With only a small trunk, I got off the carriage onto the brick ground.
The sky was clear and blue. The royal capital, which thawed faster than the fief, had a cool and comfortable wind blowing against the warm sunshine.
Isn’t this the perfect weather for orientation? It’s a pity that this kingdom doesn’t have any cherry blossom trees. Speaking of orientation, people think of white flowers with a light and cute red hue. I’ve never actually seen it before, so I really wanted to see it.
Contrasting with the history of the old, white school building that sat at the back of the garden, which was vast, but not glamorous, and can be seen through the gate in front of me, were not red or yellow flowers, but only fresh green leaves that softened the cold feel of the massive building. The road paved with bricks, the whiteness of the building, the green flowerless plants, and the blue sky. I think it’s quite a refreshing scene.
… However, if the overly-decorated words 『Engage Links ~ Etoile Swaying the Gap』hadn’t ruined this beautiful image in my mind, then it would be really refreshing.
I sighed at my annoying memory. I haven’t found anything useful in the last 13 years, and even though I had completely forgotten about it because of my busy days, the moment I saw the scene that was involved with that, I began to insist on its existence to the extent of being annoying. It is only painful to have my emotions shaken more or less every time I’m made aware of this. On the one hand, I wondered whether this memory would disappear into oblivion, on the other hand, I had a feeling that the curse-like memory might torment me for the rest of my life.
There is nothing more depressing than this. I quickly drove that memory to the corner of my mind.
“… Excuse me. Young lord. Are you the new student, Earl Kaldia?” A voice called out to me as I gazed at the main gate of the school with a daunting feeling. I turned my gaze and saw a commoner woman dressed in the staff uniform with an awkward smile quickly come out from the guard tower in the outer wall. I nodded, and she plucked the hem of her skirt and curtsied.
“We’ve been waiting for you, Earl Kaldia. Welcome to the Royal Academy.”
“Thank you for meeting me. Please take care of me from now on.”
I tried to produce a soft voice as much as I possibly could, but it seemed like it was pointless. Her awkward smile completely convulsed, and she stared at my face. I was already used to this reaction in the royal capital.
Her gaze moved from my face towards my left shoulder. The dark ruby shone through the light of the sun reflected in her eyes, and she deflected her gaze as if she had been repelled.
“I, I’ll show you to the dormitory…!”
Blood drained from her face, and she turned her pale face away from me. Then, she went back to the guard tower to arrange a carriage from the school. This is also a reaction I see a lot, and I’m getting used to it.
I didn’t even sigh, and silently watched her back. Then, I turned to the other side of the fence again.
The ‘me’ in the memory that was stuck in my head behaved like a poisonous flower in this school. She wasn’t pretending, and she was like a deadly poisonous girl towards her parents and siblings, and in the end, she was pulled out from the school and executed.
――― Well, it’s already no use now.
I thought I had completely forgotten about it until I saw this view. In fact, I hadn’t completely forgotten about it, but it had escaped my memory that this school in my memories, the memories of a different world, is the stage of an otome game.
I headed to the dormitory where I would be staying for at least three years and swayed in the academy carriage for a little over 30 minutesThey use a really old time-counter here… But to make it easier for you all…. The Royal Academy, an area which occupied one-fifth of the royal capital, was already the size of a town, and the area where the dormitory was located looked like a residential area.
The road which seemed wide enough for three carriages to run alongside each other with spare room changed from brick to stone according to the scenery. Along the road were well-planned dormitories, but the one I was assigned to, a mansion that stood on the other side of the fountain square at the end of the road, was a little further from here. Isolation or something?
“… So, this is it?”
I looked up at the building that towered over me and observed it… The bitterness that swelled in my heart flowed from my mouth. Up until now, I have been living a miserable noble life, so rather than feeling impressed by this mansion, the enormous cost of maintaining it floated into my head. My living expenses have increased unpleasantly, I thought, but was it really like that?
The architecture style of this building was much older than the dormitories I saw along the road. The semi-wooden imported ebony structure was exposed like mortar, and the window frames were decorated with rare traditional tiles… If my knowledge is correct, three features are designated as protected by the church as historical and cultural structures. Simply put, it is a national cultural property. Do I have to live in a cultural property…? Honestly, you’ve got to be kidding me.
The size of the property made me feel uncomfortable, and a knocker on the large door sounded. The servants who I hired at the royal capital should already be in this mansion. I already told them my arrival time, so the door immediately opened from one side with a heavy sound.
I tried to thank the servant who had opened the door ――― and was startled. I thought I would see the face of a servant in the prime of his life, but it was a guest with an extremely high position.
“Yo, you must be tired. I arrived early, so I came here first.”
A great knight who I’ve become surprisingly close with in the last few years. I never expected him to greet me, so I ended up gaping and looking stupid.
“You seem really surprised.”
“I heard you would be arriving tomorrow at noon.”
“That’s why I said I got here early. It was easier to get rid of the monsters than I thought, so I ran here on my horse since I wanted to see my adopted child’s finest clothing. I thought I would get here before the owner of the mansion, but I can’t help when I’ve arrived.”
With a smile on one side of his lips, he, ――― Ergnard, opened the front door wider. He took the small trunk that wasn’t so heavy from my hand and walked back into my house, as if he was familiar with it.
“Come quickly. I have a few gifts for you.”
I followed after Ergnard, who was beckoning me. I walked quickly to bridge the gap of his large strides and tilted my head.
“From my older brothers and one from me.”
“… From Earl Einsbark?”
“You won’t say there’s no reason for you to receive it, would you, Countess Eliza Kaldia Einsbark?”
I was at a loss for words. I am certainly using Einsbark as my name now. Although this surname was given to me by His Majesty the King, the reason was certainly that I had formed a relationship with the Einsbark House.
… However, it’s natural to be reluctant to receive a private gift from people who I only remember meeting a few times. The relationship was a pseudo-parent-child relationship between individuals and is not connected to their family. Honestly, their expectations are transparent and very heavy.
“Haha, you don’t have to think so hard. When you became my adopted child, father also made a parental offer, right? But, you coldly turned it down. My older brothers would have made the same offer had they been allowed.”
Ergnard passed my trunk to the servant while saying, “Because you’re…” and walked up the stairs. I know he was complimenting me, but I didn’t feel pleased. Maybe because I would be evaluated as a result. Having said that, it wasn’t like I was uncomfortable, so I feel complicated. I exhausted my words with heavy expectations.
When we went up the stairs, there was a sunny lounge with elegant furniture. It was a space I didn’t have at the small mansion I used in the noble district, nor at the mansion I used in the fief. Recent architectural styles tend to reduce extra space.
“This is the most comfortable place in this mansion. You can relax and doze off here. How about performing your office work here?” Ergnard, who had entered the house before the homeowner, said as he laughed, then he sat on the sofa as if it were his own home. I also sat down on the other sofa across from the low table. I could tell that this comfortable sofa was high-quality because it was soft but not spring-like.
“I’ll put away the sofa and table, and if I can bring in a bookcase, then I’ll do that.”
“You can’t do that. Don’t destroy my relaxation space. And if you destroy this relaxation place, then you’re getting your priorities backwards.”
“Hah,” he sighed in a pompous way. I laughed a bit. Even though he had said that, Ergnard is a very diligent and prominent person who leads the Knight Order at the border fortress. His unique way of caring, by showing humour and getting rid of distance, hasn’t changed since we met.
“So, I’ll be performing office work in the office. After all, this table can’t handle mountains of documents.”
“Then, alright. These are the items my brother gave me.”
I dropped my gaze to the low table in front of me. Three simple and small boxes sat on the table. “Why don’t you open them?” Ergnard urged. I opened the boxes from the left.
“… What is this?”
“From me, the Tactics Book, the Spear Instruction Book… Oh, this is amazing. It’s Rindarl’s Intelligence Report.”
All the boxes contained bundles of paper. Only the tactics book narrowly had a binding, and it did look like a book. There were also two holes punctured on the paper, and string was used to tie the papers together. I think these are a good representation of the personalities of each of the senders.
I thought of it like escapism, because such an unexpected gift was slipped in.
“Rindarl’s Intelligence Report…” I whispered in amazement. I quickly flipped through the pages, and, just like I had predicted, unpleasantly the back was dated four days ago. Isn’t this the latest and newest report that hasn’t been submitted to the Upper House of Lords?
I was at my wits’ end. Intelligence on Rindarl Union, who were at war, is confidential. The Upper House of Lords reviews the information before other nobles can apply for permission to read the contents… That is how vital this information is.
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