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Chapter 131 – Dear Tenma, All Was Due to Stress V
Sophie was supposed to continue the discussion regarding the meals that were offered in the dining hall with the gold stars at noon, so she decided to invite Firth to participate.
Sophie already informed Luca in advance and asked for an escort to go out at noon, but the morning competition of copper stars hadn’t reached its conclusion yet, so news came that he would be late.
Luca already told Sophie the possibility that the match would be prolonged yesterday so she wasn’t particularly surprised, but in that case, Sophie realized that she would have to request Gerald to be her escort instead. However, it would be awkward to ask such a thing after their earlier exchange.
U~hn, just as Sophie felt troubled by that, she asked one of the paladins who was guarding her dorm to escort her instead.
I would feel uncomfortable asking an experienced paladin to escort me within the academy premises, which was hardly dangerous, but Geragera, who was supposed to escort me, was executing Ferio’s order at the moment, so I guess it would be okay?
Originally, Ferio considered that, with the exception of Gerald who graduated last year, placing experienced paladins within academy premises would feel intimidating to people inside so he intended to leave escorting within academy premises to the black star students as much as possible instead. Unfortunately, Sophie gave the condition that “the escort should have no fiancée,” which disqualified almost every black star student thus limiting the possible escorts.
Normally, the paladin she requested to escort her would be dissatisfied by it and refuse, but said paladin seemed to have fun as he looked at the sky and said how good the weather was.
Even before he escorted her to the academy premises, he said, “The last time I was here was when I graduated. It makes me feel younger here.” But Sophie considered that as mere pleasantries and smiled instead.
The time when he graduated, how many decades in the past was that?
Appearance-wise, the man seemed to be in his forties. Seeing the paladin’s appearance that seemed to be in a similar generation as Alan the Golden Lion gave off a gentle and soft atmosphere that made it hard to imagine he was actually a paladin.
According to information Sophie knew, the paladin had already earned 3 black stars. He introduced himself during the first day’s introduction, but all he said was “Please call me Warren,” and he didn’t mention his surname.
That wasn’t limited to this particular paladin, but to all paladins who were protecting the dorm. The reason they only told her their name but not their surname was out of consideration for Sophie, who was a young lady of a baron family.
Everyone who earned black stars hailed at least from a viscount family. All of them had higher pedigrees than Sophie’s father. Even though Sophie was personally granted a purple star, she couldn’t help but pay attention to her behavior if she knew their pedigree. Sophie found these paladins’ actions of hiding their surname favorable.
Why did Geragera feel like that despite being a fellow paladin?
Sophie concluded it was because of the difference between an adult and a 16-year-old kid as she walked to the gold star’s classroom.
Sophie suddenly felt a gaze and found that Vincent was staring at her again from the second floor of the academy building.
“I guess that person is quite free.”
Firth reacted to Sophie’s muttering and followed her gaze. He found his instructor there and apologized with a pitiful expression.
“I told you, you don’t have to apologize.”
“Well, I didn’t think I would be receiving hostility from an instructor either.”
“I think Instructor Vincent’s remark last time is completely out of jealousy of Sophie-sama, who is recognized by Lorenzo-sama, so please don’t put too much thought into it… you might feel curious about that, though…”
Sophie felt like laughing at the follow-up that didn’t sound like one. Apparently, silver star students were also not good with their mouths like those of the gold star.
Perhaps Firth himself thought he made a poor excuse so he desperately continued his words.
“R-really, that is just Instructor Vincent’s jealousy! Lorenzo-sama was an unrivaled and outstanding person since his period as a student, so apparently, Instructor Vincent wasn’t considered a worthy opponent at all back then. Sophie-sama is the only person that Lorenzo-sama recognized after all!”
Sophie casually ignored Firth’s desperate compliment and nodded her head as things lined up with what she heard from Luca.
Sophie seemed to be listening seriously, but she was actually thinking of a completely different thing.
If things like this are heard by Lana onee-sama, she would happily turn it into a story between the lines. I would feel bad if Lorenzo-sama were included in it, so why not change it to a one-sided love from Instructor Vincent instead?
Sophie, who wanted to keep in touch with the beautiful onee-samas even if they were far apart, seriously considered such a thing.
Sophie was asked to inform them if she found a wonderful love, but there was no way she would find one here, so she decided to tell them something that sounded similar instead.
Sophie was sure Lana, who was an expert in things between the lines, would be able to use the material as it was and cook it into a delicious thing between the lines.
Yep, let’s do that!
If it was for the sake of Lana, the “elder sister” of lovely Lilina, Sophie would gladly become a demon and force a man or two into hell.
Unaware of the fact the girl in front of him had such an outrageous thought, Firth was worried that Sophie might feel offended.
“Oh my, even if you are an instructor, that kind of gaze toward purple star-sama is disrespectful. I’ll report it to my superior.”
Warren, who was walking a step behind Sophie, said so in a bitter tone that was suitable for his age.
“Oh my, Warren-sama, you don’t have to worry about that. You can leave him as is. Just in case of an emergency.”
“Just in case of an emergency?”
When Sophie answered with a smile, Warren seemingly ruminated over it for a moment then replied with a smile.
“Well then, please tell us immediately if something happens. We will deal with it promptly.”
Sophie was glad that the adult paladin was quick to catch the drift.
Firth, who was next to Sophie, had no idea what the two were talking about and tilted his head in confusion.
Firth was able to earn one silver star because he managed to maintain top grades for many years. He was definitely not stupid, but because he was raised purely, he couldn’t keep up with the two’s conversation, and the number of times he tilted his head in confusion inevitably increased.
“That’s right, are you okay with this? Since you are seen walking together with me, won’t Instructor Vincent throw sarcasm at you later?”
“I’m already used to it, so you don’t have to worry.”
At Firth’s casual answer as if there was nothing wrong, Sophie thought that was weird and looked up at Vincent.
Vincent suddenly went to hide when Sophie gazed at him for some reason.
…That’s quite irritating.
During Sophie’s time in the girls’ academy, there were students who looked at Sophie with hostility only to look away when Sophie looked back at them.
However, the hem of their dress was visible so they weren’t hidden at all, so Sophie found it adorable instead, but it was irritating to see a man attempting something similar.
It might sound like an opinion on women’s superiority, but there was no way one could look at teenage girls and a man in his twenties the same way. One shouldn’t underestimate cute things.
“Hey, Firth. Is there a person in the silver stars who is superior to Instructor Vincent in ‘The King’s Sword’?”
Normally, for Vincent, who earned three silver stars, it wouldn’t be weird for him to be employed at the Institute of Medical Science.
The reason he became a full-time instructor instead of a dispatch lecturer was because it was already decided back then that Lorenzo would become the director of the Institute of Medical Science, so Vincent didn’t want to work under him. Vincent might be smart, but his vessel as a man seemed small, such was the sarcasm that Sophie almost said.
Firth began to think about Sophie’s question.
“Let’s see… There’s Remiel Karlfeldt-sama, who is known as the second-most-talented person after Lorenzo-sama.”1
“Oh my, so there’s such a person. Is he a student?”
“Yes. He hasn’t earned a star yet, but it’s only a matter of time.”
That kind of person should have enough charisma, but Firth’s tone was awkward for some reason.
“What kind of person is he?”
“Huh? Wasn’t he there to greet Sophie-sama on your first day here?”
Was there such a person during the introduction on the first day? Sophie remembered Lorenzo and Deputy Director Nert, but she couldn’t recall the other bearers of silver stars there.
When Sophie was trying to recall, Firth said with a troubled expression.
“Perhaps he didn’t go. He is a free-spirited person after all.”
If he didn’t come despite being told to by the first prince, then he must be quite free-spirited…
Just by hearing that, Sophie could guess he was a weird fellow.
To be honest, Sophie didn’t want to get involved with such a person. Such was what her instinct told her.
On a later date, she would come to learn that her instinct was really correct, but Sophie had no way of knowing at that moment.
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