༺ The First Letter (43) ༻
The sun had long since set, yet the academy remained as bustling as ever.
The academy’s research building was akin to a lighthouse, as the lights would never fade all year long. Within this building, numerous scholars could be found racking their brains on their respective research.
Even disregarding the research building, night at the academy was always bustling. The population numbered in the tens of thousands was enough for the academy to be considered a small town.
The building before me was no different. It emitted a glow that made everyone aware of its existence.
It was one of the numerous dormitories in the academy, yet it stood out in particular due to its prestige. Even amongst nobles, only those who could afford its astronomical fees and were simultaneously boasting outstanding skills could live there.
The ‘Aidallos Hall,’ as this building was called, was named after the great conquering emperor. It exuded an antique ambience that was further refined by the night. It’s said that for every student that resides in this dormitory, there exist several times as many staff there to meet their needs.
Although I was staying at a dormitory for nobles as well, it couldn’t be compared to the likes of Aidallos Hall.
My dorm room was just a single room, spacious enough for someone living alone. The rooms in the Aidallos Hall on the other hand, were said to be as spacious as mansions.
Only a few dozen students lived in such a large building, it made sense that they had such abundant space in their rooms. I gulped as I stood before the dormitory, my fingertips stiff from the tension.
There was only one reason I was visiting this dormitory that I didn’t live in, Delphine Yurdina has invited me.
She is currently the heir to the 5th most influential family in the Empire, while simultaneously being one of the most talented students in the academy. No noble could argue that she lacked the qualifications to live in the Aidallos Hall.
She was the only one who could call me into this luxurious dormitory. I was invited into Delphine Yurdina’s private abode.
A man and woman meeting alone at night, in the woman’s chamber of all places. It was strange no matter how you thought of it. Nonetheless, the meeting had already been decided upon.
After some hesitation, I attempted to step forward like a model imperial aristocrat.
However, I was never able to take a step forward since someone was following me.
Just as I took a step forward, someone grabbed and tugged the hem of my robe, stopping me in my tracks. Naturally, I turned my head towards the perpetrator.
There stood a beautiful girl with ashen hair and sapphire-esque eyes. She stared at me with slightly tearful eyes.
I heaved a sigh as I identified the perpetrator. It was none other than Seria.
“Seria, don’t worry.”
“That… but… … .”
Seria lowered her head and began fidgeting. She never loosened her grip on my robe as this transpired.
She has been in this state ever since I told her that I would be having a meeting with Delphine. Even after the evening training was over, she followed around me and parroted the words ‘Be careful’.
I wasn’t going to meet some high-ranking demonic beast, moreover Delphine was an aristocratic lady well versed in noble etiquette. I couldn’t understand why she was acting like this.
Frustrated, I asked Seria the reason behind her actions.
“My Sister… once she likes something, she will do whatever it takes to make it her own. Even if she has to resort to stealing.”
Does that mean she is eyeing my hatchet?
If so, I would be quite lucky if I could sell it to her for a reasonable price. The heiress of the Yurdina family wouldn’t lack money.
Despite my consolation, Seria kept shedding tears. I panicked, as she had never looked at me so desperately like this before.
As an aristocrat, I can never break my promises. I can’t take Seria with me since Yurdina and I agreed to meet alone.
Seeing that I was left with no choice. I spoke to Seria in a stern tone.
“Seria, it’s time for me to go. You don’t want to dishonor me for having broken my promise, do you?”
“Yes, you are right… … .”
With a gloomy look on her face, Seria loosened her grip on the hem of my robe.
Right now, she looked quite adorable. When we first met, her expressions were as cold as ice. Over time, she began showing a myriad of emotions.
The fact that I was the only one she would show such emotions to gave me a faint sense of satisfaction. No, I shouldn’t think like this.
I suppressed the dark urges creeping in my heart. I held Seria’s hand tightly with both of my hands to reassure her.
It had already happened multiple times, but Seria would look at me with astonishment every time we held hands. I would then speak with utmost sincerity.
“I also want to confirm something with Senior Delphine. I won’t be losing anything, so don’t worry. Seria.”
“…… Alright. Since Senior Ian says so, I’ll believe you.”
Seria nodded her head with a blush on her face, looking relieved. A faint shade of red flickered across her cheeks, the night sky further accentuating her exemplary beauty on top of it. I really am fortunate to be able to receive the respect of such a pretty junior.
With that in mind, I took a step forward. The inside of the Aidallos Hall radiated such a classic antiquity and glamor that one couldn’t help but be awestruck.
It was only the lobby, and yet dozens of servants were hard at work. A janitor for the building greeted me at the entrance.
He politely bowed his head and told me that he had already got instructions from Delphine. With what seemed like great familiarity, he took the lead and started guiding me.
It was quite extravagant. Like a hillbilly visiting the city for the first time, my eyes darted everywhere as I admired the interior of the Aidallos Hall.
How many more times in the future would I be able to visit the Aidallos Hall? Today could very well be the last time. With this in mind, I made sure to imprint the interiors of the Aidallos Hall in my mind.
This was something to boast about to Leto and Celine. Afterall, I just had the opportunity to visit the mysterious Aidallos Hall. It would be an interesting tale for the two of them, who along with me were the three musketeers of the Empire’s lower aristocracy.
While I was walking, engrossed in such thoughts, we suddenly arrived before a certain door. The door was too large for a room that supposedly only had one resident.
The janitor who guided me knocked on the door. He spoke in a low voice.
“Lady Delphine Yurdina, Young Master Ian Percus, whom you mentioned earlier, has come to visit you.”
There was no reply from within. Instead, the door opened on its own. I widened my eyes in amazement. The janitor, however, seemed unimpressed, as if he had already seen it thousands of times.
He bowed his head at me, pointing his arm inward. It was a signal for me to go in.
I took a deep breath. In front of me was Delphine Yurdina’s private quarter. The sense of immorality of stepping into a secret chamber that shouldn’t be disclosed to anyone made me hesitate for a second.
However, I quickly shook my head and brushed away all of these thoughts. She was a woman with enough guts to invite a man she had just met for the first time into her room. She didn’t seem to be treating me in any special way, so maybe her private quarter was just another social gathering place for Delphine Yurdina.
As soon as I entered Senior Delphine room, she greeted me amicably.
“… … Long time no see, ‘Hatchet Lord’.”
The voice came from Senior Delphine, who was sitting in an untidy manner with only a gown on.
The soft reddish light in the room illuminated her pure white skin. Her crimson eyes, which were filled with boredom, while her charming lips glistened like honey.
Radiant blonde hair which didn’t lose their shine even in the dark. Her womanly curves were further accentuated by her tight-fitting gown.
I suddenly had a headache. A strong scent lingered in her room. I couldn’t determine what the scent was. The thought that it was the woman’s fragrance crossed my mind.
It took me quite a while to return to my senses. I was appreciating Delphine’s plump breasts that were highlighted by her gown as if hypnotized. Once I managed to regain focus, I jumped back and exclaimed.
“N-N-No… Whatever it is, you need to wear something!”
I then turned my gaze away, but there was no change in Senior Delphine’s expression. She was sipping wine from a wine glass and asked me in a rather puzzled voice.
She tilted her head as she asked this question.
The question made me blank out for a moment. Why? There were too many reasons why. I stuttered in panic as I attempted to explain why.
“No, that… I’m a stranger. As the heiress of the Yurdina family, Senior Delphine needs to cherish her noble body a little more…….”
“Is my body unsightly?”
“No! It’s pretty, but…….”
When my words, which had been emphasizing the importance of fidelity, became blurred, Senior Delphine smirked and laughed.
She silently stared at me with her crimson eyes. A satisfied smile flickered across her lips when she noticed me glancing at her, while avoiding her gaze embarrassingly.
“Then feel free to look at it. One could call it a rare piece of art… didn’t the old saying define something like this as ‘Pearl in the Ocean?”
She slowly stood up. The rustling of the soft fabric of the robe rubbing together resounded. At first glance, it seemed as if her pure white skin was being further exposed.
The closer Senior Delphine approached, the more restlessly I took a step back. But to no avail.
She walked silently, and suddenly she came closer to me. She smiled faintly.
“Welcome to my room, Ian Percus.”
Only then did I understand Seria’s warning to some extent.
Her warning for me to be wary of Senior Delphine.
If she felt like stealing something. A cold sweat trickled down my spine.
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