At the end of February, the streets near the University of St. Jan’s were filled with crowds.
This was due to the inauguration ceremony finally commencing at the leading educational institution established by the Great King. Many who had taken the entrance exam last November had been eagerly waiting for this moment.
At this point, a hustle of Frechenkaya merchants attempted to empty the pockets of newcomers and their families arriving from distant lands, while various “traditional games,” including pickpocketing, were rampant.
Despite the piercing cold of early spring mornings, the excited and happy newcomers, as well as onlookers empathizing with them, filed through the entrance of St. Jan’s University.
That is until someone pointed to the sky and made a puzzled sound.
One by one, people started pointing peculiarly towards the sky.
Soon, as the morning light cast long shadows over the university grounds.
“An aerial battleship…?”
“Insane!! Isn’t that, isn’t that the Kalion’s flagship?!”
Many people gathered in front of the university were thrown into panic.
“S-Sir! Kalion’s warship is in the Frechenkaya airspace…!”
“Even I can see it.”
A silver-haired court official gripped his hair, bewildered.
“Surely…. Our agents said Elpheira would come by land via Tylesse, didn’t they?”
“That… Ahaha! I know! Clouds, the ship flying above the clouds… right… The recent weather has been rough. That’s why they couldn’t determine if Kalion’s dignitaries were really coming by land or crossing the airspace with an armed warship. It makes sense”
“No, sir. Common sense dictates that we would never be able to plant an agent in Kalion! After all, that place is…”
Elven territory… How could we… plant them… without getting caught right away….
When an intelligence officer breaks out in a cold sweat and says, “We’re screwed if we report this to headquarters.”
In an era where peace had become a crude joke, a warship was descending from the sky.
It was early spring.
Chapter 17: The status window opened on the first day of enrollment.
Elizaveta shouldn’t kill the elves.
Ivan continued to ignore the people engulfed in confusion and walked, thinking that their intentions were probably obvious.
– Haven’t you repeatedly experienced terror attacks targeting the Hero Party children in your territory?
– How messed up is your border control that we’re dealing with this?”
– Elpihera is the pride of our country too, do you expect us to trust her to you? Now we’ll protect our own. Thank you for your hard work and cooperation!”
It was hard to argue against. Isabelle and Ecdysis had been involved in the train accident, and it was nearly miraculous that they all came out unharmed.
Even Elizaveta had received a warning from Ivan beforehand. But who dared to provoke a crisis at this time in Krasilov?
Krasilov, embroiled in chaos due to the fierce quarreling between the princess and the prince, and the country’s military strength largely intact after the war. Would an external force dare?
Unless they wanted to die.
Elizaveta would have felt unjustly accused. She probably didn’t expect such crazy folks to exist. Anyway, this incident could be dismissed as some kind of incident. Even the elves of Kalion wouldn’t have committed diplomatic offenses beyond “violent protests.”
“She’ll be damned if I’m going to tell her there’s going to be numerous terror attacks at the academy in the future.”
The prospect of seeing Ironblood Liza crying again was tempting, but Ivan decided against it, not wanting to continue insulting his superior.
Besides, he has no desire to face Elizaveta directly in the first place. After all, it could be a bit awkward.
Elizaveta wrote letters frequently, and Ivan neatly replied each one. The main reason was not wanting to engage in personal conversation, followed by not wanting to be involved with royalty.
He should have been more cautious, given that he might be appointed as an officer in a few years. It was a matter of reflection.
She was only fourteen when she wrote that first letter. Unexpectedly, being promoted to an officer of the Cleansup Unit in just five years was unimaginable. Moreover, he was in Royal Guard at that time.
The scene of the princess and the commoner exchanging words could have been dragged into a political attack by someone’s notice. It was necessary to avoid the misunderstanding that the Great King secretly sent someone to support Elizaveta.
Lost in thought, he suddenly heard a familiar voice while walking.
Immediately, someone dashed and attempted to slap his shoulder. Ivan lightly twisted to avoid and placed his hand on his waist. But he grasped nothing.
Only then did he remember leaving the axe in the office.
“What, what are you doing! Can’t even say hello, you scared me to death! It seems the etiquette in Tylesse has changed a lot.”
“I just noticed you putting your hand on your waist. Is that how they greet in Krasilov? Huh? Is that acceptable to your comrades who’ve faced life and death together?”
It was Isabelle. She approached him with a cheerful smile, without any attendants.
“I didn’t expect you were coming to the school. Are you an Instructor? Professor? Are you from the Knight Department? Ah, I don’t think so. Stop!! Let me guess!”
“I don’t think you have this kind of personality.”
“You said yourself for me to keep smile.”
Isabelle smiled brightly.
Due to the striking resemblance to her father, Ivan found himself involuntarily smiling back.
“Well, I still dislike August’s attitude, and those hypocritical grinning fellows are terribly annoying. Yeah, yeah, I could be hypocritical too, right?”
Ivan sincerely thought so. Initially, this girl was like a poorly socialized puppy.
Barking at anyone, the type to show fear easily.
Having changed her personality in just one night, Ivan rated himself as having more educator qualities than he thought. (It was a somewhat perplexing evaluation for Isabelle, who, within that one night, had to fight demons to save around 80 citizens and 10 survivors.)
“Anyway! Sir, no. Um, if it’s your skill, Professor? Right? In which department? Physical education. Definitely physical education. Not the Knight Department, uh… Is there an assassination curriculum at St. Jan’s University?”
“Do you think an educational institution teaching such things would be useful in this world?”
“Learning anything is good! Except magic. That one is really too difficult.”
“It’s a bit challenging for a knight not to use magic, you know?”
“Ahaha, so you’re from the Knight Department!”
Ivan watched Isabelle chatter enthusiastically for a while. As Isabelle kept on talking, another group of people walked from a distance.
Isabelle stiffened but quickly managed to control her expression.
Hmph, she glanced at Ivan, tried to compose herself, and then spoke cheerfully.
“Oh, my, sir! You’re here!”
“Please speak comfortably, Miss. You can call me Oscar.”
“Okay, next time!”
Ivan’s eyes widened sharply.
A very handsome blond young man, surrounded by a group of female students, approached him with a bright smile.
Truly resembling his father. Ivan marveled. Not just in appearance, even in that certain air of arrogance. The only difference might be the surrounding crowd.
The women around Jill Ber were very well-kept.
In reality, it wasn’t easy to meet women at that time.
The only women at the party were a saint and a thief, and Patricia was barely a teenager, and Enrique was a vampire over a hundred years old.
“Um, nice to meet you. I’m Oscar de Sation of Tylesse. And you?”
“I apologize, but what’s your relationship with the lady…? Ah, sorry. I don’t know if you know, but the lady is a state guest, so you might inadvertently show some disrespect.”
Anyone seeing a suspicious bearded man walking with the hero’s daughter would think this.
Ivan wouldn’t agree with this assessment, but from Oscar’s perspective, it was like that. This guy was suspicious, especially recalling Isabelle’s involvement in the train terror, it was even more so.
Oscar had set off three days later than Isabelle. It was because Isabelle didn’t want to go with him even if she was about to die.
And when news of Isabelle’s accident reached Tylesse.
– Advance! To Frechenkaya!
– Tear apart the feet of Krasilov’s bears!
– A country that forgets history has no future! Don’t forget the heroic deeds of the heroes, people of Tylesse!
The streets of St. Mathilde were full of citizens holding such placards. The daughter of a hero, not in an accident abroad but missing due to terrorism, what could be the problem.
Fortunately, news quickly spread that Isabelle had survived without any injuries, and the protests dispersed. But the vigilance and distrust in Tylesse had risen sharply.
In the midst of this, he even heard a firm word from his father, Jill Ber the border guard.
“When you enroll, no matter what happens, make sure Isabelle doesn’t even scratch a hair.”
“Even if I die?”
“Your life is less precious than that kid’s life, no matter how I think about it.”
“You’re really something. If you really care about her, why didn’t you switch her and me back then? I heard you were close to the Hero.”
“If I could, I would have done it twenty years ago. Son, me and Julia always wanted a daughter.”
“Wow, you two really bad parents.”
Recalling the strict guidance of Tylesse’ knights, the great Border Guard Jill Ber, Oscar controlled his expression but then composed himself.
“I’m a staff member at St. Jan’s University.”
“Excuse my behavior. Due to recent unfortunate events, please forgive my rudeness.”
“May I ask which department you’re in? I’ve never seen your name on the faculty list.”
At this point, Isabelle’s ears perked up. He wasn’t a professor?
“I’m a gardener.”
His skill? A gardener?
Isabelle looked at him in shock, unsure of what to think with those deep eyes that revealed no expression, despite the disheveled beard.
She then chuckled and lightly hit Ivan’s side. Ivan reflexively moved to reach for his waist before realizing his axe wasn’t there and naturally dropped his hand.
“A government agent, right? A secret agent or something? Wow, university life is really thrilling. What could you be hiding to have a government agent planted here?”
Isabelle whispered and soon composed herself.
“This is between us, okay? Understand? Don’t talk about it elsewhere, okay?”
“If it’s a secret between us, I think you should watch your mouth more.”
“Come on, I’m the Hero’s daughter. Solemnity, secrecy, justice.”
“Did the hero ever say that?”
As the whispered conversation between the two continued, Oscar’s expression strangely changed.
“Oh, yes. Sir. Petrovich, thank you for guiding me. Wow, the campus is so wide, I almost got lost! Goodbye!”
Was there a drama department in the Arts Faculty at St. Jan’s University? Ivan seriously considered recommending Isabelle to take an acting class as part of her education.
At that moment, in the main hall where St. Jan’s University’s entrance ceremony preparations were in full swing, someone was blankly staring into space.
“What’s this? Status… Window?”