The next morning, the princess appeared in her school uniform.
I was puzzled by her unusual attire.
She looked very dainty in her traveler's tunic, but looked very pretty in her Royal Academy uniform.
This uniform's colors are white and blue, and is designed like a military uniform. However, it also has flutters and other elements that give it a feminine touch.
It's a look you won't be embarrassed to show off anywhere. In fact, Royal Academy students can wear this outfit to weddings, funerals and other occasions. In fact, family members of ordinary students encourage them to wear the uniform just to show it off.
As I looked at her, Marie, the maid, coughed slightly.
At first I thought maybe she had a cold, I was going to ask her if she was okay, but then I saw something unusual.
She began to move her lips
I see. My sister would get cranky if I didn't praise her when I saw her in a new dress or outfit. I thought I was familiar with the psychology of women, but it seems I'm still not fully informed.
When I looked at Ariarose again, I complimented her.
"You look very beautiful, and that hairstyle brings out your beauty even more."
Her face lights up at those words.
"Thank you, Licht-Sama, you also look quite well in your uniform."
"Thank you, though I doubt that."
"You're wrong, you look very handsome, but..."
She reaches over and fixes the collar of my shirt that was askew.
Seeing us like that, Marie laughs and says, "You look like newlyweds."
After hearing those words, Ariarose's face turns red. She gathers her things, and we walk out of the mansion, where a carriage is waiting for us.
"Walking to school is a big problem."
As it is our first day, we will go by carriage. There are residences inside the academy, though it won't be necessary to move into one.
The sun was glaring too brightly and beating down on my face.
When I asked Marie to lend me her pocket watch, I saw it was still five o'clock.
"Do the students in this place get up this early? They're almost like roosters."
"No way, roosters wake up earlier."
Ariarose laughs and says it was a joke.
"Academy students wake up later. Since you have an entrance exam today, we have to go early."
"Oh right, the exam... Hey, but there's a problem, I haven't studied at all."
"That's not a problem."
Marie opens the carriage to reveal a stack of papers that was on one of the seats.
"You don't expect me to study in the carriage while we go to the Academy, do you?"
"Honestly, I don't think Licht-Sama will need to study at all."
"Exactly, he's used to reading, so he has a lot of knowledge."
"You're overestimating me."
But I flipped through the books in the carriage. Once I learn something, I never forget it. I remember it like it's burned into my brain.
"You'll have plenty of time for the written exam. But..."
The problem was practical skills.
"Princess, I don't want to stand out too much. I want to pass the sword skills and magic with the lowest grade."
"That's fine. You just have to get into the Academy, but if you aspire to be an inferior student, you might not pass the exam."
"Inferior student; it's a title for students at the Academy. there are special students, general students, and inferior students."
"In other words, students are ranked? By the way, what rank is a princess?"
"I'm an honorary scholarship student..."
...I see. Honorary. Ariarose is from the royal family, but she's a person who can only use attribute-type magic. Originally, she would be classified as an inferior student, but it seems that she has been given "special" treatment in consideration of her lineage.
It's a really problematic institute.
However, there isn't much of an option.
This is a country that is ruled by magic.
It can be said that talent is determined by the amount of one's magical power.
In such a situation, it is natural to discriminate against the incompetent and the lacking. If you are born into the house of a prince or royal noble, your chances of being discarded are low.
Perhaps the princess's position is not perfect, as there seems to be a strict class system in this school, meaning some students might even be getting bullied for their weak abilities.
In the midst of all this, it's truly noble of the princess who lives a life of purity and righteousness, and in spite of everything, she is not hindered by anything.
I have found another reason to respect the princess, I am determined to pass this exam. I am forbidden to fail it. However, I will not forget my motto: "Be firm, humble and discreet."
Now I have the surname Icehilk, but this is the royal capital, and there are many people affiliated with the Estark family. I'm sure they'll find out about my new life someday, but it's better that they find out from the beginning that the Estark family bastard is now the princess's bodyguard.
The goal of keeping a low profile was for my own sake, but mostly for the sake of the princess. There is no one more useless than a flashy "escort".
I thought once again of the princess, and stepped forward into the classroom to take the exam.