Chloe successfully made a contract with a spirit as easy as it could be.
Unlike my time, the summoned spirit accepted the contract with Chloe happily and declared its name.
What Chloe summoned was a spirit of light. Moreover, it was a high grade spirit which one rarely could make a contract with.
Chloe, who had finished making a contract, turned around and looked at me who was standing alongside the wall.
“Lily, I made a contract!”
“Yes, I saw it. Congratulations, Chloe.”
I once again congratulated Chloe who was smiling happily. There was no lie in my words, but my heart that had finally calmed down began to feel anxious once again.
—Chloe got a spirit contract…how envious.
There is no point in feeling jealous of other people, but it’s something that I had failed once, so I think it’s enviable no matter what.
I also think that I’ll get a contract next time, but there is no guarantee. That’s only natural, but I’m still anxious about the possibility of failing once again.
A sensation similar to impatience was slowly burning within me.
I looked at Chloe, who was celebrating innocently.
Chloe has successfully made a contract with a spirit, while I haven’t.
Chloe is qualified to marry the Royal family, while I’m not.
The anxiety that I could never get rid of reared its ugly head once again.
The story where Chloe stole Al away, which normally I would have considered impossible, started to feel more likely.
—Why do I have to be so anxious?
I know. Chloe did nothing wrong. The one at fault is me who couldn’t make a contract.
Besides, the person Chloe likes is Victor-oniisama, not Al. And Al loves me too. So there is no way he would be taken away.
Nevertheless, I still feel anxious because I knew that Chloe is the 『heroine』.
Maybe even though I thought it was irrelevant, deep inside my heart I really cared about that?
—I wonder if Chloe and my brother would end up together soon, then I wouldn’t have to worry about her snatching Al.
…That might be a very good idea.
If Chloe and my brother become lovers and marry each other, I won’t have to worry about trivial things.
Prince Wilfred is out of the question. After all, Chloe isn’t interested in him. As expected, the safest thing to do is to stick Chloe with the one she likes. That is, my brother.
I could create more opportunities for her to meet my brother so they can develop their relationship. That way, Chloe won’t have any chance to get involved with Al and will stay together with the person she likes, so everything will be alright—
“Ah! What am I thinking…?”
As I started to think more in detail how to keep Chloe alone with my brother, I returned to my senses.
When I realized what I was trying to do, I turned pale.
Just now, I was thinking about using my friend’s love for my own benefit.
That’s such a despicable, disgusting thing to do.
If Chloe and my brother ended up becoming lovers, that would be great. But I shouldn’t use that for my own benefit.
Despite that, just so that it would be a relief for me, I had considered progressing the relationship between Chloe and my brother arbitrarily.
But it was not rooted on good intentions. It was 100% for my own selfishness.
Even if it was only for a moment, I couldn’t forgive myself for even considering those bad thoughts.
Even though Chloe is my precious friend, even though I wanted to get along with my friend, I still thought about using her.
After all, am I just a woman who only thinks about herself?
After all, am I just a woman who deserves to be called 『villainess』?
I was so ashamed that my tears started to come out.
I watched Chloe in a daze. She was talking to Prince Wilfred with a troubled expression. I wanted to do what I could to save her.
But right now, regretfully, I couldn’t do much.
When Chloe and Prince Wilfred’s conversation came to an end, I chose that time to speak up.
“Congratulations. I’m glad you could make your contract safely. I’m really sorry but I don’t feel well right now…so pardon me for leaving first.”
“Eh? You don’t feel good? Are you okay?”
Chloe looked at me with worried expression, and I felt even more guilty.
However, I couldn’t just say that it was difficult to see her right now.
“…I’m sorry. It’s okay. I just need to rest for a while.”
“Don’t worry about that. Thank you for coming even though you’re not feeling well.”
“It’s okay…Your Highness Wilfred, please forgive me for leaving first.”
Prince Wilfred was the person with the highest status in this place. He also looked at me with worried expression when I asked for permission to leave.
“…I don’t mind, but you’re so pale. Should I contact my brother? He’ll take care of you.”
It sounded like he was truly concerned about me, and weirdly, it reminded me when Al said, “He’s not a bad person.”
“…Thank you for your concern. But it’s alright. I’ll feel better after I rest in my mansion. ”
After I finished exchanging greetings with the Earl properly, I got into the carriage owned by my ducal family.
Carrying my feelings of exhaustion, I returned to the mansion and Luke came to greet me.
I made sure to lower my head as I got off the carriage.
“Welcome home, Milady. You’ve returned surprisingly quickly.”
“…just a moment.”
Right now, I didn’t want to talk. After expressing my will to keep silent, Luke said nothing more.
I returned to my room, changed my clothes and drank Luke’s brewed tea.
Noel hopped onto the sofa and I stroked his back.
As if asking for more, Noel rolled over. In response to his request, I stroked Noel’s side and tickled his chin.
“Today, I was the worst.”
I muttered while stroking Noel. Right now, I just wanted Luke to listen to the burden that I had carried in my heart.
“Today Chloe had worked really hard. She contracted a spirit and even spoke properly with His Highness Wilfred. The bad one here was me.”
“Did something happen?”
Hearing his anxious voice, I thought, “Ah, I made him worry.” So I opened my mouth.
“I guess something did happen. Well, when I saw Chloe completed her spirit contract, I was terrified. I couldn’t help but think that, if this situation persists, maybe Al would be taken away from me.”
Luke kept brewing tea. As he watched the steam rise, he said.
“… His Highness loves you, Milady. Just recently, didn’t you confess your love for each other?”
Hearing his words, I relaxed a little.
“Of course I believe in Al. But this isn’t something that can be settled with logic. I can’t control this anxiety that arises from the bottom of my heart. Even though I love Chloe, even though I trust Al, I can’t get over the “what ifs” in my head. But I know I only think this way because I couldn’t sign my spirit contract.”
I put my hand on my lap and squeezed my skirt.
“I don’t deserve your pity. I couldn’t support Chloe in the end. I knew she was looking at me for help but I lied and ran away from her mansion. I did it because I was afraid that I would say something I shouldn’t say.”
I wouldn’t be able to contain myself. I ran away because I thought so.
I wanted to keep being friends with Chloe, so I ran away from that situation.
But I knew she was seeking help and I regretted ignoring her.