༺ Bat Effect (1) ༻
“Hua~! We are so wet now!”
The Academy wasn’t that close from the tornado so it was possible for us to make a detour somehow but we had to go through a bunch of rain in the process.
“Welcome. It must have been rough because of the tornado.”
“Huh? Mr. Chairman? What about Professor Josephine?”
“She spent the holiday with Hua Ran at Chapel Zeon and is coming back at the moment.”
Waiting at the entrance of the special dormitory was Chairman Eriu. She… my Master Erin handed over a large towel, which I placed on top of Marie’s head.
“You should wipe yourself first.”
Seeing me hand over the towel to Marie, Master went somewhere with her dimensional spell before returning with another towel in hand.
“You should stay here tonight.”
“Am I allowed to?”
“You are not an outsider anymore. Starting from the 2nd semester, we will have you stay at this dormitory.”
That was probably in order to observe me. Since they couldn’t fully believe me as of yet, Lady Josephine and my Master Erin would have decided to do that to monitor my actions.
“So what exactly is that tornado?”
“Right! It was huge! I’m worried it might cause more problems for the city. Is that going to be alright?”
Master heaved a sigh while looking outside at the source of the sharp noise of the swirling tornado and replied.
“First off, the city itself hasn’t suffered from that much damage. The tornado is not touching the center of the city so it’s probably only a small outskirt of the city that received some level of harm.”
“Huh? But won’t it be problematic if it moves towards the center?”
“No. The tornado will not move.”
The tornado won’t be moving? What did that mean? From what I knew, there was no such thing as a spell that could stop tornadoes from moving.
…Wait a minute. ‘A small outskirt of the city’? An ominous sensation filled my body after ruminating on those words but Master continued with her explanation regardless.
“That tornado is not a natural phenomenon; it’s the work of a demonic beast.”
Umm… Master? Where exactly is this ‘small outskirt of the city’? There’s no way right? It’s not where I think it is, right?
One of the important seaways of the southern archipelago was the Egernia Strait which was often used by several nations including the El Rath Kingdom. Recently, people in this place were having a headache because of the Sea Serpent.
The enormous sea snake reaching 60 meters in length was a Grade 1 demonic beast and was the lofty king of the ocean. One day, it just suddenly arrived and decided to stay at the Egernia Strait.
As if the financial circumstances of humans were none of its business, this lofty king began to sink all the trade ships that infiltrated its territory. The ones that had to suffer the most from the sudden appearance of this long snake were the trade merchants including Count Casseus.
“My son… do you really have to do this yourself?”
Count Casseus said while worriedly gazing at his son who pompously volunteered to defeat the Sea Serpent.
“Yes, father. It’s a Grade 1 demonic beast. As long as I succeed at defeating this monster, that will make it easier for me to be promoted to Grade 1.”
“I understand your point but…”
Ever since he met the lady from the Dunareff family which reigned over the south like an overlord, his son had become very hasty. Him falling in love at first sight wasn’t a problem, but the problem was that he was feeling overly competitive to another person.
This knight, who was so talented to be able to become a semi-Grade 1 Knight at the young age of 23 with a bright future ahead of him, was feeling competitive for someone younger than him.
It was the young gold-digger who had a bunch of rumors about having a secret love affair with the oldest daughter of the Dunareff family – the spear-wielding boy who became a Grade 1 Knight at an age younger than himself.
‘Marie…! You’re being deceived!’
Levent could still remember him – that disrespectful man who touched an unmarried lady from a dukedom with bare hands without regard and hugged her as if she was his!
He didn’t know what kind of underhanded trickery the man used but Marie was definitely being deceived by him!
In order to save her from the hands of the gold-digger, Levent first needed to build his fame. By using some tricks, that man had become a Grade 1 Knight, meaning that he too had to become a Grade 1 Knight to get to his level.
“Don’t worry father. I will defeat this Sea Serpent and bring peace to the ocean.”
I shall become the hero of the Egernia Strait and stand before her once again!
Along with the battleships and crews provided by his father and guardians of the Alliance, Levent Vlandria headed off to defeat the Sea Serpent.
Result-wise, the subjugation was a success.
This huge campaign that mobilized five battleships with 16 knights, 5 mages and over 500 crew members was a success. But it was only a ‘half-success’.
“The Sea Serpent is running away!”
“Wahh…! It’s our victory!”
“Congratulations on the successful campaign, young master!”
“Lady Marie… This victory was made only thanks to you…!”
It was a shame that they couldn’t kill the Sea Serpent but they succeeded in driving the Sea Serpent away from the Egernia Strait, which would bring a peace of mind to the trade ships going past the seaway.
But where did this Sea Serpent head off to in its escape?
Now, there was a bat demonic beast called Alvan.
These large bats that had a wingspan of up to 30 meters had two other well-known names. First of them was the ‘Tornado Bat’.
Some time around June, they would visit the archipelago for a breeding season – in order to avoid their predators, they would create a nest on a small island of the archipelago.
This was where the reason they were called Tornado Bats came to play.
During their mating season, the male Tornado Bats would use up all the lifetime energy they built up inside their body and sacrifice themselves to become the epicenter of a tornado. Using that tornado, they would block the approach of predators and have their final moment of reproduction.
These tornadoes lasted forever until the death of the Alvan that created it, and was usually kept until September where the female would give birth to a baby.
An uninvited guest appeared while two bats were sharing an affectionate time like protagonists of a youth drama – it was the Sea Serpent that escaped from the campaign. What was terribly unfortunate for the bats, was that the large Grade 1 demonic beast, Sea Serpent, was one of the few demonic beasts of the ocean that could break through an Alvan’s tornado, and as a result…
Right when the female bat was getting ready to have another intimate relationship on top of a rocky island, the Sea Serpent suddenly showed up and carried the male bat away.
The female Alvan screamed while watching the male bat be taken away by the Sea Serpent. After losing its spouse, the female Alvan had no choice but to leave the mating island with a wail.
There were already babies growing in its womb, and the Alvan had to give birth to them.
Flying further north, the female Alvan started a perilous flight.
It had to alter its path after coming into contact with a wyvern squad that was looking for a boy, and even had to suffer from retaliation when it was trying to pick up a cow that was harvesting corn only to realize that it was an Audhumbla that weighed more than 70 tonnes…
In tatters, the Alvan landed somewhere near Merkarva City. Rather than ‘land’, it was more correct to say that it no longer had the power to go any further.
And lastly… this was where the second well-known name of the semi-Grade 1 demonic beast, Alvans, came to play.
They were called Tornado Bats because of the tornado they created at the cost of their vitality and body, while the other name they had was… a Gold Bat.
Blood, bone and flesh – every part of their body was as potent as an elixir. They were a fabulous demonic beast that also ended up luring nearby demonic beasts with their mellow scent.
All sorts of monsters came to eat the Alvan after it landed on the ground and because of the maternal instinct of the female Alvan that wanted to safely give birth to its babies, it voluntarily became the epicenter of a tornado, so that it could give birth to its babies even at the cost of its own life.
As a result, it created an enormous tornado that also impacted the eastern side of Merkarva City.
The spear-wielding boy who had to receive some unfair retributions for his actions was befuddled at the sight of the tornado in front of his eyes.
I was fucked.
Right now, I could say with a very rational and objective perspective of the situation.
Rationally speaking, I was fucked.
A Tornado Bat… A Tornado Bat…!
Who could have expected such a thing to happen?!! A Tornado Bat!!??
Weren’t they rare beasts that stayed on small rocky islands of the archipelago to mate like crazy? Why were they here on the continent?
Yes. I know… I know! It’s probably because of the butterfly effect of something random that I did. It must be like how a butterfly flutters its wings and creates a tornado on the other side of the planet. But this time, it was an actual tornado!
I couldn’t even imagine how all this happened but the problem at hand right now was that stupid bat creating a fierce tornado. And the biggest problem of all was that my inns that were still in the middle of construction were at the ‘outskirt of the city’ that was within the boundary of the tornado, and that the tornado could reach it anytime!
“W, we have to leave now. We just cannot continue working here!”
“W, wait. The deadline is just around the corner. If you go now…!”
“The tornado is getting bigger every day! We will all die in the middle of construction at this rate!”
“Boss! Hey boss. One second!”
“You should give up on this place as well! Sometimes shit happens in your life and you can’t do anything about it!”
Unable to hold back the leaving builders, I remained glued to the ground.
Not only did the Tornado Bat’s tornado completely devour a portion of Merkarva City, but it was also getting bigger over time. It was probably because of the mother working even harder to protect its babies now that it was close to giving birth to them.
The problem was that my accommodation buildings that were being built to suck out money from the festival tourists were sitting right in front of the edge of that tornado.
And if the tornado were to continue like this… there was the possibility of the festival being suspended or being reduced in size. It was already questionable whether they could rebuild all the roads that were crushed in time before the date of the festival which would be some time in October.
In other words, if this tornado persisted longer, the number of tourists visiting Merkarva City would have an exponential decrease in numbers, and in the worst case scenario, the festival itself might even be canceled.
Most important of all was that the tornado would definitely blow up my inns in around a week’s time!
280 gold coins for buying land, and 330 gold coins for materials, hiring manpower and construction… And 220 more gold coins were supposed to be paid until the end of construction.
And by the way, only 110 gold coins from these were mine. The rest? I borrowed them all!!
I had to pay 720 gold coins if I failed with this business!
“I’m fucked. I am actually fucked…”
It felt like I was discarded on Mars with nothing on me.
An emergency conference was held at Merkarva Academy.
Chairman Eriu Casarr gathered several professors that were staying at the Academy along with a few students.
“I believe that is everyone.”
The old veteran of the Knight Department, Professor Haman Welsch;
Professor Deina Arianne, who recently received a salary cut due to the horribly failed experiment;
New professor of the 2nd year students of the Knight Department, Orgen Rentree;
Professor Edgar Linton, the career advisor of 4th year Magic Department students;
And Professor Lulara Mars who teaches Alchemy to both 1st year and 2nd year students.
What these people had in common was that they had all been well-known for being strong in their prime back when they were working as active guardians.
Professors weren’t the only ones that were gathered – there were also a few students who had either returned early like Marie, or stayed behind at the Academy over the holiday.
And among them was also the freshman student who was quite a hot topic in the Academy, Korin Lork.
Both professors and students inside the Academy were summoned as long as they were higher-ranked guardians.
“I am sure you all know what this conference is for. It is because of the Tornado Bat, Alvan.”
“Umm… Are we going to be killing it?”
Professor Deina asked the chairman after carefully raising her hand. Before she could even finish off her sentence, Professor Haman yelled out.
“Of course we are!”
“I am against it,” said Professor Edgar.
Professor Haman gave a sharp glare at Professor Edgar. Edgar, who used to work as a Justice of the Peace before becoming a professor, was an active and belligerent man who used to personally chase after criminals. It was therefore quite unexpected for him to raise an objection.
“The tornado will be stopping in a month. There is no reason for us to bother shouldering the risk.”
“Professor Edgar. On what grounds are you saying that~~?”
Professor Lulara asked with a sluggish voice.
“Alvans start breeding in early June. If they succeed at finding a partner, they will give birth sometime around early to mid September.”
“They are famous for their quick fertility and delivery among mammals. But that also correlates to just how difficult it is for their babies to survive.”
“In other words~, you mean this tornado will end in less than a month for sure, right?”
“That is correct.”
“Hmm~. I guess there is no reason to bear the risk then. 1 vote for status quo from me~”
“But I believe we should try to kill it at the very least.”
Professor Orgen, who had been quietly listening to their conversation, shared his opinion.
“It will take more time for students to come back and it might cause problems for our festival. Most importantly, people from outside might consider our Academy as weaklings who are too afraid to make a move.”
“That doesn’t sound right, Professor Orgen. Our Academy is, all in all, an education facility. Killing demonic beasts is the job of the Alliance. It seems that you are still in the mindset of an active guardian.”
The professors were divided into 2 sides. An old veteran professor and a new professor were under the belief that the bat should be killed, whereas two professors with fairly long careers were against it. It created an exceptional balance so they naturally then turned to Professor Deina.
“Uht… U, umm, shouldn’t we… try to defeat it at the very least? It is a Gold Bat after all so…”
‘Everything about them is expensive, right?’ Professor Deina couldn’t finish her entire sentence and swallowed the last few words.
“Professor Deina. You’re not telling me that you will bear the risk just because of the recent financial budget situation of your faculty, are you? Will you involve all your colleagues and students just for such a greedy reason?”
“O, o, o, of course that’s not what I was thinking!!”
She stuttered her words as if that was right on the mark, and in the end, she reluctantly agreed to keep it at status quo.
‘T, this is not good!’
The one who was getting the most frightened by the conversation between the professors was Korin Lork. He was someone who had to kill the Alvan as soon as possible to bring back peace.
More than 700 gold coins were involved in this matter and naturally, Korin Lork did not have the power to pay back all that money.
In other words, he was close to being bankrupt.
He had a ‘financial reason’ that was incomparably more personal than Professor Deina whose salary got cut off because of the King of Iron Mountain incident.
‘Looking at how Professor Deina immediately got reproached, talking about money won’t be good… I have to shift the atmosphere somehow!’
Korin immediately got to work.
Bashing on the table, Korin immediately stood up. His sudden unpredictable action gathered the eyes of the professors.
“I, Korin Lork…! Would like to share my humble opinion with you, ‘Seniors’!”
Senior… well, it wasn’t a technically wrong expression, because all the professors were from the Merkarva Academy and were guardians like himself.
“We vowed to ourselves! That we will enact justice, and goodness with courage! That we will not yield before death! That we will protect the weak and defeat our foes!”
“Uhh… that’s the short vow we have to do when getting guardian licenses, right…?”
“Senior Deina! I believe you must have made the same vow as myself!!!!”
Korin decided to target Professor Deina first before anyone else, since she was involuntarily made to enter the objectors. He was giving her a valid excuse.
“Who are we? We are guardians! Every one of us here vowed to become protectors of humanity and officially became a guardian from either the Alliance or the Royal Family, did we not!!?”
“Y, yes, but…”
“Student Korin. I understand your passion but this time around, it is better for us to refrain from fighting the…”
“Senior Edgar! How can you possibly say such a thing!?”
“Do you not see the suffering victims lying in the streets after losing their houses to that tornado? Can you not see them losing their jobs and lying down on the barren streets by themselves? Do you not see those starving children that will be forced out of their houses?”
“I know what you’re trying to say, but the damage done to the city is quite small and there aren’t that many casualties either…”
“The children are starvinnggggg…!!! How can you possibly say that!!!!??”
“Like, there are only a couple of people that lost their houses…”
“Lives cannot be calculated with money! Each and every one of them is a precious citizen of our city! How can you possibly discard them!!”
“M, me? I, I am discarding them?”
“Can you tell them that we have discarded them for our benefit…! Could you accept that if you were one of those poor children, Professor?”
Sniff, sniff! Korin was even tearing up now. Even though the prime reason for his tears were his inns that would soon be blown away by the tornado, the professors weren’t aware of that.
“Just by thinking of those poor children crying out for their parents… I can’t even make myself go to sleep!!”
“What a respectable young man!”
“He is the model knight with a chivalrous heart.”
Professor Haman and Professor Orgen said in awe. Unlike mages who were always rational and calculative, knights were actually quite weak to sentimental lines like that.
“I have an uncle called Ben. His last name is Parker and he’s not from my father’s side, but you know – he’s one of those uncles with a big beer belly that gives a hearty laughter that goes like, ‘Huhaha’.”
Korin didn’t have an uncle like that. It was pure fiction.
“When I told him I was entering this Academy to become a knight, this was what he told me.”
After readying himself to copy a famous line from his previous life, Korin opened his mouth with a serene look on his face.
“With great power! Comes great responsibility…!!”
“What a great sentence…”
Carefully glancing across the audience whose eyes were all on him, Korin passionately continued with his sentence.
“I Korin Lork! Will follow my uncle’s advice, and heed to the vow of guardians! And voluntarily enter this fight for the suffering citizens of this city! I trust that you will all be standing with me for this cause…!!”
“That’s right! That’s the spirit, young man!”
“As expected of a knight. Now that’s some courage!”
Professor Haman and Professor Orgen took this opportunity to add weight to Korin’s words. It wasn’t just because he was on their side though, and they were whole-heartedly moved by Korin’s passionate speech.
‘My eyes were correct!’
‘To think we still have such a young yet passionate and respectable knight…!’
A similar opinion was soon carefully raised from the other side.
“S, Student Korin is 100% correct. Each and every life of citizens are equally important. Ahh~ I can also remember the vow I made when I was appointed a guardian…”
Professor Deina, who wanted the byproducts of an Alvan which was also known as a Gold Bat, changed sides after getting a valid excuse.
The one who was at the lead of the objection side, Professor Edgar, repositioned his glasses and tried to come up with a rational and logical rebuttal, but emotion was something that couldn’t be rational in the first place and it was therefore very difficult.
“And even if… we take away chivalry and the vow of guardians… even without all those grand reasons…”
Tears welled up under Korin’s eyes. His acting skills were so remarkable that he might even receive the Academy Award for Best Actor.
“I want to save people – those people that are within our reach. So… let’s save them. Okay? Senior Marie?”
Korin asked for the agreement of Marie, who had the most power and the biggest voice among the students.
“Umm… I, I think it’s okay to just wait though? I can prepare their accommodation and food with my…”
“Senior Marie…! The children are losing their housesssss…!”
“H, huh? R, right. Houses are important…!”
Marie was slightly hesitant but in the end, she was like a sunflower who listened to everything Korin Lork said and thus couldn’t go against him.
“Now that I think about it, I think you are definitely correct Korin!”
Professor Edgar wasn’t expecting the top student of the Magic Department, who should be the personification of rationality and logic, to agree to such a sentimental assertion. He tried to say something in objection but after seeing Professor Lulara, who was sitting next to him, wipe her eyes with a handkerchief, Professor Edgar couldn’t help but swallow his words back in.
If he said anything else here, he would become a horrible person. In truth, Korin had indeed prepared everything and was ready to frame him as a cold-blooded and cruel person if Professor Edgar was to say anything more.
– Just agree. Come on…!
“That’s right! Student Korin! No, I should say Junior Korin! You have truly opened my eyes!”
“Hahaha. There will be a bright future ahead of you! Now this is a knight!”
“I believe we have come to a conclusion then.”
Chairman Eriu, who had been watching that skit from the side, organized the opinions of the professors and students and announced our goal.
‘My inn! I have to save them!’
The boy at the brink of bankruptcy was extremely desperate.
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