Students Alliance Conference – Preassembly
「Why this place for the meeting, though?」Hikaru muttered.
The first meeting of the students from the seven nations was today, and it would be held at none other than the tavern Three Cheers for Booze. The pub itself was supposed to be closed today, but Hikaru asked the Master and the man lent him the key. He even told Hikaru to open the place if he wanted to.
「Well, that’s because this tavern is a gathering spot, and no one would think that students would be here. I thought it was the perfect place.」League, who was already waiting in front of the tavern, answered. 「I was beginning to feel anxious since you weren’t around yet. Although there’s not a lot of people who would come here, there’s still the off chance that someone sees me.」
Hikaru glanced around and found no one. His Mana Detection didn’t sense any people on the streets either. It was League’s idea to tell everyone to come alone so they wouldn’t be wary of each other.
「I came here early to open the place and you came even earlier. You must be really looking forward to this.」
「I’m betting everything on this day.」
You’re exaggerating, Hikaru thought. But League was dead serious. He was not the type to joke around in the first place.
They entered the tavern. Hikaru checked the fridge and started boiling water. Lavia helped with preparing tea, while League sat on the counter.
「Hikaru, thank you so much for your help.」
「Where’d that come from?」
「I didn’t expect you to gather everyone so quickly.」
「I told you each one has their own quirk. Can’t be all too positive about this.」
Hikaru had already told League about the students he made contact with.
「Still, I’d like to thank you.」
「That’s a flag, you know.」
「Ah, a flag is—」
The door opened.
「Oh! Looks like I got the right place. Sir League, thank you for inviting me to this meeting. Oh, and Hikaru! Long time no see!」
It was Silvester, cheerful as always. If this man became the next King of Zubura, the nation would be in good hands. He was the complete opposite of League, who almost never smiled.
「Lord Silverster. I mean, Silvester. Let’s drop the titles.」
Silvester flopped down on the seat beside League. The Green Ogre heir contacted him through the principal. Surprisingly, he looked forward to this meeting.
「I never thought someone like you was a student here, Hikaru…」Silvester said.
「What do you mean by that? I’m still young.」
「You’re strong enough to kill a Lesser Wyvern alone. Are you practicing magic in the academy?」
「Wait a minute. Hikaru killed a Lesser Wyvern alone?」League cut in.
「I told you about it, didn’t I?」Hikaru asked.
「No, you didn’t. I thought you formed a party with some people.」
「I went with Lavia.」
「Who’s this beautiful lady?」Silvester asked, finally noticing her.
「Ah, she was there when we fought the wyvern.」
「I see. So she was supporting with holy magic.」
Aside from Healing magic, one could also learn Support Magic when strengthening their faith.
「Yeah, something like that.」Hikaru said.
「No. Hikaru told me to stay back and went to kill it alone.」
「It’s the truth.」
She nonchalantly put tea leaves in the pot.
「Hikaru, what’s the meaning of this?」
「That’s it. There’s nothing more to it. Anyway, enough chit chat. The next guest is here.」
The door opened and Claude entered. Astonished at the empty and dark place, he looked relieved as he spotted Hikaru at the counter.
「I’m Claude Zahard Kirihal. Hikaru invited me.」
「I’m League “Green Ogre” Rumania. I’m the one who asked Hikaru for help. Thank you for coming here today.」
「And I’m Silvester G. Zubura. I believe we met each other at a party once. No need to be formal here.」
Silvester’s tone was friendly. But Claude, knowing that he was the next king of Zubura, didn’t know if he should be nervous or cool; he sauntered to the counter, but didn’t take a seat, still confused.
「Claude, how about some cold tea?」Hikaru asked.
「Th-That sounds good. Thanks.」
「Please have a seat.」
Urged by Hikaru, he finally sat down on a stool. He drank the tea in one gulp and exhaled.
「Hey, League. Hikaru’s being polite.」Silvester said.
「I know. A rare sight.」
「I can hear you, you know.」Hikaru said.
「It’s weird. All three of us have pretty much the same standing in Forestia, but you’re polite with Claude, and crude when talking to us.」Silvester said.
「Yes. It’s quite strange.」League added.
「Not you too, League. Besides, you’re the one who told me to be more polite to up the chances of success. Do you remember how we met, anyway?」Hikaru said.
For League, it was at the Adventurers Guild when Roy stirred trouble. For Silvester, while fighting the Lesser Wyvern.
「Yeah, I thought so. Not really how you meet people normally. I didn’t think I’d see you ever again so I didn’t care about how to address you.」Hikaru added.
「And now you’re our biggest supporter. You never really know what’s gonna happen in life.」League said.
「Yup. It’s a great thing we acquired Hikaru.」
「No, you didn’t “acquire” me! And my help ends today!」Hikaru answered back.
「You’re from Ponsonia, right? But you talk to them like you’re close friends…」Claude said.
「I wouldn’t say that…」
「Could you talk to me like that too? Like, be more rude or something…」
Hikaru took half a step back.
「What? Are you the type who gets turned on when berated?」Hikaru asked.
「O-Of course not! That’s ridiculous!」Claude protested.
「Silvester, I think we chose the wrong guy from Kirihal.」
「I agree. This is a serious matter.」
「No! I’m not like that, okay?!」
In the meantime, Lavia poured more cold tea into Claude’s cup.
「It looks like you’ve loosen up a little, Claude.」she said.
On his feet with mouth open, Claude sat back down.
「Ah, so that’s what’s going on. Thank you. I may have been feeling tense. My throat’s dry.」
As Claude drank his tea, Hikaru sensed several people approaching with his Mana Detection.
「All right. It looks like the rest of the gang is here. Let’s move to the table.」Hikaru said.
Luka arrived next. Not long after, Ivan, one of the Jarazack students studying the great sword, showed up. And then Catherine, Lavia’s friend from Euroba. She had bluish hair, braided to both sides. Her purple eyes painted her as someone quiet – or rather, gloomy. Her skin had a tinge of blue to it, a feature of the people from Euroba.
「We have six people so far. All that’s left is…」League said, glancing at Hikaru.
「Kotobi. Professor Katy said her younger sister will come.」Hikaru said.
「I looked it up, but apparently she doesn’t have a younger sister.」
「How did you tell her about the meeting place?」
「I just told Professor Katy directly. I know this sounds strange, but I don’t think she would lie to me.」
「Sorry, I’m late! I got lost.」
A woman appeared. She looked coldhearted, with a tattoo of a flame on her face.
「Is that you, Professor?」Hikaru asked.
「No, it’s her sister, Katyna.」she answered.
「No, it’s definitely you.」
「Nope. My name is Katyna.」
Hikaru checked her Soul Board. Katy.
「If you keep on fooling around, I might have to do something about this.」
Hikaru rolled up his shirt to show the revolver.
「W-Wait a sec, Hikaru!」
Katy approached him quickly, putting her arm around his shoulder.
(It sounded interesting so I wanted to be part of it!)
(I told you we needed a student.)
(Oh, come on. You’re exchanging ideas, right? It won’t hurt to have a professor’s opinion too. I’m sure I can help. I’ll show you.)
(Don’t tell me you wanted to participate because you thought this meeting would be related to the holy mana…)
「O-O-Of course not! No, no…」
「Hikaru-san.」League spoke.「I think it’s fine. Opinions from non-students will be valuable.」
「You heard the man!」Katy exclaimed, pointing at League.
The words “beautiful, but hopeless” came to Hikaru’s mind.
「Fine…」Hikaru said, heaving a sigh.
And so the meeting, attended by six students and a professor, began.
【Participants】(In Order of Power)
League “Green Ogre” Rumania – Heir to Rumania’s most powerful clan
Claude Zahard Kirihal – A young man from the Zahard family, an enemy of the Miralka family where Queen Marquedo comes from
Luka Lordgrad Ludancia – Ludancia’s third princess
Ivan Jarazack – The son of an elite swordsman in Jarazack
Catherine Euroba – Daughter of a family whose members hold many posts in the government
Katy Kotobi – A professor in the academy, she’s from a family that owns some of the richest mines in Kotobi
Silvester G. Zubura – Crown prince of Zubura
※Hikaru – Observer
※Lavia – Waitress