Chapter 163 – Access
“They will challenge me soon. It will likely be during the end of the year tournament when most of the children and my people are busy with the tournaments. When they come for me, I want you to stand at my side Daichi. Help me fend them off, and then help me convince them, with force if necessary that our only chance at survival… Is to leave Lumea!”
Daichi and Lydia sat in silence as they stared at Stanislas’s passionate eyes.
Even though silence filled the room, it was only Lydia’s mind who was set astir at the sudden proposal. She felt it ridiculous that he would put so much stock in someone she herself was confident she could defeat, moreover the access he was promising Daichi was not something that anyone who understand stood its value would ever take lightly.
Before she had even finished wrapping her mind around her father’s words, her ears had turned red at Daichi’s casual response and her father’s wide smile.
The reality was simple. Daichi was being offered everything he could possibly want by the vice-headmaster. Who despite his many current troubles… was still the man who held the most power in one hand within this city and academy. There was no way Daichi would turn the offer down, especially when from his point of view if it didn’t end up being worth it, he could simply not deliver on his end as well.
Stanislas offered knowing Daichi would accept. Partially because of the perks but mostly because after seeing the look in Daichi’s eyes from before he understood two things. Daichi was the type of person who would do whatever suited his goals, and Daichi was intelligent enough to understand his position.
After the many secrets discussed in this room, they were already partners in crime. They could either become allies or enemies, but only one was an option and it was in fact one or the other.
“Lydia dear, will you make us some tea? What’s your preference Daichi?”
Daichi’s smile even widened as he glanced at Lydia “Oh I don’t know, why don’t we let Lydia decide?”
Lydia’s face was a mess of confusion and shock but as she heard Daichi speak and looked at his grinning smile, she understood one thing; ‘He’s enjoying this!’
Suddenly all the scenes of their ‘spars’ flashed through their thoughts at the same time. Daichi’s amusement at Lydia making them a beverage made him feel slightly better in an oddly petty way and the memory of smacking Daichi’ into the ground numerous times put a smile on Lydia’s face for the moment.
“I don’t mind, but you don’t normally ask me to do this for anyone other than a new guest father.”
Lydia’s hands moved in rhythmic fashioned as she blended several spices at the corner of the room.
“How so? This is always the case.”
“No… Only for the elders.” She muttered. She didn’t want to be rude but the idea of being polite to someone younger than herself really struck her in a way she didn’t like.
“I only see your elders in this room” Stanislas said with a chuckle as he stroked his beard.
Daichi watched him thinking Stanislas would fit the image perfectly if only he had a long silver haired goatee.
“What’re you talking about?” Lydia asked in confusion. Too many thoughts were going through her head as she finished making the tea in seemingly record time. Mixing it and brewing it herself with a little mana manipulation to speed the process along.
Stanislas gave Lydia an amused sideways glance as he continued to look at Daichi “Well how old do you imagine our new ally here to be?”
“Well that’s easy, he’d not even 20. Take a look a…” Lydia’s words cut off as she nearly dropped the tray with the tea as it slowly sunk in.
“How old are you?” Lydia asked directly.
Stanislas waited for Daichi to respond, it was exactly as he had hoped.
“You’ve made your pitch and I’ve agreed. We both knew that I likely would, just as much as we both know how tentative an alliance this is for now, so why don’t we move things along a bit.” Daichi said disappointing both of them in one go.
“What do you want?”
“Unrestricted access to the library. If you’re telling me your position is in a precarious position, then I intend to make full use of the library as soon as possible. There is a lot I need to learn.”
Stanislas nodded “I said I would and I don’t intend on lying, but you can’t simply go at your leisure. Unfortunately, there are too many eyes and whispers within these walls. You can meet Lydia at her courtyard every morning at dusk. She will take you to the library and you will act as her squire. No one should place too much notice on that, with her leading you may ask her to take you anywhere you want to go and if she does not have clearance she can use my name as she always has.”
Lydia had the good sense to blush and lower her eyes at that last comment but didn’t refute it.
“Is that all?”
“It is for now. If something else comes up I will tell you through Lydia as you’ve made it clear the less we meet the better.”
Stanislas smiled even wider. He found it pleasant to be in the company of those who understood the circumstances quite quickly without his need to say so.
“With that being said, I want you to walk me through your plans and what you need of me.”
They shared a look that said it all, as Daichi surmised that Stanislas would only say so much, as Stanislas himself decided ‘how much’ was just enough.
“I know that the council has a plan in place and I know what the general time frame for that will be. I have a few methods that could weaken them but I do not wish to harm the instructors on the other side if it is not necessary. This city is dependent on the strong, and the few in our academy that can be considered that are too valuable to be discarded over an internal power struggle…”
There was a look of hesitation on Stanislas face as he gauged Daichi’s nonplussed reaction.
“I have a plan I want to enact… Before our next council meeting… I plan on holding an emergency meeting, it will catch the other side off guard and that is when I will propose a tournament with the headmaster’s position at stake.”
“Why not just take the position if you’re the one who can so freely give it away?” Daichi asked with an upturned brow.
Lydia chimed in from the side finally handing out the tea. “The headmaster’s position can only be taken by a unilateral vote, and as it stands now aside from my father and another member… There are quite a few others who would likely try to throw themselves into the running.”
“Yet you can put the headmaster’s position at stake?”
“The position can only be passed on by the Headmaster or with the Vice Headmaster’s approval. At the moment, only I can begin the process of enacting a vote. I have held off as I know that it will solve nothing and only aggravate the current problem.”
“What’s the plan?”
Stanislas took a deep breath. “I will enact a plan to create a vote through backers. I will set up a system so that those who wish to run for the position may choose a champion from the current batch of Lumea students. Instead of the regular yearly tournaments divided by year, we will hold one encompassing all years fighting one another for supremacy. Something that has never been done before. The runner whose champion wins the tournament will be elected unanimously with everyone’s prior consent to the chair. If for whatever reason, the winner is not one of the chosen representatives then the tournament nulled, but I extremely doubt such a possibility will occur.”
Daichi’s eyes widened a bit and so did Lydia’s. It was the first time she was hearing of her father’s plan and she felt worried. ‘Too many things can go wrong here…’ he thought to himself drinking the tea and savoring the taste.
“Will they go along with this plan? It doesn’t necessarily seem to favor you, but if there is someone who without your title has matched you in support and surpasses you in personal power why would he agree to this?”
“He will agree because this is the easiest way for him to gain control of my position without bloodshed. He has his own personal greed that makes him desire my title, but he still cares about this city. Moreover, he knows that if he has unanimous support in getting my position, no one will dare question him after he gets it. He will hold unilateral power.”
“Hah… I don’t know about you but it seems pretty risky. Are you betting on me then to be your dark horse?” Daichi asked.
“No.” Stanislas took another sip of his tea.
His response shocked Daichi and Lydia once again.
“I have a few candidates, but this is not the important part. It is during this tournament that you will do a few important things for me. You can’t do it as you are now… But if you can become as powerful as Lydia, or if you can gain some skills similar to those of the Queen’s then perhaps you will be able to accomplish what I need.”
“Father! You’re putting a lot of your hopes on Daichi!” Lydia’s reservations were that of a worried daughter.
“Well… There is something only Daichi can do for me, but that does not mean that Daichi can do it.”
With that cryptic comment the three simultaneously finished their tea’s at the same time.
“Is it dangerous?” Daichi finally asked, although already knowing the answer.
For the first time in the conversation Daichi was surprised not by meaning but rather because he didn’t anticipate the answer.
Lydia on the other hand was getting used to the shock as she shook her head.
“There is no reason to say any more. It is merely something only in your very unique shoes can do. Whether it can be done or it can’t… I will likely have you try, but there should not be any danger depending on how ready you are.”
“Is there even a need to be this mysterious?” Daichi asked passing the cup over the table.
“I have already given you my trust with what I’ve told you without you doing anything to earn it. I will not give you the trust of those you came before me until you’ve earned it. Too much rests on my shoulders Daichi.”
Daichi grunted and stood up, “I want to go to the library now.”
Stanislas turned to Lydia and nodded.
Daichi began walking towards the door as Stanislas asked “Would you like me to set up a meeting between the Seishin household and yourself?”
Daichi wasn’t sure how to answer but decided against it. “I’ll speak to Haeru about his family, and I’ll meet them when I’m ready. It seems we have more important priorities.” As he walked out of the room.
Lydia followed on his heels as Stanislas spoke a few words into her mind.
Daichi only walked as far as the end of the hallway before turning to wait on Lydia. “You should lead.”
Lydia rolled her eyes. “This way.”
Only seconds later they were crossing a portal and entering an empty courtyard as Lydia turned around opening another portal next to the first one “The library can only be entered from a neutral courtyard and not from a residence or original building of note.”
She answered his question before he asked it as it hadn’t been her first time escorting a newbie.
It was only as they entered that Daichi’s eyes widened in delight.
Before him stood thousands upon thousands of books and endless rows so far and deep that even with his eyesight he couldn’t see the end. Each bookcase being nearly 9 feet high with 6 to 9 rows of books in each bookcase leaving Daichi to marvel at the scene. Completely in awe he could only stare as Lydia looked at his expression seeing something on his face she’d never seen before.
A look of joy like one he’d never shown her, even during his successes in their spars or when gaining small insights. Nothing compared to his current expression. It made him look so handsome that Lydia’s gaze lingered a little too long before she noticed herself staring. ‘Tch! How old are you Lydia! No… How old is he!?’
Earlier she’d found a trace of fear in herself when meeting his empty gaze and now she’d been enthralled by his look of joy and handsome appearance that she couldn’t help but feel as if she was riding on a roller coaster. The twists and turns were starting to give her a headache as she gave it more thought.
“What do you want to read first?” Lydia was slightly annoyed but she stayed neutral as she didn’t want to take away from Daichi’s joy. It was a rare sight to see someone so truly happy after all and she could appreciate how rare it was.
Daichi barely heard her but responded subconsciously.