It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (43/79), enjoy~
A little while after the bridge ceremony, Ain was promoted to the fifth grade as scheduled. He was now waiting for Professor Luke, who would be the homeroom teacher of the first class in the new school year, to arrive.
It was nine o’clock in the morning. Class 1 is usually a free class, so there is no need to come in the morning. However, in addition to Ain, Roland, the werewolf, Leonard, the duke’s successor, and Batz, the big brother, had gathered because today was the first day of the new semester, and they were all required to attend.
The classroom and the hierarchy had changed with the advancement of the students, but the structure of the classroom remained exactly the same.
Batz, who was sitting next to Ain, spoke to Roland, seated next to him.
“You look very sleepy, don’t you?”
“Ah, yes… Actually, I had to work early in the morning.”
“What are you doing up this morning?”
Leonard, to the left of Ain, said.
“You should take care of yourself. It looks like it’s going to be a tough job.”
“Thank you. I’ll be careful not to collapse.”
The four of them, including Ain, were the only students who had succeeded in keeping the group together. He was one of the few elite students in a school full of elite students, but the top student, Ain, asked the three of them in a distracted voice.
“Hey, why is everyone here today?”
“Hey, Ain, why all of a sudden?”
“It’s only a few times a year that the whole group gets together.”
“That’s true, but… But I have a pretty good idea what’s going on.”
“Yeah. Didn’t you read in the admission guide? There’s going to be an event like this.”
“I’m afraid I don’t remember.”
“Then it’s Ain’s fault for not remembering.”
As always, Batz’s unreserved words leave Ain speechless.
“Your Highness, I think it’s probably about the field trip. Do you know if there is a field trip coming up in May?”
Leonard’s voice made him lose his composure.
A social studies field trip to the point of no return? Is there really such a thing as a normal event in a school that even lets you practice with monsters?
“By the way, where are we going? A distant fort or a coal mine?”
“Why can’t you think of anything but the most horrible places…? Places are free, you know, free. We can choose any place we want.”
“This guy said it is free. You can go to the White Rose Station, or you can visit the Knight’s Quarters. Recently, I heard that the August Trading Company is also popular. And by the way, you can choose your own team.”
“It’s really too much freedom, isn’t it…?”
“It’s also popular to use the facilities of the castle. From your perspective, it’s a home, so it’s probably a little sensitive, but it’s a place you can’t normally go to, and a lot of people want to go there.”
“I don’t want to go to the castle facilities. I’m rather serious.”
It was like a group home visit, a situation to be avoided more than anything else. The three friends chuckled at the quick refusal.
“If so, it’s the August Trading Company?”
“Oh, please don’t go to August Trading Company either. It’s hard to go there in many ways.”
The daughter of the Trading Company is a member of his inner circle. To be honest, there are only a few reasons why he would want to refrain from doing so.
“Hey, hey, don’t be selfish, okay?”
“I understand that you want to tease His Highness, so don’t say it with a smirk on your face.”
“I’m sorry. So… White Rose Station is the place?”
By process of elimination, it’s a viable option.
“Yes. I think that’s a good one; it’s a big station.”
“…Y-yeah, I think Your Highness is right.”
“Geez. You’re suddenly very cheerful.”
“Haha… Well, it’s a big station, so I’m sure we’ll learn a lot.”
He was a little excited at the time.
However, Ain’s feelings never lasted──.
A little later in the afternoon, on the terrace of the cafeteria. Batz opened his mouth to comfort Ain, who held his head as if he was suffering from depression.
“Cheer up. You don’t have to be so depressed, you know.”
“…I never thought this would happen.”
The reason for his depression was the social studies field trip. After homeroom, Ain was summoned by Professor Luke.
“After all, it’s my home visit!”
Thanks to the kind words of the Prime Minister, Warren, the destination for the four of them were unknowingly decided. As if it were a matter of course, the destination was the royal castle, and they were asked to take a look around the facilities within the castle grounds.
This was to thank them for all the hard work they had put in with Ain, including the monster training.
Of course, his friends were happy. There are many important facilities and people inside the gates of the castle. Considering that, there is no other place like it to visit.
It’s a bit of a special treat… but Warren has advised that it’s only this time.
“If this were going to happen, I’d rather have been at the August Trading Company! I should give Katima-san something and make sure she doesn’t leave the lab. House arrest would be best, though.”
That day, she should not be allowed to go free. If she shows up when Ain with his friends and ignites his mischievous spirit, there is no stopping her.
“It’s no use, Ain. So you’d better be prepared by next month.”
“Ah! Leonard! I don’t have any clothes that I can wear to the castle.”
“I’ll lend you something to wear.”
“Thanks, Leonard! Well, if it were winter, I could cover it up with a coat or something, but it’s spring.”
“I do not mind. But Roland, you should get yourself some formal wear.”
“Ah… you’re right. I’ll take a look when I get paid, and maybe you can go shopping with me.”
Ain watched them absentmindedly.
When he saw Roland and Leonard enjoying themselves, he was somewhat disappointed that he was not genuinely enjoying himself. He thought about calling in sick on the day of the event, but he was sure they would find out.
“If you decide not to attend, I’ll tell Professor Luke.”
“──Haha! What are you talking about?”
“Geez. It’s a credit-bearing event, so make sure you participate.”
I see. It seems that there was no way out, Ain thought. In order to graduate, he would have to endure and participate.
◇ ◇ ◇
It was a different room in the royal castle. Warren walked into the room where Krone was working.
“This is the detailed schedule for Ain-sama’s field trip.”
“Thank you very much. Erm… is it correct to say that they will be touring all of the facilities outside the main entrance, including the training grounds?”
“That would be correct. Then, please confirm the flow of the day.”
Krone looked over the documents she received. She carefully read the words on each page to make sure there were no mistakes.
“On that day, will His Highness be going to the academy once?”
“Yes. It’s a rule that they meet at the academy.”
“Then it can’t be helped. Is it correct that once the meeting is over, the group will disperse locally?”
“Yes, that is correct. I was thinking of giving Ain-sama some time after lunch. We’ll need him to leave the tour early.”
“How much time do you need…? Do you have any new plans?”
“Actually, there has been a development regarding the incident at Ist last year. In connection with this, I would like to determine Ain-sama’s future plans.”
Warren then took out a letter from his pocket and handed it to Krone.
“I’ll give you a brief explanation, and you can check the contents later.”
“Yes, I understand.”
“So let’s get started. ──About the behavior of Viscount Sage before his death. We have received reports that he has been visiting Baltic often over the past few years.”
“Baltic… The adventurer’s town?”
There were a few things that crossed Krone’s mind.
Last year, when Ain was on his way back to the capital from Ist, Viscount Sage attacked him with a Wyvern and a Kraken.
The way he manipulated the monsters reminded many of the power of a certain race ── the Red Fox.
Everyone knows that the Red Fox was a close associate of the Demon Lord, and now, with the information that Viscount Sage has been visiting Baltic, they can be certain of one thing.
The former territory of the Demon Lord exists near the adventurer’s town of Baltic.
“I wonder if the mastermind behind the kidnappers who used Viscount Sage as a pawn is the Red Fox?”
“I thought that might be the case. Aside from me, Katima-sama also made the same prediction.”
After sharing their thoughts with each other, Warren spoke up with a new piece of information.
“Let’s get down to business. There is something I need to tell you about Ain-sama’s future plans.”
“Ain-sama will be going to Baltic on official business. For the past few years, no member of the royal family has been able to visit Baltic…”
Krone closed his eyes when she heard those words.
Showing up in the big city is indeed an important official business, and there are probably a few other tasks as well. But this must not be the only thing Warren was thinking about.
She immediately opened her mouth, sensing the situation hiding behind it.
“Another important thing is that Ain’s body can also be examined, right?”
“Yes, we will rely on the wisdom of the adventurer’s Professor Oz was talking about. This time, Lloyd-dono will accompany Ain-sama to the Baltic and go to the former Demon Lord’s territory separately from Ain-sama. It’s a good place to look for information on the Red Fox, and it’s also a good place to look for old wisdom about monsterization…”
“…I don’t want anything to happen to Ain that can’t be undone.”
She said this and then looked down with anxiety. She was afraid that time would pass unnecessarily and that Ain’s monsterization would worsen.
“It’s okay. We’ll do everything we can before anything serious happens to Ain-sama.”
Warren said softly with a good-natured smile.
“In the past, during the investigation of the former Demon Lord’s territory, research on magic, magic stones, and many other unknown technologies were unearthed in the form of books. Let’s hope that we can find new information this time as well.”
He continued with the word “However.”
“The area around the former Demon Lord’s territory is overrun with monsters. In addition to bringing Lloyd, several royal knights, as well as many magic weapons, will be carried along.”
“Fufu, the very best of the forces are all assembled.”
No matter how much of an adventurer’s town it is, no matter how much of a Demon Lord’s territory is nearby and how many powerful monsters are roaming around, if there is this much war potential, it will be fine.
When she heard that Prime Minister Warren was serious, she felt relieved and patted her chest.
“By the way, Warren-sama, may I ask you a question?”
“You can ask me anything.”
“I’d like to ask you about the Red Fox ornament that Ain obtained when he went to Euro. If this is the case, perhaps we should look into the continent over there.”
“Don’t worry. My subordinates have visited many cities such as Heim, Rockdam, and Birdland. Especially in Heim, where Lili is hiding out.”
The name “Lili” was familiar to Krone.
She is the most talented of the covert operatives and is trusted by Warren.
“Something fishy has been going on. We will be looking further into the matter of the Red Fox.”
At these words, Krone nodded quietly. The most important thing was Ain’s body, but she also prayed in her heart that the existence of the Red Fox would not become a big problem.