Most of the class is already here. Everyone, from the students of the academy to the middle-school students from Earth wearing the same uniforms, all stare at the lovely girl in sheer astonishment.
Milady already has beauty in her genes, after all. I simply helped her return to a healthier lifestyle and gave her a bit of a makeover.
“And lo and behold, the goddess Sharon has seen fit to descend in all her splendour, filling the world with her light—”
“No no no what are you saying?!”
Milady frantically blocks my mouth with her wee little hands, despite the fact that I was only whispering. As I expected of milady, her lack of experience in receiving praises has helped her develop a talent to sense any and all words of compliment. Truly commendable, lady Sharon.
Hello, readers. It is me, Fleurety, the maid who can never manage to keep her thoughts about her mistress to herself.
“…I must admit, Sharon, I too am truly surprised. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. You’re… gorgeous… ” Prince Joel says, the gaze he gives to lady Sharon having completely changed.
“…ah… I, umm… thank you, your highness…”
So too does milady blush as she replies, her voice full of bewilderment. Then she glances at me, myself having stepped back so as to not interrupt her conversation with the prince, and she acidly whispers my name.
I knew this would happen, of course. It is exactly why I’ve been keeping her away from mirrors since morning. Mwahahaha.
The gazes people send milady vary quite a bit. Some are honestly impressed. Some are infatuated. Some are simply surprised. While some are spiteful…
Of course, I can’t just outright decide which ones are milady’s enemies and which ones are her allies based on only their gazes, but I can get a rough idea.
The prince Joel is half impressed and half infatuated, I would say. Which reminds me, milady is technically his fiancee candidate, isn’t she? He hadn’t ever paid milady a lick of attention before, and now that she looks better he’s suddenly in love? He really is a sleaze.
That aside, the looks that the girls send to milady have turned quite a bit harsher. The prince hadn’t paid any thoughts to where they are when he complimented milady.
“Sharon, if you would not mind, may I invite—”
“Alright everyone, return to your seats. We’re beginning the lesson.”
Just before prince Joel could finish his words, instructor Eric shows up to return the class to order. My? He’s looking my way. I wonder why he seems so hesitant to speak.
“Miss Fleurety… where is your uniform?”
The marquis’ young lady’s change had been well received, more or less. As a matter of fact, the main reason why Sharon had been ostracized was simply because no one knew much about her.
Was it because she had become a fiancee candidate to prince Joel, and thus became the target of jealousy from the other young noble ladies?
Yet she was but one of five candidates, and the other four hadn’t been spurned so.
Was it because of the high expectations that she held for others, being the proud noble that she was?
No. Pride was one commonality all nobles shared, no matter what form it may take. Furthermore, this academy also expected its upperclassmen and high nobles to become role models for — and provide guidance to — their juniors. There was no cause for Sharon alone to be condemned.
Was it due to Sharon’s lack of skill in her magic control, despite being of a high noble house?
Not quite. While the fact that her problem had stemmed from her family hadn’t been announced outright, many among high nobility were still aware of the rumors, and she had quite a few sympathizers among the older generation.
Was it due to the severe glare she seemed to have on at all time?
You couldn’t change genetics, and some might even say a strong gaze shows a strong will. Perhaps children might be scared of her, but it would be impossible for grown men and women to not understand that.
Then could it be the combination of all the above? Perhaps. Yet that would mean that Sharon’s detractors would have to be deeply envious, without dignity, ignorant of the happenings of the noble world, excessively condescending, and also be incorrigibly cowardly children.
And these sort of people were always the loud ones. They would have to be, if they wanted their wrongs to be right.
So it was that they became the first to shun Sharon, and as a result, they dictated the first impression people had of her. And inertia was a powerful force — it was what had made other people begin to avoid Sharon even when they had no particular cause to.
Breaking a person’s preconceptions held since they were young would not be a simple task. Success, however, would then be rewarded with opportunities.
The summoning had provided the occasion for many of Sharon’s contemporaries who hadn’t known of her before to see her for the first time. They were no longer children; they were young men and women with value and moral systems in accordance to their age.
Regardless, when they saw the girl standing alone and away from everyone else, they still found it hard to approach her.
As it turned out, she was the first to gain a Partner. An… unusual one, to say the least. The Partner and her Operation: All Boys Like a Cute Girl with Big Tits were what had wiped away all the preconceptions about Sharon that the young men in their puberty had been holding.
Yet some had not viewed the change in a positive light. Included among them were naturally the green-eyed, ignoble, ignorant, contemptuous, and craven children as mentioned above, but they weren’t the only ones hostile to Sharon.
There were also the Heroines who knew about the otome games.
As complicated as the games had been, players could encounter many, many different dialogue patterns with each playthrough, but one thing remained constant: as one of the Villainesses, Sharon would always appear multiple times to harass the main character. She was a necessary ‘device’ in raising the seduction target’s opinions of the main character.
It was why the Heroines needed Sharon to be the black sheep of the class.
As the Earthborn students would be attending class for the first time today, the period would simply be a review of the basics of magecraft. It was an occasion for the academy students to help them out and teach them.
It’s a group date, is what I’m saying.
So now we’re being split into groups of four to five people. And to my extreme, extreme regret, I and milady are in different groups.
I’m worried. She has zero skills in making friends, after all.
“Hello, umm… Fleurety, right? Welcome to the class.”
A student of the academy, a girl with a golden head of fluffy hair, greets me with a gentle smile.
“Greetings, miss. I hope to be your acquaintance.” I reply.
“Ah, feel free to call me Clarice, alright? We’re all friends here.”
The young lady Clarice is quite cute, I must say. She looks like the main character of a shoujo manga. She gives off the impression of a girl who can be friends with anyone, the direct opposite of milady.
Other than Clarice and me, our group has one more male academy student and one of the girls from Earth.
“Hey, I’m Cosimo. Man, it’s real stressful being surrounded by so many beauties. Come, come, Ginko, sit here.”
Oh yes, I remember her, her name is Ginko. She’s looking at me with somewhat intense eyes like she doesn’t trust me. Really, Ginko hadn’t needed to bother — she should know that I only enjoys that sort of gaze when it’s milady doing the glaring.
Cosimo, a boy who’s totally a skirt-chaser judging from his appearance, is currently desperately trying to make passes at Ginko. He’s harmless, then.
The smiling miss Clarice has taken it upon herself to be the group’s leader, so there is no worry on that front.
“As it happens, we generally study about the history of magecraft before learning the basics, as it would better deepen our understanding. Fleurety, how much of the history have you heard?”
“I have not, miss Clarice.”
“…Kamishiro, there was a lecture last week for us Earth people. You weren’t there.” Ginko says.
“My, is that so?”
I didn’t think it was important. And I don’t think anything could be more important than Milady.
“There is no need to slow down on my account. I can find a book later.” I say.
“Truly? Then we shall begin with Ignite.”
We’re starting off with Utility Magecraft. The term describes spells of convenience such as making a small flame, or pouring water into a bowl.
Magecraft and magic might seem to be the same thing at first glance, but in fact, ‘magecraft’ refers to well-analyzed spells used in talismans and magic circles, those which anyone can cast to create the same effect, while ‘magic’ are spells that can have varying effects depending on the caster.
Magic and magecraft spells are similar in that they both utilize words of power to give direction to magic power in order to cause a magical phenomenon. Interestingly, I must note that these words are very, very similar to the language us denizens of the dark world use.
First off, miss Clarice and Cosimo would demonstrate the spell for me and Ginko, as we are both complete newcomers, and then it would be Ginko’s turn and mine.
“‘Ignite’… wah, I did it.”
Ginko didn’t have any problem.
“Ignite.” I say, as I rub pencils together fast enough for them to burst into flame.
My? The group is strangely silent.
“…that’s not magecraft.”
Same difference. I still made fire, why would the method matter?
At any rate, it seems I can’t use this world’s magic very well.
But enough about me. How is milady doing? I give her a covert glance.
Despite being in a five-person group, amazingly, she still manages to be isolated. She was unfortunate enough to be sorted into a group with only girls, and the one academy student and three middle-schoolers from Earth aren’t even trying to hide the fact that they’re ignoring milady.
…those insects look like they might try something.
“Umm… Fleurety. I understand you may be concerned for miss Sharon, but could you spare me some of your attention…?”
Hearing her words, I turn back to Clarice. She looks at me with an unfathomable gaze.
“Might I still have a chance to be your Partner? If you would be interested, next time, we can—”
That was me flicking my wrist to throw Orc Killer. The weapon flew through the 50-centimeters gap between the female academy student and milady to embed itself into the wall at the end of its trajectory.
Instant silence. I make use of the moment to stand up, my hands pinching my long skirt, and I give a bow to the classroom full of people shocked still.
“My apologies. There was a bug.”
There really was. There was also a large cockroach about to throw the dead bug onto milady’s hair.
I return to my seat and smile sweetly at the people sharing a table with me. They’re still frozen.
“Once again, my apologies to miss Clarice. Please continue.”
“…no, never mind.”
Miss Clarice seems to be quite pale. Does she have anemia?
“Letty, no more stuff like that, understood?”
Milady scolding like an older sister is cute, too.
After that, instructor Eric reprimanded me and tried to confiscate Orc Killer. Emphasis on ‘tried’. When he saw it didn’t budge an inch despite his efforts, he made me do a written apology.
Really, men these days are so frail. It’s just a bit heavier than milady.
“…Letty, did you just think something rude again?”
“I was wondering why milady’s breasts seem terribly heavy, yet they still float in the bath.”
“What has that got to do with anything?!”
Truly a mysterious phenomenon.
At the moment, even as she is still blushing bright red after she so easily believed my distraction, milady is still kind enough to accompany me to the faculty room.
“An apology letter is quite tedious, isn’t it?”
“That’s getting off really lightly considering what you did, Letty. I mean, the count’s daughter was even frothing at the mouth.”
Yet from her tone of voice, milady doesn’t seem to mind at all. She must have been harassed by that young woman for quite a long time. I should have crushed her, it looks like.
The other girls were Hina and her merry band, so I had nothing to worry about. The girls named… Denko and Botan, if I remember correctly, were just about to snap at me before miss Hina frantically stopped them, her face ghastly pale.
Truly, how fortunate it is that there was no lasting aftereffect.
I should give her a reward later. Just a drop of medicine once she’s asleep, I’m thinking.
As we walk down the hallway, milady suddenly stiffens.
Wondering what might have happened, I look at the direction of her eyes. There, I see a girl, plus a boy with an attending maid. They look at milady with some surprise.
I see. So that is lady Sharon’s younger brother, then. One of the pieces of garbage that call themselves her family.