It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (9/43), enjoy~
Chapter 3 – Winter In Ishtalika And Birthdays
November has passed, and Wolf’s turmoil is already a thing of the past.
Recently, Ain had gained a friend with whom he talked a lot. He remembers that the first time he spoke to his friend, his friend was on his knees, even though it was in the classroom.
Remembering this, Ain let out a slight white breath and laughed.
“Oya, Your Highness. You seem to be in a perfect mood today.”
The person who said this was a new friend. His name is Leonardo, and he is the eldest son of a high-ranking noble family called the Dukes of Fors.
He has a stiff impression like Dill, but he’s surprisingly easy to talk to and can tell a good joke, and his hair, which is somewhere between brown and gold, is arranged with care.
He actually knew Ain even before he entered the school. Last year’s party is still fresh in his mind. There was a nobleman who was angry with Krone, and that nobleman’s child was this Leonardo.
He had admired Ain. Even though they were the same age, he was instantly captivated by his bravery, dignity, and overwhelming dominance in front of an adult nobleman. He apologized in the classroom and was forgiven, and from then on, he and Ain often spent time together.
“Well, you know. I just remembered something that made me laugh.”
The school’s cafeteria is also a great place to relax. It was getting colder on the cafeteria terrace in the academy.
“Yesterday, Duke Fors was invited by Warren-san to the castle. Did something happen?”
“Yes, there is a bit of trouble at the August Trading Company, and some of the existing trading companies have been messing with them. These merchants have a lot of say in the matter and are quite large… The Fors family also has a connection with some of the merchant associations, and they want to talk to us.”
“I see. It’s a bit like gathering information.”
“That’s right. There are many people who are jealous of the August Trading Company because it is one of the most powerful trading companies right now. It’s my personal imagination, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they become the most powerful trading company in the royal capital within the next few years.”
The president’s name is Graff August. His original family name was Augusto.
The distribution skills that he had demonstrated in Heim were also very useful here in Ishtalika. He is such an outstanding talent that Warren highly evaluates him and says, “Graff-dono was born in the wrong country.”
“I didn’t expect that less than a year after the establishment, the company would create such a stir… but come to think of it, you knew the president of the August Trading Company, didn’t you?”
“A lot is going on.”
“…Is it his granddaughter that you are rather close to?”
Leonardo answered hesitantly because of the way his father had treated Krone last year.
“I-I don’t know what you mean. But yeah, I do know about Krone…”
Leonardo then smiled bitterly.
The Dukes of Fors is a family that has been producing leading figures in the Legal Affairs Bureau for generations. As a result of this, Leonardo has received a high level of education and has been raised to be a strict person.
However, he is surprisingly easy to get along with once you get to know him.
“Thanks for waiting! I’ve brought something for everyone, but… Huh? What were you talking about?”
Roland’s tail wagged from side to side as he walked away.
“It’s nothing. We were just making small talk.”
I see, said Roland. Ain and Leonardo laughed when they saw the cheerful Roland. After a quick meal, the three of them headed to class.
◇ ◇ ◇
Luke, the homeroom teacher of Class 1, the best-performing class in the first year, walked into the classroom. After checking the ten students who had already gathered, he wrote on the blackboard without saying a word.
(…It’s an unusual homeroom, but I wonder if there’s an announcement today.)
When he looked to his left, Roland’s eyes widened as well.
After a while, Luke finished writing and turned to the students.
“Read it. It’s a school event that you’ll be participating in at the beginning of the year.”
There were only two large letters on the page.
It’s an event for younger students, and it made Ain’s face relaxed.
“You may have misunderstood, but our academy’s field trip is different from those of other academies. You have to gather your own food, and you have to watch out for the threat of monsters.”
“We also restrict what you can bring in. Such as food and drink, magic tools, and weapons beyond what is necessary… In other words, don’t even think about taking it easy. Do you have any questions?”
There are only questions. Ain instinctively almost asked in an agitated tone. Many students leaned forward, probably because they thought the same thing.
“As expected. I’m very proud of you all for being so good.”
Luke was very much mistaken. The students didn’t understand the details of the field trip; they just hadn’t caught on.
“For this field trip, the two classes will join together, and there will be thirty of you. You will be divided into teams of four as a rule, but teams of five will be allowed for those who can’t make it. Also, rest assured that there will be only one guard from either the first or second class of the most senior students. And Ain, Dill will be assigned to your team, so be prepared for that.”
It’s only natural that Dill would be guarding Ain.
When he looked at his side, he saw that Batz was sleeping on the opposite end of the seat. It’s a sleeping face full of happiness as if he doesn’t think he’ll be getting angry in the slightest.
“Did you say something, Ain?”
“No, it’s nothing…”
He’d like to clap his hands loudly in front of his sleeping face as if he were about to show off his snot bubble. He wanted to wake him up with a big slap.
Roland smiled bitterly when he saw Ain’s face.
“──So, that’s it for today’s homeroom. You can choose to leave for class or do your research as you wish. The details of the field trip will be mailed to each family later.”
As Luke walked away as coolly as he had arrived, Ain’s cheeks tightened.
A few minutes passed, and the students began to act in their own way.
“It’s a group of four, and there are three of us. I, Ain, and Leonardo!”
Roland spoke to Ain. It was an objectionable explanation for a field trip, but he was more than happy to oblige.
Soon, Leonardo came up to their seats.
“It sounds like a not bad team. However, if it is alright with you, Your Highness, it will be…”
“That sounds good to me, too. I mean, I can’t think of anything else.”
It’s easier to be around people you already know. And he had a feeling that it would be more fun to go on a field trip with them.
“I don’t know anyone else. Do you two have any idea who the fourth person is?”
“I’m afraid I don’t either. This is a school with very few people, so… I don’t know what to do. How about you, Your Highness?”
(Huh? I only have two friends.)
Feeling saddened, Ain looked out the window.
No, there was one more person. At the end of his line of vision, he saw a man who was sleeping soundly.
“I think I know who it is.”
Ain stood up slowly and walked over to the sleeping man, Batz. The two friends followed him as if they knew what he was talking about.
“Batz, do you have a minute?”
“…Hmm? Oh, Ain, huh? What is it?”
After rubbing his sleepy eyes, Batz straightened his back and let out a muffled sigh.
“Would you like to be on the same team as me?”
Ain forgot to say the subject, but Batz immediately understood his intention.
“Okay. You mean the field trip, right?”
“Huh? So you knew about it, or were you listening in your sleep?”
“No, not at all. I knew there was a school event about a field trip.”
“Oh, so that’s it…”
So that’s why he was sleeping. It makes sense.
“Hey, hey, why are you answering carelessly? I’m not an idiot, you know? It’s not like I’m always sleeping like this.”
Even though he didn’t mean to make fun of him, the previous incident with the Red Bison came back to Ain’s mind.
“Leonardo. Do you know my ranking when I entered the academy?”
“…Ah, yeah, I remember. I think you were third overall?”
The two of them knew each other as noblemen. Rather than a lighthearted exchange, Ain and Roland were surprised by Batz’s rank.
“I-I was fourth…”
“That’s okay. Ain is in the first place, Leonardo is in second place. It’s easy to be in a group with the top four rankers, isn’t it?”
Batz then added, “Roland, you don’t have to worry about me being a nobleman or anything like that.” The two of them seemed to be exchanging words for the first time, but Ain could see the pleasant personality of Batz.
“Your Highness. Moreover, this man is not enrolled in the martial arts, but in the social sciences and fine arts.”
“That means he’s really smart. That’s great.”
“Right? Well, I’m more comfortable wielding a sword, though.”
Batz said while smiling and crossed his arms behind his neck.
“Anyway, the guard is the son of the Glacier family, right? He may have been an apprentice as Ain’s bodyguard, but I think it will be an easier field trip than we imagined.”
The strength is sufficient — sufficient judgment and knowledge of the members of the team.
The field trip of this academy is different, Luke said.
(Is it relatively easy, or does it not look like much trouble?)
Ain felt a sense of comfort from the dependable team.