02 Part 02
“Can’t you show us inside?!”
I quickly raised my hand and asked before he pointed at me, but the Director simply said, “We’re under a time constraint.”
No one else protested besides me and the group followed the Director. It seemed that no one was really interested in it.
I’ve decided that I’m going to be a magic engineer anyway, but you can’t just skip them out on the tour!
A mage who can control their own mana may not be interested in finding ways to let others use that power.
After we looked around, I was handed a piece of paper and asked to write down my preferred department and submit it.
It was best for everyone that they went to the departments they were interested in and wanted to research, and it was possible to change departments later too.
Most of a mage’s work was magic research so it didn’t make a big difference which department they were in.
“I’m going to the magic tool development department. What about you Merry? Where are you going?”
Merry, who was filling out her form on a round desk like me, shook her head tiredly.
“I’ll go to the education department. The others seem difficult.”
“I’m sure you’ll be assigned to be an escort. Maybe you’ll accompany Alec somewhere.”
“I believe His Highness can handle any situation himself.”
He was a powerful mage too. He would be completely fine if a scoundrel attacked him.
He was listening to our conversation and laughed.
“Don’t say that. I’ll be relying on you if you are assigned as my escort.”
“I will do my best to fulfil my duty when the time comes.”
Merry stood up tall and said in a voice full of confidence.
“I probably won’t be assigned on escort duty~. Ah, what did you put down Cliff?”
I asked him when he came back from turning in his paper.
“The spell development department. That’s where you can learn the most magic.”
“I see. You’re skilled, so I’m sure you’ll be able to use new magic really quickly. Do your best along with Matty.”
“I don’t know if I will be in the same group as him…”
Matty gave Cliff a timid smile as he said this.
“I guess you’re right. I look forward to working with you if we get put in the same group.”
“We’re in the same building anyway even if we’re in different departments. We’ll have many chances to see each other even if we don’t want to.”
You don’t want to? You’re not being honest Cliff. You’re supposed to cherish your classmates.
I submitted my completed form while complaining to him and the briefing ended when all the participants gathered together again.
“Thank you very much for the past two years, Your Highness.”
Merry bowed to Alec after we left the institute.
Regional nobles like Merry and Matty don’t have homes in the capital and will be housed in the palace today.
By the way, Cliff was a court noble, i.e., a noble who was involved with domestic affairs, so his family has a home in the capital. It seemed that there were various types of nobles.
I could have stayed in the government housing, but I decided not to because I wanted to live with Rille-nee. We looked for a place that could house the two of us when we moved to the capital because I wanted to live with her.
The government housing was located at the back of the institute, so this was where I would bid Merry and Matty goodbye.
“Please let me know if you ever need my help. I will definitely show you that I can be useful with the power I hold.”
Merry touched the magic stone on her chest, and looked as dependable as she could.
I was deeply moved when I thought back on how she was in tears because she couldn’t study for the tests or control her magic.
Alec smiled gently because he also knew about the effort she had put in to graduate.
“I will. I’ll be relying on you a lot. You too, Matty.”
Matty snapped his back straight.
“I’m looking forward to seeing you develop new spells and I hope your dreams come true.”
“… T-thank you. I will do my best! I will give it my all!”
His dream was to become like Clemens Cooei, an accomplished researcher in the past who had developed many of the spells that are still in use today.
Matty smiled and bowed many times as Alec cheered him on.
Then, they gave one final deep bow and left with the others who had entered the government housing.
“I will also be taking my leave now.”
Cliff suddenly said. I was surprised since I thought he would walk with me until we left the palace.
“Why? You’re not living in the government housing, are you?”
“I’m going to report to my father and brother who are in the palace.”
“… Can’t you do that at home?”
Yes… you can.
I didn’t get it. Cliff continued and began addressing Alec.
“There have been many times in the past two years when I have been unintentionally rude to you, Your Highness.”
Alec shook his head as Cliff bowed.
“You and Rock have helped me a lot in the past two years.”
“I am not worthy of those words. I will continue to devote myself to helping you, Your Highness.”
“Thanks. I will do my best to live up to your expectations.”
Cliff then bowed at Rock.
“It must have been very stressful for you to work as a guard at school.”
Both of them glanced over at me for some reason. What?
“Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can help you with.”
“I’ll remember that. Thanks for the past two years.”
The two of them understood each other better than others since they were both stubborn and serious, especially when it came to giving me warnings.
Oddly enough, I wanted them to be a little grateful to me if I did play a part in their friendship, but they would probably get angry at me if I said that to them.
“Then, if you please excuse me.”
Cliff kept his manners until the very end and left.
We watched him leave, then Alec turned towards me.
“We should get going too. I’ll walk you to the gate.”
“Are you sure?”
“Please let me see you off.”
I couldn’t refuse when he said that. I mean, there was no reason for me to refuse.
Rock followed behind us without a single word of complaint, which was rare.
“I remember you walked me to the gate after the exam as well.”
That was at the Magic School, but it happened roughly around this season and time of the year.
“I didn’t know you were a prince back then and was surprised when I was told. You should have told me.”
“I’m sorry. I thought it would be difficult for you to talk to me if you knew who I was, but now I know that I worried for no reason.”
“Hey, I might have been a bit more polite.”
Alec exaggerated his surprise as if he knew what I was saying was a lie. He knew me well.
“Sorry, I lied. I would have probably acted the same.”
I probably wouldn’t act formal.
“That’s what makes you, you.”
“Are you complimenting me?”
Then, fine. Well, it’s not good for me to act like this in society though.
He doesn’t mind, so just let me act like myself in private.
“Do you have any plans to celebrate graduation tonight, Alec?”
The topic changed and the conversation continued.
“You’re not going to throw a big party at the palace?”
“No. I refused when they brought it up.”
Alec looked as if he thought that idea was preposterous. He was so humble even though he was the prince of this kingdom.
“There won’t be a party, but my sister is preparing something for me.”
“Ah, that seems like something she would do.”
Princess Philia’s excited smile immediately flashed through my mind, and I smiled.
In contrast, her brother had a slightly clouded expression on his face.
“I appreciate her feelings, but I’m worried since my sister does unexpected things.”
She’s someone who snuck out to enjoy the festival, so who knows what she would do.
But I just want her to enjoy herself since I wasn’t invited.
“It’s fine. It sounds like it’ll be fun. Tell me about it later.”
I said light-heartedly. Alec looked surprised for a moment, then he smiled softly.
“――― Okay, I will.”
He nodded deeply as if he was swallowing the words he wanted to say.
“Are you celebrating tonight at home?”
“Yeah. Anna, the owner of the boarding house, made a feast for us. We’re going to have a women-only party with Rille-nee, Connie-san and the other two people who live at the boarding house.”
“That sounds fun.”
“Yes, it’s going to be fun.”
Then tomorrow, I have to go to Chancellor Leonard’s mansion to report my graduation and write a letter to Gis-nee and send it to her. I’m going to start working soon, so I need to prepare for that too.
I finally had free time, but I had so many things I needed to do.
Time just flies.
This will never change no matter where you are.
We eventually arrived at the front gate of the palace while we were talking.
“――― Then, see you.”
I stopped in front of the gate and turned towards Alec and Rock.
I never know what to say when I have to say goodbye to people. I don’t like dragging out farewells either. I’ve already said all I’ve wanted to say.
But I held out my right hand.
If this isn’t our final farewell, then a handshake was enough.
Alec immediately shook my hand. His hand had already fully developed and was warmer and bigger than mine.
After we finished shaking hands, I also kind of forced a bewildered Rock to shake my hand. He uses swords, so his skin was hard and calloused.
Let’s meet again. You’ll always be my friend. I wanted to let them know this without having to say it out loud.
I let go of Rock’s hand and looked each of them in the eye, then I turned around.
Alec immediately called out to me. I turned around and Alec was bowing.
“I had fun these past couple years thanks to you.”
He looked slightly red when he raised his head but that could have been from the setting sun.
“I wouldn’t have been able to achieve my dream or make a friend if I hadn’t met you. I wouldn’t be satisfied either. ――― Do you realise how much you’ve contributed to everyone’s futures in the past two years?”
Alec said passionately.
“I’m sure you’ll continue to influence many people in the future and I’m proud to be your friend.”
Alec exaggerates like always.
I haven’t done much. I was simply enjoying my school life with a group of like-minded people.
He said that he was proud to be my friend even though I’ve only been his friend for two years.
How could I not be happy about that?
“Me too. Thanks!”
The words flew out of my mouth, pushed by the emotions that were coursing through my body.
“Me too! I wouldn’t have been able to have this much fun or have made friends if you weren’t there. You were always by my side. I’m really grateful to you, and Rock too.”
“You don’t have to include me like an afterthought.”
“You’re not an afterthought!”
I took both their hands again in my happiness and shook it up and down.
“Watch me! I won’t make you embarrassed to call me a friend!”
I don’t know if I’m the person Alec says I am, but if I want to become that person then I have to make myself into that person. Actions determine who you are.
I will make my name known.
Our parting words became a pledge to the future.