One's sudden appearance had caused Alissanda to have a close brush with death. But thanks to Leguna's efforts, it all ended without any commotion. After he proved himself to be straight to the prince, the two went back to the hall.
"Sir," Xeno greeted. He had been patiently waiting at the entrance of the garden.
"I'll be going first. Come back later." Alissanda could tell from his outfit that Xeno was someone from the bureau, so he gave the two space.
"How many people know about this matter?" Leguna asked after some thought.
"Nobody. You had asked for the agents protecting His Highness to be removed just now. I thought that the assassin didn't feel right, so I came over. Nobody else knows about this," Xeno said.
"I asked for protection to be removed?"
Leguna was stunned, before the realization struck him. It was most likely something One did to make sure she could more easily approach the prince. That woman already looked quite similar to him, so it would be all too easy for her to disguise herself as him.
"It wasn't you? Don't tell me…" Xeno's expression darkened.
"Whatever, it doesn't matter," Leguna said with a shrug.
"Sir! That assassin…"
"That assassin won't show up again. Don't worry."
"Then, the agents protecting His Highness…"
"Where were they reassigned?"
"Beside His Imperial Majesty. The assassin said he was the weakest and needed more protection."
Tch! That fatty has the most life-saving gear with him! Killing him isn't as easy as it sounds! he thought. He nodded and said, "Since that's the case, leave them there. Alissanda's a tough fellow. He won't die from a little chaos."
Xeno saw the hateful expression he wore and wondered if Alissanda had offended him somehow.
Either way, since Leguna assured that the assassin won't come again, Xeno had no choice but to believe him. While he didn't seem reliable most of the time, he definitely wouldn't joke around with the lives of the top rulers of the empire.
"Don't make a big deal out of this. Tell nobody," he instructed.
"Good. You should head back first. I appreciate everything you've done lately," he said a little apologetically as he patted on Xeno's shoulder.
"Serving the empire and you is my duty, Sir," he said with a salute and left.
When Leguna returned to the hall, the academies' celebration had begun. The students of Second Magic Academy were standing on the elevated platform in the middle. They were students who had chosen the evocation spell module. Thanks to their instructors' guidance, they could now use beautiful spell tricks. The colorful display on stage made the surroundings seem even more dreamlike.
Leguna was also surprised to see Innilis's roommate, Sasha, on stage.
Even though he could only watch from afar, he could pick up on the girl's nervousness. Yet, even though the gazes made her feel rather unnerved, she continued to dictate her spells with the best of her efforts. When the water she controlled touched the fires a few other male students were manipulating and turned into beautiful mist, she smiled with joy.
Looks like even a coward can learn courage! he thought.
He suddenly recalled how he was years prior. He used to be a coward just like Sasha. However, he had to force himself to be brave for Eirinn's sake.
To look for a girl, that boy mustered his courage, something he had never done before. It sounded like the classic hot-blooded plotline of some romance story or fairy tale, yet its ending was anything but. Even after mustering his courage, he angered forces he shouldn't have and ended up pursued to the point he had to leave his home to another continent.
Though, it ended quite well, right? At least, life's good now.
Though his life got much harder after he decided to be brave, the times he spent over the past few years had been nothing short of exciting. When he first came to Lance, he wasn't even fifteen. Yet, he would soon be 22 now.
In the short seven years, he had experienced more than he had in the first 15 of his life.
In that time, he made many friends, namely, Annelotte, Innilis, Kurdak, Vera, Lisana, Alissanda and even his subordinates, Xeno and Gerd.
And all that was thanks to the courage he mustered for Eirinn's sake that propelled him to take the first step into the great unknown. Once he took the step, it was hard to stop continuing down that path.
He began to quietly observe the performance on stage. He had to admit that magi truly were special people. They could use their spells to terrify on the battlefield and also create this dreamlike scape and express a sense of beauty with them.
Sometimes, good and evil, beauty and ugliness, creation and destruction, were sides of the same coin.
At the end of the performance, Sasha was flung into the air by the other guys. The students got to show the results of their physical training classes. With the help of the other students, she spun like a top and rose up into the air with her two hands sprinkling water out.
Leguna could see the bluish glow in her eyes. The brighter it was, the more active the streams of water from her hands seemed. It looked like a living snake.
Sasha used her gift to the best of her ability and the dancing water snakes jumped off the stage into the noble crowd.
Quite a few people let out frightened squeals. they didn't know Sasha was a water swayer that could control all liquids. All they thought was how amazing Annelotte was for being able to train a student to have that fine magic control. Even so, the magi in the academy that knew what she really was also seemed impressed with the performance.
Even with gifts being able to control them to that extent was far from easy. Initially, Sasha couldn't get it right no matter what. Just as she was about to give up, Innilis came to encourage her and told her that this was a walk in the park compared to the time she helped control her blood flow and saved her.
And now, she really managed to do it.
Everyone had courage and strengths. The problem was how one could come to recognize them. For Sasha, what she needed was nonstop encouragement and trust, and she was able to do so after Innilis gave her just that.
The two water snakes returned to the stage after playing around among the crowd for a little longer. The glow on Innilis grew stronger before the snakes changed form into two impressive eagles.
"It's too bad…"
The eagles made of water seemed amazing to Leguna, but everything had to come to an end. There was no way Sasha could keep it up for long.
Right after he spoke, an icy blue light descended from the skies. Even though Sasha's performance was already startling enough, the person that just appeared grabbed the spotlight in an instant.
It wasn't intentional. It was all due to her aura. She easily commanded attention wherever she went.
She was the principal of Second Magic Academy, Annelotte Ladis.
Her blue-white dress fluttered about as she fell gradually from the sky with a feather fall spell. As she was descending, Sasha tried her best to freeze the water eagles. By the time she reached the ground, the two eagles became ice sculptures in the middle of the stage.
The nobles all applauded the impressive performance. Compared to First Magic Academy's performance that relied on lots of magic materials and spell scrolls, the Second Magic Academy's was less flashy. However, the nobles found it to be far more exciting.
It was now time for Annelotte to make an address like Geoffrey did before her.
She looked at the nobles with a smile and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. I'm the principal of Second Magic Academy, Annelotte Ladis."Previous Chapter Next Chapter