Editors: Hocchibi, Miyuchi (first part)
Final Chapter: To that person, three years ago.
The incident was wrapped up without any further issues.
With Zeros’ surrender, the rampaging royal guards were calmed down.
After that, Alicia herself addressed the students about the events that befell her.
About how a terrorist organization that opposed the empire had entrapped her in a cruel ploy, and about how she had managed to survive thanks to the efforts of a brave magic instructor and a student.
It was also fortunate that Serika’s barrier had prevented Glen and the Empress’ discussion from leaking to any others.
Alicia addressed the national crisis in a seemingly casual manner and emphatically beautified the few grandeur moments. In the end, the Empress that challenged the world had used her masterful tongue to splendidly fool everyone that was present.
Although everyone was temporarily taken by unease and insecurity, the enthralled audience all calmed down in a matter of moments.
Finally, after the incident was fully addressed, the Magic Games Festival came to a peaceful end.
“…Thank god it’s finally over… They keep pestering me to accept a third-rank medal imprinted with the silver falcon sword, but I just don’t want it. It’s like, you know, come on already…”
Glen trudgingly walked through the streets of Fejiti under the curtain of darkness.
After the incident, the academy administration called for an emergency meeting, where they discussed the schedule for the bestowal of decorations for the ones who resolved the incident as well fine details of the matter concerning the royal guards. A long time had passed since then.
“Ugh, wasn’t I supposed to be the victim in all this…? So why do I have to be summoned to a hearing at a later date? What a pain.”
Without no attempt to hide his discontent, Glen grumbled and groaned. Lumia, who stood beside him, could only wryly smile.
“It can’t be helped. Nothing can change the fact that we were the central figures in this incident.”
“Well, you’re not wrong…”
“But isn’t it great that everything turned out nicely?”
“…That’s right I guess. No one was really hurt in the end.”
All said and done, I’d say that the royal guards who went nuts got a pretty light sentence compared to what they did. Now that I think about it, the judgment was handled by the Empress herself, so no one could have really argued against it. Well, either way, it was Elenora’s betrayal that caused the chaos on the authoritative side of things, and the soldiers of the royal guard were simply following their orders from Zeros.
The official stance on Zeros, the commander of the royal guards, doesn’t seem to be too strict on paper either. He acted out in protection of the empress, so there’s a whole lot of room for mercy and negotiation.
That being said, that doesn’t mean all the loose ends have been wrapped up…
The most important piece in this incident is the one pulling the strings, Elenora, the head maid and secretary to Her Majesty the Empress. Albert and Riel chased after her, but it seems like she got away in the end.
The head maid under the Empress huh… Not to mention, this means that the Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society have encroached as far as the ‘lower-fourth seat’ of the noble hierarchy… This knowledge will probably be the spark that ignites a disturbance in the government. Just how deep do their roots go…
To be honest, Just this incident alone is scary enough.
Also… Lumia, what are you exactly—…?
Glen turned to glance at Lumia who walked alongside him.
Lumia’s supernatural ability is ‘Emotion Amplifier’.
A living magic circuit that can super-enhance a person’s magic power and ability through touch.
It’s a rare and extraordinary ability for sure.
Would a magic association on the scale of the Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society really go this far to seize her?
I heard about the details from Albert earlier, and one way or another, that group wants secure her body above everything else. Her life and death doesn’t really matter to them.
…’Emotion Amplifier’ is a rare ability, but Lumia definitely isn’t the only one out there. If they took the time to look for it they’d surely find another. With their resources, finding another wouldn’t even be that hard. To start with, if they wanted to simply enhance the power of their magic, they could use rituals or formations. Okay sure, it’s rare, but in magic terms, it’s not something that holds absolute value above everything else. Despite that, they’re still after Lumia. Just what do they want with her?
Her life or death isn’t a problem for them either. I just don’t get it; if she’s dead, doesn’t that mean she can’t use her power? That much should be obvious.
There must be something about Lumia in particular.
Whatever the Wisdom of the Heaven’s Research Society is looking to get their hands on, Lumia has it.
But what is it…? No matter how hard I think about it, I just don’t get it.
“…Geez, as if I needed another entry on my list of troubles…”
“Sensei? Is there something wrong?”
Lumia raised her eyes with concern.
“Ah no, it’s really nothing. Well, I guess I can think about those annoying problems some other time.”
For now, I’ve protected what I wanted to protect.
I’ll just keep protecting them from here on out. That’s fine isn’t it?
“Ah sensei! I see it! That’s the place we’re going to.”
Pulling himself together, Glen turned his eyes towards where Lumia pointed to.
It was the restaurant that acted as the purveyor for the academy’s food. The restaurant had a fair reputation in the northern student district and was often the venue for banquets amongst the students. A large number of the students came from a wealthy background, but the restaurant gave the impression of being able to handle their vast needs to utmost satisfaction.
“Ah, so this is where our class is holding the celebration party?”
“Mhm, that’s what Sistina said.”
<TL Note: Not a typo, Lumia does use Sistina’s whole name here.>
Although they had encountered some trouble near the end, a win was still a win. As a result, Glen had won the prize money as well as the bet with Harry. With his ego and purse both bloated, Glen had then told the class that ‘It’s my treat, so do whatever you like and party as you guys see fit’.
“They should’ve called it a night by now right? Wouldn’t they be at home already?”
“Well, let’s take a peek just in case, sensei.”
“I guess it wouldn’t hurt to check.”
Glen and Lumia entered the store together.
“…I guess they’re still at it.”
It was hard to put the following scene in words.
The interior of the store was decorated with a vast amount of polished oak furniture. On top of the linear assortment of round wooden tables, across from the austerely designed counter seats, was an orderly arrangement of glasses and alcohol. The flame of the candle glowed brilliantly as it shook under the gentle winds, the lighting inside the store was neither too bright nor too dim, creating a rather unique atmosphere.
Glen’s students had booked the entire venue and were in the midst of an extravagant banquet where they continued to eat and shout.
Although that incident had occurred at the closing ceremony, it hadn’t extinguished their excitement from the victory in the Magic Games Festival. Everyone carried a glass or snack in their hands as they talked about the various events of the festival.
Noticing Glen’s arrival, Cashew raised a hand and called out to Glen.
“Sorry we started before you! Hey, sensei! How was my match today!?”
“Oh geez, didn’t you get wrecked in the finals? Do you really want me to say it?”
‘Hey man don’t say that…’ Cashew seemed to say as he turned to Gibel, who was seated beside him, with an insufferable expression. ‘There there’ Cecil said as he tried to comfort Cashew.
“Ah, sensei… thanks you very much for everything you’ve done today…”
“Well, I suppose thanks are due. Uhm… Either way, thanks to your support and advice, we managed to win today.”
Rin showed a bashful smile towards Glen, whilst Wendy embarrassedly turned her head to face away.
The other students all called out to Glen as well. The situation which was noticeably different from when he first started as an instructor, made Glen reflexively open his mouth…
Suddenly, Glen picked up a bottle that was on the table beside him.
He finally recognized the old-fashioned label on the bottle.
‘Ryu Safeelay’, a wine produced in the Safeelay region from the highest quality, hand-picked grapevine trellises. The flavors were not only refined and vibrant, but they were also clear and easy on the tongue. Even the most prominent of nobles could not hold their praise for this wine. Well, simply put, it was expensive. Very, very expensive.
Thus, the countless number of empty, but identical wine bottles that littered his field of vision was nothing short of nightmare fuel.
“T-, This is… That famous, super-duper expensive wine… right?”
Noticing the bottle in his hand, Lumia retreated a few steps.
“…Oi, this is… What is, how, but why?”
As his blood curled, Glen managed to squeeze out a few murmurs.
All the students immediately looked away.
“A-, Ahaha… Someone must’ve made a mistake! Someone must’ve mistook this for grape juice, drank it and got all giddy-giddy, and the next moment… whaddya’ know? Tada, it’s empty!”
“Uhm, am I allowed to run away? Hey, can I just leave?”
<TL note: The usage of ボク(boku) in the above line indicates that Gibel is the speaker>
As his heart began to freeze over, Glen counted the numerous bottles that rolled across the ground.
Conclusion. The expenses of this venture would amount to the value of Glen’s special reward today, as well as three months’ worth of wages. Simply put, despite all his hard work today, his net return was definitively 0.
I wanna cry.
“Goddamnit all!! Who did this!? Who in the heck’s world chugged this stupid expensive wine!?”
As Glen cried out with a full ensemble of teary eyes, quaking body, and paling visage—
Glen desperately resisted the force that suddenly crashed against his flank.
Turning his eyes to his side, he saw Sistina. Whatever the case, it seemed to she had hurled herself onto Glen, and was currently hugging him.
“Ahaha-! You’re finally hereeee… Senseiiii…Ufufufufufufu….”
To say the least, she appeared to be rather drunk. Her upturned eyes brimmed with moisture, her face was beet red, and her legs failed to support her body as she threw all her weight onto Glen.
“What are y-, oh god you friggin’ stink! Wait, so you’re the culprit!? You damned hooligirl!”
In his immediate surroundings, the only one who seemed even remotely drunk was Sistina.
At this point, it was all too obvious. Rather, it would be better to say that this was the surprising yet irrefutable truth.
“Geeeee~~… Where did you go~`…Sensei~… Wif…out you here Sensei… I was really lonle~~~… It’s ruuu… to make a girl… wait…”
“Ah, come on! Get off me already! Don’t snuggle against me! Your face is too close! Why are you always so annoying!?”
It was hard enough to find the words to lecture someone so drunk, there was probably no point in even trying.
Glen resigned himself to his fate as Sistina continued to press on.
“I… Today… Senseiiii… See you in different light…”
“Youuuu… pay more attenshun to us… than I ever thot… you would… And I don’t really get it… but youuu…. helped Lumia… Soooo… Sensei…. you’ve tranfuhmed or something… right? Actually… I undershood everthing… but I read the muuud… and pretended not to notice…! Aren’t I amashing?”
“…Yeah yeah, you’re soooo amazing.”
To be honest, Glen didn’t really understand what Sistina had said through all her slurs and mumbles. He simply chose an answer that couldn’t go wrong.”
“Ufu, fufufufu! You’re also amazhing! I will… give you the right…. to marry… Lumia…”
“If possibulll… Uhhh… I want you… to choose me… Eh, what are you making me sayyyyyyy, geeez! You idiot! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-!”
Sistina motioned to send Glen flying, but she instead tumbled across the floor.
“…Ah, what a pain.”
Glen looked amusedly at Sistina, who continued to smile as she curled into a ball.
“Oi Lumia. What’s the plan?”
“I’ll get her into a seat at the very least. If she sleeps on the floor she’ll catch a cold.”
“Alright, then I’m gonna go get some water or something. I’ll leave her to you.”
“Ah… Sensei is going away… even thuh he jus got here….”
“Mhm mhm, it’ll be fine. Sensei won’t run away.”
“…Reallly? Really, really…?”
“Geez, you really like to be pampered, don’t you Sisti?”
With his back turned on the intimate sisters-like exchange, Glen left the store.
The energy in the hall faded in a naught but a fleeting moment.
Glen’s students seemed to be no exception.
After the banquet.
“Hah… Finally some peace and quiet…”
Glen sat at one of the seats on the counter with his head in his arms as he let out a long sigh.
The students formed their own groups and left for home. The bustle in the restaurant moments ago seemed as if it had been made up given how quiet it currently was.
Although it was already past closing time, the bartender had taken notice of Glen’s lateness and made an exception. Thus, despite the fact that the kitchen, storage room, and wine racks were locked, the store remained open. The store had also lent a blanket for the drunk Sistina.
The bartender instructed that once Glen had emptied the brandy bottle he used to drown his sorrows, he should leave through the back door. Only the stores in the student district would be so lenient however.
Glen took a fleeting glimpse behind him.
Covered with a blanket, Sistina slept with her body leaned on the table in front of her. It seemed that she was having some sort of wonderful dream, sleeping soundly with a bright smile.
Clang… the glass in Glen’s hand rang. Although it was some sort of cheap alcohol that he couldn’t even remember the name to, he was unable to get drunk. No matter how much he drank, he couldn’t get his mind off of today’s bill, sundries, and the colorful variety of impending problems.
“…Good work today, sensei.”
After finally putting Sistina to rest and taking care of her needs in a thorough manner, Lumia returned.
“May I sit beside you?”
Receiving Glen’s permission, Lumia seated herself on right side beside Glen.
The warm light of the lamp on the table illuminated the two through the faint darkness.
Lumia tactfully took the bottle and refilled his cup little by little.
“How does it taste?”
Lumia could only show a wry smile at Glen’s sulky reply.
The time of peace and quiet passed by in a serene manner.
After all that had happened today, it was as if they had been given this gentle time to relieve the burdens of the heart.
“Say…. Have you sorted things out between you and your mom?” Glen said as he lightly put down his glass.
“Yes” said Lumia, showing a gentle smile. “After that, I talked with her about many things. What I’m unsatisfied with, what I’ve always wanted to say, everything… After all that, I felt refreshed. Hehe, I’m an idiot aren’t I? Why did I act so stubborn back then?”
“…Wouldn’t anyone have done the same?”
Glen shook the ice in his glass.
“Everyone has things they can’t let go. Until recently… you know, before I was occupied by the stuff that has happened one after another, I’d stopped thinking for myself…”
“Is that so? But… it’s thanks to you that my problems now solved.”
“I didn’t really do anything.”
Saying that, Glen pushed the empty glass towards Lumia.
Lumia refilled the glass with the amber alcohol with a smile.
“Hey sensei… when did you remember? About how you saved me… about what happened three years ago.”
“…I don’t get what you’re talking about.”
Although Glen had only taken smalls sips, he was now drinking by the mouthful.
Lumia uttered a single word in response.
After emptying the glass, Glen quietly placed in on the counter.
“If you’re talking about back then… then there’s only one thing I remember clearly.”
In that moment, the two recalled the same event from three years ago. When Lumia had been exiled from the royal family, when she had been taken in by the Phebell family… When she had been kidnapped by the group of heretic magicians.
—Please. There are still enemies around. We can’t make it out with the way you are.
—Be afraid of me as much as you like, I don’t mind.
—However, if you could stop crying… I’ll be your ally.
—Even if the world is your enemy, even if everyone hates you, I will definitely be your ally.
—No matter when, where, forever and ever.
—So please… don’t cry.
“I know it was just a means of getting me to stop crying, but I never thought that you would continue it all this time. Sensei, should I call you faithful, or perhaps tactless…”
“…A promise is a promise.”
Glen turned his head to the side, pouting in discontent.
“But you know, it’s not as impressive as you think.”
Resting his chin in a hand, Glen noisily played with the glass again.
“When you were caught up in that kidnapping scheme that time, I was part of a sorta special sect of the imperial court magicians. Your mom… Her Majesty the Empress cried and begged for me to do it you know. ‘Please save her. I know I have no right to say this, I know it’s wrong to push you into such danger, but please save her.’ she said. I was just seeing it through.”
Yes. Only for her daughter who she had sent faraway, would the bold and resolved Empress shed tears.
That was why Glen had known the Empress had lied.
“You seem to be misunderstanding me a little… It was just my job you know. I’m not a magician of justice nor a hero. I’m just… a lowlife murderer by profession.”
Lumia look at Glen’s visage, which had been overcome with anguish, and said.
“Because of that promise, I was saved. This time too…”
“Fufu, that’s unfair sensei… in many ways.”
“Don’t say things I don’t understand.”
With a bemused sigh, Glen poured himself a drink.
As he was doing so—
Lumia shifted herself closer to Glen, and rested her head on his shoulder.
Glen stopped his raised glass and cast a quizzical gaze.
With a mutter, Lumia silently closed her eyes, and as if whispering—
“Just tonight… let me be spoiled like this… sensei…”
“…Do as you like.”
The gentle flow of time trickled silently.
The shaking flame, the wavering shadows.
The young girl’s silent breath and the warmth of her body. The intermittent clanging of the glass.
Perhaps he was finally drunk. The depths of his mind went numb with a faintly hot sensation.
It was a very comfortable feeling… It seemed to make him believe that there was nothing to regret in what he had done today… A great relief for his tired body.
The silent night, gently continued on—
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