༺ Chains of the Past ༻
Dean Heinkel presented a newspaper headline that read:
I was so perplexed by the headline that I nearly tore the newspaper unintentionally.
But it wasn’t just the Shangria Daily that featured such attention-grabbing headlines.
[After a 5-year absence, the legendary figure returns. ‘Malevolent Star’ saves the system by battling monsters in the 20th district.]
[‘The Empire’s Future’ terrorist organization completely annihilated, successful rescue of kidnapped mixed races! Is ‘Malevolent Star’ the main character?]
[The missing war hero ‘Malevolent Star’ makes a dramatic return, defeats the giant skeleton monster and the discriminatory organization against immigrants!]
Newspapers like ‘The Nobles,’ which targets the upper class, ‘Mage Post,’ which is popular among magicians, and ‘Philion Times,’ published by the Philion Academy Newspaper Club….
Even looking at the rather famous newspapers that flew into the Dean’s office, the level was like this. I didn’t even want to think about what the headlines would be like in the tabloid newspapers, which were famous for their sensational content and mainly read by commoners or lower classes.
Why? Why were such articles published?
While I was determined to wipe out ‘The Empire’s Future,’ I didn’t expect this to happen. If anything, I was prepared to reveal Malevolent Star’s identity to resolve the incident.
However, the incident occurred in the sparsely populated harbor district at midnight, and in the end, the royal family intervened. So if the royal family and the Royal Guards announced that they had resolved the incident, the press and the public would have been convinced.
The reason I entrusted the aftermath to the royal family, including Marquis Einhellar, was that I intended to handle it discreetly without my name being mentioned, as if I was passing the ball.
Given that Elizabeth was already aware of the situation, there was no reason for the royal family to attribute the resolution of the case to “Malevolent Star”.
All suspicions led to a single person.
As soon as I left the Dean’s office, I went to find Captain Herman of the Security Force.
He happened to be lounging at the front gate’s security post, reading a newspaper with a huge title “Malevolent Star” on it and smiled contentedly.
“Was it you?”
“Heuk! Hoo, hoo, hoo-“
I sent a light warning glance, and Captain Herman, who was about to say the word “Malevolent Star,” quickly covered his mouth with both hands.
Fortunately, there was no one around the security post, so no one heard what Captain Herman was about to say.
Captain Herman lowered his voice and politely asked.
“… Aren’t you Instructor Eon? Wh-what brings you here…?”
“The newspaper headlines this morning were quite interesting.”
“Ah, if it’s about that, surely-“
Alright. It was this guy.
Seeing Captain Herman’s expression as if he knew something, I nodded my head.
And I slowly released my energy.
Of course, I didn’t intend to kill him.
But now that I know he has a tendency to talk without discretion, giving him a proper lesson should keep him from blabbing carelessly again.
As I approached him, Captain Herman raised his hands in panic.
“W-wait! Eon, sir! It’s a misunderstanding, a misunderstanding!”
“It’s true that I was interviewed! But, but I never mentioned Eon’s name, and even if it wasn’t for me, there was no way to hide the name of the Malevolent Star!”
Captain Herman’s explanation, who was so flustered that he even forgot to call me an instructor, went like this.
The disturbance in District 20 yesterday was not something that could be hidden.
Many people had witnessed the giant skull face that appeared in the sky of the institution even though it was a dark night, and even if the Demon Army was somehow dismissed as a false alarm.
The fact that ten of the empire’s strongest force, the Royal Guards, headed to Zone 20 added credibility to the event.
Various media outlets quickly grasped the news, and one of them even found out about the mixed-race people from District 20 being moved to the temple in critical condition and immediately conducted interviews.
In other words, the first people to testify about Malevolent Star were the ones who had been kidnapped.
“At that time, it was too dark for anyone to see Eon’s face properly, but they remembered the figure in black armor wielding a red spear fighting the giant skull.”
“They saw that? They should have all been passed out.”
“Because the fight was so intense. There were some people who woke up while I was carrying them. Anyway, there was a risk of revealing Eon’s identity if something went wrong, and some malicious news reporters tried to approach patients who needed immediate medical attention, so I had no choice but to be interviewed.”
In the end, it was true that Captain Herman had testified that ‘Malevolent Star appeared and resolved the incident.’
It was a fact that the royal side couldn’t deny, and the result was the headline of this morning’s newspaper.
I let out a short sigh.
Even if the royal family hadn’t mentioned Malevolent Star directly, if there were witnesses, the fact that Malevolent Star appeared would have become known anyway.
It was something I couldn’t solve, and if so, there was no point in worrying about it anymore. It was fortunate enough that the fact that Malevolent Star was an instructor at the academy wasn’t revealed.
In that case, Captain Herman had actually withheld some facts by mentioning some truths, and he did not reveal the really important truth.
“I misunderstood. I’m sorry.”
“Heuk! N-no, please feel free to speak informally. Hu- no, how can I dare to receive honorifics from you, Eon? Please, take back your apology. It’s enough to know that I helped my savior in a small way.”
Captain Herman pleaded so desperately that I had no choice but to continue speaking informally.
“…Fine. But let’s stop calling me Eon.”
“Hehem, understood. Instructor Eon.”
Even though he stopped using honorifics, Captain Herman, who looked rather satisfied, suddenly lowered his voice and cautiously asked.
“By the way, Instructor. Why are you hiding your identity? People are already so excited just by the news that Malevolent Star has appeared, and if it’s revealed that Instructor Eon’s is the Malevolent Star, the students would be really happy.”
Captain Herman said in a regretful tone, scratching his chin.
“Of course, if you wish, I’ll take this secret to the grave, but personally, it’s such a shame, ahem! It’s a pity that not everyone knows how great you are.”
I let out a bitter laugh at the end of a brief silence.
“There’s not much to gain from fame.”
People often make the mistake of only looking at the achievements of a hero and saying that their path is filled with glorious victories and dazzling light.
However, the path I had walked was full of blood,death and remorse for the irreplaceable loss.
The name Malevolent Star is not only of no help in my duties as an instructor but is also a shackle of the past that reminds me of the most horrible moments I cannot forget.
I left Captain Herman’s bewildered figure behind and just hoped that today’s incident would not cause another problem.
After finishing all my duties, I took a tram back to the dormitory.
But I noticed someone crouching near the dormitory building.
Her hair was a soft light green, like leaves in sunlight. It was Titania.
She seemed to be concentrating on something, fiddling with her fingertips for a while.
“What are you doing here?”
“Ah! Instructor Eon!”
Hearing my voice, Titania turned around and smiled brightly. She had a small gardening shovel and some plants in her hands, as if she had been doing some gardening work.
“I was making a flower bed.”
“A flower bed?”
“I felt a little disappointed that there were only trees around the dormitory. Don’t you think it would look much prettier if we planted various plants?”
Saying that, Titania showed me the plants in her hand and smiled brightly.
Indeed, Titania originally wanted to join the gardening club. Somehow, she ended up joining the student council, but she must have been interested in growing and taking care of plants from the beginning. She probably even lived in a forest.
However, despite her cheeks being covered in dirt, the progress of the flower bed didn’t seem to be going well, which indicated that the work wasn’t going smoothly.
“It looks difficult to do it alone.”
“Um, I was going to ask my strong friends for help, but Gwyn still seems to have muscle pain, and Batar has been gone since the morning.”
After contemplating for a moment at her troubled expression, I opened my mouth.
“If you want, I can help.”
“Really? I would be so grateful if you could help me!”
Titania didn’t refuse my help, whether it was difficult for her or not. The task she was struggling with was digging up the hardened soil with a shovel.
The soil was hardened because of the rain a few days ago, making it difficult for Titania to dig it up with her strength.
Of course, it wasn’t for me.
Every time I swung my arm, the small gardening shovel sank deep into the ground as if it were butter. Titania clapped her hands and smiled brightly at the sight.
“Wow, as expected, Instructor, you have incredible strength!”
“If you had consistently trained, you would have been able to do this too.”
“…Ah, hahaha. Is that so?”
Titania was definitely physically weak. It was a problem with her muscle strength, separate from her level of activity. During physical education classes, she showed outstanding agility but lacked strength, so she quickly became tired even after just a little running.
Even so, it was a bit hard to understand why she couldn’t finish the flower bed work alone, despite her lack of strength.
“It would have been simple with the help of the spirits.”
“Ah, that’s true, but…”
Titania scratched her cheek awkwardly and spoke.
“It would have definitely been done quickly if I had asked the earth spirits for help, but the purpose of making the flower bed today was also to appease the spirits.”
“Appease the spirits?”
“Yes. Today is the full moon, after all.”
I couldn’t understand what the full moon had to do with the spirits.
Seeing me frown at the incomprehensible words, Titania added with a smile.
“Spirits are very capricious in nature. They are especially so when the seasons change. While some spirits welcome new life as spring approaches, others become more mischievous, missing the winter’s rest.”
“When the full moon rises and the negative energy becomes full, spirits become emotional and sensitive, so I wanted to plant flowers around to appease them in advance. Spirits love places where nature is abundant.”
It would indeed be contradictory to use spirits to appease spirits.
Titania, being an elf, seemed to know a lot about mysterious knowledge.
I didn’t know anything about magic or spirits, and during the war, when the enemy used spirits, I was busy tearing them apart with Ajetus.
Thinking about it, I felt like I might be quite hated by the spirits.
As I dug up the hardened soil with a small shovel, I asked.
“So, what are you going to plant here?”
“I’m planning to plant something that can be used as medicinal herbs, like mugwort or basil.”
“Mugwort tastes good when you make rice cakes with it. Potatoes would be nice too.”
“…Instructor? The flower bed is not a vegetable garden, you know?”
Titania showed a rare flustered expression.
You can rate this series here.
Advanced chapters available on genesistls.com
Illustrаtiоns on our discоrd – discord.gg/genesis.tls