My Observational Diary of Elena Evoy - Chapter 8
The boy leaning against the window stood out by a mile. Under the sunlight, his hair glistened like golden silk, and his eyes under his straight eyebrows boasted a refreshing sky blue.
“It’s Johann! He’s so cool…”
“How does Johann look like that?”
“I went to the temple last week and Johann looks more like a sculpture than a sculpture itself.”
Johann Eldorado Pertan. The boy receiving all kinds of praise today, naturally swept his hair away as if he heard nothing.
“Did you see?! Did you see that hair swipe?”
“I wish I were his hair, so I could feel his hand.”
His slightest of movements were followed by massive praise, but Johann looked as calm as ever. Even his calm attitude was praised, saying that he had an amazing vibe. Johann kept staring into the distance as if lost in thought.
‘Right. That’s how it should be.’
Perfect! Johann gloated inwardly while maintaining a poker face on the outside.
Like everyone else, Johann had eyes. Whenever Johann looked in the mirror, he realized how beautiful he was. It wasn’t arrogance but an absolute fact.
Johann pretended not to notice the piercing gazes of the people and tilted his head slightly. This is my best angle. His sharp and defined jawline looked especially perfect at this angle.
“By chance, is Johann here to pick a club?”
“Why else would he be coming here?”
“I thought he hadn’t decided yet since I saw him say no to a few earlier.”
“So, who’s he been waiting for?”
“He’s been here for a while… Just who on earth is making Johann wait?”
Johann flinched because the comment stung.
Münuit Academy’s Marpines building. There was only one reason why Johann came to a building with many clubs in it: to join a suitable club.
‘Joining a club isn’t a bad idea. It’s one of the most efficient ways to build connections. It’s also a great excuse for continuous interaction, plus there’s nothing more helpful than a sense of belonging to build friendships in a short time.’
Johann recited a lengthy explanation, trying to convince himself, but he didn’t mind. Anyway, all clubs were trying to recruit members, and Johann was a freshman, so it would be useful to join one or two clubs for whatever reason. Johann made himself believe that for the time being.
“Hey, Johann, have you decided on a club yet? The International Affairs Club is always open for you.”
“As I said before, ignore what he said. I dare say that there is no club more suitable for you than the Swordsmanship Club. Isaac’s here, too.”
“One Pertan is enough for you!”
“International relations are boring and swordsmanship is exhausting. How about aesthetically enjoying fresh tea with the Afternoon Reading Club?”
Johann, who was showing off his enormous presence just by standing by the hallway window, got countless offers. Some clubs emphasized personal connections, others emphasized practicality, and some clubs even appealed to friendship.
“I’ll consider your valuable suggestions. Thank you.”
All clubs were fine but the problem lied with Johann, who simply said that with a smile on his face. He stood there until the minute hand of the clock traveled halfway around. He looked over from time to time as if he were waiting for someone but to no avail.
Potion Making Club
Johann intermittently gazed at the plaque at the end of the hallway. Unlike the plaques decorated with all kinds of colorful designs, this one was quite simple.
‘I guess they don’t have members.’
Unlike other clubs where the doors were constantly opened and closed, the firmly shut door of this club showed no signs of opening. Johann recalled Elena holding hands with Windsor.
‘I wonder if she’s in there.’
I’m surprised because she didn’t seem like the type to waste time on clubs. I don’t know yet, but from the looks of it, I’m sure she’s signed up for the club. By now, he was more curious about how Windsor convinced Elena Evoy.
It’s Elena we’re talking about. That senior most likely doesn’t have any social skills. Johann thought that, even though he knew that the Dotmillers were a family of savvy scholars.
Time passed without fail. While he was waiting, Johann received offers from almost every club member passing through the hall, and he smiled just as frequently.
The hallway was more crowded than usual because rumors were going that Johann Eldorado Pertan was joining a club. Everybody was competing to recruit the bigshot freshman.
After Isaac graduates, Johann was the only person with whom people could build a connection to Pertan. It was a golden opportunity to build a relationship with a Pertan, members of the Royal family and a distinguished family in the Priston Empire. Even though they were still young, the students didn’t want to miss this opportunity because they’ve already set foot into high society.
‘The Dotmiller siblings.’
Johann, who was gathering students around him like a fleet of clouds in a corner of the vast sky, spotted two people walking from the far end. With no change in their monocle-covered faces, the siblings pushed through the crowd with ease. They were unfazed by the noisy surroundings.
‘But of course, they can’t avoid me.’
No scholar can contain their curiosity. Every one of them is like that, whether they are brusque or not. Johann assumed that Windsor and Emily would also naturally reach out to him because they also had the scholar blood flowing through their veins.
‘I’m sure they’ll ask for me since the Potion Making Club is in dire need of members, and I’m the best candidate they can recruit.’
Of course, it’s a bit loud and chaotic to talk, but it wasn’t something that could be resolved by waiting. From what he heard, Windsor cared about his club a lot. Elena alone could not fill the quota, so there was a high possibility of him approaching Johann.
‘Yes, com- They just left?!’
Johann, who had been moderately glancing over so as not to seem obviously interested or too disinterested, was left dumbfounded. This is because Windsor looked at him for a second but then went straight ahead without hesitation. And just as fast as her brother took his eyes off Johann, so did Emily.
“Johann! Don’t join them. Come over to our club!”
“Come join the hunting club!”
But why? Leaving behind the voices calling for him, Johann thought despondently.
Why? How come?
No way, whyyyyyyy?!!!!
Potion Making Club
The Dotmillers entered the room with the neatly engraved plaque. It was not a very large space, but it felt empty because there were only a few people inside. It would have looked twice as empty if it wasn’t for the shelf filled with books.
“Windsor, you didn’t get any new members, did you?” Rita asked in a lively voice. A friendly girl with average looks, Rita was a sophomore at the academy and the oldest in the club.
Sitting next to the smiling Rita, Windsor calmly replied with a look that Rita had already expected of him, “There weren’t many interesting people.”
“I don’t think there’s anyone interesting here either.” Another person bluntly refuted Windsor’s reply. He was also a sophomore at the academy who had joined the club recently and a classmate of Windsor. Magic, potions, witch-craft—Mark had no interest in any of these. The only reason he joined the club was that his childhood friend Windsor, who rarely asked for favors, asked him to join his club.
“I’m afraid I can’t help but agree with Mark,” Emily agreed nonchalantly. There’s a limit to how much publicity alone can achieve. Besides, it’s very rare to find someone who enjoys studying outside of class.
“I heard that if you don’t make it to six members, you’ll be goners.”
“I am grateful to Miss Elena for joining us. Now we need only one more member to keep our club.”
“Shouldn’t you be more grateful to me for being the fourth member?”
“I will thank you in his stead.”
Elena, who was quietly listening to their conversation, finally spoke, “You told me that I won’t need to pay all the membership fees and that you’d teach me how to make potions that I could sell later.”
“Don’t worry, they’re all valid promises. I’ll even show you how to join the Magic Association as a merchant.”
“I didn’t expect Windsor to reel in someone using that1.” Mark looked at Elena as if amazed, but she remained calm.
Isn’t this a great opportunity to learn practical skills that will help in the future without spending extra money? Elena had no reason to miss this chance.
In addition, he said that professors whom we can rarely meet stop by here often. Unlike other aristocrats, who had private tutors, Elena had none for the longest time, so this was a great opportunity for her.
“Anyway, thank you for joining us, Elena. I would’ve been sad if the club dissolved since I’m quite attached to it.”
“It was a good opportunity for me too, Rita.”
“Welcome again. But why is it so noisy out there?” Rita, who was smiling sweetly towards Elena, tilted her head. Marpines was always noisy at this time of the year because it is recruitment period but it seemed especially so today.
“Johann Eldorado Pertan is out there.”
“Wow, that Johann Pertan? Let’s go take a look.”
“I think he’s still there because it’s so noisy.”
“Is he looking for a club? Windsor, did you ask him to join ours?”
“What will you catch if you set a trap without bait?” Windsor shrugged with an expression just like Emily’s. Obviously, our Potion Making club could benefit him more than any other club but I don’t know what kind of club Johann is looking for. Windsor hated wasting time on uncertain matters.
“Windsor, you are not greedy enough. It wouldn’t hurt us to have a talent like him. Things get hectic at the festival. With him here, we’ll be able to make a lot of money.”
Windsor couldn’t refute. The clubs within Münuit Academy had to follow some rules. One of them was related to activity costs. The rule was that the club members cannot use more than the budget allocated to them. It was to achieve equity and revitalize club activities.
No matter how rich the family of a member is, it’s useless because there’s a fixed official activity amount that can be used. In the end, clubs had to get funding by bringing in more members and planning various activities. Clubs with a lot of members are overflowing with money, while some clubs were at risk of disbanding at any moment, like the Potion Making Club.
“It’s useless to pine if you can’t have it2.“
“I can’t tell between you siblings at all,” commented Mark.
“You’re not the only one who wants him. Johann would definitely be a great help to the club. But there’s no way to approach him,” said Emily.
“But Emily, you’re in the same class as Johann, aren’t you?”
“By that logic, everyone in the same class should be acquainted.”
I didn’t mean that. Rita shriveled, being refuted by that blunt fact. Even with Rita’s sociable personality, it would have been difficult for her to befriend Emily had it not been for her experience of spending more than a year with Windsor. And with Emily’s nature, she would never reach out to Johann first.
What a shame. Rita sighed and turned to Elena, who was filling the application form.
“That reminds me, Elena, you beat Johann to the top position. Have you ever talked to him alone?”
“He congratulated me.”
“Oh, really? And?”
“I said thank you.”
That’s it? Rita looked downcast but Elena didn’t notice anything wrong.
“Usually, that’s how people become friends. Anything else happened besides that?”
“Not really,” Elena answered stoically.
‘She’s got a similar vibe to the Dotmillers’. Mark, who had been observing her, noted to himself.
“If you want, I can ask him. We’re partners for an assignment.”
“Two of you together?”
“Yes, in Professor Harper’s history class.”
“Great! Then can I ask you a favor? Can you ask him to join our club? It won’t hurt to try.” Rita’s eyes glistened as she pulled herself close to the desk.
“I will.” Even though Elena said that she didn’t expect much. In fact, she didn’t think much of it. Rita personally asked me so I just went along and besides, there’s no harm in trying. Elena stood up after submitting the filled application form.
Feeling tired, Elena headed to the dormitory. It was noisy until a little while ago, but soon it got peaceful naturally because the cause, Johann, had gone.
‘I hope the professor comes around often. I’ll learn a lot.’
Elena was walking toward the front thinking completely differently from ordinary students when she suddenly stopped. She found herself witnessing an ethereal golden hair turning crimson under the sunset. Clearly, he came here earlier since he was standing at the Marpines’s entrance. His silhouette facing the sunset looked a little lonely.
After contemplating it for a moment, Elena slowly approached him. Johann draws a lot of attention towards himself, so it won’t be good to ask him in the classroom. Better ask him quickly and get rejected when there are no people around like now.
I promised to ask him but didn’t expect to get a chance this quickly. It was an unexpected development, but Elena decided to think positively. “Hello, Johann.”
“You’re going to dig a hole into the ground.” She joked in her own way, but he didn’t find it funny. His enlarged sky blue eyes were perplexed. Can’t help it, I guess. I’m not a good talker. Elena didn’t care much about Johann’s reaction and decided to get to the point.
“Would you like to join the Potion Making Club?”
A straightforward question. The people from the club desperately wanted to save the club from disbandment by adding more members. While Elena also felt that way to some extent, there was nothing fancy she could add to that offer. What benefits can Elena, who just joined the club, offer him?
Besides, Elena had no expectations. Why would Johann be interested in this club when so many other clubs offered him? This club might be the best choice for Elena Evoy, but not necessarily for Johann Eldorado Pertan.
Silence flowed. Like I thought, it’s a no. She didn’t feel disappointed because she expected it. When I pass on his answer to the club tomorrow, no one will be downcast except for Rita. Because no one expects anything. “I understand. Then I’ll—”
“I would like to join the club you mentioned.”
Just like his nickname “beautiful boy”, Johann’s voice was also like an angel’s. Although he said the same words, his voice made it sound gentle and pleasant.
Johann spoke again with that beautiful voice, “I’ll go to the club tomorrow.”
“That’s great, but why?”
“Huh?” Johann blinked a couple of times. When purple hair turned against the sun, it turned into a mysterious color, not purple or brown. Elena was looking directly at Johann with a curious look on her face.
“That’s…” Just a moment ago, Johann, who proudly declared that he would join, only licked his lips.
“…because I can see the professor often?”
Bullshit! No one wants to see the professor often. Nobody but his family would want to see him. Johann, who had been suffering from various teachers since childhood, hated both teachers and professors.
However, he had nothing else to say. It’s just that I don’t have any reason. Johann, who made the decision, could not understand himself, so he didn’t know why he said that.
No, why’d she even ask me why I wanted to join in the first place? She should be thankful that I agreed to join a club with barely any members. What else could I say! Johann comforted himself saying that her ridiculous question would of course warrant a weird answer.
“Oh, so that’s your reason too?
“… ‘too’ you say?”
“I’ll have to work harder. It would be hard to keep my seat if you do the same things as me. See you tomorrow.”
Realizing that Johann who grew up in a favorable environment also worked hard, Elena nodded her head and left with a greeting. Frozen, Johann stared blankly at Elena’s back that was getting farther and farther away.
‘No, that’s not what I meant.’
That’s not what I meant but I have nothing else to say. Johann let out a long sigh.
Korean idiom: Somebody caught that fishing in an empty place.
No matter how much you covet the apple inside the painting, it’s useless if you can’t take it out.