Cold Stares [Part 1]
“…Gosh, we are totally being ignored by everyone, huh?”
After the biology class was over, William looked at his surroundings and shrugged his shoulders.
The siblings began attending the academy the next day after their family reported to the Royal Castle and found that no one was willing to make eye contact with them, let alone strike up a conversation.
Even when William answered a difficult question smoothly, straight from his memory, and George was at his wits’ end from the difficult-to-understand lesson, nobody reacted and treated them as air completely.
Although the siblings could have followed Rose’s advice and taken a break from school until the situation calmed down, they decided to return to the academy earlier because Emma wanted to attend her favorite biology class, and they were worried George would not be able to get credits this semester.
However, Joshua, who traveled with them to Imperial Japan, said he couldn’t do the same and had to be absent from the academy for the rest of the week.
Not only were the stores crowded to the point of having queues because the commoners, who couldn’t afford cotton, had all turned to the Rothschild Company’s hemp, but the complaints from the nobles also never stopped coming in because there were no cotton products on the counters.
The company was so busy that it needed more manpower right now.
“The situation is exactly like what Rose-sama was worried about.”
George sighed while putting his heavy textbooks back into his bag.
Before the summer vacation, whether it was to help George study or ask William questions about the lesson, there would always be someone who came to talk to the siblings after class.
“…Even so, Nee-sama surprisingly acted the same as ever, huh?”
William’s face also clouded upon hearing George’s sigh, but his older sister’s happy-go-lucky appearance made his earlier depression seem ridiculous.
After the class ended, Emma caught up with the biology teacher who was about to leave the classroom and bombarded the teacher with questions with the same excitement she had before every break time started.
“Professor! About the content of the lesson earlier… After thinking it over, I still think insects have the potential to become human food.
Eh? Insects can’t possibly be eaten?!!! My apologies, but I’ll have to disagree with you, Professor.
Insects are a valuable source of protein.
Not only that, they also contain the vitamins the human body needs.
I would dare say that insects are quite an all-powerful, all-purpose…”
“Wahhh, it’s ’bout time we stop her, William…”
The brothers were pretty sure eating insects was not mentioned in the lesson, but Emma’s mind drifted somewhere else as usual.
Perhaps the “locusts in sweetened soy sauce” dish she discussed fervently with Miguel in Imperial Japan was still stuck in her mind.
“Professor, it’s true that insect legs may get stuck between the teeth and not have the greatest mouthfeel… but how about the larvae? They must taste creamy…”
“Emma, can’t you see that you’ve shocked the professor? Give it a break, will ya? Don’t make our professor imagine the mouthfeel and whatnot…”
“Save this conversation for another time, Nee-sama.
Let’s go have lunch.”
The teacher had already looked unwell around the time Emma brought up human insect-eating (anthropo-entomophagy).
Now that George and William had stopped her, the biology teacher could finally be freed from Emma and immediately fled from the classroom.
“Geez, you two.
I was just getting to the important part!”
Emma glared at George with a pout.
Because of their height difference, she looked more like she was giving George an upward glance rather than a glare from his perspective.
But despite appearing as cute as usual, her mouth kept spouting heated arguments on the benefits of eating insects.
George could only inwardly lament, ‘Uh-oh, my sister is a real weirdo.’
You still remember how Mother told you to refrain from talking about insects in the academy, do you?”
George flicked his scowling younger sister’s forehead with his finger.
“Ouch! Nii-sama, I wasn’t talking about insects.
I was talking about eating insects!”
“That’s even worse!”
William retorted at Emma’s rebuttal. Being told that House Stuart is not favorably looked upon and advised to stay low is already bad enough.
Nee-sama, why can’t you act normal for once…
Even though Emma was the one who received the most animosity because of the thing with the Holy Maiden, the person herself took little notice of her brothers’ worries and still pretty much behaved like she always did.
“By the way, how did today’s photosynthesis lesson turn into the talk about insect-eating?”
“Eh? Want me to explain?”
“Nope, never mind.”
Since the professor has gone, let’s go eat.
All that talk about eating insects has made me hungry.”
“ “Ughh…” ”
Oh well, even George and William got weirded out by Emma.
Translator’s note: Locusts boiled in sweetened soy sauce is a real dish in Japan.
I’m not gonna put the pic here, but you can look up “Inago no tsukudani” if you’re curious.
Locusts are treated as a source of nutrition as they are rich in protein and calcium.
People liked to eat them during wartime and postwar famine.
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