Afterwards, it was a disaster.
Linne and Alex’s words weren’t just a threat, that same day, some teachers from her school, particularly
people around the headmaster and Tianna’s master, lost their position.
This situation wasn’t handled formally, an agency of the kingdom managed the school and they sent out instructions to replace some of the teaching staff. Tianna’s master, Bellocchio, was forced into a leisure role.
Tianna didn’t believe any of it, her teacher would never commit such crude fraud.
Most students respected Mr. Bellochio as a strict but fair teacher, in fact, it was those that thought bribery was an acceptable method that resented him.
But it was already decided.
When a noble received a penalty for wrongdoing, they would never get rid of that stigma and that posed a danger to Tianna as well.
“…Hmph. You brought shame to our family.”
Tianna’s father, count Grayman Clente Elenafelt, called her to his study, but it wasn’t to have a discussion.
“You have two choices.”
Grayman wasn’t interested in hearing his daughter, it was all a political tool.
He had plenty of children from different mothers, and he wouldn’t hesitate to cut one of them loose if they became a thorn in his side, even if they were a little good at magic and had a pretty face.
“First, you can become duke Cardia’s concubine.”
“Second, leave this house. Regardless of which you choose, we have prepared a dowry and money for your expenses. I understand you cared for Alex but you should give that up.”
Tianna was angry at her father’s peremptory tone.
“I didn’t do it!”
“I assumed so. You are not that cunning.”
Greyman sighed at Tianna’s flabbergasted expression.
“If you were cunning enough to seduce someone in such a manner, you wouldn’t have fallen for such a trap, fool.”
“I-I could never do something so dirty!”
“Then you should have thought of another way to protect yourself. You are the idiot here for letting yourself be set up without noticing the scheme. If it was an old, high ranking noble, I could understand, but it was a girl your age. I will hear no excuses.”
“It could have been prevented if you noticed it a little sooner… Good grief.”
Greyman didn’t lament his daughter’s incompetence, he didn’t love her very much but that did not mean he hated her more than necessary. He knew that at this point, his daughter needed to be punished or it would leavea black mark on his image.
Some teachers had already been demoted or retired, so there was no benefit whatsoever in continuing to protect Tianna, who was at the center of this issue.
Tianna knew how cold her father was, even if she was mistreated as duke Cardia’s concubine, he would not come to her rescue.
“I don’t want to be that duke’s concubine…”
Duke Cardia was the very picture of an unscrupulous noble.
He treated women like slaves and saw commoners as beings lower than trash.
He most certainly did not have a good reputation.
Tianna saw him a few times in the royal palace banquets and his debauchery was horrible. He would get drunk and try to make married women leave with him. A lot of nobles would leave the banquets in a hurry out of fear of him.
A petition was made asking why he wasn’t being punished, but duke Cardia was the younger brother of the previous king, and knew a lot of secrets about the royal family.
The soon to be replaced king had no power to punish duke Cardia.
“A-At least somewhere else…”
“I have heard that duke Cardia has had his eye on you for a while so if you go somewhere else, he will start watching your new home”
[Alex save me…]
Tianna almost let her inner voice slip out, but Alex also participated in the plot to frame her.
He was most likely being tricked by that sly fox, but Tianna also knew that his inferiority complex towards her was real. Surely, he was enjoying her downfall.
“If you really don’t want that, you can leave before the duke makes his formal request. That will serve as a good example.
No one was coming to save her, so she had to survive with her own strength.
Tianna made the sad decision to quit being a noble.
The wagon from the capital shook for over a month, as Tianna made her way to the Labyrinth City Terrane.
“I-I’m finally here…!”
Tianna rubbed her sore back as she walked through the streets of Terrane.
It was her first time traveling and her first time living alone, but Tianna was not just a spoiled noble girl. In fact, since her parents mostly left her to her own devices, she learned a lot by watching her tutors and servants. When she was little she got lost in the commercial district as well.
Tianna was an intelligent person to begin with, so you could even say that living alone and penniless fit her character more than being a noble.
She was so excited about traveling alone, you could say leaving her sad life behind and traveling to the Labyrinth City was a treat.
Tianna decided on what inn to stay, put down her luggage, and finally took a breather.
[It begins now.] Tianna’s resolve was renewed.
“For now I just have to look for work.”
Surely a fallen noble or an out of work sorcerer would be in high demand in this city.
This was one of the liveliest cities in the whole kingdom and jobs were abundant.
Poor commoners living on the fringe could become adventurers, and intelligent people that went to school could find work in places like the merchant guild and magic item workshops.
Someone like Tianna that used magic, could do calculations, and was well versed in law should have a lot of potential jobs waiting for her… ‘Should’ being the operative word.
“Ah… Sorry, we’re not looking to hire anyone.”
“Our magic research institute will not hire anyone without a letter of introduction. Leave.”
“This ain’t no place for some noble girl.”
“We will pray for your success, Miss Tianna.”
…The job hunt was a complete disaster.
There were actually a lot of sorcerers looking for work right now.
There was a coup-d’etat in the neighboring country, the Magic Kingdom of Shembad, and a lot of great sorcerers fled to the Labyrinth City. This made it possible to cheaply hire great sorcerers that would usually cost several dozens of gold coins, and created a job drought.
Office jobs that required skills in calculation and writing were in the same boat. The two kingdoms shared a language so there were only slight differences in dialect, and not a lot of problems when it came to communication. Fate was not kind to Tianna.
The money she received from her family would keep her afloat for a while, but after being abandoned by her fiancee, by her parents, and hearing several times ‘We don’t need you’ in a round-about way, Tianna was at her limit.
She bought some cheap bread and ate in the park while continuing her job hunt.
She started by applying to the jobs she wanted the most, but even after going down and down that list, she still wasn’t any closer to finding someone that would employ her.
All she could was sigh.
That was when it happened.
“Hey pretty lady! Are you free?”
“If you’re hitting on me you can keep walking.”
Said Tianna as she pointed her staff to the young man that suddenly talked to her.
“Oh, you’re dangerous! You know using magic in the middle of the city is a crime don’t you!?
“Then don’t talk to me.”
Of course Tianna knew that, it was just a threat. The man with the nice body and good looking face reminded her of Alex and it irritated her.
“No no, I’m really not hitting on you, I just want you to take this leaflet.”
“Come check out the famous Labyrinth City dragon races!”
“They make dragons race to see which one’s the fastest. You can bet on it and make it really exciting. How about it?”
Tianna looked closely at the leaflet the man handed to her.
In the capital, all casinos and gambling houses were illegal, so she had never been in a public gambling establishment. She had seen people opening gambling houses to bet on matches between knights, but she thought it was nothing more than foolishness.
There is a free admission ticket so feel free to join us if you have the time.”
She had no interest in it at all.
The man gave up on trying to convince her and left, but Tianna suddenly decided to go see the dragon races. She remembered hearing that such places employed a lot of sorcerers.
There were all sorts of jobs, like making sure no one brings magic items that might disturb the races, setting up barriers to make sure no one could use magic, etc. Besides, since this is public managed, they do background checks before hiring people. Even if she was expelled from her home, a noble like Tianna should still be more trustworthy than sorcerers from another country seeking asylum.
“…Let’s go check it out.”