In the end, Shanapell sponsored me just like the Merchant Guild had, and they said that they would give me an appropriate amount after an internal meeting.
That would mean that the one trillion won, the money used to make Olivia Lanze pledge to join them, was an amount that had been agreed on prior.
In that case, since that was the amount of money they wanted to use to catch Olivia, I certainly wouldn’t receive that much.
Olivia also expressed her gratitude because she was very much moved by Shanapell’s decision to sponsor me.
Saviolin Turner already seemed quite satisfied with Olivia’s attitude.
It seemed to her that sponsoring me to influence Olivia was the right decision.
I secured sponsorships from two of the major organizations.
—The Merchant Guild and Shanapell.
That alone made the atmosphere around us a little strange.
“Ehem. Ehem, you said your name is Reinhardt?”
“I’d like to talk a bit more about the sponsorship you just mentioned…”
“Mr. Reinhardt, may I speak to you for a moment?”
“I didn’t hear what you said earlier because I was in a hurry…”
The atmosphere seriously turned strange all of a sudden.
There was only one reason for that…
The Merchant Guild’s master, Owen de Getmora, who was still sitting in one corner of the hall, was smiling at me.
Everyone thought that my plans were absurd, and even those who were strangers to magic could understand that fact.
However, what mattered were the results.
The ‘fact’ that the Merchant Guild and Shanapell promised to support me spread through the banquet hall like wildfire without my knowledge.
There was no way that the Merchant Guild would support something without reason, and there was also no way that the Knight Division, Shanapell, would uselessly support some magic research.
For those reasons, those people couldn’t help but mistakenly believe that there was something to my projects.
The Merchant Guild’s sponsorship was for the sake of getting closer to the Imperial Family, and Shanapell’s sponsorship was to look good before Olivia Lanze.
However, the other sponsorship meeting attendees didn’t know the details of my circumstances.
What was important was that those two major organizations that had absolutely nothing to do with magic decided to sponsor seemingly impossible magic research.
I literally turned from being seen as ‘a strange guy who talked nonsense’ to ‘an extraordinary young man’ in that hall.
…Just because I received two sponsorships for completely different reasons.
So those who ignored me before, believing that I just sprouted nonsense, suddenly changed their attitude, promising to sponsor me.
Sponsorships weren’t investments, so even if they sponsored me, they weren’t guaranteed to receive anything in return. However, they believed in the discerning eyes of the Merchant Guild and Shanapell, an organization affiliated with the Imperial Family.
If the crazy things I was talking about were actually made, they wouldn’t hold any stakes in them, but there was a certain advantage to just being remembered as the ones who had sponsored us.
And there was the phenomenon that people flocked to those that others flocked to.
So I was suddenly promised sponsorship by nearly 30% of the people attending the meeting.
That was probably Owen de Getmora’s doing.
He created an environment in which he couldn’t help but witness not only their interest in the amount the Merchant Guild promised to sponsor but also what they needed from me.
“…What’s with this?”
“I’m a little surprised as well.”
“I guess this is a good thing, right?”
“I guess so?”
Unfortunately, while I had a whole sponsorship list remaining before me, I wouldn’t be able to remember all the names of those who promised to sponsor me.
Eventually, both my and Olivia’s predictions turned out to be wrong, as I was able to secure a huge amount of sponsorships.
It felt even more ridiculous because I didn’t achieve that with my own abilities but through a misunderstanding.
* * *
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
By the time the sponsorship meeting was over, Saviolin Turner came to visit me once again.
That time, it didn’t seem to be about the sponsorship but some personal business. She had something to say to me privately, so she kept me away from Olivia.
I wondered what business she had with me.
“I heard about the matter with the Orbis Class, Reinhardt.”
At Saviolin Turner’s words, I looked towards Mr. Epinhauser standing further away. He’d really told her everything about me.
Originally, the sponsorship meeting was an event for both students and personnel of the Royal Class and Orbis Class. However, none of the members of the Orbis Class attended the event.
“You must know that you have made many enemies because of that, right?”
She lowered her voice to the point that no one else could hear her, talking to me as if to warn me.
The trigger for the Orbis Class’ closure due to internal problems was the duel between me and Oscar de Gardias.
The Orbis Class incident itself was already an inflection point of history, so I would have turned all of the students getting expelled and all of the teachers getting fired because of that incident into my enemies.
Of course, it would be useless to point their hatred towards me, but there would be many seeking to exact their revenge on me.
I knew that much. However, Saviolin Turner shook her head.
“Don’t think that the Orbis Class will be your only enemies.”
“How many people present in this hall do you think we’re sponsoring the Orbis Class? No, how many people do you think refused to attend this meeting after hearing that the Orbis Class would be absent from this event?”
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My whole body seemed to freeze up after hearing that.
“If the Orbis Class students, who were sponsored by them, were to be tried, sentenced to jail, or expelled, you would also incur the wrath of their sponsors.”
The students who’d promised to join them or were being scouted by them and received a lot from them might get expelled.
All of the investments they had made in anticipation of their future would end up being in vain. Of course, they wouldn’t lose their abilities, but there was a vast difference between an Orbis Class graduate and an expelled student.
If they even ended up having to serve prison time, they might end up being unable to accept them into their organization.
I not only turned the Orbis Class into my enemy but their sponsors as well. While not all of them would hate me, each and every one of them were decently powerful big shots.
If just one of them tried to drag me down, it would be fatal.
Saviolin Turner wanted to let me know about that fact before I went back to make me aware of those things that went on in the back that I had no idea about.
The fact was that I was in a much more dangerous position than I’d initially thought. I sighed when faced with her cold expression.
“The price I have to pay for just one single fight is much too high.”
“There’s a reason why people say not to use one’s fists recklessly, after all.”
I couldn’t help feeling shocked because I never thought I would get that kind of advice from the strongest person on the continent.
“But it sure is strange…”
Saviolin looked at me.
“A guy like you strangely hasn’t suffered from an early death.”
She walked out of the banquet hall, a slight smile tugging on her lips.
Saviolin Turner, the world’s strongest…
Anyway, maybe it was because she seemed similar to Ellen, but I felt like she was a good person.
I achieved my goal of securing sponsorships.
I also found out that it wouldn’t be strange if I ended up dead at any given moment.
Olivia and I went back to the dorms after the sponsorship meeting that ended late at night. I didn’t tell her that I was basically surrounded by enemies.
Knowing her personality, she would go on a rampage, saying that she would protect me even at night by standing next to my bed.
That would be even scarier.
“But I’m glad it still turned out pretty well.”
“That’s right. All thanks to you.”
Olivia had suggested going to the sponsorship meeting, and she’d created that connection with Saviolin Turner.
So it was all thanks to her that I was able to safely secure the budget for the Magic Research Society. Olivia smiled at me.
“If you’re grateful…”
Ah, she was going to ask for that again. She would ask me to kiss her again or such nonsense.
“Do you really…”
“Should we really do it?”
What was that all about?
It was night, so no one was around to watch us, so was that it?
Did she really want to kiss?
Olivia stuttered, her face so red that I could see it even in the darkness of the night, as she puckered her lips.
“Tsk, you’re a scaredy-cat, so you’re nothing but talk.”
“What?! Scaredy-cat? Did you just call me scaredy-cat? I can do it! Can you, though?”
“What are you implying, girl?!”
While there weren’t any people around to see it happen, there might still have been some who could hear us!
“You. Do you know that you’re the only one in Temple, no, the whole continent, that ignored me like this?”
When I thought of it, that might’ve been true.
Wherever she went, she was praised as a saint, and everyone at the sponsorship meeting coveted her, but it seemed like I was the only one who treated her somewhat badly.
Olivia seemed mad, probably fed up with my attitude.
Then she suddenly kissed me on the cheek.
All of a sudden?
She did stuff like that out of the blue sometimes, but that time it was so random that I couldn’t help but be surprised.
So did she just act like she was a scaredy-cat then?
“You don’t idolize me, you don’t worship me, you don’t force me or want me to act a certain way. You just take me for who I am.”
Olivia spoke as she looked at me while I was still trying to return to my senses.
“That’s why I like you.”
She smiled brilliantly at me.
Olivia thought that I might freak out when I came to my senses, so she quickly ran out of my sight in an instant.
I couldn’t believe that she was able to run so fast in a dress and those shoes.
Just looking at that fear, I could understand why Saviolin Turner coveted her talent so much.
Then one of her shoes’ heels broke and she fell.
-Pre-pre-pretend you didn’t see that!
Even without directly seeing it, I could guess what kind of expression Olivia currently wearing.
Ellen sat quietly on a sofa in the lobby at the entrance to the dorm.
She didn’t know why she decided to sit there and not in her room. It was just that she felt like she couldn’t bear it otherwise.
After seeing Olivia Lanze in a dress holding his hand and getting dragged somewhere outside of the training room’s window view, she couldn’t hold onto her training sword.
She heard that they were going to a sponsorship meeting or something.
—That was why she was wearing a dress. She knew that.
However, she still felt upset.
She couldn’t do anything, so she just sat there.
That senior who was very close to Reinhardt…
That senior, after putting on a dress and even applying makeup, looked blindingly beautiful.
She’d heard that he was going there because of the Magic Research Society.
They wouldn’t do anything. It was just a public event, she knew that.
However, Ellen was still anxious as she sat in the lobby.
She didn’t even know why she was sitting there.
She didn’t know what she was waiting for. She just couldn’t bear not doing anything.
How many more hours would she sit there idly?
By the time the sun set and the night grew deeper, there were a few students who came and went through the lobby until she was the only one left sitting in that huge hall.
-Uurg, so embarrassing… that was so disgraceful…
Soon, an unfamiliar yet familiar voice sounded from the entrance.
While she was still a beauty one couldn’t take their eyes off of in her off-shoulder dress, she was trudging into the dormitory with broken high heels in her hand.
Reinhardt wasn’t with her.
When Olivia entered, she made eye contact with Ellen, who was still sitting on that sofa in the lobby.
“…Ah. You’re our Reinhardt’s friend. Hello.”
“What are you doing here at this hour?”
Olivia smiled as if she knew everything. Ellen didn’t know why she entered holding broken heels.
She also didn’t know why she didn’t return with Reinhardt.
She didn’t know what she was doing there either.
She didn’t know a lot.
However, she had a slightly strange feeling.
‘Our Reinhardt’s friend…’
It felt oddly unpleasant.
‘Our Reinhardt’s friend. ‘
It actually sounded more like she was saying ‘my’ than ‘our’.
No, she was just overthinking.
However, the other party looked at Ellen intently while wearing a strange, knowing smile.
“…Are you waiting for Reinhardt?”
Unable to deny it, Ellen nodded her head.
“Why are you waiting for him?”
Ellen hadn’t thought about that. She was waiting for Reinhardt, that was true, but she didn’t know why she was waiting for him. Olivia silently looked at Ellen, who was unable to find an answer to her question.
“You know what?”
“You’re kind of annoying, you know?”
Ellen couldn’t help but be shocked by her straightforward words.
They didn’t really have many points of contact, she was just someone Ellen encountered from time to time, someone who was saved by Reinhardt, someone who helped him out with various things.
—A precious person of someone precious to her.
Then she had to be precious to her as well, right?
Ellen wasn’t as good as that girl. Olivia just stared at her after calling her annoying.
“You really don’t know?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
In response to the other party’s prickly attitude, Ellen responded to her, equally prickly.
Ellen, who usually always kept her composure was surprised that she acted like that.
“If you really don’t know, continue living like that. Please continue to act all vaguely like you always do. I’m fine with that,” Olivia whispered as she passed Ellen.
“Please take good care of our Reinhardt in the future as well.”
She hadn’t been mistaken.
The other girl was deliberately trying to piss her off. Ellen looked at Olivia Lanze’s back as she walked away on her bare feet.
No matter if she was Reinhardt’s benefactor or not…
She didn’t like her.
Soon after, Reinhardt returned.
“What’s wrong with your face? Did something happen?”
“Are you mad?”
“No. I’m not mad.”
“Erm… Did I… do something wrong?”
“No, you didn’t do anything wrong.”
Reinhardt hadn’t done anything wrong.
Somehow, something akin to sadness that she shouldn’t have felt wiggled inside her heart.
Ellen hated herself for that.
Reinhardt kept sticking next to her, asking if she was okay, why she was doing that, and if it was because of something he did.
Ellen didn’t know why, but that made her feel better in the end.
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