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Not everyone from the Orbis class was involved in the revolutionary forces. However, graduating at the top of the Orbis class was quite a feat.
There was no reason for Duke Grantz to join the revolutionary forces.
Strictly speaking, regardless of one’s origins, nobility, or wealth, there was no reason for anyone to join the revolutionary forces.
What could possibly warrant risking one’s life for such a cause?
In reality, even those who would benefit from the revolution would be better off boarding the ship of the new world after the revolution had occurred, rather than risking their lives to be part of it.
If Duke Grantz was a member of the revolutionary forces, he would undoubtedly be a key figure.
“They say it whenever they scold me for graduating top of the class, but honestly I don’t believe it.”
He even graduated at the top of his class.
How wonderful ink was for pursuing one’s dreams. Liana pointed to her head as she gulped whiskey, not knowing what I was thinking.
“No matter how much I think about it, my head isn’t that good, you know? Who do you think I got this head from?”
She said her father’s head must be bad because her own head was bad. It was a dizzying statement, but that wasn’t what was important to me right now.
If Duke Grantz was part of the revolutionary forces, should I consider him my ally since I was going to join forces with them anyway?
Whether Duke Grantz was a part of the revolutionary forces or not, my only interest was in delaying the revolution until after the Gate incident.
The Anti-Imperial Alliance was just an excuse, and there was no real intention to form it and raise a flag against the Empire.
The revolutionary forces, the independence of the Five Great Holy Religions, they all vanished in the whirlwind of the Gate incident. Humanity suffered enormous losses beyond the Empire, and there was no time left to dream of other things.
Rebuilding the world with all one’s might was the endpoint after the Gate incident.
Before the great crisis of humanity, all trivial interests had disappeared.
But what would happen if that great crisis disappeared?
Would it be better if the Gate incident occurred…? Now, it might be better not to know.
In the end, I hadn’t yet touched the essence of the Gate incident.
That’s why I knew that all these thoughts and worries were ultimately empty.
We cleaned up early since the children had fallen asleep. After tucking the sleeping children into their rooms, Liana and Cliffman went to their own rooms to sleep.
I couldn’t sleep.
The surprise party that was suddenly planned to comfort me.
I was honestly moved by it, but since coming here, I had been burdened with irrelevant concerns.
There was nothing certain.
As I gazed out the window at the night-shrouded garden, I saw someone wandering through the garden.
A man with a pleasant countenance.
Not knowing what to do, I opened the door of the annex.
The door to the annex opened, and he, who had been walking in the garden, watched me for a moment before bursting into a sly chuckle.
“Ah, it seems there’s someone else who can’t sleep tonight besides me.”
Somehow, his laughter looked sad.
“Your name is Reinhardt, right?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
“I’ve heard quite a bit about you.”
Being a troublesome individual, Duke Grantz seemed to have heard various stories about me.
“When I ask my daughter to talk about the Temple, she gets annoyed, but she’s told me more about you than anything else.”
Duke Grantz chuckled as he patted my shoulder.
The habit of patting people while talking – had Liana inherited that from her father?
Liana had told the Duke quite a bit about me, describing me as a strange guy at the Temple since the beginning of the semester. Of course, Liana didn’t seem to enjoy conversing with her father that much, so Duke Grantz hadn’t heard my story to the point of having it drilled into his ears.
Focusing on incidents and accidents.
I couldn’t help but break into a cold sweat.
Orbis Class graduate.
He might hold a personal grudge against me for being the catalyst of the Orbis Class closure.
“When I heard you fought with a senior from the Orbis Class, I thought you must be quite a big shot, even though I didn’t know you.”
Even if that weren’t the case, the person responsible for the closure of his alma mater was right next to him.
However, all I could feel from Duke Grantz’s sly smile was admiration for his bold daughter’s friend.
Did he not care about the Orbis Class, or was he simply hiding his emotions?
“It must have been quite surprising for you, what happened after that, Reinhardt.”
Instead, he spoke directly about the incident.
“Yes… I never expected it to turn out like this…”
In reality, I never anticipated that the conflict would escalate beyond the closure of the Orbis Class and accelerate the revolutionary movement.
“What was meant to happen, happened.”
Duke Grantz said, looking up at the winter night sky.
His attitude seemed to suggest that he had known about the corruption of the Orbis Class long before.
Judging by his words, was he unrelated to the revolutionaries?
However, on a sleepless winter night.
I didn’t know the reason why he couldn’t sleep, but it was clear that I was not mistaken in sensing deep regret and some remorse in his expression.
As we walked and talked, I suddenly looked towards the mansion and couldn’t help but feel a bit creeped out.
Someone was watching Duke Grantz and me.
A grown woman, with her arms crossed and frowning as if displeased, stared at me.
As our eyes met, she furrowed her brow even more and closed the curtain with a snap.
Both Duke Grantz and I saw her.
“Ah, um… My wife is a bit sensitive.”
As it turned out, since Liana had not introduced the Duke, it was only natural that she had not introduced the Duchess either.
Somehow, Duke Grantz seemed apologetic as he spoke.
What was bothering him?
Or was it that the Duke of Grantz stayed up late?
But there was something more to the nervous-looking Duchess’s expression than mere irritation.
Disgust and contempt.
That was what it seemed like.
“Ahem, I think I should go inside now. It’s cold, and a long nighttime walk isn’t good for you either.”
“Oh, yes. I understand.”
Duke Grantz seemed to be sparing his words.
The next day.
In the dining room of the annex, they had a simple breakfast served by the servants.
Of course, even though it was called a simple meal, it was still a breakfast fit for the Grantz household, able to accommodate Ellen’s tremendous appetite.
The menu was simple, but the portions were not.
No one seemed to have a hangover from drinking too much.
However, Harriet was not present at breakfast.
“Maybe she’s still sleeping?”
In response to my question, Liana shrugged her shoulders. She didn’t seem to drink that much last night; was she tired?
However, Harriet was not asleep.
After finishing breakfast and having tea, Harriet entered through the front door of the annex.
“Oh? Everyone’s already up.”
“Weren’t you sleeping?”
Harriet shook her head at my question.
“No? I woke up the earliest.”
“Then where did you go without having breakfast?”
Harriet scratched her cheek as if my question was slightly embarrassing.
“Well… The Duchess invited me to have breakfast with her…”
At this, Liana sighed deeply, pressing her forehead.
“I knew it…”
What was she talking about? Liana looked annoyed as she narrowed her eyes and spoke to Harriet.
“Harriet, don’t pay any attention to whatever nonsense my mother told you.”
The atmosphere was entirely different when talking about Duke Grantz.
Although she found her father annoying, there was no sign of genuine dislike.
However, when talking about her mother, Liana spoke with a sense of genuine disgust and contempt.
“Oh? But… she did say some nice things too…”
Harriet couldn’t simply agree, so she awkwardly said as much.
Liana dismissed the possibility, leaving Harriet feeling uncomfortable.
Harriet joined them at the table and drank her tea.
The Duchess of Grantz.
The expressions directed at me last night, or at Duke Grantz.
The gaze filled with contempt.
Inviting Harriet to breakfast.
Only Harriet was invited.
The daughter of Count Saint-Owan.
Harriet de Saint-Owan.
The conclusion was that the Duchess of Grantz was extremely sensitive to social status.
Liana’s words seemed to trouble Harriet greatly, yet she couldn’t outright deny them. The conclusion was easily drawn from her expression.
It was clear that she had heard something she couldn’t agree with.
After breakfast, we returned to the dormitory together.
On our way back, Duke Grantz bid us farewell.
“Have a safe journey, and be careful not to catch a cold in the winter.”
Liana seemed ready to snap at him for even bothering to come out, but remembering the conversation we had yesterday, she frowned but didn’t say anything to the Duke.
An additional attribute had been added to Liana de Grantz.
Duke Grantz greeted each of us in turn.
“Cliffman, you’ll soon awaken your Magic Body Strengthening.”
“Thank you, Your Grace.”
“Adelia, I’ve heard your skills are quite impressive. Keep up the good work.”
“Eh?! Oh, yes, yep. Th-thank… you.”
“Ellen, it’s always good to see you eating well. One day, all that food will come back as strength.”
Ellen cleverly deflected Duke Grantz’s playful banter by calling him “sir.”
Excluding Liana, we all looked at Ellen with amused expressions as she called Duke Grantz “sir.” The Duke’s reaction was even more priceless.
“Haha! I always enjoy being called ‘sir’!”
Did she intentionally call him that…?
Now I understand why Ellen said Duke Grantz is a good person.
“Reinhardt, try to stay out of trouble.”
“I-I’ll do my best…”
After exchanging ambiguous pleasantries, Duke Grantz addressed Harriet.
“Uh… I apologize for this morning’s breakfast incident.”
“N-no, it’s… it’s fine. I’m okay.”
Somehow, Duke Grantz seemed apologetic, and Harriet seemed even more flustered.
What exactly transpired during breakfast at the Grantz residence today?
We said our goodbyes to Duke Grantz and moved on towards the temple.
“Hey, wait a sec.”
I let the others walk ahead and pulled Harriet aside slightly so our conversation wouldn’t be overheard.
Of course, it wouldn’t matter much if they heard.
“What did the Duchess say to you?”
Harriet hesitated for a moment before shaking her head.
“You don’t need to know.”
That was all she would say.
“What? Why not? What is it?”
“You won’t benefit from hearing it.”
It was clear that there was nothing good about me hearing it.
“No, it’s fine. Just tell me.”
“I told you, you won’t benefit from knowing!”
More than anything, Harriet was speaking in a very soft voice while glancing at Liana, even though they weren’t discussing any particular secrets. Harriet clearly didn’t want to talk about it, and then she looked me in the eye.
“Ah… I’m glad you’re back to your usual self, but I didn’t wish for you to bother me like this…”
Harriet let out a deep sigh and glanced at Liana, who was walking ahead of us.
“Come to the Magic Research Club when we get back.”
It seemed like this wasn’t a conversation to be had in Liana’s presence. Harriet curtly said so.
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