Chapter 170 – Prologue
The season passed so quickly.
A month later, I was busy with work relating to the newly established 7th unit.
A new trial unit that would attempt to deal with the ever-changing and diverse world, and the magic crimes committed within it.
The kingdom of Ardenfeld had a strong interest in magic, and so this news lit up the newspapers with excitement for several days.
Apparently, it was also widely talked about in the neighboring countries, and they watched with curiosity to see what kind of role we would take on.
However, in spite of the strong interest, the work involving its creation was not going smoothly.
“After all, Mr. Ernest made the decision alone, and in a rush. As we could not prepare in advance, there is a lot that we have to catch up with at the moment.”
My senior colleague from the 1st Unit Central Command Office’s General Affairs Section said with a sigh.
As the Captain of the 1st Unit, Mr. Ernest was essentially the head of the Royal Magicians Order.
This was because the president, Mr. Cronos, had been absent for over a decade while researching time magic.
His authority and influence was great, and it was because of him that the 7th Unit was allowed to be created.
“I actually wanted to have a proper office prepared for you, Ms. Noelle.”
“Now you’re making fun of me. I am not in the position to have my own office.”
“But you are. You are the vice-captain, after all.”
“Oh, that’s right…”
It still did not feel real at all.
It was almost scary.
But it was real. Luke had chosen me, and I was the vice-captain of the 7th unit.
The vice-captain of the new unit that everyone was talking about.
It was an honor, but difficult to process.
“I haven’t even been in the order for a year yet. Do things like this happen often?”
“There is a precedent. Over two hundred years ago, when the Royal Magicians Order was still new, and there was much confusion. However, things are very different. It has not happened since we’ve become organized as we are now. Yes. Definitely not.”
“I knew it. Not even Ryan has become a vice-captain yet.”
“Well, in his case, he is in the 1st unit. Even getting the third highest position is difficult. It’s not comparable to other units. In a way, you could also say that becoming the vice-captain of a new unit like the 7th is not that difficult. With that being said, you broke Chris’s promotion record of four years and one month, and shortened it by three years. So it is quite an accomplishment.”
“I-I did such a thing…”
I was starting to feel a little dizzy.
“That being said, it is more shocking that Luke was able to become captain in just four years. As for that, more than a few nobles in the palace have objected to it. And so you really don’t need to… Hmm, is something wrong?”
Apparently, I had a conflicted expression.
I thought about it for a moment and answered honestly.
“No. I was just thinking about how annoyed I am that I’m losing to him.”
“But please keep an eye on us. Next time, I’m going to make him squeal.”
“I’m not sure I like your way of becoming motivated…”
He said with a look of confusion.
However, there was also hope and expectation.
Luke was the captain and I was the vice-captain.
We were building a new unit together.
(What kind of unit would it turn into?)
I thought of our future achievements and smiled.
Hopefully, it will have a nice, friendly atmosphere just like the 3rd unit.
“As for personnel, it will be composed of new recruits that will be coming in during Spring.”
“Is that so! I’m happy about the idea of junior magicians coming in. I will no longer be the youngest… Oh, what will I do if they all adore me as their amazing senior? Ah, just the thought fills me with so much happiness.”
“Well, I think they will like you, Ms. Noelle.”
“In spite of appearances, during my student days, my juniors even gave me chocolates on Valentine’s Day. ‘To my amazing, cute, strange and funny senior.’ It seems there is something so dashing about me that I cannot hide, and they aspire to.”
“Well, it seems like they said a lot of other things too…”
He stared at me for a moment.
“Speaking of Valentine’s Day, Luke looks like someone who would have received a lot of chocolate.”
“Oh, he received so much. He’s only nice-looking on the outside. Damn it. Why would they… They are all being fooled.”
“Fooled? He seems to be an appealing person.”
“They are completely deceived! And he wasn’t even a little happy to receive any of the chocolates. And yet, those people started saying they liked his indifference… Unbelievable. I would have received them happily and ate all of it.”
“Perhaps there was someone he wanted to receive them from? And that did not happen. He could not be happy about anything else.”
“Someone he wanted it from…”
The memory suddenly returned to me. After the World Trophy, when we were alone in the hospital room.
The night he had embraced me.
(If Luke really did like me in a romantic way…)
One possibility rose in my mind.
(If he liked me way back then…)
I could not help but imagine it.
(No, no. It can’t be! I’m getting too conceited!)
I shook my head internally.
In any case, I had to focus on what was in front of me right now.
Everyone was counting on us, and I had to do my best to not disappoint them.
This was no time to relax or lower my guard, like right after the World Trophy.
(I want to be better at using magic. More than anything, that is what my soul wants.)
In order to grow, right now, I had to do my work as a senior and as a vice-captain.
“Huh? Someone from the Kingsguard. That’s unusual.”
That made me raise my head.
The person was descending the stairs, and I had an idea of where they were going.
(Probably to Luke.)
Other people may have not realized it, but Luke had recently visited Prince Michael’s room several times.
I didn’t know the reason, but it was likely related to me.
‘I am thinking of welcoming Noelle Springfield of the 3rd unit, to the Kingsguard as the head magician. And as soon as possible. Preferably, next month.’
The shock of those words has remained with me even now.
Mr. Gawain had told me that after several talks with Luke, that proposition had been put on hold for now.
“His Highness has rated you highly ever since you joined the order. Who knows what will happen? You must be prepared.”
Mr. Gawain said in his office, which was protected from eavesdropping through magic barriers.
“That being said, with this current matter. I don’t think it was about bringing you into the Kingsguard.”
“There is some other purpose?”
“After those words, Luke had no choice but to choose you as his vice-captain. That wasn’t the original plan. You should have been third in rank. It is too early for you to be vice-captain. That had been the conclusion in the previous meeting. Even Luke agreed. But he would not have been able to keep you like that.”
“And so I got the position.”
“As a result, nobles are starting to view Luke more severely. Not only is he the youngest Captain, but his vice-captain is an old classmate who hasn’t been here for a full year yet. Even if your achievements are well-known, it still does not look good.”
“I suppose it seems like favoritism.”
“And so opinions on the new unit will likely be harsh. That being said, he understood all that, and still chose you.”
“Why did he go to that extent…”
“He believes. That you two can overcome it.”
Mr. Gawain let out a deep sigh.
And then he continued with a serious expression.
“This is without a doubt, the biggest challenge of Luke’s career. He may lose everything if he fails. However, he is taking his chances. So you must help him. Please.”
Those words raised my motivation to the limit.
The greatest challenge of his life. The friend who saved me.
He relied on me the most, and that’s why I was chosen.
That fact gave me courage.
(This challenge. We will succeed no matter what. It will be a unit that can match any of the others.)
Such was my quiet resolution.
Bonus chapter courtesy of shirocchi. Thank you so much!