Chapter 44: The path to a conclusion

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Author: Shizuku Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2897 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1307 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Christina Barnard, the squirrel demi-human, was worried sick. The source of her worries walked in front of her, huffing and puffing. It was Mathias Feullard.

“Mathias… Why would you jump to such conclusions before gathering anywhere near enough evidence?”

“The A classroom has a prestige to uphold, and she’s sullying that title! I can’t allow myself as the son of a marquis to overlook someone tainting this country’s reputation!”

Mathias nearly shouted in response to Christina’s courageous reprimand. He was the son of a marquis, and Christina was part of a family under his supervision.

They happened to be born in the same year, so their parents decided to raise them together, but Mathias had an impulsive and stubborn attitude, while Christina was more introverted and quiet, so oftentimes they would be unable to see eye-to-eye. Mathias would rush ahead carelessly, dragging Christina with him against her will.

“Using the name of one’s parents as a shield and using dishonest means to gain fame, that all goes against the values of this country. I’ll never overlook such things.”

He had not gone to attack Olivia out of pure malice. He loved his country, and was proud of his marquis bloodline, his sense of justice pushed him to punish any injustice he saw.

After seeing Olivia’s performance the day before, he was certain there had been foul play during the entrance exams.

“But we don’t have any proof of that, maybe something else happened.”
“What could make someone get misplaced based on their results of the entrance exam? She doesn’t seem to be sick or anything.”
“That’s…”

Christina wanted to stop him at all costs, but she could not contradict his logic either. She had tried to investigate Olivia herself the day before, but had not found anything that stood out either.

“Hmph, you don’t have to come if you don’t want to. This is a duel between Olivia and me.”
“W-Wait!”

Mathias walked faster, ignoring Christina who fell behind slightly. But he was right, Christina had no need to be involved with the duel. She was still a noble’s daughter, and she had been taught about the importance of ties between noble families since she was small.

That was what pushed her to always orbit around Mathias. At the same time, while she disagreed with Mathias’ narrow minded attitude, she was almost inspired by his motivations.

That was why she did not question the underlying issue, only Mathias’ character and actions. There was one thing she had noticed after her investigation the day before, however.

(I don’t know how strong Olivia really is, but if her magic automaton gets angry1…)

She had seen the magic automaton using an unfamiliar weapon in the training grounds. It easily pierced through the dummy targets. The attacks were incredibly fast as well, too fast to dodge once activated.

Christina knew from experience that Mathias would not change his mind even if she told him about that though. Was there anything she could do?

(I’ll have to stop the magic automaton myself..!)

She was also the proud daughter of a noble, she embraced the courage to stand up against adversity.

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Olivia felt vindicated in her anger. He had insulted her mother and Natalia. But she also noticed a different emotion welling up inside her at that moment.

‘She’s responsible for her own performance, so I won’t defend her. But I won’t tolerate hearing my Mistress’ character being put into question. Retract your statements.’

Natalia had also been clearly angry. But she was offended not on Olivia’s behalf, but on her mother Ophelia’s. Olivia was the only one to blame for her subpar performance, she understood that. Natalia had mentioned that herself.

That was something she could not argue against.

(But…)
(Still…)
(Natalia got more angry for my mother than for me…)

An emotion had stirred deep in Olivia’s heart. A spark of jealousy. She was jealous of her late mother, who she loved and respected.

Olivia had inherited Natalia’s ownership, and had registered as her Servant too, meaning Olivia was Natalia’s current mistress. But that was only on paper.

Natalia still thought of Ophelia as her only mistress, and Olivia as her daughter. That had become painfully obvious. Olivia did not particularly want Natalia to call her mistress. She just wanted to be Natalia’s most important person.

Replaying that scene all over again, she could not accept the fact Natalia had not said anything when Olivia’s feelings were hurt.

She knew feeling that way was ridiculous. Who would ever feel jealous of their mother? But emotions often go against reason. And Olivia’s heart was gripped by various emotions.

A desire to become Natalia’s number one. She would do anything to accomplish that…

(Ughh, I need to stop. Right now…)

Olivia had to focus on her duel, for both her mother and Natalia’s honor. Olivia chose to stop thinking of that, and focus on getting through class and the duel.


The afternoon classes had not ended yet when I was called to the staff room. This is so weird. Why would I be called there? I’m not a student or anything.

“Are you paying attention?”
“I’m truly sorry.”

My bad, seriously! Damuel looked annoyed as he frowned at me.

“This is the first time such a thing happens right at the start of the school year.”

A duel is a method to solve a conflict in most situations, regardless of whether the parties concerned are nobles or commoners.

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The rules allow any weapon or magic, unless it’s something extremely unreasonable. The winner and loser are decided by forfeiture, fainting, or when a referee made a decision.

This is a dispute between students, so a teacher will be the referee.

“I really hoped you’d stop something like that from happening, but from what I heard you instigated it even more.”
“I know I did that, but as a maid and magic automaton I simply can’t allow my Mistress’ name to be sullied.”

I had remained silent for as long as they only spoke of Olivia. I only got too annoyed when they started talking crap about Ophelia. Otherwise I would have waved it off as a fight between children.

“And it had to be against Mathias of all people…”
“Could that be troublesome?”
“See, Mathias is the son of a marquis. Social status and authority has no impact inside the academy, but it can carry over to life outside the academy, and post-graduation.”

Ah, so something could happen outside the jurisdiction of the academy. The academy won’t be able to intervene in such a situation, and we can’t expect them to treat us fairly.

He’s the son of a marquis to boot, that’s a lot of authority.

“Not to mention that their quarrel escalated into a duel. I could step in and mediate between them if it was a simple fight, all I can do now is to make sure neither side goes too far during the duel.”

Isn’t that more than enough though?

“Do you understand? Even if Mathias’ claims are wrong, if he wins the duel he’ll be in the right.”
“That could be troublesome.”
“Exactly. But they’ve already agreed to the duel, so we can’t do anything about that anymore.”

The duel had been agreed on in a very public space with many witnesses too, there’s no way to back out of it now.

Crap.

If I had remained calm just a little more I could’ve avoided all of this. But I also can’t remain quiet if I hear someone insulting Ophelia. At the same time, I won’t be able to face Ophelia in the afterlife if I allow her daughter’s reputation and future to be destroyed.

“Ahhh, at least I hope she can come out without any bad injuries2…”

Only now I’m starting to regret having such a short temper.



References

  1. Robinxen: Some misplaced awareness, but awareness none the less.
  2. Robinxen: Aren’t you dismissing her a bit much here?

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