The Culprit [Part 1]

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The academy in the middle of the night was deadly quiet and eerie despite being lit by the moonlight.


“*yawn*… R-Robert-sama~… Why do we have to collect those disgusting insects?”


“How noisy! Just shut up and search, Bryan.”


Robert and Bryan were desperately searching for the insects they had dropped on Emma from up the tree this morning.


“If my parents find out that I slipped out of the mansion in the middle of the night, I’ll be so dead—!”


Brian was dragged out by Robert to the academy against his will to help find the insects.

The mansions Robert and Bryan lived in were adjacent to each other, and because the two households had a close relationship since long ago, there was a secret path connecting the two houses.

When Robert was young and hadn’t become the conceited person he was now, he liked to sneak through the secret path to play with Bryan.
But recently, that path had only been used for his sinister tricks.

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“Bryan! Just find it quickly! You can’t go home until you find it, understood?”


Strangely enough for Robert, he couldn’t even find one of those disgusting insects even though there were supposed to be numerous of them.

Robert couldn’t hide his impatience.
His father was so furious that he wouldn’t allow him to enter the mansion empty-handed.
To remedy this most disadvantageous situation he was in now, he was crawling through the bushes around the tree with Bryan in search of the insects.
He rummaged through the grass, moved the stones, and even lifted the stone pavements carefully one by one…


…But suddenly, a pair of feet entered his sight.

What is he doing, this Bryan… I told him to look seriously… When Robert lifted his eyes hatefully, the owner of those feet was not Bryan, but a figure with jet-black hair and eyes that seemed to blend with the darkness of the night…


“Y-Your Highness?!!!”


It was Prince Edward’s figure.


“What are you doing at this hour, Robert Lance?”

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The Prince called out to Robert with an expression as cold as ice.
Behind the Prince was Arthur.
And behind Arthur stood a dozen of the royal castle’s knights.


“W-What is Your Highness doing here?!”


Bryan, who had been searching around the tree, exclaimed.


“Why, you said? That’s what I’m asking, Bryan.
What made you come here? Here, where the turmoil happened this morning.”


The prince’s eyes glinted with a piercingly cold light.


‘Insects fell from the sky.’

The truth that the young ladies tremblingly reported during the interview survey conducted after the turmoil had subsided was very anticlimactic for the Prince and the knights.

The cause wasn’t any murderer, monster, or explosion, but insects that were said to be very horrifying and disgusting-looking, according to young ladies who were the victims.
It was a disgusting insect with a revolting form that might very well be even worse than a cockroach.

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The Prince and the knights only felt disappointed with their answers at first, but gradually began to feel sorry for the young ladies who couldn’t stop shaking as they recounted the incident in the morning with a pale face.
And more than anything, when the Prince knew that the biggest victim who was right below the falling insects was Emma Stuart, he was about to lose himself from worry and anger.


O, God.

Why does Emma have to be the only one to go through this?


Is her fragile and tender heart all right?

Is her frail and delicate body all right?


The knights reported that she was safe and uninjured, but thinking about Emma’s character… How she has always exerted herself because she doesn’t want to worry anyone… makes me unable to feel relief until I can see her condition myself.


If this turmoil was intentional, I can never forgive the perpetrator. 


“Put Robert and Bryan in prison.”


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The Prince ordered the knights lined up behind him.


“Wha—?! …Your Highness?!!!”


“W-Why are you putting us in prison? Huh? Jail?”


Robert and Brian’s complexion changed when they finally realized the situation they were in from the Prince’s words.

Without giving them any room to escape, the royal castle’s knights seized them tightly from both sides, and the two were taken to prison.


“P-Please wait!!! Your Highness? I beg for your mercy, Your Highness!”


“I-I am Robert of Lance Ducal House! I’m not someone mere knights like you can touch…! Oi! Arthur, why are you only standing around there? Help me! Hey!”


Brian and Robert’s futile cries echoed throughout the empty academy at night.

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