Right around the end of summer—
Carlyle welcomed Firvus to his private residence in the royal capital.
He hails from the Heathcoat household of dukedom, which is a prestigious family within the kingdom. His residence was a splendid building, befitting of his pedigree.
Seated face-to-face on individual sofas, Carlyle and Firvus made merry with a card game in his private room, which was more of a living room; it was excessively spacious, the ceiling just as tall.
Carlyle drew a card from the stack of cards on top of the low table.
“Goodness gracious, summer’s gonna be over in just a bit, huh? The Kingdom Festival’s gonna be right around the corner once it hits September. Oh, how exciting~”
The Kingdom Festival was an annual festival held in the royal capital every autumn.
Spanning one week, it was the biggest event of its kind in the Kingdom, and it brought a merry atmosphere to the capital.
In response to Carlyle’s merry-go-lucky tone of voice, Firvus spoke in a reprimanding tone.
“Our gracious big-boy official is so carefree! Must be nice, huh!”
“Whaddya mean by that, Mr. Not-So-Big-Boy official Firvus?”
Carlyle responded while heartily chuckling.
Firvus squinted his eyes as he stared at Carlyle.
“Tch, you… Running your mouth even though you’re more than aware!”
Of course Carlyle knew.
The Royal Magic Academy was working together with the Kingdom Festival; an instructor such as Firvus had piles of work he needed to get done.
Put simply, he was busy.
Carlyle knew as much, and yet—
“I mean, aren’t you the one more than aware of how terrible my personality is?”
“Oooh, so that’s how you wanna play it, you…!”
After responding with a fed-up voice, Firvus placed the card he chose onto the desk.
Then, he briefly glanced at Carlyle, signaling if he was going to let that card go by with his eyes.
“It’s alright. I wanna stop it, but I don’t have any cards to play. Dear me, that stings.”
Carlyle waved his hands back and forth.
With a relieved look, Firvus took his hand off the card.
“…So like, are you really gonna go through with… that?”
Firvus broke the ice with a reluctant look on his face.
“Hmm~? Whaddya talkin’ about~?”
“Putting the Seal of Darkness on public display is what.”
Carlyle smiled from ear to ear and answered.
The Seal of Darkness was one of the treasures that Darkness yearned for.
Normally, it was shut away in the innermost part of the academy, but—
This time around, the Kingdom Festival was putting an “ancient relic with deep history” on public display for all to see.
Such was announced to the public and made common knowledge.
“Those Darkness guys will come for sure.”
Darkness would do anything to get their hands on that relic.
Carlyle chuckled and placed a card on the table.
“I’ll be in a bit of a pinch if they don’t come. This is bait to accomplish that.”
Let’s send the members of Darkness an invitation to the royal capital!
I’ll welcome you to the best of my ability, so die a quick death for me!
I’d be overjoyed if I could catch some bigshot!
Listed above was the gist of Carlyle’s strategy.
“The bait’s gotta be extravagant. They’ll probably realize it’s a trap, but they won’t be able to resist plunging head-first into it. It’s gotta be tempting enough, else it’s not gonna work out.”
Carlyle continued in high spirits.
“I might just catch the ringleader—the Son of Darkness, you know?”
“…I really wonder if it’s gonna go that smoothly…”
Firvus let out an uneasy voice as he drew a card from the stack.
“Besides, I’m doubtful as to why the mastermind is gonna be absent for it all.”
“Sorry about that~, hahaha!”
Carlyle apologized in a tone that didn’t even sound remotely apologetic.
Carlyle would leave the capital a little before the Kingdom Festival started. I’ll be going on a business trip while I don’t have much work to do because of the festivities—he used that as his reason, and he already announced as much to the public.
“AAAAAH~! I’ve always taken part in the Kingdom Festival since I was a wee lad—I never woulda thought I’d be absent for it! How sad! How lonely~!”
“At least be a little more genuine when you say that.”
Carlyle gave a slight smile in response to Firvus’ sarcasm.
“…I gotta make the bait as appetizing as possible. Don’t you think Darkness would be more willing to make a move if troublesome ol’ me wasn’t in the capital?”
Carlyle placed a card on the table with a thud.
Firvus stared at the card with a bitter expression.
“The hell are we gonna do without you when the Darkness guys go on the move?”
“Do your best, Mr. Frontline Commander Firvus!”
Firvus loudly shouted.
“I’ll die! I’ll die for real!”
“Now now. C’mon, you got Albert, dontcha? He’ll take care of it one way or another. Probably.”
“Albert, huh… That guy is crazy strong…”
“Not only is he crazy strong, but Darkness still doesn’t know about him.”
Albert produced exceedingly exceptional results in the battle at Lake Glicia. And Carlyle—
Concealed every last detail about what happened.
He falsified all the documents and strictly forbade anyone to speak of the immense firepower Albert displayed when he defeated the Crest Master. Excluding Laura and Firvus, the only people at the scene were Lihilt and his squad members. Doing all that wasn’t all that difficult for Carlyle.
Albert Luminous’ name had yet to become famous throughout the world—
And so were his overwhelmingly powerful abilities.
“The unknown holds the greatest value, y’see.”
“…So that’s how it is…”
After lengthy consideration, Firvus put his card onto the field.
“So it is.”
Carlyle immediately responded and retrieved a card from his deck, then placed it on top of the card that Firvus revealed.
It was a joker.
“Aaand I win.”
“Wuh…wuh… WHUT THE HEEEEEEEELL!”
Firvus slammed the cards he was holding onto the table.
“M-…M-My… My card from before got through, didn’t it!? Why?”
“…I mean, back then, your card wouldn’t have had much of an effect on the board… Normally, you’d let a card like that slide, right? Which I did, so you were under the impression that I didn’t have a joker, right?”
Carlyle placed his cards on the table.
“The opponent doesn’t know—they haven’t realized. Hey, don’t you think that holds the greatest value?”
“…Aah, geez, I got it! I’m well aware, alright!?”
Firvus made a slanted frown and breathed a large sigh.
“You consider Albert to be your joker—one that not a single soul knows about—and you’re pinning your hopes on his actions?”
“…And that’s why you covered up Albert’s achievements on the battlefield.”
“I did something unfair to him, though. By all rights, he deserved much more credit. It feels like I’m exploiting his indifference and uncaringness in regards to that matter, so I feel a little bad about it.”
Carlyle then continued.
“However, there’re some things about him that even I couldn’t keep under wraps. I’m a little worried about that.”
“Things that you couldn’t hide?”
“I’m talking about the nobles. It was revealed that Albert was the eldest son of Marquis Luminous in front of the King and a crowd of nobles. I’ve been real stressed about it.”
“Sure have. Thanks to that, nobles are gonna reach out to Albert, whether he likes it or not. There’re lots of noble children at the academy, too.”
Carlyle let out a long sigh.
“I wanted to preserve the stillness of Albert and Laura’s little bubble, though…”
Albert boasted ability in Magic Arrow far greater than anyone else, but that wouldn’t be of any use whatsoever in the high society of nobles. What he needed to survive there was the ability to probe information from other people and keep a delicate balance between everyone, as well as flattery and a smile that acted as a thin mask.
Carlyle had a thought.
The abilities mentioned above were not things that Albert, who had stepped back into the world after 10 years, had. To make matters worse, the distance in social status between Albert and Laura—a commoner—would only rear its ugly head once the nobles contact him.
In all honesty, to Carlyle, it didn’t seem like any of this would be a good influence on Albert whatsoever.
“The precise Magic Arrow will soon be at a loss, huh…”
After breathing a sigh with a grave facial expression, Carlyle abruptly shifted his gaze to Firvus and continued in a cheerful voice.
“With that all said and done, I leave my dear Albert in your hands, Mr. Passionate Schoolteacher Firvus. Alright~?”
“HAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!? YOU’RE JUST DUMPING IT ALL ON ME IN THE END!?”
“DON’T ‘Ufufufufufu’ ME!”
With an earnest expression, Carlyle spoke to the agitated Firvus.
“This is a serious favor I’m asking. I’m counting on you, Firvus.”
Firvus looked away from Carlyle and began to speak.
“I’m not too inclined on meddling with a student’s private life, though… Don’t expect much.”
Was gonna post this yesterday but decided it’d be better to just post it early in the morning the next day. Was missing Carlyle, translating him is always fun. I’ll post recreator later today, see you guys then.