Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
A large building that stood out from the others. When Ain stepped into the school building, which looked like a small castle, he opened his eyes to a new shock as Dill led him there.
“Here is your classroom, Your Highness.”
A large and massive door, perhaps four meters high, stood silently in the place where they had arrived. They had passed through four classrooms so far, but this one was so different from all of them that Ain wondered if they had chosen the wrong door for this one. He can’t help but wonder.
“I feel like the disparity is too great… Is this what it’s like?”
“The Royal Kingsland Academy has five classes per school year, divided into classes according to grade. Classes change only once a year. However, the permission to use each facility is prioritized in the order of class, and the door is part of such a ranking.”
It’s a meritocracy, and that’s what this school is all about.
(The king ─ grandfather ─ runs the school, so it’s strict.)
If it were any other academy, it would be considered a problem to be unequal to the students. The reason it is allowed is that this academy is the highest in Ishtalika… which trains people for the country.
“The number of students is twenty-five each in the fifth and fourth classes. Twenty students in each of the third and second classes. And the first class, to which Ain-sama belongs, has ten students.”
“I’ve heard it’s a small number, but it’s actually very small.”
“Indeed. Then I will come for you later.”
Dill said this with a firm expression, bowed deeply, and left.
(But there are only ten of them… It’s hopeless if there’s no one I can get along with.)
Although he was confident that he could establish friendships with most people, Ain was a human child. He can’t help it if he doesn’t fit in.
“The door… I wonder how to open it.”
There was no doorknob on the huge door, and he didn’t know where to put his hand. But as he stepped closer to the door, he felt a pale light emerge from the ground in the middle of the door, and it opened in two, making a creaking sound of wood.
(Eeh… how can a mere school have this kind of mechanism?)
He was surprised by how the door opened and looked inside the classroom.
(The inside of the classroom is also too spacious and too luxurious…)
The desks and chairs are instantly recognizable as high quality. Even the teaching podium is a carved piece of art that he can’t help but admire. There is only one desk, a semicircular one, which seems to surround the teaching table.
Isn’t this too extravagant a use of a large space? He was tempted to ask Sylvird.
(So, where am I supposed to sit?)
Five students were already sitting down. He couldn’t bring himself to sit in the empty seat in the middle of the room, so after much deliberation, he chose the seat on the far right.
Before he sat down, some people looked at him, but he did not talk to them.
─The time had passed, and in a few minutes, the seats were filled.
“Good morning. It is good to see you all here; it is not good luck to have a vacancy from the first day.”
A man who seemed to be the homeroom teacher’s voice echoed in the classroom as he opened the door and stepped in.
“Actually, I was not the homeroom teacher, but… one of the teachers has resigned, so I will be your homeroom teacher.”
He was wearing good quality slacks and a white shirt with a black gilet on top. He came over with a white coat in his hand, which gave Ain a deep sense of intelligence.
“This class is special. That’s why I won’t ask too much about the class. And I don’t need you to introduce yourselves if you want to, I suggest you do it privately. And remember, the only thing I want from you is quality. Now that that’s settled, you may dismiss yourselves.”
It was the first day of the meeting, and the homeroom teacher was done talking? Ain was taken aback by the shortness of the conversation, but then the homeroom teacher reminded them, “Oops.”
“Oh, no, I still have more to tell you. As for the semi-annual examinations, you must attend them. If you have any unavoidable reasons, please consult with me. And you don’t have to attend class as long as you can show results.”
There was no need to attend classes; as long as they could produce results in the exams, they were free to do as they pleased.
This is too much independence to expect from students who will be eight years old this year.
“If you have any questions, please feel free to ask the teachers. …I’m sorry for being late. My name is Luke. I am mainly in charge of magical engineering and will be your homeroom teacher for a while. That’s all I have to say.”
It was just as Ain thought they were going to start introducing themselves one by one and giving an explanation about the academy. Although Ain was bewildered, he firmly understood that he was supposed to produce results for now.
“Ahaha… that was a great greeting just now.”
Meanwhile, a boy sitting next to him calls out to Ain.
At first glance, the boy was recognizable as different. He’s probably a werewolf, but he’s still cute because of his young face and good-natured personality.
His beast ears are pointed up, and his tail is wagging in a good mood.
“My name is Roland. The subject I’m taking is magical engineering; how about you?”
“I’m a swordsman. I passed the exam and came to this class.”
He continued to tell his name, but Roland closed his mouth at Ain’s reaction.
“…Then, you are the boy who was being talked about!”
Ain wanted to hold his head, as he had too many things in mind when he was told that he was the topic of conversation.
It was because he had injured the examiner.
“…Is it possible that the topic is because I beat the examiner?”
“Yes, yes! The swordsmanship examiner seems to be a man with a reputation for being an adventurer in the past.”
As the surrounding students introduce themselves, Roland raises his voice in excitement.
─Eh, is he the one rumored…?
─Eh, that boy.
Ain shyly brushes his hair and replies in a lowered tone to the voice he hears.
“I just got angry because I was provoked… so it couldn’t be helped if people laughed at me.”
Ain strengthened his awareness of what he had done. He feared that if he lost his temper early in the school year, he would be considered as… a dangerous child.
As if to help him, the classroom door was suddenly opened, and Dill stepped in.
“I’m Dill, a sixth-year student. Excuse me.”
Why did he come already, when they had just parted a few minutes ago? The air in the classroom was buzzing as Ain wondered. The fact that he’s a top student is one thing, but he’s probably famous as the son of Marshal Lloyd.
“Why is His Excellency the Marshal’s son… Oh, and by the way, your name is…”
There’s also the delay.
However, Ain made an excuse in his mind that he just lost the opportunity earlier and answered with a cough.
“Sorry, sorry. Um… My name is…”
If he had only had a few more seconds to introduce himself, he would have finished, but Dill arrived first.
“Your Highness, I forgot that we have a free class system from the first year. I thought I’d show you around now.”
“…So my name is Ain. Nice to meet you.”
He said to Roland, who opened his mouth and blinked repeatedly. Roland’s eyes moved back and forth between Ain and Dill, and his mouth opened and closed in surprise.
“I’m sorry, Roland, but I’m going to get a tour of the school now… That’s right; you can come with me if you want.”
“O-oh… no, sorry, I’m fine. I have a paper to submit to the professor later… Oh, I forgot to bring a pen.”
“Well, you can use this one, and you can return it next time. See you later!”
As soon as he handed Roland the pen he had in his chest, Ain left the classroom with Dill. Roland was a little lost in thought. When he thought that the famous Dill had arrived, he bowed to the person he talked to and said he would show him around the school.
And then there was the name Ain, which was mentioned as he left.
“A-Ain is… His Royal Highness the Crown Prince…!”
All the students in the classroom stiffened at the exchange between Ain and Dill.
─It’s been a while since Ain left the classroom.
Both of them walked around the academy to check it out and finished looking at all the major facilities. The two of them are now making their way to the cafeteria for lunch.
“Well, that’s all for now. This is the end of the explanation and guidance of the main facilities.”
“Thank you. I don’t think I’ll be using many of them, but there really are a lot of places to visit… Oh, by the way… Does Dill have to guard me the entire time I’m at the academy?”
That would take away his study and training time.
Ain asked with concern for Dill.
“I can’t be with you all the time because I have a schedule that I can’t leave. However, I will try to be with you as much as possible.”
“No, no… I don’t want Dill to ignore your schedule when you’re protecting me, okay?”
“You should not worry about it. I’m only a knight, after all.”
As Ain thought, Dill is really a stiff person.
Ain changes the subject after made a wry smile at the man Lloyd called stiff.
“─Ah, hey, hey.”
Ain says when he sees two female students sitting on the lawn, which can be seen from the school’s connecting corridor.
“The people who are resting there are in different years, but are they also in the same group?”
“Indeed. If anyone is free, they are basically in the same group.”
“I see. Speaking of which, which of those two girls do you prefer, Dill?”
He wanted to be a little more open with Dill, so he abruptly changed the subject.
“…What are you going to do if you know about such a thing?”
“I wanted to get to know Dill better by asking him about such things.”
“…I see, that’s your intention?”
He seemed to have trouble answering, but Dill wrinkled his brow as he spoke.
“…I don’t really like either of them. At the very least, I prefer women who are stronger than me.”
(Does that mean it’s Chris?)
“If possible, she should be at least as tall as His Excellency the Marshal… my father. Also, a strong body would be even more appealing.”
Ain flinched at the unexpected answer. He wasn’t talking about Chris. In order not to convey his confusion to him, Ain smiled, trying to fix his expression.
“So you’re saying you like women with strength and physique like Lloyd-san?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“O-oh… I see… It’s going to be difficult to meet a woman like that, but I will be rooting for you.”
“Thank you very much. Actually, when I told my friends, all they did was make fun of me for being impossible, so I am very happy.”
That would be true, too. It’s not as easy to find a beautiful woman who is as sturdy and strong as Lloyd.
“It’s a little early, but Dill, let’s have lunch together. I have some things to talk about.”
When they returned with a mended smile, the two headed for the cafeteria with terrace seating. But Dill didn’t eat with Ain; he just stayed behind and waited.
◇ ◇ ◇
At the same time, at the Liebe Girls’ Academy near the Royal Kingsland Academy, the new transfer student, Krone, was surrounded by the girls in her class and smiling.
──But her inner thoughts are inconsistent with her smile.
She sighed inwardly; she is not hazy even if she is mixed with the young lady of the great country of Ishtalika. Her silver-blue hair is as smooth as silk. Her skin is like a jade without a trace of dullness. She is as gorgeous as the star crystal in her right hand, but she has a hint of fatigue in her violet crystal eyes.
Haunting her own good nature, she was being told something she didn’t want to hear.
“─So, if you don’t mind, would you like to meet my brother?”
This kind of trouble is something that Krone is used to, and she knows exactly how to deal with it. However, the other party was a nobleman. The prestige of the Augusto family, a former Heim nobleman, would not work. Hence, Warren’s name would be a force that could help her.
“Oh no. A commoner wouldn’t be a good match for a nobleman.”
“No! That is not true! You’re someone whom His Excellency, the Prime Minister, has approved! With beauty like Lady Krone’s, it doesn’t matter what kind of nobleman──.”
“I’m honored. However, if I do something rude, it will cause trouble for the Prime Minister…”
When she said this, even as a classmate, she could not be forceful.
“Yes… I’m sorry, Lady Krone. I was hoping we could make some kind of connection.”
She sighed inwardly and flashed a new, flowery smile.
“No, please don’t mind me. I’m glad you think so well of me.”
They were going to make me a concubine anyway, she thought. A woman who was not a noblewoman would not qualify as a wife. In the first place, Krone has not the slightest intention of accepting.
─However, the school is a good place. The school rules are very strict, but it is the best environment for the development of young ladies, and it is a place of learning that can meet the high goals of Krone.
“…I look forward to working with you all.”
As a transfer student, her time at the school will not be long. She decided to do the best she could. This is the first day of school, and the first day is a success.
◇ ◇ ◇
The academy district is wrapped in the warmth of spring. In the outskirts of the royal capital, at the knight’s prison, a disturbance occurs.
“…Escaped from prison, you say?”
The knight, who is the chief of the prison, said.
One ─ the jail where the criminals who were just caught a few weeks ago had entered had turned into a husk before anyone knew it. In front of the unpleasantly damp dungeon, the knights, including the chief, looked around.
“How did he escape… and has anyone seen anything suspicious?”
“No, sir. Not only suspicious, but we didn’t even notice when he escaped…”
The stone prison is solid. The key is a magic tool, and if someone wants to open it, they have to bring a special magic tool.
It is kept in a place where only a few people, including the chief, can touch it, and it is kept incredibly tight. At the very least, it was impossible for someone to break out of the prison by himself.
“Either way, we need to investigate and contact the castle! You two, bring me a list of all the people who have worked here recently!”
In the midst of the chaos, the chief looked at the prison with a bitter look on his face.
─Certainly, the criminals who were imprisoned here were.
“The slothful Freed. A former adventurer and dagger wielder…”
And a murderer who took the lives of many people. The motive for his crimes was money. It has been confirmed that several wealthy people commissioned him. He is a vampire, a rare species in Ishtalika.
Freed stated that he enjoyed sucking the blood of the people he killed.
“…I think we should hurry up and capture him.”
The chief slapped his cheek hard and left the prison, looking very busy.