“This fruit you call a mandarin orange is really delicious.”
When winter arrived, Rahsa came to visit.
The weather is cold, so we are eating mandarin oranges in front of the fireplace.
“I’m glad I made it in time for winter’s harvest. I managed to have it appear on the market, too.”
“How did you make this mandarin orange thing?”
“I made a seed with magic. Afterwards, I planted it in soil and cultivated it in the same way as normal produce.”
“A seed with magic… as expected of aniki.”
Rahsa was in somewhat excited mood while eating mandarin oranges.
I eat the oranges piece by piece, but Rahsa eats them whole.
His cheeks swell out, making a cute face, but since it’s fun to watch I won’t point it out.
“Aniki will also be entering Elenowar Academy soon, right?”
“Nn, it has finally come.”
“Are you unhappy about it?”
“Should I say unhappy? Or afraid perhaps? I don’t really understand how I feel.”
“If it’s aniki, it’ll be fine.
By the way, my brother Arc is also enrolling, too.”
“Yeah.” I knew.
“Also, the prime minister’s daughter, Eliza-san, is also enrolling.”
“Yeah.” I also knew that.
That person is my future wife after all.
“Furthermore, the first successful applicant from the commoners has appeared after ten years. We receive a pass from our lineage, but it seems the largest barrier for commoners is the entrance exam. It was a really skilled person. I believe their name was… .”
“That’s it, it’s Iris-san. Aniki knew, huh?”
“Yeah, from quite before~.”
“There are also other children of other such immensely influential people; a group of people are already calling it something like the golden generation.”
“More importantly, I feel anxious about leaving the territory. I wonder if it would it be okay to leave it to Tou-san.”
“It’ll surely be fine. The people of Helan are dependable and will surely provide their support to Toral-san.”
“It’ll be nice if that’s the case.”
I think I’ll have Lotson check in every once in awhile.
“Aniki, you’re thinking about too much. With aniki’s talent, you’ll surely be successful in leading a fulfilling life at Elenowar Academy.”
Rahsa says these kinds of things in a natural and frank manner.
It makes me want him as a real brother.
The mandarin oranges have run out, I’ll go out and pick some more.”
“Ah, I’ll come too.”
“Uu-, cold.” ”Yeah, it’s cold.”
“When it turns summer you should come to Helan. I’ll let you eat something called watermelon.”
“Yes! I’ll be looking forward to it.”
The two went to pick oranges while huddling together, a quite commonplace day in the cold winter.
At the time the snow began to melt and the land of Helan started to breathe.
One month before the time for admission, I decided to leave Helan.
From here to the academy is roughly four to five days by carriage.
It is stationed in a remote remote region in order for students to be able to devote themselves to their studies.
While it’s fine if you arrive one week before admission for the competency test, if you arrive at the last moment, it seems that a large line is formed near the academy. The basis for my early departure is that I don’t want to wait in that line and it’s good to arrive early so as to get used to the environment.
“Kururi-chan, you’ve grown so handsome.”
Mother is shedding tears over seeing her son off.
“Kururi, study to your heart’s content and leave everything about the territory to your father.”
Father thrust out his chest, but nothing worries me more than this.
“Well, I’ll be going.”
I finish the greetings at the minimum and entered the carriage.
I called out to the servant and the horse dashed out.
At the academy, a dormitory system is used.
Since the school and meal expenses come from the country, there’s barely anything to cause a financial burden.
Even so, all of the nobles carry quite the sum of money for the sake of their pride.
I also happened to be carrying quite a bit.
I didn’t have the intention to carry so much, but in the beginning I prepared some for in case of trouble.
Next, if there’s something I want, I want to be able to buy it and I also thought that while socializing with friends, money would be necessary.
One is able to return during summer and winter vacation so I’ll be able to replenish my funds at that time.
Because of this I didn’t take much money.
However, on the morning of departure I was told by the population, “Since we’ve been earning so much money lately,” and forced me to take money for my use. The amount wasn’t small either.
I tried to refuse, but my father told me to accept it. Father seemed bigger than usual, but it was probably just my imagination.
I gave my thanks to the population and finished my goodbyes with my parents, and we arrive at the present.
Which reminds me, Rahsa said that he wanted to see me off, but since it would be bad if I were favored over the first prince I refused.
As expected, I don’t have the guts for it.
While it is a trip of four or five days, I packed a lot of books so I wouldn’t get bored.
Other than that, I also did a preliminary investigation of famous sightseeing areas and am thinking I will look at them when I pass nearby.
And unexpectedly, I discovered that my father is quite the gourmet before leaving.
He gave me a traveling map with the places of delicious restaurants marked point by point.
“With this, your boring trip should become slightly pleasant,” he said.
It was also the first time my father ever did something like a father.
At any rate, a trip doesn’t give me a bad mood.
While I do almost no talking with the servants, just by staring blankly out the window, landscapes unknown to me pass before my eyes one after another.
It is all fresh to me. These are all the words needed for expression.
With this, even if nothing happens for four or five days I shouldn’t get bored.
It should have been around five hours after leaving the house.
The sun had reached straight overhead and the atmosphere was dry with a pleasant wind blowing.
In such a situation, a servant called out to me.
Nn? Now that I think about it, we should arrive at the first restaurant that father wrote down soon.
Perhaps we’ve already arrived?
“It seems there’s a woman carrying a large bag ahead.”
While I thought it to be just a common sight, I stuck my head out the window.
While there seems to still be some distance, there was a woman sitting down in the shade.
Did her condition worsen from staying in the sun too long?
With the nearing of the carriage, the figure became more and more clear.
And in proportion to that, my heart rate quickened.
There’s no mistake.
That beautiful black hair, those composed features that seem to give you a feeling of peace, clothing undeniably fitting of a commoner!
It was at the point that I could not be mistaken. Iris Palala was sitting there.
For some reason I hid inside of the carriage.
It is alright for a sub-character like me to meet the heroine here?
No, there’s no way it is!
“What’s wrong, Kururi-sama?” A servant urged me.
Perhaps her condition has truly worsened and is resting. Is it really okay for me to abandon this frail lady?
Of course not!
I resolve myself and replied, “I’ll try calling out to her.”
The servant gradually reduces the speed of the carriage and brings it to a stop in front of Iris.
“Is there something the matter?” I asked gently as to provoke as least caution as possible.
“I got a bit tired from walking. Please pay no mind to me.”
Since we will become classmates after this I can’t just say,’I see, bye!!’
“Perhaps you are headed to Elenowar Academy?”
“Yes, you did well in figuring that out.”
“It was just by gut feeling. I am also in the middle of heading to Elenowar Academy so, if it would be fine with you, would you like to ride with me?”
“No, you don’t have to worry about me. I will head there on foot. It is for that purpose that I set off so early.
Thank you for going out of your way to show consideration towards me.”
By walking, huh. That’ll take half a month.
Though there should have been the method of getting a merchant to let you ride in their carriage.
Now that I think about it, in the game, Iris came from quite a poor family. I increasingly can’t overlook this.
“Please don’t say such a thing. They say that you should treat fellow travelers with compassion, don’t they? My name is Kururi Helan. I am of the house of the feudal lord of Helan.” For now, I tried making an appeal that I’m not a suspicious person.
Huh, she’s staying quiet.
“…, Helan. That Helan with the hot springs, right!?” Iris rode out her body while asking.
“Y-yes. Have you visited before?”
“No, but I’ve read an article from an information magazine about the hot springs being surrounded by a flower garden enough to open a hole in it!!
It’s my dream to enter Helan’s hot springs!!”
After I said, “Let’s talk more about the hot springs,” she entered the carriage with no resistance.
You have to live in the academy’s dorm, so no matter what, you end up with a lot of luggage.
This is the same with Iris, as she had a large bag, bursting at the brim.
Carrying such a large amount of luggage for one month, huh. It would we difficult even for a man with confidence in his strength, wouldn’t it?
As expected, having her ride the carriage was the correct choice. If I had passed her by like that, my heart would be hopelessly in pain due to my conscience.
I’m glad I managed to get her to ride.
The carriage is proceeding smoothly and Iris also got on with me. This trip is going well.
“My dream is that in the future, I’m going to earn lots of money and take my younger brothers, sisters, and my parents to the hot springs surrounded by flower gardens in Helan,” Iris said, her eyes sparkling.
“That is an honor. But there is no need for it to be so far in the future. As a classmate, I invite you to come stay at any time.”
“That’s no good. A dream is something you must achieve yourself.”
“That’s also true.”
“Kururi-san is also entering this year, right? If I’m not mistaken, I read in the information magazine that you’re the person who dug up the hot springs.
It’s an honor to be a classmate to such an amazing feudal lord.”
“No, no, no, it’s not such a big thing.”
Moreso, you, who have the potential to be married to the prince, I see to be an extremely amazing character.
“Thank you for going out of your way to let a commoner as I to ride this carriage with you. I will return this favor with certainty.”
“Don’t worry about it. Now I won’t have to spend four days lonely by myself, so you’ve actually helped me.”
I will have you return this favor whenever I fall to ruin by any means.
“I was worried what the people at a nobles’ school would be like, but from looking at Kururi-san, I get the feeling that I should be able to think more positively about it.”
“I seem to have done a good thing.
Well then, let’s talk about our hot springs.”
As always, her eyes are sparkling. This gives some worth to the conversation, doesn’t it?
Just as I thought, I can tell she has beautiful features from looking at her face from nearby.
I saw the queen before, but Iris seems more beautiful due to her youthfulness.
It’s not strange that the prince and others would fight over her with these looks.
“You might have read the information magazine already, but Helan’s hot springs have an unparalleled effect on the whitening and beautification of skin.”
“I see, I see.” Iris was very interested.
“The flowers’ properties make it that way, but very recently, something amazing was found. One of our excelling citizens, Lotson-san, found that even drinking the hot springs’ water has a good effect on the body.”
“It that true!? That’s the first time I’ve heard that!”
“Right? This has just started gaining popularity lately, so the information should spread throughout the kingdom soon.
After which, the tourist will increase and increase! And my territory will profit and profit!”
“Amazing-! Maybe it would have been better if I hadn’t asked. I can’t help but want to go now.”
“If you want to, come any time. I’ll show you the best hospitality.”
We talked about the hot springs endlessly together while in a state of excitement.
I accidently got full of myself and bragged about the territory, but she listened to it all.
As I thought, the woman the prince would fall for is of a different calibre!
“Kururi-sama, you should be able to see the shop that Toral-sama wrote down shortly.” A servant’s voice interrupted the conversation.
“Ah, we’ve arrived already, huh?”
I lost track of time for a bit while talking with Iris.
I was able to learn the true benefit of having a traveling partner.
“Iris, let’s exit the carriage and have lunch. A delicious restaurant father recommended to me is just over there.”
“No, I don’t have much money after all. Also, I’m carrying enough preserved foods for the trip to the academy.”
“I will, of course, treat you.
Come, come, please listen to my boastful speech about the territory of Helan while eating. This can be the payment for you food.”
“No, I’m really fine.”
Iris shook her head.
“While I’m very thankful you allowed me to ride your carriage, I can’t let you go so far as to treat me to food as well.
With all of this, my debt to you will grow too big and I won’t be able to repay you!”
I laughed a bit to this. This sense of values is what makes the prince and the others fall for her, huh
If I end up having a girl I fall for, I’ll take this as a reference.
“It’s really fine.” We pulled each other’s arms for a while, but to no conclusion.
If it has come to this, let’s just say it.
Is it alright to say, though?
Rather, this way of meeting itself is irregular. I’ll go ahead and do as I like!!
“It can’t be helped. I have an important talk for you. It’s a conversation for only here, so I want to ask that you talk of this to no one else.”
“What? What is it all the sudden?”
Due to the change in my behavior, Iris made an anxious face.
“Your life at the academy might not end up being a pleasant thing.
This is only a possibility.
However, you will surely experience various forms of undeserved discrimination.”
“Yes, I have a vague idea about that. But I’ve decided that I’ll won’t lose to it and try my best.
My end goal is to find a good job and support my family after all.”
Good!! What a good kid!!
“A-and, that person that discriminates against you, though… . A witch with blue eyes will be the culprit, I think… .”
“No, well, that person’s discrimination towards commoners is fierce, so I think their actions toward you will become unpleasant. And that person is actaully… .”
“A person that I cannot rid my connection to… .
In short, that person will cause you a lot of trouble, so I will compensate for that amount!
It’s granted that if those close to you cause trouble for others, you should take care of it, right!?
That’s what this is. Please let me atone for it as much as I can right now!”
“Nn, It was a vague argument and I couldn’t really understand.”
“Well, whatever. Anyway, we’re going to go eat!!”
“I won’t go. Any further than this and it’s too inexcusable to Kururi-san I won’t be able to face you after this.”
“You’ll be able to fine!” I pulled Iris’ hand with all my strength.
“I won’t be!” Iris resisted franticly.
“I am eating delicious food by myself while Iris is eating preserved foods. Something like that won’t be an enjoyable trip, right?”
“I am fine. You’ve already helped me plenty!”
“You two, hurry up and go,” the servant’s calm voice ended up tug-of-war.
“Hey, we’re going.”
Iris finally gave up and came along.
“This really is delicious, Tou-san!”
I’m sorry for doubting you one bit, father!