Two months have passed since the start of the first term in Bertram Kingdom’s Royal Institute .
Since Rio was entering in the middle of the term, it was only natural that he became the centre of attention .
It was arranged for Rio to be introduced in the first home room .
“Starting today I will be studying together with everyone in this class . My name is Rio . Please take care of me for the next six years . ”
In a flat tone, Rio introduced himself without hesitation .
“A transfer student in the middle of the term?”
“He doesn’t have a family name . He must be a commoner . ”
“Why is a commoner entering in the middle of the term?”
“From what I heard, he’s the orphan who rescued Christina-sama from danger . Enrolling in the Royal Institute on His Majesty’s recommendation was his reward . ”
“An orphan? And thanks to that, this kind of guy is enrolling in the Royal Institute?”
No applause came .
Instead, the sound of murmurings could be heard from the students who were evaluating him . Their eyes gathered on Rio .
A tinge of hatred surfaced, this seven year old kid already tainted the place for nobles to study .
As for the kids of high class nobles who served in the royal castle, they already knew about this beforehand .
Naturally they also knew that Rio was an orphan and were looking at Rio as if witnessing a strange animal . It was understandable since they all came from a privileged class .
As for Rio himself, he already expected that things would turn out like this .
With his facial expression completely calm and serene, Rio surveyed the entire class .
From the looks of it, he judged that there were over 100 people in the room .
Classes 1 to 3, each class consisted of 100 students1 .
It was very clear that the population was divided by social status with a distinct wall between nobles and commoners .
The noble class was further hierarchized . School regulations dictated that discrimination based on social status and connections were not allowed but judging from the classroom’s atmosphere, it was clear that it was only a façade .
(Well by creating relationships during the time at the institute, once you graduate you will have a large number of connections . N…?)
Suddenly, Rio’s gaze rested on a familiar face .
The person sat in the far corner of the classroom .
Around her were students from high pedigree sending despising gazes towards Rio .
When her line of sight matched with Rio, Christina pouted her lips in displeasure .
It seems that she hates me quite a bit; Rio thought that while cynically laughing in his mind .
He also had no intentions to involve himself with Christina .
If she hated him, it will only be more convenient .
“Fumu, any questions? …so there aren’t any . Yosh . Rio . You can sit at that empty seat . Basically you can sit wherever you want but I recommend you sit there for now . That’s all . ”
“Understood . ”
The lecturer standing beside Rio simply said so and urged Rio to sit . Rio who also preferred to not stand any longer in front of the class quickly moved to the empty seat .
Thus Rio’s life in the Royal Institute began .
There were four classes in a day with an hour for each class .
But problem arose in the very first class .
And that was math class .
“Well . Okay, let’s see . Rio the transfer student . Please solve this problem . ”
Said the lecturer in charge of the current class . Each class had a different lecturer .
The one in charge of math class was a considerably young lecturer .
If it was in Japan, she would be around the age of an upper grade elementary schooler .
However she was actually closer to that of a junior high schooler but her appearance betrayed her .
Rio was asked to solve a problem that could be compared to a first grade elementary school problem in Japan which anyone could solve .
Unfortunately Rio did not understand what was written .
“E~~tto, sorry but I can’t read the numbers written . ”
Rio could not read numbers .
And, following that was a moment of silence followed by bursts of laughter .
“Oi oi . Enrolling in the Royal Institute but not being able to read . ”
“To share the same class with this lowly fellow who can’t even read numbers…”
“A~, that’s right . He didn’t take admission test . ”
“I can’t accept such a lowlife . He’s also stupid . ”
The class remembered he was of the same age and began to immerse themselves in a sense of superiority .
Their ridicule of Rio could be heard from all directions .
“I see, so you can’t read . You haven’t been taught that . …All right . I’ll give you extra lessons afterward . Please come to my laboratory afterschool . For today just listen to the lecture and if you don’t understand please ask . ”
She said that while shaking her head at disbelief of Rio’s lack of education .
“Understood . ”
Rio then decided to accept the advice given to him and listened to the lesson .
“Nee~, you . ”
A voice called out to Rio after math class .
Looking at the one who called him, he saw the perfect example of an Ojou-sama standing in front of a crowd of her fans .
Rio noticed that they were the group who were sitting around Christina .
“Yes, what is it?”
“What is it? Well, I’m sorry . What did you mean in the previous class?”
“Huh? No . What about the previous class?”
The girl showed an expression as if lamenting for Rio .
“What about it? It’s about you who can’t even read numbers . In this prestigious Royal Institute, especially when you’re enrolled in the same class as Christina-sama and myself, for a monkey like you to be mixed in it . ”
Apparently Rio received a complaint from this girl . Sighing both in his mind and out loud, he gave an answer to the one raising the complaint against him .
“Sorry, but I’m illiterate . ”
It was true that he was illiterate in this world .
These sorts of rotten people would only increase after knowing about this .
The kind of person who tells it to him flatly would be the most decent .
Up until now, thanks to the people from the privileged class, he developed some kind of stress resistance and gained more than enough of an understanding towards this world’s society .
“Since you’re entering in the middle of term, I had expected that you have already learned the four basic math calculations2 so I’m extremely disappointed . ”
The girl was staring at Rio with disdain in her eyes .
“Really . I assumed you’d be a bit poor when compared to Her Highness Princess Christina and a daughter of Duke Fonsyn, but I still had some expectations from you . ”
Apparently the leader of the group’s name was Roana .
Many students standing near Roana started agreeing with her .
“Not being able to read numbers made me laugh quite a bit . No, I already expected that . ”
A boy spat out that line while pointing at Rio and looking at him with a ridiculing expression .
“Haa~ . With this, my expectations for another class have been shattered . ”
Said Roana sighing .
“First you should question yourself as to why you are even allowed to be sitting in this place . If you are aware of how blessed you are to be here, then burn it into your mind since it’s obvious that you don’t belong here . ”
“Understood . Roana-sama . Thank you for your consideration . ”
Rio said that while lowering his head .
Seeing that, Roana was left agape for a bit admiring his manners .
“Ara, it looks like you at least have some courtesy . All right then . You just need to be more diligent since it’s also my responsibility as class representative along with Christina-sama to help you . Besides, it’s a noble’s duty to lead the commoner . ”
“Thank you very much . ”
As if it was a natural thing, Roana said it with an expression full of confidence .
That must be her true feelings .
“As expected of Roana-sama . ”
Her fans started agreeing with her immediately .
Suddenly, they noticed Rio was looking at them with a smirk on his face . Somehow it was like he was grateful that their self-esteem was lower than his own .
Rio already knew Roana’s fans had wicked minds .
“Next is history class but you also can’t read right? It’s frustrating that even with great effort, you’ll only be able to catch up a little bit . “
After saying that, Roana returned to her seat .
And before long the next lecturer came .
As expected, Rio could not write nor read the letters on the blackboard . As such he did not even attempt to open his notebook and spent the time trying to memorize the contents of the lecture .
And thus, the last class of the day was martial arts practice .
Training in martial arts and magic was done together, but for the elementary grade, the martial arts training was not too rigorous as it would be harmful to their bodies .
For the first year in the elementary course, students only needed to familiarize themselves with a wide variety of weapons and armour .
“Now, today we will be learning about different types of swords . We will do one set for 10 minutes and a sufficient break will be given afterwards . You will be practising the sword stance that I taught in the previous lesson . Then, let’s start with three sets . HA!”
After saying that, the students dispersed and began mimicking the sword stance with wooden swords in hand .
Upon finishing his instructions, the teacher came to a stop in front of Rio .
“Rio . Since your progress is behind everyone else, I will personally teach you the sword stance . Come here . ”
Following the teacher’s instruction, Rio separated himself from the rest of the students .
“You, can you show me how you hold your sword?”
“Yes . At once . ”
“Hmm, I see . Then, I will first check your stance . Try to hit me once with that sword . Come whenever you ready . ”
Right after saying that, the teacher readied his stance .
Seeing that, Rio thought that it was a practical stance without any openings forged through experience .
In the meantime he was seeing if he could find any openings in the teacher’s stance .
Perhaps it would be an easy win if he strengthened his blow with magic by using physical and body reinforcement .
He began to feel uneasy due his grade not being taught magic yet .
But it was already known that he rescued Christina and Flora so it would not be unusual even if he showed his true strength .
In the end, he decided against using flesh reinforcement and physical reinforcement so that he could gauge his ability without relying on it .
Deciding to limit his ability, Rio readied his sword stance .
“Is that self-taught stance?”
Looking at his beautiful stance made the teacher wonder and ask Rio .
“I thought so because of how you hold your sword . I see . You have talent . ”
Right after the teacher said that, Rio charged at him .
After closing the distance, Rio released a blow while also watching his opponent’s sword .
“Hou~ . Good swordsmanship . You won’t strain your wrist like that . ”
The teacher said that while reacting to Rio’s sword . Looking at Rio and holding his sword with one hand, he blocked the incoming strike .
As expected of a teacher with a sharp observation, by saying that it meant that Rio surpassed his expectations .
It was difficult for Rio to hide the full extent of his ability using only basic swordsmanship .
Well, it was fine if it was only that much .
But, he already determined to not go all out so he had to limit himself .
“Umu~ . Good! Rio, you’re suited to become a knight!”
While warding off Rio, the teacher proclaimed with a smile . Nothing can be done about his hot-bloodedness . Honestly, it was a bit stifling .
“Unfortunately I am not interested in becoming a knight . ”
“Why? That’s fine, your time here has just started . Don’t worry, I will train you the way a knight fights . ”
Suddenly a sharp blow was released against Rio by the teacher .
“Hou~ . Now how did you fend off that blow? “
“Wasn’t it that Sensei wouldn’t attack me…?”
“There is no need to abide to such rule! I know that you’re skilled enough . Good, once again . ”
The teacher swung his sword again .
Moreover he was also trying to knock away Rio’s sword .
“In terms of power and speed, generally it’s a perfect score for basic ability… Extremely fine movements . …Well, this institute teaches this kingdom’s swordsmanship which is very different style . Where did you learn such a style? “
“From my deceased mother . ”
Rio stated the most convenient explanation that came to his mind .
“I see… I’m sorry . You must be practicing it quite a lot . ”
“Yes . ”
Rio answered back indifferently .
“Well your basic swordsmanship is very solid . To the point that you won’t experience any negative effects even if you learn this kingdom’s swordsmanship style . I’ll reshape your stance . ”
It was decided that Rio would learn swordsmanship afterschool .
When he was about to return, Rio suddenly felt as if someone was watching him .
Looking over, he could see Roana and Christina .
When Christina and Rio’s eyes met, she quickly averted her gaze but Roana became rock solid with a look of disbelief .
He wondered if he was being watched the whole time .
It was not like it was a big deal so what was the matter?
Rio was slightly confused .
But since he had no time to worry about such trivial things, Rio continued his sword stance training .
1 . Three classes per year, each consisting of around 100 students
2 . Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division