The students slowly back away from me as I walk towards them.
A pathway opens up right through the middle of their group, as if they wish to be chivalrous and escort me to my destination.
I almost feel like a queen parting the seas of her loyal subjects.
No one says anything as I walk past them, but I can feel the multitude of their eyes staring into me.
However, I’ve already grown accustomed to such attention.
Seeing so many gazes directed at me, I naturally stand straighter.
I take up my most regal and imposing posture.
“Huh” is my witty first remark as I make my grand entrance upon the scene.
But at a single glance, I have no idea what to make of what I’m seeing.
Scattered in a mess on the floor are strands of what seems to be light purple hair.
It’s a very pretty color.
Certainly a very striking, rare shade of purple.
“So our main character finally decides to grace us with her presence,” says a haughty, shrill voice from somewhere off within the crowd.
Is it just my imagination, or does it sound somewhat familiar
I turn toward its source.
…..Ah, no wonder.
Isn’t that Jane It’s been a while.
I see that nose of hers that I broke looks nice and straight again.
It looks back to its perfect prim, proper, and snootily upturned self.
I wonder if they used healing magic on it
I see that her holier-than-though honors student aura is also still going strong.
“You’re looking quite spirited, Jane,” I remark.
Jane’s smile falters, falling into a grimace almost instantly.
“So you do know my name.
It’s so unpleasant hearing it spoken from your lips.”
Wow, she really seems to detest me.
Though, to be fair, I did throw a punch square in her face with enough power to send her sprawling.
It’s not like she doesn’t have good reason to.
“How could I forget~ We met under the most diverting of circumstances after all.
When you were crumpled on the ground you’d looked so much like a trampled frog that I couldn’t stop laughing about it for days!” I giggle mockingly.
You’re quite gutsy Jane, using the world ‘unpleasant’ in front of a villainess.
I had a feeling our fight wasn’t over yet.
So you’ve finally come seeking your revenge, have you
“I don’t think you’re the one meant to be fighting with her right now,” Gilles whispers to me quietly.
I look at Gilles with wide, astonished eyes.
“Wouldn’t it be her problem in this case” Gilles says, hooking a finger at something behind Jane.
I follow the direction he’s pointing in and see a girl sitting huddled on the ground.
Her hair is a mess; the length varies widely across her head as if a 5-year-old had had a little too much fun playing barber.
She must be the owner of the shorn light purple locks strewn across the floor.
“That’s quite the miserable appearance,” I can’t help but comment.
“It looks like someone cut her hair off like that on purpose.”
“Why would anyone do such a thing……”
No matter how hard I think about it, I can’t figure out what the point could be.
And from the looks of it, Gilles has no idea either.
“I’ll tell you why, shall I” Jane butts in.
“That girl She says she admires you.
She apparently was growing her hair out because she wanted it to be more like your long, beautiful,” cutting herself off, she pauses for a split second.
“–creepy, unsettling hair,” she finishes, glaring savagely at me.
Despite the pure hatred in her eyes, she’s still being rather nice to me.
She even complimented my hair, even if it was by accident.
“And So what”
Jane laughs at my question, a cackling, manic laugh.
She almost looks like a murderer laughing maniacally over her kill.
“It’s an utter disgrace! It’s disturbing that anyone could admire the likes of you! So I merely helped her see the error of her ways.
I cut her hair before the insanity could get any worse.
And look at her now.
She’s crying! It’s because she admires someone like you that she’s had to go through all this suffering!”
After finishing her tirade, Jane turns her glare on the girl with the light purple hair who is still sitting huddled on the floor.
……Hmm, in our time apart, Jane seems to have….
changed a bit.
She actually seems like she could be dangerous.
Her honor’s student vibes are also no where to be found now.
Could she have really changed this much just because I punched her once….
“However, I still fail to see why you needed me here for this”
“Because it’s your fault that she’s fallen into this wretched state! Don’t you feel any remorse!” Jane stiffens at my question, seeming taken aback, before she practically spits out her reply.
Not particularly,” I say dispassionately.
The moment the words pass my lips, the atmosphere throughout the whole dining hall changes.
…..Ah, what a familiar mood.
It’s as if the air is humming with all the criticism and censure that the crowd would love nothing more than to throw at me.
With wide, gaping eyes, Jane cries compassionately, “How heartless.”
“….That’s rather rude.
How am I supposed to react I don’t even know this girl, and I have no interest in the weak.”
“But it’s because of you that she’s in this state!”
“No, it’s not.
This wasn’t my fault, Jane.
“But you’re the one that made me act this way!” Jane screeches impatiently.
….Well that clinches it.
That punch really must have come as a terrible shock to her.
However! Even if I am the one that made her become this way, I don’t feel any sense of responsibility for this situation.
“She’s right. You’re the one who cut my beloved hair.”
Wow, what a wonderful voice.
As I think this, I turn to look behind Jane at the light purple haired girl.
She’s now on her feet and glaring fixedly at Jane.
Her gaze certainly packs a marvelous punch to it.
And despite her completely disheveled hair, her posture is elegant, refined.
“It looks like she really is a fan of yours, Alicia,” Gilles notes.
“The way she holds herself and her piercing glare would make it seem so.
Plus, she probably talked back to Jane like that because she wanted you to recognize her efforts,” Gilles offers matter-of-factly.
I glance down at her hair still lying scattered about the floor and then back up at the girl.
…..It looks like another impressive character has appeared.