༺ Members, You Stay There. The Advisor Will Return Home (1) ༻
I had concluded that praying for a sixth character to appear would be the best for Louise. However, that also meant that there was nothing I could do at the moment. At that thought, I felt like tearing up.
Still, I was holding onto a small hope. Only the 1st semester out of six had passed. Regardless of this situation where I had to endure this hopeless show for five more semesters, many opportunities would be left for the members.
Of course, it was a small hope. I wasn’t expecting much. After all, you won’t be disappointed if you don’t expect anything.
‘Was I always like this?’
Suddenly, I reached a fundamental question. Was it frustrating because I was going through it in real-time, whereas the story skipped dates in the original series? From the reader’s perspective, the dates are skipped reasonably, but from my point of view, it was infuriating.
I’d rather have it that way. If someone else took over my position for the second semester, I wouldn’t be so upset. After all, that would allow me to check the progress once every six months.
I could hear a voice in the back of my head whispering, ‘With those idiots, things would remain the same even after six months,’ but I just ignored it.
Today, instead of flour, the clubroom smelled of ink. That meant the final exams were approaching, which was a positive thing.
‘It really is the end now.’
I felt sorry for those who were flipping through textbooks while frowning, but I was really happy about it.
Normally, everyone looked forward to vacations, but it was especially severe this year. Even the Academy’s Principal and Vice Principal were anxious. How could they not be when there were many people with a higher standing than them roaming around in the Academy? It seemed like their mood had improved at the thought that they would soon return to their respective countries.
‘It’s indeed something to be happy about, but…’
The vacation was a happy event, of course. I could be freed from the task of monitoring and handling key figures, the people who could have my neck cut off if something happened to them.
However, after being summoned to the capital by the Mage Duchess, I realized that the Academy was a paradise. If I returned to the capital, I didn’t know when I would be summoned again by the higher-ups.
I should be happy, but I just couldn’t. If I hadn’t realized this, I would have happily returned to the capital. However, I ended up consuming the red pill and awakened to the truth.
“Louise, that’s not how you solve that.”
“Ah, you’re right.”
While my heart was mourning bitterly, I heard the voices of two women chatting. There was no way this should be happening. After all, Louise was the only female member.
“This one’s wrong, too.”
But if that someone was her close friend, it was possible. The one who took the gender ratio from 6 men and 1 woman to 3:1 was Irina.
Irina, who hadn’t appeared for a while after gifting the hawthorn, started coming to the pastry club again a few days ago. However, I’m not sure why she’s coming every day. Aren’t you in a different club?
“Since the exams are coming up, we decided not to have meetings. Would it be okay if I study with Louise?”
“Yes, of course.”
When I asked, she said she did not need to go to her club. Since she said so herself, there was no reason to stop her.
‘But they have meetings.’
Since I’m an Advisor, I had a communication channel with the other faculty members. That’s why I knew the situation of the Academy very well, and that’s how I also knew that clubs never skipped meetings, even if they had to gather to study.
Irina’s club, the gardening club, had never skipped a meeting. Not even once. Not even on the day she came with the plant.
‘But I can’t ask her.’
Irina was already cautious of me. The only change was that she’d been looking out at the plant she’d given a lot.
Given the situation, I couldn’t say something like, ‘Why are you lying?’ That would only make her run away in panic. There had already been an embarrassing incident between Irina and me, so provoking her would be unkind.
Even now, she kept glancing at me from time to time. What’s up with that? It was funny how she hurriedly looked away when our eyes met.
‘I guess it will be fine.’
I couldn’t provoke Irina. Not only that, but this wasn’t something I could blame her for. After all, I agree that there was nothing wrong with coming to a friend’s club. Although she might be neglecting her own.
Even if she was a noble, she wasn’t even in her twenties yet. When I think about my past life, that’s the age when one would be the most excited about friends. So, her actions were understandable.
“This is wrong, too.”
Considering Louise’s poor learning skills, it seemed like Irina’s presence was positively affecting her.
“Irina, could you look at this, too?”
And the other club members also didn’t seem to mind Irina’s presence.
While it might be uncomfortable to have someone else in the middle of their battlefield with Louise, thankfully, none of the members seemed to dislike Irina.
I was glad there wasn’t someone dumb enough to show hostility toward Louise’s best friend.
“I’m glad Lady Irina is here. There were times when no one here knew the answer.”
“Haha, talk to me comfortably. We’re all fellow students, aren’t we?”
Even the Empire’s Prince, the most intimidating figure for Irina, was being amiable to her. Since that was the case, the other Princes had no reason to push her out.
“I’m really~ glad Irina is here.”
Irina, who was hugged by Louise, gently patted Louise’s head. Sometimes, they looked like sisters born in the same year rather than friends. Anyway, it was a heartwarming sight.
Except for the idiots who looked on with envy in the background.
* * *
The catalyst was trivial.
“I’m going to focus more on studying starting today.”
A certain thought crossed my mind upon hearing Louise’s determined words. If the pastry club would stop their activities until the exam, then it wouldn’t be strange for the gardening club to do so, would it?
Of course, the gardening club had never paused its activities since the Academy’s inception. But oppa, who was new to the Academy, probably wouldn’t know that, right?
‘This is an opportunity.’
At first, I didn’t go because I was too embarrassed to see oppa. But once I calmed down, I couldn’t find an excuse to go. Even though he said it was okay, I couldn’t say the club was on break every day. That would be weird.
However, if I say that the club meetings have paused for the exams, it should be enough as a reason. It’s something that could easily happen, and studying with a close friend wouldn’t be strange either.
I don’t like the idea of using Louise, but…
“Louise… Would you like to study with me?”
“Really? Is that okay?”
“Yes. I don’t have anywhere to go, so…”
Louise said it was fine, and she seemed to like it. So, this wasn’t using her.
I told myself that, but upon seeing Louise’s cheerful face, I couldn’t help but feel guilty. Even though Louise wanted it, it was still a cowardly act on my behalf.
“Ah, long time no see. Welcome.”
Even so, I hated myself because I felt less guilty upon hearing oppa’s greeting.
“Thanks for the gift. It really lifted the mood of the clubroom.”
“I’m glad to hear that.”
However, I hated oppa for not knowing the meaning of the flower. I’m glad he didn’t know it. I’m really glad, but…
I felt a weird mix of relief and disappointment. How could he be so indifferent to a lady’s gift? I felt like a fool for worrying about it.
If the most famous flower language wasn’t ‘only love’… but ‘tolerance and forgiveness,’ I would have still felt bitter. Because either way, he wouldn’t have known it. I had really put a lot of thought into the gift, yet…
“Oppa has been taking good care of it.”
Louise’s whispered words beside me eased my heart a little.
* * *
The six members of the pastry club and the one who escaped from the gardening club were preparing for their exams every day.
“Why are there so many subjects?”
“It isn’t a practical exam, so I think it should be okay if they did it moderately.”
Erich and Rutis, who were physically oriented people, were complaining loudly. As the days went by, their faces grew darker. Now, they were openly resenting studying. It seems that exams drive students crazy everywhere, regardless of which world they belong to.
“But there’s only two days until the break, so let’s hang on a bit more.”
Upon hearing Ainter’s words, Erich picked up his pen again.
“Alright. I should hang in there. I have to return home in a good mood.”
“Ah, are you going to return to your home?”
“Why are you talking as if you weren’t going home?”
“I won’t go.”
I was chewing a cookie when I stopped upon hearing Rutis’s words.
“Eh, you won’t return?”
It seemed like Erich wasn’t expecting that answer, either. You bastard. Why aren’t you going to return?
“It isn’t a short distance from the Empire to Armein. I’ll be back in two months, anyway. It would be better to stay at the Academy.”
“You could teleport.”
“Magicians who can move that distance are too busy.”
You bastard. Why is it that you only show empathy at times like this?
“I agree. I was thinking the same thing.”
Lather, who was quietly writing something, also agreed with what Rutis said. You’re not returning, too?
As I turned my gaze toward Tannian, I saw him nodding while smiling. N-not you, too… right?
“It seems we all think the same way. Haha. I guess our hearts became connected because of the time we’ve spent together.”
For a moment, I imagined Sir Villar punching the ground while crying in frustration.
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