Midterms and Study Application Form (3)

“The way you solved it is a mess.
The answers are all wrong……You haven’t understood the basics, so you’ve been making mistakes from the very first question.” 

Perhaps I was even worse than a fool.
I didn’t commit any crime, but my head had sunk down in shame.
Whenever Jimbo uttered a word, I could only see a dark future and failures.
There were only a few days left and I felt even helpless as to whether I could study harder at this point.

After he finished his rant, only then did Senior Jimbo notice my gloomy expression and shut his mouth.
He placed my answer down and picked up his quill.

“Don’t worry.”

He spoke kindly, different from the harsh words he had uttered beforehand.

“I’m confident that I’ll raise you up to the 230th place.”

“Really?”

It was hard to believe and when I asked him, Senior Jimbo nodded.

“I’ve had a few experiences with tutoring.”

“…….”

“Everyone’s grades went up.”

“…Can I call you teacher from now on?”

His reliability increased incredibly.
The moment the senior said that, the harsh words he had uttered a while ago instantly vanished from my mind.
Now, all my mind could think of was a scenario where I surprised everyone by studying hard.

I think everything would work out well if I followed Senior Jimbo.
He was like my saviour.
To exaggerate further, I could even see lights shining behind Senior Jimbo.
Of course, I was still uncertain whether I could follow along with his teachings.

Contrary to my expectations, Senior Jimbo taught me step by step.
My assumption that he would teach difficult content half-heartedly since he was a senior was instantly shattered.
Senior Jimbo, who claimed that he had tutoring experiences, explained the problems at my level.

Unlike his dishevelled hair and drowsy eyes, he was passionate about teaching.
In that aspect, he was different from Professor Hartz.
If Senior Jimbo started to work as a professor right away, he wouldn’t at all be incapable of doing so.

*  *  *

For the first day, I was only able to return back to the dormitory at dawn after five hours of tutoring class.
I opened the door carefully and found Leto still studying with the lights on.
Only his pen moved, perhaps too focused to realise that I had entered the room.

I couldn’t lose to him either, so I sat at my desk and finished the rest of my revision.
After carefully organising what I had just learnt, I began taking notes in my notebook.
However, maybe because it was just the first day, my eyelids quickly became heavy.

Unable to withstand it, I collapsed onto the desk.

“Briseis.”

Leto’s voice was muffled.
Then, I heard his deep sigh and my body floated.
I unconsciously tossed and turned at the strange feeling and a whisper rang into my ears, ‘Stay still’.
And when I woke up the next morning, I was on my bed.

*  *  *

If I had one regret, it would be the time I had to submit the Plmion.
The only good thing about it is that Leto and I were the only students who raised Plmions, so the professor gave both of us a good grade.

Leto seemed upset that he had to part with Crunch, regardless of the grade.
I felt the same way.
Even though I couldn’t give it a name, I still got attached to it, so I couldn’t take my eyes off my Plmion until I had to submit it.

“It’s sad that we had to say goodbye.
Right?”

After submitting my Plmion, I drooped down the hallway.
Leto nodded, but didn’t say a word.
I thought he was feeling upset so he didn’t say anything, but when I glanced at Leto’s expression, I realised I was wrong.
He was walking around looking slightly exhausted.

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These days, not only did he go to the library every day, but he studied without getting enough sleep.
Yesterday, while I was sleeping, he stayed up all night.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.”

When I asked, Leto spoke roughly and headed for the next major class.
Looking at Leto’s back, who deliberately pretended to be fine, I became uneasy.
That didn’t mean that I couldn’t understand why he studied hard.
It was likely because of his family.
His family didn’t accept Leto, yet demanded perfection from him. 

Fortunately, our next subject was swordsmanship.
I was a little happy with the required swordsmanship course.
Lately, I’ve been feeling stiff sitting down at my desk all day but it was finally an outdoor activity.

I thought Leto would be able to gain some energy from the swordsmanship class, but what happened was different from what I had expected.

“Leah?”

Usually before the swordsmanship class, we had to take off our school uniform and change into training clothes.
Normally, Leto would change into his training clothes in a separate space, but today, he followed me inside.
When I slowly called out his name, Leto raised his head.
Then, he looked at me and apologised before going to the curtain beside me.

……Will he be okay? I continued to keep an eye on Leto.
In swordsmanship class, Leto, who usually overpowers other students, had no strength today.
If I competed with Leto right now, I would have won.
Even during lunchtime, Leto would not eat and made his way elsewhere.

“Where are you going, Leah?”

“Library.”

“Eat a sausage before you go.”

No matter how hard I tried to convince him, he would never go to the cafeteria.
He waved his hand and said that if he didn’t get to the library soon, there wouldn’t be any seat left.
Is he really alright? In the end, I went to the cafeteria alone and saw a familiar face in front of me.
It was Senior Jimbo.

He had his legs crossed casually, holding a book in one hand and a piece of bread in the other.
It was amazing how the senior focused on his studies, even when his surroundings were noisy.
I tried to pass by the senior as to not disturb his studies, but I heard his voice calling out behind me.

“Bree.”

I was surprised to hear my name called out by the senior’s mouth for the first time.
When I turned my head, the senior had placed the book down and beckoned for me to sit in front of him.

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I looked around before heading towards the senior.

“Are you studying well?”

“……Yes.”

Really? Senior looked at me with a doubtful expression.

“You can’t study if you don’t sleep.”

He said, looking worried.
No, my problem was that I slept too well.
It was none other than Leto who didn’t get any sleep.

“I’m fine……It’s my friend who can’t sleep.”

“That’s not good.”

Senior said in a drowsy voice.
He said it wasn’t a good thing, but he sounded as if he couldn’t care less.

“Isn’t it?”

He shrugged and took a bite of the bread.

“That’s why I’m a little worried.”

“Are your worries that important?”

“……Senior.”

This senior really has a habit of spitting out whatever he thought before he could think sometimes.

“It’s probably because of the L.R too.”

Once again, L.R was mentioned.

“But having good grades alone isn’t enough.”

“Hmm.”

Does senior really think so? He looked at me nonchalantly and drank his water.

“If it were you, would the professor write a bad L.R of a student with good grades? Or would they write it for someone with poor grades?”

Oh……Even so, Leto, who was immersed in his studies, was very worrisome.

“It’s the same for all the academy students here.
There are kids who struggle with their studies and can’t get good grades without putting in a lot of effort.”

“Senior is amazing.
You can study casually and still get number one all the time……”

“Who said that?”

Senior slowly rose up from his seat.

“Huh?”

“I’m always up all night.
I only sleep for a few hours.”

As if to prove his words, the senior even yawned right after.

“Is that possible?”

“It’s because I’ve developed a tolerance.”

“…….”

“Anyway Bree, come to the 5th floor today.”

After my senior’s firm order, my lunch break ended.
I couldn’t remain idle either, so I spent the rest of the time reviewing in the dormitory.
I read what I could understand and marked the book of what I couldn’t understand. 

The amount of studies I had to do before entering the Lexley Academy was ridiculously huge.
I almost came in last place at the academy.
Back when I attended rural school, before entering the academy, getting first place was always easy.
However, once I came here, the amount of studying has increased endlessly and the competition was even fierce.
Not a single student was slacking.

Of course, there are some students who came to the academy and slacked off, but they were all students who were already smart.
Their grades didn’t fall easily.
After solving one problem, I realised I had to go to the next liberal arts class.
Why did it have to be Professor Hartz’s class?

In order to avoid being late, I hurriedly grabbed my books and rushed to the classroom.
Leto, who arrived before me, was already looking at his book.
I took a seat beside him.
Ten minutes later, Professor Hartz came in, looking spiritless as always.
As usual, it was normal for the professor to skip the attendance and immediately start the class. 

Then, as I was leaning over to write my notes, I heard a gasp next to me.
When I turned around, wondering what it was, I saw blood.
It was a nosebleed.

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“You……”

Leto was bleeding.
His eyes also widened, bewildered by the large amount of blood, and hastily covered his nose with his hand.
The blood didn’t stop and kept spilling on the book.
Leto tried wiping his nose with his white school uniform sleeve to somehow stop the blood.
I hurriedly handed over a handkerchief from my pocket.

“Are you okay?”

When I asked, Leto nodded fiercely.
The handkerchief was starting to turn red from the blood.
This won’t do.
I think it’s best to go to the infirmary.
Before my words could come out, Professor Hartz noticed this and stopped writing on the chalkboard.

“Miss Arsene.”

He called Leto.

“Go to the infirmary, now.”

“I’m fine, professor.”

“Now.”

“No.
It’s not a big deal……”

Leto stumbled, unable to finish his sentence.
This was dangerous.
When I rushed to help, Professor Hartz placed the chalk down and looked at me.

“Miss Pierre, bring that kid away.”

“Professor, I’m really fine.”

“Now!”

Professor Hartz eventually raised his voice at Leto’s stubbornness.
All the students in the classroom flinched in surprise from his voice.
Realising the seriousness of the situation, only then did Leto frowned and stood up.

“Miss Pierre, follow him.”

As the professor requested, I supported Leto.
His body was weak.
Leto clenched his teeth with a pale complexion and walked out of the classroom.
As I witnessed Leto like that, I felt scared for the first time.
To be precise, the environment in which Leto had lived in had suddenly struck me.

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