A month later, Leguna received a letter from Kurdak that stated that he had settled down in Lance.
The Eye of Arcana had lost its former edge thanks to Moonshadow's suppression, and since it had been so long since that incident, Kurdak wouldn't be in much trouble if he kept a low profile.
As Kurdak had said, he used the money Leguna gave him to start a tavern and hired a few workers. So far, it seemed to be working out quite well.
Other than that, Kurdak also brought up two surprising points in the letter.
First, Kurdak and Vera ran into Lamir and Manhattan before they left for Lance and they decided to go travel there together after some discussion.
Additionally, Kurdak actually set up his tavern in Starfall right under the noses of the Eye. It was near the odd-job department of Moonshadow. Kurdak explained that Arikos had extended him that invitation. Who knew what that petty, middle-aged assassin was planning to have him to seek Kurdak out so quickly right after he reached Lance. Kurdak was half-invited, half-forced to go to Starfall.
While Manhattan, Kurdak and Lamir were of the high order, they knew there wouldn't be a benefit to piss off someone so high up in Moonshadow's hierarchy. Not to mention, Kurdak hadn't offended them and instead helped them out quite a bit. That was why after a short discussion with Manhattan, Kurdak decided it was best to go along with it. He started a tavern in Starfall per Arikos's suggestion and Moonshadow even looked out for them.
Leguna felt his goosebumps rising when he read about it. Arikos wasn't someone so charitable. He always had a goal in mind, and usually, that involved serving Wayerliss. That meant that Wayerliss had asked for that to be done. Why would Wayerliss want Kurdak to be in Starfall then?
Leguna couldn't figure out his teacher at all.
Actually, Leguna was mistaken about this. Arikos did so of his own will. He had a deep connection with Balor and actually felt somewhat guilty for ending his life, so he had been looking for a chance to atone. The next best thing to making it up to Balor was to help his only living blood relative, Vera.
That was why Arikos decided to use the guild's influence to help them out after greeting Wayerliss. It was a rare instance of him doing something without expecting anything in return, but he still earned the suspicion of Kurdak and Leguna.
Arikos only laughed at the thought. If it hadn't been for him, that letter wouldn't be able to make its way to Leguna in the first place.
Regardless of Arikos's intentions, at the very least, Kurdak and the rest seemed to be leading a stable life. Leguna could rest assured after reading the letter.
The war between the two empires of Chino still continued, but as the magic cannons Annelotte had a hand in developing were deployed, the war began to swing in Hocke's favor.
As the head of the bureau, Leguna did largely what he had always done. Since Kurdak's incident, Leguna had a new goal. He wanted to exact revenge against Alfreid for driving his boss away from the empire to another continent, almost losing his life in the process. As such, Leguna wanted to gain more influence in the empire.
He planned to gain that influence through the war effort in preparation to deal with Alfreid.
Less than a month later, spring came, along with something that would influence the empire for decades to come. The two magic academies had officially started their first semester.
Even though both academies were built in Melindor, they recruited students from all across the empire.
For First Magic Academy, any Hockian with a decent family background and was willing to pay the sky-high fees of the academy could enroll in the luxurious academy and gain access to the finest magic curriculum available.
Comparatively, Second Magic Academy's recruitment policy was simply. Talented? Come! We will take care of everything. Just take your unending thirst for knowledge with you! If you don't, leave. If you have money, go try your luck at First Magic Academy.
Before the school year even started, the two academies had already begun their competition in secret. They fought for everything, ranging from magic instructors, resources, equipment and so on. But when the semester finally started, their heated competition made the prior conflicts seem like friendly exchanges.
As both academies were national institutions of the empire, Larwin specified that the opening ceremonies of both academies to be held at the same time. The venue of the ceremony was held in the same location at the more luxurious First Magic Academy. As the new students of both academies numbered fewer than six hundred, the square was enough to accommodate all of them. To promote a civilian-friendly atmosphere, Larwin decided to make the academies open to all that wished to gain some insight into the world of magic.
The students of both academies were dressed in their respective uniforms as they entered First Magic Academy in an orderly fashion. While the students of both academies were beginners all the same, the differences in their wealth and status were made apparent by their uniforms.
The students of First Magic Academy were dressed in a robe of light gold with intricate white patterns along the sleeves and collar. The patterns weren't just aesthetic decorations. They were miniature magic formations that could be altered by magi. The more elaborate patterns would reflect the performance of a student.
The robes of the students of the other academy were much simpler in design. The colors were complete opposites of those of the former academy. The uniforms were primarily made with black cloth with gold patterns. The robes, however, only had minor magic resistance effects and didn't have the flashy gimmick of the uniforms of the other academy.
When the students gathered, those from First Magic Academy felt a sense of superiority. How could the ones from Second Magic Academy possibly compare to them? They had to rely on them for food, clothes and everything else!
The commoners that mainly made up the students of Second Magic Academy had their heads lowered. They didn't dare to look up at the nobles. However, some more rebellious ones would glare at them and earn their criticism.
"A commoner's a commoner after all."
"Thank goodness they're not in our academy!"
Just like that, enmity between the students from different academies was born.
"As you are all aware, we are descendants of noble bloodlines."
The first one to give a speech was the principal of First Magic Academy, Prince Geoffrey Hocke. He was now a limp thanks to having one of his legs torn off by Kurdak, but nobody could really tell as he wasn't moving about during his speech.
"We have the best environment complete with the best facilities, instructors, and teaching methods. Given that's the case, what kind of students should you aspire to as one of the First?" Geoffrey asked.
"The best!" the students roared proudly.
"That's right!" Geoffrey raised his right fist up into the air. "We are nobles, those with the best bloodlines! We are of First Magic Academy, home to the best students! We have to do our utmost best! Magic is honor!"
"Magic is honor!" the students repeated. This was the first 'sermon' Geoffrey gave. He hoped that the students of the academy would strive for advancement in their magic like they did for their noble families.
Even though Geoffrey looked like a pushover, he knew how to rile up a crowd. Five minutes after the prince's speech, all the students of First Magic Academy were filled with fighting spirit. It was as if they would become the next generation of magic prodigies not long after."
It was Annelotte's turn to give a speech after Geoffrey's turn.
She'll be fine, won't she? Leguna thought nervously. She didn't seem to be the kind to know how to give such an impassioned speech, since it was something that required true emotion. Annelotte usually kept her feelings to herself and even if she did show them, they seemed to be covered in a layer of frost. How could she hope to move people with words?
Annelotte stood up when Geoffrey returned to his seat. She stepped onto the podium without anything in hand. Leguna clutched his face; she didn't make any preparations at all! Was she going to embarrass herself?Previous Chapter Next Chapter