༺ The First Letter (56) ༻
Yellowish-brown eyes met aquamarine eyes as the cold atmosphere began to get heated. Bystanders scattered at the atmosphere that simulated the rainy season.
Celine stood there smiling, but her eyes were cold. The same was true for Seria.
The atmosphere instantly became suffocating when the two women who had been consistently ignoring each other met. Celine hung the canteen she was holding on her waist, and slowly walked over to Seria.
Until then, Seria was just staring at Celine without a word. Were they the eyes of a predator, or was it just an expression of indifference?
No one knew the answer yet. No one except Seria.
Celine stopped walking in front of her.
She sighed, then put one hand on her waist. Then, she opened her mouth, attempting to appease Seria.
“I understand that you might not be feeling well these days, and honestly, I’m the same way. But if you react so sensitively, won’t everyone feel uncomfortable?”
She spoke the truth, but Celine also had a dreary expression.
Nevertheless, no one pointed it out. In fact, the bystanders began to express their agreement with Celine’s words instead.
Celine was good at such things. Creating a unique atmosphere, then using it to support her arguments.
That was why she was gifted at managing human relations. Alongside her uniquely sociable temper, Celine also excelled in reading the atmosphere.
Celine didn’t want to have a conflict with Seria at that moment.
Celine still remembered what Ian had been so angry about. If she fought Seria for no reason, her relationship with Ian would get worse, which would be a disaster.
It was the right choice to keep their relationship hidden so as to not be seen by Ian. Most importantly, Celine did not like to engage in conflict in public places.
Not only would it only show weakness, at least on the surface, she hoped the conflict would at least seem to be resolved.
“Please have a little understanding, Miss Yurdina… After all, we’re in a similar situation, and Senior Ian would hate it if you threw a tantrum.”
Celine laughed bitterly.
Who would have thought that a woman named Delphine Yurdina would suddenly re-appear to put them in a similar situation?
Nevertheless, the attempt to establish sympathy with the opponent was also meant to promote harmony. It was meant to end this way. Through this, Celine would be able to gain several advantages.
First, even though Seria had sufficient reason to be angry, she portrayed Seria as a sensitive woman. Of course, Seria was somewhat more irritable than usual, but it was understandable. Celine claimed this as a ‘sensitive reaction’ and attempted to protect the noble woman in her faction.
Secondly, even if this conflict came up in the future, she could claim ‘I made an effort to reconcile’. It would be a meaningless fight if she fought Seria and lost Ian in the end. She needed that modicum of security.
Lastly, because Celine suggested reconciliation first, those who watched them would recognize her generosity. Her public image could be useful if a conflict arose in the future.
Anyone would be willing to cheer for someone close to them emotionally, and dating was not done alone. That was how the influence of their surroundings would silently work.
The more people spread the information that Celine was better than Seria, the more favorable it was to Celine. Although no one could be sure how effective that would be.
Regardless, that was the conclusion Celine instinctively came to. The idea of her offering reconciliation favored her in many ways. As long as Celine made an image of attempting reconciliation first, no one could ever refute that. Especially if one had a modicum of social skills.
That’s right. ‘If one had a modicum of social skills’.
Unfortunately, Seria was a person who lacked the word ‘social’ in her dictionary. She pondered for a moment, then opened her mouth and whispered.
“……you know nothing.”
That was her response after thinking for a long time. However, Celine’s eyes were only filled with puzzlement at Seria’s words.
What Seria really wanted to say was, ‘you don’t know my sister very well.’
But Seria lacked the experience. So she left out details of what was necessary to know. Which would cause a larger misunderstanding.
A follow-up came out of Seria’s mouth but Celine, who didn’t understand her words, looked puzzled.
“If you do nothing, he’ll be taken away.”
That was the statement. Hearing that, Celine’s eyes turned fierce at once.
This advice was also for Seria. To beware of Delphine, a woman who will do as she pleases.
However, because the words came out of Seria’s mouth without any explanation, Celine only interpreted the following.
‘If you do nothing, I’ll take Senior Ian from you.’
It was a blatant provocation. It would be abnormal if she could maintain her composure after hearing that.
He was the man who she had a crush on for over 10 years. Not only did she appear out of nowhere and become her competitor, she even mocked her in a public place.
Feeling overwhelmed, Celine bit her lips. Her eyes were filled with intense rage. Cold hostility appeared in those yellowish-brown eyes.
“……Ah, I see.”
Her voice sounded as cold as ice and it felt like an icicle was embedded within. There was nothing but annoyance and anger on Celine’s face as her smile disappeared.
The gathered students remained silent. Some of them winked, signaling that they should stop, but Celine was one step ahead.
Taking a step forward, the distance between the two women narrowed in an instant. As they became closer, Celine twisted the corners of her mouth.
“I guess you lost a lot to your sister? You even lost a man now… Well, it’s nice to see a sisterly love that yields to her older sister.”
It was at that moment that Seria’s eyes narrowed and sank. Celine’s mockery had stabbed at Seria’s most hidden weakness.
And even the possibility she feared most of all now, Seria never wanted Ian to be taken away. No matter who the rival was, even more so against Delphine.
It was just a misunderstanding at the beginning. However, for the two women who had been deeply in love, there was no better opportunity to resolve it.
Cold words came out of Seria’s mouth. Her voice was cold as if her flesh was pierced.
“Don’t worry, Senior Ian isn’t the kind of person who will leave without saying anything. He made a promise last time. But I suppose you don’t seem to trust Senior Ian.”
“I trust Senior Ian, but it’s an issue because he’s so kind… he spends way too much time hanging around a certain bastard.”
Celine snorted as she heard it. Her sharp gaze scanned Seria’s face. But Seria’s expression had already turned cold.
”Come to think of it, you look funny, why are you looking so gloomy? I’m just getting back exactly what you did, right?“
“I don’t understand what you mean……”
Seria didn’t really know what Celine was talking about. It was too much for her to understand the complicated world of dating when she didn’t even have friends. It was Seria who still defined her feelings as ‘friendship’.
But sometimes only the ignorant could discover the truth. Seria thought very simply, so she could simply reach the essence of the matter.
“If you don’t like me hanging out with Senior Ian, you can talk to Senior Ian yourself. Don’t whine to me.”
“……What did you say?”
Celine’s eyebrows narrowed. She was obviously bewildered. Seria wasn’t going to miss this chance.
She had no talent for speaking, but there was still the sense of a trained fighter who hunted beasts. She knew instinctively what her opponent’s weakness was, and if she found a weakness, she had to target that part relentlessly.
Seria’s cold voice poured out without interruption. She had no intention of socializing with her opponent, and was fairly eloquent. All she had to do was translate her thoughts into unfiltered language.
“I said, go whine to Senior Ian. You’ve come to the wrong person… what, you don’t have the courage to do so?”
“I’m not saying I want you to cut off your relationship with Senior Ian…….”
”If not that, then what?“
There was silence as Celine’s mouth was shut. She stared at Seria without saying a word.
“It sounded like you wished for that.”
Celine lowered her gaze slightly. If it ended this way, then there was no answer. It was her true intention that she didn’t want him to pay attention to another woman.
Celine was well aware that it was too much. Still, she couldn’t hide her desire for Ian to not meet with a rival like Seria.
In truth, her stubbornness would only interfere with their relationship. Most importantly, Celine had not yet formally begun dating Ian.
That’s when Seria stole Celine’s own words. And made Celine bite her lips quietly.
Seria, who had remained calm, sighed deeply. If Celine didn’t have anything to say, it seemed like it wasn’t worth continuing the conflict.
She left with only one sentence.
“If you do nothing, he will be taken away, Celine Haster.”
Just like he was from me.
Seria swallowed the words inside her. However, it was obvious that her words had broken Celine’s last shred of patience.
Celine’s yellowish-brown eyes stared at Seria fiercely. Her hand inadvertently turned to her waist. She had no intention of drawing her sword, but every knight would look for their sword when they threatened. It was almost habitual.
In this case, however, it was enough to draw attention. The next moment, Celine heard a cold warning.
“Don’t draw that sword.”
It was a real sword hanging from her waist. Nevertheless, Seria, who warned Celine, didn’t even put her hand on her own sheath. As if it wasn’t even necessary.
“…..You will regret it.”
It was a calm voice that spoke a simple truth, an insult beyond disrespect. The bystanders, who were not even involved in it, held their breaths momentarily.
The moment she heard that, a spark flared in Celine’s eyes.
Celine had a sense of inferiority toward high-ranking nobles. She could not bear to hear such blatant insults from the object of that hatred.
A beam of light shot through the air.
Celine, who was outstanding in terms of magical power, was able to launch her sword in an instant. The series of attacks that followed at once could overwhelm opponents several orders of magnitude higher if the advantage of a surprise attack was utilized. But it was Seria whom she opposed.
With a strange sound, Celine’s blade sparked and slipped. Seria’s sword, which had been drawn in an instant, deflected Celine’s blade.
When the unexpected fight began, the surroundings became noisy. A voice said it had to be stopped, but the real question was who could stop Seria from drawing her sword.
Originally, ‘swordsmanship training’ was a lecture period, so it should have been supervised by a professor. However, today, due to the professor’s personal circumstances, it was conducted as self-training. There was still time for the assistant, who had briefly checked attendance and left, to return.
The sound of someone running outside the swordsmanship training ground was heard. Someone was looking for help. Teachers, seniors, anyone would be fine.
They had to stop the fight. If an injury occurred, it was a crime enough to qualify for expulsion.
Due to the commotion, more attention began to gather at the swordsmanship training ground. Celine and Seria, who exchanged blows several times, took a few steps back and glared at each other.
However, the result looked obvious. Celine couldn’t even touch Seria despite using her full strength. However, the traces of Seria’s retaliation were inscribed all over Celine’s body.
“I acknowledge your courage to draw a sword with that level of skill, but……”
Seria spoke in a casual tone. ‘Yurdina’s bastard’ was a simplified nickname for her abilities.
“…..Let’s stop here, I think I’ve already won.”
Celine groaned again and kicked the ground. Seria let out a small sigh as if she had no choice but to correct her. And at that moment.
A shout from a man stopped the two women from attacking each other. However, the problem was the difference in skills between the two women.
Seria had plenty of time to pull back. Her sword was immediately halted and at some point, was put back into its sheath on her waist.
But not with Celine. Celine couldn’t stop her sword in time, and it moved forwards falteringly. Celine clenched her teeth and tried to pull back, but it had already cut through Seria’s forearm.
Blood leaked. While it was a shallow wound, when the bystanders parted, a man appeared among them.
And there was only one sight he saw.
Celine, who was holding a sword and Seria, who was bleeding from her forearm.
At least at that moment, it was clear who was the perpetrator and the victim.
Ian, a man with black hair and golden eyes, put his hand on his forehead. He walked forward irritably.
Celine hurriedly ripped her sword away. She had a blank expression as if she hadn’t grasped the situation properly. It was the same with Seria, who suddenly had a wound on her forearm.
Celine moved her lips as if she had something to say but Ian walked past her coldly.
Ian headed to Seria, who was kneeling in a daze, holding the wound on her forearm. He sighed deeply and pulled out a bandage for her arms.
It shouldn’t be like this. Such an instinctive sense of crisis hit Celine’s mind. She stuttered and opened her mouth.
”S-senior Ian… I, I……”
Ian spoke in a cold voice, not even looking back at Celine. It was the first time that Ian treated Celine so coldly since they met.
Even more shocked, Celine lost her words. When Ian looked back, his golden eyes on Celine were cold.
“…..Let’s talk another time.”
Celine was frozen in place.
Seria also seemed to be desperately looking for something to say, but there was no way she could respond to such a sudden situation and be able to communicate effectively.
”Are you okay, Seria? Let’s go to the temple first, just in case.”
She just followed Ian as he supported her.
The only thing left was Celine, who was looking down at the ground with despair in her eyes.
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