The Infographic for the survey is ‘work in progress’! Also, the final chapter for Akashic is in review before pushing to editing.
Finally, the results of the survey should be reflected in how this chapter reads, as I reviewed the survey before translating this. Enjoy!
Miyuchi is back by the way!
Editors: Miyuchi, Hocchibi
Chapter Six: Truth, the veiled malice.
The closing ceremony of the Magic Games Festival proceeded in a solemn manner.
The students were assembled into neat rows on the field, the opening words of the ceremony were said, the national anthem was sung, the congratulatory address by visitors was given, and the results were announced… Not a second was wasted as the itinerary was gradually completed.
The general sequence of events were no different from that of the previous years. However, there remained one factor that brought forth the excitement of the students – the Empress’ participation in the ceremony.
Finally, it was time for Alicia to present the awards. Behind her stood Zeros and Serika, the commander of the royal guard and the academy’s prided seventh-rank magician. There was nothing to complain about when it came to the choice of bodyguards. In this moment, there was probably not a single person who could harm Alicia.
“Now then, Her Majesty the Empress will hereby bestow the medal to the class with the greatest performance in this festival. May the representative of class two please come to the stage. Please give him a round of applause.”
The sound of applause came from the crowd.
The instructors in charge of each class sighed in envy. A personal bestowment of rewards by the Empress was a once in a lifetime honor. On top of that, Glen Ryders from class two would be the one to receive that honor. Even though he had followed the rules and beat them fair and square, the other instructors could not hide their jealousy.
“Gungngngng—!? How could this happen! I… A fifth-rank magician… lost to the third-rank Glen Ryders…-! I lost to that man who doesn’t even carry a shred of pride as a magician…!?”
Harry gritted his teeth and tore at his hair in frustration.
“Harry-sensei… If you keep clawing your hair like that you’ll damage it you know? Considering you’re at an age where your hairline—“
“Shut up! Keep your mouth shut if you’re just going to say something unnecessary!”
Harry loudly rebuked the students who were about to say something rather cruel and distasteful and began to think about what to do after the competition
My loss is rather humiliating, but the loss of three months of wages also hurts.
I will surely become a remarkable figure who will eventually become a sixth, if not seventh-rank. However, I need to bring results deserving of a promotion. I cannot allow my magic research to be stopped in its tracks like this.
However, thanks to my loss in this bet, my research funds are grievously insufficient—
“Damnit… Where do the Shroty trees grow in this academy? I can relieve my meal expenses if I can find some of those branches… AH, what am I of all people thinking!? How can a proud magician like myself be allowed to drop so low! Ah damnit all! Why has this happened to me! Damnnnnnnnit! I won’t forgive you, I won’t forgive youuuuuu Glen Ryderssssss—!”
As the applause began to die down, the sounds of murmurs and whispers began to spread.
“…Huh? Those two are…?”
As Alicia looked down at the stage, her gaze attached itself to the figures weaving through the crowd.
It was not Glen, but rather, a familiar boy-girl duo.
“Albert…? And Riel…?”
“… You’ve come.”
Ignoring Alicia’s perplexment, Serika uttered those few words.
Doubtful about the situation, Zeros then whispered to Alicia.
“…Your Majesty, is that man the instructor of class two, Glen Ryders?”
“No he’s not… but…”
“Hey old man.”
The cold-expression bearing Albert suddenly said such in a tone not befitting of his appearance.
“It’s ‘bout time to bring an end to this stupid mess.”
“What, did you say…?”
Then, the Albert-lookalike softly chanted a spell.
The air around the boy-girl duo suddenly distorted—
When the two came into focus again, what appeared was—
“Y-, You bastards are—!?”
“Y-, You bastards, who the hell are you two!?” shouted Cross in disarray.
A few twists and turns had happened after that.
With indomitable spirits and unparalleled willpower, the royal guards continued their pursuit.
Even if the members could no longer fight, their feet never stopped. They continued to chase, chase, chase—
Finally, after all this, they had surely cornered their target, they thought.
They had reached the dead-end of a narrow alleyway.
On the surrounding rooftops there were several soldiers already lying in wait.
The royal guards who later participated in this pursuit had gathered all their forces together. Even though they had been defeated in every encounter until now, this time, their target definitely had nowhere to run.
They would finally grasp victory which had eluded their hands until now, they thought— But then—
The two cornered figures suddenly transformed and became different people.
In the face of this inconceivable turn of events, Cross wanted to cry from the bottom of his heart.
“Is it ok now? Albert.”
“Mhm. In any case, it seems the other side has managed to make contact.”
The cause of his vile torment said even more things that he could not understand.
“Damn it all! W-, Who the hell are you bastaaaaaaaaaaards!?”
“I don’t see a reason to answer.”
“Imperial Court Magicians special operations sect, executor #7, Riel of ‘the Chariot’.”
Riel’s soft murmur silenced everyone in the area.
“…Do you understand what you’re doing? We’re here on a classified mission remember? Even within the Imperial Army, the existence of our group is one that is highly confidential.”
“I don’t get it, but okay.”
In front of the duo who began a strange comedy-skit, Cross recomposed himself and clenched his trembling fists.
“Court magicians… no wonder… Damnit, we fell for it so easily!? Unit two, three, four! Seize these two! The rest of you report to the commander and begin tracking our real target—”
“It’s better for you not to.”
Suddenly, two bolts of lightning burst through the air.
The guards struck by Albert’s magic fell to the floor.
“T-, That was a delayed activation of a chanted spell… and double cast!?”
“Don’t worry, I held back. Let us play for a bit.”
Albert, who stood still with his outstretched finger, coldly announced.
“Y-, You… You’re planning to resist… in this situation… with this difference of numbers?”
“Resist? No. I will b—“
“It’s better to not beat them up.”
Albert held the warlike Riel back by her hair.
“With this difference in numbers, we would be at a disadvantage in a direct confrontation. Not to mention, our job here is to be a decoy. So we should treat our opponent accordingly. We just need to stall for time.”
“I got it. Leave it to me. I will cut them all up.”
Without a change in complexion nor expression, Albert closed his eyes in resignation.
“… At the very least, don’t kill them. They’re not related to the faction pulling the strings and they’re still our allies. They just haven’t opened their eyes to the truth yet.”
“I’m going! I will…… beat… our enemies! IIIIIIIiya—!”
Riel crouched and burst forward in an explosive rush. As she dashed, she placed her hand on the ground and created a large sword in an instant.
Coldly watching her charge off into the enemy without another word, Albert calmly began to chant a protection spell.
At the center of the Magic Games Festival’s center stage, in the open area in front of the awards podium—
Lumia and Glen’s sudden appearance from the distortion prompted Zero’s reflexive shout..
“How could it be!? Lumia-dono, right now, you should be in the middle of town with that magic instructor—”
The guests who sat in the stands and the students who stood in neat lines couldn’t quite understand what happened. All they could do was look onto the stage from afar in confusion.
Amidst the commotion, Glen proudly revealed his trick.
“We swapped with my buddies earlier using [Self · Illusion]. Man, they were really taken for a spin with such a simple trick. You should really educate your subordinates a little more, no?”
“Ku-! Guards! What are you all waiting for!? Arrest these insurgents!”
Zeros covered Alicia behind him and yelled out an order. Immediately, the guards stationed at the stadium perimeter regained their senses and collectively drew their blades, charging forward to seize Glen and Lumia.
At Glen’s cry, countless lines of light flashed across the ground.
A barrier was instantaneously erected at the center of the stage, enclosing Glen, Lumia, Alicia, Zeros, and Serika within. The towering barriers of light cut off the inside from the surroundings and kept the soldiers from approaching Glen.
The soldiers outside pounded the walls of the barrier with their fists and shouted something, but their voices could not reach those who were enclosed inside the barrier.
“Oho? An isolation barrier that even screens out sound? That’s quite thoughtful of you, Serika.”
Serika showed a wide grin at Glen’s praise.
When had the barrier been constructed? From Serika’s outstretched left palm appeared a pentagram formation built with lines of light. Sounds of a ringing bell could be heard from the hand—
… As I thought.
Everyone but Sistina, who had foreseen the development that unfolded on stage, failed to hide their bafflement and surprise.
I thought something was a little strange…
She had thought that the Empress’ V.I.P. stands had been unusually busy since Lumia had gone missing, but if that had been the only abnormality, then Sistina wouldn’t have given it any more thought.
However, Glen and Lumia had returned with changed appearances and voices, obstinately hiding their true identities as they approached Sistina. Since she knew of Lumia’s history, it wasn’t difficult for her to imagine that some peculiar situation had arisen.
The black magic [Self · Illusion] creates an illusion to transform the user’s appearance. Touching it directly would allow one to feel that something is out of place… Not to mention, I definitely wouldn’t mistake how her hands feel.
Yet despite having unraveled the mystery, there remained a decision to be made. Should I force them to tell me? Or should I not?
She and Lumia were friends that were close enough to be sisters. If Lumia was involved in some sort of trouble, she naturally wanted to help her. She would help even if she wasn’t asked to. That much was a given.
However… Lumia had told her this.
—’Believe in us.’
It was not plea for help, nor was it a request for involvement… she had merely been asked to ‘believe in us’.
In that case, she would believe.
That was form of the friendship she took pride in.
Still, I feel a little annoyed that Lumia would rather ask that guy for help than me …
Whilst she couldn’t quite understand the gloomy feelings that arose in her heart, she looked distantly towards the two on the other side of the barrier, where they confronted the Empress.
Sistina couldn’t form a concrete understanding of what was happening in the moment. Furthermore, with the barrier preventing any sound from passing through, she couldn’t even try to get a grasp of the situation either.
Sensei… Save Lumia… Please…
She joined her hands together in front of her as if she were praying.
“Serika-dono… Do you intend to betray us now!?”
Zeros scornfully gazed at the barrier, and howled at Serika with seething fury.
However, Serika remained silent and aloof.
“Damn, how did it come to this…”
Zeros couldn’t help but grit his teeth in frustration.
The people not involved in this incident could only stare in puzzlement, unable to understand the situation.
“Now that the side characters have taken their leave…”
Glen snapped his fingers and turned towards Zeros.
“Hey old man, what’s the deal with all this? Do you get what you’re doing?”
“Your Majesty, forgive my presumptuous attitude, but let me tell you what this old man has done. He misused your authority in an attempt to bring harm to an innocent girl, that being, Lumia.”
Alicia stared at Glen.
“Rest easy Your Majesty, everything is over now. Lumia is safe and sound, and the royal guards who were keeping you restrained are stuck outside the barrier. There isn’t anyone here that can hold you down through force. I know that old man is stupid strong, but he isn’t really a match for both Serika and I if we were to go up against him.”
“Damn you traitors…-!”
“Dum-bo, just who is the traitor here? Anyway, this will all be over once Your Majesty gives the word. Hey, you wouldn’t ignore an imperial order given personally by Her Majesty would you?”
This is finally over – Glen thought.
I still don’t really understand what’s going on, but either way, the problem itself is resolved. I can take my time to ask questions later if I really need to. Heck, this wasn’t really my job to begin with.
As Glen lost himself in these thoughts—
“Yes… What is it, Your Majesty?”
“By my command… That girl, Lumia Tinzel, is to be executed.”
Alicia uttered these unexpected words.
Glen froze up. Lumia turned pale.
Regardless, Alicia continued to show an ice-cold expression as she calmly continued.
“With regards to my position, that girl is someone who mustn’t exist.”
“Hey… Your Majesty, what are you saying…?”
As Alicia spouted unimaginable words, this time, it was Glen’s turn to fall into disarray.
“It would be better if she were never born. I never once loved you. ‘Why must this child exist in this world?’ I’ve often thought… This is a regret I will never live down.”
Even Lumia couldn’t withstand her mother’s statement.
“Do… Do you really believe that? Is that what you truly feel…? What about the kindness you showed me…? What about the warmth you’ve given me…?”
Her body trembled as she drew away, but even so, she asked those questions as if clinging on to dear life.
“Mhm, all of it was a lie. With how toilsome and tiring these governmental duties are, sometimes it’s nice to play around with something for a change of pace you see? That’s why, you should die with the regret of having been so foolish and disobedient.”
Subjected to such cruelty, tears welled up in Lumia’s eyes as the strength left her body.
“N-, No, wait a second Your Majesty! Why are you saying such heartless words…?”
In contrast to Glen’s growing unease, Zeros regained his strength.
“F-, Fuha, Fuhahahha! So you finally understand, Your Majesty! How’s that, scum!? This is Her Majesty’s true will! Justice resides with me!”
I totally miscalculated. I thought that if we could meet the Empress, the situation would resolve itself. I’m here ‘cause I believe in Serika, but it was completely beyond my expectations for the Empress to say this.
“I see, now that I think about it, Serika-dono did not betray us… because the traitors are trapped within the barrier! There’s nowhere for you to run now, is there?”
“Now then, the only thing left to do is to dispose of the traitors… I will personally perform the final rite!”
Zeros’ body filled with murderous intent as he drew his swords.
With a rapier in each hand, it seemed that Zeros employed a dual-blade style.
His footwork didn’t seem to leave any openings to exploit as he approached Glen one step at a time.
“Oi Serika!? Do something would you!? Hello Serika, you there!?”
However, Serika didn’t reply. She closed her eyes and solely focused on maintaining the barrier. No matter how frustrated Glen was, all he could do was grit his teeth.
Damnit Serika, didn’t you friggin’ say that everything would be ok if we got to the Empress!? Are you sure you didn’t mean to say that we’d find ourselves trapped in a desperate pinch instead!? She’s not actually trying to screw me over is she!?
Glen stood in front of the grief-stricken Lumia, who had fallen to her knees, in an attempt to protect her.
…What now!? …What should I do!? Zeros is different from the other soldiers who are lacking in combat experience! He’s survived the frontlines of the war forty years ago, the real deal!
Sweat trickled town Glen’s forehead.
Zeros approached Glen with steady steps. With each approaching step, the presence of death grew progressively thicker like an encroaching mist. Glen could feel the pressure running down his spine. The way in which Zeros approached was like the relentless advance of a death god.
What the hell is this anyway!? What’s happening!? Why is Her Majesty saying such impossible things!? Not to mention, she’s not being asked, threatened, or controlled. She really means it!
Zeros would soon be within striking distance.
In the next moment after that, Glen would be cut down — Dead, Killed.
Shit! There’s nothing I can do at this distance against this old man! If I try to start chanting now I’ll just be killed before I can finish…!
The distance between the two was already within close-quarters range. It would prove hard enough to complete a one-stage spell, but just what could Glen do when he could only use three stage spells? The barrier behind him blocked his retreat, not to mention, he couldn’t back down with Lumia right behind him.
…I’ll have to do something don’t I…!?
With grim resolve, Glen raised his fists into a traditional fist-fighting stance.
Undoubtedly, Glen had a held a lot of confidence in his hand-to-hand combat ability.
If he had to put it into words, he would say that he was better at it than any aspect of magic.
But even so, would his combat skill be of any use against this monster…?
Sorry… Lumia… Even though I brought you here to get rid of those loathsome thoughts, it turned out like this…
Perhaps Lumia had already given up. She grasped tightly onto the locket that hung around her neck, closed her eyes, and lowered her head in a stance of prayer.
As the god of death continued to approach, Glen felt a wave of anxiety surge across his back. Although he felt a strong impulse to immediately run away, Glen took a step forward to attack with reckless abandon—
It was then that a flash of realization passed through Glen’s mind.
Now that I think about it… Why did the Her Majesty choose to this moment to say such things?
‘With regards to my position, that girl is someone who mustn’t exist.’
‘It would be better if were never born. I never once loved you. ‘Why must this child exist in this world?’ I’ve often thought… This is a regret I will never live down.’
It’s strange no matter how I think about it. Even if Her Majesty really believed that, she could have just said ‘Kill her’ and that would be the end of story. Why did she have to go out of her way to hurt Lumia… Why did she have to say such unnecessary things? Not to mention, all of it were lies… Why did she have to do it in this situation?
Glen looked towards Alicia’s nape, and then to Lumia’s joined hands.
If I had to say what was strange about this… what about the matching lockets? Her Majesty treated it like a treasure, but she isn’t carrying it around today…
Glen’s thoughts began to race.
There’s no mistaking that none of what she’s been saying reflects how she really feels, but if that’s the case, then why? I understand that she can’t say how she actually feels in public, but did she really have to go out of her way to say the exact opposite? What are her lies supposed to mean? Is Her Majesty someone who would do pointless things? Or does she have no choice but to lie… Maybe… there’s some reason as to why she can’t say the truth?
Then, he remembered.
He remembered what Serika had told him.
—I’ll say this one more time alright Glen? I can’t do anything, and I can’t say anything either.
—You’re the only one who can break through this situation. Yes, you’re the only one.
Now that I think about it, there has to be some reason why Serika refused to tell me anything. She must be also hinting at something with the way she’s stubbornly maintaining the soundproof barrier. I get that she wants to tell me something, but what is it?
Since this barrier is cutting us off from the outside world, this should be a situation where anyone can say whatever they want, but they’re still not saying anything. They’re still trying to convey something through their actions… which in itself means that the current situation is pretty dire isn’t it?
And there’s something I can do that Serika can’t… What is it?
No way… Could it be—?
In truth, it was mostly a hunch.
The moment the thought flashed through his mind, Glen immediately spoke.
“Your Majesty, that necklace of yours… is quite pretty. It suits you quite well.”
Zeros froze in place in response to Glen’s odd statement. Lumia turned her eyes towards Glen, Serika opened her eyes and revealed a broad triumphant smile, and Alicia’s cold visage warped into a warm smile.
Lumia aside, everyone’s reactions were strange.
“Is that so? This is my ‘favorite’ so to speak.”
Despite her coldness moments prior, she now spoke in a merry and serene manner.
“Your ‘favorite’ huh… I see I see. Isn’t it a bit gaudy though? I mean, don’t your shoulders feel tired? Won’t it be better to take it off?”
Glen rubbed his shoulders in a joking manner.
“Fufu, that won’t do. I don’t want to take this off. Not at all.”
I get it now. This odd manner of speech that she’s using… There’s no mistaking it.
“…Gotcha’, Your Majesty.”
Finally, finally Glen understood.
The truth behind this incomprehensible incident, and the malice that had caused this cryptic situation.
“What… are you trying to do…!?”
Glen showed a fearless smile and Zeros, finding this uncanny, shouted to intimidate him.
“Isn’t that obvious? We’re gonna get that necklace off.”
“What… did you say?”
“Hey old man. Could you like, put you swords back? There’s no need to use those against me.”
Zeros raised an eyebrow.
“Your bluff is too shallow, magician! Try anything funny and I’ll cut you down right here!”
“Well, of course you’d react that way huh… I realized a little too late didn’t I? Now that I’m already within range I don’t have any time to convince him now do I… but first… Hey, Lumia?”
Hearing her name called out without warning, Lumia raised her head.
“All said and done… Your mom… she really does love you—” said Glen.
He then looked behind Zeros and exchanged glances with Alicia.
Alicia firmly nodded in response.
Receiving that gesture, Glen quickly moved his left hand.
The brief moment was extended endlessly as the mind was pressed to its limits—
Magicians wielded magic using their left arm which resided closer to the heart.
Zeros, who noticed that action dashed forward like a gale without a moment’s hesitation.
“I won’t let you–!”
He left behind a afterimage where he was. It was a godspeed step that didn’t seem possible for the human body.
Glen broke into a cold sweat in the face of Zeros’ haste, which seemed to push the limits of reality—
He desperately moved his left hand, but its movements were dull in comparison to Zeros’ lightning speed—
—In the next moment, a flourish of blood came forth.
“I do not know what you were attempting… but you are too slow, magician.”
Zeros thrust his right sword forward, which pierced through Glen’s left arm.
As for Glen’s left hand— there were no traces of any magical phenomenon.
There was still one more sword in Zeros’ left hand.
Should the sword go on to pierce Glen’s heart, it would all be over – Glen would die.
“This is over, magician!”
“N-, No— Sensei—!”
As Zeros readied his blade, Lumia cried out—
The blade point cut through the wind, generating a shrieking noise in its wake.
The silver steel gushed out towards its target.
Just before it could pierce Glen’s heart—
In the corner of Zeros’ vision, a flash of green light fell from above.
For some reason, Zeros’ eyes intently followed the path of the light.
The light leisurely fell to the floor with a ‘clink’ sound, bouncing once, twice, before falling to rest.
The true form of the light was Alicia’s jade gemstone necklace.
In the following moment, Zeros’ sword came to a halt as he looked on in shock. He turned to face Alicia—
And confirmed that Alicia had thrown it—
“Your Majesty, what have you done—!?”
His expression twisted into despair as he cried out—
—That action became the deciding factor in Glen and Zeros battle.
A momentous whirlwind sprang forth.
In the brief moment of Zeros’ loss of composure, Glen, without hesitation, unleashed a roundhouse kick in a motion that was akin to a loosened spring.
Mustering all the strength he could, Glen leg mercilessly struck the side of Zeros’ head with his right leg, knocking Zeros aside as he followed through with the kick.
The vehement blow sent Zeros tumbling violently across the floor.
The time that seemed to extend forever returned to normal as the rush of adrenaline subsided.
“Heh… It’s over now… Owowow…”
Allowing his left arm to hang from his shoulder, Glen announced his victory.
“Even if you’re a complete monster that survived that war, as long as you’re still human, you shouldn’t be able to get up for a while after eating a hit like that…”
“M-, My condition… does not matter here!”
Zeros attempted to stand up by using a sword as a cane, but he found himself unable to muster any strength from his hips and once again fell to the floor. As he fell, he cried out in agony and despair.
“M-, More importantly, what about Her Majesty-!? What happened to—!?”
“I’m fine, Zeros.”
Zeros ghastly looked at Alicia’s bright and cheerful visage, and was left at a loss for words.
“I’m fine already… I’m fine, alright? So that’s enough…”
Alicia gently smiled.
Ignoring Zeros, who was taken aback by the turn of events, Glen hatefully peered at the jade necklace on the floor, and asked Serika.
“This is… a conditionally activated curse right? And that necklace is the carrier for the curse?”
Judging from the grin that formed on Serika’s lips, Glen confirmed that his speculation was correct, and continued.
“Curses that activate when certain conditions are met… Conditional curses are a rather orthodox method used in the history of magic. That said, this crappy necklace probably has the conditions ‘Kill the wearer should it be taken off’, ‘Kill the wearer should a set amount of time pass’, and ‘Kill the wearer should the information be disclosed to a newly introduced third party’. These three together make a reliable and traditional trifecta set of conditions for a curse. Last of all, the condition for lifting the curse is most likely ‘Kill Lumia’…”
‘My my’, Glen seemed to say as he shrugged his shoulders.
“So basically, whoever is targeting Lumia used the Empress as a hostage to achieve their plot. Well? How’s that? This should be pretty close to the mark, right?”
“There are a few differences in the fine details of the curse conditions… but well, it’s more or less correct.”
Serika, who finally spoke, smiled as if trying to hold back a chuckle.
“So, in order to save the empress, the royal guards went nuts trying to kill Lumia. As for you, Serika, you were probably forced by the culprit behind all this to not extend any direct help to Lumia, as otherwise, the Empress’ life would be endangered. That’s why you created a barrier that seemed to trap us in at first glance, am I right?”
“Oh Glen, you’re usually so slow and stupid, but why is it that you’re so sharp now? Ah, you really are my prized disciple.”
Glen, spent and exhausted, slackened his body and fell backwards to take a seat on the floor.
“Hah… Hey just saying, but couldn’t you have given me a better hint…? I nearly died out there you know…? Geez…”
Glen vented his frustration to Serika, who appeared to be rather happy, as he scratched his head with a displeased expression.
“But you still understand what I meant so all’s well isn’t it? I ‘believed in you’ you see?”
“God, you’re so shameless… And anyway, it’s not because of you that I understood what was going on alright? It’s cause Her Majesty kept saying those lies that weren’t really possible coming from her, got it?”
“Eh…? Lies…?” Lumia reflexively uttered as she heard Glen’s explanation.
Taken aback, Lumia turned to face Alicia.
Making eye contact with Lumia, Alicia returned an ambiguous smile akin to that of a child who was scolded after their misdeeds were discovered.
“You… What… What did you do…? Why didn’t the curse activate…?”
Zeros, who was still unable to grasp the situation, asked Glen.
“Sorry about that, old man Zeros. My left hand was just a feint, what I really wanted to do was done through my right hand.”
Glen showed Zeros the object in his right hand.
It was an old-fashioned card.
“…Arcana…? ‘The Fool’’s…
“This is my magic tool. By reading the magic formula created by converting the design of the fool, I can completely seal the activation of any magic within a certain area.
“Even curses are a type a magic. Under the effects of my original magic, [The Fool’s World], the curse will not activate even if the conditions are fulfilled. Well, I guess this is one of those times where ‘they all lived happily ever after’.”
“…T-, ‘The Fool’…? Sealing… the activation of magic…?”
Zeros opened his eyes as if realizing something, and looked Glen straight in the eye.
“I-, I heard rumors of this… In the Imperial court magicians, there was… Could it be, that you are…?”
“Who knows? I’m have no idea about what that is really.”
Glen abruptly turned his back towards Zeros.
“Now then, this dumb mess is finally ov… Ah wait, we still have to deal with the person behind all this… But well, I guess we can leave this aside for now.”
Glen look around whilst scratching his head. The students, instructors, and soldiers who were kept outside the barrier didn’t seem to understand what was happening and merely looked on in confusion.
“Now then, how do we explain all this…? Actually, how are we even supposed to bring this situation under control?”
Glen racked his head trying to think of ways to deal with post-matter events.
At approximately the same time—
Far away from the chaos of the academy, in the southern area.
In a deserted alleyway shrouded by the curtain of dusk, an inconspicuous silhouette skirted silently along.
“My, what a shame, I never thought that it would actually fail…”
However they didn’t sound disappointed in the least.
Rather, it was as if they had found enjoyment out of wildcards that appeared in the midst of a perfectly planned game.
“Even though I finally managed to take Her Majesty hostage and seal the movements of the singularity Serika Alfornea… I suppose her title as a seventh-rank is not just for show, she is certainly quite cunning. Then, there is the matter of Glen Ryders… my, he is quite the awful joker.”
Then, the giggling woman suddenly came to a halt.
“Oh… It seems that there is more to the empire than just idiots…”
At some point, two shadowed silhouettes had appeared before the woman.
“…We were given two missions. The first, was to observe the royal guards, whose movements have become more radical as of late. The other… was to perform a secret investigation on the close associates of Her Majesty the Empress.” One of the figures calmly said. “Recently, I felt that our movements were being tracked, but who would’ve thought the culprit would be the person whom I suspected the least? The head maid and secretary of Her Majesty the Empress… or rather, heretical magician of the Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society, Elenora Schalet.”
Immediately, the surrounding darkness began to thicken into a black cloud. .
“A clear upbringing, an outstanding history, and unparalleled abilities… Looking back, your flawlessness in itself was suspicious.”
As Albert exposed the truth, the woman, Elenora, showed a chilly smile.
“Given a second thought, the royal guards began to move as soon as Her Majesty the Empress left her seat to seek out Princess Alumiana, when you made contact with Zeros and Serika. I was occupied with the notion that the royal guards were running amok, so I had failed to realize it then…”
“Oh dear, were you peeping at me with farsight magic? You certainly have some distasteful hobbies.”
“Answer me, Wisdom of the Heavens Research Society member. What is your organization’s goal? Assuming that Lumia is indeed Princess Alumiana… The terrorist incident in the academy and this incident… were both centered around the Princess. Furthermore, the previous incident was an attempted kidnapping, whilst this incident was an attempt at her life… I fail to see the consistency in these actions. What exactly is your organization plotting?”
Albert slightly raised an eyebrow at Elenora’s cryptic response.
“Yes, our goal is the wisdom of the great sky, the ‘Akashic Record’… Perhaps… I will say that the Princess is necessary for that purpose… so to speak… chuckle chuckle”
Elenora raised her outstretch arms and looked towards to sky as she spoke in a drunken manner.
Faced with Elenora’s mannerism, Albert resisted the urge to pick apart her words and threatened.
“You make yourself hard to understand. I don’t know what this ‘Akashic Record’ is, but your goal has nothing to do with the life or death of the Princess… Is that right?”
“It would certainly be better if she were to live, but even we have a radical faction… There are also those in the organization whom are too hasty to act… Fufu, I went through the trouble of planning a route for the retrieval of the corpse, down to the minutely fine details, but all that effort has all gone to waste it seems.”
“I see. So the reason you did not perform the deed yourself and instead manipulated the royal guards into doing so… would be because of that ‘route’?”
“I shall leave that to your imagination.” Elenora said as she smiled sweetly.
Faced with such a smile, Riel, who had stood silently beside Albert until now, deciding that she had enough of this needless discussion, and brusquely synthesized a great sword.
“Wait, don’t kill her. Capture her and force her to spit out the information on their organization.”
“Don’t want to. Just kill. There’s no need to listen to a villain’s words.”
Albert, whose expression was not fazed in the slightest, decided to say nothing more as Riel readied her sword.
In an instant, the alleyway had blossomed with killing intent.
“Oh dear, how frightening.”
However, Elenora did not move and smiled placidly.
“Even so, fighting two aces from the special operations division will prove to be too much… This time around, it would be prudent to retreat.”
“You’re not getting away! Kill!”
Riel shot forward like a bullet, leaving a vortex in her wake.
Albert raised a finger forwards and began to chant a spell.
At the same time, Elenora moved her hands as if dancing, and began to chant a spell—
In an unknown alleyway in Fejiti, magical energies clashed against one another, accompanied by the sounds of heavy impact.
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