Dream Life Vol II Chapter 36: “The Conclusion”
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We didn’t go to the forest because of the rain that has been coming since last night.
But after my visit, we couldn’t go to the library because we didn’t know what Councilor Wagman was doing, and we were discussing what to do today when a young man who said he was sent by Councilor Wagman came to our house.
“You must be Mr. Zacharias Lockhart. Your Excellency Wagman has something he would like to talk to you about. If you have no plans, I would like you to come with me to his residence.” (Messenger)
When I was cautious and didn’t show my normal character, the young man apologized while scratching his head.
“I’m sorry for trying to test you. I am Andreas Egger, private secretary to His Excellency Wagman. I made a little wager with His Excellency…” (Messenger => Andreas)
Egger showed me his orb to indicate who he was, and then handed me Councilor Wagman’s letter. The letter said that the process in the academy had been completed and that he wanted to talk to me once. I was impressed with the speed of the process, and Egger began to tell me the details of the wager.
“His Excellency asked me to follow you without revealing my identity, but you said you would never budge. I told him that first-year students at the academy don’t care that much. Then His Excellency asked if I wanted to wager. …No, I’m really sorry.” (Andreas)
He said that Councilor Wagman and Egger had wagered their lunch on whether I would follow him.
I said, in surprise, “Then I guess I’m entitled to that lunch, too.”
“His Excellency said the same thing, that if I told you about it, you would demand a nuisance fee.” (Andreas)
With a wry smile, I told Liddy and Sharon that I was going to Councilor Wagman’s mansion and headed for the Old City with Egger.
Wagman’s mansion was located near the center of the Old City and was a magnificent three-story mansion with a garden, which seemed to have originally been the residence of a senior knight.
Accompanied by Egger, I entered the mansion, where I was greeted by an elderly man who appeared to be a butler and a middle-aged maid.
Inside, the mansion had a calm atmosphere, and I was impressed by the ambience.
(It’s much more splendid than my parents’ house, isn’t it? It is indeed the mansion of a man who runs a city…) (Zack)
While being careful not to look around too much, I followed the directions to the councilor’s study on the third floor.
Councilor Wagman was inside, and he smiled at me.
He said, “Sorry about your day off,” and offered me a chair. Here in Doctus, the days with a five and a zero are holidays, and he was referring to that, but we were entering the forest regardless of the vacation, so I didn’t have that feeling.
(It’s a vacation, so he’s in his private residence. I totally forgot that we had a holiday… Now that I think about it, we were close to being active 24/7…) (Zack)
While thinking about unrelated things, I sit down on the chair as he advised.
As Egger excused himself, Wagman began to speak slowly.
“I’ve taken care of the academy. Both Mr. Bennett and Mr. Chambers have assured me that they will leave your guidance to Professor Ruspede…” (Piers)
I was impressed with his quick response. Then I gave him a small nod, and he gave me a small nod too, and we continued talking.
“…The two of them will probably resign from the academy at the end of this school year… The headmaster should likewise be bravely retiring next summer. Well, this may not be the outcome you wanted…” (Piers)
Then he brightened his tone and said,
“…About the elective courses you mentioned, we’ve decided to introduce them on a trial basis starting in January when the new year begins. As you might expect, we will only open it up to the academy at first, but from next year onward, we intend to open it up to private schools as well.” (Piers)
At this point, Wagman chuckled.
“There was a little opposition to this, and it was expressed by Mr. Seberg himself. I said to the chairman, ‘You are opposed to this since you have done researcher exchanges before? And the chairman shut up. After that, nobody said anything. I wish you could have seen it. Hahaha!” (Piers)
He said and laughed out loud.
When the laughter subsided, he returned to his serious expression and said,
“You may be dissatisfied, but the masterminds behind this, Councilor Ibbetson and Councilor Isherwood will not be penalized in any way…” (Piers)
He looks me in the eye and says, “You still don’t seem to care. I knew you wouldn’t.”
“I sent a message to Ibbetson stating that my son’s tutor, Croft, had been very forthcoming about this and the previous incident ten years ago. I also sent a letter to Chairman Seberg saying that there was someone who knew the truth about what happened ten years ago. I also mentioned that Ibbetson had told me about this person.” (Piers)
Then he put on a wicked smile,
“Miles – Councilor Isherwood’s first name – must have heard from Ibbetson. He came to me in a hurry yesterday. He was very anxious to know how much Ibbetson knew, so I guess Ibbetson and Miles must not be too happy about it. I think they’ll be quiet for the time being.” (Piers)
I thought that was reasonable, but then I realized that I hadn’t heard about the treatment of Archie Croft, the other party.
“What happened to Mr. Croft? I’m afraid he’s going to be erased if you throw him out down the road.”
“He’s here. I’m still Quentin’s tutor,” Wagman said casually.
I’m surprised that someone who betrayed him so much is still his son’s tutor.
Wagman gave me a nasty look and asked, “Do you know why?”
I quietly began to think about Wagman’s purpose.
(The reason for not releasing Croft is to prevent the destruction of evidence, but there is no need to go to the trouble of making him the tutor of his precious son. The councilor said that Quentin is fond of Croft, so does that mean he can’t easily throw him out? No, there is no way this dangerous politician would let him continue tutoring for that reason. …Think about it. For Wagman, the advantage of keeping Croft as he is… as he is! Oh yeah, I get it.” (Zack)
“Mr. Croft must have been so impressed with your Excellency that he didn’t want to be reminded of that moment again. Perhaps Mr. Croft doesn’t want to leave the house. This is my wild guess, but I doubt I will see him outside this mansion for a few years. …That’s what you mean.” (Zack)
I aired my thoughts and answered. I dared to use in return for the question that had tested me.
Croft must be threatened to death by Wagman. He must have told Ibbetson and Isherwood that he was his source for all the information he learned. Furthermore, he must have also told Chairman Seberg about it, because he said he smelled his presence. Knowing what has happened so far, Croft will realize that his life is in danger if he is kicked out of the mansion.
And there are two options Croft can take.
Does he want to prolong his life by snuggling up to Wagman, who he once betrayed, or risk his life to escape from Doctus?
If he escapes, Ibbetson, Isherwood, and even Seberg may try to kill him. I don’t know how many private armies they have, but these three could frame him for the crime and dispose of him while he is still in the old city.
If Croft realizes this, he has no choice but to think that the only safe place in the city is here, in Wagman’s mansion.
There is only one choice that Croft can make after realizing this. He can only put his trust in Wagman’s mercy.
So, even if he remains Quentin’s tutor, he will not be disadvantaged this time. Probably, Wagman will always keep an eye on Croft, and he will also take steps to ensure that he cannot betray him again.
Let’s look at this from the side of Wagman’s political enemies.
Croft, who knows everything, will not come out from under Wagman’s protection. Not only that, but the fact that Croft, who is supposed to have betrayed Wagman, is being used so heavily, it would appear that there is some kind of secret agreement between Wagman and Croft.
If it were around Isherwood, he would see through Croft’s character and think that he gave in to Wagman’s threats, but Ibbetson would not know that much about Wagman and Croft’s personalities.
Of course, as far as Wagman is concerned, he would not mind at all if he knew that. The point is that he should not be allowed to have contact with Croft.
Wagman smiled wryly at my way of saying, “You really are a politician.”
Then, in a tone of astonishment, he said, “Only those who know what you just said will understand what you mean. Where did you learn these things?” He mumbled asking.
I didn’t want to talk anymore, so I changed the subject.
“By the way, did you tell anyone the fact that I was the one informing you, your Excellency?” (Zack)
Wagman shook his head in exasperation.
“I would never talk about it. No, even if I did, no one would believe me, and that would destroy the credibility of my story. So, the only reason you’re there is that you’re being bullied by Quentin at the school and you want me to give him a good dressing down.” (Piers)
I was a little relieved.
At least I knew that if Isherwood or Ibbetson found out, I would be in trouble. But Wagman was right, no one would believe me if I told them that a ten-year-old kid had told him such a story.
“Then there is nothing wrong with us going back to the academy. And furthermore, we will be able to receive guidance from Professor Ruspede, is that correct?” (Zack)
“I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you. I am partly to blame. I am truly sorry.” (Piers)
He stood up from his chair, bent over, and bowed deeply.
I rushed to my feet.
“Your Excellency, I am grateful for the help you have given me. Please raise your head.” (Zack)
Wagman raised his head and sat back in his chair.
I was about to leave, thinking that was the end of it, but he pushed me away and rang the bell on the desk.
He ordered the butler who appeared to go get Quentin.
I thought it was a hassle, but I had promised him during our last interview, so I waited quietly.
A few minutes later, Quentin arrived, accompanied by the butler.
He was surprised to see me here and his eyes widened. But his expression soon changed, and he bowed to me.
“Mr… Lockhart… I’m sorry. I know I made you feel bad, but it was my mistake. I’m so sorry…” (Quentin)
I was surprised that the arrogant Quentin apologized so honestly.
(What kind of persuasion did you use to get him to apologize? I have heard that it is difficult to make a rebellious child apologize honestly. …Well, whatever the reason, since they are apologizing, I guess I, as an adult, have to extend the olive branch.) (Zack)
I said, “It’s in the past,” and held out my right hand. Quentin hesitated once and looked at his father.
When his father nodded happily, he took my right hand and bowed, saying, “I know it was late, but nice to meet you.”
I said, “Nice to meet you too, Mr. Wagman,” and I shook his hand vigorously.
(The question is how to deal with him from now on. At the moment, I don’t intend to attend classes at the academy often, and first of all, our mental ages are too different. I’m fine with Sharon and the others, I think of them as my own children, but I don’t intend to match him up with kids from other places. …well, I guess I’ll just have to do it.) (Zack)
I looked at Councilor Wagman, who looked satisfied, and I thought I’d been had, but it was his father’s face, not a politician’s, so I decided I didn’t care.
I went home and reported to Liddy and Sharon the conclusion of the series of events.
Sharon was honestly happy to hear that it was safe to return to the academy, but Liddy had a look of dissatisfaction on her face.
“After all, the people who tried to kick you out are still living the same as before. It doesn’t feel right.” (Liddy)
I knew Liddy would say that, so I quickly explained what I was thinking.
“That’s not true First of all, Mr. Bennett and Mr. Chambers will be kicked out of the academy at the end of this season. Furthermore, the headmaster is watching them closely, so they will not feel at home. And then there’s Councilor Isherwood and Councilor Ibbetson, who is even more troublesome, and they’re upset with them for their failure. I guess that one of them will quit before the year is over.” (Zack)
Liddy nodded, so I continued on.
“Next is Mr. Croft, the tutor, who was the perpetrator, who is effectively under house arrest. He will not be able to leave the mansion for a while. Of course, he will never leave the house by himself, because he doesn’t know what Ibbetson will do to him the moment he leaves. Do you think such a life is enjoyable? He won’t know how long it will last.” (Zack)
“I don’t know. I certainly don’t want to live like that. But we have two big fish on the loose. What will happen to them?” (Liddy)
I couldn’t help but smile at Liddy’s cute, angry tone, but I quickly tightened my grip on my expression and said,
“First of all, the political life of Ibbetson is going end as just a councilor. He has no chance of becoming chairman.” (Zack)
She tilts her head, “What do you mean?”
“Ibbetson’s only chance to become the next chairman is with the support of the current chairman, Seberg. However, this incident has created a rift between Seberg and Ibbetson. For Chairman Seberg, it looks like he was hiding a dangerous person, Mr. Croft in order to undermine him. So, this is the end of it for Councilor Ibbetson’s political career. If he’s not careful, he may face some kind of retaliation from Chairman Seberg.” (Zack)
Liddy looked at me as if she didn’t understand, so I explained further.
“, Mr. Croft, who was the trump card against Seberg, is now in the hands of Councilor Wagman, and Councilor Ibbetson cannot use that trump card. If Chairman Seberg announces his support for Councilor Wagman, Mr. Croft cannot be used. No. That way, If that happens, Councilor Ibbetson won’t be able to retaliate for betraying him, and he won’t get any backlash.” (Zack)
Liddy replied, “Right. And then there’s Isherwood. What about him?” He looked at me expectantly as I explained.
But I said, “Unfortunately, Councilor Isherwood is the only one who will live the same.”
Liddy was disappointed, “That’s…”.
“If I had to guess, I would say that it only reduces the likelihood that Councilor Ibbetson will nominate him when he retires. I can’t say for sure, though, because this too will change depending on how Chairman Seberg deals with Councilor Ibbetson.” (Zack)
Liddy mutters, “I guess we don’t have a choice,” but then suddenly she remembers my classmates.
“Come to think of it, there are still some of them left who harassed you guys directly! What about those kids!” (Liddy)
I smiled wryly at that her imaginary sword swinging, and after saying “I won’t do anything.”
“They’re kids, you know. They’re kids, and they’ve been taken advantage of by adults. At least Quentin apologized to me. The only other person who stirred things up was Anita, the daughter of Councilor Isherwood. As for her, I honestly don’t think anything of her. I mean, have no thoughts about her. I haven’t even talked to her.” (Zack)
“I understand. But from now on, don’t let them look down on you. I don’t want Zack to be looked down on by some kid.” (Liddy)
I nodded my head and said, “Okay,” even though I thought Liddy was more of a child than I was.
A/N: This is the last chapter of the “Academy Conspiracy”
(This is not the end of the second chapter.)
The day after tomorrow will be an extra chapter, from the perspective of informant Sai Furman
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