ACADEMY’S UNDERCOVER PROFESSOR
[Translator – Alice]
[Proofreader – ilafy]
Chapter 131 - Iona Obeli
Leo hadn’t interfered because he was worried about the girl in front of him.
If he was asked why, it was closer to the contrary instead.
“How did you know?”
“How could I not know when you’re emitting murderous intent in front of them? Of course, those idiots didn’t know that a blade was approaching their necks.”
“I wasn’t going to kill them. I was just going to show them an example.”
“Oh, is that so? Still, you intended to at least half-kill them.”
“...So. What are you going to do now?”
Leo grimaced at Iona’s wary question.
She might not be able to realize it herself, but her golden pupil was cut in half lengthwise.
Exactly like a beast.
“Hey. Don’t glare at me like that. Do you think I’m threatening you?”
“Then why did you stop me?”
“Pheew. I shouldn’t say it. I stopped you to say that you at least shouldn’t do something like that in the middle of the day like this where people are watching. Why?”
Iona’s eyes returned to their original shape.
She looked at the little boy who irritatedly spoke in front of her with an odd stare.
Leo was enraged by the stare.
“What? What is it?”
“You’re not scared of me?”
Leo wondered what she meant by that, but he also understood right away why she’d asked that question.
“You thought I would discriminate against you because you’re a beastperson?”
“Most of the people here either dislike me or are scared of me.”
“That’s because those people don’t know anything.”
At her silent stare that seemed to ask if he was any different from them, Leo grumbled while sincerely answering her.
He originally wasn’t like that, but after he got along well with Aidan, he’d tried hard to rationalize himself that he’d been influenced by Aidan.
“Fear comes from ignorance. If you can learn something about what you fear, then there’s no need to be scared. You said that your name is Iona Obeli, right?”
“You’re a beastperson, but having a surname means you’re a descendant of a very powerful family. When I think about how normal beastpeople are hostile to human beings, I come to the conclusion that you didn’t come here because your tribe sent you.”
“The fact that you came to Sören after all…”
Iona listened to Leo’s words without saying anything.
She had a faint anticipation about what on earth that little boy was about to say.
“You came because you wanted to know, right? About human beings… and about the wider world.”
Iona fell into silence at Leo’s words.
Instead of anything being false or wrong, his words rang true.
“Right. How the hell did you know?”
“Hmph. I can easily guess that much because I’ve heard about how the beastpeople live.”
“Amazing. Ordinary people look down on us, saying we’re barbarians.”
“That’s because information about different tribes isn’t well-known. There was a movement for an anti-discrimination law against beastpeople tribes, but those dirty aristocrac bastards blocked it.”
As he seemed to be infuriated just by remembering the aristocrats, Leo clicked his tongue.
To him, who loathed the aristocrats, it was obvious for him to stand against the racial discrimination that the aristocrats seemed to cling to the most.
“That’s why. I only helped you because I hate them, so don’t misunderstand.”
“Pequina Solda. You’re a good person, I see.”
“You’re a good person…”
“No. Not that. What you said before that. Pequi, what?”
“Pequina Solda. It’s the language of our tribe. To say it with your words, it has the meaning of a small and brave soldier.”
“What, you punk?”
A vein sprang up on Leo’s forehead at Iona’s honest words.
Iona purely complimented him with good intentions, but her words irritated Leo’s wrath.
“Hey. I’m only going to warn you once, don’t say that I’m small or whatever.”
“What do you mean ‘why not?’”
Did she ask because she really didn’t know?
Leo was about to say to look at him, but he didn’t. There was nothing more miserable than having to explain it with his own mouth.
Leo’s height had always been shorter than the other children of his age.
—All because he had never been able to have a proper nutrient intake as a child.
He had been born small and, because he couldn’t eat much food, he had no choice but to have an undersized body. It was what he was most sensitive about.
“You say that even after looking at my situation?”
Because Iona wasn’t completely tactless, she realized the meaning of Leo’s words.
“I don’t understand. Why are you dwelling on such a trivial matter?”
“Trivial, you said?”
Leo rolled one side of his mouth and sneered at the remark.
“That’s because you’re a beastperson. Beastpeople are all born with tall heights and superior physical abilities. Do you even know the feelings of small people?”
“Height is not important. What’s important is the heart's strength.”
‘Heart’s strength, she said. Is she talking about a fairy tale or something?’
Leo glared at Iona with suspicious eyes, but her expression was more serious than before.
Iona’s unwavering eyes were talking sincerely.
“Pequina Solda. You helped me just now. Even when it was a dangerous situation when I might have fought with other students.”
“Because a bigger incident would’ve happened if I just stayed still. Moreover, I only did that because I hate them.”
“If you were really a bad person, you’d just let me be. You’d encourage me to hurt those aristocrats instead.”
Each word that Iona said permeated the bottom of Leo’s heart.
Leo felt some kind of ticklish sensation on his skin. It was a very familiar sense that made him feel unpleasant, yet somehow, it brightened his mood.
Yeah. It was similar to the sense that he often felt after he closely got along with Aidan, the stupid boy who was uselessly good and exceedingly empathetic.
“That’s why you don’t have to be very concerned about your small body.”
“...I got it. Thanks for the advice.”
* * *
Translator - Alice
Proofreader - ilafy
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* * *
When he said that, Leo’s fit of anger subsided, and he sighed when he saw Iona shut her mouth.
“Just call me Leo.”
“It’s my name. I’m not someone like Pequina Solda. If you’re about to call me in the future, call me with my name properly. Because that’s my name.”
“In the future?”
“Is that your best reaction? Never mind. Anyway, since my business here is done, I’ll take my leave.”
Leo moderately waved his hand as he separated ways with Iona. It seemed like his feelings would become weirder if he kept being with her.
‘She didn’t mind the fact that I was short? What was important was the heart’s strength?’
He cynically smiled at that remark, but ironically, those words penetrated Leo’s nature and comforted him the most.
The fact that he was comforted by a beastperson girl who’d come alone from a faraway foreign country annoyed Leo’s pride that had been wounded for a long time.
That was why he’d given her a cold shoulder and pricked at her like a thorn.
‘It didn’t look like she minded.’
He never had any intention of getting to know her anyway, so it would be enough for him to just pretend that it’d never happened.
As he walked with such a thought, Leo stopped his footsteps when he heard a happy shout as someone recognized him from afar and approached him.
“Ah! Leo! So you’re here!”
Aidan was approaching him with a smiling face as if he was some kind of a large dog.
Tessie stood with a coy expression beside Aidan.
“I’m on the way to receive a framework with Tessie. Oh, of course, it’s not for me, but for Tessie. But I heard that you went to receive it first, so I followed you right away to find out whether you were nearby…”
While Aidan was speaking, he noticed Iona, who was standing behind Leo.
“Oh, by the way, her name is… Iona, right?”
“I’m Iona Obeli.”
“Oh. I see. Yeah. Nice to meet you, Iona.”
“Hey, hey, Aidan. What are you doing now?”
“Oh? No. It’s just that she’s a friend who takes the same class as us.”
Leo’s face crumpled at the word “friend.”
“What do you mean ‘friend’? She’s just a student in the same classroom.”
“Doesn’t that mean she’s a friend?”
“What does that—?”
“Ah! If it’s okay for you, Iona, do you want to go with us too? We were just about to have lunch. Isn’t it good for all of us to eat together, then?”
He knew that Aidan was far too empathetic, but he didn’t expect Aidan to say that in that kind of situation.
Leo stared at Iona with a slightly uncomfortable stare.
“Wa-wait, Aidan. We’re going together with her? You really mean that?”
Tessie also tried to discourage Aidan, as she thought that it was a bad decision.
“Oh? J-just… eating with someone who isn’t close to us… suddenly… is a bit inconvenient?”
Tessie pushed back the words ‘she’s a beastperson!’ that had almost surged to her throat at Aidan’s naive face.
She wasn’t particularly scared or hateful towards beastpeople, she just disliked the fact that Aidan had asked another girl to have a meal together very naturally.
‘Wait. Why did I dislike it?’
When Tessie was indecisive, as she couldn’t understand why she was annoyed, Aidan waited for Iona’s answer.
Iona nodded at Aidan’s offer.
“Really? That’s good! Let’s go together! The more the merrier.”
As Tessie and Leo hadn’t been able to prevent Aidan in time, all of them regrettably sighed. However, it was already spilled milk.
It was the moment a new member joined the Three Musketeers, who usually tagged along together everywhere.
* * *
Elisa Willow was extremely busy taking care of the documents that filled the principal office.
The documents which were floating in the air by mana spun around with Elisa in the center.
Her golden eyes moved fast while scanning the content of the documents that passed by.
Various pens that floated by telekinesis wrote her signature on the documents.
Usually, it was something that she relaxedly did, but recently, the amount of documents she had to go over had risen more than three times after she’d become a principal, so her work wouldn’t be finished if she didn’t do it like that.
The floating documents were piling up on one side, and the morning work wouldn’t be finished until they reached near the ceiling of the principal’s office.
Elisa strongly stretched her two arms upward while yawning lazily.
Wilford, who had been waiting silently, approached her.
“Have you finished all your work?”
“Not yet. I just sorted out half of it. I want to take a bit of a rest.”
“You worked hard.”
“I have been determined to do this since I took the principal position. However, because of the incidents that happened recently, I can’t deny that it’s especially hard.”
Elisa grumbled while separately grabbing a couple summarized documents with her fingertips and flapping them around.
“Really. I don’t know why they ask for our help when it’s something that they need to take care of.”
It was a letter of request that’d been sent directly from Leathevelk to Sören.
“Doesn’t that mean that the situation was that serious?”
“It’s obviously a big incident that the Beast of Jévaudan showed up, but even so, they can’t ask for our support. Moreover, they are not requesting students but our successful graduates and professors to be sent there.”
Still, she thought that this wasn’t it, Elisa creased her forehead unlike her usual self while letting out a sigh in annoyance.
“That’s a bit severe. It seems that the mayor is acting urgently.”
“Of course they are. They were lazy as always when an incident suddenly happened, so they moved in a rush. Even so, trying to snatch away our people is out of line.”
The atmosphere in Leathevelk had been extremely messy since the appearance of the Beast of Jévaudan.
The citizens were scared, as they didn’t know when the Bloody Nightmare would suddenly reappear again, and the city’s vibrancy had decreased.
“Still, aren’t things getting better now?”
“Yes. I didn’t expect that they would get support from the Bretus Holy Nation.”
After the capital had asked for help, a group had shown up in Leathevelk.
Those people who wore white cleric dresses weren’t from the Exileon Empire but people from an island country further away from that.
The paladins of Bretus Holy Nation…
As they emitted white and warm energy, they wandered around the city, calmed the citizens, and revitalized them.
“Then isn’t it a good thing?”
“For now, it is. But the problem is what happened after. The Bretus Holy Nation, Since that rigid country started to move after closing their doors until now, I’ve become very anxious.”
The Bretus Holy Nation usually possessed a holy and beautiful image, but in fact, it wasn’t like that.
The country was generationally out of date because they emphasized their religious doctrine and, due to their excessive fanaticism, their real face even made fellow human beings loathe them.
Because of that, the first feeling that they had when they heard that the Bretus Holy Nation had supported Leathevelk wasn’t relief but anxiousness.
“Because, if the city’s atmosphere is bad, it will affect us as well. No matter how much Sören is acknowledged as a separate administrative district, it can’t completely be separated from the neighboring city.”
“The atmosphere among the students and employees is very uneasy as well, which is why the amount of documents I have to go through increased a lot.”
“Right. It makes sense that there would suddenly be a lot more work to take care of all at once for everyone, though it seems to be calming down a bit.”
“Hmm. Then since you’re taking a rest now, would you like to see this?”
Elisa’s eyes shone when she saw the paper that Wilford had given her.
“Oh, my. This is Professor Ludger’s class material for today.”
“Thank you for bringing this to me. Wilford.”
Elisa faintly smiled while checking Ludger’s class material.
Recently, Elisa had gained a hobby that helped her relieve her work stress and take a break.
—It was to directly check Ludger Chelysie’s class material.
It was her favorite thing that she could do using her principal authority.
“Whoa. I can’t believe there’s a magic circle with this method.”
Elisa, who’d been frowning while sorting through documents just moments before, became happy like a kid who’d just got her candy and started to avidly read the magic square material.
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