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The Runesmith Chapter 421: Becoming An Enforcer.

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Chapter 421: Becoming An Enforcer.


“So everything is fine?”


“Yes, there are no sudden monster attacks, no n.o.bles snooping around, and also no thieves. The Paladins also haven’t tried to abduct Agni…”


“Awooo?”


Before Elodia could continue, Roland observed a large nose make its way onto the holographic display. His helmet was sitting down on the table and projecting an image of his wife. She was using a modified crystal ball which produced a somewhat fisheye effect. He could see her clearly if she stood at a certain angle, but when Agni approached, it just made his nose look gigantic.


“You want to say something to your master, Agni?”


“Worf!”


“Did you hear that?”


“Yes, I did…”


He replied while smiling at the big wolf sticking his head through the window to look at the crystal ball Elodia was using. After giving the magical object a little lick, his conversation with his wife resumed.


“If you’re asking this much then… Are you not telling me something?”


“Hm? What do you mean?”


“It’s as if you’re trying to find an excuse to come back here, is everything alright there?”


“Sure, if everything is fine… I… uh, have to go now… Love you.”


“If you say so, and I love you too.”


Roland sighed as he terminated the connection with his wife. It hadn't even been a week since he had arrived at the magical inst.i.tute, and doubts were already creeping in. Elodia had been correct; he was seeking any excuse to quickly return home and play the hero. Roland was somewhat reluctant to commence his duties as an enforcement officer within the academy. Today marked his inaugural day on the job, and he needed to head there promptly to avoid being late, as he had been the last time.


‘I guess she is right; I’m starting to look for excuses now…’


As Roland made his way back to the Enforcement Department, an unease lingered within him. Despite the magical wonders that fascinated him throughout the academy, there was an underlying sense that the school concealed more than met the eye. His sister Lucienne’s mysterious injuries and the peculiar behavior of her friend Margaret occupied his thoughts.


Initially inclined to dismiss the matter, Roland, as an adult, recognized that these school days would soon fade into distant memories. Involving himself in his family's affairs was something he wished to avoid, and perhaps his sister bore some of the responsibility for the recent incident. There was insufficient evidence for him to pa.s.s judgment, so he considered the possibility of investigating this issue further. The place that could offer him aid was just around the corner.


“Good morning.”


“Ah, you must be the new a.s.sistant Professor. Department Head Thorn briefed me about you. I hope you have familiarized yourself with our rules.”


Upon Roland's arrival at the Enforcement Department, he met one of its members. The Department leader, a busy man, typically conducted brief interviews with new hires before sending them on their way. Unlike a n.o.ble, the man lacked a house name. This might have been advantageous for the students, as he appeared less inclined to collaborate with n.o.bles and grant them leniency based on their higher status.


“Yes, I’ve memorized all the rules and duties within the booklet.”


“Great, I won’t have to explain much then.”


The person nodded while standing up. The man he was talking to appeared to be in his forties. He had a stern expression, and his eyes held the weight of experience. The office they were in was spa.r.s.ely decorated, with a large map of the academy hanging on one wall, marked with areas of concern and incidents. It seemed like a command center for managing the safety and order within the magical inst.i.tute.


“Your first a.s.signment is to patrol the training grounds. There have been reports of students sneaking in at night and engaging in activities they shouldn’t be. We suspect it might be related to unauthorized magical experiments or practices.”


“I understand, is there anyone in particular that I should watch out for?”


Roland inquired about his first mission as the training grounds had been mentioned. He had overheard his sister and the other girl talking about them.


“Not at the moment. We don’t have specific names, but keep an eye out for any unusual behavior. Report anything suspicious immediately.”


“There were no specific names?”


This was somewhat strange, and Roland had noticed the discrepancy in Lucienne’s story. She claimed that a teacher had saved her from monsters, but this Mage Enforcer seemed unaware of the event. Several possibilities crossed Roland's mind - either the person who saved Lucienne didn’t file a report, or someone had deliberately prevented the information from reaching the Enforcement Department. There could also be another possibility of this person not being an actual faculty member at all. Nevertheless, the incident had been kept silent for some reason, indicating that this might not be such a straightforward issue.


“Can I confirm something?”


“Yes, go ahead.”


“If I encounter any students wandering within the Training Grounds, I am within my rights to detain them all, correct?”


“Certainly. Detain them, and they will be punished according to the Inst.i.tute's rules, no one is above them.”


“Mhm…”


“You will find your robe in that room. Please wear it whenever you are on enforcing duties so the students can easily identify you. The room also contains records of present and past incidents. It’s the place you will need to bring any evidence for your reports, so please familiarize yourself with it. Now then, good luck on your first day.”


He nodded, and the man gave him a few last parting words before leaving. The somewhat stern voice held a smidge of animosity; it didn't seem like this man approved of him being here. Given that he was new on the job, akin to a police officer, this wasn't anything unusual. Building trust would take time, but there was also an underlying issue. In any organization, multiple groups and factions were common. It wasn't unusual for this man to be wary of Roland having ulterior motives or connections to individuals he couldn't easily offend.


‘Workplace politics, I hoped to never have to be a part of such a thing ever again…’


Roland was not a stranger to such dynamics, having experienced similar situations in his previous world where he attended school and worked in a computer part repair store. In that environment, certain workers were granted more leeway and faced lighter consequences for the same mistakes. Matters worsened if one of the individuals was related to the store owner, placing the burden on other workers to compensate for their shortcomings.


‘I should get this over with and resume my research, the library is closed during the night hours so this won’t be much of a setback.’


First, he headed towards the changing room where a peculiar enforcement department robe was waiting for him. There were no lockers here, instead, each enforcer had to open a specialized safebox with the help of their unique mana pattern. After placing his hand and popping it open he found an enchanted robe with a faint s.h.i.+mmer, indicating some sort of spell. It bore the symbol of the Enforcement Department, a crossed sword and wand over a s.h.i.+eld, signifying the combination of magical and combat skills required for the job.


‘I never thought I’d be having to be a hall monitor at this stage in my life…’


The new attire was somewhat unique as it could widen and lengthen itself after getting infused with mana. It had a peculiar enchantment placed on it along with unique threads made of an unknown material. At first, the robe felt quite baggy but soon it constricted around his armored body just like he liked it. It was as if the magical spell knew his preferences without him needing to alter it.


‘I wonder if I could get a few of these back home…’


Clothes tailored to the body type of the wearer were a fascinating discovery. It was likely an item many people would covet. However, the mana usage was considerable, and unless a person was a magician, they would likely pa.s.s out. With his new attire, Roland was almost ready to make his rounds. Before heading out, though, he needed to take a look at the other room that housed records of all past mishaps. Perhaps there he could find some more information on what his younger sister had gotten herself into.


The room with records turned out to be more extensive than Roland initially thought. It resembled a small library, with shelves filled with neatly organized folders and books. In a world devoid of computers, most information was stored on paper. Normally, he would probably need to spend hours searching for what he was looking for, but luckily, there was a record-keeping spirit responsible for it all.


“Good day, a.s.sistant Professor Wayland. Can I help you with something?”


The spirit was quite proper and could likely identify him by either his mana pattern or academy emblem. Other people were shuffling around the place too. There was a section designated for the enforcers to write their reports. Roland observed them placing parchments into envelopes, which then shrunk to a smaller size. Soon after, a copy of the spirit, resembling an owl, grabbed the miniaturized letter and organized it with the others.


“Ah, yes. Could I look at some old records of a student?”


“Of course. Do you perchance have the name of this student?”


“Yes, Lucienne Arden.”


“This name is within the records, please wait a moment.”


The record-keeping spirit gracefully floated towards one of the shelves, retrieving a folder labeled 'Arden, Lucienne.' It brought the folder to Roland and handed it to him with a gentle flutter of its wings.


“Here you go, a.s.sistant Professor Wayland. If you require any further a.s.sistance, feel free to ask.”


“Thank you”


Roland nodded in appreciation, taking the folder and finding a secluded corner to examine its contents. As he opened the folder, Roland discovered a detailed history of incidents involving Lucienne Arden during her time at the magical inst.i.tute. Most were minor offenses like being late for cla.s.ses or failing to complete a.s.signments on time.


‘She started attending the magical academy for four years…’


The papers stated that Lucienne started at the young age of eleven. Initially, the children spent only a few months at the academy before returning home, but as they grew older, the duration of attendance increased. It wasn’t much different from regular school at this point, as she needed to attend for nine months per year, with four months allocated as free time or for students needing to retake cla.s.ses.


‘Nothing out of the ordinary happened for the first three years, only recently it seems that her grades started dropping?’


As Roland delved deeper into the records, he noticed a significant s.h.i.+ft in Lucienne's behavior in the last year. Her grades had started declining, and there were notes about her missing cla.s.ses more frequently. The incidents seemed to get worse as she was also accused of stealing some magical materials and artifacts. The recent incident was not included and it seemed that the teacher that had aided her had never reported it.


‘Something must have happened about a year ago, but what?’


It was evident that his sister was going through something. There was a possibility that she was in her rebellious phase or had gotten involved with a bad crowd. Whatever the reason for the change, it was clear that she was on thin ice now. The academy had a demerit system, and she had almost reached the limit. If the training ground incident was reported, she could very well have been expelled.


‘The teacher that helped her could have been an ally, I can’t discount that either.’


Roland continued to sift through the records, looking for any pattern or clue that might shed light on Lucienne's recent troubles. He noted instances of her receiving demerits for involvement in small-scale magical experiments and even an incident involving the summoning of a creature in her dormitory. It was clear that Lucienne had a penchant for getting into magical mischief.


However, one particular note caught Roland's attention. It pertained to the magical artifact theft accusation that Lucienne denied. The incident had sparked a significant investigation by the Enforcement Department, but they couldn't find any evidence linking her to the crime. The accusation seemed to be based more on her reputation and previous mischievous behavior rather than concrete evidence. What was noteworthy was the person who had accused her of this; the girl was of a similar age and had been noted during the investigation.


“Castellane… Viola?’


The person mentioned here was unknown to him, but he did recognize the n.o.ble house as it was related to the Arden estate. His suspicions began to grow, but there was nothing he could really base them on; it was mostly just a hunch. It also seemed that after this incident most of his sister's troubles had started. However, before he could research further, the clock within the room struck. It was nine in the afternoon, and in half an hour, he would need to start his job.


‘I’ll have to postpone this; I still need to meet the people from the day s.h.i.+ft.’


Patrolling the school was taken in turns; his s.h.i.+ft started at half-past nine and ended at six-thirty in the morning. Leaving the records room, he made his way to the training grounds, where his night patrol would begin. The training grounds were a vast area filled with magical creatures and simulated dungeon environments. As he arrived before the entrance he was met with two other people, other enforcers that he was going to replace.


“You’re the replacement?”


The two individuals were human mages who didn't appear to be happy. They eyed him from head to toe and didn't seem too intimidated by his armored appearance. However, despite the disdain in their eyes, they refrained from antagonizing him too much. Roland could only attribute this to his tier 3 status and his mana being several times larger than theirs. They probably recognized that he was a superior caster, causing them to grumble under their breaths.


“I know this is your first day here but don’t cause any trouble.”


“I have no intention of causing trouble. I'm just here to do my job.”


Roland replied calmly, not letting their att.i.tudes affect him. He had dealt with similar situations in his past life and knew the importance of maintaining a professional demeanor.


“Hah.”


One of the two men laughed before they left. The entrance to the training grounds was sealed off by a large metallic gate. From the outside, the whole place looked like a giant greenhouse with a gla.s.s dome above it that sealed everything inside. It resembled a gla.s.s bubble, but in reality, it was a large s.h.i.+eld powered by the four magic towers. No monster could escape from inside, and only a few gates, like the one he was stepping through, allowed people to enter.


‘The more I think about it, the fis.h.i.+er this whole incident becomes.’


There was a stringent security system in place. Everyone needed to scan their academy emblem before entering, and only faculty members with the correct ones could open the gates that led inside. If his sister managed to enter this training ground during off-hours, she must have received help from someone. Roland's theory about a teacher aiding the students seemed more plausible than ever.


Soon the gate slammed behind him and he found himself in a dark forest. This place was here to simulate a dungeon but he wasn’t aware how the mages procured the monsters. He could only a.s.sume that they used people with beast-tamer cla.s.ses and perhaps summoners that knew the most about them.


It didn’t take him long to encounter one of these creatures. As he ventured forth for about a hundred meters, a strange snake lunged itself at him. It didn't emerge from within the trees but rather from a hidden hole within the ground. It bared its fangs at him as it flew towards his face. However, instead of causing any injuries, it just collided with his full-body mana mantle. The mantle, a higher form of the mana s.h.i.+eld, shocked the monster with electricity, causing it to fly right back. Soon, it was on the ground, twitching around before dying.


‘Will they complain about the monsters dying here?’


Roland contemplated the implications of the creature's demise. While the academy was likely prepared for such occurrences, it still raised questions about the ethics of using living beings in these simulated environments. Nevertheless, he had a job to do, and pondering the intricacies of the magical training grounds would have to wait.


Finally, it was half-past nine, and his night s.h.i.+ft started. He ventured into the forest while using his mapping device, which he had updated to manage the various mana fluctuations in the environment. It was back to working as intended, and armed with it, he hoped to avoid most of the troubles that such hidden monster attacks would bring.


‘I hope that nothing happens but knowing my luck…’


He gave out a sigh as he ventured forth to try and find any unwelcome guests. His job was to find any students that might try to venture forth into this restricted zone and using force was not off the table either.

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The Runesmith Chapter 421: Becoming An Enforcer. summary

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