My first gathering.
I had slipped out quite early, but Ark later told me that the whole thing had been quite awkward.
“As there was the recent official announcement regarding the abolition of the Dragon Master Fund, only one Patron can be chosen from this year on.”
“The Dragon Master Fund… That whole idea about crowd-funding a single Dragon Master.”
“Yes. They announced that only one Patron would be chosen at the Dragon Welcoming ceremony. So even smaller groups that might not have been considered funds, have nowhere to go now.”
This announcement had come right before the gathering.
As the competition had suddenly become very severe, the participants were under a lot of pressure.
“I’m glad that I slipped out then.”
Honestly, I didn’t want to be in that kind of tense environment.
“Well, this is the first time, right? I think they might loosen the rules a little next year, if they see that it’s not going too well.”
“It sounds like you’re saying that they’re not really thinking things through.”
“Well, it’s important to listen to people and be able to adapt.”
“I see. Regardless, this has nothing to do with me.”
“The fund, in general, was seen as wrong to many people. So it seems to be well-received for the most part.”
After all, funds lowered the value of Patrons. So it was no wonder that many were against it.
“Is there anything that will affect us directly?”
“Not really… Well, there is one thing that you should keep in mind. You can only choose one Patron. So don’t go around making promises to multiple people.”
“That…is not something I had any intention of doing.”
“Also, battles will likely erupt over the First-Years. As some would already have chosen Patrons, I think that it leaves about 20 of you.”
“20… Is that a lot? No, probably not.”
“It’s not. We’re talking about nearly 1,500 students from the Royal Academy here. You should either chose a Patron quickly or make your will known in order to avoid getting caught in any trouble.”
“I’ll definitely avoid getting in any trouble.”
“Yes. That’s good.”
“Thank you. Hearing that helped me decide on a direction.”
I would avoid drawing attention and stay away from the students of the Royal Academy.
But that was just the first gathering, so there were four of them left.
I really wanted to avoid getting involved in anything.
That’s what I thought.
Several days after the gathering. I received a delivery of flowers from Linda.
It was just like last time. I hadn’t contacted her, so she sent me the flowers to show that she was irritated.
Had I forgotten to do something?
I tried to thinking back, but there were no unkept promises that I could recall.
Of course, ignoring her seemed like it would lead to horrific consequences. And so I wrote Linda a letter.
“…The same restaurant, huh.”
I received a reply immediately. She said that she wanted to meet on our next day off.
There was something about her wording that seemed cold.
“…Is she angry?”
But I really could not figure out why.
I suppose I would have to wait until I met her.
“…So, would you mind explaining things to me?”
Linda was furious. Furious at Miss Rosanna.
Well, maybe half of it was towards me? Who knew.
“I…I think you were just tricked by Miss Rosanna.”
She was so surprised that she froze up.
This is what happened.
The day after the gathering.
For some reason, Miss Rosanna was in a very good mood, in spite of her suspension.
It was so obvious, that everyone else could see it.
She would hum to herself and skip and chuckle happily.
The other students became suspicious, but most of them just stared from afar. Finally, a brave classmate approached her and asked. ‘Why are you so happy?’
“Oh, you know Leon? He slipped out of the gathering just so he could come and see me.”
She then smiled the biggest and happiest smile they had ever seen. Her classmates became very excited.
“When? And where?”
“What is your relationship?”
The rumors began to spread. It was still morning when the rumors spread throughout the entire school.
Linda was filled with rage as the stories came pouring into her ears. And so she went to confront her directly during recess.
“Such foolish nonsense! You have some nerve!”
“Oh? And who or what might you be?”
“I am Leon’s childhood friend. Linda Lucena!”
“Ahh, the noisy one… Oops.”
Miss Rosanna held up a hand to her mouth as if she regretted saying that. But Linda would not let it slide, and they began to argue.