Chapter 177 : Class Visit
In the capital mansion of Rodania, Rio and Christina could be seen heading towards a dedicated facility that was separated from the mansion. While heading there, they tried to lie as low as possible in order to avoid any nobles that might disturb them on the way. Thankfully, they were able to arrive at the building discreetly.
「If I’m not wrong, the small auditorium on the second floor was the one used as a classroom? Uh…the problem here is that there’s several auditoriums though.」
Christina asked Vanessa about the location of the room used by Celia for her lesson as she entered the building.
「No, they’ve been moved to a larger conference room due to the ever increasing number of participants in her class.」
Vanessa promptly answered.
「I see, since there’s only one conference room that was bigger than the others, that must be the one. Let’s go to that room then.」
Once she knew where Celia’s class was held, Christina immediately walked briskly towards the conference room where she held her lesson. And before long, they arrived right in front of the door of the said room.
「……… It seems the lecture had started. Shall we enter through the back door? 」
[Ed: (͡ ° ͜ʖ ͡°)]
Vanessa only spoke after she confirmed the situation in the conference room by opening the door to the side of the standing platform. The room had a rectangular shape and they could see Celia standing on the front podium doing her job; teaching the students.
「No, let’s enter from the front. Just say that we got permission to observe the lessons. But first, can you enter the classroom to inform Celia-sensei for us?」
Christina asked Vanessa. There’s no doubt that, should Christina suddenly enter, it would cause a huge commotion amongst the students. While the reaction wouldn’t be any different even if they were informed beforehand, at the very least, they were warned.
「Certainly. Well, please wait a minute. 」
Nodding in agreement, Vanessa opened the door and then went into the auditorium by herself.
「……… Oh my, what’s the matter, Vanessa-san? 」
Celia immediately noticed Vanessa’s arrival and promptly asked her the reason for interrupting her lecture.
「Sorry for disturbing you during the lecture, Celia-kun. The truth is, Christina-sama and Amakawa-dono are waiting in front of this auditorium. They told me that they wanted to observe your lecture.」
Vanessa frankly told her.
Celia was taken aback.
「Would you mind? My apologies for the sudden intrusion but, if you’re okay with it, I want to tell the students about this visit.」
「Yeah, naturally I don’t mind. Please wait a minute」
Celia readily agreed to Vanessa’s request, and then looked around her class, only to find several of them looking curiously in Celia’s and Vanessa’s direction.
「Everyone, Christina-sama has expressed her desire to observe our class’s lesson and will be coming in to sit with us.」
As soon as Celia informed them, the classroom was filled with noises. But, it was soon quelled by a stern order.
「Be quiet! Since we are going to be observed during this lecture, we mustn’t show her a disgraceful sight. Now brace yourselves and don’t make too much noise. Understood? 」
Celia ordered, making sure to repeat her order with proper intonation to get their full attention. That seemed to have worked, as the students were motivated by that news so much that they nodded their heads in high spirits.
「Splendid as usual.」
Vanessa praised as she looked on at Celia’s way of controlling her class from the side.
「Well, it’s Christina-sama after all. It’s natural that everyone would try to look better for her.」
Celia dismissed Vanessa’s praise, attributing it to Christina’s imminent presence in the class when she replied to Vanessa. She just nodded and left the auditorium to call Christina and co.
「Christina-sama, Amakawa-dono, we’ve gained Celia-kun’s approval. Please enter.」
Vanessa reported, inviting Christina and Rio to enter the classroom.
「Let’s go, Amakawa-dono.」
Christina walked in first, followed by Rio. And lastly, Vanessa before she closed the door. As soon as they entered, they immediately became the focus of the classroom, causing a slight stir.
Every single one of them looked at Christina with a yearning and respectful look. But――、
「……….. Who is that man? 」
Rio’s appearance had also become the focus of the students’ attention. They already knew of Vanessa who often acted as Christina’s escort, however this was the first time that they ever saw Christina walking with a man around her age.
As such, many students whispered about Rio. But then, his identity got spread around the classroom since some of the students knew his name and face.
「Welcome to my lecture, Christina-sama. And you too, Haruto.」
Celia welcomed the two of them with a cheerful voice.
「We will be disturbing you for a while, sensei. Amakawa-dono seemed to be interested in seeing your lecture and accepted the offer to attend it. And on that note, it also made me recall my time at the royal academy, so allow me to stay here and observe your lecture too, sensei.」
Christina said with a smile to Celia, who only replied with a delighted look on her face.
「With pleasure. Then I guess I have to go all out too.」
「Please don’t mind us and just continue as usual.」
「My deepest gratitude. Though you’ve no choice but to use the same stool used by the students, feel free to sit anywhere.」
Celia pointed at the extra stools that were set aside beside the podium. Normally speaking, royalty or titled nobles shouldn’t sit on a stool which was only a simple chair without backrest, but seeing that this was just a temporary institution, they had to make do with a large number of them in order to save costs.
「Thank you very much. Shall we take a seat then, Amakawa-dono」
Christina urged Rio to take a seat when she turned to look at him. And, without wasting a moment, Vanessa made her move; setting two stools that were placed slightly away from the student’s seats.
「…………. It’s my honor to receive your invitation.」
And for a moment, he worried whether it was really okay for him to sit next to Christina, yet in the end he still decided to sit next to her. After all, he couldn’t just blatantly refuse a royalty’s personal invitation in front of so many people. And he couldn’t afford to interrupt the lesson for too long as well. As for Vanessa, she deemed it would cause a problem for someone of her position to sit alongside the other two, therefore she went to the corner of the auditorium and stood there.
「Well then, let’s resume our lesson.」
It was only when she saw Christina and Rio sitting next to each other that Celia resumed her lecture, a slightly relaxed expression on her face. Ten minutes later………..
I never even dreamed of ever listening to Celia sensei’s lecture again.
Rio thought, looking delighted at the scene of Celia giving a lecture to the students. And because Celia had an ever youthful appearance, it felt as if he was back to the old days at the royal academy.
Nevertheless, he somehow felt conflicted since never in his wildest imagination had he expected that he would be listening to Celia’s lecture along with Christina, his former classmates back in royal academy.
Christina was sitting quietly while listening to Celia’s lecture. Currently, the students of the class ranged from people in their first half of their teens to the ones around the same age as Rio and Christina. And some of the male students were fascinated by Christina’s appearance. That alone had shown just how beautiful and elegant Christina was.
Come to think of it, she slapped me on the cheek the first time we met and made me think she was a mere hysterical princess at that time, but………….
Perhaps it was because she was growing as a person, but he couldn’t see that side of Christina right now. Or maybe, that attitude before was due to being kidnapped along with her little sister, making her hysterical. Considering her age at that time, it was only natural. In fact, she might not even remember the fact that she slapped Rio’s face at that time, but……….
Honestly, he had no intention to recall the memories of those days, but he did anyway. At the thought of that fateful day, he unintentionally let out a wry smile. But he immediately straightened himself and got back to paying attention to the lecture.
A while later――,
「…………… What do you think of Celia-sensei’s lecture? 」
Christina suddenly asked Rio with a small voice.
「Splendid. She gives a proper explanation in the place where one usually fails to do so, and doing it step-by-step makes her lesson extremely easy to understand. She also asks for the student’s opinion, letting her know her student’s level of understanding.」
Rio whispered his reply, unwilling to disturb the lecture.
「I agree. I used to be her student in the past, but I still remember the content of her lectures even now.」
「I think that’s mainly due to Christina-sama gifted wisdom in that regard.」
「………….. I’ve no such thing. I just knew a little more than the other students, as a result I couldn’t see the truth of my surroundings. I only had an unusually high pride at that time, just like a cheeky kid that knows nothing… Now, I’ve come to realize my shortcomings and powerlessness as I grew up, and I still regret my actions from back then. Even now…I still reflect on my own about my various mis-step.」
Christina’s reply felt as if she was mocking herself before she looked at Rio with an indescribable haze on her face.
「I don’t know what kind of person Christina-sama was at that time. But, in my eyes, you’re a strong figure who is currently facing against the harshness of reality and instead of faltering, you’re trying to overcome it.」
Rio replied as he looked back at Christina.
「…………… It’s my honor to receive your praise. You might be overestimating my current self, but I’ll strive to meet your expectations someday.」
Christina seemed to be bashful, so she looked away from Rio.
◇ ◇ ◇
After the lecture had ended, Christina walked in Celia’s direction.
「Splendid lecture as ever. It’s been a long time since I heard Celia-sensei lecture and it seems I need to go back to the basics.」
Christina expressed her gratitude.
「Uhm, it’s my honor to receive your praise, but I think it might be a little exaggerated.」
Celia replied, smiling awkwardly as she tried to refute the –in her opinion– overly exaggerated praise.
「No, I really am grateful to be able to watch your lecture today along with Amakawa-dono.」
Smiling lightly, Christina shook her head as she insisted on her opinion.
「………. Come to think of it, you had a little discussion with Haruto during my lecture right? 」
Celia asked Christina while she peered at Rio.
「My apologies. Did we disturb your lecture? 」
「Not at all, I couldn’t even hear your voice. I was just curious since it seems you were talking about something.」
When Christina apologized to her, Celia replied in a way that indirectly asked them what it was they were talking about in the middle of her lecture.
「…….. I was reminiscing about my time as a student at the royal academy. At that time, I was only an immature brat attending sensei’s lecture. I was talking about my story in the academy to Amakawa-dono.」
「So, it was about that matter…………. Even so, I think Christina-sama was a brilliant child even in the old days.」
Although Christina’s response took her by surprise, Rio followed along, praising her back immediately.
「See, even Celia has the same opinion as me Christina-sama」
Rio smiled impishly as he looked at Christina.
「…………… My gratitude for your praise」
Christina was silent for a moment, speechless. She looked like she was embarrassed hearing such praise coming from her teacher.
「I was honored to be able to hear such a personal story of you, Christina-sama. Thank you very much for giving me this chance to participate in Celia’s lecture as well.」
He expressed his gratitude to end the current conversation, noticing Christina’s embarrassment from all the praise.
「No, I also feel grateful for this rare occasion which also served as a change of pace from my usual routine.」
「…….. By the way, the lecture has ended, right? Since that is the case…why aren’t the students leaving the auditorium? 」
Rio asked Celia while looking at the students. She already announced that the lecture had ended, and yet, none of her students left the auditorium. They kept sitting in their seats, looking in their direction whilst conversing.
「Ahaha, they might be interested in Christina-sama’s story as well. ……….. Ah, come to think of it. Since it’s been a while, I almost forgot, but there’s someone who wants to meet you, Haruto. Shall I call that person too? 」
Celia replied while smiling wryly, guessing the motive behind her students’ act. Then she suddenly said the following words as if she had just recalled them.
Christina readily agreed to her without waiting for Rio’s response. [ED: Et tu?! Is it for Rio or for Christina?!]
「Are you there, Saiki-kun? 」
Celia was looking at the students in the auditorium as she called the last name of a certain person.
「Saiki………….. Do you mean, Rei-san? 」
Rio guessed the person called by Celia as soon as he heard that name from her mouth.
「Yeah. Now that he has chosen to live in Rodania, he is attending my lectures and strives to become a wizard.」
Celia said with a smile on her face. Christina, who was curious, then asked about his current situation as she had no time to inquire about it before now.
「Though I have never had the chance to meet him due to my hectic schedule, how’s he doing nowadays? 」
「Yes. He’s always there, attending my lessons along with the daughter of the Dandi baron house, but……….. Eh, Saiki-kun? Did he not attend today’s lesson? 」
Celia looked around the classroom as she called Rei’s name again. Thereupon, the students’ attention was gathered to a certain corner of the room. And as expected, the one in that certain corner was――、
「R-Rei-sama, I-It’ll be bad if you don’t reply when she calls your name.」
The daughter of Dandi baron house, Rosa was speaking to Rei with an impatient voice. Meanwhile, Rei was desperately trying to hide himself, unwilling to step forward.
「N-No way, I’m going to stand out too much if I come out in this kind of situation.」
「You’re bound to stand out more by acting this way. Look, now you’ve become the center of attention since you didn’t reply to sensei’s call immediately. Besides that, making Christina-sama wait is a disrespectful act you know.」
Rosa called Rei with an unusually impatient expression on her face.
「Kuh, so it really can’t be helped huh. T-Then come with me too.」
Resigning himself, Rei stood up in the end, but not before grabbing Rosa’s hand to bring her with him.
Rosa stuttered as her arm was placed in Rei’s hold, embarrassed by his sudden action.
「Ah, there you are. Come here please.」
Celia called Rei’s name with a smile on her face as soon as she found him.
「Let’s go, Rosa.」
Having said so, he tried to help Rosa up, unwilling to ‘face the music’ alone.
「N-No―― I-I am really scared to go there.」
「Hey, don’t worry about it.」
「R-Rei-sama! ? 」
In the end, the confused Rosa ended up following Rei, making them the center of attention as they walked closer towards Christina and the others.
「It’s been a while, Rei-san. I’m glad that you seem to enjoy yourself.」
Rio approached Rei first and greeted him familiarly.
「Yeah, thank you very much. And it’s nice to meet you to, Amakawa-dono.」
Placing his hand on his left chest, Rei greeted Rio in the respectful manner of the nobles of this world.
「……….. I don’t mind even if you use your usual tone when speaking to me like before, you know. What’s with your sudden change by the way? 」
Rio asked, feeling a bit weirded out with Rei’s sudden change of attitude in such a short amount of time.
「Ah, no, well, we’re right in front of the public’s eyes after all. And despite you being a foreign noble, your honorary knight title is equivalent to an earl rank in this nation…right?」
Rei replied, a troubled expression on his face obvious to those looking.
「Well, his action is only natural since he is in a relationship with the daughter of the Dandi baron house with the premise for marriage. To that end, he still has much to learn. After all, he would cause a little bit of problem if he still acted like before.」
Christina explained the situation to Rio whilst smiling at Rosa. However, her smile and statement only made Rosa more embarrassed than before, to the point she could only stand there in silence.
「So, does that mean you’re a noble then, Rei-san? 」
Rio asked, eyes wide open in surprise.
「It seems…I am treated as one. I was bestowed with the quasi-baron pedigree by Christina-sama.」
「I see……………… Then, could it be, that woman is? 」[ED: Christina literally TOLD you before! Are you being deliberately obtuse?! GAH! I’m frustrated!!]
「Yes, I’m engaged to Rosa.」
Rei nodded, introducing Rosa who was standing beside him to Rio.
「N-Nice to meet you. My name is Rosa Dandi. I-It is my honor to be able to meet lord Amakawa whose stories I heard so much of from Rei-sama.」
Rosa introduced herself with an extremely tense expression.
「I see. Nice to meet you, I’m Haruto Amakawa. Rei-san was a great help during our journey towards Rodania.」
Rio returned her greeting properly.
「No, it felt like we were completely depending on lord Amakawa during the course of the journey……..」
Rei was smiling wryly as he said so. Before they could continue with the small talk, a sudden interruption came.
「Is Christina-sama here? …….. Ooh, I’ve been looking for you! 」
It was Marquis Rodan. He appeared from the opened front door of the conference room, and as soon as he saw Christina’s figure, he walked in without wasting a moment.
「Oops, it seems I was found out.」
Christina shrugged her shoulder with a wry smile.
「Come to think of it, how’s your talk with Haruto? 」
Before Marquis Rodan reached their position, Celia asked Christina whether their talk was done or not.
「Yes. We’re done with the general situation. Since we’re going to hold a banquet tonight, make sure to come along with lord Amakawa, Celia-sensei.」
Christina nodded, before she steered the conversation to a safer topic, which was the banquet she planned to hold. She invited Celia with a smile on her face.
「Yeah, with pleasure」
Celia smiled as well when she accepted her invitation.
「Lord Amakawa, it would be best for you to act along with Celia-sensei from this point on. I will be busy till the time of the party.」
Christina continued on, switching her attention from Celia to Rio, advising him to stay close to Celia.
Nodding respectfully, Rio decided to stick to Celia till tonight’s party.