“And as for the subjects, well… You could study them by hiring some tutors, but in the school…” [Elia]
The ojousama paused there.
“But in the school what?” [Ryouma]
“…There’s a chance it might be hard to study things that one should be studying.” [Elia]
“What’s the point of the school then?” [Ryouma]
“I don’t know either, actually. My parents just told me to go make friends, and to be careful not to be overly influenced by the atmosphere in school. They said it didn’t matter if my grades were bad or if I couldn’t do what was taught in school, but I had to train like I was taught back at home.” [Elia]
Huh… Those three are going that far?
I should ask Sebasu-san too.
“Noble and affluent families can all prepare specialized teachers on their own, but society has its own requirements, and as such, one has to study a variety of things regardless of one’s status. It is open, though. Of course, Ryouma-sama, there’s no need for you to go.” [Sebasu]
“That’s why dad didn’t invite you to go, right?” [Elia]
“Ah, come to think of it…” [Ryouma]
He certainly hasn’t said anything of the sort.
“Is it really not needed.” [Ryouma]
“If you go, you’ll surely be an excellent student who will attract the eyes of all nobles. At the very least, I’m sure you would in swordsmanship and magic classes.” [Elia]
“And your problems will increase too, in both the bad and the good sense.” [Sebasu]
“I see…” [Ryouma]
“That’s why I don’t feel like it. If it weren’t a custom, I would much rather train with you.” [Elia]
Hmm… I never enjoyed school life either, so I can’t really say anything here… Anyway, the ojousama is the duke’s daughter, so she probably wouldn’t be bullied, right?
“That’s true, but I don’t have anyone I can call a friend either. Everyone is too scared of my status and my mana to approach me.” [Elia]
Oh, yeah. She said something like that when I made my status board, right?
But putting her status aside, is her mana really that terrifying to others?
I don’t think it’s that scary, though.
When I asked her that, she became sad.
“I once made a blunder…” [Elia]
She did say that having too much mana can make control difficult. Is that why?
“I was 5 at the time, I believe.” [Elia]
It seems that was when the ojousama started training in the basics of magic.
“I specialized in fire and ice, so I was learning to freeze a cup of water. A relatively safe exercise. But I always froze the table along with the cup.” [Elia]
She puts too much power, huh.
“It was always like that for me, but one day, a slightly older boy came to our house. Apparently, his parents wanted him to get along with me.” [Elia]
Erm… why does it feel like the atmosphere changed all of the sudden?
I quietly listened, and as it turns out, that child was the son of a noble family acquainted with the Jamil family. They were probably looking to marry their son to Elia.
When they met, their parents told them that they had something important to talk about and told them to go play on their own, but the two of them didn’t know what to talk about, so they ended up talking about magic instead.
“He said he was good at magic and that he wanted to show his to me… The fireball he showed me at the training area at our place was certainly good. ‘It was a safe spell, very much unlike my own,’ I told him.” [Elia]
But he was a boy, and probably the proud sort, so he offered to train with me. He said he would teach me. And we did just that, but after trying the spell out several times, the results wouldn’t change.
“Because of that his mood worsened.” [Elia]
“He probably wanted to act cool in front of a girl…” [Ryouma]
I”m a guy too, so I can relate. But they’re still kids…
And at the age of an elementary student, someone older would only be about a middle school student, right?
Considering the ojousama’s social standing, there’s no way that a kid could teach better than her usual teachers.
While Elia continued to fail to make any results, the older boy’s mood continued to worsen, until eventually, an incident occurred.
Because the ojousama wanted to make the next spell a success, she ended up pushing herself too hard and released too much mana.
Without any control, the spell ruptured.
“I ended up casting my spell at the opposite direction of the target, and… I froze him.” [Elia]
Although only several parts of his body were frozen, he tumbled in surprise and injured himself on the frozen ground. After that the whole thing blew up, but in the end, his life was safe. Their parents scolded their own children and didn’t pursue the issue any further. Everything ended amicably.
But ever since that day, rumors spread that the ojousama of the Jamil family would cast spells on people she didn’t like. Others would say that she would cast spells on people whenever she was in a bad mood.
Exaggerated rumors like that spread among the nobles.
“So that was the disaster…” [Ryouma]
“Well, it’s true that I messed up.” [Elia]
I think I might have just stepped on a minefield. I would like to change the topic please.
But if I go about it too obviously it would be in poor taste, so I better talk about a similar experience of my own.
“Ryouma-san, have you ever experienced anything like that?” [Elia]
“Yep. When I was still in the village, we had a school, well, no… It wasn’t big enough to be called a school, but anyway, the adults were teaching the village children, and so I joined.” [Ryouma]
This was actually about PE time back in my middle school days.
Kendo was a part of our school’s PE curriculum.
This was my first blunder in 1st Year middle school.
“At that time, they were just supposed to explain to us how stuff worked.” [Ryouma]
We did some warm-up, then they taught us how to put on the armor, then we started training the basics. After that the teacher called for the experienced practitioners to raise their hands. He wanted the experienced practitioners to have a demonstration match, so the others could see what it’s like.
Several raised their hands at first, but the very first one the teacher called was bad.
He was a famous athlete. He’d gone to several Kendo tournaments and had won several 1st and 2nd places. He’d even come up in the discussions from time to time. That was actually the reason why the teacher called out to him.
He walked to the front like it was a given, then the teacher started looking for someone to have a match with him.
Unfortunately, no one wanted to answer the call. They probably thought they couldn’t win and didn’t want to lose in front of the class, so in the end, only my hand was left raised.
“So, that’s how you got into a match with him…” [Elia]
To keep things brief, I easily won.
It seemed he wanted to end things quickly, so he attacked right from the bat, but I hit him in the forearm with the bamboo sword and ended the match in my favor instead. No more than 2 seconds after the match had started, he was crouching on the ground in pain.
“Although we were wearing armor, his wrist was broken. The match and the class ended there, and since then, no one wanted to be involved with me. Rumors even spread that I’d injured him intentionally.” [Ryouma]
In fact, the person himself insisted just that on the very next day. He said I laughed while he was crouching.
I never intended to do that, though. If anything, I was shocked, but we were both wearing our headgear at the time, so our classmates couldn’t see our expression.
If the truth is vague, then people would just choose whoever they trust more.
“And because he was popular, I didn’t stand a chance. Well, he avoided me since then, though, so it was as if nothing had really happened. For some reason, hearing myself say that makes me kind of sad.” [Ryouma]
“U-Umm… You don’t have to feel so down… Umm…” [Elia]
Before I knew it I was the one being comforted.
Our roles had completely reversed.