Because of That Person
Leguna had never imagined Innilis would look so beautiful that night. She looked absolutely dazzling to him.
That's right, dazzling was the only word that was fit to describe her. Annelotte had picked a light purple dress for her. Unlike the more mature dresses Annelotte and Eirinn wore, hers helped bring out the youthful maiden in her. Even so, Leguna didn't think she was childish in the slightest. She looked young, energetic and vigorous from how she dressed that night.
Most nobles unfamiliar with her instantly felt the confidence she radiated. Quite a number of middle-aged nobles nodded approvingly at her getup. Even though she hadn't yet spoken, they already had the notion that having a daughter like her would no doubt be a blissful thing.
Her hair had been prepared by Annelotte with her spells. She was wearing a ponytail that was slung over her front. Her curly blonde hair rested on her shoulders and gave her a more mature air. Annelotte had wanted to use that appearance to constantly remind Leguna that she was no longer the brat he could tease like before. She was now grown up.
She wore light makeup that highlighted her bright, emerald eyes. Her gaze dazzled the audience and even Leguna couldn't help but think her cute, to say nothing of the other noble youths.
She was too cute. It was as if the one heralded as the cutest in the whole academy by all the male students had been found. Even some noblewomen couldn't help but discuss her cuteness with their husbands.
"Hey, that girl seems cute. She's a student of Second Magic Academy, so I bet her family background isn't too good. Should we take her as an adopted daughter? I can't help but give her delectable face a pinch!" said a noblewoman wearing an emblem of the Bright Sun Church. The emblem was recognition of her kind demeanor from the church.
"Raising a magus requires quite a lot of resources, you know," her husband said with a calculating look, "Is this girl worth our care?"
"Are you growing senile?" she said with a contemptuous look, "She's the honor student representative of Second Magic Academy! How could she not be worthy?"
"You have a point. Alright, I'll look into it later."
Little did he think he would instantly dismiss the notion some ten minutes later.
Innilis stood on the stage with a smile. In the past, she would've long flushed red from the gazes of the hundreds of pairs of eyes. She'd be so nervous she'd be busy looking for a place to hide.
But now, she was different. She was far braver and more mature. She was searching in the crowd for Leguna's familiar face and her smile brightened when she found it.
"Dear teachers, fellow students and honorable ladies and gentlemen, good evening." She didn't have a script in hand and gave a plain introduction like Annelotte's. "I am Innilis Leit."
What she said later was nothing special. She merely announced what she had achieved during her first few months of study at the academy.
It was only till this night that Leguna found out about her advancement to the mid-order sometime a month ago. She was the first mid-order magus in either of those academies. They were quite common in the whole continent, however.
Even so, it was a good start for the empire. At least, Larwin was even more certain that his decision to invest the funds into the two academies was the right one. In a decade or so when the academies began to take root, the northern empire would have its own magus units too.Then…
As she gave her speech, Alissanda sat in a corner without anyone noticing him and listened.
"Your Highness," a figure said as he approached him, completely hidden in the shadows of the corridor. Only Alissanda could hear him.
"Have you found out?" he asked, maintaining his line of sight at Innilis with a smile.
"I have. That assassin, if I'm not mistaken, should be the strongest one from the Stokian intelligence apparatus. He doesn't have a name. He is only known as One."
"You're not mistaken?"
He furrowed his brow at the description.
"Apologies, Your Highness, the top three assassins of Stok are highly classified. Even we weren't able to find out about their names, gender, age and so on."
"Looks like they're doing a much more professional job than Leguna," Alissanda said with a sigh and sipped his red wine. "Can you tell me what Leguna's relationship with the assassin is?"
"Apologies, Your Highness. Even we have no idea. But according to my observations, I believe it hasn't been long since Sir Leguna encountered One. They probably met when he went to the millennium capital to take his weapons back. According to our reports, Sartre, a royal prince, hired a high-ranking assassin to stop him, but failed."
"I see…" He appeared to be in deep thought as he recalled what Leguna had said. "Do you have a guess on One's gender?"
"I do. According to our reports and what Sir Leguna did, it's really likely One is a woman."
"A woman?" He furrowed his brow and joked, "So Leguna really isn't gay."
The figure furrowed its brow without reply.
"Do you think he has reached a deal of some sorts with the Stokians?"
"I do, but it isn't likely. While Sir Leguna isn't that loyal to the empire, he has come to hate the Stockians. He wouldn't betray our empire, not for them, and certainly not under normal circumstances."
"Yet, there's a reason for him to… Alfreid."
"But Your Highness has already promised him."
Alissanda turned to him and smiled.
"Are you taking his side?"
"I wouldn't dare."
"Alright, I'm sure you understand how I am. I would prefer if you give me your honest opinion--" He shrugged nonchalantly. "--Actually, I see it the same way you do. The assassin might have some kind of relationship with Leguna, but I know that he wasn't the one who commanded the assassination. Settle this matter according to what Leguna said. You are dismissed. Oh, happy new year's."
"Thank you, Your Highness. I shall take my leave."
"This fellow…" he mumbled as he continued to watch Innilis give her speech.
"I'm not a Hockian, but neither am I a southerner. Unlike most others, I came from the continent of Lance," she said with her flowing voice.
Quite a few nobles began to chatter. Innilis gave them a few seconds before taking a deep breath and continuing.
"Back then, I was but a normal farm girl. But then, someone came into my life and saved me from death. When I was alone with nobody to rely on, he protected me and let me count on him and even encouraged me when I was lost."
At that point, her mind fell into a daze. She had prepared a beautiful speech for that occasion and memorized it to the last word. Yet, she couldn't recall it during the most crucial moment.
She could have concluded her speech there, but she didn't. She had waited for a few years, and waiting even one more second was unbearable. So, she soldiered on with the things she learned from joining other student societies.
"In the academy, many students ask me why I try so hard to do everything, and I will always give the same answer." She turned to Leguna. "My main motivation is this person."Previous Chapter Next Chapter