I Favor the Villainess 122

Ability Testing


It was exam season at the Royal Academy.
The same exams that Claire-sama and I competed in.
Ever since the revolution, the Royal Academy has been trying out various new things, but the ability tests haven’t changed.

“Let us begin with the Liberal Arts exam.”

In any case, I was a supervisor for the exams today.
Supervisors were in charge of distributing the test problem sheets, and were responsible for watching over the students to make sure nobody was cheating.
Just by observing them, it seemed like about 60% were nervous, 30% were normal, and the remaining 10% were feeling something else.

While the exams themselves remained the same, the contents were changed around a bit.
Firstly, there was no longer an etiquette exam.
This was largely influenced due to the abolition of aristocracy within the kingdom.
While learning proper etiquette was essential for people of the upper class, with the collapse of aristocracy, it no longer became a mandatory subject.

In its stead, the Magical Exam was split into two parts.
One was a basic magical strength test, while the other tested how well you could operate a magical tool.
As for the details, you can think back to the time Claire-sama and I competed.
Although, now they were just split up into individual parts.

The curriculum for Liberal Arts has roughly remained the same so far.
Because the academy was a place responsible for fostering the growth of the next generation, it was important that the students were educated.
That being said, some parts of the curriculum has been changed around.
Specifically, it became less focused on ancient history, and included more and more questions concerning modern current events.
You could say it was similar to how things worked in 21st century Japan.

“The time limit is sixty minutes. Now then…. Please begin.”

The students flipped their test sheets over all at the same time.
After that, all that could be heard were the sounds of pencils scribbling on paper.

“……”

While I don’t think that students who were excellent enough to make into the royal academy were the type to cheat, since I’ve been given the task to supervise them, I had to take my job seriously.
I carefully double-checked to make sure that the magical obstruction tool was working.
Seemed like it was working just fine.
It was mainly used to make sure that nobody was cheating by chatting through wind magic.
As you may remember, it was a spell that Manaria-sama used with me before, and because there was no way to monitor how it was being used, anybody who used it could say whatever they wanted through it.
On top of that, there was no real way to guarantee that magic wasn’t being misused.
So to prevent all of that, magic was strictly prohibited during the Liberal Arts exam.

“……”

While taking extra care to be as silent as possible, I slowly walked by each student.
Out of everybody, I recognized a few students that were taking my practical magic classes.

First, there was Lana Lahna.
She was a kid that has been trying to pursue me.
Even though it hasn’t been that long since the exam started, her test sheet was already over halfway filled out.
She mentioned that studying was a weak point of hers, but perhaps she was just being modest?
Right as the thought crossed my mind, she started rolling her pencil.

“~~~♪”

She began to fill out her answers based on what she rolled.
Doesn’t seem like I should expect too much out of her results.

The next person I recognized was Eve Nunn, who was also from Euclid.
She had filled out about one-third of her answer sheet.
Just from taking a quick glance at her paper, all of her answers so far have been correct.
She was truly an honor student.

In that moment, Eve’s eyes made contact with mine.

“…… !”

Once again, she glared at me like she hated me.
According to Lana, it seems that I stole Eve’s lover from her, but I really have no idea how such a misunderstanding started to begin with.
I would really like to have a proper conversation with her at least once, but there hasn’t been an opportunity to do that yet.

Finally, the last student I recognized was Joel Santana.
Joel was scratching his head as he penned in his answers.
It looked like he was struggling quite a bit.
When I looked over at his sheet, it was barely filled out and some of his answers were incorrect as well.
He really wasn’t being humble when he said he was bad at studying.

Soon after, the Liberal Arts exam ended without any incident.
I collected all of the test sheets, and went straight to the staff room.

“Ah, Claire-sama.”
“Rei. Good work acting as a supervisor.”

Is what Claire-sama said to me.
Looking over at the stack of paper that she was holding, it seemed that she had also just finished supervising a Liberal Arts exam.

“Good work as well, Claire-sama.”
“We have a lot of honor students this year, don’t we. I did not expect commoners to have such a high number of correct answers.”
“Claire-sama, they’re not ”commoners.” They’re “citizens” now.”
“Oh dear. That’s right. Excuse me.”

Claire-sama laughed it off with an “ohoho”.
Seeing her let herself go a little bit like that was wonderful as well.

“Your class is just filled with excellent students, Claire-sama. As far as I can tell, my class is pretty average, you know?”
“Is that so?”
“Yep.”

Another change that came out following the revolution was that classes were now organized by abilities.
In other words, each class was separated based on one’s academic strength.
The idea faced a lot of opposition, but the principal, Tred-sensei, let it pass in the end.
Some of you may have forgotten who Tred-sensei is, so I will introduce him again. He’s the kingdom’s only tri-caster, and somebody who has contributed a lot to the growth of magic culture here.

It seemed that a lot of teachers were against the idea of dividing the classes that way.
Ideally, it was better if students were all treated equally, but the reality was, there were a lot of individual differences when it came down to abilities and strength.
It would’ve been unfair if everybody took the same courses at the same level – which was what Tred-sensei thought.

For the most part, I agreed with his opinion.
I think it’s better for students to take classes that are appropriate for their skill level, as it’ll be the best way for them to grow.
If someone was already having trouble adjusting to their current level, it wouldn’t be beneficial if they took courses that were above that.
Claire-sama seemed to have a different opinion, though.

I thought to myself, as I handed the test sheets over to another teacher that would be grading them.

“Next is the basic magical strength test, huh.”
“Yes. I am looking forward to seeing what kind of hidden talents we might see this year.”

Claire-sama looked excited as she spoke.
She really was looking forward to witnessing the strengths of other people.
Before, she used to suggest that she may be suited for being a teacher, so hearing her say things like that made me think so as well.
Although, in Claire-sama’s case, her only weakness was that because she had such high expectations of her students, her teaching style was quite spartan.

“Claire-sama, you look excited.”
“? Yes. Is that bad?”

Upon hearing my words, Claire-sama looked like I had said something strange.

“No, it’s not bad.”
“In that case, what is it?”
“…… No, actually, it’s fine.”
“What is it? Just say it clearly.”

Claire-sama urged me.
Ehh, well, it’s fine.

“You won’t pull back?”
“Is it something that will make me want to pull back?”
“Answering a question with another question is bad, you know.”
“In that case, I was the one who asked you a question first. If you have something you want to say, then come out with it.”

Hmm.
Whatever, I’ll just say it.

“I’m lonely.”
“Hah?”
“As much as I’m glad that Claire-sama is living a very fulfilling life as a teacher, it feels like you’re paying less attention to me, so now I feel lonely.”
“W-Wait a minute…..!”

Claire-sama covered my mouth out of panic.

“Rei! We’re at school, and in the staff room at that!? What are you saying all of a sudden!?”
Mmph
“Ahh, I’m sorry.”

Claire-sama released me.

“Isn’t it fine? It’s not like we’re hiding anything.”
“That is not the problem.”

It’s not like Claire-sama and I were trying to hide our relationship.
We weren’t displaying our affection publicly or anything, but still, I think most of our colleagues were already aware of it.
Some of the teachers now used to be our classmates back when we were students too, so they were already aware of how passionate I was about pursuing Claire-sama.

“Learn to distinguish between public and private matters. You would hate it too if you left the impression that sexual minorities are particularly focused on sexual aspects, wouldn’t you, Rei? What are you doing by spreading prejudice?”
“I meanー”

Claire-sama was completely right.
But I’ve been really patient too, you know?
It feels like I’ve nearly depleted my entire supply of Clarium.

“….. Hah….. Please bear with it for the rest of the day. When we get home, I will shower you with lots of love.”
“Really!?”
“Gladly. Rei, sometimes it feels like you are even younger than Mei and Alea, you know?”
“I feel a sense of babumi from you, Claire-sama.”1
“Babumi……?”
“Never mind, it’s nothing.”

This isn’t good.
Self-control, self-control.

“It’s a promise, okay, Claire-sama?”
“Yes, yes. So will you please do your job properly now?”
“Of course!”

I took my job seriously and earnestly supervised the magical exams in the afternoon.
And by the time evening rolled around, I enjoyed Claire-sama for the first time in a while.


1) Babumi is a Japanese slang word to describe a warm, motherly feeling upon seeing something cute.

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