First published on Ainushi
「Good morning. My name is Naruse Yuzuki. Pleased to make your acquaintance.」
When he raised his head after taking a deep bow, he found himself looked upon with indifferent glances. There were a huge number of Alphas that gathered in this local top prestigious boarding school, Gymnasium. Having a strong sense of being the chosen ones, they regarded Yuzuki, an Orient kid, as beneath them even if he also was an Alpha.
With a jet-black jacket for a vest, he was in pinstripe grey trousers with a dark red ribbon tie from his previous school. In contrast, the majority of the students that gathered in the auditorium were clad in their school uniforms, sporting their shiny blonde hair and translucent white skin.
「Please look after me.」
After descending from the stage, he joined the row of students. He greeted the boy beside him but the others didn’t pay him any attention.
He felt disappointed as the morning assembly ended and it was time for the first lesson of the day. The stone school building was huge. Though he had received a map beforehand, Yuzuki still struggled to find his classroom and was at a loss.
「Excuse me, how do I get to the biology class…?」
He inquired after the location of the lecture hall, but the students flagrantly passed by without stopping. As Yuzuki’s shoulders sagged, he heard someone call out behind him.
「Is your next lecture biology? Me too.」
Spinning around, he saw a tall boy standing there. He had soft, fluffy light chestnut brown hair. With matured features, he had an amiable smile floating on his face.
「Umm, and you are…」
「Albert Davis. Call me Bert.」
Yuzuki shook hands with the boy timidly when he held out his large palm. Standing firmly like a tall statue, Bert had an equally thick palm. Since people had been ignoring him at school, he had always been feeling lonely but the warmth from Bert’s hand as he firmly gripped his gradually warmed him up.
「Bert… Are you sure I can call you that?」
「Of course. Erm… Yuzuki… Is it alright if I call you Yuz?」
「Mm, if it’s easier for you to pronounce, sure.」
It was his first time exchanging words with a student at Gymnasium so he was a little nervous. Bert had a finely chiselled look, and his light brown eyes were very pretty.
「Yuz, biology lecture is a bit challenging.」
「Does he ask a lot of questions?」
「Yeah, you guessed it. The teacher’s way of lecturing makes people very sleepy and if you doze off, he’s guaranteed to call your name and bombard you with questions」
Seeing Albert mimicking the teacher, Yuzuki was finally able to laugh from the bottom of his heart that day.
As expected, everyone coldly stared at him but since Albert attended the same lecture, he didn’t feel lonely.
Because of his father’s work, he had been studying overseas in various countries. However, he had never been treated coldly till now.
After school, he returned to the dormitory only to find his roommate complaining, 「I want to change rooms」 to the house master.
「It’s so pitiful that he’s sharing the same room as that fellow.」
「If that was me, I’d definitely hate it.」
Their whispers struck him right in the heart.
「House master, can you put me and Yuzuki in the same room?」
Albert held Yuzuki’s hand and said that aloud. His voice caused the people around them to gasp in surprise.
「Come again? Can he even make such a request?」
「Isn’t he a scholarship student even though he’s a Beta? Look, he has the silver button.」
Only the best student boasting the top grades was permitted to wear the silver button on their vest. Albert had the silver button. It appears he was the recipient of a leading scholarship from the school even though he was a Beta.
「I bet he buttered up the house master with his results.」
It wasn’t just Yuzuki; they even hurled those tasteless insults at Albert.
「As I suspected. It’s alright, Bert. If you stay together with me, you’re going to suffer.」
「That doesn’t faze me. Let’s go, Yuz. My room’s this way.」
Ignoring the commotion in the background, Albert dragged Yuzuki by the arm and walked off.
「Eh? Wait a minute, Bert!」
There was an impish glint in his eyes when Albert brought his face closer to Yuzuki’s and whispered in a low voice.
「My roommate has an awful habit of grinding his teeth at night. I’ve always been looking forward to switching rooms with someone else.」
「Yeah. I’m delighted to be in the same room with you.」
Looking at his gentle smile, Yuzuki began to consciously tear up.
「You know … I’m sorry.」
「What for? I want to thank you instead.」
Seriously, his teeth grinding is awful, Albert said in jest.
「Well, I kind of have an awful habit of grinding my teeth too. Also, I sort of talk in my sleep.」
「If you talking in your sleep, I welcome it. You have an awfully cute voice.」
Compared to Albert’s large build, Yuzuki was certainly a head shorter than him and although he had a childish face, he was already in his final year this fall. He wasn’t at the age where the word 『cute』 applied.
Grabbing the cardboard box jam-packed with textbooks and suitcase from a flustered Yuzuki who had turned bright red, Albert took long strides and headed to his room.
「Ehhh… I’m switching rooms?」
To his roommate, the cheerful and gentle Albert must have been a very forgiving person. When he announced the house master’s decision, he had a disappointed expression whilst he began to collect his things and unwillingly packed his bag. Albert helped him carry his bag out before returning back to the room.
「Well, he’s not a bad fellow aside from his teeth grinding.」
「Is his teeth grinding that awful?」
「It’s not even awful. It’s at a level that I wake up immediately even if I’m fast asleep.」
Albert joked again that his teeth made a chattering sound. Yuzuki thought he must surely be joking on purpose, taking his feelings into consideration.
「Thanks … Bert.」
When he clumsily smiled, he felt his cheeks had been pinched.
「No sweat. Please take care of me for this entire year.」
「Nn── Same here. I’m in your care.」
Thanks, he said; and when he bowed, he remembered that the common greeting in this country was a handshake. Yuzuki nervously held out his hand and Albert gently clasped it.
「After you’re done unpacking, I’ll show you around the school. I do my homework after dinner. So if we’re going to walk around, we’ve got to do it now.」
Since he had been nervous, he wasn’t able to appreciate the scenery around him well enough, but Gymnasium boarding school had a rich history and its buildings were majestic.
There was still traces left of summer in the lush trimmed grove of trees on the beautiful lawn. It would surely be fun to roam around the school.
「Okay, I’ll have this tidied up quickly. Wait for me!」
Yuzuki gave a slight nod, quickly storing his luggages in the closet and his study desk.