While Ryouma was traveling on a carriage, a class was being held in the academy at the imperial capital.
“Let’s begin the class. First—”
The teacher uninterestedly read the contents of the textbook. It was a simple boring class and the students quietly listened. Among the crowd of students was a girl. It was Elialia.
She corrected her posture and watched the teacher on the podium while doing her best to endure the boredom.
When the morning classes ended, she stood up from her chair and went to the magic training area at the corner of the campus. The students were free to use the facility for their own personal training, but it was a rare sight to see anyone use it other than during class hours. In other words, it wasn’t a popular place.
Elialia sat herself on a bench at the corner of that training facility and started eating her packed lunch. When lunch time ended, she started practicing her magic. When afternoon classes end, she would go back to her dorm room.
It has already been one month since she entered school, but this was usually how her days went.
Elia stopped casting magic and sighed.
(It’s only been a month, but I can’t stand how boring it is anymore… I didn’t think the classes would be this boring…)
From the first year to the third year, various foundational and cultural subjects are studied. From the fourth year to the sixth year, the focus shifts onto specialized subjects. And after graduation, each student would enter apprenticeship or training corresponding to the course they wish to take in life.
The subjects Elia were studying were the most basic of basics. Basic history of the country and geography, math, magic, and swordsmanship training mostly meant to build the body. All of these first-year subjects are learned by nobles before entering the school.
Because of that the classes were too simple for Elia and she found no sense of accomplishment even though her grades were good. On top of that, there were nearly 40 students in a class, but there was no one who tried to talk to her. Of course, they weren’t ignoring her or bullying her, it was just that the commoner students and the nobles were too scared of her great magic prowess and her status as the duke’s daughter, so they avoided involving themselves with her more than what was needed.
Elia herself felt like they were avoiding her, so she didn’t bother to try to mingle with them either. Although there were people that she was incompatible with personality-wise, but if she were to try and forcefully mingle with others, even if they were scared, they wouldn’t be able to refuse her. She didn’t want a relationship like that.
As a result, despite having already spent one month in school, she still had no friends. She spent her days at the school passing the boring hours while enduring the loneliness.
“I knew it before enrolling, but… Sigh…” [Elia]
When she sighed for the second time, a voice suddenly called out to her.
“What’s the matter? Ojou-san.” [???]
Elialia didn’t know that a person had come, but before she knew it, there was a girl behind her.
“Oh, my… You’re Count Willdan’s…” [Elia]
When Elia turned around, the person behind her was shocked, but she bowed her head nevertheless.
“Excuse me. I am the oldest daughter of Count Willdan, Michelle. I couldn’t tell it was the daughter of the Jamil family from behind. Please forgive my rudeness.” [Michelle]
She was Michelle Willdan. Although she was the daughter of the count, she had little of the feminity one would expect from a female student. Her hair was cut short, so that it wouldn’t touch her shoulders. For her bottoms, she wore a pair of men’s pants and for her top she wore a shirt for women. Her personal effects focused on practicality rather than looks and she carried with her a plain large black bag. With her androgynous face, it looked like she was trying to disguise herself as a man.
“By all means, you weren’t being rude. Differences in social status are irrelevant here. And I didn’t notice you myself.” [Elialia]
Students of this school, regardless of being commoners or nobles, are required to wear their uniform in order to avoid making them conscious of their difference in status. There were no stipulations on accessories, however.
Because of that nobles intentionally wore golden hair ornaments, bracelets studded with jewels, or other expensive accessory in order to show off their status. The luxury of their accessories was also a way for them to display the wealth of their family.
But Elia hadn’t worn any such accessories. Although that was in the spirit of the school’s ideals, to Michelle, the lack of accessory meant that she was a commoner female student.
“Thank you very much.” [Michelle]
“…Can I call you, Michelle-san?” [Elia]
After saying that, Elia didn’t feel that Michelle was avoiding her. Considering what she was thinking about just now, Elia decided to try and strike up a conversation.
“But of course, ojousama.” [Michelle]
“Please call me Elia. As I’ve said before, social status doesn’t matter here.” [Elia]
As she said that, Michelle smiled again and answered Elia.
“…Fufu. In that case, I’ll call you Elia. I’d also prefer it if we could drop the formalities. It’s exhausting.” [Michelle]
“I don’t mind. I prefer it that way myself.” [Elia]
“I see. By the way, as I was asking earlier, is something the matter?” [Michelle]
“No, I don’t have any problems in particular. It’s just that the classes of this school are a bit…” [Elia]
“Ahh… Yes, I share your sentiments. I myself am just pretending to be taking classes and just doing my best not to get caught up in some weird faction. Because of that I don’t get to talk to people much during break time.” [Michelle]
“Oh, my. You too? I thought for sure you’d be popular…” [Elia]
Michelle laughed again when she heard that.
“Ha ha, that was true at first. There were girls who mistook me for a guy and embraced me, but as soon as I told her that I was just wearing these clothes because they’re convenient and that I wasn’t a man, most of them left. And I’m not that sociable too. It’s troubling, so sometimes I avoid others too.” [Michelle]
“Really? So is that why you’re here?” [Elia]
“Ah, today is different. Today I’m here to experiment with this.”
As Michelle said that, she took out a paper from her bag.