“Huh… what’s that?”
“This is a skullcap plant.
The flower looks like a dead spirit screaming its last breath, doesn’t it? That’s why it has a rather unusual name.”
“The name and the appearance are both something.”
In my hand, I hold a single flower, reddish-black in color, as if it were caked with blood.
The flower is a collection of flowers the size of a thumb fingernail, each one looking as if it were being burned resentfully, ah… It’s not good to be burned.
It looks as if it was being trampled resentfully, and it was fantastical.
Mika, just like he said the other day, has easily settled in the room for the personal knight in the royal castle, taking only one large cloth bag with him.
Mika’s family is the Counts of Chardin, a family with a maritime domain located in the south of the Pluvia Kingdom.
I’ve heard that Count Chardin also spends about half his time in his estate and half in the royal capital.
He also prepared a small “room” in the royal capital four years ago for Mika, who attends the academy.
Count Chardin is a really strange person, and ever since I first met him when I was little, I have always thought of him as a magician.
He had redder hair than Mika’s, a curly beard of the same color, and the same jade-green eyes.
The Count is a lover of the sea and art, and his stories were always interesting and showed me a world of wonders.
His ideas are intriguing and his actions are strange.
However, there is something about him that makes him a visionary, someone who seems to possess a mysterious magical power.
Mika lived in the “room” that the count had prepared for him.
In other words, it was not a mansion.
Mika is probably the only one who lives in such a place where a commoner man lives alone, despite being the child of a noble family.
According to Count Chardin, “It is impossible to be the lord of the people without knowing the life of commoners.”
Anyway, everyone in the family of Count Chardin is an oddball, including Mika’s two older brothers, although I have yet to meet his younger sister.
Mika’s story, as he was raised by a count who had such free ideas, was very interesting and I loved it so- …No, I thought it was deeply intriguing from a very young age.
Anyway, if even Mika, who probably had no knowledge of magical plants, took a glance at it and said, “That’s not good,” this must be a promising plant.
I smiled in my mind.
This morning, before I went to school, I picked the skullcap plant that I grew in the greenhouse of the royal castle that I manage.
But Mika stared at me doubtfully with his eyes, as if asking “What the hell is that?” Then I said confidently,
“If I showed people this, I thought that maybe I can make some friends.”
Seeing Mika raising his voice for some reason, I tilted my head, not understanding what he meant.
Today is the day that we get to attend the classes we’re interested in before submitting the class selections for next semester.
The school is giving such a wonderful opportunity for fifth-year students, because they have to make a choice with their graduation thesis in mind.
Of course, I had planned to take Magical Botany and Livelihood Magic Study for today, and since Mika was coming with me for Botany, I was a bit relieved.
Besides, since it was a new class, I had brought a special tool with me, the skullcap plant.
“No, why’d you even think of doing that? That’s just pure malice.”
“Hey, don’t look at me as if you’re thinking I’ll never understand you.”
What in the world.
In my head, a plubear landed after a triple and a half flip, then a twist.
Indeed, Mika is the kind of guy who refers to magical plants collectively as ‘grass’.
It’s safe to assume that he has no idea of the rarity or splendor of this magical plant.
What a horror.
A shiver runs down my spine when I think of his lack of aesthetic sense despite being the son of that Count Chardin.
But you’ll see, Redhead.
To tell you the truth, today is a glorious day, the first day to start my memorable experiment.
Let me tell you about today’s experiment.
I opened the door to the magical botany classroom with great enthusiasm, not caring about Mika who was looking at me with a blank stare.
The students inside the class looked at me in unison and bowed.
I said, “Good morning,” in a slightly firmer tone than yesterday, as I strode into the classroom.
It was a small classroom, perhaps because not many people wanted to take the class.
It was a stone building with a blackboard and a desk in front of which the lecturer stood, and about five rows of long desks on a step up above it.
The number of students I saw in the classroom was less than ten.
However, all those students couldn’t take their eyes off the skullcap plant in my hand.
Their stares at my hand and their rustling glances as they murmur contained a hint of envy, but not the malice or trepidation that Mika seemed to have expected.
I sat down at the desk in the middle of the room, and I heard Mika’s dismay behind me, saying, “Seriously?”
It’s a good reaction.
This reaction should be good.
From this point on, I have to say something, because it’s not possible for people who are not close to me, a prince, to start a conversation first.
Sweat drips down my face.
But I’m okay.
I told myself that it would be all right, and opened my mouth boldly.
“I-I-I’ve been cultivating s-some skullcap plant, e-err, i-is a-anyone interested?”
“You stutter too much.”
I could hear the calm retort from next to me, but I could say it in the end, and I think I said it nicely.
I glanced at the male student sitting beside me, wondering what his reaction would be.
His eyes suddenly met with mine, this short-haired student froze with his mouth open, and then he spoke up.
“Cultivating? You don’t mean to say that you cultivated it yourself, Your Highness Nagi?!”
I picked it this morning from the greenhouse.”
I’ve never seen the real thing before.”
“May I take a look, Your Highness?”
For almost the first time in my life, I see people gathered around me, and I slowly begin to tear up.
I look back at Mika, but I don’t cry, because I’m a man.
Mika looked kind of relieved and smiled at me, which made me feel relieved as well.
Even Professor Fellman, the old man lecturer with a long white beard, who entered the classroom halfway, joined us.
We were all very enthusiastic about the skullcap plant.
And then, I thought.
(The baiting strategy is a great success!)
I looked at Mika proudly with a sparkle in my eye, and he gave me a wry smile.
For a while, Professor Fellman stood by our side, explaining the beauty of the skullcap plant and its benefits, then he stood up on the podium and said.
“Ho ho, we had a more meaningful time than the lecture I had prepared for you.
Besides, it was fortuitous to know that His Highness Nagi is interested in botany.
In this lecture, we will be learning about the management, cultivation, gathering, and experimentation of magical plants that will be essential to this world.”
Seeing Professor Fellman’s trembling legs, everyone felt worried when he mentioned “gathering the plants”.
But still, my heart was filled with the realization that everyone here, even though small in number, was interested in magical plants.
There is no way I can be loved immediately by an unspecified large number of people.
I thought it would be nice to get to know the other students from the academy who liked the same things and had the same interests.
Mika understood the meaning of my actions, and although he probably had no interest in the plants, he was watching me with a smile on his face.
Then Professor Fellman concluded the lesson, and the lecture was over.
“Well then, I look forward to seeing all of you again next semester.”
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