The Magic School has a day off every ten days.
But homework was given out mercilessly the day before and only the students who could finish them could take a day off.
I have always been organized, so I go to see Rille-nee on my days off and be healed. I think having a reward makes tasks go much smoother.
“How’s work? You’re not working too hard, are you?”
I asked her over a cup of hot tea on the ground floor of Anna’s boarding house.
Rille-nee was also quite busy and rarely took a day off when she had patients, so we often talked rather than go out when our schedule matches.
“It’s fun every day.”
Rille-nee seemed to be doing well.
But as I would expect, it wasn’t like she wasn’t troubled at all.
“Are you getting along with the bigoted superior you told me about?”
I had been a little worried since I heard that the doctor who Rille-nee assists, her immediate superior so to speak, has a difficult and troublesome personality.
But when I asked her about them, she said that she had already solved it.
“If you’re referring to Jed-san, then it’s alright now. I’ve recently learnt how to deal with him.”
Rille-nee giggled as if she remembered something.
Seeing her giggle, I realized that she had really learnt how to deal with him and wasn’t just bluffing. I relaxed.
“I see, that’s good. ――― No one has done anything strange to you? There’s no trash who touches you, asks you if you have a guy you like or what kind of guy you like, gives you gifts for no reason, or tries to walk you home even when you refuse?”
I was just joking about half of those things I listed. I believe there would be no one who would sexually harass my sister in that way. But Rille-nee’s expression changed.
Why are you acting suspiciously? Don’t act surprised just because I called your name.
“Did the Jed person..?”
Rille-nee shouted in a panic.
“Jed-san wouldn’t do things like that.”
“If not Jed-san, then who?”
I felt like a detective questioning a suspect. I won’t let her avoid answering my question.
I stared at her in silence, then Rille-nee spilled the beans.
“It’s nothing serious. General Owen is kind to everyone.”
The person’s status is beyond what I imagined.
A general is someone who commands an entire army, right?
“How did you two meet?”
“Do you remember the accident with the magic stones when I was interviewing for my job? It was his unit that caused the accident. I happen to be the person who was looking after them when he came to check up on his men and then he started talking to me after that.”
Hey, hey, doesn’t that mean he’s taken a liking to you?
Rille-nee is 19 years old and has been getting more beautiful lately.
“How old is that General?”
“What? I wonder how old he is. But he’s still young? I don’t think he’s turned 30 yet.”
He’s surprisingly young for his position. Almost too young.
Does that mean that he’s an upper-class noble who succeeded his father? He must be from a genuine well-off family.
“So, did the General ask you to be his girlfriend, give you gifts or hold your hand?”
“Of course not!”
“He must have done something. How can nothing happen?”
“It just came up naturally while we were talking. He did give me a gift, but it came from his estate, so it didn’t cost a lot of money and isn’t anything special at all. And he caught me when I was absorbed in our conversation and almost tripped.”
The two of you were talking side by side while walking? Didn’t he give her a flower because she would refuse if he tried to give her something expensive? This happened while they were working?
Owen probably showed up at the medical department saying he had errands to run to see Rille-nee. Why don’t you just work!?
Wah, will it be alright?
Normally, you can gain money and status by marrying a rich and powerful man, but a man who flirts with a woman while on the job? It’s even worse if he just wants to play with fire.
I’m worried if I’m not by your side, Rille-nee.
It would be nice if they had a guard at the medical department as well, but I can’t beg for something they don’t have.
For now, I can only bet on Rille-nee’s godlike skill to ignore everything which has made numerous men cry.
If his feelings are only temporary, then he will leave before Rille-nee falls in love with him. The important thing is not to let any blunders happen before then.
“Don’t rush things. Run away immediately if he tries to take you to a place without many people. You don’t have to be mindful of his status. Your safety comes first.”
“You always worry too much, Aime. He has a high position. I’m nobody. He’s just paying attention to me on a whim.”
“It may be a whim, but you’re not a nobody. Low self-esteem is the same as being overconfident. You must calmly observe yourself and the people you’re talking to and take the initiative when it matters most. It wouldn’t be funny if you find yourself in bed with them.”
“Wh-what are you talking about…?!”
Rille-nee immediately turned red. Other people won’t tell you this, so your family has to warn you.
“Please be careful.”
“D-don’t worry. How about you Aime? How’s school? Did anything happen between you and the Prince?”
Rille-nee asked to change the topic and I sighed.
“Nothing happened. Alexei is king, but everyone else looks at me like I’m an insect.”
I said casually since it was really nothing, but Rille-nee’s expression clouded over.
“… Are you being bullied?”
“No. No one has time to bully me since we’re all busy with homework. The most they can do to me is ignore me.”
The first day was annoying, but no one has time to do anything like that anymore.
Come to think of it, I’ve heard that there was less bullying in Japan when everyone was fiercely competing to get into university.
I still get nasty looks when I sit next to them in class, but they no longer tell me to go away since Alexei will let me sit next to me.
I smiled at Rille-nee who looked anxious and told her it was nothing to worry about.
“It’s alright. I’ll snap at them if it comes to it. You should also snap at the General if something happens.”
“I-I already told you that he hasn’t done anything to me.”
Rille-nee might not be annoyed by his affections. 19… is still too early, but it’s normal to think about marriage at that age here.
Even if it isn’t the General, if Rille-nee finds someone she truly loves and marries him then I wouldn’t be able to live with Gis-nee and Rille-nee.
It’s sad to think about this, but there’s nothing you can do about time and people’s changing feelings.
But I won’t accept them easily! I’ll question the groom like a pig-headed old man!
Since things are like this, I’ll start gathering information right away!
I headed to the lounge as soon as I returned to school.
Alexei was reading a book and Roderick was standing behind home, motionlessly in the usual spot.
There were other students in the lounge as well. They had managed to finish their homework by the end of the day and were probably just taking a break.
“Hey, are you taking a break Alexei? I have something I want to ask you.”
Alexei closed his book and put it on the table.
“What is it? Was there something you didn’t get?”
“I’ve already finished my homework. Do you know someone named General Owen? Actually…”
“Hey, have some respect.”
Roderick reproached me in a sharp tone as I continued to talk without sitting down.
“You’re being rude, barging into a room where His Highness is relaxing and ranting.”
“This is a serious matter, Rock!”
I couldn’t help but shout the nickname that I secretly called him in my mind.
Well, I was feeling a little rebellious since he’s always loyally standing behind his master.
I’m usually careful not to call him this, but I was worried about Rille-nee so I just blurted it out.
He was flabbergasted but his master burst into laughter before he could get angry.
“Rock? That name reminds me of our childhood.”
“C-calling me that now would be…”
“Isn’t it alright to call you that while we’re attending this school?”
The attendant was stumped by his master’s teasing.
Does this mean I’m allowed to call him Rock? I’d like to get to know him a little better.
Everyone has been ignoring me for a month now, and the only people I talk to are Alexei and Roderick.
“So, what did you want to know?”
“Ah, right. I want to know what kind of man General Owen is. My sister, whom I told you about before ―――.”
After I explained the situation, Alexei replied.
“I don’t know much about him, but Owen is the heir to the Sauniere House, and they’ve held the General title for generations.”
“So, he’s from an amazing family?”
“That’s right. He’s not an irresponsible person.”
“You mean because of his family? What about his personality?”
“He seemed like a serious man. I heard that he was superb when he subjugated the bandits.”
So, he’s capable at doing his job. But this could be an exaggeration.
“And the most important question. Is he single?”
“I believe he is. The Sauniere’s are one of the three great families who have the royal blood in them, so the royal family would have heard about it if there has been talks about the heir’s marriage.”
… Alexei said that smoothly but wait…
Doesn’t he have the highest social standing?
Isn’t this… bad in a lot of ways?
“Don’t let your imagination run wild. There’s no way your sister and the heir of the Sauniere House would have anything going on between them.”
Rock pointed out calmly, but he was naïve.
“Whether you’re a noble or commoner, a man is a man, and a woman is a woman when they get naked.”
I ignored Rock as he turned red. I’m troubled.
“A troublesome person has their eye on you, Rille-nee.”
“Well, I don’t think we can meddle in something like this.”
Alexei, that’s a mature opinion. I’d have the same attitude had it been anyone else.
“Nothing has happened yet, right? I don’t believe the son of a prestigious family would be careless with a woman. Why don’t you calm down and just let things play out?”
“… I know. That’s all I can do.”
I felt calmness return to me at his persuasion. I pray that General Owen is a gentleman like Alexei.
But I’d like to observe him in secret.
“Thanks, Alexei. I’m sorry for asking your advice about my sister. I’ll help you with your homework if you need me to. You too, Rock.”
“Are you going to keep calling me that?”
“Of course, I’ll call you Roderick-sama properly when we’re not in school.”
“… You better prepare yourself when we graduate.”
Why are you acting like that? Scary. Don’t grind your teeth.
It’s normal to call people by their nickname. I don’t have a nickname since my name is too short.
“This isn’t fair.”
Alexei suddenly said.
He was sulking for some reason.
“Can’t you call me by a nickname too? It’s not fair that only Rock gets one.”
That’s what you’re sulking about? He always acts so mature, but then he suddenly starts acting like a child. Did he think he was being left out?
“Your Highness! Don’t let her get carried away any further!”
“I’m jealous that you’re the only one getting close to her.”
“You can’t be serious! I didn’t allow her to call me that!”
“Only for now.”
Alexei begged, smiling at his attendant while looking up at me (since he was sitting down).
How can I say no to a face like that? You’re good at pleading.
I’ll call you by a nickname even if you don’t give me those puppy eyes. Please stop since this it’s getting weird.
“Alexei, I can call you, Alec, Alex, or Rex. Which name do you prefer?”
“You can call me whatever one you like.”
“Then, I’ll call you Alec since it’s the shortest one TN: It is the shortest if you see it in Katakana….”
“That’s fine. Thanks.”
Alec smiled happily. There’s probably no one who calls him by a nickname since he’s a prince. He’s in a position where even his attendant respects him.
His wish to talk normally with everyone won’t come true easily. It’s quite sad.
“――― Oh yeah, can I ask you one more question while I’m being rude?”
I held out my index finger and Alexei nodded.
“Why did you apply for the Magic School Alec?”
“I wanted to learn more about magic, the kingdom’s ace. And if possible, I wanted to become a mage and add to our military strength.”
“Military strength you say… But Alec, couldn’t you be taught this in the palace instead of having to come all the way here?”
“If I had failed the exam, then I would have stayed in my room and studied. But fortunately, I passed.”
He was satisfied.
Didn’t you just want to go to school?
“Did you enter the school to accompany Alec, Rock?”
“I told him he didn’t need to. It’s rare for something to happen in a palace-run facility.”
“No, there’s always one cheeky insect.”
Are you talking about me? How can you call me an insect? You’re the one who should watch his back when we graduate.
But I’m more interested in what Alec just said.
“Hey Alec, I believe magic is something that can be used for more wonderful things.”
He said that magic can be used for military strength because a high-level mage can use attack magic that is equivalent to a thousand soldiers.
This was probably the main reason why the palace wanted to increase the number of mages in the kingdom.
But what’s the point of that magic?
“It’s foolish to use it for war.”
“You’re going too far! Fighting for your nation isn’t foolish.”
Rock started releasing his bloodthirst, but I wasn’t joking.
“There will be nothing left after the destruction.”
“The victor will be rewarded. Even magic is a power that was acquired through battle.”
“That’s right. The Mitoans perished and the mysteries of magic may have been lost forever, and the beautiful forests where they lived are gone.”
I don’t know what magic the Mitoans used in their fierce resistance, but it is said that even now, a hundred years later, the area where the battlefield was is barren.
“We may suffer from that someday. We must think carefully about how we use power. There are things you can never take back. There are things that will be regretted even if that regret happens a hundred years in the future. Alec, please don’t do anything that your descendants will hate you for if you’re going to lead this nation. I believe that it isn’t those who boast of overwhelming strength who will prosper until the end, but those who are able to coexist with others.”
A worldly person is always strong in any world.
You will be unbeatable if you get along with everyone.
But I know that it doesn’t work out like that. The law of the jungle, survival of the fittest, applies even among people.
But we must not lose our ideals.
“Keep this at the back of your mind. Magic should be used for more meaningful things.”
“… I understand. I’ll keep that in mind.”
Alec silenced Rock and nodded.
He will probably make a very good king.
I decided that it was time to go back to my room and study after we chatted for a while, so I left the lounge while Alec and Rock stayed.
At that time, I passed a male student who was standing near the door.
I looked up at him and saw his purple eyes glare at me threateningly, but I didn’t stop, and it was over in a moment.
After that day, I realised that I should have thought about the peace around me first before discussing world peace.
|↑1||TN: It is the shortest if you see it in Katakana…|