Within the 1st school building of the Filomina Branch Academy’s Jewel District, in the reception hall that was located on the building’s highest floor. The crowd was silent as all eyes were on the display stand up on the stage. Three large magic cores had caught the attention of everyone present, these three brown magic cores were even larger than that of the [Deep Sea Serpent] that had been displayed earlier.
This was because they were the magic cores from the A+ class monster, [Ground Dragon], [Ground Dragons] were rather large in size themselves so it was natural that the magic cores they possessed were big in size as well. Magic cores from monsters that had a bit of dragon affinity were as rare as those from sea monsters and the market demand for them was just as large. Based on the size of the three magic cores, the [Ground Dragons] that they came from were almost certainly mature adults. A rather conservative estimate for the price of all three of them would be about 100,000 gold coins.
The scale of this ‘treasure duel’ had already exceeded that for the entrance-level nobility of previous years. In all the years of the Filomina branch’s history, the most intense treasure duelling between Entrance-level nobility had been won by a B+ class monster’s magic core, which was probably about similar in value to the [Deep Sea Serpent]’s magic core that Duchess Bellina had shown earlier. The three [Ground Dragon] cores had already far exceeded the level of wealth that was typical of entrance-level nobility, in fact, if one had brought them to the bidding for the advanced-level nobility’s seat of honour, they would most likely have no challengers
There was no way that Abbot could produce such valuable items himself, but the other students quickly remembered his position as one of the trusted lackeys of the Golden Legend student association’s president, they quickly inferred that these three magic cores were given to him by Carlos, the president of the Golden Legend. They realized that Carlos was openly showing his support for Abbot and to claim the seat of honour amongst the entrance-level nobility for his own lackey, perhaps Duchess Bellina might stop her own bidding now that she realized who she was vying for over the seat of honour.
After talking with some of the more-informed students, quite a few people turned to look towards the section of seats that had been reserved for the members of the Rose Society, and there was where they were able to see the rumoured Duchess Bellina. The Duchess, who was rumoured to be ugly beyond belief currently had a conflicted look on her face as she looked at the three [Ground Dragon] magic cores that were currently displayed on stage, was it that she had been shocked so much by Abbot’s treasures that she had lost her wits?
The rumour about Bellina’s looks was naturally proven wrong, none of the students here were blind and the golden-haired beauty in their eyes, was by no means at all, ugly. Even though she was currently wearing a suit of light plate armour that one could find almost anywhere that had a decent smith, but the blindingly bright suit of platinum armour encrusted with rare jewels that Bella had worn when she was finishing up her sign-up process was well engraved into quite a few people’s eyes, and news of Bellina’s immeasurable wealth quickly spread around the reception all.
Even though Carlos looked rather calm on the surface, but his heart was already dripping blood. These three A+ class magic cores were originally supposed to be saved for tomorrow’s advanced-level nobility’s ranking auction, as an ace up his sleeve. He hadn’t expected to be forced to use them here and now that he had, there was almost no way for him to claim the seat of honour tomorrow anymore, as he didn’t have the ability to produce any treasure on the level of the three magic cores that he had shown today.
Carlos wasn’t the only dispirited one here, as Bella was also feeling rather uncomfortable. She had originally thought that Abbot would bring out some legendary level treasure to beat her, but all her expectations had been for nought when the three [Ground Dragon] magic cores appeared on the display stand, what ticked her off even more was that these were the very same magic cores that she had helped Ivy obtain for her transfer request to the Olivia Academy not that long ago.
Hadn’t Ivy already handed the magic cores to the Olivia branch’s headmaster of academic affairs? So why was it that they had appeared in the hands of the Golden Legend’s president, was it that the Olsyvia Academy’s headmaster of academic affairs was in cahoots with the Golden Legend?
However, something on this level was completely unable to compete with the item that Bella had just placed into the small teleportation formation in front of her. After seeing what the Golden Legend had to offer, Bella rose from her seat, took Ivy by the hand and left the reception hall with Ivy in tow, without as much as a single glance back towards the stage. Everyone else in the reception hall was rather confused as they hadn’t expected such an anticlimactic ending, they thought that Duchess Bellina had given up due to her knowing that she wouldn’t be able to compete with the Golden Legend.
Even the members of the Rose Society who had sat around Bellina seemed confused, it was evident that not even they knew what she was thinking.
After some time more time passed, the reception hall was still silent and the beauty host had still yet to announce Abbot claiming the seat of honour. The name shown of the display was still Bellina, remaining unchanged even after Abbot had sent in the 3 [Ground Dragon] magic cores. However, the crowd had yet to recover from the shock of seeing the [Ground Dragon]’s magic cores and didn’t notice the strange occurrence.
‘Is there something wrong with the magic display?’ was all that was on the hostess’ mind as she stood on the stage awkwardly, maintaining her fake smile. Duchess Bellina had already left and Abbot also seemed like he didn’t know what was going on. After what seemed like an eternity for the hostess, the display finally shifted to show the final results. The ranking didn’t change, however, with Bellina still firmly seated on the 1st seat and Abbot still on the 2nd seat.
When these results were displayed, there was an uproar within the reception hall, with the members of the Golden Legend being the loudest among them. If it wasn’t for the fact that the members of the Brotherhood who sat in the front rows didn’t express anything and instead calmly remained in their seats, quite a few students would have rushed the stage in fury.
The student council president of the Filomina branch, Lucia, walked up to the stage with a stern look on her face, with the head chair of the Disciplinary Committee, Natasha, following behind her with a similarly serious face. After seeing Natasha, many students who had been making commotion within the reception hall quickly quieted down.
Not every one of them could do like the Golden Legend and bail themselves out after being detained by the Disciplinary Committee. They knew that it was best that they behaved themselves around her.
“I know that everyone is confused, but I can assure you that there are no problems with the results. I have already notified the Olsyvia Academy’s principal of today’s auction. Out of competitive fairness, we will display the item that Duchess Bellina had sent in before she left, but I ask that everyone here keep what they will see to themselves, this is a direct request from the principal.”
As soon as Lucia finished speaking, the final treasure that Bella had entered appeared on the display stand. This was a golden bottle about the size of a typical flower vase, the gold used to make the vase seemed somewhat different from the gold that was used to mint the coins that were commonly used on the Coristel Continent, meaning that this bottle was probably from another continent.
The bottle was engraved with strange writing that didn’t match any of the scripts used by the modern human alliance, the bottle also seemed to contain some fluid. The crowd was still confused, as even if this golden bottle was a relic from ancient times, its value still shouldn’t be able to exceed the 100,000 gold coins that the three [Ground Dragon] magic cores were worth.
On the magic display, each item that appeared were accompanied by an estimated market value to show the crowd. Beneath the image of Abbot’s 3 magic cores was an estimated value of 100,000 gold coins. However, the estimated value for Duchess Bellina’s antique golden bottle was a row of question marks, meaning that its value was inestimable and priceless.
Of all the auctions that had taken place in the history of the human alliance, such a priceless item had never appeared previously. The continent’s biggest auction houses had only managed to auction off some low god-tier equipment that had been left behind after the great war, but even they still had an estimated price attached to them, just that the number of zeros in the number made most people’s’ heads spin. However, this golden bottle didn’t seem like it could be more valuable than god-tier equipment, so why was it that its price was inestimable?
“There’s no need to question the value of this bottle, the most educated and senior of the entire academy’s teachers have already proved that the characters on this bottle are from the Frederic Empire, which was the first empire to fall to the 12 demon kings ten thousand years ago, the bottle and its contents date back to the reign of the Frederic Empire’s last emperor, Frederic XIX.”
“The contents of the bottle have already been confirmed as the legendary ‘Elixir of Life’ by the Alchemy Association’s president. Just a small little drop of this elixir can completely revive a person within 3 days of their death, and there’s enough of it within the bottle to easily revive over a hundred people. I don’t think I need to further explain the value of this item.”
After this explanation, everyone in the audience was silenced. In this world, some higher level clerics did have the ability revive the dead, but were only limited to those who had died in battle or some other sort of unnatural death, and were completely unable to help those who had naturally died from old age or disease.
There was also a high price to pay to use these revival methods, most of them requiring to use the life essence of the caster as a catalyst. The more damage taken by the body before death required more life essence to revive, it wasn’t unheard of for clerics to die themselves after reviving the dead.
This ‘Elixir of Life’ had no such side effects, so it wasn’t an overstatement to call it a priceless treasure. If it had appeared in any of the Coristel Continent’s auction houses, the five empire’s emperors definitely would be willing to throw half the entire national treasury out to buy such a lifesaver.
The president of the Golden Legend looked angrily at the results displayed on the magic screen. He still couldn’t accept that he had lost in a treasure duel, the first in his entire lifetime. If he had lost to the Rose Society’s 5 fabulously wealthy girls, he wouldn’t feel as much shame as he did losing to Bella. The real reason why Carlos was so angry was that he couldn’t stand to have lost to someone without reputation like Duchess Bellina at wealth, especially after he had just dismissed her as not a threat earlier.
If he had lost to one of the girls from the Rose Society, he could stand it as everyone was wealthy and it just happened that the Rose Society was wealthier, but he wouldn’t be able to forget the shame he felt after losing to Bellina. Bellina had already left but she had left quite the impression on Carlos, who was already plotting how to get revenge on her.
Bella had already left the school building, as after the ranking for the entrance-level nobles was confirmed, the next event was a banquet. Bella didn’t have much interest in this banquet, as all it was really was just a continuation of the ‘business’ that had been taking place before the start of the auction.
Bella didn’t like enjoy that kind of atmosphere and she also knew that now wasn’t the time for her to confront the Golden Legend. After Bella left, the members of the Rose Society quickly followed her out the door as they also didn’t like the atmosphere inside.
Bella didn’t know yet that Carlos had already let his imagination have its way with her quite a few times already if she hadn’t left Carlos would probably have put some strange things into her wine.
“Bella-nee, the people here are so strange! Why are they so interested in one of my failed experiments, yet no one wants the thing that I succeed in making? I don’t understand…:”
【Origin of Plagues】 Betia had a confused look on her face as she asked Bella a question that she had been holding in since ever since they had left the reception hall. The ‘Elixir of Life’ that had appeared earlier was one of her failed attempts at creating some sort of poison. Betia didn’t only know how to create poison, she was also able to create such things as the ‘Elixir of Life’, but the ingredients that she used to make it were all incredibly poisonous by themselves. Betia herself didn’t actually know that she was creating ‘Elixir of Life’, but some more poison, it was up to Mia who coordinated with her to create it so that the ‘failed’ product of Betia’s creation was this ‘Elixir of Life’. Betia still had yet to find out why her experiments always failed when she worked with Mia.
Bella couldn’t bring herself to tell the truth to the uncontrollably sinister loli, that her successful creations were basically all poisonous, and ones that could wipe out entire continents at that too, it was only natural that they weren’t widely welcomed!?
Olsyvia Academy’s northern branch, some distance from the main office building of the Rose Society located within the Filomina branch’s school grounds.
Within the Olsyvia Academy, apart from the shared public spaces like school buildings, living spaces like student and teacher dormitories as well as the teachers’ offices. The rest of the academy was divided into many pieces of land, each of which was managed by a student association. The student association could do basically whatever they wanted within their territory as long as it didn’t break any of the academy’s rules, and it was one of the most important determining factors for an association’s performance grades.
Based on the prosperity, location, and size of their territories, the student associations would be able to obtain a certain amount of association points. At the end of each semester, each branch’s student council would tally up the number of association points that each student association had and decided how much activity funds to give to each association as well if the association had the need to continue existing. Of course, territory couldn’t be taken by brute force or else brawls would breakout everywhere all the time, but that was the only limitation to the expansion of an association’s territory.
Bella was a little shocked when she had first learned of this system, as this was quite literally the alternate world’s version of how gangs ran?! Even though there was a rule that one couldn’t take another’s territory through force, but large-scale fights between student associations were a common occurrence in the Francis and Olivia branches. Due to the excuse of territory changing hands through a ‘martial exchange’, not even the Disciplinary Committee had a good reason to intervene in their brawls.
Under comparison, the competition for territory within the Filomina branch was more peaceful. The association who currently possessed the most territory was naturally the first ranked Brotherhood. Apart from the Church’s St.Louis branch, the Brotherhood held territory in all four other branches. Within The Filomina branch and the neighbouring Euphemia branch, the Brotherhood was the association that possessed the most territory on the school grounds.
In the year leading up to now, the territory of the Rose Society had almost been completely overtaken by the Golden Legend. The last remaining sanctuary for the Rose Society was the building in which their office was located, having lost all else of their previously owned territory.
“Jenny-senpai, this is all that the Rose Society has left?”
“I’m afraid you’re right, Duchess Bellina. The president of the Golden Legend, Carlos has always held something against us and if you don’t join us, we’ll lose this last territory to them within a week. Anyways, you don’t have to call me senpai anymore, I only entered the academy a year earlier than you, but my age is the same as yours. Just call me Jenny.”
“Then you don’t have to add my peerage in front of my name anymore, I don’t care if an outsider calls me Duchess, but you don’t have to do so. You can call me Bella, it’s what all my friends call me.”
“Am I not an outsider? We’ve barely known each other for a day.”
“Do you think that you’re an outsider? Jenny, I think that we were brought together by fate~”
“You sure are an interesting girl, Bella. I think that it the right decision to let you join us. Let’s go, I’ll introduce you to the other sisters of the Rose Society.”
Bella and the others followed Jenny towards the Rose Society’s main and only office. From a distance, they were able to see a bunch of students with an armband that the image of gold coins gathered around the building. These students blocked the Rose Society’s path to the outside world, even though they couldn’t stop the Rose Society’s members from entering and exiting their territory, they could stop anyone who was delivering articles for daily use to the association from doing so, after a while the Rose Society would be forced to abandon that place after they could no longer keep the area running.
This was something that the Golden Legend had done many times and had always succeeded, using it to annex large swathes of territory originally belonging to the Rose Society, now they were already perilously close to the last sanctuary of the Rose Society.
“What are you all doing here? You’re blocking our path.”
“Duchess-sama, we’ve just rented out the lower level to enjoy some tea, I don’t think that this goes against any academy rules!”
Jenny could only helplessly pull on Bella’s arm and signal with her eyes for Bella to follow her and leave. The member of the Golden Legend who spoke had a devious smile on his face, seemingly confident in the fact that Bella wouldn’t dare to do anything to her. This was the Filomina branch academy for nobles, and a duchess like Bella wouldn’t publicly use force and beat him.
“Oh alright, but all of you better finish your tea, or else none of you will be able to leave~!”
Bella followed Jenny into the building after leaving behind some words that no one understood and some rather confused Golden Legend members. None of them noticed that Betia, the toxic loli, had secretly poured some strange powder into their tea under the cover of Noesha’s dimensional wall…