I Favor The Villainess - novelonlinefull.com
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"Awa… Hey, you are heavy, Rei"
I embraced Claire-sama, who was sitting at the desk reading a book, from behind.
She's soft and smells good, yup.
If it was like before, I'd be shaken off no questions asked, but now she's reached the point where she can tolerate this much physical contact.
I think it's a wonderful step forward.
It doesn't mean she's given up.
It does not mean that.
"What are you reading? Err… Introduction to the Bauer Kingdom's System of Government?"
"It is a book about this country's government and social system"
"You are reading a difficult book again"
We're in Claire-sama's (and her roommate's) room in the academy dormitory.
Among the refined wooden furniture there's Claire-sama's desk.
Ever since the incident during the holidays, Claire-sama has been constantly reading difficult books.
There's only Claire-sama and me in the room, her roommate is nowhere to be seen.
She hasn't returned to the capital yet.
In other words, because it's just the two of us, I can do as many sinful things as I wan cough cough.
While there's still a few days left before the lectures resume, we returned to the royal capital.
The reason being, Claire-sama said she wants to study how to fix the current social system.
Claire-sama asked the academy lecturers responsible for history and politics for teachings and is reading everything they recommended to her.
Although the summer is slowly coming to an end, the temperature is still high.
I am cooling the air around Claire-sama to a suitable temperature with water magic.
"Claire-sama, how about taking a little break?"
"I am close to finishing reading. I will keep Rei company afterwards, so wait a bit longer"
I was gently refused.
The case during the holidays seems to have shocked Claire-sama a great deal, she now devotes herself to studying how the gap between wealthy and poor can be managed.
I think that's very wonderful, but it's a little lonely my opportunities to spend time with her decreased.
Nevertheless, I don't want to disturb Claire-sama whose awareness of the issues has spouted at great pains.
The idea of wanting to manage the wealth disparity is consistent with "my purpose".
Well, I'll talk about it on a later date.
"Claire-sama, I will excuse myself for a little while. I will prepare tea and sweets"
Claire-sama waved her hand without turning around.
This is not her being cold to me, it just means we are on familiar terms.
It is as I am saying.
In no way it's the fitting treatment for me.
While persuading myself, I left Claire-sama's room and headed for the dormitory kitchen.
"Ah, Rei. You came back"
"Yuu-sama… Good day"
I baked madeleines in the kitchen and on my way back to Claire-sama's room met Yuu-sama.
"How was visiting your hometown for the first time in a while?"
"I wasn't particularly overcome with emotions"
"I see… This is?"
Yuu-sama noticed madeleines.
"Baked sweets. They're refreshments for Claire-sama"
"They look tasty. Can I have one?"
"Ahaha, that's right. They're for your beloved Claire"
Even though royalty was turned down by a commoner, Yuu-sama was stubbornly cheerful.
As usual I don't understand what he's thinking.
"Speaking of Claire, she seems to be enthusiastically studying lately?"
"Claire-sama has been enthusiastic about her studies since long ago"
"That's right, but isn't she even more amazing after the holidays. Did something happen?"
"… No, I haven't particularly heard of anything"
I spoke ambiguously.
The matter in Euclid was on the surface wholly resolved by Louis.
As Claire-sama buried the truth in darkness, I cannot say anything too careless.
While I was wondering what Yuu-sama was thinking looking at my state, he showed a deep smile.
"The servant is also difficult. By the way, for learning more about commoners' poverty, the Church may be useful"
The talk suddenly made a leap.
No, from my perspective it wasn't much of a leap, but that means what Claire-sama is thinking got exposed to Yuu-sama.
"Don't make that face"
I wasn't aware, I wonder if I made a grim face.
Yuu-sama said with a wry smile.
"I don't really know what happened during the holidays. Just, the academy lecturers are worried. They're saying Claire-sama might have taken interest in commoners' movement"
What Yuu-sama's saying is, the lecturers found it suspicious that the content of what she asked to be taught has an affinity with commoners' movement.
Now that he mentions it, if Claire-sama, who had been an aristocracy believer, suddenly showed interest in the social system and commoners' poverty, it's inevitable they'd think that.
"I'm not particularly worried about it though. Because Claire was born a n.o.ble"
But, Yuu-sama continued.
"I don't think the social system of this country can remain as it is. If she shares this concern, it's good news for me"
"Isn't what Yuu-sama's saying a controversial statement?"
"Ahaha, it might be"
Still, Yuu-sama replied gently to my rebuke.
"That's why this is only between you and me. It's not only because I'm a person of the Church faction, it may be beneficial for the current Claire to learn about the Church. Although――"
―― Once you settle in a lifestyle, it's not so easy to change.
"? What do you mean by… Hey, ah!"
"This is the advice fee… Yup, delicious"
After stuffing a madeleine in his mouth, Yuu-sama playfully winked and left.
"… Truly a cunning person"
"Yuu-sama said that?"
When I returned to her room, Claire-sama was still engrossed in the book, so I half-forcibly invited her for a tea break.
I thought she'd be displeased with me, but surprisingly she obediently finished studying.
"The Church… huh…"
"I think it's not a bad idea"
I expressed my approval to Claire-sama who was brooding over it with a cup at her mouth.
"Returning donations from n.o.bles to society and medical expenses proportional to income are perfect examples of redistribution of wealth. I think learning how the Church works won't be a waste"
Saying so, Claire-sama returned the cup to the saucer and picked up and ate a madeleine.
"To be honest, I understand that with the kingdom's political system the path leading to resolving poverty is hopeless. The monarchy and aristocracy that are the core of this country's government suck up the wealth from citizens"
With a nod I urged her to continue.
"Of course, it does not mean that they only squeeze dry the wealth? Royalty and aristocracy rule the people, govern the territories, protect citizens from enemy countries. But――"
"Water that does not flow stagnates, is what I mean. Signs of decay can be seen in the kingdom"
These are the same concerns that the current king His Highness Rousseau has.
"People serve royalty and aristocracy, royalty and aristocracy protect the people - that is becoming a mere formality. I do not think entirely of royalty and n.o.bility lost that resolution, but there seem to be n.o.bles who regard citizens as the 'source of funds'"
I learned that from the book written by an author from outside the academy, Claire-sama groaned.
"The more I know, the more I learn, the more this country appears to be in a terminal condition. I had no idea about this kind of situation"
Haa, Claire-sama deeply sighed.
"So, what would you do, Claire-sama"
My words made Claire-sama gaze at me in wonderment.
"There's nothing that can be done about what already happened. Certainly, as a n.o.ble you might have sinned, but you can't change the past"
"… You are right"
"Now that you're aware, let's think about what can be done from now. Fortunately, with Claire-sama's pedigree comes status and authority. If Claire-sama changes, other n.o.bles may also change"
This is mostly to encourage Claire-sama.
People and social systems don't change so easily.
And, knowing the future developments in the game, I'm aware how difficult the struggle may be for Claire-sama.
"… Hmph. I understand that without needing to be told"
Claire-sama stuffed her mouth with the rest of the madeleine, chewed it, and washed it down with tea.
It's not a praiseworthy behavior for a n.o.ble lady.
"You are impertinent for a maid, Rei"
"I'm sorry. I love you"
Rather than having a difficult talk with Claire-sama, I'd rather flirt with her.
"I will go to the Church. Please send an advance notice"
But, if Claire-sama wants to do something, I will follow.
Unless Claire-sama is in danger, I will always act according to Claire-sama.