13. Rumours (2)

The day began with me happily dressing in my pitch black training outfit. Since the temperature was alright I still chose the summer uniform and after attaching my leather armour and belts, I felt more like an adventurer than a wannabe knight. And if I were to wear a black cloth to cover my face, I’d look similar to cat-eyes…

I shuddered. Let’s not think about it.

I really used the ribbon to tie my black hair in a high ponytail or Ines did. Seeing the ribbon match my hair colour so well left me with mixed feelings. The Duke treated his daughter neutral. There were times when Sophien was a child when his emotions overtook him. It was probably this hair colour which reminded him but he never disregarded her.

Just what was she to him, I wondered before shaking my head, leaving my thoughts behind. My ruby-like eyes glistened in the mirror. Now I also looked the part of a Villainess.

“Let’s go.” I wouldn’t start my first school days reminiscing and analysing.

Cane was already waiting for me when I showed up at our meeting place, the same old bench. Today he would finally show me the training grounds for the knight majors.

“Sophien!” He cried out and I had to stop Ines from berating Cane right after. Holding her back with one arm while pacifying her at the same time.

“It’s fine. I allowed him to call me by my given name.” I pulled her back a little bit more, amused by her protective behaviour. “Besides, the academy supports friendships between nobles and commoners. No offence, Cane.”

“None taken.” He smiled playfully. “But are you alright Sophien? Is it really fine to participate in the morning training? Weren’t you sick, not a long time ago, Sophien. And yesterday our Sophien was also really pale.” Smiling brightly he winked with one eye and circled us lightheartedly.

“Argh! Don’t provoke her!”

Ines, who had just calmed down, went on for another round of scolding. Thankfully, it was directed at Cane so it was my turn to be amused.

“We’ll be late at this rate Miss Ines, let’s go?”

Cane declared defeat.

The training grounds had a large outdoor field for stamina and endurance training as well as several puppets and targets to shoot. On a covered wall were quite a lot of blunt training weapons and bows. The sun had hardly risen but there were already tons of students silently training.

It looked rather impressive. Ines stood on the side, clearly worried but this was what I chose for myself.

“Do we have an instructor?” I asked Cane since I was seriously puzzled. My Stats would be enough to handle physical training. Experience in wielding a weapon was a totally different question.

Many students dressed in the same adventurer’s clothes as me were running round by round, not looking like they would stop anytime soon.

Cane observed me puzzled. “Didn’t you talk with the principal about your schedule and what you have to expect?”

Did I?

Looking at my clueless self Cane began to explain what being a knight major contained while nudging me to start jogging.

Since I was one of the few people who attended both majors, I would have to participate in an unsupervised stamina training every morning between six o’clock till eight o’clock and a coached weapon training in the evening. All the time in between, I would have to attend practical and theoretical lessons for my magic major as well as revise all the material I missed in my theoretical knight classes.

Then, after I took a test to prove that my theoretical level is the same as my peers, I would have to attend the theoretical classes for knights of the second year. Thank god, there wouldn’t be too many theoretical classes otherwise I might just burn out.

By the way, the academy was divided into two phases. The primary education which every noble at the age of ten to sixteen had to attend to be accepted as an educated person.

Although nobles could choose other schools to get their primary education, as long as one was wealthy enough one would go to the Royal Magic and Knight Academy, it was something like a status symbol because many famous mages, researchers and knights were taught there.

In these seven years one would get a general education like reading, writing, calculating and history for all nobles as well as specialised classes divided by gender for example embroidery for women and economics for men. However it wasn’t that strict. If someone had a generous family, both genders could still apply for a class which was originally meant for the opposite gender.

In these early years the foundation for either magic or a weapon of one’s own choice was laid. Regardless of one’s future choice, the academy let its students train their mana pool and their mana sensibility. It was something one needed in both majors.

Some commoners like Cane paid to take these elementary classes to learn how to read, write and calculate. Sometimes they would also apply for history classes. Wherever their interest lay. Note that commoners were allowed to learn but they had to pay up.

The second phase was from the age of sixteen or seventeen to eighteen or nineteen. It was the refining stage called plainly the secondary core education. As a noble one had to choose either magic or knighthood as their major by default.

A noble had the duty to first learn to wield a weapon or magic because nobles were supposed to protect their citizens in case of war. It was another rule left behind by the founders to ensure the stability of the kingdom and to prevent corruption.

Though there still existed a large number of nobles who just attended to get their certificate…

In the academy, these three years were the most important to declare one’s starting value to the world. The higher one’s evaluation the higher one’s worth afterwards. Every graduate had a high value and a higher chance to be employed which was especially important for commoners.

Women could but did not have to continue studying after having received their primary education. Generally speaking, a female noble was able to marry after she finished her education and the higher her education and one’s own family status, the higher one could marry.

Commoner women were eligible to marry at the age of seventeen to twenty-five.

Besides the academy, there were other schools at which one could further other studies such as commerce or economics. They too accepted commoners.

After supplementing Cane’s explanation with Sophien’s memories and the explanation of the principle which I did get but forgot, I had a pretty accurate guess of my situation.

The game started in the first year of the second core education. Right now we were at the beginning of the second year so there was still one and a half years to go before we were out of school.

‘Does the game end with their graduation?’ I asked the system.

In their last year, there will be various events around the game world so the ending of the game is not inside the school but the time period should be similar to the time of the graduation.

Besides, if you survive until then, you won’t have any scenes left. We will just have to wait and see whether this game succeeds or crumbles.

‘That’s not a nice description, is there anything we can do to help the game advance?’

Only for the Heroine to be happy.

I snorted, ‘So our lives depend on whether the Heroine falls in love or not?’

At that moment, Cane brought my attention back to the present. “Difficult?” He asked me, looking slightly worried.

We finished the laps and stretching and now we did exercises to build up muscles like push-ups, knee-bends and pull-ups. And indeed, it was hard.

“I am more the stamina type” I answered him. Thank God I chose to regain some of my Stats.

“I see and your body?”

I frowned. “What do you mean?”

Did anything happen in the last run to make Cane think I was still ill? I didn’t faint or bled in front of him, right? I just stumbled and was a little pale.

“Ah” I made an acknowledging sound. “I didn’t sleep well yesterday so my complexion was miserable. Don’t worry about it.”

He too looked puzzled. “Well, If you say so…”.


A week after avoiding the assassin’s Death Flag a second time, my Stats regained its former glory. I was in tears. This was my true starting point! No more trusting the Game System! No more fainting! No more-

Calm down.

‘I will not!’

“My Lady?”

‘I’m calm like totally. I mean…’ “Yes”, faking composure, I let Ines enter. It was break time and I already ate in the cafeteria so I was rather curious why she came.

She came in wearing that same old maid uniform, I never saw her wear anything else and gave me a polite bow.

“My Lady, I am sorry to disturb your rest but there are some rumours I ought to tell you.” She uttered warily while still bowing.

“Rise.” I scolded.

Rumours? What rumours? This week was really stressful. I had to get used to my packed schedule. There just wasn’t any time for me to do anything yet. Neither to the Heroine nor to my Side Quest so what rumours could there be?

“Yes, my Lady. They are concerning my Lady and the Crown Prince so I am worried it might tarnish your reputation.” She bowed again and her short brown hair fell into her eyes. It was then that I noticed her strong discomfort.

“I understand. Speak freely, you won’t get punished for whatever the rumour is.” It felt like I always had to reassure her for her to speak comfortably.

Speaking of which, why was that? Sophien never did anything to Ines in contrast, she was very grateful to her for not being partial and always treating her the same.

Ines was Sophien’s constancy. That’s also why I felt instinctual trust towards her but why did she always feel so insecure? To serve a high noble like Sophien one had to be a noble themselves therefore she could be more at ease… It was a mystery.

Standing stiffly Ines began her narration. “Alright, my Lady. Pardon me for my impudence.

I heard the rumour when I was on my way back to my quarters and accidentally overheard some servants. They said that the Crown Prince was in trouble. This time he seriously offended my Lady and it would be no wonder if the Duke would stop supporting the Crown Prince.

Since it was something concerning my Lady I stopped and asked what they meant. Apparently someone is spreading news about the Crown Prince hiring an assassin to kill my Lady and by the way the servants talked, it has spread a lot already.

They didn’t know who started the rumour and just repeated that it was reliable.

I am sorry, my Lady. I don’t know how the content of that day’s conversation could leak. I didn’t tell anyone and planned to take it to my grave…”

“Stop.” I raised my hand to indicate to her to stop talking but Ines misinterpreted my actions and flinched. I clicked my tongue in displeasure.

“Raise your head Ines. I know you very well, there is no need to apologise since you didn’t leak it. Have more confidence in yourself and me.”

Ines obeyed but remained stiff. Her eyes were wandering inside the room, not knowing where to focus and her hands shook repeatedly.

“Hey, Ines. It’s really fine. I never believed for a second that it was your fault, okay? Look at me.”

She flinched again. “I wouldn’t dare…”

I grabbed her hand. “Relax, relax and sit down. Don’t tell me how you wouldn’t dare. I have known you since my childhood that much is nothing.”

Just why was she so insecure?

I slowly led her to a chair and calmly pacified her by talking about shared experiences between Sophien and her. My heart hurt when I saw her like this and mine and Sophien’s feelings slowly synchronised, leading me to get emotional too and also a little jealous.

“I have changed, Ines.” I therefore told her truthfully though it wasn’t a simple ‘change’. “You should have already noticed. There are a bunch of things you don’t know and I can’t tell you but I still have memories of stealing cake together or hiding from my teacher and that won’t change, okay?”

I didn’t want Sophien’s emotions and memories to influence me but I also couldn’t ignore years of companionship.

“Just because there is a rumour doesn’t mean that somebody knows the truth. I have always been slandered like that. Someone could have taken the last incident as well as my bad relationship with my fiance and make that rumour up.

Also, I had to urgently meet the Prince a second time that night and didn’t even close the doors.”

“My Lady!”

I chuckled. “It was necessary so don’t worry. I will handle this. Besides, nobody would believe such a grand rumour without evidence. The Rubien Dukedom stood beside the Crown for such a long time, we are not that fickle. There would have to be a really big disagreement for my father to act, okay?”

“Yes, you are right my Lady. I lost my composure for a minute.” After settling a little she promptly stood up.

“Good, then rest for a while. I will call for you should I need you.” I said smiling as Ines left the room. I slowly walked to the window.

‘A rumour, hm. That’s a little dangerous.’


Previous Chapter  Volume 1  Next Chapter

One response to “13. Rumours (2)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *