༺ The First Letter (40) ༻
It was unlikely for the center of the academy to be submerged in such silence.
It was a place where thousands of people would roam around. Even now, there were at least hundreds of people who flocked together, and among them, faculty members were included as well.
But none of them seemed willing to intervene in the current situation. Rather, some professors even have their eyes lit up with intrigue. That was the most suited response in accordance with the spirit of the academy.
The Academy is an educational institution, but at the same time, it’s a training institution. As long as the rules were not blatantly violated, the academy didn’t engage in conflicts between students.
Even now, two factions are confronting each other, with each having a 4th year students as their representative.
Elsie Rinella from the Mage Faculty, and Delphine Yurdina from the Knight Faculty.
They were honorable figures who didn’t lack anything, from the beauty that fascinated men, the prestige of their family, and the skills they possessed.
There was a perception that Senior Elsie was slightly inferior to Senior Delphine. However, this was because Senior Delphine was just outstanding. It didn’t necessarily mean that Senior Elsie was lacking.
In some aspects, Senior Elsie was even better. And that was why she had been competing with Senior Delphine so far.
Just like now.
Senior Elsie was glaring daggers at Senior Delphine. Her blue eyes were akin to icy frosts. Her lips were firmly closed, demonstrating a subtle tension.
On the other hand, Senior Delphine was overly relaxed. Even when she met Senior Elsie’s eyes blazing with hostility. Senior Delphine crossed her arms with an arrogant look on her face while a faint smile flickered across her face, as if she was about to yawn.
It was like two whales confronted each other. The onlookers, who didn’t want to become the shrimp who gets caught up in between them, watched the situation while holding on to their breaths.
Normally, I should have been one of those shrimps, but it was a bummer that it wasn’t the case.
Because I was nothing more than a prey that the two whales were fighting over.
I was drenched in cold sweat underneath my shirt. Still, I maintained my composure, but it was burdensome as the situation that would’ve ended after being beaten a few times by Senior Elsie gradually diffused.
However, what if this escalates into a fight for pride between the two major families?
I didn’t want to even imagine. Even less, in this current situation, the two families had enough justification for the power struggle.
The reason the third son of Rinella county was beaten by me in the first place was because he touched a member of the Yurdina family.
The Yurdina family had enough reasons to protect me. Although it wasn’t a fight worthy of the Rinella family backing down, but basically for them, they were getting unilaterally humiliated by the second son of a countryside Viscount.
A high-ranking aristocrat with a strong sense of pride could not just pass it over as nothing.
I assumed that it would only end when the Saintess would arrive and intervene, yet I had never expected this situation to turn out like this.
I quietly massaged my temples. I was flustered, but there was no one who cared about me in this current situation.
It was then that Senior Elsie, who had been glaring at Senior Delphine for a while, opened her mouth. A wintry smile flickered across her face as her lips curled up in mockery.
“It’s been a while, Yurdina… I guess your habit of meddling has gotten worse in the meantime. Sticking your nose into the affairs of our Rinella family.”
At the end of the day, this was the Rinella family’s business. She suggested her to leave and go on her way.
But if she had planned to do that in the first place, Senior Delphine wouldn’t have even thrown her notebook. She hummed, placed her index finger on her lips, tapped it gently, then gazed up at the sky.
With her face soaked in contemplation, she soon smiled. It was a beautiful smile reminiscent of the sun.
“…… I don’t want to?”
Senior Elsie seemed to choke up upon hearing her plain answer. Her glare grew fiercer, as her lips fluttered.
Presumably, what she really wanted to spit out was a swear. But she couldn’t hurl curses at the heir of the Yurdina family, one of the five most prestigious families in the Empire.
Senior Elsie bit her lips and soon uttered a sarcasm in an irritated voice.
“Aha, is that so? Are you secretly in love with this kid? If you like him that much, there’s no way he could just be a fling.”
The onlookers held their breath away upon hearing her slightly over-the-top remark.
Senior Elsie’s remarks were problematic in two ways.
First, it hinted that the Yurdina family’s heir was involved in a love scandal.
As the heir to a prestigious family, Senior Delphine values fidelity. She would never get involved in a love scandal. Senior Elsie, however, was being sarcastic, giving the impression that Senior Delphine was a woman who would lay with any man as long as she liked him. It wasn’t strange for anyone to conclude that she resented the Yudina family.
And secondly, her remark was also an insult directed to the Percus family.
Even if Senior Elsie was a high-ranking aristocrat, I was also a member of the Imperial aristocracy. As subjects serving his Majesty together, it wasn’t the right behavior to make such excessive accusations that were beyond the line.
Anyone who would listen to her words would see me as a male gigolo of an aristocratic woman.
The word spoken by an aristocrat carries as much responsibility as power. It wasn’t the case that Senior Elsie didn’t know this. Nevertheless, the fact that she was slowly crossing the line, it only meant one thing.
She wanted to create an armed conflict. There was no other way to interpret her intentions, regardless of whether she was speaking for Delphine Yurdina or Ian Percus. Try attacking if you were an aristocrat who valued honor.
While it’s ambiguous whether she wants to start a fight or not, her intention to provoke us was clear.
Senior Delphine, despite receiving such insults, didn’t seem like a person to entrust all matters to the family, and since I’m nothing but the second son of a countryside Viscount, she would’ve thought it would be right to ignore her moderately.
As such, I fell into deep thought.
Now, Senior Elsie and her other dregs were all focused on Senior Delphine. What if I smack Senior Elsie in the back of her head now?
“You must have regained a lot of confidence in the meantime, Rinella… Not too long ago, you were just being humiliated because of your arrogance, weren’t you? Your sullen face was worth seeing back then.”
“That’s when we faced off against each other and after all, the true strength of magic only shines when you fight in a party… Would you like to try now?”
They were engaged in a war of nerves.. However, I was immersed in deep thought.
Ambush Senior Elsie from behind and take her down.
There was that possibility. Senior Elsie might not have figured out my exact strength yet. I defeated Lupine that day and he was unconscious the entire time, so she had no way of knowing the battle circumstances in detail.
Not to mention, Senior Elsie and his gang would never expect me to attack first. There were several groups of 4th year students, even talented wizards among them. Common sense dictated that they weren’t opponents a 3rd year student could beat just because he launched a surprise attack.
However, if I use sword aura, the story changes.
The difference between using and not using an aura was significant. Just as even the greatest masters will face death if they are stabbed by a blind sword, even a moment of inattention in a battle between aura wielders would result in fatality.
And not only did I have to bear intolerable insults as a junior, she also tarnished my honor as an aristocrat? As it turns out, the battle for an aristocrat’s honor was always a battle of victory or defeat.
My eyes sank in silence as I made that decision. But neither Senior Elsie nor Senior Delphine, nor anyone else, noticed that change.
“Ah, nice. It’s going to be fun… Shall we play a round? I didn’t expect that I would have to sort out ranks as soon as I returned.”
“Sorts out ranks? Who will sort whom? You condescending bitch…… !”
At the moment when the voices of two women intersected, their respective followers placed their hands on their waists. It meant that they would soon draw their swords the moment this volatile situation escalates any further.
Senior Elsie was glaring at Senior Delphine with murderous intent, while Senior Delphine was staring at Senior Elsie with slightly colder eyes.
Either way, both of their eyes looked akin to a hunter. It wouldn’t be strange if they crashed right away.
Each group’s attention was focused on the other side. The gazes of the onlookers were also focussed in the same direction. Hundreds of people were looking at Senior Elsie and Senior Delphine alternately, while murmuring amongst each other.
The sight of a gang fight in the middle of the academy elicited an unexpected response. Some of the people who appeared to be professors started making distasteful faces.
They seemed to be contemplating whether to step in or stay still.
If it was a match for the honor of the aristocracy, they would have to leave it alone as it was in accordance with academy’s rules, and if it was simply an armed conflict, they had an obligation to stop it.
But they didn’t get to contemplate for too long.
Since even before that, my body flung forward like a beam of light.
It was crazy no matter how much I thought about it, but yes.
I wasn’t sure if I stood a chance, but I knew it was certainly an opportunity, and I didn’t want to live bearing such injustice anymore.
You should check out the illustrations on our discord server: discord.com/invite/JnWsEfAGKc
You can rate this series here.