Chapter 021: Tia and Her Party
The Royal Loire Academy, had the word ‘academy’ in its name, so it was possible to enter at the age of 12. But people who wanted to attend it had to take an extremely hard entrance exam. The contents of the exam was the same for commoners. The exam was in place to overlook social status, but the exam for the Academy was still harder compared to the ones for the schools that the commoners attended. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be called the most difficult school in the kingdom.
The boys and girls in front of Shiu seemed to be attending this school. He could tell this from their uniform and he guessed that they weren’t students from the Magic Academy considering their below average magic skills. Of course, he guessed that they weren’t from the Knight Training Academy either from looking at their physique. They were all 15.
Shiu had been observing them with appraisal when someone said, “How rude!”
He looked at that person and found out that their occupation was 「Apprentice Chamberlain」when he appraised them in detail. His intelligence was rather low but he was wearing the uniform so his social status was probably high.
Yes, they could take their maids or chamberlains to school with them. It was a big world.
He had procured this information from Emina.
To be exact, this information was from another work called 『Princess Henrietta’s Academy Life』 by the author who wrote Emina’s favourite series 『Princess Sumina’s Tale』. The story was about a princess who got kidnapped and lost her memory. However, she was still able to attend the Academy despite the twists and turns she had experienced.
The contents were for pleasure reading and it also obtained the backing of a wealthy merchant. It depicted an intelligent character who studied abroad. Shiu heard about the story so many times from Emina that his ears began to bleed.
He felt fed up when he remembered that. He sighed and finished his meal. Shiu stood up, put Feles on his shoulder and tried to leave, but the others were still there. They were shocked that Shiu wasn’t replying to them and stood there dumbfounded.
Just to be sure, Shiu searched through a book about Steigbahn law in his record storage, but there didn’t seem to be any problems. In other words, being「rude」was not a crime.
Shiu was a little bothered for being called 「rude」by the 「Apprentice Chamberlain」. They probably wouldn’t hold him in contempt.
That was why he tried to leave, but they wouldn’t allow him to.
“In-insolent fellow! How dare you ignore me!?”
“Yeah, even though you’re only a commoner.”
The stall owner had already disappeared. He didn’t know if he was feeling relieved or admiration to see that the stall owner had already ran away. Shiu stopped and turned around to look at them. He thought that they wanted to say something and waited, but no one opened their mouths. He was troubled when someone suddenly shouted, “How about you say something?!”.
They were the ones who tried to stop me, just what were they trying to do? Shiu was the one who was surprised. Were they practicing how to pick fights? Were they trying to see how far they could go before a commoner got angry? He thought, nah that can’t be it, and shook his head.
He was amazed at his own ideas. He then bowed and smiled at them.
“I have work to do, so please forgive this 『pitiful』commoner.”
“W-what did you say?”
“If I don’t work then I won’t have enough to eat. If commoners don’t work then they can’t live.”
With that, he bowed his head and walked away.
They were standing there stock-still, even though Shiu was far away from them by now.
Tia appeared while he was walking along the stone pavement. She called out to him as if it was the natural thing to do.
“They didn’t get your sarcasm. I’m sure of it.”
You can bet on it, she continued and Shiu smiled wryly.
“Were you watching the whole time?” He asked. He knew she was nearby, but was surprised to find out that she had actually heard the conversation. He thought that she had used some kind of magic. Tia began smiling when he asked her that question.
“I can hear the voices of the spirits. There was an oak tree near that food stall, wasn’t there? The spirits of the trees are my allies.”
Shiu was envious of Tia’s words.
“That’s awesome. I haven’t even seen a ghost yet.”
“…… Don’t group them together with ghosts.”
“Ah, okay. I’m sorry.”
Which meant that he couldn’t say that out loud. He looked at Tia’s appearance once again. Shiu secretly thought that she looked like a ghost.
She had pure white skin, silver white hair and light blue eyes. He had a feeling that he would scream out really loudly if he met her in the dead of the night…… That might actually be fun. Shiu laughed at his thoughts.
There was no way for her to know what he was thinking, but she looked at him sullenly.
“Ah, mm, I’m sorry, okay?”
“You don’t have to apologise so much…… Anyway, you’ve changed.”
“I just came from the countryside, so I don’t have any common knowledge.”
“That’s not what I meant. By the way, I’ve been looking for you because I wanted to thank you for that time.”
“I don’t really need it, you know?”
Tia was taller than him, so he shook his head while looking up at her. Because of that, Feles started playing with Shiu’s hair as it shook from side to side on his head.
“Fufufu, how cute. Is it a beast mount child?”
Shiu was happy that she called Feles cute and nodded his head, “Yup.”
“You know, the people in my party also got angry. They were saying, “aren’t you being too arrogant to the human and shouldn’t you express your gratitude?”
“I’m an elf.”
What do you think? She twirled her body around with pride. Shiu nodded his head while feeling bewildered.
Tia started sulking for some reason and went silent.
The inn that Tia and her company were staying at was called 「Hawk Eye Cottage」.
Shiu thought that the name was rather strange, but apparently the owner was an ex-adventurer and it was named so because he was called 「the man with the hawk eyes」. It was written in a small font on the signboard.
When he read the signboard, Tia rushed him by saying, “Hurry up.” They passed the reception desk and entered the dining room. Some people were there, talking. They immediately noticed Tia and called out to her, “Is that the kid?”
Only one person got up, the other two smiled while looking at Shiu.
“I’m Gradius. It seems like Tia’s been in your care.”
He held out his hand, so Shiu also held out his and they shook hands. He didn’t let go of Shiu’s hands even after their handshake ended. He stared at Shiu and then glanced at Shiu’s hands.
Shiu was confused and one of the people who were sitting called out in a cheerful voice, “Hey, stop that. You’re acting like some pervert.”
He had finally noticed that he was still gripping onto Shiu’s hands. He shook Shiu’s hand away in a panic causing Shiu’s shoulders to shake violently. Feles was surprised and called out in a strange voice, “Nyu.”
“You’re a brute on top of being a pervert. How can you shake off a kid’s hands like that?”
“I, it’s because you said something strange!”
“Well, you’re staring at a helpless boy while grasping his hands. That makes you a pervert, right?”
Meanwhile, Tia shrugged in amazement, pulled out a nearby chair and sat down. She also gestured Shiu to sit down. He sat down and the last person, who had been watching the events fold out, said, “Sorry.”
“We were curious about you since you didn’t change your tone when you saw Tia. So we wanted to meet you. Sorry for calling you here.”
Shiu just realised that they were using gratitude as an excuse. Shiu nodded in silence and the three men who were talking to each other faced him.
“By the way, the men who aren’t interested in Tia are the ones who 『like men』, or they know of her real age.”
That’s true. You didn’t have to come to that kind of conclusion though. Shiu thought, but he didn’t say it aloud. The man continued talking in a cheerful voice, “There were many who liked elves. However, some of them would sometimes deride elves as 『grannie』. These were certainly the sort of men who couldn’t stand the woman being older than them.”
It’s a rude story. Shiu replied in his mind and the man continued, “However, most of the men thought it was fine if the person was good looking. Only Tia’s appearance is good.”
“It’s true, isn’t it? Don’t complain.”
Tia didn’t sound angry so Shiu stayed silent. The cheerful man kept talking, “Apparently Tia’s spirit said this, that you weren’t a kid.”
“Mm, how rude! You can reply with something like that, you know?”
“…… You’re funny.”
Gradius watched them silently and the other person smiled while looking at Shiu.
“You don’t act like a kid to begin with. You’re not even agitated with us. Even when you see the transcendentally beautiful in appearance only girl, Tia, you don’t change your tone. You’re fine even when you’re interacting with the noble kids.”
“Ah, it was the same before too. You handled the situation swiftly.”
The cheerful man laughed at Tia’s final blow.
“…… Who are you?”