The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin (Novel) Chapter 33 - 34

C33 - 34

The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin Chapter 33

Chapter 33: Royal Academy (1)

It’s been ten days since I left Saphern. According to the sporadic news, the lord of Saphern was found in the marketplace the day after I departed from the city.

Of course, he was not found in one piece.

His bones were broken in dozens of places, and one of his legs was so mutilated that it was beyond recovery.

No matter how much they questioned him, he only kept begging for his life like a madman, eventually fleeing Saphern in a panic, claiming that a devil was after him…

It seems he got to savor the agony just shy of death, more cruel than death itself.

Yet, it appears that I refrained from foolishly releasing him.

Well, what happens next is up to that father and daughter to figure out.

I let out a bored yawn as I looked out the window.

Peaceful.

This might just be the most peaceful moment out of the past ten days.

In every city I visited, there were runts clinging around, asking if I needed bodyguards, bandits jumping out whenever I passed a slightly secluded spot, and beasts rushing at the scent whenever I thought about setting camp.

I really don’t understand how they have such a knack for disrupting my journey.

Most of them seemed to dislike living in this world, so I kindly sent them on to the next.

“Sir, I see Rowen!”

Beyond the flurrying leaves, at the end of the connecting path, the white city revealed itself.

My final destination, Rowen, the city of splendid harmony.

Normally, a boundary area adjacent to different nations would be a dangerous region prone to conflicts at any time, but this place was different.

It borders the Ushif Empire, Garam Kingdom, and Spania Kingdom—three countries touching this point.

Until the Royal Academy was established, it was nothing but a barren wasteland, not even a blade of grass to be seen.

No one would have imagined that an academy would have been built on such a wasteland.

The Royal Academy is a national institution established under the ideology of pursuing infinite advancement in magic and humanity.

As the word “national” indicates, it wasn’t something just anyone could establish.

It was the Great Sage Teramile Ishpa, the man who was heralded as the greatest magician in human history, who founded this academy.

Starting with his successors who sought to follow his ideology, it grew and developed, which eventually created the multinational city of Rowen that is today.

The pure white walls encircling the area.

Rowen was a city entirely surrounded by walls, and only those who went through the necessary process and had permission were allowed to enter.

As I approached the main gate, like in any other city, the guards blocked the way.

As always, I stepped out of the carriage and showed them the crest of the Vert family.

“Greetings to the young master of House Vert! Welcome to Rowen, the city of harmony!”

The guards saluted with a robust lead.

Brian, who had been driving the carriage, asked as if it was now expected.

“Where do we go now?”

“Keep going, soon you’ll see a road adorned in gold. Just follow that path.”

“Understood.”

Following the order, Brian slowly moved along the road.

Me too, through the window, observed the many carriages parading along with the noble families claimed by continents roaming the streets.

This brings back memories, unintentionally…

Even if they’re not all pleasant memories, every time I return to the space of my past like this, it feels like traveling back in time to those memories.

Back then, I even had trouble just watching people from the window.

Thinking about it, this academy brought many changes to me.

If I hadn’t come here, I would never have caught that devil’s eye.

Let me reiterate, there’s nothing left for me to learn here, and there’s nothing that will change because of it.

I especially have no intention of engaging in friendship among nobles, and the academy is just a fence providing protection for my current status as a student.

Well, who knows if my mind changes.

Perhaps this time it will be me who changes this stagnant and decaying place…

With various crossing thoughts, the carriage drew ever closer to the Royal Academy.

* * *

Upon arriving at the main administration office, it was crowded with students who, like me, came for registration procedures, along with instructors and administrators.

They were too busy chatting amongst themselves to pay attention to me.

I approached the registration desk and submitted my application.

The female official reading my application pushed up her glasses and spoke.

“Can you please show me something that verifies your identity?”

I took the family crest from my pocket and placed it on the desk.

Seeing the crest, the registration clerk slightly shook.

“May I ask your name?”

“Sian Vert.”

“…!”

My name caused everyone’s attention to turn my way.

“Sian Vert… the incompetent from House Vert…?”

“The same young master who reportedly roamed the frontlines with high-ranking knights for an entire year?”

“Ah, I heard that was just a bluff and he was merely cowering in the rear. Probably just a title given by Duke Vert.”

“He looks nothing like Prince Kranz.”

Sometimes, having acute hearing can be a problem.

Although I typically ignore such petty chatter, passing it through one ear and out the other—as they say—I’m not some saintly figure,

so let’s hope I don’t hear anything like that when I’m in a bad mood.

Otherwise, I might just tear those babbling mouths apart…

Well, I can’t do that on the first day.

Today, I shall pass over things with a light heart.

“All procedures are completed. Please wait in your assigned dormitory, and attend the opening ceremony that will be held in two days.”

The official gave me the entry document along with a key to my quarters.

“…?”

Gunmetal keychains were shiny, with a gold loop featuring a crown engraved on them.

Realizing that there was a problem, I immediately asked the clerk.

“Are you sure this is the right one?”

“Yes. Sir Sian has been assigned to the Royal House. It was selected through

official procedure, so you don’t need to worry.”

The word “Royal House” once again stirred buzzing around me.

No, it’s nonsensical—if the official procedures were followed—are they not?

In my past life, I was assigned to Noble House, a dormitory for the children of nobility.

It was the standard accommodation for nobles from families of baron rank and above.

There were lower-ranked dormitories, but nobles were usually placed in the Noble House regardless of status.

However, the Royal House that I’ve now been assigned to is not some common dormitory.

Royal. A word that literally refers to royalty.

Only the descendants of kings and emperors from the various nations, a very select few, can use this highest-class dorm.

Certainly, not just the direct descendants but occasionally influential families closely associated with the imperial family like the queen’s side are assigned to the Royal House, but that wasn’t my case.

Someone must have interfered.

Could it be my father’s doing?

While it’s possible, considering the location and if he personally requested the emperor, but frankly, there’s no reason he would go that far.

Neither my sister Ellis nor that bastard got assigned to the Royal House.

Needless to say, Kranz doesn’t either.

Here I am, attracting intense attention from day one when I’d be better off keeping a low profile.

Probably by tomorrow, the talk of the town will be about how a noble’s offspring ended up in the Royal House…

I just hope it won’t reach my ears.

For now, I decide to unpack. I lead the carriage to the assigned dorm.

In my past life of six years at the academy, I’d never set foot in this place.

I just thought it would be a bit more luxurious than Noble House…

“This, what on earth is this…”

Upon viewing the dormitory, Brian couldn’t close his gaping mouth.

It wasn’t just luxurious, it was as if they had built an entire castle within the academy.

In front of the building, there was even a neatly kept pond and garden.

To an unknowing outsider, it could be mistaken for a separate palace built by the nation.

After slapping the dazed Brian to bring him back to reality, I entered the main gate.

My room was at the end of a hallway on the second floor, to the left.

Surprisingly, for such a luxurious building, the door of the room was rather plain.

With a feeling of intrigue, I unlocked the door and entered…

-Thunk!

No big deal.

It was just the sound of Brian dropping my luggage, which he was carrying.

He must’ve been shocked for he didn’t immediately pick them up, just stood there gawking at the spectacle before him.

I should have guessed from the spacing of the doors in the hallway.

The room was spacious, at least triple the size of my room in Noble House.

“My apologies, young master! I will move the rest of your belongings right away!”

Brian hurried out to return to the carriage.

In the meantime, I leisurely inspected the interior of the room.

After putting everything away, Brian approached me, bowed, and spoke.

“I have organized all the belongings you brought, Sir!”

He was dripping sweat as if he were in the rain.

“Good job. You can go now.”

“Yes, I unders— Pardon?”

Brian seemed perplexed, not understanding what I meant.

“I said you can go now. You’ve accompanied me to the academy and unpacked, so your work here is done.”

I pulled out a small pouch from my pocket and tossed it to him.

Since there’s no use for money within the academy, I had filled the pouch with all the gold coins I had.

The expression on his face as he opened the pouch was quite something.

“Why would you give me something like this…?”

“You earn your pay when you work. Whatever you decide to do, wherever you go, this should be plenty for a fresh start. Though I’d recommend avoiding Belias. Well, I’m not going to stop you if you decide to go…”

Brian just stared blankly at the pouch of gold coins.

Some might think it’s too much for such a service, but I’m not the scoundrel who betrays his own.

He provided me with safe travel and comfort, so it’s right that I reward him for it.

What he does now and how he lives are up to him.

– Thump!

“…?”

Just when I thought he’d made up his mind, he unexpectedly kneeled before me.

“I, Brian Kendrick, a formal knight of Belias, beseech you, I wish to serve the noble Sian Vert!”

Has he lost his mind at the sight of a few gold coins?

“My father has always said, if I ever meet a lord I can trust and follow for life, not to hesitate and devote everything to him! Today, I choose not the coins, but the young master Sian Vert as the beginning of my life! Please accept me!”

His father, whoever that may be, sure taught him how to speak with flair.

I thought with a few coins, he would say thank you and leave, but he turned out to be a man of greater resolve.

A servant then?

He has a different vibe than a maidservant like Emily.

“You mentioned you wish to follow and trust a lord for life?”

“That is correct! I desire to serve you as my lord, Master Sian!”

“That’s an exceedingly foolish act.”

“Pardon?”

Brian lifted his head, previously bowing deeply.

“You might have limitless trust in me now, but I have neither belief nor affection for you. That means I could equally well discard you at any moment without surprise.”

“I don’t mind! Even if I’m abandoned, as long as I was of some small help to you, I would be satisfied!”

He was stubborn as a fort.

“Do you realize how foolish that is! What will you do if you end up on the wrong side of my blade?”

“I will still be fine even if that happ… What?”

A long silence filled the room.

It seemed my exasperation got the best of me, leading to some absurd comments.

I wonder if that bastard felt this way when looking at me.

“A servant willing to do anything for me…”

When I think about it, despite doing everything for that bastard in my previous life, I never had someone under me.

Now, the first person offering to serve me was a coachman – quite humorous, really.

But what’s the harm?

If he’s willing to give his life for me, then I, in turn, will ensure his well-being.

After all, I’m not the same as that guy.

I smiled wryly and said,

“Just don’t stab me in the back later…”

----------------------

The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin Chapter 34

Chapter 34: The Royal Academy (2)

About 300 freshmen must have gathered in the auditorium.

There would be nobles who already knew each other and those who didn’t recognize faces but had heard some of the names.

From the very first day of the entrance ceremony, they would likely be exchanging stories with those sitting next to and around them, eager to build camaraderie.

Gradually, the atmosphere would become noisier, and the hall more chaotic.

That’s when the dean would take the stage.

After amplifying his voice with mana, he’d start with these words:

“Each of you is born with duties to fulfill. You have moral obligations that correspond to your high social status.”

The students might respond with indifference, wondering what nonsense he was spouting.

Then, the dean would continue.

“The title of ‘noble’ is not to be taken lightly. The power you possess is akin to the abilities bestowed by the gods. Therefore, you must uphold the responsibilities that come with it and set an example befitting your societal status.”

Perhaps a few naive students would be moved by his words and accept the responsibilities and duties befitting a noble or elite.

What noble sentiments, right?

So grand they almost seem nonsensical.

Instead of wasting time listening to such pompous talk, I find it more valuable to confine myself to my room and exercise.

As I was doing pull-ups on the horizontal bar, Brian, who had been promoted from coachman to servant, approached me.

“Master, are you certain you won’t attend the entrance ceremony?”

I countered with a question.

“Why do you think I should go?”

“It could serve as an important foundation for starting your new life, sir. You would have the opportunity to bond with other students and perhaps hear wise words from the dean and professors…”

I couldn’t help but snicker at the mention of ‘wise words.’

“Wise words? Indeed. They must be so profound that I still remember them.”

“Pardon?”

“Do you know what the norms of the Royal Academy are?”

“I’m not certain, but…”

“Setting an example. The idea is to take what you learn and refine it to eventually serve the nation and its people.”

“Isn’t that a good principle?”

He tilted his head, not understanding what the issue could be.

“How many nobles do you think actually live by that in this land?”

“…”

“Just so you know, the Duchess who first took you in is also an alumnus of this academy.”

“Ah…”

With a nod of understanding and a sigh, Brian acknowledged what I meant.

Imagine how harmonious this land would be if the nobles lived without greed or arrogance, truly embodying the principle of setting an example for the nation and its people.

At the very least, there would be no place for Mist to run rampant.

Granted, it’s not as though there are no exemplary nobles at all, but let’s face it: nobles, by nature, are not pursuers of pedestrian livelihoods; they are born to power and wealth, chosen from birth with no concern about their next day’s bread.

The idea of sharing and giving from such endlessly avaricious folks…

That’s mere lip service in the stagnant world of nobility.

Moreover, there’s even less reason to attend an entrance ceremony that’s just going to spout such stories.

Especially since not going doesn’t mean getting kicked out or anything.

“Phew!”

After completing my set goal, I immediately transitioned to the next exercise without rest.

My room was equipped not only with a horizontal bar but also with various exercise machines reminiscent of a training ground, and potions that could enhance muscle development.

To someone like me, who had fed on the blood of magical beasts, such potions would hardly be effective.

But they were still better than nothing, and I was getting used to the convenience and comfort that royal spaces provided.

-Knock knock knock

A knock on the door during the time of the entrance ceremony…

It must be someone unaware that I’m in here.

For now, I sent Brian to see who it was.

He soon returned and handed me a piece of paper.

“What’s this?”

“It’s a notice from the administration office. They say there will be an attribute test at the magical training ground at 16:00 today and are asking that students gather without using any mana beforehand…”

Annoying, I thought.

Well, while the other students were at the auditorium, the attendants masquerading as guardian knights were likely in their dormitories, so they must have distributed these in advance.

“Such a hassle…”

“Pardon?”

Brian’s eyes widened.

“Well, attribute tests are important, aren’t they? They help determine the direction in which you need to hone your magical abilities…”

“Right. Extremely important.”

Except, I already know what my magical attribute is.

Having regressed, my attribute wouldn’t have changed, and since the test would be meaningless, I wondered if I could just scribble something on the paper and send it in.

Of course, that wouldn’t be allowed.

I scold myself for harboring such thoughts due to my annoyance.

* * *

A large magical circle of five colors was situated in the center of the space.

A student, nervous-faced, stepped onto the circle after preparations.

-Whirr…

A small circle emerged underneath, starting at the student’s toes, slowly ascending, scanning the entire body.

Once the test concluded, red writing etched itself onto a blue parchment in front of the magic circle:


『Magic Rank: 1-star

Physical Rank: C

Attribute: Fire 31%』

The tested student left with the parchment, and the next one entered. The process was the same, and their attributes marked on parchment as before.


『Magic Rank: 2-star

Physical Rank: D

Attribute: Water 37%』

Some students cheered while others showed disappointment upon seeing their assessments.

Meanwhile, some were perplexed by unexpected attribute percentages.

“This year’s freshmen seem to have high scores overall, don’t they?”

Rodin, the instructor overseeing the tests, remarked.

“It’s a shame that the attributes seem so mundane. They’re mostly limited to fire, water, wind, and the like.”

Silica, an instructor standing beside him, appeared somewhat disappointed.

“It can’t be helped. Extraordinary attributes don’t show up just because we wish for them. It seems we may not have a student this year with the God’s gift.”

Everyone is born with an inherent supply of mana and a magical attribute.

If mana is the energy needed for spellcasting, an attribute is the intrinsic quality granted that dictates which types of magic an individual can naturally utilize.

Fire 31%, Water 37%, Wind 42%.

The magical circle in this training ground identifies the highest attribute percentage of the individual and inscribes it onto a parchment infused with magical power, revealing the results.

Of course, the revealed figures represent only the highest among the individual’s attributes; it does not mean they are incapable of other types of magic.

If an individual’s highest is Fire 31%, the remaining 69% is a mix of various other attributes like water, electricity, wind, earth, light, dark, and so on, which implies the potential to wield other spells.

In principle, the higher the percentage of an attribute, the greater the potential to enhance spells related to that element.

Therefore, typically, students focus on strengthening the attributes confirmed by the test.

“Next student, please come forward.”

As Silica called, a slight girl with silver hair entered.

The instructors immediately recognized who she was.

“Princess Arin?”

“Yes. Let’s proceed with the test.”

Silica approached the timid Arin to explain the precautions.

“Step onto the circle after removing your shoes. Do not step off until the testing is complete. Just stand still, and the circle will take care of the rest!”

“Okay…”

Arin did as instructed, and the test started.

-Whirr….

Her test took about a minute longer than the others.

Soon, white writing, somewhat unique, appeared on the parchment.


『Magic Rank: 2-star

Physical Rank: B

Attribute: Light 52%』

“Light attribute?”

Arin covered her mouth in shock at the unexpected result.

The instructors too were astonished.

“Goodness, who would’ve thought… Princess Arin has a light attribute…”

“Moreover, over 50% scoring. This could qualify her as chosen by the divine, right?”

The divine’s choice.

Occasionally during these tests, students appear whose attribute percentages exceed 50%.

As mentioned, higher attribute scores broaden the potential for magic rank advancement, and surpassing 50% places one in an entirely different category, capable of mastering transcendent magic akin to divine powers.

Therefore, there are those who say the divine itself has descended its power, dubbing this phenomenon the divine’s choice.

“Emperor Dione had the light attribute as well, right?”

“Yes. It appears the father’s attribute has been inherited by the daughter. And her physical grade is quite impressive too.”

The instructors meticulously recorded her information, just as they had for the other students.

Princess Arin, now looking rather joyful, bowed to the instructors and exited.

The testing continued.

“Next student, please!”

A broad man with sun-kissed skin pulled back the curtain and appeared.

His burly figure, unbecoming of his age, caused the instructors to flinch a bit.

“Just, just remove your shoes and wait atop the circle. Don’t come down until the test is finished.”

The magical circle conducted the test, just like it did for previous students.


『Magic Rank: 3-star

Physical Rank: A

Attribute: Sand 71%』

“Sand 71%?!”

Upon seeing the results, both instructors exclaimed in unison.

Their astonishment wasn’t limited to the numbers.

“This… this can’t be an error, can it? A magic rank of 3-star, and physical rank A? He truly is a freshman who just enrolled this year?”

Silica, now bold, approached the new student directly.

However, the student named Seth, holding his inscribed parchment, left the room without a word.

“Such terrible character grade, F.”

She sneered softly as she watched him leave.

“Such students are not uncommon… Wait, that was Seth Shahar Khan, wasn’t it?”

“Do you mean the First Prince of Spania, known as the Sand Prince?”

“Yes, with an exceptionally high physical rank and the relatively rare sand attribute. He might well be the highest-scoring student amongst the freshmen.”

The instructors diligently recorded his data, just like they had for Arin.

“Next student, please!”

Eventually, the last student entered.

The black-haired boy walked in, took off his shoes, and ascended the magical circle without hesitation.

Before Silica could even relay the instructions, she found herself at a loss for words because of his natural demeanor.

“Oh, well, let’s get started!”

She quickly hurried behind the curtain, and the test began.

“The last student is the youngest son from the Duke Vert family.”

“Oh! That’s the young lord who lived on the frontline for a year! It’s no wonder his eyes seemed so sharp, almost like he had seen demons!” “He was once known as the incompetent of his family, but I’m curious what attribute will appear for him.”

-Whirr…

Unlike before, the magical circle was not so quick to complete the test.

Both instructors waited anxiously, longing for the blank parchment to reveal its inscription.

Finally, as the test concluded, words began to engrave upon the parchment.


『Magic Rank: 1-star

Physical Rank: S

Attribute: Darkness 92%』

“???”

Unable to utter a word, both instructors stared at the parchment in disbelief.

(To be continued in the next chapter)

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