The school building in Lindner Magic Academy had 3 floors. The 3rd year students’ classrooms were on first floor, the 2nd years’ were on the second floor, and the 1st years’ were on the top floor.
As such, the 1st years’ Class A had their classroom in the innermost part of the top floor. This was the class Marlon and Isabella were in.
Because the academy advocated for equality, class placement was not affected at all by the students’ parents.
Rather, it was all random. Whether they were a talented child like the scholarship students or they were the children of the prominent aristocrats who led the kingdom, they all could be placed in the same class. Incidentally, Herbert was placed in Class C.
At the moment, there were still two figures in Class A’s classroom.
It was currently five in the afternoon. It was around this time that classes were dismissed and students were on their way home.
One of the mentioned figures wore a troubled expression…it was none other than Herbert von Unruh.
Despite the rumors after the duel which claimed that Herbert has reformed, his reputation remained mostly the same. People who had a negative opinion of him and couldn’t believe he was capable of change were just more numerous.
One thing that has changed though, perhaps due to his after school athletic activities, was his now ever so slightly thinner face. He still couldn’t be called thin, but that only gave him more motivation to train and take care of his diet everyday.
Opposite him was one girl.
Her name was Nell von Ferdinand.
She was the first daughter of Marquis Ferdinand. Moreover, she was currently and officially Herbert’s fiancee.
To sum up her appearance, it was best to compare her to a deep blue rose. The pupils of her eyes were large, but also seemed somewhat cold. Her movements were rather brisk.
With a troubled face of her own, she looked back at Herbert.
There were separated by 3 desks and neither of them approached the other.
In more ways than one, such was the distance between the two.
“It’s been a while, hasn’t it…”
It has been more than a year since the two of them met and talked with each other.
At first, he would often call out to her when he saw her even from a distance. In contrast though, as soon as Nell noticed Herbert’s presence, she would do her best to get away as soon as possible. Herbert’s pride at the time did not allow him to chase after her. Before long, it also made him stop all efforts to approach her.
It was now the middle of June.
About half a month has passed since Maxim had reconciled with Herbert.
The fact that it took this long to set this meeting between Nell and Herbert only proved how great of a task it was and how much effort Marlon have put in. Rather than schedule this meeting directly, Marlon had to set it up through Isabella and the others.
Herbert couldn’t help but think about how indebted he was to Marlon.
And yet, thinking about how this situation came about wasn’t what he should be doing right now. Rather, it should be on talking sincerely with the girl in front of him. And so, with the only words he could use to show his sincerity in mind, Herbert stepped forward.
“Nell…I’m honestly, deeply sorry!”
“And what…what might you be apologizing for?”
“Everything. I’m sorry for every stupid thing I’ve done!”
Herbert declared so without averting his eyes.
Not from Nell, and—though he subconsciously wanted to—not from his past self.
Herbert began changing when he was around 10 years old, the age he discovered he had a knack for magic. Before then, he did as Rodeo instructed and trained everyday. He never cut any corners when it came to his pursuit of knowledge either.
Overall, he pressured himself into becoming someone worthy of being an heir to a ducal house.
Noble children generally began their training in magic around the age of ten. Herbert was no exception; after the party celebrating his tenth birthday, he began his magic training.
Back then, Nell was still by his side.
“Herbert-sama, happy birthday!”
Her face usually looked dignified and frighteningly well-defined, but that was thrown off-balance as soon as she smiled. Her smile, unfortunately, made her face less pretty. And yet, Herbert loved that clumsy smile of hers.
At the start, when they were first introduced and made aware that they were betrothed to one another, Herbert and Nell didn’t get along. As such, Nell always wore a cold look on her face and never showed a smile to Herbert back then. On a certain day though, Herbert saw Nell laughing with her father. He was captivated by that smile right away.
Knowing that Nell would only smile for someone she trusted from the bottom of her heart, Herbert set his heart on being someone like that.
Herbert met and talked with her often in the hopes that she would open herself up. Herbert pulled surprises one after the other. His enthusiasm wasn’t lost on her either. Before long, she found herself lowering her guard against him.
And then one day, she began showing her smile to him. Yes, Herbert finally got to see that smile he loved so much up close.
However, not long after that…Herbert turned 10 and he never got to see that smile again.
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This reconciliation will take a while.