Olsylvia Academy Central Square, celebrations for the successful conclusion of “The Great Hunt” were currently underway. The triumphant students returned with the spoils of their hunt: demonic cores and battered weapons aplenty.
Bella and her roommates had not attended the celebration. That celebration was pretty much just for show. Those who had struck it rich during the hunt would not so easily reveal their newfound wealth.
In the performance assessment room, several Olsylvia Academy’s principals sat around Bella, staring at her with blank expressions as she unloaded an entire bag of S-ranked Deep Sea Demonic Crabs’ cores onto the display table. Afterward, she also placed an entire case worth of gold and treasures in front of them.
“Lady Bellina! Where did you find so many treasures? One wouldn’t be able to tell from just looking at you, but you really do have some ability! I have nothing to say, but only a single question.”
“Did you only find these treasures? I’ll take your word of honor.”
“Principal Elvis, your saliva is practically dripping from your mouth; have some dignity, please! Yes, this really is everything. I am a knight after all, so I do not lie. As for the location, I’m sorry, but I cannot say.”
Elvis’s, the principal of Filomena Nobility Academy, eyes shone with the glint of gold and greed as if he had never seen the money before. The gold and treasures weren’t all that worth his attention, but that bag of S-ranked demonic cores and the fact that they were from the rare Deep Sea Demonic Crab was worth an unimaginable amount of wealth on the open market.
Of course, Bella wouldn’t disclose her real spoils of war. Those treasures were for her personal enjoyment. Her greatest winning this time was the little sister of Carlos, Carolin. If Carlos found out that she had stolen his sister, the expression that would be on his face; Bella looked forward to it.
Although the other principals also showed some desire, they at least had enough self-control not to embarrass themselves like Principal Elvis. After all, Bella was still a student of Filomena Nobility Academy on paper and did not belong to their tutelage.
“Lady Bellina, look, your bag can’t even hold any more! These extra demonic cores, I’ll just…”
“Grandpa Elvis, I’ve already prepared plenty of extra bags. You don’t have to worry about it!”
“Oh, please, it’s nothing. Helping students is an important responsibility of us teachers. If you have any troubles, you can tell me. The academy will help you solve them!”
Bella was speechless as she looked at Principal Elvis. His greedy nature hadn’t changed at all. Besides his precious granddaughter, President Lucia, he didn’t have any treasures that interested her.
After another round of fending off the principal’s “dirty trading”, Bella used three S-ranked demonic crab cores to buy her and all of her roommates’ full marks in the first semester’s written exam. She also secured her friends, girls only, a guaranteed passing mark in the combat exam.
“Little brother Elvis, I still have some spots available, how about…”
“Little brother Elvis, I have a couple of promising new students, you…”
“All of you shut up! Brother Elvis, I have a couple outstanding princes over here. I can set them up…”
“Screw off! You old fogeys, don’t even think about scamming me. I won’t trade away student Bellina. Especially you, Principal Felix; weren’t you against students dating? What nonsense are you spouting now…”
“Hey, don’t be so hard-headed! When did I say anything about students dating? How come I don’t remember? Principal Elvis, you should not slander people randomly!”
Bella had barely left before the various Olsylvia Academy’s principals began another round of fighting over Bella. Olivia Wizard Academy actually even offered several new students with outstanding potential in exchange for Bellina. Unfortunately, Elvis wouldn’t budge an inch, leaving the other principals unable to do anything but stare hungrily at Bella’s receding figure.
Bella was uninterested in the principals’ squabbling. Principal Elvis wasn’t an idiot; he knew the right thing to do. The value of those three S-ranked demonic crab cores said more than enough by themselves.
Bella was silently congratulating herself on her foresight of withholding Two-Headed Ogre Nelson’s demonic core. If she had actually taken that out, those old fogeys probably wouldn’t have let her go tonight.
Olsylvia Academy, Frank Civilian Academy Central Square. Already, several stalls were set up. After the “Great Hunt” ended, students would bring the leftover meat from their hunt here to sell as snacks.
The rich aroma of barbequed monster meat permeated the night air. Bella felt a little hungry and decided to find a stall to eat. Her roommates had already gone back to rest at the dorms; they were probably exhausted. Maintaining a semi-dark state for three days truly was tiring.
Bella had already established a garrison on the New Moon Island. The Darkness Sacred Region was currently continuously sending over manpower. As for Ocean Demon King Victoria’s Dulles Isle, Bella had ordered her demon army to be on standby and observe any changes.
Sea Demonic Dragon Amy Beth and New Moon Demonic Dragon Dorothea had remained behind to guard the New Moon Island. They were responsible for directing the clean up of the remaining ogres. They were in a permanent contract with Bella, so if she wished, she could summon them any time to play with!
“Fresh barbequed F-rank demon, Fire Rabbit’s meat! Only six coppers a piece! Buy a second piece for half the price! Buy ten and get one free until we sell out!”
“Fresh off the grill! C-rank Demonic Earth Bear’s paws, gallbladder, meat, and scrotum; if you want it, we have it! A portion of meat for only fifty coppers. If you couldn’t beat this stinky bear before, come get your revenge for only fifty coppers!”
“Stewed B-rank demon, Terror Bird. If you understand the market, then come on in! Only one silver coin for a portion with complimentary soup.”
The students selling here included both individuals as well as those belonging to societies. A dorm counted as a single booth as well as a society. As one of Olsylvia Academy’s unusual welfare activities, the stalls here tonight were not subjected to rent or management fees.
There were demonic beast meat sellers all across the empire. The only difference was that the quality here was higher. Average citizens would only usually be able to eat up to C-ranked demonic beast meat; any higher-ranked meat was reserved for nobility and royalty as only they could afford the price of high-quality demonic beast meat.
Bella wasn’t lacking money, but she did care for eating in such a public location. She didn’t know which genius had selected her as Olsylvia Academy’s nouveau riche, but it seemed like more and more people were hawking their food at her. Adding the fact that she was a Duke, even more people wanted to get to know her.
“Bella, do you have a moment?”
“Oh, so it was Professor Ingrid. I’m free. I’m always free for you, Professor.”
“Come then, my treat. We can talk along the way.”
Bella was able to avoid most of the crowd trying to get close to her with the presence of Dragon Knight Ingrid. The students, seeing Bella with a teacher, didn’t dare to interrupt them.
Bella and Ingrid quickly made their way to the Rose Club’s stall. This place was somewhat different from the stalls before as there were neither people yelling advertisements nor were there colorful signboards. It was merely a curtained-off circle of empty space.
Even through the curtain, Bella could smell an extraordinary scent. President Nina had put out a spread of the Deep Sea Demonic Crabs that Bella and her roommates had brought back. This crab meat was an exquisite ingredient; even if you had money, you wouldn’t be able to buy it. Even nobles and royals rarely got to have a taste.
Several guards were stationed outside the tent. They were the bodyguards and servants of the guests within; clearly, they were of noble status.
“Professor Ingrid, you’re too good at this. Isn’t this my Rose Society’s stall? Is it because you haven’t received this month’s salary yet…”
“Of course not, you silly girl. What are you even thinking? It’s rather safe here. There’s plenty of guests with high status and the level of these bodyguards is high as well.”
A slight blush rose on Ingrid’s cheeks. Although it was true that she had not yet received her pay for this month, admitting to Bella’s insight would be very awkward.
Since Bella was the vice president of the Rose Society, going inside this stall was like walking into her own home. Tonight, the Rose Society was selling the S-ranked Deep Sea Demonic Crab’s meat. The starting price for a basic portion was at least one gold coin.
The people who came here to eat were either royalty, nobles, or the sons of wealthy magnates. They sat calmly and thoroughly enjoyed this rare delicacy. When they paid, they were very generous, handing over small bags filled with gold coins; each one contained at least ten.
Since the members of the Rose Society were all grand personas, they were somewhat familiar with the habits of tycoons. The layout of this stall was in the style that the wealthy tycoons were used to. President Nina had even hired girls from the neighboring Antoinette Academy’s “Arts School” as waitresses.
The guests were all members of the upper echelons of society. As such, they were very generous with their bills, and in some cases, would even directly hand over gemstones and precious pearls as payment. Compared to Carlos’s Golden Legend Society’s stall, this event was slightly different. The Rose Society valued a peaceful and quiet atmosphere, so President Nina had sent out invitations accordingly.
After Bella entered, several guests rose from their seats to greet her. They were members of the Five Grand Empires and were basically all titled Dukes. Since they had the same status as Bella, their greetings avoided any awkwardness that came with different social status.
Bella and Ingrid found a quiet corner table to sit down. A couple of uniformed waitresses delivered a menu to each of them. The “extra help” hired by the Rose Society were all the girls who refused to sell their bodies. The working environment allowed them to maintain their dignity, unlike the occasional “peach selling” that occurred in Carlos’s restaurant.
“Bella, we were only able to find a couple of bodies of the assassins who attacked you last time. Most of the bodies mysteriously disappeared. Apparently, they were trusted members of the Underground Assassin Union?”
“The assassin’s note… trusted members, huh? I’ve heard of this assassin’s union, but I thought they didn’t accept assassination requests on Dragon Knights?”
“This is exactly what I wanted to talk to you about. Bella, you still don’t have a Knight Qualification Certificate from the Knights’ Union right? I know that your power isn’t merely at the level of a Holy Knight. In a few days, why don’t I take you to the Knights’ Union to get a certification? After that, there won’t be any assassins that would dare take a mission on you.”
“No, I’m poor! I can’t pay the certification fee. Even the Holy Knight certification is ten gold coins; isn’t that daylight robbery! Who knows how much a Dragon Knight certification would cost?”
Ingrid didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at Bella’s response. As the vice president of the Rose Society, how could she possibly be broke to the point of being unable to afford ten gold coins? Ingrid might believe it if other people claimed this, but absolutely not Bella.
The Knights’ Union’s Knight Qualification Certification was the most expensive certification to obtain out of all the warrior job unions. Furthermore, any magic job certification would have a higher status than a knight’s certification.
Only after Ingrid promised to pay the ten gold coins did Bella reluctantly agreed to go. After feasting on a meal of Deep Sea Demonic Crab meat, she said her goodbyes to Dragon Knight Ingrid. She planned to find her own Dragon Knight mount before midnight came and the gates were closed.
Naturally, Bella wouldn’t be satisfied with the mere rank of Holy Knight. If she were going to receive a certification, then she would get a grand rank like Dragon Knight. Bella knew that to obtain a Dragon Knight certification, the first step would be to find a willing Dragon Race to form a partner contract. Only after that will she be able to proceed to the next step.
As for a flying dragon mount, Bella had two choices to pick from, Silver Dragon Princess Isabel or Black Dragon Princess Clariss. They had already “hooked up” before. Golden Dragon Princess Laceman wasn’t eligible to be her official mount since she had “illegally acquired” her. Otherwise, she would attract the ire of the Dragon Race.
Olsylvia Academy Eastern District, Olivia Wizard Academy Club Activities Center, Latimore Business District, Henrietta Magic Tools Shop, Main Hall.
This was the second time that Bella had come to this magic tools shop. This time, she didn’t see the Silver Dragon guards barring the door again, and she didn’t know if Isabel was here or if Red Dragon Prince Louis had been bothering her these past three days.
At this time, most of the students had run over to Frank Academy to visit the “Great Hunt’s” night market. There was almost no one on this street, giving it a lonely feeling.
Bella couldn’t find Isabel in the outer area of the shop, so she went into the inner space. Usually, there wouldn’t be many people here, let alone now; there wasn’t a single person to be found.
“Weird, where did that brat Isabel run off to? Don’t tell me that asshole Red Dragon prince actually carried her off to get married after I had already decided to make her my mount.”
Bella uneasily rifled through the shop’s inner area. Her hard work eventually paid off, and she found a hidden door behind the money counter. Without sparing a thought at the line written on the door “Bystanders Beware”, Bella entered. Isabel was going to be her mount, so she didn’t count as a bystander.
During the three days of Olsylvia Academy’s “Great Hunt”, Princess Isabel had given up on her dignity and sought out Princess Clariss in order to avoid Red Dragon Prince Louis’s constant harassment.
With the threat of Black Dragon Princess Clariss by her side, Louis didn’t dare come bother Isabel. Of course, this couldn’t be a long term arrangement; Isabel had already put some thought into becoming Bella’s partner and mount.
“Clariss, why am I paying again! Where’s your conscience? Every time the bill’s a little bit expensive, I’m always the one who pays. Whenever we get a cheap bill, you’re always fighting to pay for it!”
“What can I do? I’m poor! I can’t help it! Don’t hold it against me, Isabel. Wasn’t your other friend coming to visit tonight? Why did you come to bother me? Louis is afraid of her too!”
“Oh, right! I forgot that I wanted to go find Bella. Clariss, will you go back to the shop with me? Louis came looking for me earlier tonight, and I’m afraid Bella isn’t here yet.”
“Okay, then you pay the bill. Fellow classmate, pack me another portion too!”
“You ungrateful little… Wait for me!”
The two Dragon princesses walked back toward Isabel’s shop. On the way, they ran into Prince Louis, whose face was beaten black and blue. The brash and arrogant Red Dragon prince had been thrashed thoroughly and was covered in injuries.
After seeing Louis, Isabel hurriedly hid behind Clariss. Louis actually hadn’t seen her. When he spotted Clariss, Louis quickly took several steps back. He had just received a beating and was in no shape to tangle with Clariss.
“Isn’t this little brother Louis? Why do you look so pathetic? Did someone beat you up?”
“Big sister Clariss, it’s nothing. Me and little sister Mavis were just playing around. Big sister doesn’t have to waste her time on this matter. Little brother will leave first.”
Mavis was the Ice Dragon Princess and was also known as the Blue Dragon Princess. She and the Red Dragon Prince were like fire and water: they would fight on sight. Though the two were roughly equal in terms of power, Mavis liked to use underhanded tactics; every time the two met, Louis would end up getting beaten.
Looking at Louis’s pathetic figure, he really got a good beating from Mavis earlier. When he had spotted Clariss, his face turned pale as a sheet. If he had to endure another round of poundings, he really would die!