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Chapter 49

The sword scatters moonlight as it descends, firmly planted with powerful force and an impeccable stance.

“Excellent,” Ivan nodded, deflecting the axe and grasping the blade.

-Clang!

The axe blade, caught at the end, swayed off course and clattered. Ivan raised the embedded blade from the ground, assessing the situation.

“How did that go?” (Isabelle)

“Quite well, actually.” (Ivan)

“Haha, see? I told you I pick up things quickly, right?” (Isabelle)

“Absolutely.” (Ivan)

Ivan nodded and threw the sword.

Isabelle effortlessly caught the spinning sword mid-air and smiled.

“How would you rate it, uncle? Compared to my father at my age.” (Isabelle)

“If we compare it to Maximilian, anyone from the continent falls short.” (Ivan)

Ivan chuckled at Isabelle’s bold statement.

Approaching Isabelle, who was grumbling with puffed cheeks, he hung a towel on her sweaty neck and gently pressed her head.

“Don’t get lost in the shadows of those who walked before you.” (Ivan)

“Oh, what a nice saying! Did you come up with that, uncle?” (Isabelle)

“No, Enrique said it.” (Ivan)

Words spoken to the ‘Little’ Ivan, who was once immersed in the shadow of the Sun King.

Admiring someone is natural. The world is vast, and there are many outstanding individuals.

But trying to imitate them one by one ends in mere awkward imitation.

Enrique told Ivan, and now Ivan told Isabelle.

Don’t get lost in the shadows of those who walked before you; step on your own path.

“Hmm. It’s a good saying, but somehow it doesn’t quite fit with Professor Enrique’s image!” (Isabelle)

“In those days, Enrique was a serious person.” (Ivan)

“What about you, uncle? Did you only say things like ‘Hmm,’ ‘Indeed,’ ‘No,’ ‘Busy’ back then?” (Isabelle)

“Well….”

Back in those days.

Ivan stroked his chin for a moment, lost in thought.

“Not much different.”

“Boring! Ugh, really. Did your sense die in the war together? What on earth is living in your heart, uncle? Let me guess. Axes, healing potions?”

“Nonsense.”

Ivan chuckled, tousling Isabelle’s hair once before getting up.

After the practical terrorism incident, Ivan had been holding Isabelle and conducting daily training sessions every night.

The mentor-student relationship needed further examination. Strictly speaking, it was Isabelle who had grabbed Ivan and requested the training.

It was what they called the ‘Realm of the Superhuman,’ a special training to reach that level.

“Now, let’s move on to the next step. Quickly, quickly.” (Ivan)

“Sure.” (Isabelle)

Isabelle sat cross-legged on the grass, quietly breathing out. “Quickly, put your hands on me,” she said.

“At this point, there’s no need for that,” Ivan replied.

“Oh, come on. I’m not used to it yet,” Isabelle insisted.

The Realm of the Superhuman began with channeling magic to strengthen the nervous system, cultivating the sensation of projecting magic into various parts of the body. Initially, Ivan helped her examine the magic flow by placing his hand on her back, infusing magic to guide her.

“Hmm…” (Isabelle)

“Close your mouth and focus on the sensation.” (Ivan)

“But it’s warm… you know…”

Despite Ivan’s magic infusion, Isabelle sighed softly.

“Despite Yuri and Essi being busy lately, I lack friends to unwind with…”

“This isn’t leisure time.”

“But it is, isn’t it? Relaxation time.”

Isabelle narrowed her eyes and glanced up at Ivan, assessing him mischievously.

“So, uncle, you’re not working right now?”

“I’m training you.”

“That’s just an excuse, isn’t it? You simply want to take a break. Lately, it feels like what we’re doing is more like play.”

“Perhaps we should reassess the intensity of our training.”

Ivan was somewhat taken aback, questioning if his strict upbringing was being undermined.

Observing his reaction, Isabelle sighed, giving him a look as if she were seeing something pitiful. She stretched and stood up.

“Never mind,” she said, “I’ve learned my lesson.”

“Hmm.”

“Oh, right. Uncle, you’re still doing secret agent work, aren’t you? I heard some strange talk recently.”

“Strange talk?”

“Yes! That thing you never tell. Sir Diane said he saw a strange guy in front of our house a few days ago.”

“A strange guy?”

“Yes! He was staring at our house from behind the wall for a while, so I followed him to see what he was up to, but he got away.”

Ivan furrowed his brow at her words.

Diane August, the bodyguard assigned to her by the Tyless royal family.

Losing someone slipping away right in front of him… it’s not something anticipated from someone at the level of a student or civilian.

“They’re not your colleagues, right?”

“No.”

The Intelligence Headquarters doesn’t operate that way.

“I’ll look into it. Don’t worry about it.”

“But… If there’s someone watching my house, should I not worry?”

“That’s my concern. Students should focus on their studies.”

“Uh…”

Sometimes, it just comes out like this.

Isabelle stared at Ivan’s back as he walked away for a while, then sighed heavily.

It’s not easy. Really.

She smirked and tightly clutched the towel around her neck.

Isabelle is being watched by someone.

Certainly not the work of the Intelligence Headquarters. They don’t operate in that manner, and Isabelle, along with the party of warriors, falls within Ivan’s jurisdiction.

Dmitri never does anything to disturb him.

Ivan walked the streets lost in thought.

-Someone, or some group, is monitoring the party of warriors.

-One of Drovian’s five spies attempted a bomb attack on the academy.

What could be the connection between these two events? The latter case was undoubtedly an attempt on Ecdysis’s life.

If Ecdysis were to die or be harmed, King Einar would take action.

And Einar and his brothers have the most powerful forces currently on the mainland of Drovian. If they move, Drovian is as good as empty.

One of the spies is aiming for that. It’s probably a plot to overthrow the kingdom in Einar’s absence.

‘Is Isabelle involved in this?’

It could be an overreaction. It might be entirely unrelated, separate incidents.

But Ivan had a nagging feeling about something. And his instincts were honed over more than 20 years in the midst of war.

‘As long as Mord is there, Ecdysis is safe at night.’

Mord graduated from volunteering at the orphanage and returned as Ecdysis’s personal bodyguard.

As long as he’s there, even if an unforeseen situation arises, there’s plenty of time to wait until Ivan arrives.

Therefore, he was keeping an uneasy eye on the situation after sunset.

‘During the day, watch over Ecdysis, and at night, keep an eye on Isabelle.’

Ivan organized his schedule and headed to his office.

He never thought it would be easy from the start. Finding a culprit that the Intelligence Headquarters couldn’t catch in two months is a challenging task.

While the Intelligence Headquarters may not be entirely focused on this case, investigating something the national institution couldn’t handle is not an easy task for an individual.

But as always.

Can you do it, or can’t you? That question is not important.

To the Cleansup Unit, there was only one proposition.

Should you do it or not?

If you should, there is no hesitation. Just do it.

Ivan dismantled one by one the booby traps hanging in his office and returned to his seat, turning on the magical lamps.

Late into the night, the sound of organizing reports and managing accounts continued in the office.

***

Ecdysis crossed the courtyard toward the bench.

The bench next to the Knight Department’s outdoor training area was the hideout for Ecdysis, Isabelle, and Yuri, where they always had lunch together.

Today was tiring as well. The classes were challenging, the peers were indifferent, and the world was harsh.

Ecdysis approached the bench with her lunch bag tightly clutched and froze.

“Oh, Essi! You came a bit early today!” (Isabelle)

“Uh, what…? What’s…? What’s happening now…? I mean…?” (Ecdysis)

“Oh, say hello! We decided to have lunch together from today. Haven’t you met him? It’s Uncle Ivan!” (Isabelle)

Isabelle laughed energetically, patting ‘him’ on the back.

“Anyway, it’s really hard to have a meal together, but when I suggested it today, he suddenly agreed. Thanks for your precious steps here…” (Isabelle)

Isabelle chattered away in an elevated mood. Ecdysis couldn’t hear her voice at all.

She stared blankly at Ivan, then turned her gaze to Yuri sitting next to him.

– What’s going on? (Ecdysis)

-I’ve been wondering that myself. (Yuri)

Isn’t a stalker someone who lurks from a distance, expressing some passive yet malicious desire? Why is he being so bold…?

She cautiously sat on the bench, took out her lunchbox, and then, glancing at Ivan quietly taking out his lunchbox next to Isabelle, she sent a glance to Yuri.

Bella likes him so much, does she know he was trying to flirt with another girl?

And the flirting method is stalking…? Seriously, this is the worst.

For a while, Ivan, who had been under Ecdysis’s gaze, suddenly looked up.

When their gazes met for a moment, around the time Ecdysis became uneasy and lowered her gaze.

“…?”

Something popped up on top of her lunchbox, contaminating her precious chicken sandwich.

“What is this…? What, what is it?” (Ecdysis)

“Vegetables.” (Ivan)

Ivan took the lunchbox and explained to Isabelle and Yuri, offering them different diets.

“Normally, you only eat carbohydrates and proteins… bread and meat. It’s a dietary habit where the nutritional balance is easily disrupted. Include vegetables, fruits, and nuts in your diet.”

Ivan, being a delicate and considerate person, explained in a way that even children in the pre-modern society could easily understand.

He runs an orphanage. And an orphanage, literally, is a place where children who have lost their parents are taken care of, taught, and raised.

Planning meals, managing schedules for rest and study, maximizing a child’s talents, hobbies, and qualities was Ivan’s ‘main job.’

Feeling a certain kind of pride, Ivan also shared his lunch with Yuri and Isabel.

“Wow, awesome! Thank you, uncle! If I had known, I would have prepared something too. I’m really good at cooking. By any chance, what do you think about a girl who cooks well?” (Isabelle)

“I think she’s good at cooking.”

“I really want to kill him….”

While Isabelle chattered energetically, Ecdysis looked at Ivan with eyes filled with horror.

‘He was even monitoring the menu I eat every day…?’


30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

30 Years Have Passed Since the Prologue

프롤로그에서 30년이 흘렀다
Score 7.8
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: Released: 2023 Native Language: Korean
I got transmigrated into a game I’ve never seen before. I thought it was a top-notch RPG and spent 30 years on it. I retired as a war hero and planned to spend my remaining time leisurely. But it turns out, it was an academy story?

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