Feminist in Blue
Summary: She was the daughter of a British Lord and a Asian merchants daughter. After loosing her mother to a fatal experiment, young her father uprooted their family from the East back to his motherland in Europe. There the widowed Lord sends his only daughter to Cambridge University where she must masquerade as a man to attend these colleges.
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Chapter 7:Wards and Charges
Adjusting to school was easy enough.
I was the new student and I did not understand the culture at the school so there was some tension, but nothing too serious. I often came by a few bullies here and there but I had good friends to help me out.
"Ami, what do you think of the case. Its clear that Leslie of Yorkshire can take care of herself or her family, but the land cannot go to a woman." I looked down at the leather bound stacks of paper that made up my text and then back at the man in front of the professor.
The man was young enough and stiff enough to be a minister. His class I abhorred the most. He was a old fool who was too enthralled with the old world to appreciate the new.
But he was also treating to report my "outlandish late night activities" to the Dean.
"I think that if she is incapable of working the lands and attaining a good harvest, then she should not have it. For how can she claim it is to help support her and her children when she cannot even work the land to that end. It might be better to sell the land and send her and her children out to work where they can reap some benefits." I said staring at the teacher. I wished that there was some way to tell him exactly what I thought, without any restraints. For was it not Leslie who labored besides her husband- 'as was the proper role of the so called dutiful wife' when he was alive, and it was she who cataloged their harvests and arranged for the sales; because her husband was illiterate.
"Okay, does anyone else have anything to add to that." Very unlikely. The man was an egotist, he placed his words above that of any other. He would skewer anyone who even came close to denying what he felt was the truth.
"I think not. Leslie did all that the master of the household should and more. She took care of their harvests, labored in the fields besides her husband and found them costumers. I think if we are to look beyond that which is biological and of no shortcoming to her, then it will be clear that she is better suited to run the lands than her husband ever was." All of the students turned their gazes towards me after the blond haired greened eyed "Lord" of the school spoke. They looked as if they were waiting for me to retaliate. But I did not.
I did not even spare him a glance.
He was no worth my time. I was here to learn and perhaps bring about some good understanding of what it meant to be female. Just because Zoicite seemed to be a logical person did not eradicate the simple fact that he was also a very temperamental and very male individual.
"Well Zoicite, you ignore the fact that as a woman alone, no one would be willing to come to her aid. She will loose her costumers and she will be easily cheated out of her lands. For how will she defend herself against bandits and other aggressors." The conversation died out from there. I tuned them all out, but kept my hands moving as if I were taking notes- I was really working on a manuscript for a novel I was working on.
I recently saw one of the Saloon magazines hanging around in the sitting area, and there was a note sticking out.
I read the note, it was an article written by an anonymous cambridge student about the nature of the elite. The student had attacked the policies of the Throne of England and the Church. The article had summoned great uproar but seemed very popular amongst the ton- even though it was slandering them.
Class ended several hours later. The students slowly began to disperse and I quickly etched down the last remnants of my thoughts.
"Hey, we are about to have supper, do you want to…" I turned to stare at Jeramiah whose friends were standing behind waiting.
I nodded, closed my book and packed my stuff. Jeramiah and I were getting to know each other well now- not well enough in his case- but he did provide me with companionship, though his group of friends were not too fond of me. But that did not concern me, they were not very likable companions either.
Dinner was the same as before. I ate foods that were for the most part foreign to me and ate it all in silence. While Jeramiah and the others engaged themselves in bouts of conversation and laughter.
I would occasionally nod of voice a meek acknowledgement when spoken to, but never did I enter into a full course conversation with anyone.
After dinner Jeramiah and the others kept on conversing. They moved from the dinning area to the sitting area and I accompanied them- what better way to make an accurate observation on the behavior of men.
"Yes, that is quite sad that we don't have any females here but the few grounds keepers and cooks and launders." One of Jeramiah's friends Alric said staring at the distance as a maid scurried away with a bucket at hand.
"Well if it becomes unbearable you can always find release in town, there are enough pubs in the area and they have plenty o f women there." Drew said, causing the others to laugh. I couldn't say I shared in their sense of amusement. But I would not judge, so what if they viewed women as nothing more than objects to 'release in' I was here to make an un-baised observation.
"But you can never be sure that they are not ill. I wonder how Zoicite. manages it." Peter said, he was the half French half English member of the group and because of his half ancestry I felt a little closer to him seeing as how we were in the same boat, though not quite the same since he was closer to England than I ever was.
"He is engaged in an affair with Marcus' older sister, who I hear is due to be married to the Marquise of Langston." Alex said leaning backwards on his chair and placing his feet up on the table.
"How scandalous. Guess he doesn't think he can be hurt by the Marques' if new of it comes out." Jack added, also taking a more lax sitting pose, his feet spread out in front of him and his head leaning backwards.
"And he will not, he is after all the King's nephew." Peter said again.
"I will bet you twenty crowns that he will get caught and it will become a disastrous ordeal for him." Jeramiah said. Everyone jumped in placing bets here and there.
"So that's 60 crowns for him getting caught and 60 against. Mizuno." Peter asked staring at me. I closed my book and stared at him, blinking several times to bring the world back into focus and attention.
"About?" I said.
"The likelihood that my affair with Sarah will be public." Came the sultry voice from the doorway. I turned my gaze to the blond man who was propping himself against the doorframe. He walked in and behind him were Brian and two other men I did not know but have seen around a lot.
One had jet black hair much like my own, but was of Italian descent and the other was also French, with a mix of Irish blood if I heard right.
"I think that the likelihood of you continuing the relationship is very low. You stand to benefit nothing from continuing with her and I really doubt that you love her and would wish to be wedded to her." I said flatly, hoping that my simple enough explanation would deter him from wanting to converse with me.
"Yes well, that still doesn't answer…" Guess not.
"Against. I bet against you being caught." I said staring at him.
"Really? And why is that?" He asked staring down at me with unemotional eyes.
I stared back, wondering if he was truly testing me. And if he really wanted to see how incompetent I was.
"Because you are already caught. Everyone here seems to know about it, so obviously everyone knows." I said. A sort of grin found its way to his face and lightened up his features in a rather wonderful manner. I truly enjoyed that, but then again…there was that uncharacteristic arrogance of his.
"Interesting insight. What's your name?" He asked. I held back, not certain I wanted to answer him or why he was curious.
"Mizuno." I finally replied. He nodded, a light finding its way into his face again. THere was something working its way into him. Something mischievous….something I wasn't sure I wanted to be privy to.
"Mizuno…Well, I guess you're I'm your assigned ward for the time being…I guess that idiotic head master of ours never told you who I was." He said. I raised a brow confused.
Why would I need a ward?