Alright then. My school life began with a bit of an argument with the archduke’s son, but other than that there didn’t seem to be anything new or special about it.
It’s because there isn’t much change to my daily routine no matter where I am.
Oscar and Claudia send messenger soldiers with political paperwork for me to take care of on occasion, I’m confirming reports and giving instructions on the continuing irrigation work in my domain, I check the food production statistics of my domain and calculate the amount of food that we need to import…… and for some reason Fort Jugfena is also sending me intelligence reports on Rindarl for me to peruse over.
Something like an intelligence report, is only supposed to be read by the highest military commanders and the commanders of important strategic locations. It can’t be viewed otherwise unless the House of Lords approves of it.
……I’m currently exempted from having to participate in battle because of attending school, so why is Wiegraf sending me detailed intelligence and the proposed battle plans for future clashes? Well, perhaps he’s just looking out for me since I fought together with him and his brother Ergnade, and all three of us helped to put together the plan for the display at Ritox Plateau. No, it could also be that he wants me to have as much information as possible, just in case I need to return to the frontlines for some reason.
Because of all my work related to my domain and the current war situation, it’s difficult for me to concentrate on my studies. As for all my classes every day and how to deal with learning it – it’s simple, I have a body double……
“Hey, today as well that bastard Eric pulled on my hair, and stepped on the hem of my cloak. I thought this was supposed to be an upstanding educational facility? Oh, and the teacher gave an overview of the lecture’s content. What’s going on?”
“I want to hear more.”
Ratoka who just returned from classes was asking me in confusion about what was happening, although I only responded succinctly. ……Although, hair pulling, stepping on the hem of a cloak, that Eric sure is immature. Is he a child? Well, he’s thirteen…… uh, I suppose he is a child.
“You want the details of the lecture? Um, it was a lecture about the Artolan legal system. Then, it was a comparison on differences between the laws of Artolas and Arxia, even though we both use the Sacred Code as the basis, we discussed why there would be differences, we analyzed its influence, and predicted about what would happen if we adopted some of their laws, things like that.”
“Comparing laws? What was the textbook used?”
“The title was ‘Observations on Differences in other Sects’ Laws.’ It’s a book from the church.”
“Ahh, I’ve read that book before. There’s no problem then. You’ve read it before as well.”
Yep, Ratoka nodded, as he told me some more details about the class. I know that it can be daunting for someone else to attend classes and do all the homework for me, but I’ve given Ratoka an education and training before so he can handle it. If I had to do these things in addition to my normal workload, it would be an unreasonable amount.
Well, it’s not like I make Ratoka do it all the time, I still go and attend classes myself when I can, there was just no helping it…… Well, that’s what I told myself.
In any case, I glanced over again at his appearance. Even from an early age I felt like his facial features and all the colors matched mine so well, now that we’re both maturing his face resembles mine even more, to the point where even Claudia will sometimes get us mixed up. When comparing side by side, Ratoka’s face actually seems more feminine, and because he’s been by my side for so long, he can accurately imitate my expressions and reactions without any suspicion. That’s why I’m having him go to classes for me……
Has he been taking lessons from Claudia’s sharp senses, Ratoka noticed me looking over at him. I told him it was nothing as I took my eyes off him.
It’s now one month after I’ve entered school, and I still haven’t discovered the person that I’ve been searching for. Since we’re still having only basic classes though, and we’re supposed to be stuck in class for most of the time, there’s no helping it that I can’t move around. It should have been easy to find the person I’m looking for just based on appearance, but every time I myself go to class I have to deal with the crown prince’s appearance being an assault on my senses with how brightly he stands out, so it’s quite a bother.
Today when I decided to attend class for once, just like always my eyes were drawn to the sight of his luxurious head of shimmery blonde hair glittering as it reflected the sunlight from the window. His terribly conspicuous appearance draws everyone’s attention at all times, whether he wants to or not. Maybe if I see him more often I’ll get used to it, and I’ll build up a resistance?
I briefly greeted him and sat down in an empty seat. I don’t want to have to be invited by the prince to sit with his group by the time more students come and most seats are taken. It would be quite a bother, as I can easily imagine how much of a commotion that will cause with the other noble students if that happens.
All of these classes have already been drilled into my head by Mrs. Marshan, so the only real reason for me to come to class is to have opportunities to get in contact with the crown prince and find out what he wants, this thought kept going around and around in my head.
……I understand why Ergnade and the others would be concerned about me. I’m someone that can help the war effort. Besides, they gave me their family name, even if we’re not related by blood, we’re as close as real relatives. I can also understand how the Terejia family is keeping an eye on me because I’m the one who was raised up by Earl Terejia.
However, I have no idea what the crown prince’s intentions are towards me. After I graduate from noble school, I’m going to return to my own domain. As someone who’s going to control the entire kingdom in the future from the royal palace, why does he try to keep getting border noble that’s only a lesser earl involved with him?
Although I’ll have to tolerate it patiently for three years, dealing with other nobles isn’t something that I enjoy. I just want to stay by myself, I don’t want to affect my domain…… Since I can’t go against the crown prince, I’ll just deal with the nobles here the best I can with my poor abilities and stay silent as much as possible.
Crack, I put too much force into my hands as I kept thinking. Then, I heard a snapping sound from between my hands.
I’ve done it now. I snapped my pen.
Well, I did know that my pen was getting quite old and reaching the end of its lifespan. But, I still kept using it because it was still usable. It’s not like I have a superhuman grasping strength like Claudia does.
But now, the problem is that I don’t have a replacement pen. While I was the one who broke it, I didn’t think that it was going to break this quickly, and I just stared at the remnants of the pen in my hand.
……What should I do about the class? Should I try writing with just the top half? I still need to share class information with Ratoka, so I’d like to take notes on the teacher’s lecture.
“Excuse me, Earl Kaldia.”
Someone quietly called for me from beside me, and I finally took my eyes off my pen. When I saw who it was, I reflexively let out a small gasp of surprise. The boy who was talking to me was the exact person I was looking for all this time.
He looked like an exact younger copy of Margrave Molton – despite that, he seemed to not stand out for some reason – Margrave Molton’s son that he doted on so much sat down next to me.
“Please, go ahead and use this.”
Why did I never notice him, with his distinctive silver hair. While I was frozen in surprise as if I was seeing something I couldn’t comprehend, he handed a brand new feather pen to me.
“-Thank you. You’ve been a great help.”
Although I was thinking about looking for him and greeting him, now that the person I couldn’t find was sitting next to me, and I still couldn’t get over the shock that he had been in the same class all this time, my mind went blank and I could only respond foolishly to his offering his pen.
……Although, with his hair color, and his face, why didn’t his presence draw my attention instantly, like his father or the crown prince?