They were too busy to give me any attention. Or at least they were supposed to be.
The reason why I’ve been groaning since this morning is below me.
The ladder was broken in half.
It must have broken when it was thrown down from the window. It took a lot of effort for the ladies to lift the big ladder.
They’ve gotten a lot harsher since they haven’t bullied me in a long time.
I picked up the broken ladder, gathered it to the side and cleaned up the splinters.
I went to class and left the repairs for after classes. If only the dormitory servants looked after me as well, then I wouldn’t have to do all the work.
The bullying which had ceased began to increase a little every day.
“I heard you were shining shoes on the streets.”
I was suddenly approached by a group of students after school on my way back to the dormitory. They were probably my classmates.
Their lips were pursed, and their aura was unpleasant, but I couldn’t ignore them when they were standing in front of me.
“Why don’t you show us how you did it?”
One of the boys put one of his feet in front of the other. He didn’t seem like he was raised well from his words and actions.
“I can show you how it’s done, but I’ll charge you for it?”
I don’t know where they heard this from, but I was doing business. They had no reason to treat me like a fool.
But the way I replied to them wasn’t good.
Instead, they were happy and turned sour.
“Crawling on the ground and begging for money? How low can you get?!”
“Pitiful. Alright, here.”
Another student threw a copper coin on the floor. I picked it up as it rolled to my feet, and they started laughing.
They have the wrong idea. I flicked the copper coin back at them with my thumb.
“You should at least throw a gold coin.”
I slipped between them as their eyes followed the trajectory of the coin through the air and returned to the dormitory.
But the trouble continued after that.
After dinner, I was quietly preparing for tomorrow’s lesson in the attic when I suddenly felt something hit the back of my chair.
I turned around and saw someone’s head at the entrance for a moment. Underneath the chair was a fish bone with some meat left on it.
They threw leftovers at me!
Rather than being angry, I was amazed that the daughter of a noble would commit such an act. Their bullying has become crude.
I looked down and saw girls by the ladder with their dinner plates.
“What are you doing?”
I asked in a fed-up tone.
“I’m giving you food. Isn’t garbage a treat for you?”
A student with a red ribbon who I had met in the corridor after dinner replied.
Hmm, where did they get this information?
I had only told Alec about my past in detail, but I know he won’t tell anyone about it. It probably isn’t the loyal Rock either.
Come to think of it, there was a waiter at the corner of the room at that time. If it had leaked from anyone then it would have been from him.
“We had dinner together earlier. I don’t need your leftovers.”
“Don’t be shy. There’s still plenty left, so why don’t you have some? I prepared this just for you.”
All of her friends took their plates and stepped on the ladder.
I quickly ran back, and they took turns throwing their leftover food at me. Don’t waste food! It’s time you stop being picky!
I had no choice but to use the bed sheets to block the entrance because I didn’t want my textbooks and notebooks to get dirty and they finally stopped. I wish they had put a wooden door on the floor.
The messy sheet will have to be washed tomorrow.
I had to collect the rubbish that had hit the floor and walls and use a rag to clean up the juices. It had gotten late by the time I had finished cleaning and I didn’t study as much as I had planned to.
Seriously, they’re really annoying.
The boys and girls continued to bully me regardless of location and they only stopped during class. They still let me sit next to them in class.
They don’t do anything to me when Alec is around, and their bullying isn’t always in person.
“Alec, I’m sorry but can you let me share your textbook?”
I asked Alec who was sitting next to me before class started.
“Sure, did you forget yours?”
“It wasn’t in my room~.”
Last night when I came back to my room after dinner, the textbook I was going to use today was missing from my bag. They were now thieves. I want a wooden door and key at the entrance of my attic.
“Did you lose it? “
“Yup, but I’m sure it’ll turn up.”
I’ll search the school building later since it wasn’t at the dormitory.
It’s definitely in a place where I can find it. Somewhere where they can show their ill will towards me.
I’m slowly grasping their true nature.
“――― Well, I’m going to look for my textbook. Thanks for sharing your book today.”
After school, I quickly gathered my things and left my seat.
“I’ll help you.”
“No, it’s alright. I’m sure Rock will be angry if I ask you to help me search for my textbook.”
It would be fine if he was free, but we had homework assigned to us today as well. I don’t want to take up any of his valuable study time.
“… Did something happen?”
Alec seemed to have sensed that something was wrong. He looked up at me.
“It’s nothing serious.”
I smiled and waved my hand, then I left the class.
Now then, where could it be?
I came to a corridor overlooking the courtyard as I walked around. There was no wall on one side of the corridor, so I could feel the refreshing early summer breeze on my skin.
But my ears heard a not-so-refreshing commotion.
A small boy was picking up scattered papers while two boys were standing beside him in a corridor on the other side of the courtyard. Their feet were stepping over the paper.
Huh? Are they bullying him?
Only the crouching boy looked familiar to me. I often saw his brown hair in the seat in front of me in class.
The other two boys are seniors. They had green gems on their chests. Those must be the magic stones that the school gives out to students who have already started their magic classes.
From the sound of their conversation and the occasional laughter, it seemed that the boy was being bullied for his less than noble appearance. They were asking him if he was the son of a concubine. Even though most nobles have blonde or silver hair, there were some who had different coloured hair.
The boy was picking up the scattered paper, but he wasn’t able to remove the ones that had been stepped on and was constantly rubbing his eyes with his sleeve.
Well, what should I do?
I feel like helping him would have the opposite effect, but I don’t know if I should turn a blind eye to this. I guess other students are being bullied too. Isn’t everyone just too stressed?
Hmm… Alright, I’ll help him.
I stormed through the courtyard determined to help the bullied boy.
They finally noticed me when I stepped into the corridor.
“If you’re bullying him because you’re bored, then why don’t you play with me?”
The senpai’s were puzzled, then they smiled unpleasantly again.
“What would you like to play?”
If I had Rille-nee’s strength, then I might beat them up.
But since I can’t do that and it would be pointless to do so, what I proposed was a game.
“Well, I suppose I can show you some magic.”
I looked at the courtyard and said and the senpais were puzzled again.
“Nonsense. You don’t even have a magic stone.”
“I don’t need magic stones for the magic I’m using. How about it? Aren’t you curious?”
Theo and the others were easily lured by this.
But the students at the Magic School, who are more mature than Theo and his friends, aren’t as simple.
“Magic is like this.”
One of them said something with a smirk on his face, then the magic stone on his chest shone.
Clear water appeared in the space beyond his outstretched hand as soon as he started shouting. I looked up in surprise and the mass of water grew larger and larger.
Then he swung his hand down and the mass of water fell on me and the boy.
A loud splash resounded in the area.
I felt a smack on my face. Cold drops ran down my skin, all the way to my clothes.
I stared blankly at the boys, who were laughing hysterically, ――― then I couldn’t help myself but grab the collar of the boy who had just used magic.
“Do it again!”
I couldn’t control my excitement.
Water just suddenly appeared in an empty space!
“How did you do that?! What’s the theory behind it?! Where did the water come from!?”
“Teach me the incantation you just said!”
The boy, who was also soaked to the bones, approached the boy who had cast magic.
“Heat? Water? Didn’t you use those words? Let me take notes since I want to decipher it!”
“Oh, I see, so spells have meaning! Maybe I can learn about the principle if I can decipher it. Let me take notes too, please!”
I quickly searched my bag for a pen and paper. Fortunately, my bag wasn’t that wet inside.
“What’s with you two?”
I let go of his collar and he backed away.
“Wait! Show me the spell one more time!”
“D-don’t come any closer. You’re getting the water on me!”
You’re the one who poured the water on us! They ran away. Tsk.
My curiosity wasn’t satisfied but I’m glad I got rid of them. I’m sure I’ll learn about this in class anyway.
“Are you alright?”
I called out to the boy next to me and he shivered.
He fidgeted as he returned to his senses and turned his freckled aace towards me.
“Ah, hmm, umm…”
“Are you hurt?”
He timidly shook his head.
I picked up the rest of the scattered paper and handed them to him. The ink had been splashed with water and the text on the paper was no longer illegible.
“You’re welcome. Hey, can you decipher the spell he used?”
“Huh? Ah, un, no…”
The boy was jumpy whenever I talked to him.
He was taller than me, but he looked small because he cowered himself and took a defensive pose, and he quickly turned away when our eyes met. What happened to the courage he had when he questioned the senpai just now?
Perhaps, is he scared of me? I’m here to help you though.
At that moment, a silver-haired female student came rushing from the other side of the corridor where the boys had run off.
She had her hair back and showed her nice forehead, and I remembered that she had stopped me from sitting next to her on the first day.
The boy called out the girl’s name in relief.
She walked over in a long stride, raised her eyebrow at the soaking boy and shouted in a high-pitched voice.
“What happened!? I rushed over because I heard a weird noise.”
Then, she glared at me for some reason.
“What did you do to Matty? Don’t tell me you bullied Matty even though you’re just a commoner?”
“Why would I do that? I’m wet as well.”
“She didn’t do it Merry. Umm…”
The boy tried to defend me, but his voice was quiet, and he didn’t speak well.
“Don’t approach Matty! He’ll get bullied if he’s around you!”
The girl snorted, then she pulled the boy’s hand and they both left.
I hope the boy will clear up this misunderstanding later.
I thought it would be better to get changed even though I was in the middle of looking for my textbook, so I headed to the dormitory and met Alec and Rock just as I was leaving the school building.
I called out to them, and they turned around. They looked dumbfounded at first. I wonder why they’re walking on the road leading to the girls’ dormitory.
“I would like to ask you that.”
Alec pulled out a white handkerchief and whipped my wet head.
“Thanks. I just had someone show me some magic.”
“Yeah, water magic.”
Alec’s expression immediately turned grim.
“… You mean they hit you with magic?”
“It was interesting! Water appeared out of nowhere. I don’t understand how the water just appeared! I asked him to show me it again, but he ran away.”
“Did you ask him to use it?”
Alec was once again dumbfounded.
“I guess I incited him at first. I’m not afraid of water. My textbooks and notebooks are fine.”
“… About the book you lost…”
I looked at Alec and Rock held out my textbook.
“Ah, my textbook.”
“Rock found it on top of a tree.”
“Oh, so it was on top of a tree. I guess they thought I wouldn’t be able to reach it since I’m small.”
I smiled wryly. I can climb trees though.
“Thanks Rock. You too Alec, thanks for coming all this way to deliver my book to me.”
So, this was why they were heading towards the girls’ dormitory.
Boys aren’t allowed to enter the girls’ dormitory, but they can call the servant at the entrance or leave their package there. But I’m glad I meant them while they were walking there since I’m not sure if I would get this back if they did the above.
“When did the bullying get worse?”
Alec’s expression was cloudy. He already realised what was going on.
I wasn’t trying to hide it. It just wasn’t a big deal, so I didn’t bother telling him. I smiled cheerly at him to let him know that I was fine.
“Don’t make that expression. I’m alright, it’s like an endurance contest.”
“An endurance contest?”
“Yeah. They think they’re being bullied by me just like how they’re bullying me… probably.”
“Huh? I don’t understand what you’re saying.”
Alec is really a magnanimous person and, in some ways, a person with common sense. I’m sure the bullies find my attitude intolerable.
“I’m not trying to be bullied. So don’t worry about it, Alec.”
“… Is there anything I can do?”
“You’ve already helped me.”
I held up the book and thanked him.
But the gentle boy was still frustrated and worried. Hmm, what can I do to relieve his worry?
“――― Say, Alec. Actually, I can use magic.”
I tried saying and Alec’s expression changed immediately.
“I was called a witch at my old school, so I’m not afraid of being bullied in the first place.”
“What do you mean by that? Have you already learnt magic?”
“I made it. My magic doesn’t need magic stones. Do you want to see it?”
I asked him like I had done earlier with the two boys. Alec was puzzled but he eventually nodded.
I guess you can’t win over curiosity.
“Wait in the lounge. I’ll get it ready.”
I quickly gathered the materials I needed after changing.
There were still students in the lounge. We were at our usual spot.
On a small round table were three teacups and a teapot with warm water in it. This was all I needed for experiments.
“Are we going to drink tea?”
Like Alec had asked, it looked as if we were going to have a tea party, but I had already prepared something for that.
“This is my magic tea. Watch.”
I poured the tea into the cup on the far left.
The two boys were surprised to see a bright blue liquid, that was a similar colour to Alec’s eyes, coming out of the teapots.
“I’ve never seen blue tea before.”
“Really? Then I’ll do another colour you’ve never seen before. Hmm…”
I held one hand over the pot because it wouldn’t give off the right atmosphere if I held it in a normal way.
I chanted ‘change’ in Mitoan and poured tea into the cup in the middle.
“It changed to green!”
Alec’s sudden shout attracted the attention of all the students around us.
It wasn’t just him. Even Rock leaned forward to look at the cup which instantly changed to a dark green colour. It’s interesting to see changes in an experiment, isn’t it?
“How did you do that?”
“I tried changing the colour with magic.”
I said nonchalantly.
Rock snatched the teacup from me and examined it, but the water inside was still blue.
“Why hasn’t this changed colour?”
“I made it so it only changes when you pour it into the cup. I’ll do it again.”
I took the teacup back from Rock and poured into the third cup.
This time, it turned bright purplish red.
Alec picked up the third cup and looked at it in admiration. This was a happy reaction.
“Is this really magic?”
“Isn’t it amazing?”
I put my hands on my hips and puffed out my chest.
“Yeah, it’s amazing. What kind of magic is this?”
Alec’s innocent question reminded me of the little kids in the downtown school and I couldn’t help but laugh.
“I’m sorry. This isn’t magic.”
“The secret is in the herbs and the cup. The herb I used for this tea is silk that grows in the courtyard. It doesn’t taste good. But you can use it in ointments.”
I pulled a herb out of my pocket and placed it on the table.
The leaves are flat and purple.
The colour comes from anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is a pigment found in many plants including eggplants and blueberries and is often found in super foods.
“This herb can change colours when you extract it and mix it with something else. The first cup has nothing in it, the second has baking soda and the third has lemon juice. I put it in the cups beforehand.”
The baking soda was for stomach-aches and Gis-nee had some left over. I borrowed the lemon juice from the kitchen.
The extract is acidic, making it reddish and alkaline, making it greenish. The intensity of the colour can be adjusted by changing the amount of baking soda and or other ingredients.
In primary school, I used to make gradations using purple cabbage. It was fun. It’s still quite fun to do it now.
“Don’t tell such foolish lies.”
Rocked seemed a little angry by the trick. This meant that he enjoyed it.
“Were you surprised? I can do a lot of magic like this. So, I’m fine, Alec.”
“I know how to do a lot of things. I have a lot of ways to fight.”
I pointed at my head and smiled.
“This is what I meant by ‘don’t worry.’”
I’m a scientist. I don’t say things without evidence.
Alec finally relaxed.
“You want to try an experiment, Alec? You can make seven colours with this if you try hard enough.”
“That many? Okay, I’ll give it a try.”
The waiter brought us new cups and I spent the rest of the evening experimenting with Alec and Rock.
The people around us didn’t dare to approach us and were jealous. They started glaring at me again when I left, but that’s fine.
I am clearly provoking them.