She’s so Cheeky for a Commoner! 15

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Welcome Party

“Tonight, we celebrate our recruits and the formation of the 143rd Order of the Academy―Cheers!”

The sound of glasses clinking echoed within the room.
We were now in a meeting hall that the Academy provided exclusively to the Order.
While I’ve heard that the desks would normally be buried under paperwork, all of that had been tidied up and replaced with various cuisines on large plates.
The quality was a step down when compared to the delicacies that I was accustomed to, but that was still enough to please the average noble.
As for the commoner… The moment the toast ended, she immediately made herself busy stacking her plate to the brim with whatever she so pleased.

“Really… How absolutely vulgar.
This is what one calls a ceremony, do you understand that? The food is only provided as a formality.”
“Ehh, but that’s such a waste.
More importantly, it’s actually pretty good!”

Taking a glance at the commoner’s plate, I saw various breads, roast beef, and marinated vegetables, all of which had been piled on very efficiently.
Even Relaire, who sat on top of the commoner’s head, nibbled away at a biscuit.

“Hmph, that may be enough to satisfy a commoner like you, but to someone of my stature―”
“What, is the food not to your tastes, Claire?”
“Y, Yuu-sama…”

Yuu-sama came by as I was in the middle of mocking the commoner.
Very much like her, he too held a plate filled with various foods.

“It really is quite good though… Maybe not quite at Blume’s level, but I don’t think that’s a fair comparison to make.”
“Heck yeah! Looks like Commander Lorec and them really pulled out all the stops.”

Rodd-sama too helped himself to a tall pile of various meats that he had stacked on his plate.

“… Claire, you’re not going to eat?”

Even Sein-sama seemed to be enjoying the food as he chimed in.
His plate primarily held a variety of vegetable based cuisines.

“Ah… Uhm, well… I…”
“Sorry to keep you waiting, Claire-sama.
I have brought you your food.”

The one who saved me from being singled out was Lene.
She presented a plate beautifully lined with baked goods and gave me a discreet wink.

“Ahh, so you sent Lene to get your food for you.”

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“Y-Yes! Exactly right.
I knew that if I left it to Lene, she’d ensure I had a balanced meal!”
I mean the hosts went out of their way to show hospitality, the François family heiress would never be so rude as to just ignore that.”
“… That’s true.”

The three princes readily accepted my answer.
This was exactly what I had come to expect from Lene, she was the polar opposite of a certain useless nobody.

Just as my relief settled in, Commander Lorec came to greet us.

“Princes, Claire sama, congratulations on your enlistment.
Congratulations to you two too, Rei, Misha.
The Order is always happy to welcome promising recruits.”

Commander Lorec finished his welcome with a hearty, “Gahaha!”.
While the commander’s conduct was far from formal, something about him kept him from coming off as rude.

“For sure! Commander, we’ll be in your care.”
“We might cause some trouble as we figure things out, so show us the ropes.”
“… Best regards.”

It appeared the princes felt the same.
They made no attempt to criticize Lorec’s informal welcome and instead expressed their respect.

“Thank you Commander, I look forward to working with you.”
“Oh, you’re all so courteous and proper.
No no, I’m the one that looks forward to working with all of you!”

Following the prince’s lead, I too returned a greeting.
In response, Commander Lorec gave another spirited laugh.
Perhaps riding that very energy, Relaire happily hopped atop of the commoner’s head.
My, aren’t you just absolutely adorable!

“Allow me to introduce the vice commander as well.
Lambert, please come.”

Responding to Commander Lorec’s call, a thin scholarly man weaved through the crowd to reach us.
He was someone that I knew well.

“His name is Lambert.
I’m sure Claire-sama already knows, but he is Lene’s older brother.”
“Yes, we’re acquainted.”
“My sister is always in your care.”

Lambert gave a charming bow.
He was courteous and he kept all of his gestures clean.
Judging by his mannerisms, he seemed more fit to lead than Commander Lorec.

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“Ah, so you’re a commoner! You must be pretty capable to get into the Order, eh?”
“No, not at all…”
“Come on Lambert, stop with the meaningless modesty.
Rodd-sama is exactly right.
He’s only average in combat, but has his own talents.”
“Oh? What might that be?”

Yuu-sama expressed interest as well.

“He’s researching monsters.
In particular, he specializes in taming and turning them into familiars, or controlling them in general.”
“A method to control monsters… you say?”

I took another look at the top of the commoner’s head.

“Thanks again for what you did at that time, Lambert.”

The gentle voice belonged to a tall man with blonde hair and blue eyes.
His every gesture was impeccable and his elegance rivaled even that of the three princes.
His name was Christophe Achard-sama.
He was Catherine’s brother-in-law, rightful heir to the House of the Marquis of Achard, and Loretta’s fiancé.

“Oh, commander, I’m so glad that you could make it!”
“Please, enough with that, Lorec.
I’m not even a member of the current order.
I only came because you personally requested my presence.
I otherwise wouldn’t even be allowed here.”

Christophe-sama gave a wry smile as he talked.

“Putting that aside, could I interest you in this? It’s a new dessert, they call it a donut.”
“Hm, it has quite the strange shape for a dessert… Mm! Not bad!”

Christophe-sama took out a round dessert from the paper bag he held, and offered it to Commander Lorec who then took a bite.
It seemed to receive a pass.

“The sweets aside, what were you talking about just before?”
“I wonder?”
“… No clue.”

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While I knew what they had been referring to, it seems the three princes were still confused.
When Commander Lorec realized this, he turned to face the princes and explained.

“Were you aware of the rumors of the monster attack within the academy’s vicinity that happened last year?”
“Ah yeah, I heard a bit about that.”
“If I recall, didn’t a monster being used by the military escape or something like that?”
“… I heard it was a Chimaera.”

As one should expect of the three princes.
Though they hadn’t been involved in the case, it seemed they had been briefed on the necessary details.

“So you princes knew about it too? Ah, please help yourself.
These sweets are quite good.”

Christophe offered the donuts to the princes as well.

“Sure, I’ll take one.”
“Ah, these are pretty good!”
“… I don’t mind them.”

The reactions the princes gave as they tried them were all quite positive.
Spurred by their reactions, I requested one as well, but it wasn’t to my tastes.
It wasn’t bad, but it just seemed kind of junky.

“So to continue the conversation…”
“Yes, it’s just as you three said.
We received a report from the citizens and dispatched the order… But then, on top of the civilian casualties, we failed to recapture the Chimaera.
It was a huge failure.”

In response to Christophe-sama’s calm explanation, Commander Lorec and Lambert reacted angrily.

“That wasn’t a failure! If the noble elitists hadn’t acted so rashly blinded by the accolades―”
“That’s right! Though they were the ones at fault, they pinned it all on you Christophe-sama…”
“But it’s true that there were casualties.
A female commoner―I believe her name was Marielle Mont―was attacked by the Chimaera and sustained heavy injuries.
I heard that the sweets shop she ran went out of business as a result.”

Christophe-sama’s expression held a deep sorrow at that fact.

“It was Lambert who captured the escaped Chimaera for us.
He used the magic artifact that he had been researching to seize control of the Chimaera and captured it.”
“With that achievement behind his back, he joined the Order of the Academy even as a commoner… but as a scapegoat, Christophe-sama was forced to take responsibility and resign.”

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“A Commander exists to take responsibility when the time comes.
This was to be expected.”
“Let’s put the topic to rest.
We shouldn’t be talking about it in the presence of the princes.”
“… I understand.”

Christophe-sama’s stern words forced Lambert to back down.
It seemed that Lambert respected Christophe-sama to the point of reverence.
Unlike his father Clément, Christophe had an upright personality that made him popular even among the commoners.

“We took quite the detour, but, princes, Claire-sama, and the two commoners as well… I entrust the future of the Order to you.”

With those words, Christophe-sama gave us a light bow before leaving the hall.
It seemed he thought that it would be a bad idea if he stuck around too long as a resigned commander.
He truly was quite the prudent individual.

“How do I put this, it’s a shame that a guy like him is forced to the sidelines.”
“But well, his father is…”
“… I’m not fond of the Marquis of Achard.”

It appeared Christophe-sama had left a good impression on the three princes as well.
To be expected, it was Marquis Clément who got in his way.
If Christophe-sama was given the opportunity to shine, that would effectively put the spotlight on House Achard… And thus consequently boost both Clément-sama’s status and ego.

“What now, commoner? More importantly, you shouldn’t talk with your mouth stuffed with bread.
What are you going to do if Relaire starts copying you!?”
“It sure is a pain being nobility.”
“Did you only realize that now? We’re different from you commoners who can live so carefree.”
“I’m glad I was born a commoner.”

When I looked at the commoner’s carefree expression, somehow, the tension I just felt left me.

“Well, I’m sure we’ll have to consider what to do about House Achard at some point… But considering how dad is, I doubt he’d let a capable guy like Christophe go to waste.”
“You’re right about that.”

At this point in time, I still had no idea… That the Chimaera incident and Christophe-sama would eventually circle back around to involve me.

Translator Comment: I personally really like how we’re getting a lot more mentions of Relaire.
Slime daughter is just so cute, and I’m glad Claire takes notice.
I’m not really sure how I feel about Christophe though… he seems nice but… hm…

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