“Take Albert to the water quality investigation—I guess this result means your prediction hit the bullseye, huh, Carlyle?”
Inside the office of the royal castle—
Firvus sat on a sofa and spoke to Carlyle. The Royal Court Magician chuckled briefly.
“In all honesty, I didn’t even think something like this would’ve happened…”
Just as Firvus said, the one who crammed the inadequate student Albert into the water quality investigation was Carlyle.
Carlyle, who caught a whiff of Darkness squirming about there, decided it wouldn’t hurt to send Albert along—that was all he expected when he added Albert.
However, if not for that whim of his, the students probably would have suffered more than just a few injuries.
“Seems like Albert played a huge part, huh?”
“Yeah. He’s a sensation, even at the school.”
“How about you tell me all about his heroic saga?”
“I believe the academy reported to the kingdom?”
“Those sly academy dogs racked their brains making sure that report looked good for them—I can’t trust such a thing. I want to hear your straightforward, unreserved opinion on everything that happened.”
Firvus scratched at his head.
“Albert defeated the frenzied Water Spirit. From the start, Instructor Flin and Blain were fighting the spirit and weakened it considerably. Even if Albert didn’t show up, they probably would have won after enough time. However, Albert ended the battle with just a single blow. That’s what the two put in their report.”
“I see, just as the report said.”
After nodding, Carlyle continued.
“And similar to the report, the essential parts are missing. Such as what spell Albert used to defeat the Water Spirit in one shot.”
Firvus lifted both of his hands up.
“Just as you’re imagining, it was Magic Arrow.”
“Magic Arrow, huh.”
“Secrets are no good~”
“Let me off the hook. Frankly speaking, even the academy—myself included—can’t accept what happened. The notion of a mere Magic Arrow defeating a Water Spirit in one shot… However, both Flin and Blain said they were 100% sure that Albert fired Magic Arrow.”
Carlyle quietly thought to himself.
It’s clear that his Magic Arrow wasn’t normal, which is why the academy couldn’t include it in the report. They shut away what they couldn’t understand in vague wording and context.
“Albert himself said he used Magic Arrow, but the academy has their doubts. Surely it’s some sort of misunderstanding; perhaps he cast some other spell?—is what they’re thinking.”
Although Carlyle loathed the pigheaded academy dogs in his head, he also felt sympathy for them.
The more seriously someone studies magic, the more unbelievable this incident probably was.
To make matters worse—
“It wasn’t just your average crazy spirit—its body was fortified with the power of darkness.”
To say that Albert defeated that with a mere Magic Arrow is preposterous.
Carlyle placed a small vial which he took from the drawer onto the desk with a thud.
The vial was packed with a liquid dark enough that it looked as if it was dissolved in black ink.
The investigation party brought this back from Lake Bjarnu.
“This is polluted water permeated with Darkness.”
I guess even a spirit would go crazy after getting contaminated by something like this.
Firvus gazed at the bottle with eyes brimming with intrigue.
“To think they polluted that stupidly big Lake Bjarnu to that extent… What the hell were our kingdom guys doing?”
“Who knows… But I wouldn’t be surprised if something big enough to go down in history was mixed up in all of this.”
Carlyle said that as a joke, but he didn’t really think of it as something to jest about.
That amount of pollution was anything but a joke.
This wasn’t something to take half-heartedly.
Carlyle clicked his tongue.
How could I have overlooked this for half a year!?
Some Genius Royal Court Magician I am!
However, there wasn’t much he could do. Darkness had already begun increasing the scale of their operations all throughout the kingdom. Despite that, only Carlyle and a handful of key people in the kingdom knew what was happening.
The number of people who could act were extremely limited.
Even with these constraining conditions, Carlyle continued to achieve the absolute best results a human could produce, but some things were bound to slip by.
I’m making excuses…
Carlyle shook his head.
This wasn’t a situation where Carlyle could keep everything under wraps by himself. At this rate, the kingdom was bound to be thrown into the middle of all this chaos.
He needed a joker to turn the situation around.
“Albert, I might seriously need you to become the hero of this country.”
Carlyle chuckled, calling the face of that mysterious young man to mind.
It’s been a week since the water quality investigation party returned.
The entire student body was assembled at a large hall in the royal academy.
This was to commend the students who accomplished great things in the incident that involved the water quality investigation party.
One of those students was—
“Let’s go, Albert.”
Flin spoke in a nervous voice beside me.
The double door in front of us opened with a bang.
The door opened from the podium, so Flin and I directly faced the students sitting in a row.
The students facing in our direction all simultaneously looked at us—looked at me.
What on earth is that guy?
That’s what the look in all of their eyes told me.
Flin began walking ahead of me in stiff movements, and I followed behind her.
The senior headmaster stood ahead of us.
Once Flin and I came to a stop, the headmaster began reading the congratulatory address in his hand.
“Albert! You’ve demonstrated your remarkable ability in the critical situation that enfolded the water quality investigation party and rescued the students from hardship! It was a situation where casualties wouldn’t have been unexpected, but because you were there, we were able to avoid the worst possible situation! To commend your courage and ability, I impart this honorable certificate to you!”
After I stepped to the front, I received the honorable certificate, which the headmaster held out.
What a strange feeling.
I, who couldn’t leave behind a single achievement ten years ago, now stood in front of the entire student body and received an award.
Even though I, as a person, hadn’t changed in particular.
I wondered what did change.
“Thank you very much.”
After I received the honorable certificate, I returned to where Flin was.
The headmaster continued speaking.
“Furthermore! In recognition of Albert’s strength, he shall now be granted the Iron Emblem!”
The students who had all been quiet up until now made a stir.
The announcement just now must’ve been shocking.
The Iron Emblem was a necessary prerequisite to advance to your third year. I just ended up receiving that very emblem, completely skipping the Stone Emblem required for your second year.
An instructor took the school emblem from the inside of a box behind the headmaster.
Flin stepped in front of the instructor and said, “Please let me do this.” to the confused instructor and took the school emblem.
Flin turned towards me and smiled sweetly, then whispered in a low voice.
“Sorry for butting in… But I wanted to be the one to do this, no matter what.”
Flin extended her hand to the collar of my uniform.
Then, she gently furnished the school emblem to my uniform. In the middle of doing that, Flin sniffled her nose while looking downward.
Her hand was quivering slightly.
Then, she spoke to me in a soft whisper.
“I really… really… couldn’t congratulate you enough, Albert… Your hard work was rewarded. Ten years ago… ended in sorrow, but… this is the emblem… that you finally grabbed ahold of… That day ten years ago… and the ten years you spent afterward… weren’t in vain… this time along, you did it…”
Flin released her hand.
The Iron Emblem embedded on my collar let out a dull glitter. The emblem wasn’t the brightest color, but—to me, it shined brilliantly.
I’ve obtained it.
I’ve obtained the emblem I could never reach, just as Flin said.
Flin wiped her eyes and whispered one last thing.
“Welcome back, Albert.”
Hey, this was supposed to be released yesterday but I spent so much time on the last chapter I didn’t have enough time lol, my bad. I can probably release another 2 today to make up for it since I just needed to finish this one up. This ends book 2, so now we’ll be onto a book 3 which is a pretty long one. This book and book 4 are what I consider to be the best parts of this story, so look forward to it. cya later.