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Wandering Soul

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Conservative Honor Student

It was around lunchtime when I saw that figure in the hallway. A small figure of someone that is obviously out of place here. He wore our school uniform which was probably bigger by two sizes from his body that he has to roll up the sleeve and pants. Is he waiting for his growth spurt? Unlike other students who have their dorm crest on their left arm, his left arm was tied by a ribbon with black and white stripes. His shoulder-length hair was tied up into a half-up bun.

It was rare to see him alone, so I decided to approach him. I patted his shoulder, “Yuu?”

The said person turned around to face me. He bowed a little before speaking to me, “Hello, Roseheart-senpai.”

Regardless of how messy his appearance was, his attitude and manner were on the high level for a high schoolboy. That was what made me take an interest in him. Moreover, he really got along with two trouble makers from my dorm—Ace and Deuce—and often helped them to clean up the mess they created.

“It’s rare to see you alone. Where are the others?” what I meant by ‘the others’ are the troublemakers from my dorm and one monster who also belonged to his dorm.

“They are in charge of the next class. I’m not included so I take today’s lunchtime easy,” he answered with a giggle.

“I see that you’re kinda relieved you can be alone for a while. It must be tiring to handle those three, right?” I smiled a little.

“Um… you are not wrong,” he answered with an awkward smile. What an honest person he was.

There was plenty of time left before the next class began so we talked a little. Most of our talk was me giving him advice for first-year classes, especially about magic, since he can’t use magic and came from another world. Somehow I find it was really comfortable to talk with him. Our conversation went well until some people who passed by talked about him. I didn’t know if they intended to talk it aloud or not, their voices were enough to reach our ears.

“Hey, isn’t that the Ramshackle dorm’s prefect, the person who came from another world?”
“The one who made ruckus at the welcoming ceremony? Yes, that’s him.”
“He really looks out of place, huh…”
“Hey, is it just me or he looks like a girl? Even those Pomefiore dudes with thick makeup lost to him.”
“You’re right. His face is so girlish and his body is so small. Perhaps he’s really a girl?”
“A girl in all-boys school? Is that even legal?”

They started to laughing at Yuu as well. What are they talking about? Indeed he looked so feminine but that didn’t make him less as a man. It wasn’t like women are inferior to men. But the way they talked sounded like they were making fun of Yuu for looking like a girl.

“You there! Do you think talking about someone you barely know is a good thing to do?!” I raised my voice to talk to them so they would know we heard what they said.

“Ugh, it’s Roseheart. So annoying.”
“I don’t want to get into trouble with him. Let’s go.”

Just like that, they left.

“Senpai, is that alright? They said you’re annoying,” I can feel a worried tone from his voice.

“I’m fine. It is the consequence as a dorm leader of Heartslabyul who should maintain the rules,” I faced him again, “but you didn’t do anything wrong, and yet those people keep bad mouthing you. You should defend yourself more. Aren’t you angry when people said you’re like a girl?”

He scratched his cheek, “Um, I don’t think that’s necessary. I mean—”

The school bell rang before he could finish his talk.

“We should go back to our class. See you later, senpai,” he said as he left me. Then he turned back a bit, “Thank you for defending me, Roseheart-senpai. You’re really kind.”

The corner of my mouth raised a bit, “No problem.”

He left me alone. As I was walking to my class, I thought about him. Did he really don’t mind what people said about himself? Usually, he could be pretty blunt, but he just kept silent now. Is he holding back? And…

Um, I don’t think that’s necessary. I mean—

Is it just me or the way he talked changed for a moment, from casual masculine to feminine?

It must be my imagination.

 


 

Master of Mischief

I’m bored.

Today, Deuce, Yuu, Grim, and I were gathering at Ramshackle dorm to finish our assignments. All of them were due next week but we all are finishing them today. Usually, I would do them at the last minute before due. The reason why I was here is because of Yuu and Deuce. Earlier in lunchtime, Yuu said he wanted to do his assignment and then Deuce asked to join him. Since there was dorm leader Riddle near us, I don’t have any choice but to join them as well.

Hours passed by and I was already tired with this. It was obvious that Deuce was giving up but still trying to hang in there. Grim already seemed so sleepy. The only one who still stayed in the position from the start was Yuu, he was still diligently doing his assignment.

“I gave up,” I said loudly.

A sigh escaped from Deuce's mouth and he followed me, “Me too.”

“I’m hungry,” Grim added more reason to not continue doing our assignment.

“If you want to take a break, go ahead,” said Yuu without looking away from his books, “You can take the cookies in our kitchen, Grim.”

“Yay! One of you, let’s take the cookies,” Grim enthusiastically jumped around.

“Let me help you,” Deuce offered help to Grim.

Then they left me alone with Yuu. I looked at Yuu who was still focusing on his assignment. Some people said he looked like a girl and it was not rare for him to get mistaken as a girl. I guess I could agree with them. He has a small body, long eyelashes, a feminine face, and smooth hair. No one can blame them for thinking like that.

Though, his case wasn’t rare here. I saw some other boys who looked like girls, especially from Pomefiore dorm. But all of them were real boys, including Yuu.

I poked his cheek. Even his cheek is soft too.

“Ace, I get it you’re bored. But don’t disturb someone who is trying to focus on their assignment,” said Yuu, serious as always.

“Geez, you don’t have to be so serious. The deadline is next week, you know,” I said as I pulled his cheek. He brushed aside my hand from his cheek.

“I wonder who decided to procrastinate the last assignment since the deadline was pretty long but ended up doing everything the night before and barely got any sleep?” he squinted his eyes while asked.

I couldn’t talk back since all he said was true. It happened to me, Deuce, and Grim not so long ago. Pissed off, I made another move on him.

This time I tried to tickle him around his waist, “You’re so cheeky, Yuu. Take this!”

“Wait, Ace! Ahahahaha—”

It seemed like I hit on his weak spot. I continued to tickle him until I noticed something and stopped. Since Yuu always wore clothes bigger than his size, I never really knew about his body figure.

His waist is so thin. Not only thin but it was so soft like there was barely any muscle there. Also, what was this? The shape of his waist was kinda weird, not like any normal boys.

I swallowed my saliva.

"What are you two doing?"

Deuce's voice brought me back to reality. We were in a really awkward position when Deuce and Grim were back. I was on the top of Yuu while holding his waist.

"No-nothing!" I said as I let go of Yuu. Why did I sound so panicked?

Yuu decided to join us on our break since he couldn't focus anymore after what I did. Deuce and Grim seemed to enjoy the cookies so much. Apparently, the cookies were made by Yuu. I did admit the cookies tasted good even though not as elevated as Trey-senpai's sweets.

I took one cookie and didn't bring it to myself.

"Yuu," I called him.

"What is it?" Yuu turned his face to me. While his mouth was open, I put that cookie on his mouth.

"Eat more. Your waist is so thin that I thought you might be blown away by wind someday," I said with a smirk.

Yuu munched and swallowed the cookie with a pout on his face and didn't say anything.

After we ate, we talked about various things. Mostly we talk about how tiring our schedule was. Whenever I didn't talk, I took glances at Yuu, especially on his lip.

When I fed him earlier, my finger accidentally touched his lips. It was… so soft.

Maybe he was secretly taking care of his body like Pomefiore students did? But if he did that care about his body appearance, then why was he still wearing that baggy uniform?

Weird. Everything about him was weird.

 


 

Cauldron Summoner

After what happened today—or yesterday, since it was already past midnight—all of us first-years and Ortho were sleeping over at Ramshackle dorm. We decided to do so to tease Ace regarding the speech he delivered to the ghosts. We were laughing endlessly while watching the record of Ace doing that.

Ace felt it was unfair for him to be the only one laughing stock. So he asked Ortho to play all of our recordings. Jack and Sebek didn't seem to mind watching their own recording. Jack, as a wolf-man, normally will only have one partner for his entire life, which is why he still didn't know how to handle girls properly. Meanwhile, Sebek only focused on serving Draconia-senpai. So rather than being embarrassed, they were proud since their action shows what they really were. The only one who didn’t get recorded was Epel since he was busy fighting the ghosts to clear Ace’s path towards the cafeteria.

When it was my recording to be played, it was really embarrassing. I was really awkward that time and barely can speak.

"Deuce, you're really bad with girls, huh," Ace showed a cheeky smile, feeling he won over something.

"Th-that can't be helped! No one really approached me before I attended NRC. So I don't know how to speak with girls!" I said. It was hard to admit my loss to Ace.

"It was only with a woman ghost. What if you meet a real girl someday?" Ace asked with a chuckle.

"I-I don't know," just thinking I have to talk with a girl already made me flustered, "For now, there's no girl around me so I'm safe."

"But, Deuce-kun, you can't run away from girls forever," said Epel.

"I know… It's not like I will see one of them very soon. We are in an all-boys school, and there was no guarantee I would work with them in the future," I replied Epel.

"You're clearly running away from them," said Sebek.

"W-well, just like Ace said, girls can be so confusing. So I'd rather not meet them!”

Suddenly, there was a sound of glass breaking on the floor. All of us immediately looked for the source of that sound, then we saw Yuu who just came out from the kitchen brought a tray of mugs. It seemed like he wanted to give us drinks.

"Yuu, are you alright?" I stood up as soon as possible but Jack held me back.

"I will help him. You guys can stay here," he said.

Jack went to Yuu and helped pick up the shattered mug. We didn't know why after Jack said he would help Yuu alone, all of us stayed in our seats even though usually we would always help. It felt like Jack wanted to keep Yuu away from us for a while. After cleaning up the mess, Jack and Yuu went to the kitchen to throw away the shattered mug.

"Is Yuu-san okay?" still looking at them, Epel asked, "His face is so pale."

Epel was right. We made the lounge room dim so we can watch the recordings clearly, and we can see Yuu's face has gone pale even in this dim room.

"Isn't his face pale for a while this afternoon?" Ace tried to remember what happened today.

"Really? I didn't notice at all," I said. I remember Yuu was laughing loudly with the others before I went to the Cafetaria to save the others.

"I think his face has gone pale after Deuce-kun, Azul-san, Cater-san, and Lilia-san went to help the others on Cafetaria," Epel said. So that's why I didn't notice that he seemed not good today.

"Maybe he wasn't feeling well today," Sebek, who was sent from the beginning, totally had no idea.

We stopped watching the recordings and decided to wait for Jack and Yuu. While the rest of us were chatting, I took a glance at them in the kitchen. Yuu's face was still pale and Jack looked like trying to calm him. Both of them spoke in very low voices. Even with that pale face, Yuu tried to show a smile so Jack wouldn’t be too worried. Somehow when I saw them acting like that, it felt like they shared a secret and tried to hide it from everyone.

I wonder if that was what made Yuu suddenly drop the mug like that and Jack immediately comforted him?

...I didn’t like that. Why did Yuu share a secret with Jack instead of Ace or me, his classmates and closest friends? We met him way before Jack.

I turned back to the others after letting out a sigh. I will find out about what was troubling him later.

 


 

Caretaker of the Conservative

"Thanks a lot, Yuu. Even though you came here as a guest," I said to Yuu who helped me to bring back dirty dishes to our dorm’s kitchen.

"No problem, Clover-senpai," Yuu replied to me with a smile, then he averted his eyes a bit, "Grim was always troubling Heartslabyul dorm after all. This is the best I can do to repay Heartslabyul dorm’s students."

I laughed a bit after listening to what he said. What he said was true, but we also had two students who always bothered him, which are his own classmates, Ace and Deuce.

While he was washing the dishes, I noticed that his sleeves were splashed by the water. “Ah, Yuu. Your blazer got wet. Why don’t you take it off?” I said as I pulled his blazer’s collar to help him take it off.

He immediately got away from me and looked so panic, “I’m fine like this! Today is a bit cold so I want to keep wearing the blazer.”

I frowned my eyebrows. Indeed outside is a bit chilly, but inside our dorm is warm though? I took his wrist and started to roll up his sleeves, “Okay okay, let me roll this up for you.”

While rolling up his sleeves, I noticed something about his body. His wrists and arms are so thin for a high school boy. "Yuu, are you eating properly?"

"Why are you asking that, senpai?" he asked back.

"It's just, your arms and wrists are so thin," I said as I gripped his wrist.

Before answering my question, he laughed a bit, “I’m still growing, senpai.”

“I see,” I let go of his hand and both of us continue finishing our tasks, I put back our dorm’s properties and he finished washing the dishes.

After both of us finished our tasks, I went to our kitchen’s refrigerator and took out a small box, “Do you want cheesecake, Yuu?”

Yuu, who looked like ready to go back, turned back to me, “You have one? Is it okay for me to accept it?”

“Of course. I actually prepared one for you,” I laughed a bit after seeing Yuu’s reaction, “You’re actually not very fond of sweets right?”

Yuu was surprised, “Wait, how did you know?”

“Your face. It didn’t seem you enjoyed my cakes as much as you enjoyed eating lunch in Cafeteria,” I said as I poured tea into a cup for him, “and yet, you never asked me to use my ‘Doodle Suit’ on your cake. I wonder why?”

“I know you put so much effort on baking cakes, Trey-senpai. And I don’t want your effort to go to waste by me asking you to change the taste,” Yuu said, “and in fact, your cakes are delicious. It’s a waste to not taste the original.”

My hand stopped moving. This was the first time I heard someone say that in this school. Most people thought I could bake cakes effortlessly since my family owns a cake shop. Even Cater, who dislikes sweets and has known me since we were freshmen, always asked me to use ‘Doodle Suit’.

What a strange guy.

“Um, is it not normal to not be fond of sweets?” somehow there was a scared tone when he asked that.

“Not really. You know that Cater dislikes sweets, right.”

Yuu looked flustered now, “A-ah, you’re right! Hm, hm. So it’s normal to not be fond of sweets.”

Looking at his reaction makes me confused, “Why are you asking that?”

“It’s just, when I was still in my original world, some people find it strange and uncommon for me to not like sweets.”

“Why would people find it strange? I thought it’s more common for a guy especially if they’re grown up to not be very fond of sweets, unlike girls,”

“I see,” now he was smiling, and that smile somehow showed that he felt relieved.

I accompanied him to eat the cake and drink tea. As we ate, we also talked about various things. Mostly are about his lessons, friends, Heartslabyul dorm, and everyone in our school.

During our talk, I noticed some things about him. His gestures and the way he talks are different compared to the students in our school. Even if I tried to compare to the Pomefiore students, I still felt the difference. It was like, his movements and voice are much smoother and softer.

Refusing to take off the blazer. Thin wrists. Considered as an uncommon for not to be fond of sweets. Strange gestures.

It was as if he’s— ah, no. It must be my imagination.

 


 

Cutting Edge of Trend

When I went to the Cafeteria with Riddle-kun and Trey-kun, I saw two boys with a heart and a spade mark on their face sitting across each other. I immediately recognized them as Heartslabyul students, and it took me a while to know who they were. They were Ace-chan and Deuce-chan. I couldn’t recognize them since they were usually with the other two, one boy and one cat-like monster. Thus, I suggested Riddle-kun and Trey-kun to sit with them.

“Ace-chan, Deuce-chan, mind if we sit with you?” I approached them and waved my hand.

“Oh, Cater-senpai! Of course, go ahead,” Ace-chan looked at us as he replied to me.

“Cater, we haven’t taken our meals yet. Ace, Deuce, please wait for us,” Riddle-kun said as he kept walking to the food counter.

“Yes, Dorm leader,” now it was Deuce-chan’s turn to answer.

After Riddle-kun, Trey-kun, and I took our meals, we went back to their table and had a sit. We talked about various things as we ate together. Ace-chan and Deuce-chan sometimes argue about the smallest thing but none of us can calm them down immediately.

“Calm down, you two. Are you two always like this everyday?” I tried to stop them from fighting any further.

“Not really. Usually it’s more like… Ah.” as he was answering Trey-kun, Ace-chan realized something, “Usually it’s even more noisy with Grim, and Yuu will intervene and stop us.”

“You’re right…” for the first time today, Deuce-chan agreed to Ace-chan.

“Now you’re talking about it, both Grim and Yuu aren’t with you. What happened?” Riddle-kun asked them.

“Yuu is sick. Because he can’t attend the classes, Grim didn’t attend as well. It seems like Grim is taking care of him too,” Ace-chan explained the situation of the Ramshackle duo.

“Yuu is sick? Is Grim properly taking care of him? Are you two going to visit him after school?” Riddle-kun gave a bunch of questions. Seriously, why did he sound like a father of Yuu-chan.

“I can make some food too for him,” Trey-kun added.

“No, we are not going to visit him,” Riddle-kun, Trey-kun, and I were surprised by Deuce-chan’s answer. We’ve always known how close those four were, so to think they weren’t going to visit him is almost impossible.

“Did you even realize what you were talking about?!” Riddle-kun sounded surprised, and somehow, angry.

“Ace-chan, Deuce-chan, are you serious?” how could they be so cold to their closest best friend?

“We’re serious. Since it’s always been like this,” Ace-chan answered us calmly.

“Always?” Trey-kun noticed something strange in Ace-chan's words.

“Yes, it’s not the first time he’s sick like this. I think he’s always sick once a month?” Deuce-chan talked while trying to remember about Yuu-chan, “Whenever he’s sick, he refused to meet anyone. The first time it happened, he already said we didn’t need to visit him. But we ignored what he said. When we arrived at Ramshackle dorm, the Ghosts were the ones who opened the door for us.”

“I remember that time. We insisted on checking Yuu and went to his room. Then when we knocked on his room, he said ‘I already said I didn’t want to see anyone, right? Go away!’” a sigh came out from Ace-chan’s mouth, “We were so surprised by his tone. It was really not like him. He sounded like in the worst mood ever. Ever since then we never paid any visit. Usually we just left some food and lesson notes on the door of Ramshackle dorm. Though it seemed like he always give the food to Grim and not touched that at all.”

Riddle-kun, Trey-kun, and I were trying to process what they told us. Indeed, Yuu-chan can be blunt and even sarcastic, but to act so rude especially to his friends was totally not him.

Hm? Somehow what Ace-chan and Deuce-chan told us about Yuu-chan sounded so familiar to me. I thought I experienced what they got from Yuu-chan.

“After a few days, he went back to class and looked so refreshed. At first we were hesitant to talk to him, but he needed to catch up with our study so we tried to act normal. Thus, that pattern always repeated every month,” Deuce-chan seemed like trying to calm Riddle-kun and Trey-kun who looked so confused.

“If that’s the case, I will make some food for him and you can deliver it to him, right?” after everything was explained, Trey-kun asked them again.

“So his body is that weak… It must be hard for him, moreover he knew nothing about education in this world,” Riddle-kun held his chin, “I will give him my notes so he can catch up with the lessons.”

“Eh? Can I get too, dorm leader?” Ace-chan asked with a big grin.

“Of course not. Use your own effort!” Riddle-kun replied with a very serious look on his face.

“Cater, you’re being silent for a while. Is everything okay?” with Trey-kun’s question, I stopped from wandering in my mind.

“Don’t worry, Cay-kun is okay~”

When the others continued their talk, I thought about Yuu-chan again.

Sick every once a month. Refusing to see other people. Foul mood. Loss of appetite.

That sounded like my sisters. No way….right?

Chapter Text

Beast of Turning Around the Sorrow

“So, what is a female doing in our all-boys school?”

In front of me—no, below me—there was a girl. She was the prefect of Ramshackle dorm, the one who ruined this year’s welcoming ceremony. After she went to my room and that cat-like monster immediately fell asleep, I pushed her down on my bed to interrogate her. This was one of the ways to make your prey feel intimidated.

“What are you talking about, Kingscholar-senpai?” she asked me back with a smile. I see that she has no fear towards me, or just plain stupid.

“Don’t play dumb with me. You really reeks of a female. Maybe you managed to deceive the others, but your disguise is useless for us beastmen,” I stared into her eyes, “At least, Ruggie, Jack, and I already know about your real gender.”

The smile that looked plastered into her face slowly fading, changed into a more serious look. She started talking again but with a much softer and higher tone voice, “So what are you going to do after finding out about my gender? Revealing it to everyone? Kicked me out of this school?”

Her words startled me a bit. I knew she was pretty fearless that she had enough bravery to face that octopunk, but this was beyond my expectation, “Those aren’t bringing any benefit to me. Just tell me the reason why you’re here.”

She sighed a bit. Even though her eyes were in front of mine, it looked like she stared into the distant place, “I just want to go home. The Headmaster said he just can’t kick out and let a minor go into the street alone. Moreover, I came from another world. So I have to wait here until I can find the way to go home.”

After she explained everything, I let her go and took a distance from her. Still not changing her expression, she sat on the center of my bed. So she was here just pure of an accident, not because she’s a threat to this school or something like that.

“Let me warn you. This dorm is the nest of beastmen. You must be more careful around here. Ruggie, Jack, and I can tolerate you here, but we don’t know the others,” I said as I lay my back on the bed, “we can’t always protect you. Well, it’s not like we have any obligation to protect you.”

Actually, it wasn’t only this dorm, but the entire of Night Raven College. Wizards have high pride and tend to look down on people who can’t use magic. Moreover, NRC is a prestigious school of wizards. Her situation is really bad. Not only she can’t use magic, but she also came from another world. To make it worse, she’s actually a girl enrolling at an all-boys school.

“I never ask to be protected by you all,” she said calmly. I didn’t know if she was truly fearless or naive, maybe both.

“Whatever,” I looked at her again, “You can be relaxed here. I don’t know what kind of disguise you use, but you can take it all off.”

She showed a relieved expression, “Thank you, senpai.”

She took off her blazer. It seemed like she wore clothes that were two sizes bigger than her body. With her taking off her blazer, her body seemed even smaller than usual.

She’s really a girl, huh.

She got up and asked me, “I can take off all my disguise, right?

“Didn’t I tell you to?”

She walked towards the bathroom, “I will borrow your bathroom.”

After she went out of the bathroom, what I see is no longer a weak-looking boy in disguise. What was in front of me now is just an ordinary young girl. I didn’t know—or maybe I shouldn’t know—how she disguises herself. Just a few minutes ago her body looked very small without any specific feature. Now that she took off all her disguise, there were those soft lines on her waist and big bulges on her chest. She was holding a white cloth in her hand, probably she was using that to disguise her gender.

She’s really a girl, I repeated.

“I appreciate your effort to disguise your gender,” I said as I looked away from her, “Just to remind you tomorrow at our morning practice, make sure to use your disguise again.”

“I don’t know why you’re saying that, but thank you.” she went to the couch in my room to sleep with her partner, “Good night, senpai.”

“Night.”

 


 

Outsider of the Flock

After Yuu and Grim were kicked out of Ramshackle dorm, they followed me to Savanaclaw dorm. It was decided after some discussions with Ace and Deuce too. Now we were walking together towards the Hall of Mirrors where it connected to all dorms.

"Are you sure about this, Yuu?" I asked Yuu that after I made sure no one was around.

"What do you mean?" Yuu asked back.

"You're a girl, and Savanclaw, no, every dorm, are filled with boys," this is an all-boys school after all.

"Ho-how did you kno—" Grim was going to ask but Yuu covered his mouth since his voice was too loud.

Yuu stopped walking, "Since when?"

"Huh?"

"Since when did you know?" she asked again.

"Ever since the first time I met you, to be honest," I told her the truth, "From the first time I met you, it was very clear to me that you are a female from your smell. But seeing how hard your effort is to disguise your gender, I decided to keep silent. Maybe if this whole thing with Octavinelle didn't happen, I'd still not say anything."

I turned around to face her, "No matter how much you disguise yourself, you're still a girl and I don't think it's a good idea for you to go to a dorm filled with men."

Yuu smiled before replied to me, "Who do you think I am, Jack-kun? I've always gone to the classes and everywhere in this school, and I only see men around. I'm gonna be alright."

When she talked, I could feel that she really relaxed. Her voice sounded much softer and a bit higher than usual.

About what she said, she wasn't wrong, but this case was different. I sighed a bit, "Let's just hope there is a vacant room in Savanaclaw dorm."

"I hope so," she said, "I can't imagine if I have to be in someone's room and still wearing this disguise all night."

We kept walking towards the Hall of Mirrors. Before we arrived, I asked her, "Why did you give up your disguise immediately? I thought you would be more denial."

Yuu shook her head a bit, "I know you have a keen nose, Jack-kun. You've helped me a lot before as well. I will feel bad if I keep deceiving you."

Indeed Yuu can be blunt and sarcastic, but she's actually very kind. Knowing how strong her gut is, I didn't think she would want to be protected. That was why Leona-senpai asked me to keep my eyes on her in secret so no one could threaten her.

"By the way, you said you know about my gender from my smell, right?" she asked me, "Maybe I should use men's perfume? Do you have any recommendations, Jack?"

"Hm…"

"Or maybe I can use the same as yours? That way, our smell will be the same and other people won't recognize my smell!" she said cheerfully.

"W-what? You said in such a misleading way, Yuu!" did she even think when she said that? Us having the same smell will be even more dangerous even though the others didn't recognize her gender!

"Hahaha, I'm just joking! I can ask Sam-san the cheapest perfume in his shop~" she talked back to me teasingly. Just now she said she would feel bad to deceive me but look at her now teasing me like that.

I really thought I was going to have a heart attack.

After we arrived at Savanaclaw dorm, we found out that we can't use the vacant room. I was already nervous knowing about that. Does that mean she would sleep in my room? Probably yes, and that was the safest option now. Then Ruggie-senpai suggested her to sleep in Leona-senpai's room.

Of course, I panicked. But Ruggie-senpai gave me a sign that everything was going to be alright. Leona-senpai always treats women gently as it's like a culture in Afterglow Savanna. Of course, I trust Leona-senpai as well.

As I saw Yuu and Grim leave for Leona-senpai's room, I talked to Ruggie-senpai.

"I hope it's going to be alright…"

"Don't worry too much, Jack-kun. Yuu-kun knows that we know about her real gender, right?"

"Now that I think about it…" I tried to remember our conversation earlier, "I did say I know, but I didn't say that you and Leona-senpai know as well."

"Either way, Yuu-kun will be alright. Leona-san won't do anything strange to her," Ruggie-senpai paused for a while, "...probably."

"What do you mean by 'probably'?!"

 


 

The Eater of Wilderness

It was a morning after Yuu-kun got kicked out of her own dorm. Yes, I wasn't wrong. It was "she", not "he". I knew from a long time ago that the Prefect of Ramshackle dorm, Yuu, is actually a female. She may have deceived everyone, but her smell couldn't lie to me. Not only me but also Leona-san and Jack-kun. Now I was going to wake them up in Leona-san’s room.

“Leona-san, Yuu-kun, wake up!” I said after I entered the room.

I saw Leona-san start to wake up. Since it would take too much time to wake him up completely, I went to Yuu-kun who was currently sleeping on the couch, “Yuu-kun, it’s morning.”

As I pulled the blanket that wrapped her body, her body was shown in front of my eyes. She didn’t put her hair as half-up bun like usual, which emphasizes the femininity of her face. Certainly I already know about her real gender, but I never know about her real body figure. Before I went to NRC, I’ve already seen many girls her age, so I could say her body is more developed than common girls. There were two big round bulges on her chest. Her body lines are so refined. No wonder she always wore clothes that obviously were too big for her. Even if she binds her chest, her body figure would show if she wore the clothes that fitted on her body. It was amazing to realize how hard her effort to disguise her real gender.

Looking at her body for a few seconds was enough to make me gulp

“Oi, Ruggie. How long do you intend to ogle her?”

So Leona-san has woken up. I turned around to face him who was already sitting on his bed, “What do you mean ogle?! I didn’t do such a thing!”

“But your eyes didn’t say so, Ruggie. You were looking at her with such a weird stare,” Grim-kun, who was sleeping beside Yuu-kun also has woken up.

I turned around again, now to face Grim-kun, “Wait, you’ve woke up, Grim-kun? Since when?”

“Since you pulled our blanket,” Grim-kun said.

“Heh. You were too busy ogling on that Herbivore that you didn’t realize the cat has woken up,” Leona-san said as he grinned widely.

“I’m not a cat!” Grim-kun yelled. Then he shook Yuu’s body, “Yuu, wake up. It’s already morning.”

“Hn…” she slowly opened her eyes. While still rubbing her eyes, she positioned herself to sit on the couch, “Good morning…”

“Herbivore, don’t forget what I said last night,” Leona-san said as he got up from the bed, “The morning practice will start soon.”

“Okay,” Yuu-kun answered Leona-san and grabbed the white cloth beside the couch. Probably she used that to bind her chest.

After Yuu-kun has gone to the bathroom, Leona-san dressed himself up for the morning practice, “Ruggie.”

“Yes?”

“No one other than three of us realized her real gender, right?”

Before answering Leona-san’s question, I tried to remember. I didn’t think she has been in close contact with anyone in Savanaclaw besides Leona-san, Jack-kun, and me, “I’m not sure. Probably no one knows other than us.”

“That female Herbivore. She isn’t weak, but pretty naive— no, it’s more like she underestimates her own condition in this school. Maybe no one has ever said that they found out her gender, but actually some already did. Everyone in this school isn’t that nice, moreover she is completely a foreign being in this school,” he faced me, “You know what Jack and you should do, right?”

Of course, I understood what Leona-san meant. I was sure he said something like “We have no obligation to protect you” to Yuu-kun, but it was obvious that he was worried about her. In Afterglow Savannah, women are strong and highly respected, so Leona-san was pretty much weak to them.

But Yuu-kun is different.

She came from another world, can’t use magic, has nothing, and should attend all-boys school for wizards. To put it simply, she was supposed to not be here, she doesn’t belong here, however she has no other choices. Just like Leona-san said, she isn’t weak. But this is a cruel world for her. She is already at disadvantage from the start.

What Leona-san meant is, he asked Jack-kun and me to protect her quietly. Seeing how she behaved for these past months, I’m sure she would decline our protection and say she would be fine by herself. Again, just like Leona-san said, she underestimates her own conditions in this school. She wasn’t aware of how high the dangers she might encounter anytime.

So I answered Leona-san’s question, “Yes, I will tell Jack-kun later.”

Chapter Text

The Intellectual of Greed

“Then, I will make a deal.”

What a fool. Not possessing any magic, nor he has a beautiful voice and not even an heir of any country. He was just an ordinary person. No, he was actually less than ordinary. Yet, he dared to sign a contract with me. I don’t know if he was naive or just simply stupid. Even before this game started, I knew I already won.

Or so I thought.

He got help from that freshman wolf from Savanaclaw, Jack-san. Jack-san was surprisingly smart. It was out of my expectation since it did seem Savanaclaw was full of men with brawn instead of brain, except for the top two persons, Leona-san and Ruggie-san. Leona-san was exceptional, much expected from the second prince of Afterglow Savanna. Ruggie-san, rather than smart, more like he was a cunning person. Jack-san may be smart but he wouldn’t let his own hands dirty, so he was nothing compared to his seniors.

Each day until the final day of the contract, Jade and Floyd kept bothering them from getting the photo I asked them to get. According to them, the first two days were rather normal and certainly, they were still naive and stupid. Though, both of them found something strange about him, the Prefect of Ramshackle dorm, Yuu-san. They said his smell was different compared to other people around him. When we were on the land, they could only smell a faint of it. Once they went into the water, they could smell it clearly.

“Perhaps a human from another world has a different smell?” Floyd said.

“Really? But according to my observation, he has no significant difference from other students, besides him not possessing any magic and having a small body compared to common students here,” Jade said as he read his own observation note on the Prefect.

“You two, if you have time to do something such a thing which will not bring any merit to us, it’s better to go back to Mostro Lounge and take care of those anemones,” I said.

Jade and Floyd looked at each other before they replied to me, “Okay.”

From the beginning, I never paid any attention to him. He may be a special student since he can get into this school despite not possessing any magic and got his own dorm. But exactly because of that, he was nothing special. It could be said that he was even less compared to the students who were doing badly in this school. So, such information has no issue with me.

Turns out, I underestimated him too much. The more you look at him, the more everything becomes strange. How could everything turn out like this just because of him?

Leona-san and Ruggie-san along with the other Savanaclaw students joined hands to help the Prefect. They made Mostro Lounge unusually busy on the final day of the contract and took all my contracts from the VIP room. If all Savanaclaw students helped the Prefect, it only meant Leona-san did a favor for the Prefect and asked the other Savanaclaw students to help. Why? Why would that Leona-san do so much for him, the plainest person in this school? No, rather than do a favor, it felt like those three from Savanaclaw were protecting him?

Then I remember the report from Jade. Even though the Prefect with his friends were doing badly during the first two days, it seemed like they improved their strategy. As if the Prefect got help from his back. Does that mean Leona-san and Ruggie-san helped him from the shadow before they went all out on the final day? Why would they go to that extent just to help him? Even though they said it was because the Prefect threatened Leona-san, I didn’t think that was the only case. As if he had another reason to help him.

I was sure it wasn’t because the Prefect was a horrific person. When we went to the Atlantica Memorial Museum, it was shown that he was just a naive and fearless person. He even praised me for my hard work. Although he almost lost his only one home in this world, yet he still gave me a compliment. He was far from horrific.

Maybe, he was no ordinary after all. After everything that happened, maybe it would bring some benefit for me to watch over him. Gathering information of one person, moreover he came from another world which he has no administration record here, won’t be hurt.

 


 

Temptation of Attacker Fish

“Jade, I have a request.”

It’s been a few days since Azul requested me to gather more information about the Prefect of Ramshackle dorm, Yuu-san. It was surprising since he said that he didn’t need to know anything about the Prefect. So I made sure of him if he really wants to know more about the Prefect.

That was a simple task for me since I’ve actually done it from the day he enrolled here. I’ve observed him because I found him interesting. A person from another world who doesn’t possess any magic came to our school and became a student? How could that not be interesting? Though, I stopped observing him for a while as I couldn’t find much about him. Because he came from another world, there wasn’t any administration record nor data about him at all. And all I could find about him is only, he was just no more than an ordinary human.

When I got closer to him at the Cafeteria, before he made a deal with Azul, I finally noticed something strange about him. It was faint, but I was sure that he has a different smell from the other students here. I was more convinced when I met him at the sea for the first time. Both Floyd and I could sense his smell much clearer than when we were on the land, and as we thought, his smell was distinctly different. We felt we encountered that kind of smell before. Most likely, it was during Halloween week on our first-year, which so many guests come to NRC from outside of Island of Sage. Too bad we couldn’t remember what kind of smell was that.

“Hey Jade, you’re told by Azul to collect information about Little Shrimp-chan, right?”

When it was almost time we went to the bed, Floyd brought up a topic about him. Now, speak of the devil.

“Yes. What’s the matter, Floyd?” I asked him back.

“Today, I saw Little Shrimp-chan seemed unwell. When I got closer to him, I could smell blood from him. The smell was so thick that I could smell it even though I wasn’t in the water. But I didn’t see any injury on his body. He seemed in so much pain and sweated a lot. Maybe he was fighting someone and that wasn’t his blood?”

“How funny, Floyd. I don’t think he’s capable of fighting with his fists,” that was right. His body is too small to fight and he wouldn’t be able to fight with magic against students here.

But for Floyd to be able to smell clearly on the land, that must be a lot of blood. How could he have a lot of blood on his body without getting injured?

Floyd started to speak again, “I was with Suckerfish-chan when I smelled the blood. Suckerfish-chan told me to not tell anyone about Little Shrimp-chan’s condition.”

“Fufu. But you just told me, Floyd,” I giggled a little.

“I think Jade is okay to know. It doesn’t seem anything big after all~,” Floyd paused for a while, “But Suckerfish-chan acted so strangely too. He brought Little Shrimp-chan to the infirmary. Somehow~ the way Suckerfish-chan treated Little Shrimp-chan earlier was so gentle that it wasn’t like the usual Suckerfish-chan. Suckerfish-chan even carried Little Shrimp-chan with—what is it they called, ‘princess carry’?”

Sure, most Savanaclaw’s students are rough men, including Ruggie-san. Just to imagine them being gentle towards another man is impossible. Is Yuu-san really that special for them? To be precise, Leona-san, Ruggie-san, and Jack-kun. As I observed Yuu-san, I noticed that those three always treat Yuu-san differently. Though, Leona-san tried to hide how he treats Yuu-san differently, what a dishonest person. Meanwhile, the rest of Savanaclaw still treats Yuu-san the same. That was shown so obviously during the Azul overblot incident.

Somehow, the information about Yuu-san was getting more and more tangled for me. Why? It was an ordinary high school boy who came from another world and doesn’t possess any magic, but why was he like an unsolved puzzle? I just need this one piece of the puzzle to connect all the pieces together. 

“Jade?” Floyd pulled me back from my daydreaming, “You seem to really enjoy this.”

“Of course, Floyd. Yuu-san is indeed an interesting person after all.”

Yuu-san, let me see more of you. I wonder how far you will amuse me with this puzzle of yours.


 

Binding of Provoked Fish

“Hm, Little Shrimp-chan?”

I saw that small boy walking across the courtyard from the second floor. It was unusual to see him alone, not with the other three. Is it just my imagination or the way he walked seemed staggered? Let’s just call him now.

“Little Shrimp-chan~” I called him and waved my hand as hard as possible.

He looked around to find me. Then when he finally found where I was, he waved back weakly.

...Huh? Did he just wave back at me normally? That’s rare! Usually, whenever Jade or I greeted him, he would jolt a bit and make an uncomfortable face. But today he wasn’t like that at all. I’m happy! This means I can play more with him!

He was always interesting to me. Being someone who came from another world and not possesses any magic, he enrolled here as a student. Moreover, with that small body, he always seemed struggling to match the other’s pace, like a small fish who is trying to run away from a predator. Well, he’s a shrimp though.

After being greeted back by him, I feel like today would be a good day~.

Finally, it's lunch break. Before I went to the cafeteria, I found Suckerfish-chan. Maybe I could play a little parkour with him before getting lunch.

“Suckerfish-chan~ let’s play~!” I said as I followed him from behind.

“Go play by yourself, Floyd-kun! I got errands to do for Leona-san,” he said as he tried to run from me.

“Eeeh, so boring! Ah, let me squeeze you for a bit~,”

“Don’t squeeze me! Gah, let me go!” suddenly he stopped struggling, “ain’t that Yuu-kun?”

“Aha, you’re right. Little Shrimp-chan~” I let Suckerfish-chan go and waved at Little Shrimp-chan.

Hm? His face didn’t seem good. The way he walked was even worse than this morning. He even supported his body to walk by reaching out his hand to the wall.

Then, just when I was going to run to him, he suddenly collapsed and fell to the wall. Seeing that, both Suckerfish-chan and I ran to him.

“Yuu-kun, are you al—” Suckerfish-chan stopped when his distance with Little Shrimp-chan was so close.

“Little Shrimp-chan, are you okay?” I got closer to him, then I noticed there was something strange about him. It smelled like a lot of blood. The amount of blood I could smell wasn't normal. My sense of smell when I'm on the land isn't as strong as when I'm on the water, yet I could smell it. So I asked,  “Little Shrimp-chan, are you injured somewhere? There is so much smell of blood coming from you.”

Just when I touched his sweating face, he brushed my hand and cried with a weak voice, “Don’t touch me, it’s cold!”

Huh, what was that? Didn’t he greet me normally instead of making an uncomfortable face this morning? I thought finally he can act normally around me—and Jade—now. Why did he become more hostile to me than ever now?

What did I do wrong?

Suddenly, Suckerfish-chan lifted up Little Shrimp-chan with his arms. One arm carrying the knees, and the other one wrapped around the shoulders. I think it was called 'princess carry' by people of the land. He said, "You can hang on my neck, Yuu-kun."

Little Shrimp-chan took the offer and wrapped his arms at Suckerfish-chan's neck and snuggled a bit. His face also seemed much better and showed he felt comfortable now. It was faint but I could hear him say, "It's warm…"

What was that? I don't like it.

Before they left, Suckerfish-chan talked to me, "Floyd-kun, tell Ace-kun and Deuce-kun that Yuu-kun ain't go back to the class since I'm takin' him to the infirmary," then he added, "Don't tell about this to anyone, including them."

"Wait, Suckerfish-chan. Didn't you say you have errands to do? Let me take care of Little Shrimp-chan in your place then," I said as I grabbed Suckerfish-chan's shoulder.

"Leona-san will understand. And Yuu-kun's condition ain't something you can take care of. also…" I could see Little Shrimp-chan snuggled to him more.

And so, they left to go to the infirmary.

I felt irritated.

I didn't understand what just happened. So Little Shrimp-chan was sick and Suckerfish-chan was taking care of him but I can't? Suckerfish-chan seemed awfully calm even though the smell of blood from Little Shrimp-chan's body was so thick. I was sure he could smell it too.

Ah… I didn't feel like doing anything because of Little Shrimp-chan. Just when I thought I could play with him more.

Guess I would skip the rest of classes today.

Chapter Text

Big Brother from the Desert

“Just believe me!” I said before he took my hand and I pulled him to my magic carpet.

……

“Oh, that looks good on you, Yuu!”

Yuu came from another world and showed up at this year’s Welcoming Ceremony. So he had to attend our school as a student. Because he doesn’t possess magic, he wasn’t assigned to any dorm and got his own dorm, Ramshackle dorm. Jamil met him accidentally at the Cafeteria when he was preparing the meal for Scarabia dorm’s students. Yuu and Grim, who have nowhere to go in this world, have to stay at his dorm throughout the winter holiday. Thus we invited him to stay at our dorm.

“Thank you for lending me spare clothes, Asim-senpai,” he said.

Just now, I took him, Yuu, to go around on the sky above Scarabia dorm’s desert with my magic carpet. We arrived back right before dinner time. After that, I gave him Scarabia dorm uniform so he can be much comfortable here, where the temperature is higher than Night Raven College and other dorms.

“Lending? I’m giving it to you! While at it, you can be Scarabia dorm’s student too… is what I wanted to say. But I guess you like your own dorm, right?”

“Yes, you’re right,” he replied with a smile. Somehow, I have this weird feeling whenever I saw his smile. His smile always radiates a different aura compared to other students at our school.

He continued his talk, “But I can’t accept this. I will return it to you after I washed it.”

I see he was pretty stubborn, “If that’s what you want, then it’s alright… Now, let’s go to the common room to have dinner! Everyone is waiting!”

The common room was already filled with the other students. I took a seat beside Grim, who was in the middle of Yuu and me. It didn’t take a long time before we started to eat together.

After I fed Grim with crackers, I took a plate full of foods and give it to Yuu, “Yuu, here. Eat more!”

He looked surprised, “I’m okay, senpai. I’m already full.”

“But you seriously need to eat more…” I said as I put the plate in front of Yuu, “When we were riding the magic carpet, you almost fell and I caught you... As I grabbed you, I can feel that you are so thin! Here, eat more. We are growing boys, after all!”

“But I’m really full… Grim, do you want more?” Yuu offered the plate I gave him to Grim.

“Of course I want!” of course, Yuu immediately gobbled up everything.

“I appreciate your offer, senpai. But I’m really full…” he said, then he picked up a cup in front of him, “I will just drink this lassi.”

Indeed, it was a bit sad to see him not accepting my offer, but forcing him isn’t a good idea either.

Then I saw it. When he drank his lassi, his arms were raised a bit. Our dorm uniform was sleeveless, so I can see a bit of inside his clothes, especially below his armpit. On top of that, he has a small body which makes it was easier to see.

“Yuu! Do you have a big injury on your body?” I jumped to him and pulled his wrist to make me able to see what was below his armpit clearer, which almost makes him spilled his drink.

“Huh? No, I don’t. Why do you ask that?” he pulled back and his face looked puzzled.

“I just saw it, on below your armpit, you have something like a cloth? No, a bandage?” I didn’t know what happened to him. But normally, people wouldn’t wear something like that around their chest. Seeing a small boy like him probably has an injury made me worried.

Instantly, his face becomes pale. He started to talk with a different tone compared to usual, “I’m totally fine! It’s just my undergarment…”

“Really?”

“Yes! You believe me right, Asim-senpai?” even though his face was still pale, but he smiled widely.

“Yuu’s right, Kalim. You don’t have to be worried about him,” Grim said to help Yuu for convincing me.

From Yuu to Grim, I looked at them one by one. I let go of Yuu’s wrist, “If both of you say so, then I guess I’m just worried a bit too much. But if you need help, don’t hesitate to ask me and Jamil!”

After I let go of him, he seemed so relieved, “Okay, Asim-senpai.”

 


 

Tactician from the Desert

If I had to be honest, I actually did feel bad for using him like this. He has nothing to do with my life, he wasn’t even a student of Scarabia dorm. However, it was already done, I invited him and Grim to the Scarabia dorm.

As I was polishing my plan, I noticed something different from him.

“Yuu, are you raised on some kind of noble family?”

“Eh?” Yuu looked confused when I asked him that he had to stop eating his meal.

Since he came to Scarabia dorm, I noticed his behavior and attitude. The way he speaks and gestures were too polite for an ordinary high school boy. Although he wasn’t like Octavinelle dorm’s students who act politely for their own benefit, Yuu was really natural.

The most significant one was the way he sits whenever we were having meals in our dorm’s common dorm. Normally, everyone would sit with crossed legs and as relaxed as they can. Yuu was different, he always sits on the knee with his legs folded, even when he sits on the chair he never spread his legs. The way he acts was just way too proper for a high school boy, even though there are a lot of students from noble and royal families here.

“My family is just an ordinary household, senpai. Why did you assume that?” he asked me back while tilting his head.

“No, nothing,” maybe I was thinking too much. “Just treat this dorm as your home and be relaxed like the others, Yuu.”

I was expecting him to change his sit position after I told him to relax, but his response was out of my expectation.

“I’m already so relaxed here, though,” he said and stay still in his position.

Yuu wasn’t lying at all. During his stay in Scarabia dorm, he was really skillful at domestic works such as cooking and cleaning. Those are enough to show he was a real commoner, though his movements were smoother compared to the other boys who were much rougher than him.

It was indeed impossible for him to be raised in a noble family. If he really was from a noble family, there was no way he could live in that Ramshackle dorm. Even I wouldn’t want to live there although that means I could live separately from Kalim. I mean, there must be so many bugs there and I might burn that dorm before I manage to grab any cleaning tools.

The more I was watching Yuu, the more I noticed he was really different from the others. Not only his body was much smaller compared to the other boys at our school and his attitude, but there was something unexplainable about him that I still couldn't find out.

Then that happened.

When we were cooking in the cafeteria kitchen, one of Scarabia dorm’s students accidentally cut his finger. Everyone was panicked. Fortunately, I managed to treat his injury immediately. Even though the cut was small, there was so much blood splatter on the kitchen table. Just when everyone was finding a cloth to clean the blood, Yuu cleaned the blood with his white handkerchief.

Things started to seem weird again.

During dinner the next day, Grim ate so much that he got crumbs on his face. Yuu, who was always with Grim, wiped off Grim's face with his handkerchief.

Being curious, I asked him, "Yuu, is that the handkerchief you used to wipe the blood yesterday? You can use it already?"

"Yes, it is. Thanks to the hot temperature at Scarabia dorm, this handkerchief dried so fast," he answered after he got all the crumbs from Grim.

"How did it become as clean as before it got stained?" according to my own experience when Kalim tripped himself and got injured, bloodstain is hard to clean especially on white cloth. Yet, Yuu managed to clean it without any trace.

Yuu showed an awkward smile, "Let's just say I'm used to cleaning bloodstain."

Used, he said. What did he do in his world that he is used to cleaning blood stains? Maybe he really wasn't an ordinary high schoolboy.

...

I'm thinking too much. Why did I get distracted by him a lot? I should go back to focusing on my plan.

Chapter Text

Seeker of Beauty

"As I thought, you're a girl."

That was almost midnight at Ramshackle dorm when I opened the bathroom. There stood a girl, Yuu, the Prefect of Ramshackle dorm. From her appearance, she just finished taking a bath—wet hair, short pants, and only a bra on top, which she immediately covered with a towel when I opened the door. Most likely she took a bath after everyone was sleeping.

“Come to my room after you dressed up,” I said as I closed the bathroom and left her alone.

As I asked, she came to my room. She still wore the short pants, but now along with a t-shirt that was two sizes bigger than her and a towel on her shoulder. Even though the t-shirt was too big for her, the bulges on her chest and body lines were still clearly showed. Her hair was still dripping wet.

“You didn’t dry your hair first, Little Potato?”

“Schoenheit-senpai asked me to come here and I don’t want you to sleep too late, so I rushed here,” she answered me and held the towel as if pointing it, “I can dry my hair now if you feel uncomfortable.”

“You don’t have a hairdryer?”

“We don’t have enough money to buy that,” I was sure the “we” she meant was this Ramshackle dorm.

“Come here, I will dry your hair with my dryer,” I said as I told her to sit in front of me on the bed.

“Okay,” she obeyed my words and sat on the bed. Normally, people would be reluctant to sit on the bed with someone from the opposite gender, and yet she casually did.

The dryer was set to blow slow so I could talk with her while drying her hair. While drying her hair, I found her hair was rather damaged and seemed untended.

“Did you not take care of your hair?”

“I’d like to, but I don’t have enough money to buy things such as body care and dryer. And if I have extra money, I'd probably use them to fix the roof so I can sleep without worry when it rains here.”

Indeed she came from another world empty-handed, so it was obvious that she didn’t have much money.

“I see, I understand,” the night wasn’t long so we had to talk to the point, “Now, let’s cut to the main case. Why do you disguise your gender?”

“Because this is an all-boys school."

“Just that? Did the Headmaster ask you to?”

“Not at all. Actually, I was the one who offered to disguise my gender when he was puzzled after knowing my gender.”

So she did it with her full consent, not forced to. She was right about this being an all-boys school. But her case was different, she came from another world and doesn’t even possess magic. It should’ve been fine if she didn’t disguise her gender.

I wanted to ask more but she seemed didn’t want to explain much. Maybe it was related to her privacy, I should respect that.

“How did you know I was a girl, senpai?” now it was her turn to ask me. She asked when I finished drying her hair.

“Do you think your bare minimum disguise can fool me? Actors and actresses are people who should be able to become someone they are not. It wasn’t my first time seeing someone who hides their gender. Moreover, your disguise actually triggered my suspiciousness,” the way she always wore clothes that at least two sizes bigger than her body never failed to irk me. Though, now I understand why she has to wear it, because her body is indeed really feminine with those curves. I grabbed her face with one hand, “and with this face, do you think you really fool everyone?”

On top of her feminine face, I could say her face is pretty. Even though she wasn't a kind of special beauty, her face was still above average. If she polishes herself just a bit...

"I see, so it was because of your work. No wonder your reaction was so normal when you saw me half-naked. I guess you're pretty used to seeing women with minimum clothes, Schoenheit-senpai." she said with a flat expression.

"You didn't seem much flustered after I saw you in the bathroom as well. You're lucky it was me. Who knows if it was someone else?" I sighed after noticing how laid-back she was, “This weekend, let’s take a break from our training. We will go to the town.”

“Do you need anything from there, senpai?”

“No, but you do. From the way you talk, you didn't neglect your body on purpose and actually, you want to. I like seeing people who have the guts. So we will buy you the necessities you need."

"As I said, I don't have money."

"Just accept my kindness and think of it as appreciation for your work as a manager," I put a finger on her lips to stop her from resisting, "Now go back to your room. We still have training tomorrow."

She showed her surrender by letting out a sigh, "Okay. Good night, senpai."

"Good night."

After she left, I was thinking about our plan for this weekend. Something came across my mind while thinking, "Going to the town together, isn't that a date?"

 


 

Melancholy of Pretty Boy

"...Yuu-san?"

Vil-san told me that he, Rook-san, Yuu-san, and I were going to the town this weekend. The meeting point was our school's gate. I didn't know why we should go out from Ramshackle dorm separately. When I arrived at the gate, Yuu-san and Rook-san were already there.

"Good morning, Epel-kun," Yuu-san greeted me.

Yuu-san wore baggy jeans that was rolled because it was too long, a t-shirt, and a jacket. I assumed all of them were from Ace-kun and Deuce-kun. I kinda expected Yuu-san would wear those, but I was surprised because of Yuu-san's body.

Yuu-san didn't put up the hair into a half-up bun and let it down. Then there were two bulges on the chest. Even though the clothes were too big, the bulges could be seen clearly.

"You are… a girl?"

"Yes, I am."

Indeed Yuu-san was smaller than me and has a pretty face, but for Yuu-san to be a real girl… Now it explained why there was something different about her compared to the other boys.

"I didn't know you were coming too, Epel-kun," her words made me back from my daydreaming.

“I told Rook and Epel to come with us. We need extra labor today,” Vil-san who wore sunglasses and just arrived, explained in a jiffy, “Let’s get going. There are a lot of things that need to be done today.”

While we were walking, Vil-san explained why we gathered at the gate instead of departing together from Ramshackle dorm. He said if we were together from the dorm, it would attract others’ attention especially Kalim-san and he would want to go along with us. Also, Ace-kun and Deuce-kun must be wanted to go as well since Yuu-san was here with us. If they joined us, Yuu-san had to hide her gender, which would lose the purpose of today’s shopping.

We were going to shop for basic necessities for Yuu-san. Since Yuu-san came from another world empty-handed, her clothes other than the uniforms were hands-down from Ace-kun and Deuce-kun. I agreed with Vil-san’s idea. Since Yuu-san is a girl, obviously her necessities were more than boys ever needed.

Before we arrived at the town, I talked to Yuu-san, “I totally have no idea you’re really a girl, Yuu-san. Why do you hide your gender?”

“Because this is an all-boys school,” after she answered my question, she faced me, “Are you upset or don’t want to be my friend anymore?”

“Of course not! Why would I?!” I was shocked by her response. That was such an extreme assumption. “Instead, I really appreciate your effort. People often mistook me as a girl, but only a few people thought you were a girl. Most of them just see you as a feminine boy. It must be hard for you to disguise yourself all the time....”

Yuu-san blinked a few times and smiled, “I didn’t expect such a compliment from you. Thank you, Epel-kun."

Her smile made me gulp. I never saw that kind of smile of hers before.

Was she always this beautiful?

Our first destination was a clothing store. As far as I could see, the store has clothes for women, men, and unisex.

“I don’t want to walk with you dressed in such sad outfits. Also actually, I can choose outfits for you, but I want to see your capability in arranging outfits,” Vil-san said with a smirk, “You can arrange any seasonal outfit even though now is winter.”

Yuu-san answered with a nod and immediately left us. We took a seat on the small sofa.

“How kind of you, Vil. For willing to buy her anything she needs today,” Rook-san started the conversation with Vil-san.

“It would be a waste if I let her neglect her body. I made our team to polish ourselves, so helping our manager won't hurt,” Vil-san explained his reason for treating Yuu-san today.

“I see,” Rook-san’s voice changed a bit, “Are you sure Epel-kun and I aren’t interrupting you?”

“Eh?” I didn’t understand what Rook-san meant.

“Hmph. I don’t know what you mean,” Vil-san said.

I watched Yuu-san who was going around to pick clothes. I could see her having fun with a big smile and sparkling eyes on her face.

She is a girl after all.

Not long after that, she stepped out of the fitting room. She wore a white dress, a light blue jeans jacket, and a pair of brown high knees boots. The dress collar was a bit low so I had to look away from her for a bit.

“Beaute! That looks very good on you!” Rook-san immediately cheered for her.

“Not bad, but… I think you could do more?” Vil-san asked.

“Yes, but these are the best ones I could get from there,” Yuu-san answered Vil-san as she pointed out the clearance sale section.

Vil-san pinched her nose, “I’ve said it’s all on me today. How dare you to use my money for something that wasn’t the best out of you. Now, follow me.”

Vil-san leads us to the other parts of the store to find more clothes for Yuu-san. Both Vil-san and Rook-san also gave some tips for Yuu-san as she tried the clothes. I didn’t do much besides listening to them.

When we were done shopping in the clothes store, Yuu-san had already changed her clothes to the new ones. She now wore a gray turtleneck sweater, a black high waist skirt, a coffee-colored coat which she put on her shoulder instead of wearing it properly, a black stocking, and high ankle boots.

“The day is still long, prepare for the next shops,” Vil-san said as he handed over the shopping bags to me to be carried.

...

On the next Monday, Ace-kun, Deuce-kun, Yuu-san, and Grim-kun came to Cafeteria after I’ve started eating my lunch. Before Yuu-san and Grim-kun arrived at our table, Ace-kun asked me with high spirit, “Epel! Is that right Vil-senpai, Rook-senpai, and you were walking on the town with a beautiful girl?!”

I glanced a bit at Yuu-san and smiled, “Yes, you’re right.”

 


 

The Chaser of Beauty

“Good morning, Trickstar!” I greeted Yuu-kun who was already at the school gate.

“Good morning, Hunt-senpai,” Yuu-kun greeted me back, “What a coincidence we arrived at the same time.”

“No, no. It’s not a coincidence. I actually walked along with you from the moment you got out of Ramshackle dorm,” I explained, “And you didn’t look surprised that I am here. Did Vil tell you?”

“No, but since you are almost always with Schoenheit-senpai, I’m not surprised.” she asked me back, “Why didn’t you call me out when I walked here?”

“Because Vil said we should go separately, that’s why.”

“Hm...” Yuu-kun pointed to her body, “And I see you aren’t surprised by this.”

That’s right. Yuu-kun now wasn’t disguising her gender. She was still wearing outfits that looked like they were supposed to belong to a boy, which I was sure all of the things she was wearing were from Ace-kun and Deuce-kun. Even with such large clothes, her feminine body lines were still shown since she didn’t bind her chest.

Just without binding her chest, she already emits so much of the girl aura.

“Fufu, of course I’m not. I already knew all along about your gender,” I answered her curiosity.

“I see,” again, she didn’t seem surprised.

“You aren’t shocked? Or actually, you don’t care if people find out about your real gender?"

“Of course I do care. But I can’t do anything if someone somehow found out about my gender because of their ability, not because of my recklessness,” she said with an affirming tone, “Moreover, I don’t think I can be surprised by you anymore after you almost killed Ace, Deuce, Grim, or me with your arrow.”

I laughed at her answer which I never expected. This was getting interesting!

...found out because of their ability, not because of my recklessness, huh. So she referred to Leona-kun, Ruggie-kun, Jack-kun, and Vil. The trio from Savanaclaw must have found out her real gender by her smell. Although they were subtle about it, they actually protected her from shadow. Only a few times they obviously protect her, like when Ruggie-kun took care of her during her days of the month—which I secretly saw.

For Vil, he already suspected her from the start. But he couldn't get any evidence until that night a few days ago.

"That Little Potato, is really a girl," Vil said to me when we were discussing about Pomefiore dorm, "and I promised her I will take her to go shopping. Rook, you come along with us. I will tell Epel too."

I knew sooner or later Vil would find out about Yuu-kun, but to treat her like this, Beaute! I’d like to just watch them from afar… Since Vil already asked me himself, I would gladly enjoy shopping with them.

I talked to her again, “Aren’t you glad the people who already found out about your gender aren’t the bad people?”

She turned her face to me, “You mean Kingscholar-senpai, Bucchi-senpai, and Jack-kun? You’re not wrong. Though for me, Kingscholar-senpai is neither good nor bad. More like, he finds no advantage to tell people about my gender.”

“But Ruggie-kun and Jack-kun take care of you a lot, aren’t they?”

“....seriously, how far do you know,” she looked at me with a creeped out face, “Indeed, Jack-kun is naturally a good boy and we are batchmates who somehow get along, so it just happens. Bucchi-senpai is the unexpected one since all this time I saw him as a person who is obsessed over money, but he really saved me when Leech-senpai almost caught me having that.”

Never ever once I thought I would listen to her talk this long. She doesn’t talk much since she seemed to not want to be involved with any problems—but still dragged by her friends anyway. I found her words were comforting, she was totally not looking down the others and thinking in such an objective way. Rather a positive person, she was more like a person who acts indifferent to the others.

Looking at her, my hand moved by itself to pat her head, “Since now you know Vil and I know about your gender, you can rely on us too.”

“Thank you for the offer. Both of you are very kind. But,” she took a breath before continuing her talk, “I think I can protect myself. So you don’t have to think of me and be worried.”

Now I understand why the Savanaclaw trio goes to that extent to protect her from the shadow. She didn’t realize and underestimated the dangers she could encounter at this school, even if no one finds out about her gender. I guess I should go along with their method as well.

“If that’s what you want, Mademoiselle.”

Chapter Text

Heretical Genius

“Shroud-senpai, here are some documents from the Headmaster,” Yuu-shi said as he handed over a light pile of papers.

“Thank you. Just put it on my desk,” I replied as short as possible since I was currently focusing on Ortho’s maintenance.

“So today is Ortho-kun’s regular maintenance?” he walked towards me before he asked me.

“As you can see,” again, just a short answer from me.

“I’d like to watch but I still have to send these to the other dorm leaders,” Yuu-shi sighed as he swayed the other documents on his hand, “Then, excuse me, senpai. I have to go to the other dorms.”

I only nodded to answer him as he left my room. Finally, I could go back to focusing on the maintenance. Good thing that Yuu-shi was considerate enough to not intervene more and giving me space.

About an hour after Yuu-shi left, I decided to check on Ortho’s memory to see if there was some disturbance or not. I plugged one of the cables into my computer. While waiting for the memory to load into my computer, the documents Yuu-shi gave to me caught my attention.

Yuu-shi, huh. He is practically an errand boy for the Headmaster now. At first, I was interested in him. Transported into another world and then landed at one of the world’s most prestigious wizard schools. Isn’t he just like the protagonist of fiction with another world theme? What is this, some kind of game? His whereabouts were too hilarious, even for an otaku for me.

Turned out, he was just an ordinary human. An ordinary human who doesn’t even possess any magic, nor he does have any special talent. Everything about him was normal, as far as I saw until now. That was kind of disappointing if I could be honest. I expected him to possess something like a cheat to live in this world. Too bad, according to Ortho, he was already struggling to just live day by day here. Well, what do you expect from someone as ordinary as him who came to this world empty-handed and penniless? Not only that, because he came from another world and didn’t possess any magic, he has to catch up with this school’s curriculum. Basically, he was like a little kid who knows nothing and forced to attend high school. He was so pitiful, but then again his life didn’t matter to me. So I do nothing but watch him from afar.

Though, he wasn’t a bad person at all. Even though I totally could see that he was a pretty enclosed and introverted person, he almost never pushed anyone who was getting near him—except the trio from Octavinelle, it was so clear that he was always trying to avoid them. Putting them aside, he accepted everyone with really good manners. Sometimes, he would take Ortho to play outside together, and Ortho enjoyed being with him and took a liking to him. It didn’t seem he was faking it, he seemed really genuine in being polite to everyone.

To put it simply, he was pretty similar to me, and yet it felt like we were too different.

Suddenly, the sound of my computer brought me back to reality. Ortho’s memory has been loaded into my computer completely. I looked into his memories one by one carefully to check.

So far, I didn’t see anything wrong. As usual, mostly it was his investigation data. There was a bunch of this school’s student data as well, which honestly I didn’t really care about.

My hand stopped right after I found a mysterious folder at the bottom. Why did Ortho separate this one from the others? Did he do a special investigation?

Speak of the devil. The special folder belonged to Yuu-shi. I understand that Ortho likes to investigate everything, but why did he make a special folder for an ordinary boy like Yuu-shi?

I opened the folder and found some files regarding Yuu-shi. Everything seemed normal, there were only basic pieces of information about him. Even after I opened the files one by one, all of them were very basic that the amount of his data weren’t as much as the other students.

...or not.

Finally, I reached the last file, the scan of his body. The moment I saw the content of this file, I couldn’t hold back my surprise.

“—isn’t this?!”

 


 

Heavenly Child of Science

“Yuu-san, are you okay?”

“Eh, why did you suddenly ask that, Ortho-kun?”

It was lunchtime and Yuu-san was chatting with me at the bench in the school’s courtyard. It didn’t take a long time for me to notice that he wasn’t feeling well today.

“Your face doesn’t seem good. Are you sick?” I asked again.

“Really? Hm… Now that you talk about it, I only slept for a few hours last night,” Yuu-san answered me after wondering for a while.

“Is that so… Ah, let me scan your body!” I only have a small amount of his data, maybe I could keep some more by scanning his body.

“S-scan my body? W-why?” Yuu-san seemed kind of panicked.

“Maybe for Yuu-san, it was just a small problem. But a small problem in your body can lead to even more serious problems,” I started to give him an explanation, “So, let me check your body.”

“I’m really fine, Ortho-kun. No need to—”

“I’m also serious, Yuu-san," I didn't want to lose to him regarding this matter, I was worried about him for real.

Before I could continue, someone called Yuu-san, "Oi, Yuu! The class will start soon."

That was Ace Trappola-san, a classmate and also one of Yuu-san's closest friends. He walked towards Yuu-san and me.

"Oh, Ortho. Hello!" he immediately greeted me as soon as he saw me beside Yuu-san.

I greeted him back, "Hello, Ace Trappola-san."

"By the way, Yuu," Ace Trappola-san talked to Yuu-san about Deuce Spade-san and Grim-san, which made Yuu-san let out a big sigh.

While Yuu-san distracted by Ace Trappola-san, I took the chance to scan his body as silent and fast as possible. Thankfully, both Yuu-san and Ace Trappola-san didn’t notice it.

“I’m sorry, Ortho-kun. I have to go to the class now. We will talk again some other time, okay?” Yuu-san said to me with an apologetic face.

“Yes, that’s okay, Yuu-san. Do your best on your study,” I replied to him while saving his body data.

Then, both of them left me alone in the courtyard. I waved my hand from behind them until I couldn’t see them anymore.

After they left, I checked Yuu-san’s body data to analyze what’s wrong with his body. Maybe it wouldn’t be too late to treat him after his class finished.

The moment I opened the data of his body which I just scanned, I lost my words. I really couldn’t believe what I saw.

Is it possible I have an error? No, that can’t be. Nii-san’s works are always perfect and flawless.

Then I remember I would have maintenance this week. Maybe I will discuss it with him.

As Nii-san planned, I had maintenance today. Usually, Nii-san would put me to sleep through the maintenance. But just now, Nii-san let me woke up.

When I opened my eyes, the sight of Nii-san who was focused on his computer appeared.

I called him out, “Nii-san?”

“Ortho,” Nii-san called me while still looking at the screen and showed me Yuu-san’s data, “You have this data for a while, right?”

“Yes,” I answered and asked him back, “That’s a girl’s body, right?”

“From how does it look, yes. But…” Nii-san paused his talk for a bit and seemed like thinking about something, “That can’t be. There must be an error.”

I was surprised by Nii-san’s answer. This was the first time he doubted his own works, “Are you sure, Nii-san? Aren’t your works always perfect?”

Where did his usual confidence go?

“You’re right, Ortho. But, Yuu-shi can’t be a girl. I mean, look at the students at this school. We all are boys, even though there are some who look like girls. There is no way a girl would survive at this school. That applies to Yuu-shi as well. Also, this is reality! This is not some kind of an otome game or reverse harem story where a girl attends an all-boys school. Most importantly,” Nii-san started to talk at fast speed, “...there is no way this school’s Mirror of Darkness would make such a mistake like inviting a girl to attend our school.”

“But isn’t Yuu-san being a human from another world is already strange, and maybe a mistake?” I asked Nii-san again. Somehow Nii-san seemed like didn’t hear his own words.

“That’s…” Nii-san stopped his talk, “Anyway, today’s maintenance will be longer than usual. I have to find the error immediately.”

It was obvious Nii-san didn’t want to continue this talk. Then I better stop as well, “Understood, Nii-san.”

Chapter Text

King of Thorns

It has been a few months since I met this strange human for the first time. He was the resident of Ramshackle dorm, the dorm that was abandoned before he came. It was already strange enough for a human to live in that place, and that wasn’t the only strange thing about him. Even though I didn’t interact with other students at this school, I know about him well enough.

His name was Yuu. He came from another world when the welcoming ceremony was held. I wasn’t invited to the ceremony despite being the dorm leader of Diasomnia so I didn’t know the details of that event.

The first time I saw him was when I went to Ramshackle dorm to do my hobby, going around abandoned ruins. I found it strange to see that ruined building has light from the inside. Then almost out of nowhere, he came out from that building.

That was the first time I saw him in person. I was aware that most humans were smaller than faeries, but he was even smaller compared to the students of this school. What was more surprising is he didn’t know me, let alone feared me.

I was surprised at first since at that time I still didn’t know that he came from another world. Since it was the first time I encountered someone who didn’t know me, I let him call me with whatever he wanted. Until one day, he started to call me by a strange nickname, “Tsunotarou”. Hearing him call me by that made me wonder how people would react if they found out a strange human child called the future king of Valley of Thorns with such a weird nickname. Though for me, that was what made him interesting.

Since that time, I have made frequent visits to the Ramshackle dorm. Usually, I would arrive there at night and a few minutes after my arrival, he would come out from the dorm to see me.

Just like today.

“Hey, Tsunotarou. May I ask something?”

“What is it, Child of Man?”

That was the first time he asked a question to me other than asking my name. Usually when we were talking like this, we would just talk about random things. Most of the time it was me talking about gargoyles and he would listen to me without getting bored.

“What will you do or how will you feel when you find out that your friend is always lying to you all the time?” he asked without facing me. That was rare since he was always facing me whenever we were talking to each other.

“That’s a difficult question for me,” I crossed my arms as I was thinking the answer, “First thing first, I don’t really have any friends to begin with.”

Now he faced me and blinked a few times before replied to me, “Really? Even though Tsunotarou is this kind and fun to talk to?”

Hearing his question made me chuckle. Again, he did something that I never encountered before. I’ve never heard someone say that I’m kind and fun before.

“You are indeed a strange human,” I turned my face to him, “Well, I do see you as my friend though.”

He didn’t say anything and just stared into my eyes. It seemed like he wanted to hear more from me.

“Since you’re my only one friend, I can’t imagine you’re lying. But if you’re actually lying to me,”

At the first glance, his expression didn’t seem to change. But I could see he felt anxious about my answer.

“I think I will forgive you. After talking to you all this time, I can see that you’re an honest person who doesn't have malicious intent. Or to be exact, you are too naive to lie to me. So if you’re lying about something, I’m sure that’s for a good reason.”

“So that’s how you see me,” he spoke softly that I almost couldn’t hear him.

As if my body moved by its own, I put my hand on his head, “Is there something bothering you? You’re not like yourself today.”

He stared at me again then giggled, “Tsunotarou, you should see yourself in front of the mirror now. It’s my first time seeing your expression like that.”

I didn’t understand what he meant since I didn’t feel I changed my expression. While he was still giggling, I kept stroking his head. Slowly, he stopped his giggle and his face showed a soft expression.

“Thank you, Tsunotarou. I didn’t mean to make you worried like this, but I really appreciate your thoughts and feelings towards me,” he said while smiling.

I could feel the corner of my mouth raised, “Good for you then.”

“You know, this is the first time I—” he suddenly paused.

“First time?” I asked him since he suddenly paused.

“No, nothing,” he said as he shook his head, “Thank you for coming today, Tsunotarou.”

“It’s my pleasure,” I said as we started to be surrounded by fireflies, “Goodnight, Yuu.”

 


 

Guardian of Slumber

So that was him, the Prefect of Ramshackle dorm.

I’ve heard the rumors about him before. He is a human from another world who was transported to our school at the welcoming ceremony when Sebek started to enroll at this school. He along with his partner—the cat-like monster—made a ruckus during the welcoming ceremony. That was all I knew about him.

Now on the Magical Shift tournament, I saw him for the first time. A small boy with his hair being half-up bun and wearing a uniform two sizes bigger than him that he has to roll up his sleeves and pants. There was a striped ribbon tied on his left arm. Just like the rumors said, he has a feminine face.

As I observed him, I clutched my hand to my chest. It was strange. Why do I feel nostalgic just by seeing him, even though this was supposed to be the first time I saw him?

I really wanted to call him now.

“Silver, art thou fine?” suddenly Father asked me, “Thy face not look’d good.”

“Eh? Ah, yes, I’m okay,” I answered Father and kept my composure again.

It’s not good. Even though currently Diasomnia dorm was in a crucial condition, my mind wandered somewhere.

I glanced at him once again. Maybe next time we meet, in a much more proper way, we can talk.

From that day on, I’ve always been looking for him in school. Since I kept looking for him, I spaced out more often. Thankfully, Kalim always brought me back to reality.

Even though I always saw him from afar every day, I couldn’t meet him face to face. When we passed each other in the hallway, he just passed me like he didn’t even notice my presence. Whenever we passed each other like that, I often looked back and hoped he would do the same.

And finally, I met him again.

That was the day of VDC being held. Sebek and I were in charge of security as the members of the Equestrian club. Riddle wasn’t with us since he was the head of the festival committee.

When we were doing our job, Riddle came to check on us. Behind Riddle, I saw him, his monster partner, and Trey-senpai.

Like when I saw him for the first time, I clutched my hand to my chest. That feeling again.

Somehow when I saw him today, I felt like everything around us blurred. He was the only thing I could see properly. Because of that, I kept staring at him. He seemed to notice that I was staring at him. That moment was happening only for a few seconds, but it felt so long to me. Finally, for the very first time, our eyes met. Maybe this was my chance to talk with him properly.

Just when I tried to call him out, Riddle asked him to go around to the other places again with him. Then they went ahead and left Sebek and me. My hand was still clutched until they disappeared from my sight.

“Oi, Silver!!!”

Sebek’s loud voice brought me back to reality. I answered him, “Yes?”

“What are you doing by spacing out like that?! Quick go back to our job!!! These humans were so savage, we have to handle them!!!” he scolded me with his loud voice.

“Okay. But please lower your voice and stop calling them ‘humans’, Sebek,” I said to him as I prepared to go back to our work.

I glanced once again to the direction where he left. A small part of my heart wished that he would come back to me.

There was sudden rain in NRC that day.

I had some duty on Diasomnia dorm that day from evening, so I had to go as fast as I could. Since I didn’t bring any umbrella, I planned to use magic to make a shield above my head. I took out my magic wand and was ready to make the shield.

“Oh, no. I didn’t bring umbrella.”

I heard a soft voice from beside me, which I never heard before. I took a glance at the owner of that voice.

It was him.

I was surprised since his voice was different from the one I heard when I met him for the first and second time. While I was still staring at him, he seemed to just notice my presence. His face showed a surprise.

“E-eh, I didn’t know there was someone else here,” he said with the voice I knew. He bowed his head a bit to give me a greeting. Then he looked outside again.

Finally, I met him properly. There was no one around us. We could talk now. No, we should talk.

Just when he was about to start running through the rain, I grabbed his arm. Both he and I were surprised by my action. It was like my body moved on its own. While he was obviously surprised his arm was grabbed out of blue.

“It’s strange… I feel like I’ve met you somewhere before,” out of all things I could talk to him, that was the only one that I spoke.

He replied, “Didn’t we meet at the Magift Tournament and right before the VDC?”

Still grabbing his arm, I said, “You’re right, but that’s not what I mea—”

“Oi, Yuu! Let’s go back now!”

Before I could finish my talk, suddenly a boy called out for him from outside. Not so far from us, There were two boys who were holding umbrellas. The navy-haired one was with his partner monster and the orange-haired one was alone.

“...did we interrupt something?” the orange-haired one asked.

“No, not at all,” he answered before looking at me again, “Excuse me, can you let go of me now?”

I looked at his arm which I was still holding to, then tightened my grip before I let him go. After that, he went under the umbrella which the orange-haired held. I was still looking at him as he was walking with his friends through the rain.

For the first time, he glanced back at me.

 


 

Follower of Thorns

A strange human, that was all I could say about him. The first time I saw him was at the welcoming ceremony. I didn't really care about him since he has nothing to do with my life nor Malleus-sama's.

Until I found out he was Malleus-sama's favorite human.

Not only Malleus-sama took a liking to him, he also calls Malleus-sama with such a weird name. At first, I couldn't forgive him for his rudeness towards Malleus-sama. Though, slowly I let him because Malleus-sama is fine with his behavior.

Since we were in the same grade, gradually we were getting along. Along with the others, I often visited Ramshackle dorm to just play or sleepover.

As I was getting closer to him, I understood why Malleus-sama favors him. He wasn't a bad person at all. Whenever I talked about Malleus-sama, he would listen to everything without getting bored. I too, slowly got comfortable around him.

One day when I was going back from my club activity, I coincidentally met the other boys in front of Ramshackle dorm.

“Hey, while we are here together, how about we chill at Ramshackle dorm?” Ace asked us.

“So suddenly? Are you sure Yuu okay with that?” Jack seemed to doubt Ace’s suggestion.

“I think it’s alright. We go there all the time anyway. Yuu must’ve got used with us,” Deuce answered Jack’s question.

“You’re right about that, but we never went without telling Yuu-san first before. Let’s just do it another day,” somehow Epel seemed anxious like Jack.

While those four were still debating about what they're going to do, I opened Ramshackle dorm's small gate.

"Wait, Sebek! What are you doing?!" Jack sounded so panicked saying that.

"You guys are taking too long on deciding this so I had to take the lead," I said as I walked towards Ramshackle dorm's door.

Ace and Deuce immediately followed me, meanwhile Jack and Epel seemed whispering to each other and taking out their phone. Why are they so panicked about us going to Ramshackle dorm out of the blue?

Ace was the one who knocked on the front door, "Is anyone home?"

The door was opened, and surprisingly not by Yuu, but Grim. With a surprised look on his face, he said, "Funa! Why are you here?!"

Ace, Deuce, and I frowned upon Grim's demeanor. Deuce asked Grim back, "Is it strange for us to come here even though we do it all the time?"

Just like Jack and Epel, Grim looked so panicked. Then he opened the door for us before going back inside, "Wait at the common room. I will go get Yuu."

With a bit of confusion, we let ourselves in and went to the common room.

While we were waiting for Yuu, we talked about many random things. Even though Jack and Epel joined the talk, it was so clear that they seemed anxious.

Suddenly, we heard a loud noise from Yuu's room.

All of us immediately went to Yuu's room. Deuce knocked—or to be exact, banged—the door.

"Yuu, are you alright over there?" Deuce asked while still banging the door.

"I'm okay. You can leave me and wait at the common room," Yuu answered from behind the door.

"Are you sure? We can help if yo—"

Before Ace could finish his talk, Yuu cut it, "Yes, I'm sure. I have Grim here."

"Let's go, guys. Yuu already asked us to leave," Jack suggested we immediately leave Yuu's room to the common room.

While we were walking together, with Ace and Deuce in front of me, I glanced back. Jack and Epel didn't leave with us. The door of Yuu's room was opened a bit and I could see Jack and Epel were talking to Yuu, though I couldn't see Yuu.

What were they talking about that they need Ace, Deuce, and I to leave first?

When we arrived at the common room, Jack and Epel had catched up so we arrived together. Ace and Deuce seemed still bothered.

"Hey, is it just me or that voice sounded like Yuu's moan?" Ace asked.

"Moan?" Deuce and I asked back. Honestly, I didn't really understand what he meant by moan.

"Wha— What are you talking about your own friend, Ace?!" Jack seemed so angry.

"That's right! It's inappropriate, Ace-kun!" not only Jack, now Epel seemed upset as well.

Jack and Epel's reaction made us three surprised.

In the middle of an awkward situation, Ace said, "Chill, guys. Yuu is a dude. I won't do anything strange to him! Why are you two so worked up since before we get in here? Geez."

"You're right. Sorry we made you guys uncomfortable," Jack said after he calmed down.

"Hey you two," I talked to Jack and Epel, "Do you know something about Yuu that we don't know?"

Jack and Epel startled. Epel said, "No, we don't."

"Are you sure?" I asked again.

Both of them nodded firmly, "Yes."

It seemed too much work to get their lips unsealed. So I let out a sigh and said, "Okay then."

What a bunch of weird humans.

 


 

Guardian of Thorns

"It rare to see thee alone. Where art others?"

I saw Yuu sat alone at the bench in the courtyard. So I decided to approach Yuu and sit beside that kid.

"Both Ace and Deuce have club activities, and Grim will come here soon," Yuu explained to me.

"Hoho, I see," I turned my face to Yuu, "What careless trump soldiers of ‘em to leave a princess alone. In the Valley of Thorns, twas' of thing will not happen."

"I see," Yuu made an awkward laugh, "But Vanrouge-senpai, isn't it rude to call a boy 'princess'? Or are you just using it as a metaphor?"

"Tis’ rude for a boy, but not for a girl," I said as I placed my hand on her side face and brushed my thumb on her cheek, "Right, Young Lady?"

Yuu's eyes widened as I called her 'Young Lady' and her face seemed darker. Then she started to speak with a higher tone than usual, taking off her voice disguise.

"Since when did you know?"

Still putting my hand on her face, I said, "From the very beginning."

I wasn't lying. When she arrived at this school during the welcoming ceremony, I immediately recognized her gender. Since other people were too busy handling her monster partner and supported by dim lights on the chamber, no one really paid attention to her body.

Distinct feminine body line, big bulges on her chest, feminine face, and hair that was longer than her current style. I still remember the first time I saw her at the Chamber of Mirror and how she looked. With addition from my observation during these past months, I became sure of her real gender.

I moved my hand to raise her chin. When our eyes finally met, I said, "Tho, I'm impressed thee managed to fool everyone in this school. Even Malleus still hath not recognized thy gender despite him frequently visiting thou at night on Ramshackle dorm."

Yuu asked me, "Are you going to tell him?"

I chuckled, "Nay, I'm not going to. I still respect other people's privacy after all."

It was better if he didn't know. If he knows, he might immediately ask me to bring her to the Valley of Thorns and give her preparation to make her the future queen. She's Malleus' favorite human after all.

Though, if she really becomes the queen, that's not a bad thing either.

"Even tho thee didst manage to fool everyone, I advise thou to be more careful. Since thy condition puts thee in total disadvantage—being the only one female student and hast not magic power o’ the all-boys school for wizards," I said to her while still holding her chin.

"I know. You're not the only one who said that to me," she let out a sigh.

Not the only one. So there are few people who know about her real gender as well.

"Hm hm. Now, let I ask thee question," I got my face closer to her, "How long thee plan to keep on tis’ disguise?"

"As long as I'm attending this school," she answered without any hesitation.

As long as I'm attending this school, not Until I graduate from this school, huh. So that's what she's thinking.

Now, that's troubling.

"I see. Then, I will say tis’ again. Just, be careful. It often happens that thy plan dost not work as you wanted," I said to her as I let go of her.

A frown showed up on her forehead after she heard my advice, "Um, thank you?"

"Yuu, let's go home now!" not so far from us, her partner, Grim, called her.

"Okay, Grim," she answered her, "Vanrouge-senpai, please excuse me."

"Go ahead. Sorry I took thy time, Yuu," I waved my hand to her and Grim.

Not long after Yuu was gone, some light that resembles fireflies appeared around me.

"Lilia," someone called out to me from behind.

"O, Malleus. Thou here," I said as I turned back to see the owner of that voice.

"What did you do to him?" he asked with a sullen tone.

"Nothing. I just talk’d with that kid."

Of course I noticed Malleus had been watching us for a while. That was why I teased him a bit by getting closer to Yuu while talking to her.

"I won't let anyone who does bad things to him get away. Even if that person is you, Lilia," he said to emphasize his special treatment towards Yuu.

"Wilt’ I not play with such a poor human child like ‘twas kid. Thee shall know that" I jumped out from the bench as I was calming him down.

"Okay, I will trust you," he said before he disappeared into thin air.

Then I walked on the hallway in the direction towards Hall of Mirrors. I could transport like Malleus did, but I needed some time alone. As I was walking, I thought about Yuu again.

A girl who came from another world and doesn't possess any magic. Somehow, she got accepted to attend an all-boys school for wizards. She also got involved with various people for these past months. Not to mention, those people aren't just ordinary people.

I muttered, "I can see storms are coming. I can only hope that kid is okay."

Chapter Text

Is this even real?

How did I suddenly arrive at school I never knew about? After I woke up in a coffin, suddenly a raccoon-like monster tried to strip me. When I tried to escape from that strange place, that person who claimed himself as the Headmaster caught me and that monster.

And what, did he say this is a school for wizards? Do wizards really exist? Not only in fiction?

He never heard of my country, which made him assume I came from another world. Did you mean I just transported into another world?

Then he forced me to face a big strange mirror with a face on it. I was sure he called that thing “Magic Mirror”.

When I faced that big strange mirror, it said my soul is empty. I know there was a joke “dead inside” going around on the internet amongst young adults like me, but I’m sure that’s not what it means!

As if the problems weren’t weird enough, that raccoon-like monster suddenly blew up the whole chamber with the flame from his mouth. I had to take responsibility because everyone thought that monster was my familiar.

People said the reality is much stranger than fiction. I guess they are not wrong.

As the Headmaster was taking me to his room, I tried to recall how I could be here. Before I woke up in that coffin, I remember I was going to have lunch with that person, and then, and then…

And then what? Why can’t I remember what happened after that? I’m sure something happened, but I can’t remember it.

“I can’t leave a minor alone. So for the time being, you should live in the Ramshackle dorm,” the Headmaster said after we arrived at his room.

Did he just say I’m a minor? Sighs. Here we go again. It always happens, people often mistook me as a university or high school student even though I’m a legitimate working adult.

“Even though I look like this, I’m actually an adult woman, you know. As long as you lend me some money and a temporary shelter, I can survive out there.”

“I know, but— Did you just say you’re an adult woman?” he sounded surprised.

“Yes, a legitimate one. Here is my—” I made a move like I always did to get my wallet but it was futile, “I forgot I don’t have my wallet with me so I can’t show you my ID card.”

The Headmaster walked closer to me, “Indeed your face is so feminine and you have a small body, but there are a lot of students like you. Why do you go to that extent to lie about your gender?”

“Did you not notice because that chamber and this room are pretty dim?” I asked him. This was the first time people thought I was a guy. I didn’t want to waste more time here, so I unbuttoned my shirt enough to show my chest.

“He-hey, what are you doing?!” the Headmaster seemed flustered and then he looked at me again, “Wait. You’re really a girl. Now that’s a real problem.”

After I convinced him, I buttoned up my shirt again and spoke to him, “It has been a problem from the moment I woke up in that coffin.”

“You’re right but that’s not what I meant. The problem is, this is an all-boys school for wizards,” he said while sobbing, which I don’t know if that was real sobbing or not.

Now that he mentioned it, I haven’t seen any girls in that chamber. There were some people who had beautiful and feminine faces but I knew right away that they were boys. I talked to him again, “See? That’s more reason for me to not stay at this school. I don’t possess magic, I’m a woman, and an adult. Someone who completely doesn’t belong to an all-boys school for wizards.”

“It has been twice you said you’re an adult. But no matter how I look at you, you’re still a teenager. Let alone believing you’re an adult, I’m more convinced if you’re still a middle school student,” he already stopped sobbing as he said all that, “Try to look at the mirror and then we can talk again.”

I looked around to find the mirror he mentioned. When I saw myself in the mirror, I immediately rushed to the mirror, “This is real? Not a lie?”

The me in the mirror only has shoulder-length hair, much shorter than the hair I remember I had, which reached my hip. My face looked so much younger without the soft wrinkle and dark circle around my eyes that were caused by overworking. My skin wasn't as tanned as I remembered. My height was still the same since my height stopped growing after I graduated from junior high school, but my body figure was significantly different. My hips weren't as wide and my breasts weren’t as big as I remember, though my breasts were considerably big even when I was still a high school student.

“It’s as if my body reverted to my teenage years,” I muttered to myself.

“Oh my, what would people say if they found out there was a girl in an all-boys school,” he started sobbing again.

Even though I was still not a student at this school, indeed that would be a problem. I spent my life in places dominated by men from when I was a university student until I worked, since there were only very few women who were interested in working in my field, which is the environmental service field. So I pretty much know how people would react if they saw a woman in a male-dominated place.

Though, this was an all-boys school and the boys were still in their teenage years. I couldn’t predict how it would be since I went to a normal high school.

Just to think I had to deal with brats in their puberty is already making me tired.

I didn’t want to get in any more trouble, so I offered a solution to the Headmaster, “For the time being until everything gets sorted out and I go back to my world, I will disguise my gender.”

“Will you really do it for me?” I couldn’t see his eyes but I could sense he was trying to be cute in asking me.

“Not for you, but for me. I don’t want to get into more trouble,” I said to him.

“Okay, now let me take you and your partner to the Ramshackle dorm,” he said as he asked me and that raccoon-like monster to follow him.

 


 

“How could it become like this?!"

After those two boys left, I stayed in the Headmaster’s room to demand an explanation.

“What do you mean, Yuu-kun?” he asked me back instead of answering my question. I didn’t know if he really didn’t understand or just playing dumb.

“How could you make me a student here, despite knowing my real identity? Are you sure your status as the Headmaster doesn’t need to be questioned?” I recited my question again in a more obvious and straightforward phrase.

“How rude! Of course I know what I’m doing!” he yelled at me, “Just like I said, you could lead them to be able to cooperate with each other. Moreover, you are the complete opposite of them. You are actually an adult woman and don’t possess magic, so you can see things from a different perspective than how they see it.”

He didn't believe me when I said I'm an adult woman and now he used that fact for his own convenience.

“Isn’t it the teachers’ responsibility to lead them so they grow into proper men? Or in this case, wizards. I don’t see any reason for me to stay here,” I crossed my arms as I denied all his explanation.

“B-but, I already said both you and Grim-kun will be one student here. Huhuhu,” again, he was sobbing.

Seriously, how irresponsible could this man be? He said that wizards are prideful and egotistical people, and now he really proved it.

Should I just run away from here? I mean, who would want to be a high school student for the second time? It’s not that my high school life was bad. In fact, it was normal and I had fun too.

But, could my life during high school really be called normal?

If I ran away from this school, I would have nowhere to go. I have no money nor someone I know either. After I thought about it again, I only had one choice. But I didn’t want to just follow and please this man. I had to gain something as well.

A sigh came out from my lips and then I said, “Okay. I will attend this school as a student and disguise my gender, with a condition.”

He stopped sobbing before looking at me, “What is that?”

“You should find the way for me to go back to my world, as soon as possible,” I said without hesitation as I looked right into his face, since I couldn’t see his eyes.

“Just that? No other request?”

“Just that.”

That was what most important to me after all.

“Then, I will hold to your words, Yuu-kun.”

“That should be my line, Headmaster.”

 


 

The next morning, I stood in front of the mirror in my room. I wore a male uniform that was two sizes bigger than my body and buttoned up the blazer to hide my body figure. I also binded my breasts with a sarashi to be as flat as possible and put my hair into a half-up bun—I remember some of my male colleagues styled their hair this way so I decided to follow them. Because the uniform size was too big, the sleeves and pants were also too long for me so I had to roll them up. The pair of shoes I wore were the used one, which I got from Sam-san at a very cheap price.

As I stared into the mirror, I put my hand on it.

This is the second time I changed my appearance in order trying to avoid problems.

Looking at me sighed, the ghosts and Grim seemed concerned.

“What’s wrong, Yuu? We will be late for the class,” Grim said.

“Do you actually dislike the idea of disguising your gender?” one of the ghosts asked.

To add my answer, I shook my head, “It’s nothing. I just lost in thought for a bit.”

I picked up my bag before opening the Ramshackle dorm’s front door.

“Let’s go, Grim.”

With that, my life as a high school student for the second time has started.

Chapter Text

I do admit I underestimated my condition in this school.

Indeed for the last of almost a decade in my life, I was spending my time in male-dominated places. From my university to work life, I was always surrounded by male colleagues. Usually, the number of women could be counted by the fingers of a person’s hands.

But male-dominated and all-boys were totally different. During my university and work life, at least there was always one female colleague who I could befriend as fellow females. Our male colleagues could understand us as well.

Here, the all-boys school was totally different. Just getting basic woman necessities such as pads and underwear was already troublesome. Thanks to Sam-san for helping me to get those. Though, he was surprised and flustered when I asked him for the first time.

“Sam-san, do you sell pads and girl’s underwear?”

“Everything is IN STO— what did you just say, Little Demon-chan?”

When I thought about that time again, it was certainly my fault for not explaining my real gender first to Sam-san. Thankfully, he immediately fulfilled my needs and even restocked some pads every month so I could get them without worries.

To add more, I had to disguise my gender. My body had already developed a few parts when I was still in high school. My breasts were considerably big for a high school student, I think it was already an E to F cup, I didn’t really remember since it was already years ago. I also had significant curves on my waist and below. To hide my body figure, I had to bind my chest with sarashi and wore clothes at least two sizes bigger, with the addition a t-shirt beneath the uniform to hold the sarashi. With my breasts size, it was hard to bind so I had to ask Grim’s help sometimes.

“Grim, please pull harder. It’s still not tight enough.”

“Funaaa!! It’s impossible! Your breasts are way too big to bind! My front legs are getting sore, you know!” Grim said as he pulled the sarashi harder, “At this rate, my front legs could be as muscular as Jack and Sebek’s arms!”

“If you have time to make a joke, use that to find a way to make my sarashi tighter, Grim.”

It was also hard during PE lessons, since I had to sneak to the restroom so I could change my uniform separately from the others. Though, I wasn’t having a hard time catching up with the others during PE lessons except flying. It was thanks to my university and work-life that it required extra stamina and strength so I was used to matching my physical ability with the men around me.

PE and general lessons were the only things I could catch up on. I was really hopeless with the other lessons which were related to magic. It felt like I was a kindergarten child trying to learn things that were supposed for high school students. I didn’t think the grade I achieved matters to me since I wanted to go back to my world as soon as possible, but I didn’t want to be a burden for Grim since we were counted as one student. So I still had to study more than other students here just to get the bare minimum.

I thought just living my life as a high school student for the second time was bad enough, but I was wrong. What made me couldn’t have a real peaceful high school life was Night Raven College itself.

Not only they had the selfish Headmaster, the students were no better. Just like the Headmaster, wizards are prideful and egotistical, and they really showed it. Almost no day passes without any fight happening. Because of their selfishness, the Headmaster ended up always asking me for help. Not to mention they also like to make fun of me for not possessing magic. Though, I always ignore them since I didn’t want to waste my energy and emotion on those brats.

Maybe I should appreciate myself for managing to keep my manners in front of them, despite me always wanting to punch them in the face. Since I was still a first-year student—even though I’m actually an adult woman—and I wanted to avoid troubles as much as I could.

The only thing I liked about this school was my dorm, Ramshackle dorm. Just like its name, Ramshackle dorm indeed looked like it was falling apart, but that was not a problem for me. Due to my study and work in my original world, I was used to living with such a deficiency. As long as I have a roof and walls surrounding me, I can survive. The ghosts—who I started to call “Uncles”—were nice and always taking care of me too. Grim, even though at first he was so selfish and always only wanted to do what he wanted, he slowly became much more responsible and helped me fix the dorm as well.

I really hope this barely peaceful life will end soon so I can go back to my world.

Chapter Text

"Yuu, this has been our question for a long time. Why are you disguising your gender?"

It was almost midnight at Ramshackle dorm. I was reading some books when the ghosts asked me that question. This wasn't my first time being asked that question.

"Because this is an all-boys school."

"Just that? But you are a special case, you aren't even from this world and don't possess magic. So you being a girl shouldn't be a problem."

A corner of my mouth raised a bit. It has always been the same pattern. The other students who knew about my real gender also asked the same question and had the same thought.

"Honestly, the decision of me disguising my gender was kinda rushed. That's why I used to think like that at the beginning too, that I'm a special case. At first, I didn’t really care if the other students found out about my real gender or not."

Certainly I had that deal with the Headmaster, but I felt a bit reluctant to talk about that. Besides that deal, I actually have another reason to keep my disguise.

"But after I spent some time here, I realized disguising my gender is the right decision."

I closed the book I was reading so I could be more focused on our conversation.

"The Headmaster told me that wizards are prideful and egotistical beings, and the students here really proved that. Night Raven College is a prestigious all-boys school for wizards, which not all young wizards could enter. I also know that some students here pulled their best effort to be able to enroll at this school. Now imagine if they found out that there is a girl who doesn't possess magic—which is really out of the requirements to get into this school—enrolled at this school easily. How much does their pride get hurt?"

The ghosts listened to my explanation and seemed to start to understand what I was trying to say.

"They will not accept my existence because their pride got hurt. So disguising my gender is the right decision since I reduced one thing that is unacceptable at this school. Though, people are still making fun of me for not possessing magic."

A sigh escaped from my lips.

"It's not like I need their approval or something like that. But I have to stay here until I go back to my world. Since even if I leave this school, I have nowhere to go. And I want to spend my life here peacefully."

"Now you're talking about it, that really makes sense," the skinny ghost nodded, "And we also see that you've improved your disguise as the time goes."

Indeed at the beginning, there were several times I almost spilled that I'm actually a girl. After I read the common personality of the students here and realized I really had to disguise my gender, I put more on guard. The proof of my improvement was that people used to think I was actually a girl, and slowly they saw me as an ordinary feminine boy.

"How long thee plan to keep on tis’ disguise?"

Vanrouge-senpai's question came to my mind after the ghosts asked me that question. Instead of asking the reason why I was disguising my gender, Vanrouge-senpai asked how long I was going to keep disguising my gender. It’d be a lie if I say I wasn’t surprised when he asked me that question. As if he saw something else about me but he didn’t want to say it bluntly.

Though, the answer was obvious, as long as I'm in this school. I was really sure of that.

But, lately I had a bad feeling about that. Even though I've improved my disguise so much, I became more anxious if someday my gender was revealed. It was because a lot of unexpected events happened at this school…

...no, no. I was sure I could keep this disguise. I was just overthinking about what Vanrouge-senpai said.

That's right, everything will be alright. No, everything should be alright.

Chapter Text

Yuu was running from the Botanical Garden to the laboratory through the hallway. She was in a hurry even though it was still lunchtime because she still had a duty before the Alchemy lesson started.

How could I forget to pick these flowers and herbs for today’s Alchemy lesson?!

Since Yuu was too focused on running, she didn't really pay attention to her surroundings. Because of that, she didn't see some students who walked from the other side when she crossed the intersection. It didn't take a long time for her to bump into those students.

"Hey, watch out!" one of them yelled at Yuu.

Yuu, who didn't have much time to talk, only bowed a bit while apologizing, "I'm so sorry."

"Oi, you. Are you going to just leave like that?!” the other students disliked how Yuu acted towards them. One of them grabbed Yuu's shoulder before she could run again, “ Hm? Aren't you the Prefect of Ramshackle dorm?"

“Yes,” Yuu put her hand on the boy’s hand as she asked, “Can you please let me go? I have something urgent to do.”

“You act so rude towards your senior, huh,” another one who was slimmer compared to the others spoke before he saw what Yuu held, “How about this, we will let you go if you give us those flowers and herbs?”

“But I need these for my alchemy class after lunchtime finished,” Yuu rejected their offer as she held the flower and herbs more tightly without crushing them.

“Well, we need those as well. Also, do you even actually need to take alchemy class? You don’t even possess magic,” the shortest one chuckled while he grabbed Yuu’s wrist, “Whoa, your wrist is so thin. No wonder there was a rumor that you’re actually a girl.”

“First, even though I don’t possess magic, I’m still a student of this school,” Yuu gulped her saliva before continuing her talk, “Second, despite my appearance, I’m a guy.”

“I see, if that’s what you say. Then, we will let you go if you win against us and if you win, you will hand over those flowers and herbs. How about it?” the biggest one with canine-animal ears who kept being silent from the beginning started to talk, “Of course, we will use our fists since you are a magicless human.”

Yuu frowned her eyebrows, “Why should we do that, just for flowers and herbs?”

The biggest one clicked his tongue, “Do you think the reason is just that?”

Then he leaned his body towards Yuu and towering over her. His action made her take a few steps back.

“I’ve always disliked you. How could a magicless human like you make it into this school? Not to mention, the dorm leaders and teachers seem to favor you. Just your presence already makes me sick,” he said as he stared into Yuu’s eyes.

Yuu wasn’t surprised by what he just said. She always knew that there must be some students who disliked her presence in this school. Though, she didn’t expect anyone would say that bluntly to her face. She knew most of them only talked behind her back.

About the dorm leaders and teachers… I wonder how they would react if they found out I’m just a mere handyman for them, Yuu thought to herself. Yuu didn’t realize she was lost in her thoughts and averted her eyes from him.

“Why the hell are you averting your eyes while I’m talking?!” he charged a punch towards Yuu as he talked, “It’s time for the seniors to teach their junior.”

Yuu immediately avoided his fist and jumped back. She looked at her surroundings and noticed she was surrounded by them. The total was five seniors, the biggest three of them were from Savanaclaw dorm and the other two were from Octavinelle dorm.

They are really going at it, huh, Yuu thought as they started to attack her.

“What’s that crowd?”

Riddle was walking with Trey and Cater when he saw a crowd in the hallway. The crowd was kinda unusual and full of cheers.

“Go get him!”
“How about we bet on a deluxe menchi katsu sandwich to guess the winner?”
“That sounds like a good idea.”
“Hey, is it alright to let them fight? The two sides are completely unbalanced.”
“What are you talking about, it’s an all-boys school! Fight like this is normal to happen.”

The three boys stopped their walk. Cater was the one who went to the crowd to ask what was going on.

“Hello~! Can you tell Kei-kun what this crowd is for?” Cater asked one of the Heartslabyul dorm students there.

“Ah, Diamond. Some second-year students from Savanaclaw dorm and Octavinelle dorm are fighting with the Prefect of Ramshackle dorm,” he explained to Cater, “People are interested since it’s a completely unfair fight and yet there’s no sign of the Prefect losing.”

“Wait, Yuu is fighting them alone?” Trey asked to make sure of what he just said.

“Yes, just look at them,” he pointed to the center of the crowd.

For sure, Yuu was at the disadvantage in this fight. She had a small body and her opponents were much bigger than her. But that didn’t make her give up. Fortunately, she knew how to fight.

It started when she was in college. Even though it was male-dominated place and the girls were treated nicely, Yuu and her friends didn’t want to rely on their male friends too much. Since they didn’t know what kind of danger they would face in the field. Thus, they asked some of male students who were good at martial arts to teach them basic self-defense. Yuu realized she took a liking to it and asked her friends to teach more, which made her able to do both attack and defense moves.

Azul, Jade, Floyd, Kalim, and Jamil were walking together after they finished their lunch in the cafeteria. Azul kept talking to Jamil despite him showing no interest in him. Their talk was interrupted by Kalim.

“Hey, what’s that crowd? Maybe there’s something interesting going on?” Kalim asked cheerfully, unaware of what was actually going on.

“Hm…” Floyd, who was the tallest amongst them, tried to see the center of the crowd, “Ah, Little Shrimp-chan.”

“Yuu-san?” Azul asked.

“Yes, that’s Yuu-san. He is fighting against three students from Savanaclaw dorm and two students from Octavinelle dorm,” Jade added to what Floyd said.

“What?!” Azul, Jamil, and Kalim were surprised that they shouted in sync.

“Let’s help him, Jamil!” Kalim said as he ran towards the crowd, followed by Jamil.

“How long are you going to avoid us, huh?!”

From the beginning, Yuu avoided their attacks on purpose, to wear down their stamina. She knew if she made attack moves from the start, she would lose immediately.

Yuu’s disadvantage turned into advantage in defense moves since she could move between those boys smoothly with her small body. She kept moving until she felt something weird from inside her shirt.

Yuu’s sarashi started to loosen.

Suddenly, Yuu remembered that she forgot to wear a t-shirt beneath her shirt. She always did that to hold the sarashi so it wouldn’t come loose. With three layers of clothes—t-shirt, shirt, and blazer—she always felt assured that her disguise wouldn’t come off. The t-shirt always helped her since her shirt and blazer were two sizes bigger than her so they weren’t enough to hold the sarashi.

Now with her moving so much without t-shirt, her sarashi came loose so fast.

It seems I can’t waste any more time than this, Yuu said to herself.

Leona and Vil were debating about something in the hallway as they walked together with Ruggie and Rook behind them. They kept on their debate and didn’t care about the crowd on the other side of the hallway, until Rook stopped his walk.

“Yuu-kun?” Rook said Yuu’s name, which made the others stop their walk as well.

“Why did you suddenly say her name, Rook?” Vil asked Rook.

Without turning his gaze from the crowd, Rook told the other three, “Yuu-kun is currently fighting three Savanaclaw dorm students and two Octavinelle dorm students.”

Leona and Vil suddenly became silent.

Ruggie asked Leona, “How is it, Leona-san? Do you want to help her?”

Leona made a gesture that he didn’t care, “Hmph, why should I? It's that Herbivore's stupidity to fight a bunch of predators alone.”

“Leona-san, your words don’t match your tail,” said Ruggie as he looked at Leona’s wiggling tail, showing that he was actually concerned about Yuu.

“Vil, what do you think?” Rook asked Vil.

Vil, who kept a serious face since he was told Yuu was fighting five boys alone, crossed his arms, “Let’s observe them first.”

As the two dorm leaders refused to show that they were concerned about Yuu, Rook whispered to Ruggie, “Monsieur Dandelion, you know what to do, right?”

“Of course,” Ruggie answered Rook with a nod.

Both Ruggie and Rook have high agility compared to other students, so they were more than ready to jump in and save Yuu.

Yuu started to move around much more and launched attack moves. Her actions surprised the others since she was able to take down the two students from Octavinelle dorm in an instant. One by kicking him right in the chest and the other one, she kicked the back of his neck. Without her realizing, her uniform was already damaged so much. Even her necktie was already untied and her hair, which has always been put up to half bun, has been down now.

“Whoa, did you see that?!”
“I really didn’t expect the Prefect to actually be that strong since he has a small body.”

With Yuu starting to turn the table, the other students who surrounded them were also getting thrilled. Some even recorded and took pictures of their fight with their phone.

The left ones were the Savanaclaw dorm students. Yuu had to be more tricky in fighting them. When one of them charged an attack to Yuu, she pulled his arms and used his power to throw him to the nearest wall.

“Oooh, finally the Prefect is getting serious. Nice, Prefect!”
“This is getting fun... I’ve decided! I’m betting on the Prefect.”

Since Yuu only turned around her attack towards herself, she didn’t notice that the left ones standing were the biggest two from Savanaclaw dorm, who were the beastmen. Even though she used their power to turn around their attacks, those acts still needed some energy. To make it worse, she had to hold her sarashi, which pretty much limited her moves.

Yuu could feel her sarashi was getting looser and also her energy had drained, yet she still had two opponents who were the biggest amongst them. Even if she wanted to flee to escape, it would be hard since there were too many students surrounding them. Getting the fight done was the only choice she had.

While Yuu lose in her thought for a few seconds, her opponent who had a smaller body—but still much bigger than her—grabbed her from behind and raised her high enough to made her feet to not touch the ground.

“Caught you! Hm? Wait, you are a—”

Since he was holding Yuu close to his body, he noticed her smell. He also could feel the softness of her body, especially around the chest area.

Yuu didn’t need a long time to realize that he noticed her real gender. She immediately used her elbow to hit his rib. Since he was already distracted by his discovery, that small attack was enough to make him let her go and fell to his knees. Then she grabbed his head and bent down to whisper to his ear.

“Shut your mouth for now, or else—” Yuu tried to warn him but disturbed by the other one, who has the biggest body and also the one who was being hostile towards her.

“What are you doing, talking in the middle of a fight? You still have one opponent here!” he yelled as he pulled Yuu’s arms in a very rough way.

When he pulled Yuu’s arm, the other one who was still on the ground, shouted to his friend, “Stop!—”

“Yuu is so slow. Doesn’t he have duty before alchemy class?” Ace was wondering since he still hasn’t seen Yuu, even though it was getting close to the time bell ringing.

Deuce, who was also worried, said, “How about we get him now? It will be troublesome if he’s being punished by Crewel-sensei later.”

Grim, Jack, Epel, and Sebek were also with them. They just had their lunch together. Yuu didn’t join them to eat lunch so she could fetch the flowers and herbs from the Botanical Garden.

“And Yuu-san still hasn’t eaten lunch, right? What’s taking him so long…” Epel also wondered about Yuu’s whereabouts.

“I will get him now. He went to the Botanical Garden, right?” Jack offered help since he got a different class after lunch.

Just when Jack was ready to run, another student from 1-A passed them and spoke to Ace and Deuce, “Oh, Trappola, Spade. You two are here. Just for your information, the Prefect is in trouble now.”

“What do you mean?” Ace asked back.

“Currently, he is fighting against five seniors all by himself. Three of them are beastmen from Savanaclaw dorm, the rest are from Octavinelle dorm,” he explained to them and pointed to the crowd which was far from them, “See that crowd? They were watching that fight.”

“Why would Yuu fight against them?” Deuce wondered. He knew Yuu wasn’t the type to pick up a fight first, it must be the seniors who started it.

Ace, Deuce, and Sebek were standing still when Grim, Jack, and Epel already ran towards the crowd. Seeing those three were already running, they also followed those three to the crowd.

“Hopefully we will make it in time,” Jack said.

“Please hang in there, Yuu-san,” Epel said as he tried to accelerate his running speed.

All of them ran past Lilia and Silver. Curious, Lilia called Sebek and asked what was going on.

Sebek stopped to talk about what was happening to Yuu. It was only a few seconds after Sebek finished explaining that Silver started to run, leaving both Sebek and Lilia.

Lilia also walked towards the crowd at a normal pace along with Sebek beside him. Lilia said, “I didn’t expect the time would come this fast.”

Sebek, who didn’t understand what Lilia meant, asked, “What do you mean, Lilia-sama?”

Lilia didn’t explain anything, he just kept walking. Then he said, “Thee shall see it with thy own eyes.”

Everyone—not only the first-years—arrived in the crowd, trying to save Yuu. Unfortunately, their intention and effort to save her were futile. The crowd had already become silent. No more cheering or shouting from the students in the crowd. They were too shocked by the scene in front of their eyes.

“—That kid is actually a girl!!!”

While the biggest beastman pulled Yuu’s arm, his friend tried to warn him. But it was too late. Because of him pulling Yuu’s arm, the buttons of her blazer and shirt were taken off forcefully and dropped to the ground.

Now, in front of everyone, there was a girl. A small girl with her half of upper body exposed. They could see her chests were binded by a cloth, or what people called sarashi.

The beastman who held her arm for a while, let go of her and took a few steps back. With a dreadful expression, he said, “You’re really a girl…?”

Yuu, who just noticed her uniform has been ripped off, immediately squatted down and hugged her body to hide her exposed body. She looked down, trying to process what just happened in her head. She wasn’t brave enough to look at her surroundings.

The silent crowd slowly was filled with whispers. Almost everyone talked about the similar thing.

“The Prefect is actually a girl?”
“The Prefect has a small body and feminine face, but to think she is actually a girl…”
“I thought the Prefect was just a feminine boy like Pomefiore dorm students…”
“This is so confusing.”
“Hey, isn’t there something more important to be questioned here?”

“Why is there a girl in an all-boys school like ours?”

“Silence!”

The whisperings were stopped by someone’s voice. Everyone knew whose voice that was. Behind the crowd, there were already Crowley, Trein, and Crewel. The ones in front of them made a way for them so they could walk to the center of the crowd.

“I was wondering why there is a puppy not being obedient by coming late to her duty. So here is she,” Crewel said as he walked towards Yuu.

Yuu looked up and saw Crewel’s face. Instead of an angry expression like she expected, she saw sympathy through his face. He took off his coat and put it on her shoulder, then swung his whip to the ground.

“What are you bad boys looking at?! Is this the first time you see a female puppy? House, now!” Crewel shouted to disperse the crowd, “For class 1-A, today’s Alchemy class will be self-study.”

After most of the students left, Trein came up to the boys who were fighting Yuu and said, “After your friends get their consciousness back, come to the Headmaster room.”

“Crewel-sensei, please take Yuu-kun to her dorm. I don’t think she can join classes in that state,” Crowley said to Crewel as he left with Trein.

After Crewel tightened up his coat on Yuu, he picked Yuu up and carried her. Yuu spoke in a low voice, “I can walk by myself, sensei.”

“Shut up. An injured puppy doesn't need to think much,” Crewel replied to Yuu as he started walking to Ramshackle dorm.

“Yuu!!!” Grim shouted to Yuu and followed Crewel to the Ramshackle dorm.

Before they left, Yuu took a chance to look at her surroundings, which she wasn’t brave enough to do a while ago. She saw the five of seven dorm leaders were there, along with the others who were close to them and her fellow first-years. Everyone had the same expression, shocked and confused. While the trio from Savanaclaw and Pomefiore dorm showed regret for not being fast enough to save her, despite them knowing her real gender from a long time ago.

After Crewel, Yuu, and Grim left, everyone went back to their classroom to continue the lesson. The only ones left were the five first-year students.

“We were too late, Epel,” Jack said to Epel.

“I know. If only we were fast enough,” Epel replied to Jack, “Poor Yuu-san...”

“So you two already know about Yuu’s real gender?”

Jack and Epel turned around to see the other three. Sebek seemed confused, but still calm. Deuce seemed confused, much more than Sebek, and also showed a horrified expression. The most different one was Ace. His face showed a mix of emotions; confusion, anger, and sadness.

“Deuce, let’s go,” Ace didn’t even wait for Jack and Epel’s explanation and left them, followed by Deuce.

Sebek, who was in a different class from Jack and Epel, tried to say something despite the awkwardness, “I’m going ahead.”

After Sebek left, Epel let out a sigh, “All these situations will be hard for Yuu-san from now on.”

Chapter Text

On the day after Yuu’s real gender was revealed, Yuu took a day off and Grim followed her to not attend the class. The reason was, there would be a strange atmosphere if she attended the class after everyone found out about her real gender. Moreover, her uniform was heavily damaged and couldn’t be worn anymore.

Yuu was right. While she stayed in the Ramshackle dorm, everyone in the school was talking about her. Since Night Raven College was an all-boys school, without a doubt, there will be commotion if there is a girl amongst them. Some were excited, some were anxious, and some were questioning about what was wrong with this year’s admission. Of course Yuu’s existence in their school would raise a question; how could the top all-boys wizard school accept a girl from another world who doesn’t possess magic?

People who didn’t see the fight couldn’t believe it when people were talking about Yuu's real gender. To prove the rumor, people who recorded and took pictures of the fight offered to show what they captured. But when they wanted to show those to the others, the file couldn’t be found.

Yuu spent her day off to prepare for her leaving, which she started by cleaning since the NRC Tribe will still be using the dorm for training camp, then followed by calculating her finances. She thought that she should leave Ramshackle dorm as a decent living place for Grim and the ghosts, and also leave some money for Grim.

She received monthly allowances from the Headmaster, and she always carefully calculated everything so she could fulfill all her and Grim’s needs while still saving some money. Since she was planning to leave NRC and live independently, she needed some money until she found a job.

Other than about finance, she also made a plan about manager work for the NRC Tribe and thinking about who will take her place as manager. Yuu didn’t know if this could be considered lucky or not, but the NRC Tribe was suddenly on break after her gender was revealed.

Kalim and Jamil got called by Scarabia dorm’s students for their dorm matter and they couldn’t hand it to anyone else. Ace and Deuce said they had something to do in the Heartslabyul dorm. With more than half members left the Ramshackle dorm, Vil decided to take a break for a while.

Grim and the ghosts didn’t offer any help to her. They didn’t want Yuu to leave after all, and they wanted Yuu to stay with them.

“Even though your gender was revealed, that doesn’t mean you have to leave, right?” one of the ghosts asked Yuu.

“It would be weird if a girl attends an all-boys school, right?” Yuu replied with her reason.

And maybe I can get more clues to go back to my world out there.

Then she turned to Grim, “Even though we are counted as one student, I will convince the Headmaster to let you stay as a student. So you don’t have to worry, Grim.”

“That’s not what I worry about now…” Grim replied to Yuu.

Yuu just gave a small smile before continuing her cleaning work.

This is how it should be, just like my own principle; do not rely on the others, do not owe the others, and do not—

The next morning, Yuu packed her belongings in the common room. She took leisure time since it was Saturday and she planned to leave on Monday after talking to the Headmaster. Moreover, she only had a small amount of belongings that one big backpack was more than enough to pack all of them.

In the middle of her packing, Yuu heard someone ring the bell. She came to the door then opened it and saw Crewel in front of the door.

“I come to check up on you and give you some information,” Crewel said as he walked inside.

Crewel stopped when he saw a big backpack and some scattered things in the common room. Confused, he asked Yuu.

“Little Puppy, what is this?”

“Oh, those are my belongings. I was in the middle of packing so I can leave on Monday after talking to the Headmaster,” Yuu explained to Crewel.

“You are leaving?”

Instead of coming to understand, Crewel became more confused. Yuu tried to explain again.

“Yes, I’m leaving this school. I can’t attend this school anymore after a—”

Yuu was still not finished explaining to Crewel when someone interrupted her.

“You don’t have to do that.”

Yuu turned around to see some unexpected guests. They are Vil, Epel, and Rook. Vil was in the front and the one who interrupted Yuu’s explanation.

“Why are you three here?” Yuu asked them.

“We just arrived and Grim let us get inside,” Vil said to Yuu then spoke to Epel and Rook, “You two, go unpack her belongings and put them back.”

“Roger,” Epel and Rook moved as fast as possible to grab Yuu’s backpack that she didn’t even get the chance to complain.

Yuu turned to Vil with big frowns on her face, “Care to explain, Schoenheit-senpai?”

“You don’t have to leave since you are staying as a student here,” Vil answered Yuu as he sat on one of the sofas.

“How? I’m a girl and I don’t possess magic, so I don’t belong here.”

“Yesterday, we had dorm leaders meeting. Riddle proposed to make you stay in this school as a student since you never particularly did anything bad nor violated any rules. Without any doubt, everyone else seconded his proposal, including me. The Headmaster didn’t seem to mind either. That’s why you don’t need to leave,” Vil explained about what happened during the time Yuu took time off from school.

“But why? I thought no one wants a girl from another world who doesn’t possess magic to attend a prestigious all-boys school for wizards?” Yuu asked again.

“Yes, normally no one would want that. But this case is different.”

“How so?”

“Because it’s you, Yuu. No one wants you to leave,” Vil answered while looking at Yuu’s face.

“What’s that illogical reason? I don’t understa—”

“Is that right, Vil? She can stay here?!” again, Yuu’s talk was interrupted by someone. This time, by Grim.

Grim and the ghosts came on the right time during Vil’s explanation. It was obvious they couldn’t hide their delightfulness on their faces.

“What Schoenheit said was right. I actually came here to tell her about this. It’s a good thing that one of the dorm leaders came to inform the news instead of me,” Crewel added the explanation.

“Did you hear that, Yuu? You don’t have to leave, you can stay!” the ghosts happily came to Yuu.

“My underling and I are indeed a good combo that people refuse to separate us. Right, Yuu?” Grim jumped and hugged Yuu before he started to talk.

Yuu was overwhelmed by the current situation. She wondered if everyone was really on their mind when they said they wanted her to stay. Just like she said many times before, she is a girl from another world who doesn’t possess magic. No matter how many times a person looks at the fact, she didn’t belong to this school.

Yuu looked at her surroundings and ended at Grim. She wanted to speak more but seeing everyone’s expression around her, she held back. Before she started speaking again, she let out a sigh.

“I see, that's good news. So I can go back to school on Monday?” Yuu said as she smiled and patted Grim. The ghosts were also smiling seeing them.

Grim was still hugging Yuu when she turned to Vil and Crewel, “I guess I should buy a new uniform? My current uniform is already in an unsalvaged state.”

“Don’t worry about that! We are here for that after all, Trickstar,” Rook said from Yuu’s behind.

Yuu saw Rook and Epel had already returned from unpacking her belongings. Seeing them return so fast made Yuu frowned again.

“You two had unpacked my belongings? That was fast,”

“Haha, let’s just say we worked fast,” Epel answered awkwardly then whispered to himself, “It’s better for Yuu-san to not know how easy Rook-san unpacking her belongings and not flustered at all when he was holding her underwears. Even though I was really surprised to see Yuu-san’s brasseries were that big...”

“I told Rook and Epel to help on making your new uniform. Apparently, we have Crewel-sensei, who is well known for his fashion knowledge, here as well. What a perfect situation,” Vil said.

“Why would you go to that extent just for my uniform?” Yuu asked Vil.

“First, the way you wore your uniform was so ugly,” Vil started his explanation.

“I can’t deny that. Since I was only focusing on hiding my body figure,” Yuu agreed with Vil’s opinion. Not only to hide her body figure, NRC is an all-boys school so it was obvious there wasn’t any girl size here.

“Second, do you still want to wear male uniform?” this time, Vil asked Yuu.

Yuu didn’t immediately answer Vil. She was lost in her thoughts for a while before speaking again.

“Honestly, I don’t really mind either way. Wearing slacks doesn’t sound bad. But…” Yuu paused for a few seconds, “If I have to choose and get offered, I prefer to wear a skirt like a normal high school girl.”

When Yuu was saying that, everyone could see there was a tint of redness on her cheeks. Inside their heart, they could sense a fluttering feeling.

She is really a girl after all.

After hearing Yuu’s answer, Vil continue his explanation, “Third—”

“There’s more?”

“Your body doesn’t have a good proportion. Everything about your body is small but your breasts are big. I absolutely won’t allow you to bind your breasts ever again,” Vil finished his explanation with his last statement.

What Vil said was true. Ever since Yuu was hit by puberty, she was always having a hard time finding clothes that exactly fit for her. Before Yuu could give any reaction, Rook spoke.

“We wanted to make your uniform from scratch but considering we only have a short time before you go back to school, we decided to adjust the available size of our school’s uniform into your size,” Rook said, “I suggested them to be a surprise for you since I have your body measurement, but Vil said we should reassure the measurement and ask your opinion on the design. So here we are!”

“Even though I trust Rook’s sights, no one really knows your actual sizes. I doubt you’re wearing the right size for your bra. I bet you use the cheap ones and not wearing the right size,” Vil spoke again.

Her brasserie might be bigger than those I saw?!, Epel thought.

Yuu let out a sigh again, “I genuinely appreciate your consideration about me. But do you two realize what you are doing is borderline sexual harassment? And say again, Hunt-senpai knows my body measurement?”

“We don’t have all day so let’s get started. Rook!” Vil commanded Rook.

“Oui,” Rook answered as he pulled out some young girl magazines for Yuu’s uniform reference.

“Okay, I see they are not listening to me,” Yuu said while showing an unamused face.

“Let me apologize on their behalf, Yuu-san,” Epel said as he silently wept for his senior’s attitude.

Everyone in the common room spent their time measuring Yuu’s body and discussing which style she wanted to wear. They chose a lot of styles but always ended up asking Yuu since she was the one who would wear the uniform. Not only about the uniform, they even discussed which shoes, shocks, bag, and other things Yuu would wear.

Yuu didn’t say it directly to them, but she really enjoyed their talk now. She felt nostalgic for having female friends like she was in her original world. Though, the ones who were currently with her were all boys. Yet, they still gave her a sense of having female friends, even more like—

“I wonder if this is how it feels to have sisters,” Yuu slipped her mind out without any realization.

“What did you say?” Vil averted his eyes to ask Yuu.

“No, nothing,” Yuu answered as she shook her head.

When they almost finished the talk, suddenly they heard the bell ring. The ghosts were the ones who welcomed those uninvited guests.

“Yuu-kun, we come to visit~!”

Once they heard that voice, they turned their heads to see who were coming. The ones who just arrived were the trio from Savanaclaw.

“Welcome, you three. Hm, what are those?” Yuu pointed to a box and a bouquet of flowers in Jack and Ruggie’s hands.

“Leona-senpai asked us to buy ‘something to make a girl feel better’, so we went to the city this morning to buy these,” Jack answered Yuu’s question.

“Yeah, we even lined up at that famous cake shop to get the limited cheesecake and tiramisu. So accept and savor it, ‘kay, Yuu-kun? Shishishi.” Ruggie said as he lifted up the box, which was apparently a cake box.

“Tch. You two said too much,” Leona complained about them even though his tail was wagging, showing him being happy.

“That looks delicious!” Grim said excitedly and almost took the box but was prevented by Ruggie.

“Stop, Grim-kun. This one is for Yuu-kun only since this is the best we can get from that shop, so we don’t have any extra portion for you,” Ruggie explained to Grim while pulling away the box from Grim.

“Grrr… okay, I understand. Just for this time, okay!” Grim said.

Everyone started to talk to each other. Vil commented about Leona’s taste in choosing things. Rook interrogated Ruggie and Jack about their activities before coming to Ramshackle dorm. Epel praised Leona and said how cool he and the others were.

“You all are weird today.”

Yuu’s words made everyone went silent in an instant.

“What do you mean, Yuu?” Grim asked Yuu.

“Usually, you all are too selfish to think about other people, let alone doing favors for other people. Even when the other students had their life at risk, you all are only thinking about yourself. Yet, today you all are doing these. Helping me make a new uniform and even brought me gifts…” Yuu shook her head, “No, even the fact you want me to stay is already weird.”

“Are you insulting or complimenting us?” Vil asked then said, “Like I said, the way you wore your uniform was so ugly that I barely can stand it,”

“It’s just out of habit to favor women in Afterglow Savanna. Nothing less, nothing more,” Leona added his reason.

“Well, we are friends, so…” Jack couldn’t say any more than that and was followed by Epel’s nods.

“It would be awkward if I come here alone to sell mandrake. It’s better if there’s a human here,” Ruggie said.

“Fufu, it seems everyone has grown attached to you, Yuu-kun,” Rook giggled after hearing.

Everyone—except Jack and Epel—protested to the way Rook phrased that. The common room which was usually quiet now has become so lively.

While they were being noisy by themselves, no one noticed that Yuu made a terrified expression on her face.

Jack and Epel were still staying at the Ramshackle dorm after everyone else left. They were relaxing on the sofas while talking about mundane things. Then Jack started to talk about today.

“Yuu, I know our seniors weren’t honest, so let me say this. We are worried and feel guilty about you, that’s why we visited you today,” Jack explained their real reason. “About the Savanaclaw dorm seniors you were fighting with, Leona-senpai already took care of them. Azul also did the same to the ones from Octavinelle dorm.”

“Feel guilty? Why? And what did they do?!” Yuu asked back.

Jack couldn’t answer Yuu’s question and only gave her a few words, “You better not know.”

Epel answered Yuu’s question, “About that incident. They said they actually saw you fighting those guys but they couldn’t save you and ended up revealing your gender.”

“You know, you all don’t have to feel that way. As you can see, I actually can survive on my own. I managed to fight them back. About my gender got revealed, it was due to my carelessness,” Yuu explained why they shouldn’t feel like that. She didn’t want to be a burden to anyone.

“You are not wrong, but we are worried about you is something can’t be helped either,” Jack replied.

“I’m sure everyone else was also worried about you, but they feel too awkward to come check on you. That’s why it’s only us, who already know about your real gender, come here,” Epel said.

For many times today, Yuu let out a sigh and thought, So I somehow have to find a way to make them stop feeling like that.

“I think what’s most important is Ace and Deuce,” Jack said again.

“Ace and Deuce? Why them?” Yuu tilted her head as she asked.

Jack and Epel were surprised by how Yuu was completely clueless about Ace and Deuce.

“You should talk to them by yourself about that, Yuu.”

It was already evening when Jack and Epel went back to their dorms. After they left, Yuu’s mind was still full of things she talked with everyone today and what she should do next.

The incident, her real gender, new uniform, and how everyone feels towards her.

“I can already see Monday will be so tiring.”

Chapter Text

It was almost midnight after everyone had left. Yuu had just finished taking a bath when she saw fireflies from outside the Ramshackle dorm. She quickly dried her hair with a towel and combed her hair.

Yuu rushed out and called out to someone who was waiting for her, “Tsunotarou!”

The called person smiled upon Yuu’s arrival, “Good evening. It’s been a while, Child of Man.”

Yuu stood up in front of Malleus while he observed her from head to toe. Unlike before, Yuu didn’t bind her chest anymore so her feminine body figure was really shown in front of Malleus.

“So the rumor is right, that you’re actually a female,” Malleus spoke to her, “Is this the ‘lie’ you talked about?”

Yuu made a thin smile while she was speaking to Malleus, “Yes… Are you upset about this?”

Malleus raised his eyebrows hearing Yuu’s words, “Why would I? Either you are a male or female, you are still a Child of Man.”

“So… We can still be friends, Tsunotarou?” Yuu asked Malleus again.

Yuu’s question made Malleus chuckled then smiled, “Of course.”

Both Malleus and Yuu sat on the ground as they started to chat with fireflies flying around them. Usually, Yuu would be more on the listener's side, but this time Malleus listened to her talk more. She told him about her struggle on disguising her gender, a few people who found out about her gender before everyone, how her gender was revealed in front of crowds, and how she was able to attend school again.

She told him everything. She told him everything that she was wondering how could she do that, opening up herself to someone who she barely knew only for a few months, inside her heart. But that didn’t matter for her now, she just wanted to keep talking with him.

“Ho… So Schoenheit helped you on making your new uniform. Kingscholar and Ashengrotto also gave those who were in the fight with you some words. I didn’t expect those coming from them,” Malleus said after he listened to everything Yuu told him. “So when will you start wearing that new uniform?”

“Next Monday, so it’s two days from now,” Yuu answered.

“We don’t see each other that much at the school, but I’m excited to see you in the new uniform,” Malleus said with a smile on his face.

The fireflies shone brighter than before, marking it was time for Malleus to take a leave. Malleus took Yuu’s hand right before he disappeared.

“Then, good night, Yuu.”

...

As Vil said, Yuu’s uniform was sent to her the night before she went back to school. Inside the package, there was her new uniform, socks, shoes, and the other things she needed. She tried the uniform and the size was fitted right to her body. She admired how the Pomefiore dorm students could do everything in less than a day.

As expected from Pomefiore dorm students, Yuu thought.

When the morning finally came, Yuu wore the uniform and took a look at herself in the big mirror. While looking at the mirror, Yuu giggled.

It’s funny to think of an adult woman like me wearing a high school uniform again.

“Yuu, are you ready?” Grim asked Yuu and interrupted her daydreaming.

“Yes, I am,” Yuu said as she walked towards the Ramshackle dorm’s entrance, “Let’s go, Grim.”

The moment Yuu arrived at the school, everyone immediately turned their head to her. The hallways she usually walked through felt longer than usual with everyone’s gazes directed to her. Of course everyone paid their attention to Yuu. She was no longer wearing the male uniform and completely not hiding her gender anymore. At the first glance, her uniform looked like a normal Night Raven College uniform with some modifications.

Yuu’s uniform consists of a white shirt, grey vest, necktie, unbuttoned blazer, pleated skirt with length right above her knees, black thigh-high socks, a pair of black gloves, a striped ribbon on left arm, and loafer shoes. The bag she carried was a simplified medium-sized briefcase. She let her hair down, which made it look fluttering in the air. To complete her appearance, Yuu also wore a thin layer of make up on her face, which enhanced her girl aura.

“Hey, look. There’s a girl here!”
“You’re right, a girl!”
“So the Prefect is really a girl?”
“I never know the Prefect is actually that cute?!”
“Rather than cute, I think it’s more like she is more on the beautiful side...?”
“Wow, her boobs are huge…”
“Hey, what are you looking at?!”

Yuu kept walking while she could hear what everyone was saying about her. She already thought that her appearance would surprise everyone. Though, she still felt a bit awkward with everyone’s eyes on her like now.

“Everyone is looking at you intensely, huh, Yuu…” Grim said to Yuu.

“It can’t be helped since I’m the only female student at this school, I guess?”

Yuu stopped her walk when she saw Vil, Epel, and Rook. She already planned to see them first in the morning to show her uniform, so this coincidence helped her a lot.

“Good morning, everyone,” Yuu greeted them with a slight bow.

“Good morning, Yuu,” Vil observed Yuu from head to toe, “The uniform doesn’t look bad. Though you can go more than this.”

“Like I said, normal is the best,” Yuu replied to him.

Actually, Vil and the others offered Yuu the styles that were more flashy or extravagant, but she insisted on making her uniform not so much different from the normal NRC uniform. Yuu’s decision wasn’t wrong. Even normal uniform looked so pretty on her because of her body figure and her beautiful face.

“Beaute, Trickstar! You look so beautiful! Or maybe I should call you ‘Mademoiselle’ from now on?” Rook clapped his hands before bend his body and took Yuu’s hand.

“Just do as you like, Hunt-senpai,” Yuu said as she showed a gesture that she had given up on everything Rook does.

Yuu noticed Epel had been silent for a while so she asked him, “Epel-kun? Is there something wrong with my uniform?”

Epel woke up from his daydreaming with a blush on his face, “N-no at all! It’s just, Yuu-san is so beautiful so I can’t help but staring… Ah, I didn’t mean to be rude!”

“Now you’re making me embarrassed, Epel-kun,” Yuu laughed a bit after hearing Epel’s words.

After talking a bit more with those three, Yuu left and went to her class. When Yuu opened the door, everyone gave the same reaction as the other people on the hallway. Even some people from other classes peeked into her class to see her.

Yuu walked towards her usual seat, which was between Ace and Deuce. When she walked towards them, everyone else stepped back to give her a way.

“Good morning, Ace, Deuce,” Yuu greeted them like usual.

Surprisingly, they didn’t answer Yuu at all but still gave her and Grim a space to sit between them. Deuce seemed nervous, while Ace seemed upset about something. Yuu wanted to ask what was wrong with them but the school bell rang before she could do that. So Yuu decided to talk to them after they had lunch.

After the bell for lunchtime rang, Ace and Deuce immediately got up from their seats without talking to Yuu. Again, even though they didn’t talk to Yuu at all, they still waited for her and walked on her sides. Looking at their behaviour, Yuu only shrugged her shoulders to Grim.

When they arrived at the Cafeteria, Ace and Deuce were getting their lunch meals. Yuu and Grim were getting seats for all of them, since they brought their own lunch so they didn’t have to line up.

Right before Yuu opened their lunch box, some people approached her. Yuu looked up and found the five seniors who were in a fight with her a few days ago.

The biggest one was the first to talk, “Can we talk after school?”

Yuu answered his question with another question, “I don’t think I can do it after school. Can’t we do it now?”

“Here?”

Yuu nodded her head, “Yes.”

Those five seniors took seats across from Yuu. She could see uneasiness on their faces.

“So, what do you want to talk about?” Yuu asked them.

“We’d like to apologize… for what happened a few days ago,” the other Savanaclaw dorm student who smelled Yuu during the fight explained to her.

While those seniors were talking, Yuu was eyeing her surroundings without being noticed. She could see Leona, Ruggie, Jack, Azul, Jade, and Floyd were watching her and the seniors across from her. No need for further explanation to make Yuu understand the situation.

One of the Octavinelle dorm students added their apology, “We didn’t know that you are a girl. If only we knew, that fight wouldn’t happen.”

“So that’s the reason you’re apologizing to me,” Yuu whispered then smiled at them as she put her chin on her hands, “It’s okay. What happens, happens. I forgive you.”

Those seniors showed relieved expression on their faces when Yuu said that, but those expressions only last a second.

“Do you really think I would say that?”

“Eh?”

The moment Yuu threw that question to them, everyone in the cafeteria became silent and averted their attention to their table. Yuu crossed her arms on her chest, crossed her legs, and pulled up her chin, as if she was showing her dominance.

“The reason you’re apologizing to me is because I’m a girl, and not because you picked up a fight with an innocent junior who was just trying to do her job as a student. Is that it?” Yuu spoke with a lower tone and anyone could feel the coldness from her voice.

Those five seniors gulped their saliva. They didn’t expect Yuu would say that with such attitude. Yuu, the Prefect of Ramshackle, they knew was a timid kid who always hid herself as much as she could. Yet, now she was dominating and leading the conversation. Despite her small body, Yuu seemed bigger than usual which made them feel shrunken down.

Yuu scoffed and continued her talk, “The way you’re thinking it’s okay to bully someone really tickles me. And then you apologized because I’m a girl?”

“B-but it’s just improper for a girl to fight—”

“First, you bully someone innocent. Second, you think girls can’t fight. How low are you going to go?” Yuu interrupted him and said, “You are wrapped in a mindset that girls should always be protected and can’t fight. The reason why we appear like that to guys is because we are holding back so you can feed your ego.”

Yuu got up from her seat, which made them startled a bit. Then she said, “What an embarrassment for Night Raven College to have students who underestimate girls like you all. Even though this school was built by the spirit of the Great Seven, which more than half of them were women.”

Yuu put one foot on the chair and another foot on the table. She bent forward to the biggest guy who sat in the middle and pulled his necktie. The other four were surprised by what Yuu did and backed off immediately.

“You’d better learn how to behave like a decent human being from that incident, young man. And if you ever underestimate me for being a girl again, I will show you how girls run the world.”

Yuu let go of his necktie and gave him a small push, but succeeded in making him lose his balance. Thanks to the other boys around him, he didn’t fall and was catched by them.

When Yuu got down from the table and chair, there was a sound of hands clapping breaking the silence in the Cafeteria.

“Marvelous, Yuu-kun!”

That was Rook’s voice and he was clapping his hands after seeing what Yuu just did. The clap was followed by another person from another table.

“Not bad, Herbivore,” Leona said as he clapped his hands.

After Leona clapped his hands, everyone else in the Cafeteria followed him and Rook clapped their hands. Yuu could hear some people cheering for what she just did as well.

“That’s so cool, Prefect!”
“You go girl!”
“Attagirl!”
“It seems the Prefect is on par with women from Afterglow Savannah, huh. Not bad.”

Seeing everyone cheering, Yuu bowed and pulled the tip of her skirt with her hands, like a person who just finished her performance.

After that, she took Grim along with their lunch box to the outside. As she was walking to the outside, everyone was still clapping their hands and giving her way to the door.

When Yuu was finally far enough from the Cafeteria and no one was around, she fell on her knees.

“Yuu, are you alright?!” Grim was surprised when Yuu fell to the ground.

“That was.... nerve wracking!” Yuu shouted to release her feelings.

“Huh?”

“I’m sure they apologized to me because Kingscholar-senpai and Ashengrotto-senpai told them to. Though, I didn’t expect myself to be triggered like that…” Yuu explained what she was thinking the whole time to Grim.

“I was surprised as well. Usually, you are timid and refuse to involve too much with people, yet you were being so aggressive just now,” Grim said.

“Yeah, I didn’t expect I would let myself like that as well…” Yuu let out a sigh, “But I think that’s not a bad thing to do.”

“What do you mean?” Grim asked her.

“Like you said, I usually appear timid and try to be as low profile as possible to avoid problems. Yet, I still got picked up to fight by some students here. So rather than holding myself back, it’s better to show them that making trouble with me isn’t a good idea,” Yuu explained while leaning herself to the wall beside her.

“I see. So it’s like you’re showing your fangs and claws to scare them instead of hiding in the bushes,” Grim said as he tried to understand what Yuu meant.

“Why are you comparing me to cats… Well, that will do so I don’t mind.”

Yuu averted her gaze to the courtyard. The weather was nice and sunny, but not so harsh. She also could feel the wind wasn’t really strong.

“Hey, Grim. How about we have lunch in the courtyard, below that big tree?” Yuu asked Grim and pointed her finger to a big tree in the courtyard.

Grim answered Yuu with high excitement, “That sounds nice. Let’s go!”

Chapter Text

Yuu and Grim found a place to sit below a big apple tree in the courtyard. There was no one beside them in the courtyard which made them feel like they were the only ones in this world. They ate their lunch, tuna mayo sandwiches, which Yuu made using Grim’s canned tuna.

Yuu could feel her stiff shoulders become relaxed. Since Grim and she were the only ones in the courtyard, there were only the sound of Grim munching his sandwich, tree’s leaves rubbing against each other, and the wind. Yuu herself ate in silence to not disturb the solitude.

This was the first time of the day Yuu was surrounded in silence. From morning until a few minutes ago, wherever she went, there always were whispering and people pointing at her. She was aware she couldn’t blame them. A female student at an all-boys school isn’t something normal after all.

In the middle of that solitude, Yuu noticed there was an additional sound coming in their direction. She turned her head to find the source of that sound and saw Ortho was coming to her.

“Hello, Yuu-san,” Ortho greeted Yuu with his usual cheerful voice as he stopped beside her.

“Hello, Ortho-kun,” Yuu greeted him back after she swallowed a bite of her sandwich, “Are you alone today?”

“Nii-san is staying in our room today. So I decided to take a walk outside,” Ortho answered her and asked back, “Can I sit beside you?”

“Of course, go ahead,” Yuu said and moved a bit to give Ortho a space.

The solitude came back again for a few minutes after Ortho sat beside Yuu. Ortho was waiting for Yuu to finish her lunch. After he was sure she finished her lunch, he started the conversation again.

“Yuu-san, how is your feeling? You know, after what happened a few days ago. Nii-san and I saw everything through the security camera,” Ortho asked Yuu. Without him saying it, it was clear through his voice that he was worried about her.

Yuu chuckled a bit before answering Ortho’s question, “If I’m not feeling good, I wouldn’t be here and holed up in my dorm, Ortho-kun. There’s no need to worry about me.”

“I see. I’m glad to hear that,” Ortho said with a forced cheerful tone. He was still worried after all. “There is another thing I want to tell you, Yuu-san.”

“What is it?”

“Nii-san has deleted all the recordings of that incident. Either they are videos or pictures, Nii-san deleted them all. We hacked every student’s phone and deleted all the recordings until there is no trace at all,” Ortho explained.

“Recordings? Videos and pictures?” Yuu was confused by Ortho’s explanation and seemed to have no idea about them at all. It was obvious that Yuu didn’t notice that many students recorded the incident, some even captured and zoomed in when Yuu’s upper body was exposed.

“I see that Yuu-san didn’t notice that many students recorded that incident. But it’s okay if you are not aware of it. Nii-san and I will protect you after all,” this time Ortho’s voice sounded genuinely cheerful. He really meant it when he said Idia and him would protect Yuu.

The word protect tingled Yuu a bit. If they were willing to protect Yuu, that means they—

“Thank you, Ortho-kun. I won’t let something like that happen again, so you don’t have to worry about me. I can take care of myself,” Yuu said to Ortho.

“Oh, how kind of Idia to go that extent for Yuu.”

Suddenly, a voice came from above Yuu and Ortho. On one of the branches, they saw Lilia hanging upside down.

“Funa!! Lilia, stop appearing before us like that!” Grim yelled to Lilia.

With a hand on her chest, Yuu tried to calm her heart. After taking a breath, Yuu greeted Lilia, “Hello, Vanrouge-senpai.”

“Hello, Lilia Vanrouge-san,” Ortho also greeted Lilia.

“I see thee hath fun time altogether. I like it,” Lilia said as he dropped off from the tree branch, “What thee did in the cafeteria earlier amazed me, Yuu.”

“I know right?! I even recorded it and will keep it in a special archive,” Ortho said cheerfully.

“Hmph, of course she is amazing. She is my underling after all,” Grim said with such proud feelings as if he was the one who did it.

“Everyone, please don’t talk about that. I’m embarrassed to remember that…” Yuu said while lowering her head.

“Embarrassed? Didn’t you say that you did it on purpose?” Grim asked her, confused because that wasn’t what he remembered from their conversation earlier.

Yuu kept silent for a while before answering them. Her voice turned low as she spoke.

“Yes, I did it on purpose. But I just realized…” Yuu covered her face with her hands, “I had to climb up the table because my hand couldn’t reach that senior if I didn’t do that…”

The other three burst into laughter after hearing what Yuu was being embarrassed for. They never thought someone as composed as Yuu has anxiety about her body.

“Hey, stop laughing! Vanrouge-senpai and Ortho-kun, you two are shorter compared to the others as well!”

“But I’m still 8 centimeters taller than thee, Yuu,” Lilia stopped his laugh for a while, showing a mischief smirk before laughing again, “And thou thinks I’m really shorter than everyone else?”

“Since I’m floating, I’m always a few centimeters taller than you, Yuu-san,” Ortho added fuel to the fire.

“Geez, after I gathered my courage to say what I really feel…” Yuu let out a sigh while everyone else was still laughing.

Yuu and Grim kept having conversations with Ortho and Lilia until lunchtime almost ran out. Though, most of it was Lilia told his tale to the other three. They listened to Lilia with enthusiasm. Yuu who came from another world, Grim who came out of nowhere, and Ortho who never got separated from his brother, found Lilia’s stories interesting.

“I have to go back to class. See you later, you two.”

After Lilia finished his stories, Yuu had to go back to class to avoid being late. She tidied Grim and her lunch box before standing up. Ortho floated beside them.

“Let me accompany you, Yuu-san.”

Yuu didn’t refuse Ortho’s escort and let him accompany her and Grim until they all arrived at Class 1-A. Right after all of those three disappeared from Lilia’s sight, fireflies appeared around him, which was something that was supposed to not appear in broad daylight.

“Why dost thou join us, Malleus?” Lilia asked the man who appeared from his back.

“I don’t want to disturb your fun. And also,” Malleus stepped to stand beside Lilia, “Watching her from afar for once isn’t a bad thing at all.”

“So thee really does take a liking on her,” Lilia said, “Good fo’ thou.”

Malleus didn’t reply to Lilia’s words. He was just smiling. Lilia saw that and a smile appeared on his face as well.

“Let’s go back to class, Malleus.”

Chapter Text

“Ace?”

Yuu had just finished taking a bath and was drying Grim’s fur when she heard someone knock on her room’s door. The one who was at the door was one of her closest friends, Ace.

Usually, it was normal for Ace and Deuce to come uninvited to her room. Today felt different after those two boys ignoring but not leaving Yuu for a whole day, even after all the NRC Tribe members went back to Ramshackle dorm and continued their training camp. Yet, she still acted normally.

“Come here. I’m currently drying Grim though,” Yuu said as she patted her bed, offering Ace a seat.

Ace still didn’t say anything. Even after she sat on her bed, Ace just kept watching Yuu rubbing Grim with a towel to dry him.

Ace looked at Yuu, observing her from head to toe. She was wearing the t-shirt and short pants that were given by Ace and Deuce, which were their secondhand clothes. The outfit she was wearing was what Ace usually sees, but there were huge differences now.

Now Ace could see Yuu’s real body figure, huge bulges on her chest, and soft curves around her hips. Yuu also let her hair down, which gave off feminine aura compared to her usual half-up bun. Ace also could smell a different scent coming from her body, something much sweeter than her usual smell.

“You don’t have anything to say?”

That was the first time Ace spoke to Yuu today. Since that incident, Yuu didn’t meet anyone except the trio from Savanaclaw and Pomefiore dorms, Crewel, and Malleus. Even the other NRC Tribe members left the dorm before Yuu knew it.

It was only a few days, but Yuu felt like it had been a long time since the last time she heard Ace’s voice. Probably it was because she got too used to seeing Ace and Deuce everyday that even just a few days without them felt so long.

“What do you mean?” Yuu asked him back.

Ace turned to face Yuu eye to eye, “Your identity. To be exact, your real gender.”

Ace wanted Yuu to figure it out by herself, but he just couldn’t keep the hint to himself and hit around the bush.

“I had to hide my gender because this is an all-boys school. Certainly, it will be weird if there is a girl in an all-boys school. I also want to keep myself from trouble. So that’s it,” Yuu explained to Ace.

“That’s it? Why didn’t you tell me and Deuce?” Ace asked again.

“Why? Like I said, because I was supposed to hide my gender from everyone. That’s why I couldn’t tell you,” Yuu added the explanation.

“Then why do Jack and Epel know, but we don’t?”

Yuu was a bit startled to hear that. Not because of what Ace asked, but the tone of his voice. Even someone who seldom have interest in other people like Yuu stunned by Ace’s behavior.

Before Yuu answered, Ace spoke in lower voice, “Even though we’ve been with you longer than them.”

“Are you two… upset about that? Is that why you two acted passive-aggressive today?” Yuu was still trying to process what Ace really meant.

“Can you just answer my question?” Ace emphasized what he wanted, the answer and more explanation.

Yuu fixed her position and faced Ace properly. She just realized Ace wanted a serious talk. Yuu spoke again, “I didn’t intend to tell them. They found out my gender by themselves. Not only them but also Kingscholar-senpai, Bucchi-senpai, Schoenheit-senpai, Hunt-senpai, and Vanrogue-senpai found out earlier as well.”

Then Yuu proceed to explain how all of them found out about her gender as detailed as she could. While listening to Yuu’s explanation, Ace’s upsetting feeling slowly turned into disappointment on himself. Indeed Yuu tried to hide her real gender, but if he looked at her much closer and paid attention to her more, he could notice it much earlier.

If Ace noticed her real gender earlier, he may be able to help Yuu and prevent that incident.

After that incident, Ace became aware that Yuu could protect herself and probably she would refuse any protection from him. But at the very least, he could prevent her gender from being revealed in such a humiliating way.

“Another reason why I didn’t tell you two was because of Deuce. We all know how bad he is with girls, right? I don’t want to make him uncomfortable,” Yuu closed her explanation with her thoughts about Deuce.

“My bad…” Ace blurted out without him realizing it.

“Hm?”

“I thought you didn’t tell us because you don’t see us as your friends. Turns out, you actually had it hard too. So, I’m sorry,” Ace said.

Sometimes you feel distant after all.

Yuu covered her mouth, not believing what she just saw and heard, “Ace just apologized?”

“Hey, even I can be genuine too, you know!” Ace protested Yuu’s reaction.

“Ahahaha, I’m sorry. I just didn’t expect you to be this serious,” Yuu laughed a bit before asking Ace, “So, we can go back to normal tomorrow?”

“That goes without saying.”

Ace stood up to go back to his room. Before he left her room, he faced her again to ask a favor.

“About Deuce, can you talk to him first? You know how he is.”

“Okay, I will talk to him tomorrow.”

The next day, Ace talked to Yuu like usual. They acted like normal again. Only Deuce who was still avoiding to talk with Yuu. Whenever Yuu tried to talk to Deuce, he would turned his face away or started to talk with another student near them. Maybe it was just her imagination, his face looked flustered whenever he did that.

After her failed attempts, Yuu decided to find the chance when she could be alone with Deuce. Which was why, now she was outside the track field, waiting for him to finish his club activity.

When the track and field club had finished their activity, the members gathered around Yuu. They noticed Yuu’s presence and it’d be a lie to say none of them were distracted by her presence. They tried to talk to Yuu, even the captain asked her if she wanted to become their manager.

Yuu tried to get away from them as politely as possible. When she saw Deuce was walking away from the club room, she ran to him.

“Caught you, Deuce,” Yuu said as she tugged the tip of his sleeve, “Care to come with me for a bit, please?”

Seeing Yuu’s face, Deuce couldn’t refuse her request. They walked together side by side, as the afternoon sun basked them and dyed them with orange color. The silence wrapped them along the way.

They arrived in front of Ramshackle dorm and no one was around them, Yuu turned to face Deuce and called him, “Deuce.”

Deuce did the same but his face was looking the other way. Yuu was glad that finally he didn’t avoid her anymore.

“Deuce, are you angry with me?” Yuu asked Deuce.

“No,” Deuce answered.

“Then why do you keep avoiding me?” Yuu asked again, “Do you dislike me now that I’m a girl?”

Hearing that, Deuce immediately turned his face to see Yuu and yelled, “Of course I don’t!”

Yuu showed a soft smile, “Finally you see me in the eye.”

Deuce, who realized just being tricked by Yuu, lowered his face to avoid looking at her. Though, his effort was futile since she was much shorter than him so she still could see his face. Yuu bent her body a bit to see Deuce’s face clearly.

“Are you upset because you just know about my gender even though Jack-kun and Epel-kun knew way long before?”

Deuce started to talk, but he stuttered, “There’s that, but I’m not really upset because of that. I understand that you must have a hard time disguising your gender. It’s just....”

Deuce paused his talk. Yuu was still waiting for him to continue. Because of the sunlight, she couldn’t see that his face had turned red. Then suddenly, he squatted and covered his face with his palms.

“I don’t know how to act around you!” Deuce shouted then continued talking with a lower voice but still sounded panic, “I’ve always been treating you as a male buddy. Now suddenly your real gender was revealed, I don’t know what I should do. I want us to keep being friends but I can’t push aside the fact you're a girl. I’ve never interacted with girls properly before.”

Now, Yuu understood Deuce’s reason. It was different from Ace, but Deuce has his own issue. Yuu always knew that Deuce was a good natured boy from the core, so it would make her feel guilty to ignore him and his issue. She had to find the way to make everything turn into normal again without pushing him too much.

After listening to Deuce’s explanation, Yuu squatted in front of him. She crossed her arms on her knees and tilted her head, “I’m glad...”

Deuce put his palms off his face. Now he sees Yuu’s face again, in front of him. “Eh?”

“I’m glad you don’t dislike me,” Yuu said as she smiled at Deuce. The sunlight that basked them made Yuu’s face more dazzling.

Deuce was stunned by her expression and words. Deuce was still dumbfounded when Yuu stood up.

“How about we start over everything from the start? We start everything from zero. So you don’t have to worry about anything that happened when I was still disguising my gender,” Yuu spoke to Deuce as she held out her hand.

Following Yuu, Deuce stood up and took Yuu’s hand. Still trembling, he tried his best to face her.

“Th-then,” Deuce was still stuttering, but at least he was facing Yuu properly now, “I’m Deuce Spade. Nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you, Deuce Spade-kun. My name is Yuu.”

Chapter Text

Conservative Honor Student

Scones, eclairs, tiramisu, bite-sized sandwiches, and other finger foods were neatly arranged on the table with white cloth. To accompany them, there was a teapot with two teacups. Unlike the usual afternoon tea party which used black or earl gray tea, this time we had butterfly pea tea instead.

“I was surprised when you said you like butterfly pea tea, Yuu. Butterfly pea tea is rather sweet compared to other tea, aren’t you not really fond of sweets?” I asked the girl who sat across from me.

“Indeed I’m not really fond of sweets, but I don’t dislike them completely. I still like natural sweetness such as the ones that come from fruit, vegetable, and honey. Also, the sweetness of butterfly pea is mild and not overwhelming like usual sweet food or drink. I found the taste interesting and took a liking to it,” she explained as she poured a bit of honey into her teacup.

“I see. I think this tea suits you very well,” I moved my gaze from my teacup to her eyes, “The color is just like your blue eyes.”

“Um, thank you?” she replied.

After a few days after that incident, I invited Yuu to have an afternoon tea party. When I invited her, she said she also has something to say to me. That’s why I decided the location to be in the center of Heartslabyul dorm’s Rose Maze so we can have a talk in private.

All of the foods and the tea catered to Yuu’s taste. I asked her what tea she likes. I told Trey to make the cakes less sweet than usual. Even he used a high percentage of dark chocolate for the eclair.

“So, what do you want to talk about, Yuu?” I asked her.

“I actually just want to thank you, Rosehearts-senpai. I heard from Schoenheit-senpai that you were the one who proposed to make me stay at this school,” she explained her reasoning.

I smiled after hearing her words, “That’s not a problem at all. I’m glad I proposed it as soon as possible since you’ve packed your belongings.”

“So you know about that too…” an awkward expression was shown on her face.

“More or less,” I said as I put down my teacup, “I also feel bad for not noticing your real gender and helping you on that incident. I’m sorry.”

“Those can’t be helped, so you don’t have to feel guilty, senpai.”

Our conversation proceeded to other things while we drank and ate what were on the table. Most of them are about how Yuu lives in this school from now on. I even promised her to lend my first-year notes to help her catch up with her studies. Then our conversation reached a certain topic.

“You want to get a part-time job?” I repeated what she said earlier, “Why?”

“Allowance from the Headmaster is just enough for our basic living. We actually need more money to repair the Ramshackle dorm. Also…” she paused for a bit, “Girls have more basic needs than boys, and it's an undeniable fact that we need higher maintenance. That’s why I’m thinking of getting a part-time job. Probably at Mostro Lounge.”

“No! I will not allow that! I’m sure they will use you for their own advantage!”

I could see her get startled when I shouted, but she didn’t move an inch from her position. That was a normal reaction when someone who was talking to you suddenly got up from their seat and shouted. It only took a few seconds for me to get back to my seat.

Hearing that place made me uneasy. It was common knowledge in this school that the three people on the highest positions of Octavinelle dorms are better to not be engaged with. As the only one female student at this school, I'm pretty sure they would use Yuu. I didn’t want that to happen.

“How about another place? Like…” it took me a while to think about another option, “Mystery shop?”

“Does Sam-san accept any employee? I’m not sure about that…”

“I will help you to convince him. How about we go there now?” I said as I stood up from my seat.

“Eh, now?”

“The sooner, the better, right?”

I can’t let her change her mind, nor let her intention to get into Octavinelle dorm students’ ears. So it was better to move as soon as possible.

After she stood up, I pointed out my elbow, “Will this young lady accept my escort?”

She looked at my arm then put her hand on the inner side of my elbow, “Don’t mind if I do.”

Seeing her respond, I couldn’t help but smile.

 


 

Master of Mischief

“No matter how many times I look at it, this thing is very old, huh.”

Ghost camera. A camera that is able to capture anything that possesses a soul. I remember my grandma told me about this camera once. This camera was used when video still didn’t exist since the picture from this camera can move. With technology nowadays, there are barely any people who use this camera anymore.

“Indeed. It took me a while to get used to that camera.”

Yuu said as she walked out from the kitchen into the Ramshackle dorm’s common room. On her hands, there was a big plate filled with cookies. She wasn’t the only one who came out from the kitchen, Epel was walking behind her with bottles of apple juice which his family sent to him.

Yuu offered to keep the apple juices in the Ramshackle dorm’s refrigerator since we often come here, and it’d be too much of a hassle for Epel to always bring them from his room.

“Hey, can I try it?” I asked Yuu and held the camera.

Yuu sat on an empty chair and answered me, “Sure, go ahead.”

“Then can you guys gather? Oh, and the ghosts too,” I said as I observed the camera to know what to do next.

“You want us too?” one of the ghosts asked me.

“Yeah. It was said this camera can capture anything that possesses a soul. So it must be able to capture you guys too, right? Come one, squeeze in,” I waved my hand as a sign to ask them to get closer to each other.

When all of them seemed ready, I placed my finger on the shutter and said, “In 3… 2… 1…”

Not long after I pressed the shutter, a paper came out from the camera. I took the paper and let it be for a while until the image showed up.

“How is it, Ace?” Deuce asked.

“Wait a bit,” I answered him as the image started to show up.

“As expected from an old camera, the photo takes some time to come out, huh,” Jack added in a comment.

Everyone went back to their seats. When the photo finally showed a solid image, I felt so excited and the corners of my lips raised.

“Oh, is it finally showing up?” Epel sounded like noticing my change of expression.

But my expression didn’t last long. After I observed the photo for a few moments, I immediately put it in my pocket.

“Sorry, guys. It seems my hands were trembling. The image was so blurry,” I said as I made sure the photo was safe in my pocket.

“Can you show it to me? Maybe I can find what’s wrong with the photo and camera,” Yuu said as she reached out her hand.

Yuu’s action made me take a few steps back. Crap, now they would think I’m being weird.

“Well, that camera is pretty old. No wonder if the picture didn’t come out good,” Sebek said with a shrug.

“You’re right, Sebek-kun. I also find it hard to use the camera at first,” Yuu pulled back her hand while replying to Sebek's words.

After what Yuu said, everyone went back to our early conversation and forgot about the photo. When everyone was immersed with the conversation, I excused myself to the bathroom.

In the bathroom, I took out the photo again. The image on that has shown up clearly now.

So what people say about this camera, it can capture anything that possesses soul, is true. The ghosts showed up clearly in the photo along with the others.

Then why…
.
.
.
...why was Yuu the only one who didn’t appear in the photo?

Where are you now, Yuu?

 


 

Cauldron Summoner

“Thank you for helping me, Deuce,” Yuu said when we got out of the teachers’ room.

“No problem, Yuu. Those books are so many after all,” I said as I closed the door.

How could I not help her when she was trying to bring the stack of books that covered her vision? The stack was so tall that I was sure she actually couldn’t see anything in front of her. But let’s just keep that to myself.

“So, you’re going to your part-time job now?”

Yuu nodded as an answer to my question, “Yes. And you’re going to your club, right?”

“Yup. I’m sure Jack is already on the field.”

We walked together through the hallways and stairs towards the outside of the school building. Sometimes we encounter other students and our seniors throughout the way. Everything was fine until that happened.

When we passed in front of a big mirror, Yuu didn’t reflect on the mirror at all.

I stopped in front of that mirror, trying to process what I just saw. Actually, that wasn’t the first time. Sometimes I saw Yuu didn’t reflect on the mirror or didn’t have shadow.

Like when we had PE lessons, sometimes her shadow didn’t appear despite how bright the sunray was. When I stayed over at the Ramshackle dorm and there was a big thunder, a big flash went through the window and her shadow didn’t appear, as if the flash went through her body. When we brushed our teeth together in the bathroom, her reflection disappeared for a moment.

I thought I was just imagining things, until a few days ago. When we restarted our friendship, it was a bright evening. Even someone like me knows that normally, any shadow will be longer at that time of day. So did my shadow, it became so much longer than usual.

But Yuu didn’t have a shadow at all.

Even beneath her, there wasn’t any shadow. I was shocked and confused, but already overwhelmed by the situation when Yuu tried to speak to me again. So I ignored it.

“Deuce, are you alright? Your face is so pale.”

It seemed Yuu noticed I stopped walking so she came back to me. I turned my head to her, looking at her eyes directly for a few seconds. Then I turned my head again to the mirror, and Yuu’s reflection was there.

Slowly, I took a breath in and let it out, “Sorry, I was spacing out. Let’s go before we’re late.”

I walked beside Yuu, right between her and the wall. This way, if we pass another mirror, her small body would be covered by my body. So I didn’t have to see that happen again.

Why was that happening to Yuu? Is it because she isn’t a human from this world? So she wasn’t supposed to be here?

Just speaking those words in my mind was enough to make me uneasy. It wasn’t because I don’t like Yuu’s being and condition. In fact, she is the buddy I cherish so much. It’s just, that fact reminded me Yuu would eventually leave this world.

Should I just ask her? But I felt reluctant to ask about it. There was a part of me that thought it was better for me to not know.

Looking at Yuu having fun with us now means she didn’t hate being here, right? There was a possibility she could go back to her world anytime, but there was also a possibility she would stay here.

All I needed to do was give her fun times and share those times together.

 


 

Caretaker of the Conservative

“Hey, have you seen the Prefect’s new uniform?”
“I saw it! I didn’t expect our uniform would go so well with a skirt.”
“Is it possible it looks good because the Prefect is the one who wears it?”
“That may be the case.”

Lately, Yuu has been a topic to talk over in this school. That was to be expected from the only one female student in an all-boys school. Though, she seemed like someone who doesn’t want any unnecessary attention. So this situation might be hard for her.

I was walking in the almost empty hallway when I overheard two people who talked about Yuu.

“Hey, isn’t that the Prefect?”
“You’re right. Should we talk to her?”

I followed their gaze and found Yuu was looking standing alone, staring into the outside. The students who talked about her didn’t seem the nice ones, so I decided to approach her.

As I got closer to Yuu, I could see she was staring at nothing. I thought she was staring at the field, but actually not. She was staring at the distance, and I didn’t know what she was actually staring at.

Then I noticed something different. Yuu wasn’t someone who was full of expression, but I was sure she never had that kind face. Her eyes stared at the distance, where no one could reach it. Her face looked like lamenting something. As if she was longing for something

Slowly, I tapped on Yuu's shoulder. Before I could call her name, she immediately turned her head around.

"Onii-chan?!"

That startled me. I think that was the first time I saw her being so surprised. Behind that surprised expression, somehow I could feel another thing, but I wasn’t able to identify that.

“Ah, Clover-senpai. Sorry to startle you,” Yuu said as her expression returned back to normal.

“No, I’m the one who is sorry,” I took my hand off from her shoulder, “So… what are you doing here, Yuu?”

I didn’t know why I didn’t want to ask further about her calling me Onii-chan.

“Oh, I’m just wondering about this school. Clover-senpai, this is your third year here, right?”

“Yes.”

“Then, do you know why this school, besides the ones inside the Botanical Garden, only has apple trees?”

“Now that you mention it. I never actually paid attention to it.”

I kinda felt ashamed about that. This was my third year in this school but I never noticed it, yet Yuu noticed it right away despite being the first year.

Or maybe she was just different.

I asked her, “Is it bothering you?”

“Not really. I’m just wondering about it.”

Without me noticing, another question slipped out of my mouth, “Is that the only thing you were thinking just now?”

Yuu turned her face towards me, “Of course not. I’ve also been thinking about other things. Like today’s lessons and my part-time job later.”

I could feel she wasn’t lying, but not telling the whole truth either. But I didn’t want to ask any further. I couldn’t explain it well, but I felt upset looking at her expression earlier. And I thought it was better for me to not know.

While I was still drowning in my thoughts, Yuu spoke again, “Ah, I have to go back to class. You should too, senpai.”

“You’re right, I gotta go to my class. See you, Yuu.”

“See you, Clover-senpai.”

Even though I said I was going to my class, I didn’t move my body at all. I was just watching Yuu as she walked away from me until she disappeared from my sight.

 


 

Cutting Edge of Trend

“Isn’t that…?”

I was walking alone in the town when I saw that unusual thing. Pretty sure my eyes didn’t mistake me, that was Yuu-chan. But she was with people I never expected to hang out with. They were the Royal Sword Academy students, Neige LeBlanche and Alchemi Alchemivich Pinka, or known as Che’nya. I couldn’t be wrong since Neige is a famous celebrity and Che’nya came to Heartslabyul dorm before.

But why would they be with Yuu-chan?

I really wanted to go to them, and maybe I could take a picture with Neige too. Yet I couldn't bring myself to do so. It was as if the atmosphere around them made me unable to come closer. I wonder what they were talking about.

So after Neige and Che’nya left her, I came to her.

“Hello, Yuu-chan~!”

Yuu-chan turned her body to face me, then greeted me back, “Hello, Diamond-senpai.”

“Were you just with Neige and Che’nya, or did I see it wrong?”

“Yes, I had a little talk with them,” Yuu-chan answered my question, “How about you, Diamond-senpai? It’s unusual to see you’re alone.”

“Me? That’s because I’m going to eat ramen, the spicy one! You know that most of the students at our school have a sweet tooth, right? That’s why I’m going alone~”

“I see,” Yuu-chan paused a bit, “Mind if I join you?”

“Eh? I don’t mind, but…"

If we were going to go together, that would mean a date right? But to have a first date in a ramen shop is kinda…

"But?"

"No, nothing. Let's go to the ramen shop!"

Yuu-chan nodded as the response. While we were walking, I gave her some advice.

"Yuu-chan, I think it's better to not let students at our school know that you're in contact with Royal Sword Academy students."

Yuu-chan took a few moments before replying to me, it seemed like she was thinking for a bit, "It's not like telling them is worth doing."

Her words made me frown a bit, "That sounds a bit serious… but well, as long as it doesn't cause any trouble."

We arrived at the ramen shop where I regularly come by. The shop wasn't so big but always packed with customers. The price was very reasonable for the portion and the taste was pretty good too.

As soon as we got inside, the smell of ramen soup came into our noses immediately. We took our seats at the counter and ordered the spiciest ramen.

"Are you sure you can handle it, Yuu-chan? It's really spicy, you know~"

"Yes, I'm sure. I'm actually very fond of spicy food."

I know that Yuu-chan isn't very fond of sweets, but I didn't know about her and spicy foods. Well, let's just see it now. When our orders arrived, Yuu-chan tied her hair into a low bun.

"Ready, Yuu-chan?"

"Yes."

We started eating at the same time. After a while, I peeked at her and she was completely calm. Now I'm convinced that she can handle spicy foods very well, but—

There were a few drops of sweat running down on her nape, her face looked redder than usual, and her eyes seemed a bit clouded. On top of that, the movement of her lips blew the noodle before she moved it into her mouth…

Seriously, does she have to eat that way?! I didn't know a girl eating ramen can be so—

"Diamond-senpai, if you stop eating, the noodles will get soggy."

Suddenly she spoke to me without letting go of her bowl. That surprised me and made me wonder if she noticed I was staring at her or not. I really hoped not.

"A-ah, right. I will finish it right away."

After that, I focused on my ramen without looking at her at all. I might get distracted again if I look at her even just for a second. This girl is really dangerous.

We took our time to finish our ramen. The moment we stepped outside, we could feel the breeze touching our skin.

"The ramen was good. Thank you for taking me, Diamond-senpai."

"Glad to hear that~! We should do it again at other times."

Yuu-chan gave a small smile as she replied to me, "Yes, for other times."

Chapter Text

Beast of Turning Around the Sorrow

It was almost evening when my nap got interrupted by some noisy people.

“Ugh, I failed to grow this plant. Now it’s completely dead.”
“So our seniors were right. Tending this plant isn’t easy.”
“But we need this tomorrow for Alchemy class.”
“We have no choice but to buy the replacement from Mystery Shop.”

I took a peek at them without moving my body. Looking at the plant, I was sure Crewel must have said something like the ones who succeed in growing them will get extra points. That plant was hard to grow to begin with, even not all third-year students could manage it.

“Whoa, Prefect! Your plant has grown so well. How did you do that?”

Did they just call that female herbivore?

A voice that sounded completely different from the others appeared, “Yeah, it wasn’t easy but not impossible either.”

“Wow, so cool… The leaves look really healthy too.”

“Thank you. I’m proud of this as well.”

“Aaah, I should’ve discussed this plant with you earlier. Now I gotta go to Mystery Shop to buy some. See you, Prefect.”

“See you later.”

After the other males left, I stood up and came to her. She was still holding the pot of that plant. Just like those males said, the plant certainly looked healthy.

“Heh. You’re not bad as a magicless herbivore,” I said as I walked closer to her.

She turned her head to face me, “Hello, Kingscholar-senpai. I see that you are sleeping here again.”

I think this was the first time I saw her in a lab coat after she started wearing female uniform. She wore the attire properly. Buttoned up lab coat, gloves, goggles on her eyes, and she even tied her hair into low twintails. Though, her lab coat was too long and big for her that it almost seemed like she didn’t wear anything under the lab coat. Her lab coat completely covered her body that her skirt couldn’t be seen.

“You’re right. By the way, about that plant,” I pointed to the pot on her hand, “How do you do that? Not even all third-year students can manage to grow it.”

“Ah, this child? I read about this plant in a book.”

This child? Not only did she read an advanced magic book, she also called the plant her kid.

“So you’re telling me you read a book about that plant? I doubt that all third-year and fourth-year students have read that book since it’s a book of advanced magic,” I asked her.

She blinked her eyes a few times before answering me, “Honestly, I wasn’t aware that it was a book of advanced magic. No wonder that book was a bit covered with dust.”

“How could you not be aware…”

That book was pretty hard to read—not for me though, it was easy for me. Pretty sure if those three friends of hers read that book, bubbles would come out of their mouths.

“How to put it… I’ve always loved reading since I was small and I read any kind of book. So I took that book from the library without much thinking, maybe?”

“So you’re just a bookworm, huh. Though, it was still not an ordinary job to grow this plant. Are you trying that hard to get extra points from Crewel?”

She shook her head, “Maybe yes, maybe no. Since I’m counted as one student with Grim, it’s better to have some backup.”

“Heh, I see. And you also seem pretty fond of that plant since you claimed that as your child,” I repeated what she said.

“That’s because other than reading, I also like gardening. Thus I unconsciously called this as a child,” she answered while raising the pot a bit.

I just realized she was holding that pot all the time she was talking to me.

“Put that plant down unless you want to break those thin arms of yours and sit here,” I went back to my nap space then patted the ground beside me. “Is there anything you like besides reading and gardening?”

She followed my words, putting down the pot, and sat down beside me, “I like astronomy.”

In the warm Botanical Garden, without anyone interrupting us, we spent the rest of the evening talking about space in this world.

 


 

Outsider of the Flock

Strange. There was something foreign whenever I'm close to Yuu lately. Other than her, Grim and the others who were often with her, there was another smell I didn't know. I didn't want to jump to conclusions too fast, but I was sure someone was following Yuu but clever enough to hide his presence.

Because of that, I tried to follow Yuu from afar and watch it. I followed her from the school building to the Ramshackle dorm. When she passed the Botanical Garden, my suspicion was right. Someone was following her. For the time being, I kept following them from behind. My plan was to ground him when he put his guard down.

Then Yuu did something weird. Instead of going inside Ramshackle dorm through the gate, she took another way to the woods behind the dorm.

That stalker followed Yuu all the way to the woods. He was getting closer to Yuu, before that happened. The thing I could never expect before.

In a very few seconds, Yuu turned around, dropped her bag, and pointed a dagger at him. I didn't even see her taking the dagger out. She looked like spoke to him but even in this distance, I couldn't hear what she said.

After the stalker ran away and left Yuu alone, I came to her.

"Yuu, just now you…"

"Oh, Jack-kun. Don't tell me, you saw that?" Yuu said as she put down the dagger.

"Yes. I noticed someone was following you so I tried to ambush the stalker, but… I didn't know you had that. Where do you keep that?"

"Hm… since you already saw it, I guess there is no use hiding it."

Suddenly, Yuu lifted up her skirt. I was so surprised that I immediately covered my eyes and looked the other way.

"Yuu! What are you doing?!"

"You asked me, so I'm trying to answer. It's okay, open your eyes and see."

I opened my eyes slowly. Now in front of me, Yuu was holding up her skirt. She wore a short pant that was only a few centimeters longer than her crotch. Below that pants, she had a dagger's case on one leg and some throwing knives on the other leg.

"What the…"

After she was sure I saw them, Yuu put back her dagger to its case and dropped her skirt. Then she asked, "Did that answer your question?"

Instead of answering, it added more questions, "Why would you have them? And how did you get them?"

"As you know, I'm a magicless girl in an all-boys school for mages. No matter how you look at it, I'm at disadvantage here. So this is one of my ways to protect myself," she started to explain the reason why she had them.

"About how I acquired them… Well, I'm an employee at Mystery Shop, so," she put her index finger on her lips, "Sssh."

I was completely amazed by her. Most people here were thinking that she was such a helpless girl who got trapped, like a damsel in distress. But actually, she sought her own way to not become such a person.

"Ah, can you please keep it a secret, Jack-kun? If anyone else knows about this, they might find the way to disarm me."

"Yeah, sure," I paused a bit before asking another question, "I'm just curious. Is this the first time you pointed out a dagger to someone?"

"No, and this isn't the first time I'm being stalked either. Sometimes I use pepper spray as well," she answered as she took out a bottle from her bag.

"Not the first time… That must be rough."

"I noticed some people following me around. But it's too tiring to chase them out one by one. So, as long as they're not bothering me, unlike what you see today, I will just ignore them," she explained.

"You actually know your stalkers?!"

Another surprise for today.

"Not everyone, but at least I know three of them. Though, they never really bothered me. And even if I chase them out, they will always go back anyway."

"Such garbage men… Do I know them?"

"You know them. But about them being stalkers, you will know them eventually."

I know this school is full of quirky people. But to think there are such kinds of people and Yuu can handle them alone… Yuu is stronger than I thought.

 


 

The Eater of Wilderness

Just like usual, I went to the Ramshackle dorm to sell mandragora to the ghosts. The transaction went like usual, but there was one different thing today.

“Where are Yuu-kun and Grim-kun?” as I looked around the dorm, I asked the ghosts.

“Grim is at Heartslabyul dorm now, and Yuu is taking down the sheets outside,” one of the ghosts answered before they left me.

Knowing Yuu-kun was outside, I went there to see her. Bright sun rays flashed in front of my eyes the moment I opened the back door. That door is directed towards where usually Yuu-kun dry her laundry. The sight of white sheets fluttering around came to my sight. In the middle of those fluttering white sheets, I saw a small figure walking with a large basket. That was Yuu-kun, she already took off her blazer and rolled up her shirt.

Just when I wanted to call Yuu-kun out, suddenly a strong wind blew out so I closed my eyes. It was only a short moment but I had to make sure the wind stopped before I opened my eyes. After I opened my eyes, the sight of hers disappeared. Instead of Yuu-kun in her uniform, she was wrapped in a white sheet now. I could hear a mumbling sound from there.

I ran towards her, “Yuu-kun!”

Probably because she couldn’t see anything and the sheet was so big compared to her, she lost her balance and almost fell. Fortunately, before she fell to the ground, I managed to get near her so I could use my body as her shield before touching the ground.

“Are you alright, Yuu-kun?” I tried to find the opening from the sheet so I could see her.

When I finally grabbed the edge of the sheet, her head popped up.

“Phwa! Finally, I can breathe,” she said as she ducked her head out.

My hand stopped the moment her face showed in front of me. The distance between our faces was so close that I could smell her honey-scented perfume from her body instead of the fresh dried sheets. The sheet I was holding covered a bit more than her head, covering almost half of her face.

This sight of hers looked like she was wearing a veil.

“Thank you for helping me, Bucchi-senpai.”

Her words woke me up from my daydream. Then I shook my head as hard as possible. What was I thinking?! Imagining her wearing a veil. It’s not like someone like me could be with her who was adored by many young masters in this school.

“Yeah, that was dangerous. Let me help you,” I took her hand to help her stand up and took the basket with my other hand.

We didn’t take a long time to take down all the laundry. While taking off the laundry, I was wondering how the sheet was hanging pretty high even though Yuu-kun’s body is small.

“Thank you again, Bucchi-senpai. I was trying to do this without the uncles’ help, but apparently it’s still hard to do,” Yuu-kun said as we got inside the dorm.

“You’re welcome,” I replied, “I was wondering how the sheet was hanging pretty high. So that’s the answer.”

“Yes. I can hang the laundry like usual within my reach but when it comes to sheets, I would ask their help unless I want to let the sheets get dirty again by touching the ground.”

“I can see that.”

I’m not as big as the other Savanaclaw dorm’s students so I can pretty much understand Yuu-kun struggle—or not. Since she is so much smaller than me.

“As my gratitude, how about I brew tea and cook you something, Bucchi-senpai?”

“Ah, I would really like to accept that but I have to go. There is only a little time left until my shift at Mostro Lounge,” I said with so much disappointment, “Oh, I heard you started working at Mystery Shop?”

“Yes, I did. I see the news on this school spreading pretty fast.”

The news was spreading really fast because it is about you, though.

We walked together towards the dorm’s front door. When we walked past the lounge, she took her blazer and followed me again.

“Hm, are you going out too?” I asked her as she wore the blazer.

“Yes, I have some business to take care of,” she said.

“Then let’s walk together.”

We continued walking together outside and separated mid-way, while I went to Hall of Mirror and she went the other way.

Chapter Text

The Intellectual of Greed

Usually, students at this school would go to Mostro Lounge to get a part-time job to earn additional money. But Yuu-san is different, she works at Mystery Shop instead.

“Yuu-san, how about you work at Mostro Lounge? We will pay you well and even give you a bonus if you do better than the others, which I’m sure you will,” I said to her.

“Ashengrotto-senpai, there’s a line behind you.”

I looked behind me and she was right, people were already lining up. Meanwhile, Yuu-san was standing in front of me. To be exact, behind the cashier.

“I will be waiting until your shift is over,” I said as I bailed out from her sight.

While waiting for her outside the shop, I watched her move. I knew it by the time when she worked at Mostro Lounge for a day—when she was still disguising her gender—that she was pretty skilled at working like this. Probably she was on par with Ruggie-san. As if she was pretty experienced like him.

Thanks to Jade’s investigation on her, I didn’t have to wait for her too long. Since I knew her shifts, I purposely came almost the time she finished. Just now, I saw her come from the back door towards me. She already put back her vest and blazer, which she replaced with an apron while working at the shop.

“Good evening, Yuu-san,” I called her, “Can you spare me a little time? I want to ask some questions.”

“Please make it quick.”

She didn’t want to spend much time with me, I see.

“First, how about the offer I gave you earlier? Will you consider it?” I asked her the first question.

She shook her head, “That can’t do. I’ve made a contract with Sam-san already.”

The answer was already expected. Indeed having her as one of my employees—I meant, Mostro Lounge’s staff would bring many benefits for us, but it wasn’t like her rejecting my offer was a dead end.

There was another purpose for me to meet her today after all.

“So that’s the case, I see,” I adjusted my glasses a bit before speaking again, “Here is the second question.”

I actually didn’t want to ask this but it kept bothering me for a while. To get rid of it from my mind, I had no choice but to ask her directly.

“Is it true that you’ve been in contact with Prince Rielle?” I could feel my energy just drained so much from asking that question, “I heard some students saw you were together with him in the city last weekend.”

She didn’t answer me immediately. She put her hand on her chin and looked like lost in her thoughts for a while. I wonder why she had to think for a moment just to answer my question? Were they talking about me? Even though she already knew about my past, but it still made me uncomfortable if anyone was getting to know more about my past, especially her.

Before she gave me the answer, she closed her eyes for a bit. After she opened her eyes, she said, “Yes.”

“Did he say anything weird?” I know I said it would be just two questions. So if she refused to answer this one, there was nothing I could do.

“What do you mean by weird?”

“Like… about me?”

She shook her head, “No, we talked nothing about you.”

I didn’t know what I really felt about this. I’m glad that Prince Rielle didn’t talk about me, but the way she said it showed that she has no interest in me at all. But I can’t let my guard down.

“I see,” again, I asked her another question, “When I asked you that, why did you take a while to answer?”

I wonder if she is hiding something?

“About that, Diamond-senpai told me to not tell anyone if I meet anyone from Royal Sword Academy. I don’t know his reason though,” she said.

“So why did you decide to tell me?”

“Like I said, I don’t know his reason to ask me that. Nor do I have any reason to hide it.”

So she had nothing to hide.

“Is that so. Thank you for sparing your time to answer my question,” I brought back my business smile to my face as I pulled out some coupons from my pocket, “Would you like to buy these coup—”

“No, thank you.”

 


 

Temptation of Attacker Fish

“I’m sorry, I can’t.”

“Th-then, how about just one date?”

“Again, I can’t.”

It was very clear that she flat out rejected the boy. The boy was persistent at first, but she was more stubborn than him. No matter how much the boy convinced her, she would keep rejecting him. Eventually, the boy gave up.

This was not the only one time it happened. It was always like this, like a pattern.

“How long are you going to stay there?”

After the boy left, she spoke with a voice louder than usual but not enough to be heard by the others besides us. So, I came out from my hiding place.

“Your sense is sharp as usual, Yuu-san,” I walked towards her while smiling.

“It’s much weirder if someone didn’t notice someone with a thick presence like you.”

She said that, but most of the time if I had to watch over people, no one ever noticed they were being watched. I even dare to say, she is the only one who notices.

“So you spare your attention to be aware of me? I’m so flattered,” I said as I put my hand in front of my chest to show my gratitude.

In an instant, she showed me a disgusted face. Other people may be startled and guilty if she showed that face to them, but that’s not the case for me. I noticed she only showed that expression to me, so I took it as special treatment from her.

“There’s one thing I’m curious about you, Yuu-san,” when she was going to walk away from me, I called out to her, “What is your reason to reject him? Isn’t he the main heir of the famous noble family? You can gain a lot of benefits from him. So I don’t think there is any reason to reject him.”

She stopped her walk and faced me, “Why do you ask me if you always watched me whenever I’m being confessed to?”

“Yes, you said you aren’t interested in forming relationships. But is that really all?”

“Indeed there are other reasons, but I don’t think I need to say it. I mean, I always manage to reject all of them when I say I’m not interested.”

So my guess was right, “So what that would be?”

“You know, teenage humans like you are in the phase called puberty. In this phase, you tend to get interested in other people due to your hormones. So those boys who confessed to me are mostly not because they have feelings for me, but they are just curious and their hormones are playing with them,” she explained her thoughts to me.

“Fufu, it’s funny to hear someone call me a human even though I’m a merman. But I get what you mean,” I chuckled a bit.

“It seems like you don’t take me seriously. Well, I don’t care either way,” she let out a sigh, “Also, I—”

“Jade, here you are. I’ve been searching for you. It’s our turn to prepare for the class today... Hm? Why are you with Yuu?”

Suddenly, Riddle-san came to us and immediately stood between her and I. His eyes looked so fierce and he held out his hand, hiding her behind him.

“Oh my, Riddle-san. You don’t have to be so defensive. I’m just having a little talk with Yuu-san.”

He turned his head a bit and asked her, “Is that true, Yuu?”

She only nodded her head as an answer.

“I see. Now, let’s go to our next class, Jade,” Riddle-san said as he started to walk again, “Yuu, we are going ahead.”

“See you later, Yuu-san.”

She bowed her head a little as we walked away to leave her. While I was walking with Riddle-san, I rewind her words in my head.

Those boys who confessed to me are mostly not because they have feelings for me, but they are just curious and their hormones are playing with them.

I put my hand on my chest. Somehow, since she said those words, I felt my chest become tighter. This feeling was so uncomfortable and I still don’t know why.

Maybe a bit more observation on her will help.

 


 

Binding of Provoked Fish

Today, the second years had a joint Alchemy class with the first years. We worked on a pair to make a potion. Somehow, my pair was the two students counted as one, Little Shrimp-chan and Seal-chan.

Seal-chan was so noisy and kept making a ruckus, on the contrary of Little Shrimp-chan who obediently followed all the instructions. It all went smoothly, but—

“I’m bored.”

“Eh?”

“Little Shrimp-chan, I’m bored so I’m going over there,” I waved my hand to them as I was leaving.

“Oi, Floyd! It’s not fair that you’re the only one who is skipping!”

I didn’t bother with what Seal-chan was saying and went to the other side of the room. Not far from me, I saw Jellyfish-chan was paired with Crab-chan.

“Jellyfish-chan~ Crab-chan~, what are you two doing?”

“Of course making the potion… wait,” Crab-chan looked away from their pot, “Why are you here, Floyd-senpai? Aren’t you supposed to be with Yuu and Grim?”

“Ah… I was with them a while ago. But I got bored.”

“Floyd, you shouldn’t leave them alone. Moreover she can’t use magic,” Jellyfish-chan said.

“But Seal-chan can use magic, right? Making this potion is easy, it shouldn’t be much of a problem for them.”

“Easy, you say… I really don’t understand you, Floyd-senpai.”

“What, Crab-chan? You want to be strangled?”

“No, I don’t! I’m sorry!”

After they were back focused on their pot, I looked around the laboratory and saw the other pairs. Mackerel-chan and Sea Snake-kun. Sea Urchin-chan and Jade. Guppy-chan and Azul. Crocodile-chan and Goldfish-chan. All of them looked so serious.

“Hey Silver-senpai, don’t you think Yuu and Grim’s potion looks weird? The color is different from ours.”

“You’re right. I will go check on them.”

“Wait, Silver-senpai—”

“What’s up, Crab-chan?” I asked him after Jellyfish-chan left.

“Yuu and Grim’s potion looks weird and Silver-senpai immediately rushed to them leaving me alone like this,” he sighed, “Hopefully they wouldn’t take too long. I’m not sure if I’m doing this right.”

I looked at their direction. Little Shrimp-chan and Seal-chan looked confused, and it seemed like Jellyfish-chan was trying to help them… Hm? Weren’t Little Shrimp-chan and Jellyfish-chan being a little too close over there? And why did they look so happy even though they were having trouble?

When I arrived back at our spot, I grabbed Jellyfish-chan’s shoulder, “That’s enough, Jellyfish-chan. Leave the rest to me.”

“But didn’t you stop working on this, Floyd?” he asked.

“I didn’t say that. I just say I was bored,” I took the long stick to stir the potion, “Now go back to your place. Crab-chan is already like a small fish who just hatched from its egg.”

“I see. I will go back then,” he said before he left us.

I took a look at our pot to see the problem. Even with just a glance, the problem was really clear. Before I could tell the problem, she said, “I followed all the instructions and everything that’s written in the book, but it turned out like this…”

“Little Shrimp-chan, the books don’t always have everything you need. Also, the problem is you didn’t stir the potion properly. That’s why it isn’t mixed well and the color turned out different.”

“Ah, he’s right! The color on this side is different from that side,” Seal-chan shouted.

“Really? I can’t see it well so I didn’t notice it…” she said.

The potion wasn’t mixed well. She couldn’t see the potion properly. Don’t tell me…

I looked at her from head to toe. Once I understood the problem, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing.

I started to talk again, “I can’t believe it. The root of this problem is because you are too short to see the inside of the pot! Little Shrimp-chan, you’re more interesting than I thought!”

Her face immediately flustered and turned a bit red that she had to cover her face with her hand.

When finally I could stop my laugh, I grabbed her waist with my hands and lifted her up, “Seal-chan, you mix the potion from over there. Little Shrimp-chan, you can see and stir the potion well this way, right?”

“Yes,” she answered as she started to stir the potion.

While holding her waist, I noticed how small and light she was. It was like I could break her body with one grip. So I kinda loosen up my holding because I don’t want to break her.

“It’s done…”

Not long after that, the potion’s color turned out as it should be and mixed really well. Little Shrimp-chan and Seal-chan looked so happy seeing the potion turned out well.

“Hmph, there is nothing I can’t do after all!” Seal-chan said even though most of the works are done by Little Shrimp-chan.

“Right, right, you did a great job, Grim,” Little Shrimp-chan said as she patted Seal-chan’s head.

Huh, what was that?

“Hey Little Shrimp-chan, praise me too.”

She turned around to face me and blinked a few times, “Ah, yes. Leech-senpai, thank you for your help and your great job.”

What the hell, she didn’t get it at all… or not. Maybe it wasn’t because she didn’t get it, but she couldn’t do it.

So I crouched down and pulled her hand to my head, “Praise me.”

Her eyes widened after I asked her that. Then she started patting my head like she did with Seal-chan. Somehow, being touched by her like this felt so comfortable and nostalgic.

I couldn’t help but smile and looked up towards her.

“Little shrimp-chan, you are so small but your boobs are so huge, huh. Especially if those are viewed from down here.”

That moment, I got a bruise on my cheek from being kicked by Little Shrimp-chan’s knee.

….

“Uwah! Floyd, where did you get that bruise?!” Azul was surprised when he saw my bruise.

“Ah, this? It’s from me getting along with Little Shrimp-chan!”

“Getting along but you got a bruise… I don’t understand,” Azul shook his head, “Jade, what’s wrong?”

“If Floyd got a bruise from Yuu-san… that means her skin touched him, right? That should be me!”

“I seriously can’t understand you twins…”

Chapter Text

Big Brother from the Desert

“It’s been a while since the last time we’re doing this, right?” I said to the person beside me while feeling the night breeze touched our faces, “Yuu.”

Right beside me, there was Yuu. She gave me a nod as an answer while her gaze was still glued on the starry sky. We just had dinner together with all Scarabia dorm students and Grim before we rode this magic carpet together. Earlier today, I accidentally overheard Grim and Yuu.

“I’m sick of eating vegetables every day! Give me my canned tuna!” Grim yelled at Yuu and whined.

“As I thought, vegetables are bad for cats…” Yuu spoke as if she was lost in deep thought.

“Funa?! I’m not a cat!” Grim protested again.

“If you’re not a cat or some carnivore animal, then you should be fine eating vegetables right,” Yuu replied, “Please understand we don’t have many choices, Grim. And you can’t eat canned tuna every day.”

I know that the Ramshackle dorm is short on money, I lived there for a month after all. Hearing their conversation, I invited them to have dinner at the Scarabia dorm, which was immediately accepted by Grim. Yuu seemed reluctant at first but then her stomach growled so she couldn’t refuse the invitation.

That was why here we are, taking a ride on the magic carpet. Grim was so full that he could barely move, and Jamil said he’d like to stay behind to take care of the dishes. The last time we were doing this was during the winter holiday, when Yuu was still disguising her gender.

“The night breeze feels nice, right? And you can see the stars as much as you want since you like starry sky, Yuu!” I grinned at her.

It seemed that my words made her let go of her gaze towards the sky. Her blue eyes that looked almost the same as the starry sky above us were directed to me. She blinked a few times.

“You like it, right? I noticed from the first time we rode this magic carpet, you kept looking at the sky. So I assume you like starry sky,” I explained my assumption to her.

She gave me a smile, “You’re right. To be exact, I like astronomy. Since the sky objects’ positions in this world are different from my world, I’m learning it again from scratch.”

“Oh! So do you like astrology too? We have that subject at this school,” I asked her.

She shook her head a bit, “Honestly, I don’t really understand astrology since I was in my original world. But it seems astrology has different uses in this world. I’m becoming interested to learn about it as well.”

“That’s right! Astrology is one of the earliest magic established due to clever effort from Sorcerer of the Sand established at the ancient time. That is why most students at the Scarabia dorm excel at astrology,” I explained to her excitedly. This is the Scarabia dorm we were talking about after all.

“I see… I wonder if a person who doesn’t possess magic like me can learn it too,” Yuu showed her awkward smile now.

“Of course you can! You’re also learning alchemy here, right? If you need any help learning astrology, you can ask me right away!”

She chuckled before pointing at the sky, “Then, can you read that constellation?”

I looked at the constellations she pointed out and tried to remember what I learned. A silence surrounded us for a few seconds until—

“Let’s ask Jamil once we are back!”

An awkward smile showed up on her face, “I’m sorry, Asim-senpai.”

“Hm, why do you apologize?”

“I actually just pointed out randomly. I don’t even know if there’s a real constellation over there. Like I said, sky objects in this world are different from my world. So…” she bowed her head a bit, “I’m sorry.”

“Eeeh?!”

Honestly, I didn’t expect Yuu to have this side. I thought she was a very serious person like Riddle and Silver. But it was nice to know she can tease someone like this.

“Well, I don’t mind it at all. It’s nice to see different sides of yours! Hahaha,” somehow I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Is that so?” she replied, “Well, it’s all good then.”

We continued the ride for quite a long time. Yuu kept looking at the sky, which made me feel reluctant to go back to the dorm.

 


 

Tactician from the Desert

That noon, I saw Yuu walking around the schoolyard. She looked around and seemed to be searching for something. When she stopped for a moment and spaced out, I asked her.

“Yuu, what’s up?”

“Ah, Viper-senpai. I’m looking for Grim. Did you see him?”

“Too bad, I didn’t,” I said as I shrugged my shoulders and observed her from head to toe. She didn’t wear a blazer and vest like usual. But I decided not to bother with that. So I said before leaving her, “Sorry I can’t help you.”

Just a few seconds after I left Yuu, suddenly I heard the sound of water pouring. I turned around and saw her soaked wet.

“What? There is someone below?!” someone spoke from the second floor right above her, “Prefect?!”

Now with Yuu being soaked wet, her white shirt became see through. I immediately ran to her while taking off my blazer. When I finally arrived at her place, I covered her with my blazer. Some people around us were talking about the sight they saw just now. When I noticed someone already had his phone pointed at Yuu and seemed upset that I covered her, I kicked his phone until it fell to the ground.

“What the hell, Viper?!”

Just when he was going to pick up his phone, an arrow landed right on the phone. “Uwaaah?!”

Without being told, I knew the owner of that arrow. But that’s not important now. I had to take Yuu to somewhere safe.

“Yuu, hold on me. We are going to the infirmary now,” I said as I was keeping my blazer covering her body.

After we arrived at the infirmary, I took her to a bed with a curtain around it. The distance we’ve been through from the schoolyard to the infirmary wasn’t far but I felt tired already.

“Yuu, please wait here. I will be back in a few minutes.”

I went out of the infirmary to take my spare uniform. It has been my habit to always bring a spare uniform for both Karim and myself. I couldn’t give her Kalim’s uniform, so I took mine.

When I arrived back at the infirmary, the curtain around the bed was already closed tight. I held the curtain and was ready to open it, “Yuu, I brought my spare uniform for you to wear.”

“Wait, don’t open it! I’m naked here,” Yuu said from behind the curtain.

I immediately let go of the curtain in panic. How could she easily take off her clothes here? Inside the infirmary of an all-boys school building?!

“Why did you take off your clothes, Yuu?! Do you not realize where this is?” I asked her. Pretty sure I sounded so panicked.

“Because I’m soaked wet, and I had to dry myself and my underwear,” she answered, “Didn’t you bring me a spare uniform, Viper-senpai? That means you expected me to take off my clothes, right?”

“Don’t make it sound misleading! What if someone hears it?”

I became even more tired now.

“Here, Yuu,” I handed my spare uniform through a gap under the curtain. She took it from my hand gently.

After I turned my body around so my back faced her place, I asked her, “Why didn’t you wear a blazer and vest like usual?”

“This morning Grim spilled my coffee on them and I didn’t have time to clean it,” she explained from behind the curtain.

Seriously, Grim…

I asked her another question, “And you looked spaced out when the water poured over you. That doesn’t seem like you.”

“Yeah, I barely caught any sleep last night because I was reading some books. That’s why I needed coffee, but…” I could hear her sigh.

“You study pretty hard, huh.”

Considering her partner, I wasn’t surprised. Moreover, she never knew about magic before coming to this world. That must be rough for her.

“Viper-senpai, I’m done.”

As she said that, the curtain opened and I also turned around. Seeing her wearing my spare uniform brought back memories of when she was still disguising her gender. With the uniform which was way bigger than her body that she had to cuff the arms and pants. The difference now is she didn’t hide her breasts, those were still bulging now beneath my uniform.

Now that I realized I just made her wear my clothes, I can’t help but swallow my saliva.

“Thank you for the uniform, senpai. I will return it after I wash it,” she said.

“Okay. Just take it easy.”

Yeah, she should wash it until her smell doesn’t linger on my uniform. My uniform with her smell lingering on it sounds dangerous for me.

Chapter Text

Seeker of Beauty

“Yuu, what’s with that hair?”

“Eh?” Yuu, who was currently wearing a gym uniform, touched her hair. She was trying to find what’s wrong with her hair, but it seemed she didn’t notice, “I put it into a ponytail. Why?”

“There were some loose hair strands. So messy!” I said while pointing out to the back of her head, “Come here. I will fix it for you.”

We step aside to get near the wall so we don’t block anyone who was going to walk down this hallway. Though, it seemed there were only the two of us now.

I took off her hair tie from her hair, which made her hair fall to her shoulder. Steady but gentle, I gathered her hair with the move of combing her hair. Through my fingers, I could feel her hair was much smoother compared to the time I dried her hair in the Ramshackle dorm back then.

“I see that you take care of your hair properly, Yuu.”

“You have a keen sense, Schoenheit-senpai. Yes, I was finally able to buy proper body care products after I started working at Mystery Shop.”

So it was true that she started working at Mystery Shop. Usually students at this school would go to Mostro Lounge for work part time. I never heard of any student working at Mystery Shop before. I didn’t know if Sam never hired anyone or no one interested to work there. Most importantly, I feel much calmer to hear she works at Mystery Shop instead of Mostro Lounge.

Now my mind went back to focus on her hair. I kept combing her hair with my fingers until every strand gathered, not leaving any. Combing her hair and feeling her hair on my fingers gave me a sense of comfort. I just couldn’t stop doing it.

“Schoenheit-senpai? Are you done?”

Her voice broke my daydream. Right, I couldn’t keep her too long here. She has to attend her gym lesson.

“A bit more. Please wait,” I answered her as I was tying her hair with a scrunchie I had with me, “Done.”

She took a few steps away and faced me. Then she touched her hair and the scrunchie, “Senpai, this…”

“I give that to you. It’s a waste if you use a rubber hair tie on your hair after you do all the care to your hair.”

She didn’t look so pleased and even let out a sigh. Seeing her reaction made me frown.

“What? You don’t like it?”

Instead of answering with words, she reached her pocket. From her pocket, she took out an envelope. Then she handed me the envelope and added another money on top of the envelope.

“What is this?”

“It’s to pay back for my uniform and the clothes you bought me.”

“I’ve said that you don’t need to pay me back, right? Keep that money to yourself.”

“No, I insist,” she said with a straight face, “I kept some of my salary to pay you back. And here I added some since you just gave me a scrunchie.”

“No, you keep it. You’d better use that money for yourself.”

Also, taking money from someone who already lived a frugal life felt just wrong.

“Maybe buy a new concealer to cover your dark circles properly?” I pointed to the area under her eyes. That was faint and she already covered it with concealer, but I still could see it.

She touched under her eye and said, “As expected, you noticed it, Schoenheit-senpai. But don’t think that you could divert our talk.”

So she realized that I tried to divert our talk.

“Geez, so stubborn. Why do you insist on paying me back anyway? If you don’t want to use that money for yourself, use that for your dorm.”

“I’ve already kept the money for the dorm's renovation. I insist because I don’t want to owe anyone,” she said as she pushed the envelope to my chest.

“What? Did you become like Azul just now?” I replied as I pushed back the envelope.

Somehow, now our hands are pushing each other with the envelope between our hands.

“Say whatever you want, Schoenheit-senpai.”

Suddenly, her hand slipped off. I thought she was going to fall, but actually not. She just moved her hand with the envelope to shove it into my blazer’s pocket.

“Wha—”

Right after she shoved the envelope into my pocket, she quickly ran away from me. She turned around a bit to wave at me before running again, “See you later, senpai.”

Seriously, that girl…

 


 

Melancholy of Pretty Boy

One apple after another was dipped into the poison I made inside the pot. The apples now looked more appetizing, just like the poisoned apple that the Beauty Queen created. Of course, the apples already looked so delicious before I dipped them, but they looked even better now.

Though, it still didn’t look like how I wanted. I had to make even stronger poison. Maybe it’s time to improve th—

“That looks delicious…”

I jumped a bit, surprised by someone who suddenly appeared beside me. I remember I was alone in this Pomefiore dorm’s laboratory. I didn’t hear anyone coming as well. So, when did she come?

“Yuu-san…” I said after I calmed myself, “What are you doing here? And since when have you been here?”

“I was delivering some documents from the Headmaster to Schoenheit-senpai. Then I saw Epel-kun and even called you, but you didn’t hear me. So I excused myself to get inside here,” she said, “But it seems you’re so focused on that. Maybe I really should leave you be?”

“No, it’s okay. You can stay here, but it may be boring though,” I held her blazer a bit when she was going to leave.

She asked me when she was back standing beside me, “So, what did you do to those apples, Epel-kun?”

“I’m trying to make a very strong poison that can defeat the one Vil-san made. I still use his recipes to learn how to make poison. So after learning from his recipe, I can learn to create my own recipe.”

“I see…”

“You know that one of my goals here is to defeat Vil-san, right? I was thinking that defeating him in the battles won’t be enough, so I’m also trying to make even stronger poison than the ones he creates,” I added my explanation, “This one is from his poison recipe that made him promoted to be the dorm leader.”

“So that means you’re aiming to be Pomefiore’s dorm leader?” she asked me.

“Eh?! Honestly, I didn’t think that far. I just want to defeat him…”

“But still, it’s amazing that you are so determined, Epel-kun,” she smiled at me, “Maybe I should become more like you.”

I blinked my eyes after she said that, “What do you mean? I think you are enough as you are now, Yuu-san.”

“So that’s how you see me,” she said.

“Of course! I know how hard you work here. You read a lot of books to catch up with us, right?” I said after I turned a bit to face her, “Though sometimes it’s kinda worrying since you often look sleep-deprived.”

She chuckled a little.

“Eh, did I say something wrong?”

“No, you didn’t say anything wrong. It’s just, I didn’t know you looked at me that much.”

I could feel my face get heated up as she said that. Surely, my face was as red as the apples now.

“Th-that— I didn’t say from what I saw only. I also heard from Ace-kun and Deuce-kun about your condition, so—”

“Fufu, you don’t have to be so flustered, Epel-kun. I mean, the way you observe me isn’t a bad thing,” her face showed an awkward smile, “At least you are not like Hunt-senpai.”

“Please, don’t compare me to him…”

I kept making the poison and dipped the apples one by one while Yuu-san watched me from my side. The silent laboratory now filled with our voices. Our voices were not loud, but enough to tell people this laboratory was occupied. All this time, I spent my time here alone. This change wasn’t so bad, especially because I was with her here.

“Ah, I have to go,” suddenly she broke our conversation, “I still have to deliver the documents to the other dorm leaders. See you later, Epel-kun.”

Yuu-san left the laboratory and I watched her until her figure disappeared from my sight. After she left, I looked back at the apples and pot filled with poison.

“I didn’t realize I’ve already made this many…”

I didn’t even remember how many apples I used for the experiment this time. Honestly, this wasn’t good.

“I should’ve counted them properly from the beginning so I could see the proper result as well,” I let out a sigh, “Well, maybe next time.”

 


 

The Chaser of Beauty

Right outside the Botanical Garden, there were some students gathered around a tree. From what I saw, all of them were the first-years from Science Club. I also saw an unusual figure there. My eyes couldn’t be wrong, that’s Yuu-kun.

“Good day, everyone. Why are you all gathering here?” I asked them.

One of them turned around to face Trey-kun and me, “Hunt-senpai, Clover-senpai. We are moving a beehive.”

“Beehive?” Trey-kun asked.

“Yes. Yesterday, we saw this big beehive hanging on the tree. We thought it might be dangerous so we wanted to terminate it, but the Prefect said it’s better to keep it in a safer place,” he explained, “So we thought maybe it’s good to be our club’s small project.”

Another boy added the explanation, “We made the preparation first, like the box specialized to keep the beehive. Then the Prefect commanded us how to do it.”

So that explained why Yuu-kun was crouching down near the tree. She looked so focused on a piece of beehive on the ground with a clip on her hand.

“Yuu knows how to keep a beehive? That’s really unexpected…” Trey-kun said with pure amazement on his face.

“I know right?! She is so amazing. Moving and keeping the beehive looks so easy on her hands, but it’s actually very delicate work,” the boy looked so excited talking about her.

“Seriously, she is really smart and has vast knowledge,” another boy said. I remember he was also on 1-A, the same class as Yuu-kun, “But I wonder… Prefect’s grade is really average for how smart she is.”

“Probably it was because she was sharing the score with her partner?” the first boy laughed as he spoke.

“I know you all are amazed by Yuu. But that doesn’t mean you can leave her working alone there,” Trey-kun said to them.

“Ah, our part is done. The only thing that is left can only be done by her,” the boy replied to Trey-kun’s scold, “She is finding the queen bee now. None of us beside her can identify which one is the queen.”

“She even know how to identify the queen bee?! That’s amazing! Marvelous!” finally I realised my amazement on her.

Really, she always impresses everyone around her. I’ve always found her interesting ever since the first time I saw her. Now, I found myself never stop getting impressed by her.

“Found her!”

Suddenly, we heard a soft shout from near the tree. It was her voice. On her hand, there was a clip with a bee on it. She quickly moved her hand to the box and released the queen bee inside the box. Right after she did that, the rest of the bees followed the queen to fly into the box.

Slowly, the box was closed with a lid. After they closed the box, they brought the box to another place inside the Botanical Garden. Yuu-kun also followed them to go inside the Botanical Garden.

“That’s amazing!” the first-year boy said with excitement.

“Yeah! Did you see when the other bees followed the queen immediately? I never saw such a thing!” another boy said with the same level of excitement.

“Though, it makes me think… I wonder how it feels to be the queen bee. It must be nice to have the other bees work for her. On top of that, the other bees favor her so much,” he said.

“Really, you think that? I think of it in another way. Maybe the queen bee never wanted to be the queen and wants to be a worker bee that can go outside the hive,” another boy said, “You know, the story about a royalty member who just wants freedom? Maybe it also happens to the queen bee.”

“Hey, hey, we are a Science Club. But you all are discussing like a literature club,” Trey-kun laughed at their conversation.

“Non non! It’s okay, Trey-kun. After all, beautiful things can be found in anything! Including on the topic we rarely talk about,” I said to him.

“That’s just you, Rook…” Trey-kun showed his usual awkward smile, “Anyway, that’s not how exactly bee colonies work. Maybe we can learn about it next time?”

“That sounds good, Clover-senpai!”

Everyone else from our club also went inside the Botanical Garden to continue our club activity. While we were doing our club activity, I saw Yuu-kun was talking with Crewel-sensei. Most likely they were talking about the beehive.

Without realizing it, I said to myself, “A queen bee, huh.”

Chapter Text

Heretical Genius

“Shroud-senpai, here are documents from the Headmaster,” Yuu-shi said as she handed me some papers after I let her get inside my room.

“Ah, thank you,” I took the papers from her hand.

She looked around my room, “Where is Ortho-kun?”

“Ortho is outside for a while. He must come back in a few moments,” I answered her, “You want to see him?”

“Yes.”

“Then you can wait here,” I said, “Just sit wherever you want.”

“Okay. Thank you, Shroud-senpai,” she replied.

After she said that, silence filled my room. Not really silent, since there was a sound from my keyboard. Though, I felt the time ran longer since she was with me alone in this room. I wonder what this weird feeling is? I couldn’t be at ease with her around, yet I didn’t want to kick her out of my room.

I turned my head a bit and what I just saw really surprised me. I was really surprised that I immediately got up from my chair and the chair also fell to the floor.

On my bed, Yuu-shi was sleeping. A female high school student was sleeping on my bed! What did I dream about yesterday? Why was I suddenly experiencing something that only normies can have?

I walked closer to her slowly. Seriously, how could she fall asleep in the room of a boy who isn’t her boyfriend?!

When I was going to wake her up, my hand stopped. She looked was sleeping soundly. Now that I think about it, she didn’t wake up even after my chair fell to the floor. She must be in very deep sleep now.

A heavy sigh escaped from my mouth, “What should I do… And Ortho isn’t coming back.”

I didn’t know what I was thinking, but I poked her cheek with my finger. It was so soft.

Since she wasn’t waking up even after I poked her, I affirmed that she was in deep sleep now, “Maybe I really should let her sleep here, but…”

I noticed she wore makeup a bit thicker from the last time I saw her. Letting her sleep with makeup didn’t sound like a good idea. I wanted to let her be but I feel bad to do so.

After taking a few minutes to decide what to do, I took the makeup remover I have and a few pieces of cotton. I poured the makeup remover onto the cotton, then slowly brushed it on her face. Since she was sleeping, I had to do it slowly. Of course, I had no choice but to let my fingers touch her face a few times.

Her cheeks, lips, nose, forehead, and everything on her face really felt soft. Maybe all the girls are like her as well? Though I wouldn’t be able to find that out since probably it would be my first and last time touching a girl.

With her makeup lifted up, I could see her bare face clearly. I was kinda shocked to see her bare face since it wasn’t like I expected. Her face looked so dull and there were dark circles under her eyes. It was obvious she was very tired and lacked sleep. I admit her makeup skill is on top-notch, since she was able to conceal all of these and still look natural.

Now I remember something. I always watched this school from the security cameras. Then I remember for the past few days, Yuu-shi often looked spaced out or walked kinda wobbly. Maybe that was caused by her sleep-deprived?

I know she wasn’t supposed to be my concern, but I now couldn’t help but worry about her health. I wonder why I feel like this? Is it because she has been taking care of Ortho? Is it because she is the only one female student here so I can’t help but worry? Or are there other things I don’t know that make me feel this strange feeling?

“Hmm…”

Her voice made me startled a bit. I thought she was waking up, but she just changed her position. Her current position was facing me. Not only that, she curled her body which made her legs rubbed each other and her arms pressed her breasts.

That’s it. I couldn’t bear to see her any longer.

I took my blanket to cover her whole body. Maybe she curled her body because she felt cold. The blanket didn’t only cover her, but helped me to not look at her any longer.

Now I’d better get back to my work rather than losing my thoughts by just watching her.

 


 

Heavenly Child of Science

“Yuu-san, why are you here?”

It was in the middle of class when I met her. Since Nii-san was having a test in his class, I decided to go to the library today. I didn’t expect to meet Yuu-san there. Wasn’t she supposed to be attending class?

“Hello, Ortho-kun,” she greeted and then answered my question, “Whenever I have a class where I can’t attend as a magicless person, I always go to the library or somewhere else where I can spend my time reading any book. So here I am.”

I said, “What a great coincidence! I usually go to Trein-sensei’s place but I feel like going to the library today.”

“Yes, what a nice coincidence,” she said with a smile.

“So, what are you reading?”

“It’s a book about non-human creatures,” she pointed at the book.

“Did you find anything that interests you, Yuu-san?” I asked as I got closer to her and the book.

“I can say everything interests me since I never saw them in my world,” she said, “There are a lot of creatures and even mixed creatures, but…”

“But?” I asked her.

“I think the most intriguing are the ones who are both dead and alive. Honestly, I don’t really understand the concept. So are they in the borderline of life and death, or just a soul fleeting around? I’m curious.”

I chuckled a bit after hearing what she said, “I’m sure Yuu-san will understand that soon. After all, this school welcomes both the living and the dead!”

“I hope so,” she replied.

“...so, that's what I talked with Yuu-san a few days ago.”

Today, we came to the Ramshackle dorm to play. Though, the person in charge of the dorm, Yuu-san, wasn’t present because she was still working at Mystery Shop. So in the dorm’s lounge, there were five students and Grim-san.

“For someone who comes from another world like Yuu, it must be hard to understand this world’s common sense,” Jack Howl-san said, “It’s not easy to explain that to someone who has a different sense from us.”

We were just talking casually like usual. Then somehow the topic led us to talk about what Yuu-san and I talked about a few days ago at the library.

“Hihihi, you should’ve just led her to us,” the Ramshackle dorm’s ghost joined our talk.

“Well, since we are always with her here, sure we will talk about it someday,” another ghost, the thin one, added.

“Whaaa! Don’t appear so suddenly like that!!” Sebek Zigvolt-san yelled at them with his usual voice.

“Hihihi, this Diasomnia boy is lively as usual,” the small ghost laughed at him.

“Sebek-kun, you already come here often. You should get used to it already…” Epel Felmier-san shook his head to respond to Sebek Zigvolt-san’s reaction.

In the middle of a lively conversation, I noticed something odd. The other two who usually were really talkative, now were completely silent. I looked at them and found their faces were as pale as white paper. Not only that, their faces showed a hint of dread.

“Ace Trappola-san, Deuce Spade-san, are you not feeling well today?” I asked them, “Do you want me to scan what’s wrong with your bodies?”

“Now that Ortho mentioned it, certainly you two are so quiet today,” Sebek Zigvolt-san said.

“Right, right. Usually, you two are so noisy that it’s ringing in my ears,” Grim-san added to what Sebek Zigvolt-san said.

“Talk to yourself, Sebek, Grim! You two are the loudest in this school!” Ace Trappola-san replied to them with an upset tone.

“Thanks for asking, Ortho. But I’m fine. I’m just thinking about something,” Deuce Spade-san answered my question.

“So you actually can use your brain, huh, Deuce?” Ace Trappola-san said to Deuce Spade-san.

“Wha— at least I use my brain to think of important things, not pulling some pranks like you, Ace!”

“What did you say?!”

The four of them started to fight which made this lounge immediately filled with loud voices.

“Now that they are back to normal, they started to fight again,” Jack Howl-san said with a sigh, “Seriously, how could they keep hanging out together with their daily fights?”

“Obviously because Yuu-san is always with us. I doubt they will ever stop fighting if Yuu-san wasn’t there with them,” now Epel Felmier-san let out a sigh too, “Yuu-san, please come back quickly…”

“Well, I can’t talk much about it since I’m always with you guys too. Though, I agree with you about her,” Jack Howl-san crossed her arms in front of his chest and looked at the clock, “She should be back soon.”

“Fufufu, I see that Yuu-san is a really special person here.”