༺ Tellon Academy (5) ༻
That evening, Vera stared at the ‘lecture registration form’ that arrived for him and Renee with a terribly troubled expression.
It was mainly because he could feel Theresa’s will in the document, which seemed to scream ‘don’t even think about running away’.
Vera had received an unprecedented assignment to learn how to become a child. He felt his head throb and went back to contemplate.
There were six subjects he could take. Among those, he had to choose three subjects.
He and Renee decided to pick three subjects from the six alloted subjects and attend together.
Vera heaved a sigh.
He felt uneasy since he had been told to turn it in today.
And so, Vera’s complexion slowly darkened, creasing his face as he pondered which subjects he should choose.
“Are you done choosing, Vera?”
Renee’s voice rang out. Listening to her, Vera replied with a worried tone.
“…I haven’t chosen yet.”
“Right? I’m seriously debating which lecture to take.”
“Are you unable to decide between all of them, too?”
“Yes. There are a lot of lectures I want to take, but I can only take three.”
Renee replied, a bright smile on her face.
Vera noticed that Renee was thinking differently than him and blurted out instinctively.
“It’s okay if you choose all of them…”
Renee poked Vera in the waist.
“It’s an assignment Lady Theresa gave to Vera. Dumping your tasks on others is an awful thing to do, you know.”
When she spoke as if she was scolding a child, Vera only grunted in return.
“Hurry up and choose. I just need to pick one more.”
Vera’s gaze fell back to the lecture application.
Vera, who had a battered expression after a long deliberation, finally chose ‘Introduction to Advanced Swordsmanship’, ‘History of the Age of Gods’ and ‘Introduction to Advanced Spells’.
History of the Age of Gods was one he picked out of personal curiosity, whereas the other two were chosen because he felt that if he had to choose, he should choose something he was good at.
“…I’ve chosen everything.”
Vera saw Renee’s bright face as he turned his head and then asked.
“Which lectures did you choose?”
“History of Gastronomy, Applied Gastronomy, and Relaxation Through Meditation.”
“…You must be very interested in gastronomy.”
“Yes! Eating something delicious makes me feel better. Ah… the sherbet I had with Vera in the Empire was really good.”
Vera narrowed his eyes. She must be talking about the white sherbet they ate at the restaurant.
‘You wouldn’t normally think of that as delicious.’
The words were already on the tip of his tongue, but Vera held them in, knowing that taste was ultimately a matter of personal preference.
Nevertheless, he didn’t stop questioning her.
“You made a very unexpected choice. I was certain you’d pick something along the lines of a spell or divinity, though?”
Renee’s choice of lecture was just her being herself, but when his question pointed out how odd her choice was, Renee replied with a little blush on her cheek.
“But I’m here to learn. I thought it would be better to learn what I don’t know than what I already know.”
Renee chuckled with a light shrug, causing her white hair to ripple like waves.
“And it looks fun, doesn’t it?”
Her answer was filled with innocence.
Vera’s eyes gradually widened.
At the time, shame grew inside him. He was ashamed of his own decision.
He felt ashamed of himself since he was already thinking about ‘doing what he’s good at’ when he had been advised not to go down the same path just a few hours earlier.
“What did you choose, Vera?”
Vera hesitated to answer for a while and soon uttered.
“…Saint, could you please give me a little more time?”
“Huh? Sure, take your time.”
After answering, Vera looked at the application with a clouded expression.
‘…The attitude of learning.’
How to take the road less traveled.
A way to be a wise man, not a stupid coward.
‘A way to be a man who knows how to venture into the unknown.’
Vera wrote off his way of thinking. He stopped weighing the gain and loss.
If he clung to that mindset, he would become a man who only knows how to achieve the same results, and he would end up trapping himself in a well.
Vera discarded all the logic in his head, leaving only ‘interest’ in his now-empty thoughts.
Fortunately, Vera still had a little desire in him that he wasn’t aware of.
Vera allowed some obscurity to seep into his head. Then let it unfold.
What piques my interest? Is there anything I don’t know but would like to learn more about?
Vera, who had been fretting over it, quickly removed the ‘Introduction to Advanced Swordsmanship’ and ‘Introduction to Advanced Spells’ and wrote two subjects next to it.
He chose ‘Introduction to Snowball Fight’ and ‘Introduction to Chicken Fight’.
…which were, of course, rejected by Renee, who made an indescribable expression.
The next morning.
After putting on the Academy uniform with the help of the apprentice priests, Renee took a deep breath before asking a question.
“What do you think? Does it suit me?”
Renee’s cheeks were flushed red as she said this. Her lips, which had been drawn in a straight line, curved up in delight.
The act of putting on the uniform had triggered such an excited response in Renee because it meant that she would experience a life similar to others.
At that time, the answers to her question further elevated her mood.
“It suits you perfectly. I’m positive that you are the most beautiful girl in the Academy!”
Annie made a fuss with her usual bubbly voice.
“You look fresh. Um, you look exactly like a student.”
Hela answered in a serious tone.
“I want to try school uniforms, too!”
It seemed like Aisha wanted to wear a school uniform as well.
Renee chuckled at Aisha’s remarks, which seemed to be mixed with admiration and nodded.
“Then let’s ask them to prepare one for Aisha, too.”
“Oh, Annie. Has Vera arrived yet?”
“Yes, he just arrived. I think you’re ready to go.”
Annie’s reply deepened the smile on Renee’s face.
“Then, I’ll be back.”
Renee turned around and started to walk away.
The cane made a rhythmic sound as it hit the floor. Renee also took gentle steps in harmony with the rhythm.
The cane hit the wall. Sensing this, Renee fumbled her hand to reach the doorknob and turned it.
“Did you have a good night?”
Vera’s voice rang out. Renee replied with a wide smile.
“Yes. How about Vera?”
“I had a good night’s rest.”
“That’s good to hear. What’s the first class?”
She said, casually extending her hand. Vera wrapped his hand around hers before replying.
“Introduction to Advanced Spells.”
“That’s what you chose.”
There was an undeniable sadness in Vera’s voice as he answered.
Why does he sound like that?
After taking a moment to think, Renee realized that it could be because of the two subjects she had rejected.
Is it because I didn’t respect Vera’s wishes?
Such thoughts then entered her mind.
As a result, the thrill she felt earlier began to fade a little. It occurred to her that she might have been selfish.
Renee, who concluded that Vera was feeling regretful about the two rejected subjects, thought to herself.
‘…Did he want to attend those so badly?’
Introduction to Snowball Fight and Introduction to Chicken Fight.
She had no idea why those subjects existed at all. Besides, she felt like it was an unsuitable subject to be taken together, no matter how hard she thought about it.
It was Snowball Fight and Chicken Fight, wasn’t it?
To be honest, she was curious about what kind of lesson they taught in general, but all she could think about was how useless it would be even if she learned it.
Renee convinced herself that she had made the right judgment, correcting her wavering heart, and continued walking.
Vera walked hand-in-hand with Renee through the school grounds, narrating what he saw around them.
“The scenery is lush and green all around. The buildings aren’t green, but the vines growing over the white buildings gives the impression that they are. Furthermore, the large road that runs across the middle of the school grounds is white, giving the impression that the buildings have blended into the scenery.”
As he spoke, his countenance grew stiff.
It was a reaction upon realizing that, despite Renee’s status as a student, everyone now knew she was the Saint, and he needed to be ready for any unexpected situation.
‘All eyes are on her.’
So far, he only caught emotions such as curiosity or astonishment, but it was too soon to be relieved.
“Each group of students wears a different colored brooch or necktie. Perhaps the color is the standard for differentiating grades. That seems to be the most logical reason.”
Vera, who had been alert to his surroundings, continued to speak with a stiff expression. Renee, who had been listening the entire time, abruptly interrupted.
Vera turned his head to Renee.
Renee, in her navy blue school uniform, shook her head, looking a little… no, very sorry.
“For rejecting all the subjects that Vera chose.”
Vera tilted his head in confusion.
Renee’s remark came out of nowhere for him, who had completely forgotten about it.
“…Please don’t be. I chose them purely out of curiosity in the first place.”
“What the Saint said was absolutely right. I should have chosen a subject that we were able to attend ‘together.’ It was my mistake to choose subjects that you couldn’t participate in.”
He consoled her as gently as he could.
Upon seeing Renee’s expression soften, Vera added sheepishly.
“I should be the one who apologizes. You ended up taking classes because of me.”
“That’s not true!”
Renee jerked her head up in surprise at Vera’s remarks, then continued.
“I’m really happy to be able to take classes!”
Vera closed his mouth.
Renee released a small chuckle at Vera, who shut his mouth, and added.
“I really want to try it. Going to class, studying and meeting new people, just like the others. Thanks to Vera, I can do all that, so I’m actually grateful.”
Vera’s gaze flicked through Renee.
It didn’t seem like she was lying.
When Renee was really happy, she smiled so broadly that her dimples came out.
Feeling grateful for Renee’s willingness to be there and enjoy it, Vera briefly expressed his gratitude in words.
“If you’re thankful, you just need to do well.”
“One more thing, Vera.”
“Please tell me.”
“Is there anything you haven’t told me yet?”
Renee turned her head to Vera. Her unfocused blue pupils were partially hidden as she smiled.
Vera pondered about what Renee meant for a moment before uttering the answer.
“The school uniform suits you well.”
Renee gave a pleased nod.
Renee replied and turned her head forward again, silently sweetening her lips like a predator on the hunt who was waiting for her next opportunity.
‘I was going to link our arms if he couldn’t get it right.’
Although she said that she was taking a break from seducing him, if Vera had done something wrong, wouldn’t it be permissible to punish him?
Of course, Vera, relieved that he wouldn’t be tempted by her for the rest of the day, was unaware of her hidden thoughts.