At the end of March.
The majority of the first-year students have graduated. In order to teach the people of the Grances territory, they were all sent out to various towns and villages with knights as escorts.
They will teach the people new ways of growing crops, and also means to counter repeated cultivation damage. Basic countermeasures are the main focus. In time, they will end the food shortages in the Grances territory.
On the other hand, the school was facing a new start.
On the first floor of the school dormitory. Alice and Claire stood on either side of me. Milli and Michelle are lined up behind me.
Across from us stood the next class that would be starting in the following month — 30 newly recruited children along with six people, including Sophia, that wished to stay without graduating. In total, there were 36 people lined up.
By the way, somehow, all 30 of the new students are girls.
I would also like some male students, but we are reliant on the children applying to our school, so for now, it can’t be helped.
For the time being, most students are children that would have been sold into slavery because they could not help with farm work, in other words they are all girls. I would guess by next year we should also be getting some male students once the food shortage is no longer an issue.
Anyway, I look around at each of the new students.
All of the students from the previous year seem to be calm, but the 30 new students seem to be looking around nervously.
Incidentally, the most insecure element, Sophia, stood in the middle of this group of people. I guess she didn’t get along with the other students at first, but some time during the last year she seems to have made a breakthrough with them.
“Now then, there is a reason we’ve all gathered today. From now on, everyone will be living together as students, so some things need to be explained. It’s nothing serious, so there is no reason for you to be scared.”
I speak to the 30 people in front of me, but none of them seem to relax.
“Umm….Seriously, you can relax. Is there a reason you’re all so tense?”
“No, umm……Leon-sama, if you suddenly bring us to such a splendid house to face the nobility, it’s only natural we would be nervous…”
Tina responds timidly.
Is that what they think? They’re not nervous, rather they’re dreading meeting with nobles. What should I do….
“U-umm, I have something I want to ask the nobility.”
A girl suddenly spoke up. She was from the second-year students.
She’s probably around twelve or thirteen years old. She’s probably about Claire’s age then. Her bluish hair is rather dry, but if she were to brush her hair, it would shine.
“What do you want to ask?”
“Ah, yes. Th-then, I’ll ask it. Will we, umm…..From now on, will we become a nobleman’s plaything!?”
Sorry, I let out a strange voice.
Rather, what!? Is that why they were so nervous!?
“Th-that’s not the reason I’ve brought you girls here.”
“Then what’s the reason? Because Mother and Father —”
To summarize the girls’ story, they were told they could live comfortably for the rest of their lives if they became mistresses to different nobleman. It may be painful for them and the service would be hard work.
What were they told? I quickly turn my gaze to Claire.
“I-I told them properly. ‘Children are being recruited to educate them. We will cover all of the living expenses of the children. The family also doesn’t have to worry, because in the future we will also pay them wages,’ that’s what you said right?”
“Why was this misunderstood?”
“I-I don’t know why.”
We both curiously tilted our heads.
“U-umm, maybe….Was education taken to mean, education at night? Actually, well…..I also thought that way at the beginning.”
Tina once again responds timidly.
….Maybe, during the first year of school, that depressing atmosphere was not only due to the children being sold into slavery, but also because they all thought this way.
Uwaa…I didn’t want to know about that.
“Hmm? But, we were looking for both men and women.”
“That, umm….well there are some people like that.”
There certainly is a lot of nobility, so it’s possible….Wait, does that mean most people think I am interested in small boys and girls!? Does that make me Earl Hentai!?……Wait?
Perhaps, this is the reason we only have female students?
…..My head hurts, I just need to deny this immediately.
“Umm, you from before, what’s your name?”
“M-my name is Lyanna.”
“Well then, Lyanna, I don’t know what you were told by your parents, but you don’t have to worry. There is no service that will be asked of you at night.”
Everyone finally relaxes after hearing my words.
This reaction…It seems all of the new students were worried about this. I need to make sure there are no misunderstandings when we next start recruiting.
“Then, umm……what are we here to do?”
“You will all learn about different agricultural techniques and practices….Don’t worry, you will be taught everything you need to know in class. And if you have any concerns, you can talk with Tina. She is already in her second year here.”
I say this and indicate to the class who Tina is.
“I-I understand, I will do as the nobleman says.”
“Ah, please stop calling me a nobleman.”
“I-is there something wrong with it?”
“That’s not it. Here there is no nobility or commoners. We are all equal.”
By the way, Tina and the other first-year students have now been freed from slavery.
When the first-year students graduated, it seemed inconvenient to leave them as slaves once they were sent out to the towns and villages. So, as a form of advanced payment, they were set free.
So, the remaining five child slaves were also set free.
I was also worried that once they were set free, their attitudes would change, but it seems I had nothing to worry about. Even Tina seems to be eager to learn more.
“That’s why you can just call me Leon.”
“You don’t need any honorifics….Well, it’s good enough —- As long as everyone feels comfortable with one another.”
The second part of that sentence is directed towards the second-year students. It seems not everyone would be immediately comfortable referring to me so casually. At least all of the new students seemed to be relaxed now.
Alright, let’s finish our business here.
“This isn’t where the students usually lived. Until the day before yesterday everyone had been living at the old Grances mansion.”
“Y-yes, it was an amazing place.”
“Was it a comfortable place to live?”
“Yes, but this new mansion may overshadow it….But, living there was like being in a dream.”
I smile unconsciously after hearing her words.
“When living in the old mansion, it would take the students one hour by carriage to get here. That’s why I’m planning on having everyone live here….”
“As long as we are safe from the rain and other elements anyplace would be fine.”
“It’s fine, because this is where everyone will live in the future.”
At the moment, everyone froze.
“……Eh? This is Leon-sama’s residence…..isn’t it?”
“No, this is the student dormitory, where all of you will live.”
“Eh, umm….that’s a joke, right?”
“Of course not. There is a dining hall and hot spring on the first floor, please use them as you please.”
“Di-dining hall? Hot spring? Umm, I’ve heard it many times, but…..you’re just joking, right?”
“I’m not lying at all.”
“Re-really? Is it really okay for us to live here?”
“It’s fine. From this day onward, this is your home.”
I figured everyone would be overjoyed, but none of them are showing any reaction. Hmm? What’s the matter with everyone? I turned my eyes to see Lyanna standing there with her mouth agape.
And then there was silence.
Everyone let out a surprised yell at once — I see. Maybe this was a little too much for them.
“…..Leon, I will tell you once again because it seems you may have forgotten, but most commoners of this world live in wood houses that barely keep out the wind. The most luxurious houses will be made of stone. Buildings made of reinforced concrete don’t even exist in the kingdom’s capital city.”
Alice quietly tells me this.
“I-I know that, but this student dormitory was already complete before we talked about being more prudent. So, it can’t be helped now.”
“……After all, you did raise a flag.”
“It’s nothing like that.”
I definitely didn’t raise any kind of flag.