Since the trip after the exam, all the students were slacking off.

“You know, if you slack off, you’ll suffer.”

It was the same case for me, but I picked the quill again at Senior Jimbo’s stinging words.

‘I can’t believe there’s another exam soon.
What’s with this exam-cycle life?’

The Lexley Academy has a total of three exams throughout the year.
The first was the midterms I did, then a final exam right before summer break and lastly, a full exam during the winter break just before the year ended.

“How’s your L.R going?”

While I was solving a problem, my senior shot me a question that penetrated my heart.
At nine o’clock at night, Senior Jimbo and I were studying together as usual.
Senior lowered the book, dropped it on the table, rolled his pencil and stared at me.

“I failed Professor Hartz’s class.”

“He doesn’t usually give good grades.”

Senior Jimbo shrugged.
It seems like senior had a lot of experience with Professor Hartz.
I attempted to solve the problem again.
Come to think of it, I received a lot of help from senior during the ceremony, but I didn’t manage to say thank you once.

“Senior, thank you for that time.”

“That time?

Senior stopped rolling the pencil.

“The wine.
And I heard you helped me when I was drunk.”

“Don’t drink.”

I said thank you, but a stinging piece of advice was returned.

“I didn’t drink it on purpose.”

“You have a bad drinking habit.”

“Did I do anything?”

I recall the embarrassing incident when senior placed his finger in my mouth to let me drink water.
When I asked foolishly, pretending not to remember anything, senior tapped his pencil on the desk.

“Solve the problem.”

Fortunately, he didn’t say anything.
After inwardly reassuring myself, I continued to solve the problem.

“Oh, by the way, two more people will join tomorrow.”


“Someone submitted an application today.”

Senior Jimbo said with a yawn.
After the exam was over, it was still possible to join a study group.
For a while, I thought it would only be the two of us so I was relieved to hear that others were joining.
Although Senior Jimbo taught me well and was a great mentor, one-on-one was a bit burdensome.

“What’s their name?”

“……I forgot.”

Classic of Senior Jimbo.

“Anyway, there will be more people applying for the study group now.”

Senior scratched his head with a trace of great annoyance.
Come to think of it, it was about time for the midterm marks to come out.
People say that study group applications were flocking to compete for a space around this time.
In this study group, Senior Jimbo was the mentor, so I wasn’t sure how many more people would join us in the future.

I was afraid that it might turn into a classroom at this rate.

‘Yeah, I should be grateful now.’

I shouldn’t take the current one-on-one tutoring for granted.

“Still, I won’t neglect you.
Hartz told me to keep an eye on you.
You’re in last place.”

Why do you keep on saying hurtful things?

“I’m in 249th place.
I’m not the last!”

“Then bring me the 250th.”

“Are you going to neglect me then?”


I paused at senior’s firm words.

“I won’t neglect you.”


Yeah, it was better to receive attention like this than to be neglected.
After studying for another hour, I returned to the dorm and looked at Leto who was fast asleep.
Fortunately, he didn’t seem to have a nightmare today as he didn’t whimper or frown.

After turning off the light, I lay down on the bed.
And the night passed by quietly.

Please do not repost.
Read only at Dropped Inks.

*  *  *

“Oh, there’s a lot of students here again.
You have no idea how much I missed you all.”

The professor who taught the liberal arts subject  smiled with joy.
All the students who disappeared while raising the Plmion before appeared again.
It seemed that they ran away due to the Plmion’s fierceness, but returned after seeing their grades.

Even though it was just an ordinary class, I could feel the expressions of the students were particularly nervous.
This time, they seemed afraid that another scary plant other than Plmion would appear.
I fully understood them.

Fortunately, we only learned about ordinary plants this time.
In addition, the professor asked them to submit a report to make up for not raising the Plmion assignment.
It was a huge amount of reports and I thought it was a good thing I didn’t run away and raised it when I saw the amount.  

After morning class was over, it was time for lunch.

“Oh? It’s been a while, Bree.”

As I was heading to the cafeteria, a familiar voice made my head turn.
I was wondering who it was and it turned out to be Kazen.
He approached us with a violin bag, perhaps he had just finished with practice.
Leto’s brows immediately furrowed when he saw Kazen, but Kazen smiled brightly without minding and greeted Leto.

“Can I join you for lunch? I usually eat with my friends, but they’re busy with assignments.”

“How about you? Aren’t you busy?”

“I’ve already finished.”

As expected, he was also an honour student.
Kazen smiled confidently and settled between us.
I haven’t even given an answer yet, but he had already entered the cafeteria and picked up a plate.
I looked at Leto, who turned cold the moment Kazen arrived, and smiled awkwardly when Kazen talked.

“I heard you didn’t go on the trip.”

After getting his food, he sat down and spoke.
Seems like this has spread to the next class.

“What does it have to do with you?”

Leto said coldly, and Kazen shrugged.

“I asked because I was curious about the rumour, but it didn’t matter much.
I heard that the professor scolded you for not taking the train all of a sudden.”

How far has the rumour spread?……Kazen was right.
The professor, who later realised that Leto and I were not on the train, sat in front of us and lectured us for an hour.
We had to be punished without even getting half of the train fare and accommodation fee back.

“Why didn’t you get on the train?”

Kazen became curious and continued to poke us with questions.

I couldn’t answer so I smiled awkwardly, but Leto, who was eating the strawberry jam on bread diligently beside me, opened his mouth.

“I saw my father there.”


“Bro[1]…I saw my older brother, too.”

[1] Leto said ‘Hyung’ used by younger males to address their older brothers/males before changing it to ‘Oppa’ used by younger females.

At Leto’s words, Kazen shut his mouth.
Kazen nodded his head at that as if he understood and had grasped the whole situation.
At times like these, I felt that the two of them had been childhood friends for a long time.
In fact, Kazen already knew that Leto was a male.  

“We went to the theme park, Kazen.”

I boasted that we went to the theme park to relieve the darkened atmosphere.
When I told him that I saw the fireworks and even went to the haunted house, I could feel that Kazen was envious.

“How was the sea?”

When I asked, Kazen shook his head and gave a bitter expression.

“I should have hung out with you guys.
Aside from me, the rest of the academy students were excited.
Not only was there no time to play around, but it was boring since we had to move according to a schedule.
To the extent that I wasn’t sure if this was a trip or an expedition.
And you know that  professor, right?”

“He’s one of our professors.”

“He talks way too much.
Somehow, there was a time when the schedules of the Magics Department and the Arts Department were aligned, and so that professor came to me and rambled on about random things.
I could already feel the boredom even when I didn’t take his class.”

I nodded earnestly, relating to Kazen’s grievance.
That’s why I slept quite often during the  class.
While we were talking about this and that, the students sitting in the cafeteria suddenly whispered and rose from their seats.

We stopped our conversation and looked at the students rushing out of the cafeteria, wondering if something had happened.
It was the same with Leto, who stiffened.

“What’s going on?”

Unable to resist his curiosity, Kazen grabbed a student passing by and asked.

“I think we just got our grades.
They are putting the ranks of each department on the bulletin board.”

“Oh no.”

The day has finally come.
The three of us stiffened.

“I have to go to the arts department building.”

Kazen said with a tensed expression.
Leto and I headed to the Magics Department without finishing our meal.
All the students were heading to the bulletin board on the first floor when they heard the exam marks came out.
I looked over the crowd at the bulletin board in the distance.
The names of the students were written next to the rankings in order.

I would have to look at the rankings from the bottom.
Using my small body to my advantage, I dug through the gaps and reached the front of the bulletin board.

[250th place.
Bona Bellion]

Fortunately, I managed to avoid last place.
Was the 249th place mine? Surprisingly, I wasn’t even in the 249th place.
My fingers traced up from the bottom.
At this point, my name should have been visible, but when I couldn’t see it I became anxious.
My heart trembled wildly.

W-Why can’t I see my name?

My hand stopped at 224th.

[224th place.
Briseis Pierre]

224th place? Two hundred and twenty fourth place? I couldn’t control my joy.
The days when I studied hard come to mind and at the same time I recalled Senior Jimbo, who had worked hard to teach me.
I even felt like kissing him when we met.
I couldn’t wait to brag.

First of all, I’ll send a letter to my parents…Next, I’ll brag to Senior Jimbo.
No, there was someone else I had to talk to first.
I turned my head and headed towards Leto, who was standing in the distance.


But Leto’s expression was strange.
He stared at the bulletin board with a look of disbelief, then clenched his fist tightly and turned away.
As Leto went away somewhere without a word, I looked at the bulletin board again.
Come to think of it, what place did he get?

When he first entered the academy, he was definitely at the top.

Leto worked hard on the exam this time, enduring[2] his sleep.

[2] Spent his nights studying rather than sleeping.

[1st place: Vivian Rawol]

[2nd place.
Helga Bund]

[3rd place.
Leah Arsene]

His rank went down.

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