“Unfortunately, I have no intentions of telling you whether I was involved in the drug trafficking incident or not.”
When Francesca asked him, Leonardo replied gently.
“Someone that wants to live in the surface world shouldn’t be sticking their head into matters like this after all.”
Francesca began to ponder.
And then spoke after a while.
“But, aren’t you my friend?”
Right now, Francesca had only one person in the entire world she could call a friend.
Since this was her first friend in her entire life, she was always worried that she might do or say something that ‘friends’ won’t do. But still, she continued to speak.
“The [friends] I have admired and yearned for my entire life, are the exactly the type that would choose to meddle in times like these.”
She grabbed Leonardo’s hand and then further spoke while looking into his eyes.
“That’s why……….I can’t let you go.”
Once she said that, a brand new resolve was born inside Francesca.
(I was finally able to become friends with Leonardo, the man I thought was the [mastermind] all this time.)
Seeing him look a bit taken aback, she continued to ponder.
(Papa and Graziano are [Family], Ricardo is a [Classmate]……..I don’t care who my real enemy is anymore. I already know that these people are not the type who’d intentionally go out of their way to cause harm to people.)
In that case, what she had to do was already set in stone.
(I will resolve the drugs incident. On top of that, if someone I know and love is being manipulated into playing the [villain], then I need to do something about that as well…….and if Leonardo really, really turns out to be the mastermind in the end, I just need to stop him no matter what. As his friend……..)
Suddenly her surroundings began to sparkle, as Francesca merrily laughed.
“Hehe, suddenly I feel a lot better now.”
Leonardo also smiled with satisfaction seeing her like this, and began to caress her head.
“That’s good to hear………then let’s leave, shall we?”
Giving a nod, they began to walk away as Francesca turned to look back towards the grave one more time.
(See you later, Mama.)
Feeling that she had finally taken an important step forwards, she gave a short wave towards the grave.
On the way back, they stopped by an ice cream shop, and picked their favourite flavours. Francesca went with Choco-mint, and Leonardo chose classic chocolate.
The corner store was quite popular, and today the line seemed to be even longer than usual. Of course she was about to line up as well, but Leonardo stopped her.
“I’ll join the line. Why don’t you go and find a bench to sit on and wait for me?”
“Eh, no, I’ll line up with you.”
“It’s better to divide the roles no? all the sunny benches will get quickly occupied so I need you to get one for us, right?”
Leonardo put it that way, but Francesca knew that was just him being considerate towards her to let her avoid the trouble of standing in a line.
That said, she couldn’t find a reason to refuse him so she nodded.
“Then, I’ll at least take your bag as well Leonardo.”
“Sure, I’ll leave it to you.”
(………At times like this, he properly requests me to do things and really does depend on me huh.)
He made sure to properly to make their relationship feel like real friends. Holding both her and Leonardo’s quite light bag, she went and sat down on a nearby bench.
(Thanks to Leonardo, I feel a lot more calmer now. Then, I need to quickly come up with my next plan!)
Closing her eyes, she recalled the game’s scenario.
(Today’s the 26th of May. Monday, the week after the midterm tests, new moon. …….according to the game’s scenario, a certain event will take place around today.)
She didn’t know the exact date but, she did remember that it happened on the first new moon after the tests.
In the scenario, this is where the latter half of the 1st Chapter starts to approach.
(In the game, according to Ricardo and the protagonist’s investigations, the incident at the party and the drug trafficking are both declared to be the doing of the mastermind Leonardo. To face Leonardo, both the protagonist and Ricardo began to think of ways to get their families to make an alliance.)
And for that purpose, they seek the help of the two heads of the families, their fathers.
(Leonardo would then come to disrupt the alliance between the Calvino and Serranova families. The protagonist and Ricardo get locked up inside a certain mansion, and then have to escape while facing a danger to their lives. Or that’s how the events go.)
Thanks to that, the protagonist ends up strengthening her bond with Ricardo, her first co-operator.
(With their escape a success, the two fathers of the families finally form an alliance. And on the other hand, Papa would then annul the engagement with Leonardo, thus aggravating the enmity of Leonardo towards us……….)
Recalling all that, she sighed deeply.
(……..now, what should I do here? After seeing how things have gone, there’s no doubt [the events of the game will happen no matter what], from what I can tell.)
The first kidnapping incident, the turmoil at the party, even after she had tried to avoid them, these events found a ay to occur regardless.
But, the only good news was that she did have the power to change how these events end.
(If it goes on like this, once I return today, I’m sure a messenger from the Serranova family will appear at our home. They’ll reveal that Leonardo was behind the drugs incident, and to purge him, there’s a high possibility that they’ll ask to make an alliance with our family……..but now, I’m really sacred.)
Because now, Francesca had doubts over who the real mastermind behind these incidents even was.
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(In this situation, I wonder what would happen if the relationship between the families were so suddenly changed? In the first place, an alliance built on the premise that the Aldini household and Leonardo were our enemy is not something I can accept silently.)
While she was absentmindedly deep in her thoughts, Leonardo came over with the two ice cones in hand.
“The line moved faster than I thought. Here.”
Giving her thanks, she split the bill and paid back her share of the ice creams.
Leonardo, being the head of the family, was far more richer than Francesca who was dependant on pocket money but, he still took her share of payment which actually made her really happy. It was a sign that they were equals.
Once she closed her purse again, she bit into her ice cream cone. The sweetness and softness of the ice cream, that was peculiar to it, spread inside her mouth which made break into a smile.
“You were making quite the serious face before I came here, but what were you thinking about?”
“Umm, what should I do to make even more friends, that’s all.”
She quickly came up with an excuse as Leonardo simply made a [hmmm] while narrowing his eyes.
“………Leonardo, are you pouting a bit right now?”
“Yup. [Even though you have me], is what I thought, after hearing that.”
She was sometimes caught off guard with how direct and honest Leonardo was at times like these, and would openly speak his mind to her.
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