Noble school. This place is required by law for noble teenagers to attend from thirteen years to fifteen years of age. It’s the only general education institute in the country, and it primarily focuses on teaching the contents of the Sacred Code and national law, as well as economics, history, geography, ethics, social studies, and the neighboring countries’ languages, it teaches all basic academic classes, and you can even major in some of these classes and pursue research here.
Although it’s an educational facility, it’s already normal for noble children to receive an education in their own household to some extent, it seems that this school was established by the church in order to give nobles a thorough education in the Sacred Code and on their own country’s history and development.
That’s why, all noble children are required to live for three years in the dormitories here, and make connections with nobles the same age as them that will be their peers when they come to power.
Other than winter vacation, permission is required from the head of the household in order to leave the school premises, and nobles that aren’t researchers, teachers, or students are also prohibited from entering the school grounds.
Because of all this, the noble school that takes up a vast amount of land in the southwest portion of the royal capital, is almost on the scale of a small city, and it has its own unique society nicknamed “the second royal capital.”
On the day of the new student orientation ceremony, I headed for noble school together with Ratoka, Athrun, Reka, Tira, and a woman named Cornelia Heideman.
Mrs. Cornelia Heideman is someone who works for the Terejia family in the royal capital as a housekeeper, and she’s acting as my guardian in lieu of Earl Terejia, bringing me to noble school. Maybe it’s that Earl Terejia, or perhaps, the Terejia family, they want to observe me and see how things go.
We’re going to the school with so few servants and very little luggage because I already sold off my tiny residence in the royal capital, and had my things brought over to the dormitory already. I had my servants in my former royal capital’s residence head over to the dormitory, and dispose of any unnecessary household items.
“Eliza-sama, what kind of place is noble school?”
In our rented carriage headed for noble school, Reka was excited at first to see the noble school at first, but maybe he got tired of seeing the endless school fence, he asked me a question.
While his command of the Arxian language is still poor, in just a few years he’s learned quite a lot and is quite chatty now. It’s different from a few years back, when he was a lot quieter.
However, it seems that someone sent by a major family in the royal capital has a different opinion about his question.
“Don’t speak to your master with such a carefree attitude.”
Before I could answer him, the cold Mrs. Heideman began scolding Reka strictly. It was so sudden that Reka, Tira, and Athrun all looked at her with surprised faces. Even Ratoka who’s had experience in various public events as a maidservant, had an expression of discontent on his face. I was confused for a few seconds as well on how to deal with this, before I said something.
“……Mrs. Heideman, I don’t really have any limitations on what they can ask me in private.”
“Then, please take care to change that. Servants being so casual with their master will be terrible for your reputation. People should be aware of their own statuses and behave appropriately.”
I know that already. There are some major differences in how nobles from the royal capital treat their servants in comparison with nobles with their own domains. Those in the royal capital like to keep contact with the servants to a minimum, and servants must not look directly into the eyes of nobles, this is all to maintain their so-called dignity as nobles.
Indeed, for Earl Terejia as well, whenever he was in the royal capital he only had other young nobles following him around and doing his errands. For a family of such high status like the Terejias, they seem to have followers from the lower ranked nobles like viscount and baron families.
Since nobles themselves aren’t allowed in the school, usually a lot of servants come from lower ranked noble families, most commonly distant relatives to noble families without enough claim to nobility themselves…… noble children from families ranked earl or higher will surely have servants and followers like that.
Although I don’t really feel like doing it, now that I’ve become a lesser earl, technically I’m supposed to accept the daughter of another noble family as an apprentice maid, something like that. But since I was only a Viscountess half a year ago, I have no connections for this. Besides, I decided it would be easier for me to take along people that know me better, so that’s why I brought along Tira and the others.
At the very least, I need to have some servants that are trustworthy enough to know about and help me with the secret of Ratoka being my body double, so my childhood friends from the new citizens are necessary to me. Tira, Reka, and Athrun shall become my maid, servant, and bodyguard.
“Then allow me to teach you, before being my servants, they’re first and foremost my retainers. ……Ahh, I’m taking them as my servants because they have a deep connection to Kaldia.”
I bluntly told Mrs. Heideman that I trusted in their abilities. I took the trouble of bringing servants I wouldn’t have to be on guard against, it’ll be annoying if I’m forced to hire some servants I don’t know just to fit in with other nobles.
It seems that Mrs. Heideman who works in the royal capital for the Terejia family doesn’t have a good grasp on the retainer system that’s usually used by domain lords. All she did was close her mouth after stubbornly saying “well, don’t say I didn’t tell you so,” and it was easy to tell from her attitude that she was dissatisfied.
“Earl-sama, we’ve arrived at the main entrance to the noble school.”
Just as the atmosphere was getting heavy in the carriage, the driver informed us of our arrival. The carriage that had already been decelerating, stopped completely. Mrs. Heideman got off the carriage without a single word, but her face was twisted somewhat unpleasantly.
“Mrs. Heideman, please help me take care of the payment for the rented carriage. Since it’s my first time, it’ll be reassuring to have an adult along.”
Ratoka’s intervention finally relieved the atmosphere. ……Perhaps I should reward him with his favorite fruit later. Because he saved me the trouble of having to deal with this troublesome person on my first day of school. No wait, am I being too nice?
When I got out of the carriage, the school gate in front of me overwhelmed my field of vision. On a path paved with bricks, was a beautifully decorated arch which served as the gate. Behind it, I could see a white school building. Also, above it was a perfect blue sky, beautiful weather for orientation day.
It’s quite a splendid sight. It’s not as glittery as the royal palace, it can be said that the noble school has a majestic and refreshing appearance befitting that of an educational institute filled with rich history and tradition.
……However, this wonderful view was slightly ruined by the memory of a certain otome game’s cheaply drawn title and logo also set against the backdrop of this scene.
Come to think of it, just what have I been doing, I shook my head, slightly disappointed in myself. I wasn’t even all that busy recently…… I almost completely forgot about it because it had no relation to the battlefield. I only remembered it again now that I’m here.
Although honestly, I wouldn’t care if I had forgotten, there’s only unpleasant memories, that might not even be useful for me.
-This school was the main setting of that otome game.
So, how much will the situations have changed? When I remembered back to poisoning my family, I smiled bitterly. At that time, I was more aware of what would befall me in the game, and I felt a stronger sense of hatred and fear.
In any case, how about now? Looking at this familiar sight even though I’ve never been here before, I gradually tried recalling what memories I could.
Although I can still conveniently remember some things about my previous life, I never really cared too much about the details of the otome game, and didn’t think it had much value for me.
……Well, it’ll probably come back to me if I see someone familiar, so I don’t need to try too hard right now. And besides, people are alive in this world, they won’t act according to the game’s script. It’s totally meaningless, trying to guess how someone would act based on something as two-dimensional as a game, although knowing what will happen in the future in some fixed game scenarios, could definitely be useful.