The Kingdom Festival ended, and the Academy went back to its usual, daily routine, as if the undead disturbance had never even happened.
And the same went for me, too.
Ever since I talked things over with Kyria, the nobles stopped approaching me all together.
As a result, I’m living out the same life as I did during the first semester.
It’s just me and Laura, enjoying our academy lives.
But I didn’t feel lonely, not in the slightest. Why would I? My daily routine was peaceful and pleasant—I couldn’t ask for more.
I’m sure Laura was thinking the same.
I wish this would last forever. I genuinely hoped that.
While we spent our time doing this and that, days became weeks, and the months slowly got colder.
Right around then, a letter was delivered to me.
“Laura, I got an interesting letter yesterday.” After we finished up our meal at the cafeteria, I brought up the letter to Laura.
“An interesting letter?”
“Do you remember Lihilt, the noble?”
Lihilt Strahm was a man we met at the engagement that Alencia commanded; he fought alongside us as the captain of a disposable detached squad. His hard work and perseverance paid off, resulting in his promotion from Baron to Viscount.
“That goes without saying!”
“The letter I got was from Lihilt, you see.” I took out the letter from my breast pocket. “He was granted a territory as a reward. From what I’ve read, his total lack of experience in territorial management is giving him serious grief.”
“I see… Sounds rough…”
“He also wrote that he wants me to give him some advice.”
“Well, you are a fellow nobleman, after all! Are you gonna give him a lesson or two on managing territories as his experienced senior?”
“No, not at all.”
…I’d end up just as confused as he is if I tried. While I am a noble, I’ve lived my life freely up until now; I don’t know a thing about the know-how of managing a territory.
“Apparently, he’s gotten into a bit of a disagreement with the neighboring noble. He wants me to hear the full story in person, and if need be, act as a witness to their talks.”
I wondered if I was really the right person for the job, but my title as the Luminous household’s successor carried significant weight. Besides, I previously fought alongside Lihilt on the battlefield—I’d be more than glad to give him a hand.
“I’m thinking of heading over to his domain in December. If you’d like, you could come too—”
“I’ll go!” she replied instantly. Her eyes were sparkling, and she was shaking her arms up and down, unable to contain her excitement.
She was completely raring to go.
“…But is it really alright? We’ll be leaving in December, which is before winter break. You’ll have to take time off classes, you know?”
When nobles need to attend to their other responsibilities, they can send a request to the Academy and take extended time off. There wouldn’t be any penalties on her attendance record, but I assume someone as diligent as Laura would rather not go.
“Fine by me!” Laura replied without a hint of hesitation. “This’ll be an enlightening experience. Commoners like myself don’t usually get the opportunity to step foot into the world of nobles, anyway. Also, um…” Laura seemed embarrassed as she continued, “I’d feel a little lonely if I got seperated from you again!”
I’d almost forgotten… I was led around the nose by my noble classmates, leaving Laura all by herself.
“You’re right. Let’s go together. I’d be happier if you came as well.”
“That settles it then!” Laura nodded, visibly in high spirits. “I’m looking forward to it!”
Once the clock hit December, Laura and I headed off for Lihilt’s territory.
Normally, nobles make use of Transportators—which are those buildings that instantaneously teleport you from one point to another—when traveling long-distance, like I did when I returned to my parent’s estate.
Fundamentally speaking, only esteemed nobles have Transportators set up in their territory; as such, Lihilt wouldn’t normally already have one. However, because the territory lent to him was originally under the direct control of the royal family, it happened to come with one.
Transportators were quite useful, and the nobles who did have one saw their fame reach new heights. Any noble would kill to have a Transportator, and one falls into Lihilt’s lap, just like that.
He has the Devil’s luck—that much is certain.
Upon arriving at Lihilt’s territory, a well-dressed middle-aged man called out to us. “I am a butler serving Sir Lihilt. You two must be Albert and Laura. I’ve come to welcome you to our estate.”
We then boarded a carriage and began making our way to where Lihilt was.
The capital of his territory had a tranquil air to it. It was a stark contrast to my hometown, Luminous, which was more commercialized. The citizens walking about all looked relaxed and carefree, too. Being a tiny territory under the direct control of the royal family, developing the economy must’ve not been a high priority.
I wonder how Lihilt planned on changing that, now that he’s the new Lord.
—You all saved my life! I can’t just hog all the glory to myself!
—But for real, I can’t apologize enough. I only got rewarded cuz’ I’m Captain and all. You did most, if not all of the heavy lifting, Albert.
…Well, if he’s compassionate enough to say all that, then I’m sure he’ll make for a fine Lord.
We arrived at a tidy, splendid-looking mansion.
“…Thank goodness. It’s not a castle this time…” Laura muttered, relief written all over her face.
“This way,” the middle-aged butler said, leading us inside the mansion. A familiar face was waiting for us in the room we arrived at.
“Albert! Laura! Long time no see! Good of you both to come all the way here!”
There stood a young man in his twenties who didn’t quite carry himself with the majesty of a Lord. His clothes were a little fancier, but his friendly tone and bright smile hadn’t changed in the slightest since half a year ago.
And although I hadn’t known him for very long, seeing him felt nostalgic. His good-hearted personality and fighting with him on the battlefield must’ve strengthened our bond.
I spoke, “It’s been a while, Lihilt.”
And so did Laura, “It’s been way too long, Lihilt!”
Thus, after fighting together on the battlefield, the three of them reunited in what felt like ages.
Already explained in the chap yesterday, but for those who haven’t seen, TLDR I was busy with exams/finals in November/most of December, went on a trip to the states for all of winter break, then came down with COVID (fully vaccinated, omicrom) after getting back around the beginning of January, which is why I was gone for so long. Doing fine now and I’ll begin regular posting but the schedule will most likely see some changes. That’s all, will post again tomorrow and add the new section to the chapter list since its a new arc, see you guys then.
Forgot to mention: I changed “transportation circles” to “Transportators” since I didn’t realize i made a mistake with the kanji.