The story of Yume's point of view, the first day of class, one month after the Royal Academy Entrance Examination.
"PLEASE, DON'T KILL ME!!!"
Yume woke up screaming from a horrifying nightmare. She huffed, puffed, and sweated profusely as she tried to calm herself down with consecutive breaths.
It took some time while dazing off until her eyesight became clear enough, noticing that the ceiling of her room was entirely different.
'Why is the ceiling so low?'
Similarly, she felt the bed's mattress was a little more stuffy than usual. She had this feeling of a familiar yet unfamiliar vibe. Like some Deja Vu...
Now she remembered. The school vacation had already ended, and she was currently inside her room in the Royal Academy Dormitory.
Now that Yume had returned to reality, she tried to remember her nightmare but failed due to vagueness, which should be expected. So instead of trying to dwell on it, she tried to recall something different.
"I'm in the academy now. What should I do again? I forgot something."
While thinking, she suddenly remembered the incident that transpired last month, completely opening her eyes wide awake.
"The black-haired Sir!"
Remembering made her get up from the bed, just to notice after glancing outside through a window that she woke up earlier than usual.
She could still go back to sleep but decided to grab a servant's bell, ringing it three times.
Clang clang clang...
The dormitory for high-ranking nobles has better accommodation, where their maid has a room closer to them.
A few seconds passed, and someone knocked at the door while asking in a low and drowsy tone.
"Milady, this is Yiyi. Did Milady call?"
"Good mor—Milady! Why are you sweating? Are you alright?!"
Yiyi, a personal maid, worriedly rushed inside after seeing her Lady's face drenched in sweats. She quickly took a towel from a drawer to gently wipe Yume's face.
"Please tell me if you are hurting anywhere, Milady."
Seeing how worried Yiyi was, made Yume's heart relax. She grabbed Yiyi's shoulder.
"I'm fine now, Yiyi. Thank you."
Sniff — "Milady, whatever happens, or whatever problem, I'll always be on Milady's side."
"Huu... Don't worry, Yiyi, I already calmed down. Help me prepare for my bath. I desire to go to school early."
Yiyi quickly took a wooden bucket with water to fill the bathtub, then she took a magic device from a stash and dropped it into the tub. After activating the device, bubbles started to form, and hot steams came out of the water.
It was a heating magic device.
An invention from the Xan Kingdom used to heat things like water much faster than other methods, simply by providing it with a magic stone. A device worth tens of thousands of gold, expensive enough to make a low-ranking noble bankrupt.
Even though a wealthy person had enough money, the Xan Kingdom only sold the device in a limited quantity. It also has an anti-plagiarism mechanism to prevent others from stealing the technology. This means that one wouldn't be able to buy without a proper connection.
In Yume's case, it was weird enough that someone dropped this device in front of their mansion gate a few years ago on her birthday, leaving a note that said, "From your loyal Fan."
One reason why, when Yume learned that someone from the Xan Kingdom enrolled in the Royal Academy, she got excited. She wanted to ask the person if he knew someone back home named Fan. She thought she could at least give him something in return, such as gratitude.
"The water is warm enough, Milady."
Yiyi helped Yume undress. Then Yume slowly immersed herself in the bathtub.
The hot water was so soothing that Yume played with it like a child.
Blub blub blub blub blub...
"Milady! You should not play with water using your mouth."
Yiyi bravely scolded her Lady while scrubbing her arm with a towel.
"Humph! Yiyi, you are becoming like my private teachers."
"But I won't punish Milady for doing this—"
"Alright, alright, I'll stop. So let's not mention the teachers anymore."
"You seem a little bit excited today, Milady."
"N... Not, not really."
Yume evaded her eyes. She didn't expect Yiyi to say that. So she hurriedly submerged herself in the water to release her foolish thoughts.
The horses slowed as the brakes were applied to the carriage, entering into a complete stop.
"Milady, have a good day."
Billy, the commander of Yume's bodyguards, and Paul, her private coachman, gave their parting words to their master. Bowing their heads down as she entered the Royal Academy.
Yume walked to the main building and noticed that she might be the first student who arrived today. She came two hours ahead of schedule before the first class and only encountered patrolling guards along the way.
Yume's heart skipped a beat when she thought of meeting again with Ryu. Aside from inquiring about the person named Fan, she was also curious about Ryu because of the similar hair color, black.
She was excited and, at the same time, scared. Would Ryu be a friend, or would he resent her like the others?
Meanwhile, she sat down on a bench and opened a small book from a pouch. The book was titled 'Fly into the Horizon.'
Yume's favorite book. It was about a person hated by everyone but still followed her dream to be able to fly into the sky. Even with all the obstacles laid down by those who wanted her to fail, she didn't surrender and kept trying until the main character achieved her goal.
For some unknown reason, the story warmed Yume's heart, so she treasured the book deeply. Cherished to the point, she kept reading the book over and over.
'Oh my... The school bell.'
Yume was startled, carefully shoving the book into her pouch. The bell indicated that only 15 minutes were remaining for classes to start. She needed to meet with Ryu, so she hastily rushed to the freshmen building.
Chatter... Chatter... Chatter...
Yume mumbled, reading the sign at the top of the classroom door. After strolling for a while, she finally found Ryu's classroom.
When she looked at the announcement board earlier, she saw that Ryu was assigned to Room F-1. A room where the lowest-ranked people were given. A group with the worst budget throughout the year and full of disadvantages.
Yume slowly opened the door and looked for a person with black hair. It only took her around five seconds to see Ryu sitting in the corner end of the room.
Without realizing that, Yume ended up staring at him for quite some time because she was mesmerized by the view of the sunlight flowing through the window, which made a fantastic spectacle.
A scene that was like she was looking at a beautiful painting. A gentleman with black hair relaxing on his chair with crossed arms, a manly appearance as he glanced at the broad field through the window while listening to the songs of the birds nostalgically. The reality that no other person was near him made it look more magnificent.
Yume nonchalantly mumbled, forgetting the reason she was there in the first place. She stood at the spot, engraving the picture in her heart. So she would remember this beautiful scene forever.
Without warning, Ryu suddenly looked at her, their eyes locked. It lasted for a while until a random lady initiated and asked.
"Greetings, Lady Yume. Is there something we can help you with?"
A cold shiver went down Yume's spine, and she felt goosebumps. Making her embarrassed.
"No...! Pardon, I mean pardon me. I, I was only looking around."
Yume hastily turned around without second thoughts and left.
She quickly returned to her classroom, shoving her head on a table and covering herself with both arms as her face flushed. She felt so hot that she could tell how the blood circulated inside her body.
Yume tried to relax as she exhaled. Then a professor spoke and started the class.
"Alright, everyone, we will be starting our class now."
During the lecture, Yume was occupied with thoughts that she hadn't been listening to at all. Though, with her upbringing, she already knew the contents of the lecture.
After a while, lunch break came, and everyone went their way as usual. Friends dine together, and wealthy nobles depart to their private quarters.
Yume returned to her carriage when she saw Ryu walking towards the high-class restaurant. An idea came to her, so she followed him.
Ryu entered the restaurant and ordered. When Yume attempted to go near him, her nervousness got ahead, preventing her mouth from speaking. With no other choice, she decided to sit at another table, to be precise, the one behind his.
Usually, Yume should've been in her private quarters, but this unexpected situation made her lunch for the first time. So she just ordered anything she thought would taste good.
'Sigh... I failed again.'
Yume got downhearted.
Time went by, and Ryu finished eating. Yume noticed, so she initiated to leave first to wait outside the restaurant. She saw Ryu leave without noticing her in one corner, so she, again, followed him. Hoping some coincidence would happen, allowing both of them to speak.
Yume was taught and had experienced talking to people. But for some reason, she was having a hard time with Ryu.
Continuing her pursuit, she had been following him for a while now. Then one moment, Ryu suddenly decided to stop walking. Yume became anxious and stopped. She felt weird since he didn't do anything else before walking again.
Then Yume followed.
One moment, he stopped for a while and resumed.
Then she followed back.
Yume was getting tired since his walking pace was a little faster. She needed to do two steps forward every time he moved one step.
When she noticed that he had started to run, she panicked! Making Yume ran too.
Then Yume got surprised when a guy like Ryu suddenly screamed.
In a surprise, Yume followed as she screamed.
Ryu quickly turned around after hearing her voice. He might have noticed that Yume was stalking him, which embarrassed her.
"It, it's me, Sir Ryu."
Ryu's nervousness dissipated.
Yume learned that he didn't have noticed her at all. Though she was happy that he remembered her name. At the same time, she couldn't remove the expression Ryu had made earlier in her mind. It was funny.
Yume burst out laughing.
Ryu was so embarrassed and didn't know what to do. So he fought back, teasing Yume by calling her a princess.
'Oh my gosh!'
Yume didn't know why, but Ryu kept calling her a princess. Truthfully, it made her happy, but she was also scared that others who would hear might criticize him.
What shocked her was Ryu knew about it but insisted.
"Yes? Huu... Wait... What? I told you I'm not a princess, Sir Ryu."
Yume was confused, but Ryu quickly changed the topic by answering her question with another question.
"Why are you following me, Princess?"
"Because I need to talk—wait, please don't change the subject—"
Suddenly, an unwanted variable appeared. Yume even had no time to get embarrassed.
"My, my, my... Who do we have here?"
Someone interrupted in a mocking voice. Yume saw the person and furrowed.
Now, Yume even lost the chance to ask Ryu for the person named Fan.