The Queen’s Letter of Introduction
By the time Hikaru returned to Scholarzard after his trip to Forestzard, Lavia was already done talking to her friend from Euroba. It worked out all right, and she agreed to meet League.
「All right. I guess it’s time for me to meet the student from Kirihal.」
With the letter in hand, Hikaru made his way to the admin building. Even now the staff were still scared of Hikaru, hugging the walls as soon as they saw him. A trembling woman approached the counter – whether she was chosen by rock-paper-scissors or forced to, he didn’t know.
「G-G-G-Good day, Sir.」
「I’m looking for a student.」
Shaking, she took out what looked to be a register.
「M-May I know the name of the student you’re looking for?」
「It’s Claude Zahard Kirihal.」
She flipped through the pages. Hikaru realized that her shrieks meant affirmation.
「H-He is indeed enrolled in the academy.」
「Can you contact him?」
「W-We can only pin a poster at the bulletin board in front of the building…」
That would take too much time. No one really came to the admin building unless they had business here.
「Do you know which classes he is attending?」
The woman ran her trembling fingers through entries as she read them.
「I-I don’t know about regular lectures, but for classes that involve the nine weapons, Professors keep a record of their students’ names…」
I bet Professor Mille doesn’t even have my name recorded.
「Is Claude’s name there?」
「Y-Yes. He’s attending short spear classes.」
As soon as he heard short spear, Hikaru dug through his memories.
「Uh, who’s the instructor?」
「It’s Professor Kilnenko.」
Kilnenko, the man Professor Mikhail said was a “piece of shit”. Hikaru met him twice in the principal’s office.
Kirihal and Ludancia are like cats and dogs, right? Since the queen is introducing me to him, this Claude guy must be from an influential family. Why would he study under a Professor from Ludancia?
Hikaru couldn’t quite wrap his head around it. He made his way to where the short spear classes were held – a small open ground surrounded by trees, making it hard to be seen from outside. Class was going on when he arrived. About twenty students surrounded Kilnenko.
「What I’m about to teach you is one of the moves of the Dragon Cloud Short Spear technique, the most famous in Ludancia—」
Activating his Stealth, Hikaru moved closer. He checked the Soul Board of each student from behind and found nothing noteworthy. At most they had one or two points allocated.
It must be this guy.
【Soul Board】Claude Zahard Kirihal
Age: 18 Rank: 7
He had unlocked more fields compared to the other students.
Wait a minute… He has two points on Sword and he’s attending a short spear class? A Kirihal student studying under someone from Ludancia is already strange enough…
Claude was blessed by a body over 180 centimeters tall. Well-built, he had a calm and collected look to his face. His hair was blonde. His eyes, red just like the queen’s, were fixed on someone and it wasn’t Kilnenko.
Hikaru tried to talk to Claude as soon as class was over. But Claude didn’t bother changing and headed to a secluded place with his practice weapon in hand.
Hikaru was about to call out to the guy, but something felt off. Then a girl appeared from behind a tree.
The two were having a fun chat. They were extremely close, holding each other’s hands.
I knew it.
Hikaru held back the urge to tear his hair out. The girl was carrying a short spear as well. In other words, she was in the class too and the one Claude was staring at the whole time.
【Soul Board】Luka Lordgrad Ludancia
Age: 16 Rank:2
Her name had Ludancia on it. Either they were lovers or one step short of being one – despite hailing from enemy nations.
The girl had short, blue hair and wore glasses, something unusual in this world. She looked to be the quiet type, but she had fun when talking to Claude.
I thought something was strange. So basically he’s taking the class to be with this girl.
League himself hesitated attending lectures by someone from Kotobi. It would’ve been much more difficult for Claude since the Professor was basically an enemy. Still his relationship with Luka came first. He was either gutsy or brainless.
They were about to head deeper into the woods, when Hikaru made his move. He wouldn’t be able to talk to the guy if he let them go.
「Claude.」Hikaru said, deactivating his Stealth.
Startled, Claude turned around. Luka quickly hid behind him. She was small enough that his whole body blocked her from view.
「Who are you?!」Claude shouted, grasping his short spear tightly.
As expected, they were on their guard. It made sense. He witnessed their tryst, after all.
「Ah, no need to be alarmed. Then again, I guess you would be. Someone referred me to you. Please read this letter.」
Hikaru took out the letter from Marquedo and moved closer.
Cautiously, Claude snatched the letter and scanned it.
He glanced back and forth from the letter and Hikaru. Hikaru had not read the contents of the letter as it was properly sealed.
「What’s wrong, Claude?」Luka asked, unable to just stand around.
「I-It’s a letter from the Queen!」
「Am I allowed to?!」
「The contents are nothing serious.」
Luka studied the letter. Her gaze went back and forth from the letter and Hikaru.
「Now you know I’m not an enemy.」Hikaru said, thinking the letter cleared things up.
「 “Do not trust him.” “If there’s trouble, notify me immediately.” “Even if there’s none, notify me anway.” “Be wary of a masked man in a black robe.” This letter says you’re not exactly an enemy, but very close to being one.」
Claude eyed Hikaru suspiciously.
Damn that woman…
Hikaru scowled at the direction of Forestzard. It was an unreasonable request from him in the first place, anyway.