“W-……Well, you never know what is going to happen. It may all come down to whatever the assignment is.”
“Hmph. You’re as easygoing as my sister aren’t you? Well, whatever. Try your hardest.”
Peony left us with those words and a glass of sake in one hand. I’m surprised she’s of age when she looks like that.
“I’m sorry Lily-chan. Peony is acting a little conceited since her provisional ranking was a bit high.”
I was so embarrassed from thinking I could possibly have been number one that I couldn’t have bothered to care how other people were ranked.
“She’s third place. Amazing isn’t it? Completely different from me.”
The first provisional ranking is based on a person’s background and appearance rather than ability–the only kind of thing you can see from a piece of paper. I must say, I am surprised to learn there were that many lolicons in this country. Putting that aside, assuming everything goes smoothly, she is in a great position to take the title of Hero. It’d be hard for me to tell her not to get carried away.
“It really is amazing. Even so, we shouldn’t give up just yet.”
“That’s right! To begin, let us eat all that we can!”
With a large smile Melia scarfed down the mound of meat on her plate before leaving to grab even more meat. Everyone else seems to be concerned about their appearances right now, so they are sticking to the vegetables. It’s like the meat table was crafted for Melia alone at this point.
Wondering if someone wanted to throw more sarcasm my way, I turned around to find someone with hair as black as charcoal. Her face didn’t look like she was from around here. Her family must have come from the east. It took a second for me to realize I was staring since I was meeting someone with a face I wasn’t used to seeing.
“Lily. Lily Ruhuna.”
The black-haired beauty raised her voice with a laugh.
“I know. What a disaster. Everyone saw you have to sit back down after thinking they called your name first.”
Is she here to make fun of me after all? Her carefree smile didn’t make it feel quite as bad as the others.
“Are you here to tease me?”
“Ah, not at all. I wouldn’t do something like that. I am Ran Longines. Just Ran is fine. I have a legacy occupation too, so I wanted to talk to someone in the same position.”
Meaning she is someone who doesn’t use magic, or can’t use it. Heath seems to have created a new buzzword.
“Really? It’s good to make your acquaintance.”
“Yeah, nice to meet you too. Well, there’ll be times where we have to all gather together, so I thought I should try to remember people’s names and faces.”
Nobility and commoners. Just like how we’re separated now, depending on the task, there might be times when people will be divided between those who can do magic and those who can’t. Going a step forward, there’s a possibility that both conditions will work in tandem to split the candidates into four groups.
“Phew….I’m back. Ah! Um…..Ren-san……right?”
Melia came back with a heaping pile of meat. But when she called her Ren, Ran’s expression turned sour. Is she someone who is strict over people making mistakes?
“Ren is that one over there. I am Ran. We might have similar names, but we are completely different people. Please don’t forget it.”
Ran pointed to another eastern looking woman who was in the aristocratic zone. Ran is with the commoners while Ren is with the nobles, so I wouldn’t think they’re related. Still, I can’t help but feel like something dangerous is going to happen between these two.
“This tastes so good! I feel like an idiot for being stubborn and only eating vegetables!”
Ran regained her cheer after picking some meat off Melia’s plate with her fingers. I much prefer this loose reaction. Since they’ve prepared us such good food, I would rather use my mouth for eating than talking.
Ran’s smile returned quickly enough, so she doesn’t seem like the type to take things to heart. I’m not good with sticklers, but thankfully it looks like I will be able to get along with Ran.
I don’t have the courage to gobble up food by myself like Melia, but it won’t be embarrassing if the three of us are together. Just as I was about to go at the food in earnest though, I heard Heath announce that Lily Ruhuna would give a speech on behalf of the candidates.
Lily Ruhuna immediately tested the loudspeakers after, and her voiced echoed around the hall.
“Thank you for all your hard work today. First off, a toast. To the friends who will share our joys and sorrows throughout these rankings.”
Everyone followed suit and raised their cups up towards Lily Ruhuna.
“Of the fifty of us gathered here…..excuse me. Of the fifty-one of us gathered here, only four will be left in the end. In other words, the remaining 47 of us will be made to leave here. But whatever our ultimate goals are, at this moment, we are all like-minded comrades gathered together. This mutually beneficial connection will remain with us long after the audition has come to an end.”
Nobles and commoners. Whatever our status, most of those gathered here are people who wish to change their lives for one reason or another. Even if you drop out here, there is a possibility that a merchant from the audience will be willing to become your patron. In fact, I heard that many of the candidats who dropped out in the first and second rounds of past years had set up guilds of a certain size or were recruited by guilds with preferable treatment.
So she’s trying to say that it is important to not run out of those kinds of connections in the future. If anything, I feel like it’s a warning to the commoners.
“I don’t like long speeches, so I will finish with this. All I wanted to convey was that whether you are noble, commoner, or mage, drawing those kinds of lines here are pointless.”
Despite just saying she doesn’t like long speeches, her words were strong enough to carry her forward.
“As a first step in expanding communication, I would like to act as a representative for those on the right side of the room. As for the group gathered on the left side…..Lily Ruhuna-san, could I ask for your assistance?”
I was thrown off since my name suddenly came up out of nowhere. The people nearby all turned their eyes on me, and most of them have a creepy grin on their faces. I understand what Lily Ruhuna is trying to say, but it sounds too idealistic.
She is the daughter of a minister and ranked number one in this audition–even if it is just a provisional rank–so it must feel like a fun little trip coming to the commoner’s side. Meanwhile I’m about to be thrown to the wolves, forced to face down noble society without the weapon known as upper class etiquette.
I can’t tell what Lily Ruhuna is actually thinking, but I decided to play along anyway. If I was discouraged by something like this, becoming a hero would be a pipe dream. Staying with the commoners isn’t any better anways, so not much will change. Crossing the invisible line , I approached the circle of noble daughters gathered together. There was no sarcasm like in the commoner’s section, and everyone naturally moved to create a gap big enough for one person to enter.
However, I hear those in the upper class never openly voice what they’re really thinking. As soon as I entered the circle, the words that came from those gentle smiles shocked me.
“Commoner Lily-san. Do you know about aristocratic dances? Would you be able to share a dance with me?”
One thought on “Hero Audition Ch. 5”
oof. adding commoner as a prefix to differentiate them