At first, I obviously didn’t want to stand out much, but that had become a thing of the past. I’ve already caused too many incidents, to just get rid of this attention.
Yeah, well, it would work out somehow. It was true that the looks my classmates gave me changed after I fought with the seniors. Of course, it wasn’t even close to goodwill.
I mean, the fact that I was still a wild animal in their eyes didn’t change. I just told those guys that they should come back when the Prince is around after all.
I somehow got into the position of a madman who was a bit better than they expected, I guess?
“…You sold my name?”
I told Bertus, who returned to the dormitory on Sunday, the truth. I thought it would be better if I told him with my own mouth rather than him, finding out in a different way later. I talked to Bertus on the terrace from last time. There were few people around so it was easy to have a good talk.
Bertus seemed speechless when he heard that I sold his name and forced our seniors to step down.
“I knew there was such a tradition in the Royal Class, but when I was wondering why they didn’t come, they just looked at me…”
Bertus didn’t have to pretend to be friendly or talk nicely in front of me.
Bertus knew that there were such traditions, but he seemed to have been more curious as to why they hadn’t come.
“So, what if the seniors come on Monday? Knowing what you told me just now, wouldn’t it be you who made me lie down rather than the seniors?”
Bertus smiled insidiously, asking me with his eyes if I wanted to die.
“There’s a very high probability that they won’t come, but even if they do, it would be quite the funny sight.”
“I mean, whether you do it or not, wouldn’t they become quite restless?”
It would be funny if he did end up doing it, but even funnier if he didn’t. They’d think things like: “Do we beat up the Prince now?”. And even if he did lay down on his stomach, the guy who ordered would probably die from a heart attack. No matter how simple the system of Temple was, with the only type of status being senior and junior, the Imperial Prince and Princess were the second most noble aristocrats of this world as the Imperial authority was piercing the skies now.
Reality was very different from rules.
The son of a great noble could be worked with, but the Imperial Prince was just too high up in class.
Bertus was smiling at the bastard who dared to sell his name.
“Fine, but still, selling the name of the Imperial Prince is a serious crime. You didn’t refer to your classmate Bertus, but to Prince Bertus de Gardias. You obviously didn’t refer to me as a friend, now did you?”
“I suppose that is what I did?”
He was right though, as I didn’t refer to him as my friend Bertus, but as the Prince. Was this guy mad?
Should I use the ring to run away?
“Usually, it would make sense to kill your whole family for that sin. But I don’t want to do that. You’ve used me once, so wouldn’t it be fair if I got to use you once as well?”
Would there even be anything I could do for him? In any case, Bertus did offer me a rather fair deal. Speaking the Prince’s name was certainly possible within the walls of Temple, but it would be a rather shocking thing to do on the outside.
“I know you take some classes with my half-sister.”
He probably meant Charlotte.
“It’s nothing much I’m asking of you. Just let me know if you notice anything unusual.”
I should keep an eye on Charlotte and report to him if I see anything unusual. He didn’t want me to be friends with him or do anything behind the scenes.
But in the end, wasn’t I gradually becoming Bertus’ pawn?
It felt rather annoying.
There was nothing special about it. We didn’t talk much in the first place. In my current state I didn’t have any leverage at all.
He didn’t seem to care much about me. Did he even know who I really was?
“And, uhm, get along with the other kids.”
Bertus sighed, pretending to be angry.
“By my standard, I’m trying to get along quite well here though? What. Didn’t I save the kids from being harassed today, in a way?”
At my absurd remark, Bertus burst out laughing.
“I don’t think it’s considered nice to call Princess Saint-Owan an idiot though?”
Did she whine to you about that?
It wasn’t really a secret that Bertus and I were speaking to each other. As a result, the way my classmates looked at me became quite strange.
I didn’t think we’d ever get along, but we did talk to each other for a bit, and from a distance, it would seem that we were quite friendly with each other.
I revealed myself to be a beggar, but Bertus didn’t seem to be particularly mad with me, who actually dared to sell his name.
My classmates didn’t seem to quite understand this.
Erich seemed to have contemplated for a while and then ran to Bertus from across the terrace.
“Yes, do you have something to say to me?”
“B, be careful of that guy….”
“Aah, Reinhardt? Don’t worry. He’s just a bit clumsy.”
Well, no matter how one looked at it, even I would think that I wasn’t like that just because I was a little clumsy.
It looked like he had that nonsensical thought that I might end up harming the Prince because I was just some lowly bastard. I couldn’t hear them that well as they were getting further away from me.
Come to think of it, I was definitely more useful than Erich.
At the moment, at least.
That image that the Prince seemed to be closer to me than the other kids was spreading around, mystifying the other kids.
About my job?
I also didn’t know what I was going to do about it.
Bertus definitely was the type of person that would treat me well if I had proven myself to be useful.
Even if I decided to leave after I made my profit later, it would be better to cooperate with Bertus for now. Unless he asked me to do something bad to Charlotte.
As I was leaving the lobby and heading towards the dormitory, I saw Harriet sitting at a table, drinking tea and reading a book.
When she made eye contact with me she frowned.
She turned her head sharply with a “Hmpf!” as soon as she saw me. What’s with that? She did it so obviously. Wasn’t this rather cute?
What the hell was she supposed to be? A noble high school girl?
Hmpf! She said. When was that fashionable again?
Her face turned red again, while I just shrugged.
“I was just saying a random word. What? Is your name Idiot?”
What’s this? Had she already gotten used to getting called “Idiot”? Would she turn her head now every time someone said “Idiot”?
“You said, you were smart, right? This isn’t good, you know?”
She sprang up and strode towards me.
“You just keep provoking me, so that I’ll bring up my identity and when I do you’d just run to the teacher to tell on me so that I get punished! Huh!”
It seemed like she had a pretty vivid imagination. She seemed to think that I would go around provoking people so that they’d say something like: “How dare you, I’m the son of XXX”, ultimately violating the school rules.
Well, she might think that I’d do that, because I was supposed to be a nut job.
“No, I haven’t really thought of doing that….”
“Then why are you doing this to me?! I’m not an idiot! I’m not right? So why are you doing this, you bastard?!”
“No, well. The payout is just too great. All kinds of reactions come out with every single word I say. Wouldn’t you do this as well?”
“What? Pay…. Pay, what?”
With every single word I told her all kinds of dramatic reactions came out, so I really just did this because it was fun. I walked past her who was looking to say something with a flushed red head.
“Wha, what? What did you say…?”
“You’re cute, you’re a genius but also silly and childish. It’s to my taste. I like that you’re so childish. That’s it.”
“What…. What do you mean?”
She seemed confused whether I complimented or insulted her.
It was so much fun teasing a beautiful noble young lady.
‘Huh, how am I supposed to react to this? Is this for real? This can’t be happening’
The look on her face as she was trying to make sense of the situation, but just couldn’t come to terms with it was really funny.
I giggled to myself as I went back to the dorm.
Monday’s common classes. There were a lot of things going on, on Monday.
The second-year senior whom I caused a lot of trouble for came to the classroom. He didn’t come alone. He arrived with the other seniors he was with last time. Four people, with the exception of Adriana, the calm senior, appeared.
That little brat from last time stared at me as if she was going to eat me. It was also true that the atmosphere in the classroom suddenly froze over with the appearance of the seniors.
He suddenly threw something at me before I could say anything.
It fell on my desk, not my face or anywhere else.
I knew what this was.
“You have seriously defamed me, Art de Gartis, the heir to the Gartis family.”
He didn’t look as excited as he did before.
“Therefore, I challenge you to a duel to restore my damaged honor.”
“Yes, a duel.”
What kind of horse shit was this?
“Choose a time and place. There, observers will overlook our duel.”
Everyone reacted with disbelief when he applied for a duel against his own junior.
“So, let me get this straight. You’re applying for a duel, because your junior, whom you tried to beat up, grabbed you down there making you scream, leading to you feeling embarrassed?”
At those words, everyone who witnessed this scene tried to hold back their laughter. The seniors looked around and told everyone not to laugh, but I could see the corners of their mouths’ trembling.
It was funny, regardless on which side one stood.
“That was foul! Bad! Pervert!”
Little Redina only pointed at me and shouted.
“You look like a mess. You have to use everything you can, you know? Should I’ve just quietly gotten beat up? Is that it? If I can break your head, I’ll break your head and if I can grab onto something, I sure as hell will grab it. Is that wrong? Should the weak only get beat up? Huh?”
“How longwinded. If you intend to refuse the duel and embrace that dishonor, then do it. That would mean that you’re a just a man of such caliber. That’s all. Admit that you would only be able to win a fight through dirty methods.”
Art de Gartis seemed unmoved by my words. I knew, because he beat me up the other day. If I fought that guy, I’d definitely get crushed. No, not only crushed, I would probably get seriously injured.
I did include some duel scenes. Duels within the Temple can take place on the premise that the students do not use real swords.
One might get hurt badly.
However, one won’t die.
“Yes, I accept.”
Maybe because they didn’t expect me to accept it, not only the person who applied for the duel, but also the other seniors and my classmates seemed to be astonished.
“Keep in mind, I won’t fall for the same dirty trick as last time.”
I required extreme psychological pressure.
That was the reason why I accepted it even though I knew it would be too much for me.
I didn’t know if that duel would do it for me, but I had to try.