Rudel and Izumi were surrounded on the school roof. They were surrounded by the followers of Rudel’s brother Chlust, and all of them were underclassmen of the fundamental course department… new students who had only just enrolled and learned the basics. Just how many capable fighters were among them…
“Rudel… it’s your fault my plans have gone to ruin. When I don’t have the qualifications to succeed my house, the princess was my last hope! And yet you…!!”
Rudel couldn’t understand Chlust’s feelings. To Rudel, succeeding the house held very little interest. All he had was his will to become a dragoon… a dragon knight. The rest was unnecessary.
“Succeeding the house is the eldest son’s obligation. But I’ll admit I am certainly unworthy of the role… then you can succeed the house if you wish.”
“Don’t screw around! That territory isn’t worthy of me! There is a title and honor more appropriate for me… I could’ve even become king!”
Hearing those words, Rudel let out a sigh. Even if he caught the second princess’ fancy and managed to marry her, he wouldn’t be a king. The archdukes houses originated from royal blood… if anything happened, perhaps they could take the seat of king. But even so… Rudel didn’t think Chlust was of royal caliber.
“Chlust… why don’t you stop dreaming and look at reality? Under normal circumstance, you could have father grant you some land, or be married to govern another house. Polishing yourself will always aid your future…”
Rudel’s words were the same ones Chlust wanted to tell him for years. Despising his brother, Chlust was convinced his present situation arose from unfair evaluations of him stemming from his Rudel’s shortcomings.
“This coming from you… from the bastard who aims to be the dragoon he’ll never become!!? That’s enough… get him!”
The followers came towards them by Chlust’s orders… in that moment, Rudel came to a conclusion. Talking was pointless, and he couldn’t cause a problem here and now… then he would have to run…
“R-Rudel, what are you…!”
As Izumi took a stance against the droves of tag-alongs, Rudel lifted her under his arm and jumped off of the roof.
”I-is he an idiot!?”
Hearing such voices from the followers, Rudel jumped down from the school building and landed… he instantly raced off. Get away and you win! Thought Rudel as he raced off at full speed, leaving Chlust in a daze. And one of the boys…
“H-he ran away. He really was a failure after all, Chlust-sama.”
To the follower who said that with a cramped smile, Chlust also made a mocking remark at Rudel’s flight.
“That incompetent… don’t think you can run away forever.”
But Rudel hadn’t merely run away. He had reported a problem on campus to the teachers, as was his student obligation. Though in the case a commoner was being bullied by nobles, doing so would never have much of an effect…
The next day the boys, Chlust included, were put on house arrest… carrying weapons on academy grounds was prohibited in general, and more than anything, if they were trying to raise a violent incident, it was a large problem. What’s more, their attack was against the future archduke Rudel… the academy could punish without hesitation.
As it was an internal problem of the Arses House, the punishment was lightened. But with it, the Arses House’s reputation fell even further. Both brothers were treated as problem children.
“Chlust sure did something stupid.”
Rudel spoke as he looked at the house arrest document posted up. A number of students looking at it alongside him,
(Like you’re one to talk!)
They thought to themselves.
“Was that really alright? He’s your younger brother, right… and while it’s a problem within your house, your standing will…”
Izumi had heard Rudel was hated by his parents and the mansion’s servants. So she was worried this event would needlessly lower Rudel’s standing even further.
“It’s fine, with this… I can only hope Chlust cools his head. And to me, my social standing is of little importance.”
“… If your reputation is too low, won’t it become a problem when becoming a dragoon? How should I put it… they could judge you a problematic individual, or your house could get in your way…”
On Izumi’s words, Rudel made a face as it to say it had only just occurred to him. Sure enough, there would be people to oppose a problem child becoming a dragoon. From his household situation, it was thinkable they would interfere to get back at him. Because Chlust was loved by his parents…
“This is terrible!”
“Yeah, that’s right… I’m glad you noticed.”
As a second year student, Rudel and the others began the harsh training of the fundamental curriculum. In the first year, they would lean all the basics, and this time they would put them to practice. The academy was a place to produce the Courtois Kingdom’s officers and officials. The young nobles would be taught the common knowledge of the kingdom, so if ever an emergency came, they would be able to coordinate their private armies. Or at least that was the goal.
For the commoners, they would become soldiers, or the higher-ranking knights… they could also become civil officials with their sights on promotion. The fact that people of low status could attend was linked directly to the Courtois’ Kingdom’s forced enlistment of them when the time arose. An academy with a military side… that was a pretense.
The place held quite a heavy setting, but to the protagonist of this story, Aleist, it was simply an ‘RPG themed around romance’. Surrounded by beauties and cuties, the protagonist would live a pampered life as he saved the country from crisis… that was the original form of this world.
The reason anyone could attend from princess to commoner was merely so the developers could include a wide range of characters.
As he recalled that, Aleist thought over the present situation. In his room, he looked over the notes he had written as he crossed off Izumi’s name. It was a game with a large cast. It didn’t matter if one or two of them were exceptions… so Aleist thought.
“The problem is Rudel. He didn’t lay hands on Fina, and the one who raised a problem was the younger brother Chlust. I need to somehow make that cool-headed Fina go dere… but if the event never happens, there’s nothing I can do…”
Even in the academy, it was hard to do anything to the princess Fina. She had guards among her classmates, and the teachers kept an eye out for her. It was a difficult situation for any man to approach… the only exceptions were the young nobles of high social standing. But Aleist’s Hardie House was an upstart house with shallow history.
He couldn’t approach. And at the same time, Aleist didn’t understand Fina’s inner thoughts. She was expressionless, but there was some madness going on underneath.
“At this rate, even when it’s the second year, I won’t be able to get a single comrade… the war begins right after graduation, so it’ll be bad if I can’t strengthen our members while I can!”
Aleist thought to himself. The war he spoke of was one with a country rivaling Courtois… the Gaia Empire would launch an invasion. They weren’t given much backstory. Or rather, there was no setting given besides the fact they were the game’s final enemy.
In the third year at the academy, there were only a few foreshadows, and a romance event with a Gaia soldier prepared for the protagonist.
But the Gaia Empire did exist, and it shared a border with Courtois.
“Millia’s big sister, while she’s got nice looks… as I recall, she’s a dragoon, so she’s not very useful. Her looks alone get a passing grade, though… there’s an event with her this year, so should I try getting her?”
By Aleist’s standards, ‘Dragoons were unusable’… there was a reason behind it. Once dismounted from their dragons, and looked on as knights, Dragoons were units who specialized in mid, and long ranged magic battles. By Aleist’s image, they were weak against enemies who specialized in close-range combat.
Sure enough, in game, they occupied a dubious niche. The dragoons boasted relatively high status… but they were a class that came with a decisive flaw of having no close-range skills.
“Cattleya will become Rudel’s fiancé, so it’ll be quite a while before we meet…”
Cattleya Ninias… after Rudel was chased out of the academy, it was decided she would marry into the Arses House. The engagement was decided the moment Rudel caused a scandal and returned home. The Arses House applied pressure on the Ninias House in an attempt to obtain Cattleya, a dragoon highly trusted by the royal line.
But Rudel didn’t cause any problems, and he wasn’t being chased from the academy. Even so, the events would happen.