Time, Chess and the Tower of Magic (5)
Translator: Billy Stevens
The mood to interrogate Desir evaporated away . Romantica finally came to realize what Pram had said . “Hey Pram—that’s a betrayal!”
“But Mr . Desir isn’t like that . ” His gaze shifted from to his party leader, and Desir nodded in response .
“That’s right . Pram is completely correct . I didn’t get this for free—I made a deal with the Tower Master . ” Desir then began to explain the sequence of events that had occurred . In order to hide the fact that he had returned, he mixed truth and lies to fabricate a story .
As Desir finished telling his anecdote, Romantica still seemed to be deep in thought . It looked like she still had some reservations . Right at that moment, the ice cream they had ordered arrived . Desir grabbed a spoon of ice cream, and offered it to Romantica . “How about we eat the ice cream before it melts?”
“I guess it could be worse . ” Realizing that nothing could be done, Romantica took the ice cream from Desir, and it softly melted away in her mouth . “Sweet . ”
Pram nodded enthusiastically in agreement . “It’s tasty!”
“While I was in the Tower of Magic, I guess you two have been exploring the city?”
“Yup . It’s been good . As you’d expect from a tourist city, the shopping is great but in the rush to get here, I forgot to bring my money with me . ” Romantica clenched her fists in frustration .
‘Is it that upsetting? She didn’t make any sense to him .
“How about you, Pram?”
“There are so many fun looking rides! The gondola ride that follows the river! The pendulum ride! Mm… and there was this place… it was called a themepork?”
“Theme park . ”
“Ah yes! The theme park place! That place was amazing, and I definitely want to go see it! It’s too bad that we didn’t have any money for the entry fee . ” Pram slumped at the thought .
Desir lowered his spoon and spoke to his party members . “Well, after we finish eating, let’s head out to do some shopping and go to the theme park . ”
“What about the money?” asked Romantica .
Desir smiled as he reached inside his jacket and pulled out a black card rimmed with gold . “You don’t have to worry about that . The Tower Master gave me his credit card . It looks since we came all the way here, he wanted us to have a good time . ”
Pram and Romantica hugged each other in joy . At times like these, they acted like the closest of friends .
“The clothing store first!” demanded Romantica .
“No! The theme park!” rebutted Pram .
Pram and Romantica fought over where the party was going to go first, and their voices kept clamoring as Desir tried to pacify them . “Firstly, let’s finish eating the ice cream be—“
Before he could finish his sentence, the two of them immediately jumped on the ice cream like a swarm of locusts . As soon as they finished, they got ready to go in an instant, and threw open the doors on their way out . The two of them were waiting by the door expectantly for Desir . Romantica was tapping her foot impatiently and Pram was bouncing off the walls .
“Come on! What are you doing, Desir? Let’s go!” complained Romantica .
“I’ll pay for the ice cream and meet you guys outside . ”
“Hurry up!” Pram and Romantica stepped outside with their last words trailing behind them . Seeing their smiling faces made Desir smile . It was the greatest reward he could ask for .
At that moment, the store clerk tapped Desir on the shoulder . “Sir, how will you be paying today?”
Desir handed the clerk the credit card and the transaction was handled quickly . Before he left, he asked the store clerk to borrow a pen . With it, he pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket and crossed two lines out: the Tower of Magic incident and the sponsorship .
4 Points . Tower of Magic Sponsorship Announcement – July 5th
3 Points . Attack on Tower of Magic’s Aeurelli Branch – July 7th
“And the most important event…” Desir’s eyes were fixed, and underlined the event to emphasize it .
6 Points . Emergence of the Shadow World – July 20th
Today was July 7th—exactly two weeks left until the Emergence of the Shadow World .
“Based on how much time we have left, we need to start training…” His voice trailed off as he looked outside . Romantica and Pram were chatting and laughing with each other . “Well, I suppose we can take one day off . ”
For today, he would show them mercy—for the next two weeks, they better be ready to go through hell .
While Desir’s party enjoyed their time off, a ball was being held in the main hall of Hebrion Academy . The corridors were beautifully illuminated, and an endless stream of exotic dishes were ushered out into the ballroom .
“Today is a joyous day,” said Professor Nifleka .
About a hundred people were gathered in the hall, ranging from officials from the Tower of Magic, professors close to Nifleka, and the higher ups of the Blue Moon party . The ball was in celebration of the Blue Moon party’s third consecutive sponsorship from the Tower of Magic . Nifleka gestured towards the Tower of Magic as he spoke to the group .
“Our party has once again acquired the support of the Tower . I can confidently say that our party is the strongest party in all of history . Despite the recent unfortunate events, the Blue Moon party has always stood on top . ”
Nifleka raised his golden goblet . “But this is only the beginning . In Hebrion’s history, we stand at the top . The finest party consisting of only nobles . A party that no commoner would dare even look up to!”
Fanatical cheers and roaring applause filled the room in response to his words . Nifleka was one of the most influential professors at Hebrion Academy . He stepped away from values such as equality like Professor Brigitte . Instead, he prioritized lineage and ostracized commoners, almost violently . As a result, he was heavily disliked by the Beta Class students, but a vast majority of the Alpha Class students supported him . Hebrion Academy did not advocate against equality and education, but Nifleka had a lot of sway—not even the academy could do as they wished when he was in the mix .
Ajest Kingscrown’s eyes turned cold as she observed the infamous Professor Pugman Nifleka .
“Now rejoice! Drink to your heart’s content! For the nobles!” exclaimed Professor Nifleka .
Enthusiastic cheers erupted from the crowd . The sound of glasses clinking toasting the Blue Moon party and their advisor rang across the hall . Ajest closed her eyes and did her best to ignore the ruckus . Her head throbbed—frankly, falling asleep right now wouldn’t be too bad . At the very least, it would mean she didn’t have to listen to his spiel .
“My, my . If it isn’t Miss Ajest . ”
Of course that didn’t happen . A young man recognized her and politely greeted her . Like moths to a flame, soon a large gathering of people assembled around the prodigal spellsword .
“By the grace of God above, what an opportunity it is to meet you!”
“The future of the Blue Moon party lies within your hands . ”
At first, there were just one or two, but soon enough, nearly a dozen people crowded around her clamoring for her attention . Their words were a typhoon, their words rising like a tidal wave and threatening to submerge her completely . Ajest, irritated and aloof, offered no response .
“I wish to go out for a second . Please excuse me . ” Her words were drowned out by the wealth of praise she was being showered with . With every moment, she was getting more and more fed up with the group of people besieging her . As she was about to burst, a man attracted the crowd’s attention with a few simple words .
“A lone lady surrounded by so many people . How terribly rude of you . ”
In response to the new stranger’s jab, somebody from the crowd demanded to know who they were .
“Elheim Triquincy, at your service . I had a previous engagement with Miss Kingscrown, and was wondering where she was . ”
Elheim Triquincy—4th Circle ice mage, mentor of Ajest Kingscrown .
Ajest raised her head, and their eyes met .
“Remember? We were supposed to meet on the terrace as mentor and student,” asked Elheim . He certainly had tact, in planning the escape path for his student without causing any misunderstandings . Ajest nodded her head in agreement .
“The terrace is this way,” said Elheim as he led Ajest away from the party, to her relief .
The atmosphere here was much more relaxed, with the music fading to the background and in lieu of the fervor and hubbub of the party, a breeze indicating a lazy summer night was blowing . Finally away from the party, Ajest relaxed .
“You didn’t enjoy the party?” asked Elheim .
Ajest shook her head in response, and Elheim agreed . “Truthfully, I am the same . I do enjoy parties, but this kind of party is a bit unpleasant . ” The powerful ice mage downed his drink .
“I’m surprised . I know that you don’t like commoners very much,” admitted Ajest .
“That’s right . As it is, my family is in support of the Crown . However, I keep these thoughts to myself—I don’t express it in such a public manner . ” explained Elheim . The Triquincy family supports the Crown, and were not fond of commoners, but even so, Nifleka was too radical . “As far as I’m concerned, I have no idea what Professor Nifleka is thinking . ”
“He has his own agenda and plans for giving that speech . ” said Ajest .
“What do you mean by his own agenda?”
“That overwhelming sense of superiority as a noble, and the fear that you may one day be overthrown . The slightest bit of stimulation, and they immediately go crazy . That’s what Nifleka’s making use of . ” Ajest glanced back in the direction of the party . For instance, there was Doneta Hadun, who saw Nifleka through rose-tinted glasses . He was one of the fanatics that hung onto the professor’s every word .
Elheim just couldn’t understand one thing . “What does he have to gain from all of this?”
“If you think about who he has gathered here, it’s easy to determine . Nearly all of the students here are Alpha Class, who vehemently support him . By setting their hearts aflame, he’s assimilated them all into his fold . And if you think about the Alpha Class having the right to vote in the headmaster election, it all becomes abundantly clear . ”
Elheim’s eyes grew wide at the sudden realization . “He’s wants to become the headmaster…” To control everything at Hebrion Academy— in addition to the alumni, it was a position that manages nearly a million mages and knights, with power equal to the prime minister .
That was why the heir to the Nifleka family came to Hebrion Academy .