Ian looked down at the gloomy woman in front of him without saying a word.
Aria Lumines Bell.
One of the few characters with the Divine Attribute attributes in Fanta X Aca.
If raised well, she had the overwhelming potential to grow into a powerful divine heroine, with a potential to become a saint.
‘This is the worst.’
He thought to himself.
Aria was a heroine who didn’t want to make contact with anyone, and the reason was simple.
Her unstable mental state.
Fanta X Aca had microtransactions specific to each heroine, and in Aria’s case, it was her “Mental State.”
Players had to take care of her fragile mental state with various items and attention.
The cause was the bullying and harassment she endured in her childhood.
As she aspired to become a saint candidate and tried to overcome it, her mental state suddenly deteriorated at some point.
The reason for this was unknown…
‘It was probably because of Pongpong.’
Ian recalled the contents of Pongpong’s ‘Love Journal’.
The first sentence of Aria’s part in the love diary was quite shocking.
— Me and Aria are childhood friends.
This fact had never been revealed in the game.
The diary contained stories about their childhood.
Aria, who was born into a somewhat poor family and confined to her room.
The story of how Pongpong, a noble, approached her first.
The contents included how Pongpong took care of Aria’s mental state and how they grew together.
It was written there that Pongpong took care of Aria with all his heart.
What to do when she’s anxious, what to do when she’s restless.
What board games she likes, what fairy tales she enjoys. Details like that.
Of course, the ending of the journal was not clear.
Because confessing to Aria and being rejected was the last page.
“It was almost NTR level, wasn’t it?”
Ian tilted his head, recalling the contents of the love journal.
‘She was the heroine I wanted to avoid the most.’
Unstable mental state.
It’s like a fragile piece of glass that could shatter from any direction.
She even wanted to forget the memories of the past.
This is enough motivation to push Pongpong.
As if in a scene from a romantic comedy, their intertwined hands were not welcome.
Ian gently pushed Aria’s hand away.
She was startled, her eyes widened, but he ignored her.
Then he took out [Hero Dave’s Chronicles].
And placed it in Aria’s hand.
Unfortunately, Aria’s childhood friend, Ian Blackangers, was no longer there.
It was a sincere apology.
He had nothing more to say to Aria.
Aria blankly accepted the book Ian handed her.
She just stared blankly at his departing figure.
Then she looked down at the book again.
[Hero Dave’s Chronicles]
Aria couldn’t understand.
Why would he just ignore this fairy tale book that he knew meant something and leave like that?
Whenever she was struggling, he used to read this book to her.
With a soft thud, tears suddenly flowed down.
– ‘I’m sorry’
Ian’s eyes were incredibly cold.
His eyes were colder than ever before.
‘…I’m becoming dependent again without even realizing it.’
Aria shook her head.
Pushing Ian away was her decision.
From the moment she rejected his confession, she made a promise.
‘Because I wanted to.’
She wanted Ian to stay away from her.
She wanted to forget all about her dark past.
When Ian had fallen, she’d felt a small part of her relieved.
That was because she wanted to forget her past…
Now that he had returned, and was looking at her so coldly.
‘…Did he find out?’
Had he discovered her hidden feelings for him?
It was difficult.
Everything was too complicated.
Her mind felt muddled, as if various shapes were stabbing her head.
Aria’s pupils began to tremble intensely.
It felt like another manifestation of her mental instability.
“Are you okay, Lady Aria?”
A priest knight, who appeared out of nowhere, supported her.
He was a student in the Priest department like her, and a disciple of a high-ranking paladin in the church.
“If it’s that Ian bothering you again, I won’t stay still…!”
As he held her arm, Aria’s cheeks flushed slightly.
Aria wiped her tears away.
A past that Ian decided to let go of.
It seemed like something had changed somewhere, but… it probably didn’t matter.
If possible, she wanted to continue to leave her past behind, forgotten.
“Thank you, Dave.”
“As long as I can serve you, Lady Aria.”
Aria gently placed the book she had held back onto the shelf.
[Hero Dave’s Chronicles]
When she was alone in her room, Ian used to bring this fairy tale book and read it to her.
When she was emotionally distressed, he would read it while gently stroking her head.
But the hero from the fairy tale was no longer needed.
Aria was living in the present.
She was a Saint Candidate now.
Aria put the book back on the shelf.
“Are you really alright, Lady Aria?”
“Ah…? Yes, yes, I’m fine. I, I should go back to my dorm now…”
Aria, her words trailing off like before, turned to leave.
The priest knight who had been following her stopped and turned his head.
His blue eyes scrutinized Ian’s departing figure ominously.
Priest Knight Dave made a resolution.
To deal with that guy who was causing the next saint candidate to be anxious.
He needed to find an opportunity to take care of it.
“What was that strange guy hanging around her?”
Ian, recalling the blond guy who had been with Aria, raised an eyebrow.
He had more important things to do than worry about the safety of a possible non-v*rgin heroine.
At the library’s desk.
The librarian looked up at Ian.
“Refusal to confess.”
She replied, adjusting her glasses.
Can she say that as a response?
She hadn’t said anything yet.
Of course, she was grateful for the book recommendations, but typically, wouldn’t you confess later in this kind of situation?
“Confidence that the other person will confess naturally, huh?”
Instead of answering, the librarian held out a mirror.
Pongpong’s face came into view.
Come to think of it, it would make sense for Pongpong to be around.
“I’m not here to confess, but I need to ask you something. I want to access Kirtos.”
A mana-based network service that can be used within the Lichten Academy.
‘Just thought it was a convenience feature.’
When playing games, you often encounter what are clearly convenience-based features, right?
Kirtos, too, he had always thought of it as a kind of trick to implement community elements.
But as he read the books this time, he realized something.
Kirtos actually existed in this world.
“Need a device.”
“I don’t have the money.”
“I wish you could tell me where I could borrow one. I think you would know.”
The librarian lightly adjusted her glasses with her fingertip.
Then, she lowered her head under the desk.
There were rustling sounds of paper, and the librarian extended a map-sized piece of paper.
“If it’s okay with a tablet.”
“… You want me to use it?”
A very subtle nod.
“… Isn’t it yours?”
Another subtle nod.
“I’m a little sorry about this.”
This time, he tilted his head left and right, as if to show his gratitude to the librarian.
“Return for not confessing.”
He figured he should be thankful to Pongpong for that.
After showing appropriate gratitude to the person involved, he took his seat and unfolded the Kirtos terminal.
[Connecting to Kirtos…]
Watching the ink being etched onto the parchment was oddly old-fashioned.
“What’s an undergrad club?”
He touched the frontmost tab.
Instantly, various chat rooms available for access appeared.
It felt like handling a tablet made of ink, in a way.
[Inquiries for Joining the Council]
[Mezai Haters Club]
This time, he ventured into the free club forum.
There, several lists popped up, indicating it was more active.
[Continental Cat Association <Non-humans, Dogs, and Sword Fights> (23/50)]
[The Classy Species (9/10)]
[↑ Earlings Acting Up Haha (3/100)]
[S*xy Images Collection (99/100)]
[Looking for a Roommate (1/2)]
[Deep in the Shadow Forest 6-man Party, Only Missing You (2/6)]
[Emilia Fan Club (78/100)]
When there’s only one spot left in a room, it makes you want to enter—the law of human nature.
He instinctively grabbed his moving hand urgently.
And then, there was the noticeable Emilia Fan Club.
Certainly, like a famous upperclassman’s, she gave off the impression of being a “celebrity”.
“The last tab is…”
In the modern community style, there was a familiar “Forum” tab.
It even had a search function.
Naturally, this called for some ego-searching.
[Ian] (Search Results: 100+)
A considerable number of results appeared.
Of course, most of them were insults.
But among the recent posts, there were some that were not.
[Has Ian really gotten better recently? (24)]
With anticipation, Ian clicked on the title of the post.
A page turned as if a piece of paper was changing, and the ink rose.
– No, really, he has changed a lot these days, including his eyes. Recently, he took first place in practical training. Something seems to have changed, hasn’t it?
[♣︎]: This seems to be going viral, Ian.
ㄴ Seriously, lolololol
ㄴ Ian took a week off, and now he’s back to working part-time.
[Anonymous 23]: Ian, welcome~
[Lawbreaker]: Ugh, it’s Ian!
ㄴ Stop with the hate, use nicer words.
ㄴ Yeah, what can we do with this [expletive]?
“What a mess.”
Most of the comments were insults and suspicions.
But it was fascinating that there was someone whose perception was changing like this.
As expected, when you focus on yourself, other people’s views gradually change too.
By the way, rumors were starting to spread.
[(New!) What happened when Ian jumped? There was a rumor going around about the disciplinary committee (3)]
After checking that post, Ian leaned back on the sofa.
“A disciplinary committee, huh.”
The disciplinary committee took quite some time from its formation to convening. That’s because each student at the Lichten Academy had a significant presence.
Ian, as well as the culprit, had time to prepare.
“If I were the culprit, I’d probably try to gather the heroines.”
The reason for forging four suicide notes in such a complicated manner was evident.
Assuming the worst-case scenario, where the crime could be traced back to them, they had hidden themselves as much as possible.
It was well-planned and meticulous.
So, he was convinced.
Certainly, the culprit would gather the heroines to act together.
“I can use that to my advantage.”
If he could bring just one of the heroines to his side, he could use her like a spy.
The need to be more proactive became apparent.
A scenario that could shake the Academy was unfolding.
Confusion. There must be a way to use it.
The corners of Ian’s mouth rose.
Prominent names began to appear in Kirtos’s login history.
[Lina has logged in.]
[Sharon has logged in.]
[Aria has logged in.]
[Emilia has logged in.]
However, their names disappeared from the log shortly after.
It meant a private anonymous chat room had been opened.
Access 10 Chapters ahead of the Novelupdates release on our Patreon. <3