After crossing the gate, I and Shura are guided to the reception.
We sit down on the sofa and grab the cup of coffee that was brought in front of us.
…It’s really bitter.
Shura sits on my left and Pearl sits facing me.
“As expected, Old Man Bar, He died huh…”
SNORT SNORT... Pearl’s face looks as if he’s about to start crying.
Then I tell Pearl about the death of the Old Man. And as expected, it seems that there is not much information about it. Even his relative, Layla, doesn’t know.
“But I’m glad. At least you were there.”
“He closed his eyes peacefully. He didn’t die in a terrible way.”
“I see! Thank you! I’m sure it’s also thanks to you. “
Pearl bows his head.
Deep enough that his forehead almost hit the desk.
I hurriedly grab Pearl’s shoulder.
“Stop it! It’s not a big deal! You’re a respectful man, right? Is it okay for you to lower your head so easily like that!!? “
“I’m really grateful! That, great man, did not die in loneliness because of you! Really… Thank you…! “
Pearl’s voice is trembling.
This man… How much he respects the Old Man?
Who the hell is exactly the Old Man?
How much has the Old Man done, to be respected by such a great man so much…
“Hmm, I’m sorry to interrupt your moving talk, but I have something to ask you.”
Despite the heavy atmosphere, Shura cuts out to the main subject immediately.
“The location of Barha-Zetta’s house, that’s all I want to hear.”
“Why Old Man Bar’s house?”
Pearl raises his head.
“To break a curse. There may be a clue to that in the house of a man named, Barha Zetta.”
Shura said that normally humans would laugh when they heard that. Or at least surprised.
But Pearl, he just sharpened his eyes. That’s it.
“――I see, Old Man Bar was certainly looking for a way to break a curse. I guess, there may be hints there.”
“But even if there is a way to break a curse, it wouldn’t be easy… never.”
The word sounds like an advice.
Pearl doesn’t deny Shura’s goal, nor does he affirm it too.
Shura takes a breather at Pearl’s sharp gaze, but immediately laughs.
“I’m more than prepared!”
“Good! Keep that spirit!”
Pearl soon returns to his original calm face.
“Old Man Bar’s house is in the Imperial City. I will write the location on the city map later and hand it over to you.”
“Then, will Seal-dono also head for the Imperial City?”
“Stop that “-dono”. Just call me Seal… So, will I also go to the Imperial City? Well, I’m curious about his house. However, I still have something to do in this city, so even if I go, I’ll go about a week later――What are you going to do, Shura, are you gonna go first? If you go now, you can catch up with the others.”
“I’ll go in a week too. I’m interested in the duel between that woman and you. “
Hearing the conversation between me and Shura, Pearl pats his chin with his finger,
“Duel?… Alright, if you like, can you tell me about the situation?”
I tell Pearl about the letter I received from the Old Man and my promised duel with Layla.
Pearl hits me on the shoulder while in tears.
“For your master, you went all this way just send his letter to his granddaughter――wonderful!… But, let me tell you this, Miss Layla is formidable.”
“Hmm, so you’re on my side… right?”
“That’s right… After I heard that story, I can’t just stay silent… Only Old Man Bar who could rescue Miss Layla from the darkness… I hope that letter will be the catalyst.”
“Could you tell me more about Layla? Why does she hate him so much? “
“Alright, listen, I’ll talk about everything.”
Pearl keeps talking until I finished drinking all the coffee in the cup.
She was a student at the Imperial City’s largest and best Magic Academy, ‘Yunferno Darts”. A Genius Magician, and was on the list to be the top graduate of the Magic Academy
Her dream was the same as Ignacio, to be the Knight Commander. If you could be the top graduate of the Magic Academy, “Yunferno Darts”, which directly under the Knights supervision, she could become at least a platoon leader from the start. She was eager to study every day, aiming for the top position.
By the way, the organization chart of the Imperial Knights is:
Knight Commander (1 person) → Elite Guards (5 people) = Knight Captain (3 people) → Company Leader (9 people) → Platoon Leader (27 people) → Soldier (about 500 people) → Trainee (180 people).
The knights in <Mother Punk> are called as the local knights, and it seems that they have their own separate positions. Basically, the power relationship is Imperial Knights > Local Knights.
The difference between the Platoon Leader and Soldiers are large, and the condition of being able to become a Platoon Leader from the beginning is exceptional. However, most of them who start from Platoon Leader are immediately demoted due to lack of ability… But Pearl said Leila wouldn’t have been demoted.
So, Layla’s life went smoothly…
…Until his grandfather was imprisoned.
One day, when the Old Man visited the laboratory used for the development of magic, strange corpses were lined up.
It seems that most of them were related to the Knights.
They said that the Old Man attacked the Knights, so he got handcuffed and branded as the great sinner.
“Many people related the Knights died. Among them was the wife of the Knight Commander.”
“It’s bullshit! He would never do that!”
“Old Man Bar said that there might be a <MAJIN> in the upper ranks of the Knights, and he got framed by that <MAJIN>… My guess is that maybe someone above the Company Leader… “
“Hey, the knights are related to the incident in Seadust Island, right? Seriously, you guys, how deep is the dark side of the knights…”
“Someday, I’m going to go to the Imperial City to investigate all at once. I’ve prepared for that the other day. I’ve to uncover the darkness of the Knights as soon as possible to clear Old Man Bar’s name…… Well, let’s get back to the story. So, since it was an incident involving many people related to the Knights, the story immediately flowed to the Magic Academy as it directed under the Knights. And since this incident, a terrible treatment began against Miss Layla, who was Old Man Bar’s granddaughter.”
I see, it’s what they called bullying.
Layla was originally a target of jealousy because of her strength. So, there must be many people bad mothing her even before the incident happened.
However, human beings cannot take steps without a cause or a reason that could justify their actions.
And when the reason presented by itself… The jealousy flame that had accumulated in their hearts, with a firewood called, ‘justice’, as the fuel, the flame got bigger and so exploded.
The other students started to see Layla with white eyes. Not only them, Even the teachers of the Magic Academy and the Knights.
Eventually, her grades were manipulated in an unfair way and she failed to be the top graduate. Then she was expelled from school.
Layla couldn’t stand living in the Imperial City anymore and decided to come to <Mother Punk>, where many have a gentle heart. Ans since the Knights are under Pearl’s command, they never dismissed Layla.
Layla visited the Old Man many times…. Before he got transported to <Distall>.
『”Grandpa, I believe in you. So, talk about everything…”』
『”Please, it’s okay… please say that you haven’t done anything…”』
『”Grandpa… Grandpa… why don’t you say anything?”』
The Old Man didn’t tell Layla anything.
“I’m sure Old Man Bar is――”
“You don’t have to say it. You probably didn’t want to get her involved, same as the Old Man… “
If the Old Man said that he’s innocent, I’m sure Layla would probably have gone into the dark side of the Knights searching a way to prove it. No matter how dangerous it is. But, that’s not what the Old Man wants.
Layla finally gave up on the Old Man who didn’t say anything.
Layla, she accepted the story about her grandfather.
『”Unforgivable. Grandpa, I will never forgive you…!”』
That was the last word Layla said to her grandfather
This makes me angry.
All of this… it’s because of the guy who framed the Old Man.
I don’t know who it is, but be prepared. All of the thing that got destroyed by you, Bastard. I will make you take responsibility for everything…
“This duel, I can’t lose”
“Miss Layla is strong. She is an all-rounder who excels in all three Main Colors of Mana. She’s an outstanding person in the same generation as you.”
“What about her secondary colors?”
“…..It’s Rainbow, the Mana of Freedom”
The most unusual Mana among the four sub-source colors.
I’m sure, other than Black, White and Yellow, is classified as Rainbow.
“I see. The extraordinary Mana I felt from that woman, that was Rainbow-colored Mana…”
“The Rainbow Mana is special… I know the color of her Mana, but I don’t know the exact quality of it. “
“Even those who have the same Rainbow-colored Man have completely different characteristics of that Mana, right?”
“That’s right! The Rainbow Mana power is basically anything that cannot be classified by other Sub-source Colors. “
The Mana that cannot be classified as Destruction, or Regeneration, or Domination――
“Oi, old man. Do you think I can beat her?”
“You won’t win. There is a difference in strength, but you’ve more problem… She has some understanding of your ability, the Sealing Technique. Also, you don’t know what kind of power her Rainbow Mana has. Even if I could somehow get information about her for you, but still, it’ll be hard for you to win. “
“I guess so…. I also think that this is bad.”
“I’m sorry, but honestly, I don’t think it’s a difference that you can somehow makeup in only five days …”
“Well, I guess it’s impossible to win in a head-to-head match against someone who has been learning magic since little, right?”
Still, I can’t give up.
“By the way, I’ve never asked you about this, but How long since you start learning Magic? “
“Hmm? A little over half a year.”
“Half a year huh―― “
Suddenly, Shura stands up and grabs my chest.
“HALF A YEAR!!?”
“Oi Oi! What’s wrong!!?”
Shura’s upper lip is close enough to stick to the tip of her nose.
Shura and pearls are sweating on the temples.
Looking at the reaction, it seems I did something amazing?… really? I can’t judge since I don’t know the standards of the other Magicians.
“Hua, hahahahahahaha !!”
Pearl suddenly bursts into laughter.
“You must be kidding, right? In just half a year, such a complicated technique… Even if you surprised me… but, you mean, did I lose to someone who had only learned magic for half a year?”
“I see. I see! You have hope then!”
Pearl stands up and thrusts his fist into the air.
“Seal Zetta! Let’s go to my house! I! Will push you to the level where Miss Layla is in five days!”
“… Thank you, but I’ll ask you, please do it gently.”
Despite being anxious about the strangely motivated Middle-aged Knight, I’ve decided to receive Pearl’s guidance.