Chapter 65 – Box of Memories
After the sun had set.
In his dimly lit room.
Luke Waldstein let out a deep sigh.
“Why can’t I just say it…”
The opera tickets that he had not been able to give her.
It wasn’t that he was afraid of being rejected.
These things were just a little awkward, when the time came.
(No, it’s not that either.)
Luke looked at the floor.
(I’m afraid. That if our relationship were to change… What if I could no longer be by her side as a friend.)
She was more important to him than anything.
And so he was afraid.
He did not want to lose what he had now. Being able to be by her side.
He could see that this was cowardice.
(I really haven’t changed at all.)
He chuckled self-deprecatingly as he took out a single box from the back of a shelf.
They had been wrapped up and kept there for so long. He stared at them fondly now.
The parcels inside were birthday presents that he had prepared for her while they were students at the magic academy.
Every year, he told himself that he would give her a present. But all he had now was memories of failing to do just that.
The memories were a little painful and bitter, but also somewhat comforting.
Such were the memories attached to the parcels.
There were other things inside of the box as well.
Some poems he had been foolish enough to write down while thinking about her.
A list of songs he had made in the event that he would put on a concert for her.
But when Luke saw that he had written her name with his own surname, he closed the notebook frantically.
(What the hell was I doing…)
This was incredibly embarrassing.
(But it shows how much I liked her…)
And that was a feeling that had not changed at all.
If anything, the feelings had probably become stronger.
(One step… I can at least move one step forward.)
As the heir of a duke, he had not been able to reveal to her his true feelings.
But still, he wanted to be by her side.
He wanted to learn more about her.
“Hey, I got this from my superior. How about accompanying me?”
Obviously, just as a friend.
He was very careful with his words, so as to not give the wrong impression.
“Ms. Leticia was talking about that! And so I was just thinking about going. Well done, Luke!”
She said, slapping him on the shoulder.
As she was very dense, she readily agreed with a nod.
(I really can go on a date with Noelle…)
This was the opportunity that he had dreamed of.
And so his heart swelled with expectation.
He then used all of his power and went about creating the finest date plan.
But he could not sleep at all the night before, and was quite tired the next day.
And yet he still ended up appearing at the appointed place an hour early. That’s how excited he was. But he soon calmed himself and sighed.
(Well, I should kill some time then.)
There was a cafe near the fountain where they had planned to meet up.
And so he ordered some royal milk tea there.
As he closed his eyes in order to rest for a while, someone approached and sat at the other side of the table.
“I expect nothing less of you, Mr. Luke. It took tremendous effort from a team of us to acquire the information on this secret deal, and yet you found out about it on your own.”
It was one of his coworkers from the Royal Magicians Order.
Second Unit… A Gold-Rank magician from the Misuse of Magic Management Department.
“What are you talking about?”
“You don’t have to pretend to be ignorant. We are just relieved that we can count on your cooperation. Of course, the chief is a little wary about you trying to take all the credit, so it’s best that you pretend that this was a coincidence, and that you offered to help us.”
“No, I am only here on personal business.”
This was getting nowhere.
His coworker glanced around and then took out a small hourglass and placed it on the table.
“Very well then. I see that you want to hear our information first. I understand.”
It was a rank 4 artifact that the Royal Magicians Order used to prevent eavesdropping.
It was filled with finely ground up magic stones.
The sand released a blue light behind the glass, creating thin streaks as they fell.
“Obviously, you already know about the illegal trade of forbidden magic books that is to happen at the opera house. Though, we do not know why the opera house has been chosen. However, the chief believes that the organization’s base must be close by.”
Why the opera house of all places…
For a moment, Luke wondered if Leticia had given him the opera tickets intentionally. But then again, this was information that another department had worked hard to obtain. It had to be a coincidence then.
Normally, he would have seen this as a fortunate opportunity. But things were different today.
His long awaited date with Noelle.
He did not want some other department’s work to disturb and drag him away.
“Don’t even think that I will help you.”
“Indeed. People must believe that that is your stance. Now, please excuse me.”
And then the magician turned and walked away.
Luke watched him leave and made up his mind.
He would absolutely not get involved.
This was his day off.
During times of emergency, he could have them treat this as a working day, so that he can take a different day off instead. However, Noelle was more important to him than his job.
And yet… In spite of his feelings, things took an unexpected turn in the next moment.
“Luke! Luke! Magic books in the black market! How exciting!”
Damn it. The magician had gone and told her…!
Luke sighed with disbelief as Noelle appeared excitedly by the fountain.
The first date he had been looking forward to.
No, he would not allow some other department or secret dealings to get in his way.
And so Luke Waldstein’s battle had begun.