༺ Lecture ༻
Time flew by, and it was Friday, with the weekend just a day away.
Dr. Brown, who invented all sorts of revolutionary and convenient items and was called the father of magic engineering, received praise as an unparalleled genius and was now the most talked-about person in the empire.
Naturally, his lecture at Philion Academy attracted the attention and focus of all the academy students.
Marian was one of those students.
Marian wasn’t at all interested in terms like the starting point of the technological revolution or the father of engineering.
However, as she often used trams and radios, she had a bit of curiosity about what kind of person could create such items.
Her thoughts became stronger after her conversation with Instructor Eon the previous night.
In any case, after all the classes were over, Marian unknowingly gasped when she arrived at the lecture hall in the lecture building for that reason.
“Ugh, what a crowd…”
The spacious lecture hall, which could accommodate up to 500 people, was already packed with students. Moreover, not only students but also instructors and other faculty members were present.
This meant that many people were curious about the lecture and who Dr. Brown was.
The moment she couldn’t muster the courage to enter the lecture hall through the crowd and stopped at the entrance, she happened to notice a familiar cloak.
A black cloak caught her eye among various colored cloaks such as white, red, and blue.
Marian recognized her classmates and shouted loudly.
The two people who recognized Marian approached her.
Schultz, seemingly surprised to see Marian here, said with an astonished expression.
“I didn’t expect to meet you here. Are you here to listen to Dr. Brown’s lecture too?”
“I was curious because he’s the person who made the airship. Everyone is talking about this lecture, so I came to check it out.”
“We’re here for the same reason. Especially Gwyn, she really wanted to come.”
Gwyn grinned and said.
“Yeah… Hehe. The tram and radio were amazing, and it’s incredible that he made a ship that flies in the sky. I was curious about how great his inventions are.”
Seeing that, Marian recalled how surprised Gwyn was when she first heard the news about the airship. She nodded in agreement.
“It’s nice to meet you here, but as you can see, I’m not sure if there will be any seats available.”
“Don’t worry about that. I’ve already secured three seats for us.”
Already secured? And exactly three seats?
As Marian looked at Schultz with a puzzled expression, he shrugged and said.
“The administration office is the one that provides funding for the doctor, and I’m the son of the head of the administration office. I asked them to make just three seats for us. Originally, I was planning to take Batar and Saladin with me to get closer to them on this occasion, but neither of them was interested.”
Although Saladin seemed to have softened up lately, his hostility towards the empire hadn’t completely disappeared, so he probably wouldn’t have wanted to listen to a lecture by an imperial engineer.
On the other hand, Batar had an independent personality for different reasons than Saladin, so he simply had no interest in attending.
“It’s nice to have a friend who’s the son of the administration office. I’ll take advantage of your kindness without shame.”
At Marian’s words, Schultz’s expression became slightly dumbfounded.
“Why? Aren’t we friends?”
Scratching his chin, Schultz awkwardly replied.
“No. I just never thought I’d hear such a thing from the flower of the noble social circle… I thought there were all sorts of surprises in life.”
Marian crossed her arms and let out a hollow laugh.
“It’s a bit late for that. We attend classes in the same class, eat and sleep in the same dormitory; it would be stranger not to call us friends, right?”
“Uh, well, that’s true.”
While listening to the conversation, Gwyn tilted her head curiously.
“The flower of the social circle?”
“It’s just a nickname. Anyway, with so many people here, there’s no way we can get into the lecture hall…”
“Oh, leave that to me!”
With a reliable smile, Gwyn grabbed Marian and Schultz’s wrists and stepped confidently towards the crowd.
At her powerful strides, the people in the lecture hall parted to both sides, opening a path in front of Gwyn.
“Hey, don’t push!”
“Sorry! We’re just passing through!”
There were shouts from all around, but Gwyn pretended not to hear them and moved her steps carefully.
People were helplessly pushed aside by Gwyn’s rock-solid strides, but amazingly, no one fell or lost their balance.
Marian asked, puzzled.
“How did you do that?”
“Huh? Oh, it’s all about balance! I learned not only to maintain my balance but also to sense the balance of others while sparring with Instructor Eon!”
How did she do that?
And how did Instructor Eon teach her that?
Marian realized that the pretty tomboy in front of her was a true genius. No wonder she was called the descendant of Sword Saint and received guidance from the Malevolent Star every day.
“Gwyn! Not that way!”
“Oh? I got confused.”
The problem was that Gwyn had a serious sense of direction and kept trying to veer off to the side, so they had to correct her several times.
Anyway, thanks to Gwyn, the two easily made their way through the crowd and arrived at the front seats.
There, including Dean Heinkel and several other high-ranking academy faculty members, were gathered, and as Schultz had said, exactly three seats were vacant.
Marian politely greeted familiar faculty members, including Dean Heinkel. Schultz and Gwyn did the same.
“Hello, Dean Heinkel.”
Receiving the students’ greetings, Dean Heinkel stroked his beard and smiled.
“Uh-huh? You’re students from the Opal Black class. Nice to see you.”
“Dean, were you also interested in the lecture?”
“Yes, indeed. Such opportunities are rare, and today’s lecture seems particularly interesting.”
Marian could see the faint expectation and delight hidden between Dean Heinkel’s twinkling eyes.
She greeted many acquaintances from the social circle and exchanged pleasantries. After some light conversations with a few people, they finally took their seats.
Marian felt a sudden wave of fatigue.
“Ugh, I’m already exhausted…”
“You did well.”
Schultz, who had dealt with the greetings and well-wishes of as many people as Marian, spoke with a smile.
As Gwyn was a disciple of the Sword Saint, not many people knew her, so she didn’t suffer much and was already seated a while ago.
She looked at the two people, who casually exchanged greetings with countless people, with an expression of slight wonder.
“It’s amazing. Both of you are celebrities.”
Since there were many people around, Marian lowered her voice slightly.
“Well, rather than being amazing… being famous isn’t as good as you might think. It’s quite tiring when there are many people who recognize you wherever you go.”
Thinking about it, even being somewhat known in the social circle like Marian was hard enough, and she couldn’t imagine how tremendous the popularity of the Seven Heroes of the Continent must be.
So, was that why Instructor Eon wore armor to cover his face?
Considering his personality, he wouldn’t enjoy fame or reputation, so she somewhat understood that appearance.
Suddenly, Schultz spoke up.
“Speaking of celebrities, have you heard that the Hero Party is coming to the academy?”
“The Hero Party?”
As Gwyn asked with a curious voice, Schultz, who was interested in such topics, adjusted his glasses and replied.
“Yeah, the Hero Party. To commemorate the 5th anniversary of the ceasefire, they’re planning to have a parade together. The Saintess, who hasn’t returned since she’s been purifying the continent, is coming back this time, so rumors are already abuzz among the church and believers.”
“Hmm, I know about the Hero and the Saintess. Is the Hero Party different from the Seven Heroes of the Continent?”
“…You don’t know about the Hero Party? Do I have to start explaining from there? Well, the thing is-“
While listening to their conversation, Marian suddenly thought.
The Hero Party.
A group of five, centered around the ‘Hero of Light’ Wilhelm von Galatea, formed to defeat the Demon King.
‘Battlefield’s Saintess’ Charlotte Orsia.
‘Iron-blooded Knight’ Frida von Sternlicht.
‘Ashen Witch’ Greta von Runhardt.
‘Shadow Blade’ Sylvia Rosenfeld.
Among them, the ‘Iron-blooded Knight’ and ‘Ashen Witch’ belonged to the Royal Guard and the Court Mage Division, respectively. Excluding the ‘Shadow Blade,’ who had been declared dead due to a mysterious disappearance during the war, the only one to reveal herself in the academy after a long time was the Saintess, who had been on the continent all along.
There were many doubts about their strength and actual achievements, and Marian, as the granddaughter of the Imperial Army Commander-in-chief, knew some of these rumors were true.
However, such stories were not suitable to discuss in such a public place.
So, while Schultz enthusiastically explained the Hero Party to Gwyn, Marian passed the time quietly, letting the conversation flow.
Finally, the center of the topic, Dr. Brown, appeared on the stage.
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