Chapter 24: …By any chance, where is sir Flan?


“His Highness is coming here today…
I hope this visit isn't for something unpleasant.”


Early in the morning, the maids of Judith’s mansion were lined up in order.


The 3rd Princess Yushia, who was higher than the master they serve with loyalty, was visiting the mansion.


“Surely it's not something bad.
Just stay still and be quiet.”


“After being in a dormant state for ten years, as soon as she wakes up, she immediately comes to Judith’s  Manor.
It's unsettling.”


“Just stay still.”


Although there were occasions when Judith’s family members visited the imperial palace, the opposite was never the case.
Maybe that was why the faces of the maids clearly showed signs of tension.


“Oh, by any chance, is she still unable to forget the young master? I mean that incident from back then.”


Katarina tilted her head at the innocent words of a young maid.


“Does that make sense? It’s already been over ten years.”


“Is that so? Well, even so…
The young master had saved her life during the monster invasion.
She might still remember it.”


“Your master has put down his sword now.
So stop talking about that.
I'm afraid Lady Scarlett might hear it.”


Despite Katarina's warnings to the maids, the murmurs didn't easily subside because the topic was so hot.


And then, at a certain moment, the front door opened wide, and the elegant sound of footsteps resounded through the mansion.


It was the knight of the ember, Scarlett Judith.


Her hair was pitch black, and her red eyes, which remain like embers of fire, were unusually tense today.


However, her arrival was not the only problem.
The maids maintained their stillness and held their breaths because of the woman following behind her.


It was Princess Yushia who was like radiance.


Her snow-white hair made the ordinary white seem dark, and her golden eyes proved her noble birth.


Her appearance seemed to deny any human origins of her.
The maids were astonished by the sight of an otherworldly angel descending.


“Oh, nice to meet you!”


Suddenly, someone tightly grabbed Katarina's hand.


The moment Katarina realized that the small hand belonged to Yushia, she almost fainted.


“You are the head maid! I remember you!”


“Ah, ah, ah, ah…
Y-yes, yes, yes, yes…?”


“All the other maids I remember all of you too.
It's been a long time since we've met!”


Even if Yushia despised humans, everyone would understand.
However, even her temperament was gentle.


The maids, accustomed to being looked down upon, found it even more difficult to respond to such hospitality.


While the maids melted in Yushia's warmth, Scarlett couldn't hide her awkward expression and tried to dissuade them.


“Your Highness, you shouldn't do this.”


“Ah~ sorry.
I was just too happy, that's all.”


“No, Your Highness.
There's no need for you to apologize to us…”


Only when Scarlett was about to lose her composure, she managed to bring Yushia to her own office.


The office was too shabby for a conversation with a princess, but it couldn't be helped since it was Yushia who wished to visit the mansion today.


After Katarina carefully served tea, and quickly left the office.
Scarlett said to Yushia.


“Oh, you can sit comfortably!”


Yushia sat down and looked at Scarlett, who was standing dumbfounded.
Scarlett decisively turned the conversation elsewhere.


“Your Highness, may I dare ask the reason for your personal visit?”




Instead of answering, Yushia looked around nervously.
Scarlett hoped it wouldn't be the reason she was anticipating.


She hoped and hoped, but…


“…By any chance, where is sir Flan? I would like to see him.”


At those words, Scarlett’s hopes were mercilessly shattered.


She wanted to grab the temple of her forehead, but she couldn't.
She had to maintain her composure.


The Flan Judith that Yushia was looking for was the Flan Judith from ten years ago.


The knight who pursued Scarlett and vigorously wielded his sword, contributed to saving Yushia's life during the monster invasion.


That was undoubtedly a remarkable and intense achievement, even if it was purely a stroke of luck.


Although there might still be remnants of that Flan in Yushia's mind since she woke up from a dormant state, Scarlett, who knew his current state, could only feel a headache.


Where should she start explaining? What should she say? It was truly difficult to grasp.


“He had some personal matters, so he temporarily left the mansion.”


Upon hearing that, a visible disappointment spread across Yushia's face.


That's a shame.
I have to go to the Academy soon, so I really wanted to see him before that.”


“…The Academy? Are you going there?”




Yushia smiled brightly and took out a document from her embrace.


The document was adorned with the distinctive golden decorations of the royal palace, but ultimately, it contained the contents of the transfer to the Merchen Academy.


“I'm going to the Department of Magic.
To make up for the lost years, I have to diligently learn and move forward!”


“Magic Department…
did you…
said that?”


Scarlett stuttered her words for the first time since she was born.
Yushia nodded her head with a bright face.


“Yes! I have to learn and work hard! Oh, but time is already…”


-Knock knock


At that movement, someone knocked on the door and opened it slightly.
It was people from the palace.


Yushia immediately stood up from her seat.


“I should go now! If sir Flan returns, make sure to give him my regards!”


With those words, Princess Yushia left.
The people from the palace followed her with pale expressions, rushing after her energetic figure.




Scarlett stood there for a moment, then slumped down onto the chair.


The shock was so great that she couldn't even let out a sigh.
However, even in such a situation, her mind quickly turned.


In any dire situation, a knight must remain calm.


After much deliberation, she came to a short and clear conclusion.
Yushia must never encounter Flan.


Scarlett couldn't fathom how disappointed Yushia would be if she saw Flan in his current state.
And the princess' disappointment would lead to disappointment in Judith family.
That was absolutely not allowed.


“Damn it…”


It was exasperating that such trash was considered part of Judith.


At that moment, Katarina cautiously revealed herself.


“Miss Scarlet, it's a letter from the academy.”


“Bring it.”


She had previously requested a progress report regarding Flan from the academy.
It seemed that it had finally arrived now.


While receiving a stack of papers of considerable thickness, a thought crossed Scarlett’s mind.


“…Early withdrawal.”


There were still means to salvage the situation.


Flan's ranks were abysmal.
He was in a suitable state for an early withdrawal.
If the response was swift, it would be more than possible to have him withdrawn by today.


Katarina tilted her head.




“It's nothing.
Just go out.”


After the maid left the room, Scarlett raised the corners of her mouth and opened the sealed letter.


It must contain precise information from the journalists within the academy.
Her smile grew wider.


The skilled knight’s eyes quickly scanned the text.


She could no longer tolerate her younger brother's naïve behavior.
There was no reason to wait until the midterm evaluation.
It was time to end that arrogant bet early…




That thought shattered in the next moment.
Scarlett unknowingly furrowed her brows.


“…What is this?”


[ A ]


It was Flan's current ranking.




The weather was exceptionally good today.


The Academy, bathed in sunlight, sparkled with a dazzling view, and the breeze was pleasantly cool.
My sensitive heart naturally softened.


In the afternoon, there was a practical training session for the exploration assignment.
Enjoying the serene scenery, I made my way to the training ground while Trivia continued to ring in my ears.


[▶ This one seems to be a picture too.]


[▶ So I tried approaching it like this!]


Today was the one-week anniversary of the submission of a new question on the Agora board.


Perhaps because it was only valid until today, the auction customer had been sending messages diligently since dawn.




Although he approached it nicely, he couldn't figure out what to do next.
From dawn until now.


[▷ I'll send you three spells.]


[▷ You might feel something if you solve them.]


[▶ Alright!]


[▶ I'll spend all day solving them today hehe]


Nevertheless, the customers didn't demand to be told the answer first.


He simply silently followed my instructions.
In terms of his learning attitude, he was a somewhat gratifying individual.


It was then…


“Student Flan.”


Someone called out to me.
It was a very familiar voice now. 


It was Professor Violet.


Although she didn't seem any different from usual in terms of her tired appearance, her usual sharpness was somehow subdued today.


“How are you? Are you diligently preparing for the exploration assignment? Only two days left.”


Instead of answering, I nodded my head.
The difference was whether I finished my preparation early or late, but there was not a single moment when I prepared carelessly.


“Take this.”


At Violet's sudden action, I unknowingly raised my eyebrows.
She was extending something to me.


I couldn't understand her intention, but I accepted it for now.
It was an artifact shaped like a crystal.


“It's called the Essence Spring…
It's not that great of an artifact, but it will still help you with your training.”


I examined the Essence Spring from all angles.


It was possible to pour mana into it, and it was also possible to extract it in reverse.


It seemed to serve as a mana reservoir artifact.
Such artifacts were quite common even in my previous world.


The amount that could be stored likely varied depending on the grade.
As Violet said, it seemed to be just an ordinary level.


“Why did you give this to me?”


“I’m done with my business, so I’ll go.
I’m busy dealing with transfer students.”


Violet turned around without answering my question.
However, she suddenly turned back.


Don't be careless.
Sleep in the dormitory, and eat the school meals.
There's no time to waste.
Be strong, at least that's what I think.”


'What is this woman suddenly saying?'


Before I could even understand anything she said, Violet had already moved far away.


Well, I hadn't lost anything, so it should be fine.
After putting the Essence Spring into my bosom, I moved to the training ground.


‘I should go to a practical training session.’


I was interested in how the training would be conducted.


If they wanted to test the exploration in advance, they would have gathered us in front of the dungeon.
However, there must be a reason for calling us to the training ground.


Lost in various thoughts, I found myself in front of the training ground before I knew it.
Without hesitation, I entered inside.


It was a spacious white area in the shape of a cube.
Students were grouped together, wandering around inside.


Among them, there were students wearing gold name tags instead of white ones, which caught my attention. 


These Gold name tags belonged to second-year students.


Becky, who was sniffing her sleeves, spotted me and raised her hand.
She confidently approached me and clung to me.


“Hey, Flan.
You're here?”


“I just came here.”


The number of first-year students gathered was quite small.


Apart from Becky and me, there were only three first-year students.
One was Martin, who was in the same group as me, and the other two were completely unfamiliar faces.


Nodding her head eagerly, Becky replied, “That's it.
Today's practice will be done in pairs on rotation.
This time, it's our Group 5 and your Group 11.”


“But Trixie is not here?”


“Ah, Trixie said she won't be able to make it today.
Something came up, I guess.
Anyway, she talked to the professor separately.”


While talking, Becky glanced briefly at the second-year students.


Her gaze exuded tension.
It seemed that freshmen regarded seniors as infinitely superior beings.


“Hey, Flan.
But why are the second-year seniors here today…? They're not doing the practice with us, right?”


As Becky fumbled for words, Professor Leonard stood in front of the students.


“Pay attention, everyone.”


All eyes were fixed on his mouth.
The menacing impression of the professor played a significant role in quieting down the noise.


“Except for Trixie, there shouldn't be any absents.
With only two days left until the exploration assignment, today we will have a practice session.”


At his words, Martin raised his hand and asked.


“Will it be reflected in our ranks?”


“Of course.
Practice is like real combat, and real combat is like practice.”


Upon hearing that it would be evaluated, a few students murmured in discontent.


Leonard, however, wore a satisfied smile as if he liked seeing such reactions.


“It's not difficult, so don't complain and stop being so fussy.”


As Leonard snapped his fingers, the training ground underwent a transformation.


The white cube-shaped space endlessly stretched out into a rectangle.


Like maze-like walls soaring up, a single red flag hung at the far end of the empty space.


Simultaneously, the area where Professor Leonard and the second-year students stood began to rise.
Before long, they were in a position where they were looking down at the first-year students.


Looking at that, Becky whispered to me.


“Hey, Flan.
So, what are they going to do in the end? Are they just going to watch from up there? Then why did they change the space and put up the flag? And why are the second-year seniors here?”


“Why are you asking me?”


“Because you know everything.”


It was a somewhat ambiguous statement, whether it was a compliment or not.
It seemed like she treat me more like an astrologer than a magician.


At that moment, Leonard's gaze turned towards us.


“Why are you making noise over there? Are you confident?”


His gaze alternated between me and Becky before finally fixating on me.


He looked at me with an intriguing gaze.


“So, you're the one from the mock battle.”


Again, it was unclear whether it was a compliment or not.
He chuckled and continued speaking.


“You seem confident this time too.
What kind of story made you so excited, blatantly disregarding the professor's words?”


I have never lacked confidence when it comes to magic.
However, even I didn't know yet how this practice would be conducted.


After pondering for a moment, I opened my mouth.


“Becky wants to give it a try as well.”


Leonard nodded his head.


“Oh, really? Becky, come forward.
Let's do the test and show it to the other kids.”


“What? Uh, no.
Yes? Yes? Uh? Me, me, me?”


Becky’s face turned pale.

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