Chapter 78. Attempted Poisoning of a Civil Servant (1)

Deep in the Olympus Forest, a diplomat rushed into the town hall in the middle of the Crow Tribe village. He hurriedly entered the office that said, “Chief’s Office” with a box full of letters in hand.

"Vice-Chief! A letter from the young chief is here!"

Hestia put down the documents she was examining and spoke. "I've told you so many times. It's not Vice-Chief, but Vice Village Head."

With the desire to reform the somewhat closed-minded Crow Tribe, she had started by changing the title of chief. But no one used the new title Village Head.

While pondering about whether she should just go back to using the title of chief again, Hestia received the letters from the diplomat.

When Denburg escaped, he left a letter saying that he would send a letter to relieve their worries every month. This was already the sixth letter.

Denburg's letter had been delivered to the diplomat through one of the businesses that the Crows engaged with, Asteria.

The Asteria Market was run by the Duke of Asteria, one of the two great dukes of the empire. Although it was not able to match up to Druval Market, it still boasted a considerable size.

Hestia opened the letter and laughed at its contents. It said that Denburg was going around hunting demons in Demon’s territory.

"You're really good at lying," Hestia exclaimed.

Even when he was a child, Denburg had been strangely good at lying. At a glance, he’d describe the scenery of each part of Demon’s Territory, it was detailed to the point she could visualize it. So, it really felt like he was going around Demon’s Territory.

The previous letter had described such detailed scenes that she wondered if it was actually true. So much so that she had even asked Asteria Market to find out the route of the letter. However, they said the letter was flown over by a bird made from magic to the Warrant City branch and as such, they couldn’t trace the route.

One time, the Asteria Market tried to even capture the bird to find out where it came from. However, Denburg’s bird caused a rampage and destroyed the building, leaving only the letter. Fortunately, there were no casualties, but the Crow Tribe remembered it clearly because they had paid for the damage.

Hestia, admiring the clever and savage methods, gave up tracking down Denburg through the letters.

"Oh my, it says he sent me a birthday present."

The diplomat seemed to remember something and took a wooden box out of his bag. "Ah! So this was the Vice-Chief's birthday present.”

In fact, her birthday was supposed to be a little later, but by the time the next letter would arrive, it would have already passed.

She received the wooden box and asked while looking at the black burn mark on the box. "Is this a burn mark?"

"Yes. Originally, there was sealing magic that prevented it from being opened, but as I entered the Olympus Forest, the mana went wild and the magic exploded. But the contents are fine."

Seeing that the wooden box was intact even though the magic exploded, she thought it must have been a small spark and moved on.

"Really?"

Hestia opened the box. Inside was a white star sapphire in the shape of a cross.

"The letter says it is a jewel called, ‘Goddess’s Blessings’ that he acquired by chance at a black market."

She could tell at a glance from its soft sparkles it was a rather expensive gem.

"Oh, and this is a report from Lancelot."

When Hestia finished reading Denburg's letter, the diplomat handed her the other letter.

According to Lancelot's report, he and his party seemed to be heading for the capital with  Saintess Hillis and outlined the details of the daily activities of the group. She laughed reading it.

"They seem to be having fun. You did a good job. You can leave now and go about your business."

With a bow, the diplomat exited.

Hestia was about to review the documents again but then sighed while looking out the window.

"Where are you, Father?"

Hestia was too soft to handle all the work in the village.

-o-

I woke up in the morning and opened the window. As the cold air unique to winter drifted into my room, a vapor escaped my lips. Outside the window, a thin layer of snow had formed from all the snowing at night. Since it was still early winter, it didn’t seem to have snowed much. But with a slippery road, it would make commuting to the training center more difficult.

In a few days, it would already be time to flip to the last page of this year’s calendar. It meant that I had been in the capital for half a year since I left after becoming an adult in late May.

Feeling like time was passing by fast, I closed the window after the room had been sufficiently ventilated and went down to the first floor.

"You’re up?"

As I arrived, Lisbon was the first to greet me.

"Yes."

"Yay~! It's Den!"

Alphonso shouted and rushed to hug me as usual. As usual, I grabbed his head with one hand and stopped him.

After living as a knight school student, I felt like he had seriously started gaining some muscles. I felt like now it would be okay to use a little more force to stop Alphonso. Thanks to him, I have finally mastered controlling my strength.

It was annoying that he rushed at me every morning, but I was also thankful for that. As expected, he had a strong body as the Butterfly Tribe was also a battle race.

I spoke to Yuria who was smiling from behind.

"I've read all the books you lent me from before. As expected, the Butterfly Tribe’s magic has a lot of novel magic."

I was borrowing the magic book from the Butterfly Tribe in exchange for teaching Yuria some tricks for alchemy. Although it was the Butterfly Tribe’s magic, it was magic that the Butterflies only learned up till adulthood. Still, as expected of them, there was such a wide range of topics that there was plenty to learn. Thanks to this, I was able to create a carbonated drink by developing magic to dissolve carbonation into water. I felt like I was one step closer to coke.

"Oh my, already?"

Yuria was surprised to receive the book I was handing over. I shrugged as I released Alphonso's head.

"Well, I just read through it."

Of course, I learned it all after reading it once, but let's keep it a secret because I'm just an ordinary person who's interested in magic.

"If there are any parts you don't understand, feel free to ask any time."

I thanked Yuria and headed to the kitchen for breakfast along with everybody in the living room. Mrs. Arscilla and Alice were already chatting at the table.

"Good morning.”

I greeted Mrs. Arscilla and sat down. When all the seats were occupied, the men working in the mansion began to serve food.

"Yes, it was a comfortable night thanks to you." Mrs. Arscilla greeted back in the style of a noblewoman then asked, "Come to think of it, is it starting today? Going around to each department and living a probationary life?"

I nodded. "Yes, now the good times are gone." I jested and picked up the knife and fork.

But actually, I was not kidding. Until now, it was not bad because it was like college in my previous life, but now I had to go to work as a probationer. From today on, I had to go to the designated department instead of the training center. But anyway, the breakfast at the boarding house was still delicious. I took a bite of the bread and talked to Alice, who looked a little tired.

"You look tired?"

"Yeah, because of an assignment. I have to prepare for my final exam now. I’m screwed."

It was a very student-like remark. I looked at Yuria sitting next to Alice. Unlike Alice, she looked lively.

Yuria noticed my gaze and laughed while Alice's eyes turned gloomy.

"Stop comparing me with her. They are a cheat race in the world of magic."

Yuria puffed out her cheeks at Alice. "If you say it like that then I won't help you with the assignment?"

Alice grabbed Yuria's arm, truly desperate. "No, please!

It was nice to see them joking and getting along with each other. Anyways, I didn't want to go to work. I could only hope that there were no overbearing people in the department.

-o-

The training would be for a week at the Magic Tower, the Adventurer’s Guild, the Mercenary Alliance, and a department in the imperial palace. In the end, each trainee would have to take a test before being assigned to a region of the empire depending on the grades.

My goal was to be an external office worker in the capital, not one that moved all over the empire, nor someone that worked in the internal office at the imperial palace. In terms of percentage, I had to be below the top 5 percentile and above the 70th percentile. Twenty- five percent of the total trainees would be assigned to places like the district office where they would be on a probationary period for a week. These were what usually came to mind when you thought of civil servants. So far, I had been sneaking around the treasury office and the training center to look at the trainees’ grades. I was roughly in the top 10 percentile. 

It was all thanks to getting hit with a bunch of point reductions for making aphrodisiacs in every magic class. I didn't like that petty professor, but thanks to him, I would be able to safely avoid the internal office in the imperial palace. Let's thank him for that.

I was about to enter the district office when I heard a familiar voice from far away. This direction was from the training center. 

"Oh! You're early!"

Sure enough, the old-looking young man waving at me was Flam. Come to think of it, he was one of the five trainees who would be doing the probationary training in the same place.

For your information, Flam was in the top 20 percent, maintaining a relatively excellent performance. In particular, I remember that his answers to the history exam, which was kept in the safe of the training center, were quite original.

How should I say it? His view of history was quite concerned with the defeated party’s position. His unique view of history was highly evaluated in the history class, which made up for the point reductions he got for making aphrodisiacs with me in magic class. If this continued, he could also end up working in the capital.

I waited at the entrance of the district office for him, then as he approached, I entered the district office and said, "Let's go in."

Flam also followed in and wiped the snow off his clothes.

"There was some traffic on the road because of the snow. I don't understand what people are thinking by bringing out carriages when it's snowy."

It seemed he had taken a roundabout way to get here because the carriages had stopped on the road. Certainly, the way from the training center dormitory to here was a well-traveled path for carriages. On the first day, I came to the capital and got splashed with muddy water, that road was probably the same one. 

Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m starting to feel unpleasant again. I'll have to make a secret goodwill visit to Marquis Balthain. I hope he had saved up a fortune again.

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