༺ Tired Premonition ༻
I publicly disciplined a student in the faculty office, and since it was break time, there were many other instructors in the office as well.
So, it was impossible not to notice Instructor Lirya glancing over at me from the seat next to me.
After watching Oznia leave the faculty office, she seemed to think the matter was settled and smiled brightly before speaking to me.
“You’ve worked hard, Instructor Graham. It must have been very confusing to have a fight break out during your first class. You handled it very well.”
“It was nothing.”
“Oh, you’re being modest. No one would have thought it was your first assignment. I was thinking of helping you out, but you seemed to be handling it well on your own?”
I fell into deep thought upon hearing Instructor Lirya’s words.
Did I do well?
I could have made a big deal out of Oznia using magic, but I didn’t. Because I thought it was right.
I didn’t know about the other instructors, but this was my way. So I just did what I thought was right and didn’t think I deserved praise.
It was difficult to accept praise purely, and it didn’t suit me to be humble either, so I just nodded silently.
Then a middle-aged male instructor sitting across from me spoke with an uncomfortably greasy voice.
“Instructor Lirya, don’t you think it’s wrong for the students to have fought in the first place?”
“Well, I don’t know…”
“If you’re an instructor at the Philion Royal Academy, you should at least be able to prevent problems from occurring, rather than just handling them well. Just disciplining them isn’t exactly praiseworthy…”
What’s going on?
I quickly realized that it was a pointless argument. I was already fed up with this kind of thing in the army.
He was the Diamond White first-year instructor. I didn’t remember his name well, but I remember his last name was Akeron.
Suddenly cutting into the conversation and only talking about what he wanted to say, Akeron’s interruption made Lirya’s expression darken. It was clearly visible on her face that she was thinking, ‘Ah, this guy…’
Akeron stroked his mustache with a face like buttered toast and said,
“If it were me, I would have managed the students well enough that the fight wouldn’t have happened in the first place. If they were our Diamond White students, there would have been no problems from the beginning.”
“But it’s Instructor Graham’s first class today. I think he can improve in the future. I was so nervous in front of my students at first too.”
“Of course, you would be, Instructor Lirya. Aren’t you one of the top talents who graduated from Philion Academy in just three years? Your excellence and that of other instructors have been proven, but whether Instructor Eon can also do well…”
“What are you trying to say?”
I asked directly, as I was not fond of the aristocratic way of talking in circles. From experience, if you just listen to this kind of talk, it goes on endlessly.
I looked straight at Akeron. He hesitated for a moment under my gaze, then coughed lightly and averted his eyes.
“As far as I know, Instructor Eon has not received formal education… Is that correct?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Then, have you ever hired a private tutor for education? I’m not talking about just anyone, but a proper tutor from an aristocratic family.”
“No, I haven’t.”
“So your entire career is just military service?”
“Yes, it is.”
Akeron’s thin eyes narrowed, and he sneered. It was obvious from his look that he underestimated me.
“Instructor Lirya, other instructors might adapt with time, but hasn’t Instructor Eon not learned anything at all? I don’t know who should be teaching whom.”
“As far as I know, there’s no rule that says you must have formal education to teach students, Instructor Akeron.”
“Even so, isn’t there a certain level expected at Philion Academy? From what I know, Instructor Eon has the rank of captain. Hmm… captain. Well, considering his age, that’s quite a fast promotion, but I wonder if that alone is enough… As a fellow instructor, I’m a little worried.”
Instructor Akeron looked at me with a smile that showed no concern but rather mockery. He didn’t even glance at me earlier, but after hearing about my experience, he seemed to gain some confidence.
I could have been promoted more if I wanted. Marquis Kalshtein had offered several times.
However, I wanted to fight directly on the battlefield with a weapon in hand. A junior officer cannot fight on the front lines with soldiers. I could have tried, but it would have been seen as very strange by those around me.
Having a higher rank than necessary without any subordinates and wandering around the battlefield alone would definitely spread rumors. I didn’t want to stand out, and I had no desire for promotions, so being a captain who could handle solo operations was suitable for me.
And I didn’t feel the need to explain that to Instructor Akeron.
Since I was just listening, Instructor Akeron’s mockery became more intense, perhaps thinking I had nothing to say.
“For example, in my case, I graduated from the Philion Imperial Graduate School and have a doctorate. And what about my family? Akeron is a prestigious earl family in the empire, and my elder brother served honorably as a high-ranking officer in the Imperial Army during the last war. As someone who grew up in such a distinguished family since childhood, I-“
I didn’t know why Akeron had a grudge against me, but the answer was simple: just ignore him.
I was appointed as an instructor directly by Dean Heinkel. With that fact alone, Instructor Akeron could do nothing. Doubting my appointment as an instructor was the same as doubting Dean Heinkel’s judgment.
He might be able to spread some dirty rumors, but they would only be rumors. That wouldn’t have any impact on me.
It’s a familiar name, but it’s still hazy. It’s not an important memory, but I’ve definitely heard it somewhere.
“Ah, the one who was killed by goblins?”
“Our brother- Wha, what? What did you say? Go, goblin?”
At the mention of the word “goblin,” Akeron’s face turned pale in an instant.
There were many nobles in the Imperial Army who bragged but had no ability, and Colonel Akeron was one such case. In fact, he was a man who had no ability but big dreams, so he led his soldiers in an overzealous attack early in the war, resulting in his unit being isolated.
When I arrived to save the isolated unit, there were only remnants of the nearly annihilated unit left, and the commander was nowhere to be seen. He had thrown his own soldiers away as sacrificial lambs to buy himself time when his life was in danger.
And if he had managed to escape and survive, that would have been one thing, but Colonel Akeron was found dead at the hands of goblins a few days later. He had hidden in a goblin den to avoid death.
His body, abused by goblins and killed after enduring all kinds of torture, was found naked and discarded outside the den. It was a disgraceful end for an Imperial Army officer.
Marquis Kalshtein had laughed bitterly, calling it a “pathetic death.” I heard that his family tried to cover up the truth, but…
“What nonsense are you talking about! Goblins? Our brother fought valiantly against the demons and lost his life! Where did you hear such nonsense? Slanderous rumors?!”
I had only mentioned the word “goblin,” but Instructor Akeron became agitated and defensive. With his face pale as a corpse, he stuttered and stumbled over his explanations.
The other instructors who saw his reaction began to whisper amongst themselves.
“Goblin? What’s that about?”
“Wasn’t Colonel Akeron killed fighting demons? Could it be…?”
“No! That’s not true! What evidence do you have for such nonsense…! Instructor Eon! Say something!”
“I have a class soon. Excuse me.”
Ignoring his words as if I hadn’t heard them, I got up from my seat.
Lirya Instructor followed me out of the faculty room.
I deliberately slowed down. I had to shorten my stride considerably to match her short legs.
Still, Instructor Lirya almost ran down the hallway to catch up with me.
“Heck… You’ve gone far. Is it because your legs are long?”
“Do you have any business with me?”
“Um, I just wanted to walk with you?”
There was no particular reason to refuse, so I nodded nonchalantly.
We walked side by side down the hallway.
Instructor Lirya glanced at me and cautiously opened her mouth.
“Don’t worry too much about what Instructor Akeron said.”
“I’m not worried.”
“Really? Well… Instructor Graham doesn’t seem like the type to worry about such things. You seem like the type to silently carry out your tasks without being swayed by external pressures.”
I didn’t know what type that was, but Instructor Lirya seemed to have convinced herself, nodding her head alone.
“Why is Instructor Akeron like that?”
“Um… Maybe it’s because you’re the homeroom teacher of the Opal Black class.”
“Just because of that?”
“If Opal Black hadn’t been established, the princess, I mean, Elizabeth would have been assigned to Diamond White class. He must have thought that the honor of being the princess’s teacher was snatched away right in front of him.”
There are particularly many influential figures among the new students this year. Of course, the princess, as well as the granddaughter of the Imperial Army Commander and the son of the Imperial Minister. Teaching them directly was treated as a great honor for the nobles.
If there hadn’t been the Opal Black class, they would have been assigned to Diamond White, of course. But he couldn’t directly confront the dean, so he picked a fight with me, who seemed like an easy target.
The establishment of a new class was not just a matter of concern for students. Instructors were the same.
I had a tiring feeling that such incidents would happen more often in the future.
“So what is a goblin, after all?”
“I’ll refrain from commenting.”
And Instructor Akeron seemed to be troubled by bad rumors for the time being.
After all the classes were over that day.
Late at night, Oznia came to find me.