Chapter 36 – A New Job and the Great Library
“Which one should I read next?”
The great library in the royal palace.
The light shone through the ceiling windows.
Specks of dust shined as they reflected the light.
In a corner, with rows of dark wood shelves, there were books that were older and rarer than the rest.
As people generally preferred the newer books, this room was not very popular.
However, it was now my favorite place within the whole palace.
The dry scent that only the oldest books had.
There was something calming and nostalgic about them that I liked very much.
I would gaze at the spines of the thick, old tomes, and search for one that made my heart race.
These were books that had withstood the test of time. Not only were their contents substantial, but they were sturdy in make as well.
And as I read them, I felt as if I were speaking to the sages of times long past, which was terribly fun.
But more than anything, it had to be said, that I looked very impressive, being the person who avoided the popular shelves and studied the very difficult-looking books!
And so I hummed to myself while choosing the books to borrow.
You were allowed to borrow up to ten books at once.
As there was a limitation, I had to choose them very carefully.
Ah, that book looks interesting!
I stood on my toes and stretched my hand towards a book that was on a high shelf.
There…just a little more…
However, I still could not reach it.
As I struggled on my toes, a large shadow appeared above me.
“Is this the one you wanted?”
Sapphire blue eyes.
But I was more annoyed than happy.
Why did he have to be so tall?
Or why was I so short?
It was simply unfair.
I drank milk every day.
However, in spite of my frustrations with how the world worked, it was still important to thank people who helped you.
I said with a pout. Luke grinned.
His confidence could be so aggravating.
People who had it all could be like that!
Give me half of your height!
But such feelings of frustration were soon swept away when I smelled the old book in my arms.
And so I held the books after finishing the borrowing process, and I hummed while walking with Luke in the afternoon garden.
“You really do like books related to magic.”
“I like them very much. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I love them.”
“More than an expensive steak?”
“Hmmm… Now that is a difficult question…”
I loved books and I loved meat.
I never thought about which order I would put them.
Which was it, then…?
“I must ponder on it carefully, so give me some time.”
“Take all the time you need.”
And so I tackled the difficult problem.
Suddenly, Luke said in a quiet voice,
“…-could be number one.”
“Huh? Did you say something?”
He looked away and scratched his cheek.
“So, there was actually something I wanted to discuss with you.”
“Yes. It’s about the next job we will be in charge of.”
The next job… I wonder what kind of job it will be?
As I looked up with both expectation and anxiety in my chest, Luke answered.
“The ‘Misty Forest’ that faces the northwestern side of the kingdom. We are to investigate it, in person.”
The Misty Forest was on the border of the undeveloped lands that neighbored the kingdom. And it was known to be the home of many monsters.
That being said, that didn’t mean they were very dangerous monsters.
A low-rank Adventurer wouldn’t have any problem dealing with them.
However, due to the fact that it was filled with mist, it was difficult to see, and so Adventurers tended to avoid the place.
“But, why do they want the Royal Magician Order to investigate it?”
It did not seem like the kind of place to send us.
Surely this was not a difficult or dangerous task?
“It was Prince Michael’s order.”
“The crown prince?”
Michael Ardenfeld was the first prince.
As I did not know much about politics, there was little that I knew about him.
There were rumors that he was very intelligent, and that he was popular with ladies, because he was very handsome.
I had been able to see him at the ball, and he was indeed quite attractive.
“The Royal Knights Order are being sent as well. Clearly, this is going to be a very serious investigation. And you and I were specifically assigned to it.”
It took me a while to fully understand what he had said.
“Ah, I see. I am to go as your buddy. For a moment I thought that the prince assigned me specifically too.”
I said understandingly, but Luke shook his head.
“No. He did want you. Apparently, it was absolutely important that you participated.”
“…Are you serious?”
How did such a thing happen…?
However, when I thought about it, it wasn’t completely out of the blue.
Most likely, the fact that I had helped save the empress at the ball had played a part in it.
‘That new magician is very promising.’
They must have been thinking such things.
So the crown prince saw my potential…!
There could be no bigger honor for a new Royal Magician.
Yes, I will succeed at this job and meet his expectations then!
And so I made a fist in the air, while also careful to not drop the books that I was carrying.