A few days have passed since then. As a result of Liz apologizing to everyone she inconvenienced, everyone was able to forgive her.
…sorry. That’s not quite true.
It’s true that she apologized to everyone. It’s also true that everyone properly forgave her. However —
The teachers of each of the subjects Liz caused problems for — that being, Milli, Lyanna, Aisha, and Michelle — are still displeased with Liz.
It’s obvious that a teacher would want any obtrusive or obnoxious noble to stay away from their class.
And the fact that Liz caused so much trouble for the students of all of these classes hasn’t changed.
Even if Liz never meant it, that doesn’t change anything.
— and that’s why….
“Claire, please help!”
I ran into the office and said this. Tina was the only person inside and she just stared blankly at me.
“I-It’s nothing. Just now…ah, forget it.”
“R-Right…I don’t mind forgetting that, but are you looking for Claire?”
“That’s right…she’s not here?”
“Claire-sama hasn’t returned since she last left. She’s been gone for ten days now…didn’t you know?”
“Eh? Oh…right, she said she was leaving for business.”
Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen her since we last talked. I hadn’t even noticed because I was so busy with Liz.
“What business is Claire attending to anyway?”
Tina just tilted her head to the side. It seems that Claire just told Tina to look after her office while she was away.
She assigned the management of our territory to a fifteen-year-old girl…no, I can’t really complain.
“Hmm?…oh sorry. I was just hoping Claire could give me some ideas for this problem I have, but, since she’s out, I’ll just have to come back later.”
I also don’t want to put too much stress on Tina. She’s already looking after our territory now so I don’t want to ask even more of her. But, when I was about to leave, Tina pulled on my sleeve.
I turned back to face her and Tina quickly released my arm as if she were surprised by her own actions. She then shook her head back and forth causing her black hair to become dishevelled.
“Aaah, it’s not what you think! It’s just that I haven’t seen you in so long so I just want to talk a little more — wait, that’s not it either! Umm…right, If you need help you can just ask me!”
“Hmm…I wouldn’t be bothering you?”
“Absolutely not! Please, sit down and I’ll go make some tea!”
Eh, couldn’t you have the maid do that? Before I could even say anything, Tina ran out of the room to prepare the tea.
A short time later, I was sipping on the tea and eating the cookies Tina had prepared.
“…you didn’t make these just now did you?”
She wasn’t gone for very long. She was hardly gone long enough to prepare tea let alone bake cookies. It’s not like she’s Alice.
“Actually, I’ve been practicing baking cookies every day so these are really just a result of me practicing. They were just made for practice so I’m sorry if you don’t like them….”
“Is that so? Well, they’re delicious so there’s no reason for you to be sorry.”
Did she feel like I’d be angry if they weren’t any good? Tina, who still looked a bit uneasy, brightened up considerably the moment she heard my words.
“Then, umm…what did you need help with, Leon?”
After I took a few bites out of the cookie, Liz started to speak.
“Ah, right, it’s actually something to do with Liz –”
And I explained Liz’s situation to her.
“ — I see, you need to find a way to make everyone feel like Liz won’t cause any more trouble, right?”
“I’d like to be able to help her out directly, but I think if I were to try to she’d say something like, ‘Thank you for offering, but I don’t wish to cause you any more trouble.’”
It’s a well-known fact that Liz is a clumsy girl. That hasn’t changed just because she’s apologized to everyone.
“…well, there’s one thing that I think may work.”
“Oh, what’s that?”
If it were Claire, I know that she’d have a great idea. So, I wonder what Tina’s idea will be now that she’s been working so closely with Claire for some time now.
“Do you know about the knights sent out to escort students that go to practice in the forest?”
“Yeah. They’re there to protect the students from the occasional monster that appears.”
Even if I say monster, it’s basically a type of wolf. By the way, this wolf’s meat doesn’t taste very good and it’s not capable of being tamed.
“Yeah, they’re a rare sight, but the students should never be put at risk. So if any students ever enter the forest to practice, a knight escort will be sent with them.”
“I understand that but….”
Tina continued on before I could interject.
“For the next time students go out there to practice, there will be no available knights to escort the students, so, if you’re okay with it, could you and Liz act as the escorts?”
…escort? Liz?…Liz be an escort?
“I’m sorry but Liz is an incredibly clumsy girl. She’s probably the clumsiest girl I’ve ever met.”
“Really? According to my documents on her, she’s more than capable of self-defence.”
“As far as I know, it’s true.”
“…umm, by self-defence, do you just mean when she’s attacked by say a horn rabbit, she’s able to call out for someone to help her?”
“No, I meant she’s capable of defending herself against thugs or thieves. Besides, couldn’t a child defeat a horn rabbit with relative ease?”
…even a child? Even knowing that, I still feel like Liz would be defeated.
“Ah, maybe this Liz you’re talking about is someone completely different. The Liz I’m talking about is Princess Liselotte von Rizelheim.”
“It’s definitely the same Princess Liselotte von Rizelheim. She’s twelfth in line to the throne — that is the same person, right?”
…is she being serious?
Well, I guess it’s possible. Maybe she knows something similar to jiu-jitsu. If there’s a similar technique in this world — something that uses the opponent’s power against them — I could believe it.
…w-well, if Liz really is strong, that would just make it even easier to completely change everyone’s opinion of her.
Aside from that, using the Princess to defend against monsters seems like a big issue. I’ll need to run this idea through Liz first and then decide what to do after.
But, before that —
“What should we do if any monsters actually come out?”
“…umm, you can just defeat them all, right?”
“No, I’ve only just learned to use spirit magic effectively, but I’ve never once used it in battle. I don’t know how well I’d be able to handle myself in a real fight.”
It’s one thing for basically children to act as guards, but I’d never do anything that would risk the lives of all of the students.
“Well then…let’s do this. I’ll have Elsa and two other knights acting as escorts. I’ll have them escorting the sewing class so that way Alice will also be there. They’ll be acting as if they’re taking you and Liz along to train as guards. That way, if anything does go wrong, you’ll have plenty of support around.”
“Would that work…didn’t you say the knight escort would be unavailable?”
She said the reason we’d be acting as escorts was that no knights would be available to guard us. But now, we’re getting the Knight Captain on top of the regular knights?
“Leon-sama, I have been working under Claire-sama for a while now. Her ability to plan and scheme is second to none and for you to doubt me is the same thing as doubting her.”
“…so the class will be even more protected than usual, but Liz will still have her chance to shine?”
To my question, Tina showed a knowing smile.
— Why is her smile so scary!?
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.