"I didn't do this because of pressure or because I was forced, nor did I do it because I craved power and status," Innilis said as she swept her gaze across the nobles and back to Leguna, "The reason I did it was to make myself even better in his eyes. I hoped he would see the best version of me. And now…"
She paused, before smiling. "I'm glad I could do so much for him. I want to tell my fellow students to work hard for that which you find wonderful and change. Watching yourself improve can be a really blissful thing. You can work hard for your parents, siblings, lover, friends, country, home… even yourself. No matter what, strive hard to change. As long as you have such a wish and hope, you'll always have the motivation to make progress. I wish you all find that motivation this year."
When she finished, everyone fell silent. She felt a little disappointed because she had forgotten most of her speech. What she just said was done impromptu, and the effect didn't seem to be that good.
Did I not do well enough again? she thought helplessly, If that's the case, should I even…
Just as she was hesitating, the first pair of hands clapped. She looked up and saw a petite figure smiling and clapping for her.
She was her roommate, the little girl who always tagged along: Sasha.
She was clapping with all her strength until they turned red. She knew how hard Innilis had prepared, so no matter what other people thought, she hoped Innilis would be able to get what she wanted that night.
The timid girl didn't notice that she was the only one giving applause, nor did she mind the surprised glances of everyone around her. She only focused all she had on putting her hands together to transmit her gratitude to Innilis.
If the one that motivated Innilis was Leguna, then the one that motivated Sasha was Innilis. After spending half a year together, she had noticed the change in Innilis and began to see her as a role model. So, she didn't want to let that image of her fade.
Soon, the applause got louder as Annelotte joined in. She wore a light smile and her eyes were filled with blessing.
But a few seconds later, she turned and glared at Leguna harshly.
As a result, he became the third person to clap.
The students, seeing that their principal was clapping, also joined in.
After that were the nobles. They didn't really think the speech was bad. It was just that the sudden shift at the end was so abrupt they had no time to process it. Some well-raised nobles didn't lag behind when they saw the students clapping and started joining in for the pitiful girl standing on stage.
Innilis finally calmed down and gave Annelotte and Sasha thankful looks, before turning to Leguna, who was smiling at her.
After the applause ended, she dictated a spell to broadcast her voice and yelled the loudest she could, "Big Bro Leguna! I wanted to tell you this a few months ago! I'm 16!"
All the students and nobles turned to him and began to chatter.
"Hey, isn't that youth Dark Requiem? What does Innilis have to do with him?"
"How would I know? But I did hear that apart from our principal, he has two lovers… One of them is the beautiful school nurse, Eirinn… Could the other be Innilis?"
"The hell? If I can land a beauty like our principal, I'd smile into my dreams! Leguna actually dares monopolize Eirinn and Innilis, too? What in the world is he?"
"Who knows? Heh! The bad guys always get the girls after all! It's one thing for the twin flowers to belong to that Dark Requiem, but I didn't think even Innilis, the chairperson of Eirinn's Guard, would fall to his claws as well! Sigh… The heavens truly are blind!"
"Alright, stop talking. Let's continue to watch!"
Leguna took a deep breath when the gazes settled on him. He looked at Annelotte and stood up when he was certain she didn't seem perturbed.
"Go! If you disappoint her, neither I nor Eirinn will forgive you!" Annelotte said when he crossed paths with her.
"I'm sorry… and thank you, Annie," he vaguely replied.
Strictly speaking, it was the first time Leguna appeared in public as himself. Some nobles who hadn't met him before seemed rather surprised.
They had guessed that Dark Requiem would be a savage, bloodthirsty man with warts all over his skin. Quite a number of them were almost blinded by what they saw instead.
He was dressed in the clothes Eirinn had got him, after all. He looked no different from a noble youth who had just made his debut in high society. While he was trained in good etiquette, he still seemed rather fresh.
He stepped onto the stage and looked at the surprised folk before he smiled.
"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen."
Nobody responded as they didn't want to have anything to do with someone of his reputation. He was infamous across the continent. Apart from those that understood him, nobody dared to associate with a shameless thug like him.
Leguna himself didn't mind it either. She looked at the blushing Innilis and said, "Most of you don't know this, but a few years ago I promised Innilis to propose to her when she turns 16 if her feelings for me were still the same as they were at that time."
The crowd broke into a loud chatter. Innilis's talent was unquestioned. Her status as honor student and expertise in herbalism were the perfect testament to her abilities. The nobles had wanted to form a long-lasting relationship with her for more benefits down the line, but if she had some relationship with Dark Requiem, certain companies were reconsidering whether they should continue to negotiate with Innilis for the sake of their company's reputation.
"As Innie said, this was a promise I should've fulfilled months ago. However, I pushed it back to this day because of my cowardice, and now, she has brought it up before everyone."
He paused again. "I feel that, if I don't stand up today, even I won't be able to stop looking down on myself."
He laughed and kneeled before her and looked up at her cute face. "My beautiful lady, are you willing to be my fiancee and let me stay by your side, to protect you, for life?"
"Big Bro Leguna…"
Innilies's face was so red it looked like her skin had been ripped off. She had seen this in her dreams countless times. Now it was happening for real. She was so happy she felt herself going insane. Her voice shuddered as she replied.
"Yes… I'm willing…"
Leguna smiled and slowly stood up. He held her right hand before everyone else. "Then, from today onwards, I regret to inform all other young men that you've lost the right to pursue Innilis. She's as of this moment she is my fiancee. She is one of the most important people in my life as of today. I will fight anyone that touches her to the death!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter