Early the next morning, while it was still completely dark outside.
I woke up with a terribly painful headache.
I had been having trouble sleeping.
After hearing the talk about the country’s destruction, I had returned to the dormitory but found that I couldn’t fall asleep.
“…Damn it. Classes are going to start today.”
I recalled yesterday’s events.
I was at the bakery and preparing the dough, when I heard Mira arguing with a noblewoman.
The matter was settled with me delivering the freshly baked bread to her. But one wrong move might have resulted in a lot of trouble.
I was almost hunted down during the ceremony, and then I met an old friend from home. Linda.
I also learned the reason that she had moved. I could understand her current position, but she was also a hunter.
At night, I had an audience with Her Majesty and I made a report about my mission.
That was when I learned the shocking truth about Makoku.
And Ryukoku was in danger as well.
That was my day. Quite an eventful one, indeed.
Hmm. I didn’t feel very enthusiastic this morning at all. It was the first day, but I didn’t want to take any lessons.
I wanted to bake bread. I wanted to bake bread. I wanted to bake bread all day long.
I couldn’t. But I really wanted to.
…Alright. Time to switch gears and go off to what has become part of my daily routine.
The ‘Fluffy Bouloire.’ My spiritual home.
I quietly got changed so that my roommates wouldn’t wake up, and then went outside. It was still dark.
Then I melted into the shadows and headed for the bakery.
I needed to heal.
I needed to bake some bread. Yes, this was very rational behavior.
“What’s wrong with you? You seem very depressed.”
Mister Rob made this observation as I was engrossed in preparing the dough.
Depressed… Had it really shown on my face?
Well, I couldn’t exactly tell him that Makoku was going to fall and that Ryukoku was in grave danger. But I wished that I could.
“Well, something’s been bothering me. I suppose it must have shown.”
“It’s quite normal for young people to have troubles. But don’t worry, it will seem like nothing soon enough.”
Well, this concerned the destruction of our country, so I wasn’t sure it applied to me.
“Yeah, I’ll try to forget it.”
“Yes, that’s good. …Ah, by the way. Don’t your classes start today? You should be careful when you walk outside.”
“Uh, are you talking about what I experienced during the opening ceremony?”
“Well, yes. We citizens have lived here all this time, but most First-Years are still new to the capital. And so everything is unusual to them, and they like to explore the city.”
“I can see why. Especially if you’re from a small town.”
“And if they are given an allowance from their family, they will want to spend it.”
“I see. It is fun to shop around.”
“And so they unwittingly go to the commercial district while still in uniform. You’d think the opening ceremony would have taught them something.”
It was us that was new and unusual.
“Of course, plainclothes won’t do you much good if the Dragon Mark is on an eye-catching part of you.”
You’d get surrounded all the same, apparently.
You may get away with it at first, but things would get really difficult once people started recognizing your face. And so Mister Rob advised that I should pretend to be a civilian.
“I understand. I come here every day, but so far no one has suspected anything.”
“That’s true. My workers aren’t the type to go around with their mouths open. So it should be fine… Your Dragon Mark is on your left hand, isn’t it? You should buy yourself a nice pair of gloves.”
That was surprising.
“I did get some gloves… Oh, right. I can’t use the gloves from the Academy.”
I didn’t mind using the rough ones I brought from home, but maybe it would be good to buy some high-quality ones with thin leather.
“Yes. They’re going to start selling more things in the store starting today, so I’ll pick out a good pair.”
“That would be best.”
As it had not been open for a long time, the store on the first floor of the dormitory only sold a small selection of items until yesterday.
Things would be fully open today.
I was a little bit excited to see what they would be selling.
As I had finished my work at the bakery, I decided to head back.
Mira was still sleeping. So much for getting up early now.
She wasn’t good at getting up in the morning.
Could she really survive as a baker?