༺ Academy Entrance (2) ༻
While Carl was wondering if the problem was something he had eaten or the state of the road and the Vice Principal was dripping cold sweat while guiding him, the students were starting to wake up and getting ready to go to the Academy.
People were opening their shops, and students were preparing to attend their classes. Another busy day at the Academy had started.
The sunlight streaming through the curtain tickled the face of the girl. She tried to avoid the sun’s rays, but gave up and opened her eyes once it became clear that trying to do so was futile.
The girl climbed out of bed and shivered upon feeling the icy breeze touch her skin. It had been 10 days since the entrance ceremony had taken place. Now, they were in the middle of March, and the air was still chilly early in the morning.
It seemed like the sudden cold breeze had woken up the girl. She carefully got up and stretched her arms. There was still some time left before class started, but time would pass quickly if she dawdled.
“Let’s do a good job today as well~.”
The girl’s positive attitude drew others’ gazes, but made approaching her difficult.
“Hmmhm, hmm 𝅘𝅥𝅮 “
The girl walked while humming something that didn’t sound like a song, but she would probably insist it was. Her pink hair, which bounced in sync with her steps, looked like the cherry blossoms that had flowered earlier this year. Her eyes shone blue like the sky of a sunny day.
The people who turned their faces around after hearing someone humming would probably nod and accept they’d heard it. Because, after all, what made humming perfect was the face.
The humming girl turned her head around after hearing someone call her. After seeing who it was, she smiled.
Louise ran towards Irina and grabbed her arm as if they hadn’t seen each other for a long time. Of course, it wasn’t their first meeting in a long time, they had had dinner together only yesterday. After the two friends got together, their walking speed was reduced to half, and the number of people walking behind them increased.
Whenever someone called out to Louise, she greeted them and made them join the group. That’s how their speed kept decreasing as if they’d been debuffed. But among the five people there, it seemed like no one was worried about the pace. Because if it was for friendship… Wouldn’t one be willing to be late?
“Hey, if you keep walking like this, won’t you be late?”
But there was a safety net that prevented her from being late, so she was able to arrive at the Academy on time.
“Ah, Erich! Good morning!”
“Yes, good morning.”
Erich smirked and accepted the greeting. As he naturally walked toward Louise, Irina, who was right next to her, made a place for him. Erich smiled awkwardly at that gesture, but it seemed he did not intend to refuse. So he began walking right next to Louise.
After looking at that, Irina and the other three girls started to whisper among themselves and laugh in a low voice. Although their dating life was in a bad state, they said that looking at other people trying was as fun as looking at a fire from the other side of the river.
Although Erich had to try harder to get attention from Louise, that wasn’t something that concerned them.
In the end, the group had increased to six people, but it seemed like Erich had some kind of speed buff. The amount of conversation had increased, but they were moving faster than before.
“Erich, you have gray hair.”
“That shouldn’t appear yet.”
“I was kidding. It was just a strand.”
Louise plucked the thread from Erich’s head while laughing. Irina turned away to protect the last remaining self-esteem of Erich, whose face had flushed red. She tilted her head while watching the thread that was flying away.
“Who’s that person?”
Everyone first looked at Irina and followed her finger at those words.
“You’re right. He doesn’t seem to be a student or a teaching staff.”
“How weird. Is he an outsider?”
“Can outsiders enter the Academy at this hour?”
He wasn’t wearing a uniform so he wasn’t a student, but he also wasn’t wearing a blue robe so he wasn’t a member of the faculty. After finally calming down, Erich also looked in the direction Irina was pointing toward.
Erich let out a flustered exclamation after seeing who the unknown outsider was. It seemed like the other person had also seen Erich.
“Erich, do you know him?”
Louise asked Erich after seeing that they seemed to know each other.
Erich couldn’t reply immediately to Louise’s question. He definitely knew that person, but he shouldn’t be here. He was someone who complained that he even lacked time to return home, so why had such a person come all the way here to the Academy?
While he was shocked, that person had walked toward him and stood before him. He said while looking at Erich.
“Long time no see. How have you been?”
* * *
I was finally able to find a restroom once it had gone beyond peak, and the result was forcibly revealed. After seeing how much I relieved myself, I realized how tense my body had been. I had never heard anyone say I looked feeble, so why was my body reacting like this?
Recently, I’ve been working overtime consistently, I haven’t been able to see the sunlight, I haven’t ridden a carriage in a long time, and to make things worse, the roads were in a horrible state. And, on top of it all, I had to eat while in such a state.
Hmm, so I had enough reasons.
After I finished analyzing myself, I walked out of the main building and walked around the Academy. Whether I liked it or not… No, although I really hated it, I would have to stay in the Academy for a couple of months. The Academy was really big, so I should at least learn its layout a bit.
It would be embarrassing to lose my way when I needed to do something urgently. That news would probably somehow reach the ears of the Minister, and he would make fun of me, saying how, even though I was the Executive Manager, I couldn’t find my way around campus. Just thinking about it made me angry, as if I had actually heard it.
I walked toward the nearest building. I couldn’t handle a future where the Minister made fun of me because of something like this, so I decided I should figure out the structure of the Academy as fast as possible.
‘What should I do?’
He could hear the students mumbling while looking at him. It was an obvious reaction, considering he was an outsider. I decided that I should go to the main building while the students were entering the Academy, but then, something caught my attention.
“What’s up with that?”
When others only moved in a group of two to three, there was a group of six people walking together. Not only that but there was a huge gender imbalance of one man and five women. I’m definitely not sure who that man is, but he’s in quite the envious position.
‘But that someone is my little brother.’
What a son of a bitch. Although his older brother was struggling, the little brother was living the dream of his bro as if it were nothing. He’s worse than the 2nd Manager. Okay, let’s go bother him.
I walked toward Erich with light steps. As I got close to him, I could see that his eyes were shaking a bit. How weird. I have never bothered him or anything, but he always seems quiet in front of me.
“Long time no see. Have you been doing well?”
“Y-Yes. And you, brother?”
“Just as usual.”
I wanted to say bad as usual, but there were more ears around us, so I decided not to say that. I shouldn’t complain about the life of a civil servant in front of students I’ve never seen before.
As I turned my gaze to the other five, I saw them awkwardly bow their heads to me, except for one.
“Hi! Are you Erich’s older brother?”
She said too energetically to think she’d asked that for courtesy. It was enough to make me think that if this were a manhwa, there would have been a sound effect as she said that.
Blue eyes and pink hair. She was clearly someone eye-catching. A person who would get attention no matter where she went.
It’s my first time seeing her, but why does she seem familiar?
They reminded me of something, but I couldn’t recall it well.
Was her picture on the list of students they’d given me in the report?
“Yes. I’m Carl Krasius. Are you Erich’s friend?”
Usually, it was tradition for people to introduce themselves after the other person did. If I could hear her surname, I could at least know where I’d seen her before.
“Yes, I’m Erich’s friend. Louise Naird!”
Although my body was nodding, my head had switched to alert mode.
After hearing her name, I remembered. Louise, of Baron Naird’s family. Pink hair with blue eyes. Just like the pied piper, she was someone who pulled people in. A woman who received the affection and attention of other people thanks to her appearance and personality.
‘She’s the protagonist.’
I took a glimpse at Erich. Although his body was hardened, his eyes were still directed toward Louise. His cheeks were red. He looked like a dog.
“It wasn’t four, but five…?”
“No. It was nothing.”
I ended up saying something that was supposed to be a thought.
I looked at Erich with pity. Erich shrugged, but I couldn’t take my eyes off him.
‘What a pitiful guy. So you’re the weakest one.’
The Prince of the Empire, two Princes, and a candidate for the title of Saint. Although there was a difference between their status, they could at least compete against each other. But the second son of an Earl family competing against such people? That’s a bit…
I patted Erich’s shoulders. It was to console my little brother, who seemed to have lost even before standing at the start line.
I met the protagonist on the first day I was dispatched to the Academy, and she was a friend of my little brother.
Not only that but a friend whose most likely ending seemed to be, ‘I wish we could remain good friends.’
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