“There, you’re moving too slow!!”
An hour has passed since the lesson began.
Whenever I make a wrong move, Tennoji-san is quick to point it out to me.
“Hey, you seem to be tougher than usual today…….”
“I don’t go easy on fraudsters!”
“I can’t …… say anything back.”
I realized that my legs and back were exhausted. If it were only physical strength, I would have been as strong as Tennoji-san, but I was probably using extra energy because I was moving too slowly.
After another hour or so, we stopped.
“Let’s wrap it up for today.”
“Oh, thank you…….”
I bowed my head and wiped the sweat dripping from my face with the back of my hand.
Tennoji-san also stretched out her collar and wiped the sweat. I looked away a little as her clothes lifted up, revealing her thin, white waist.
“As usual, you’re still a fast learner.”
“….. I don’t really feel it, though.”
“I’m not trying to flatter you. What should have taken you two days to learn, you learned in only half a day. I guess it is because you have a high level of ambition.”
After saying that, Tennoji-san suddenly made a gesture as if thinking about something.
“Is something wrong?”
“No, I’m just now becoming aware of my hobbies and interests….. Apparently, I like people who work hard….”
Tennoji-san says abruptly.
She probably said it almost unconsciously. But that line is a little hard for me to ignore.
“Uh, that …… you like…….”
“Well, don’t get me wrong! I mean I respect them as a person!!”
“Oh, yeah, that’s what you mean…….”
“Of course! Otherwise….”
Tennoji-san then looks like she has come back to her senses.
“……Otherwise, I would never have made it …….”
Tennoji-san said with a mysterious look on her face.
Lately, Tennoji-san often makes this expression. I was at a loss for a response, so I decided to change the subject for the time being.
“Speaking of which, Tennoji-san said she was adopted, but I don’t really feel that way about you. Unlike me, you don’t seem like a commoner…….”
“I’ve been raised in the Tennoji family for as long as I can remember. In that sense, unlike Itsuki-san, I didn’t have to make the effort to change my daily behavior.”
I, who am ingrained with the behavior typical of commoners, first had to make an effort to switch to upper-class behavior in order to fit in at the Academy. Although Tennoji-san is an adopted child, she was raised in the Tennoji family from the time she was a baby, so unlike me, she has not experienced this switch.
However, that does not mean that Tennoji-san does not work harder than I do. Living as the daughter of the Tennoji family, …… that heavy responsibility is a huge pressure that I don’t have.
“So, Tennoji-san, you don’t know much about the life of a commoner, do you?”
“That’s true. I would be lying if I said I did.”
Among the students of the Imperial Academy, there are those who know the lives of the common people. For example, Naruka seems to frequent the candy store.
“But …… right now, I have to concentrate on my studies in order to beat Konohana Hinako.”
Tennoji-san had a serious expression on her face as she told me this.
“…..I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, but Tennoji-san likes to win, don’t you?”
“Yes. Originally, I was just trying to be the best at everything I did for the Tennoji family, …… but before I knew it, it had become my nature.”
That seems to be Tennoji-san.
“Especially this time …… because I don’t know what will happen to my future depending on the marriage proposal. I must settle things with Konohana Hinako while I still can.”
Tennoji-san said, clenching her fists.
As she showed her determination, I suddenly wondered.
“What do you mean by ‘in the future’?”
“Worst case scenario, I might leave the academy.”
I widened my eyes at the words that were suddenly uttered to me.
“My suitor lives a little far away from here. He wants to live with me as soon as possible, so I will probably leave the academy as soon as the arrangement is made.”
“Wait a minute. Why so suddenly ……?”
“It can’t be helped. I also heard about it last night.”
Tennoji-san said calmly.
“This is what it means to accept a marriage proposal. I will follow the wishes of the …… family and work hard for the sake of the relationship between the two families. I am in a position where I am no longer allowed to be free.”
Saying this, Tennoji-san’s lips tightened.
The confidence that Tennoji-san has now is not there. Seeing this, I decided to ask her a question.
“…… I see ………. Does Tennoji-san really feel good about that marriage proposal?”
At this question, Tennoji-san looked sad for a moment.
But she quickly closed her eyes, and in the next moment, she smiled elegantly and answered …….
“I will remain silent.”
It was like saying – You already know the answer.