The final academic conference for the social season finished somehow and Elsa had returned to the university. She was correcting the reports that the students had written during the summer holidays and preparing for her lectures. She had plenty of fun during the social season so there was so much things to do.
Luca maintained a reasonable distance from her like always. Since Elsa was busier this month, she realised that she had been brusque but Luca still came to visit her. She thought that he was mentally strong.
That incident occurred during one of Elsa’s lectures. There were only about 20 students in the room, so it wasn’t a really big lecture but the students sitting on the chairs started to get noisy. Elsa ignored them because they had only been a bit chatty but then it got to a level that she couldn’t ignore anymore and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“No, nothing at all. Is it shaki~ng?”
The male student sitting in the front seat said. Elsa was standing so it was hard for her to tell but she realised that it was shaking when she came to a halt.
“Must be an earthquake.”
It wasn’t a large tremor so she tried to restart the lecture but the ground shook harder as she did.
Elsa lost her balance and grabbed onto the platform. The female students screamed and Elsa felt that it was unreasonable to continue.
“Let’s finish for today! Everyone return to your dormitories. Leave the decision making to the professor in charge but your safety is top priority. Do you understand?”
Okay, that’s enough for today! Elsa said to the students who were clapping their hands, urging them to return to their dormitories. Honestly, if the school collapsed then the dormitories would collapse as well, but Elsa wasn’t responsible for that. They were free to return to their parent’s homes for safety. The university would accept their leave of absence.
Elsa also gathered her teaching materials and returned to her study. Her assistant, Sabina, looked at her before saying:
“Ah, professor! Thank god. Are you alright?”
“Ah, did you feel the earthquake?”
Sabina nodded, Of course!
“I was worried about you being crushed by something but I also didn’t want to miss you just because I went out to check.”
“No, I wasn’t that far away, you know? I had a look outside and there doesn’t seem to be any collapsed buildings around.”
Elsa concluded and told Sabina what she had seen so far. The epicentre was perhaps far away. If that was the case then it must have been a quite a big earthquake.
“Sabina, can you go examine the damaged area? I want to retrieve any objects with historical values and place them here.”
“Okay, I’ll go examine the area. Please don’t move from here, Professor!”
Sabina said passionately and Elsa smiled wryly. Well, she wouldn’t move unless another earthquake occurred again.
She waited for Sabina to return while putting the mountain of books that had fallen on the ground due to the tremor, back onto the bookshelf.
“Welcome back. Where was the epicentre?”
“It was in the southern outskirts of Martinez. It’s in the royal family’s jurisdiction, isn’t it?”
“…… I see.”
Elsa dug for a map from the bookshelf and opened it. It was a general map but she knew where the approximate location was.
The royal capital Zora, was in the centre of the north. So it was far away from Martinez, the epicentre of the earthquake.
“The royal family has a villa there but that should have been the historical preservation ward, right?”
In other words, it was the place where many historical things were. You could tell that it used to be a major city from the fact that it was under the direct jurisdiction of the royal family. It was only a health resort now but a long time ago, it was a major commercial city that faced the ocean.
“We don’t know how much damage was done, do we……?”
“That’s correct. The earliest we would receive information would probably be this evening.”
The earthquake was big that even people in the outskirts of the capital could feel it. Elsa had been there before and Martinez was a good place that still had a Middle Age feel to in even in this age. Well, Elsa went there for the historical ruins.
It wasn’t like earthquakes occurred often in Capra Kingdom, but Elsa did recall having a few. Elsa studied historiography so she had read it in a book.
Since Martinez was an important place for studying history Elsa must also prepare to give assistance. Her assistance role had changed a little.
All the lectures for today were abruptly cancelled. The students probably won’t put in any effort to study. Some students might even have houses near the epicentre of the earthquake. Therefore Elsa thought about resuming lectures the next day but it didn’t go the way she wanted.
Sabina barged in while breakfast was being served the dormitory. There were several female teachers living in this dormitory but Sabina was of course talking about Elsa when she called out “Professor”.
Elsa stood up while wiping her mouth with a napkin. Sabina presented Elsa with a white envelope and said, “This”.
“This arrived in the post this morning.”
“Ooh…… Will that also make me tremble?”
Elsa said when she saw the crest on the envelope. Rosalia and Ilaria, who were having breakfast with her, asked innocently: “Who sent the letter?” Elsa ignored them and opened the sealed letter.
“Ah ~…… Did you think I would be able to refuse this?”
Sabina read the letter when Elsa showed it to her.
“I don’t think you can!”
“…… Thought so.”
Even Elsa trembled at the opponent. It was the royal family. The crest on the envelope was definitely from the royal family and the signature on the letter was definitely the King’s.
“Wow! Professor, isn’t that an invitation to the Philosopher’s Conference?”
Rosalia and Ilaria were being noisy behind her but Elsa was greatly perplexed.
“This is probably about the earthquake that occurred yesterday. The assembly is tomorrow…… So I have to go into the capital by the end of today.”
It was a summons from the King so she couldn’t go against it. Elsa resolved herself and made changes to her schedule. Her lectures would be cancelled for at least a week. She also had to go report this to the chancellor.
The Philosopher’s Conference had a slightly playful name but it was a very serious meeting. When something big happened, the domestic scholars and the philospher’s gathered together, they numbered a dozen. It also depended on the case but being accepted into the conference met that you were recognised as being excellent. It was an honour.
This was the first time that the Philosopher’s Conference had been held in five years. The last time it was held, Elsa had just graduated from university and was working as a research assistant, so naturally this would be her first time at the conference. Elsa was, perhaps, the first woman to be invited to this conference.
Although people said that Elsa was eccentric and had already past the age of marriage, strange things happen when one continued to be a scholar. She couldn’t refuse the summons when she didn’t have an acceptable reason. Being invited to the Philosopher’s Conference met that her abilities were being recognised.
The historical town that had received damage was probably related to why Elsa had been summoned, then they were probably seeking out information about the historical town. If they needed important books, however, those should all be stored at the royal palace archives. She, therefore, decided only to bring with her some extremely minor technical papers.
“Well then, Sabrina. Return the student’s holiday reports to them, since I’ll be gone for a while. Also, contact me if anything happens. I’ll be staying at the Lombardini household.”
“Okay, please take care.”
Elsa saw Sabina nodding and left for her destination only to quickly return.
“And please tell my brother that I will be in the royal capital.”
She had already confirmed that Daniele, who had entered Fillure University this semester, was safe yesterday. He was at a different place from where Elsa was located but they were still in the same campus. Well Fillure University, itself, formed a city.
That was why Elsa was returning to the Lombardini household even though she had just left a month ago. She went in this time without being stopped.
Since the social season had ended, her parents had returned to their territory. Daniele was also at university so the only ones there were the servants that maintained the grounds.
“Elsa-sama? Has something happened?”
A butler, who was entrusted with the mansion, said in surprise as he saw Elsa. Elsa shrugged.
“I received a summons for the Philosopher’s Conference, so I need to be at the castle tomorrow.”
The butler widened his eyes in surprise and raised his voice towards the back of the mansion.
“Someone! Contact the Master at the territory! Elsa-sama has been chosen as one of the 『Twelve Philosphers』!”
“Yes! Right away!”
The servant, who heard it from the back of the mansion, noisily went into a room. They were probably calling her parents at their territory. Well, there was a high possibility that the Philosopher’s Conference would have already ended by the time her parents received the information.
“Someone from the Lombardini household is attending the Philosopher’s Conference during my time serving……!”
The butler was moved to tears. She didn’t feel like he was exaggerating. The Philosopher’s Conference was only held at times of emergency. Moreover, only 12 people were selected to attend. That was why she could understand the butler’s reaction.
“…… Well, that’s why I’ll be staying here for a while.”
“Understood. Please leave everything to me.”
She felt slightly uneasy and replied with, “I will leave it to you”.