The day before the lessons began, Fii had been drinking tea in the dorm lounge when suddenly, two boys walked in front of her.
The gaze they were giving her wasn’t one of somebody who wanted to become a friend. Instead, they were filled with hostility and arrogance.
(I guess it isn’t all good people after all.)
She was used to malice.
For her entire life, it was the type of treatment she was most used to, after indifference.
“Aren’t you getting a bit ahead of yourself, just because you made it into the 18th?”
“Despite losing in the first match for the entrance exams.”
Being the first apprentice to have ever entered the 18th, Fii was a bit famous.
Fii didn’t think it was anything that amazing.
It was just like Captain York said.
He needed her, which was why she entered. That was it. It wasn’t about being better or worse than anyone.
That’s why she so simply told everybody her results.
A loss in the first match.
Nobody had particularly mocked her for it.
After all, the reason she had entered the 18th was because she was ‘tiny’.
Despite boys wanting to be taller in general, for a while there were a number of strange phenomenona such as boys being jealous of Fii’s lack of height, Geith squatting down and saying “So this is your world…”, and everybody seeing that and squatting as well, causing Fii to think to herself ‘It looks like Boys are kinda stupid…’. Still, it had more or less been peaceful, and Fii had fun as well.
But as the rumours about her spread, the number of unpleasant people began to increase.
“Not only that, you’re a Theonore, aren’t you. Whether you’re a hobo or an immigrant, you think you have what it takes to become a knight!”
Over the last week, Fii had learnt from everyone else what it meant to be a Theonore.
When she realised, Fii was thankful to Crow.
Since coming to this country, the one who had helped her the most was Crow. Even though he had no idea about her circumstances.
And although Fii never thought anything much of herself, York had told her to be proud.
Because of that, Fii didn’t want to give way to these boys, and she met their gaze.
“It’s true that I’m weak, and my background isn’t good. But I have the right talents, which is why they brought me into the 18th. That’s all it is, nothing more, nothing less. Besides, background doesn’t matter when it comes to becoming a knight.”
Because they had all just arrived here, the two boys didn’t know just how stubborn Fii could be. Her reaction had them flustered.
She was tiny, and had a girly face, so they had been sure that her personality would have been weak as well.
She even lost during her first match.
“Uu-… Hmph, a guy like you? Didn’t you bribe them or something to get in…?”
“Yeah. I bet something dirty happened!”
In that moment, Fii’s eyes narrowed coldly. And then after her expression turned into one of obvious mocking, she snorted.
Fii was angry.
It wasn’t pleasant that they had mocked illegal immigrants and the poor, nor that they had stupidly accused her of bribery. But this was something else.
“Are the two of you idiots? Do you think the Captain is the sort of person who would allow that?”
In this past week, York had completely gained Fii’s trust.
Every apprentice knight looked up to him, but even so, Fii was amongst the most intense.
To begin with, York had earned her admiration for being the first person to ever say that she was needed. But during the one week with the apprentice knights where they had fervently told tales of his greatness, that admiration slowly became reinforced.
By now, she trusted him, she worshipped him, and she was as good as the first member of the York Faith.
To her, the accusation that she had entered through bribery was as good as insulting Captain York himself.
Not only that, it was an insult to everybody else in the 18th as well.
But lashing out would be immature.
If it was Captain York, he wouldn’t pay any attention to nonsense like this. So Fii simply laughed at them in scorn.