It was the day of the field trip.
The airship prepared was quite luxurious.
After all, it was a luxury liner.
We were heading towards a warm floating island in the south.
It was summer over there, a different season. It was a popular island for a field trip destination.
“I suppose it’s like the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere. Even so──”
I heard that this would be a field trip, but all I could see were students playing around on the liner.
I was wandering around the casino with my third-year upperclassman, Rukul, who was in the same social group as me.
“They said that this would be a field trip, but the class is just messing around. The floating island we’re heading to is a tourist attraction, so it’ll be like experiencing a festival. There’s going to be a unique atmosphere, and it’ll be quite fun.”
“There’s this special aura you feel when in a foreign land. The girls wear yukatas and enjoy themselves in the festival. Boys who can escort those girls can shorten the distance with them considerably. You should do your best as well, Leon.”
I see. If one was to get married, they would have to work their hardest on this occasion.
Even so, the popular girls already had boys surrounding them.
Other girls were surrounded by exclusive servants and were being pampered by them.
What caught my attention was Anjie talking at the counter. Her unreliable followers were frantically trying to entertain her, but seemed to have trouble.
Looking elsewhere, I could see Olivia, who seemed to be exiting, perhaps not enjoying the casino’s atmosphere.
Rukul spoke to me.
“You’ve picked some difficult partners.”
“What are you talking about? I’m not in any position where I can go after them.”
“Yeah, I guess so. We all have our own partners we need to be with. The same goes for the girls. Things get tough when choosing a partner you don’t match with. Though, I suppose I don’t need to explain for you to figure that out, right? Just look at his Highness and the others.”
Speaking of them, the prince and the others were scattered all over the place.
Julian and Jilk were together, but Marie was with Brad and Greg.
Rukul spotted Chris.
“Oh, there’s the expert swordsman.”
He was playing poker, and though he seemed to have won the game, he didn’t look happy.
He left his seat and went elsewhere.
He wasn’t with Marie and the others, and seemed bored being by himself.
“Is Chris alone?”
However, girls then swarmed around him.
“Chris, what are you going to play this time?”
“Why don’t we swim together on the deck’s pool?”
“Forget her, let’s have a meal──”
Girls were approaching him, but he let out a single sigh. Even though he took that kind of attitude, the girls seemed very delighted.
If I was the one sighing, they would glare at me with a vein on their forehead.
Rukul asked me a question.
“You up for some roulette?”
“No, I have a doctrine against gambling.”
Rukul was astonished.
His face told me that he thought I was lying. However, I genuinely hated gambling. Why fight not knowing whether I would win or lose? It was idiotic.
──I was a guy who only entered matches I knew I would win.
There was a storehouse in the luxury liner heading towards the southern floating island.
Two girls were secretly speaking with each other.
“We’re in trouble if we don’t do this right!”
“This is the daughter of a duke household we’re talking about, so it can’t be helped, can it?”
The two were girls that had been Anjie’s followers.
After the uproar from the duel during the summer vacation, Anjie’s followers were desperate to regain trust.
However, among some followers, there were people who were making threatening movements.
These two were the same.
“My family gave up on the duke household.”
“Same with mine. After all, his Highness the crown princes’ faction had collapsed. The Redgrave duke household is now on the decline.”
Due to Julian losing his position, the duke household that had backed him had their faction breaking down.
It was a matter of course since Julian, the faction’s objective and backbone, had been disinherited.
Those who wanted benefits if Julian had become the king in the future naturally left the faction.
These two were among such people.
“How do you use this?”
“You just pull the string and toss it outside. It stands out on the deck, so we were told to throw it from somewhere else.”
They had some dubious object.
Once they tugged the string off of a cylindrical object, smoke came out of it, so they quickly tossed it to outside the airship.
“Do you think this will do?”
After performing the mysterious deed, the two left the storehouse and returned to where Anjie was.
The school field trip.
Once Livia arrived at the floating island and borrowed a yukata, she was walking along the evening streets.
That normally would have been dangerous, but today was the day of a festival in the floating island.
Stalls were lined up and the light from red paper lanterns made for a unique ambience.
There were the sounds of drums and flutes.
There were voices of people having fun.
It was a completely different atmosphere compared to the festivals at her hometown.
Livia, who felt as if she was experiencing a new culture, walked alone in the festival.
She had not spoken with Leon since the suppression of the sky pirates. Talking with Anjie was tough as well, and during that time, the distance between them had grown further.
Anjie was also participating in the festival, but was surrounded by her followers and couldn’t chat with her.
There was the fragrance of salty-sweet sauce.
There was also the scent of sugary candy.
There were various places to have a good time, including a location for target practice.
Livia stared at a goldfish catching game, and then was moved by fireworks exploding in the sky, also surprised by the soaring noises they made──but she felt deep in her heart that she wasn’t having fun.
Her sight was once on Anjie──but as she wandered around looking for Leon, she could no longer find Anjie either.
Ever since that incident, she hadn’t thought about seeking her friends.
She felt menial after the matter with Cara.
“Should I even be here?”
She felt delighted when Leon told her before that it was fine for her to be at the academy.
She felt embarrassed and pathetic after saying extreme things to him.
(Why did I even prioritize the opinions of an outsider?)
She didn’t understand it herself, but she hadn’t been having fun lately.
As she wandered aimlessly, she separated from the festival venue.
(Ah, if I don’t get back──)
However, she heard the voices of what sounded like people fighting.
The voices were arguing with each other.
“Listen up, hand them over!”
“N, no! I won’t give it to you! Not even if you’re a noble! Stop!”
Hearing that voice, Livia jumped out.
She had thought that a student in the academy was causing trouble to the locals.
“What are you doing there?!”
However, Livia wasn’t the only one there, as Anjie had also rushed in with her yukata slightly disordered.
The two glanced at each other in surprise, and then awkwardly turned towards the person causing trouble.
“──What in the world are you doing?”
Yet unfortunately, the one causing trouble was Leon.
Leon glanced around.
“T, this is um──”
Thereupon, the local, a male wearing a mask, clung onto the two.
“H, help me. This noble told me to give him what I had.”
The two looked at Leon while the local still clung onto them. it looked as if an evil noble was trying to steal goods from a weak person.
Of course, Leon explained himself.
“Y, you’ve got it wrong! I told him to give me what he had because I would buy his entire stock! I’ve got the money for it!”
The man shook his head.
“No. There are people in the festival who are looking forward to these! No matter how much money you have, I won’t let you deprive everyone of their fun!”
When looking at what the man had, there were small, unknown objects wrapped in white paper.
They were arranged in a box, ready to sell.
Anjie asked the man about them.
“What are these?”
Perhaps delighted by her interest, the man explained in a cheery voice.
“Look. They’re charms made by my grandmother from home. They’re blessed to make you popular. They’re covered up because they vary in type. What you get depends on your luck.”
Leon soon approached the smiling man from behind.
He held a roll of bank notes.
“Then sell them. I’ll buy them all. Oh, I’ve got it. I’ll buy them at ten times the price.”
The persistent Leon had prepared a lot of money while saying that he would buy everything.
On the contrary, the man became frightened.
“What’s with you?! This is not a matter that can be settled with money. This is for the sake of seeing everyone smile!”
He wanted to take pleasure in selling charms to the people enjoying the festival.
The man did not yield.
Leon took out a pouch containing gold coins.
“Look, how about this? Gold coins. There are twenty pieces inside. I’ll offer this as well.”
The man thought for a moment, but shook his head.
“My grandmother made these in order to give everyone some joy. I will not back down on this!”
Leon made a telling smile.
“You’ve got some nerve. I like that! I’ll tell you what, I’ll prepare a white gold coin. How about that?”
Despite Leon steadily increasing the price, the masked man resisted.
“Like I said, no can do!”
Anjie grabbed Leon by the ear.
“Ouch. That hurts, Ms. Anjie!”
“You don’t need to address me formally. Drop the honorifics. Anyways, you can go. We’ll take care of this.”
The man thanked them while clutching his important merchandise.
“T, thank you!”
The man left the scene and headed towards the festival venue, disappearing into the crowd. While his ear was still being pinched, Leon reached his hand out while lamenting.
“Wait! My item!”
Livia had no idea how to address Leon after he acted in that manner.