The Imperial Academy
“A-Are you opposing the Empire!?”
“Oh my, what sort of strange things are you saying? Like you, I am merely just a student. Are you trying to tell me that your name is “Empire”?”
Claire-sama had an unyielding look on her face and spoke with the intention of provoking the other person.
Her expression was quite appropriate for somebody who used to be a villainess.
Her opponent was a male student, who appeared to be stuck in a daze.
We were in the Imperial Academy, an educational institution run by the Empire.
Claire-sama stood up tall and had her arms crossed while Philine was sitting and trembling behind her.
“It’ll be fine. Let’s leave this to Claire-sama.”
As I took her by the hand and helped her up, I whispered that into her ear.
Philine looked confused, but for the time being, she nodded her head.
“Do you know who you’re talking to!?”
“Oh, I’m sorry? I just transferred into the class today, so I do not have the slightest clue about you.”
“Damn it…… You’re making fun of me.”
As the male student spewed out words that a third-string fool would say, he looked over towards us with his hostile eyes.
As for how things turned out this way on the first day of class, we would need to rewind to about a few hours back.
“These students will be studying alongside the rest of you starting from today. Everyone, please make sure to get along with them.”
The teacher briefly introduced us, showed us our seats and immediately started with his lesson.
We thought we were going to be asked to introduce ourselves, so we were all a bit puzzled as we tuned into the lecture.
There was no attempt whatsoever at trying to help the transfer students get caught up to date with the curriculum.
We were currently in the middle of a Liberal Arts lecture, but compared how things were back at the Royal Academy, the content was more dense and the learning pace was much faster.
Other than the basics, the transfer students had little knowledge about the Empire.
Save for a small handful of us, most transfer students were trying desperately in order to keep up.
By the time the bell rang to signal that class was over, nearly everyone appeared to be completely worn out.
“This concludes the lecture. I’ll see you all next time.”
That was all the teacher left us with as he exited the classroom.
Right as the transfer students finally had enough spare time to agonize over how tough the lecture was,
“Hey, hey, you guys came from Bauer, right?”
“Is it true that a revolution happened?”
“Hey, tell us your names.”
A group of people suddenly gathered around us.
Considering how the teacher was acting, I thought the students would be the same way, but it seemed that they weren’t so different from the people back in Bauer.
“Please give us a moment. Let us introduce ourselves in order.”
There were five students from Bauer that transferred into this classroom.
Those people would be Claire-sama, Lana, Eve, Joel and myself.
Lene, who came all the way from Appalachia, and Yuu-sama were nowhere to be seen.
It seemed that they were assigned to a different classroom.
“My name is Claire François. I am pleased to make your acquaintance.”
The first to introduce themselves was Claire-sama.
When she gave them her name, the entire classroom lit up.
“Aren’t you the heroine of the revolution?”
“Is it true that you took down a thousand of the Kingdom’s soldiers?”
As expected, Claire-sama’s name was well-known within the Empire.
Although, it seemed that the various rumors surrounding her were quite exaggerated.
“I am really not that big of a deal. The revolution was spearheaded by the citizens.”
“But, like, aren’t you super strong?”
“It’s not as if I could have faced off against a thousand people though. That is just an exaggeration.”
“Hey, hey, between you and Empress Dorothea, which one of you is stronger?”
Claire-sama was super popular right from the beginning.
“Please let us finish our self-introductions first. Rei?”
When Claire-sama passed the baton off to me, I stood up from my seat.
“My name is Rei Taylor. I’m Claire-sama’s wife, and Claire-sama is my wife, so please don’t try to take her away from me. I promise I’ll bite, grr…”
“Wait a minute, Rei!?”
Leaving this sort of first impression was important.
It was necessary to assert your ownership.
“Eh, what was that? Claire has a lover?”
“Even though she uses “-sama” with her.”
“Ehhh~ Rei’s pretty interesting!”
That seemed like it was well-received.
I thought they would’ve been a bit more shocked.
“L-Let’s move on to the next person. Lana?”
Lana stood up.
“I’m Lana Lahna. I plan on snatching Rei-sensei away from Claire-sensei. I’m a bad girl. It’s nice to meet you all.”
Lana said with a wink.
“Eh, is this a love triangle?”
“A battle between women. Sounds terrifying.”
“It’s like a daytime drama.”1
Our humor continued to connect with the students.
Or actually, wait a minute.
“What’s a daytime drama?”
“Eh, you’ve never heard of it? It’s just a novel called ‘Afternoon Drama’. It’s a masterpiece that depicts the complicated relationships between human beings. I’ll lend you a copy next time.”
“Ah, okay. Thank you.”
That was so misleading!
“Next up is Eve.”
“Eve Nunn. It’s a pleasure.”
As always, Eve seemed unapproachable.
“The ice-cold beauty has appeared!”
“Hey, hey, do you want some candy?”
“I want her to step on me.”
Even Eve was well-received.
Wait a minute, didn’t someone say something strange just now?
“And finally, Joel?”
“…… I’m Joel Santana. I have confidence in my physical abilities. Pleasure to meet you.”
Joel wrapped it up with an average introduction.
Although it was lacking a personal touch to it.
“He looks like the cool type.”
“His bluntness might actually be appealing.”
“I want him to step on me.”
There seemed to be generally positive reactions towards Joel’s introduction as well.
Hold on, there was definitely a strange person in the crowd.
And just like that, we were welcomed into the class.
I thought the students would’ve been more wary of us or they might’ve ostracized us, but the Empire really was a place that promoted diversity.
As long as you made an effort to get along with people, they would return the same sentiment.
“Should we introduce ourselves too?”
“Hey, don’t get a head start!”
The excitement in the classroom continued as more self-introductions went by.
In the middle of all of the noise, there was one quiet person who was lost among the crowd.
“Philine, you should introduce yourself too.”
As soon as she heard the girl’s name, Claire-sama glanced over at me.
I gave her a nod in return.
“I-I’m Philine Naa. I-It’s nice to meet you……”
The girl gave off the impression of a small animal and timidly finished her introduction.
Immediately afterwards, she sat back down and hid her face behind a book.
She seemed incredibly shy.
“You know, even though Philine’s like that, she’s actually the daughter of Empress Dorothea. But they’re nothing alike.”
“Is that so.”
As I thought, that was her.
The person we were going to capture.
It was time to start thinking about how we could find more opportunities to interact with her.
“You guys needa shut up!”
A gruff voice resounded.
When I looked over to the source, I saw a male student who looked somewhat like a delinquent with his feet up on his desk as he cursed at us.
“Oh, Otto…… You were here too. Why don’t you introduce――”
“Haaah!? Don’t mess with me!”
“O-Oh, n-no, I’m sorry……”
The classroom suddenly fell silent.
Otto seemed to be quite troublesome.
“Besides, that blonde chick over there with the curls is supposed to be an enemy of the Empire, right? Don’t just let her in like that.”
Otto’s chair creaked as he got up from his seat, and he lumbered over towards us.
He was tall.
He looked to be about 180 cm.
His body was incredibly sturdy as well, he almost looked like a gigantic moving rock.
“So your name is Otto. I am Claire François. It is a pleasure to meet you.”
“Tch, don’t get cocky, little girl. You probably just enjoy wearing your noble status like it’s some sorta decoration anyway, like that Philine over there.”
Otto suddenly brought his face closer to Claire-sama’s, and stared down at her.
Just as I was thinking about using magic, Claire-sama looked over at me to stop me.
“A decoration? I suppose you are correct. That is not too far from the truth.”
“Heh, that’s what I thought.”
“However, I am sure I can put my head to better use than you. With such an empty head like yours, you will never be a match for me.”
Otto looked stupefied for a moment.
But once that moment passed, blood rushed to his cheeks.
“You brat, you want me to kill you!?”
“Oh my, seems like that head of yours is just a decoration. You do realize that if you lay even a finger on any of us, it will turn into an international conflict, right?”
“As if I give a damn!”
Otto lifted his arm and took a swing at Claire-sama.
Claire-sama shifted her body away slightly, and stuck her foot out as he passed by her.
Otto fell over helplessly.
“Oh dear, I apologize.”
“I won’t let you off anymore――!”
Otto tried to attack Claire-sama over and over.
“Hah…… haah…… You brat…… damn it……”
Even after a few minutes had gone by, Otto wasn’t able to land any of his hits during their completely one-sided brawl.
“That took hardly any effort. Looks like your whole delinquent act was really all just for show.”
Claire-sama brushed the dust off of her shoulders.
I thought that Otto might’ve had some sort of background in martial arts or something, but in the end, he was no match for Claire-sama, who studied self-defense from a young age, lived through the revolution and had actual combat experience.
“Damn it…… If it’s gonna be like this……!”
Otto took out a wand from one of his pockets.
A magic wand――!
“Claire-sama, look out――”
When I spontaneously tried to call out,
There was somebody else standing in front of Claire-sama.
It was Philine.
“Haaah!? What’re you doing, Philine, you’re in the way!”
“No matter how you look at it, this is going too far. I can’t believe you’re trying to use magic!”
“I said you’re in the way!”
Otto shoved Philine aside.
At that moment, I could tell what he was saying just by looking at him.
Claire-sama put herself in front of Philine, who had fallen on her backside.
“Magic, was it? That’s fine by me. Why don’t you give it a try and see what happens?”
“You…… Don’t look down on me……”
And here, we return to the opening scene.
Otto shook his magic wand.
An arrow of fire formed at the tip of the wand, and was shot in the direction of Claire-sama.
Claire-sama dove straight towards the flame arrow.
Philine cried out.
“What the hell!?”
Claire-sama quickly casted a flame arrow of her own, used it to extinguish the one Otto made, and closed the distance between them before kicking Otto square in the belly.
“Now then, it’s time for you to receive your punishment.”
Claire-sama grinned at Otto, who had fallen over.
Ah, she snapped.
Although she was smiling, she definitely snapped.
Seeing Otto push Philine over was probably what ended up being the last straw for her.
“W-Wait! Wouldn’t this become an international conflict!?”
“It will not. This is just a fight between students. Isn’t that right, everyone?”
Claire-sama smiled beautifully as she cracked her finger joints.
The audience was so overwhelmed by the tension, nobody dared to speak up.
How nice, Claire-sama seemed so full of life!
“Weren’t you the one who said it would?!”
“That was obviously just a bluff. The fact that you couldn’t even tell just further proves that your head is merely just a decoration.”
Claire-sama took out her magic wand and pointed it at Otto.
No, the only bluff Claire-sama made this entire time was probably what she said just now.
Even if they were both considered just students, any death would cause an uproar.
“By the way, I may just be wearing my status around as a decoration, but I have a high affinity for fire magic. This may hurt for just a bit, so forgive me in advance, will you?”
Just as Claire-sama was about to swing her magic wand down at the visibly frightened Otto, Philine stopped her arm.
“What is it?”
“Please, let’s just leave things here……!”
“Are you alright with that? It seems like you get pushed around a lot quite often, though.”
“Otto can be…… a little violent sometimes, but he’s not a bad person at heart. He just happened to be in a really bad mood today……”
Philine tried to be reasonable as she defended him.
It looked like there were tears in her eyes.
She was probably scared of Claire-sama.
Although I personally loved that part of her, it seemed that Claire-sama’s brutal side frightened other people whenever they saw it for the first time.
In fact, none of our other classmates dared to even step closer to her.
“Fine. If that is what you insist, then I shall back down. That was a bit of an extreme self-introduction, wasn’t it? Well then, good day, everyone.”
As soon as she said that, Claire-sama took her bag with her and left the classroom.
“…… Damn it……”
“Otto…… Let’s get you some treatment……”
“I don’t need it!”
Otto cut Philine off before she could try to heal him with her magic, and exited the classroom as well.
I watched the whole thing happen from start to finish.
“Hey, hey, Rei-sensei. Has Claire-sensei…… always been that scary……?”
“Eh? Scary how?”
“How, you ask……”
Lana was at a loss for words.
Eh, I was just happy that I got to witness something that I hadn’t seen in a while.
“You see, Claire-sama’s scary when she gets mad, but she’s pretty normal otherwise? If anything, she’s adorable.”
“For example, look.”
I pointed towards the classroom door.
As soon as I did, Claire-sama returned with a shameful look on her face.
“W-What’s wrong, Claire…..?”
“Is something else about to happen…..?”
The other students asked her fearfully.
When she was faced with the question, Claire-sama answered with,
“…… I forgot that we still had class.”
Yep, how uncool.
1) “Daytime dramas” (or “昼ドラ” or “hirudora” or even “hirudorama”) were Japanese soap-operas that were primarily directed towards women and typically aired during the daytime. These were more prevalent in the early 2000s, but have since disappeared.↵