Ten days had passed since that knight came to pick up Liz and she wasn’t doing very well.
Due to the pressure created by the knight sent by her parents, she has been stressing out trying to produce results. She starts working feeling incredibly motivated but always fails spectacularly. She’s stuck in a terrible negative spiral. She tries something new and fails. This leads to her getting angry at herself for failing and then failing even more.
“Hauu, I never once considered myself to be so clumsy.”
It was now mid-afternoon on a certain day.
Liz ate very little for lunch and was now collapsed on her desk in the classroom. Her bluish silver hair was shining brightly under the sun, but her heart was dark in contrast.
“Saying that you’re clumsy….”
Thinking back over everything we’ve done together over the past month I’ve found that Liz isn’t good with her hands and her reflexes are poor.
Even if that is the case, I think the real issue is that she’s too worried about everything else that’s going on around her. She stresses out about what’s happening with her family and this leads to her failing every time.
…huh? Is her personality also clumsy?
…w-well, anyway, the main reason she messes up is that she’s rushing.
If I can get her to stop panicking so much she should be able to accomplish things at an adequate level — well, she may actually be above average with most things she tries.
So, we really don’t need to rush to find something that Liz is good at. All we really need to do is find a way for Liz to remain calm when she’s trying to do anything.
I stood up next to the depressed Liz and looked around to find Alice, but I didn’t see her. I thought I saw her here just a moment ago.
“Do you know where Alice is?”
I asked Amy who was talking with friends at a nearby desk. I’m not really that close with Amy, but she and Alice have become closer after they had been in the same tailoring class for a while now.
“Alice? She was called somewhere by the teacher.”
I wanted to tell her that Liz and I would try making clothes today…I’m sure I can tell Amy to tell Alice if she sees her.
“I’m thinking about taking the tailoring class as an elective with Liz this afternoon. Can you please let Alice know that if you see her?”
I didn’t feel like I was asking that much of her, but the moment Amy heard my words she furrowed her brow.
“Umm…I’m sorry. Should I not have asked that of you?”
Amy remained silent after hearing my question. As I waited for her answer I finally realized why she was reacting this way.
“Ah, your family owns a clothing shop.”
And she nodded to me.
“Do you know about the clothing shop named Wells?”
“It sells the highest quality clothing on the continent.”
“Thank you for saying that, but that’s no longer the case.”
“…because of the clothing sold in this town made using the new technology?”
“That’s right. We’re okay for now but in the near future, I’m sure we’ll have to close. That’s why I need to learn new skills here too keep our business going.”
I’m finally able to understand why she’s acting this way. Basically, she’s here to keep her family business operating. While she thinks Liz and I are just having fun trying new electives and not taking anything seriously.
“Of course, I don’t think you’re going to purposefully cause problems in class. I just want you to think about what you’re doing and how it makes all of the people that are taking these classes so seriously feel.”
Amy said this and got up to leave. All I could do was sit there and watch her leave.
I really didn’t think asking her this would bother her so much. So seeing her become so irritated by a seemingly simple question was surprising.
“Nii-san, you really don’t think before you speak do you?”
A voice could be heard from behind me. I turned around to see Akane sitting there. How is this girl always near me but I never notice her?
“Is it true that our actions are really inconveniencing everyone?”
“Yes, well…not so much you nii-san. It’s really just Liz.”
“Only Liz? Why is that? It’s true that Liz keeps failing at everything she tries, but…I’m the one bringing her there.”
“Well, Liz just tries something and immediately causes problems for everyone else. Nii-san, you apologize to everyone and try to fix her mistakes. So, everyone just sees Liz as the one causing problems.”
It’s true that Liz was the cause of every mistake.
So, I felt like I should fix all of her mistakes myself…did this just lead to everyone viewing Liz as an annoyance?
— I was deep in thought when I noticed a figure over Akane’s shoulder. Liz was standing there with tears forming in her eyes.
“L-Liz, just now that was….”
“I’m — I’m sorry!”
Shortly after I noticed her, Liz turned and ran out of the room. I tried to chase after her, but Akane grabbed onto my arm before I could move.
“Stay here. I haven’t finished talking.”
“Let go of me.”
Liz was crying. I can’t leave things like this.
“I understand how your feeling, but you still need to stay here. What I’m trying to tell you is that I have more to say about Liz.”
Akane’s words piqued my interest and I turned to face her.
“More to say…what do you mean?”
“It’s true that everything that Liz has tried to do recently has caused problems for people, but since you were always there to fix her mistakes everyone was okay with it.”
“…are you trying to say everyone just kind of reached their limit with her?”
And to my question, Akane just shook her head.
“Over the last few days, another rumour about her started circulating. Liz is the daughter of a noble family and she selfishly refused a marriage and came here to escape her problems.”
How could they know…when I forced that knight to leave there were several people around. Did that rumour form because of that event?
“…do they really think it’s selfish for her to refuse to be forced into marriage?”
“Well…think about it from a commoner’s perspective. If they were told they were going to be married to a nobleman do you think they’d be able to refuse?”
“They wouldn’t. Every child of a commoner knows just how hard it is for their parents to raise a child…some families get so desperate that they’re forced to sell their own children into slavery just to survive. Most students were sent here under their parents’ orders.”
“…so, they feel like she doesn’t have the right to refuse her parents?”
It makes me feel a little angry hearing that. The only reason this city exists is because Claire and I took a stand against our parents’ decision.
“They’re not necessarily thinking that Liz should be entirely compliant with her parents, but they really can’t picture how Liz feels. Imagine if a commoner was chosen to be the mistress of a noble? How many of them do you think would refuse?”
Obviously, I don’t know the exact numbers, but it’s clear that more children would choose to become a mistress than not.
I’m sure for a child that’s constantly afraid that they may be sold off to slavery, the idea of a life where they never have to worry about food, clothing, or shelter is more than just appealing.
…even back on Earth during the medieval times, there were stories of Kings that would hold large celebrations and hundreds or even thousands of young girls from the common people would show up in the hopes that they’d be added to his harem.
From their perspective, I could understand why Liz may seem selfish.
But…that’s exactly why I think Liz is right. I feel the same way about these students that think she’s being selfish. If they’re in the same position as her, they should do whatever they can to get out of it.
— But saying that would just add more fuel to the fire.
So what can I do? What can I do to solve everyone’s misunderstanding? No, it’s not really a misunderstanding. It’s more of a difference in everyone’s values.
…I can’t do anything right this second. Right now I should just comfort Liz and think of some way to fix this.
“Akane, thank you for telling me this. I’m going to go find Liz.”
“Alright. About the rumours, I’ll do what I can to help with them.”
“Thank you, but…will you be alright doing that?”
“I’ll be fine. I’m not here to learn like everyone else. I’m working hard for something else.”
Akane was sitting next to me showing a bright smile.
I’m really thankful for her helping me. I thanked Akane and leapt out of my seat to go find Liz.