Chapter 1. I didn’t know back then.
1.25 Their Story.
 17’s Story
The first daughter of the great Nerumia Family in the Karuan Empire.
This is the identity of me, Nerumia El Ria. So why am I here?
There is only one reason for me being here. This organization was suspected of stealing the latter parts of the family’s sword arts as well as the family heirloom.
A year back, our family suffered from the humiliation of getting the latter part of their sword arts stolen, but the bigger problem than that was getting the heirloom stolen.
The Nerumia Family was with the Empire since its birth. And the heirloom had been with us for up to 700 years. We only found out later that it had been stolen.
For up to half a year, we had been using a fake heirloom that had even the imperial palace fooled. If it wasn’t for the fact that the heirloom actually had a special spell cast on it, no, if it wasn’t for my grandfather who came to visit us from the wizard’s tower after 3 years, we may have been using that heirloom up to this point.
Our family focused more on magic than swords, which was why we had been searching for the thieves slowly and carefully.
But this time, the heirloom was stolen. The object that represented our family had been stolen. Because of this, the entire family had been sent to try to find the heirloom, and this was the same for me.
As a child, however, there weren’t many things I could actually do. I could only disguise myself as a slave, and enter the organization that way.
Once I entered, I was taken to train for up to three months. For me, this was like normal training, but it seemed to be different for other children, seeing how there were quite a lot of kids disqualified.
And now, we get assigned to different instructors.
On the platform in front of us, an instructor began to talk with a cold face.
“I am your instructor, Naruan.”
He seemed to be in his early 40s. Seeing how there were other instructors behind him, he was probably the head instructor.
As expected of a member of an evil organization, his emotionless face along with his cold voice had an effect of making chills run down your spine.
Kids around me, and even me, flinched from his voice, but I tried my best not to be subdued by his voice, and glared at the man. Then, at that moment…
‘W, what was that?’
At that instant, it almost felt like the man was watching me? Or did he manage to notice how I actually glared at him?
The head instructor continued on with his emotionless face.
“From now on, you will completely obey the instructions of your instructors. If you get curious about anything, you may ask your instructor questions. But as the answers may differ from each instructor, it would be a good idea to share the information with others.”
In a place where there may be spies, he goes on and allows the sharing of information. The man is clearly stating that they have the capability to catch all kinds of spies under any kind of situation, and that our life is in their hands.
The instructor’s finished speaking after a short moment, and his last words immediately made me paralyzed.
“I’ll take care of numbers 17, 47, and 102. Separate them from the rest of the group, and bring them to me.”
It wasn’t just me, but out of three people, he had picked me.
Was this… coincidence? Or did he already realize who I am?
Hundreds of different thoughts floated up my head, but in the end, I was taken up to instructor Naruan by one of the other instructors. Instructor Naruan glanced at each of us for a bit, then made a single comment with his cold voice.
“…Hm, quite girlish.”
I thought that the comment was directed towards me, but it did not take a while to realize that that was a mistake.
“Who… are you calling girlish?”
102 was currently looking at the instructor with gritted teeth. He really was pretty enough to be mistaken for a girl. But, I feel like I’ve seen him before? Am I just mistaken?
I thought for a moment, because the boy reminded me of someone, but strangely enough, I couldn’t come up with anything.
“I dislike talkativeness. Prove that you’re not girlish through results, not words.”
While I had been thinking, Naruan threw the sentence at me. After this, he scanned us once more with his cold eyes, went to his work table, and began to do paperwork.
All three of us looked at each other with confused faces. After a moment of silence, 102, seemingly tired of the silence in the room, glared at the instructor and opened his mouth.
“What… are you doing?”
The instructor said this in the most natural manner, as if what he was doing the the most obvious thing to do in the world. 102 was rendered speechless for a second because of this, but he soon shouted out some words through his gritted teeth.
“T, then, what are we supposed to do?!”
“Your rooms can be found when you open the door that’s next to you. Most of your essential tools should be located there, and if you need anything else, come to me.”
The instructor said this as he pointed to a door in the side. Before 102 began to complain once more, the instructor said something that made me, no, if I didn’t see wrong, all three of us freeze.
“I’m not talking about tha…”
“Training begins 7 o’clock in the morning, and ends at 6 in the evening. You can do whatever you like during the times other than this. This is my building, a building that I alone manage. I do not care about what you do in here. There is no need to hide your secrets about revenge, desires, or stories to everyone in the building other than me.”
As expected… he knew? No, then what did his words just now mean? My head automatically rotated left and right.
My eyes met with those of the people next to me. 46, and 102 were probably making the same face as me at the time.
And… their eyes were both saying this.
[You as well?]
And about the time when fear, shock, and terror began to crawl up in our hearts, the instructor, who still wasn’t even glancing at us, opened his mouth with words that contained both coldness and a hint of joy.
“Training starts tomorrow… rest well.”
And, from that point on, I began to experience something that I could never forget, no, something that had changed me completely.