A Confidential Secret

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The tension that had been building up in the place suddenly relaxed.

Cody sat down next to her.

“… Um, I’m sorry to have caused you so much trouble, Cody.”

“Just now, it’s a miracle that Leidyrune-senpai didn’t cut me off right away.”

A weary voice answered, and guilt tightened her chest.
She would’ve felt tired too if she was involved with a naive person like her.

The students around them were starting to disperse little by little.
Since it was the entrance, they weren’t blocking the passage.
Sheila also sat down next to Cody.

“If you’re punished in any way later, I will definitely protect you.”

“If you could show such concern, I wish you would’ve demonstrated it.”

“Sorry…”

When Sheila looked down in disappointment, Cody smiled weakly.

“… It’s okay.
We’ve come this far, so we’re all in this together.
I don’t have anything I need to protect anyway.”

Cody patted Sheila on the head.
It was as if he was dealing with a pet.
His hands were much larger and thicker than Sheila’s, even though they were about the same height.

“But still, I can’t believe that you would talk back and argue with a senior.
That was Leidyrune Centrix-sama, you know?”

Sheila tilted her head.

“But Cody, aren’t you close with that man?”

“W-what are you talking about! The Centrix family is a prestigious duke family, to the extent that several royal ladies have been married off to them! Where and how can you make such a mistake?!”

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“Because, you know, you call him by his first name, not by his family name.
I wondered if you guys were close.”

“That’s not it….
I guess this is where I should explain.”

Cody had his head in his hands.
Many people around Sheila often made this gesture, so she felt somewhat sorry when she thinks it was her fault.

“It’s said that even a commoner can enter this academy if they’re capable, right? Commoners don’t understand the culture and manners of aristocrats.
Forcing them to follow the rules would cause unnecessary friction and hinder the development of human resources.
That’s why His Majesty established the rule that there’s no social status within the academy.
Therefore, it was also forbidden to use the family name without permission.”

“Oh, no.
Then I shouldn’t have said Danau, too?”

“As long as you don’t wield the name of your family unnecessarily, it’s fine.
But it’s not as if these school rules are being followed.
Even I, as a baron, am afraid to even open my mouth in front of a person like him.
No one can resist the power of a duke.”

Cody slowly looked up.
Instead of the tired look he had on his face earlier, he had a somewhat amused smile on his face.

“That’s why I was really surprised by Sheila.
There was something so exhilarating about your unabashed attitude.
I think a lot of people in the room must’ve felt the same way I did.”

Sheila’s eyes were filled with surprise and embarrassment as Cody laughed.
Sheila looked timid, but she was surprisingly brazen.
It seemed that she had a lot of guts because she aspired to be a knight.

Cody’s complexion changed when he suddenly caught sight of something.
His expression hardened at once.

Sheila followed his gaze.
All the students around them were gone before they knew it.
The entrance was quiet.
There, a man was standing.

With an indigo surcoat, a white indigo vest, and a white shirt, he didn’t look like a student.
He was a handsome man, perhaps in his mid-20s, and his aristocratic attire was surprisingly picturesque.

He had blue-gray shoulder-length hair and clear azure eyes.
His sweet atmosphere was so full of sex appeal that it made her nervous for no reason.
It wasn’t an analogy she would use for a man, but she was extremely distracted just by looking at his alluring eyes.

“Jorn Werner-sensei…”

Cody muttered in a hoarse voice.
Apparently, he was a teacher.

She thought that he was too much of a pariah to be suited for teaching, but in this all-male school, she guessed that wouldn’t be a problem.

The teacher, Jorn Werner, had a charming drowsy smile.
His eyes were definitely focused on Sheila.

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“Hmm….”

Jorn Werner approached, seemingly oblivious to Cody.
After gazing down at her for a while, he touched Sheila’s cheek.

“I see…”

His eyes narrowed, and he observed her.
Cody was about to raise his voice as he moved his face even closer, but Sheila stopped him.

She remembered when this happened to her when she went hunting.
When you ran into a big predator that you couldn’t take down on your own.
The way to deal with it was the same.

Running away in a panic or recklessly confronting it would only excite it.
You needed to calmly assess how the other side would react, and respond accordingly.
If you do that, you might be surprised to find that the other party would leave without a care in the world.

Sheila, who had figured out in her head that it was best to wait and see based on her experience, looked into the eyes that were approaching her without stepping back.

A soft, gentle touch traced slowly across her cheek.
It sent a shiver down her spine, as if she was being licked by a large predator.
Still, she continued to stare into the azure eyes, not moving an inch.
She knew that she mustn’t look away.

Jorn Werner’s eyes glowed with delight.

“You’re interesting.”

Before she knew it, he had relaxed the front of her.
He traced her temples, cheeks, chin, neck, and collarbone.
His fingertips trailed around her collarbone lovingly.
At last, his hand reached below the collarbone, and Sheila’s eyelashes twitched.

‘Below that, it’s not good.
No matter how small, the bulge is…..’

At that moment, Jorn Werner smiled brilliantly, as if he was sure of his victory.
His beautiful face came close to her ear.
Then, he whispered secretly.

“―You’re a woman.”

For a moment, she couldn’t process what he said.

Immediately, she glanced at Cody.
Although he remained wary of Jorn Werner, he didn’t seem to have heard what he had just said.

“W-wha―”

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“He’s as frail as you are, and there are plenty of boys with more beautiful faces than yours, but he’s definitely a man.
But not you.
I can tell by your skeleton.
Especially this skull.”

“Ow!”

Suddenly, she was grabbed by the head and yelped.

She was easily exposed.
Even though it was still before the entrance ceremony.

She had never heard of any difference in skulls between men and women.
Or was it common knowledge in the royal capital? If so, how many people were aware of Sheila’s gender?

As soon as she arrived, she got into an argument with the duke’s son, and then her gender was exposed.
This was already enough to get her expelled from school before she even entered.

As Sheila despaired, Jorn Werner grinned.

“―I won’t tell anyone.”

“Huh?”

He had said the words that she had hoped for but didn’t think would come easily.
Sheila was stunned with disbelief.

She wondered if he was trying to intimidate her later by taking advantage of her weakness, but there was nothing to be gained from Sheila, a commoner.
She couldn’t read Jorn Werner’s mind.
That’s why she couldn’t let her guard down.

“….
I don’t understand why you would cover for me.”

“Because that would be more fun, wouldn’t it?”

“What?”

“I’m Jorn Werner Alfrey.
What’s your name?”

“… I’m Sheila Danau.”

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“That’s a cute name.
It fits you perfectly.”

She felt like she couldn’t say anything to Jorn Werner, who smiled with a happy smile.
Even though she knew she shouldn’t let her guard down, that innocent smile took some edge off of her.

The bewitching appearance he had just displayed, or the friendly smile.
She wondered which one was the real him.

“Teaching used to be so boring every year, but I think it’s going to be fun this year.”

Jorn Werner whispered lightly as if singing, then waved and left.
As she watched his back in a daze, Cody sat down again.

“Um, I’m sorry….”

“It’s okay, it’s okay….
I’m not sure why Jorn Werner-sensei was in the main building….
I’m pretty sure he rarely comes out of the academic tower outside of class….
Sheila, you’ve been targeted again.”

Cody timidly curled up.
She tried to encourage him somehow, but what could she say to him, as the person who was causing him so much trouble?

In the end, she asked him an obvious question.

“Um….
He’s a teacher, isn’t he?”

“….
He’s one of the teachers sent from the academic tower.
He’s in charge of training in magic combat.
Regardless of his personality, he’s a great magician.
Regardless of personality.”

“….”

Why did you have to say it twice? Twice, as if to push a reminder.
Was it because it was important?

Cody stood up quietly.
He exhaled heavily and forced a smile onto his haggard face.

“If we keep standing still, something might happen again, so let’s go to the opening ceremony venue while we still can.”

“… Yes.”

Unable to resist his ghostly appearance, Sheila nodded her head.

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