Chapter 180 - Eye of the Storm (4)
'Quattro,' was a word which meant the number '4' and also symbolized the four magic towers. It was a division made up of the tower master candidates!
Theodore was now the head of a unit which would be the next generation of leaders of the kingdom, except for the king. Theodore rose from his seat and accepted the appointment. "I will do my best, despite still being immature."
"I look forward to your work in the future, Captain Theodore," Kurt III said while nodding.
Then Theodore sat down again. However, there were many differences from when he rose from that seat and when he sat down.
Although he hadn't created a 'Sorcery' yet, Theodore's magic abilities, cumulative accomplishments, and attainment of the 7th Circle were clearly too much for him to stay as a Prime. Theodore was already qualified to sit at the same table as a tower master.
For him to become the head of 'Quattro' was a suitable justification.
"It is decided," Kurt III said. Then after some light applause, he calmed down the crowd and declared, "From now on, we will raise the authority of Prime Theodore to the same level as the other tower masters. He will be guaranteed the right to participate in important meetings, and he can spend a portion of the budget allocated to the magic towers. He will also have free entry to the Zero Library. Are there any objections?"
"Tower Master Veronica."
After the crowd's silent affirmation, Kurt turned to the still silent Veronica, who glared at him.
However, Kurt was accustomed to this and didn't shrink back as he asked, "It has already been implicitly agreed, but do you accept Prime Theodore as the next Red Tower Master and agree with this decision? If you disagree, we can think about other ways."
"No." Regardless of whether it was a positive or negative acknowledgment, Veronica leaned back in her chair. Then she looked strangely at the box in Theodore's hands and nodded. "I'm in favor of it. He is qualified and deserving of that type of treatment.
"Okay, it is a unanimous decision." An expression of satisfaction filled Kurt's face, then he looked back. "Chamberlain, send them in."
"Yes, Your Majesty." The chamberlain bowed and opened a small door in the corner. It was designed so the door could only be opened from the inside. This meant the door wouldn't have been opened if Theodore or the tower masters had objected to the position.
Then two people walked in through the side door. One was a man with brown hair and dressed in white robes, while the other person was a girl with blonde hair and dressed in yellow robes.
They were from the white and yellow towers.
Surprisingly, the patterns on their robes indicated that they were a Prime and a Superior. The male Prime seemed to be in his early 30s, while the girl, who looked the same age as Sylvia, was surprisingly already a Superior.
"I will introduce you to your colleagues, Captain Theodore."
As Theodore expected, Kurt III introduced the two people as members of 'Quattro.' That meant...
"This is the tower master candidate for the White Tower, Prime William. This lady is the Yellow Tower candidate, Superior Para."
'I knew it.' Theodore looked at the two people in turn.
Since there were people from the White Tower and Yellow Tower, that meant there was one tower left.
Unsurprisingly, Kurt pointed to Sylvia next. "As you know well, Blue Tower Master Blundell's disciple, Superior Sylvia, was named as the next tower master. Unless she refuses, the four of you will work together as part of Quattro."
Sylvia had experienced Theodore's absence over the past year, so she couldn't refuse to work together with him now. One second after Kurt's introduction, she responded with prompt politeness, "Superior Sylvia! I will follow Your Majesty's words!"
Sylvia's voice was so loud that Kurt couldn't help stuttering for a while, "Y-Yes, I heard you."
He looked at Sylvia with a smile before the wooden boxes were also handed to the other three Quattro members. Just like Theodore's, these boxes contained black uniforms. However, there was no owl pattern on it. It meant that only Theodore was treated as equal to the other tower masters.
In any case, the leader of Quattro was Theodore.
'Hrmm, both of their skills seem fine.'
They were indeed the people who could become the next tower masters.
William was an elite magician who was already at the 6th Circle, whereas Para was only at the 5th Circle, but little magic power was overflowing from her. It was proof that her magic power control was very good.
Aside from Sylvia, Theodore looked carefully at the other two people. Soon his gaze turned back to Para.
There was no doubt that she was a beauty. She was smaller than Sylvia, but it would be hard for any man to turn their eyes away from her in 10 years. She had ocher-like skin, hair that looked like gold dust, and eyes which shone like rubies.
However, Theodore felt an uncomfortable feeling soon after he faced the reddish eyes. At that moment, the expressionless Para smiled thinly. She placed a slender index finger to her lips and secretly whispered, "Shh."
Without knowing what Theodore was thinking, Kurt thought that the four people needed time to get used to this and changed the topic.
"Yes, Your Majesty."
"The remainder of your reward will be given by the Yellow Tower Master. I don't know what is going on, but he wants to meet with you."
"...I will follow Your Majesty's words."
He didn't know why the Yellow Tower Master called him, but there was no point asking the king. Theodore bowed his head and complied with the king's command.
Kurt finished giving out his instructions and got up from his seat. "Now, let's continue the story of this year's Magic Contest. The tower masters will each be responsible for their own areas, as it is every year. This time, there will be a lot of work to create an area where the delegation from Elvenheim can stay."
"Yes, Your Majesty!"
Prior to starting the full-fledged discussion, Kurt spoke to the Quattro members, "Quattro, you can leave now. Captain Theodore, you can participate in this meeting if you want. What do you want to do?"
Now, Theodore had the right to participate in important meetings. If he wanted to, he could raise an agenda or refuse someone's suggestion about Meltor's largest annual event, the Magic Contest. Being able to participate in the meeting established him as one of the main powers of Meltor.
Theodore made his decision and opened his mouth.
* * *
In the end, Theodore didn't participate in the meeting. The other three members of his division walked out of the room with him and down the path towards the magic towers.
"What, you really left. Is it okay, Captain?" William, the brown-haired person in the white robe, asked Theodore as he walked. William was interested in why Theodore had left the meeting about the Magic Contest without hesitation.
"It doesn't matter. I didn't come to the magic towers for power, so it will be fine," Theodore affirmed.
"Ah, that is what I like hearing!" It seemed like William admired Theodore and praised, "Yes, this is a magician! It isn't about money or power! Quiet princess of the Blue Tower, what do you think?"
"Huh? Ah, yes," Sylvia uttered.
"Kya! Both of you are younger and more talented than me. My belly is a bit sore with envy, but you will be a good leader and colleague. Interesting." William chattered on with no interruptions for a few minutes.
Then the four people arrived at the crossroads which led to their respective magic towers. William left first, while Sylvia also had to head in the opposite direction of Theodore. However, she hesitated.
Theodore guessed the reason and soothed her, "Sylvia, are we going to act together from now on?"
"I promise not to disappear without hesitation, and I'll see you again later in the evening."
"Yes, I understand." Sylvia looked back at him a few times before eventually leaving for the Blue Tower.
'...Then from here on out.'
Only Theodore and Para remained at the crossroads, and an unknown tension filled the space. In fact, Theodore wasn't interested in the Magic Contest. However, he was wary of Para's existence.
Theodore didn't know what was the source of the discomfort. He had encountered many strong people before, but his intuition told him that Para's true identity was unimaginable! In the unnatural silence, Theodore opened his mouth first, "What did you come to me for, Tower Master?"
He didn't doubt it. Theodore trusted his intuition, which had saved his life many times. The image of the girl which made him feel uncomfortable... Her real identity was the Yellow Tower Master.
It was doubtful if the other tower masters knew this identity, but Theodore was certain.
"Hoh." However, Para didn't feel confused by the sudden inquiry. She faced Theodore with a strange expression of admiration and said, "Haven't you changed a lot during the period when I didn't see you? It is a difficult growth rate to maintain, even if you are the owner of a grimoire. Is this the glutton of the Seven Sins, Gluttony?"
It was shocking.
Theodore lost his soul for a moment, then he jumped backward as reason returned to him. His seven circles revolved as he prepared to attack the opponent at any time. The fear which tickled the back of his neck was different from anything he had felt before.
It was a horrible chill as all his secrets were revealed at once. This was dangerous, but how did the other person know about Gluttony's existence? The identity of the other person didn't matter to Theodore anymore.
'Should I kill him?'
Even in the Magic Society, which collected knowledge, grimoires were rare. Theodore expected the masters of grimoires to be hunted and captured. Just like the case of the Miller Barony, there were many cases where grimoires adversely affected the world.
Of course, Theodore didn't know what would happen, but he wasn't reckless enough to make a bet on this gamble. However, there was someone who shouted before him.
It was Gluttony's deep voice, which sounded as angry as someone from the bottom of hell. Gluttony's hatred and resentment exploded toward the unknown girl, -You dare to break the taboo!
Then Para nodded and bowed. "Taboo, what are you talking about?"
-Don't keep up your pretense! Gluttony's roar rang out through the crossroad. -Alchemy grimoire, Paragranum! An existence that violates its own nature and functions!