Very short one-shot, based off the fact that Yuri doesn't like studying.
Miss Estelle, the Teacher
Princess Estellise, distant cousin of the Emperor, Child of the Full Moon and one of the saviours of the world, smiled as she glanced at the bundle in her hands. It was a warm and lazy afternoon, with soft breezes playing around the people's faces. The sky was clear and wonderfully blue, and hundreds of songbirds trilled sweet melodies from their hiding places in the leaves of trees.
Best of all, she had a plan for this afternoon.
Terca Lumireis was finally being restored to its former glory, now that the mages of Aspio had devised methods of powering blastia by mana. Most people were happy with the way things had turned out, the mountains of paperwork had more or less depleted to small hills, and Estelle was delighted that peace and happiness reigned.
Unfortunately, she was also bored. With no monsters to fight, no paperwork to manage, no ambassadorial missions to carry out, and an irritating writer's block to top it off, Estelle was utterly bored.
So when a fresh new idea popped into her mind, calling itself an alternative to an otherwise boring and unfruitful afternoon, Estelle acted on it instantly. Putting aside her stuffy gowns, she slipped on her favourite easy-to-move-in dress, gathered up a bunch of books, and slipped carefully out of the castle.
Apart from curing her boredom, it would also be a solution to a tiny problem that Estelle had been thinking about for a long time.
"What's this?" Yuri asked, his eyebrow raised.
"It's a pile of books," Estelle replied enthusiastically.
"I KNOW it's a pile of books. The question is, what are you doing in my room with a pile of books? Don't you have enough study rooms back in that castle?" Yuri demanded.
"Oh, they're not for me. They're for you!"
Both eyebrows were up now. "And... What on earth am l supposed to do with them? Sell them? Eat them? Use them in place of firewood?"
"Yuri! Of course not!" Estelle cried, horrified at the thought of anyone eating books. Or burning them. Such blasphemy. "You're going to read them. That's what books are for."
"Uh, thanks, but no thanks. I've told you before, Estelle, I'm not good at learning this kind of stuff." He didn't need to know any complicated formulae, or the history of old and boring people.
"But Yuri, it's important for every child to get an education!" Estelle said earnestly.
"Do l look like a child to you?"
"It would be so much easier for you to get a good job!"
"I already have a job. I'm a member of Brave Vesperia."
"And to spread the flower of knowledge is such a beautiful thing!"
"...You're not even listening to me, are you?" Yuri sighed in exasperation. Estelle stared at him pleadingly, her eyes big and round.
"Please, Yuri? I promise I'll try my best to be a good teacher!"
Yuri sighed. Why was he so helpless against those eyes?
"I'm a sap," he muttered under his breath.
"Okay, okay. I'll do it. But ONLY things that are worth learning," Yuri warned. "I'm not going to memorize what the colours the second last Emperor liked on his nightrobes."
"Wonderful! Let's start right away!" Estelle said excitedly. Yuri sighed again, sitting himself down on the floor.
"You should go, Repede," he murmured to the dog lying on the ground beside him. "This would probably take a while."
Repede barked, but stayed where he was. 'Witnessing the death of a human by boredom and books should prove interesting.'
Yuri chuckled softly, but thought it best not to translate. Estelle would probably have a heart attack and attempt a one-sided argument about books with Repede.
The princess opened the crimson book at the top of the pile. With a serious expression on her face, she spoke with her best 'teacher's-voice'.
"Now, we'll start with the ABC," she announced. "There are twenty six letters in the alpha-"
"Estelle," Yuri interrupted, looking rather amused, "I already know how to read and write."
"You... You do?"
"You've seen me reading the wanted sign, Karol's shopping list, your Collector's Book... Isn't it obvious?"
"O-oh." Estelle looked so crestfallen that Yuri had to fight down an urge to laugh. But her face brightened up almost instantly, and she picked up the next book.
"How about arithmetic?"
"I already know that, too."
"Maybe the simple sums, but how about more complicated problems, like calculus or algebra?"
"Is that actually worth learning?" Yuri questioned, but Estelle ignored him, flipping through the pages of the book until she saw something that seemed to satisfy her. Pushing an empty practice book in front of Yuri with a pencil, she then hid her face behind the brown arithmetic book and proceeded to explain a few of the many wonders of algebra.
"So (a + b)^2 is equal to a^2 + 2ab + b^2."
"There are two methods of solving a pair of linear equations with two unknowns. Substitution and elimination."
"So when you subtract equation three from equation two, you eliminate the..."
"And by substituting equation four into equation one..."
"So the answer is eight. And thus... Yuri! Are you listening to me?"
Yuri blinked, looking up. "Uh, yeah. I was listening."
"Oh? Are you sure you weren't playing tic-tac-toe with Repede instead?" Estelle asked accusingly.
"Of course not, Miss Estelle." Yuri replied immediately. "l was paying close attention."
"Come on, Estelle, don't you believe me?" Yuri said, looking somewhat disappointed at her lack of trust in him.
"O-of course I do! I'm sure you've been a very good student!" Estelle said at once, smiling. "But I've been talking long enough, haven't I? Let's have a little test!"
"To see whether you've understood the concept!" Estelle flipped through a few pages. "Hmm, they don't seem to have any sample questions... All right, I'll make one up!
"Raven and Karol both have some gald. If Karol gives 30 gald to Raven, he will have twice as much gald as Raven. If Raven gives 10 gald to Karol, Karol will have eight times as many gald as Karol. Karol finally gives half of his gald to Raven. How much gald does Raven have in the end?"
"None," Yuri answered promptly.
"Yuri!! You're not even thinking!" Estelle said, pouting.
"Yes, I am. Think about it. If the old man had any money, he'd gamble it away. So there'd be none left 'in the end'," Yuri said.
"That's true. He never seems to have much luck at… Wait, no! That's not the point!" Estelle exclaimed, looking annoyed. "You're supposed to solve the question using algebra!"
"Is it really necessary? I mean, even if he doesn't waste that money, I could just ask him how much gald he has."
"Well, what if Raven refuses to tell you?"
"In the first place, why would I care how much gald the old man has?" Yuri said, shrugging.
"Yuri!! Oh, you're impossible!"
Yuri laughed. "Look, Estelle, the point is, I can't think of a situation in which I'd have to answer a question like that. Maybe blastia researchers, bankers or tradesmen need to know about algebra, but I don't. You should stop wasting your time on me."
"I don't think it's a waste of time! I want to help you, Yuri," Estelle insisted. She looked down and hesitated, before adding her other reason for playing teacher: "You helped me learn so much on our journey, and… I want to return the favour."
Oh. Yuri scratched the back of his head, then closed the practice book."Hey, don't be silly," he said. "There's no need to be so formal about 'favours' and stuff. Otherwise, I'd be deep in debt. I mean, think about all those times you healed me after battles. Remember that fight with Zagi?"
"But you did the cooking after that!" Estelle protested.
"So we're quits," Yuri said. He stood up, placing his practice book back on the pile. Then he smiled at Estelle. "After all, there's no way to measure friendship."
Estelle blinked, then smiled back. "I... I guess."
"Besides, if you really want to be a teacher, there are many other people out there willing to be your students."
"Such as?" Estelle looked puzzled.
"The children of the lower quarter," Yuri said. "They don't have governesses or tutors like the nobles do. Learning about these stuff could... what was it, 'help them get good jobs', as well as let you 'spread the flower of knowledge'. And they'd be a lot more willing to attend lessons."
"Oh, of course! Why didn't I think of that?" Estelle brought her hands together in a loud clap, delighted by the idea. "It would open a whole new world of opportunities to them!"
"And the best thing is, they have so much energy, they would definitely keep you from getting bored," Yuri added, grinning.
"I... what?" Estelle blinked. "I never said I was bored!"
"Why else would you try to educate me?" Yuri said with a laugh. "Admit it, Estelle. Reading book after book after book is no longer interesting. After all that fun you had outside with Brave Vesperia, life in the castle is boring in comparison. Isn't it?"
"N-No, it isn't." Estelle refused to agree with him, if only because she was annoyed by his anti-book comments.
"Yes, it is."
"No, it isn't!"
"Yes, it is. Miss Estelle, you're no good at lying."
"That's not true! I'm very good at lying!" Estelle objected indignantly.
"Oh? Had a lot of practice, perhaps?" Yuri raised an eyebrow.
"N-no, of course not! I mean, it's not that I do it all the time, because lying isn't really good, but... You're teasing me, aren't you!"
Yuri laughed again. "With you around, Estelle, life is never boring."
"Yuri, you're mean!"
That night, when Estelle saw the scribbled grids of tic-tac-toe in her book, she had no idea whether to laugh or cry.