It didn’t take long after walking through the gate for us to start seeing other students milling about.
And while such meetings were inconsequential to us, to them we must have made quite the spectacle.
The moment we came into view, they all started whispering fiercely amongst themselves.
Rather unsightly manners if you ask me.
Why is it that these supposedly dignified aristocratic students love to lower their voice and badmouth others right in front of their face
And, as Gilles had warned, their gazes on us are nothing like two years ago.
While they hadn’t been exactly friendly back then, they were nowhere near this cutting and cold.
“Hey, look over there.
Isn’t that Alicia Williams” I hear a shrill, high-pitched voice saying a little too loudly to be considered a whisper.
Oh It seems that my name has already become well-known even among those whom I am not yet acquainted.
Doesn’t this mean I’ve already become a big shot within the academy
…..No, stop that.
Don’t get too excited now and get carried away!
I do my best to stamp down my growing pride and anticipation so I can retain my calm, indifferent façade.
“Oh my goodness.
Do you see that She’s wearing an eye patch!”
As a girl, to wear such a thing….!”
“I wonder what could have happened.
Goodness, do you think she could have gotten in a fight How unruly.”
“It completely spoils that pretty face of hers! Such a pity.”
“Ugh, somehow it looks makes her look all creepy and gruesome.”
“I’ll bet she was cursed! Underneath, her eye’s probably rotting away.”
Suddenly, a loud chorusing of snickering and giggling voices can be heard.
The effect of the eye patch is beyond anything I could have imagined.
Thanks to my new accessory, I’m probably receiving twice the amount of abusive gossip than I normally would.
What a fortuitous benefit for giving Grandpa Will one of my eyes! I’m so grateful I got the chance to wear an eye patch.
I glance over at Gilles and see that he’s walking around with an expression that is cold enough to make hell freeze over.
Could this be part of his new acting skills that he mentioned earlier
“Ugh, she’s such an eyesore, walking around like she’s all that.”
“Yeah, who cares if she’s pretty on the outside when her heart’s all disgusting and black on the inside.”
“So true! Who cares what you look like if your insides are rotten!”
“Besides, I think Liz-Sama is way more beautiful than her.”
“She can’t even compare to Liz-Sama!”
“Ahh! Liz-Sama has the most beautiful soul of any person that I’ve ever met!”
“That girl can’t even hold a candle to Liz-Sama in inner nor outer beauty.”
Although they are likely talking while thinking that the person in question can’t hear them, I can distinctly hear every word.
The more they talk, the lighter my steps seem to become and I’m sure my expression is turning more and more satisfied as well.
Gilles’s expression on the other hand is becoming more murderous by the moment though.
But I’m just so happy! To think that my notoriety would spread to this point! I feel like I’m being rewarded for Liz-san’s own hard work.
“It would have been so great if she had just quit school permanently.”
“Can’t she just hurry up and leave again”
“Albert-Sama and Alan-Sama and Henry-Sama are all such perfect gentleman…..
How could she even come from the same family as them!”
“Right She’s the only failure in the family! I guess even the Williams household has something they deserve to be pitied for.”
“Even if her face isn’t bad, she’s just a good-for-nothing….
Since she can’t do anything, she’ll just be a hindrance to her own family.”
I’m so thankful that these heathens have such bad breeding as to badmouth a person within such easy listening range.
I glance over in the direction of those gossip-mongers and as our eyes meet, the smiles on their faces fall off instantly.
Stiff, uncomfortable expressions replace their lost mirth.
Although I wasn’t even glaring at them, the atmosphere grows tense and strained.
All in that one moment, silence descends.
To think that with only one eye I’d be able to petrify people this easily….
I truly must be a prodigy of absolute villainy!
Though, I wouldn’t have minded if they had continued to badmouth me.
I had been quite enjoying myself listening to their flippant insults.
“….What What are you looking at”
“We’re not scared of the likes of you!”
As a general rule, the academy does not require its students to uphold the typical social niceties that our varying statuses would demand, so I usually let minor slips in etiquette go.
But to be addressed as ‘the likes of you’ upon our first meeting….
what happened to their manners as members of the nobility Have they no sense of common decency
I have the desire to lash out at them, to call them out on their obviously low upbringing.
Since I haven’t spoken to anyone in so long, I feel like it’s only natural that my tongue would have gotten that much sharper over the years.
…..But I don’t.
They’re simply not worth my time.
So I ignore them entirely and stride past them without so much as a second glance.
Since the academy’s grounds are so uselessly spacious, even after walking all this time we are still quite a distance from the school building.
“Why is she here! I heard she was suspended for forcing her way into Duke-Sama’s bedroom!”
“I heard that too! And I’m sure she’s spent these last two years playing around with as many men as she could sink her claws into.”
“What a shameless harlot!”
Crass voices squawk out from behind me.
At that, I stop walking.
From that tone and those words, I can tell that the ones who spoke must be staring me down with tremendous disdain in their eyes.
Since when was I suspended from school Rumors are quite the terrifying thing.
And to think it would be for that sort of reason….
just like a true villainess!!
Just today alone, how many points have my villainess stock increased by
Staying secluded in that little cabin for two whole years may have been rough, but it certainly was not without benefit!
Just look at all the dastardly things that are now floating around about me.
“You don’t suit Duke-Sama at all!”
Well, I can’t deny that.
“I’m sure she’s just stringing that little boy along with her in order to curry favor.
She must think having a cute little kid around will soften her image or something.”
She’s all, ‘Look at me! Look at how nice I am! I took this poor little orphan child under my wing.
Aren’t I a saint’ How repulsive.”
“What a poor, pitiable child.
He’s just being used as a tool to help her catch men.”
“I’m sure Duke-Sama will see right through those shallow, pathetic lies.”
….What are those airheads even talking about Am I hearing them wrong So, their prejudice and misconceptions about me have even influenced their impression of Gilles as well now
The look in Gilles’s eyes has become like a madman out for blood.
He looks as if he could snap at any second.
“Aww, it would have been so great if he would have gotten engaged with Liz-Sama.”
“I know! Why did Duke-Sama have to get engaged to her of all people!”
“He must be lamenting that decision so much right about now!”
…..Wait wait wait…..
I quickly look questioningly at Gilles.
He must be able to see what I want to say just from my expression, since he gives a slight nod of his head.
Since when did I get engaged!？
“Um, there’s something that I’d like to say…..”
Abruptly, a sweet, lovely voice rings out off to my side.