Chapter 4

Colin finally arrived at the academy district. The whole district was covered in flowers and mini forests.

Colin couldn’t help but feel calm and relaxed as he walked through the paths. Clearly, someone thought of making the district this way to put the minds of students at ease.

There parks here and there that students could sit and relax as well as have picnics.

As walked he saw two buildings side by side. One was clearly larger than the other.

[That must be the royal academy and the smaller one the civil academy] (Colin Frederick)

Colin headed to the royal academy with his head up in the clouds, but he was soon brought back to the ground with a thump.

“You bastard! I as asked for lemonade, not this garbage” (female voice)

“But they were out of lemonade. This is the next most expensive drink they had” (male voice)

“Are you talking back at me?” (female voice)

“Ah no…I” (male voice)

“Perhaps you have you found someone else to be your legal wife? Should we end it here?” (female voice)

“No…please don’t leave me!” (male voice)

“Huh…is that how you ask for a favor?” (female voice)

The male immediately kowtowed and apologized upon hearing those words. The girl stepped on his head with an evil smile on her face.

“I glad that you know your place noble dog. Don’t ever talk back to me!” she said before pouring the contents on her drink on his head.

“Ah…I spilled my drink. Now that I think about it, I wanted to drink that. Go and fetch me another right away.”

“I will have one as well…” a man who was standing next to her uttered those words. He was clearly her lover.

“ehyahhh…we will match if you do that” the girl's attitude took a completely 180-degree turn after the guy had spoken. From a devil to an angel. It was shocking.

“What are waiting for noble dog? Fetch our drinks and be quick about it!” (female voice)

“Yes…” (male voice)

Colin felt his check twitch.

The piece of mind he had, had gone - he looked closely at the people around him.

A guy licking a girl's shoes.

A guy kowtowing to a bunch of girls.

A guy acting a piece of furniture for a girl.

A guy dancing semi-naked for a bunch of girls.

A guy being bullied by a bunch of guys as a girl looked on with amusement.

[This is hell!!] (Colin Frederick)

***

With a great big thump, Colin fell on his small bed in his dorm room.

He like many other noble knights was boarding in the low-ranking boys' dorms.

It was a boarding house exclusively for noble knights.

It was old and barely passable as a boarding house.

Higher ranking nobility was staying at the higher ranking boarding house.

The difference between the two was like night and day.

The only exception were those who owned a house in the noble district. They were brought every day to the academy by carriage.

[That was scary…I thought my father’s legal wife made me prepared for what was to come but…]

His expectations were off, but that was to be expected.

Despite his father’s constant warnings, Colin thought that the treatment in the academy will be no different from the treatment his stepmother gave him and his father, with the only difference being it would now happen more frequently.

This assumption of fundamentally wrong for one reason.

The marriage contract.

The marriage contract was originally used in cases of a noble marrying a commoner. This contract outlined the duties that each party was responsible for during marriage.

In most cases, commoners were required to be loyal, bear children and fulfill any noble duties their partner required of them.

Commoners in turn would mostly request an income for themselves and their families.

However, today it is mostly used by noble knights as a means to ensure marriage until they pass on their rights to their sons.

A typical marriage contract would have these requests from the noble knight.

  1. Marry me.

  2. Stay married to me until my illegitimate son inherits the household.

  3. Adopt my illegitimate son so that he may inherit the household.

  4. Support my illegitimate son’s right to inheritance. (In other words, have any child she may have with a partner relinquish their rights to the household. Even if it means disowning them)

In return, the legal wife would in turn also issue her demands, and in most cases, these were but not limited to:-

- Build or buy me a mansion in or near the capital.

- Proved me with an income.

- I will be allowed to have lovers (A term used for a member of the twin lover’s tribe).

- I will be allowed to have partners (A term used to describe any member who was not a member of the twin lover’s tribe. Such as a noble, an illegitimate noble’s son, or a commoner).

- I will be allowed to have children from those partners.

- I will be allowed to make amendments to this agreement. (Strictly speaking, changing the agreement is only limited to within a reasonable extent. Such as when Nina request an increase to 50 platinum coins. It would most likely have been rejected by the royal court. After all, if big changes can be made to a contract, it would be pointless to have a contract in the first place. This is why Nina settled to the 35 coin increment instead. That’s not to say she had given up on the 50 platinum altogether. Big changes couldn’t be made, but small changes stacked one on top of another could still yield the same result. It was a tactic that legal wives often used.)

- You will not be allowed to make amendments to this agreement.

This contract put a lot of power into the hands of the legal wife, if Noah had refused Nina’s request to increase her income, she could have used it to render the marriage contract null and void.

Which would lead to divorce.

In such a situation Noah would either have to find another noblewoman to marry but given his circumstances the price would be enormous or surrender his domain to another noble knight. This must be said was extremely unlikely as an increase in the domain under the control of a noble knight might bring unwanted interests from the legal wife.

This just shows the power a marriage contract had. As it stood Nina was bound to aide Noah in ensuring Colin will inherit the household as long as he did not break the contract.

Such a situation cannot be said for the noble knights at the academy.

They have yet to get the noble ladies to agree to the marriage contract which puts them in an even more pitiful state than their fathers.

The noble ladies are well aware of the noble knight’s predicament and fully exploiting it.

A marriage contract requires the parents or guardians of both parties to sign as a witness.

For a noble knight to bring that discussion to the noble lady’s parents. The noble lady has to first introduce the noble knight to her parents. There is no way around this.

Knowing that even daughters of poor barons or barons facing financial difficulties were acting with such contempt towards noble knights - despite most of them being 2nd or 3rd daughters with no inheritance to speak of.

In other words, before a noble knight got a marriage contract they were basically at the beck and call of the noble ladies.

[This is worse than I imagined] (Colin Frederick)

As Colin thought that a knock came at his door.

“Hello Colin” (George Dragonfire)

“Long time, No see” (Aaron O'Brien)

“Late as ever, you have a bad habit there” (Archie Lancaster)

“You guys. What are you doing here?” (Colin Frederick)

“Eh…You don’t want to see us?”

Colin looked at his childhood friends.

George was a bulky guy with red hair and eyes. He was a muscle head whose strength was unequaled among the group. His fist when unleashed without restriction could produce air pressure that blew his enemies away. Colin had the miss fortune of facing this attack in the past.

Archie was a master of magic. With blue short hair and green eyes, he was an easy-going person. If he wasn’t hunting monsters, you would often find his deep in books. Learning spells of every element, even if it was an element he couldn’t use. Colin often asks for his advice on how to cast spells.

Aaron with his brown hair and eyes was the shortest of the four. However, his hunting skills were second only Colin, but that was only because Colin could use magic as well as swordsmanship. Aaron’s <Superior Awareness> skill was unmatched, not only could he cover an area the size of the capital but he can also pick up on small details such as height, sex, healthy or injured and more importantly after many years of polishing his kill he can even determine if they are friend or foe.

“That’s not what I mean…I” (Colin Frederick)

“Save your reunion for later…I don’t have all day” (Charley Gardner)

A guy was standing in the hallway looking at the reunion of the four.

“Who are you?” (Colin Frederick)

“This is our senior from year two. He is here to give us the noble knight’s orientation.” (Archie Lancaster)

[Ah…father did say that a senior would come and give the ins and outs of the academy…of course, it’s not for free] (Colin Frederick)

“Here you go” (Colin Frederick)

Colin gave Charley 2 platinum coins for a total of 8 platinum coins from the 4 of them.

Colin looked and Charley trying to recall where he had met him before. It didn’t take long for him to realize that he was the first guy he saw being humiliated by that noblewoman when he first arrived at the academy.

“First of all, welcome to hell. Secondly, listen very carefully I will only say this once.” (Charley Gardner)

His tone was heavy as if it came from a soldier who has fought countless battles.

He sat on Colin’s bed, which was the only piece of furniture in this small room.

Colin paid close attention to what he had to say.

“Tomorrow the school will hold its orientation for the new semester. All students will be gathering at the main hall early in the morning. Be sure to arrive 2 hours early or you will be asking for trouble.” (Charley Gardner)

The guy was puzzled by his words and gave a puzzled look

“In noble society, the lower your standing, the earlier you arrive at venues. Breaking that rule in your first year will make you an outcast. Tsk…as if we noble knights aren’t already outcasts” (Charley Gardner)

He mumbled that last part to himself but the keen hearing of everyone picked it up. They could only offer wry smiles at his words.

“After the orientation is over we will be holding ROKUKEN” (Charley Gardner)

“Eh…isn’t that too early?” (Aaron O'Brien)

“We are doing this out of consideration for you guys. This year it’s going to be pretty bad for the newcomers.” (Charley Gardner)

A cold shiver ran down their spines. From what they had seen things at the academy were already pretty bad but now they were being told it is going to be worse.

They held their breaths waiting for an explanation from Charley

“Her royal highness, Princess Teresa Hiltrud Eleadia will be attending the academy.” (Charley Gardner)

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