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Feb 03, 2023 8:10 AM
a Hailey goes to school in Erebonia
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"Right you are, Miss Top Scorer on the Thors entrance exam! Students in each year are divided into five classes: two for the nobility, and three for commoners. And it's been that way for ages, right up through last year. But this year, we've decided to shake things up a little."

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Ooh, Lavender's a smart one. That's good to know. And a new class with new rules? Hm. That could be great, or a lot of trouble. Probably both.

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"We now have a sixth class. Fittingly titled... Class Seven. And in Class Seven, we recognize no distinction between nobles and commoners."

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"...wait, you just jumped straight from five to seven?"

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"Y-You're really putting nobles and commoners in the same class?" the blonde girl asks, sounding surprised but intrigued.

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Prettyboy asking the important question here. Unlike Blondie, who is apparently shocked enough to ask for confirmation on something already stated, though at least she doesn't sound put off by the idea.

"What he said."

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"This must be some kind of joke!"

The tall green-haired boy sounds mad, interrupting before anyone can speculate on the missing 6.

"And why is this the first I've heard of it?!"

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"Well, uh... err... who were you again?"

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"Machias Regnitz! And with all due respect, Instructor, it is ludicrous to intermix nobles and commoners like this! Must I be forced to spend my next two years shoulder to shoulder with those arrogant, stuck-up hedonists?!"

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"Uh, you do know I'm not the one who made the decision, right? Besides, what's the big deal, anyway? You're all kids. Can't you all just... get along or something?"

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"Just get along?! And how would you propose we do that?!"

He suddenly turns to glare at the handsome blonde boy beside him, who made noise of contempt. "And what's your problem?"

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"Oh, nothing much. I just find the irony of your behavior rather humorous."

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"Is that so. It seems the scion of some noble house has left the comfort of his mansion to grace the unwashed masses with his wisdom," Machias says scornfully. "Please, milord, do share your esteemed name with us so I can give you all the respect you deserve."

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"Jusis Albarea. Not that I'd expect the name of an 'arrogant, stuck-up hedonist' to lodge itself in that hard head of yours."

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Everyone recognizes the name, and is surprised.

"H-He's from one of the four great houses," the cute ginger blurts, saying what they're all thinking.

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"The son of Duke Albarea, lord of the Kreuzen province in the southeast."

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"Well," the blonde girl says flippantly, trying to lighten the mood. "You don't get much more 'noble' than that."

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She looks around for someone, anyone, who looks willing to wade into this. Maybe lavender-hair? Maybe the teacher? Maybe nobody? Tch.

"I mean, could be even more, Blondie. Could be Imperial Family. But really, Greenie? Sure, there are some terrible nobles. Some terrible commoners too. There's a lot of terrible to go around."

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This petite silver-haired girl is the only one who doesn't look impressed (or confused, in the tall rugged boy's case) by Jusis' family name, or, mildly scandalized by Hailey's blunt assessment. She yawns pointedly.

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Machias rounds on the girl who spoke up, wrong-footed. "W-Well what do you know? You expect me to bend my knee to this, this--"

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Instructor Sara claps her hands loudly.

"Okay, okay, that's enough. I'm sure a couple of you have a few grievances, but now's not the time. I'll hear your complaints later. Right now, you've got your orienteering exercise, and far be it from me to keep you from our fun little icebreaker."

(Machias grunts sourly but shuts up.)

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"You mentioned this 'orienteering' exercise earlier? What exactly does that involve?"

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"It's a form of outdoor competition, isn't it? Something like a cross between a map-reading exercise and a scavenger hunt?"

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The bishonen boy makes a sound of realization.

"Is that why they asked us to hand over our weapons at the gate?"

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Instructor Sara grins. "Nothing gets by you, does it."

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