Ch 38 – It's You (2)
“Does it really matter?” I walked alongside Irene, who had bowed her head and become docile.
“She said she was fine, after all.” It felt awkward, as I had always walked a few steps apart from Aisha.
Come to think of it, had I ever walked alone with a girl like this before? I couldn't remember.
It didn't seem like it.
Before long, the Knight Department came into view.
Unlike the Hero Department, the Knight Department had nearly a thousand students per grade.
Yet, to emphasize the prestige of the Hero Department at Elinia Academy, the Knight Department's grounds were considerably smaller.
The building looked just as I had seen it in the original work.
“Is it true that the Hero Department doesn't have class divisions, and everyone attends the same lectures?” At some point, Irene had recovered and was looking up at me.
“Yeah, the Knight Department is divided into five classes, as far as I know.
Is that correct?” “Yes, that's right.” Chatting like this, Irene and I arrived at the first-period classroom.
As Irene had mentioned, the Knight Department had distinct classes.
Each class held 200 students, from Class A to Class E.
As the top student, Irene was in Class A.
With a creak, Irene and I entered the classroom.
As expected of Class A, which was full of the Knight Department's elite, more than half of the seats were already occupied despite the early hour.
“!” All eyes in the classroom were fixed on us.
The students stared at Irene and me with astonished expressions.
The looks from the female students, in particular, were somehow subtle.
“Wow! Isn't that Theo Lyn Waldeurk?” “Yeah, you're right.
The noble swordsman from the practical evaluation match.
Is he the one engaged to Irene?” “Anyway, it's the first time I've seen someone from the Hero Department attend a lecture here.” The students murmured in hushed voices.
'How awkward.' I would never get used to this.
Nonetheless, my body seemed to disagree, as I walked nonchalantly through the countless gazes.
I chose a seat in the middle row of the lecture hall and sat next to Irene.
“Hello, you're Theo, right?” A girl sitting to the left of Irene greeted me.
She had long, flowing blue hair and orange eyes.
'Mina.' A supporting character who appears as Irene's close friend in most routes.
She excels academically and aids Irene both materially and emotionally.
“That's right, I'm Theo Lyn Waldeurk.
You must be Mina.
Irene mentioned you.” “Oh? It seems like you two have been talking quite a bit.
By the way, Irene, you didn't badmouth me, did you?” Mina playfully shrugged her shoulders.
“No, I wouldn't do that.” “Irene said you were a good friend.
Isn't that right, Irene?” “Y-yes, that's right.” Irene nervously replied.
Mina glanced at her and snorted before asking me various questions, mostly about my relationship with Irene.
I answered within appropriate bounds.
“When you visited Irene two days ago, it was a huge surprise! The entire knight department must be buzzing with rumors about how romantic it was.
Ah, I wonder when I'll get a boyfriend who'll surprise me like that?” “Mi-Mina…!” Irene hastily raised her voice, drawing everyone's attention once more.
Ugh, I hate it.
I patted Irene's shoulder to calm her down.
“…He's not my boyfriend, though.” “Ah, right, right.
Fiancé! I misspoke.
I'm sorry, Theo?” “……Yeah.” Mina was quite the chatterbox.
She must have been like this in the original work, but I hadn't known since her part was limited.
“Ahem, ahem.” At that moment, the authoritative voice of a middle-aged man sounded from the front.
The professor had entered through the front door.
The imposing professor placed his lecture notes on the podium and began to speak.
“Let's start the lecture right away.
Class president, stand up and greet—” The professor's words were cut off.
The back door opened, and a student entered.
The professor shook his head and, without looking in that direction, continued speaking.
“It's currently 9:28 am, so you're not technically late.
However, I explicitly told Class A to arrive at least ten minutes before the lecture starts…” “Ah, I'm sorry.
I'm Siena from the Hero Department, here to observe a lecture in the Knight Department.
It's my first time attending a lecture, so I didn't know about that rule in Class A.
Please let it slide just this once~.” It was Siena.
She was smiling brightly.
Her audacious cheerfulness made the professor falter.
Just take your seat quickly.” “Thank you~.” Siena glanced around the room.
“Hehe.” …She sat down next to me.
Irene was in a foul mood.
Siena kept hovering around Theo, which irked her to no end.
“Theo, what does this mean?” Siena asked innocently.
“I'm not quite sure,” he replied, puzzled.
At first, Theo had tried to maintain his distance from the chatty Siena, a commendable stance for an engaged man.
However, Siena seemed to not notice.
“Ah, I think I understand now.
So, Theo, should I interpret it like this?” she asked, her eyes narrowing.
“I'm still not certain,” he admitted.
“Didn't we cover this in our Introduction to Hero Studies? I remember you answering the professor's question correctly.
Are you-” Siena narrowed her eyes.
“-Are you really listening to me?” “I-I'm sorry, I must have misheard you,” Theo stammered, a rare sight.
Irene felt a pang of jealousy, her lips tightening into a thin line.
Theo cursed under his breath.
He had suspected Siena would be persistent ever since she followed him to the Knight Department, but he hadn't expected her to be so relentless.
She was like a bulldozer, demolishing any walls he tried to erect.
Her fierce determination was honestly…
Though her nature was inherently kind, her emotional swings were unpredictable.
'She must have discovered I'm in the Knight Department and attached a spirit to me, how do I shake her off?' Theo maintained a neutral expression as he pondered.
A simple refusal wouldn't resolve the issue; Siena seemed to possess a strong sense of ownership over him.
'Fortunately, she doesn't seem to be in a rush.
I'll pretend to play along while I devise another plan.' Meanwhile, Theo found himself in an enviable position, flanked by two beautiful women – Irene on his left and Siena on his right.
Their presence drew the gazes of their classmates.
'If the students in the front row are casting glances at us, those in the back must be staring nonstop,' he mused.
Once again, Theo found himself grateful for his [Twisted Noble's Dignity] trait.
Without it, he would be shifting uncomfortably in his seat, beads of sweat forming on his brow.
Siena narrowed her eyes.
Irene was still in a sour mood.
Throughout the morning, Siena had persistently clung to Theo, even joining them for lunch.
Theo, Siena, Irene, and Mina—a peculiar mix of two students from the Hero Department and two from the Knight Department.
Irene didn't care for this group dynamic.
Yet, she couldn't think of a way to separate Siena from Theo.
Not only in the classroom but also in the cafeteria, all eyes were on their group.
If she raised her voice even slightly, unfavorable rumors would spread throughout the academy in an instant.
Moreover, Siena was a princess of the Great Forest Wood Elves—an esteemed figure.
'She must know that Theo is my fiancé.' Such behavior implied that she must have some sort of trust in something.
'She must have found some weakness.' Although Irene thought so, her emotions were currently in a turbulent state, and dark thoughts continued to plague her.
Mina's words echoed in her mind: [“Men can't resist women who come onto them.
They can't help it.
That's just how they're born.”] Of course, Irene knew that Theo loved her.
However, no matter how much he did, if such a beautiful woman kept pursuing him, his heart would surely waver.
'Could it be?' If, by a one-in-a-million chance, Theo were to accept the annoying elf princess as his wife, what would she do? She couldn't say there was no possibility.
Theo was the heir to a high-ranking noble family whose influence spanned the entire continent.
It wouldn't be strange for him to have multiple wives.
In fact, it would be expected.
The Waldeurk family would likely welcome the opportunity to forge ties with the Great Forest.
As Irene wallowed in her agonizing thoughts, Siena was attempting to feed Theo.
“Come on, Theo.
Say ah~” Irene's expression hardened in an instant.
“…No, it's fine.
I can eat on my own.” Theo refused.
'Good job, Theo!' Irene clenched her fists.
As Theo continued to refuse, Siena narrowed her eyes.
Open your mouth.” “Al…right.” Theo accepted the food Siena offered.
“Hehe, wasn't that nice?” Siena wore a satisfied smile.
“Wh-what are you doing right now!?” Irene's rationality had flown out the window.
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