didn’t understand what Natalia was saying.
It was Beatrice who had no friends, not Natalia.
And she was honest enough to raise such a question.

“I don’t believe you don’t have any friends.
Natalia is very popular in class, you know?”

What she told her was neither flattering nor guessing, but she really meant it.

That’s why she considered it a miracle to become Natalia’s friend.

And yet, Natalia shakes her head with another forlorn look on her face, “It’s not like that.”

“It’s always been that way.
I’d get to know them in a certain way, and I’m sure we’ll be good friends… but before I know it, they’re all leaving me.”

“Eh…?”

“So Trice is the first one I’ve ever encountered.
The first person who’s been my… real friend like this.”

She remembered that Natalia was smiling when she said that.

The sun was shining when she tilted her head, casting a shadow on her face, but she was certain.

The hand that was squeezed so tightly was very strong.

And Beatrice’s hand was just as strong.

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“Hey, Trice.
I’m happy.
I’m so happy to see Leo.”

After meeting Leopold, Natalia was happy all the time, and she was smiling.

“My father told me to marry into a rich aristocratic family somewhere after I graduated.
But most of the proposals that came my way were either from the wives of older gentlemen or people with some other reason.”

Natalia muttered quietly, staring off into the distance somewhere.

“I was about to give up, and even after telling myself that I need to face reality…”

Natalia continued.

“I still can’t believe my good fortune.
I can’t believe I met someone that nice and that he likes me.”

Natalia’s happy appearance was admired throughout the school.

The time she spent with Beatrice and the others naturally decreased.
But they could not help but dismiss it as inevitable.

Even so, Beatrice only went along to lunch because she wanted to see Leopold.

And Alejandro seemed to be more disciplined in keeping his distance.

When Natalia asked him out, he pretty much turned her down, and Beatrice can’t count the number of times she met with Leopoldo.

And so, more and more days go by when she finds herself not seeing Alejandro at Natalia’s side.

Even though she had to leave her friends and childhood friends in this way, Natalia was still full of love with Leopold.

Then, Leopoldo leaned in close to Natalia as if he were a knight protecting a princess, smiling warmly next to her.

It was something Beatrice had always dreamed of, but at the same time, she knew very well that it was something she could not afford to give herself.
Therefore…

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Beatrice thought to herself.

——”I’ll never, ever, ever have any of these.”

——”So at least you can have that, my favorite Natalia”

Yes, she thought sincerely.

Because the ignorant Beatrice believed at the time that everyone wanted Natalia to be happy.

Unaware that she was remembering in a dream, Beatrice burst into tears.

To a nostalgic and sad past.

In reality, the moment everyone fell into despair, it all vanished.

Beatrice let out an incoherent mutter.

Hey, Natalia.

My first friend.

I wanted to protect your smile.

I really wanted to protect you.

☼☼☼

Sunnyshies: Beatrice seemed to like Natalia more than Leopold, I wonder why it didn’t become a GL. 

☼☼☼

Ryuubii: With this sort of cast, it would just turn into one sided love.
Anyway, the author is probably not really into GL, seeing that he made this sort of setting yet still went for boy x girl, even though most if not all males in this story seem like b******s in one way or another, especially the named ones.

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