Unlike noble school which is compulsory education for all noble children, the upper-level section is for those that wish to continue their studies even further. There are three types of students there. First are those that are studying to become instructors themselves, or high-level civil officials. Some other students are studying research and development in various fields. And the last type is, those that are granted special permission to stay at school for an extra period of time, if they haven’t found anything to do as a noble yet.
There are exams that must be taken for the first two types of students, but there’s none for the last category. And unlike noble school, the upper-level section doesn’t have a term limit.
Of course, some people will actively search for jobs, especially within the royal palace, but noble society basically depends on your connections and achievements. Meaning, the third type of students in the upper-level section are those that have been mostly abandoned by their families, considered as too troublesome, and just remain at noble school.
……Well, they haven’t truly been abandoned by their families, because they would have been forced into the monastery if that was the case, so these students still have some hope. And so, these students that remain here at the noble school’s upper-level section mostly have a rank of earl or higher.
Anyways, the upper-level section has a group of students with reasons to be dissatisfied with the way their life is going. These students are considered problematic, to the extent where even the House of Lords has had discussions about them before. This is due to them often causing violent incidents against the servants of lower-ranking nobles.
Students at noble school typically have very little contact with students in the upper-level section. While we’re all in the same school, the school grounds are so vast that there’s a great amount of distance between our dormitories and their section. Occasionally however, our servants and their servants might interact with each other.
It’s difficult for lower-ranked nobles to complain directly about higher-ranked nobles. Especially if it’s only for what’s considered as a small matter, such as injuring some commoner servants.
I finally found Reka a little ways off the forest path between the dorms and the upper section, a place where nobody hardly ever went. This was the first time I’ve ever been thankful for having uselessly acute hearing. Thanks to hearing the soft sounds of people talking, I was able to find Reka through the maze of trees.
Reka was lying on the ground, surrounded by some teenagers that appeared to be servants. He was wheezing in pain from his chest, and I also saw blood dripping down from his head. The teenagers around him appeared quite buff, and it was evident from their appearance that they were northerners. When they noticed me, I could see their strong contempt for me in their eyes.
In the group of teenagers, only one boy was standing in front of Reka as if to protect him from the others, and he looked at me with no particular emotion in his eyes at all. His eyes are purple, a rare gemstone-like color. I feel like I’ve seen them before –
“Humph, let’s go.”
When I returned to my senses, it was already too late. The teenagers escaped into the woods and ran off. It’s going to be difficult to follow them on horseback, nor is there any meaning to catching just one or two of them.
Besides, Reka who’s lying prone on the ground is more important. I jumped off of my horse, and I kneeled next to Reka, by the purple-eyed boy’s side. I called Reka’s name, but he didn’t respond. It seems that he’s unconscious.
“Wait a moment, it’s better not to move him. I think he may have a concussion, because they were beating his head.”
The boy next to me spoke up, and I agreed with his assessment. I inspected his injuries, checked his breathing, and focused on ascertaining his current condition.
“…………Eh, what’s going on?”
“Reka, you’ll be alright. Don’t move yet.”
Fortunately, Reka finally woke up. As for what happened to him, Reka was much calmer about it than I expected, and I confirmed that he wasn’t in any confusion although he had a headache. I gave him an order to lie there for a little while longer and rest.
Reka’s cheeks were red and swollen. As the purple-eyed boy said, it definitely seems like they were beating his face, which could have caused a concussion.
“Just rest there quietly for a while. If your head keeps hurting, I can call for someone to come get us.”
He obediently laid there and slightly nodded, while I took off my coat and used it as a pillow for him. I was going to change out my coat soon anyways, so I don’t mind if it gets dirty. Even though I became an earl, I found it too bothersome to change my coat’s design, so as expected in the end Earl Terejia gave me a lecture about it……
When I stood up, the honorable purple-eyed boy who was waiting patiently for me spoke up lightly.
“……I never would have imagined that I’d meet you again.”
Although there was the shadow of something melancholy in his expression, he laughed gently. “Ahh,” I nodded in response to him.
I see, he’s – the hidden capture target of the otome game, named Alb, whose settings and story I didn’t know, he must have been a student from the upper-level section.