“Huh? You’re going to take Magical Botany?”
After the morning class was over, it was lunch break.
Mika asked me that question as he sat in the shade of a tree in the courtyard, while trying to chew on his pastrami sandwich.
I’ve done a terrible thing this morning about Tillois, but I figured I should just think about it later, and then I opened the wrapping of my sandwich, too.
Usually, the students at Luminous academy have lunch in the cafeteria.
This is also, once again, a real hassle, but for the aristocrats it is a place for “socializing” where they can’t afford to slack off, even at lunchtime.
Since I started attending this school, I have almost never been to the cafeteria.
At first, I ate lunch together with my brother because he invited me.
But of course, the area around the first prince was the prime place for socializing, so I soon stopped going there.
Knowing this circumstance, Mika bought two sandwiches without hesitation and took me to the courtyard.
It seems that he had even courteously brought along a picnic blanket with him.
Right now, the cafeteria must be bustling with talk about my older brothers’ knights that was decided yesterday.
If I had been there, I probably wouldn’t be able to stand it.
(He’s surprisingly considerate…)
I suddenly remembered that I also had lunch alone in the courtyard in my first life.
Machina was nearby, but I didn’t remember having lunch together with him.
I feel like I told him that he can eat lunch with his friends, but Machina only smiled at me and said, “But I’m your knight, Your Highness Nagi.”
However, I remember I usually eat lunch slowly while flipping through a book.
Meanwhile Machina was always alone, eating bread quickly at a place a little far away from me.
I might have given him a hard time.
“Why did you decide to take that class?”
Machina was completely different from this redhead, who just sat down next to me and talked while munching on his sandwich as if it was natural to do.
Machina had a good sense of moderation and courtesy, I thought of that with a distant look in my eyes.
“I’ve always been interested in Magical Botany.
If I take it now, I can take Magical Herbology next year.”
You’ve always liked grass since you were little, after all.”
While thinking about why Mika would say grass, I certainly remember exploring the gardens of the royal castle with him when we were little.
Mika kept on munching his food and stared at me curiously.
True, if I had stayed the same person as I was before, I would have taken Law and Theology without hesitation.
In my first life, I wanted to learn the laws of the country and have a grasp of them when I judged my brother’s enemies.
And I thought it would help if I remembered the prayers to calm the disasters that would be caused by God’s wrath, should anything happen during my brother’s reign.
(But, that didn’t help at all in the end…)
Disasters still happened even if I prayed.
Well, studying Law was useful when judging political opponents as sinners, but that, too, is meaningless for this plutogis strategy.
Besides, I had already learned it, so there was no need to learn it again.
“What are you going to take, Mika? You don’t have to take all the same classes as me.
The school is safe, there’s no problem.”
“Hmm, I want to move around, so of course, I’ll take swordsmanship.
And then, what should I take…? What about you, Nagi? You can only take Herbology next year, right?”
“I had an interest in healing art.
But when I heard about the lessons, it sounded more like astrology or witchcraft, which wasn’t what I wanted to do.”
Even if I prayed, even if I wished, it won’t cure the disease.
Mika said, “I think I’ll take botany with you.
It seems like a class that has a lot of outings,” and put the last bite of the sandwich in his mouth.
As I watched him eating and munching with his mouth full like a squirrel, it suddenly hit me.
Until now, I had taken the classes from the upper standpoint, next to my brother.
But it seemed quite unlikely that the studies that would benefit the people were Law or Theology.
Then, I muttered it.
“I think I’ll take Livelihood Magic Study.”
“Huh, really? That’s a very plain class.
Botany and Livelihood Magic Study, sounds like something a guy with agricultural territory would take.”
“Why? I shouldn’t take it?”
It’s very like you, Nagi.
It has a plain, gloomy, and dull feeling.”
The feeling of irritation welled up in me.
But— rather than that.
Livelihood magic, I tried saying it to myself and I felt a chilling sensation as if my internal organs were freezing.
I put the baguette sandwich in my mouth to cover it up.
It was the sandwich Mika had procured for me, saying that he would buy it randomly.
But, seeing the egg inside made me feel a little better.
It’s easy if your tastes are known by other people.
That’s right, —something like livelihood magic shouldn’t have been useful at all.
Sweat formed slowly on my hand.
I’m still not sure if this is really five years ago.
Still, if there’s a possibility of that, there had to be something I could do.
(This is for the incident that will shake the whole continent— that will happen from now on.)
I felt nervous and my body tensed up.
A warm sensation slid down my cheek, a thumb slowly traced my lips, and then it pressed my lips lightly.
I froze in shock at the suddenness of it.
Mika squinted his eyes as if there was something funny, and said,
“There was an egg there.”
“Ju-just tell me normally!”
“Your lips are so soft.”
As I looked at Mika, who was smiling at me, I felt the heat on my face from the embarrassment that had finally arrived late.
I felt weird because the way he touched me was strangely gentle.
Then I thought.
(It felt so weird!)
My heart was pounding so loudly that I couldn’t taste the flavor of the egg sandwich.
As I was eating it, Mika, who was staring at me, asked,
“Why are you making a scary face like that?”
He moved his face so close to mine, then I involuntarily put one hand on the blanket.
From a distance so close that his breath could hit me, his beautiful jade eyes were staring at me.
As I was at a loss for words, Mika gently placed his hand on top of my other hand that I put on the grass.
My fingertips trembled.
Feeling as if I were a rabbit being stared at by a beast, I said in a frightened tone, “I-I didn’t make a scary face.”
Until just now, my internal organs have been shrinking at the thought of what would happen in the future.
But now, all I could think about was Mika.
I quickly looked away, but Mika’s face followed me as if to stare into me, then his eyes widened.
However— Mika looked into my face with a smile as if he was overflowing with happiness, and then he said.
“You should smile.”
“You’re cuter when you smile, Nagi.”
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