Fabian-sensei’s enthusiasm and efforts were remarkable after that.
He changed the textbook from a lengthy history book to a collection of stories that were easy for kids to understand, extracted the advanced grammar used in the stories and explained them with familiar examples, and he even had the students write their own sentences. He was now able to give a much more understandable lesson while checking the student’s understanding.
Well, it was also thanks to Rille-nee and I!
It was hard to stop him every time he tried to skip over something.
He was a teacher who had the fatal flaw of not knowing what the students didn’t understand. Maybe it was better if the teacher wasn’t too brilliant.
The school improved like this, but unfortunately, the students didn’t increase.
It was still only the two of us sisters when the new year began.
I felt sorry for Fabian-sensei, who was working hard, so I tried to tell the customers who came to the apothecary that it had become a good school, but they didn’t respond much.
After all, everyone thought that studying led to nowhere.
It certainly didn’t make one a noble, and not all knowledge was immediately useful.
Even I, who has received a higher level of education than those in this world, once lamented at the uselessness of it all.
But I believe it was good to be able to read.
Honestly, the best way to attract students was to serve school lunches. Their appetite for food was bigger than their thirst for knowledge.
But there was no space to build such a facility, and there probably weren’t any funds for it either.
In the meantime, a new problem arose.
“Eh, commoners shouldn’t copy nobles!”
The bad kids in the neighbourhood jeered at us in jealousy.
They were throwing rocks at us from the entrance, which we had left open so that people could enter easily.
I had no idea what they wanted to do. Don’t they know that this school was run by the feudal lord? It was like they were throwing rocks at the feudal lord’s mansion.
Anyway, I’ll kill you if you hit Rille-nee!
The teacher, who had a sheltered upbringing, cried, and the number of kids who enjoyed playing this game increased day by day. This wasn’t the time to be learning.
I barricaded myself with the desks to fight them, and they climbed in through the cracks and ripped the textbooks to shreds.
I’ll kill you!
“I know that your parents abandoned you! It’s cocky of you to want to study when you’re abandoned kids!”
“I don’t want to be told that by a parasite who has never earned a dime!”
I had much more vocabulary to insult them since I studied every day.
But it will still lead nowhere!
I was so angry because the boss was a kid from a wealthy merchant family, so I got out of the barricade and screamed, and a rock hit my head.
Rille-nee’s screams echoed in my ears.
I felt hot pain and a sickening sensation of liquid running down the side of my face from my temple.
Dammit, why was I involved in this mess when I was only studying? Can you be happy in a world that oppresses those who work hard?
Rille-nee stopped me as I tried to grab the boss’s neck and the little menaces quickly ran away, without leaving anyone behind.
The feudal lord’s soldiers, who were in charge of security, had just come around to patrol.
“Idiot! How can you be so reckless?!”
Rille-nee tore the edge of her own skirt and wrapped it around my head while crying angrily.
I hardly saw her cry ever since we got off the streets.
Hmmm… I guess I lost my mind for a bit.
But I lost my mind because Rille-nee was in danger too. Well, I’m sorry.
“Shall we keep watch?”
The soldier said as we cleaned up the thrashed classroom together, but it wasn’t a good suggestion.
“People would stop coming if we had soldiers around here all the time.”
Fabian-sensei answered. He seemed to understand commoners now.
But the current situation wasn’t good. What can we do?
“I’m certain that the child leading them came to study at the beginning…”
The teacher was referring to the boss’s kid.
“I remember him because he was very energetic. Oh, is he doing this because I hit him with the whip?”
The teacher’s face turned pale.
So, the guy, who skipped classes because he was whipped, was jealous that we were studying nonchalantly every day. He must be frustrated because he feels as if he’s lost since he doesn’t know that the education policy has changed.
Hmm, does this mean that he’s still curious about school?
He actually wants to go to class, right?
Maybe he does. It would be easy to get rid of this problem if I can find an excuse for him to study again.
I immediately started preparing when I got back to the apothecary.
“Gis-nee, can you give me some alcohol?”
“You’re experimenting again? Have you lost your mind?”
“Stop talking as if I’m insane. I’m fine.”
Gis-nee was worried about me since I came home with blood on my face.
“What are you going to do?”
I smiled at the curious Gis-nee.
“I’m going to show them magic that will make them more honest. You help too, Rille-nee.”
I waited outside for the bad kids around noon.
There was a metal cup, a homemade paper cup and a lit candle on the ground in front of me.
Naturally, the kids stopped in their tracks out of suspicion.
“――― Now watch! I’m going to show you some magic!”
I shouted like a peddler while holding out my hands and calling them to come closer.
Of course, they didn’t come closer, but some of their eyes lit up.
A small kid who was hiding behind someone repeated my words. Magic seemed to be an intriguing and fascinating word even for kids in this world.
“Yes, fire magic!”
I began the experiment when the eyes of a dozen or so kids lit up.
I wiped the inside of the metal cup with a cloth soaked in distilled liquor and placed the paper cup upside down over it.
“Here we go. Three, two, one!”
As soon as I put the candle close to the small hole that I had made with a nail on the side of the metal cup near the bottom.
The paper cup flew up into the air in an instant, and the kids let out a cheer that almost sounded like a scream.
It is really scary when someone suddenly does this when you don’t know the result.
It was an alcohol rocket test that I did in my junior high school science class.
The structure was simple: igniting volatile alcohol caused a small explosion in the metal cup, sending the paper cup flying. The principle was the same as a real rocket.
“Is that really magic?!”
“Do it one more time!”
“Ah, you guys!”
Aite, they took the bait.
The circle that had stood far away from me suddenly narrowed. Along with being baited, I was secretly delighted that the kids liked it.
“I could do that, but don’t you want to try it yourselves?”
“You can cast this magic even if you’re not a mage. This is the grimoire.”
I handed out a copy of the experimental procedure which Fabian-sensei had written out for me to the kids who came up to me.
Naturally they couldn’t read the instructions which were written with nice grammar.
“You’ll be able to read this grimoire and use this magic if you study and learn how to read and write. The class is starting right now, so why don’t you go in and listen?”
The last obstacle between the kids whose minds were on the verge of wanting to go was the boss kid. You were excited earlier too.
I’ve already thought of a plan for him.
This is where Fabian-sensei comes in.
“Theo, I’m sorry for hitting you last time.”
Fabian-sensei remembered all the names of the students who had come to his school even if they had only attended once. He squatted in front of the trembling kid and politely apologised.
“I’ve learnt a lot since then, so I can give lessons that Theo and the other students can understand. I won’t hit you anymore even if you make a mistake, so won’t you come learn again? What you learn might not help you now, but I’m sure it will help you someday.”
It was a shocking experience for a kid when an adult apologised to them. They believe that the adult was always right.
But as they get closer to being adults, they realise that there’s a thin line between childhood and adulthood, and that we all make mistakes.
“――― Okay, class is about to start. Please take your seats everyone.”
The interesting science experiment was just to get their attention.
In the end, Fabian-sensei’s kindness attracted the kids to become his students.