A good woman like you need not concern herself with this. However, you should do something about those exclusive slaves of yours.”
When I glared back at the sub-race exclusive servants, each of them had a fl.u.s.tered expression. To them, Clarice was a good master.
Another way to put it was that she was reasonable.
They didn’t want to part with their master, a girl who gave them a good pay, so they seemed panicked.
“How fair-spoken. Perhaps this was how you gained favor with Anjelica.”
“It’s because I’m an honest man who tells no lies.”
The uppercla.s.sman disregarded that by saying “That’s definitely a lie.”
Clarice slightly nodded her head.
“Alright. I’ll try to keep doing my best. I’m already tired of living like this. Seriously, I understand that I can’t make him turn my way no matter what I do. I wonder what I had been doing.”
Jilk was also a sinful man. That was just my a.s.sessment of him, but he did throw everything away just for the sake of Marie.
She really was a good-for-nothing reincarnated person. In order to realize her reverse harem, she caused the suffering of many others.
Imagine if there were an honest and gentle women who would play around with a man. The reason being that she wanted the man, who had been abandoned by others, to look her way──why couldn’t there have been a girl like that for me?!
In the end, I ended up having to clean up after Jilk’s mess──how frustrating!
Normally, it would have been okay if I didn’t get involved in this. However, Jilk was one of the capture targets. I wanted to avoid causing extra troubles arising from this matter. This was just a matter of looking after myself.
The rest was as Julian said it was. This wasn’t for Clarice’s sake.
I intervened because of circ.u.mstances that were larger than Jilk himself.
Clarice began to cry again, and since my business was done, I was about to leave. I was the one who wanted to cry. I gained nothing from today in terms of searching for marriage. The only thing I got from the school festival was enough money to build a mansion.
Huh? Wasn’t that pretty good? I earned a fortune at the school festival.
Thereupon, Clarice raised her voice.
“Leon. You’d better go to Anjie. It seemed that a lot had happened with Anjie and that honor student.”
Did something happen between them?
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