Any good noble parents should be upset if their sons or daughters are injured, even more so if it’s by the hands of a commoner student. And based on what they’ve heard about Joze’s father, who he is and the position he holds, the elite students were expecting a bloodbath.
Most of the elite students who went straight here after dinner were pumped up when Joze’s father came face to face with the person responsible for his sole heir being in critical condition. Half of them were getting ready to cheer, anticipating the moment when the older man would lunge and throttle the neck of the boy, wringing out his worthless life right there and then.
But Joze’s father was strangely calm and subdued. After exchanging a few words, the older man surprisingly turned and headed back towards his awaiting carriage, leaving the boy relatively unmolested. This made the crowd of onlookers scratching their heads in confusion.
Then the elite students saw the older man’s personal assistant silently approaching the boy from behind, and most of them got their hopes back up. This is it, the crowd of onlookers thought. The boy will get knifed in the back.
Disappointingly, the handsome young aide did nothing of the sort. But what the young aide did a few moments later instead made the male elite students threw up a little in their mouth, the female elite students biting their perfume laced handkerchief in jealousy, and a certain excited girl with a rotten personality nearly passing out.
The boy is still standing silently in deep contemplation, rooted at the same spot where earlier he had met Ser Derek Acanthus and his young aide. The carriage carrying the leader of the Darkthus Company and his sleeping son had long left the academy. A few of the students who stuck around because they thought the boy might do something interesting had also retired to their respective rooms and dormitories.
“Good evening, Mistress Ricon. Is that a stick in your hand, or are you just happy to see me?” says the boy suddenly without turning around.
The female teacher immediately freezes, she had spent the last few minutes tip toeing while carrying a large stick over her head, ready to strike the head of the son of a gun who had been making her life hell these past couple of days.
“It’s my walking cane, and you’re seriously overestimating my pleasure of seeing you.” Mistress Ricon sighs as she tosses the stick aside.
“A little tip. Try to avoid walking downwind from me, especially if you’re covered with the smell of medicines, antibiotics, and the scent of horny young boys who are trying to put on their best face when they’re being treated by you.”
“And who’s fault do you think is that?”
“Please accept my sincerest apology.”
“I haven’t had a chance to sit down and have a proper meal in the north hall since you’ve been here.”
“Yeah, sorry again about making you work so hard lately. How’s the elite students I sent your way after my duels yesterday afternoon?”
“A few scars and bruised ego. Nothing permanent, well except for Joze Acanthus of course, that and his three battered and bloodied minions this morning.”
“Those three guys were my maid’s doing by the way.”
“Yes, but it was by your design, isn’t it? And where is Synnove by the way?”
“You are aware of what they’ve set out to do? If things had turned out the way they wanted, you’d be dealing with three dead commoner students instead of four alive-ish elite students. And I gave my maid the night off.”
“I’m aware of your friends being held hostages. And you’ve misunderstood me. I’m not condemning you, I’m condoning you.”
“Oh my. Is that the proper attitude of an educator? I thought you were supposed to love your all of your students no matter who they are or what they do?”
“Spend a few years in the infirmary treating some obvious bullying cases, and you’re in for an attitude adjustment. It’s a nice change of pace, really. Usually, it’s the commoner students who get sent to me, but now it’s the other way around. I’ve been treating students with a great smile plastered across my face.”
“Mistress Ricon. You’re my new favorite teacher.”
“I guess it’s no longer enjoyable for the wolves when the rabbit is armed with a stick and knows how to use it. If you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen.”
“Violent people should get violent things done violently to them by a… err… violator.”
“Yeah, that sentence really got away from me.”
“Speaking of kitchens, would you like to join me for a late dinner?”
“I think the north hall is already closed.”
“Oh I’m sure I can scrounge up something for us to eat in the kitchen behind the north hall.”
“I don’t know…”
“Oh come on. You don’t consider snacking on those chocolate bars you keep in your room as a proper substitute for dinner?”
“Trust me. You won’t regret it.”
“Tell me the truth. And no lies this time. I mean it.”
“What is it, Mistress Ricon?”
“Did you drag me here so you can misuse and abuse me?”
“Misuse and abuse is such an uncouth term.”
“Then what do you call the position I’m in?”
“I prefer the term ‘exploiting each other to bring out the very best in one ’s self’.”
“Those are some big fancy words to disguise the fact you’re using slash exploiting me as a stepladder.”
“A stepladder is also such an uncouth term.”
“Would the term ‘stepping stone’ make you feel any better?”
“Argh, stop shaking. I’m about to fall off. I’m sorry, okay?”
“I don’t understand, why didn’t you just take a ladder from the groundskeeper’s shed? Or better yet, pick the lock so we can enter the kitchen already.”
“Well, the ladder’s been kept under lock and key since the boys been using it to spy on the girls’ showers in the past. And I could technically pick the lock on the kitchen door with my newly acquired knowledge, but that would take some time and tools I did not have.”
“I guess you’re lucky I showed up when I did, huh? And why haven’t you’ve reached it yet?”
“I’m nearly there. Grabbing this window ledge using only my left arm isn’t as easy as I initially thought it was.”
“You’ve been there for the past five minutes already. My shoulders are killing me.”
“Quit your fussing, woman. I’ll massage your shoulders latter if you want.”
Before an embarrassed Mistress Ricon could finish speaking, the boy jumps from her shoulder to grab the window ledge that he’s been aiming for. The female teacher looks up just in time to see the boy’s legs disappearing into the other side.
A few moments later, the locked door besides Mistress Ricon opens and out pops the boy’s head.
“See? Easy peasy lemon squeezy.” smiles the boy.
The sore and deeply regretting female teacher could only roll her eyes.
Mistress Ricon watches as the boy made several sandwiches from the leftover food that is available in the kitchen. He puts one third of the sandwiches on a plate and serves them to the female teacher.
“Here you go. It’s not much, but it’s the only thing I have confident making. Technically, I can cook any type of dishes but I’m pressed for time as it is.”
“You’re not eating?”
“Later. There’s still something I need to do. Rolfe’s kitchen didn’t have some of the ingredients I need so I have to make it here.”
“How’s life with your new housemate?”
“It’s a give and take situation really. I give and he takes.”
“Poor you. I sympathize entirely.”
“No, you don’t feel bad for me at all.”
“Now that you mentioned it, I really don’t.”
“How’s your right arm holding up?”
“Why, so you can pretend to care?”
“I’m genuinely asking as a concerned teacher in charge of the infirmary.”
“It was fake-broken yesterday, kicked by Master Wes. Then broken for real when I punched Rolfe so hard it nearly shattered every piece of bone I have in my arm. Last night it mended but this morning it got broken again by my maid.”
“Synnove broke your arm?”
“Is it because you tried to put your hands on her?”
"It’s because I put my hands on another person.”
“I wanted to take a look at your arm, but suddenly I don’t feel like it.”
“That’s understandable. I actually preferred it that way.”
“These sandwiches are quite good, actually.”
“Thanks. My real mother showed me how to make them.”
“Boring story. She’s dead now.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Don’t be. You’re not responsible for her death.”
“How did she die, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“Pneumonia. You would have liked her if you met her. She would have liked you to.”
“Sounds like a real nice woman.”
“Too bad her son’s a total jerk.”
“Hey, I’ve just made you some food and this is how you repay me?”
“You still owe me for the several stunts you’ve pulled on me the last few days. Don’t think that this is enough to make us square.”
“Fine. I’ll make you all the delicious food you want until you’re satisfied.”
“That’s more like it.”
“And once you’re completely captivated by my cooking, I’ll cut off the supply. Making you absolutely addicted and at the whims of my mercy.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Exhibit A: the total jerk.”
“Maybe that’s how I’ll save the world. Make them a slave to my cooking. And when they stand in line and ask “Please, Sir. I want some more.”… I’ll look down at them at whisper “No.”
“I am what the world requires me to be, even if they don’t want me to.”
“You still have some room in you for dessert?”
“This is really delicious.”
“I know. I’m the one who made it.”
“I’m not really a fan of vanilla but you’ve done a great job.”
“Can you make a chocolate-flavored one?”
“I can if I have the ingredients.”
“I’ll hook you up with some later. May I have another slice?”
Mistress Ricon shoots the boy a murderous look while gripping the fork in her hand tightly.
“I’m just kidding. Here, have another.” the boy laughs nervously.
The female teacher digs in into her second helping.
“So how’s the saving-the-world business coming along?” asks Mistress Ricon, smiling contentedly while using the fork to continue feeding her mouth.
“Slow. I’m taking it a day at a time. But it feels like whenever I take one step forward, I find myself two steps back.”
“You’ll get there, eventually.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Or else we’re screwed.”
“You can do it. I have faith in you.”
“You’re just saying that because you want to continue eating more of my food in the future.”
“Tee hee. I got found out.”
“I don’t even need to use my powers to know that.”
“So what’s Master Haithur been up to? I heard he took a leave of absence for the next couple of days.”
The boy tells the female teacher what the current master of Ouroboros (not the grandmaster mind you) have been planning secretly in the background.
Mistress Ricon’s eyes go wide open from shock.
“You must tell Headmaster Joss immediately.” exclaims the worried female teacher.
“Tomorrow. I’m afraid the headmaster has all the news he could handle today. The poor man has stop drinking and is going through some nasty withdrawals.”
“It’s being taken care of.”
“Trust me. I’ve got it covered.”
“There’s something still bothering you.”
“It’s about that kiss with that young aide…”
“Gods, people get hung up on all the wrong things.”
“When you’ve seen the things I’ve seen or experienced what I had experienced, you’ll realize one horrible universal truth.”
“And what’s that?”
“That in the end none of it matters. The Razors don’t give a shit which country you’re from or what Gods you prayed to, whether you’re young or old, man or woman, rich or poor, good or evil, straight or twisted.”
“We all bleed red in the end.”
"Spend the last few days of mankind watching everyone around you dying, you’re bound to have a certain attitude adjustment."
"You want some more cake?"
This chapter is dedicated to stabertiger who not only binge-read 'Demon Hero Reaper Saviour' for four hours straight, but also left a comment on every chapter.
Here's something for the rest of you to make up for the lack of updates.