If the regular encounter spot of the ones with combat talents was the training room, the encounter spot of the ones with magical talents was the magic lab. Although it was possible to set up a research area in one’s private rooms, this facility was obviously better equipped.
There were only two people with magical talents in Class A, so both of them used this place regularly. No one else but those two came into this room, so there were a lot of things that seemed like personal items scattered around the place.
No one knew what of these things were actually important, so this place wouldn’t get cleaned unless they requested it.
Therefore, this place was a mess.
“You sure party in here quite a bit, huh?”
I had no idea why there were plates that seemed like they were eaten from piled on one side. Why were there clothes scattered everywhere as well? I sat down on a sofa located next to a really messy table.
Adelia also sat down across from me, with her face pale.
“Hey, ask someone to clean up here. Seriously. What’s all this? Is it so hard to ask someone, when you don’t even try cleaning this shit up yourself?”
“Uhm…. okay….”Looking like a kid being scolded for something, Adelia lowered her head and answered in a teeny tiny voice. I didn’t know a lot about these pieces of research equipment, but I was pretty sure this mess wasn’t necessary to use them.
“By the way, do you think she’ll take a leave of absence?”
“I think so….”
Adelia muttered in a sullen voice. Harriet and Adelia were in the same major, so they probably were pretty close. Harriet originally despised the lower class and had a strong sense of superiority, so she really hated commoners. But Adelia was a commoner. It looked like even Harriet couldn’t stand being all alone, so she treated her well as an exception. That was how it ended up.
“What will you do if she quits?”
“I don’t know…. I wouldn’t want her to do that….”
It seemed that Adelia didn’t like that Harriet would take a leave of absence from school. As I was in front of her, she kept wiggling her hands and feet like a small animal.
It was true that I was putting her on the spot here, but this was really uncomfortable. It felt like I was harassing her.
Anyway, Adelia hated the idea of Harriet leaving Temple.
“Then wouldn’t it be good to try to convince her to stay here?”
It sure would be nice if she did the work for me. At my words, Adelia raised her head and looked at me.
She seemed astonished.
“H, how could I….? Harriet is a very, very powerful noble, how could I ask something like that of her…?”
Since both of them were still part of Temple, Adelia was able to be friendly with Harriet, but she would probably have a hard time communicating with her. The gap of their social status was very large, so Adelia was probably always thinking about what she could and couldn’t say to her, or if she was even allowed to be friendly with a girl like Harriet.
“Fricking hell. If you wanna do something, do it. Why do you have to put so much thought into that?”
First of all, students were to follow the principle of equality inside of Temple, meaning their status was not to be mentioned. Of course, there were people like me who took it literally as is, and there were people like Mayarton, who abused this system, however, there were also a lot of people who couldn’t let go of their status.
Most of them were royals and nobles, but there were also a lot of commoners with that problem. Commoners like Adelia. At my words, her eyes shook.
“I, I can’t…. I’m too scared….”
Adelia didn’t seem to understand me, who was casually bullying all the kids.
“Who am I to say something against the Grand Duke of Saint-Owan’s decision…?”
She felt like she didn’t deserve to say anything about this matter. Rather, she seemed to think that saying something would be rude towards Harriet as well as disrespectful towards her father, the Grand Duke of Saint-Owan.
Woah. That was bringing negative thinking to a new level. Some of the kids in Class A were so self-confident that I could hurl, but someone with such low self-esteem also was a pain in the ass, albeit for slightly different reasons.
“Jeez, someone like you would end up suffering through hardship for her entire life.”
“Wh, why are you saying something like that to me….”
Adelia, who seemed quite restless, whined slightly to my harsh words and quickly covered her mouth in surprise. She thought I’d get angry because she talked back to me.
If Harriet was an idiot, then she would be a scaredy-cat.
A cute little scaredy-cat.
Harriet was difficult to deal with for her because she was an aristocrat, and she was afraid of me because I was a bully even though I was a commoner, same as her.
She was someone who was scared easily like that. Adelia’s eyes shook slightly again before she asked me in a quiet voice.
“B, but you…. You also don’t want Harriet to take a leave of absence?”
“Yeah, I don’t.”
Her eyes widened at my simple answer. That reaction had a lot of meaning behind it.
Weren’t you guys on bad terms?
I thought you would like it if Harriet took the semester off.
Did that mean….
Do you like her?
Oh, so that was why you’ve been harrassing Harriet up until now….
This was the first time I held a conversation with this kid, but I could read her mind just by looking at her eyes.
“Adelia? Here you a….”
Harriet opened the bulky door to the magic lab and entered. When she saw me she immediately froze up.
Harriet’s face turned pale as she saw me placed in front of Adelia, talking with her.
“Y, you…. W, why. Why…. are you here?”
“What? Is there a reason why I shouldn’t be here?”
Was there some sort of rule that only magic majors could enter the magic lab? Harriet’s face turned even paler, then it suddenly started to grow redder and redder.
She was staring at me and this messy lab alternately.
In fact, there weren’t only dirty plates scattered about, but also various pieces of clothes.
These guys totally used this shared space as a two-person studio. It probably felt like some guy just entered their room.
She looked like the person she least wanted to see this just randomly strolled in here.
“Get. G, get ooooooooooooooooooout!”
Soon, that girl let out a shout that was close to a scream.
Of course, I wouldn’t get out of here.
No way in hell.
“No, it’s not like you’re paying rent for this place or something, so you can’t just tell me to leave, you know?”
“Get out! Get out! Get out! Hurry and get out!”
She turned so red that one might mistake her for a tomato, then she grabbed my arm and tried to drag me away. Look at that kid, who was so afraid of me even touching her cheeks, grabbing me directly like that.
“Hey man, you’re wearing out my clothes! Do you have any idea how much these cost?”
They were probably really cheap, right?
It wasn’t anything high quality, but they were still the casual clothes Eleris bought for me!
“Hey, did I curse at you or was I mean? What the hell is wrong with you?”
“Aaaaaaaaaarg! Ag! Arg!”
Harriet, who repeated “Get out” like some broken record, eventually managed to drag me out of the magic lab.
No, I mean, it wasn’t like this was something you couldn’t show anyone. It’s normal for kids to be a little messy, so why were you doing this?
After some time, she slightly opened the door to the magic lab and only poked her head out. The redness on her face indicated that she still felt quite embarrassed.
“What do you want?”
That girl was asking me with such a vigilant look on her face, as if she was asking me what the hell I was doing in her magic lab.
“I was looking for you.”
Somehow, her face managed to become even redder.
I thought she would shout something like “Why would I even talk to someone like you?!”, but after staying quiet for a bit, she quietly came out of the lab.
“Can’t we talk inside?”
“No! Only over my dead body!”
Harriet screamed. I wasn’t there to steal their research results or something, and I already saw how messy that place was. Nothing would change if I looked at it more than I already did, you know?
Kids are just so….
In the end, I took her to the dining hall. Dinner time was still far away, so there wasn’t anyone in the dining hall.
Surprisingly, I didn’t have to make her follow me at all. She didn’t say much, but she did follow me there quite obediently. We sat down across from each other.
“What is it?”
It was the attitude of someone who graciously decided to listen to whatever bullshit I had to say. She was surprisingly cooperative. Without much further ado, I went straight to the point.
“Are you going to take a leave of absence?”
“……What is it to you? How nice. I don’t have to see your ugly visage for a whole year, you bastard.”
Harriet seemed kind of intimidated. It seemed like she wanted to tell me how nice it would be to live without having to see my face, and that it was none of my business.
“Don’t do it.”
“Don’t take a leave of absence.”
Harriet’s face contorted strangely hearing this request that sounded more like a command.
Her face was growing even redder though. Suddenly, steam seemed to rise from her head, she was even fanning herself.
She looked like she hit her face on a wall.
“Huh! H, huh! W, what…? What?! H, hah! Oh. Yeah, what… What?!”
A, aren’t you making it a bit too obvious?
Then she stared at me with her arms folded after she cooled down her face by fanning it with her hands.
“Why should I listen to you?”
No, I only told you not to take a leave of absence. I didn’t say that because I like you or something. Why are you looking at me with such anticipation? If I say it’s because I like you, you’d just go “Hmph! But of course, it is such a great honor to talk to someone as angelic as me after all!”. I could clearly see that she was ready to say these types of things.
“Well….I don’t really know what you’re imagining right now, but wouldn’t this mean that you can only return to school next year if you take a leave of absence?”
Harriet’s expression hardened when she heard my words.
It seemed like she had an idea what I was talking about. I smiled as I looked at Harriet.
“Then you’d become my junior. Are you fine with that?”
“So, something like that won’t ha, ha, happen! First-graders are just first-graders!”
Hey, she seemed hella worried about that. Even if I always teased her by calling her an idiot, she really wasn’t one.
She must have clearly simulated what would happen after she came back from her one-year absence.
She was obviously shivering in fear of what Reinhardt, who loved to torment her, would do.
“Next year, it will be my turn to educate our cute juniors, you know? Do you think you can afford that?”
“Nonsense! You said you didn’t like this stuff! You said these kinds of traditions were bad!”
So, in the end Harriet got all excited about the stuff I babbled during the duel.
“I don’t really like being on the receiving end of it, but maybe I’ll enjoy being on the other side though?”
Harriet’s mouth gaped wide open as I displayed my crazy hypocrisy.
“You’re the worst! You’re actually crazy!”
“Let’s see, how about 100 push-ups followed by goosesteps, fifty rounds around the training field.”
Harriet began to tremble and her face turned red again.
It was so funny seeing her immediately react to my teasing compared to Ellen, who didn’t have much of a reaction to most things.
“So if you don’t want to be teased to death by me as your senior, wouldn’t it be better not to take a leave of absence?”
“Yooou! This! You! You really! Really…. Really….”
Eventually, Harriet started to tremble.
…You see this shit?Following this narrative, I knew what would happen next.
“Uuuuuuurg! You… You bad apple…. You garbage person…. Sob, sob!”
Harriet suddenly burst into tears.
“I don’t want to take off a semester either! I really don’t want to…. Sob, sob! Booohooohoo! I’d rather die than become the junior of a beggar like you! I’ll never go bahaahack to Temple!”
Even while we were classmates, she seemed to want to quit Temple just by imagining that I’d become her senior.
I got to know one thing though.
Harriet de Saint-Owan had no intention of taking a leave of absence from Temple.
Adelia was right.
Judging by both of their words, her parents, the Grand Duke of Saint-Owan to be precise, were forcing her.