◈ Episode 408 New Deal (1)
Rudger was speechless at the question as if it were so obvious.
“… … How?”
If it was normal, he would have naturally held out that he was not that kind of person.
I must have asked if I had misunderstood something.
But Ludger couldn’t get away with it in front of Ekaterina.
Look at those innocent eyes that ask as if they really don’t know.
The opponent was already convinced of our identity.
Rudger knew Catherine well.
She wasn’t one to ask so outright if she wasn’t sure.
Because they knew each other well, rather, they couldn’t hide it any longer in this situation.
Ekaterina’s eyes lit up as if Ludger’s reaction was a sufficient answer.
“Right! I thought you were the one I knew!”
“This fool… … ! Lower your voice.”
Rudger said so and spread a sound barrier around him.
Just in case, I checked to see if there were any eyes around me, but fortunately I didn’t feel anyone else’s presence.
Rudger let out a sigh of relief and at the same time annoyance welled up.
Ludger’s hand covered the crown of Ekaterina’s head.
Ekaterina watched the scene blankly.
what. This is a nostalgic feeling.
Ekaterina let out a scream as the pressure applied to her skull immediately after.
“Aaaaa! my head! sick! it hurts!”
“Didn’t I, from a long time ago, tell you? Please, be sensible and act.”
There was anger in Rudger’s voice, which broke off every line.
Despite all the advice worn out during the Civil War, this tomboy didn’t seem to remember at all.
“Oh, I was so happy to see you after a long time!”
“… … .”
Rudger tutted and clicked his tongue before releasing Ekaterina’s head.
Ekaterina touched her head with tears in her eyes at the subtle pain she felt in her skull.
“What kind of bullying is this? If my hair is damaged, I will definitely sue.”
“I hope you come to baldness.”
“There’s nothing I can’t say to Lady! Do you know how much effort goes into getting this hair done!”
“You don’t manage.”
“that’s right. Actually, it’s just a word. Seriously, I don’t know why everyone insists on taking care of their appearance.”
“It’s usually said that it’s the leisure of those who have such things.”
Ekaterina narrowed her eyes.
“You talk as if it’s not you.”
“What do you mean?”
“… … Well, that’s what you are. I’m used to the pain of squeezing my hair.”
“Can’t you look back and reflect on your actions at a point where you’re used to it?”
“Because this is my nature.”
“You’ve become more shameless while I haven’t seen you.”
Rudger laughed. Same with Ekaterina.
“Hmm. is that the real you? Or fake?”
Ekaterina asked as she reached out and lightly pinched Ludger’s face.
Soon after, Rudger pinched harder and immediately surrendered.
“Ha, surrender! surrender!”
“… … Fumbling around hasn’t changed at all.”
“Ugh. My balls are tingling. So won’t you answer my question?”
“What do you mean?”
“Why is it that you, who you thought was dead, are still alive, and now you are the teacher of Seorn? Besides, it’s incredibly popular! Did he die and then be resurrected?”
“… … If you see me alive like this, wouldn’t it be more natural to think that I’m not actually dead?”
What dies and then resurrects
Ekaterina exclaimed, “Ah,” at Ludger’s point of absurdity.
It was as if he hadn’t been aware of this part at all.
“… … You could have believed that I was dead, and figured out my true identity at once. Should I call this smart or stupid?”
“Wait, wouldn’t it be fine if the results were good?”
“… … .”
When I stared at Ekaterina, who was making excuses, she hurriedly took a step back, covering her head with both hands.
There was a hint of concern on his face that the mace might fall again.
Rudger looked at the figure with a pitiful look.
“Don’t be afraid. Not anymore.”
“Your personality has changed quite a bit while I couldn’t see you.”
“I haven’t changed anything from before.”
“yes? Nothing has changed! Violence is much less than before. Oh, then, by any chance, in Seorn, aren’t you teaching children while punishing them?”
“… … I was out of my mind?”
Corporal punishment in Seorn.
Ekaterina asked back in disbelief at Ludger’s negative reaction.
“You don’t? Because you were merciless to me!”
“That’s because it was a wartime situation at the time. Life goes on and on, do you need to talk nicely?”
“So you mean to be kind to the students? Aren’t you hitting me?”
“I tend to talk nicely.”
“oh my god.”
Ekaterina was shocked by those words.
Of course, this was only Ludger’s personal impression.
It was because there was no big difference between corporal punishment and the like from the point of view of the children who were well-treated (?).
Rather, in a sense, the method of mentally putting pressure on me felt more evil.
“So why did you pretend to be dead and run away? At least you could have said goodbye if you were leaving!”
“In the first place, when the civil war ended, the request ended there. What would he do if the mercenary whose request was completed still remained?”
“You are no ordinary mercenary. He was the protagonist who led the civil war to victory, and at the same time, he was the hero who single-handedly defeated the notorious Cold Thunder Army.”
“What is a hero? He’s just a mere mercenary who accepted a request for money. Besides, if he stayed there, he would have no choice but to bury his bones in the kingdom of Utah while continuing to receive such evaluations.”
“Did you hate that?”
“Because it’s not a life for me.”
At Ludger’s firm words, Ekaterina expressed her feelings of regret.
“Then I wish I could have just been honest with you. Or was I so unreliable?”
“It’s not that you’re not trustworthy. You must have listened to what I said.”
“then… … .”
“But did everyone else do it?”
At those words, Ekaterina shut her mouth.
Immediately, Machiavelli’s death was a great sorrow even within the kingdom of Utah.
It was evaluated by luxury experts that they lost heroic talent due to the country’s civil war.
If he was alive, would the kingdom of Utah really want to let go?
Even if the queen’s will was different, the servants under her would have been tired of trying to hold on somehow.
Even if Ekaterina somehow persuaded it, it would have taken up quite a long time.
In the meantime, Rudger gets away from the goal he wants by that amount of time.
Rudger didn’t want that.
So he faked his death and ran away as neatly as possible.
I knew it would disappoint my opponent if the truth came out later, but right now it was the best thing to do.
‘Still, I’m glad you didn’t get angry with me more than I was worried about.’
Maybe it was because Ekaterina was so easygoing.
It must have been possible because the joy of seeing each other was much greater than the betrayal and anger of having deceived oneself.
I know it’s very rude to think like this.
It was like a stray dog meeting its owner again.
“Anyway, I want you to keep it a secret from others. Because I fully explained why I left behind my identity.”
“So, how are you working as a teacher for Seorn now? Was that your real identity?”
“There are complex reasons.”
okay. It’s literally complicated to explain.
I just got on the train to escape, but I can’t even say that my mouth is torn that this happened because I was caught up in a terrorist attack.
Ekaterina gave a light exclamation and nodded, wondering how Ludger’s answer was accepted.
“also. It was like that. A secret mission that should never be told, something like that?”
“… … what?”
“You don’t have to lie to me. Since you were a mercenary, you’re actually from a special unit that hid your identity, right? Am I right?”
“… … .”
It’s true that he hid his identity, but it wasn’t really a secret business.
Rather than that, it was closer to being imprisoned if his identity was discovered.
However, Ekaterina did not think that Ludger had anything to do with crime.
Yes, he is a comrade who risked risk and fought alongside him in the civil war, and now he is a teacher teaching students in Seorn.
Didn’t you even struggle hard this time in Kassar Basin?
For Ekaterina, there was nothing strange about such a misunderstanding.
‘I think I’m misunderstanding something.’
Ludger also noticed that Ekaterina misunderstood him as an apostle of justice, but he did not feel the need to correct it.
If he misunderstood me on his own, I was able to overcome the annoyance of even persuading him.
‘Besides, I can’t say that I’m not a member of the secret special forces.’
It wasn’t even a lie when I thought of the days when I was active with Princess Eileen.
With it, Ludger washed away all the guilt of cheating on Ekaterina.
In fact, there wasn’t much guilt to wash away.
“You seem to be doing well, though.”
“yes. The wounds of the civil war still remain. I’m recovering quickly. Did you know?”
“I hear the news from time to time. But it seems to be quite comfortable now.”
“Now I’ve been able to vacate my seat to some extent. The internal arrangements are over, so now we have to expand into diplomacy.”
“Is that why you attended the Mystic Night?”
“Isn’t it a place where many wizards gather? There is nothing wrong with making a kite.”
In fact, business related to magic is the most important core industry in every country.
Naturally, each country is eager to establish close ties with places related to such magic business.
Old Magic Tower, New Magic Tower, School Association, etc.
Originally, the kingdom of Utah was not without such a relationship.
However, the problem was that it was Prince Alexei who mainly managed it.
After the civil war and the expelled faction of all princes, the pipeline was lost.
For Ekaterina, it was truly painful.
“In addition, as you know, the kingdom of Utah is basically barren. It would be difficult without borrowing the power of magic.”
“Still, isn’t the Kingdom of Utah a place rich in natural resources? Among them, there are many resources that even wizards have their eyes on.”
If the kingdom of Fatima in the southern part of the continent is famous for its magic liquid, a key ingredient for magic stones.
The Kingdom of Utah, in the northern part of the continent, was known for its abundance of other natural resources.
Of course, being able to mine it is another matter.
The problem was the labor shortage caused by the civil war and the barren environment that had been passed down from time immemorial.
Those large reserves were practically nothing more than bread in the picture.
“The most important thing is the core mining method. What is needed in the process is, of course, the power of magic. It is difficult to handle ordinary industrial equipment in a place where even steam engines freeze.”
There was a reason why the leader of a country would come directly to the mysterious night without having to ask a subordinate.
That’s how desperate Ekaterina is.
Externally, even if the kingdom of Utah is in good health, it seems to be in good health right now, because the future is still uncertain.
“I tried to maintain a good relationship with other places, but this time, the Kuma Tower has gone through the water.”
“I think it’s better.”
“The ministers will not think so. To them, the new mage tower is an organization derived from the old mage tower, and the school association is a gathering of small point organizations. The Kuma Tower is the highest.”
“Is it because of the fundamental difference?”
“The ministers are also very old people. And when people of that age say wizards, most of them only think of the brilliant old magic tower.”
It is for this reason that the Kuma Tower is still in trouble.
Even if a lion loses its teeth, its roar is still alive.
Even if the Kuma Tower did not properly jump on the trend of the changing times, it was able to show off its sufficient presence with its past majesty.
Of course, if it doesn’t change like this, it will be behind the times someday.
Right away, the public perception of the Kuma Tower was not bad.
In particular, the old people firmly believed that the Kuma Tower was still the best.
However, since this incident caused him to lose a fight with the Kuma Tower, the feeling of relief was not entirely comfortable.
“What should I do?”
“… … Why are you asking me about national issues?”
“I can give you some advice. You are Seorn’s teacher.”
It was clear that this young lady did not know the difference between a teacher and a counselor.
In other words, it meant that Ekaterina was desperate and believed in Ludger.
“Still, thanks to your hard work during this incident, it seems that you have built a pretty good relationship with the New Mage Tower and the School Association. Am I wrong?”
“That’s right. I’ve had enough ‘acquaintances’ with them. still… … .”
“That’s not enough. Because no one likes to do what they have to do.”
Rudger saw right through Ekaterina’s heart.
Ekaterina felt that it was both surprising and familiar.
‘This person is still the same.’
He always acted like he was looking into his own mind.
There are some things that are easy to read this way, but that was impossible if the insight was not the same.
At the same time, Rudger always gave us the best answers.
It was up to Ekaterina whether she could accept it or not.
At least his judgment was never wrong.
“It is not completely impossible. It is not the only organization related to magic.”
“Is there anything else?”
“Did you forget where I am working now?”
Ekaterina’s eyes widened.