Section 11: As a Friend
The area around the school gate becomes crowded with carriages when it is time for school to let out.
The time a student is let out depends entirely on their grade and what class they’re in, yet despite this staggered release schedule, the fact remains that all of these girls are noble daughters. That means that all of them have carriages coming by to pick them up, so the area ends up filled up no matter what.
[Litzreich]: “You all…….have you mistaken my room for some kind of hang-out?”
And that’s why we’re killing some time in Litzreich’s private lab. Everyone came to pick me up today, so we decided to wait here until our carriage could break through the traffic jam.
[Toslin]: “It’s not like that. Our carriage wasn’t going anywhere, so we had to wait somewhere, and I wanted to check up on my sword. How is it faring?”
Our gazes turned towards a lab table in one corner of the room. Lying on top of it was Toslin’s beloved sword.
Five days ago Toslin went around town with Carol trying to find a blacksmith who could repair her broken sword.
However, when they saw how the sword had been cleanly broken through, every single blacksmith she asked told her it would be better to just buy a new one.
[Litzreich]: “As you can see, it’s in the middle of being joined back together. Don’t touch it though? Unless you want the metal to fuse together with your skin.”
[Carol]: “Hold on what? Scary…….”
Litzreich’s warning came just in time for Carol to immediately draw her finger back before she touched the metal.
[Toslin]: “I left it to you because you told me you could fix it, but is this really going to fix it?”
[Litzreich]: “Of course it will. Who do you think I am?”
[Lapris]: “A pervert trying to get close to Iris?”
Lapris didn’t miss a beat in trying to cut down Litzreich.
[Litzreich]: “Heheheh. That is just one of my many faces.”
[Iris]: “So you aren’t going to deny the pervert part then?”
While Toslin drank her tea, Litzreich slipped on her lab coat while approaching the sword.
[Litzreich]: “This sword is really wonderful though. It was used well and broke well. It lived well as a sword and died a fitting death.”
[Carol]: “Is it made of some kind of special material? Or is it some kind of magic weapon like my dagger?”
Now that I think about it, wasn’t this sword handed down across the years in Toslin’s family like her armor was?
[Litzreich]: “No? It’s just an ordinary sword. Actually, the quality of the metal used for it is pretty poor.”
[Toslin]: “Seriously. Just why did my ancestors insist on passing this thing down so religiously over the years?”
[Litzreich]: “Then there’s no point in me fixing it. Connecting the two halves together will make it good for ornamental purposes at best.”
[Toslin]: “Wait, that’s not what you told me before. I asked you to fix it because I’m going to need to use it.”
[Litzreich]: “Now hold on, listen to what I have to say to the end.”
Litzreich calmed Toslin down before picking up a random jewel she had sitting next to her lab table.
[Litzreich]: “I’m not a blacksmith; I’m a a witch who makes magic tools. I have my own way of doing things.”
The room filled with the echo of Litzreich’s joy-filled voice.
Meanwhile I was sitting alone by the window and turned my gaze towards the scenery of the courtyard laying outside.
[Saluena]: “……is something wrong Iris? You’ve been looking a bit off for some time now.”
It was Saluena who walked over and began talking to me. She was carrying a small bundle in her hand. It wasn’t until she took a bite that I realized there were cookies inside.
[Iris]: “Did you get another present?”
After making Rose-san angry over it just the other day, has Saluena been flirting with girls once again?
[Saluena]: “No, they’re something I made myself. I get hungry around this time of day and thought they would make a good snack. Would you like one?”
……is what I was thinking, but to my surprise, she actually made them herself. Now that I think about it, didn’t she spend a lot of time in the kitchen with Sarah? This is probably something she learned.
I gratefully accept one. Oh, is this chamomile? It seems like she mixed in some herbs into the dough giving them a refreshing taste alongside the sweetness.
[Iris]: “They’re delicious.”
Another minute passed with me listening to Litzreich’s explanations while munching on my cookie.
[Saluena]: “So? What’s wrong? You’ve been awfully quiet lately.”
[Iris]: “You really do notice everything Saluena.”
Saluena was the one who noticed the troubles plaguing Rose-san back in Soletta Ritta too. While I do admire her deep perceptiveness, it makes me feel just a bit jealous at the same time.
[Saluena]: “It’s because I’m always watching you.”
Saluena shoved a second cookie into my mouth.
[Saluena]: “But to tell you the truth, I wasn’t the first one to notice.”
Saluena used her fingers to wipe away some crumbs from the corner of my mouth and put them into hers. And then with those same fingers, she pointed behind her. Towards Rose-san who was anxiously sneaking glances my way.
[Saluena]: “Rosa’s been sneaking glances over here this entire time worried because she thought you’ve been acting weird. I told her she should just ask you if something’s wrong, but she said she’d be too embarrassed if it was just her imagination. That’s why I came over instead.”
When our gazes met, Rose-san straightened her back and bent her neck. She then scampered across the room to where we were standing.
[Rose]: “H-Has something happened? Is there anything I can do to help?”
I wanted to pretend like there was nothing wrong at all, but Rose-san’s innocent, dewy eyes made me look away.
[Iris]: “No, well……”
――Three hours ago, something really did happen in the practice labs though.
It was while Lapris and I were chatting away in the corner while practicing various things.
[Grides]: “My, just when I was thinking I wasn’t going to see you anymore, I find you stuffed away in the corner.”
Grides-san, a girl with blonde hair tied up on both sides of her head came over and started talking to me.
[Iris]: “That’s right. I’m a student here after all.”
[Grides]: “……..You mean you intend on staying?”
Grides-san’s smile morphed into an abnormally serious expression.
[Grides]: “I had heard you were absent from school the day after our first magic training class together. I was relieved to hear it because I thought you finally understood your position in life.”
[Iris]: “There was something I had to do that day.”
[Grides]: “Oh, and what would that be? If you are a student here shouldn’t there be nothing more important to you than your studies?”
[Lapris]: “Iris just so happened to be……”
I appreciate you jumping in to defend me, but our investigation into the underground dungeon is supposed to be a secret.
[Lapris]: “Tch…….yeah I know.”
Lapris clicked her tongue and turned away from us. It makes me feel just a bit lonely considering how good it was between us a minute ago.
[Lou]: “Grides-san. W-What is going on?”
Apparently, my regret at having Lapris turn away from me showed on my face because a second later, Lou-chan came to my rescue.
[Grides]: “My, you were……the baron’s daughter.”
[Lou]: “My name is Lu Voux Konfiks. B-But that doesn’t matter……you’re not saying anything strange to Airi-chan, are you?”
[Grides]: “Strange? No, I am simply stating the obvious. The venerable Eleonora Academy is not the kind of place meant for some ordinary commoner who can’t even use magic.”
Lou-chan knit her brows together once she had heard Grides-san’s response.
I’ve been coming to this school for almost a full week now, but this was my first time ever seeing her make a face like that.
[Lou]: “T-That’s not, That’s not something for Grides-san to decide! I think.”
[Grides]: “I wonder? I at the very least know the dreadfulness of magic. If someone thinks this is some pleasurable jaunt, they should vacate the premises right away. If Calvafon-san cannot use magic, she cannot defend herself right? It would be too late to regret her choices after she has already been hurt.”
Grides-san glared down on me while jabbing a finger in my direction.
[Grides]: “This is a world where only real aristocrats should stand. If you understand that then tomorrow…..no, leave here today. The unvarnished truth here is that you are a nuisance.”
The world of nobles is far beyond me. So honestly speaking, I can’t understand why it is she hates me so much.
But I eventually decided that it was okay.
If me being here is making somebody uncomfortable, it’s better to just have me leave quietly.
I can practice my magic even if I’m not here. It’ll be a little inconvenient, but I shouldn’t bother anyone if I were to practice in the middle of the grasslands outside the capital instead.
It’s a bit of a pity since I was able to become friends with Lou-chan, but it’s not like we aren’t going to be able to see each other just because we don’t go to the same school anymore.
Thinking about it, there is no real reason why I have to stay at this school.
[Lou]: “That’s why I’m saying not to decide that on your own!!”
But it was Lou-chan, not me, who took the brunt of Grides-san’s glare.
And she was the one getting angry on my behalf.
[Lou]: “Airi-chan is…..my friend. If you keep talking down to her……I, I, I……I’ll never forgive you!!”
Grides-san stared straight at Lou-chan after being yelled at.
[Grides]: “……Hmph. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. And don’t blame me if you end up hurt by a stray spell.”
But after a moment of mutual glares, Grides-san turned on her heels. She then left us there with her hair and skirt fluttering in the wind.
[Iris]: “……and something like that happened. I made Lou-chan go through a bad time again……”
[Rose]: “…….I see. ……so something like that happened again…….”
[Saluena]: “There is still some time before your peerage is officially conferred upon you. It is only natural that a few people raise their objections until then. Although, you told them you are unable to use any magic?”
[Saluena]: “If so, then half of this is from the seeds you sowed. The only way to resolve this is for you to do something yourself.”
If it was that easy, I wouldn’t be having such a hard time.
I’m sure if I summoned Unicorn or Phoenix in front of Grides-san I would be able to convince her one way or another.
But it wouldn’t feel right. That power is something I received from the Goddess. It’s not something I can just whip out to show off.
(…..that being said, it’s a different story if she’s going to bother Lou-chan…… Maybe I really should drop out…… It’s not like I was originally planning to enroll here anyway…….)
It was when I absentmindedly turned my gaze towards Litzreich again.
My eyes swept past the window and by extension, the courtyard that stretched out from it. For some reason there were a group of students gathering together between the school buildings.
What are they doing when school has already been let out? With that question on my mind, I opened the window.
“There’s going to be a duel!!”
I called out to someone who was running past, and that was the answer I got back.
“Apparently Konfiks-san challenged Montifi-sama to a duel!!”
Duel? Konfiks? Konfiks……it’s not a very common name, so she’s probably talking about Lou-chan right? Which means Montifi is probably referring to……
So Lou-chan and Grides-san are going to have a duel?
[Iris]: “E-Excuse me!! I need to head out for a minute!!”
I did the polite thing and closed Litzreich’s window first, but as soon as that was done, I sped out of the room as fast as my legs could carry me.