"Come on, Lady Mary! Just forget about Lord Patrick and we can go grab a bite to eat, all three of us!"
Alicia's cheeks puffed out, and Mary almost instinctively pressed her hand against her forehead.
It should be mentioned, at this point, that she had done her utmost to keep Alicia at bay with yells of, 'Don't you come over here!'
Needless to say, the effort had been fruitless.
It was obvious to anyone that Alicia thought little of being left behind. She regarded the ring of onlookers who were only growing in numbers and balefully stuck out the tip of her tongue, as if she were a petulant child.
Faced with the juvenile behaviour that so deviated from the image a student of Caleria Academy was meant to uphold, Mary could only reprimand her by saying something to the effect of, 'Enough of that! That's just unsightly!"
"Why would you even leave Patrick as the odd man out? Because you a.s.sumed all four of us would go out to eat? I'm eating at home, I'll have you know."
"Come on, what's the problem? I know a store that sells the most amazing croquettes. Let's just go."
"…Oh! That was close. Almost lost it there!"
"You, M'lady, are too easily swayed."
The mere mention of croquettes was enough for Mary to forget herself, if only for a moment, and all Addy could muster at the spectacle was a long sigh. Collected once more, he turned his attention back to Alicia and gently laid her hand on her shoulder.
"That just wouldn't do, Alicia. You and Lord Patrick need to talk this out, face-to-face."
"I completely understand why you don't want to get involved. But that's something you have to make clear, and make clear on your own terms."
"You… You're right. But I don't know how I'd even get close to him…"
Addy's gentle counterpoint found its desired effect, and Alicia, having changed her mind on the matter, regarded the group with drooping brows. Despite all her peevishness and her quick a.s.sertions to forget about the issue and move on, there was no denying that, in her heart of hearts, she wanted to be together with Patrick.
While the n.o.ble lady and the common girl who had come here to shop, purely by chance, continued to converse about one of the members of Carelia Academy's student council, the ma.s.ses of people had only grown. It would take considerable courage to break through their lines.
Someone like Alicia, considering the hows and whys of her personality, would… likely lack the capacity to push her way through them, even if she did want to be with Patrick.
Well-acquainted with her ways, Mary told her that she might as well just resign to her fate and just eat dinner on her own or something. Addy, in stark contrast to her, told her that he would lend her a hand, looked into her face, and nodded.
"Alicia, I just want you to be happy."
"You want me to be happy, Addy?"
"That's right. I want you to break through what your social status is doing to h
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