Ara woke up with a start, her eyes wild and unfocused as she stood up almost immediately, only to feel dizzy and go temporarily blind. She tried to calm down as she waited a few minutes for her orthostatic hypotension to pass. Her body was still a bit anemic, and so she sometimes had dizzying spells when she shifted upright so fast.
However, her heart remained racing.
Why? Because, she had a very weird dream.
In her dream, her fiancé, Homura Ryuu, the quiet pretty archer boy, was suddenly the flirtiest man on earth.
Ara touched her lips, her eyes wide as she remembered being kissed in her dream. She wondered then if she really had been affected by the memories she inherited from the original to be feeling like this towards Kou.
Maybe it was really because of that memory of the first time Ara saw the prince. She was hit pretty hard by those eyes that her body remembered its reaction. Because Ara couldn't find any other explanation for it. Homura Ryuu may look otherworldly here with his handsomeness, but for her, who grew up with Alistair, the legendary beauty of her former world, she was immune to other people's faces.
Or she was supposed to be.
"Calm down my heart. It was just a dream."
As if Homura Ryuu, the most pokerfaced guy she'd ever seen would suddenly turn into a Casanova.
They were already engaged – a formal transaction between their families. There was no more need to flirt. Also, with a face like that, it was a hundred percent certainty that he never had to flirt in his entire life.
Having convinced herself that it was just a dream, she finally calmed down, her eyes recognizing the room, and she remembered. She got totally carried away emotionally yesterday and nearly got frozen because she was stupid enough to call the rain clouds herself to soak her to the bones in the middle of winter.
And Kou found her and brought her to this place…
"He's not bad," she thought. He was actually a lot nicer that she expected people in his position usually were.
She had been staying in this world long enough to know that depending on their circumstances, humans could be the kindest, yet also the cruelest creations that roamed the land. Like most creatures, they strove for survival. Even if there were certain rules in society, in the end, they always chose the path that would always be beneficial, and pay no heed to those that weren't.
Comparing Suzuki Ara's and Homura Ryuu's situation, there was nothing the latter could ever benefit from her, and yet, even after her parents' death, he still honored the engagement contract.
She was thinking this when she suddenly stopped in her tracks.
The Suzukis were nothing compared to the Homuras. Not only that, there were countless other families who were higher in status than hers – families who for sure had daughters Kou could choose a wife from.
"So why me?" she asked no one in particular as she went to the bathroom to do her morning routine, and then came out.
Homura Ryuu sat at the dining table looking as handsome as always in his simple white shirt and black pants. He had on a pair of black rimmed spectacles as he scanned some reports in his hands while having breakfast.
A maid smiled at her almost immediately as she came out of the room and crossed the space towards the table. It was as if she was looking forward to seeing her, and she had no idea why.
"Good morning Young Miss," the maid greeted, and she returned the greeting with a smile.
"Good morning," she addressed the quiet man at the head of the table, before sitting on the chair next to his.
"Morning," Kou murmured as he placed the documents down on the table.
She was about to eat but got distracted by his lips, and she remembered her dream. Her face went on fire.
"What's wrong? Do you have a hangover?" Kou asked and she quickly looked away.
"I-I think so..."
"You really shouldn't drink again," Kou reprimanded her softly, as he studied her face.
Ara suddenly felt unhappy, thinking he was being restrictive until he explained.
"You will get us into trouble. You're still a minor. Wait until you're twenty and you can drink."
"Oh..." Ara totally forgot about the age restriction in Japan. Remembering this, she looked totally apologetic.
"I'm sorry," she murmured sheepishly.
"Your uniform's clean and dry. You can change into it after breakfast," he told her and she happily thanked him. She had been worrying about what to wear to school just now.
"Elder brother Aki also called, but I told him I will take you to school today," he continued and Ara shook her head.
"No need. I can go there by taxi or by bus."Ara felt she had troubled him enough.
"I will go somewhere near your school anyway so I'll take you there," Kou insisted.
His words, however, sparked some interest in Ara.
"Is that so? Then if that's the case, thank you so much." She chose to accept the offer.
"Go change to your uniform or you'll be late," Kou advised her after a few minutes and Ara hurriedly did his bidding.
In no time, the Koutaishidenka's black car stopped at the school gates to drop Ara off. But before Ara could get out, he stopped her.
"Don't forget your promise to me," Ryuu reminded her which confused her.
What promise? Ara couldn't remember anything. Did they talk about something yesterday? She was about to ask him about it when the bell rang, indicating the start of homeroom, and she had to bid farewell hurriedly.
She was almost late. When she reached the classroom, she had met the teacher by the door.
"Suzuki, don't run. You might fall and get injured again," the teacher told her, his voice laced with concern.
"Sorry teacher," Ara apologized as she slowed down.
She let the teacher enter the room first. Because of that, the class was so quiet the whole time and had no time to gossip – not that Ara cared if they did.
Since they were all graduating, and the final term exam was coming soon, most of the teachers in the morning period mostly gave them pointers to review, and Ara diligently listened so she could study the scope of the test.
She took notes as the teachers listed the topics covered. By lunch break, she had already finished her list neatly. She would review them tonight, she thought, as she cleared her table and put her things back in her bag.
It was only then that she realized a buzzing noise around her started, and when she looked up, Koharu was there with Rin and Miharu following her as usual.
"Ara!"Koharu called out, happiness was clearly written on her face as she ran towards her.
"Ara, thank you so much!"
Ara didn't have time to dodge when Okada suddenly threw herself at her and gave her a tight hug.
What's this new plot development? The villain was not informed.