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AkuMana Ch39

A Gift from the Friend

Fondly recalling that day, Francesca solemnly smiled in front of her mother’s grave.

Leonardo, who also took a knee and was resting his chin on it, smiled and then asked her a question.

“You really like your father don’t you?”

“Yup, I love him.”

“Then, I guess the Calvino family head is also my rival eh.”


Hearing his words, she laughed at the absurdity of his statement.

“Papa  would take me with him anywhere I want to go but……..But when visiting Mama’s grave alone, I make it a point to go by myself and let Papa go by himself as well.”


“Oh, why’s that?”

“Because I want to let Papa and Mama have some alone time to themselves after all! As their daughter, it’d be boorish to intrude in their date won’t it?”

Resting her chin on her things as well, Francesca smiled teasingly.

Seeing her like that, Leonardo narrowed his eyes while admiring her dazzling smile.

“You often say some mysterious things. You’re talking as if your deceased mother is actually still present here in this place.”

(Oh right, unlike Japan of my past life, here in this world the concept of [a deceased person’s soul sleeps here] doesn’t really exist.)

That’s why there was no custom of clasping hands in a prayer in front of their graves either.

In this world, visiting a grave was more of a ritual about reminiscing the memories you have with the deceased loved one.

“You were even giving a prayer in front of the grave, weren’t you?”

Leonardo narrowed his eyes and spoke in a gentle tone.

“Even from the side, your face looked beautiful, and so sincere that I was honestly surprised………were you perhaps consulting something with your mother?”

“You could tell?”

“I am your [friend] after all.”


He smiled, jokingly.

But Francesca could tell, that his light-hearted words were also his way of being considerate.

(………but for now, I can only talk to Mama about these things.)


To be exact, she wasn’t sure if it was okay to tell other about her true thoughts.

(……….[I’m worried over who’s the real mastermind behind the incidents that are about to occur in this world], how could I tell that to anyone else……….)

After the chaos that occurred during the party, Francesca was trying to keep her calm and not get too anxious about these things.

But in the end, it was only thanks to the exams coincidentally starting that she was able to maintain her composure.

Once the tests were safely over, and she had more leeway to think about things, all the anxiety that she had bottled inside came welling back up.

(It’s been 12 years since I recalled the memories of my past life, and in that time I never once doubted that the [mastermind] was Leonardo as the game had presented. But now I realize that there was always the possibility that in the upcoming scenario that I never got to experience, that truth could very easily get overturned.)

Still crouching, Francesca buried her face into her own lap.

(——-there’s even the possibility that the mastermind was in fact the protagonist’s father. Or maybe the protagonist’s caretaker that was by her side since childhood. Or perhaps one of the other family head’s that she meets at the academy, and joins hands with.)


When she began to think like that, her head became a mess constantly questioning everyone and everything.

(I trust them all……….but, whoever the [enemy] is, they have a skill that can control the actions of others. What if, someone precious to me gets controlled and made to do their bidding then……..)


That way, they could be involved in major incidents without even knowing what that they were doing.

(And if they were involved in the drug trafficking incident and other families found that out, all that awaits is a complete purge..)

No one was an exception. When she began to see it like that, a cold chill ran down her spine.

(But no matter what, I have to stop them. The mastermind will now begin to drag lots of innocent people into their schemes as well……..)

Her finger grabbing on to her knees increased the strength in their grip.

(No matter what happens………)


Hearing her name, she raised her head again.

Leonardo was holding out his hand towards her.

She tilted her head, confused by what he wanted. Seeing that, Leonardo closed his hand, and then opened his palm again.


Suddenly, in his palm, a black rose had appeared, like a magic trick.


“Amazing Leonardo! Where were you even hiding that black rose?”

“That’s a secret……….here.”


Even the thorns had been delicately removed from the rose it seemed.


Leonardo took that rose, and then gently placed it over her ear like it was a hair accessory.

And then, after observing Francesca for a moment, he smiled and spoke.

“As I thought, the black rose really goes well with your hair. It suits you.”


The black rose was the insignia of Leonardo’s family.

She wondered what kind of meaning, if any, was there behind his actions. When she stared into his golden eyes, he seemed to be slightly squinting his eyes, with a similar nuance to a wry smile.

“A few days ago, didn’t I tell you that [I only feel lonely when it concerns you, and you alone]?”

“……….Yeah, you did.”

“That’s why, I came up with this trick to get your attention again………to help my dear friend regain her spirits and cheer her up since she seems to constantly be brooding over something these days.”

Leonardo was always very good at reading people, so it was obvious that he noticed that Francesca seemed to worried about something.

“………when I imagine how your thoughts are occupied with someone else, I become very, very lonely.”


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Francesca blinked in surprise, and then began to chuckle in amusement.

“Fufufu, And so you thought of this flower?”


“Well, you are very cute so I figured this kind of flower would really suit you.”

“yes yes, thanks…… but seriously, that made me happy.”

As she gently touched the flower attached to her hair, a sweet scent spread in the air.

(How strange. These days, I may have been acting a bit strange even in front of Papa and Graziano, haven’t I?)

She wondered if that was the real reason why Graziano really wanted to return home with her today.

(And yet even though I had spent the last 12 years doubting Leonardo—— no maybe that’s why, I feel so much more calm and don’t feel the same strange sense of fear with him.)

Leonardo finally stood up, and so Francesca also stood up with up.

And then, she spoke to him.

“Leonardo, I need you to tell me something.”

“Sure, what is it?”

Calmly and silently, Francesca questioned him directly.

“Leonardo, were you involved with the incident that happened in the party?”



The question was so direct, that even Leonardo seemed a bit shocked.

But very quickly, he showed his usual smile, and then spoke with a villainous expression.

“——–Do you really think I would honestly tell you that?”

His tone and smile were challenging, almost like he wanted to provoke her.

But that’s exactly why, Francesca was able to reply clearly.

“I think I’m slowly starting to understand you, Leonardo. You are a schemer but you don’t actually trick or cheat, or deceive people that much, or at least that’s what it feels like.”

The wind blew and ruffled her hair and the hem of her skirt with it.

“……….If it’s you, you’ll openly make anyone your enemy, but you’ll achieve your objective in the end.”



For him, achieving his goals, simply didn’t require him to trick or deceive anyone in the first place.

When she said that, Leonardo began to chuckle and laugh.

“You truly overestimate me.”


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