Episode 21


Saturday morning. Unlike usual, Rose slept in late. Normally, even on days without classes, she would wake up early, but today was an exception. The early spring sunlight streaming in through the window gently kissed Rose’s sleeping face.

However, she was interrupted by the noisy sound of the dormitory door opening. Rose lifted her heavy eyelids.

“Rose! …Huh? Are you still asleep?”

Muffled by her grogginess, Rose slowly raised her upper body. 

“No… I’m awake.”

“Oh my! Did I wake you up?” 

Briley’s voice echoed loudly as she approached. She appeared in front of Rose after passing through the partition set up beside the bed.

Rose, still half-asleep with her eyes half-closed, had disheveled hair that sprawled in all directions.

“What’s going on? I see a sleepy Rose! You used to wake up earlier than me every day.”


Briley gently stroked her eyelids with the back of her hand. 

“Just how hard did you study yesterday?”

She had studied diligently, barely returning to the dormitory just before curfew. 

‘Did I spark Jasper’s interest in magic engineering?’

Last time, he had been so unenthusiastic, but yesterday, he had participated in class with surprising enthusiasm. There was no break in between, and the tutoring continued relentlessly. Jasper demanded that they move on without a break. 

‘Did changing the way I explained things make a difference?’

Rose was exhausted, but she felt good. Yesterday, she had put in extra effort to explain things to Jasper. When she returned to the dormitory, her temples throbbed. She collapsed into a deep slumber, something she hadn’t done in a while. With both hands covering her mouth, Rose yawned and asked.

“Bry, where did you go?”

Normally, Briley would be sprawled out on the bed, not wanting to get up. Briley chuckled and shook a piece of paper in her hand. 

“Look at this!”

“What is it?”

“It’s the club registration confirmation!”

“Uh, really?”

It was Saturday, the day club registration began. Briley had gone to the administration office early in the morning. She had applied to the Walking Club.

Still struggling to keep her eyes open, Rose examined the application. 

“Did you really apply for it?”

“Well, should I have applied for a fake one? Come on, get up, Rose. Let’s make the first club activity count! I’ve come up with some ideas; do you want to hear them?”

Rose’s lips twitched. The Walking Club now had a total of two members.


* * *


For clubs with more than ten members, a club room is assigned. Naturally, Rose’s club didn’t fit this description. The ghostly club, which had only put up a sign, suddenly became lively.

Rose snapped out of it and realized she was already being pulled out of the campus garden. Briley had spread a large picnic blanket on the grass and was smiling.

“I got this when I went out yesterday. Don’t you think it’s pretty?”

The blanket had a charming checkered pattern in various colors. While Rose was busy with secret tutoring sessions with Jasper, Briley had explored all over the city.

“But that’s not all. You’ll be surprised by how much I’ve prepared. Sit down, Rose!”

Rose sat down on the picnic blanket, awkwardly placing her shoes outside of it. She looked at Briley.

Briley started taking things out of the picnic basket one by one: canned comfort food, a bag of biscuits, cheese, apple pie, and more.

“Rose, Rose, take a look at this!”

Finally, Briley handed Rose an unidentified container. She looked excited.

“What’s this?”

As Rose opened the container, a chill ran down her spine. Inside, she saw a beautiful pink substance.


“Yeah! It’s non-melting gelato. Whew, it’s super popular. There was even a line when the shop opened.”


Non-melting gelato. Rose had heard of it. It was sold at a shop near the central square of the capital.

As Briley had said, it was not only popular but also quite expensive, so Rose had never bought it herself. Under the container was a cooling engine that used buoyancy and hydro-magic stones. It was a small magic stone, but it was enough to keep a cup of gelato cold.

“This one is cherry flavor, and this one is lemon.”

Briley sang as she took out a spoon. Rose stared at the cherry gelato in her palm.

“Bry, did you buy this all by yourself this morning?”

“Of course! It’s club activity day today!”

“I was wondering why you were up so early, but… Thanks.”

“It’s delicious, right? Huh? How is it? Are you impressed?!”

Briley’s eyes sparkled as she smiled. Her face was filled with anticipation.

Rose tightly held the gelato cup and nodded.

“Yeah. You must have gone through a lot of trouble preparing all of this.”

“Not at all! From now on, I’ll take care of Saturdays. You’re the club leader, but Rose, you’ll be busy studying. Oh, I’ve thought of something in advance… But let’s eat first.”

Rose used the spoon Briley gave her to take a bite of the gelato. The sweet and tangy flavor filled her mouth.

To summarize Briley’s plan in one sentence: it was an exploration of the capital city of the Lepti Empire every Saturday. They would roam the city, recording little-known details not found on official maps. This included places to rest briefly, benches to sit on, water fountains, and locations where street musicians often performed.

“We’re making our walking map for our club!”

Rose nodded enthusiastically while swallowing another spoonful of gelato. Briley’s plan turned out to be detailed and practical.

“And in the end, we’ll visit restaurants or dessert shops around the walking course. After a walk, we’ll definitely get hungry! We’ll also record our reviews. How does that sound?”

“…Sounds great!”

“Heh, right? I’m pretty clever, huh?”

Briley clenched her fist with a proud expression, then flopped down onto the blanket.


Startled, Rose covered Briley’s legs with a small blanket. Briley smiled with one eye closed.

“You’re just like my mom!”

A gentle breeze swept through the academy garden. Winter was transitioning into spring, and warm air enveloped the surroundings during midday. It was the perfect weather for a picnic.

Rose absentmindedly ran her fingers through the grass.

‘Sitting on the grass… It’s my first time.’

Although she had been at the academy for three years, she had never taken the time to sit and relax here.

‘It’s so nice.’

The subtle scent of the grass wafted through her nose. As she gazed peacefully at nature, thoughts of Quilts crossed her mind.

It wasn’t quite warm enough yet for Quilts to go out on a picnic. In the capital, they wouldn’t be able to go out and play for extended periods until early summer.

Her life always seemed to be chasing something, but there were good memories too. She remembered sitting on the grass and playing with her younger siblings.

However, within these memories, there was no trace of her father.

‘…Where on earth did he go?’

George Bell’s whereabouts remained a mystery.

‘I wish he never came back.’

Rose didn’t want to think about her father. She pushed away the melancholy feeling as she continued to enjoy her gelato.

Briley lay sprawled out, casually laughing. Her pink hair fluttered in the breeze. Seeing her like this eased Rose’s restless heart a little.

Briley might be unpredictable, but that’s what made her temporarily forget her practical and heavy worries.

As Rose took the last spoonful of cherry gelato, Briley asked, 

“Was it good?”

“Yeah, I finished it.”

“Good job!”

Rose had been feeling like she was always on the receiving end, and it bothered her. She wanted to help too. Then she remembered the request Briley had made yesterday.

“Oh, right. I asked Jasper.”

Briley, who had been lounging comfortably, suddenly turned her body to the side. She propped her head up with her hand and asked, 

“What? Ideal type?”


“Oh my. What did he say?”

Rose began to recall what she had heard from Jasper yesterday.

“It was very similar to you.”


From the moment she heard about Jasper’s ideal type, she had noticed the many similarities between Briley and it. Long hair, a passionate personality, shorter height than Jasper, good manners, and even a bit of cuteness.

There was just one thing that didn’t match—being quiet.

Briley frowned and said, 

“Being quiet is so not me. Ugh, I’m a total mismatch.”

“But apart from that, you’re exactly like his ideal.”

“Ugh, do I have to pretend to be a demure lady just for Jasper? That sounds painful.”

Briley exaggeratedly pulled a sad face and sighed.

“Anyway, thanks for asking. You’re the only one I have, Rose.”

“But do you really want to be with Jasper?”

“Come on. You think I don’t mean it?”

Briley squinted her eyes and chuckled. 

‘Sometimes, I can’t quite figure Briley out.’

In certain situations, especially when it came to Jasper, Briley would become quite different. It seemed like her attitude toward guys she was interested in wasn’t the same as usual.

‘Well, I don’t know much about dating…’

At that moment, Briley sat up straight and leaned closer to Rose, whispering.

“Hmmm. To be honest, I’m not sure. He’s good-looking, but…”

“Is it because of his personality?”

“Rose, how do you feel about it?”

“Huh? About what?”

“Jasper. What if he had a girlfriend? How would you feel?”

Rose blinked in surprise for a moment.


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