“Education will surely become our nation’s future.”
Those were the words of Viktor the Second, the Patron of the Arts, and king of Ilsestein two generations ago. Whether it was the blessings of those words or otherwise, the vast Royal Academy of Vergenheim located in the outskirts of Verg, Ilsestein’s royal capital, had no shortage of funds being invested into it.
In this age of civilisations built on science due to the <Steam Engine Revolution>, the development of technology became the strength of the nation. And, the said technology was something created by humans. Thus, it was of utmost importance to cultivate and nurture excellent talents in those fields through education.
To begin with—regardless of how much society and the times have changed, no matter how much the education system has been enriched and improved, those who are known as ‘students’ did not experience much of a change in their lifestyle.
Which was why today, there were many young people gathering before the bulletin board for part-time jobs targeted at students.
“…There aren’t any decent jobs, eh…..”
Lyle Waldstein, in the midst of those young people who were looking at the employment advertisements pasted onto the bulletin board, leaked out a sigh. He was a youth with messy, steel-coloured hair and largish glasses. He had a slighter build and a more child-like face compared to the students around him; it almost seemed like a child had gotten mixed up in the crowd.
Lyle looked up, and surveyed the bulletin board once more. However, no matter how much he looked, he could not find anything that fit the bill. The month of Diamond(1) had already passed, and it was already halfway through the month of Jade. Taking into account the period of the end-of-term exams, this was the last chance to earn some spending money before the long vacation in the month of Peridot. Hence, most of the decent jobs had already been taken.
“Hm? Howdy, Lyle.”
Turning about at the voice that called out to him from behind, he found that Hazel Clairy, his roommate and (undesirable) friend, was standing before him.
“What’re you up to?”
“Shouldn’t it be rather obvious since I’m standing right in front of the part-time job bulletin board?”
“That’s exactly why. Mr Disciple of the Last Hexe, aren’t you rather in demand with all those research laboratories?”
“Well, I guess.”
With a wry smile on his face, Lyle shrugged his shoulders.
The genius inventor Erllua Azoth, who had developed the Amber Reactor which powered steam engines, was feared as the Last Hexe, because of her achievements for bringing about the true age of science. And, as the only disciple that Witch had raised, Lyle, the Disciple of the Last Hexe, was given a nickname that seemed to give him an itch on the back.
However, the nickname was not meant solely as a form of teasing.
Lyle was the only scholarship student in Vergenheim chosen in his year. The scholarship students, who enjoyed many privileges such as the exemption of tuition fees, were not chosen based on the prestige of their upbringing.
And in order to show his ability, Lyle ended up being highly prized by many professors as an assistant or a computer.
“However, I only get paid as much as a maid does, for those… I just wanted to try out a real job for once.”
“Huh? Wait a sec, why do you need that much money in the first place?”
“Well… I guess there are various reasons.”
Lyle smiled, in order to cover up his inner thoughts, and Hazel looked suspicious. Seeing that look on his face, Lyle clapped his hands together.
“That reminds me. Hazel, do you have anything good to introduce?”
“A good part-time job, eh. Well, it’s true that I’m a pro at finding those.”
Hazel scratched his chin, looking pensive. The blond-haired, blue-eyed handsome youth who seemed as though he was from a painting, was from a noble family that had fallen into ruin. He was a streetwise person who worked multiple part-time jobs in order to earn some income, on top of his scholarship. In Vergenheim, becoming a civil servant or a military personnel would mean an exemption from the obligations and returns in the scholarship, so he seemed like he was enjoying himself playing the part of such a worldly-wise person.
“…Hmm, for someone as intellectual as you are, how does being a tutor sound?”
“Yeah. There are all sorts of them, but if you do well at teaching the child of some wealthy family or noble, you’d probably get paid pretty decently. You’re a scholarship student of Vergenheim too, it’d be pretty smooth sailing.”
“A tutor, eh…”
It was certainly a good idea. At the very least, it suited him much better than manual labour did.
“So, Hazel, do you know anyone who’s hiring a tutor?”
“Are you an idiot? If I did, I’d have taken it myself.”
For better or worse, his friend was honest. It was just as Lyle expected, and he sighed.
(1) The month of Diamond is the 4th month, Jade the 5th, and Peridot the 8th.