“Hmm. Are you sleeping?”
“Reinhardt, get up.”
Someone was waking me up from my sleep-magic-induced slumber.
As I had been forced to fall asleep to begin with, I was quick to regain consciousness again.
“Urg… Uhm. Hmm. Bertus?”
It was Bertus who’d woken me up. After that incident, Charlotte often came to see me, asking if I was okay and nagging me a bit, then she would go back, however, Bertus had never visited before then.
“I’m sorry for waking you up. I don’t have that much time.”
I looked out of the window to note that it was still night. The day seemed to have passed. Bertus apologized, but he didn’t look particularly sorry.
He sat in a chair opposite of me with his arms folded.
“Do you have some kind of disease that makes you unable to live without doing these kinds of things every year?”
“That’s not really what it is…”
It was probably because of the challenges that gave me points when I fought.
Of course, I couldn’t say anything to his scolding because it was still me who’d decided to do it. It seemed like Bertus tried to come and visit me to see how I was doing, but couldn’t bring up the time for one reason or another.
“About that business preposition from last time… I got the permit.”
“I was going to leave it with you, but looking at your current situation, I don’t think you can afford dealing with it… Especially with the disciplinary committee meeting coming up soon.”
“Should I send the permit to the gang?”
“That would be good.”
Anyway, I was just acting the part, the ones who would specifically do the work were the gang members. So even if I was far away, there was nothing I could do about it. There was nothing I could have done in the first place, other than asking for investments and such.
With Bertus’s help, the issue of the Rotary Gang’s new business would go smoothly. I would have to pay him 10%, but that was still something we could afford.
Spending 10% of our earnings couldn’t even be called a loss.
They were rather good conditions.
It could be considered a business in which Bertus held a stock worth 10% of our income, so it might give the impression that the Prince was involved in the business.
In that case, there wouldn’t be any dumbfucks who would intervene in our business, try to gobble us up, or try to cut the prices. One could end up in a lot of trouble if one were to mess with a business the Prince was involved with.
I wasn’t sure if Bertus was aware of that when he asked me to pay him 10%, but I actually would have paid him a certain amount anyway, even if he hadn’t asked for it.
Did Bertus come here just to talk about the new business?
However, Bertus hadn’t left yet.
“Did you have anything more to say to me?”
It seemed like he had nothing else he wanted to talk about, but he just stayed in his seat.
He didn’t mean to act like a nurse or something, right? That would give me goosebumps. Bertus just looked at me with a grim smile on his lips.
“You should have something to say to me.”
While Bertus had nothing to say to me, I should have something to say to him.
I knew what he meant by that.
“About that senior?”
I should have been wondering about who that member of the Imperial Family I fought, Oscar de Gardias, was.
“Aren’t you curious?”
“Well, I guess I should be curious… I don’t know.”
I was pretty sure I hadn’t ended up touching the wrong person. I came to that conclusion because of what Oscar de Gardias said to me as we fought.
He was a person who was completely uninvolved in the succession of the Imperial Throne. There were only two, Bertus and Charlotte, who were next in line.
The rest of the Imperial Family, while they still were Imperial Royalty, were far away from the Imperial Throne.
Those that were far away from anything involving the succession were privileged but were also in highly unstable positions. Those family members were always subject to purges because they might be used as sacrifices for sudden coups.
Of course, such things weren’t going to happen in the situation where the Imperial Power was strong.
Still, while the members of the Imperial Family were able to enjoy luxury, their lives were rather cheap.
And since Oscar appeared to be completely disillusioned and hated his life, he wouldn’t be an important member of the Imperial Family.
“You seem like you already know the gist of it.”
I had no desire to ask about him.
It seemed that Bertus had already understood that I’d somewhat grasped Oscar de Gardias’s position.
“Some people would rather be born as beggars.”
Although they were part of the Imperial Family, they were rather envious of those born as beggars.
Oscar de Gardias seemed to be such a person. Just what rank did Oscar hold in the Imperial Family? Neither Bertus nor Charlotte said anything about me fighting someone of the Imperial family when they found out what trouble I had caused.
“If we wanted it to be a problem, we could make that happen, but you just need to know that it won’t.”
“You have nothing to thank me for. I’m not going to do anything in particular, after all.”
Something might happen if Bertus and Charlotte were to accuse me of attacking a member of the Imperial Family, but neither of them intended to do that.
Doing nothing was already helping me.
Bertus didn’t know much about Oscar.
Oscar was obsessed with something he obviously couldn’t have. To be precise, he seemed to be mad at his position that was far, far away from the Imperial Throne.
Did Bertus and Charlotte not know about his obsession?
Would he die if they found out?
Oscar wouldn’t be able to do anything, after all. No, if Bertus ended up taking action while keeping me in the dark, I wasn’t so sure that he wouldn’t end up dying later.
Oscar was a bastard, but that didn’t mean I thought he deserved to die.
—So I didn’t tell him Oscar’s thoughts and what he’d told me.
However, it was Bertus who opened his mouth first.
“Is there anything else you want to tell me?”
“…What do you mean?”
Bertus had no further business with me, but he seemed to think that I had some more with him, asking me things like “You don’t have anything else to say?”
“Is there anything my dearest brother told you?”
Oscar, Bertus, and Charlotte…
—Those narrow-eyed characters.
Bertus, the pinnacle of all narrow-eyed characters, asked me with his friendly smile remaining on his lips. What more did I have to say about Oscar?
He wanted to know if Oscar had said anything to me.
It seemed like he was asking me if Oscar had said anything to me when we met. Actually, I guess I should’ve looked at the things that he didn’t say and go from there.
But well, he’d already told me a lot by not saying much.
Oscar de Garidas seemed to presumptuously dream of the Throne. Should I have told that to Bertus?
“While you don’t seem like it, you strangely try to avoid really extreme situations. You seem like someone who would take extreme measures, but strictly speaking, you’re not.”
Bertus looked out the window with his arms folded.
“You don’t seem like someone who would cover their bases, but in the end, you do.”
I didn’t know whether Bertus was disappointed in me or not. However, it might seem strange that I kept my mouth shut because that revealed that something might happen to Oscar depending on what I said. Even though we fought, I would’ve still felt bad if something happened to Oscar.
“It’s just… he seemed a little jealous of the things you were born with.”
In the end, Bertus asked me that while knowing of Oscar’s jealousy, so I had no choice but to tell him what impression that guy gave me. Bertus grinned at me.
“As I thought, did you not tell me because you thought I would do something?”
* * *
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
“…Should I say I didn’t want to cause any more trouble? What…? Fine. I have nothing to say. Sorry for hiding this from you.”
“I don’t think that much is deserving of an apology…”
Bertus was still smiling as he heard my apology.
“Reinhardt, do you want to be Emperor?”
What kind of bullshit was that?
As I froze, Bertus asked me again as if nothing had happened.
“Do you want to be Emperor?”
“…No? Not at all.”
“…Well, because I think it’s a tough-ass job. I feel like it would be more of a pain than something good, and I would fucking hate not being able to do anything.”
I wasn’t just saying that because I was in front of the Prince. That was my honest opinion. A rich guy or the Emperor… If I had to choose between those two, I’d rather be some rich dude. With great power comes great responsibility, and I hate responsibility the most.
I mean, I already felt like I was about to explode at having to take responsibility for so many things ever since I entered this world. Emperor? I wouldn’t do it, even if you let me.
Bertus nodded, knowing that I’d answered truthfully.
“Yeah, that sounds about right.”
“What are you even asking me all of a sudden?”
If you made me Emperor, I wouldn’t really do a good job, but I would just kick up a fuss, making everything fall apart.
“But what if you wanted to become Emperor?”
“More specifically, if you told me that you wanted to become Emperor to my face, what do you think I would think?”
“…That I’m crazy.”
“I guess so.”
Bertus grinned and laughed. Oh, I could see his eyes slowly opening.
Just looking at that made me feel slightly bitter on the inside.
“You can’t become Emperor.”
While his words were completely natural, they had a deep resonance to them.
I felt like I knew what Bertus was going to say.
“I mean, no matter what Oscar thinks, I wouldn’t really care. I’d just think “What’s wrong with him?” and that would be the end of it.”
I wouldn’t be able to be Emperor. The fact that I might covet the position didn’t actually anger Bertus.
Oscar de Gardias would never be able to become Emperor, so his greed itself didn’t offend Bertus.
There was something Bertus once told me.
-What do I know of classes among ants? Beggars, commoners, nobles, princes, dukes, counts, barons. Why would I care about that?
He’d said that they all looked the same below him.
Oscar de Gardias was an ant.
He was just a delusional ant who dreamt of becoming the Emperor.
Even if I was the one who said it, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference to him in the end.
I shouldn’t have hid it. I’d just made his impression of me worsen for nothing.
“He might become dangerous.”
However, Bertus was just looking out of the window as if he wasn’t all that interested in my actions.
“There are some people who would try to destroy something if they can’t have it.”
Bertus mumbled in a tone of voice that seemed unfamiliar to me.
Anyway, it seemed like I wouldn’t get punished for having laid hands on a member of the Imperial Family.
Of course, I would have to pay the price for having broken Temple’s rules, though.
* * *
If I had known that the consequences of forcibly using Magic Body Strengthening would be that severe, I would never have done that. Feeling the time fly past me was even more terrible than the pain.
Was that what one called Catobophobia?
I was going crazy because I couldn’t exercise! I was literally wasting time to the point where I felt all I had built up disappear, so my impatience grew greater with each passing second.
I had to work out, but the more pressing issue was that, as time passed, the start of the Gate Crisis was ever approaching, so I couldn’t just stay still.
Of course, my body was slowly recovering to the point that my legs didn’t hurt anymore, and I could move around, albeit with crutches.
So even if I couldn’t exercise or train, I could go to class. I had gotten used to that pain, so I could bear with it.
“As of now, we shall conduct a disciplinary committee meeting on the issue of an unauthorized duel between the Orbis and Royal Classes.”
Of course, the first place I would have to go to was the disciplinary committee meeting, not class.
* * *
There was a quest.
It looked like a real pain as well.
I had no idea when it had appeared.
No, well, there was a quest when I had that duel with Art de Gritis before, but no such quest appeared even after I fought two duels. I did earn 1000 achievement points, though.
[Quest appeared – Disciplinary Committee Meeting]
No, but why did those kinds of quests suddenly pop up?
[Description: After causing trouble numerous times, you were finally called by the disciplinary committee. Rewards may vary depending on the punishment you received.]
[No punishment – 0 points]
[Volunteer work on campus – 10 points per day]
[Definite Suspension – 20 points per day]
[Indefinite Suspension – 40 points per day]
[Expulsion – 5000 points]
Really, why was that bastard doing that to me?
Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Why did that bastard want to give me more points the harsher the punishment was?
Was he telling me to start a fight in there and get expelled? That asshat just wanted me to crossdress and act like a madman.
I didn’t know how I would have felt about all of that in my first semester, but I didn’t want to get expelled after getting all the way to that point!
* * *
The place where the disciplinary committee meeting was held was neither in the Royal Class nor the Orbis Class, but in the general headquarters of Temple.
Each school in Temple had an executive-level faculty member, the principal included, and the general headquarters was where the faculty members who managed all of Temple were located. Of course, their authority far exceeded that of simple teachers, and they actually had nothing to do with education or anything.
Ludiwig had only ever gone there once.
After he became the master of Alsbringer, they held a long, long meeting about whether he was allowed to carry it or not.
They’d held a long debate about whether they would recognize Ludwig as the rightful owner of the Holy Sword. And eventually, they had no other choice but to admit that Ludwig was the owner of Alsbringer.
He hadn’t been there to undergo punishment like me.
So those guys weren’t really important character-wise, but in Temple, they were very important faculty members who gathered there and took care of Temple’s management to the point where their heads might explode.
Lilka Aaron and Oscar de Gardias were both sitting next to me in the center.
Although I’d lost, I wasn’t actually defeated by Oscar, so it couldn’t be seen as his win.
—So that was why his expression didn’t look particularly good.
Lilka Aaron was originally a rather cold person, so she didn’t even look at me.
However, she kept frowning because she seemed to feel rather uncomfortable because of the position she was sitting in.
Was she in pain? She should have already recovered from the wounds I’d inflicted on her?
I wondered whether she was simply in a bad mood then.
Around a long round table, the teachers of Royal Class were sitting on its right, those I believed to be the Orbis Class teachers sat on the left, and three faculty members of the general headquarters were sitting opposite us.
As soon as I saw the hostility emitted by the Orbis Class teachers towards the Royal Class teachers, it was more than clear that the problem didn’t only lay with the students.
I couldn’t see any particular emotion on the faces of the Royal Class teachers, including Mr. Epinhauser and Class B’s homeroom teacher, Mr. Mustrang. The only thing Mr. Mustrang did was look at me and try to see if I was doing okay.
However, the expressions on the Orbis Class teachers literally spewed hostility.
Even the teachers had an inferiority complex.
It was driving me crazy.
And the faculty members of the general headquarters…
I could see a name plate reading ‘Temple Vice-Chancellor Assyria Walken’ in front of an old-looking man.
Vice-Chancellor would be the second-highest-ranked among all the Temple faculty members.
As there had been acts of violence between the Orbis and Royal Class, two schools specially managed by Temple, Temple’s number two even showed up, although it was just a fight between some kids.
One of the most important subjects in the Empire, Temple’s number two.
That guy would be treated as someone of much higher rank than most great nobles.
If it was just an internal problem, they would just solve it within the respective class, but it was a conflict between two different schools.
—And they were special schools, so the disciplinary committee had to be just as special.
The elderly Vice-Chancellor, Assyria Walken, spoke quietly.
“The details and circumstances of the case have already been reported to me, so we shall leave it at that and proceed.”
The teachers had already investigated each of the three of us separately, so they didn’t intend to repeat that again.
He read out some text on a piece of paper.
“First, Orbis Class, Year 1, 5, Lilka Aaron.”
“The student has continuously used violence both inside and outside of class against Royal Class, Year 1, 9, Erich de Lafaeri any time they had swordsmanship lectures. Furthermore, they took part in an unauthorized duel with Royal Class, Year 1, 11, Reinhardt, who went to her to retaliate, and she was defeated. As a result of the duel, she suffered injuries extending to internal organ ruptures.”
Internal organ ruptures…
I had hit her with enough force to knock her out, though she was safe because of the priest on call.
I did that thinking that there wouldn’t be any major problems afterwards, but I still felt uncomfortable when I heard that she’d suffered from internal organ ruptures.
“Next, Royal Class, Year 1, 11, Reinhardt.”
“The student decided to directly go to the Orbis Class’s dormitory and impose private sanctions on the aforementioned in place of Erich de Lafaeri, as previously stated, without trying to make use of the recommended procedure of reporting the incident to a teacher. In the process, in cooperation with Orbis Class, Year 4, 1, Oscar de Gardias, he engaged in an unauthorized duel. Then, after injuring Lilka Aaron, he also requested a duel with Oscar de Garidas, who had organized the previous duel. As a result, he fell unconscious due to forcefully using Magic Body Strengthening. However, in addition to that power, he also used his supernatural power against both of his opponents. He should be the cause of all this.”
The cause of everything…
I won’t actually get expelled, right?
“Next, Orbis Class, Year 4, 1, Oscar de Gardias.”
“The student accepted to hold a private duel among students and attended it as its organizer without reporting to a teacher or having one accompany him. In the process, Lika Aaron’s injuries weren’t immediately dealt with. He also accepted a fight with someone of the lower years. In the course of that duel, the student of the higher year, who should have been responsible for their safety, fought the other student himself and even used Magic Body Strengthening in said duel.”
Oscar de Gardias had also caused a lot of trouble.
While my use of supernatural powers was also quite problematic, using Magic Body Strengthening in a duel was certainly equally or even more problematic.
Even the fact that he, a senior, fell for his junior’s provocations added to his crimes.
The one with the lowest amount of guilt was the one who was actually the underlying cause of that incident, Lilka Aaron, who had accepted a fight with me and lost, and the one with the highest was probably Oscar de Gardias or me, who directly went to the Orbis Class with the intention of fighting. It could be either of us, I didn’t know.
“Do you have any objections?”
None of us had anything to add or subtract to the report. They were just facts, that was all.
I was told that I wouldn’t be expelled. Whatever punishment I might receive, I just wanted the disciplinary meeting to end soon.
My whole body ached because I hadn’t fully recovered yet. I wanted to lie down and sleep.
I wouldn’t say anything in particular in the course of the meeting.
It obviously wouldn’t help my case if I opened my mouth right now.
It was also because of something Mr. Epinhauser had said to me—that my dirty temper would end up killing me, so I should just learn to shut my trap.
I couldn’t say anything to that.
It was only natural to think that anything the guy who caused the whole incident said would be detrimental. Additionally, knowing my personality, he doubted I would have had anything good to say.
I was just going to keep my mouth shut.
“Then we shall now discuss the level of their punishment from this point on.”
After he finished his sentence, one of the Orbis Class teachers raised their hand.
“I’m the teacher of Orbis Class, Year 1, Class A, Jaden. I suggest that Royal Class’ Reinhardt, who holds the highest amount of guilt in this case, be expelled.”
The high-score development appeared right at the start.