༺ Assignment (2) ༻
In a vacant lot behind the dormitory.
Aisha was sprawled on the ground while Vera looked down on her with his arms crossed. The expression on his face was stiff.
Vera thought that it was just their usual sparring, or at least that was what he believed. However, it wasn’t the case for Aisha.
‘You narrow minded…’
Aisha glared at Vera with a sullen face and continued to grumble to herself.
She already knew why Vera was especially being hard on her today.
He was probably mad because she snitched on him to Renee about what he said during the period that he lost his memory.
Aisha felt wronged.
‘I was just trying to comfort Renee.’
I did not make fun of him because of ‘that thing’. It was Renee who did it, but why is he only giving me a hard time?
A rebellious spirit surged within her. Aisha was getting annoyed at how Vera acted tough only in front of her while remaining silent in front of Renee.
Anyhow, Aisha was tapping the floor with her tail disgruntledly as she mumbled.
“I don’t know who my teacher is, but he’s…”
Vera’s eyes widened. His face started to turn bright red.
Aisha grinned, feeling refreshed at his response.
“I’m just talking to myself, why?”
Ugly Vera without any hair on his ears.
Aisha giggled, enjoying Vera’s reaction as he shook in shame.
Of course, it was only natural for Vera to retaliate after seeing that spectacle.
“You ill-mannered brat.”
Aisha clutched her forehead and rolled on the ground.
Vera narrowed his eyes, trying to hide the shame that he was feeling.
“Respect your elders.”
Vera had no idea.
He hadn’t realized he was mimicking one of Vargo’s favorite phrases.
He cursed under his breath once he realized he was doing it.
‘You damn old man.’
Looking at oneself objectively has always been a difficult task for humans to do.
Amidst all this, preparations for the presentation were still steadily ongoing.
…No. To be precise, it was Levin who was diligently doing the work.
Despite their attempts to help with the presentation, their knowledge of history was only at the level of the average person.
Of course, that didn’t mean they did nothing. Since they couldn’t provide much assistance, both of them did their best to help Levin in the areas where they could contribute.
In the library terrace, where presentations were always examined.
Today as well, Vera conveyed the information of the presentation to Renee, and she pointed out the wrong parts.
“The part about Alaysia’s blood being holy water that enhances all life. From my experience, it was more like a poison than holy water.”
Levin’s eyes rolled. Cold sweat formed on his forehead.
Of course, Renee’s statement was the complete opposite of what was written in the history of the continent.
“T-Then, if that’s wrong, then all the historical records of Alaysia are wrong…”
Levin also had something to say about it, even though he had experienced a related incident.
“The reason why Alaysia was able to rule the center, and the reason why she was able to remain as the ruler even though she abandoned her people like that. If it wasn’t for her ability, then…”
He was deeply troubled.
Of course, what he just said wasn’t necessarily the truth, but there was enough evidence to support that theory, which had been revered as the orthodox view for a long time.
The same goes for what he was saying now.
The reason why Alaysia could still be revered as a ruler until the end of the Age of Gods after such vicious acts was inexplicable, if not for her ‘divine blood’ that was mentioned in numerous ancient books.
‘…Should I explain the serum as a miracle that promises eternal life?’
He was having those thoughts.
They may believe their words to be correct in most cases, but is it not the case this time? These words were spoken by a student majoring in history at the top Academy on the continent. It meant that it was not a baseless argument.
‘…The ancient texts exaggerated Alaysia’s ability.’
He came up with such an assumption. The next thing that came to his mind were the clones that they encountered in the Empire.
It was misleading to refer to the bodies with their organs melted away and were nothing more than corpses as ‘promised eternal life’, but if you look at it a little differently, it wasn’t entirely wrong.
‘If you describe what Alaysia used to rule as fear, then…’
Could it be that she used the fear of becoming a living corpse and having to suffer as a weapon?
Vera continued to ponder silently, then he turned to Levin.
“Just take our word for it.”
“We just need to add one phrase to the presentation. Alaysia was a tyrant who ruled through fear rather than reverence.”
There was no need to add more.
Levin’s eyes widened as he realized what Vera was trying to say.
“Ah…! If you look at it that way!”
Levin’s head was spinning.
‘This makes sense! It really does!’
All the historical facts revealed so far were false. Although he was making such a claim, Levin didn’t hesitate for even a moment.
The evidence to back up the claim were these demigods who had faced three ancient species and had seen Alaysia’s ability firsthand.
I can make a very impactful argument if I say ‘it can be seen this way’ rather than ‘this is how it is’.
‘It’s not just about my grades.’
It was a matter that could elevate his name in the academic world. It would open up a direct path for him in the research division.
Levin nodded eagerly, continuously imagining the happiness that lay ahead.
“Yes! Yes! I’ll revise it once more! Then, let’s meet at the same time again tomorrow!”
Levin felt his body tense up, and he quickly gathered his things and left the room in a rush.
Watching him storm away, Vera muttered under his breath.
“He’s a very enthusiastic student.”
“Right? Every time he talks, it makes me reflect on myself. I hated studying while I was in the Holy Kingdom.”
“Don’t mind it too much. There are not many people who enjoy studying.”
A grin escaped Renee’s mouth.
Vera smiled at the sight of Renee waving her hands as she giggled, then he continued.
“I don’t enjoy studying either. I am unable to get used to reading books and documents.”
“Huh? Really? That’s unexpected.”
“Is it unexpected?”
“A little? Vera is very knowledgeable, and the first thing you did when we were at the Empire was go to the library. I thought you liked books.”
“I went to look for information at that time… it wasn’t because I liked it.”
Renee nodded slightly at Vera, then a wide smile appeared on her face as she recalled the ‘library’.
“That’s where we first held hands, right?”
Vera’s body stiffened.
She did not say it specifically, but Vera knew instantly that she was talking about the Imperial Library when she mentioned ‘holding hands’.
There was no way he wouldn’t know.
It was the day he first saw her as a woman.
He could still clearly see her leaning towards him with her wide-brimmed hat.
Vera felt his insides heat up as he recalled the sensation, then he replied.
“It was a few months ago.”
“It has been a while.”
“And now… we’ve even gone as far as kissing, haven’t we?”
Vera’s face flushed red.
“Come to think of it, it was all me who did that.”
Renee provoked Vera with a giggle as he tried to restrain her.
“How long will you keep on evading me, Vera?”
She did not say it just as a joke.
It was fun to see him embarrassed, but she wanted him to come closer, so Renee added half-jokingly.
“The King of the Slums is no big deal, after all. He’s just an amateur who can’t even properly touch a woman.”
The effect of her provocation was huge.
Vera shook violently, then he glared at Renee with a face full of resentment and shame.
For several days now, Vera had been frustrated at Renee’s constant provocations, and he wanted to say something in response, but soon gave it up and said something else instead.
“…I’m not an amateur.”
“Are you really going to say that?”
“I don’t think so?”
Vera clenched his jaw and turned his head away.
He praised himself quietly for not spouting his thoughts out loud.
No matter how it was, saying, ‘You can’t cry because you’re blind,’ seemed like too harsh of a statement.
The day of the presentation arrived.
The two followed Levin and prepared together while he became more and more fired up as the day got closer. When it was finally the time to present, they encouraged the nervous Levin.
“You’ll do great. You’ve been working hard for this, right?”
“That’s right. I don’t think the other groups have prepared as much as we have, so if you do well, we’ll get good grades.”
A determined look appeared on Levin’s face.
Levin slowly walked up to the podium, followed by Vera who was leading Renee. Then Vera turned his gaze towards Miller’s direction.
He narrowed his eyes at Miller’s mouth hanging open and stunned expression.
It was clear that he did not know they were taking this class. The doubts that arose from his poor teaching turned into conviction.
A small ‘tsk’ came out of Vera’s mouth.
Did he hear it?
Miller, who was shaking in surprise, belatedly regained his composure and faked a cough.
“Eh, ehem…! Well then, start your presentation.”
He spoke while avoiding Vera’s eyes.
Vera felt a sigh threaten to come out at the sight of Miller coming down the podium.
‘A person like that is a professor…’
It wasn’t any of his business, but the thought still crossed his mind.
“Th-then, we’ll start the presentation!”
As he pondered, Levin’s stiff voice rang out.
Levin felt his heart pounding as he faced the gazes pouring down on him and, with an effort to steady his voice, he began speaking.
“The topic of our presentation is Alaysia, who ruled the heart of the Age of Gods, but in a different perspective than before…”
As he spoke, Levin felt his head go blank, and he was feeling nauseous.
He had never been in front of a crowd before in his life, so it was only natural that he reacted that way when he suddenly became the center of attention.
The only fortunate thing was that he had memorized the contents of the presentation so well that he could recite them even with his eyes closed.
Levin breathed a sigh of relief at the words that came out of his mouth even though he felt his head going blank.
“…so we tried to look at it from such a perspective. Perhaps those who served Alaysia at the heart of the Age of Gods did so out of fear, not reverence.”
Due to his tension, Levin couldn’t look around him and didn’t notice what was happening. As he continued, silence began to spread in the classroom.
Everyone in the classroom, including Miller, who was listening right next to the podium, fell silent.
Among them, Miller’s reaction was particularly dramatic.
Miller looked back and forth between Levin and the two of them with a twinkle in his eye.
Of course, these three people were making claims that would never be accepted in the academic world right away, but were nonetheless giving a presentation that had to be acknowledged.
‘The source are those two.’
Miller was convinced.
‘They must have speculated based on the incidents that occurred in the Empire.’
Because Albrecht had sought his advice regarding the serum during their visit to the Empire, he had roughly investigated the serum to some extent.
‘The research data…’
It would be right to say that that student did it all himself.
There was no way that the two who were only staying here for a short time under the guise of academic experience would have been a great help in the preparation of the presentation.
Miller’s eyes were on Levin.
‘…I want him.’
Come to think of it, he had been a little behind on his work recently.
It meant that he now needed a very smart ‘assistant’.
A smile tugged at the corners of Miller’s mouth.
The look on his face was reminiscent of a slave trader looking at a slave.
T/N: Coffin -> Crown