C200: Memory (1)

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“Rene, what did you say?”

“What? What did I just say?”

Rene asked back vaguely and Rudger stared at her silently. She shrugged her shoulders and mumbled her lips at the intense cold steel-like gaze.

‘Oh no, teacher must be angry because I asked a question and then said something weird.’

At least as far as Rene knows, Rudger abides by his principles.

‘I’m crazy.’

“Rene.”

“Sorry, I’m sorry! I’m very tired these days, so my mind goes back and forth. I think I said that because I didn’t sleep well…….”

It was really lame to call it an excuse, but there was nothing else she could say.

Fortunately, Rudger didn’t ask any more questions.

“……You need enough sleep. It’s good to concentrate on studying, but don’t try to reduce your sleep to the limit.”

“Yes, sir.”

Rene was relieved and was about to leave but Rudger called her.

“Rene.”

“Yes?”

Rene was afraid that Rudger would find fault with what she said before and her face was red.

“The reason why I haven’t been able to sleep lately…….”

When Rudger was about to ask something, his assistant Sedina approached him.

“Mr. Rudger.”

“What’s wrong, Sedina?”

“The president is calling you.”

Rudger turned his eyes to the outside of the classroom and through the open door, he saw that a person was staring at him with soft eyes.

‘Wilford.’

An aide of the president and an employee of Theon but his real identity was that of a retired knight of considerable skill.

‘Why is the president calling me all of a sudden?’

Such a question occurred to him. In fact, there were so many things that he couldn’t choose one.

“I see.”

Rudger nodded his head and collected the class materials.

Rene breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Rudger leaving the classroom. She would have been scolded a lot if she said, ‘I said that because I thought of a name from my dream.’

She would have been criticized by Rudger for being distracted by her dream.

‘But what is this subtle feeling?’

She felt relieved with her head but not with her heart and her chest felt stuffy.

* * *

“I heard you wanted to see me.”

Rudger’s visit this time was not in the president’s office but in a high-rise terrace in the main building.

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“Welcome, Mr. Rudger. Please sit here.”

On the terrace, there was a table with refreshments and a guest chair.

Rudger sat down in an empty seat without hesitation. As he turned his eyes, he could see Theon’s large campus over the beautifully embossed marble railing. Nevertheless, it was so vast and unobstructed that it could not be seen at a glance.

He turned his head again and stared at the president who had been looking at him in an upright posture for a while with a subtle smile on her face as usual.

It was the president’s usual face but Rudger felt uncomfortable.

The problem was that the president ‘was the same as usual.’

“Do you like tea?”

“I don’t hate it.”

As Elisa gestured, the teacup and kettle flew in from afar and the kettle poured the tea gently.

“Drink.”

Rudger didn’t refuse, but picked it up and savored the aroma.

“It’s White Rivenda petals.”

“You know it?”

“It only grows in places where it is neither cold nor hot like Cenderil, a small valley town in Queoden Kingdom. The area is small and cultivation is not easy, so it is quite precious.”

“I didn’t know Mr. Rudger was so knowledgeable about tea.”

“It’s difficult to find even if someone has money and I think it’s too precious to give it to a guest.”

“Why? Mr. Rudger deserves it.”

“Is that so?”

It was a kind of compliment to hand over a rare, hard-to-find tea.

Saying that he deserves it is tantamount to saying that she admired Rudger.

‘But she couldn’t have called me this far simply to compliment me.’

Even Wilford, who always accompanies her, was not present today.

Since it was only the two of them it meant that the president had something to say.

Rudger took a sip of Rivenda tea. The pungent yet soft scent lingered on the tip of his tongue and the level of sweetness was just right for him.

“President, you wouldn’t have called me just to treat me to a cup of tea so I’ll ask you directly. Why did you call me?”

“Are you so curious about that Mr. Rudger?”

“…….”

Rudger remained silent.

Nothing good would happen to him if he makes it obvious here.

The president laughed at his appearance and immediately brought up the main topic.

“The reason why I called Mr. Rudger separately is to make a suggestion.”

“A suggestion?”

“Mr. Rudger since you came here you have been working hard for our Theon. You eliminated werewolves, caught bad people and protected the students.”

He understood her meaning however Elisa did not directly say, “I know your identity.”

It was the same with Rudger.

“I just did what I had to do.”

He just said the obvious thing a teacher would say but also had the hidden meaning he wouldn’t reveal his identity.

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“There are a lot of people who didn’t even do that but Mr. Rudger did. I don’t know why you did that, but isn’t it a good thing that everything went well?”

The president took a sip of tea, saying so and her dazzling golden pupils showing the appearance of a teacup.

“So I thought about it. No matter how new he is, he works so well so he needs some kind of compensation.”

“I didn’t do it for compensation.”

“Still, giving is my duty so I thought about what kind of reward would satisfy me as well as Mr. Rudger.”

The president clapped her hands and said.

“I had a good idea and it wouldn’t be a bad suggestion for Mr. Rudger either. It’s a rather good thing.”

“What is it?”

“Mr. Rudger is the teacher in charge of the second grade, right? It’s unusual among new teachers.”

Rudger nodded.

“Even so, there are more students in the first grade.”

“Oh, that doesn’t matter. Anyway, Mr. Rudger hasn’t even worked for a year and although you adapted quickly you still lack experience. That’s why…….”

The president was finally getting to the point so Rudger focused on her.

“Would you like to go to the planning department?”

President Elisa’s proposal was very unexpected. She wasn’t asking him to reveal his identity but was giving him a new position.

“If it’s the planning department…….”

“To be exact, you will be one of the evaluators belonging to the planning department.”

“Me, an evaluator?”

“Yes. You know that there are several affiliated organizations in Theon, right?”

Rudger nodded.

Theon was equivalent to a city so there’s not just the space for the students to study. Residential facilities, living facilities, and rest facilities all exist. There were even laboratories, administrative offices, central libraries and training centers.

Although it couldn’t compare to Leathervelk, Theon could be considered a small city but when it came to internal infrastructure Theon was comparable to a large city. As a result, there were departments that shared various tasks.

One of them was the “Planning and Evaluation Department” where Elisa wanted to send Rudger. Although the name might sound like nothing, its power was enormous.

It was in charge of performance management, self-audit, external exchange, and department evaluation. However, their biggest authority would be ‘budget management’.

It takes a lot of money to do research and conduct classes and the planning office distributed those funds.

Rudger was suspicious since the president said she was going to let him into the planning office.

“May I ask why you made this proposal?”

“Actually, that seat in the planning office has been vacant for a long time.”

The president spoke in a casual tone, but it didn’t make sense to simply give him a seat. The planning office is not an easy place to enter and even among teachers, only a person with experience and excellent performance would be admitted.

‘You’re going to put me in that important position that I can’t obtain even if I want to?’

Besides, from what she said, she didn’t seem to have consulted with others.

‘There are many things that must be done in the planning office but they also had a huge amount of power within Theon. Even if I’m in charge of school administration, all I have to do is approve important documents and I can hire personnel to do the rest.’

Several teachers aimed for that position since they could gain strength in Theon but the president said she would give it to him under her authority.

‘You’re suspicious of my identity, but you’re giving me authority.’

It was something impossible to do unless a person was quite crazy.

‘You’re saying that you’ll purposely give me greater authority and watch me closely.’

Rudger had no choice but to admire the president.

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‘Cause that’s how you reduce variables.’

She evaluated his track record and ability shown so far higher than his uncertain identity so she chose to give him more power and keep a closer eye on him than to limit his power and isolate him.

Was she so confident that she could control everything?

“What do you think?”

Elisa asked with a smile.

“If you just say you want to do it, I can push through with the president’s authority.”

“Does the president gain anything by doing that?”

“Me? No I don’t but Mr. Rudger will. People have to sit in the seats that match their abilities.”

“I see,” replied Rudger calmly.

The president’s actions are nothing more than gnawing at her own flesh.

How could she force a new teacher to sit in a position that others coveted for almost a year? There is bound to be a backlash and the first thing he thought of was Hugo Burtag.

The man would try to denounce the president as a tyrant and the same would go for the other teachers who supported the president.

Among them, there will surely be people who are skeptical of the president’s decision and jealous of Rudger.

Nevertheless, the president suggested it and she is not a fool that would make losing deals.

‘It’s because even considering all that, her gains are greater.’

Since she will get the talent named Rudger Chelici.

The president smiled on the outside and her eyes shone on the inside

‘The better you are, the more I want to keep you close.’

Dangerous?

‘That’s why I’m keeping him by my side.’

If she puts him near her, he won’t do anything dangerous.

She knows what others will say but so what? It is true that they have the ability to enter Theon but they have also overestimated their abilities. In particular, the aristocratic faction led by Hugo, has been present for too long.

She couldn’t let those people flourish anymore when she was tired due to outside intervention so she needed a knife to cut them out and the most suitable one was Rudger.

He was a sharp sword that could cut anything and she would cut out the internal problems with it.

Rudger understood the president’s meaning as well.

‘The president said I won’t ask your origin or identity. Instead, let’s work hand in hand.’

She was a great woman and made a choice that he wouldn’t make unless he would be out of his mind. That’s why he liked her.

After all, the two knew each other’s situation well but they wouldn’t bother to say it out loud. Because they were better than anyone else, they know even if they don’t talk to each other.

‘Theon’s president, one of my greatest treats, will protect me voluntarily. This is an excellent development.’

Since the president reached out to him, he had one less thing to worry about.

Rudger, who finished the judgment, calmly opened his mouth.

“Your suggestion is very fascinating. I’m even grateful that you made this offer.”

“Oh, really? I’m glad you liked it.”

“Yes, so in addition to your suggestion, I will give you a better opinion.”

“What is that?”

Tell me, the president’s golden eyes were saying so.

“It is not enough for me to be an ordinary member of the Planning Department. If you give me the position of head of the Planning Department, I will accept it.”

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Elisa’s smiling face cracked for the first time.

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