In a place that lay through a dimly lit alley, an old man who specialized in materials ran his business. Bringing her feet there, Basyle had brought the 'Boar Tusk' she had obtained in her last job. The old man enthusiastically appraised the tusk she declared as a first rate material.
"… Where did you get your hands on this? It's the first time I've ever seen something like it."
"That's a secret… so how much?"
Without asking any more, the old man simply gave a sigh. He had been acquainted with Basyle for a few years now, and while she was definitely skilled, it was questionable whether or not she had the ability to bring in a material of this caliber.
"In hardness and magical properties… it's all fairly high. 'Whoever' cut it off was considerably skilled."
Spewing some casual cynicism, she lay some money on the counter. Seeing that, Basyle tried a number of times to bargain up the price… at the end, she settled at the, 'exact price the old man was expecting'.
"Is it really that amazing?"
"As a material, yes. If you can obtain them in large quantities, I'd welcome it."
Basyle recalled Rudel. He had skill and money, and on top of that he was a future archduke… should I seriously try to seduce him? She earnestly mulled over it.
"And you'd better be careful. I'm not sure what you fif to that information dealer, but they're sniffing around you now."
"Hah? They handed me some fake information, so I just had them return my money."
The old man sighed once more. He proceeded to explain a few things to her. About Basyle's own fighting style and preferences… they had begun giving out her information cheap, even free of charge… and next they'd leak bad rumors about her so no one would part with her again… after he had said that much, Basyle knew something had to be done.
It was her fault for making light of the information dealers.
"You've done too much. If you aggravate them too much and get them sniffing for real, it'll get harder to work around these parts. Didn't you ever lean that? That you'll regret looking down on them… I won't say anything, but you'd better wash your feet of this business. You can still make it in time… in various ways."
Basyle could feel the air towards her worsening ever-so-slightly. She decided it was dangerous to continue on with this job.
"My body hurts."
A few days passed since the events of that forest, and Rudel lay on a bed in the academy's infirmary… even if it was called that, it was a facility on the scale of a small hospital. Pain raced around his whole body, and while the healing magic was working, it just went to show it wasn't omnipotent.
"It's because you pushed yourself. If we didn't have healing magic, you wouldn't be able to move for a month."
Izumi stayed by Rudel's side, peeling off the skin of a fruit in the chair by his bed. She wasn't skilled at the task by any means, but she wasn't bad. And like that, she handed the fruit over to Rudel.
"I'll be discharged in two to three days. And then I'll have to retrain myself from the ground up."
"That's the spirit. But get some rest for now."
As they were conversing, the door to the infirmary suddenly opened.
"It's been a while, Rudel-sama."
The one who entered with those words was Basyle. A get-well gift in her hands… how thoughtful, Rudel thought. But Izumi was put on guard. She didn't think too highly of Basyle approaching Rudel.
"I thought only relevant personnel could enter the academy."
On each of her words, a thorn did take shape, but
"I came to report this and that about my guard duty, little lady. And are you alright, Rudel-sama? If only I'd saved you sooner, or so my chest's been aching."
Basyle face a shameless excuse. She showed no reaction to Izumi's cynicism. Izumi was put even further on guard… but Rudel…
His eyes were stolen by Basyle's clothes that were even lighter than when she was on guard duty. Isumi ended up sighing. And intrigued by his reaction, Basyle went and brought her face closer to his.
Rudel's eyes ended up wandering to all sorts of places. And Basyle…
"If you find this body to your liking… you can do whatever you want with it."
On those words, Rudel showed a reaction beyond what even he could have imagined. His body tried to leap at Basyle on its own… but he was still in pain all over. Any sudden movements in such a state…
Of course, it hurt, and writhing around in pain was also painful. Basyle was surprised at that reaction, and ended up parting from Rudel. Seeing him, Izumi spoke.
"You're partly to blame for that one."
She pat his body for him.
"Hire you? Even if you ask me to hire you while I'm at the academy, well… and when it comes to guards, the knights and soldiers on campus are enough."
After Rudel's pain had softened, Basyle started into her objective of selling herself. Rudel had seen her strength as an adventurer, and she understood her own charm… but Rudel showed disapproval.
To Rudel, he didn't want to have any servants while in the academy. Those feelings ended up coming out… it was largely due to the fact he had no good memories with servants, but more than that, he was already managing on his own.
"I-in that case… right, magic! I'll teach you the practical uses of magic!"
As she frantically thought over various things, those words she randomly let slip from her mouth gave Izumi a bad premonition. As Izumi understood Rudel's personality, she had conviction he would hire her.
"Really!? That magic that burnt the boar in the forest really did surprise me. I couldn't think of it as the same magic I was using… is it possible for me too?"
Finding her foothold, Basyle began building a market for herself to a level of overkill. Correcting her posture, and lowering her head…
"Leave it to me. Magic, especially offensive magic is my specialty. I'll bring your abilities to a level you can use in real combat."
"Then I'll hire you! No, in this instance, I'm the one asking you to teach me. Based on how my body recoverers, could you stop by every day, morning and evening?"
"… Eh? E-every day? Morning and evening? … By morning, do you mean around the seventh bell?"
Basyle suddenly made a reluctant face… she was no good with mornings. More than being a person of the night, she enjoyed wandering around 'til down…
"The fifth bell, perhaps? Based on the season, it may be the fourth… is that no good? Then unfortunate as it may be, I don't have the time for…"
To Basyle, the academy was a safe zone. In a situation where the information dealers had a constant grasp of her location, on top of receiving wages that included guard fees as well, being a supposed servant of an archduke house would let her live in the academy without any further inconvenience… she instantly put the job details on the scales and came to a conclusion.
"No, if Rudel-sama wishes it, I shall instruct you at any hour."
Rudel was delighted, but Izumi wasn't making the best of faces. Basyle went right on to being hired as Rudel's servant. Staff lodging was prepared for her, and so she ended up living there.
In his room, Aleist thought over what was to come. Looking at the notes he had written in Japanese when he was still a young boy, he grinned when he considered his own future.
"After this, there's the third term's inter-class completion. There, there'll be an event where Izumi falls for me… and next year, the 'Second Princess Fina' and 'Chlust' will enter the academy. Chlust is going to become archduke soon, so I have to raise his impression of me while I can! It'll be useful in the war event."
He had written down various things, up to the war arc in the final chapter. In its contents, Rudel stopped coming out partway… no, at the end, Rudel's end was vaguely detailed.
'Desperate to flee from the war, Rudel incurs casualty on his own allies as he takes flight… he tries seeking help from the enemy general, but he is killed, bringing the matter to a close.'
It had been written under the title, 'Chlust Friendship Event'.
"But Millia… we've had a number of opportunities to meet, but she won't even look me in the face."
Thinking he had failed in Millia's event, Aleist drew a line through the 'Millia Love Event' sentence in his notes, and erased it.
The elf girl in question was busy thinking about Rudel, who she had met on her entrance to the school. From there, a considerable amount of time had gone by, but even now she couldn't get him out of her head. As he had raised a number of problems in the academy, Rudel was a sort of celebrity.
And every time she heard rumor of Rudel, Millia would grow desperate to contain her feelings. Rudel was unpopular with commoners and non-human races… you could even say he was hated. The reason being he was the eldest son of the notorious Arses House.
Looking down on demi-humans, and taking too much, or rather just taking from its people.
But Millia couldn't think Rudel was the same person from the rumors. Rudel's rumors… he tried to push himself onto an elf girl on the first day, and within the day, he tried to sneak into the girls' dorm. After that, he forcibly called out to all the female students of the capus… when she thought over that one, it went to her head.
"And he didn't even call out to me…"
There were other rumors spreading, and all of them labeled Rudel as a terrible person. But if you asked the people around him, you'd get a different reaction back.
Rudel's class would never badmouth him. Perhaps it was due to his status, but even so, they didn't talk behind his back. Rudel is working hard, he never looks down on anyone… that was all she'd ever hear.
"Just which one is the real you…"
Millia breathed out a sigh… seeing her figure, her roommate offered a line.
"Millia… that lass be in love."