n.o.ble MannersVolume 1 Chapter 5 part1
Holfault Kingdom's n.o.bles can be traced back to adventurers.
For that reason, adventurers hold respectable professions as they work for a guild managed by the country…and many n.o.bles temporarily become adventurers to follow their ancestors.
Regardless of whether they take the regular or advanced cla.s.s, everyone goes to the Adventurer's Guild to register as an adventurer, and they take lessons that have them acknowledge and be grateful for the hardship of their ancestors.
There's no difference between men and women, all adventurers register equally──and then tackle a dungeon as is custom.
Well, whatever the reason is, it's a way for broke n.o.ble youths to earn extra money as an adventurer in the family. It's a popular occupation, even in the academy, and there are many schoolboys that earn money as an adventurer during holidays or vacations.
It seems that my father and older brother also earned a considerable amount as adventurers.
It makes me shed a sorrowful tear thinking about how that money would vanish towards paying entertainment expenses, like tea ceremonies, for girls.
I'm not troubled about money, but I'm still thrilled to hear about dungeons.
There's not much to enjoy in this otome game, but this dungeon falls under the adventure part of it.
It would be fun──well, it was supposed to.
It was the middle of May.
It was the day where first year students become adventurers and try to tackle a dungeon within the royal capital. I took a look at my surroundings and worried about sticking out like a sore thumb.
“I was concerned about my friends, Daniel and Raymond, and yet they ran away. Well, if I were in the same situation, I'd run away too. Even so!”
Standing next to me, as I wore standard adventurer equipment, was Olivia, who was still trying to get accustomed to her own equipment.
I basically wore leather armor on top of thick clothing. Iron armor covered portions like the arms, chest, and lower legs. It's equipment that would make one wonder what exactly is fantasy-like, or rather, stylish about it. Equipment and the like all focus on appearances in this otome game. Much of the equipment tosses practical use out the window, and many of the students are using such equipment that makes me worry about whether its safe to wear.
As for me? I took an emphasis on faultless safety. Something far from being stylish.
Olivia looked apologetic towards me.
“I, I'm sorry. Anjelica said she wanted you to partic.i.p.ate no matter what.”
I know that even if I make a complaint towards the worried Olivia, nothing can be done.
However, today's the day to challenge the dungeon.
An unexpectedly high-cla.s.s group surrounded me.
A smart, tall, serious boy with blue hair and eyes wore equipment geared towards fashion, which made me wonder how that thing is supposed to defend him. He was a four-eyes──err, cool character that wore gla.s.ses.
Only a long sword hung from his waist.
He was a capture target and a serious vanguard swordsman──well, he's supposed to be an expert swordsman according to the game. He's “Chris Fier Arkwright,” the son of a master swordsman.
He's from a well-established family of the royal court. The heir of an earl household that rose to power through the sword.
There was also a muscular delinquent-like guy, with ruffled red hair and rolled-up sleeves, who shouldered a spear.
This rough man, who declares that his doctrine is to get real experience with swordsmanship rather than study it, has been challenging dungeons before his enrollment, and defeated many monsters.
He's a capture target character. A hearty vanguard from a feudal lord household of earl n.o.bles.
He looks like a delinquent, but is a rich young man.
His red hair and light brown tanned skin makes him look completely unlike a rich young man.
His name is “Greg Fou Seberg.”
He doesn't get along well with Chris according to the game's setting, but I believe there was a friendship event along the way. It's not a necessary event to clear the game, but since the friendship event made it easier to capture him, I went through this event, which made girls would fantasize about unspeakable things going on amongst these two fellow guys, many times.
The crown prince “Julian Rafua Holfault.”
The prince's foster brother and heir of a viscount household, “Jilk Fier Memoria.”
The heir of an earl house from afar and the narcissist whose pride is in magic, “Brad Fou Field.”
The son of a master swordsman who will succeed an earl household as an expert swordsman, “Chris Fier Arkwright.”
The frank heir of an earl household whose doctrine is to learn through experiencing, “Gred Fou Seberg.”
These five are the capture target characters──the five who might become the lovers of the protagonist.
In the game, I memorized them in the order of black, green, purple, blue, and red.
Originally, there was also a handsome boy named “Kyle” that would join. He could be purchased by the protagonist as a slave──an exclusive servant.
He was normally a convenient character that would take personal care of you and would tell you the status of the love meter. In battles, he could use magic act as a support, but he's not here.
It seems he held a position that was like a cute little brother, but to me it felt like he was just the protagonist's maid.
I should mention that in Holfault, the middle name “Rafua” is for royalty, “Fier” is for royal court n.o.bility, and “Fou” is for people the come from feudal lord n.o.bles.
The five people made a complete set, and amongst their followers, the ones whose skills stood out fortified their surroundings.
Within that group, Olivia and I were mixed in.
So why am I here?
The reason for that is for the sake of one of the five.
Olivia was an honor student, and I was an adventurer who made an achievement…I suppose that the academy wanted me to escort Julian while guarding him in the dungeon.
Using knights and soldiers from home is considered inelegant, along with using the power of one's home or its surroundings. However, if there's someone like me who's of the same generation and has made achievements, its seems that's reason enough for us to move together.
I'm not too well-versed on this, but I suppose that since bringing along soldiers or knights without permission is troubling, they decided to settle on using fellow students to solve this problem.
Even in the academy, it would still be troubling if Julian got injured.
Various things piled up, like the academy's intentions and Anjelica's own recommendation, causing this kind of result to happen.
You know…we're entering a dungeon now, but what we're challenging is the beginner level of beginner levels.
It's excessive to have people working like guards here.
Perhaps having the same thought, Julian had a displeased face. That reminds me, I believe that he talks with the protagonist about how he hates things like this happening to him.
The prince's fiancee, Anjelica, was also in the group while searching our surroundings.
Basically, it was decided that gender had no bearing on entering a dungeon.
This is one of the few cases where the academy treats men and women equally.
The group had about thirty people.
That feels like a lot, but our entry to the dungeon this time is more like sightseeing. There's likely no problem with this number of people.
“At any rate, there's not much I can say when I get called out to do this.”
While I looked at my surroundings, Olivia seemed uneasy.
“Maybe we should voice out our opinion?”
“I wonder. It might be better to just follow their directions, since it would otherwise be considered as being intrusive.”
If I'm speaking about my real intentions here, then I'm wondering about who the protagonist is going to go for, but I don't want to get too involved, so I needed to keep a distance.
Won't someone here get close with Olivia and set up a good mood…? I was thinking of such things, but I felt an oddly unpleasant feeling.
Why do I have to watch one of these other jerks get close with a good child like Olivia?
…Should I just bear with it for the sake of the future?
I'd like the story to progress by having one of the five guys make Olivia happy. Otherwise, things will turn serious.
The teacher ahead started explaining to everyone.
“Now then, please form groups. If you reach the third floor of the dungeon, come back. Don't progress any further than that.”
It was decided that we would make five groups of six people. Even so, the thirty people here agreed on moving while close to each other.
Julian, the one that shan't be hurt, and his clique were in the center while I ended up being in the front. Well, that's fine.
However, splitting into groups was the problem.
“Like I said, know your place!”
Anjelica's anger-filled voice echoed in the dungeon.
Everyone turned their head, and saw that she was standing in front of Marie.
The teacher got into a panic in front of the youthful daughter of a duke.
Looking at how the situation is developing, it seems that there was a dispute over a group's composition.
Marie was hiding behind the prince.
…What a sly one she is.
“Anjelica, leave it be.”
Anjelica talked back to Julian, who was sticking up for Marie.
“Your Highness, are you going to allow this person's selfishness?”
Marie cast her eyes downward from behind the prince. She held onto the prince's sleeve with her fingers, seeing her do those cute gestures, as if it was her intent, made me oddly irritated.
“Your Highness, I…just thought that it would be nice to be with you. I don't mind you refusing me if I'm a bother.”
Anjelica snapped and let out an angry voice towards Marie.
“Don't get carried away! His Highness' social status is different from yours. I've been tolerating you up until now, but if you're taking that kind of behavior, then──”
Anjelica gave off a very furious image.
It's the same in both reality and the game. She's a character who's teased as being like an instant water-boiler. Well, she's the villainess and the protagonist's rival.
I suppose she's made an image of herself as an agonizing woman that has a short tempter, good looks, and brandishes her household's power.
However, in this scene…it's supposed to be Oliva, the one standing next to me, who's protected. Meanwhile, Olivia's just being fl.u.s.tered while saying things like “W, what's going to happen?!”
…She looks strangely cute. It's different from Marie.
I was pondering about why it turned out like this, but I can only think of one cause.
“Have you noticed anything weird about that Marie girl?”
Olivia thought a bit in response to my words.
“C, come to think of it, recently she's been bullied harsher than me. The people around her gossip about things like how she's the daughter of a poor viscount household.”
A viscount household is one rank above a baron.
However, that doesn't mean they're rich. There are many cases where despite a household's ranking being high, the scale of that household doesn't match up to it. In the past, viscount households had appropriate territory and income, but at present, there are many that had their territory taken away, or just don't have a balance between court rank and household scale.
While the two argued, the people around agreed with Anjelica.
“It's unthinkable to get so close to him right in front of his fiance.”
“That girl has gotten closer with other boys too, right?”
Judging from the reactions of the surrounding people, it seems that this girl called Marie has s.n.a.t.c.hed away the position of the protagonist. As I was listening to Olivia──
Julian raised a loud voice, shutting up the mouths of the surrounding students.
Anjelica made a surprised expression.
“Y, your Highness?”
Jilk, with his usual gracefulness, appeared in front the prince as if he was going to protect him. He stood before Anjelica, held his right hand out sideways, and took a posture as if he was going to then protect both the prince and Marie.
“Anjelica, I prefer if you don't bother his Highness too much.”
“Bother? I'm a bother? I judged that this was for the sake of his──”
The one who flared up towards those words was Greg, who seemed invested.
He carried his spear over his shoulder, squinted, and looked irritated.
“He's saying that kind of att.i.tude is annoying. In the academy, we don't consider outside connections. Seeing this is making me lose my patience.”
n.o.body in the surroundings could talk back to the words from a heir of an influential n.o.ble. The prince then addressed the teacher.
“My apologies. We'll be teaming up with Marie. Now we just need to figure out a suitable formation.”
The teacher panicked and nodded many times.
Anjelica was dumbfounded, but I didn't fail to notice the smiling grin Marie made while n.o.body was looking.
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