Normally, a school that just started session wouldn't have students in the infirmary. But Innilis was the exception. She had regained consciousness thanks to Innilis's care for her. Currently, she was obediently listening to Annelotte's lecture in bed as Eirinn fiddled with her tools. She was there to help her change her bandages.
"You really terrified me greatly last night." Annelotte still looked a little worried. She had been taking a nice stroll and had to witness Innilis lying in a pool of her own blood right after that on the brink of death. Anyone would be terrified at thinking back at the sight.
"That's right! I was shocked too!" Eirinn said as she began her work, "You didn't know how Big Brother Leguna looked when he came to me. He burst through the glass window to get into the room and wanted to save the time it took to get in through the door. He almost lost his mind that day."
"Hehehehe, I was just experimenting," Innilis said while scratching her burnt head. Even though her expression was a little awkward and pained from the treatment, she felt really glad. Annelotte, Eirinn and Leguna all really cared for her and she felt that getting hurt to see proof of that was surprisingly worth it.
"Innie…" Annelotte's expression shifted to a solemn one "I'm sure you've learned your lesson after this, right?"
"Mhmm… I won't ever use spells I'm unfamiliar with again," Innilis said cursorily. While she almost lost her life, she was surprisingly unafraid. She only felt frustrated that she couldn't have done it better.
Magic was something she had desired so badly. Now that she had finally gotten it and shook off the label of a helpless girl, why wouldn't she use it all she could? She didn't mind a little bit of risk or injury. All she wanted was to do something for Leguna.
Now, she was no longer worried about how useless she was or how Leguna would abandon her if she didn't do enough. She now understood that it was an impossibility. Despite that, she still wanted to be someone useful that could help him. She didn't need a reason. That was all she wanted and even she didn't know why. She would even brave the risks when required of her.
Annelotte knew her promise didn't hold weight based on her expression, but there wasn't much she could do. The only viable thing was to wipe her magic out by destroying her diatagi, but it was essentially akin to killing her.
Looks like I can only watch over her more… I also need to make sure Leguna knows what to do. I'm sure he understands how important watching over her is. And I'll have to get Eirinn to pay attention to Innie more often since she works in the academy too…
Annelotte made a mental note of her thoughts and looked at the magic clock in the room. It was already noon.
Just as Annelotte was about to leave, Leguna came to the room.
Annelotte rolled her eyes and prepared to leave without a word.
"Wait, Annie, we need to talk," Leguna said with a serious look, "It has something to do with what happened last night."
"What is it?" She had planned to ignore him, but she chose to stay after what he said last.
"Good thing Innie and Eirinn are here too. Let's have the discussion together. Hoffman… was found."
"And where is he?" A dangerous look flashed across Annelotte's face. Even though Innilis had injured herself through her own misuse of a counterspell, it wouldn't have happened if Hoffman didn't challenge her and caused Leguna to irresponsibly push her to take the challenge.
Annelotte was slightly perturbed by it, but she soon understood that this was a sensitive matter and used a silent barrier on the room. "Go on."
"This morning when a peddler in Melindor was pissing on the street…" Leguna suddenly realized that saying that before three women was a little inappropriate.
"Get to the point!" Annelotte snapped.
"Alright, got it." Leguna pulled his neck back and continued, "That peddler smelled a stench during his deed… and found a corpse.
"Usually, it wouldn't be unusual to discover corpses during such a chaotic time, but the corpse was dressed in grand attire. The peddler chose to report it to the imperial capital's guards and they soon identified them as the missing Hoffman."
Annelotte furrowed her brow and asked, "Did Geoffrey finally admit to it?"
"No. Even after the discovery, he still insisted he was ignorant of it."
"Was Hoffman's identity confirmed?" Annelotte asked, " Since he's a student of First Magic Academy, he must have some sort of family background, right? Were you able to find anything?"
"No. Geoffrey refused to reveal anything about him and even now, I wasn't able to find a noble that threw a fit from Hoffman's disappearance."
"Hmph! He's really good at acting!" Annelotte said with a cold smile.
"It's probably Geoffrey's trick." Leguna knew Annelotte suspected Geoffrey was behind it all.
The reason for that was simple. First Magic Academy only accepted the rich or powerful. The fact that Hoffman didn't draw any attention meant that either Geoffrey personally let him into the academy or his family was so powerful that it was hard for even the bureau to get any information on them. The latter was the least likely possibility.
So, it was possible Hoffman was a pawn of Geoffrey.
It wasn't hard to figure out his motivations. Given Geoffrey's petty personality, he definitely wanted to get even after having one leg torn off by Kurdak. However, Kurdak was rescued by Larwin and Manhattan, so there was only one person the first prince could lash out against: Leguna, one of the closest people to Kurdak.
What would be the best way to get to him then? Seeing that Leguna protected the three women like a rabid dog, Geoffrey knew which buttons to push to hurt him.
Given that the two academies were close-knit and even their students took their midterm tests together, which was usually settled with duels, all Geoffrey had to do was to pull some strings to rig the duels. Who could say what could happen during a heated duel?
It didn't take Leguna long to figure it out. Geoffrey was probably scheming to take revenge against Leguna and the reason Hoffman showed up that night was probably to form a grudge with Innilis. That way, it wouldn't be surprising if one of them accidentally killed another during a test duel further down the line.
But both Geoffrey and Hoffman didn't expect Innilis's attitude towards magic to be so foolhardy to the point she would use an unfamiliar counterspell like that. As a result, the initial small conflict almost ended Innilis's life.
Leguna believed that had things gone as Geoffrey originally planned, Hoffman would've died in an alley somewhere too. The accident only accelerated that process. The only difference was Innilis managed to escape the fate of being killed, though that didn't make this instance the slightest bit less dangerous.
"What are you planning to do then?" Annelotte asked. Though her memories weren't clear, she had a feeling that Leguna would most likely try to take out the one that tried to harm Innilis without regard for consequences. Surprisingly, he behaved rather calmly this time around.
"Since Geoffrey made his move, I can't just sit by and do nothing," he said with a savage look. "He tried to take Innie's life, so I'll take his everything!"
"You're going to…?" Annelotte had a bad premonition.
"I want to help Alissanda!" Leguna said with a whisper despite the silent barrier Annelotte used, "I will make Alissanda the heir to the throne!"
"You…" Annelotte felt her heart clench involuntarily. Though the second prince was only just a stranger to her after she lost her memories, she still felt a little odd hearing that Leguna was going to side with him.
However, she didn't know why she felt that, so she forced her odd feeling down.
"No matter who I'm dealing with, whether it be Alfreid or Geoffrey, I will need allies. Alissanda happens to sit better with my tastes," Leguna said after some thought, "But for now, I think it's better to 'get along' with Geoffrey first."Previous Chapter Next Chapter