This school teaches three courses.
First, was the class taught to the nobility centered on governing studies. This naturally included the knowledge necessary for socialisation, such as courtesy, dance and the general arts.
Next, was the class dedicated to the commoners. This one was centered around economics, where the minimum amount of etiquette required for dealing with aristocrats was taught as well.
Finally was the class for those who attended to the nobility. They were taught a wide range of subjects here, since the skills they needed would change depending on who they would end up serving.
As a side note, the country’s literacy rate and general level of education were by no means high. The commoners who attended capital city’s academy were the elites among their social class.
Each of the three courses listed above were then classified further according to their grades. Naturally, Lady Sophia was in the A-class of the nobility course, and I was put into the A-class of the servant course.
Therefore, there weren’t many opportunities for my lady and I to come into contact even while we were in the same school.
I attended to her during the pick-up and drop-off when entering and leaving the school, as well as during lunch, but she was left in the care of a maid during the other breaks and classes.
However, since it wasn’t like we were connected at the hips at all times, the time that I spent serving her wasn’t really reduced by that much at all. So things didn’t actually feel that different, surprisingly.
In any case, it was more important to avert my lady’s execution end while making sure that she finds happiness instead. With that in mind, there were some immediate points that needed to be taken care of.
First, my lady needed to avoid getting involved with the elitist faction. It would be impossible for her to be framed for a sin she wasn’t guilty of if she wasn’t associated with them from the beginning.
Next, she needed to foster a good relationship with the second prince. My lady was executed in the game because she turned a royal into her enemy. Keeping the prince’s favour will be key to avoiding the execution.
After that, it was prudent that she didn’t turn the commoners hostile. This was related to the first reason, but if they became her adversaries, then the elitists might use that fact for their schemes.
However, if she got along with them too much, the elitists might turn into her enemies regardless. Therefore, it was necessary to keep a balance with both sides here.
Lastly, I needed to make sure that my lady doesn’t fall into darkness. Even if Alicia wasn’t here, that didn’t necessarily mean that there wasn’t anyone here she could get jealous of. So it was crucial that I watched over my actions and made sure that nothing occurred that would cause her grief.
Fortunately, Lady Sophia and the second prince are both in the A-class, and with how clearly the prince favours her, it shouldn’t be hard for a friendship to form between them.
Unfortunately, there were even more things I had to do while addressing these issues.
In the first place, my lady and I were executed in the game because we were betrayed by those we considered comrades while we were in the middle of committing an act of evil. We would never do anything of the sort now, but it was important to find a reliable ally.
For those goals, it was necessary to establish a position within my class. If I ended up isolated, I might inadvertently create unneeded enemies.
With those thoughts in mind, the first day of my school life began.
I dropped my lady off at her class before visiting the servant A-class. Many students had already gathered there and separated into groups.
As I looked around to find a conversation I could join, I met the gaze of one of my classmates.
He seemed like a simple brown haired boy, but I felt something insidious behind his blue eyes. In the game, there shouldn’t have been any important figures from the servant course, and the moment I thought that– his expression suddenly broke down.
Before I could even understand what had happened, he was already in tears as he held the back of his head.
“That hurts! Chloe, what the hell are you doing?!”
“Its because you were being stupid, Luke. Why are you glaring at someone on your first meeting? Sorry about that. Uhh… Cyril, right? This guy here was jealous of your grades.”
It was a brown haired girl who said that.
–in short, the boy named Luke was scowling at me because he was envious of my results, and noticing that, the girl named Chloe hit the back of his head in admonishment.
A strange explanation for sure, but it was somewhat interesting… let’s hear them out for the time being.
“You two seem to get along really well, were you acquainted before you came here?”
“Unfortunately, I’m this stupid Luke’s childhood friend.”
“I see, so you have an inseparable relationship?”
At the very least, Chloe didn’t seem to be hostile.
I still wasn’t sure about Luke, but– when he directed his line of sight my way, he let out a surprisingly friendly greeting, and went, “I’m Luke. Nice to meetcha.”
Having broken the ice, we started talking with each other.
They seem to have entered this school in service of a certain aristocratic daughter.
The details were skipped, but apparently she took them in despite their commoner backgrounds after they lost their parents. Roughly speaking, they were currently in the position I had planned for Roy and Emma in the future.
Well, by the time they finished telling me their story, all of Luke’s hostility I felt from before was gone. There were still some parts I was concerned about, but they didn’t seem to be bad people.
“Anyways, we’ll be studying in the same class for the next year, so let’s get along.”
“Agreed! It’s very nice to meet you, Cyril!”
“Yes, its a pleasure to meet you two as well.”
I responded to their goodwill with a smile. I was worried something would happen after seeing the elitist faction at the entrance ceremony, but my school life seems to be having quite the smooth start.
“Everyone, please take your seats.”
Such a voice suddenly resounded from the room’s entrance. When I turned my gaze that way, a middle-aged man who seemed to be a teacher was standing there.
I was slightly surprised to see a face that I knew, but decided to sit down first. Since we didn’t have designated seats, I just quickly chose one that was vacant.
My other classmates followed suit. Their agile movements being evidence that they truly belonged in the servant course’s A-class.
“Welcome to my class, everyone. To be here means that you’re the top elites of this school. You are already splendid servants in your own right– not, did you really think that?”
The teacher’s attitude suddenly changed.
He didn’t introduce himself, but his name was Tristan. Incidentally, he was also my uncle.
Although he was brought up as a servant of the Rosenberg house, during his time here in the school, the royal family took a liking to him and he ended up becoming the exclusive butler of the king’s brother.
He was a very talented person, but as you can see, he had a bit of a two-sided personality. He might look youthful, but he was actually in his late thirties.
Black eyes and brown hair. Standing on the pulpit, professor Tristan looked almost exactly the same as he did in the game. In Espressivo of Light and Darkness, he was one of Alicia’s potential capture targets.
By the way, my previous life’s sister was a big fan of Tristan cosplay, so when I saw him there, I remembered her a little and felt a bit nostalgic.
This is the first time I’ve ever seen him in person, but he had a really cool atmosphere around him. As expected of the character that had overwhelming popularity among older women.
Such a guy had suddenly bared his fangs towards the confused freshmen.
“You might have the top scores in the entrance examination, but that’s only for a junior high standard. If you think you’re something special with just this much, you’ll find yourself quickly dropping out.”
As a reincarnator, I knew that his words were true.
I was the runner-up in this year’s exams, so in the servant course, I was undoubtedly the top scorer, but that was only because of my memories from my past life as a student.
If I grew complacent with how I currently was, I would no longer be suitable to be my lady’s exclusive butler. It was necessary to improve myself even further from now on.
However, this acceptance was also because of my reincarnation. To the many others here who weren’t, the teacher’s statement was definitely unacceptable. The room was suddenly filled with hostility against him.
“Oh? You’re making a face that says you don’t agree with me. If you have something you want to tell me, then just do it already.”
“…no, I don’t intend to argue with the professor’s words.”
The nominated student answered so.
Not a complaint, it was a patient response that didn’t openly voice any protests– but still had its true intent clear to see.
“In that case, this is an order. If you have something you want to say, then say it.”
“Hey, don’t you understand how rare of an opportunity this is? Or are you the kind of person who can’t speak for themselves?”
“…urgh. I’ll speak because you’re so insistent, but I’m already working in a mansion. I don’t think that the skills I’ve developed until now are only suitable for a junior highschool level.”
“Oh, I see. Then you’re nothing special after all, did you seriously not notice how much your environment tolerates you?”
He undermined and threw away the kid’s self confidence with that one sentence.
“What are you saying?”
“If you don’t understand, then I’ll tell you. It’s because you’re a child that your surroundings are still being sweet to you. With your current line of thinking, you’ll be cruelly hurt by reality one day.”
“O-on what basis are you saying such things?! You don’t know anything about me!”
Was his pride hurt? His face was twitching.
“I don’t know much, but I do know that you scored an eighty-three in the etiquette exam and a seventy-six in the dance one. That alone is enough.”
“What about it? My scores should be among higher ones in the class.”
“That’s exactly what’s wrong. It’s a big deal because they’re only high marks for a junior high examination. It’d only be natural for a professional servant to get a perfect results with something of this level.”
“…if you’re saying that, then what scores did you get during our age, professor?”
“Oh, me? I passed with flawless grades in all subjects.”
All of the students except for me gasped.
There was only one person who had passed all of the exams with perfect scores in this school, becoming something of a myth. Every servant knew of the legendary butler– Tristan, who was personally scouted by the royal family.
My classmates now knew the true identity of the person standing before them.
“N-no way, I didn’t know you were Lord Tristan, please forgive me for my rude remarks!”
The boy who was acting so impudent until now suddenly turned pale and bowed. There wasn’t anyone who didn’t know of professor Tristan’s excellence. To have criticized the butler who personally served the royal family, it was only natural to panic.
However, the man himself was making an amazed face.
“Hey, what’s with the ‘Lord?’ I’m just a butler– no, I’m a teacher right now. Either way, I might’ve received flawless grades in all subjects, but I was no different from how all of you are currently.”
“What do you… mean by that?”
“Back then, I was nothing more than a kid that had grown full of himself thinking he was something special. Even though I was able to do exceptionally well in school, there was nothing but an endless series of struggles and failures waiting for me later on in life.”
He spoke to us with a condescending attitude to build up hostility, only to reveal his true identity and show us our place.
On top of that, he admitted that he made the same mistakes as us in his youth. With professor Tristan’s cunning manipulation of the situation, the students were now overflowing with admiration for him despite the hostility they were directing his way just a few moments ago.
It was a great way to seize the hearts of the people.
The story he then proceeded to tell of himself was when he was still only twelve, and how much of a tough time he had when he was chosen as the prince’s exclusive butler. I don’t think any of us were likely to be put in the same situation that he was in, but only a truly boorish person would voice that opinion now.
“That’s why you’ll undoubtedly make many mistakes in the future, but don’t worry. At the very least, if you fail during school, I’ll be there to follow up on you. So challenge your limits with confidence!”
“T-thank you so much! Please take care of us from now on!”
“Good answer. I was a little tough on you all earlier, but you truly are excellent. Make sure to show off the difference between yourselves and the others.”
He then proceeded to write on the blackboard, ‘New Student Welcome Party Set-up’ in beautiful handwriting.
“The welcome party for the new admissions will be held one month from now. All the new students will get to enjoy it except for you of the A-class servant course. You’ll be given the honour of setting it up and running it.”
So that’s it, they’ll leave the preparations for the welcome party to us as a way ease us into the curriculum. It’s a good introduction method for the servant course.
“You’ll have full control. Remember, your results will not only be seen by the other servant classes, but also by all the nobles and commoners of the same grade.”
The sound of people audibly swallowing their saliva reverberated around the class. It was quite demonic of them to put this much pressure on us right after saying we were failures that still had much to learn.
“–by the way, which one of you is Cyril?”
I raised my hand when my name was called. He might be my uncle, but this is the first time we’ve actually met, so it seems he didn’t know my face.
“Oh? So you’re Cyril, then? I heard you stood out quite a bit during the exams.”
“…I don’t remember doing anything special.”
“Well, let’s just leave it at that. Anyways, for the time being you’ll be the class representative. Bring your classmates together and show us your skills with the new student welcome party.”
“Wait a second here! Why is he the class representative?!”
At the same moment that I responded, a voice of objection resounded out.
Looking my way, a red-haired boy was the culprit. It was the same person who challenged me at the testing venue, Raymond. It looks like he was put into the A-class as well.
“Why is Cyril the representative? Its because he received the best results within the class, he’s the runner-up for the top score among the freshmen.”
“That can’t be true! He only got a fifty-one on the dance examination!”
My classmates broke out into a commotion at that statement. Needless to say, it was weird to hear that the person with the second highest score just barely passed an exam.
The results for the practical exams were only revealed to their respective groups. Most of them wouldn’t know what grades I received in the other tests.
Some of them sent meaningful smiles my way, so it seems like the ones that stayed quiet were those that knew about my situation. I wonder if I’m not going to be able to send salt to my rivals anymore.*
“Hmm… that is the truth, isn’t it? Cyril, I’m actually curious about this as well. Why did you only score fifty-one points on the hundred-point exam?”
My score was halved because I abandoned the exam half-way. He seemed to be asking this despite already knowing that I surpassed a perfect grade, but those who didn’t know the situation wouldn’t understand that.
The surroundings would be thinking that the teacher was growing suspicious of me.
It’d be easy to bring this scene to a close.
I just needed to explain the circumstances behind my score.
But that was true for professor Tristan as well. He could’ve easily settled this if he just revealed the reality behind my results.
Nevertheless, what he said could be misunderstood as him suspecting me of fraud.
The reason for this was a no-brainer. Just a little while ago, he provoked the students without giving his name so he could push them to reflect against inadvertent actions based off of a lack of information.
And yet again, he was goading them on without revealing why I only scored fifty-one on my exam.
If the first case was the practice question, then this case was the applied question.
Learn through your mistakes. He said he would follow up on us if we ever failed while in school. This was just how he taught.
I didn’t have to become his accomplice, but if I told everyone that I had actually surpassed a perfect grade, I’d be belittling my lady’s accomplishment.
Therefore, I decided to go along with his expectations.
“Well, Cyril? Why do you think that is?”
“Who can say… I’m not an examiner, so I don’t know how they evaluated us.”
“Huh. I see… okay then, lets have you prove your ability with this party’s setup instead.”
When I received that order, I lowered my head.
But some of the students– including Raymond, didn’t seem satisfied with that. They appealed to professor Tristan to rethink this.
“Alright, I get it. In that case, raise your hand if you can’t accept this.”
About two-thirds of the students complied to his announcement.
Honestly, it was actually less than I expected.
I didn’t think there were that many people who actually knew that I was the runner up, so… did they just believe in professor Tristan’s judgement, or have they already learned from their earlier mistakes?
As expected of the A-class. There were quite a few excellent students here.
“Hmm… well, that’s just about the right number of people. Those who raised their hands will be in charge of the courtyard venue, while those who didn’t will set up the main venue under Cyril.”
To prove who was superior in ability, the two groups would compete against each other with the party’s set up. However, Raymond started snapping at why the larger group didn’t get the main area.
“Right now the class representative is Cyril, that’s why. Not to mention… if the side venue somehow outclasses the main one itself, wouldn’t that be exciting?”
The main site catered to the aristocrats while the courtyard’s was more for the commoners.
It would be a problem for me if the side area received more praise. At that time, the fact that our two groups were competing would’ve already spread, so my reputation would plummet as a result.
Professor Tristan dangled that bait in front of Raymond–
“Understood. I’ll definitely tear off that perfect mask he always has on.”
–and he brilliantly took it.
He riled up the class conflict to encourage their growth through competition. As expected of the popular character that was directly scouted by the royal family for his talents.
I was just thinking that I needed a way to prove my abilities in accordance to my lady’s wishes.
The teacher will take care of the clean-up afterwards, so there’s no way I can miss this opportunity. After demonstrating my skills as my lady’s exclusive butler, I will consolidate this class as one.
*Raibaru ni shio wo okuru(ライバルに塩を送る), or ‘Sending salt to your rivals’ is a japanese idiom that means ‘even in conflict, one should act with humanity’. The saying originates from feudal Japan. Since there isn’t much rock salt from the earth there, when a feudal lord whose domain didn’t have any access to the ocean was surrounded by hostile territories, the enemies would ‘send salt’ to them since it was impossible for them to replenish it on their own.
When Cyril is talking about not sending salt, he’s referring to how the exposure of his grades would only bring humiliation to Raymond and all others criticising his lacking dance score. Keeping quiet about it was him ‘sending salt’ to help them keep face, but at that moment, he was wondering if he’d be forced to reveal the secret here and embarrass them.
Written by Scarlet Rain (緋色の雨)
Translated by KuroInfinity at slothtranslationsblog.com