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Chapter 175 – Dear Tenma, Everything Was Inevitable II
“After all, just because all of you were born as men and raised as high-rank aristocrats, you got the honor of protecting my precious onee-sama. Of course I would be prejudiced.”
Sophie smiled innocently, but the words she said were full of evil.
Sophie mentioned in her diary she didn’t do it with a sister-in-law mentality, but it was only because she was telling Tenma. The one she was considerate to was her best friend and definitely not the dumbfounded man whose mouth hung open in front of her.
What the heck is with this young lady…?
On the other hand, Evert, expecting a denial but hearing an affirmation, couldn’t continue his words.
Evert almost shouted his real thought, “I didn’t become a black star to protect your so-called onee-sama!” If Evert said such a retort, he might repeat the incident with Remiel last time.
“…………Miss Sophie, if I may say, even with our parents’ statuses, without appropriate effort, one couldn’t pass the black star exam.”
Those who became black stars were people who hailed from at least a viscount family. The hurdles were high from the start, but it didn’t mean anyone could be a black star as long as they came from a good family. In fact, unless they managed to reach the passing line, they wouldn’t be able to enroll even under the introduction of the staff.
Exactly because Evert was proud of that, he made such an insistence. At that, Sophie kept smiling and said,
“Yesterday, I checked the content of the exam and the whole curriculum of the black star.”
“In that case…”
“It was to the point where I got confused. ‘Why are they so proud of being able to pass something of this degree?’ I thought.”
“Your calculation ability is no match to the gold star, your knowledge is poorer than the silver star, and your physical strength is inferior to the copper star. The only thing you are superior in is court mannerisms. Is such a star even necessary?”
“Is that… criticism toward the government?”
“Oh my, I’m criticizing you people. You sure are slow on your thought processing ability.”
Sarcasm was mercilessly shot, but Sophie already did so several times. Evert, who wasn’t as dumbfounded compared to the first time, asked without fear,
“We would be serving the royal court and protecting the members of the royal family, of course it’s natural to have court mannerisms as the priority. Is something weird about that?”
“Protecting the members of the royal family is synonymous with protecting the nation. Do you think you could protect the nation as long as you learn manners? I’m not talking about such a peaceful assumption――I’m asking if war were to break out tomorrow, could you serve as one of the generals then?”
For the last few decades, sparks of conflict hadn’t spread over the Orlando Kingdom. That said, the current situation wasn’t a circumstance where anyone could say for sure that war would definitely not occur.
There was the Daksha Kingdom, which was mostly comprised of a war-like race that loved conflict.
There was the Rusha Kingdom, which had expanded its territory by earning great profits through its iron exports.
Although they were relatively quiet now, peaceful days could easily disappear if things went wrong a bit.
“Once a black star entered the royal court, they would be in a position of leading the copper star. Would court mannerisms have meaning in that situation? Of course, I didn’t say court mannerism is useless. However, I see that none of you seem to notice the thing of greater importance.”
“The thing of greater importance, is it?”
“Did none of you ever think why the black star received lessons merely at the level of ‘the calculation ability is no match to the gold star, the knowledge is poorer than the silver star, and the physical strength is inferior to the copper star?’ Why are black stars still thought of as obviously superior despite that? Did none of you ever wonder why?”
Merely at the level?
The way Sophie worded it sounded as if there was some sort of intention from the academy side.
Evert couldn’t understand what she implied and the color of confusion filled his eyes.
“That’s? Is it because all of you hail from a family greater than a viscount?”
If Evert admitted that here, that would deny his own words earlier.
As Evert’s gaze wandered about, he searched for words that could break the girl’s logic. However, there was no way he could come up with something for the topic he never thought about before, so he could only regretfully bite his lips.
“…If we admit it is, would you be satisfied?”
“No. I’ll just laugh over your ridiculous answer.”
Even when she said would laugh, the fake smile she had from the beginning disappeared.
Making a slip during an argument with no chance of winning was nothing but folly. However, since he couldn’t withdraw after all this time, Evert instead asked, “Then what kind of answer would be the correct one?” But, that only caused Sophie to reply,
“Why did you abandon your thoughts and ask me? That’s why you could never reach the answer no matter how long it takes. Is it because you thought the answer was always prepared and it would be obvious for the answer to be granted? It’s amazing you still claim it’s not because of your family power despite that―― such would be the sarcasm I would say.”
Not even superficial deception worked.
Evert suppressed his urge to click his tongue and hesitated to speak his next words. Even amidst that, Sophie’s gaze turned even sharper compared to the instructors who taught them. The bell-like voice that was supposed to sound soothing said something piercing.
“Among the four stars, why is only the black star receiving special treatment? It’s because only the black star had a different standing compared to other stars.”
Considering that “The King’s Sword” was an institution for fostering human resources that would play a central role in the nation, the answer that the girl gave wasn’t something Evert could be convinced about.
“If you say standing, all the stars have different standings, don’t they?”
The gold star moved the nation’s economy, the silver star researched to develop the nation, and the copper star would be the force to protect the nation.
Evert pointed that out since he couldn’t see anything in common with the three stars, but the purple star girl slowly shook her head.
“No, it’s the same in the big picture. Be it the gold star, silver star, or the copper star, all of them had the value as specialists.”
“Yes. Even though there’s a lot of room for improvement, their curriculum focused on making them master their respective fields. However, the same couldn’t be said to all of you, could it?”
The black star learned a vast array of lessons. There were things like astronomy, ancient history, and foreign languages included. However, all lessons other than court mannerism and martial arts were only scraping the surface and it could be said what they learned was minimal.
“The lessons for the black star focused more on quantity over quality. What is sought for the black star that the curriculum is made that way―――― do you know what it is?”
…Something that is sought for the black star?
Was it loyalty? Dedication?
Evert thought of the answer to the question, but all the words that he thought of were denied by his own mind.
It shouldn’t be something abstract or sentimental. He worried at the thought that the girl in front of him sought such a typical answer, but her green eyes gazed at him sharply, and as if she had no expectation that Evert would be able to answer to begin with, continued her words with, “It’s to broaden your perspective to cover multiple fields.”
“The calculation ability didn’t have to be to the extent of the gold star. The depth of knowledge being poorer than the silver star is fine. Having physical ability inferior to the copper star also didn’t matter. Excelled in a single field would also create a weakness where their perspective is only limited to said field. However, in the case an unforeseen situation occurred, being trapped only in a single perspective would likely cause losses in the big picture.”
People didn’t expect others to have the brain that would allow them to master every field. It was unrealistic to seek such people.
What was sought were people who could make the best choice regardless of the situation they faced.
“What is sought of the black star is the ability to listen to the words of others and gather public knowledge. The ability to think comprehensively and utilize that information. The ability to flexibly determine and act during the time of emergency. Having all of that and leading all three other stars to protect the nation is the responsibility granted to the black star.”
It was the ability to use and lead people to serve the nation.
It was definitely not easy. That was why they were treated as a special existence (star).
“Of course, that’s only after you enter the royal court. All of you are still incomplete, poorly taught, and not so knowledgeable in this academy. You still lack the capability and measurement to lead the other stars. Learning one’s immaturity, not to being satisfied with the things that are granted and keep filling what is lacking and continuing to polish yourselves. It is only then you could be proud as the black star.”
Within the academy, there was certainly a custom where the black star was superior.
However, a custom was just a custom.
It was definitely not determined by the public view.
Even though the value wasn’t fixed, they continued to be proud of their authority without feeling dubious or suspicious.
They didn’t think much and only enjoyed it as if it was an obvious thing to do.
It continued all this time until the younger girl in front of him pointed it out.
“Well then, I’d like to ask you based on my words so far, but ever since I came to the academy, has any of your behavior made you worthy of the ‘black star’? Can you say you could be proud of it?”
They only learned the gossip-level information about what kind of person the bearer of the purple star that was chosen by the first successor of the throne was that they didn’t bother to try and analyze what kind of person she really was, and they didn’t even bother to pay attention to what other stars did――――
Evert felt his palm become damp with sweat.
Once he thought calmly after abandoning the thought of the family he hailed from or his pride, all the black star did was boast they were worthy of the star without any real achievements.
Honestly, with respect to knowledge, they were no match for the girl in front of them.
They were quite confident in the sword and martial arts, but compared to Marcus, it was only at a laughable level.
No, more than anything, he never thought that just becoming unable to boast the prestige of his family would cause his foundation to become so unstable.
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