༺ The First Letter (42) ༻
It has already been a day since the clash against Senior Elsie’s gang.
A lot happened in the meantime. Not only did Celine admonish me about how I could do such a dangerous thing, but I also had to listen to the Saintess’ preaching after I visited the temple for a checkup.
I insisted it was inevitable since I had to protect my honor as a noble, but in return, I had to listen to a sermon professing how honor is less important than life.
The priests of the Holy Kingdom didn’t know how important honor was to the nobles. To them, life was like a gift given to them by the God Arus.
So when I carelessly tried to throw away that precious life while raving about ‘honor’, I must have looked like a fool. Because, even if it’s the nobles who take the risks, it’s entirely the priest’s responsibility to save their lives.
In the first place, it was inevitable since each Kingdom has a different culture. After all, no matter how hard I tried to persuade her, it was impossible for me to change the Saintess’ mind. Thus, in this situation, there was only one correct course of action.
I listened to those old-fashioned sermons while nodding, seemingly impressed, as her preaching went in one ear and out the other
After doing this for about a few minutes, most priests would nod their heads with a satisfied smile. And even the Saintess was no exception.
“Ian Oppa, I am glad that you were so impressed with my words. Imperial nobles usually don’t want to listen to me. You are the only exception, Oppa. This also must be Arus’ grace.”
As she said that, there was a sense of pride that couldn’t be hidden in her pale pink eyes. She straightened her shoulders, feeling bubbly, accentuating her overwhelmingly prominent cleavage.
I sighed and averted my gaze while coughing. I then clasped my hands.
Arus, forgive your sinful son.
However, the Saintess seemed to have misunderstood my gesture as a sign of faith. I could tell just by a mere glance at her subtle movement as a result of her excitement.
Thanks to that, her imposing breasts bounced, as if to boast to the world about their amazing elasticity. I gulped and made a cross with my hand once more.
Arus, come to think of it, isn’t it thanks to you I was born as a male? I’ve just realized that this as well must have been a gift from you. Emmanuel.
Having eventually come to terms with myself in an instant, I sneaked a glance at the Saintes. Only a benign smile lingered on her.
“Ian Oppa, even though recently you have gained a lot of fame, you still have such deep faith, the Lord in heaven must be pleased. I hope we can chat in the future. Emmanuel.”
Then she glanced at me and smiled. At the last moment, I couldn’t bear to face the Saintess’ gaze due to my creeping sense of guilt.
According to mythology, Heavenly God Arus and the Evil God Omeros created humans. However, it is said that the human body still retains the sinful nature, due to the fact that Heavenly God Arus created the soul, while Evil God Omeros created the body. Now that I think about it.
That was truly a sinful body.
Not mine, but the Saintess’.
I soon left the temple with those immoral thoughts crumpled into one corner of my mind.
Other than that, there was a lot of work to do. First of all, the gaze and gossip that follows me wherever I go.
It made me reminisce about the day I first opened my eyes after having lost an entire week worth of memory. In a way, this time it was even worse than it was back then.
The rumor of me defeating Seria in a duel was unrealistic, moreover there were only 100 or so witnesses. I was lucky it was a rumor which didn’t get talked about a lot.
However, the place where I attacked Senior Elsie was literally in the middle of the academy. It was rare to see such a spectacle within the academy where violence was nominally banned, and even less so was seeing a third-year student defeating a fourth-year celebrity.
In addition, the fact that the opponent I defeated was Senior Elsie also contributed to the range the rumors spread to. After all, she was “The Elsie Rinella”, the one who bore the title of ‘Loli Gangster’?
In fact, if you were to utter even one letter of the word ‘loli’ in front of her, you would have to be prepared to face her retribution, but behind her back, that nickname was already widely used.
Small in stature, and her doll-like appearance. From the outside, she certainly looked like a cute and lovely girl.
However, her tendency to swear, brazen personality, and her behavior of running a gang and intimidating students gave her the opposite image. Because of their actions, they seemed no different from street gangs.
Hence the nickname ‘Loli Gangster’. It was a rather cute name, but there were quite a few people who shuddered at her viciousness.
Then, even though Senior Elsie personally led her gang, she still lost against one of her juniors.
Elements of surprise, luck, and various circumstances were on my side. However, none of the rumors accounted for all of these details.
By now, in all the rumors, Senior Elsie had become a disgraceful senior who suffered the greatest of humiliation as she wet herself in fear.
That wasn’t even taking into account an aristocrat’s honor. She would have to bear this dark history for the rest of her life.
Moreover, I wouldn’t be surprised if her family decides to personally step in after the rumors of her wetting herself became widespread. She was born with a beautiful appearance, but still, if such a devious rumor were to spread, it would only block her marriage routes.
As time passed, I felt a little sorry for her.
Wasn’t the only thing Senior Elsie did, was to bring her gang and drag her weak junior to an empty vacant lot, where he would be pummeled to an inch of his death?
Of course, this too was only a rough guess, and it was not known what kind of vicious thing Senior Elsie was actually planning.
Looking back, I shouldn’t feel too sorry. Justice has always triumphed.
Naturally, the rumor continued to spread even after a day had passed. Rather, it was undergoing more changes and got even more exaggerated. It was the characteristic of rumors.
It seemed that such a rumor had entered Leto’s ears. As soon as he met me, he giggled and laughed.
“Hey, who do we have here? Isn’t that the famous ‘Hatchet Lord’ of the Academy?”
“What’s with the nickname?”
‘Hatchet Lord’, my brows instantly furrowed upon hearing that strange nickname. However, after seeing my reaction, Leto laughed to the point of almost choking himself to death.
He patted my shoulder and said. This gesture suggested how hard it was for him to hold back his laughter.
“I’m sorry, I… No, don’t you use your hatchet every time you want to beat someone up? Thean was also pummeled with your hatchet, Senior Elsie was beaten with your hatchet as well…Because of that, hatchets have become quite popular these days as a secondary weapon in weapon stores.”
Upon hearing that, I laughed as if it was ridiculous.
The reason I loved the hatchet was simply because it had unexpected qualities as a secondary weapon. Most swordsmen have a hard time handling only one sword.
The road to becoming a swordsman was a long and arduous one. Most of the swordsmen preferred to use their time to hone their aura instead of investing it on properly mastering a secondary weapon.
But, as my case proves, the secondary armament provides a powerful advantage in combat, once mastered. You can fight even if you lose your sword, and just the appearance of a new weapon with a completely different reach and speed would confuse your opponent.
If you had a knack for throwing weapons like me, it would be only an added bonus. Whether it’s a sword or a hatchet, you can create a series of variables by throwing them.
However, this was due to the fact that I had satisfied such strict conditions.
The inexperienced use of a secondary weapon entailed the fear of exposing fatal flaws. A secondary armament, such as a hatchet, had a shorter reach than your main one. Naturally, the risks are bound to increase.
Before losing my memory, I wouldn’t have even dreamt of adding a secondary weapon if my body didn’t instinctively handle the hatchet. But all of a sudden to see that the weapon I wield is trending.
It wasn’t funny, since it was quite the viable option.
Leto was aware of this as well. No, maybe that made him enjoy this even more.
After all, he was the epitome of a treacherous mage who could make other people suffer for the sake of his own pleasure.
Why is it that all the mages seem to lack basic humanity? I couldn’t help but lament to myself.
“Isn’t it funny? Someone just said that actually your main weapon is a hatchet, but you were hiding your skills by using a sword instead… Pfft!”
I said that because I was strangely offended by Leto’s excessive display of joy, but Leto’s laughter did not stop. He even complimented me.
“Nevertheless… Well done though. To get your name out there like that, huh? It must at least mean that your image has impressed the others. Now, they might run away screaming if you were to walk sneakily with a hatchet?”
“No way, it would…….”
I couldn’t resist myself to try it after Leto urged me to do so. Thus, I took out the hatchet. Then the academy students, who were walking by, immediately scampered away with a scared look.
No matter what you think about it, It was downright insulting. I’m not that scary.
Evening training time with Seria was no different. It was because the clash between me and Senior Elsie had once again become hot.
Seria’s sapphire eyes twinkled. It was a look of admiration and respect directed towards me.
No, I’m weaker than you.
However, I didn’t have the courage to casually shrug off the respect my junior, whom I cherished so much, showed towards me. So I did not say anything.
Seria even brought a newspaper from the school club. It was the same newspaper that had written nasty rumors about her in the past.
Personally, it was a newspaper who I didn’t rate much since then, but Seria didn’t seem to care that much since she hadn’t seen the article. Rather, she was immersed in the article to the extent that her eyes gleamed.
She handed me the newspaper. The headline was as follows:
“Rebellion, to write such treacherous words regarding a noble…….”
After reading that one line, I couldn’t help but mumble like that in astonishment.
Treason was a felony. It was like that in any nation. Therefore, it was common for nobles, whether from an Empire or a Kingdom, to be reluctant to even make use of such words.
And even in the academy, to dare use words like ‘rebellion.’
I was already feeling dizzy. Even more, to define myself as a ‘lower Imperial aristocrat’ implied that a ‘higher Imperial aristocrat’ existed as well
In the world, even if it was in the academy, nothing good would happen if you get despised by the high-ranking nobles, since they had interlaced relationships between each other. I felt mentally only after reading just one line.
However, contrary to my thoughts, Seria spoke to me in a slightly excited tone. Even so, it was only a very subtle difference that others couldn’t tell.
“Senior Ian, to defeat that Elsie Rinella… Amazing.”
“No, I was just lucky.”
I was fortunate that I drew my sword suddenly, not even taking into account the fact that my opponent was careless.
I would have only won against one or two of those thugs if I confronted them head on.
Even that was a generous evaluation I made based on the fact that my skills have been rapidly growing recently and the practicality of the secondary armament called hatchet.
Of course, for a third year student to be talking about winning against ‘one or two’ fourth year meant he was already quite talented. However, on second thought, it was quite unbelievable.
It’s been less than a month since I lost my memory, but my skills have been growing rapidly the more I went through actual battles.
But even that had limits. Even if I was evaluated as being ‘strong in real life battles’, my basic skills and mana had still only slightly improved compared to the past.
In the end, true skill doesn’t rely on variables and surprise attacks, but stems from solid basics and one’s mana reserves. Compensating for this would be the homework I had to solve in the future.
But no matter what I thought, Seria seemed to think that beating a talented senior at the academy was something praiseworthy. A faint glimmer of joy flickered across her eyes.
“Still, it doesn’t change the fact that Ian is great. How did you come up with the idea of a surprise attack at that point?”
“Well, it just came to mind.”
It was a strange remark, but Seria burst into admiration, saying that a true master differs from others in terms of instinct.
By this point, I was almost ashamed of myself. If I were to face Seria now under the assumption of using Aura, in all probability, it would end in my defeat. Being praised by such an opponent, I had no choice but to feel uncomfortable.
I heaved a sigh and then calmed down. When Seria’s curious gaze turned to me, I brought up the topic that came to mind.
“There, I met her.”
“Ah,” said Seria, as she heaved a brief sigh. Her expression turned slightly grim. To be a little more precise, her expression suggested that she was ‘panicking’.
To Seria, her step-sister must have been like a huge wall.
She is the president of the Knight’s Faculty among the fourth-year students, the highest grade at the Academy. Even if I had never fought her, I could roughly guess what it would feel like.
Seria inquired cautiously.
“… … How was it?”
“It was too brief of a meeting to make an assessment. But I guess she was unexpectedly favorable towards me. Oh, and.”
I tapped her palms and told Seria what had transpired back then. A curious light dwelled in Seria’s eyes.
And the next moment.
“Tonight, we decided to meet once more. Alone.”
Seria’s face turned cold.
The light in her jewel-like eyes dimmed at once. It was a dramatic change, so I couldn’t help but panic.
Why is Seria acting like this?
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