The preliminary bell rang, and I followed Mr. Lawrence to the 2-A classroom with him.
He said, “Ms. Ellie, your grades were good in all subjects while you were in school, weren’t they? Are there any subjects that you are not good at?”
“There is. I’m not very good at math.”
“Oh, really? I didn’t know that when I only looked at the scores. You made an effort, didn’t you?”
Mr. Lawrence, who smiled kindly at me, was only 20 years old. Other than Elizabeth and me, he is the youngest teacher in the school.
By the way, the subject he is in charge of is self-defense. It’s a class that both men and women must take.
It is a very important skill for those who live as nobles. In the first half of the first year, students start learning the basics of how to protect themselves (e.g., staying away from dangerous places), and after that, they focus on practical skills.
“Is there a subject that you are not good at, Mr. Lawrence?”
“me? I– I’m not very good at reading girl mind if I had to say. I have no idea what they’re thinking or feeling.”
Is he a womanizer? He probably is.
I opened the door to class 2-A, preparing myself. While trying to keep my face expressionless, I looked down from the podium at the classroom where the buzz was settling down.
–As expected of an excellent class, everyone was seated properly.
I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be impressed, but that’s okay, as I’m Mr. Lawrence’s assistant now, my job is to collect the homework after the weekend.
However, it was a simple job. I just need to collect the paper they stack on top of each other while passing it from the very back seat.
I start collecting them from Anna, then from Hayato. At that moment, he casually poked me on the toe of my shoe with his shoe, and when I looked at him, he smiled like a child who successfully pulled his prank.
Inwardly losing my consciousness, I thumped the paper together and handed it to Dr. Lawrence. Then I saw Esme looking down at me, her shoulders shivered, and I felt like I was having a hard time, so I got to Mr. Lawrence behind as he started homeroom.
When homeroom was over, my next job would be assisting in the first-period class.
Since self-defense classes are all about the practice to make it perfect, every class has at least one class every day. The only exception is when we do mock battle.
“Okay, Ellie-sensei, for the first period, we’ll start with class 1-B. Today is the first time we’re going to do any practical training. Please assist me.”
“Yes, I understand.”
As we were leaving class 2-A, Mr. Lawrence casually put his hand on my waist.
Whoa ……! I knew I was a womanizer! He’s too used to escorting women!
It’s a normal gesture, but unfortunately, this is an academy. It’s not an evening party.
As soon as I stepped out into the hallway, I took my distance and maintained my position diagonally behind the teacher as I made my way to the dance hall of the academy where I was about to teach my class.
“Yes, what is it?
“Please don’t flirt with me. I’m engaged, so I don’t want any misleading rumor.”
I other words: I have a fiancé, so I’m asking you not to close the distance unnecessarily.
Mr. Lawrence put his hand over his mouth and giggled.
“No, of course, I won’t. I apologize. But I didn’t mean to tease you. It just can’t be helped when I found the woman is attractive.”
“You sure skilled at it.”
If that’s not teasing, I don’t know what is. Women who fall for these sweet words should not cry. That’s for sure.
“I’m not flattering you. I just want to know what’s in the heart of a lady like you.”
I wondered if this was a proper conversation we should have as we walked down the hallway of the school. Hayato may look like a womanizer, but his words are normal.
“If you keep talking like that, you’ll get stabbed someday.”
“Oh, that’s scary. Okay, I’ll be careful.”
After a while, we arrived at the dance hall and waited for the first bell to ring, and when it did, only about half of the class had gathered.
“It’s even worse than I expected.”
“Not really, it’s just the way it is this year. Worries not, I’m sure the teacher in charge of patrolling will bring in the rest. Let’s get started.”
I called out to the students who had gathered and asked them to form pairs. First-year students are basically paired up with other students of the same gender, as they are just starting to learn to socialize. In the second year, the students pairing sometimes consist of man and woman, usually their fiancé. They do that to increase their compatibility.
When I was in school, I was paired with His Highness, but after His Highness became obsessed with Maria, I was left alone.
“Then, let’s start with the easiest one. Mrs. Ellie, I’m going to give an example. Please grab my wrist.”
I did as I was told and grabbed Mr. Lawrence’s wrist.
“Everyone, please watch carefully. When someone grabs your wrist in this way, it is often difficult to shake them off with force. First, open your palms and rotate your wrists in a twisting motion to get out of them. This will make it easier to escape.”
When the wrist is rotated in a circular motion, the person holding the hand is forced to let go. When the teacher’s hand slipped out of mine, there was an exclamation of surprise.
Then try it in pairs. Mrs. Elly and I will be your training partners and go around, so if you have any questions, please ask us.
They replied, “Yes,” and each of us got to work. Mr. Lawrence was to go around with the boys, and I was to go around with the girls.
As expected, many of the boys had already learned how to fight to some extent, so they were able to execute it immediately, but many of the girls had never touched another person in such an aggressive way before, so they were a bit nervous about grabbing my wrist.
In such a situation, you have to force them.
“If it’s too hard, I’ll try grabbing your opponent’s wrist, don’t worry, just try it.”
After reassuring her, I asked her to turn her wrists in a circular motion. She did so smoothly. Just as I had shown her, I saw a glint of accomplishment in her eyes, and she nodded her head; I encouraged the next pair to take the exact first step.
The first step is the hardest part of anything, but once you get through that, the rest is just a matter of familiarity and momentum.
“When you get used to it, try grabbing it tightly as if you were a bad guy. It will be tough to get out, so when that happens, use your free hand like this to assist you.”
Eventually, the escaped students were brought in by the patrolling teacher and began to join the class.
When all the students had become accustomed to the class, the bell rang for the end of the class. It was done in a blink of an eye. At the end of the lesson, Mr. Lawrence closed the class with the following words.
“The most important thing to remember is to stay away from danger. For example, you should never go out to play late at night because it is like going into danger yourself.
It would be best if you also considered whether your priority is your life or your honor in times of crisis. If there are multiple opponents, you may not be able to escape.
I guess that’s all for today. See you tomorrow.”
He casually delivered the heavy talk and looked after the students as they left. The next class would be held here, so we wouldn’t have to move.
“I see, we don’t have to move… hm? This is my step-brother’s class.”
“Oh, Do you mean, Luke? He’s an excellent student, but he’s a little …uncomfortable with learning. Maybe that’s because he already got a good grade to begin with.”
“I’m embarrassed to say this… but I wish he could be a little more serious.”
“I’m sure he’ll be fine. I’m sure he has his own ideas. If he’s a real idiot, he won’t even take his home study seriously. Unfortunately, there are a lot of kids like that in our school.”
[He had his own ideas.]
I’m sure he’s right, but I still think that skipping school to hang out with girls is a bad idea. Not only were you getting yourself in trouble, but the girls also got dragged into it.
The bell rings, and the students of class 2-B begin to gather. But there was no sign of Luke.