There were the prodigious princess of the Xeclydes and the young miss of the Sorofyas, the newest member of the Ackermann Imperial Family, as well as a long-awaited awakener of the Ascart House.
This was the first time in centuries that Principal Antonio had encountered so many prominent students in a single batch. They were potentially a golden generation, and it would be a huge waste to exclude them from the Challenger Cup.
It was just that changing the long-established traditions of the Challenger Cup was no trifling affair.
In view of that, Antonio decided to gather the opinion of the students present to gauge public sentiment. Who could have thought that Paul Ackermann would tumble right in front of him then?
After a journey across the air that was tragically ignored by the crowd in the room, Paul finally skidded to a halt. Rubbing his aching bum, he slowly rose to his feet while hissing in pain.
To his bewilderment, he found himself surrounded by a group of old men. Most were foreign faces, but one was appallingly familiar.
Paul’s face paled in horror the moment he caught sight of Antonio. He realized that he had somehow tumbled his way into the circle of Leinster’s top brass.
On the other hand, Antonio had fallen into deep thought upon Paul’s arrival.
Did he overhear our conversation? This is indeed a rare opportunity for him, an illegitimate son of Emperor Lukas, to prove his worth.
Thinking of Paul’s plight left Antonio feeling a little doleful, but he knew that this was an opportunity to push his cause. So, he grabbed Paul’s hand and asked with a gentle smile.
“Paul Ackermann, you must be here to offer your thoughts. There’s no need to be nervous here. You’re one of the stars of the banquet; you’re qualified to voice your opinion.”
I’m not here to voice my opinion. I really am not!
Paul was utterly horrified, and having his hand grabbed by Antonio left him feeling as if his path of escape had been sealed, further frightening him. He nervously looked into Antonio’s expectant eyes, not knowing what he was supposed to do.
Sensing Paul’s apprehension, Antonio sighed inwardly and decided to take the lead.
“Paul, would you find it regretful that you aren’t able to participate this year?”
Antonio was asking Paul his view on missing the Challenger Cup, but Paul heard a completely different question.
He’s interviewing me on how I feel about subduing the evil cultists!
Catching Antonio’s drift, Paul looked at the top brass gathered in this circle and realization struck him.
Ah, these people must be external parties, possibly the leaders from the other academies in Leinster. They must be trying to outdo one another now… meaning that Principal Antonio wants me to prop up Saint Freya Academy’s reputation?
Paul finally understood
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