The chirps of early morning birds echoed out as I rolled off of my bed and onto the ground. I know it’s unsightly to laze around in such a position but I’m too tired to care.
Slowly, I pushed myself off of the ground and waddled to the bathroom.
The thing I miss the most at the moment is not having to do my morning routine by myself. Back when I was still a demon, I had servants taking care of everything.
It’s hard to appreciate what you have until it’s gone.
After freshening up I made my way towards the kitchen, where my mother is preparing breakfast.
I plopped down on the chair and hunched over the table.
“It’s times like this where you actually act your age, huh?”
My mother walked over, bringing plates of food.
“Nothing, now wake up.”
She brought down her hand, lightly chopping my head.
I rubbed the top of my head and pushed myself upright.
“Yes, yes, morning. Now finish your food and get your luggage. The coach is coming to pick you up in an hour.”
Groaning, I picked up the spoon, sipping away at the soup that my mother prepared.
I got dressed in the school uniform and collected my luggage, which only comprises a few change of clothing and daily necessities. I grabbed the handle and stepped into the living room. My mother, who was baking pastries, walked over. She took off her apron and hugged me, saying nothing. Blushing a little, I hugged her back, basking in her warmth. We stayed in this position for a long while, interrupted only by the sounds of horses outside our house.
I nodded and reluctantly separated from my mother.
“Whatever you do from now on, remember this. I will always be proud of you.”
She gave me a bright smile and pushed me towards the door.
I looked back and returned the smile.
“I’ll be back.”
I opened the door and exited my home.
“If only that child smiled more, she’d be so much cuter.”
…I’ll just pretend I never heard that.
A luxurious golden coach stood right outside my door. Following the golden exterior is a crimson interior. Red velvet curtains decorated the windows with two sets of red seats on each side. In the center, an oak table separated the seats. With four horses pulling the box, the coach is massive. The wheels alone almost exceeded my height. The box itself almost doubled my height. It’s flashy in a very tacky way.
The coachmen stepped forward and beckoned me towards the door. He took my luggage and strapped it to the back, alongside others.
I entered the coach and took the seat right next to the door. Three pairs of eyes were following me, even before I entered the carriage.
I gave a small curtsy.
Mentally sighing, I looked across, at the 3 people who are openly and very rudely staring at me.
Beside me sat a ragged young woman, distinguishing herself from the other two. With a short and uneven cut, she gave a rough and rowdy impression. Despite having a mannish face, her body is anything but. With well-defined legs, rounded bosom, and a small waist, her body is the definition of feminine. The difference between her face and the rest of her body is jarring. Despite the masculine impressive she gives, she’s not bad looking at all. Charming, even.
The two other girls sitting on the opposite side appear to be twins. They share the same face. With the same clothing, it was difficult to distinguish between the two, if not for the different haircuts. One sprouted a short perm while the other wore a long ponytail. Even with the hairstyle differences, their physique was identical. Both having a short and childish body and rounded face, they were like dolls.
Despite calling them short, I am the shortest one in this carriage. That very much irks me.
Getting another good look at the others, it appears that they all brought some peculiar items with them. The rough girl had a sword to her side while the twins had daggers attached to a belt they wore on their waists.
Why do they have weapons? What kind of learning facility am I going to? The way my mother described it, I thought it was an academic establishment.
Growing more and more uncomfortable with the silence, I glanced over at the other girls. However, as my eyes matched theirs, they all looked away. My eye twitched.
How are these girls raised!? Do they not know of common social manners!? Even when I was little, I never acted like this!
I took a deep breath and composed myself.
“What is it? Do I have something on my face?”
“Ahhh, sorry. It’s just that…”
The girl next to me trailed off, which the ponytailed twin picked up.
“You’re so pretty!”
With the unexpected answer, my face turned blazing red.
“And cute, right sis?”
I looked to the side, meeting with her eyes again. She snapped away, breaking the line of sight.
Again, what is with these people?
I sighed in exasperation. My head is hurting already.
“Ahem. Shall we introduce ourselves? It’s much overdue.”
The ponytailed twin straightened up and smiled.
“Oh, sure! I’m Olivia and she’s Sophia. Nice to meetcha!”
The perm twin, Sophia, wave a small wave.
I looked to the side, at the last person, awaiting her introduction.
“Oh, Come on! That’s so boring! Here, this is what you do. Take her by the waist and be like ‘Won’t you become mine?’ and then take her lips! That would be the perfect first impression!”
“…Sis, your delusions are leaking again.”
“Sorry 'bout my idiot sister.”
Overwhelmed by the antics of a single person, it was all I managed to mutter out.
The sound of a whip lashed out and the horses neighed and the carriage moved down the road and towards the gate. It’s time to depart.
“So how about you? What’s your name?”
Olivia leaned over the table, eyes sparkling.
“Ah, please excuse the late introduction. My name is Hilda Gwillyms, the child of a simple baker.
“So, you’re not a noble?”
“No. What insinuated that I was?”
“Everything! The way you talk, the way you move, that sparkle that noble people have. Oh, and that snobby tone. That like ‘I’m totally better than you’ tone!”
“Sis, that’s rude.”
“Well, now there’s no point in seducing you. If you were rich, all Leona had to do was to just lay on the moves a little and she’d be set for life!”
“Sis, that’s really rude.”
“Oh well, we’ll get another chance at it when we get there!”
Thus, started our carriage ride towards the school.
Unlike what I imagined, the learning facility wasn’t for nobles only. Tons of commoners attended too. According to Leona, the head of the school desired diversity. Due to that decision, tons of commoners entered, hoping to find love with an upper member of society. Obviously, it’s not that easy, as nobility cared about status too much. The action of letting in a commoner into the family is shameful.
I wonder if my mother had intended that for me.
Back on topic, Sophia informed me everything about the school. The school’s name is “Lux Aeterna”. It’s a multi-service learning facility, aimed at cultivating talents of various fields. From knighthood to mercenary to scholar, the school covered almost every subject under the sun. That’s the reason they all carried weapons on them.
Since the school’s location is very far away from any nearby city or village, it was constructed as a live-in school. Over time, the school kept developing and expanding its territory. Nowadays, it’s less of a school in the middle of nowhere but rather a bustling city. Merchants from all over gathered, finding opportunities to settle down. With a constant supply of trade and a stable internal infrastructure, the school grew to become a commercial hub that rivals even the capital. However, unlike the capital, everything is managed and run by the school’s staff instead of the reigning monarchy and nobility.
“To be able to free themselves from the kingdom and establish themselves as an independent territory, how amazing…”
“Quite. It’s only because the headmaster of the school doesn’t discriminate that people like me and my idiot sister over there can enroll.”
Mindless gossip filled the carriage for the remaining way to the school.
Turns out Olivia and Sophia are childhood friends with Leona. They all decided to enroll together, trying to make a living by themselves after they graduate. They aimed to be adventurers, as a party.
“You should join us!”
“Join us! Become an adventurer with us! Hmm…it doesn’t look like you can fight, but I’m sure you can do something. Oh, I know, you can be our attendant! Cook for us, patch us up after a fight, take care of us. Stuff like that! Ohhhh I bet all the other groups would be so jealous, having such a beauty looking after us. Ehehehehehe.”
“...First, those tasks are relegated to that of a servant. I hope, for your sake, that you can fix your attitude before we enter the school. If you happen to offend a noble, I wouldn’t know what will happen to you.”
“It’ll be fine sweetcakes, I know you find me charming!”
“Second, I’ve had real combat experience, unlike you three. Even without that, my combat prowess surpasses all of you.”
“With those flimsy arms of yours, I don’t think you can even lift a sword, never mind fighting with one. Just leave the fighting to us, sweetie.”
“You…! I…! UGH!”
This must be the single most infuriating person I’ve ever dealt with in all my two lives.
“Sis, enough is enough.”
“Ah, sorry ‘bout that.”
I sighed and buried my face in my arms on the table. My head hurts.
“Sorry! I’m really sorry! Forgive me? I won’t do it again! Promise!”
“Sis, when was the last time you actually kept your promises?”
“Uhh…well. Don’t worry about it!”
I sighed again and pushed myself up. Despite everything, I can’t stay mad at her for some reason. She really is a strange and interesting person.
“Yay~ Oh hey look, we’re here!”
With the notification, all four of us looked outside.
A giant castle wall loomed over us, with a moat surrounding it. Down the road stood a tall and decorated archway, operating as the entrance to the school.
As we slowly arrived at the doorway, I looked around. Faces of excitement and nervousness covered everyone’s faces. I looked back at the gate.
A human learning facility. It might be interesting to partake in its lectures.
I leaned backwards on the seat, looking outside, as I entered Lux Aeterna for the very first time.