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“Now then…Hmm? Did I mishear? I felt like you said you had a witness? Let me ask one more: You did say that you’ve got a witness, didn’t you?”
Hearing my questions, the underling admitted with a distressed look, “…This was my failure. But! It’s a fact that Primrose came to harm!”
I told him with a broad grin, “Yeah, I’m sure. Back when I was still at the earl’s mansion, Primrose apparently met the same harm. And according to Earl Springcoat who doted on her, it was all my fault. You heard about that as well, didn’t you?”
“gh! ……What if…what are you going to do if Primrose really came to harm?”
What’s this guy saying?
I asked him in return, “What did she do when I actually came to harm?”
The underling suddenly fell silent. …I see. So he does know how commoner students are being treated over here.
“The harm you say befell Primrose isn’t, to be frank, anything noteworthy in my eyes. ――Did you know? When commoners enter this academy, they’re forced to undress, get branded with a hot iron, and are treated like slaves; all in the name of a 【Welcome Party】. Did Primrose experience anything like that?”
Hearing that, his expression immediately changed, and he thundered, “I would never allow anyone to do something like that to her!”
“Shut your trap. I wasn’t asking about what you’d allow or not, but whether Primrose had it done to her, idiot. Learn to listen and understand what you’re told.”
After the underling knitted his eyebrows, he cast his eyes downwards while answering, “…She didn’t.”
I shrugged my shoulders, “Then she didn’t experience anything of note. No need to get angry over small things, is there? By the way, I almost had a hot iron pressed on my body on my very first day here, but I don’t view it as a problem whatsoever, you know?”
“You paid them right back, didn’t you!?”
Given the underling’s retort, I asked him, “Then, what about the other folks who couldn’t fight back? Did you people do anything for them? Did you accuse the perpetrators of their crimes like you’re doing now? ――Come on, tell me, Prince of Overflowing Justice and His Highness’s Little Goonies. What did you do about folk who experienced a lot worse than Primrose? Did you call out on the criminals? And why did you allow them to carefreely repeat their crimes with smug faces until I gave them their due revenge?
Rather than that, why did you treat only Primrose, who hasn’t even suffered all that much, like some tragic heroine while framing Damsel Scarlet to be a criminal like those noble brats who branded others and abused them as slaves? Now, don’t hold back and tell me so that someone like me also gets it, my dear Heroes of Justice.”
Genius hung his head in silent shame, looking very awkward, while the prince averted his eyes with a snort in apparent annoyance.
Seeing their reaction, I laughed scornfully.
“What incredible sense of justice you guys have. It makes me feel like puking. Primrose failed in everything and anything all by herself. But, that girl’s father laid the blame for everything on me, and because of that she grew up to be a pampered little princess. Since she always needs someone to take responsibility for her own failures, she’s just trying to find a new victim to blame,” I spat out, “So? I guess the lot of you chose Damsel Scarlet as that new victim. …Humph! Wouldn’t you just need to blame me for all her blunders instead of Damsel Scarlet? I mean, I’m already used to it anyway!”
The instant I said so, the prince and his underling stared at me flabbergasted.
“So, isn’t it fine to just continue with the well-established practice? There’s no need to expressly choose Damsel Scarlet for that task. I’m right here, you see? I won’t run or hide either.
――Hurry up, you who brandish that fake justice of yours! Unload all of Primrose’s blunders on me! I’ll take it all on, fair n’ square! All of you, come at me! I’ll turn the tables on you so easily that it’ll be laughable!”
“”What are you talking about!?”” The prince and his underling retorted simultaneously.
I wonder why. Even though I seem to have been on the brink of becoming the villainess here, isn’t it just fine for me to become one for real?
――Oh right! I’ll become a villainess and use the ensuing calamity to toy around with these guys in all kinds of ways!
Yahoo! Finally it’s become interesting!
“Villainess Indra, here I come!”
When I made that declaration, not only the two, but everyone else as well, became dumbfounded.
“……Lady Indra, I feel terribly sorry to march on your parade when you are enjoying yourself so much, but please allow me to state my own rebuttal before that.
――Lord Genius, did you not dispute…no, talk with me about a matter of the student council during the time span mentioned in the testimony?” Damsel Scarlet interjected calmly.
Mr. Underling looked dumbstruck when he heard Damsel Scarlet’s remark.
“I have been keeping a diary. Since people are targeting me in various ways, I have made it a habit to note down every event in detail with time stamps so as to avoid being accused or tricked like this. It is all based on my knowledge as one called a ducal daughter. …Lord Genius, should I ask you to become my alibi witness for that time span?” Damsel Scarlet grinned at the underling.
In response, he was first taken aback, before starting to look very awkward. Apparently he did remember it.
…And at that point, the birdbrain stepped forward.
“Don’t blame Lord Genius and the prince! It’s something the two did for my sake! Lord Direck also acted on my behalf! Please, don’t blame the others,” or some such she blathered.
What’s with that heroine-styled “Please stop fighting～”?
The prince, his underling, and the muscled buffoon all seemed very grateful, though.
“In short, you’re saying you instigated all of them, Primrose?”
Primrose froze upon my words.
“But you’re right. Men would find it hard to refuse doing things they usually wouldn’t do, if asked by their crush. In other words, you made everyone pull this stunt, didn’t you? You instigated the prince and his little noble lackeys to entrap Damsel Scarlet in an attempt to turn her into a criminal. In short, you’re the true culprit here!”
I nailed it perfectly. Just like it’s done in detective manga.
“There’s always but one truth!”
“Please stop this phony parody,” Damsel Scarlet retorted coldly.
Everyone else appeared to be unable to keep up, staring at us with confused gazes.
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