Roel sat in an empty classroom, watching quietly as Lilian walked out of the door before sighing deeply.
Their interaction made it clear to him that Lilian had no intention of building any sort of relationship with him. She wanted to maintain a certain distance between them, and honestly speaking, he couldn’t understand her thoughts at all.
He couldn’t help noticing that something was off during his interaction with Lilian. The reasons that Lilian offered might sound reasonable at first, but upon careful contemplation, it should be clear that maintaining a friendly relationship with him would yield more benefits.
Of course, different people tended to look at problems from different perspectives, but someone as intelligent as Lilian should have contemplated the pros and cons from different angles before coming to a decision.
Or could it be that something is interfering with her decision?
Roel pondered for a moment before shaking his head. He shouldn’t be trying to make meaningless speculations here, especially not when he had many things on his plate at the moment.
The Blackrose Ring was a legacy he had inherited from his old ancestor, as well as the culprit that caused his spirit guide to inflate to a diameter of five meters.
Roel hadn’t put the ring on even once over the last week. There were far too many people on his tail that he was afraid that someone would catch him with it. On top of that, he was also unaware of what exactly was the Blackrose Ring’s ability. According to Ro, the Blackrose Ring provided one guidance, but there was no further explanation on what this ‘guidance’ was.
He would prefer not to cause a commotion with the Blackrose Ring if possible, so he decided to look into it only after getting his own turf.
It was then that footsteps began sounding from the corridor outside. Roel quickly snapped out of his thoughts, pulled up his hoodie and put on his scarf, and walked out.
Chris had chosen to put together this meeting before the morning classes so that Roel and Lilian could familiarize themselves with one another ahead of time. Now that their meeting was over, it was finally time for morning classes.
The freshmen classes focused more on rudimentary content with the aim of nurturing the students’ learning habits. The first class Roel went through was math, and it reminded him of the math class he went through in university in his previous life, though the two could hardly be compared with one another in terms of difficulty.
Compared to all of the complicated mathematical models he had to learn in his previous life, what was being taught by the lecturer right now could definitely be considered as simple.
One thing that was worthy of note was the grand-looking classrooms in the Faculty of Mathematics. Its centuries-old buildings were made out of stone and carried an air of history, but at the same time, they were so well-preserved that they didn’t appear decrepit.
The classroom had tiered seating, and there were plenty of windows to suffuse the room with natural light.
The seats were made out of warmwood, which was harvested from a special type of tree from the Austine Empire. It had the ability to regulate mana so as to maintain its temperature regardless of the weather, and this property was maintained in the furniture constructed using its lumber. On top of that, its surface wasn’t too hard, making it fairly comfortable to sit on. Its outstanding qualities made it one of the local specialties of the Austine Empire.
There were also old floating sculptures, beautiful hanging lights, soft carpeting, censers, and all sorts of noblelike objects. This was at odds with Roel’s perception of what a normal educational institute ought to be like, though it did drive in the fact that the Saint Freya Academy was indeed an academy for the nobles, and at the same time, it justified the exorbitant tuition fees too.
Taking just the censers for example, it wasn’t just an exquisitely designed ornament. It was, in fact, a magic tool, and the incense burning on it was crafted out of special materials to heighten one’s focus. The same applied to most of the objects in the classroom too.
Honestly speaking, Roel thought that it would be hard to fail the examinations being in such an environment. With so much money dumped into enhancing the learning environment, even pigs should be able to scrape a pass.
“Is this the power of money?” murmured Roel as he swept a gaze around the classroom.
As someone who had practically spent his previous life at school, Roel had a habit where he was fond of sitting at the very back of the classroom. The thought of having a group of people constantly looking at what he was doing behind his back made him feel uneasy. Of course, he knew that it was an irrational fear since everyone was busy fiddling with their phones in class to care about what others were doing, but that was simply how he felt.
However, here at the Saint Freya Academy, it was pretty clear to him that it wasn’t just an irrational fear, especially since his fellow classmates were taking the trouble to turn their heads around to look at him.
Roel sighed helplessly. He couldn’t figure any way to deal with this issue, so he could only hope that time would eventually quell their curiosity. Fortunately, the students were still focused on the lesson most of the time, possibly because they didn’t want to leave a bad impression with the lecturer on their very first class.
As there were far too many freshmen, there were multiple time slots for the fundamental classes taught by different teachers. In Roel’s case, he was the only First Grade student under Chris, so he was naturally assigned to the same class as the students of the large ‘Flatley’s Classroom’. Due to that, neither Nora nor Charlotte was with him.
Nora and her followers had joined the Saint Mesit Theocracy’s ‘Kathleen’s Classroom’ whereas Charlotte and her people joined Rosa’s ‘Lora Classroom’.
Kathleen Weiss was the daughter of the patriarch of the Weiss House of the Theocracy’s Five Eminent Houses two generations ago, making her the daughter of a high noble. Her background made her highly trustworthy, so it was unlikely that she would try to pull anything that was detrimental to the Theocracy and its successor.
The ‘Kathleen’s Classroom’ was known for their ritual spells which encompassed healing, cleansing, and many other fields. Anyone could tell at first sight that it was closely related with the Theocracy.
As for ‘Lora’s Classroom’, it specialized in the field of astrology and divination spells. It came into prominence when it accurately prophesied a major storm in Brolne decades ago and convinced the top brass to make preparations against it, thus greatly reducing the damage and financial losses to the common populace.
Lora herself was also a trustworthy individual from Rosa’s perspective, for she was Charlotte’s grandaunt. Even back at Rosa, she was one of the representative figures of the Sorofya House, her reputation traveling far and wide. Having such an esteemed individual teach the clan’s successor was naturally assuring.
This meant that it was impossible for Roel to be assigned to the same math class as the two ladies.
Needless to say, Nora and Charlotte were unhappy with this allocation, but they chose to let things be knowing that their attention would surely wander if they were really put in the same classroom as Roel.
There were goals they needed to achieve in the academy as the successors of their respective countries, and for that, they had to maintain their outstanding academic results. Given so, it was important for them to focus in class.
While one’s learning ability could differ depending on one’s aptitude, those who wanted to reach the top tier would definitely have to put in some effort into their work, especially in a place like the Saint Freya Academy. Even for prodigies like Nora and Charlotte, there was a good chance that their peers would catch up to them if they loosened up too much.
But of course, the one who was the most gladdened by this allocation of classes was no other than Roel. He wouldn’t want to go through the bitter experience of being sandwiched in the middle once more as he did at the entrance ceremony.
On top of that, he realized that Nora had recently expressed an interest in making sneaky movements in public just to see how he would react, and she would always reveal an excited look whenever she saw his frightened blushing face. Just the thought of her fooling around in class was enough to make his head heat up.
Charlotte was also a tough one to deal with too due to the bizarre ideas she constantly had in mind. Just a while back, she wanted to start a trend of couple clothes and immediately dove right into designing them. The clothes weren’t ready yet, but Roel could already imagine just the huge uproar that would ensue once Nora learned about it.
Both Nora and Charlotte had already received their personal building and training grounds, and more and more people amongst the freshmen were starting to don the Goldenrose and Redrose insignia.
Roel couldn’t tap into his existing connections in the Theocracy and Rosa, so he practically had to build his faction up from scratch. However, it was thankful that he had already made a resounding reputation for himself in ‘Night of the Demons’, so recruitment was unlikely to be too difficult.
After morning classes were over, Roel quickly had his breakfast before leaving the central district. Based on the arrangements he made with the staff members a week ago, his new mountainside manor, the Azure Manor, should be ready by now, and he was planning to head over to take a look.
It took an hour of bumpy ride before he finally caught sight of a magnificent sky blue-themed building.
On the whole, the mountainside manor exceeded Roel’s expectations. From its garden, fountain, all the way to the main building, both the scale and extravagance were satisfactory to Roel. On top of that, there were also many natural resources that could be harvested in the Miste Mountain if Roel ever wanted a taste of the wild.
Roel was led into the Azure Manor under the lead of a staff member. The interior decor was quite traditional, carrying the artistic style of the Second Epoch’s Ancient Austine Empire. Overall, he was quite satisfied with this freebie he was given.
After taking a look around and ensuring that the location was in order, he began giving the recruitment of personnel for his faction further thoughts.
It was kind of like cheating, but he was advantaged in the sense that he was privy to exclusive information on quite a few notable figures in the game. Thanks to the leads he had on hand, he wasn’t too anxious about the matter.
He carefully planned out the matter till nighttime before heading to the dining room to try out the cooking of the Azure Manor’s chef—it was not excellent but passable. After that, he returned back to his large master bedroom, locked the door, and took out a black ring.
“… So, it’s supposed to bestow its wearer guidance?” murmured Roel contemplatively.
He put the Blackrose Ring onto the fourth finger on his right hand, but this supposedly significant ‘first wearing’ didn’t stir anything at all. There was no mana pulsation or peculiar physical sensation; it felt no different from a normal ring.
He tried to infuse his mana into the ring, but his mana simply dissipated without achieving anything.
“Is there some sort of condition I need to fulfill in order to activate the ring? Or could it be that I’ll have to wear it for a certain period of time first?”
Roel speculated the possibilities with crossed arms, but he couldn’t figure anything out despite experimenting all sorts of things with the ring. Time passed swiftly and soon it was midnight. He decided to first retire for the night and figure things out later.
He lay on the bed and gazed at the Blackrose Ring that shimmered dimly beside the night lamps before finally closing his eyes with a sigh.
The night lamps were put out, and Roel’s breathing gradually became long and deep. In this peaceful environment, the Blackrose Ring suddenly began to glow silently.
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