Chapter 98 – Epilogue 3
A hospital room at twilight.
Luke Waldstein was sinking into a deep turmoil.
He knew that there was no point in thinking about it.
He had reached his limit, both physically and mentally. And this was the result of him doing everything that he could.
However, the memory of his words would return and haunt him.
‘There is something more important.’
“If I cannot fight by her side right now, then my life may as well end today.”
‘I had to protect you, Noelle…’
He realized it after looking back.
On that day, he had said things that were quite embarrassing, hadn’t he?
(What possessed me to say that…)
Being born in a great house, even from when he was young, he had lived with very few instances of failure in terms of how he conducted himself. And so this new memory was quite painful to him.
What was she thinking?
(Luke, you were quite painful to watch on that day…)
…He wanted to disappear.
He felt excruciatingly self-conscious, and consumed by regret.
With such feelings he could not explain, Luke Waldstein let out a sigh.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Well done! I heard all about the big part that you played, Ms. Noelle.”
One day, when we were close to being discharged from the hospital.
My superiors from the Royal Magicians Order came to visit me.
They had been sent to the dungeon city, by official order, and thanks to the fact that we had gone in advance and made connections with the Conquest Party, they were able to continue with their job a lot more smoothly than they were expecting.
Because they were from the same organization as us, they were able to sign a contract, giving them priority when researching and analyzing artifacts found on the 80th floor.
As I heard them talking excitedly, I felt happy that I had done my best.
“Mr. Luke has also been recovering quickly. Though, he was sighing an awful lot.”
“Sighing? Did something happen?”
“Hmm, I don’t know. But considering how brilliant he is, he is probably angry about all the things he cannot do because he is hospitalized.”
We thought about it for a moment.
The first thing that came to my mind was the battle against the floor boss… Well, right after it.
How he had dragged his wounded body across the floor and given me his last potion.
‘I had to protect you, Noelle…’
My heart started beating in a strange way.
It was an odd feeling, like I was not myself anymore.
What was that?
As I puzzled over it, my superior said, ‘That’s right. There is something important I have to tell you.’
“First, it’s been decided that you will be promoted to Gold-Rank. There was some opposition within the palace, as they did not want a commoner to rise so quickly. But their arguments were weak against such a great achievement. You could say that you silenced them with power.”
“No, no, you’re exaggerating…”
Though, I smiled at the compliment.
My coworkers at the Royal Magicians Order really were good at praising me.
As I was reminded of just how great a workplace it was, my superior continued.
“And one other thing. The World Trophy that is hosted by the empire.”
“Yes, it is quite soon! I was thinking about going to see it, if my schedule allows! After all, it is just once every four years, and I can see great magicians from different countries compete! It should be the kind of experience that I will never forget! Though, I’ve always been a little disappointed that our country does not seem to put much effort into it.”
I said rapidly, causing my superior to laugh.
I had a habit of talking too much when it came to things that interested me.
I scratched my head with embarrassment.
“Well, it seems like you will be amongst those representing us.”
I felt like I just heard something insane.
No, it couldn’t be.
That would never happen. Yes.
“Um, please don’t joke about such things. Something like that would never…”
“Here is the official written request.”
I doubted it with all of my might as l looked through it.
It bore the official magic seal of the Royal Magicians Order.
“Mr. Luke was also chosen. It seems like for once, our country actually wants to win.”
My superior said with a smile.
“I have high expectations for you. Do your best.”
I was frozen for quite some time. And then…
My eyes rolled up into my head.
Dear mother, who is waiting for me at home.
Though I have not been one for long, my new life as a Royal Magician continues to move in directions that I never would have expected.