Chapter 24: I Am Very Happy to Have Friends


I deeply apologize for the disrespectful act I committed.
I forcefully took the request form and I am truly sorry for that.
I will cover the compensation for the pendant I broke and return the request form as stated.
I will make efforts to improve my behavior to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Therefore, I sincerely ask for your forgiveness.

 

During the lunch break, Kaien visited the classroom and delivered this standardized apology in a monotone voice.

 

He unilaterally handed over the compensation for the pendant and quickly left the classroom as if fleeing.

 

It was truly a ridiculous apology.

 

But well, maybe it was good enough that I could make that idiot apologize, even if it was just for appearances.

 

Mil had a face that seemed to say it was sufficient, so I considered the matter closed.

 

I didn’t feel bad either, so I think it was good that I challenged Kaien to a mock battle at that time.

 

However…

 

The real difficulty came afterward.

 

“Did that commoner really defeat Kaien Chifonard?”

 

“Yeah, I saw it this morning for sure.
She used some unheard-of magic to overwhelm Kaien.”

 

 

Rumors about the first-year student who defeated Kaien in a mock battle spread quickly.

 

The students in the class stared at me with even more curiosity than usual.

 

It’s uncomfortable.

 

And during the short break between classes, students from other classes even came to the classroom and stared at me as if scrutinizing.

 

I guess it’s inevitable to attract attention, but why do they give me such hostile gazes?

 

Is it really unpleasant to have commoners in the spotlight? Is that so?

 

And during the lunch break, I didn’t feel alive at all.

 

“That commoner who defeated Kaien, isn’t that her?”

 

“Did Kaien really lose to such a plain-looking girl?”


 

 

When I tried to have lunch in the cafeteria, I was met with searching gazes from every corner as soon as I entered.

 

The school cafeteria is open to students from all grades, so the gazes were far more numerous than in the classroom.

 

In the end, I fled from the cafeteria with Mil.

 

“I can’t even have a decent lunch like this…”

 

“Indeed.”

 

After leaving the cafeteria, we aimlessly wandered the hallway with nothing to do.

 

We considered buying something from the school store and finding a place to settle down and have lunch, but the store was also incredibly crowded, so we gave up on that idea.

 

If things continued like this, we would end up skipping lunch and attending the afternoon classes empty-stomached.

 

A serious situation indeed.

 

While thinking about what to do, we absentmindedly walked down the hallway, and eventually, we passed by the request reception area.

 

Since it was lunchtime, there weren’t many people there.

 

Typically, large-scale requests are introduced after school, so there’s no need to visit during lunchtime.

 

But since we’re here anyway, let’s just take a quick look.
Well, as commoners, the requests we can get are probably limited anyway.

 

With that thought in mind, I approached the reception window and the receptionist girl who had helped me before was standing there.

 

Without expecting much, I requested her to introduce some requests, and she immediately took out the request forms.

 

“Here are the school requests currently available for introduction.”

 

“Hmm?”

 

I wondered if I was seeing things.

 

There were eight request forms, to my surprise.

 


Last time I came, there were only two.

 

“Why are there suddenly so many requests available for introduction?”

 

“I apologize for the impolite response the other day.
I heard that you won against Kaien Chifonard in a mock battle, so I have been instructed to treat you on par with the nobles, even without a family emblem.”

 

“U-Understood…”

 

Talk about a complete change of attitude.

 

No, this receptionist girl didn’t mean any harm.

 

It’s just part of her job, as a matter of responsibility, to treat things this way.
But deep down, I’m sure she wants to introduce requests equally to everyone.

 

And this time, since I defeated Kaien, who could be considered the most powerful first-year, she felt at ease introducing the requests to me without any reservations.

 

I never expected such a byproduct to come out of that mock battle.

 

Oddly enough, it turned out to be a perfect stage to showcase my abilities.

 

“Then, um, I’ll take these two, please.”

 

“Of course, I’ll take care of it.”

 

The receptionist girl smiled and processed the paperwork for me.

 

“I never thought we’d be able to resolve the issue of social status in this way.”

 

“…Indeed.”

 

I sat on a bench in the courtyard, absentmindedly gazing at the accepted request forms.

 

The conditions are good, and the requests seem moderately challenging.

 

“With this, we won’t have to worry about accumulating points for exterminations anymore.
From now on, we can take on numerous school requests, and we’ll quickly reach our target grades, won’t we?”

 

“…Indeed.”

 

I furrowed my brow as I noticed Mil’s reaction, or rather, the lack thereof.

 

I just realized that Mil has been giving me similar responses since earlier.


 

“What’s wrong, Mil? Your energy seems unusually low.
Are you acting distant or something?”

 

“…?”

 

Mil seemed different from usual, somehow awkward in his responses.

 

She’s also sitting away from me, creating a distance between us.
Why is she avoiding me like this?

 

“Um…! I know it’s late to say this, but thank you so much for fighting in my place against that noble…!”

 

“Huh?”

 

“In my place, you fought against that noble… Thank you so much…!”

 

Ah, now that she mentions it, I haven’t been thanked yet.
It occurred to me belatedly.

 

It’s not like I need that, but it seems like Mil has been waiting for the right moment to say it.

 

In fact, that’s why she’s been acting distant since earlier because she didn’t know how to approach the situation.

 

“Look, you can just act as usual.
Besides, there’s no need to feel indebted or anything.
I’ll say it again, that fight was my fault to begin with.”

 

“Just… as usual…”

 

I guess I had a slightly awkward conversation with her when we briefly talked before the mock battle.

 

She’s been acting strange since then, hasn’t she?

 

“I don’t need special treatment just because I won that battle.
So, no need to worry about it.”

 

“…As usual.”

 

I pat Mil’s head lightly to ease her tension, and she looks up at me with a slightly relieved expression.

 

After that, we spend some time discussing the accepted requests and planning our future actions.
The awkwardness between us gradually dissipates as we focus on the tasks at hand.

 

It seemed like Mil had found relief upon hearing that.
Perhaps she was worried that I was bothered by her cold attitude.

 

And then, Mil returned to her usual demeanor and said:

 


“Indeed, Sachiko-san, you’re amazing.
It’s not just that you won against that noble in the mock battle.
Despite being at a disadvantage as a commoner, you have undeniably demonstrated your abilities and are slowly gaining recognition.
It’s quite different from me.”

 

Mil had a faint self-deprecating smile.

 

I don’t really think I’m anything special.

 

I tend to act impulsively and emotionally, and it just happened to lead to good results.

 

It’s all because of good luck that things are somehow working out.

 

The amazing one here is not me; it’s probably my luck stat.

 

However, I couldn’t dismiss Mil’s praise.
I accepted it sincerely and returned the sentiment:

 

“I think Mil is amazing too.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“You stood up to that Kaien person and spoke your mind.
Despite being scared, you protected the request form because you wanted to take it on with me.
I know all about it.”

 

Mil’s vacant eyes were fixed on me.

 

Eventually, she quietly smiled, and I could tell that she was secretly clenching her fist, pleased to be praised.

 

I’ll make sure to acknowledge Mil’s efforts.
I’m grateful that she protected the request form for my sake, and it made me really happy.

 

With my luck stat at 999, I’m truly blessed to have friends as well.

 

Through this incident, I feel like we’ve made progress in various ways.

 

We managed to avoid a situation where I would be expelled early, and it seems there won’t be any issues with our future grades.

 

As for the immediate challenge, it would be making friends, but that still seems difficult.
Considering Mil’s unfortunate disposition as well.

 

Well, being alone with Mil is enjoyable enough for now.

 

But someday, when Mil accepts her own unlucky disposition and finds someone who accepts and embraces it, I hope we can all get along together.

 

Since it’s a precious school life, it’s better to have many friends, right?

 

As if in agreement with that sentiment, our gazes met, and we both burst into laughter.

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