༺ Our Fair is open for Business (5) ༻
We were able to conclude the last day of the club fair with a complete sold-out. Considering that it was a club we started this year, it was undeniably a splendid and legendary achievement. Every time my eyes met Louise’s, she seemed happy. If I knew she’d become this happy, I would’ve sent someone to buy it every day.
“Thanks for listening to my request.”
“Considering how much you struggle, that much was nothing.”
“Nevertheless, you should receive the money. It would be troublesome if a Civil Servant doesn’t handle their financial transactions with civilians properly.”
“Haha. Is that so?”
I met with the Vice Principal in front of my quarters to receive the cookies and despite his insistence that he didn’t need the money, I managed to squeeze it into his hands. Anyway, it’s true that I bothered the Vice Principal with a personal request and forced him to spend money.
And although it sounded like a joke, if the Prosecutor, as a Civil Servant, handles money affairs oddly with civilians, I would be in trouble. Being detained by those law enforcement bastards is not a good thing at all. I don’t even want to meet those guys.
“It seems like you like the club members quite a lot.”
“I’m glad you see it that way.”
I also smiled in response to the Vice Principal, who spoke with a smile. At least from his point of view, it meant that I look like an acceptable Advisor. I’m satisfied that my image has been properly established after all the hard work.
I looked at the Vice Principal walk away, then took a glimpse at the cookies.
‘There isn’t that much.’
Thankfully, there weren’t that many cookies, like the level of mass production that I experienced in the club room. It seemed like Louise thought they would end up throwing most of the cookies if she made too many. It was a good enough amount to eat it by myself.
Moreover, apart from the ranking announcement in the auditorium and the evening banquet tomorrow, there were no other schedules.
The announcement was scheduled for noon, so I can leisurely enjoy my meal. There’s no need to go out in the morning.
Anyway, it’s obvious that the first place would go to the pastry club, so there’s no need to go there personally. However, as the Advisor, I had to show my face at least. It was a bit bothersome, but there was nothing I could do about it. I had to fulfill my role.
* * * *
Until now, I had never been to the Academy’s auditorium. At most, I had seen only the exterior while wandering around the Academy. I haven’t seen the inside because there was no reason to go in, but from the outside, it was quite a massive building.
The interior was quite luxurious. A vast first floor and a structure with a second floor overlooking that first floor. If the seats were packed tightly, it could easily be mistaken for a concert hall.
“The first floor will be crowded, so how about staying on the second floor?”
“Thank you for your consideration.”
I was looking at the auditorium’s interior when the Vice Principal proposed that I stay on the 2nd floor. I agreed because it seemed like a good idea. Being sandwiched between all the students and staff on the first floor would be uncomfortable. It’s more convenient to watch from the second floor.
Once I went up, the stage didn’t seem too far away either. I should be able to see Louise receiving the award properly.
‘If I clap from here, I feel like she should be able to hear it.’
Satisfied, I nodded involuntarily. I made a good choice in selecting the location and now I’m waiting quietly. Students started gathering one by one on the first floor. There was still some time left until noon, but I wasn’t in a position to say anything. After all, I had gotten here before them.
The first floor quickly filled up with people, while only a few teachers and the student council came up to the second floor. Even though there were few people, it still felt awkward, so I can’t even imagine how much worse it would’ve been on the 1st floor.
‘She isn’t here.’
I spotted the student council members here and there on the second floor, so naturally, I looked for Marghetta, but unfortunately, she wasn’t there. Since I don’t see the President either, it seemed like the two of them were doing the awards ceremony.
To think the President would have to give an award besides the Duke’s daughter. I couldn’t help but worry about the President’s mental health. Still, he must have developed some resilience from their student council activities. As a future Civil Servant, I believe he can endure that much.
Soon, it became noon, and the announcement of the rankings began. Unlike my expectations, it wasn’t the President and Marghetta who were in charge of the awards, but the President and the Principal. They were in charge of presenting and giving the awards. Where’s Marghetta? Did something urgent happen?
‘If that were the case, there would be no need for them to be here.’
Except for the President on stage and the unseen Marghetta, all the student council members were on the second floor. If Marghetta had something to do on her own, someone among them would have volunteered.
Of course, it was not my concern as an outsider. I had other things to worry about.
As I turned my gaze towards the approaching footsteps, a brown-haired female student was walking towards me. She wasn’t part of the student council, nor was she one of Louis’s friends that I saw by chance on my first day. She was a student I’d never seen before.
When she noticed me looking in her direction, she smiled but didn’t stop walking.
“Hi, how have you been?”
As she arrived in front of me, she gently bowed her head and greeted me, but I didn’t know who she was. It would be awkward to pretend that I know her unilaterally.
“I wanted to see you in the cafe, but ended up meeting you here.”
I let out a small sigh at her words and extended my hand. In response, she shook my hand. I could feel the texture of the crumpled paper in her hand.
It was the Ministry of Intelligence’s Senior Manager.
“You’re still here?”
“I came back. Something happened, so there’s nothing I can do about it.”
As I asked while swallowing the piece of paper with nothing written on it, the Senior Manager shrugged lightly. However, there was a deep sense of exhaustion in every action. Interpreted, it meant, ‘I came back here again for important information that couldn’t be transmitted through a communication crystal.’
“We’ve finished burying the corpses. We thought it was an unidentified body, but fortunately, we found their relatives.”
“That’s good news. How many were there?”
“About three? It was fewer than expected.”
I nodded at her words.
‘Three traitorous families.’
‘Bereaved.’ It was a term used to metaphorically refer to the three noble families who collaborated with the Third Honor members, who have become corpses. To think that there were as many as three rebel families who had made contact with the rebels.
Of course, it was fewer than expected, considering how grandiose their Apels Revival chant was, but in the first place, the Third Honor was nothing more than a shoddy organization that could be likened to a tutorial. It could even be said that three was a considerable number.
“Did I say something too boring? Let’s just watch the rest of the ceremony.”
As we faced each other, the Information Department’s Senior Manager and I turned our gaze to the first floor at the same time. When the Senior Manager quickly took out a small scroll from her bosom and tore it up, a faint curtain surrounded us and disappeared.
“For 5 minutes, no one will be able to hear our voices.”
“What about our appearances?”
“Our appearances remain the same, so we’ll do it informally.”
The Senior Manager coughed and then said in a serious voice.
“Prosecutor’s Executive Manager Carl Krasius, heed the imperial edict from the Emperor.”
I slightly bowed my head in front of the Emperor’s decree. Usually, I would have needed to kneel, but it wasn’t possible due to the informal setting.
As I lowered my head, she kept talking.
“When Emperor Amanca received the call from the heavens and established a new mandate, the entire continent praised the Great Emperor who reestablished the Mandate of Heaven that had been tainted by hypocrisy and greed. To this honor, Livnoman, the descendant of the Great Emperor, defended the mandate of Heaven and maintained order. How can anyone not be in awe of his dignity?”
The proclamation was quite lengthy. Seeing that it mentioned the Emperor and the mandate, it seemed that the Emperor was quite furious.
“However, there are those who dare to belittle the lawful guardians of the mandate hidden in the darkness. It is truly lamentable that there still exist those who do not worship Livnoman in the shadows, despite the efforts of His Majesty to punish all the loyal subjects and eradicate the disobedient ones.”
The proclamation reached its end. In this situation, it was obvious what kind of instructions would follow. The Emperor’s displeasure was evident from the very first sentence.
“That’s why I, Corvus Amanca Livnoman of Kefellofen, ruler of Kefellofen, order. The Prosecutor’s Executive Manager, Carl Krasius, should accept the order of the Emperor and punish those trying to shake up the peace of the Empire.”
“I shall heed the imperial edict.”
That was it. With just a few words, the fate of the three noble families was decided.
Finally, the Information Department’s Senior Manager wiped off her sweat and sighed.
“Isn’t it too harsh for a Senior Manager to be the envoy of the imperial edict?”
“There was nothing I could do. After all, the Emperor was that persistent.”
Giving an imperial edict wasn’t something anyone could do, even more, if it was doing it informally. It required the rank of at least a Minister for a Civil Servant to perform such an action. However, the Information Department’s Senior Manager, who was not even a Minister, delivered the decree in an informal manner. She must have wanted to cry on the inside.
However, there was nothing they could do about it. It seemed like the Emperor didn’t want to waste time taking time to pick a Minister and send them here to the Academy.
‘He probably became crazy after hearing the word Apels.’
The revival army of a nation that had already perished 300 years ago happened to resurface during his reign. I could understand his wrath. Moreover, there were noble families who had made contact with that revolting revival army. He probably wanted to kill them badly.
“I’ve also sent the information to the Prosecutor’s Senior Manager, but we still don’t know how much those three families are involved with them. There’s a chance they might have contact with them without knowing they were Apel’s revival soldiers, or they could have actively participated in the rebellious acts.”
“Is that important?”
The Information Department’s Senior Manager shrugged her shoulders.
“Not at all.”
Yes, it wasn’t important. Whether it was a mere transaction or active involvement, it couldn’t be denied that they were involved in treasonous activities. The fact that they had made contact with the Third Honor and Apels remained unchanged.
“Someone who achieved success through the blood of his comrades.”
I quietly closed my eyes as the memory resurfaced. That bastard died too easily. However, there were still those who had helped that bastard.
When I opened my eyes, the Information Department’s Senior Manager wasn’t there anymore, and the award ceremony was reaching its end. I saw the Principal giving the award to Louise. She seemed happy.
Louise looked around and then saw that I was on the 2nd floor. When she spotted me, she smiled, and I answered her smile with another smile. Congratulations, Louise.
That Louise made a memory she wouldn’t be able to forget.
‘I’m really glad.’
That there were still people who had to be killed left behind.
I began clapping.
Today, for some reason, the communication crystal in my pocket felt unusually heavy.