“Hilda, do you have any time to spare right now?”
“Ahh, Princess. I apologize. I’m a bit preoccupied. I’ll come back a little later if you want to talk, though.”
“I-Is that so……”
“I’m really sorry about this. Now if you’ll excuse me.”
Philine looked dejected as she watched Hilda, who was quick to turn on her heel, walk away.
Since it was a Sunday, we were off from school.
We were currently in a hallway in one corner of the Imperial Palace.
For the sake of trying to establish contact with Hilda, Claire-sama and I were given special permission to be here.
At first, Claire-sama suggested that we all try to persuade Hilda together, but Philine insisted that she wanted to do it herself, so we left it to her.
Having independence was important, and since she was going to be at the center of implementing the policies towards conciliation, it was good that she was eager about it.
However, this is how we ended up as a result.
“Ah…… She really dumped me.”
“Philine-sama, you’re lacking boldness. You are the Imperial Princess, and she’s just a regular bureaucrat, so I think you can be a bit more firm with her.”
“More firm, huh……”
“That’s right, Philine-sama. You should learn a thing or two from Claire-sama. Even if the person she was trying to talk to had other business to attend to, she’d take up to an hour of that person’s time anyway.”
“I wouldn’t do that!?”
She’s a lot more mellow now, but the Claire-sama from the base game would frequently try to occupy the reluctant Majesty Sein by making conversations with him in the hallway, you know?
Well, she’d also snap at the heroine whenever she passed by too.
Several hours went by.
In the afternoon, we tried to launch another attack against Hilda.
“Hilda, please listen to what I have to say.”
“Does it have to be right now? I’m supposed to be on my way to report something urgent to Her Majesty.”
“Ah…… Is that so? I understand. Please go ahead.”
“I can’t apologize enough for this.”
Hilda managed to slip by Philine yet again.
“T-This is difficult.”
“Please try your best. If you falter on the first step, your goal of trying to change Her Majesty Dorothea’s mind is just going to remain nothing but a dream, you know?”
“That’s true…… You’re absolutely right.”
Philine looked a little down.
“In that case, how about you practice with Claire-sama first?”
“It’s just a mock exercise. Philine-sama, try pulling Claire-sama aside and telling her what business you have with her. Meanwhile, Claire-sama, you try doing whatever you can to get away from her. Got it?”
“Somehow, I’m not really satisfied with this casting, but let’s give it a try.”
In any case, the two of them took their places. Alright, aaand action.
“Oh, Philine-sama. Good day to you.”
“Hello, Claire. Could I actually have a bit of your time?”
“I’m really sorry. I’m not feeling well right now. Can we save this for another time?”
That was a complete failure.
“You could tell she was obviously faking her illness, so what should you do to reel her in?”
“I mean, but, there are times where the other person might actually be feeling sick, right?”
“That’s why you try to probe into it while you’re at it.”
“This is hard…… In that case, Rei. Please demonstrate it to me.”
“…… Somehow, I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
Philine and I switched roles. Now then, take two, and action!
“Oh, Rei. Good day.”
“Good day, Claire-sama. You look as dangerously beautiful as always today. I love you!”
“T-Thank you very much. Now then, I’ll be off……”
“No, no, no, let’s chat a bit more. The night is still young, you know?”
“What are you saying!? …… Although, I can’t. I’m not feeling well right now.”
“That’s not good!”
I held Claire-sama in a princess carry.
“I’ll keep you under my constant supervision and nurse you back to health, so please listen to what I have to say too, okay?”
“Stop! Let’s stop it here!”
Right after I leaned my face closer to Claire-sama’s – who was still in my arms – and whispered sweetly into her ears, she called for a time out.
Tch, how regrettable.
“Did you forget what the original purpose of this was!?”
“Eh? We’re learning how to pull somebody aside and force them to listen to what we have to say―― wasn’t that a perfect representation of it?”
“No one else but you would handle it like that though!?”
“And besides, if the person you were trying this on was anybody other than me, don’t you think you’d come off as quite rude!? You wouldn’t be able to entice the other person like this at all!”
“Eh? Entice? I thought we were only trying to persuade Hilda?”
“That’s not what I meant!?”
‘Haah, haah,’ Claire-sama took deep breaths.
Yep, my wife is cute today as well.
“Anyway, it’s supposed to look something like this. Easy, right?”
“…… I feel like all you did was flirt right in front of my face, though.”
“The roles were poorly cast. Philine-sama should play the role of Hilda, and I’ll take on the role of Philine-sama.”
“Ahh, that might be a good idea.”
After the roles were recast, we moved onto the third take.
“Ah, good day, Claire.”
“Good day, Philine-sama. I have something I would like to speak to you about if that’s okay with you?”
“I’m sorry, Claire. I have something else I need to do right now, so could we save it for another time?”
“In that case, I’ll just wait for you to finish up with your other business first.”
“U-Umm…… I don’t think it’s something I can finish by the end of today, so how about another day……”
“I understand. So when would be the best time for you then?”
“Uh…… I-I surrender.”
“And that is how it should be done.”
Claire-sama was really smart in how she guided the conversation along, and in the end, she managed to secure an appointment with her.
For Claire-sama, who used to be a belle of society, accomplishing this much was probably just a trivial feat to her.
“That was amazing, Claire. It was almost like magic.”
“It’s not that big of a deal. Say what you have to say without losing courtesy. That’s the key point right there.”
“I see, I see.”
“That being said, if you’re being polite, but your partner is being unreasonable, then they’re the one at fault. That’s the reason why you were unable to get away from me at the end, Philine-sama.”
“I’ll keep it in mind.”
Although Claire-sama would always try to make life miserable for the heroine from Revolution, she often took advantage of this indirect tactic during her days in high society.
It could be said that Claire-sama only ever displayed her villainess attitude towards her friends or other people that were close to her.
In that sense, Claire-sama probably considered the heroine to be somebody important to her.
Well, not that she was ever merciful towards commoners or anything though.
“Now then, let’s put that into practice. Rei, this time, you play the role of Hilda.”
“Are you okay with this too, Philine-sama?”
I wonder if Philine-sama will be able to handle it better this time.
Okay, take four.
“Ah, Rei. Is now a good time?”
“Please excuse me.”
The moment Philine started to waver, I immediately walked away.
“Hold on, Rei! Hilda wouldn’t do something so rude, right!?”
“I mean, you never know. I think it’d be better to be prepared if something like this ever happened than not, though.”
“Philine-sama needs a bit more confidence in herself first! What are we going to do if her heart falters now!”
When I looked over to Philine, she looked like she was on the verge of tears.
“Don’t you get this feeling of excitement from seeing Philine-sama’s crying face though?”
“I don’t! Now take this seriously!”
In the end, we devoted the rest of the day to practice.
I’m not sure if it ended up being particularly useful or not, but either way,
“……. I understand. I’ll meet you in your room tomorrow afternoon, Princess.”
Philine successfully managed to arrange an appointment with Hilda.