This mini arc will be very satisfying~ Enjoy this chapter!
ED: eristol, xtostos
The daily school life passed without any problems in particular.
There was no such thing as suddenly being attacked by magical beasts or phantom beasts, the classes ended and peaceful sunset came.
I am being careful, but I am also afraid I might slip into feeling relaxed with things faring so well like this.
While walking along the corridor of the school building, I looked at the courtyard.
The courtyard became a place for the rest of the students who finished their classes as quickly as I did.
There was a group playing with a small dragon, a group practicing flight magic, and a group that brought sweets and were having a friendly conversation.
Sweets, huh. Those might not be a bad choice either.
Before going back to the dorm, it might be nice to have some tea.
I wonder if there will be anyone I know if I go to the grand dining hall.
After roughly deciding how to spend my after-school time, I turned my heels.
At that time, the conversation of the students who were in the nearby classroom came into my ears.
“What should I do……I can’t find it. My precious talisman……”
“Talisman? The one that you got from your aunt?”
It is somehow strangely noisy.
Peeping inside, I noticed there are many black-haired students from Hafan.
Everyone seems to have finished their class just now, they are cleaning up and are about to go back.
Among them, three or four students seem to be looking for something.
“Is there anyone who has seen a medallion-like talisman as big as a gold coin?”
“Don’t worry. I’m sure you will find it right away.”
One male student stopped the students who were about to return and called out to them.
The other girls were comforting the girl who seems to have lost something important.
Oh, poor thing.
By the way, I wonder what happened to that journal I picked up.
I gave it to the staff of the Central Dorm as a lost item, but in the end, I’m a little worried about it.
I was thinking about such a thing and was about to leave the place.
However, I heard the following words.
“Maybe, someone stole it?”
“No, no way.”
“The one that remained in this room until the end……Glaw-san, it was you, wasn’t it?”
Although I wasn’t looking inside the room, I could imagine the scene.
I know this line.
One scene of the game came to my mind suddenly.
This is Beatrice Glaw’s false charge event.
That was an event in the third scenario of the original game.
The incident happened when the expensive talisman of a Hafan aristocrat was stolen.
The other students were making clamor on how the criminal was Beatrice.
It was supposed to be an event where Chloe, who happened to pass by, defended Beatrice and Harold, who couldn’t let things be, forced himself into the situation and settled it.
“Y-yes. I was the last one to leave the classroom.”
“In this classroom, that was the time during which you were not seen by anyone.”
“Perhaps, you were the one who stole it?”
Beatrice denied with a small voice.
When I think of her personality, she doesn’t seem like someone who would steal things.
While peeping through the window of the classroom, I murmured in a low voice.
After a while, something tough and scaly touched the back of my hand.
“Do you know the culprit of this case?”
『No, I guess it was stolen when I was away. But, at the very least, that lady, Beatrice, is not involved.』
“I understand. Thank you.”
With this, I have confirmed it.
However, it is impossible to convey the testimony of Tirnanog as it is.
I was predicting her risk of death with my previous life’s knowledge, so I let an ancient phantom beast who is related to Aurelia’s contract stalk her— ……I mean, that would only give rise to so many questions.
“You, are you planning to escape now?”
“For your own sake, you should obediently confess.”
“I didn’t do it. How can I confess to something that I didn’t do?”
Beatrice was being hounded by the other students.
Her body was trembling and her voice was shaking as if frightened, but she still firmly refuted them.
If I were in the same position as her, I would have been cowering.
She looks weak, but surprisingly, Beatrice may have a courageous personality.
It’s extremely heartbreaking when something that should have been a fiction occurs right in front of my eyes.
I hope Chloe will come soon and resolves this situation quickly while also involving Harold.
Huh, but, Harold is not a King’s Scholar, so there is no point of contact and their curriculum is different.
Then, just how exactly will this situation be resolved?
“We won’t know the answer if we’re only arguing back and forth. I will have your bag checked.”
“No way, please don’t do that……!”
While I was feeling troubled, the situation was escalating.
The male student who was getting impatient seized Beatrice’s bag from her with all his might.
At that moment, Beatrice fell on her butt and the contents of her bag got dumped on the floor.
There was something shining brightly mixed with textbooks and notes that were scattered on the floor.
It was a medallion with a stately design.
Perhaps it is the lost talisman.
“I found the talisman!”
“As expected, the culprit was you!”
“W-why, in my bag……n-no. There must be some mistake.”
“The evidence is found, you think you can still escape?”
“Someone, call the teacher! This sort of thieving commoner should be dismissed from the academy!”
There was some movement in a place away from the group surrounding Beatrice.
He is the male student who was the first one to raise his voice to search for the lost item.
Perhaps he is very close to the owner of the talisman, the student who was watching the progression approached Beatrice while revealing his anger.
“There is no doubt. It is the talisman from Charlotte’s aunt.”
After receiving and confirming the talisman, he glared at Beatrice fiercely.
Scared by the revealed anger, the students who were jeering until a while ago backed down a few steps and opened up a path for him.
Certainly, in the original, Chloe will come into the classroom after this.
And Harold would act as a middleman and bring it to a duel trial.
The duel trial is a solution to the problem of proving innocence by fighting and winning.
Originally, it is a custom of Lucanrant, but that tradition remains in Lindis.
This is the event that will trigger the change in attitude of Harold who had been distancing himself from Chloe.
But, Harold has neither come in contact with Beatrice nor Chloe.
So, with that said, will Jan who became a King’s Scholar instead of Harold do it?
I looked around my surrounding.
Of course, neither Chloe nor Jan is in this classroom.
『What’s wrong, Erica? You look pale. If it is necessary, I will approach those guys and mow them down.』
“No. That’s not the fundamental solution.”
However, if this continues as is, Beatrice will be falsely charged.
Various expressions are showing on the face of the other students.
Bewilderment, discomfort, uneasiness, anger, laughter, indifference.
None of them looks like they will defend Beatrice.
Should I intervene?
No, but, if I interfere too much, it might change the event that Chloe should originally do.
When I think that my intervention will rob Chloe’s happiness as a result, I can’t take a step forward.
“Glaw, do you have some kind of grudge against Charlotte? Or, are you jealous? Or was it for money?”
“No. If you investigate it again properly……”
“I’m disappointed in you, Glaw. I thought you were a serious and excellent mage.”
The male student from some time ago drew closer with unconcealed anger.
It seems that he has a tunnel vision because he’s angry.
He’s trampling over some of Beatrice’s belongings that were scattered on the floor, but he hasn’t noticed.
“Please, anything but that!”
When the male student tried to trample a book, Beatrice raised a heartbreaking voice.
It was an old-looking Elementary Spellbook.
Beatrice jumped out and covered the book that is likely to be trampled even now.
As a result, the male student’s shoe swung down on the back of Beatrice’s hands.
While her face scrunched up from pain, Beatrice nevertheless clenched her teeth and suppressed her shriek.
The male student scrambled away and removed his foot from Beatrice’s hands.
“It, it’s because you came out suddenly—”
“How about stopping it right there?”
I opened the door of the classroom suddenly and raised my voice.
The gaze of the students gathered on me who is at the entrance.
Aah, I did it.
Because I can’t forsake the person in front of me just to wait for the development of the original game.
I smiled so as to hide the regret or the hesitancy remaining inside my heart.
Stepping into the classroom, I stood to defend Beatrice who has a stunned expression on her face.
“You’re surely……aah, you are the rumored daughter of Duke Aurelia. What are you doing?”
“Glaw-san is not someone who would steal. You should know this if you see her everyday, right?”
The male student looked away from me and Beatrice.
It seems that he has observed Beatrice carefully until now and he was reminded of that.
Because he stepped on Beatrice’s hands, a little bit of his anger might have diminished.
The male student glanced at the talisman, clenched it with an angry expression and faced me again.
I can understand the stirring of his heart that he can’t afford to back away at this point of time.
I responded with a courteous smile.
Due to being trained in the last few years, I have become rather brazen.
“You’re just an outsider, what would you know about this?”
“Even looking from the side, your investigation is inadequate. Anyone could have put the talisman inside the bag.”
“Is there any other culprit?”
“Sure. Someone who is smiling from their safe place while putting the blame on her.”
I looked around the students in the classroom.
I wonder if the sense of justice of this male student is also the target of the real culprit’s sneering.
“That claim is not wrong. But, that’s why the suspicion on Glaw cannot be cleared away just yet. We should detain and monitor her to keep the evidence from being destroyed.”
“Do you really think that it is correct to detain innocent people?”
“Erica Aurelia. Even if you are special you cannot bend the truth. If you really want to interfere using the privileges of the student council or the Duke, I will be ready to leave this matter to the duel trial.”
Oops, the one who brought up the duel trial is the other party.
I wonder how the duel trial will go.
“I understand. I will accept your challenge.”
“I don’t think anyone who is friendly with the commoner who has been mostly determined to be the culprit will appear anyway, so you will have to run around to search for your proxy.”
“I don’t need a proxy. I will fight you personally.”
When I said that, the male student’s face stiffened.
“You? It seems that you got a bit carried away from being called 〈Abyss Killer〉 or something like that.”
No way, to think that I will be called by such an embarrassingly bad name in the academy.
I didn’t expect this surprise attack, so I was speechless.
The boy appeared to have recognized my frustration, the corner of his lips curved up in laughter.
“I will have them prepare the appropriate stage. The news of our official duel trial will be delivered by the Gold Cuffs tomorrow morning.”
“Yes, I will not miss it.”
“You should use your best cheap tricks, so that you can narrow the gap even just a little.”
“You’re right. I will take up your kind advice and prepare thoroughly.”
At the same time with the male student’s sharp parting remarks, I left the classroom after bowing as elegantly as possible.
I confirmed that there was no one in the corridor and sighed.
There is a sensation that something invisible is pulling my sleeve.
Apparently, Tirnanog is still waiting in the corridor.
“No way, I didn’t think that I would have to be fighting in a duel……”
『If that fellow is your opponent, I think you will not lose even if you make a blunder. The black-haired brat who always becomes your training partner is stronger.』
“I hope so, but there is the thing called compatibility of abilities.”
『Fumu. It is a good thing for you to face a lower-ranking opponent with utmost power without being careless.』
I hope it is a good thing.
No, the reason why I sighed in the first place is not because I am worried about the game progression.
It’s because I seem to be standing out again even though I didn’t want to stand out much.
“Then, Tir, do you know the names of the people who were in the classroom just now?”
『Leave it to me. I remember everyone.』
“As expected of Tir, how smart! Amazing!”
『Fufu, I am different from the cat who remembers nothing but the names of whatever men.』
I listened to the students’ names listed by Tirnanog and wrote them down quickly.
Should I compare it with Harold’s list of students to help find the true culprit?
“Well then, Tir……I will leave Beatrice to you.”
『Umu, leave it to me.』
With a slight movement of air, Tirnanog left.
Well, I guess I should go to Harold as is.
I would like to consult about the wands to be used in the duel and I also want to check the list of students.
While thinking about the duel and the real culprit, I walked towards the alchemist workshop building.
Just as I left the school building, someone ran up from behind.
“Um, Erica-sama! Thank you very much!”
That person was Beatrice.
Perhaps she was running around looking for me the whole time. She’s breathing hard and having difficulty breathing.
I responded with a smile so as not to threaten her as much as possible.
“Don’t worry about it. Because I couldn’t just overlook it.”
“B-but, I’m sorry for troubling you, Erica-sama……”
“I’m used to such theatrical scenes, don’t worry about me.”
“No, um, but……isn’t it very expensive to fight for the duel trial?”
As she said it, Beatrice looked a little apologetic.
She doesn’t worry about the outcome but the expenses instead, huh.
Certainly, from the standpoint of Hafan, all the wands are tremendously expensive.
And since she was brought up as a commoner, it is understandable for her to hesitate.
“It’s fine. Because I have too many materials that happen to be lying around.”
“If you’re really worried, shall we ask the real culprit to cover at least the labor cost for the wand-maker?”
“I see! In that case you can be at ease, yes……!”
When I said jokingly, Beatrice assented while looking at me with sparkling eyes.
As a matter of fact, in my case, the expensive part of wand-making would be due to Harold’s labor costs rather than materials.
And even that, due to things like his debt of gratitude and obligation, or the reward for acting as a guinea pig for him and such, is close to free for me.
By the way, I wonder how much Harold’s approximate personnel expenses are.
He is becoming popular as a genius alchemist and as someone who uses a special technique such as overcharging, so if the culprit is a lower-end noble I guess it’s on the level that can cause bankruptcy?
“Thank you so much. I will never forget this kindness for the rest of my life.”
Beatrice bowed her head deeply and ran away as fast as she came.
She doesn’t have to think so heavily, she’s an earnest person, huh.
It doesn’t seem like she has even a sliver of thought that I would lose, or maybe it’s more correct to say that she’s an airhead.
While I was looking at Beatrice’s back, I thought of such a thing.
Now then, since she trusts me to this extent, I absolutely cannot lose.
With a new resolve, I headed for Harold’s workshop.
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