On the third day of returning to Princeton, Angellina had left to socialise with her teachers and classmates from the Imperial Academy. Locke let out a sigh. It was finally time to enjoy some proper rest.
While there was no need for Locke to interact with Angelina’s professional circle, his association with the Sanctum was far too unique to be ignored. He was a knight that’d found great ease around the prestigious magic institute, which attracted much attention from Angelina’s friends.
Only those that were stronger than high-rank Lehrlings could enrol with the Sanctum. Mid-rank Lehrlings were only accepted if they had extraordinary potential or talent. The entry criteria alone had hindered the dreams of many casters to step foot into the pristine institute. Hence, it was only natural for casters to be interested in Locke’s current standing with the Sanctum.
Admittedly, his journey hadn’t been as smooth-sailing as many would assume. Brushing aside Parlina, Ashar and the other Magisters’ support, Locke knew that the main reason behind his current achievements was his undying effort. He was never one to wait for opportunities. Angelina was the recent talk of the Imperial Academy. The mentors of her faculty had insisted on making her the best caster of the year even though she’d completed her studies here a year ago.
The next thing that gathered immense attention had been the floating vessel that Locke and Angelina rode. Floating vessels had always been the Sanctum’s symbol. While many excellent alchemists in Missia could create excellent flying magic vessels, no one had dared to imitate the Sanctum’s model. Their floating vessel was unique and a representation of the organisation’s status. The floating vessel sat pliantly on a corner of the academy’s field.
Angelina’s day was packed. One of her previous teachers had organised a magic forum for a few casters that were above mid-rank Lehrlings. Her teacher requested that Angelina be made the main speaker of the event since she’d spent six months at the Sanctum and was mobilised for the conquest of Botania that involved multiple Magisters.
Angelina had more leverage in terms of theory or field applications than the other casters here. Not to mention, the elemental pool and energy transport magic circuits that she’d seen in the spatial fortress had been the Imperial Academy’s recent research interest. Her experience and findings were valuable to them since their current progress paled in comparison to what the Sanctum had achieved in this arena.
Despite Angelina’s shallow contact, cutting-edge knowledge required building blocks of rich fundamental information. The participants of the forum were bound to gain plenty from the exchange. Once the event came to an end, the high-rank Lehrlings began to clap for Angelina. Her teacher couldn’t help but feel proud and comforted that Parlina had found herself a promising pupil.
“There’s dinner on the table, do eat it soon.” Locke turned to Angelina, who had just stepped past the door. The servants around him continued to work the fans diligently.
“Alright.” She tossed her blonde hair behind her shoulders.
“Don’t forget Joaquin’s gathering tomorrow!” He quickly called after her.
“How can I forget that? That was all she had been talking about at the academy today.” Angelina dismissed with a wave.
Now that important meetings were out of the way, the couple could finally enjoy some proper rest after two days of hecticness. The appointments had been compulsory since some were extremely influential figures while some had been people they must meet. Joaquin’s gathering had been decided earlier.
Before the morning light could chase away the remaining darkness, Locke and Angelina were already climbing into a carriage. The wheels rumbled against the bumpy road as the coach made its way towards the west of Princeton City.
Joquin had suggested that they meet at her family’s new estate, which was located outside the imperial capital. It had been two years since she’d last met Locke and Angelina, so she’d done all she could to get her parents’ permission to hold an event there. The estate was named the Lilac Gold Estate as a nod to the birth of her baby brother two years ago.
“I’m going to doze off a little. Wake me up when we’re there.” Angelina laid her weight on his chest and quickly went back to slumberland. The Faustian princess was exhausted. There had only been a long list of appointments and endless magic training following her return. She hadn’t dared to slack off ever since leaving Botania since she planned to complete her advancement before the Sanctum gathered enough slave creatures.
Locke watched the moving scenery through the window while Angelina slept against his shoulder. The end of July was marked with golden fields. The outskirts of Princeton was home to many hardworking farmers whose foreheads were covered in sweat even before the sun was high up in the skies. Meticulously, they ploughed the fields and harvested their crops.
Angelina woke up with a yawn when they finally arrived at their destination. The estate was filled with gorgeous purple flowers, which made for an impressive sight. Locke helped Angelina off the carriage and they proceeded to marvel at the beautiful scenery. However, they were quickly ushered inside by servants that had been waiting for their arrival outside. Turns out, they were one of the earlier guests apart from Billie.
The servants led them into the garden, where Joaquin and Billie could be spotted at a distance away. The girls seemed to be in the middle of a conversation. Joaquin was wearing a fiery-red dress. From what Locke could see, she’d deliberately tightened the width of her skirt, which allowed her exceptionally attractive figure to stand out. Joaquin looked like the most eye-catching and fiery flower in the garden. Billie, on the other hand, was dressed in a sage-green floral dress. Locke had never seen her in a dress like this before and was a little surprised by how good she looked. Sometimes, the simplicity was the best. Joaquin and Billie’s fashion choices had drawn much appreciation from Locke.
“Joaquin! Billie! We’re here!” Angelina loosened her grip around Locke’s hand in favour of hugging her friends. They hadn’t seen each other for a year so there was plenty to catch up on.
Locke rubbed his nose and greeted the girls. He had always been weak to beautiful women; he’d make a fool out of himself in the proximity of gorgeous ladies. He’d met Joaquin once but this was the first time he’d met Billie since returning to Zauberian soil. As Joaquin pulled Angelina away to ask about life at the Sanctum, Billie took a seat beside him with a cup of tea.
“You’ve been back for days, why haven’t you visited me? Have you forgotten your old friend?” Billie’s words were a stark contrast to her sophisticated attire. She pulled a cheeky face and cackled at Locke.
“I did. I dropped by your place a few days ago but your servants told me that you weren’t home.” Locke lied between his teeth. He rather not admit that he hadn’t even gone close to her house.