༺ Victory Festival (2) ༻
Monday, the first day of Victory Day.
Shangria was completely soaked in the festive atmosphere.
-Long live the Empire! Long live the Emperor!
-Glory to the Galatea Empire!
The streets were full of the Empire’s flags, and people sprinkled flower petals of vibrant colors on the streets.
Although it was midday, people who were pleasantly drunk were singing and cheering, and the citizens of the island strolled the streets with their families and friends, soaking in the festive atmosphere.
Not only the Empire, but people from all over the continent flocked in to enjoy the festival, and the main street of the island was packed with crowds.
Saladin stuck out his tongue at the overwhelming crowd and said,
“Heh, anyone would think we won a war yesterday. What’s all this fervor about?”
Schultz, brushing off the flower petals on his shoulder, spoke,
“Well, Victory Day has great significance to the people of the Empire. It’s a day to honor the grand war where the Empire led humanity to victory from the brink of extinction. Isn’t it natural for them to feel pride?”
“I wouldn’t know, I’m not from the Empire.”
“Wouldn’t there be a Victory Day in the Al-Kamil Kingdom as well?”
Saladin responded in a grumpy tone,
“Yeah, there is. But the Empire is a month earlier than other kingdoms, right? Do they think their day is special because they celebrate on a different date?”
“That’s because the Empire interprets the date of victory differently. They call it Victory Day, not Armistice Day. The meaning is different from other countries.”
“They probably also intend to draw a lot of tourists by moving the date forward, don’t they?”
“…Don’t you think it’s a flaw of yours to view everything in a negative light?”
“Don’t you think so? I’d rather think like this than blindly advocate like you.”
The other Opal Black students passed by the bickering pair, seemingly accustomed to their squabbles.
Just as Schultz and Saladin were about to flare up and raise their voices,
I placed my hands on their shoulders and spoke softly.
“That’s enough. This isn’t the dormitory.”
“We can have time for discussion later whenever you want. But we’re not here to have fun. Let’s get back in line.”
The two were a bit apart from the other students as they were absorbed in their conversation. I crossed my arms and watched the two, who hurried their steps in surprise.
Then Instructor Lirya approached me.
“You’ve been working hard since early morning, Instructor Graham.”
“Thank you, Instructor Lirya, for accompanying us on the patrol.”
“Ay, we should help each other when it’s hard! By the way, it seems like you’ve gotten used to your instructor job, Instructor Graham. Considering how easily you handled those two students.”
“They’re not that difficult.”
Saladin just went off track a bit at the beginning of the semester, he’s a little tricky but not a problematic personality.
Schultz, though occasionally entangled in Saladin’s provocative tone, is essentially calm and polite.
Instructor Lirya smiled brightly and spoke.
“Seeing you say that, it seems like you’ve understood the students well so far. Hmm, good! Seeing your rapid growth, I feel rewarded for my hard work in teaching.”
I nodded seriously.
“Yes. It’s thanks to Instructor Lirya.”
Instructor Lirya’s innocent face turned a little red.
“Well, it was a light joke, so…you don’t have to take it that seriously.”
“No, it’s true that I received a lot of help from Instructor Lirya.”
Almost a month has passed since the start of the semester.
Without Instructor Lirya’s advice, it wouldn’t have been easy to properly fulfill my role as an instructor among such unique students. Indeed, there were several incidents.
As we walked along the festive street, I spoke in a calm voice.
“You can ask me for help anytime you need, Instructor Lirya. It’s not boasting, but I’m pretty confident in combat.”
Instructor Lirya twisted the end of her brown hair silently for a while, and after a long silence, she spoke in a small voice.
“Well, then… can you… spare me a moment… tomorrow?”
“Y-yes… I don’t need any combat help, just…”
Instructor Lirya, her head bowed, spoke in a crawling voice.
“Simply, would you… like to join me for the festival… something like that…”
Her hair covered her face so I couldn’t see her expression.
But there was no reason to refuse such a simple request from Instructor Lirya, of all people.
I nodded and replied,
“Where should we meet?”
“Really!? Will you accompany me!?”
Instructor Lirya spoke with a thrilled voice, unable to hide her joy.
She raised her head wide, and she was wearing a very bright smile.
I knew it was rude to think this way.
But she looked like a child who had just received the toy they wanted for their birthday.
Did Instructor Lirya also want to enjoy the festival? I had no idea she would be this happy with such a simple request.
I thought there would be many people who would accompany her other than me, which made me feel a bit strange.
“Really. Should I come to Garnet Red Dormitory tomorrow?”
“Ah, that…! The dormitory front is too conspicuous… let’s meet at the front of the tram stop in District 3 at 12 o’clock tomorrow!”
“Tomorrow at 12 o’clock, in front of the tram stop in District 3. Got it.”
Instructor Lirya tightly clenched her tiny fist, and walked as if she was lightly hopping, putting a little strength on her toes.
Despite her cheerful steps, I still had to match her slow pace due to her short stride.
Instructor Lirya and I were leading the students, so there was a slight distance from them.
Moreover, the surrounding area was quite noisy due to the festive atmosphere, making it difficult to hear what each other was saying.
In such a situation, Gwyn suddenly looked back.
Her gaze was fixated on me.
As our eyes met, Gwyn turned her head as if she was surprised, and quickly continued walking with the students as if nothing had happened.
I watched her with a puzzled look.
As Schultz and Saladin had mentioned, the empire’s victory day was a month earlier than other countries.
This was because the empire commemorated Victory Day differently from other countries.
While most kingdoms mark the day when the demon king gave up on conquering humanity and withdrew his army to the demon continent as Victory Day, the empire is different.
The battle of the Ragnarok Plains.
One of the largest battles of the last war, occurred in the latter half. It was a day of great victory when the seven heroes of the continent, centered around the hero’s party, joined forces to defeat two demon army commanders.
The empire celebrated that very day as Victory Day, doing so in such a grand manner.
Military and historical experts of the empire believed that after that battle, the demon king could no longer sustain the depletion of his armies, hence he completely gave up on the invasion war against humanity.
After all, there were only two demon army commanders left after the Battle of the Ragnarok Plains, from an initial seven.
In contrast, the empire, although suffering massive casualties in their armies, had all seven heroes intact. Considering that the number of absolute powerhouses has a substantial influence in a war, it wasn’t strange for the demon king to give up the war around that time.
Therefore, the Empire’s Victory Day was a month earlier than other countries. Not only the empire, but many people flock to this continent to enjoy this festival.
Therefore, the scale of the Victory Festival held in the empire was so large and splendid that it was incomparable to the celebrations in other countries, befitting the status of the empire.
Obviously, maintaining order was difficult with just the existing imperial guard forces, so all gendarmes were mobilized without exception. Even that was insufficient, so military and knight orders from nearby regions were borrowed, and even that wasn’t enough, so the students of the Philion Academy were enlisted to help maintain order.
Today was the first day of the festival.
Despite being the day with the fewest people during the five-day period, the central road was in chaos due to the enormous crowd.
“Excuse me! We’re passing through!”
About twenty students from the Garnet Red and Opal Black classes that Instructor Lirya was in charge of were surrounded to the point where they could not move due to the crowd. There were too many people around.
Even as time passed, more people poured into the central road, and the situation was worsening.
Eventually, I made a decision.
“This won’t do. We’ll split into teams.”
From the start, having twenty students patrolling together was a waste of manpower. It was necessary to divide the students into smaller groups and patrol wider areas.
Only Gwyn, who had mastered the swordsmanship of the Rock Sword, and Batar, who was at least two heads taller than others, could walk through such a crowd.
Gwyn, Marian, Schultz, Saladin.
Batar, Titania, Oznia, Elizabeth.
I instructed them to divide into groups of four for patrols, and I decided to stand by near the busiest gate with Instructor Lirya.
Students from each class were to patrol the surrounding area for about an hour, and meet again at the gate at the agreed time.
While Instructor Lirya and I were guiding people at the gate and cracking down on minor crimes like pickpocketing.
Schultz and Saladin returned from their patrol.
Along with the news that Gwyn and Marian had disappeared.
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