Grandson of the Holy Emperor is a Necromancer - Chapter 97
Chapter 97: 055. Charlotte Heraiz (Part One)
Life in the academy was a constant stream of sheer boredom.
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From studying the magic knowledge that was either way too easy or was stuff I already knew, down to the sparring sessions that didn’t even come anywhere near to what I had against Hilda. And finally, topics that wouldn’t help anyone with their survival, such as the continent’s history and studies involving various noble households…
Just spending one day doing those things would bore me to death, and yet I was supposed to spend one whole month living this life?
That was completely out of the question.
“I might as well just goof off.”
Yup, it’d be far better to just spend all of my time stuck inside the library instead.
So… I did just that and skipped all my classes.
I spent the morning inside the academy’s library and then went to the cafeteria to get some lunch – that’s when I ran into Charlotte.
But after looking at her current state, I just had to ask her. “Did something happen to you?”
Her whole body was full of injuries. Because of all the bandages wrapped around her, I almost didn’t recognise her straight away.
What the hell? How did this kid end up injured this badly?
Hang on, could it be that the people here were treating her like an outcast because she’s a commoner?
I ended up furrowing my brows even before realising it.
I mean, she was one of the handful of people that I could genuinely trust in this world. She had been helping me out all this time, so seeing her in this state was making me feel really bad here.
Charlotte dazedly stared at me for a bit, but took a step back as if she had finally regained her composure.
After putting her food tray down on a nearby table, she slightly bowed her head as a greeting. “It’s been a while since the Ronia incident, Young Master Jerone.”
Not even a hint of a slip-up, eh?
The moment she heard my fake name, she changed her response and quickly matched the situation. She probably connected the dots from my new surname of ‘Ripang’, and most likely recalled feudal lord Jenald Ripang from Ronia.
No matter when or where I saw her, she remained one smart kid.
Suddenly, I couldn’t help but feel a bit bitter. The way she distanced herself and greeted me while her body trembled just a little gave off the feeling that maybe she didn’t want to see me here.
Did I unnecessarily butt in here?
“Once more, Charlotte Heraiz offers her greeting to Young Master Jerone.”
I tilted my head while staring at her.
She had a surname?
And it’s ‘Heraiz’ too?
It felt like I’ve heard that name before somewhere.
Hang on, now I remember; I heard this name while studying history back in the imperial palace.
It was one of the noble houses that served the Imperial Family but got wiped out by the Necromancer King fifty years ago.
That’s right, I was sure that ‘Heraiz’ used to be one of the loyal forces employed by the Imperial Family, but now lost to time itself.
The Heavenly Army, the Paladin Corps, the Order of Verdant Cross, Crimson Cross, and then, the Golden Cross. There also used to be a sixth entity that could freely exercise their military might which was rather different from the rest.
And they were…
I flinched nastily in shock and looked behind me.
The sound of a food tray falling to the floor echoed out. A boy with a pretty large physique stood there and stared at me with his wide-open eyes.
His jaw dropped, then he hurriedly got down on his knees. He prostrated flat on the floor and shouted out, “This lowly eldest son of Count Hedron’s household pays his respect to the Saint!”
A big-shot noble from a count house suddenly went down on his knees to kowtow to me. On top of that, he was shouting at the top of his lungs too. It was inevitable that his antics would draw attention from the surroundings.
I could hear the crowd starting to buzz around us.
The scene of the eldest son of a count household kowtowing to another son of a count household sure was a memorable sight to behold.
I facepalmed at it, though.
I wanted to spend my time here quietly. But now I began wondering if I should just give up on that wish at this point.
Since we were free to do what we wanted during lunch hour, I simply left the academy and had my meal at the marketplace by Humite’s city centre.
I settled down on a bench and munched on the food in my hands.
However, the awkward atmosphere stuck around me like a piece of gum, all thanks to two people sitting on either side of me.
On my right was Charlotte, while my left was Heis.
They were both currently staring at the food that I bought for them while being unnaturally stiff-as-rocks right now.
What the… Maybe I shouldn’t have chatted to them in the first place?
You were supposed to rest your weary mind and body during lunch hour. I began wondering if my presence was preventing them from doing just that and act weirdly like this.
“…Anyways. What’s going on with your injuries?”
I asked Charlotte while munching on the sandwich that closely resembled a burger.
I couldn’t help but keep thinking about them. Her injuries were definitely the results of getting hit by something blunt.
After taking a better look at how many scars there were on her, I started imagining that maybe the academy was harassing her somehow. Since there were plenty of snooty children of nobility attending this place, there was a good chance of them treating Charlotte as their prey.
She flinched in surprise and began touching her face. Realising her state belatedly, she lowered her head while biting her lower lip. “These injuries are from sparring, your highness.”
“For something you got from sparring sessions, they look kind of excessive, don’t you think? You aren’t getting ostracised or something, right?”
“T-that definitely can’t be!”
Heis suddenly butted in.
Now that I had a chance to remember, didn’t we have a run-in back in Ronia? That’s right! I smacked him on his foot back then.
He was busy yapping off about assaulting a maid who happened to be a commoner, wasn’t he?
I asked him. “You aren’t responsible for her current state, now are you?”
“There’s no way that’s true!”
Heis freaked out and hurriedly shook his head.
Oh well. If it was him, he wouldn’t be able to do something like that to Charlotte. He already suffered the fate of his hand being crushed by her back then, after all.
I retorted back at him. “Why should I believe you? Didn’t you rape a maid in the past?”
Heis jumped up in surprise and responded in a fluster, “T-that… that was a lie.”
“Yes, I was merely bluffing back then. Y-yes, something like that did happen, but I wasn’t the perpetrator. I… I was trying to stop the seniors, but then…”
So what happened was… the children of a duke, a marquis, and other peerages coaxed Heis out and they planned to assault the maid as a group. However, he tried to stop them instead, which in turn led him to receiving the disciplinary action of spending time in Ronia.
“And yes, I ended up taking all the blame for the incident.”
Those kids from the higher-tier aristocratic families would obviously not get punished. And apparently, even the maid he saved ended up falsely testifying after they bought her off as well.
“Okay, then why did you bluff about it back in Ronia?”
“…Someone told me to do that. It’s scary there, you see… A-and it’s where convicts and corrupt Priests end up, isn’t it? I-I heard that only by relying on my background of being a count’s son and acting like a madman will I be left alone by the real criminals.”
That kinda sounded similar to how weak convicts used their bluffing skills to create protective gangs around them in prisons.
“Well, fine. What about Charlotte’s injuries then?”
“I’m not certain about that. Even though I asked her, she refuses to answer.”
I shifted my gaze back to Charlotte.
However, she kept her lips firmly closed and didn’t say anything.
“…Hang on, it can’t be that Gril is a child beater, is he?”
It was now Charlotte’s turn to jump up in surprise and urgently shake her head. “No, he isn’t. Gril is a truly caring father. Although we currently live apart, we still constantly exchange letters.”
Did Gril return to the village up north? I had no idea.
I looked back at her.
Seeing how she clamped her mouth shut again and lowered her head, I got the feeling that she wasn’t going to say anything else even if I asked.
But it’s not good manners to keep digging, either.
While I was deeply pondering my options here, Charlotte raised her head as a look of determination filled up her face.
“I wish to become a Paladin.” She stared at me and continued speaking. “And I wish to serve you, your highness.”
I heard something falling to the ground just then coming from my side.
It was Heis again. He looked deeply shocked by something, and the sound came from his burger-like food falling out of his hands.
I shifted my gaze back to Charlotte. She was ignoring Heis as if the poor guy was air or something.
However, that indicated how serious she was right now.
“So, please wait for me. I, as your sword and shield…” Charlotte stood up from the bench and then knelt down on one knee while bowing her head deeply. “…shall serve you by your side.”
Her sudden actions caused the crowd in the streets to murmur to themselves. Well, we were in the middle of a street and she just performed a pledge of a knight, after all.
And not to forget, such an act was currently being performed by a girl no more than seventeen years of age, so something like this would obviously draw some attention.
I ignored all of the eyes staring at us and studied Charlotte.
Her words were coming straight from her heart.
Not anyone could become one.
In order to become one, you needed to possess a superhuman-like mindset and physical abilities to hunt down monsters, plus a level of divinity that easily surpassed an average person.
Vampires, lycanthropes, various undeads, and other unsavoury existences…
The combat ability to hunt all those things down was obviously a must-have, and you’d also have to give up on being a normal human if you wanted to walk down this path.
Charlotte did possess genius-level talents in all the points I just mentioned. If she gets to develop her skill set even further than now, then from the perspective of the Theocratic Empire, she’d become one of the most important blessed figures in the land.
While munching down on my burger, I stared at her bowing figure.