༺ The World Outside the Academy is Dangerous! (2) ༻
Who was the biggest victim of this field trip? Was it me, who shot at the Gold Duke’s family earlier this year and was about to go to his territory? Or the members of the Student Council who originally intended to choose a decent territory and go leisurely? Regrettably, it was neither of us. The real victim was elsewhere.
“I’ve heard that the destination was the Boyar Duchy.”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
It was the forces of the three countries that prayed daily so that nothing happened to their escort target. But regrettably, the God of this world wasn’t someone who listened to the people’s prayers. If you went for the Pray-meta, you’d fail unless you were at the level of Tannian.
“I’ve heard of the Boyar Duchy. It’s a place with a beautiful sea, right? I think it will be a special experience for the students who spend their days in the Academy.”
Although Villar had said that calmly, in reality, he was screaming, ‘Why are we going from an inland Academy to the coastal city of Boyar?’ I understand. If the decision was made within the Academy, I would’ve suggested another place. However, this was something that the Gold Duke wanted. No one could stop this.
“This is the first field trip, so many people are watching with great interest. It will probably become a major event for the Academy in the future, and that’s why everyone’s excited.”
= This is beyond what I can handle. If I do something reckless, I’ll get destroyed.
“Escaping the routine by going on a trip is always a fun experience, but since it’s the first field trip, I worry about potential mishaps.”
= I understand going on a field trip, but was Boyar really the best option? Isn’t there another place?
“Haha, I was also worried, but the Academy has put in a surprising effort. I think it will be a fun trip.”
= It’s Boyar, no matter what.
Although we were talking with bright smiles on our faces, we weren’t in good spirits. This wasn’t a conversation leading in the direction I wanted; it was a situation where I had to inform Villar of something unpleasant. I’m sorry, Villar. All of the Academy has been notified of this by the Gold Duke.
“The Boyar Sea is said to be charming. There are places where it shines like an emerald and others like a sapphire. I hope Sir Villar can also take this opportunity to enjoy it.”
“Just hearing about it makes me excited. Thank you.”
Villar’s face brightened a bit. Through my words, he’d confirmed that in the worst-case scenario, he at least would be able to enter the Boyar Duchy.
They wouldn’t have such concerns if things had gone as originally planned. The forces of the three countries could’ve stayed at the Academy while being ready to rush out if an emergency happened, or they could have used the absurd excuse of passing by the area due to a request from the staff.
But Boyar? Waiting at the Academy made no sense. It was a place that was too far, not to mention that excuses wouldn’t work at all. Even if it were a nearby territory, it would be a bit of a stretch, but there’s no question for Boyar. In such a situation, they’re probably relieved that I’m helping out.
‘If you guys aren’t there, I’m doomed as well.’
During the club fair, I pulled the forces of the three countries to prevent anything from happening. However, it was a resort area outside the Academy this time, and there would be a multitude of people. I wasn’t confident enough to supervise the club alone.
The problem was that I still hadn’t received permission from the Gold Duke to let the forces of the three countries enter. Still, the Gold Duke wasn’t someone who ignored what other people said. If it were for the sake of escorting and protecting important foreign figures, he would surely understand.
The tricky part was that I needed to contact him directly to get that permission. I still felt awkward talking to the Gold Duke. After all, it hadn’t been long since the Yorun Earl incident.
“I hope the Prosecutor also can relieve his fatigue through this trip.”
“Thank you for your kind words.”
As I closed my mouth for a moment, Villar began talking again. He meant that he would do his best to ensure I didn’t have to get involved as much as possible. I did my best to help them every time something happened, so he probably wanted to do something about it.
But unfortunately, the only thing Villar could do with his limited authority was to reduce my concerns. At least he was trying to do something. He wasn’t someone who just liked to receive and not give anything in exchange.
‘Just return to your country.’
In reality, I didn’t need much. I just wanted him to take his Prince and go back.
After returning to my room, I kept touching the communication crystal for a while. In my head, I knew the best thing would be to contact him quickly and state my business promptly. It’s just that my heart hadn’t caught up with my head.
‘I feel like he’s going to ask for something again.’
I could feel it. I felt that after reaching out to ask him a favor, I would end up with something to do. Although the last mishap was resolved through the tearful apologies of the 3rd Manager, the fact that we’d nearly bankrupted an Earl related to the Duke didn’t change. He’ll probably bring up that incident and subtly throw a quest my way.
Of course, the Gold Duke was a strict man of give and take. Even if they throw a forced quest while mentioning the past, the rewards for success will be substantial. But wasn’t it better to not get paid and avoid doing a troublesome thing?
‘Refusing isn’t an option.’
After hesitating briefly, I sighed and contacted the Gold Duke. Regardless of what I thought, I was born with a lower social standing than the Duke, so there was not much I could do.
— Prosecutor’s Executive Manager? I’ve been waiting for your call.
Soon, the face of the Gold Duke appeared. He was a middle-aged man with neatly groomed gray hair and a cigar in his mouth. I could see that he had documents nearby, indicating that he’d been working.
I bowed and was about to greet, but the Gold Duke spoke first.
— Let’s get straight to the point. I’ve heard that you have escort troops from the three countries.
“Yes, that’s correct.”
— You can bring them in. All of them if it’s necessary. Just let me know the number.
“Understood. Thank you, Your Grace.”
— It’s for someone loyal to the Empire, so this much is nothing.
He casually laughed. This was typical of the Gold Duke, who was known to deal with things straightforwardly. He’d given me what I wanted before I even asked.
— Ah, this is a personal favor.
And expected, the Gold Duke’s forced quest arrived. A favor from a Duke? Although it was phrased as a favor, no one could decline.
“Yes, tell me.”
The Gold Duke hesitated a bit while stroking his chin. Although he might twist his words depending on the situation, I haven’t seen him hesitate like this before. This wasn’t a good sign.
— Have you heard about the Kraken?
“Yes, I’ve h—”
Wait, could it be…
— I see. Well, now you’ll have the opportunity to see it firsthand.
How’s that supposed to be an opportunity?
The Kraken. It was a giant squid that roamed around the seas, crushing ships as if they were toys. It wasn’t a commonly seen creature, but it also wasn’t a creature I’d like to encounter. But now he’s saying that there was a chance to see it directly? What a load of crap.
Had someone else said this, I would have cursed him right away. I was at a loss for words. The Duke, sensing this, gave a sheepish smile. Ah, so you still have a bit of conscience.
— A Kraken habitat was recently found around the recently completed resort.
— But don’t get me wrong. We started building it after deeming the area safe. The Kraken lived in such a deep part that we didn’t notice until we finished the construction.
“I’m concerned about the safety of the resort.”
— We’ve cleared the habitat. All the adult Krakens have been subjugated as well.
After adding that the problem was that a baby had escaped, he stroked his chin.
Based on what the Gold Duke said, it seemed that only one offspring barely managed to escape. Anyway, it seemed like there wasn’t much to worry about regarding the resort’s safety.
— But that baby is very clever. Maybe it is because it saw its kind being hunted down, so it’s very cautious. Even if you find out where it’s hiding, it won’t come to the surface. To do that, you have to send a lightning spell into the sea.
Usually, a Kraken confidently appears when it senses a ship floating, knowing that it is overwhelmingly massive and powerful compared to humans.
Of course, they had no way of knowing that the elite magicians of the Duchy boarded the ship. They would evolve into grilled squid as soon as they came to the surface. Wait, was it evolution or devolution? If we talk about taste, it’s an evolution.
In any case, the offspring that witnessed its parents being treated as such must still be hiding underwater, enduring. How deep must it have hidden to avoid even surfacing when hit with a bolt of lightning?
— We need someone capable of hunting down the Kraken the moment it surfaces.
I understood why the Gold Duke had paused for a moment.
‘We don’t know when the baby’s location will be found.’
I was going there for a school trip, so if he was asking me, the probable area where it was hiding had been pinpointed. The problem was that it was impossible to tell how long I would have to wait before they finished checking all the possible areas and it appeared.
There was a chance I might be on the sea for the entire school trip, and we’d catch it on the last day. Of course, that wouldn’t be ideal.
— I’m asking this from the busy Prosecutor’s Executive Manager, so I can do at least this much.
After saying that, the Gold Duke raised three fingers. He said he would give me 30% more money than the usual funds provided to the Prosecutor’s Office.
“For the safety of the young talents and students, it’s only right to subdue that being.”
After a short consideration, I firmly nodded.
Of course, the one who destroyed the habitats of the Krakens that were quietly living was the Gold Duke, who’d destroyed their habitat and killed all of its family members out of the blue. If it feels unfair, then it should reincarnate as a human.
The only good monsters were the dead ones.
— Your patriotism is unparalleled, Executive Manager. I won’t forget your hard work for the people.
“It’s an honor, Your Grace.”
And with that, the conversation ended to everyone’s satisfaction.
To think that a Kraken would be lurking in the seas where the students needed to play in. I couldn’t resist it. You evil Kraken, I will send you to your parents’ side.
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