Chapter 48 – Graduation

That day, the weather was nice and the sky is clear. As if it was their blessing, the calm sky was clear blue and cloudless wherever I look. The highest year level, which is said to be composed of excellent and talented magicians in the history of the academy, will finally end their six-year school life today.

Since it is an exceptional class, many people from the Magical Society and similar institutions came running to the graduation ceremony. The large central square of the unparalleled academy was densely packed with people.

“A-Amazing…”

“Well, I was expecting it. Including your boyfriend, the current graduates are all really excellent. They are desperate to death to acquire new valuable assets.”

Seeing the waves and waves and waves of people at the site of the ceremony, I sighed along with Monica who was beside me. Actually, this ceremony does not require the participation of the students from the lower year levels. Although others told me, “Do not come because many people to will attend!”, I got permission from the teacher since Senpai told me to “definitely come” and right now, I am looking at the situation in the student’s seat. It seems that Monica got permission separately from me. Being able to witness this uncommon scene, maybe I should thank Senpai for this.

Although it is a graduation ceremony, it is not a big event or something. A representative from the graduates and a representative from the undergraduate students gave their speeches. And after being congratulated by the teachers and the guests, the ceremony ended. It seems that the important documents such as certificates are to be properly handed individually to them. When the graduates eventually left and dissolved, the tension of the people outside also increased. It was quiet during the ceremony, but it was gradually becoming noisy now.

I want to say congratulations, but this is rather difficult.

Although Senpai is one of the excellent magicians during this present term, he is a a noble with a title of a viscount. In addition, even after the existence called me has become public, he is still popular . . . Yup, it is impossible if no one gathers around him.

The teachers somehow knew that I am his girlfriend but if it is the other nobles, I do not think I should speak.

It can’t be helped. Let me at least see Senpai for the last time.

Actually, I could have calmly watched it finish in the dormitory today like I did last year. Just being a few seats nearer to Senpai was enough for me. It was time of for me to leave, and so  that I would not get in the way as much as possible, I turned in the direction opposite to the exit…

“Meryl.”

“…Eh?”

A big hand held my arm. When I looked up, I met his gentle golden eyes.

“Senpai, what is it?”

His uniform which was always worn out of shape was buttoned firmly and the multicolored scarf that is worn by boys and girls matched it perfectly. Although his figure alone exudes with a noble’s elegance, coupled with his best smile, I can’t help but be captivated by him. When I stilled and did not talk for a moment, he thought that I understood him so he pulled my hand and started to walk quickly.

“Eh, ah?! H-Hey, Senpai?!”

“Let’s go, Meryl. There’s a place that I really wanted to go with you today.”

With his face looking like that of an innocent child, you wouldn’t think that he just graduated a while ago. His voice was lively, and if I don’t follow him, it seems like he is going to take me even if he has to carry me under his arms.

Leaving the place of the ceremony quickly, we pushed our way past the throng of people. Senpai advanced forward, ignoring those people who wanted to approach him, including the other graduates. Ah, the girls were obviously calling him just now.

“Senpai, is this okay?!”

“What do you mean? We were restrained during the ceremony, but we are free to do anything after that.”

“That’s not it. I think that some people want to approach you!”

Look. A middle-aged gentleman who just passed by was left gaping when he tried to call Senpai’s name. Looking at those top quality, fashionable clothes, he was probably a noble. Is it okay to ignore him?!

“For those people who wanted to talk to me, I promised to entertain them starting tomorrow. Do not worry about those who did not make an appointment, okay?”

“Y-You’re right, but . . .”

Today is the graduation ceremony. Since it is an auspicious occasion, people came to express their felicitations. Though it is selfishness on his part, this offhand way of handling things . . . won’t it have an effect in the future?

“Don’t worry. Just think that we need to hurry because I need to do something at home. I will properly listen to them later.”

“Then that’s fine I guess.”

Senpai frowned a little, then interlocked our fingers together and smiled. Well, if he says that it’s all right, I have no choice but to trust him. I felt guilty to those who were ignored by him, but I still returned the gesture and sped up my pace. We went past the crowd, exited the familiar gate and went to the “School District” which was next to the shopping district.

“Where . . . Ah, here.”

Seniors looked around a bit, and proceeded to a path one street away from the main road. What lies ahead is the residential district. Some of the academy teachers have their own houses but most of the people who work in the academy live here . . .

“You didn’t come to shop?”

“No. I still can’t remember properly . . . Ah, the blue roof. That.”

At the line of houses that was built differently from the shops, Senpai, who walked while checking each one, finally stopped in front of a small house.

It is a small house made of white bricks and has a blue roof. However, it looks like a newly built house and fine decorations are carved in the windows and entrances. It doesn’t look resplendent but I can feel the strong love in it.

“What a cute house.”

“I know, right?”

Senpai smiled at me again when I openly expressed my thoughts. Pulling my hand, I thought he would take me up to the entrance . . .

“Eh?”

I thought he would knock, but Senpai extended his hand to unlock the entrance with a key. Clink. With a light metal sound, the door opened.

“Was this where you lived, Senpai?”

“Rather than ‘was’, it is where ‘I am going to’ live. I just receive the key yesterday.”

With our hands still clasped together, both of us entered the door. Contrary to its pretty outside appearance,the interior was indeed nothing but dreary. I could easily see that there are three rooms. A kitchen-c*m-dining room, a living room and a bedroom further inside. I can see something like a bathroom behind the kitchen.

It is a bungalow, probably a house for someone who is living alone. However, it seems that he just bought his furniture since the bookshelf and the cupboard are empty and the sofa and the others are dusty. The curtains are still folded beside the window.

“I will live in the school district from tomorrow onwards. I will be living independently from now on but this place is still inhabitable.”

“This . . .”

I see. Senpai graduated just a little while ago. He will not live in the dormitory like an academy student anymore. He will not come to pick me up during lunch break. The vague feeling is finally clear. He is no longer a senior in the academy.

“Here, Meryl.”

While feeling a little disconcerted as reality dawned on me, he slipped something cold on my hand. I opened my hand in a hurry and what I was holding was a golden key.

“It’s the key to this house. You can come whenever you like.”

“Uhm… Is this what they commonly call ‘duplicate key’?”

“Yes, exactly. I did not give my parents one. It is your and my house.”

A key to a mundane house is not a rare occurrence. However, it feels like a very important thing, and I held it firmly with both hands. It is very important thing that will continue to connect Gilbert-senpai and I.

“I will not leave yet. I graduated, but from now on, we will be together, Meryl.”

“You finally smiled.”

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If he told me this at the place of the ceremony, I would have been flustered and replied in a stutter. Because I wouldn’t have experienced it personally and I would have been overwhelmed by the atmosphere around us.

“I don’t need others to congratulate me. I only want to hear it from you. I’m sorry if I just took you with me.”

“No. I couldn’t have also said it if we were not here.”

Now in this place. Because he showed me “the place that connect the two of us”, that’s why I was able to say it with a smile. Congratulations from the bottom of my heart.

……Because I could have not expertly said congratulations with a smile and at the same time, bid him goodbye.

“I’m sorry for being a burden to you until the end. Thank you, Gil.”

“No, it was just my own selfishness. I also did not want to graduate if we separate but . . . For our future, there are things that I had to do.”

Warm and big hands grasped my hands. My hands that were holding the key.

“I was wondering what I should do in case you return it.”

“I won’t. I won’t return it for the next four years.”

“Yes, you should.”

I ran my fingers on his smooth blue-silver hair. To touch his forehead, I stood on a tiptoe. At first I was resisting so much but once I felt the warmth he gave me, it was endearing. We still experience happy times even after his graduation.

Then a little later, a day before a certain break.

For the first time since I attended the academy, I submitted a notification to spend a night somewhere for reasons other than returning home.

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