This chapter is updated by 𝘧𝑟𝑒𝑒𝑤𝑒𝑏𝓃ℴ𝘷𝑒𝓁.𝒸ℴ𝘮
Chapter 15: The Loner Euphemia
"He seems a bit too normal," Euphemia muttered under her breath, a puzzled frown creasing her forehead.
As she continued her clandestine observations of Adrian, she couldn't shake the feeling that something was amiss.
It had been a whole week since she had started discreetly tracking his every move, and nothing out of the ordinary had transpired.
Even during the recent exam, Adrian had merely concocted a simple potion that seemed well within the capabilities of any aspiring alchemist.
Euphemia's confusion deepened as she pondered the situation.
"What's going on?" she questioned, her voice tinged with a mixture of frustration and intrigue.
Her expectations had been set high for the alchemy department's number one student, but Adrian appeared far too ordinary to meet those expectations.
Day after day, she trailed him in secret, noting his unremarkable routine. Adrian attended classes dutifully, participated in discussions when prompted, and even socialized with his three friends. It was a far cry from the image of a prodigious alchemist she had envisioned.
As she followed him into the bustling cafeteria of Estelle Hall, her gaze shifted to the cute blonde girl who accompanied Adrian during lunch.
She recalled that the girl was the top student of the summoning department. Euphemia couldn't help but wonder about the nature of their relationship.
"Are they going out?" she mused silently, her curiosity getting the best of her. But a closer examination of their interactions led her to dismiss that possibility.
It seemed that the blonde girl was more interested on the blue-haired boy who they hang out with.
The mystery of Adrian Vulter Tellus deepened with each passing day, leaving Euphemia determined to uncover the truth behind the facade of normalcy that he presented to the world.
"Looks like she's here again, huh, Adrian, haha," Louise said with a chuckle. Her voice carried a mix of amusement and curiosity as I glanced behind me, spotting the beautiful lady with black hair and emerald green eyes seated a few tables away.
There she was, Euphemia Dunhaven, the persistent shadow that had been following me for a week now.
"Haah" I couldn't help but sigh.
It was painfully obvious that Euphemia was on a quest to uncover some hidden secret within me, spurred on by the fact that I had bested her for the number one spot in the alchemy department.
In my mind, what she's doing is on borderline stalking.
"Euphemia's at it again, huh?" I remarked, acknowledging her presence.
Euphemia made eye contact with me for a brief moment before quickly averting her gaze. Well, at least she wasn't directly bothering me like I had initially feared.
Louise's smile widened as she delved deeper into the topic.
"Haha, Adrian, don't you think she's interested in you?" Her voice was filled with amusement, and she seemed genuinely intrigued.
I chuckled softly. "Haha, I don't think so, Louise. If anything, she sees me more as a rival than a romantic partner." I tried to downplay the situation, not wanting it to become the focal point of our conversation.
Louise, however, remained unconvinced.
"Hmm, how would you know that? When you've never even talked to her all this time," she countered, appearing quite confident in her analysis.
"Trust me, as a girl myself, I can feel it. That girl has a crush on you. Yup, I guarantee it, right Cecilia?" Louise said while asking her spirit for confirmation.
She then playfully suggested, "Want me to go talk to her?" Louise wore a full smile, clearly invested in the unfolding drama.
I firmly rejected the idea. "What? No," I responded, determined not to let things escalate further.
Just then, two familiar voices called out to us.
"Yo, what's up, guys?
"What are you guys talking about?"
"Alex, Tristan, you're here!" Louise exclaimed.
Tristan and Alex had become friends after their battle at the entrance exam at Cleave Hall. While Alex had lost to Tristan quite decisively, his remarkable fighting spirit and sword techniques had earned him the title of the number two student in the combat department.
Every day, they made the journey from Cleave Hall to Estelle Hall just to have lunch together with me and Louise.
We had suggested eating at the central district's commercial area, but they insisted on coming here to save us the trouble of traveling.
Alex playfully flexed his muscles, claiming that the journey served as exercise for us combat department students, eliciting giggles from Louise.
"Hear this, hear this," Louise began excitedly.
"I think someone's interested in Adrian."
"Oh, it hasn't even been a whole month since we've attended the academy, and our Adrian already has a girlfriend," Alex teased with a grin.
I couldn't help but roll my eyes. "I told you she's not interested in me, and Alex, she's not my girlfriend."
Tristan added his own brand of humor to the situation. "Congratulations, Adrian. I didn't think you'd be leaving our friend group this early, but we understand if it's for your beloved," he chimed in with a smile, contributing to the teasing.
"Seriously, you too, Tristan?" I said, feeling a bit betrayed by his unexpected participation in the ridiculous topic.
Curiosity got the better of Alex as he pressed for more information. "So, who's the lucky girl our dear Adrian gave his heart to?"
Louise's giggles grew more pronounced, and she cast a knowing look my way. It was clear she was signaling something to me.
Her eyes seemed to convey the message, "Should I tell them or not?"
My response was a silent plea, "Please, no."
Her grin remained as she turned her attention back to Tristan and Alex. Tristan, in particular, seemed troubled by our silent interaction, his curiosity getting the best of him.
As Louise and I had grown closer, we had developed a silent understanding, communicating with just a few glances.
Despite the ongoing teasing, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of sadness for Tristan. It was obvious that he harbored feelings for Louise, although I know he wasn't consciously aware of it.
He only realized it after Vol 4 when Louise almost died after facing the beast of the night Kaksan.
'But don't worry, Tristan' I thought to myself 'I won't steal Louise from you. In fact, I fully support your relationship. I guarantee I'
'Besides I'm even enticing you to realize your feelings faster by becoming a potential rival so hurry up and realize it you dense protagonist'
With a sense of resignation, I raised my hand and conjured a small magic missile. Almost instantly, a slim metal golem appeared at our table, ready to take our orders.
"May I take your order, please?" the golem inquired. At Estelle Hall, nearly everything was imbued with magic, even the process of ordering food was facilitated by magically engineered golems. To place an order, you only needed to fire a small magic missile into the air, and the golem would arrive promptly.
I sighed, realizing that I would be footing the bill this time. "Okay, so lunch is on me. Pick whatever you want."
Louise's giggle grew more pronounced as she began perusing the menu, seemingly drawn to the most expensive items. I couldn't help but think, "Seriously, this girl."
Initially confused, Alex and Tristan soon grasped the meaning behind my gesture, realizing that my silent exchange with Louise had sealed the deal: lunch was indeed on me.
As Euphemia continued her relentless observation of Adrian's various expressions and gestures, she meticulously cataloged each change. Her gaze shifted from fascination to mild irritation and eventually to a resigned acknowledgment of something beyond her understanding.
"Now he's all smiles" she noted silently as she observed Adrian's interactions.
"Okay, now he's annoyed" she muttered under her breath, her dedication to recording every detail unwavering.
"Now he seems to have given up on something"
Euphemia's eyes remained locked on Adrian's every move. She maintained her vigil from a few tables away, determined to uncover any hidden meanings behind his actions.
A familiar voice interrupted her intense scrutiny. "Lady Euphemia."
Turning to her side, Euphemia found Marie, her loyal personal maid. While servants were not allowed in the lecture halls of Estelle Academy, they were free to move about elsewhere to assist their masters.
Analise, in particular, Adrian's personal maid, was currently aiding Aria in Gaben Hall, a mid-sized dormitory for students considered among the middle ranks.
Aria had failed to secure a spot among the top 10 students in the Magic department, leading her to adjust to life at Gaben Hall. Analise, along with a few other servants, was helping her adapt. Aria's jealousy of Adrian, who enjoyed a more luxurious dorm life at Lucian Hall, was palpable.
Marie expressed her concern, addressing Euphemia's peculiar behavior.
"I know you've just experienced your first crush and all, but what you're doing isn't healthy. Instead of obviously stalking someone, you should go out and interact more with other students and make friends," she suggested, her worry evident.
"Or better yet," Marie continued, "just talk to the person himself to get to know him better"
"Haah" Marie sighed.
She hadn't anticipated that her lady would become like this just a few weeks after entering the academy.
Euphemia's actions were not only bordering on creepy but also earning her a reputation as someone peculiar, causing many students to avoid her.
In the bustling cafeteria, Euphemia stood out as the only one without someone to talk to, raising serious concerns about her school life. Marie realized that this couldn't continue unchecked.
Euphemia, however, defended her actions, responding to Marie's advice.
"What are you talking about, Marie? First, I don't have a crush; I'm merely curious about him. Second, I do have friends; you just haven't met them yet" she stated firmly before returning her focus to Adrian.
Marie was pretty sure that the reason she hadn't met any of Euphemia's friends yet, was simply because her lady hadn't made any friends at the academy.
Marie could only sigh, understanding that her lady was deeply entrenched in her curiosity, regardless of the consequences.