The next morning, Iris woke up to a loud clattering sound. She rubbed her eyes before slowly sitting on the bed and looked at the source of the sound. Then, she froze. Her mind was trying to register things as she looked at the figure rummaging through a… treasure chest?
The figure stopped her movements as she sensed Iris’ waking up. She then turned to look at Iris and happily smiled.
“Little sheep, you’re awake already?”
Iris finally opened her eyes wide.
So, it’s not a dream…?
“What are you doing?”
“Nothing much, I’m sorting my stuff and preparing to go to school today. You should start preparing too.”
Iris stopped rubbing her eyes and stared at Carbuncle. Yes, the thing that she was rummaging through just now… was a treasure chest. It was a beautiful and luxurious red treasure chest etched with gold. Carbuncle had put the it right in front of her bed. There were various strange items lying about on the floor around Carbuncle next to the treasure chest.
Since she was just a normal seven-year-old girl, Iris couldn’t help but feel curious. Therefore, she moved closer to take a look at Carbuncle and her treasure chest—and the other things around the floor. She became stunned when she looked at several huge items on the floor and the abyssal darkness inside the treasure chest.
“…Wait, just how deep is the treasure chest?”
“It’s a magical treasure chest! It is equipped with a storage magic, and its capacity is a lot. It’s pretty convenient.”
Having a thing equipped with a storage magic was quite rare. But Carbuncle spoke as if it was natural.
“Is it normal for dragons to have this kind of treasure chest?”
“Yep! But the quality and the quantity vary. Non-Draconis don’t have such thing?”
Iris realized that culture gap existed in this world. She shook her head, as based on her knowledge, it wasn’t a common thing. She wasn’t sure of the culture outside Riviera, though…
After Iris finished preparing, Carbuncle was pretty much done. Iris noticed that Carbuncle seemed reluctant to use the wardrobe that was provided for her, as she preferred using the treasure chest that she brought from her homeland. However, since Carbuncle wanted to learn of Non-Draconis’ customs, she forced herself to use it normally, and Iris sometimes gave a few pointers.
The two of them walked together to the class, and Iris stole a few glances at Carbuncle during their ways to the class.
Upon arriving at the class, Iris quickly saw Lyra and ran towards her. Lyra was delighted to see Iris and extended both of her hands to accept Iris, as if she was a mother missing her daughter. Lyra noticed that Iris came together with Carbuncle and curiously asked.
“Did you two come here together? Were your dormitory rooms close to each other?”
“Ehehe, guess what? I’m her roommate!”
Carbuncle proudly answered. Iris clung to Lyra as she only nodded. Luca and Kiri were also there, and they chattered before Morgan-sensei entered the classroom.
“I thought that dragons would be more arrogant and that they would look down on us, but you seemed to be quite friendly,” Luca said after he pondered for a while.
“Well, there are some that act as you described. …Wait, it’s quite the majority. Only a few dragons like me are curious and would love to mingle with Non-Draconis like you.”
“I heard that dragons decided to live secluded in the Dragon’s Heritage and they never left the continent to visit other places. How was it when you decided to come here, Carbuncle? Did nobody oppose you?” Lyra asked with eyes full of curiosity.
“Lots of them opposed me! However, I insisted and they gave up. Besides, my friend, the crown princess of the Pyrpgrntia kingdom supported me, so all is good, haha!”
Iris could only look from Lyra’s side as she digested Carbuncle’s words. Her friend… a crown princess of some dragon kingdom… If that’s the case, then Carbuncle’s identity shouldn’t be simple, right? Iris was lost in her thought until the class started.
The sitting arrangement was adjusted a bit to accommodate Carbuncle. Carbuncle had a special seat arranged between Iris’ seat which was next to the window and the teacher’s desk in front. That way, her body—which was bigger than the average children inside this class—wouldn’t disturb the others behind her to see the board.
Morgan-sensei entered the classroom and started Day 2 lessons immediately. Day 2 lessons consisted of two branches of social studies: geography and history. Morgan-sensei skillfully incorporate the two lessons and blended them into a story-telling session that managed to keep the students interested. He knew that it wouldn’t be good to go all serious with young children like his students, so he decided to take this approach.
At first, Lyra thought that no matter how boring and sleepy this class would get, she’d definitely try to pay a close attention to Morgan-sensei’s classes! She left a bad impression on him when they first met, so she couldn’t afford to offend him more than that. Thankfully, with Morgan-sensei’s approach to the lessons, focusing to the lesson wasn’t a hard task for Lyra.
Lyra tried to be an exemplary student and ended up being an active student who answered most of Morgan-sensei’s questions until Morgan-sensei calmed her down.
“Okay, so far, Lyra’s been answering my questions and I haven’t heard the other students’ voices. Everyone must store their voice today, so who is willing to answer my previous question?” Morgan-sensei asked with a friendly smile on his face.
Meanwhile, Lyra had a delicate heart and was sensitive enough to his words. She felt that… Morgan-sensei softly reprimanded her for taking too much credits on this first day of lesson? Though it was only her negative mindset appearing again in her mind, she didn’t notice and remained worrying over her awkward relationship with Morgan-sensei until the rest of the lesson.
Carbuncle sometimes chimed in during the lesson and actively participated. She has learned the history and geography from her kin, but there were some differences from the version that she learned. She was glad that she took the classes from the very basic.
Luca didn’t want to lose to Lyra, so he took up Lyra’s place after Lyra became quiet. He sometimes would urge Kiri to follow his example, but the shy little Kiri could only try once or twice before he retreated to his shell…
Iris looked at her four friends with a blank gaze, feeling a bit out of place…
So, when it was break time, she only remained quiet and didn’t act as clingy to Lyra. Lyra was very worried over Iris’ weird conduct and noisily asked her all the way until they reached the school dining hall for lunch.
There, the group met Altaire’s group of friends. Seeing the only constant variable in her life, Iris quickly ran over to Harvey and poured all of her worries to him.
My baby, Iris, has been acting so weird today. She wasn’t as cheerful as she was when she looked at me. She seemed to be contemplating for something, but no matter what I said, she kept her mouth so tight…
I can finally understand why the male protagonists in the novels I read often complained how they couldn’t understand a girl’s heart. …I also can’t understand Iris’ heart.
I can also understand a mother’s feeling when she had to send off her daughter to marry when I saw Iris quickly ran to Harvey when we saw him with my big brother in the school dining hall… Iris seemed to talk a lot to Harvey… I wonder what are they talking about?
So, when Iris went to wash her hands after finishing her meal (she finished last…), I approached Harvey without any hesitation.
“Hey, hey, Harvey, what did Iris tell you? She has been acting weird today that I feel worried…”
“Eh? Ah, Lyra. It’s nothing much. She just feels slightly out of place and inferior compared to you and her other friends… She has always been like that, so I tried to cheer her up and telling her that it was only her imagination. She also mentioned how everything seemed so unreal…”
I took Harvey’s words seriously. I never thought Iris would harbor such feelings inside… I understand very well how depressing it must be, to feel pressured by your superior surroundings… I wouldn’t want her to feel like that.
But, about how everything seemed unreal…
Even now, I still can’t believe that a dragon is here among us—being one of my friends…
Harvey’s words brought me back to reality.
“Oh, thanks for telling me about it, Harvey! I definitely need to talk with her about this.”
“Haha, thanks! I’m glad Iris has a friend like you. …you seem more mature than the other children your age, so I can feel assured.”
“I-is that so? Hahaha…”
I can only awkwardly smile at Harvey’s words.
“Eh, isn’t it normal? I heard you humans have developed maturity earlier than your ancestors—the prototype humans?” Carbuncle suddenly chimed in.
Harvey quickly shook his head, “No, Lyra’s definitely a special case.”
That’s right. Due to the Great War and more than a hundred years of slavery that the humans suffered in the ancient times, most of the humans that survived to live another day were humans with faster development and maturity. Since I heard that it was already tiring to think about your survival at that time that you had no time to care of the others, so at that time, you only had yourself to rely on.
Obviously, the faster maturity and brain development didn’t happen by itself. I heard that some doctors, magicians, and clever people back then conducted a lot of experiments that could alter someone’s brain development (behind the other races’ back, obviously, as it counted as a rebellion). As a result, instead of the brain fully maturing at the average age of 22*, it seemed that our brains became fully developed at the average age of 17-18.
(*In case everyone has forgotten, but a year in Sphaela, their world, consists of 420 days as opposed to our 365 days a year. In our world, a human’s brain is fully developed at the average age of 25, which is almost the equal of 22 years in Sphaela time. To get the Sphaelan age converted to our standard age, you just have to multiply Sphaelan age by around 1.15—and conversely, to convert your age to Sphaelan age, just divide your age by 1.15.)
However, I think that a person’s maturity is quite subjective and it can vary… Plus, we’ve been living quite comfortably, so wouldn’t there be any chance where our maturity age is delayed?
“Is that so? I’m the most curious of this from the humans. The other races didn’t have such thing.”
Carbuncle only tilted her head in confusion.
Well, yup, that’s what I considered intriguing from my own race, as well! …But wait, I’m part-elf…
…Speaking of my ancestry, I remembered Carbuncle’s words yesterday.
Should I ask her more about it? But… I bet our arguments would end up in a stalemate like yesterday. Should I invite her to meet my family as Dad suggested?
…oh well, let’s just put it aside and focus on enjoying my school life, first!
My eyes then shone as I just recalled something.
“Harvey, you haven’t told me of how you came to know Iris. What’s your story?”
“Eeh? It’s quite complicated… Would it suffice to say that we were like neighbors and grew up together?”
“But then, how did you get separated?”
“…Let’s say that Iris had to move due to some things…”
Harvey just answered ambiguously and refused to tell me any detail. I frowned as a response.
“Well… I figure that it’d be better for you to hear it from Iris. Speaking of which, Iris is back.”
Harvey’s words contained a truth, and since Iris is back, I need to do my best to cheer her up and convince her that… she’s just fine the way she is!!
After much coaxing, I finally managed to make Iris feel better and I feel like she has stopped avoiding my gaze! That’s nice!!
When we returned to the class and waited for the next lesson to start, I decided to ask a few things from her.
“Iris, would you mind telling me about you and Harvey? Like, how did you meet and how did you go separate ways?”
“Eh? Aah… we’re childhood friends. Harvey was like my own brother. We grew up together… and as for why we had to separate…”
Iris stopped and I could see that her expression turned sour. I didn’t have the heart to continue asking her.
“Iris, it’s fine. Let’s talk about it another time!”
I quickly tried to switch the topic to another thing. I didn’t want Iris to make that kind of face. It’s fine, I can just find it out later…
“In yesterday’s introduction, you said that your name is Iris Sorreil, right? Sorreil is a baron family from the North Riviera, right? How is the North area? Are you from the main family?”
“Eh? Y-yes, the… the main family… but, uhm… ah, the North area is nice…”
Iris stammered and seemed to have some difficulties in answering my questions… That’s when I remembered that Iris’ family background seemed complicated…
I want to smack my head on the table now!!
I deliberately tried to change the topic so that Iris won’t feel bad, but I chose the wrong topic instead!!
How wonderful, Lyra!! How… wonderful…
Didn’t I just feel proud of myself, thinking that my EQ has improved? Now I realize that it was only my delusion…
Thankfully, the lesson started again immediately after that, so we dropped our previous conversation and remained focused on the lesson.
…Since I felt like Morgan-sensei reprimanded me softly for dominating the class earlier, I chose to observe things and only answered when there was no one else answering.
Morgan-sensei didn’t seem to look at me sharply, or treated me any less than the other students, so I breathed in relief. It seemed like he wasn’t such a narrow-minded person, that’s good!!
During the lesson, I also thought back of my conversation with Iris and noticed that I could have asked her about her dormitory life instead, and felt disappointed at my brain for coming up with such a better idea when it’s already too late…
Therefore, after the class ended, I decided to ask Iris of her dormitory life and she talked quite much about how she felt when she first moved into the dormitory, how she was surprised but relieved when Carbuncle suddenly showed up in front of her door, and how dragons normally use magical treasure chest as their storage!!
Obviously, Carbuncle also added a few details about the said magical treasure chest—and Luca also nodded, saying that the Capicastle had something like that as well…
“I want to take a look!!” I enthusiastically said.
“The one in the Capicastle?” Luca asked.
“My magic treasure chest?” Carbuncle also asked.
“Why not both? We can compare the two things that way!!”
Towards my suggestion, everyone nodded and agreed that it was a great idea!
“Capicastle? I’ve been there before… and I don’t mind going there again!” Carbuncle chuckled.
“Lyra, want to come to the dormitory?” Iris asked.
“Eeeh, how are we going to look at Carbuncle’s treasure chest? It’s a girl’s dormitory,” Luca protested.
“Hmm, I will bring my treasure chest along, then!”
…Carbuncle said it so lightly—it seemed like it wasn’t an arduous task for her to move the treasure chest everywhere? I’m now curious of the dragon’s world! Why didn’t God just reincarnate me as a dragon?
…oh well, I love my current family, so it didn’t really matter.
“Luca and Kiri can come to Harvey’s room if you’re curious of the dormitory room! I’ll talk to him, I’m sure he would agree!” Iris said after thinking that Luca and Kiri should also be curious of the dormitory room.
Iris, did you forget who Luca is? If he wanted to, he could use his authority and position as a crown prince to take a look whenever he wants to—this academy is affiliated to the royal family, after all…
“Eh? That’s right…”
Contrary to my expectations, Luca didn’t object to Iris’ idea. Guess it’s more troublesome for him to ask his father to do something about it? Hmm, it makes sense.
“Then, tomorrow?” Iris asked.
“Sure—ah, but tomorrow, our schedules and classes don’t really match… How about the next day instead?” Kiri chimed in.
Hmm? Oh, right. Day 3 contains these classes: Magic, Physical Combat, Elective. We won’t stay together all the time tomorrow, so picking Day 4 is a safer bet.
“Okay, Day 4 then. I will ask Harvey!” Iris clapped her hands together.
Thus, my second day of school ended in another promise. I gotta tell Alt-nii and my parents about this—that I’d be home later than usual at that day.