Chapter 16 – Forever Important, the Only One
As the Red Rose Ball was to be held in the royal palace, it was an event that required the highest level of security in order to avoid any injury to its honored guests.
On the other hand, this was incredibly difficult, given that so many of the guests were from outside of the palace, and even outside of the country.
Besides, they also did not want to ruin the festive atmosphere by having too many heavily armed knights everywhere.
In order to solve such a problem, the very best of the Royal Knights Order and the Royal Magicians Order were chosen to attend the Red Rose Ball in disguise, where they could act if the need arose.
“While it is now normal for a woman to work as a magician, there are still not that many who have risen to Adamantite-rank yet. But the council wanted more Royal Magicians who are women, and so I recommended you.”
“But…I’m merely Porcelain-rank…”
“As I am attending, there is nothing strange about my buddy being with me. Besides, you broke the wall and passed the Sixty Seconds of Blood. You are quite well-known within the order now.”
“A-are you serious…”
Indeed, I had felt eyes on me whenever I walked around…
“Still, I’m just a commoner from the countryside. And this is the most exclusive ball for nobles.”
“Indeed, there was some opposition to the idea. But I did what I could to make my suggestion go through.”
“…What did you do?”
“You want to know?”
Luke smiled mischievously.
While I liked things to be simple, Luke was always good at strategizing.
“I’d rather not hear. I might accidentally tell someone.”
“I agree. Besides, you won’t be able to return to your old life if you hear.”
“Uh, I see…”
That was scary.
The machinations of nobles…
“However, there is a reason that I did everything in my power to position you there, Noelle. I will need your help. You do know about the assassination attempt of the crown prince, during a ceremony while abroad yesterday?”
“Yes. I read an article about how he was safe, and I sighed with relief.”
“There are many countries with continuing power struggles within. You never know what might happen. And so we must take every precaution. But more importantly, this is a great opportunity for me.”
“If I was to prevent an assasination at the ball, and arrest the culprit, well, that would put me a lot closer to becoming the youngest Magus-rank Magician, wouldn’t it?”
“Good grief. You just never stop….”
I sighed with exasperation.
“Are rank and glory that important to you? I don’t think it’s very healthy to focus on such things.”
“Well, I’m not that interested in rank and glory. However, there is one very important thing that I want at all costs.”
“Yes. And I will not be able to have it unless I become the best magician in the kingdom. One needs that much power if they wish to go against their family and the opinions of those around them.”
“Th-that sounds very grand.”
It must be something amazing.
But what could it be?
Perhaps there was a legendary magic book that only the best magicians could acquire.
“That’s a surprise. Since you’re so capable and resourceful, I assumed you could get whatever you wanted with ease.”
“I can get most things. However, life can be pretty complicated. And there is only one thing that is really important. And if I had that, I would not need anything else. It is so important that I would lose everything else for it. And yet it is the one thing that I cannot have. That is how things are.”
One thing that is more important than everything else.
It was a rather nice story, I thought.
Perhaps it was like how I felt about magic. Something precious that I could never give up on.
I suppose Luke wasn’t always calculating and wicked. He had a rather pure side to him.
Still, what could this thing be?
“Wait, let me guess what it is.”
Since we had spent so much time together, I felt that I knew him more than most people.
Yes, I would guess it. But in spite of my initial confidence, I could not think of a good answer.
“It must be something you found after graduating.”
“No, I’ve known about it since I was a student. I suppose it will be six years now.”
Six years, huh? That was around the time that we became friends.
Surely I should be able to guess… Hmm… What is it? Something that is so important for Luke?
“Is it the greatest legendary book of magic that only a few people know about?”
“I knew you would say something like that.”
Luke said with a sigh.
“I give up! Tell me!”
I said, and then Luke looked at me with his sapphire blue eyes and he smiled.
“No, I’m not going to tell you.”