“Hey, This Business With Conrad is……I Have Heard Nothing!”
The first lesson the next day was an uncomfortable one for Lucy, and the fact that the seats in front of her, behind her, to her left, and to her right were all empty at the same time caused her to suspect that her classmates were rejecting her. She had to admit, the surrounding people talking in low voices and whispering to each other also helped to clue her in. Everyone was really easy to understand, so much so that Lucy didn’t feel like getting angry about it or saying anything to them.
Glancing around, she could see the figure of Ortensia sitting a few seats away who was dignifiedly ignoring her surroundings and waiting for class to begin. Her facial expression was exactly that of a high-born lady, and there were many surrounding students who were taking advantage of this time to take in her presence.
“I do not wish others to mistake us for friends, so could you not sit near me?”
Recalling what had been said so quickly earlier, Lucy sighed.
Even though I brewed the coffee first thing in the morning…..in spite of the fact that Lucy had just quietly mumbled this under her breath, Ortensia still sat up just a little bit straighter than she had before, turning her shoulders to look back behind her, only for her to turn back around in a huff.—Incidentally, this morning Lucy had brewed a cup of coffee just as she had been told with a cup of milk and a teaspoon of coffee, but she made sure to add in even more sugar than she had done last time. Even so, this morning Ortensia took a sip of it when Lucy handed it over and said, “Bitter,” with a displeased look on her face.—
What should I do……magic, coffee, and now even coffee as well.
Lucy bemoaned her own seeming inability to get anything right right as the teacher walked in as if he had timed it.
The lesson itself was suitable for the first day, and it amounted to little more than greetings and an explanation of the curriculum.
The whole thing took up about two hours. After that the school entered into a break period which Lucy decided to use by taking a walk around to sightsee. Eventually, she found a nice looking bench in one corner of the courtyard. After taking a seat, she pulled out her lunch box from her bag and started eating some sandwiches she had prepared that morning.
Apparently the incident during the magical power measurements had spread all the way through the school in a day, so not a single person who saw her ever called out or said a word to her. When it comes to people Lucy would invite herself to eat with her, there was only Ortensia who was the way she is, so there was no other choice than to properly eat alone.
Fortunately Lucy wasn’t the type of person to feel lonely eating a single meal by herself. While enjoying the food she made, Lucy took a look around at her surroundings, enjoying the nice breeze blowing through, and not minding the people who kept quickly looking away whenever they met their gazes with hers.
“You’re a celebrity Lucy.”
“Yes thanks to you.”
From behind her, Lucy heard someone talking overhead with a laugh, but she refused to turn around.
Instead, “Next, excuse me,” the person sat down next to her without waiting for an invitation. Lucy gave the man a sideways glance before turning her attention back to her sandwich again.
“This is the first time I’ve lost in priority order to a sandwich.”
“It’s alright, dessert is the ultimate winner. By the way Claudio, what about your lunch?”
“Conrad is off buying it now. While he is doing that, he had me catch Lucy while I waited and have you share yours in the meantime.”
“…..What a wonderful combination.”
Lucy sighed in amazement at Claudio’s shameless declaration.
Of course Lucy understood that he was doing this because he was probably worried about her. ……She also understood what it usually meant when a boy said they ‘caught’ a girl her age, but judging from the way he was laughing, she decided that telling him to mind his words would be pointless. So, Lucy instead obediently split her sandwich in half.
Although Lucy could feel a number of jealous gazes bore into her when she started eating with Claudio, it never affected the taste of the sandwich. Rather, all of the whispering and low voices purveying around her had silenced with his arrival. For this alone she was appreciative of his presence.
“Thanks to him, I can make it to my second sandwich in peace,” were Lucy’s thoughts.
“My bad Claudio, I made you wait.”
Conrad was waving his hand as he walked up to the bench.
And walking next to him, was the figure of Ortensia with cheeks dyed slightly red……
“After I bought the lunch and started looking for you and Lucy, I ran into Lady Ortensia. Because she said she had promised to eat with Lucy, we decided to look for you together.”
Wondering whatever he could be talking about, Lucy’s gaze turned onto her roommate, but she was unable to make eye contact as Ortensia immediately looked away.
Such a sight of Lucy staring at Ortensia and Ortensia not daring to meet her gaze could be seen on the bench. Meanwhile Claudio and Conrad had taken a seat on a cloth laid out on the ground opposite the girls and were getting ready to dig in their lunch boxes.
Lucy tried to give up her seat so that a member of the royal family did not have to sit on the ground, but the person in question beat her back by lightly patting her head and saying with a gentle smile, “It’d make me sad if I made a girl sit on the ground while I sat on the bench.” Moreover, after swiping an apple out of her lunch box and saying that this would make them even, there was nothing else that Lucy could do.
“How sly,” Lucy mumbled to herself while waving a white flag inside her heart.—She would try and thank him, but he ended up stopping her with a small laugh and another pat on her head, so she finally obediently sat back onto the bench.—
“The two of you will end up staring at your textbooks for awhile now. It’ll be about two months before you start to use magic. You’re going to get sleepy in class, so be sure to get plenty of rest beforehand.”
“Claudio, you have no right to say that. You sleep during class more than anyone else I know. Yet you get perfect scores on every test……..you make the rest of us feel stupid for attending class seriously.”
Conrad started glaring at Claudio, but in response, “You’re being prejudiced. You ordinary people just need to put in a little more effort,” Claudio countered with a little joke. It was the sort of exchange you only see between close friends, and Lucy and Ortensia both found themselves unexpectedly smiling.
Given the amount of magical power Conrad has, even if they are fellow students inside Liztena Magic Academy, it would not originally be reasonable for him to take this kind of attitude with a royal like Claudio. In the first place, no matter how high of nobility you are, you should never be able to address the prince without using any honorifics.¹
Nevertheless the two of them were able to insult and laugh at each other carefreely, and sometimes they even smacked each other on the shoulders or upside the head. It was funny to watch, and Lucy promised to forgive Conrad after Claudio started begging her to forgive his rude friend. —Ortensia on the other hand was wearing her heart on her sleeve by suddenly blurting out how Conrad was the most loyal person she knew when he called out a joke to her.—
“Lucy seems like the type who’d sleep in class. I can actually imagine you bringing a pillow with you to class and putting on an eyemask right when class starts.”
“Pardon me Claudio, but I do stay awake properly……..”
“Even if your eyes are open, that doesn’t necessarily mean you hear the story.”
“So the type who’s just bad at it rather than sleepy.”
While the two of them were talking about that, Conrad gave an overexaggerated sigh as if he was overwhelmed by what he was hearing.
“Lady Ortensia, it’s tough for us with roommates that need to be taken care of.”
“Mi~!? Y-yes……..truly, we are troubled.”
“Please let me know if anything happens. It’s good having someone at your back if you ever need to beat up your roommate.”
Yes, Ortensia accompanies her usual sound with a confident nod.
Then as the four continued to talk about the differences between first year and second year classes along with certain events the academy holds, the break quickly came to an end, and it was time for them all to stand up.—Only Lucy pierced her fork to the ground and muttered, “It’s already that time?” while watching the other three get up. She had unfortunately forgotten her watch.—
“This is a nice place to relax. I’ll be sure to bring a proper seat here tomorrow.”
Conrad and Claudio suddenly started talking about the future and agreed on a plan. They talked about heading over to the store and grabbing one, but if they did, then Lucy was sure that the employees would agree thinking they were bringing them back to their classes rather than for an outside picnic.
But apparently it was decided they would be having lunch there tomorrow as well, and they needed the seats so that they did not have to sit on the ground while Lucy and Ortensia continued to rest on the bench.
With an unexpected flow it was decided that tomorrow, and most likely the days afterwards as well, they would be eating together, but Lucy had no reason to decline their plan. Meanwhile Ortensia was standing next to her checking herself over to make sure she wasn’t dreaming.
From there each of them started on their way back to their classrooms, Claudio waving his hand, “Well then, good night Lucy,” as he talked about himself, and Conrad walking behind him with an amazed expression on his face, “Lady Ortensia, you can’t step on her feet if it’s under a desk,” and throwing out some advice.
The two girls’ respective replies were,
“Good night, Claudio.”
as they turned around and left themselves.
“By the way, I think I forgot when I made the promise to eat lunch together.”
Lucy said as she took a seat in the classroom. Ortensia was sitting next to her, and having already finished her preparations for class, was staring towards the front of the room dutifully waiting for class to begin.
However, she now looked over and gave Lucy a dirty look before immediately turning back to the front without anyone else noticing. The facial expression she wore was clearly saying, “Don’t say stupid things,” to which Lucy responded with a deliberately over-the-top sigh.
“I thought you looked pathetic eating all by yourself, so I decided to join you out of pity. You should be thanking me.”
“Even though you came attached to Conrad.”
“That is quite wrong you know. But if you are going to be like that, then I shall no longer eat with you from tomorrow on.”
“Alright, I’ll be eating on the bench again tomorrow.”
“What, you are just a commoner! What a cheeky………….Mi~ Miiiii~!”
“I understand, I humbly apologize.”
Saying too much, Lucy apologized, to which Ortensia replied with one last, “Mi~” as if to say the matter was closed.
Just how many meanings can one sound hold, was something Lucy held herself back from asking. She shrugged her shoulders once more as if things just couldn’t be helped, right as the teacher walked into the room as if on cue.
1. They bring up honorifics here, but it’s kind of funny because besides the fact that Lucy uses -san for Claudio and Conrad uses -ojo for Ortensia, they’re pretty much never used.