In the wooden cabin where Inglis and her friends slept, Rafinha gave a mighty yawn.
“Mm, morning, Chris.”
“Good morning, Rani. Breakfast’s almost ready.” Inglis was in the middle of roasting meat for breakfast in the fireplace. The skewered meat sizzled alluringly.
“Oh, thanks, Chris! ♪ Looks like another day of aaall-we-can-eat! ♪”
“Indeed! Sleeping well, eating well, and fighting well... This is the life.”
“I hope we don’t have to go back to the academy soon. I do miss the cafeteria, but I’m enjoying skipping classes.”
Inglis grunted in dismayed surprise. “Well, that’s not good. We can’t have you falling behind on your lessons.”
“C’mon, it’s fine. We’re on an important mission. I’m sure they’re just marking all our tests as perfect scores while we’re gone.”
“No, no. You need to focus on your studies. When we get back, I’m asking the principal for remedial lessons for you. And for me.”
“If you’d rather not, we could always start studying at night beginning today instead. I brought a textbook.”
“Ugh. Why would you do that?! You’re just like my mom sometimes.”
“Of course I am. I’m your squire. This is for your own good. If you slack off, you’ll regret it. You should be grateful for the opportunity. After all, not everyone who wants to go to the knights’ academy gets to do so. Remember Alina?”
Alina was a young girl they’d met while helping the Weismar Troupe perform in Chiral. She had been born poor and brought to the city by a human trafficker, and had never had a baptism, which meant she didn’t have a Rune, even though her natural aptitude was exceptional. She wasn’t the only child in such a situation in Karelia.
“Well...okay... Then let’s start remedial lessons today. I want to keep enjoying this meat. And now that that’s decided, that means I need to eat up and get some nutrition in my head!” Rafinha opened her mouth wide and chomped down on the meat.
“Right, right. That’s a good girl.” Inglis smiled gently, a warm glow in her eyes as she looked at Rafinha.
“Could you include me in those lessons as well?” Leone asked.
“And myself as well,” Liselotte chimed in.
“Ah, Leone, Liselotte, good morning. Sure, I can do that.”
“Thanks, Inglis. We’ll get changed and have breakfast.”
“Yes. We’ve much to do today.”
As Leone and Liselotte began to change from their underwear into their day clothes, Inglis heard a groan from their direction.
“Ugh...?!” They both froze at the same time.
“Huh?” Inglis asked. “What’s wrong, you two?”
“Oh no! M-My clothes are getting tight!” Leone complained.
“Mine as well! How could this have happened?” Liselotte agreed.
“It has to be from all the meat we’ve been eating! It’s because of our diets!”
“Yes, indeed! It must be!”
“Oh, huh. Must be rough,” Rafinha remarked.
“It must be, Rani.” Inglis and Rafinha made it very clear that they were disinterested observers.
“How can you two be so blasé about this?!” Leone fumed.
“You can afford to not have a care in the world because you both have an otherworldly metabolism!” Liselotte said.
“Yes! Our lesson today should be the secret of how to eat without gaining weight!”
“Indeed! That’s what I’d most like to learn!”
“It’s not that easy to—” Inglis and Rafinha began together.
“Then I’ll have to conduct a thorough examination!” Leone announced.
“Certainly, we must!” Liselotte agreed.
“Eek?! Stop!” Inglis and Rafinha shrieked in unison.