༺ Academy Entrance (4) ༻
I waited until after classes started before I walked to the main building in order to avoid the gazes of the students. I could see students attending class through the windows as I walked through the now empty campus.
Although I managed to avoid the students, I wished I had walked the other way. It would’ve taken me by the Principal’s office, and I could’ve gotten some tea.
I thought that perhaps Louise was catnip instead of a capybara. The man I dodged as soon as I saw him, aside from the three that had come from foreign countries, was the only person from the Empire I had to be careful about. The 3rd Imperial Prince, Ainter Livnoman.
Woah, to think that the third prince of the Empire would suddenly appear. Was someone messing with me?
Although the Academy was huge, I’d encountered Ainter at a place that was near Louise. I couldn’t help but feel chills. Ainter himself was already a problem, but if I saw him around Louise, there was a chance that I’d end up encountering the other three as well.
I didn’t want to be here where I could get involved with all the important characters at the same time. If they wanted to force me into such a situation, they should’ve at least given me something that allowed me to calm down.
I suddenly imagined being surrounded by the four most important people at the Academy in the same place.
Something not even the Minister of Foreign Affairs had been able to experience.
Just thinking about it stressed me out. I looked up at the sky in a daze.
Being like this at the Academy made me feel like a university student waiting for the shuttle bus, but at the Academy, there wasn’t anything like a shuttle bus, and I wasn’t a university student.
I grabbed my forehead. My four years of experience as a civil servant were telling me that things were about to get quite troublesome. The problem was that there was no way to heed the warning.
It was as if I could see the punch flying toward me, but I couldn’t do anything to dodge it. My reason and instinct told me that coming here was a bad idea, but I was here anyway because I couldn’t disobey my superiors. The scariest force in the world is authority.
There weren’t any students walking around at this hour, so I stopped figuring out the layout of the Academy. I clicked my tongue, got up from my bench, and headed back in the direction I had come from.
Since it was an educational institution attended by many blue-bloods, there were many big and extravagant buildings. I sometimes changed buildings, and because it was break time, some students were passing by.
At the entrance hour, too many people were looking at me, so I felt like a zoo animal, but that wasn’t the case now. In the first place, I wasn’t planning to spend my time here avoiding students.
‘Until tomorrow, I’ll say I’m the Prosecutor’s office Executive Manager.’
I couldn’t keep walking around and saying to everyone I saw, ‘Hi, nice to meet you. I’m the Prosecutor’s office Executive Manager.’
I kept wandering around the Academy, memorizing its layout. Then I looked around and took out the communication crystal. I finished everything I needed to do, so it was time to deal with something before I forgot about it.
I took out the communication device and called the Senior Manager. Soon his face appeared.
– Long time no see, Executive Manager. Did you arrive well at the Academy?
“Yes. I arrived in the morning, but I couldn’t contact you earlier because I was dealing with some things.”
– I’m glad that everything seems to be okay.
In reality, many problems appeared as soon as I arrived at the Academy. Louise, the protagonist, Erich, who seemed like he was going to get the ending ‘you’re a good friend,’ and Ainter, who approached after getting lured in by the catnip or capybara.
However, there wasn’t any need to mention those issues and make the Senior Manager worry because he couldn’t do anything anyway. I cast aside issue of Louise and the others.
“Well, yes. But I saw something strange while traveling to the Academy.”
– Yes, please tell.
“I’m sure there’s been money spent to fix the roads leading to the Academy, yet they were in a horrible state.”
Follow that trace and mess them up.
The Senior Manager nodded at orders that were said in such a tone that it seemed like he’d been asked to go and buy something at the local market. The fate of that unknown provincial chief was sealed.
It was my last gift to the special carriage with whom I shared a small friendship during the journey to the Academy. I’ve upheld our friendship, special carriage.
– I’ll deal with it and then send you a message. Is there anything else you need?
“No. Is everything okay over there?”
– Yes, everything’s okay.
Thankfully, it seemed like the Managers were behaving. My face relaxed with a sense of relief. Seeing how the Senior Manager hadn’t contacted me, it seemed like everything was okay. But still, I couldn’t help but feel uneasy.
“Yes, good job. And if something happens, contact me.”
Because I had nothing else to say, I cut the call. I felt relaxed after seeing that the Senior Manager was at the office. If he wasn’t there, it was obvious the other managers would cause all sorts of disastrous incidents. The Prosecutor’s Office would’ve been turned upside down.
‘Maybe it’s better that way?’
If the office created too much trouble, the Minister would dissolve it. Then, I would probably be made responsible and forced to resign. Of course, there was a chance the Minister would create a new office that didn’t exist before, put me there, and force me to work.
But thinking about the possibility of retiring made me feel good. I put aside the communication device and began moving again.
* * *
The Senior Manager opened the door after the call was over, and he put aside the communication device. He had walked out of the room because of how noisy it was. The environment wasn’t suitable to talk to the Executive Manager in.
As soon as he opened the door, a party scene unfolded before him.
“The talent show of the 3rd Manager! I’m going to show you something!”
“Hey! The cup of the Executive Manager is empty!”
Among the three sons-of-bitches, the 2nd Manager was the noisiest. Not only that, he was pouring alcohol for the Executive Manager even though he wasn’t there. The Senior Manager turned his head around and saw a human-sized doll. A picture of Carl’s face was stuck over the doll’s face. The 2nd Manager walked toward it and poured alcohol into the cup in front of it, then threw the contents of the cup at the portrait of Carl.
“The Executive Manager is good at drinking!”
The 2nd Manager started to laugh out loud and poured alcohol again. The doll they had set out to improve the atmosphere was turning into the real Executive Manager in the eyes of the 2nd Manager.
The reason behind this party was simple. Because of Carl’s rage after seeing the placard and party, the farewell party had been scrapped.
The Managers of the Prosecutor’s Office didn’t give up, however. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Managers said that if they couldn’t hold a farewell party, they could hold a party to celebrate the Executive Manager’s arrival at the Academy.
Earlier in the day, they had finished what they needed to do and put off what they didn’t for later, emptied their afternoon schedule, and started preparing for the party.
“I guess this is about the size of the Executive Manager?”
“Woah, the portrait was beautified.”
Because Carl wasn’t there, in his place was a doll with a portrait of his face. Then, they put together the placard Carl had destroyed and put it on top of the doll.
[Ah! An Academy life in your youthful twenties!]
They’d thrown away the meaningless letters. A new, completely messed-up placard was born.
While the 3rd Manager was dancing and the 2nd was pouring alcohol into a portrait, the 1st Manager walked toward the Senior Manager and offered him a cup of alcohol.
“Senior Manager, you too. Have a cup!”
The Senior Manager grabbed the cup the 1st Manager had offered him and emptied it. Before Carl called, he had already drunk 6 cups of alcohol.
When Carl had asked with uneasiness and anxiety, the Senior Manager replied that nothing much had happened. You could say that he’d deceived his superior…
‘Them not having caused any incident is making me more uneasy.’
The Senior Manager thought while looking at the Managers that ‘hadn’t caused any incident’ going crazy while partying. What Carl didn’t know was that the Senior Manager’s criteria for when the Managers had messed things up were quite lax. The Senior Manager didn’t care unless it affected people outside their office because he thought that if he got angry because of what happened in their office, people from the outside would discover how messed up things really were.
Up until now, the Managers had controlled themselves because of Carl, so the Senior Manager’s way of thinking wasn’t known. But sadly, Carl wasn’t there right now.
While looking at the 1st Manager pouring alcohol, the Senior Manager looked at the 5th Manager. He nodded. Although they were like this right now, they would become sober once it was afternoon and time to work. So it wasn’t a big deal.
That’s how the party for Carl, where Carl wasn’t present, kept going on.
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