Dorm rooms. Those wonderful closets that schools like to pretend are 4 person apartments. You get a bed, a bathroom, and a square foot of free space, and you're supposed to like it. That was what I was expecting at least.
The actual dorms were quite spacious, especially considering they were only for two people each. As we found it, room was basically split down the middle, nearly symmetrical in it's layout. We each had a bed, a table, a chest for storage, a closet for clothes storage (Hekiria said the separation was very necessary), a side table with drawers, some writing implements, and separate bathrooms, with a decent amount of space to spare. The place was downright luxurious.
Me and Hekiria were assigned to the same dorm room, which was quite fortunate. Sucks for Deondre to be all by himself, but hey, maybe he'll make a new friend.1This is what the author's note refers to. In any case, we started packing our things away. By which I mean Hekiria packed her things out of some boxes she brought out of nowhere while I just stood there and watched. Halfway through she seemed to notice my lack of movement and turned to me.
"You're done unpacking already?"
Shifting a little uncomfortably, I replied, "Actually, I never had anything to unpack. Now that I think about it, I'm going to need clothes. And soon." All of my equipment has high level requirements after all.
"You- wha- you only have that? Not even something to sleep in?! HOW?! WHAT KIND OF LIFE HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING?!"
She had gripped my shoulders and was shaking me rather violently at the end. When she stopped, I looked away and replied, "Can we... meet up with Deondre first? I'd rather not do this conversation twice."
Her gaze flicked all over me, like she was searching me for answers, before she sighed and let go.
"Fine," she relented. "But the moment we're done, you and I are going shopping. Because this..."
She gestured all over me.
I chuckled, and pointed out, "You seemed fine with the outfit before."
She scoffed and responded, "Yeah, then it turned out you only had the one, and suddenly there's a lot of dirt and grime I can't unsee."
Shaking my head with a scoff of my own, I sat back down to watch her finish unpacking. Until she dragged me over to help out. Considering the percentage of that luggage that was clothes, I can see why she thought my situation to be bordering on criminal.
Once we were finished, we headed up to the common area on the third floor. The third floor was described as one big common area, but there was more to it than that. There were lots of empty rooms of various sizes that people could use for whatever activity they wanted. Storage closets held equipment that could be used in those rooms, and there was a large room with lots of cozy chairs and a fireplace at the back that was apparently specifically for reading. It was also the only room that was magically soundproofed, (Aside from the meditation room, which was also around) the rest simply had thick walls.
The space next to the passage to the other building was reserved for what we actually called the common area. There were lots of tables around the place, and a bunch of vending machines where you could get snacks and drinks if you wanted. We found Deondre sitting at one of those tables, staring absently at the ceiling. He looked over as we got close, and raised his hand in greeting.
I smirked at him as we sat down. "Ah, the pains of being the minority. You get the long trip."
He chuckled and waved me off. "It's not much longer. Don't worry about it."
"Hey, did you meet your roommate?" Hekiria asked, "I kind of figured you'd bring them."
He put his hands behind his head and shrugged. "Nah, they weren't there. There was a bag thrown down on one of the beds though, so I'm pretty sure I at least have a roommate."
"Wow, they got out of there fast," I said. "Well, here's hoping you got a good one."
"Yeah, what she said. Now, " said Hekiria, turning to me, "Deondre's here now. Time to talk."
Glancing between the two of us in confusion, Deondre asked, "That? What's That? What are you two talking about?"
"Okay, first of all," Hekiria started, "You brought supplies here, right Deondre?"
He shrugged. "Well yeah. Some clothes, my sword, and a few more... personal items. Why?"
Hekiria jabbed a finger in my direction and explained, "Well this one didn't bring anything except what you see on her."
"That's not true," I protested jokingly, "I put the dagger away."
"Uh huh. And is there anything else in your chest besides that?"
"Yeah, that's what I thought."
I grimaced. "Alright, alright. Here's the deal..."
So I explained what had happened. The modified version, of course. I told them how I woke up in a town square at level one with all of my memories gone. I told them about the slime, and being saved by a lady knight. I told them about leveling up, joining the guild, and the duel, as well as the King Slime fight and how I wound up here. I also told them a couple of the theories me and Richia had come up with for what happened to me. By the end of it, Deondre was staring at me incredulously, while Hekira looked deep in thought.
"So there's quite a bit to go over there," Hekiria began, "but let's go back to the knight for a second. That description sounds familiar. What did you say her name was?"
A look of recognition spread across her face. "Richia? As in, Richia Marmell?"
Deondre looked over at her curiously. "You know her?"
Hekiria leaned back and sighed. "Yeah, I've met her a few times. Pride of the Marmell family, though no-one really knows what she's up to these days. Disappeared without a word to anyone."
She turned to me. "Lots of people would love to know where you said she's headed."
"Interesting... Well, I don't think she's the type of person to disappear for no reason," I responded, "So I think I'll keep it to myself. I'd appreciate it if you guys did too."
Hekiria shrugged. "No skin off my back."
"And I don't know any noble houses to tell anyway." Deondre chuckled.
I blinked at him in confusion. "What do nobles have to do with any of this?"
The other two blinked at me in response, and shared a glance with each other. Deondre carefully explained, "Only nobles have family names."
"Aer," Hekiria began hesitantly, "Would you happen to have a family name?"
Ah, that's a tricky one. Having the name of a noble house that doesn't exist has the potential to be very problematic. And on top of that, I can't be sure my status will update to show my full name. On the other hand, if it works out, this could be very interesting. Essentially a choice between fun and safety.
How do I want to play this...