Chapter 8

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Heinz’s point of view.
It was the day after I received Elina’s report that Emiel refused to come back in anger.
I was summoned over by the minister’s servant, and I hurriedly changed into formal clothes and came to the minister’s office.
No doubt I would be questioned about the barrier. I’ve made sure to match my story with the other guys, but I’m still not sure if I can fool the minister.

Taking a deep breath to calm myself down, I knocked on the door and announced myself while suppressing the shuddering.
I immediately heard a voice asking me to come in from inside, and when I opened the door, my eyes met with the minister, who was sitting at his desk, staring at me with a face that didn’t even try to hide his grumpiness.

“Ex, excuse me.”

“Oh. Take a seat.”

I promptly sat down in the chair that was placed facing the minister, I straighten my back and clench my fists.
Shit, if I hadn’t sent a lowlife like Elina to Henschel, I wouldn’t have had to feel this way…

“I heard that you, the Royal Magicians were forcing Emiel to manage the wardstone all on her own. Would you care to explain?”

“Y, yes… I’ll tell you the truth, Emiel herself said she wanted to take care of all the management, and I trusted her to do so, and this is what happened. I would never have left it to her if I had known that the wardstone could be altered.”

The minister just said, “I see,” without changing his expression, and then he took out a document and began to read it.

“According to the guards stationed in that area, I have several testimonies about the unhealthy Emiel, who had dark circles under her eyes, managing the wardstone every single day. Moreover, they seldom saw other people except Emiel entering the place. What about this?”

“I think that’s because she’s playing out in the town every night. She got what she deserved.”

This is not good. This old man, did he collect testimonials from the knights and people in the castle?
I don’t know if we can fool him all, but if he finds out that we’ve been pushing everything on her, the worst that could happen is that our heads might physically fly off.
As I began to get impatient, the minister took out the next document and read it nonchalantly.

“It’s from the knight in charge of the gate. He says he has often seen you guys leave during work hours without a uniform, but he’s never seen Emiel leave. What about this?”

“We study magic when we have no work to do, so we have to leave outside when there’s something we really need to buy. That fellow has been slacking off and leaving through windows to go out and play, so the knights just probably hadn’t caught her in the act until now.”

I continued to answer the minister’s questions for a while after that, feeling creeped out by the minister’s lack of response to my words.

As I entered the room where everyone was waiting, I was met with anxious stares from all of them.
They still don’t seem to believe that I could fool the minister, and some of them couldn’t even raise their heads up from shame.
When I let out a loud sigh and quickly returned to my desk, the worried Elina came over.

“Hey, were you able to fool the minister? At least tell us that much.”

“I have no idea. That baldy’s expression didn’t change even in the slightest.”

I replied roughly and started working on the military parade paperwork that the knights were urging us to hurry up with.
By the looks of it, they definitely know that we’ve been slacking off. If that’s the case, we have to finish this work now and improve our reputation by finishing the work that has accumulated.
Then, Gert let out a sigh as if he gave up on everything.

“Do you not understand why things turned out like this?”

“Ah?”

I glared at him, irritated by his provocative attitude, and Gert shook his head in frustration.

“Have you forgotten? Who was it that started it all by telling us to push all of our work on the commoner slave and go out to play? Your family is of a decent rank so I abided by your whims, but stop dragging us down too.”

“Wasn’t it you, who said that you were happy to have a good woman in your arms? Don’t put the blame on me, you low-class noble.”

At the same time as the idea of shooting Gert up with magic, who scowled unpleasantly, came into my mind, the door was vigorously opened.
When I turned my attention to what was going on, I saw Louis with blue veins popping up on his face——

“Why did you not bring her back! The commoners are being attacked by monsters!”

“I, I am truly sorry. We searched even the surrounding towns, but we weren’t able to find her.”

In an instant, Louis appeared in front of me, glaring at me as if he was about to release his magic.

“Listen to me well, go out to find her this instant. I hope you understand what will happen if you don’t find her?”

“Y, yes. I understand.”

Is he telling me to bow my head down to a commoner for the commoners’ sake?
… Let’s use force.

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