Why are you suddenly involving everyone into this?
In one of Saint Freya Academy’s meeting rooms, a pink-haired woman showed her little notebook to an armored figure, raising her doubts. William answered her question with a masculine voice altered by her armor.
“It’s not my will. It was Lord Antonio’s request.”
William replied with a sigh before proceeding to share the conversation she had with Antonio.
As the first one to arrive at Saint Freya Academy, William paid Principal Antonio a visit last night in hopes of securing his support. She thought that the latter would accept their request given that he was an ex-member of the Twilight Sages Assembly, but to her surprise, he seemed reluctant to have them interfere with Roel Ascart’s daily life. He even imposed a condition if they wanted to transfer into Saint Freya Academy.
Antonio expressed that William’s personal opinion of Roel was likely to be biased, so he wanted more people to participate in the observation so that their team could come to a more objective conclusion. It was a reasonable condition, so William could only accept it.
As a result, the number of students transferring in from Knight Kingdom Pendor’s Saint Fran Academy ended up being more than expected. Teresa was going to be one of the transfer students too, and this matter deeply worried her.
At first glance, the term ‘sequestered houses’ appeared to be referring to houses that had chosen to live in seclusion, but its true meaning lay in the concealment of one’s bloodline origin.
There were little benefits to living in seclusion in a civilized world.
For one, it was difficult to obtain resources without power and connections, and resources were of utmost importance in nurturing the younger generation. Without resources, even the most powerful of houses would fall into decline. No house would do something as detrimental as going into seclusion unless the circumstances forced them to.
As such, ‘sequestered houses’ didn’t refer to old heroes who had decided to humble themselves in some small village. On the contrary, most sequestered houses were actually renowned noble houses in Knight Kingdom Pendor.
As for why they had to conceal their bloodline, that was because most of them had bloodlines originating from foreign races. While they wielded great power, there were also huge downsides to their abilities.
The Xeclydes’ Angel Bloodline was renowned all over the world, and the Sorofyas’ High Elf Bloodline had become synonymous with nobility when the Rosa Merchant Confederacy rose to prominence. Even the Cambonytes’ Dragonblood Knights were highly respected on the Sia Continent.
These showed that the bloodlines of foreign races weren’t necessarily a bane. Those could become a reason why they ought to be placed on a pedestal and be revered by the common populace.
But what if the bloodline is unstable? What if it came with flaws? What if it was at odds with common societal values embraced by humankind?
Based on precedents, it was likely for the common populace to display strong feelings of aversion toward them, some even resorting to slandering and harming them. It was out of concern of the risks that most houses possessing the bloodline of foreign races chose to keep their origins a secret, thus becoming sequestered houses.
The downfall of the Ardes at the end of the Second Epoch resulted in these sequestered houses losing their leader and greatest backing. As a safety precaution, they chose to limit themselves to their own circle, and this circle was none other than Knight Kingdom Pendor.
That was also the reason why the Knight Kingdom was such a peculiar existence on the Sia Continent, be it their isolationist policies or them constructing their own academies. They had secrets that they wanted to hide, and the experience of being once overwhelmed by the Savior’s worshipers taught them the importance of huddling together for warmth.
It was just that having little understanding of the outside world could breed arrogance, and this was best exemplified in Pendor’s younger generation. Most younger members of the Dawnbringer Order coming from Saint Fran Academy weren’t problematic children; they were disasters in the making.
Just thinking about the huge mess her companions would potentially cause made Teresa shudder in horror. Her worries were not proven unfounded.
Seated on the long table in the meeting room along with them were five other people. Unlike the stereotypical solemn impression of mysterious organizations, it was a complete ruckus there.
“Are all of us going to enroll in the academy? What a bother. Why do we have to observe him? Isn’t it much simpler to just make a move on him?”
An orange-haired woman muttered with bloodthirsty eyes. A crimson-eyed woman joyously agreed with her opinion.
“I agree. It’s so hard to gauge a stranger by his skin; it’d be much simpler if I could just peer into his blood. I wonder how the blood of that clan would taste.”
“Right? Right? If he hopes to be our leader, he should at least be stronger than us. The easiest way to settle this is to fight it out.”
“You’re forbidden from fighting. This is ‘Guardian’ Antonio’s academy. Don’t cause any trouble, Selina,” commanded William solemnly.
However, her words failed to silence the orange-haired woman. Instead, she was glared at with glowering eyes.
“Haa?! Why should I listen to you? You haven’t even confirmed his strength yet!”
“There’s none of us here who doesn’t know of the strength of the Ardes. Just his identity as a descendant of the Ascarts gives him the right to lead us. They have already proven themselves time and time again throughout history…”
“That’s all in the past. Who knows what it’s like with their current generation? Isn’t our motive here to observe him individually? It would be so much easier to evaluate him if I could just have a taste of his blood!” Juliana licked her lips and interjected.
The others seemed to share her sentiments. The two men sitting at the end of the table glanced at each other and nodded. The golden-haired woman sitting next to William opened her eyes.
Teresa had been scribbling on her notebook all this while, but she couldn’t find an opportunity to get a word in.
As for Selina, she was excited to have received Juliana’s support, and it emboldened her to further push her aim.
“Well said! Let’s make a move during the transfer ceremony then. Let’s kill him, or else…”
A dreamy voice suddenly echoed in Selina’s ears, and her body immediately froze in place as if countless invisible hands were holding her down.
Powerful mana pulsations rippled across the room like terrifying waves, weighing down on the shoulders of everyone in the room. The group immediately turned their attention to the pink-haired woman, who had been struggling to put a word in all this time.
You can’t touch him.
Those words didn’t seem too powerful, but they were backed by Teresa’s resolute eyes. The members of the Dawnbringer Order were surprised by her reaction.
“Heh, it looks like Teresa has gotten angry. Fine, I’ll back down on this,” conceded Juliana.
“How rare,” commented the golden-haired woman.
Selina revealed a look of disappointment too.
With everyone finally falling silent, William made use of this opportunity to emphasize her stance once more.
“You aren’t just representing yourself and the Dawnbringer Order here. Any action you make here will determine how others view our country and Saint Fran Academy. No matter what, you aren’t allowed to start a fight here.”
“There won’t be anything meaningful to observe if that’s the case.”
“You’ll have your chance soon.”
“You’re referring to…?”
“The Challenger Cup.”
Those words stirred a bout of excitement in the room.
“I see! It’s that huge fighting tournament, right? I recall that it’s going to be held this year.”
“Is he eligible to participate though?”
“I heard from Lord Antonio that the First Grade students will be allowed to participate in the tournament this year. Roel Ascart will surely be there,” confirmed William as she slowly tightened her grip on her sword.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the academy, Roel grasped his Nine-headed Serpent Staff tightly as he read the notification he had received from the System doubtfully.
【Goddess of Fate’s Guidance:
Participate in today’s gathering together with Geralt Stephenson.】