“To deepen our friendship, of course.”
We were already childhood friends.
“It’s to keep the others in check.”
“The truth comes out!”
I knew it.
“Yes. Why is that wrong? I have to make my father shut up somehow. And do you know how annoying his employees are?”
As Linda’s family lived in the city, they kept asking her to return home.
She said they hadn’t been like this at all before. And so it must be my fault that they had suddenly become so protective.
Linda’s house was connected to an office. The workshops and stores were in different locations.
Apparently, when she did visit home, all the employees would come out and greet her.
I remember experiencing something similar when the Dragon Mark appeared.
Everyone wanted to meet you. It was horrible.
Your friends and acquaintances would all descend on you like hawks.
Just when you think they had left, more would come in to take their place. It was as if they were waiting for their turn in some hallway I wasn’t aware of.
It wasn’t possible for me to smile politely for long.
“I don’t know if I can meet you every month, but I’ll try to make time.”
“You better! It’s a promise.”
Linda’s eyes were very serious.
I nodded quietly.
The day after I met Linda, I headed to the place that I was to meet Miss Anne.
My first letter to her had the date and location written down, and she had accepted it.
As she would be returning soon, I thought it best to do it soon.
We decided to meet up in front of a Gikoku fountain.
I didn’t know how it worked, but the water came out in different shapes depending on the time.
It was quite popular as a meeting sport, but you would have to go by carriage if you wanted to reach it from the academy.
And so I was unlikely to bump into anyone I knew.
As I had been the one to invite her, I had some plans for what we would do.
Mira had told me of some stores that she thought a lady would like. I had not been able to ask Linda for such advice.
After that, we could wander around town a little and eat at a sort of almost luxurious restaurant before separating.
Anne would be used to this sort of thing, but I wasn’t.
She would have to bear being in a restaurant that was just sort of expensive.
I thought of such things as I stared at the fountain. It was almost time.
I simulated the events of the day in my head and looked around. However, I could not find her.
“It’s getting late.”
I muttered to myself. Still, I continued to wait for Miss Anne.
However, no matter how long I waited, she never did arrive.