PMZ 056 – Groundless Fear

The sound of Hayato’s footsteps came to a halt just outside the edge of my personal space.

I’m not sure how he perceived my inability to reply, but he spoke to me in a kind, sweet voice, as if he was indulging me.

“What are you doing here?”

I’m not sure if he’s talking to Ellie or Alice…

“… I was taking a break because I was a little tired.”

I answered as Ellie first.

Then, I apologized as Alice.

“I’m sorry.”

“Why?”

“… for several things.”

“You didn’t do anything for which you should apologize.”

“No, not necessarily.”

Normally, people would be alarmed to found someone who is not supposed to be here. And no matter how much I love my fiancé, what I’m doing could be taken as excessive meddling.

I’ll stop if you don’t like it, but I’d be delighted if you could forgive me.

“I’m sure Mrs. Ellie has her reasons. Something that would require you to run around dressed like that.”

… Huh? It seems that he is only going to treat me as Ellie.

Permission?

Or perhaps…

Are you unaware of it?

I can’t tell.

As I was at a loss for words, I heard the sound of footsteps approaching me.

His hands slightly touched both cheeks of my face, which was still frozen, unable to face him.

“You can’t… If someone sees us, you’ll be in big trouble.”

After all, my setting is a ‘married woman’ right now. If you ask me who my husband is, it’s this guy, but that’s as Alice.

“It’s okay. I’ve cast a spell to connect the corners of this corridor with the shadows.”

… That means that if someone tries to pass through it, somehow, they’ll end up on the other side of the corner, right?

No way.

I’m sure this will be the birth of one of the seven wonders of the academy.

“What are you doing? It’s forbidden to use magic without a teacher’s permission.”

“Isn’t my teacher right here?”

He then snatched my black-rimmed glasses away from my face.

“Ah!”

When I turned around, he had already put on the black-rimmed glasses and was staring at his arm.

“… Good. It’s just ordinary glasses.”

I clearly heard what he said in a whisper.

Ordinary glasses? But then again, what’s ‘not ordinary glasses’ is? …Ah, those. The glasses that let you see through clothes.

I see I was being suspected of some outrageous perversion.

There’s no way I’m going to do that!

I believe you should know that much!

“Please give it back!”

“Here.”

I put my glasses back on my face, he was laughing, and I was about to say something when I heard the girls’ loud voices from the front corner of the hallway and stopped.

“Uh, What? What is this? Why are we on this side?”

“Didn’t we just about to turn from that corner?”

“Hey, I think this whole hallway’s is missing!”

This time, I hear more voices from the back corner.

The girls begin to squeal at the mysterious phenomenon.

“… isn’t it bad if we don’t deactivate it?”

“Yeah, I guess so. Well, let’s talk about it when we get home. Okay? Ellie-sensei?

Ugh. I’m afraid of his smile. It should be a normal smile, but…

Whenever I do something I feel wrong about, I can’t help but be filled with guilt…

I hope he doesn’t say that he hates me.

Hayato gave me a quick brush on my cheek and then walked away.

A few seconds later, the spell was lifted, and I could see over Hayato’s back that the girls had finally made it out into the hallway.

He looked at the flustered girls and asked, “What’s wrong?” surprisingly, his character suits a noble more than one might think.

“Um, we were walking here a while ago, and suddenly we came to a corner on the other side. I was so startled, so I tried to go back, but I ended up here again.”

“Hoo. That’s strange. I wonder if there are ghosts here.”

“No! Please, you can’t be serious!”

“I’m scared, let’s go back to class together!”

The conversation was successfully diverted, and the students returned to their classrooms, gleefully chatting.

It seems that Hayato has become accustomed to the academy more than I thought.

Well, I guess that’s because he’s easy to talk to from the start, and in the past month, he has become more and more like a noble. So, I could only say that it’s just expected.

I’m a little annoyed that he doesn’t unnecessarily push the girls away, which I would have preferred.

…how nice.

I wish I could be a student again.

Not as a queen candidate, but as an ordinary student.

I felt somewhat melancholic as I remembered my bitter academy days.

——–

“Principal! I need to talk to you!”

I was forced to play an endless game of tag for the next class period, so I hit the Principal’s office to take it out on him.

The Principal was in the middle of patting his trophy with a feather duster, as he had promised.

Is he free now? No, he’s bored?

“What? what’s the matter?”

“There are too many escapees! We need to solve the root of this problem!”

“I understand that… I know, but it’s hard to motivate the unmotivated. Plus, we don’t have enough human resources.

In the first place, they’ve already learned their lessons from their private tutors. The degree of understanding depends on the individual, but listening to the lectures now will only serve as a review for them.”

“So basically, you, yourself have already denied the school’s raison d’etre. While it’s true, but… isn’t one of the roles of the academy is to help students reflect on themselves through their group activities?”

“it’s easy to say that, but not everyone can be a ‘capable person’ like you or your fiancée. I bet you already know what they’re thinking. They somehow know what their limit is.

It’s hard for those pampered brats to accept that fact.” said the Principal while he put down his feather duster.

“And no matter how hard they try, it won’t change their future. Only those who have the will to work hard can be encouraged to do so. I think it’s too much to ask those who aren’t willing to work hard to face their problems, and I don’t think my word will reach their hearts.”

“Hmmm… I understand what you mean, but if that’s your problem, then you’re giving up too soon. Principal, can you show me the document that summarizes the evaluation of each student?”

“Sure. What are you going to do with it?”

“I’m going to use the praise strategy.”

It’s simple, but I think that compliment can motivate people.

I don’t think it will solve everything, but it will be better than keep playing hide-and-seek.

“Are you serious? There are almost two hundred students in total.”

“I know, don’t worry. It’s not a big deal.”

I sat cross-legged on the comfortable rotating chair next to the chairman, who was piling up a stack of papers on his desk.

“Oi, that’s my chair ….”

I pretended I didn’t hear him and spun around to wait for the hard-working chairman to get agitated, and he said, “You’re a damn brat too, aren’t you?”

 TL notes Tsukkomi:

“… Good. It’s just ordinary glasses.” {dude, seriously?}

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