Henri tried not to wince at the bright lights, he was used to the media fawning over him whenever he went to balls because he rarely did so but he felt a tad jittery right then so the lights were unbearable.
Marina seemed to notice his discomfort and stepped in front of him to block the flashes, the Head Chancellor of the academy coming out himself to receive them.
"Your Majesty, Your Highness." The regally dressed Chancellor bowed respectfully. "We are honored by your presence."
"Thank you, Sir Bolton," Marina said magnanimously. "I'd have to trouble you to let me send off Prince Henri right away."
Sir Bolton was caught off-guard a bit by this, he expected that both royalties would spend some time giving interviews to the media personnel around but he couldn't protest against the Queen's orders.
"Right away, Your Majesty." He bowed again, giving whispered orders to the assistants that had come with him. "Please, come with me."
Once again, Henri felt an overwhelming sense of relief to have his mother by his side. He wasn't good with crowds and what he wanted right there was a bit of privacy.
Guards kept back the crowd and the media but they could still stare and take pictures, excited conversations rolling through the crowd.
With a flurry of movements, Henri was placed into a carriage that would take him straight to his dorms, an assistant was sent off with him to handle the luggage.
"Thank you for the trouble, mother." He spoke softly to his mother, taking off his crown and handing it to her.
Marina clutched her son's crown close, her eyes a little glassy. "It was my pleasure, now have a good time in school!" She cheered him on, waving him off as the carriage took off.
The media ate this up, taking rapid-fire pictures of the Queen doting on her only child and the sentimental moment.
After Henri was sent off, Queen Marina allowed the media to have a few words with her, it was a requirement because the people needed to know what their Prince was up to.
"Your Majesty! Your Majesty!" The reporters called enthusiastically, all of them vying for her attention.
Cecil watched from a corner, a dark scowl on his face. All the reporters had literally been falling over their feet to talk to Prince Henri but he couldn't even bother to give them a brief speech? Who did he think he was?
His scowl remained on his face till Queen Marina was done answering the reporters' questions, flashes reflecting off his face as he watched her get helped into her carriage.
His mood only improved after the three royal carriages left. He fixed a press-worthy smile on his face and shouldered his way to the front. It couldn't be helped, no matter how popular he got, he would always be outdone by the royal family.
But what he didn't expect was for the reporters to go after the Head Chancellor and his assistants to bombard them with questions about Prince Henri. Even after the authorities of the academy went in, the reporters didn't resume their previous interviews.
Cecil watched distraughtly as the reporters banded together to discuss the big scoop they had gotten. There were still other students resuming but they seemed to have lost interest after interviewing the royal family and soon left.
Cecil's disappointment slowly morphed into disdain. Everything he had worked hard for, all the effort he had put into making sure he was in the papers covering the academy's resumption had all gone to ruin and it was all because of Henri Degas.
Henri was ushered into his dorm room by helpful assistants and after they brought all his luggage in, he thanked them and sent them off.
His rooms were quite lavish, which wasn't a surprise. Alpha Academy was one of the top schools in the world for a reason.
According to what the assistants had told him, dorm rooms were usually assigned to two students to share but his mother had made arrangements for him to be treated specially. So he had the entirety of a single dorm room to himself.
Henri's dorm room looked just like the other dorms, it was just equipped with a single bed, instead of two like the others. The single bed was also rather large but that was to fill up the empty space that would have otherwise remained.
Henri went straight to his bed and fell on it with an exhausted sigh, he was relieved that the press weren't allowed inside the campus grounds or it would have been quite a hassle. The press situation had been manageable because no one but the academy authorities had been aware that he would be attending the academy.
If it had been made mainstream news, there would have been a much larger turnout of reporters and Henri would have been straight-up lynched by them.
A dorm schedule had been handed to him by an assistant while he was on the carriage but he had been too busy looking around the campus grounds to pay it any attention. Now he reached out to grab it, studying the document. His class schedule would be handed out on the first day of school but outside of studies, they actually had a lot of free time.
There were four daily meals, one at breakfast, one at midday, one at lunch, and then dinner. Students were also encouraged to make use of the cafeteria as often as they wished, the things sold there were free. This meal plan wasn't surprising considering the kind of background the students that attended Alpha Academy were from.
There were only four subjects taught every day, according to the empty spaces on his dorm schedule. Two in the morning and two after the midday meal, it was a very considerate schedule.
Outside of that, students were free to participate in the clubs provided by the academy, loiter around, or do personal projects. There was a lot of freedom given to the students which was a relief, Henri would spend all of his free time in his room, it wasn't against the school rules after all.
There were rules laid down by the academy to follow though. It was against the rules to leave the campus grounds without proper permission, fighting wasn't exactly against the rules which wasn't a surprise considering that it was an all-Alpha school. Fights were something that they would probably not be able to altogether avoid, so why it wasn't against the rules, it was deeply frowned upon. Other than that, students were allowed to do basically whatever they wanted.