Chapter 44 – The Photos in the Pocket Book
‘Ms. Leticia! Can you teach me how to train with magic!’
The day after the mutant goblin king had been defeated in the Misty Forest, the small newcomer magician had said that while looking up at Leticia.
It had been the kind of great feat that would allow the average Adventurer to boast for the rest of their life.
It was a great achievement even for a Royal Magician, and yet there was not much joy in her eyes.
She wanted to become stronger.
From the bottom of her heart.
That’s what her eyes said.
Training regimes and supplements.
And after telling her what she could, ‘You are so intelligent and stylish…!’ was her excited reply.
What a strange child.
Whenever there was an eating challenge in the dining hall, she would always finish it as if it was nothing. And she was always reading ancient and difficult magic books that no one else would touch.
She had the personality of someone who charged in a straight line, towards the thing that they liked.
Of course, that made her dense with things around her. She seemed mostly unaware of just how much attention she attracted throughout the palace.
‘People have been so nice to acknowledge my work. And so I have to do my best.’
She was always saying things like that.
However, this time, there was one new reason.
‘I want to be able to compete against him, like I used to.’
She was seriously trying to chase the back of the genius who had been promoted at a record breaking pace.
‘He’s the one person I don’t want to lose to. It may be difficult, but I have a feeling that if I give up now, I might lose something that is even more important to me.’
She was always working hard and doing her best.
She was honest, and treated everyone with equal kindness, which made her popular within the unit.
“Bronze already… You’re one insane tiny newcomer.”
“Who are you calling tiny!”
Normally, rising among the ranks at this speed would cause others to be jealous, but there was none of that with her.
It seemed like she was always surrounded by friends.
Unlike the person who she was chasing.
Yes, back when Luke Waldstein first joined the Royal Magicians Order…
Leticia thought back on it.
He had seemed like some kind of emotionless machine as he worked. He succeeded in what he did and continued to be promoted faster than anyone.
He was like a machine that specializes in getting the best results.
That was the impression that everyone had of Luke Waldstein at the time.
He avoided interacting with others, as he considered it to be a waste of time, and just focused on work that would lead to his advancement.
And so he quickly became a target of envy and fear.
He would hardly sleep, and would arrive at work ahead of everyone, and also be the last to leave.
It didn’t matter if it was a holiday or not.
And even when his worried superiors would admonish him, the situation did not change.
He would work even when it wasn’t his shift, and continued to get results.
“You must stop this at once. Your body will not be able to keep up.”
It was one afternoon.
Leticia had summoned him for a dressing-down, but he would not even look her in the eyes.
“I do not care about my health. There is something far more important.”
More important than his health?
Leticia felt disturbed by those words.
Was he that ambitious?
She understood that as Duke Waldstein’s heir, he was expected to be very accomplished.
As the son of a great house, there were likely complicated reasons behind some of his behavior. Leticia was also the daughter of a noble family, and so she could understand that.
However, she could not feel much fondness for someone that was this obsessed with fame an glory.
“Let him do what he wants. Even if it affects his health, he is an adult. It is his own responsibility. Besides, he might not learn until he experiences some pain first.”
Such were the words of the hands-off captain. But Leticia felt responsible as his superior.
“You haven’t eaten today, have you?”
She sighed and pressed a bun she had bought into his hands.
He looked surprised at this.
Was it because of his upbringing?
He could be well-mannered when he wanted to be.
After that, Leticia was in charge of forcing food on him, as he would skip meals if you took your eyes off of him for too long.
It was like feeding a selfish and rebellious cat.
(I do not understand it. Why is he so obsessed with advancement.)
A couple days later, she found a pocketbook on the training grounds.
She saw the embroidered Waldstein crest on the cover, and picked it up in order to deliver it to him. That’s when Leticia noticed that something had fallen out of it.
There were three photographs that had been taken with a magic camera.
And in them, was a girl who seemed to be oblivious of the camera.
(Could it be his sister…? No, it feels more…)
He must have been carrying these with him for years.
They were aged and worn.
However, she had a feeling that she now knew what that important thing to him was.