can hide away and use as I please!’

I didn’t know how much money my family actually had, but it wouldn’t be mine anyway; it would be the fathers.
It was not money I could use as I wanted.
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So, I thought it would be perfect to receive the tuition money and use it as my personal funds without telling my family about the scholarship.

Of course, I accepted it without hesitation.
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『Thank you!』

I had managed to get unexpected results from the very first day of school.
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The amount of mana I had absorbed today would be enough to restore my status window within a few days.
And on top of that, I was about to receive a scholarship, and we had an unexpected free day.

‘That’s awesome……!’

When I left the main building in a great mood, the day was coming to an end.
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『Alright, guys! See you the day after tomorrow!』

Yang Bok-ja rode away on the rickshaw that she had called in advance, which was waiting for her in the parking lot, and Murasaki went off without saying a word.
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Song Byung-oh talked to me.

『Are you taking the bus back to Donamjeong? We’re going the same way, so let’s go together.』
『Hmm…….』
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I looked at Lee Yu-ha walking towards the school dormitory and thought.

‘If I can, I would like to clear the misunderstanding today.’
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I was hesitating in front of the main building when,
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『Ah! Cadet Shirabayashi! Cadet Lee! Are you still here?』

A window opened in the main building as a voice called out to us.
To be precise, they were talking to Lee Yu-ha and me only.
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Lee Yu-ha, who was heading towards the dormitory, also turned around to face the direction the voice came from.
The person that called us was a middle-aged professor.

‘What’s this……?’

『You go on ahead, first.』

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I bid Song Byung-oh farewell and went into the teacher’s office with Lee Yu-ha.
On top of the professor’s desk who had just called us, a plaque read “Head of Cadets, Kanakawa(金川)”.

“Head of Cadets” probably was this period’s equivalent to the present’s “Dean of Students”.
Why would such a person call us?
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The middle-aged Head of Cadets, who had a buzz cut that resembled a soldier’s, sat down and twirled his fountain pen as he opened his mouth.

『It’s not a big deal, so don’t worry.』
『…….』
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The Head of Cadets opened the school register and said.

『Let’s see…….
What I wanted to tell you is this.
You two got into the school due to your excellent grades in magic power, and on top of that, today, you made an outstanding contribution to this school.
However, this does not mean that you can break school rules.』

Huh……?
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What? I thought hard about it.
What rule did I break?

I sent my brain into overdrive to track back on everything I had done today, but there was nothing I could think about that I had done wrong.
Rather than doing something wrong, hadn’t I made an incredible contribution by defeating that monster that broke into the practice grounds?
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I was thinking when the Head of Cadets continued speaking.

『I heard that you two talked in the Joseon language frequently during the pre-field practice…….』

What?
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『You’re not kids anymore, right? And you’re already past the age of using the Joseon language at school by mistake.』

So, this was the reason he called us over……?

Now that I thought about it, earlier in the afternoon, when Lee Yu-ha and Yang Bok-ja had been fighting, Lee Yu-ha got so flustered that she spoke in Joseon.
And when I was trying to stop their fight, I did as well.

It seemed someone had told on us.
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Then, who could it be? Yang Bok-ja would have ratted out Lee Yu-ha but not me as well, and Aikawa wasn’t that kind of person, either…… Then who……

‘It must have been Murasaki.’

It seemed that he had been pretty upset about getting slapped by me, but he didn’t want to say he got hit, so instead, he had told them that I had spoken in Joseon.
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‘On the outside, you acted all tough, saying he would settle this like a man, but instead, he goes and stabs me in the back like this…… I seriously have to get him beaten up……’
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As I was thinking this, the Head of Cadets said.

『Anyway, since we got a report that you used Joseon, we have no choice but to reflect it into your conduct evaluation.
It might be a small mistake, but if it continues to accumulate, it could lead to your suspension or expulsion from school, so be careful.』

Expulsion!
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『……!』

At the word “expulsion”, Lee Yu-ha’s already pale face became even whiter.
It wasn’t to that extent, but I couldn’t help getting nervous inside either.
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Shit, this is ridiculous.
Are they going to expel a Joseon person for speaking in the Joseon language?

Of course, this Head of Cadets had only said this as a warning, and we shouldn’t have accumulated enough negative points to get expelled yet.
But still, it didn’t make sense that they would penalize us for something as trivial as this.
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And more than anything, I couldn’t stand the fact that Murasaki had done us over.

My brain started to work faster than ever.
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『But, professor, please listen to me.』

I opened my mouth.

『There was an unavoidable circumstance that led to this.
If you listen to us, I’m sure you would understand as well.』

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『Oh?』
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The professor looked over in my direction as if something had piqued his interest.

『Let’s see then.』
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I put my thoughts together.
I planned to use Lee Yu-ha, who was standing right next to me, for my own safety.

『Well, you see, first of all, Ms.
Lee here did not attend elementary school or a regular school when she was younger, and she instead studied in a noble family, so she is not as proficient in the “national language” as the other students or I.
Hence, we were in such a hurry that she accidentally spoke in Joseon, and it was most probably not intentional.』
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This made it seem like I was defending Lee Yu-ha, but at the same time, it was my building up for my defense that would follow.
I wet my lips with my tongue and continued.

『And I, of course, am very fluent in the national language, but I had no choice but to use the Joseon language to calm Ms.
Lee, as she is not very fluent.
Especially since we were in quite an urgent situation, it would have been easier for her to understand the Joseon language she is familiar with rather than the national language.』
『Hmm, I see.
That makes sense.』
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The professor seemed to take my words seriously.
I bowed down at 90 degrees and quickly added.

『As a classmate, I will take responsibility and guide her to make sure this doesn’t happen again.』
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I laid out the groundwork by blaming my classmate’s lack of experience, telling him that I couldn’t help it due to my classmate’s inexperience, and then showing the necessity of keeping me to lead this inexperienced classmate.
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It seemed that my strategy had worked.
The Head of Cadets was deep in thought for a moment twirling his fountain pen and then asked Lee Yu-ha.
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『Cadet Lee.
Is this true?』
“Yes, it……”

Lee Yu-ha almost answered in the Joseon language but soon realized and fixed this by saying 「So desu」 in Japanese.
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The professor closed the conduct evaluations file and said.

『Okay.
I’ll let you off the hook this time.』
『Thank you!』
『Well, as Cadet Shirabayashi said, not all Joseon cadets are fluent in the national language after all.
Cadet Shirabayashi, help Cadet Lee so she can fluently speak the national language, and Cadet Lee, get used to it as soon as possible.』

I bowed at him and answered.
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『Yes, sir!』

Lee Yu-ha also bowed and answered.

『……Yes, sir.』
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So, by the time we had managed to solve the issue of breaking school rules and were exiting the main building, the sun was already setting, and the sky was painted in a deep scarlet red.

In front of the main building, I glanced at Lee Yu-ha, who was still standing around, avoiding my gaze.
She seemed to be deep in thought.

…What could she be thinking about?
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While defending myself in front of the Head of Cadets, I had been able to defend Lee Yu-ha as well, but I couldn’t get around to telling her that I was personally not a pro-Japanese.

‘Right now is probably not a good moment to talk about it.’

On the contrary, the misunderstanding that I was pro-Japan probably deepened since I kept saying “national language” to refer to Japanese in front of the Head of Cadets and even told him that I would teach the “national language” to Lee Yu-ha.
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I told Lee Yu-ha,

『……See you the day after tomorrow.』

And bid her farewell as I started walking across the playground towards the school gate when,
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“……Baek Cheol-yeon!”

It was Lee Yu-ha calling out to me.

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