[A Day Ago]

The residence of the boys teemed with life as usual.

The barely teenage young lads talked with one another, exchanging stories and experiences excitedly.
Whether it was about the fact that their Orientation would soon end, or what they had learned in the past couple of days, there was always something to serve as a subject of discourse.

Of course, not everyone was engaged in conversation.
Two especially were left out of the talks.
One chose not to even bother interacting with the rest of the boys.
Perhaps as a feeling of superiority, he intentionally isolated himself from others, preferring to read the books he had borrowed from the library.

As for the other, he was simply left out of the conversations.
No one bothered involving him, neither did they acknowledge his existence.
This boy also passed his time by either reading the books he got from the Library or the one his tutor had given him as a gift.

Yep! The boy was me.

It had been a short couple of days since we arrived, and I had not made a single friend.
Everyone ignored me.
I caught the gazes of some who seemed like they were interested in talking to me, but they never made any effort to try.

In such a place where collectivity was the best course of action, no one wanted to defy the norm and break the unspoken rule of my ostracization.
The fear that they would be abandoned by others and also he cast out coursed through everyone and they all pretended I didnt exist.

Well I dont really mind I mumbled.

Ainzlark gave us a lot of free time and only took up a few hours per day for our orientation.
It felt strange to me since I was certain that we didnt need a week to complete this course.

Theres most likely another objective to this phase I reasoned.

I doubted it was the same as the other tests we had, but at the same time, wondered what the higher-ups were up to.

After exploring every nook and cranny of the apartment, apart from the rooms of everyone else, of course, I found well-hidden magic tools all around.

Of course, I took great caution not to get caught snooping, even in my room.
Acting natural, I diligently uncovered the positions of these objects while others were having the time of their lives.

I knew it! Theyre watching us!

Well, there was nothing I could do even if they were, so I decided to keep to myself and avoid trouble.
Unfortunately, trouble came looking for me.

And that trouble came from a particular someone.


Spending my free time as usual, I read Alphonses book and cross-referenced it with a few materials I was allowed to borrow from the library.

Even though the Academy provided for all our material needs and we werent permitted to bring foreign objects, special exceptions could be requested.

I was able to retain my book, ring, and necklace, all mementos from those very important to me.

It was an interesting study, one that never seemed to end.
However, after several hours of immersing myself in knowledge, I began to feel hungry.

I initially ignored it, but theres only so much one can take.
Once I reached my limit, I decided to satiate my hunger and left my room.

Treading the sturdy flight of stairs, I descended slowly and carefully, already feeling tired from not having too much energy left.

Why did I push myself? I groaned internally with regret.

Upon reaching the ground floor which took the form of a lounge, I proceeded to my left side where my meal was supposed to have been placed.

Out meals were brought at intervals; morning, afternoon, and night.
They were properly packaged and special personnel brought them promptly.
Since the food brought was according to our exact number, we all had our allocated portions without any need to worry about leftovers or deficits.

Uh? I muttered in surprise upon getting to the large table where all the food would have been kept.

Nothing was there!

Oi, oi, oi! Youre kidding, right? My mind rang.

This was no laughing matter.
I was hungry to the point of collapsing.
I needed that meal!

An expression of disbelief showed clearly on my face as I stood, frozen.
However, as I was still trying to figure out what had occurred, I heard tiny laughs and Snickers from behind.




Since my senses were always been sharpened by magic, I was able to pick up their unpleasant noises of amusement.

Are they laughing at me? An unpleasant feeling enveloped me the moment I considered a very plausible answer.

A small smile appeared on my face as I made a wild guess concerning what had happened to my food.
Turning away from the table, I approached the group that sat in the lounge area.

It was the usual squad that dominated the boys dorm.
Since Stefan wanted nothing to do with anyone and simply locked himself in his room, only coming out for compulsory activities or meals, he wasnt the ringleader of the boys.

No, that title belonged to the one who scored third in our exams Ivan Smith!

I made sure to keep a poker face as I approached the group who slowly stopped laughing once they noticed my advance.

Good afternoon, or rather, evening, gentlemen.
I greeted, a basic form of courtesy.

Hey, Ivan, did you hear about the Guardian Spirit of the Library? Jerry, one of Ivans mobs, quickly brought up an irrelevant topic the moment I greeted them.

This displeased me, but I kept my cool.
I wasnt so childish that I would give such an obvious excuse for a snub any reaction.

Do any of you-

Oh? I think I heard something about that.
Ivan interrupted me with an energetic response, intentionally smothering my words with his.

Ah, I see so its them after all My thoughts rang.

I was so hungry that my belly bellowed at me.
It was evening already, and I hadnt had anything but an early breakfast.
Due to how tired I was, there was an option of simply giving up my lunch and waiting for dinner.
This way, I could avoid any conflict.

However, even in my state of weakness there was no way I was going to let this go now.

These brats I should do something.

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