Maria-sama ga Miteru:Volume9 Chapter1
The Cherry in the Ginkgoes
The clear morning greeting travels through the serene, blue sky.
Today, once again, the maidens that gather in the Virgin Mary's garden smile purely to one another as they pass under the tall gateway.
Wrapping their innocent bodies and souls is a deep-colored school uniform.
Walking slowly so as to not disturb the pleats in their skirts, so as to not toss their white sailor scarves into disarray... such is the standard of modesty here. Running here because one is in danger of missing class, for instance, is too undignified a sight for students to wish upon themselves.
Lillian Private Academy for Women.
Founded in Meiji 34, this academy was originally intended for the young women of nobility, and is now a Catholic academy of prestigious tradition. Placed in downtown Tokyo, where you can still see traces of Musashi Field's greenery, it is protected by God, a garden where maidens can receive tutelage from pre-school to university.
Time passes, and even now, in Heisei, three era-names past Meiji, it is a valuable academy, where nurtured ladies raised in greenhouses are shipped out in carefully packaged boxes after 18 years of schooling - an arrangement that continues to survive.
Amidst the cherry blossom petals that are gently falling like powdered snow.
That's where Maria-sama stands.
Not wiping the accumulation of light pink petals from her shoulder, gazing up and slightly to the side, staring at the cherry trees.
Eventually, noticing my gaze, she smiles elegantly.
On closer inspection, the Maria-sama standing there is wearing the same uniform as me.
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