The Crimson Lucy
It took me three weeks to go to the Imperial Capital because I spent a lot of time lazing around in various cities along the way. Imperial Capital, a large city with a population of two million. Due to the prolonged economic slump, it has lost a little of its past liveliness. But that didn’t change the fact that the city was the center of the continent’s economy.
Although I arrived here early in the morning, as I walked through the market, countless fish shops and restaurants have crowded the place. I thought it might not be bad to open a restaurant in the Imperial Capital. Luckily, I had enough money from when I was a member of The Knights. So there wouldn’t be a problem with money to open up a place. Still, I was a servant’s child of a noble residence. I have also learned how to cook from a top chef in the mansion. Even though I was confident in my cooking skills, it was not like I could compete with chefs in the capital. After all, the words of being “half-assed” and “jack of all trades, master of none” were still looming over me.
Anyway, first, I had to finish the least important task. The first destination was the Imperial Magic School, the school we graduated from.
The one I was going to meet was Lucy, the professor who was our former instructor. She was also an important figure for the Knights of Saint Sophia. The professor told me that I had to come see her when I returned to the Imperial Capital.
The magic school was located in the eastern part of the Imperial Capital. I looked up at the clock tower, which stood high towards the blue sky. The school’s clock tower boasted the highest structure in the Imperial Capital. Feeling nostalgic, I stopped for a moment. I reminisced, this was the place where Sophia, Cleon, and I became friends.
I arrived in front of the room where Professor Lucy was.
I entered the room, Professor Lucy was deeply seated in an expensive-looking brown chair. “I’m glad you came, Solon. What’s happened for you to suddenly return to the Imperial Capital?”
She asked quietly, staring at me with fiery crimson eyes. Professor Lucy was a woman in her late twenties. Due to her outstanding grades and research, she got a job as a professor at the Imperial School of Magic at a young age. No amount of words were enough to praise her, such as the once-every-hundred-years genius or the return of a legendary wizard. However, I knew her personality well. I didn’t say anything and just stood up. She brushed through her beautiful long red hair and said, “What’s wrong with you? Are you perhaps fascinated by me?”
“Just a little,” I said honestly and Professor Lucy grinned.
“Isn’t that right? I’m a beautiful woman indeed!”
“If you didn’t just say that, you would be said to have a beautiful personality.”
“So you admit that I look beautiful?”
“Because that’s a fact,” I said bluntly. With stunning red hair, red eyes, and translucent white skin, she gave off a young impression within the right amount. The loose robe worn by magic school teachers looked great on her. Although the teachers usually wore black robes, Lucy was the only one who wore a bright crimson-colored robe. That made her stand out even more. Every boy in my class treated her like an idol, but I also understood that feeling.
“Last time, when I was chosen as your academic instructor, weren’t all of your classmates jealous of you?”
“Sensei is too self-conscious.”
“So, what happened then?”
“They were jealous, without a doubt. It was a storm of grudges everyday.”
“Oh my!” (TN: She’s an Onee-chan type!)
“It’s not something to laugh at. I was really challenged to a duel,” I protested with a grimace. Lucy stifled her laugh with her hand.
“Isn’t it fine that you have to put up with such troublesome things? Don’t you think it was the best of luck for you to have been taught by a teacher who’s a beautiful and generous genius like me?”
“Well, I also think I was lucky.”
“Oh my, so straightforward. I thought you would joke around and deny it.”
“But it felt strange about why I was that lucky. By the way, what was the reason Lucy-sensei chose me?”
Each student would be assigned an instructor once they became a senior student at this school. Which student will get which instructor, the students and the instructors were the ones who would choose. Students wanted an instructor who they thought would best understand and help them grow. The instructors considered the students’ wishes, examined the students’ abilities, and eventually selected their disciples. Naturally, excellent students would have excellent teachers. Conversely, good instructors only took talented disciples. But then, why did Lucy, an outstanding genius, select me?
I’ve always been doubtful.
But Lucy’s answer was clear.
“I thought you were talented.”
“I have no talent.”
“You have created the strongest knights in the empire. You can also use your power as a magic swordsman!”
“But I was kicked out.”
Lucy instantly became stiff. Then she asked me with a serious face, “What do you mean?”
Inevitably, I told her the story. The part where Arte and the others cursed at me was omitted, but Lucy seemed to have understood it well. There was a glint of sadness in her beautiful eyes, she sighed deeply.
“Well, it can’t be helped.”
“What do you mean it can’t be helped? Isn’t it terrible? It’s the knight order that you created. Isn’t it absurd that the knight order you created betrayed and exiled you?”
“Thanks for saying that, but it won’t change the fact that I’m useless for them. Right now I can’t change anything. I can’t become someone like Cleon, Sophia, Arte, or Lucy-sensei.”
Lucy was speechless, her eyes downcasted. After all, she was in the same level of genius as Sophia and The Knights. Different from me. Lucy murmured, “It’s not all about swords and magic talents. I know you have a different power.”
“Are you comforting me?”
“If you want, I will hug you and pat your head.”
When I shrugged, Lucy smiled a little.
“What are you going to do now?”
“I’m going to stay in the Imperial Capital for a while, but I have no plans. So first, I’ll look for a job.”
“Well, that’s right.”
Lucy took a sheet of paper from the desk drawer, scribbled on it with a pen, and gave it to me. I looked at it closely.
“What is this?”
“It’s an order from your instructor, okay? You will become the instructor of Princess Philia.”
I couldn’t understand immediately what Lucy was saying. I asked the professor, “Do you mean the empress’s daughter?”
“Who else? The Imperial Highness, The 18th Princess of the Empire, Philia. She is fourteen years old. Her beauty is comparable to that of a lily flower and her intelligence is comparable to that of the Ancient Sage Confu. She is a wonderful person, don’t you know?” (TN: the sage’s name is コンフ if there’re better suggestions, please tell me)
“It’s my first time hearing it.”
“Anyway, she is an amazing person.”
“How could I become such a noble tutor?”
“It’s the wish of the Imperial Highness. Her Highness Princess longs for an adventurer. To be more specific, someone who has strong enough power to fight alone with swords and magic, like the Vice-Captain of The Knights of Saint Sophia, Solon. “
“So Her Highness herself said that she wanted to appoint a magic swordsman like Solon as a tutor, but I couldn’t find anyone like him. Then, I thought there was a suitable person.”
“Well, I’m Solon himself. Yet why didn’t she ask for Sophia or Arte, but me?”
“Isn’t it better to ask Her Highness directly? You are famous, it’s no wonder.”
The world thought I was a hero. Was it true that The Imperial Princess is no exception?
In my mind, there was Clarice’s figure enthusiastically talking about Solon, the magic swordsman. Clarice, with sparkling eyes, fervently said that Solon was a wonderful person. But it was just a pretense, there was no such Solon anywhere. He was just a magic swordsman who got exiled.
Lucy shut me up by putting her index finger on my mouth.
“Your insightful teacher has introduced you, so do it earnestly.”
“Will it fit me?”
“Oh, I think you are a good instructor.”
“How do you know that?”
“I know you very well, because you are my wonderful student,”
Lucy smiled softly. In the end, I took the job. According to Lucy, the tutor of Her Imperial Highness would receive the high-ranking position of a servant. It could also be said that the salary would be considerably high. Ultimately, I couldn’t refuse Lucy’s request.
After leaving the magic school, I searched for an inn, deposited my luggage, and adjusted myself. I would be going to the Imperial Palace next week.
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